Summer Ferries Schedule Released Today after Delay from Wenatchee Fire

Posted on May 9, 2021 at 5:30 am by

Suquamish – WSF photo

By Patty Rubstello, assistant secretary, Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division

When we unexpectedly lose one of our largest ferries (Puyallup, Tacoma and Wenatchee), there are cascading effects across our system.

With Wenatchee out of service for several months due to a recent fire and continuing pandemic-related vessel crewing challenges for quarantines and vaccinations, we were forced to make some difficult decisions affecting service on the following routes:

We are still planning to go to our “peak season” sailing schedule starting Sunday, May 9, on our Anacortes/San Juan Islands route, where timetables will be like previous summer schedules without a fifth vessel that mainly served Sidney, British Columbia. View the schedule here.

Seattle/Bainbridge: Smaller 188-vehicle Walla Walla, 144-vehicle Kaleetan or 124-vehicle Issaquah on route through at least July 25. Temporarily operating out of Slip 3 at Colman Dock starting Thursday, May 13, for about seven weeks.

Seattle/Bremerton: Slower and smaller 64-vehicle Salish on route starting Thursday, May 13, requiring a schedule adjustment that eliminates an early afternoon round trip until at least June 27. Temporarily operating out of Slip 1 at Colman Dock starting Thursday, May 13, for about seven weeks.

Mukilteo/Clinton: Smaller 124-vehicle Kittitas or Chelan on route for most of summer. Read More »

Town of Friday Harbor Honors Finance Director Kelle’ Wilson’s Retirement after 28 Years

Posted on May 9, 2021 at 5:00 am by

From the Town of Friday Harbor

Town of Friday Harbor Finance Director Kelle’ Wilson retired May 7 after 28 working in the town finance department and as treasurer for the town council. The town council created a proclamation in honor of her last day at a council meeting.

Proclamation Ownering Kelle’ Wilson Upon her Retirement

WHEREAS, Kelle’ Wilson has distinguished herself as a hard-working and dedicated public servant. In good times and in difficult times she has dealt with a diverse range of people in and out of Town Hall and provided courteous and comprehensive help to members of the community, Town officials and staff; and

WHEREAS, Kelle’ began a career at Town Hall when she was hired as a Data Processing Clerk in November of 1993. In March of 1998, Mayor Gary Boothman announced that she had been appointed to the position of Town Clerk. Later, in July of 2007, Treasurer Picinich recruited Kelle’ to the position of Assistant Finance Director. In July of 2014, the Town Council announced her appointment to the position of Treasurer and succession to the position of Finance Director. The citizens of Friday Harbor have elected Kelle’ to serve ever since; and

WHEREAS, due to her diligence and the knowledge she gained during those years, Kelle’s understanding of past and present operations has made her an invaluable resource and advisor in watching over the Town’s budget, assets and needs. Kelle’ has demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and professionalism when applying her expertise and judgment to the policies and laws governing the Town of Friday Harbor; and

WHEREAS, six months and twenty-seven years later, Kelle’ has announced her intention to retire from public service effective May 7, 2021;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Farhad Ghatan, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor, do hereby proclaim
Friday, May 7, 2021 Kelle’ Wilson Day.

On behalf of her fellow elected officials, coworkers and citizens of Friday Harbor, I offer congratulations on retirement and very best wishes to Kelle’ and her husband Gene for many happy years ahead!

By this proclamation, I hereby memorialize that today, her last council meeting as elected Treasurer of the Town of Friday Harbor, will adjourn in her honor with respect and gratitude.

San Juan County EDC Offers Free Online Construction Project Management Course

Posted on May 9, 2021 at 4:30 am by

From San Juan County Economic Development Council

Those seeking to build their career or business in construction are invited to learn construction project management in a free online class offered by the San Juan County Economic Development Council.

Nationally recognized project management expert Jeff Hunt, founder and president of Heritage Construction Services and NAHB accredited instructor, will teach the course.

The course will run 4-6 p.m., Wednesdays, May 19-June 2 over Zoom. Prospective students are urged to register quickly; spaces are limited and the registration deadline is May 13.

This free course will benefit anyone in the construction industry and building trades. In participating in the course, business owners and independent contractors may strengthen their businesses, job seekers may boost their competitiveness, employees may gain skills to take on management roles.

Spaces are limited and applicants must be planning to use the skills learned for paying work, either as an employee, contractor, or business owner. Applicants must be San Juan County residents who are 18 years or older.

To learn more, contact the EDC at To register, visit

This course is made possible by the generosity of funders of the EDC’s programs, in particular the Washington State Dept. of Commerce, San Juan County, the United Way of San Juan County, the Lopez Lions, the Port of Lopez, the Port of Friday Harbor, the Town of Friday Harbor, Robin VanHyning, and other donors.

Three New COVID Cases on San Juan Island, County Expects Pfizer Vaccine to be Approved for Children Soon

Posted on May 8, 2021 at 10:21 am by

From San Juan County

Contributed Image/CDC

Since the last update on Friday, April 23, total cases in San Juan County have increased from 176 to 179.
There are six close contacts of positive cases currently in active quarantine.

San Juan Island
There are three new cases on San Juan Island since the last update. Two of the new cases are from a single household and the transmission source is related to off-island travel.

The third new case is a close contact of the two cases listed above.

There are three positive cases under active monitoring on San Juan Island at this time.

Orcas Island
There are no new cases on Orcas Island since the last update. There are no confirmed positive cases under active monitoring on Orcas Island at this time.

Lopez Island
There are no new cases on Lopez Island since the last update. There are no confirmed positive cases under active monitoring on Lopez Island at this time.

Shaw Island
There are no new cases on Shaw Island since the last update. There are no confirmed positive cases under active monitoring on Shaw Island at this time.

Overall Read More »

Detours for Monday and Tuesday’s Mullis Street Roundabout Installation

Posted on May 8, 2021 at 5:00 am by

From the Town of Friday Harbor

The Town of Friday Harbor advises motorists will encounter delays on Monday and Tuesday in the locations highlighted on the map when crews install a painted roundabout at the intersection of Spring Street and Mullis Street.

Alternate routes are recommended to avoid delays traveling to and from the downtown core:

  • Lower Spring Street: Contractors will be laying asphalt pavement from First Street to Second Street. Extended hours are authorized until this phase of construction is complete.
  • Upper Spring Street: Contractors will be installing a painted roundabout at the intersection of Mullis and Spring Street.
  • Argyle Avenue: The detour route for the Mullis Street Improvement Project passes this San Juan County project.

San Juan County has 0 Reported COVID Deaths, Leads Nation in Vaccinations

Posted on May 8, 2021 at 4:30 am by

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.

From San Juan County

San Juan County is leading the way in COVID-19 vaccination rates. The county has also not had a death related to the coronavirus.

Mass clinics will no longer be offered locally. Look for a more targeted vax effort going forward.

Kids are at risk, but we are hopeful that ages 12 and up will be able to get vaccinated in mid-May.

Cases in Washington overall are still high, but hopefully dropping soon.

COVID can cause significant longterm health impacts. About 30% of those with “mild” cases face longterm symptoms.

Precautions around masking and other safety measures are starting to loosen, but be patient. The end is in sight, but not there yet.

Remember, there’s a whole world out there that’s not in such good shape.

San Juan County Vaccination Rate

As of May 5, over 65% of San Juan County residents (registered with a San Juan County address) have initiated their vaccination. This means that of those who are eligible (16+), the vaccine initiation rate is approximately 75%.

Actual numbers are expected to be a bit higher due to recent clinics, some local providers catching up with data entry, and not all mainland shots being included in WA DOH reporting.

This the highest vaccination rate in Washington and is one of the highest in the nation.

No matter how you look at it, this is remarkable and welcome news. It indicates a real willingness on the part of islanders to step up and protect themselves, their community, and help the islands move closer to normal this summer. It also reflects the incredible work put in by some local healthcare providers, the San Juan County Vaccination Team, and countless volunteers and local organizations to do the work required to get us to where we are.

That said, there are still about 4,000 islanders over the age of 18 who have not been vaccinated. While our progress is admirable, there is more to be done.

No More Mass Vaccination Clinics

The days of mass vaccination clinics are over. Read More »

San Juan County Completes Study to Prevent Oil Spills in Salish Sea

Posted on May 7, 2021 at 5:30 am by

Contributed Photo/San Juan County

From San Juan County

San Juan County completed a study to prevent oil spills in the Salish Sea. 

The study estimates the probability that an emergency response towing vessel stationed in the Salish Sea could prevent a disabled vessel from grounding and potentially causing an oil spill in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass.

The study was completed in partnership with Nuka Research & Planning Group LLC and the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute Salish Sea Modeling Center, and is called “Vessel Drift and Response Analysis for the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Southern Strait of Georgia.”

The study extends the vessel drift and response analysis conducted by Nuka for the west coast of Canada to our inland waters.

This analysis further supports the strategies and informs discussions of oil spill prevention mitigation measures in these waters.   

For more information, review the project factsheet and final report.

An online presentation on the findings will be held 1-2:30 p.m., Thursday, May 13.

Join the meeting here with meeting ID 822-6965-4624 and passcode 060642. Or call in at 1-253-215-8782.

Join Online Meeting on San Juan Islands National Monument May 12

Posted on May 7, 2021 at 5:00 am by

San Juan Islands National Monument Map. Contributed Image

From the Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management will hold a public meeting on the San Juan Islands National Monument 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 via Zoom.

Planned agenda items include reviewing the final resource management plan and environmental impact statement and opportunities for the committee to support the implementation of the management plan once the record of decision is signed.

“The San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee is an important forum for the community conversation that is a key component of public land management,” said Kurt Pindel, BLM Spokane District Manager. “By having the public participating in that conversation, we ensure the advice we get reflects a variety of perspectives on land and resource use issues.”

A one-hour comment period, during which the public may address the Monument Advisory Committee, will begin at noon. Depending on the number of people wishing to comment and time available, the amount of time for individual oral comments may be limited.

The 12-member Monument Advisory Committee provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on resource and land management issues within the San Juan Islands National Monument. Monument Advisory Committee members are citizens who represent public land interests associated with the local area and who may also advise the district office.

For more information about the upcoming Monument Advisory Committee meeting, contact Jeff Clark, Spokane district public affairs officer, at 509-536-1297 or

Letter: Fire Chair Jarman Thanks Voters for Fire Annexation Approval

Posted on May 7, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

By Bob Jarman, chair of the board of commissioners, San Juan County Fire District 3 On behalf of the elected board members of San Juan County Fire District 3, our career staff and our volunteers, we thank the voters of San Juan Island and the Town of Friday Harbor for your overwhelming support in the  Continue Reading

San Juan is First County in State to Vaccinate over 60% of Population

Posted on May 6, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From San Juan County It’s a race against COVID, not other jurisdictions, but San Juan County is the first in Washington to crack 60% for the percentage of population initiating vaccination, according to the state department of health.  These numbers include those who received their shots on the mainland and listed a San Juan County  Continue Reading

San Juan Community Theatre Reschedules ‘Mamma Mia!’ to Fall, Reopens Auditions

Posted on May 6, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

From San Juan Island Community Theatre The San Juan Island Community Theatre is hosting auditions for “Mamma Mia!” “Mamma Mia!” has been rescheduled to this fall depending on the continued success of vaccine rollouts and lifting public health restrictions. Tentative rehearsal times are 6:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, starting Sept. 5.  Continue Reading

Yoshi O’Connor is Animal Protection Society Volunteer of the Month

Posted on May 6, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

From the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor The Animal Protection Society – Friday Harbor is happy to announce Yoshi O’Connor as the APS-FH Volunteer of the Month for May 2021. Yoshi began volunteering to help socialize cats at the animal shelter in October 2020. The focus of her volunteer efforts soon shifted to the  Continue Reading

History Column: ‘History Lives Here’ Month Returns to San Juan Islands

Posted on May 5, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

Attend eight local historical events through May   From the San Juan Historical Society and Museum The American experience is composed of many local histories, common or unique. When we say “History Lives Here,” it is to bring attention to our island community’s often somewhat hidden, or at least not broadly remembered, rich local history.  Continue Reading

Friday Harbor Town Council Votes on Blair Avenue Mural Design Thursday

Posted on May 5, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

From the Town of Friday Harbor The Friday Harbor Arts Commission will present a proposed mural concept for the long wall on Blair Avenue at the Thursday, May 6 meeting of the town council. The commission convened an artist selection panel of artists, neighbors and commissioners to review 11 proposals submitted by artists from San  Continue Reading

San Juan Public Schools Foundation and Banner Bank Team Up for Fundraiser

Posted on May 5, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

From San Juan Public Schools Foundation San Juan Public Schools Foundation and Banner Bank are leading a fundraising effort to ensure learning programs are in place to manage the cascading effects of a year in isolation for students in the San Juan Island School District. Programs are ready to deploy, but supplemental funding is needed.  Continue Reading

Update: Mullis Street Painted Roundabout to be Installed May 10-11

Posted on May 4, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

This post was updated on May 5 to reflect the new construction dates.  From the Town of Friday Harbor The Spring Street and Mullis Street intersection will be closed Monday, May 10 and Tuesday, May 11 for the installation of a painted roundabout. The construction was to take place May 5 and 6 but was  Continue Reading

San Juan County Master Gardeners Present Online Plant Sale May 5-12

Posted on May 4, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

From the San Juan County Master Gardeners Healthy veggie starts and locally grown perennial landscaping plants need new homes. Like last year, the San Juan County Master Gardeners’ sale is online at, with curbside pickup at the Mullis Center. The sale begins 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 5 and closes 5 p.m., May 12. Make  Continue Reading

Adopt ‘Kissy’ Large Breed Mix at Friday Harbor Animal Shelter

Posted on May 4, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

From the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor Age: Approximately 6 months Sex: Male Breed: Large Breed Mix Application: Troy boy is pure joy! This gentle giant has the heart to match his size. He has a lot of love to give and is in need of someone to share it with. At six  Continue Reading

Town Photoshops Popular Local Historical Shots to Discuss History of Photo Manipulation

Posted on May 3, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From Sandy Strehlou, historic preservation coordinator, Town of Friday Harbor An online event called “There’s a Story Here: Exaggeration Postcards Imagined” will be held at 5 p.m., May 4 in celebration of History Lives Here 2021. Before Photoshop, innovative photographers used photographic manipulation to create a novel and inexpensive genre of souvenirs known as “exaggeration”  Continue Reading

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Suggests Tourism Plan to Protect Islands’ Nature

Posted on May 3, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

From San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Since May 2-8 is National Travel and Tourism Week, this is the perfect opportunity to restart the dialogue about the future of the San Juan Islands’ experience economy: tourism. Nobody in the world anticipated this vast, COVID-19 health crisis and resulting economic crisis. Industry after industry ground to a  Continue Reading

Town of Friday Harbor Public Meetings in May

Posted on May 3, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

From the Town of Friday Harbor The following Town of Friday Harbor meetings will be held in May. Agendas will be posted at town hall and on the town website at Meeting times may be amended or canceled. All meetings are currently held via the Go-To-Meeting web application. Visit for a video link.  Continue Reading

Free Walk-In COVID Vaccine Clinic Tuesday at San Juan County Fairgrounds

Posted on May 2, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From San Juan County A walk-in Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine clinic will be held 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 4 at the San Juan County Fairgrounds.  If you can, register in advance here, or use the QR code above. Or just show up and we’ll get you quickly signed up at the door. Please help  Continue Reading