School Board Meetings

Posted on February 23, 2019 at 8:18 am by

On Wednesday Feb 27, 2019, the San Juan Island School District Board of Directors will hold a regular School Board Meeting at 5:00 pm in the high school library.  This is an open public meeting.  

All public comment, with the exception of public hearings on policy, budget or other specific items, will be heard during the “Public Comment” section of the Call to Order of the regular meeting.  Anyone wishing to address the board on any topic will be scheduled to speak during the public comment period by the Administrative Assistant present at the board meeting.  Check in to be scheduled to speak will occur during the 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.     

Please see the agenda at

This is a quick look at the board agendas for your convenience.  Please be aware that the agendas could change prior to the board meeting.

The same day, Wednesday February 27, 2019, from 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm the San Juan Island School District Board of Directors will hold a Special Board Meeting, Executive Session only in accordance with RCW 42.30.110(g), to evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment or to review the performance of a public employee.  This meeting will be closed to the public.

Intro to Black and White Photography

Posted on February 22, 2019 at 12:30 pm by

“Queen” a photo by Danielle Dean

Alchemy Art Center is enrolling for the first in a series of classes exploring the exciting and versatile art form of darkroom photography.  

Complete Introduction to Black and White Photography is a comprehensive course taught by world class photographer and educator Danielle Dean, and will cover everything from camera function to lighting to darkroom printing.  

Slideshow lectures and films will expose students to contemporary and historical artists who exemplify creative and groundbreaking approaches to B&W Photography.  Critiques will emphasize final print quality and the ability to think and speak critically about the student’s work and the work of others. The goal of the course is to provide a strong technical and conceptual foundation in B&W Photography.  

This 9 week course begins March 18th, running every Monday from 6:00pm-9:00pm at Alchemy Art Center.  To see the complete class description, or to register, please visit our class page at

Danielle Dean – Contributed photo

Danielle Dean is an artist, educator and curator based on San Juan Island in Washington State. She recently completed a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work is included in public and private collections and has been exhibited throughout the country.  She was recently awarded the Blue Sky Gallery’s 2018 Artist Residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology and named a finalist for the 2018 LensCulture International Art Photography Awards. Her work is represented by Gallery BOM in Boston, Massachusetts.

Alchemy Art Center, founded by Maria Michaelson and Eben Shay in 2017, is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to creating a thriving arts community on San Juan Island.

For more information about Alchemy, visit our website at

San Juan Swimmers Finish Season with Improvement

Posted on February 22, 2019 at 8:08 am by

Photo courtesy of San Juan Island Fitness

Story by Orcas Swim Team

San Juan Island’s Orcas Swim Team hosted a group of swimmers from the Thunderbird Aquatic Team of Anacortes on Saturday, Feb. 16 during the home club’s last meet of the season. More than 50 swimmers, ranging in ages from 6-13, participated in the event.

“The primary purpose [of the meet] was to give the kids some exposure and experience swimming against others clubs,” said Tim Collins, the Orcas Swim Team head coach of seven years.

The local club hosts “friendly meets,” as Collins calls them, and scores are not kept.

“The main thing we focus on is swimmers achieving their personal best times,” he said.

Breakout athletes from the meet included 12-year-old Elian Bayas in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:08.09; 9-year-old Parker Aylward in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 49.37; 9-year-old Lexi Gummerman in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 51.13; 10-year-old Chelci Pitman in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 51.13; 8-year-old Sabine Bayas in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.66; 7-year-old Olsen Schoultz in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:15.21; 10-year-old Grayson Matthews in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 52.15; and 10-year old Macy Muir in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 38.75. Read More »

Soroptimist St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza

Posted on February 22, 2019 at 8:07 am by

Tickets are on sale now for Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor’s 21st annual St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza to be held on Saturday, March 16 at the Mullis Center. Enjoy a cash bar, appetizers, and musical entertainment starting at 5 p.m, while you preview the exciting silent auction items donated by generous area patrons.

Dinner will be served by our very own leprechaun, Becki Day. A traditional Irish buffet of corned beef and cabbage, as well as savory vegetarian options, will be served at 6 pm, followed by a most decadently delicious dessert dash and live auction hosted by Farhad Ghatan.

This popular event is the largest annual fundraiser for Soroptimist. The Extravaganza raises money to support the Women’s Emergency Fund, education grants and scholarships, the Cancer Treatment Transportation Fund, plus other community programs such as matching dollars for WIC recipients to use at the Farmer’s Market. Read More »

Scouting (BSA)

Posted on February 22, 2019 at 8:06 am by

There is a parent meeting coming up for folks interested in scouting. Eric Stone says to contact him (at the address below) for more information on the meeting to be held on March 20th at 6:30 pm

Boy Scouts of America, has made several radical changes. Scouting (BSA) as it is now called, has changed from a program only for boys to one for that includes both boys and girls. In San Juan County, there are currently two active programs, Troop 4090 (ages 10-18) and Sea Scout Ship 4013 (14-21).  A new Cub Scout Pack is currently being planned (ages 7-11). 

For those unfamiliar with the Scouting program, it provides training and character building in: Leadership, Outdoors, First Aid, Camping, Home Repairs, Hiking and much much more. 

Sea Scouting includes all of these but also helps your son/daughter towards a career in the maritime industries.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these programs, please contact the Scouting Unit Commissioner, Eric Stone at:

San Juan County Homeless Count Holds Steady

Posted on February 22, 2019 at 8:03 am by

The 2019 San Juan County “Point-In Time” (PIT) Homeless Count identified 149 people who have no stable place to live, an increase from the 2018 count of 120 but similar to the 2017 count of 154.

Of the 149 people identified as having no stable place to live, 67 people were living out of doors, in vehicles, in abandoned buildings, or in an RV or boat that lacked one of the following: drinking water, a restroom, heat, the ability to cook food, or the ability to bathe. The remaining 82 were at risk of homelessness, in temporary, unstable living arrangements, often with friends or family. In 2018, the count found 57 people homeless and 63 at risk of homelessness. The 2017 count found 96 homeless and 58 at risk of homelessness.

The first San Juan County count, conducted in 2005 counted 21 homeless or at risk of homelessness. The numbers have varied with an overall upward trend since then. The state mandated count was conducted on Thursday, January 24, 2019. The count was initiated by the State of Washington in 2005 (RCW43.185C). The Washington State Department of Commerce oversees the count statewide. Read More »

Price Reduction!

Posted on February 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm by

With the price reduced, you now have no excuses! Get Glamorous! Drink some wine! Eat some delicious, locally sourced food! And watch the OSCARS live!

Live Auction including fabulous trips to Sidney, BC, Poets Cove Resort on Pender Island, Roche Harbor Romantic hotel stay & spa treatments, Lakedale Resort Glamping w/Duck Soup dinner package. (6) person Dinner and Piano concert with Mayor of Friday Harbor, Vegan cooking class & dinner & wine with Mike’s Cafe & Wine Bar and much more. Silent auction too with over 45 unique items to bid on including jewlery, art and gifts.

Click here to get your tickets.

Real Estate with Merri Ann

Posted on February 21, 2019 at 5:45 am by

Merri Ann Simonson – Contributed photo

Are You Considering Selling Your Property?

You may want to consider researching, collecting and completing the items detailed below.

This is not a check list for planting flowers on your porch and painting your front door, you can go to the internet for that information. This list is to prepare sellers in San Juan County for marketing their property. The issues below are for regulatory compliance and contract performance. Attention to these issues will prove beneficial and would be worth the effort during the marketing and transaction management of your property sale.

As your agent, I will assist with the process of gathering and helping you arrange for the various services. That is what good agents do.

This list will not apply to all properties and it is not meant to be all encompassing. The topics are in alphabetical order for your convenience.

Single Family Residence

“As Is” Sale
Washington is a due diligence state with the buyer able to process the suitability of the property with no risk to their deposit if their contract has contingencies. Some property owners believe by writing in “as is” on the contract that they are excused from making repairs and/or disclosing information about the property and buyer recourse. The statement indicates to the buyer that the seller has no intention of making repairs but the buyer may still obtain home or other inspection reports as they deem necessary. Disclosure and recourse are requirements and rights granted by law.

Continue reading (PDF)

EDC to offer free Construction Basics training at Lopez Island High School

Posted on February 20, 2019 at 11:15 am, by

The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) will offer free training in construction basics at Lopez Island High School this March, sponsored by the Washington State Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund, the Washington State Department of Commerce, and by the Lopez Community Land Trust. The course will be taught by Paul Henriksen, and will cover  Continue Reading

Kitchen Sink Dinners – Feed the Island

Posted on February 19, 2019 at 5:48 am, by

Cynthia’s Bistro is offering free take-away meals to anyone who needs a meal or wishes to have a home cooked meal. No questions asked, just free food. Stop by Cynthia’s this Thursday – February 21st from 4:30 to 6:00 to pick up your meal. You may pick up 2 meals per person. When we run  Continue Reading

FHFF Oscar Night Gala

Posted on February 19, 2019 at 5:45 am, by

The 3rd Annual FHFF Oscar Gala returns to the beautiful San Juan Island Yacht Club on February 24, 2019   Celebrate film and watch the Oscars LIVE on the big screen with your friends! Doors open at 5:00 pm with live Red Carpet Coverage on the big screen, followed by the Oscar Ceremony at 6:00  Continue Reading

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

Posted on February 18, 2019 at 5:52 am, by

Don’t Miss The Next Best of the Fest! In the oft-cited history of American music, there is a missing chapter that deserves our attention and respect: the influence of Native Americans. Despite attempts to ban, censor, and erase Indian culture in the United States, indigenous musicians played an important role in helping to shape the  Continue Reading

Pet of the Week

Posted on February 18, 2019 at 5:50 am, by

Hello, it’s me, Arlo. No, not Guthrie. The other one. I’m the other, better looking, more-sophisticated Arlo. As an older, dignified sort of fellow, I’m looking forward to finding a quiet home where I can pursue my interests, which include but are not limited to rare coin collecting, writing haiku poetry, reading the New York  Continue Reading

OPALCO Announces Board Candidates For April Election

Posted on February 18, 2019 at 5:40 am, by

Candidate Forums Scheduled March 4-7TH OPALCO’s Elections & Governance Committee has interviewed and approved a slate of candidates for the 2019 Board of Directors election. There are seven board members representing four districts and 20 islands. Everybody votes in all elections regardless of their home district. The Candidates are: Two open positions in District 3  Continue Reading

Salish Sea Early Music Festival – Early 19th-Century Serenades

Posted on February 17, 2019 at 5:35 am, by

Early 19th-Century Serenades for guitar, viola and flute will be presented in this second 2019 Salish Sea Early Music Festival performance featuring guitarist Oleg Timofeyev, flutist Jeffrey Cohan and violist Stephen Creswell. Included will be the Sérénade by guitarist and mandolin virtuoso Leonardo de Call (1767-1815), the Troisième Sérénade by flutist Anton Bernhard Fürstenau (1792-1852),  Continue Reading

SJCT: Now Showing, Death by Design

Posted on February 17, 2019 at 5:30 am, by

We hear from Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey, Executive Artistic Director, San Juan Community Theatre… What a storm that was! On day one, I was standing outside, watching the snow fall, blanketing the ground in white. On day two, I was bundled up in the house, making soup, watching movies and playing games. On day three…I was going a  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Planning For The End of Life

Posted on February 16, 2019 at 6:05 am, by

I was staying at Sakya Kachod Choling, the Buddhist Center on Mt Dallas, when I learned that my friend Ben’s cancer had spread into parts of his body that changed his situation from fighting for his life to acceptance of his death. A Buddhist Center is a good place to be at a time like  Continue Reading

Time to Make Early Resident Camping Reservations

Posted on February 16, 2019 at 5:35 am, by

Early resident camping reservations accepted until February 21st at 4:00 pm for San Juan County Parks. San Juan County Parks & Fair is again offering advance camping reservations for people who reside in our county year-round!  Choose from San Juan County Park, San Juan County Fairgrounds (RVs only), Odlin County Park, and Shaw County Park  Continue Reading

Are You Considering Selling Your Property?

Posted on February 16, 2019 at 5:31 am, by

Selling your property? Here’s advice from a pro… Thinking about selling your property?  You may want to consider researching, collecting and completing the items detailed below. This is not a check list for planting flowers on your porch and painting your front door, you can go to the internet for that information.  This list is  Continue Reading

25th Year of Knowledge Bowl!

Posted on February 16, 2019 at 5:31 am, by

We hear from Richard Meenan, San Juan Public Schools Foundation… Here’s a photo from the 11th & 12th grade team ten years ago… Are you ready for some knowledge? The San Juan Public Schools Foundation will host the 2019 Knowledge Bowl at the San Juan Community Theatre Monday evening, March 4, from 6:30 to 8:30.  Doors open  Continue Reading

Board of Health to Discuss Medical Air Transport

Posted on February 16, 2019 at 5:30 am, by

On Wednesday, February 20, 2019, the San Juan County Board of Health will be discussing medical air transport, a critical Access to Care issue, at their regularly scheduled Board meeting.  The meeting will start at 11:30 am in the County Council Hearing Room.  The full Board of Health agenda can be viewed on the county  Continue Reading

Firefighter of the Month

Posted on February 15, 2019 at 5:30 am, by

The San Juan Island Fire and Rescue Department is proud to announce the February 2019 Firefighter of the Month. Rookie Firefighter Erik Gresseth was selected this month due to his unwavering commitment to his community. Erik has an outstanding record of responding to emergency calls and attendance at training drills. Erik is someone who tries  Continue Reading