Saturday, November 2, 2013

Election Overview

While there are some controversial races around the county this election season, there is nothing like what we've been through over the last year. The Trojan Heron had hoped to do some election postings, but unfortunately, time and events have overtaken us. Nevertheless, we'll give a brief rundown of the main election choices, with greater detail for those topics we know more about ... but we hope commenters will pitch in with their views to fill in the many gaps. Since we are locally focused blog, we'll focus on the local issues (i.e. not the two State measures, 517 and 522).

Let us know what you think ...
  • Overview - Of the 36 elected positions to be filled, 24 (67%) are uncontested. We think having that many uncontested elections is an indicator of an unhealthy democracy. Is it really an election if there is no choice? Some of the uncontested elections involve very influential positions too, such as the "race" for the mayor of Friday Harbor. Also, it seems like politics is a family affair in San Juan County. Two spouses of current or former Council members are running ... Carrie Lacher for Friday Harbor Mayor and Lauren Stephens for Fisherman Bay Sewer District ... and Lacher's husband, former Councilman Howie Rosenfeld, is running for San Juan County Hospital District #1. In addition to the individual races, there is a ballot measure for Lopez to fund the Solid Waste District for the coming year. Also, there is a county-wide measure to amend the Charter. A "yes" vote on the Charter amendment would allow voters to petition for a change in our county's residency districts, rather than have that power rest solely with the Charter Review Commission. A "no" vote would leave things as is.
  • San Juan Island - Of the 17 races, only 4 are contested ... one for the Port, one for the Hospital District, one for Parks and Recreation, and the Friday Harbor Council race between Farhad Ghatan and Matt Shildneck. Of the 4, the race for Hospital District has probably attracted the most attention.  That race pits former Councilman Howie Rosenfeld versus newcomer Mark Schwinge. By this stage of his political career, Rosenfeld is a well-known commodity, and without having analyzed any of the specific issues in this race, the Trojan Heron thinks it is a welcome sign that new blood, like Schwinge, is willing to run. However, we would love to hear readers' comments about this race.
  • Orcas Island - Of the 11 races on Orcas, only 1 is contested. Unfortunately, this is an unwelcome Orcas pattern. Need I remind readers that Orcas also had the only uncontested Council race in recent memory when Patty Miller ran unopposed for Council a few years ago. Orcas voters are generally well informed and active, but when it comes to running for office ... many well-qualified Orcasites prefer to sit on the sidelines.
  • Lopez Island - As delightful as it is to make fun of Lopez, of the 8 Lopez races, 6 are contested. If only the rest of our county could have as many well-qualified candidates running as Lopez does, our democracy would be in much better shape.

    Most of the contested Lopez races are for the School Board. The slate of School Board incumbents supported a lavish multimillion-dollar school bond measure that got crushed at the polls during the last election (how many times does that happen?). They are being challenged by newcomers emphasizing fiscal responsibility and performance rather than profligate spending. The incumbents include a Friends director (Dixie Budke) and others with ties to the Lopez Community Land Trust (Clive Prout and John Helding). The challengers mostly have strong financial and business experience ... and one of the challengers, Teddy McCullough, has a unique perspective as a recent Lopez High graduate. Teddy is currently in college in Washington DC and, if elected, intends to juggle his college and School Board responsibilities by attending School Board meetings telephonically.

    There is much passion on Lopez about the future direction of the school, and speaking of passion, that brings us to the Lopez Port District race. Incumbent Dan Post is being challenged by former incumbent Bob Porter. There has been a lot of smoke blown about this race, unfairly aimed at Dan Post. Post is an effective voice for transparency at the Port, and Post has been the subject of special-interest scorn over the years because he believes the Port should serve the broader Lopez community rather than simply serve pilots. The other two Port Commissioners, Bruce Dunlop and (County Planning Commissioner) Steven Adams, simply want Post eliminated, and Bob Porter is their candidate. That's a problem because watching Dunlop and Adams manage the Lopez Port is akin to watching Lucy and Ethel wrap candy ... they're in over their heads and unable to keep up ... but some of Dunlop/Adams' antics have even warranted more serious scrutiny. Earlier this year, according to sources, the FAA Inspector General and the FBI opened an investigation looking into some of the Port's affairs.

    One of the best summaries of the Lopez Port race is a comment left by Nick and Sara Jones on Lopez/Salish Rocks, which is copied below.  Many of the points raised by Nick and Sara could just as easily apply to any of our county races.
We have been following with some interest the race between Dan Post and Bob Porter for Port. It seems that the complaint about Dan, the argument for replacing him, is that he is not a "team player." This is an interesting line of attack, to say the least. It implies that the best candidate for any given position is the one who is going to get along with the others best. Kind of like seeking out a beta personality puppy if you already have a couple of dogs in a family.

A port commissioner is a public official spending public money. It is a position requiring as high a level of probity and integrity as any other elected position. A get-along go-along attitude is the worst qualification we can think of for any position of public trust. Conversely, the willingness and fortitude to consistently ask hard questions and challenge received wisdom is the highest of recommendations for such a position. Over twenty plus years on the Port of Lopez Dan Post has demonstrated a heroic willingness to ask the hard questions, over and over again. He has done so in the face of scorn, mockery, and endless personal attacks.

Dan Post has also been the only Port Commissioner to consistently push to expand the mission of the port to serve the wider community. He spearheaded the effort to have the Port take over the dump, at a time when the received wisdom was that turning our facility over to San Juan Sanitation was the only viable outcome. The Port effort did not come to fruition, but it led directly to the takeover of the dump by the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District, on which board Dan tirelessly serves. Dan pushed to improve and lease port owned lands for agriculture--providing economic opportunity and local foods, and he continues to advocate for the Port to take on the much needed project of commercial water-front access on the island.

Dan Post is a small-town hero, a tireless doer and a man of deep integrity. Please join us in supporting him for another richly deserved term as Port of Lopez Commissioner.


  1. Not only are there few candidates coming from "my island" of Orcas, we frequently get bad ones. Richard F. and Patty M. were sickening. We will have to invent a new word for "disappointment" for Rick. Whenever there is criticism of Rick, someone asks, "Would you rather have Lisa?" No, but Rick hasn't been any better than Lisa on most issues. He's lost, impressed with himself for going to meetings with the state, for sitting on the Board of Health, or for just generally participating in the trappings of government. Rick is soft, dim, irresponsible with money, unoriginal, and insecure. He thinks of himself as a great reformer and compromiser, but he's a dullard who often misses the point by a parsec.

    I disagree with TH. Our fourth councilman isn't Randy Gaylord. It's Mike Thomas. Randy Gaylord might be our fifth. I know people think Rick is just a remora attached to Jamie's ass at this stage of the game, but that conceptualization of Rick doesn't appreciate how truly weak Rick is. Rick would be a pathetic moral weakling even without Jamie.

    Dan Post sounds like a good guy. I don't know him, but I hope he runs against Jamie. I wish I could vote for someone who would do something, or try.

  2. Please spread the word to Vote Yes on Proposition One.

    Here's the deal. Read the papers. What on earth would bring both Kevin Ranker and John Evans to stand tall together on anything in common?

    Answer: Anything that will increase party politics in county government. Just look at the money that roared into last spring's contentious race; we've never seen anything like it. The return of partisan party politics. It makes me sick. It should make you sick.

    Please for Yes on Proposition One. What special interest is funding misleading road signs and political ads? We don't know.

    Why on earth would the voters want to "reject" their right to balance the currently gerrymandered residency districts into something more akin to reality on the ground?

    Just Vote Yes for Proposition One.

  3. @7:42

    I agree. The Committee for Stable Government? More like the Committee for Stable Special Interests. They say that voter initiatives make us vulnerable to special interests. Only if you think voters are special interests, and how many initiatives have we had. Hardly any. I don't remember any.

    The problem is that there are are advocates on each side of this issue who have burned us before. I hope this is the last we ever see of Patty Miller. Go away. You've done enough damage. Same with Richard. On the other side, there is the always preachy Bob Myhr and Bill Appel.

    At the end of the day, the argument that voters are special interests doesn't ring true for me.

  4. Let's do a switch. Rick can run for Port of Lopez because he is the ultimate team player, and we'll put Dan Post on the council. We need a councilman with an internal compass.

  5. Why would anyone run for office or serve on committees in San Juan County when they inevitably will be subject to anonymous personal attacks and denigrating comments from TH and its readers.

  6. @9:10

    Poor government participation is a hallmark of San Juan County, long predating the Trojan Heron. If anything, the Trojan Heron has revealed that the County is mostly run by a small clique of regulars serving primarily their private interests. If anything, participation by average citizens is increasing, and we are thankful for that.

    As for the rough and tumble of politics, the comments people leave are the ones that are in their minds whether they have a forum or not. We don't agree or endorse any specific comments, but we'll always allow people to speak their minds.

    Also, if you want to see negative campaigning at its finest, tune into what is happening in neighboring Whatcom County.

  7. 9:10. As long as they spell your name right...

  8. Whatcom County is definitely worth paying attention, don't forget our Dear Leader Senator Kevin Rancor is deep in the 40th District political machine in Bellingham.

    Oh, but that's not local so don't pay any attention, nothing there to see little islanders.

    Better start reading the Cascadia Weekly, their weekly foul mouth opinion piece called The Gristle and pay close attention to major full page color advertisers: tribal casinos across the region.

    Never heard of the Cascadia Weekly little islander? That's because it is only distributed on the mainland, in foreign locations you need not concern yourself with such as Anacortes, Mt. Vernon, Bow, Bellingham.

    The 40th District machine doesn't need you to know or read their primary propaganda sheet on the mainland. Distributed weekly, for free, by the thousands in restaurants, libraries, grocery stores and more.

    You can read it online here, notice ads for tribal casinos, etc ... the main headline link is all about Bellingham, because of course, if its good for Bellingham insiders it must be good for the region. The Cascadia Weekly exists to tell zombies how to vote.

    Read the weekly tabloid Ron Zee and Kevin Ranker don't want you to know about:

  9. Digging through the mail this weekend, I come upon the Committee for Stability in Government. In nice soft eco-green colors they say I should "Reject Charter Amendment County Prop. 1"

    They warn me: "County Charter Prop 1 is the first step in a two-step process to disenfranchise you from voting on all council members."

    Uh oh. And why is that? They don't say. Sounds scary though. But these are important people, this Committee for Stability. They must have important insider information.

    Let's see, who we got? Gordy Peterson. Bob Gamble. Rhea Miller. Tom Starr. Lisa Byers. John Evans.

    Not exactly known for pulling with the same oar, these folks. Put them in a boat, likely they would row about in a circle forever.

    So, please spread the word and


    and "REJECT" the Committee for Stability

    Two step process for your disenfranchisement? I need a drink. Gimme a break, campers.

  10. @2:39 "Committee for Stability in Government"???

    Boy, I bet that sounds so much better in German.

    Ausschuss für Stabilität in der Regierung.

    Yes, yes it does!

    Trust the people of the county - vote Yes on Prop 1. Don't let these tricksters scare you away. And don't let them sell you that "democracy" means letting a Committee of those who have the spare time and political chops brew up which Charter modifications we will be allowed to vote on.

    I will say, their convoluted conspiracy theories do tell us much about how they think, and operate.

  11. Rosenfeld is running for a position that he knows even less about than he did about his prior one. He actually thinks that the Hospital District should be providing services, and is buying into the Catholic conspiracy theories that abound on beautiful San Juan. (

  12. 4:14. Maybe it was the time change, late lunch, or your spouse, but it seems you did not finish?

    Maybe you're like me, not understanding how a guy who was a good idea man, a real visionary, yes that guy, John Evans, would not give up the strident island GOP to get easily re-elected as non-partisan.

    It is more obvious now isn't it. You want money, you go with one of these managed machine gear head parties OR you're just a low life person who dreams of winning when you never will.

    Life at the curb, as the TH says, may be starting to stand up. Working people may take an interest in local politics, by golly, look out Howie.

  13. Achtung!

    Ausschuss für Stabilität in der Regierung!

    Du er bot ungern, vespern, köstlichen verläufst stehe brio zur du beilegendem, statischer wo anlachende raufen durchgerittene könne irr flott tagelang stierender abgepflücktes jede schaue es hiesig schüre. Mitten pukein heinee, relaxern sparkin der poppin du du octoberfest. Nine wunderbar hast unter frankfurter corkin meister ich poopsie spritz kaboodle stein sauerkraut heiden nine.

    Nein, Nein! Ist verbotten die Handercloppen auf Charter Prop 1!

  14. @11:53p

    Nailed it.

  15. I'd love to see Nick Jones run against Jamie too. I don't always agree with Nick, but he speaks his mind, reasons clearly, and has a moral center.

    Draft Nick!

  16. Nick Jones would be a great Councilman...unfortunately he's a better small business man, a business that actually employs people and consumes most of his time which would all but preclude his running for a county position, or so I assume.
    All the uncontested positions go to busy body hacks because those who would be better at it have more important things to do with their time, it is a conundrum.

  17. After the dust settles a bit, it would be great if the TH took a closer look at this Committee on Stability.

    What does Stability look like for "Guard-Tower" Gordy? A stable federal lease transform downtown Friday Harbor in to Stalag Spring Street?

    What does Stability look like for Lisa Byers? An "alternative economy" of land trust huts owned and controlled by the large development corporation in the County?

    Hopefully the voters will have the common sense to see through this deception.

    Vote YES on Charter Prop 1


    Please spread the word before its too late.

  18. Wow - watching the Council meeting this morning, Jamie sure has the Friends' talking points memorized!

  19. Now in the Council meeting - the SMP with Colin. Public comment open. Not a single member of the public stepped up to the microphone. The room emptied when the topic was announced.

    Go go active management!

  20. That's not where the real fight is, actually. Attention is being paid to the SMP, believe it.

    Better to focus time and energy where it matters. Management 101.

    Jamie is running out of time and the Friends are growing more desperate by the day.

    The council majority (regardless what you think of them in the moment) are able to think several years down the road, long after Jaime has been defeated, long after the court battles have settled out, long after the CAO comes up for yet another review.

    Rome was not built in a day. The empire did not fall over night.

  21. It's nice to see new people like Schwinge running. I couldn't stand Howie's nonsensical positions when he was a council person. I'm not voting in the hospital board election, but if I was, I'd vote for Howie. Yes Howie.

    I was born in a catholic hospital. I am a catholic. I don't think the catholic church should run anything related to health care. The last thing people need when they are in distress is a dysfunctional religious bureaucracy weighing in on personal choices. I don't think a dysfunctional religious bureaucracy is any better than a dysfunctional secular bureaucracy.

    I worry about Howie because his record shows him to believe in dysfunctional bureaucracy rather than personal liberty. However, I worry about the catholic church for the same reason.

    It's not a good choice, but speaking as a catholic, I'd choose anyone over the catholic church.

  22. @9:40 I'm sorry, I see very little evidence that Jarman and Hughes are playing any sort of clever long game here.

    I see Jamie sitting up there today, clearly well-briefed from *someone*, while the other two don't seem to have done their homework at all, and are floundering around on their own.

    Jarman on the video feed is currently debating with Colin over some misunderstanding of basic terms in the SMP, chasing a shiny object instead of focusing on substance.

  23. @9:40 And now, Rick is making up some interesting legal theory off the top of his head.

    Sorry, Rick and Jarman look like amateurs, just flapping their gums to try to appear to be on-the-ball and concerned.

  24. @9:27 and @9:40

    I agree with @9:27. Showing up is important, and we're failing there. We shouldn't get defensive about not showing up, but we should accept that we need people to make an effort. It does matter.

    I don't know what the answer is. The daily effort needed to head off all the badness is overwhelming. The public who will be negatively affected doesn't appear, and our elected officials are not up to the task.

    We are up against real professionals. By that I mean we are up against people who get paid to push the badness every day. We have elected officials who want to be team players and consequently throw more and more money at the pros. They gave the Conservation District more money. They gave Barbara Rosenkotter more money. The new-ish MRC gave the Friends more money.

  25. Rick and Bob look like amateurs because they are amateurs. They have been neutralized and neutered. They're just going along with the flow.

  26. More real-time coverage of the SMP hearing: Jarman and Hughes continue to get distracted by chum, and meander around proposing tweaks and random ideas that pop into their minds, while Jamie sits back and smiles, and chuckles now and then as he lets them unproductively scurry off down bunny trails instead of focusing on the issues.

    This is almost too painful to watch.

  27. @10:05 etc.

    Thank you for the real time commentary.

  28. They just shut down the feed, just in time for us to miss Rachel talking about how they plan to pave the islands and cut down all our trees to comform with our rural road plan. No more streaming for the peasants on little islands!

  29. AND, they are totally missing the real subject.

    Shoreline property owners are not aware of the SMP update because the County has made no effort to reach out to them. Just the opposite. The County has cloaked this whole process in a computer system no one can use and few even know exists.

    According to Assessment Office records there are approximately 3,600 shoreline parcels in private ownership.

    The owners of these parcels, by in large, have their property tax bills sent to their primary residence. (Like you, right?)

    A study of zip codes reveals that a whopping 65.7% of these property tax bills are mailed to OFF ISLAND ADDRESSES! (Bellevue is a biggie.)

    That's right, it may be an assumption, but I think most would agree it is a correct assumption that something like 65% of shoreline property owners DON'T LIVE HERE! (Talk about zero impact.)

    In fact, more than 600 of these shoreline parcel owners don't even live in WASHINGTON STATE.

    And, THIS is what our lame ass council should be discussing right now.

    How should they rightfully, openly and honestly talk to these people?

  30. Feed back up. Rick mentioning that the storm drains in Eastsound apparently haven't been maintained, which caused *another* round of flooding this weekend.

    Rachel telling us after the last bit of flooding last month, they made plans to "improve" things. No mention of boring things like actually cleaning out the existing drains.

    By "improve" things, Rachel seems to be talking about new construction projects, not routine maintenance of what we already have. Lovely...

  31. And now Rachel is blaming "the developers" in Eastsound, though those buildings have been there for decades, and seem to have been flooding recently because the existing stormwater system simply hasn't been inspected or maintained, in the rush to build cool new expensive projects.

    Hope you can swim, Eastsound residents!

    Oh - and now Rachel is talking about "best management practices" - I wonder if those practices include things like cleaning out the plugged drains?

  32. @ 9:59 AM

    Exactly. Their professionals show up at public access because they have the time and are paid to do that.

    Public access has pretty much turned into the lobbying slot.

    Enjoying Rick's blast about the flooding of East Sound, and the interesting point that Friday Harbor is second place in terms of tax revenues. Rick says East Sound is where the action is. Intriguing.

    Come back to reality. Jamie is not a Svengali. Rick is not quite a total naif. Jarman is not quite Jethro.

    Rick and Bob are ABLE to think head in a way that Jamie, in his political situation, cannot. Whether Rick and Bob WILL start thinking ahead, perhaps remains to be seen.

    You can be sure however, that the "professionals" are working on them both, especially Mr. Hughes, our incoming chair.

  33. Wow, Rachel Deitzman seems to be practicing unusual restraint, I am sensing clenched teeth as she lectures the Council on the nuances between 1) a storm water retention pond and 2) a constructed wetland.

    So now we understand that the Eastsound Mosquito Hatchery is exactly what the grants bought from Public Works: a constructed wetland. At least that's what Public Works sold the public. Rick keeps raising the obvious question, how on earth can Eastsound flook out like that with such a cutting edge storm water management facility in place?

    Glad we got that cleared up Rachel.

  34. Hughes reports he has been getting a lot of complaints from the business community about the plans of the Department of Home Rule Stability to lease a permanent stockade on Spring Street.

    Guess the cards and letters are rolling in.

    "It will bring jobs" I think Jammie said. Kevin Ranker could not have said that better.

  35. @11:03 am said: "'It will bring jobs' I think Jammie said."

    Yet another example of the hypocrisy of the Friends & their fellow travelers. No Friends seem to be concerned about the construction jobs that will be lost if the Friends get their way on the CAO and/or SMP. Similarly for the work that won't happen due to the Friends opposing every permit covering a dock, retaining wall, sea wall, commercial building, etc. etc. etc. (other than permits applied for by fellow travelers - I mean, those fellow travelers who bother to apply for permits).

    The Friends (and their sock puppet on the council) won't be satisfied until the county has been turned into a theme park for their rich friends.

  36. Well, I voted today.

    Not much to vote for, but the ballot went like this:

    If it was an uncontested race I didn't vote- no reason to support someone just because they have a name

    If it was contested, I voted against the incumbent. Do your time, then get out of the way.

    If it was Prop 1, I voted in favor. Everyone's screaming about fear of redistricting, but that's exactly what we need. Equitable and fair representation.

  37. And who has applied for the vacant PC seat?

  38. Ah, yes--Mt. Baker Road--on time and on budget--it just depends on which calendar and which budget you use. ANOTHER $300,000 overrun. Just slipped in there. "Due to unsuitable materials and utility conflicts."

    And Sen. Ranker has "found" funds to put up even MORE guardrails, right near his house. Three cheers for Sen. Ranker. How much uglier can we make Orcas? No word about cutting down those Crow Valley hazards, er, ancient trees?

  39. The Planning Commission will stay at 8 people, to ensure that a tie will let the staff report go forward in every godforsaken project brought forth by our professional planners.

    Bob Jarman, whose district is producing the candidate for the Planning Commission, told Council in open session two months ago who his candidate was--Greg Hertel. Twice, even. Jamie brushed it aside, twice, and the other two just sat there.

    Apparently Jamie wants to find a "better" ( "friendlier") candidate. So the opening will stay unfilled until Jamie puts the vote on the agenda.

    Funny, the process used to be that the Councilman in the district nominated a candidate and Council appointed that person, unless there was a significant valid objection. So Bob and Rick need to tell Jamie to put it on the agenda.

    We're waiting, Bob and Rick.

  40. How long has the Planning Commission been vacant now, since David Dehlendorf's wife resigned? Five or six months? At a time when the SMP is being heard, and the CAO redone?


  41. Rachel said that the contractor used extra heavy rock (weight wise) on the Mt. Baker Road project and that added to cost . Who kept an eye on the scales?

  42. Constructed wetland vs detention pond is more than semantics its a functional distinction. Its petty to chastise someone who is trying to clear the air. But what do you care. Keep popping off cheap shots, get some anonymous support, and feel like your part of some greater cause.

    Meanwhile the council flounders away their executive power becase no one of, myself included, shows up for public comment.

    Don't try to sugar coat it, until their is a face to the opposition, its all just the lunatic fringe here.

    The Dude abides.

  43. Both pits here on orcas have truck scales that are calibrated and tested not unlike the pumps at the gas station. Its great that you immediately suspect foul play with our local contractors and suppliers. Call someone, contractor, pit, county, and ask the question and they would be happy to explain it I'm sure. But its so much more fun to insinuate isn't it...

  44. Calm down. Rachel Dietzman, the county engineer, said " Rock selected by the successful low bidder used a rock that was 24% heavier than you might expect. Unusual to find rock so heavy ".
    I just thought it was interesting that the contractor didn't research rock, weight, cost and coverage for the estimate. I didn't know it was a local contractor, should have known the rock that was being dealt with.

  45. In other words the County failed to provide a proper specification? Failed to monitor performance?

    Let's see the procurement documents.

    In any event, the reason why government outsources is to ensure there is someone else to blame when they screw up.

  46. There is no fault on the county, contractor or the quarry. The county estimates a cubic yardage of rock and it is converted to a weight using past experience. It is paid for by the ton because thats the only practicable way to measure rock (you would know thus if you have ever purchased rock frim the pits). In this case the pit just happend to get into some heavy rock. I suspect it was more expensive to crush, transport and place the heavy rock. Costs of doing business...

    The contract is a public record I'm sure so go ask for it.

    The only one trying to blame anyone here is you 8:19.

  47. @ 10:00 AM

    Oh, and I do, I do blame myself. Every day. I do not understand rocks very well. However I did vote.

  48. @10:00AM
    Could you be more condescending and ignorant at the same time?

    Quote: "It is paid for by the ton because that's (sic) the only practicable way to measure rock (you would know thus if you have ever purchased rock frim (sic) the pits"

    I think you could measure rock by volume. Think L x W x H, not decibels.

    Since you are willing to be so condescending, I will guess that you misspoke when you referenced the rock as heavy, rather than dense.

    Is it F*(&ing Friday yet?

  49. FYI-

    Nothing ignorant about it.

    All road construction is done per WASDOT specification.

    Most rock and gravel is specified by the ton, with and estimated coverage per ton assumed by the engineer. Usually soils and mulch is specified by yard. Other items are by unit, and/or length. Grass and seed is specified by the acre.

    It is entirely possible that the WASDOT spec for gravel is slightly lower in density than the rock generated on Orcas. Rocks vary in density and thus weight depending upon quarry. A 10 yard truck in Spokane could easily weigh 2-300 lbs less or more than a truck on Orcas. Multiply this by several hundred trucks and you have a distinct variant.

    Both rocks meet the spec, but rock composition may vary due to the locale.

    Also, weight is used because a "yard" can vary based on wetness, size and level of wash. Imagine that you fill a truck with 5/8" Wet gravel and 5/8 dry gravel. Both will be ten yard loads, but 2 very different weights due to compaction during loading.

    The engineer does not get the option in the bid to specify where the materials come from generally, so increased weight can indeed be a factor.

    As to the contractor "knowing the rock". Whether he knows the rock is not relevant. The bid documents specify the weight to be bid, the contractor simply inserts his per-ton cost and does the math. If, during construction, the necessary amount exceeds the specification then it is priced in as an add based upon quantity used.

    Welcome to government contracting folks, it ain't simple, and is almost never makes sense.

  50. @6:52

    L X W X H, that's cute. I got another one for you smarty pants, Time = Money.

    The next time there is a major construction job going on where you have 50 truck coming in and out of the quarry each day you be sure to tell them that they should stop driving onto a scale and getting a weight ticket because you are going to jump into the back of each truck with your measuring tape and fancy math and measure a completely irregular lump of rock as it was dumped.

    While they are idling around, waiting for you to be all sophisticated, be sure to use fancy words like density, voids, and angle of repose.

    But hell, L x W x H, that probably close enough, not subjective at all for rock pile. It's not like inventorying stockpiles will take you ALL DAY. Its not like the inspector has anything better to do than. Much more efficient that getting a hand full of scale tickets at the end of each day.

    You have in one single post, completely revolutionized this industry. I don't know how they thought this whole time that truck weights were the most practical method. I mean that's only one step above counting each rock.

    Don't worry about it though, rather than base you response on reality, you are sure to find all sorts of creative diversions based on my crappy grammar or sarcastic tone.

  51. The Central Committee on Stability is pleased to inform you that Stability, Order, Security and Control has been achieved. The voters realized they cannot be trusted to redistrict based on reality on the ground. When the precinct results come in, take a look at the Lopez/Shaw results. We got snookered again. We deserve it.

  52. @9:18

    I'm disappointed in the Prop 1 outcome, but I think the election results show that anything associated with the previous council has the stench of death about it. Whether it is Howie running for office or Patty Miller and the previous council promoting a proposition, no matter what it is, the public is fed up with them. Their solid waste ideas got obliterated at the polls, they were beaten at the polls, nobody likes their CAO except for the Friends, and no one will vote for any of them ever again - for anything, not even hospital board.

  53. I for one did not "immediately suspect foul play with our local contractors and suppliers." Sorry for any insinuation you perceived. I immediately suspected further incompetence on the part of the managers at the County. The ones who were surprised to find wetlands and drainage issues there. The ones who now claim the project was just peachy, on time and on budget. Indeed, the pipeline from the local contractors and suppliers is that the County management was clueless during the entire project. That was the most disturbing thing.

  54. No Internet on San Juan, makes for a quiet Heron.

    Anyone have the ACTUALL details of how this communications fiasco happened?

  55. Kevin Ranker seems to be taking credit for leading the charge to get things fixed! Go Ocean Hero!

    Oddly, I didn't see him at any of the SJI, Lopez, or Orcas EMS/Fire/OPALCO/Century Tel efforts to identify/fix/workaround the problems. Perhaps he was too busy writing the press release.

    A huge number of our fellow islanders, many of them volunteers, busted their asses the past few days working this issue, and Kevin's "lead from the rear" backpatting is sickening.

  56. This might give OPALCO a new lease on life for their communications infrastructure offerings. "It just works."

    As for Kevin: "He's never worked."

  57. Interesting front pager on Ranker in the sounder. How does a political advertisement end up as a front page story. This wasn't journalism, it was a free Ranker commercial. Probably better than he could have written!

    It's too bad out local paper doesn't report on anything other than cotton candy fluff.

    Next to it a happy-go-lucky piece about Barbara Kline retiring. Nothing about the path of destruction she has plagued Orcas Island with. There's a whole lot of kids and parents that she owes some big apologies to. I'm sure they'll name some new building after her just to make sure she can continue to bully and backstab students and staff after she leaves.

    I can't wait for next Wednesday when the paper reports on how hard Centurytel worked to get our service back up an running.

    We need an Andy Rooney section in the paper so that maybe just once we can see some criticism
    of something!

  58. Prior poster--you are being uncivil and rude and not nice and insensitive and like that. We don't complain; we don't question; we simply smile and do what we're told.

  59. This just in: Friday Harbor has decided NOT to ban the presence of all things federal-government-related. Though you can tell it pains Mayor Lacher not to tell those big bad customs agents to go elsewhere. Odd that she would seem to perceive a difference between the Democratic administration and its employees.

  60. While the Town cannot interfere between a property owner and their tenant, I had expected them to put a buffer around Gordy. Governments use buffers for everything else, so I thought they might try that too.