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Today's Weather

Beer & Bicycles Saturday

IG_so_l_Bike-Brew-001 (38k image)From 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday (09-23-17) the major roads of San Juan Island will have a number of bicyclers on the major roads from Roche Harbor to Cape San Juan to take part in the Friday Harbor Bike-n-Brew to help support the good work of the SJI Lions club.

The brew part of the event has to do with the island’s local microbrewers, who will be pouring from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Brickworks. The microbrewers are the following:

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ig_FluShots-1 (101k image)

Flu season is here and it is time to get your flu shot! San Juan County Health and Community Services will be offering the following flu vaccine clinics:
By appointment: Call 360-378-4474 to schedule.
See additional information below:

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Opportunities To Participate In OPALCO

OPALCO is a member-owned cooperative committed to democratic member control and community involvement. In the coming weeks, there are a number of opportunities for OPALCO members to join in conversation with the Board, staff and each other. Members are encouraged to participate!

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Did Life Care Whistleblower Settlement Close The Friday Harbor Center?

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(Friday Harbor Life Care Building)

Life Care Centers of America Inc. (Life Care) announcement that it will close it’s facility in Friday Harbor by November 30th, due to the “difficult economic environment,” may be related to the $145 million economic hit to the company that resulted from an agreement by the owner of Life Care, Forrest L. Preston, and the US Justice Department’s Civil Division to forestall further legal action against the company on “false claims” related to unnecessary billings.

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CG Auxiliary Completes Free Vessel Inspections

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( Large crowd on the rainy docks of Roche Harbor Marina, September 9, 2017 -Contributed photo)

Volunteers from The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary 13thCoast Guard District, Flotilla 11 San Juan Islands Detachment provided 47 boaters free vessel safety examinations on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Roche Harbor Marina on San Juan Island.

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John O. Linde Community Park Dedicated

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(Carol Linde cuts the ribbon to the park -I.G. photo)

The public and John Linde's family and friends joined in the official dedication of the John O. Linde Community Park on Saturday, September 16th. The ceremony was held at the front entrance of the park, followed by light refreshments at the fieldhouse.

ig_John_Linde-1b (40k image)John was one of the early supporters, and hands-on part of the long process of obtaining funding and development approval for the construction of the fields, working with Don Galt and others to make the dream of professional quality fields a reality.

One of the early issues John worked on was to convince the community of neighbors surrounding the land for the proposed fields that the fields and use of them would not degrade the area, and have a negative impact on traffic flows (Related Story).

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Port Of F.H. Looking Hard At Purchase Of Jensen Shipyard As Commissioner Ahrenius Steps Down

ig_Mike_Ahrenius-2 (47k image)(Port of FH photo)
In a surprise move on Wednesday, the Port of Friday Harbor revealed they have been conducting feasibility studies on a possible purchase of the 100 year old Albert Jensen & Sons Inc. shipyard located on Turn Point Road on San Juan island.

A property owned by Friday Harbor Port Commissioner Mike Ahrenius and family members. At the regular scheduled meeting Ahrenius announced that after serving as commissioner for 16 years, he was resigning as one of the three elected Port Commissioners so that the Port could evaluate the possible purchase of the Shipyard.

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F&W Commission Acts To Protect 8 Species

The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

During the meeting, commissioners agreed to list yellow-billed cuckoos as an endangered species in Washington and elevate the level of state protection for loggerhead sea turtles from threatened to endangered. In Washington, cuckoos have been considered a candidate species for listing since 1991. Meanwhile, the north Pacific population of loggerhead sea turtles has declined substantially since the last half of the 20th century.

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Gordon Steele Honored For Contributions To Space Exploration

ig_Gordon_Steele-008 (41k image)(M. Kalbert photo)

By Mary Kalbert

San Juan Islander Gordon Steele has been selected by the Manhattan Project Oak Ridge National Historical Park as one of a group of fourteen scientists being recognized posthumously in a month-long exhibition for their contributions to space exploration.
All the selectees participated in the Manhattan Project during World War II prior to their work in space science and astronomy.

Gordon’s primary contributions to the Manhattan Project were discoveries of tests to isolate nitrogen and carbon from Uranium 235

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Sen. Murray On Anniversary of September 11th


U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement as the nation remembers the events of September 11th, 2001:

"Sixteen years ago, a horrific act changed our country forever. We must never forget the many loved ones we lost, the countless lives that were forever changed, or the members of our military who continue to fight to this day to prevent another attack on the homeland.

“We saw so clearly on September 11th that our darkest days do the most to reveal the heroes among us. We are reminded of that once again as hurricanes batter our shores and wildfires ravage communities across the West - and as we saw on that dark day sixteen years ago, we see strangers helping strangers and communities reaching out to each other in their time of need. Let us never forget the strong American spirit that conquers in the face of great tragedy.”

In 2009, Congress designated September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. To find opportunities to get involved in your community, please visit

Prescribed Fire On Young Hill Slated For Late September

San Juan Island National Historical Park plans to conduct a prescribed fire on Young Hill between late September and early October 2017, when weather permits. As part of post-burn operations, herbicide will be used in selected areas - less than one acre total - to minimize regeneration of non-native species.

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Southern Resident Killer Whales Return

ig_K25_ken_balcomb-001 (68k image)(K25 breaching, Photo by Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research)

For the first time in more than two months, a large assemblage of Southern Resident killer whale pods has returned to the interior waters of the Salish Sea. This population has dramatically decreased in number in recent years, and this summer was unprecedented by their almost complete absence in the core area of their summer habitat around the San Juan Islands and southern Vancouver Island where they occurred almost daily in previous years.

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Harbor Seals Heading Back To Sea

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After more than 2 months of care at Wolf Hollow, 3 harbor seal pups Harbor seals (Zebu, Jersey & Tauros -L to R above) were returned to the wild on Thursday, September 7th. Wolf Hollow staff and interns, along with volunteers from the San Juan and Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Networks, board members and several excited supporters gathered to witness the release near Turn Point on San Juan Island.

Once the transport carriers were opened on the beach, it took a few moments for the seals to emerge and inch toward the water. They cautiously explored their new, larger surroundings until they finally began to swim and dive further and further from the shore.

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Havard: Washington’s Online Voter System Secure

A study released today by Harvard University outlines the measures taken by state elections officials to secure online voter registration in Washington. The report examined the online registration systems utilized in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

“I believe it’s healthy to have credible, independent evaluations of our elections systems and processes, and I am very pleased this report confirms that here in Washington state, we have an online voter registration system that is both accessible and secure,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman, whose office oversees the state’s Elections Division.

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Running Late- The Yakima Has Coast Guard "Issues"


The ferry Yakima has been delayed for U.S. Coast Guard documentation issues and the vessel will continue to run delayed sailings for the remainder of the service day.

This means that the 9:05am sailing from Anacortes and all other Yakima sailings are not cancelled, but will operate approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours behind schedule for the remainder of the day. Reservations will be honored throughout the day and reservation holders who choose not to travel because of delays will not receive a no show fee.

Please visit the online schedule to identify the impacted sailings. The Yakima is currently operating as the #3 vessel on the route.

District & Teachers Reach "Tentative Agreement"

The San Juan Island School District Board and the teachers union are said to have come to at least a tentative agreement on the issues that resulted in the teachers calling for a strike; even though both parties had agreed to a mediation of the issues. The agrement is said to be 3 percent increse in pay pluse a 2.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment.
The District released the following statement:

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County Looking For Volunteers


The County Council is searching for San Juan County citizens to fill on various boards and commissions. Additional information about each committee is available on the County's website at: Persons interested in serving on a board or advisory committee should fill out an Advisory COMMITTEE APPLICATION FORM or Contact the Council Office at: (360) 378-2898

Basic Boating Safety Course

Comprehensive basic boating safety course for Power, Sail and Paddle Boats, are scheduled in the Spring and Fall and held on six successive Tuesday evenings (Sept. 12, 19, 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17 & 24th) at Skagit Valley College in Friday Harbor, from 7:00-9:00 PM.

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No School On SJI As Teachers Strike


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(Robyn Buehler with daughters Madison & Maile -contributed photo)

The San Juan Island Teachers have voted to hold a work strike starting Friday, September 1, due to a lack of agreement on a new contract after the existing one ended on Thursday.

The School district issued a press release stating ” The District and the union have been meeting since July and have reached an impasse. Both the District and the union have agreed on mediation.”

Amy Hull, president of the union -officially named San Juan Education Association- stated in a release quoted on that “Superintendent Diaz and the school board refuse to invest in quality teachers our students deserve,"

This is reportedly the first time any teachers in Washington state have got on strike since 2015. Schools will remain closed (San Juan Island only) for the duration of a strike. Look for updates as they become available.

US Senators Want Action On Atlantic Salmon Issues

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), joined by Reps. Adam Smith (WA-09), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Denny Heck (WA-10), and Suzan DelBene (WA-01), are working together to ask the heads of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take action in addressing the impacts of hundreds of thousands of escaped farmed Atlantic salmon in Washington state waters.

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Bats Need Your Help

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In mid-April 2017, Happy Valley Bats, a local rehab facility that specializes in rescuing bats, received a call about a bat unable to fly near North Bend in King County. WDFW biologist Chris Anderson responded and located the bat, which had died before he arrived.

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There Is A Reason They Are Called Community Lifesavers

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( L to R: Brent Snow; Frank Chaffee; Natalie Chevalier, Lainey Volk)

To date in 2017 the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) listed San Juan County in the top tier of cardiac arrest save rates, well above the national average at 50%.

This year San Juan Emergency Medical Services’ Outreach and Education Program has taught 708 individuals in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillation (CPR/AED).

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Orcas Makes Clinic Management Changes


The University of Washington is in the process of switching the Orcas Island primary care clinic management from Island Hospital to UW Medicine, and is predicted to have management control by fall of this year.

UW Medicine reported that “Consistent with its mission to improve the health of the public, UW Medicine is committed to ensuring that rural communities have access to high-quality primary care as well as access to specialty and advanced care. To optimize care and efficiency, UW Medicine will employ telehealth and other technologies while drawing on the existing strengths of the local community to provide the best care possible.”

Mitchell Hill Hike

Saturday September 23rd, 1:00 to 4:00 pm: Join David Harsh, retired from the National Park Service, and SJI Trails members on a beautiful deep-forest walk at Mitchell Hill.

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

APSFH Volunteer of the Month

ig_Kim_Grotle-001 (50k image)The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor has announced Kim Grotle a Volunteer of the Month. Kim has been a volunteer for the shelter for almost two years and this is the second time she has been named Volunteer of the Month. Not only does Kim help out around the shelter by walking dogs, cuddling cats and doing odd jobs, she also is invaluable at APS fundraising events. The board of directors and staff wish to extend a hearty thank-you to Kim for everything she does to help the animals.

Burn Ban Lifted For... Campfires

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Due to the recent rains in the state the San Juan County Fire Marshal’s Office is cancelling the burn ban for recreational camp fires.

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

Charles Henry Brown

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February 24, 1941 ~ August 16, 2017

Charles “Charlie” Brown was born in Seattle, WA, the third child of 10 children born to Lowell (Lou) and Margaret Brown. They resided in Martha Lake until moving the family to San Juan Island in 1956 where Charlie attended Friday Harbor High School.

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

San Juan County Waterfront Parcels -Things To Know

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

If you own a waterfront parcel in the County, or hope to purchase one, I have detailed below some items to take into consideration. Historically, waterfront parcels were the most coveted investment in the islands but due to ever changing regulations, they are now the most confusing parcels to develop. For REALTORs they can be a challenge to sell due to our inability to give buyers concrete answers to their questions while on site.
Important Considerations:

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

Sidney Thorson

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October 20, 1924~ August 21, 2017

Long time Friday Harbor resident Sidney Thorson passed away peacefully at home with family members surrounding her on August 21, 2017. She was born on October 20, 1924 in Calexico, California to her parents Mabel and Chester Moore. Her family moved to Los Angeles, California when she was a young girl. Sidney is a graduate of University High School in Los Angeles and has a four year degree she earned at UCLA and Cal Berkeley.

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

Think Litter-Free by the Sea

Join the 2nd Annual Fall Great Islands Clean-Up Saturday, September 30th.

Please help clean-up all the summers accumulated refuse before winter closes in. Come out and volunteer for this all-islands greening event where volunteer’s pick-up litter from our public beaches and roadways.

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

“Dance for Charity” Beginning Ballet Program

Lina Downes, Director of Dance Workshop 2 and strong supporter of World Vision, a nondenominational Washington based charity aid organization, is combining her passion for teaching with her commitment to service by offering a program to teens and adults entitled “Dance for Charity”. Beginning Sept. 27th, 2017, Dance Workshop 2 will offer a FREE 8 week beginning ballet program designed to promote the art of ballet with the opportunity to benefit East African famine aid through World Vision.

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

Organ Recital At St. David’s Church

An Afternoon Of Music For The Organ will be presented by Richard Lind at 3 pm on Sunday, September 17, at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 780 Park Street, in Friday Harbor. He will perform a wide variety of original music for the organ composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, Samuel Barber, Dietrich Buxtehude, Richard Lind, and Guy Morançon.

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

Still Got Lots Of Love To Give

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Kids today! When I was a puppy I had one toy. It was a stick. These young dogs today have toys that squeak, toys that laugh, toys with stuffing, toys without stuffing, toys that bounce …. even toys that deliver treats!
All I need is a soft place to lay down, a little companionship and some nice walks in the woods with someone who enjoys rubbing dog bellies. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind having a nice stick, too.

My name is Roxy and I’m a sensible, mature girl in the neighborhood of 7-years old. I’ve still got lots of love to give…..what about you?

SJ Singers Community Chorus 1st Rehearsal

First Rehearsal, 9/13, 6:30pm-9pm, Community Room, Skagit Valley College - Angel Michaels, Director. Come a little early (beginning 6:30) to pick up music.

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

Resilient Gardening & Weird Weather

Is ‘weird weather’ challenging you and your gardening skills? You’re not alone! Between the increasingly variable weather and new pests and diseases, it seems there is more we need to know every year. PNW gardeners need to be prepared to handle longer, drier summers and water shortages, warmer average temperatures and more extreme weather.

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

BLM Lopez Meeting

BLM will host a public workshop on Lopez Island on Thursday, September 7 to discuss the process and gather input on the process and the Comment Guide. The workshop will also explain the technical vocabulary of the planning process - terms such as substantive comments, implementation decisions, planning decisions, alternatives, etc.

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

Protect Yourself From Smoke

With a change in the weather pattern, smoke from nearby wildfires is now settling over Western Washington. Air quality could be unhealthy at times over the next several days. The following is a statement from the County:

Take precautions to protect yourself and family members if smoke reaches unhealthy levels. You can monitor air quality in our area using the Washington Smoke Information interactive map. We do not have any air monitoring stations in our County, however, we recommend that you use Bellingham, Anacortes, and Victoria as indicators of conditions here.

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

Really, This Is Not Complicated

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Look, why is it so hard for you to understand - sometimes I want to go out. Sometimes I want to be let back in. Then out again.

Then back in. Sometimes I may just want to be half in and half out while someone holds the door open for me while I try to decide.

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

Deer Harbor Wooden Boat Rendezvous & Boat Race

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September 4 - 6: The Wooden Boat Society of the San Juan Islands, welcomes boaters of all kinds to join them as the Deer Harbor Wooden Boat Rendezvous and Boat Race. While the Rendezvous is a low key celebration of wooden boats, kayaks, rowboats, motor launches, day-sailers, cruising sailboats and historic tall ships are all welcome!

Lopez Island Artists' Studio Tour

During the 21st annual Lopez Island Artists’ Studio Tour, you’ll have the rare opportunity to meet artists in their working environment. Sept. 2 - 3, 2017, Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

ALL Fires Now Banned

There is a county-wide burn ban being enacted. This means no outdoor burning of recreational campfires or outdoor burning of wood in fire bowls or patio fire places. Charcoal and propane barbeques continue to be allowed outside of parks and campgrounds. Please use extreme caution with outdoor cooking and keep a charged hose nearby or a bucket of water if possible.

Orcas Island Jazz Festival

August 31 - Sep. 3, For the third year running, the Orcas Island Jazz Festival will feature some of the best jazz artists the northwest has to offer. You’ll be treated to the sounds of Pearl Django, Gretta Matassa, Paula Santoro, Ian Faquini, and Martin Lund.

Most 0f Puget Sound closes to crabbing Sept. 4; But Not SJC

The only two areas of the Sound that will remain open to crab fishing after Labor Day are marine areas 7-North and 7-South near the San Juan Islands. These two areas will remain open Thursdays through Mondays each week through Sept. 30. Sport fishers who crab in those two areas after Sept. 4 must record their catch on winter catch record cards, which are available at sporting goods stores and other license vendors across the state.

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

Greetings From SJI Superintendent Of Schools Diaz

ig_Danna_Diaz-001smal (7k image) By Superintendent Danna Diaz

One of the many aspects that I love about being an educator is the fact that we get to have a new start each academic year. Perhaps one of my favorite events is joining Team SJISD at our convocation on Monday, August 28 at 7:45 am, Friday Harbor High School Commons. I will be welcoming back all of our teachers and staff.

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

Non-Profit Affordable Housing?

By David S. Gow

The housing market in San Juan County is broken. The geographic isolation that makes our archipelago highly prized for its quality of life, and as a tourist destination, also restricts the movement of people, goods, and capital.

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

John Evans
Greg Hertel
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Teresa Smith
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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