SAN JUAN CALENDAR

See the entire Calendar here.

Grange Open House

Posted on April 19, 2014 at 5:34 am by

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Grange members (right) welcoming community musicians (left) to the Hall,   (left to right): Mike Cohen, Lee McEnery, Ken Arzarian, Valerie White, Roger Ellison, and Alice Deane - Click for larger version - Contributed photo

Grange members (right) welcoming community musicians (left) to the Hall, (L – R): Mike Cohen, Lee McEnery, Ken Arzarian, Valerie White, Roger Ellison and Alice Deane – Click for larger version – Contributed photo

April is Grange Month, and San Juan Island Grange #966 is opening its doors to show off our Hall and welcome new membership and rentals! View the entries for the Grange Arts and Crafts Contest, check out the beginnings of the Makers Guild Tool Library, and scope out the plans for a new waterview deck! Come celebrate with us and enjoy refreshments, music, and friendship. Here’s your chance to find out more about our activities and how easy it is to have an event here!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
San Juan Island Grange Hall
Arts and Crafts Contest Entries, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; Open House starting at 5:00 pm

Following submission of entries at the Arts and Crafts Contest from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, the Hall will re-open at 5:00 pm—all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Sunshine Alley Design Workshop Open House

Posted on April 19, 2014 at 5:04 am by

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Don’t forget, this is coming up next Tuesday evening…

Sunshine Alley - Click for larger image

Sunshine Alley – Click for larger image

A public open house will be conducted as a drop-in event from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Tuesday April 22nd in Brickworks located at 150 Nichols Street for all interested parties to review and comment on the results of the Sunshine Alley Design Workshops.

The Sunshine Alley Design Workshops were conducted over 2 evenings in late February and involved 57 people who had signed up on the Town’s website to participate. The participants were divided into 7 small groups that brainstormed ideas for improving Alley appearances and activities.

The workshop participants identified 91 specific actions dealing with a courtyard commons, site and building developments, activities, children’s activities, walkways, traffic, parking, signage, amenities, artworks, landscape, infrastructure, security, and trash. The proposed actions have been illustrated with site plans and sketches including proposals that have alternative choices. Open house attendees will have an opportunity to review and comment on the illustrated proposals. The consultant team will use the open house comments to refine a final design and program concept and to estimate costs and develop financing particulars.

Please contact Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator at 378-2810 or
duncanw [@] fridayharbor [.] org if you have any questions about the Sunshine Alley Design Project or the open house.

And for a preview, before you go to the open house, you can review participants’ suggestions in this PDF Document.

A Four-Year Degree from Skagit?

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm by

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Yes, that’s right…

SVC-color-ENVCT-BAS-1
Skagit Valley College approved for first-ever Bachelor of Applied Science degree

Students will be able to earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Conservation degree in Mount Vernon when Skagit Valley College (SVC) offers its first-ever four-year program in September. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges approved the degree in Olympia on March 27th.

“Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties provide an incredible natural learning environment,” said SVC President Dr. Thomas Keegan. “By offering a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Conservation, Skagit Valley College will prepare highly skilled ecology professionals who will have a solid understanding of the unique environmental issues facing our region.”

The BAS in Environmental Conservation degree will serve graduates of SVC’s two-year Environmental Conservation program and incumbent workers who are place-bound. The program is designed as a hybrid program, incorporating on-campus learning, lab, and fieldwork, as well as online components. It offers a blend that works well with students who have their two-year degree and who want to complete their four-year degree locally.

Click here for the whole story (PDF).

Real Estate Market Summary

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm by

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Here’s Merri Ann Simonson with the quarterly Real Estate Market Summary…

merri-annThe first quarter results for San Juan Island were very exciting, as the real estate dollar volume was up 133% from the same three month period in 2013. The number of transactions was up 125%. Overall, the County had a 46% increase. This year San Juan Island was the top performer in volume and last year it was Orcas Island’s turn to close the most volume in the first quarter. This year Orcas is up only 13.5%; there is no logic to explain the variations other than “it’s a real estate market”.

On San Juan, the average price for all property types for the first quarter was $401,690, as compared to the same period last year when the average price was $387,356. This is a slight increase of 4%. The increase for just single family homes on less than 5 acres is 3.1% over last year. An increase in average sales price doesn’t equate to appreciation but evidences a trend that is heading the right direction. Click here for the full report (PDF).

Merri Ann Simonson is a Managing Broker and Sales Manager at Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands, Inc.

What’s Happening on Blair Avenue?

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 5:53 pm by

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Beginning work on sewer line replacement - Update staff photo

Beginning work on sewer line replacement – Update staff photo

More utility work going on. But it’s only for a short time. I popped in to ask Town Administrator Duncan Wilson what’s happening and he said they are doing a small preliminary project before the big Blair Avenue Improvement Project which will take place this summer.

Right now, they’re going to replace a sewer line on Blair Avenue and it shouldn’t take more than a week. The idea being they want to get this done before the Summer project so they don’t have to go back after that’s done, and tear up the brand new pavement to replace the sewer line then.

This summer’s project, for those of you who don’t know, will add a sidewalk the entire length of Blair Avenue on the east side (the right-hand side in the photo), all the way from Guard Street to Spring Street. It will also narrow the sidewalk a bit on the corner at Spring Street (on the corner where the Compass Health building is), to make it easier for drivers turning right. And they’ll re-pave the entire thing as well (if I understood that correctly).

Easter Eggs

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 5:59 am by

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Mike, Susan, Mark and Erin in the Easter Bunny's kitchen helping prepare for Sunday

Mike Henderson, Susan Risser, Mark Wagner, and Erin Graham. in the Easter Bunny’s kitchen helping prepare for Sunday – John Miller photo

Did you ever wonder where all those Easter Eggs come from that the kids hunt for on the beach? They come from the Easter Bunny of course – but sometimes he needs help, and these volunteers were there this week to help him prepare for Sunday.

Meerkerk Gardens Trip a “Grand Success”

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 5:51 am by

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Just got this good news story from Vonnie Harold of the garden club. Sounds like they had a really good time!

Meerkerk-trip-2

Garden club tour group – Contributed photo

A trip to Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens was the first in a series of San Juan Island Garden Club hosted excursions. The ‘peaceful woodland garden’ is located on Whidbey Island near Greenbank.

The travelers walked onto the 8:05 ferry. That was after purchasing the return passenger tickets at the kiosk in the ferry building. The first learning experience of the day! The ferry, in Anacortes, was met by a chartered bus for the ride to the gardens.

The ‘peaceful woodland garden’ comprises 10 acres of gardens surrounded by 43 acres of woodland. During a guided tour the docent gave an overview of the garden’s history and pointed out species from Bhutan, Japan and China. There are areas devoted to Big Leaf Rhododendrons, a Meditation Garden and the Nature Garden all within natural settings. The garden staff opened the original Meerkerk home for the box lunch time. That prepared us for shopping at the nursery. Our special thanks to the garden staff. It was a delightful learning time in a beautiful outdoor setting.

During the return bus ride to the ferry, the question asked most often was ‘Where to next?’ Future excursions, which are open to everyone, will be posted on The San Juan Garden Club web site www.sjigardenclub.weebly.com. Join us next time.

Whales & Wildlife Update

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 5:45 am by

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Here’s Captain Hobbes with this week’s report…

Orca - Click for larger image - Captain Hobbes photo

Orca – Click for larger image – Captain Hobbes photo

K pod (19 orcas) stayed in our waters until mid week, then we think they went back out to sea.  Transient orcas are all over the place, and have been seen a lot this week.  Two male orcas, T77a & T49c, even cruised around Friday Harbor last Saturday!  Pacific white-sided dolphins were spotted over by Port Townsend a few days ago.  Other wildlife being seen include seals, sea lions, porpoise, Dall’s porpoise, eagles and tons of seabirds.  Cheers and happy Easter from the PWWA

lippe-earrings

Waterworks Open Again

April 18, 2014, 5:35 am by

Just got this note from Ruth at Waterworks… Happy Spring to all! I wanted to give you a shout out, that WaterWorks Gallery has reopened for it’s 29th season. In the wearables/jewelry section, recent arrivals are contemporary oxidized silver jewelry by Micki Lippe and glass earrings by James Minson. The gallery’s first showing of the  Continue Reading

elegant-edibles-2014

Annual Bake Sale for SJCT

April 18, 2014, 5:12 am by

Don’t forget – Celebrate Spring at “Elegant Edibles”, for the Annual Bake Sale benefitting San Juan Community Theater, sponsored by CATS. Tomorrow – Saturday, April 19th, 9:00 am to noon.  

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Interested in a Career in Education?

April 18, 2014, 5:05 am by

Skagit Valley College to host Celebrating Diversity in Education conference Skagit Valley College will host the 3rd Annual Celebrating Diversity in Education Conference on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 9:00 to 2:00 in McIntyre Hall. Co-sponsors for the conference are Skagit Valley College, Whatcom Community College, Western Washington University, Burlington-Edison School District Recruiting Washington Teachers,  Continue Reading

Vinny's new Executive Chef Donald Cobb Jr. - Contributed photo

New Chef at Vinny’s Ristorante

April 17, 2014, 4:18 pm by

Becki Day sends over this announcement from Vinny’s… Vinny’s Ristorante would like to welcome and introduce their new Executive Chef, Donald Cobb Jr., who has just moved here from Vermont with his wife and daughter. Donald is a New England Culinary Institute graduate who has spent time working in Las Vegas, Montreal and Vermont. Donald  Continue Reading

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