Chamber Featured Member of the Month

Posted on April 19, 2019 at 5:47 am by

L-R: Lauren Cohen, Mayor Farhad Ghatan and Derek Steere

San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce Featured Member of the Month – San Juan Canvas

On April 8th the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce helped San Juan Canvas celebrate 40 years in business. Lauren Cohen and Derek Steere, who have been the owners for the last 10 years, invited Chamber Members to come celebrate. Van Go’s was the caterer and all were treated to pizzas, salads, cookies and beverages. Mayor Farhad Ghatan presented a special gift to the owners, a Town Proclamation honoring their 40 years in business.

Peter and Susan Risser were the original owners along with their partners Tom and Mary Blevins. The company started their high quality work by making sails and canvas. They built a solid reputation over the years and passed the scissors to Patrick and Andra Pillsbury who continued on with the tradition of high quality workmanship. Read More »

April is Poetry Month

Posted on April 19, 2019 at 5:47 am by

In our continuing April is Poetry Month series, the San Juan Update is sharing poems from local poets every Friday this month. Today is the 3rd Friday and today we have “High Wind Warning”, by Wiliam Weissinger, and “Song Sparrow” by Susie Foster Hale: Read More »

SJCPHD#1: Prospective Candidate Forum May 9th

Posted on April 19, 2019 at 5:42 am by

Want to make a difference? San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 (SJCPHD#1) has four of its five commissioner seats open for election this fall. This is almost unprecedented. Prospective candidates must file between May 13-17 and community leaders are needed to provide a new generation of strong leadership. SJCPHD#1 provides oversight for San Juan Island EMS and pays a subsidy to (but does not operate) Peace Island Medical Center (PIMC).

In order to assist those who are interested, the District is holding the following events (held at the EMS Business Offices, 1079 Spring Street):

  • Meet and Greet: April 24th at 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. the Board will set aside an hour before its regular board meeting to talk to prospective commissioners and members of the public.
  • Open House: May 9th at 5:00 p.m. for members of the public to visit the EMS offices and learn more about EMS operations
  • Prospective Candidate Forum: May 9th at 5:45 p.m. for candidates to learn more about the position by hearing from current commissioners and senior management. This is not a debate or campaign event.

Read More »

2019 Airport Honor Wall Ceremony

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 11:56 am by

Dennis Willows mentoring youngest grandson Sam, age 8

The Port of Friday Harbor and the San Juan Pilots Association are pleased to recognize our 2019 aviation honoree. This joint effort features a different pilot every year.

The Honor Wall at the Port of Friday Harbor Airport commemorates the history of aviation in the San Juan Islands since the early post World War II years when Roy Franklin first established scheduled air service linking San Juan Island with the mainland.

The selection committee this year has chosen Arthur “Dennis” Willows, recognizing his long service to our Friday Harbor aviation community. In addition to his serving as Director of the University of Washington’s marine laboratory, Dennis has been a tireless ambassador for general aviation in the San Juan Islands. He has inspired and mentored many aviation enthusiasts, taught high school students how to build an airplane, championed STEM education at our schools, and supported scholarship programs for aspiring young aerospace professionals.

Please join us at the Friday Harbor Airport Terminal Building on Saturday April 27th at 2:00 PM for the presentation ceremony and light refreshments.

Click here to see part of the Honor Wall Display prepared by Dr. John Geyman: Dennis Willows Honor Wall (PDF)

The Field Project

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 5:49 am by

Spring Street International School Presents:

The Field Project
Directed by Krista Strutz

The Field Project consists of a play and a comedy sketch: The Wolves and Who’s on First?

The Wolves, by Sarah Delappe: Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals.

Who’s on First? is a comedy routine made famous by Abbott and Costello. The premise of the sketch is that Abbott is identifying the players on a baseball team for Costello, but their names and nicknames can be interpreted as non-responsive answers to Costello’s questions. For example, the first baseman is named “Who”; thus, the utterance “Who’s on first” is ambiguous between the question (“Which person is the first baseman?”) and the answer (“The name of the first baseman is ‘Who’ “).

San Juan Community Theatre, Thursday through Saturday, April 18-20, 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 21, 2:00 pm

Tickets: $10 Adults $5 Students


  • Gavia Boyden
  • Ava Smith
  • Isabella Davis
  • ElseDora Arendt
  • Paradis Ikirezi
  • Ula Grace
  • Hannah Greene
  • Aiyana O’Prussack
  • Faith Embler
  • Kate Small
  • Matthew Rice
  • Elijah Carey

Click here to buy your tickets now

Hill of Thrills Soap Box Race

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 5:47 am by

Hill of Thrills starting gate – Contributed photo

Island Rec is very excited to announce the fourth running of the now famous Hill of Thrills Soap Box Race on Sunday, May 19. 

This is a classic old-fashioned ‘gravity’ race where people run their homemade, non-motorized contraptions down Grover Street by the elementary school.

The racing categories are ages 5-8, 9-12, 13-15, 16-adult. There are as many adult contestants as youth! This popular event is quickly becoming a local classic not to be missed.

Races go from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Race packets and applications can be found online or at the office. Register by May 9th for $10.00, price increases by $5.00 thereafter.

For more information or registration visit our website,, call 360-378-4953, or drop by our office, 580 Guard St. Monday – Friday 11:00-5pm.

Merri Ann’s Lifestyle Video Series

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 5:42 am by

Merri Ann Simonson checks in again with another in her San Juan Island Lifestyle video series. Here’s what she has to say about this one…

This lifetsyle video is about how much humor is involved in real estate sales. Our profession can be very interesting and challenging.

Community Forum

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 5:39 am by

Health Insurance Coverage for Emergency Care and Air-Ambulance Transfer in San Juan County

Due to the critical threat arising from recent insurance company denials of medical transport coverage, the San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 is sponsoring this community forum. Learn about:

  • Air Ambulance Insurance Denials – Status of the Problem
  • Know your Right to Obtain Emergency Care Under the Law
  • Understand when Air-Ambulance transfer is medically necessary
  • Understand our local health insurance marketplace
  • Learn the appeal process for challenging insurance denials and utilizing patient advocates

Program Chair:

  • Loren Johnson, MD – Emergency Physician


  • Michael Sullivan, MD, EMS Medical Policy Director, San Juan County
  • Warren Appleton, MD – Emergency Physician
  • Chris Martin, Executive Director, Airlift Northwest
  • Will Hamilton, Island Air Ambulance

Thursday April 25, from 6:30-8:00 pm at Mullis Senior Center – 589 Nash Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

All Four Orca Recovery Priority Bills Pass Washington State Legislature

Posted on April 17, 2019 at 5:51 am, by

Salmon habitat recovery, oil spill prevention, vessel noise and disturbance, reducing toxic pollution are all now expected to reach Governor Inslee’s desk. Bills passed: Protecting habitat (HB 1579) Lead sponsor Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-West Seattle) Supports chinook salmon and forage fish populations by protecting habitat and reducing invasive predatory species Preventing oil spills (HB 1578)  Continue Reading


Posted on April 17, 2019 at 5:48 am, by

In the SJ Update mailbag this morning we have this letter from Miles Crossen… I thought I’d start looking for volunteers to help out at the San Juan County Fair Photography Department. We’re going to need help on Tuesday, Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. for folks to assist people in the submission  Continue Reading

Temporary Skate Park Closure

Posted on April 17, 2019 at 5:45 am, by

The SJI Skate Park at the fairgrounds is getting a new fence. The park will be closed beginning April 19 for approximately 2 weeks. Island Rec apologizes for the inconvenience. Questions? Please Call (360)378-4953

Port Commission Meeting

Posted on April 17, 2019 at 5:44 am, by

The Friday Harbor Port Commission is meeting Thursday April 18th at 12:00 PM at the Town Council Chambers, 60 Second Street in Friday Harbor. They’ve posted the agenda on their website and you can view it here: Meeting Agenda.

Just Before Sunset

Posted on April 16, 2019 at 8:49 am, by

Kevin Holmes was out on the west side just before sunset the other day and captured this perfectly timed photo when the sun was passing behind the lighthouse. Thanks for sharing Kevin!

Climate Change Prevention: Eco-Friendly Changes You Can Make to Fight Global Warming

Posted on April 16, 2019 at 8:48 am, by

The following article was written by Neil Stawski… As much as the skeptics and critics might try to deny climate change, the signs that it’s a critical issue are all around us. The evidence of global warming can be found in the death of our coral reefs due to the increased temperatures of our ocean  Continue Reading

Pet of the Week

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 5:14 pm, by

Ladies, are you tired of one-night stands and awkward blind dates? Look no further. . . I’m Arlo, your knight in shining armor waiting for you at the APS-FH. I’m a true gentleman that doesn’t kiss and tell and promise I always put the toilet seat down. To make it a date, visit me at  Continue Reading

Spring Riot Workshop

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 5:48 am, by

Join florist Siri Thorson in exploring the intersection of Dutch Master opulence and contemporary floral design. Working with local and organically grown spring blooms, students will create a modern centerpiece inspired by the still life painters of the 17th and 18th century. Basic principles of foam-free floral design using a flower frog will be covered,  Continue Reading

The Deepest Roots

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 5:47 am, by

Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island ~ Kathleen Alcalá Make sure you come out to the Grange on Tuesday, April 30, 7:00 pm to hear author, Kathleen Alcala, talk about her wonderful exploration of food, agriculture, and history on Bainbridge Island. As friends began “going back to the land” at the same  Continue Reading

Stand Up Men Choose April

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 5:46 am, by

Stand Up Men chose April, Sexual Assault month, to launch a campaign to dramatically upgrade SAFE San Juans’ in-school and community prevention education programs.  SAFE’s mission is to make our community and youth free from sexual assault and domestic violence.   Stand Up Men’s fundraising goal for SAFE this year is to raise $45,000 to support  Continue Reading

Island Rec – Messy Me

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 5:45 am, by

Messy Me returns for even more sensory-engaging fun! We’ll play around in the elementary school gym with different sensory bins filled with mediums such as water, kinetic sand, and slime! Meet us April 26th from 2:30-4pm, this activity is free and is meant for children ages 2 to 5 and their chaperones. For more information,  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Volunteer Jim Biddick Helps Seniors File Taxes

Posted on April 15, 2019 at 5:44 am, by

Island Senior is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae… What a relief it is to fix a stamp onto that envelope addressed to the IRS and send it off in the mail. Phew! I’m sure I am not the only one who finds filing taxes both mysterious and  Continue Reading

Job Fair

Posted on April 14, 2019 at 12:20 pm, by

Attention job seekers of all ages. Whether you are looking for full time, part time or seasonal job, there are employers eager to talk with you. Northwest Workforce Council Career Center, Skagit Valley College are sponsoring a job fair at the Mullis Community Center on Sunday, April 14 from 1-4 PM. Sunday, April 14, 2019  Continue Reading

School Board Meeting

Posted on April 14, 2019 at 5:44 am, by

On Wednesday April 17, 2019, the San Juan Island School District Board of Directors will hold a Special School Board Meeting in the High School Library, 45 Blair Ave.  This is an open public meeting and is scheduled for 5:00 pm.  Two interviews will be held for the school board position vacancy. The Board will  Continue Reading