May 16th, 2013
We’re here because of you!
Do you find Orcas Issue helpful and informative? Do you value responsible, in-depth journalism? We need your financial assistance to continue to provide daily online news and opinions that are important to our quality of life and personal responsibilities in the San Juan Islands. We’re only here because you keep us here.
If you value the consistent, clear and conscientious news provided by Orcas Issues, please consider writing a generous check to “Orcas Issues” at PO Box 582, Eastsound WA 98245, or authorizing a contribution through PayPal on the Orcas Issues “Become a Supporter” page.
Contributors of over $100 will be invited to a special presentation this summer.
Thank you for your continued support!
Margie Doyle, Publisher, Editor Orcas Issues, News and Views
May 21st, 2013
The San Juan County Council announced their unanimous decision today [May 21] to offer the position of County Manager to Michael Thomas, currently the City Administrator for the City of Enumclaw, Washington.
Council member Bob Jarman praised Thomas for his background in economic development and community planning, citing that it will be critical in addressing the land use and planning issues the County faces. Jarman also said that Mike Thomas will be a great addition to the Council team.
Member Rick Hughes spoke of Mike’s experience and familiarity with the laws of Washington State – and said he was very pleased that Thomas will be moving here with his family, including two school age children.
Council Chair Jamie Stephens detailed the steps that had been taken in the recruitment process, citing the strong roster of finalists provided by the recruiter. Stephens thanked the members of the community and staff who participated in the selection process and said he hoped Mike will be able to join the County staff the last week in June. Stephens said Mike’s collaborative team approach will work well here, and that he appreciated that Mike’s style was to work with councils and department heads to help them get their work done, rather than directing them.
Michael Thomas will be the first regular County Manager under the changes to the County Charter approved by voters in November, 2012. Bob Jean has been the Interim County Administrator, then the Interim County Manager, since last June.
There were 44 applicants for the position, with 5 currently residing in the County. The recruiting firm of The Prothman Company screened the candidates and presented the County Council with a list of semifinalists. The Council selected a list of finalists to interview, including one local candidate who then withdrew from consideration prior to the interviews.
On Monday, May 13th, the five candidates visited County facilities and met with islanders and answered questions at open houses held on Orcas Island, Lopez Island and San Juan Island. On Tuesday, May 14th, the candidates were interviewed by separate panels made up of County residents, County staff, and the County Council. The Council then held an executive session on Wednesday, May 15th, to interview the two top candidates. The Council met today in executive session to discuss the qualifications of the top candidates and then moved into open session for their deliberations and selection.
May 21st, 2013
“Person Who Makes a Difference” honoree, Louisa Nishitani, flanked by Diane Martindale, LWV president elect and Ann Jarrell, board member.
The League of Women Voters of the San Juan’s elected their new board of directors for 2013-2014 at their Annual Meeting at Vinny’s Ristorante on May 13, 2013.
The featured speaker, Necia Quast of San Juan Island, presented a riveting account of her experiences in the US Foreign Service and whose tenure included notable hardship postings such as the Republic of Tajikistan, Nigeria and Guyana.
The League also recognized two individuals as “Persons Who Make a Difference”, Louisa Nishitani for her volunteerism, outreach and activism most recently regarding potential damage to our marine environment should the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point be permitted.
Also honored was Friday Harbor High School teacher Jim McNairy for his focus on civics education and responsible citizenship.
May 20th, 2013
To Pizzeria Portofino & Little Angels,
Thank you so much for your generous donation of your facility and wonderful staff to Orcas Angels last month. It was above and beyond to loan us your restaurant, equipment, and staff for the night to help us with a fundraiser to assist a family in need. We greatly appreciate all your help and support in our continued goal to benefit our fellow Orcas Islanders.
To all the little Angels who showed up to buy a pizza that night THANK YOU!
Our community is an amazing place….we sold over 103 pizzas that night….Whew! It was amazing. Once again Orcas Island community you ROCK!
Melissa Lowry for Orcas Angels
May 20th, 2013
Norm Stamper, Orcas resident
By Kathy Lunde
Norm Stamper Ph.D., retired Seattle Police Chief, will be speaking at The Orcas Center Wednesday, May 22nd, 5:30pm. The general topic will be “Community Policing in the 21st Century,” focusing on The War on Drugs, Guns and Gun Violence, and Domestic Drone Use.
Now retired and living on Orcas, Mr. Stamper’s professional experience makes him uniquely qualified to speak on these subjects. While serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Seattle, he implemented a major restructuring of the organization, created a Domestic Violence program, developed numerous community advisory councils and outreach programs, and created new bureaus of Professional Responsibility, Community Policing, and Family and Youth Protection.
He previously served as the Executive Assistant Police Chief for the City of San Diego, among other significant positions with that city. Mr. Stamper holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Behavior, Masters in Criminal Justice Administration, an Associate Degree in Police Science and is a graduate of the National Executive Institute, sponsored by the FBI.
Since moving to Orcas, he has been involved in the San Juan County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services Board, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Community Safety Initiative, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the Drug Policy Alliance, and the Death Penalty Focus.
Please join us for what promises to be an informative and lively discussion. This event is brought to you by the Orcas Island Library and the Friends of the Orcas Island Library. This is a non-ticketed event, and is free to the public.
For more information, please contact Kathleen Lunde at the Library, 376-4985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 20th, 2013
From UW Medicine and PeaceHealth
UW Medicine and PeaceHealth have signed a groundbreaking Letter of Intent to create a strategic affiliation that will provide patients throughout much of Washington and Alaska with access to the most comprehensive care available in the Pacific Northwest.
The Letter of Intent, which was signed today [May 20] is expected to be memorialized in further definitive agreements by Sept. 30, 2013. The agreement will bring together two mission-driven, not-for-profit health systems – each with a focus on evidence-based medicine, community health improvement and cost effective care – to provide a full continuum of services as envisioned under health care reform.
The two organizations will remain legally separate and independent; governance will not be affected. No government regulatory approval is required.
“This affiliation allows us to coordinate care and services with a respected health care organization that has deep roots in the region and shares our passion for serving everyone in the community regardless of their ability to pay,” said Johnese Spisso, Chief Health System Officer for UW Medicine. “Together, our systems provide an extraordinary amount of charity care to patients across the state of Washington.”
May 20th, 2013
Golf Tournament and Silent Auction June 30
The Orcas Christian School is sponsoring a Golf Tournament (Orcas Open) and Silent Auction on June 30 at the Orcas Island Golf Course. The tournament is to raise money for scholarships and academic programs. We would greatly appreciate your participation in the Orcas Open and/or a donation to the Silent Auction.
Annual advertising is available at each golf tee, the advertisement would be on the Hole of your choice for 1 year. (The Holes are on a first come first serve basis.)
Please contact Eric Whitehead at 376-8294 or Orcas Christian School at 376-6683.
May 20th, 2013
Tues., June 4, 1:00 – 3:30 PM, Eastsound Fire Hall
from Heather Trim
Futurewise, Director of Science and Policy
Topics: Importance of trees and shrubs in the shoreline | Economic value of shorelines
Sound Shoreline Science Forum is free forum about shoreline health. You will learn about wildlife and other needs of the shore edge of Puget Sound as well as the Shoreline Master Program process for San Juan County. As our population increases, it is important to do what we can to ensure clean water and habitat for salmon, crab, shellfish, orcas and the myriad of other sea creatures that make our way of life so special.
The forum will include presentations by leading scientists on topics related to our beaches, bluffs, wildlife, and economic value and will also offer an opportunity for you to ask questions about our shorelines and about the upcoming Shoreline Master Program for the county.
Hosted by Futurewise in partnership with FRIENDS of San Juans.
For more information and to register, visit HERE.
May 20th, 2013
Updated May 20 at 9:30 a.m.
May 22, 23, and 24, 2013
From Stan Matthews
County Interim Information Technologist and Communications Manager
A special three day filing period will be held in accordance with RCW 29A.24.171 only for the offices listed below. The special three day filing period is being held because no candidate filings were received during the regular filing period.
Candidate filings can be made in person or by mail Monday May 22, 8 a.m. until Friday May 24 at 4:30 p.m. Online candidate filings will be accepted Monday May 22 at 9 a.m. until Friday May 24 at 4 p.m. If there is still a void in candidacy after the special three-day filing period, the office will not appear on the November 5, 2013 General Election ballot.
More information about filing for the offices listed below may be obtained by contacting the Elections Office at 55 Second St, PO Box 638, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, by calling (360) 378-3357, or by e-mailing the elections office at: email@example.com. Information can also be found at the San Juan County Elections Office web-site at www.sanjuanco.com/elections.
THE ONLY OFFICES FOR WHICH FILINGS WILL BE ACCEPTED ARE:
- San Juan County Fire Protection District 5 (Shaw Fire) Position 3
- Orcas Island Park & Rec Commission 2
- Orcas Island Park & Rec Commissioner 4
- Orcas island Park & Rec Commissioner 5
- San Juan Cemetery District 3 (Orcas) Commissioner
- San Juan Island Cemetery District (Stuart) Commissioner 1
- Cape San Juan Water Commissioner 1
- Cattle Point Water Commissioner 1
- Cattle Point Water Commissioner 3
- Eastsound Sewer and Water Commissioner 5
- Fisherman Bay Commissioner 3
Candidate filings for the above positions only, can be made in person, by mail or online. If there is still a void in candidacy after the special three-day filing period, the office will not appear on the November 5, 2013 General Election ballot and the current incumbent will remain in office.
May 20th, 2013
Second “Take It Only” Days this week, May 24-26
All Orcas Islanders are invited and encouraged to attend Workshops for Community Design of the New Building(s) to House The Exchange, beginning Sunday June 2 from 1-5 pm at The Eastsound Fire Hall. The purpose of the sessions is for participating citizens to propose, discuss, analyze and reach a consensus on a design, the first step in rebuilding The Exchange. Fred Klein will facilitate the sessions, and present the results to the Board of Orcas Recycling Services in June.
There are four sessions scheduled at the Orcas Island Fire Hall, with the first being mandatory:
- Sunday, June 2, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
- Tuesday, June 4, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm
- Friday, June 7, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm
- Sunday, June 9, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Full information about the workshops is available at the Exchange/Orcas Recycling Services website, www.exchangeonorcas.org. Pre-registration is requested.To preregister, or for further information, call Michael Greenberg at 376-4118, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also note that we will be holding another Take-It-Only event at The Exchange from May 24th – 26th. No items will be accepted.
May 20th, 2013
by Cara Russell
Airlift Northwest arrives in Deer Harbor to transport this reporter, who volunteered as a burn victim in Spring Point fire drill.
At 8 a.m. on Saturday May 18, I normally would have been thinking about getting out of bed and brewing a pot of coffee. Instead, I was sitting in the conference room at Orcas Fire Station 21 with a to-go cup of brew, attending a pre-drill meeting with almost 20 members of Orcas Island Fire and Rescue, and two deputies from the County Sheriff’s Department.
Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien was preparing us for a community-based drill. Meanwhile the neighborhood of Spring Point was preparing for the same thing. The drill scenario: a wildfire in Spring Point. The agenda: communication, organization, and to work with the community.
The drill began at 9 a.m., when an emergency call was placed by one of the Spring Point residents. Dispatch advised Orcas FD/EMS of the fire, located on Spring Point Road, east of Arbutus Lane. Flags were placed to represent the area of the wildfire. I rode out with Assistant Chief Mik Preysz and we arrived at the location shortly after FD/EMS, and found them working around a water tender truck.
Orcas Island has four water trucks, and each tender truck carries 2700 gallons of water. Drop tanks, which look like enormous kiddie pools, were placed so the water from the tender truck could be emptied into the drop tank. The tender truck would then be free to leave the firefighters with a water supply, while it went to refill its pumps at the nearby pond.
To contain the fire, firefighters would use shovels and picks to remove a roughly 3’-5’ swath of vegetation around the site of the fire. Units were placed in different locations so as to flank the fire on both sides and drive it toward the road to contain it. Meanwhile, Incident Commander Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien had arrived at the new Station 24 in Deer Harbor and set up the command post, staying in close contact with the FD/EMS on the scene and deploying orders by radio. Also participating in the drill was the Red Cross, whose personnel set up an emergency shelter at the Deer Harbor Inn for the possibility of evacuated residents.
This reporter, volunteering as a victim for the purposes of the drill, was found with burn injuries of 30% third degree burns and 20% second degree burns. The incident Commander immediately radioed for Airlift Northwest to evacuate me. I was driven to an alternate Landing Zone by Mik Preysz and one of the Spring Point residents.
Then it came in on the radio, the fire had jumped the road, and was no longer contained. The Incident Commander ordered an evacuation of the Spring Point neighborhood. The residents activated their neighborhood phone tree, and 12 volunteer residents arrived at the Spring Point Dock for a marine evacuation by Sheriff’s Boat, which can carry six passengers at a time. The residents were ferried across the water to the Deer Harbor Marina then shuttled by the Senior Van to the Red Cross shelter at Deer Harbor Inn. (US Coast Guard had been scheduled to participate in the drill, but had last minute engine troubles.)
Waiting at the LZ was EMT Maria Nutt. She talked me through what would happen while we waited for the medivac. She would attend to me, keep me calm, take my vitals, and obtain my health history. Twenty minutes after the call had been made to Airlift Northwest, the helicopter arrived. Two flight nurses in royal blue jumpsuits jumped out and walked up to me.
If this had been an actual emergency, they would have loaded me onto a gurney and into the helicopter and tended to me on the flight to the hospital. I, however, was allowed to sit shotgun with the pilot and enjoy the view as they then flew me to the landing zone at the Eastsound Airport, ending my participation as a volunteer victim.
A scheduled critique was then held at the Deer Harbor Inn following the drill to discuss how things had gone and what needs be improved upon. OIFR, the San Juan County Sheriff, San Juan County Dep. of Emergency Management, Airlift NW and the Red Cross all participated in this drill.