Virtual Naturalist Training

Posted on July 10, 2020 at 8:41 am by

2020 Summer Marine Naturalist Training Program will be Virtual
The Whale Museum’s Summer Marine Naturalist Program is going virtual. This dynamic and high-quality program will still be 6-sessions and run on the following dates: July 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, and 22 with a one daybreak on July 19.

The object of this program is to provide a learning experience that assists adult graduates in becoming qualified regionally as a professional or volunteer naturalists. Because this session will be virtual, we have been able to expand the class size to 50 participants, so spots are still available!

The main focus of the training is the ecology, current status, and conservation of Southern Resident Killer Whales and other local marine species as well as discussions about the environments they live in. Read More »

Island Rec – 43rd Annual 8.8K Loop Run

Posted on July 10, 2020 at 8:40 am by

43 years running! Be part of this Island tradition – virtually for 2020 (you still have to go all 8.8k, your computer can’t do that part for you!). This race can be completed any time between August 9-15, 2020. Any Course (even your treadmill) consisting of 8.8k! Participants will send completed race times, and distances by e-mail. Results will be posted Monday August 17th.

The 8.8k is a fun run or walking distance for all ages. Ribbons will be awarded for the first three Women and Men with the fastest times! Race proceeds benefit the Children’s Scholarship Funds at Island Rec. T-shirts can be ordered this year for an additional $10 and will be available for pick up on a scheduled date after the event. Read More »

Volunteer Opportunity

Posted on July 10, 2020 at 8:40 am by

COVID 19 is creating many unique challenges for literally everyone and the Land Bank is no exception. The Land Bank typically uses a variety of strategies to achieve stewardship activities including volunteer work parties, collaborating with partners, engaging special interest groups, and leveraging help from youth conservation corps type organizations.

At this time we are not able to use any of these groups. Coupled with this, we are currently short-staffed on San Juan Island. Even with these challenges, and as we move into less restrictions, the Land Bank cares deeply about the health and safety of the community. We intend to take a cautionary approach to volunteer work parties.

With this in mind, we are soliciting volunteer assistance for help with noxious weed control. Rather than running work parties, we are hoping that individuals, or households which are in the same “germ bubble” might be able to assist with weed control along roads and trails of publicly accessible preserves.

Please reach out if you’d like to help. We can assign you to a specific area, provide resources on best practices, and we try to track volunteer time. Whether you are able to spend five minutes or five hours, every bit helps maintain and enhance the beauty and ecological function of your conservation lands.

RSVP to Tanja ( or Doug ( for more information.



Posted on July 10, 2020 at 8:40 am by

Today in the SJ Update Mailbag we have this letter from Gay Graham…

To the Editor:

Covid-19 has caused us to make any number of changes in the paths that we used to take. One of these can be forgetting to renew or not having the opportunity to support those organizations and causes that need our assistance. An organization that continues to need our support is the Women’s Fund.

Yearly membership to the Women’s Fund of the San Juan Island Community Foundation is generally renewed at the annual June luncheon. As with many wonderful fundraisers, it was canceled. This, however, does not cancel the ongoing needs the Women’s Fund addresses.

Briefly, the Women’s Fund was founded in 2003 and to-date has through its annual membership dues of $100 (along with other contributions) granted $236,975 to various organizations many of which you are familiar: Wolf Hollow, Family Umbrella Group, UWFH Labs, Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center, Island Stage Left,  San Juan County Economic Council, Hospice, SJI Library, Whale Museum, FHES PTA, San Juan Community Home Trust, Food Bank, Band Family & Friends, and PADS for Parkinson’s. Read More »

Can you Guess What Breed I am?

Posted on July 9, 2020 at 11:23 am by


Hi, I am Moose. Aren’t I adorable? My new parents think so. I found my forever home and my owners have ordered a DNA test so they can find out exactly who I am. Of course, I know who I am – a great kid of 15 months who has a vocabulary like no other kid on the block.

I know I am strong, run like a Cheetah and hug really good. I’m friendly and want to HUG everyone (I sometime am a little too loving if you know what I mean). Mom and Dad are trying to work with me on this.

The Animal Protection Society-Friday Harbor (APS-FH) is having a contest and believe me – it will be so much fun! I mean anything having to do with me is FUN! I am a PARTY ANIMAL!

Can you guess what kind of breed(s) I am a mix of? Name up to four breeds that you think I am made of (my mom, dad, grandma and grandpa). Of course grandma and grandpa could be the same breed? I can’t tell you, sorry. Read More »

New Book from John Geyman, M.D.

Posted on July 9, 2020 at 11:23 am by

Dr. John Geyman, Ph. D. – Contributed photo

John Geyman, M.D. announces the publication of his new book: Profiteering, Corruption and Fraud in U.S. Health Care.

He raises questions that we have to ask and answer:

  • Who is the health care system for – profits for health care corporations, their shareholders and Wall Street traders and investors?
  • for corrupt and fraudulent scammers?
  • or for patients, their families and taxpayers? 

As the U.S. struggles to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the current recession, John Geyman states that the urgent need for health care reform is at an all -time high. The book updates where we are with the untenable status quo and compares three major alternatives for reform: building on the ACA, the public option, and Medicare for All. Read More »

Donate Your Homegrown Fruits & Vegetables

Posted on July 9, 2020 at 11:23 am by

Love to garden? Want to enter in the Fair this year? The Fair’s Fruits & Vegetables Department is encouraging gardeners and farmers to donate food to the Orcas Island Food Bank, the San Juan Island Food Bank, and for the “Grow-A-Row” Food Donation program at Woodmen Hall on Lopez Island. 

Fair staff will be on site to assist with uploading online fair entries for Fruits & Vegetables on the following days:

  • Orcas Island Food Bank, Friday, July 10th from 10am-1pm
  • Woodmen Hall (Lopez Island), Tuesday, July 14th from 9am-10:30am
  • San Juan County Fairgrounds Craft & Flea Market, Saturday, July 18th from 9am-1pm at the San Juan County Fairgrounds (look for our information table outside!)
  • If you are not able to visit on the above dates, we still encourage you to donate your home grown fruits & vegetables this year!  Just take a photo of your donated items and upload your photos to  Questions?  Email 


Posted on July 8, 2020 at 1:45 pm by

In the SJ Update Mailbag we have this letter today from Daniel Schwartz, SJC Republican Precinct Committee Officer…

Response to the San Juan County Democrats Resolution on Police Reform

The San Juan County Democrats have produced a resolution filled with the fabrications, revisionist history, and outright falsehoods that make up the woke playbook of today’s sad shadow of a once great party.

Their resolution’s preamble states that our nation “has never healed the wound caused itself by the institution of slavery.” This is an infamous lie so transparent as to make one wonder whether the author ever learned American history.  Let’s start with nearly 600,000 deaths in our Civil War to end slavery, on through the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments – passed by Republicans over the opposition of the Democratic Party – to the Civil Rights legislation of the 20th century again opposed by Democrats, culminating in the election of a black president by an overwhelming percentage of our voting population.  America has and will continue to make equal treatment and opportunity for all the cornerstone of our republic. Read More »

Town to provide rent relief grant money to Friday Harbor businesses

Posted on July 8, 2020 at 1:18 pm, by

Friday Harbor business owners are encouraged to apply to the Town for assistance with business rent and mortgage payments to be awarded through the Friday Harbor Business Rent Relief Grant Program. Grant requests of up to $2000 per business will be funded with monies received from the state under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic  Continue Reading

Sculpture Park in the News

Posted on July 8, 2020 at 8:15 am, by

San Juan Island Sculpture Park is in the news – the National News on Check out this article on wild, weird, spectacular places… And remember to go check the park out for yourself. You’ll likely be impressed if you haven’t been there in a while and it’s a great place to relax with  Continue Reading

Letter from Island Stage Left

Posted on July 8, 2020 at 8:08 am, by

In the mailbag this morning we have a note from Helen Machin-Smith of Island Stage Left… Hello from Island Stage Left, Apparently a rumor has been circulating that Island Stage Left has ceased operations. This is news to us! The rumor is untrue. At this point we have no idea what the future holds (nor  Continue Reading

Know Your Islanders: Life on Mars

Posted on July 7, 2020 at 6:30 am, by

John Rummel and Vicky Hipkin: Life on Mars: Past, Present, and Future? This July will see the launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover (Perseverance), a Chinese orbiter/lander (Tianwen-1), and the United Arab Emirates Mars orbiter (Hope). Our neighbors, former NASA and Canadian Space Agency personnel John Rummel and Vicky Hipkin–between them they have participated in  Continue Reading

Re-Naming ‘Round Towner Shuttle Service

Posted on July 7, 2020 at 6:23 am, by

The ‘RoundTowner has been on the road for more than 7 years, and provided over 25,000 free or low-cost rides! With service throughout San Juan Island via the grey Nissan Leaf, the service’s name needs to reflect more than Town service. And, there are plans in progress to create a similar door-to-door ride service on  Continue Reading

New Case on Orcas Island

Posted on July 7, 2020 at 6:15 am, by

July 6, 2020: Over the weekend, the San Juan County Health & Community Service Department was notified of a new positive test result from a resident of Orcas Island. The patient has been asymptomatic and was tested as part of a routine medical screening. The County team has been actively investigating over the holiday weekend,  Continue Reading

EDC announces Back-To-Business Grant awards

Posted on July 7, 2020 at 6:13 am, by

The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) announces that the Back-To-Business Grant Fund has been funded in the amount of $300,000, in order to support San Juan Island businesses. This fund was created to address our business owners’ need to cover essential business expenses as they work to survive the economic downturn caused by  Continue Reading

Visitors Bureau Suspends Advertising

Posted on July 6, 2020 at 2:52 pm, by

The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau resumed its regional advertising campaign when County officials anticipated that we would be moving to Phase 3 within a day or two. Many were surprised when the County Health officer postponed the original application to Phase 3, and then when the Governor paused all requests for phase changes, including  Continue Reading

San Juan County Real Estate Market Summary

Posted on July 6, 2020 at 2:49 pm, by

Merri Ann Simonson checks in with a Second Quarter Real Estate summary… The second quarter results, which complete the first half of the year, in San Juan County were extremely good when considering the virus impact.   Per the NWMLS, the dollar volume in San Juan County was $118,381,567 with a total of 201 transactions. The  Continue Reading

Call for Fair Performers

Posted on July 6, 2020 at 2:41 pm, by

Join the fun!!  San Juan County Virtual Fair call to action for performers to participate in “2020: A Fair Odyssey” August 12-15! This year has presented a unique opportunity to showcase your talent and celebrate the culture of the Islands. Help represent this region through music, dance, comedy, theater, improv, storytelling, poetry, visual artists, and  Continue Reading

Wildflowers in Bloom at the Gravel Pit

Posted on July 6, 2020 at 12:10 pm, by

By Louise Dustrude A number of people have been asking one another what those bright yellow flowers are that have appeared recently at Island Rec’s LaFarge Open Space, aka the gravel pit. So we checked with Eliza Habegger, the land steward at the Land Bank, whose responsibilities also include ecological assessment, monitoring, and restoration on  Continue Reading

Calling All Island Writers!

Posted on July 5, 2020 at 5:53 am, by

Time for all Island Writers to get ready to launch your entries for the “2020: A Fair Odyssey” Virtual San Juan County Fair! But, you say, the Fair is over a month away—August 12-15. True, but the deadline for the Written Word entries is July 17th— just weeks away! So, prepare those writings for takeoff—Prose, Poetry,  Continue Reading

Sharon Kivisto Runs for County Council, District 1

Posted on July 4, 2020 at 7:51 am, by

I’m Sharon Kivisto and I’m campaigning to be the council member representing Residency District 1 on the San Juan County Council. My 20+ years of experience as a journalist in the islands has provided me with insight about the needs of islanders and the workings of county government. I’d like to use the knowledge I’ve  Continue Reading

San Juan Island Prevention Coalition

Posted on July 4, 2020 at 5:52 am, by

Hi Prevention Advocates! Have you seen this yet? We just launched it on our @sjipreventioncoalition Instagram page! Please share with your circle of influence. We always need a “first” person to post! (Rock Solid is on the flyer in their face masks and can’t enter the contest) Will it be you or someone you can  Continue Reading