Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Walking Dead Bureaucracy

Back in the heady days of 2006, the County entered into an agreement with a 501(c)(3) called Shared Strategy for Puget Sound to develop an ecosystem-based management system for the San Juan Islands. Amy Windrope was hired as Project Manager in November 2006 while a consultant named Jim Kramer ran Shared Strategy. As with most environmental initiatives around here, there was an awful lot of coordination that had to happen, paid for by a bucketload of grant money. Meetings were held; oversight committees were appointed; regulatory agencies and experts graciously devoted their time; and in the end, a report was written. Nothing actually happened to the environment, but a lot of people got paid handsomely for talking with other people about how much they love the environment.

Late last year (while she worked for the County), Linda Lyshall applied for a grant from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, where Amy Windrope now works. The purpose of the grant was to report on the County's progress in implementing the San Juan Initiative's work. When the grant was awarded, it became the subject of a County discussion when the then-Council found out about it after the fact.  It was covered in a story in the Island Guardian at the time:
Council Chair Patty Miller, while supportive of accepting the invitation to join in and hold a public meeting to review progress made towards implementing the Initiative’s previous recommendations, questioned who, exactly, applied for the grant in San Juan County’s name in the first place?

Miller also asked how many more grants has the County applied for, and by whom?
And just like that, the San Juan Initiative came back to life like Lazarus ... even though it's still not clear how this undead bureaucracy rose again or who constituted it. Now, after spending another $77K in grant and matching funds during its afterlife, a group calling themselves the San Juan Initiative is set to present a follow-up report to the Council on Monday. Incredibly, the list of report preparers includes Patty Miller ... the very woman who questioned how the grant came to be in the first place.

It is not clear who appointed these people. Were they appointed by the Council or did they appoint themselves?  It's not clear if they think they are the San Juan Initiative or some group following up on the San Juan Initiative.  Their letterhead says "San Juan Initiative," and the all-too-familiar list of serial participants includes:
  • Jonathan White, Co-Chair
  • Lovel Pratt, Co-Chair
  • Lisa Byers
  • Patty Miller
  • Linda Lyshall
  • Stephanie Buffum Field
  • Peter Kilpatrick
  • Tom Cowan
  • Marilyn O’Connor
Were Pratt and Miller working for the San Juan Initiative (and voting to receive their own grant money) while they were on the Council? 


  1. "The San Juan Initative formally sunset as of December 31, 2009, but it's activities and outcomes are being built upon by partners at the local and state levels."
    And part of the original partnering for the SJ Initative involved the "Surfrider Northwest Straits Chapter" who I had never heard of until now. Look at their website, Bellingham based Eco-Scold franchise.
    Sign the no coal petition. Also, a "sample" letter for helping the cause of "Marine Spatial Planning".
    For real folks, they want to plan and zone the oceans. Big Odumbo has even said so.
    Where oh where would they ever start a guinea pig like ocean zoning and planning?
    Hell, I don't know, why don't we try that little Podunk national monument thingy. Feds already have jurisdiction, should be easy.
    I pray that a few folks show up at this weeks dog and pony show and step up to make some comments.
    We have a few leaders in our midst. Hopefully.

  2. Pour a stiff one and contemplate that Kevin Ranker sort of ran the Surfrider Northwest Straits Chapter for a spell, after he left the FOSJ and before he became a County Commissioner.

    Now, the woman who was the coordinator for the MRC at the time Kevin was elected, then went on to become his replacement at the Surfrider shop.

    But who is the Surfrider Foundation you might ask? They exist as a remora to the shark known as the California Coastal Commission. The Surfrider Foundation was established in California around the time the Coast Act came into being.

    Surfrider is here in Washington to help bring the wonderful lessons of the CCC to our lovely state, by way of the Puget Sound Partnership.

    And if memory serves, the person who was hired to manage the San Juan Initiative had previously worked for the California Coastal Commission.

  3. For LL's caption, you forgot to add "housemate of Linda Kuller of CD&P."

  4. When they did the new council chambers, offices and audio /visual of council meetings , it was said that it was so we could be there with out journeying from the far flung islands that make up our county.
    Who was on the council when they did that for our benefit, it was no cheap.
    Now the folks on K Street in Friday Harbor think that what they have to say has more meaning than others. All they have to do is walk over from their offices do lunch and work on the angle that is in their best interest.

  5. Yep that's the irony. On the one hand the public was sold the wonders of electronic democracy while on the other hand now being told if we don't show up on a work day our views will be ignored.

    Meanwhile the Socialist Progressive Arm of the Spring Street Gang just wander in on a moment's notice.

    But the point is this: If nearly 100 real live working folks from all over the county make the trip to testify to the Planning Commission their deep concerns over the CAO only to make Shirene Hale want to call for law enforcement if it ever happens again, I'd say it doesn't much matter.

    What does matter is rolling up our sleeves for the long haul to disassemble the Machine cog by gear.

    And we have to face the fact that we are not dealing with a local problem based in Friday Harbor.

  6. The county is run like a soft-money research center, except it does no research. The people who work at the county run around trying to get grants and matching funds to keep their jobs going. They should work for Friday Harbor Labs instead. In fact, FHL isn't nearly as successful at pulling in grants as county employees are.

  7. Look how much council time is taken up by grant recipients JUST THIS WEEK! We have the San Juan Initiative today and tomorrow we have the BR and her salmon grants.

    If only tax payers could have as much opportunity to talk a the grant getters.


  8. you are right the county does not focus on the basic needs, only what they can get a grant for, then we have to keep funding whatever it is.

  9. Interesting insight. The labs are being slowly forced to become more financially "self-sufficient" as the UW mother ship runs out of money, and so they have become increasingly forced to do their own fund raising and grant seeking. So, they have a pretty good development department.

    That fund raising arm of the labs, by the way, is active behind the scenes in helping the Machine fund raise and chase grants. The labs are a fund raising technical assistance resource and the relationships are very close, no doubt about it.

    Meanwhile the labs themselves are slowly becoming more disconnected from the larger university system and becoming more of an independent marketing organization. Interesting to speculate on where this may lead.

  10. Running out of money? UW? They just formed the College of the Environment where David Dicks has his latest sinecure as "Director of Strategic Partnerships and Civic Engagement." Oh to be a congressman's prodigal son!

    College of the Environment? That's a name like the "War on Terror." In my day, there were things like "Schools of Medicine" or the "College of Engineering" and now we have "College of the Environment?" What do you major in, "Planet Earth?"

  11. @8:39

    No, you major in "Grants and Grant Writing."

  12. And you minor in "Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships"

    What does that have to do with the environment, you ask?


  13. It says on the agenda that this is a "Five Year Review" for the San Juan Initiative. Tell me this isn't going to be like the CAO where we have to "review and if necessary revise" this piece of crap every five years. This is BS.

  14. Lie-Shall's roomie, Linda Kuller, is talking about stormwater today with Ed Hale too. Oh joy. What a party of incestuousness we have on display this morning.

  15. Oh boy. None other than Ms Amy Windrope, of the Department of Fish Speaking will present this Five Year Review.

    Right now are exhalations of edhale with council critters trying to learn if there is actually data and where that data actually is and how the public can actually look at it.

    Movin' on.

  16. And now here comes newly minted Senior Planner and Linda Lyshall housemate Linda Kuller to build upon edhales excellent bob and weave number.

    Oh, this is all about the Evils of the Massive Storm Water Problems in the San Juan Islands.

    Just so you know. One of the things they are doing is "developing a web page." This is expected to be very useful to both the public and to the council.

    Sort of an outreach plan. Marketing ain't cheap. Once this data actually gets scrubbed enough to reach the light of day, we're gonna have to spend a lot of grant money to tell you exactly what we want it to say.

  17. Has any organization actually done scientifically valid sampling and proper analytical chemical testing on storm water runoff? Something beside the drugstore test strip hooey from Kwihatt, or whatever it is called?

  18. Rick Hughes takes a stand. Bravo. Come back and watch the exchange between Amy Windrope and Rick Hughes.

    Windrope passionately advocates for armed shoreline surveillance, calling it "fairness." She is unrelenting in this. She also really wants everyone to know that the San Juan Initiative "Policy Group" fully support her position. The Policy Team members were listed here previously, Lovel Pratt, Lisa Byers, et al.

    Rick Hughes calls her on this. He clearly states his opposition to Amy Windrope and the Policy Team's position of bringing armed state deputies in boats conducting surveillance activities along the shoreline based on voluntarily given information by citizens who in good faith were duped into trusting this San Juan Initiative.

    Good on you Rick Hughes. Everyone needs to see this.

    By the way, this presentation went on for 45 minutes.

    So what has changed? The San Juan Initiative has transformed into San Juan Surveillance.

    Believe it. This is sick and disgusting. A total authoritarian police state proposition slicked over by a cheerful, chirpy perky vampira from hell.

  19. Wow. Who paid Amy For the day. She said she is currently working in the Columbia river basin for the Washington department of fish and wildlife. Does she feel so strongly about us up here that she took an unpaid day off plus travel expenses? Sure was big on regulations, law and enforcement.
    Guess she was the opening act for the main event tomorrow .
    Thank you Rick for doing your job and not just going with the flow and also asking Ed Hale for some test results. Almost forgot about Ed after Amy's assault.

  20. Thanks Ed. I always called them culverts, but now apparently they are called enclosed pipe systems.
    One of the past councils actually did something for us with the videos of meetings, I feel myself understanding how the county thinks and operates when watching them.

  21. I voted for Rick! I also voted for Patty Miller back in the day when a smart, reasonable woman might be expected to make an informed,perhaps courageous stand. Dismayed to see her continue on and show I was even more mistaken than I knew.

  22. Stan's computer tutorial was awesome!

  23. I'm glad EH and AW are being challenged, but there is a big difference between challenging them and dismantling the corrupt system that they comprise. I hope Hughes and Jarman aren't satisfied with only asking tough questions. I hope they have the cojones to dismantle it. Miller's act was to ask good questions and then support the corruption nonetheless.

  24. Watch the exchange between Rick Hughes and Amy Windrope about armed boats in our waters ... this was taped live earlier today.

    What do you think about this? What should be done?

  25. I pray that Jesus protects us all and gives us the wisdom to stand up to these secularists and non-believers and socialists.

  26. @4:13 I suspect you'll find plenty of "secularists and non-believers" who are against the vileness which has infested our county government, and who would make common cause with you.

  27. Lie shall and Wind pipe are more transplants who want to make a career here because they think they know best how to fund themselves and their closest friends to take care of the problems here in the islands. oh and because no one else wants them.
    Return to sender.
    "Take a mental picture, this is what a liar looks like" - Jim Carrey

  28. This is not helping the Image of the San Juan Islands Conservation District.

  29. "This is not helping the Image of the San Juan Islands Conservation District."

    Which reminds me, has Amy filed criminal charges against Mr. Zee for his unpermitted residences? Or does CDP's failure to act upon the violations for 6 years mean the County can't file charges any more?

  30. RE September 11, 2013 at 6:24 AM
    Too true. Image is everything and it is clear what these people are up to. Sneaky and dubious.
    The San Juan Islands Conservation District needs to be revoked and the money returned to tax payers - it is not a private non-profit for wealthy environmentalists.
    Protest paying for it on your tax bill and put this on the ballot.