Journal of the San Juans, March 20, 2013
March 20, 2013 edition of the Journal of the San Juans
Local Get in stride; Run Ladies Run 10K & 1/2 marathon, Sunday page 20 Island Scene Middle School players tackle apocalypse in ‘Escape from Nemotex” page 13 Something to purrrrr... about Happiness is a great cat; check out the winner and runners up in the Journal’s online cat contest page 20 Journal The 75¢ Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Vol. 106 Issue 12 of the San Juan Islands Best of the ‘Bee’ Journal photo /Kathryn Sherman Friday Harbor Middle School’s Amelia Calvery bested the competition to claim the 2013 Spelling Bee crown, March 14, at SJ Community Theatre. Three ‘D’s in view By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter The bulletproof vest worn by San Juan County Sheriff Rob Nou on Thursday evening wasn’t needed to ward off several pointed questions about zealous traffic enforcement. Nou kept the focus on his department’s response to the “three D’s”: domestic violence, DUIs and drugs instead. For nearly two hours in a full meeting room at Skagit Valley College in Friday Harbor, Nou outlined problems created by domestic violence, drinking and driving, and illegal drugs before an attentive and inquisitive audience of 75 people at a meeting hosted by the “new Friday Harbor Grange.” Nou’s first remark caught the group’s attention. “Every nonvehicle homicide in recent times in San Juan County has involved domestic violence,” said Nou. Saying “we take it very seri- ously,” Nou pointed to 74 domestic disturbance calls on San Juan Island in 2012, 15 of which resulted in an arrest. They are mostly verbal Sheriff Rob Nou arguments that get out of control, Nou said. Some involve alcohol, and the dynamics of many domestic disturbances can easily escalate into confrontations with Sheriff ’s deputies, he said. One common problem Nou mentioned is that the family unit, sometimes including the children, closes ranks and refuses intervention by law enforcement. Noting that training for deputies stresses “ratcheting down the emotions quickly,” Nou said a very disappointing aspect of domestic vioSee View, Page 3 www.sanjuanjournal.com Council candidate Q & A With less than six weeks until San Juan County elects a new three-member county council, all six remaining candidates are hitting the campaign trail. The revamped council, and the April 23 elections, are the result of revisions to the county charter proposed in 2012 by the Charter Revision Commission and approved by the voters in November, 2012. The revisions returned the council to three members elected countywide from “residency districts” comprising San Juan, Orcas and Lopez and their respective nearby smaller islands. Nominated in a February, 2012, primary were Lovel Pratt and Bob Jarman from San Juan for District 1, Lisa Byers and Rich Hughes from Orcas Island for District 2, and Jamie Stephens and Brian McClerren from Lopez Island for District 3. Hughes, Stephens and Jarman are current incumbents on the present six-member council; Pratt is a former councilwoman who was defeated by Jarman in a 2012 council race; Byers is the director of OPAL Community Land Trust on Orcas; and McClerren is a Lopez resident making his first run for elective office. Leading up to the election, the Journal will be running a series of Q&A’s with candidates from each district. Brian McClerren WEEKLY: What do you bring to the table that is different from the other candidates and why did you decide to run? BM: I’m in a different world than the other candidates and that gives me a unique perspective on government. I’m trying to become a homeowner. I’m starting my business while hanging onto a full-time job. I’m raising kids and about to have a new baby. My political ideas aren’t being fed to me by an organized party machine. They come from my own Contributed photos District 3 candidates Brian McClerren and Jamie Stephens. experiences and result from an enormous amount of time studying, listening and making observations. It has taken a hefty dose of courage and determination to put myself into this race. It is a reflection of my deep love for the San Juan Islands that I am deliberately seeking the most demanding, stressful and criticized job available. I am convinced, as are my supporters, that I can be that change that I seek. WEEKLY: How do you plan to balance the county budget? Do you support renewal of Prop. 1, the voter-approved property tax increase that expires at the end of 2015? BM: I am bothered that the assumption appears to be larger government and increased taxes. A special part of our identity in this place is that we value our independence. I can tell you unequivocally that nothing sacrifices independence like being in debt . This relates to bond debt as well as grant-funded activities. Last year our council signed a debt obligation which demands repayment through taxation “with- 2011 Special Award; Second Place: General Excellence from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association out a vote of the people.” Worse than that, they are touting it as a demonstration of fiscal responsibility. The recent Community Conversation meetings are creSee Q&A, Page 4 IN YOUR COMMUNITY SHOP SAN JUAN ISLAND FOR THE HOLIDAYS! 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