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Thursday, August 30th

WDFW Authorizes Transfer Of 800 Thousand Atlantic Salmon Into Net Pens

OLYMPIA " The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has authorized Cooke Aquaculture to transport about 800,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon from the company's hatchery in Rochester, Wash., to existing net-pen facilities in Puget Sound.

WDFW issued the fish transport permit this week after working to ensure Cooke had met all of the state's requirements for fish health.


Wednesday, August 29th

Power Line Clearing Work in Progress

ig_B_OPALCO_Clearing_ROW-001 (127k image)
( OPALCO photo)

OPALCO tree trimming crews are at work throughout San Juan County clearing vegetation from around power lines for safety and to prevent outages this coming winter. This work is part of OPALCO’s routine annual line clearance program -also called Right of Way (ROW) clearing.

Trees and vegetation in the ROW, in proximity to high-voltage power lines, need to be pruned by expert, highly-insured professional utility tree crews.

Tuesday, August 28th

State Ferries Long Range Plan

Washington State Ferries (WSF) will release the Draft Long Range Plan for a 45-day public comment period and hold a second round of community meetings in Fall 2018. The public is asked to come to scheduled open house meetings to comment on the plan. Locations and times are as follows:

Monday, August 27th

Survey Open On Civic Campus Plan

ig_G_PW_CivicCampus-Bld-001 (120k image)
( Draft of portion of proposed building)

San Juan County is exploring options to centralize government operations in an efficient and community-centered new Civic Campus building located near the courthouse in Friday Harbor, and are asking community members to review the draft conceptual design information in the Executive Summary (.pdf 3642\k file) and Community Survey: The county is asking community members to review the draft conceptual design information (Virtual Open House and Executive Summary document) and provide input through a public survey at . The survey will be open until September 5. Individual responses will be kept confidential.

Sunday, August 26th

Limited Licensing Services 8-26 to 9-3

Online licensing services will be unavailable from Sunday, August 26, through Monday, September 3; and state licensing offices will be closed Friday, August 31, through Monday, September 3. As a result, many county licensing offices - including San Juan County’s - will also be closed Friday, August 31. Normal services will resume September 4.

Friday, August 24th

No Rain For Rotary Concours d’Elegance

ig_SO_R_Concours_Photo_jimCcoreman_2017 (106k image)
( Jim Coreman photo)

The Rotary Club of San Juan Island and the Sports Car Club of the San Juan Islands held their twelfth annual Concours d’Elegance at the San Juan Vineyards on Sunday, August 26 from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM for their charitable event, and all were happy there was no rain, and there was even a little sun. As always, fun, food, and interesting cars. Already planning for event thirteen next summer. All proceeds will benefit San Juan Island Family Resource Center, Family Umbrella Group, Hospice of San Juan and Rotary’s Polio Plus program. For info, visit


Supreme Court Reverses Court On I-1639

The Washington State Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon’s ruling on Initiative 1639 means the initiative will go before voters this November.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman had certified I-1639 to appear on the ballots because it met the qualifications the Legislature has empowered the Secretary to enforce, including having the number of submitted signatures and containing certain language on each petition. However, Secretary Wyman also expressed significant concerns over the formatting of the petitions.

Thursday, August 23rd

Pat O’Day Honored By Washington State

ig_Pat_ODay-Jimmy_H-1 (82k image)( - photo)

Pat O’Day, the legendary Seattle disc jockey and concert promoter. Pat was the king of Top 40 radio from 3 to 6 weekdays in the Sixties has been recognized by the Washington’s Secretary of State Office’s Legacy Project, which documents extraordinary stories in Washington history. Read why O’Day had been selected for this honor here:


Wednesday, August 22nd

FH Student Awarded 1st In Art Contest

ig_E_FH_Ana_Anderson_Larsen-001 (94k image)
(Rick Larsen & Ana Anderson -contributed photo)

This year Friday Harbor High School students Ana Anderson and Mariah Daniher (class of 2018) were awarded first and second place, respectively, in the 37th annual Congressional Art Competition, sponsored by the Congressional Institute. It was the first time FHHS students have entered the competition.

Tuesday, August 21st

Cause Of Lopez Power Outage In County

ig_B_OPALCO_PoleDown_Lopez-001 (180k image)
(Contributed photos)

When an medical emergency caused a truck to hit a transmission pole on Lopez Island, all of Orcas, Shaw, Blakely and some of Lopez island were without power for almost 10 hours after a car accident on Lopez took out a transmission pole at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 17th. Power was completely restored by 8:15 p.m. to Orcas, Shaw and Blakely and by 11:30 p.m. to all of Lopez. The driver of the truck involved in the accident is recovering from minor injuries. The reason it took so long is best shown in the photo (see rest of report and photo below) on how much gear was required to fix, not just a normal pole, but a pole that was part of the transmission system for the county.


Monday, August 20th

SJI Federal Park Issues Fire Restrictions

Due to very dry conditions and increasing fire danger on San Juan Island, Superintendent Elexis Fredy has announced fire restrictions in San Juan Island National Historical Park.

Beginning August 21, 2018, fire restrictions prohibit:


Sunday, August 19th

Honeywell Appeal $50K Fine Denied

In April, the Washington State Supreme Court denied a request to review an October 2017 decision by the state Court of Appeals that affirmed a $55,000 fine and environmental restoration order issued by the Department of Ecology in July 2014 to Dave and Nancy Honeywell, owners of the Orca Dreams property located above False Bay on San Juan Island.


Thursday, August 16th

$10K Reward For Information On Explosives

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for placing explosives near a trail in the San Juan County Land Bank Turtleback Mountain Preserve on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.


About Those New Vacation Rental Permits

IG-Merri_Ann_Simonson-3 (21k image)By Merri Ann Simonson

I have reviewed the County’s new Vacation Rental Permit requirements and I found them most reasonable, I think they did a good job.

As a REALTOR, working in the field, I only noted two areas that may be difficult for some property owners to adapt to.


Wednesday, August 15th

13 Mo Sentence For Sex With 14yr Old Boy

Kelsey Lee O’Day, 27, of Friday Harbor appeared before visiting Superior Court Judge Deborra E. Garrett on Tuesday to be sentenced for having sex with the son of a man she was living with at the time.

O’Day is 27 years old and the boy was 14 years old when she was involved in three sexual encounters with the boy. According to court documents O’Day admitted to a friend, and to the father, she had engaged in sexual acts with the boy.

Monday, August 13th

46 Sailboats Race Around Shaw Island

ig_SHIYC_ShawRace-2018-001 (126k image)
(SJIYC photo)

The currents were strong, the winds temperamental, and the fleet diverse, making for a memorable 48th annual running of the Shaw Island Classic, a highlight of the summer boating season. Hosted by the San Juan Island Yacht Club, the race draws sailboats and crew from throughout the region to circumnavigate Shaw Island. The race drew 10% more racers than last year.


Sunday, August 12th

More Questions On Gaylord’s Action In Grellett-Tinner Case

ig_Alex_MacLeod-003 (30k image)By Alex MacLeod

Not long after Randy Gaylord filed sex charges against Gerald Grellett-Tinner, then an Orcas High School teacher, he signed a “Certificate of Helpfulness” on behalf of a “U Visa” request of the young immigrant woman who was the victim in the case.The 19-year-old mother of a young child was living with family on Orcas despite her visa having expired and she was worried about being deported.

J35 Is No Longer Carrying Her Dead Calf

ig_CFOR_Orca_J35_001 (95k image)
(Orcas & J35 chasing a school of salmon -Ken Balcomb photo)

Ken Balcomb reports that J35 vigorously chased a school of salmon with her pod-mates in mid-Haro Strait in front of the Center for Whale Research for a half mile - no longer carrying the deceased baby that she had carried for at least seventeen days and 1,000 miles. Her tour of grief is now over, and her behavior is remarkably frisky.

Thursday, August 9th

Orcas IED Of Serious Concern

San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs has announced the improvised explosive device (IED) that was located Turtleback Mountain Preserve property on Orcas Island had the potential to easily kill or injure, and it contained contained commercial grade explosives that are not readily available to the general public. At the current time there are no suspects.


Wednesday, August 8th

Aug. 17 County Council & Planning Commission Meeting

On August 17, 2018, there will be a special joint Planning Commission and County Council public hearing and meeting. The public hearing will be on a draft ordinance to comply with the Western Washington Region Growth Management Hearings Boards' (GMHB) Final Decision and Order (FDO) regarding an appeal of the County's Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The Planning Commission and County Council will also be briefed on the status of updates to the Comprehensive Plan.

Sea Scouts On SJI 1st Meeting Thursday

ig_SO_SeaScouts_Logo-001 (58k image)Sea Scouts will hold their first meeting Thursday (August 9th) at the San Juan Yacht Club 18:30 (6:30pm), for both young men and women ages 14-21. Learn maritime skills and obtain a free youth membership to the Yacht Club as well.

For nearly 100 years Sea Scouts have been cruising the waters of the Salish Sea on sailboats, power boats, canoes, kayaks and more recently, stand up paddle


Tuesday, August 7th

IED "Neutralized" On Orcas

On 08/06/2018 at approximately 10:30am an Orcas Island resident reported a suspicious item on a Turtleback Mountain trail. Photographs and a description of the item was sent to the Washington State Bomb Squad who then responded to Orcas Island to investigate. At approximately 7:00pm, the explosive was detonated.

The item was determined to be an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) by Members of the team. The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is assisting the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation into the IED.

Sheriff Ron Krebs stated more information will be made available as it comes in.

Monday, August 6th

Power To & And By The People

ig_B_OPALCO_SolarArray-01 (186k image)
(solar project on Decatur Island -OPALCO photo)
OPALCO’s first big community solar project, a 04KW-DC solar array has began producing power. The 272 OPALCO members who invested in the project will begin to see credits on their September bill for the energy produced to date. Member participation ranged from one unit to as many as 160 solar units.

Sunday, August 5th

Kulp Peads Guilty To Murder

ig_SC_Culp-002 (80k image)
( Island Guardian photo)

44 year old Eric A. Kulp was back in court on Friday to plead guilty to the murder -in the second degree- of his wife, Abigail Finney, 38, on Shaw Island, and then hiding her body in a van on the property at their home (Original Report).

Kulp entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution attorney, part of which resulted in the dropping of the charge of unlawful imprisonment. The remaining charge has the potential of Kulp being sentence to a life sentence of imprisonment without the possibility of parole, but it is unlikely he will spend the rest of his life in prison. He will be sentenced on September 17th, at 9 a.m.

Friday, August 3rd

Two FH Residents Die In Airplane Crash

(UPDATED 10:00 AM, 08-03-18) Yesterday at approximately 5:00pm a pilot reported seeing an aircraft go down somewhere on the south end of Lopez Island near the airport. Sheriff’s deputies along with Lopez Island Fire and Rescue mobilized to search for the plane and incorporated the help of the US Navy, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and Island Air. At approximately 6:40pm the plane was located.

Capt. Daniel S. Schwartz, President, San Juan Pilots Association issued the following statement: "We were shocked and heartbroken to learn that last night, our islands' aviation family lost two of its members. San Juan Pilots Association Treasurer David King and Vice President Lou Coleman were aboard David's Mooney when it suffered a fatal accident at Lopez Island Airport (for yet to be determined reasons.) Both were active, experienced pilots who had contributed much to our community's flying community.

We are all shocked and saddened by this news. They were our friends and colleagues and our prayers are with their families at this time."

At this time the NTSB and the FAA are investigating into the cause of the crash.


Thursday, August 2nd

Calling All Tree-Loving, Bunny-Hugging, Dirt Worshipers!

It’s award season here in the San Juans. The Oscars have nothing on the Finnies. Know someone who deserves to walk the stewardship red carpet?

Nominate them for a Good Steward Award.

Wednesday, August 1st

FHHS Aerospace Update

ig_SJISD_2018_FHAT-003 (166k image)
(Contributed photo)

The Friday Harbor High School Aerospace Team, along with additional teammates from Colorado, Pakistan, India and the UK, took second place over all at the International Space Settlement Design Competition World Championship at Kennedy Space Center.

Local Group To Sue Feds To Protect Orcas

ig_CFOR_Orca_J-35_001 (206k image)
( Ken Balcomb photo of orca with dead calf)

The Center for Biological Diversity and Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance today sent a notice of intent to sue to the Department of Commerce for failing to respond to a petition that was filed to “designate a Southern Resident killer whale protection zone,” that would protect endangered Southern Resident killer whales from boat traffic and noise in a key foraging area near Washington’s San Juan Island. “

In 2016 the Conservation groups petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish the 10-square-mile zone in the Salish Sea’s Haro Strait, a step that would limit vessel speeds and other activities.

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