Free E-cycle Service Coming Soon

Posted on December 8, 2018 at 5:50 am by

Tom Doenges, owner of Computer San Juans wants you to know about this new service coming to an island near you

Calling all small businesses, schools, ports, town and individuals…

I am joining forces with a friend who runs an electronics recycling company in Bellingham called Because I feel I contribute to bringing these devices to the islands by selling and servicing computers, etc. I want to help the ‘end of cycle’ and find the right disposal method.

Our planet needs all the help it can get and I hope this will in some small way contribute to a cleaner world for us all. I am so happy this came along, and I want folks to know I am doing this for free.

What can you recycle for free?
Televisions, Computers, Laptops, Monitors, Tablets, e-readers and portable DVD players. (Please note that computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and printers are not included in this program.)

Data will be securely destroyed and everything will be recycled, as well as becoming refurbished systems for sale when feasible.

A date will be set early next year for a truck to come to the island(s). We are working on getting the other ferry serviced islands in on this program as well so please spread the word and be thinking about items you have that will fit this e-cycle drive.

I will be starting an e-mail list so if you want to be included on the news: please send an email to: with “FREE ECYCLE” in the subject line.

Lets keep the islands clean and green through safe and sane disposal. I could also use assistance to organize pick up and drop off locations on all ferry serviced. If you would like to help, contact me at your earliest convenience.

SJI Community Foundation Awards Grants, Hosts Nonprofit Leaders

Posted on December 8, 2018 at 5:48 am by

The San Juan Island Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $20,546 to local nonprofits in their third and final grant cycle of the year. The Foundation awarded $4,648 from its Healthy Community Fund, while generous donors and the SJICF Women’s Fund contributed a combined $15,898. The following local projects were funded:

  • The San Juan County Economic Development Council was awarded $2,348 to launch their Construction Basics Training program on San Juan Island.
  • Island Stage Left was awarded $3,150 to replace the flooring of their stage.
  • Islands Oil Spill Association (IOSA) was awarded $3,590 to purchase safety equipment and boom trailers.
  • PADs for Parkinson’s was awarded $4,858 to cover costs for their annual community newsletter.
  • The San Juan Island Family Resource Center was awarded $5,000 to support a technology upgrade for improved outreach.
  • Leadership San Juan Islands was awarded $1,600 for Class of 2019 tuition assistance.

In an effort to increase nonprofit collaboration and provide training, the Foundation staff recently hosted the first of a series of networking sessions for nonprofit leaders. Held at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor in November, nonprofit directors and development staff enjoyed an update from the SJICF staff and engaged in lively conversations over lunch to discuss current projects and to share ideas for specific topics like board development, fundraising and partnering with other nonprofits for events and programs. Read More »

San Juan Singers – The Brightest and Best of Christmas

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 11:03 am by

Sometimes an idea takes on a life of its own, and that’s what has happened with the San Juan Singers’ winter concert, “The Brightest and Best of Christmas.” This concert will be filled with joyous singing and instruments playing.

John Rutter’s “Magnificat” sometimes dances, sometimes floats, and always delivers a melody that goes straight to your heart. The show continues with “Believe,” from the film The Polar Express, Celtic-inspired settings of “Silent Night” and “Now is Born the Divine Christ Child,” and a lush new setting of “See, Amid the Winter Snow.”

The lighter side of the program includes “There is A Santa Claus,” from the movie and Broadway show, “Elf,” “Eatnemen Vuelie” from the animated film, “Frozen,” Christmas-inspired spirituals and the traditional shape-note tune, “Brightest and Best,” gaily accompanied by fiddle and bass.

Be sure to come–this show will have you dancing through this holiday season!

Saturday, December 8 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 9 2:00 pm

Adults $20.00
Student Reserved $10 (tax included)
$5 Student RUSH at door only


Excitement at San Juan Community Theatre’s Annual Holiday Festival

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 9:48 am by

San Juan Community Theatre (SJCT) held its annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, December 1st, raising over $114,000 in support for the 2018-2019 season. Attendees were treated to 1920’s themed décor by Susan Williams, Anita Welch, and Cyndy Gislason and a menu inspired by popular dishes of the same era from Owner Anna Maria de Freitas and Executive Chef Ryan Lockhart at Coho Restaurant.

From Executive Artistic Director, Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey: “We are so grateful to all the folks who came out to support the mission of San Juan Community Theatre. Our Holiday Festival co-chairs Madelyn Busse and Susan Mazzarella did a wonderful job coordinating this event, Pat Nieman and the members of CATS were instrumental in preparing the silent auction and decorating, Cathi Nett led a gorgeous octet of Festival Singers, and a small army of volunteers all pitched in to make the night a great experience.”

“We were thrilled to see an increase in ticket sales of more than 15% over last year and we want to express our thanks to everyone who helped us raise over $114,000.”

(See photos of the event below) Read More »

3rd Annual Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 9:24 am by

The Christmas Market will light up historic Brickworks again this year! The popular event features a holiday crafts market, island food vendors, local farm products, live music, libations, and activities for kids and grownups alike.

The Old-Fashioned Christmas Market is produced by the San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild. Watch for details.

The San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild is a community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a vibrant, resilient and sustainable local food system in San Juan County, Washington.

New SJC Vacation Rental Webpage Available

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 5:46 am by

San Juan County has published a new webpage with the most requested information regarding vacation rental permits and compliance with the new regulations.  

If you are looking for information about how to apply for permit, have an existing permit and want to know what to do to comply with the new rules, or need to find your permit number – this webpage is a great place to start. It includes forms for new applications, certificates of compliance and the answers to frequently asked questions.  

The link is found on the main menu on the home page of the Department of Community Development.  Here is a link

Opalco Seeks Candidates For Board Election

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 5:45 am by

OPALCO is seeking nominations for board candidates from Districts 3 (Lopez, Decatur, Center and Charles islands) and 4 (Shaw, Bell, Canoe and Crane islands). To nominate a candidate (including yourself), go to and use the nominations online portal to fill out the candidate application forms.

Why run for an OPALCO Board Position? To participate in the governance of the company that you own. OPALCO is a cooperative owned and operated by its members. Directors set the policies, budgets and rates for the Co-op. Did you know that OPALCO Directors are paid a stipend for their time and board training – and are eligible for health insurance benefits?

There are two ways to be nominated for a board position: 1) by the member Elections & Governance Committee (EGC) or 2) by petition. The deadline for nomination by the EGC is January 9th. The EGC will review nominations in the portal and recommend their slate of candidates for both districts. To be nominated by petition, a member in good standing collects no fewer than 20 signatures of bona fide members who reside in their district. Complete petitions should be sent to by February 13th.

All voting will be by mail or online. The election opens on March 11th, and each member will receive their ballot by email or by mail, depending on their stated preference. The deadline for ballots to be submitted is 10:30 a.m. (PDT) on April 12, 2019. Election results will be announced at the annual meeting on April 13th on the interisland ferry.

OPALCO will host independently moderated Candidate Forums on San Juan, Lopez, Orcas and Shaw islands during the week of March 4th. Stay tuned for more information.


Go to to learn more about nominations and the election process.

2018 Annual Chardonnay Shopping Day

Posted on December 6, 2018 at 1:15 pm by

A few of this year’s shoppers, meeting up and getting ready to shop til they drop – Contributed photo

Here’s a note from Leasa Wangoe about this year’s Chardonnay Shopping event, happening on Thursday December 6th, and aimed at getting people into the holiday spirit and supporting local businesses.

Anyone can join and it’s a good time to take advantage of some good deals around town…

Ok, here is the current list of businesses and restaurants that are participating! Again, if we missed anyone feel free to post, not trying to leave anyone out! Wear your festive gear and be ready to shop til you drop: Read More »

Friday Harbor Atelier

Posted on December 6, 2018 at 8:35 am, by

Local Artist, Debbie Daniels, recently took a large commercial space that became available in downtown Friday Harbor, and created a vibrant new space to serve the artistic interests of the community of Friday Harbor.  The facility, including the private artists and their studios, will be open on the 1st Friday of each month, from 5-9  Continue Reading

Plumbing Basics Training

Posted on December 6, 2018 at 8:32 am, by

EDC to offer free Plumbing Basics training at Orcas Island High School The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) will offer free training in plumbing basics this January, sponsored by Walt Corbin, the Orcas Island Community Foundation, and the Orcas Island Kiwanis Club. The course will be taught at Orcas Island High School by  Continue Reading

Creating a Healthier Home Environment

Posted on December 6, 2018 at 8:29 am, by

The following article is a guest post written by Neil Stawski… How Your Home Could Be Making You Sick, and How to Change It Our homes are the places we go to find comfort, the places that make us feel safest and happiest. However, there are many things about your home that can be unhealthy,  Continue Reading

Sculpture Demonstration at SJIMA

Posted on December 5, 2018 at 5:53 am, by

Northwest artist Gareth Curtiss is bringing his bronze sculpting project to Friday Harbor December 17th through 21st so that the public may share in the creation of the Ed Warbass sculpture he is making for the town. The public is invited to watch and interact with the artist in a temporary work space being created  Continue Reading

PADs Says Thanks

Posted on December 5, 2018 at 5:51 am, by

PADs for Parkinson’s of San Juan Island would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the San Juan Island Community Foundation, The SJIC Women’s Fund, and the many caring Islanders who stand behind these important community organizations. Your support has provided needed funding to increase local access to the PADs Program, the first program in  Continue Reading

Kitchen Sink Dinners

Posted on December 5, 2018 at 5:49 am, by

Announcing: Kitchen Sink Dinners – Feed the Island 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 coming Thursday from 4:30 to 6:00 to pick up your meal. You may pick up 2  Continue Reading

We remember Kitty Roberts

Posted on December 5, 2018 at 5:48 am, by

Here’s the monthly History Column for December from San Juan Historical Society and Museum… Local history is written one event, one day, one person at a time. Kitty Roberts was one of those people who contributed to island history with her life. She graciously shared island history, supported it, and inspired many to care about  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Shop Local and Save on Holiday Shopping

Posted on December 5, 2018 at 5:47 am, by

Island Senior is a regular column on the SJ Update, written by Peggy Sue McRae… I set out this week to do some initial holiday shopping. Thanksgiving is over and I’m ready to decorate. With my dog-eared Island a’ la’ Carte Coupon Book from the Mullis Center I saved 15% at Ace Hardware on a promising  Continue Reading

From the Mailbag…

Posted on December 5, 2018 at 5:46 am, by

In the SJ Update mailbag this morning we find this letter from Steve Ulvi… Running Down the Dream without Becoming Comfortably Numb Along with about a hundred others I attended the library presentation on black-tailed deer by Ruth Milne, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife. It promised to be interesting given the obvious problems and  Continue Reading

Wanted: Trail Blazers for Mount Grant Preserve

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 6:30 pm, by

With sunshine forecast, our stewards are organizing TWO work parties this week focusing on construction of split rail fencing: Wednesday and Friday, 10am to 2pm. We’ll meet and park in the vicinity of the lower road junction, where you would take a left to get to the current “non-motorized” route to the top. Please bring  Continue Reading

FHL Tide Bites

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 5:46 am, by

A Unique Challenge: Marine Subtidal Ecology at UW Friday Harbor Labs by Pema Kitaeff & Alex Lowe Despite windy weather and choppy water just the day before, the morning of Friday June 22nd 2018 dawned gloriously sunny and calm: a gift of optimal conditions bestowed on the patient planners of field work. Few have been  Continue Reading

Mary Francis’ 90th Birthday Party

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 5:45 am, by

Samantha Bryner is putting together a birthday party for her mother Mary Francis’ 90th Birthday. It’s at Brickworks on Sunday, December 9th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. All are invited. Please – no gifts (but Mary always appreciates a funny card).

REET Goes Into Effect Dec 27

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 5:44 am, by

San Juan County Adopts Real Estate Excise Tax for Affordable Housing In the November election, San Juan County voters approved a new 0.5% real estate excise tax (REET) to support the development of affordable housing options within the county. The tax will be assessed on the purchase and sale of real property within the county,  Continue Reading

Post Office Closed

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 5:38 am, by

Out of respect for former president George H. W. Bush, the nation’s 41st Commander in Chief, and to honor his vast contributions to the United States during his lifetime, and consistent with the presidential proclamation, the U.S. Postal Service will observe a national day of mourning. USPS will suspend regular mail delivery and retail service  Continue Reading