The Island Guardian
Locally Owned & Operated
(360)378-4900 - PO Box 38, Friday Harbor, Wa 98250
The Island Guardian is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists
Home | News | Business | Environment | Lifestyles | Entertainment | Columnists | Archives | Classifieds | Nag | Thursday, May 05
Current news
Government News
Political News
Service Organizations
Guest Editorials
Real Estate
Weekly Nag
Weekly Nag
Letters to Editor
Letters to Editor
To Contact the Editor

WSF Updates


NEW Smith Column: Off Island To America
Things to do on Lopez - Orcas - San Juan
Link to County Ferry Cams -sponsored By Islanders Bank

Letters On OPALCO

Today's Weather

OPALCO Lineman Okay After Electrical Arc Caused Power Outage In Eastsound

May 4, 2016 - Today’s outage in the Eastsound area was caused when an arc occurred during a system maintenance project in the Eastsound Village area. Journeyman Lineman Roger Sandwith was working on energized equipment with a hot stick and received minor burns to three knuckles of his hand. Sandwith was checked out at the medical center and given the all clear.

Read full story

“History Lives Here” May 2016

Every May the Town of Friday Harbor, the Islands’ historical museums, organizations and local businesses pull out the stops to celebrate local history. This year the month-long calendar of events kicks off with great events -listed below-you won’t want to miss.

Read full story

Who Profits From Public Records Request Delays?

Two recent new law suits against San Juan County for delays in supplying requested public documents has been expensive for the County and it’s insurance company, with new awards on top of the $85K in penalties and attorney fees -and that does not even include the time spent by the County- on the previous law suit from former building department official John Geniuch, that the cost the county $85K.

Who gets the money, and how much to whom? Lawyers; all most all of it.

Read full story

Lett, Silverstein & Whitfield Win OPALCO Election, Amendment Fails

Jim Lett (incumbent) and Brian Silverstein for District 3, representing Lopez, Decatur, Center and Charles islands; and Dr. Jerry Whitfield (incumbent) for District 4, representing Shaw, Bell, Canoe and Crane islands, elected to OPALCO board. Member-Initiated Bylaw Amendment Against: 1,207, For: 873

Read full story

SJI School & SJ Community Theater Honored

ig_SJISD_WASA_CommunityAward-001 (110k image)

In recognition of the long-standing partnership between San Juan Island School District and San Juan Community Theatre, SJISD Superintendent Danna Diaz invited representatives of the theater to a Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Region 108 luncheon banquet to honor the theater’s long-standing interest in supporting public education in our community.

Read full story

FHHS Sailing Team Fundraiser Speaker Jake Beattie On “Race To Alaska”


ig_SO_SJISF_Ad-001 (51k image)

The annual high school sailing team fundraiser is coming up on May the 5th, featuring Jake Beattie, the creator of the Race to Alaska will present on the race and adventuring. Its a topic that got a lot of local interest last year so it should be a pretty interesting talk.

May 5th, 5.30PM at the Yacht Club. Tickets are $35 and available from the sailing team, Foundation board members or by calling/emailing - 415 370 5755 or

Need A Passport? Apply At Court House

joan_white-008 (59k image)
( San Juan County Clerk Joan White- I.G. photo)

Did you know you are able to submit your US passport application at the San Juan County Clerk’s office (upstairs in the courthouse) for processing?.

They process applications for new passports and provide the forms for passport renewals.You can either stop by to pick one up or let them know your mailing address and they will send it to you.

Read full story

Spring Street Almost Ready To Open Again


ig_TFH_SpringStreet_Asphalt-0) (62k image)
( Asphalting Spring Street -Island Guardian photo)

Lawson Construction showed up bright and early Thursday morning after Mike Carlson's crew finished up the rock base to need to receive the new layers of asphalt, so this should mean the end of rough road and pot holes. Next up with be the short section of Argyle Avenue, which is scheduled to be paved on Monday, May 2nd.

Parking may be utilized when the street is reopened both evenings. All vehicles must be moved from the area tomorrow and Friday by 6 a.m. Unmoved vehicles must be towed at the owner’s expense to accommodate paving. The center lane and parking striping will be last and then all should be ready for the summer traffic.

FH Bumbleblitz & Pollinator Celebration Friday

ig_I_bumblebee-honeybee-001 (35k image)
Two events Friday, April 29, having to do with bees. One at the elementary school and one at the SJI Library. Bee there or be square: FHES 6th graders, in collaboration with the Kwiaht organization, will be hosting a Pollinator celebration, honey tasting and Research Garden Dedication, Friday, April 29th from 9:00-11:00am, at the FH Elemetary School; and “Bumbleblitz: Four years of Bumble Bee Ecology in the Pacific Northwest” takes place from 7pm to 8pm, at the SJI Public Library.

Read full story

Kennewick Man Coming Home?

ig_S_Kennewick_Man_brittney_tatchell-smithsonian_iInstitution-001 (50k image)
( The morphological clay facial reconstruction of Kennewick Man -Brittney Tatchell/Smithsonian Institution )

Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) bill to return the Kennewick Man, also known as the Ancient One, to Columbia Basin tribes has been included in a larger bill that will be considered by a Senate committee for the first time on Thursday. Senator Murray’s bill, the Bring the Ancient One Home Act, would return the prehistoric human remains of the nearly complete male skeleton known as Kennewick Man, or the Ancient One, to a coalition of Columbia Basin tribes.

Read full story

Fisher Making Comeback In Washington

ig_E_Fisher_backyardchickens-001 (79k image)
(A fisher -Back Yard Chickens photo)

They look like weasels, prey on porcupines, and vanished from Washington state's forestlands more than 70 years ago.

But now the fisher, a stocky woodland mammal the size of a large house cat, is making a comeback. With the support of private forest landowners, federal agencies, and conservation organizations, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is leading an effort to reestablish the reclusive species in its native habitat.

Read full story

Council To Meet With DOE On Shoreline Questions

The County Council will be meeting with the DOE (Department of Ecology) on Monday (04-25-16, Council Room, 10:30) for a workshop.

This meeting follows the Friday Superior Court case in which DOE and Erik Stockdale had to answer questions on how they handled the Honeywell shore land clearing case that resulted in DOE fining the Honeywells $50,000.00 as a “lesson” to others,-even after DOE experts stated the damage was not as extensive as first reported, and in fact may have been beneficial to the spreading of the endangered Golden Paintbrush plant.

Read full story

OMF Annual Meeting Features Airlift Northwest

Everyone is welcome to the Orcas Medical Foundation (OMF) Annual Meeting (Tues, April 26 • Eastsound Fire Hall • 2 p.m.) and report to the community that will feature Christine Martin, RN and Executive Director of Airlift Northwest.

Read full story

Candidate Filing Begins May 16

The San Juan County Elections Office will accept online candidate filings from 9 am on Monday, May 16, through 4 pm on Friday, May 20. In-person filings will be accepted from 8 am on Monday, May 16, through 4:30 pm on Friday, May 20. Mail-in filings will be accepted no earlier than Monday, May 2 and will be processed on May 16.

Read full story

OPALCO Board Election To Go Foward

The OPALCO Board has stated they are "committed to establishing a clear policy on election neutrality for all employees, restricting campaign activities." At a regular scheduled meeting on Lopez on Thursday General Manager Foster Hildreth apologized to the six candidates running for board positions and the membership as a whole for the inappropriate campaign endorsement sent by Rock Island Communications last week.

Read full story

$760K For Orcas Ferry Terminal “Park-and-Ride”

San Juan County Public Works (SJCPW) has been awarded a $760,000 grant by Washington State Department of Transportation which will be used to provide safe parking for Orcas Island ferry users. The funds will go toward designing and constructing a park-and-ride facility; the first of its kind for San Juan County.

Read full story

Local Man New County Director Of WSU Ag

ig_P_Brook_Brouwer_seed_broadcast_blog-001 (40k image)See Broadcast photo

Washington State University has chosen Dr. Brook Brouwer as the new county director for San Juan County.

According to the See Broadcast, Brouwer was raised on Lopez on a sheep farm, attended Colorado College where he received his B.A.

Read full story

Jackie Hamilton And Bill Sargeson Inducted To FH Aviation Museum As Featured Pilots

ig_PFH_Babs-002 (102k image)
(L to R: Will Hamilton, Cole Hamilton, Lucia Sargeson, Jackie Hamilton, Barbara Marrett, John Geyman -I.G. photo)

The 9th induction of Featured Pilots by the SJIP (San Juan Pilots Association) and the Port of Friday Harbor into the San Juan Aviation Museum was held last Sunday at the port of Friday Harbor.

Port Commission Chair Barbara Marrett, representing the Port and John Geyman of the SJIPA welcomed the standing room only crowd to the ceremony. In Marrett’s introduction to the formal induction, she stated: “There is nothing like the bond between a father and a daughter. Today we honor pilots Bill Sargeson and his daughter Jackie Hamilton and their contributions to our community. The number of folks here speaks volumes about the love and respect our community has for these two individuals and their service o the community.:

Read full story

OPALCO & Rock Island Offer Retraction, Confirm Election Neutrality

OPALCO has come under criticism for advising and supporting who should be elected in the upcoming board election, and on Monday (4-18-16) OPALCO sent out a notice stating their neutrality in the election.

Read full story

Accessible Voting In Washington State

By F. Milene Henley

Voting is for everyone. That may seem obvious, but if you’re blind, or have mobility or mental competency issues, it may not be so obvious. Both the State Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office and the County Elections Office play a part in ensuring access to voting for all eligible voters.

Read full story

It’s A Duck

ig_Alex_MacLeod-2 (30k image)By Alex MacLeod

As many of you now know, OPALCO/Rock Island Communications is busily putting up poles for its commercial LTE/Internet business, part of its larger Internet/broadband business. These would be bare poles were it not for a deal OPALCO/RIC struck with T-Mobile, which is providing all the gear for the poles. In exchange, it is getting free access to OPALCO’s broadband infrastructure for its cell business.

Read full story

SJC Adopted SMP Documents Available

The San Juan Council has adopted the County Shoreline Master Program, and now the wait to see if the State will give it's stamp of approval, and is expected to a major topic of conversation when the Council meets with officials on a number of matters in coming up meetings

Read full story

"Cruise Into History" For Orcas Historical Society Fund Raiser

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

ig_MJ_Fong-Wong_BeavertonVentures_LLC_Map-001a (87k image)
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 ******

Meet A SJI Firefighter

ig_FD_FF_of_Month-4-16_Ian_Joujan (35k image)
(Ian Joujan -SJIFD photo)

Ian is one of SJ Islands newest firefighters on the San Juan Island Fire & Rescue team. He was born in Zambia, Africa of missionary parents but moved back to Tennessee when he was four years old.

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

$1M To Get Kids Outside

Gov. Jay Inslee announced yesterday that more than $940,000 in grants will be awarded for programs in 15 counties statewide to help get kids outdoors and connect with nature and their communities. San Juan County is not one of those counties.

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

Opening Day Boat Parade May 1

“A Community Afloat” (visualize a 4th of July parade on the water) is the theme of this year’s Opening Day Boat Parade sponsored by the San Juan Island Yacht Club. To reserve a place, call Harbormaster Tami Hayes at 378-2688 or contact Registration is free, but entrants must register and receive a number to be in the parade. To reserve a place, call Harbormaster Tami Hayes at 378-2688 or contact

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

No Local Salmon Season This Year?

Anglers will have opportunities to fish for salmon in the ocean and Columbia River this year, although recreational and non-tribal commercial salmon fisheries in Puget Sound may be closed through much of the season.

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

Spring Street Update

Evening work On Spring Street in Friday Harbor to replace utilities is complete and the Contractor has resumed daytime construction. The project is nearing its paving phase.

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

Litter-Free by the Sea Saturday

ig_R_BeachCleanUp-001 (71k image)
(G>file photo: Rotary at Beach Clean up)
It’s time for the 2016 Great Islands Clean-Up on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Island, starting at 9:00 am (04-23-16) on all island roadsides and beaches -and that means rain or shine, but looking like we get the sun this year.

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

Free Business Workshop On Pricing

The EDC (San Juan County Economic Development Council) will present a 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 ******

FRAGILE WATERS: Ansel Adams & Others, April 23

SJIMA (San Juan Island Museum Of Art, Saturday, April 23, 2016 - September 5, 2016, presents "FRAGILE WATERS" which calls attention to water, our most critical resource, presenting iconic work of three renowned photographers and lifelong environmentalists:

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

Sign Up Now For The Return Of Fish-For-Teeth Dental Van

The Medical Teams International Dental Van is returning to the Mullis Center, on Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th. 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. Applications can be picked up at:

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

Orca Workshop April 23 & 24

The Whale Museum and the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists (SSAMN) are holding two special events on Earth Weekend. On Saturday April 23rd they will host their annual Marine Naturalist Gear-Up, and on the 24th they Orca workshop will be held.

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

OPALCO Helps Low-Income Households

OPALCO announced that 108 co-op members have applied for and received a monthly credit on their power bill since the new Energy Assist program began in February.

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

Vacation Rental Versus Long Term Rental In San Juan County

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

Now would be a good time to purchase property held for investment and due to market conditions, a rental home in the San Juans would be the most appropriate. We are not like the metropolitan areas nearby with multiple offers on every property and robust appreciation; we remain in a buyer’s market in most categories of property.
Read full report

Summer WSF Schedule

Summer Sailing Schedule now available online by clicking the ferry logo at top left of Island Guardian Front Page. The printed summer schedule for all routes will be available next month.

Reservations for summer travel are available on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands. 30% of all reservable space two months prior to the schedule start date; all reservable tall space is also released during this time period. An additional 30% of reservable space is released at 7:00 a.m. two weeks before each sailing date, and a final 30% is released two days before each sailing date. Good luck and drive safe.

SJC New Website Is Up

San Juan County's new website is now posted. The new website is intended to make it easier to navigate and find information, conduct business on-line, and be kept abreast of news and alerts affecting county residents and businesses.

Power Off Tues PM In Part Of FH

There is a planned power outage scheduled for San Juan Island on Tuesday evening, April 12th, 2016, from 8:00 pm to 2:30 am Wednesday morning . This outage is in the Spring Street and Argyle Business Park area. The outage is to upgrade the system to better serve our members. Please call Steve Eyler at 360-622-6293 if you have questions

Yappy Hour Helps Animal Protection

ig_SO_APS_Yappy_Hour-01 (7k image)The Animal Protection Society -" Friday Harbor invites everyone to “Yappy Hour” at Mike’s Café and Wine Bar at 135 2nd Street, Wednesday, April 13 from 5:00 - 6:30. Enjoy a glass of award winning wine, or beverage of your choice, plus endless appetizers and help animals at the same time.

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

Scientists Recognized For Copper Toxicity In Salmon Research

Scientists who showed how copper damages salmon's sense of smell and helped create legislation to remove copper from car brake pads are honored with the prestigious Salish Sea Science prize

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

-- Guest Column --

ig_Susan_Fincher-Luke_and_Zach-001 (47k image)(L to R: Luke, Suzan & Zach Fincher)

"Hope for the Human Spirit"

by Debbi Fincher

We lost our son’s nana to a man texting and driving about four years ago. The texting driver was also killed and the crash took the life of a third person, as well. Seven cars were impacted when this person chose to text and drive.

No one ever thinks it will happen to them. Unfortunately, nearly 431,000 people were injured in a distracted driver caused crash in 2014, in the US alone. That is like filling the Seattle Mariner’s Safeco Field eight times! Another 3,179 people were killed in crashes a distracted driver.

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

SJIMA Executive Director Resigns

ig_Ian_Boyden-001 (35k image)The board of San Juan Island Museum Of Art (SJIMA) has accepted the resignation of its Executive Director Ian Boyden, who plans to pursue his career as an artist and freelance curator.

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

Lopez: OPALCO Candidates Forum

The Islands Energy Coalition (Lopez) and Transition Lopez Island will host an OPALCO Candidates Forum for District 3 on Thursday, April 7 at 5 p.m. at Grace Hall.

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

Plant Now For Summer Glory

Participants in a SJI Garden Club class on April 9 will assemble a 12” hanging container with growing medium, choice starter plants for sun or shade exposure and plenty of free advice.

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

Zito Media Franchise Public Hearing April 7th

The public a Town Council public hearing regarding proposed renewal of Zito Media’s franchise at the evening session of the Council in Town Hall.

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

FH Receives “WellCity” Award

The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) announced that the Town of Friday Harbor is one of 112 cities, towns, and other local governments to have earned the distinguished WellCity Award.

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
Helpful Links
Helpful Links
RSS Feed

Let the newspaper come to you with Real Simple Syndication

Atom 0.3 FEED
Powered by gm-rss 2.1.0

© 2005-2016 The Island Guardian, Inc
All Rights Reserved.

Powered By Greymatter

To learn about this newspaper
how to place a free ad
to become contributor
click below:
The Island Guardian

or email: