June 30, 1998
No news is sorta like no news: In another lifetime, I had a job as a newscaster for a radio station, and it was our job to chase up news, even when there wasn't any. It's easier here...and nice when things are rolling along slowly enough to relax and let the summer have its way. Anyhow, that's how come there hasn't been much in here for the last week...weather's been too nice, and we've all been outside. If anything happened, I'd be the last to know...
Fourth planned first: Brenda Larsen and the folks planning the Fourth's celebration are pulling it together, with fireworks online, the usual parade, and events and activities both in town and around the island. The Fourth of July is a true community event on San Juan Island, with folks coming together to play and cheer. All day long...
Mob scene: You should have seen the nearly-overflow crowd at the twice-monthly contra dance at the Grange on Saturday night. With visiting musicians, Irish dancing, and an enthusiastic gaggle of dancers, it was wall-to-wall - a good chance to visit friends and to dance away a hard work week. And the music was fine.
Speaking of music and entertainment, the Community Theatre begins its Summerfest of song, dance, plays & playlets, and other fun this week. Check their page for details.
Feedback: From Western Prince's Jean, in the e-mailbag: "Loved your notes on what to do and not do on the island. -- relax, don't watch tv, no jetskis. You should repeat those about once every 10 days or better yet, put them in your guestbook.Visitors need to be reminded to slow down." Thanks, Jean...and you know, it really is nice when folks stop to appreciate the day on an island...
Town on the Web: Steve Dubail from the Town has updated the Town's website, and I really like it. With more info than you could ever think up to ask about, and an easy-use-interface, Steve's provided a positive, involved look at our burg for the world to see. Did you know Town is a square mile big? That we have a little under 1900 folks here within the limits? That we were founded in 1909 - nearly 90 years old, we are! Check it out.
A passing: Susan Vernon reports she felt a real sense of community coming together at that auction about three weeks back to raise money for Kathleen Lee-Geist's need for medical care, as some $20,000+ was raised. Sadly, Kathleen died Saturday a week ago...she is missed already.
Boat people gotta talk: Have you seen Teresa's chat stuff at her page? It focuses on sailing (that's why it's called Sailing Chat!) and originates from her computer on her boat where she lives in the marina here...she brings a friendly, knowledgeable, and spirited voice to chat hosting. And - she went to school with San Juan Excursions' Lynn Danaher.
Ferry news: You can only talk about this stuff so much. Come early, bring a book and plenty of amusement-type stuff for the kids, and, as you wait in line, expect the unexpected. Sure, the ferry might break down - like the Elwa did last week - but you might also see a friend in line, or meet one, or get to spend more time on the beach or in town than you thought. Might even get to play with your kids, or someone else's, or even take a nap. Enjoy the break...it's a gift, and part of the deal coming here, and leaving here.
Besides, whining about it is so unbecoming.
June 22, 1998
Ferry blues: Soon as I tell ya the ferries are on their summer schedule, what happens? The whole thing goes to heck...Eric Brandt explains that the Hiyu and the Illahee will combine to replace the Hyak for a schedule in place till July 13th, and has posted the modified schedule on his IslandCam site, even before the Washington state Ferries folks have it up. If you're coming or going, check it out....
June 21, 1998
Busy, busy, busy: And then the tourist season started...as the summer ferry schedule began this weekend, we can now expect more folks to come visit with the bigger ferries carrying more. And it's already showing...more people in town this weekend - which of course is what many of the seasonal businesses around here have been waitng for.
And the weather! It hit 77 on Saturday and promises to be sunny tomorrow. And with the solstice, the days get shorter from here on out till December.
Speaking of ferries - the Hiyu, our littlest ferry, ran its last run this weekend as it is retired from the islands run after a multi-decade career. The part we'll miss the most: the trusty Hiyu was usually on time.
And the sunset last night was magnificant.
June 20, 1998
The sunsets before the longest day: Of course, one of the great things about living here is the sunsets...last Friday, I went to the Land Trust spot on the west side to see the sun go down. While taking over an hour to get dark, the whales came by...leisurely swimming, slapping the water with their tails, occasionally breaching, and coming up to breathe, which one can hear from hundreds of meters away as they exhale. A friend on the other side of Lime Kiln said they were apparently mating over there, then coming down my way. Not a boat in sight; a quiet, restful, meditative evening with our ocean friends.
As the solstice kicks in this weekend, we enjoy our longest day, with it getting light before five and still bright enough to see after 9:30pm. Then the birds sing before dawn as well - who would want to sleep with all this going on, anyway?
Side notes: The summer ferry schedule goes into effect this weekend...most of the folks displaced by the Sandpiper fire seem to have relocated, according to a Journal report....saw a baby fox the other morning near our house near Griffin Bay - haven't seen many wild turkeys (there used to be a slew of 'em) around for the past couple of years....
There was a celebration of the Comp Plan's passing (see previous report below) at Katrina's yesterday afternoon. It was a fitting moment for a plan that was signed by all three County Commissioners on Monday this week....the Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Theatre last week was very well attended; could the food sponsored by the Bed and Breakfast Association have been a draw? Having Blair House's Bob Pittman working the barbecue during the meeting seemed to keep people there, as did presentations by Steve Demerest (internet marketing), the local Merrill Lynch folks, and the Journal's Marcia Smith.
X-Files for X-Rays: Ted Roell tells me there's a Barn Dance and Auction tonight at the Crescent Moon Ranch, between States Inn and Yacht Haven, to raise money for a new x-ray machine for the Medical Center. Sundog are playing at the event, which a good reason to go if you didn't already have one. See you there.
Midrange in the middle of the island: Manya at Jensen Bay Bed and Breakfast tells me she's been busy this summer, with one of her notable guests a couple of weeks back being Bryan Bell, the inventor of midi technology.
Meanwhile, Jessica at Panacea has an anniversary special: 2% off for each year you're married. My 47-years-married parents are excited about cashing in on that one; see her webpage for details.
Shakin': There's been some discussion about the possibilities of earthquakes here - it's happened before, you know. Lately there's been some rumors in the street that some "unidentified" scientists are predicting some action in July with the fracture off the west side that runs through the Strait of Juan de Fuca...we'll try and run down some more info on that for you. And for us.
June 17, 1998
Comp Plan kicks in: The Board of County Commissioners approved and signed the county's new Comprehensive Plan yesterday, bringing to a close a long, years-long, committee-meetings-long discussion about the direction the county might head in the coming decades. The plan is seen by many - including the dozens of participants who helped write it and dozens more who discussed it in public meetings - as shaping the way the county will look for our granchildren.
Skate Park redux: Jon Roney, one of the designers and coordinators of the new skate park over on the Fairgrounds, says the job will be done by a combination of professionals and volunteers. While that may slow the project up some, it also makes for a more committed community behind it. Groundbreaking was last week; the project is hoped to be completed by the end of summer.
Skoog moves: Just heard Jim Skoog's moving from Friday Harbor House to work at Smith Barney...he'll be missed there, but Tori from the front desk (you've seen her - always smiling) will be capably taking his place as manager.
Dry up: Remember when we were having a drought back in the summer of 1994? We got out of it OK because we all chipped in: not watering the courthouse lawn or the football field (games had to be scheduled away), not washing cars, serving bottled water at restaurants, watching showers and flushes to reduce water use, and more. It worked. We got out of what could have been a really difficult situation by pulling together.
One of the things we did at that time was hand out leaflets to visitors at the Anacortes Ferry explaining we were short of water and explaining what we hoped they would do to help us with the problem.
I've always thought that was a great idea. Since we're not short of water this summer, maybe we could hand out a similar "here's how we do things" pamphlet that notes:
- Slow down and enjoy the island. Isn't that the whole point of coming? It's going to take a few minutes to get off the ferry, and you can't go faster than about a mile per hour through town anyway. You don't need to hurry to catch the ferry when you're ready to leave, either...it'll leave when it's ready, anyhow.
- In a similar vein, when crossing the street, cars here usually wait for pedestrians, so it can take a while just to get through the few blocks we call town. Don't hurry, be happy.
- We don't have fast food here. Better for digestion. Enjoy your meals.
- Leave your jetskis at home. They really, really don't fit in here, and they're neither safe for you or our marine animals.
- If you bring garbage (or pre-garbage) on to the island, please pack it off when you go. We don't talk about this much 'cause we're trying to be polite, but it's pretty expensive for us to deal with 300,000+ people's leftovers, and there's only 8,000 of us to do it. And, no, we can't flush it out into the sea....
- Watch for all those people on bikes, especially on the winding roads of the west side. Bike folks, ride single file so car folks can pass you without making it a near thing.
- Don't watch tv while you're here. The sunset (currently around 9:15pm, check here for the updated times) is far more memorable, best seen from anywhere on the west side, and hiking far more interesting. Notice the difference in the greens of the trees, in the flight of the eagle, in the rhythm of the small waves on the beach. Reality surfing: much better than channel surfing, and no commercials.
- The most common questions asked by our visitors (this is true) are these: (1) What time do the whales come by? (They don't - it's all a myth perpetrated by The Whale Museum and the thousands of people who have claimed to see them). (2) What time does the 1:30 ferry leave? (1:30). (3) Usually asked on boat trips and kayak tours - how high above sea level are we? (Not very...that's it, the wet stuff there.)
They also ask if we like living here. Yes, we do.
June 14, 1998
Graduation sends class of '98 into the world: Graduation was held last night before an overflow crowd at the FHHS gym last night, as the school year winds down to its last couple of days next week. Student Body President Elliot Pemberton welcomed the attendees, noting that graduation on our island is one of the few - maybe only - occasions that parents, teachers, students, friends, and relatives all sit down together for a moment.
In the evening's festivities, Valedictorian Katie Pender (right, with Elliot) addressed the issue of finding one's passion and following it - both how hard it can be, and how rewarding the search can be - while Salutatorian Brian Linde recounted the class's growing years, and noted if "commencement" meant a beginning, then the grads were in warmup mode, ready to begin.
Keynoter/FHES kindergarten teacher Nancy Cope's remarks focused on how connected we all are, and noted how already the new grads are learning to deal with change and problem-solving in the new world they face. She took the time to read the book, "You Can Go" to the class, and was warmly applauded at the end. She and co-teacher Jo Sandwith had 26 of the 55 grads back in '85 in class.
Numerous awards were given, including cash awards that often prove essential for getting our young grads jump-started in college and other post-high school training.
Radio hits the airwaves: They've got the transmitting equipment, so what else would they do with it? The folks at Interisland Electronics (that's Bruce Nelson's outfit, not to be confused with Lew and Debbie Dickinson at Inter-Island Electric....well, maybe TO be confused) started a local station at 102.1FM a couple of months ago. They use a DJ sometimes, and a random-play CD player the rest of the time. It's not FCC licensed yet, and Bruce and his folks say they're looking at ways to extend their radio-reach.
Nancy at the Toy Box (next to the ferry landing) says she and Dave have bought advertising with the station, and it's reasonable to do so; besides, they like supporting a community endeavor.
Teen-age birthrate up: The Whale Museum announced a couple of new calves have been identified in J-pod, one of them born to thirteen-year-old J-22, also known as Oreo.
June 8, 1998
Help and more help: Some things make you so proud. It's been absolutely great to watch the town & island's response to the Sandpiper disaster. The Red Cross (led by Mona Meeker and a bunch of volunteers), the Presbyterian Church, the school district, and more have worked hard to help re-settle the 75 or so people - including a lot of kids - displaced by the fire at that apartment complex (see below; last report). Possibly a positive in all the smoke and ashes: County Commissioner Darcie Nielsen mentioned nothing could help focus the need for affordable housing as well as an event like this. And the need remains....
Weirdness gets its reward: Liz Illg at Post San Juan tells me there's going to be a new category at the fair this summer: there's always been a contest to find driftwood that reminds you of something...most of them look like birds, or other sharp, pointy animals...this year, the new category: weirdest thing found on the beach. Start looking.
Kids rock out: The Children's Festival over at the Fairgrounds last Saturday (probably the biggest non-PTA meeting for parents on the island) was a huge hit, with marimba music, the Reptile Man, Pacific Science Center, booths and tables by everybody from The Whale Museum to Osito's Toys and the Toy Box, and more - much more. With signups for fall sports and summer activities, there were kids all over the place, and parents getting the chance to visit with one another (most conversations started with: "Have you seen my kid?"). Carrie Lachner does a super job putting the show together.
Speaking of the Fairgrounds, it looks like Jon Roney and the Park & Rec people have started digging on the SkatePark...drop over & cheer 'em on.
Extra ferry: Till the summer schedule kicks in on the 21st, the Washington State Ferries folks are adding another boat to try to ease the load. Check with them about when & where it goes....
Pledge sometimes drives a wedge: After noting a CNN story the other day about a kid in another town who got in trouble for refusing to say the pledge of alligiance at her school, I asked around to see what we do here. Apparently the pledge is mandated by state law in this state, so at the elementary school they say it along with the intercom in the morning.
Kindergarten teacher (and keynote speaker at graduation next Saturday) Nancy Cope told me about a kid who liked the pledge because her horse Republic was in it, as well as Richard Stans ("in which it stands.") My boy Shay told me "indivisible" means you CAN see it, as opposed to "invisible," but was curious why visibility mattered.
Meanwhile, the new Mayor this year (Gary Boothman) decided early on that the Town Council, already strapped for time at its noon meetings, could cut the pledge to start them - after all, it hadn't been said till something like 1992 anyway. So Peter Delorenzi from the American Legion started coming during the citizen's access time at the first of the meetings and saying it anyway, so the Mayor re-instated it.
Construction abates: Well, you can park on First Street again. The construction guys have patched & repaved the street till next fall when they'll resume putting in that big drainpipe (photos, story below in previous entries) in the downtown core. Discussions about ways to help businesses affected by the project are pretty vague - how do you calculate what to give someone for their lost business? Tax breaks? Cash rebates? Free parking? What formula do you use for the calculations?
Meanwhile, the Town Council doesn't have the money to give: the town's 700+ homes and its businesses have to pick up the bill on a sewer system that takes care of 350,000+ visitors in a summer. Along the lines of the affordable housing discussion, something needs to be addressed there, as water & sewer bills already make it expensive for working & poor folks to live in Town. The talk continues....
Sports: Did you hear FHHS' Morgan Lohery took eighth in the high jump at the state track meet?
Also, the Wolverine girls soccer team took on last year's state-bound FHHS volleyball team last Friday. Beginning with 30 minutes outside of killer soccer, in which volleyball's girls played well but were outscored 2-0 by their soccer sisters, play returned inside for two matches over the net, won by the VB team 15-3, 15-11. Great fun, and a fun way to end the year.
In Little League play, the four teams of the Minors (8 & 9 year olds) kept it close, as John McDougall's Giants nipped Terry Clem's White Sox in the last game Saturday, while Gary Roberts' and my Angels scared the undefeated Blue Jays (John Hart's kids) with a 15-12 finale. Final standings: everyone had fun. See ya next year.
The older kids have another week to play; the teeballers got done last week...Roberta Crist and her board do an amazing job holding it all together - schedules, equipment, fields, teams - year in and year out.
June 4, 1998
Sandpiper burns: In the early morning today, there was a brilliant glow over Friday Harbor as the Sandpiper Condominiums and Apartments caught fire. All residents were evacuated, and no injuries have been reported...but the place is uninhabitable. The town housing shortage just got shorter, since the Sandpiper was one of the more affordable - that means cheaper - places workers in our town could live. It's not just a property loss....
Good news: The Inns at Friday Harbor has opened up its doors to the newly homeless...an especially generous move now at the first of tourist season.
Walk-ons welcome: Val down at San Juan Excursions tells me even USA Today reported how jammed up it was on the ferries getting here over Memorial Day...while it may have been difficult to bring one's car here, they neglected to mention it's always OK to park on the other side & "walk on" the ferry. Don't even have to wait in line, either.
The pipeline project rests: Tomorrow's the day the drainpipe project (see below) goes on hiatus till September sometime. Most downtown merchants - especially the ones on the construction route - are much relieved to have the street in front of their shops & restaurants back, at least for the summer.
Get the Point: That's Cattle Point's lighthouse (right, videograph by Yona), as seen earlier this week from the water. If you're ever looking for interesting stories, check in with Clyde Stromberg on the island here, who ran it for some forty years before it was automated.
Visitors to the beach next to the lighthouse get to see how "tranquil" the waters around the island are - that's what it tends to say in the tourist writeups - when they see the currents caused by the tides flowing around the south end of the island. Very strong, and very impressive.
Who says there's no place for kids here? A lot of local high schoolers hang out at Gray Matter, over on Nichols Street just up from the ferry. Besides an eclectic collection of comics, magazines, newspapers, and games, Dave also serves food! Drop by...
Watch who? Elizabeth, Deer Harbor Charters' ace naturalist tells me she convinced whale watchers aren't the only ones watching: she feels pretty strongly the whales are people-watching, as well, noting their behavior in checking out the folks on the boats, with occasional showing-off.
She also reports in her weekly newsletter that she hasn't seen orca Taku this spring and fears he may have died...
School closes in on closing down: Although there are still a couple of weeks left in the school year, there are signs it's time for other things: at this weekend's Children's Festival, folks can sign up for summer activities ranging from dance to soccer to drama to clay-making and tons more...all in one sign-up place. The Festival runs from 10:30am to 2:30pm at the Fairgrounds this Saturday, with everything there free - it's always great fun.
Meanwhile, graduation is set for next Saturday (the 13th), which means the seniors finally start to relax, while many high school students scramble for jobs in town and around the island.
More proof it's all nearly done: The FHHS Underground's last issue came out yesterday. Congrats to Editor Elliot Pemberton and his staff for getting out three issues this spring to get the school paper launched, and taking on the challenges involved in setting up a program that can only grow in the future. And you can't miss all the time, effort, and journalistic sweat Ann Carlson put in as advisor to make it happen, balancing both her home-life and job as an editor/writer at the Sounder as well.
Skeleton identified: Remember those bones found out about halfway to Roche Harbor a few months back? The Sounder reports the victim to be Gary Sawyer, who disappeared three summers back and apparently committed suicide.
Locals remember Gary as an energetic actor in The Fantasticks at the Theatre a few years back; I met him in the spring of 1995 when he and I were both cast in a Playwrights' Festival play in which he and I had a sword fight using real swords. Funny and engaging in the show, it was his last turn on stage before things in his personal life took a difficult turn.
May 31, 1998
Famous people all around: Hey, did you see the April '98 issue of McCalls magazine? I didn't either...like a lot of folks on the island, I only read whatever I can get out of the magazine recycling stand in front of the Mercantile, and an April issue would be pretty recent. While this keeps me somewhat behind on the news, it also offers a much bigger variety of magazines to pick from!
Back to McCalls: They had a nice one-pager about Lisa and Jim McCormick's decision to move to the island 7-8 years ago in a regular section they offer about women taking charge of their lives.Lisa is now a regular at Windermere as a real estate agent, while Jim does surveying.
Speaking of news: Am I out of it? I checked both Reuters and CNN's websites most mornings to see if anything big has happened, and this morning it has about the Pakastani situation, thousands dead in the Afghan quake, a tornado in South Dakota, and...Geri Halliwell to quit the Spice Girls? How can they stand putting all those disasters in one newscast?
The Spice Girls - major news. Slap, slap - I needed the wakeup on that....
Growing stuff: Not only did we pick up some plants yesterday at the Book & Plant Sale at FHHS, but our neighbor Farhad from Harrison House offered us some starts for the garden, and we got to see his...he's selling produce to the Place By the Ferry Restaurant and Friday Harbor House - talk about fine dining. His dahlias regularly win ribbons at the County Fair, too, and much of that garden ends up in the wonderful breakfasts he makes his guests.
The Book & Plant Sale, meanwhile, allows Nancy and Robbie from the library at school to send its plants and some older library books to new homes - they sell off all the plants from the library, and some teachers' rooms, so they have a new place to grow for the summer...then they bring in new ones they've started for the fall. Recycling at its best.
Internet Café Opens Doors and Modems: The Menu Bar, an Internet café (next to The Computer Place and run by Sara Grace Johnson) opened yesterday at their new location on Spring Street next to the Fitness Center and across from E.T. These have been popping up all over the country - it was only a matter of time! Now there's a place for visitors to get their e-mail.
In other local Internet news, the granddaddy ISP of 'em all, Rock Island, is expanding its reach to include Orcas with a new Eastsound office soon. Mike Greene started Rock Island's Internet piece in February 1996 as the first local company to offer dialup access, and has done nothing but get bigger and better since.
Affordable housing & other real estate stuff: While the island's real estate agents enjoy a boomlet of real estate interest here - and they should, they work hard, believe me - there's an impending shortage of affordable rental housing for the working folks who come for the summer to make our tourist trade happen. There are groups working on the problem, but one major hangup always remains: who's gonna live in the places the rest of the year?
Quote: The gods sometimes protect sailors and fools - sometimes both at once. - C.B.McCurdy (thanks to Teresa Kasner).
May 30, 1998
Summer begins, again: As most of you know by now (read below if you don't - way below), summer began this year in January or thereabouts in the Islands. It's been uncharacteristically sunny and pleasant most of the late winter and spring, allowing us a lot more time outside to sail and walk the beach and dig on our hole in the middle of town (photo below).
Early this week, it all went out the window. It was rainy & wet & crummy on Tuesday, and REALLY wet & crummy on Wednesday. But, of course, after every darkness there's a dawn - Thursday and yesterday were beautiful blue & sunny days.
Of course, part of the proof it's summer is watching the whales go by...Yona (she offers women's retreats here on the island) videographed the j-pod member at right early last week while out on a trip with San Juan Excursions.
Diving accident: You might have seen the Coast Guard helicopters...a fellow who was diving out near Turn Island drowned, possibly because of a heart attack. Tom Hemphill said the guy wasn't a client of his at Emerald Seas here in Friday Harbor, but that it's always sad to hear of an accident.
Bringing the whale back home: There's a movement spearheaded by Howie Garrett to bring Lolita back to the area - the whale, not the movie. She was captured in the '70s from the waters here, and has been performing down at the Miami Seaquarium since. Although whales in the wild often live into their eighties, Lolita's already in decline in her early thirties - not surprising, since the pool she's imprisoned in barely allows her to turn around (orcas usually swim some 75 miles a day) with no orca companionship for a very social animal.
The mail I get: The other day someone wrote and said they enjoyed the San Juan Island Web Directory (thank you!) and wondered what it was like living so close to Cuba....we sent him the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce info.
In a similar vein, one of my kayak operation buddies mentioned that he took someone out the other day who wondered how far above sea level the San Juan Islands are.
Stuff happening: Next Saturday, the 6th, nine Buddhist Lamas from Tibet will be visiting the Community Theatre at 8pm - tix are available.
Saturday Market was in full gear this morning in the Theatre parking lot - ostrich samples (BBQ), fresh soap, goat cheese, goodies from Katrina's Restaurant's Kate, fresh herbs both potted and ready for the kitchen, and all kind of produce from both here and Waldron Island. Every Saturday!
Sports wrapup: The softball team whumped Tacoma Baptist in the tri-districts last weekend before losing two and dropping out of the race to state. The girls and Coach Mike Gilbert have much to be proud of this season.
Meanwhile, Morgan Lohery is jumping - high-jumping - at state this weekend to represent FHHS there.
Other news places: You know, this isn't the only place to get info about the island - Diana Clark has a weekly update she's run for a couple of years, the newspaper Journal puts up headlines each week after the paper comes out, and occasionally other folks add things to their pages, like Deer Harbor Charters' Notes from the Field. There's also another weekly newspaper, The Sounder, and a new paper called the San Juan Free Press (just started up a couple of months ago).
But the hard news, as you can see, is here. Those were really good cookies Kate sells at Saturday Market...
May 25, 1998
Ferry, ferry crowded: Couldn't help but notice...the ferry was backed up on Friday, with the Washington State Ferry folks so overloaded they were selling tickets for the 8:25pm sailing that morning. Similarly jammed on Saturday...now we'll see how it looks when everyone tries to go home today.
Grayed-out: Although it was gray most of Saturday (with a little sun) and kinda rainy today - especially Sunday night - it was pleasant out, and definitely a nice break from all that boring sun. The garden's sure glad to see & feel it rain. Although the weather report's calling for rain, there are usually breaks in whatever happens.
Electricity in the air: Our local power company (OPALCO) has become a cooperative, and faces the challenges facing the industry, added to the challenges of lighting up an island - check out their report that addresses these issues.
May 22, 1998
Wildlife abounds: The folks at Deer Harbor Charters have added a weekly newsletter to their website detailing what they see during their wildlife/whale watch cruises. Owner Tom Averna tells me the stellar seals on the north side of the island have been pounding down the dogfish there...the report is usually prepped by his able naturalist Elizabeth.
Construction continues: The Town Council decided last night to continue the construction involved in the drainpipe project till the 28th, with the option to continue till the the 4th of June if necessary, which it looks like it will be. This will allow them to keep drilling/blasting and getting as much done as possible before the summer season kicks in.
The town's contract with the construction folks reloads in September's second week. In reviewing the difficulties most shop owners reported at yesterday's meeting - Friday Harbor Grocery's Ray (above with the red awning) says he's down 40% in sales this last two months - that's hardly good news for folks hoping to salvage something in the so-called "shoulder season" just after the summer tourist rush. That return date is under negotiation between the town administrator (King Fitch), the Council, and the contractor.
I've said it before and I don't mind repeating it...get down there and support your neighbors. Don't avoid the noise & hammering...get in there and buy stuff you need from them. They need you.
Movie redux: Now that Warner Brothers has moved on, County Park has been put back together for us and for our visitors this summer.
Dale Roberson lives next to the park, and reports: "All of County Park is now open to the public. I've been retained by Warner Bros. to keep watering the new grass through the summer. I would appreciate people avoiding or at least treading lightly on the new sod and reseeded areas so that it can get established in time to survive the 'hot-and-dry' of August and September.
"In my humble opinion, Warner Bros. has left the park nicer than they found it. They didn't just return things such as the campsite marker poles, they fixed them up. There are also a bunch of new bar-b-que pits. Even the whales seem to approve -- they've been by several times a day all week, along with scores of whale-watch boats. I also heard lots of nice comments from the crew about how much they enjoyed the park. More than once I saw actresses sitting on blankets enjoying the view between takes instead of hiding out in their trailers."
Thief caught on film: As you can see, the deer have been munching the peas from my garden, and the leaves from our apple tree in our back yard. We have proof as to the culprit (right): a doe, a deer, a female deer, out in the ray, a drop of golden sun (did you see the Sound of Music a couple of weeks ago at the Theatre? It was great!)
Anyway, now we're reviewing our deer-proofing of the garden, and encouraging our neighbor animals to leave some for us.
More music in the air: I hear the orchestra from Auburn Riverside High will be playing at Roche Harbor's garden next week...it's neat when visitors leave something of beauty when they drop in.
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