A Community Afloat

Posted on May 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm by

Opening Day Boat Parade

Opening Day Boat Parade

Today the San Juan Island Yacht Club held the annual Opening Day Boat Parade to commemorate the beginning of the boating season for this year. The theme for the parade was “A Community Afloat” and over 30 boats participated. You really couldn’t have asked for better weather for an event like this.

A pretty good crowd showed up to watch the parade from Spring Street Landing, the fuel dock, the breakwater and from the port’s Fairweather Park. Click the link to view a gallery of images. Read More »

A Therapist and a Minister Walk into a Church…

Posted on May 1, 2016 at 10:18 am by

Dave Eden and Beth Purdum get married - John Miller photo

The wedding of Dave Eden and Beth Purdum – Click to enlarge – John Miller photo

SJ Island photographer John Miller shares this photo of Dave Eden and Elizabeth Purdum at their wedding…

I had the honor and privilege of photographing the wedding ceremony of Reverend Elizabeth Purdum and Dr. David Eden at St Davids on Saturdey. Attached find an image taken in the church, commemorating the wonderful occasion.

Orcas Island and The Marshall Strawberry

Posted on May 1, 2016 at 5:37 am by

Here’s a press release from our neighbors on Orcas Island…

A bowl of Marshall Strawberries - Contributed photo

A bowl of Marshall Strawberries – Contributed photo

The Marshall Strawberry and the Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant legacy on Orcas Island were short-lived and shared succinctly intertwined legacies. Not everyone knows that what is now commonly referred to as the Artworks Building was originally the Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant and holds a special place in the hearts of Olga and Orcas Island.

The Olga Strawberry Council (OSC) is the non-profit charged with maintaining the historical integrity of this building that is on the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places.

To honor and share their legacies, OSC is proud to present a 6-week informational series of events with the express purpose of enlightening the community and beyond of the Marshall and the barreling plant’s significant place in the annals of history that promise to fulfill not only your curiosity but your creativity as well. Check them out: Read More »

Battle of the Bands

Posted on April 30, 2016 at 10:43 am by

Johnathan and Vail Hu - Brook Ashcraft photo

Johnathan and Vail Hu – Brook Ashcraft photo

San Juan Update high school intern Brook Ashcraft shares this report on last week’s event at Brickworks…


Funksgiving – Brook Ashcraft photo

The witty and humble Eric Sable hosted the first annual Battle of the Bands at Brickworks on April 22nd. The event featured music by Monkeys Like Bananas, the FHHS Combo Band, Funksgiving, and others. There was dancing, a beat-box battle between Mr. Troutman and Eric, and surprise saxophone performances.

The evening left us all feeling in touch with each other and the community. FHHS band teacher, Cart Nelsen, gave a speech. He stated, “This does not happen every place.” He addressed the overwhelming sense of unity that the island provides us all with.

A total of $1,204 was raised for the band program. Sable spoke, “This money is going to help out the bands, I think 6th through 12th grade. It’s mainly going to be a fund for trips, and it’s going to be a fund for instrument repairs, and workshops. It’s going to make our band great. With the help of Mr. Nelsen and the wonderful kids in band. It’s gonna be awesome. I think we’re going to see this resurgence of the arts, and we’re going to keep this event going!” Thunderous applause followed his speech.

Thanks to Eric Sable and the LEOs Club for making this evening happen!

All photos by Brook Ashcraft – click to see more:  Read More »


Posted on April 30, 2016 at 10:32 am by


After months of grueling night work, most often in harsh conditions, the road gang has restored the infrastructure under Spring Street.  A welcome sight to all on the island as the new paving goes down.


FHFF Presents: Unbranded

Posted on April 30, 2016 at 5:43 am by


Friday Harbor Film Festival Winter Series: Audience Choice Presents: Unbranded

Directed by Phil Baribeau, Unbranded is an in-between-college-and-real-life adventure that makes the case for better land and wild horse management.

After adopting a group of wild mustangs from the Bureau of Land Management, a small group of recent college grads decide to live out their dream of being 19th century frontiersmen while using a 21st century camera to document their experiences.

They travel 3,000 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border up the spine of the former American “wild west” to the Canadian border, passing through vast stretches of public land in the backcountry.

Woven into their adventure is the ongoing debate about how best to manage wild horses on public lands, exposing the clashes activists and ranchers have with the BLM over its practice of capturing wild horses and recruiting people to adopt them.

The filmmakers have created a powerful film following the journey of four men, 16 mustangs, and a changing American West.

Winner of the Audience Award at the 2015 Telluride Mountainfilm Festival and Toronto’s HotDocs festival. See it right here in Friday Harbor on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm at the Grange. Movie trailer here.

Litter Free By the Sea

Posted on April 29, 2016 at 11:53 am by

Islanders Bank clean up team - Contributed photo

Islanders Bank clean up team – Contributed photo

Lori Stokes shares this recap of last week’s clean up event on the islands…

Co-organizers of the sixth annual Great Islands Clean-Up on San Juan Island — Lori Stokes, Jana Marks, and David Dehlendorf — would like to thank our island’s approximately 300 volunteers who participated this year, helping to make San Juan Island “litter-free by the sea.”

Over 100 of these litter-picker-uppers cleaned our beaches (including South Beach, Granny’s Cove, Jacksons Beach, 4th of July Beach, Eagle Cove, Mulno Cove, and Third Lagoon), and the rest cleaned our roadsides. A grand total of about 2,150 pounds of litter was collected!!

Many groups provided enthusiastic volunteers:

Bailer Hill Construction, Cub Scout Pack 4090, Cutthroat Pirates, Friday Harbor Labs, Friends of the San Juans, Island Air, Islanders Bank, Kiwanis, League of Women Voters, Leo’s Club, Lighthouse Preschool, Lions, Mitchell Pt. Litter Ladies & Gents, Mt. Dallas Volunteer Group, Paideia School, Ravenhill Construction, Rotary, San Juan County Land Bank, San Juan County Parks, San Juan Island National Historic Park, Soroptimists, Spring Street International School, Stillpoint School, Trash Masters, and Vinny’s,

These groups were supplemented by the efforts of numerous other volunteers who picked up litter near their homes or businesses. A special shout-out goes to Paideia School with the largest group of participants (by far!), with 50 students, parents, and friends all joining in the fun. (More photos below) Read More »

Board Sets EMS Levy

Posted on April 29, 2016 at 5:56 am by

EMS Building and Ambulance - Tim Dustrude photo

EMS Building and Ambulance – Tim Dustrude photo

As expected, the public hospital district board voted Wednesday evening to submit a 50 cents per thousand EMS (Emergency Medical Services) levy to the voters at the August 2 election. The vote to do so was unanimous.

Vividly aware that two previous levies have failed, board members vowed to pare the budget as much as possible, consistent with maintaining the high quality of service the EMS has been offering.

Several unknowns prevent the finalizing of the 2017 budget at this time, however. The Medicaid program is investigating whether the island EMS has improperly transported patients by air rather than ground ambulance, but the SJIEMS believes that the time involved in transporting them by ferry argues for air transport. This issue has not yet been resolved. Also, salary negotiations with the paramedics are still underway.

A number of medical costs have gone up in recent years, while payments from Medicare and Medicaid as well as private health insurance do not begin to cover the costs to the district of caring for and transporting patients. The district to date has not billed residents for any of these costs.

For more information, including minutes of meetings, see the website sjcphd.org.

Story by Louise Dustrude.

Click to enlarge

Community Dinner

Written on April 29, 2016 at 5:44 am, by

Community Dinner next Wednesday, May 4th! At the FHHS Commons from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Join us for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration (a day early)! The talented Ballet Folkloriko Monarca dancers will join us around 6:15! On the menu: Smoked Pork Carnitas– Applewood smoked pork shoulder Grilled Chicken Tacos– Draper Valley chicken thigh Beans– Slow simmered NW  Continue Reading

Barbara Marrett - Contributed photo

Let’s Talk Tourism

Written on April 29, 2016 at 5:37 am, by

The following is a Guest Editorial by Barbara Marrett of the visitor’s bureau… The first week in May is National Travel & Tourism Week, created to champion the power of travel to enhance communities across the country by contributing to the local economy and overall quality of life. In the past, I’ve used this opportunity  Continue Reading


Car Wash Saturday

Written on April 29, 2016 at 5:32 am, by

Boy Scout Troop 4090 will be holding a car wash this Saturday, April 30th, from 10:00-2:00 in the Heritage Bank parking lot. The car wash is a fundraiser to help the boys pay for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico this summer. Philmont is the Boy Scout’s largest national high adventure base  Continue Reading


A Wine Event at Duck Soup Inn

Written on April 28, 2016 at 6:28 pm, by

Emily from the Duck Soup Inn writes to share an invitation to their upcoming event this weekend…  We have a fun wine event happening this Sunday that I thought Islanders might be interested in. Next Sunday May 1st will be our first wine social of the season featuring Brooks Winery of Willamette Valley, Oregon. This  Continue Reading

6th graders haul a heavy load for their garden - Contributed photo

6th Graders Presentation

Written on April 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm, by

FHES 6th graders, in collaboration with the Kwiaht organization, will be hosting a Pollinator Celebration, a Honey Tasting and a Research Garden Dedication,  onFriday, April 29th from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The Research Garden Dedication from the 6th graders to the supporting organizations of Kwiaht and San Juan Public Schools Foundation begins at 9:30. Also, a special  Continue Reading

Staff of Friday Harbor Elementary School - Click to enlarge - Contributed photo

Washington Achievement Award for FHES

Written on April 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm, by

SJI School District Superintendent Danna Diaz shares this letter to the community… Friday Harbor Elementary School receives the Washington Achievement Award Spring is here and we are having beautiful weather in Friday Harbor. Students and teachers are back from spring break and we are busy teaching and learning. On April 7, we received news that  Continue Reading

Final Art SJIC

SJI Cheese Raises Nearly $2K for Ecuador

Written on April 28, 2016 at 3:56 pm, by

A note from San Juan Island Cheese on their recent fundraiser… Dear Friends: A big thank you to all who attended and contributed to the Ecuador Earthquake Relief fundraiser last Friday evening. We had a packed house! Thanks to the generosity of our guests and our staff, San Juan Island Cheese is donating $1,932.00 to the  Continue Reading


2016 Spring Plant Sale

Written on April 28, 2016 at 5:51 am, by

What happens the day before Mother’s Day? The very popular annual Master Gardener’s Spring Plant Sale, with home grown vegetable starts from your local master gardeners. Fill your garden with tomatoes, peppers, squashes, cucumbers, brassicas and herbs. A large selection of varieties that will thrive in our climate are available. And back by popular request:  Continue Reading

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse - John Miller photo

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Written on April 28, 2016 at 5:48 am, by

San Juan Island photographer John Miller recently took a trip down the Oregon coast and is sharing a series of lighthouse photos with SJ Update readers. This is number 2 in that series. Tillamook Rock Lighthouse – located about a mile off shore from Tillimook Head. According to John it is on a rock that  Continue Reading


EDC presents Advanced Multitasking Workshop

Written on April 28, 2016 at 5:39 am, by

Do more, work less, and be happy by learning how multitasking wisely can streamline your life and business during this FREE workshop taught by noted management consultant and author Mike Sanders. Participants will learn how judicious multitasking can protect us from brain overload and help us to be happier doing what we love. Included will  Continue Reading

Preparing for paving - SJ Update photo

Town Construction Update

Written on April 27, 2016 at 4:42 pm, by

Spring Street Utility Replacement Project Construction Update April 27, 2016 This is a construction update from the town on what to expect today through the remainder of the week… The Spring Street Utility Replacement Project has reached its final phase. The majority of sidewalk repairs are complete, utilities are connected from the new main to individual  Continue Reading

Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs - Robert Shackelford photo

Locally Sourced Happiness

Written on April 27, 2016 at 5:55 am, by

If you see a bright purple wildflower on the side of a yellow truck roaming the streets of Friday Harbor, it’s probably the new flower business in town. Erin & Robert Shackelford have started Camas Designs, a floral design and artwork company based in Friday Harbor. Erin has been arranging flowers for years while working her  Continue Reading

Gavin Goodrich and Beatrice Grauman-Boss - Contributed photo

Piano, Violin and Guitar

Written on April 27, 2016 at 5:51 am, by

Fred Yockers of Spring Street International School shares this invitation with you… Come see and hear Gavin Goodrich, Spring Street International School sophomore, and guest performers in a Concert of piano, violin and guitar music held in the Gubelman Theatre of the San Juan Community Theatre this Friday, April 29th at 7:00 pm. Admission is  Continue Reading

Fawn season is here - Contributed photo

Fawn Season is Here!

Written on April 27, 2016 at 5:47 am, by

This is the time of year when fawns are being born on the San Juans. For the first couple of weeks they are not strong enough to run, jump and follow Mom through the woods, so she leaves them alone, lying still and quiet, for several hours while she goes off to feed. Ideally they  Continue Reading

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