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Sunday, December 31st

Thank You For Serving!



Dear Editor

I would like to publicly thank Si Stephens, Kathy Turnbull, Mary Jean Cahail, and Paul Dossett for their years of service in our county government.

Our county will miss these stalwart servants who were even handed, patient and friendly. For instance, Paul Dossett repeatedly had to calm angry residents down while explaining that their houses' assessments were not what caused them to pay so much in taxes. The county government was the one setting the budget. The county government gets their dollars no matter what homes are assessed. If house assessments go down, the tax rate goes up, so that the taxes are still collected. If the assessments go up, the tax rate goes down (hopefully, unless the County Councilmen again raise the county taxes), so the same taxes are collected no matter what the assessments are.

Thank you from all of us, and we also thank the wonderful people who stepped up to serve us in the new positions.

Happy New Year, and may God bless you in your new roles in life.

Sincerely,
Cindy Carter
Eastsound

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Saturday, December 23rd

More On Propose Ferry Fares. Are They Fair?



Dear Editor:

Regarding the letter from Jeff Bossler: Halliburton Could Run The Ferries! , OK, we have toll ferries, but do we have toll roads in the State of Washington?

The disconnect between financing and spending is astounding" correctly stated Alex McLeod, Chair of the San Juan Ferry Advisory Committee. While his statement was solely pertinent to our State Ferry system, what is even more astounding to me is the reckless misplacement of financial priorities".

I agree. Why not charge drivers a toll on the bridges across Lake Washington, or a fee to drivers and skiers to cover the cost of snowplows and keeping the highways in the mountains clear in the winter? Despite the objections of all local residents present at the hearings held in the islands by the Washington State Ferry Service, they are going to build new $120,000,000 terminals at not only Anacortes, but many of the other terminals in the ferry system. Shops and a large fancy restaurant are in the plans. Do we want that.NO! What we want is a better service, and better ferries, and a second dock for emergencies.

It should have been a wakeup call when Orcas was without service for six weeks due to a docking accident. Can you imagine what San Juan Island would do without ferry service for that long?! Yetwhen a second dock was installed while our old one was being repaired, they would not let it stay for backup service. "Too expensive to make it permanent" was the answer.

The new terminal in Anacortes will not really effect merchants there that much, but the two ferry landing restaurants will certainly be threatened. In other areas, there is great concern about the ferry service being in competition now with their local ferry landing businesses. Why can't they spend that money in improving their service instead of getting in the gift shop and restaurant business? We can't even get food or even coffee on the ferries now. The vending machines don't take anything but dollar bills, so if you only have larger bills or change, you are out of luck. December 21st, on the 8:05 AM from Friday Harbor, I found no coffee, no food, and only one vending machine with coffeebut I was out of dollar bills. It was a long ride to Anacortes for my morning coffee! Wake up Washington State Ferry Service and do the right thing with our tax dollars and ferry fares!!


Helen King
San Juan island


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Let Us Define "Advertising"



Letter to the Editor,

With a catchy title like "What Do SJC & Ho Chi Minh City Have in Common," we are sure your publication of the Orbitz press release was well-read today. Thank you for printing excerpts from their "Seven Hotspots for 2007" announcement in which the San Juan Islands are noted for kayaking and beautiful landscapes. This is a big coup for a destination marketing organization, however we here at the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau are ever-mindful of the delicate balance between the local economy, our fragile ecosystem and our residential communities. Our mission and goals guide us to instill an environmental stewardship ethic in our visitors, promoting responsible, low-impact visitation to our islands. To that end, we use over forty percent of our budget on visitor education, visitor services, media relations, and public relations, etc.

Being included on the Orbitz list has very little, if anything, to do with "aggressive advertising" as you stated. Admittedly, the definition of "advertising" can be misunderstood. Our advertising budget (ads which are purchased) is twenty percent of our overall budget. Orbitz has recognized the results of our media relations efforts in the areas of editorial content in magazines, newspapers, etc. and also our focused promotion of the Islands to niche markets which represent our desired visitors, such as kayakers, birders, hikers, families, etc.

Robin Jacobson
Public Relations Manager
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau


(The Island Guardian regrets if any reader has been confused by the definition of "advertising" as it is used by the SJI Visitors Bureau, which, Jacobson instructs is different than "marketing" or "public relations", a category identified in their 2005 annual report as 74% of the budget -and within which we presume the "advertising" budget of 20% might be found. Just for the record, the remaining two budget categories in the annual report are visitor services (17%), and administration/operations (9%).

While we are sympathetic to Jacobson's concern, we prefer to use the old standard "Webster" explanation of "advertising" that includes "telling people about or praising" and to "ask for publicly" as part pf the definition of "advertising"; both of which sound a bit like "marketing and public relations" to us. -Ed)



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Friday, December 22nd

Halliburton Could Run The Ferries!



OK, we have toll ferries, but do we have toll roads in the State of Washington?

These days it seems the destruction of anything can simply be accomplished by asking questions which cast doubt upon an otherwise stable target. Our public transportation system known as Washington State Ferries is a case in point. The first questions surfacing years ago about a self-sustaining ferry system should have amassed humongous red flags descending upon the capital steps from San Juan County from day one. This past summer when one of the ferries routinely ran on half power for days (or was it weeks?) I knew we were close to winning "the race to the bottom."

Oblivious to obvious facts, there is still a misguided march led by a blind faith in raw market force and naivet by those who want to over-apply an otherwise acceptable profit motive philosophy upon something that can be nothing more than a good old fashioned duty, responsibility, and service to the public at large.

Our national failures to fund the most basic and important infrastructure and service responsibilities to our citizens has reached epidemic proportions at the same time we as a nation are forcefully promoting our version of democracy and free market around the world. The ironies and double standards are not going unnoticed.

Many "foreign" ferry goers this past year have given me an earful as to the astounding inefficiencies, obvious lack of maintenance, and generally disappointing nature of our "third-rate rust bucket fleet." "Everything in America seems to be under attack" said one Peruvian-Japanese student of a Canadian university - "under attack not by terrorists, but by Americas own neglect and unwillingness to be truthful and responsible in their own backyard."

Embarrassing as it may be, there are many many public transportation systems fully funded and affordable to the general public in the third world. I even found in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, that a public bus will show up at least twice a day at the end of most dead end dirt roads, and the ride is usually free.

"The disconnect between financing and spending is astounding" correctly stated Alex McLeod, Chair of the San Juan Ferry Advisory Committee. While his statement was solely pertinent to our State Ferry system, what is even more astounding to me is the reckless misplacement of financial priorities generally running roughshod in our nation. The state of Washington has already paid well over an $8 Billion dollar bill for a failed adventure of choice in Iraq ($69.5 million in Bellingham alone) at the same time we can't pay for the rebuilding of the viaduct in Seattle, decide on how to replace the floating bridge, or fund the ferry system.

While it may be easy for some to dismiss any form of connection here in recognition of various levels of government and jurisdictions, I say we had better pay attention to the elephant(s) in the room! They are all related through choice and or complacency.

The economic hardship already imposed upon this county by the ferry not being funded "as roads" is obvious. Either or the doubling of the cost of a ticket or the elimination of frequent user fairs will push many of us small businesses and service providers off the islands permanently. Individuals, from the elderly who suddenly must make frequent trips for medical reasons, to a family of 4 who want to do a day hike at Mt. Baker, will find the cost of the quality of life on the islands simply isn't worth it, or simply impossible. The economic burden upon the citizens of San Juan County will be unbearable if we allow such social and economic gerrymandering to take place.

Within the fundamental responsibilities inherent in being a citizen of the State of Washington is for all to chip in a few pennies across the state to support the wellbeing of the entire state's transportation system, which includes the ferries. This after all is also the mandate given to our state government, and to "cut and run" from this obligation is to simply fail both legislatively and administratively.

As the shifting sands of fancy studies, peak-hour gimmicks, and snazzy electronic cards replace basic service, I can only imagine the sigh of relief in Olympia if the entire ferry system were handed over to Halliburton. Just imagine, spending with wild abandons, special favors, and absolutely no accountability requirements except for the occasional slap-on-the-hand token fee for all to see. We're already paying for it by the billions around the world in foreign lands - why not here too?

Jeff Bossler
Westsound

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Sunday, December 17th

New Assisted Living Facility In FH



I am writing this letter to remind the San Juan community of an in-depth article that ran a few weeks ago in the Journal, outlining a proposed 34-unit assisted living complex. Since the passing of my wife, and having had orthopedic surgery myself, I have been fortunate to be able to remain in my home of thirty years with the help of a personal staff. But for many people, this may not be the case, and the need for an assisted living facility is great.

The assisted living complex will include a host of amenities. From a financial standpoint, residents will have no mortgages, no property taxes, and no utility bills. House maintenance, cleaning, laundry, transportation, personal care, etc., are all included in one reasonable, monthly price. Centrally located in Friday Harbor, the grounds will include beautiful gardens and lush landscapes for all to enjoy.

The plan calls for breaking ground in April 2007, and a grand opening in December 2007. To date, there have already been numerous deposits received to reserve living space. Personally, I want to remind all that financing is a priority, and that there remains an opportunity to invest in this very worthwhile project. Interested parties may contact either Seanene Kennedy or Brian Brown, who in the past nine months have worked tirelessly toward the success of this much needed addition to the community,

Sincerely,

Andrew V. McLaglen
Friday Harbor

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Saturday, December 16th

More On Global Warming



---------------------------------

In response to Visser Column:

To the Editor,

Oh, dear. Our local debate over global warming is heating up faster than the planet. And now Piet Visser has jumped in and done a "Bill Weissinger" . Namely, Piet has deliberately mis-stated the issue, then used his mis-statement to launch a political polemic.

In his latest column, Piet contrasts an earlier guest column by Vasko Kohlmayer to Al Gore's new movie, and writes that Gore "took a different position on global warming, providing a great deal of compelling science that global warming is a reality."

In fact, there is no argument whatever about whether the Earth is warming. Indeed it is, and the scientific evidence is solid. The argument is over the cause of the warming. Kohlmayer pointed out evidence to suggest that this warming couldn't possibly be the result of human activity. While I haven't seen the Gore movie, I gather it argues that human activity is the cause.

Today, serious people around the world are working hard to figure out which "cause" of global warming is correct -- natural climate fluctuations, or human activity. Until we get this resolved, it makes no sense to fundamentally shift our economies if we cannot be confident that this (very costly) shift would make the slightest difference to the Earth's temperature. Yet this is what Piet, and others, are suggesting we do.

Piet tips his hand in the fourth paragraph of his column: "No value is given to environmental destruction in a pure capitalist model." The last time I saw this sentence was on a flyer some left-wing nut was handing out at a peace rally on my college campus back in the 1960s. It's nonsense. The entire environmental movement was launched in the "capitalist" countries, and is funded by "capitalist" governments. (And, by the way, it was President Nixon who created the EPA. I know this because I was part of the Nixon Administration task force that wrote the legislation creating the EPA and helped to push it through Congress.)

In fact, the most horrific act of environmental destruction in history was the Soviet Union's probably-irreversible pollution of Lake Baikal, which is the world's largest freshwater lake. As I recall, the Soviet Union was a communist country.

Piet lets his politics slip in again when he uses that tired old line: "The US, with 5 percent of the world's population, used 20 percent of all world resources." People of Piet's political persuasion say this all the time, and it's silly. To understand why, let's use a local example:

The Jones family buys 20 loaves of bread each month at Piet's bakery. The Smith family buys five loaves of bread each month. Therefore, the Smiths are good citizens and the Joneses are a bunch of fat slobs.

This sounds reasonable -- until you discover that the Jones family includes two parents and five teen-aged children, while the Smith family is a young couple with a six-month-old baby.

OF COURSE the US consumes a large share of the Earth's resources. Our population is pushing 300 million, and we are the world's largest, most productive economy. When's the last time you flew on an airplane manufactured in Slovenia, or bought software developed in Ghana -- or had your life saved by a pharmaceutical developed and financed by a drug company in Uzbekistan? We produce more products and services than any other country, therefore we "use" more of the world's resources to do it.

Honorable people will always disagree about how best to deal with the issues that confront us. There's nothing wrong with this. In fact, it's as healthy as Piet's bread -- to which, by the way, I am even more addicted than I am to tobacco. But it sure would help if everyone who jumps into the debate -- and the more the merrier -- would keep his or her personal politics out of it by at least accurately stating the issue at hand.

Herb Meyer
San Juan Island
---------------------------------

In response to Mr. Kohlmayer's Guest Column on global climate change

By Shannon FitzGerald

Having studied oceanography and geology in college, I learned about the natural glacial (cold) and interglacial (warm) periods in the Earth's history. However, it wasn't until I took a graduate course in paleoclimatology that I learned that the Earth's current rate of warming is 100 times faster (that is two orders of magnitude) than anything that has occurred naturally. While global warming is natural, the current rate is not. Considering that that this paleoclimatology course was back in the mid-1980's, I wouldn't be surprised if the rate of warming is even greater now.

So what does that mean to us? In 1989, I heard Dr. James E. Hansen, who is currently the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, speak about this very thing. One example that stands out in my mind is that of trees. Ecosystems can gradually shift over time if temperatures change. But if temperatures increase 100 times faster than anything the world has previously experienced, ecosystems have a difficult time keeping up with the change. In the case of trees, they can just pick up and move to colder climates, so the result is temperature-induced stress which makes them more susceptible to pests.

So imagine my sorry surprise when 17 years later I read a March 1, 2006 Washington Post article entitled "'Rapid Warming' Spreads Havoc in Canada's Forests". The article describes how millions of acres of trees are dying due to a voracious beetle whose population has exploded with warmer temperatures.

Another example is oceanic circulation. During interglacial periods, ocean currents have slowed and sometimes stopped. While a decrease in upwelling which brings nutrients to fish might be natural, do we want to hasten such a thing?

And it's not just increased temperatures that will affect us. Experiments have shown that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere favors the growth of "weeds" over that of food crops.

If you would like to learn more about the implications of extraordinarily rapid climate change, go to www.giss.nasa.gov or do a search for scientific, peer-reviewed articles by Dr. James E. Hansen who holds degrees in mathematics, astronomy and physicswhich makes me wonder what Mr. Kohlmayer's scientific credentials are.

Sir Francis Bacon said something akin to people will find evidence that supports their views. I suspect we are all guilty of this, but Mr. Kohlmayer's view is myopic considering the information that is out there. The vast majority of scientists recognize that anthropogenic (man-made) carbon dioxide is contributing to global warming. Even the chief executive of British Petroleum, Lord Browne of Madingley, acknowledged this in a March 2002 speech when he stated that global warming was real and "Companies composed of highly skilled and trained people can't live in denial of mounting evidence gathered by the most reputable scientist in the world."

Shannon FitzGerald
Friday Harbor
--------
A note on coal: Coal also forms in temperate climates. Someday Egg Lake will be a pretty little coal bed if given the right conditions. According to Affolter and Stricker, (1988, 1990), Alaskan coal contains low sulfur because of accumulation in peat mires developed in high paleolatitudes and temperate paleoclimatic conditions, and not the smoldering warm swamps envisioned by Mr. Kohlmayer.

Affolter, R.H., and Stricker, G.D., 1988, Effects of paleolatitude on coal quality Ca model for organic sulfur distribution in United States: American Association of Petroleum Geologist Bulletin, v. 73, p. 326.

Affolter, R.H., and Stricker, G.D., 1990, PaleolatitudeA primary control on the sulfur content in United States coals, in Carter, L.M.H., ed., USGS Research on Energy Resources 1990; U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1060, p.1.
---------
(i>Shannon FitzGerald has worked in a paleo-oceanography isotope laboratory at the University of Hawaii and has studied coal beds in the Bellingham Basin while with Arco Exploration. She is currently a Senior Planner with the Community Development and Planning Department of San Juan County.

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Wednesday, December 13th

Regarding Ron Keeshan's Column: Soros Review



Dear Editor:

When we slavishly characterize author Soros as a "Jew who escaped the Nazis", in light of current rhetoric from Hamas or Iran, can I now look forward to reading about "Jews who escaped the Muslims", sometime in the future? Can we not see the forest for the trees? Embassies, Olympic Teams, Barracks, World Trade Center, USS Cole, Hellooo?

Sorry, but in light of three decades of witnessing Muslim suicide bombings, Holocaust denial, and ad hoc saber-rattling, I see Soros' sadly strange perspective as a direct threat, even to what I've come to appreciate about my insignificant life, just as a US citizen here, as far away as the San Juan Islands. And I'm not even Jewish! What'll it take to wake us up this time around?

Carl Burger
Olga, Orcas Island

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Sunday, December 3rd

Letters In Response To Weissinger Column



--------------------------
The Devil Incarnate Responds To Weissinger
To the Editor,

This writer was dining with Bill Weissinger and did make a statement to the effect that even if we stipulate that global warming is a fact, the consequences (of warming) would be less detrimental than those that would occur if we subjected ourselves to the dictates of bureaucrats to so something about it. (The related Weissinger Column: Dining With The Devil -Ed.)

My statement made no reference to the "widespread devastation" that Mr. Weissinger quotes. The intent was twofold: one, to indicate that the effects of global warming are likely not to be as dire as extremist proponents cry so loudly about; and two, to make a political point about "what to do."

Housing provides an instructive corollary. In America, about two-thirds of our housing stock is owner-occupied (the highest ratio in the world); and in spacious homes with kitchens and appurtenances that are the envy of the world. The key to our success is a respect for property rights and a trust that "we, the people" are the best resource to provide whatever it is that we need. In corresponding socialist societies, such as the failed USSR, housing was a state responsibility in which decisions were made by bureaucrats. In that and similar systems, the result was typified by "Stalin blocks" (row after row of dreary walk-ups with minimal or no appurtenances).

This corollary is especially applicable to Mr. Weissinger's closing comments about whether "our" response to global warming will end up despoiling our world. In the system advocated by one of us, the best of all possible solutions for housing was created by according an ascendant importance to property rights and empowering individual citizens. In the alternative system, the specifically announced goal was to create a "workers' paradise," and the empowered bureaucrats produced horrible results.

Herb Meyer's letter correctly points out that the debate is not about whether we are experiencing global warming. Rather its more pertinent points have to do with the degree to which it is attributable to human activity (or naturally occurring cycles), how much further warming might occur and the likely consequences.

Mr. Weissinger's editorial does not engage the substance of the issue. Just as he terminated the dinner table topic with a dramatic reference to me being the devil incarnate; his editorial simply avoided any direct discussion of global warming and only obliquely referred to the political principles that underlie my disdain of empowered bureaucrats.

As to the specifics of whether "reigning in Hell or serving in Heaven" is a matter of "conflicting power relationships on a vast scale;" readers are invited to ponder whether we are better served to align ourselves with the principles that underlie a bureaucratic "dictatorship of the proletariat" environmentalists or the sovereign individual principles embodied by our phrase "we the people." This comparison, unlike Milton's poetic one, pertains precisely to the choices that global warming presents to us.

Albert Hall
Friday Harbor
--------------------------

Weissinger Takes It On The Chin
To the Editor,

You can almost always assume that arguments with demonization as the premise are false.

For instance: This guy is the devil therefore whatever he says is false. Mr. Weissinger should try out his unique type of logic next time he goes to court. Just grab the chin of the opposing council and say, "Your Honor, this man is the devil incarnate. I rest my case!" Game over.

Then you can drive away in your big gas-guzzling pick-up truck and mutter to yourself about all the other idiots who are destroying the planet.

Gordy Petersen
San Juan Island
--------------------------

Weissinger Up To His Old Tricks
To the Editor,

I see that my friend Bill Weissinger is up to his old tricks again: Namely, outlining a ridiculous position -- then labeling it "conservative" so he can trash it.

This time the subject is global warming. In his latest column , Bill recounts a dinner conversation with a "conservative" friend, at which this friend allegedly makes "the obligatory conservative assertions that there is no proof we are undergoing global warming."

If Bill's dinner companion really said this, he's an ill-informed fool. Measuring our planet's temperature isn't a matter of politics; it's a matter of science. And the science shows that since the mid-19th century the Earth's temperature has warmed by about 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit. It's done this in two phases -- from 1910 to 1945, and then from 1976 to the present.

The question serious people are debating is why our planet has been warming. Some scientists believe it's because of human activity, while others aren't so sure and raise the possibility that our planet warms and cools in natural cycles. Moreover, the doubters wonder why the Earth stopped warming between 1946 and 1975 -- a period of intense global industrialization. (Oh, and scientists at the University of Tasmania reported three months ago that Pluto is warming. They haven't the slightest idea why -- but it probably isn't because Plutonians are whizzing around in SUVs.)

Bill and his "conservative" friend are entitled to their own opinions. They are not entitled to their own facts. Nor is Bill entitled to label a position "conservative" just so he can take a cheap shot at a political philosophy he doesn't share.

If you want to read the clearest, most concise outline of what we know about global warming -- and what we don't know -- click on the link http://www.american.com/archive/2006/november/q-a/. By the way, it's from a magazine called The American, which is published by the American Enterprise Institute -- one of our country's leading "conservative" think tanks.

Herb Meyer
San Juan Island
--------------------------

Chill Out Bill!
To the Editor:

A Response to Bill Weissinger on global warming issue:

I don't know whether there is global warming or not. I try to learn all I can about it. There are good arguments on both sides. After all, Greenland was once green and known for farming. Now it is covered with ice and snow with freezing temperatures. There are Polar Regions that were once navigable, and are now covered in ice. In the 70's there was a scare about temperatures dropping. I remember hysteria then too.

The good thing about the issue, IMHO, is that we are more concerned about energy, trying to conserve, recycle, clean up our air, pollutants, and trying to be less dependant on foreign countries for our oil. We should be more worried about the countries of the world who have little concern. I do think we should be using our own vast resources in Alaska, despite some radical environmentalists who feel the caribou will be endangered. The caribou could care lessin fact studies have shown that drilling can be done in such a way that it would have little impact. That is a vast wasteland that few ever see except the caribou. We need to consider our priorities and be more reasonable.

Ted Kennedy was all for windmill power until it was proposed off the shores of his home where he likes to sail. Then, he and other wealthy property owners there blocked it. We have many similar stories right here on the island. Mr. Weissinger represented a group of my neighbors who objected to my building a two-room bed and breakfast in their neighborhood. I had four Board of Adjustment hearings, and four Superior Court hearings in order to finally get my building permit. We heard every argument from him about how the neighborhood would be effected, traffic generated, my guests would be "peeping Toms" looking in their windows, it would no longer be safe to walk on our road, property values would go down, etc. etc. Then, I find out that Mr. Weissinger himself had applied for a bed and breakfast permit in Hannah Heights previously and was turned down! What hypocrisy!

I have many friends who preach to me about global warming, yet drive big SUV's. I don't bring that up with them, as I really don't like confrontations and value my friendships more than trying to change their opinion, (which rarely happens by the way!) What do you drive Mr. Weissinger?

The dinner table is certainly not the place for such a heated discussion. I can just imagine how everyone else at your dinner table felt and became uncomfortable from your description of what occurred:

"So, back to the dinner table: After my conservative friend's pronouncement, I reached across the dinner table, grasped my friend by the chin, and told him he was the Devil Incarnate!"And then your opinion "My conservative friends are entitled to live in as pristine or as squalid a home as they can afford or wish or as to which they can convince their spouses. But here, it isn't a house of squalor we're discussing it's a world. And, it's my world too. And yours. Better to serve in Heaven than reign in Hell."

I don't think global warming will be a popular issue here for awhile after this past week with record rains, snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. I hope it has also cooled Mr. Weissinger down a little. Let's all be more tolerant and try to respect the opinion of others. Just because we don't all get on his bandwagon doesn't mean that we don't all deserve to live in our Heaven here on San Juan Island.

Helen King, Innkeeper
The Highland Inn of San Juan Island


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The Day Has Come



On Monday December 4, 2006, a day that will live in the minds of Islanders for many years to come, our full County Council will be seated. It is the hope of this Islander that we are on the dawn of a new day. I am optimistic that our Home Rule Charter will finally be implemented and the Spirit of this Charter will be followed. No longer will special interest groups have the power to dictate, behind closed doors, how our government is operated.

They will, of course, try. Now that two or three Council members can meet without it constituting a meeting/quorum, and open to the public (not that it has mattered lately), these groups will certainly be working even harder behind the scenes to keep control. I call upon the three new council members to be vigilant in following the rules of the Charter.

We have witnessed again and again, this council of three ignore the Charter of the people, to further their own special agendas. They have meddled in the Executive and Administrative Branches of our government in direct violation of our Charter; hopefully for the last time. They are the Legislative Branch and they should confine their actions to that branch alone; Article 2 Section 2.31 of the Charter reads in part: "...individual Legislative Body members shall not interfere in the administration of the Executive Branch. They shall not give orders to, or direct, either publicly or privately, any officer, or employee subject to the direction and supervision of the County Administrator, Executive Branch, or other elected officials"..

We the people have elected those that we choose to run our government under a Home Rule Charter that dictates how that government will be run. I would propose that Chairman Lichter place on the agenda for the first meeting of the full Council a complete reading of the Charter. I would also propose that this reading be done by a qualified attorney, in such a manner that there can be no misunderstanding of what its content or its intent. I guess you could call this a training session or Charter 101 of you will.

I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful that we are on the Dawn of a New Day.

Ray Bigler
San Juan Island

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