Candidates should know forests

I have heard a couple of our city government candidates state with some regret that we have 40% of our city limits in forest lands. What they may not understand, and others new to town may not know, is that our Anacortes Community Forest Lands are not just a great place to walk, bike and ride horses. The forest lands are our emergency water supply.

Our water comes to us across the valley from the Skagit River, an ample supply provided that Mount Baker does not erupt or a big earthquake does not rupture the pipeline. Yes, the city does maintain huge water tanks to provide a bit of a buffer, but that supply wouldn’t last very long.

The Forest Advisory Board spent a number of years working to encourage the city to set up the endowment fund and then to transfer development rights to the Skagit Land Trust so that future city councils will not be able to reverse the preservation of this important resource. The city still owns the land but not the development rights. These rights were transferred beginning in 1999 in exchange for donations of $1,000 per acre. The Skagit Land Trust works with the city annually to certify that we are protecting the land as we are supposed to.

The endowment is invested very conservatively with other state investments, and the interest generated helps to pay for the forestlands staff to look after our woods. The program has been a very successful public-private partnership with the current balance of the endowment standing at $2.17 million dollars.

Erica Pickett

Anacortes

 

Farnsworth will think outside the box

I support the candidacy of Diana Farnsworth for election to the Anacortes School Board. She is creative, intelligent and a dedicated professional who has consistently shown these qualities both in her job and community involvement. As a librarian, she helped develop and implement programs for children/young adults including celebrating Harry Potter and conducting dramatic reading sessions. These were meaningful because they made learning interesting and fun, which encouraged these young people to pursue them on their own. I believe Diana will bring this creativity and “thinking outside the box” approach to the School Board. She will observe, listen, find common ground and work toward consensus in problem resolution.

I write this without reference to specific issues that confront the board. Rather, I am focusing on Diana as an individual, to emphasize that her temperament and thought process is well-suited to sit on a board that will make decisions impacting students, teachers and our community. I ask my senior cohorts to look beyond the blue hair and get to know the consummate professional’s mind behind that mischievous smile. I know that Diana will always exert her best efforts to work for all of us.

Aleli Howell

Anacortes

Schorr offers an open mind, different voice

I’ve known Erik Schorr for 20 years, and he is thoughtful, honest and reliable.

Erik has strong opinions but is intellectually honest and completely open to changing his mind if the counter argument is persuasive. This is not posturing, I have seen him do it many times over 20 years, which is rare when many hold un-nuanced, rigid opinions. Our times call for those in decision-making positions to loosen up. The opposition isn’t always wrong, and they’re definitely not an enemy.

Additionally, Erik has been a successful entrepreneur for 20+ years. It takes a special set of skills to accomplish that feat, from budgeting and human relations to leadership and work ethic. When elected, Erik will engage with an energy and focus that will benefit the School Board, our kids and our community.

Finally, diversity of opinion in decision-making bodies illuminates blind spots, prevents overreach and promotes compromise.

Erik may bring perspectives that are different from the other board members.

If Erik changes others’ minds, that is good. If they change Erik’s mind, that too is good.

Either way, I know Erik Schorr will be a hardworking, fully engaged and thoughtful School Board member.

Todd Young

Anacortes

 

Vote Hubik for council

I have volunteered for the Anacortes Arts Festival for many years in my capacity as coordinator for the Information Booth volunteers and sales. I met Amanda Hubik when she signed up to volunteer in the booth four years ago. I knew right away I could count on her to help shoulder the workload of this multifaceted job. She is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to get a job done.

She shows great enthusiasm and compassion when interacting with people with strong problem-solving skills not just in the capacity of Team Lead for the AAF, but in her passion for our community at large. Amanda volunteers with the flower planters along the downtown sidewalks and for the community garden by the middle school. Amanda has also shown her art in our downtown. It is rare to find someone who fits into so many profiles — volunteer, artist and leader.

Amanda is someone you can count on to be there for our town with intelligence, common sense and down-to-earth communication skills. I know Amanda’s heart and genuine interest in this beautiful place we call home will translate to her success as your next City Council member.

Constance Wray

Anacortes

 

Hubik’s

experience will serve well

It has been a pleasure to have worked with Amanda Hubik for the past three years on a volunteer board that oversees a large public agency.

Amanda comes well prepared to our meetings, and it is clear she has read carefully our thick packets of briefing materials. She asks insightful, pertinent questions and has considered the complexity of the issues under discussion. These traits will stand her in good stead on the City Council.

Amanda expertly juggles both her volunteer work and her job as legislative assistant to 40th District state Rep.Alex Ramel because she is organized and knows how to set her priorities.

Her experience and connections in Olympia will serve her well on the City Council as she understands — and has worked on — many of the issues confronting our city, including ways to incentivize affordable housing, outlined in the Multi-Family Tax Exemption bill (SB 5287). She also serves many community members daily with interactions across agencies like the Department of Health, the Employment Security Department and the Department of Commerce.

Amanda has what it takes to be a strong, contributing member of the council. Join me in voting for her.

Susan Rooks

Anacortes

 

Vote for Farnsworth, McIlmoyle

Keep Anacortes students in school. Vote for Diana Farnsworth and Meredith McIlmoyle.

On Sept. 29, Lynden Christian canceled in-person learning due to COVID outbreaks across all schools. Per Whatcom County, closure was due to limited adherence and unsuccessful efforts to comply with state requirements.

Losing in-person school and activities impacts learning and mental health for students. Do we want this to happen in Anacortes? No.

We appreciate how Farnsworth and McIlmoyle demonstrated past commitment to our community. We would vote for them based on their merit and history in our schools and community alone.

Their commitment to supporting our district in following health guidelines to keep schools open is a commitment to students’ learning and mental health.

Jeffrey Hambleton

Anacortes

 

Farnsworth a new voice for ASD

Having known Diana Farnsworth in various capacities over the past 10 years, I can honestly say she is a creative and pragmatic problem-solver with a keen mind and a compassionate heart. She has an intrinsic ability to connect with others and an abiding interest in our community. Diana is a methodical and well-reasoned person and is diligent in her efforts to advocate for children and youths.

Diana has been an active volunteer and committee/board member in many organizations in Anacortes, demonstrating her desire to collaborate with others around common goals. She has a strong interest in supporting the Anacortes School District in moving forward to face the challenges of the years ahead and to provide equity for all learners representing a wide range of diversity in all its forms.

Diana believes that transparency and communication are key in building working relationships among district leaders, parents, teachers and community members. We should have ambitious expectations for success for all of our students, and it is critical that we all work together to send our graduates out into the world competent and confident.

Please join me in voting for Diana Farnsworth for School Board.

Sherry Chavers

Anacortes

 

Voting for McIlmoyle

Meredith McIlmoyle has my full support for the Anacortes School District Board of Directors. What sets Meredith apart from other candidates is her dedication not only to all ASD students, but also to the faculty members.

She has shown her commitment to the district prior to running for School Board through years of volunteering as a community member and as an ASD parent. She has been a dedicated member of the arts community and has helped keep arts programs running in the district for years.

Meredith sees the bigger picture and the difficulties that students and teachers are facing and will face for years to come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her collaborative and caring heart will help her see both sides to a decision while keeping students’ best interests in mind.

As a graduate of the 

Anacortes School District and a future educator, I urge you to vote for Meredith McIlmoyle. She is the leader and candidate who cares about creating opportunities for all ASD students and understands the social-emotional needs of students that will evolve in the coming years.

Clare Martin

Anacortes

 

Farnsworth, McIlmoyle for School Board

As a grandfather with four grandkids still in public schools, I am concerned about a nationwide push by a small minority away from fact-based science and history.

We have two School Board candidates who I believe will support a fact-based education — Diana Farnsworth and Meredith McIlmoyle.

Farnsworth and McIlmoyle will embrace fact-based science and history. Both support the science that has determined that being masked and/or vaccinated is the best way to keep our children safe from a deadly disease. We should support that science for our children’s sake.

American history is not always pretty, but it is how we got where we are today. If we want the kids to truly understand the world they live in, we should not shy away from teaching them our real history, warts and all. “Alternative facts” will not prepare our kids for living in the real world. Farnsworth and McIlmoyle will support teaching all of the facts in preparing our children for the real world.

Please join me in voting for Diana Farnsworth and Meredith McIlmoyle.

Richard Houghton

Guemes Island

 

Hubik listens, understands

I would like to encourage you to vote for Amanda Hubik for Anacortes City Council, Position 4.

I had the opportunity to speak with Amanda one-on-one for an extended time recently. I was impressed because rather than her pointing out what her priorities were, she asked me to tell her what I thought the important issues were in our community. She listened intently while I rattled off several issues, including the lack of affordable housing, the lack of childcare for working families and protecting the natural beauty of our area.

Amanda encourages us to support local businesses to keep our community thriving. By shopping and dining locally as much as possible, we help businesses stay afloat during these trying times.

Amanda is keenly aware that we need to protect our natural resources. She talked about the many local jobs tied to our maritime industry.

Affordable housing costs are in the forefront of Amanda’s priorities. She talked about the difficulty she had in finding a home she could afford in Anacortes. She serves on the Anacortes Housing Authority, so she is very familiar with the matters surrounding this issue.

Please vote for Amanda Hubik for Anacortes City Council.

Doug Woods

Anacortes

Renew the pool M&O levy

We need our pool & fitness center! I’ve become so aware of this since COVID-19 has limited my own ability to be in public places – how I’ve missed my thrice-weekly swim time at the pool. Because I live down the street, however, I’m still very aware of how heavily used our facility is once again as people are becoming vaccinated.

We need yes votes to renew the Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center Maintenance & Operating Levy so that all third-graders can continue to have free swim lessons, injured folks can continue to rehab in water with (and without) their physical therapists, youth teams and individuals can enjoy play and competition, Masters Teams can exercise and compete, and all ages can experience a fun social outlet in the pool, gym and classroom areas.

The cost to homeowners is about $11 per $100,000 assessed value. Let’s step up for so many members of our community who are served by the Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center. Vote yes to renew the levy.

Jan Mikus

Anacortes

 

Farnsworth will work tirelessly for schools

I am endorsing Diana Farnsworth for Anacortes School Board. I know her to be an authentic and passionate advocate for children. As a mom, I can say she is one of the adults my daughter will always refer to as the most helpful and supportive.

She promotes diversity equity and inclusion. As a child/family-focused psychotherapist, I have observed Diana encouraging and empowering children of different races, cultures and backgrounds and their parents throughout our community. In the library, the theater, the schools and on various committees and advocacy groups, Diana has worked tirelessly for all children and families.

When I created an advisory group for child/teen mental health, she jumped at the opportunity to offer teens a place to gather and to have mental health resources available for them.

Diana is a person of great integrity. She is well-read, well-informed and will approach every task given her by examining valid resources.

Diana will offer a much-needed contribution – someone who understands and values research. She will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to enrich the board’s decision-making capacity to make well-informed decisions. Diana Farnsworth is a stellar candidate for School Board.

Katie Eastman

Anacortes

 

Vote yes to support the pool levy

Invest in our community and vote yes on the Fidalgo Pool and Fitness Center Maintenance and Operations levy. While user fees cover operating expenses for the pool, it is the levy that covers facility maintenance costs such as water, electricity and communications.

The requested rate of $11.38 per $100,000 assessed home value is an easy way to say “yes” to supporting our vibrant community.

Put into terms I find easier to digest, this levy would cost me the equivalent of two medium pizzas, annually, from any of the specialty pizza places in town.

If this levy vote were to fail, FPFC could not operate at its current level and may face closure, impacting swim lessons, physical therapy, swim teams, water aerobics, lap swimmers, and fitness center users. This levy, if passed, will cover the next six years of operation and is worth every dime.

Show that you care for the people of Anacortes and do your part to support our community’s center for health, fitness and happiness. Vote yes.

Julie Barber

Anacortes

 

Vote yes on pool levy

A “yes” vote for the Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center (FPFC) Maintenance & Operations levy on the Nov. 2 ballot will allow FPFC to continue offering programs and services at its current level. The M&O levy covers operating costs such as insurance, pool supplies, utilities, routine repair and maintenance.

FPFC plays an important role in the recreation, health and wellness of our community by supporting users of all ages and abilities; from infant and youth swim lessons, to adult water exercise classes, to physical therapy recipients, to Silver Sneakers and other group fitness classes. The fitness center has state-of-the-art equipment for individual workouts. High school swim meets not only provide opportunities for our youths but also have a significant financial impact on our community by bringing in hundreds of out-of-town visitors. The positive impact of this facility reaches broadly into our community.

I have been a been a dedicated user of the pool and fitness center for 20 years. The programs keep me fit, healthy and engaged with like-minded individuals. Please continue to support this facility that promotes a healthy lifestyle for our community. Vote yes for the FPFC M&O levy on Nov. 2.

Nancy Hunting

Anacortes

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