Letter to the Editor: Retain commercial zoning at Malcom and Argyle

Posted September 21, 2022 at 7:34 pm by

I recent­ly read in the news of a pro­posed zon­ing change for the cur­rent com­mer­cial lots on the cor­ner of Mal­com and Argyle in Fri­day Har­bor. As an adjoin­ing prop­er­ty own­er, I strong­ly oppose this zon­ing change for mul­ti­ple reasons.

The cur­rent com­mer­cial zon­ing allows far more flex­i­bil­i­ty; a mixed-use devel­op­ment of both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial would be a bet­ter use of this devel­op­ment near town. Plus, mixed use allows for much need­ed work­force hous­ing to be built, which is not allowed for mul­ti-fam­i­ly zones but is allowed in com­mer­cial use.

Com­mer­cial zon­ing should be main­tained on the Argyle and Mal­com lot, or at the very least give the devel­op­er the option based on sound eco­nom­ic prin­ci­ples. It should also be main­tained because com­mer­cial zon­ing allows for 51% improve­ments in the form of ground floor com­mer­cial suites and 49% sec­ond floor or off-street live work/space, even with a 50% reduc­tion in allow­able lot cov­er­age to main­tain the his­tor­i­cal integri­ty that includes a 30-foot green­belt set­back from Argyle.

Reduc­ing the project from 60% lot cov­er­age allowed to 30%, there is still more than 21,000 square feet of lot cov­er­age allowed for mixed use development.

Any plan should hold a por­tion in reserve for open space, park­ing or future devel­op­ment; all paving sur­faces should be per­me­able; and all plants should be either food pro­duc­ing or endemic.

Lynn Dana­her
Argyle Suites
Fri­day Harbor

Library thanks Fair donors and SJICF

Posted September 21, 2022 at 1:05 pm by

The Library shares their appre­ci­a­tion for com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers who sup­port­ed the orga­ni­za­tion’s inclu­siv­i­ty ini­tia­tive dur­ing last mon­th’s Coun­ty Fair Giv­ing Campaign.

The San Juan Island Library is burst­ing with grat­i­tude for the donors who gave to our Inclu­siv­i­ty Ini­tia­tive grant fea­tured at this year’s San Juan Island Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tion Coun­ty Fair Giv­ing Campaign.

More than 50 peo­ple con­tributed dur­ing the four days of the Fair and helped the Library earn a $1,000 match from SJICF. The $6,200 raised will be put to use imme­di­ate­ly by pur­chas­ing a ser­vice to trans­late the online library cat­a­log for Span­ish-speak­ing patrons. Over the next year, remain­ing funds will help host a vari­ety of speak­ers to cel­e­brate the voic­es of BIPOC and LGBTQNIA2S+ writ­ers, his­to­ri­ans, and artists as part of the adult pro­grams offered at the Library.

Spe­cial thanks to SJICF for con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide this won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty for local non­prof­its at the Fair.

Notes from the Island — Sept. 21

Posted September 21, 2022 at 9:30 am by

  • Both of Fri­day Har­bor High School’s soc­cer teams won yes­ter­day. The boys beat Orcas Island 1–0 on the road, while the girls knocked off Gran­ite Falls 3–2 at home.
  • A fundrais­er was held at the ten­nis courts at the high school on Sat­ur­day to raise mon­ey for a bench in mem­o­ry of Ellyn Goodrich, a beloved local play­er who passed away Aug. 31. The event raised $650.
  • The espres­so machine is back in ser­vice at Bak­ery San Juan. The espres­so bar is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Pri­or-year free and reduced lunch appli­ca­tions with the San Juan Island School Dis­trict expire in three weeks. Appli­ca­tions for the 2022–23 school year are due on Wednes­day, Oct. 12.
  • The Library’s free Messy Me event, which pro­vides sen­so­ry bins filled with inter­est­ing mate­ri­als and tex­tures for kids ages 2–5 to play with, takes place in the Fri­day Har­bor Ele­men­tary School gym from 2:30–4 p.m. today.
  • Here are the week’s spe­cials at Mar­ket Place and Kings.
  • Thanks to our adver­tis­ers for their con­tin­ued sup­port of the San Juan Update — includ­ing Vote Yes For Our SJ Library.

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

Peace, love and dirty windows

Posted September 20, 2022 at 11:50 pm by

Mauritius opens at San Juan Community Theatre on Sept. 30

Posted September 20, 2022 at 7:47 pm by

SJCT sends along news about the first per­for­mance of its 2022–23 season.

San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre begins its 2022–23 Sea­son with Mau­ri­tius, writ­ten by There­sa Rebeck. The play cen­ters around two estranged sis­ters who inher­it a valu­able stamp col­lec­tion, and their con­flict­ing ideas of what to do with it.

Direc­tor Nathan Kessler-Jef­frey was inspired to take on the play because the sto­ry is “…intense, scary, and dra­mat­ic. The pac­ing is phe­nom­e­nal; the con­flict between the char­ac­ters is present in every sin­gle moment of the play. This is one of [There­sa Rebeck’s] best shows.”

Open­ing night is Thurs­day, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and the shows run through Sun­day, Oct. 16.

Tick­ets are $24 for adults, $13 for stu­dents, and $5 for stu­dent rush tick­ets. Thurs­days are pay what you can admis­sion at the door —  includ­ing open­ing night. To pur­chase tick­ets, call the box office at 360–378-3210 or vis­it the SJCT web­site.

Island Jobs: Coldwell Banker seeks a Receptionist/Front Desk Manager

Posted September 20, 2022 at 10:13 am by

Cold­well Banker San Juan Islands is look­ing for a year-round full-time Receptionist/Front Desk Man­ag­er. Learn more in the Island Jobs sec­tion of the San Juan Update.

Notes from the Island — Sept. 20

Posted September 20, 2022 at 8:45 am by

  • The saga of the sunken Aleut­ian Isle fish­ing ves­sel con­tin­ues. After being raised to the sur­face over the week­end and hav­ing near­ly 800 gal­lons of con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed water removed, recov­ery crews deter­mined that inac­ces­si­ble pock­ets of water still on board the ves­sel made it too heavy to lift onto a recov­ery barge. Crews addi­tion­al­ly dis­cov­ered that the cur­rent place­ment of the rig­ging places excess stress on the ves­sel’s struc­ture, which could cause it to break apart when raised. Yes­ter­day the ves­sel and recov­ery crane were moved to shal­low­er water in Mitchell Bay, where it will be pos­si­ble for crews to de-fuel, de-water, and re-rig the ves­sel, and sur­round the entire oper­a­tion with booms to pre­vent con­t­a­m­i­nants from escap­ing the area.
  • The Nation­al Trans­porta­tion Safe­ty Board has released a pre­lim­i­nary report about the Labor Day week­end crash of a float­plane that had depart­ed from Fri­day Har­bor. Recov­ery efforts for the plane are expect­ed to begin next week.
  • The third annu­al scare­crow con­test takes place this Octo­ber. The Cham­ber of Com­merce will be accept­ing reg­is­tra­tions from Oct. 8–15, and then the scare­crows will be on dis­play around town for com­mu­ni­ty judg­ing from Oct. 20–28. Email becki@sanjuanisland.org to learn more about reg­is­tra­tion. The con­test is also spon­sored by the Friends of the San Juan Island Library.
  • Saltaire Vine­yard is host­ing an open house this week­end — Fri­day through Sun­day — from noon to 6 p.m. each day. There will be vine­yard tours, wine tast­ing, and bot­tle sales. You can bring a pic­nic with you if you’d like. Saltaire is locat­ed at 3166 Pear Point Rd.
  • The Land Bank’s San Juan Island stew­ard­ship staff invite the pub­lic to a tour of the upcom­ing eco-restora­tion of Gar­ry oak habi­tat on the west side of Mount Grant Pre­serve. The event takes place on Fri­day, Sept. 30 from 2–4:30 p.m. and advance reg­is­tra­tion is required.
  • 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!

Fifth birthday

Posted September 19, 2022 at 9:58 pm by

Letter to the Editor: Recommending Sheriff Ron Krebs

Posted September 19, 2022 at 7:53 pm by

We moved to Fri­day Har­bor in 2017 and met Ron over cof­fee and street chats short­ly there­after. Through our con­ver­sa­tions we have got­ten to know Ron and have come to appre­ci­ate his pro­fes­sion­al com­pe­tence and as impor­tant­ly his love of com­mu­ni­ty and his gen­uine con­cern for peo­ple. Addi­tion­al­ly, we sense a fair­ness in lis­ten­ing and embrac­ing “the rest of the sto­ry” mind­set as law enforce­ment requires dis­cern­ing judge­ment. We have per­son­al­ly seen him on his days off reach out to oth­ers in need and lend a help­ing hand. We can’t imag­ine a more suit­able Sher­iff for our islands than Ron Krebs.

Jer­ry and Deb­bie Mercer
San Juan Island

SHIBA offering introduction to Medicare tomorrow

Posted September 19, 2022 at 3:25 pm by

Local vol­un­teers for the Statewide Health Insur­ance Ben­e­fits Advi­sors pro­gram share news about their upcom­ing infor­ma­tion­al session.

If you turn 65 this year, you need to get ready to enroll in Medicare. Depend­ing on your cir­cum­stances Social Secu­ri­ty may enroll you auto­mat­i­cal­ly. Oth­er­wise you will have to sub­mit an appli­ca­tion to get Medicare cov­er­age. Our pre­sen­ta­tion will help you under­stand whether you need to sub­mit an application.

Peo­ple enrolled in Medicare have deci­sions to make about how they will be cov­ered. To make an informed deci­sion you will need to under­stand a lot of new infor­ma­tion. Medicare has its own vocab­u­lary and rules. There are dead­lines you need to meet and penal­ties — some last­ing a life­time — for not doing things at the right time. SHIBA’s online pre­sen­ta­tion will explain all of these terms and rules.

You will have to choose among sev­er­al ways to receive your cov­er­age. Medicare cov­ers most health issues, but not every­thing. There are also fed­er­al and state pro­grams avail­able to help peo­ple with very low incomes and lim­it­ed assets pay their Medicare pre­mi­um and reduce their drug costs, and in some cas­es their Medicare copays and deductibles. Our pre­sen­ta­tion will give you the tools you need to make your decisions.

Join SHIBA vol­un­teers tomor­row, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. To reg­is­ter, email shibasjco@yahoo.com or call 360–376-5892. You’ll need to pro­vide your first name, last name, and email address.

SHIBA is over­seen by the state’s Office of the Insur­ance Com­mis­sion­er to pro­vide free, unbi­ased, con­fi­den­tial coun­sel­ing in San Juan Coun­ty. The orga­ni­za­tion is spon­sored local­ly by the Inter Island Health­care Foun­da­tion.

Moxie and Tilly are the Animal Protection Society’s pets of the week

Posted September 19, 2022 at 11:26 am by

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares a look at the adopt­able ani­mals of the week — two younger chi­huahuas who came to San Juan Island by way of Bak­ers­field, California.

We’re Mox­ie and Tilly and we’ve been besties ever since meet­ing a few years ago in a cof­fee shop we both fre­quent­ed. We formed a fast friend­ship and bond­ed over our shared appre­ci­a­tion for a good cud­dle — us chi­huahuas are known for it after all! Soon we were spend­ing all our cof­fee shop hours togeth­er as we teamed up to cre­ate and launch our YouTube series and blog, Cud­dle Cul­ture, the suc­cess of which has led us to be the well­ness influ­encers that we are today. We aim to edu­cate all to the ther­a­peu­tic and health ben­e­fits to cud­dling. We also dis­cuss the cul­ture, recent sci­ence, cur­rent trends, and how-to’s of a good cuddle.

Although we don’t plan on slow­ing down on social media, we are at a point in our lives where we’re ready to find our for­ev­er fam­i­ly. As besties and busi­ness part­ners, we are deter­mined to find a fam­i­ly that will take us both. Although we love cud­dling we require gen­tle­ness and for this rea­son are hop­ing for a kid-free home.

Learn more about Mox­ie and Tilly here.

Island Jobs: The Town of Friday Harbor is hiring two Utility Workers

Posted September 19, 2022 at 9:00 am by

The Town of Fri­day Har­bor is look­ing for two full-time Util­i­ty Work­ers for its Water and Waste­water depart­ments. Learn more in the Island Jobs sec­tion of the San Juan Update.

Cool breeze and clanking halyards

Posted September 17, 2022 at 8:59 pm by

Animal Protection Society tours animal welfare organizations in Eastern Washington

Posted September 17, 2022 at 7:53 pm by

Contributed photo

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares news about their recent expe­ri­ences in East­ern Wash­ing­ton, includ­ing the ways in which APS-FH can work to sup­port ani­mal wel­fare in the region.

On Sept. 6, Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety-Fri­day Har­bor Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Cristin Fel­so and Shel­ter Man­ag­er Beth Ander­son were invit­ed to join a team of ani­mal wel­fare cham­pi­ons on a pri­vate air­plane trip across the north-cen­tral region of Wash­ing­ton state, includ­ing the cities of Omak, Okanogan, Cash­mere, and Wenatchee. The goal of the trip was to vis­it with local ani­mal wel­fare lead­ers and tour facil­i­ties, as well as pick up two lit­ters of pup­pies to be trans­ferred to APS-FH and Orcas APS. The trip was orga­nized by San Juan Island res­i­dent Cindy Koch in a con­tin­ued effort to address gaps in ani­mal wel­fare ser­vices and iden­ti­fy poten­tial solu­tions to decrease over­pop­u­la­tion and the num­ber of unwant­ed pets in the region.

Mem­bers of the tour­ing team includ­ed Cindy Koch, Jill Ser­vais, island res­i­dent Mia Shep­ard, APS found­ing board mem­ber Yolan­da Mor­ris, and Pawsi­tive Alliance Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Jen­ny Fraley.

There are many fac­tors at play in the region that cre­ate a chal­leng­ing ani­mal wel­fare envi­ron­ment, includ­ing large, rur­al land areas that are geo­graph­i­cal­ly iso­lat­ed and a high rate of pover­ty that presents bar­ri­ers to acces­si­bil­i­ty and afford­abil­i­ty of pet-care ser­vices. There are also few avail­able resources to address the preva­lence of ani­mal over­pop­u­la­tion, such as con­sis­tent and low-cost spay and neuter ser­vices, acces­si­ble ani­mal shel­ters, and avail­abil­i­ty of oth­er shel­ter and res­cue part­ners to accept ani­mals from the region through trans­port and transfer.

Dur­ing the tour, the group vis­it­ed sev­er­al orga­ni­za­tions strug­gling to do all they can do for an over­whelm­ing num­ber of home­less and aban­doned ani­mals in a severe­ly under-served and under-resourced region. Okanogan Region­al Humane, The Cat House, Okanogan Coun­ty Ani­mal Fos­ter Care Cat Shel­ter, City of Omak, and Okan­dogs are all orga­ni­za­tions doing their best to cov­er the needs of the ani­mals with­in their com­mu­ni­ty, but are either strug­gling or unable to keep up with the demand. The com­mon­al­i­ty between all of them was a lack of fund­ing, hous­ing space, and access to resources for the home­less or stray ani­mals in need.

Through this vis­it, it is clear that the entire region needs access to sus­tained, low-cost spay and neuter and vet­eri­nary ser­vices via clin­ic and mobile units, and efforts should be made to increase pub­lic aware­ness regard­ing the impor­tance of spay­ing and neu­ter­ing owned ani­mals. Final­ly, trans­port and relo­ca­tion pro­grams with shel­ters through­out the state are crit­i­cal to shel­ters in this area.

APS-FH is in the ear­ly learn­ing stage of iden­ti­fy­ing ways we can sup­port this region. We are work­ing with shel­ters and res­cues in the area to set trans­fer para­me­ters that will allow us to accept ani­mals more read­i­ly from the region. And our own shel­ter vet­eri­nar­i­an, Dr. Mer­riss Waters, will lead a team of vets and oth­er ani­mal med­ical per­son­nel dur­ing a high vol­ume spay and neuter, vac­ci­na­tion, and ID event tak­ing place at Okanogan Region­al Humane in Omak Oct. 21–23. At least 200 ani­mals will receive ser­vices through this col­lab­o­ra­tion put togeth­er by Okanogan Region­al Humane, Ani­mal Bal­ance, and Pawsi­tive Alliance of Bellevue.

In addi­tion to the insight APS-FH reps received on this jour­ney, they were also able to tie in a trans­fer of eight small, mixed-breed pup­pies from ARFS of Grant Coun­ty and Okan­dogs. All pups will soon be avail­able for adop­tion through APS-FH and Orcas APS. By adopt­ing a res­cue pet, you can make all the dif­fer­ence in the life of an unwant­ed ani­mal, while help­ing sup­port the many orga­ni­za­tions work­ing togeth­er to resolve ani­mal wel­fare relat­ed issues.

Island Senior: Longevity and a sense of purpose

Posted September 17, 2022 at 11:56 am by

Contributed photo

This past week, the world lost not only the longest serv­ing British monarch, but at 96 years old a woman who embod­ied longevi­ty itself. Queen Eliz­a­beth II had plen­ty of healthy habits. She start­ed her days with a pot of Earl Grey tea, a bowl of Spe­cial K cere­al, and a bag­pipe ser­e­nade. She rode hors­es, walked her dogs, and eschewed bread and pas­ta, avoid­ing starch. She also enjoyed veni­son burg­ers, choco­late, and gin martinis.

Blue Zone longevi­ty stud­ies focus on com­mu­ni­ties through­out the world with par­tic­u­lar­ly long-lived pop­u­la­tions. Cen­te­nar­i­ans liv­ing in “blue zones” areas — places where peo­ple were liv­ing longer lives with more vital­i­ty — have a strong sense of pur­pose through­out their lives. The Oki­nawans call it iki­gai and the Nicoy­ans call it plan de vida. For both, it trans­lates to why I wake up in the morn­ing.

Queen Elizabeth’s pur­pose was clear. Due to her uncle’s abdi­ca­tion fol­lowed by her father’s poor health, Elizabeth’s des­tiny was thrust upon her at a young age. On her 21st birth­day she made her com­mit­ment clear stat­ing, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devot­ed to your ser­vice.” At the age of 25 she became Queen of the Unit­ed King­dom. She kept her promise to stead­fast­ly serve her peo­ple for the next 70 years.

One of the most impor­tant duties of the British monarch is ask­ing a new Prime Min­is­ter to form a gov­ern­ment. On Sept. 6 the Queen accept­ed the res­ig­na­tion of Boris John­son, her 14th Prime Min­is­ter, and asked her 15th Prime Min­is­ter, Liz Truss, to form a new gov­ern­ment. Two days lat­er the Queen passed away. She died with her boots on, you could say, ful­fill­ing the promise that she made in her youth.

Few of us live lives of such notable con­se­quence. Yet, our pur­pose can be as sim­ple as show­ing kind­ness to oth­ers. What is it that gets you up in the morning?

EDC hosts Economics Luncheon on Sept. 28

Posted September 17, 2022 at 10:33 am by

The San Juan Coun­ty Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Coun­cil shares news about an upcom­ing event.

Com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers and mem­bers are invit­ed to join the con­ver­sa­tion on Future Focus: San Juan Islands Resilience at the 13th Annu­al EDC Eco­nom­ics Lun­cheon, held at Brick­works in Fri­day Har­bor on Wednes­day, Sept. 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Fea­tur­ing not­ed speak­er Louis Har­ris from the Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Com­merce, the event will include a deep dive into com­mu­ni­ty resilience ini­tia­tives and poli­cies, as well as a pan­el dis­cus­sion with experts from Con­gress­man Rick Larsen’s office and local elect­ed offi­cials. The con­ver­sa­tion will exam­ine efforts at the local, state, and fed­er­al lev­el to cre­ate a resilient future for our islands and region.

Lun­cheon tick­ets are $39. Vis­it the EDC web­site to order tick­ets or for more infor­ma­tion.