Sculpting Demonstration at IMA This Week

Posted on December 19, 2018 at 5:53 am by

Gareth Curtiss – Contributed photo

Northwest artist Gareth Curtiss is bringing his bronze sculpting project to Friday Harbor December 17th through 21st so that the public may share in the creation of the Ed Warbass sculpture he is making for the town.

The public is invited to watch and interact with the artist in a temporary work space being created for him in the glass atrium at the front of San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA).

Curtiss will demonstrate the clay sculpting process that precedes mold-making and bronze casting. He intends to work on the bust for the life-size statue which will depict town founder Captain Edward D. Warbass sitting on a park bench with his dog, Bob, by his side.

The sculpture will be installed on First Street at the entrance to Sunshine Alley by fall 2019. A clay maquette of the sculpture is available for public viewing at Town Hall. Read More »


Posted on December 19, 2018 at 5:45 am by

Bills are Going up in January – 2019 budget includes a 5.2% revenue increase

Pending board approval at the December 20th board meeting, OPALCO members will see a rate increase when they open their bills in January. The bills will be on average, $9.50 higher.

OPALCO is raising rates as a necessary part of providing power to our 20-island archipelago. This increase is driven by the loan expense (capitalization) for the submarine cable replacement (George), inflation and power cost increases. The budget also includes two new Apprentice Lineworker positions to prepare for retirements on the horizon.

The 2019 budget includes a 5.2% revenue increase, which will be applied equally between the service access (facilities) charge and the energy (kWh) usage portion of member bills for a total of around $9.50 more per month (based on the average residential monthly household usage). Learn more about what costs are included in the service access charge and how trade-offs are balanced at

If paying your power bill is a financial strain, OPALCO offers a monthly credit through the Energy Assist program.

P.S. CAPITAL CREDIT checks go out in December. If you were an OPALCO member in 1993 or 1994, watch your mailbox for your co-op dividend! Learn more.

Holiday Open House

Posted on December 19, 2018 at 5:43 am by

Cotton Cotton Cotton & Island Studios are having a Holiday Open House  on Friday, December 21st from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Come over to Spring Street for some last minute shopping! We are staying open until 7:00 PM and will have refreshments and snacks!

Island Studios will be offering “Draw your Discount” and get 5% – 15% off your total purchase. 

CCC will be offering 25% off everything but jewelry and an additional 20% off clearance items.  Plus, the first 3 purchases of $25.00 or more get a free Brighton Christmas Tree Charm!

Don’t miss this opportunity to get some great gifts at a discount! We are right down the street from each other so it is easy to visit both places! Also Friday Harbor Chocolates will be open until 6:00 PM.

Happy Holidays!

Island Rec Tennis

Posted on December 18, 2018 at 5:47 am by

Island Rec –Adult Tennis: Intermediate Skills and Drills

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Island Rec is offering another session of Intermediate Tennis Skills and Drills for Adults this January and February with Caroline Hansen. Classes will be held on Sundays; January 13th through February 3rd.

Adult lessons for ages 16 and up are from 2:00 to 3:30 pm indoors at the Fair Building. Register by January 3rd for the early bird special rate of $74.00. It will be $83.00 thereafter.

For more information or registration, please visit, call 360-378-4953 or drop by the office at 580 Guard Street Monday through Friday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Draft of Fairgrounds Master Plan

Posted on December 18, 2018 at 5:46 am by

The Fairgrounds Master Plan is currently being developed and the first draft is complete!  It is now available for review online at: (under “Latest News”). 

A printed reference copy is also available at the Parks & Fair Administrative Office for in-house review.  The intent of the draft is to give the countywide community an initial impression of the plan so that public input is considered in the development of the final document.  The public comment period will be open until January 31, 2019. 

Comments may be submitted to:

  • Email:
  • Mail:
    San Juan County Parks & Fairgrounds
    350 Court Street #8
    Friday Harbor, WA 98250
  • In Person:
    San Juan County Fairgrounds
    849A Argyle Avenue
    Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Following the public comment period, the consultant team will be making necessary edits/corrections and working to incorporate community and County Council input.  A final draft will be presented to the to the County Council for approval in 2019. 

Citizens Respond to Call for Food Bank Assistance

Posted on December 18, 2018 at 5:45 am by

Town of Friday Harbor utility customers have once again shown their holiday spirit by contributing to the Harbor Life Ring program to benefit the Friday Harbor Food Bank. The Town distributed a letter in the October utility billing statement informing customers that any donations they made in November would be contributed to the Food Bank. In addition, the Town agreed to match the first $1,000 donated. Including the Town match, the Food Bank received $2,952.

“The response from the citizens has been great” said Mayor Farhad Ghatan. “We are always impressed by the generosity in Friday Harbor”.

Bill Cumming, director of the Food Bank was also excited to hear the news. “I want to thank this community once again for stepping up and serving those in need” he said. “These donations are assuring a happy holiday season for a great number of people.”

The Harbor Life Ring program was introduced in 2013 to provide financial support to families in need of relief from utility bills when unable to make ends meet. Once a year the proceeds are dedicated to supporting the Friday Harbor Food Bank during the holiday season.

The Town thanks all those who contribute to the Food Bank, both through this program and other private donations.

Governor’s Electric Ferries Proposal

Posted on December 17, 2018 at 5:48 am by

This just in from WSF…

Governor Jay Inslee unveiled his “Clean Transportation” (PDF) proposal last week and it includes investments in electric-hybrid state ferries. This announcement gives us a peek into state investments in the 2019-2021 biennium and many of them focus on fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

The governor has budgeted $64.3 million to begin building two new electric-hybrid ferries and $53.2 million to start work on converting two of our current vessels to electric-hybrid.

Under the governor’s plan, electric-hybrid ferries would help reduce the state’s transportation carbon emissions by nearly 2 million metric tons a year.

Pet of the Week

Posted on December 17, 2018 at 5:45 am by

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

Looking for Love?

Me: Youngish Tabby Girl. Love Fancy Feast, bird-watching, designer handbags, banana cream pie and books on tape. Adore Hallmark Christmas Movies and a good cuddle on the sofa with someone who shares my opinion that dogs are inferior to cats.

You: Discerning individual with exquisite taste in friends, a generous heart and comfortable furniture.

We should meet. My name is Hazel and I’m waiting for you at the animal shelter.

Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor
994 Cattle Point Road
(360) 378-2158


Statement from PWWA

Posted on December 17, 2018 at 5:44 am, by

The Pacific Whale Watch Association issued the following statement… Whale watching and responsible no/low-impact ecotourism is critical to education and conservation efforts that we all are engaged in to protect all whales in the Salish Sea. As the Legislature, the Governor’s Task Force, and the public continue working towards ensuring the safety of the Southern  Continue Reading

School Board Meeting

Posted on December 17, 2018 at 5:42 am, by

On Wednesday Dec 19 2018, the San Juan Island School District Board of Directors will hold a regular School Board Meeting at 5:00 pm in the high school library.  This is an open public meeting.   All public comment, with the exception of public hearings on policy, budget or other specific items, will be heard  Continue Reading

Back by Popular Demand

Posted on December 16, 2018 at 9:00 am, by

Holiday Desserts and Port/ Sherry Wine Tasting Friday Harbor Chocolates & Cakes by Felicitations Friday Harbor Chocolates & Cakes by Felicitations are pleased to announce that due to popular demand, we will hold another Holiday Desserts and Port/ Sherry Wine Tasting event on Thursday, December 20. The event will take place at Friday Harbor Chocolates  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Family Traditions Old and New

Posted on December 15, 2018 at 4:22 pm, by

Island Senior is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae… Family traditions are something we value especially at the holidays. I’ve been thinking about how family traditions evolve and change over time. Three of my four sisters will be visiting me next week for a Pre-Christmas gift exchange party.  Continue Reading

Community Long-Term Care Options Task Force

Posted on December 15, 2018 at 4:21 pm, by

To address the crisis created by the closure of the Life Care Center of the San Juan Islands, the Community Long-Term Options Task Force was created. Immediate Need: We are asking for donations and looking for passionate people who have shared their concerns about the lack of long-term care options in our county and are  Continue Reading

A Celebration for the Community

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 5:47 am, by

Three First-Time Activities at SJIMA On December 20, the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) invites everyone to enjoy the public art sculpture of Gareth Curtiss, art from students at Spring Street International School (SSIS) and paintings of beloved local artists Mary Ann Rock and Sam Connery. The reception is open from 4:30-7:30. Visitors  Continue Reading

Enrichment Room

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 5:45 am, by

Calling all couch potatoes! Did you know that Friday Harbor’s new animal shelter has an “Enrichment Room”? This is a magical room where volunteers, staff and prospective adopters can spend time in a cozy, home-like setting with an adoptable dog or cat.  Shelter volunteer, Elizabeth Farr, is seen here with dogs, Tucker and Anna, enjoying  Continue Reading

Knowledge Worker Meetup

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 5:42 am, by

EDC invites San Juan County knowledge workers to informal meetup The EDC is working to create a knowledge worker network for islanders who work with code, data, graphics or words. Knowledge worker jobs include computer programming, editing, web design, engineering/scientific consulting, and others that primarily involve creating, manipulating, or analyzing information. Projects often involve combinations  Continue Reading

Holiday Extravaganza/ Festival of Lights.

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 5:51 am, by

Village at the Harbour, in conjunction with the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit 163 is pleased to announce our first annual Holiday Extravaganza/ Festival of Lights. This free event is to be held from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at The Village at the Harbour on Thursday, December 20th, 2018 and is open to all of the  Continue Reading

Island Stage Left presents: Christmas Memories

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 5:48 am, by

Join Island Stage Left for this warm and wonderful nostalgic look at Christmas stories and music based on the writings of Dylan Thomas. December 20th through 23rd at 7:00 pm. December 24th at 3:00 and 6:30 pm. Reservations strongly recommended for Christmas Eve. (and Reservations for the 24th are going fast!) All performances at the  Continue Reading

Girl’s Basketball League

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 5:45 am, by

It is time to register for the Island Rec’s Girl’s Basketball League, open to all girls in grades 2 through 8. The focus of this league is development and improvement of individual and team skills. Previous basketball experience is not required. All games are played on Island, Sundays in Turnbull Gym. Participants practice twice per  Continue Reading

Animal Shelter “Opens” for Clearance

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 5:44 am, by

The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor will open the doors of their old building at 111 Shelter Road, Sunday, December 16 from 10:00 am until Noon for anyone wishing to take away miscellaneous items such as pet carriers, feeding bowls, office furniture, shelving units, small refrigerators and many other items.   Everything must go! Everything  Continue Reading


Posted on December 13, 2018 at 5:40 am, by

Capital Credit Checks Coming – Your Co-op Dividend! In December, capital credit checks will be sent out to members who were active in 1993, plus some from 1994 as OPALCO continues to smooth its 25-year cycle for capital credit distributions. Capital credit allocations represent members’ equity in the Co-op. Each year, our non-profit cooperative allocates  Continue Reading

Inside the Killer Whale Matriarchy

Posted on December 12, 2018 at 4:00 pm, by

The Center for Whale Research is excited to announce the release of a wonderful 5-minute animation that tells the incredible story of the importance of grandmothers in the Southern Resident orca community. Click the image above to view it. Thank you TED-ED, Darren Croft and Michael Weiss.