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!
National Theatre Live's FRANKENSTEIN
Whittier Theatre at The San Juan Community Theatre, Friday, October 31 at 7:00 pm. SJCT enters its second year of partnership with National Theatre Live’s high definition performance transmissions to theaters around the world. The presentation of these plays is made possible through a generous bequest from the late Dodie Gann and underwriting from The McGee Foundation. National Theatre Live’s thrilling broadcast of Frankenstein returns to cinemas for a limited time, due to unprecedented audience demand.
Directed by Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), Frankenstein features Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years A Slave, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting, Mansfield Park, Elementary) alternating roles as Victor Frankenstein and his creation. PLEASE NOTE: In this Halloween screening, Cumberbatch plays the Creature and Miller Frankenstein. Continued here...
Wolf Hollow's All Hallow’s Eve Charity Costume Ball
Wolf Hollow is hosting an All Hallow’s Eve Charity Costume Ball at the Brickworks in Friday Harbor on Friday, October 31st, 7pm-10pm.
Space is limited, tickets are $60 per person, they include nibbles by Market Chef, wine by San Juan Vineyards, cocktails by San Juan Distillery, there will be an auction, tricks and treats, and live music by Teddy Deane and The Julie Duke Band.
Halloween Bash with The J-Bots
Herbs Tavern Spooktacular this Friday, Oct. 31st starting at 9pm. Best costume contest $250 1st, $100 2nd, $50 third, must get a ticket from the bartender by 11:30 pm to be eligible for the contest. Drink and food specials all night along with the music of the J-Bots. For more info, call Herb's at 378-7076.
Dia de Los Muertos
Saturday November 1st, 4:00-7:00pm at Brickworks in Friday Harbor. Celebration for Day of the Dead. Come Join Ballet Folklorico Monarca in their annual fundraiser. There will be delicious Mexican food, great Mexican music, a few local vocalist, Loteria Mexicana, many raffles, face painting, kid's arts and crafts, a community ofrenda, and a performance by Monarca.
Day of the Dead Remembrance at The Whale Museum
The Whale Museum: Please join The Whale Museum on Sunday, November 2nd at 3:00 p.m. as we honor the lives and commemorate the deaths of departed members of the Southern Resident Community of orcas. At this fourth annual Day of the Dead celebration we will pay tribute to the whales who were lost this year as well as those who departed years ago. Come and share your photos, stories, and memories of the orcas who are gone but certainly not forgotten. In the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition, refreshments will be provided.
We ask for your help as we prepare to honor the departed Southern Resident orcas. If you have any photos or special stories you would like to share, we welcome them! For more information please contact Jenny Atkinson at 360/378-4710 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.The November 2nd event is free and open to the public, although donations are always appreciated. The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. Continued here...
Press Release from the San Juan Island School District: The San Juan Island School District has learned about the tragic school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, located in Snohomish County. Our hearts go out to the students and staff in the Marysville community. This brings to mind another example of concern about school safety and security. If you know of a student who needs help, please feel free to contact us on our safe schools reporting system located on our website at Safeschools Alert Reporting Link -https://sjisd-wa.
In addition, you can reach our schools at the following numbers:
District Office 378-4133
Friday Harbor Elementary School 378-5209
Friday Harbor Middle School 378-5214
Friday Harbor High School 378-5215
Griffin Bay School 378-3292
For emergencies please dial 911. Working together we can ensure our schools are safe for all. More here...
October Whales: Always a Surprise
Thanks to Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: We always say the peak whale-watching season in the San Juan Islands lasts through September. Once October hits, it seems we never really know what to expect. Sometimes the residents stay around still on almost a daily basis, and other times they become scarce almost as soon as the calendar changes. This year, in early October, we had J-Pod and part of K-Pod hanging around. On October 4th, I got to Lime Kiln just in time to see the second half of the group go north.
As the whales continued north, I was surprised by not one, but two, small groups of Pacific white-sided dolphins, or Lags. We've had small numbers of these guys around for much of the summer, and occasionally large groups of up to a hundred or more. They tend to be more common a bit further north in the Strait of Georgia and Johnstone Strait, but if they start hanging around here more often I don't think anyone will complain! These guys are awesome. Continued here...
One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer
By Merri Ann Simonson, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc: Unlike liquor, your water source in San Juan County is not guaranteed and must be acquired and cared for.
When you first consider purchasing an unimproved parcel of land you should condition your purchase upon a satisfactory water source. Due to the risk of closing before the water source is determined, the days of clients purchasing land without the source are long gone. If one hopes to use institutional financing, the lender will require that the water source be acceptable in quality and quantity; in addition to a valid septic system permit and access to an electrical power provider.
The majority of non-platted parcels in the San Juan Islands are serviced by individual wells. Most subdivisions offer access to a community water system, and some urban areas offer public systems.
Types of water sources in the islands include:
Pet of The Week
Stop by the shelter to meet him! The Animal Shelter is located at 111 Shelter Lane in Friday Harbor. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 til 3:00. Call 378-2158 for more information. If you would like to receive updates from the Animal Shelter about upcoming events and happenings at the shelter, please contact Jan Murphy at email@example.com and provide your email address and stay in the loop! Continued here...
The Second Annual Friday Harbor Film Festival is November 7-9, 2014!
Letters to the Editor - Re-Elect Joan White for County Clerk
There have been 22 "Letters to the Editor" submitted for Joan! Here's the latest:
Letter to the Editor from Paul Arons: I am writing to support the candidacy of Joan White for County Clerk. Although I have only recently become licensed in Washington State, I have been a practicing lawyer for over thirty years and I've interacted with many county clerks. What has impressed me the most about Joan White's running of the county clerk's office is not only the willingness to patiently help attorneys, but also the willingness to help members of the public navigate their way through filing and procedures with which they are not familiar. Continued here...
Letter to the Editor from Michael K. Murray: I have never before written a letter to the Editor or an “Open Letter” expressing my support of a candidate for public office. I do so now to express my support, and to encourage your vote, for the reelection of Joan White as San Juan County Clerk and Clerk of the Superior Court. Joan’s outstanding management and operation of the County Clerk’s office, Joan’s unfailing positive attitude and instilling in her staff the same positive attitude to truly help all who enter the Clerk’s office, and Joan’s efficiency in “getting things done,” are exceptional in my experience. Continued here...
Letter to the Editor from Katie Blaine: I am an attorney who has practiced law in this community for almost 20 years and have worked closely with Joan White throughout the years, first in her capacity as a deputy clerk and then as Court Clerk. I have always valued Joan White's professionalism and depth of knowledge. She has years of experience, does a great job, and really cares about this community, the court system, and access to justice. Please join me to vote to re-elect Joan White as San Juan County Court Clerk. Continued here...
Letter to the Editor from Joan Pedrick: I have had the pleasure of working with Joan White for more than fifteen years. She always brings professionalism and integrity to the workplace, but she also brings a sense of humor which is most welcome. The court system could not function effectively without the likes of people like Joan White. I recommend her without reservation. Continued here...
Letter to the Editor from Garrett J. Beyer: I am writing to urge voters to retain Joan White as our County Clerk. I have been an attorney for 20 years and have practiced in various counties during that time. I have found Joan to be exemplary in the performance of her duties as the clerk. The work she handles is not something that can be learned except by experience. Continued here...
Press Release from Deirdre Morris - Member, San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping: Last weekend, the Russian cargo ship Simushir, “carrying mining equipment and unnamed solvents, as well as hundreds of tonnes of bunker and diesel fuel” (according to The Canadian Press) lost power and was drifting toward Haida Gwaii (aka Queen Charlotte Islands). Fortunately, disaster was averted this time when a tug finally reached the disabled ship and towed it to dock in Prince Rupert BC.
In stormy seas and with emergency equipment miles away, the Haida people had reason to fear the worst. This time they got lucky. Accidents happen. Islands are precious. That’s why we would like to protect ours. With the proposed increase in shipping coal, crude oil, and natural gas through our island waterways (on tankers 2 or more times larger than the Simushir), are we just hoping to get lucky, too? Or will we be prepared?
If we are not able to prevent the shipping expansion, then we deserve the best protection we can get. Please ask our representatives for emergency response towing and oil spill response equipment and personnel to be stationed in our own County. Continued here...
Proposed Moratorium on Marijuana Producers
Press Release: I-502 is a voter approved initiative to legalize the production, processing, and retail sale of marijuana. Locals on San Juan Island have already invested in the process towards growing marijuana as a business venture only to run into many obstacles, including, but not limited to, neighbors who are trying to shut down their operations. Now there is a proposed moratorium in place that will prohibit the production of all Tier 2 and Tier 3 production facilities. Please sign this petition if you are against the proposed moratorium. It is not yet in place and can be overturned. More here...
Wednesday Night Karaoke With DJ XLCR
Come on down to Herb's Tavern and unleash your inner Rock Star, Country Crooner, or Soulful Balladeer! Drinks, Food, Billiards, plus Wednesday Night Karaoke with DJ XLCR (Aaron D'Errico) starting at 9pm. For more info, call Herb's at 378-7076. More on the Music Scene...
Alley Makeover Earns First Civic Pride Award
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: Town of Friday Harbor recognizes Steve Buck and company. Curb appeal is typically reserved for the front of buildings, but businesses on Sunshine Alley are taking a critical look at their side and backyards. Voluntary efforts to improve the alleyway began at the First Street entrance with improvements to the building housing Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands, Inc. Their investment is being recognized with the Town of Friday Harbor’s first Civic Pride Award.
Steve Buck and Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands, Inc. replaced the exterior staircase, redesigned the basement stairwell entrance, and screened off mechanical equipment. The result is a fresh, clean entrance to Sunshine Alley that respects and maintains the historical value of the building.
Constructed in 1907, what is now recognized as the Buck Building was originally home to San Juan County Bank until Sam and Barbara Buck purchased the building in 1980 for their real estate company San Juan Properties, which later became an independent affiliate of Coldwell Banker. Much of the historic interior woodwork can be seen today thanks to careful preservation by Sam and Barbara Buck and Steve Buck. Continued here...
Help Local Artist Aaron D'Errico with His Goal to Make a Printed Comic of Soccer Superhero, Ammon Walker
From Kickstarter.com: goal is to produce and release the 22-page, full-color comic book/manga origin story of Ammon Walker: “The World’s First Soccer-Hero, seen in this Emmy winning Q-13 Fox Sports news segment.
Anything over that funding goal of $11,000 to make printed comics of Ammon goes towards making a narrated, animated and scored motion comic book of Ammon.
Making Ammon's story is a personal goal for many reasons. I created Ammon from a desire to play pro soccer for the Seattle Sounders FC, like my Father, USMNT Captain and original NASL Seattle Sounders first round draft pick, David D’Errico, despite me living with cerebral palsy effecting my legs.
That kept me from entering the King 5/Disney Seattle Sounders Super Search contest in 2009, seeking people to tryout for the new Sounders team, yet that contest gave me a great idea for a story of a soccer super hero I’d been developing since 1998. Continued here...
Download Local Song in Support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Orcas Island singer songwriter Mandy Troxel has released a new original song in honor of October's Domestic Violence Awareness month. The song is available for free download, with the option to "tip" the music, with 100% of the proceeds designated towards the San Juan County's DVSAS office.
The song developed from an incident that unfolded adjacent to where Mandy was working. "It was very scary and disturbing," recalls Mandy. "I couldn't shake it until I got home and wrote it all out, and then it took the form of lyrics." At first Mandy was concerned about preserving the anonymity of the parties involved, but then realized that there was anonymity in the fact that it was such a common scenario. She herself does not know the people involved, as they were out of view, separated by a fence.
Domestic violence awareness is an issue near to Mandy's heart. While in her 20's she volunteered as a live-in house manager at a women's shelter in San Francisco. "I met some amazing families who were working so, so hard to get themselves into a better place, physically and emotionally. I also learned that domestic violence is an issue that effects all of us, period." Continued on the Music Scene...
A couple of weeks ago we received this sad Canada Goose from the mainland that had been found stuck in tar. Thankfully she was able to be removed, but she still had a large amount of tar covering her feet, legs, and belly and she had become stuck to the box she was transported over in. To remove her from the box, staff had to cut most of her belly feathers away, and then we wrapped her feet to keep them from sticking to anything else.
We don't know how long she had been stuck in the tar, but she was also lethargic, dehydrated, stressed and had breathing problems, probably from inhaling the fumes from the tar. Over the next 2 days we worked to treat these problems and to gradually remove the tar a little at a time, without stressing her too much. But, despite our best efforts, her condition worsened, and by the third day we sadly decided that the most humane course was to put her down and end her suffering.
We sometimes get calls about animals that are oiled, tarred, glued, covered in paint, or stuck in miscellaneous traps and we can have success in helping them depending on the severity. Continued here...
"RED" - Back by Popular Demand!
Press Release from Island Stage Left: SJ County Fairgrounds, Marie Boe Building. Oct 24 - Nov 16. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30 and 4:00 Sundays (We open on Friday Oct 24th.) Stage Left is thrilled to announce a four week run of the recent, Tony Award-winning, dynamic and thought-provoking play, "RED" by John Logan. Although set in the studio of abstract painter Mark Rothko, in 1950's New York, this play speaks a universal language about a generation passing the baton, about ethics and art, about the ferocity of artistic passion, - all seen through the father/son, mentor/student relationship of Rothko and his apprentice, Ken. We are delighted to announce the return of Daniel Mayes as Rothko and the introduction of Seattle's Jonathan Shue as Ken.
"As literate and passionate exploration of the creative process, the play positively requires--demands--that most important aspect of art--the audience's participation, the audience's thinking. The immediate topical focus of the play, of course, is Mark Rothko, but its ultimate concerns lie far beyond the boundaries of one man's canvas. RED is a masterpiece." More here...
OPALCO Broadband Unveiled
Press Release from OPALCO: Separate Entity to Deliver Internet Services to Co-op Members. At Thursday’s meeting of the OPALCO Board of Directors, a motion was unanimously approved that includes a $7.5 million acceleration of our efforts to provide member Internet connections to as many members as possible – and, eventually, serve the entire membership. A new organization will be formed to deliver these services, separate in its finances and staffing. The detailed plan and presentation are available at opalco.com.
“The plan is do-able, well balanced and does not rely on OPALCO for all of the funds,” commented Board Member Dr. Jerry Whitfield of Shaw Island. “I'm impressed with the inspired leadership of (Foster) Hildreth and (Gerry) Lawlor, their level of understanding of the problems ahead and their ability to pull it off.”
A rate schedule for member connections is now available online (islandnetwork.opalco.com/), beginning with basic Internet (10Mbps down/up data + home phone) services at $95 per month. Rates include a credit of $1,500 per member connection to help offset the initial costs.
OPALCO’s team has been out talking with Homeowners Associations to encourage neighborhoods to work together and share the cost of connection – the most cost effective way to serve the largest number of members. A map in the presentation shows more than 1300 members ready to subscribe as soon as services are available. The start-up phase of the project aims to connect 25% of our membership (about 2900 members) in the first three years. Continued here...
Corrections to KING 5 Story Regarding Ferry Reservations
Press Release from San Juan Islands Ferry Group: KING 5 produced a story October 14th about the vehicle reservation that begins soon in the San Juan Islands. There are two errors that has asked the station to correct. We’re sharing them with you here in the hopes of avoiding confusion.
Here is the text of the corrections that were sent to KING 5: In addition to Anacortes-San Juan Island and Anacortes-Orcas Island, we also will offer reservations from Anacortes to Shaw and Lopez islands, just not from Shaw or Lopez to Anacortes. Also, I wanted to clarify our no-show policy. No-show fees only apply when reserved travel is not completed on the same day and terminal as booked.
It is true that customers have until 5 p.m. the day prior to reserved travel to cancel or change their reservation. However, if a customer arrives late and misses the sailing they have a reservation on, then they may use their reservation on a different sailing within the same service day from the same terminal without being charged a no-show fee. Read the story from KING 5 here. More here...
$3,000 Soroptimist Fellowship Award
Press Release from Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor: Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor is seeking applications for one of their premier awards, the Fellowship Award. This $3,000 award is open to local women established in business or profession, who wish to undertake advanced study at an accredited college or university. Ideally, candidates will have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and present a study plan showing how an advanced degree will enhance her business or profession.
Candidates can download the application form at the Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor website. Please submit application packet to Joyce Sobel, P.O. Box 1223, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, by January 10, 2015. For further information, contact Joyce Sobel at firstname.lastname@example.org. More 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...
Larsen Disappointed by Proposal for Shaw Island Post Office
Press Release: Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, pressed the U.S. Postal Service for answers to his questions regarding a proposal to limit the Shaw Island Post Office’s operations to four hours per day. Larsen also called on USPS once again to designate the island’s post office as Part-Time, which would allow the office to remain open six hours per day and to be staffed by a postmaster.
Larsen initially made these requests to the USPS Postmaster General in August after hearing concerns from Shaw Island residents. Larsen received a response indicating that USPS planned to cut the Shaw Island Post Office hours to four per day starting on October 6, but without clear answers about how USPS decides hours of operations for post offices located on islands accessible only by ferry. Continued here...
Town Announces Improvements to Evergreen Park
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Friday Harbor Town Council welcomes the public to enjoy the new walking path, picnic area and greenery recently added to Evergreen Park. The park is one of five parks within the Town, and is located off of Spruce Street on Green Way in the Greenway neighborhood.
“Sarena Schumacher has earned a special thanks from the Council and the community for the design and labor she put into this park,” said Town Administrator Duncan Wilson. Schumacher is an employee of the Town. Mr. Wilson added that the Council is actively encouraging the community to share ideas for additional improvements to the Town parks. Town parks are open to the public during daylight hours. Click here for a link to a map of Friday Harbor parks. The public is invited to suggest additional enhancements, please contact Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator (360) 378-2810, ext 226 email@example.com. More here...
Southern Residents and Chinook Salmon: An Undeniable Link
Thanks to Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: As another summer whale-watching season winds down here in the San Juan Islands, it's an appropriate time to reflect on how these whales are doing. Last year, we had an all-time low in both salmon numbers and whale visits to inland waters, that left many of us wondering what this year would bring. There was an undeniable sense of relief that we had the Southern Residents around a lot this year- no more stretches of days and weeks without whales as we experienced in 2013. Still, despite some proclaiming that this summer was "just like the good ol' days", it really wasn't.
While the number of whale days spent in inland waters was certainly up, the amount of pod-fractioning hit an all-time high. We had different groups of partial pods around on almost a daily basis for a while. Yes, there were whales around to watch on most days this summer - but often it was a group of a dozen or twenty whales, rather than 40 or 50 whales or all 79 together in a superpod (by my unofficial count, we only had all matrilines of all three pods in inland waters at the same time on three days this summer). Continued here...
New Ferry Vehicle Reservation System Website
Washington State Ferries has created an informational website called Save a Spot which is about the upcoming vehicle reservation system that is scheduled to begin January 5, 2015. The Save A Spot online reservation system will make it easy to book vehicle reservations to and from the San Juan Islands. Currently, reservations are offered on international sailings to Sidney, B.C., and on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route.
Starting December 2, 2014, vehicle reservations will be accepted for winter season travel to and from the San Juan Islands. Washington State Ferries will not charge a fee to make a reservation. However, a no-show fee may be charged when a reservation is booked, but not used. More here...
School Health Consortium Meets on Infectious Disease Control and Related Student Health Matters
Press Release: The San Juan Island School District, in partnership with San Juan Island private schools, local health care providers and San Juan County Health and Community Services, met on Sept 23, 2014 to coordinate immunization procedures and to better communicate matters of infectious disease control. There was a useful exchange of both ideas and information with a commitment to better serving the health and wellness needs of all our Island’s children. The concept of a San Juan Island School Health Consortium was established.
The team discussed the ongoing need to immunize students for the health and safety of all involved. One of the goals of the consortium was to ensure immunizations policies were being followed for part-time students, shared students, and student athletes. The team looked for systemic gaps so that improvements can be made both now and in the future. The recent scare with measles helped motivate the partners in their work.
Cost should not be a barrier for vaccinations. Washington State has done more to take down barriers such as cost or access for immunizations. Information was shared to demonstrate that vaccines do work. Continued here...
Power to the Puffins!Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: It's been a long time coming, but Washington State is in the final stage of deciding whether or not to list the Tufted puffin as a state endangered species.
Tufted puffins used to breed at 43 different nesting colonies in Washington State. Now they are found at only 19, and the state's population is 1/10th of what it was in 1984.
Tufted puffins have been candidates for listing in Washington State since 1998. But you can't move from candidate to listed species without a formal scientific status review. Since the Department of Fish and Wildlife didn't have the resources to write the status review, nothing happened for a long time.Then SeaDoc stepped in. We knew it was important to get the status review written so that the State could eventually create a recovery plan for puffins. So in 2010 we raised money from private individuals, with gifts ranging from $100 to $23,000. (Crowdfunding before crowdfunding was cool.) Continued here...
Outbreak of Enterovirus D68 Spreads
Press Release: It is likely that D68 Enterovirus has reached the San Juan Islands. A case has been reported that is positive for enterovirus, further testing is only done by the CDC if the case causes severe illness and the individual requires intensive care management. As reported in other states, some children with the infection have also had limb paralysis (polio virus is also a member of the entrovirus group).
Although all ages get infections adults have often had this or related infections and have some immunity to the severe effects of the disease. “Parents and teachers should watch children for difficulty breathing or wheezing, particularly in children with a history of asthma”, said Dr Frank James, Health Officer for San Juan County. He went on to say, “These children may become very ill and require emergency room evaluation or even hospitalization for breathing problems. If your child becomes progressively sicker immediate evaluation is needed and urgent evaluation by health care providers and when if your child has severe respiratory distress you should call 911”.
Enteroviruses are common human viruses that can cause respiratory illness as well as febrile rash illness and neurologic illness. Continued here...
Marina Reconstruction Underway
Press Release from t Port of Friday Harbor: The Port of Friday Harbor Marina began the final phase of reconstruction on Monday, September 29th, 2014. This $3.9 million dollar project will involve the removal of 90 old wooden pilings and the installation of 54 steel pilings plus replace the wooden floats for C, E and F docks with new monolithic concrete floats. Another important element will be the upgrade to the power, water and fire systems on C, E and F docks.
Work will also include replacing rotten pilings on J and K docks. Construction services will be provided by Manson Construction based out of Seattle and the work is anticipated to continue through December 2014. All year-round moorage customers will be accommodated elsewhere in the marina during the construction period. For questions contact Tami Hayes at (360)378-2688. More here...
Soroptimists Seeking Applicants for $4,000 Live Your Dream Award
Press Release: Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor are now offering a $4,000 cash grant to women seeking financial assistance for educational or training expenses. Women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families, and seek financial assistance to continue their education or receive training, can now apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women (formerly the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards).
After Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor provides its $4,000 cash grant to its award recipient, they may advance to the Soroptimist Northwestern Region level, where recipients could receive up to an additional $5,000. The program culminates nationally with three finalist $10,000 awards. Recipients can use the Live Your Dream Award to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, transportation costs, or any other education-related expense. Continued here...
Whale Watch with J34
Thanks to Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: On Saturday, September 20th, with some friends and family in town, we decided to head out on a morning whale watch trip with Western Prince. With all three pods hanging out on the banks the previous evening, I was worried they might all head out west and leave, but was thrilled instead to hear the news that whales were spread from Eagle Point to Hannah Heights as we left the harbor.
It was a beautiful day to be on the water, and fun to see some of my favorite spots from the water after spending so much more time on shore these days. Here's Cattle Point with harbor seals and cormorants on Goose Island in the foreground and the Olympic Mountains in the background (below left). As we pulled out into Haro Strait, the whales were suuuuuper spread out - one here, one there - and seemingly all foraging. Continued here...
San Juan Island School District Responds to Supreme Court Ruling on K-12 Education Funding
Press Release from Rick Thompson, Superintendent: On September 11, 2014 the Supreme Court of Washington found the state in contempt because the legislature has failed to submit a plan to fully fund basic education as required by McCleary vs. State of Washington. This means that the legislators’ “paramount duty” has not been fulfilled as required by the state constitution. However, the Court has ruled that sanctions will be withheld to allow the legislature time to develop options.
While many legislators are anxious to address our needs, others are claiming that because of the separation of powers, courts have no power to require that legislation be passed. It is not clear which point of view will prevail.
Over the last several decades, Washington State has moved from fourth to forty-seventh in school funding. Our community has met this challenge though generous support of school levies to the maximum allowed by law. Further, we have strong support through our Community Foundation, Schools Foundation, Island Rec, Purple and Gold, our Arts community and many others. We have forged a private/public partnership that is as extraordinary as it is unique. Continued here...
New Fire Engine for SJI Fire & Rescue
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: Steve Marler receives the first of six new fire engines from General Fire Apparatus on Friday morning, September 12, 2014. The engines were built in Lyons, South Dakota by the Rosenbauer Corporation and sold through General Fire Apparatus of Spokane, Washington. General Fire has been distributing fire engines since 1957. The new engines will replace five fire engines which are nearly 30 years old and satisfy an insurance industry requirement that penalizes policy holders when a community’s fire engines are more than ten years old.
By retiring a bond debt ahead of schedule, the fire district was able to purchase the new fire engines without asking the voters to raise their fire tax. Two of the older engines will be located on Shaw Island to help improve their fire suppression capabilities and to provide a shared emergency reserve engine for use on Orcas, Lopez, Shaw and San Juan Islands. The other three engines eventually will be sold as surplus property. 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...
WA State Art Grant for IMA
Press Release: The Washington State Building for the Arts advisory committee has selected the San Juans Islands Museum of Art (IMA) as one of 14 non-profit organizations from a field of 50 applicants. IMA placed number 6 out of the14 in their rankings of “desirability”, and incidentally, number two of those with an Arts orientation. The award can mean a $650,000 grant toward finishing the visual arts museum currently under construction. The list of recommended recipients will now be sent to the legislative branch for consideration in the upcoming capital budget.Ranking criteria include the ability to complete the project expediently, the organizational capacity to run the facility effectively, community need, and availability of other funding resources. Continued here...
Federal Money for Marine Mammal Stranding Response
Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: August brought great news. The Whale Museum and SeaDoc have received federal funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue and Assistance Grant. These funds, administered through the Whale Museum, will support marine mammal stranding response in San Juan County and will help pay for trainings, laboratory space, boat operation, disease diagnostics and so much more.
The mostly volunteer-based marine mammal stranding network plays an important role in keeping healthy stranded animals safe from dogs and humans, transports animals in need of rehabilitation to the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and studies important diseases that can impact marine mammals or even domestic animal or human health. Continued here...
New Calf for L Pod
Center for Whale Research has reported that there has been a new calf born to L pod. L86 was seen September 6th by CWR staff with a brand new calf who will be designated L120. This is the first new calf in the Southern Resident Killer Whale population since 2012. Photos taken by Dave Ellifrit, CWR. More here...
Sucia Island Work Party a Success
FRIENDS of the San Juans Press Release: Friends of the San Juans wishes to thank the 29 volunteers from Orcas, Lopez, San Juan, and Shaw Islands as well as LUSH Seattle store volunteers who participated in a shoreline work party at Fossil Bay on Sucia Island.
Following a beautiful boat ride to Sucia and an overview of the value of beaches to surf smelt and salmon everyone got right to work clearing litter from over a mile of beach; conducting 5 surf smelt egg surveys; and removing rock from 1,500 square feet of surf smelt spawning habitat.
The Fossil Bay beach is one of the latest identified as smelt spawning beach in San Juan County. FRIENDS and Washington State Parks are working together to develop multiple shoreline projects on Sucia Island including: improving fish passage by reconnecting a salt marsh to the marine environment, unburying beach habitat at a newly documented surf smelt spawning beach and visitor interpretation on the important role Sucia’s shorelines play in supporting marine food webs for seabirds, salmon, and orca. Continued here...
Legendary Western Director Andrew McLaglen Dies at 94
Andrew V. McLaglen; whose work in American westerns on television and in the movies is on display at the Palace Movie Theater in Friday Harbor and starred such notable screen legends as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, James Arness and James Stewart; died on Saturday, August 30th at his San Juan Island home. He was 94. Our condolences to his children, Josh McLaglen and Mary McLaglen, his family and friends.
Letter to the Editor - My Vote for Ron Krebs for Sheriff
Letter to the Editor from Fred Yockers: I am voting for Ron Krebs for San Juan County Sheriff. My support for Ron stems from several direct experiences. I would like to explain.
I first came in contact with Ron as a Middle School Parent approx. 6 years ago, during my tenure as Drama Instructor at Friday Harbor Middle & High School. His concern, kindness and unconditional support for his kid made a huge impression on me. I did not know him as a Sheriff, but as a parent who wanted to connect with his kid. This he did, and over the next several years, I observed significant and positive motivational changes in the student. I have known many “Drama parents” in my 27 years of residence here and Ron remains one of the most committed to the success of his kid[s].I am voting for Ron because I believe in his ability to “police” our community - to lead by example - to show compassion - understanding - restraint - and at the same time, be a tough cop. We met for lunch several months ago [my request] and had an excellent conversation about the role of a Sheriff in a small community as we have. Continued here...
Drift Card Drop Will Study Oil Spill Impacts in the Salish Sea
Friends of the San Juans Press Release: Plywood drift cards stamped with “this could be oil” were released this week in an experiment to simulate the dispersion of an oil spill from Kinder Morgan’s planned $5.4 billion pipeline expansion project that would increase tanker traffic from 5 ships a day to 35 ships per day through the San Juan Islands. These wooden cards were put into high current areas as part of a scientific study to effectively model the likely path of oil in the event of a major spill.
Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director of FRIENDS of the San Juan’s, dropped some of the pink cards on Wednesday, August 27 with Seattle area store managers from LUSH, a project sponsor, who relies on seaweed harvested in the Salish Sea for some of their skin care products. The location of this drop was just off Stuart Island close to where tankers would transit. Another 200 cards were released in Rosario Strait on Tuesday. People who find the cards are asked to report the date and location on www.salishseaspillmap.org. Continued here...
Totem Pole Journey Blessing Ceremony Comes to San Juan Island
08/31/14 UPDATE FRIENDS of the San Juans: On Friday, Aug. 29th a big crowd of community members gathered at English Camp on San Juan Island to welcome and bless the Lummi Nation's Totem Pole that is traveling along fossil fuel export routes to bring awareness to the issues the Lummi's, and all of our communities, are concerned about in regard to the many proposed and expanding fossil fuel export projects in the US and Canada.It was a very inspiring and special night. English Camp was the site of one of the largest long houses in the Salish Sea and is a sacred place for the Lummi Nation. Thank you to everyone who attended and showed their support. See more photos of the event here...
Press Release: On Friday, August 29th at 7:00 p.m., FRIENDS of the San Juans is hosting a public introduction and benefit in support of “Our Shared Responsibility: A Totem Pole Journey” at English Camp on San Juan Island. This is a special opportunity for community leaders, people of faith, and local activists to learn more about this year’s journey and how they can stand with the Lummi community in support of their work to stop the Gateway Pacific coal terminal and fossil fuel exports that threaten sacred tribal sites. Continued here...
Construction of Third Olympic Class Ferry Moves Forward
This week, The Washington Dept. of Transportation signed the Notice to Proceed document for construction of the third Olympic Class 144-car ferry. Work will begin late this year. Along with the Tokitae and Samish, this vessel will replace the 1950s-era Evergreen State Class ferries, which are approaching the end of their service lives.
The third, unnamed ferry will be constructed at Vigor Industrial by a consortium of Puget Sound shipbuilders and subcontractors and is expected to be complete in early 2017. You are invited to submit your ideas for the name of the newest ferry by Sept. 12 to the Washington State Transportation Commission.
WSF has a total budget of $383.6 million to build three 144-car ferries. The Tokitae, the first 144-car ferry cost $144 million. Samish, the second 144-car ferry cost is approximately $126.45 million. The lessons learned from construction of the first ferry, minimal engineering design, reduction in contingencies, and economies of scale reduce the cost of the second vessel. More here...
CenturyLink Faces Penalties for November 2013 Service Outage in San Juan Islands
Press Release: OLYMPIA, Wash. – On August 19th, 2014 the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) released its investigative report on CenturyLink’s November 2013 voice and data outage in the San Juan Islands. In the report, state regulatory staff recommend the commission order more than $170,000 in penalties against the company.
A penalty would be in addition to credits, totaling $271,000, that the company credited to the accounts of customers affected by the outage. The company has also committed more than $500,000 for system improvements to ensure back-up service in the event of a future outage.
UTC staff initiated the investigation to look into the cause of the outage, the company’s emergency preparedness and response, restoration efforts, and communication with the public.
The investigation found that the 10-day service outage resulted from a severed underwater fiber cable that separated the Friday Harbor switch from the CenturyLink network. The investigation also concludes that the company violated state laws and rules related to major outages, as well as, requirements for communicating outage information to the public. Continued here...
Blair Avenue Improvements Construction Update
Press Release from Mike Carlson Enterprises: To the citizens of Friday Harbor and San Juan Island: This summer our crews have had the privilege of completely reconstructing Blair Avenue. Blair Avenue provides access to Friday Harbor High School, U.S. Post Office, Islanders Bank, Douglas Strandberg Law Offices, Higginson-Beyer Law Offices, Dr. Jerry Wickman DC , The Tooth Ferry and Tia’s Tacos. We want to sincerely thank all those affected by our work for your patience and tolerance in putting up with this major construction project all summer. Every person in our company cares about the folks who work at and do business with those establishments located along Blair Avenue.
Like a home remodel, there can be un-expected conditions within a reconstruction project like Blair Avenue Improvements. Our crews have had to uncover, remove and replace generations of both active and abandoned utility piping, conduits and wires often inter mixed with roots, clay, rocks and other unsuitable materials. It is extremely difficult to predict how long it takes to do this type of work safely and without causing interruptions to other utility services. These conditions have adversely impacted our schedule in spite of the fact the project is otherwise going very smoothly.Here is a rundown of how we are scheduling to complete the remainder of the project:
Two Heron Releases
Within the past few weeks we have successfully rehabilitated and released two very different herons. The first to be released was a young Green Heron that was found, weak and thin, in a park in Burlington in late June. It was a youngster that was just growing in feathers and still had grey down sticking out all over its head and back. Green Herons are small (only ~ 18 " tall when fully grown), so we started by offering it small fish pieces with forceps and in water in a dish.
At first it wouldn't take the pieces so, several times a day, we had to carefully open its mouth and pop pieces in. This continued for 4 days, then suddenly it got the hang of it and started to pick up fish pieces and other food from its dish and swallow them down. Soon all of its feathers grew in and it was moved into an outdoor enclosure where it spent most of the time hiding among the tall grasses. After ~ 4 weeks it was able to fly and was released in a nice marshy area near Burlington. Continued here...
UPDATE: Prairie Stewardship Planning Process
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: Over the past three years, San Juan Island National Historical Park has sought public input for the Draft Prairie Stewardship Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. This has been conducted through a series of public scoping meetings, workshops, and an education symposium.
The park is proposing to restore a functioning native island prairie ecosystem at American Camp on the southern end of San Juan Island and at English Camp's Young Hill.
There have been many public concerns and issues raised regarding this planning effort. These comments and concerns are summarized in documents available on the NPS PEPC website: Prairie Stewardship Planning Homepage. All of these comments are being considered in the formulation of alternatives and the draft environmental impact statement. The next step in the planning process is to publish the Draft Prairie Stewardship Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. 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...
Appointments to National Monument Advisory Committee Announced
12 locals have been appointed to an advisory committee by the Secretary of Interior. President Obama asked the Secretary of Interior to create an advisory committee to provide "information and advice" on the development of the San Juan National Monument's management plan.
While purely advisory, the committee forms an important channel to help ensure that the community's dreams for these lands are reflected in and supported by the management plan. The Bureau of Land Management recently announced the names of the initial committee members (and the interests they were selected to represent):Michael Carlson (Private Landowners)
Learning More about Stranded Killer Whales
Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: Recently SeaDoc and collaborators from the University of British Columbia and SeaWorld released a revised killer whale necropsy protocol. The original protocol, written in 2004, helped to increase the number of complete examinations performed on stranded killer whales around the world by 20-fold.
The new protocol further standardizes sample collection, identifies current researchers that can help analyze samples, and provides detailed directions for doing things like examining killer whale ears for impacts of sound (as seen with sonar or other acoustic trauma).
Veterinary pathologist Dr. Steve Raverty, a faculty member at the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit, says, "Thanks to research over the last decade, we now have a better understanding of how sound can damage whale ear structure and this data has informed the protocol. When we examine a dead whale, we now have better tools to determine if it got stranded because of a blast or a sonar incident."
Killer whale strandings are as rare as hen's teeth, so every killer whale stranding represents an opportunity for researchers to learn more about the species. The new necropsy protocol improves our ability to capture as much information as possible from each killer whale stranding event. Continued here...
Cultural Landscape Restoration Continues on American Camp Prairie and Mt. Finlayson
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: San Juan Conservation Corps and park staff will be clearing young trees and woody vegetation from south slope of Mt. Finlayson. Work is under way at American Camp as the next step in the Cultural Landscape Restoration moves forward. The park will be removing a stand of young Douglas fir that has encroached on Mt. Finlayson and Grandma's Cove area. There are approximately 300 trees in the stand which will be removed by mechanical methods and chipped on site.
The most significant threat to the integrity of the cultural landscape at American Camp is encroachment of woody vegetation onto prairie land, which is altering the historic relationship between the camp and the natural landscape. The removal of the Douglas fir trees is just one component of the long term Cultural Landscape Restoration Plan. To learn more about the cultural landscape at American Camp and prairie restoration in general visit us here. Continued here...
Letter to the Editor From Wolf Hollow
We were recently asked by a concerned private citizen to reach out to the community to explain what to expect from Wolf Hollow when someone calls us to report a stranded Harbor Seal pup. We are more than happy to do so and we hope this message will help everyone understand the complexities of the situation.
Harbor Seals, being marine mammals, come under the authority of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which makes it a federal offence to touch, harass, injure or feed any marine mammal, including Harbor Seal pups. Wolf Hollow staff and volunteers have no more authority to rescue a seal pup than has any member of the public. We are not permitted to go out and check on the pup, or bring it to the center for care.In San Juan County the only people who can respond to a stranded seal pup are county, state or federal government officials such as rangers within their parks, and the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Continued here...
Town Cracking Down on Trespassers at Trout Lake
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: Trout Lake is an environmentally sensitive area consisting of approximately 600 acres that supplies the drinking water for the Town of Friday Harbor. The Town has recently installed security cameras to monitor activity at the Trout Lake Dam and to regulate access to the Town’s water shed.
Town officials were greatly disturbed to find evidence of significant trespassing activity at the lake which was detected with these security cameras. People have been photographed with their horses, dogs and apparently have been swimming in the lake; all in violation of posted NO TRESPASSING signs at the locked gate.
“We understand that Trout Lake is a very beautiful and pristine area, but has remained so because it is a protected watershed where access is restricted” said Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator. “The State Department of Health and the Town are extremely concerned about this unauthorized intrusion into the watershed, especially during the summer months when the fire risk is so great.” Continued here...
Brickworks Mortgage Paid Off in Full
Press Release from the San Juan Island Ag Guild: It is with deep gratitude that the San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild announces that it has achieved its major goal of paying off the remaining mortgage on its downtown Friday Harbor Brickworks property.
Reaching this goal was the culmination of a long journey that followed the initial purchase of the property in late 2010, with a Washington State grant of $365,000 and a federal USDA grant of $100,000 joining some $228,000 in private donations. The Ag Guild then embarked on a major community-wide fundraising effort to support the dream of completely repurposing the property as a permanent home for the San Juan Islands Farmers Market. Over subsequent years that dream, which became the Brickworks Project, increasingly captured the imagination of the community as a whole.
“What we came to experience was an amazing blending of community-wide passion, persistence, generosity and commitment,” said Susie Wampler, Ag Guild Board chair. “Though the odds initially seemed daunting, we strongly believed in the worthiness of the cause. We believed that if we built it, they would come. And come they did, with donations ranging from $5 to over $100,000 added to over 35,000 hours of volunteer time and the gift of many talents.” Continued here...
Mar Vista Property Owner fined $79,000 for Illegally Clearing Shoreline
Press Release from the Dept of Ecology: A property owner who cleared shoreline vegetation along the west side of San Juan Island faces $79,000 in fines for state water quality and shoreline violations and an order to restore the damage.
The Washington Department of Ecology has issued two penalties and a corrective action order to Orca Dreams, LLC for removing at least 80 trees from 1.25 acres of shoreline last fall.
“State law does allow for responsible waterfront development,” said Doug Allen, manager of Ecology’s Bellingham field office. “When the law is clearly violated, however, it’s our responsibility to take action, to protect shorelines and to be fair to property owners who abide by necessary permits.” Continued here...
Listen to The Whales
The hydrophone node at Lime Kiln State Park is located just southwest of the Lighthouse in about 7 meters of water. The current dual-hydrophone system began streaming live sound on May 14, 2007. The hydrophones were wired up by Val Veirs and attached to existing moorings during a SCUBA dive by David Howitt and Scott Veirs. Continued here...
San Juan Islands Video Cruising Guide
Local liveaboard cruisers Darren and Lisa O’Brien have created a new series of video cruising guides showcasing the Washington Marine State Parks in the San Juan Islands.
Washington State Parks Cruising Guide DVD Vol. 1 – San Juan Islands contains over 90 minutes of footage, detailing the approaches to each park, amenities and facilities, hiking trails, and more. The video format allows for a far more immersive experience than is possible in a traditional cruising guide. The videos are well done, thoroughly researched, and fun to watch. Below is Darren and Lisa’s take on Blind Island State Park. Continued here...
Why Do Harbor Seals Swim Upside Down When Foraging?
Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: The answer can be found in a new species profile of the harbor seal, just published in the online Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. (Look for the answer on page 8.) This species profile, written by Jacqlynn Zier and Joe Gaydos, captures the state of knowledge about harbor seals in the Salish Sea. The 55-page profile includes detailed information on diet, mating, pupping, diseases, toxin exposure, rehabilitation techniques, and much more.SeaDoc's summer research interns did the bulk of the work on this project over the course of 3 summers. They combed through over 115 published papers and reports to create a single authoritative resource for any scientists or citizens working on harbor seals or, probably more likely, working on other issues such as rockfish or salmon recovery where they need to learn more about the role of harbor seals in the Salish Sea. Continued here...
Local History Essays Published on HistoryLink
Press Release from Sandy Strehlou Historic Preservation Coordinator, Town of Friday Harbor: Thanks to local San Juan County writers who, in partnership with HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history, have launched the "writing our history" project. This project will add our own stories to HistoryLink.org, written by our own local writers, and will be available to more than 5,000 students, teachers, journalists, scholars, government and business researchers, tourists, and general public who come to HistoryLink.org every day. Several new articles have recently been published.
A history of Friday Harbor’s namesake, written by the late Brenda C. Pratt and originally published in the San Juan Historical Museum’s 2003 newsletter, is now included in the People’s History Library on HistoryLink.org. Her article, Thank God It's Still Friday!, can be read here...Pratt’s research authenticates our most storied place name: It is possible that Friday's name was Poalima. He was born on Oahu, in 1830, according to the 1880 San Juan Island Census. His Hawaiian name has been written as "Poalie," though this word has no meaning in the Hawaiian language, and therefore was most probably "Poalima," which translates as "Friday." This would have been his only given name due to his class in Hawaiian society. During his employment with Hudson's Bay Company from 1841 to 1860, he is referred to as "Friday" only. Brenda Pratt. Photo above: Friday Harbor, 1906 J. A. McCormick, Courtesy UW Special Collections. 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!