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 invite to post 😉 Thank you!

Please enter if you are ages 5-21 (or a parent or guardian may submit a photo on a youth’s behalf to still win 1 of 4 ~ $50 local gift cards!) Our Board of Health Officer, Dr. James, asked during last week’s BOH meeting, if “those kids that do anti-tobacco and alcohol prevention” would help promote the use of masks with their peers.

So, Rock Solid is helping to do just that with this contest:) Please help support these efforts by sharing and entering if you have a 5-21 year old in your life, ask them to enter and perhaps they will win a $50 gift card to a local business!

To Enter:

1. Follow @sjipreventioncoalition

2. Like this post

3. Post a photo of yourself wearing a face mask or face covering on your Instagram page and tag @sjipreventioncoalition (Must be a San Juan County, WA. resident ages 5-21 years. Parents/Guardians may post a photo of their child wearing a mask for the child to be in the running for a prize, too:) OR DM us your photo and we can add it to our account!

4. Tag 2 friends in our comments for an additional entry in random drawings.

Two winners will be selected by random from all entries, plus Two winners in a Judge’s Choice from homemade creations or designs submitted.

Let’s Face It! Wear a Mask!

Thank you,
Debbi, Luke, Zachariah, Ramona and Clarence

Virtual Hoop Camp

Posted on July 4, 2020 at 5:32 am by

Skagit Valley College Continuing and Community Education to offer virtual Hoop Camp for youth

This summer, area youth can improve their basketball fundamentals and skills with virtual Hoop Camps taught via Zoom by Skagit Valley College Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Carl Howell.

The camp will be offered via Zoom on July 21 and 22 from noon to 1:15pm. Cost is $70 for the two-day camp. For registration and information, visit

The virtual Hoop Camps are made possible by SVC’s Continuing and Community Education program.

Good News on Covid Testing

Posted on July 3, 2020 at 6:06 am by

Free Home Kits Now Available for Those Who Qualify

Dr. Gulla and Living Medical Arts PLLC wants the community to know that Labcorp is now offering testing that you can do in the comfort of your own home, without needing a doctors orders.

All you have to do is go online to this link and answer the questions to qualify for the test.

Labcorp will then send you a test kit. Just follow the instructions that are included with the kit to swab the inside of your nose. (It is no longer a deep nasal swab, but rather just inside the nostril.)

Thanks to the CARES Act, the testing is accessible at no charge, whether or not you have insurance.

Learn more about the CARES Act bill at this link.

Living Medical Arts is continuing to facilitate community testing and support. Our clinic is a multi-disciplinary clinic delivering naturopathic medicine, physical medicine and integrative care. Dr. Gulla has been serving the San Juans and other communities for ten years. Feel free to contact us at for information and care at: 360-472-0447, or

A Note from SJC Public Hospital District One

Posted on July 3, 2020 at 5:58 am by

Update to District Residents

Your local hospital district is committed to making sure that island residents have resources available to them to ensure care for their health. In an era where rural healthcare is under pressure nationwide, our innovative public-private partnership with PeaceHealth provides high-quality care to the public that is financially sustainable. Our Emergency Medical Services provide top quality prehospital care and does not charge coinsurance to residents.

In order to ensure access to affordable reproductive care for all, we also subsidize Mount Baker Planned Parenthood (MBPP) by giving them $40,000 per year, covering about 1/3 of their budgeted expenses. On June 24, MBPP during their semiannual report to the Board of Commissioners reported that more than half of those given care were at 150% of the federal poverty level or less. Patients are charged on a sliding scale based on what they can afford, and receive services ranging from birth control to vaccines and screening to family planning.

Chair Anna Lisa Lindstrum said, “Choosing when and how to have families is an essential part of ensuring wellness for women and families and helps ensure that children are born into a stable setting. We are very proud of our work with Mount Baker Planned Parenthood, and as we go through our fourth year working with them, we hope for many more years of collaboration.” Read More »

Governor Inslee Puts Hold on All Phase Advancing

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 7:30 pm by

July 2, 2020: Today Governor Inslee announced that a minimum of a two week hold will be placed on all current applications to advance through the Governor’s four phase plan. This decision applies to San Juan County’s application to Phase 3 submitted to the State on June 25th, in addition to current applications from a number of other counties.

Once posted, details on the Governor’s announcement are available at this link.

While this decision prolongs ongoing economic challenges for employers and employees of many local businesses, it is based on increasing case volumes across WA and the country, and the need to ensure that reopening is safe, thoughtful, and based on current data on disease transmission.

San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James shares his thoughts on the Governor’s decision, “When we submitted our application to move to Phase 3 last week, we genuinely felt that San Juan County was prepared to respond effectively to cases in the islands. We also understand that this is a fast moving situation and that the Governor prioritizing a safe reopening for the entire state is a logical choice at this time. Like so much in this crisis, these decisions are difficult and finding the right path is an enormous challenge.” Read More »

Public Asked to Protect Honey Bees by Reporting Sightings of the Invasive Asian Giant Hornet

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 9:35 am by

Honey bee collecting pollen – Photo by Vesi Boycheva

OLYMPIA—As summer gets into full swing and people spend more time outside, state and federal officials and local beekeepers hope the public will keep their eyes open and report any sightings of Asian giant hornet.

“When it comes to preventing and stopping a new invasive species, we all have a role to play and this is a great example,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “The first detection of Asian giant hornet in the entire United States was made by an aware member of the public. Every other detection since has been made by everyday citizens. Being aware of new plants and animals or changes in your community and then letting experts know if something seems like a problem can save thousands, if not millions of dollars, in damages.”

Click to enlarge

This bee-killer already has been spotted in two different cities in Washington this year even though Asian giant hornets aren’t expected out in larger numbers until July or August. That’s when worker hornets become active and the queens stop leaving the nests.

The hornets tend to be most active in the summer and fall when workers search for food away from their nests. Officials ask the public to report sightings as quickly as possible and give details of what they saw and where. Photographs are strongly encouraged if they can be taken safely. If the hornet is dead, please save it for testing. Reports may be made using the Washington Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA) Hornet Watch Report Form, the WA Invasives reporting app or on the Washington Invasive Species Council’s Web site. Read More »

Paying It Forward

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 9:28 am by

This FHL Tide Bite was written by Jen Burnaford…

My first trip to UW Friday Harbor Labs was in 1995. After completing my undergraduate thesis on freshwater zooplankton and spending a post-bac year chasing primates through the jungles of Borneo, I had been accepted into the PhD program at Oregon State University in the Menge/Lubchenco rocky intertidal ecology lab.

My new advisors were aware that I had never actually been to the rocky intertidal zone before I got to OSU, and they encouraged me to head up to FHL for summer courses at the end of my first year. A coin toss led to my application for the Marine Phycology course during A term (tails would have equalled Invertebrate Zoology), and to promote intellectual breadth I applied for the Marine Fishes course for B term.

As has happened to thousands of students before and since, I learned more in those 10 weeks than I had in any other 10-week period of my life.

Continue reading here…

All Personal Fireworks Are Illegal In San Juan County

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 9:23 am by

Photo by Andrea Wagner

A friendly reminder that all personal fireworks are prohibited in San Juan County. This includes firecrackers, mortars, sparklers, and bottle rockets. Personal firework discharge is a crime punishable by fines from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office. Furthermore any fires linked to the use of personal fireworks are subject to billing from all agencies that respond to the fire including local fire districts as well as Washington DNR. 

Novelties such as pop-its and snap confetti are in a class of their own and are sold at grocery and party supply stores and their safe use is permitted.

Fireworks shows are permitted in Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor. The Lopez fireworks show is cancelled for this year as is the Eastsound show. There is a permitted private firework show in the West Beach area of Orcas Island as well.

The Orcas Film Festival and Mt. Baker Farm are hosting a lazer light show on July 4th in Eastsound. 

Please be safe out there and have a lovely fourth.
San Juan County Fire Marshal’s Office

Vacancies on Various County Boards & Commissions

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 9:13 am, by

The County Council is searching for San Juan County citizens to fill current and upcoming vacancies on various boards and commissions. Additional information about each committee is available on the County’s website at: Persons interested in serving on a board or advisory committee should fill out an Advisory Committee Application or Contact the Council  Continue Reading

Missing Mountain Road is Officially Open

Posted on July 1, 2020 at 3:59 pm, by

By Louise Dustrude A small crowd of supporters wearing masks and socially distancing from one another celebrated the opening of the new Missing Mountain Road on Wednesday at 1 pm. Several of those who spoke pointed out that it had taken some 25 years since the road was first proposed, by the town planning commission,  Continue Reading

Recording of WSF Virtual Meeting

Posted on July 1, 2020 at 2:02 pm, by

Thank you to everyone who participated in WSF’s Virtual Community Meeting yesterday! For those who were unable to attend, a recording of the meeting is now available online on our Community Meetings page. To watch the meeting, you’ll need to provide a name and email to sign into the GotoWebinar page. For more information go  Continue Reading

Thriving Anywhere

Posted on July 1, 2020 at 7:28 am, by

Sharp eyed Update reader Josephine Swan saw this flower and called John Miller to take these shots Sunday because she could not believe her eyes.   Of these photos she says: “The soul’s roots planted in good soil will thrive anywhere.”

Merri Ann’s Video Series

Posted on July 1, 2020 at 7:24 am, by

Merri Ann Simonson has a new entry in her San Juan Island Lifestyle Video series. This one is about San Juan Island Real Estate and COVID

Logic and Accuracy

Posted on July 1, 2020 at 7:15 am, by

2020 Primary Vote counting equipment testing July 20 at 11:00 a.m. A “Logic and Accuracy” test of ballot tabulating equipment used in San Juan County for the August 4, 2020 Primary election is scheduled for July 20 at 11:00 a.m. The test works by tallying the results of a prepared set of ballots to see  Continue Reading

Flashback: 4th of July Parade, 1981

Posted on July 1, 2020 at 5:49 am, by

Without a parade this year, we’ve been thinking of festive 4th of July celebrations from years past. Here is a photo from the 1981 parade, shining the spotlight of history on the Islanders Bank float that year. It’s tradition for Islanders Bank to enter a float in the parade, and this one was noteworthy because  Continue Reading

Hospice in the Time of Covid19

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm, by

In the SJ Update mailbag today we have this letter from Beth Helstien… A huge shout out to Hospice of San Juan and San Juan County Senior Services for all their services! Do you know that our local hospice organization loans all kinds of equipment to the community whether you need Hospice volunteer services or  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Coping With Coronavirus, How Is Your Mental Health?

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 11:49 am, by

Island Senior is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae… With the pressure and stress of opening up our destination vacation island only to then slow the opening back down, the arrival of visitors with and without masks, spiking COVID numbers across the nation, not to mention prolonged isolation,  Continue Reading

She Loves Me; She Loves Me Not

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 11:45 am, by

How are you coping with staying at home and social distancing? Things getting a little boring or mundane? Maybe this image shared by John Miller can help. He calls it “She Loves Me; She Loves Me Not”. Thanks for sharing John!

WSF Virtual Community Meeting

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 11:39 am, by

Reminder: Tonight at 6 p.m. Washington State Ferries (WSF) is holding a virtual community meeting. Join us for a brief presentation and Q&A with ferry staff. Register by going to: You can view all travel alerts at the WSF Travel Bulletins page. This alert was sent on 06/30/2020 at 7:31AM. Please do not reply to  Continue Reading

Three Grizzlies Find a New Home at SJI Sculpture Park

Posted on June 29, 2020 at 11:44 am, by

By Marita Holdaway Thanks to Jim and Bonnie Towne the San Juan Island Sculpture Park has three bears. These are not just any old bears but grizzly bears commissioned by the Towne’s for their lodge in Colorado. When the Towne’s moved to San Juan Island, the mom and two cubs came with them. And now, as  Continue Reading

SJCT 2020 Playwrights Festival Auditions

Posted on June 29, 2020 at 8:49 am, by

About the San Juan Community Theatre Playwrights Festival~ 2020 has brought a lot of changes and the SJCT Playwrights Festival is changing with it! The challenges of quarantine, social distancing, and maintaining a safe and healthy community have inspired us to re-think our format. Plays will be produced as readings, September 3-6, 2020. Audiences of  Continue Reading

Against Common Sense: White Male Privilege and Me

Posted on June 29, 2020 at 8:40 am, by

In the SJ Update mailbag this morning we have these thoughts from David Kobrin… As an historian, I know there can be two opposing accounts of the same event, both of which are equally accurate. I’m not alluding to “alternative facts” or made up fictions. I mean exactly what I wrote: two stories that contradict  Continue Reading