Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Think I Need A Diagram

We have frequently characterized as "dizzying" the interrelationships and incestuousness among the various people and organizations that seem to govern, influence, and fuss at us at every turn. Let's take a look at a couple of recent examples.

Sarah Crosby has a letter in the Island Guardian where she says the following about us:
The Trojan Heron, on the other hand, is an angry anonymous blog, which is my main criticism of your association with it. Someone who spews opinion without the courage of assigning his/her name to it, does not have my respect, nor should they have yours or your platform. On the TH random slinging of accusations at people as if hoping that some of it will stick smacks of self indulgence in the extreme and truly serves no useful purpose. Is this really what you want to offer to our community?
You can read her entire letter at this link. Sarah Crosby is on the Byers Campaign Committee, a member of the (nonpartisan) League of Women Voters, a PCO for the San Juan Democratic Party, a donor to the Pratt campaign, and Chair of the Advisory Council of the Madrona Institute and ex-officio member of the Madrona Institute Board.

The Madrona Institute and its founder, Ron Zee, are busy setting up (what amounts to) an alternative governmental structure here in the islands. We have already brought to light that Zee/Madrona is the local fiscal agent for the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP), taking a modest 5% to 10% off the top of all PSP grants that get distributed to our local Stewardship Network. Remember, the Stewardship Network is a group of 24 local groups who have been paid by the PSP to spread the word that Puget Sound is in trouble and that our environment is our economy. The Stewardship Network includes the Friends of the San Juans, Kwiaht, the Conservation District (of which Zee is President), and five separate County entities (ARC, MRC, Land Bank, Noxious Weed Board, Salmon Lead Entity). Theoretically (or perhaps not so theoretically), the linkage of the PSP-Madrona Institute-Stewardship Network presents an alternative funding route for County projects without the County entities having to receive Council approval.

Now we find out that Ron Zee wants to appoint Kyle Loring, the Friends staff attorney, as an associate Board member to the Conservation District (Loring's wife is already on the Madrona Institute Advisory Council). Nearly simultaneously, we learn from the February 6th meeting of the PSP's Action Agenda Oversight Group (AAOG) that their plan is to offer Ron Zee the Chairmanship of the AAOG/LIO, and part of those responsibilities may entail PSP funding of the Conservation District, of which Zee is president.

Also remember that Zee was Chair of the local Democratic Party last year, and he headed up the endorsement of candidates Byers, Pratt, and Stephens. While our attention has been focused on the elections, CAOs, and various lawsuits, the "fourth candidate" (Ron Zee) has been moving ahead with the consolidation of his power over everything subterranean in this County -- the Conservation District, the Stewardship Network, ECONet, AAOG/LIO, and grant funding going to those groups via the Madrona Institute. Each of those entities, in turn, has tentacles that reach out to state authorities, visioning events, long-range planning activities, and all manner of stomach-churning bureaucratic power levers.

We may be in the midst of Council elections, but Ron Zee, inventor of the CRC "Better Government" Zee Wheel, is already the boss.

Historical Tammany Hall Boss Tweed political cartoon updated for life in modern San Juan County


  1. I'm guessing that Sarah Crosby won't like this post very much.


  2. Anyone know anything about some election we are having in San Juan County?

    I heard there are some other candidates running but I haven't heard anything about them in several weeks?

    Just curious - because I couldn't give a rats ass about this Sarah Crosby chick!

  3. The point is that you should care about the network that Ron Zee heads up. The "other" candidates are not part of the machine at work in this election.

    Personally, at this point, I don't care much for any of the candidates. I've lost faith that any of them can grasp what is happening to us. I've been hugely disappointed in the Winter Council. I'm sure they think a lot of themselves, but things started going downhill with the "Community Conversation" and I don't see it getting much better. Sure they've done some decent things, like the workshop with the committees, but are we really going to give them credit for minimally exercising their power?

    I also hear that we won't be saving any money on the County Manager position. The plan to pay the Manager only $75K has been scuttled. Now the pay will remain at $130K+ because of some cockamamie reason.

    We have crappy leaders. We have pushy eco-operatives running the place. We have a political machine at work. We have grant-lubricated greased-palms everywhere. We have planners running the insane asylum. We have debt. We have out-of-control budgets. We have a government relentlessly looking for more taxes. We have stacked committees. We have no growth. We have dying schools. We have sex offenders. We have a sheriff's department that won't focus on our drug problem. We have a prosecutor who gives lousy advice and walks the conflict-of-interest tightrope on various lawsuits. We have pointless raids on homeowners who have "committed" victimless permit crimes. We have an assessor who has declared war on farms and open space. We have eco-centric community members who hate people but talk about community and incivility. We are invaded by out-of-county PSP and Ecology bureaucrats. We have no cell phone coverage. We have outrageously expensive ferries. We have some of the lowest wages in the state for working people and some of the richest people on the planet as residents. Despite all this, we give ourselves environmental and community awards and think ourselves special.

    Let's face it, we are dysfunctional and we suck. We probably need to hit rock bottom before we can pull of this tailspin. The way we're going, that won't be long.

  4. @11:44

    Right on!

    Everyone head to the Tavern (pick the one on your island) and drink yourselves to death!

    No... Wait... Maybe that has been their plan all along!

  5. I prefer what @12:09 said. Right on!

  6. lol ... the other candidates? Well, we'll have a post updating everyone on the current fundraising totals, but we haven't focused on the other candidates much because there isn't that much to say. Hughes, Jarman, and McClerren still haven't been endorsed by any party. They still haven't appeared in any videos expressing heterodoox economic theories. They still haven't had their universities deny their degrees (if they have them at all). They still haven't had their donors or campaign committee members write scathing letters to the editor. They still don't seem to have any connection to the Network or the PSP or anyone else.

    Jarman is still recovering from heart surgery, and that is about the most newsworthy comment about the "other candidates."

  7. Reading through the workplan and meeting minutes of the SJICD over coffee this morning.

    Anyone want to explain to me why the Conservation District is applying for a FEMA grant? (While 80%+ of their budget is allocated toward salary/benefits/overhead) The Zee knows no bounds.

    Happy Friday

  8. It's only a matter of time before SJCD asks Council for an increase in its parcel-based assessment to accommodate all this new activity.

  9. Dear Ms. Crosby: once again, the Network is screeching about the Heron, charging it with inaccuracies and mudslinging, so I challenge you: please point out one statement that is inaccurate. And if your skirts are muddy, that's what comes from rolling around in the dirt. Speak in factual sentences. Then perhaps we can understand you. Because to us, the ecopsychobabble that the Network emits sounds to us like "craw, craw, craw!"

  10. People, talk to voters. Get the word out. And start softly so they won't think you're crazy. Print out valid information like the Conservation District's workplan w/80% !!! of their budget going toward salaries! And show it to them. Horrible!
    Make sure people are aware of Lisa Byers true loyalties. I was so interested in the comment clarifying that OPAL is indeed a corporation and benefiting from the people they "sell" "homes" too. Isn't it exactly like the Oakes on San Juan? You buy the building and pay for roads, maintenance, water, leasing the land....etc...forever. Unless you can manage to sell your building to someone else. They are hard to sell and therefore... "affordable".

    And if you ask Lisa about her beliefs concerning land ownership she...cannot...quite...tell you. hmmm would that lose votes? Do you think?

  11. I'd like to deconstruct Ms Crosby's narrative a bit further, now that she has been contextualized. She failed to disclose so that has been done for her.

    Now, a closer examination of her words:

    She thinks the TH is a "recent link" with a local online news service. Not so, TH has been an above-the-fold daily feature for months.

    Highlighting (yet again) the concept of incivility when the community, long denied its voice, expresses real issues with passion and intellect that need debate.

    False claims of incivility is just a tool to shut down debate and authentic civic discourse. Ms Crosby is just a tool herself.

    As a long time advocate of the ACLU, I'm a firm believer that the cure for bad speech is more speech. However, Ms Crosby would chill speech, try to shut down an active community forum and force an online news service to report less, not more. Ms Crosby and her associates have no respect for the 1st Amendment. None.

    Finally here's a quote from Bono, the Irish rockstar who has done more for the planet than little local busybodies like Ms Crosby:

    "The biggest disease is corruption. The vaccination is transparency."

    The Trojan Heron is the needle. Aw, this won't hurt a bit, there may be some local swelling and redness for a short while. All better now.

  12. A view of our future from a local citizen's blog:


    Transportation: At the request of the residents (aided by a little sabotage), Washington State Ferries no longer serve the islands. Trips between islands and to the mainland are provided by small private or cooperatively-owned boats, mostly sail-powered. Non-resident owned motor vehicles are prohibited. Residents generally use bikes or walk wherever they go. A few motor vehicles and tractors owned by the neighborhood cooperatives and fueled by bio-diesel or alcohol operate on each island. There is little use for transportation as most needs are satisfied at the neighborhood level.

    Economy: A post-market, post-capital cooperative subsistence economy. With very few exceptions, all the needs of residents are met by local production by local residents. Goods and services are exchanged by barter, by exchange of local currencies and most of all, by gifts and reciprocal obligations based on personal, family, clan, religious and neighborhood affiliations. There is no wage labor and consequently no “unemployment.” This leaves plenty of time for protecting the County from “development.”

    Government: Self-government by means of direct democracy. The basic political unit is the neighborhood cooperative. The co-ops meet weekly and every citizen considers it their first duty to attend. The co-ops send at least one delegate for every 50 citizens to County-wide assemblies held as needed. These delegates are allowed very limited decision-making authority. There no elected officials, or sham battles of twin parties. Decisions that affect the whole County and are not purely “housekeeping” are made by voice vote in the neighborhood assembly. Community rights are valued above individual rights.

    Food and Agriculture: San Juan County is completely self-sufficient in food, fibre and lumber. Nearly all citizens produce a significant portion of there food themselves, and for most food production is their main occupation. Far from being “a life of unremitting toil” the average time spent per adult islander on food production is 300 hours/year. Most food comes from gardens, but each island has some cooperative broadscale agriculture for grain and oilseed. Ample surpluses are produced for emergency supplies, animal feed, brewing, etc. Since the oceans have become polluted, no seafood is consumed. Because of the general shortage of water, heavy emphasis is placed on fall-planted “winter” crops that do not require irrigation. Grain, fava beans, dry peas, sugar beets, and oilseed rape all do well as fall-planted crops in the islands.

    Energy: Most islanders heat with wood, much of which is produced by coppicing. They cook with alcohol (usually made from sugar beets) or wood. The small number of internal combustion engines are fueled with biodiesel or alcohol. Electrical power from the mainland was cut off during the “changeover” as this was considered instrumental in making the County self-reliant and economically independent. A few locals produce small amounts of solar or wind generated electricity for their own use.

    Shelter: Islanders live in a wide variety of dwellings. For example, trophy houses are now typically shared by groups of families or large extended families. Many schools, churches and commercial buildings have been converted into pleasant homes. People desiring new houses build them from a variety of local materials. There are no building codes or building inspectors in San Juan County.

    Land Use: All land in San Juan County is owned or in some fashion, controlled by the neighborhood cooperatives. Decisions about land are made by consensus, the general rule being “to provide for everyone’s need, but not for anyone’s greed.” The co-ops acquired control through a variety of strategies; donation, purchase, squatting leading to adverse possession, etc. Many small holders have long-term leases for so-called “peppercorn” or token rents. There no zoning regulations.

  13. I remember reading this back in the day: Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston.

    Some of the story I still remember clearly, how about others here?

    Especially the need to vent human instincts for aggression and predation with the annual games. Very much like the Hunger Games.

    That's what we need in the islands. Annual games, to the death. Winners get 20 acres and a trophy home, donated by the Land Bank.

  14. It's just like the MRC - - controlled by the people who get the grants it doles out. Of course, the Science Director of the Friends steps out when the committee is voting on her grant proposals, then returns to find--this past year, at least--that THREE out of four grants went to the Friends. Somebody has to pay for their fulltime lawyer to sue the county and individual homeowners, like the poor couple trying to protect their trees and bank with some rock.

  15. Here's some typical PSP-EcoNET stuff:

    "A desire to work with others towards saving Puget Sound
    by improving and
    increasing the coordination, communication, and partnering between
    education, communication,
    outreach and stewardship program providers in
    Puget Sound."

    How many beaches do you think THAT is going to clean?

    "Ability to work
    positively with members and act on the concept and spirit of
    king and collaboration."

    Yup. We're adding this hot air to global warming? SEA-LEVEL RISE IMMINENT!!

  16. You guys might make some good points, be able to write well, possess stellar debating skills, and fundamentally be on the morally right side of this debate but........
    That doesn't make one but of difference in what matters most. The outcome of this election. Ask yourself "what have I done today to help a candidate in the upcoming election".
    I haven't seen a single letter in support of Rick, bob, or Brian outside the TH. open any of the local online papers and you see their pictures.

    This will be a sweep by one side or the other.
    6 weeks or so to the election will fly by. You are up against the D machine and the media. Makes it that much more of a battle.

    Just a friendly reminder

  17. 2:23pm is right. The incredible wits on the TH that make us laugh out loud need to harness that brain power for some road signs and flyers.

    I'm not too good at this, but:


    PRATT = JOBS (Only there is a big bold red line at an angle through the word jobs)

    Pratt = (a drawing with dollars with wings on them flying away)

    Pratt + CAO's = NO WORK. VOTE!

    (Pratt is easy)



    (tag line) Vote for ANYBODY, but not this guy.

    So you make your signs in that great shop of yours and you check em every day cause you know where to put em for max exposure. Maybe you put flyers on cars. This is still the greatest country on Earth and even if a Sarah Crosby wants to move to some place where she won't get any dissent we are the people that own this place; we are the moderates and workers pissed off with the long time takeover of County Government by the power elite.

  18. Huey Pierce Long, Jr.March 1, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Also, send The Other Candidates some cash if you can spare it, my understanding is that none of them really have fund-raising expertise on the scale required.

    The sooner the better.

  19. The other side has designed and will be starting a door to door campaign. The already have maps and routes and a window of effective time leading up to the arrival of ballots in the mail.
    This is the single most effective tactic in a local campaign. Those who execute it will win. Period.

  20. Maybe this is plagiarism but I like:


  21. Door to door. I hear you. That's how Jarman won.

    Two can play at that game. Help is on the way.

    We've been keeping the powder dry. Keep the information coming, crowd sourced news on what the opposition is up to is great furn and very helpful. You're not giving away a thing other than to let them know they are leaking like a sieve which damages their confidence.

    If you have something confidential, you probably know by now how to get in touch with the right folks. Don't wait.

    The bigger they come, the harder they fall.

  22. A positive attitude with working people can work. We CAN do this!

    I'm not going to flush my net worth down a legally inspected expensive septic system because I need to spend a few thousand on a political campaign.

    Give until it is painful! We CAN beat these bastards because once honestly profiled they are a dumb bunch of Yahoos.

    No I don't belong to a political campaign and I was not fired out of a campaign gun like the perfectly edited Sarah Crosby.

  23. A World Class Shrieking Harpy Foaming with Incoherent Fury at the the Street Noise is just the perfect Poster Grrrl of a Corrupt Political Machine.

    Thar be bumper stickers a'comin ...

  24. Ok folks. Reality check.
    Google "elect" (insert name of canadite here)

    Look at the pages.
    Lisa is way out in front. The machine has given way more than just money. Honestly that is a helluva nice website.
    McLaren had a page but it was, well, thin. I understand that he is the underdog here representing the common man, but no voulnteers anywhere stepped up and said lets make a kick ass website??

    Folks, do you remember Rich Petersons last race?? The machine ran some grandmother that wasn't even from around here, went door to door campaigning and only lost by less than a hundred votes.
    They have this stuff down to a science. Folks, you have to take all your efforts, contact the campaigns, and get involved. Get some handouts and spend time going around to businesses. Do you ever eat out in town?? Well, for the next 6 weeks, take more people with you. Ask the waitress who they are voting for. If they don't know, tell them who you support. Impart upon them the urgency of voting.

    6000 people didn't vote. Need to find out who the heck these folks were and contact every one of them. That is 1000 per week. That is 130 per day. Divide that up among campaign staff and you know your work loads.

    If I sound rude or abrupt it is because writing cutesy remarks here on the TH will do no good. HIT THE PAVEMENT IN FORCE. If the campaign isn't organized to do this yet, then we are so far behind the 8 ball it isn't even funny.
    Trust me, the opposition has their plan, "maps" and "routes" that they have use before. They even know the best time to roll it out.
    If by Wednesday or Thursday these plans aren't in place, then kiss your asses in to endless regulation and ecohell.

  25. Do not confuse activity with accomplishment.

  26. Completely understand about Wed/Thursday.

    Think about three, simple, doable actions we each can take over the next six weeks that put three nonaligned candidates into the council.

    People hate big money in politics. You are watching a balloon being filled with hot air and it is going to explode.

    At a certain point the public is going become pretty interested in the alternatives that are not part of this Machine.

    There is a rhythm to these things. Pendulums swing back and forth. What you see is a desperate, angry, out of touch out of control Machine. You bet they can win. But those guys are not quite playing with a full deck. You see evidence of it daily. They are getting pretty twitchy. A few fries short of a happy meal.

    There are definitely some powerful tools to fight back with, and soon. Steady on, steady on.

  27. So, what does Rick stand for? Or is he just not-Lisa?

    That's not good enough for me.

  28. It's good enough for me.

  29. Rick Hughes has the best economic plan of all the candidates; it's not based on a single thing, nor in the fantasy of eco-tourism or gentlmen organic GMO free farmers - San Juan county has the lowest taxes in the state and it's timewe advertise that fact and recruit business, Rick wants to do just that. It also means supporting the modernization of our infrastructure, especially high speed internet and wi-fi, Rick supports that. Rick is also a true islander who runs a successful business that employs people with benefits, he hasn't spent a privledged trust fund life with nothing better to do than be on every committee in the county, nor spent a career spending other people's money - there's your reason.

  30. That's a good start. And, he has a sales background, for good or ill, meaning he better get out and start stumping county wide. He can do that.

    Also, Greg Ayers did quite well in the primary, so consider him a player with a lot of votes he can bring to the table, and influence he can bring to bear on Rick. The combined votes of both Ayers and Hughes if put behind Hughes, put him over the top.

    You have to remember that if you tallied all the votes of the non-aligned candidates in the primary the message was clear: The Machine Lost.

    Understand the math: The Machine Lost.

    That doesn't mean they will lose the general, not by a long shot. But don't even begin to think they have all the cards. They lost Lovel and Howie and weren't expecting that. They lost the primary in raw numerical terms.

  31. Dear Ms. Crosby..."how 'bout a Fresca'?

  32. You can bet that they have the names of the 6000 people who did not vote. So if you understand the math: The Machine will win.

  33. What is Rick's economic plan? The only thing I have heard him talk about is forming a Film Board.

    If people can't afford to buy a home and if there aren't affordable rentals, then what?

  34. The last thing we need is for any of our local candidates to be in charge of the economy. Heaven help us. I don't want an economic plan from any of them. I want them all to get the heck out of my way.

    Here's the economic plan - get rid of the crazy CAOs and replace them with something simpler and more understandable. Get rid of the Friends and the embedded political machine that wants to stop all economic activity. Get rid of the planning department, and if we have planners at all, reassign them to other departments where they work under someone else, not for themselves. Give me broadband infrastructure that connects me to the outside world. Generally, loosen up on people and let us get on with the business of our lives -- including growing pot if that's what people want to do.

    Council people, your number one job is dismantling the patronage system and the planning/surveillance mentality of our local government. If you hear about any proposal to "improve" planning or the GIS system, you had better kill it immediately. Exterminate it, or else we will be upset. Very upset.

    Get the hell out of the way and stop trying to figure out ways to be more in the way.

    And to hell with the Film Board please. If Hughes wants to do that, the he can do that on his own time. I don't want the County spending any of its time setting up a godforsaken Film Board.

    Lordy ... all of you great economic planners, please just leave me alone.

  35. I touch base with working people daily and I know they are very concerned about the economics (read lack of work) here in the islands.

    It is highly unlikely working people will feel any affinity with a Lovel Pratt or Lisa Byers. McClerren has the right stuff to appeal to these people. The big problem is these people just don't vote, so he will need money and help to get those votes in the mail, but if he can do it he will win and in my book he will have EARNED a deserved position on the County Council.

    (Totally agree with that pendulum statement...regular voters WILL look around at some point)

    1. @10:48

      Thatt's funny... You "touch base" with working people every day.

      Its exactly that kind of statement that makes me sick! Try living it. Try being one of the they.

      All this bullshit about your precious land rights is fine and dandy, but I'm more worried about how I'm going to feed my family.

      You "touch base" with "these people"???.

      You have no clue how I think- and more importantly, you have the audacity to think that you speak for me!

      You may end up writing my paycheck, but if there is anyone to be feared it is the imperial "you" and your type that likes to think you are "in touch" with the little people of the county.

      Sorry to be slightly offensive but all this endless
      Bitching and drivel has done nothing to put food on the table of my family - I'm just glad that "you" and "your people" are out there looking out for me and the working masses. (sarcasm intended)

      I like Brian, and will likely vote for him, but would offer him one word of advice: Distance himself from "you" as quickly as possible! If i knew nothing else and had just read your post- I would have immediately checked Brian off my list as an elitist snob with no connection to the working class.

      So do us all a favor and crawl back into your million dollar home and pontificate about "us people" quietly where you won't do more harm than good!

  36. About the 6,000 people.

    Here is reality. In primaries, the political edges, both left and right are the ones most motivated to vote. That is true nationwide and true here.

    And, the Machine lost, by 8%.

    What percentage of the statistically likely more moderate middle of that 6,000 will vote?

    What are the typical voting percentages in the County in general elections? Normally quite high, north of 70%.

    So if the 6,000 are probalistically less partisan, and the nonpartisan majority won out in the primary in terms of raw votes not going to the Machine:

    Do The Math.

    We Can Win This Thing.

  37. @10:37am

    You have pointed out a great truth! "Please just leave me alone". And I think that is the least likely thing to happen if the Machine wins this election. As some above have pointed out, we need to WORK for Bob, Rick, and Brian if we value freedom. And TH serves a great purpose in letting us talk freely. To that end, I have a question. We have lumped a lot of diverse people and groups under the label of the Machine. I find it a useful shortcut. However, does the Machine just want to exercise power through government, or is there really a "true belief" motivating that desire to wield the power. Are the Eco-activists really trying to save the planet? Are the social-justices really trying to establish equality? Will the people vote for the Machine because they too are true believers, or do they put a mark in the box because the people are "nice and work well with others"? Thousands didn't vote last time. Will they in the next election? And, if thet do, what is the motivation. I think the posters at TH value freedom and self determination, and being "left alone". Do the other thousands value serfdom, collectivism, and being regulated? I know, quit the daydreaming and get campaigning. I intend to, but inquiring minds are idle on Saturday morning!

  38. "Please just leave us alone"

    Remember: It is your body. Your hat. Your property. Your privacy.

    The "Community" is not the "Government:

    Of course we have a social contract, and social programs and work hard for a level playing field and justice.

    So if you are repelled by the Machine, be prepared to be accused of "not being for the community." You will hear this, you may even feel a bit shunned around the edges. This is intentional.

    The communitarian philosophy concluded years ago that the government has a critical role in "building community." While that sounds warm and fuzzy and nice, think very carefully about the flow of money, the patronage and corruption that almost necessarily flows from this devil's bargain.

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and the best cure I know is to remove the Machine from power so that we can be left alone.

  39. To the Hughes campaign,(you seem organized): Could you please post on the TH the County rules (not that it has any right to make such rules) for political campaign signs...specifics please. Much Appreciated. My chop saw is waiting.

  40. 18.40.400 Exempt signs.

    The following signs are exempt from the regulations contained in SJCC 18.40.370 through 18.40.400:

    A. Signs required by law and flags of national and state governments.

    B. “No Hunting” and “No Trespassing” signs, all of which must be smaller than two square feet.

    C. Political signs shall be permitted outright; provided, that they shall not be erected more than 45 days prior to an election and shall be removed by the candidate or landowner no more than 72 hours following an election terminating candidacy. Political signs shall not exceed six square feet in area.

    There are the rules. Be creative folks. Make 6 individual signs that are 6 square feet, each of them self supporting and maybe only an inch apart.

    Nobody will touch the political sign issue. Put em up!!!!! Ask property owners on all the highly visible lots.

    GO BIG!!!!!

  41. Signs not larger than 6 sq ft allowed. Can be put up 45 days before election. Mar 10 in this case. Signs can be requested at Hope this helps

  42. Someone please put up a really big sign.

    Seriously. See what happens. You know what?? NOTHING!!

    One of the Machine operatives will have to fill out a request for code enforcement. Well then, that request becomes public record. You will at least bring some of the machine parts out of the woodwork.

    You really think the county is going to take action on oversized political signs??

    Remember these council slots are supposed to be "non-partisan" and that is being violated up the ying-yang. What's being done about that? NOTHING!.

    You think the sheriffs are going to go around and measure and remove signs?? NOPE.

  43. Wonderful idea, some harmless civil disobedience would be effective if targeted and strategic.

    A big blank sign, just white, and way too large, is a wonderful idea. It'll make people think. They will stare, think what on earth, and then ponder the meaning. Its a good idea.

    Train a battery powered wifi webcam off to the side and see if you can catch the late night goon squad that drives around ripping up signs. We are going to see signs torn up and defaced similar to the Richardson campaign. When the Machine gets going they cross the line.

  44. Thanks to all: So we get 12" X 72" horizontal or vertical or 18" X 48" in any set up or 24" X 36" or take that 864 sq inches and go completely crazy! This could be fun.

  45. Yep and ideally done by private folks on private land on their own dime or collected informally among friends. If the heat comes down, just take it down but make sure we get someone to register a complaint in the public record.

    In fact you could design so that if necessary it could be broken down to individual signs of the proper size, re-purposed and deployed.

    Doesn't have to be entirely blank. A given sign could say "Think!" or "Just Vote No!" or "Really??" or "What the ...??"

  46. If someone gets the heat take them down??

    Hell no. Leave them up. Make them bigger.

    Seriously folks, the county is not going to get involved in this.

    Make a sign that is a somewhat too big and a little too far from the road to touch. Make it 3x4 instead of 2x3.

    If someone "claims" it is too big and actually files a complaint, well, the only way they could "know" is if they tresspassed to measure it.

    Survellence of the signs is a great idea, catch these sign ripping clowns in the act.

    Do not back down. MAKE 'EM HUGE!!!!

    If someone files a request for code enforcement or a complaint with the Sherriff, file a counter claim for tresspass and violation of the charter for the "non-partisan" thing.
    Trust me, the county will sit this one out.

    Anyone here have a visible parcel on a busy road??? Anyone?? Anyone??

    What is the worst possible outcome if you have a sign too big??
    A letter?? A notice to take it down?? NOTHING.

    GO BIG!!!!

  47. Not sure, but I think bigger signs are allowed in the Town of Friday Harbor.

  48. You can build a small shed without a permit.

    You can paint your shed any color you like.

    Be creative here folks. Lets build some shed that are visible and paint them in the manner of our choosing.

    "That is a sign that is too big".

    Nope, it's not. It is my shed. See the rake. See the empty flower pots.....

    Come folks, outside the box.....

  49. That's the spirit, if the County wants to adopt incoherent indecipherable codes so only white robed priests could interpret them arbitrarily for the unwashed and ignorant, so can we! What the hell do we know?

    Yeah just make the signs bigger. Paint big letters on the roof of the barn like days of old.

    Burma Shave signs, one after the other in cute little rhymes.

    But a big white blank sign or one with one word like "Huh?" or "Say What?" or "You're Joking" or "Nope" and a number of them popping up like spring mushrooms on cow pies all over the county would be awesome.

    We will get short videos using smart phones and assemble a piece that combines all of them with a voice over and push it viral.

    Remember, if it ain't fun it won't be worth doing!

  50. I have had the opportunity from time to time to touch base with the powdered wigs and leisured class who watch over us with loving grace.

    They especially enjoy mid summer garden parties with Olympia politicians and selected local Friends that help keep a lid on things.

    In particular they enjoy looking out over vast open spaces to the sturdy yeoman farmers far below, satisfied in their success in preserving a pastoral utopia that does not exist.

    They like to drive into down in screaming yellow Hummers and visit the merry shop-keepers begging eco-tourists to buy local.

    Brian also has my support. To the previous commenter I beg of you: I get it. But you need wake up really fast and smell the coffee.

    I saw Angela Davis speak decades ago about the Boston school bus riots that pitted poverty stricken black neighborhoods against poverty stricken white neighborhoods.

    "Don't these folks understand? They are being pitted against each other by the Man. They are fighting against each other while all being oppressed by the same injustice."

    Wake up. If you don't the the vast majority of folks posting to this blog don't get up every morning and go to work to make an honest dollar you are pretty late to the dance.

  51. Last poster @10:17AM.

    I understand your sentiment and it seems passionate.

    Only thing is I can't find any @10:48 to see what you are referencing.
    Thanks for the clarification.

  52. Think the reference is:

    March 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Search for term "touch base"

    Understand how one phrase might have been misinterpreted and hit a nerve.

    Speaking only for myself, I like the TH, I like Brian, I will vote for him. I also work my ass off to make ends meet. And, the comment of @10:58 AM didn't hit me that way, but totally understand how the phrase "touching base" can make a person feel...

  53. Yes... It was indeed supposed to say @ 10:58.

    The two phrases were that person "touches base" with the working class. And the reference to "these people don't vote".

    Sorry @10:58, I am these people and I work with these people and I struggle with these people and I vote with these people - and desipite what your gentrified elitest attitude may believe, yes, we vote. In fact these people spend a good portion of their time talking about the issues while we work for "you people"

    My point was not that everyone here is an elitist retiree. I would not be here if that was the case. My point is - watch what you say. If you think that the voting base for Brian is going to rise from the working class of this county, then make it so through outreach and networking, but not by pontificating what "these people" do in their daily lives. I am happy to hear how the county government will affect you and am genuinely interested in what issues you think are important but just because you "touch base" with "these people" you should not think that you have a clue what my thoughts and voting habits might be and you should definitly watch your phrasing if supporting a candidate. You have already done more harm than good.

    My advice to Brian. Chart a straight, simple and honest course and don't try to appeal to "these people" or "those people", but instead to "The People".

  54. I really like the idea of Burma Shave type signs. Perhaps one of the folks who were posting lyrics could come up with something clever?
    Really, who can drive past a series of signs without reading them vs. passing just another campaign sign with a name.
    So much more information could be imparted and it will be actually noticed.

  55. I do apologize 1:17. Maybe a poor lazy choice of wording.
    However, the "touch base" I used is in common use and should not upset anyone. As to working people here on the islands not voting, maybe not true in your case but those I talk with are not as informed as you seem to be and I know it is likely there are large numbers of working people who don't vote, because, just as you say, they are working hard just to get work.
    I'm certain they do not read the TH as carefully as you do, if at all.

    As for the million dollar house? That would be nice if I could afford the taxes!

    You know more about me than I know about me, but I had my Teamsters Union card at age 18, and My proudest moment in life so far is racing a machine for eight hours straight in a cannery where when my co-worker did not show up, I strapped 57,000 eight ounce cans.

    But then you know I worked my way through junior college only to get drafted, I mean every generation has to serve right? Well not all I guess.

    And yes I did meet every payroll for 24 years and when I sold my company I did pay almost all of the lousy 40K I got to my long time office staff. And then I went to work for my wife digging irrigation systems in and pouring concrete patios. But you know that.

    And while you were busy upbraiding me at 1pm in the afternoon I was banging a T&G floor together.

    So mister, you might not agree but you and I are seeking the same outcome in this election and have a whole lot more in common than you think. And since you are in constant contact with working people who vote I ask only that you get them to do just that.

  56. ...(so busy working my ass off I hardly have time to catch up on TH comments)

    Thanks for the support. Some more green road signs will be showing up in about a week bearing the working man's name.

  57. Folks. Don't worry about sign size. Go big. Talk to strangers. If you are a contractor, talk to your subs, if you play poker with a group of islanders, mention the importance of voting.

    Talking to people. That is grassroots. I hope the campaigns are ready to lace up the boots and hit the pavement. You can bet your ass the other side is already mapped out ready to go.

    This is winnable but we have to go all in.

  58. As we are here talking about sign size and doing some petty bickering about this and that, the Machine is united and in lock step moving forward. They have gotten the names of the non voters from the county web site and are having meetings to see what ones on the list might vote for them. Then when the ballots come out the people on the list will be helped and reminded to vote.
    Oh but we got them, we had a sign was an inch over size. We stuck it to the Maching.