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Large Crowd Attends Memorial Service In FH

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( Island Guardian photos)

An unusually large crowd turned out on a glorious sunny day to attend the American Legion, Women’s Auxiliary and the Boy Scouts annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony in Friday Harbor at, fittingly, Memorial Park.

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So We Did Need The Rain: 1st Wildland Fire


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(S.Harley photo)

At approximately 1:43 PM the afternoon of May 27, 2016 the first wildland fire of the year on San Juan Island was reported burning near #2 School House Road.Responding units included a Type 3 brush truck, three command units, two water tenders, a back hoe and 13 firefighters. Personnel extinguished the approximate 1/2 acre fire which was located in heavy brush and sparse timber at 4 PM.

Gusty winds and fuel arrangement, combined with unseasonably dry conditions are the major contributors to the fire's spread. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

How Are We Doing $$ ?

The following is a a quarterly review of County Finances by County Auditor F. Milene Henley for the First quarter 2016 -Ed

If you’ve ever wanted to be a plumber, now’s the time. Judging from the number of radio ads I’ve heard recently for plumbers, HVAC technicians, and other tradesmen, business is booming.

That’s good news, and it’s evident in retail sales activity in San Juan County. In the construction sector, sales in the county dropped 21% in 2009, and another 12% over the next two years.

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BLM To Remove Trees On Patos Island

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(A hazard tree -boating & sailing in SJI photo)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Spokane District, will implement a Categorical Exclusion (CX) to remove hazard trees at Patos Island on the San Juan Islands National Monument in San Juan County, Washington.

Although there is no land use plan covering BLM lands in western Washington, land use planning regulations (43 CFR 1610.8 (b)(1)) state that a proposed action on such lands may be authorized, if supported by appropriate analysis.

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Council Bans Drones In Parks & Fairgrounds

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( Guard From Above photo)

San Juan County has adopted an Unmanned Aircraft System (“drone”) policy for County parks and the fairgrounds.

Nesting birds and small terrestrial animals can be affected by drones flying too close. At waterfront locations, seals, shorebirds, and otters can also be disturbed.

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What Does Heart Failure Really Mean?


ig_Elisa_Zaragoza-Macias-001 (28k image) Don’t Miss Dr. Elisa Zaragoza-Macias, MPG, Cardiologist from Peace Health North Cascade Cardiology, will be the guest speaker at the Peace Island Medical Center Conference Room, 117 Spring St. Friday Harbor, Friday May 27 - 12 Noon-1:00 PM.

Her presentation will feature information to help attendees understand a diagnosis of Heart Failure. The talk is sponsored by Mended Hearts; a non-profit group of volunteers who support heart patients and their caregiver families.

SJC Critical Area Regulations Legal? US Supreme Court Asked To Decide

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the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) has submitted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari (.pdf 178\k file) to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on behalf of the Common Sense Alliance (CSA). CSA is petitioning SCOTUS to review the constitutionality of various provisions of San Juan County’s Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs), particularly questioning whether the County’s CAOs violate the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments because of its property set-aside mandate.

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Durland Challenges Hughes For District 2


ig_Durland_Hughes-001 (36k image)Incumbent Rick Hughes of Orcas Island will be challenged by Orcas resident Michael Durland for the District 2 County Commissioner race.

With the late filing by Durland, both District One's incumbent Bob Jarman, and now Hughes, will have a challenger to make the race interesting -and give the voters a chance to learn why the challengers believe they can do a better job than the incumbents.

Drivers! Start Your,.Umm..Race?

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( photos by Paul S. Walsh)

Island Rec held an old fasion soapbox derby in Friday Harbor on Saturday and hopefully this new event they will be put on next year as well as it was clear both the kids and grownups had a good time. The race was the classic old fashioned ‘gravity’ race where kids -& and adults- raced their homemade non-motorized contraptions down Park St. from Marguerite to Price St.

There were prizes for style -as well as for the races. The racing had categories for ages 5 through adult and there was a parade for ages 0-5 to kick off the event, which stared at 9:00am sharp. More photos by Paul S. Walsh below

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Click It or Ticket


ig_Click_it_Or_Ticket-01 (32k image)//WARNING:// May 23rd - June 5th is the national Click it or Ticket campaign. In 2014 57% of all traffic related deaths between the ages 18-34 were not wearing their seatbelts. In an effort to keep the residents and visitors of San Juan County safe, the Sheriff’s Office will be participating in seatbelt emphasis. Sheriff Ron Krebs states in a press release that "Along with seatbelts, we will also be looking for distracted drivers talking and texting on their cell phones and putting an emphasis on impaired drivers." Oh, and did you know stop signs mean you really are required to stop, and turn signals are there to use prior to coming to the intersection? Just a kindly reminder.

Race For SJ Council Seat Crowded


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Four would-be County Council members have filed to run against incumbent Bob Jarman (photo above) for the District 1 nonpartisan office. They are:

Sheryl Albritton
230 Skyview Dr
Friday Harbor WA 98250

Frank M. Penwell
560 Kelsando Cir
Friday Harbor WA 98250

Bill Watson
103 Hillview Ln
Friday Harbor WA 98250

Steve Wehrly
PO Box 1158
Friday Harbor WA 98250

And other possible candidates, including Sharon Kivisto, have been rumored to have discussed the possibility of running, and so far the Orcas race has no challengers to incumbent Rick Hughes, but the last day to sign up is Friday, so the list could change by the end of the day Friday.

Oh Boy! Chipseal Season Has Begun

Chipseal has begun on San Juan Island and will continue until anticipated project completion of June 10, 2016. The schedule of roads to be sealed is below. Be advised that this schedule is subject to change due to weather and equipment needs.

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Lopez Man Drowns In Hummel Lake

On May 11th at approximately 7:00 pm Salvador Gallegos of Lopez Island was in a canoe on Hummel Lake without wearing a life preserver when he capsized and went into the water. Gallegos surfaced a couple of time and then was not seen again. Rescue efforts by those on the lake and on the lakes edge were unsuccessful.

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BioBlitz Coming To SJI

On May 20-21, national parks across the country, including San Juan Island, will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz. BioBlitz is a fun, fast-paced biological survey of a park’s creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more.

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes across the country, s grab your magnifying glass and explore nature in San Juan Island National Historical Park, like never before

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Op-Ed by Secretary of State Kim Wyman

Presidential Primary Offers A Voice For All

The goal of Washington’s elections community is civic engagement of our electorate. We work to make voting and participating in the political process accessible, accurate and secure. It has been sad to hear the stories of so many caucus participants who say “never again” after recently enduring caucuses that lasted until after midnight in some cases.

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Third Annual San Juan County Boat Safely Fair

The San Juan Island Recreational Boating Safety Group, along with Westsound Marina and the Port of Friday Harbor, will be sponsoring the third annual Boat Safely Fair this next weekend.

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New Executive Director For Wolf Hollow

ig+Amy_Saxe-Eyler-001 (52k image)(Contributed photo)
Wolf Hollow welcomes Amy Saxe-Eyler as its new Executive Director. Amy is a seasoned finance leader with a personal passion for education and observing and preserving natural resources.

She moved to Orcas Island in 2009 after a successful career in banking and was the Manager of Member Services and Energy Savings at OPALCO until late 2015.

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Woman Found On Lopez Beach Shore A Suicide


The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has positively identified the body, which was found on the south end of Lopez Island last weekend (Related Story), as 61 year old woman from San Antonio TX (the family as asked that her name not be released).

The woman purchased a plane ticket and boarded a plane departing San Antonio on the 19th of April arriving in Seattle Wa. From there she purchased a one way ticket on Bellaire Shuttle to Anacortes then purchased a ferry ticket to Friday Harbor. At 8:25 pm she boarded the ferry and approximately 10 minutes later, walked to the rear of the boat and climbed over the rail and jumped in the water with her bags.

After interviewing her relatives and investigating her expense accounts, it is clear she was intent on suicide. The Sheriff’s Office has officially closed the investigation.

Our Auditor Is The Best In State

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(Secretary of State Kim Wyman presents to Milene Henley -contributed photo)

Congratulations to San Juan County Auditor Milene Henley, who received the honor of "County Auditor of the Year" at the Washington State Association of County Auditors annual meeting. Milene was presented with this prestigious award by Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

Congratulations Milene!

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African Kora Music At SJI Library Friday

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(Shean Gaskell Facebook photo)

Sean Gaskell will give a performance/educational demonstration on the Kora, an ancient 21-stringed harp from West Africa on . Friday May 13th at 7:00 pm at the San Juan Island Library. The Asheville, NC based musician will feature traditional songs that are the heart and soul of the Kora’s musical repertoire in addition to some of his own personal compositions.

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Just Checking Out Things In Friday Harbor


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( Island Guardian photo)

A little red fox has been walking around the streets of Friday Harbor in broad daylight, and appears undisturbed by the noise and traffic. Hope he/she sticks around and is safe.

25th SJI Artists’ Studio Tour

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June 3, 4, 5 25th Anniversary San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour Friday 4pm to 7pm, Sat. and Sunday 10am to 5pm daily

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

Memorial Day Supplemental Service

Supplemental service is scheduled for the Anacortes/San Juan Island routes on Memorial Day with an extra westbound sailing scheduled at 1:55 pm : Anacortes to Orcas. Extra eastbound sailings at 2:15 pm from Friday Harbor to Lopez and Anacortes, 3:15 pm from Orcas to Anacortes & extra Friday Harbor 10:30 pm, Orcas 11:15 pm & Lopez 11:35 pm sailings to Anacortes.

The eastbound Friday Harbor 2:20 pm, Orcas 3:10 pm, Shaw 3:25 pm and westbound Lopez 3:50 pm, Shaw 4:10 pm and Orcas 4:30 pm interisland sailings are cancelled.

WDFW Reminds Would-Be Rescuers To Leave Young Wildlife Alone

With temperatures rising and summer drawing near, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is reminding campers, hikers and others who enjoy spending time outdoors to leave any wildlife they encounter alone.

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

Know Your Island Walk Saturday

Join Harbormaster Tami Hayes and Port Director Marilyn O’Connor on a tour of the Marina with the new dock improvements. Then we will see up close the new construction along the waterfront with new restaurant and shops rising from the ashes of the terrible fire two years ago. Meet at Fairweather Park next to the Port of Friday Harbor Marina office. This will be an easy walk and dogs on a leash are welcome. For more information:

Precautions Urged To Save Bats

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This Memorial Day weekend, visitors using public lands are encouraged to help fight the spread of white-nose syndrome and save bats in the Pacific Northwest

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

3rd Annual Dodie Gann Dog Walk

ig_Dodie_Gann-001a (51k image)(Dodie & Shadow -contributed photo)

The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor has announced the “3rd Annual Dodie Gann Dog Walk and Pet Lover’s Festival” takes place Saturday, May 28 from 10:00 to 2:00 at the future location of the new animal shelter; 994 Cattle Point Road.

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

Orcas Island & The Marshall Strawberry

ig_B_OrcasArtWorks-004 (43k image)What is commonly referred to as the Artworks Building was originally the Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant and holds a special place in the hearts of Olga and Orcas Island.

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

Custom Construction Or Buy Existing & Remodel?

IG-Merri_Ann_Simonson-3 (21k image)By Merri Ann Simonson

In the current market it is much more affordable to buy an existing home than it is to purchase new or custom construction. Why is that?

On San Juan, home prices peaked in 2007 and bottomed out in 2012. During that period, approximately 30% in median home price was lost. More so with the median land prices, they peaked in 2006 and the median price decreased approximately 62% during the recession.

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

Sen. Murray's Work Earns Big Wins For WA Veterans

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of both the Appropriations and Veterans Affairs Committees, applauded the Senate passage of a spending bill that will increase investment in the care of our nation’s veterans, including more than 600,000 veterans in Washington state.

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

Coast Guard Rescues Two

ig_G_USCG_45FootResponseBoat-001 (34k image) (USCG photo)

The US Coast Guard rescued two men on Wednesday aboard a boat taking on water near Iceberg Point on Lopez Islandi sland. According to the USCG a 45 foot Response Boat -photo above- and the SJC Sheriff’s office responded to a call from a witness of boaters in distress.

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

New LB Conservation Easement

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(Land Bank photo)

A stretch of undeveloped coastline on Waldron Island’s north shore has been protected by the San Juan County Land Bank with a conservation easement funded through the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board .

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

Public Forum On Ferry Issues

The San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee will be holding a public forum on Monday May 23, 4-6pm in the COunty Council meeting room at 55 Second St, Friday Harbor.

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

Comprehensive Plan Update

The public has an opportunity to comment on Friday when the County Council will host a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission on the scope of the County's periodic Comprehensive Plan Update at 9 a.m., Friday, May 20th at Mullis Fire

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

Many “Stop lights” In County

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By Kris DayVincent

Did you know we have stoplights San Juan county? They are all perfectly legal; in fact there is up to a $394 (RCW 46.61.372) fine if you run one of them. What you say? True!

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

Minimum Bid Is $1,500.00

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Sealed bids will be accepted in the Port of Friday Harbor Marina office for the sale of a 1975, 24’ San Juan, S/V Velella-2, WN 6088 GB.

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

Flea Market At Fairgrounds

Flea & Craft Market is Saturday, May 14th at the San Juan County Fairgrounds. Market will be open from 9am till Noon, inside the Main Building at the San Juan County Fairgrounds.

FH Lab Open House Sat

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On Saturday, May 14, 2016, the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories will hold its annual Open House.

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

Fish Tacos Friday In Friday Harbor

ig_SO_FishForTeeth_logo-03 (30k image)Fish Tacos, Friday, May 13 - SJI Community Theater - 11-2pm - (or until GONE) - $7.00 Suggested Donation sponsored by and with proceeds to Fish For Teeth. Fish donated from Matt’s Fresh Fish

FHES PTA Parent’s Prom

The Friday Harbor Elementary School PTA is hosting its second annual parent’s prom; a “Denim and Diamonds” Spring Fling fundraiser on Saturday, May 14th, from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM at Brickworks.

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

Tucker Avenue Works Begins

Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who use Tucker Avenue will enjoy a safer and better quality roadway by mid-summer. The Town of Friday Harbor is begun major improvements on Phase One of this project.

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

6:30 AM FH Fire At Surina Park

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( Contributed photo)

At approximately 6:30 the morning of May 9, 2016 a fire broke out at Surina Business Park off Malcom Street. The fire was contained to a one unit, although there was potential of smoke damage to additional units in the building. Five fire apparatus, including the Rescue and the Ladder trucks were deployed. One can see the charring on the left of the window in the photo.

The fire was quickly controlled. Crews continued to check for any additiinal fire and to clear the building and attic of smoke.

Firefighters returned to the station shortly after 8 am.

Thanks to all the firefighters and personnel who responded.

Internet To Be Down Tue For A Bit

May 10 at 12:01 a.m., CenturyLink technicians will upgrade the San Juan Ethernet ring. During the upgrades, Internet service will not be accessible for approximately 30 minutes. Phone services, including residential, business and 911, will be available at a reduced capacity - approximately 50 percent.

Voters’ Pamphlet Art Contest

the 2016 Voters’ Pamphlet Art Contest, which ends June 15, has been announced. To submit an entry, contestants must be enrolled at a Washington college, community college, university, trade school or professional school, and be eligible to vote by this fall’s General Election. The winning artwork will be featured in the 2016 General Election Voters’ Pamphlet distributed to more than 3 million households throughout the state.

"Cruise Into History" For Orcas Historical Society Fund Raiser

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(public land on the west side of San Juan Island provides access to 1,600 feet of shoreline just south of Limekiln Point State Park. -SJ Land Bank photo)

If you love a leisurely cruise around the San Juan Islands and are curious about the smugglers of olde that haunted our shores, the Orcas Island Historical Society invites you to climb aboard the "Cruise Into History" yacht that leaves from the Orcas ferry landing on May 15 with Orcas Island Eclipse Charters!

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

Marijuana Retail Sales Proposed Off Beaverton Valley

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Scott Hensrude, Stan Wong & Peggy Fong, have applied to the County for permission to “Allow commercial uses in 4 units, including one for retail sales of marijuana.”

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

OPALCO Results Announced Wrong At Annual Meeting -Resignation Offered & Rejected

((Press Release) OPALCO’s Tally Chairman, Doug Pearson, made his first-ever mistake in about 30 years of serving our Co-op as the official vote counter on the ferry for OPALCO’s election finale at the annual meeting.

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

BPA & Alcoa sign 10-year contract

BPA and Alcoa signed a 10-year power sales agreement during a ceremony at the aluminum smelter’s Intalco Works plant in Ferndale, Wash. The new contract provides long-term certainty to the plant and its 625 employees while providing BPA and the Northwest financial and operational benefits. Kevin Ranker sent out a press release stating he was happy to " lead the effort at the state level that," that included " invested $3 million into training for the workers."

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

Free Business Workshop On Pricing Products & Services

Advance registration May 3 for the SJC Economic Development Council FREE workshop on pricing of products & services for small business owners and entrepreneurs on Lopez Island, Tuesday, May 3rd from 12-2pm at the Lopez Island Fire Department meeting room. Advance registration is required.

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

Peak Season Surcharge May 1

There are several changes to the fares on Washington State Ferries that will take effect on May 1, 2016: A passenger fare increase of 1% and a vehicle/driver fare of 2.5% will go into effect on all domestic sailings.

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

Achievement Award To FH Elementary School

SJI School District Superintendent Danna Diaz submitted the following letter to the community:
On April 7, we received news that Friday Harbor Elementary is receiving the 2015 Washington Achievement Award. According to Randy Dorn, State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Isabel Muñoz-Colón, Chair, State Board of Education, the Washington Achievement Award winners are selected using the State Board of Education Revised Achievement Index and are based on statewide assessment data for the three previous years.

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

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Is Saturday -Or Anytime, Really

ig_S_DrugBuyBack-01 (27k image)After collecting and destroying 5.5 million pounds--2,762 tons--of unused prescription drugs in the past 5 years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is continuing its efforts to take back unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications. So drop off those unwanted drugs at any of the Sheriff’s offices or any of the drug stores on Lopez, Orcas & San Juan; Saturday, or anytime you desire.

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

New Spring Street Update

April 27:The Spring Street Utility Replacement Project in Friday Harbor has reached its final phase. The majority of sidewalk repairs are complete, utilities are connected from the new main to individual properties, and the Contractor is prepping for pavement. What to expect next:

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

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