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Monday, May 28th

Reap The Scorn -Letters On Grave Desecrations


I want to praise Amy Wynn’s latest column. She stated my feelings, better than I could have. Our lost veterans, as well as the current service people in harm’s way, should be a source of concern, support, and a reminder of our own mortality. This must supercede any feelings that we have about current issues. Our community has no place for desecration of those who serve, nor does it have a place for bigotry and prejudice, as Amy points out.

I remember the pure terror that I felt, as I was told that I, a sonar operator, was to be a door gunner in a helicopter evacuation of American nationals. Many young Americans have been in similar situations, and paid dearly, through no fault of their own. We owe our veterans lasting reverence and gratitude.

So I join Amy to ask that you, who support the Iraq war, to join us that oppose it, so that we can unanimously condemn those that would desecrate our veterans or practice bigotry.

Mike Kaill,
San Juan Island



To the desecrators, with swastikas, of the Orcas cemetery: What are you thinking? Are you thinking to slap in the face the gray-haired old folk coming with their flags, bugle, medals, blazers and rifles to salute their long-gone comrades? Are you thinking of those hundreds of thousands across more than two centuries who gave up living so you could live free to desecrate? Are you thinking of the 6,000,000 Jews slaughtered in Europe? Are you thinking you wish Europe had been lost to Hitler? Are you thinking of the widows, some of whom I’ve held sobbing in my arms because they were going to raise their children alone? Or even of me, while I raised my kids alone while my beloved served on faraway battlefields--for you? Or my son whilst he did? Or two of my brothers? That's who I'm thinking of, and dear friends who died there.

Aghast, after the ceremony by American Legion vets, I asked a young R.O.T.C. student: “Who do you think would do such a thing?” Thoughtfully, she answered, “I hope it was kids, for they are too young to comprehend such hatred. If it is adults, this is really serious.”

I cried out, as the deputy informed me, assuming you are young, “What are we teaching our young?”

There are two bumper stickers on a teacher's file cabinet at Orcas High that might be said to teach students who see them daily: one disdains the President of the U.S. at war; one advocates protecting abortion. In a previous year, student letters to the high school newspaper criticized an NFL speaker for mentioning his faith in God at an assembly, as a result of a severe reprimand said mention begot from the school administration. Another teaching--quite contrary to the U.S. Constitution. In WWII, when I was a little girl in Seattle with black-out shades on my bedroom windows and ack-ack guns on the school grounds, America honored her military. I think we thought. And prayed. A lot.

Desecrators--can you please tell me: what ARE you thinking?

Terry Cairns
Eastsound, WA

Letter to the Editor:

More specifically, a letter to the ignorant imbeciles who hid behind darkness and anonymity while placing the despised swastika (this symbol does not deserve a capital!) on graves of Veterans and that during a day set aside to honor the sacrifice of these same women and men.

I remember all too clearly that despicable Nazi symbol on flags, banners and armbands all around me and what that stood for; I shall never get rid of the heartrending emotion of seeing a few of the dreaded camps and of visiting the Washington, DC, Holocaust Museum.

The English language has yet to develop words to adequately describe the low, bastardly, hurtful, insulting, cowardly, ignorant, stupid, demeaning, sneaky, infantile, insensitive acts perpetrated by one or more behind-the-eight-ball bastards. Call it lowering myself to their level, but I cannot help but feel that the methods used by their role model to get rid of its 'undesirables' would make for proper punishment for these idiots. Forget liberalism, forget political correctness, forget the feel-good philosophy for once!

This may be time to apply "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" - catch the perps and use their own methods.

Ary L. Hobbel
Bombed out of Rotterdam in 1940, Liberated by Canadian and Polish forces in 1944
San Juan Island

Letter to The Editor,

Every Memorial Day I reflect on my fellow brothers that I served with that did not return from a far away land and gave their lives serving our Country. I still remember all their faces and they will forever be young in my minds eye.

When I read about the vandalism and desecration to the grave sites of our veterans on Orcas, and then saw it on National News, I felt an overwhelming sense of loss. What has become of our Nation? Where has the common decency and respect that fostered this great nation gone?

To place a Swastika on the grave of a person that gave their life fighting Nazism, or on the grave of anyone that died defending Democracy, is an insult that should be beyond imaging. I hope and pray that someday this person or persons (could there really be more than one?) can come to realize what it is that they have done.

Ray Bigler
San Juan Island

Dear Editor:

It's a shame the 60s' never left. apparently the COWARDS that didn't serve then are at work in the night again!!. The COWARDS, who are afraid to show, or come forward and take credit for their deeds operate as low life's and disrespect our HEROES should have trouble sleeping at night. But I suppose it doesn't bother them, it should. but sadly it doesn't.

Dale H. Jones
U.S. Navy
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dear Editor:

I was shocked and saddened by the desecration of the graves on Orcas Island. Civil protest is one thing, but this act of thoughtless vandalism has no place in our democracy.

Bob Myhr
County Councilman
Lopez, District six

Dear Editor:

As a Navy Veteran I join my active, reserve and retired brothers and sisters in our collective anger at those who violated the hallowed graves of our fallen. Only a bunch of inept, brainless, uneducated scum could have done this. There is nothing they could ever do that would properly correct this insult save all of them rotting in a dungeon from hell. These scum must be found or they will sooner or later be found and dealt with by the hate they have fostered.

Dan Rush
Bremerton Wa.


Did I hear correctly that some of your island population burned American flags on graves of veterans and replaced them with Nazi flags? Is this blatant and uneducated disrespect the new progressive standard on which our future lies?

Speaking of graves, our grandparents must be weeping in theirs.

If you all cannot get your radical politics under control, you will loose tourism and earn the scorn of a rather large portion of the U.S. population.

Then again, maybe I heard wrong.

Mike Kingman
Mukilteo, WA


Wednesday, May 23rd

County Council Shuns Voters- AGAIN

On Monday our elected officials had an opportunity to ask the Governor to allow the voters of San Juan County to select our first Superior Court Judge. Our State Constitution allows the Governor to appoint someone for this position, and also allows the Governor to defer and allow the voters to decide.

I am amazed, though I should not be anymore, that our County Council (save two) did not request the Governor to defer this decision to the voters. This will be San Juan County’s first Superior Court Judge and the decision should be made by the voters. Using the excuse that there will be an election in 2008 is really lame. At the very least we could have continued as we are now until that election could be held in 2008.

Our County Council needs to stop going around the voters. The Stormwater Fee/Tax that was recently added to our property tax statements is another example of excluding the voting community. By calling it a fee they were able to do an end run around the voters. If it was a tax they would have needed to ask the voters if they wanted to levy an additional tax upon themselves. And there was the 73.5% vote for Guest Houses the County ignored as “uninformed”.

The exclusion of the voting public must stop. The Council needs to remember, the voters elected them, but they will not be able to deny them the right to reverse that decision at the next election cycle.

Frustrated but still hopeful,

Ray Bigler
San Juan Island.


Sunday, May 6th

Thank You FH For Help In Litter Control

Letter to the Editor:

On behalf of the SJI Chamber of Commerce Downtown Forum and the Anti-Litter Initiative, I want to thank Mike Wilks, Utilities Superintendent, and Dave Smith, Street/Parks Department.Lead, for making litter control in Friday Harbor a priority for 2007.

In response to complaints and suggestions about litter on our streets and sidewalks, Mike and Dave put together a rotating schedule that allows the street work crew to dedicate 2-4 hours each day to litter control. They have also equipped trucks and a trailer with brooms, bins, grabbers, vacuums and blowers so that the equipment is handy to be used any time as needed.

To show our gratitude, let's all pitch in and help!

Debbie Pigman
Executive Director, SJI Chamber of Commerce


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John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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