Still waiting for EPA research

An Oct. 7 letter questioned if we are putting the cart before the horse regarding digging up streets to install fiber optic cabling. My opinion: Yes.

The Environmental Protection Agency has done research on installation of fiber optic cabling in active city water mains. I know this because I contacted them in 2017 after it was first reported that the city of Anacortes would be doing this, and three weeks later I received a response from the EPA that informed me they had initiated research. Any succeeding contacts with the EPA have gone without response. I do not know why and can only say that Congressman Rick Larsen’s staff say I should be getting a response and cannot say why I am not.

It seems to me the installation should not have begun before it is known what all the EPA’s research elicited. Here we are a couple of years into this installation and still awaiting an answer.

Dara Grotte



Solving a problem that doesn’t exist

Why is the City of Anacortes attempting to enter the internet communication business? Do they have any experience providing these highly technical services? We have several local private providers already offering internet, phone and TV services.

Is it the city’s role to compete with private businesses? If access is so important, why not just give a subsidy or credit to folks who cannot afford internet access to buy whatever service they would like.

It would be significantly less expensive to offer some form of incentive and use existing infrastructure than to incur long-term costs (including benefits and pensions) for the increase of city employees to install, provide and manage these services.

With COVID-19 decimating our local businesses and reducing city revenues, do we really need to spend our limited resources on this? And what happens to fiber installations when 5G becomes accepted and the wireless standard in the near future? Would all this cost be for naught?

William Garvais





proactively guides change

Mark Lundsten has shown himself to be a role model for implementing positive management of difficult issues. As a halibut fisherman, he did not accept incidental kill of sea birds feeding on baited hooks as they were deployed. Rather than go along with best practices, he developed a simple method to protect the birds as he set the gear, which is now widely adopted in the industry.

Mark also worked to achieve the current individual fish quota management system for halibut, which has completely changed that fishery. Today we have a sustainable and safe year-round system, with high quality product reaching markets, instead of the former dangerous system with gluts of product and too many Coast Guard rescues on the high seas.

None of that change came easily, with strong vested interests protecting the status quo. Mark proactively guided that change.

He is kind, persistent, tenacious and seeks to improve the sustainability of our high quality of life in Skagit County. He not only listens, but also makes intelligent determinations and does the right thing. Mark will implement sustainable best practices to improve our quality of life for us and our children in Skagit County.

Bill Buchman



Lundsten right choice for county

Mark Lundsten will bring many talents to the Skagit County Board of Commissioners. He will do more than listen. He will help move the board toward meaningful action to address the issues facing Skagit County, among them a sustainable water supply, affordable housing, the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness, sustainable economic development and the conservation of our natural resources and scenic beauty.

Mark has a record of action. He negotiated complicated and controversial agreements to assure a sustainable fishery in Alaska, was captain of a commercial fishing vessel and has been an active member of the county Planning Commission.

He brought a fresh perspective the the Planning Commission and will do the same for County Commission.

As a Fidalgo Island resident, Mark understands the needs of Fidalgo and Guemes islands and will bring that perspective to county government. It is time for a change and a commitment to action.

Please join me in voting for Mark Lundsten for county commissioner, District 1.

Walter Guterbock



Vote Lundsten for county


A vote for Mark Lundsten is a vote for all of Skagit County.

Some of the things I have noticed about Lundsten that I like:

1. He knows we are in a deadly pandemic and is 110% conscientious about wearing masks and complies with the 6-foot rule.

2. He knows we have water issues and wants to fix the issues, not just use them as political footballs year after year.

3. When Lundsten says he’ll do something, you can bet money he’s going to do it.

4. He knows that it takes all types of people to create a society, hence he’s very supportive of affordable housing.

5. He understands public policy and how to get there.

6. Mark’s a thinker, a builder and an all-around good person, which are things we can all appreciate in a politician.

My vote goes to Mark Lundsten. Let’s try an honest and common sense type of county commissioner.

Roger Robinson



Miller right choice for PUD commissioner

Andrew Miller is an excellent choice for Skagit PUD commissioner, District 1.

From his commitment to returning to a life in Skagit County to educating Leadership Skagit participants to working with friends to launch Spinach Bus Ventures, I admire his passion for the magic Skagit. He understands that its residents need clean, affordable and accessible water, and he will work to meet that need.

Miller’s leadership and management experience spans military service, achieving a law degree and an MBA, and creating local farm-related businesses as the CEO of the expanded Tulip Town and Fairhaven Mill.

Choose Miller for Skagit PUD commissioner, and you choose a guy who grew up here: a farmer, a father, a community member and an innovative businessman who believes in a carefully guided future for the area we call home.

Dedicated to fiscal responsibility, planning and a clear vision for the Skagit PUD, Andrew Miller will work on our behalf to conserve our most precious resource.

Kathryn Bennett



Saluting a job well done

Jeannette Papadakis has announced her retirement as director of the Island Hospital Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the hospital.

When Jeannette took over the foundation, it was dysfunctional and scandal ridden.

Jeannette, with the help of the foundation board, righted the ship and brought back donor confidence. Fundraising goals were met each year, and this year it is projected that the foundation will raise approximately $2 million.

Jeannette is widely recognized for her leadership skills and public service and was the face of the hospital in our community.

A job well done.

Dr. Robert Maxson


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