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Greg King's reflections on historic building destroyed in fire

Thank you for all the messages we have received. It has been a very emotional week. Natalie and I purchased this property back in 2004. We were in our 20s and went into this purchase with a dream and not much else. We sold our home and most of our personal possessions and then moved into a small studio in the back of the building. We leveraged ourselves beyond what anyone thought we should and most people thought we would fail.

Greg and Natalie in 2004

Guest Column by Sharon Grace: We Must Change OPALCO to Help the Southern Resident Orcas

The waters around the San Juan Islands are a summer home of the critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.

OPALCO, the islands’ utility co-op, is owned by islanders. Islanders overwhelmingly support recovering the endangered orcas.

Recovering the orcas hinges on recovering chinook salmon populations. The Snake River historically supplied abundant salmon for the whales, as the salmon migrated south along both sides of Vancouver Island on their return trip to the Snake River.

Guest Column by Kyle Kittoe: Fox photographers sorely mistaken about natural order

While reading yesterday’s Fox Photographer Controversy thread that was reposted here from another FB forum; I was disturbed to learn that some fox photo-perturbare’s believe that their clapping and yelling at Eagles hunting for kit foxes has prevented a single capture of last years entire prairie brood. This is yet another example of the backwards mindset held by those trying to justify disrupting South Beach Plain Ecosystem (via inundation).

Our backyard resident Ginger… Gigi to us, morning stone warming. Kyle Kittoe photo

Scott Brennan: Leadership within the SJC Fire Dept.

I was a Sergeant with your Sheriffs Department for 30 years and a volunteer EMT with the San EMS for 15 years. During that time I regularly interacted with the Fire Department, EMS and various other departments and agencies. Because of this experience people have asked me what’s going on with the current Fire and EMS issue. So, here’s my take, based on 30 plus years, dealing with these types of departments.

Trish Lehman: Community deserves clear explanation

My name is Trish Lehman. I am one of five hospital district commissioners, having just served 2 years, and most recently re-elected for another 6 years. I moved to the island in 1971 and am a retired registered nurse. My parents donated the land, and helped build Sunset Point Fire Station on the west side of the island, where they were both volunteer firefighters.

My first job as an RN was at the Convalescent Center before we had Emergency Medical Services, when we had Dr. Heath, our one full time doctor who served our community, and when our medevac was San Juan Airlines.

Kyle Loring: Vote to keep SJ EMS under PHD umbrella

Is EMS really in such bad shape?

No, but you wouldn’t know that from a few recent, misleading letters to the editor. So as someone who regularly attends SJC Pub Hospital Dist #1 meetings, and who is partial to facts, I thought I’d weigh in. Please note: if you prefer wild speculation and reckless misinformation, this is not the column for you.

EMS is in good shape. Driven by the strong management provided by our Superintendent and EMS Administrator over the past year, the PHD has:

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Guest Column by Joseph Bettis: The Day King Died

Dr. King was murdered on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. During those years of tragedy and struggle I lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and taught there at the University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, where six years earlier the Tuscaloosa police department locked the congregation inside First African Baptist Church by chaining the doors shut and then lobbed tear gas through the windows. Tuscaloosa, the home of Bobby Shelton, the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and where the Klan office was on main street. The grand wizard usually had breakfast at the Tuscaloosa Grand Hotel each morning.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, a day before he was assassinated at approximately the same place. From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King, and Ralph Abernathy. AP photo

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Dr. Fishaut: Vote enthusiastically for school and EMS levy

The COVID pandemic has forced many aspects of daily life in rural communities such as ours into crisis mode. Exacerbating this state of affairs have been various local issues that make things even more challenging. The ferry system is an embarrassment and a risk to the Island’s welfare. Housing for potential new professionals and their families has become even more unaffordable. The Department of Health has been stretched to its limits while enduring a constant stream of abuse as well as coping with the foolish and risky behavior of some of our citizens. The Mullis Senior Center Board and its good works were threatened by an extended mean spirited series of attacks which it was able to decisively thwart. Access to traditional primary care medical and dental care are at a precipice as a consequence of departures, death, retirements, and payment gimmicks. The rancor and self interest displayed over and over again is not what is needed in troubled times.

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