See the entire Calendar here.

Beyond the Hive: the Surprising Lives of Native Bees

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 5:50 am by

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Click to enlarge poster

Click to enlarge poster

What are native bees?  They’re not honeybees, and they’re not wasps or other pesky, stinging insects.  In fact, they are a diverse collection of beautiful, beneficial creatures easily seen and found throughout the islands.

Dr. Chris Looney from the Washington State Department of Agriculture will introduce us to the lives and habits of these fascinating pollinators.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the San Juan Island Public Library

For more information please contact Tanja Williamson at 360-370-7655 or email tanjaw[@]rockisland[.]com


Click to enlarge – photos by Megan Asche

APSFH Says Thanks!

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 5:49 am by

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apsfh-thxWhat a night…. I’m still trying to catch my breath! So many people to thank, if I leave anyone out, please add to the list!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Wags to Riches Event this year. It definitely was a night to remember! This community is so giving… thank you for helping us achieve our goal in making this the best WAGS yet!

The numbers aren’t all in yet, but when they are, we’ll let you know. Thank you to our sponsors, Robert & Rebecca Pohlad, Heritage Bank, Roche Harbor, Friday Harbor Pet Supply, Islanders Bank, Petro San Juan, and all of the friends of the shelter who helped underwrite the event.

Thank you to Jennifer Rigg and Seth Dunlap for helping me prepare so many things for the event.

Thank you to all who donated to both our live and silent auctions, wine pull and raffles.

Thank you to Dr. Tess Leonard and John Wilson for acquiring the villa accommodations for the Costa Rica Dream Vacation Raffle.

Thank you to our great volunteers, shelter staff and board members who helped setup, run and clean up after.

Thank you to Bill Shaw and his crew for providing a fantastic dinner for everyone.

Thank you to David and Linda Bornowski for the fabulous decorations.

Thanks to our great MC and Auctioneer Jay Fiske from NW Benefit Auctions and his daughters for making it a fun experience for everyone.

Thank you to Brickhouse Band for a fantastic show and great dance music.

Thank you Bob McDowell for your enthusiasm and passion in getting people to open their hearts and wallets for the new shelter campaign.

And a big thank you to Ken and Linda Howard, Jane Lynch and Laura Coyle for coming all the way from Los Angeles to support our cause and share a great evening with us.

All of you people rock!

Sincerely… Leslie Byron

Click here for photos of the event shot by Tamara Weaver Read More »

Belle Vue Sheep Farm

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 5:46 am by

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Belle Vue Sheep Farm in October 1959 at the height of the Pig War crisis. Whatcom County Sheriff Henry Crosby and Vancouver island Magistrate John de Courcy are at far left and right respectively - Contributed photo

Belle Vue Sheep Farm in October 1959 at the height of the Pig War crisis. Whatcom County Sheriff Henry Crosby and Vancouver island Magistrate John de Courcy are at far left and right respectively – Contributed photo

Belle Vue Sheep Farm’s legacy to be explored in Boyd Pratt lecture

Join historian Boyd Pratt as he explores how agricultural techniques employed by Belle Vue Sheep Farm in the 1850s have had a lasting impact on San Juan Island during a PowerPoint lecture scheduled at 7 p.m., Wednesday July 8 in the San Juan Island Library.

The program is free. Call the library at 378-2798 for special access information.

Boyd Pratt - Contributed photo

Boyd Pratt – Contributed photo

Established in December 1853, Belle Vue Sheep Farm was the last of the agricultural facilities established by the HBC south of the 49th parallel. The foray into agriculture by a company principally known for the fur trade had begun in the 1820s as means to feed and clothe employees.

However, by the late 1830s the company operated several corporate farms in the Oregon Country, which, combined with timber and fishing interests, made it an economic force on the Pacific Rim. Wool, mutton, lumber and fish, in addition to furs, were shipped from the West Coast to Russian America (Alaska), China and other points west, as well as to England.

In just under six years the San Juan operation grew from 1,369 head of sheep on the home prairie (today’s American Camp prairie) to more than 4,500 head scattered in four other sheep stations on prairie lands throughout the island. The Company also grew fruit and cereal crops and initially salted and barreled salmon purchased from Indians on the beach. Read More »


Posted on June 30, 2015 at 5:45 am by

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Cynthia's new restaurant on Nichols Street - Contributed photo

Cynthia’s new restaurant on Nichols Street – Contributed photo

You probably already know this but if not – Cynthia (of XYZ Movement Arts, Red Checkered Picnics and “Cynthia’s Of Course”) has opened a new restaurant at 65 Nichols across from the Barking Bird. It’s called… “Cynthia’s“!

Breakfast and lunch are the offerings for now, with open hours from 7 am (8 am on Sundays) to 3 pm, Thursdays through Mondays (with brunch all day Sunday). And breakfast is a “grown-up breakfast, totally different from anything else around here” she adds, “not ‘grown-up’ as opposed to ‘children’ but more like an ‘evolved’ and ‘changed‘” style of cooking.

Some of the offerings include – mash browns – roasted red potatoes with garlic, mashed and served hot, breakfast salad – fresh greens with fruit and a light dressing or fresh fruit are your choices with the Avocado Boat breakfast (baked avocado with poached eggs – add crumbled bacon or smoked salmon to the mix for an extra taste sensation.

She also offers Swedish Pancakes from a family recipe, Gluten Free Pancakes, French Toast and Dutch Babies (crepe/pancake cooked in an individual skillets).  Lunch offerings include her famous “only at the Fair” Ahi Burger as well as a Lamb Fusion Panini.  Daily specials are offered and homemade soups and pies. Read More »

High Speed Internet

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 5:34 am by

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High Speed Internet Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?
by Merri Ann Simonson

Merri Ann Simonson - Contributed photo

Merri Ann Simonson – Contributed photo

Congratulations to Mineral Heights, Mineral Point and The Highlands at Mineral Point for moving forward with the installation of fiber to their neighborhood. Many subdivisions and neighborhoods are in the process of considering the installation and are interested in the process.

I thought it would be helpful if I wrote a recap article. The initial stages require enough people in the neighborhood to express their interest and desire to cost out the project. It is best if a leadership committee is formed to help with communication and coordination between the property owners and Rock Island Communications.

As interest builds, Rock Island Communications and the neighborhood leadership group set various dates for presenting to the property owners. This may be an organized homeowner’s association or just a group of people in several adjacent neighborhoods. Rock Island Communication’s presentation includes estimated cost to bring the fiber line from a main junction down into the neighborhood or what is referred to as the middle mile. They also prepare estimates for each homeowner for the cost from the neighborhood street down their driveway to their home, which is referred to as the last mile.

Rock Island uses an initial range of estimates from low to high. As more information and interest is gathered, refined designs and estimates are developed. Cost savings are available for those neighbors that agree to run the fiber down the property line and T-off to each house. Other cost saving measures can be taken to reduce the expense but the final individual bids can’t be processed until the neighborhood approves the middle mile portion of the project and moves forward. Read More »

Campfires Banned At County Parks

Posted on June 29, 2015 at 4:04 pm by

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Did you smell smoke in town today? Goose Island in Cattle Pass continues to smolder after the fire last Friday, and the smoke is blowing across the bay toward town - Tim Dustrude photo

Did you smell smoke in town today? Goose Island in Cattle Pass continues to smolder after the fire last Friday, and the smoke is blowing across the bay toward town – Tim Dustrude photo

Here’s a note just in this afternoon from San Juan County Parks, Recreation and Fair Department…

County-Parks-logoDue to extremely dry conditions, a burn ban is now in effect at all San Juan County parks and campgrounds. At this time briquettes may be used in designated fire rings and propane cook stoves are allowed for cooking. County Parks asks that the public exercise great care with all flammable items. Also, remember that personal fireworks are banned in all of San Juan County.

County Parks will issue an update if the situation changes.

In related news, SJIFR Chief Steve Marler sends this Press Release…

San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Provides Mutual Assistance For Wenatchee

On Sunday evening, June 28, San Juan Island Fire & Rescue was again asked by the “Statewide Fire Mobilization”, along with Skagit and Whatcom counties, to assist with a fast moving wildland fire near Wenatchee.

Captain Noel Monin is responding as a “Strike Team Leader” and will be responsible for the activities and safety of five fire engine crews. Lieutenant Tad Lean and Firefighter Michael Henderson are also responding in a small fire engine specifically designed to deal with brush fires.

San Juan Island Fire & Rescue participates in the plan in order to assist other fire agencies throughout the state, provide valuable experience for our local firefighters, and to assure that statewide assistance will be available for the San Juans if it is ever needed. Costs are reimbursed by the state, so local taxpayers do not have to directly bear the burden of such a response.

Because it is very hot and dry throughout the entire region, everyone is asked to be extra vigilant and careful with any source of fire. ALL BURN PERMITS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED for the year because the County’s level of fire risk is now “HIGH”. Please report any fire or smell of smoke via 9-1-1 so that fire resources can quickly respond and take any necessary action to keep our beautiful island safe.

Get Help with Technology on Tech Tuesdays

Posted on June 29, 2015 at 4:03 pm by

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Click to enlarge poster

Click to enlarge poster

San Juan Island Library announced today a new program offering individual help with technology problems. Help is available for technology issues such as downloading apps and data, changing smartphone and tablet settings and using their features, using eReaders, and borrowing library eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Trained library volunteers, called tech-xperts, will be on hand on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM to help the public. Tech-xpert volunteers have trained to answer general questions and are adept at finding solutions to technology obstacles.

We’re calling this a beta program,” said outreach coordinator Beth Helstien. “We’ll try this way of offering one-on-one assistance to see if we can help people with their technology questions more quickly.  We hope that this volunteer program can reduce the need for Library technology classes. These last few years we have added more technology classes, but it can be a long time between sessions. Tech Tuesdays should be an efficient way to serve the public longing for help with all things digital,” she said. Read More »

Pet of the Week

Posted on June 29, 2015 at 5:43 am by

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

Coulee is this week’s Pet of the Week – Contributed photo

What’s up? My name is Coulee, but I should have been named “Sinatra” what with my gorgeous blue peepers.

I’m told that I’m a flame point Siamese fellow, but to be honest with you, I’m really just a terrific cat. I’m only about six months old, but I already know a lot about life. I started out in the home of a hoarder with 70 other cats in a very small house. Lucky for me, I was rescued! Maybe I can teach you a few things about life?

Animal Protection Society of Friday harbor
111 Shelter Road
(360) 378-2158

Rock the Dock! - Contributed photo

Rock the Dock!

Written on June 29, 2015 at 5:41 am, by

Bring your appetite and dancing shoes to Rotary Club’s 14th annual Rock the Dock street party at the Port of Friday Harbor. Local band, the J-Bots, will keep things lively from 6:00 pm until fireworks begin at dusk. Food and drinks available. Tickets available at the gate. $10 for adults (no price increase in 10 years!)  Continue Reading

The Sentinel - Tim Dustrude photo

The Sentinel – More Than Just a Pretty Boat

Written on June 29, 2015 at 5:36 am, by

Sheila Harley from SJI Fire Rescue shares this note about the boat Sentinel… Dear Editor, Since the sentinel has been in the news lately, we thought you might want to know a little bit more about her. And we would like to take the opportunity to emphasize the ban on personal fireworks with the Fourth  Continue Reading

Cascade Falls in Moran State Park - Aaron Shepard photo

Cascade Falls

Written on June 28, 2015 at 5:55 am, by

Aaron Shepard shares this photo from Moran State Park of Cascade Falls. Thanks Aaron!


Open Burning Season Suspended Immediately

Written on June 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm, by

All Residential and Commercial burn permits have been suspended because of the unusually dry weather.  There have already been a number of grass and brush fires throughout San Juan County.  Recreational fires (two feet in diameter or less) are still allowed as long as they’re contained within a suitable fire ring.  However, the State Parks System has banned  Continue Reading

Fire on Goose Island - Contributed photo

Fire on Goose Island

Written on June 27, 2015 at 10:43 am, by

Sheila Harley of SJI Fire Rescue sends over this notice… Smoked filled the air at Cape San Juan as some time just before 6 PM on Friday evening, June 26, neighbors of Cape San Juan heard a “boom” from the direction of Goose Island, then saw flames coming from the Lopez side of the island.  Continue Reading

One of the still images of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) over the San Juan Islands, June 23, 2015 - Chris Teren photo

Northern Lights!

Written on June 26, 2015 at 5:55 am, by

Local photographer Chris Teren caught some awe inspiring photos and made a video comprised of over 600 still images of the Northern Lights the other night. “How awe-inspiring was it?” you ask – so much that he made the front page of USA Today’s website on Wednesday. If you click over there you can search  Continue Reading

One of the slick looking rides that you can rent - Tim Dustrude photo

Get-cha Motor Runnin’…

Written on June 26, 2015 at 5:50 am, by

There’s a new motorcycle rental place in town. Actually they’re the ONLY motorcycle rental place in town. It’s U-Ride Motorcycle Rentals and it’s at 25 Nichols Street, right there on the corner of A Street by Roy’s Espresso. You may know of Beast Powersports, over on Carter Avenue? Well owners Larry (Captain) Phillips and his daughter Sierra  Continue Reading

New digs for County Parks & Fair office - Contributed photo

County Parks Administration Office is moving to the Fairgrounds

Written on June 26, 2015 at 5:45 am, by

On Monday, June 29th the County Parks Department will open its doors at the new office located on the southwest corner of fairgrounds main building, near the fairgrounds front gate entrance. During the move from the County Legislative Building on Thursday afternoon and Friday, 6/25 & 26, the Parks office will be closed to walk  Continue Reading

Fireworks over the harbor - Contributed photo


Written on June 26, 2015 at 5:40 am, by

Thanks to a generous matching grant of $35,000 from Kings Market and the lodging tax funds from the Town of Friday Harbor, the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce has put together the biggest and best fireworks display ever! Make your donation, small or large. If you can’t put a donation in the jar then  Continue Reading

A Doug McIntosh painting - Contributed photo

Cheese and Art!

Written on June 26, 2015 at 5:39 am, by

Richard from the Cheese Shop sends this invitation for their event tonight… Another fun thing to do this weekend! San Juan Island Cheese and WaterWorks Gallery are working together to provide an exciting array of flavors for your palate and colors for your visual delight over the next couple of months. You’re invited to an art and cheese  Continue Reading

At the Rumor Mill on Saturday - Heather Keizur and Steve Christofferson - Contributed photo

Heather Keizur and Steve Christofferson

Written on June 26, 2015 at 5:35 am, by

To celebrate her recently released CD, bilingual vocalist Heather Keizur makes a debut appearance at The Rumor Mill in Friday Harbor. Steve Christofferson joins Keizur to share their passion for beautiful music. Keizur and Christofferson have performed together for over six years. According to Keizur, “Someone else was supposed to be playing with me on  Continue Reading

Father Leche - Contributed photo

Father Leche Celebrates 60 Years as Priest

Written on June 25, 2015 at 5:53 am, by

The Rev. Edward D. Leche, III, Vicar Emeritus of Saint David’s Episcopal Church, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of his ordination as an Episcopal Priest. A drop-by “Meet & Greet” event will be held in the Activity Room of The Village at the Harbour from 1-2 pm on Sunday, June 28. Friends, neighbors, and colleagues  Continue Reading

Dianna Down and Sydney Exton with commemorative paddle - Photo by Nancy Way, The Watership Company, West Beach Creek project contractor

This Beautiful Place is Even More Special Today

Written on June 25, 2015 at 5:50 am, by

A renewed marine legacy-in-the-making for all of Orcas Island was celebrated on Thursday, June 18, at the site of a recently completed restoration project on West Beach Creek, just above where it empties into President Channel. Members of the Trudy Erwin family, representatives of the Northwest Straits Foundation and project partners gathered to commemorate removal  Continue Reading

The 4th of July parade as viewed from the air - Click to enlarge - Chris Teren photo

4th of July Friday Harbor Parade

Written on June 25, 2015 at 5:45 am, by

Here’s a note from Diana Mancel who is coordinating the parade this year… The 2015 4th of July Friday Harbor Parade is just ten days away! If you haven’t filled out your parade entry application, please do so ASAP – go by the Chamber of Commerce office which is open 10:00 to 4:00 every day.  Continue Reading

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