Madrona Institute awards stewardship grants from San Juan Islands license plate proceeds

Posted November 29, 2022 at 7:45 am by

The Madrona Insti­tute recent­ly award­ed $45,000 in grants to local non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions based on rev­enues received from sales of the San Juan Islands spe­cial license plate. This was the sec­ond year that the pro­gram has issued grants. 2022 grants include:

  • $10,000 — San Juan Islands Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict — San Juan Islands Youth Con­ser­va­tion Corps Program
  • $10,000 — Madrona Insti­tute — Coast Sal­ish Youth Stew­ard­ship Corps Program
  • $5,000 — Friends of the San Juans — Youth Envi­ron­men­tal Men­tor­ing Program
  • $5,000 — Alche­my Art Cen­ter — Young Envi­ron­men­tal­ists Arts Inten­sive Program
  • $5,000 — San Juan Islands Agri­cul­tur­al Guild — Farm Heroes for Envi­ron­men­tal Stew­ard­ship Program
  • $5,000 — Wild Orca — San Juan Islands Nat­u­ral­ist Program
  • $5,000 — Chil­dren of the Set­ting Sun Pro­duc­tions — To sup­port the cre­ation of the indige­nous film series and pilot episode “Canoe Journey”

“Awards are made on an annu­al basis for local projects and pro­grams that sup­port the con­ser­va­tion and stew­ard­ship of agri­cul­tur­al, cul­tur­al, his­toric, and nat­ur­al resources in the islands, with empha­sis on youth engage­ment,” the Madrona Insti­tute said in a state­ment. “As expect­ed, grant­mak­ing has dou­bled since its first year in 2021, where $22,500 was award­ed. We expect grant mak­ing will con­tin­ue to increase each year as plate sales increase across the coun­ty, region, and state.”

Vis­it the Madrona Insti­tute web­site to pur­chase a San Juan Islands license plate.

Sunday clouds

Posted November 28, 2022 at 7:55 pm by

Sculpture Park plants sequoias and redwoods

Posted November 28, 2022 at 4:45 pm by

Contributed photo

The San Juan Islands Sculp­ture Park shares news about some new, long-term addi­tions to their collection.

Prop­a­ga­tion­Na­tion and the San Juan Islands Sculp­ture Park have joined forces to plant six giant sequoias and four­teen coast red­wood trees for future gen­er­a­tions to enjoy and watch grow.

The sequoias are now about three feet tall and the red­woods rough­ly five feet tall. The sequoias were start­ed from seedlings and the red­woods were cloned from the largest and health­i­est trees available.

With the new plant­i­ngs, the Sculp­ture Park is now a repos­i­to­ry of crit­i­cal genet­ic infor­ma­tion that will not only enhance the beau­ty of the Park, but cre­ate an extend­ed habi­tat to mit­i­gate against the daunt­ing cli­mate chal­lenges fac­ing these unique tree species.

The trees can grow up to three feet annu­al­ly, so SJISP encour­ages vis­i­tors to take pho­tos with the new trees and vis­it often to com­pare their pho­tos with the trees’ growth over time.

We thank Philip Stiel­stra, pres­i­dent of Prop­a­ga­tion­Na­tion, whose vision as a cham­pi­on of red­woods and sequoias made the plant­i­ng at the Park pos­si­ble, and Bob Barnes, whose knowl­edge, exper­tise and enthu­si­asm turns lit­tle seedlings into the beau­ti­ful spec­i­mens now spread­ing their roots at the Park. We also thank Ted Lagreid for tak­ing the lead on this project after a vis­it to the SJISP, and bring­ing the trees and the vol­un­teers to help plant them.

San Juan Islands Sculp­ture Park is locat­ed next to Roche Har­bor on San Juan Island.

Transportation Commission seeks public input on potential ferry fuel surcharge

Posted November 28, 2022 at 1:34 pm by

The Wash­ing­ton State Trans­porta­tion Com­mis­sion has post­ed a sur­vey ask­ing for pub­lic input about a pos­si­ble fuel sur­charge by Wash­ing­ton State Fer­ries to tem­porar­i­ly address fuel costs that exceed the agen­cy’s budget.

“While the WSTC has nev­er imple­ment­ed the fuel sur­charge, recent ris­es in fuel costs have increased the like­li­hood that the sur­charge may be need­ed,” the Com­mis­sion explains. “Under cur­rent reg­u­la­tion the sur­charge could be acti­vat­ed upon Com­mis­sion approval. If acti­vat­ed, the sur­charge would be added to the cur­rent fer­ry fare and could be in an amount from 2.5 per­cent to 10 per­cent of the fare, depend­ing on the fund­ing gap the sur­charge is addressing.”

San Juan Singers present Christmas Miracles holiday concert

Posted November 28, 2022 at 10:03 am by

Contributed photo

San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre shares news about two upcom­ing hol­i­day performances.

Join the San Juan Singers at San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre in a cel­e­bra­tion of the joys and mir­a­cles of the Christ­mas sea­son. This year’s show fea­tures a per­for­mance of John Rut­ter’s Mag­ni­fi­cat with the San Juan Island Win­ter Cham­ber Orches­tra. Also includ­ed in this fes­tive con­cert are Joseph’s Car­ol — a new work by John Rut­ter — and O Mag­num Mys­teri­um by world-acclaimed com­pos­er and San Juan Island res­i­dent Morten Lauridsen.

The singers will be joined by guest per­form­ers Sound Vibra­tions and mem­bers of the Fri­day Har­bor Pres­by­ter­ian Bell Choir.

There are two oppor­tu­ni­ties to see this con­cert — Sat­ur­day, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun­day, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.

Tick­ets are $20 for adults, $10 for stu­dents and $5 for stu­dent rush.

Family Resource Center holding household items drive

Posted November 28, 2022 at 7:45 am by

For Giv­ing Tues­day — tomor­row, Nov. 29 — the Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter is host­ing a house­hold items dri­ve. They’re ask­ing that com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers bring the fol­low­ing unopened items to the Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter at 476 Mar­ket St. to help islanders in need:

  • Paper tow­els
  • Toi­let paper
  • Laun­dry soap
  • Dish soap
  • Spray clean­er
  • Tooth­paste
  • Tooth­brush­es
  • Sham­poo
  • Con­di­tion­er

The Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter is open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

A splash of color on a gray November day

Posted November 26, 2022 at 7:26 pm by

Sunday wreath sale raising funds for 2023 Grad Night

Posted November 26, 2022 at 3:18 pm by

Fri­day Har­bor High School’s class of 2023 will be sell­ing 24-inch noble fir wreaths on Sun­day, Nov. 27 from 9–11 a.m. in the park­ing lot of San Juan Inte­ri­ors — 205 Web St. The wreaths are $25 each and pro­ceeds from the sale will go toward the Grad Night activ­i­ties fund, which helps ensure a safe grad­u­a­tion celebration.

County Council recognizes Native American cultural heritage

Posted November 26, 2022 at 10:41 am by

Stew­ard­ship Net­work of the San Juans shares news about a recent Coun­ty Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion pro­posed by the organization.

The San Juan Coun­ty Coun­cil declared the month of Novem­ber Native Amer­i­can Her­itage Month in recog­ni­tion of Native Amer­i­can con­tri­bu­tions to the San Juan Islands.

“The his­to­ry, econ­o­my, and cul­ture of San Juan Coun­ty has been sig­nif­i­cant­ly influ­enced by local Native Amer­i­cans and Tribes whose cus­toms and tra­di­tions are respect­ed and cel­e­brat­ed as part of the rich lega­cy through­out our area,” the Council’s res­o­lu­tion states.

The res­o­lu­tion goes on to say that “all res­i­dents are encour­aged to rec­og­nize the accom­plish­ments and con­tri­bu­tions Native Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties have made to our soci­ety, and to hon­or their inher­ent treaty and cul­tur­al rights.”

San Juan Coun­ty joins oth­er coun­ties across the state and nation in rec­og­niz­ing Native Amer­i­can Her­itage Month in Novem­ber, and declar­ing the fourth Fri­day of Novem­ber each year as Native Amer­i­can Her­itage Day.

San Juan Coun­ty is the ances­tral home­land of numer­ous Coast Sal­ish tribes who have inhab­it­ed, active­ly man­aged and stew­ard­ed this region since time immemo­r­i­al. The res­o­lu­tion fur­ther empha­sized the Coun­ties com­mit­ment to Coast Sal­ish peo­ple by say­ing, “San Juan Coun­ty has a com­mit­ment to strength­en our rela­tion­ship with Native Amer­i­can peo­ple and Tribes,” and that “San Juan Coun­ty hon­ors the unique her­itage of this continent’s First Peo­ple and reaf­firms its com­mit­ment to respect trib­al sov­er­eign­ty and cul­tur­al identity.”

The res­o­lu­tion was sug­gest­ed by the Stew­ard­ship Net­work of the San Juans, a coali­tion of twen­ty pri­vate and pub­lic con­ser­va­tion-based orga­ni­za­tions advo­cat­ing for a healthy, thriv­ing Sal­ish Sea ecosys­tem in the San Juan Islands. It was intro­duced by Cindy Wolf, San Juan Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber from Orcas Island.

Holiday market continues today

Posted November 26, 2022 at 8:22 am by

The work of Jennifer Armstrong

The 44th Island Arti­sans Hol­i­day Mar­ket fundrais­er hap­pens again today, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the San Juan Coun­ty Fairgrounds.

An eagle rides the wind off the bluff

Posted November 25, 2022 at 8:32 pm by

Report by Friends of the San Juans highlights lack of regulatory review for new waterfront structures

Posted November 25, 2022 at 7:06 pm by

Friends of the San Juans shares news about the results of a research project more than a decade in the making.

With more than 400 miles of coast­line, San Juan Coun­ty is a sanc­tu­ary of breath­tak­ing sea­side views. When left unchanged by the hands of humans, shore­lines and the wide range of life they sup­port are amaz­ing­ly resilient. Often a fear of coastal ero­sion — a nat­ur­al process that builds our beach­es — insti­gates own­ers to build struc­tures near the water, an approach known as shore­line armor­ing. Sea­walls, bulk­heads, and riprap are a few exam­ples. Shore­line armor direct­ly buries and alters safe havens essen­tial to small salmon and their prey, and dis­rupts the process­es that form and main­tain the beach­es we all love.

Friends of the San Juans just released find­ings from a decade’s worth of research that illu­mi­nate how San Juan County’s water­front prop­er­ties are shoring up in the face of devel­op­ment. The results are shock­ing. More than 90 per­cent of new shore­line armor installed in San Juan Coun­ty between 2009 and 2019 was built with­out the nec­es­sary state or local per­mits before being installed. Despite know­ing just how harm­ful armor­ing can be to habi­tat, the instal­la­tion of new shore­line armor is great­ly out­pac­ing removal.

Friends is dis­cussing this research with land man­agers and deci­sion-mak­ers, and work­ing coop­er­a­tive­ly with state and munic­i­pal offi­cials on solu­tions to safe­guard San Juan County’s beaches.

“It’s so impor­tant that we under­stand what’s actu­al­ly hap­pen­ing on the ground,” says Friends of the San Juans Sci­ence Direc­tor Tina Whit­man. “This research pro­vides an objec­tive look at cur­rent armor and per­mit trends. It clear­ly shows that if we are seri­ous about recov­er­ing salmon and orca, we need much bet­ter track­ing and per­mit and enforce­ment systems.”

Friends pro­vides free tech­ni­cal assis­tance to help shore­line prop­er­ty own­ers pro­tect their invest­ments and sup­port marine food webs at the same time. Con­tact Tina Whit­man if you are con­cerned about ero­sion and want to learn how to main­tain a healthy nat­ur­al beach, or are inter­est­ed in remov­ing an exist­ing bulk­head and want to learn about alter­na­tives to hard armor.

You can also learn more about the research and join the con­ver­sa­tion around healthy shore­lines at Friends of the San Juans’ free vir­tu­al event, titled Track­ing Change: Shore­line Armor­ing in San Juan Coun­ty. The event takes place Tues­day, Dec. 6 from noon‑1 p.m.


Posted November 25, 2022 at 3:05 pm by

Home Fund supports affordable housing in Friday Harbor

Posted November 25, 2022 at 10:44 am by

San Juan County Affordable Housing Coordinator Ryan Page at the HolliWalk construciton site — Contributed photo

The Coun­ty shares news about the impact that its Home Fund grants are hav­ing on San Juan Island.

Take a stroll through Fri­day Harbor’s neigh­bor­hoods and you’ll find the next wave of afford­able hous­ing. On Price St., passers­by will see walls being framed in, hear the hum of com­pres­sors hard at work, and feel the excite­ment in the air. This is the future Hol­li­Walk Neigh­bor­hood – a col­lec­tion of eight per­ma­nent­ly afford­able homes set to be com­plet­ed this spring.

“This is where you can see afford­able hous­ing in action,” said Ryan Page, San Juan County’s Afford­able Hous­ing Coor­di­na­tor. “It’s so excit­ing to see the progress every time you vis­it the site.”

Page man­ages San Juan County’s Home Fund, a Real Estate Excise Tax pro­gram ded­i­cat­ed to devel­op­ing, pro­duc­ing, and pre­serv­ing afford­able hous­ing in San Juan Coun­ty. $1.68 mil­lion from the Home Fund was award­ed to the San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty Home Trust to make the Hol­li­Walk Neigh­bor­hood a reality.

“The Coun­ty REET pro­gram is essen­tial to afford­able hous­ing in the island,” said Jim Goetz, the Home Trust’s Board Pres­i­dent. “The Coun­ty is fund­ing almost half of our Hol­li­Walk project. With­out that, we would be unable to proceed.”

The neigh­bor­hood of eight homes will remain afford­able for future gen­er­a­tions of home­own­ers. For this project, the Coun­ty secured rough­ly $160,000 from a state Con­nect­ing Hous­ing to Infra­struc­ture Pro­gram grant, which helps off­set util­i­ty hookup charges for afford­able hous­ing devel­op­ments. The sav­ings allow the Home Trust to sub­si­dize the cost of con­struc­tion to help make the new homes as afford­able as pos­si­ble for the fam­i­lies pur­chas­ing them. Con­tin­ue Reading

Thanksgiving Dinner Island

Posted November 24, 2022 at 6:57 pm by