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Monday, March 31st

Work Crew Lends A Hand

ig_WaterMainCourtHouse-1 (82k image)

Stacy Taylor of the SJC Sheriff's office supervises, and works with, a County Work Crew to locate the water main leading from the street up to the Sheriff's office. The line has a leak under the building.

The link resulting in no water to the court house until a new line can be routed past the break.

The line is scheduled to be repaired today -or at least sometime this week.


Guest Editorial

It Is Time To Pay Attention!
evans-photo-1-small (30k image)By John Evans

There is a process underway to update the San Juan County Critical Areas Ordinance. The current Critical Areas Ordinance has been in place for about 8 years. The Washington State Growth Management Act requires the “update”.

Some shoreline homes with “critical habitat” sandy beaches may become “non-conforming uses,” and therefore restricted in future modification.

Similar “buffers” are being suggested for upland “critical areas, wildlife habitat and riparian zones” as well. Because “critical areas” are usually off limits to development, many existing parcels could become un-developable; other existing homes would become “non-conforming” and still other properties would see their uses severely limited.


SJI Sea &Land Routes Newest Scenic Byway

Washington State’s newest Scenic Byway is also the state’s first scenic route to include a “marine highway,” which is an historic canoe route of the Coast Salish peoples. The 2008 Washington State Legislature granted the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway the ability to pursue funding as a State Scenic Byway during their last week in session.

The route includes the Washington State Ferries’ Anacortes/San Juan Islands route, stops at Lopez, Shaw, Orcas, and San Juan Islands, as well as County roads on Orcas and San Juan Islands.

“This new designation will help us educate visitors through stewardship principles regarding the beautiful and unique sea and land routes of the islands,” said Deborah Hopkins, Scenic Byways leader and Executive Director of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau. “For us, the byway process is a way to preserve and protect our fragile environment and the character of island life through education and interpretation.”


Home Trust Awarded $600,000

SJCHT (San Juan Community Home Trust) received notice this week that it has been awarded $600,000 from the Washington Housing Trust Fund for its proposed project on the Buck Property in Friday Harbor. The grant comes from the Trust Fund’s new Homeownership program

The Washington State Homeownership program was able to fund 16 out of the 18 applications that were submitted statewide, for a total of $6,088,500. This will result in down payment assistance, rehabilitation of existing homes, acquisition of property and construction of new homes for 157 households in 23 counties in the state.

The local grant to the SJCHT will help fund construction of 12 of the first 15 homes to be built on the site. These 12 homes will be reserved for sale to households with incomes at or less than 80% of the Area Median Income. The grant awarded to SJCHT was the largest single award made in this round of state funding.


Sunday, March 30th

Did You Think It Was Two Guys Is A Box?

ig_Big_Dog-1 (59k image)Gearhead and computer GIS wiz Jim Slocomb sent us an email recently that had a link to something called a “Bigdog Robot”.

While this nothing to do with our local area, it is nonetheless an amazing, and a bit unnerving thing, that at first look appears to be two men walking with their upper bodies bent over and stuck into a box.

But that is not what it is. And watching this thing recover from a slip on ice is not just impressive, it is -at least for us- downright scary.

BigDog is the most advanced quadruped robot on earth, and is called by it’s manufacturers, Boston Dynamics, “the alpha male” of their family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads.

Friday, March 28th

Myhr & SJI Visitors Bureau Have Dinner With The Gov

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(Lopez/Shaw Councilman, Gov, Gregoire, SJIVB Deborah Hopkins & Mr. Gregoire)

Councilman Bob Myhr was recently a guest of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau when they were honored to enjoy dinner with Governor Gregoire at the 2nd Annual Washington Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Dinner at the Governor’s Mansion on March 6.

The Governor recognized the tourism industry as a major economic driver for Washington State; and Myhr has informed the County Council that the meeting also gave him “an opportunity to receive a commitment from Gov. Gregoire that she is supporting a stable, sustainable, long-term capital funding program for the ferries, so there will be adequate boats and dock facilities for the far foreseeable future.”

Myhr points out the lack of funding program has been a key problem in the recent crisis with the ferry system.


Thursday, March 27th

Courthouse Without Water for Week, Or More

Public Works Director Jon Shannon blames the cause for a leak under courthouse on a “bad design and there was no redundancy built in,” so with the loss of pressure due to a small leak, there is no water for the court house.

Shannon also said that perhaps Sunday’s magnitude 2.7 earthquake near Anacortes may have been enough to cause the Courthouse to settle enough to crack a soldered joint in a copper water pipe.

The leak is in a 2 inch pipe laid on a bed of coarse gravel beneath a six-inch thick, steel-reinforced concrete slab under the Sheriff’s office.

Griffin Bay Holds A Learning Center Open House

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Griffin Bay is now located next to the district offices and offers three programs to the island community: Griffin Bay High School, Griffin Bay Virtual Academy, and Griffin Bay Parent Partner Program.

Kim Norton, Barb Bevins, Maggie Law, and Betsy Ridwan are proud of their new school and showed the those who dropped in for the open house on Thursday, how the programs work and who may take part in it. Griffin Bay is also open to students attending private schools, and it is expected that some Spring Street Students will take advantage of the virtual school options.

Griffin Bay High School students who wish to work more independently to earn a high school diploma. All on-line courses are now accessed through the Griffin Bay School - now renamed - Griffin Bay Learning Center.


Local Man Rescued From Montana Plane Crash

Andrew Scheffer, 18, a Friday Harbor graduate, and now a freshman student pilot at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, used his cell phone to report in to his flight instructor that he had survived a crash in the Prior Mountains on a flight from Montana to Wyoming.

An emergency locater transmitter had sent out a signal on Tuesday that something may have happen to the plane as it was on a training flight, but it was the cell phone call that provided the good news

According to the Associated Press, the search for Scheffer was both on land and air. He was located from the air and ground crews were able to reach him and take him to hospital for treatment. Happily he had sustained the crash with no major injuries.

The full AP story was picked up by a large number of state and national news medias, including USA Today. One such AP story can be read in the Jackson Hole Star Tribune by clicking here . A press conference on the accident can be viewed here

A Call To San Juan Island Artists & Galleries

ARTSTOCK 2008 is now accepting applications for artists and galleries on San Juan Island who are interested in participating in a juried two day event October 4th and 5th. Submission deadline is April 3, 2008.

ARTSTOCK is an art festival established to celebrate the diverse artistic spirit of professional artists and galleries on San Juan Island.

Applications are available on the ART website at or at any of the four founding galleries: Arctic Raven, Gallery San Juan, Island Studios and Waterworks Gallery.

Wednesday, March 26th

Law Prohibits Spying On Consumers

A new law sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Morris, D – Mount Vernon, and signed by Governor Gregoire on Tuesday, will provide consumers better protection from the misuse of so-called “spy technologies” that can be used to collect personal information without your knowledge.

Of the two types of tags (no independent power source, called "passive", and "active" types that have power), only active tags have a range of miles, but the passive type used in consumer products have a range of inches, up to 40 feet.

Few consumers are aware they could be transmitting personal information about their identity and the products they buy to just about anyone or any business equipped with a simple microchip reader. Many consumers already carry one of these radio-frequency-emitting chips wherever they go, whether in an ID card, a cell phone, or possibly even in their shoes, however RFID labels reportedly serve only to trigger an alarm if a consumer leaves the store without paying for the shoes.

Tuesday, March 25th

Courthouse Plumbing Springs A Leak

San Juan County Auditor Milene Henley recently reported to the Council that her office was not in support of the county paying for bottled drinking water, but today that is all there is to drink; or for any other use, as far as that goes.

Water seeping into the basement of the courthouse, and while some documents stored in the area of the leak were soaked, Building and Grounds Manager Bud Sears said that it appears the leak was discovered before any serious damage was done

As a result of the leak, the main water supply to the building has been shut off to stop the flow, and to allow workers to find and fix the leak .


No Town Regulations On Colors

IG_ISLAND_STUDIOS-1 (46k image)

No, it was not painted just for Easter, and no, there is nothing you can do about it. While there has been some head shaking and grumbling about the shade and intensity of the color, the Town pointed out there are no regulations to prevent it.

Asked about the choice, the lease owner of the building said “there was no color on the street, but now there is.”

It is not just the public that is less than pleased; the tenants of the building said they were not all that happy with the owner’s choice. One tenant said “I really don’t think it reflects what we have inside of the building.”

The owner also stated that so far “one third of the comments she has received have been negative, one third have been positive, and one third have yet to make up their mind.”

A Friday Harbor town official said there have been no comments about the color from the Town Council members, and while there have been discussions in the past about architectural controls or standards, the Council has not wanted to go that direction due to the difficulty of writing and enforcing regulations that deal with personal taste and aesthetics.

One of the tenants said they are no longer taking comments from the public on the matter, and tells people to talk to the owner about it if they don’t like it. A town official said “people can always ‘vote’ with their wallets, if you don’t like it, don’t patronize the place.”

This is not first time that a color choice has failed to please everyone. When the large building housing the bowling alley and the shops on Argyle was first painted, the color choice was made by looking at a one inch square paint sample. Once the two story walls were painted with the color, it was decided the outcome was not quite what the owner had in mind after all, and so a new paint job was ordered. Problem solved.


Stormwater Low Impact Development Practices

The San Juan Marine Resources Committee (MRC) applied for a grant back in October of 2007 that would provide funding for “on-site technical-assistance" , providers to work with small businesses to keep the Sound clean.

The Puget Sound Partnership, through AHBL Inc. , is also providing free technical assistance to 13 cities and counties in Puget Sound -including San Juan County.-to help them integrate stormwater low impact development (LID) practices into their regulations.

The Partnership is also providing new technical workshops on LID through Washington State University (WSU) Extension. WSU Extension will offer a series of four newly developed, two-day classes on LID in 2008-09.


Monday, March 24th

Devils Mountain Fault At Fault?

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(USGA based map)

A small 2.7 earthquake occurred early Sunday morning 3 miles north of Anacortes. The quake was so small as to cause no damage.

It has been estimated that there are at least five faults in San Juan County, and one big one in the general area of Vancouver Island running down into the upper Puget Sound through Whidbey Island, named Devils Mountain (see map above), and estimates of the potential size of a future quake have been estimated to reach 7.0 or higher.

An animation of recent earthquakes in the U.S. can be seen by Clicking Here, then click on the “Start Animatioin” bar.

Business Owners & Farmers May Owe Personal Tax

All Commercial Business Owners, and all Farmers in the Open Space Farm & Agriculture Program, are required to file an annual listing of their taxable personal property each year.

If the assessor does not receive your form, the assessor will estimate the value of the property based on the best information available.

There is a penalty for Failing to File: To avoid a penalty, the assessor must receive your listing form by April 30. The penalty is five percent (5%) of the tax due per month, up to a maximum of twenty five percent (25%).


Dollars For Scholars Board Plans For This Year

The mission of Dollars For Scholars (DFS) San Juan is to encourage students to become active in community service and to pursue advanced training. They award scholarships based on community service. Students who receive the DFS San Juan Scholarships have completed a minimum of 80 hours of community service during their high school career.

DFS will start a new year with a new President, Jim Carroll, and several new Board members: John Bostrom, Tina & Tom Barnes, and Maude Cummings.

In the next month, DFS hopes to have a Dining For Scholar night, and to open up a Scholars Clothes Closet at Consignment Treasures on Roche Harbor Road, and are asking the community to help by supporting these activities.


Saturday, March 22nd

Ranker To Seek Employment Elsewhere

RANKER-6 (42k image)(file photo)
For sometime there has been widespread speculation that Councilman Kevin Ranker would not run for reelection. Ranker has now surprised his colleagues on the council by announcing he will in fact not run again for office, but rather seek new opportunities in the non-profit world.

Councilman Rich Peterson said he too had heard rumors, but was surprised by the sudden announcement. Peterson said “this provides and opportunity for Kevin to prosper, and therefore I am happy for him; and it will give an opportunity for the council to evolve and have new people in the mix, and so that’s exciting too.”

Councilman Alan Lichter was also surprised, saying “I don’t know a thing about it,” then added “I’m delighted that Kevin is finding other ‘gigs’; he will certainly be missed in the council,” pointing out that Kevin “is youthful, energetic and brings a lot of sparkling actively to our deliberations.”

Ranker was opposed to the Charter, but Peterson, who supported the Charter, said that “Kevin did come around in recent months,” but added that with respect to Lichter and Myhr, he “still sees some resistance from the other two.”

Peterson also felt that with Ranker’s departure, this “ sounds like an interesting opportunity for the people in the first district,” then added “I think it’s a good thing all around”

Ranker represents District One of San Juan County, which is the south end of San Juan Island. Councilman Rich Peterson represents the north end, and Councilman Howard Rosenfeld represents the town of Friday Harbor.

While a number of people have been discussing running against Rosenfeld, and one is expected to make a formal announcement next week, no one so far has announced or suggested they would run against Ranker if he had decided to seek another term in office, however Ranker’s announcement may result in some folks now stepping forward.


Christine Miller Leaving San Juan County Fair

After more than a decade as Manager of the San Juan County Fair, Christine Miller has announced her resignation from the position. She called the annual Fair, “My pleasure and my joy,” but said she was making her decision to leave the same way she made her decision to move to the islands more than 18 years ago, “a gut level decision.”

In her letter of resignation – addressed to County Administrator Pete Rose, the County Council and the Fair Board – Miller said, “I will continue to support the Fair in any way that I can. Many seeds have been planted to help the community and the Fairgrounds grow.”

“My number one priority in my position has been to allow the community to experience and participate in the Fair as an enormous work of community art.”

“She has put on an outstanding event every year,” said County Administrator Pete Rose. “Managing the County Fair is a tough job and Christine has served the community well. She has offered to stay on with us long enough in the transition assure that this year’s Fair is a success, and that shows her love for people of these islands and her commitment to celebrating San Juan County’s unique character.”
Her future plans? She says, “I’m definitely staying here and I plan to do some volunteer work.”


Friday, March 21st

Exhibition At IMA

ig_WCBI_Howel-1 (51k image)The Island Museum of Art opens its 2008 season with a group exhibition of San Juan Island Artists combining their creativity into a show entitled: WORK.

In the planning stages for nearly two years, the exhibition is guest curated by and includes the work of Annie Howell-Adams. It was in 2006 that Howell–Adams began a series of paintings about commercial fishermen, some from sketches down at the docks, others from her experience commercial fishing.


Not What It Appears

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(-Rebecca Smith photo)

By Brad Cressy

San Juan Island Fire Department members from across the island took part in a live fire training exercise on Saturday at Yacht Haven Rd. Property owners Gayle and Wayne Laufer donated an older home to the Firefighters’ Association for use in training.

Before lighting actual fires, the firefighters used smoke bombs to fill the house with smoke, and practiced locating possible victims and rescuing trapped firefighters. All this was done with less than six inches of visibility inside the structure.

Later, fires were set in the house and firefighters responded to search the building and extinguish the fires. Then they “overhauled” the scene to locate any fire hidden in the walls or ceiling.


Thursday, March 20th

Border Chief Responds To Council & Public

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If the County Council members expected anything of substance to come out of asking Border Patrol Assistant Chief Agent Joseph W. Giuliano to come to Friday Harbor and field questions from the Council, and an overflow of members of the public, they may have ended up disappointed.

Council Chairman Howard Rosenfeld said after Giuliano had made his opening remarks, the public could then address the Chair with testimony and questions, and to not repeat testimony that had already been given.

Once Giuliano gave the legal basis for the spot checks, and explained how and why they were being accomplished, the public was allowed to speak -at least initially- for two minutes. Two of the speakers said they had no objection to the checks, and the rest of the 23 spoke against them. Giuliano was told that the stops were illegal, unconstitutional, and unnecessary, and the speakers did not like them.

Farmland Preservation Workshop

On Friday, March 21st, The ARC will hold a workshop at the Skagit Valley College meeting room, from 2:00 to 5:00 in Friday Harbor. Konrad Liegel, an attorney at K&L Gates in Seattle, will be speaking about inheritance laws and passing on the farm. Mr. Liegel literally helped write the book on conservation easements. He concentrates on environmental law, from dam removal projects down to family estate planning."


Wednesday, March 19th

US Supreme Court Rules Against The Political Parties

“Even if voters could possibly misinterpret the designations, I–872 cannot be struck down in a facial challenge based on the mere possibility of voter confusion. … And without the specter of widespread voter confusion, respondents’ forced association and compelled speech arguments fall flat.” -US Supreme Court

In a 7 to 2 vote, and with sometimes strong language, (Supreme Court Opinion) the US Supreme Court has upheld Washington State’s Top Two Primary, known as I-872.

The citizens of Washington enjoyed the freedom to vote for the person, not the party, from 1936 to 2003. This privilege has been a fundamental part of a Washington states populist political culture that held the people, not the parties, ought to control the process of electing their leaders.

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed said in an email that “I am thrilled to announce that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Top Two Primary, I-872! We plan to implement the Top Two in 2008.” Reed also took the opportunity to thank others in the state who fought to retain I-872, adding “I greatly appreciate the ongoing support of the elections community, the Grange, the Attorney General, and many legislators in this long effort to preserve greater choice for the voters.”

The two major political parties were less than pleased, as this will undermine their power and potential influence, since voters will not have to declare any party affiliation, and can vote for any candidate, regardless of the candidate’s political party preference. The Court rejected the political parties’ claims that this type of primary is unconstitutional.

Just as the voters of San Juan County were able to use a local initiative to overturn the County Council stormwater funding ordinance, the voters of Washington in 2004 voted for an initiative that created the so-called Top-Two plan, but it was blocked by court challenges. Challenges that have now in turn been blocked, stopped and struck down by the US Supreme Court.


Neah Bay Rescue Tug Funded

ig_Tug_Gladiator1 (40k image)(Tug Gladiator -DOE photo)
The Washington legislature has approved year around funding for the Neah Bay rescue tug through June of 2009, as part of the supplemental operating budget it adopted this week. In the past, the tug was only funded for operation during the stormy winter season.

The contract for the winter storm season lapsed on March 7 ( related story) . The new funds will be available, and the tug is expected to go back into continuous operation, in July.

The tug is stationed at the mouth of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca with the mission of preventing oil spills by assisting disabled ships within the strait and in the outer coastal area. The contract cost of maintaining the tug Gladiator at Neah Bay, including fuel and operating expenses, is $9,000 per day.


NOAA May Protect Five Puget Sound Rockfish Species

NOAA’s Fisheries Service is assembling a team of biologists to examine the decline of five rockfish specifies in Puget Sound and determine if it should formally propose listings under the Endangered Species Act. The assessment follows the acceptance of a petition filed by a Washington citizen.

Sam Wright, a retired biologist from Olympia, Wash, petitioned NOAA last April to list the five species under the ESA. At that time, NOAA could not tell if the petition described a genuine population decline because it lacked the information necessary to interpret the limited data it had been provided.


Monday, March 17th

Eco-Terrorism On Orcas

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”I did it to punish the rich white people of Orcas Island and make them pay for the death of the whales and the depletion of the rain forests” -Mondragon

Gabriel Thomas Mondragon, 29 years old, who recently arrived from New Mexico, explained to Sheriff’s Deputies that in an attempt to make the people on Orcas “suffer just like the whales and trees”, he attempted to use a tree limbing saw -on a metal pole- to cut through a 69,000 volt power line.

According to the sheriff’s report, the man, identified as Gabriel Mondragon, also stated he wanted to protest “the death of Luna the whale and the destruction of the rain forest.”

Being well informed on the power of high voltage power lines, Mondragon cleverly put on several pair of latex dish washing gloves to isolate him from electrocution, and proceeded to touch saw to power line.

“Normal” Service Will Resume -WSD Director Moseley

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(David Moseley and Jayne Davis of WSF answer questions from the public)

David Moseley has been the Washington State Ferries Director for only eight days, but he made time on Wednesday (3-12-08) to come to San Juan County to answer questions from the County Council, invited members of the Friday Harbor Town Council, and members of the SJC Ferry Advisory Committee.

Moseley made note In his introductory remarks that while he comes to the job with over thirty years of public administration and management experience, he is without any prior maritime experience, but indicated he was selected for the position based on Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond’s goal of bringing leadership and management abilities “to move the ferry system forward and restore the public trust and confidence in the ferry system.”

Sunday, March 16th

Fralick To Run Against Lichter For Council Seat

ig_Richard_Fralick-1 (30k image)Richard Fralick, former elected County Office holder and long time Orcas West resident, announced today that he will run for District 4 County Council Member. With this fall’s election the County Council will be the first to have all representatives elected from distinct districts.

Fralick, who as Freeholder, chaired the sub-committee that drafted the Charter says, “I am truly excited by the potential of the 2009 County Council. Home Rule gives us new tools that can be used to design and build a county government to fit the unique needs of our islands.

The separation of powers defined by the Charter gives the Council the time needed to plan and set long-range policies that will affect our future. The initiative and referendum powers vested in our citizens will allow the community to participate in this process.”


Single Car Accident Claims Life On Orcas

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( Orcas Island Fire Department photo)

An early morning vehicle accident on Orcas Island has claimed the life of one person.

The vehicle struck a tree, resulted in extensive damage to the vehicle and killing an occupant. Orcas Island Fire Department personnel responded to the accident scene.

The identity of the victim has not release until the next of kin have been notified, but early reports indicate the man was not from Orcas, and may have been on the island doing construction work. The accident occur on North Shore sometime after 2:00 a.m. The single occupant of the vehicle was declared dead at the scene.

In an earler incident on Orcas, the Orcas Island Fire Department’s Aid 21 and Engine 22 were called to the Westsound OPALCO sub-station at 10:32 pm. where a 26 year-old patient was treated for first, second and third degree burns after coming in contact with high voltage while trespassing inside the sub-station enclosure.

The patient was flown to Harborview Hospital in Seattle via AirLift Northwest with serious injuries.


State Legislature Follows SJC’s Orca Protection Action

The Washington House approved and sent to the Governor a bill which essentially writes into state law the protections for South Resident Killer Whales that the San Juan County Council adopted in September 2007.

“We said when we passed our ordinance that it was just a stop gap until state or federal protections were in place.” Councilman Ranker said, “This is a case where it is a pleasure to see one of our ordinances expire.”

Once signed by the Governor, the bill will make it illegal for vessels to approach within 300 feet of an orca whale and requires any motorized craft which finds itself within 300 feet of an orca to disengage its transmission. It also provides exceptions for safety, research and other reasons.

Violations of the law will be classified as “natural resource infractions” which generally carry fines of up to $500.

The regulations were largely drawn from the “Whale Wise” guidelines created by the Whale Watch Operators Association of the Northwest, which has been a strong supporter of San Juan County’s Ordinance and the State Legislation.

Council Member Kevin Ranker said that 40th District Representative Dave Quall and Senator Harriet Spanel deserve special credit for sponsoring the legislation and noted, “We had active support from the 14 coastal counties, which was a major help.”


Final Status of Some Key Legislative Issues

The following Bills were passed or awaiting further action:

SB 6580: Global Warming/GMA–amended into study Passed
HB 2844: Urban Forestry–amended Passed
HB 3139: Workers’ Comp paid during appeals Passed
HB 2575: Study-barriers to fire sprinklers (no mandates) Passed
SB 6504: SEPA Categorical Exemption Clarification Gov’s Deskt
SB 6732: Underground Economy Task Force Gov’s Desk
SB 5831: HVAC Licensing–amended into study Passed

The following were defeated by vote or are otherwise “Dead.”

HB 2837: House Version of Weinstein Bill
SB 6385: Weinstein Bill
HB 3349: Contractor Licensing Study
HB 3292: Audio Taping Gov. Executive Sessions
HB 2797: Guts Vesting Laws
SB 6784: Guts Vesting Laws
SB 6892: Impact Fees (6 to 10 years to spend)
HB 3246: Impact Fees (6 to 10 years to spend)
HB 2110: Fire Impact Fees (inside fire districts)
HB 2797: Global Warming/GMA
SB 6469: Urban Forestry
HB 2576: Backdoor Inclusionary Zoning
HB 2535: Moratoria under SMA
HB 2966: HVAC Licensing
SB 6778: Same-day voter registration
SB 6365: Association Health Plans
HB 2895/SB 6707: Interior Designer Licensing


Friday, March 14th

Wynn Barnard Is The '08' Violet Richardson Winner

ig_Soro_Wynn_Barnard-1 (42k image)Friday Harbor High School senior Wynn Barnard has just been selected as the regional winner of the Soroptimists’ Violet Richardson Award . This award honors a young woman between the ages of 14 and 17 who is committed to making the world a better place and has had significant and noteworthy accomplishments as a volunteer.

Wynn was honored as the Friday Harbor club’s winner last month, and her application was forwarded to the Northwest Region, where she competed with 72 award recipients from other clubs. She will be presented with a $1000 cash award at the Soroptimists’ regional conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on April 26, and another $1000 will be donated to the Village-to-Village volunteer organization that she founded at the high school.

Wynn’s application has now been sent to Soroptimist International of the Americas, where she will compete for an additional award – including a contribution of $2500 to the winner’s volunteer organization -- with 27 other regional-level winners not only from the United States, but other countries as well.

This is the very first time that an award winner from the Friday Harbor club has ever been selected as the award recipient at the regional level of the Soroptimist organization.


"Lucia's First Love" Recital Saturday At SJCT

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(Photo by Danielle Dean Palmer)

Friday Harbor resident Corinne Stevens , Singer and lyric mezzo-soprano, has given performances in the San Juan Islands over the last two years, and on Saturday she is holding a fundraising concert to raise money for attendance at the Franco American Vocal Academy in Pèrigord, France this summer.

The performance of "Lucia's First Love" will be held on March 15th at 2:00PM at the Gubelman Room in the San Juan Community Theater.

Pianist Sarah Willson from Skagit Opera will accompany Stevens. The evening will follow a young woman's first love from introduction and infatuation to conflicts and betrayal. The story will be told through the world's most beautiful music, featuring German lieder from Schumann and Schubert, Italian arias from Puccini and Mozart, English art song from Vaughan Williams and Britten and more.

How does the story end?


SJI Ambulances To Be Upgraded

Chief Cole of the SJC District 1 EMS (Emergency Medical Services has announced that three ambulances will be off island for some upgrading. Cole stated in a press release that “our aging ambulances need a little TLC in order to keep them in safe operating condition.” The oldest ambulance is 14 years old.

Cole stressed that while each ambulance must be taken off island for the work, each ambulance, one at a time, will be taken back to the factory south of Seattle for a few weeks. This will always leave two in service.

Each of the ambulances will in turn receive increased reflective marking and external lighting. They will also be outfitted with internal safety systems for patients and EMTs and receive minor but important repairs and upgrades to some systems.

“We do not anticipate this maintenance to interrupt our ability to quickly respond to emergencies. With the addition of a third paramedic and EMTs having capability to first respond with all necessary life saving equipment, our community is in good hands,” Cole stated.


Thursday, March 13th

Realtors Provide Life-Saving Devices To School

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(L to R: Chris Spaulding, 2007 President of the San Juan County Association of REALTORS, Lainey Volk, San Juan EMS and Mike Soltman, San Juan Island School Superintendent)

In an effort to add another level of safety to our Island student and teachers, the San Juan County Association of REALTORS donated 9 Heart Start OnSite Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to Island Schools. The units were placed in: Friday Harbor Elementary School, Friday Harbor Middle School, Friday Harbor High School, Lopez Elementary School, Lopez Middle/High School*, Children's House

School, Spring Street International School, Paidea School and Skagit Valley College San Juan Island Campus. "As part of our ongoing involvement with the Washington REALTORS Quality of Life campaign, our local Association is pleased to provide this safety feature to our Island Schools", Said Chris Spaulding, 2007 President of the San Juan County Association of REALTORS.

Training on the Defibrillators was provided by Lainey Volk and Steve Williamson from the San Juan Island EMS. "This gift will undoubtedly help save a life", stated Lainey Volk, "the element of quick response is invaluable".

On behalf of the school district, Michael Soltman said, "We are grateful to the Association of REALTORS and our EMS Services for donating this life-saving equipment and training to our schools. It brings peace of mind and a sense of security to be able to respond effectively in life threatening emergencies. We are fortunate to live in a community where people seek out opportunities to collaborate for the common good of our citizens."


Sign Up Time: Evergreen Girls and Boys State

The time is now for junior girls and boys at Friday Harbor High School and Spring Street School to sign up for the annual session of Evergreen Girls State and Evergreen Boys State.

The programs are a government training program designed to give high school juniors the knowledge of the duties, privileges, rights, and responsibilities of American citizens. Also, students who attend Girls or Boys State will learn how our system of government functions and responsibilities they will bear as adults.


Wednesday, March 12th

Border Protection Chief Will Address CC Next Tuesday

Within the first week of March, over twenty people were taken into custody as they left ferries in Anacortes for being in the country illegal. Councilman Alan Lichter and Howard Rosenfeld expressed concern that “members of our community have disappeared.”

Next Tuesday at 11:15, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Joseph W. Giuliano will sit down in open session with the County Council to answer questions, and explain how, and why, the Blaine Border Patrol Sector of Customs and Border Protection is conducting spot checks of ferry passengers and drivers when they arrive in Anacortes.

At the Monday County Council work session, Lichter and Rosenfeld expressed concern that there is potential harm to the local economy if tourists know that they may have to go though security checks that delay them. Councilman Rosenfeld reasoned “it could affect if they come here or not; and then there is the delay for the locals who have limited time on the mainland.” Rosenfeld said that “another thing that people are concerned about is racial profiling.”

Councilman Alan Lichter said as the government of the San Juan Council, they are always interested and concerned about the citizens.

County manager Pete Rose suggested that to be most effective the Council may want to focus on what the impacts are when ferry traffic is involved, since it is our “highway”.

In telephone interview on Monday, we asked Giuliano about racial profiling. Giuliano did not mince his words in responding that “beyond being illegal, it is unethical, and just not a good way to do business.”


Tuesday, March 11th

Fire Works Ban. Supported Or Not?

The County Council has been back and forth on, to or not to, ban all use of fireworks in San Juan County. Councilman Howard Rosenfeld brought up the matter again on Monday, reminding the Council that they need to act now in order for the ban to be in approved this year, to prevent the use of fireworks next year.

Originally the Fire Chiefs had made a formal request, but the Sheriff’s Department said that enforcement was not a problem for them except for the one or two days a year, but they had it under control.

On Tuesday Councilman Rich Peterson said that he believed the Sheriff was now in harmony with the fire chiefs, and would support a ban. He added that historically the Council was told a ban was not necessary, “but there now there seems to be a different perspective that they would like it to occur.”

Peterson suggested they tell Prosecutor Gaylord to draft an ordinance. Councilman Bob Myhr agreed, and that they should proceed to hold a public hearing on the matter once a draft has been approved by the Council.


Home Trust Grant For Buck Property Turned Down

The County blessing of a affordable housing grant proposal for one affordable housing group over a lesser request from another group, has been turned down by the state.

The recommendation by the Council to support the grant request was in competition from other recommendations from other counties in the state, and on Tuesday the Council was informed the request was turned down.

When the County Council voted to recommended the San Juan Community Home Trust (Trust) proposal for a one million dollar grant from CTED (Department of Community Trade and Economic Development), over a request from Homes For Islanders, there was concern expressed that by so doing, they might end up with nothing. That is what has now happened.

There is still some hope some money may be forthcoming. Nancy DeVaux is the Executive Director of the San Juan Community Home Trust, and she said “officials at CTED called on Monday with the ‘good news’ that they will support the project with Community Development Block Grant ‘Housing Enhancement’ dollars instead of from the CDBG ‘General Purpose’ Fund dollars.” She cautioned that “the exact amount of funding remains to be seen.”


Increased Cell Phone Coverage May Be Coming

In March of 2005 Roger Crosby asked the then County Commissioners to revise cell tower regulations passed in1997. He came back in April of 2007, and now again in 2008 with the same request.

Crosby wants the County to allow cell phone antennas/transmitters to be attached to utility poles. This would allow greater coverage, perhaps complete coverage, through out San Juan County.

Crosby was elected to the OPALCO Board of Directors in1988, after having retired to Orcas from his previous position as Vice President and General Counsel for Burlington Northern, Inc. and he and OPALCO are not alone in the request for a revision to the Cellular Tower regulations.

The last two times that possible changes to the ordinance were discussed, Crosby’s request was supported by Sheriff Bill Cumming, Brendan Cowan of Emergency Management, the Fire Chiefs, and Public Works, all of whom stressed the changes should be made to increase their ability to communicate by use of cell phones.

The 2005 request failed to move the County to action, even after two work sessions were held, when no interest in changes were received from cell phone carriers.


Monday, March 10th

Rose Asked To Assume Management Of Council Staff

SJC Manger Pete Rose has assumed the day to day management of Council Clerk, and by extension, the Council office and staff. In a split vote, with Lichter and Myhr opposed, the Council approved a motion by Ranker to “ask the County Administrator to consider” assuming the new responsibly.

The action followed an executive session by the Council to hold an employee performance evaluation, and after coming out of the meeting a motion was quickly made by Councilman Myhr (seconded by Lichter) to accept the resignation of the Council Clerk Laura Tuttle. The vote was unanimous.

Human Resources Pamela Morais then appeared before the Council to discuss how a sharing of responsibilities for the management and “supervision” of the Council Clerk could be structured if the Council decided to turn it over to Rose.

Councilman Ranker made a motion, with a second from Peterson, to move forward with a proposal for Rose to assume the management of the Clerk. Councilman Bob Myhr was adamantly opposed, and spoke forcefully against giving up anymore administrative power to the Administrator, citing his concerns with separation of power issues.

Council Chair Rosenfeld suggested they include a sunset clause, which would force the review of the action. Lichter joined in with Myhr by expressing his concerns that the change would be unworkable, and stated there would be a contradiction in making the change, but did not state the reasons for his opinion.

Councilman Peterson took the pragmatic approach by stating the question on the floor is “do we want to transfer supervision?”

Myhr made a last attempt to sway the vote by warning there were potential issues that could be “disastrous.” The question was then called and the vote was four to two to transfer the administration duties to Rose.


Discuss Orcas Village Plan Wednesday

Public information meetings will be held March 12 and 18, 2008 at the Eastsound Fire Hall, 45 Lavender Lane, Eastsound, Orcas, Wa from 4-6 p.m. The focus of the first meeting will be proposed development standards published at the end of January while the second will examine revisions following the March 12 meeting.

These discussions are part of a broader effort to successfully conclude the long term planning effort and forge a plan acceptable to the majority of Orcas Village Residents.

For further information please contact Colin Maycock, at the San Juan County Department of Community Development and Planning, 135 Rhone St., Friday Harbor, Wa or at 360-370-7573 or


Saturday, March 8th

Carbon Calculator For Individuals & Counties

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have created a carbon calculator that shows people as well as cities and businesses how their lifestyles contribute to global warming and identifies areas where they can reduce their footprint.

Debuting this week, the latest edition of the CoolClimate Calculator was created by scientists at the campus's Berkeley Institute of the Environment (BIE) and the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL).

The calculator allows not only individuals, but households, small businesses and even cities and municipalities, to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide they generate annually based on their mode of transportation and their food, housing and lifestyle choices, and then compare the results to the footprints of similar households in the nation's 28 largest urban areas.

Friday, March 7th

Reduced Capacity On Ferry Starts Monday

ig_David_Moseley-1 (33k image)The 34-car Hiyu will replace the 87-car Klahowya on the San Juan Islands inter-island route beginning Monday, March 10. Even though the winter and spring months see less inter-island traffic than in summer, customers should expect some sold out sailings due to the reduced capacity of the Hiyu. The down-sizing is expected to last until mid-May.

• The inter-island 8:25 a.m. from Friday Harbor will be priority for Orcas and Shaw and space available for Lopez; the 11:35 a.m. sailing from Friday Harbor will not take Lopez-bound traffic. Instead, the 8:05 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. sailings from Friday Harbor to Anacortes will stop at Lopez in route to Anacortes to unload Lopez vehicles and passengers. No Anacortes bound vehicles will be loaded at Lopez.

• Friday Harbor customers who normally take the 8:25 a.m. inter-island sailing to Lopez will also have limited space available on the 8:05 a.m sailing to Anacortes, and those who would normally take the 11:35 a.m. inter-island sailing to Lopez should take the 12:40 p.m. sailing to Anacortes, which will arrive in Lopez at 1:15 p.m.


Westcott Bay Institute Expands

The Westcott Bay Institute (WBI), which operates the Westcott Bay Sculpture Park and the Island Museum of Art , has announced the expansion of its programs in the San Juan Islands and a transition management plan to accommodate the growth.

The Island Museum of Art opens again this spring with an exciting series of significant exhibitions, each featuring the work of fine artists of the region. The Institute’s noted educational programs are expanding this year to reach more school groups throughout the islands.

The Westcott Bay Sculpture Park continues to welcome new work from artists of the region. For several years the Park has seen steady growth in attendance, with more than 35,000 documented visitors annually. Negotiations for the addition of sculptures by some of the Northwest’s most notable artists have accelerated.


Thursday, March 6th

“Stimulus Act” Puts Extra Money in Taxpayers’ Pockets

ig_Milene_Henley-1 (33k image)By Milene Henley

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 sets forth a plan to send rebate checks to more than 130 million Americans beginning as early as May. The hope is that the extra income will stimulate the national economy.

Whether you will receive a rebate, and how much of a rebate you will receive, are determined by four factors. The first is your tax filing status, that is, whether you’re single (including head of household) or married. The second is your income tax liability for 2007. The third factor is your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2007. The final factor is whether or not you have dependents.

In order to receive a rebate, a taxpayer must have an income tax liability for 2007. Having a tax liability does not mean that you owe money for 2007; you have a tax liability if you paid in more income taxes than you get back. Even without a tax liability, a taxpayer may receive a rebate if he or she has at least $3,000 of qualifying income. Qualifying income includes earned income, veteran’s disability payments, and social security benefits.


Where There's Smoke

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(Holly Jeffers smiles with relief that little damage results from electrical fire)

Were it not for fast action with a fire extinguisher, an electrical fire in a car parked in front of a building in Friday Harbor could have been catastrophic.

San Juan Island local Holly Jeffers had a scare late Wednesday morning when billowing smoke poured out from under the hood of her car. luckily for her -and for others given how close the car was to the building- the fire was quickly put out.

The cause was found to be a short in some wires the previous owner had strung throughout the car to power a stereo system, and had made a number of direct connections to the battery. Fire extinguishers are handy to have at hand.

Babysitting Clinic For Girls and Boys

Babysitting class for girls and boys, grades 6 and up, is being offered by Orcas Rec to supply the education needed to offer excellent child care as a babysitter for kids of all ages. Margie Sabine will provide the basics of babysitting presented by the Red Cross.
This will consist of basic infant and child care, basic First Aid, job recruitment, role-playing, sharing recipe and activity ideas and much more.
Each participant will receive a babysitting certificate and be placed on a community babysitters list.

Please bring your ideas for games, recipes, and activities you think are fun for babysitting. Also, bring a lunch, snack and drink for the breaks.

Cost: $20 The instructor will be Margie Sabine.
Space is limited to 18 kids Orcas Fire Hall Meeting Room

Call 376-5339 to register for the class. You'll be glad you did!


Seven Performances Of Enchanted April

ig_SJCT_Enchanted_April-1 (63k image)

The play begins in post-World War I, rain-drenched London; and through the determination and lead of a young housewife, takes the characters and the audience into sunshine and hope. The play features both veteran and new actors to the stage: Patti Bair, Greg Hertel, Kate Hunter, Kaitlyn Johnson, Deb Langhans, John Pachuta, Susan Williams and Hunter Wood.

This production is sponsored by Islanders Bank. Plays March 7, 9, 13, 14 and 15. Tickets prices vary, depending on date.

The SJCT box office is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and one hour before each performance. Call 378-3210 or surf to

Wednesday, March 5th

Transportation Problem

ig_Car_In_Ditch-1 (40k image)

Early morning on San Juan Island. Car in the ditch, no rain, no frost, no ice. Hazard lights on, no one in the car, no one on the scene, no note, no nothing. Sheriff calls for a tow and goes looking for the owner. Must be around somewhere.

Transportation Policy Board Proposed For SJC

Bill Watson, the Program Coordinator for the Economic Development Council for SJC has proposed to the County Council that they to join SJC with Skagit and Island Counties to become part of a regional transportation planning organization.

This would, of course, require that another citizens group be formed, called the “San Juan County Sub-Regional Transportation Policy Board”, that would be made up of representatives from the state, local port districts, town, county, and perhaps “tribal interests”, and from major employers.

Watson sees the group as a new “governmental agency” that would participate in proposing regional transportation plans, and working with the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Watson listed some of the benefits to the county if an agency was created that would focus on transportation issues to “help manage…ferries, public transportation, state/regional highways, trails, etc.”

The possibility of sharing a planning grant of 20 thousand dollars, and an opportunity to qualify for other grants, were also listed as potential benefits, along with an “opportunity to shape a ‘larger voice’ on transportation issues to effect policy in Olympia”

Councilman Alan Lichter asked for other examples of the benefits, and Watson gave as example an ongoing discussion the Port of FH is having with Bellingham to provide a passenger only ferry from there to here, and that if we had a committee it could provide a study on the pros and cons of the proposal.

Councilman Rich Peterson wanted to know if, for any reason, in the future the other counties were to leave the group, would the SJC group continue, and would we be required to fund it. THe answer was the County can, at least in this case, undo what it does. Councilman Rosenfeld said he has been told that “we have left money on the table” in the past because we did not have such a group, but also noted it will take some money to enter into the proposal.

No final action was taken


Land Bank To Purchase 186 Acs at $1,175,000

Land Bank Director Lincoln Bormann received approval from the County Council on Tuesday to proceed with the outright purchase of 186 acres of land on Orcas.

The land is located between the Judd Cove Preserve and Turtleback Mountain Preserve on Orcas Island, and has the potential to become an important link between the two properties.

The property is now owned by family farmers Vern and Sidney Coffelt, who are nearing retirement. Bormann told the Council that the Land Bank purchased conservation easements on the farm in 1995 and 1996, but the Coffelts are now in the position of needing to sell the land or find another way to enable them to back off from their day-to-day activities.

He told the Council that if the property were sold at full price on the open market the cost would make it highly unlikely that any investor would maintain it as a farm. By purchasing the land, the Land Bank could then lease potions of the land to farmers -or would be farmers- as a means to insure that the land stays in agriculture and to protect scenic vistas.

Bormann told the Council the Coffelt property illustrates the “short comings of easements on Land Bank property” if the easements do not require that the land be farmed.

The County will make payments, and pay interest, on the property over a period of four years, and the Coffelts will be given a life estate on the property of one acre, so that they may remain in residence on the property for the rest of their lives.

The Council unanimously supported the purchase, with Council Member Gene Knapp saying, “There is no way to describe this as anything other than terrific.” Council Member Bob Myhr added, “This can serve as another model for preserving property and land in agriculture.”

(The San Juan County Land Bank was created in 1990 and mandated to “preserve in perpetuity areas in the county that have environmental, agricultural, aesthetic, cultural, scientific, historic, scenic or low-intensity recreational value and to protect existing and future sources of potable water.” It is funded with a one percent real estate excise tax paid by purchasers of property in the county.)


Tuesday, March 4th

New Stormwater Ord Needs Work -Rich Peterson

The draft of the stormwater funding ordinance was described on Monday as “not close to being a finished product and needs refining and modification.”

The statement was made by the chair of the Council Stormwater Subcommittee, Councilman Rich Peterson, as he handed out a copy of his report listing some of his objections to the draft. The report included an itemized list of how the draft responded to objections about the original ordinance; objections that generated a voter’s referendum against it. (Related Story)

Peterson submitted that there are ”ten things different in the new DRAFT ordinance that weren’t in the old one; and at least in my case forms the basis for why I supported the referendum:


Navy Admits Harm From Sonar -Court Agrees

The United States District Court for the Central District of California, A federal appeals court, ruled on Friday against the federal government’s effort to exempt the U.S. Navy from federal environmental laws as it engages in high-intensity sonar training off southern California. Training that critics -and the Navy- claim is doing harm to whales.

The ruling requires the Navy to stop using “medium-range” sonar in areas where marine mammals are most common, stating no use within twelve miles of shore.

In a comprehensive 108-page opinion, a three-judge panel also upheld every element of a lower court order requiring the Navy to take precautions during the sonar training to minimize harm to whales and other marine mammals.

The Navy itself estimates that its “SOCAL” sonar exercises, an on-going series of drills being conducted over two years, will significantly disturb or injure 170,000 marine mammals, including causing permanent injury to more than 450 whales and temporary hearing impairment in at least 8,000 others. You read that right: those are Navy estimates.


Monday, March 3rd

Must Be Spring!

ig_John_Evans_Lambs-1 (68k image)
Former County Commissioner John Evans observes new lambs on the John and Wanda Evans farm in Olga.

In addition to their nursery of plants and trees, they also make time to raise and sell Icelandic horses; but it was the field of lambs that caused us to pull out a camera. We just thought our readers would enjoy the photo. Why are young anythings so cute?

ADU Permit Applications Accepted Beginning March 6

The San Juan County Community Development and Planning Department (CD&P) will begin to accept applications for a limited number of Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) via telephone, on March 6, 2008 between 10 a.m. and Noon.

The department will accept applications for twelve (12) permits for the construction of new ADUs and three (3) for conversions of existing structures on a first come/first serve basis, subject to procedures established by the Administrator. A copy of the procedures document can be downloaded by Clicking Here; or obtained in person from the CD&P office at 135 Rhone Street, Friday Harbor, WA.


New Exhibits On Acoustics At The Whale Museum

The Whale Museum will host a lecture with Dr. Val Veirs on Wednesday, March 5th at 5 p.m. He will discuss the two exhibits on acoustics that debuted in the Exhibit Hall this month. As part of the talk, Dr. Veirs will demonstrate the interactive features of the exhibits that highlight acoustical aspects of the environment of the endangered Southern Resident Orcas. Interactive components include:

1. “Whale Call Response to Masking Boat Noise” – this is based on a paper published in 2004 in the journal Nature. Authors are Andy Foote, Rich Osborne, and Russ Hoezel.
2. “Eavesdrop on a ‘Conversation’ Between Orca Whales” – based on an exchange of vocalizations as recorded by students of the Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability program in 2007.
3. “Compare Underwater Sounds Between Summer and Winter” – west-side of San Juan Island.
4. “Puget Soundscape” – Brett Becker, a former Beam Reach student, created a map of the underwater environment in a region of the Salish Sea based on his field recordings.
5. “Live Streaming from the Hydrophones” – listen to sounds streaming from any of the hydrophones that are part of the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network. Hydrophones are located at OrcaSound, Lime Kiln Point State Park, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and the Seattle Aquarium.

The exhibits were funded in part by NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Region. Albert Shepard designed the installations.


WDFW Warning On Invasive Mussels

ig_WDFW-Logo-1 (33k image)
Unlawful importation of aquatic invasive species is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

In early February, a truck hauling a boat covered with thousands of quagga mussels was decontaminated at the Washington-Oregon border.

The vessel’s engine and trim tabs were pressure-washed with scalding hot water at the Ridgefield Port of Entry, and the non-native mollusks were quickly destroyed.

The 24-foot pleasure boat was the 11th vessel in the past year found to be carrying quagga or zebra mussels and cleaned at Washington’s borders. Both types of mussels – few larger than a nickel – are aquatic invasive species and are prohibited in Washington.

While the tiny mussels didn’t make it into Washington, the mollusks have spread throughout a number of other states, overrunning public waterways and displacing native fish and wildlife.

“These invasive mussels have been found in several western states, and they continue to move closer to Washington every year,” said Allen Pleus, aquatic nuisance species coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “That’s a big concern, because if they get into our waters, they will likely spread rapidly.”


WSFerry and Orcas Fire Department Joint Training

ig_Orcas-FD_Ferry_Drill-1 (52k image)

Seventeen members of the Orcas Island Fire Department participated in the first of two WS Ferry emergency response training and familiarization exercise offered as a required course for the first quarter of district training.

Participants boarded the Klahowya at the Orcas dock and participated in the class while the ship continued its scheduled run. Volunteers discussed techniques for assisting with fire response, vessel evacuation and emergency medical responses.

“We got a chance to ask the crew questions and think through details together”, commented Captain Max Jones. “Like the best method to get a patient down extremely steep steps or how the fire sprinkler system works”.
The drill concluded with a familiarization of the Sheriff’s largest boat, which has the capacity to transport medical emergencies when air transport is not available.


Sunday, March 2nd

Dispatches From The Field

ig_sss_08_ASIA-1 (44k image)

This year, Spring Street International School’s Experiential Education Program has three groups of High School students at various points around the globe, and will continue their "Ongoing SSIS “Dispatches From The Field”. Excerpts from the trips will highlight cultural experiences, journals in "tales from afar."

Click to view the article ***


Saturday, March 1st

San Juan Island’s Jr. Girl Scouts & Brownie Troops Leap Into Cookie Time!

ig_GirlScout_Cook_Sale-1_08 (66k image)
(L to R Cady Wilson, Emma Wickman, Megan Wilson and Hailey Ott, make the rounds in FH)

Celebrate the leap year with San Juan Island’s Junior Girl Scout and Brownie Troops as they set up cookie “shop.”

The annual Girl Scout cookie drive has kicked off. Troop members will be hosting cookie tables outside King’s Market for the next few days.

Eight variety of cookies will be on sale—including favorites like Thin Mints and Samoas, plus two newcomers: Lemon Chalet Cremes and Sugar Free Chocolate Chips. Each box is $4.00.
Marketplace from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 3 and Thursday, March 6.

Local proceeds from the cookie sales will go toward special off-island adventures for the troops, as well as into the troops’ philanthropic funds. (Junior Girl Scout 183 recently donated $500 to the Banry family).

For more information on buying cookies, please call Jan Bollwinkel-Smith at 370-5354.


Free Homeownership Counseling Offered

The Washington Homeownership Information Hotline and Counseling Program kicks off March 1. The program will provide free homeownership counseling to Washington residents thinking of buying a home and current homeowners who are having trouble with their mortgage. The program is the result of $1.5 million earmarked by this year’s legislature to help educate residents about homeownership and mortgages.

The program includes a toll-free hotline, 1.877.894.HOME (4663), and informational Web site, .

While the subprime mortgage impact has been substantially lower in Washington than in other parts of the country, the number of foreclosures throughout the state continues to grow. In an effort to help Washingtonians, Governor Chris Gregoire recommended the passage of SB6272, a bill based on recommendations from the Washington Task Force for Homeowner Security.

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