Letters to Editor
To Contact the Editor
Tuesday, July 30th
FHHS Students World Champs At International Space Settlement Design Competition World Finals
( L to R: Brandon Payne; Julian Brown; Dan Garner (Teacher); Evan Foley; Joely Loucks; Hank Erickson; Lucy Urbach; Sander Van Hamersfeld; Emmett Carrier; Jaden Jones; Darcy Ayers; Arlo Harold, & Emma Mughal -contributed photo)
(On the ferry bringing home the gold -IG photo)
Last weekend, the Friday Harbor Aerospace Design Team, also known as Island Orbital Technologies (IOTech), became World Champions, at the 2019 International Space Settlement Design Competition World Finals. IOTech, alongside assigned teammates from four other schools that created one 60-person aerospace corporation, won this year’s world finals of the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) at the Kennedy Space Center, Center for Space Education.
Sunday, July 28th
Cattle Pt Accident Driver Charged With Vehicular Assault
The Sheriff’s office has reported there was an injury accident this weekend on San Juan Island at cattle point road near Mill Street occurred at approximately 8:05am, when a Volkswagen Jetta traveling at a high rate of speed southbound on Cattle Point Rd. struck the backend of a van traveling in the same direction. The passenger in the Jetta was trapped inside the car was extricated by the San Juan Fire Department. The passenger was then transported to the Peace Island Emergency Room where he was treated for his injuries. The driver was arrested for Vehicular Assault
According to witnesses after the fact, the vehicle ended up in a field and rolled. Two people stated on Facebook that the impact resulted in the engine of the car being torn out and separated from the vehicle. An investigation is currently underway.
Orcas Man Sentenced To 6.5 Years For Vehicular Homicide
Friday July 26, 2019 at 1:30 pm at the San Juan County Superior Court, Judge Kathryn Loring, Presiding, Mr. Tucker Abdon was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison for vehicle homicide when driving on September 5th of 2018, while under the influence of alcohol he left the road and hit a tree. Rachel B. Gibson, 32 was flown to Harborview, where she died as a result of her injuries on September the 7th.
Friday, July 26th
Singing On The Ferry Aug 1
(Island Chordsmen Plus photo)
The Island Chordsmen Plus (mixed gender) barbershop chorus from San Juan Island is presenting two free FERRY SING gatherings this summer, with the first on the 1st of August. That’s a Thursday afternoon/evening.
Thursday, July 25th
Trump Island House Burns Down
A large home located on Trump Island -near Lopez island- has been totally destroyed by a fire. Photo was taken by pilot Rebecca Watson of San Juan Airlines.
The island is owned by Trump Island LLC, which is located in Anacortes. The County has -make that "had"-the home valued $2,963.080.
Wednesday, July 24th
The National Park Service and the San Juan Islands Museum of Art are presenting a special exhibition of the park’s Artist-in-Residence, Linda Hyatt Cancel (photo left).
The exhibition features 18 original pieces of work of American Camp and English Camp in commemorating the 160th anniversary of the “Pig War” boundary dispute between the United States and Britain in the summer of 1859.
Tuesday, July 23rd
Thank An Army Diver Thursday For Removing Derelict Fishing Nets
(U.S. Army photo)
Some of the soldiers of the 569th Engineer Dive Detachment will be heading over to the San Juan Island Brewing Company on Thursday (07-27-19) to sample the offerings, and be recognized for their work on the west side of San Juan Island removing derelict fishing nets . Stop on by and say “Hi!” and thank you (maybe they will come back and get more of the nets?).
Monday, July 22nd
Taylor Sentenced To 20yrs For Murder
(Taylor shacked after sentencing -IG photo)
San Juan residence Kevin P. Taylor was sentenced on Monday by Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock to 20 years in prison for the 2nd degree murder of his wife, Julie Taylor. (Related Story).
Prior to sentencing, Teresa Barnett, prosecuting attorney for San Juan County, stated in response to a sentencing memorandum from the Taylor’s defense team, that:
“Fueled by alcohol and rage, the defendant committed a brutal murder of his wife, Julie Taylor. There was no love or affection for her as he beat her with the barrel a firearm, as she lay helpless, unable to defend herself. The defendant acted intentionally and with full knowledge and purpose that night. It is just that he is held accountable and sentenced to 304 months as a standard range sentence with a firearm enhancement.”
Deadly Rabbit Disease On Orcas Island
OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has confirmed a case of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) in a domestic rabbit on Orcas Island. RHD is a viral disease that causes sudden death in rabbits and can be spread through contact with infected rabbits, their meat or their fur, or materials coming in contact with them.
Friday, July 19th
Senator Murray Works To Curtail Warrantless Vehicle Checkpoint Stops
Amid increasing scrutiny of immigration officials inhumane treatment of children and families, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) reintroduced legislation to strengthen privacy protections in Washington state and all other border states by limiting the unreasonably large “border zone.”
Thursday, July 18th
San Juan Island National Historical Park 21st Annual Encampment
Re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada will once again celebrate peace as they gather for the 21st annual Encampment schedule July 26-28 on the English Camp parade ground.
Encampment features recreations of mid-19th century soldier camp life, demonstrations of black powder firing, children’s croquette, music, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, along with the pageantry of period clothing.
Wednesday, July 17th
Public Invited to Submit Art to Highlight the Dangers of Releasing Pets and Plants into the Wild
Calling all artists! The Washington Invasive Species Council invites artists of all ages to participate in an art contest as part of its “Don’t Let it Loose” campaign.
The campaign teaches people about the dangers of releasing unwanted pets and plants into the wild and highlights other ways to rehome them.
Tuesday, July 16th
Head on over to The Village (543 Spring St) on Saturday, July 20th, 5:30-8:30 PM for some lip-smackin’, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ meat & trimmin’s; and the golden opportunity to lasso some original pieces from your favorite island artists - Darleen Nixon, Janet Williamson, Maria Michaelson, Eben Shay, Thaddeus Krol, Manya Pickard, Trish Morse, Margaret Thorsen, Jan Murphy, Janie & Terry Ogle, Marcia Walters, Cady Davies and more - or snag an amazing travel package, or walk (stagger?) home under the burden of a case of vintage wines.
Monday, July 15th
Whale Sanctuary Project Town Meetings July 21, 23, 24
(Task Force Report photo)
The Whale Sanctuary Project is holding a series of town meetings in Washington State to discuss the concept for a rehab/rescue facility for the endangered Southern Resident orcas, which can also serve as a retirement home for orcas retired from entertainment parks and aquariums.
Sunday, July 14th
Fish Farms Finished In 2022
( M. Ried photo)
Beginning in 2022, fish farms will no longer be allowed to raise non-native fish in Washington’s waters. Until then, updated permits from the Washington Department of Ecology require Atlantic salmon farms to step up their monitoring, inspections and reporting, and to have emergency response plans.
The permit updates follow the 2017 collapse of a net pen containing Atlantic salmon near Cypress Island in Skagit County.
Friday, July 12th
SJI Fire& Rescue Responds to Residential Fire
On Friday morning, July 12, 2019, San Juan Island Fire and Rescue crews responded to a 911 call reporting a residential fire in the area of Westcott Bay on San Juan Island.
Upon arrival, firefighters found the home to have smoke emanating from vents under the home. The owner of the home had evacuated with his pets and there were no injuries. The fire scene was sized up, evaluated and firefighters began extinguishing the fire.
Thursday, July 11th
Not-For-Profit Air Medical Transport To Serve San Juan County
( A helicopter equipped to act as a mobile intensive care unit will be based on Whidbey Island )
Life Flight Network, the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, is partnering with WhidbeyHealth Medical Center to open a new base in Island County, Washington. The base will be operational in late summer 2019. The 24/7 air medical helicopter, pilot and medical crew, will be based on location at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, serving not only Coupeville and nearby communities, but also the broader Puget Sound Region including the San Juan Islands.
Wednesday, July 10th
SJI Community Foundation Partners to Finish Baseball Field
Thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous donor, the baseball field at the John O. Linde Community Park will be completed in 2019. With the San Juan Island Community Foundation serving as the fund steward, Mike Carlson Enterprises broke ground in late June and will complete the baseball field, walking path and general use areas. Expected to be finished by late October, the grass in the newly-developed field will need time to establish roots and could be ready for play as soon as 2020.
Tuesday, July 9th
SJC Fire Dist 3 Passes State Audit
The Washington State Auditor recently released an Accountability Audit Report for San Juan County Fire Protection District #3, and found: “In those selected areas, District operations complied with applicable state laws, regulations, and its own policies, and provided adequate controls over the safeguarding of public resources.”
SJI Women’s Fund Awards Grants
(WF luncheon -contributed photo)
The SJI Women’s Fund members voted to award $5,000 to four local nonprofits during the most recent SJICF grant cycle. Compass Health Friday Harbor received support for therapy materials for families with special needs; the San Juan Island Family Resource Center received funds for two programs - Island Neighbors and College Mentoring; and the San Juan County Economic Development Council received funds for an electrical basics training course.
Monday, July 8th
Taylor Sentencing Continued
Keniv P. Taylor was to be sentenced Monday, July 8th, on his conviction of felony murder in the 2nd degree, but the defense requested, and was granted, a continuance after becoming aware the prosecution had introduced new facts as to the net worth of Taylor, who the defense has claimed is indigent.
Sunday, July 7th
Army Divers To Remove Derelict Nets
(US Army photo by Spc. 5 Adeline Witherspoon)
Washington state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Natural Resources Consultants and the U.S. Army's 569th Engineer Dive Detachment from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia start removing derelict fishing nets in San Juan County waters beginning Monday.
Mullis Center Returns The Flag, & Allows The Pledge Of Allegiance
(King-5 films protest at Mullis Center -IG photo)
[//updated 07-08-09, 10:45 am//] The removal of the American flag and forbidding the Pledge of Allegiance before lunch at the Mullis Community Senior Center (Center) resulted in controversy and division, not only among the members of the Center, but in the community at large.
The action by the Center was noted off island as well, and by last Friday King 5 News sent up a reported and camera crew to film a protest by those opposed to the ban at the Center.
Thursday, July 4th
WSF Survey On Anacortes "Enhancements"
The Washington State Department of Transportation is partnering with the Port and city of Anacortes to explore innovative public-private partnerships to enhance the 35-acre ferry terminal site. This could include commercial opportunities such as retail stores, lodging and food options. WSDOT would like to hear from Anacortes and San Juan Islands residents, tribes and ferry passengers to ensure these opportunities meet your priorities.
Tuesday, July 2nd
$3,987,448 State Grants To County
With the Legislature’s recent approval of the capital budget, grants are being distributed to cities, counties, state and federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations for projects in 37 of the state’s 39 counties.
The grants were awarded through seven different grant programs. Revenue comes from a mix of federal grants, the sale of state bonds, gas taxes and user fees.
Descriptions below of each of the grants:
Monday, July 1st
SJI Women’s Fund Honors Mariluz Villa, Remembers Joyce Sobel
(L to R: Dr. Mariluz Villa receives Joyce L. Sobel Achievement Award from Dr. Carolyn Haugen, recipient of the first annual J. L. Sobel Award -contributed photo)
The Joyce L. Sobel Achievement Award was created by the Women’s Fund to honor Joyce’s legacy of service to the community. Joyce started many programs for those who had a need, most notably the SJI Family Resource Center, and she spent countless hours supporting children and families of the Island. It was a true loss to the island community when she passed away early last year.
All Clear On Elwa Bomb Threat
(King County Bomb squad arrives -SJCS photo)
On 07/01/2019 at 1:32pm a call came into dispatch from a WSF worker aboard the ferry Elwa, of a note found inside one of the women’s bathrooms that talked about a bomb. The US Coast Guard determined the vessel should be tied up to the dock and all ferry personnel evacuated. The vessel was empty of all passengers and vehicles at the time the staff disembarked.
M/V Elwha has been cleared to sail after it was determined a note left in a bathroom stating there was bomb on the ferry was a hoax. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible. Supplemental sailings will be added to help accommodate passengers going to Friday Harbor and returning to Anacortes. Updates will be provided on the additional sailings once the information becomes available.
Standby space is full for the remainder of the day departing Anacortes to/from Friday Harbor. Only reservation holders will be honored at these terminals.