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Thursday, October 31st

Bill To Eliminate Traffic Ticket Exemptions For State Legislators

ig_S_WSP_Car-001 (63k image)
(Rep. Dave Hayes webpage photo)

Rep. Dave Hayes believes state legislators should get a traffic ticket just like anyone else if they speed or break Washington’s traffic laws, regardless of whether the Legislature is in session. The 10th District lawmaker, who also works as a patrol sergeant with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, has drafted a measure that would clarify the authority of law enforcement officers to issue tickets to state lawmakers during a legislative session.

Wednesday, October 30th

Washington Centennial Time Capsule

OLYMPIA…On Nov. 11, 1989, for Washington state's 100th birthday, then-Gov. Booth Gardner gave an oath to hundreds of 10-year-olds who had volunteered to be Keepers of the Washington Centennial Time Capsule.

The capsule, which sits in the rotunda of the State Capitol, is unique. It is believed to be the first time capsule that can be updated, and consists of a large safe filled with 16 mini-time capsules, one of which is to be filled with new items every 25 years.

Navy MedEvacs Lopez Man To Harborview

A call for a medical evacuation (MedEvac) came to NAS Whidbey Island’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Oct. 25, 2013, after a 74 year-old-man had fallen off a ladder at his home on Lopez Island.

NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR team received the call due to low cloud ceilings that prevented local civilian medical airlift services from flying.

“We got the page at about 10:20 a.m., and launched for Lopez Island about an hour later,” said Lt. Maggie Champlin, the MH-60S Knighthawk Helicopter Aircraft Commander. “We were asked to take the patient to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle due to the nature of his injuries.”

According to NAS Operations’ SAR report, a San Juan paramedic was on scene when SAR arrived, and assisted the Navy rescue crew in getting the victim aboard the aircraft. Despite the low visibility due to fog, Champlin said there was great crew coordination both on the ground and in the air.

Assisting in the MedEvac were Lt. Matt Mangaran; Co-pilot; Naval Aircrewman Helicopter (AWS) 2nd Class Tim Hawk; Crew Chief; AWS2 Jon Hampton, Helicopter Inland Rescue Aircrewman; and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (HM2) Alex Nguyen and HM2 Wayne Papalski, both SAR Medical Technicians.

Thus far this year, SAR has performed five MedEvacs, eight rescues and three searches.


Tuesday, October 29th

Herbicide To Benefit Island Marble Butterfly

ig_SJC_AmericanCamp_dunes_and_prairie (60k image)
(NPS photo)

San Juan County National Park Service Superintendent Lee Taylor has announced good news for the Island marble Butterfly that lives on the south end of San Juan County, and very few other areas (Related Story).

The Park Service plans to apply herbicide to Canada thistle infesting critical habitat for the island marble butterfly at American Camp , an area of critical importance to the island marble butterfly.

IMA Proposes Makeover Of Old FH EMS Bld

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(Detail of photo below)

Progress has been mad over the past several months in design work for a renovation of the old EMS building in Friday Harbor that was purchased by IMA in May of this year, and -according to a press release- turn it into: “a visually impactful Visual Arts Museum here in Friday Harbor.” See photo below.

SJI EMT & Island Air Ambulance Receive 2013 Fixed Wing Award Of Excellence

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(Contributed photo)

San Juan Island EMS and MedEvac / Island Air Ambulance have been awarded the 2013 Fixed Wing Award of Excellence.

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) announced the awards October 21, 2013 in Virginia Beach, VA at the annual Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) before a crowd of thousands of the industry’s leading medevac operators, professional associations, and air medical practitioners.


FH Water/Sewer Main Replacement Project

The Town is notifying residents and businesses that portions of the water and sewer main in Spring Street from First Street to Front Street will be replaced January through March 2014.

An informational meeting is scheduled on November 6th at 1:00 p.m.


Monday, October 28th

SJC Firm Involved In Moon Mission

ig_NASA_LADEE-001 (41k image)

When NASA’s LADEE ( Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) robotic mission was launched on a mission designed to orbit the Moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust, a Friday Harbor man and his company played a role in the mission.

More Evidence That Boat & Ship Sound Alter Orca Behavior

Another study on if, and if so, how sound has a negative impact on orca behavior has been completed on the northern resident killer whales in the Johnstone Strait area of British Columbia; and the results support previous science conducted on sub-surface sound and orca movement.

Sunday, October 27th

Coast Guard Auxiliarists Release Rehabbed Harbor Seal

ig_Harbor_Seal_Pup_USCG-002 (52k image)

(A rehabilitated harbor seal pup looks over the stern of a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel at the people aboard after being released by the crew back into the wild near Everett)

The seal pup had been rescued from a beach near a marina in Everett on July 11, 2013. After being cared for at the PAWS Wildlife Center for eleven weeks, personnel determined he was ready to be released back into the wild.

The crew released the pup near Jetty Island, just north of Everett. At first, the pup stayed close to the vessel, even attempting to climb back aboard. After a few minutes, the crew watched him swim away. Photo courtesy of Kevin Mack, Progressive Animal Welfare Society.

Saturday, October 26th

Another Bomb Scare On SJI

ig_S_EXAMPLE-TypewriterCase-01 (35k image)(Example of a typewriter case -file photo)

The state bomb squad was called back to the San Juan island Friday morning (10-25-13, 8:00a.m.) when what looked to be an old manual typewriter case was noticed sitting on the ground at Pear Point Road where cars part at the former gravel pit just south of Friday Harbor.

This was the second time the bomb squad has responded this year on San Juan Island to a suspicious case.

Friday, October 25th

A New Home For U.S. Customs & Border Protection In San Juan County

ig_TFH_Building_Petersen-001 (68\k image)
(The Island Guardian photo)

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (Customs) has entered into a long term lease of the former Windermere real estate office in Friday Harbor. The new space will not replace the small existing Customs office below the F.H Yacht Club at the Port, but will allow for needed space and facilities that Homeland Security has been attempting to acquire in Friday Harbor.

Thursday, October 24th

A Pro & Con GMO Debate In FH

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Friday Harbor Grange #225 presents a GMO debate, Saturday, Oct. 26, 5:30 PM in the Friday Harbor Middle School, on Initiative Measure 522; which concerns labeling of genetically engineered foods. Two off-island spokesmen will provide a fair and balanced debate of the issues as they see them.
INITIATIVE-522 GMO (pdf 111\k file)

Wednesday, October 23rd

Orca Male Population In Decline

ig_ORCA_MaleDecline-03 (46k image)
(Q13 Fox screen capture)

Following a recent report by Q13 Fox News on “The push to save endangered orcas in Puget Sound, Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance Executive Director Bruce Stedman has released a statement on the collapse of breeding-age male orca in the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SKRWs) population that frequents San Juan County.

The Orca Relief study reports a decrease of 26% from 2009; the lowest count since 2003


Tuesday, October 22nd

Public Hearing On Minor Changes To "Dangerous Dog” Ordinance

ig_A_Dog-001 (48k image)The San Juan County Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday (1-22-13 at 9:15 am) on a change to the existing Dangerous Dog and potentially Dangerous Dog

The change before the council is the result of a court ruling in Pierce County that sent a message that San Juan County, according to the Staff Report (pdf 315\k file) needed to “plainly state the burden of proof” and the County cannot charge “a fee for review of a dangerous dog determination.”


Monday, October 21st

-- Guest Column --

"Be Not Afraid"

ig_Velman_Doty-001 (35k image)By Velma Doty

I ask you to "Be not Afraid" to let the people of San Juan County put forth an initiative if and when it is conceived to be in the best interest of it's citizens. Scare tactics that the whole county government structure is in jeopardy if " Prop I " would be passed is ridiculous .


Gaylord Gets His Raise

The Citizens’ Salary Commission (Commission) is solely responsible to review, discuss and set the salaries of County Elected Officials. On Thursday (10-13-13) the commission met to discuss three possible actions on a: Cost-of-Living adjustment; determine what counties in Washington are comparable to San Juan County as a guide to setting salaries; and should the base pay of any of the elected officials be altered.

Sunday, October 20th

Take A Gander At The 2014 County Budget

ig_Auditor_Budget_LOGO_2009-2014-001 (62k image)

The 2014 draft San Juan County 2014 Preliminary Budget book has been published, and it is in a similar easily understood and readable format that was created by the former County Administrator, Pete Rose.

The book is really more than a budget, in that it includes photos of staff members, a description of the many departments and advisory groups that make up county government, and of course the expected charts of numbers.


Saturday, October 19th

County Wants & Needs Advisers

The County Council is searching for San Juan County citizens to fill current and upcoming vacancies on various boards and commissions. Additional information about each committee is available on the County's website at:


Friday, October 18th

Orcas Fall Salon Concert: The Gryphon Trio

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(L to R: Roman Borys, Jamie Parkerphoto & Annalee Patipatanakoon)

Canada’s celebrated Gryphon Trio is making a special trip down to Orcas on Sunday, October 20th to present a Salon Concert for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. The concert will take place at 5:00 pm in a beautiful Deer Harbor home, the perfect setting for an intimate concert.


Thursday, October 17th

Plant The Plants At Odlin

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(SJC Parks photo)

Over 800 trees, shrubs, and ground plants for the largest wetland habitat restoration project SJC Parks has ever undertaken are ready to be planted at Odlin park on Lopez Island -and the Parks Department is seeking volunteer labor to plant the plants. Citizens are encouraged to join the Planting Party scheduled for the last weekend of October.

Tuesday, October 15th

FH Haleys Sports Bar & Grill Alarm

ig_SJFD_HALEYS-001t-1 (88k image)
(San Juan Island Fire Rescue photo)

At approximately 4:20 AM, Dispatch alerted San Jan Island Fire Rescue of a smoke alarm sounding at Haleys Sports Bar and Grill on Spring Street in Friday Harbor.

Two fire engines and a rescue unit responded with about a dozen firefighters and three fire officers.

Council Not Impressed With CenturyLink Broad Band Performance

A contingency of CenturyLink employees and executives showed up in Friday Harbor Monday morning (Related story below) looking for the County Council meeting room. They were to meet the council and present a PowerPoint that listed the history and accomplishments of CenturyLink, and specifically the up grading of their DSL and internet service in San Juan County.

Leaving aside an ironic fact that the posting of this story was delayed due to CenturyLink’s DSL being down and we had to use an OPALCO fiber connection, the County Council listened politely to a presentation by Brian Stading, President of northwest Region CenturyLink, but did not mince their words to Stading on the poor performance record of CenturyLink’s broadband service.


Monday, October 14th

Monday At CC: CenturyLink Makes Case To Be Partially Deregulated

The County Council will receive a presentation Monday from CenturyLink as to why they should -in their words- be “permitted to change rates, terms and conditions of a service without approval form the UTC [Washington utilities and Transportation Commission].”

The meeting (9:00 am in Council meeting room) with the Council is part of a campaign by CenturyLink looking for support for a public hearing on in Olympia on October 16, 2013.

Sunday, October 13th

Be Chipper Now Through November

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(File photo)

Right now, each of San Juan Island Firewise Communities has the opportunity to rent for one day a 6 inch chipper, one time during Chipper Fest 1 and receive a 25% discount at checkout.

If your community has not yet joined the many Firewise Communities on the Island and wish to do so, now is a good time to do: contact Brent Johnson@ 378-5334 or

New Director For "Islands" Red Cross

Mike Stamper has been named Executive Director of The Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross as of September 30, 2013.

The Islands Chapter serves Whidbey, Fidalgo and the San Juan Islands and a small section of La Conner. The Chapter’s main office is in Anacortes at 2900 T Avenue (or PO Box 249) with a satellite facility on the Seaplane Base in Oak Harbor.


Friday, October 11th

CANCELLED Due To Illness: Surviving Sustainability In The San Juans

Saturday (10-12-13),7 PM at the Mullis Senior Center, Friday Harbor, an evening of Conversation and Revelation with Elizabeth Nickson, author of Eco-Fascists : How Radical Conservationists are Destroying our Natural Heritage. Ms. Nickson is a lively and accomplished speaker from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, who was the European Bureau chief of Life magazine, in addition to contributing to Time, the Guardian, Vogue, and Harper’s.


Thursday, October 10th

TFH Hearing On Marijuana Regulations

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Council of the Town of Friday Harbor, Washington will hold a PUBLIC HEARING to consider revisions to Title 17 of the Friday Harbor Municipal Code regarding regulations for marijuana retail, production and processing within the corporate limits of the Town. The Town desires to comply with Initiative 502 and implement the will of the voters to the extent allowed by law.

Soroptimists Will Give $10.5K In Awards & Scholarships To Local Women

Fall is awards season for the Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor. Local women are encouraged to apply for the Women’s Opportunity Award, the Violet Richardson Award, the Ruby Award and the Fellowship Award. Here’s some background information on each award, as well as the upcoming application deadlines.

Wednesday, October 9th

State Auditor’s Office Dings County

The Washington State Auditor's Office conducts periodic reviews of the County’s financial records and general accounting.

The current audit results for January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 found some areas of concern that rose to the level of a “Finding,” which for the State Auditor’s office is a level that requires corrective Acton.


Tuesday, October 8th

South Beach Access Is To The Water

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(The Island Guardian photos)

Following up on The Island Guardian story of the national park service closing of a county road leading to South Beach on San Juan Island, additional research by the Guardian and two members of the public, and checked against county records, indicate that according to county and state records the County not only owns the road, but that it is a designated “public beach access” road end to the waters edge at South Beach.

Ag Tax Advisory Committee Meets

The Agricultural Tax Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday, Oct 8th at 11:30 in the Large Conference Room, of the County Legislative Bldg, 55 Second Street, Friday Harbor. The agenda consists of two items: Elect officers and adopt operating procedures and then discuss the role of the committee and how it can best assist the Assessor in implementing assessment guidelines as per RCW 84.34.145/

The committee was created by a County Resolution by the then County Council of six, in 2012, and consists of five members appointed by the Council for a term of serve of one year.

The current members are: Thor Black; Milton Buffum; Sarah C.B. Ross; Tom Schultz, and Kathryn Thomas.

RESOLUTION NO. 46 - 2012

A. The San Juan County Council has been asked to appoint an Agricultural Tax Advisory Committee in accordance with RCW 84.34.145 and pursuant to WAC 458.30.345 after a request from the agricultural Resource Committee.

B. 'The Agricultural Resources Committee has recommended five members of the active agricultural community.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE 11' RESOLVED by the County Council of San Juan County, state of Washington, as follows:

I. Establishment. In accordance with RCW 84.34.145. there is hereby established an Agricultural Tax Advisory Committee representing the active farming community within the county to serve in an advisory capacity to the County Assessor in implementing assessment guidelines as established by the Department of Revenue for the assessment of open space, farm and agricultural lands, and timber lands classified under RCW 84.34.

2. Number/Qualification/Term. The Agricultural Tax advisory Committee shall consist of five members, each of whom represents the active farming community in San Juan County. The term of service shall be one year.

3. Type of Advice. The Advisory Committee shall not give advice regarding the valuation
or assessment of specific parcels of land. However, it may supply the Assessor with advice on typical crops, land quality, and net cash rental assessments to assist the Assessor in determining appropriate values.

4. Uniform Rules In conducting its business, the Agricultural Tax Advisory Committee
shall abide by the San Juan County Uniform Business Rules, including the Rules of Procedure, as set forth in Chapter 2.116 San Juan County Code, unless other rules have been duly adopted by the County Council For administrative purposes, the Committee will report to the Assessor.


Monday, October 7th

FH Flu Shots Oct 14th

ig_M_FlueShot-01 (33k image)Oct 7, 2013 - Monday (and also Oct 14) - 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM- 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM; SJC Health Dept. 145 Rhone St., FH;Call 378-4474 for appointment

An annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and the flu-related complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death. Health experts across the country recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.

Sunday, October 6th

2014 Plan For Tourism To County

A nearly $600,000.00 yearly tourism plan for 2014 for San Juan County is, in short, to continue to do what has been done, but to “continue to improve” what and how it is done.

A ten page report by the Business Association of San Juan County (BASJC) d.b.a. San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau (SJIVB), will be presented to the County Council Monday morning.


Saturday, October 5th

Oktoberfest: 19th Anniversary Of A SJ Island Tradition Of Fundraising

Saturday, October 5, 5 to 10 p.m., at the San Juan County Fairgrounds on Argyle Street in Friday Harbor.

ig_SO_Oktoberfest_2011-01 (62k image)
(The Blaskapelle Oktoberfest Band -IG file photo)

This fun and crazy annual family event features San Juan's original Blaskapelle oompah orchestra, Bavarian menu and drinks, professional polka instruction and really great kids' crafting activities. Break out the liederhosen and dirndl skirts for the costume contest! Win a collectible SJI OKTOBERFEST stein! Brought to you by the SJI Chamber of Commerce. For more information visit or call 360 378 5240.


Friday, October 4th

Road To South Beach Open -Sort Of..

ig_NPS_ClosedParks-03 (72k image)
(contributed photo)

As pointed out in an earlier report (Relates Story, on orders from park headquarters in Washington D.C. the county road leading to the water at South Beach at American Camp on San Juan Island was blocked by the Park Service.

The road is owned and maintained by the County; and in fact is a “county road end.” Historically county road ends end at the high tide line, and do for public access, and state law is quite clear the County cannot abandon them or remove them.


CD&PD Director Leaves At End Of Month

San Juan County Manager Mike Thomas has announced that "after consultation with the County Council, I concluded that everything was in place" to make a number of changes in the County’s Community Development and Planning Department (CD&PD), including new leadership and longer operating hours.

The leadership of CD&PD will change November 3, 2013 when the current Director of Community Development and planning, Rene Beliveau, will step down and be replaced by Sam Gibboney, who will serve as the transitional Director of CD&P until a new director is appointed.

FH Restaurant Chili Cook-Off

ig_Ag_IslandHarvest_2013-001 (47k image)
On Saturday, October 5th, 3:30-7:00pm, the Island Harvest Chili Cook-off and the Artstock Art Market will host a competition for the best restaurant chili award. Particpants will be Coho Restaurant, Pablito’s Taqueria, Cask and Schooner, Ernie’s Cafe, Mike’s Café, and the Friday Harbor High School’s Food for Thought Program (2013 Chili Champ back to defend their title!).

Each of these fine food establishments will create a unique chili for folks to taste, including a vegetarian option and corn bread.

Wednesday, October 2nd

Silhouettes Of Domestic Violence

ig_G_DV_Cutouts_2013-01 (65k image)

Each Silhouette you see on the court house lawn represents a person who was killed by a perpetrator of domestic violence.

Each victim was a resident of Washington State and died in the year 2012. There are 36 in all; women. children and men. Walk among them and read their stories

Tuesday, October 1st

National Parks Bars All Access -Even County Roads

ig_NPS_ClosedParks-01 (100k image)
( -IG photo

The Government shutdown has resulted in the National Park Service issuing a statement that the parks in San Juan County are “closed.” Not that programs are closed or the manned interpretative centers are closed, but closed in the sense that “Visitors may not access the park on foot, bike, or horse during the closure, even if they park outside the park.”

In fact, in their eagerness to close off access, they even closed off the county road to South Beach at American Camp (see photo below) ; a county road we chip seal and maintain, and is a protected County road end that provides access to the beach. It is expected the traffic cones, tape and signs will soon be removed.


Storm Flooding In Eastsound, But Constructed Wetland Works

ig_PW_2013_FloodRaysOrcas-01 (81k image)
(Ray’s Pharmacy affected by the flooding -Ray’s Pharmacy photo)

A heavy, early-season storm drenched Eastsound in the morning hours of Wednesday, September 25th. Stations in and around Eastsound reported up to 2.2 inches of rain over a two hour period. Widespread minor flooding followed, with up to 5 inches of standing water reported in several businesses and the post office.

Flu Vaccine Shots Start Today On Shaw

ig_M_FlueShot-01 (33k image)An annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and the flu-related complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death. Health experts across the country recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. Today 10/01/2013 shots will be given at the Shaw Community Center from 12pm to 3pm, See below for Lopez, Orcas & SJI schedule:

Oiled Bird Responder Free Training

Islands’ Oil Spill Association (IOSA) is offering 2 free classes in October for islanders who would like to be trained to help in the event of an oil spill affecting wildlife. IOSA is the San Juan Islands’ only spill response group and is a non-profit, community-based oil spill response organization.

IOSA’s “Basic Care of Oiled Birds” training will be on Saturday, Oct 5, on San Juan Island from 11:30 to 5:15 pm. Class size is limited so please send an email to: to register.

In the Oct. 5th class, IOSA will discuss essential primary care needs of oiled birds, including capture, handling and stabilization, and give an overview of the logistics of responding to an oil spill in the islands, including the many ways community members can help during a spill.

Then on Saturday, Oct 19, IOSA is offering a class that will focus more on the “Search, Capture & Rescue of Oiled Birds”, with part of the training to include practice on the beach of the techniques and strategies discussed in the class.

IOSA also offers spill responder training for containment/exclusion, including on-the-water boom deployment drills, several times a year, so if you prefer to work on the equipment side of oil spill response, or if you want to work with oiled birds but can’t make it to either of these upcoming classes, let us know your mailing and email address and we’ll make sure you receive our schedule of trainings that we send out twice a year.

Class size is limited so please send an email to: for more information and/or to register for a class. They will send out an email with class location and other details to all those who are pre-registered. Also check out their website at:

FHHS & Soroptimists Team Up On STEM

FHHS and Soroptimists International have teamed up to encourage female students and women to explore careers in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics). The first outreach will be Wednesday (10-02-13), 10:50 to 11:40 in the high school's Hall Gym.


John Evans
Greg Hertel
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