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

January 30, 2009

Local legend....
Did you know it's been fifty years ago this month that Pat O'Day began his radio career in the Seattle area?'s more from the P-I about one of our local legends.

That's him signing an autograph when he was taking a break before announcing the Fourth of July Parade here in 2007.

Didn't make too much of a ruckus here, but did you hear or feel the 4.5 quake this morning at 5:25am? Here's more....

Named for him....
Did you know Prevost Harbour was named for the British guy who was the negotiator during the border dispute in 1872 between the US & British/Canada? Now ya do. Here's more.

Catching up.....
It's always good for friends to catch up - that's Chita Miller (left) and Nan Simpson at last night's lecture at the Labs about the NASA project to collect comet dust (that was cool - really cool - here's more about that). Nan told Chita about all her trips, and Chita gave her a grandchildren progress report. Two of my favorite people....

I had been to the South many times and I thought I knew what the South was, but not until you live with people and live through their lives do you know what it's really about.
Genevieve Gorder (which I would tend to agree with, as it applies to knowing what the island is all about.)

What's happening on the island!
click for more info:

January 29, 2009

That's Margo (left), Brian, Clark & Jane....
Clark Gilbert reports in from when it was freezing & ya had to be tough to go out & get a doughnut:

The date: 1/25/09 - it was the running of the first Doughnut Run of 2009. Four brave souls braved cold temperatures in the high 20s to run from Friday Harbor out Beaverton Valley to Roche Harbor for doughnuts. Total distance, about 11 to 11.5 miles. The Doughnut Run is a popular training event for local runners throughout the year. Local runner, Clark Gilbert, also a Brooks Inspire Daily runner, coordinates these training events, for more information, visit or email

FHHS's quarterback from 1998 checks in....
Hi Ian,
I just wanted to check in and say hello to you! I still check the blog every day and enjoy checking up on the island. I thought you would enjoy this folk song on love! It reminded me of something you would get a kick out of! Take it easy - Elliot Pemberton

Lovin' the dogs....
While it was sad to hear about those puppy mills in Mount Vernon, it's cool to hear islanders are doing something about it. Here's two stories - the first from Lisa Anderson from last Sunday:

Hey, Ian - I just thought you should know that today, Lisa & Jessica from Downtown Dog, along with some folks from our Animal Shelter, went to Mount Vernon to help with the hundreds of dogs that were rescued from BAD puppy mills/kennels over there. They are going to help in any way they can (bathing dogs, cleaning kennels, etc) and then the Animal Shelter hopes to bring some of the dogs back here to be cared for until they can be fostered out or adopted. Lisa & Jessica are planning to spend the night over there (sleeping in the Downtown Dog Bus) so that they can help for two days.
Lisa Anderson

And sure enough, the Animal Shelter is helping out - here's more from Tawny at the APS:

Hi, Ian,

Last Monday, three members of the Animal Protection Society - Friday Harbor Shelter went to the mainland to help with some of the over 600 dogs from the recent puppy mill rescue.

S.P.O.T (Saving Pets One at a Time) was given initial custody of the dogs and has asked many of the area shelters to temporarily house the dogs until the legal situation is resolved. The dogs have received preliminary veterinary exams, have been bathed and given necessary care and identification tags.

Friday Harbor Shelter director, Leslie Byron offered our facilities to foster as many of the dogs as possible. We brought back 12 dogs of various ages and breeds (like Edgar, right), among them are Chihuahuas, Miniature Australian Shepherds, a Silky terrier, a Jack Russell terrier and a Yorkshire terrier. These dogs will be held at the shelter until they hopefully will be released to us to offer for adoption.

Anyone wanting to help is welcome at the shelter. The dogs need lots of love and attention and the larger ones would love to take you for a walk on the trails surrounding the shelter. Additional items needed are: puppy training pads, canned dog food, toys for small dogs and cash donations are always welcomed for veterinary needs.

Laura's on KLOI this weekend....
The program folks at KLOI report: Aloha from Laura Greenan! She is looking forward to presenting her live show on Sunday, February 1st from 12 Noon to 2 p.m. She will be featuring some older vinyl selections from Gabby Pahinui, Kui and Nani Lee as well as current artist as Lei'ohu Ryder and Keali,i Reichel. She will be reading about the Menehune or little people of Hawaiian folk tales.
Don't miss it! Sincerely yours, Jane (subbing for Anne)

Blood &!
Here's more from Tanja Williamson about a cool happening at the elementary school:

Last Wednesday, the Pacific Science Center's "Blood and Guts" van made a stop at FHES. What a treat! The entire school learned about physiology, explored the skeletal system and followed the path of a red blood cell through the circulatory system. Thank you to the San Juan Island EMS and Inter Island Medical Center for underwriting this amazing program. And thank you to Lainey Volk (from the EMS, right) for helping staff the program. The students had a great time and learned something to boot!

Chili Cook-off news....
You know, it was great - Josie & I dropped by the CC on Saturday to check all the different ways chili can be cooked - it was great! Ranging from white bean chili to chicken chili to really hot chili to was pretty cool. Be sure & catch it next year!

Susan Matthews reports in, with a recipe:

Hey, Ian. It was delightful chatting with you and Josie at the chili cook-off last Saturday. What a great, warm thing to do on a very cold, wintery day on the island.

I had quite a few requests for the recipe for Susie’s Sizzlin’ White Chicken Chili (more pedestrianly known as plain old White Chili) and thought that, if you’re looking to fill some space on your site (as if we don’t have enough good island news), you might pass on the recipe for those who’d like it. It’s attached. (And here it is!)

Hope you’re enjoying this SUNNY winter day today!

Today's reports from France.....
Nancy's kids keep the stories coming - here are today's installments:

The 3 hour train ride from Paris to Aix was the most nerve-wracking experince i've had in a while. We tried to distract our thoughts with playing cards or talking; but the topic always came back to what lies ahead: meeting your host family. As we got off the train everyone was shaking with nervousness, and the following car ride home was extremely awkward. What do you say to someone you're going to be living with for a couple weeks, and how do you say it in another language? My host family turned out to be really welcoming. We do our best to have conversations in french, but sometimes I have to cheat with English.

Occasionally my family gets in arguments about proper English and they talk over each other for about 5 minutes before they remember I'm there. "can you say..." became one of their favorite lines over the first few days. Everyone in my host family is fairly fluent in English so when they can't understand my broken French that helps a lot. My family is always trying to entertain me, but they have an obligation to themseleves also. They are all very studious. On some days my host sister doesn't get finished with her classes untill 7 at night, she then comes home and studies. They place a lot of stress on good schooling for highschoolers.

Over the next week my host mother told me she isn't going to use any English to really force me to talk in French... and use a lot of hand gestures. I am really excited for this and am looking forward to improving my language skills.
Angela Gossom

This week we started our French class. Its tough because we can only speak French (cause we’re in France: ) but madame Jones taught us well so we’ve been off to a great start! This week was also our first week with host families! On the way to Aix-en-Provence we were all very nervous about meeting our host families but once we met them it wasn’t bad at all. I think the family stay has been the best part of the trip so far. Even though they had never met us they all made us feel right at home. Living with host families can be hard at first but as the time goes by you become closer and closer. Also, living with a host family really makes you mature and it’s a very good life lesson for all who try it.

À bientôt (see you soon),
Alex Forgie

....and from Catherine Bevens:
Greeting from Aix-en-Provence!
Our time in Paris certainly flew by, and now we've been in the south of France for a week. Each of us is staying with a host family, but we attend an immersion school together. Our classes are going great. I am in a different group than the rest of our group, which is difficult but I am learning a lot. It's an amazing experience. We all have a host sibling about our age, so it has been cool attending their classes at a French lycee. They city here is beautiful, and in many ways has the same small town feel as Friday Harbor. We've been so busy too, that it's hard to believe our time here is halfway done! The language has been one of the hardest things, of course, but I know my host family has been especially patient and encouraging in the learning experience. We're missing things back home but looking forward to another week's experience here! Bisous!

That's the FHHS kids in France, at the Orangerie Museum in front of Monet's
famous water lily painting

Here comes the chipper!
The Fire Department's Ron Garner has more:

Firewise Chipper Coming to To Town: Skagit County has lent the Firewise communities of San Juan Island a chipper to help our communities maintain safety zones and reduce fuel loads. Originally the chipper was going to be here for ten days which allowed only the new Firewise Communities access to its use. Now the plan is for about three weeks or as long as the chipper is here, to allow any present or new Firewise Community to use the chipper for a day. If any non Firewise Community would join the free nationally recognized program, they would also qualify for a free chipper day.

The chipper will be on island January 31, to about February 17, 2009. Any Firewise Community can organize a chipper day by calling Ron Garner, San Juan Island Fire Department’s Firewise coordinator at 378-7722. Scheduling will be on a first come basis until the chipper is recalled by Department of Natural Resources. Brush needs to be brought to the roadway before the chipper day and residents available to help feed the chipper. Joining Firewise is a start toward protecting your home from wild fire.

You can’t pick and choose from God’s law. ... The same God who said “Do not commit adultery”, also said, “Do not murder”. ... Remember, you will be judged. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. ...

Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth isn’t wisdom – it is criminal cunning, devilish conniving. ... You end up with everyone at each other’s throats.

Real wisdom is peace-loving, - characterised by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, and willing to yield. ... Those who are peaceful will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

- from the Epistle of James

Snow geese last weekend, by Jim Maya.
Click on the picture to see the really cool, bigger version.

January 28, 2009

Music from Home....
Kentucky's Ron Short (right) and the Roadside Theater bring Music from Home to the Community Theatre this's more about Saturday's show.

Collecting comet dust & returning to Earth....
That's what Dr. Brownlee from the University of Washington's astronomy department will be talking about tomorrow night at the Labs...he's the principal investigator for the STARDUST program, and spoke here three years ago - it'll be great to hear his update from that time. Here's more about him, and here's more about the presentation.

Good show, that 'Doubt'.....
It was cool to see what the moviemakers did with Doubt after we had it here on the island last year with Island Stage Left. The local production got people talking for days afterwards - you couldn't go anywhere without someone saying, "Did you see the show? What did YOU think?" Well-written stories are like that, especially when they're well-acted.

It was a special treat to see Dan Mayes and the cast from our production at the movie last night, and to hear what they thought of it. It was especially good to see Dan - he's looking hale & hearty after heart surgery a month ago, and he says he's feeling pretty good, too.

Laura's open!
I dropped by Laura Greenan's new studio at Surina Business Park for her open house on Saturday, and it sure is nice the way she has things set up. Stop by & say hey - here's her website that tells what she offers.

What does the future hold? Here's a clue....
A friend sent me this little video of what a 20 year old might say about what they expect when he or she turns 50....

Poster Contest is underway....
The Children's Festival needs posters! Here's more from Jennifer Beck Furber:

Poster Contest for 19th Annual Children’s Festival: It’s time for San Juan island kids to let their imaginations run wet and wild with this year’s Children’s Festival’s Theme: UNDER THE SEA.

The 2009 Children’s Festival’s poster contest lets San Juan Island children show off their aquatic artistic and creative skill.

Official entry forms are available starting January 30, 2009 for artists of all ages ready to share their talents in the San Juan Island 19th Annual Children’s Festival. Winning entries will be used to promote the Saturday, May 2nd festival and its 2009 theme: UNDER THE SEA.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries. The first prize is a Whale and Wildlife Tour for four aboard San Juan Island’s 46-foot Western Prince II. The second prize will be a gift certificate to Osito’s, and the third place poster will receive a gift certificate to the Toy Box.

Poster entry sheets are available at Friday Harbor Elementary School and Island Rec (580 Guard Street). Entries must be submitted to either of those locations by Thursday, March 26, 2009.

All artwork will become the property of Island Rec and will not be returned.

This year’s committee is underway with preparations for the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 2nd event.  Please, mark your calendars.  For more information call Sally at 378-4953.

A little music for today......
Here's Sarah Mclachlan with a love song for you....

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.
Richard Bach

January 27, 2009

That's the kids on the French class trip to Paris...they're in front of the Cathedral Notre Dame. Ace French teacher Nancy Jones tells me they're having a great time!

What does the Agricultural Resources Committee do, anyway?
If you're not aware of ARC, you might want to find out - they have their meeting today at noon at Whidbey Island Bank - here's more.

Where the orcas are....
Shoot, over the weekend, L-pod was reported down near Monterey Bay, while J & K were noticed over near Victoria. I-pod was observed in some eighth-grader's ear.

Iris, the flying cat...
This cat flew from Friday Harbor's airport to Sequim, riding on the dash. Here's the video.

The orcas have to yell above all the noise....
The Whale Museum is calling it the Lombard Effect - they have assembled research which indicates the animals have to "yell" - vocalize louder - to be heard above boat noise around's the study, by Marla M. Holt, Dawn P. Noren, Val Veirs, Candice K. Emmons, and Scott Veirs. Interestiing stuff.

Next week it's the Knowledge Bowl....
On Thursday the 5th, the 16th Annual KB is's more. It's fun - see you there!

That's Kate Fyrqvist (she was on the team when they won in ninth grade, too), Kara Dunn, Cody Price, and Otto Schmidt.

Loves diving....
A guy from Birch Bay went diving last weekend with Naknek Charters from our marina, and had a great time, so her wrote it up in his blog...check it out!

Another new islander....
You know she's gonna be a great mom - Alisa sent me over the announcement this morning:

Scott and Alisa Schoultz proudly announce the arrival of their daughter, Vera Jane (right) on January 18, 2009 at 4:17am. Vera weighed in at 9 lbs, 9 oz and was 23 inches long. She is welcomed by grandparents Mike and Jeri Ahrenius of Friday Harbor, WA, Dean Felthous of Mukilteo, WA and Nils and Carolyn Schoultz of Hudson, FL. Great-grandparents are Reed and Elaine Brockbank of Kentfield, CA, Agnetta Felthous of Stanwood, WA and Nourdine Jensen of Friday Harbor, WA.

After the deluge......
Three weeks ago, the news of flooding all across western Washington made the news, but that didn't have the impact of this Powerpoint show of the water cascading through towns, closing roads, biting off chunks off mountains & streets, and destroying homes. Here's the show to download (it's 2.5 meg, so it might take a moment.)

Really makes you see what a mess that was....and serves as a cautionary tale for getting ready for the next one.

Me & my co-star, Mariska....
Back in 1988, I had a bit part in a made-for-TV film called The Finish Line, with Josh Brolin, his dad, and a young actress with the unlikely name of Mariska Hargitay (that's pronounced "Ma•rish•ka, by the way). My job in the film was to roll Josh at the end on a gurney into the operating room - I was originally cast as the Doctor (a speaking part), then re-cast as the Nurse (another speaking part), then finally re-cast as the Orderly. My one line - "OK, boys, pick 'im up!" was left on the cutting room floor.

So that was fun.

It was also fun to see Mariska in Mike Myers' Love Guru last month - the people in it go around bowing & chanting "Mariska Hargitay, Mariska Hargitay" like it's Sanskrit, which sets it up for when he runs into the real Mariska.

That was fun, too.

But what's really cool is looking at her web site, which she keeps up herself - and finding out about her foundation, the Joyful Heart Foundation, which offers support and uplift for abused women, to help survivors of sexual assault heal their minds, bodies and spirits and reclaim their lives. Take a look at what JHF is doing, and I think you might want to get involved, too. Here's the website.

And there's her website, she has an inspiration section that highlights real concerns about the direction the world is heading, and uplifting notions about the direction it could head - click here...I think you'll find it worth reading.

The new book is out next week!
It was fun to see Mike & Julia Vouri out on the town last week, with their copy of their new book about the island, with over 200 historical photos in it. It'll be available at the Historical Museum, and in stores around the island.

The Garuda wraps it up this weekend....
Here's the note I got from Peggy:

Could you please put this in the Update? The final days of The Garuda and I will be this Friday and Saturday, January 30 and 31. We will be open both days from 10:00 – 5:00. All merchandise will be 70% off and displays and cases will be for sale. Don’t miss your last chance at great deals!

Thanks, Peggy Long

What was it like here in 1926?
Going to school in Friday Harbor in '26 - wow - here it is, written up by Grandpa Andy. Gotta read it - great fun & a wonderful look back in time.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.
Helen Keller

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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