07/20/2007: "What Happen To Report On Nantucket Workshop?"
To the Editor:
It was the single most significant event by the County in the 34 years we have been here. Yet - it has barely been reported by the local media, neither in print nor on-line. Why?
The Smart Growth Workshop five weeks ago was well-attended and well-received; it was informative and instructive; and it was enlightening and encouraging. It revealed how close the San Juan Islands are to "Nantucketization", and in spite of a county planner's belief that "this place" is an evolving uber gated community of Have-a-Lots and Have-Even-Mores, the workshop clearly outlined that this is not inevitable but that there is urgency to act NOW.
Implementation of Smart Growth tools and techniques requires a plan; a plan requires leadership, and leadership requires direction. Politically, direction must come from the citizens, and the local media, print and on-line, play an essential role in fostering an informed citizenry. The void in reporting the substance of the Smart Growth Workshop, which may well be a watershed event in the future of these islands, represents a breach of responsibility on the part of the media and is a grave disservice to the many who could not attend this two-day, daytime event.
The County Council is to be commended for sponsoring this event. Thanks especially to Alan Lichter for his planning, preparation and leadership, and to Karen Agosta for stellar facilitating, and most especially to Bill Cook, whose life-long love of these islands and years of perseverance resulted (finally!) in bringing former Nantucket Planner John Pagini to San Juan County for this workshop event.
Don't let silence defeat the import of this Workshop, allowing it to fade into oblivion, as the last, best hope for the future of these precious islands.
Ken and Miki Brostrom
( The Island Guardian was the only paper to attend both days of the workshop, and we plan to publish a report once Councilman Alan Lichter submits his report to the County Council. Our first take on the presentation was that the main reason Nantucket has had the problems they have had, is due to their failure to do what we have done, namely, pass a Comprehensive Plan in a timely manner. In many respects it seemed to us that Nantucket could have learned from us, and not the other way around. We look forward to Lichter’s take on the workshops. One thing we expect to agree on, is that it was an interesting two days. -Editor)