Learn Woodworking from San Juan Island Cabinetmakers

Posted on June 14, 2021 at 5:00 am by

Contributed Photo/Blaz Erzetic on Unsplash.

Class Intended to Create Jobs


From the San Juan County Economic Development Council

Islanders seeking new careers are invited to learn woodworking basics in a free class offered by the San Juan County Economic Development Council.

This course is intended to help people gain job skills and obtain economic stability.

Jean Shearer and Nicholas Coldren, cabinetmakers, will be teaching an introduction to woodworking, 5-9 p.m., Wednesdays, July 7-28, at their makerspace the Fellow Shop on San Juan Island.

This course will teach tool use and safety, among other woodworking skills. These skills are foundational for those seeking to enter many trades, from construction to furniture making.

This program will be free except for a refundable registration fee and is open to San Juan County residents who plan to use woodworking skills for paying work.

Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate that the course will help them enter a new career or seek employment. Enrollment is capped at seven students. Applicants must be 18 or over.

Instructors Jean Shearer and Nicholas Coldren have BFAs in Woodworking and Furniture Design from Rochester University, and extensive professional experience as cabinetmakers, boat builders, and finishers.

To learn more, contact the EDC at mickey@sanjuansedc.org. To register, visit the EDC website: www.sanjuansedc.org/trades/#upcoming.

This course is made possible by the San Juan Island Community Foundation, San Juan County, the Harvest Foundation, and other funders of the EDC’s Trades Training Initiative, including the United Way of San Juan County, the Port of Friday Harbor, the Town of Friday Harbor, the Washington State Dept. of Commerce, and other donors. To support EDC trades programs, please visit www.sanjuansedc.org/donate.

Help San Juan County Land Bank Clear Noxious Weeds

Posted on June 14, 2021 at 4:30 am by

From San Juan County Land Bank

We celebrated National Trails Day by clearing invasive Himalayan blackberry along the trails at Westside Preserve.

Thank you to everyone that volunteered and helped celebrate with us!

We’re going to keep the party going and have scheduled more opportunities to remove noxious weeds before they get established on the preserves. Please join us for any or all. We’ll work from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Tuesday, June 15, Mount Grant Preserve
  • Thursday, June 17, Limekiln Preserve
  • Saturday, June 19, Zylstra Lake Preserve
  • Tuesday, June 22, Beaverton Marsh Preserve
  • Thursday, June 24, Mount Grant Preserve

Please dress for the weather. Long pants and sturdy boots are recommended and bring gloves and water. A light snack will be provided.

RSVP to Tanja Williamson at 360-370-7655 or tanjaw@sjclandbank.org.

State Utility Disconnect Moratorium to end July 31, Set Up OPALCO Payment Plan Today

Posted on June 13, 2021 at 5:30 am by


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to lift the moratorium on all utility disconnects July 31.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, OPALCO has worked with its members to offer bill-pay assistance and long-term payment options for those who have fallen behind on their bills.

Members who have payment plans in place will not be disconnected.

OPALCO staff are available from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to help members to create a payment plan so no one gets left behind. Call 360-376-3500 today if you are behind on your OPALCO bill.

There are resources available to help those who are struggling with bills due to COVID-19 impacts. Contact your island family or community resource center to learn more or visit wa211.org to access information.

After the moratorium is lifted, OPALCO will return to the normal cycle of billing and collections, including disconnects, and normal penalty fees will begin again after Oct. 27.

Payment Options

OPALCO has a variety of options for members to pay their bills including autopay, online billing, budget billing and traditional paper billing. Read More »

Learn How to be a Construction Trainer In Free, Online Class

Posted on June 13, 2021 at 5:00 am by

From the San Juan County Economic Development Council

Tradespeople seeking a second career are invited to an online seminar called Work as a Construction Trainer offered by the Economic Development Council.

Rich Jones, co-owner and training director of South Sound Residential LLC, and Al Audette, education and workforce development director at the BIAW, will speak with attendees about how to get started and thrive training workers in the construction and building trades. The seminar is 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 22.

Trainers are needed to support businesses’ workforce development needs in the construction industry. Attendees will learn about the market for construction trainers, opportunities for employment or entrepreneurship, and requirements to be a trainer. Attendees are encouraged to come with questions.

This event is free, but registration is required. To learn more, contact mickey@sanjuansedc.org. To register, visit www.sanjuansedc.org/trades/#upcoming.

These events are made possible by the Washington State Department of Commerce, San Juan County, and other funders of the EDC’s Trades Training Initiative, including the Harvest Foundation, United Way of San Juan County, the Port of Friday Harbor, the Town of Friday Harbor, and other donors. To support EDC trades programs, visit www.sanjuansedc.org/donate.

Enroll in Skagit Valley College Summer and Fall Classes

Posted on June 13, 2021 at 4:30 am by

Unemployment Could Cover Worker Retraining


From Skagit Valley College

Did you know you can register now for summer and fall quarters at Skagit Valley College?

Summer classes begin July 6 and fall classes begin Sept. 21, offering online, hybrid and in-person options.

Applied Bachelors

Earn a bachelor of applied science in environmental conservation, and applied bachelor in applied management with tracks in general management and health care management.

Academic Transfer

Start your college transfer degree and save money on tuition, compared to a four-year college. Highly trained faculty with advanced degrees, many with PhDs who are both experts in their fields and dedicated to teaching students rather than research. There are small class sizes and individual attention and no teaching assistants.

Our job training programs are designed to keep your degree on track.


Continue receiving unemployment benefits while you’re attending SVC. Worker retraining covers tuition, books, and school-related fees.

Running Start

High School juniors and Seniors can earn tuition-free college credit at SVC while you’re in high school. Support for online learning technology is available.

Drop-in Students

If you’ve been attending a four-year university, but taking a break, Skagit welcomes you to take a few classes and then have them transferred.

Basic Education for Adults

We are committed to your success with programs for high school completion, GED prep, and English language acquisition. There are laptop loans, funding and advising support.

Complete the Degree You Started Read More »

Larger Yakima Added to San Juan Ferries Route, but Vessel, Crew Shortage Shortens Schedules

Posted on June 12, 2021 at 5:30 am by

Contributed Photo/WSF

By Patty Rubstello, Assistant Secretary, Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division

The 144-vehicle capacity Yakima replaced the 124-vehicle capacity Cathlamet on the Anacortes and San Juan Islands route Friday, June 11.

Systemwide, we’re working to build back service to pre-pandemic levels.

However, this will continue to be a gradual process as we deal with a shortage of working vessels following April’s fire aboard Wenatchee and long overdue preservation needs on many of our aging ferries.

We’re still operating a one-boat service on our Port Townsend and Coupeville route, at least through June 27, and will operate smaller vessels than normal on three more runs Seattle/Bainbridge, Mukilteo/Clinton and Anacortes/San Juan Islands through the summer.

With reduced vessel capacities on multiple routes, be prepared for the possibility of long waits if coming aboard by vehicle, especially during peak travel times.

If walking on, be aware that we will enforce reduced occupancy in terminals and on sailings to comply with the state’s directive on physical distance standards for public transportation.

Crew Shortage

In addition to vessel availability challenges, we’re also experiencing crewing issues related to the pandemic.

While many of our employees have been vaccinated, we’re still seeing occasional COVID cases among vessel crews.

Following health department guidelines, anyone in contact with them must quarantine, shrinking our pool of available crewmembers, particularly those who work in the confined quarters of our vessel engine rooms. We also have employees out for a day or two to receive or deal with side effects from the vaccine.

Knowing we would face these constraints, we worked to hire additional engine room crew this spring. Unfortunately, our first hiring event only yielded two new oilers.

We just completed a second round of interviews and hope to bring on eight more oilers by mid-June. We’re always looking for new employees, not just for our fleet. If you’re interested in working for us or know someone who may be, check out our employment page.

Learn to ‘Process the Pandemic’ with Holistic Life Coach Online

Posted on June 12, 2021 at 5:00 am by

Click to enlarge

By Deb Langhans, holistic life coach, Journeys to Healing

Journeys to Healings presents “Processing the Pandemic” Inner Journey Collage© Workshop from 10 a.m.-noon and 3-5 p.m. Sunday, June 27 online for $50. 

The scourge of COVID-19 has upended our lives as the most horrific pandemic since 1918.

While vaccines provide hope for eventually defeating the virus, parts of our world community continue to experience catastrophic losses and despair.

The suffering endured (and still being endured) from this coronavirus, whether in our families, communities, across our country or planet, has reached the deepest levels of loss.

Yet, amidst all that pain, blessings have also amazingly surfaced; the best in humanity has revealed itself, as have opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been envisioned or realized.

How do we process all this ongoing loss and simultaneously celebrate the blessings? What can be learned from all of what this pandemic has presented? Read More »

Lori Haugen is Friday Harbor Animal Shelter Volunteer of the Month

Posted on June 12, 2021 at 4:30 am by

From the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor

Lori Haugen is the Animal Protection Society – Friday Harbor volunteer of the month for June 2021.

Lori started volunteering for the shelter in February 2021 as a Treasure Hounds retail associate.

Lori also volunteers her time helping at the shelter, in the APS-FH Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, where she assists with the recovery of surgical patients.

In her spare time, Lori also walks dogs the shelter dogs, sometimes taking them on field trips to the beach or on hikes. Even though Lori is a relatively new volunteer, she has quickly become indispensable to APS-FH.

Thanks so much, Lori, for making a difference in the lives of shelter animals. Your dedication and hard work are deeply appreciated.

Zero New COVID-19 Cases in San Juan Islands this Week

Posted on June 11, 2021 at 10:49 am, by

From San Juan County Since the last update on Friday, June 4, total cases in San Juan County have not increased, and remain at 191. There are no close contacts of positive cases currently in active quarantine in San Juan County, and no confirmed positive cases in San Juan County at this time. The best  Continue Reading

Pandemic School Year Ends with Friday Harbor Graduation Celebration

Posted on June 11, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

By Fred Woods, superintendent, San Juan Island School District It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of the school year, my first as the San Juan Island School District Superintendent. I doubt any of us thought the pandemic that shook this world in March of 2020 would last this long. After a  Continue Reading

San Juan County Housing Market Favors Sellers

Posted on June 11, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

By Merri Ann Simonson, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc. Here is another real estate market snapshot for June 1. Our sellers are benefiting in every category in this market.

Check out Laptops from San Juan Island Library

Posted on June 11, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

Community Foundation Funds Computers   By Beth Helstien, volunteer/outreach coordinator, San Juan Island Library People without computer access will want to give a huge shout-out to the San Juan Island Community Foundation for supporting the Tech-to-Go pilot program. The San Juan Island Library now loans kits that include a Windows laptop computer with current Microsoft  Continue Reading

Friday Harbor Temporarily Allows Conversion of Town Garages, Basements into Housing

Posted on June 10, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

Attached Guest Houses Temporarily Allowed in Residential Zone   From the Town of Friday Harbor On June 3, the Town Council adopted interim regulations allowing attached accessory dwelling units in the single-family residential zone. The ordinance intends to create a pathway to turn existing structures into livable spaces. “This is a historic moment for the  Continue Reading

Roche Harbor Neighborhood Association Launches Emergency Preparedness Project

Posted on June 10, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

Sunrise over Roche Harbor by Kevin Holmes From the Roche Harbor Neighborhood Association The Roche Harbor Neighborhood Association, a charity serving northern San Juan Island, is expanding its traditional programs to help residents prepare for emergencies. The project launched June 1 and runs through December 2021. Natural disasters – earthquakes, wildfires, tsunamis, pandemics, winter storms  Continue Reading

Family Requests Individual Memorials for Vida Wight at 5:17 p.m. Thursday

Posted on June 10, 2021 at 4:32 am, by

  By Cere Demuth, San Juan Island    So many of you want to gather to mourn and celebrate Vida Wight, to support and uplift me and my family.   But Vida was not a lover of large groups or attention. She liked her space, to say the least.   As a little girl, she  Continue Reading

League of Women Voters Hosts Online Emergency Preparedness Lecture June 14

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

From the League of Women Voters Join us for the League of Women Voters’ Zoom meeting, noon-2 p.m. June 14 on emergency preparedness and response. Natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions can occur any time. The massive wildfires that affected the Pacific Northwest in 2020 are a sharp reminder of how quickly  Continue Reading

United Way of San Juan County Funds Elementary School Intervention Program

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

By Alexis Hauck, Primary Intervention Program Coordinator, Friday  Harbor Elementary School Thank you, United Way of San Juan County! The Primary Intervention Program, also known as “PIP” or “Special Pal Program” at Friday Harbor Elementary School, would like to thank the United Way of San Juan County for their continued support. The program works with  Continue Reading

Lopez School District, EMS Property Tax Levies to be on August Primary Ballots

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

Auditor Seeks Pro and Con Statements for Voter’s Guide   By Milene Henley, San Juan County Auditor The San Juan County auditor is seeking volunteers to write opposing arguments for measures on the ballot in the 2021 Primary Election. Two measures will be on the ballot. Both measures have “pro” committees, and both need “con”  Continue Reading

San Juan County Outlines COVID-19 Outlook in Months Ahead

Posted on June 8, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From San Juan County As we move into a new phase of the pandemic, now is a good time to look at the current COVID situation, and where things are likely headed. While there is no confirmation of the governor’s plans, it is anticipated that a near full reopening will be announced by the end  Continue Reading

Friday Harbor STEM Teacher Nominated for Presidential Award

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

The Award is the ‘Highest Honor’ in the Field   From San Juan Island School District Friday Harbor High School teacher Kevin Cullen has been nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. The award is the highest honor for K-12 STEM teaching and bestowed through the U.S. government. STEM stands  Continue Reading

San Juan Theater, Art Museum Present Mini-Documentary on Island Ceramics Artist Paula West

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

From San Juan Community Theater San Juan Community Theater and San Juan Islands Museum of Art are pleased to present a joint production. Our two organizations have collaborated to produce a series of short documentaries highlighting local artists. Step into the studio of ceramic artist Paula West.   Merging function, craft, and art; her work  Continue Reading

Gilligans E-Bike Rental Shop Opens in Friday Harbor with ‘Three-Hour Tours’

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

From San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Friday Harbor welcomed the new business Gilligans Island Style E-Bike Rentals to the community last Thursday with a ribbon cutting. After purchasing a pair of E-Bikes for themselves, Jodie and Doug DeNure were hooked. They decided to  Continue Reading