A Difficult Summer

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Another September 11th has come and gone, but we haven’t forgotten the fallen. I still remember exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing. I can’t say that about last Thursday, much less a date almost 2 decades ago.

Soon thereafter I changed my major to Middle East Studies/Arabic and planned a career in the Intelligence Services — a life plan that didn’t pan out, as is often the case.

Many other life plans didn’t workout that day, and in much more profound ways. Our thoughts and prayers go with those they left behind. Our entire country was changed by that day.

So likewise, but less severely, over the last few months many lives have been uprooted by Irma, Harvey, and various fires across the Northwest. Our own state had at least two public shootings that I can think of, most recently in Spokane. This summer there were many more funerals than I am accustomed to seeing.

We hope and pray for all who are in harm’s way, and those who must struggle to piece their lives back together, whatever the reason.


County Health Care: Proposed Public Hospital District (PHD) on Orcas, SJI Lifecare Center to close, and PP Coming to Orcas

Late Friday the Sounder published a series of articles regarding health care on Orcas Island.

The generically titled “Hospital district could be on April 2018 ballot” which lays out the case for a PHD. A PHD is not a hospital, despite the name, rather a junior taxing district which can contract debt, propose taxing levies, and contract for medical services of many kinds.

A group calling itself “Our Revolution of San Juan County” had a press release published in the Sounder regarding an upcoming lecture on Sept 22 on Orcas by Linda McCarthy, the executive director of the Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood in Bellingham.

The Orcas Medical Foundation reported on their first day of operation under UW leadership.

Several letters, one by conservative Tom Ritter (of the Gentleman’s Club), one by JoEllen Moldoff, and one by Art Lange all advocate for having the establishment of a PHD on the ballot (though do not all necessarily explicitly advocate voting for it).

ON SJI, the Lifecare center is slated to close this fall.

The State AG last week sued St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma for “withheld charity care from tens of thousands of low-income patients since 2012.” The industry across the state is paying attention.

Because I work for PHD #1 on SJI, I want to note that I am doing my best to here reproduce the news and consolidate it. I am not taking a position on any of it.


Local and State News Digest

The letters and articles justifying the harassment we received at the fair continues. They all seem to boil down to the same line of reasoning: a laughably mild rebuke of the treatment we received proceeded by justifications for harassing us. This is hardly surprising. In any case, in addition to the ones previously published, Eric Hall on Lopez and Michael Riordan on Orcas both argued in defense of the harassment we received. Barbara Parnes guardedly stuck up for us, which we appreciate.

Barbara Parne’s letter reminded me of a Ted Talk that a friend sent my way about a friendship between a conservative and a liberal (yes, TED talks found this sufficiently original to justify inclusion).

  • Best line ever: “‘Mom, we don’t know anybody who voted for Trump do we?’ and I paused, and I took a deep breath. ‘Yes, we do. The Quatramannis.’ And his response was so great: He kind of got this confused look on his face, and he said ‘But we love them!'”
  • People I have known for years have shown such a similiar response, “wait, you’re a conservative?” And I’ve not exactly been undercover, I’ve been involved for years.
  • In any case, most of us have many friends who are liberals, we are surrounded by them, but I think many liberals in this county honestly think conservatives don’t exist except in stories to frighten children.

letter about the ferry issues over the summer in the Islands Weekly.

Another letter in the Islands Weekly endorsed Chris Greacen for school board on Lopez. This is quite a few letters for Lopez!

Vote counting equipment will be tested on Sept 20th. It seems this is standard in advance of an election.

OPALCO is rolling out details regarding their planned solar array. If I am reading it correctly, they plan to sell shares in the arrays to fund their placement.

On SJI, “Pear Point Road residents question plans for the connector road.” This is a subject that has received quite a bit of coverage and proven fairly controversial.

Deputies injured at San Juan County Sheriff’s Office training” It does not sound like any lasting harm was done. Those steel targets are pretty neat, you fire at it and has a tuning fork behind it so that you hear a different chime depending where you hit it. However, there are definitely distance requirements, and they vary depending on what rounds you are using.

The Port of Friday Harbor is seriously considering buying Jensen Boat Yard.

“The San Juan County Department of Community Development will be hosting events to solicit public input on the County’s Comprehensive Plan vision, values, and priorities.”

Seattle’s mayor stepped down after another accusation of rape, this on from a cousin.

Last, but not least: “Spokane-area school shooting: A gun jams, and a student tries to help,” also on ABC here.

A friend sent this to me, and the linguist in me liked it: “How Orwell Became the Prophet Who Foresaw Our Future.” It describes how the use of language to alter perception impacts how we see the world. Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange” did the same thing, by using slang words and euphemism to describe horrific acts he showed how evil can loose its impact on us.


Voting Equipment Test
Sept 20th

Board of Health Meeting
September 20, 2017, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM @ Council Hearing Room

SJC Council Monday Meeting
September 18, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building

SJC Council Tuesday Meeting

September 19, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building

The SJC Council’s Tuesday, September 19 Public Hearing to Adopt a Shoreline Master Program Ordinance will be postponed from its originally published time. The Public Hearing on the Shoreline Master Program Ordinance will open as advertised at 9:15 AM on September 19, and postponed to 02:15 PM in the afternoon. Public testimony will be heard at 2:15. The Washington State Transportation Commission has scheduled a meeting on September 19 in Friday Harbor and the Council plans to attend.

Agricultural Resources Committee Meeting
September 20, 2017, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Meeting available via videoconference at WSU San Juan Island campus and Lopez and Orcas public libraries

Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting
September 21, 2017, 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM @ Shaw County Park

Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District Meeting
September 21, 2017, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Lopez Island Fire District 4

SJC Council Monday Meeting
September 25, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building


Nathan Butler

Chair, San Juan County Republican Party

Email: sjcrpchair@gmail.com


“No matter how conservative your views may be, unless you do something about it you really aren’t that conservative.”