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Saturday, December 31st

The Grand Old Party Has One On Orcas

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Over 100 attended the annual Republican Christmas party dinner on Orcas. The guest speakers were Sheriff Deputy Scott Taylor and Ri Warren. Deputy Scott Taylor is also an Army National Guard Major who recently returned from duty in Iraq, and he talked about the experiences and impressions he received while in Iraq.

He had two main messages for the assembled crowd, the first was that, for a number of reasons, it was clear to him that the progress and the positive things going on in Iraq are simply not being reported to the folks back home. He gave as an example of the problem by asking what the impression of America would be to the rest of the world, if the only news or knowledge they received about America was the result of a reporter standing in a slum and reporting on the crime and gang violence in the area, but never ventured out of those areas to report on the positive and non-violent areas With respect to the troops, he said he found the moral to be universally high.

The second thing he wished to convey was the importance of letting the men and women over there know that we think and care about them. One of the ways to do that is to send them something from home. Send a pine cone; or a rock; anything that is from here, that will bridge the distance.


San Juan County Democrats Announce 2006 Activities

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The San Juan County Democratic Party held its regular monthly meeting on December 17th at Skagit Valley Community College, Friday Harbor. Ron Zee was appointed to fill the Vice Chair position. Allison Lengyel has been appointed to the vacant PCO position for Shaw.

Sharon Abreu (PCO Orcas 4) attended the recent Climate Change Conference in Montreal and reported on the work of the conference and its potential local impact. Abreu and Rena Patty (PCO Orcas 3) will prepare resolutions for individuals and governments on the national, state and local levels to deal with the challenge of global climate change. Ron Zee (PCO San Juan 4) will assume management of 2006 web site updates ( Link to webpg)

The Democrats announced that local Precinct Democratic Caucuses will be held on each island on Saturday, March 4, 2006, at 2 PM, at locations to be announced. Caucus organizing volunteers are Ron Zee and Joan Dayton for San Juan Island, Libby Blackwell and Rena Patty for Orcas Island, and Lee Lehman and Micki Ryan for Lopez Island.

The March 4 caucuses will elect delegates to the County Convention on April 8, 2006. The County Convention will elect delegates to the State Convention on June 3 in Yakima. Attendees at the precinct caucuses will draft resolutions for San Juan County Convention approval, for inclusion in the state party platform on June 3.

State Committee persons Carl and Mary Ann Bender (PCO Lopez 1) will attend the next State Committee meeting on January 27 and 28 in Seattle, as will Chair Stan Wagner (PCO Waldron). A successor to resigning Chair of the State Democratic Party Paul Berendt will be elected at that meeting.

"2006 will be a busy year for local Democrats given the local and state elections," noted Chair Stan Wagner. "In 2005 the local party structure was changed to an annual membership organization so that more Democrats could participate, and our successful membership expansion will continue in 2006. Democrats interested in making active changes within the party should contact their local Precinct Committee Officers or come to a monthly meeting."

San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Democrats will meet in January and throughout the year at times and individual locations to be announced through newspapers and bulletin boards.

Contact: Micki Ryan, Secretary, 468-4442
Stan Wagner, Chairman, 206 372-6136
San Juan County Democratic Central Committee


Wednesday, December 28th

12 New EMTs Ready To Serve

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San Juan Emergency Medical Services has added a dozen new EMTs to its ranks. The class of 12 selected from a group of 50 applicants has completed over 4 months of training to become Emergency Medical Technicians under the careful direction of Paramedic Weyshawn Koons, SJEMS's Training Officer.

This brings the San Juan EMS volunteer ranks to 41. Some of these new EMTs live throughout the island in more remote areas such as the north end near Roche Harbor and the south end in the Cape. In an attempt to even further reduce response times, they will be outfitted with specialized equipment and medications allowing for the speedy delivery of life sustaining interventions. San Juan EMS's response times are now even better than the national average for busy urban systems.

These EMTs completed over 200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical time. Each student was required to perform several shifts responding to calls on the ambulances as well as 12 hours in the emergency department at Harborview Trauma and Emergency Center in Seattle. "This far exceeds the State minimum requirements," said Chief Jim Cole. "Additionally, these new Rookie EMTs will complete 32 more hours of orientation and training on patient safety, scene operations, privacy laws, incident command, equipment use, and emergency vehicle driving."

They will remain "rookies" for 3 months while continuing their training under veteran EMTs. During the year 2006, these new EMTS will also become certified as Wilderness EMTs in an additional 48 hour training program.

The San Juan EMS will finish their impressive year with over 800 calls, up from 667 in 2004 making them the busiest EMS agency in the county.


Tuesday, December 13th

Learn About Historical Reef Netting Of Salmon

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(Photo: Coast Salish settlement on Orcas ca. 1901; gift of Ron and Donna Radke to the Samish Nation research center; do not reproduce without permission)

On Tuesday, December 13, 2005, Russel Barsh, Director of the Center for the Study of Coast Salish Environments, Samish Indian Nation, will present an engaging program for the whole family to learn about historical reef netting of salmon off the shores of Orcas Island. The youth-friendly evening will feature Barsh's energetic and interactive program, and pizza dinner will be provided for all participants. This is the third lecture of the 2005/06 season in Orcas Island's highly successful marine science lecture series. The program and dinner begin at the special time of 5:00 PM at the Camp Orkila Larry Norman Lodge and is free to the public.

"For a thousand years or more, Coast Salish people anchored reef nets just offshore from Camp Orkila every summer to harvest great numbers of sockeye salmon," Barsh commented. "Our program will explore the salmon fishing traditions of northwest Orcas Island through pictures, games and stories on the beach where Coast Salish families dried their catch and fixed their nets."

Please park only in the upper parking lot at Camp Orkila. Shuttle service from the parking lot to the Lodge is available before and after the program.

The 2005-2006 Marine Science Lecture Series is presented by program partners The SeaDoc Society (, YMCA Camp Orkila (, and the San Juan Nature Institute ( Future lecture dates are January 10, February 14, March 14, and April 26, 2006. All lectures begin at 7:00 PM and are located at the Marine Salmon Center unless otherwise noted.

The series is generously sponsored by Islanders' Bank, Barbara Brown, the Gould Family Foundation, David and Virginia Ridgway, and Jim and Kathy Youngren.


Wednesday, December 7th

Attend Make a Book Workshops at Library

The San Juan Island Library is offering a series of workshops on the art of making books. The workshops will take place on the second Thursday of the month at 3:30, December 8 and January 12.

All workshops will take place in the library's meeting room. Three different styles of art projects will be offered in the course of the series. "We had so much fun teaching making books at the Children's Festival and the San Juan County Fair that we thought we should do it again," said library director Lauren Stara. "We made keepsake books at Children's Festival, and at the County Fair, we showed two varieties that could be made from the same original materials. We have a third surprise in store for our finale in January."


Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Piet Visser
Amy Wynn
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