Sunday, January 20, 2013

Think Globally, Ruin Lives Locally

From the last few posts, I hope readers are seeing how the Network conducts business. The Network follows a particular formula:

  1. General, and often legitimate, global fears about the environment are played up to justify passage of restrictive land use laws on the local level. Sometimes hysteria about minuscule de minimis local issues (e.g., pyrethrins) is mixed in, using extremely questionable local data. The "solution" proposed is always a planning/land use restriction, not another kind of solution.
  2. The advocated local planning laws fail to quantify site-specific contributions to the purported problem but nevertheless impose site-specific property restrictions that address alleged "environmental impacts."
  3. The site-specific property restrictions trap innocent people in non-conforming and related convoluted circumstances, regardless whether there is any actual harm to the environment.
  4. The Friends/Network legally intervene on individual cases to insist on enforcement of the law, relying on judicial policy and bullying tactics to crush people's lives even when there is no environmental impact.
  5. Despite stopping activities with no impact, the Friends/Network take credit for fighting big issues (e.g., ecosystem health), and they parlay their work into more grants, more awards, more connections, more power and influence, and more participation in multiple areas of government. Their actual role in pointlessly crushing people's lives never gets any air time. They never stop fighting for more restrictions and "protections."
  6. Anyone who objects to the Friends/Network's tactics is subject to cruel retaliation and backlash for being some sort of anti-environmental demon.

Needless to say, our system is broken. It is environmentally pointless, and toxic for our community. It often prevents good environmental outcomes. The CAOs, for example, effectively ban permaculture and probably make everyone practicing permaculture here an outlaw.

You can see which candidates are part of the Network. All you have to do is look at their donor lists. Look at their campaign committees and their endorsements. All you have to do is listen to their statements. All you have to do is observe which of their supporters talk about "the world around us" issues like global warming or emphasize connections to Olympia and elsewhere. Whether they cop to it or not, those candidates are participants in a system that advocates "thinking globally and ruining lives locally."

We referred to the Network in earlier posts as "Iceberg Government." We could just as easily think of it in other terms. Did we just see a fin above the water? Was that? ... no ... I must be seeing things. Let me just sit beside this rock and gather my wits.

Most of the Network and its self-serving motives are hidden, but who you choose for elected office may determine whether we get finished off.

Just one little push -- just one more election.


  1. I just noticed that several of the Lisa Byers financial supporters own (expensive) property up next to where the Land Bank just bought expensive land to "protect salmon" even though only ONE house could ever be built there, and it would have to be built to modern code high up away from the water. Oh, Heron, I think you are making me paranoid!

  2. This is Agenda 21 in action.

  3. Pratt/Byers report an almost identical bankroll, about 15K each. NO other candidate has reported anything close to this amount, typical is 2-3K.

    Is it suspicious or just plain obvious?

    Put the word out; these two are OWNED by someone.

    PS: The opening capsule description of our County situation in this post is smack on!

  4. To follow the money try this: Who is the single largest contributor common to both campaigns? What are the primary associations of this individual? What issues has this individual been most active in over the past year or so?

    This is important because lead major donors tend to set the tone and the case to attract others to match or contribute as close to the level of the lead donor.

    This is true in many fund-raising situations.

    The truth will out.

  5. ****BREAKING UPDATE*****

    I figured out who E.C.K. is...

    Folks, it's Evil Kenevil (the 3rd)...

    He had proposed to come to the San Juan Islands to perform a record setting jump across not 1, but 2 alleged wetlands and was denied a permit.

    Now, the reasons for the Trojan Heron become clear. This isn't about the rights of the community, this is about loss of revenue and advertising dollars that this jump would have brought in.

    I heard that the pyrotechnic guys got the kybosh too because the scheduled event used stuff that wasn't safe and sane.

    Mr. Kenevil, you have been outed.

  6. On Orcas , donors are some famous and some less known Hollywood producers.
    And the Evel Knievel jump was cancelled because the fireworks produced light that would startle and degrade the habitat of the red-legged frog.

  7. Are you sure that wasn't the ill-fated "Cattle Point Catapult" from San Juan over to Lopez? The way I heard it, two retired residents recently arrived from New York City raised a ruckus over possible harm to lances and eelgrass and urged precaution.

    Knievel never had a chance.

  8. Many thanks to the post of Jan 20, 10:36AM for the link to a session between the Director of CD&P with his code enforcer and their conversation with the Planning Commission.

    It all seems so rational and fair and then it doesn't. Rene (the director) says they must act on every violation brought to their attention unless, on the rare occasion, they decide it is "deminimis." (The law does not include trifles.)

    So about sixty times a year the enforcement person and apparently any other staff person who might have some connection go after any and all violations "brought to the department's attention."

    There is an over riding very large problem with this administration and it very simply is; who is the person filing the complaint? Seems there is no fee or form to file a complaint. Just grab a phone that works.

    How many of the 60 were generated by FOSJ? (No planning commissioner asked that question.)

    From the time the "violation" is brought to the department's attention it is a matter between the department and the violator. No one every questions or lays any responsibility on the person calling in the complaint. At least there was no talk of such in this PC exchange.

    So Ms. King had two incandescent light bulbs that bothered her neighbor. Did the neighbor bring this to her attention? Did the neighbor offer to buy can lights or offer a solution to shielding the light that upset her?

    And on to the main point; did the so reasonable CD&P fail to resolve such a trifle because FOSJ came lording in?

    And Ms. King is badly damaged by a stupid insignificant complaint.

    So the excavator Patty Miller rented can rearrange over 100 cubic yards of dirt day and she had it for many days, but I suppose that was "deminimis" while a couple of light bulbs and an old established B&B, well holy bird poop, that's a big time problem.

  9. To avoid violation tit for tat (can't think of a better term) violation reporting to the County, the County could do what it does best...charge fees.

    I'd suggest $100 cash green for an individual to file a complaint. Individuals are limited to one complaint per year. Organizations like CSA, FOSJ, CAPR, and fellow travelers would be charged $500 to file a complaint and also be limited to one complaint per year.

    I know, you're thinking FOSJ will get different individual members to do the dirty work, but I'm not so sure that they have all that many committed members anymore.

  10. Let's follow the money, again.

    So....looks like our policy here is to ENCOURAGE anonymous reports of violations while at the same time DISCOURAGE any means of redress.

    This is unbalanced and leads to mischief. Who thought this scheme up? I want names.

  11. The CD&P says the policy and procedure is written complaints received..that written policy is what is given out when asked..yet CD&P have come up with their own inner office procedure that is inconsistent with what the procedure states. How can this be?
    This inner office procedure has not been approved by the the CD&P is left to harrass who ever they want just on a whisper, a phone call...and let other violations go.
    Who makes the CD&P accountable for their actions? There needs to be an idependent review board of the CD&P unlike the one being talked about now which includes members of the CD&P. The foxes watching the hen house?

  12. Is it true that the CD&P is a fine & fee based department? They do not have a set revenue source from the general fund,is that correct?

  13. The county council's policy is that C D and P must pay for itself. Except for the long-use planning area.

    That is county council adopted policy.

    Fees are adopted through a public hearing process. Fees were last updated three years ago.

  14. Some data just in from Chris Laws:

    From: Chris Laws

    To: Mike Carlson ,
    Planning Commission ,
    Stephen Adams ,
    Susan Dehlendorf ,
    Bob Gamble ,
    Lynda Guernsey ,
    John Lackey ,
    Barbara Thomas ,
    Brian Ehrmantraut

    CC: Rene Beliveau ,
    Amy Vira

    Date: Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Subject: RE: Workshop

    Good Morning,

    I wanted to pass along the accurate stats for last year to you regarding code enforcement, as I was trying to recall them from memory during the PC meeting last week; the following data is a good representation of the effectiveness of the EDEN system.

    For 2012 Code Enforcement opened 48 Inquiries, 13 Notices of Correction, 13 Notices of Violation, and 6 Stop Work Orders, from 248 calls from the public, 20 Activity Reports from County Staff, 10 written requests for code enforcement, 4 e-mails, 3 walk-ins, and 2 letters.

    5 cases were remanded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, but not all were from cases opened in 2012, with only one actually going to trial.

    31 Code Enforcement Inquiries were closed/resolved of which only 9 led to a Notice of Correction.

    35 Code Enforcement Cases, either NOC or NOV were closed within the new EDEN system (2009-2012).

    24 Code Enforcement Cases, either NOC or NOV were closed within the old ACCESS system (2000-2009)

    When I first took over as CE Officer there were 758 open CE Files according to our records; to date there are now approximately 306. Many of those closed were of a type that were so far outdated that CE had no possibility of verifying, or had such little information in the file that action was not warranted. Additionally, with the help of CD&P staff, especially Lisa Brown, many old CE files that were listed as open but were actually closed were updated within the appropriate database system (mainly ACCESS database).

    - Chris

    Christopher S. Laws

    Code Enforcement Officer

    San Juan County

    (360) 370-7587

  15. Many thanks Brian (and Chris)! Very helpful and timely.