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The 75¢ Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Vol. 106 Issue 49
of the San Juan Islands
Locals line up for shot at pot market Orcas, San Juan Co’s apply, Lopez a no-show By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter
Journal photo / Scott Rasmussen
From left; Arthur Beard and Greg Alvarez of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and County Councilman Rick Hughes listen to concerns over Customs relocation to Friday Harbor Center at a town hall meeting, Nov. 25, in Friday Harbor.
Feds weather criticism US Customs shows no sign of reversal at town hall meeting By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter
Customs and Border Protection came to the big meeting room at the fire station on Monday, Nov. 23, to listen to citizen complaints about the location of the new CBP office at the corner of First and Spring Streets. They listened, and answered questions, for more than two hours. Six uniformed Customs and Border Protection agents, one CBP construction project manager and one General Services Administration leasing supervisor were all surprised that local residents might not like siting the
local customs and border patrol office at First and Spring streets in downtown Friday Harbor. They found out fast. About fifty people told them in about fifty different ways that they didn’t like the idea - Lovel Pratt, Jim Stoag, Juniper Maas-Mercer and Dan Paulson among them. Although called “a mob” by one defender of the lease, none of the group was confrontational. Many speakers praised the local CBP staff and recognized their importance to the tourist-based economy and the damage that the location or that improper actions by CBP officers might cause to that economy. Several speakers asked questions or raised subjects, such as body cavity searches that the panel did not have answers for. Scott Davis suggested that the government could still lease the space, but it should be filled with
National Park Service personnel and other tourist-friendly services. After the meeting, CBP Area Port Director Greg Alvarez said that he intended to make the lobby “visitor friendly,” possibly with a display rack with maps and guides and a front-desk person who would answer visitors’ questions. Dennis Hazelton and Michelle Loftus defended the lease and the right of the owner to lease to anybody he chose. Loftus apologized for online comments posted by opponents on various websites. None of the eight, including Jim Coffelt, senior GSA contracting officer, knew many details about the decision to lease the First and Spring space, nor about the Beaverton Valley Road space that was offered to CBP, nor about the fact that seven years ago the Port offered to build a building at the See CRITICISM, Page 4
Lopez islanders apparently don’t want to have anything to do with marijuana - growing it, processing it or selling it. On Nov. 26, the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which is charged with regulating “legal marijuana” after the 2012 voter approval of a legalization initiative, released the first list of applicants for producing, processing and retailing licenses. No applicants for any license were from Lopez Island. Of 445 producer applications, 328 processor applications and 159 retailer applications, only 10 came from San Juan County - six “growers,” three processors and only one retailer. The one application for a retail store is from “Evergreen State of Mind Smokeshop” of San Juan Island, but a business named “Island Grown Foods” at the same address also applied for grower and processor licenses. Under WSLCB regulations, the same licensee can have both a “producer” and “processor” license, but a retailer license cannot be held by either a producer or processor. The only individual person who applied for a license was Peter A. DeLorenzi of Friday Harbor, who applied for a producer (grower) license. The other applicants for producers licenses were Four Nineteen and 1/2 of
2011 Special Award; Second Place: General Excellence from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
Eastsound, Billy’s Goat (Greatest of All Things) of Orcas Island, NW Connoisseurs of Deer Harbor, and Dragonleaf of Friday Harbor. Billy’s, Island Grown and NW Connoisseurs applied for both producer and processor licenses. The license application window closes Dec. 19. If more than one applicant files for one of the retailing licenses allocated to each of San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands, a drawing will decide the winner.
Don’t delay Call today to reserve your space for the Dec. 25 edition before Dec. 16