San Juan Island Update - serving San Juan Island, Friday Harbor, and Roche Harbor

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October 31, 2008

Girls soccer rolls on.....
After losing their seeding game 5-1 at Meridian last night, FHHS plays Lynden Christian tomorrow at noon in Oak Harbor. Although we played LC to a 6-1 loss in early September, the team has jelled amazingly in the past seven weeks, taking the league title and playing tough. It'll be fun to see how the Wolverines respond to the challenge!

Meanwhile, football travels to Lynden Christian tonight to wrap up their season, and volleyball goes to their end-of-season tourney in Coupeville to see who goes where in the playoffs on Saturday.

The FHES Halloween Parade is on!
The annual parade of the kids through town is set today for 1pm - here's the pictures from last year's parade (see who you know - they've grown bigger, I'll tell ya that!)

How construction is going....
Debbie from the Chamber sent along a progress report of how all that construction downtown is going:

1. Court Street should be patched up "soon."

2. Court and First Streets - Using the expansive agent rather than explosives makes for a slower process to begin with.....then, add to that, the fact that the workers found extremely difficult rock to us the result that the First Street portion is about 2 weeks behind schedule.

3. Cannery Landing - due to the issues with the oil found in the beginning of this portion of the project, a new game plan has been developed. A meeting was held with for all stakeholders to discuss the issues and options. Permission was given to extend hours of working.

4. Good news! The Front Street project is going well and is actually a week ahead of schedule.

5. Announcement: Business as Usual! The Whale Museum IS open - drop by!

Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.
Will Rogers (1931)

October 30, 2008

Christine Martz went to the infant/parent group's Halloween party yesterday, and wanted to share pictures of some of her friends: Holden (the Sheriff), Louise (peacock), April (poodle), Lucy (Scooby Doo) and Norah (Eeyore).

Birds in the air......
If anyone knows what's going on with our birds around here, it's's the latest:

Hi, Ian! Just saw my first Trumpeter Swans of the winter on Sportsman's Lake this morning. This is the earliest I have seen them by a couple days but it is still within the window of their arrival. Lots of ducks have returned and saw a Wilson’s Snipe at the Family Resource Center thanks to Joyce Sobel. Ahh, the joys of winter birding. We are calling it “Hunker Down Birding” as we are doing more birding at home and fewer trips off island to save a bit of money. It is great to enjoy the simple pleasures of birding locally again.

Cheers, Barb Jensen, San Juan Islands Audubon and Skylark Nature Tours

Girls win first playoff game, ever......
In 1998, the then-four-year-old FHHS girls soccer team went to the playoffs for the first time ever - playing Lynden Christian (who had beaten us 5-1 & 4-0 earlier in the season) to 1-0 with ten to go, when LC scored two to jump us. Last night the girls did what had escaped us for so long - won a playoff game.

The girls went to Coupeville for a loser-out game & beat them 4-2 (all-world forward Whitney Porter has scored eight goals in the last two games, by the way), and now it gets tough.

The Wolverines travel today to Meridian for a seeding game that will send them to district play Saturday at Oak Harbor, win or lose.

If anyone can do it, these girls can. Wahoo!

A great concert this weekend....
I've met Pat, who pulls all this together, and she runs a good show - you'll want to check this one out. Here's more from Jan at the Community Theatre:

“World Class” String Quartet Featured in Fall Concert: Canada’s Lafayette String Quartet makes their first appearance at the San Juan Community Theatre as the highlight of Chamber Music San Juans’ fall concert on Saturday, November 1.

Starting their 23rd anniversary year together, the quartet joins CMSJ artistic director and clarinetist Patricia Kostek on the Whittier stage at 7:30 p.m. for an enchanting evening of chamber music.

More than twenty years with the same personnel is an accomplishment that few groups of any kind can claim, but it is a special achievement given the amount of intensity and dedication required from a string quartet. The ensemble—with violinists Ann Elliott-Goldschmid and Sharon Stanis, violist Joanna Hood and cellist Pamela Highbaugh Aloni—is the longest-running all-female string quartet to have its original players.  They are Artists-in-Residence at University of Victoria’s School of Music.

The group has many achievements to boast over the past 22 years, including many CD recordings of the "standards," performances of works by female composers and several world premieres.  “This remarkable ensemble is joining us after an appearance at the Bartók International Festival,” said Kostek.  “This is a rare opportunity to hear Bartók performed by a brilliant, world class string quartet.”  In addition to performing the Bartók String Quartet No. 4 and the “Search” Quartet by Eugene Weigel, the quartet will join with Kostek to perform the beautiful Clarinet Quintet, op. 115 by Johannes Brahms. Here's more.

Tickets are $23 for adults, $12 for student reserved, with $5 student RUSH available at the door.  A private donor has made provision for free tickets to anyone needing financial assistance to attend a Theatre event.  The evening’s business partner is Kings Market.

Tickets are available on-line at or via the SJCT box office

(378-3210). The box office is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and one hour before each performance. 

Sunset on the westside last week, by Jane Buck

Group ride - it's this weekend!
Judy Packard has more:

This Saturday 11/1/08 The San Juan Trails/Bicycle Trails group invites all cyclists on the island to join us in a fun ride.

Our first group ride event will start Saturday at 11:00 am departing from the FHHS Turnbull Gym parking lot. The ride will go around Turn point, and take approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how fast you want to ride. Every cyclist of any age and ability is welcome and encouraged to join us. Wear a helmet and plan to ride at your own pace. The only requirement is that you HAVE FUN!!

Drop in at the Farmer's Market before or after the ride in the High School Commons area for coffee, snacks or just to support the local farmers!

We plan for this to be the first of many regularly scheduled monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly rides , promote safety improvements and connect/unite local bicycle enthusiasts. Further rides will be announced.

Some suggestions to cyclists before heading out to the high school to join us include:

1.Wear a helmet. Adults be sure to set a good example for the kids.
2. Conduct an ABC Quick Check before every ride (That means check the tires for Air, make sure your Brakes work properly, the Chain should run freely, and Quick Check your bike that there are no loose parts on it and all quick releases are tight)
3.. Remember to Obey all traffic laws: ride on the right, slowest traffic farthest to right. You are a vehicle and must share the road. Please ride single file on our narrow island roads.
4. Wear bright colored clothing to make yourself visible to motorists . Visible yellow, yellow-green or orange work best.
5. Be prepared for mechanical emergencies with tools and know-how. Be sure you have a patch kit and a pump.

And for the motorists

Please remember to leave at least 3 ft. between your vehicle and the bicycle when you pass. Please share the road courteously.

Cyclists appreciate it if you slow down a bit when you pass but there is no need to honk unless you can see the cyclist really isn't aware of your presence and is not riding in a straight line.

Washington state law now forbids passing a vehicle if there is an on-coming bicycle or pedestrian.

And thank you from all cyclists for Sharing the Road!

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

October 29, 2008

Bottle caps and other plastic objects are visible inside the decomposed carcass of this Laysan albatross on Kure Atoll, which lies in a remote and virtually uninhabited region of the North Pacific. The bird probably mistook the plastics for food and ingested them while foraging for prey.

Next Monday, there will be an important lecture by Dr. Charles Moore titled "Plastics in our Oceans" for Monday November 3rd at 5:30pm at the FH Labs Commons. Topic: Synthetic Polymers in the Marine Environment: A Rapidly Increasing, Long Term Threat.

Charles Moore, Founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, will explore the consequences of our society’s profligate waste over the last half century, and how it is showing up in the ocean’s food web from the smallest marine animals to the largest cetaceans.

He will explain the unexpected longevity of our waste in the marine environment, how it threatens the ocean’s biodiversity, and what we must do to change the tide of trash inundating our shores.

This special presentation is sponsored by Doris Estabrooks, FRIENDS of the San Juans, Friday Harbor Labs, and the San Juan Island Anti-Litter Initiative.

Time to sign up - Flea Market & Craft Fair in November & December....
Rev (right) at the San Juan County Fair tells me:

The San Juan County Fair will host two giant Flea Market and Craft Fairs, Saturday, November 15 and Saturday, December 13, 2008.

The events are open to all sellers, artists, crafts people and buyers and will run from 9:00a.m. until 1:00p.m. in the Main Building at the fairgrounds.

Contact the Fair office at 378-4310 or email to for information or an application to reserve a vendor booth space.  There is a discount available for reserving booth space on both dates.

Opportunities for young women......
Here are a couple of chances for women to help themselves - forward this over to anybody whom you think would be a candidate (just tell 'em to look on the Update...). They're both connected to the Soroptimists - Joyce sobel sent over the first & Stephanie Buffum sent the second - check 'em out:

Violet Richardson Award: Young women between the ages of 14 and 17 who are helping to make our community and world a better place are encouraged to apply for the Violet Richardson Award, which is presented each year by the Soroptimists of Friday Harbor. This cash award is given to a young woman who has demonstrated initiative in both identifying a problem and in try to solve
it through her volunteer activities. Volunteer work can include, but is not limited to, projects that address social problems such as homelessness, violence, drug abuse, unemployment, illiteracy, discrimination, AIDS, and environmental pollution. Activities that benefit women and girls are especially valued. The award is an opportunity to hone a girl who might not otherwise receive recognition.

She may not be the best student, the best athlete, or the most popular girl in school, but she is caring, compassionate, creative, and most of all committed to making the world a better place.

Application form (which includes information about the award) are available from Joyce Sobel (378-5246 or and are due by Monday, December 1.

Women's Opportunity Award: The Women’s Opportunity Awards program is Soroptimist’s major service project. The awards improve the lives of women by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills, and employment prospects. Each year, Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor awards a $1500 grant to an area woman who provides the primary source of financial support for her family and is improving her life through education and skills training. The award may be used to offset any costs associated with efforts to attain higher education, including books, childcare and transportation. Club recipients then become eligible for additional cash awards at other levels of the organization, including three $10,000 finalist awards.

Many Women’s Opportunity Award recipients have overcome enormous obstacles in their quest for a better life, including poverty, domestic violence, and drug and alcohol abuse. Each year, more than $800,000 is disbursed through awards at various levels of the organization to help women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. Since the Women’s Opportunity Awards program began in 1972, it is estimated that $15 million has been disbursed and more than 20,000 women have been assisted. In 2003, The Women’s Opportunity Awards program received the Award of Excellence from the American Society of Association Executives’ Associations Advance America program.

Applications are available by calling Kristine Odle 378-2414 or download Award application at . Submit application to Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor, PO Box 2856, Friday Harbor, Washington, 98250 by December 15th.

The Times They Are A-Changin'.....
Here's the Tracy Chapman version:

Dealing with the final transition......
Adrienne at the Library tells me this is gonna be a good talk to come to, on Saturday at 7pm (here's a bit more about the seminar she's putting on the next day, all day):

Come meet Maria Dancing Heart! She wrote "The Last Adventure of Life: Sacred Resources for the Living and Dying from a Hospice Counselor," which contains stories and "healing tools" to help those dealing with grief, loss and the "final transition." Maria has worked as a hospice and spiritual bereavement counselor for several years.

For more information visit Maria's website: The Last Adventure of Life.

Well begun is half done.

October 28, 2008

I just heard that Pat Speer passed away Sunday night at her brother's home in Nebraska, quietly in her sleep. Thousands of FHHS students since 1973 knew Ms. Speer as an art teacher who (they told me) brought out their creativity and helped them feel better about themselves. Although she had ended her teaching career last June, at the age of 62, she'll be remembered by the teachers she worked with and the kids she helped shape for years to come.

Needs a little help....
I nearly got it right - yesterday I mentioned that Ada & Mi Piace were gonna close, but that's because I didn't understand that she's gonna be away in January, like a lot of business owners are in the winter - sorry for the misunderstanding! I was right that she has her merchandise at 50% off, so drop by & see her..

Moving on.....
The last two children's librarians at our library have moved on to greater things - Laura Tretter came in 2001 and has since become the director. Now Shannan Sword is moving up - she's been named the director of the library in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, so she'll be leaving in mid-November.

Looks like Alberta got a good one - Shannan has been keeping a lot of balls in the air, including the Teen Writing Program, the teen reading program, the summer reading program, the kids' lapsit reading times, and all of these have grown while she's been here since mid-2005. Good luck!

That's Shannan on the right at last year's volunteer Christmas party, with Heidi Lewis & her antlers.

Bringing it all together.....
Have you ever wondered how come we don't have one big school district in the islands, instead of districts for Shaw, Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, Decatur, and so on? So have I.

That's why I want to go to the special meeting next Monday (the 3rd) to see what the superintendents have to say about what would be involved with consolidation. It's one of those ideas that feels like it makes sense - let's begin that discussion. Here's more.

Have you registered yet?
Vic & Monique Woodward are hosting a "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage" video conference on Nov. 14-15 at The Elements Hotel. Mark Gungor does an incredible job of teaching the design of males and females, using humor and understanding to deliver hope/life for married couples. Couples can simply call them to register (360) 378-8435.

Here's a short video clip from the conference: "The Tale of Two Brains" - (click here to see it - it's pretty good!)

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
Carl Jung

October 27, 2008

The sports scene shakes out....
If Meridian wins the state championship again this year (they've won it three times in the past nine years), Wolverine fans will be looking back at Saturday's game as "what might have been," as FHHS lost 21-13, after a halftime tie (here's the story, from the Bellingham Herald.) The loss drops us from the playoffs in November, so we finish up the season with a visit to Lynden Christian on Halloween night.

FHHS volleyball wraps up the season at home tomorrow, then heads to the end of the season tourney on Saturday to see what their playoff chances are.

Meanwhile, the league champ soccer team finishes their season tonight at Concrete before heading into a playoff game Wednesday at Coupeville.

I know you wanna carve your pumpkin NOW! So click on the punkin at right & get started.


For Halloween night.....
Kris Brown tells me it's happening again:

Islands Community Church’s Annual Harvest Party: “Treasures of the New World.”

A safe and fun adventure for young children! It's Friday, October 31, 5-7p.m.
127-A Gilbert Lane – off San Juan Valley Road

Free Refreshments & Candy including Popcorn, Cupcakes, Slushies. Don’t worry about dinner; we have hotdogs & corndogs for $1 to raise money for our holiday food baskets. PLUS we have a FREE pie area for adults! Free Carnival-Style Games including Mini-Golf, Hoop Shoot, Spin & Win, Glow in the Dark Room, Bowling, Darts!

Free Pictures of Your Child! Wear positive-themed costumes so young children will not be frightened.

For more information call 378-4154.

Bike trails meeting today.....
Tracy Roberson has posted an agenda for that meeting today:

Hi All,
Just a reminder about the bike trails meeting today Oct 27, 5 pm at the Community room, Whidbey Island Bank. FYI, here is a tentative agenda for the meeting, this meeting is meant to be very interactional and not a dialogue, so the agenda may evolve, below are simply the topics that I hope to cover.
See you there!

Election help.....
One of the dumber things on the ballot this election is passing something that limits or eliminates the HOV lanes on the highways of our congested state. But that's OK - I got if figured out how we oughta do it.

The people wanting to pass the new law say they wanna open up the carpool/more-than-one-person-in-the-car lanes so we don't have to build more highways. Right. But here's the deal - we got it backwards. We need to make ALL the lanes open to folks who have two or more people in the car, and have just one lane for the folks who insist on having only one person in the car. Tis would, of course, make people carpool, or else they'd be in the most backed-up lane of all.

That would work better. I thought about a lot, so that you & I can vote correctly on this one.

You're welcome.

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Will Rogers

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Ian Byington sings

The information here is simply stuff we here at By Design think is important around Friday Harbor or on San Juan Island.

Some of it is news, some of it is old news, and all are just things we wanted to mention, with most of it about the things that make living here great.

There will be more next week, if anything happens.

Ian Byington

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