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Posted October 31, 2022 at 8:43 pm by Jeff Arnim
Posted October 31, 2022 at 3:22 pm by San Juan Update
PeaceHealth shares news about changes to their visitation policies.
PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center has relaxed visitation policies further, effective immediately. Patients can now have two people visit at a time. This is a change from current policy allowing only one visitor at a time.
San Juan County has maintained a moderate transmission risk level for more than seven days, which meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the lower risk level for healthcare facilities. Visitors are still required to wear a mask in healthcare settings per state health department and CDC guidelines. Visitors will be asked to self-screen by reviewing the posters displayed that list COVID-19 symptoms.
PeaceHealth remains cautious and is prepared to tighten up protocols should these trends again reverse.
Posted October 31, 2022 at 11:34 am by Jeff Arnim
The San Juan Island Library is looking for candidates to fill a vacancy on the five-member Library Board for a non-paid term of office that runs from Jan. 1, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2027. Learn more in the Island Jobs section of the San Juan Update.
Posted October 31, 2022 at 10:09 am by Jeff Arnim
The San Juan County Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9 a.m. Items up for discussion or action include:
- 2022 budget — third amendment
- 2023 budget mid-biennial review
- Approving the 2023 Capital Improvement Plan and the 2023–2028 Six-Year Capital Improvement Plan
- Cancelling prior years unclaimed accounts payable and payroll warrants
- Noxious Weed Program assessment increase
- Setting the property tax levy for land conservation futures for 2023
- Setting the property tax levy for county roads for 2023
- Setting the property tax levy for current expense for 2023
- Approve REET 2 Public Works allocations
- Schedule public hearing for Community Development Block Grant close-out
- Approve one-year extension of San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau destination marketing and management services agreement
- Approve contract with the Town of Friday Harbor for law enforcement services
You can view the live stream of the meeting online or attend in person at the Council Legislative Hearing Room. To make a public comment, sign up prior to 9 a.m. on Nov. 1.
Posted October 29, 2022 at 8:49 pm by Jeff Arnim
He would later score the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play in overtime. All three Tiger football teams won their games on Saturday and will continue post-season play next weekend.
Posted October 29, 2022 at 5:55 pm by San Juan Update
Like many islanders — and especially property owners — I experienced some pretty intense sticker shock at the $20 million estimated cost of the new Library on Spring Street. It was enough to stop me in my tracks, despite being someone who consistently votes progressive. Does a small rural community really need such an expensive new facility, especially when it will increase our property taxes during what is already a harsh economic time?
After some serious consideration, and with help from the Library’s very informative Building Project page, I have decided to vote yes on the library. Here’s why:
- $20 million is a lot of money — only $12 million of which would be paid through taxes — but construction costs are super high now in general and are unlikely to come back down. In fact, they might just continue to get more expensive as time goes on, so it makes sense to build now.
- This might not feel like the time to take on a big financial burden as taxpayers, but the reality is that it’s a 20-year plan to pay $12 million and most property owners would only pay $45-$85 per year in additional taxes. That’s not really that much — like 10 fancy coffee drinks? A few streaming service subscriptions? Per year?
- The old building on the site is going to have to be torn down no matter who buys the property, so if the Library doesn’t do it someone else will. And the Library has a really great plan for reusing and recycling as much of the old building material as possible, which probably won’t be the case for anyone else buying it.
Why move in the first place? One thing I’ve heard from folks on this issue is that our current library feels adequate to our needs already: “There’s hardly ever anyone in there anyway!” But what if the Library were different? Would you use it more? Think about why you might not use the library very much now, and how an improved library would change your experience. What if there were more rooms to do office work in, where you could talk to a co-worker without disturbing other people? What if your small business or nonprofit or community group could use a room for meetings or activities? What if the Library had room for more new books that you could peruse and be inspired by? What if the kids area was separated from the main area, so the whole space was quieter and more inviting, and kids could still have fun in a safe place after school? Besides, what about everyone who sits in their cars in the parking lot using the internet, whether for lack of workspace inside or for a desire for privacy? I see lots of people doing this, so there’s definitely a need.
This is our chance to build what this island has needed for a long time, and will continue to need into the future: a multi-use community center for people of all ages, where islanders can gather for free, find inspiration, access inspirational and educational resources, have fun, and get reliable access to fast internet — something a lot of people still don’t have at home. We don’t have a rec center, an arcade, or really anywhere for kids to go after school except the library. We are losing all of our cafes and restaurants where people could hang out and use the internet. We have fewer common spaces than ever. With so many beloved businesses closing, people are worried for the character and integrity of our town. I think now is actually the perfect time to invest in this project, because it’s an investment in our future as a community.
We may not be Seattle, but we deserve an awesome library that will support all islanders for many, many years to come.
San Juan Island
Posted October 29, 2022 at 1:36 pm by San Juan Update
The Town shares news about its yearly initiative to provide some extra support for Friday Harbor Food Bank.
Each November, the Town of Friday Harbor asks that you help us support an important community need — the Friday Harbor Food Bank. The Food Bank spends over $10,000 each month serving nearly 750 households, and roughly 1,475 individuals per month. In the last year, they provided nearly 500,000 pounds of food to locals. They do this entirely through community donations.
According to Food Bank manager Rachelle Radonski, the need for your generous donations is even greater in these economic times. “The needs of the Food Bank patrons are ongoing and critical,” Rachelle says. “Food costs continue to rise, but the Food Bank is committed to keeping healthy produce and proteins available. With the holidays upon us, the number in need will grow even larger.”
To assist with the Food Bank’s need for funding, the Town will direct all of your donations from this month’s Harbor Life Ring to the Friday Harbor Food Bank. Each year you have answered the Town’s call to contribute, and the Town has matched your donations. This year, the Town is increasing that match up to a total of $5,000.
Support our local Food Bank by donating to Harbor Life Ring on your November utility bill. As we celebrate Thanksgiving and all that we have to be thankful for, here is a perfect way to pay it forward. Please consider an extra contribution at the bottom of your utility billing.
Thank you for your generous support, and best wishes to you and yours this holiday season.
Posted October 29, 2022 at 9:26 am by Jeff Arnim
Inter Island Propane is hiring a Customer Service Representative for a full-time position with flexible hours. Learn more in the Island Jobs section of the San Juan Update.
Posted October 28, 2022 at 9:20 pm by Brad Pillow
“Frank and Francesca are the two resident bald eagles that use the Cattle Point lighthouse as a fishing perch,” Brad says. “At this angle it’s hard to tell the size difference for determining male and female, but if you look at the beaks, Francesca has the larger beak as females do. Also, the pupil size shows that Francesca is focused on me whereas Frank is checking out a herring ball in the channel. Unlike humans, eagles can dilate and constrict their pupils at will.”
Posted October 28, 2022 at 7:38 pm by San Juan Update
On your ballot right now is the years-long campaign to build a new Library. The issue is shrouded in rumors and misinformation.
Many wonder why the Library itself has not done more to respond and answer people’s questions. The answer is simple — public agencies are highly constrained in their ability to campaign, and the Library is acting within the law. The Library has documents and facts on its website but must leave it to outside volunteers to campaign and advocate.
A dedicated group of volunteers has been trying to get the facts in front of voters with an extensive FAQ page and letters to the editor, as well as personal letters to friends and neighbors. Our site clarifies and guides you through the documents you see on the Library’s website.
We understand that the new Library represents expensive public construction. Our group believes that the right time for our community to improve civic infrastructure is now. By building it now, we’ll do it at a time where interest rates for public entities are at very reasonable levels – between four and five percent, a far cry from some of the misinformation floating around.
We believe that we are doing the right thing for the community, for this generation and the next, in voting yes for the Library. And we ask you, our friends and neighbors, to do so as well.
Posted October 28, 2022 at 2:22 pm by San Juan Update
Every community deserves a first-rate public library, and I hope that we will all embrace this opportunity to build one. The existing structure is bursting at the seams, with no room to expand in its current location. Through years of work and study, our library board has created a vision for a facility that can serve the island for decades. Some argue that now is not the time, but it’s hard to imagine that the future would be a better time, when real estate and building costs will be even more expensive, and when a suitable site will no longer be available within the walkable core of Friday Harbor. This project allows us to address a clear community need in a thoughtful way, substantially offsetting the public investment with grants and private fundraising. That approach can serve as a model for other local priorities, and in fact it already has. Ten years ago, similar efforts resulted in a fine new hospital to care for the health of our bodies. Let us do the same now to nourish the health of our minds.
San Juan Island
Posted October 28, 2022 at 10:35 am by Jeff Arnim
Following a successful season for Friday Harbor Tigers youth football, all three teams will host a first-round playoff game tomorrow at Linde Community Fields.
The Midget team (ages 9–10) kicks off at 11 a.m. against Bellingham, followed by the Juniors (ages 11–12) at 1 p.m. against Bellingham, and the Pee Wees (ages 6–8) at 3 p.m. against Oak Harbor.
The teams enter the playoffs with confidence after strong performances against difficult off-island competition all season.
“Friday Harbor Tiger youth football has historically played against similarly rostered teams from La Conner, Lummi Island, Concrete, Darrington, Lakewood, and Granite Falls,” says Pee Wees coach Juan Unpingco. “But this season, leagues were merged to include Bellingham, Anacortes, Oak Harbor, Mount Vernon, Ferndale, and Sedro Woolley. These teams have twice the number of players and are usually two times the size of our Friday Harbor Tigers.”
Each team rose to the challenge this year, with the Juniors finishing 6–2, the Midgets 7–1, and the Pee Wees 5–3.
Coach Juan encourages the community to come out to the games on Saturday to show its love and support for our hard-working island athletes.
Posted October 28, 2022 at 9:26 am by Jeff Arnim
- Today is homecoming at Friday Harbor High School. The parade starts at 3 p.m. from WSF Lot C and proceeds up Spring St., to be followed by a pep rally at 3:30 p.m. at Turnbull Gym. The football game against Coupeville High School starts at 6:30 p.m.
- High school boys soccer finished up their regular season strong with a come-from-behind road win at Mt. Vernon Christian by a count of 3–2. They ended the season 10–2 overall, 7–1 in conference, and play in the district tournament next week.
- The San Juan Islands Museum of Art hosts a gallery walk-and-talk with artist Kevin Christison tonight at 5:30 p.m.
- Tommy Dale & the Dangerfields host a Halloween dance tomorrow night from 7–10 p.m. at Brickworks. The 21-and-over event has a beer and wine garden, and a costume contest with prizes. It’s pay-what-you-can, with a $5 suggested donation.
- The second annual Friday Harbor Witches Paddle takes place on Sunday. All human-powered vessels are invited to meet at Shipyard Cove for a 10 a.m. launch. Parking at Shipyard is limited, so carpooling and drop-offs are encouraged. Email email@example.com for more information.
- Here are the week’s specials at Kings and Market Place. Market Place is having a Halloween-themed anniversary sale that runs through Nov. 1, with special deals and a chance to win prizes like Alaska Airlines miles and a stay at Suncadia Resort.
Have something to share with the Island? Whether the news is big or small, let us know!