Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Catching Up (Again) - Ethics and PSSA's

As usual, there has been a lot going on, and my thanks to commenters who keep abreast of information even when I am unable to post. Here are a few recent items of particular note:
  • David Dehlendorf and Friends Attorney Kyle Loring raised a stink about the fact that three Common Sense Alliance (CSA) Board members sit on the Planning Commission. Dehlenloring alleged that it was a conflict of interest since CSA is opposing the County's draft of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) in court. Loring even said that the conflict was so obvious that it was "Ethics 101." If it is Ethics 101, then Dehlendorf and Loring are late to class.

    Unlike the Friends, CSA has never received a penny from the County and never voted to give itself grant funding. Unlike the Friends, CSA is a relative newcomer to County advisory committees. In fact, when Mike Carlson of CSA was appointed to the Planning Commission, he replaced Mike Kaill, former President of the Friends Board. Kaill's tenure on the Planning Commission coincided with the Friends opposition (including lawsuits) of the County's guesthouse legislation. Where were Dehlenloring's concerns about ethics then? Or ... when Susan Dehlendorf took a "straw poll" of Planning Commissioners regarding the CAO last year, where were the concerns about ethics?

    Ethics 101? It seems more like Ethics-ish 101. When Dehlenloring are interested in ethics for everybody instead of simply using the name of ethics as a tool to advance their own interests, then we're more likely to pay attention. By the way, our Prosecuting Attorney reviewed the issue and twice produced a written opinion saying there is no conflict. The Planning Commission is only an advisory body to the Council, and as such, no conflict exists.
  • By now, most people have probably heard that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been armoring the beach at Watmough Bay, one of the most beloved pocket beaches in all the islands ... and certainly one of the most beloved beaches on Lopez Island. There are several incredible ironies about this story, which we will cover in greater detail in an upcoming post. First, the hard armoring isn't even protecting any structures. Second, despite all the meetings with BLM officials over the past few months about local outreach and involvement, apparently no locals knew the hard armoring project was in the works. Third, the BLM produced an Environmental Assessment of the proposed work which led to a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI). Think about that for a moment ... the federal government armored a beach in the National Monument and there are no significant impacts, and yet the Friends oppose nearly every dock and armoring project on the grounds that there are environmental impacts. Fourth, one of the contractors involved in the Watmough Bay project, Coastal Geologic Services, is the Friends "go to" consultant whenever the Friends oppose docks and armoring. It's hard to believe the Friends didn't know about the Watmough Bay project ahead of time ... and yet they said nothing, even as they opposed other armoring projects elsewhere and opposed the expansion of the Islander Resort on Fisherman Bay too. There are more ironies, but ... we'll cover them in the upcoming full post.
  • Speaking of the Friends, they're at it again. One of the key strategies of the Friends is to take local issues and link them to national and international affairs, so that we become subsumed into a global matrix of restrictions based on the pretense of "local protection." Case in point was Stephanie Buffum signing a treaty to protect the Salish Sea last March. As we've seen, the Friends' megalomania becomes especially virulent when it comes into contact with grant money. Below is an email from ex-CDPD employee Elizabeth Anderson talking to the usual suspects ... Barbara Rosenkotter and Stephanie Buffum ... about (wait for it) a grant to designate our waters a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). I know ... yet another acronym. It never ends. Some of you may remember Elizabeth Anderson, whose employment with CDPD was justified by (you guessed it) a grant, and who was put in charge of writing a County Solid Waste Management Plan during the collapse of the County's solid waste management system. Her time here could not have been more fruitless and pointless.

    Now she is touting another "brilliant program."

Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 11:53:00 -0700
Subject: Fwd: Oil Spill Prevention - Addition to today's discussion
Attachment(s): 1

OOPS! I forgot to copy you on this.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Anderson <ebanderson12@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Subject: Re: Oil Spill Prevention - Addition to today's discussion
To: Stephanie Buffum <stephanie@sanjuans.org>

Stephanie - this is a brilliant program with a high degree of probability of success in preventing oil spills. However, it does not fit the NTA where I had notes that you would provide some further milestones. I attach the revised table thus far.  The only red letters are under SD 1B, where I thought you had more to add.  It may be fine as-is.
Do I need to add anything from yesterday's IC discussion?

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 5:22 PM, Stephanie Buffum <stephanie@sanjuans.org> wrote:

The purpose of the Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) for the Salish Sea Feasibility Study is to investigate the possible benefits and costs of enhancing the management regime  of the areas surrounding the shipping lanes surrounding the San Juan Island National Monument, through the creation of an internationally mandated Particularly Sensitive Sea Area for the Salish Sea. This potential designation can only be achieved if the area is particularly sensitive (in ecological and cultural terms) and the existing regulatory regime does not adequately protect it. Whilst such PSSA designations have been recognized in other parts of the United States and the international community, they have not been considered in the context of the highly vulnerable Salish Sea.


To communicate to the Salish Sea populace, including organizations, business, Tribes and First Nations and government, what important ecological and cultural values are present in the Salish Sea, their fragility, and how they will be negatively impacted upon if the risk of vessel traffic in this area is not adequately managed, as it is in other part of the United States, and similarly, within the international community. Simply, we wish to show the gaps in our regulatory protection of the Salish Sea, and an existing tool can be applied to fix this problem, to the benefit of both the ecology and the surrounding communities.


1.     To provide a principle campaign tool for protecting marine waters.

2.     To educate the public about what is at stake if large scale shipping traffic of potentially hazardous cargo, is not adequately regulated.

3.     To show how adequate management has been achieved in comparable areas with similar risks to the Salish Sea.

4.     To empower local groups, including Tribes and First Nations, eco-tourism operators with information for their own campaigns to protect the Salish Sea, and to learn from the experience of other communities facing similar difficulties

5.     To develop “new evidence” to bring to any review process.

6.     To provide an Alternative, which has been successfully adopted elsewhere,  to reduce the risk of an oil spill in the Salish Sea.

Audience and campaign

The audience is the general population of the Salish Sea. The request for designation will require Washington State Tribes and Canadian First Nations, federal, provincial, state and local leaders and public officials to support this designation. Key business leaders and ngo organizations in British Columbia and the US, principally within Washington State, will be essential for cultivating support for these two proposals separately in the US and in Canada. 

Cost: $35,000 for Feasibility Report. Gap: $25,000

$90,000 for full nomination in the US and Canada, conference, materials. Gap: $90,000


  1. To develop “new evidence” to bring to any review process.

    What the? What does that mean?

  2. That's EXACTLY the line I noticed! Like they need to manufacture it! sheesh

  3. If anyone is left listening, I hope this finally lays to rest that:

    1) The BLM/NM "community listening sessions" ... weren't ...

    2) The NM interest is ONLY on the BLM lands, pay no attention to the green line that the FOSJ seems awfully interested in ...

    Yeah yeah yeah. I know. Let's keep it local. Let's just focus on our own backyard. Who cares what happens in a neighboring county, or just over the border.

    Regionalism is the hallmark of Agenda 21 so the best thing for to do is stick our collective heads in the sand and pay no attention until its too late.

  4. But, but, but.....I thought no new evidence would be accepted, because there is always new evidence.


  5. No worries. Senator Kevin Ranker will stand up for us. All he needs to do is give Steph a spanking and tell her what a bad girl she has been.

  6. The only problem with that imagery is that you have the roles reversed. Stephanie's role is similar to that of Shireene's role, or at least Shireene's role until recently. Everyone reports to Stephanie, and she hands out the spankings, not the other way around. The Board of the Friends is run by Stephanie, Stephanie doesn't take direction from the Board. Just like our council is run by staff.


  7. You mean now the Senator needs Stephanie to get votes for him in exchange for a few "favors" or else.

  8. @9:20 - He's not the Senator from the 40th District or even the Senator from the San Juans. He is, and always has been, the Senator from the Friends. The Senator has always needed Stephanie. She's got a network. For example, for the past two years, the Friends have been building links, via the coal and shipping issues, to ReSources in Bellingham. Take a look at their website:


    Take a look at their programs, too, like North Sound Baykeeper, Power Past Coal, the RE Store. It's a message of empowerment, but the reality is to take away, not empower. They are closely tied to Futurewise and engage in predatory lawsuits, which is their version of "buy local." Empowerment throughout intimidation.

    The Friends need the coal issue. It's one of the best things to ever happened to them because it's a chance to strengthen their network with other "sustainability and empowerment" groups in the 40th District.

  9. Katie Fleming of the Friends spent 8 years working for RE Sources and the Friends grant manager, Shannon Davis, recently moved to Jefferson County. Shannon Davis is on Jefferson County's MRC and is their appointee to NW Straits.

    While there may not be any Friends on our MRC any more, one of them moved to Jefferson County and is on their MRC, so the Friends still end up with a connection to NW Straits.

    They are a hydra, and they are always several moves ahead of all of us.

  10. Bob Gamble is a member of the board of Kwiáht and also sits on the Planning Commission. Dehlendorf has never complained about this.

  11. Don't forget that Kwiaht Board members sit on the MRC and the Technical Advisory Group for the Salmon Lead Entity too. They're everywhere, every Board member.

  12. I'm guessing that the "new evidence" they're developing is the list of where the silly yellow pieces of plywood turn up. There's so much wrong with the "science" (using the term loosely) behind the plywood hypothesis that I wouldn't even know where to begin. However, apparently that's that kind of scientific thinking you get when you only give the Friends $35,000.

    The language about involving eco-tourist types is similarly humorous since the FOSJ is ass deep in opposing (fraudulently) the Islander expansion on behalf of Behan, Falconer and the other Lopez 1%ers who'd just as soon turn the county into a theme park for their rich Seattle friends. Turns out that while the Islander attracts tourists, presumably eco-tourists since why else would anyone come here, they're the WRONG kind of eco-tourists. And by wrong kind, FOSJ, Behan, Falconer et al, mean they represent that guests of the Islander skew to a lower income demographic. In other words, "not our kind of people". It makes more sense if you say "not our kind of people" with a Thurston Howell III accent.

  13. Wow. $90000 to empower the tribes ( are you kidding? Who runs this state, anyway) and to teach the populace of the Salish Sea how important our surroundings are? Is it OK to give Stephanie the third finger salute ? How much more condescending can she get? We know, Stephanie--we live here. And we're tired of being used as your excuse to get paid. I love that the Friends and select Lopezians are opposing the tourist expansion -- lately the Friends have been pretending to support tourism as the answer to all our problems. Our course, they mean the "right" kind of tourists--"their kind" of people.

  14. Oh, another tax funded transboundary conference to allow the Eco professionals to tell each other how superior they are to us mere mortals. Many trees will die, many words will be spoken, nothing tangible will be accomplished. Sounds like a Friends full-employment project to me.

  15. "Whilst"? You're kidding me, right? "Whilst"? Her Highness Queen Stephanie is even starting to speak like the Windsor Royal Family now. Next she'll require that the Friends obliterate or subjugate everyone while -- oh, pardon me, "whilst" -- their pinky's are sticking out. Megalalomania sounds so much better with affected British speech.

    It's the usual bollocks from the Friends. I wish they'd all sod off.

  16. Aw shoot, that wernt Stephanie wrote that, she caint rite that gud any how. She just copy/pasted the grant language, and its probably Canadian-speak.

    Stephanie like to say the word 'process' like they do up in Canukistan. She say 'process' like it rhyme with 'grossest'

    Learnt that up at the big treaty summit and all. Everbody shaking hands saying proooocess, proooocess, prooooooosessss....

  17. Stephanie is a user. She uses people.

    She's using Kyle Loring and if he wasn't so happy causing harm through his participation in "predatory lawsuits" (thank you 9:35...well put) I'd feel sorry for him. I have the impression he would make up ridiculous arguments for any point of view as long as he was paid.

    He will be discarded.

  18. Much of this has to do with conflicted people, and those conflicted people who don't give a shit.

    When you serve in any public position in California, yes that place, you fill out a very complete inquisition yearly as to what stock you own, if any, what employment any member of your family is tagged with, on and on, and that my friends is the basis for any charge of "conflict of interest."

    Basically this intrusion into your work and family is to see if you have any monetary benefit (personally) from decisions you might be a party to.

    This is way, way different from the strident accusations coming from Loring and Mr. D.

    Their's is a McCarthyism of guilt by association.

    As the TH accurately points out, members of special interest groups, notably FOSJ, have spent many years on boards and commissions of our County Government.

    Frankly I could care less who these people like to hang out with, but it does does give a clear hint as to their ability to think clearly.

    Yeah, they can't.

    PS: Loved the part about the shoreline "armoring" on Lopez by the BLM/NPS. Like the rodent kill and tree scrubbing for a extinct natural grass land on the South end of SJI, the massive tree cutting on Orcas, it seems you can consistently rely on park people to be the most invasive and destructive people around here.

  19. Off subject -- There was a meeting on Orcas to discuss needs for Senior Services. Here was Rick Hughes' solution:

    "Rick Hughes suggested county government funding through the establishment of a tax district for Senior Services. A levy, such as the 2009 social services levy, would need to be county wide, but a Senior Taxing District on Orcas could be started at the Council level and then brought before the voters; Hughes indicated a willingness to pursue this option."

  20. Why does it seem, once any person crosses the threshold of public service their mission from there on is to squeeze, and screw money out of the people who elected them. (This is on the "off topic" too.

    More important is who has applied so far, if anyone, for the open Planning Commission slot.

    Anyone got a heads up on that?

  21. Agreed 7:06. The only thing nice about the ballot we have before us is there is no local group asking for money.

    At least Prop one is not something asking for more money!

    The Library on San Juan could not help sending out a multi page glossy flaunting their richness right when we have to write that large property tax check including their huge funding.

  22. Lesson about Rick:

    He hasn't met a group that he didn't agree with and couldn't find a way to glad hand.

    Want him to agree with you?... Tell him how you feel before you ask your question. 99% of the time he's gonna agree with you.

    The only thing more dangerous than a politician with strong convictions is one with no convictions because then the loudest voice gets the vote.


  23. So, you would rather have Lisa on the council?

  24. Really Rick? Set up Yet Another Taxing District to fund the county to step in and with their typical efficiency provide services that are better left to the community, acting through any of our hundreds of charitable organizations and public service groups???

    So the last election we had the choice between Socialist Lisa, and, well, some well-meaning guy who seems happy to encourage government to just quietly grow and take over our lives anyways. Some choice.

    Rick - it is long past time for you to learn to speak from some firm moral position, not just waver in the wind.


  25. Watmouth Bay BLM land is over seen by their Spokane district office. Is all of the San Juan County BLM land over seen out of Spokane? Is that where they station their marine experts?
    Luckily we do have some local oversight since Watmouth Bay is cooperatively managed with the San Juan County Land Bank and the San Juan Preservation Trust.
    Lets hope they cant be swayed by federal grants. Sort of looks like that has already happened.

  26. Jeez. The reason the library district has funding is because the voters approved it. Stop whining.

    Here's an absurd example. Let's say I'm fourth generation Skagit Valley farm family pioneer stock. I have a Dutch last name. Maybe my family grows tulips or sells cabbage seed to the world markets.

    My ancestors tamed the rivers and drove back the tides with dikes and levees to create vast swaths of some of the most fertile and productive agriculture land on planet earth.

    How'd we do that? Individuals coming together for collect good, created self-financed dike districts to maintain what was built if for no other reason that gophers exist.

    Take a drive on the backroads and look at those lovely 100+ year old farm houses and farms nestled right up on the edge of those levees. Yeah I think those folks would tend to keep voting to maintain the dikes.

  27. Some insight into motivations of "friends" among us? Gaia's Vengeance

  28. The personality profile of your typical Friend is what can be labeled as the selfish collectivist. Al Gore is a good example. Give him a Nobel Priz and it gives him the incentive he needs to continue his battles against the evils of cow farts. Same motivation with idiotic annual "Stewardship Awards" and the mutual admiration society it engenders.

    Lovel the Hutt fits this profile. Her protestations that she should be re-elected because otherwise she'll lose her health insurance is classic.

    Or, Kevin Ranker, so over the edge narcissistic that his toxic levels of selfish collectivism lead him to believe that if it were not for him the world would explode and therefore we had all better do exactly what he says. This is how toxic collectivism eventually produces despots and dictators and we see the evidence everywhere.

    Same thing with Boss Zee. "if it works for me, it must be the best thing for the common good." Follow that tortured logic to its conclusion.

    The rest of us? We just wanna be left alone. If you leave us alone, guaranteed we'll all band together and go the extra mile to help out, give a hand up, create opportunity and take care of this place.

    Tell us what to, that we MUST HELP or stuff us in to regulatory boxes and you toy with our wrath.

  29. @10:43am

    Enviro-Social Collectivists know that individualism always produces incorrect results. For example, YOU decide how many miles YOU will drive YOUR car. When YOU do this, YOU harm the planet. YOU must be controlled for the good of OTHERS. YOUR property should belong to the PEOPLE, who may decide to let YOU live on it. YOU fail, hundreds of times every day, to make decisions which optimize the good of the ALL. The decisions must be made by OUR FRIENDS, who know the TRUTH. YOUR septic system is poisoning the salmonids! YOUR eating meat causes Climate Change! YOUR house is degrading the values and functions of the "possible wetland" 100 yards down the slope! YOUR house is visible from the National Monument! YOUR front door light disturbs the frogs! WE will use the legal system to "fix" YOU and YOUR unsustainable lifestyle!

  30. We are the Eco-Borg Collective

    You will be assimilated.

    Resistance is futile.

  31. 10:43, Excellent. You are correct. Most of us just want to be "left alone."

    We are not children abandoned in some far woods, as we own the woods, we take care of our woods, our shore, our dirt.

    Do we need help? No.

  32. RICK HUGHES proposed a TAXING DISTRICT for Senior Services? Does he realize that we already have a taxing district, called the COUNTY, and our property taxes, which happen to provide some of the best coordinated senior services I'm aware of.

    Leave it to Rick to have a meeting about a non-existent problem.

    That means he can avoid talking about WHY Council decided to cave to the Friends and not appeal the CAO decision. Or why the County is going ahead with changes to the godawful CAO while five parties have appeals on different issues pending.

    So I guess Rick's supporting the senior services district and the transportation services district and the BEST one--the environmental services taxing district. How about an arts taxing district. Why not? We do not pay enough taxes.

  33. I would like to learn more about any proposed environmental services taxing district.

    What a wonderful little fiefdom that could turn out to be. Shall the directors be elected county wide or appointed from within? I guess if the Conservation District didn't work out as the drunk tank for all this nonsense, the next grand idea is to simply create a new jurisdiction to "ease the burden of government."

  34. @ 12:07 am
    I'll actually step in to defend Rick regarding senior services. This was and remains an important issue from the first campaign he "got" to run. And, the voters will get to make the call.
    Focusing on the real issues here, like taking care of our own seniors, are the things I do want our Council to give attention to.

    Also, the basic management of our infrastructure. Here is a dire graph of our national infrastructure spending. Not good. Too much distraction by... yes, you guessed it: over-zealous planning, grandiose public works, and other over-regulation; and too much reduction in taxes by driving out business with the same.
    Basic services which include the roads, police, and health services (including seniors) ARE the core responsibilities of our County government. Certainly before we torture ourselves too much about the whole Salish sea, or offer opinions on what U.S. Foreign Policy "SJC" does or doesn't support.

  35. Today Obama has released a new order.

    To manage lands and waters “for climate preparedness and resilience,” Obama ordered that within nine months the Departments of Defense, Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies will meet with the OMB “to complete an inventory and assessment of proposed and completed changes to their land- and water-related policies, programs, and regulations necessary to make the Nation’s watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them, more resilient in the face of a changing climate.”

    Looks like grant heaven, endless money!

  36. @12:52 Does this mean we can get Federal money to relocate all homes in the county above the 20 foot elevation over high tide level, like the Friends asked for? With maybe an extra 5-8 feet thrown in for storm surges. (So, there goes Eastsound, we'll have to move it. Maybe to Waldron?)

    I mean, when the oceans rise, we have to make sure fellow islanders didn't build their homes where they will be flooded, right?

    Me, I'm thinking huge dikes! Just to be Friendly.

  37. Oh Golly, Patty Miller! Prop 1 never had a chance, but now dear Patty with her following of thirty three voters, on a sunny day, will put it over the top.

    Actually, a vote for Prop one is a good idea, (anything that gives voters more power is a good idea) but support from Ms. Miller will kill it dead for sure.

    But, I'd like to speak to TH readers about Halloween.

    I checked my lights; all the bulbs work. (OK, bug lights that don't shine off site, but still a kid could see here is a easy mark for sure.)

    Nadda, nothing.

    So the wife and I talked about the nearest possible child ten years old and under that might jump on our front deck.

    None within one mile.

    If islanders want this demographic, fine, but I don't think so.

    What will it take to get kids down the street from you?

    A) Elect younger people to boards and commissions. Maybe bust the 40 year old barrier!

    B) Encourage working people you know who not only know how to plunge a huge machine into the dirt, but also know how to think clearly.

    C) Ain't no "C" here; "C" is you.

    Happy Halloween.

  38. The county demographic is grey-haired hippy burn outs who still think Vietnam protests are relevant, or grey haired hippy wannabe's...if you want young people you need JOBS...real ones, not godamned GMO Gluten-free Organic Coffee shops and for fuck sakes, any more crappy mediocre cafe's or art galleries, JOBS, meaning INDUSTRY, businesses that actually PRODUCE tangible goods.

  39. Right! 8:14, and that's why I said a long time ago, we need to fund a position for a person, maybe a young successful entrepreneur type who has the ability to think of and attract emerging businesses who would be happy to relocate or grow in a place with good schools, a reasonable housing market, OK weather, and where you can leave your car/house unlocked if you want.

    Most of us just wrote a large property tax check that included County Government.

    Could this County at least TRY something other than throwing countless dollars at planners, consultants, and lawyers?

    Currently, millions are wasted on layer upon layer of regulatory drivel which cannot be, and never will be enforced.

    We vitally need SOMEONE concerned about the economy of this place, and we need em NOW!

  40. Do we have a Lead Entity for Jobs Recovery around here??

  41. Where is your business initiative Bob? Where are your new ideas Rick? Where is an agenda with something that does anything for the islanders, Jamie?

    All you three seem to do is kiss it up to mandates by the DOE and State, because that is what you allow to be put before you. Completely change your march, do stuff good for the people FIRST.

    Haul the PA into closed session. Tell him you have no intention of following and pouring more County money into "conformance." He can defend you, he can organize other counties in a revolt, he can do whatever he wants, but if he refuses to support you, you will actively support his dismissal.

    When is the last time any of you felt like you did something for the people who live here?

    Get that feeling back and stick with it.

  42. TH: Does anyone know who, if any, are applicants for the Planning Commission vacancy?

    Are we getting Dorfed again?

  43. Here comes now the new

    Department of Home Rule Security


    "Gordy's Guard Tower"

    How did we come to this?