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!
Thanks to Chris Teren of Teren Photography for these photos taken at the Open House for the Samish ferry on Wednesday, May 20th at the Anacortes ferry terminal. Visit Washington State Ferries Blog for more info. Left: Inside the Samish during the ceremony. Right: Chris is standing next to his photo '50 Shades of Blue' displayed on the Samish. Click to enlarge. See more photos on Facebook.
The brand new, 144-car Samish ferry will begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route Sunday, June 14, just in time for the start of the summer sailing season. The new ferry’s name comes from a tribal word meaning, “giving people.” It is the second of three funded, Olympic Class vessels to replace the aging, midcentury-era Evergreen State Class vessels. Continued here...
Tree Trimming Crews at Work to Clear Utility Right of Way
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO maintains the clearance between trees and shrubs and our power lines on a regular schedule. It’s that time of year again. Professional tree trimming crews will be making their rounds beginning the week of May 18th. Please look for the crews along our roads on each island:
Week of May 18th: San Juan Island – Cattle Point and Pear Point areas
Week of May 28th: Orcas Island – from the Orcas Substation to the Eastsound substation, Montgomery Lane and Crow Valley areas
Week of June 3rd: Shaw Island – All overhead lines
Week of June 8th: Lopez Island – Schoolhouse Road and Airport areas
Their scope of work is limited to the established Right-of-Way boundaries to protect the trees from our power lines and protect our system from interruptions of power that can occur when tree limbs come into contact with our lines. If hazardous trees are identified, the land owner will be notified and a local certified arborist will be contracted to remove them with land owner permission. Continued here...
The Staxx Brothers Coming to Friday Harbor
The Staxx Brothers will be playing at the Rumor Mill on Friday, May 22nd AND Saturday, May 23rd @ 8:00. The Staxx Brothers are a high energy American band, hailing from Seattle, Washington, that has spent the last seven years crafting an incredible new sound they've branded Hard #ss Soul. It's quite simply the most danceable and hip shaking brand of rock & roll to hit US streets since Motown left Detroit. Where modern Rock most often has forgotten its Roll, The Staxx Brothers make it back to the juke joint, and take you back to the black church, dragging modern rock by its collar right back to its birthright - with an epic flare that matches any of the classics. Read more about The Staxx Brothers on their website. For more info or to make reservations call the Rumor Mill at 378-5555.Continued on The Music Scene...
OPALCO Member Feedback Posted Online
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO is listening. Of the 337 people who attended OPALCO’s 78th Annual Meeting, 54 members submitted questions and comments for staff to respond to. Member comments, questions and answers have been posted online in our Recently Asked Questions.
All but four of those members have been contacted personally with a response (four did not give contact information). At the meeting, all were invited to give OPALCO feedback on how we are doing by posting comments on a “Did Well, Do Better” chart on the ferry. That member feedback is also posted online (Find Documents/Governance & Finance/Annual Meeting Materials). Some excerpts from the “Did Well, Do Better” survey are: Continued here...
New Exhibits At Islands Museum of Art
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, The Backbone of Life by Susan Middleton: See the Stubby Squid close up on San Juan Island this summer, as celebrated wildlife photographer Susan Middleton exhibits huge portraits of marine invertebrates May 23 through August 21 at San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) in Friday Harbor.
The exhibit is aptly named Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, the Backbone of Life, from Middleton’s book of the same name published to great fanfare this year by Abrams. Middleton's dramatic images fill the rooms of the new museum with underwater photos taken up close and personal by the photographer whose acclaimed work has graced covers of National Geographic, Smithsonian, Life Magazine, and more. This is a show that the kids will adore, with family friendly workshops planned in conjunction with the University of Washington Marine Biology labs. Join Middleton on June 19 for a gallery talk at 6 p.m.
The Twist of Rist: Lasting Impressions by Luigi Rist. Extraordinarily sensitive woodcut impressions created by New Jersey artist Luigi Rist (1888-1959), using a refined Japanese style of printing, are generously presented from a private collection on San Juan Island. Continued here...
"Know Your Island" Town Architectural History Walk
Sat. May 23, 2015, 1-4pm. National Historic Preservation Month! Meet architectural historian Boyd Pratt to tour the Nichols Neighborhood and Sunshine Alley. Learn how we grew from a short string of wood-framed buildings lining Spring St. to a downtown of fireproof masonry buildings. We will focus on the Brick-works and its part in the development. Meet at the Brickworks with suggested parking at the Courthouse parking lot. Distance: 1 mile. Rating: easy with possible upslopes. Terrain: sidewalk and pavement. Well-behaved dogs on leashes okay. Wheelchair accessible. Rain or shine.
SJI Trails Committee KNOW YOUR ISLAND walks are January through October, 2015, 4th Saturday of each month. Call 360-378-2240, ext. 2233 or 2227 for information or visit the San Juan island Trails Committee website at http://sanjuanislandtrails.org/. More here...
Pet of The WeekMore here...
9 to 5: The Musical
Press Release from the San Juan Community Theatre: Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton. Book by Patricia Resnick. Based on the 20th Century Fox Picture. Directed by Margaret Hall. Musical Direction by Jim Collado. Choreography by Lisa Duke. Whittier Theatre Friday & Saturday, May 15-16 7:30 pm. Thursdays - Saturdays May 21-23, 28-30 7:30 pm Sundays, May 17 & 24 2:00 pm.
Our spring musical takes us back to 1979 and to the corporate workplace with Violet, Judy and Doralee as they live out their wildest fantasy: giving their boss the boot! Nominated for four Tony Awards and based on the 1980 movie of the same name, the comedy is full of hum-making music and plenty of laughs as the women turn the tables on their obnoxious and chauvinistic boss.Director Margaret Hall says the play shows just how far women in the workplace have come since 1979. “Those of us who were working at that time, really did experience such circumstances,” said Margaret. “In a very humorous way, the story sends a message of the importance of taking control of your own life.” Continued here...
May is "History Lives Here" Month
During the month of May, the Town of Friday Harbor, in partnership with the Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Island Historical Museums and the San Juan Island National Historical Park and other community organizations, will tell the stories of the people and places of the San Juans by celebrating National Historic Preservation Month as "History Lives Here." Guided walking tours, local history talks and other special events will attract visitors and residents alike, and portray the past as long-time islanders lived and remember it.
2015 History Lives Here Events: San Juan Island/Friday Harbor
A Voice for the Southern Residents in DC
Thanks to Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: Since last fall, I've been working with the Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative to lobby for the breaching of the four lower Snake River dams as a measure to help generate more salmon for our endangered whales. In addition to promoting this petition which now has over 12,000 signatures (please sign and share if you haven't already), I've been spreading information about the dams in any way I can. This has included writing a blog post about why now is the time to breach the dams back in February, which has received over 1300 views, and also giving an impromptu talk about the killer whales with some friends while we were down in Baja in March.
Some fantastic people from the Baja trip have gotten involved in the campaign, and have been helping to spread the message among some of their political friends. As a result, they got some meetings with some people in Washington, DC, and along with a couple of others I was invited along.
Those of you who know me know how hard it is for me to get on an airplane. For many years I didn't fly at all, and it's taken some pretty compelling reasons to get back on a plane (like, say, the chance to kiss a wild gray whale). While flying across the country will never be on my list of favorite activities, the chance to be a voice for the killer whales in Washington, DC was too good of one to pass up. Continued here...
APSFH to Host 2nd Annual Dodie Gann Memorial Dog Walk
Press Release from the The 2nd Annual Dodie Gann Memorial Dog Walk will take place May 30 at 11:00 at Skagit Valley Community College, 221 Weber Way in Friday Harbor. Dogs and their people will enjoy a one mile round trip walk from the college to the animal shelter. Afterwards, participants will enjoy a Pet-Lover’s Fair, featuring lunch and refreshments by Cynthia’s of Course.
Participants are urged to gather sponsors for the event, with all proceeds going to the Animal Shelter. The three people who raise the most money in sponsorships will be awarded prizes. The first place prize is a Microsoft Surface Tablet.
Those who wish to participate can pick up a registration/sponsorship form at the animal shelter, 111 Shelter Road or at participating retailers, including The Barking Bird and Friday Harbor Pet Supplies, Harbor Veterinary Hospital and Island Veterinary Hospital.
Dodie Gann, who passed away in 2013 was one of the original founders of The Animal Protection Society. More here...
IMA Donates $13,300.00 to Help Support Art Instruction at SJI Middle School
Press Release from the San Juan Island School District: San Juan Island School District is grateful for San Juans Islands Museum of Art annual support for the middle school art program. According to SJISD Superintendent Rick Thompson, “The San Juan Island School District is very grateful and would like to formally thank the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) for their annual and highly significant donation in support of public school art."
The San Juan Islands Museum of Art is committed to helping to support a first class K-12 art curriculum in the face of school budget limitations. For the last five years IMA has administered the elementary school Art Enrichment Program that provides a variety of artistic learning opportunities for the youngest students in the district. This program is made possible through local partnerships that include the San Juan Island School District, the Washington State Arts Commission, San Juan Island Community Foundation, San Juan Public Schools Foundation, local PTA organizations and private donors.
This year, in addition to support for art in the elementary school, IMA has donated $13,300.00 toward the cost of a middle school art instructor for the school year 2015-16. Continued here...
APSFH Volunteer of the Month
Press ReleaseThe Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor has named Ed Sawyer, “Volunteer of the Month” for May. Ed is a favorite among dogs at the animal shelter because he shows up every day, rain or shine, to walk them – and always with treats in his pockets! The board of directors and staff of the animal shelter extend a heart-felt thanks to Ed for his loyalty, dependability and hard work.
Do you have some free time, love animals and have an interest in making a difference in your community? If the answer is yes, then the Animal Shelter is the place for you! The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor is always in need of caring folks for a wide variety of tasks. Whether you’d like to walk dogs, greet visitors, spend time with cats or help out at a fundraising event there are many ways you can make a big difference in the life of homeless animals. If you’d like to join the team of volunteers at the animal shelter call Jan at 378-2158. More here...
Open Letter to OPALCO Board and Members
Letter to The Editor from Chom Greacen: At the OPALCO Election this year, we saw a record voter turnout, 24% compared to around 15% in the past years. Thank you all who have taken the time to vote. Every vote counts, and record voter turnout means we members-owners are paying more attention to the business of our co-op.
I was pleasantly surprised by the board election results. Winnie Adams got the most votes (1,643) followed by OPALCO former manager Randy Cornelius (1,597 votes). Incumbent Chris Thomerson was unseated, with 330 votes behind Cornelius.
Having served for 9 years on OPALCO Board, Chris played a strong role in leading OPALCO into the era of broadband prominence. His departure from the board will be a loss to OPALCO in terms of his intellectual contribution.
However, the election results indicate that there are other attributes that members-owners value as equally important if not more. While financial expertise may not be Winnie’s strongest point, we admire her courage to attend the Candidates Forums and to listen to members’ grievances and answer questions about the rates and OPALCO’s involvement broadband business. Continued here...
Spring Street Landing Bulkhead Ready in Time for Summer
Press Release from t Port of Friday Harbor: On Friday May 3, Friday Harbor Port Commissioner Greg Hertel did the official honors by cutting the ribbon at the newly constructed Spring Street Landing Bulkhead. The waterfront project has been on the “must do” list for many years, and reconstruction of the Spring Street Landing Building provided the perfect opportunity.
PND Engineers designed the bulkhead, built of stabilized earth with a rock facing to the north of the pier, and of formed concrete to the south of the pier. Mike Carlson Enterprises was the contractor on the project, which had a cost of $1.4 million.
Permits issued by the Corps of Engineers required all “in-water” work to be completed by the middle of February (the “fish window”), so the contractor worked into the midnight hours for much of the project. The Port took the opportunity to remove and dispose of contaminated soils in the area during the excavation.
A new restaurant and office building has been designed for the site and construction is expected to begin in July. The next phase will include creation of a waterfront walkway with seating, lights and planted areas along the edge of the new bulkhead. Continued here...
Welcome Aboard, Samish! New Olympic Class Ferry Joins WSF Fleet
Press Release from The brand new, 144-car Samish is set to officially take its place amid Washington state’s world-class ferry system. On Friday, April 10, Washington State Ferries accepted the Samish from builder/contractor Vigor Industrial. Following two months of sea trials and crew training, the new ferry will begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route Sunday, June 14, just in time for the start of the summer sailing season.
“I’m delighted to take delivery of the Samish,” said Ferries Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith. “More than 23 million passengers rely on our ferry system every year. Adding another Olympic Class vessel represents the state’s continued commitment to replace older vessels and plan for the future.”
The public is invited to help welcome the new ferry as First Lady Trudi Inslee christens the vessel at an open house on Wednesday, May 20, at the Anacortes ferry terminal. Along with more space for tall vehicles, the $126 million Samish offers an ADA-compliant, car-deck restroom; flexible seating configurations; improved heating and ventilation; and wider stairwells and passageways. Continued here...
Anelecia Hannah Brooks at WaterWorks Gallery
Press Release: WaterWorks Gallery is pleased to present the works of Anelecia Hannah Brooks as the gallery's first show of the 2015 year. This show coincides with the gallery's 30th year anniversary, and ironically the artist, Anelecia Hannah Brooks turns 30 years old later this year. Talk about timing. Show runs May 9 - 25, 2015. Gallery open Monday, Wednesday - Saturday, 10:30 - 5:30.
Anelecia's work is contemporary realism painted with depth and emotive qualities that remind us of our place in the world. Anelecia, grown and raised in the Pacific Northwest, paints meditative and reflective paintings about our relationship with objects.
Her quiet paintings of everyday objects reflect the passage of time...the used piece of soap, the crumbled up ticket and the stuffed animals. All these images strike a chord within us. Her paintings allow reminiscing about these special moments, in which time is fluid and moving. A catalog of the paintings in this show is available from the gallery.
Saturday, May 9th - Reception 4:30 to 7:30 meet the artist. Saturday, May 23rd - 2 PM Artist talk. Continued on the Art Scene...
EMS Chief Resigns
Press Release from San Juan Island EMS: After more than ten years of service as EMS Chief of San Juan Island EMS/Island Air Ambulance, Jim Cole resigns to take the position of EMS Coordinator in the PeaceHealth Oregon West Network. His last day will be June 5, 2015. “I am honored to have served this community alongside the professional volunteers and staff of San Juan Island EMS,” said Cole.
The Commissioners of the San Juan County Public Hospital District #1, which oversees the operation of San Juan Island EMS, thank Chief Cole for his decade of service. “We greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication that Chief Cole brought to the position. We will miss him,” said Chairperson Dr. Michael Edwards. A search committee will be formed.
Friday Harbor Summer Flower Baskets!
Press Release from The San Juan Island Garden Club: If you've ever wondered where those beautiful downtown flower baskets come from, they come in part from our very own SJI Garden Club!
They've just voted to give another $500 to the cause this year and if you want to help contribute to beautifying the town and your garden at the same time, consider buying some plants here to help with their fundraising efforts! http://sjigardenclub.weebly.com/flower-power-fundraiser.html
Thanks for the consideration and have a wonderful Summer, SJI Garden Club.
The San Juan Island Garden Club was founded in 1944 and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month September thru June (no January meeting). The Club meets at The Mullis Center located at 589 Nash Street in Friday Harbor. More here...
This ’n That Consignment Shop Closing
From Rehberg Law Group, P.S.: This ’n That, a consignment shop in Friday Harbor, is closing its doors due to the death of the owner. Rehberg Law Group, P.S., will be working with family members to close the shop and return any items placed on consignment. We are asking that anyone who had items for sale in the shop, supply us with a list of their items and any documentation supplied by This ‘n That. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 206-246-8772.
Drive-In @ the Fairgrounds
Press Release from San Juan County Fairgrounds: Drive-In @ the Fairgrounds Returns! The San Juan County Fairgrounds started off the 2015 Drive-In at the Fairgrounds season Friday, April 24th. Movies will run every Friday evening through June 26th.
Parking starts at 8:15pm, Movie begins at dark. Cost: $5/person, Age 5 and under FREE, $20 for a family up to five. Taller vehicles will be parked in the back rows.
Please “Like” the San Juan County Fair & Fairgrounds on Facebook for specific times each week and read our FAQs about our Drive-In Movie set up at http://www.sjcfair.org/p/events/drive-in-movies-information. You can find our poster available to download to put in your shop window or keep on your bulletin board at home! See you there! Line-up and more here...
OPALCO'S Anti-Robin Hood Rate Design
Letter to The Editor from Chris Greacen Ph.D.: OPALCO plans to meet its burgeoning operating costs and debt payments through a new tariff structure with unprecedented increases in fixed charges. By 2019 the base rate will rise to nearly $78 per month before any electricity is used. This is particularly punitive to small users, including the elderly, those on fixed incomes, homes that practice energy conservation, and those with solar panels. To some, that’s not a lot of money. For others it means difficult choices between winter heat, putting food on the table, or dipping into life savings.
I sorted all OPALCO residential members into ten equal groups (deciles) based on how much each consumes and found that high facilities charges impact these groups very differently. The 10% that consumes the least electricity faces a bill increase of 132% to 171% by the year 2019, compared to what they would pay for the same amount of electricity in 2014. The next 10% sees an increase of 93% to 132%. Strikingly, the 10% that uses the most will see their bills increase only 14% to 21%.Regulatory authorities around the country deny utility requests for high fixed charges. In March PacifiCorp (UE 140762) requested a base charge increase to $14 a month, from the current $7.75, and were denied by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC). Continued here...
Mitchell Hill/Westcott Bay Assessment
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: A sweeping plan on the future use of more than 382 acres of uplands, forest and shoreline in San Juan Island NHP's Mitchell Hill and Westcott Bay units at English Camp is now available for public review and comment. The Mitchell Hill and Westcott Bay Development Concept Plan/Environmental Assessment provides a blueprint for future facilities and recreational activities for the lands that were added to the park in 2010 and 2013.
One of the alternatives provided in the plan, or a combination of the ideas embodied in them, may be selected in the decision-making process, she said."We have received a lot of input from the community in the development of the plan and I believe it reflects those ideas," Taylor said. "Our goal is to provide multiple use trails, enhance accessibility, protect park resources, and foster cooperation with neighboring landowners and trail users."
Public comments will be accepted during the 30-day formal public comment period from April 15 to May 15, 2015. The plan is available for viewing and public comment electronically via the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/sajh.
Comments may also be submitted in writing to: Superintendent, San Juan Island NHP, P.O. Box 429, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. Questions may be directed to the park's Chief of Integrated Resource Management, Jerald Weaver, at 360-378-2240 ext. 2224. Continued here...
Meet Your Volunteer Firefighter - Erin Graham
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire Rescue: Erin is actually a native of San Juan Island but moved off Island when she was a toddler. She moved back at the age of 37! She was raised in Sequim, went to high school there then received her degree in Early Childhood Education from Peninsula College and General Science for Elementary School from Western Washington University.
Not long after being back, she was recruited to join San Juan Island Fire Rescue by a friend who was already a fire fighter. She had no idea that she even wanted to be a firefighter but is now very active in the department. She goes to most of the 9-1-1 calls for fires, enjoys taking classes offered by the fire dept, and has submitted her application for EMT training.
During the regular work week, you can find Erin at the school she founded in the Fall of 2013 called Daisy Chain School on West Valley Road. It is a school for all ages providing enrichment based on the science of education. Continued here...
WSF Improves Technology to Handle Summer Ferry Reservations to San Juan Islands
Press Release from A team of information technology specialists determined the Washington State Ferries’ online vehicle reservations system stopped working last Tuesday, April 14, because it was unable handle the large volume of customers that attempted to make summer reservations.
To avoid large surges of reservations being made at once, WSF will release summer reservations to and from the San Juan Islands in smaller segments to help shorten wait times online and over the phone. IT specialists also are performing continuous testing and system upgrades that should significantly increase the ability to handle hundreds of vehicle reservation requests simultaneously.
Even though improvements are being made, it is possible customers may experience longer than usual wait times online as well as on our phone system. Also to reduce online and phone wait times, summer reservations for the Anacortes/Sidney B.C. and Port Townsend/Coupeville routes will be available starting Wednesday, April 22.
For the Anacortes/San Juan Islands summer schedule, which runs from June 14 to September 19, the first third of space on all sailings will be released in six increments according to the following schedule: 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...
2015 Friday Harbor Art Market "Call for Vendors"
The Friday Harbor Art Market, "Artisans on the Plaza", is seeking vendors for its 2015 season. The art market will run every Friday from 3:00-7:00pm, starting June 19th until September 4th at Brickwork Plaza. For more information or an application, email Debbie Pigman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360 472-0216. More here...
2015 Salish Sea Pilot Guides Now Online
Press Release: Salish Sea Pilot has released the 2015 editions of their cruising guides to the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and Desolation Sound. The popular guides have been completely updated with many new illustrations and updated information about anchorages and marinas in the Salish Sea off BC and Washington state.
Jim Burgoyne and Lynne Picard launched the little company in 2011 after sailing home from Asia. Their original plan was to build small freely downloadable guides for cruising friends and foreign sailors visiting this part of the world.
But soon the project took over their lives, becoming a full-time obsession.
"It just kept expanding," said Burgoyne. "There are so many terrific cruising areas, you just don't know where to stop." And free was not really sustainable.
"It wasn't long before it took over my life," he said. "Our financial advisor was getting hives. So we agreed 'almost free' was a more sensible price. He was relieved. Continued here...
Duck Soup Inn Open for Season
Duck Soup Inn re-opened for the season on Saturday, April 18th! Duck Soup is an exceptional island restaurant serving fresh, sophisticated Northwest cuisine. The seasonal menus are based on fresh Pacific seafood, island produce, homegrown herbs, and the best quality meats and poultry. Open since 1975, the restaurant has had a reputation for offering some of the most delicious food and wine in the region and has also received enthusiastic reviews from patrons and various publications including Bon Appétit, Pacific Northwest Magazine, Seattle Times, Gourmet, Travel & Leisure, and Fodor's.To make reservations please call (360) 378-4878. For April/May they will be open Friday through Sunday 5-10pm. Visit Facebook Page
OPALCO Voting Recommendation
Press Release from Islands Energy Coalition: We recommend voting for Randy J. Cornelius and Winnie Adams (incumbent). OPALCO is going through rapid changes and many issues have risen to the forefront. Having hosted the recent OPALCO Candidate Forums and followed OPALCO closely for years, we believe Randy and Winnie are best suited to help mitigate the negative impacts of these monumental shifts in our coop. The three primary issues to watch are:
1) The board’s approval of a rapid and unprecedented rate increase. If the board does not change direction we will see a residential base rate of $79/month by 2019.
2) Transparency of decision-making and
3) Keeping our electric coop strong and vital as OPALCO gets into the new business of broadband.
In March, OPALCO stated on its website: “Despite real hardships across the membership, this rate structure is the right thing to do for our Co-op”. We strongly disagree with this statement and want the board to consider a rate structure that does not unfairly burden those on fixed incomes, those who use the least electricity and those who are low-income. Continued here...
Cattle Point Road Realignment
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: After more than 14 years of planning, construction will start Monday April 13 on the long-awaited realignment of Cattle Point Road on the slopes of Mount Finlayson above South Beach, announced Lee Taylor, San Juan Island National Historical Park superintendent and Shannon Wilbur, project engineer for the San Juan County Public Works Department.
The $6.2 million project, targeted for completion by October 15, will relocate 1.27 miles of county road between Pickett's Lane and the Cattle Point lighthouse to a glacial bench about 300 feet uphill from the current roadbed. The right of way will pass about 150 feet below the park's Mount Finlayson trail overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Taylor said.
About 500 feet of road within the park boundary is threatened by coastal erosion. If erosion continues unchecked the roadway will eventually fail, cutting-off the only access by road to federal, state, and private property, as well as utilities, at the east end of the Cattle Point peninsula. 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...
Seaview Gasoline Spill: Final Update
County/Town Department of Emergency Management: Crews have concluded response and clean-up efforts at the gasoline spill that occurred on Seaview Street on Orcas Island on April 10, 2015. Washington State Department of Ecology response personnel report the scene is stable and there is no additional pollution risk. All contaminated soil has been removed and will be transported to a treatment facility on the mainland. Clean soil will replace the contaminated soil. Soil samples have been collected to verify the findings of the clean-up.
Approximately 300 - 400 gallons of fuel spilled before leaks could be controlled. A cooperative effort overnight between numerous response organizations limited the impact of what could have been a much more serious event. Washington State Department of Ecology Senior Spill Responder, Dick Walker, stated “This incident was handled extremely well by everyone involved- the level of cooperation helped prevent a larger spill." Continued here...
Town Honors Former Mayor and Councilmember Bill LaPorte
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Mayor and Town Council of Friday Harbor honor past Mayor, Councilmember and Friday Harbor Firefighters Association president Bill LaPorte by naming the Town Fire Association’s 1923 Cadillac fire engine “The Bill LaPorte”.
LaPorte was Mayor of Friday Harbor from 1994 to 1997, and served as a Councilmember from 2000 to 2003. His on-going support of the Fire Service included his long held position as president of the Friday Harbor Firefighters Association and ownership of the local fire safety company Sea-Cure Services since 1988. His tireless community service ranged from the Power Squadron to the long-running Jazz Festival, as well as both an appointed and an elected term as San Juan County Commissioner. Most recently he was instrumental in the expansion of the Friday Harbor Firefighters Association Thrift House. Continued here...
IMA's Response to Betsy Blinks Letter in the Journal
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: You may have read Betsy Blinks' letter in the Journal recently, blasting IMA with some truly absurd notions about the construction of the building. She is totally off base, as most know, but of course it's her right to say what she likes. (You can read it online in the Journal's Green Edition.)
IMA was built to the highest clearly-defined international art museum standards of climate control, which are required to attract the quality of shows IMA has planned for San Juan Island. The atrium is designed only for sculpture, not paintings, with a sophisticated ventilation system. The systems in all three galleries are absolutely state-of-the-art.
Just wanted you to be aware that this vitriol is out there, and that it is absolutely not accurate. If you have questions, please contact me anytime. Those I can't answer I will happily forward to architect Richard Hobbs. Continued here...
What Lies Behind OPALCO’s Rate Increases?
From Chom Greacen of Islands Energy Coalition: If you find the electricity rate increases, 12% this year and 41% by 2019, alarming, what’s behind the rising rate is worse. Given OPALCO’s broadband busy-ness lately, how much of the rate increase is due to broadband? OPALCO’s answer is only an average of $3/member/month for 24 months, roughly $1 million total.
So what explains the sudden need for 41% increase in revenues or $28 million in accumulated total by 2019? The explanation we often hear from OPALCO is 1) warming temperatures and 2) the submarine cable between Lopez and San Juan.
By OPALCO’s estimate, warmer temperatures 2014 caused a $1.4 million revenue shortfall, a tiny sum compared to $28 million. The $15 million price tag for the submarine cable is a big surprise compared with earlier estimates of $3.5 million, but when amortized over 30 years at 3%, contributes only $759,000 to OPALCO’s annual expense. In contrast, the increase in revenue requirement in 2015 is $2.7 million. What else lies behind the rate increases? Continued here...
New Book by Local Author John Geyman M.D.
Press Release from Emily Reed Geyman: John Geyman, M.D., Friday Harbor, has published a new book: How Obamacare is Unsustainable: Why We Need a Single-Payer Solution for All Americans. He was a physician at the Inter Island Medical Center from 1990-97 and was chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington from 1976-1990.
This is the first book to take an evidence based assessment, after five years of experience, of the good and bad about the Affordable Care Act. It also offers economic, social and moral reasons that a single-payer system - Medicare for All - would provide universal access to comprehensive health care, paying less than we do now with more value and less bureaucracy.
Larry Churchill, Ph.D., professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center states: "John Geyman has provided us with the most lucid, best documented, and most compelling portrait of what's wrong with the Affordable Care Act yet available. He also argues forcefully for the fix we need. This is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of U.S. healthcare, and the essential playbook for policy change." Continued here...
Sunshine Alley Revitalization Plan Receives Merit Award
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Sunshine Alley Revitalization Plan commissioned by the Town of Friday Harbor was selected for a 2015 Merit Award from the Northwest Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects (NWAIA). Architects of the plan were HKP Architects working in conjunction with Beckwith Consulting and SVR Design Company.
The NWAIA Design Awards celebrate the best architectural designs available from architects in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties. According to the AIA, these projects represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance and overall integration with the client and surrounding community. Judging was based on design quality, functional utility, accessibility, aesthetic delight, sustainability, creativity and innovation as well as the independent merit of each project.“
The award recognizes the designers’ professional excellence and the cooperation demonstrated by the Town in demanding the highest of architectural standards,” said Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator. “The Town has greatly benefited from the quality of this work.” Continued here...
Garden Club Excursion to Christianson's Nursery
hosted an excursion to participate in a Spring Garden Walk with John Christianson of Christianson’s Nursery on March 28, 2015. There were travelers not only from San Juan Island but Orcas Island and Seattle as well. The 20 participants visited La Conner, La Conner Flats gardens, Granary at La Conner Flats and Christianson’s Nursery.
The next hosted excursion will be June 27, 2015 back to Christianson’s for the Rose Festival. Watch the Garden Club’s web site for further information as the planning progresses.
After departing the ferry and boarding the vans the group toured the tulip and daffodil fields on the way to the town of LaConner. There are so many reasons to visit LaConner. There is the Museum of Northwest Art, great shopping, walks along the river and many lovely homes to view. Then there is the biggest éclair ever. All venues were covered! Continued here...
Orca Baby Boom Continues with Discovery of Fourth Calf
From Paige Cornwell and the Seattle Times: Whale-watching crews spotted a new baby orca in the Salish Sea on Monday, March 30th, marking the fourth documented southern-resident killer-whale birth in three months. The calf was spotted among the J-pod near Galiano Island, B.C., about noon, according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
Researchers spotted the calf while watching the subgroup known as the J16s with its 3-month-old calf, known as J50, according to the association, which represents 29 whale-watch operators in Washington and British Columbia.
“We were assuming we had only the J16s,” naturalist and researcher Jeanne Hyde said in a news release. “And as they passed in front of the boat, I saw a small calf surfacing next to J16 and said ‘there’s the baby.’ But then J50 surfaced behind all the rest."
The calf has heavy fetal folds, indicating that he or she is a newborn. The birth brings the endangered killer-whale population to 81. A female calf in the J-pod was spotted in late December and a second calf was spotted in early February. Continued here...
Thanks to Jim Maya of Maya's Westside Whale Charters for the photo (click to enlarge).
Say Hello to Spring and Regular Farmers Markets
Press Release from San Juan Island Farmers' Market: It's April! You made it! You got through the darkest, wettest part of the year and now it's all sunshine, tulips and Easter egg hunts. Well, kind of. It's the time of the year to shake off the darkness, enjoy those longer, lighter evenings and make some Springtime resolutions.
Whether you are looking to eat more veggies, buy more locally or just get a little color into your life with some flowers, we're here to help. With the market now running every Saturday 10-1pm, this weekend is the perfect time to unpack that basket or dusty tote bag and forge a fresh relationship with a "market Saturday". It's a Springtime resolution that's worth making.
Friday Harbor Shoreline Program up for State Review
Press Release from the Dept of Ecology: Public can weigh in on town's update to protect water's edges. A program to manage roughly 19,400 linear feet of shoreline within Friday Harbor’s city limits is under state review.
The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on the recently updated shoreline master program through April 24, 2015.
The updated shoreline program will guide construction and development in the town’s saltwater and freshwater shoreline areas, much of which lies around 52-acre Trout Lake.
The locally tailored program is designed to protect the shoreline environment, reserve appropriate areas for water-oriented uses, and protect people’s access to public land and waters. The proposed shoreline program:
Toxic Creosote Treated Wood Removed from Local Beaches
Press Release from FRIENDS of the San Juans: Over the past month, restoration crews from the WA Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have removed over 50 tons of toxic creosote treated wood from public and private beaches on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands. Special thanks to the Puget Sound Conservation Corps members who did the hard work and to the concerned individuals who reported creosote debris to FRIENDS of the San Juans for their support of improved beach conditions for people, fish and wildlife.
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. It is now known that creosote contains more than 50 carcinogens to humans and is toxic to marine fish and other wildlife. Much creosote remains in local waters today, washing in with storms and tides and persisting in older structures such as docks and pilings. Continued here...
San Juan County Cooperates on Broadband Deployment in Eastsound
Press Release from Rock Island Communications: San Juan County is allowing Rock Island Communications to install fiber optic cable in the conduit associated with the County’s Eastsound Village streetlight project. “Co-locating our fiber optic cable in the streetlight conduit will save businesses located in Eastsound Village a great deal on connection costs,” said Gerry Lawlor, Rock Island’s Executive Vice President. “And, it will help us connect those businesses more quickly.”
“San Juan County Council member Rick Hughes and County Manager Mike Thomas were instrumental in making this happen,” said Foster Hildreth, General Manager of OPALCO and President of Rock Island. “It’s the best use of our county and co-op resources to utilize the existing streetlight conduit for dual purposes.”
Rick Hughes added, “I strongly support OPALCO and Rock Island joining forces to bring high-speed broadband to Eastsound and to the entire County. This is another example of how San Juan County is spearheading economic development in our community and solving complex issues in cooperation with local businesses.” Continued here...
New Nature Preserve for San Juan Island?
: The San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank are collaborating on an exciting land acquisition project on San Juan Island that, if successful, will become an extraordinary nature preserve accessible to all.
Long valued by adventurous hikers willing to trespass to capture its stunning 360-degree views, this 141-acre ridgetop property had been subdivided into twelve view lots and listed for sale as “Lawson Ridge,” an exclusive residential development. A portion of this property drains into Trout Lake, the Town of Friday Harbor’s primary source of drinking water, and includes important native plant and animal habitat, lush wildflower meadows, miles of trails, and easy road access to the summit and its spectacular panoramic views.
On March 9th, the San Juan Preservation Trust, a private non-profit land trust, and the San Juan County Land Bank, an agency of San Juan County, made a $1.0 million down payment on the $3.0 million purchase. A $2.0 million seller-financed loan is secured by the land itself; should this conservation partnership default on this loan, the sellers would likely re-list the lots for sale as private residential estates.
The Preservation Trust will launch a community fundraising campaign on San Juan Island to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the purchase. “If we succeed, this could provide San Juan Island with the very first place where visitors with mobility restrictions can enjoy such sweeping vistas,” said Tim Seifert, Executive Director of the San Juan Preservation Trust. Continued here...
The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest
With over 250 stunning photographs and a beautifully written, fact-filled narrative, we think it will inspire everybody that reads it to know and love the Salish Sea. Another bonus - proceeds will go to support the work of the SeaDoc Society. More here...
San Juan Island Pilot’s Association Donates $500.00 for Public School Museum of Flight Field Trip
Press Release from the San Juan Island School District: The San Juan Pilots Association was please to donate $500 to the San Juan Public Schools Foundation to help fund the 7th grade field trip to the Museum of Flight. This donation provided assistance with transportation to the museum, located just south of Seattle. The Museum of Flight web site is http://www.museumofflight.org/about
The Museum of Flight exists to acquire, preserve, and exhibit historically significant air and space artifacts, which provide a foundation for scholarly research, and lifelong learning programs that inspire an interest in and understanding of science, technology, and the humanities.
The central focus of the Museum's educational programs is to broaden science literacy within an historical context, relating the evolution of technology to the human needs that drive it, and the resulting changes that technology brings to humanity. Continued here...
Volunteer Opportunity at San Juan Islands Museum of Art
Press Release from the San Juan Islands Museum of Art: If you enjoy art, and are able to spare a few hours a month, you might love volunteering as a docent at San Juan Island’s newest museum. Being a docent enables you to learn about exciting and ever changing art exhibits, share your knowledge with visitors from near and afar, and become a part of a community of people committed to educating and inspiring others through art. You don’t need to be an artist or have an art background to be a part of this; we provide training.
If interested, please join us at the museum for an informational gathering on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, from 5-6:30pm. We will give you a tour of the museum, tell you more about what it means be a docent, and answer any questions you may have. San Juan Islands Museum of Art, 540 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. More here...
New San Juan Island School District Superintendent
Press Release from the San Juan Island School District: The San Juan Island School District Board of Directors announced on March 19 that Dr. Danna Diaz has accepted the position of Superintendent for San Juan Island School District. Currently the Board and Dr. Diaz are considering the terms and conditions of her employment contract. When the document is complete to the satisfaction of both parties, the Board will adopt the contract. The first opportunity for this would be during the regular Board meeting on March 25.
“Dr. Diaz is grounded in the fundamentals of the learning process and child development yet is also keenly aware of the regulations that provide accountability to our citizens,” commented Board Chair Jack McKenna. “She has a strong record of responding to challenges with successful initiatives.”
“Our process brought five excellent candidates to the forefront,” said Board member Jenn Furber, “any one of whom would have done a good job as our Superintendent. The problem of choosing between strong candidates is a problem that is good to have. As a parent with young children I’m keenly interested in making our schools academically successful. Continued here...
Volunteering at the Animal Shelter – Everyone Wins!
Press Release Do you have some free time, love animals and have an interest in making a difference in your community? If the answer is yes, then the Animal Shelter is the place for you! The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor is always in need of caring folks for a wide variety of tasks. Whether you’d like to walk dogs, greet visitors, spend time with cats or help out at a fundraising event there are many ways you can make a big difference in the life of homeless animals. Here are just a few of the benefits of volunteering:
1. Be part of the solution. You'll join a network of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, working to make the world safer and more humane for animals. You'll make the jobs of everyone working for animals a little easier by lending a hand and spreading the message of responsible pet ownership and animal protection.
2. Get warm fuzzies. You'll never find a more grateful and accepting friend than an animal you've been kind to.
3. Keep good company. You'll make lots of new friends—and not just the four-legged kind. Working side by side with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships.
Press Release: Emily Connery, who has lived on San Juan Island since 1988, has written a memoir, Educating Emily. This book illustrates, through case descriptions, her work as a clinical social worker in Watts, at a psychiatric hospital in Long Beach and, in northern California, at a treatment center for adolescent boys and a county outpatient clinic. Interwoven with therapeutic verbal images are several trips taken to provide the author diversity and to satisfy her curiosity. The reader will find Educating Emily a thoughtful well written story of human drama and compassion. Those who have read it call it a "page turner."
The last 25 copies are available at Griffin Bay Bookstore and Island Studios, Spring Street, Friday Harbor. $12.95.
Rock Island Communications: Why it Makes Good Sense to Opalco
Press Release from OPALCO: The news last week that Orcas Power & Light Co-op and Rock Island have joined forces to deliver Internet services to islanders in San Juan County is the latest in a long chain of thoughtful decisions and deliberate action on the part of the OPALCO leadership.
“This is a community effort reminiscent of getting electricity to the islands back in 1937,” said Bob Myhr, OPALCO Board member since 1986. “It’s a game changer. Moreover, the revenue from Rock Island will come at just the right time to help finance the increasingly expensive costs of necessary future submarine cable replacements, hence -- keeping the power flowing to us in the islands.”
OPALCO funded the start-up costs and working capital for Rock Island Communications in the form of a loan. The impact on members is $3 per month for 24 months and is included in the recent rate increase.
The merger with Rock Island is a mutually beneficial effort. Rock Island founder Mike Greene calls it a “win-win-win.” Both parties share a strong desire to meet the communication needs of islanders in San Juan County. Rock Island Communications is a local company committed to providing excellent service for the benefit of the local community. Continued here...
Student Appointed to Friday Harbor Arts Commission
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: Mayor Carrie Lacher has appointed the final member of the Friday Harbor Arts Commission (FHAC), an advisory panel formed to assist the Town Council with the cultivation, acquisition and placement of public art. The Council confirmed the appointment of student Commissioner Audrey Sable at a meeting on March 5th. The Friday Harbor High School senior will hold the position until she leaves for college this fall. In the future, the position of student Commissioner will be a one-year appointment commencing each September. “Although this is a non-voting position, it is one the Town sees as essential to creating a broad-based commission that is representative of our community,” said the Mayor. “We are fortunate to have Audrey participate in the development of her new position, and look forward to her contribution to the process.”
The next meeting of the FHAC is scheduled for 5 pm Tuesday, March 10 in Council Chambers. PHOTO: Mayor Carrie Lacher with newly appointed student Arts Commissioner Audrey Sable and Arts Commissioner Lori Stokes. More here...
SeaDoc Helps Complete Necropsy of J32, Rhapsody
Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: Since publishing the first comprehensive paper on diseases of killer whales in 2004, SeaDoc has worked with collaborators to learn more about diseases of killer whales and how they might impact recovery of the endangered southern resident population. Last week, that tradition continued. SeaDoc’s Joe Gaydos, working with scientists from NOAA, UC Santa Cruz and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, completed the necropsy of beloved southern resident J32, known to killer whale enthusiasts as Rhapsody.
In December, J32 was found dead near Comox, British Columbia. Led by Dr. Steve Raverty of UBC, researchers from 8 different organizations, including Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, First Nations and the Vancouver Aquarium conducted a necropsy on the beach. They found she was pregnant with a near term fetus that had died. J32 was unable to expel the fetus and became sick and died. The head was sent to the United States for more extensive diagnostics.While examining the head last week, Gaydos and Dyanna Lambourn of WDFW found roundworm parasites in and around the ears. While these were not associated with the stranding, it does add to our understanding of killer whale health. The ears were dissected out for CT scan at the VCA Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle where preliminary evaluation showed nothing significant. Continued here...
2015 Best Small Library to get Software Upgrade
San Juan Island Library: San Juan Island Library contracts with Innovative Interfaces to use Polaris ILS. The San Juan Island Library is switching the software used to manage Library services (books, movies, and patron records) to help Library staff serve users better. The Library announced the upgrade along with notice that it has been awarded the 2015 EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award from the Public Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association.
The Library selected the Polaris integrated library system (ILS) after a year-long process of comparing more than 10 software systems. Staff developed a 400 point score sheet to evaluate various functionalities, appearance and ease of use for the volunteers, staff and the public. Staff attended demonstrations and visited other libraries to see different systems in use, and concluded that Polaris ILS would best serve the needs of the San Juan Island community.
In order to transition away from the current ILS, the Library will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, March 23-24, 2015. During the transition placing new holds, purchase requests and interlibrary loan requests will also be suspended from March 16 through March 24. Continued here...
New Report Shows Status of Salmon Recovery
OLYMPIA – Salmon recovery efforts in Washington are making a difference – more salmon are returning home in some areas, although significant work remains – according to a new report released by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office.
“Washington State has been investing in salmon recovery for more than a decade, and we are starting to see some results,” said Kaleen Cottingham director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, home of the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, which created the report and Web site. “That’s heartening. But we also see that we have a long way to go until all salmon species are healthy enough to be removed from the endangered species list.”
The newly released State of Salmon in Watersheds Executive Summary and interactive Web site show Washington’s progress in trying to recover the 15 populations declared as at risk of extinction by the federal government and listed under the Endangered Species Act. The Web site puts online live data from many sources around the state and offers interactive story maps from efforts statewide. Continued here...
Thousands of Ferry Riders Reserving Spots to San Juan Islands
Press Release from Passengers looking to secure a spot aboard Washington State Ferries vessels in 2015 are sailing to success using WSF’s new vehicle reservation program, launched earlier this year.
Between Jan. 5 and Feb. 22, about half of all drivers departing from Anacortes, Friday Harbor and Orcas Island took the guesswork out of the equation by traveling with a reservation. The numbers swelled during Presidents’ Day weekend, with 75 percent of San Juan Islands-bound travelers reserving their space in advance.
“Customers with reservations experienced much shorter wait times traveling to the San Juans during Presidents’ Day weekend this year than in previous years,” said WSF Vehicle Reservations Program Manager Brian Churchwell. “Reserving a spot in advance not only guarantees a space on the ferry, it will help reduce wait times during our busy spring and summer sailing seasons.”
WSF is making 90 percent of every sailing to the islands available for vehicle reservations. Reservations are released in three, 30 percent tiers to help meet both the needs of customers planning far in advance and those making travel plans closer to their sailing date. Continued here...
OPALCO and Rock Island Join Forces to Deliver Internet Services to San Juan County
Press Release from OPALCO: General Manager Foster Hildreth announced on Thursday, Feb. 19th that Orcas Power and Light Cooperative (OPALCO) has acquired Rock Island Communications. Rock Island will merge its staff, infrastructure and operations with OPALCO to deliver modern, scalable and reliable broadband services for homes and businesses in San Juan County. “The full transition may take a little time,” said Hildreth, “but we can hit the ground running, thanks to the tireless efforts of Gerry Lawlor, who will serve as the Executive Vice President of Rock Island."
"This is a win-win scenario for all of us in San Juan County,” said Mike Greene, founder of Rock Island. “We have the expertise and a long history in the community, and OPALCO has the infrastructure backbone to take us to the next level.” Mike will continue to manage the system as Vice President of Technology. “The sale satisfied all my criteria,” said Greene, who has entertained a number of offers. “This acquisition meets my personal and professional goals, protects the interest of our employees, and benefits the community with an exciting new line of services."
For existing Rock Island and OPALCO customers, the transition is planned as seamless: the same excellent, local customer service and increasingly faster, more reliable Internet services. Rock Island Communications will build on its strong foundation to provide several new types of services. Learn more at http://rockisland.com.
Rock Island’s Friday Harbor office and retail store on Court Street will remain open. A new office at 208 Enchanted Forest Road, adjacent to the Orcas Rental & Saw shop, will open on Orcas Island. Continued here...
Meet Your Volunteer Firefighters' New Fire Engines
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: Six new engines are all here now and ready to go! Actually they have been in service for several months. They are replacing the fire engines that have protected us for 30 years.
San Juan Island Fire Rescue purchased your new engines from General Fire Equipment in Spokane, Washington. Not only did we get a good deal, but we also were able to arrange the sale so that much of the sales tax revenue stayed local. The new engines should serve the community for at least 25 years. The Fire District paid about $350,000.00 per engine. (That's about $50,000 LESS than most communities pay for a fire engine.)
The engines are island specific. In other words they were designed with our island's particular needs in mind. They provide much better driver sight therefore providing more safety for the crew aboard. The crew all face forward providing safety and much better communication between them. The retiring engines had firefighters sitting facing backwards and exposed to the elements. Continued here...
IMA Susan Middleton Wildlife Photography Workshop
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: June 15 - 19 and June 30 - July 4. A Five-Day Wildlife Photography Workshop with Susan Middleton, Author of Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates. This workshop offers a unique San Juan island experience designed to maximize photographic opportunities for photographers of all skill and experience levels. Explore San Juan island through your camera lens, learning tips and techniques from workshop leader Susan Middleton.
Examine the treasure trove of marine life that thrives in tide pools, encounter marine life (think orca whales!) from our chartered boat, witness glorious bald eagles in flight, take in exceptional island views and seascapes, experience a visual realm from tiny jewel-like invertebrates to magnificent sunrises! Meet some of the creatures portrayed in IMA’s Susan Middleton “Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates” exhibition face to face! Workshop attendees will be guests at a private exhibition reception with the artist.
This is a special opportunity for a limited number of participants, weaving the best of art and science, picture making, fine dining, and island camaraderie. Attendance limited to 12 per workshop. For more information, please contact IMA at 360 370 5050 or apply online at http://sjima.org/susan-middleton-workshop/
The Spineless exhibition will be at IMA May 23-August 21. Continued here...
EMS Recognizes Excellence at Annual Banquet
Press Release: San Juan Island Emergency Medical Services and Medevac completed another successful year serving the community with 1399 emergency calls. In recognition of this community’s medical responders, the annual San Juan Island EMS Awards Banquet was held on January 10, 2015 at the San Juan Island Yacht Club.
The EMT of the Year Award for 2014 was shared by Steve Brumsickle and Deanna Banry. Jody Vogel was recognized as Rookie of the Year. Both awards are decided by a vote of their peers. Officer of the year went to Deanna Banry for her significant service to the agency. Ben Waldron received the Chief’s Award for going above and beyond.
Dr. Michael Sullivan presented the San Juan County Medical Program Director (MPD) Award to both Noah Waldron and Doug Harmon for their outstanding leadership, dedication and professionalism to patient care. A rare EMS Community Service Award was presented to the Roche Harbor Marina Staff for their continual readiness for emergencies. Their training is excellent. They are consistently ready to help the medical responders in any way necessary. Our crew appreciates their “can-do” attitude. Continued here...
Town Appoints Seven to New FH Arts Commission
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: Mayor Carrie Lacher has appointed seven members to the Friday Harbor Arts Commission (FHAC), an advisory panel formed to assist the Town Council with the cultivation, acquisition and placement of public art. The Council confirmed the appointments at a meeting on January 22nd. “We were fortunate that every candidate was well-qualified and would have been an asset to the Commission,” stated the Mayor. The final appointees were selected so as to ensure a balanced commission given the candidates’ ability to represent various sectors of the arts community. In addition, the finalists were chosen based on their current involvement with the arts and longevity with the community.
Commissioners are appointed for three-year terms, with four of the initial commissioners serving abbreviated terms to stagger timing of future appointments.
Positions 1 and 2 (one-year terms): Diane Martindale and Traci Wilson
Positions 3 and 4 (two-year terms): Susan Williams and Ruth Offen
Positions 5, 6 and 7 (three-year terms): Debbie Pigman, Lori Stokes, and Council member and chairperson Noel Monin. Continued here...
Captive Killer Whale Included in Endangered Listing
Press Release from : NOAA Fisheries will issue a final rule to include Lolita, a captive killer whale at the Miami Seaquarium, in the endangered species listing for Southern Resident Killer Whales that spend much of the year in the inland waters of Washington and British Columbia.
While Lolita will now share the endangered listing status of the population she came from, the decision does not impact her residence at the Miami Seaquarium. Lolita is a killer whale that has resided at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970. She was caught in Puget Sound, and the Southern Resident killer whale population she originated from was later listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
However, because that listing included an exemption for captive members of the population like Lolita, she did not share the endangered listing status of the Southern Resident population. In 2013, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation petitioned NOAA Fisheries to drop the exclusion, so the listing would also cover Lolita.
NOAA Fisheries considered the petition and concluded that captive animals such as Lolita cannot be assigned separate legal status from their wild counterparts. The final rule NOAA Fisheries issued today will include Lolita in the endangered listing status of the Southern Resident killer whale population. Continued here...
$4 Million Marina Reconstruction Project Complete
The Port’s multi-million dollar marina project has wrapped up. In October 2014 Manson Construction mobilized into the marina with their huge crane and made short work of removing old creosote pilings and wooden floats throughout the marina.
The Harbormaster relocated vessels to accommodate the major renovations and no vessels were turned away for guest moorage during the holidays. Manson Construction replaced the inner marina with new concrete floats, steel pilings and upgraded utilities. An integral part of this project was the partnership between the Port and Islander’s Bank for providing the financial assistance through a General Obligation Bond.
Port Commissioners Mike Ahrenius, Barbara Marrett and Greg Hertel invite everyone to come down to the marina on Wednesday, January 28th for a ribbon cutting celebration to commemorate the completion of the Marina Reconstruction Project. Members of the public and Port staff will meet in front of the San Juan Island Yacht Club at 3pm for a brief tour and light refreshments. More here...
Gov. Inslee Proposes Free Ferry Rides for Electric Vehicles
Governor Inslee has released his proposed 2015-2017 budget, which includes a proposal to allow electric vehicles to travel for free on ferries and HOV lanes. The budget also includes funding for a new Olympic Class 144-car ferry.
From the HeraldNet: “Electric vehicles are here and they’re here to stay,” said Charles Knutson, the governor’s transportation adviser. “We want to see them … promoted in Washington state.” Giving drivers of electric vehicles a break on ferry fares and traveling in high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes are the ideas eliciting the sharpest rebukes from lawmakers of both parties.
“If a vehicle is driving on the ferry, regardless of how it is powered, it requires space,” said Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton. “Why would you exempt a vehicle because of its power source and require other Washingtonians to pay their bill? That’s not fair.” Leaders of the House and Senate transportation committees seem certain that particular proposal won’t be in any funding package embraced by the Legislature.
”“I don’t see where you get the votes for that,” said Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who chairs the House panel. “With all the different constituencies that you need to bring to the table to pass a package, this doesn’t bring a lot of people to the table.” More from HeraldNet...
Check out this awesome time lapse video made by Chris Teren of Teren Photography on Dec. 27th. Sunset and clouds out at Cattle Point, San Juan Island. 1 hour of time, compressed into 30 seconds of zen.
Town of Friday Harbor Receives $500,000 Energy Grant from Washington State Department of Commerce
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Town of Friday Harbor is pleased to announce that it has received a grant award in the amount of $500,000 from the State Department of Commerce for Energy Efficiency Projects on Town owned real properties. The Town made application for the grants in October of this year and was one of 70 submittals from around the State of Washington. Of those applications, 28 were awarded funding for a total of $8.6 million. In total, 21 local jurisdictions, two State agencies and five higher education institutions received monies.The Town will be responsible for a $50,000 match bringing the total budget to $550,000. The match portion can be repaid over five years after completion of the improvements. The grant will facilitate a number of projects including, in part, new VFD pumps, lighting, insulation and heat pumps at the Town’s Water filtration plant; tank mixers and lighting at the Water Pumphouse; heat pumps, insulation, variable speed pumps and new controls at the Sewer Treatment Plant; and new indoor and outdoor lighting, HVAC and duct work at Town Hall. Continued here...
Salmon Recovery Projects Awarded $18 Million in Grants
OLYMPIA – Organizations in 29 counties were given $18 million in grants to restore salmon habitat and conserve pristine areas, helping bring salmon back from the brink of extinction, the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board recently announced. Projects in San Juan County to receive $307,270.
In addition, the salmon board awarded $250,000 to replace culverts on salmon-bearing streams damaged by the Carlton Complex fire and subsequent flooding this past summer near Twisp. The money will be used to construct two additional bridges on Frazer Creek. Previously, the salmon board and Washington Department of Transportation funded replacement of five other bridges in the area.
“Salmon are important to Washington because they support thousands of jobs in Washington - fishing, seafood processing, boat sales and repair, tourism and more,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “When we restore land and water for salmon we also are helping our communities. We get less flooding, cleaner water and better beaches. We also make sure that our grandchildren will be able to catch a fish or enjoy watching the return of wild salmon.” Continued 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...
Who is Interested in Property in the San Juan Islands?
Article by Merri Ann Simonson, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc: Over the last twenty years, the “typical” buyer profile has not changed. The majorities of the new-comers are between the ages of 45-65 and interested in purchasing a second home or property for their future retirement. Since the recession, we have not had many investors in our market due to lack of appreciation but that will change with more market recovery.
Looking at the chart, 76% percent of the buyers live in Washington. This falls in line with the premise that most second home owners desire to purchase a home within 2-3 hours from their primary residence. The out of state buyer’s percentage was 24% with California contributing the most. California was actually down a few percentages from the last time I created this chart (click to enlarge) back in 2008.
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...
Updated App Lets Public Report Whale Sightings
Press Release from NOAA: The free mobile application, Whale Alert, developed in 2012 to help protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the risk of injury or death from ship strikes on the East Coast, has been updated to Whale Alert 2.0 for use on all whale species on the East Coast, West Coast, and off Canada. The app uses Global Positioning System (GPS), Automatic Identification System (AIS), Internet, and NOAA nautical charts to provide mariners with a single source of information about whale locations and the conservation measures active in these locations.
Researchers Christin Khan, Timothy Cole, and Elizabeth Josephson of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)’s Protected Species Branch were part of the team that developed both the original and updated app. Most of their efforts focused on how the app would work and how it would be applied. (Thanks to James Mead Maya for the photo below). Continued here...
New Home for Animal Shelter
Press Release: The is very pleased to announce the kickoff of a capital campaign to raise funds for a new animal shelter facility on San Juan Island. The project, “New Home – New Hope” was formally announced to the community at last Sunday’s ‘Wags to Riches’ event, and the initial response has been extremely positive.
The project started as a vision of the executive director, Leslie Byron and the current board president Jaime Ellsworth. Two years ago, the dream became a necessity when APS was made aware that the current property lease with the Port of Friday Harbor would more than likely be shortened from 20 years to 5 years. With the deteriorating conditions of the current shelter building and the future loss of the current property lease it was decided by the APS board to start searching for a new location and build a new facility.
The project was able to move forward with a very generous donation to APS by Robert and Rebecca Pohlad in honor of their German Shepherd ‘Luca’. The donation was substantial enough to purchase property for the new building. After an extensive search for suitable property, a 5-acre parcel was purchased very near the existing shelter at 994 Cattle Point Road. Continued here...
Check out this cool time lapse video made by Chris Teren of Teren Photography of an hour long ferry trip from Anacortes to Friday Harbor.
Are You Following Us?
Friday Harbor Now.com is on Twitter
and Facebook as FRIDAY HARBOR.
Become a Fan today!