Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Elections -- Our Fouled Waters

In a recent letter to the Journal, we find the latest person making the baseless claim that our CAOs are needed to protect our environment. Like Judge Darrah's earlier letter, it is devoid of specifics as to how the CAOs purportedly achieve environmental protection.

The CAOs do not protect anything. Even if we had a problem, the CAOs would miss it. That is the simple truth, but there is a lot of eco-cachet associated with pushing even pointless environmental regulation in the San Juans.

And this latest letter in the Journal by Steve Ulvi describes our local waters as being fouled. They are ... but only metaphorically. They are fouled by the widespread, relentless pollution of the truth by people who rely on deception, evasion, and fallacy to make their points.

Our waters have been repeatedly described as "pristine" and "spectacular," but to keep the grant money flowing in, serious problems have to be alleged -- never proven -- but always suggested. The pervasive eco-deception is to try to convey a contradictory mythology to visitors and outsiders that these islands are untouched ...  virgin ... but we are also somehow impaired and imminently threatened by further degradation because of development too. The reality is that these islands have been resource harvested for decades and have been scraped clean at least twice, but despite that, our islands are nonetheless "pretty spectacular" to use a phrase by NOAA. In fact, we probably live more lightly on the land now than we have in decades.

Harken back to our August 23, 2012 post which recounts the appearance of a NOAA official in front of our County Council in July 2012. Regarding our local marine habitat, Mindy Rowse said:
Habitat in San Juan County is pretty spectacular. I don't think anyone is doing anything wrong at this point.
See for yourself by following this link which provides further links to Rowse's Council appearance. Along the same lines, but separate, view the video below of a presentation by Dr. David Hyde.

For those of you who are still trying to make up your minds about this election, one side is clearly lying about the CAOs. It is the side with the outspoken judges and retired Park Service employees grasping for unachievable aspirational goals of a world uninfluenced by any people ... except them.

The CAOs will not return us to an eco-virginal state because, even if that were possible, no one knows what it means anyway, but somehow that aspirational eco-standard is what we are always compared to by the likes of Ulvi and Darrah.

The CAOs don't save our environment for our children and our grandchildren's future; they protect self-interested eco-bureaucrats and preserve eco-deception for our children and our grandchildren's future.


  1. This raises an interesting question.

    What do we do about the liars? Regardless of the election outcome. If the election is won by the forces of good, the lying and deception will be increasingly discredited and cast aside.

    If the forces of doom, fear and control prevail we will get more lies but we will also fight them even harder. The lawsuits will bite. We push for charter changes not manipulated by the Machine. We recall. We use the powers of initiative.

    Boy it would be a lot better on our emotions, pocket book and the commonweal to just vote some basic, honest, hard working, intelligent and non-controversial folks to this Council.

    Use the good weather to advantage and get out the vote. There are ALWAYS undecided votes out there and lots of folks wait until the mail-in deadline arrives.

  2. With this article in mind, it is PAST time for the winter council to take action against the leader of the pack of liars - Shireene Hale is responsible for this divisive piece of deception - close behind should be most of the staff of the MRC.

  3. Zero score and 16 weeks ago, our council brought forth on these islands a new law, ill-conceived without science and dedicated to the proposition that they know best.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether these islands, or any islands, so duped, so defrauded, can long endure. We are met at the ballot box of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of this election as a final resting place for those old laws that previously sufficed. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
    But, in a larger sense, we can no longer debate, we can no longer express discontent, we cannot hallow our own land. The brave islanders, far and wide, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The islands will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but they can never forget what the CAO did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather, for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these misguided regulations, we take increased devotion to the cause which we islanders pursue with such emotion – that we here highly resolve that these regulations shall not rule our land, that these islands, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that our government, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not be hijacked by the machine.

  4. I agree that Shireene Hale needs to go and should have gone long ago. Her unscientific language alone..when "supporting" her suggestions is an embarrassment!

    I believe a ground for firing her is in the documents that come w/the council videos.

    When there is public comment at a meeting it is summarized in an attached document (written by Shireene) the next week. But Shireene leaves out anything that doesn't promote her agenda. It seems very blatant to me.

    Also...there are some segments of the videos where Shireene and, most obviously, Lovel are pushing something through without quite mentioning some of the controversial details of those situations. I noticed this long before I knew about the private meetings.

    Aren't those grounds for letting someone go? She's not even an islander. She told me she's from Idaho and doesn't have plans to stay here (presumably she will leave when the money runs out?)

  5. Shirene is just a useful tool. When she's worn out and run down she'll be tossed into the dustbin of history.

    Question is: What is her legacy?

    The wholesale destruction of some of most marvelous, brilliant, creative, warm and trusting communities on Earth.

    Thank you. Please close the door on your way out. And the Pratt's can to back to their Hawaii sugar cane plantations. Stephens can park his Jaguar off the road please. Byers can head back to her 200 acre Connecticut farm and re-engineer the economy from there.

    Just. Leave. Us. Alone.

  6. I didn't have space to chronicle all the big lies that the anti-growthers use. Here are 2 more very pervasive deceptions that are used endlessly:

    "You people hate planning. You want to do whatever you want with your property because you're greedy developers."

    Not true. Nobody in the Resistance wants to harm their neighbors or the environment. Actually we want others to have the same ability to use their property and fulfill their dreams as we had. We are fighting for our neighbors everyday.
    The second:
    "Once man invades the earth by building a house nature is corrupted and habitat is damaged forever."

    Not true! Nature is resilient. Species adapt. Nature regenerates. Man is an integral part of nature. Yearning to live free is in our DNA!
    Gordy Petersen

  7. That's right. Old Ben Franklin said failing to plan is planning to fail.

    Who doesn't make plans except as a nice way to gently tell someone you want to see other people: "Oh Jonny, I just can't make any plans right now. I'll call you. Gosh, look at the time. Gotta run."

    The Machine wants you to hate planning so you won't make plans to defeat their Plans. That is all part of the game. The love it when we say we're tired of planners. Its music to their ears.

    These jackals don't love the environment. They hate people. And they really hate trusting, creative, independent communities. Getting us to dislike planners or community organizers just makes it that much harder to defeat their plans and organizing.

    Make no mistake. We have met their enemy and they be us. Pogo almost had it right.

    The time has come for The Island Spring. As they said in Tahrir Square: Meet Me at the Revolution. Press "Like" and spread the word.

  8. @8:25

    What are your thoughts on the charter change disaster? Seems like a few agenda driven folks were trying to get rid of council members they didn't want and ended up playing in to the hands of the machine.
    Now, thanks to this debacle, Sandy And Rhea are exerting their dominance over the Lopez voters in a manner that can sway most elections
    This wasn't just foolish and stupid, it rises to the same level of stupidity as the CAOs.

    Just when we thought the tide had turned and a restoration of sanity was occurring, through a sound rejection of Lovel and Howie.....we actually have a decent council that will listen to the will of the people......But no, now we have Lovel running again and 2 people who successfully ran in the fall being forced to run a few months later.
    Now that I think about it, the CAOs almost make more sense that this.

  9. Aw shucks I just sort of see the CAO and CRC as two out of control freight-trains on the same track on a direct collision course.

    One of these days, KABOOM


  10. What? Dr. Hyde again? I thought it was made very clear that "no new science will be accepted", and his report was clearly submitted after the secret deadline we don't recall setting for completion of all scientific inquiry (except, of course, for future submissions to the Director as may be required in compliance with the CAO updates, albeit absent a legitimate scientific baseline of functions and values as to which there must be no net loss in accordance with the precautionary principle .......or so sayeth Shirene, Lovel, Howie, and Jamie, et al, in pure gibberish with which all must comply on pain of civil and criminal penalty.)

  11. The CRC, and Gordy in particular, made as much sense as Ed Hale did trying to justify his job before council a few weeks ago...

  12. @11:33
    I have to disagree with the comparison between village idiot Ed Hale and CRC honcho Gordy.
    Ed at least made a pathetic blathering effort to generate excuses for his actions and failures. For Gordo and the CRC, unfortunately, there are no excuses.

  13. Please refrain from personal attacks that are so insulting to village idiots, they're people too and don't deserve such demeaning comparison, at least they have a legitimate role in society, unlike useless utility managers (whatever that is).

    El Gordo makes Ed Hale look like Einstein.

  14. Gordy is correct in what he says about the CAOs and in responding to Steve Ulvi. That counts for a lot.

  15. I wonder whether we can lose the cheap shot language and focus on facts? We need not call people names; we need simply state what they have done wrong. In the case of the County councilmembers and employees cited, the record is overwhelming. Why not do that?

    And the power of "initiative" (technically not initiative with respect to charter changes) may no longer exist with respect to charter changes.

  16. Attacking each other makes us small. We are in this together. Gordy was not the only one on the crc committee.
    The art of debate/dialogue has been lost.. we do not have to attack people because we do not agree with them, we can respect their view and help educate/expand on our own views.
    If we are talking about
    "trust" ing islanders. Let's start here. Let's bring the level up a notch..

  17. Peg is right. Let's stop the cheap shots and focus on people's records.

    Let's start by examining the Utility Management record of Ed Hale. Here is a list of his accomplishments:


  18. The original TH post was focused on the CAO and the upcoming election. It seems on San Juan, our fall election was a sound rejection of those who forced thru the CAO.

    Will we see that same rejection county wide??

    I know Election results are pure speculation at this point, I'm just getting anxious.
    I have been talking to everyone I know and feel I brought a few votes in that may have otherwise gone uncast or been misguided.

    What happens if the machine prevails?

  19. If the Machine prevails, it will be as it has been here for the past 15 years or more. If the Machine prevails, it will get worse before it gets better. If the Machine prevails, we'll have to work even harder to wake people up next time.

    We have to resolve ourselves to the goal that, whether the Machine wins or not, we are just getting started. The Friends don't speak for us. The newspapers don't speak for us.

    We have many voices in our community. It's time to hear them all.

    In 18 months time, we have elections for Sheriff, Prosecuting Attorney, the Council person from Lopez, and the Assessor. I am sure the Machine has already started to choose their candidates for those positions. We need some strong anti-Machine, independent candidates.

    Time to get to work no matter what happens.

  20. Peg, anything pertaining to the Hales is not cheap - the Hales cost the county over 200k/year, El Gordo cost all of us our representatives, so cheap it is not.

  21. The CRC worked in strange and mysterious ways. We all know good folks who had different views on all. More often than not we'd be on the same page with most of them on a lot of other things. It is what it is.

    So, let it go.

    It's complicated. I don't like it either but these were recommendations of an elected commission who were not put into some kind of trance. The ballot measures were a mess. Lopez voters know a good thing when they see it.

    It still boils down to the CAO I think. Some proponents thought the Charter worked against them. Some opponents thought the Charter worked against them. Enough strong willed proponents and opponents got elected to the CRC and were able to find a common scape goat. See, we can all work together. If it weren't for that danged 6 member Cowncil and that expensive administrative guy.

    So it goes. Each year we grow a little older and a little wiser.

    Those two trains are barreling down the track at each other. One of these days ...

  22. Re: Peg M's request that the name calling and cheap shots be dropped and echoes by others for a similar elevation of our discourse, can we at all agree to that with one asterisk?? **since he has clearly demonstrated an utter inability to rationally debate and discuss anything without simply spewing vitriolic falsehoods, the "no name calling and cheap shot" rule for TH postings would not extend to David Dehelndorf.
    Seems reasonable. Thoughts??

  23. An expression can enter common use and the lexicon I suppose, as in "Getting Dorfed."

    "Hey, calm down, don't Dorf that guy."

    Or "I think I just got Dorfed."

    Or, "Dorf out. Gag me with a spoon."

    That kind of short-hand could come in useful.

  24. If Peg can't handle the discourse on this sight, then she should read elsewhere.

    I'm not going to change my language to make a Californian transplant happy.

    I am born and raised in the San Juans and will say what I think.

  25. @4:37 let's not turn on each other, Gordy is a bafoon who got played and everyone knows it.
    The CAO is beyond ridiculous, and totally incomprehensible, which is exactly why Shireene Hale should be shown the door.
    Flying too low under the radar is the FOSJ and the MRC's unbridaled access and influence on CD&P, time to expose that immoral relationship.

  26. @4:37 there are two types of transplant Californians, those who realize that it's a lost cause, and those who are not satisfied with ruining California with eco-facism and wish to do the same here, I immagine Peg to be the former and The Dehlendorks as the later, and if we don't prevail we'll all be Dorfed.

  27. Remember, critters in wetlands are citizens too...omg what will it take to rid our islands of the Delendufuses?

  28. Folks, the more people who participate, the better IMHO. This site wasn't made for any particular kind of person (e.g., natives vs. Californians). It is my hope that Peg, Gordy, Dehlendorf (when is the last time those three people were mentioned together) and all the people who dislike them will comment. There are certainly lots of people who dislike TH. So be it.

    This blog is an experiment, and it will go wherever you take it. We also have to be mindful that there are people on here who may be trying to lower the tone of the conversation on purpose because they would like to undermine the TH and its comment policies.

    I hope the bulk of the comments continue to be thought-provoking and content-rich ... maybe even more so in the future.

    Thanks for everyone's readership and support. Good comments make this blog that much better.

  29. So ECK, are you subtly suggesting that people don't behave like a bunch of Dorf-holes??

  30. To those who want to hide behind their anonymous comments about me you are cowards. You are also ill-informed. Choosing good government is always better than partisanship. Call me and i'll explain it to you. I'll even use small words so you can understand.

  31. Thank you ECK,

    My worry is that I've sent people to this site to become informed and they have been put off by angry comments that seem more like than they seem productive.

    What I find most interesting on this site are the amazing insights of the blogger and people leaving comments. I love the documents and the factual and constructive ideas. And the stories of choices being made right now. It has created transparency. Many of the people discussed in this blog are most probably unhappy about people knowing what they've been up to.

    My hope is that the current council is reading this and some of the ideas are taken up. In particular, finding ways to dismiss Shireene Hale legally (ie..7:46). And I believe there is evidence to do that.

    The anonymous format brings up facts that could be uncomfortable to state w/a name but very valuable knowledge just the same.

    I'm grateful for this blog! And I too would encourage constructive comments above venting.

    To 4:37...I'm a sixth generation islander.

  32. This is why I not approve of or support anonymous comments!
    As the advertisement on TV for “ballroom jeans” states, “get a pair.”
    I do understand that some have more to lose than others. Personally, I stand proud and erect for my beliefs. As some of you post “anonymous,” I do not know whether you are pro or con a particular point of view. You can be a con planting erroneous views to upset the dialogue.
    I do have one strongly held belief and comment for the “anonymous,” “BACK OFF!!!”
    Peg Manning, Royce Meyerott, as well as Ed, myself and others stand up to the plate with our numbers and names on our jerseys. We put our lives, reputations and well-being on the line for our deeply held beliefs.
    Those “anonymous” lifelong San Juan County Islanders that object to comments by the recent California transplants have got your head up your tutu. We have lived through horrendous results impose by environmentalists in California. We bring that experience in message with us here to the San Juan Islands. You locals, have yet to experience the devastation that can be imposed upon the public by the environmentalists. I was there in Southern California when a major portion of Catalina Island burned and many homes were lost because of the dumb ass conservation awareness environmental idiots. The restrictions imposed by the “CAO” type self-righteous conservationist and environmentalists have wiped out thousands of homes and hundreds of thousands of acres over the last few decades in California and other states.
    Frankly gentlemen and ladies, if you don’t have the “balls” to step up and be recognized, do not badmouth those who do.

  33. Just please remember why the first 100,000 copies of Common Sense were published anonymously.

    The cure for bad speech is always more good speech, anonymous or not.

    Don't forget to vote. Anonymously.

  34. Do you think the local, lifelong fishermen could have helped these people with their "studies"?

    They know so much more than any one study at one moment in time could tell.

    But instead they are harassed and beaten down by the "Friends" and their lawyer of the moment who has all the time in the world to attend all the meetings while the fishermen have to go to work.

    Common Sense is a good name for the group fighting this good fight. Our county government has certainly been lacking in it.

  35. Have any of the TH readers been through the initiative or mini-initiative process??

    This is a tool we should explore for direct citizen involvement in our local governance.

    I think a useful proposal would be one that directs or requires the Council to approve ALL applications for grants BEFORE they are submitted.

    What do you all think??

  36. ECK et al, do not underestimate the cathartic nature of this blog.
    Many people, typically hard working middle-class wage earners, who do not have trust funds that allow them to participate in endless committees that usurp public policy, are completely fed up with privileged, or retired, busy bodies who have embedded themselves into the public policy decision making process, and so discouraged by the mindless drones that so willingly lend their freedom over to those who lord over them from perches dis-associated from the daily lives of common people utilize the TH to vent that frustration.
    Many cannot do so openly for their legitimate concern for their employment, this includes many county workers who see these usurpers daily needling their way into the county's affairs in a conniving and immoral way that would never stand the light of day, yet continue under the protective cover of a complicit media, and a biased management.
    The TH is a sounding board of the dis-affected, and should encourage all those so disenfranchised to continue to speak out, even when it not eloquent or sophisticated.

  37. It's my sense that everyone is a little on edge. Me too.

    On Easter Sunday, Roche Harbor had it's marvelous egg hunt. Hundreds of children, young families took part in a wonderful day.

    It was obvious to me this was a great opportunity to contact working families. In my car were plenty of flyers.

    I couldn't do it. I just could not soil such a good day with politics.

    Now, later, I feel a bit different. These young families maybe needed a little push to vote against the machine.

    So if we lose, you can blame me.

  38. Knock Knock.
    Who's there?
    Lovel who??
    I don't recall.

  39. @ 9:16 PM - Catharsis is important.

    People have been watching the heart being ripped out of their communities by heartless authoritarian control freaks masquerading as planetary saviors. All the while having their voices muzzled, being intimidated behind closed doors, even their children put at risk in school if anyone speaks out.

    This toxicity makes it hard to think clearly, to freely associate, and form direct action to push back against the Machine. This is true under any repressive political regime.

    The venting possible here is not only part of a larger healing process but a critical first step in giving voice back to people so they can clear their heads of bottled up emotions, take stock of this horrible situation and begin to make steps for change.

    This will generate a little collateral damage along the way.

  40. I often read a variety of online news sources and blog type articles, mort of which allow anonymous commenting.
    On particularly charged issues, the comments sometimes devolve in to basic name calling, outright vulgarity, and the randomn anti-semitism. When I encounter these sorts of comments, it does not change my opinion of the site or author. I continue to read the articles posted by those sites without regard.
    I applaud the TH for their efforts and appreciate all of the people who comment, anonymous, named, pseudo named, and other. Whether or not I agree with them does not lessen they contribution.
    Often a comment (not necessairly on the TH) will be so out of line that a host of commenters jumps on it in order to refute the content. Refutation takes all forms from name calling to methodical presentation of facts.
    I find it ironic that some of the penned responses yesterday actually engaged in the very behavior they condemned, with the only difference being ownership of content.
    If I am to understand those points, it would seem that name calling is ok if you sign your name to it and anonymous comments are ok of they agree with the agenda of certain individuals. Seems a bit goofy or hypocritical to me.
    Thanks to the TH and for allowing this sounding board. We are a table in the back of a dark bar. We have had a few rounds so sometimes our voiced get loud. Heck, it can even get a little rowdy sometimes.
    Seems like the discourse has maintained a reasonable standard from the anonymous posters and they continue to bring great comments.
    I, for one, work for a business locally that rents their building from one of the local authors who signs their name and has slammed anonymous posters who may disagree with the actions that person has taken. To see this person resort to petty name calling and goading through demeaning really, to me, reeked of bullying. Some, like me, can not afford to risk the job we have and given the bully retaliatory response elicited by a simple good natured criticism of ones actions and policies, only confirms this fear.
    If I can not comment anonymous, then I will remain silent. Bully produced speech will reign by those fortunate to life absent the same fears and realities as me.

  41. Gordy, yes your last comment was a little insulting, although, obviously I agree with the sentiment and the wording, since I have said the same thing in the same way on here. You have always had the courage of your convictions, and, while I often disagree with you, I admire that. Back in 2007 when much of the community jumped on the MRC, unfairly in my view, you were the only one (the only one) with the courage to actually come to an MRC meeting and discuss the situation with us and explain your point of view. Thank you for that. I will never forget the horrible way we were treated in that situation, but I will also never forget the courage of the three community members who spoke up for the MRC in a council meeting charged with hostility as well as your courage in coming to meet with us on our own turf later. Yes, anonymous speech must be protected, but those who hide behind that to throw rocks are cowards, as you say. The sorting of people into those with the courage of their convictions and the others has been apparent long before this blog started.

  42. Let me write more clearly on the issue of “anonymous.”
    This is not the first blog or forum I have been involved with in the past few years. There are satisfactory and reasonable purposes for anonymous comments in a place like TH. The problem is accountability. Anyone can go to the forum and make any statement they want and there is absolutely no accountability for it. As a professional woodworker and manufacture of woodworking tools I have been on the receiving end several times of extremely negative results due to a lack of accountability on an anonymous forum. I have seen reputations damaged severely by anonymous commenters making statements that were not true. They can do so without impunity because they are anonymous and cannot be held responsible or accountable for what they write. Those who use their names or can at least be verified by the publisher privately are much more likely to be accurate and truthful in their comments. They can be held accountable. There are ways for the responsible publishers of the sites to know who is posting on their forum without that same information being public. I hope that TH will eventually evolve into such a forum.
    As for the part about California versus the San Juan islands. It is the kind of comment about Manning that is disturbing. Stating that I am this or I am that does not give any validity your to comments or further the conversation. Having lived in the San Juan islands all of your life does not necessarily make you any more insightful on any topic. Look around, how many people do you know from that demographic that appear to be off their medication. I personally know quite a few that seem to have eaten way too many of the wrong mushrooms, been dropped on their head or possibly bitten into an electrical cord when they were young. Over the last decade or two San Juan’s have had an influx of many brilliant minds with a great deal of experience to share with us. We need to add them to the great many that are already here for the benefit of all.

  43. I am sorry, I did not really mean that we should self-censor or limit our comments or the comments of others. I find the cries of "incivility"--from the very people who have visited the mess of authoritarian overkill upon our neighbors--to be more than feigned delicacy but rather an organized plan to shut down dissent in any form,and one that has been so successful in the past as to leave those whose lives, or hopes and reams have been ruined by government-gone-wild so frustrated that strong language in what comes easiest for venting.

    My point is that TH provides a great forum for ideas, and that those who read it and might otherwise be engaged in the discussion but don't take it seriously because of some comments might be better engaged if we focused on the facts.

    What we see from "the other side" is that feigned delicacy, "can't we all come together in a room with rocks and candles on the floor and be guided in our conversation by someone trained to control the direction of discussion and intensity of feeling"? Like the infamous rock and candle meeting in which the Friends brought along a friendly moderator who seemed to know little of the controversy (the Charles Dalton case) and to prefer platitudes. The meeting in which Stephanie Buffum condescendingly suggested that the first person to speak up and question the tightly-controlled format needed to be "handled" like a child.

    I in no way meant to suggest that we buy into that hypocrisy and manipulation, but rather that the facts speak far louder than any name-calling. These people have made so many serious and harmful mistakes, why not discuss them, rather than name-calling? It helps assemble a strong record accessible to everyone. And provides a forum for responses.

  44. What happened with the community and the MRC in 2007? I must have missed that one.

  45. I also agree that the impact of the Hales is not cheap, but not because of their $200,000+ total salary and benefits--because each has engaged in unnecessarily costly position-aggrandizement and grant-seeking, making Mt. Everests out of our TurtleHead size projects and problems. I think that the "constructed wetland" in Orcas is an apt symbol of the problem.

  46. I also do not understand how the topic relates to Gordy, who has been a consistent champion of government transparency and accountability in the past. The CRC was the product of 20+ people and the vote involved many on both sides of the issues we're discussing here.

  47. @ 9:51 AM and @ 9:17 AM

    Yes, please I would like to hear more about the horrible treatment of the MRC at the hands of the community in 2007.

    Please just the "who, what, when, where and why?

    Which community? "Much of the community" is a little general.

    What's that story about?

  48. I am more interested in the current influnce of the MRC and the remnants of the San Juan initiative, these folks reside in an echo-chamber of eco-facism that include too many County planners and wanna be council members. They engage in bullying tactics of half truths and implied threats, their mantra to the Council is "If you don't pass this law concerning (enter fabricated or distorted mandate here) Ecology is going to come and (enter some lie about dire consequences here)". All of these committees need to be reigned in and most of their members tossed out.

  49. A little off topic but relevant to the election.
    I sent in a "letter to the editor" for Islands' Weekly this past weekend. It was the comparison letter of Hughes/Byers that has been printed in at least 2 other publications.
    Margie Doyle will not post it and this is the response I got from Cali Bagby.

    Due to an increase in letters about the election and school bond we are not accepting letters from residents outside of Lopez at this time.
    Thank you for your interest.
    Cali Bagby
    Islands' Weekly
    Islands' Sounder
    Office: 360-376-4500, Ext 5054

    You don't think they are trying to influence the election do you?

  50. Follow up on the last I just posted.
    Here is the response I sent to her email posted above.


    Now one would think that with all that “online” space it would certainly be in the public interest to quickly post all relevant letters concerning the upcoming election there.
    Those of us from the other islands writing letters to Islands' Weekly about the candidates we know best will be of great benefit to the Lopez Island voters in their decision-making process.
    I sincerely believe that not posting off island letters from those who know the candidates well is a great disservice to the citizens of Lopez.
    I hope you will reconsider quickly updating at least the online portion of "letters to editor" and publishing all relevant election letters there.

  51. @ 10:45 AM

    Agreed with a proviso. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So, yes, absolutely concerned over the remnant of the San Juan Initiative and the secret team that brought all that about.

    I guess the word "remnants" plus this new interest in a 2007 dust-up between the MRC and "much of the community"

    Remnants of San Juan Initiative and 2007 are inter-related, given that the SJI pretty much got underway that year.

    I would love to see TH assemble a timeline. Los Angeles Times has a good example in their ongoing investigative reporting into what they call "Corruption on Steroids" ... started with a special charter election, oddly enough ...

    ... In many ways, the Bell scandal starts with a little-noticed special election that turns Bell into a charter city. Fewer than 400 voters turn out. Only 54 people cast ballots in opposition. The measure itself gives no hint what is at stake ..."


    Who says it can't happen here?

  52. Folks you gotta understand something:

    We don't have independent locally owned newspapers any longer. They used to be and so we continue to believe in the original brands.

    But they are all under the common ownership of a single media corporation based in Canada, headquartered in Victoria, BC.

    Sound Publishing, owned by Black Press. Read all about it!


    What feels like a media manipulation and county wide news blackout is exactly that.

    I like to call these guys "Blackout Press" because that is exactly what they are doing here.

    Now, here's the big joke. How money campaign money has been raised and poured down the greedy throat of this outfit for ads in the local papers during this election.

    Tens of thousands? Leaving the local economy? While the publisher pushes a single set of editorial election endorsements and refuses to print local letters?

    OMG. Give me a break. Are we fools or what?

  53. @11:31

    I finally agree totally with a comment on this blog. The newspapers in this county - The Sounder, The Weekly, and The Journal - represent the worst in journalism. They are hacks, especially the editors. I thought facts were a big part of journalism. Guess not.

  54. And if you think Sound Publishing is a hack job, how about the San Juan Islander and Orcas Issues? I dunno boys and girls.

    Island Guardian is quite good but could use some upgrading, it could be a lot better but at least they do some real journalism.

    I have to say that the Trojan Heron has become the de-facto outlet for real news in San Juan County.

    Sometimes the commentary can get a little surreal but given what the investigative articles showing about how things work around here, I can hardly blame folks for blowing steam out of their ears occasionally.

    Much safer and less messy than heads exploding. Though I think I would like to see a few heads rolling.

  55. Hey guys, we're all in this together.
    I’m going to make more than one post here in a sincere attempt to clear the air and make a couple of points.
    First, be unmistakably clear, I am extremely grateful for TH.
    I do understand the need for “anonymous” comments on certain topics. Investigative reporters often use anonymous sources for good reason. At the same time, it is understood that the reporter knows who the source is and has verified the facts in the report if necessary. The problem we address here is that anyone, anytime and anywhere can post comments here without accountability. That is not good for any of us.
    Let’s allow for that at this time, citing the comments previously posted here, for the need to have totally unchecked anonymous comments. On topic comments that add facts and rational opinion to further the discussion are certainly a great value. “Venting steam” is what I believe Peg Manning is referring to and it is certainly of concern to me. I have written as often as I can in the local publications about the “venting steam” comments by Lisa Byers, Lovell Pratt, Jamie Stephens and their supporters. Meyerott, Carlson, Manning, yours truly and others have worked very hard to direct and confine the discussions to just the facts leaving emotion and irrational venting steam comments out of the dialogue. Were it not for editors like Margie Doyle running interference for the “left,” victory would be ours.
    If we continue, here or anywhere else, to use “venting steam” in place of rational and factual comment we become “them.” Becoming “them” we give up the high road and the ability to define and control the conversation. Venting is okay. Consider right time in right place. ECK, please consider a separate page for venting.

  56. Hmmm ... I'm not there yet.

    Frankly I think roles are helpful. I am entirely public in other roles but not here. There are reasons for that.

    We had an election in 2008. When Ranker won his Senate race. The Bellingham Herald had a very active political blog at the time, that allowed anonymous postings. Ranker's camp and the editor of that political blog were quite close. It made a difference.

    Now, its just a tool. But one we have in our tool kit now as well as we have had to learn some hard lessons the hard way. Marquis of Queensbury rules do not apply.

    Also in a former life I was involved with some large PR firms that worked political campaigns and big issues for lobbying firms. One of the favorite tactics of mass media manipulation was the "op-ed boilerplate" that would get quietly distributed to regional and local newspaper op-ed contributors to customize and then submit within a narrow time frame when the big guns in the national media would crank up a lot of noise.

    Oh, none of that was anonymous of course not. Only op-ed penned by well respected local attorneys, professors, business leaders, etc.

    As the Bard wrote: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    That we can identify a source or citation does nothing to assure authenticity and in fact can just make things worse by making the fantasy of authenticity easier to buy.

    By the way, Google in its infinite wisdom also allows people here to pretend they are others when they are not?

    I agree there are more elevated venues for robust civic discourse than some backwater blog. Not sure we're there yet or that the time is right.

  57. This past month the supporters of the Second Amendment screamed loud and clear “NO!!!” As a result Obamas gun-control suppression vote failed today in the Senate of the United States today. You and I my friends must find a way locally to stand up and loudly declare “NO!!!” to those who seek to oppress and opposes. Honestly, I do not know how that is done anonymously. I believe there is a deep need for all of us to stand up and be counted. Obama, Feinstein, Schumer and many others like them, are working very hard to control as an subject as to an extremely socialist or communist society. Locally, Lisa Byers, Lovell Pratt, Jamie Stephens, their supporters and like-minded organizations are working hard to take this County down precisely the same road as Obama and friends. I believe, like the Second Amendment supporters, we must locally stand up in an organized manner with facts and rational thinking to the “machine liberals” that seek to suppress our freedom.
    I know that the movement has been established recently and is moving forward. It needs more voices. I am not the leader. I am not the spokesperson. I am not even one of the heavyweights. I am a lightweight, yet a believer, who sincerely understands that success, will only be achieved through a united strong voice.
    Friends, understand that your opponents have only threats and fear to support their position. History has proven over and over again that they are the wrong side of it. This country stands as a monument in testimony to that fact. Remember, our existence as the United States of America is founded in brave people standing up against those who would suppress us.

  58. I sincerely believe that 50% plus of the citizens of the United States of America are “very conservative” in their economic and social beliefs. If you add “reasonably conservative” to the group, you will come to 60% plus. Add in all of the “libertarian conservative” persuasion and I honestly believe the percentage goes to 70+.
    Unfortunately, the most vocal and, more importantly, emotional group are the extremist liberals. Unfortunately, those most willing to sacrifice their ethics for end results are the same extremist liberals. Unfortunately, those using the vague, emotional, “venting steam” and irrational arguments are the most vocal.
    Okay, let’s cut to the chase. What do we need here in San Juan County to combat the liberal left we have had to endure these tasks years?
    You can, hear and now, propose your rational, fact supported ideas to advance the cause of freedom for all in San Juan County.
    Go for it!!!
    I promise to get together with all influential conservatives to advance our ideology. I will stay here and now that I am dedicated and committed to that cause regardless of the election results on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
    United we stand.
    Are you uncomfortable with posting your thoughts here?
    Email Don@donpencil.com or call me 376 – 4586.
    We are the majority! If United, we have the votes.

  59. Here is part of the problem. All politics is LOCAL.

    Here, about 60 percent self identify as Democrats. Of that, we all know that many (like Republicans, conservatives or what have you) dislike politics, don't pay much attention and often rely on their family and friends to tell them who to vote for.

    Now combine that with a lot of GOOD liberals who have woken up to the authoritarian political disaster in our County being carried out in their name. They are PISSED OFF. They are PISSED OFF DEMS.

    Don't you want them on board? Then dial back on the arch conservative social politics. It ain't about the islands. We need these votes. Plus because a lot of these folks feel betrayed, and have been betrayed, they are the most energetic activists to the cause we can hope for. The Republicans are asleep.

    Now, here this well. Republicans around here don't lose any more friends or get any further shunned because of the conservative stand they have taken. No, they're just ignored and tolerated.

    For a liberal Democrat to stand against this Machine is a much different situation. Now you are losing friends (if they ever were friends) you are being shunned, you are being intimidated behind closed doors, you are at risk of losing your job.

    Do you get it yet? Right now, anonymity is about the only way up to 60% of the voting population in San Juan County has to express their frustrations freely, and learn to unlearn some of their past associations, figure out that this Machine is ONLY a local mafia that hijacked the local Democratic Party.

    This is a hard pill to swallow. Leave your guns at the door and let the rest of us figure out a really hard change we're struggling through because YOU NEED OUR VOTE.

  60. Anonymous April 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM
    “Now, here this well. Republicans around here don't lose any more friends or get any further shunned because of the conservative stand they have taken. No, they're just ignored and tolerated.”
    On this point, you are very mistaken. I have not been ignored and tolerated in this community. Personally, proclaiming a conservative point of view locally has come at a great cost. Once we were invited to gatherings as an unknown. Now, as pronounced conservatives, those invitations are no longer extended. For me, I would prefer to go down in flames for my beliefs rather than compromise them for any reason whatsoever.
    As to influencing those who are disgusted with the “machine” of the liberal left here in San Juan County, do it was straightforward truth in facts. If 60% of the voting public in San Juan County must express themselves in anonymity, so be it. But let that expression be in rational, truthful and factual comment and not in emotional and irrational comment.
    If you will not present and stand behind your beliefs in the public square, then how deep do your beliefs run? If you will only stand up for your beliefs and freedoms in the public square when it is popular, then who are you? I wrote in an earlier post, “get a pair.” I currently stand naked as do others for the common good of us all. As I, will no doubt with the others be assaulted from the left in the near future; will you and others stand up to defend us? I fear not. Yet, we will continue to stand tall regardless, because our freedom is more important than anyone else’s opinion. Soldiers have charged the gates of hell in the name of freedom throughout the history of mankind. None of whom stood in anonymity. They stood bare and naked, giving their lives for the freedoms we now enjoy.
    Please forgive me if I disagree with an attitude of compromising with those who promote the subjugation of the masses to the elitists who choose to rule over us. I choose to stand for our individual and collective freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.

  61. 7:45 has it very well nailed down. Give space Mr. Pencil.

    We gotta stop with the labels. People who struggle with long held relationships have a hard time breaking away.

    It's a very small town, everyone knows my truck, they know, we know, everyone knows.

    Read 7:45 this person has it right.


  62. Good on you.

    Now, let's get back to the math. Voters trend Democratic here but they also trend libertarian, not authoritarian. This is where these old ideas of right and left sort of fall apart around here.

    On the one hand 60% vote to toss Ranker back in the state house, on the other 60% reject his attempt to graft on King County storm-water regulations to local conditions.

    I won't be goaded into changing the role I have chosen here, or not use the option the proprietor of this news blog has provided. Or to retain my public persona where I believe it makes sense and can have the best effect.

  63. Right on, @ 7:45 pm!
    @ 7:30 pm - this isn't about Obama, or guns, or your national agenda.
    What was that big hullabaloo again, about the island Dem party turning this election partisan?

    We're all in this together, until you try to co-opt this movement of neighbors who are finding out what they have in common, to instead further your laundry list of partisan politics.
    The gal from the local Republican party does the same thing, and you're shooting yourselves in the foot with those guns of yours whenever you start pushing that line of talk.
    Calm down, darlin'.

  64. I respectfully ask Mr. Pencil to back off on his rhetoric. For me, he seems to be every caricature of fear mongering and hateful republicans that are on the fringe at the national level. I don't know him, so don't know if this is true, but his posts remind me of every homophobic, racist, sexist right-wing fanatic that I have ever met. I'm a native Washingtonian. Born and raised on the west coast. Been in the islands for over 40 years. I am an independent. I voted for marriage equality. I voted to legalize pot. It saddens me to know that the politics in our county has taken this turn. And in my experience, it is people who have moved here from somewhere else in the nation to our great state, that bring this rabid, hurtful, and degrading tone to our small county.

    I love our county. I know we have made some mistakes, but we can turn it around. I don't think it is meaningful to refer to county employees as "cows" or drag guns into our discussion.

    I have an idea, Mr. Pencil, that the reason for the lack of invitations to gatherings is not that you are a conservative, but that you are a mean and narrow minded conservative.

    Thank you for letting me post.

  65. Wow, Don Pencil has become the blogosphere's fillabuster...Don, do us all a a favor and limit your diatribes to two posts of less than 300 words or less...definitely less...

  66. Is anyone besides our household more than a little concerned that the county opted in to the new enhanced satelite imagry? In so much as this imagry has been allowed to be used as evidence gathering on private properties
    I think we have all been sold short. The right to privacy has little left in protection for any of us. Such a significant invasion into our lives should have at least been put to a vote.

  67. I just don't understand how a County that came begging for a tax increase suddenly has $140,000 to spend on aerials, and $30,000 for theses stupid "community conversations" That's $170,000 taken out of our local economy, not spent on two teachers, not spent on improved roads, just flushed down the toilet...we're getting Dorfed - again.

  68. these community conversations have traveled across the country socializing our communities and abandon of concern over the greatest number of people that just want their privacy. all in all these conversations have had no affect but to spend more of our money and bring out the little socialists in our midst.
    On the high resolution photographs, they are simply an enforcement tool to be used to maintain order and compliance with CD&P. Y'all better be watching yourselves. or blanket with camo, great new business idea there

  69. Who made the final decision on the satellite deal? Was it the county council? I can't imagine who would want that!

    And...the money part! Do our grandchildren have to pay for this?

  70. @10:00a -- you can thank Rick Hughes, Patty Miller, Jamie Stephens, and Rich Peterson. Forlenza and Jarman voted against.


  71. @8:57
    You are right about 170k being flushed away. Think what that could have been used for. We could keep the Hale's for another year, or give Adamaus money for more BS.

    That's a lot of money. More than a lot of people make in 4 years.


  72. Re: aerial photographs.. letters need to be written to our council and in the paper. Most people do not know what is going on. Educate the public. It is what the people in our county/CD&P and assessor will do with them.
    With the current CD&P staff and PA they are out to line their pockets. Follow the money, it all leads back to the fee based CD&P. They all want to keep their jobs and benefits at the cost of the citizens of SJC. It is not in the name of safety.. Speak out .. and remember to vote.

  73. Back in the good old days, they used to call San Juan County "the mouse that roared."

    Banning jet-skies
    Nuclear-free Zone
    GMO Free Zone

    But, now are we becoming a timid little mouse that can't even squeak:

    "Drone-free Zone"

    It is absolutely within our county's legislative power to ban enhanced aerial surveillance photography.

    Other counties are moving in this direction. For heaven sake even King County voters are pushing back hard against drones.

    You see, at the end of the day, the assault on private property is ultimately an assault on personal privacy. It is your hat, your house, and your body. Think about it.


    Vote Against the Machine!

    Vote for McClerren, Jarman and Hughes.

    As for this recent council vote, there was some confusion because once again the proposal was so poorly written and presented, two of the Council members wound up voting one way when they really didn't want this to happen. It is a complicated story but beginning to come to the surface now. Don't give Peterson or Hughes a pass, but listen to their side of the story. I hope there is more to come to set this issue right.

  74. The council members didn't understand what they were voting on? really? I would like those confused to explain.

  75. @2:36 -- I have to agree with you. If Hughes can't figure out what he's voting for -- maybe I should rethink how I'M voting...

  76. I heard the explanation regarding the advantage to the fire department, bull shit fire department 911 safety crap I love the fire department but we are not 50 story buildings so they can know where the entrances are common. the sanctity and privacy of my home and its curtilage is well above emergency responder necessity.the fire department and homeland security and FEMA can "xxxx" themselves my home is sacred and private

  77. woops, excuse my grammer, I prefer to stay friendly and compromising towards my not so conservative friends, whilst I draw the line in my sand

  78. @11:24
    You sound like a concerned pilot.

  79. If the current council members voted on the ariel photography issue and did not understand it, then they have NO business being in office.

    Sorry kids, but if you, as an elected representative of me, are voting yes on something that you don't understand then please step down now. Your job - by definition- is to make the decision most in line with the opinion of those you represent. If you do not understand the issue before you, then it is likely that those you represent do not either, so your SWORN DUTY is to clarify things.

    I can't wait to read the transripts from he public discussion and I hope the TH will do the same, because if, indeed, the individuals in question voted yes on something without fully unerstanding the topic then there should be hell to pay.

    This shows a wreckless disregard for proper decision making in addition to a terrible fiscal decision at this point in time.

    Sorry Rick and Jamie - You both just lost my vote (ok... so I wasn't voting for Jamie in the first place, but I was going to vote for Rick - no more). At least with Byers, I know that she will understand what she is voting for before casting a vote.


  80. Lisa and Lovel will understand what to vote on because they'll have had a few private meetings with Shireene Hale before hand to make sure it's written the way they want it...

  81. per the journal article...

    ...Information Services Manager Stan Matthews...

    What? Information Services Manager?

    Is this a salesman?

  82. would rather vote for someone who screwed up once(Rick) then someone who is going to constantly screw me( Lisa).

  83. WHO is Stan Matthews? Does he work for our county?

    I've watched our public schools buy entire new sets of textbooks...often replacing barely used ones...to the tune of MANY thousands of dollars due to a hard sale.

    Is that what this is?

  84. Agree with @4:18.!

  85. Can someone clariy when the whole ariel photography thing was voted on.??

    I thought it was still in process.


  86. Show up on Monday special session/ council chambers!

  87. @4:04
    said "....If the current council members voted on the ariel photography issue and did not understand it, then they have NO business being in office......Sorry Rick and Jamie - You both just lost my vote..."

    I searched the past minutes, agendas, resolutions and ordinances. I am not sure what you are talking about?

    Was something passed allowing for use of this enhanced surveillance?
    I looked for a good 20 minutes and can't find anything.

    Enlighten me.

    It would be a shame to have Rick H. lose votes because of low information voters jumping to conclusions based on unconfirmed rumors....

  88. Searching the SJC website, I found this item for next Tuesday (that is in the future)...
    DISCUSSION: Information Technology and Services (ITS) Strategy and Pictometry Report – Stan Matthews, Information & Technical Services (ITS) Manager

    Is this the enhanced surveillance issue??

    Looks like it is being discussed.

    To me, that means that we can still contact our representatives and let them know how we feel.

    Sounds to me like the whole "Rick Hughes and Rich Peterson voted for it but didn't understand it" comments were made by someone trying to sow discontent and have people question their voting choices. Pretty clever. Sounds like at least one or 2 people fell for it (or maybe that's part of the strategy....)

  89. Who is Stan Matthews? I've never heard his name before.

    Would he benefit monetarily if the council approved the photo surveillance?

  90. According to Wiki,

    Stanley John Matthews (born 20 November 1945) is an English former professional tennis player. He became Wimbledon Boys' Champion in 1962 and reached the second round of the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. He is the son of former professional footballer Sir Stanley Matthews.

  91. What?!?

    Oh...so he IS a salesman?

  92. Whoever he is, let's hope we don't get Dorfed on this whole surveillance thingy.

  93. Folks, we really gotta rope this puppy in.

    91 mostly great stuff, what no poetry?

    Gordy and Peg got their socks off and the people with the Gordy issue got their licks in.

    I'm thankful to all. Gordy and Peg for their YEARS of work in the trenches, and to those who want to explore the limits of the TH. (They ain't any)

    I think sanity is on the way. I think, we the people, might win.

    If ever, one needed a reason to vote for McClerren, Hughes, Jarman, consider this:

    How dumb can the machine candidates be? Pretty dumb, simply because by going for the partisan backing they set themselves up as a perfect target. An easy target. "The machine"

    You want to vote for people that stupid? No.

  94. @9:41

    I don't think the machine candidates are stupid. (well, Lovel and Jamie might be, but Lisa is not).
    I think they made a calculated move based on the majority voting demographic of the islands, being largely affiliated with the D party.

    I am hopeful that it backfired, but in a county with the general voting trends, I don't think it is a stupid move to reach out for or to the party that tends to dominate the polls.

    What is stupid is to underestimate the fact that islanders are actually mostly (hopefully at least 50.1% of us) able to look beyond national and state politics and affiliations and assess candidates on their merits, records, and professional affiliations.

    I saw some great Trust Islanders signs on the road today in Friday Harbor. Bravo to a grass roots organization that has the machine backpedaling. I also give them kudos for their most recent mailer that clearly states that they are endorsing candidates based on a set of beliefs, not the candidates request.

    Let's keep working for these last few votes.

  95. @ 7:07

    Sorry... nothing uninformed in the post from @4:04 (my comment)

    Here is a quote from the 3/12 mins.:

    Moved by Ms. Miller, seconded by Mr. Stephens to authorize staff to proceed with the GIS Pictometry plan as proposed provided that the “off-ramps” guarantee our ability to get out of the contract for any reason and they receive outside guarantees of one third the contract amount from outside agencies including the Fire Chiefs Association. VOTE: 4:2:0 (Jarman and Forlenza opposed); MOTION CARRIED.

    The approval of the plan authorized Bob Jean to enter into a contract provided it met the restrictions noted.

    There is no additional review required by the council although it sounds like we may get an update at the next meeting.

    This was not some "low information" voter trying to "sow discontent". I was putting this out there because that decision has had a profound impact on my voting consideration. I suppose the idea that they didn't "understand what they were voting on" could be up for question, but I would have to hope that if they did, they would have voted no.

    I will stand by my original statement and add this - Bad Decision Guys. If Opalco wants better aerial pictography, let them pay for it themselves, because the county has no reason to have it - what they have is fine.

  96. @10:33
    Thank you and my apolgies. I looked Long and hard and couldn't find anything.

    So this was permission to enter in to a contract??

    Can it be stopped??

    Again, I was speaking emotionally and thank you for the clarification.

  97. @10:33
    Sounds like there may be a glimmer of hope here. They need 1/3 funding guarantee from the fire chiefs??

    This same group just recently voted to not opt in to the SJC Sheriffs boat grant from DHS. They cited the ongoing cost and sufficient resources to provide the superior service we enjoy.
    Kudos for the fire chiefs rejecting a federal grant from the Deparrment of Homeland Security. That sort of stuff doesn't have strings attached, it has ropes and chains.
    Do we need to contact these guys and ask them to help put the brakes on this since they very recently demonstrated a clear ability to make sound judgements.

  98. Stan Matthews runs the Ministry of Information. He was hired under Pete Rose originally as a sort of public communications officer. He set up and ran (runs?) the newspaper looking thingy on the County website. In the early days of the TH he was a frequent spook trying to descredit and shut it down. When Pete "consolidated" the informations systems department (leading to a massive lawsuit, a total rift between Rose and the Auditor, which the County lost big time), Stan Matthews was, well, promoted.

    Or his duties were expanded you might say to broaden his mission of chief propagandist to Chief Information Officer. And it that capacity he has a holy duty to push hard for enhanced aerial surveillance. It is probably in his job description.

    So, Stan has interpreted the Council as giving him carte blanche and it is full speed ahead in Mr. Matthews opinion. However, now that I have ready the Council language (thank you!) I would say "Hold your horses Stan." The Council has the upper hand if they choose to exercise it.

    And we will learn soon. Rick Hughes: We are watching you ... Don't make the same mistake twice.


    Informed sources say that David Dehlendorf has formed a new political action committee (PAC)

    The name of this new PAC is:

    "Don't Trust Islanders"

    We envision a mini-police state where islanders who do know what to do or how to behave themselves are tightly administered and watched over by a Machine of Loving Grace."

    "We are the Machine. You will be assimilated. You will not be trusted. Resistance is futile."

    Already, millions have poured in from secretive off shore accounts who have been watching for this moment. Meanwhile, the top end of our real estate market which fell in value by about a billion or so over the past few years, has reached what one eco-aristo refers to as 'the tipping point.' "Don't Trust Islanders" is proud to point out that expensive luxurious properties that had not been selling are suddenly moving like hotcakes, as new donations roll in.

  100. Do I win something for being the 100th commenter? 1st time we hit that mark.

    Any one see Lee Sturdivants letter in the guardian??

    I think these guys are getting desperate. In a Dorf style attack, he is trying to paint TI and supporters as republicans. I know the founder of TI. A republican he is not.

    I hope we can shut these clowns down next Tuesday.
    Remember, they want to "disarm us thru humility in victory"

    Crazy to see Laura Jo listed as a supporter of these clowns that threw her under the bus.

  101. Isn't Tom Cowen a Republican? Isn't Bill Ruckleshaus a Republican?

    Oh well. If no one listens to His Dorfiness any longer let's give Lee Sturdivant a whirl. A rich long time community land trust donor, board member, FOL ("Friend of Lovel"), helping the street noise when she can.

    Putting little people in little boxes since 1992!

    And they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same. Ah Pete Seeger, things haven't changed much have they?


  102. @ 8:56 AM

    You should win something.

    A free herbal body wrap from the Pelindaba Day Spa

    A half pound of grass fed, GMO free Lopez Island lamb chop

    A personal tour of the Brickworks by Boyd and Lovel Pratt

    A random permit violation followed by a warrant-less search

    A personal half hour lecture by Senator Kevin Ranker

    An auto-penned thank you for your support letter from outgoing Interior Secretary Salazar

    One free night an $100 in chips at the Sinking Swinomish Casino.

    Help me out here

  103. Better read this one.


  104. @ 12:44 PM

    So noted, thanks very much. The "Wack-a-Mole" crew is working over time on these little out bursts here and there. This one is now in the "job queue."

    And best of luck Lisa Byers. You may prevail. You are admired and well liked, regardless of politics. You are thoughtful and bright. I can imagine a number of circumstances where you could earn my vote in a heartbeat. But not this round. I'm sorry.

    Next time, please run your own independent nonpartisan campaign that doesn't attach you to tar babies like Lovel Pratt who misused their office, or the corrupt local mafia masquerading as the San Juan County Democrats.

    I am a life long Democrat. I know many fellow Democrats in the San Juan Islands who are working hard to reform the party but we are shunned can cannot get close, plus it smells funny. This time I urge good liberal Democrats of San Juan County vote for change. Vote for candidates who are able to trust islanders.

    I am personally offended by Lee Sturdivant's divisive remarks in the Guardian today claiming Trust Islanders is some kind of Republican front. This is nonsense. If you had taken time to get to know this new rapidly evolving voice you would know that too. If you have any influence on these kinds of awful remarks please step in and help tone down the controversy they are stirring up. It's not constructive.

    Lisa: The one thing you can do more than anything else with your leadership skills, is to champion local party reform. Invite good liberal Democrats back in. Get read of the riff-raff. Regardless of where the election goes down next week, I cannot imagine a better person suited to that job, than you.

  105. Or Lisa could kindly explain why she took a partinsan endorsement in a non partisan race/office.


  106. @2:36

    Yes, I think the bloom is coming off Rick Hughes. Honeymoon might be over.

    For me, you don't cast a vote on an important matter, and then say you didn't understand what you were voting for when it turns out to be unpopular. I don't get that.

    I was impressed by Lisa's letter to Orcas Issues. At least she stands behind her decisions, even when it's not popular to do so. She doesn't blow in the wind, as Rick appears to do.

    I want someone who has the courage of their convictions. I supported Rick because of Trust Islanders' endorsement. But, now he says he doesn't want it, so I guess he doesn't want my vote.

    Too bad. I was excited to vote for someone who reinvigorated skate night at the orcas school.

  107. @2:11

    Come on, let's be truthful. Be real. The Trust Islanders' endorsement is a partisan endorsement. Let's call it what it is. That's like stating that the American Crossroads PAC is nonpartisan or that Priorities USA Action is nonpartisan.

    It's not true. We all know it's not true.

  108. @2:20.
    I'm a democrat and gave money to TI.

    Sorry, but of you have met the TI people and talked with them you would understand that they truly stand for what they say. Trust. A reinvigorated sense of trust among all citizens in the islands.

    To label them as some secret arm of a party clearly demonstrates that you either dont know them, or do know them and are trying to spread information that is false. I guess a third option could be that you have your head up your Dorf.

  109. Okay, let's be real. If Trust Islanders is partisan in ANY way, it is composed of the pissed off, disaffected Democrats joining up with other disaffected citizens.

    It's a coalition of people angry at the local Democrats. Trust Islanders isn't partisan. It isn't even non-partisan. It is ANTI-partisan.

    I'm a Democrat, and the local Democratic Party is corrupt, arrogant, and unconcerned about the issues of real people.

    Paraphrasing Howard Dean, I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, and I want to know when the local Democratic Party was taken over by green socialists because I don't recognize the local Party at all.

  110. @ 2:26 PM

    I think this comment is very close. Trust Islanders is new so its certainly fair to ask questions.

    Maybe the best description is a coalition of sorts. Like they say on their website, Dems, Repubs, Libs, Greens, none of the above. Is that hard to grasp?

    I'm a Democrat. I support Trust Islanders. I help them out. I repudiate the local mafia pretending to be Dems. This is a small group of radical wingnuts who hijacked the Party apparatus.

    You know its a lot like Sound Publishing pretending we still have locally owned and operated newspapers. We don't. We have McNews franchises.

    We don't want turn-signals at cross roads. We don't want Burger King. But somehow we got fooled when our local papers became franchises. Here, go look at the Whideby Island Times online:


    Look familiar? Yeech! Burger King!

    Same thing with the clowns and yahoos masquerading as the San Juan Democrats. Ain't local. Ain't Dems. Just part of a big corrupt Machine, a larger franchise. Get rid of them.

  111. @ Fri 4/19/2013 2:11 PM
    “Or Lisa could kindly explain why she took a partinsan endorsement in a non partisan race/office.”
    She did at the Orcas Eagle Forum candidate’s on Orcas Island.
    She stated she wanted the voters on the other islands to get a sense of what her background in philosophy would be in governing the County.
    The new communalism has been repackaged as a conservation and environmental movement. “Democrat” is a broad brush she is trying to paint herself with to avoid the specific details of her long held social and economic philosophies. If you have problems with the CAO, how will be applied and enforced, you will be very unhappy if Byers gets control of that operation.
    @ Fri 4/19/2013 2:15 PM
    If you believe and have a problem with what seems like use Rick Hughes to blowing in the wind, then you’re going to love Byers. She will stand fast to her political, social and economic philosophies. On the other hand your love affair will be short. If elected, you will then and only then, discover the harsh reality of those philosophies.

  112. I agree with Peg Manning. The Green Slime Pond in Eastsound is a County Monument second only to the Solid Waste Monument. In the case of the Eastsound constructed wetland, the overbudget mosquito-catcher is not functioning as a wetland. The Solid Waste Monument is testimony to overspending and behind the scenes corruption for the expenditure of $1M in taxpayer funds for idle land (oops, can't site a transfer station on a wetland). The revised CAO is a costly mistake, absent of sound science, and an example of continuing mistakes by the County Council and the Prosectuting Attorney's office who was supposed to ensure Open Public Meeting Act was not violated (Randy should prosecute a former Council member for ignorning the OPMA law in Washington) and if you don't have enough bang for your buck, the 85 percent that dumped the 6 member council is the same 85 percent that dumped the 3 member commission almost seven years ago - bottom line is that we really need fresh, young new faces representing the County on the new (old) 3 member commission. The message from the public the the local County elected officials can be summarized best as - you suck! Thanks for letting us all down with the newly devised revised and hashed CAO that no one understands not even the authors. I'd like to meet Steve Ulvi someday and give him the 411 on the real BS going around at the County. Shame on San Juan County for a dismal not publically vetted or coordinated CAO. No you do not pass the public particiapation test and know nothing about it (please produce one response to thousands of public comments and I'll hold out hope). PS Ecolgy - you suck too - you lousy power hunger enviros from the wetmess sectino failed to provide the County with sound objective and scientific direction - DOE has failed in their duty to ensure a state funded, sound CAO - its basically a mess - the full employment act for attorneys for decades...

  113. @3:17

    I agree with you. I think Lisa is possibly being coached on how to approach people whom she knows would disagree w/a strongly socialistic and regulatory approach to government.

    I say that because of a series of emails she and I sent back and forth w/me trying to get a handle on her beliefs and her connection to the New Economics Institute.

    I found her answers, when she gave them, to be a bit evasive and unclear. I still don't know if she believes the things she said in her speech. Just not really clear answers. But my impression is that she does believe in her speech.

    Just my two bits. I'm uncomfortable w/someone who is that entrenched in a philosophy. I think the islands are a unique place and need aware and unbiased locals to have a strong say in how we handle the different issues confronting us. And they need to be people who listen well and sift through to the truth. I'm still voting for Rick. I just don't have the uneasiness surrounding his deep beliefs.

    That said...very disappointed that Rick Hughes would vote for that surveillance. VERY disappointing and if anyone knows the story...if the suggestion was written in sort of a backward positive and that is truly why Peterson and Rick voted for it...I'd love to hear it.

    Didn't the final outcome leave room for the council to indiscriminately change their decision? I thought that's what I read? So if there had been confusion maybe it can be corrected on Tuesday?

  114. Information Services Manager ...

    That guy would be the one in charge of directing his staff to solve technology problems, propose solutions for desired technology, keep current information systems running ( email, video conferencing, ....)

    Seems if the council asked, "How can we get better photography for CP&D?" He would be the guy to find out and coordinate research and implementation.

    George Johnson was previously this guy for the county. He had some issue with somebody a few years ago and got the short end in my opinion...but the is history. George used to have a tech shop in Friday Harbor ...

  115. Yes, someone posted the language here a bit earlier today. It sure says to me they can pretty much cancel without cause and so I would expect that kind of kill-switch language to be in the contract if Matthews actually proceeds. The Council and the County can assume no liability if they pull the plug at anytime, without notice, without cause.

    Otherwise no deal.

    Now, will Hughes and Peterson roll up their sleeves and "git 'er done?"

    A close election may hang in the balance.

    Rick is learning. But I too am far more comfortable with his world view than Lisa, though I like Lisa personally and respect her skills.

    Before you judge council critters too harshly, get your self elected and sit behind the dais.

    You will quickly learn you really want to find a way to say "Yes" as often as you can because on the big ticket items you really need the support of your colleagues on ... they will remember.

    That is the reality of the game. And there is no way around learning the art of compromise in order to get things done. That's democracy.

  116. Fri 4/19/2013 4:29 PM

    The emails between you and Lisa Byers reveal more than you can imagine. Lisa either did not answer your queries or was evasive because the truth concerning her political, social and economic philosophies would sink her. Were you to study the all information concerning the New Economics Institute and all associated organizations, you would discover her views are extremely socialist, anti-capitalist and very restrictive concerning personal and property rights. She is, to say it politely, a "communalist."

  117. Lisa Byers will do everything possible to squeeze the life out of property rights through the CAO in a multitude of other regulations.

  118. Amazing the attraction to Lisa Byers because she is "smart."

    Patty Miller is "smart."

    End subject.

  119. Stan Mathews used to be a PR guy for Democrats somewhere, right? Then he got into rumor control here, because with the Pete Rose "administrative department" and the new deputy and all the other big city expense we got the Ministry of Information. So how does that qualify him to be information technology director? Doesn't such a position require documented skills? Credentials? Besides blowing smoke, I mean.

  120. @11:11

    I would think one would need, at a minimum, an individualized studies degree. The level of technical knowledge and expertise that comes with that degree is staggering.

    I sent letters to Rich and Rick. I hope everyone drops them a call or an email on Monday. Let them know to put a stop to this nonsense.

    $140,000. That is ONE HUNDRED FORTY THOUSAND dollars.

    Also, looking at the agendas for the week, WTF is the "public works land acquisition" in executive session??

    Didn't an event like this start the whole solid waste debacle in the first place??

    Tuesday, the moment of truth. We as islanders will be either witnessing a rebirth of trust and common sense, or we will be entering in to an uber regulatory state. Community living and endless meddling.

  121. If it is a real estate acquisition matter yep that goes into executive session but what is PW buying land for? That basic question should be in open session and probably came up somewhere.

    As far as Tuesday, by 8:30PM we will have a pretty good idea. A real victory for the citizens of this county or a Pyhrric victory for the Machine. I say a Pyhrric victory for the Machine because they are sinking in their own filth and offal, we now know them by their limping than you Dear Lord, the volume of public scorn will grow louder, the lawsuits will grind on and expose them further. It won't be fun or easy but will afford a degree of satisfaction at the end.

    How so much better it would be to end the controversy, begin the healing and start to settle down after this long and painful battle.

  122. Could someone pen a simple statement to Rick and Rich concerning the surveillance? I can paraphrase but am having trouble saying it. Maybe after some coffee?
    By the way their email addresses are....



  123. Folks there comes point in these election campaigns where the losers get desperate and go negative. I just wish the Machine had a sense of humor, some wit and some sense of literary style. About the best they can come up with is accuse other candidates and so forth as being Republicans.

    I want to help them out. Shakespeare does this so much better. Here, for the Dorfs out there, are some more artful insults for your final round of mud-slinging. Just be careful this stuff doesn't just blow back in your face ...

    Thou slanderous clay-brained mildewed-ear! … base fly-bitten bear-whelp! ... weedy puke-stockinged eunuch! .. frothy half-faced maggot-pie! ... puny beetle-headed flap-dragon! … vain ill-breading dewberry! … fen-sucked pignut! ... rank guts-griping slug! … goatish fool-borne maggot-pie! … ruttish clapper-clawed mumble-news! … jarring dismal-dreaming botch! .. .scandalous swag-bellied babbling gossip! … mewling toad-spotted pigeon egg! … shameless pottle-deep no bowels! … puny boil-brained clack-dish!

    And saving the best for last:

    Thou beslubbering ill-breeding, foot-licker!

  124. Royce Meyerott responded to Lisa's appeal for an endorsement from Trust Islanders in the Guardian. His response is clear and he supports his statements very well.

    She drips honey but here's my big huge problem with her.

    She's not being honest. She knows what people are asking about the NEI and socialism etc... She pretends not to. I really believe that.

    And someone is helping her. Her letter does not sound sincere to me. It's more like she saw a way, at this late date, to appear misunderstood and overlooked. Well, it's easy to misunderstand someone who never quite answers your questions.

    I'm less and less impressed by her.

  125. I commented earlier saying I had communicated w/Lisa via email. Royce's response mirrors my experience. I had to push the same questions over and over and remind her that she had not answered them.

    One was..."Do you espouse the beliefs of the NEI?" and another was "Do you believe poverty is linked to private land ownership?"

    She is very good at deflection and round about evasive talk. Evasive. The key word. She doesn't expect her real beliefs to be accepted is what I think.

    She never did answer those questions. That would be political suicide I guess.

  126. @ 12:21 PM

    That's interesting, this was my gut feeling. I even mentioned to a friend that I didn't believe that Lisa had written this.

    She is allowing herself to be coached by some pretty surreptitious campaign consultants that's for sure.

    This all comes back around to why I like McClerren, Jarman and Hughes. Would I always agree? Hell no. But I will say this: They are who they are. You get what you see. They are not buffed, coached, or cagey. They are comfortable in their bodies and speak plainly.

    You would think this would be obvious to people but its sometimes hard to really get until you sit down face to face. Then you see. Part of the big attraction of the nonpartisan candidates that separates them from the "machined" candidates is simple authenticity.

    Jarman, McClerren and Hughes. No baggage. No controversy. No wild ideas. Just solid working guys who live, work and raise families here.

  127. I agree that Byers writings scream of a machine type propaganda. Much like the calculate decision to get her photo in front of the Brickworks.
    Cheesey political attempts to place symbolism ahead of substance.
    Please dear Lord, let the majority of voters on this island not elect those who would further erode our rights. We, as islanders will continue to work together towards common goals in a harmonious manner. The communal ideology and the "it takes a village" mentality that suppresses individual freedoms for the goals of the collective has been rejected by islanders. It is clear that Lisa's demonstrated actions embrace the communal notions and are quite simply not what we want.

  128. "Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff."

    Frank Zappa

  129. and really...we are communal already. Only rarely does someone in need lack help of some kind.

    The ideas being promoted by Lisa and her kin are lovely on the surface. But the people who are creative and hard working, but who lack a chunk of big cash, are unfortunately the ones who will pay big time for this idealogy. They will not be able to come here or stay here. It will be the people w/subsidized housing or the very wealthy. Don't they get that?

    I'd love to hear some thoughts on the whole origin and intent of "planning". Wasn't it to prevent accidents in electrical and other hazardous aspects of buildings?

    Now... look at our planning dept.. They have HIGH standards that may or may not make sense. And cost is not an object for them. Or maybe it is...the more it costs the "customer" the more secure their jobs?

    It has become a situation where a modest house has permit fees in the neighborhood of tens of thousands of dollars. And it is a punitive system. If you veer off their course at all, even if it makes more sense...they can place a stop work that is senseless and expensive.

    Has anyone else seen this? Am I right? Am I wrong?

    That is one of the reasons I can't support Lisa. Nice, smart, whatever. She believes in the big brother and I see him as the flavor of the month.

  130. San Juan county, how can we stop you .

  131. Thank you, we only need the encouragement of each other, and the spirit of community.
    Planning got it wrong a long time ago not this commuShit which is nothing about people or community be damned
    Nuisance ? My Ass

  132. Lisa is not all sweetness and light. She has been known to badger the planning staff for exemptions to regulations, and threaten to go to the press if they don't capitulate. She will play hardball if necessary to achieve her goals. I'd have no problem with that IF she weren't publicly promoting those regulations for everyone else. The system she is promoting is one where the politically connected and the monied will be able to achieve their goals, and the burden will fall solely on the middle class.

    Rick is consistent and sensible- he will only pass regulations he would live with, he'll view all regulations from the prism of the middle class, and he'll make sure this community is thriving for both the middle class AND nature.

    Vote Rick Hughes for a healthy community.

    Daniela Mayer

  133. How did the"we will pay you to say the sound is polluted" thing work? Who got payed and who did the paying?