Guest Opinion: Resolution Needed from Council for Safe Shipping


— from Islanders for Safe Shipping — A growing number of communities in Washington State have been voicing their concerns over the increase of fossil fuel rail transport. When this volatile danger travels right past their front yards, waterfront parks, their places of business, and their children’s schools, people speak … Continue reading

Let There Be Light — or Not

 — by Fred Klein — The Eastsound Planning and Review Committee, EPRC, in conjunction with the Orcas Chamber of Commerce, has scheduled a public meeting to consider the issue of lighting in the public realm of Eastsound. Where: The Eastsound Fire Hall When: Tuesday, June 30th, 6 pm until 8 … Continue reading

A Letter to OPALCO Members to Clear-Up Some Lingering Confusion

(Editor’s note: A version of this letter appeared in the Comments section under the Orcas Issues post last Friday:  (( )). Since there has been a response to the letter, we are keeping the original version in the Comments as well as publishing it here.) — from Suzanne Olson (– … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: Gov. Inslee Applauds “Obamacare” Decision

— from the office of Governor Jay Inslee — Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued the following comment regarding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]: “I applaud the Supreme Court for upholding this landmark law that is helping so many people here in Washington state … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Choose Other than Violence

 — by Andy Wickstrand, Olga — I wept when I heard of the Charleston church shooting. Wept for the senseless loss of life. Wept for how we as a nation have become numb to these never-ending tragedies. And wept precisely for the frustration so many of us feel for seemingly … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Who’s Behind the Recycling “Industry”?

— by Pete Moe, Director, Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange Most of us believe that recycling is our civic and environmental duty. And certainly, as the system is designed now, it is. But if you dig deeper into recycling, you very quickly come upon this controversial concept: “Extended Producer Responsibility”. Extended … Continue reading

Larsen Votes Against More War Intelligence Funding

“Congress Can Do Better In Taking ‘Intelligent’ Approach to National Security” Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today [June 16] called on Congress to support the vital work of the U.S. intelligence community with responsible, long-term budgeting. Larsen voted against the Fiscal Year 2016 Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R.2596), which circumvents sequester spending … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Moratorium on Vacation Rentals Needed Immediately

— by Steve Mckenna — Affordable housing has long been a recognized problem in the Islands where land values and cost of construction are high. OPAL, Homes for Islanders and other organizations are doing good work and have had some success in helping to alleviate the lack of housing but … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Excess Regulations and Permitting Costly to the Public

— by Walt Corbin — The recent opinion piece written by David Turnoy ( speaks to the corruption that money has in the electoral process. We of course all decry what our supposedly rational Supreme Court in the Citizen United did to those of us that are against the peddling … Continue reading

Guest Column: Environmental Impacts of Electric Cars

–by Tom Owens — As you consider buying one of the new all electric cars, some thought should be given to their environmental impacts. Since they run on electric energy, we should look at where that energy comes from and what environmental impacts that causes. There are at least three ways … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Revenue Shortfalls in OPALCO’s Rural Cooperative

 — by Alex Conrad — With regard to [OPALCO’s] need to meet certain debt covenants, we hear a lot about ‘revenue shortfall’ [see ] Let’s pause for a moment and look at publicly available data, some of which may surprise you. At the end of 2014, OPALCO’s TIER (times interest … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: OPALCO Members, Get Engaged

— by Alex MacLeod — There is growing unhappiness among many OPALCO member-customers following this year’s huge rate increase. OPALCO’s board raised the “facilities charge” to each customer by about 40% — this is a base charge, absent the delivery of any electricity — and raised electric rates by an … Continue reading