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

December 27, 2008

Breaking out....cabin fever...
It's warm & slushy & mostly melted around the island this morning, so I know you're looking for stuff to do with the kids - the Fitness Club has their Kids' Night Out tonight for elementary & middle school kids (click on the Calendar for details), and there's Open Skat at the Fairgrounds & Open Gym at the the, well, gym.

Get 'em moving!

Cookie monsters & music dudes....
Ada over at Mi Piace says there's a cookie exchange tomorrow (Sunday) at her place, at the top of the ferry lanes at 1pm (bring a couple of dozen to share & swap), followed by Open Mic at 2pm. She says everything in the store is on sale at 25-50% off as she heads towards closing for the winter on January 4th. See ya there!

The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach for the heart is wise.
Maya Angelou

December 26, 2008

Server upgrades today & tonight....
I scheduled them for what I hope is a slow news day (although I think most days include slow news....)

Anyway, the Update will be offline this evening, then back in action tomorrow! See ya then!

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to you!!

It was forty years ago today....
Back in 1968, it would be more than fair to say we had had a pretty difficult year in the US...but one of the cool things that happened that year: the space program's Apollo 8 for the first time went to the moon. Although we didn't land that time, much of the world was touched on Christmas that year as astronauts Frank Borman (Mission Commander), Jim Lovell (of later Apollo 13 fame), and Bill Anders (who lives on Orcas Island) lined up a broadcast from space of our planet as seen from the other side of the moon, and read the first ten verses of Genesis.

Here's a rundown of that broadcast & space trip, which for a moment that year, brought the world together:

December 24, 2008

Slosh through the slush....
Well, it's warming & sloshy, with more snow predicted by the weather folks later today & tomorrow, and barely freezing temps to go with it all...keep yourself warm & take a little holiday, willya?

Thinking of Beth....
I dropped by to say hey to Keith at Harbor Books yesterday, and catch up on how Beth Hudson's doing at the hospital after her horrific accident Sunday night. Looks like a pretty tough go for her & her family for a while here...I asked Keith if there was anything to do, and he said a Medical Fund for her has been opened at the Friday Harbor Islanders Bank branch. Any donations can be made at any Teller's window and Drive-up...or, you can drop it off at Harbor Books & Keith'll take care of getting it there.

That's Beth showing me her pygmy hedgehog (named Pyg!) at the store last year...we're thinking of you, friend.

We're not the only ones who want the ferry....
On this next year's budgetary chopping block: the Anacortes/Friday Harbor/Sidney ferry run. The Governor's budget already has it whacked, but Washington legislative folks are already girding to save the 51-year-old run. Here's more from the newspaper in Victoria, as they see it.

I love Christmas. I really do love Christmas. I love being with my family and I love snow. I love the music and the lights and all of it.
Christina Applegate

That's the Friday Harbor Marine Labs just past the marina, yesterday, from the steps next to the Grange.

In case you missed the snow - or were off-island for the past couple of weeks, or were reading a really good book & just didn't notice - I took a bunch of pictures in Friday Harbor so you could see what it looks like around here for the past couple of days. The pictures are either a bit grey (that would be Sunday morning) or kinda sunny (which was Monday, midday). Here they are, with lots of island businesses featured - see what you think!

December 23, 2008

Runners in the snow....
A couple of years ago when it snowed, I decided to take a hike around Pear Point to see what the white trees looks like. I was surprised at that time to see someone runnin

g toward me from a quarter mile away - it was Jane Hutchison, getting much better traction in the ice with her crampons on her shoes than I was with my boots.

So, it wasn't terribly surprising to see Jane (right) out running Sunday afternoon with Clark Gilbert and Laura Tretter on Argyle Street. Same crampons, I believe.

Clark's blog has tips about running in this kinda weather, by the way. Check it out!

Also out in the snow...
Down near Julie Corey's new office (center), just half a block from Nancy Hanson's Toy Box, I ran into them with Nancy's ace son Joel, who is visiting for the holidays.

Last shows cancelled.....
I just got a note that the last two Island Stage Left shows (both on Christmas Eve) of Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol have been cancelled because of a health thing...I'll let you know more when I find out more.

Pictures of the island....
Like most islanders, I like seeing different photos that people take of how the island looks, in different lights....Jeanne Hyde has some great shots of quail & Rudolph in her blog; meanwhile, Chris Teren's blog has a bunch of great snow shots.

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
Mae West

December 22, 2008

Walking down Argyle Street on Sunday morning after the snowfall from the night's nice to catch a little color in all the white, grey, and more white.

December 21, 2008

I'm dreaming of a white Solstice....
Looks like we got it...look outside.

Stage Left's show is cancelled for Sunday....
Just got word from Laura that the show for 4pm today is a no go.

Wondering why? Look outside.

Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
M. Scott Peck

December 20, 2008

Santa dropped in on storytime yesterday at the Library, along with a bunch of pre-school kids who felt a little like they had cabin fever from staying in from the weather.

As the weather grows worse......
If you're looking for reasons to stay in this weekend, here's the word from the local Department of Emergency Management's Brendan Cowan, last night:

There’s at least one more dose of winter weather on the way this weekend. It is looking like the islands will dodge the worst of what is shaping up to be a major winter storm for Western Washington. Current forecast is calling for 2-4 inches of snow between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Winds are forecast to be out of the N, in the 30-40mph range.

Temperatures are forecast to warm somewhat as we head into next week, though the possibility of snow is still lingering in the long term outlook.

Conditions on the mainland are forecast to be much more severe. Winds upwards of 75mph in the Cascade foothills, snowfall up to 18 inches in some lowland areas, and the potential of freezing rain in the South Sound could cause significant problems. Islanders traveling on Saturday and Sunday should plan in advance for delays and poor conditions throughout the Pacific NW.

For the latest forecast, go to

The Market is open....
Grisha wrote in last night:

Please announce that the farmers' market is ON for Saturday. The market takes place at the High School Commons, begins at ten am, and goes to one pm. Thank you!
Best wishes,
Grisha K.

Running late with your holiday greetings & personalized gifts?
Kris from Printonyx has the answer:

Save shipping and time on the computer, let us do the work.

There's still time to take advantage of Printonyx's special prices on cards, postcards, border papers and calendars.
With extra staff home from college (or just needing extra cash), we're pumping out these items in one-day or two days. So gather your photos or bring us your camera card or disk, and we'll take it from there.

For special prices, samples and more, check out our website:

Think globally, buy locally!

Swim Meet cancelled....
That swim meet at San Juan Fitness has been cancelled - for more details, call Margaret at the Club.

Getting ready for New Year's....
Cynthia from the Prevention Coalition needs a few volunteers who really want to have fun:

A Community Celebration to Bring in the New Year:  The Gift of Volunteers
The San Juan Island Prevention Coalition is sponsoring the fifth annual alcohol and drug free New Year’s Eve Community Celebration on December 31st at the Mullis Center from 7:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Island Rec is coordinating the event for the third year. “We really want to see people of all ages at this fun filled event,” says Sally Thomsen, Recreation Director of Island Rec and a Trustee for the substance abuse prevention coalition. “We are again encouraging families to play together, and opening our arms to having more adults and seniors join us for this year’s party. We want the youth to see that we can socialize and have fun without alcohol and drugs, and that we can do this across all ages!” she further states. 

Back by popular demand is hat decorating and parade. The Kiwanis Club will be manning the hat making center to assist with materials and equipment to get the job done. There will also be a variety of games and activities throughout the evening, including Bingo, Bunco, Trivia, Twister, beading, resolution making, and mural making. The Leos will be volunteering their expertise to these many choices. There will also be prize drawings for participation in activities.

A special addition to this year’s activities is a photo booth featuring a Centennial theme backdrop and costumes. The San Juan Community Theater has generously assisted with providing a closet full of costumes for all ages, shapes, and sizes. They will also assist with helping everyone “get into the period.”

“We are excited about the commitment of other organizations to assist with the event, including donations or time and resources. Volunteerism is the greatest gift to a community’s health!  The coalition wishes to thank the many people and sponsors that make this event a true example of community collaboration. Each year we grow! Island Rec has done a terrific job in improving the overall quality and outreach of the evening,” says Cynthia Stark-Wickman, Executive Coordinator for the Prevention Coalition.

Our clocks will be set to Eastern Standard Time to ring in the New Year at midnight EST.  Another popular venue, Stop, Drop and Rock will provide music at “midnight” for all our rockers at heart. Youth 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

We always appreciate assistance with set-up, decorating, and the event activities. If you would like more information about the event, or would like to volunteer, please call Sally Kerr, Recreation Director at 378-4953.

Food pairings for wine....
Yep, we cover EVERYTHING here at the's more from Yvonne Swanberg.

Another way to give....
Co-president Chris Sly-Prochnow from the Animal Shelter prepared some remarks to help you understand another way you can help:

In the Spirit of the Season...
by Chris Sly-Prochnow

"‘Tis better to give than to receive”…an extension of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 was passed recently and direct distributions from an IRA can be made to certain charities without it counting as taxable income.  In the past the IRA owner had to recognize the distribution from the IRA as taxable income and then received a charitable deduction for the contribution to the charity.  Under this law, while the IRA distribution will not count as income under the new provisions, there will be no charitable deduction allowed either.  This provision extends to tax years 2008 and 2009. (Click here for the rest of the article.)

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
Oscar Wilde

Click here for last week's (and yesterday's) news...

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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