Letters to Editor
To Contact the Editor
Saturday, September 29th
New Ferry Schedule & New Fares
The public is advised that several fare changes for Washington State Ferries (WSF) begin October 1, 2018:
On Monday, October 1, single vehicle fares will return to their non-peak rates. Passenger fares and multi-ride products are not affected by the peak season changes.
Friday, September 28th
Man Wanted For Child Rape Is Apprehended
Sheriff Ron Krebs reports that Sean Michael Hunter (A.K.A. Sunshine) has been arrested. Hunter was wanted on a warrant for the rape of a twelve year old. Sheriff Krebs states Hunter was picked up Thursday night in Medford Oregon at approximately 9:00 pm.
He will be transported to San Juan County where he will be held pending an appearance in court.
Thursday, September 27th
OPALCO Pole Replacement For Orcas Road Re-Alignment
OPALCO is relocating a line of transmission poles along Orcas Road as part of the County’s road re-alignment project. The new poles will be strung with larger transmission wire which follows current standards and will increase efficiency and load carrying capacity.
Wednesday, September 26th
Island Rapes Spark Anger, Questions
By Alex MacLeod
An arrest warrant was issue late last Friday for a homeless man living this summer in Friday Harbor, charging him with child rape for an alleged sexual assault on a 12-year-old Friday Harbor girl.
The sheriff issued a press release about the warrant and charge against Sean (Sunny) Hunter, 24, asking for the public’s help locating him. His physical description is notable for his bright-red “afro” and the five blue tattooed dots running down the bridge of his nose.
Monday, September 24th
Report On Actions To Recover Orcas Ready For Comment
Governor Inslee’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force has received a draft report of potential recommendations (.pdf 773\k file) for actions to recover southern resident orcas. The draft recommendations were generated by the three Working Groups that advise the Task Force and focus on the following topics:
About That Long Range WSF Plan
By Jim Corenman
Washington State Ferries recently released the draft for their Long Range Plan looking out the next two decades to 2040. This has been a long time in the making, including meetings over the last year and public outreach by WSF this spring. The draft plan is now open for comment, and the final draft will be complete and presented to the state legislature in January. The next month is the time to for serious attention.
Power Off 12:30 AM Tuesday
There is a planned outage necessary for BPA to replace a section of one of the two main power lines that feeds the San Juan Islands from Fidalgo Island. These maintenance outages happen overnight. The first one was on Tuesday, September 25th at 12:30 am, and the next one will be on Tuesday October 23rd at 12:30 am. Some folks will be unplugging things that can be damaged when the power comes back on, like, for example, refrigerators (When you open the door in the morning and the light does come on, that will remind you to turn it back on) and computers and other like things.
Sunday, September 23rd
Sheriff Asked About Facebook Usage
By Alex MacLeod
There are lots of ways to measure a sheriff’s performance in office. One I never expected to encounter was how much time he spends on Facebook.
According to the Facebook measure, our sheriff, Ron Krebs, is remarkable.
In 57 work days this summer, Krebs logged 309 hours on Facebook. That’s about half of every workday, if he worked 10 hour days. It represents 60% of the Internet traffic on his computer during that period.
Saturday, September 22nd
Native Plant Sale Sunday 1 to 3
Come on out to the Salish Seeds Project nursery at Red Mill Farm, where you'll find camas bulbs, wildflowers, Garry oak seedlings, and seed packets of other native plants for sale. Limited quantities on hand. Directions to The San Juan Preservation Trust's Red Mill Farm Nursery: From Friday Harbor, take San Juan Valley Road for about two miles. Turn left (south) onto Valley Farms Road. Take the first driveway on the right at 1/4 mile. Parking will be near nursery, on left.
Please call Tanja Williamson at 360-378-4402 or visit sjclandbank.org for more information.
Friday, September 21st
Wanted For Rape Of A Child
Sean Michael Hunter (A.K.A. Sunshine) was last seen leaving Friday Harbor going to Anacortes, but Sheriff Ron Krebs states “He has a dog at the shelter in Friday Harbor so he may be back. We do have a warrant for his arrest so he will be coming back one way or another.”
Hunter is 24 years old, 6’00”, 180 lbs. Brown/red hair, blue eyes, five dots tattooed down the bridge of nose.
New Sidewalks For Roundabout
Mike Carlson Enterprises worked late Thursday to tear out existing sidewalks at the roundabout on Spring Street in Friday Harbor to improve access. Motorists are asked to pay special attention to the ongoing street construction in Friday Harbor.
Thursday, September 20th
County-Wide Planned Power Outages
All of San Juan County will be affected by a series of two planned outages necessary for BPA to replace a section of one of the two main power lines that feeds the San Juan Islands from Fidalgo Island.
These maintenance outages will happen on overnight , Tuesday, September 25th at 12:30 am & Tuesday October 23rd at 12:30 am to minimize impact to OPALCO consumers.
Know Your Island Walk Saturday September 22,1-4 pm:
The horse trails on Mitchel Hill, follow Theresa Simendinger and her horse Zanzibar on a walk along her favorite trail. She will make stops along the way and tell us about building trails for horses, how to share the trail, what it is like to take care of a horse and here love for the outdoors. Terrain will be gentle paths, distance is about 3 miles. Please leave the dogs a home for this hike. Meet at Horse Trail Rd Entrance on West Valley Road just north of Mitchell Bay Road.
Wednesday, September 19th
Kulp Gets 16 yrs, Minus-Time Served
( Island Guardian photo)
44 year old Eric A. Kulp was back in court on Monday (09-17-18) to be sentenced on his guilty plea 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 had entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution attorney which resulted in the dropping of a charge of unlawful imprisonment. While the remaining charge had the potential of Kulp being sentence to a life sentence of imprisonment without the possibility of parole, that did not happen, as he was sentenced to a total of 16 years, and granted for time served since his arrest.
Fall is Flu Clinic Time... Again
Flu season is here and it is time to get your flu shot! San Juan County Health and Community Services will be offering the following flu vaccine clinics on Lopez; Orcas, Shaw, and San Juan. See below for place and time:
Tuesday, September 18th
“The Integrity Of The Justice System”
By Alex MacLeod
Given known facts, it is curious the lengths to which prosecuting attorney Randy Gaylord has gone to cover up his failure to check out a tip that might have kept the county from hiring a sheriff’s detective whose subsequent behavior blew up one sex case and compromised several others.
Monday, September 17th
Future Sidewalk For Pear Point?
(Red line indicates proposal)
Public Works is in the planning stages of a proposed widening of the shoulder on Pear Point Road, leading from Argyle Avenue, terminating at the Jackson Beach Road.
No Pass Needed For State Parks Saturday
No Discover Pass needed Sept. 22in -for day visits- in honor of National Public Lands Day. Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day. Washington State Parks invites the public to visit a state park for free on this day.
Sunday, September 16th
Large Crowd At NOAA Meeting On Orcas
NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) Fisheries held a meeting in Friday Harbor on Saturday night to take public input on “what people in the region think” about the actions and plans NOAA has been considering to address the continuing decline of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. Watch meeting HERE
Friday, September 14th
Rescuers Search For J50
Coast Guard personnel are assisting members of NOAA's Fisheries Service in the search for the missing Southern Resident killer whale, J50.
An intense search effort was launched Thursday in which a Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles, several NOAA researchers in separate boats and multiple whale watching vessels and organizations searched for the 31/2-year-old whale.
Thursday, September 13th
J50 Presumed Dead
(J5 -Center for Whale Research photo)
Ken Balcomb, founder of the Center for Whale Research states "J50 is missing and now presume dead. Balcomb rlease the following statement:
"The message brought by J50, and by J35 and her dead calf a few weeks ago, is that the SRKW are running out of reproductive capacity and extinction of this population is looming, while the humans convene task forces and conference calls that result in nothing, or worse than nothing, diverting attention and resources from solving the underlying ecological problems that will ultimately make this once-productive region unlivable for all."
The last sighting of J50 was by NOAA, SeaDoc, and other whale observers, on Friday, September 7th.
Friday Harbor Bike-n-Brew Saturday
( - Maria DiCristina file photo)
It’s this Saturday, September 15th & tickets are on sale now. Friday Harbor Bike-n-Brew offers a choice of three bike routes exploring the back roads of San Juan Island:
· The Mount Grant Grinder, for those who like a serious challenge in altitude gain
· The Metric Century for a roughly 62-mile ride (100 kilometers- yes, 100!)
· The Scenic Loop for families and cruisers.
Before the ride, eat breakfast at 9am at the starting area (SJC Fairgrounds) with the Cutthroat Pirates. Tt 4pm, enjoy samples of island-crafted microbrews while sharing your biking stories with fellow riders at the finish line (Marie Boe Building) at the Fairgrounds. Delicious food from local vendors will also be available.
Wednesday, September 12th
NOAA Public Input Meeting In FH On Saving J50
( lost body condition revealing a very thin profile, and noticeable loss of fat behind the head creating a “peanut head” appearance. Images obtained with an unmanned drone, piloted non-invasively >NOAA photos taken under NMFS research permit #19091. )
NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) Fisheries are exploring and taking action to save J50, and are even considering a plan to capture her as a last attempt to save her.
The public has a stake in the J50 response and the recovery of Southern Resident killer whales and NOAA wants to know what people in the region think about this effort, and the potential steps that can be taken. NOAA will hold a public meeting Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. in Friday Harbor at Friday Harbor High School to hear the public’s views.
Plane Accident On Takeoff -Roche Harbor
(Fred Schumacher photo)
An airplane departing from Roche Harbor crashed Wednesday morning (09-12-18) right after it took off. Unconfirmed early reports state there were no serious injuries. A possible cause of the crash may be related to a pilot seat malfunction that allowed the seat to slide to the rear of the airplane as the nose of the plane rose during takeoff, causing the pilot being unable to access the controls. The accident will be investigated and more information made available as it comes in.
Washington 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 Open House (pdf 718.04 kb)meetings, one on Lopez, and one on San Juan Island.
Tuesday, September 11th
Become a First Detector Of Invasive Species
To help combat the $1.3 billion threat invasive species pose to Washington’s economy every year, the Washington Invasive Species Council is inviting the public to the frontlines of its work by detecting invasive species and reporting them on its newly improved WA Invasives app.
Monday, September 10th
Don’t Worry, We’re Going To Do Something..
On September 11, 2001, while on board United Airlines Flight 93, Burnett sat next to passenger Mark Bingham. Burnett called his wife, Deena, after hijackers took control of the plane. He made several phone calls to her beginning at 09:30:32 from rows 24 and 25, though he was assigned a seat in row four. Burnett explained that the plane had been hijacked by men claiming to have a bomb.
Transcript of Tom's Last Calls to Deena
6:27 a.m.( pacific time) First cell phone call from Tom to Deena
Sunday, September 9th
CG Responds To Call For Evacuation Of SJI Heart Attack Victim
A Coast Guard aircrew medically evacuated a male reportedly suffering from a heart attack while at the Peace Island Medical Center near Friday Harbor, Sunday morning.
Due to inclement weather conditions and the inability of commercial medical transport services to operate in the environment, the Coast Guard aircrew transported the individual and a paramedic to awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel at Paine Airfield.
September Is Disaster Preparedness Month
While emergency preparedness is a year round responsibility for all islanders, the San Juan County Council recently proclaimed September as “Preparedness Month” in San Juan County.
“This is an opportunity to remind everyone who spends time in the islands that many of the things we love most about being here also require us to be especially well prepared for our inevitable emergencies and natural disasters,” said County Council Member Rick Hughes.
Thursday, September 6th
Boat Sinks In Friday Harbor
USCG Facebook screen capture
The Coast Guard is responding to a 40-foot sailing vessel that sank Wednesday in Friday Harbor. The vessel has been anchored for some time with no people reported aboard.
Members from the Island Oil Spill Association report a marine diesel sheen from an estimated 20-gallon tank and have deployed a boom to contain the spill.
Vehicle Accident On Orcas
Sheriff Krebs reports a vehicle accident on Orcas occurred Wednesday when a vehicle traveling in an unknown direction on Orcas Road at Nordstrom Lane, left the roadway and struck a tree. There were two occupants in the car. One was sent to Harborview via Airlift and the other was sent to St. Joes in Bellingham via Island Air. It is unknown the extent of the injuries or the cause of the accident at this time. An investigation is being conducted into the cause and circumstances of the accident.
Wednesday, September 5th
Canada & US Call On Prime Minister to Abandon Pipeline
In light of the Canadian Government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and stated commitment to expanding it despite a court ruling quashing the expansion permit, elected representatives from the islands in the Salish Sea, on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border, have written an open letter urging Prime Minister Trudeau to abandon the expansion project.
Tuesday, September 4th
River Otters Without Rivers
(L. Carswell photo)
by Dr. Brent Hughes
We live in an interesting time with respect to earth’s ecology. Several centuries of extreme overhunting by humans - first by European colonials and later with commercial overexploitation and human population expansion - have resulted in animals at the top of most food webs being removed. Top predators can influence entire food webs by keeping other consumers in check and stabilizing ecosystems, but we have little understanding of historical food web structure because predator loss (known as trophic downgrading) began so long ago.
Monday, September 3rd
Warnings On Parker Ignored…Why?
By Alex MacLeod
There is a crucial question left in the wake of the Orcas high school teacher convicted of sexual misconduct with a student, a case that was thrown out after it was discovered that the lead detective in the case was in a sexual relationship with the victim before and during the trial.
The question is this: was there any opportunity to know that the detective, Stephen Parker, had clues in his past that might have caused the county to reconsidered his hire or, failing that, to supervise him more closely?