Newsletter from 11/16/17
Newsletter from 11/16/17
Ballots Due Tuesday 11/7!
These types of elections are always a challenge for us. Although they are “non-partisan,” just saying it doesn’t make it so. Many of the most partisan, vicious people I have met claim to have no party affiliation.
On the other hand, some of the most temperamentally cheerful and welcoming people I have met embrace their party. They recognize the value of a coalition of like-minded (not same-minded) people, and see a party not as an oppressive system of same-ness, but as a coalition of allied people with diverse beliefs and intents. We stick together to allow each person the right to speak their conscience, rather than to be targeted by those who oppose us all.
So here is our solution: we do not have official positions as a party. But just as with the last special elections last spring, if you wish I can put you in touch with a conservative in your area to give you their thoughts. Or, you can use our list of PCOs on our website here.
Lastly, the voter’s guide is here. Most of the candidates are pretty upfront about where they stand if you pay attention. The papers have published many letters and candidate Q & As, which we have tried our best to post over the last few weeks.
This week we have a special from Kelley Unger, who works for the Discovery Institute as the Director of Development Operations. We asked her to tell us a little bit about it for our membership:
In an age of fake media, polarizing social media posts, and left-leaning academic institutions, where do conservatives turn for positive news and programming? Believe it or not, there are many reliable and trustworthy organizations who are promoting conservative values.
In fact, Seattle, Washington is home to one such organization. Discovery Institute is a nonpartisan, secular think that that promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.
Discovery Institute has a special concern for the role that science and technology play in our culture and how they can advance free markets, illuminate public policy and support the theistic foundations of the West. The Institute was founded by Bruce Chapman and George Gilder in 1991. Their board was at one time chaired by Congressman John R. Miller (RIP) and Michael Medved is one of their Senior Fellows.
Many may have heard about their largest program, the Center for Science & Culture (CSC), because since 2004 the intelligent design movement has gotten a lot of press (whether fair or unfair). The CSC is the institutional hub for scientists, educators, and inquiring minds who think that nature supplies compelling evidence of intelligent design. It supports research, sponsor educational programs, defend free speech, and produce articles, books, and multimedia content.
Discovery Institute also has a number of other programs that have made a significant impact both regionally and nationally, including: [read the rest on our website here.]
This is the first of several articles from Kelley Unger, introducing us to the world of conservative think tanks.
Thank you Kelley!!
LOCAL NEWS DIGEST
Voter’s Guide here.
The Journal’s endorsements for 2017 here. They are usually pretty candid, so even if you disagree on every race it’s still a useful springboard for those on SJI.
There are a LOT of letters. I’d encourage you to read them on each paper’s website under “letters to the editor.” Letters for each candidate are often posted on the same web link, so that one link may include 4 letters. Also, the editorials are not published on the front page of the website, you have to click “opinion.”
Recycling and waste processing has been in the local news quite a bit.
- After a brief stop, “San Juan Transfer Station to recycle mixed paper starting Nov. 3.”
- On SJI, Community Treasures is changing its policies on items it can’t use. We appreciate Frank Penwell and others who work so hard to make CT a fixture in our community.
If you live in F.H., there was a Q&A with mayoral candidates, published here.
Four steps to lower your monthly energy bill | Guest Column
Housing and land use remains in the local news:
- “San Juan County staff to assess how much land is undeveloped” regarding the Comprehensive Plan update.
- “Almost half of the population cannot afford to live in most island homes“
- And the last news article, “Department of Ecology approves Shoreline Master Program“
- You can comment on the Comprehensive plan here: http://sanjuanco.com/
1079/Comprehensive-Plan-Update — and I strongly advise that you do so!! It’s actually a really neat tool.
WSDOT seeking input on 20-year plan, ends on Nov 7th.
Our community faces numerous challenges, and SJC Dems have hit on a solution: Spend their effort sending a resolution to their state leaders stating that a single payer health care system is the way to go. Yeah for politically realistic goals and constructive solutions! It makes me wince, though I guess I shouldn’t mind that they are busy wasting their time.
The Islands Weekly and the Sounder have had few if any op-ed or editorial since mid October. If anybody wants to write something, it’s a good time. There have been lots of letters though, and that may be why.
STATE NEWS DIGEST
“Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has now filed or joined 17 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Ferguson this week outlined the lawsuits in response to a request from some GOP state senators.” (Seattle Times)
Last week the Seattle Times reported that “Washington’s Supreme Court justices on Tuesday weighed whether lawmakers have done enough to fulfill the court’s landmark school-funding ruling, known as the McCleary decision.”
- Somewhat predicatably, the Seattle TImes ran an editorial arguing that the state should raise more taxes to increase funding: “The “mission accomplished” banner was hung prematurely in the state Legislature. The Supreme Court should retain jurisdiction on the McCleary case and tell lawmakers to keep working.”
- There’s a pretty good summary as part of a series of live updates from the State Supreme Court hearing here. (Seattle Times)
- This activist State Supreme Court has made a highly subjective decision about how well schools are funded, and it may yet mean substantial tax increases for state residents
For those still in the workforce, Washinton State passed a new parental leave law, though it doesn’t take effect until 2020. Fox News (local channel 13) has spends a little more time discussing the nuts and bolts of it here.
Cali Baby’s editorial this week was on agriculture in the county. “Many ways to savor the San Juans.”
September 25, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Legislative Building
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.
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.
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).
A 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.
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
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