Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trouble Brewing In The San Juans

On Tuesday, the current Council defeated a proposal for new rules for public meetings. It was an item left over from the previous Council. The "new rules" proposal was drafted by our previous Council to enforce "civility" at public meetings. Over the last couple of years, we have seen pleas for civility used by the Friends and their friends as a weapon to limit public participation and openness. Ironically, those who have clamored the loudest for civility here have often behaved in the most objectively uncivil ways themselves ... for example, by resorting to name calling and out-and-out lying.

And those tactics and strategies have been given succor by influential officials higher up the government food chain. A case in point is the string of emails below from 2011. In the emails, officials from the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) are complaining about science being introduced by the Common Sense Alliance (CSA) during the CAO process. Specifically, state officials are reacting to a CSA newsletter about ocean science proposed for BAS by Dr. David Hyde, formerly of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The emails between Bill Ruckelshaus, Martha Kongsgaard, and Gerry O'Keefe illustrate many things:
  • First, they show that San Juan County is on the radar screen of some of the most influential people in the state. 
  • Second, they show the casual contempt that state officials have for anyone outside of the Friends, the tribes, or insider scientists. 
  • Third, they show no respect for the legitimate concerns of local people and display condescension at the premise that differences with the PSP might actually be authentic. Kongsgaard implies that CSA has somehow manufactured controversy and created dialogue that isn't "real." In fact, Kongsgaard shows off her political blinders by denigrating the "world view" politics of her opponents while she simultaneously displays nothing but her own "world view." 
  • Fourth, the emails employ tactics that we've come to expect in the San Juans -- paint all CSA-like troublemakers with a broad politically-charged brush (e.g., Tea Partiers); lie about them (CSA "screamed" at Ruckelshaus); favor tourists over residents; and generally vilify anyone who encourages broad-based local public participation. 
  • Lastly, the emails show the speed-dial first-name bonds that existed (and may still exist) between our local manipulative hardball world-view commissars and the state's manipulative hardball world-view commissars.
The email from Kongsgaard is sickening for its prejudice.

For reference and background, Martha Kongsgaard is the current head of the PSP Leadership Council. Ruckelshaus (formerly Head of the PSP Leadership Council) and O'Keefe (formerly Executive Director of the PSP) have moved on, but as most San Juan residents probably realize, Bill Ruckelshaus remains a hugely influential figure. And speaking of huge, he also owns one of the largest shoreline homes and docks in the county.

The email string kicks off with Ruckelshaus forwarding the CSA newsletter to O'Keefe and Kongsgaard with the ominous admonition, "Trouble brewing in the San Juans." However, Ruckelshaus is wrong. Any fair evaluator of the evidence would conclude that trouble has already been baked into our state, local, and tribal governments ... garnished with the scientists and non-profits that are in league with them.
Errata: The initial wording of this post incorrectly identified Gerry O'Keefe as being the former Head of the Department of Ecology when in reality he served as the Executive Director of the PSP. Corrections have been made and my thanks to the reader who pointed out the error.

From: Gerry O'Keefe
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:10 PM
To: Jeanette Dorner
Subject: Fwd: Note from Ruckelshaus -FW: Ocean Science Missing in Best Available Science


Gerry O'Keefe
Executive Director

Via iPhone

Begin forwarded message:
From: martha kongsgaard <>
Date: October 12, 2011 12:59:47 PM PDT
To: Bill Ruckelshaus <>
Cc: Gerry O'Keefe <>
Subject: RE: Note from Ruckelshaus -FW: Ocean Science Missing in Best Available Science
Thanks for this Bill.  This is ongoing up there as you know. I think you have personally been screamed at there, no? The county has adopted the BAS already and this cannot be undone until the CAO is complete which will be sometime in June.  Then the law suits will be filed by both sides.  The best thing that can happen now is that  a thorough record is made by groups like Friends of the San Juans, UW scientists, and the tribes so that they can prevail in court.  It is a lousy system, but it’s the one we have.  IN the mean time, it is rough to be Lovell Pratt, for example, who is chair and is trying to hold the line.

The CSalliance is certainly whipping up fear and introducing new science into the CAO discussion and are managing to fill town halls with 50 – 70 people.  At the end of the day, it has much more to do with philosophy than with science – see the Tea Party.  If the case could be made publicly that their science is not on point, that over 50% of the shoreline is already built out and that the parcels are by and large under ½ acre, and that the economy of the San Juans depends on the 1,000,000+ tourists who travel there to be sold “beauty and wildness” and on and on, they would still hate government and resist regulation in most any form.  They are jamming the planning department by encouraging land owners to go, one by one, to the planning department to ask what effect these regulations ‘could’ have on their land.  They are demanding that the council notify all land owners of the same, with individual maps, etc., all under the request for transparency and open government.  That plays well and is hard to combat.  But it is killing the dept. who otherwise would be working on the CAO etc. and so the worm turns…..

This e mail got me off my duff to call Lovell Pratt, the chair, and friends of the San Juans.  They need our support to do the hard thing.  We need to listen to the CSA, and the worries of the property owners and figure out how to get the hard work done.  There is not a lot of real communications getting done.  It is world view stuff that doesn’t allow for much dialogue in my experience.

M A R T H A   K O N G S G A A R D
4 4 0 8   B E A C H  D R I V E  S. W.   
S E A T T L E,   W A   9 8 1 1 6
W - 2 0 6 . 4 4 8 . 1 8 7 4  *  C  -  2 0 6 . 8 1 7 . 5 4 7 3

From: Bill Ruckelshaus []
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 9:14 AM
To: Gerry O'Keefe; martha kongsgaard
Subject: Note from Ruckelshaus -FW: Ocean Science Missing in Best Available Science

Gerry and Martha,

Trouble brewing in the San Juans.


Diane L. Hodgson, Personal Manager
William D. and Jill Ruckelshaus
Madrona Venture Group and Evergreen Venture
1000 Second Avenue, Ste 3700
Seattle, WA  98104

From: Common Sense Alliance []
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 4:14 PM
To: Bill Ruckelshaus
Subject: Ocean Science Missing in Best Available Science

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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Vol. 73

Guest Editorial:  Why is Ocean Science Missing in the SJC's BAS?

My wife and I came to San Juan Island in 2009 to enjoy the wonderful ambience of these Islands.   Like many friends and neighbors, we are environmentally oriented--I having retired from 40 years of ocean technology work, and she a long career in public relations.   We both are alarmed by San Juan County’s recent CAO developments and public disclosures--her from a public information perspective, and I from an ocean sciences point of view. 
We are not directly affected, but I want to speak out as a county taxpayer and home owner in the cause of clarity and transparency.  Our fellow taxpayers and residents need the real facts to better judge the truth and value of this “environmentally necessitated” county initiative against the cost and economic risk to all our communities and their residents. 
Here’s the main issue:   the current CAO is based on facts that do not apply to the San Juan Islands and missing the facts that do.  My comments are directed toward the centerpiece of the CAO plan--Imposing deep setbacks and buffer zones to protect and restore our marine environment.
There’s a big problem with the County’s approach.   The County’s agencies have developed a long list of Puget Watershed and related reports, called “Best Available Science.”   This BAS forms their justification for the CAO, and the SMP to follow.   According to the State these ordinances must be based on some definition of best available science.
With my long association with ocean institutes, including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA, I tried to determine the basis of the “ocean truth” in this BAS.  I was appalled to find that, despite years of Salish Sea studies, no physical oceanographic studies describing our local marine waters exist in this BAS.  
Without an ocean-reality baseline, how can this county legitimately proceed with a marine environmental remediation plan?  And, how costly will this plan be to enforce if their “science” is missing essential information?
I found that, while unacknowledged in the BAS, the body of ocean literature on local waters is extensive, and represents 50 years of model development and measurements by leading institutes.   The circulation models we now have available are mature, detailed, and tested physical science.  The findings contained in this literature led me to clear conclusions that fundamentally counter SJC’s rationale for shoreline buffer actions:
1.            The San Juan Islands waters are not part of the Puget Sound at all – They are part of the Southern Straits of Georgia, almost 10 times larger in water volume, and in river outflows.  We may be politically connected to the Puget, but our local marine waters are Canadian, and incidentally contain the effluent of 80% of the economic output of BC.
2.            Mostly blocked from northerly exit, the massive outflows from BC’s Fraser and nearby rivers create a persistent southerly flow of their waters through our islands out into the Straits of Juan de Fuca.  These river flows exceed 100 cubic kilometers of river water annually--about ten times that of all Puget rivers.
3.            Because of seabed and tidal flow features just to the south of us, these northern waters don’t mix much with Puget waters during tidal cycles. This means there is little mixing of our Islands’ and Puget waters by our strong tidal cycles, further isolating us.  These tides also create massive upwelling of clean Pacific waters along our shorelines from the bottom counter-current, and constantly bring fresh ocean waters to our shorelines.  Our Islands’ shorelines have the best flushed marine waters of any coastline in the lower US, and no local marine water quality measurements can legitimately separate the origins of local and Canadian runoff.
The ocean-truth for our Islands is that we are immersed in a huge BC system that mixes massive river outflows from the Fraser basin with Pacific Ocean waters.   BC governments have been addressing water quality issues for decades and are making progress—but, we are only a small part of their very large system.  We San Juan Islanders will be far better served by focusing on the few local area problems that we have and that we can do something about, rather than by incorrectly pursuing environmental actions that, to no avail impose laws based on incomplete information. 
It is time for the County of San Juan to step back and get the Ocean reality for our Islands right--before proceeding further with these CAO and SMP initiatives.
David Hyde, PhD 
[Note:  David Hyde, PhD, has a professional background in ocean sciences from his association with the University of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and other institutes.  The information and opinions in this editorial are his own independent assessments of literature that is available for everyone to assess.  He has recently collaborated with Ed Kilduff, a Lopez Island hydrogeologist, to create a presentation entitled "San Juan Archipelago Water Quality & CAO."   Mr. Hyde has given permission for CSA to publish his editorial opinion.]
Common Sense Alliance
P.O. 1249 Friday Harbor, 98250


  1. Translation: One million tourists a year is good for our environment and communities-be-damned.

    Translation: Its not about the environment. Its about money.

    So, what about that National Monument? Do you feel like the Borg are coming? Do you think Jamie Stephens knows what it going on?

  2. Gaia save us all from the arrogant trust-fund babies who know (KNOW!) in their hearts that we locals--the ones who have to work for their room and board, as opposed to having it handed down from Daddy and Mommy's trust funds--are empty-headed folk who cannot think for ourselves and need our plutocrats to do so for us.

    Sorry, Ms. Kongsgaard, but you don't know us--you certainly haven't even met us or tried to understand our issues or concerns. Your point of contact--Ms. Pratt--married into another long line of trust funds and has the same arrogant, self-satisfied approach to issues raised by the little people here in the San Juans.

    I look forward to seeing a summary of what Ms. K's Puget Sound Partnership has accomplished at the end of her term--so far, it has spent hundreds of millions (of OUR tax money, not the plutocrats') making plans for meetings that will make plans to plan some future action about something--usually about shoreline homeowners )other than themselves, of course). PSP has killed hundreds of trees generating reports that pack so many meaningless buzzwords into the same page that it takes one's breath away and poured who-knows-how-much-maybe-we-should-get-a-grant-to-study-it tons of carbon into the air driving to meetings, meetings, and more meetings.

    We here who have worked and saved and bought or built our homes and businesses think we're doing a pretty good job. So how about you take your philanthropic focus down to the Duwamish or better yet, get the tribes to stop scooping out all the returning salmon from your rivers?

  3. Martha, Martha, Martha, seems back then the David Hyde report really did in fact get the hair standing up on the back of some necks. The truth will do that to you.

    And back then, I don't think it was anything CSA did or said that got the building dept. jammed up as claimed.

    It simply was the bold attack by the wholesale erroneous mapping, the outrageous proposed new regulations being dumped on every property owner in the County, and the "public be damned" attitude of the public officials involved. (Nothing like being attacked by your own government; this is what upset people.)

    As for shutting the door on any science coming along late in the game, especially any such science like Doctor Hyde's that ran contrary to the junk stuff collected by FOSJ kayak crews, I liken that to with holding evidence from a jury.

    Junk in and junk out. And back then you folks shoveled it all over the place.

    Now we have the expense of litigation leading to court decisions likely to be unsatisfactory to all concerned.

    Boy oh boy, Martha, you folks do great work.

    The public would be better served throwing the money out in the street than paying for any of this nonsense.

  4. On a completely unrelated note, I saw the esteemed Jamie Stephens in Friday Harbor yesterday wearing, get this, the dreaded DENIM TUXEDO. That's right, a blue denim shirt and a pair of jeans.

    Can someone please talk to Rhea and Sandy and ask them to do a better job of dressing him in the future?

  5. Pretty clear now who Lovel Pratt worked for and who Kevin Ranker is in the service of.

    "It may be the Devil or it may be The Lord, you're still gonna serve somebody" B. Dylan

  6. Why doesn't somebody see if Bill's house is built to code?

  7. Wait, what? Lovell was "the chair"? Of what, the implementation committee that didn't exist and rarely met or if it did only for scheduling purposes. I just don't recall, except that no new science will be accepted, sorry Mr. Gallileo (as noted by an earlier civility violating comment), your discovery comes too late and must be rejected. And as for you, Dr. Salk, you know full well that your vaccine is new science, so please, leave us be while we do the hard work of holding the line on what constitutes best available science.

    Damn. If we can't have a Council resolution on civility (aka a patently unconstitutional prior restraint on the freedom of speech) then apparently we do need an armed deputy at all public meetings, right Shireene? Or do you have an amendment, says Jamie.

    Bravo to Rick and Bob for their work so far, including their immediate rejection of the attempted carryover "civility" ploy meant to stifle public comment. Would that they were on board when Lovell was "the chair", and that Brian had also been elected.

  8. Pratt was Council Chair in 2011. According to tradition, the Chair rotates on a yearly basis among the seated council members.

  9. Who does Jaime Stephens really work for?

    Doesn't he have a really important job now to ...

    1) Stay the course
    2) Keep a lid on
    3) Contain the damage
    4) See things through
    5) Hold the line
    6) Slip things through quietly
    7) Actively manage the real genda

  10. Looks like someone put another quarter in the Whack-A-Pratt game.

    Sweet! Who's first?

  11. I love all you Posters, keep it up Rock on. Im feeling heard :) and tired of all this BS inside the PA lets cal him bullwinkle and CD&P or mad cow and the council that would be maybe Oliveoil from the Popeye family routine

  12. So, when is Lovel's new state sinecure going to be announced? Someone has to pay her family's health insurance.

  13. While I agree that the "whack a Pratt" thing is a waste of time and I also agree with Bob Jarmin that we must look ahead and not behind, still I think it is important to read the history of the past disaster if only so we don't repeat it.

    Even with all the digging the TH has done there still seems no rational explanation as to how the past six member council became such a complete and total bust.

    Millions of dollars were pissed away and continue to be. Smart people became robots. Dumb ideas got respect. (Man made ponds became wetlands!) Totally weird and I don't think we will ever know what keyed this whole mess. Certainly there were players who pushed the whole ridiculous agenda, but why others went so easily along we may never know.

    So the TH is writing history, that's good. We should read it and study it because the learning curve is getting damn near straight up.

  14. Ask Ranker and his handlers. That's the explanation of how we got where we are.

  15. The council and county used to deal with local needs with the local money available. Now it has been used to meet outside agendas. Grants, what's best for us, has been taken out of our hands, the full time residents have been tossed in the ditch. When the ditch is paved then ?

  16. Just remember it was the "locals" who voted for mentally challenged enviro-lefty's like Pratt and Ranker, and who sat by and watched the County get Dorfed by the Dorfledorks - perhaps now we're all waking up to the fact that if you vote for lefty zealots you're going to get massive regulation, fees, and taxes, all in the name of the public "good" - remember, all of the zealots you complain about here are endorsed by the local democratic party - you get what you vote for...I am willing to bet every grant dollar the county has that all the people involved in these e-mails are card carrying democrats.

  17. @5:28

    You'd lose that bet in rather spectacular fashion. Ruckelshaus is a Republican, and a famous one at that. He was EPA Administrator under Nixon and again under Reagan.

    1. Oh for Pete's sake--Ruckleshaus is the ultimate RINO. Typical of the WA ruling class, built his compound literally at water's edge, has a huge presumptively habitat destroying dock but spends his time telling the rest of us what we cannot do with our property.

  18. I find it really funny that people still even in this day, choose to compare people as democrat or republican. Those political "supposedly" ideologies do no exist anymore except by name. This simple fact has led to our situation. "People" its a game both sides are the enemy here.
    common, get in line with people,what they really stand for. not parties

  19. I find it really funny that people are unwilling to admit that by and large, 99% of the eco-zealotry comes from the left and those associated with the D label.

  20. @ 11:43 AM

    No fooling? Try again buster

    More than 178 nations adopted Agenda 21 as official policy during a signing ceremony at the Earth Summit. US president George H.W. Bush signed the document for the US. In signing, each nation pledge to adopt the goals of Agenda 21. -

    See more at:

  21. @11:55am

    And what is your point? That a bunch of countries signed Agenda 21? You disagree with the statement that 99% of the Eco-zealot regulation comes from the left?

    Here is the "make me crazy" thing. Try and have a reasonable discussion about Agenda 21. Not vague "sustainable development" stuff, but real detail about what exactly does it mean, what must change, and what the expected outcome will be. The problem is like saying, "I'm for social justice". That's very nice, but utterly meaningless.

    The current version of the CAO could probably be described as "promoting sustainable development", and thus consistent with Agenda 21. However, the FOSJ feels it doesn't go nearly FAR ENOUGH. They think a "fair use exemption" of 2500 sq ft is TOO MUCH. They think you should be able to build a house, a septic field, and a driveway on 850 sq ft or less. After all, who needs more than a 400 sq ft house anyway? The buffers are too small, the mitigation plan is too easy, and so on.

    The " bio diversity" gang as typified by the various "Wildlands Projects" wants to establish connected "natural" areas and migration paths, free of human habitation, which in its fullest implementation, would cover close to 90% of the land mass of the lower 48 states, forcing rural communities to be abandoned and their residents relocated to urban "human habitation zones". All consistent with Agenda 21 goals.

    Face it, there are determined Eco-zealots who are committed to fighting and changing all aspects of our lifestyles. Whether marching with signs in the streets, or behind the scenes through grants, lawsuits, and legislation, they are working to implement their vision of Agenda 21. Couple that with a profound hatred of all things related to capitalism, a burning desire to implement "climate justice", and a leftist social agenda, and you have a recipe for the actions we see happening around us here in our community.

  22. Previous post should start with @11:43 instead of @11:55.

    Apologies for error.

  23. Since when was "W" a republican? Dems are the lefty zealots, political correct facists, and eco-fanatics. All the crazy regulations in this county and around the country are directly generated by card carrying democrats - until you realize that the demo-libtard you elect is trying to control every aspect of your life you'll constantly be fighting for your right to exist and to be free. Don't vote for republicans, don't care, just stop voting for communist liberals who ARE the democratic party.

  24. I will settle this here and now - who did the dems support? Byers, Prattle, ...who's a known libtard dem? Zee, Dorfdorks, Buffum, Loring...any questions?

  25. Well we can look to Detroit as a prime example of decades of leftist democratic polices. That's where it leads.
    And spare me the "current mayor is an R" because this is a cumulative result.
    Liberalism is a mental disorder.
    The R's are ass clowns too and I don't dispute that. Just saying that voting for the party line of D's then wondering where the Eco Facisim is coming from is like opening a box of cereal, turning it upside down, emptying the contents, then wondering why oh why is there cereal on the floor.
    It's cause and effect. Leftist, typical D party policies and laws are the cause. The effects of this regulation, well those are obvious.
    If you would like me to dumb it down a bit more for the readers who have been blessed with a leftist bent progressive public school education, I gladly can. Colorful pictures and short words only, available upon request.

  26. If we were able to shift focus to privacy, Where it should be. You will discover R & D have no meaning now you are looking at simply freedom fighters and fascists or call them by any other name independents and nanny stators, now the divide shifts and these divisions are very relative to the concerns of the day. Right Now
    R's and D's that stand behind todays platforms are all a bunch of hypocrites.

  27. That's right.

    We need to keep the focus on privacy, where it belongs. And remember that without private property there is not much ground for individual privacy rights. Your property rights friends are your friends. Do you think they are all Republicans? Nope.

    Yes, George Herbert Walker Bush is a Republican. Vice President under Reagan. Just call them the Rio Accords if Agenda 21 chaps your hide. Either way, he signed it. Next, Clinton created the President's Council on Sustainable Development. Among other fun stuff PCSD threw money at the American Planning Association to development local landuse guidelines and graduate courses to implement these goals through zoning changes. Fast forward, and we wind up with the Hales. Yes, this all started with Bush.

    This is about globalism. Who gains? As soon as you grasp that, the party labels just evaporate. And then we get to throw Rick Perry under the bus for his Trans Texas Corridor fiasco.

  28. And at the local level? ("All politics is local.")

    I think we are on the mend. No R & D, just people, the right people.

    Sure I would like to see five rather than three, but the three we got are better than the six we had. (Well, maybe one needs work.)

    Many of the six were good people, but for some reason got major brain surgery on the job. Stuff like: "I'm not comfortable with this; I'm uncomfortable with this wording; I think we need to increase our comfort level on this item; It appears some of us are uncomfortable with a decision staff has recommended" hominem!


    I would had died and gone to heaven, an assumption, I admit, if one of them had ever said: "This stinks, I won't vote for it."

    So it ain't R&D, it is people. We need people who will stand up to the State hirelings. We need people who think and are pro active in getting us forward to a successful island economy that is not completely dependent on ECO-Tourism, or tourism in general. To be clear, some tourism is fine, but not if your whole market is four months of the year.

    AND, we gotta thin the ranks. Gotta toss the people that answer to someone other than us islanders and also toss the many wall crawlers hiding under "committee" headings, committees who generally accomplish little or nothing. The CD would be a good start.

  29. Now let’s stay on this page and look around at the criminal behavior, not the behavior that is no more than self-defense by the citizen, but the overzealous bullying fascist wolf behavior of county staff, especially the prosecuting attorney's office, the CD&P and staff. We are the People, they work for us. OLE Bob Jean and our prosecutor was preaching ass backwards. the authority lies with us not these fools that should be run out a town on a rail.

  30. It should be law in this county, if you cannot attempt to respect and support your neighbor thus yourself. "You constitute a public nuisance"
    You all know who Im talkin to

  31. Sometimes it is the little things.

    The last two junk mailings from FOSJ used their non-profit mailing status at the Friday Harbor PO.

    The latest plain brown wrapper is using a Seattle non profit PO permit.

    What gives? Three cries for money in three months? Now we gotta use a Seattle permit, maybe belonging to someone else? Are they at last going under?

    One can only hope.

  32. @8:41
    Talk about criminal behavior.
    Did you hear about the home invasion robbery in Friday harbor recently?
    Talk about criminal scumbags.
    What the hell kind of parenting leads kids to do this? What a shame. I can only imagine what the poor kids upbringing must have been like. Two victims here really.

  33. ***Any Heron Lawyers???***

    I was reading about 501(c)(3)tax exempt "Charities" on the IRS website and found this.

    In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

    Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive office), or by the public in referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

    An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

    Organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying. For example, organizations may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

    I don't think the FSOJ is out of bounds, they are so far off the reservation, this isn't even funny. How do we put an end to this madness??
    They can be stopped by cutting off funding.
    Start with eliminating tax breaks. Next, keep salmon $$$ out of the CD, therefore, out of the FSOJ.
    Utter madness. Time to put a halt to this.

  34. This just keeps getting better the more you read....
    Exemption requirements: 501(c)(3) organizations

    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

  35. And for those of you wondering what "exempt purposes" are .....

    Exempt Purposes - Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)

    The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

  36. I love the "lessening the burdens of government" one.

    Am I reading this stuff wrong, or are these guys way out of line here?

  37. This is interesting, buried in some official report to define lobbying do's and don'ts. Seems like the hearing examiner is fair game, but their involvement in the CAO process, as a legislative action, well maybe different.... Lawyers on the heron???

    However, where zoning issues are
    under the jurisdiction of legislators, who express their will in the form of an Act, etc., the matter
    is within the purview of the term legislation.” See Rev. Rul. 67-6, 1967-1 C.B. 135, which
    holds that a historical preservation association engaged primarily in reviewing zoning variances
    may not qualify for recognition of exemption under IRC 501(c)(3) since the association as a
    substantial part of its activities is engaged in attempts to influence local legislative representatives
    with respect to the association’s programs.”

  38. @8:48
    I have no idea who you talkin to. Care to enlighten? Your words hark of something in excess of 0.08.

  39. Here is a hint, a breadcrumb to follow through the dark forest ...

    In June of 2006, the Journal reported on an IRS investigation into the practices of the Friends of the San Juans. The Board Chair at the time, Ralph Hahn ... he of many hats ... loudly protested any accusation of wrong-doing.

    In the article the IRS representative involved said soothing things, no problem, we've just made a few suggestions, that's all ...

    After that, the Friends slowly pulled back from their membership base. They used to publish member names in their annual propaganda pieces, but after that, they stopped.

    Just follow the money. Go back to 2006 as the starting point. Connect the dots.

  40. In the San Juans, and increasingly in the nation, whoever pushes pure partisan politics for either party has a political death wish. The last local election should be an indicator of that. The Democrats pushed it, and they lost. If the Republicans feel emboldened by that and start to push theirs, they'll lose. I wouldn't be surprised if the commenters pushing an anti-D and pro-R position are deliberately spreading that to damage what we have done. They may be trolls.

    If you want to be a D or an R, fine, but leave the bashing of the other side out of it. Bash them on substance and focus on the issues at hand. We have plenty of D's and R's opposed to what is happening here. That's the way it should be.

    There are plenty of people like me who feel the only party worse than the Democratic Party is the Republican Party and vice versa. Both parties have major issues and little relevance to life here.

    The message is, if you want to lose, be either a D or an R. You're a goner.

  41. I received a letter from the FOSJ yesterday. It came in a "plain brown envelope". It is titled "Friends of the San Juans 2013/14 Programs". The first sentence is "The San Juan Islands are now officially a National Monument". The arrogance of the statement displays their intent. Only 1000 acres in a number of locations are National Monument Lands. But FOSJ has started their "let's declare victory" campaign. By trying to make people think the whole county is a National Monument, they hope to minimize awareness when ever larger portions of land are added to the official designation. Slowly, slowly boil the crabs! Their "Planning for Sea Level Rise" is based on the works of a consultant, using highly speculative and downright wrong data.
    Their goal is to prevent development hundreds of feet back from a line based upon projected sea level rise, assuming all of Greenland melts, plus highest high tide ever recorded, plus highest storm surge ever recorded, plus a fudge factor.
    They assume all events occur simultaneously. In some areas you'd be looking at 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the shoreline. If they work at it long enough, they'll be able to force the population of each island into a single highrise right in the middle of each Island. The San Juan Tower, the Orcas Tower, the Lopez Tower. Think Orthanc and Barad-Dur!

  42. @10:25 pm
    Thank you for raising this issue. I had not heard about the recent home invasion robbery on San Juan Island. I looked in the local papers and found the link. This is insane. We need to set politics and environmental policy aside for a minute and look at this. This is a very serious issue. Scumbags with masks kicking in a door to rob someone?
    We need to get the names of these perpetrators out in public and get people to show up to court to let the judge know to sentence these CRIMINAL SCUMBAGS to the maximum time allowable.
    Who creates these monsters? WTF are parents doing in raising their children so that they become scumbag criminals? Did daddy beat them too much? Maybe not enough? Drugs? Drinking? Those are just excuses and symptoms but might offer some insight.
    Lock these thugs up. If anyone needs to be run out of town on a rail, it is the parents that raised these kids. This is outrageous.
    If community coming together to support a cause was ever needed, it is to push for harsh sentencing for these scumbag criminals. Hell, drug dealers don't even do this, they just sell their junk to their victims, not BREAK IN TO THEIR HOMES!

  43. Well, that was just a little bit of Friendly FOSJ Fundraising that got a bit too excited.

    So, the National Monument executive order was made during the height of our recent council election, remember?

    As if ... timed. Right?

    Since then ... crickets ...

    Now the Friends funny flyer in a plain brown wrapper.

    One of these days we're going to wake up with a brand new National Monument Management Plan we didn't know anything about.

    With a wonderful new "community-based" public-private partnership all set up to take the money to manage that monument.

    The Madrona Conservation District Institute ...

    Remember, the Conservation District didn't just suddenly decide to expand their offices and move all these programs over and a way from local government. This has been coming for awhile. And with nearly $100,000 campaign warchest combined with a Presidential Executive Order, you figure they kind of assume it was in the bag with a full majority in council on their side.

    What you are seeing is the fruition of a strategy and a plan, that went awry and now desperate and angry to consolidate control.

  44. @3:25
    Thank you for a dead on analysis and explanation.
    This post should get wider publicity. Anyone willing to claim authorship and send it to the Guardian?
    It's spot on.