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Friday, April 30th

1st Step Taken Toward Improved Wireless



One of the benefits of the marathon passage of ordinances and amendments passed by the County Council last Tuesday was the move of the “Personal Wireless Communications Service Facilities” regulations out of a stand-alone ordinance, and into the Unified Development Code with the other land use regulations.

The push for the change had first come in 2005, when Roger Crosby -a retired member of the OPALCO Board of Directors- asked the then County Commissioners to revise the 1997 cell tower regulations. No action. He came back in 2007, and again in 2008 with the same request.
[more..]


Thursday, April 29th

Council Receives Bad News On CAO Timelines & Nonconforming Issues



In July of 2008 the Washington Supreme Court ruled that when doing CAO updates, the uplands and the shorelines (i.e. 200’ landward from high tide) are controlled by separate rules and laws and cannot be treated as one. This year the State Legislature passed EHB 1653 that established a new approach to the integration of upland and shoreline CAO revisions.

The time frame for the completion of CAO regulations for the uplands and shorelines are now the same. Problem is, the due date for completion of the updates is now shorter than before

Councilman Richard Fralick expressed strong concern that the new deadlines appear to mean there is now more work to do than before. Randy Gaylord responded: “Yes.”

[more..]


Wednesday, April 28th

3 Populations Of Rockfish Declared Threatened Or Endangered



ig_RockFish_Bocaccio-1 (53k image)
(-Oregon Fish & Wildlife photo)


NOAA’s Fisheries Service (Northwest Regional Office) has listed three populations of rockfish in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The populations of two of the rockfish species -canary and yelloweye- (photos below) have been designated as “threatened” and a third rockfish species -bocaccio- as “endangered.” An endangered species is at high risk of extinction; a threatened species is vulnerable to extinction in the near future and in need of protection.
[more..]


No More Vessel Renewal Reminders



The State Department of Licensing recently mailed postcards to all vessel owners notifying them that the Department will not be mailing renewal reminders any more, starting this year.

County Auditor Milene Henley advises owners that they can renew their licenses either online ( dol.wa.gov) or at the Auditor’s office in the courthouse. Specific directions for renewing online follow:
[more..]


Tuesday, April 27th

May 1st: Boat Launches At SJC Park Will Require Training & Permits



PRESS RELEASE: Beginning May 1, boaters will need to obtain a permit and attend a brief training session to use the launching ramp at San Juan County Park. The training, which covers the laws protecting killer whales and other marine wildlife, and the laws and guidelines for responsible boating within the San Juan County Marine Stewardship Area, was developed in association with the Whale Museum’s Soundwatch program.
[more..]


Monday, April 26th

CC Approves Ord Allowing Fairground Size/Use Expansion



With little deliberation the County Council approved a new Ordinance "Fairgrounds Overlay District" on Tuesday, (4-2710) to will allow the fairgounds to expand the uses and the size of the property.
[more..]


Sunday, April 25th

NEW Photos of Jensen Shipyard Fire



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A number of readers have noticed and commented on the appropriateness of the name "Satisfaction" -photo #8 below- for the commercial fishing boat that was right next to the fire, but thanks to the County and Town fire departments was one of a number of boats that survived the fire. One of those comments came from the owners of the boat, Matt and Maureen Marinkovich, of San Juan Island, who sent in a letter to the editor about the fire. -Editor

An early morning fire in a storage building at Jensen Shipyard on San Juan Island completely destroyed the building and some boats stored in it and near to it, while others right next to it were saved. More photos below:



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Saturday, April 24th

ARTSTOCK - Last Call for Artists!


Last Call for Artists! Plans are well under way for the 2010 "ARTSTOCK" weekend and organizers are seeking island artists interested in participating in the self-guided open studio tour segment of the weekend.

"ARTSTOCK", October 2 & 3, is a fall festival celebrating the diverse artistic culture of San Juan Island and includes an artists open studio tour and art gallery events, with local music and local cuisine. Any artist interested in being part of this 4th annual festival, who has not already done so, just needs to contact Claudia Fullerton at Island Studios, 378-6550 or claudia@islandstudios.com.


[link]


Friday, April 23rd

Filmmakers In FH For Film Showing



ig_SF_Good_Food-001 (54k image)



Land & Sea, the San Juan island chapter of Slow Food will be presenting three screenings of the film “Good Food.”

The Friday Harbor House Hotel has provided the San Juan Room in the hotel for the weekend showings of "Slow Food": Friday April 23rd at 8:30 pm and Saturday April 24th at 2pm and 8pm. Free to the public, limited seating.

Celebrated filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin will visit San Juan Island on the Earth Day weekend, and will introduce this acclaimed documentary.

From a description by distributor Bullfrog Films: "Something remarkable is happening in the fields and orchards of the Pacific Northwest. After leaving the land for decades, family farmers are making a comeback. They are growing much healthier food, and more food per acre, while using less energy and water than factory farms. And most of this food is organic."

[more..]


SJI Community Foundation Accepting Applications For 2010 Grant Cycle



Friday Harbor, Wash -The San Juan Island Community Foundation is accepting applications for the 2010 grant cycle. Completed applications must be postmarked or received no later than June 1, 2010.

The Community Foundation supports Island nonprofits whose work focuses on arts and culture, basic needs, education, environment, health and wellness, and general community concerns.
[more..]

Thursday, April 22nd

Imagine No Litter!!



ig_TheWorld-001 (34k image)By Capt. Pick-It Up

It’s now been four years since the grass-roots group that named itself the San Juan Island Anti-Litter Initiative formed. During this time, we’ve mounted several important campaigns aimed at raising awareness about San Juan Island’s litter problem and at attempting to reduce the amount of litter on our roadsides and beaches.

Working behind the scenes in concert with us was Patt Martin, a woman who deserves a very special “thank you” from all of us. Patt served for 12 years as the San Juan County litter program coordinator. Through her personal efforts, a well-organized, coordinated and effective community service program evolved, leading to an almost unbelievable 16 tons of litter being brought to the County’s solid waste facilities between July 2008 and February 2010.

[more..]


Free Workshops for Local Boaters



ig_SailBoats_FoSJphoto-001 (45k image)(Mark Gardner photo)


Learn more about how you can help protect water quality, marine mammals and eelgrass habitat at a series of free public workshops for local boaters. Presentations will cover priority habitats and species, current regulations and tips for reducing impacts to the marine environment.

Place & Time for Presentations:

[more..]


Wednesday, April 21st

Man Sent To Intensive Care After Knifing



A Friday Harbor man is in intensive care after receiving multiple knife wounds when he fell “on a knife ’several times.’” At least that was the claim when a call came in to the SJC Sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Deputies responding to the call came to a different conclusion as to the cause of the wounds. When they examined the victim, Mr. Scott Caldwell, “it was obvious to the Deputies, from their experience and training that Caldwell had been attacked with a knife and stabbed repeatedly.”

According to a witness who is a friend of both defendant Brian D. Osburn and the victim, Caldwell, a fight between Osburn and Caldwell started on a boat owned by the witness after “Caldwell had slapped Osburn over the ears and that Osburn and Caldwell argued. Osburn had become angry and drawn two knives. Caldwell swung at Osburn and Osburn stabbed him several times. Osburn had then gone back to his boat and Caldwell had left in his dinghy.”

[more..]


FAC “Puzzle Master Shares” His Views On Ferry Service



When Robert DeGavre resigned from the The San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC), the County Council sent out a press release titled: "County Looking for a 'Puzzle Master’ for Ferry Advisory Committee." For seven years DeGavre was the FAC master of sorting out and understanding draft ferry schedules in preparation for FAC recommendations to the ferry system staff.

DeGavre recently sent a letter to the County Council in which he shared his views, insights and "reflections on our ferry service which is the cornerstone of our community."
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Dana Lyons - Live in Concert on May 3



Friday Harbor, WA -- Singer/songwriter Dana Lyons comes to Friday Harbor on May 3 for a show to benefit The Whale Museum. Best known for his signature song "Cows With Guns," Dana is on tour to share his new album "Three Legged Coyote" around Washington State.

"Cows With Guns” was named #1 For The Year on Dr. Demento, #2 on Australian Country Charts, ten months on Seattle’s Top 40 and six months on Ireland’s Top 40. He has been called a current-day Pete Seeger by the Bellingham Weekly, and an out-of-control Johnny Cash by The Western Front.
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Marine Naturalist Training Program Offered



The Marine Naturalist Training Program, presented by The Whale Museum, has a few seats left in its spring program. Registration is available now.

The program dates are Saturdays, April 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 23. The object of this program is to provide a learning experience that assists adult graduates in becoming qualified regionally as professional or volunteer naturalists.
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Tuesday, April 20th

Free Health Screening Today In FH



ig_Eye_Truck-1 (55k image)
(file photos of past event)


The Lions Health Screening Unit (LHSU) is on San Juan Island on Tuesday at the Market Place offering health screening from 10am to 4pm for vision and hearing acuity, glaucoma and diabetes detection, and blood pressure screening.

Sponsored by the San Juan Lions Club, these screenings are available free of charge.
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Attorney General Coming To FH



ig_Rob_McKenna-1 (39k image)Washington's Attorney General Rob McKenna will be in Friday Harbor May 4th as guest speaker at a Citizen's Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR) dinner.

The dinner (donations accepted) and talk ares open to the public, CAPR has stated RSVP (M. Knych) is required. The Attorney General's topic "Protecting Private Property Rights."
.
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NOAA Seeking Public Input On A Draft Marine Aquaculture Policy



NOAA is seeking public input to help shape the scope and objectives of a draft policy for marine aquaculture.

As a first step, NOAA is seeking broad input on the components of a draft aquaculture policy from interested stakeholders, including communities, state and local governments, tribes, businesses, associations, the aquaculture industry, commercial and recreational fishermen, the seafood industry, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.

[more..]


Monday, April 19th

Friends File Against County



In what may be the first shot in a two front battle, the Friends of the San Juans (FOSJ) have filed a petition with the Western Growth Management Hearings board (Board) to invalidate an ordinance that allows the County to establish “essential public facilities” (EPF) in areas now off limits to them.

The “Upland Essential Public Facilities” Ordinance was adopted in February of this year, and a second ordinance is now moving toward adoption that will allow an EPF to be located on the shoreline, and the FOSJ fired a salvo at that proposed ordinance last week when the County Council took public testimony on it.
[more..]


Friday, April 16th

Knock On Door If No Census Form


US Census - Starting May 1 local census enumerators will begin knocking county-wide on the doors of all households which did not return a census form.

They will conduct a ten minute interview with each household to complete each form. They will not leave a census form on the doorknob if no one is home. Instead they will return another two times. They will also work hours when people are likely to be home, ie. evenings and weekends.

It is now possible for anyone who did not receive a form to call 866-872-6868 to have a census form mailed to their PO Box or home address. This may not stop the knock on the door, but it will forego the need for the interview.
[link]

Thursday, April 15th

Need $ For Historical Preservation Or Programs?



Every year, the San Juan County Council looks forward to awarding over $6,000.00 in discretionary funds, generated by recording fees, to projects intended to promote historical preservation or historical programs.

The grants were initially awarded in 2008, and have since included a survey of historic barns, and support for several island historical societies dedicated to document preservation.
[more..]


-- Guest Column --


Profit from Pain: Hollywood Poised to Fan Flames of Notorious Crime Spree


By Heidi Hiatt

Imagine that a wanted fugitive -a known burglar, car thief, boat thief, plane thief, and vandal who has declared war on and possibly shot at the police- lives in the woods behind your house. He may be in possession of a stolen police rifle and other high-tech gear, and he has a network of supporters in the community that keep him out of custody and underground.

Living near such a dangerous person with a blatant disregard for others would make any rational person uncomfortable, right?

Unfortunately, Colton Harris-Moore has an international fan club numbering in the thousands that are cheering this career criminal on. His Facebook page alone has about 15,000 members, and some fans consider it fashionable to wear t-shirts sporting phrases like “Run Colton Run!”

Today in the news I learned that Fox has bought the rights to a book proposal by one of my fellow Washingtonians. Before Harris-Moore is caught (again) or the final chapter of his current reign of recklessness is written, Hollywood is ready to profit from the ongoing misery and fear of Northwest residents.

Never mind the people whose homes and businesses have been broken into multiple times, or the challenge of limited resources that haunts the sheriff’s deputies pursuing this miscreant in Island and San Juan Counties. Some in our society evidently have such a lack of empathy for the lives of their fellow human beings that they are ready to celebrate Harris-Moore on the big screen, as if he’s actually done something worthy of the accolades.

I suppose fans of this fugitive will continue to find this saga entertaining until it happens to them. I doubt Harris-Moore’s neighbor who had her car stolen and crashed into a propane tank in front of a pursuing deputy is gushing “Colton, marry me!” on his Facebook page. The Camano and Orcas Island residents who’ve suffered from copycat crimes that just add to the mayhem aren’t going to be proudly giving homage to a budding sociopath on their chests. Those who are making money by celebrating Harris-Moore’s scores of illegal acts are being disgustingly insensitive to crime victims and have made their victimization a sport with ringside seats.

Perhaps these profiteers would like to volunteer their houses, regular or vacation, or their personal belongings for vandalism, theft, and destruction? Maybe their vehicle? Would any of them willingly put their children and their pets in harm’s way because Harris-Moore’s behavior is “entertaining”? Would they like to take the screws out of their skylight for him to make it easier when he comes by to take their valuables? When does it stop being funny? When a cop who’s also a husband and a father -or a mother and a wife- gets shot and killed?

If Fox or other followers want to do a real service for the communities and crime victims terrorized by this fiend, they should consider filming a documentary that will dismantle Harris-Moore’s support network and smoke him and his minions out. The people who want the affected communities to achieve a much-needed economic boost from this story should consider the suffering and privacy of their neighbors first. And if Harris-Moore’s naïve computer buddies want to contribute to a cause that seems near and dear to their hero’s heart, how about donating money to the animal shelter he adopted his beloved dog from rather than spending it on tacky t-shirts flashing his smug mug?

Treating Colton Harris-Moore as a celebrity and putting him on the big screen, especially while there are still multiple active warrants for his arrest, just encourages him. It feeds his well-known greediness and narcissistic ego. This attention and adoration is fuel on the fire of a deviant mind that was diagnosed with psychological issues at a young age. It pushes Harris-Moore to up the ante and try riskier, more boisterous things. Criminals like this escalate; he’s already moved from stealing pizza to cars to boats to airplanes, and egging his daredevil antisocial stunts on will increase the risk that these communities and their public safety officials face.

Harris-Moore has been heralded as a modern-day Robin Hood or a Jesse James for the new millennium. As someone geographically close to the action I have heard him glamorized as if he’s doing some great service for his fellow Generation Y-ers. But is he robbing wealthy oil barons and giving to the poor? Is he responsible for taking down some corrupt government dictatorship? Does he stand for a noble cause and just has an unorthodox way of achieving it? Has he even significantly improved his own mother’s living situation in all his years of thievery? No. Colton Harris-Moore is about himself. He repeatedly seeks to advance his own status and position by robbing and violating others.

Ironically, the same “fans” who are amused by the victimization of communities with limited resources to fight back are going to be some of the same people who laugh when Harris-Moore dies a bitter, tragic death that he brings upon himself. Because of their low level of empathy, his demise will be just as entertaining to them as his current victimization of others. Then they will toss him on the back shelves of their minds and move on to the next cause de celebre.

Does anyone really think that this story is going to end well? That everyone’s going to peacefully settle this one lazy Sunday afternoon over iced tea, shake hands, and agree to restitution? That communities that used to be forgetful about locking their back doors, that didn’t feel exposed by the lack of blinds on their windows, is ever going to know those carefree days again?

Reality is, someone is likely to get hurt or killed. Will a band of fed-up citizens corner Harris-Moore in the woods and take matters into their own hands? Will Harris-Moore’s body ever be found after that happens? Will Harris-Moore crash land another airplane due to his beginner piloting skills, but this time on an occupied building? Will our state have to see yet another law enforcement officer, or two, or five, lose their lives in the line of duty?

Authorities don’t definitively know everything that Harris-Moore has even done, so there is no sure-fire way to know how far he’s willing to go to keep his rogue lifestyle intact. He may want to go down in some preconceived blaze of glory to ensure his status as a counterculture legend. Maybe he fancies himself to be the D.B. Cooper of his generation, but D.B. Cooper didn’t leave obvious DNA evidence on the hijacked jetliner and had the sense to bring a parachute.

While it’s perfectly normal to be intrigued by such a story and want to keep tabs on a criminal who presents a risk to strangers we empathize with, people we love, or both, it is morally wrong to portray Harris-Moore as a genius, a hero, or a celebrity. If the effort and money that is being put into this criminal worship and mockery of crime victims was invested in finding justice for those Harris-Moore has preyed upon instead, Harris-Moore would have been caught a long time ago. His predatory streak has been fed by his protectors and admirers, people who, if they really cared about him, would convince him to turn himself in to ensure his physical safety.

For the sake of crime victims everywhere, I am challenging Fox and others in the entertainment industry who seek to profit from the case of an active fugitive to at least let the final chapter of Harris-Moore’s story play out before they do this. More importantly, I am challenging them to consider the impact of Harris-Moore’s and his imitators’ and supporters’ actions upon the communities he’s chosen to offend. I challenge them not to make light of what my fellow Washingtonians have gone through, are going through, and have yet to experience. This subject should be approached with sensitivity and in a way that helps people protect themselves against such criminals.

I ask Hollywood to consider the impact that the cost of prosecuting a long list of felony cases is going to have on taxpayers in an area that’s so cash-strapped it recently let one of its much-needed sheriff’s deputies go. I’d like Fox to donate a portion of its profits to local law enforcement, crime victims advocacy organizations, youth organizations, and/or animal shelters.

I also want to see profits from Harris-Moore’s story going towards the prevention of the dysfunction, domestic violence, and drug abuse that may be contributing factors to the creation of other Harris-Moores. I would especially like Fox, specifically, to give a hefty dose of financial support to Island and San Juan County children who may live in less than ideal conditions but are choosing to live clean and productive lives rather than engage in the gluttony of self-serving violent crime.

If the entertainment industry is so intent on profiting from other people’s misery during an ongoing crime spree, and is going to glorify Harris-Moore and his kind instead of shame them and bring them to justice, then I request that they invite Harris-Moore to live in their backyards and help himself to their property. Perhaps they have a spare Mercedes to crash or an extra Cessna to burn. There is simply nothing entertaining about having a narcissistic teenager hell-bent on material gain living in your backyard.


When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it, always. -Gandhi


[link]


Wednesday, April 14th

State Funding For A Farmers Market In FH


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( Erickson property in Friday Harbor)


The state may be in a budget crises, but the vice chair of the Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committee, State Senator Kevin Ranker, was able to obtain support for $375,000.00 in state funding from the state Capital Budget to "help purchase and restore” the Erickson building in Friday Harbor for a farmer’s market.

Representative Jeff Morris voted for the measure to provide a “permanent home for the San Juan Island Farmer’s Market," stating “we saw billions in funding cut out of the operating budget,” adding that he was “pleased we were able to do some good back home and help maintain the …the Farmer’s Market on San Juan.”. Noting that it will draw “visitors from across the state and even [the] nation.”

The push behind the move toward the purchase of the Erickson building comes from the SJC Ag Guild, a non-profit 501©(3), which hired County Council member Lovel Pratt as their Project Director.

While the state money is a big step toward obtaining the estimated $1.2 million required to complete the purchase and construction of a Farmer’s Market on the Erickson site, the SJC Land Bank has, according to the Ag Guild, committed $400.000.00 in collected tax money toward the project to purchase a “historic preservation and conservation easement.”

The Land Bank had worked out a deal in that raised questions about the role of the SJC Land Bank contributing $600,000.00 to the project in the 2008 budget; and the Agricultural Guild was “to reimburse at some point, under contract, the Land Bank $200,000.00 dollars.” (Related Story ). However, by October of 2009 the Director of the Land Bank, Lincoln Bormann stated: "Although the 2008 budget which included this item was structured as you [the Island Guardian] stated, after considerable review the Land Bank Commission decided to reduce our participation to $400k for the purchase of a historic preservation and conservation easement on the property."

In 2009 Borman told the Friday Harbor Town Council “this may seem like a strange thing for the Land Bank to do, but in fact we have a very broad mission.”

The Ag Guild is also looking for additional funding from the Washington State Historical Society, and the US Department of Agriculture, and plans to submit additional applications for funding from other sources.

The Senate Agriculture & Rural Economic Development Committee considers issues relating to agricultural land; the production, sale, and marketing of agricultural products; food safety; and policies and programs that affect economic development in rural areas of the state, however the money Ranker was able to obtain came from the state Capital Budget funding, a source of tax money for infrastructural projects, including, for example, school construction and parks.

The goals of that funding, according to Morris is “economic development, creating jobs, as well as sustaining historical monuments in Washington.”

The budget now goes to the office of the governor, and Governor Gregoire does have line-item veto power.

[link]


Council Moves Forward On Water Element



It was the 10:45 agenda item that seemed at times to be the subject without end as the Council worked and debated on structural changes to the language in the water Water Resources Element of the Comprehensive Plan (WRE).

The WRE will guide future work on writing regulations to manifest the goals and policies of water management in San Juan County. The council quickly became bogged down in a proposed policy that would control when, and if, water from Ag Resource lands can be used for any other purpose. (see Related Story).

[more..]


Tuesday, April 13th

Wave Of Protest Builds On Proposed Transporting Water Ban



The recent vote by the County Council to pass a policy to have “regulations that prohibit the transfer or export of water withdrawn from agricultural resource land, except when the water withdrawn is put to beneficial use on other agricultural resource lands” has stirred some to action.

Letters have been sent to the County Council from the Eastsound Water Users Association (EWUA), the West Sound Water Association (WSWA), and even the Council’s own SJC Water Resource Management Committee (WRMC) have objected to the proposed policy in the Water Resources Element of the Comprehensive Plan..

[more..]


Monday, April 12th

Ferry Schedule/Reservations Discussion Tuesday With WSF Representative



The San Juan FAC (Ferry Advisory Committee) will hold a public meeting on Tuesday (8:30 am, Small Conference Rm in the Leg Bld) to discuss a draft schedule, and to make comments for revisions. WSF representative Melissa Johnson is expected to be in attendance.

The service planner for WSF, Dave Remagen, and the senior Anacortes agent, Glenn Welk, have previously held a telephone conference call to discuss the preliminary draft of the 2010 Summer Schedule. The schedule had been submitted to the FAC for comment and revision to the FAC about ten days ago.
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Sunday, April 11th

Public Hearing On Water Resources Element



The SJC Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the Water Resources Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

The proposal is to adopt the Element with the changes as recommended by the SJC Planning Commission (PC), but to also make some amendments to the existing plan that go beyond the recommendations of the PC; including a controversial prohibition against using ag land to supply water for residential use.

The proposed ordinance contains some goals and policies that are controversial, and some that if enacted by regulations -or becomes an action by policy- may require additional expense to institute and manage.

[more..]


Green: ON THE EDGE - Call to Artists



ig_IMA_Green_On_The_Edge-002 (28k image)The San Juan Islands Museum of Art & Sculpture Park (IMA) is sounding the call to Washington, Oregon and British Columbia artists to enter IMA's juried visual arts competition: Green: ON THE EDGE.

The upcoming summer exhibition is asking artists to tackle the question, what does green mean to you... the word GREEN, the metaphor GREEN, or the symbol GREEN. ON THE EDGE is IMA's way of saying, don't be conservative, take it to the edge! We are seeking "edgy" work in any visual media and size that meets our conditions and requirements. Work must be original and current (completed within the last two years.)


[more..]


Saturday, April 10th

Time To Get A Census Form



Starting April 12 it will be possible for anyone who did not receive a form to call 1 866 872 6868 to have a census form mailed to their PO Box or home address. This may not stop the knock on the door, but it will forego the need for the interview if you have not already returned a census form.



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Friday, April 9th

Ace Hardware Grand Opening


Ace Hardware in Friday Harbor held their grand opening last weekend (4-10-10) with Live Music; Wood Carving;a chance to meet volunteers of the Humane Society of San Juan Island; of the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and the volunteers of the Friday Harbor Athletic Association. And Drawings, Giveaways, Great Deals And more.

Discounted Propane Bottle Fills were also offered. All the proceeds from from the BBQ and Propane Sales were donated to the local charities. Those who brought a non perishable food item for the Food Bank received a 20% Discount Coupon.
[link]


Thursday, April 8th

County Passes New Dump Fees & Town Looks At Taking Over



(Updated 4-9-10) The County Council has moved forward on a 14% across the board increase on solid waste fees. The minimum fee to dump cans of garbage will be set at $12; that will be higher than the current per can fee. The idea here is to encourage self-haulers to bring more than one can to the dump. Meanwhile, the Town is looking at taking over the transfer station, and may be willing to allow island wide road-side pick-up of garbage.

This 14% increase was made by the county without voter approval. However the voter will be able to cast a ballot when the County asks county citizens to approve another self-imposed tax to bail out the long standing problems of the solid waste program.
[more..]


Goodu & Langle Acquire Eaton Law Practice



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(Don & Shyrl with Margaret Langlie & Pete Goddu)


When longtime San Juan County lawyer Don Eaton became San Juan County’s Superior Court Judge, he and his wife Shyrl (his legal assistant/ office manager) began the complicated process of closing his law practice after 31 years.

At the same time, lawyers Peter (“Pete”) Goddu and Margaret Langlie were winding up a month-long commute (via West Wind Aviation) to Sequim (where they were covering the law practice of a colleague on medical leave) and pondering their next professional move.
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Wednesday, April 7th

This Little Girl Needs Your Help



ig_Sophia_Grace-001 (39k image)On November 22, in 2009, 11 week old Sophia Grace was taken to the Skagit emergency room with breathing issues. After x-rays of her chest revealed she had an enlarged heart - later diagnosed as Pediatric Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), she was rushed via ambulance to Seattle Children’s Hospital.

There will be a spaghetti dinner & auction on April 9th 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m @ Roche Harbor Pavilion to raise funds for Sophia; see details below:
[more..]


Multi-Use Trail Opens On Turtleback



ig_Turtle_Back-Trails-Sign-1 (39k image)Horse and bike riders will be able to share the trails on the North side of Turtleback Mountain Preserve with pedestrians beginning in early April. Bike use is allowed on EVEN days only. Equestrian use is allowed on ODD days only. Always stay on designated trails & ride safe.

Opening Days are Saturday, April 10th, for bikes, and Sunday, April11th for equestrians.
[more..]


Do Our Killer Whales Need Protection?



NOAA Fisheries has announced they will conduct a five-year review of Southern Resident killer whales under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

A five-year review is a periodic process conducted to ensure that the listing classification of a species is accurate. The review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review.
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Monday, April 5th

County Responds To Town Council On SJI Transfer Station Issue



In response to the Town letter back peddling on selling land for expansion of the SJI Transfer station, the County Council on Monday hasty drafted a response letter to the Town expressing a desire to “move forward with productive negotiation as soon as possible.”

Chairman Richard Fralick did not hide his displeasure with the Town backing out of selling the land, and expressed his concern and hope that the County will not spend more money on planning or construction, only to have the Town “jerk out the rug from under the County again."

The County was preparing to put out to bid nearly $1 million dollars in improvements on the Town-owned property, and Fralick also noted the county has spent over $200,000 for site studies, risk assessments and required to purchase property next to a closed landfill.
[more..]


3 Growth Management Hearings Boards Now Become One



Gov. Christine Gregoire has signed a bill (Senate Bill 6214) that consolidates the powers, duties, and functions of the three regional Growth Management Hearings Boards into a single Growth Management Hearings Board and reduces the total number of members from nine to seven.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island) and is it has been estimated the consolidation will result in a $220,000 savings in salaries and benefits, plus a savings in overhead and administrative costs.
[more..]


Special Meeting Mon Morn On Town Withdraw On Dump Sale


The County Council will hold a special meeting at 8:30 am on Monday to discuss the April 1, 2010 letter from the Town of Friday Harbor withdrawing the offer to sell property on Sutton Road to the County, and possible options related to this matter. Related Story

The meeting will be followed by an Executive Session Note:the public will not be allowed at the meeting. The stated reason for the executive session is it has to do with "pending and potential litigation" and "To consider Real Property Acquisition". It is not known if the Town/County problem is part of either of these discussions.
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Sunday, April 4th

On-Site Sewage Issues Relevant to SJ Islands



IG_capr-Mark_Gross-001 (33k image)On April 6, 2010 Mark Gross will give a presentation on on-site sewage disposal and how it can relate to issues of disposal in SJ County. Mark is an expert on this subject having a strong academic background tempered with real world experience.

Tues. April 6, 2010 at Time: 5:30 pm in the San Juan Island Grange Hall. Dinner will be served -Donations accepted for dinner- guests are asked to bring a potluck dessert
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Saturday, April 3rd

Marine Naturalist Training Program



Friday Harbor, WA - The Marine Naturalist Training Program, presented by The Whale Museum, has a few seats left in its spring program. Registration is available now.

The program dates are Saturdays, April 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 23. The object of this program is to provide a learning experience that assists adult graduates in becoming qualified regionally as professional or volunteer naturalists.
[more..]


So What’s Next, Locusts?


ig_storm-2010-002 (58k image)
(Not a winter shot of Downtown Friday Harbor on a spring day -Marc Forlenza photo)


Gale force winds blowing down trees and cutting power, and then on Saturday a grayblack storm cloud dropped enough hail to make it look like a snow storm in December. The good news, all weather predictions are we can cut the grass starting no later than Tuesday.
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Baker Boys & Elegant Edibles



ig_SJCT_Baker_Boys-001-1 (55k image)

San Juan Island’s fabulous Baker Boys are back--still cooking and baking, and sharing their talents at CATS’ Elegant Edibles bake sale at the San Juan Community Theatre was Saturday, April 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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Well, At Least It Was On Friday


ig_storm-2010-001b (62k image)(West side of San Juan Island -IG photo)


For a few hours the weekend came early when high winds knocked out the power, and with computers down and the heat off for many businesses, some just gave up and went home.

For sport fans the worry was will the power be back on for the weekend games, and for others, such as the self-employed, and shop owners, the concern was lost hours working translates into lost money. Once power was restored, then it was get the computers back up and running, and life returns for what passes as normal on the islands
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Friday, April 2nd

Town Upset, Dumps Transfer Site Sale



Perhaps the Town of Friday Harbor is tired of the time and debate that has gone on now for years over the possible purchase of the town transfer site property the County leases, or perhaps they are getting messages the County will not adopt fees and policies favorable to town citizens, but whatever the full explanation may be, any deals for now are off the table.

A letter on April Fools Day turned out to not be a joke when the Town adopted a letter addressed to the County Council stating "it my not be in the public’s best interest to declare any portion of our 26 acres as surplus.” That may be code that the Town is upset about the proposed rate increases the County is considering to bump the dump cost to the Town an additional $28.00 per ton.
[more..]


UDC Amendments To Be Considered By PC



At their regularly scheduled April meeting, the San Juan County Planning Commission will hear a presentation from the Community Development and Planning Department on the first set of Unified Development Code (UDC) amendments for 2010.

This discussion will begin at or after 8:45 am on 16 April, 2010 at the Council Chambers in the Legislative building, 55 Second St, Friday Harbor.
[more..]


Thursday, April 1st

Don Eaton Sworn In As SJC Judge



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(Don Eaton sworn in by Judge Alan R. Handcock)


Donald E. Eaton was sworn in as San Juan County's second-ever Superior Court Judge on March 19, 2010 in a private ceremony conducted in Judge Eaton’s chambers by Island County Superior Court Judge Alan R. Hancock. A public ceremony will be held at a later date.

Judge Eaton's first day in office was March 22, 2010. However, it was not his first time on the bench.

[more..]


Be A Whale Museum Volunteer



Volunteers aged 16 and over are needed to help visitors in the Whale Museum Exhibit Hall.

By using artifacts, text panels, and hands-on specimens, museum docents are trained to assist visitors in identifying the characteristics of marine mammals, which marine mammals live in the area, and inspire conservation by sharing information about the impacts of human activity on whales, marine mammals, and the oceans of the world.
[more..]


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