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Island Guardian

Letters On Mullis Center Ban On Flag & Pledge

Letters as of 07-15-19
Mullis Center - Facts, Damn Facts

In December of 1994, some 25 years ago, June & Donald Mullis donated the property on which the Mullis Senior Center now stands, and the facility as we know it today was built in 2001.

“The Mullis Center is home to the island’s Senior Meal Program, Monthly Pancake Breakfast, Annual Artisan Craft Fair, Annual Parking Lot Sale, and boasts the largest event venue on the island. Guests are welcome to join us M-W-F for a hot lunch... Our meals are delicious and nutritious and just happen to be the most reasonably priced home-style lunches on the island. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m. and Seniors 60 and older pay by donation ($5 suggested but nobody is turned away). Guests under 60 pay $7. Salad bar, beverages, and dessert are included with your meal at no additional cost. We also co-host several drop-in exercise classes geared for seniors as well as weekly activities such as Mahjong, Knitting, Painting, Bingo, Quilting, off-island trips to Mount Vernon and Bellingham.”

Sounds pretty idyllic? But as the American Mirror put it - “Imagine, telling men and women who fought for our nation or whose sons and daughters gave their lives and limbs for our great Country, that saying the pledge of allegiance is like saluting Hitler. One senior center in Washington state just pulled such a shenanigan, until the commander of a local American Legion post stepped in to defend their right to salute the American Flag...”

Well, as one would imagine, all hell then broke loose with hard feelings now exhibited on both sides of the issue. The staff told seniors saying the Pledge it was illegal; seniors in defiance said it anyway. The flag was then hidden in a closet; seniors brought in their own flags and went on saying the Pledge. During this process Seniors were sworn at, treated gruffly, and several were banned from the facility for exercising their First Amendment rights.

While the Pledge has apparently been reinstated, the matter of the banned seniors, most of whom were volunteers at the facility, has still not been resolved. This dispute, it seems, will not go away until this last issue is amicably resolved.

Management of the Center has often repeated the canard of falling meal attendance as the rationale for banning the Pledge. Younger seniors, they say, are offended by it. The Pledge was banned on March 8th of this year, but the board minutes of February stated the number of lunches served were up month-to-month, and year-to year. In addition Senior Center leadership was provided with two petitions, one with 200 signatures, demanding reinstatement. For the record, my wife and I are young seniors, and we like the Pledge.

Lastly, I’d like to point out that this County run Senior Services Program is funded primarily with your tax dollar - County, State and Federal, plus United Way, and some small donations. The Senior Services Council of San Juan County, a IRS 501(c)(3), owns the Mullis Center, and a majority interest in their senior services sites on Orcas an Lopez (the minority holder is the County). The Senior Services Council makes space available at these sites three times a week for “Meals on Wheels and More.” The Manager of the Mullis Center, a County employee, in a letter dated December 2017, called for donations to fund that year’s projected Nutrition Program deficit of $5,000.

The Senior Services Council had a surplus of revenues over expenses of approximately $500,000 in 2017, and had cash & securities of approximately $3,000,000 on their balance sheet at 12/31/17. You might ask yourself, just what all this money is going to be used for? Maybe fix the Mullis Center flag pole?

Mike Gallager
San Juan Island
Why Is There Still Protesting

Everyone is wondering why we the Seniors are still protesting and the answer is simple. Stephen wants us to say the pledge at 11:30 before everyone gets to the senior center. We want to say the pledge when everyone is there which is after 11:40. Also they haven't let the people that were cited and kicked off the property back in without agreeing to their rules of conduct which were changed recently. They are still making all kinds of rules and regulations that haven't been voted on by the board.

Sam Vincellette
San Juan Island

Response to Mullis Center Executive Committee press release

The Executive statement glossed over the facts [//See below -Ed//]. Not enough room here to explain what has been happening. Just one example;

Minnie Kynch walked into the MSCC wearing a “I STAND FOR THE PLEDGE” sticker. Several people approached and asked for a sticker. She passed out stickers only on request! She was accused of political solicitation and to stop. Minnie refused, Sheriff Dept. was called, deputy arrived then escorted Minnie off property. Minnie now has a no-trespass order on file, will be arrested if she returns to MSCC.

Minnie is unable host the community Thanksgiving Dinner. Side note; I won’t been able to help with turkey carving. The Island Community needs to be aware of the facts!!! Most would be appalled by the behavior of the Board and some employees of Mullis Center!

Two Vietnam Vets also have also been banned for life; no-trespass orders!!! The Veterans are leading a peaceful sidewalk protest! Please give the protesters a honk,wave,thums up if you support us!!!

If any support our protest, all are welcome to join us on the sidewalk! An opportunity to hear first hand what really happened!!!

Remember this year is 75th yr Anniversary “D-DAY”!!

“I Stand For The Pledge”

Jack Gibson

Statement from the Mullis Center Executive Committee

We have a duty to provide a safe and peaceful environment in our building and on our property, inclusive to all. We are a senior center offering many activities and programs for elderly and disabled persons on San Juan Island. As a private non-profit organization, we rely on volunteers and charitable gifts from the community. We have long sponsored a lunch program, now three times a week, in a partnership with San Juan County and Whatcom Council on Aging’s “Meals on Wheels and More” program. Over the past 8 years, we have experienced a slow decline in participation in the meals program even though the number of seniors on our island has been steadily rising. In looking for reasons why, we discovered that many of the incoming seniors were uncomfortable with an introductory ceremony where the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer were recited. Consequently we discontinued this practice in April in an effort to be inclusive to all.

Some of our diners were upset by this change, including some veterans who felt we were disrespecting the flag or our country. We assure all this is not the case and we quickly responded by adding a number of patriotic occasions to our calendar and incorporating the pledge to show our patriotism and our gratitude for those who serve or have served to defend and protect our country. In the last two months, we have done so for Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, and the 4th of July.

Our original decision was based on inclusivity not disrespect. We are committed to coming together to find ways to honor our organization, members, staff, volunteers, community and country. Therefore, at our last Operations Committee meeting we agreed to reconsider our original decision and are currently in the process of doing so. In the meantime, diners wishing to recite the pledge before lunch are welcome to do so at 11:30. All others are invited to arrive after 11:30.


To the Editor:

On June 17, 2019, I received an ominous written citation signed by Anna Coffelt, an employee of the Mullis Center, and, almost simultaneously, a Sheriff’s Notice of Trespass. What crime did I commit to be banished from the Mullis Center property forever? The citation says “political solicitation”. The actual crime was wearing a sticker that said “I STAND FOR THE PLEDGE”, and giving the same to senior citizens who asked for one. A trespass notice means I cannot set foot on the Mullis Center property ever.

In March the senior lunch attendees who have been reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before lunch since the center opened were told they could no longer say their usual prayer and Pledge of Allegiance before announcements at lunch. In response Katherine Morningstar hand-wrote a petition that was signed by many of the attendees and gave it to the Operations Committee chair. Leadership of the Mullis Operations Committee called her into the and told her she broke the rules. “I still don’t know what rule I broke”, Katherine says.

The second petition demanding that the traditional Pledge be restored was presented at the June Operations Committee meeting signed by 200 people. It was also ignored. The result of that petition was that chair Weisbrod called an executive session, cleared the room of the twenty seniors present to support the petition, so that she could “discuss a personnel matter”. The personnel matter was actually a new set of rules making it illegal to circulate a petition without approval of the committee.

There were warnings in an effort to intimidate us. The first warning was from Bonnie Sliger, Mullis Center bookkeeper. She told Jim Knych: “You and Minnie are pooping in your own sandbox.” When asked what she meant, she replied, “We let you have the Community Thanksgiving Dinner here.”

Next came a phone message. Below is the transcript:

TRANSCRIPT OF Phone message received on home phone of Jim and Minnie Knych
Friday, June 7, 2019 @ 2:06PM

“Jim, this is Stephen Schubert at the Mullis Senior Center.
I wanted to call you and let you know that we are not allowing the Pledge to be said at the moment and we don’t want you to come and do it, and if you do, we will ask you to leave. The board is handling this problem. The board said it would handle this problem. And the Board will handle this problem.
To do otherwise is to trespass on our property and to violate the rights of the board. If you feel like you want to do that, then you can face consequences. Otherwise you are welcome to come to the center and have lunch. Thank you very much. Bye.”

Did they think that threatening the Community Thanksgiving Dinner would make us back off and allow them to continue bullying elderly people? Even that threat will not work. If the trespass notices of ALL of the people currently banned are not rescinded unconditionally, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner must be cancelled.

Leadership of the Operations Committee have forgotten that they were elected to serve the interests of the Seniors they represent - instead they have become rulers banishing anyone who disagrees with their edicts. Time for a recall of the officers! YOU can sign the recall petition on the sidewalk in front of the Mullis Center any Monday Wednesday, or Friday between 11:00AM and 12:30 PM.

Minnie Knych
San Juan Island
Seniors Once Again Allowed To State The Pledge of Allegiance if they wish

Over the past couple months tensions between Island Patriots and the Senior Center management have been very heated after the management removed the Pledge of Allegiance and prayers from the lunch agenda. I am extremely proud of the citizens and Patriots who have stood up to defend the recitation of the Pledge. They are all Patriots.

I only participated at one of the previous Pledge lunches, and was threatened by the Center Manager with legal action, but I did go today with no regret. The AdHoc group outside the center endured a lot of honks and thumbs up for the hour before we were allowed to go in to the center to Pledge Allegiance to our Nation’s Flag, and hear the response from the center’s Operations Board spokesperson.

We were initially grateful to hear the announcement that the recitation of the Pledge will be once again included at senior lunches and other occasions again (open to everyone, btw). However, then the conditions were revealed that included the continued banishment of all those who, during the course of the protest, were banned arbitrarily for standing up for what is their Conmstitutional right to fulfill a simple Patriotic gesture, as we all should give thanks for this great Nation and its’ freedoms and rights, applicable to all citizens. No one, in any previous episode here, nor the history of our Nation, has ever been mandated to stand, join in voice, or salute during these episodes, excluding Military services. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the Nation that cradles you, nurtures and teaches you, gives you opportunities for success, and cares for you if you fall down, is simply a matter of respect and it is a PERSONAL CHOICE. As we do not attempt to FORCE our patriotic views and thanks upon you, neither should you attempt to FORCE your resistance, socialistic and hateful views upon us when we comingle within society’s play fields. Be polite.

The original goal of the Mullis Center was to be a Community Center, a meeting place for the Community and especially our Seniors. I originally painted the project at little or no cost when it was built some 20+ years ago, as I believed in its’ purpose and intent. I am very disappointed in the direction in which the center has recently steered and hope that future Board members are enlightened enough to leave their political mantels at home before going to set their intellects on setting or replacing precedents and Community rules of engagement.

Thanks everyone that joined in today, and all those who honked and waved….Nice to join you today!

Peter DeLorenzi
Past Commander, Post 163 The American Legion
USMC Veteran 1966-1970

The American Legion Banned For Life??

The American Legion fosters patriotism and responsible citizenship. It is not surprising therefore that they would support senior citizens banned from the Mullis Senior Center. They have been banned for life for simply exercising their First Amendment right to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. God bless the Veterans and concerned citizens for picketing the Mullis Center in response.

Four of our Island seniors, many of them Veterans themselves, have been banned so far, threatened with fines, imprisonment, or both should they set foot on Mullis Center property. One of them is a volunteer driver for Senior off Island outings. Another, Minnie Knych, is the founder and organizer of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner - an event she has put on for 20 years, the last four being at the Mullis Center.

Yes, you herd that correctly. For the crime of supporting the Pledge of Allegiance our Community Thanksgiving Dinner is likely to be cancelled.

What in God’s name is the Mullis Operations Committee doing? Since when is reciting the Pledge of Allegiance a crime, un-American, not patriotic? The Board led by Rita Weisbrod has acted in an arbitrary, capricious, and vindictive manner by banning these four seniors. I hope you will join me in the condemnation of Rita’s actions. What she and the board have done is unconscionable and must be rectified immediately by reinstating the Pledge and removing the ban on these four patriotic Americans.

Mike Gallagher
An Island Senior

The flag, the Pledge and the Mullis center, a controversy

The flag, the Pledge and the Mullis center, a controversy. Rare is the country whose flag represents its history while at the same time updating its changes, as does the Stars and Stripes in the stripes for the original colonies and the stars for the states, adding anew one when another state joins the union.

Unique is the country that offers its citizens to profess, publicly and in a formalized manner, love for country and allegiance to the flag through the Pledge of Allegiance. Every citizen should feel privileged to have such opportunity, while those of other countries can only be envious of it.

Country, flag and Pledge, all, are totally non-political and those who think otherwise would do well to review history. Those who feel that their belief supersedes that of all others may want to review their public manners and find definitions for 'respect'.

As a foreign national, I cannot salute your flag, nor can Ijoin you in the Pledge, but reasons that have caused me to retain my Dutch nationality also demand that I fully respect the flag of my chosen country of residence as well as the privileged right of its citizens to Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America (etc.)

Those who feel that their sentiments, pride, respect and full appreciation lie elsewhere may find themselves in the wrong country. Just in case 'under God' in the Pledge is an issue, then please refrain from using the coin of the realm and be consistent, even if that inconveniences you.

If the powers-that-be at the Mullis Community Center feel that the flag and the Pledge have no place in that facility, then they may want to review the pitfalls and fallacies of, and weakness in Political Correctness.

Ary Hobbel

Local totalitarianism control

Dear Editor,

I was shocked to hear the story of the Pledge of Allegiance being banned from the Mullis Center. No one was forced to say the Pledge and it gave several elders pleasure and connection to say it together. So disallowing them their right to say the Pledge of Allegiance is an act of totalitarianism control. I did not vote to live in a communist dictatorship.

I had a lovely conversation with a man from China just the other day He is seeking citizenship in the US. He has been recently alarmed at the instances of .people blocking other people's freedom of speech that he has witnessed here recently. He warned me that this is how Communism starts. I am sorry that young people do not get taught honest history these days.

It would behoove people to take an honest look at how many people have died under Communist rule. It looks nice at the outset until you run out of other peoples money and the markets collapse and everyone begins starving to death.

Thank you,

Dorothy Linzee

Removal of the Flag & Pledge Is Troubling

Dear Editor,

The removal of the American flag from the Mullis Center and prohibiting the Pledge of Allegiance at senior lunches is very troubling. Many of the seniors are veterans, and these actions are considered by most members unpatriotic and insulting. We feel honored and privileged to say the pledge at any forum. This has been something we at the Mullis Center have been privileged to do for many years, and it is an ill-fated move to prohibit it. Our country is currently in a state of political unrest and turmoil and anything that unites us is worth having.

It is wrongful to file a trespass notice against Minnie Kynch on the grounds of “political solicitation. Supporting folks who want to say the Pledge of Allegiance is not political solicitation. This trespass order has long range affects that will affect hundreds of people who join together at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which is organized by Minnie; if she can’t go into the building, there will be no dinner. Minnie, and her husband Jim, are the most helpful and civic minded people on our island, and we are fortunate for their never tiring efforts. It is our sincerest hope that this trespass notice will be withdrawn, that we can resume citing the pledge at lunch if we choose to do so, and the Mullis Center will return to being a much needed peaceful haven for our seniors.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy & Richard Obenaus

Disgusted and Concerned

Dear Editor,

I am dumbfounded at the behavior of the Mullis Center officials. Their treatment of the Kinches , coupled with their uncalled for decisions about the flag pledge and prayer at senior lunches leave me at a loss for words to adequately express my disgust and concern.

The United States of America that I grew up loving and trusting seems to no longer exist. At one time, people in positions of authority served at the will of the people, had civility, and their values reflected those of their constituents. Now, whether in Washington, DC or Friday Harbor, the integrity of our system has been dramatically eroded

These people “in charge” need to be immediately relieved of their authority. The county apparently has jurisdiction over this matter and to all appearances is doing nothing. Surely the petitions and protests should have some influence. Should the government serve the people or the other way around?

Ruth Frazee
A member of the Mullis Center for twenty years but no longer

Recognize Your Mistakes

Dear Editor,

The Senior Center Committee members are people doing volunteer work and trying to do what they think is best, based on their experiences and personal beliefs.

The Committee leadership has made mistakes due to either inexperience, or due to a desire to impose personal policies that they believe in. Mistakes made:

 Choosing to focus on imposing questionable policies with excessive force, rather than on facilitating and improving senior services for members.
 The Pledge conflict brought forward many underlying Committee problems.
 Choosing to permanently ban seniors for petty acts. Reminds me of banning books. Their ban process is illegal because it is arbitrary and capricious and ignores Due Process.
 Not calling a special meeting to address the senior’s petitions, and letters.
 Not understanding that the Senior Center as a public facility, due to their service connections to the community and government programs and contracts.
It is time for the Senior Center Committee to add some new members to their Committee. It would help the Committee to include experienced and diverse individuals.

If any Senior Center Committee member is unwilling to recognize these mistakes, or to add members to the Committee who would add differing views and experiences then those members should resign.


Frank M Penwell

This letter is a response to Rita Weisbrod.

Dear Editor,

In her letter to the editor, she said, “While some diners want to continue to say the Pledge of Allegiance before lunch at the Mullis Center, others do not but remain silent to avoid criticism from louder voices. Many have told us they do not come to lunches because they do not like the pledge and prayer ceremony.”

I am a board member who voted against this arbitrary and capricious decision to do away with a thirty plus year tradition of starting our Senior Lunch with a Pledge of Allegiance. Several board members were intimidated and bullied into abstaining from the vote because the board president told us it was illegal to say the Pledge in public. When I voted “NO”, I was bullied by the few who wanted to trash our customs. Those in favor of the banning the tradition of the Pledge of Allegiance told me that we had to go along with the decision of the board and should change our vote.

At the May meeting, I was subjected to more pressure. The comment from another board member was, “Some of the board members who voted “no” on the issue of the Pledge should support the board intentions.”

Marie Skuffeeda

Mullis Center Objection to Patriotism

To the Editor:

I am flabbergasted at the brouhaha taking place at the Mullis Center. I can’t fathom an argument for not saying the pledge of allegiance to our flag. Would someone fill me in if there’s an actual rationale that I’m missing. I owe many good things to the fact that I was born and raised in this country: I can worship if I want and where I want, I can say just about anything (still I believe), I can earn money in a job and hope for promotion, I can serve my country in the military or (unless in time of war) choose not to serve in that way, I can travel, even as a low middle income person I have wealth beyond the wildest dreams of many people in the world, I don’t go hungry, I don’t go without shelter and I can pledge some of my income to help those who are not so fortunate as I, I have that income to pledge. Even if I’m an expatriate, I enjoy benefits beyond those given to people of other nations because of my citizenship.

If pledging allegiance to the flag of this wonderful country which has given me so much is a crime, sign me up for civil disobedience. I have been a member of the Mullis Center and was considering signing up again, but not if anyone is stopped from asserting their loyalty to our country. I hope others will follow my lead and boycott the Center. I can’t see that they have a leg to stand on and I don’t want to support an organization that doesn’t support my country in the least way possible.

I consider myself a progressive, compassionate liberal, but this is one place where I agree we need to Make America Great Again by permitting (hopefully encouraging) signs of patriotism and loyalty.

Lutie Park
San Juan Island

An “Old Glory” Story...

Dear Editor,

Our late mother, Margret Lackey, was a devoted member of the San Juan Senior Center. We remember countless potlucks, spaghetti dinners and rummage sales benefitting the Senior Center where “Nanny” worked tirelessly to raise money for the current Mullis Center building.

When the Center celebrated its opening ceremony, Nanny was so proud when our then Representative, Jack Metcalf, presented the Center with an American flag that had flown over our National Capitol. We have photos of her and Representative Metcalf raising the flag on that special day.

We are personally relieved that Nanny is not here to experience the recent action by the Mullis Center Operations Committee to deny the “pledge of allegiance to the flag, and to the republic for which it stands” at its luncheon gatherings. It would have broken her heart.

Thank you patriots and especially the American Legion, in your efforts to regain this tradition and privilege at the Center.

Marilyn Nasman
Joyce Ragsdale
A 40 Year Tradition

Dear Editor,

I’ve been coming to the island for thirty-five years, landowner for twenty-seven years and permanent resident for four years. As a member of the Mullis Center for three years, I have NEVER seen anything happen until this decision to ban the Pledge.

The Operation Committee’s position that other centers do not say the Pledge carries no weight. This is our tradition for over 40 years - even before the Mullis Center was built. Who cares what other’s do? This is OUR tradition. Seniors come here for the social aspect as much as lunch.

What is the Senior Community Center for?
1. To feed Senior citizens who may need assistance.
2. To provide a warm, safe place to meet with friends and keep active.
3. To give Senior citizens a sense of worth by volunteering and taking off-island trips etc.

These things the center has been very successful at doing.

On June 4, 2019, we submitted 200 petition signatures of people who want the Pledge back as part of our senior lunch program.

The Operations Committee needs to look in the faces of the gray hairs and see how thirty seconds can bring so much unity and joy. Not allowing the Pledge is like spitting in the face of all of their loved ones.

The Pledge is a uniting instrument, it brings us together especially in these times. It gives a sense of pride and being a part of the greatest country on Earth.

I plead with the Operations Committee to overturn this decision.

Remember this is a place for senior citizens! Think of them first!

Now’s the time for San Juan Islanders to let your voices and opinions be heard! Thirty seconds can make a senior citizen’s day!

Richard Swenson

Apply For Scholarships

To the Editor:

In light of Diane Ball’s retirement as principal, from Friday Harbor Elementary, the Family Umbrella Group wanted to extend a thank you for her contributions to the Family Umbrella Group and this community. Diane was integral in extending our scholarship program to all qualified preschools on this island.

Currently we offer to Children’s House Montessori, Lighthouse Preschool, Alphabet Soup, St. David’s Preschool and Building Blocks.

Please visit our new website to apply for a preschool scholarship

SJISD Superintendent’s Letter To The Community

Dear Fabulous Community Members,

It is so nice to see that spring has finally arrived with warmer weather and flowers blooming. In the schools, lots of blooming has been happening, too. To start, our arts programs both Band and Fine Arts have had stellar accomplishments. Our Art students placed four of the eight winning entrants in the Northwest ESD regional competition and two of eight at the State level competition. Band programs earned Superior ratings in their concert competitions. Although the students created these wins, special kudos must go out to their teachers, Andy Anderson and Cart Nelsen for the inspiring instruction and mentorship that led both groups to such high honors. Truly amazing work from our small high school!

Our student athletes have continued to rock their respective sports. Our girls soccer team and boys basketball both took league championships and our football team was one of the two co-league champions. Both fast pitch and baseball won league titles as did our golf team, and wrestling sent two athletes to the state tournament. Great coaching and strong athletic talent made all of these teams winners!

Academically, our students continue to do well. Our mid-year assessments have proven strong, so we are hopeful that the end of the year state assessments students are currently taking will prove strong as well. Our junior class community projects continue to amaze us all as these students commit their energies and minds to the betterment of our island. If you have a chance, check out the new wheelchair accessible decking at Jackson Beach….courtesy of student ideas and hard work.

Our seniors continue to amaze us with the list of colleges and universities where they have been accepted for next year…here is a partial list: Western Washington University, Tufts University, University of Washington, Oregon State University, Cal State Monterrey Bay, Husson University, Carleton College, Occidental College, Seton Hall University, Baylor University, University of San Diego, Pacific Lutheran University, Chapman University, University of Colorado, Evergreen College, Bellingham Technical College, Gonzaga University, Skagit Valley College, University of Portland, Pepperdine University, University of Richmond, Marquette University…. And more….GO SENIORS!!!!!

Our learning in instructional technology has staff using technology in the classroom for the creation of new tasks that were previously inconceivable as part of classroom learning. It is truly exciting to see teachers combine their content knowledge and teaching strategies with technology tools that allow student to demonstrate their understanding in a variety of ways. Our Digital Citizenship lessons guide students K-12 to think critically about the information they consume, create and publish. Ultimately, our students are learning, engaging and working collaboratively in technology-rich environments that mirrors the world they will enter after graduation.

Griffin Bay School continues to find ways to reach more of our students by adding additional online courses for students K-12. K-2 students can now take full day courses online with our learning partner Edgenuity and fulltime or part-time courses with Odysseyware and Odysseyware Academy for students grades 3-12. We are also awaiting approval for our Griffin Bay Open Doors Program which will serve students between the ages of 16-21 who have left

school and would like to get their high school diploma or GED. We are thrilled to find more alternative ways to serve the educational needs of our students and community.

Artistically, athletically and academically our students are in full bloom and scoring high!

Unfortunately, our state legislators have done much to cast a shadow on all this good work. Despite the way it has been portrayed in much of the press after the close of the legislative session, the legislators have actually failed to help our district, all other Salish Sea island districts, and twenty-five other districts across the state to receive all of the money that our voter approved levies should guarantee. The two-year state budget just passed, allowed Seattle School District to collect all of their levy money, but fell quite short in supporting small school districts. Small schools take more money per students to educate because we lack the economies of scale, which means that it costs more to educate students in small districts. It is absurd that school districts with 40,000 students (like Seattle School District with huge economies of scale) get to collect $3000 per student, while districts like ours, under a thousand students, can only collect $2500 with our levy funds. Here is a link to an article form the Seattle Times that shares more information. I encourage each of you to dig deeper in this and fact find.

Although there were great promises from legislators to do much more to fully fund Special Education mandates, the increases provided were modest at best. Currently, our district has had to reach into general education funding by over $500,000 to meet our mandates and the increases provided by the State are currently looking to be about $30,000 only.

The state has added other cost mandates in the form of SEBB (State Employee Benefit Board) requirements that will provide all part-time employees with over three and a half hours of work per day with full medical benefits. Although we are happy that more folks receive full medical care, this will cost our district $275,000 each year for the foreseeable future.

To ensure a balanced budget with no deficit spending and providing a strong end-fund balance, our district has this year made cuts amounting to about $750,000 and for now will not be planning any additional cuts or program reductions for next year, despite the “legislative gift” of a $300,000 deficit we didn’t see coming. What this means is that next year we will be anticipating more and deeper cuts if not enough pressure is placed on legislators to lift the levy cap on all districts and to better fund special education. I know that I, for one, will be busy meeting with our legislators and hopefully helping them realize the impact on our school district of this legislative budget. Hope you will too!

For now, we will celebrate the good work of our staff and students by enjoying these spring days, which will lead to the end of a great school year. Go CLASS of 2019!!

Until the start of our 2019-2020 school year,


Kari McVeigh

Stand Up Men Hope To Raise $45K

chose April, Sexual Assault month, to launch a campaign to dramatically upgrade SAFE San Juans' in-school and community prevention education programs. SAFE’s mission is to make our community and youth free from sexual assault and domestic violence.

Stand Up Men’s fundraising goal for SAFE this year is to raise $45,000 to support the underfunded and most critical sexual assault and domestic violence prevention education program in our county. SAFE’s main priority is to provide prevention education to our youth, their teachers, parents and caregivers as well as our entire community. With these funds students and adults will learn how to detect and correct unhealthy behavior while they are simultaneously learning how best to create healthy relationships. By doing so, we, as a community, are able to effectively identify and deal with early symptoms of sexual assault and domestic violence before situations escalate and become more significant problems in our community.

Stand Up Men looks forward to more Stand Up Men and Stand Up Businesses as well as other supporters joining with us to stand against domestic violence and sexual assault in the San Juans.

More information is available at or call SAFE at 360-378-8680.

Juan, Scott, Ron and Larry

On behalf of Stand Up Men

Larry Greene
San Juan Islan

Response To Gordon Fowler Letter (below)

Mr. Fowler is correct that the Mullis Center is discontinuing the practice of saying the Pledge of Allegiance at its Senior Lunches. We have come to realize that some seniors are not comfortable with this practice.
Our aim is to better fulfill our mission to serve ALL seniors on San Juan Island without regard to race, color, creed, religion or national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability, etc. Our decision has nothing to do with patriotism.

We certainly do not intend to disrespect veterans or the flag!

Our Meals Program receives federal funding, as well as funding from non-governmental sources, that require we be open to all. We note that in offering Senior Lunches the Mullis Center is not a legislative body engaged in the people’s business, nor are we a patriotic organization where the pledge is central to its functions. It’s just lunch. You don't say the Pledge of Allegiance before a meal at a restaurant.

In response to a complaint from some participants, the Operations Committee has adopted a policy that Senior Meals will include the Pledge of Allegiance on those special occasions where a patriotic gesture is appropriate.

As the Mullis Center moves to offering meals three times a week in April, we particularly want to welcome all seniors and people with disabilities on the island to join us for lunch. Note that lunch is open to everyone, not just seniors! Please join us ( Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 11:30) and bring a friend!

Rita Weisbrod
Chair, Mullis Center Operations Committee

Mullis Center Denounces Pledge of Allegiance to American Flag


To the Editor:

The Mullis Center Operations Committee has decided to discontinue the practice of honoring the American Flag at the majority of Senior Lunches, served twice weekly, at the Mullis Center.

Recognition of the American Flag is a common thread across America, especially at a time when our country is so politically divided. The flag is a symbol of our heritage, and an honor to those who have served, and given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

Evidently, disrespectful individuals live amongst us, and tear apart at the fabric that has been the strength and unity of our culture.

Also, please note that the American Flag has not been flown on the Mullis Center flagpole for the past several years.

Patriotism is not a bad word!

Gordon Fowler
San Juan Island

$70K Severance Pay To SJI EMS Chief


To the Editor:

The San Juan County Hospital District #1 Commissioners have approved retiring EMS Chief Martin a $70,000 severance effective this April 1st. They do so while Chief Martin continues to be investigated by the Department of Health for failure to provide documentation of his training. Both the Hospital Board members and the Department of Health have requested this of Chief Martin numerous times and he has refused. So why would violating their requests entitle Martin to $70,000 of taxpayer’s money that could otherwise be used on EMS?

Severance packages are typically given to employees who are unwillingly being asked to move on for reasons such as their position was discontinued or the company can no long afford to pay. But, Chief Martin is willingly resigning from his position as Chief of EMS.

And, as Chief Martin leaves his position, the taxpayers will continue to pay for his legal fees as the investigation proceeds.

If you feel your tax dollars would be better spent improving our EMS services, please contact your Hospital Board commissioners and let them know how you feel about this.

Michael Edwards at; Mark Schwinge at; Rebecca Smith at; Dr. Appleton at Appleton@sjcphd.or; and Anna Lisa Lindstrum at

Leslie Brennan
San Juan Island

Leviathan Delusion in Paradise Lost

Glancing at caller ID on a recent snowy morning, I guessed that my old Alaska pal, Archie was riled up about something. Most likely a retaliatory shot in response to the brow-beating I served up previously. I had been pretty steamed about the sheer insanity of Alaska oil revenue politics, opening the Arctic Refuge when we won’t need any more oil and trying to restart the abominable Pebble Mine idea. I let it ring and go to message, deciding whether to pick up.

“Hey Champ, if you ain’t too busy exfoliating or plucking your eye brows, pick up to hear some truth…”. Warming to his familiar voice I jumped in “back away from the ledge and count to ten, Archie, the moon of booming ice is nearly over!”. He laughed and slurped a spoon of piping hot, high-test brew through his three front teeth. He had most of his teeth pulled by an itinerant hack dentist, while in the fog of a hangover, after reading about some guy going around the bend due to silver fillings in a John Birch Society magazine in the 1980s.
Not one for polite chit-chat, my favorite chain-smoking libertarian gleefully launched into his favorite thread. A view that can be summarized in sanitized terms as ‘you gave up everything real to leave the wild northland and retire in the environmentally pummeled, foo-foo San Juan Islands’.

“I see that the legions of Orca worshippers have infected your Guv with their delusion that all the @%#@#* of the past century can be repaired just by throwing a billion dollars at it! Anyone ever hear of Humpty Dumpty? Hope in one hand, Champ, and spit in the other and see which gets full faster!”

Ignoring my quick jab about his odd infatuation with Sarah Palin, he launched into his full broad-side with vitamin D deprived vigor. “So let’s examine the divergent trend lines… after 100 years of mindless destruction of salmon, their natal streams and vital estuaries you have an exploding tech economy welcoming growth toward 10 million people clogging the shore lines by 2040. Your ‘pinko’ neighbors in Hockey Land are frothing at the mouth to send a lot more oil to Asia. Meanwhile nasty pollutants still flow freely into your fabled Salish Sea from the linear parking lot you call the I-5 corridor, Canadian toilets and your coddled Military-Industrial complex, who in their right mind would think…”.

Archie finally came up for air, so I tried to get in a shot “whoa there you freezer-burned curmudgeon, this three-pronged effort is widely supported and critical for…”. He stopped me cold with a derisive snort and shared his blinding flash of the obvious (as though he was Perry Mason dropping an irrefutable cluster-bomb of fact on his sleepy prosecutorial opponent).

“This Orca crisis didn’t just happen! Same old capitalist mantra for growth and jobs! Forget any precautionary principles! Technology will bail us out if you just give the free market a chance!”. In the short pause, I could hear Archie noisily gumming his favorite snack of saltine crackers smeared with mayo, as he forged ahead, “Look out your window! Your Canuck friends are going to destroy the Fraser River salmon while bowing and scraping at the feet of new industry and defending filthy Norski fish farms. You all gloat over cheap hydro-power that has burned up at least a billion salmon in Washington alone!”

I could tell that Archie had put on his glasses so he could read from scratched notes, with the cadence and tone of a wide-eyed Baptist preacher. “Your swarming, un-capped Whale Watch Industry is touting the same ol’ big lie about ‘visitor learning is appreciation leading to preservation’ that Sea World has used to justify its Orcacide over many decades. You have an untouchable Recreational Sport Fishing mega-business that has all but eliminated family commercial fishing and burns more gas, to chase fewer, smaller, fish every year”.

“But, by far the biggest threat to salmon are the legion of biologists and politicians who agree to ignore ‘shifting baseline syndrome’ about salmon numbers over time in order to collect a paycheck. And best of all, the so-flag-waving-proud, highly subsidized farmers and ranchers and their captive legislators, that never give an inch to restore free flowing rivers and crippled salmon runs without a nasty fight. Or maybe even a made for TV National Refuge building takeover! They would rather bank on their stinking cows and sheep running roughshod on public lands darn near free, than think about saving salmon for the greater public good. Salmon, the magnificent life-blood of the entire Pacific North West, are on the ropes.”

I lamely spit out “switch to de-cafe Archie! I agree with most of your rant, but how can anyone in good conscience, with an eye toward future generations, do anything less than pull out all the stops at this stage?”

“Problem is Champ, by the time lobbyists get done slowing these eleventh-hour efforts, the cascading impacts of climate change will be discombobulating everything we think of as normal. The masses who blindly ignored the high-risk crap game being played by corporations and lapdog officials gambling on your future, will be running in circles with their hair on fire about the economic collapse. Like it came out of nowhere just like Hurricane Katrina didn’t”. Archie calls me Champ because on one boozy evening of boredom, I bested him by forty seconds in a stupid “ferret down trousers” contest that required a box of band aids and a full tube of Neosporin afterward (no ferrets were harmed).

“Hold on Archie, I have a lot of faith in our earnest Governor working toward the best for Ecotopians….”. “Give me a break, Champ, we have legal weed in Alaska, too! A lotta good he will be trying to sell his plan to reluctant working Washingtonians while out on the national campaign trail. He’s trying to sell climate change as an imminent crisis, to people who don’t care. Jaded regular folks would rather have a root canal without drugs, than give up their big shiny SUVs, poisoned green lawns, and garbage cans filled with plastic junk and food waste. Meanwhile, back home three-piece suit lobbyists and Eastern side knuckle-dragging politicians in Olympia will gleefully slash every tire on his pretty plan while he is away in Podunk, Ohio and Rustbelt, Michigan posing in front of the cameras…”.

“Seriously, you should know that the scores of Orca protection non-profits and ambulance-chaser scientists in the end will accomplish very little but self-employment, obtuse published papers and slick bumper stickers while claiming to save these harried Blackfish. Of course, we will know vastly more about them than we do about any of the other hundreds of organisms now being driven to extinction, but for what? Why don’t you all just leave those magnificent buggers alone so they can adapt, migrate away or perish with some dignity surely earned by surviving just fine for 800,000 years?”

Before I could respond, I heard Archie grunt “hold on now”, and his chair scrape the floor while he fumbled with a can of Prince Albert and rolling papers. I pictured him pulling on his ratty parka and heading out the arctic entry to stand and smoke, while proudly gazing on his piles of blue-tarped junk and gloating after successfully yanking my chain. Feeling really good about himself, he blurted a parting shot, “hey, always fun talking with you Champ, any chance that you and your chi-chi friends down there could focus on just salmon or even rally around saving something really important like the Rusty Patched Bumble bee, rather than that one small group of Blackfish so very unlucky to live in those trashed waters?”

Steve Ulvi
San Juan Island

OPALCO Re-election of Dr. Jerry Whitfield to the Board

I would like to take a moment to offer my sincere support for incumbent Board Member and Vice President: Dr Jerry Whitfield. Dr. Whitfield has many years of management experience and entrepreneural expertise. He has a Doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering from Cambridge, and worked for Rolls Royce Engines, GE Engines, and Boeing. He also successfully developed the Pellet Wood Stove for domestic use, which was later sold to a major US Domestic furnace company. His drive to be successful again, inspired him to create a point-of-need green bean coffee roaster for the freshest cup of coffee in the world. This business was also a tremendous success, and later sold to a major New York coffee magnate.

Jerry was appointed to fill a board vacancy in 2014, and later successfully re-elected in 2016. Since that time he has dedicated himself to help keep OPALCO Coop solvent, while keeping our rates as low as possible. Jerry helped orchestrate the successful purchase of Rock Island, and subsequent deployment of fast internet access for islanders, due to OPALCO's excess capacity fiber optic cables. He also helped facilitate Team Mobile’s interest in providing the infrastructure and technical expertise necessary to implement a reliable fast network for the citizens of SJC.

Jerry rapidly proved himself as a Director and Board Member, he is now VP of the Board. Jerry has the modesty of the competent, and I highly recommend you vote for Jerry in order to maintain his proven leadership on OPALCO's Board. Jerry is valuable an asset to OPALCO and our community.


Jon Troxel
Shaw Island

SJI Schools Foundation Thank You Letter

To the Editor:

The San Juan Public Schools Foundation wants to thank everyone who helped make Monday night’s silver anniversary Knowledge Bowl a smashing success:

The teams from Friday Harbor 8th through 12th grade, Spring Street International School, Kiwanians (congratulations, winners!), Lions, Soroptimists, and Rotarians for a terrific competition

The San Juan Community Theatre staff for so much technical support

The many local businesses that donated raffle prizes and gift certificates

Cart Nelsen and the High School Jazz Band for more great music

The High School PTA for all the tasty bake sale items

Andy Anderson for an inspiring presentation about our amazing school arts program

And, not least, Brent Snow for generously hosting another evening of fun and laughter as emcee.

Great thanks to all and see you next year at the 26th Knowledge Bowl!

Martha Alvarado
T.J. Heller
Darla Jungmeyer
Krista Mattox
Karen Meenan
Rich Meenan
Brian Moore
Jacoba Porter
Jennifer Thomas

Supports Allowing Lewis To Stand For Election

(02-27-19 The following is related the It's Time To Save OPALCO column)

To the Editor:

Response to both Bill Appel & Alex Macleod [//see letters below -Ed//] re: the Dwight Lewis Candidacy/OPALCO Board Disqualification

I do not know Dwight Lewis, who is a long-time member of OPALCO and has paid his bills. He appears to have filed the appropriate paperwork to be placed on the ballot. Therefore, let the membership vote on his candidacy. If elected and serves, he will learn a lot. He will not be a dictator if the meetings adhere to Robert's Rules of Order. What is there to fear? Are we afraid of people who ask questions or have different opinions or even live on a different island? Just do what's right and let him run.

John Van Lund
San Juan Island

Bill Appel Responds To MacLeod Column, MacLeod Responds In Turn

(02-26-19 The following is related the It's Time To Save OPALCO column)

To the Editor:

Populists forget or ignore the fact that cooperatives are first and foremost businesses. The Northwest is littered with crashed cooperatives that lost the simple mantra that the bottom cash flow line must stay black. Yes, OPALCO is a cooperative, but it is a business and no business can afford to be a political plaything.

As to the candidate’s desires defined by a writer who “is not going to speak for” the candidate:
1. Rates as low as possible. The implication is that rates are somehow padded. Most people know that hiring and retaining competent and well equipped personnel with the most reliable equipment available at reasonable cost and able to operate under adverse and in salt water, chemically hostile conditions, is not padding rates.

2. Trust and “transparency” (a word that appears in “Populist Bingo”- ever played it?) are destroyed by the very people who claim to seek it, generally by innuendo and hemi-semi-demi information dressed up to look like the full and sensational story. An example in this case: debt is a tool to levelize huge expenses that if debt were not incurred, nearly every OPALCO member would be insolvent or outright bankrupt as a result of the new submarine cables. Throwing “debt” around as a shiboleth is helpful only if its function is to arouse fear and suspicion. This is NOT an indication of any intent to bring back the days of trust and transparency.

A side note on transparency: Rock Island is a profit entity engaged in a highly competitive business. OPALCO members rooting around in its affairs can only benefit Rockisland’s competitors, whose local employees (no offense intended) are also OPALCO members. Grandstanding on a matter that puts Rockisland at competitive risk harms not only OPALCO’s investment, but also its efforts to bring the people in the county into the 21st century, ultimately willing to go literally the last mile, while its competitors cherry-pick the most profitable local marker areas. Arguing for this kind of disclosure, however politically magnetic, is an abuse of the purpose of transparency. Try going into General Motors with your share of stock, demanding sensitive competitive information in the name of “transparency.”
3. OPALCO is in fact audited every year by Moss Adams, the largest nonprofit/coop accounting firm in the Northwest. They are by definition independent auditors. Demanding an additional “independent audit” both ignores the facts and wildly and irresponsibly attacks Moss Adams … in the name of populism.

Populism sells by the case, but it’s empty calories. Whatever a person’s agenda may be, the OPALCO board’s agenda is to provide policy and oversight to management headed by an unusually capable talent whose salary is independently determined by a national, not local market for such talent. Editorializing about this person’s salary without context is at best misleading, and for what constructive purpose?
And yes, there is “group-think.” No board member has individual authority by virtue of being on the board. The board acts only as a body, and not as individuals.

The ability to teach and learn from each other is essential to board membership. This is not a job for a white knight to charge in and dictate his or her hazy idea of a complex reality heedless of the risk or actual damage to everyone. OPALCO’s shoulders carry the safety, comfort and economy of this county and everyone in it. Things weren’t simple in the past (in some ways they were possibly hairier), and they aren’t now.

If the board determines that a candidate for its membership is unqualified, it is in a bind: publish its reasoning and endure a suit for libel (which because of the cost of defense, is often settled for that reason alone having nothing to do with the merits but giving to all the impression that libel in fact occurred), or ask its members to trust it as part of the burden of fiduciary obligation that all board members carry, independently of privacy laws or policies.

Stop and think.

Bill Appel
Waldron Island

Alex MacLeod Responds Back To Appel

Lawyers learn in school that when their facts aren’t helpful, invent a straw man and beat the bejesus out of him.

That’s what Bill Appel has done in response to my commentary on the OPALCO Board disqualifying Dwight Lewis from running for a board seat. The reason given was that OPALCO’s lawyer “called into question (Lewis’) ability to put aside his personal agenda for the good of the Cooperative.”

Bill’s straw man is called “populists,” which frankly seems an odd choice when addressing an issue around a rural electric cooperative created by the federal government during the Depression to help lift the country out of the economic doldrums and bring electricity to ordinary people living in the country.

Nonetheless, Bill builds what little case he can by contending that “populism” is a bad thing, apparently because President Trump, the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party hijacked it for their own anti-populist ideologies.

The facts are:

- OPALCO is first a cooperative, not a business. That requires it to operate in different and more open ways than a private business. Among other things, it should not disqualify a member from running for its board simply because it doesn’t like his ideas, which is what has happened.

- Trust and transparency (“destroyed,” Bill says, “by the very people who claim to seek it,” though he offers not a single fact to support his claim) actually are essential to a cooperative. And the function of “throwing debt around” is not, as he asserts, “to arouse fear and suspicion;” it is to point out that bad long-range planning leads to debt levels that have real-world consequences. Perhaps Bill has forgotten when OPALCO’s debt ratio put its favored loan status at significant risk, which was avoided only by unplanned rate hikes to the membership.

- Rates actually matter. Ours have gone up 34% in just four years. Plus we have all paid, whether we are customers or not, for OPALCO’s $7.5 million-plus investment in Rock Island. Rates are set to cover expenses. It is a hard case to make that all of OPALCO’s expenses are justified when it is paying its general manager as much or more than the head of Seattle City Light, the 10th largest public utility in the country. You notice Bill provided no numbers to support his belief that our rate increases have all been necessary. In fact, he avoids mentioning how much they have risen beyond inflation and OPALCO’s cost of electricity.

But since Bill brought it up, let’s revisit “populism” briefly. At its root, according to the dictionary, are “ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.” Anyone who has attended an OPALCO Board meeting, or watched OPALCO’s top management at work, has seen “an elite group” at work and been disregarded by it.

There is no disregard greater than - for no reason other ideas or a personality not in tune with the group - to prevent the cooperative’s membership from voting for someone. That is what has occurred here. We members should have a voice in deciding “the good of the Cooperative,” to use the lawyer’s words. No straw man can change that.

Alex MacLeod

Letter to Editor: If I Were Randy Gaylord


To the Editor:

Many people have approached me asking for my views on Sheriff Krebs’ manipulation of the courtroom security camera so that defense counsel notes were legible during the criminal trial of State v. Dustin Schible.

It is too early tell the full extent and duration of this type of conduct. But is essential that this must be resolved.

Since I ran for the office of Prosecuting Attorney, I found myself focused on what I would have done if the roles were reversed.

The Prosecutor should have taken three actions. Immediately, the Prosecutor should have (1) Ensured that evidence was preserved; (2) Called for an outside investigation; and, (3) Insisted that outside counsel was retained to represent Sheriff Krebs.

At a minimum, all security video recordings in the possession or control of the County should have been duplicated and stored on a device that was then placed for safekeeping with the Court or Washington State Patrol. Simply, the preservation of this evidence is absolutely critical.

Next, Prosecutor Gaylord should have immediately called for an outside investigation and requested that the Attorney General or Washington State Patrol undertake a full investigation into the facts.

Finally, Prosecutor Gaylord should have unequivocally stated that he could no longer represent Sheriff Krebs on this issue and should have encouraged the Sheriff to employ an outside attorney. This was essential because it was evident that a very serious conflict of interest may have arisen between the Prosecutor’s clients.

By statute, the Prosecutor represents the State in criminal matters, the County as a body politic in civil matters, and the elected county officials in their official capacity. The State wants a clean conviction and the County wants to limit liability. Those interests are not adverse. However, the potential problem occurs if and when Sheriff Krebs confides to the Prosecutor and gives him information that is at odds with the interests of his other clients. Then, he cannot undertake simultaneous representation. The conflict today is particularly pronounced because of the Prosecutor’s demonstrated unwillingness to investigate Sheriff Krebs for his false statements to the County Council on January 24, 2017 or refer that matter out for outside investigation.

This past weekend, I wrote Prosecutor Gaylord and requested that he consider taking the three actions described above. He has not responded. Join me in asking Prosecutor Gaylord to take these essential steps.
Very truly yours,

Nicholas E. D. Power



To the Editor

Want to get rich in the San Juan’s? Easy. Buy house. Buy vacation rental permit (cheap). Rent house.

My neighbor, a very savvy business person, is pushing for two side by side rentals with 18 renters. Daily. Income: $1,750. Full season total income: $157,500. Tax-free after depreciation.

Every single homeowner in the San Juan’s is at risk for vacation rental(s) next door. And you can't stop them. Why? SJC has bypassed every single environmental law to make this possible.

Impossible? Not when your County code states there is no difference between 1 person occupying a house full time and 9 week by week vacationers. I oppose unlimited, uncontrolled vacation rentals on behalf of Box Bay Shellfish farm, a non- profit oyster grower which grows oysters for water cleansing purposes only. Each oyster filters 50 gallons of salt water per hour. There are 20,000 of them. Excess oysters are given free for charitable events, neighbors, and elementary school teaching about how an oyster grows and an oyster farm works.

My neighbor claims to have already spent $120,000 in legal fees. I believe him. We are not even past the hearing examiner stage. This is likely to take 5 years or more. The first lawsuit is being filed today.

On August 15, 2018 DCD testified, under oath: (1) rentals have no environmental impacts (2)"we don’t see vacation rentals as being any different than residential development" (3) no difference between 300 residences and and 300 rentals (4) no cumulative rental impacts (5) no limit on number of rentals allowed (5) noise/traffic no different than unrented house (6) no idea how many vacation rentals there are (7) never have studied impacts of vacation
rentals, no plans to ever do so (8) no idea how many illegal rentals there are (9) never consult with other agencies because there are no impacts (10)enforcement squarely in hands of real estate industry.

Recent DCD PR proclaims now they know the number of vacation rentals, are looking for illegals, have super-new permit holder guidelines. What they wont say, the "new" guide lines are simply new orders to the fox (real estate) guarding the henhouse, new guidelines only apply to recent permits, nothing has changed about studying impacts, requiring permits, living with the fantasy there never will be one too many rental permits.

Tom Evans

Deer Island Guardian:

My friends and family would like islanders to help us. Some of us already ask for handouts. Some of us eat your tasty plants. Weren’t those appetizers? I can assure you, supporting my cause will benefit all of us! Aside from saving plants, how about reducing collision damage to vehicles? Strictly accidental on our part. Those awful new headlights not only blind us, but the driver of the oncoming car as well. Just be glad we don’t cross the road collectively. In some parts of the world an ENTIRE herd of certain animals (like sheep, goats, or buffalo) decide to use it for themselves.

Some of you see us as giant rats. I’m going to take that as a compliment since research shows that rats are extremely intelligent. In spite of human efforts to exterminate them, they are quite successful in their survival strategy. Some of my family members aren’t all that smart, but again, research shows that human beings’ intelligence ranges all over the scale too.

So, since I’m the smart one in my family, I’m advocating for our platform. Think of it as planned parenthood for deer (PPFD). It’s probably too late for me this year. I’ve definitely got one, or TWO in the oven. Where’s MY right to choose what happens to my body? This is where you can help me out. Please don’t delay! I too love the island and would like to have a comfortable life with retirement benefits. I can’t do this if I have to reproduce every year.

How can you help? Keep reading.

The research team at Tufts University is having great success with the PZP contraceptive vaccine. One of my advocates has been in contact with Dr. Allen Rutberg, Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He sent us a link about their work, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), to control the deer population in the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Please choose PZP. Hunting is not an adequate management tool for controlling the deer population on San Juan Island. Personally, I don’t want to be shot, but I’m okay with getting rid of some of those randy bucks who don’t understand the word “no!” I’ve heard quite a few islanders are opposed to hunting, and many are vegetarian, like me. Some families aren’t comfortable with weapon use and hunting in neighborhoods where the homes are closer together. Maybe they don’t want to see one of my family or friends run into their yard injured and dying.

And, just like humans, we care for our children too. Expanding hunting to shoot does leaves fawns without their mom through the winter. We do stay with them through their first year, and contrary to what some people think, we have social structures and family groups.

If you are interested in reading more about deer contraception, my advocate has attached additional links below. I'd like PZP as an added management tool and believe the cost could be offset by generous community members. Please help implement a humane and sustainable management policy.

Certainly, hunting could still happen on private parcels with landowner permission, but let’s complement population control by implementing contraception. The first link below contains information about Kali Pereira, the young woman working with Dr. Rutberg. Let’s figure out a way to get her here to help us. Are you interested in helping fund a study here? Please write your legislators and let them know you’d like to see this happen.

I deerly appreciate your help

Running Down The Dream Without Becoming Comfortably Numb

Along with about a hundred others I attended the library presentation on black-tailed deer by Ruth Milne, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife. It promised to be interesting given the obvious problems and the mish-mash of opinions and quirky notions here. Who doesn’t have an opinion about deer?

The central theme of the presentation was clear. From event ads, to her nice introduction by Boyd, to the child-friendly slides, her commentary was very careful and respectful of all views in setting the stage for what must, by nature, be a community decision. As an area management biologist, Milne hoped to focus audience comments on how to better deal with way too many deer. There can be no debate that we live with a significantly unhealthy overpopulation of deer adversely impacting the already pummeled ecosystems of this trans-border archipelago.

After a number of questions and the usual unfocused statements of personal values and pipe dreams (each painstakingly repeated and reflected upon by Milne), a few fellows who enjoy hunting deer and rightfully feel pride in continuing the island tradition of using natural resources for the family table broke their polite silence. They spoke of frustrations regarding extremely limited areas to hunt (very little state land, etc.) and dealing with adversarial views toward hunters, as key parts of the overpopulation problem. Yet before they could finish their thoughts, the ugly genie of off-topic provocation and identity politics oozed out of the bottle. To some extent I hold Ms. Milne responsible for the cacophony of voices that ensued, in that she failed to delimit off-topic statements and keep the focus on dealing with too damned many deer.

The anti-hunting diatribe in Ms. Lance’s current column expands upon her scattershot views she shared with us at the library, with additional vitriol toward management biologists (“biostitute” I assume is a “biologist-prostitute”?) as well as those of us who treasure nature and embrace hunting as a legitimate use of public resources. Her screed is chock-full of imagined straw men to knock down in relaying what took place at the library. As well as the expected snarky innuendos. To be fair, perhaps she and her friends thought that they were attending a “Share your Extreme Dietary Preferences” seminar?

Harvest for the larder is a very deep, necessary tradition for some of us that makes us feel whole in a post-modern, overpopulated America, a substantial fund source for the greater public good through licensing and equipment taxes, and a viable population control tool in most circumstances. Increasing hunter harvest is the one realistic tool compared to the ludicrous rigamarole of field sterilization, professional snipers, relocation (where to? Waldron?) or free condoms for local bucks. Or as Lance suggests; rewilding our island with turning loose large fanged predators and replanting existing private land pastures with trees. As much as I have lived a life of dreaming of “turning back the clock” that is a public planning meeting I would pay to see!

Of course, humans and their best management practices are imperfect, but hunter harvest is a proven tool with far fewer negative externalities than wasteful and messy vehicle slaughter, ecological collapse from over-browsing, or deer suffering through starvation/disease.

Sure, island biogeography exacerbates our local problem of deer populations without natural predators. Hand in hand with high private land ownership (85% of San Juan County), untethered exurban social values, declining interest in hunting, illegal feeding of wildlife and ignorance of the ecological damage we have wrought. It all favors ravens, expensive fencing contractors and local car repair shops though!

I, too, grieve daily for the excruciating demise of the richness and diversity of the natural world. I knew when we left interior Alaska after 33 years, my outdoor experiences here would be severely diminished in these un-wild and un-natural islands but I did not imagine how over only 12 years we could slide so much further down the slippery slope of ecosystem destruction. Yet, I still hope to make some small differences for the unfortunate future generations who will have to live with our actions today.

But in the few and far between opportunities that come around, most of us try to respect the sideboards in community forums and the personal dignity of other people who take the time to attend public meetings and express their feelings on the topic at hand. If I just can’t contain my inner demons on a particular community interest issue, perhaps I should just be smart enough to stay home or at least keep my mouth shut, rather than display a petulant need to rattle people’s cages and increase tension among neighbors.

I am going to continue to work toward expanding the allowance for hunting deer on larger Land Bank parcels, maybe does only, maybe bow only, and am personally exploring options for quietly importing a few breeding pairs of coyotes or bobcats next spring.

Steve Ulvi
San Juan Island

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

It is with great enthusiasm that I offer my endorsement of Nick Power to be San Juan County’s next Prosecuting

Attorney. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Nick and his family for their love of our community and their willingness to work tirelessly toward improving the quality of life in their many areas of expertise.

As a 30 year resident of Friday Harbor, I have witnessed the results of our criminal justice system NOT taking a hard stance against drug trafficking. Crime has increased significantly to support the purchase of drugs. It is my understanding that drugs are readily available for purchase at our schools. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE

I share Nick’s concerns regarding the epidemic of hard drugs on the island. I have read many reports by islanders

who witness drug sales and other nefarious activities in their neighborhoods; they report the the incidents, giving names, dates, time, vehicle license numbers and descriptions AND NOTHING IS DONE!

If the problem is the current laws make it too difficult to prosecute drug dealers IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE LAWS! The status quo is not acceptable!

We need a Criminal Justice System that meets the needs of the community. I fear the refusal to meet the drug trafficking & drug use issue head on might be, at least partly, to protect the local tourist trade. To be known to have serious drug issues might make San Juan County less desirable as a destination. However, pretending it does not exist is harmful to everyone.

I highly endorse Nick’s plan to bring more mental health treatment into the system for those addicted to drugs. Punishment does not solve the problem.

In his own words, Nick Power, “wants to make San Juan County a safer, fairer and better place to live, work and be.” I know Nick to be a man of high integrity, a man whose word can be trusted.

Other supporters (who happen to be attorneys or in law enforcement & want change) have been quoted: “Nick does the right thing whether anyone is watching or not.”; “he is highly qualified for the position…”He is dedicated to fairness and transparency...We encourage voters to elect Nick Power for our next Prosecuting Attorney.”

Please join me in voting for THE P.A. FOR THE PEOPLE: NICK POWER.

Respectfully submitted,

Doris M. Sumner
Friday Harbor

Supports Jeff Asher

To the Editor:

This election has brought out the worst in some very vocal people and it's gone on long enough to make it clear that the current campaigns are being used by an unscrupulous few to get even with "their enemies." Alternatively, others are panicked by the prospect of change and have taken to making statements by those who disagree with them into an indictment of moral failing.

As an island community, we want a Sheriff who will do the best job. We are voting for the future, I surely hope we are not voting based on negative internet comments. We all have to live together after this election, and it's time to remember that.
My question is: Does Sheriff Ron Krebs really want the job? He missed the deadline to submit his statement to the Voter’s Pamphlet, showed up to the debates in faded jeans and a polo shirt when every other political candidate wore business attire, and acknowledged written messages where he degrades his staff have surfaced that he attributes to his being “human” and “venting,” but for which he offers no public apology.

I support Jeff Asher because he has done more to fight crime in our community than any Sheriff’s personnel I have dealt with in the last three years. I have yet to meet anybody who does not respect Jeff Asher. He condemns personal attacks on his opponent. Jeff Asher has run a positive campaign with integrity and a plan for the future.

Vote your conscience.

Glenn Storey
Friday Harbor

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Steve Brandli for District Court Judge.

After 19 years prior legal experience, I moved here in 2005 to take the position of Chief Criminal Clerk of the District Court and in 2011 took a Deputy Clerk position in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office. I have known Mr. Brandli and his family since 2006 when he was hired as the Deputy Prosecutor for the District Court. I have had weekly contact with Mr. Brandli through the years and have found that he has the experience and utmost respect for the Court and the public whether you are a defendant or plaintiff, an attorney or a visitor to the courtroom. He has the experience and perspective of a Prosecutor, a Public Defender and as an attorney all with the same goal of protecting the rights of the people.

Mr. Brandli and his wife are very family oriented and have deeply rooted themselves in the community. They have put in numerous hours volunteering and helping with community events They have opened their home and hearts to foster children, some of them with special needs. They have raised their children here.

With my experience I know first hand that District Court is not just about trials and criminals. There are many other layers of the law that the District Court Judge needs to consider such as protection/harassment orders, civil and small claims, traffic violations, name changes, fish and wildlife violations, felony law, etc.

Do the citizens of San Juan County want to have someone sitting in judgment of individuals with only the tunnel vision of experience they received as a prosecutor which in turn might create bias and conflict? I would hope not.

Steve Brandli is the only clear choice for District Court Judge based upon experience, qualifications, integrity, compassion, and dedicated service to San Juan County for the past 12 years.

Please join me in voting for Steve Brandli for District Court Judge.

Jeanette Longan
Friday Harbor, WA

5 or 42 SJC Bar Assoc Members Respond To Past Bar Poll

To the Editor

In response to the Recent Letter regarding the results of a poll conducted by the San Juan County Bar Association:

The bar poll results for the San Juan County Bar Association are not reliable indicators of a candidate's qualifications by reason that the pool of participants is so small. In fact, for that reason it has been a matter of debate in past elections whether they should even be conducted.

Further, by reason of the fact that six of the participants were from the same office - the prosecutor's office - it is easy to skew results if that group of participants votes as a block. Similarly, it is easy to skew results if one law firm in Friday Harbor of four attorneys also votes as a block.

Finally, Ms. Jewett was not a candidate in the subject bar poll. It is mere speculation how she would fare under the scrutiny of her peers in the local bar association. To conclude that she would have done better, as the two letter writers have suggested, is far from likely.

Lawrence Delay
Mark Kaiman
Colleen Kenimond
Jeffrey A. Lustick
Jonathan Rand

Supports Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

We have known Randy Gaylord for over 20 years. We have known his family for those decades. When we think of Randy, we do not think of him as the county prosecutor, we think of him as one of the most honorable, honest, hard-working people we know.

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about transparency in the prosecutor’s race. Let us repeat: Randy is one of the most honorable, honest, hard-working people we know. Those are the very qualities that define “transparency” in context of the job of prosecutor.

We do not know Randy’s opponent. But on the subject of “transparency” we have concerns. We are at a loss to understand how Power will function in a county position given his incredible conflict of interest. It seems he has lawsuits filed, or pending, against San Juan County. So what now? Power claims he will recuse himself. Is he suggesting we vote for him, and then allow his lawsuits to continue; all the while he is serving the county. What??

Please join us in voting for the candidate whose character and experience make him the most qualified to serve as San Juan’s County prosecutor. Please vote for Randy Gaylord.

Lance Evans & Janet Brownell
Orcas Island

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

As women, it is important to exercise our right to vote. This is not the time to be an armchair activist. It is a time to use your vote wisely. Research and listen to each candidate before you complete your ballot.

Steve Brandli is a candidate with strong foundations in the community. I have personally known Steve for 20 years. Steve was a business owner in Friday Harbor before he and his family made a permanent move to San Juan Island twelve years ago.

Steve represents experience, integrity and a very strong knowledge of the law.

Steve wears a strong cloth of justice knowing that each case is unique to each person involved.

I encourage you to join me in voting for Steve Brandli for San Juan County District Court Judge.

Mary E. Mager
Friday Harbor

Local Bar Had Rated Brandli's Candidacy

To the Editor

A survey distributed by the SYC Bar to its members rated Mr. Brandli and three others who sought the governor’s appointment to the Superior Court bench. Seventeen of twenty three respondents (74%) said Mr. Brandli was either “deficient” or “poor” in judicial temperament. Half also felt he was “deficient” or “poor” in fairness. Overall, 60% of respondents rated his candidacy as either “poor” or “deficient.” These are disturbing results which I hope voters will consider in the current District Court race between Mr. Brandli and Ms. Jewett.

Ms. Jewett is very smart, caring and passionate about public service. Her experience as Deputy Prosecutor has been in District Court so she’s well equipped to meet the job requirements. Jewett will be 100% committed, unlike Mr. Brandli who will maintain his private practice. While young, she’s only two years junior to John Linde when he was elected to this same position. Please vote for her!


David and Sondra Bayley
San Juan Island

Carolyn Jewett Responds To Brandli Charges Of Future Conflicts

To the Editor:

Any attorney practicing in District Court who runs to be the District Court Judge will have conflicts [Related letter, 3rd below -Ed], whether prosecution or defense. Luckily, in District Court the cases move quickly. After November 6, my office will begin the transitioning process and will begin assigning new cases to other attorneys, so that I won't have a conflict on those cases. Many cases that I am currently handling will resolve in that time as well. By the time I am sworn in as judge in January, I will still have cases that I will need to recuse myself from, just as Judge Loring did when she was sworn in last year. But over the course of just a few months, the majority of those conflicts will be resolved.

In contrast, a judge who keeps a legal practice on the side is continually creating new potential conflicts. Even if the judge never appears in court as an attorney, a lawyer shares a confidential relationship with each client. If that client comes into court on another matter, the judge may need to recuse himself because of his knowledge of that person and his representation in another matter. When I'm elected, I will dedicate myself to being a 100% judge, even though it's a three-quarters-time position. I will not keep a side practice and will not have a continuing source of conflict.

So, will I have conflicts? Of course. The same kind of conflicts that any attorney who practices in District Court would have: limited in time, and already resolving before I even take the bench. Furthermore, I'm proud to follow the tradition of our current District Court Judge in not keeping a side practice so that I do not create new conflicts while sitting as a judge.

Thank you,

Carolyn Jewett
San Juan Island

Supports Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

If you haven't voted yet, please please do so. There are two distinct choices for County Prosecutor, and by far the best choice is Randy Gaylord. I have lived and operated businesses in the San Juan Islands for over 40 years. For the last 24 years, Randy Gaylord has been one of the best elected officials this county has had. He is a knowledgeable, competent, compassionate and highly ethical prosecutor who knows and is in touch with the community he serves.

Randy's accomplishments for the citizens of the San Juans are numerous. They include writing the first ordinance that established a distance requirement between our killer whales and vessels and other objects. This became a model for subsequent state and federal regulations. Randy's office has enforced this law and urged the adoption of amendments by the state to enhance protection of this critically endangered signature species.

Randy wrote the ordinance prohibiting jet skis in San Juan County, and then defended that ordinance in challenges brought forth by the jet ski industry. Almost every year Randy receives inquiries from other states or countries asking for support as they address similar issues with jet skis.

Randy has been instrumental in helping island-centered solid waste programs. Lopez residents faced the closure and privatization of their garbage and recycling facility. Listening to the community, Gaylord crafted a plan to carve out a Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District from the countywide district. He then presented it to the County Council and wrote the enabling ordinance.

Randy’s opponent has made empty promises about being tough on drugs. The sheriff’s office, not the prosecutor’s office, investigates drug cases and then refers them to the prosecutor. Mr. Gaylord’s office files charges in every drug case that they are able to make a provable case on.

Mr. Power says he would file charges even if he would not be able to prove the charges. Someone running for prosecutor should know that a prosecutor who charges people without sufficient evidence abuses the power of his office and wastes valuable County time and resources.

Power’s criticism that Mr. Gaylord failed to prosecute Detective Parker is a misleading accusation. To ensure that neither bias nor improper influence played a role in the decision, Mr. Gaylord had a neutral and independent Skagit County Prosecutor determine whether charges should be filed. Randy made the right ethical decision in handling this difficult case.

Randy's opponent, Nick Power claims to be a progressive, a Democrat, and a supporter of Bernie Sanders. Those who believe that he is a progressive have been duped. Power’s words don’t match his actions.

Power joined the unsuccessful efforts of local property rights and anti-environmental protection individuals and organizations. He challenged the Critical Areas Ordinance, opposed the charter reform, and brought a frivolous lawsuit to unseat Jamie Stephens - Power still owes the county $10,000!

Power also represents ardent opponents of Democratic and progressive candidates, organizations, and elected officials. Power represents numerous frivolous lawsuits filed against San Juan County including the recent one by the Orcas school teacher for $10,000,000 that that has already been ruled against!

The San Juan County Democrats have endorsed Randy Gaylord, who has the experience that matters.

Dan Christopherson
Orcas Island

Nick Power Responds To Dehlendorf's Claims

To the Editor:

I have had absolutely no involvement in any way, at any time, with Mr. Morgan's campaign activities. I have, however, successfully represented Mr. Morgan in several pieces of campaign finance litigation.

I understand that Mr. Dehlendorf [See subject letter below -Ed] does not "like" Mr. Morgan because Mr. Morgan reported a Political Action Committee for which Mr. Dehlendorf was the treasurer to the Attorney General for various campaign finance violations. That PAC was then found to have been in violation as alleged and was fined by the AGO. (I might note, I was not at all involved with that case either and learned of it only after its conclusion).

It is a fact of life for attorneys that in many instances parties blame the attorneys associated with opposing parties for their legal troubles. This is what is happening here. Mr. Dehlendorf is conflating the values and beliefs of his political adversary with those of his his adversary's attorney.

Attorneys are hired to represent the interests of their clients and present cases based on fact and law. Indeed, the rules that govern the practice of law require us to represent our clients' interests without substituting our own interests and preferences for theirs. This is required by law.

I have represented hundreds of clients with hugely differing political viewpoints -- from extremely conservative to extremely liberal. Were I to somehow "adopt" my clients' world views and political beliefs as my own I would literally be schizophrenic. Rather I do what all ethical attorneys do -- represent as best I can the interest of my client.

Make no mistake, I have been a life-long Democrat. Indeed I was, in fact, a delegate for Bernie Sanders in 2016 -- and still have the faded bumperstickers on the family car to prove it. But I fear that Mr. Dehlendorf's required orthodoxy is precisely the sort of exclusionary sentiment that is at the root of the party's recent stumbles.

Underlying Mr. Dehlendorf's critique is a presumption that the Office of Prosecuting Attorney should be wielded as some sort of partisan tool. To me this is the anathema of what the philosophy of the Office should be. That is it should be to prosecute and advise without regard to partisan or political interests.

The fact that I have successfully and faithfully represented parties from across the political spectrum is exactly what qualifies me to discharge the duties of the office faithfully and in the furtherance of justice.

Nicholas Power
San Juan Island

Supports Randy Gaylord

To The Editor:

Dirty campaign tricks and other forms of voter suppression are the hallmarks of current
nationwide Republican election strategy. The national press abounds with examples of these

For a particularly egregious example in our state, read the Seattle Times article dated 10/19/18
at recent bogus campaign
mailers created by right-wing Republican Glen Morgan designed to deceive Democratic voters
in races for our state legislature in the 6th, 19th, and 26th legislative districts. Particularly
disingenuous is the newspaper’s statement that “Morgan on Friday said he sent the mailers
because he believes Democrats didn’t nominate candidates who were as progressive as that
party wants to be, and he wanted to highlight that.” Since when did Democrats anoint the antilabor
and anti-Democrat Morgan to make such decisions for us?

You may ask: Why should this article concern the voters of San Juan County? For starters,
local Republicans and Democrats alike should be outraged whenever there is a subversion of
our electoral system and democracy by either party anywhere in the country.

Moreover, their is a link between the activities described in the Seattle Times article and our
county’s November 6 election for Prosecuting Attorney. The perpetrator of the described
activities is none other than Glen Morgan, whom local candidate Nick Power represents in four
legal cases against Island County Democrats and three Democratic Legislative District
organizations. (Power also represents the anti-labor Freedom Foundation in a lawsuit against
Service Employees International Union 775.) I believe that thoughtful Democratic voters for the
Prosecuting Attorney position will disqualify Power, as the San Juan County Democrats did,
from consideration of their vote.

Please vote for Randy Gaylord for San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney.

David Dehlendorf
San Juan Island

Brandli Responds To "Will Keep His Law Practice If Judge"

To the Editor:

I write to correct some inaccurate information concerning my campaign. I have been very open about my intention, if elected as District Court Judge, to continue a very part-time practice. That practice will be limited to transactional matters, e.g. largely document drafting and advising. Transactional attorneys never see the inside of a courtroom. And my transactional practice will not create significant District Court conflicts.

I ask that voters consider the following facts:

• Our District Court judge is part-time (.77 FTE). Our retiring judge Stewart Andrew has been working part-time. There is no way to make it a full-time position without incurring additional costs for the county, e.g. staff time.
• The law allows part-time judges and commissioners to practice law. This is commonly done around the State.
• Our retired judge Donald Eaton practiced law for around 20 years while a juvenile court commissioner. Our first District Court judge, John Linde, also practiced law during his 20 year tenure.
• My intention is to practice very part-time, on average one day a week. I will only take non-urgent matters that will not create ethical or time conflicts with my District Court service.
• My current practice is 10 to 20% transactional, as it has been for the last 10 years. So I will essentially be discontinuing my litigation practice.
• In the entire 10 years that I have had a small transactional practice, not one of those matters gave rise to a District Court case. If I had been the District Court judge these last 10 years, I would have had no conflicts as a result of these transactional cases.

If conflicts are the concern, my opponent will have many of them due to her current work in District Court. About three-quarters of the weekly Wednesday criminal calendar involves cases that are more than 2 months old, and nearly all of the cases on the twice-monthly Tuesday criminal calendar are more than 6 months old. If elected, my opponent would not be able to hear these calendars for months, and will have significant conflicts for years. The county would have to hire a pro tem judge at considerable county expense to substitute on these cases while my opponent continues to draw her salary.

At least one supporter of my opponent has alleged that I am running for financial reasons. If I am elected, I will receive less, not more income. If money were a motivation, I would not be running.

I invite anyone with questions or concerns on this or any other subject to contact me. I will be happy to discuss my candidacy. Please call (360) 378-5544.

Steve Brandli
San Juan Island

Brandli Will Keep His Law Practice If Judge

To the Editor:

At the recent League of Women Voters candidates forum on Orcas one of the most disturbing statements emerged in the race for District Court Judge, between Carolyn Jewett and Steve Brandli. Brandli admitted that if elected he would keep open his private law practice “for transactions.”

Do we really want a judge who has a private law practice and all the potential conflicts that presents? Is Brandli just looking at the judgeship as a way to supplement his income? Is this not evidence of injudicious judgment?

My sense prior to the forum was that Carolyn Jewett is the superior candidate. I now have no doubt that Carolyn Jewett should be our next District Court Judge. I urge you to vote for her.

Richard Grout
San Juan Island

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

I have known and worked with Steve Brandli since he moved here. I have worked with and against Steve many times over the years and I have seen first-hand the respect with which he treats others, even opposing parties. Steve’s depth of knowledge and experience is just what our Court needs. As a lawyer whose practice includes District Court in many Washington counties, I see the desperate need for an experienced judiciary in other counties. Small Claims and District Court is where many people who cannot afford expensive legal help end up for resolution to their legal issues. A District Court Judge with compassion, experience, and large breadth of knowledge is required. Because many litigants in District Court are self-represented they depend on the Judge to know the law and apply it to their cases fairly. Our local court system will be lucky to have an experienced attorney handling District Court. I hope you vote in any event and I think you should vote for Steve Brandli for San Juan County District Court Judge.

Shawn Alexander

We Support Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

We are former Victim Advocates who worked closely with Randy Gaylord in the Victim Services Program, and we write to support his re-election. Randy Gaylord has proved his commitment to victims in the criminal justice system.

Randy applied for grant funding to create the Victim Services Program for San Juan County, which opened its doors in 1998. Since then, each of us has had the privilege of working with victims in a Prosecutor’s Office that commands an understanding of the complex and sensitive needs of crime victims; that brings respect and empowerment to victims; and that properly uses the criminal justice system to hold offenders accountable and protect the rights of those harmed by crime.

Those of us who were present know that his opponent misrepresented Randy’s leadership in uncovering the misconduct of a detective. From our perspective, Randy did the right thing in that difficult case and time and again he has correctly balanced his ethical duties, responsibility to the victim, and safety of the community.

Having worked with Randy and the victims who come through his office, we support Randy as the Prosecutor who will continue to competently uphold the law, diligently protect victims, and honor their rights.

Sandra Burt
Christine Miller
Liz Pillow
Susan Kimball
Karen Kunde

Supports Ron Krebs

To the Editor:

I  do  not  “Rant  and  Rave”.    I  rarely  talk  politics,  and  I  cannot  remember  ever  writing  a  letter   to  a  newspaper.    I  do  not  enjoy  arguments  and  conflict.    Despite  this  fact,  after  attending  the   League  of  Women  Voters  candidate  forum  on  San  Juan  Island  last  week,  I  must  break  from   this  practice.    While  there,  I  listened  in  disbelief  as  Jeff  Asher  explained  that  the  reason  I   (and  21  others)  voted,  as  a  member  of  the  Sheriff’s  guild,  to  support  Ron  Krebs  for  sheriff   was  because  I  wanted  to  “go  along  to  get  along”.      I  understand  that  he  repeated  this  theory  
at  the  forum  on  Orcas  Island  this  week.        

Let  me  set  the  record  straight.    I  voted  to  support  Ron  Krebs  because  I  respect  him  and  feel   he  is  by  far  the  best  candidate  for  the  job.    

 For  Asher  to  imply  that  25  out  of  26  guild  members  did  not  support  Asher  because  they   feared  retaliation  from  the  Sheriff  is  not  only  ridiculous,  it  is  insulting  to  every  deputy,   dispatcher,  sergeant,  detective,  and  corrections  officer  in  the  group.    This  is  not  a  group  of   passive,  submissive,  insecure  people.    Truth  is,  it  is  difficult  to  bring  this  group  to  consensus  
on  anything.    

stated  he  “has  not  met  most  of  the  officers”  who  voted  and  “has  not  worked  with   them”.    There  are  17  members  of  the  guild  on  San  Juan  Island  alone  that  have  worked  with   Jeff  daily,  most  of  them  for  years.      And  I  would  be  shocked  if  there  is  a  single  member  that   Jeff  “has  not  met”  at  one  of  our  trainings,  qualifying  days,  or  in  some  other  work  situation.        
Jeff  did  say  two  things  that  were  true.  He  said  that  Krebs  “has  tremendous  control  over  this   [guild  support]”.    Krebs  does,  through  his  performance  as  Sheriff,  have  tremendous  control  
over  the  way  we  as  a  guild  vote.    If  he  is  a  good  leader  and  manager,  if  he  treats  his  people   with  respect  and  justice,  if  he  is  the  best  candidate  for  the  job,  we  will  support  him.    If   anybody  felt  Jeff  was  the  better  man  for  the  job,  they  would  have  voted  to  support  him.     They  did  not.  

 Trying  to  explain  away  the  nearly  unanimous  guild  support  for  Krebs,  Jeff  also  said,  “people   are  indebted  to  him  [Krebs]”  as  though  we  only  supported  Krebs  because  he  allows  us  to   work  here.    Well,  I  am  indebted  to  Krebs,  but  not  the  way  Jeff  says.    “People”  should  be   indebted  to  Krebs,  and  not  just  the  guild  members,  but  the  public  as  well.    Ron  has  done  a great  job  raising  the  level  of  performance,  professionalism,  consistency,  accountability,  and   morale  within  the  Sheriff’s  Office.    All  these  things  contribute  to  a  safer  community  and   better-­‐served  public  in  San  Juan  County.  

 I  will  be  voting  for  Ron  Krebs  (of  my  own  free  will)  in  November,  and  I  strongly  encourage   you  to  do  the  same.    

Andy  Urbach
San Juan Island  

Supports Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

I'd like to share three things that stand out for me about our Prosecuting Attorney/Coroner Randy Gaylord.

When a family water crashed their small airplane just off the northwest tip of Orcas three of the four escaped from the plane before it sank. Randy rallied all of the governmental resources he had nurtured over the years and within hours had the Coast Guard and US Navy on site. He had pledged to the family that he'd be there for them to personally recover their young daughter from the wreckage, and he did.

A body was smelled by hikers in Moran Park. The person was so decomposed that only a few obscure clues were available for investigation. Most people would have given up on trying to locate family or friends of the deceased. Randy was like a dog with a bone rounding all resources to maintain his standard of doing everything possible for everyone who dies.

A young island family facing the terminal diagnosis of the father wanted him to be buried on their multi-generation farm. Randy worked with passion to enable the family to accomplish their loved ones legal burial on their private land. Thanks to Randy we now all have the unique option of green burial in San Juan County.

I feel so fortunate to be able to vote for Randy Gaylord's reelection to the office of Prosecuting Attorney!

Bill Wulff

Supports Candidate Not Misleading Voter

To the Editor:

I received a dire email from a candidate for prosecuting attorney warning of Methamphetamine and Heroine in our schools. This is a fear tactic to get your vote and is not supported by data.

The state of Washington has an active, ongoing survey program of drug use in schools. While I can’t speak to the entirety of San Juan County, the data for Orcas Island Schools shows (1) a decline in overall rates, (2) a decline in the frequency of use and (3) an overall delay in first use by students.

You can vote for any candidate you choose, but if you’re doing it because of drugs in our schools, you’re being misled.

I personally will vote for the candidate who is not misleading the voters with fear.

Anthony Simpson

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

his election cycle, on both the local and national level, has presented us with some very divisive rhetoric. It seems to be the political standard. Too much is written and gossiped about why we shouldn’t vote for one candidate or the other and not nearly enough about why we should. On a local level, I truly believe that anyone willing to put themselves before the public as a political candidate is worthy of praise. Local politics involve pointed, specific and often personal attacks that have as much to do with the candidates ability to do their job as they do with their chosen attire on any given Saturday morning.

And so it is with this in mind that I write in support of Nick Power for the office of Prosecuting Attorney for San Juan County.

In my interactions and discussions with Nick I have found him to be a thoughtful and concerned citizen that has chosen San Juan County as a home for his family for many of the same reasons that I have. His understanding of the role of the Prosecuting Attorney as not only an advisor to the county offices but an advocate for county residents aligns with my beliefs of the intent of the office. His interests in the application of both county and state law are not rooted in affiliations to outside or special interests, but instead in assuring that law is applied equally, fairly, and above all transparently. I believe Nick will hold himself and his office to those same ideals. His willingness to step into difficult discussions such as addiction and mental health in our community, seeking to work towards creative solutions, is necessary to make forward progress on these complex and difficult issues. I believe he is the right candidate for right now.

It is with appreciation for the efforts and contributions of both candidates that in this election, I encourage a vote for Nick Power.

Justin Paulsen
San Juan Island

Supports Jeff Asher

To the Editor:

You need to elect Jeff Asher for Sheriff!

No, I’m not someone trying to get a friend elected. I’m not personal friends with Jeff and only know him through a professional relationship. I worked with Jeff when he was assigned as the lead detective with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

Jeff is someone I really appreciated working with. I found him to be extremely thorough and determined, something really needed in a law enforcement administrator. He showed me that he really cared about the community that he lives and works in and not just as a cop but a member of that same community.

Jeff is not just a nice guy who cares. He is also a professional. With 30 years experience behind him, he had the breadth of knowledge needed to manage the Sheriff’s Office. Experienced in patrol, investigations and marine services, Jeff understands of a community like San Juan County surrounded by water and on an international border.

Jeff Asher has taken the time to build great relationships with other agencies, both local and federal; which is how I came to meet him. He is honest, sincere and will do his best to honor the community by being the respected Sheriff you ask for.

Vote for Jeff Asher. You’ll be glad you did.

John Pritchard

Supports Ron Krebs

To the Editor:

I have had a very gratifying career in law enforcement for forty-five years. I worked for the U.S.A.F, the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office, University of Washington, and San Juan County Sheriff’s office. I retired as your Undersheriff in March 2018. During my many years in law enforcement I worked under a number of different leaders. Sheriff Ron Krebs is one of the best.

Sheriff Krebs is focused on the needs of the office and the community. He is a fair and caring leader. When Sheriff Krebs first took office, he understood the need to set standards and policies for the deputies and dispatchers to follow for both the good of the office and the community. He established obtainable standards and for the first time for many employees, he enforced them.

The stress of a campaign will reflect the true personalities of the candidates. I have been following the campaign although I no longer live in San Juan County. Sheriff Ron Krebs has demonstrated a positive, focused campaign whereas his opponent, Jeff Asher and his supporters have become negative and hurtful in their attacks. The office of Sheriff is stressful and demanding. Who do you want to be your Sheriff? I recommend and urge you to re-elect Sheriff Ron Krebs, lets continue excellence.

Brent D. Johnson
San Juan Island

Supports Brandli

To the Editor:

We first met the Brandlis when we had just moved to the island and were checking out various day cares for our son Henry. It was on our final stop that we met a little boy named Ro, who walked right up to Henry and began to play with him as we talked to the teachers and the director. They became fast friends as 2 year olds often do. A couple of days later when I was picking Henry up, another couple came to pick up there child. I was surprised to see that this white couple was picking up their African American child. We learned that they were foster parents and had Ro with them since he was an infant. Right away I was struck by the bond they had as a family, BJ was outwardly sunny and friendly and Steve was polite and calm. Ro clearly adored them and they him. In fact, it was because of the Brandlis that we decided to begin our own journey as foster parents and asked them for lots of advice and looked to them for basic information and comfort when navigating the complex foster care system.

When BJ and Steve were presented with the opportunity to adopt Ro, they chose instead to work with a family who Ro could more easily identify with growing up. I know what some people might be thinking, how could they "give away" the child that they raised? It was simple, Steve and his wife knew that Ro's life and his future was more important than what they needed for themselves. They knew that having Ro grow up with siblings and parents who looked similar to him would help him find his own identity easier.

A few months later we brought home our first foster child (who we would end up adopting a year later). She was really shy, she was nervous and scared. I kept her close to me, carrying her around on my hip everywhere we went. She spoke just a little bit and was clearly nervous. One day that week, I took her into Market Chef, Steve was there sitting with his wife having lunch. I said hello to them and introduced our foster daughter and our foster daughter literally DOVE out of my arms and right into Steve's lap.

What is that saying? Never trust people that animals and kids don't like? While Steve talked to her and asked her questions, his wife doted on her and I just watched as our girl just began to shine in all the light they cast upon her.

Over the years we have had 2 legal issues where we needed advice, Steve was always the first one we would call. What I liked best about him was that even though we considered him a friend he was very straightforward, professional and realistic with us. He delivered information to us in such a calm way that even if the news was bad, we felt safe and trusted the choices he made.

I am so thankful that we met little Ro that day (incidentally Steve and BJ give us updates on Ro and are still very much involved with him as family friends), and that the Brandlis came into our lives. Without them, we would not have our daughter. We know that no matter what is going on, if we need help with our kids, someone to join our fundraiser, legal advice or just a kind hello on the sidewalk we can count on them.

I can't imagine voting for anyone other than Steve Brandli. I know that he has the heart and mind to listen, carefully organize facts, be sensitive to a person's story and so many other factors when it comes to making sometimes hard choices in a court room.

Sara Jensen
San Juan

Yes For Homes

To the Editor:

Yes on Homes in San Juan County? YES!

It’s critical that we vote ‘Yes' on this initiative so that residents of all financial levels may have housing. Many people have little assurance that they can both work and live in San Juan County. Many employers are unable to find employees due to the housing crisis. Each needs the other; it is incumbent on the voting public to help change this problem.

November 6th is an opportunity to do that at the polls. Yes on Homes in San Juan County? Vote YES!

Eileen Drath
San Juan Island

A reluctant Yes for Homes

To the Editor:

It doesn't take a history degree to see that tax increases are primitive attempts at problem solving. Yes San Juan County has a bad affordable housing situation. It's been this way since we moved to Friday Harbor in 1999. Proposition 1 is a lame way of kicking the problem down the road. It doesn't help working families trying to buy their first home. At least the resolution could have set a threshold (say $500K) and only taxed purchases above that price. I give San Juan County Council a C for effort and a D- for creativity on Proposition 1. Get back to work! This is a supply and demand problem. We need more homes. We need more rentals. A Yes vote for Proposition 1 is better than doing nothing.

Jay Ibold
San Juan Island

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

I met Nick in 2013, when he first began his legal practice in Friday Harbor. He represented me in a particular situation at that time. Nick was completely available, clear about his intentions, creative in his method and a great person to have at my back.

We remain on friendly terms since that time and my opinion of Nick has not wavered. What I have grown to appreciate over the past few years, is his passionate commitment to some of the very serious problems facing the county. My own experience of SJC is an attitude of "if we don't mention it, it doesn't exist", far too much of the time. The islands are not immune from the foibles of the larger culture - quite the contrary. I believe that Nick Power understands this completely. I also believe that he will do what he says he will do - and prosecute those who blatantly endanger our citizens to the full extent the law allows.

Nick and his wife, Penelope, have demonstrated full commitment to their chosen home. Raising young women in our current culture is not an easy task. Our children are the proof in the pudding. I believe that they both represent something fundamentally good about us all.

Nick will make an outstanding Prosecuting Attorney. Change is good. I support him wholeheartedly.

Susan Weiss
San Juan Island

Washington Law Enforcement Says Vote NO on I-1639

To the Editor:

Proponents for I-1639 say it is an initiative for ‘Safe Schools and
Communities’ gun control. However all three major law enforcement
organizations in the State of Washington are asking you to vote NO. As
a recently retired officer with 30 years of experience I can tell that
no one is more interested in ‘Safe Schools and Communities’ than law
enforcement, but the Washington State Sheriffs Association WSSA, the
Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs WACOPS and the Washington
State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association WSLEFIA all

WSLEFIA says I-1639 will do nothing to stop criminals “and is only
directed at our good citizens, who already pass multiple background
checks before owing a firearms” and it is “an attack on civil rights
and is an attempt to marginalize all firearms owners, including law
enforcement” and “will impair public safety”.

“WACOPS believes that I-1639 contains provisions that are in clear
violation both state and federal individual Constitutional Rights,
which as law enforcement officers, WACOPS members are sworn to
uphold.” They further state that “if passed I-1639 would impose
significant restrictions on a citizen’s ability to possess and access
commonly owned firearms for lawful self-defense”.

The Washington State Sheriffs Association has the unique perspective
of being made up of law enforcement leaders directly elected by the
residents of Washington’s various counties and with this broad range
of interests and experience and they oppose Initiative 1639.

Washington Law Enforcement says Vote No on I-1639.

Scott Brennan
San Juan Island

Detectives Support Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

Since Ron became Sheriff he has implemented considerable change within the office, particularly when it comes to the accountability of our officers. The habits and perspectives of the past have given way to newly hired proactive officers who are dedicated to their responsibilities.

The members of the Sheriff's Guild have voted overwhelmingly to support Ron in this election. It was recently suggested by a citizen that this may be due to fear of retaliation from Ron should he win, which could not be further from the truth. This simply is not in Ron's character and such an opinion certainly does not reflect the integrity of the women and men of the guild, who incidentally voted to support Ron in his first election as Sheriff as well.

The morale in this department has never been as strong. There have also been some irresponsible and damaging missives, written in a toxic and hypercritical manner about our office and investigations. It would be far more productive that before one digresses to such wild and negative conclusions, they base their opinion on fact rather than rumor and conjecture or their own political agenda. There's far too much vitriol within the discourse of our society as it is. Our offices are open to anyone who wishes to understand our investigative procedures.

It is our responsibility to complete a thorough and comprehensive investigation before taking the liberties from someone suspected of committing a crime. Simple accusation is not enough. A sound case must be presented to the Prosecutor's Office in order to ensure a successful prosecution. Of course, if a crime has been committed and we have Probable Cause to arrest a suspect, this happens in a heartbeat while at the scene. That said, we understand the frustration of many because we in law enforcement live it every day in our efforts to find the truth and ultimately become the victim's advocate.

Our suggestion is that we keep Ron around and allow him to continue to do his best for us all.

Detective Lukas Peter
Detective Lachlan Buchanan

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

I have lived on San Juan Island since 2002 and have been practicing law for nearly forty years. I have known Nick Power since I began practicing law in Washington, starting in 2013.

Nick is tremendously imaginative, articulate and smart. He fights hard for his clients to make sure his client gets a fair shake. He does quality work, has broad experience and has litigated in a number of Washington counties. I have no doubt he will do a good job as Prosecuting Attorney.

I have also seen examples of the work of the current Prosecuting Attorney. In a few matters involving people I know, I have witnessed what I consider to be bullying conduct over what should have been easily-resolved disputes. In matters where Nick has represented individuals seeking to vindicate their rights against the County, I have seen the current Prosecutor take a dogmatic, stubborn and uncompromising attitude, needlessly driving up litigation costs, especially where the County has to spend tens of thousands of dollars on outside counsel. I assume this waste will continue if the incumbent remains in office.

I wholeheartedly endorse the candidacy of Nicholas Power for district attorney of San Juan County.

Supports Brandli

We hired Stephen A. Brandli as our attorney in a local boundary dispute. I was floored by the depth and breadth of Steve's real estate knowledge and I continually refer clients to him. He's a great attorney but he's also a great person who's truly committed to fairness and justice. He helped us win our case while encouraging us to be respectful of the opposite party, in this case the defendant. We couldn't be more thankful for his wise counsel and know that he'll be an exceedingly fair judge as he is an attorney.’

Lauren Sands
Friday Harbor

Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

I support Randy Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney because has demonstrated exceptional leadership during his many years in that position. He has continued to advocate for the rights of the members of our community and for environmental protection of our islands. Just two examples: Randy has been a leader in protecting the rights of victims of crimes and in protecting our environment and our quality of life including many land use cases and protection of Orca whales. In addition, he has held leadership positions as president of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Washington Association of County Officials, which in both cases increased his knowledge and expertise as our prosecuting attorney.

Randy has the personal qualities of an exceptional leader: honesty, integrity, passion, compassion, creativity, pride in his work. He brings energy, experience, wisdom and talent to this important position.

Today, it is critical that we elect to public office: a) someone who is genuinely committed to serving all the people they represent, b) someone whose motives we can trust, c) someone who understands what their position requires of them and has demonstrated the ability to serve the members of their community well.

Randy Gaylord has consistently demonstrated these leadership qualities time and again in many challenging legal contexts. He will continue to serve us well with our support.

Art Lange

Supports Carolyn Jewett For Judge

Tot the Editor:

The recent political drama over the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice has added another dose of angst to our society, in part because of the standards we expect from our Judiciary - no overt political partiality, calm demeanour, and honesty. I share the following from the American Bar Association:

A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

A judge shall perform the duties of judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently.

A judge shall conduct the judge’s personal and extrajudicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with the obligations of judicial office.
I believe that Carolyn Jewett exemplifies these qualities, attributes, and values, and will continue to do so as District Court Judge. These qualities can be found in a person regardless of age or sex. Please do not dismiss her because of her youthful appearance. If you have any questions about her abilities, qualifications, experience and dedication to the judicial system, I encourage you to contact her at or, visit her website at, or send a letter to the Committee to Elect Carolyn Jewett for District Court, P.O. Box 3378, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.


Judith L. Chovan
San Juan Island

Supports Asher For Sheriff

To the Editor:

I am a recently retired law enforcement officer with nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience, preceded by six years of Police Explorer and a Police Cadet prep work. I write this letter of endorsement for Jeff Asher in his candidacy for Sheriff of San Juan County. I do so after reviewing the clear written plan of action Jeff has developed for the Department as well as interviewing and talking with him over the course of his race for office. In addition, I do so without reservation as, in the 6 1/2 years I have known Jeff, I have found him to be an honorable and caring man who has always done what he says he will do.

Transparency and community policing are just some of what Jeff Asher will bring to the San Juan County Sheriffs Office with his over thirty-three years in law enforcement experience. He will lead with professionalism and has already developed a blue print to lead the agency into modern policing with the community.

He will guide and mentor the Deputies and staff to a professional level. He will emphasize family, their own and their law enforcement family, into the organization to bring pride back to the Sheriffs Office. He will treat Department members with dignity,respect and professionalism. He will honor those that serve, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

He will bring transparency to the organization with community partnerships, networking and programs. His leadership will emphasize true community policing and problem solving at all levels of the organization. He will hold all personnel accountable while being firm but fair; including substantiated citizen complaints and avoidable accidents. Jeff will set the standards high and utilize personnel appropriately for the community and organizational needs. New employees will go thru a vigorous vetting process to include a standardized field training program for all hired sworn personnel. All supervisors will be working in the community to effectively nurture the community partnerships by listening to their needs, responding to calls but also to supervise their personnel.

He will find innovative ways for recruiting including a youth program, reestablishing the Reserve program, and continuing recruitment to find the best qualified personnel for the next generation of Deputies for the County.

He will look for modern, contemporary and relevant training for personnel to bring back in to the agency and community. Personnel will receive live training in Crisis Intervention and work with mental health and chemical dependency organizations to help those persons in need. He will work with the Prosecutors Office and the Judges to establish specialty diversion courts and put an emphasis on treatment before incarceration. He will ensure that the agency meets or exceeds training requirement and laws regulating the organization.

I urge you all to vote with me. You vote for your community when you vote Jeff Asher for Sheriff.


Steve Johns

Supports Asher For Sheriff

To the Editor:

I write to wholeheartedly endorse Jeff Asher for the position of Sheriff of San Juan County.

I have known Jeff for over 20 years, having met him in my then capacity as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I was stationed in Bellingham from 1997 until my retirement at the end of 2010.

Jeff, as a detective with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, was extremely helpful whenever I had to contact people on the Islands. He guided and accompanied me, and literally made boats and airplanes available to me when needed. In my 34 years if FBI service

around the US, I met few law enforcement officers who were as helpful to me as Jeff. In addition, we collaborated on investigations from time to time. I found Jeff’s skills as an investigation to be second to none.

I know that Jeff, as a lifelong resident of the islands, cares deeply about the community.

In particular, he is concerned about the effects of drug abuse, including the distribution of illegal drugs, as well as the illegal sale and use of prescription narcotics.

I find Jeff to be a man of the highest integrity, and of the highest professional standards.

It is my pleasure to give Jeff the highest recommendation, without reservation or hesitation, in his bid to become the next Sheriff of San Juan County.

James T. Powers

Call For Civility

To the Editor:

This will have been a hotly contested election. There have been allegations of errors, omissions and behavior, some of which but for the public stature of the targets, might arguably be libelous, and in the time-honored tradition of one corner of our community, are posted anonymously. I’m not commenting on the allegations themselves, I’m concerned about the tone.

Our community is already economically stratified, itself a major challenge. Do we really want to make our internal barriers higher? As a community, we have serious issues to deal with. You all know them so there’s no point listing them here.

Whether or not we agree on politics, we’re all in this together. If everyone expects to gain, everyone must contribute. We have to make things work, not just as they are but the way they must. When the smoke of this election clears, opponents must become allies. Simple civility suffices. We could start now.

Bill Appel

Questions On Sheriff's Guild Endorsement

To the Editor:

How do I Fairly Navigate the Sheriff’s Guild Endorsement?

I recently read the endorsement from the sheriff’s guild and am trying to determine the importance of the letter on both sides. It’s very clear the letter was specifically written to show the support for Sheriff Krebs and the lack of support for Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Asher.

What worries me is everything surrounding the letter and what the letter doesn’t say. Deputy Asher was a whistle blower that has reported retaliation within the department (as shown in Asher’s letters to Gaylord). Most of the letters from previous employees in the department are critical of the department under Krebs. There are numerous community concerns - from increased drug issues, improper vetting of employees, improperly investigated domestic violence welfare checks, excessive Facebook usage, and, among other things, overall improper treatment of women, especially victims of sexual assault.

When we review the Guild Endorsement, we are not just looking at employees that support Krebs because they feel he’s the best. We are also looking at:

1. Deputies who may have cleared an inferior background check in this county and worry that upon review they will be brought under scrutiny (may not be able to get a job elsewhere)
2. Deputies who may have participated in retaliatory behaviors upon Asher’s whistle blowing and are concerned about their jobs if new leadership enters
3. Deputies who have witnessed the treatment of Asher and former employees that are scared to put a target on their own back by voting against Krebs.

I am pro law enforcement. I think it’s amazing to have people in the world willing to risk their lives for the people in their community. I understand it is a difficult job and a lot of people don’t really understand the process of law. Furthermore, it is difficult in a small community to not be protective of deputies you know on a personal level, but it shouldn’t make them immune to oversight.

Everyone should be asking questions about Sheriff Krebs lying to the counsel and why the background investigation on Parker wasn’t completed to basic nationwide standards, among other things. Everyone should be interested why Deputy Asher has had to send representatives to different debates/speaking events - is it because he is being refused the time-off requests. If so, why are we allowing the supervisors (department leaders) to manipulate the community’s ability to make an informed decision. That behavior is unethical and, if the command structure allows that type of manipulation when trying to protect the status quo, how will we ever know if they do the same behind closed doors with defendants?

Some of these deputies have a lot to lose if the leadership changes. Let’s face it, changing the Sheriff could mean disciplinary action for deputies, dispatchers, or corrections deputies. Losing a job here isn’t like on the mainland - you can’t just lateral to a neighboring department and keep your family in the same house and kids in the same school district. It means a move off-island, and that is scary. The unknown is scary for these deputies and their families, and they are defending the status quo with full force because it protects them.

Are the members of the Sheriff’s Guild able to separate what’s best for them from what’s best for the community? Can a department where there has been any type of credibility related indiscretions really remain impartial? I don’t believe so.


Jenny Fouquette
San Juan Island

Yes For Homes

To the editor: October 6, 2018

YES FOR HOMES " because:
The Land Bank is one the best things about this county, and indeed was one of the things that drew us here over 11 years ago. It was and is an indicator of some of the values we deem critical for a healthy community. Now a huge bonus is that it is an avenue to address a critical need. That is the ability to piggy back on the same legislation to set up a mechanism for helping to solve the undeniable issue of housing, most importantly low- and medium income housing in our county. This is a critical issue for the entire community.

Lack of housing is a very well-known challenge, no matter what your situation. We have seen teachers, health care workers, service industry people and all kinds of other diverse professional members of our community be scared off or profoundly discourage by the problem of finding housing, let alone affordable housing.

I don’t know about anybody else but I have a strong desire to having a healthy mix of cultural, social and income demographics with which to live and thrive. So much more enriching and emotionally fulfilling. We cannot be whole without this spectrum of folks.

I urge all voters of San Juan County to support this opportunity to attract families who will enrich our communities.


Lynette Roberts
San Juan Island

PROP1: “FIX” Cost Of Housing By INCREASING The Cost Of Housing??

To the Editor:

We all agree that finding “affordable housing” in San Juan County is difficult. Living in these islands has always come at a high cost.
When it comes to housing there are several factors that have added to this challenging problem.

A major factor in the of loss of affordable housing is due to the lack of affordable rental units. One cause is the transformation of affordable rental space into V.R.B.O’s; after all, renting by the night or week is much more profitable than long term rental. This is in part caused by subsidized housing itself. Subsidized housing takes away more than the best reasons to own instead of rent property; building equity and the increased value of your private ownership home. But these subsidized houses have caused a far greater problem: a lack of capital investment in our community. The need for more rental property should be covered by private investment and building of rental units. Government housing has failed miserably all over our country and the world for that matter. From the ghetto's of the east coast to the “commie blocks” of Eastern Europe. Government housing creates no increase in personal equity or value increase. In fact in most cases traps the very people they are designed to help.

Additionally the land bank/land trust consumes large amounts of land and not only takes these lands off the tax roll but limits the amount of free market land available. An additional cause to the high cost of housing is that to obtain funding for the land bank a 1% surcharge (tax) is assessed to every private land transaction; creating a double whammy! Yes I know... we all love the open land that has been set aside. However, these beautiful open areas could have been preserved by proper zoning in the first place.

How is initiating an additional real estate excise tax at 0.5% going to “lower” housing costs or encourage developers to create affordable rental units? This seems nuts to me and I hope everyone will join me in voting no for this ridiculous proposal.

Proposition 1: Affordable Housing Real Estate Excise Tax - The local SJC initiative for "Affordable Housing" by making housing less affordable by tacking on a .5% excise tax on all real estate transactions.

It gets worse, they want this increase to go on for TWELVE YEARS.

Cal Bucholz
San Juan Island

Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

My 12 years of service as civil deputy prosecuting attorney in San Juan County gives me a certain perspective on the upcoming election for Prosecuting Attorney.

There are key questions voters should ask when deciding who should be Prosecuting Attorney.

1. Does the candidate have enough experience to execute the responsibilities of the job? The job of Prosecuting Attorney involves criminal misdemeanors and felony cases and a wide spectrum of areas that constitute municipal law. This includes the representation of the Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff and Treasurer as well as all county departments ranging from Health and Community Services to Public Works and the Land Bank. The Prosecutor is responsible for complex issues regarding the adoption and defense of land use regulations. He must be knowledgeable in all these areas in order to give effective representation.

The Prosecutor supervises four attorneys and seven support staff including Victim Services. The office budget is over a million dollars.

Randy Gaylord has been an attorney for over thirty years and has successfully run the office for twenty four. He has expertise in all the many areas of law required to be Prosecuting Attorney. Nick Power has five years of experience as a practicing attorney; all of it as a solo practitioner in Friday Harbor.

2. Can the candidate unequivocally advocate for San Juan County as its elected attorney? Power is currently representing seven clients with lawsuits or claims against the county totaling twelve million dollars. This creates a morass of ethical problems that will severely limit his ability to represent the County as its elected advocate.

Randy has the high level of legal experience required to do the job. He has no conflicts that prevent him from being a strong advocate for the County. I support him wholeheartedly for the office of Prosecuting Attorney.

Karen Vedder
San Juan Island

Supports Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

Although I have not entered the fray regarding the election of our Sheriff in the years past, I feel that I should add my perspective, not only as a citizen but also as a concerned member of our law enforcement community. Over the last fourteen years, I've worked as a Detective under the command of three Sheriffs and four Under Sheriffs. Coming from experience with two large police agencies prior to my employment here, I understand the either productive, neglective or oppressive styles of more supervisors and command staff than I can list. I've experienced the dedication and honesty of some supervisors or the lack thereof, and readily recognize when such persons carry the integrity of a real leader.

My experience with Ron when he was a Deputy and then as our Sheriff over the last several years rivals the best qualities I've seen in any of those who are dedicated to this kind of work. It's a constant challenge, as some may know. It may sound like a cliche to call our path "a calling", but for some of us that's exactly what it is. For Ron, particularly so. I'm constantly impressed by comments I hear from him around the office, about reports that come in, people who have a complaint, victims who need particular attention and every Deputy who is responsible for an investigation. The man is hands on. He somehow involves himself in virtually every investigation, from an animal complaint to a homicide or sexual assault, he's there asking questions and making suggestions.

I see him in the community interacting with everyone from the business owner to the school student, from a visiting tourist to someone in our lockup who needs to be heard. Ron cares. He cares about his staff and although he can be quite critical at times, he's always encouraging and stands by his adage that his door is always open. This is true not only for us who work for him, but equally so for anyone off the street. If he's in a meeting or addressing an issue with one of us, he takes the time to ensure that the stranger who walks into our lobby wishing to speak to the Sheriff is made to feel welcome and that their concern is as important to him as it may be to them. Truly outstanding qualities.

The members of the Sheriff's Guild have voted overwhelmingly to support Ron in this election, which is a statement from all that things are working well. I don't recall the morale of the Sheriff's Office to ever be this strong. My suggestion is that we all keep Ron around and allow him to continue to do his best for everyone, as you won't find anyone more qualified or who understands and cares for the needs of our community as much as he.

Lachlan Buchanan
San Juan Island

Not Supporting Gaylord

To the Editor:

In voting for County Prosecutor, please consider the following:
The defining moment in Gaylord’s current term was the disposition of the accusations made against Detective Stephen Parker.

Due to perceived conflicts of interest, Gaylord delegated the investigation to prosecutors in Skagit County. Skagit initially concluded that Parker’s sexual relationship with the victim was “not substantiated”. Conflict of interest or not, San Juan County intervened and Skagit re-opened the investigation. In the words of its County Prosecutor, he “considered a few criminal charges”. He did not consider all charges and ultimately declined to file any charges. According to Mike Carter of The Seattle Times, Skagit’s County Prosecutor did not for example investigate the charge of perjury, assuming Gaylord would do so.

In sum, no charges were filed against Parker - not for rape, abuse of power as a police officer, misappropriation of County assets, disclosing privileged documents, committing perjury under oath, pressuring a witness, or violating multiple sections of the Rules of Conduct of the Sheriff’s Office. Parker was not incarcerated and did not pay any fines. Recently a State commission slapped Parker on the wrist, revoking his officer certification.

The case gives the appearance of the unequal application of justice when applied to a police officer. It gives the appearance of an investigation not vigorously pursued.

Gaylord’s decisions, his lack of clear direction in delegating the case to Skagit prosecutors, and his closed-mind before the County Council raise serious doubts about his leadership of our County’s criminal justice system. Most fundamentally, they question his commitment to truth and justice.

Gaylord has also demonstrated that he is not, as he asserts, compassionate. He prosecuted a respected person I know who was then incarcerated at the Coupeville jail and later transferred to the privately-operated Yakima jail. As part of the transfer, Coupeville recorded a reduction in his sentence for good behavior and Yakima posted this earlier release date. San Juan County immediately objected and directed - on November 2, 2017 to be precise - Yakima to ignore the reduction in sentence for good behavior. This is contrary to State law which states that the facility having jurisdiction determines time-off for good behavior. The prisoner retained counsel, and in late December Gaylord acquiesced (after the prisoner had incurred $6400 in legal bills) to an early release date - a date however a week beyond that posted by Yakima and one or two days beyond the prisoner’s eligibility to apply for citizenship. He would not agree to the posted date unless ordered to do so by a Court -" a process with ruinous legal fees for the prisoner.

Gaylord’s actions were callous, punitive and extortionary - brutal words, but an honest assessment.
One further point. The Yakima jail is a dirty, crowded holding tank -" distant from family and friends, zero educational offerings, rare recreational opportunities, poor food, ethnic division, clean clothes once a week. No one enters this facility and returns a better citizen. Gaylord bears partial responsibility for incarcerating our young people in this Dickensian tank.

Rob deGravre
San Juan Island

Supports Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

I’m endorsing re-electing Ron Krebs for San Juan County Sheriff. Let me tell you about this bloke!

As many of you know, I have been a whale watch captain for 17 years. Recently I started a non-profit, Orca Protection & Rescue, because I have become disenchanted with the whale watch industry and how it continues to grow, and how bad some operators operate around the whales.

Recently I met with Sheriff Krebs for some advice, he asked me about the Southern Resident Killer Whales, and it was clear that he knew nothing about them. About a month later we reconnected over lunch and he said to me, I had no idea Orca Killer Whales were so intelligent, and they are such advanced, matriarchal societies. He told me all kinds of other facts that he had learned. This man went out of his way to school himself about our local orcas and other whales! He now knows that the SRKW’s are declining and will most likely not bounce back -- although they have surprised us before. He wants to do something about it.

In addition, since he’s been the Sheriff, when I call the Sheriff’s dispatch/office to report when any kind of whale, or group of whales, are transiting inter-island, they are so wonderful to deal with, and accommodating when they can, about getting a patrol on the water or at least contacting the USCG. They really care.

Ron Krebs, “The Sheriff That Cares About Whales,” is my, and Orca Protection & Rescue’s, choice for Sheriff. Thank you Sheriff for caring and having a square head on your shoulders.

Please vote for Ron Krebs, for us humans and the whales!

Hobbes Buchanan
San Juan Island

Not Supporting Ron Krebs

To the Editor:

Ron Krebs is NOT the man he portrays himself to be.

I believed and supported him during the last election telling people he was an honest man of integrity. He is NOT. And, hearing from others, I see a pattern of his deception that shows me he can not be trusted. He will say one thing and do something completely different without batting an eye.
I have known Ron since he moved here and became a deputy. He made me believe he was friend, a man with integrity and good intentions and someone who cared about people. It turns out that Ron is just another politician w
ho smiles in your face and tells you what you want to hear and only wants to promote and serve himself.
There have been several situations, on a variety of calls, where opportunities were presented for Ron to show some kind of concern or compassion for members of the Sheriff’s Department for what they had gone thru on the job and he did NOT…or even seem to realize he should.
My husband, Scott Brennan, is a retired 30 year veteran with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department. He put his life on the line hundreds of times for the people of San Juan County and always thought of the community first, before himself.

We are a tight knit community and many of us have known each other for decades. Recently my husband and another deputy were the first responders on the brutal murder of a woman he had known for almost 30 years. Afterwards, Ron showed no concern for their emotional health and no awareness that this may have been a very traumatic call for them.

After three decades of service, my husband’s last day was celebrated with…..nothing. Ron showed no appreciation for his years of service and commitment to this community. He showed up in old jeans and a t-shirt, gave him a handshake and left. Later, in a conversation with a citizen, Ron said there were deputies that he had ‘moved on’ because they didn’t want to meet his expectations. He then felt compelled to say my husband was one of them, even though, by his own choice, Scott had already been honorably retired for 3 months.

My hope is that the voters will not be fooled into believing Ron is the man he portrays himself to be. He claims to be man of his word, but from what I know, first hand, of Ron’s words is that you can’t believe what’s coming out of his mouth while he’s smiling in your face.

Ron seems to be a man without any awareness, concern or compassion for the people who work closest to him. I doubt he can be trusted to have any for the community. The pattern I see in Ron is truly disturbing and he is not the person he portrays himself to be.

Leslie Brennan
San Juan Islands

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

In choosing our next District Court Judge, it is important to think about the following qualifications: someone who knows the law, a person with well rounded legal experience, a person who confidently makes decisions, a person who is an integral part of our community, and a solid person grounded in integrity and family values. Steve Brandi checks all those boxes. Please join me in electing Steve Brandli our next District Court Judge.

Lauren Franciosi
San Juan Island

Supports Steve Brandli

Steve was a godsend in a very bad situation. He is exceptionally competent in the law producing a better than expected outcome. He and BJ, his beautiful wife and legal aide, were gentle and supportive of me throughout the process. Steve was always the coolest head in the room.

I have had the pleasure of recommending him to friends and family for legal services and now recommend him to you as District Court Judge.


Marian Ford
San Juan Islan

Sheriff's Guild Supports Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

We, the Members of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Guild, by majority vote endorse Ron Krebs for re-election as Sheriff.

We believe Ron Krebs has met our expectation of “community policing, responsiveness, communication and has improved morale in the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office”. The Guild anticipates he will build on established relationships within the community and the department. Our hope is to continue to foster strong relations with the public and agencies our department works with. Ron Krebs will continue to ensure the department has the tools necessary to continue to be effective in our line of work.

This election has been tough, as they often are. We stand almost unanimously to endorse and re-elect Sheriff Ron Krebs.

The Guild Members had an opportunity to attend, listen to, and field questions to both candidates running for Sheriff. The forum addressed items including proactive policing, reserve deputy programs, hiring obstacles, improved morale, competency of the department, community interactions, as well as concerns raised by the public via various avenues.

The Sheriff’s Guild consists of 26 members including candidate Jeff Asher; 22 members endorse the current Sheriff, Ron Krebs; 1 member endorses candidate Jeff Asher, and 3 members abstained. The Guild members consist of 3 Sergeants, 2 Detectives, 11 Deputies, 2 Corrections Officers and 8 Dispatchers.


Dan Easley -President
Jason Gross - Vice President

Supports Asher

To the Editor:

Anger and pain are two negative experiences so closely bound together it can sometimes be hard to know where one ends and the other begins. For those watching, it is often perceived as anger. Recently, I was asked why I was so angry with the current Sheriff. Apparently Krebs himself has asked others this question, though never me directly. I want to clear up once and for all . . . I am not angry. I am hurt.

I have spent 22+ years as the partner of a nearly 30 year law enforcement veteran. I have worn that title proudly in the face of much adversity -" it is not an easy life for the families of officers. My children were raised in a family of more than 750,000 members. For my husband, it was not a job but a calling. For us, it was not his profession, but our way of life. When my husband was training new officers, they would join us each night around the table for dinner. This was not done to feed them, it was done to invite them to our family. To host them at our table. To demonstrate that they were part of a bigger family now.

At any time and any place in the country, I have always known that if I needed anything I could call on the local department. I have always known that if my husband had ever lost his life in the line of duty, my family would forever be taken care of. Until we came here.

In 2014 I was one of the most outspoken supporters of Krebs. I wore the TeeShirt, put up the signs, invited him to stay at our home while he campaigned, walked the parade, wrote the letters, and asked the questions that he requested I ask at voter forums. About a month after he was elected, I had my first face to face meeting with him since the election. During that meeting I expressed concern that it was appearing he got what he needed from his supporters and then moved on. I expressed concern that we, and others, were feeling as if the “friendship” was all for show. In addition, I shared that I was disappointed he had lied to me about his selection of undersheriff. He had said throughout the campaign that he did not know who his undersheriff would be and we later found out he had offered the appointment to Brent Johnson prior to even announcing his candidacy. I also expressed concern that he was hiring someone into a detective position without first vetting them as a deputy on the department for a period of time first to get to know their character and work ethic. My concern of this later proved valid, that detective was Stephen Parker. During that meeting, I received lip service to my feelings and concerns. That was really the last time I talked to him until about three years later.

Though multiple opportunities presented themselves for Krebs to demonstrate his care and concern for his department members, I never saw or experienced those. I went to talk to him again in a face to face meeting about 2 ½-3 years later. This was following my husband experiencing a life threatening medical event that included CPR. I expressed to him the hurt I felt when he never once reached out to my family during or after. My fears were realized, if something happened to my husband we did not have the law enforcement family behind us. We had been betrayed. In that meeting, he promised to do better, to try harder. A few months later, he had another chance when an Orcas deputy was involved in a car accident that would later prove to be career ending. He never once picked up the phone to call him. He did not ever reach out to the deputy’s spouse. He did not send someone over to check on him or offer rides to appointments or help in any way. The wound that I felt a few months prior, had salt poured in it. Fast forward to another deputy sustaining an on the job injury when a piece of shrapnel became lodged in his arm at the gun range. Knowing that deputy was in the emergency room, Krebs again did nothing. He had an opportunity to drive down the street and check on him, call him, text him, even send his favorite method of communication via a Facebook message . . . he did nothing.

I share the same concerns of job performance as a majority of residents I have spoken to: hiring decisions, employee management, failure to forward cases for prosecution, lack of follow through on campaign promises, lack of a clear plan and vision for drug enforcement, no change in handling mentally ill, facebook usage on work time, different standards for different people, etc . I also understand that the hurt I feel shapes the lens by which I look at the department. But I cannot help but to think, if he treated his “family” the way we were treated, the culture within the department is also shaped by that leadership and sets the tone for every interaction with everyone.

There is no vendetta. There is no coordinated effort between myself and anyone else. There is no plotted next move. There is no coalition of people who have joined forces (if there is, I have not been invited). Pain fuels my anger, anger fuels my strength, and my strength prompts me to tell my truth. My truth is this, from the beginning I was lied to by Sheriff Krebs.

Jeff Asher has not once, that I am aware of today, lied to me. I was used for political gain by Sheriff Krebs. Jeff Asher refused to talk to me about his campaign while we were going through an injury to our daughter and, instead, answered only with “how is your daughter.” Sheriff Krebs never once reached out to my family, or members of my law enforcement family, when tragedy hit our homes. Jeff Asher’s communication regarding these issues, and more, was immediate, constant, compassionate, and genuine.

This is my truth. And that is why I endorse and will vote Jeff Asher for Sheriff.


Marla Johns
Orcas Island

Supports Gaylord

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in support of Randy Gaylord for County Prosecutor. I have lived in San Juan County for over 20 years and have gotten to know Randy as a parent and as a prosecutor. I appreciate his willingness to engage in conversation when I have stopped to ask him about current cases in our courts. Being able to engage elected officials is important. After taking a group of 4H students to Olympia for 4 days to study the Judicial system through the “Know Your Government” program (KYG) Randy was more than happy to meet with them and discuss his job, cases he has tried and answered their questions. His candor and friendliness was appreciated by the students and we all learned a lot.
Thank you for reading this and please join me in voting for Randy Gaylord for County Prosecutor.


Kathy Morris

Supports Brandli

To the Editor:

Being a judge is an extremely difficult and challenging job. I sit as a Judge Pro Tem in the Whatcom County District Court for several days each month, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of what the demands of the job are, and what is required to be a fair, reasonable, and effective judicial officer.

Steve Brandli has what it takes to be a great District Court Judge for the people of San Juan County. He has over a decade of experience in criminal and civil law. He knows the law, and he has the temperament and maturity to apply it fairly to everyone. I’ve known Steve Brandli since he began practicing law in Friday Harbor, and I am confident that he has the ability to make difficult decisions that will abide by the principles of fairness and justice.

Sitting in judgment of others is a tremendous responsibility that should only be entrusted to an individual who has demonstrated wisdom gained through experience. We can put our trust in Steve Brandli. I heartily endorse his candidacy for District Court Judge.

Mark A. Kaiman

Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

I like to take a common sense approach to many choices I make. When it comes to what kind of Prosecuting Attorney I want for my county I think of experience in the courtroom, a commitment to truth, justice and the rule of law, experience in government (VERY different than the private sector), compassion, and experience in managing people. These should be basic requirements for this kind of job. But if the only requirements for this position by law are to be a member of the WA Bar then it is up to us in this community to hold this position to a higher standard.

So, I ask you to ask these questions to whichever candidate you favor, or even better, ask both, and then make your decision on your ballot…1) how many years served as a member of the WA Bar?; 2) how many years supervising others?; 3) how much trial experience in the courtroom?; and 4) what have you done lately for this community? The choice will be clear…RANDY GAYLORD.

Jim Skoog
San Juan Island

Supports Gaylord

Dear Editor,

I'm writing to urge the voters of San Juan County to vote for Randy Gaylord in the upcoming election. I've known Randy and his family for over 25 years. I have always appreciated the integrity that Randy brings to his job as our Prosecutor. I've also valued the support that he's offered in his capacity as prosecutor to those of us that also work for the public. I believe that Randy has the necessary qualifications that we should all demand of our Prosecuting Attorney: KNOWLEDGE, INTEGRITY AND COMPASSION - he's demonstrated his astuteness and those virtues for almost 25 years. I wonder if his opponent can do the same.
Randy cares about our county and the people in it. He has the experience and the passion to continue doing the job. You can't ask for more in a public servant!


Cathy Ferran

Happy With Jewett & Lambie In P.A. Office

Dear Editor,

Please consider the following letter for publication. If you have any questions, please let me know.

I recently testified in the court of San Juan County. I want to commend Carolyn Jewett DPA, Kim Lambie and Heather Smith for the excellent work they do for the San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

I have testified in over 70 cases and 20 different judicial venues in my career as a physician. Scheduling, rearrangement, postponements and subpoenas are the curse of witnesses. Kim and Heather work hard to make a system fraught with scheduling frustrations very human-friendly and manageable. Prosecutor Jewett knows the law, and her in-court case control is excellent. In my opinion, they and the entire SJCPA office are the best teams I have experienced in over 46 years of testifying. Kudos to Randall Gaylord, JD for his management of this efficient and witness-friendly office and staff.

Warren Appleton
San Juan Island

Supports Prop. 1

To the Editor:

You know how you always say how much you love San Juan County and how grateful you are to live here? You know how you feel when you come home from a trip off-island and the ferry touches the dock and you think, “Ah, home.” You know how you think to yourself, “I’d just like to do something wonderful for this community that would last for years and years?” Well folks, here’s your chance.

As most of us who love the islands know SJC has a severe lack of affordable homes for families and workers in need of adequate housing. Private non-profits simply can’t raise enough funds to meet the needs of local residents. Prospective teachers, trades people, emergency workers, caregivers and others simply can’t find housing that is affordable and have to turn down jobs. These are workers the rest of us depend on. Revenue from Proposition 1, the Home Fund, on the November ballot, would help fund projects to create local, permanently affordable homes. You can help make that happen.

The Home Fund will be funded by a one-time tax paid by the buyer at the time of a real estate sale " a 0.5% Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) " NOT an ongoing property tax. This REET will sunset in 12 years, at which time the voters will decide whether to re-authorize it.
Please vote YES FOR HOMES, Yes on Proposition 1.

Sincerely and hopefully,

Susan Grout
San Juan Island

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