Cornucopia of activities today
Check out the Holiday Events Page and the Things to Do Page for details on what's taking place this weekend in the islands. Enjoy.
Thanksgiving Day is a fascinating holiday. For some, it is a day for
reflection and being grateful. For others it is a day filled with
gluttony, televised parades, and football games. This year it even became
a day on which to get a head start on Black Friday - the official
beginning of the Christmas shopping season - and a chance to take
advantage of special Thanksgiving Day prices on popular merchandise. COLUMN
State needs info on broadband needs
The Washington State Department of Information Services is conducting a statewide survey to determine infrastructure broadband needs for business. To participate in the survey visit broadband.dis.wa.gov/
An Issue of Fairness
By San Juan County Assessor Charles Zalmanek
Recent articles in local online media have focused on certain assessment programs available for
land managed for commercial forest or agricultural purposes or for preservation, which allow
the land to be appraised for tax purposes at its "current use," rather than its "highest and best
use." This means that landowners enrolled in these programs receive a reduced assessment
and pay less tax in exchange for managing the land as agreed. It does not mean that taxes are
not collected from land in current use programs, but instead the taxes that would have been
paid on land assessed at their "highest and best use" value are shifted to other taxpayers. COLUMN
Congress May be Next to Say, "Go Outside and Play"
SEATTLE, Wash. - Seven hours in front of electronic entertainment and seven minutes outdoors. That's what constitutes "play" for most kids. This lack of outdoor activity is being cited as one reason for the increase in childhood obesity, in legislation just introduced in Congress.
The Moving Outdoors in Nature Act would encourage states to collaborate with communities, businesses and parents to increase outdoor activities. It's especially important in Washington State, where the economy is so tied to the Great Outdoors, according to Patrick Fitzgerald with the National Wildlife Federation.
"The decline we're seeing in hunting participation, that has an impact on the state agencies that sell hunting licenses and also on the companies that sell that equipment."
The National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and YMCA are supporting the legislation.
Fitzgerald, who directs education advocacy for the Federation, says the legislation is also about restoring balance to kids' lives.
"These state strategies could look at things like walking and biking to school, and look at the school system and after-school programs to see how we can have time for outdoor play and outdoor activities."
COLD WEATHER ALERT – HUMMINGBIRDS
Two years ago, our island experienced a big chill in December that left many of the birds
challenged to find food. I wrote then about Anna's Hummingbird wintering in the San Juans and
being vulnerable to these cold spells. COLUMN
Holiday ferry service info
Wednesday, Nov. 24, the Evergreen State will make an extra sailing at 8:35 p.m. from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. The 8:25 p.m. sailing from Anacortes will make all stops out to carry inter-island traffic because the last inter-island sailing of the evening will be cancelled, which includes the 7:30 p.m. sailing from Lopez Island, the 7:50 p.m. from Shaw Island, and the 8:05 p.m. from Orcas Island.
On Thursday, Nov. 25, this route will be on a normal weekday sailing schedule.
- Saturday's Friday Harbor High School's Girls Jamboree on Saturday at Mount Vernon cancelled
Sunk by the wind
Monday's storm, with gusts of 48 mph, was too much for this sailboat anchored off the east side of San Juan Island.
WSF BULLETIN: Service may be reduced on some ferry routes Wednesday, Nov. 24, due to employee travel difficulties because of inclement weather conditions and US Coast Guard manning requirements. Crew members are trying to access vessels or terminals but road conditions may hinder our ability to provide continuous service.
Check WSF's website for updates
Website shows building plans for PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center
A website is available showing the services, building plans and background of the PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center
being built on San Juan Island. Watch this website to follow the progress of
the new medical center, providing expanded access to high quality healthcare for
all San Juan community residents and visitors.
League of Women Voters engage in energy discussions
Ordinarily you might not think of mentioning the League of Women Voters (LWV) and renewable energy sources in the same sentence. In fact, the League has long made a priority of pressing for legislation which encourages the use of energy sources other than fossil fuels, and for conservation of energy as a means of reducing greenhouse gases. MORE
Recount of ballots for County Council District 6
Boh Myhr has requesetd a hand recount of ballots cast in the County Council District 6 race.
After all votes were counted, Jamie Stephens beat Myhr by 11 vote - 877 to 866.
The recount will take place at 9 a.m. November 29 at the Elections Office, 55 Second St, Suite A, Friday Harbor. Costs are the responsibility of the candidate requesting the recount. A hand recount requires a deposit of $.25 per ballot.
The Canvass Board will convene at 8:30 a.m. November 30, 2010 to recertify the election. PREVIOUS STORY...
Driving and weather preparedness tips
Monday's snow combined with heavy winds make for dangerous driving conditions on island roads. A number of minor accidents and spin-outs have been reported, including many involving four-wheel drive vehicles. Drivers are urged to use caution and take their time.
Periodic snow and heavy winds are forecast to end late Monday night and cold weather should last through Wednesday. Islanders are encouraged keep an eye on neighbors who might need an extra hand, especially if there's a power outage in your neigborhood.
For more info on navigating snowy roads visit the WA State DOT Winter Driving Tips page. For information on visit winter weather preparedness
Longley's Gas-Saver's Guide available at SJI Library
Last year's The Gas-Saver's Guide by Alison Longley is available free at the San Juan Island Library. The guide gives many suggestions for car-free routes from the San Juans to Seattle and Vancouver BC using public transportation. Since this is last year's guide, it should be used with a current ferry schedule, also available with many of the guides. PREVIOUS STORY
Relive last weekend's successful play
The stage filled with the sweet sounds of San Juan Island youngsters Friday through Sunday, November 19-21, 2010 SJCT's Family Theatre presented Stars Lore: A Mythological Musical. TWO PAGES OF PHOTOS
NEW TODAY and last few days
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IRS still trying to give
islanders their refunds
Correct addresses needed
Six San Juan Island residents and one Eastsound resident need to contact the Internal Revenue Service with their correct mailing addresses in order to receive their tax refunds.
The San Juan Island taxpayers initials are EC, MD, KM, KO, BS. Eastsound: JK. For more information about tax returns visit Where's My Refund?.
Don't fall for scams, the IRS never initiates emails.
FH biz license fee increase proposed
Business licenses cost $42 in the Town of Friday Harbor. As a way to increase revenue, business owner Roger Bennett suggested the fee be more broadly applied. Council member Barbara Starr suggested raising the fee.
Council member Noel Monin said, "Really I see it as a fee, that again as King mentioned, we're using money to enhance the beauty of the town, we're maintaining streets, we're keeping sidewalks clean, we're providing garbage cans, there is a lot that this town, as a collective, is providing to keep the vibrancy of business going in town. I think that is where this money goes." STORY...
Fire services for town provided by District #3
Town Council signed contract Nov. 18
San Juan Island now has one fire department - District #3. November 18, the Town of Friday Harbor signed a contract which will provide fire protection for the town at a rate of $8,000 a month. The contract is good for five months. At that time the two parties will discuss a merger, annexation or consolidation.
Before signing, Mayor Carrie Lacher responded to a question relayed from a town firefighter regarding reconstituting the Town's Fire Department. "I believe there is enough dedication, spirit and committment among town firefighters to restart," said Lacher. "We do need to make commitment to blend. All of us have a real identity with the Town. Letting go of some of that for the greater good is kind of hard to do."
"We do need to trust that if District 3 is going to take over incident command, we are contracting with them to do a good job." Lacher said. "This is our opportunity to find out if we like what happens. Given the spirit of the firefighters, they are going to do a good job... That is how I was able to kind of move out of that protectionism and xenophobia (fear of foreigners) and say OK. Yes, we're going to try this. STORY
Ferry fare increase approved; implementation Jan 1
The state Transportation Commission approved the 2.5 percent overall fare increase at their November 15, 2010 meeting in Seattle. An additional 2 percent increase was added to the inter-island fares to achieve route equity. The 20-percent peak season surcharge for passenger fares in the San Juans was eliminated as was the day of week pricing.
Implementation of the fees was set for January 1. At the November 4, WSF Community meeting aboard the inter-island ferry, WSF Planning Director Ray Deardorf was asked if the fees would be subject to the 2/3 vote requirement passed by voters for any fee or tax increases. He replied WSF staff didn't know, the lawyers are looking into it. There was some belief the Transportation board's decision was prior to the date the new law would come into effect.
Hyak off to be painted,
reduced capacity in the meantime
The 90-car Sealth returns to the San Juan Islands on Monday, Nov. 22 to replace the 144-car Hyak, which will be in maintenance for exterior painting. The Hyak is estimated to return to the San Juan Islands in late January.
GUEST COLUMN: Stand up to Colton's attorney's threat to bankrupt County
By Heidi Hiatt
Colton Harris-Moore's defense attorney has threatened to bankrupt Island and San Juan Counties if they prosecute him on their soil. Instead, John Henry Browne would like to consolidate all charges and have them dealt with at the federal level. MORE
Information sought on two young men
San Juan County Sheriff's office would like to talk to anyone who may have given a ride to town or seen, about 6 p.m., one or two young males from the area of Bailer Hill Road and False Bay or Ranchos Road on San Juan Island last Saturday evening (November 14, 2010). The young men are persons on interest in a vehicle theft resulting in an accident and property damage.
$500 reward for info
A large amount of money, in $100 bills was stolen from the Miller Road/Eaglecrest area of San Juan Island within the last two months. A $500 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest, conviction, and retrieval of the stolen money. If you have any information concerning the robbery, please contact Undersheriff Jon Zerby at the San Juan County Sheriff's office: 360-378-4151.
In the November 19 count, the fireworks ban vote tightened up a bit. The 70 vote gap shrunk to 62. Approved: 4,553 (50.34%); Rejected 4,491 (49.66%).
Orcas Parks and Rec levy picked up 27 votes for approval and 14 against. The new total 1,657 (58.8%) approval to 1,161 (41.2%)) against. The ballot measure needed a super-majority of 60 percent to pass.
Submit info for Farm Products Guide
WSU Extension is in now compiling the 2011 Farm Products Guide for San Juan Island. If you are a local farmer or producer using local products (food, fiber, etc.) and would like to be included in this popular marketing and informational guide, please contact Candice Jagel (370-7664 or email@example.com by December 1, 2010.
Six apply for Orcas Port Commissioner
The following Orcas Island residents have submitted letters of interest for Orcas Port Commissioner Position #2, recently vacated by Garth Eimers:
- Mark Ditto
- Sheldon Gregory
Interviews with each of the respondents will be completed before Thanksgiving, and a recommendation should be forthcoming at the next regular Port Commission meeting at 6 p.m. December 9 in the port conference room.
Ferry system reform continues with new action plan
Recommendations come from national expert review panel
OLYMPIA – Washington State Ferries (WSF) said Wednesday it will work to implement a majority of 36 recommendations made by an independent panel to improve ferry operations.
Changes will come in ferry management, vessel and terminal maintenance, finance, scheduling, labor and customer service, according to an action plan the Ferries Division of the Washington State Department of Transportation submitted to Gov. Chris Gregoire. MORE...
Consignment Treasures' operations violate permit
Consignment Treasures, owned by F &P Penwell Trust, is a retail and reuse store on Roche Harbor Road. A conditional use permit issued in 2008 allowed for it to add a recycling facility. According to the permit, employees would bring recyclables to the location to be sorted and disposed of. No one would be dropping off items.
The permit states: A recycling drop off point is not allowed unless later authorized by changes to current county code requirements. The property is located in a rural farm forest land use designation.
Consignment Treasures has a bin for people to drop off aluminum cans. It is customary for people to drop off clothing, household items, furniture and other items at the facility.
The business contracted with the state to become the official electronic recycling center. People are directed to take computers, televisions and other electronic devices there to be safely recycled.
The purpose of a CUP is to set conditions for activities which are not allowed outright in land use designations. It protects the rights of property owners who move into a place expecting certain activities to be allowed and others to be banned. Violation of the CUP can result in revocation of the permit.
Resurrection Derby will be on Hawgquest TV show
Hawgquest outdoor television show on Fox Sports Northwest will be filming the Resurrection
Derby Dec. 3 and 4 in Friday Harbor. The show, which airs in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, will feature Friday Harbor, the derby, and salmnon fishing in the islands. Derby organizers say this should be great exposure for the community.
View County Council meetings online
Cou can view yesterday's San Juan County Council's meeting or previous ones online. They are best viewed using IE rather then Firefox.
Council subcommittee will meet with Sutton
San Juan County Council Chair Richard Fralick and Council member Rich Peterson will meet with San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee member Ed Sutton to discuss his continuation as a member of the advisory board.
Sutton recently suggested fares be charged for inter-island passengers. He believes the increase would easily pass the legislature. This was his idea and not something sought by WSF or the Transportation Commission. PREVIOUS STORY
Forget Reduce and Reuse,
Privatized hauling off-island instead
The county's Solid Waste Plan is based on the three Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle. The council, has dithered for years about providing a source of funding for infrastructure for the solid waste system. Now with their backs firmly against the wall, they are leaping into the arms of Dan Leidecker and embracing the his miracle cure - privatization of the county's solid waste system.
Under Leidecker's plan, his company, San Juan Sanitation, would provide curb-side pickup - including recycling. Self-hauling would be available at the Lopez satellite station (9 to 2 Tues, Thurs, Sun.) and San Juan Island satellite station (9 to 1:30 p.m., Sun, Mon, Tues).
Customers would empty their cans of garbage into the packer truckers. MORE...
EDITORIAL: Time for Sutton to go
It's time to thank Ed Sutton for his volunteer service and remove him from the Ferry Advisory Committee. He's been on the committee since 1994 and is no longer serving in the best interests of county residents. To make matters worse he is now representing the county on the Washington State Transportation Commission's Ferry Tariff Committee. WSTC sets ferry rates. Sutton is the chair of the tariff committee. EDITORIAL
Ravenhill Construction project recognized for defying expectations
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle chapter honored architects and their project teams from across Washington State for projects exemplifying best examples in a broad array of sectors from residential to commercial.
The Merit Award was awarded to the Suncrest Residence by Heliotrope Architects and built by Ravenhill Construction. MORE
Dept. of Transportation reductions released
The Office of Financial Management (OFM) asked Washington State Department of Transportation to prepare a balanced budget for the 2011-2013 biennium. The Ferries Division was asked to reduce expenditures by four percent, which equates to nearly $17 million. This is in addition to the $27.7 million annually in reductions WSF has achieved over the past two years in administrative, operation and capital expenses (not service reductions).
Budget reductions proposed by WSDOT include service reductions for Washington State ferries which are summarized here.. The proposed reduction options for the Ferries Division amount to nearly $19 million – because the WSF had to account for $2 million in lost revenue due to proposed service reduction options to achieve four percent reduction overall.
These are proposed options for OFM and the Governor's consideration, not recommendations.
Health Insurance Partnership designates health plans offering savings for small businesses
OLYMPIA - The Health Insurance Partnership (HIP) was officially kicked-off by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) with the participation of the largest health insurance companies in the Evergreen State that provide small employer group health insurance. HIP offers statewide coverage through the following participating companies: MORE...
Erickson building purchased by Ag Guild
posted 11/03/2010PRESS RELEASE:
San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild has purchased the historic building and property at 150 Nichols Street, the future home of Friday Harbor Brickworks, a farmers' market facility and community events center. MORE
Groups want to refloat derelict vessel program
Help is on the way for efforts to round up and dispose of derelict vessels before they sink. Several groups have pitched in with donations to resurrect a previously shelved Derelict Vessel Program in San Juan County, where there are approximately 19 abandoned vessels around the islands needing attention. MORE
$24k energy rebate for SJISD
The San Juan Island School District received a $24,106 check from OPALCO to reimburse the district for energy conserving lighting upgrades in the high school gyms. Rod Turnbull, District Athletic Director said the district investment in lighting upgrades is estimated to be paid off in three years and the savings in energy costs should be substantial.
County prelim budget book online
Looking for some light reading? The 161 page book containing San Juan County's preliminary 2011 budget is
available online and can be downloaded. Information about each department - its previous years' budgets, staffing levels, 2011 draft budget, the purpose and accomplishtments are included in the document.
WSF/Community meeting Dec. 14
The next WSF community meeting will be streamed live from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on December 14 from the legislative hearing room. Questions will be taken via email and perhaps by phone.
Sunday, August 28 Nick Cotton (18), Philip J. McCauley Be kind to: Juan
November 29 - December 5, 2010
We have planets changing signs this week, setting the stage for the end of the year. First of all, Venus (self-esteem/empowerment) moves into Scorpio again, where she was before she retrograded. This brings the force to finish a process that began in September but got interrupted. HOROSCOPES
Vikings take 3rd at state
Story by Matt Pranger
Photos by Sharon Kivisto
Senior Viking running back Michael Langworthy grabs a pass thrown by quarterback Robbie Padbury.
South Bend ground out a 28-12 victory over Orcas Island in a Class 2B State Football semi-final contest in the Tacoma Dome Friday, Nov. 26. The Indians (11-2) advance to the title game against the winner of game between Colfax and Waitsburg-Prescott. A couple of turnovers a few yards shy of the end zone hurt the Vikings, who finish the season 11-2. Story and Five pages of photos
The 2010 Gifting Guide for the Virtual Gifter: Happy iHolidays
This has not been an easy year for even a gifted gift consultant. By the time the shopping season quickens and we feel its first kick to the kidneys at or before Black Friday (or Bubonic Friday, depending on your sentiments regarding holiday shopping), my post office box is usually constipated with catalogues. I will have already completed a thorough survey of the gifting landscape, developed my message, disgorged twelve to fifteen pages of copy (with photographs) and have set you loose on the world of consumer goods like little fuzzy shopping ducklings, to sink or to swim according to the
natural laws of survival. COLUMN
Friends of Library at annual Island Artisan's Show Friday and Saturday
I would like to dedicate this week’s column to the Friends of the San
Juan Island Library. The fourth week in November is a time when many
of us reflect on things in life for which we are grateful. COLUMN
More Holiday Events: Holiday Art Walk Nov. 27
The newest addition to the Thanksgiving holiday events in Friday Harbor is the Holiday Harbor Art Walk on Saturday, November 27. This is a great opportunity to walk the town of Friday Harbor, shopping for holiday gifts while enjoying the hospitality of these participating galleries. This event runs is from 4 to 7 p.m. except where noted. Details on HOLIDAY EVENT PAGE. Please send event information to firstname.lastname@example.org
59 brave the elements for 6th Annual Turkey Trot
Temperatures near 30 with snow falling was a first in the six year history of the Turkey Trot, a 3.1 mile run, walk, trot or crawl originating from the Best Western Friday Harbor Suites. While it was about 25% of last years crowd, race organizers were pleasantly surprised by the 59 entrants who withstood the cold and snow to complete the course.
Vancouver, WA resident Patrick Kelly and Islander Susan Stehn walked away with first place in the men's and women's divisions, respectively. Kelly took the crown of overall winner in 18:47. Stehn, who also completed several full marathons this sumer, won the ladies division in 21:01. Darcy Ayers and Peter Strasser won the girls and boys divisions. Complete results can be found at www.sanjuanislandfitness.com, your local fitness information web site.
Entry fees for this years Turkey Trot were $5.00 and two cans of food. Proceeds and food will be donated to the Friday Harbor Food Bank and the Friday Harbor Animal Protection Society. The event is produced and managed by Island Athletic Events, LLC with special thanks to Kings Market, San Juan Island Fitness and Best Western-Friday Harbor Suites.
Advent Vespers at St. David's
Each Wednesday evening in Advent (Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22) at 6 p.m., the Lutherans and Episcopalians on San Juan Island will share a lovely, candle lit, sung, contemplative Holden Evening Prayer Service at St. David's Episcopal Church in Friday Harbor. As we quietly gather in the darkness, we remember that we await a great light in the coming of Christ. If you would like to take a break from the sometimes frantic feel of the weeks before Christmas, please join us and focus instead on the Advent themes of preparation and hope.
St. David's Episcopal Church is located at the corner of Park and Marguerite in Friday Harbor. There is a large, lighted parking lot behind the church off Marguerite with additional parking along Park Street. For further information, call 378-5360.
Have you noticed how many people you know are having issues relating to the brain? Things like depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's, OCD, autism, recurring headaches and even simply "brain fog". COLUMNS
Vikings and Wolverines well represented on All-League Girls Soccer Teams
Friday Harbor High School seniors Maggie Anderson, Hannah Starr, Elle Guard, junior Larissa Nash, Orcas junior Ashley Klein and sophomore Lana Bronn were named to the 1st team of the Northwest 1A/2B Girls Soccer All-League Teams 2010. Four more Wolverines and three Vikings made the second team and three from each school are honorably mentioned. COMPLETE LIST
Vikings Boys Soccer team takes Sportsmanship award in All-League
Orcas Island High School boys soccer team received the Sportsmanship award in the Northwest 1A/2B Boys Soccer All-League Teams 2010. Viking senior Taylor Smith was named to the 1st team; senior Alex Zderic, junior Chistopher Ghazel and sophomore Chase Drake are on the 2nd team; senior Seabern Gieger, and sophomores Aidan McCormick and Rhys Thompson were honorably mentioned. LIST
Account set up to help carpenter Whit Dunham
Ron Garner photos
No one was hurt in the November 18 fire which destroyed carpenter Whit Dunham's shop/barn. The long-time islander lost all of his belongings and tools in the fire. The San Juan Island Fire Department was able to stop the fire from spreading to the nearby home where Dunham's daughter and grandchildren live.
An account has been set up at Islanders Bank to help Whit Dunham. Donations can be made at any teller's window including the drive-up.
November 22 - 28, 2010
This week we gather around the table to enjoy the feast. Some may refuse the holiday because of the past and the "real" story regarding the Natives, etc. but most will recognize that things change, perspectives change, and Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a day of total gluttony; rather it can be a quiet day to be grateful and focus on the gifts we have been given during this tumultuous year. HOROSCOPES
Paisley Iris Rose Taylor
Paisley Iris Rose Taylor was born in Oklahoma City on November 1, 2010 to James and Jessica Taylor (26-year-old, first time parents). Her very proud grandparents are Greg and Niki Truesdale of Friday Harbor. ANNOUNCEMENT
LONG DISTANCE DRAGONS
October was waning, and I took advantage of one of those glorious warm afternoons to
head for American Camp looking for late migrating birds and butterflies. COLUMN
Deadline for Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Award Dec. 15
Head of household seeking education/training
Applications for the Women's Opportunity Award, sponsored by Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor, are now available. This is an award intended to assist women in overcoming personal difficulties and bettering their lives through education and skills training. The women who receive the award may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as tuition, books, childcare, or car repairs. The award is offered to a woman, primary wage earner in the household pursuing an undergraduate or vocational degree. MORE...
The Party of the Holidays is December 3
Tickets available call
Chance Earle at 378-3211, ext. 32
The secret is out! The live auction items for Friday, December 3's Holiday Festival 2010 at the San Juan Community Theatre have been unveiled and are now available to check out online at www.sjctheatre.org. MORE INFO
Ranger Ron retires
Supervisory Law Enforcement Park Ranger Ron Heeren retired on
October 31, 2010 with over 33 years of Federal Service. Ron has served
in the U.S. Army and worked for the Veteran's Administration as well
as time served with the National Park Service. MORE
Farm equipment featured
thanks to Boy Scouts
Back row: Tom Boydston, Michael Perren (troop 4090 leader), Adam Myers, Taylor Hammel. Front row: Corwin Perren, Christian De La Zerda, Wilson Loucks, and Peregrine Boydston.
Good weather, strong young backs and the generosity of local businesses organized by Diane Timm combined to achieve a good idea by San Juan Island Historical Museum Director Kevin Loftus yesterday (November 7, 2010). OK, Timm didn't orchestrate the weather. Loftus thought the farm equipment could be better displayed on the lawn of the museum rather than in the tall grass behind the barn. STORY
Interesting, Educational and Funny Websites for
You and Your Computer (PC & MAC)
Most of the time I can find what I want on the Internet, then there are those other times when it's just too overwhelming. This week I thought I'd list some PC and Mac website to narrow down your choices and hopefully make your surfing better. Both Mac and PC users can view all these sites. COLUMN
Triumph of the Swill
After a seemingly endless barrage of election campaign garbage from the media (and. of course, the recorded messages on the telephone and the flyers in your mailbox) the election is over. What have we learned from the results? At least two things: COLUMN...
New Winter Blackmouth Derby offers $10k Prize
Derby, the newest addition to the Northwest Salmon Derby Series, will award a first-place cash prize of $10,000. The San Juan Islands Chapter of the Puget Sound announced the derby will be held December 3 and 4 at the Port of Friday Harbor. MORE...
50 spots left for 2011 Annual Salmon Classic Invitational at Roche Harbor
2010 Derby sold out December 5, 2009
PRESS RELEASE: February 3-5, 2011 marks the eighth Annual Salmon Classic Invitational at Roche Harbor Marine & Resort. The three-day sport fishing extravaganza, with more than $30,000 in prizes, attracts anglers from all over the Northwest and Canada. MORE...
Lying down on the Job
Most people like to walk the docks at the Port of Friday Harbor Marina and take a look at the boats. A few lucky people know that to see something really interesting you need to get down on your belly and hang your head over the edge. The team members working on the Port of Friday Harbor Marine Health Observatory have witnessed, and counted, a myriad of fascinating creatures that inhabit, or swim by, the underside of those docks where most people just see concrete and wood. MORE
A Virtual Look at Indian Island
Indian Island MHO website
These days when you want to spread the word about something, you turn to the web. And, though some of us older folks are becoming a bit more savvy about tweeting and posting, if you want a web presence it's best to turn to a teen.
In the case of the Indian Island Marine Health Observatory (MHO), that teen was Quinn Freedman, a 13 year old Beachwatcher graduate who is part of the Marine Health Observatory (MHO) team. Quinn did the Beachwatcher training, along with his mom, Andrea Hagstrom. After the Beachwatcher training, the Indian Island project got started, and soon after it started, people who learned about the project asked how to contact the people doing it and what was going on. It seemed clear to Quinn that they really needed a website. MORE
A New M.H.O. Takes Flight on Lopez
It surprised a few residents when Russel Barsh described the bay as less healthy than some more urban counterparts, Friday Harbor and Fishing Bay in East Sound. Russel noted that the flushing action that the bay needs has not been possible since the flow of seawater was cut off from the south when a road level was raised.... MORE
Trumpeter Swan survey begins
throughout islands to assist
It's fall, and time for the return of migratory trumpeter swans to the San Juan Islands. The San Juan Preservation Trust, in cooperation with the Trumpeter Swan Society and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will once again be coordinating an archipelago-wide effort to count the number of these large, graceful birds that winter here each year. This year will mark the 18th consecutive year of the swan survey, conducted entirely by volunteers. MORE...
THE FORCE IS WITH US
Several days ago I was watching the morning news. The anchor asked his assistant to play an especially humorous video that had been getting a big play on You Tube. As the video began, we hear a strong musical beat and we see a young man beginning an impromptu dance step. First he jumps to the beat from side to side, and then suddenly flings himself into the air to his left. COLUMN
San Juan Arts Council formation meeting Nov. 4
A San Juan County Arts Council? Please join us at Waterworks Gallery from 5:00 to 8:00pm Saturday, Thursday, Nov. 4 at waterworks gallery and
give us your input on the possible formation of a San Juan County Arts Council. MORE INFO
Local business + national markets
= ringing success
Jill Blankenship, president of Frontline Call Center, in Eastsound.
Dial back five years to 2005, Jill Blankenship, a mother of three teenagers, is working in real estate. "I realized the market was not looking too promising and developed this to provide year-round employment in the islands." "This" is Frontline Call Center, an Orcas Island business which has doubled year after year. STORY
Tomatoes - Slices of Summers End
Fall is definitely in the air and as I walk on these crisp, sunny days, I find myself
surveying the many vegetable gardens as they shift from bursting with new growth and
colors to the wax and waning of winters slumber. Although my tomato plants were
healthy and full of flowers, it has taken awhile for my plants to actually produce full and
ripe tomatoes. COLUMN
Where to find Western Bluebirds
The Bluebird Restoration project hasn't released information about the birds' locations due to concerns about trespassing and harm to the birds. Now there is a location where you can see bluebirds - Fir Oak Farm 3106 San Juan Valley Road on San Juan Island. Look for Guard and Connie Sundstrom's pumpkin patch.
Barb Jensen suggests: Drop by the sales shed and buy a pumpkin, corn and some of the other produce they have. If you just visit the birds, show your appreciation for the long-time island families whose land birds are feeding and breeding on, and drop some money in the box.
Please remember, this is private land and respect it by not going into buildings, sheep pasture or fooling around with the farm equipment. And if you see Guard, give him a hug. - Barb Jensen
Naturalist's new book about San Juan Islands released
Author Susan Vernon, a long-time islander and naturalist, explores the rich biological world of the archipelago in Rainshadow World - A Naturalist's Year in the San Juan Islands.
From rocky shores and tall grass prairies, to forests draped with mosses and lichens and resonating to the drumbeat of pileated woodpeckers, she encounters the first wildflowers of spring, watches a bald eagle's first flight, surveys rare island marble butterflies, and wonders at orca whales playing in the moonlight. It is a compelling journey through an island year. MORE
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