Bacon earns trifecta as San Juan EMS honors its own page 8
Bragging rights up for grabs at the 19th annual Knowledge Bowl page 9
Political campaigns can easily take a wrong turn in the age of the internet — even in the San Juans page 7
The 75¢ Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Vol. 106 Issue 9
of the San Juan Islands
Uneasy first for Friday Harbor
Charter changes tested in court
E H T K C N O LO B
San Juan now home to county’s only level 3 sex offender
By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter
By Scott Rasmussen Journal editor
Two years after his request to relocate to San Juan Island was denied by state Corrections officials, a level 3 sex offender is putting down roots in Friday Harbor. Local authorities two weeks ago received a letter from David Franklin Stewart noti- David Stewart fying them of his intent to relocate to San Juan Island, where he and his wife bought a home in the Bridle Trails Estates neighborhood in 2004. The 60-year-old, convicted a year earlier of first-degree rape of a child, is no longer under supervision of the state Department of Corrections and is free to come and go, and live, where he chooses, San Juan County Sheriff Rob Nou said. “He’s served his time, so to speak,” Nou said. “Two years ago we had two community meetings that were well-attended and we were very upfront at that time in saying that in 22 months he would See Offender, Page 3
Journal photo / Scott Rasmussen
Recently deemed surplus property, the Frank Wilson EMS building, as well as Inter Island Medical Center, and the property the two buildings are home to, are soon to be on the market.
Out with the old
Hospital district hopes to net $1.5 million from EMS, IIMC buildings By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter
Ballpark estimates suggest the San Juan Island Hospital District could net as much as $1.5 million from selling the old EMS building and the old medical center building it owns on Spring Street in Friday Harbor. At it’s monthly meeting on Feb. 21, the Hospital Commission agreed to “surplus” the former EMS Building and put it up for sale or lease. The commission will meet again March 20 to decide the fate of the more valuable Inter-Island Medical Center building next door. “We want to sell both buildings,” said EMS Chief Jim Cole. But the district may have to lease them out for a while, he said, if officials can’t find a buyer willing to pay close to what they’re worth.
Cole explained that state law requires the commission to get three reliable estimates of fair market value for each of the properties, average those estimates, and sell each property for no less than 90 percent of the average estimate. Estimates could be far off, said Gary Franklin of Windermere Realty, because they were based on appraisals made in 2005 by the county assessor. Franklin explained that current fair market value might be less because the buildings are eight years older and because the recession has lowered values considerably. Commercial property sales have also been slow of late, Franklin said. Pamela Hutchins, superintendent and secretary of the hospital district, says the district has received several preliminary expressions of interest, including one from the San Juan Islands Museum of Art for the EMS building. Still, Hutchins cautions that the hospital commission must “dot the i’s and cross the t’s” before any serious negotiations can begin. See Surplus, Page 4
2011 Special Award; Second Place: General Excellence from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
What’s the problem? In 2012, that question was asked again and again by critics as the Charter Review Commission fashioned its amendments to the county charter. Now, ironically, that same question was posed in legal language by San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord in support of the charter amendments and against a legal challenge filed days after the amendments were approved in November by the voters. See charter, Page 4
Hot off the press
The 2013 edition of the Book of the San Juan Islands is available at the Chamber of Commerce, various businesses and at the Journal office.