May 24th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
Thursday, June 13, at 4 p.m. at Eastsound Fire Hall
By Kevin K. O’Brien, Fire Chief/CEO
Orcas Fire and Rescue
When you call 911 or knock on our door, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue is at your service. As the provider of emergency medical services for Orcas Island, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue has a primary mission of helping people stay safe and alive. Over 70 percent of our calls for help are for emergency medical services. Our EMS system is very successful as demonstrated by the fact that in San Juan County, our cardiac resuscitation rates are among the highest in the nation.
San Juan County is fortunate to have the services of Dr. Michael Sullivan. Patterned after successful EMS systems nation-wide where the EMS medical director works out of a local hospital Emergency Department; EMS in San Juan County is exceptional and appropriate for our rural setting. It is that way because of the paramedics and EMTs who work under the cutting edge leadership of Dr. Sullivan. The training he delivers is comprehensive and caring. Dr. Sullivan spends at least eight hours each month teaching Orcas responders alone. Due to the remote qualities of island living, the equipment and medicine carried on our ambulances are similar to an emergency room.
It’s all about the best medical care for the patient. Under Dr. Sullivan’s oversight, we transport our patients to the optimal facility for the medical situation of each patient regardless of Dr. Sullivan’s affiliation with any hospital. Our transport data supports this. If we could, we would keep all patients on the island. When appropriate, OIFR paramedics call the patient’s local physician to assist or follow-up. One problem that we have found is that “after hours” and on weekends, it can be a challenge to coordinate follow-up care by an Orcas physician, especially for visitors or islanders who don’t see a practitioner on Orcas. We believe this is a resolvable issue with all parties working together.
Given functioning mental capacity and adhering to prudent medical practices, patients have the right to choose where to be transported within our regional area, or whether to be transported at all. Under the supervision of Dr. Sullivan, OIFR paramedics work with patients to make decisions based upon medical best practices. However, if a patient chooses not to be transported, it is honored. The patient would be very reasonably asked to sign an “against medical advice” form but their wishes would be respected.
Given the high cost of health care, the ease of accessibility, and the quality of customer service OIFR aspires to provide, Eastsound Station 21 is perceived by many in the community as a de facto urgent care clinic. This is not uncommon for a fire station in any location, but is especially apparent here because of the inconsistency of after-hours medical care.
We will achieve success by working together. At OIFR, we look forward to working with the Orcas Island community and medical professionals to initiate a viable after-hours medical care program for all patients. In the last year, we have met with the island physicians on multiple occasions to keep lines of communication open and to work toward a solution.
On Thursday, June 13, at 4:00 p.m. Orcas Island Fire and Rescue invites the community to a “Town Hall” meeting to explain our emergency medical program and discuss possible solutions for after-hours medical care. Your thoughts and input would be greatly appreciated.
May 24th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
Leadership San Juan 2013 Graduates
By Morgan Meadows
Leadership San Juan Islands Class IX will hold its graduation ceremony Friday, May 31, 11:30-1:45 p.m. at the San Juan Island Grange, 152 First St., in Friday Harbor. Leadership Tomorrow’s Executive Director, Jan Levy, will be the keynote speaker.
The fifteen islanders are: Christopher Aiken, Faith Van De Putte, and Kai Sanborn from Lopez Island; Shannon Borg, Sheldon Gregory, Russell Guerry, Lucas Limbach, Armando Nunes, and Kim Secunda from Orcas Island; Lee Taylor, Tamara Weaver, Katie Fleming, Cathy Kromer, Sam Leigh, and Michelle Loftus from San Juan Island. LSJI alumni and the public are invited to attend.
Businesses, nonprofits, and public agencies across the county play a major part in the success of the program. Some businesses provide space for the cohort to meet and to enjoy overnight accommodations for the three overnight retreats. Cohort IX appreciated significant donations by Smuggler’s Villa and Heartwood House on Orcas, Lopez Islander Bay Resort, Lopez Island Vineyards, Grace Church On Lopez and Blossoms Grocery. Sponsorships, in whole or in part, were provided by either employers or local nonprofits. This year we thank the following sponsors: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, the San Juan Islands Economic Development Council, San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, National Park Service, Orcas Power and Light Company (OPALCO), San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, Friends of the San Juans, Windermere Real Estate San Juan Island, several anonymous donors.
Alumni of LSJI and graduates of other leadership courses refresh and recreate the curriculum annually. The Curriculum Committee designs and implements the program and supports the Program Coordinator position, shared by Liz Illg and Tara Dalton this year. Members of the committee for 2013 were Gretchen Krampf, Steve Hushebeck, Candace Jagel, Jim Hooper, Linda Lyshall, Morgan Meadows and Bill Severson.
The LSJI curriculum is designed to build group process and facilitation skills, as well as to orient participants to the various systems operating in the county. Analysis of local systems related to governance, economics, social services, history and culture, education and the environment are key curriculum challenges Participants are selected in the fall and spend January through May together with a staff of eight and many regional leaders. For more information see: www.lsji.org
May 24th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
From San Juan County Public Works Department
Yesterday [May 23] a large Deodar Cedar tree was removed from the Orcas Center’s signed driveway entrance as part of the ongoing improvements to Mt Baker Road. This tree was not previously identified for removal but during the course of construction it became apparent that the knoll upon which the tree sits needed to be excavated to accommodate adjacent roadway and storm drain improvements. When Public Works became aware of this matter in mid-April it was brought to the attention of the Orcas Center’s staff who in turn informed the Board of Trustees. With their approval the contractor was directed to proceed with the work.
In early May, as members of the community because aware of the pending tree removal, it was clear that they did not want this decision to be taken lightly and wanted assurance that all other alternatives were considered. Although both the Orcas Center and Public Works felt the matter had been fully vetted, we agreed that it was appropriate to postpone the work a week to give the community a chance to voice their concerns and ideas. This deferment concluded at the Orcas Center’s Board of Trustees regular meeting on Wednesday May 22 at which the decision to remove the tree was unchanged.
Both Public Works and Orcas Excavators are committed to the construction of this roadway improvement project. We are also equally committed in assuring the community that we appreciate everyone’s involvement and diligence. We look forward to seeing you at the next Public Works open house.
May 22nd, 2013, by Margie Doyle
From Learner Limbach
The Orcas Island Seed Library is having its opening this Thursday May 23rd. The opening is part of a Sustainable Orcas Island (SOI) meeting and will be held at the Library from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Many people have contributed blood sweat and tears to this project, inspired by the vision of creating a resilient seed stewardship community together.
The Seed Library, built by Emmett Adam, will be permanently set up at the Library and will be self-serve.
Come see what the Seed Library is all about, how it works and how to use it.
May 22nd, 2013, by Margie Doyle
Public Comments Open House on Surrey Coal Transfer Facility Thurs, May 23rd at 5:30 pm & Saturday, May 25th at 1:00 pm Guildford Hotel, 15269 104 Ave, Surrey, BC ( see map here)
By Matt Petyrni, Power Past Coal Coordinator
Communities in Canada are rapidly organizing to stop the dangerous Coal Transfer Facility proposed at the Fraser Surrey Docks in British Columbia. With your help, they can win. We will be to joining them in force at both of the open houses scheduled next week – our one and only public comment opportunity on the proposal: you can be the difference.
About the Proposal
The Fraser Surrey Docks propose to ship up to 8 million tons each year of Powder River Basin coal from Vancouver, BC to Asia. This would mean even more coal trains rolling through Bellingham to be transferred to uncovered barges in the Fraser River (home to one of the world’s great salmon runs) and then travel up Georgia Strait to be transhipped to massive, Cape-class bulkers at Texada Island.
Join us next Thursday and Saturday to say NO to coal export in our region. We can do better.
May 20th, 2013, by Lin
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, by Margie Doyle
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 19th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
Challenges brought by groups from opposite ends of land-use spectrum
From the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office
For three weeks the attorneys at the prosecutor’s office have been writing, revising and honing the response to the challengers of the county’s critical areas ordinances adopted in December 2012.
The county’s response, at almost 100 pages with about 1000 citations covering about 100 issues, is the most complete statement of the controversy over the critical areas ordinances. “Our objective,” said Prosecuting Attorney Randall K. Gaylord, “is to show the Growth Board that we followed the law, considered the science, and applied the policies adopted by the county council.”
The critical areas ordinances concern wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, frequently flood areas and steep slopes. The ordinances have exacting standards to protect these resources and assure that the species of concern are not lost due to development. The ordinance also reflects the county council’s choices to balance the regulatory system with a recognition that preexisting structures and uses should be allowed to continue.
The challengers have presented issues from opposite ends of the land use spectrum. Friends of the San Juans contend the critical area ordinances make too many exceptions and ask that the Growth Board use other scientific reports. Common Sense Alliance, P.J. Taggares, John Evans/San Juan Builders and William Wright also ask that the Growth Board follow the reports of other scientists and want a study of each property before it is designated a critical area. A request by Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR) to join the case was denied by the Growth Board.
Gaylord said the challengers offer what each of them considers a better approach. “But that’s not the legal standard,” said Gaylord. The county’s response shows how the county council used and considered the “best available science” and explained why the county council departed from the recommendations of the scientists.
“The county council was not required to use specific reports. It could use a range of reports considered best available science or provide a rational explanation when it departed from that range,” added Gaylord. Regarding designation of specific properties as critical areas, Gaylord added that the law permits the approach which evaluates the harm to the critical area at the time a development is proposed.
At a prehearing conference the Growth Board created seven categories of issues regarding four ordinances that address the critical areas – places like wetlands, frequently flooded areas, steep hillsides and habitat for fish and wildlife.
“The most important issues are the procedures used to designate critical areas, and the performance standards used to protect critical areas,” said Gaylord. Other topics to be considered by the Growth Board include consideration of property rights and public participation. Read more…
May 18th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
From the Orcas Island Community Foundation
Orcas: this is the week to make history!
The Orcas Island Community Foundation and Partners in Philanthropy have committed over $106,000 to fund some amazing proposals in this year’s Community Grants program. Thanks to their support, seniors will continue to get home support through Hearts and Hands, there will be CPR training and a defibrillator available at Moran State Park, the Farm to Cafeteria program will continue to thrive, and so much more.
$106,000 is exactly the record amount distributed through the Community Grants program in 2012. We still have one more week to go before this cycle closes on May 24th.
Let’s set a new record! There are still many great opportunities on the list- enrichment programs for the Senior Center, weekend food for kids in need, funding a counselor for the school, and more. See all the opportunities at www.oicf.us. If there is one that you want to support, make a donation of any amount and make our community stronger! We can do it!
The Awards Celebration will be on Friday, May 31st, at 2 pm at the Orcas Center. Come celebrate the wonderful programs and donors who keep our community vital and vibrant.
May 17th, 2013, by Margie Doyle
June 10 deadline for public comment on wide-ranging rules to implement the voter-approved legalization of pot
Medical marijuana grower Brendan Howley working with marijuana plants grown under current state medical marijuana prescriptions in Skagit County. New rules are being proposed for sales under a state law legalizing marijuana. Crosscut photo by Tom James.
By John Stang for Crosscut.com
One way that smoking legal pot will just be like smoking cigarettes: Your pack of weed could include the printed label, “Warning: Smoking may be hazardous to your health.”
The Washington State Liquor Control Board unveiled Thursday the draft ground rules for growing, processing and selling recreational marijuana. The public has until June 10 to comment on the proposed regulations.
The 46-page set of draft rules includes how to apply for a license to grow, process or sell pot. How to object to such a facility locating an area. How to get a license revoked or suspended. Where such an operation can be located. What paperwork will be needed for a long list of marijuana-related activities. How the weed will be taxed. The potency of the pot. How the finances are to be set up and monitored.
On taxes, each sale from a grower to a processor to a retailer to a customer -— including those involving middlemen in that chain —- will result in a 25 percent tax to the state.
(To read the full story, go to crosscut.com/2013/05/17/marijuana-rules-take-minute-inhale-then-offer-your-coments)