Letters to Editor
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Wednesday, February 27th
TWO House Fires On SJI On Same Day
( Contributed photo)
On Tuesday, February 26, 2019 San Juan Island Fire and Rescue crews responded to two separate fires in residences on San Juan Island.
The first fire was reported at a single-story home at 5:40 a.m. near Roche Harbor. The residents and their pets were able to quickly evacuate the home. Firefighter’s rapid response helped limit the spread of the fire, although there was significant damage to one room.
The second fire was reported at 5:25 p.m. in a home off of Roche Harbor Road. The home was unoccupied at the time and unfortunately was destroyed.
Tuesday, February 26th
Argyle Sidewalk Widening
( IG photo)
The Town of Friday Harbor has authorized construction to begin for the Argyle Avenue Sidewalk Widening Project.
The Town has contracted with MEM Enterprises to perform the work. The Contractor will install new widened sidewalk on Argyle Avenue between Spruce Street and Rose Lane; and new ADA compliant crosswalk from Rose Lane to the SJC Fairgrounds.
Monday, February 25th
It’s Time To Save OPALCO
By Alex MacLeod
The decision last week by the OPALCO Board to disqualify Dwight Lewis’ board candidacy in the upcoming election stabs at the heart of what it means to be a cooperative.
Dwight has lived on Lopez since 1974 and has more than 40 years of OPALCO membership. He’s run a successful business, contributed his time and energy to the Lopez community and been an active OPALCO member, attending board meetings regularly for many years.
Sunday, February 24th
OPALCO Strikes Lewis From Ballot
Dwight Lewis of Lopez Island was able to join OPALCO’s selected candidates for a Board position by obtaining over 450 signatures from cooperative members to be placed on the ballot, but after OPALCO “called into question the petitioner’s ability to put aside his personal agenda for the good of the Cooperative,” and stating -without so far producing any evidence- they have “documented actions over the past year” that allow OPALCO to remove Lewis as a candidate for the board.
Thursday, February 21st
SJC Homeless Numbers Hold Steady
The 2019 San Juan County “Point-In Time” (PIT) Homeless Count identified 149 people who have no stable place to live (e.g. living in an RV or boat), an increase from the 2018 count of 120 but similar to the 2017 count of 154.
Wednesday, February 20th
SJC Board Of Health Continues Discussion On Payments For Air Transport Concerns
( Island Guardian photo)
The San Juan County Board of Health’s meeting on Wednesday (02-20-19) included a continued discussing of concerns on air medical transport issues related to KP (Kaiser Permanente of Washington) declining payments for air transports that have been rejected as being not medically necessary, and transport by ground ambulance would have been adequate.
Tuesday, February 19th
Bloody Lopez Man Terrifies Tourists With Knife
( Island Guardian photo)
Darren Adam Hayes was in Superior Court on Tuesday after being arrested Monday at 5 am after he is alleged to have set off a fire alarm at a bed & breakfast house on Lopez, then forced his way into a room at the inn, broke a window to escape one room, entered another room and hid in a closet until located by deputies.
Man Shot On Orcas -No Information
The San County Sheriff's office has reported that at 9:19 am on Monday a male Orcas resident was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after he managed to drive to the fire station in Eastsound with a single gunshot wound to his chest. The shooting is under investigation and there is no further information be released at this time by the Sheriff's office.
Monday, February 18th
Navy, Once Again Lends A Hand
A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted Medical Evacuations (MEDEVAC) for two separate patients from Orcas Island February 12, 2019.
The SAR team were notified on the evening of February 12, 2019 that a three-year-old child with a broken femur on Orcas Island needed a MEDEVAC. Civilian airlift assets were unable to conduct the mission due to weather.
Sunday, February 17th
(See large photo below - photo by John Simpson)
The Wolverines Boys Varsity defeated Seattle Lutheran to become Tri- District 2B Boys Basketball Champions for 2018-2019. The game was very close in score and went into overtime however the Wolverines held on and took the win 65-63 on Saturday Feb.16th.
Lady Wolverines had a very close contest also with the Lady Orcas Vikings, however the Wolverines came away with the 44-40 win!
Thursday, February 14th
Superior Court Implements Drug Court
In response to interest from the legal community, in the winter of 2018, San Juan County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Loring convened a working group to investigate a Therapeutic/Drug Court for San Juan County. After working together for many months, and with the help of Drug Court representatives in neighboring Island and Skagit Counties, San Juan County law and justice participants committed to piloting a Drug Court for two years.
Wednesday, February 13th
WSU Forest Stewardship Course For Property Owners
Dead and dying trees have proliferated throughout western Washington, highlighting the need for better forest stewardship and management. Washington State University Extension is offering its Forest Stewardship Coached Planning course, a forestry course specifically to help owners of wooded property care for their forests and prevent problems.
Tuesday, February 12th
Sheriff Krebs Hires Attorney & Gaylord Supports Suppressing Video Recording Of Courtroom
Judge Eaton heard arguments on Tuesday as to why he should not allow the public to see the court room recording that had panned and zoomed in on court room papers. That moving camera resulted in a ruling to dismissing charges in a recent jury trial due to the governmental misconduct. Related Story
In spite of snowy roads and delayed travel conditions, the court room was fall of spectators that listened to arguments by Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord, and a Seattle attorney representing Sheriff Krebs, that argued allowing the public to see the recording would result in a loss of courtroom security if the public could see there were “blind” portions in the courtroom that could not be viewed by the camera.
Monday, February 11th
MONDAY 4:30PM UPDATE: As most islanders have probably noticed, it's snowing heavily across the islands. San Juan County Public Works and Town of Friday Harbor crews are working long shifts keeping Priority 1 Routes passable. Here are links to Snow Priority Routes for ORCAS, SAN JUAN, and LOPEZ Islands.
Current forecast is for up to 8 inches of snow to fall, with many parts of the islands receiving less, some possibly a bit more. Snow is predicted to taper off as we head into Tuesday morning, though there may be additional accumulations during the day tomorrow.
Sunday, February 10th
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, Pet Food Drive & 12th ‘Spay-Ghetti’ Dinner
To celebrate Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and World Spay Day the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor will host two annual events to educate on the importance of altering and to encourage pet parents to have their pets sterilized. The first, Pet Pantry Community Pet Food Drive February 1st through 26th and on Tuesday, February 26th at the Mullis Senior Center, the 12th Annual ‘Spay-Ghetti’ Dinner.
Saturday, February 9th
Don't Forget The Birds
Friday, February 8th
Free HVAC Basics Training By EDC
The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) will offer free training in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning basics this March, sponsored by the Washington State Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and by the Washington State Department of Commerce. The course will be taught at Friday Harbor High School by Kevin McCullough of San Juan Heating. The program is intended to benefit participating students as well as local companies in need of skilled employees.
Thursday, February 7th
Winter Weather Ahead This Weekend
By Brendan Cowan
There's snow and more cold weather in the forecast. This weather pattern is setting up similarly to what the islands last saw in 2008: extended cold, possibility of multiple snow events, and intermittent high winds. This is just a forecast, so we might end up with no snow, we might end with more snow, and there will likely be a wide range of impacts across the San Juans.
Brandli Will File A Motion To Make Video Of Trial Public
The latest fall out over the manipulation of a court room camera by Sheriff Krebs (see related story below) is a motion to be filed Thursday morning by attorney Stephen Brandli in opposition to the State’s (I.e. P.A. Randy Gaylord) motion to seal the security camera video that shows when and to what extent Krebs moved and zoomed the court camera. You can read the full Opposition To State’s Motion To Seal HERE.
Wednesday, February 6th
Power Suggests Sheriff Be Investigated
Questions abound as to the extent of Sheriff Krebs’ responsibility and involvement in manipulation of the camera in the District Court room, and the attorney who argued the constitutional issues that required a dismissal of charges in the case has some advice for how, and what, San Juan County Prosecuting attorney Randy Gaylord should do about it.
Attorney Nick Power authored a public letter in which he suggests Gaylord should take three actions to address the problem. You can read the letter HERE
Navy MEDEVAC From FH
A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Friday Harbor February 4 during inclement weather conditions.
NAS Whidbey Island received notification at about 3 a.m. for a MEDEVAC from Friday Harbor for an 82-year old man who had suffered a significant head injury. Visibility during the entire mission was seriously degraded due to the winter storm, which forced the crew to return toward Friday Harbor at one point during the transit towards St. Joseph's Hospital in Bellingham.
Tuesday, February 5th
Order Now For Plant Sale
The Washington State University Master Gardener Foundation of San Juan County, in Cooperation with San Juan County WSU Extension, will host its annual Native Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 24, at the San Juan County Fairgrounds at 849 Argyle Ave. A variety of potted plants will be available on the day of the event.
Quantities Limited! Place your order by March 1, 2019! Orders are filled by date received.
Free Demo On Acupressure For Animals
A demonstration of how animal acupressure works on our dogs, cats and horses will be given by Mariann Carrasco of Blue Island Animal Acupressure, LLC on Saturday February 16th from 1 to 4 pm at the Friday Harbor Animal Shelter.
Acupressure is just like Acupuncture only using touch instead of needles and is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The goal of practicing acupressure is to restore, replenish, and maintain the natural harmony and balance needed in animal and human bodies to create optimal health and well-being.
Sunday, February 3rd
Zooming Court Room Camera Violates Constitutional Rights, Judge Rules Government Misconduct…again
Judge Donald E. Eaton may have had a sense of deja-vu last Friday (02-03-19) after he was informed a security camera in the District court room had zoomed in on the note pads and documents of the jury, the prosecutor and the defense council, and as a result he once again had to find governmental misconduct in a jury trial.
Saturday, February 2nd
Investigation Concludes Ranker Violated Senate Harassment Policies
(Island Guardian file photo)
The investigation results of the charges made against former State Senator Kevin Ranker (Related Story) have found that while he had not engaged in retaliation actions against the former employee, he had violated the Senate’s policy “prohibiting harassment and discrimination based on gender” and “policies prohibiting harassment generally”
Read the report submitted to the Secretary of the Senate HERE (pdf 1162\k file).
Friday, February 1st
Call For Mistrial After Security Camera Zooms In On Defense Notes
(Island Guardian photo)
A misdemeanor jury trial in San Juan County District Court came to a sudden delay on Thursday after Judge Pro Tem Don Eaton was informed a court room security camera was seen on the screen in the Court Clerks office to suddenly move and zoom in on the desk of one of the attorneys notes.