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Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County
WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 VOL. 47, NO. 30 75¢
Buck Park transfer to OIPRD official by COLLEEN SMITH ARMSTRONG Editor/Publisher
It’s a beloved community park that will be revamped in the coming years under new ownership. After several years of negotiations, last week the Orcas Island School District voted to transfer Buck Park to the Orcas Island Parks and Rec District. The paperwork was filed on July 23. “It is very exciting to be done with the process, and we reached a really good collaborative agreement with the school,” said OIPRD Director Marcia West. “It’s been a lot of work.” Parks and Rec and the school board have been discussing the transfer since July 2011. Since OIPRD’s inception two years ago it has been leasing the park. “I believe that both parties are glad to have it completed and are able to focus on the future,” said School Superintendent Eric Webb. “Everyone involved in this process only wants what is best
for the children of Orcas Island and has worked diligently to ensure that. I am looking forward to working with Marcia and OIPRD in the future.” Money did not change hands in the transfer. The only cost to OIPRD was $10 in taxes. The next step is creating a longterm master plan that West says will include “lots of community input.” She welcomes input at email@example.com. “The park’s growth will meet the school’s needs as well as park and rec’s needs,” she said. The park, located just a couple of miles outside of Eastsound off of Mt. Baker Road, is a favorite spot for locals. It’s also home to the world-class Orcas Island Skateboard park, ball fields and tennis courts. “We will be taking a hard look at all the health and safety issues – especially in the playground– and we will make sure everything is up to safety standards,” West said.
Amy Masters photo
Last year’s Vikings baseball team playing in one of Buck Park’s ball fields. The park is now owned by OIPRD. The park was created in 1992 after the Buck family donated land. It was initially owned by the Buck Park Association, but after that disbanded, it was turned over to the school, which has overseen the park for the past 20 years. In 2011, Orcas Island voters
approved funding for the Orcas Island Park and Recreation District. It became clear that OIPRD was the best entity to oversee the park. It has spent around $40,000 annually to maintain the land. West will be looking into
Mass says: global warming is real by CALI BAGBY Assistant Editor
The good news is that global warming is happening much slower than predicted. The bad news is that we are doing absolutely nothing to stop these inevitable changes. These are the facts according to Dr. Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. “The problem is that greenhouse gases are increasing rapidly, and we are the cause of it,” he said during his July 23 talk sponsored by the Orcas Public Library and at Orcas Center. Mass, known for his popular weather blog, discussed truths and myths about global warming, the media’s incorrect coverage of topics relating to the health of the globe and the affects of coal production on our lives.
Global warming Although global warming may have a more predominate role in our conversations and news sources as of late, Mass says the idea is nothing new. He referenced a paper published in 1896 that pointed to concerns that still are applicable today. Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist, was the first to claim in the late 1800s that “fossil fuel combustion may eventually result in enhanced global warming.” What is new is the question of how warming will affect different parts of our country. According to Mass, global warming is not uniform. For instance, in Southern California and Mexico the climate will be dryer. On the other hand, areas like the Pacific Northwest and Alaska will become wetter. The Pacific
Northwest in itself is an interesting region to explore when it comes to climate change because of how little it has warmed. “There is relatively little human-caused warming in the Northwest,” said Mass. Our weather is controlled by the Pacific Ocean, and research has shown that the Eastern Pacific has not warmed. According to an article in the journal Nature climate change has increased trade winds blowing east to west, creating cool temperatures on the surface of these waters. An article in The Scientific American goes on to say that, “findings outlined in the paper bolster the idea that much of the warmth that would otherwise have heated the Earth’s surface has gone into the Pacific Ocean.” Despite the anomaly of the Pacific, Mass said
SEE CLIMATE, PAGE 3
grants and fundraising to pay for large improvement projects. She already has a lead on funding for a public restroom to replace the porta-potties. “That is high on the priority list,” she said.
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