Orca Protection & Rescue

Posted on February 21, 2018 at 5:54 am by

“I’ve had enough and I just can’t do this anymore.”

After 15-years as a whale watch tour operator, Captain Alan “Hobbes” Buchanan’s passion for whales has led him to create Orca Protection & Rescue, a new organization aimed at helping to save the whales and wildlife of the Salish Sea. Orca Protection & Rescue will focus on whale watch regulations and enforcement, and marine debris and plastics removal.

“I’m done with too many whale watch and private boats around the whales at one time, not enough enforcement, some bad tour operators due to poor training, and ignorance around these majestic animals!” said Captain Hobbes.

Orca Protection & Rescue is focused on protecting the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs), transient killer whales (Biggs), and humpback and gray whales.

When Captain Hobbes began as a whale watch captain in 2002, only 15-20 vessels engaged with the 90+ whales that made up the Southern Resident Killer Whale population. Today, over 97 whale watch boats engage with only 76 whales; the boats are from the San Juan Islands, Anacortes, Everett, Seattle, Port Townsend, Victoria, Sidney, Vancouver, and other small Canadian towns. These vessels do not account for the private boats, ferries, commercial shipping, research boats, or enforcement vessels also operating daily.

Orca Protection & Rescue is concerned with the growing number of whale watch companies and increasing vessel traffic, with no permits or training required, due to sound and other interference as the whale populations hunt and socialize.

“… that’s well over 120 boats! Whales change their behavior and stop feeding when lots of boats and noise are around them, no wonder they are starving to death. And as of now, there are still no permits or training required by local, state or federal agencies to operate a whale watch company. And the number of boats is still growing…” Captain Hobbes explains. Read More »

13th Annual Rotary Spelling Bee

Posted on February 21, 2018 at 5:47 am by

The 2016 Spelling Bee – Ted Strutz photo

The Rotary Club of San Juan Island will hold its 13th annual Spelling Bee on Thursday, March 1st at 3:30 PM at the San Juan Community Theater. Doors open at 3:00 PM.

This year’s spellers include students from Friday Harbor Elementary School, Friday Harbor Middle School, and Paideia Classical School. All island schools were invited to participate.

The contest is open to 4th through 8th graders. The first place winner will receive a trophy and a check for $100. In addition, a check for $200 will be awarded to winner’s class, and $300 to their school. Second place winner will receive a trophy and a check for $75. Their class will receive $150 and school $200. All students will receive a medal in appreciation for their participation.

Rotarians Mary Sliger and Carla Wright will serve as judges. Former Rotarian, Carol Linde will be the pronouncer. Bob Jarman will be emcee and calmer of nerves for the students.

Last year, ‘Alpinist’ was the correct spelling for Emma Mughal, an eight grader from Friday Harbor Middle School, the first-place winner.

Civic Campus Planning Project

Posted on February 21, 2018 at 5:44 am by

San Juan County’s Civic Campus Planning Project

Over the years, the County has been looking towards a new Civic Campus to bring specific departments together in an effort to increase efficiencies, reduce operating costs, and provide better service to County residents. A new Campus could also provide increased inside and outside spaces for community use.

A number of San Juan County functions are currently housed in a variety of facilities and sites in Friday Harbor.  These have developed sporadically over time and do not support efficient operations or customer service. The current project, which began in late January, is to develop a plan for a new Civic Campus in Friday Harbor to house County Administration, County Council, Department of Community Development, Health and Community Services, Public Works (except Maintenance and Fleet), and the Assessor, Auditor, and Treasurer’s Offices.  The Prosecuting Attorney and Sheriff’s Offices, and District and Superior Courts will continue to be located in the Courthouse.

The County Manager’s Office has developed a web site that provides background information as well as a link to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.  This web site will be updated with new information as the planning process develops.  In addition, the County will be soliciting input from the public thru an online survey to obtain feedback on the vision for the new Campus, community needs and uses that we should aim to accommodate, the character of the building, indoor and outdoor spaces, and public amenities.  The survey will be available next week.

Civic Campus Plan web page: https://www.sanjuanco.com/1388/Civic-Campus-Plan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):  https://www.sanjuanco.com/1389/Civic-Campus-Plan-FAQ

Classic Film Series: Love and Laughter

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 5:50 am by

Classic Film Series: Love and Laughter, February 23-25. All showing at 7 pm. You’ll love–and laugh–through these three comedies by Billy Wilder and Charles Bracket, “the happiest couple in Hollywood”.  Served with a loving smile by our very own comic diva, Therese!  Refreshments are courtesy of the Friends of the Library. 

It’s kind of a look at how the world has changed and stayed the same, through the eyes of comedy.” Therese Finn

 Friday, February 23 – Ninotchka (1939–Greta Garbo [“Garbo laughs!”] and Melvyn Douglas) – A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

 Saturday, February 24 – Midnight (1939–Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, and John Barrymore) – A chorus girl stranded in Paris is set up by a millionaire to break up his wife’s affair with another man.

 Sunday, February 25 – The Major and the Minor (1942–Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland) – A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn’t notice the truth.

Admission is Free.

Know Your Island Walk

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 5:48 am by

Todd Nicholson, Executive Director of the Port of Friday Harbor will lead a walk on the airport trail. Todd will share details about the upcoming tree removal required by the FAA and plans to replant a sustainable native forest and other trail improvements. 

Terrain is moderate, distance is 3 miles and dogs on leash are welcome.

Saturday February 24th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Meet at Skagit Valley College. 

Best of the Fest

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 5:47 am by

Tonight at the Grange, a double feature showing 2 films from the recent 2017 Friday Harbor Film Festival –

The Memory of Fish
The salmon of Washington’s Elwha River sustained Dick Goin for the first half of his life.  He and his family had been nourished by these salmon since migrating to the Olympic Peninsula during the Dust Bowl.  But since 1913, when a dam without any fish passages was constructed across the river, the salmon population had declined to less than 90% of its former size.

Goin never forgot his debt to the salmon, and spent the last half of his life fighting to bring these fish back to the river.  A pulp mill worker and master fisherman by trade, he drew on his memories and persistence to battle for the biggest dam removal project in U.S. history.

The Memory of Fish paints a documentary portrait of the heroism of one man with a mission: to bring the salmon home.

A Hand to Stand (short film)
Seven indigenous high school students who inhabit the Great Bear Rainforest on the coast of British Columbia build their own stand-up paddleboards from locally-sourced red and yellow cedar.  The students’ project encourages them to connect with their environment and to take pride in themselves and their culture.

The story is inspiring because the odds are stacked against Canadian Aboriginals finishing school and breaking out of the poverty trap.

7:00 pm at the Grange, 152 First Street.

Admission is by donation.

Intro to Mat Pilates

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 5:44 am by

Interested in learning more about Pilates or immersing yourself deeper in your current practice? The Studio has the perfect workshop for you!

Join Jacquelyn Reiff for an intensive Intro to Mat Pilates at The Studio March 3rd and 4th from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm. This session will detail Joseph Pilates classic mat exercises and prepare you for work in all The Studio Pilates mat classes.

Cost is $85 plus tax and includes the Joseph Pilates book Return to Life. Register at www.TheStudioSJI.com/PilatesIntro.

San Juan Islands Visitor Study

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 5:34 am by

Local, state, and federal agencies that manage lands or recreation facilities in the San Juan Islands sponsored a study in 2017 to collect better information about use, impacts, visitors, and preferences for management. The study addresses several questions related to San Juan Islands tourism, public lands, and recreation areas. The goal is to describe visitor experiences on San Juan Islands public lands, their trips, their opinions about impacts or problems, and their views on management actions that might be used to address problems.

The study included:

  • A survey of ferry passengers (visitors and residents)
  • Surveys of visitors to attraction sites (e.g., Lime Kiln State Park, Moran State Park, Shark Reef Sanctuary)
  • Counts and observations of use at attraction sites
  • An inventory of accommodations on the three main islands (San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez)
  • An analysis of visitation from WSF, other passenger ferries, airlines, and marinas

Information will be used to inform decisions about development (campgrounds, lodging, roads, parking), recreation uses (boating, biking, trail networks), and ways to manage or better distribute use to enhance the quality or sustainability of visitor experiences. It is anticipated to facilitate efficiencies in cooperative planning among recreation managers.

The study, funded through county lodging tax grant and National Park Service investment, is being conducted for several agencies (including San Juan County Parks, San Juan County Land Bank, San Juan Islands Visitor Bureau, Washington State Parks, WA State Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service) by Confluence Research and Consulting. For more information about the study, contact Dr. Doug Whittaker at 907-346-3769 or Dona Wuthnow, Parks & Fair Director at 360-370-7452

Public Presentations Read More »

Pet of the Week

Posted on February 19, 2018 at 5:30 am, by

I’ve had my bath and I’m ready to be adopted. Can I go play in the mud again now? My name is Ricky. I’m here at the animal shelter now, waiting for you. Make no mistake about it – if you are my new person, I WILL find you and I WILL lick you. And  Continue Reading

Severe Weather Shelter Open Tonight

Posted on February 18, 2018 at 8:29 am, by

United Way of San Juan County, and the “Out of the Cold” Severe Weather Shelter program have enjoyed amazing community support in the shape of donations and volunteer commitments, and as the cold weather sets in tonight the Shelter will open once again. The Shelter location for the predicted cold weather will be at the  Continue Reading

On Book! Reader’s Theatre

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

Poets are Focus of Next FREE Readers Theatre San Juan Community Theatre’s On Book! Readers Theatre series showcases a play about two 20th century poets on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 20-21 at 7:30 p.m. Based on the compiled letters between poets Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth expresses the beauty in simple  Continue Reading

“Best of the Fest” The Memory of Fish, Tuesday at the Grange

Posted on February 18, 2018 at 5:35 am, by

Friday Harbor Film Festival will be showing The Memory of Fish at the Grange on Tuesday, February 20.  The Memory of Fish is a documentary portrait of the intertwined lives of Dick Goin and wild fish, and his fight to free a river. Elwha River salmon fed Dick and his family after they migrated to the  Continue Reading

Early Bird Registration for Agricultural Summit Ends February 20

Posted on February 18, 2018 at 5:30 am, by

6th Annual San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit March 16-17, 2018 on Lopez Island. You are invited to the annual gathering of local farmers, food producers, businesses, and food advocates for two days of events and education in support of our local food community. Link here for: Registration

Pam Fry is the Animal Shelter’s Volunteer of the Month

Posted on February 17, 2018 at 5:47 am, by

From the Animal Shelter… Pam Fry is the animal shelter’s “Volunteer of the Month” for February. Pam is a frequent visitor to the shelter, where she does energy balancing treatments on animals in need of help. The treatments help to clear stress and trauma and promote socializing and calmness. The treatments are tremendously helpful for  Continue Reading

Tucker Avenue Project Reconstruction Phase 2 Begins February 26, 2018

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

From the Town of Friday Harbor… Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who use Tucker Avenue will enjoy a safer and better quality roadway by late-summer. The Town of Friday Harbor has contracted with Strider Construction to reconstruct this portion of Tucker Avenue (Phase Two). The Contractor is scheduled to begin this project on Monday, February 26th.  Continue Reading

What to Expect: Construction on Tucker February 26th through March 12th

Posted on February 17, 2018 at 5:40 am, by

Tucker Avenue Reconstruction Project – Phase 2 – Construction Update. What to expect for the week(s) of February 26th through March 12th. The Town of Friday Harbor truly appreciates everyone’s patience while we work through this project. A project manager/inspector will be available to any address concerns. Do not hesitate to contact the Project Inspector, Frank Baublits,  Continue Reading

Best Picture Award

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 5:55 am, by

Congratulations to Tyler Roberts. His film “Be Good Now” just won Best Picture at the Oregon Short Film Festival. Tyler grew up here and graduated from FHHS in 2005 and Western Washington University in 2010. His parents are Mary and Roy, and he is the grandchild of Kip and Kitty. “Be Good Now” is a  Continue Reading

Cari Matthews, MD, joins medical team at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 5:45 am, by

Cari Matthews, MD, has joined the staff at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center. Matthews is a seasoned Emergency physician with special interests in remote care, aeromedical evacuation and travel medicine. She and her fellow Peace Island emergency medicine providers offer around-the-clock care, seven days a week. Matthews comes to PeaceHealth from Benefis Health System in  Continue Reading

Island Senior: It’s Flu Season!

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 5:30 am, by

Island Senior is a regular column written by Peggy Sue McRae… I was not planning to write about the flu this week but the flu chose me and according to my informal social media commiserations I am not alone. This is turning out to be one of the worst flu seasons in years. I was  Continue Reading

Valentine’s Day Dance

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 6:27 pm, by

Are you looking for some evening fun to do on Valentine’s Day weekend? Join Isle Seat Theatre/Dance Workshop 2 for dancing and great listening under the lights as we celebrate with the One More Time Band featuring Debbie Nash Strasser. Old swing/jazz standards with that big band sound will have you out on the dance  Continue Reading

Kati English, February EMT of the Month

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 5:30 am, by

Congratulations to February EMT of the Month Kati English. Kati has been an EMT since 2016 and is also a tech at the ER AND is also taking the Fire Fighter 1 class over at San Juan Island Fire. Even though Kati’s schedule is packed with work, fire school and family life, it was noted  Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, Wanda June Opens This Friday

Posted on February 14, 2018 at 2:32 pm, by

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s. satirical comedy, Happy Birthday, Wanda June opens in San Juan Community Theatre’s Gubelman Theatre THIS weekend with three performances: Friday and Saturday, February 16-17 at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. Directed by Tony Vivenzio, the play is a twentieth century takeoff of Ulysses’ return from the Trojan War when hunter Harold  Continue Reading

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