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Bargaining Update

Posted on September 1, 2014 at 1:31 am by

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Community Message: SJISD and SJEA Bargaining 8/31/14

August 31, 2014
8:30 pm
Dear San Juan Island Community

Both the San Juan Island School District and the San Juan Education Association (teacher’s union) met Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening to work on a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the agreement which expires today. Both sides continue to share proposals and exchange ideas in an effort to reach agreement. No agreement was reached as of Sunday evening. The district will update the community on bargaining on Monday September 1, 2014, and communicate any possible changes to school for Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

Rick Thompson,

Guatemalan cooking on Lopez

Posted on August 31, 2014 at 5:47 am by

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Chef Juan Carlos teaches local participants – Pat Torpie photo

It’s always good to hear about good things happening just across the water. On Lopez Island, they celebrated Guatemalan cooking with Chef Juan Carlos Mendoza. Here’s Barbara Keller with the story….”


Class enjoys the fruits of their labors – Pat Torpie photo

For years I have been excited about a wonderful community development program on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. This week ten lucky Lopezians had a chance to sample the culture of their “sister” community in Guatemala over food. Thanks to Lopez artists Pat Torpie and Nancy Bingham the Islands have had a relationship with the hillside town of Santa Cruz la Laguna on the shores of Lake Atitlan for over two decades.

Chef Juan Carlos Mendoza is a graduate of the Amigos de Santa Cruz Culinary Program in Santa Cruz la Laguna, Guatemala and top chef for their award winning, graduate-run, Café Sabor Cruceño. He and Rosalia Simon Perez, the Amigos program coordinator, visited Lopez for a week to share food and friendship. Read More »

“Coffee & Conversation” at The Whale Museum

Posted on August 31, 2014 at 5:40 am by

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Friday Harbor, Wash. – Come to The Whale Museum for “Coffee & Conversation” from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Friday, September 5. If you haven’t been to the Museum lately, this is a great time to come in and enjoy light refreshments while getting to know the Museum better.  Hosted by executive director Jenny Atkinson, attendees will also learn more about what it takes to be a museum docent.  Participants will receive a free admission ticket to the Exhibit Hall and a 10% coupon for our gift shop, good same day.  While touring the Exhibit Hall, take a look at our new stair lift. The stair lift was made possible thanks to a grant from the Women’s Fund and San Juan Island Community Foundation as well as funds raised through museum admissions.   We hope you will join us for “Coffee & Conversation.”


The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N.  Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.  In addition to providing exhibits, the Museum also provides programs including the Marine Naturalist Training, Orca Adoption Program, SeaSound Acoustics Program, Soundwatch, San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline.  The Whale Museum can be found on-line at

New Use for Old Building?

Posted on August 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm by

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Dr. Vincent Shu - SJ Update photo

Dr. Vincent Shu – SJ Update photo

This is Dr. Vincent Shu and he would like your opinions on a project he is working on. He would like to bring a natural science college to Friday Harbor: The Washington Institute of Natural Sciences School of Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine and a Community Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine. And he would like to do this in the old Inter-Island Medical Center building. If you have thoughts about this, there is an an online survey where you can answer questions and let your thoughts be heard:

The old Inter-Island Medical Center building on Spring Street - SJ Update file photo

The old Inter-Island Medical Center building on Spring Street – SJ Update file photo

Drift Card Drop to Study Oil Spill Impacts

Posted on August 30, 2014 at 5:30 am by

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LUSH Seattle employees volunteer with FRIENDS of San Juans to do a drift card drop to track the effects of an oil spill in the Salish Sea. - Contributed Photo

LUSH Seattle employees volunteer with FRIENDS of San Juans to do a drift card drop to track the effects of an oil spill in the Salish Sea. – Contributed Photo

This summer’s drift card drop will study oil spill impacts in the Salish Sea. Plywood drift cards stamped with “this could be oil” were released this week in an experiment to simulate the dispersion of an oil spill from Kinder Morgan’s planned $5.4 billion pipeline expansion project that would increase tanker traffic from 5 ships a day to 35 ships per day through the San Juan Islands. These wooden cards were put into high current areas as part of a scientific study to effectively model the likely path of oil in the event of a major spill.

Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director of FRIENDS of the San Juan’s, dropped some of the pink cards on Wednesday, August 27 with Seattle area store managers from LUSH, a project sponsor, who relies on seaweed harvested in the Salish Sea for some of their skin care products. The location of this drop was just off Stuart Island close to where tankers would transit. Another 200 cards were released in Rosario Strait on Tuesday. Read More »

Notes from the SJEA

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm by

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Here is a statement from the San Juan Education Association…

Poster submitted by Amy Hull - Click to enlarge

Poster submitted by Amy Hull – Click to enlarge

San Juan Education Association members are hopeful they can come to a fair and reasonable contract settlement with San Juan Island School District Sunday at their next scheduled bargaining session.

The contract expires Aug. 31 and teachers and other school specialists voted last Monday to stop working if they do not have an agreement for their new contract.

“The last thing the members want to do is to stop working just as the school year begins, but they have been pushed to their limit,” San Juan EA President John McMain says.

Both the Association and District bargaining teams have been meeting for hours at a time to try to reach a settlement. The sticking point continues to be compensation, but members are hopeful that the teams will reach a sustainable and equitable solution before Tuesday.

Letter to the San Juan Island School District Community

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 10:12 am by

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This just in from Rick Thompson, SJI School District…

For the past several months, the San Juan Island School District and the San Juan Education Association, (the teacher’s union) have been meeting to collaboratively negotiate a new contract to replace the agreement that expires on August 31, 2014. As of the end of our last bargaining session on August 28th, the parties have not yet reached a new agreement. Additional bargaining has been scheduled to occur over the Labor Day Weekend.

SJEA representatives have informed the district of the possibility that SJEA members will engage in a work stoppage – or strike – on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 if the parties have not successfully concluded negotiations for a new agreement by or before that date. The District is committed to continued good faith bargaining within the constraints of budget realities.

The community needs to be informed of the possible disruption of having no school on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 while parties continue to work toward an agreement.

Please see our website at for updated bargaining information.

Rick Thompson

A Batty Evening on the Westside

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 5:55 am by

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Bat Walk 2014 - Contributed photo

Bat Walk 2014 – Contributed photo

With the help of the San Juan County Land Bank, the San Juan Preservation Trust, State and National Parks, and local landowners, Rochelle Kelly of the UW has been able to study bats in the San Juan Islands this summer. In appreciation of all this support, she is sharing her experience with the public. Rochelle is excited to discuss her research, answer questions, and share her enthusiasm for these important mammals!

Several ultrasonic recorders, night vision goggles, and a thermal camera will be on hand so everyone can have the chance to observe bats in action.

  • Who: Rochelle Kelly, Ph.D. Student, Department of Biology, University of Washington.
  • What: Bat walk and discussion about Rochelle’s research in the islands this summer.
  • Where: Limekiln Preserve, SJI (Westside Lake parking lot) Parking is limited – please carpool.
  • When: September 8, 2014 8:00 – 9:30 pm

For more information contact Tanja Williamson at the Land Bank:
tanjaw [@] rockisland [.] com or (360) 378-4402

Final Approach to Friday Harbor Airport - Port of Friday Harbor photo

Public Hearing on Airport Master Plan

Written on August 29, 2014 at 5:50 am, by

The Port of Friday Harbor will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 5pm at Ernie’s Cafe at 744 Airport Circle Drive, Friday Harbor, WA. The purpose of this meeting is for the Commission to conduct a Public Hearing on the proposed Airport Master Plan Update. For questions please contact Deanna Eltinge  Continue Reading


Salmon Recovery Supporting Orca Recovery

Written on August 29, 2014 at 5:40 am, by

The Whale Museum is pleased to welcome Lynne Barre and Scott Rumsey as part of the 2014 Summer Lecture Series.  The talk entitled “Salmon Recovery Supporting Orca Recovery” will take place at The Whale Museum on Wednesday, September 3 at 6:30 p.m. Lynne Barre and Scott Rumsey from NOAA Fisheries will give a presentation that  Continue Reading

The Totem Pole Journey visits the Yakama Nation on August 27 - Coal-Free Washington photo

Totem Pole Journey at English Camp Tonight

Written on August 29, 2014 at 5:40 am, by

FRIENDS of the San Juans is honored and excited to host a public introduction and benefit in support of “Our Shared Responsibility: A Totem Pole Journey” at English Camp this evening, August 29th at 7 p.m. The totem pole will be shared with our island community at the ceremony. The House of Tears Carvers would  Continue Reading



Written on August 29, 2014 at 5:34 am, by

Bitumen Chip Brownies at the San Juan County Fair San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping says thank you to all of you who stopped by to buy a brownie, spin the oil tanker Wheel of Fortune, and/or sign the petition at our booth at the County Fair. All of your signatures will be attached to  Continue Reading


Season finale of Friday Harbor Art Market

Written on August 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm, by

The Friday Art Market winds up its 2014 season this Friday, 3:00-7:00pm, at Brickworks Plaza. There will be local artisans from San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Waldron Islands, selling their hand-crafted works of art. Cynthia’s of Course will provide a variety of sweet and savory dishes and music will be provided by Teddy Deane from  Continue Reading

Tanja Williamson is working at the Land Bank now - Tim Dustrude photo

Land Bank News

Written on August 28, 2014 at 5:52 am, by

The SJC Land Bank has a new Volunteer/Outreach Coordinator and she sends over this letter of introduction… Hello! Just a quick note to introduce myself, Tanja Williamson, the new Volunteer/Outreach Coordinator for San Juan County Land Bank. I live in Friday Harbor, along with my two sons (Miles, 13 and Jasper, 9), my husband (Steve),  Continue Reading


Early Learning Lab Coming Sept. 11

Written on August 28, 2014 at 5:45 am, by

Early Learning Lab for Children Coming to San Juan Island on Thursday, September 11. Thrive by Five Washington’s Early Learning Lab is coming to San Juan Island in partnership with the San Juan Island Library and the San Juan Island Family Resource Center. The Lab will be available to explore Thursday, Sept. 11 from 10:00  Continue Reading

Dragonfly on Louise's Hat - David Bentley photo


Written on August 28, 2014 at 5:42 am, by

Here’s a fun email that came in the other day from David Bentley; Thanks David! Tim, Your Ace Reporter/Photographer, Louise Dustrude, was taking photos at the Know Your Island walk on Saturday at the Peach Health Peace Island Medical Center “Peace Path”. This is a photo of what she couldn’t see on the top of  Continue Reading


FH Song Circle

Written on August 28, 2014 at 5:40 am, by

Gail wants you to know they’re meeting again to sing next week… If you love to sing, join us – we are the Friday Harbor Song Circle. We meet to sing together twice a month. You will need to have a copy of Rise Up Singing or 10 copies of your favorite song to share.  Continue Reading

A good home for a barn cat or 2 - John Dustrude photo

Looking for Good Home(s)

Written on August 28, 2014 at 5:39 am, by

The animal shelter is looking for a few good barns… or more specifically, people who have barns in need of a cat or two. If you are interested in acquiring semi-feral barn cats, please call the shelter at 378-2158.


Openings at St. David’s Day School

Written on August 28, 2014 at 5:28 am, by

Do you have a Kindergartner? There are still a few spots open in St. David’s Day School Kindergarten Enrichment Program. This class is specially designed for kids enrolled in Kindergarten, and meets Monday-Thursday from 11:15 – 3:00. Tuition is $300 a month. In addition to the outstanding academic curriculum (including Handwriting Without Tears) there are  Continue Reading

Island Rec’s 30th Anniversary Party is coming up on Sept. 6th - Contributed photo

Island Rec Celebrates 30 Years

Written on August 27, 2014 at 9:27 pm, by

Island Rec is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and its promotion of People, Parks, Programs, and Trails. Come early to ‘Movies in the Park’ for free cake, chuckle at the photo display from 30 years worth of programming, and talk with friends, neighbors, volunteers, current and former staff/commissioners, and FANS. September 6, at 7:00 pm, in  Continue Reading

Rose with Raindrops - Tim Dustrude photo

Garden Club Meeting Rescheduled

Written on August 27, 2014 at 5:57 am, by

I just heard from Dot at the garden club about a rescheduled meeting. Here she is with the news… The SJI Garden Club meeting for September will be on September 9th instead of our regularly scheduled September 2nd meeting.  It’s at 1:00 pm at the Mullis Center. We look forward to all who can join  Continue Reading

Josh Boland, (you may know him from Whidbey Island Bank) scored this cool Glass Rooster for his wife Micah at the Rummage Sale last Saturday - Jan Murphy photo

Rummage Sale: The Sequel

Written on August 27, 2014 at 5:46 am, by

I heard that the rummage sale last week was so successful, the Animal Shelter is doing another one. Here’s Jan Murphy with the details… The animal shelter rummage sale Saturday was a huge success – so much that the shelter has announced another rummage sale for September 13th at the same location – 994 Cattle  Continue Reading

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