Our mission is to protect the habitat of Puget Sound tidelands from the underregulated expansion of new and intensive shellfish aquaculture methods. These methods were never anticipated when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. They are transforming the natural tideland ecosystems in Puget Sound and are resulting in a fractured shoreline habitat. In South Puget Sound much of this has been done with few if any meaningful shoreline permits and with limited public input. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Get involved and contact your elected officials to let them you do not support aquaculture's industrial transformation of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Governor Inslee:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Comment on "Is West Marin Like the San Juans" By Peggy Day, Executive Producer of ‘Seriously Now’

Update, May 22, 2014: Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson, 7 months before the end of her term, gave one week's notice and resigned from her position. She recently announced she would be running for the position of Auditor in Kitsap County.
Update, August 24: Bring in the children. Freedom Foundation's Scott Roberts' video using children to promote his philosophy of "business over regulations" shows what Marin County should expect as Robin Carpenter draws in Ed Kilduff to the county's politics. It is pitiful and one the children will ask their parents one day why they did not stop their exploitation to promote something they know nothing about, except to "sing this." The exploitation of their talents - and they are talented - are seen in the video uploaded by Freedom Foundation's Scott Roberts titled "Spies like us."

Update, August 4: Ed Kildfuff has apparently cloned his "Trojan Heron" blog and created a "Trojan Herring" blog specifically focused on Marin County and Drakes Bay Oyster Company. Using the same "elevated" discourse he professed a need for in his interview with Robin Carpenter he has now enlisted the help of cookbook author and "corporate story teller" Sarah Rolph to begin a new vein in Marin County politics. For a sense of what to expect from Mr. Kilduff and his associates, research Lee Atwater or read this short piece from the Daily Beast about Mr. Atwater. A sense of Mr. Kilduff's beliefs may also be gained in his interview with Ms. Carpenter when he discusses Charles Dalton, an organic farmer, as being "mixed race" and that he was unsure of his "sexual orientation." Really? Marin County is in for an experience.
"I read it in the SF Sentinel so it must be true."
Consider that its owner is Sam Singer
associate MediaWorksSF owner Phil Siegel.
Where is Dave Mitchell?

Robin Carpenter 
 Certified hypno therapist

In the July 18 to the July 24 edition of The West Marin Citizen is an article by Peggy Day, Executive Producer of  'Seriously Now' about what is best described as an "infomercial." In it Robin Carpenter interviews Ed Kilduff and Francine Shaw of Friday Harbor, WA, located in the San Juan Islands. The article states:
Major chasms have developed in San Juan communities, pitting friend against friend and environmentalist against environmentalist. Kilduff and Shaw describe tactics by a local non-profit called Friends of the San Juans that involve both an unwillingness to come to a collaborative “table” and frequent targeting of long-time liberal citizens, who are now being labeled as right-wingers or “Koch Brothers”.The pair offers some advice and some practical suggestions for West Marin in its effort to return to open, honest communication and an atmosphere of respectful civility.
The article and video are focused on Ms. Amy Trainer, previous staff attorney for Friends of the San Juans (FSJ) and now executive director of the West Marin Environmental Action Committee (EAC). Mr. Kilduff and Ms. Shaw claim FSJ has pitted "neighbor against neighbor" and "environmentalist against environmentalist." It would have been wise for the reporters to have broadened the scope of their research into who Mr. Kilduff and Ms. Shaw are.

Undisclosed issues.
Mr. Kilduff and Ms. Shaw no doubt have issues with Friends of the San Juans. In fact, they have issues with a number of people and agencies involved in regulatory oversight, whether environmental or otherwise. Friends of the San Juans are the least of their problems.

Francine Shaw

Ms. Shaw was fired from her position as Deputy Director of Community Development and Planning. She felt it was "retaliation" for not issuing permits. Or maybe that she was being made a "scapegoat" for the Public Works Director losing a $500,000 grant. Or maybe it was both. She's not sure.

Ed Kilduff

Mr. Kilduff feels the Department of Ecology is not capable of overseeing wetland delineations and that a licensed hydrogeologist (which he is) is the only one capable of performing a wetland determination. Others disagree with his skill set. In the article a county planner "questioned his understanding of the science" of wetland delineation and also notes that the Department of Ecology stated, “Understanding geology (specifically hydrogeology) is one piece of the puzzle, but does not replace knowledge of wetland vegetation or wetland soils. In 2009, the state Geologist Licensing Board determined that wetland delineation is not the practice of geology.”

Board Member Positions Not Disclosed
Also not disclosed is that Ms. Shaw and Mr. Kilduff are Board Members of the conservative land use group Common Sense Alliance. That group has issues with why Friends of San Juan,  neighbors, and the county are concerned with people such as Charles Dalton (who Mr. Kilduff describes in the Marin video at 15:20 as a "mixed raced Richard Simmons") building a barn/shed without a permit within a wetland area, and why the Department of Ecology did not agree with Mr. Kilduff's perception of what a wetland is. A video created for Scott Roberts with the conservative Freedom Foundation includes interviews with Mr. Kilduff and how he feels a wetland should be defined which differs from the Army Corps, Department of Ecology and other state agencies.

Mr. Kilduff's Trojan Heron blog
In addition to the above Mr. Kilduff also runs a blog called "The Trojan Heron" where his ideas of how to "get along with people" are seen in his "Central Casting" page. It is hardly the ideal Ms. Carpenter is looking for nor what Mr. Kilduff espouses to.

Charles Dalton
"I made a mistake."

Mr. Dalton May be a Nice Person
What Ms. Shaw and Mr. Kilduff perceive as the "right way to do things" exists in the reality that while people like Mr. Dalton may make questionable decisions (i.e., building structures in wetlands without permits) in their quest to get closer to a food source, there are many others who want to know how to skirt or ignore regulations in place and develop their land as they see fit. It is why people like Ms. Shaw are in demand as "consultants". Experience working within the county systems of regulations gives an insight into where the limitations of county enforcement lie and how hard an issue may be pressed, sometimes with success and sometimes without. At the very least she is able to say the county budget cannot afford to find all violators and must rely on citizens' help, if the regulations are to mean anything.

In part it is why Friends of the San Juans are looked on with such displeasure by them. FSJ and others understand that if people such as Mr. Dalton are allowed to develop wetland areas without permits because they "just made a mistake from ignorance," that 10 others will develop theirs from a position of greed. People don't like being caught ignoring regulations and permit requirements which all are supposed to abide by, whether they are individuals, County Commissioners, or developers, and whether in Marin or San Juan Island Counties.

Commissioner Emerson

Update: The county and Emerson's have agreed to settle. The Emerson's will pay a $5,000 fine and are being required to have a DOE approved wetland determination made. While the county will not tell the Emerson's who to use the settlement does give the county the right to a third party review if the quality of work is in question as her first two submittals were. A continuance of their previously rejected building permit is also part of the settlement. It is unknown how Mr. Kilduff feels about his peer-review not being accepted. One resident questions what Ms. Emerson is being paid $78,000 as a commissioner for.

Ed Kilduff's "Peer Review" and Commissioner Emerson's Unpermitted Construction
One last example of Mr. Kilduff's views of permits and development, touched on above, is found in a wetland violation by Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson and her husband.
(Note: July 12 Commissioner Emerson was removed from her position as chair due to her "lack of understanding" of commission procedures.)
In the Emerson case construction of a "sun room" was begun without permits in 2009. Despite being made aware of a wetland in 2008 under a separate permit process, they were found in violation of building within a wetland area and constructing the sun room without a permit. After a wetland report completed by the firm SNR was found to be deficient the Emerson's were given the option to have the report "peer reviewed". Ed Kilduff, a contractor for SNR, was the one asked to do the "peer review." As noted in a Whidbey New Times article, "He’s not exactly an independent peer." For a second time the Department of Ecology found Mr. Kilduff's understanding of a wetland was lacking
“The site-specific information required in the delineation manual to make a wetland determination is not provided in either the SNR report or in Mr. Kilduff’s letter to the Emersons,” the Department of Ecology review letter states. The letter gives several examples of omissions.
Mr. Kilduff's response was to state that the only professionals capable of determining where a wetland exists are hydrogeologists. However, as noted in the article, "In 2009, the state Geologist Licensing Board determined that wetland delineation is not the practice of geology."

Mr. Kilduff continues to disagree with the Board, going so far as to use "change.org" where he created a petition drive entitled "The Independent Campaign for Protection from Unlicensed Geological Practice." He notes his belief that the Department of Ecology's "wetland scientists regularly and openly practice hydrogeology and geomorphology without a license." Something he is entitled to believe, but something which should also be taken within the context of his being told his wetland determinations were faulty by both county and state agencies, and the licensing board which oversees his license has said wetland delineation is not the practice of geology.

Is Marin County the same as San Juan County?
In the sense that there are large economic forces at play who wish for commercial development with minimal regulatory oversight, yes, the counties are similar. Both Marin County and San Juan County have habitat areas which have remained protected through regulatory oversight which because of that oversight may be enjoyed by future generations. But both have big targets on them from developers and industries who see those undeveloped areas as being profit centers. Many of those are conservative individuals who see government as nothing but an impedance to their ability to make money. In the case of Marin County the Drakes Bay Oyster Company's operation in a wilderness area is seen as a means to expand other commercial operations into wilderness areas. Near to San Juan County the "Wild Olympics" campaign to create an additional 126,000 acres of wilderness is in process. Will commercial operations be allowed within those wilderness acres? Some hope so.

Corporate Environmentalism
Anonymous funding of non-profit conservative groups is a very real strategy being used, whether it be Cause of Action, the Freedom Foundation, or others. Those groups in turn fund many legal and public relation actions designed to weaken environmental regulations, in an attempt to create a new "corporate environmentalism", in both Marin and San Juan Counties.

Marin's Press and Press Releases
Marin County's press should consider stepping up a level and not simply accept press releases without vetting them. Just because it was printed in the San Francisco Sentinel doesn't mean it's true. Research into the ties between the Sentinel, MediaWorks and Singer Associates might be a good place to start. It was how Dave Mitchell and the Point Reyes Light won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979.

No comments:

Post a Comment