Sunday, August 10, 2014

Next Time You're In The Ferry Line ...

"Is it just me, or are there a lot more tourists this summer?" That was the question I asked the ticket agent at the Anacortes ferry kiosk. 
"Oh, ever since Memorial Day, the numbers have been through the roof," said the ticket agent. "But I suppose that's good ... probably means the economy is doing better." 
"I'd rather have half the tourists and twice the number of year-round jobs," I said. 
"Yeah ... I guess that makes sense," said the agent.
It makes sense to me anyway.

No matter what island you live on, the tourist hordes seem to be overwhelming recently. In Friday Harbor, it's even harder to find parking spaces than previous summers, and the jets flying into the airport seem to be ... well ... just a bit much. The lines to leave Lopez for Anacortes on a Saturday are now as long as they used to be on Sunday afternoon.

When asked about the lines, one Lopez ferry worker (a long-time resident) voiced her frustration, "There are just too many people. There are just TOO MANY! We need to decide if we want to be Friday Harbor because this is just too much! It's busy all the time. No let-up."

In the midst of the onslaught, our little businesses can't find enough seasonal workers to handle the crush. In Friday Harbor, some restaurants are closed two days a week during the high season simply because they can't find enough workers. Same is true for Orcas, I hear. On Lopez, one restaurant has put out want-ads that amount to begging for seasonal help ... even willing to take people on for just a day or two during their visit to the islands.

Welcome to the economy of "protection" ... the economy of the National Monument ... the Scenic Byway ... tourist board ... the "one of the places to see before you die" economy. This is the Friends economy. It's the one they always wanted, but it's still just a transitional stage ... because there's more to do.

For the rest of this story, continue reading on the new Trojan Heron Blog


  1. So they got what they wanted, but it ain't what they wanted.

    In Marin County, just North of the GG bridge, they wanted a National Park, The Point Reyes National Seashore, except when the people who paid for the park showed up in their RV's and with backpacks and tents, OH NO, we can't have all these PEOPLE! The people of the US of A got nothing, the place got turned into a wilderness area and the local residents smiled as they ripped off their Country.

    And so it is with SJC. They got their National Monument and shit salad as the German's say.

    A note to Rick: Once pot is legalized in other states, mainly CA your dream of production here will become just that, a dream. Wake up, man, we can't compete with the growers in other states and we sure don't have the marketing expertise to do so. (Yes, that would be you.)

  2. I gather this is the only place where the TH serves TH people past.

    Having ONE comment section kept everybody together, we are only a relatively few people on these islands, so as much as I thought busting down comments into categories might be a good thing, it is not.

    Bet you will not find this post. Things are looking a bit corporate now.

  3. When the legislature revised the GMA in March 2014, they allowed small Counties with less than 20,000 residents (SJC has 15,800) to opt-out of planning under GMA. San Juan County was specifically denied that option.
    Does this denial have anything to do with our Senator, a former director of the Friends?
    Our Representatives and Senator will be at the Council meeting on Thursday (Aug 14th). Citizens' access time 9:00 AM. We need to ask them why we were disallowed to opt-out!!

  4. DehlenGibbonLovell=failed $5,000 insider deal. Good for Bob, but Jamie sees no evil.

  5. $5,000 for an analysis of potential “opportunities for engagement on the drafting and adoption of state and federal legislation” related to oil spills in and near San Juan County? Can anyone get this contract? Have we that much loose money lying about? And how presumptuous to think that we have all that much to add to federal and state legislation.

  6. No workers? BAH! More than HALF the islanders under 40 are on the state dole and WORKING UNDER THE TABLE. And more kids than ever on state health insurance!

    And don't even get started on the people on "disability" collecting away.

    The tax evasion and welfare fraud in San Juan County is sickening.


    He is the right choice for washington on ferries,jobs and a local economy! He is the right choice for washington on Maintaining freedom and liberty as well as careful spending and educational policy.

    Thanks for your consideration!

  8. Sad to see the "improvement" in the TH has apparently killed it. I liked it the old way. I'm not one to sign up for anything, no facebook, no tweeter and absolutely no google for me. So I liked the anonymity and it looks like I was not alone.
    Maybe it wasn't the change in TH. I can't find Trust Islanders either. What happened?
    I was hoping for at least some opinions and recommendations for the elections. It looked for a while like some young folks were getting interested in local issues. Where have their voices gone and how can we find them to lend some support?

    Will this post even make it to the old website? And if so, will anyone see it or care? Maybe everyone could come back here?

    I feel like I missed a boat.