Welcome to Friday Harbor Now
Hi! Welcome to Friday Harbor Now. Events posted on this page are archived as soon as they are over, so there is room for current events and news. If you missed something, you can find it on the Search page. And for even more information and photos you can follow us on Facebook, we are on there as FRIDAY HARBOR. Thanks for visiting, and have a great day!
2016 San Juan Island Agricultural Summit
The San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit is back in 2016! This year it will take place in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island Thursday-Saturday, February 11-13th. Join fellow farmers, regional experts, local food and farm advocates for three days of education, inspiration, and camaraderie.
Taste of The San Juans will be held 6:30–8:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 13th at Brickworks. Small bites and sips of local foods and drinks prepared by talented chefs
Keynote speakers for 2016 will include:
Courtney White, author of Soil, Grass, Hope: A Journey Through Carbon Country, and Two Percent Solutions for the Planet. White offers positive solutions for farmers to “regenerate the planet now, rather than in some distant future.”Severine von Tscharner-Fleming will also join the Summit as a keynote speaker. Severine is a visionary, farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York. Continued here...
Free Weekend at The Whale Museum
The Whale Museum: “We love our Community! We love our Museum! We want to get the two of you together.” We are inviting everyone to a “Free Weekend” at The Whale Museum. All admission fees will be waived during the weekend which will run from February 12 through February 14, daily hours 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Self-Guided Tour Maps will be available to help you navigate through the Exhibit Hall. We want to get our community and our Museum together! We hope you will join us during the “Free Weekend.”
A special “Meet & Greet” will be held at 3 p.m. on February 12. Please join us to meet our new Museum Curator Rebekah Cousins and new Visitors’ Experience Manager Emily Volkmann. Rebekah holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from Syracuse University and joins us from the Southern Oregon Historical Society where she served as an Exhibitions Intern. Continued here...
Letter to The Editor - 17 Year Olds Can Caucus in San Juan County, Too!
Hillary is a progressive who gets things done. She wants to make education attainable and her New College Compact will ensure that cost is not a barrier to getting your education, and that debt doesn’t hold anyone back from going to college.
Hillary’s vision for a more progressive America includes continuing to fight for the reforms needed so that hardworking Americans-regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background- can get ahead and stay ahead. Continued here...
Singer/Songwriter Ian McFeron at Rumor Mill
Saturday, February 13th, 2016 @ 7:00pmIan McFeron is joined on tour by longtime friend and musical accompanist Alisa Milner on fiddle, cello, and harmony vocals. Fans of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Jackson Browne will feel at home in his music..
Pink Floyd Tribute PIGS ON THE WING
Press Release from the San Juan Community Theatre: Whittier Theatre. Saturday, February 13th, 2016. 7:30 pm. $20 Adults. $10 Student Reserved. $5 Student RUSH (at door only). “A high-energy Portland-based Pink Floyd tribute band, whose goal is simply to share the experience of their favorite music with fellow fans in an intimate rock show environment.” -- The Oregonian.
Portland’s Pigs on the Wing takes us back to the electric intensity of the Dark Side of the Moon - era Pink Floyd. Heavily emphasizing the rock dynamics and psychedelic power of 1970s Floyd, Pigs on the Wing brings an intense, high energy experience to the table that is both true to the original British band and unapologetic in its interpretation. Continued on The Music Scene...
Selling Your Property in this Market or Just Curious?
Article by Merri Ann Simonson, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc: Thinking about selling your property? You may want to consider researching, collecting and completing the items detailed below.
This is not a check list for planting flowers on your porch and painting your front door, you can go to the internet for that information. This list is to prepare sellers in San Juan County for marketing their property. The issues below are for regulatory compliance, contract performance and will prove beneficial and worth the effort in the marketing and transaction management of your property sale.
If you hire a good agent, they will assist with the process of gathering and helping you arrange for the various services. That is what good agents do. This list will not apply to all properties and it is not meant to be all encompassing.
Single Family Residence“As Is” Sale: Washington is a due diligence state with the buyer able to process the suitability of the property with no risk to their deposit if their contract has contingencies. Some property owners believe by writing in “as is” on the contract that they are excused from making repairs and/or disclosing information about the property and buyer recourse. Continued here...
Special Valentine’s Day Tharald Historic Homestead Viewing and Historical Talk
Tharald Historic Homestead, Feb. 14th Shaw Island: 1pm – 2:30pm. Share a historical secret with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day! Join Boyd Pratt, architectural historian, on a guided tour of the privately owned Shaw Island pioneer farm, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by a Historic Preservation Easement held by the San Juan County Land Bank. One of the best and oldest examples of its kind to survive in San Juan County, the Tharald Homestead is a terrific example of early Scandinavian settlement and “Nordic” style architecture within Washington State. For more information and to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Boyd Pratt at 360.378.7172. More here...
Video Showcases Brown Island Beach Restoration Project
Press Release from FRIENDS of the San Juans: Friends of the San Juans (Friends) is releasing a new video about a project that removed large unnatural rock from a historic feederbluff and restored a local beach. This project is helping to “set the table” for the entire Salish Sea food chain. Removing unnecessary armoring and restoring this beach helps ensure that forage fish have the right kind of sand/gravel mixture to lay their eggs on and plenty of shade from vegetation to protect these eggs. Forage fish, like surf smelt, sand lance and herring feed larger fish like salmon and ling cod, as well as marine mammals, seabirds and people. A healthy forage fish population is critical to the food web in the San Juans and the Salish Sea.
Friends recently completed this beach restoration project on Brown Island with many partners including three private shoreline landowners and local contractors. The video, “A Place at the Table: Benefits of Beach Restoration,” showcases the project, the people involved and its goal of reestablishing a healthy, functioning shoreline and habitat for fish. Continued here...
Fire Chief Steve Marler Dies
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: It is with deep sadness that we inform our community that Fire Chief Steve Marler passed away Thursday evening, Jan. 28th, after a brief illness. He was an enthusiastic fire chief who was a mentor to many. He had a great sense of humor, was a master at bridging opposing sides together, and a generous friend, who loved the Island and the island community. Whenever he had to leave the island, he couldn’t wait to return to the life he loved. We at San Juan Island Fire & Rescue will miss him deeply. More here...
Canadian / US Failure of Collaboration Puts Salish Sea at Risk
Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: “We need to deal with the impacts of new energy projects at the level of the ecosystem, not just project to project,” says wildlife veterinarian Dr. Joe Gaydos, lead author of a new paper analyzing the combined threats posed by six fossil fuel transportation projects in the Salish Sea.
The new study by SeaDoc and the Swinomish Tribe was recently published in the international journal PLoS ONE. What did they find? Canada and the US need to do a better job collaborating on Salish Sea issues.
The study evaluated the threats posed by each project to 50 species that are important to the Coast Salish people. These include endangered humpback and killer whales, and key food species including seaducks, salmon, clams, and Dungeness crabs.
Gaydos says, “When you look at these projects cumulatively, they have a high possibility of affecting the Coast Salish and everybody else. The environmental impact statements aren’t looking at the threats collectively.”
Although the Salish Sea is an integrated ecosystem, it is shared by Washington, British Columbia, and indigenous Coast Salish governments. When US and Canadian governmental bodies evaluate proposed developments, they rarely take into account projects occurring outside of their jurisdictions. Continued here...
Grief Support Group Offered
Press Release: Hospice of San Juan will offer its 2016 Grief Support Group to anyone in the community who is grieving the loss of a loved one. This professionally facilitated group offers participants an opportunity to share their individual experiences and to acquire tools and resources for coping with their personal grief.
Registration is open for the four week session of 2016 Grief Support Group, which begins February 2, 2016 and continues through February 23rd. The group, which meets Tuesdays from 4-5:30 p.m., is facilitated by Lenore Bayuk, MN, ACNS. Lenore has been a nurse for more than 45 years and a Psychosocial Nurse Specialist for more than 40 years. She has worked with loss and grief in her own life and professionally as a nurse and psychotherapist. Lenore also facilitates the annual Grief and Loss: Getting through the Holiday Season program co-sponsored by Hospice of San Juan and the San Juan Island Library.Contact Lenore Bayuk at 360-378-3636, ext. 1, to register. Early registration is advised as the number of participants is limited. Continued here...
Meet Your Volunteer Firefighter - Ian Paterson
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire Rescue: To Protect Life and Property. Ian started fighting fires when he was 18 years old and still in high school! He has been on the Island for 15 years. Ian was born in Long Beach, California then lived in Big Bear, also in California, before moving to San Juan Island in 1997. At the time his family was living here. He was 14 years old when he moved up and attended all of his high school years at Friday Harbor High School. When he was a senior in high school, he volunteered for the Town of Friday Harbor Fire Department and at age 18 he was excited to join a hose team on a car fire. He has really great memories of being a kid doing fire fighting and making some really good friends in the process.After high school, he attended Western Washington University for a year. When he got home from attending college, Ian decided to re join the fire department, only this time he joined the District Fire Department. So, when the two departments merged, he got to help train those firefighters who made the switch from town to district. Continued here...
Dodie’s Shadow Has Followed Her
From Michelle Loftus: Shadow, my magnificent fuzzy friend has joined Dodie Gann on a journey where there must be great opportunities to explore and bark. The big giant came to live with Kevin and me after Dodie’s passing three years ago. Dodie found Shadow on Pet Finders as a stray from an Oregon logging road. He was a skinny youngster with scruffy black hair. Snookie Tarte and Dodie flew Shadow to his new home on San Juan Island where he was guard and companion at Red Mill Farm.
After a few years of Dodie’s care Shadow developed a thick luxurious white coat. He was head strong and loved living much like Dodie. The Black family holds many Dodie and Shadow farm stories. Dodie enjoyed taking Shadow for car rides and walks. Once he walked into a Transportation Summit meeting at the fairgrounds. Most everyone just looked and thought “There’s Shadow.” Continued here...
The Wild Side Nature Series at the San Juan Island Library
San Juan Island Library: San Juan Island Library announced today a new four-part series of fun and informative nature presentations. In collaboration with partners Kwiáht (Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea) and Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, the Library presents The Wild Side. The series aims to illuminate the unique and extraordinary environment of the San Juan Islands.
January 25th: Winter - In the Dark of Night: After dark, when we are in our homes watching TV or tucked up asleep in our beds, many wild animals are active. Tiny wild mice are scurrying around, foxes are hunting and owls are silently swooping down to catch their prey. Join Shona Aitken, Education Coordinator at Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, to find out which nocturnal animals live on the San Juan Islands and how they are adapted for their life in the Dark of Night.
April 15th: Spring - Wild Babies: Tiny nestling songbirds hidden in their nests in the bushes, fawns lying quietly in the woods and otter kits curled up in their dens. In spring and early summer there are baby wild animals living all around us. You may not see them, but they are there and can easily be hurt by our pets and activities. Continued here...
IMA Presents Ai Weiwei: Fault Line
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: January 23 – April 11, 2016. Curated by Ian Boyden. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art presents an exhibition of work by Ai Weiwei, one of the most influential artists and most closely followed dissident political voices in the world. Ai Weiwei: Fault Line presents three pieces from his ongoing investigation into the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 quake that killed over 60,000 people including 5,196 schoolchildren in Sichuan province, China. This is one of the first museum exhibitions of Ai Weiwei’s work in the Pacific Northwest. Ai Weiwei: Fault Line is a rare opportunity to see work by one of the world’s top artists.
The Sichuan government refused to report how many schoolchildren died during the Wenchuan earthquake. In response, Ai Weiwei formed the Citizens’ Investigation, which both determined the death toll and revealed the corrupt bureaucracy that allowed for earthquake building codes to be ignored for schools. His criticism of the Chinese government has resulted in frequent clashes with the authorities and culminated in a secret detention for 81 days, in 2011. Continued here...
APSFH Volunteer(s) of the Month
Press Release from the The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor is happy to announce that Dave and Nancy Harvey are Volunteers of the Month for January. Dave and Nancy moved to Friday Harbor several months ago and have been loyal, active volunteers at the animal shelter ever since, starting on the day not too long ago when Dave brought his riding lawn mower to the shelter and mowed the entire dog yard while Nancy visited cats.The couple visit the shelter frequently, often two or three times a week and spend time brushing, cuddling and playing with the many cats awaiting adoption. Dave and Nancy adopted a pair of bonded cats recently, even though Nancy is mildly allergic to cats! Shelter Manager, Jan Murphy, says, “Volunteers who take the time to visit with our cats are such an important part of what we do here. Dave and Nancy help the cats here become more adoptable by socializing them and helping them to feel more secure in the shelter environment. Their contribution to APS-FH is enormous and deeply appreciated.”
San Juan Nature Institute Winter Lecture Series
Press ReleaseSan Juan Nature Institute: San Juan Nature Institute's annual winter lecture series in collaboration with UW Friday Harbor Labs begins on Thursday, January 21 with a lecture by Adam Summers with the intriguing title: Biomaterials from the Sea – a naturalist swims with Edison. The lectures are open to the public and take place in The Commons, at UW Friday Harbor Labs at 7 p.m.
On February 4, Timothy Dwyer will offer a talk on Modern Voyages of Exploration: Teleprescence, Cabled Oceanography, and Giant Robots aboard E/V Nautilis and R/V Thompson.
In Summer of 2015, Tim was selected to join the team on board Exploration Vessel Nautilis as Communications Fellow, then transferred to UW Research Vessel Thompson, experiences he shares with his students at Spring Street International School, and with us. Join us for stories, and pictures, of life on hydrothermal vents, marine forensic studies, subduction zones and continental shelves and the trials of steering giant robots in murky waters. Continued here...
Master Gardener Foundation Annual Native Plant Sale – Pre-Order Now for Best Selection
By Master Gardener Jane Wentworth: Happy New Year! It is time again for our Annual Native Plant Sale. The sale is scheduled for March 12th, from 9 AM – 12 noon, on San Juan, Lopez and Orcas Islands. Now is the time to think about what to plant in late winter and early spring as we pour over plant and seed catalogs.
This year we offer 20 species of evergreen and deciduous trees,shrubs and perennials including favorites like Red Flowering Currant, Evergreen Huckleberry and some new and noteworthy additions like Pacific Bleeding Heart, Licorice Fern, and Blue Elderberry. Some species have been selected particularly for being somewhat drought tolerant. Native plants are beautiful in the garden and landscape, are beneficial for wildlife, and improve habitat and plant diversity. Once established, native plants tend to require less maintenance and fertilizers than other landscape plants.
March 12th from 9 AM- Noon, is the day of the sale on San Juan Island at the Fairgrounds in Friday Harbor, the Orcas Island Grange, and at Sunset Builders on Lopez. A selection of additional plants will available for sale that day on San Juan. Continued here...
Friday Harbor Film Festival 2016 Winter Film SeriesJanuary 5, 2016 to May 17, 2016. 7:00pm at the San Juan Island Grange #966. Sponsored by Friday Harbor Film Festival. In case you missed the 2015 Friday Harbor Film Festival, which focused on award-winning films to entertain, inspire and enlighten us about the the people, cultures and environment of the Pacific Rim, now you can enjoy the audience favorite screenings every other Tuesday night throughout the Winter & Spring. The films will be shown every 1st and 3rd Tuesday. Admission by donation. See films here...
State’s Oldest Ferry Officially Decommissioned
Press Release from Built in 1954 when “Mr. Sandman” topped AM radio pop charts, the M/V Evergreen State is now set to sail into history and into the dreams of Washingtonians.
Due in part to its status as the state’s oldest ferry, the Evergreen State has been decommissioned and will soon be put up for sale.
The 87-car ferry boasts World War II surplus drive motors and has served as a workhorse for tens of thousands of passengers and vehicles in our state for more than six decades.
“The recent addition of two modern, larger and faster Olympic Class vessels to the fleet means the Evergreen State is no longer the best solution for moving people and goods across our state’s waters,” said Washington State Ferries Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. “While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye, difficulty locating replacement parts and maintaining a vintage vessel are also factors that make it time for the E-State to retire.” Continued here...
Resident Reservations are Just Around the Corner! Plan your “Staycation” for the Summer at a San Juan County Park
Press Release: SJ County Parks & Fairgrounds is once again offering early camping reservations at any of our County campgrounds for people who reside in our county year 'round. Between Thursday, January 21st, 2016 and Friday, February 26th, 2016, residents of San Juan County can reserve individual campsites for any dates during the season (that’s right—no waiting until 90 days in advance and competing with out-of-county visitors for those campsites!)
Reservations must be made through our admin office and cannot be made online for this program. If you miss this window, summer camping reservations can be made using our public online reservation system a maximum of 90 days in advance (opens March 7th). Reservations can be made at any of our County campgrounds.
EMAIL US FOR A RESERVATION FORM at email@example.com Please complete one form for each camping stay and include 2nd and 3rd choice options if you can. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed (350 Court St. #8, F.H. WA, 98250), or dropped off at our new Fairgrounds office (849A Argyle, just inside the fairgrounds main entrance) between January 21st and February 26th. Payment in full is required at time of reservation. Payment can be made via cash, check, or credit card.
Please remember that this early program is only for residents of San Juan County. We may ask for government ID such as Driver's License or voter registration card, showing a San Juan County address.
Toxic Creosote Removal in Progress in Local Waters
Press Release from FRIENDS of the San Juans: Removal of toxic creosote structures from the waters of the county will start January 13th and the barge based work is expected to take about ten days. Numerous unnecessary or derelict creosote pilings, docks and boathouses will be removed, through a partnership effort of the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Friends of the San Juans with funding provided by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board. Multiple removal sites are located in Fisherman Bay on Lopez, with additional removal sites on Shaw and Henry Islands.
“Along with the water quality impacts of the treated wood, many of the outdated structures being removed are also currently shading the marine environment, limiting the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation such as eelgrass that provides important habitat for a wide range of species, including juvenile fish” notes Tina Whitman, FRIENDS’ Science Director.Creosote-treated wood was commonly used in marine structures throughout the Salish Sea for more than a century during a period of rapid development and industrial expansion. Like other chemical compounds that were innovations in their time, creosote was broadly used without knowledge of its long-term consequences. Continued here...
Bingo Comes to Friday Harbor!
Press Release from Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor: Saturday, January 16th. Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor will have Bingo at the Mullis Center beginning at 2 PM. Three more games will be held at the Mullis Center: January 23rd, January 30th, and February 6th all from 2:00 to 4:30 PM.
Bingo books for ten rounds with three cards per round will be sold at the door for $5 each. Players are welcome to purchase multiple books in order to play more cards. There will be modest cash prizes offered and refreshments will be sold at the break. Families are welcome.
If you would like to see a regular Bingo game in the community, come support this event!
For more information on this event contact Necia Quast at firstname.lastname@example.org. The money raised at this event will support Soroptimist scholarships and awards, the Cancer Transportation Fund, Women's Emergency Fund, and other important projects.
Founded in 1996, the Friday Harbor club is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a global organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Continued here...
WSF to Start Construction of Fourth Olympic Class Ferry
Press Release fromWashington State Ferries is starting off the New Year with construction of a new Olympic Class ferry. WSF signed a Notice to Proceed last week with shipbuilder Vigor Industrial for work on its fourth 144-vehicle ferry, and work begins in January. The new ferry is funded through the Connecting Washington transportation funding package.
Along with the Tokitae, Samish and Chimacum, the fourth Olympic Class ferry improves fleet reliability and safety by replacing four of the state’s oldest ferries built during the 1950s and 1960s.
“Our top priority is keeping the ferry system safe and reliable for the millions of commuters, freight haulers and travelers who depend on us every year,” said WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. “Thanks to state lawmakers and critical funds from Connecting Washington, we are able to meet some of the ferry system’s most urgent needs, including building this new ferry.”
The fourth ferry will be built at Vigor Industrial, supporting about 500 jobs at Vigor’s Seattle shipyard and contractors around the region. The budget to build the vessel is $122 million, and delivery is scheduled for mid-2018. Continued here...
Northwest Flower & Garden Show
The San Juan Island Garden Club will host an excursion to the Northwest Flower & Garden show. This year’s theme is AMERICA the BEAUTIFUL celebrating America’s National Parks and Landmarks.
The show highlights:
Display Gardens showcasing the Parks and Landmarks theme
Seminars enhancing cutting-edge advice
Garden Wars with TV and Radio celebrities creating gardens
Vintage Garden Market spotlighting recycled treasures
Marketplace with over 300 exhibitors
Your Daily Dog Walk Can Help Your Shelter
Press Release: Want an easy way to raise money for your favorite animal shelter? There's an app for that. Walk For A Dog is an app you can download to your phone that keeps track of how far you’ve walked and donates to any animal shelter based on that distance. Jillian Urbach and Wilson Loucks, juniors at Friday Harbor High School, have made it their mission to spread the word about the free app as part of their community project.
"It's a great tool," says Loucks. "You're walking your dog anyway. If you can make money for a good cause at the same time, why not?"
The app, developed by WoofTrax, Inc., allows users to select any shelter or rescue organization as their beneficiary, but, of course, Loucks and Urbach hope locals will choose the Animal Protection Society - Friday Harbor. "We've gotten all our pets from the animal shelter," Urbach says. "I wanted to find a way to give back."
In addition to promoting the app, the teens have built nine scratching posts for the cats at the shelter. They also raised $200 by hosting a DIY dog wash at the shelter.
IMA Announces Artist's Registry Show People's Choice Winners
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: Congratulations to the five winners of San Juan Islands Museum of Art’s 2015 People’s Choice Awards! The winners are Mary Bacon for Oh, Rats! (mixed media); Maria Michaelson for Ceramic Hunter (ceramic sculpture); Kandis Susol for Turning Edges (mixed media); Phil Tate for Mythos Carrying Humanity Across the Heavens (mixed media); and Bo Turnage for Fate Meet Chance (watercolor/acrylic on paper).
In total, almost 400 ballots were cast since the November opening of the annual IMA Islands Artists’ Registry Show, an exhibition that features the extraordinary emerging and established artists of the San Juan Islands. Such enthusiastic response reflects how much our visitors appreciated the range and quality of the 80+ pieces of art in this exhibition. Comments on the show were filled with genuine awe and admiration for the works from our county, and convey their appreciation for these artists expressions of the beauty, identity, authenticity, and connectedness of our community. Continued here...
OPALCO Electric Bill to Increase by 5% in January
Press Release from OPALCO: Beginning in January, our electric bills will go up 5% and there will be a couple of new line items. The board-approved rate increase for 2016 will be spread equally across the facilities and energy charges (see below). As a result of the 2015 Low Income Needs Assessment, members will see a line item on our bills to fund a new program to assist qualified members in need. The line item will assess $0.0005 per kilowatt hour, which comes out to an average forty-five cents per month for residential members.
The other new line item is a place holder for a future demand charge. The demand line item will show $0.00 to prepare members for the demand charge that will eventually be charged to all members, to reflect the actual charges OPALCO is charged on the power bill from Bonneville Power Administration. No date has been set for the start of demand charges.Residential members make up the majority of OPALCO members. Here’s how the changes will look beginning in January for the average residential member: Continued here...
Winter Ferry Schedule Starts Dec. 27
Press Release fromWashington State Ferries’ winter schedule begins this Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 and runs through March 19, 2016. Service out of Anacortes to Sidney, B.C. will be suspended for the winter. The Anacortes/San Juan Island routes will operate three vessels on weekends (no dedicated inter-island vessel) with four vessels in service on weekdays. Please check the schedule online or pick up a blue schedule, #239, at the terminal or on the vessels. More here...
Strong Winds and Colder Weather Take a Bite Out of "the Blob"
Press Release from the NOAA: The so-called “blob” of infamous warm ocean waters that has gripped the West Coast and shaken up its marine ecosystems in the past two years is battered, but not dead yet, NOAA scientists report.
Strong winds blowing south from Alaska toward California dominated the West Coast through much of November, bringing cold air and some new upwelling of deep, cold water that weakened the warm patches that had long made up the blob, said Nathan Mantua, leader of the Landscape Ecology Team at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, California. Patches of ocean that had been as much as 2 to 3 degrees C warmer than average in October have now dropped sharply to around 0.5 to 1.5 degrees C above average. Some areas along the Northern California Coast have even dropped to slightly below average temperatures for this time of year, he said.
The blob has become one of the best-known temporary features of the world’s oceans, a big red expanse on temperature maps that has earned headlines in the New York Times and other outlets around the world. It has also become one of the hottest topics in climatology and oceanography, with scientists looking for possible links to climate change and the California drought; shifting distributions of marine species; and the unprecedented harmful algal bloom that has encompassed the West Coast, shutting down crabbing and clamming for months. Continued here...
Town and Customers Donate $2664 to Local Food Bank
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: Town residents demonstrated their generous spirit again this year by contributing $1664 to the Friday Harbor Food Bank through donations made on their utility bills. Town matching funds brought the total donation up to $2664. Each month Town utility customers are encouraged to donate what they can to the Harbor Life Ring--a program established in 2013 to aid residents in need of assistance with paying their utility bills. For the past two years, contributions made in November were matched by the Town up to a total of $1000 and donated to the local food bank to help with the increased need that comes with the holiday season.
“We are clearly a community that takes pride in helping our neighbors,” said Mayor Carrie Lacher. “The Town deeply appreciates the generosity of our residents and welcomes this opportunity to bring attention to the invaluable service our local food bank provides.”According to the Friday Harbor Food Bank president and former County Sheriff Bill Cumming, the bank supports an average of 170 local families, spending $7000 per month, with all funding coming from donations. Find out how you can help by calling the FHFB at 378-4640. More here...
Pediatrician Joins Family Medicine Department at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center
Press Release from PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center: Pediatrician Steven Ban, MD, a visiting specialist at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, begins seeing patients through the Family Medicine Department Friday, Dec. 4. While he is a general pediatrician who provides care to all children, Dr. Ban has a special interest in children with children and adolescents with behavioral or mental health issues, such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and depression.
Dr. Ban received his medical education at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He is board certified through the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Ban enjoys singing, biking, hiking and camping. He and his wife have three grown daughters and three grandchildren. Continued here...
OPALCO Board Approves 2016 Budget and Rates
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO’s Board of Directors has approved the 2016 budget with measures in place to keep our Co-op financially healthy, following two years of declining energy sales. Members’ bills will go up by an average of 5% beginning in January and a new Energy Assistance Program will provide a monthly discount to qualified households. The full budget report and presentation are available online.
At the November 19th budget work session, the Board reviewed the results of the 2015 member survey and heard the voice of the membership say: do your best to minimize rate increases, use voluntary donations not rate increases to fund rebate and renewable energy programs, and place a high priority on rate relief for qualified seniors and low-income households. The full survey report is available online.
The Board spent a day discussing budget measures and alternate billing and rate structures in detail before approving the budget at a regular board meeting on Friday, November 20th in Friday Harbor. Both meetings were attended by a handful of co-op members. To meet our budget needs, the Board decided to scale back capital credit distribution to 50% for 2015 when 1990 capital credits are issued. Within a couple of years, we would expect to true-up and return to our 25-year cycle. Continued here...
Shoreline Master Program Update
Article by Merri Ann Simonson, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc: As you may be aware, the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) went into effect in March 2014. The Shoreline Master Program (SMP) has been in the update process for the last few years and is currently out for public comment until December 8, 2015. Then it will be sent on to the Department of Ecology for their comments and then back to our County for final revisions.
The Council is holding continued public hearings on December 2, 3 and 4th this week in Friday Harbor. They'll take comments on Lopez December 1st and on Orcas on December 8th.
It is expected that the SMP may be in effect as early as spring of 2016. Many of the proposed regulations as contained in the SMP were established in the CAO or at least precedence set.
It appears that the non-conforming regulation currently in effect under the WAC will be updated in the SMP. The existing formula that regulates how much you can increase the size of an existing non-conforming home on the waterfront or near a wetland is not included in the proposed SMP. In my opinion, the draft SMP language to address a non-conforming home remodel is more discretionary on the part of the Planners during their decision process.
The proposed language is more relaxed as there appears to be no limit on the size that the non-conforming home can be increased. However, you must propose mitigation measures to address any potential negative impacts to the critical areas. Continued here...
PeaceHealth Peace Island Recognized for Excellence in Rural Health
Press Release: PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor has received recognition for overall excellence in all four hospital performance categories assessed by the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH), using data from public data sources. This recognition places the hospital in the top quartile of all acute care hospitals in the nation for performance in the areas evaluated.
Among the 39 rural hospitals in the State of Washington, PeaceHealth Peace Island is one of seven to be recognized for excellence in quality, one of 14 for excellence in outcomes, one of 10 for excellence in patient satisfaction, and one of six for excellence in financial strength.
“I’m very pleased the hospital has received this recognition. It's a testament to our caregivers’ hard work and their dedication to excellent patient care and service, as well as a reflection of our commitment to the health of the community,” said Jim Barnhart, chief administrative officer for PeaceHealth Peace Island. Continued here...
San Juan Public Schools Foundation Thanks Community
Press Release: Dear Community Members,
The San Juan Public Schools Foundation acknowledges with gratitude the outpouring of support from local individuals and businesses during our annual Phone-A-Thon in October. Pledges from individuals and businesses through our Business Partnership program totaled over $90,000 for the 2015-2016 school year.
All money earned goes directly to our public schools to purchase items that state funds do not cover, including art and music supplies, items for STEM courses, and other educational materials for children in all grades K-12. In an era of reduced state funding, community support is critical to the ability of our public schools to sustain their pursuit of excellence. Once again, our community has risen to the occasion, and our children thank you for your support.
Most sincerely, San Juan Public Schools Foundation
Residential Building Applications to get “Lean”
Press Release from the San Juan County website: As Community Development Director Sam Gibboney prepares to move a new position in County government, she is coordinating a sea change in the application process for residential building permits.
Gibboney estimates that half of the residential building permit applications submitted in San Juan County encounter delays because documentation is incomplete or required information is missing. While applications are on hold and staff spends time seeking needed information, other applications awaiting review can stack up, causing delays that can be costly to both builders and the County.
The department is now testing a new permit process for residential development that Gibboney believes will drastically reduce or even eliminate those delays.
“A complaint we have often heard from developers is that there are too many moving parts – too many departments, divisions, inspectors and reviewers involved – and that there is no one place to find out all the information they should have before they walk in the door and pay their fee. Those complaints have often been justified,” Gibboney said. Continued here...
San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Inducts 3 into Hall of Fame
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: The San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Hall of Fame was created to honor those that make a significant contribution to the development and success of of the Department. Every five years the honors are awarded. The three new recipients join the 22 people already on the Hall of Fame plaque pictured.
They are: Tender Operator Harry See (left) has served the community as a department member for the past 20 years. He has filled many roles during that time including serving as a company officer and providing both informal and formal leadership in heavy rescue, fire boat operations, driver training, water supply operations and firefighter safety.
Firefighter (retired) Rebecca Smith (center) was with the department for 17 years. She was a vital part of the Cape San Juan station crew and helped develop the department’s heavy rescue capabilities. She also provided guidance to the organization by serving for 6 years as a Fire District Commissioner. Continued here...
Raise Money for Animal Shelter Just by Walking Your Dog
Press Release from the Our local animal shelter has found a nearly effortless and free way for supporters to help raise money for homeless animals here on San Juan Island. The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor has partnered with Wooftrax, an organization that donates money to animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide, utilizing a smartphone application.
The Wooftrax app, when installed on a Smartphone or Android device, allows users to support their local animal rescue organization simply by walking a dog (or dogs).
“It’s very simple”, says APS-FH Shelter Manager, Jan Murphy. “Those who’d like to help raise funds for The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor can visit www.wooftrax.com on their smartphone and download the Wooftrax app. Once the app has been downloaded one can then select The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor as the recipient of their fund raising efforts. Users simply take the phone with them whenever they walk a dog. A “Start Walking” button is pushed at the beginning of the walk and the app keeps track of the distance walked. When your walk is stopped it will be credited to the APS-FH account.”
The app features an “Impact” tab that shows the total number of people walking for a given shelter or rescue and allows one to magnify their impact by referring friends or making a gift.
OPALCO Approved for Infrastructure Project Loan from USDA
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO is among the 77 electric utilities recently approved for USDA Rural Utility Services (RUS) loans. OPALCO is approved for a loan of $17.1M to move forward with the submarine cable replacement for the Lopez to San Juan link, as forecast in our long-range and construction work plans. The loan amount also includes other transmission upgrade projects. Loan funds are not awarded in advance, but function as a line of credit, reimbursed as projects progress and as certified by RUS.
The US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced nearly $2.3 billion in loans to build and improve rural electric infrastructure in 31 states. The funding is provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which makes loans and loan guarantees to non-profit and cooperative associations. Since 2009, USDA has funded $34 billion in electric loans and more than $1 billion for smart grid technologies. Continued here...
A video about the OPALCO submarine cable project is available on YouTube at http://bit.ly/1XmRDeJ.
UAV Reveals Killer Whales in Striking Detail
Press Release from the NOAA: Unmanned aerial vehicle allows scientists to study killer whale health and reproduction while also offering a glimpse into the family life of these social animals. One of the populations of killer whales that spends part of the year around the San Juan Islands north of Seattle is called the Southern Resident killer whales, and they’re very endangered. There are only 81 of them left in the wild. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that 81 is five more than there were last year. There was a baby boom among the Southern Residents recently, and for a population of this size, five new individuals is a very big deal.
In this video podcast we’ll look at several amazing photographs that give us a glimpse not only of some of the new calves, but also of the family lives of these social animals. The photos were taken with an unmanned aerial vehicle, and to help us understand the photos we have one of the scientists who took them On the Line with us today. Continued here...
Soroptimists International of Friday Harbor Spend $16,500 Supporting Cancer Patients
Press Release from Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor: Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor’s (SIFRI) Cancer Transportation Fund has provided over $16,500 for ferry tickets for cancer patients and their caregivers in the recently completed 2014-2015 fiscal year. In recent years, the fund has often received designated gifts from foundations that covered the annual costs. This year such gifts covered a little more than half the cost. Memorial gifts in remembrance of two former beneficiaries of the fund and pledges at the annual St. Patrick's Extravaganza made up part of the shortfall, The remaining shortfall will come out of SIFRI reserves.
This is the twelfth year that fund has operated, providing ferry tickets to cancer patients and their caregivers living on San Juan Island and being treated on the mainland. SIFRI refer people who need to fly to the San Juan Eagles, who provide free private airplane trips to the mainland for cancer patients.This summer, Joyce Sobel took over from Julie Hanks as the Ferry Ticket Coordinator. The Cancer Transportation Fund has a new dedicated telephone number and e-mail for clients needing ferry tickets. Continued here...
Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections: A 43 Percent Increase
Press Release from FRIENDS of the San Juans: San Juan County, WA – If all the new and expanding terminal and refinery projects in the Salish Sea are permitted and developed, including projects that became operational in 2014, there would be a 43 percent increase in large, commercial marine vessel traffic.
FRIENDS of the San Juans and San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping have released the Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections featuring 18 new or expanded proposed or recently completed projects, which cumulatively would add an additional 5,300 annual vessel transits to and from ports in British Columbia and Washington State.
The Salish Sea includes the international Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, Boundary Pass and southern Georgia Strait; Washington State’s Puget Sound and San Juan Islands; and British Columbia’s Gulf Islands and Strait of Georgia. The Salish Sea also includes critical habitat for species listed as endangered in both Canada and the US including the Southern Resident Killer Whale, Chinook salmon, rockfish and marbled murrelet. Continued here...
The Campaign to Save Mount Grant
: The San Juan Preservation Trust announces the launch of a major fundraising campaign to create a new nature preserve in the heart of San Juan Island. The Campaign to Save Mount Grant, if successful, will permanently protect one of San Juan’s most valuable gems and make it accessible to the public.
The 141-acre property, valued for years by locals as a hiking destination, was identified on historic maps as “Mt. Grant” as late as 1920. Known by various names since then, it was most recently marketed as the “Lawson Ridge” residential community. The property hosts important native plant and animal habitat, lush wildflower meadows, serene hiking trails, and, with some improvements, easy road access to the summit so that people of all ages and physical ability can enjoy the spectacular, 360-degree views. From the top, one can gaze northeast to Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters, southeast down into San Juan Valley and Lopez Island, and north/northwest to Stuart Island and beyond to the Canadian Gulf Islands. Continued here...
New Non-Profit for Animals in Need
Press Release from Julie Duke: Island Haven Animal Sanctuary's mission is to provide lifetime care and sheltering for animals who, while still able to lead a quality life, are unable to find homes due to old age, chronic illness, handicaps, temperament issues or other factors, or who have been rescued from neglect and/or abuse situations and require rehabilitation.
However, before we can provide a home for these special animals, we have to find a forever home for the Sanctuary. Donating it would be a great tax write-off for someone, or leasing it to us in-kind or for a reasonable amount are also options. Ideally it would be at least five acres, have fenced pastures, a barn and/or stables, running water and electricity, and either a small home or ability to put a trailer on it so a human caregiver can stay there if an animal needs around the clock care. So, if you or someone you know has such a location, please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com or 360-472-1040.
This all began about a month ago when I answered a Facebook post to adopt three senior horses (two of them have never been ridden, one not in the last twenty years). Continued here...
New Railroad on San Juan Island
Press Release: The residents of the Life Care Center on Spring Street in Friday Harbor are building a scale model garden railroad. The LC & Pacific RR, operating since August of last year, has approximately 200 feet of tract, four engines, passenger and freight cars and the Red Ball Trolley. Under the guidance of Ron Garner and Phil Myers, the residents are creating mountains, tunnels, buildings and small gardens when they are not busy running the trains.
The 13 active and numerous observers at the LC Center are looking for volunteers to help with their projects and running the trains. No previous knowledge with model railroads is required, just wanting to have a good time with the residents. The present meeting time is Tuesdays at 12:45 to 2:30. If someone wants to help after dinner we can create a program one evening a week.To join the railroaders, drop by at 660 Spring Street on Tuesday afternoon or call Ron Garner at 378-7722. Continued here...
We have compiled a pretty good collection of cool old postcards of Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor and the San Juan Island islands, see them all here...
A little History: English Camp
A little history from the NPS: When Great Britain and the United States in 1859 agreed to a joint occupation of San Juan Island until the water boundary between the two nations could be settled, it was decided that camps would be located on opposite ends of the island.
Shortly after the British and American governments affirmed Lieutenant General Winfield Scott’s proposal to jointly occupy San Juan Island, the Royal Navy started looking for a home for its British Royal Marine Light Infantry contingent. Capt. James Prevost, commander of H.M.S. Satellite, selected the site on Garrison Bay, 15 miles northwest of American Camp, from among seven finalists.
Roche described the ground as "well-sheltered, has a good supply of water and grass, and is capable of affording maneuvering ground for any number of men that are likely to be required in that locality..." He added that a trail, 11 miles long, led from this area to the Hudson’s Bay farm at Bellevue. Continued here...
SJI Park Debuts Salmon Bank Webpage
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: Before there was the South Beach, known and loved by San Juan Islanders and visitors from around the world as a summer picnic ground and a spot to watch winter storms, there was the Salmon Bank. And for thousands of years, it was a place to make a living. Spanish explorers during expeditions up the Strait of Juan de Fuca conducted 1790-1792 reported "...an incredible quantity of salmon and numerous Indians."
Fifty years later, in October 1853, James Alden of the U.S. Coast Survey enthused about the maritime resources. "Salmon abound in great quantities at certain seasons of the year, when the water in every direction seems to be filled with them…The Hudson's Bay Company has a fishing establishment at San Juan … where I am informed they have put up this season 600 barrels of salmon. Continued here...
Check out these cool time lapse videos made by Chris Teren of Teren Photography.
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