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Saturday, June 30th

Auditor Releases 2011 Annual Report

ig_Auditor_Cash_2011-01 (52k image)
San Juan County Auditor Milene Henley has announced the publication of an annual financial report for the County for fiscal year 2011. The County has always prepared an annual report for the State Auditor.

Thursday, June 28th

Missing Person Found, All Is Well

ig_S_MissingPerson-01 (56k image)The Sheriff's office reports that missing person Bruce Martain "has been located alive." Martain was "spotted by the confidence fire boat on the shoreline then returned, around 8:30 pm."

Mr. Martain, 71, had gone for a walk with his dog and did not return. The Sheriff and Orcas Fire Departments were notified, and a press release was sent out asking if anyone had seen him. by early evening he was located.


Meet Republican Candidates Saturday

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(McKenna, Matthews & Swapp)

Saturday June 30th Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur will join San Juan County Republicans to host candidate visits to Orcas Island and San Juan Island.

A full day of activities for Atty General Rob McKenna, candidate for Washington State Governor, Dan Matthews, candidate for US Congress and John Swapp, candidate for Washington State Senate will begin with a 10:00AM Orcas Breakfast in the Anders Hanger Eastsound Airport.

Wednesday, June 27th

Ag Sales & Farm Stands

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(Planning staff Lee McEnery & Renai Beliveau -screen capture photo)

Should there be a limit on how large a building can be that sells farm produced products? Is it okay to sell products not produced on the farm, or can a farm store or farm “stand” be free to sell any products as long as it is in some way related to farms or farming?

Good questions, and the County Council and County staff has spend hours attempting to come up with good answers as they review and discuss changes to the existing regulations on agriculture sales and related farm recycling issues.


Tsunami Debris On Coastal Beaches

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is deploying Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crews to help respond to a reported increase of marine debris on the state’s coastal beaches.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed June 19 that a 20-foot fiberglass boat that washed ashore at Cape Disappointment State Park near Ilwaco was from Japan and swept out to sea by the March 11, 2011, tsunami.

Monday, June 25th

"Safe & Sane" Can Be Put To Unsafe & Insane Use

On Saturday, June 16, 2012 at about 1:00 p.m. Sheriff deputies and Lopez Island firefighters were sent to a Cross Rd address on a reported explosive device. An improvised device made out of "safe & sane" fireworks was located in the mailbox.

The immediate area was evacuated and the roadway closed for nearly 5 hours until regional bomb squad members arrived from Snohomish County and rendered the device safe.

Calm To 35 mph Gusts Hits Kayak Tour

A nice calm Saturday on the water changed quickly when the wind picked up and went from 0 to 35mph gusts that reportedly tipped over one of the Kayaks in a group tour. and send others into shore looking for shelter and a place to dry off.

One group that came to shore on the west side of San Juan Island had are said to have lost sight of three other groups and put out a call to the Coast Guard, who quickly showed up and was there to aid if needed. It was also reported that Vessel Assist was spotted towing a sail boat into Roche Harbor, but it is not known if that was wind related or not.

Permanent Protection Of Samish SJC Land

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(Lopez Land -photo in report)

Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, has introduced legislation that will provide permanent protection to more than 95 acres of Samish Tribal lands in Skagit and San Juan counties. The Samish Indian Nation Homelands Act of 2012 (H.R. 5992) would put the land, currently owned by the Samish Tribe, into federal trust for the tribe.

The legislation has been endorsed by local leaders including the City of Anacortes Mayor and City Council, the San Juan County Council, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners, State Senators Mary Margaret Haugen and Kevin Ranker, and State Representatives Kristine Lytton and Jeff Morris.


Sunday, June 24th

Students Represent OPALCO At Co-Op Leadership Camp

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(“Connar Smith, Marne’ Cook, Cameron Schuh, Paige Carlson, Joe O’Bryant and Me’Taire Kilpatrick-Boe -Contributed photo)

The OPALCO Board of Directors presented the Nourdine Jensen Cooperative Youth Scholarship Program award to five high-school students representing three islands: Cameron Schuh (Orcas), Me’Tairie Kilpatrick-Boe (San Juan), Paige Carlson (San Juan), Joe O’Bryant (Lopez) and Marne’ Cook (Lopez).

2011 Scholarship Winner Connar Smith (San Juan) was elected by his peers to return this year as a Youth Director.

Saturday, June 23rd

SJ Island Jam For Relay For Life

Team Herbs has joined with Team Ace to bring you "Island Jam XV" at Tanglewood Amphitheater!! This Saturday, June 23rd..come support local efforts to fight the battle against cancer.

Friday, June 22nd

Save the Date--Annual Pig War Picnic on the Fourth of July

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( contributed photo)

It’s time for the Fourth of July Pig War Picnic brought to you by the Kiwanis Club of San Juan Island! Last year was their fourth year and there was a fabulous turn out. If you were there, you joined hundreds of island families who brought their kids, friends and relatives to a one-of-a-kind community picnic and celebration.


Sam Reed Says “Goodbye”

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( Secretary Sam Reed shows off his Lame Duck shirt with Rotarian Ellen Johnson & Rotary Lame Duck President Jack Cory -contributed photo)

Civility. It is a word we hear a lot these days, and it was one of three words that Secretary of State Sam Reed said he wanted to share as the guiding principals of government. The two other words were moderation and bipartisanship.

Reed had asked to address the San Juan Rotary Club as part of a “Thank You” retirement tour of the thirty-nine counties of Washington state, and to say good-by to the elected and appointed officials he has worked with over the years.


Thursday, June 21st

Wildfire Protection Plan - Public Comment Period Open

San Juan County is seeking public input on its draft Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), which has now been released to the public for comment.


Wednesday, June 20th

FRIENDS Board Member Builds Without Building & Landuse Permits

San Juan Island resident, and board member of the Friends Of The San Juans (FRIENDS), Vivien Burnett, has been outspoken at meetings and in letters to the Editor on the importance of obtaining development permits, explaining “All the wildlife is affected by what we humans do. We think we’re just building a house with a great view.” (Vivien Burnett, 7/14/09)

Burnett has now found herself in trouble for doing exactly what she and the FRIENDS oppose: citizens who do “not abide by the laws of our county.” Burnett illegally converted a “shop/studio to a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit.” There are two major problems for Burnett.

Gov. Gregoire Releases Rules Moratorium Report

Rules suspension helped small businesses and local governments during economy

OLYMPIA - Gov. Chris Gregoire released her rules moratorium report detailing the results of an executive order issued in 2010 suspending rule development and adoption through the end of the 2011 calendar year.

As a result of the 2010 efforts, cabinet agencies put 483 rules on hold and eliminated 75 all together. An additional executive order in 2011 extended the suspension of the rules moratorium with results forthcoming in 2013.

Tuesday, June 19th

Secretary of State Sam Reed At SJI Rotary Club Wednesday

ig_Sam_Reed-01 (37k image)Secretary of State Sam Reed will be in Friday Harbor on Wednesday, June 20th, and he will be visiting the SJI Rotary Club as part of his final tour as Secretary of State. Rotary meets at 8:00 AM on Wednesday at the Friday Harbor House Hotel. The public is welcome to attend Secretary Reed's farewell speech to Rotary.

Secretary Reed will retire in January of 2013. Reed is Washington's 14th Secretary of State.

Donations Needed For The SJI 4th Of July Fireworks

ig_Fire_Works_Donations-01 (64k image)Ready for the 4th? The "Donation Firecrackers" (photo right) are ready to receive your donations, and the 2012 SJI parade is shaping up to be one of the best ever, according to Rebecca Parks, Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator.

"Now we just need to collect more donations to pay for the fireworks show," said Parks. Every year, merchants and local proud citizens donate the $15,000 needed for the fireworks display in the harbor.

Monday, June 18th

Multi-Media Presentation, “SILVER SEAS"

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(Ernest H Brooks photo)

World Renowned Pioneer Underwater Photographer Brings His Vision to the San Juan Islands

Pioneer underwater photographer, educator, diver, and ambassador to the marine environment, Ernest H. Brooks II, will bring his vision of the world beneath the sea to life in both a multi-media presentation and a photography exhibit.

“SILVER SEAS: Ernest H. Brooks II, A Photographer’s View of Marine Stewardship” - The San Juan Island Community Theatre, Thursday, June 21, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.


“The Living Lesson”

The San Juan Historical Society And Museum invites island youth to step back with us…to a time when school life was simpler…announcing a “ living lesson”, an interactive re-creation of a turn of the 20th century schoolhouse lesson. This 2 ½ to 3 hour hands-on role-playing activity includes:

• A welcome session in the museum’s resource center
• A 1 hour school lesson in a recreated log cabin school located on the museum campus
• A wrap-up and feedback session


Sunday, June 17th

SJI Community Foundation Awards $130+K in College Scholarships

The San Juan Island Community Foundation is pleased to announce its award of scholarships for the 2012/2013 academic year to former and present San Juan Island high school students. Awards were made to both continuing college students and high school students graduating this year.

The following awards have been made to graduates of Spring Street International School. Friday Harbor High School and a home-schooled student.


Mt. Baker Road & Trail Project Put-off

Obtaining necessary permits from the Feds has resulted in the Mt. Baker Road & Trail Project Construction to be put-off until sometime in the spring of next year.

The final phase of the project on Orcas Island had been scheduled for this year, but since not all of the permits are in place, County Engineer Rachel Dietzman said “Much of this is work that needs to be done during good weather and we don’t want to start at a time of year when we know there will be weather delays.”


Friday, June 15th

Crosscut NW News Picks Up IG Story

An Island Guardian Report on an attempt by some in the whale watching industry to stop a Friday Harbor showing of an Emmy-nominated documentary on Orcas and whale watching boats has been picked up by CROSSCUT, a major on-line news source with a large statewide readership.


Thursday, June 14th

Stop Signs Mean "STOP"

By Rob Nou

With school out, summer arriving and the onset of the tourist season, traffic concerns and traffic safety becomes an issue for our island communities. We all pride ourselves on the safety of the islands, and the relaxed pace.

The sheriff’s office is stepping up enforcement to keep people safe. Specific emphasis will focus on impaired drivers, speeding drivers, distracted drivers (cell phones), and unrestrained occupants of motor vehicles.

We will be working hard to keep our islands safe and to prevent a tragedy.

( Rob Nou is the San Juan County Sheriff


Artist Talk At Waterworks

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(Dominik Modlinski -Screen capture photo)

Artist Talk June 16 11AM with Dominik Modlinski followed by a reception 2-5PM with Tim Schumm and Domink Modlinski.

These featured artists, are both acclaimed masters of the Northwest landscape.

Wednesday, June 13th

Boat Noise + Hunger = Stress Levels Increase In Orcas

In the time period of 2001 & 2005 there has been a reported 20.4% population drop in the three resident orca populations found between Washington and Alaska. A number of studies have indicated lack of food is a cause.

A new Study found orcas’ stress-hormone levels increased when vessels were present during times of low prey availability. Samuel Wasser, a Study Researcher and Director of the Department of Biology Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington is quoted as stating. “Everything, including boats and toxins, matters more when prey is low.”

Free Orcas Workshop On Business Planning And Financing

The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) will present a FREE half-day workshop for small businesses and entrepreneurs on Orcas Island, on Tuesday, June 19, from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The business and financing workshop course material will be presented by James McCafferty, of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County, a management consultant for over a decade.


FH Art Market Kicks-off First Season

Friday Harbor welcomes a new evening experience: The first full season of the Friday Harbor Art Market. The event begins Thursday, June 14, 5:00pm-8:00pm.

There will be about 20 artist booths each week at the Brickworks Plaza on Sunshine Alley, with a variety of local artists’ creations for sale: pottery, jewelry, photographs, clothing, sculpture, textiles, paintings, soaps, woodwork, and more.

Tuesday, June 12th

The New Town Of Friday Harbor Administrator

ig_TFH_Ducan_Wilson-01 (29k image)The new Town Administrator is on the job, and working for the month of alongside Mr. Fitch before he assumes full duties of the Town Administrator in July.

Mr. Wilson was chosen in December 2011 to succeed C. King Fitch, who is retiring (Related Story). “Duncan comes to us with the highest recommendations from every reference we contacted, from both those that were and weren’t on his reference list. The only negative we heard was that North Bend and King County were going to be a little less special without him”, said Mayor Lacher.


Monday, June 11th

New & Improved WSF Vehicle Reservation System Moving Forward

Washington State Ferries launched a new and improved vehicle reservations system called Save A Spot for customers of the Anacortes/Sidney, B.C. route. In the first four days of the new system, there have been over 3,000 reservations taken. Features of the new system include:


State Emergency Logistics Exercise

Evergreen Logistics Exercise in June will test governments’ ability to come through with the goods, post-disaster: How soon and how efficiently can food, water, medicine and other critical supplies reach a Puget Sound region devastated by a wave of earthquakes?

That’s the question local, state, tribal and federal agencies will address June 12-14 during the Evergreen Logistics Exercise.


Sunday, June 10th

Dead Calf Called 'Probable' Case Of Wolf Predation East Of Bellingham

State and federal wildlife managers have determined that wolves likely caused injuries that resulted in the death of a calf on a Methow Valley ranch May 18 and that the landowner would qualify for compensation. (Related Story)

The landowner would be the first in the state to qualify for compensation under criteria established by the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan adopted late last year.

Steve Pozzanghera, a regional director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said it was not possible to say for certain that wolves caused the injuries that resulted in the death of the calf, although evidence at the scene supports that conclusion.

"The calf was mostly consumed by the time the department was called in," Pozzanghera said. "But photos of the carcass taken earlier by the rancher as well as tracks located in the area were definitely consistent with wolves."

Pozzanghera also noted that the 3,000-acre ranch near Carlton is in an area traditionally used by the Lookout wolf pack, and that remote, motion-triggered cameras had photographed two wolves on nearby National Forest land in recent weeks.

The Lookout pack is one of five wolf packs confirmed by WDFW in the state. The department is currently working to confirm other wolf packs.

Officials from WDFW met May 22 with those from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA's Wildlife Services Program to examine the evidence and develop a response to the loss of the calf. All three agencies are involved, because wolves in the western two-thirds of the state are protected as an endangered species under both state and federal law.

The primary goal of the state's new wolf management plan is to protect gray wolves as they reestablish themselves in Washington, but it also includes provisions to compensate ranchers who lose livestock to wolf predation, Pozzanghera said.

Under the new management plan, ranchers can be compensated up to $1,500 per cow for wolf predation classified as "probable." The plan also allows ranchers to be paid up to twice that amount for lost livestock that are "confirmed" to have been killed by wolves on ranches over 100 acres.

In all cases, Pozzanghera urges ranchers who believe they have lost livestock to predation to contact WDFW immediately at 1-877- 933-9847.

"The sooner we can investigate the situation, the better our chances are of determining whether the incident is a wolf kill and whether compensation is warranted," he said. "We also ask that landowners protect the site from disturbances and keep scavengers away by covering the carcass with a tarp."

Friday, June 8th

Wa Parks: How Should They Be Operated

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(Wa Parks photo)

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (WSPRC) will hold a public meeting Saturday on Orcas (Eastsound Fire Hall, Saturday, (06-09-12 at 2 pm) to gather ideas from the public.

WSPRC has been given a legislative mandate to set forth how they will operate state parks in a self-sustainable manner. At the public meeting WSPRC will discuss whether the State Parks system should operate more like:

Saturday SJI Garden Tour

The 2012 Garden Tour organized by San Juan Horticultural Society and WSU Master Gardeners will take place on Saturday June 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 each and funds will be shared between the organizers and a fund for greening the gravel pit.

Thursday, June 7th

Public Shoreline Reports Result In Revisions & New Comment Period

For those who missed the last deadline, they will have a second change to officially file statements and photos of the use and conditions existing on their waterfront property.

The San Juan County Council has agreed with a staff recommendation to send the Draft Shoreline Master Program’s Inventory and Characterization Report (“I&C Report”) back to the consultants for revisions. A new five-week public comment period on the report will begin after the revisions are complete.

Sidestepping the normal procedure of motion-second-vote, the SJC Planning Commission recently decided by a so-called "straw vote" -while discussing portions of the CAO (Critical Areas Ordinance) that extend into the shoreline (i.e. 200' back from high tide line)- to allow all of the shorelines in San Juan County to be classified as part of the critical areas. They may take this up again at a later date.

Wednesday, June 6th

SJC Republican Delegates Report In

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(SJC GOP delegates -contributed photo)

by Michelle Loftus

San Juan County Republican delegates enjoyed a successful State Convention in Tacoma this week. Mitt Romney received the majority of delegates to National Convention but Ron Paul and Rick Santorum delegates will also be represented at National Convention in Tampa August 25th.

Friday Harbor Airport Master Plan Update

On June 20, 2012 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the SJI Yacht Club the Port of Friday Harbor will conduct a public meeting for the Friday Harbor Airport Master Plan Update. The Port’s engineers from Bernard-Dunkelberg and Reid Middleton will attend to answer questions and provide detailed information.

Monday, June 4th

Arrest In Sexually Explicit Phone Calls

Last April a male caller was making late night phone calls, in which he addressed the female victims by name, but the victim’s caller ID indicates that the calls were coming from a restricted or private number.

At the time the Sheriff’s Office stated six separate calls from San Juan and Orcas Island residents reporting sexually explicit telephone calls in the middle of the night had been received.

Lopez Wishes To Handle Their Own Garbage

ig_Neil_Hanson-01 (47k image) (Neal Hanson at Petition Drive Party -S. Horn photo)

In 1996 the then San Juan County Commissioner’s established a solid waste disposal district for the county, however some on Lopez would now like to have total control over how solid waste is handled on Lopez, and have requested the County to “divide the existing disposal district into two separate districts, one for Lopez Island and one for the rest of the county.. and establish a disposal district for Lopez Island with full powers to handle solid waste disposal.”

June is Wa Great Outdoors Month

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to enjoy Washington’s diverse recreational opportunities at state parks across the state in June during Great Outdoors Month.

To promote the appreciation of Washington’s great outdoors and urge Washingtonians to help maintain the legacy of environmental stewardship, Gov. Christine Gregoire has proclaimed the month of June as Great Outdoors Month.

Saturday, June 2nd

SJI Artist Studios Tour Sat & Sun

A self-guided tour on San Juan island of 20 working studios (Tour Map) with over 40 participants.

A group of mutually supportive San Juan Island artistsopen up their personal studio spaces, often including artistic gardens, to the public for an entire weekend at the end of spring each year. This free community event celebrates the way they work and live. In addition to displaying their work -including sculpture, jewelry, pottery, printmaking, glass, fiber and fine art- they share insights into how our art is created and what inspires and motivates them in their chosen media.


Friday, June 1st

Meet Bronze Sculptor Maria Michaelson

ig_Maria_Michaelson-002 (43k image) Learn about the ancient craft of lost wax bronze casting with Maria Michaelson, a 25 year old San Juan Islander, who spent the year of 2011 in West Africa focusing on learning traditional methods of the fabrication of bronze sculpture while living in Burkina Faso.

She recently returned with fifty bronze sculptures, and the intention to set up a forge here on the island.


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