Fire danger level downgraded starting tomorrow

Posted October 25, 2022 at 12:11 pm by

The San Juan Coun­ty Fire Mar­shal sends along an update about the sta­tus of open burns with­in the county.

Effec­tive tomor­row, Oct. 26, San Juan Coun­ty’s fire dan­ger lev­el will be down­grad­ed to low. This change lifts the burn­ing restric­tion as out­lined in the burn per­mit con­di­tions. Open burn­ing is still not allowed with sus­tained winds of greater than 10 miles per hour. Res­i­dents should also avoid open burn­ing dur­ing stag­nant air sys­tems such as fog and low inver­sion layers.

Res­i­den­tial burn per­mits are valid from time of pur­chase until May 31, 2023. Res­i­den­tial per­mits are $20. Com­mer­cial burn per­mits are $300, require heavy equip­ment, water on site, and a field inspec­tion pri­or to burning.

Burn per­mits are avail­able online at the San Juan Coun­ty Per­mit Cen­ter.

No open burn­ing is allowed with­in urban growth areas, except for recre­ation­al campfires.

Letter to the Editor: Our library is the heart of the community

Posted October 25, 2022 at 11:35 am by

Thanks in advance to the good peo­ple of San Juan Island who are vot­ing yes for our library levy.

You know that this library is cur­rent­ly in need of expan­sion as our pop­u­la­tion has swelled and things are very crowd­ed inside. You also real­ize that our library is the heart of the com­mu­ni­ty and a place to embrace knowl­edge, gen­eros­i­ty, and car­ing for all our peo­ple. It’s an invest­ment in our community.

To those of you who are waver­ing, lis­ten­ing to inac­cu­rate claims from the naysay­ers, give the heart a chance. It is only going to get more expen­sive to expand; we’re ask­ing for $12 mil­lion to be paid out over 20 years, and there’s over $8 mil­lion that will come from pri­vate con­tri­bu­tions and grants.

Let’s get going on the already-pur­chased site to accom­mo­date our new library.

We love our com­mu­ni­ty and this yes vote is a way to share that you do too.

Susan Grout
San Juan Island

Notes from the Island — Oct. 25

Posted October 25, 2022 at 10:00 am by

Have some­thing to share with the Island? Whether the news is big or small, let us know!

On a crisp autumn day

Posted October 24, 2022 at 11:01 pm by

Scottish folk band Talisk comes to San Juan Community Theatre on Nov. 6

Posted October 24, 2022 at 9:52 pm by

SJCT shares news about one of their upcom­ing concerts.

Talisk is set to per­form live at San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre at 7:30 p.m. on Sun­day, Nov. 6. Their con­certs have been described as infec­tious, fresh and cap­ti­vat­ing, so pre­pare for an evening of high-ener­gy music that is sure to lift your spir­its and get you out of your seats.

Since the release of their debut album in 2018, Talisk have received many awards, includ­ing a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award. Band mem­bers Mohsen Ami­ni, Graeme Arm­strong and Bene­dict Mor­ris play tra­di­tion­al instru­ments — con­certi­na, gui­tar and fid­dle — in a bold and invig­o­rat­ing new way.

Tick­ets are $33 for adults and $16 for reserved stu­dent seat­ing. $5 stu­dent rush tick­ets are avail­able an hour before show time.

Letter to the Editor: The new library is an investment in our community

Posted October 24, 2022 at 12:26 pm by

I’m writ­ing to encour­age any­one who hasn’t made up their mind to vote yes for the library. Here’s why.

As a for­mer teacher who val­ues edu­ca­tion and life-long learn­ing, libraries are com­mu­ni­ty trea­sures. I have fond mem­o­ries of spend­ing one long sum­mer camped on the couch of our pub­lic library read­ing the entire Nan­cy Drew mys­ter­ies series. Even as a bit of a rebel­lious teen who some­times skipped school, you could find me at the lake with a book in hand.

While times and tech­nol­o­gy have changed, libraries have to keep up. One thing hasn’t changed though — libraries build com­mu­ni­ty. Here, you can check out that newest book, find a qui­et spot to peruse a dai­ly news­pa­per, enjoy a mag­a­zine, bor­row videos or music, par­tic­i­pate in children’s sto­ry­time events, or surf the net on a library com­put­er. Libraries are where you can expand your mind, relax, and expe­ri­ence com­mu­ni­ty in a pos­i­tive way.

When I moved to San Juan Island in 2009, one of the first things I did was get library cards for myself and my daugh­ter. We vol­un­teered as Read­ing Bud­dies for chil­dren need­ing a part­ner to prac­tice read­ing. In doing so, we met and became friends with the fam­i­ly of our read­ing bud­dies. I have watched these chil­dren grow up and become won­der­ful young adults.

Our library offers many valu­able pro­grams. Ded­i­cat­ed com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers have vol­un­teered their exper­tise and time, con­tribut­ing to library events like after-school arts and crafts, tod­dler time, and a myr­i­ad of adult com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion events. These bring all who par­tic­i­pate a sense of com­mu­ni­ty and belong­ing. The month­ly cal­en­dar fea­tures pro­grams like Tech Café, After School Movies or Art Bar, Baby Tod­dler Time, Triv­ia, Teen Library Coun­cil, Tween Karaoke Night, Know Your Islanders, and Music Sto­ry Time.

I am dis­ap­point­ed to see the anti-library sen­ti­ment, espe­cial­ly those spend­ing mon­ey active­ly cam­paign­ing against the library. The actu­al cost to prop­er­ty own­ers is not what you are mak­ing it out to be. I cal­cu­lat­ed how the bond will affect me or oth­er home­own­ers and offer this estimation.

For a home with assessed val­ue of $500,000, the bond will add about $88 per year, or $19.83 per month. For this, you can use the inter­net, access pub­lic com­put­ers, read books, news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, enjoy a mul­ti­tude of edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams, and more. My month­ly TV stream­ing fee is at least this much, about equal to two beers or lattes at any local din­ing estab­lish­ment. I also cal­cu­lat­ed the cost for the $1.2 mil­lion house of some­one who oppos­es the levy. It adds about $8.41 per month to a cur­rent levy of $30.59 per month. Don’t think for a minute he can’t afford it.

Please vote yes. It is an invest­ment in our com­mu­ni­ty – for everyone!

Cyn­thia Brast
San Juan Island

St. David’s appoints new priest

Posted October 24, 2022 at 9:42 am by

Contributed photo

The Epis­co­pal Church shares news about their newest addition.

St. David’s Epis­co­pal Church is pleased to announce the call of the Rev. Cristi Chap­man to serve as rec­tor at St. David’s. Cristi’s first Sun­day to cel­e­brate the Eucharist at St. David’s will be on Nov. 6, All Saints’ Sunday.

Cristi grad­u­at­ed from the Sem­i­nary of the South­west with a Mas­ter of Divin­i­ty in May 2017. She was ordained to the priest­hood in June 2017 in the Dio­cese of Olympia. After ordi­na­tion, Cristi served at Saint Mark’s Cathe­dral as curate and then as an Asso­ciate to the Rec­tor and Canon for Spir­i­tu­al Growth and Stew­ard­ship. In her last call, Cristi served as the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Mis­sion to Sea­far­ers in Seat­tle. Dur­ing that time, she also reg­u­lar­ly served as sup­ply priest for con­gre­ga­tions in the Seat­tle area. Cristi’s dioce­san com­mit­ments include serv­ing as the con­ven­er for the Bud­get and Finance Com­mit­tee, a mem­ber of the Joint Finance Pan­el, an ex-offi­cio mem­ber of Dioce­san Coun­cil, and as a past mem­ber and con­ven­er of the Stew­ard­ship Com­mis­sion. Pri­or to ordained min­istry, Cristi served as a CPA for 20 years. For 15 years, she held sev­er­al senior finance roles at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington.

Cristi’s min­istry is one that focus­es on inclu­sion, con­nec­tion, and hos­pi­tal­i­ty. She firm­ly believes that every encounter holds the pos­si­bil­i­ty for trans­for­ma­tion. The com­mon ele­ment that con­tin­ues to con­nect all of Cristi’s voca­tion­al call­ings is stew­ard­ship, espe­cial­ly the inte­gral con­nec­tion between mis­sion and mon­ey. Cristi and her hus­band, Chris, cel­e­brat­ed their 30th wed­ding anniver­sary this Sep­tem­ber. They are the proud par­ents of their daugh­ter, Made­line, who turns 21 this fall. Some of Cristi’s pas­sions include gar­den­ing, knit­ting, and hik­ing. She also helps Chris tend a small back­yard vine­yard at their house in Seat­tle. Cristi and Chris like to trav­el, espe­cial­ly to Hold­en Vil­lage in the North Cas­cades and to Japan. Final­ly, she serves as the human care­tak­er to a sev­en-year-old Gold­en­doo­dle, Eshy.

Evening in San Juan Channel

Posted October 22, 2022 at 9:22 pm by

Dia de los Muertos event coming to Family Resource Center Nov. 1 and 2

Posted October 22, 2022 at 7:47 pm by

Event organizers Adriana Gonzalez (left, with her daughter Luna) and Carmen Orozco (right) — Contributed photo

The Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter shares news about their upcom­ing Day of the Dead event.

The Joyce L. Sobel Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter will be spon­sor­ing a com­mu­ni­ty Dia de los Muer­tos event on the evenings of Nov. 1 and 2 from 4–8 p.m.

A tra­di­tion­al Dia de los Muer­tos altar will be set up on the lawn between the Resource Cen­ter and the Mullis Cen­ter. Com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers of all back­grounds are invit­ed to cel­e­brate their deceased loved ones by bring­ing pho­tos or flow­ers for the altar or to sim­ply expe­ri­ence this impor­tant hol­i­day in per­son. Warm drinks and sim­ple activ­i­ties for chil­dren will be provided.

Day of the Dead is cel­e­brat­ed in Mex­i­co dur­ing the days of Nov. 1 and 2. In pre-His­pan­ic times, death was con­sid­ered a basic ele­ment of cul­ture to be acknowl­edged and cel­e­brat­ed. When a loved one died, they were buried wrapped in a petate — a hand­made rug — and rel­a­tives orga­nized a par­ty in order to guide them on their jour­ney to Mictlán, a place where souls can rest.

Dur­ing Dia de los Muer­tos, death does not rep­re­sent an absence but a liv­ing pres­ence. The spir­its of all deceased chil­dren — angeli­tos — are allowed to reunite with their fam­i­lies on Nov. 1 and on Nov. 2 the spir­its of adults come down to enjoy the fes­tiv­i­ties that are pre­pared for them.

In many com­mu­ni­ties through­out Mex­i­co, beau­ti­ful altars are made in each home, dec­o­rat­ed with can­dles, buck­ets of flow­ers called cem­pa­suchil, mounds of fruit, peanuts, plates of mole, stacks of tor­tillas and big loaves of bread called pan de muer­tos. On Nov. 1, food, bot­tles of soda, hot cocoa, water, toys and can­dles are left for the angeli­tos, and on Nov. 2, cig­a­rettes, shots of mez­cal or tequi­la are offered to the adults. Lit­tle folk-art skele­tons and sug­ar skulls pro­vide the final touch.

Please stop by the Resource Cen­ter to help us celebrate!

Auditions for The 39 Steps being held Nov. 5

Posted October 22, 2022 at 1:57 pm by

San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre sends along news about their upcom­ing auditions.

SJCT will hold audi­tions for its upcom­ing com­e­dy, The 39 Steps, at 2 p.m. on Sat­ur­day, Nov. 5.

In this play, film noir and slap­stick merge as we fol­low an ordi­nary man who, upon meet­ing a strange woman, is dragged into a nation­wide man­hunt that cli­max­es in a death-defy­ing finale. Audi­tions will be held at the PARC Build­ing, 70 Salt­spring Dri­ve, and will con­sist of read­ings from the script.

Scripts with those read­ings marked are avail­able at the SJCT Box Office, open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tues­day through Fri­day. A cash deposit of $10 is required and is refund­able upon the return of the script. If you would like to audi­tion but can­not attend, con­tact direc­tor Eric Con­cord at

More infor­ma­tion about the per­for­mance, includ­ing a full char­ac­ter break­down and rehearsal and per­for­mance sched­ule, can be found on the SJCT web­site.

Henry is the Animal Protection Society’s pet of the week

Posted October 22, 2022 at 10:24 am by

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares a look at the adopt­able ani­mal of the week — Hen­ry, a sev­en-year-old domes­tic long hair and orange tab­by who came to San Juan Island from Flori­da due to the effects of Hur­ri­cane Ian.

Hi, my name’s Hen­ry and I recent­ly came to APS-FH all the way from Flori­da. Although there was much to love about the sun­shine down south, I am ecsta­t­ic to now be liv­ing on the West Coast, espe­cial­ly dur­ing my favorite time of the year — fall/Halloween!

Now that I live here in Wash­ing­ton, I tru­ly get to expe­ri­ence the chang­ing leaves, the crisp­ness in the air, and how fun it is to be cozy and cud­dled up inside when the cold real­ly sets in. With my long fur, I was born ready for the cool that autumn brings. Aside from being a per­fect warm coat, I also love my long fur for its bright orange col­or – per­fect for Hal­loween. One of my very favorite things about Hal­loween is the cos­tumes, and every year I try to incor­po­rate my orange locks into my get­up. So far I’ve been a very con­vinc­ing orange Cray­ola cray­on, traf­fic cone, orange (fruit), salmon sushi roll, pump­kin, and my per­son­al favorite, a flamin’ hot Cheeto.

With just under two weeks left until Hal­loween, I’m still brain­storm­ing the per­fect orange cos­tume for this year’s fes­tiv­i­ties. Admit­ted­ly, I’m keep­ing my options open because maybe I’ll be adopt­ed by then and my per­son and I can do a joint cos­tume. Oh, one can only dream!

Con­tact APS to learn more about Hen­ry.

Summer’s dust turns to mud

Posted October 21, 2022 at 10:08 pm by

Letter to the Editor: Vote yes on the road levy

Posted October 21, 2022 at 8:42 pm by

Please vote yes for the road levy — Propo­si­tion 1. The San Juan Coun­ty road fund lacks suf­fi­cient fund­ing to repair crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture in San Juan Coun­ty. Your yes vote will address:

  1. Over a dozen marine facilities
  2. Hun­dreds of cul­verts under roads or in side ditches
  3. Safer road shoul­ders along busy arterials

The infra­struc­ture of roads and marine facil­i­ties depends on sound man­age­ment for a healthy econ­o­my, for our safe­ty, and for our qual­i­ty of life. Sound man­age­ment demands long-term plan­ning with sta­ble fund­ing to repair all struc­tures effi­cient­ly. The one per­cent annu­al increase to the road levy allowed by state law can no longer keep up. It takes a sen­si­ble plan look­ing decades ahead to make the best use of tax dol­lars to main­tain this vital infra­struc­ture. A yes vote will allow that.

Costs are high­er today, the use of roads is greater with dif­fer­ent vehi­cles and elec­tric bicy­cles and pedes­tri­ans. More severe weath­er dam­ages roads and marine facil­i­ties which forces emer­gency repairs — the most expen­sive repairs. Hun­dreds of old under­sized or bro­ken cul­verts are a good exam­ple of the chal­lenge fac­ing San Juan Coun­ty. There is no quick fix for such a cost­ly chal­lenge; only a sound main­te­nance plan can avoid more road washouts or dam­age to inter­sect­ing driveways.

Let’s not end up like the fer­ry sys­tem, which has failed to address an aging fleet lead­ing to the unnec­es­sary repairs and delays that hurt us and the local econ­o­my. Vote yes for the road levy.

David Zeret­zke
San Juan Island

Lions Club Shopping Spree returns in November

Posted October 21, 2022 at 4:36 pm by

The San Juan Island Lions Club shares news about their upcom­ing fundraiser.

After a two-year hia­tus caused by the pan­dem­ic, the San Juan Island Lions Club is resum­ing their annu­al fall Shop­ping Spree con­test. The Spree allows one win­ner the unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to run through Kings Mar­ket and pick up all the gro­ceries they can in four min­utes — for free. There are only a few lim­i­ta­tions — no more than four of any sin­gle item, no tobac­co, alco­hol, or olive oil — and the win­ner is lim­it­ed to $50 worth of meat and cheese. The Spree also gives two addi­tion­al win­ners one turkey each, just in time to cel­e­brate Thanksgiving.

As in pre­vi­ous years, tick­ets for the Spree are just $1 each or six for $5, and will be sold at both Kings Mar­ket and Mar­ket Place on Fri­day and Sat­ur­day dur­ing the first three week­ends of Novem­ber. The win­ning tick­et will be drawn at Kings Mar­ket at 5:30 p.m. on Sat­ur­day, Nov. 19, with the Spree tak­ing place at 1:30 pm on Tues­day, Nov. 22.

Pro­ceeds from this event help sup­port the San Juan Lions Schol­ar­ship Fund, which helps fund post-sec­ondary edu­ca­tion for local grad­u­at­ing high school seniors.

Those who wish to sup­port the San Juan Lions Schol­ar­ship pro­gram but choose not to par­tic­i­pate in the Shop­ping Spree can donate tick­ets to the Fri­day Har­bor Food Bank. Alter­na­tive­ly, donors can con­tribute direct­ly to the Lions Schol­ar­ship Fund with­out buy­ing tickets.

Letter to the Editor: Vote no on the library bond

Posted October 21, 2022 at 2:03 pm by

The cor­ner­stone of any com­mu­ni­ty is a vibrant work­ing class. In our com­mu­ni­ty this cor­ner­stone is hem­or­rhag­ing under the weight of hous­ing costs. Good jobs are avail­able but hous­ing for the work­ers is not. If we are to raise tax­es, then those monies should be direct­ed towards build­ing or sub­si­diz­ing afford­able hous­ing, not build­ing a $20 mil­lion library. For $20 mil­lion, the Coun­ty could build approx­i­mate­ly 25–30 1,000 square-foot hous­ing units, or more if the land were donat­ed. A vibrant work­ing class is fun­da­men­tal, a $20 mil­lion library is not.

I could under­stand a request to build a $5 mil­lion library or per­haps even $10 mil­lion. Spend­ing $20 mil­lion on a new library smacks of Martha’s Vine­yard. It is sim­ply irre­spon­si­ble, if not offen­sive, giv­en our far more urgent needs.

Our Island’s roads are strewn with Vote Yes Library. These signs “…doth protest too much, me thinks.” The library’s advo­cates must fear that their dreams exceed the stom­achs of our taxpayers.

Vote no.

Robert deGavre
San Juan Island

Notes from the Island — Oct. 21

Posted October 21, 2022 at 9:45 am by

  • Fri­day Har­bor High School soc­cer plays their last home game at 4:30 p.m. today at Linde Com­mu­ni­ty Fields against con­fer­ence oppo­nent Cedar Park Christian.
  • High school vol­ley­ball is hav­ing their senior night at 6 p.m. this evening at Turn­bull Gym, fea­tur­ing a match against return­ing alum­ni play­ers. The team is also hold­ing a bake sale with all pro­ceeds ben­e­fit­ing the Young Sur­vival Coali­tion, an orga­ni­za­tion focus­ing on women ages 40 and under who are diag­nosed with breast cancer.
  • The haunt­ed mau­soleum opens again at Roche Har­bor tonight, start­ing at 6 p.m. The event runs from approx­i­mate­ly 6–11 p.m. Fri­day and Sat­ur­day nights until Oct. 29, weath­er permitting.
  • Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val needs a few more vol­un­teers for the in-per­son fes­ti­val events tak­ing place today through Sun­day. Con­tact Susan Waters at or 360–317-8264 if you can help.
  • Cold­well Banker San Juan Islands has released their third quar­ter 2022 real estate mar­ket report.
  • Thanks to our adver­tis­ers for their con­tin­ued sup­port of the San Juan Update — includ­ing Simon­son & Zam­brovitz.

Have some­thing to share with the Island? Whether the news is big or small, let us know!