Community Paramedic Delivers Thanksgiving Dinners

Posted on December 5, 2020 at 5:30 am by

Contributed Photo/EMS. Paramedic Lainey Volk delivers Thanksgiving dinner to an islander.

By San Juan Island EMS

San Juan Island EMS Community Paramedic Lainey Volk spent a portion of her day on Thanksgiving delivering dinners to 15 of her patients/clients who are vulnerable and shut-in.

Several of these people have no other family on the island.

The meals, including turkey with all the trimmings, were procured from the San Juan Island Community Dinner and delivered to all ends of the island.

Contributed Photo/EMS. Paramedic Lainey Volk visits a patient on Thanksgiving.

“Several cried at the kindness. I was called an angel by a few as well. Sometimes this job is very rewarding” said Volk.

The main goals of the community paramedicine program are to improve the quality of life and health of our citizens while reducing the cost of healthcare. This meets the hospital district’s goal of “aging in place,” by helping meet the needs of higher-risk patients while keeping them in their homes.

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Washington Adopts New CDC Quarantine Guidelines

Posted on December 5, 2020 at 5:10 am by

By Washington State Department of Health

The Washington State Department of Health is adopting the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to reduce quarantine for people who have been exposed to COVID-19.

Although both the Washington State Department of Health and CDC currently recommend a quarantine period of 14 days, there are circumstances that allow for a shortened quarantine.

These include:

  • If a person who is in quarantine has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 10.
  • If a person who is in quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 test and has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 7. Get tested within 48 hours before ending quarantine.

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Town, Utility Customers Donate $5K to Food Bank

Posted on December 5, 2020 at 5:00 am by

By Town of Friday Harbor

The Town of Friday Harbor thanks the community for supporting the local food bank with their generous contributions to the Harbor Life Ring program this November.

Town utility customer donations of $3,010 were matched with a $2,000 grant from the town for a total donation of $5,010 to the Friday Harbor Food Bank.

This is the eighth year that supporters of the Harbor Life Ring program have helped the food bank provide for island families during the holiday season when the need threatens to outweigh the supply.

“The continued support from our community has been just amazing,” said Friday Harbor Mayor Farhad Ghatan. “We are so very thankful, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.”

The Harbor Life Ring program was established in 2013 to assist families in need of financial relief on their town utility bills.

The program is funded through donations that town customers add to their monthly bill payments.


Library Reviews Holiday Classic Films

Posted on December 5, 2020 at 4:50 am by

By San Juan Island Library

The San Juan Island Library presents “Classic Films for the Holidays” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 9, online.

Join Therese Finn – that Elf of Entertainment, Hostess of Holidays – in reviewing a handful of classic holiday films. 

She’ll do a sled-by of the classic classics: “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas,” “The Miracle on 34th Street,” “A Christmas Carol” (Alistair Sims), and “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

Therese will then drop down the chimney into “Remember the Night,” with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray, and “I’ll Be Seeing You,” with Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten.

Sorry, you’ll have to make your own popcorn, but enjoy the holiday cheer! 

Email Boyd Pratt at for a Zoom meeting invitation at least 30 minutes before the program begins.

EDC Resumes Business Recovery Workshops

Posted on December 5, 2020 at 4:30 am by


The San Juan County Economic Development Council is resuming regular programming with the return of our Business Recovery Zoom Meetings, now called Business Recovery Workshops.

This bi-weekly workshop, in a Zoom environment, will give business owners the opportunity to speak with professionals on a wide variety of topics related to the continuing economic recovery in San Juan County and stay on top of trends and data.

Please join us for our premiere meeting, from 9-9:45 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8 via Zoom.

EDC Executive Director Victoria Compton will lead a conversation about ways to help businesses get through the winter. We will be joined by Val Curtis to discuss social media and marketing as more local businesses seek to find a way to pivot to an effective online presence.

To join the Zoom call please visit

The San Juan County Economic Development Council strives to strengthen and diversify the economy of San Juan County. We believe a strong economy builds a strong community.

Three More COVID Cases in San Juans

Posted on December 4, 2020 at 8:42 pm by

Contributed Image/CDC

By San Juan County

Since the last update on Friday, Nov. 25, total cases in San Juan County have increased from 63 to 66. Two of these new cases are on San Juan Island, the other is on Lopez Island.

Current positive case numbers are available online at the San Juan County Case count page.

As indicated on that page, these numbers are only updated after case confirmation is complete, usually daily. It is possible that other information sources in the community may be quicker to report on new cases, but ensuring privacy and accuracy is critical for this official information source.

Orcas Island

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Freezer Burned: Snowshoe Hares

Posted on December 4, 2020 at 5:30 am by

“FREEZER BURNED: Tales of Interior Alaska” is a regular column on the San Juan Update.

By Steve Ulvi, San Juan Island

Just how much difference can a few bunnies make?

Common notions when hearing of the place called Alaska, are a mish-mash of life experiences (or lack thereof), bookish knowledge and an active imagination. That place name has represented a dreamscape for people the world over thanks to the incredible popularity and widely translated prosaic tales of daring-do from Robert Service and Jack London. There were no photos and few drawings. Programs about Alaska using the incredible lenses of drones and modern cameras blow our minds but often underachieve with simplistic narration and silly wildlife sequence music.

Panoramic images flood and excite the brain far more than words. In my view, nearly all of the proliferation of so-called reality TV shows set in the north, play fast and loose with common preconceptions but invariably become farcical with production artifice to maintain ratings.

Admittedly, “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” impregnated my imagination from a small black and white TV (and radio show) in the late 1950s, yet was as predictable and simplistic as any adventure show could possibly be. Even by that era’s standards.

A person cannot predict how the worm of imagination will turn in that part of the brain where wanderlust and vision quest are nurtured.

Today’s spectacular advances in science and technology shed light on old mysteries of the north, but more often open exciting new threads of inquiry connecting the dots in the web of northerly enigmas. Read More »

Library Offers ‘Tech Help’

Posted on December 4, 2020 at 5:00 am by

By San Juan Island Library

Receive “tech help” thanks to the San Juan Island Library, at 3 p.m., Mondays, Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 28.

Get help with computers, tablets and smartphones via Zoom.

After determining your needs, you will work one-on-one with a volunteer.

This class is designed to help you learn to use your technology and troubleshoot minor problems.

Visit to complete a registration form to attend.

Changes To Ordering Birth, Death Certificates

Posted on December 4, 2020 at 4:30 am, by

By San Juan County Starting Jan. 1, a new Washington state vital records law and rules go into effect. This will change the ordering requirements for birth and death certificates. The changes include: For increased security of personal information, only individuals with specific relationships to the person on the record being requested can receive a  Continue Reading

San Juan Island Chamber Chat

Posted on December 3, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

Santa’s Mailbox, Holiday Decorating Contest By Becki Day, Executive Director, San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce On behalf of the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and myself, we hope you all had a nice, although different, Thanksgiving weekend. We also hope you got to enjoy a little bit of the holiday  Continue Reading

Island Senior: If We Make It Through December

Posted on December 3, 2020 at 5:00 am, by

“Island Senior” is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae. Pretty sure Merle Haggard was not thinking about a spiking global pandemic when he penned the lyrics to his classic country song, If We Make It Through December, yet I can’t think of a more fitting song for wrapping  Continue Reading

The “Idaho Stop” is Now Legal For Bikes in Washington

Posted on December 3, 2020 at 4:45 am, by

Vehicle drivers may not be aware of a recent law that allows bicyclists to treat a stop sign as a yield sign in some instances – and may be cynically assuming that the cyclists they see are breaking the law. The so-called “Idaho stop” (also known as the “safety stop”) became law in Washington State  Continue Reading

Be ‘Islands Ready’ With Online Emergency Preparedness Guide

Posted on December 3, 2020 at 4:30 am, by

By Brendan Cowan, Director, Department of Emergency Management As part of an ongoing effort to increase community preparedness and self-sufficiency in the islands, the Department of Emergency Management has created a new online guide at This tool is designed to be simple, easy to navigate and smartphone friendly. With specific sections for seniors and  Continue Reading

History Column: Three Little Sutterman Girls, Christmas 1954

Posted on December 2, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

From the San Juan Historical Society and Museum Not all of the photographs in the San Juan Historical Society and Museum collections are from the island’s pioneer days or the early days of Friday Harbor’s development as a town. The snapshot above caught our eye as a classic Christmas image from the 1950s, tinseled tree  Continue Reading

San Juan Dog Licenses Available For 2021

Posted on December 2, 2020 at 5:00 am, by

‘Little Bit’ Receives First Dog Tag Of The New Year By San Juan County The dog licensing season has begun! It was difficult to name just one celebrity dog this year, with so many of our canine companions providing much-needed support for their owners and friends. The honor went to Little Bit, an 8-year-old mixed  Continue Reading

A Safe Adventure for the Holidays

Posted on December 2, 2020 at 4:12 am, by

During these difficult times, the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park, with 20 acres of outdoor trails, is a safe and fun experience for all the family (including the dog). We now have a flock of “Fishnet Sheep”, a new toad changing into a Prince, a wonderful “Whimsy Woods” trail with shoes climbing trees and over  Continue Reading

Add To Online Citizen Surveys Of Preservation Trust Land

Posted on December 1, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

By SJPT Looking for a new solo activity that can enhance your environmental literacy? Join one (or all) of San Juan Preservation Trust’s iNaturalist projects and help to contribute to what we know about our preserves. iNaturalist is a network of users who share biological observations to learn more about the natural world. If you’re  Continue Reading

Learn Local History Online With Russel Barsh

Posted on December 1, 2020 at 4:30 am, by

By SJIL The San Juan Island Library will host a virtual Know Your Islanders event titled “Russel Barsh: The Land We Stand On,” at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 7. Thousands of Indigenous peoples already lived in the San Juan Islands millennia before the Pig War, building wood villages and sail canoes, clearing fields for camas  Continue Reading

Cynthia’s Offers Free Meals To Celebrate Daughter’s Birthday

Posted on December 1, 2020 at 4:00 am, by

By Cynthia Burke, Owner, Cynthia’s Bistro I am celebrating my daughter Claire Mira Burke’s upcoming birthday on Dec. 3 by giving back to our community! Receive a free, kitchen sink dinner from 4:30-6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, at Cynthia’s Bistro at 65 Nichols St. in Friday Harbor. We are offering free takeaway meals to anyone  Continue Reading

Brian Brown Talks Noel Sign, Lions Club

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

For more than four decades, the San Juan Lions have displayed a Noel sign in Friday Harbor to ring in the holidays. The sign was lit again this year on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Lion Brian Brown spoke with the Update about the sign’s creation, history and meaning. Q: Tell me a little about the sign.  Continue Reading

Need Help With Zoom? The Library Can Help

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 5:00 am, by

By SJIL The San Juan Island Library will host a virtual class called “Intro to Online Zoom Meetings,” at 3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4. Learn the Zoom video conference application features in a low-pressure environment. During COVID-19, many of us have had to learn Zooming on the fly, or never had an opportunity to learn  Continue Reading

Watch Harp and Flute Concert Online

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 4:30 am, by

By SJCT As part of San Juan Community Theatre’s 2020-21 Snapshot Season, we have a beautiful concert for harp and flute by Mary WillAllen and Ginni Keith. View the concert at