Washington State Ferries Returns to Full Service April 15 on Anacortes and San Juan Islands Routes

Posted on April 15, 2021 at 7:12 am by

From Washington State Ferries

The Samish, Cathlamet and Kaleetan vessels have been reassigned to full service on the Anacortes and San Juan Islands routes for Thursday, April 15. 

The Chelan has been out of service since April 14 due to steering issues and needed repairs.

This will restore full service, following earlier cancellations.

Now,  M/V Samish will replace the M/V Kaleetan as the No. 1 vessel. The Kaleetan will be moved to the No. 3 vessel, replacing the M/V Cathlamet. The Cathlamet will move to the No. 2 vessel position, replacing the M/V Chelan.

For real-time arrivals and departures, visit Real-Time Map . Reservations are available online at TakeAFerry or by calling Customer Service at 888-808-7977. Phones are open, daily, 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Serendipity Books Open for Browsing

Posted on April 15, 2021 at 6:36 am by

Carol invites you back to browse at Serendipity Bookstore – Contributed photo

Serendipity books has reopened for in-store browsing. The used bookstore has over 40,000 titles and a computerized inventory to help you find that book you’re looking for.

They’re located just a block from the ferry lanes at 223 “A” Street.

Hours are Monday through Saturday 10am – 4pm.
(360) 378-2665

Bird Watch at the San Juan Island Sculpture Park

Posted on April 15, 2021 at 5:00 am by

Contributed Photo/San Juan Island Sculpture Park. Bird watching at the San Juan Island Sculpture Park.

From the San Juan Island Sculpture Park

Join us from 9-11 a.m. every third Wednesday of the month through September to watch for our fine feathered friends at the San Juan Island Sculpture Park located next to Roche Harbor Resort.

The next event is 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 21.

Phil Green, a local bird enthusiast and member of the nature conservancy, has identified over 40 bird species this winter at the sculpture park. He will lead us to several places around the sculpture park where we can look for and identify the various birds now visiting.

We also have a new trail along Westcot Bay to get us closer to sea birds! So bring your binoculars, cameras and curiosity for an adventure in bird watching.

Don’t forget your masks!

Freezer-Burned: Tales of Interior Alaska

Posted on April 14, 2021 at 5:30 am by

“Freezer-Burned: Tales of Interior Alaska” is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Steve Ulvi.

Contributed Photo/Dylan Taylor on Unsplash. Inian Islands, Alaska.

The Pitfalls of Fuzzy Thinking


A decade ago, our fourth summer here, my Alaska pal Archie left a phone message that he would be visiting in Washington state.  Waiting through his practiced, jolly jibes about us living in “la-la land, surrounded by a dying Salish Sea, noshing on kale”, I heard that he might stop in.  

Why Washington? As far as I knew, in his handful of white-knuckled trips Outside in 50 years of living up north, his whole exposure to Washington State was pretty much flyover or bending his elbow in smokey lounges with fisherman and Bering Sea crabbers at SeaTac.

I wasn’t born yesterday, so I had an inkling there was much more to this story when I rang him up at his slough cabin.

Hey Archie, Steve here. 

Well, I’ll be damned, how goes it Champ!  

We’re good, Archie.  We are learning to build a house by ourselves wading through damnable nanny-state codes.   I know how to do it now and will never do it again!  You still gillnetting those beautiful Yukon kings?

Naa, the run and my old 50 horse outboard both petered out, but the smokehouse was full. 

Ah, good. Best salmon in the world!  What’s up with this trip you mentioned?  Maybe you could bring me some king strips?

Well, I’m flying out tomorrow on the ol’ redeye.  I have booked a week in the woods riding an ATV with Bigfoot Expeditions run by a guy named Johnny Styne around some town called Darrington.  

Archie, have you lost your mind?  We both know that Bigfoot is non-existent; a fanciful hobgoblin wrapped in malarky bundled in pure bunk!  I got a better idea.  Why don’t you charter me and my boat out here on San Juan Island to look for cases of Canadian booze dumped overboard by nervous westside rum-runners during prohibition?  Bound to be more productive than searching for a non-existent ape!

In the pause, I could hear Archie exhale after a deep drag. Read More »

League of Women Voters Hosts Online Lecture Featuring Local Immigration Author

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

From the League of Women Voters of the San Juans

The League of Women Voters of the San Juans is holding its membership meeting, which is open to the public, at noon, Monday, April 19 over Zoom.

We have an exciting and informative speaker: our own Susan Martin, who is a league board member. She will discuss her newly released and substantially revised second edition of her book, “A Nation of Immigrants.” 

This second edition analyzes the evolution of U.S. immigration policy from its origins in the colonial period through the Trump administration. The final chapter sets out recommendations for reforming a largely broken system. 

Register for the event here. You don’t want to miss this thought-provoking introduction to Dr. Martin’s new book. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Susan Martin is the Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown
University. She was the founder and director of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of International Migration.

She received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Martin has authored or edited more than a dozen books and numerous articles and book chapters.

She serves on the boards of the Center for Migration Studies and Jesuit Refugee Service USA as well as the advisory councils of the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the UN Migration Agency.

Join San Juan County Land Bank Meeting Friday

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

Contributed Photo/San Juan County Land Bank. A patch of uncommon native cactus discovered near the Turtleback shoreline during a monitoring outing.

From San Juan County Land Bank

The San Juan County Land Bank Commission will hold its monthly meeting from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Friday, April 16 via Zoom.

This meeting will include the Conservation Agriculture Resource Team’s final report on the Coffelt Farm Preserve on Orcas Island.

The public is invited to attend. Download the agenda, which includes the Zoom link and meeting materials, here.

To learn more about the San Juan County Conservation Land Bank, visit sjclandbank.org. If you’re interested in volunteering or joining our mailing list, contact tanja@sjclandbank.org.

We look forward to engaging with you!

Washington State Pauses Johnson & Johnson Vaccine after 149K Administered in State

Posted on April 13, 2021 at 9:28 pm by

Six Cases Out of 6.8 Million Doses Nationwide Resulted in Brain Blood Clots


From the Washington State Department of Health

The Washington State Department of Health will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide starting immediately, following the guidance of the FDA/CDC.

Use of that vaccine will be put on hold until we receive further recommendations from our federal partners about how best to move forward. Safety is the highest priority when it comes to all COVID-19 vaccines.

This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution based on the appearance of a rare but serious side effect including serious brain blood clots combined with low platelet counts in six patients, all women under 50. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will review these cases in the days ahead and will recommend guidance going forward. 

About 149,000 doses of J & J vaccine have been administered in Washington so far, out of more than four million doses total.

At this time, we have no knowledge of the six patients who experienced these blood clots being Washington residents.

For those who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk of this complication is very low at this time. Read More »

Town Of Friday Harbor To Pick Up Large, Heavy Trash April 26-30

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

Items Can Include Mattresses, Scrap Metal, Furniture


From the Town of Friday Harbor

The Town of Friday Harbor is pleased to offer its residential refuse customers a one-time-only curbside pickup of items that are too large or too heavy for their refuse cans the week of April 26-30.

Pickup will take place on their regular collection day.

“The town saw an opportunity to encourage neighborhood cleanups and assist our customers with their spring cleaning efforts,” said Town of Friday Harbor Administrator Duncan Wilson.

This is the fifth year the town has been able to offer this spring cleanup service free of charge to its non-commercial customers.

Specific rules apply regarding the volume and type of items that will be accepted, including that items must fit in a standard pickup truck bed and weigh no more than 60 pounds.

This pickup is for non-hazardous, non-liquid items such as large toys and scrap metal, mattresses, carpet, and unusable furniture. Read More »

Letter: Former Friday Harbor Fire Chief Urges Yes Vote On Town Fire Annexation

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

By Susan and Peter Risser, San Juan Island Since Peter and I had the good fortune to serve in various roles, including the assistant chief for over 20 years with the now-defunct Friday Harbor Fire Department, we became fairly well acquainted with some of the challenges involved in providing good fire protection to our community.   Continue Reading

Adopt Magical Feline At Animal Protection Society Of Friday Harbor

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

From the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor Age: approximately 1 year old Sex: Male Breed: Domestic Shorthair, Brown Tabby Application: www.apsfh.com/adoption-program/feline-application/ Meet Sorcerer! A magical little feline who casts love spells on everyone he meets…as well as his ultra-soft coat! Sorcerer is a charming, friendly, young cat looking for his forever family. He is  Continue Reading

Two People Survive Plan Crash Off Blakely Island

Posted on April 12, 2021 at 7:55 am, by

By Hayley Day, San Juan Update Two people were rescued after a plane went down near Blakely Island Sunday. At about 4:30 p.m., April 11, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office reported deputies — as well as fire, EMS and coast guard crews — were responding to a call of a downed aircraft south of  Continue Reading

San Juan County Faces Low Housing Inventory As Pandemic’s Demand For Rural Relocation Grows

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

San Juan County Dips 55% In Inventory, Grow 39% In Pending Sales   By Merri Ann Simonson, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc The first-quarter results for San Juan County and San Juan Island maintained the momentum that was present during last year. As compared to the first quarter in 2020,  the data  Continue Reading

Join Great Islands Cleanup April 24 On San Juan, Orcas, Lopez And Shaw

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

By Mark Ingman, San Juan County Solid Waste Program Coordinator Have you ever noticed a mossy, weedy tire while walking along roads or beaches? There is a chemical compound in tires that washes off in the rain and is linked to killing salmon — bringing in a cast-off tire along with your litter to the  Continue Reading

San Juan Islands Meals On Wheels Deliveries Triple During Pandemic As More Volunteers Help

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

From the Mullis Community Senior Center Throughout the month of March, resident celebrities from Lopez, San Juan and Orcas Islands were invited to ride or follow along with volunteer Meals on Wheels Drivers as they delivered meals to seniors on their respective islands. The goal of the celebrity ride-alongs was to foster greater community awareness  Continue Reading

San Juan Island Has 13 New COVID Cases, Majority From School Sports Breakout

Posted on April 11, 2021 at 10:26 am, by

From San Juan County Orcas Island There are no new cases on Orcas Island since the last update, and 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, and no confirmed positive cases under active monitoring on  Continue Reading

New Children’s Book Features Orcas Conservation On San Juan Island

Posted on April 11, 2021 at 10:09 am, by

From Twisted Orca Twisted Orca released “I am 99” April 6, the latest in a series of books designed to encourage a love of marine conservation in children. “I am 99” brings children from all over the world to Friday Harbor, Washington as they join Sailor-Lyn’s mission to save the endangered orcas she loves so  Continue Reading

Give Service Feedback To Washington State Ferries

Posted on April 11, 2021 at 9:56 am, by

From Washington State Ferries If you ride our ferries, consider participating in the current Washington State Ferry Riders Opinion Group survey to share your thoughts on our service. The survey is hosted by the Washington State Transportation Commission and helps us hear feedback and suggestions directly from you. Sign up to join the survey panel  Continue Reading

Town Of Friday Harbor Plans $40 Million Worth Of Capital Projects Over Next Eight Years

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

Plans Include Pocket Park Near Grange, Sidewalks on Lampard   By Duncan Wilson, Town of Friday Harbor Administrator Year after year, the services and responsibilities undertaken by the Town of Friday Harbor grow as population and business activity increase. Beyond daily town operations that include administration, finance and community development, our most expensive and complex  Continue Reading

Kids Can Join Hands-On Masonry Project Online With EDC, 4-H

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

From San Juan County Economic Development Council Kids from all over San Juan County have a chance to do a free, fun masonry project put on by the San Juan County Economic Development Council and Washington State University Extension’s San Juan County 4-H Program. Dave Koch, retired stonemason, is donating his time and labor to  Continue Reading

Letter: San Juan Island Youth Need Island Rec

Posted on April 10, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

By Nancy Young, San Juan Island For many years we have supported, through our taxes, this important levy, as it does so much to enhance the youth on the island. My husband has been a volunteer for over 20 years in the roller hockey program. Now, more than ever, our young people need to have  Continue Reading

Tallentyre Basil Sturdivant

Posted on April 9, 2021 at 2:45 pm, by

Tallentyre Basil Sturdivant – born Aug 14, 1925, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Died, April 5, 2021, Anacortes, WA. Tal grew up with his family in Laguna Beach, CA where surfing, fishing and boating became his life-long passions. He attended UC Santa Barbara, and served in the US Merchant Marines in the South Pacific and Philippine Islands.  Continue Reading

San Juan Preservation Trust Presents Video Series On Local Natural History

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

From San Juan Preservation Trust Staying connected to our community is important, which is why the San Juan Preservation Trust staff created a video series called “Just a Minute from the Islands” in 2020. These videos highlight aspects of nature including local plants, birds, reptiles, marine life, and more. In the fall of 2020, we started a  Continue Reading