Friday, December 13, 2013

The de-Kulakization of the San Juan Islands

Errol and Kathleen used to be model citizens;
Islanders and visitors learned about sustainable lifestyles at the Sustainable Living Fair on May 1 [2010] in the the Village Green in Eastsound. A favorite event of the fair is the “Finnies,” the Good Steward Awards. These awards recognize individuals, families, and businesses that have made a significant impact on the conservation, preservation, and protection of the San Juan Archipelago. The following people received awards.
Business Stewardship Award: Smith & Speed Mercantile, Kathleen Smith and Errol Speed, owners, Orcas Island. 
Kathleen Smith and Errol Speed have come to be known as the “go-to” people for the supplies, equipment, and advice for living a low-impact and sustainable lifestyle on Orcas Island. ....Kathleen and Errol live off the grid, plow their fields with draft horses, and use goats to clear brush. They provide low-impact land development and building services. Through the store and their services, they have been very effective at being a hub for local sustainability. They connect local suppliers and buyers, and service providers with clients. 
But fame is fleeting, and today, they're Wreckers;
According to San Juan County law enforcement officials, the couple’s great crime was to erect a small building on their property, believing that structures less than 1,000 square feet were exempt from permit and building code requirements.  They also committed the great crime of having a bed, blankets, a couch, and a kitchen in this building.
They also used a composting toilet.
For their trouble, the Speeds endured a police raid of their property (using a criminal search warrant), a jury court trial, thousands of dollars in fines, and a 180-day jail sentence for Errol Speed. Not coincidentally, the county has spent tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money prosecuting the case.
Not only that, they're nepmen, profiting from the exploitation of their neighbors. As capitalists they own Smith and Speed Mercantile, which sells  woodworking tools, local art, organic clothing, seeds, and gardening equipment.

Clearly not fit to live among decent Islanders.

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