See the entire Calendar here.

Computer San Juans

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 5:50 am by

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Tom Doenges of Computer San Juans is offering a Bits to Bites Holiday Special. “Pay it forward” this Holiday Season. For every repair done between now and Dec 31, 2014, Computer San Juans is reducing their normal hourly labor charge of $60 to $30.

All that is asked is that customers carry the spirit forward and donate food or a toy of equal value ($30) to the Friday Harbor Food Bank or the Kiwanis Toy Drive.

For more information visit or call 360.378.5153 or 360.317.5772.

Pet of the Week

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 5:40 am by

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Nettie is this week's Pet of the Week

Nettie is this week’s Pet of the Week

My name is Nettie. I’m very shy, but I’ll bet I’m the softest kitten you’ve ever met. This picture was taken when I had a cold, so it doesn’t do me justice – I’m told I’m absolutely gorgeous by lots of people. I’m about five months old and all of my brothers and sisters have been adopted. I like hanging out with the quiet older cats here at the shelter, but what I’d really love is a nice, quiet home of my own. Preferably with a chimney, so Santa can deliver my Christmas gifts….. You really should stop by the shelter to meet me soon!

Holiday Art Market

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 5:34 am by

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36th-holiday-marketplaceSan Juan Island Artisans are sponsoring their 36th annual event featuring the ‘best of the best’ creations by San Juan County artists. Fifty-five artists will sell their unique, hand-made arts and crafts this year—just in time for holiday gift giving—offering a wide variety of items from soaps and lotions to jewelry, clothing, cards, paintings, island-made foods, scenic photography and much more.

There will be delicious snacks available by local caterer Cynthia’s of Course to keep shoppers satisfied. This is a fundraiser for the Island Artisans Scholarship Fund. Time: Friday, November 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information contact Rhonda Scott at (360) 298-0300 or email:
retrorose [@] rock island [.] com.

Think Red at Waterworks Gallery

Posted on November 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm by

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Think Red Holiday Show at WaterWorks Gallery

Think Red Holiday Show at WaterWorks Gallery

With the holiday season approaching, WaterWorks Gallery is pleased to announce THINK RED Holiday Show opening on Saturday, November 29th from 4.30 to 7.30. This show runs until Saturday, January 3, 2015

Adding to the festive activities of Thanksgiving weekend, the gallery celebrates the season with some wonderful new works of art by Kathryn Trigg [invitation piece], Joan Stuart Ross, Randall Tipton, Danielle Dean Palmer, Nichole DeMent, Caroline James, Georgia Gerber and Tom Small and introducing Doug McIntosh – abstracted photographer

Exciting wearables by Dianne Coe, Tana Acton, Maru Alemeda, Micki Lippe, Judy Morgan, Anna Skibska, Caroline Viene, and introducing Jane Adams from England.

​The gallery offers complimentary gift wrapping and/or free shipping [subject to limitations]​

Gallery hours are 10.30 to 5.30 Monday – Saturday, Closed Tuesday & Sunday. Other hours by appointment.The gallery be open till 7 PM on Thursday & Fridays in December​.

Come on out and see all the lights in Friday Harbor, as this year’s Island Lights Festival will run from December 1st through December 31st. Stop by the gallery for some exciting Holiday Cheer

Best wishes for the Holidays,
Ruth and the shop gals, Julie and Carla

Property Buyers

Posted on November 22, 2014 at 5:45 am by

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Merri Ann Simonson

Merri Ann Simonson

Merri Ann Simonson is back with a new article on local real estate…

Who is interested in property in the San Juan Islands?

Over the last twenty years, the “typical” buyer profile has not changed. The majorities of the new-comers are between the ages of 45-65 and interested in purchasing a second home or property for their future retirement. Since the recession, we have not had many investors in our market due to lack of appreciation but that will change with more market recovery.

Looking at the chart, 76% percent of the buyers live in Washington. This falls in line with the premise that most second home owners desire to purchase a home within 2-3 hours from their primary residence. The out of state buyer’s percentage was 24% with California contributing the most. California was actually down a few percentages from the last time I created this chart back in 2008.

Click for larger chart

Click for larger chart

Of the Washington Buyers, 74% had the zip code of 982XX. This high level supports the practice of buyers moving to the islands first then purchasing real estate later. Many buyers desire to experience the island community, schools and employment for a period of time prior to making their buying decision. It is also much easier to shop for real estate while living here.

The breakdown for property type includes 64% for homes, condominiums and manufactured units, 27% land/lot sales with 9% commercial and multifamily. This supports the fact that you can buy existing homes for less than the price of constructing a new home.

Real estate volume and transaction numbers are increasing, inventory is starting to be absorbed in several of the categories of our market, and the general attitude is positive. 2015 looks promising for those that desire to sell or buy property in the San Juans.

Article by:
Merri Ann Simonson
Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc

Money for Tucker

Posted on November 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm by

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Tucker Avenue - Tim Dustrude photo

Tucker Avenue – Tim Dustrude photo

State Transportation Improvement Board Awards New Grant to Friday Harbor

The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) announced their annual grant awards today and the Town of Friday Harbor will be the recipient of $800,000 for the reconstruction of the first phase of Tucker Avenue. The TIB is a state organization funded by a portion of the gas tax charged on each gallon of gasoline sold within Washington. Tucker Avenue is an arterial street and is one of the highest ranked projects on the Town Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan.

Town staff worked with the Engineering firm of Gray and Osborne to secure the funding. This is the third year in a row that the Town has received road construction monies, having previously been awarded grants in 2012 and 2013 that funded over 80% of the Blair Avenue project and Mullis sidewalk project.

tucker-guardThe project plan submitted for Tucker includes improvements from the intersection with Guard Street down the hill to Harbor Avenue, just past the Town wastewater treatment facility. The total project cost for this phase is estimated at $1.1 million dollars of which $800,000 would come from the TIB. The Town anticipates paying their portion of project expenses from the recently adopted Transportation Benefit District sales tax of two-tenths of one-percent that will start in April of 2015. Annual revenues from this new tax are anticipated to be $240,000.

The Town will be awarding a contract for the engineering of this project in 2015 and anticipates construction will be completed in 2016. “This is very exciting news” said Mayor Carrie Lacher. “To receive such a significant grant three years in a row is a wonderful vote of confidence from the TIB. I really appreciate the hard work of our staff and engineers in making this happen.”

Carmen on Monday

Posted on November 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm by

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Carmen on Monday - Contributed photo

Carmen in The Met: Live in HD on Monday – Contributed photo

Bizet’s steamy melodrama takes center stage in The Met: Live in HD presentation of Carmen on Monday, November 24 at 7:00 pm at San Juan Community Theatre.

Richard Eyre’s mesmerizing production features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili singing her signature role of the ill-fated gypsy temptress.

Aleksandrs Antonenko plays her desperate lover, the soldier Don José, and Ildar Abdrazakov is the swaggering bullfighter, Escamillo, who comes between them.

Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the irresistible score, which features one beloved and instantly recognizable melody after another.

For more info go to

Public Transit That Works

Posted on November 21, 2014 at 12:32 am by

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Freeway Traffic - Tim Dustrude photo

Freeway Traffic – Tim Dustrude photo

Kind of a departure from local San Juan Island stuff today – I was recently shown the video below and just had to share it (warning – it’s about 9 minutes long).

Shannon and I were in Switzerland 6 years ago, and we saw Zurich (and a lot of the Swiss transit/rail system). It was very impressive. We had the Suisse Pass, a  ticket that took us anywhere the entire transit system went, anytime within our 2-weeks. We saw a LOT of Switzerland. We were never once frustrated with trying to find a parking place.

We were in New York City 2 years ago and had a similar pass there for the transit system which was not nearly as clean or pretty as the Swiss, but we were very impressed with how efficient it was. And with that MTA pass, we felt like we had the key to the city – we could go anywhere, anytime on any MTA transit vehicle (subway, bus, cable tram) – it was freedom.

Last week we were coming home from Eastern Washington and after a brief stop in Kirkland, we got caught in rush-hour traffic on I-405. And once again, we were really impressed. Only this time, the impression was all about how many people drive one-person-per-car, and get stuck in that traffic mess day after day after day.

We went whizzing past them on the on-ramp, because of the car pool lane, and then we whizzed past them on the freeway itself as they sat, bumper to bumper in their 3 and 4 lanes of gridlock. How do they do it? Day after day. And why? There must be a better way…

Anyway, no I’m not getting on a soap box or anything. I just thought this video was really cool and I wanted to share it with you. So here it is…

Zurich: Where People Are Welcome and Cars Are Not from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

Jordan Reinhart - Contributed photo

Island Rec hires new School’s Out Program Coordinator

Written on November 20, 2014 at 5:50 am, by

Island Rec is pleased to introduce Jordan Reinhart as the newest member of its team. Jordan is responsible for coordinating STAR (Study Time and Afterschool Recreation), School’s Out Camps, and Camp Eagle Rock. He comes with diverse park and recreation experience working with youth and teens in sports and school’s out programs. These programs offer  Continue Reading

Brien Sesby, FF2 W2 - Contributed photo

Meet Your Volunteer Firefighter

Written on November 20, 2014 at 5:46 am, by

Here’s Sheila Harley again with this month’s edition of “Meet Your Volunteer Firefighter…” Brien is a 2nd generation firefighter for San Juan Island Fire Rescue. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Jim, who retired from the department this year. He is trained in structural and wildland firefighting and is also trained in rope  Continue Reading

IMA OPENS December 5 with "Unveiling: The Best of the IMA Artists' Registry"

IMA Unveiling December 5th

Written on November 20, 2014 at 5:40 am, by

The new San Juan Island Museum of Art building opens its doors for the first time on December 5 with the reception party for “Unveiling: the Best of IMA Artists’ Registry,” which runs December 6, 2014, thru January 25, 2015. Featured artists are members of the museum’s Artists’ Registry program, created in 2010 to offer  Continue Reading


Holiday Open House at The Whale Museum

Written on November 20, 2014 at 5:35 am, by

The Whale Museum is hosting a holiday open house on the evening of Friday, December 5th until 6:30 p.m. Come to Friday Harbor’s Tree Lighting and enjoy the festivities. After the Tree Lighting, there will be holiday refreshments and goodies to enjoy in the gallery at The Whale Museum. Visitors will also receive a 20%  Continue Reading

Photo by Didi

Forum on Proposed Moratorium on Marijuana Production

Written on November 19, 2014 at 5:49 am, by

San Juan Island Grange #966 is hosting an informational forum on The Proposed Moratorium on Marijuana Production, at 7:00pm on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at the Grange Hall. The program will include presentations from differing perspectives and a moderated question and answer session. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. In November 2012 the voters  Continue Reading


Mobile CSO is Coming

Written on November 19, 2014 at 5:45 am, by

DSHS is coming to Friday Harbor with their mobile CSO van. They will be here from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on December 9th & 10th at the Friday Harbor Family Resource Center, 500 Market Street (directly across the street from Marketplace grocery store). The Division of Child Support (DCS) will also be on the  Continue Reading


Citizens Respond to Call for Food Bank Assistance

Written on November 19, 2014 at 5:36 am, by

Here’s a note from Town Administrator Duncan Wilson… Town of Friday Harbor utility customers have certainly shown their holiday spirit by contributing to the Harbor Life Ring program to benefit the Friday Harbor Food Bank this year. The Town distributed a letter in the October utility billing statement informing customers that any donations they made  Continue Reading


Substance Abuse Survey

Written on November 19, 2014 at 5:22 am, by

The SJI Prevention Coalition would like for you to share your thoughts on this survey. Here are some notes from Debbi Fincher… This survey is not created locally, it is offered through the State, a Division of Behavioral Health, which maintains a high level of security, keeping this an anonymous survey. The SJI Prevention Coalition  Continue Reading

Beautiful morning on Cattle Point Rd. - Bob Stavers photo

Beautiful Morning

Written on November 18, 2014 at 5:50 am, by

Bob Stavers shares this beautiful photo with you. This was the scene yesterday morning on Cattle Point Road with all the frost. Thanks Bob!

C-rhyme and Pun-ishment  comes to SJC theatre - Jan Bollwinkel-Smith photo

Law and Order Spoof at SJCT November 21-23

Written on November 18, 2014 at 5:48 am, by

“In the nursery rhyme justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups….” And so opens the latest production in San Juan Community Theatre’s Family Theatre program, Law and Order: C-Rhyme and Pun-ishment, presented on the Whittier stage Friday and Saturday, November 21 – 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November  Continue Reading


Land Bank Turkey Walk-not-Trot Trail Event

Written on November 18, 2014 at 5:40 am, by

You’ve eaten the leftovers; you’ve watched the bowl games (your team won!); you’ve visited all the local haunts; now what? Come to the Land Bank’s Turkey Walk-not-Trot Trail Event at the Limekiln Preserve, Saturday, November 29th at 1:00 pm. Share the preserve and some hot cider with your visiting friends and family…a quiet forest trail,  Continue Reading


SVC Registration

Written on November 18, 2014 at 5:21 am, by

Skagit Valley College announces registration for Winter Quarter classes is going on now at Skagit Valley College: Registration for Returning Students going on now. Registration for New Advised Students starts Thursday, November 20. Open Enrollment starts Thursday, December 4. Winter Quarter begins Tuesday, January 6. For students who want to train for a new career  Continue Reading


Library Programs This Week

Written on November 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm, by

Here are a few things coming up that the library is putting on that you might be interested in… Facebook Basics Workshop Tuesday, November 18 from 10:00 to 11:30 am San Juan Island Library meeting room, free. Learn the basics of Facebook with Mark Madsen. We’ll cover setting up an account and privacy settings, making  Continue Reading

Rick Hughes, San Juan County Councilman, and 40 local youth from San Juan County at Camp Orkila talk about local government and prevention issues - Photo by Debbi Fincher

Youth Leadership Conference

Written on November 17, 2014 at 5:45 am, by

Debbi Fincher of the SJI Prevention Coalition shares this essay written by Aida Must, a 7th grader from Friday Harbor. Hi Tim, I wanted to let you know how our first San Juan Youth Leadership Conference went. Here is one account from a local 7th grader. Thanks again for your continued support of our local  Continue Reading

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