Sounder The Islands’
Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County
WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2012 n VOL. 45, NO. 30 n 75¢
Do we suffer without sun?
new center opens – PG 9
Cimarron takes the lead in solid waste race by COLLEEN SMITH ARMSTRONG Editor/Publisher
A look at vitamin D by CALI BAGBY Staff reporter
Construction workers, landscapers and farmers may have a leg up on office workers when it comes to bone health, according to research on the positive effects of sun exposure. Historically, Americans worked outdoors tending their fields or participating in other manual labor under the sun. In modern times, many careers require work under artificial light, causing an increase in vitamin D deficiency. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the percentage of adults achieving a proper level of vitamin D has declined from about 60 percent in 1988-1994 to approximately 30 percent in 2001-2004. According to a Mayo Clinic Study, 25 to 50 percent or more of patients commonly encountered in clinical practice are deficient in vitamin D.
Learning at Moran
Cali Bagby/staff photo
A visitor soaks up some rays of vitamin D at Cascade Lake. Dr. David Shinstrom at The Orcas Family Health Center says it is entirely possible that “low vitamin D levels have been present in humans since we stood on two feet.” Vitamin D is fat-soluble and known as “the sunshine vitamin.” Studies have shown that it promotes bone health, cell growth, immune function and reduces inflammation, according to the National Institutes of Health. Shinstrom says using vitamin D with calcium has been successful to treat osteoporosis, but he is skeptical about its role in other health
School looks at tough budget cuts by COLLEEN SMITH ARMSTRONG Editor/Publisher
The high school student spoke to a room of adults and passionately described the importance of studying matter, space and energy – preferably at the college level – come this fall. But she and other students may not get that chance if cuts to the district budget are approved. “Please keep AP physics,” Brigid Ehrmantraut said at a public hearing last week. She was in attendance with her dad Brian and mother
issues. He describes the vitamin as one of the “more controversial topics in the medical field, with a wide variety of opinions.” “There are always new studies that may provide more proof,” he added.
Sources of vitamin D According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D is found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna. It can also be found in butter and cheese, said Dr. David Russell
See vitamin d, Page 6
Colleen Smith Armstrong/Staff Photo
School board members Janet Brownell, Chris Sutton and Tony Ghazel at the public hearing. Superintendent Barbara Kline is in the back. Moana Kutsche. “It’s kind of rare to offer that. I think, and my friends do too, that you need to keep some of these academics.” After reductions in funding from the state and federal level and less money collected from the Maintenance and Operations Levy than expected, the Orcas School District is looking at a conservative budget that eliminates eight
The heat is on and it still might be anyone’s game. After receiving proposals from two applicants seeking to run the Orcas transfer station, the Vendor Selection Committee has recommended Cimarron Trucking over Orcas Recycling Services. The endorsement was formally presented to the council on July 24, after the Sounder went to press. Go to www.islandssounder. com for more information. “It will be up to the council as to when the selection will be made,” said Council Chairwoman Patty Miller, who lives on Orcas. Both bid submittals were presented last week and can be viewed online at www.sanjuanco. com/sw-rfp/. The vendor selection committee consists of Miller, Steve Alexander and Russ Harvey of solid waste, and Jeff Strothers and Lisa Byers of Orcas Island. It is a councilappointed ad hoc group. The report read: “Neither proposal sufficiently addresses all of the stated RFP vendor selection criteria. However, the VSC has initially determined that Cimarron is the best qualified … with the proviso that prior to entering contract negotiations ... Cimarron modify its proposal to
teaching positions. While there are also cuts in the travel and professional program budgets, the biggest change will be felt in the curriculum and maintenance. The elementary is reducing classes from nine to seven and there will be fewer teachers in the middle and high school. The proposed budget is based on 600 students, which the board assumes is a low number. Enrollment for the 2011-12 school year was 624. Superintendent Barbara Kline said the district is expecting “quite an increase” in OASIS enrollment, in particular. It typically has around 200 kids and there could be as many as 100 more this year. OASIS is an alternative educational program designed to help parents who want a home-school or alternative education option for their children. Most of the student body lives on the mainland and learns online. If more than 600 kids show up for the school year, then money will go back into the curriculum. The areas deemed most important, in this
See SCHOOL, Page 7
address key inadequacies.” Those problem areas are: compatibility with the Exchange and public communication. Blair Estenson, Cimarron’s president, told the Sounder, “we’ll work with the Exchange” to continue “the valuable services they provide to Orcas Island.” Mark De Tray, executive director of ORS, the nonprofit that runs The Exchange, was hopeful their proposal would receive the trust of the committee. ORS will present its proposal during a public forum at the Orcas Fire Hall on Friday, July 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It held a similar meeting on July 23. “The Vendor Selection Committee report may seem to make Cimarron’s proposal points look more polished and professional, but how will Cimarron guarantee price stability while still reducing waste? It won’t,” wrote Orcas resident Sadie Bailey in a July 23 letter to the editor. She urged the council to vote for the ORS proposal. Cimarron Trucking Company of Anacortes is the current contract hauler for solid waste from Orcas. Estenson says his company “is ready to go,” and “knows what it’s doing, we’ve got the equipment
See TRANSFER, Page 6
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July 25, 2012 edition of the Islands' Sounder