Monday, March 25, 2013

Odlin Park Tree-asco

No trees were cut down today. Depending on who you believe, either the County decided to delay the cutting of trees for a couple of days in order to understand the concerns of Lopezians or the contractor who was scheduled to cut the trees told the County that he was taking today and tomorrow off because even he has reservations about cutting the trees, especially given all the public attention.

The situation is still murky, but early this morning, we learned that "the flagging on the trees marks them for inspection and removing dead/failing limbs by the contracted forester/arborist." Right now, it looks like two trees (the large Doug Fir in the photo in the previous post) and a White Fir will be shortened to 60 feet and left as snags for "habitat." Both have rot, but of course, many old growth trees have rot and stand for hundreds of years, but now these trees are hazardous to people because of the placement of the campsite.

In place of the tree(s), we are told "As a part of this project we plan to develop interpretive displays about this forest for visitors" and "If the top of the Douglas fir is in good condition once it’s down we plan to work with a local saw miller to mill and build picnic tables and other lumber for park projects."

There was a comment left on the last blogpost that appears to be speaking with authority when it says:
Work on the group campsites at Odlin is complete. The ribbons on the trees were placed by an arborist hired to check the condition of the trees and remove dead, hanging limbs. There are no plans to cut down any of the marked trees, or any of the other trees in the area. At the arborist's recommendation, one diseased, near-dead tree will be shortened to create a habitat snag, and one Douglas Fir will be shortened below severe rot damage caused by an infestation of borers. The arborist said that the tree should then survive. He said the diseased portion of the fir is threatening to fall on its own and could strike a frequently used portion of the park.
We don't know who left the comment, but it seems to correlate broadly with information from multiple sources. Right now, that's all we know.

As longtime Trojan Heron readers understand, we've been critical of the Odlin Park redesign for months for its cost and poor stakeholder involvement. The whole thing seems surreal, especially considering Lopezians are clamoring for money for their decaying shambles of a school, while they have a "new" $1 million park that no one asked for.

We first posted about Odlin in June 2012. We posted about it again in July 2012 when we showed a clip of the Council contending with a request for a budget increase from Dona Wuthnow (bringing the total Odlin project cost to just shy of $1 million). Of the 300 or so postings on this blog, that post is our most-viewed ever, and many of our readers feel the video associated with that post exemplifies everything that was wrong with the previous Council (and maybe still wrong with local government).

Spend spend spend on questionable priorities, and laugh it off. Don't worry about the cost of new regulations, just press ahead. As we said when we first put up the post originally, it shows what a circus we have become.


  1. I had never seen that video until now.

    I understand better why Patty is glad to be done.

    Since you have some video editing capabilities, someone should do a video featuring Patty with the Grateful Dead song "stuck in the middle"........."clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right......

  2. Wasn't that the Stealers Wheels?

    Patty ended up voting for the Odlin Park increase despite her questions. Typical. She appears to act like an adult, but caves in and votes with all the other jokers and clowns. By her voting record, she is no better than the rest of them. The only councilman with a significantly different voting record is Rich Peterson.

  3. Am I missing something? Are they cutting the two trees into snags on Wednesday instead of today? So they are cutting the trees because of the campsite, aren't they?

  4. The "Winter Council" has had a positive movement and while I will never understand how Patty Miller got so unscrewed in the CAO process. I do believe now we will miss her. Same with Rich Peterson. A guy who was alone, last standing in battle after battle, but also a guy who often thought an increase in taxes and fees would resolve a budget of profligate spending.

    And so we move on, but where are we going?

  5. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

    26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

    27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

    28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

    Matthew 20:25-28

  6. I have no idea what the previous commenter is saying, but it reminds me of my favorite verse from Matthew (10:36).

    "A man's foes shall be they of his own household."

    That should be the County motto given the way the enforcement rule reads.

  7. In the begining God created the universe, which has generally been considered a bad idea...

  8. @10:41

    Please Give Mr. Douglas Adams credit for the beginning of a brilliant work.

  9. I wrote that...he stole it, him and Shirene Hale conspired to have the number 42 as the answer to all buffer questions...verily I say unto thee that the knights who say Ni shall visit wrath upon thee and thy children

    1st Hale 3:23

  10. Cut trees and unwanted parks and greenbud, it's Slowpez oh my!

  11. Anyone apply for a weed growing permit yet??

    Talk about a Cluster F*&^. Have you read the rules on that one??

    Finally get our shit legal, now its regulated more than a wetland...

    Oy Vei!

  12. ....And the prophet Adamus declared "it is so, ecology will be done"....

    1CAO 13:12


  13. The time has come to Trust Islanders !

    "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

    1 Corinthians 13

  14. Could someone buy Fair & Parks Director, Dona Wuthnow, a big Smokey the Bear hat and then strongly suggest that the next time there is major work being done in a public park that she show up and in an outgoing manner offer to answer questions from concerned Islanders.

    If she had done that at Odlin the "tree-asco" would never have happened.

    (OK, we're still gonna be out a million bucks.)

    I also occurs to me it is likely at least several County Managers need to get out more.

  15. You have missed the better point so I will make it for you.
    The high cost, and the cost over-run is a direct result of stupid regulations based in utter none-sense; the play field that is gravel fill was deemed a Cat III wetland, the entire site is an archaeological area (oh you know the lost gold tomes of Vahlhala are there somewhere) these idiotic regulations make it so we can't even make a few extra places to pitch a tent without spending a million dollars...end the madness, vote for Jarman, Hughes, & McClerren

  16. 5:47 You're correct in my view too, the big issue is the cost over runs were self generated.

    Still, since we are spending like we got it, the folks making the public bucks should get off (can I say their butts) the press releases, I phones, etc. and actually meet up with some real people who they might enjoy talking with.

  17. Sorry, but I somehow missed the whole enforcement issue and it is obviously important to us all.

    I'm the planner guy.

    Many jurisdictions have found enforcement should take place at point of sale. The seller must have a sales inspection of the property and any and all code violations get vented to the buyer. NO, the jurisdiction (SJC in this case) does nothing, who cares? Well the buyer does and this seems to work well simply because the buyers are the enforcers.

    It works. And, in the meantime the jurisdiction has only the expense and worry of those rare occasions where public health and safety are threatened.

    Read the letter written by Evelyn F. Fuchser in the Island Guardian.

    We can have good sense, but we have to elect people with good sense.

  18. Lopez wasted $1 million (Oldin Park), San Juan Island wasted $1M (vacant transfer station land), and Orcas wasted $500K (constructed wetland in Eastsound) so Orcas has $500 more to waste and Shaw Island needs to submit its invoices for its wasted $1M. Our county throws money around like it's water.

  19. So why didn't the Friends of the San Juan's---who profess to speak for the trees--protest the cutting down of these big trees in Odlin Park? My guess is that it wasn't as important to them as preparing for the upcoming workshop they plan to do for excavators next month on how the CAO works......the CAO they wrote and made deliberately vague and which they are now protesting is too vague. So now they plan to speak for the County on the CAO? Isn't it the County's job to teach the public how the new CAO works??? Oh and for extra grins....FOSJ says that Puget Sound Partnership is paying for these workshops!! When did the Council cede control of the County to the the Friends? Maybe when they effectively ceded grant writing authority in the County's name to the Marine Resources Committee by bring afraid to stand up to a committee they oversee and appoint?

  20. I find it shocking that they are all having such a giggle over this. Maybe that is because they are being paid to wade their way through a overly regulated system.

    I am never laughing it up when I work with the permit office. In fact it is usually the opposite.