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Thursday, June 27th

New Principal & A Special Services Director

ig_B_Bell-C_Haalen-01 (77k image)
(Contributed photo)

San Juan Island School District has announced the selection of two new administrators for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.

The new Friday Harbor Elementary School Principal is Caspar van Haalen, who will be moving to the island from the Tukwila School District where he served as an elementary interim principal. Previously, Mr.van Haalen was a principal in Forks, WA. Mr. van Haalen was selected after a rigorous process that included interviews, a demonstrated understanding of pedagogy, and a meet and greet with elementary school staff.


Wednesday, June 26th

SJICF Awards $177k in Scholarships, Academic Awards

ig_SO_SJICF_2019_Awards-001 (125k image)
(Contributed photo)

Another end of the school year signals a new scholarship awards season at the San Juan Island Community Foundation! Over the last few months, SJICF has awarded $177,000 in college scholarships and awards to 39 local students for the 2019-2020 school year. 9 graduating seniors from Friday Harbor High School and 3 from Spring Street International School were awarded new scholarships from funds held at the San Juan Island Community Foundation. 25 previous recipients were also awarded one-year renewals and new scholarships.

Tuesday, June 25th

Writers Wanted

The wheel is turning, and time rushes on…time for all you Island Writers to cultivate your roots by preparing your entries for the 2019 “A Wheel in Time: Cultivating Roots” San Juan County Fair!

But, you say, the Fair is months away (August 14-17). True, but the deadline for the Written Word entries is July 19th -only weeks away! So, cultivate those writings -Prose, Poetry, Writing for Children- from the last two years, and postmark them to Island Writers, SJC Fair, POB 1094, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 or email them to by July 19th. Check out the premium book: Island Writers (Z - as in whiZZing by) is on pages 35-36. Questions? 360-378-4310.

New Friday Harbor Soroptimist Board

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(L to R: Necia Quast; Ann VanBuskirk; Denise Urell; Diana Sibert (President); Marcy Hahn; Mary Campanella; Carol Capps; Traci Wilson; Patty Brightman, and Kathleen Doehring)

June 23rd the Soroptimist of Friday Harbor held their annual installation dinner and ceremony at Vinny’s Ristorante. The board of directors for 2019/2020 shown above.

Monday, June 24th

Lion’s $1000.00 Grant For New Signs

IG_so_l_PhotoBoards_2019-001 (119k image) The San Juan Island Lions Club has given a grant of $1,000 to Lion Stacy Smith to produce multiple weather retardant aluminum photo boards. The boards provide information relating to the plastic pick up on beaches and the affect that plastic on the beaches and the oceans have on land animals and marine mammals .The boards will be posted at the new Interpretive Center that will be going in at Jackson Beach this summer.

FH Rotary 16th Installation Dinner

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Rotary Club of San Juan Island held their 16th annual Installation Dinner on Monday, June 17th at Vinny’s where District Governor Brad Whittaker (Chilliwack) presided at the Installation Ceremony with Area Governor Connie Milliken (LaConner).

Sunday, June 23rd

Medevac Flights and Kaiser Denials.

ig_John_Geyman-002 (27k image)BY John Geyman

The recent denials of many medevac flights by Kaiser Permanente, followed by its withdrawal as the only option for health insurance in San Juan County starting in 2020, poses a serious crisis to all residents of the San Juan islands that is not yet resolved. Repeated requests by Dr. Michael Sullivan, San Juan County EMS Medical Program Director, to meet with his physician counterpart at Kaiser have been unsuccessful in clarifying the reasons and process for these denials.


Thursday, June 20th

2019 SJ Center Skagit Valley College Graduates

ig_E_SVC_Class-2019-001 (156k image)
(Contributed- photo)

The San Juan Center of Skagit Valley College has announced six local graduates have received specific college degrees and certificates at the June 19th commencement held at the Brickworks in Friday Harbor.

The graduates honored this year were:

Wednesday, June 19th

49th Annual Shaw Island Classic Race

Sponsored by the San Juan Island Yacht Club, the 49th Annual Shaw Island Classic Sailboat Race will be held Saturday, August 10. The race starts from Friday Harbor and circumnavigates scenic Shaw Island in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, arriving back in Friday Harbor for lasagna dinner served by First Mates at the clubhouse and the awards presentation.

Race details and registration information can be found at the Club’s website:

Tuesday, June 18th

Coast Guard Assists Kayakers

The Coast Guard assisted 11 kayakers from the YMCA Camp Orkila near the San Juan Islands Tuesday night.

A 45-foot motor lifeboat crew, from Coast Guard Station Bellingham pulled in the stranded group of camp counselors and transferred them back to a boat from the YMCA camp.

Another Senior Banned From Senior Center

ig_MCSC_Minnie_Knych_Deputy_Peters-001 (123k image)
(Minnie Knych presented with Notice of Trespass By Deputy Peters)

The ongoing debate over the removal of the American flag and forbidding the Pledge of Allegiance before lunch at the Mullis Community Senior Center has so far resulted in the banning of those who say the pledge, or in the case of Minnie Knych, from wearing and providing stickers to those that want one, that states “I Stand For The Pledge;” which according to the center is “political solicitation” in violation of Mullis Center policy.

Monday, June 17th

Mullis Center Flag Has Disappeared

ig_Susan_Carnes-002 (30k image)By Susan Carnes

The Mullis Center was conceived as a gift to the community. A gathering place. A chance for the board formed of those at least 60 years old, to create an atmosphere where old and younger can share and dine amid the diversity found best in this best of all places-Friday Harbor. But madness has descended like a fog on the ferry making it difficult to see the scenery and arrive unscathed in this safe harbor.

OPALCO Manager Paid Over $33,000.00 A MONTH

ig_Alex_MacLeod-003 (30k image)By Alex MacLeod

It may come as a bit of a surprise that we OPALCO ratepayers forked over nearly $400,000 in compensation two years ago to Foster Hildreth, our general manager.

What we’re paying him today isn’t known because OPALCO doesn’t say. The only time it becomes public is when an IRS form it must file as a tax-exempt organization is released, and the most recent one is more than a year old.

What makes Foster’s pay so shocking is that it exceeds what the head of Seattle City Light - the highest paid Seattle city employee - is paid. Her pay is $340,000, this year, and she heads the 10th largest public utility in the country with nearly a half-million customers, several dams and almost 2,000 employees.


Thursday, June 13th

Kiwanis Everyday Hero Award

ig_K_D_Popham_M_Hansen_J_Hansen-EVERYDAY_HERO (129k image)
( L to R: Club president Doug Popham, Mike Hansen, Jan Hansen -contributed photo)

Jan Hansen recently received a Certificate of Appreciation and a $100 gift certificate as the FH Kiwanis nominee for the Everyday Hero award. In presenting the award, Kiwanis President Doug Popham stated "The Kiwanis Club of Friday Harbor has a history of honoring people who go above and beyond what is expected of them without thought of recognition or reward.

Wednesday, June 12th

Lopez Hill Preserve Celebration

The Land Bank is kicking off a week-long celebration of Lopez Hill on Saturday, June 15, with a trail work party. Come lend a hand in tending the four miles of trails within the 400-acre Preserve.

Tuesday, June 18, join Amanda Wedow at 10:30am for a gently paced, family friendly hike.
Wednesday, June 19, pack a light picnic dinner and head for the “top of the hill” with Amanda to enjoy one of the longest days of the year with an evening hike. Hike begins at 6:30pm
Thursday, June 20, botanist, Madrona Murphy from Kwiáht, will lead a native plant walk. Learn about the trees and wildflowers you see along the trails! Guided walk begins at 2:00pm.

Tuesday, June 11th

Firefighters Respond SJI Fire At White Pt

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( - SJI Fire and Rescue photo)

June 11, 2019 San Juan Island Fire and Rescue crews responded to an early morning, fully engulfed residential fire in the area of White Point area on San Juan Island.

The fire was contained to a two-story residential structure that started around 2:15 a.m. The residents were able to quickly evacuate the home and call 911. San Juan Island Fire and Rescue responded to the call and requested, San Juan Island EMS for medical support.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the home to be fully engulfed, as well as several vehicles and trees behind the structure.

Sunday, June 9th

Learn How To Be A Foster Parent

Consider attending a presentation by Fostering Together to learn more about becoming a foster parent on Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m. at the San Juan Island Grange. If you cannot make it to San Juan Island for this event, please contact Juvenile Court Services Administrator Linnea Anderson at 360-370-7440 to connect you with resources and information.


Friday, June 7th

Smith Appointed To Region EMS & Trauma Care Council

ig_SJHD_Rebecca_Smith_2018-001 (38k image)( IG file photo)
San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 (SJCPHD#1) has announced that board member Rebecca Smith was appointed on May 7, 2019, to the 5-county North Region EMS and Trauma Care Council. She fills the only elected official slot for San Juan County and will simultaneously serve on the county EMS council as well.

Wednesday, June 5th

Comment On County Land Capacity Analysis

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The public is asked to participate in the First Step of the Draft Land Capacity Analysis. A Gross Developable Lands Inventory (GDLI) web map is available for public comment until June 28, 2019. The GDLI map identifies the parcel type (residential, commercial, etc.) and category (fully developed, partially developed, etc.) of all County parcels.


Tuesday, June 4th

$3K To FH School Band

ig-FHHS_Band_DETAIL-01 (89k image)
(Detail of contributed file photo)

Members of the One More Time Band of San Juan Island and of the Friday Harbor Friends of Music were recognized at the May 29, 2019 Friday Harbor High School Band Community Theater concert for their combined donation of $3,000 in scholarships to six graduating seniors. The recipients were: Julian Brown, Ava Hoffman, Joseph Kaden, Joely Loucks, Tori Polda and Lucy Urbach.


Monday, June 3rd

Inslee & OPALCO Talk Broadband

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(OPALCO Foster Hildreth & Vince Dauciunas Governor Inslee -Contributed photo)

OPALCO and T-Mobile recently met with Governor Inslee to share the Rock Island Communications broadband success story in support of the Governor’s new statewide broadband office and initiatives. With its robust fiber and LTE foundation in place, OPALCO is excited to help move some of Governor Inslee’s key initiatives forward including Southern Resident Orcas Whale Survival, Clean Energy and Economic Development.

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