A caring


during a crisis

I, like so many, am trying to get through this COVID-19 crisis as best I can.

My husband and I are two of the many vulnerable Anacortes residents who need to stay inside avoiding personal contact. And, as hard as it has been, there have been so many acts of kindness extended to us that are so representative of this amazing community.

The friends and neighbors who check on us almost daily and leave food or flowers at our door.

A store employee who said she would drop off a special order I had made weeks ago because I told her I couldn’t come in right now to pick it up. Later that afternoon my order was on the door step.

The late-night clerk who wiped down a basket for me before my one and only shopping trip and then made checking out safe by avoiding personal contact.

The person who volunteers to buy groceries for us every week depositing them in our garage so that I could wipe down the containers before bringing items into the house.

The constant calls, cards and text from members of our church offering any service needed.

And the person at the window of the fast-food restaurant who, when I tried to pay for our shakes said, “It’s on us today, enjoy!”

Finally, the employees at Island Hospital who have made important lab experiences possible due to their understanding and professional support.

Random acts of kindness for sure, but also a very deliberate way to help each of use get on the other side of this pandemic in a positive way.

Thank you, Anacortes, for caring for us.

Sylvia Maxson



There is no accurate

crystal ball

Recall the soothsayer telling Caesar: “Beware the Ides of March.” I believe he either misspoke or was misquoted by the Bard. What he really said was: “Beware the modelers.”

The Monday, April 20, Wall Street Journal quoted a professor from Nottingham University. He noted: “Any model (Corona Virus) that gets within 50% of the actual result has done well.” Apt words when considering no one can accurately predict the future.

The recent demonstration in Olympia protesting our current state of lockdown puts the above in mind. How unwise these actions when considering new cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported daily. It is equally unworthy of our politicians to project target dates of social easing when we have no idea of when things will improve.

Crystal balls aside, professionals from all disciplines have failed miserably when attempting to determine what the future holds. Two prominent examples are Wall Street and climate change. If any of their modeling was consistently correct, we would all be sailing yachts, and Manhattan would be under water.

Somewhere, somewhen, someone said something along the lines of: “Success goes not to the organization that predicts the future but to the one that is best prepared to respond to it.”

My premise here is: Let’s not abandon our cautious approach to living safely or count the days to an arbitrary date for sake of expediency or the whims of soothsayers. We live in a region where we can still get out to enjoy the scenery and hike our trails while still maintaining social distancing and practicing common sense.

Bob Forman



Quarantining the island isn’t the answer

Last week’s edition carried an opinion alerting us to the next virus scourge: Visiting boaters from “Seattle, California and Canada.”

The suggested answer for safety, ban these aliens. The idea is that we must be protected from roving bands of scruffy, dirty boaters who will infect our splendid isolation on Fidalgo Island. Oh well, as a boater, I resemble that remark. Being uncombed and unkempt, myself, I am not too upset at this lashing. But more civilized, thoughtful folks might question the writer’s approach.

Pandemics breed fear and uncertainty. Or worse, xenophobia. Take Thailand’s public health minister who targeted white foreigners in March, saying they were dirty and spreading the virus in the country. Closer to home, many politicians get mileage out of bashing all sorts of immigrants.

If vetoing boaters is one step to keep us safe from these germs, then let’s go all in. To minimize risk, why not add Fidalgo bridge border checks on cars and trucks, swabbing potential virus carriers on our highest volume transportation routes, testing cargo and supplies, much like a supercharged TSA checkpoint?

Count me unconvinced of the wisdom, effectiveness or practicality of fearful attempts to quarantine our little island, even in limited fashion. Better to recognize we live in an intertwined world, where we manage some risks on our own. Along with keeping your distance and maintaining good hygiene, wearing a mask could help stop the virus.

These efforts will bring more health benefits than banning boaters and other scary strangers.

Tom Decker




season cuts were avoidable

The devil is always in the details.

What was left out of the article published on April 22 titled “Low Returns, COVID-19 Spur Hunting Season Delays” is that the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission blocked efforts made by state Fish and wildlife to avoid a majority of the deep cuts to the fishing 2020-2021 recreational fishing seasons.

During this year’s North of Falcon negotiations, Fish and Wildlife repeatedly offered the simple solution of raising the size limit of hatchery chinook that could be kept by recreational anglers from 22 inches to 28 inches.

This one simple change would have gone a long way toward preserving both the summer chinook and winter blackmouth season. Further, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission stated from the outset of the negotiation process that it wanted the 2021 winter blackmouth fishery closed.

In the end, not only was winter blackmouth fishing closed, but the overall chinook salmon season was reduced from last year’s season of 12 weeks down to three weeks. Meanwhile, the Stillaguamish Ceremonial and Substance fishery take was doubled compared to last year.

Brett Rosson


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