Sunday, March 31, 2013


In lawsuit news, the suit regarding the CRC ballot propositions continues with some new revelations over the past week. This lawsuit seeks to overturn Propositions 1, 2, and 3 approved by voters last November. Those propositions are the reason we are having new elections right now.

The main points of that suit have been covered well by other media, but the had to issue three versions of the same story over the past few days because of confusion (by our Prosecuting Attorney's Office) over what was actually approved by voters. It all has to do with Section 4.34 of the Charter, which sets forth rules for changing residency districts.

All along, one of the arguments made by plaintiffs in the CRC suit has been that the propositions separately modified overlapping sections of the Charter in a potentially conflicting and confusing way. Plaintiffs argue that the propositions presented at least the theoretical risk that a voter could have simultaneously approved and rejected the same Charter language. While appearing to deal with separate and mutually exclusive issues, the three propositions actually amended identical secondary provisions of the Charter.

Now, it appears that such a possibility may no longer just be theoretical. At the moment, it looks like we actually may have multiple versions of Section 4.34 of the Charter. Last Thursday, the plaintiffs filed a new petition asking the Court:
The citizens of San Juan County are left completely in the dark as to which version of 4.34 controls, if any. Is it the 4.34 amended by Proposition 1? Or the 4.34 amended by Proposition 2? Or the 4.34 amended by Proposition 3? There is simply no way to know.
The controversy over Section 4.34 arose because the Winter Council is discussing whether to ask voters to entertain yet another change to the number of districts and representatives on the Council. Some versions of Section 4.34 say this can be done only by the CRC, whereas other versions of Section 4.34 leave this question open and allow for change by initiative and ordinance.

As stated by the plaintiffs in their petition this week:
Perplexingly, the voters have seemingly amended three different versions of Section 4.34 - two versions of which are in direct conflict with each other. That is, one version (the Proposition 1 version) now evidently prohibits the alteration of the boundaries of districts by both County Council ordinance and popular initiative, and two versions (Propositions 2 and 3) remain silent on this change and evidently keep section 4.34 in effect with no substantial (although somewhat differing) alterations.
The plaintiffs go on to say:
Also setting aside for the moment the constitutional propriety of whether the power to both amend by ordinance or by initiative can be so suspended in such a manner, it defies explanation that the County can exist with the state of the law in such contradiction. Petitioners pray that this conflict impresses upon the Court the need for an expedited hearing schedule and, a preliminary injunction staying the election scheduled for April 23, 2013 until this matter can be dealt with rationally.
No matter how you feel about this latest turn of events, I think many of us can agree with the following assertion in the plaintiffs petition.
In sum, political chaos reigns in San Juan County.
Legal chaos too!


  1. Such cold comfort to have been re-assured that the powers of initiative were untouched. Lies. Lies.

    Vote. Vote. Vote Against the Machine.

    The vague and conflicting language in these charter measures are awfully similar to the arbitrary and capricious nature of the CAO.

    "We cannot Trust Islanders to apportion districts that equally represent, so we will trick them into voting for disproportional districts and make it impossible for them to ever return to one-person-one-vote."

    No wonder Rhea Miller went ballistic against Bob Jarman at the Lopez LWV.

    Yes, the Council should look at this, vote for a third touch when this comes back around again, and consider their legal and Constitutional duties and options once this election is over.

    I have to feel sorry though for Bloggo Kvisito of the San Juan Islander, it often takes her several attempts to get a story properly screwed up.

    The State Supreme Court needs to hear this matter really soon. Something here is darkly wrong.

    Maybe a real islander can come to Anacortes tomorrow and petition our federal senators to look into this matter right away, the implications with the National Monument politics playing into our local election at the same time is down right eery. I support local protection of these very special lands but I am really uncomfortable about what's in store for us with a new "management plan."

    Anyone else connecting the dots like I am or am I just raving about flying saucers here? I mean, the guy who is primarily responsible for promoting the Nstional Monument owns lots of property next to these lands, and is on Lovel Pratt's campaign committee and a major donor to the Machine.

  2. Re: previous poster...

    No you are not talking flying saucers. It would be worth looking at the surrounding property owners to the Feds new acquisition and their roles in this process.

    One other one to keep an eye on is the poor folks who have essentially an island within the boundaries of the monument (out by the lighthouse). I wouldn't want to be them in the years ahead.

    Interesting info on the charter case. Keep us updated. Anyone hae the original voters phamplet?? I will pour through that and see what I can learn.

    If there are truly different versions enacted, the council should chose the one that allows them to move the 5 person district reps change forward.

    Re public comments on the new proposed 5 person changes, Dehelndorf vehemently opposed it, Kavisto thought it was a great idea, and citizen Power thought it shouldn't be considered until the legal stuff is sorted.

    What do TH readers think of the proposed 5 person, resident district election scheme??
    I for one would support it.

    I wonder if Kavisto went to the PA's office and threw some pens and unleashed a "you $&$& lie!!!" tantrum to get the story. Probably not but it makes for a funny picture.

  3. @9:36...

    What happened w/Rhea Miller and Bob Jarman?

    And...who is the person who owns lots of property next to these islands that promoted the National Monument thing?

    I totally agree w/you on feeling VERY uncomfortable w/any outsiders "management plan". Yeeks.

    And...could someone clarify what is or has happened concerning the satellite surveillance of our properties and is the $140,000 price tag for real?!? It makes no sense when you have google maps. That is of course unless the real purpose is to watch us all going about our days. Yeeks again!

  4. Answer 1 - Rhea tried to trap Bob with a question at the Lopez LWV about the 5-person council idea, but it backfired on her and she left in a huff. Like a good public servant, Bob stood up for public participation and discussion even for ideas he doesn't favor.

    Answer 2 - Tom and Sally Reeve of Lopez. Why does Obama look thoroughly miserable during the signing ceremony? I've seen more than one photo, and in all of them, he looks how I feel - disgusted.

    Answer 3 - Don't know, but maybe TH knows.

  5. Anyone have the actual text of the 3 propositions we voted on?

    When looking at the county elections site, you can get to "archived" voters guides, as far as the general description, then the arguments for and against. When you click on a link to "full text", it opens a "blank page".

    I couldn't find them on the state website either....

    Anyone have these??

  6. We are all within the boundaries of the National Monument/Conservation Area. Look at the map. It's not just the Fed land, they swung a wide loop and all the San juan Islands are within it, under thier jurisdiction.

  7. Here are links to the three different versions of 4.34.

  8. I have been saying from the beginning I have been warning against placing any hope in the law suits...but on this Easter Sunday I offer this prayer: "DEAR GOD SAVE US FROM THIS MADNESS AND LET US LIVE IN PEACE!!"

  9. Yes, Amen

    The islands should be a peaceful place. May we all reflect on this glorious day that God has made in celebration of Spring and life eternal and renewed, in what ever spiritual language speaks best for you in that deep place inside.

    How do we want to treat our neighbors, and to be treated in return, in the San Juan Islands?

    I feel inside that what is at stake here, is the Golden Rule.

  10. I am searching for the post about w/the emails from Lovel trying to get the man building the barn on Douglas Road. I went back several pages but either missed it or hadn't gone far enough. Could I get a date for that? I personally think that alone is enough to stop votes for her. Add that to her excitement about not being required to pay the going rate for the sewer project while at the same time using "living wage jobs" as one of her platforms.

  11. What exactly does the "protection" of the BLM lands mean? I thought it was already protected?

  12. @4:25pm

    I think you are looking for the post from January 2

    or perhaps March 12

  13. @4:25

    It was early Jan 2013. The 4th or the 10th.
    Where Lovel is told by the code enforcer, planning director, PAs office that there is no violation and she continues to look at other avenues of legal action in spite of all the responses telling her everything is in order. That one??

  14. Let's forget for a moment the attempted destruction of private business on the islands by Lovel and go back to the CRC ballot issues.

    Thanks to the posting of the 3 versions of 4.34

    1 & 3 look clearly different but #2 looks like some other draft. Almost like the "5's" should be strike thru, not underlined.

    Is it as bad as it looks??

    One measure says that they can not change districting and the other actually mandates it.


  15. @ 5:55 PM

    This almost feels like administrative whack-a-mole inside the PA's office, a series of goofs and errors combined with poorly written voter's guide language.

    They live in a world of confusion, a "cloud of words" and massive stacks of paper, and well, these things happen.

    Reminds me of the movie "Brazil." After the shock troops cut a hole in your roof and haul you off to the interrogation chambers, they find out in the Ministry of Information that there had been a small error in the possible wetland maps.

  16. @ 3/31 9:36 AM Can you please define what you mean by "real islander?" Thanks. Can you please list the criteria and tell us what you status is on each one of them? Can you then list the rights that you feel that "real islanders" have as opposed to everyone else? I know I won't qualify as a "real islander" by your reckoning and I think it is only fair for everyone else to know where they stand in the hierarchy. We peons (i.e. non - "real islanders") would really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

  17. Hi Kit,

    I consider myself a "real islander" tho' I am not the poster you were referring to.

    I am a real islander because my roots are here. This is my home and was my father's home and his before him and so on for 6 generations.

    I am a real islander because I think of my island (ie the island I was born on) as being the source of my material needs and the source or my emotional needs. And that point of reference has been consistent for 58+ years.

    I am a real islander because my loyalty to the islands themselves runs so deep and clear due to minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years...nay..decades of wandering this place in my times of need for solitude or joy or peace.

    I am a real islander because I understand..through the stories of my Father and my Grandfather and their stories of their Fathers' and Grandfathers'...the patterns of the seasons and the rain and the snow and the sun and the comings and goings of the birds and salmon.

    I am a real islander because I ranged San Juan on my horse as a barefoot child... the valleys and hills and beaches every chance I got. And I forgot time and I forgot cares and I was one w/my dear island.

    I even said outloud sometimes...
    "beautiful...beautiful..." because I could see it and hear it and feel it.

    I am so offended and outraged by you and your type who believe they are islanders or entitled to any ownership they have not earned or paid for. Whether it be by heritage or hard work.

    As Brian M said..I paraphrase) "..there is no stronger threat to freedom than debt".

    I don't know why you are involved at all when you are someone who just visits at your leisure. It makes me crazy.

  18. I have been here for less than a decade but appreciate and understand the island way. I see the changes being brought about by outsiders.

    Will we not native islanders be allowed in to the fold? Or will we always be outsiders??

    I subscribe to the philosophy defined by Trust Islanders.

    Where do I stand??

  19. It's OK Kit. Far as I know you are paying your property taxes, so even if you don't live here you're still, well sorta, an "Islander" at least monetarily. (Better than some.) (After all, there are "Islanders" who Winter-a long Winter- in the BIG islands, or Mexico, or... and those folks still think they live here.)

    At one point I was thinking I could make a buck with a car sticker: "SJI 365" but of course there could not be many honest buyers, so that idea died real quick.

  20. I can only speak for myself. I think whenever you move to a new place it takes time to integrate. You bring something to an established table. Does that make sense? There are those who integrate well and those who do the opposite. I don't think newcomers are the problem.

    I have friends and kindred spirits who have come here to live who love and appreciate the islands and put up w/all the inconveniences and see it as a real place to live. Not as a tourist "monument". I think that is so silly and ridiculous. It's a home for whoever lives here and I think people who use those grandiose terms have their ego attached to the titles.

    I welcome anyone who comes here w/humility and tries to learn the ways of the locals instead of trying to "fix" something they don't even have any deep understanding of. I think I would feel the same way if I lived in Mt. Vernon.

    And personally...I think the control thing is more about ego than love.

    If I were the God of the islands...per your request...I would grant you a warm island welcome :)

  21. It's an island state of mind. Sort of like that New York City state of mind. It took me three trips to NYC to even begin to "get it" that what I was feeling was a massive, intense, marvelous human buzz. Wonderful. I could never live there.

    It takes a long time to get to know a place but I think the people of that place as they get to know you, will let you know and they will help.

    I had two experiences I remember. One was waking up one day and noticing that I had not left the island for over four months. It felt good. I was surprised it hadn't even occurred to before then.

    The second time was visiting Lopez in the summer performing with Stage Left at the vineyard. Took a long drive to south end of the island, moonless clear night. Probably wandered out on the new National Monument for awhile.

    And, I "got it." Just felt it. A caress. And I understand why folks on Lopez really, really don't want cell towers or things with little blinking red lights at night. It would shatter the magic.

    I wonder what Kit has learned in his many years with the MRC inventing many exciting new regulations for problems that don't exist?

    I like the Trust Islanders take on all this, it works for me too. This is a very special place.

  22. That was @7:53 to @7:39

  23. I'm new here since I've only been here 15 years, but I think islanders are individuals who come here to be individuals.

    The difference, Kit, between you and me is that you have always represented a group. You are the MRC. You are the Tulalip. I am just me. You are not just you. You want something different from these islands.

    There is a big difference between being a representative of a group, and just being yourself. I know this islander is tired of all the groups running our individual lives.

  24. One fine day in Friday Harbor as a big meeting about such and such was getting underway at the Mullis Center and I was walking to the door, the executive director of a certain, well known non-government organization that markets itself as an environmental protection group comes up to me and asks: "Soo ... who are you representing here today?"

    I looked back in fog of dull witted confusion, simply not comprehending the question. I guess my response was "Huh?"

    We're individuals. Just plain folks. Independent and creative. We just want to be left alone, Kit. Can't you understand?

  25. When feeding time has come and gone they'll lose their heart and head for home.

  26. My aunt said in Sausalito: "They all go home by Christmas."

    Maybe that's the people who are not Islanders.

  27. I would consider any who lives here full time, works here (not on L&I, welfare, or trust fund) and believes the people here are good steewards of the land...unlike every "First Nations" area I've ever been to that's one pile of garbage, junked cars, and wasted natural resources from one end to the other Kit.

  28. I'd just like to point out that plenty of islanders have (or had) junked cars on their property too. It's only recently that some places have been cleaned up ... and some still haven't ... doesn't bother me. Some of the most endearing island characters live in places that still look like junk yards.

    In fact, it brings to mind that the definition of a real islander might be like a Jeff Foxworthy joke ...

    You might be a real islander if ...

    You have to drive past more than three junk cars and a gutted deer to get your mail.

    You mow your front lawn and discover five cars.

    Your garage looks better than your house.

    You have a home that's mobile and 14 cars that aren't

    Personally, I'd rather have the islands be like that than ...

    You mow your front lawn and discover five Friends hiding in the grass.

  29. You know you're a real islander if ...

    You're nonconforming

    Your family avoids excessive ferry fares in Anacortes by getting out of the car and meeting you in line

    You just dropped several thousand for the privilege of correcting bad county maps of your land

    You would never rat on your neighbor for a few old island beaters in the grass

    You have to walk a half mile up a hill to make a phone call

    You love it here in the winter-time

  30. Nothing says honoring your ancestors and holding the land as sacred like a casino in the tidal flats. Nothing.