Apartment plan raises concerns

Thirty-four years ago, we moved to Anacortes to a small home, 2 1/2 blocks from Commercial Avenue on 20th Street, in a neighborhood of mostly one to two story homes, close to schools for our two young children. It was a safe, open neighborhood where you could see treetops above rooftops and mostly clear blue skies in any direction.

Now there is a proposal place for a 50’-65’ high, 25-unit apartment building at the corner of 18th Street and O Avenue owned by Seattle-based company. This requires 35-40 parking spaces and brings traffic concerns.

As I understand it, the City Council will decide the generous tax relief proposal the developers expect. It could be up to 12 years of no taxes. If estimated at 1% of the assessed value of $2 million to $3 million (or more) project, it could be a gift of as much as $30,000 per year to the developer. It’s money in the pocket at community expense. Perhaps community voices will add to the council considerations.

Rental needs in this town are as obvious as in any area of beauty, desirability and livability. There is no argument against rentals. However, blocking dozens of homeowners’ views from Commercial to K Avenue, and from 22nd to 14th Street and beyond, the loss of ambiance and devaluation of those homes for a private commercial venture of high rent, excellent view apartments may become a questionable legal concern. Perhaps it is a situation similar to sunlight deprivation. The loss cannot be measured solely in economic terms.

Mike Pearl



Criticism of #ClimateStrike will not stop us

Last week’s letter to the editor along with comments on the community Facebook page, completely missed the point of our Sept. 27 #ClimateStrike. We don’t need you to agree with us. The #ClimateStrike wasn’t for you. It was for your great-grandchildren.

I was born the year after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed. During my lifetime, I’ve seen worsening drought, biodiversity loss, wildfires, extreme weather and desertification. If emissions hold steady, the IPCC estimates we’ll hit 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2030, triggering an irreversible chain reaction of climate disasters.

2030 is the year my effervescent son will start high school. Unless we transition to a low-carbon economy now, his lifespan will be defined by conflict and war as millions of people flee from rising seas and extreme heat. He’ll see prehistoric plagues unleashed from the permafrost. He’ll know hunger pangs.

From climate strikes to Extinction Rebellion, the environmental movement is becoming bigger, better organized, more disruptive and less concerned about public criticism. That’s because it’s being led by young people, indigenous people and people experiencing environmental racism, who increasingly feel like everything is at stake.

If you’re tempted to join us, we will welcome you with open arms. If you’re tempted to gripe about it instead, I’d ask: What do you hold dear? Extraction or regeneration? Individualism or reciprocity? Capitalism’s promise of limitless growth or clean air and water? The status quo or our children’s future?

We all love something. What do you love?

Julia Frisbie

Extinction Rebellion Anacortes


Cutter for School Board

I encourage all Anacortes residents to vote this November. When you do, select Matt Cutter for Anacortes School Board. Here’s why.

Cutter is well qualified for this important position. A retired Navy officer, he’s held numerous leadership positions with success and honor. He is of high moral character, is a goal-oriented, inclusive team member, and will ensure a fair and impartial process and outcome.

Cutter is dedicated to fiscal responsibility and will pursue a level of spending based on available revenue and a sustainable budget. He will strive to keep this promise while ensuring our children receive the best education possible.

Cutter has a vested interest in working hard for your children and ensuring a bright future for the School District, he has three school-age children attending classes alongside yours.

When you consider the challenges facing the board, most notably the selection of a superintendent or managing a strained budget, you can count on Cutter to make smart, reasoned and fiscally responsible decisions that will benefit our children and community for years to come.

So, please join me in November and vote Matt Cutter for School Board.

Jeff Graf



Vote Cutter for School Board

Matt Cutter is the best choice for Anacortes School Board. Last spring, he was selected to fill the remainder of Karl Yost’s term and in a short time proved himself to be a valued member. 

He is the responsible, experienced and capable voice the community needs.

Matt and his family have strong ties to the community. They moved here with the Navy 20 years ago and after retiring chose to make Anacortes their home. Matt has three children attending and actively involved in Anacortes schools, which brings a valuable perspective to the board.

Matt brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. He commanded a Navy squadron and was responsible for all operations on board an aircraft carrier with a crew of over 5,000. 

He knows how to manage complex budgets and lead diverse groups of people. He has been dedicated to community service as a youth sports coach and mentor. Matt is fiscally conservative and will be an excellent steward of our tax dollars, while ensuring opportunity for all students.

I have known Matt for many years and can attest to his strong character and impressive work ethic. He is an honest, principled and hard-working leader.

Amy Schnabel



Cleland-McGrath for Council Ward 2

As I near the completion of my fourth term representing Ward 2 on the Anacortes City Council, I would like to share my endorsement of Christine Cleland-McGrath as our next Ward 2 representative.

If elected, Christine will bring many assets to the council including relevant experience, enthusiasm and passion for the position, a positive attitude and an added level of balance and diversity. These are all key elements of a council that can effectively represent its community.

Most importantly, Christine is a candidate that genuinely cares about our community and wants to do her part to enhance the quality of life of our citizens.

Please join me in voting for Christine Cleland-McGrath for Anacortes City Council, Ward 2.

Brad Adams


Supporting Cleland-McGrath

I am happy to endorse Christine Cleland-McGrath for the position of City Council, Ward 2. Christine is a smart, creative and well-rounded candidate.

She grew up in Anacortes and has made a choice to live here, raise a family and get involved in improving our community. As a professional, Christine understands the importance of commerce and a diverse work force.

As a parent with a young child, she recognizes that quality education, affordable housing and family support are essential for a healthy, vibrant community.

As a fourth generation native daughter, she has experienced firsthand that growth and change come with both benefits and challenges. She has put in the time to prove her commitment and competency.

She has served years on the City Planning Commission, been engaged in addressing important social issues and taken on leadership roles in the Anacortes Arts Festival and Rotary International.

She is deeply rooted in our community and has earned our trust as a community leader. I believe she is uniquely qualified to help lead Anacortes into a bright future. I am excited to endorse Christine for City Council, Ward 2.

Rita James



Cleland-McGrath most qualified

Christine Cleland-McGrath is the best candidate for Ward 2 City Council seat.

She has four years’ experience on the City Planning Commission having participated in the general plan update and other land-use planning, which is a very large part of the council’s responsibility.

This new plan ensures policies that create manageable growth, including increasing the downtown core and affordable housing for our current and future residents.

As a council member she will oversee the city’s implementation of that plan. Christine is also a life-long resident of our community where she supports the cultural arts, preserving open space like the Anacortes Forest Lands and services for those in crisis like the Anacortes Family Center.

I have worked with many candidates for elected office over the past 40 years, and Christine is certainly one of the most qualified. She has the knowledge and experience that is needed.

Vicki Stasch


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