South Fidalgo Rural Residential - Anacortes American

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Letters to the Editor

Farming will be allowed on island

As a member of the Skagit County Planning Commission, I was disappointed to read the inaccurate account of the P12 rezoning proposal in your May 23 edition. The leading point of your article — that people won’t be able to farm or to process what they farm — is wrong.

The final proposal won’t be public until mid-June, but we already know that South Fidalgo farming will not be changed at all by the P12 proposal. That inaccurate statement causes the Planning Commission, and everyone else, including the Board of Commissioners, significant and unnecessary problems.

I live on South Fidalgo and have publicly supported P12. It has been openly debated for three years. As a citizen, and now as a commissioner, I am willing to listen to any perspectives on this proposal and am willing to express and possibly change my own.

It’s not simple, and it’s important: Should we limit certain commercial activities in the rural neighborhood of Deception Pass State Park, Mount Erie, Sharpe Park, and the rest of the Anacortes Forest Lands? What is our history? What is our future?

When P12 or any other proposal comes before the Planning Commission, each member has a huge job just to be educated on that issue.

If we also have to sort out numerous, emotional statements based on inaccurate information, then it would be next to impossible to effectively discuss, debate and decide upon any good policy.

Civil discourse is essential to formulating good policy, and misinformation can only lead to uncivil discourse.

I know the Anacortes American staff believes that citizens require accurate information. A well-placed and visible correction to your May 23 article will be a good expression of that belief.

Mark Lundsten

South Fidalgo Island

 * Editor’s note: A correction appears on A3, which is the standard policy of this newspaper for all errors.


A May 23 story headlined “Restrictions proposed for landowners on South Fidalgo” published on page A2 incorrectly quoted an email about restrictions o agricultural processing. Save south Fidalgo petition organizer Roger Robinson’s e-mail states:

The new code does not effect (sic) Ag processing.  The Ag Processing wording is the same in the new code as its was in the original code no- change.”

The new coded proposals referenced by Robinson have not yet been publicly released.

The story was also updated online to clarify that there are no restrictions on farming.



Health Care: California model

(as posted in Seattle Times Letters, May 4, 2017; print edition May 5, 2017)

California’s proposed single payer health plan is the way to heal our medical system, whose profit motive opposes a doctor honoring her promise to “first do no harm.”

An example is Talia Goldenberg's heartbreaking story. In one of the highest-revenue hospitals in the country, Swedish Cherry Hill, where her surgeon generated $76 million in one year’s billings, Talia died for lack of attention in the Intensive Care Unit. The staff did nothing about her post-surgery breathing problem, which a routine procedure could have solved. As Talia suffered fatal neglect, hospital billings undoubtedly continued to receive full attention.

Health-care providers have become like predatory lenders who primarily see patients as business opportunities and only secondarily as sick people in need of care. Doctors and nurses may be trying their best, and I’m one who believes they are, but the system makes it almost impossible to give good care. The profit incentive that’s overtaken the highly lucrative medical industry is not only unworkable for caregivers, it is unethical, and wrong.

California has a good plan to fix that. We should do the same.

Mark Lundsten, Anacortes