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Island Guardian

Weekly Nag Purpose


THE WEEKLY NAG is a column dedicated to giving vent to some of the many things that we may find confusing, perplexing, frustrating, exasperating etc. about Island life. It’s tone is intended (the path to hell is paved with…) to be light hearted, and non-libelous.

The Weekly Nag welcomes contributions: All submittals are subject to being edited without review from the contributor. The Nag may publish "anonymous" submittals, but only if the author is revealed to the Editor






Substandard political involvement



So here we are with the filing deadline passed, remembering pronouncements from the Charter Review Commission Chair about how great it was going to be going back to three full-time council members because they would make lots more money and the job would attract many candidates.

The three council members (who are not allowed to talk to each other outside of meetings) are indeed making a lot more money.
How many challengers does Jamie Stephens have on Lopez? Zero.
The future looks bright for incumbents.

While I'm nagging, it is a sorry statement on citizen involvement in the political process that the Prosecuting Attorney, the Auditor, and the Assessor all have no competition.

Sort of a depressing commentary.

Janice Peterson
San Juan Island




We Are Not Above The Law!


I'm really bugged! Now that the recreational marijuana lotteries are being announced I'm realizing how our county is going to lose out on the bonanza.

Most other places voted against the GMO initiative, but our county held firm and voted firmly in favor of having none of those pesky and dangerous GMO products in San Juan County.

Now, if we maintain consistency with our strongly held principles, we won't allow genetically modified marijuana to be sold, or perhaps not even used, in our island paradise. Let us remain firmly attached to our stand against genetically modified marijuana even though it will put our local entrepreneurs in a less competitive position.

Please contact the San Juan County Commissioners and let them know that we will accept no genetically modified marijuana in San Juan County. Urge them to promulgate restrictive regulations to protect us. If the old natural weed was good enough for our grandparents, it's good enough for us.

Dennis R. Hazelton
San Juan Island




Everybody Knows...


To the Editor:

Re "Everybody Knows" [NAG below -Ed] in The Weekly Nag: Taxpayers do not pay for abortions as per the Hyde Amendment of 1993 except through Medicare in proven cases of rape, incest, or to preserve the life of the mother. How cruel would one have to be to deny poor girls & women that?
Robin Blair
San Juan Island
--------------------------

To The Editor:

Everybody knows Peace Health is a Catholic organization that opposes abortion; if somebody doesn’t know, he has his/her head in places heads should not go.

We voted for it; it was built & now we have those who want to accomplish an after the fact change of the basic contract.

If a pregnant female, regardless of age in this society, can’t figure out how to get help in their situation then no amount of help will work. There is the internet and Google search; there is Planned Parenthood right here on the island; there are other females who have faced the situation; there are parents and trusted friends.

The issue is not about whether a pregnant female can obtain help; it is about some misguided souls trying to impose their will on others without regard for their religious or other rights.

Besides that I, as a property owning taxpayer, do not want to support abortions with my money.

Dennis R. Hazelton
San Juan Island




How Dare They?


The House Republicans’ decision to shut down the federal government, is an immoral and unconscionable “threat” to the American Government, and not just an ordinary political disagreement.

House Republicans do not have the votes to repeal Obamacare, which by the way, went through the outlines of the constitution and actually became a valid law and was actually passed as valid by the Supreme Court many months ago.

This is “political terrorism”, through the processes of democracy, have closed the federal government, throwing hundreds of thousands of innocent government employees out of work, and damaging the nation's shaky economic rebound from prior republican and democratic party failed policies.

This act of “Political Terrorism” and is wreaking havoc with yours and my national interest, and is inflicting serious harm on hard-working, loyal public employees, Sick Children, Elderly, public safety, national defense, and every other part of our government that our enemies would love to see destroyed.

Those “Political Terrorists” are coercing the government into doing what they want, not persuading through majority opinion nor following the Constitution.

The House Republicans, in short, are holding my Country hostage to their demands.

This is not democratic governance.

This is extortion, plain and simple.

In any other circumstance, this would be criminal conduct.

Do you wonder what those brave soldiers who lie on a distant beach in Normandy would think of this?

Stand up America, where are you?

Norris Palmer
San Juan Island




Idiot Of The Month Award


Will the operator WA license plate 000YKJ please step forward and claim your idiot of the month award? I’m certain that your husband, your kids, your dog, and perhaps your neighbors think you’re a wonderful person. I don’t.

You even have a blue & white “PEACE” sticker on your rear bumper. After I had been circling several blocks for over ten minutes I finally spotted a spot in front of the Thai Kitchen.

So - I went to the corner, conducted a legal U-turn and approached the parking slot. You illegally crossed the double yellow line and took the spot. As you emerged from your car, I advised you (politely) of the $75 fine for such an infraction and asked you to back out of the slot in my favor.

You declined (twice) and said you would only be a few minutes. Gotta tell ya. I don’t feel very peaceful about your actions and attitude. At best you are a hypocrite with the bumper sticker and at worst just a plain nasty self-centered five letter word.

(Name known and confirmed, but withheld per author's request -Ed)




I’m Nagging


When we’re in a hole the best thing we can do is stop digging, but some denizens of San Juan County don’t get it.

How many overlapping bureaucracies do we live under and why do we think we must add more?

There are the: FBI, DEA, ICE, CBP, NFS, USCG, SMP, CAO, USF&WL, WSP, SJ SHERIFF, PORT OF FRIDAY HARBOR ET AL, 4 SCHOOL DISTRICTS, LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS, COUNCIL DISTRICTS, FIRE DISTRICTS, PARK DISTRICTS, ISLAND REC, HOSPITAL DISTRICT, LIBRARY DISTRICTS, TOWNS/VILLAGES, ZONING, SIGNAGE REGULATIONS, DMV, LICENSING, ASSESSOR, TREASURER, AUDITOR, LOCAL/STATE/FEDERAL/SUPREME COURTS, NMF, FAA, PUBLIC WORKS, BLM, NATIONAL PARKS, BLM, WA DEPT. OF FISHERIES, TSA, BORDER PATROL, PERMIT CENTER, COMMERCE, HEW, DEPT. OF STATE, BATF, U.S. MARSHALLS, POSTAL SERVICE, DOD, OSHA, CONSERVATION DISTRICT, HEALTH & COMMUNITY SERVICES, LAND BANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, PUBLIC DEFENDER, SOLID WASTE, SECRET SERVICE, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, EPA, FCC, HOMELAND SECURITY, IRS, SOCIAL SECURITY, BIA, FHA, USDA, DOE, NATURAL RESOURCES, TOURISM, NOXIOUS WEEDS, LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, and many more I haven’t recalled.

Look at the below website to see a list of WA state license requirements. Then think of the ever growing number of licenses and permits we need to do almost any human endeavor in San Juan County. Inspect your septic system and pay a $25 fee to report the results to the county.
http://www.dol.wa.gov/listoflicenses.html

Next they’ll be thinking we should have a license to hold hands or kiss our spouses in public; perhaps we can’t look at a particular view without paying a view tax.

Every time we turn around somebody wants to put hands in our pockets and take cash from our wallets. How often have we heard, “It isn’t a tax, it’s a fee”? The sad thing is that each board, commission, working group, etc. that is created feels it must “do” something to justify itself. Then we start having multiple hearings, reports, experts and arguments about an issue created out of thin air at a high elevation. Naturally, they need some staff support, so we buy office furniture, computers and personnel to fulfill their “needs”.

From what I read in letters to editors, I don’t think I’m alone in my knowledge that there is too much intrusion into our lives and our pocketbooks.

At least think before you blindly jump on a money-hungry bandwagon.

Dennis R. Hazelton
San Juan Island




Shell Games and Critical “Patients” in San Juan County


In watching today’s County Council session, I kept thinking how all of this could look to a local resident who -being occupied with such things as holding down a job- had never before seen local government at work.

Collectively, the Council members seem hard-working and conscientious. The challenges they faced today were neither unique nor common, but probably averaged out to be fairly typical. They were collegial and respectful. That said:

• Visitors were here today from a state-funded outfit called The Puget Sound Partnership. The two of them were treated deferentially and they had all the time they wanted to talk. They talked a long time, or it seemed like it, and they were not well-organized. They came bearing gifts of money -maybe- and with lots of strings attached. The money is connected to yet another mandate from the state on what our County has to do to comply with their rules. (Some people don’t think the State Department of Ecology has near the amount of power to boss us around that they think they do). One of the “Partnership” people said they were trying to be ambassadors. He said they were not “the ministry of Puget Sound.” He said our County is pristine and magnificent. They aren’t here to say, “You should do this.” The Council asked questions and listened to the answers. One Council member said our County has had a net loss in finances while dealing with the “Partnership.” There were other gripes. No one mentioned all the trouble they got into a few months back using public funds to buy down jackets for their friends. The “Partnership” employs dozens of people. What do they do?

• In response to some complicated discussion about money we are going to -maybe- get from the “Partnership,” one council member said, “This looks like a shell game.”

• Some members of the public spoke during the public comment period. They were very well-organized. They got three minutes.

• The chair of the Eastsound Planning and Review Committee presented Eastsound’s Action Plan. He compared Eastsound to a critically ill patient who would be a “red” case (most extremely sick or injured) in a medical triage situation. It sounds like a disaster in Eastsound. They have parking problems. They have all sorts of problems. They live in the middle of a wetland. One of the state mandates we’re dealing with wants us to put buffers all around wetlands where you can’t build your house or go play in the swamp or whatever. Some of their Eastsound houses are IN the wetland. How is that going to work out?

• The EPRC chair said that Eastsound gets pushed out over and over again because the County’s priorities keep putting state mandates ahead of them.

• Is this crazy? We are spending time, money, unbelievable effort, and anxiety trying to satisfy state mandates on problems we haven’t even been able to identify while our own neighborhoods are suffering with very clear and identifiable problems.

• Is this upside down? How can we get right side up? If you had $75,000 or so, who would you give it to, Eastsound or paying for a new Puget Sound Partnership employee to conduct the “liaison” for implementing state mandates?

(Name known and confirmed, but withheld per author's request -Ed)




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