Orca Protection & Rescue “Open Boat Event” – October 27th

Posted on October 20, 2018 at 9:16 am by

Meet the crew of Orca Protection & Rescue and learn more about this timely organization on Saturday, October 27, 12:00-3:00 p.m., at Spring Street Landing. Enjoy wine and cheese as you tour OPR’s vessels and learn more about the organization’s mission. Orca Protection & Rescue is dedicated to protecting our local whales and marine wildlife from vessel harassment and marine pollution.

Meet Our Crew:

  • Captain Hobbes: Executive Director and Founder. Captain Hobbes is a 17-year veteran of the local whale watch industry who is now transitioning from whale watching to whale protection. Hobbes has operated commercial vessels since the age of 14 and was recently appointed by the United States Coast Guard to the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee.
  • Peter Brown: President Advisor from Gaia Network. Peter Brown is a director, producer, and cinematographer with 35+ years of experience. Brown has been active with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and released a feature length documentary based on his experiences (titled Confessions of an Eco Terrorist). Brown now leads Gaia Network, a global coalition of experts and activists working to make the world a better place.
  • Scott West: Enforcement Advisor. Scott West is a retired Special Agent-in-Charge with the Environmental Protection Agency. West is the former Director of Intelligence and Investigations at Sea Shepherd USA, who worked extensively in Japan against the dolphin slaughter.
  • Erika Hansen: Grant Writer and Community Outreach Specialist. Having worked as a research biologist since 2006, Hansen decided to instead pursue her dream of working in marine conservation.
  • Elora West: Media and Communication Specialist. Elora West has extensive experience working with conservation organizations developing media content, working in outreach, volunteer coordination, and campaign strategy. West is most known for her work documenting the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. West is currently a graduate student in the Communication Leadership program at the University of Washington.

We need your help to save our magnificent Southern Resident Killer Whales, who are hurtling towards extinction! Please donate today at www.orcaprotection.org to keep us in the water.

Directions to Open Boat Event: At Spring Street Landing, located in the harbor in front of Downriggers restaurant. Look for the maritime flags at our two boats at the end of the dock, where the seasonal San Juan Clipper docks.

Letters for Upcoming Election

Posted on October 20, 2018 at 5:59 am by

You can see letters from individuals supporting our candidates and issues at the links below. Letters are listed in chronological order. As more letters come in, this list will be updated so be sure to check back.

For Nick Power:
Colleen Kenimond
Don Hall
Rita Latsinova
Paul Arons
Bill Karges
Justin Paulsen

For Randy Gaylord: 
Lyn Perry
Don Drozd
Cathy Ferran
Norm Stamper
Jack B. Coe, Esq.
David Dehlendorf, Judy Scott, Learner Limbach, and Mac Langford
Pete Moe
Charles Silverman
Warren Appleton
Bill Cumming
Kathy Morris
Jim Skoog
Wendy E Shepard
Karen Vedder
Art Lange
Bill Wulff

For Steve Brandli:
Katie Zwilling
Marian Ford
Lauren Franciosi
Tara Wilding
Lauren Sands
Lawrence Curt Delay
Sara Jensen
Shawn Alexander

For Affordable Housing:
Steve Ulvi
Louise Dustrude
Gay Graham – Updated
Sarah Crosby
Susan Grout
Lynette Roberts
Jeff Brash
Eileen Drath

For Ron Krebs:
Hobbes Buchanan
David M. Jenkins
Andy Urbach

Initiative 1631
Katie Fleming

For Carolyn Jewett
Judith L. Chovan
Marny Gaylord

Meet & Greet Local Author Rebecca Cook

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

Celebrate the Debut of her Children’s Picture Book, Calvin Splinter & His Splendid Splinter Ideas on Saturday November 3, 2:00—4:00 PM

If you’re enchanted by the imaginative and captivating world of children’s literature, you must come and celebrate the launching of RA Cook’s book, Calvin Splinter & His Splendid Splinter Ideas at Griffin Bay Bookstore on Saturday, November 3, 2:00—4:00 pm. This is a wonderful—and beautifully illustrated book that comes with a catchy marimba tune, The Humming Song. Lyrics are by RA Cook, music written and arranged by RA Cook and Margie Smith.

After a terrible storm in the Kingdom of Lumaria, with the help of a butterfly named Howie, a caterpillar named Woolie, and using his splendid splinter ideas, Calvin Splinter, a forest nymph, calls all the other splinters by humming a catchy tune, The Humming Song. Working together, they rebuild the Great Forest.

Calvin Spinter & His Splendid Splinter Ideas is a story of hope and renewal. It is specifically geared for children ages 4 to 9. The lively text and delightful art carry a strong environmental message, dovetailing with such themes as intuitive ideas, relationship building and working together for a common goal.

This is a book that will surely delight and capture the young and old alike.

Rebecca Cook – Contributed photo

About the Author
A graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, with a degree in illustration, RA Cook, an award-winning graphic designer, has worked in the newspaper, magazine, and book industry for over three decades. “I have designed many a book for clients in the past, but writing and illustrating my own children’s picture book is my passion and life’s work.” Calvin Splinter & His Splendid Splinter Ideas was a heartfelt ten-year project.

Temporary WSF Schedule Change

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

Here’s the official word from Washington State Ferries about service disruption coming up next week…

Reduced service on Anacortes/San Juan Islands route Oct. 22 to Nov. 4

With seven of our ferries in need of attention, we made the difficult decision late last week to temporarily downsize our Anacortes/San Juan Islands/Sidney, British Columbia route from four to three vessels between Oct. 22 and Nov. 4. I understand the impact this service disruption will have on our customers and I want everyone to know that we looked at many scenarios to avoid it. Unfortunately, we had no other option this time, as nearly a third of our fleet will be out of service, including three ferries that often operate in the San Juan Islands.

During this time, four of our ferries will be out for repairs (ElwhaHyakIssaquah and Salish) and three will undergo required U.S. Coast Guard shipyard work (Kittitas, Puyallupand Yakima). During these two weeks, the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route will operate on a temporary three-boat schedule that we worked with the San Juan Islands Ferry Advisory Committee to develop. In order to preserve domestic service, the daily round trip sailing to Sidney will be suspended.

All vehicle reservations for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands/Sidney, BC route during this two-week period be canceled as WSF’s current reservation system cannot be amended to the temporary three-boat schedule. No-show fees will be waived. All customers will sail on a first come, first served basis.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and for your patience during this time.

Real Estate Market And Your Tax Assessment

Posted on October 19, 2018 at 5:44 am by

Merri Ann Simonson is back with more Real Estate information…

Merri Ann Simonson – Contributed photo

All of us Island property owners received our tax assessment notices from the County recently. As real estate agents we have been fielding many questions about the statements and new assessments. As you may recall, the State has mandated that our Assessor’s office convert to an annual assessment update cycle versus the cyclical system we were on for years. The current values are for a one year period only and will be adjusted the next year. The current process is much more stable and refined and is a more accurate system than we have had in the past.

As agents, we have often seen properties sell above their tax assessments the majority of the last 20 years with the exception of 2008-2012. Most of the variance was due to the 3 year lag time that accompanied the previous cyclical schedule our assessor used.

Continue reading…

2 Year Contracts for Teachers and School Employees

Posted on October 18, 2018 at 5:50 am by

San Juan Island School District is happy to announce that we have achieved two-year contracts with both the teachers’ union, San Juan Education Association (SJEA), and the classified employees union, Public School Employees of Washington (PSE).  Both contracts target additional funds for the purpose of honoring employees with the greatest longevity in the school district. 

The SJEA contract has raised the starting salary of new teachers with a BA degree and no experience or credits to $50,160.00 this year and $52,428.00 next year.  Earnings for experienced teachers with an MA/PHD, the most longevity and credits will increase to $97,002 this school year and will top out next school year at $101,386.00.  The overall average of SJISD teachers’ salaries this year is $78,155 and next year will increase to $82,875.  In addition, teachers will receive increased classroom budgets, higher special workload stipends and improved instructional load standards.

Salary schedules are available to the public on the District website at this link https://www.sjisd.wednet.edu/Page/2088.

All negotiating teams worked with a strong sense of purpose and teamwork to achieve these agreements. We are especially pleased to have signed them as early in the year as we did enabling us to fully concentrate our energies on the District’s continuing focus of student performance.

OPALCO Pays Tribute to Paul Allen

Posted on October 18, 2018 at 5:48 am by

Paul Allen – Microsoft Blog photo

Allen’s Generosity Created Greater Safety and Connection in San Juan County

The world lost a true friend in the passing of Paul Allen. Many are telling the stories of his incredible contributions to science, technology and humanity around the world and particularly in Washington State. You may not realize it, but Allen’s generosity is responsible for the improvements OPALCO was able to make for the safety of our crews in the field and access to first responders county wide.

In 2014, Paul Allen’s company, Vulcan, carved out a small block of 600 MHz spectrum and made it available to OPALCO. San Juan County has such a small population base – we would not have ever had access to this key element of connectivity without Allen’s foresight and generosity. Owning that spectrum set OPALCO up for success with the purchase of Rock Island Communication and made it possible to build a wireless network in San Juan County.

Whether a member of your family is out in the field as a lineworker, law enforcement officer or emergency medical provider; whether you or your family have ever benefited from local emergency services; whether you or a family member can now work remotely from home; whether you’ve noticed the increased coverage for mobile communications county-wide; or whether you can simply appreciate the opportunity to stream a movie at home all the way through without buffering: Paul Allen made it all possible.

Please join us in sending our thoughts of gratitude and peace to the family of Paul Allen. May we all take inspiration from his philanthropic spirit for the greater good.

* * *

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is our member-owned cooperative electric utility, serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95% greenhouse-gas free and is generated predominantly by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937. Follow OPALCO @OrcasPower on Facebook and Twitter.

Shaw Wins First Place for Video

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

The students at the Shaw Island School recently won first place in a statewide contest promoting earthquake preparedness and safety. Sponsored by the Cascadia Regional Earthquake Workgroup, the competition solicited videos from schools across Washington.

Timed to promote the Great Shake Out earthquake drill, this is the second year of the contest, and the second year that Shaw has taken home a prize.

It’s not to late for islanders to sign up for Thursday’s Shake Out exercise: www.shakeout.org/washington

Some comments from the students: Read More »

Countywide Varicella (Chickenpox) ALERT!

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

Nine school- and preschool-aged children have CONFIRMED cases of varicella (chickenpox) on Lopez, Orcas and Shaw islands, with additional possible cases awaiting evaluation from health care providers within the county.  Schools have been alerted of the current outbreak. Parents are encouraged to check their child’s vaccination status and ensure their children are fully immunized against  Continue Reading

SVC to Spain and Portugal

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

Skagit Valley College to offer two travel abroad opportunities to Spain and Portugal If a visit to the Iberian Peninsula is on your bucket list, then you will want to join SVC Music Department Chair, Dr. Diane Johnson, on one of two travel abroad opportunities to Spain and Portugal in 2019. Dr. Johnson will lead  Continue Reading

Big Weekend at Whale Museum

Posted on October 17, 2018 at 5:56 am, by

Summer may have gone but Fall is here, which means it is time to gear down and reconnect with others interested in learning more about the Salish Sea! Everyone is welcome to come join us for two big events this weekend being put on by The Whale Museum: Saturday, October 20: Gear Down Workshop for  Continue Reading

Last Week for Silent Sky

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

Here’s the latest from San Juan Community Theatre… Have you seen the show that everyone is raving about? There are just four more chances to do so! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday’s performances are at 7:30 pm (and Thursday is Pay What You Can) and we finish the run with a matinee on Sunday at 2:00  Continue Reading

Holiday Wreath Sale

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

The Class of 2019 Kicks off Grad Night Fundraising The Friday Harbor High School Senior Class of 2019/PTSA is now taking orders for their annual Holiday Wreath sale. Get your beautiful, aromatic, long-lasting, 24” Northwest Noble Fir wreath with pinecones, berries, and a handmade bow in the color of your choice for only $25! These  Continue Reading

Seven Sacred Breaths Workshop

Posted on October 17, 2018 at 5:41 am, by

Heidi Green, yoga instructor and co-author of Yogadevotion: Practicing in the Presence, is conducting a special 2-hour workshop this Saturday, Oct. 20, from 2-4 pm at Saint David’s Episcopal Church. This workshop examines the benefits to body, mind, and spirit of a simple breath prayer practice tied to the Seven Daily Offices. The Daily Offices  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Fun Friday Bingo at the Mullis Center

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

Island Senior is a regular column on the SJ Update written by Peggy Sue McRae… On the second Friday of the month the Mullis Center hosts Fun Friday Bingo. For ten dollars you get a delicious seasonally themed lunch and 15 cards of Bingo. On Friday I enlisted my friend Therese Finn and we joined  Continue Reading

Magical Ornamentals – Salvias, Roses and the Drama of Leaves

Posted on October 16, 2018 at 5:48 am, by

  A panel of San Juan Island Master Gardener volunteers will share their ornamental obsessions and inspire you to join them in their love of salvias, roses, and plants with beautiful leaves at the Annual Gardening Workshop, this Saturday, October 20th. Ornamental garden plants aren’t ‘idle lovelies’ – they create pollinator habitats and bird joy,  Continue Reading

San Juan County 2019 Preliminary Budget Published and Available Online

Posted on October 16, 2018 at 5:46 am, by

San Juan County’s Preliminary Budget for 2019 has been published. With a theme of “Finish What We’ve Started,” the 2019 budget focuses resources on projects and initiatives already underway within the County. The County has enjoyed several years of remarkable growth in sales, lodging and real estate excise taxes, growth that has allowed the County  Continue Reading

San Juan County Property taxes due October 31st

Posted on October 16, 2018 at 5:37 am, by

San Juan County Treasurer, Rhonda Pederson would like to remind county property owners that the second installment of property taxes and personal property taxes are due October 31st.  Please note that even if you deposit the envelope with your local post office, it may not be postmarked on the same day.  Plan ahead and mail  Continue Reading

Northwest artist creating sculpture of Friday Harbor founder Edward Warbass

Posted on October 15, 2018 at 12:05 pm, by

  Northwest artist Gareth Curtiss has been selected by the Town of Friday Harbor to complete a life-size bronze sculpture of town founding father Captain Edward D. Warbass. The piece will include Mr. Warbass sitting on a park bench with his dog, Bob, by his side.   The artwork is scheduled for installation on the sidewalk  Continue Reading

Love for Creatures Great and Small

Posted on October 15, 2018 at 8:37 am, by

Tamara Weaver writes about St. Francis’ Blessing of the Animals… On October 4, people all over the world celebrated the feast day of the Patron Saint of Animals, Saint Francis of Assisi. It’s customary that in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures, animals are led to churches for a special ceremony  Continue Reading

A Very British Evening

Posted on October 15, 2018 at 5:46 am, by

Friends of the San Juan Island Library cordially invite you to “A Very British Evening: Jane Austen Meets the Royal Navy”. Please join Heidi Green, a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. This event sponsored by the Friends of the SJI Library is in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the  Continue Reading

Pet of the Week

Posted on October 15, 2018 at 5:43 am, by

Name: Farrah Status: Single. Haven’t found my soulmate. Yet. Sign: Aries. Virgo rising. Likes: Hip Hop, Chinese food, BBC World Radio, belly rubs, chardonnay Dislikes: Plastic wine glasses, opinions that differ from mine, Tibetan throat singing, beady eyes What Intrigues Me: Dogs eating peanut butter, flatulence, I Love Lucy re-runs Favorite Movie: The Swamp Thing  Continue Reading