Friday, February 8, 2013

Sketchy News Details

Today has been a busy news day, with evolving stories, so only sketchy details are available. We'll tell you what we know thus far, but bear in mind this is preliminary information.

First, although Tim Blanchard was approved to sit on the Planning Commission by a 6-0 Council vote, some opponents of Blanchard's appointment are complaining that the San Juan County Code (SJCC) requires appointment by the Chair of the Council in order for the appointment to be official. Consequently, even though Chair Jamie Stephens voted for Blanchard's appointment, Stephens is getting pressure not to appoint Blanchard.

If we look at the actual San Juan County Code, here is what Chapter 2.20 says regarding membership and appointment to the Planning Commission:
2.20.080 Membership and appointment.
The planning commission shall consist of nine members appointed by the chair of the County council, with approval of a majority of the County council; provided, that each member of the council shall submit to the chair a list of nominees residing in his/her council district and the chair shall make his/her appointments from such lists so that as nearly as mathematically possible each council district shall be equally represented on the commission (RCW 36.70.080). Planning commission members in positions one through six shall reside in the County council district with the same number. Planning commission members in positions seven, eight and nine shall reside, for position seven, in voting district one, two, or three, for position eight, in voting district four or five, and for position nine, in voting district six. (Ord. 14-2007 § 4)
Frankly, there probably isn't a single person on the Planning Commission appointed according to the letter of this law. If Blanchard's appointment is questionable, then the appointment of every current Commissioner is questionable as well.

Next up regarding sketchy news of the day, Councilman and candidate Bob Jarman is reportedly in the hospital undergoing heart valve replacement surgery. We wish Jarman a speedy recovery and quick return to health ... and an expeditious return to the Winter Council as well.

Next on the list is the awaited deposition of Jon Cain in the lawsuit concerning the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and the CAOs. This is the lawsuit brought by the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR) against the County. Deputy Prosecutor Cain's deposition was scheduled to occur this week, but it has been postponed. Reportedly, Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord is unwilling to proceed without a subpoena. That can be arranged, apparently, and the deposition is likely to occur later this month.

Lastly, Ron Zee, who is already Conservation District President, Head of the Madrona Institute (which is the fiscal agent of the Stewardship Network), and until recently the Head of the local Democratic Party, has been proposed as a possibility to Chair the Action Agenda Oversight Group (AAOG) Local Implementation Organization (LIO). Translation -- Zee could become head of the local Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) organization that doles out grants to the non-profit he runs (Madrona Institute) which funds the PSP EcoNet (Stewardship Network) ... or the Network as we have referred to them in shorthand.

If you remember from earlier posts, the Network is the collection of 24 organizations that were paid by the PSP to spread specific messages about our environment and economy.

Controversy about Blanchard? ... when Ron Zee's overlapping connections to state and local government are dizzying?


  1. It is not surprising that the Friend-o-crats are so desperately trying to reverse Blanchard's appointment. They are so confused--for a decade or so, the Friend-o-Crats appointed their friends and network buddies to all the key volunteer advisory groups. The Planning Commission has at least three. likely more, Friends on it. Blanchard has apparently failed to take the loyalty oath. How dare he?

  2. Who sits in which seat? Who figures that one out? (I just struck out as libelous my comment on our current "manager.")

    I was chair of a PC and Design Review Board for eleven years and I would have got down on my knees to get someone like a Tim Blanchard.

    This guy actually looks like someone who will do his homework!

  3. I just received this with a request to post it right away:

    Unexpected News

    Speaking from his hospital room, County Councilman Bob Jarman quipped “I’m putting my whole heart in the job of Council and I needed a tune-up”.
    Jarman and his wife Sue got a surprise when he visited his physician for routine tests, and discovered he had a faulty heart valve. He is now recovering from surgery with a new mechanical valve.

    Laughing and joking with family around, Jarman said, “This new valve will give me another fifty years; not that I want to be part of the Council that long!”

    Jarman expects to be back attending County Council meeting within a week, and said “ I’ve been reading the minutes, and keeping up to date with the issues”.

  4. I think it might not be a bad idea to look at the Planning Commission and start with a blank slate. For that matter, look at the Land Bank, the ARC, the MRC, the EDC, AAOG, LIO, blah blah.

    What are there charters? What are they doing? Who has been on any of these committees/commissions for longer than two terms. Why?

    I have no doubt Tim Blanchard will serve us well and will have his day. But let's clean house and start over. Start now.

    We need a policy agenda. A few mini initiatives and a full court press. This gang of thieves, colorful and entertaining as they have been, are showing their true selves these days. It is time for them to go.

  5. Is there any reason any board has more than five members? More paper, more staff, more everything.

  6. My impression of Brian Ehrmantrant (hope I got it right) has changed. Granted the guy has bothered me with a conflicted image, I don't like over weight people, and I have not been sure about what he was all about.

    Along comes the TH. (Thank God) Mr. Brian your posts on Mr. Dehlendorf were truly a bright bulb. Straight from the shoulder you told the truth.

    Thank you.

  7. Um- I think that was a compliment... Maybe... Sort of


  8. You like straight from the shoulder? I don't like you for baseing your opinion on physical appearance. Hope I got it right.

  9. Whoa there, some of my best friends are living large, even my doctor fusses at me.

    We are a protected class you know. At least I think so.

    What ever happened to the good qualities of being portly or Reubenesque? Pink cheeked and pleasantly plump? Rumpled and shambling?

    A fashion world of emaciated anorexic stick thin models teetering down cat walks in spike heels? Is it true that Israel outlawed this anti-obese media machine recently?

  10. I think every fair, honest, thoughtful, intelligent, and reasonable person is beautiful.

  11. Ok, Let's get back on topic.

    First things first. Mr. Bob Jarman, we all wish you a speedy recovery and we need you back on the rock pronto. Godspeed.

    But, his is supposed to be a "newsfree blog".

    Why is TH wasting our time covering this when the other rightful and meritorious news outlets are not.

    The lead stories on the San Juan Islander and The Guardian this morning are identical and far more important.

    See the potential pulitzer material under their identical headlines "Have You Lost Your Chicken?"

    In reply, all I can say is all my chickens are accounted for, but y'all have lost your sense of journalistic importance.

    As for the trials of Mr. Blanchard. All I can say is this is so messed up I don't even know where to begin.

    Mr. Dehlendorf's complaint is largely that there was a failure of process. It seems that this is largely negated by the fact that the Chairman Stephens voted FOR Mr. Blanchard -- so he was in fact recommended by the Chair. I agree that according to the statute the appointment was a bit sloppy, but it seems to fall into the no harm no foul rule that pervades the jurisprudence of life on this planet.

    Second, I am not even sure that the Code even applies anymore. That statute speaks of 6 districts. Accordingly to the office of the Prosecuting Attorney, we now live in a County with only one district as voting is district wide (or perhaps 3 districts if you are looking at candidacy residency). So, it looks like the CC has some redrafting to do to get all the little laws that depend on the old method of districting in harmony with the new reality. On second though, they might want to wait a bit. See, for eg. Sisyphus.

    I invite Mr. Dehlendorf to use some of his energies combating actual and material transgressions of procedures which harm the community.

    Your Friend,

    Nick Power

  12. David Dehelendorf speaks in his official capacity as Treasurer of the San Juan County Democratic Committee. I am sure his lovely wife, the Planning Commissioner would disavow any knowledge of his actions, if she but knew about them, as he seemed blissfully unaware of the application process for the position that Tim Blanchard now holds.

    David speaks for the little flies flitting around his head and earwigs drilling about in what remains of any gray matter left inside. Which by any account does not seem to be much.

  13. Short People got no reason
    Short People got no reason
    Short People got no reason
    To live

    They got little hands
    And little eyes
    And they walk around
    Tellin' great big lies
    They got little noses
    And tiny little teeth
    They wear platform shoes
    On their nasty little feet

    Well, I don't want no Short People
    Don't want no Short People
    Don't want no Short People
    Round here

    Short People are just the same
    As you and I
    (A Fool Such As I)
    All men are brothers
    Until the day they die
    (It's A Wonderful World)

    Short People got nobody
    Short People got nobody
    Short People got nobody
    To love

    They got little baby legs
    And they stand so low
    You got to pick 'em up
    Just to say hello
    They got little cars
    That got beep, beep, beep
    They got little voices
    Goin' peep, peep, peep
    They got grubby little fingers
    And dirty little minds
    They're gonna get you every time
    Well, I don't want no Short People
    Don't want no Short People
    Don't want no Short People
    'Round here

  14. Goodness ... I'm gonna start covering lost chicken stories if we keep picking on one another's appearances !

  15. Can we sorta kinda cool it with the song lyrics and height/weight proportionality stream of consciousness, and as Nick Power says, get back on topic?

  16. Well, getting back to the chickens at hand.

    The serious issue here is that there are some burning stories going on around here that the "paper of record" is not reporting on. This is a real problem.

    If I didn't know any better, I'd say we're all being exposed to a highly coordinated news blackout.

    Really. These stories are real, they affect our community deeply, they are exciting, they attract readers, and sell advertising.

    What gives?

  17. Much rather that people comment about Ron Zee's "invisible hand" influence over much of San Juan County affairs than anyone's height or weight.

    Happy to see Jarman is on the mend.

    I'm disappointed that comments are going sideways, and I'm concerned that people are missing the point of good information even while they complain that they never receive any. Maybe we all deserve chicken stories because look how we behave when we are given real information.

  18. TO: San Juan County Council,
    San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney,
    San Juan County Planning Commission Chair (Brian Ehrmantraut)

    I, the undersign make the assertion the action explained below attended by the San Juan County Council is in violation of San Juan County Code Chapter 2.20.080. Specifically, none of nominees reside in Mr.Rosenfeld council district, therefore were not properly presented to the chair of the County council as required by San Juan County Code Chapter 2.20.080.
    I present in support of this assertion the following record:
    COUNTY COUNCIL MINUTES – Page 3 records the following:
    At line104 Moved by Mr. Rosenfeld, seconded by Mr. Peterson, to reappoint Bob Gamble to the Planning Commission. ALL AYES, MOTION CARRIED
    At line 107 Moved by Mr. Rosenfeld, seconded by Mr. Peterson, to reappoint Karin Agosta to the Planning Commission. ALL AYES, MOTION CARRIED
    At line 110 Moved by Mr. Rosenfeld, seconded by Mr. Stephens, to reappoint Barbara Thomas to the Planning Commission. ALL AYES, MOTION CARRIED
    This legislative action was not accomplished as required by San Juan County Code Chapter 2.20.080, therefore the San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney should make a finding that such action is null and void and that actions or deliberations that the above named Planning Commission Members participated in are also null and void.
    The San Juan County Code sited above is as follows:
    2.20.080 Membership and appointment.
    The planning commission shall consist of nine members appointed by the chair of the County council, with approval of a majority of the County council; provided, that each member of the council shall submit to the chair a list of nominees residing in his/her council district and the chair shall make his/her appointments from such lists so that as nearly as mathematically possible each council district shall be equally represented on the commission (RCW 36.70.080). Planning commission members in positions one through six shall reside in the County council district with the same number. Planning commission members in positions seven, eight and nine shall reside, for position seven, in voting district one, two, or three, for position eight, in voting district four or five, and for position nine, in voting district six. (Ord. 14-2007 § 4)
    Respectfully submitted March 29, 2012 by email, with paper copy to follow.

    William H. Wright

  19. So what happened? Submitted March 29, 2012!

  20. Good Night and Good LuckFebruary 9, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    I remember when the Journal would devote front page above the fold to raise hell about a part time book-keeper with some community group being unable to account for $500.

    That wasn't even that long ago?

    And now we get chicken stories in the midst of this civic depravity.

    Not even an editorial about incivil precautionary and proactive resilience?

  21. Nothing. Absolutely nothing happened. I think Bill is pointing out that he has pointed out apparent irregularities before, only to be ignored. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and look how "they" are behaving.

  22. So who is "enabling" all this truly incivil trash talk, hate speech howling, bullying and flat out lying to the public, while suppressing the newspapers duties, telling us not to worry, its all right, just vote for diverse vibrancy and all will be well?

    Who is enabling this? If some of these folks like David really had any civic minded friends, he would be taken aside and asked to tone it down.

    Do he and his lovely wife never communicate? Do they sit over breakfast playing Farmville on their iPhones? "Oh, gosh, he's at it again. Look him, isn't he so cute? He always make me laugh."

    Are we dealing with a really bad case of "community co-dependence" here? This almost seems clinical.

  23. Take a look at our papers of record. Bake sales and press releases from various politicians. No independent writing of any value. How much do you know from the papers about the CAO controversy? How much about anything? Of course, you don't know what you don't know without someone providing you information. Journalists used to do some heavy lifting. We used to take the "paper" but no more. All it's good for is starting our evening fire.

  24. NO MORE SONG LYRICS, please! It takes forever to scroll on my antiquated computer.

  25. Seems to me there is some very heavy lifting being done, and you are quite correct --- NOT by the local papers. It is instead being done, in terms of investigative journalism, by the TH, and thank goodness for that. It is also being done in litigation by CAPR, the Common Sense Alliance, the Tagarras (sp?) family, those challenging Propositions 1 and 2, and thank goodness for those efforts as well. Indeed, my thanks to all who have recognized the local madness for what it is and have stepped up to say enough already. We even have a nice, well spoken lady candidate who, with financial and other support of the local democratic party, asserts that private land ownership is an evil that should be abolished. WHAT ?

  26. Suggested headlines from my Saturday reading.

    "Local election roiled by Candidate heart surgery."

    "Candidate Byers on Solid Waste: Local Control for Orcas and Lopez, Korean control for San Juan Island."

    "State Senate looking to Florida; Growth Management Law on the Chopping Block."

    "Washington Republicans ask for $6.89 Minimum Wage; support grows."

    "FRIENDS side with enemies in tidelands dispute."

    Judging by the front page of our Sound Publishing offerings (and the unfortunate Guardian Chicken), you'd think there's nothing interesting going on...

  27. "... A nice well spoken, lady candidate..."

    Something about that statement is conjuring up an image of "binders full of women".

    And I suppose the biggest problem is that 80% of the posts in this thread have nothing to do with the Blanchard appointment. Between the song lyrics and the reduction of the conversation to the discussion of a persons weight I'm losing interest in most opinions here.

    The real stories are far more interesting than the off-topic middle school characterizations.


  28. So I'll ask a question.

    Care to predict the outcome of Tuesday's election?

    My guess depends on how Lopez wants to play this. I assume they will back Pratt on San Juan and Byers on Orcas. That means any splitting between
    Hughes/Ayers and Jarman/Florenza sows it up for the ladies. Hughes gets in, and probably Jarman.

  29. Yep, pretty much. The vote of independents will be split. I also predict Hughes and Jarman, they have been around the islands a long time. I'd love to see Marc make a run for FH Mayor. Remember if the charter measures survive the court challenge, the Network only need two positions of three. Lovel is expendable. That's the chess game. Let's move on.

    Why not move the tunes and poetry to a different menu heading? There really is a place for the poetic here, please don't dismiss that. Some here rather enjoy it. Wish we had cartoons. Anyone out there a good artists?

    And I don't suppose the TH is for everyone.

    Is it possible to reverse the order of postings to most recent at the top? As interest grows, so do these discussion threads. I want to see what just showed up and not have to dig down every time.

  30. From 'Good night & good luck' and the far side:

    "They were beautiful, those chickens in the midst"

    Sorry. Could not resist.

    San Juan: Jarman, Pratt
    Orcas: Hughes, Byers

    Then, a nasty general election fight. No idea who wins that. I think it will be very close.

  31. Welcome to the San Juan County Boneless Chicken Ranch.

    "We removed the backbone so you wouldn't choke on it. Public safety regulations."

    It will be close and nasty. The islands are for sale and they're up for grabs.

    But we can win this thing. They may have more money, but we're right and they're wrong. Plus they have no sense of humor. So they are really brittle.

  32. Going Out on a limb here:

    I predict Stephens and McClaren on Lopez-

  33. Hold on, please don't change a thing. I like wading through the old posts and often go back a few days through a couple of lead TH opinions to see if there were any tail end comments.

    Songs, only if you do both lyrics and music, live.

    People who are aware of their prejudice and say so are better understood than those who strive to be PC.

    If this is a poll:

    Marc vs Lovel (I'm thinking Peterson's district will go Florenza)(Dream is both Jarman and Florenza defeat Pratt.)

    Hughes vs Byers (Ayers is a good man)

    McClerren vs Stephens

    A total dogfight in the final. Myself, I'm going to give the max to McClerren in the final because he's working class and we don't have and have not had for a long time a person like this in County Government.

  34. Thinking several plays ahead and it would make sense on several levels. Regardless of what happens, throw everything behind McClerren and let's start now.

    Let the other races go as they will. I don't think Lovel will prevail, even if she gets through the primary. Let Orcas take care of Lisa and assume the majority will tend to "go with the one you know." That means Hughes will have the incumbent wind at his back if he plays it reasonably well. He's a sales guy, he knows how to raise money.

    We do not want a two member Network majority, that has to be top priority. And it would be wonderful to have a smart, sensible blue collar perspective on the Council. That is worth its weight in gold. I'm liking the way McClerren talks. Would like to see a lot more of him.

    Backing McClerren will reduce risk of a Network majority. It will split the Lopez vote. It will get more folks there to think more seriously about the issues.

    And a blue-collar perspective is such a breath of fresh air, along with youth. He will have a stiff learning curve, but that's a good thing. He will have a lot of help and good will in that first year.

    It should not be too hard to raise $20K for him quickly.

  35. Reference the post on Friday Harbor for lease signs. If the Chamber of Commerce is reading the TH. Do you know where the landlords live? For instance the guy I pay storage fees too, lives in Bellevue.

    I think these people must be interested in elections here and following the analysis on the TH would help them understand the local situation.

  36. Getting time to leave our childish ways behind, looking through a glass, darkly.

    Thank you Trojan Heron. You have raised awareness, taught complicated stuff clearly, and allowed a lot of people to come together for the first time and vent their very strong feelings. We got a lot of it out of our system. So now we can think clearly and organize for action. That is what is next.

    We can always fall back and have fun with the wit and revealing satire but too much of that means we're behaving like victims. Time to move on.

    Now its time to win. Yes, we can build lists of the businesses, or at least the ones not depending or sold out to the Network. We can reach them. They can reach their customers. They can reach working families. We know how to use social media and run rings around these other folks still holding secret meetings behind restaurants trying to stay in business.

    For the moderate center left Democrats, this is the opportunity to take back the Party machine and return it to a responsible voice in the community.

    Its time to "pivot."


  37. I'm going off topic. What's there to say about "Snake" Blanchard, David has spoken. Miz Janet is peeved again. Apparently, some of us caused the county to drag out the CAO process, wasted the counties time and money. It could have been so much simpler. But no, we had to ask questions. I feel bad, real bad Miz Janet.

  38. We should campaign for Lisa in the general!

    Let's put up posters next to hers, with her picture and the slogan YOUR property "MUST BE MADE COMMON"!

    (referencing of cource her speech at the New Economics Institute)

    I'm sure this will help?

  39. The CAOs already make our property "in common". When you lose control over your property you loose the reason to own it. They don't need to take it. If this works here this will be rolled out all over the country. This election just got real easy ,we can now talk about the real issue. Do we want to vote for someone who says in here own words that all property should be held in common. This is her core belief. She is the president of a national organization to further this cause. This is who the friends have become. Hasn't this experiment been tried before? Too bad we can't learn from history.

  40. And the beauty of it you still to pay taxes, which now have essentially become rent, because if you want to repaint the bathroom you have to ask the landlord who will say: "We will see."

    Wasn't it one of the world famous economic philosophers and board member of the Friends of the San Juans, Mike Kaill who postulated: "The shoreline belongs to us!"

    If they can't have it, you can't use it.

    And have no doubt. We are a laboratory, a petri dish, they try those ideas out here along with the targeted awareness campaigns and behavior modification stuff. We are something of a closed loop social economic system here, limited inputs and outputs. A good modeling environment.

    As one of the more visionary consultants behind the San Juan Initiative once said over lunch to some of us guppy eyed island innocents: "You know, if we can make it work here, we can do it anywhere."

    It is really that nuts.

  41. We need to be very quiet about all this. If someone should stumble on to the Glenn Beck website and look at his book on agenda 21, they might find the place to report any activity that looks like it may be related to agenda 21. Since most of this is done on a local level ( by design) it's really hard to track ( by design). I just worry we may get a lot of national attention because of our fine video of Lisa and the fact that we have some pretty high profile property owners here. Bill
    Gates ,Paul Allen, and others. We also might be in trouble because Glenn grew up in Mt. Vernon. Sssshhhhhh. This would put the FOSJ in a very bad light.

  42. Agree with the 7:44pm & 9:11pm posts.
    Is $900 the max donation? Not that I can afford more. (Seems somehow proper to take the funds from our SSAN account.)

    How does the person making the donation get ID'd. I mean if I send the check from a SF CA account with no ID is that OK?

    I'm not familiar with WA campaign donation rules, so thank you TH readers for whatever you know.

  43. Campaigns must identify any donor contributing more than (I think) $25. You can try to give $900 anonymously, but the campaign cannot accept it. The campaign gets into trouble, not you.

    $900 is the max donation per election. So, for example, if you are in both a primary and general election, a campaign can take in $900 for each. If a candidate is only in a general election, then $900 is the max.

  44. The last thing we need in this County is Glenn Beck, sorry. And the Gates and Allens actually buy the land they're interested in, which is better than the people who want to take it because it belongs to "everyone."

  45. I would think KING5 News or KIRO might find our little election worthy of a little 2 minute segment. Imagine, a County Council candidate fearlessly calling for the Government to "make property common"!

    "I don't want to restore our economy in San Juan County, I want to TRANSFORM it!"

    "I don't think the county is diverse enough! Vibrancy is the hallmark,of diverse communities!"

  46. Ouch! The lady is special in her own mirror.

  47. Agree with 6:36 PM

    We're not living in Outer Glenbekistan. You can buy his books for ten cents in any thrift store these days. He is so 2009.

    However, we live in the land of Edward R. Murrow (you can see the house he grew up in at the beginning of the Chuckanutt shoreline road. We do need serious investigative journalism and Murrow is a real Local Hero to look up to.

    Murrow exposed the Red Scare of the 1950s and the politicians behind it. Not to say there weren't Soviet agents in our midst back then. There were. But no reason to go after the whole bloody country, or anyone the rich and powerful didn't like. Sound familiar?

    So,we have a Green Scare. No doubt there are really serious problems we need to address. No doubt there are bad actors, especially greedy shoreline property owners in San Juan County gleefully dumping rusting 50 gallon drums of Aldrin (sic) over their bulkheads onto the eelgrass below.

    But do we need a retread of the Red Scare to deal with climate change?

    I'm beginning to wonder. If not here than where? If not now then when? If not us, then who? Let's get to work.