Letters to Editor
To Contact the Editor
Tuesday, January 31st
LETTER ON SJI SCHOOL TAX LEVY
---------------------------------------Supports Proposed Tax Levy
(Note:Date above left is when the first letter was posted below on the subject)
To the Editor:
I’m voting ‘Yes’ to support the Capital and Technology Levy of the SJ Is School District this February. After reviewing the website list of technology and building needs, especially at the Elementary School, it’s clear a majority of the funds will go for normal maintenance: a new roof, better fire suppression and alarm systems, new ventilation and heating systems, bathroom repairs, new exterior windows, etc. After 25 years of intensive use, the Elementary School is like any other commercial building, it needs replacement of its critical parts. If we don’t support the protection of these assets with proper maintenance, then our children will suffer from both inadequate classrooms and from compromised teachers as money is moved from general operations to cover necessary or emergency repairs.
I’ve had the pleasure of twice working as a volunteer in the Elementary School lately. What a pleasure it is to enjoy the competency and energy of the other volunteers, mostly parents, and the paid staff. It takes only a little direct experience to realize these parents are committed unpaid workers because the teachers and staff are committed professionals. It’s reciprocal. Involved parents are the best indicator of a healthy school -- this District has hundreds of parents giving their time.
A good basic education (K-12) with inspired teachers, appropriate space and the right technology is critical if we want our children and society to prosper in the 21st Century. Technology needs upgrades just like the buildings do to remain useful. No business can prosper in a changing market without modern tools and a good place to use them - our school district is no different.
Please vote to help our children continue to be good students - vote ‘Yes’ for the capital and technology levy.
Thank You Fellow Islanders
To the Editor:
We wish to thank the EMT’s, our friends and rest of the community for the cards, flowers, and wonderful support through our time of loss. We also give a special thank you to the John Wilson family for your assistance and support through it all.
Its great to know we have such a supportive community, and Ed wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Ed Johnson Family
San Juan Island
Ed Johnson Obituary
Thursday, January 26th
Thank You Sheriff's Department
To the Editor:
Thank you to the San Juan County Sheriff's department for arresting one of the worst kinds of scum around. Meth dealer. They prey on addiction and weakness with an evil drug that robs people of their happiness and soul.
All of their hard work has resulted in the arrest of an individual who will be facing a serious prison sentence. This is a dangerous criminal who has been taken off the streets of our community. Our officers deserve our praise. Again, thank you to the Sheriffs Office.
I was SHOCKED to read the news story describing the bail proceedings in this case. The lead detective recommended $50,000 bond. Honestly, for multiple felonies, that sounds on the low end of things.
Judge Eaton had the nerve to lower that to $10,000. 80% off!!! A mere fraction. Typically this is done when the accused doesn't pose a flight risk.
This criminal has multiple convictions for drug offenses. Also, note that they have 10--TEN FAILURE TO APPEAR charges. That means they posted bail to get out of jail and DIDN'T SHOW UP!!!
A judge is given a lot of authority over our justice system and with that comes an immense amount of trust by the people of our community. That trust has been SHATTERED. This is INSANE.
We have 2 choices. Recall Mr. Eaton, or find an opponent who can soundly defeat him when his term is up. We need to weigh the cost and hassle of a recall drive against the potential damage he can inflict on our community during the remainder of his term with SERIOUSLY FLAWED decisions such as this.
This is a call to action.
San Juan Island
Monday, January 16th
Who Paid For Than Ad?
To the Editor:
On Jan. 21, the nation marks the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a decision that enabled corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence federal and state elections. As the 2012 election season ramps up, so will the corporate, union and special interest financing of political advertising. With the proliferation of SuperPACS and 501(c) organizations, major donors funding election advertising remain unidentified to the voters.
Be an informed voter.
First, ask every candidate at every level of government for his or her position on campaign finance reform.
Second, visit http://www.opensecrets.org for reliable information for following the money in races in your district and around the country.
And finally, question every political advertisement you see or hear. Ask yourself who paid for that ad and why. Does the ad state clearly who paid for it? If the sponsor is a group or organization, can you go to its website and see who is a member and who contributes? If not, ask yourself why not?
Help make democracy work -cast an informed vote!
League of Women Voters of the San Juans
Sunday, January 15th
Thank You Letter: Brann Cabin
Eight years ago, (during the 2003 school year), the third grade classes of Friday Harbor Elementary School, under the direction of Mrs. Sjoholm, Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Harley, created art
cards with drawings of some of the historic buildings on the island and made them available for purchase. They did this as a fundraising effort with a goal toward repairing the Brann Cabin, located in San Juan County Park near Smallpox Bay. ( Related Story )
This last year, (2011), the work which began with those third graders, combined with other donations and grant allotments, along with the efforts of Ed Bailey and the Veterans Conservation Corp, has accomplished the first phase of the Brann Cabin preservation plan (Stabilization).
The walls have been straightened and realigned, a new foundation along with a new roof have been installed. The cabin represents and reflects a time on the island during the homesteading era. Mr. Brann, a Civil War Veteran on the side of the Union fought at Gettysburg. He moved from his home in Maine in the late 1890’s when he was about 60 years of age and settled on land now owned by your County Park system.
The next phase in the preservation plan, (Restoration), is to install doors, windows and other interior features in an effort to re-create the feeling Mr. Brann would have experienced during his days “proving up” his land claim. Should any of you long time residents have any photographs or stories or information pertaining to the Time period of 1900 - 1930 as it relates to the area around Smallpox Bay (or Brann’s Bay as it was once called), it would be most helpful in accurately portraying its history.
Combined with the restoration work will be the development of a Rehabilitation plan which is currently evolving. Once the building is made sound and weather tight, useful purpose(s) are being considered which would provide public benefit and generate a little revenue to help with its ongoing maintenance needs. (If you have any ideas along those lines, please contact the Parks department).
Preserving the historical character of the island imparts a great value to the feeling one encounters during a visit here. In town there are buildings which have been rehabilitated to
provide continued use while retaining a sense of settled stability. Outside of town, the old barns and old homestead cabins hewn from logs continue to reinforce that impression. Those who live here seem to care about their surroundings and make an effort to safeguard the features which visitors, like me, find so refreshing.
Maintaining and protecting the American and British encampments, the early industrial lime producing complexes, the early rural homesteads and township buildings are invaluable
windows into our shared and collective history.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked on the cabin at the Park overlooking the water, and to have experienced the calm that seems to permeate the land.
David C. Rogers
[Mr. Rogers did the restoration work on the Brann cabin -Ed]