EDC invites input from businesses, residents, on WSF service disruptions

Posted on September 25, 2021 at 7:45 am by

The EDC invites island business owners, workers and residents to participate in a survey regarding Washington State Ferries service disruptions this past summer.  Islanders are invited to participate in the survey here:  https://forms.gle/uzXU6vy3tujUyuSR9

Anecdotal information and data derived from the survey will be used to better understand economic and other impacts from ferry service disruptions, and will allow us to advocate for our most important transportation link.

For more information, please visit https://sanjuansedc.org/ferry-survey-2021, or contact the EDC atinfo@sanjuansedc.org or 360-378-2906.

Our mission:  The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) strives to support small rural enterprises, and conduct projects to stimulate new job creation, strengthen the economic base for working families, and support overall quality of life for islanders.   

CMS Will Pay for COVID-19 Booster Shots, Eligible Consumers Can Receive at No Cost

Posted on September 25, 2021 at 7:36 am by

Coverage without cost-sharing available for eligible people with Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and Most Commercial Health Insurance Coverage

Following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent action that authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for certain high-risk populations and a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will continue to provide coverage for this critical protection from the virus, including booster doses, without cost sharing.

Beneficiaries with Medicare pay nothing for COVID-19 vaccines or their administration, and there is no applicable copayment, coinsurance or deductible. In addition, thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), nearly all Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries must receive coverage of COVID-19 vaccines and their administration, without cost-sharing.

COVID-19 vaccines and their administration, including boosters, will also be covered without cost-sharing for eligible consumers of most issuers of health insurance in the commercial market. People can visit vaccines.gov (English) or vacunas.gov (Spanish) to search for vaccines nearby.

Weekly Covid Case Update

Posted on September 24, 2021 at 12:25 pm by

Since the last update on Friday September 17th, there have been eight new confirmed or probable cases in San Juan County. Current total case count is now 300.

Of these eight new cases, initial investigations indicate that three appear to have occurred in fully vaccinated individuals.

There are approximately nine unvaccinated close contacts of positive cases who are currently in two-week quarantine.

  • Lopez Island: There are four new cases on Lopez Island since the last update. There are four positive cases under active monitoring on Lopez Island.
  • Orcas Island: There is one new case on Orcas Island since the last update. There are three positive cases under active monitoring on Orcas Island.
  • San Juan Island: There are three new cases on San Juan Island since the last update. There are six positive cases under active monitoring on San Juan Island.
  • Shaw Island: There are no new cases on Shaw Island since the last update. There are no positive cases under active monitoring on Shaw Island.
  • Outer Islands: There are no new cases in the outer islands since the last update. There are no positive cases under active monitoring in the outer islands.

IF YOU NEED TO GET VACCINATED: Those wanting a first or second shot of Pfizer or a first (and only) dose of Johnson and Johnson should sign up for clinics happening on San Juan (OCT 5th), Orcas (OCT 6th), and Lopez (OCT 7th) by going HERE to register. Pfizer for ages 12 and up, Johnson and Johnson for ages 18 and older.

THIRD DOSE BOOSTERS: Final CDC approval of third dose Pfizer boosters for some higher risk members of the community is expected shortly. Once approved, the County and other local healthcare providers will be making boosters available. Stay tuned for more detailed info. Please do NOT sign up for the clinics linked above to get a booster shot.

A Carbon-Free Adventure!

Posted on September 24, 2021 at 5:51 am by

Follow OPALCO’s EV Road Trip in October:

Starting October 6th, an exclusive team from OPALCO (Communication Specialist Krista Bouchey and the “Switch it up pup” Pepper) will be driving the Co-op’s Kia Niro 100% electric vehicle (EV) to Eastern Washington and back, making stops to visit wind and hydro projects, innovative public power projects and – of course – EV charging stations along the way.

The purpose of the EV Road Trip is to demonstrate the power and range of electric vehicles and talk with people along the way about EVs and public power. Follow the journey in videos, photos and (COVID safe) parking-lot interviews on FaceBook at @orcaspower, and also on OPALCO’s This Electric Life Blog at www.opalco.com.

Pepper the Switch It Up! Pup

“This is a big learning curve for me,” said Krista, who still drives a gas-powered car at home. “We’ve got it all mapped out, but Pepper and I have to be ready for anything – I’ve never even charged at a public charging station before! Hopefully, we’ll meet some good people along the way to help us out. It’s going to be a fun adventure!”

To prepare for this carbon-free journey, Krista used the ABRP (a better road trip planner) and Plug Share apps on her phone to find EV chargers and chart a course that works with the range of the Kia, which is about 230 miles per charge. This was challenging when trying to get to hydro projects in remote areas!

The trip begins – as all island adventures do – with a ferry ride to Anacortes and the itinerary includes: Read More »

Food For Imagination

Posted on September 24, 2021 at 5:50 am by

One physician described the “beautiful formation” of the human body as inspiration for art.  Go Figure!  celebrating the human form, has just opened at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) in Friday Harbor. Visitors and residents are invited to experience art of the human body as it tells stories, expresses emotion and celebrates what it means to be human.

Rebecca Albiani, art history expert – Contributed photo

As part of the expanded exhibition program, SJIMA presents A Brief History of Figurative Art by the exceedingly popular Rebecca Albiani. The presentation takes place on Sunday, October 3, at the San Juan Grange Hall in Friday Harbor at 4-5:30 pm.

Albiani, a frequent art history lecturer at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle summarizes, “The Human figure has been essential to Western art for millennia.”  Her talk will follow the development of figurative art from ancient Egypt to classical Greece and Rome.  She will examine the importance of the figure to the Renaissance, a rebirth of classical antiquity. Read More »

Hometrust Says “Thank You!”

Posted on September 24, 2021 at 5:47 am by

A big THANK YOU to the San Juan Island Community Foundation for the support they have shown to local non profits including the San Juan Community Home Trust, at the 2021 County Fair. 

We build San Juan Island’s only permanently affordable housing. By offering all local non profit organizations the opportunity to participate in their matching grant program at the Fair this year, they helped all of us reach our monetary goals. This helps to keep our doors open or the programs we offer moving forward.

Without the generosity of islanders, many of these non profits could not survive.  Thank you San Juan Island Community Foundation, and thank you to all our wonderful donors, who help us do the work that we do.

From the Board and Staff of the San Juan Community Home Trust.

State Board Awards $21 Million in Grants to Aid Salmon Recovery

Posted on September 24, 2021 at 5:45 am by

Salmon swimming upstream to spawn – Richard Lawrence photo

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the award of $21 million in grants across the state to aid in salmon recovery.

The grants, given annually, went to 105 projects in 29 of the state’s 39 counties. The grants will pay for work to restore salmon habitat, including repairing degraded habitat in rivers, removing barriers blocking salmon from reaching the ocean, and conserving pristine habitat.

“Salmon are important to every Washingtonian, whether they spend time fishing, eat salmon, rely on salmon for their business or use salmon in their cultural celebrations,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “It’s imperative that we improve the areas salmon need, and these grants help do that.”

Descriptions of Grants
Grants were awarded in the following counties. Click below for details on each project: Read More »

2nd Annual Scarecrow Contest

Posted on September 23, 2021 at 5:52 am by

The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of the Library are sponsoring the 2nd annual Scarecrow Contest for the month of October.

The scarecrows are to be registered with the Chamber and in place between October 8th and 15th. Please click here for the registration form.

The scarecrows will be displayed around Friday Harbor, with community judging, which will take place October 20th through 28th.

Be sure and stop by and see the Scarecrows and pick your favorite. The location list/voting ballots will be available at the Chamber Office, 165 First Street S. Or email the Scarecrow Hotline at becki@sanjuanisland.org.

We hope you will celebrate fall and participate in our second Scarecrow Contest.

Click here for Scarecrow FAQ’s!

Letters on the Upcoming Election

Posted on September 23, 2021 at 5:49 am, by

Below are links to letters regarding various items on the upcoming election. Letters are shown in the order received and this page will continue to be updated as more letters come in. Letters for and against the Public Hospital District Levy Lid Lift: Alison Longley Lee Sturdivant Letters for Victoria Compton for Port Commissioner: Doris  Continue Reading

San Juan County Seeks Proposals for an Affordable Housing Development on Lopez Island

Posted on September 22, 2021 at 10:11 am, by

At their September 21, 2021 meeting the San Juan County Council officially released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to purchase 5 acres of land on Lopez Island for the development of affordable housing. San Juan County seeks an experienced developer to purchase the parcel located on Fisherman Bay Road just outside of Lopez Village. The  Continue Reading

EDC to offer free Tree Worker Basics Course on Orcas Island

Posted on September 22, 2021 at 10:10 am, by

People who want to make a living working with trees or forests are invited to a free, hands-on, outdoor course offered by the Economic Development Council of San Juan County (EDC).  The course will be taught by Carson Sprenger, proprietor of Rain Shadow Consulting at their Orcas Island facilities, Saturdays Oct. 30th – Nov. 20th,  Continue Reading


Posted on September 22, 2021 at 10:09 am, by

In the SJ Update Mailbag today we have this letter from the SJC Republican Party Chair, Daniel Schwartz… Statement on Vaccine Mandates San Juan County Republican PartyThe Republican Party is not anti-vaccine:  it is for the right of a free and informed citizenry to make its own health choices.Never in our 245-year history have federal,  Continue Reading

Double Your Donation Of Food Bank Fish

Posted on September 21, 2021 at 9:59 am, by

Local fisherman and fish-seller, Matt Marinkovich, is once again offering a pound-to-pound match of fish to the food bank. On Saturday, September 25, 10am to 1pm, Marinkovich will be selling fish through his business, Matt’s Fresh Fish, at the Port property next to the Bakery San Juan parking lot. “We did this last year and  Continue Reading

San Juan Island National Historical Park Hit with Vandalism 

Posted on September 21, 2021 at 9:59 am, by

Friday Harbor, WA – On September 4, 2021 unknown individuals damaged public lands and destroyed public property at the American Camp Unit of San Juan Island National Historical Park. The park needs your help to identify and apprehend these lawbreakers. Any tips will be treated as confidential. The damage to the park was extensive including  Continue Reading

Remembering Momo

Posted on September 21, 2021 at 9:57 am, by

From the beginning to the end… always Momo. Momo was a unique kitty. Momo was born wearing a tuxedo, raised on San Juan Island, and was lucky enough to be loved by multiple families. Although a little aloof and arrogant some adjectives to describe him would include dapper, confident, and well-dressed. His first owners, Rina  Continue Reading

PeaceHealth needs your help!

Posted on September 21, 2021 at 9:55 am, by

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. — PeaceHealth hospitals, clinics, doctors and nurses in Northwest Washington need the community’s help to make sure they can continue to safely provide care – not only to those suffering from severe illness from COVID-19 but to those requiring care for the full range of illness and injuries that its doctors and  Continue Reading

Forage Fish Habitat Restoration

Posted on September 20, 2021 at 5:50 am, by

Local shoreline habitat restoration actions support marine food webs It was an exciting week for local forage fish and out-migrating juvenile salmon as Friends of the San Juans and the Salmon Point Community have successfully restored priority shoreline habitat along their local beach. At the south end of Lopez Island, two areas of failed rock  Continue Reading

First Street Pocket Park

Posted on September 20, 2021 at 5:46 am, by

Construction will begin on Monday, September 20, 2021. Construction for the First Street Pocket Park at the corner of Court and First Streets (near the San Juan Island Grange and American Legion) is about to begin. Work will include demolition of existing sidewalk, upgrade of existing sewer service line, installation of a new fire hydrant  Continue Reading

Logic and Accuracy Test

Posted on September 20, 2021 at 5:44 am, by

A “Logic and Accuracy” test of ballot tabulating equipment used in San Juan County for the November 2, General election is scheduled for September 28, at 11:00 am. The test works by tallying the results of a prepared set of test ballots to see if the results match the votes cast. The test will take  Continue Reading

Madrona Institute Awards Stewardship Grants

Posted on September 18, 2021 at 9:56 am, by

The Madrona Institute has awarded $22,500 in grants to local nonprofit organizations in its first year of grant making based on revenues received from sales of the San Juan Islands Special License Plate. This year’s grantees include: San Juan Islands Conservation District for their San Juan Islands Youth Conservation Corps ($6,000), Friends of the San  Continue Reading

Island Senior: Taking Care of Caregivers

Posted on September 17, 2021 at 2:38 pm, by

Caring for our loved ones when the need arises is a challenge in the best of times. During a pandemic the challenges only increase. Caregivers face increased isolation while also facing the increasing challenge of keep their charge safe. Starting on September 30, Gail Leschine-Seitz, Aging and Family Case Coordinator, and Debbie Haagensen, Senior Services  Continue Reading

Pet of the Week

Posted on September 17, 2021 at 2:33 pm, by

Hoot, meow, hoot, hooooo?!  Don’t look so surprised.  Haven’t you ever seen an OwlCat?  Well, we hadn’t either, not until Shakira flew into the shelter late one evening and graced us with her rare presence!  This marvelous hybrid is a sight to behold and will likely have you bowing down to her in submission as  Continue Reading