Letters to Editor
To Contact the Editor
Monday, December 31st
Sign Up For Ag Summit
This year San Juan Island will host the annual San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit on February 2-3, 2019. Gather with more than 150 local farmers, food producers, businesses, and advocates for a weekend filled with education, inspiration and community. Dr. Heidi Roop, of the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group islandgrown.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=37a912ea53e7e00a7f6b76770&id=ce80c3c89a&e=6e9e9b61c9) This year's Keynote Speaker is Dr. Roop, a climate scientist with a passion for science, communication, and community co-production of knowledge. She is looking forward to connecting with the San Juan Islands agricultural community, and share research concerning climate impacts in the Puget Sound region.
Thursday, December 27th
Comment On Fairgrounds Master Plan
The Fairgrounds Master Plan Draft is now available for review online at: //www.sanjuanco.com/1552/Fair-Master-Plan-Update. A printed reference copy is also available at the Parks & Fair Administrative Office for in-house review.
The draft document is a collaboration of the research, site visits and public input from stakeholder meetings, surveys, the Fair and the pop-up information booths on the 3 ferry serviced islands done in Spring 2018.
Wednesday, December 26th
Ranker May Resign From Senate
(Ranker as SJC County Commissioner -Island Guardian file photo)
In the face of a charge of sexual harassment and creating a hostile workplace, and with eroding support from the progressive left that has counted on Ranker sponsoring their bills, Ranker is reportedly considering his options, and according to a report in CW (Cascadia West), he “will spend the coming days reassessing his future and may very well -indeed perhaps likely- resign from the Senate.”
Tuesday, December 25th
Crack Down On Bogus "Service Animals"
There has been a growing misrepresentation of service animals, with people bringing animals into grocery stores and restaurants a, and other public places where they would otherwise be forbidden to enter, and as a result a change in the law regarding them will now potential allow $25 to $1000.00 fines for doing so. RCW RCW 7.80.040 allows investigation and enforcement and issuing a civil infraction.
Sunday, December 23rd
Fishers released in North Cascades
( WDFW photo)
State, federal, and partner biologists released six fishers today in the Skagit River watershed of Ross Lake National Recreation Area, a unit of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, as part of an effort to restore the species to Washington state. This is the first release in the North Cascades.
Fishers are about the size of a house cat and are members of the weasel family. They were eliminated from Washington by the mid-1900s through over-trapping and habitat loss. Fishers are currently listed as an endangered species by the state, and are being reviewed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Saturday, December 22nd
Free Days To Enter "Public" Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is offering two free days in January, when visitors to state parks will not need a Discover Pass for day-use visits.
Washington State Parks First Day Hikes 2019 pin
The first free day is Tuesday, Jan. 1, which gives visitors the opportunity to take part in a First Day Hike, a nationwide initiative that aims to get people outdoors on New Year’s Day. More than 30 Washington state parks are hosting First Day Hikes events.
The second free day is Monday, Jan. 21, in honor of the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
Thursday, December 20th
FANS Thanks Donors for Donations to Island Rec
This December, FANS’ (Families and Neighbors Support Island Rec) generous donors helped the group contribute $10,000 to Island Rec, for a 2018 total of $15,000. These funds bolster Island Rec’s capacity to provide scholarships for programs like swimming lessons and teen adventure camps, and to bring the community activities like Music on the Lawn and Movies in the Park and amenities like Eddie and Friends dog park and island trails.
Wednesday, December 19th
New Information On Sen. Ranker's Sexual Harassment & Threats Allegations
The Seattle Times has posted New Details on the sexual harassment charges against Sen. Kevin Ranker, that were first reported by the Associated Press.
Seattle Time's reporter Mike Baker relates that Ann Larson said that even after she took a new job to get away from Ranker, he "continued to make advances while also treating her with disdain, threatening to cut the department’s budget, looking up her salary, telling her she was overpaid, examining what state authorizations allowed her job in the first place and threatening to cut programs important to her."
Austin Jenkins of NW News Network reports that "Former Fish and Wildlife director Phil Anderson said that he was aware at the time that Larson was having difficulties with Ranker. "I did know that and we talked about how to manage that."
Reached Tuesday, another former legislative assistant who worked for Ranker between 2011 and 2015 said it was clear to her that Ranker and Larson had "previous personal drama." Kendall Farley said her impression was that Ranker harbored some resentment toward Larson because she left his office in the middle of a protracted 2010 legislative session that spawned two special sessions."
Jenkins also reports that "Ranker denies any wrongdoing and said he expects to 'be exonerated from these allegations'."
Tuesday, December 18th
Cold Weather, OPALCO Raises Rates
Pending board approval at the December 20th board meeting, OPALCO members will see a rate increase when they open their bills in January. 2019 budget includes a 5.2% revenue increase. Members bills will be on average $9.50 higher.
OPALCO states the increase is "a necessary part of providing power to our 20-island archipelago."
Monday, December 17th
Ranker Accused Of Sexual Harassment
The Seattle Times has posted an Associated Press story by Rachel La Corte that former San Juan County Commissioner Clerk Ann Larson has charged Sen. Kevin Ranker with sexual-harassment and creating a hostile-workplace
Larson admits to having had consensual sexual relations with Ranker, who was married at the time, and before he became a senator, but after he asked her to leave her San Juan position and work for him in his district office in 2009 she wanted to have only a professional relationship with him.
6.2 Million Chinook Salmon Fry Killed By State Generator Failure
(Minter Creek Hatchery -NOAA photo)
As many as 6.2 million chinook salmon fry died last weekend when a windstorm cut power to the Minter Creek Hatchery in Pierce County and the facility's backup generator failed.
The fry were in incubators at the Minter Creek Hatchery operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Sunday, December 16th
New Recreation Specialist For SJI
Island Rec has announced that Lili Lyne is their new Recreation Specialist. Lili will primarily be organizing Sports and Fitness programs and events.
Lili is a recent graduate from Western Washington University where she studied Therapeutic Recreation. Over the years she has developed an expertise in adaptive sports, from soccer to wheelchair rugby she has worked with folks with disabilities to feel empowered.
Thursday, December 13th
Calling All Couch Potatoes
(Elizabeth Farr -contributed photo)
Calling all couch potatoes! Did you know that Friday Harbor’s new animal shelter has an "Enrichment Room"? This is a magical room where volunteers, staff and prospective adopters can spend time in a cozy, home-like setting with an adoptable dog or cat.
Fire, EMS & Town Discuss Merger Study
(L to R: SJI Fire Chair Bob Jarman & Hosp Chair Michael Edwards -IG photo)
A report on the feasibility of combining San Juan Island fire District 3 and hospital District 1 is expected to be ready for public review by the end of March 2019.
The CAG (Citizen’s Advisory Group) has yet to complete the report they have been charged with producing, but at a special joint meeting on Wednesday -including both boards and the Town of Friday Harbor administrator- they reported that while their work is open to possibilities, one of their goals is to find the best solution to serving the community with the most realistic level of service that is affordable.
Wednesday, December 12th
New Vacation Rental Webpage Available
New rules for both new and existing vacation rental permit compliance is due December 31, and the County has posted a new webpage with the most requested information regarding vacation rental permits and compliance with the new regulations. It includes information about how to apply for permit, have an existing permit and want to know what to do to comply with the new rules, or need to find your permit number.
Tuesday, December 11th
SJI Meeting On Hospital & Fire Consolidation
San Juan County Public Hospital District #1, Fire Department #3, and the Town of Friday Harbor are meeting with the Citizen’s Advisory Group (CAG) on this Wednesday December 12, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. (Fire District Bld, 1011 Mullis Street) to discuss the CAG’s progress & their interim report.
Monday, December 10th
$277K For County Salmon Recovery
The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the award of nearly $18 million in grants for projects to restore salmon habitat in an effort to bring the iconic fish back from the brink of extinction; including $277,742 to San Juan County. An estimated 75 percent of 18M is intended to fund projects to benefit Chinook salmon, which make up a large part of the southern resident orca whale diet.
Sunday, December 9th
County Needs Volunteers, Lot’s Of Them
The County Council is searching for San Juan County citizens to fill current and upcoming vacancies on various boards and commissions.
A list of openings is below, and additional information about each committee is available on the County's website at: http://sanjuanco.com/641/Board-Committee-Vacancies.
Thursday, December 6th
Excitement At SJC Theatre’s Annual Holiday Festival
San Juan Community Theatre (SJCT) held its annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, December 1st, raising over $114,000 in support for the 2018-2019 season. Attendees were treated to 1920’s themed décor by Susan Williams, Anita Welch, and Cyndy Gislason and a menu inspired by popular dishes of the same era from Owner Anna Maria de Freitas and Executive Chef Ryan Lockhart at Coho Restaurant.
Wednesday, December 5th
The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting, which unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon, is scheduled to be held on Sunday, December 9th, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 4th
Ed Warbass Sculptor Demonstration At SJIMA
(Clay model for bronze sculpture -contributed photo)
Northwest artist Gareth Curtiss is bringing his bronze sculpting project to Friday Harbor December 17th through 21st so that the public may share in the creation of the Ed Warbass sculpture he is making for the town. The public is invited to watch and interact with the artist in a temporary work space being created for him in the glass atrium at the front of San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA).
Monday, December 3rd
FH High Finalist In National STEM Contest
Friday Harbor High School is one of the five Washington schools that are among the nation’s 250 state finalists in the Friday Harbor High School is one of the five Washington schools that are among the nation’s 250 state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a program that encourages students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The state finalist schools were chosen based on their creative and strategic proposals to solve complicated issues that affect their communities by using STEM learning., a program that encourages students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The state finalist schools were chosen based on their creative and strategic proposals to solve complicated issues that affect their communities by using STEM learning.
Sunday, December 2nd
Threatened Island of Artists and Hunters. Know Your Islanders Talk: Theresa Simendinger
( Contributed photo)
Monday December 3, SJI Library 7pm: Travel with Theresa Simendinger on a buying trip to find native art on Shishmaref Alaska, a town of about 600 people on a small barrier island 5 miles off the coast of Alaska and just south of the Arctic Circle. Small is about 2 miles long and about 1/4 mile wide. Inuit people have called it home for 400 yeas. Currently less than 600 still do.
Theresa traveled there on a buying trip to find art for Friday Harbor’s Native Art Gallery: Arctic Raven
Refreshments are courtesy of the Friends of the Library and the San Juan Island Trails Committee.