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Wednesday, January 30th

County Artists Exhibit at SJIMA

ig_IMA-FoundRiverRock_B_Weissinger (63k image)("Found River Rock by Bill Weissinger)

Talent and imagination describe the art in the Sixth Annual Artists’ Registry Show at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA). The show in Friday Harbor proudly exhibits artists’ work from all our islands. More than 70 artists present their best pieces for the exhibition featuring painting, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, photography, glass, pastels, ceramics, prints and multi-media and more.

New State Testing Methods For Water

ig_G_WaterTestingDOE-01 (170k image)
(DOE photo)

The Washington Department of Ecology is using new methods to more accurately test for waterborne disease in state waters. The methods will better protect people while they are swimming, boating, or enjoying other recreational activities.

Monday, January 28th

Dem’s May Get Clever With Ranker Appointment

The process of making an appointment to fill the Senate seat vacated by Kevin Ranker gives the Democratic Party some room to move player around, if they wish.

One possible example would be to move an currently elected official into the Senate seat, thereby creating a new vacant seat in some other position that can then also be filled. And they could conceivably do that more than one time.

Sunday, January 27th

Questions Remain On Replacing Ranker

Last week the Washington State Party Parliamentarian for the Democratic Party ruled that any sitting member of a county commission or council would have to resign to be nominated to fill Kevin Ranker’s vacated seat; and that includes Lopez Council member Jamie Stephens.

Now the WSAC (Washington State Association of Counties), a non-profit association formed in 1906 to provide services to the 39 counties of Washington, decided to take a look at the question (pdf 94\k file) of who could be nominated to be the new state senator, and hired the Pacifica Law Group to review the law.


Thursday, January 24th

Small Uptick In SJI Sales

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

In reviewing the year-end results for 2018, the sales dollar volume for the real estate market in San Juan County per the Northwest Multiple Listing Service was $305,674,278 which reflects a tiny increase in volume of 1.5% over 2017 when the volume was $300,622,909. Read the full report HERE (.pdf 176\k file)

Dems Move Forward On Replacing Ranker

The Democrats will caucus Saturday, February 2 in Fairhaven, at the Firehouse Arts & Events Center. San Juan County Commissioner Jamie Stephens reportedly had his eye on the seat, but the state Democratic Party ruled sitting members of county councils cannot be appointed, since the county commissioners of San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom will vote on a list of candidates provided by the state party.

Wednesday, January 23rd

OPALCO Election - Nominate By Feb 13

There is still time for members to declare their candidacy for the OPALCO board election. Nominations by petition are due on February 13, 2018 at 12:00 PT (noon). Co-op members from Districts 3 or 4 may submit their candidacy by 1) collecting no fewer than 20 names and signatures of bonafide OPALCO members who live in their district on a petition; and 2) completing the nominations app at

Grand Opening of Alchemy Art Center Photo and Print Studio

Alchemy Art Center is introducing it’s brand new printmaking studio and photography darkroom with an open house on Sunday, January 27th, from 2:00-5:00 PM. Alchemy Art Center, founded by Maria Michaelson and Eben Shay in 2017, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing specialized art equipment for San Juan Islanders in a shared studio setting.


Monday, January 21st

FH Free Plumbing Basics Training

The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) will offer free training in plumbing basics this January, sponsored by the Washington State Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Sunday, January 20th

Orca Considered In Salmon Fishing Season Policies

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has signaled its support for state fishery managers' plans to consider the dietary needs of endangered orcas when they set this year's salmon-fishing seasons.

Thursday, January 17th

Report Shows Salmon Still Declining

ig_RH_Salmon-001 (81k image)
(Wa F&CO photo)

Despite two decades of efforts to recover them, wild salmon are still declining -and a report released today by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office stresses that adequate funding is needed to turn the tide on the iconic species’ future.

In the past 10 years, regional recovery organizations received only a fraction -16 percent- of the $4.7 billion documented funding needed for critical salmon recovery projects, the report sites.

Wednesday, January 16th

DOE Monitoring Air Quality In FH

IG_DOE_AirQuality-001 (64k image)
(screen grab of DOE page)

According to the DOE (WA Department of Ecology) air quality monitoring station in Friday Harbor, the air is clean; but of course it is winter, which means what with rain and wind and not much going on with trees and plants growing, it is not expected we would have a problem, but as spring blooms, things may change.

The Washington State Department of Ecology recently installed a mobile air quality monitoring station near the County Administration building that will monitor for PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns).


SJC Shoreline Program Approved By State

On January 8, 2019, the State Growth Management Hearings Board found that San Juan County’s Shoreline Master Program including its shoreline management regulations comply with the State’s Shoreline Management Act.

San Juan County adopted Ordinance 21 - 2018 that addressed areas of noncompliance in Case No. 17-2-0009. It may be viewed at:

Tuesday, January 15th

Firefighters Honored for Service in 2018

ig_SJFD_2019_Banquet_Awards-1 (43k image)
(L. to R. Fire Commissioners Frank Cardinale, Bob Jarman, Lt. Michael Henderson & Commissioner Albert Olson -Photo by Chuck Dalldorf)

By Carolyn Hudson

Lieutenant Michael Henderson received San Juan Island Fire and Rescue’s highest award Saturday night when the District celebrated the 2018 contributions of its members at Downriggers Restaurant.

The firefighters and support members were honored for their dedicated service in 2018 at the annual awards banquet, which was attended by nearly 100 people including guests.

Monday, January 14th

Some Good News: A New Orca Calf

ig_CFOR_Orca_L124_001 (43k image)
(CWR photo)

The Center for Whale Research reports that On January 11th L pod was sighed with a new calf that appeared to be about 3 weeks old and was bouncing around between L25, L41, L77 L85, and L119.

Sunday, January 13th

Your New Elected Officials For 2019

ig_E_Swearing-in_2019-001 (52k image)
(IG photo)

The recently elected San Juan County officials were swore in Friday by Judge Stewart R. Andrew.

Saturday, January 12th

Ranker Resigns, What Happens Next?

ig_RANKER-2 (22k image)(Island Guardian file photo)
Facing serious charges in the ongoing investigation of allegations of sexual and workplace harassment, Kevin Ranker has resigned as Washington State Senator of the 40th District. As to why now, after stating he expected to “be exonerated from these allegation," it may be related to a report in Northwest News Network that Ranker was presented with copies of statements made by witnesses to some of the allegations made against him.

It is now up to the Democratic Parties of the three counties that make up the 40th District, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom, to decide who should replace, however if they cannot decide on a replacement, then the governor will appoint someone from a presented list, who will serve until the voters choose a final replacement in the November 2019 General Election.

OPALCO -That's Us Folks- Wants New Electirc Ferries For SJC First

ig_WSF_ElectFerries_opalco-001 (51k image)
(Screen grap OPALCO webpage photo)

(OPALCO Press Release) The current WS Ferries Long range plan for deploying electric ferries puts the San Juan routes last on the list. Why lose decades in our efforts to protect the Salish Sea - and all of the species who depend on it? OPALCO is calling for WSF to prioritize getting the new, cleaner, quieter and super-efficient electric ferries to the San Juan Islands route FIRST.

Carbon pollution impacts our sensitive marine environment through acidification, warming air and water temperatures and changes to shoreline health and levels. Ferries make up 63% of the carbon emissions from the Washington State Transportation Fleet.

Wednesday, January 9th

Swearing-In Of Elected Officials Friday

The public is invited to attend swearing-in ceremonies -and receptions- for the newly elected San Juan officials on January 11.

The ceremony will begin at noon in the District Court courtroom of the county courthouse, at 350 Court Street, Friday Harbor when Judge Elect Carolyn Jewett will be sworn in by Superior Court Judge Kathryn Loring. An open house reception will follow from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm at the San Juan Island Grange Hall, just across the street at 152 First Street N. Light refreshments will be served at that reception. Then at 4 pm in the lobby of the court house the other elected officials will be given the Oath of Office by out going Stewart R. Andrew, and that event will be followed by a reception with light refreshments


Tuesday, January 8th

Problems Due To 911 Outage? Attorney General Wants To Hear From You

Attorney General Bob Ferguson appears not pleased with the service provided by CenturyLink, and wants to hear from anyone who was impacted by the recent statewide 911 outage.

“For the second time, CenturyLink has fallen short of its obligation to provide reliable 911 services for Washingtonians,” Ferguson said. “If you called for help during this outage, only to be met with a busy signal, please share your story with my office. We want to know exactly how CenturyLink’s failure impacted the people of our state.”

Ferguson asks Washingtonians impacted by the outage to share their stories by emailing them to

Monday, January 7th

SJIM Winter Family Arts Days Begin

ig_SJIMA_FamilyArtDays-001 (67k image)Family Art Days are a fun time for families of all ages. Everyone is inspired by imaginative topics such as: Flora, Fauna and Fungi: Drawing from Nature, inspired by Maria Sibylla Merian’s work or Creating Natural Images on Sunprint paper. The first class is From Birds to Flying Machines, inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci designs.

Classes start this Saturday at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) from 1-5 at the 540 Spring Street workshop. All workshops are free for families and children ages 12 and under.


Sunday, January 6th

2019 ADU Eligibility Lottery Open

Eligibility is limited for the ADUs (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit) Lottery. The number of detached ADU eligibility slots allowed in any year cannot exceed twelve percent of the total number of building permits issues in the previous year for new principal residences outside of activity centers and urban growth areas.

Thursday, January 3rd

Time For Review Of Old Bulk Fuel Site

ig_PortFH_UNOCAL_Site-001 (80k image)
(DOE photo)

In 2002 almost 4,000 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil, and 6,000 gallons impacted groundwater were removed from property owned by the Port of Friday Harbor.

Now it is time for a five year periodic review -and public comment- on the review of the former Unocal Friday Harbor Bulk Plant, located just below the American Legion building, and part of Front Street, owned by the Town.


Wednesday, January 2nd

Building, Buying, Selling: Costs Increase

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

Cost of construction, selling and buying real estate in the islands has continued to increase based the requirements to meet the current regulations and overall material and service cost increases. One could say that it costs more and takes longer to comply with the various regulations that govern the real estate and related construction industries.

Tuesday, January 1st

Fish for Teeth Free Mobile Dental Clinic

ig_SO_FishForTeeth-at_work-01 (106k image)
( Fish for Teeth sponsors a mobile dental van for dental clinics on San Juan Island, three times a year )

Islanders unable to afford dental care can receive it for free thanks to the local nonprofit Fish for Teeth on Thursday, Jan. 10; Friday, Jan.11; and Saturday, Jan. 12. A mobile dental van will be parked in the Mullis Street parking lot shared by the Orca Inn and Heritage Bank.

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