The Land Bank Says Thank You!

Posted on June 19, 2018 at 5:49 am by

Evelyn enjoys the trail around Zylstra Lake – Contributed photo

Islanders, thank you for “Getting Outdoors” and joining the Land Bank at our Zylstra Lake Preserve Open House last weekend. The response was incredible, with almost 200 visitors over the six-hour event, and on a busy June Saturday to boot! It was wonderful to see everyone enjoying the property and to hear the community’s positive remarks and ideas for the preserve’s future.

The Land Bank commissioners and staff appreciate your patience while we focus on learning about the preserve and exploring partnerships. While the preserve is not open to the public at this time, providing public access is a high priority for the future.

Until then, the Land Bank will continue to host special events such as open houses or guided walks, in order to give Islanders the opportunity to visit this phenomenal property. A management plan addressing public access will be developed starting late in 2019. While we will specifically seek public input at that time, your ideas, suggestions, and questions are welcome at any time.

To stay apprised of Zylstra Lake Preserve events, or other Land Bank happenings, contact Tanja Williamson at or call 360-378-4402 to be added to the Land Bank’s email list.

Here are a few additional photos from SJ Update staff:

Music on the Lawn

Posted on June 19, 2018 at 5:47 am by

Island Rec is very excited to announce the 2018 Music on the Lawn Summer Concert Series.

This long-standing concert series is on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:15, located at the San Juan Historical Museum, which is at 405 Price Street.

It is a perfect time to grab a blanket or bring a chair and have a picnic. Get ready to get up and dance as well as this year we have exceptionally dancer-friendly groups of musicians lined up. Check them out: Read More »

Blackthorn at San Juan Community Theatre

Posted on June 19, 2018 at 5:46 am by

From lively jigs and reels, to songs with rousing choruses and heart-wrenching airs and ballads, the Canadian Celtic band Blackthorn brings their music to life with luscious harmonies and complex instrumentations.

Their repertoire is rooted in the musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada.

Blackthorn features four talented musicians, who bring a refreshing diversity of character to the group’s polished sound and contribute individual mastery of a colorful variety of instruments. The results of their collective musical backgrounds, skills and experience are witnessed in the high-caliber, high-energy performances they consistently deliver to audiences of all ages.

They perform at SJCT Saturday, June 23 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets: Adults: $28 Student Reserved: $15 Student RUSH $5 available at door only.

Yes for Homes

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

In the SJ Update Mailbag today we find this letter to you from Steve Ulvi…


Now that the County Council has adopted in principle the draft Housing Plan, approved by resolution that plan’s all-important Financial and Administrative appendices and placed the housing initiative real estate excise tax on the ballot for the November elections our community campaign is in full swing.

The Yes For Homes campaign is a county-wide, grass roots, volunteer organization grounded in three action teams on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan (with future outreach to Stuart, Shaw and Waldron Islands) with the sole focus of resident education, ensuring voter turnout and passing this game-changing housing initiative.

For too long we have watched opportunities for expansion of local businesses, new business starts, increased school enrollment, more skilled workers, more agricultural enterprises and a healthier year around economic outlook fall short of what our communities need due to a severe lack of affordable housing for very low, low and moderate income Islanders.

You will be hearing a great deal more about this initiative and the positive ramifications of diversifying our local economies and demographic profiles. Please join us in building a wide base for this campaign by donating funds and/or lending your name as a public supporter.

It couldn’t be easier. Visit and strengthen our growing campaign to a better future.

For the many who have personal stories of the challenges of finding adequate and reasonable housing or rental units we ask you to share those stories with us and the interested public.

Thank you for you consideration. If you have questions please feel free to call me at home at 360.370.5264.

Best of Summer
Steve Ulvi
San Juan Island Action Team Chair

Chicken Pox

Posted on June 19, 2018 at 5:42 am by

San Juan County Health & Community Services Issues Varicella Health Alert

Three cases of Varicella, or “chicken pox,” have been confirmed in the Orcas Island community. Two of the cases were in children attending schools on Orcas Island. San Juan County Health & Community Services has alerted medical providers, and is working closely with the Orcas School District, preschools and families to investigate the varicella cases. None of the cases have been hospitalized.

Varicella is a highly contagious infection, and symptoms include fever, fatigue and a rash that typically progresses from the head to other parts of the body. Those most vulnerable to complications of varicella are: persons older than 15 years of age who have not been vaccinated or had the infection, newborns and infants younger than one year, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. Complications may include severe symptoms, prolonged illness, hospitalization and death. During pregnancy, varicella pneumonia can be particularly severe and maternal infection can lead to congenital abnormalities. Read More »

League of Women Voters to hold primary forums for state, national candidates

Posted on June 19, 2018 at 5:41 am by

The League of Women Voters of the San Juans is holding candidate forums prior to the August primary election. The forums feature those running for the Washington state legislative district 40 and congressional district 2 positions. Each race has six candidates.

For state legislative district 40 those running are: Daniel Miller (Republican from Friday Harbor); Rud Browne (Democrat from Bellingham); Michael Petrish (Republican from Anacortes); Alex Ramel (Democrat from Bellingham); Debra Lekanoff (Democrat from Bow); and Tom Pasma (Democrat from Burlington). There is no incumbent for this race.

For congressional district 2 those running are: Rick Larsen (Democrat and incumbent from Everett); Brian Luke (Libertarian from Lynnwood); Collin Richard Carlson (Democrat from Marysville); Uncle Mover (Moderate GOP Party from Mill Creek); Gary Franco(Independent from Lopez Island); and Stonewall Jackson Bird (Green Party from Bellingham).

The public is encouraged to attend and submit questions for the candidates. Times and locations are: Read More »

Community Foundation Awards $176K in Scholarships

Posted on June 18, 2018 at 5:49 am by

(L-R): Vida Wight, Ana Sanabria Velazquez, Laurel Robertson, Tenley Nelsen, Savannah Hoffman, Kiana Woods, Alen Melic, Zachariah Fincher and Emma Schroeder – Contributed photo

San Juan Island Community Foundation Awards $176,700 in College Scholarships for 2018-2019

Ten graduating seniors from Friday Harbor High School and two graduating seniors from Spring Street International School were awarded new scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year from two different funds held at the San Juan Island Community Foundation. Previous recipients of the following scholarships have also been awarded one year renewals.

Inskeep Legacy Scholarship Fund: Continue reading (PDF)

Island Senior: Video Series Offers Hope For Treating Memory Loss

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

Island Senior is a regular column on the San Juan Update, written by Peggy Sue McRae…

On the second Monday of each month Senior Services of San Juan County presents the video series, Awakening From Alzheimer’s. The next two showings on July 9 and August 13 will be in the Mullis Center’s Craft Room at 1:00 – 2:30 pm. 

The series, “explores new interventions for memory problems and Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers from around the country provide new insights into lifestyle, supplements and activities that can prevent and improve memory impairments.”

I attended the showing last Monday. It was both informative and hopeful. Hopeful because they are finding more and more factors that effect cognitive well being and therefore more things we can do to protect and even recover from cognitive decline.

People are living longer now. It is not unusual these days for people to live to be 100. In order to enjoy our longer lives we need to retain three things, our vision, our memory, and our mobility. 

Regarding memory, the video on Monday featured anti-aging specialist Dr. Pamela W. Smith. The video covered a wealth of information. I’d like to share a few of the highlights with you: Read More »

Know Your Island Walk

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

Climbing Mt. Finlayson , Bill Severson will take us on one of his favorite hikes. There is a steep section, however Bill will take a slow pace and speculate along the way on who the mountain was named after and how high they thought it was at the time. Saturday June 23, 1-4 pm Terrain  Continue Reading

Skagit Valley College in the News

Posted on June 18, 2018 at 5:44 am, by

Skagit Valley College Receives Grant from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity    >> Selected from more than 300 grant proposals INDIANAPOLIS — From a pool of 312 nationwide applicants, Skagit Valley College (SVC) was one of 19 college and universities selected to receive funding from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and  Continue Reading

Pet of the Week

Posted on June 18, 2018 at 5:43 am, by

Dirt? What dirt? I may have recently taken part in some soil testing, but I don’t know anything about dirt. My name is “Cookie” and I’ve just arrived here, hoping to find my forever sofa…. er, that is, “HOME”. I’m just two years old and folks tell me I have lovely manners. Why don’t you  Continue Reading

Salish Solstice Festival

Posted on June 17, 2018 at 6:16 am, by

Come celebrate the longest day of the year and the start of a new event at the Fairgrounds. It’s the Salish Solstice Festival at the San Juan County Fairgrounds on Thursday, June 21st from 5:00pm – 10:00pm. Bring a blanket, your folding chairs, and your picnic basket and ring in the solstice.  Artisan vendors on site to  Continue Reading

Orca Sing 2018

Posted on June 16, 2018 at 5:51 am, by

Orca Sing is an annual event where people gather for an evening of music at Lime Kiln Point State Park to honor the Southern Resident orcas.  This year’s event is the 19th annual and will take place on Saturday, June 23, beginning at 7 p.m. This year, Fred West and Seattle’s City Cantabile Choir will  Continue Reading

Soccer Signups

Posted on June 16, 2018 at 5:21 am, by

Tanja Williamson sends this reminder to get signed up for fall soccer… Dear San Juan Update, Youth soccer registration is open and I’m hoping you can share the attached pic with your readers. School’s almost out and summer gets busy quick… it’s easy to forget to register for a fall sport in June! If anyone  Continue Reading

Web, “A” and Nichols Streets Improvement Project

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 10:36 am, by

The Town of Friday Harbor has contracted with Mike Carlson Enterprises to reconstruct Web Street and portions of A Street and Nichols Street. The Contractor began mobilizing equipment on Wednesday, June 13th. The project will include utility upgrades, road resurfacing, and the addition of continuous sidewalks. Businesses on Web, A and Nichols Streets will remain  Continue Reading

Friday Harbor Fireworks

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 10:35 am, by

Here’s a note from SJI Chamber Director Becki Day… Thanks to a generous matching grant from Kings Market and lodging tax funds from the Town of Friday Harbor, the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce has once again commissioned local talent and pyrotechnical director, Nick Gislason, a fifth generation San Juan Islander, with the Lopez  Continue Reading

New Building for Library?

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 10:30 am, by

San Juan Island may have a new library building in its future. At its June 12th meeting, the San Juan Island Library Board of Trustees decided to explore plans to construct a new building, at a site yet to be selected. This determination was made following three years of study and public input, including a  Continue Reading

Merri Ann’s Video Series

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 10:29 am, by

Merri Ann Simonson checks in again with another San Juan Island Lifestyle video. This one offers Tips on Crabbing, Shrimping and Fishing…

Ridgway and Kuentzel Opening at WaterWorks

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 5:48 am, by

Ruth at WaterWorks Gallery shares this announcment with you… This gallery show brings together painter David Ridgway and ceramicist Pete Kuentzel. While both artists use seemingly simple forms–a rectangle, a triangle or a circle– they create lush, complex compositions on canvas or clay. David has a unique approach with landscapes: he initially removes any signs  Continue Reading

Drive-In at the Fairgrounds

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 5:49 am, by

Join us at the Fairgrounds for Creature From the Black Lagoon! A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study. Plan an outing with your family, friends, or your special someone this Friday June 15th. Admission is  Continue Reading

Market Bucks Program

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 5:46 am, by

  Funders Promote Locally Grown Foods for the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program San Juan County Health and Community Services is partnering again with Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor, Orcas Island Community Foundation, and the Honeywell Foundation, to offer Market Bucks at Farmers Markets on Orcas and San Juan Islands. The Market Bucks  Continue Reading

EMTs of the Month

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

San Juan EMS previously recognized one EMT each month as an “EMT of the month.”  The lieutenants who help mentor and manage our volunteers felt it was important to honor an EMT from each team that has been organized to help fill a 24/7 schedule.  There are three teams of about 11 EMTs that rotate  Continue Reading

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