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NEW Evans Column: Who Should Be A Planning Commissioner?
New Janice Peterson Column: I Predict...
Things to do on Lopez - Orcas - San Juan
Link to County Ferry Cams -sponsored By Islanders Bank

Letters On OPALCO
Letters On SJI School Levy Increase

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Today's Weather

Friday Harbor House Has New Managers

ig_Meaghan_McCormick-001 (37k image)Friday Harbor House has announced the appointment of Michael Felso and Meaghan McCormick as co-innkeepers. The pair is said to bring a blend of dining and hospitality experience, as well as a local connection, to the property’s helm.

For McCormick, a San Juan Island native, the appointment represents a return to her roots. Her first job, at the age of 11, was bagging groceries at Kings Market, only a few blocks away from Friday Harbor House, where McCormick would later have her first hospitality position as a front desk agent.

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Sand Lance Hiding In Existing Salmon Data

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Recently a team of scientists from the Northwest Straits Commission and the SeaDoc Society took a deep dive into decades of data collected by scientists looking for juvenile salmon in the nearshore.

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OPALCO Working With T-Mobile Cellular

OPALCO states that Rock Island (now a part of OPACO) will deliver wireless services to both home and business users in San Juan County via LTE Fixed Wireless by working with T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Both parties are bringing wireless spectrum to collectively expand wireless capability to islanders. There is no financial exchange in this agreement.

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FH Woman To State Competition


ig_Grace_Willows-001 (37k image)Grace Willows, Friday Harbor High School senior, recently performed at San Juan Music Educators Association woodwind solo competition, January 30, 2016. She played the clarinet (Weber's Concertino) in the Bellingham regional competition , won the woodwind section and will now go to State level competition. The performance Concertino was accompanied by Dorothy Baker (piano). Her clarinet teacher is Sue Collado.

The YouTube link to Grace performing may be viewed on YouTube at

SJI Knowledge Bowl Monday

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The 22nd annual Knowledge Bowl will be held on Monday , February 8, at the Community Theatre. Our fabulous Friday Harbor Jazz Band will begin performing at 6:30 and the FH MIDDLE School PTA will be offering baked treats in the lobby before and during the event. There will be raffle items during intermission as well.

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Considering Selling Your Property ?

By Merri Ann Simonson

Thinking about selling your property? You may want to consider researching, collecting and completing the items detailed below. This is not a check list for planting flowers on your porch and painting your front door, you can go to the internet for that information. This list is to prepare sellers in San Juan County for marketing their property.

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How Birds Fly: Photographs and Stories with NASA Researcher

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( Common Tern -Peter T. Cavanagh photo)

Birds fly through our lives every day, their flight might not seem extraordinary - until you recognize that it is a marvel of mechanics that evolved over millions of years. With just over 100 years of powered flight, humans are newcomers to the sky, but we have been helped to get there by studying bird flight.

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SJ Nature Institute Winter Lecture Series

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( The Nautilus -Tom Pierce photo)

San Juan Nature Institute's annual winter lecture series -in collaboration with UW Friday Harbor Labs- open to the public and take place in The Commons, at UW Friday Harbor Labs at 7 p.m. On February 4, Timothy Dwyer will offer a talk on:

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SJC Scores Some Grant Money

A significant amount of grant and loan funding is once again proposed for high-priority projects in 2017 to protect the health of Washington’s lakes, rivers, streams and marine waters, and once again San Juan County will receive funding for the following projects and programs:

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SJ Fire Chief Steve Marler Has Died


ig_Steve_Marler-001 (31k image)(UPDATED 02-28-16, 8:30 PM) After many days in hospital SJI Fire Chief Steve Marler returned home to San Juan Island to spend his last days, but sadly he died peacefully Thursday night in Friday Harbor.

SJC Sheriff Ron Krebs stated "Steve was a kind, gentle, giant of a man with a huge heart and a great sense of humor. His loss will be felt by all of us for years to come."

Chief Marler had been flow off island at Christmas time for medical reason. His medivac flight return home was greeted by a formation of fire engines, with all lights flashing, lined up on either side of the taxi lane.Public Information Officer Sheila Harley said “It was Chief Marler’s wish to spend his final days here in Friday Harbor where he has served and loved the people of San Juan Island for many years.”

The Chief requested that Capt. Noel Monin “convey this message to everyone ‘Please give everyone my deepest sincere thank you’.”

A Curious Little Development

ig_Alex_MacLeod-2 (30k image)By Alex MacLeod

There is a move afoot to change OPALCO’s By-Laws to restructure the board so its membership reflects the population of each island. There is nothing especially novel about the idea: it has, at various times, been pushed for the county council, for instance.

What makes this more interesting is that it is being pushed by Gerry Lawlor, the head of OPALCO’s subsidiary, Rock Island Communications.

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A “Pocket Park” Proposed In FH

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(Early entrance concept, not yet a "park" -2014 Sunshine Alley Design Plan drawing)
Town residents are invited to a presentation of the architect’s initial proposed design for a Spring Street pocket park Tuesday, February 9th beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers. The pocket park will be a place for pedestrians to stop and relax and is intended to draw attention to the Sunshine Alley entrance next to the movie theater.

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The SJI Library Wild Side Series: Winter- In The Dark Of The Night


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SJI Library, Monday, 25 January, 2016 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM When winter comes we all want to hibernate. But what about the nocturnal animals who wake as we head to bed? Come listen to experts speak about owls and other wild animals that are active at night when we are asleep. The first in a four-part nature series run in partnership with Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Kwiaht Center

San Juan County Real Estate Market Summary


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By Merri Ann Simonson

In reviewing the year-end results, the sales dollar volume for the real estate market in San Juan County per the Chicago Title data report was $256,620,333, which reflects an increase in volume of 12.5% over 2014 when the volume was $228,363,943. The percentage of growth this year is much less than the 33.5% increase 2014 enjoyed over 2013, however, stable and controlled growth is healthy. Read the full report (doc(1354\k file) HERE.

Public Invited To GIve Input To BLM

BLM (The Bureau of Land Management) wants public input on visitor management in the San Juan Islands National Monument. A series of public sessions will allow the public to provide input on where visitation should be prohibited, and where it should be facilitated.

Those attending the public meetings will have an opportunity to provide input on the current trail network in the monument and how it should change going forward.

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Fish For Teeth Dental Van at Mullis Center Friday


ig_SO_Dental_Van-03 (32k image) Reminder for those who applied. the Medical Teams International Dental Van is returning to the Mullis Center, on Friday, January 22nd and Saturday, January 23rd.

Fish For Teeth and the SJ County Health Department are sponsoring this clinic to provide dental care for anyone who is financially unable to afford it. Stay tuned to to find out when the next opportunity will be available to sign up for the return of the dental van.

New Orca, But Another Believed Dead


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(J55 calf -Center for Whale Research photo)

NOAA Fisheries killer whale researchers documented a new calf during a research survey with J pod yesterday, January 18, 2016, in Puget Sound. Using photos taken by the researchers, the Center for Whale Research confirmed this is a new calf, designated J55. The calf was in close proximity to both J14 and J37, but not known who the mother is. The calf seems to be just a few days old and in good condition.

However, J31, a 20 year-old female who has never successfully calved, was seen pushing around a deceased neonate calf. It is estimated that at least 50% of calves do not reach their first birthday, so unfortunately this sad event is not unusual.

Bipartisan Bill Would Automatically Register Some Voters

Increasing voter registration and participation in elections in Washington state is the aim of new legislation ( Senate Bill 6379-1) introduced in the Senate by Sen. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, and the House by Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, in cooperation with Kim Wyman, the Republican Secretary of State.

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The Province of British Columbia Rejects Kinder Morgan Pipeline

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( National Energy Board photo)

Environment Minister Mary Polak of the Province of British Columbia has stated that "based on the evidence submitted to date" to theNational Energy Board, Kinder Morgan has not met any of the five conditions at this stage to continue to evaluate the project. The five requirements are the following:

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Ted Leche Turns 90

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(Contributed photo)

Ted Leche is celebrating his 90th birthday with a party on January 23, at Saint David’s Church. The pie and coffee reception is from 1-3 pm on Saturday.

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Monday Cancer Support Group

Lopez Hospice & Home Support Office, Monday, (02-0816) 3:00pm. Lopez Hospice & Home Support free, support group for anyone living with cancer. Designed to create a safe, confidential space, the support gives time for sharing thoughts and feelings with others. Facilitated by Elizabeth Landrum, a retired clinical psychologist. Drop ins are welcome.

Temporary Town Business Licenses

On February 4, 2016, the Town Council adopted Ordinance No. 1590 amending the municipal code regarding business licensing. Town staff will implement the changes beginning in March.

Click to view the rest of the article ******

Workshop On Brochure Design

The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC), in partnership with the San Juan Islands Visitors’ Bureau (SJIVB,) are offering two free workshops entitled Effective Design for Tourism, February 23rd and 24th on San Juan Island and Orcas Island.

Click to view the rest of the article ******

Lopez Village Water Quality

By Steve Cade

Fisherman Bay Water Association (FBWA) has received some questions concerning the water quality in Lopez Village.

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Former Sen. Harriet Spanel Dies

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Harriet A. Spanel (Democrat) served in the 40th Legislative District which included San Juan, northwestern Skagit and southwestern Whatcom counties.

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Unfair Practices In Manufactured Housing

Buyers of manufactured homes do not enjoy equal protections under the law, making them more vulnerable to unfair and sometimes predatory business practices.

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Sign Up Now: America’s Boating Course

America’s Boating Course will be given by the Friday Harbor Power Squadron March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 & April 5 at 7:00 -9:00 PM at Skagit Valley College, F.H. Instruction is free.

Click to view the rest of the article ******

Looking For A Cute Dog?

ig_SO_PetWeek-Betsy-001 (28k image)I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “where did she get those magnificent ears?” Right? Well, all I can tell you is that, yes, they’re real. I’m Betsy, and what you see here is all 100% ME - part Chihuahua, part Pug and all heart! If you like big-eared girls who love to cuddle, go for walks and enjoy treats, then I’m the girl for you! I’m at the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor waiting for you!

Burn Awareness Week

February 1-7 is Burn Awareness Week. according to the American Burn Association most burns are started in the kitchen and bathroom.

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Ecology Draft Rules For Transporting Oil

Washingtonians interested in shaping laws that enhance the safety of transporting oil through the state are invited to share input at several upcoming workshops hosted by the Washington Department of Ecology.

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Wolf G. Bauer

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2/24/1912 ~ 1/23/2016

Wolfgang Guenther Helmut Bauer died on January 23, 2016 at Hearthstone, a family care home on San Juan Island. Wolf was just 4 weeks short of his 104th birthday. Wolf had a strong connection with San Juan Island.

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Grief Support At PeaceHealth

A six-week grief support group for those healing the loss of a loved one begins Monday, Feb. 1 and runs every other week through April 11 at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, Meeting time is 2 to 3:15 p.m., and cost is free.

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Updated & New Regs On Oil Spill Funding

When facilities in Washington state receive crude oil, or petroleum products, from waterborne vessels and rail tank cars, taxes are imposed.

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SJC Hospital District Commissioners Meeting Time Change

Tthe agenda for the January 27, 2016, Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1
Board of Commissioners meeting time has changed from 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate an Executive Session at the beginning of the meeting. The meeting will be called to order at 4:00 p.m. then go into Executive Session to adjourn at 5:00 p.m.

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Thursday Town Hall Meeting With Councilman Bob Jarman

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(Councilman Bob Jarman -Island Guardian photo)

A Town Hall Meeting With Councilman Bob Jarman on Thursday (02-28-2016, 5:30 PM) in the community room of Skagit Valley College Town Hall.

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SJI Garden Club February Speaker

ig_Fiona_Norris-001 (38k image)Tuesday, (02-02-2016) at 1:00 pm, Please join the SJ Island Garden Club at the Mullis Community Center to hear Fiona Norris of the SJ Nature Institute "talk about our work.... San Juan Nature Institute Who we are and What we do. A small organization dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of the unique natural history of the archipelago.”

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Patricia “Pat” Fairweather

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November 14, 1920 ~ January 6, 2016

Patricia “Pat” Fairweather, 95, of Friday Harbor, Washington passed away on January 6, 2016. She was born in Portland, OR November 14, 1920 to Edward and Leona (Upchurch) Jones. At the age of 6 months the family returned to Seattle.

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Hey! Still Waiting Here. 6 Months Now

ig_SO_WagsTo-Smokie-001 (37k image)Can someone, please, explain to me why I’ve been here at the animal shelter for over six months? It’s the darndest thing. Not only am I strikingly handsome, I’m friendly, good-natured, affectionate, & cute too. I’ve got a very fancy pedigree - I am a Russian Blue/British Short Hair mix. I’m still here waiting for someone to fall in love with me. What gives, Friday Harbor? Maybe you could come over to the animal shelter to meet me? I’m pretty sure you’re going to like me a lot. Just ask for me, “Smokie”.

The Mysterious Military Road

"Know Your SJI Island Walk for January 23rd from 1 to 4 PM as Mike Vouri and Ken Arzarian will lead a tour on a search for the mysterious Military Road, the first road on San Juan Island.

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Fish For Teeth Fish Friday Taco Sale

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These all-important fish tacos (they’re actually burritos) will be sold on January 22 at Ace Hardware from 11-2 pm for a $7.00 donation to Fish for Teeth. These tasty tacos also feature fresh salsa from Pablito’s Taqueria, Tillimook cheese, and other quality ingredients. All profits go to support Fish for Teeth (

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Lopez Student Nominated To Naval Academy

Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, Has announced one of his three principal nominees to the military service academies is from Lopez Island. Harrison P. Goodrich will be Larsen’s principal nominee to the U.S. Naval Academy. Goodrich is ranked number one in his class and serves on the student council at Lopez Island High School. He is a varsity athlete in four sports, serving as captain of both the football and baseball teams. He is a volunteer firefighter and a Student Emergency Medical Services member, assisting with the Island paramedics and EMTs.

Dodie’s Shadow Has Followed Her

ig_Dog_Shadow-01 (54k image)By Michelle Loftus

Shadow, my magnificent fuzzy friend has joined Dodie Gann on a journey where there must be great opportunities to explore and bark. The big giant came to live with Kevin and me after Dodie’s passing three years ago.

Click to view the rest of the article ******

APCFH Volunteers Of The Month

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( Contributed photo)

The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor is happy to announce that Dave and Nancy Harvey are Volunteers of the Month for January.

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Centurlink Inernet Down 30 Min County Wide On 19th, 20th & 21st

On January 19, 20, 21, at 12:01 a.m. each day, CenturyLink will upgrade switches serving the San Juan Islands. During the
upgrade, Internet service will not be accessible for approximately 30 minutes. All phone services, including 911, will remain
available in a reduced capacity.

Washington Nonprofits, OSOS Partnership To Strengthen Nonprofits Statewide

With 58,000 nonprofits in Washington State, Washington Nonprofits and the Office of Secretary of State have launched a new partnership that will significantly increase how well nonprofits are able to achieve their missions.

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Evergreen State To Be Sold

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Built in 1954, Evergreen State is our oldest ferry and will soon be put up for sale. The 87-car ferry boasts World War II surplus drive motors, and has served as a workhorse carrying tens of thousands of passengers and vehicles for more than six decades.

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Council In Retreat Friday 1-15-16

The SJC Council will be holding a Special Meeting (Retreat). The purpose of the meeting is for the Council to meet with other elected officials and department heads for administrative and legislative planning; 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. in the Parks & Fair Department Conference Room, Fairgrounds.

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Wednesday SJIHS Dinner

Wednesday, January 13th fthe San Juan High School Community Dinner and Student Exhibitions. The Community Projects Class will be presenting Student Community Projects in the classroomsThe Food for Thought Program will present the crowd-pleasing GREEK MENU{

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FH Port District Meeting

FH Port meeting Wednesday (1-13-16). Full Agenda below, but for items not on the agenda citizens can make a brief presentation and ask the Commission to schedule a topic for discussion at a future meeting.

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Meet Mon Learn “what to ask” Tue

ig_WHY-001 (25k image)San Juan County Council is expanding public participation in the Shoreline Master Plan update that starts Tuesday , and on Monday the FSJ (Friends of The San Juans) are advertizing a presentation on the current draft ordinance so “you will know just which questions to ask” the Council & staff. The Monday (1/11) morning FOSJ get together starts at 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at Skagit Valley College to prepare for the question and answer sessions with the County Council.

Public Notice

The Boating Float at Odlin Park on Lopez Island may be closed for limited periods between mid February through the end of March

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Special Meetings on Proposed SMP

San Juan County Council is expanding public participation in the Shoreline Master Plan update and will host a presentation on the current draft ordinance. A question and answer period will follow each presentation.

Click to view the rest of the article ******

Nick Power
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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