See the entire Calendar here.

Ice Bucket Challenge Hits Friday Harbor

Posted on August 22, 2014 at 12:08 am by

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Just heard from Colleen Johansen that San Juan Safaris has accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge. And here they are on YouTube… check it out:

Pickett Takes a Final Bow

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 5:55 am by

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Mike Vouri and Michael Cohen during a benefit performance last fall for the Pickett House in Bellingham - Contributed photo

Mike Vouri and Michael Cohen during a benefit performance last fall for the Pickett House in Bellingham – Contributed photo

Help make history and see the final San Juan Island performance of “The Life and Times of General George Pickett” scheduled for 7:30 pm, Thursday, August 21 in the Gubelman Theatre of the San Juan Community Theater.

Mike Vouri (in the title role) and folksinger Michael Cohen have presented the play throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, plus a trip to the East Coast, for more than 17 years. They shelved the comedy-drama in 2009, and then returned to the stage in 2011 to raise money for Park Ranger Darlene Wahl, who was battling cancer.

I know, we said we were done once before,” Vouri said. “Then the performance for Darlene was so successful that Merritt Olsen (then theater executive director) urged us to bring it back…so we did, and it worked again for a while.Read More »

Totem Pole Journey

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 5:50 am by

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Totem Pole Journey Blessing Ceremony Comes to San Juan Island - Click for event poster - Paul K. Anderson photo

Totem Pole Journey Blessing Ceremony Comes to San Juan Island – Click for event poster – Paul K. Anderson photo

On Friday, August 29th at 7:00 p.m., FRIENDS of the San Juans is hosting a public introduction and benefit in support of “Our Shared Responsibility: A Totem Pole Journey” at English Camp on San Juan Island. This is a special opportunity for community leaders, people of faith, and local activists to learn more about this year’s journey and how they can stand with the Lummi community in support of their work to stop the Gateway Pacific coal terminal and fossil fuel exports that threaten sacred tribal sites.

Lummi Nation Elder and Master Carver of House of Tears Carvers Jewell James carved the Totem Pole – its journey highlights native and nonnative communities whose culture and livelihoods are threatened by coal, Bakken oil and tar sands oil exports. The trip will extend 2,500 miles from Minneapolis, MN, west to Bellingham, WA, and finally northeast until it reaches Peace River, in the heart of Alberta tar sands territory.

We’re honored to be showing our solidarity with all Nations and people that are impacted in some way by the export of fossil fuel. Here in the Salish Sea, our shared waters are threatened by an oil spill which could impact all of our lives,” said Stephanie Buffum, FRIENDS of the San Juans’ Executive Director.

The totem pole is one of the oldest forms of North American storytelling. Today, it still serves to remind us of our place within nature, our responsibility to future generations, and our connections to each other and to our communities.

The event will incorporate Native American traditional values and knowledge as well as a cross-cultural dialogue with the broader community about what’s at stake with fossil fuel extraction, export, and consumption.

There will be a free shuttle to the event that departs Friday Harbor ferry landing at 6 p.m. and returns at 8:30 p.m. Call to RSVP at (360) 378-2319 or email Julie [@] sanjuans [.] org.

For more information visit

Heron Releases from Wolf Hollow

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 5:45 am by

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Here’s a story from Wolf Hollow’s monthly newsletter, Hollow Happenings…

Within the past few weeks we have successfully rehabilitated and released two very different herons.
The first to be released was a young Green Heron that was found, weak and thin, in a park in Burlington in late June.

Green Heron - Wolf Hollow photo

Green Heron – Wolf Hollow photo

It was a youngster that was just growing in feathers and still had grey down sticking out all over its head and back. Green Herons are small (only ~ 18 ” tall when fully grown), so we started by offering it small fish pieces with forceps and in water in a dish. At first it wouldn’t take the pieces so, several times a day, we had to carefully open its mouth and pop pieces in. This continued for 4 days, then suddenly it got the hang of it and started to pick up fish pieces and other food from its dish and swallow them down. Soon all of its feathers grew in and it was moved into an outdoor enclosure where it spent most of the time hiding among the tall grasses. After ~ 4 weeks it was able to fly and was released in a nice marshy area near Burlington.

The second heron to be released was a young Great Blue Heron that had been with us since mid May.


Great Blue Heron nestling – Wolf Hollow photo

It was a nestling that was found on the ground under a heron rookery on Whidbey Island. It was about the size of a large grapefruit, with a round belly and a huge beak and feet. It was just beginning to sprout grey, fuzzy down its on head and body. We were amazed that it hadn’t been injured in the fall from its nest in the top of a tall tree. But the young heron had only one thing in mind – FOOD! Right from the start it noisily demanded food and grabbed and swallowed lots of small fish. We watched as it gradually grew feathers, learned to stand up on its long wobbly legs and tried to look big and tough. The final stage was a few weeks in our Eagle Flight Enclosure to practice its flying skills and learn to catch live fish in a pool. In early August, the young heron (now almost 4 feet tall!) was released at the edge of a lake and flew strongly out over the lake to land in the top of a tall tree.

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Know Your Island Walk

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 5:39 am by

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Know Your Island Walk - Contributed photo

Know Your Island Walk – Contributed photo

Meet Steve Ulvi, crackerjack trail builder, former employee of the Alaska National Parks and dedicated/concerned San Juan Island citizen, to walk our new hospital trail, The Peace Path.

Steve will fill us in on how this trail came to be, its deliberate design as a slow, contemplative and meandering trail, what the building of it entailed, and what plans might lie ahead.

Meet and park at the Peace Island Hospital parking lot on San Juan Valley Road. Length is 1.5 miles and terrain is wooded trail. Rating is easy. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Saturday, August 23rd, 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Rain or shine. For more information visit

Washington State Parks ‘Free Day’ August 25

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 5:35 am by

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Special day honors birthday of National Park Service

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission wants the public to know that Monday, Aug. 25 is a state parks ‘free day.’ Day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

The ‘free day’ is in honor of the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on Aug. 25, 1916. State Parks ‘free days’ are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 ‘free days’ each year when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by WDFW and DNR on these days.

‘Free days’ apply only to day use, not overnight stays or rented facilities.

Washington State Parks will have two more ‘free days’ in 2014: Sept. 27, in recognition of National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11, in honor of Veterans Day.

Miles Says Thanks

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 7:03 am by

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Here’s a note from Miles Crossen, this year’s Superintendent of the Photo Exhibit at the fair…

Miles Crossen - Tim Dustrude photo

Miles Crossen – Tim Dustrude photo

To all the visitors and residents of San Juan County who helped with the success of this year’s Photography Department at the San Juan County Fair.

First – I’d like to mention the participants (far too many to list individually), not only those who received ribbons, but the unrecognized photographers who took the time to take, process, frame, and display the nearly 350 images these folks felt should be shared with the countless fair goers.

Second – I’d like to thank those volunteers and judges who spent a time setting up the display, manning the booth, and supporting us throughout the fair. Special thanks go out to: Sonda Earley, Rebecca Parks, Ray Sheffer, Tim Dustrude, Scott Rasmussen, David and Nancy Honeywell, Mark Gardner, Karen Woldveldt, Deanna Jenkins, Cynthia Brast, John Sinclair, John Boyd, Donna Dyer, Deborah Goelzer, Steven K. Roberts, plus Allison, Kathleen, and Jennifer (who were provided to us by the folks at the Fair Office). Read More »

Ocean Roar

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 7:02 am by

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The Whale Museum is pleased to welcome Michael Jasny as part of the 2014 Summer Lecture Series.

Michael will discuss “Ocean Roar: Combating Noise from Commercial Ships” on Tuesday, August 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Beam Reach

Photo courtesy of Beam Reach

The ocean is an acoustic world, and whales and many other species of marine life rely on sound for their survival. But we are rapidly transforming that world. The roar of commercial ships has elevated natural ambient levels of noise by orders of magnitude since the 1950s, destroying the ability of whales to communicate, producing chronic stress, and inhibiting their foraging.

Major new transport projects threaten to dramatically increase the volume of shipping through Puget Sound and the Salish Sea and further degrade the acoustic habitat of our region. In this lecture, Michael Jasny will describe the global problem of underwater shipping noise and discuss some important recent efforts, from London to Lime Kiln, to bring it under control. Read More »


Experimental Animation

Written on August 19, 2014 at 7:02 am, by

This note came in to the Update mailbox from K. Thor Jensen inviting you to a backyard Experimental Animation show… Join us for a screening and performance of comics and animation by Stefan Gruber, an experimental animator and performance artist from Seattle. His three-part act includes live animation, a live voice performance, and an entertaining  Continue Reading


Animal Shelter Donations

Written on August 19, 2014 at 7:02 am, by

If you have any items you’d like to donate to the Animal Shelter for their big garage sale fundraiser this Saturday, Wednesday is the day to drop them off at 994 Cattle Point Road between 10:00 and 4:00. The shelter staff appreciate your support! The sale will be on Saturday, August 23rd from 8:00 am  Continue Reading

Click for Mobile CSO Poster

Mobile CSO is Coming to FH

Written on August 19, 2014 at 7:01 am, by

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Mobile Community Service Office is coming to San Juan Island on August 26 and 27th. They will be here to do application interviews for Food and Cash as well as yearly reviews, and to answer any questions on active cases or about any of their  Continue Reading

Transient Orcas near Sidney Island - Jim Maya photo

Transient Orcas near Sidney Island

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

Captain Jim Maya of Maya’s Westside Whalewatch shares this beautiful image of Transient Orcas over by Sidney Island. Thanks Jim!


Wine Tasting/Cheese Pairing

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

San Juan Island Cheese is proud to announce that Virginie Bourgue, of Lullaby Winery, is coming to visit! She produces a very limited quantity of wines from selected vineyards in Walla Walla and other great areas in Eastern Washington. Virginie’s wines have received many awards in the Seattle Magazine, Seattle Met, Wine Advocate, and Wine Enthusiast. Please  Continue Reading


Pave the Way to MHI

Written on August 18, 2014 at 5:47 am, by

It’s the San Juan Historical Society’s new museum project, the “Museum of History and Industry” and you can help make it happen by having your own brick pave the way to it. Here’s more from the Historical Society…  How do you connect the future to the past and the past to the present? How do  Continue Reading


Salish Sea Ballet Grand Opening

Written on August 18, 2014 at 5:45 am, by

Salish Sea Ballet To Celebrate Grand Opening on Saturday, August 23rd Salish Sea Ballet invites dancers of all ages, and their families, to attend a Grand Opening celebration in their newly renovated studio at 689 Airport Center Road, Suite F. The celebration takes place on Saturday, August 23rd from 10:30am-3:00pm. Stop by to register for  Continue Reading


Island Rec – Movies in the Park – Shrek

Written on August 18, 2014 at 5:43 am, by

August 23 dusk, in Sunken Park – Island Rec’s FREE Movies in the Park. Shrek – watch everyone’s favorite Ogre as he sets out to save his swamp and win the heart of a princess, all with the help of his nursery-rhyme, fairytale friends and one memorable talking donkey. Go to or call Island  Continue Reading

"Sweetie" is this week's Pet of the Week - Contributed photo

Pet of the Week

Written on August 18, 2014 at 5:33 am, by

This beautiful girl goes by the name of “Sweetie” – which is a perfect name for her because she truly is a sweet, sweet dog.  She’s a “Chiweenie” – part Dachshund part Chihuahua, and about a year old.  This photo doesn’t do her justice – she has gorgeous markings and is absolutely adorable! She’s a  Continue Reading

Contributed photo

Study Time and Afternoon Recreation – STAR!

Written on August 18, 2014 at 5:16 am, by

Island Rec is once again operating a supervised after-school program for kids in grades K-6, beginning August 28th and continuing throughout the school year. STAR will operate on all regular school days and early release days at the FHES cafeteria, from the “school’s out” bell until 6pm. Each afternoon will include child-initiated play, organized and  Continue Reading

Bubble fun at the Fair - Tim Dustrude photo

Fair Images – Day 4

Written on August 16, 2014 at 10:52 pm, by

What a fun Saturday at the Fair! The weather was better today than all 3 days before, and being Saturday, there was a good turnout. Lots and lots of friends and acquaintances. Good to see everyone there today! Click here for a gallery of images from Day 4. Aaaaaaand Francie Hansen was back again doing  Continue Reading

Aerial view of the 2014 Fair. Do you see yourself? - Chris Teren photo

The View from Above

Written on August 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm, by

Chris Teren sends this photo of the Fair on Saturday. Can you see yourself?

Julie Hagn leads the Happy Flashmob - Debbi Fincher photo

Happy Flashmob

Written on August 16, 2014 at 11:09 am, by

Julie Hagn, the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition and the Rock Solid Youth Group were at it again and did another flash mob at this year’s fair. This time the song was “Happy” by Pharell Williams and the theme was “Happy to be Drug Free at the Fair”. Julie choreographed the dancing and sent out  Continue Reading

Artworks building restoration. Progress of the cafe area as of August 12th - Photo by Patsy Stephens, OSC President

Café Sought for Orcas Strawberry Barreling Plant

Written on August 16, 2014 at 5:45 am, by

Orcas Island suffered a tragic loss mid-2013 when the historic Strawberry Barreling Plant, popularly known as the Artworks Building, was severely damaged by a fire deemed to be at the hands of an arson. Owned by The Olga Strawberry Council (OSC), a non-profit 501(c)(3), the building housed the Artworks Co-Operative, the Hardman Gallery and Café  Continue Reading

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