Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Are You Aware That Your Awareness Has Been Targeted?

Some stories of government-gone-wild in these islands are hard to explain because the layers of bureaucracy and incestuous connection (in a bureaucratic sense) are so tediously complicated. To that point, over the next few postings, we will try to reveal some bite-size chunks of the bizarreness associated with something called the Stewardship Network.

For a starting point about the Stewardship Network, let's first take a look at the San Juan County ECONet. ECONet stands for the Education, Communication, and Outreach Network. It's part of the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP). San Juan County has its own local ECONet, and every local ECONet (there are 12 of them) has a local coordinator funded by a grant from the PSP.

The San Juan County ECONet used to be headed by Jeff Hanson (email below), and it is now headed by Karrie Cooper. Hanson is the former Outreach Coordinator for the Marine Resources Committee (MRC), and Karrie Cooper has been associated with the Kayak Education and Leadership Program (KELP). You with me so far?

As mentioned, the ECONet gets grant money from the PSP and elsewhere. Grant money to the ECONet supports the Good Steward Awards, Sustainable San Juans events, and the website for the Stewardship Network. When you are looking at those entities/activities, you are looking at three different facets of the same organization: the San Juan County ECONet. Anyone can belong to the ECONet, as long as they buy into ECONet mission (some would say "agenda"). For example, the Friends proudly boast they are part of the San Juan County ECONet steering committee (it's listed on their "Accomplishments" webpage), and ECONet meetings are sometimes held at the Friends' offices.

During the CAO/SMP process, many of us have become frustrated at times because the Friends and their friends seem to say that our waters are in trouble regardless what the local data might say. Some of us have wondered aloud whether the Friends are getting paid to say that no matter what.

It turns out that may be exactly what has been going on. Through a program called "Targeted Awareness Grants" (TAGs), money is being given to the local ECONets to promote the view that Puget Sound is in trouble. It's easy money. All the grant awardees have to do is commit to spread the pre-arranged message of gloom about Puget Sound. Below is an email from the ECONet Coordinator about the TAG program. Below that is an image of a page from the TAG guidelines that explains the messaging required of grant recipients. The San Juan County ECONet applied for $40,000.

From: Jeff Hanson [mailto:jeffh@sjcmrc.org]
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 5:19 PM
Subject: Next Stewardship Network Meeting WEDS 22nd @ Noon
Dear Members of the Stewardship Network of the San Juans,

Our next meeting is THIS WEDNESDAY JUNE 22 from Noon until 2:00 at the Friends of the San Juans conference room. 
Our main topic will be our Targeted Awareness Grant Application. Stephanie and Shannon from the Friends will have this in a near-final form for us to review and make comments for final revisions before it is submitted on June 27.  
We'll also touch base on the initial Farmers Markets visits and review the schedule for the summer, and continue work for the County Fair Green Village. 
I will re-orient us to the My Puget Sound Website and ask for any feedback you'd like me to carry to the next EcoNet Coordinators Meeting in Seattle on July 12. 

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.


Jeff Hanson
San Juan ECONet Coordinator

Click to enlarge - LOI stands for "Letter of Intent" (i.e., each grant recipient)


  1. Wait, I am confused. I though purchasing testimony was against the law.

  2. It is coming down to this.

    Remember those old New Yorker cartoons with the disheveled lunatic ranting "Repent! The End is Near" on the street-corner, wearing a sandwich board prophesying doom?

    Now our local eco-apparatchiks are getting paid to do that.

    And apparently County staff and elected officials are getting paid to listen to this gibberish.

  3. Wow ... that seems to be exactly what has happened. The friends have shown up at every public meeting delivering these messages, and they were getting paid to say it all along? While normal people had to take off work and skip their jobs to go to public meetings, the Friends were paid plants?

  4. Sort of reminds me of good old Dr. Smith from that ancient sci-fy TV show "Lost in Space."

    "We're dooooooomed. Doomed I say. Oh, we're doooooomed!"

    I think the Friends are Lost in Space quite frankly.

    What really chaps my hide though is that I realize global civilization is facing major challenges on the road ahead. Warming trends are a real cause for concern. The plastic mess in the Pacific gyr is a real horror show. I don't have a problem banning stuff we don't need that shows cause of harm. I am glad Friday Harbor got right of Styrofoam clam-shells. Who needs plastic grocery bags, let's stop using them. We got lead out of gasoline. California for all its woes is the most energy efficient economic system in the world. We are learning.

    And we really do not need to be hectored by paid eco-apparatchiks that work every day trying to convince our local elected officials to diminish our civil rights.

    The civil rights -- those self evident truths -- are the keystone to invention and innovation that we need to become resilient and adaptable in the face of change. The opposite of resilience is brittleness. Think about it. Does this government hairball of incomprehensible regulation in our own backyard create good conditions for community resilience in the face of change?

    It most certainly does not. It accomplishes the opposite, and what we get instead is brittleness, not flexibility, resilience or agility.

    The Friends and what is presently disguised as the SJC Democrats (nope, they are NOT the Democratic Party that I know) are in effect carpet bombing us back to the bureaucratic stone-age.

    We have to start seeing this for what it is. Take Ursula Le Guin's advice from Earthsea, and learn to call a thing by its true name and so doing remove its power over you.

  5. A return to the "stone age", or at least pre-Industrial era is exactly what the Eco-Jihadis dream about. Under the guise of "adaptation" or " resilience" you will find a seething cauldron of insatiable lust to regulate every aspect of human life. Nothing less than the establishment of utopia is acceptable. Perfection of human nature would be nice. But the eco-utopians know that no amount of education and clever movies will yield a sufficient amount of voluntary compliance. The exercise of raw, naked power in heretofore incomprehensible amounts will be required. An example. Methane is bad stuff. Much more terrible as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Much methane production is perceived to come from raising cattle for meat. The slow amswer is to get people to voluntarily cut down on the amount of meat they eat. Unacceptable! Takes too long! The quick answer is forbid meat production, or tax it into oblivion.
    Cars are evil. They have been evil from day one. They burn fossil fuel. They require roads. They are racist tools of oppression. They permit individual mobility, thus allowing people to avoid forced association with multi-culturally diverse masses, unlike Public Transit. Cars must be abolished, or taxed into oblivion. Single family houses on individual lots are unsustainable. They result in inequality of living condition. They result in the worst evil of all, the suburb. They allow distance from others. This results in unacceptable pockets of non-multicultural diversity an inequality of living condition. Suburbs must be abolished or regulated into oblivion. Cars, houses, roads. Unacceptable results of a free market responding to the free choices of individuals. The free choices of individuals must be controlled, channeled, approved, optimized, equalized, limited. It must be done immediately. The planet demands it. The masses are to slow, too greedy, to stubborn. They suffer from false consciousness, from the incorrect belief in self determination. For their own good they must be controlled.
    A good start will be the CAO. If only it weren't so permissive, so loose, so filled with exemptions. If only we could declare everythimg non-conforming. If only we could stack the new council with candidates who will toughen up the CAO and enforcement policies, if only...

  6. At the heart of it is simple love of money. If the PSP were giving out grants promoting nuclear power plants in the San Juans, the Friends and the Network would probably go along with that too.

    Many citizens are regularly perplexed by the types of issues that the Friends choose to take on. The Friends will beat up an an average guy trying to do an average thing, but then they will ignore a larger scale issue (e.g., a huge dock or a large shoreline house).

    Confusion occurs when we mistakenly believe that the Friends care about the environment. They do not. They care about money. Their silence can be (and is) bought. Their objections and messaging can be (and is) bought.

    If there is a monstrous mega-project near you that is seemingly escaping the attention of the Friends, then the probable reason for that is that the Friends have been bought off.

    If the Friends are whining and moaning about something, then the probable reason for that is that the Friends have been paid to moan and whine.

    Freeing yourself from the belief that the Friends do anything except for money is the key to understanding how they work.

  7. What galls me, among other things, is that we literally buy the message trumpeted by our "friends", the PSP and others with tax dollars paid by us and diverted to them via grants and other mechanisms.

  8. Well, the Stewardship Network was founded by Stephanie Buffum and Lincoln Boorman, right about the time their organizations' reputations were heading into the toilet from ratting out neighbors and almost bankrupting the Land Bank?

  9. I thought I read that the Democratic Central Committee decided to shift the Stewardship Network grant funding to the "Madrona Institute," the international peace NGO recently turned into a "community thriving" NGO--run by Ron Zee, Democratic Chair?

  10. If you've ruined your brand, just re-brand.

    Stewardship Network is sort of like OEM. Or EcoNet.

    Think about Monsanto for a moment. Not too hard to get annoyed with them. What brands are out there that are owned by Monsanto. Did you know: Peppridge Farms. Healthy Choice. Morningstar. Minute Made. Ocean Spray. Nature Valley.

    FOSJ. EcoNet. Stewardship Network.

    There must be a holding company out there somewhere? Maybe registered in the Cayman Islands?

  11. Ed Kilduff, please ban all future posts by the previous Anonymous posted at 4:34 pm on 1/15/13. All facts he cited are lies. Monsanto does not own any of the companies listed. This person needs to be banned to protect your readers from his/her continuing lies and distortions.

  12. Caveat lector - let the reader beware. The Trojan Heron very much appreciates the last commenter setting the record straight about the brands mentioned in the previous comment. The listed brands are not, in fact, owned by Monsanto. Ocean Spray, for example, is an agricultural cooperative. The other brands are equally non-Monsanto-ish

    However, I think the anonymous commenter disseminating that information may have been the victim, rather than the willing perpetrator of false information. There is a Facebook posting of reported Monsanto brands, and I think the anonymous poster was quoting from that list (just a guess on my part).

    As I understand it, that apocryphal Facebook posting listed companies that purportedly use Monsanto products, but it was falsely labelled as brands owned by Monsanto.

    However, we're not sure that the listed companies even use Monsanto products either. Perhaps one of our readers may know the whole story.


    I think everyone should read (and think) critically to catch situations like this before they take on a life of their own, and I still have no idea who Ed Kilduff is.

    Thanks to the commenter above for pointing out the bad information. Also, I could not ban the previous commenter even if I wanted to (and I don't want to). I am unable to ban specific anonymous commenters without changing the comment protocols so much that it would become unworkable.

    Caveat lector!

  13. Apparently there is misinformation out there about Monsanto, and apparently some Facebook meme got traction that is fooling people.

    A site called Snopes.com where users can submit rumors has an item about this at:


    With the list at issue. Snopes.com goes on to clarity that:

    "The list reproduced above purportedly details a wealth of food-related companies or brands supposedly owned by Monsanto, the multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. In fact, Monsanto doesn't own the listed companies; this item appears to be an attempt to compile a list of companies selling food items that make use of products developed by Monsanto (such as artificial sweeteners or agricultural products derived from genetically engineered seed).

  14. Looks like folks like to read Trojan Heron around dinner time. Where'd my food come from. Even more important, where's my information come from?

    Looks like FOSJ, EcoNet, Skynet and Stewardship Net are sort of like that laundry list of companies that use Monsanto franken-seed or worse. Is it really true Ocean Spray uses Monsanto seed products? Is it really true the FOSJ gets paid to spread hype in the community by the Puget Sound Partnership?

    PSP sounds eerily like Monsanto and the FOSJ eerily like Ocean Spray.

  15. Skynet??!!

    LOL ....

    When did StewardshipNet become self-aware?

    Or when did StewardshipNet target my self-awareness?

    My good Lord.

  16. This is why I brand my comments Nick Power. Except when I am talking about Nash equilibria then my handle is "A Bootyful Mind"

    I am branded, Nick Power

  17. Regards the promised TH candidate evaluations.

    In the true spirit of the TH such an eval should hug the truth and still be outrageous. I'll try to assist here:

    Candidate with the most vanilla comment: IE: ("I know what the wonderful people of San Juan County want, I have talked to them, and what they want is what I want for our wonderful San Juan County.")

    Candidate with the most incomprehensible statements. (Quotes follow.)

    Candidate with the best growth of a Pinocchio Nose. (Lies follow)

    Candidate most out of shape and likely to die in office.

    Candidate most likely to pick up the lunch check.

    Candidate most likely to stiff the wait staff.

    Candidate who shows up on time.

    Candidate who is prepared.

    Best in a debate.

    Best to kick ass in State Capitol.

    The street king, takes shit from no one.

    OK, I'm getting, well, a little extraneous. So I'll quit.

  18. Instead of working to educate the public as persons of equal rights and value, they dictate to others as teachers scolding children. When obedience is not achieved, they're thinking, "Must scream louder!" - "More rules, less personal responsibility".

    Today I drove past a large tube television which had been rolled off the side of the road into the woods and smashed. (Lopez)

    Reckless littering... possibly.
    A crude $!#K YOU to groups like "FRIENDS" .... hmmm

    It makes me very upset to see these kinds of things, but I do think there is something to it.

    Some folks can't wield frustration into great blog posts on political rants - so they dump garbage instead. Or they could just be idiots.

  19. Candidate most likely to hold an illegal public meeting?

    Candidate most likely to ignore good legal advice?

    Candidate most likely to sleep more than Howie in a meeting?

    Candidate most likely to capsize on their way to a meeting ( Orcas and Lopez candidates only)

    .... Sorry, couldn't stop the fun.

  20. Candidate most likely to flaunt fancy cars, Rolex watches, Georgetown cocktail parties and beachfront guesthouses?

  21. Candidates most likely to repeat...over and over and over again...."Thank you for participating in the...(enter issue)"