Journal of the San Juans, January 08, 2014
January 08, 2014 edition of the Journal of the San Juans
Letters New Year brings salute to year past, playful predictions for 2014 PAGE 6 Island Scene It’s no beauty, but this mysterious creature is equipped to survive PAGE 9 Editorial Respect? It’s a two-way street. Sheriff should take a close, hard look at Christmas Eve traffic stop PAGE 7 Journal The 75¢ Wednesday, January 8, 2014 Vol. 107 Issue 2 of the San Juan Islands Waldron calls for drone ban in SJ skies www.sanjuanjournal.com DVR program, new era unfolds By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter By Scott Rasmussen Journal editor Despite its preeminence in the aerospace industry, Washington is not among the six states recently selected by the Federal Aviation Administration to develop test sites for drones. Which will probably come as welcome news for almost everyone living on Waldron Island. At a community meeting in November, residents of the sixthlargest island in San Juan County voted in overwhelming numbers to declare Waldron a “drone-free zone.” Of the 20 people in attendance at the Nov. 9 meeting, the declaration was ratified by 16, rejected by two, and two abstained from voting. A statement? You bet, but it’s not one without precedent, according to Ryan Drum, community meeting chairman. “Our community voted in the majority at a monthly community meeting to declare ourselves a drone-free zone, much as we declared ourselves a nuclear-free zone in 1984, as a statement to the U.S. government condemning the use of military drones to kill innocent civilians in other countries, and other unethical drone use,” Drum said. “We hope that by speaking out, we will encourage other communities to speak out against the use of drones in ways that do not support the health and well-being of members of a community.” See DRONE, Page 4 Journal photo / Steve Wehrly Abandoned and in disrepair, the ‘Attitude’, a 77-foot wooden boat is temporarily moored at the Port of Friday Harbor before a tow to the mainland, where it will be dismantled and disposed of. Lines drawn over ‘X-mas’ traffic stop See UNFOLDS, Page 3 Far right; deputies question the driver of a trailer decorated with holiday lights and carrying Christmas carolers during a traffic stop in downtown Friday Harbor on Christmas Eve. By Scott Rasmussen Journal editor San Juan County’s top law enforcement official issued a statement Dec. 31 defending his officers and department in the wake of a controversial traffic stop in downtown Friday Harbor on Christmas Eve. Later that day, the driver pulled over in that traffic stop issued a statement of his own. “I am not sure what set off Deputy Menjivar,” local contrac- If you’re missing your 77-foot boat, “Attitude” from its moorings in Roche Harbor, your boat has been towed away for demolition under the Derelict Vessel Removal program. In a state with more than 300,000 recreational and commercial boats and over 2.4 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands, derelict or abandoned boats can cause serious environmental problems. “Attitude,” with fuel tanks that hold thousands of gallons of diesel, was found drifting toward a dock on Pearl Island. Disposing of the vessel is estimated to cost about $40,000. Since 2002, the state has had a derelict vessel program, funded by $3 from every boat registration and a $4.5 million legislative appropriation included in the 2013-2015 state budget. The fund, which requires a 10 percent match from local jurisdictions which participate, has more than $4 million available for identifying and removing derelict vessels. Marc Forlenza is taking over the county’s derelict removal program from Joanruth Baumann, who founded the program as a county employee and ran the program for Contributed photo / Brandli Law tor Mark E. McCutcheon said as part of the statement issued by his attorney, Friday Harbor Stephen Brandli. “If it had not been for Deputy Korth, I do not know what would have happened. Deputy Menjivar was so angry that I was fearful that he would do something rash.” McCutcheon was pulled over at about 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve near the ferry landing parking lot. He said he was driving a truck See STOP, Page 3 2011 Special Award; Second Place: General Excellence from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Sports Check out sanjuanjournal.com for high school sports results, photos, and stories.