Page 1

Guest column

‘It happens every day’, that’s why we fly page 7

Island Scene

For whom the bell tolls? Back-to-school time page 9


Point/Counterpoint: A.G. legal opinion sparks dispute among readers on page 6


The 75¢ Wednesday, August 28, 2013 Vol. 106 Issue 35

of the San Juan Islands

Choice backed by A.G. opinion

Rebuild? Port not ready to say By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter

By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter

Local public hospital districts that provide maternity services or related information must also offer access to contraceptive and abortion services and information consistent with the “fundamental rights” to birth control and abortion guar- Bob Ferguson anteed by Initiative 120, according to a legal opinion issued Aug. 21 by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The opinion was requested by state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas, in response to questions raised in 2012, prior to the opening of Peace Island Medical Center, a unit of PeaceHealth, a system of medical centers affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The district, supported by local property taxes, provides about $1 million in annual funding to Peace Island under an operating agreement. The formal legal opinion, which the attorney general’s press release says is not legally binding but is given “great weight” by the courts, said in part: “If the state provides, directly or by contract, materSee Opinion, Page 4

Contributed photo / Carole Sue Conran

Boats and blue water bob in the background of the charred, dismantled remains of the waterfront building, former home of Downriggers Restaurant, destroyed by fire Saturday, Aug. 17, in Friday Harbor.

Lummi wield art in battle against coal Journal staff report

The Lummi Nation is backing up its opposition to the coal terminal with action and outreach. In support of “unconditional and unequivocal opposition to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal” expressed recently to federal, state and local officials, the Lummi Nation will conduct a 1,500 mile “We draw the line” journey from the coal source in Wyoming to the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, north of Bellingham. The tribal delegation on the journey will accompany the Kwel

‘hoy (“We draw the line”) totem pole, now being carved by Lummi master carver Jewell James and his House of Tears carvers. James and his fellow carvers have a history of carving totem poles and placing them at historic and culturally significant sites, including four sites connected with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The two-week journey will generally follow the coal train path from the Powder River

Business owners ousted from the nowcharred waterfront building that housed Downriggers restaurant asked for assurances at a special meeting of the Friday Harbor Port Commission that they will be permitted to reopen in the same location, whether in a rebuilt or completely new building. Debbie Rishel, owner of Downriggers, and her longtime manager Mary Ann Ragsdale were both direct. Rishel said she thought the commissioners should say now that Downriggers can reopen, while Ragsdale reminded them and Port Director Marilyn O’Connor what Downriggers means to Friday Harbor and how much it has done for the community. A dozen frequent customers voiced support for Rishel, one of them saying he hoped Downriggers could reopen before his mother’s 93rd birthday dinner, “next April.” The crowd murmured and nodded agreement with one speaker who said, “We don’t want Anthony’s in Friday Harbor.” Four businesses were displaced after fire swept through Downriggers restaurant in the early morning hours of Aug. 17, leaving a See Port, Page 3

Lummi master carver Jewell James at work on a totem pole, wields a hammer and chisel .

Contributedl photo / Michael Riordan

Basin in Montana and Wyoming, connecting with Indian tribes, towns, cities and rural residents along the route to Xwe’chienXen, the name for the 3,500 year-old Lummi village site and burial ground located at the site of the See Coal, Page 2

2011 Special Award; Second Place: General Excellence from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

Vote for your favoriets!

2nd annual Best of San Juan Island contest. Go to www. and click on the 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards star. Voting closes 9/11. Winners announced 9/18.

Journal of the San Juans, August 28, 2013  

August 28, 2013 edition of the Journal of the San Juans

Journal of the San Juans, August 28, 2013  

August 28, 2013 edition of the Journal of the San Juans