Thursday, September 12, 2013

Robins Can Be Territorial

Jamie Stephens recently proposed three appointments to our Marine Resources Committee (MRC). Stephens slipped in the nominees at the end of a long day, and Jarman and Hughes rubber stamped the appointments without thinking.

One of the newly appointed MRC members is a Nature Conservancy employee who lives in solitude on an 11-acre preserve on Yellow Island. Another appointee is the Chairman of the Board of Kwiaht. And the third appointee is probably best known for having allegedly impersonated a County employee in order to spy on her neighbors ... so she could then tell the Friends what the neighbor was up to ... so the Friends could then turn that neighbor into State authorities. Sound familiar?

Once they realized that they had been hoodwinked by Stephens, Jarman and Hughes asked for reconsideration of their unanimous MRC appointments. After further deliberation, the appointment of Robin Hirsch, the alleged County impersonator, did not go forward, but the other two appointments stood.

Below are excerpts of emails documenting the Robin Hirsch saga. In a nutshell, a neighbor of Robin Hirsch's was having work done on their shoreline property.  The work was being conducted with the permission of the County. All the necessary permissions and permits were obtained. The homeowners were being entirely cooperative with the County, including being cooperative about ameliorating past permit and construction errors. Nevertheless, Robin Hirsch was not pleased about the work, and ... well ... you can read the email excerpts below for yourself.

Guess how Robin Hirsch described herself on her MRC application? She said, "I am honest, hard working, and diplomatic."

What's the concern with honest, hard working, and diplomatic Stephens' nominees?

From: Chris Laws []
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 12:24 PM
Subject: XX Hunziker Rd

Mr. XXXX, and Mr. XXXX,

It has come to my attention that someone maybe walking onto your property and impersonating a County employee, or suggesting that they work for the County.

Please be advised that this may be a violation of state law pursuant to RCW 9A.60.040 and the County takes this type of behavior seriously; the Prosecuting Attorney’s office has been apprised of the situation and recommends that those who have witnessed this first hand contact the Senior Prosecuting Attorney Charlie Silverman whom I have cc’d in this e-mail and can be reached at (360) 370-7605

I want to make it clear that all County Employees carry identification and will gladly produce them if asked; additionally, any County employee will also have their supervisor’s information readily available for you or your contractors and employees should they ask.

-       Chris

Christopher S. Laws
Code Enforcement Officer
San Juan County
(360) 370-7587

From:                                         XXXXX
Sent:                                           Tuesday, April 09, 2013 1:38 PM
To:                                               Chris Laws
Subject:                                     Robin [Hirsch] Impersonation of County Officer  / Orcas Island Residential Construction Project


Thank you for this suggestion. We were outraged but hardly thought that we had any recourse.

Robin [Hirsch], who lives about a mile from our property ...  came down to the property about two weeks ago (March 20th). She pretended to be a County employee, from your department, was extremely abusive to our contractor, Denny Howell, and threatened us with County revenge for “ruining” the place. When Denny asked to see her County I.D., Robin said she didn’t have it and continued to scream.


She took photographs and apparently returned to our property this weekend to take more ... We did forbid Robin and her husband to walk the property or trespass after the first incident. However, it now looks like we have to post No Trespassing signs and mount motion-activated cams / cameras around the place.  ...

I am just running out with our clients for lunch, but wanted to thank you first. I should be able to break away to call as you requested sometime tomorrow.

Yours Sincerely,


Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 5:07 PM
To: 'Mackie, Sandy (Perkins Coie)';
Subject: Report on 3/20/2013 Trespassing Incident / Orcas Project
Importance: High


What follows was relayed to us by Denny Howell, our general contractor on our residential construction project ... on Orcas Island:

On the morning of Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, Denny and a member of his construction crew, Mike Welch , started work installing the planned and permitted metal deer fence along the west side of our property. A small excavator was used to clear a 5’ path through the salal in the woods. No trees were removed and only surface vegetation was cut back, leaving the root systems of the salal intact to regrow. Shortly after they started work, two men approached them crossing from the neighbor’s property on the west onto our property ... They demanded loudly of Mike: “What are you doing? Why are you working in the forest? Why are you removing salal?”

Mike called Denny over to answer them, and he told them they were installing deer fencing that was permitted by the County. At that point a woman named Robin came up crossing from the Hammer property, carrying a clip board and a pen. Denny asked what she was there for and her response was: “I am with the County. I’ve come down to see what you are doing. What are you doing? Why are you working in the forest and removing salal?” Denny again responded as above, and then asked Robin for her County identification card. She seemed put out, but replied that she didn’t have one. Then she started darting around in the forest taking photographs and screaming threats at Denny and Mike. She yelled abusively that this was not allowed and she was going to report it to the County. At that point Denny asked her to leave the property ... The three left.

Randy Pence, a carpenter on our crew, witnessed at least part of the incident and recognized that she was Robin [Hirsch] Roser;  

Since then Robin has been seen skulking on our property, hiding in bushes or behind trees taking photographs of the project. When we met the County building inspector, Jason Hensel, a week later on the driveway into our place, I mentioned to him what had happened and the fact she had impersonated a County officer. He asked for her name and seemed generally surprised, saying that she should have bought the property herself if she had wanted it so much. Yesterday, we received an email from Chris Laws, the County Code Enforcement Officer who had clearly heard from Jason about Robin’s masquerading as a County officer. He was outraged, wrote that it was illegal and requested that we file a complaint with the San Juan County prosecuting attorney. His email also stated that someone was trespassing on our property and taking photographs. This we surmised from the issues that came up earlier this week and the photos attached to the email from Kurt Baumgartner at the Washington Department of Ecology, which we know were taken on site between last Thursday evening (after it started raining) and Sunday evening (April 4 – 7, 2013).


All the Best,



  1. RCW 9A.60.040 -

    RCW 9a.60.040

    Criminal impersonation in the first degree.

    (1) A person is guilty of criminal impersonation in the first degree if the person:

    (a) Assumes a false identity and does an act in his or her assumed character with intent to defraud another or for any other unlawful purpose; or

    (b) Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization or a public servant and does an act in his or her pretended capacity with intent to defraud another or for any other unlawful purpose.

    (2) Criminal impersonation in the first degree is a class C felony.

    RCW 9A.16.020

    Use of force — When lawful.

    The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:


    (2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;

    (3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;

    (4) Whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person's presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public;

  2. Once they have Pictometry imagery the FOSJ will be automatically notified of any "changes" on the ground and will send in a drone rather than Robin, a zombie.

    So on the one hand Jamie was willing to try and slip her onto the MRC while on the other hand not willing to defend her or his choice publicly and simply throw her under the bus?

    With Friends like this who needs enemies?

  3. Stephens is developing quite a record. He voted for the CAO. He supported Gunboat Amy. He nominates County impersonators. He backed off moving the Salmon Lead Entity program to the CD, but he was for it before he was against it. He lied during the last election about county debt.

  4. He impersonated a county official during private trips to Washington DC cutting quiet deals to establish a National Monument.

    This can be fact checked I believe. The issue came up during a council session held on Lopez, where Patty Miller directly challenged Jamie on this point. Apparently he never got permission from the body to represent the County during his DC adventures but was more than willing to wear his official county hat when doing so.

    Naughty. Naughty. Naughty. But you know, it all starts to fit together. Jamie is an artful dodger.

  5. "Stephens slipped in the appointments at the end of a long day, and Jarman and Hughes rubber stamped the appointments without thinking."


    How can Jarman and Hughes not know what...or who...they are voting for? How did this happen? Were the appointments written in some super-secret code? How did Stephens "slip" them in? He may be slippery, but come on: there has to be some accountability for knowing what you're voting on.

  6. For an insignificant little organization, Kwiaht sure gets around. One Board member, Shannon Hoffman, was on the CD for years. Another Board member, Bob Gamble, is on the Planning Commission. Another Board member, Gene Helfman, is on the Technical Advisory Group of the MRC and Lead Entity. Russell Barsh, the Director, produced a mountain of discreditable BAS used to support the CAO. Every single Kwiaht Board member and its Director has now been involved in dubious county activities.

  7. Sooooo... Wondering why this Robin Hirsh affair was not prosecuted? The property owner turned the other cheek, took the neighborly route and chose not to press charges?

    Or, when presented with the evidence, the Prosecuting Attorney chose not to press the matter on behalf of the County, certainly an injured party in the matter.

    No warrants issued forth from the good Judge Andrews?

    What's going on here? Is Robin Hirsch a member of an endangered species? A protected class? Or, just doing her job?

  8. Good luck getting Randy Gaylord to prosecute this. He will never do anything to upset the extreme enviro-left, Democrat machine. Thank goodness for this blog, that at least exposes the lunacy that is accepted as "business as usual" in San Juan County.

  9. @ 9/12 7:32 AM I agree. I happen to support the two MRC members who were appointed and then appointed again after reconsideration. But, still, why didn't the council take up the matter of appointments by reviewing all the nominees at once? Sure it's sneaky to just propose three of them for appointment, but really, shouldn't the other two council members have just called BS on this and asked to consider the whole slate? "It's not that hard," folks.


  10. I wonder if Robin Hirsch is the one who turned Ron Zee in?

  11. I think that Bob and Rick learned their lessons, and that the maneuver Jamie pulled will not likely succeed twice. Fool me once, shame on you, etc.

    I agree with the other point though. Really, all the applicants ought to receive the same level of review by the three councilmembers. There is no "prerogative of the chair" here.

    And I believe I understand that Jamie had indicated in the record that several of the candidates were "unsuitable." If he said that while at the same time moving forward an applicant who had wantonly trespassed and misrepresented herself as a county employee.

    Well. I guess I don't know what to say. I wonder who the "unsuitable" candidates were/are where Ms Robin was held in much higher estimation instead? Are they ax murderers or something?

  12. Let's review how our PA office works.

    If you are alleged to have permit violations, like Errol Speed, the PA will bully ORS to remove Speed from its Board or else the PA will not consent to an agreement with ORS. However, if you are Ron Zee and admit to having knowingly and willfully violated the law for many years, then PA will overlook that and appear to go out of its way to help the Conservation District headed by Ron Zee.

    Make no mistake. From the CAO to the OPMA to the way the PA chooses to target some people while actively aiding others -- our PA's office is a major part of the problems we have.

  13. It cannot be legal for Jamie to decide who is suitable or not. Really? Jamie is something to watch. I think he's losing it here. Grasping and gasping.

  14. 9/12 @9:32 I agree again. I definitely am opposed to the applicants who Jamie thinks are "unsuitable." But, there is no excuse for not considering all applicants equally and for the council not to discuss them in open session at the same time. These applicants stepped up and deserve the same consideration as everyone else.

    By the way, I do think this issue was covered well by the Journal/Sounder. I was appalled when I read that article, and I think that article is a good example of how you can be very critical of the processes of local government without resorting to name-calling. While the TH serves a purpose, it is unfair to say that you have no other sources of information. And, the names of all applicants for the MRC and other boards were and still are publicly available. Anyone who is interested (I was one of those) should be able to keep track with no problem. "It's not that hard."

  15. 10:12 I'm having trouble finding the info in the journal you mentioned. Particularly curious in knowing who the applicants were? Could you guide me there please? And thank you.

  16. @10:12

    There sure are a lot of people who read the TH who profess not to like it.

    Journal/Sounder responsible journalism? That's a good one. Left any comments over there recently?

  17. @11:52

    Not to worry. One of our many points of pride at TH is hearing who hates us. We are not for everybody. In fact, we would almost rather be known by our enemies than by our fans (although we love our fans too), and as you correctly point out, our enemies seem to read us (and comment) anyway. It's interesting to note that Kit Rawson (@10:12) has resorted to the "cowardly" practice of posting anonymously.

    Keep reading and commenting. Thanks everyone.

  18. It'd be interesting to know who specifically was calling the tune Jamie was dancing to when he included Hirsch's name on the list. Who specifically was this a favor for?

  19. Here is an article that has names of some of the others (the, "unsuitables") who were on the list...
    Jamie must go!

  20. @ 10:12 AM

    Why are you opposed to the candidates Jamie judged as unsuitable? Just curious, they well not be qualified candidates, but what is your criteria?

    Do they have useful skill sets or lack them? Professional credentials in science, law, policy, business relating to our maritime circumstances?

    Have they lived in the community for at least a year or two? Do they or have they served on local boards/committees?

    What is "unsuitable" about these two that someone who appears to have committed recent felonious acts is chosen ahead of? I don't have an opinion one way or the other, just from what I read here. And I confess I don't really understand how committee appointments are made. Wait until white smoke rises from the conclave?

  21. Sound article mentions five names not yet approved. Are they all unsuitable? I thought it was two. Still confused here.

    "Ed Kilduff of Lopez Island, Laura Severson of San Juan, Margaret Manning of Orcas, Thomas Temple of Crane, and John Geniuch of San Juan – have applied"

  22. Oh my, oh my, appoint someone who actually has the brains to have an opinion?

    In less than 30 days we'll actually see if Hughes and Jarmin are finally going to take the reins of the County they are being paid to run.

    PS: Bet there are way more people who despise FOSJ than those who dislike the TH.

    PSS: It seems interesting so many of the "Friends" feel they are ordained to help the County enforce our countless pages of rules. I think I'm going to call them; "The Gunboat Kids" from here on out.

  23. Wow, what chutzpah, even for a "true believer." What is the status of criminal charges against this person? I am sure the Prosecuting Attorney will take this affront to County employees and breach of personal privacy very seriously.

  24. Re the list of applicants: At least some politicians believe critics, naysayers, etc., should be appointed to boards and committees, because instantly they are then part of the problem and they then cannot build a following and in time replace the politician.

    If I was Jamie, (truly impossible) I would have appointed Manning and Kilduff in a heartbeat and then dumped a ton of work on them.

  25. I understand that Kwiaht means "Silk Purse out of Sow's Ear" in early Sa'alech language. Like the famed "Laboratory" on Lopez that must be kept somewhere in the attic of the affordable housing unit occupied by its leader--there's no licensed lab anywhere about, for sure. So where the heck are they keeping that collection of specimens? And the "Fisherman Bay Marine Health Observatory" or "Indian Island Marine Health Observatory" which grant givers probably think are real organizations, but which are in fact like the emperor's new clothes. News flash: A lady with a clipboard standing out there when the tide is low is not an "Observatory." Nor is anything done by Kwiaht "cutting edge" science. Or even science, so far as the evidence seems to support.

  26. Has anyone asked the PA if criminal charges will be filed? If not why not?
    If not, then is it ok to treaspass with impunity?
    Anyone have a photo of this Hirsh so we know who we are dealing with?
    Thanks to the TH for the continued efforts to expose these shenanigans.

  27. @ 5:37 PM

    Hold your Friends close. Hold your Enemies closer. Absolutely I would have appointed the loyal opposition and then arranged to bury them in paperwork and demand frequent reports with unreasonable deadlines and make sure resources are with-held to prevent performance. Doesn't anyone understand how this stuff works?

    And another thing. It is a beautiful thing to be able to transform an Enemy into to a Friend. It is the hight of stupidity to poke good will in the eye and transform a Friend into an Enemy. Which is forever, by the way.

    Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Stuck in the middle with you, Jamie Stephens.

  28. GMHB. A wake up call to the AG community.

    Sorry, but:

    FOSJ said any additional living units on any property would, "Double the Density" of allowed housing. I did nothing, my children were settled and employed and did not need a place to live. I felt sorry for those in a different circumstance but I did nothing.

    Via the CAO's FOSJ again attacked every resident with a sizable parcel or anyone with a shoreline parcel. I did not have a big piece of land, and I did not live on the shoreline, so I did nothing.

    And now FOSJ has spurs on and will attack any land owner who has livestock. Well, I don't own any cows, so It is none of my business.

    Get it! Ag people, many of you are long time supporters of FOSJ. Are you sure you want to continue?

  29. Anonymous said...

    9/12 @9:32 I agree again. I definitely am opposed to the applicants who Jamie thinks are "unsuitable."

    September 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Who are the MRC candidates that Jamie thinks "unsuitable," and on what grounds?

  30. @ 1:18 AM

    In other words "I definitely am supportive of the applicants who Jamie thinks are 'suitable.'

  31. @6:44

    You can only trespass with impunity if you are a member of the Friends or if you are currently conducting shoreline work related to a grant, which entitles you to trespass with an armed boat. The big problem that Robin ran into was that, when confronted, she forgot to say, "My work is three-quarters funded by a WDFW grant with matching funds from the tribes -- now up against the wall and spread 'em sucka."

    Because she didn't say that, she's been sent to trespassing school to learn the right way to conduct herself for next time.

  32. @1:18am and @6:44am

    You either need to get out your copy of Strunk & White for a re-read or get a job as a report writer for the county.

    Interesting coincidence that there are two 6:44's (am and pm). My comments are addressed to the am poster. I don't want to presume, but I think the comment immediately preceding is addressed to the @6:44pm commenter.

  33. Great, let's try again, with sympathy to Strunk and White and consider the basic meanings of words.

    Tell me please, anyone, what does "suitable" mean?

    Dictionary: appropriate; fitting; becoming

    Thesaurus: Advisable, applicable, convenient, correct, useful, handy

    In other words, "suitability" is not a meaningful criteria.

    Many attracted to the TH have been strongly urging the Council to reform our advisory committees, the manner by which appointees are selected and how these groups conduct their affairs and publicly report to the Council.

    This is an example of the failure of the Council to reform this toxic dump of political patronage that would elevate a shrieking harpy with no respect for the law above extremely well qualified candidates who do not fit some subjective, murky test of suitability, which is nothing more than a smoke screen for political correctness.

    A mini initiative can probably fix this, put together in the next few months so a different council chair can manage a more "suitable" agenda for the rest of us and start making meaningful changes.

  34. 9:39 What is this about livestock?

  35. About livestock: the GMHB outdid the County and sided with the Friends in the latter's demand that ag restrictions be greatly increased.

    Livestock kill salmon, didn't you know? So no livestock anywhere near all those fishbearing streams we have. And I'm guessing that the Friends' demand that no new ag in wetland adjacent lands will be granted too.

    Here's where the obvious divide between funny farmers and the working farmers will begin to be exposed. The funny farmers are all about being part of the regulatory web: Friends, Conserv. Dist., ARC, AG Guild, and so on. The working farmers are trying to run businesses and feed the community and their families. Those are the folks that showed up at the Planning Commission and testified; the same ones that our Planning Director wanted to sic armed guards on.

    Sadly, the working farmers need to work and have few friends in the eco-Demo-regulo establishment.

  36. 8:35am 9/13. (TH is so busy, guess we gotta date things.)

    Folks in the Ag community are very much affected by these over large "buffers," especially those with livestock.

    Fencing is expensive and the loss of grazing land is a big hit on their ability to continue to economically provide food for all of us to eat. One wonders if the political appointments on the GMHB have ever walked on a plowed field.

    In short, when you start measuring 800 feet in all directions as FOSJ wants, and maybe you have two or three such "critical areas", well that's a lot of land, and a hell of a lot of fencing if you have livestock.


  37. A lot of these board members are from nonprofits, its part of their jobs to do this. That's what they get paid for, get on a board and network, then craft regulations, to get funds for the parent organization. We are part of their food chain.

  38. @ 10:27 AM

    Lovel Pratt: The Farmer's Friend

    Ron Zee: Patronage Saint of Agriculture

    Kevin Ranker: Lord Protector of Aggie Stuff and Brickheads

    Here's the deal. This lie spun about preserving famers along with farmland and supporting young family farms is coming back to bite.

    It's simple. The Washington Environmental Council, during their annual legislative conference in Seattle a few years ago (2007 or so) proudly stated that "Supporting Family Farms" as among their top five policy priorities.

    Meaning: Let's hide behind small family farms for propaganda purposes while we rip the rug out from under them.

    This of course is the FOSJ playbook and why the Conservation District looks as weird as it does these days.

    Some cynical hack decided that "Supporting Family Farms" was "suitable" ... convenient ... handy ... correct

    Yep, this is as foul as it smells.


  39. The MRC is giving a workshop on Orcas to show how citizens can collect scientifically valid and legally defensible samples.
    I smell a Barsh, mister BAS himself.

  40. @ 12:49 PM

    Not only can we now rat on our neighbors but do it with proper chain of custody so the evidence sticks.

    Welcome to the world of San Juan Surveillance

  41. I hope someone has the guts to show up and seriously question the MRC members present at the ORCAS "training session."

    What, exactly is the purpose??? By golly, my tests show someone pee'd on this shrub in the last five days. Get the DNA and then the cuffs.

    Oh lord, what are we doing here?

  42. All those thinking it is time for the TH, who else would, to do a complete roster and bio for the directors of FOSJ, complete with pictures please speak up now.

    It is long over due for these people who forsake all islanders in the interest of fund raising and all else, like island humanity, to be identified and known. After all they certainly want to poke their noses in our daily life, don't they.

    Let us see who they are. And let them know their neighbors here on these islands are not the bad people they currently seek to destroy.


  43. The county can not produce data, but the non profit churn it out, guess the county is waiting for what?

  44. So, what's the count up to now of the nonprofits that Russel Barsh has created.

  45. What is the economic multiplier of a grant funded FTE in San Juan County?

    Do they purchase milk and honey from local merchants?

    Send their kids to Spring St. School

    Never, ever go on Costco runs?

    Get their teeth cleaned by the Tooth Ferry?

    Yes, the economic impact of all these wonderful programs and temporary jobs in the community is enormous.

    And we must bow our heads and thank those who make it possible to bring such pork and payola to town.

    God Bless Senator Ranker, without whom I am beginning to suspect ...

  46. Enough with the economic multiplier of grants nonsense. Have you ever reviewed how the government calculates those numbers? They are simply trying to distract you from the fact that if $100 of our money goes to state and federal taxes, the bureaucrats spend the bulk of it "administering" grants that send back $5. We should just keep the $100 here and spend it.