Eagle Cove footprints
Posted October 13, 2022 at 10:42 pm by Jeff Arnim
Letter to the Editor: In support of Ron Krebs
Posted October 13, 2022 at 9:21 pm by San Juan Update
With the upcoming elections in November, I wanted to take some time to talk about our Sheriff, Ron Krebs.
I’ve known Ron since I moved to the island in 2012 and have always been impressed with his commitment to our community. Whenever we’ve discussed what he feels is most important, the people in our county are always the first in his mind.
Being from parents who are educators, I appreciate Ron’s mission to teach our community instead of just dole out tickets. Ron puts our families here in the San Juans first, and as a dad, that means the world to me.
With Ron’s intimate knowledge of our judicial system and the ever-changing world, I know he can navigate any issue that finds its way to our islands. Ron Krebs has my vote because he is kind, just, and a man of the people.
San Juan Island
Freezer Burned: Tales of Interior Alaska
Posted October 13, 2022 at 6:59 pm by San Juan Update
Freezer Burned is an ongoing series for the San Juan Update, written by Steve Ulvi. Read the previous story in this series.
The Alapah Cabin at Last
After eight drudgerous days of working his way up the Kuuk River, Sonny found the last two nights of siwash camping about as pleasant as could be hoped for. Stealing away from the Ramparts Cabin and the snoring Texans at o’dark thirty he found a tenuous route just skirting the icy edge of tumbling water lit by the sweeping cone of his headlamp at the foot of Old Woman Rock. Above the latitude of the Arctic Circle, entering the vaunted Brooks Range, just miles up to tree line, it was a rare December meteorological gift; a few days of respite from frigid polar air. Daily temperatures were well above zero, light airs in a wind funnel canyon and large swirling snowflakes that were reminiscent of a gigantic child’s snow globe. Exact whereabouts unknown; Sonny had no sense of urgency as he was absorbed in the natural flow of steady progress and the certainty that his destination was near.
Red fox had been stitching back and forth, always snooping and scratching down here and there while yard-wide caribou trails had been softly erased. Sonny came across the fresh tracks of Dall sheep at some mineral licks at small creek clefts where there lingered just a faint whiff of sulphur and salts. He deftly moved even further away from the cliff face, looking up and listening closely as a few rocks thudded on the ice ahead of him. The source of instability above was obscured by gauzy clouds but he imagined climbing white sheep.
He had resorted to snowshoeing ahead without the pulke; then tramping back to drag it more easily on the twice packed trail. Three miles of distance for one mile of progress, until the canyon walls receded behind him. After the constriction and deeper snow of the canyon, the waters of the Kuuk braided among small wooded islands and invited waters coursing from side valleys nearly the size of the narrowing Kuuk. Scenic valleys that wend away into the mists with vaporous tendrils dancing on ridges rising up into the hidden jumble of slate grey peaks. Dippers; plump dark grey birds, cutely amphibious, also called ouzel, flitted and bobbed around groundwater upwellings along the river bank. River otter slides! Continue Reading
Letter to the Editor: Eric Peter for County Sheriff
Posted October 13, 2022 at 11:23 am by San Juan Update
Experience matters is a campaign slogan in the current Sheriff’s race, but it matters a lot what field or occupation you’re experienced in. If I wanted to fly to somewhere in the world, I’d prefer an experienced pilot. If I’m going to have root canal surgery, I’d prefer an experienced dentist. Likewise, in the Sheriff’s race, I prefer to choose and vote for the person who actually has the most experience in law enforcement.
We may not have the big city challenges for law enforcement personnel, but we are still a busy destination community that is growing in population and the crime that comes with those things. Now that we have a choice for the most experienced and qualified person for this job, we need to take the opportunity to choose the right Sheriff.
After his military career, Eric Peter joined the Houston Police Department and was employed there for 22 years. Starting out as a Patrol Officer, Eric was assigned to the gang task force and violent crime impact patrol. When he became a Sergeant, Eric was in charge of supervising airport, emergency communications, Westside patrol and crime analysis.
Eric Peter has received twenty-two written commendations, two Chief of Police commendations, and never received any written citizen complaints during that time. His 20-plus years with Houston affords him some noteworthy, relevant training, experience and qualifications that San Juan County could surely benefit from.
Ron Krebs’ experience prior to becoming Sheriff was as the manager of a Les Schwab tire shop. He was hired in San Juan County in 2007 as an untrained rookie deputy, elected Sheriff in 2014, and has no other experience than on the job by trial and error. Ron was never promoted within the department and after only eight years on the job was elected Sheriff.
There has been quite a learning curve for Krebs and there have been a lot of mistakes made because of his lack of experience in law enforcement. It has cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars in court fines and case dismissals because of his disregard of the laws that give those accused of a crime a fair trial and left no justice to those who the crime was committed against.
If the Sheriff’s position was appointed with job experience and qualifications required, Eric Peter would certainly stand out as the best candidate.
Vote for the person with the most experience in law enforcement. Vote for Eric Peter.
San Juan Island
Notes from the Island — Oct. 13
Posted October 13, 2022 at 9:54 am by Jeff Arnim
- Free Wheelin Rides hosts their dinner fundraiser for a wheelchair-accessible van tomorrow starting at 6 p.m. at the San Juan Masonic Lodge, 15 Second St. N.
- The haunted mausoleum opens at Roche Harbor tomorrow starting at 6 p.m. The event runs from approximately 6–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights until Oct. 29, weather permitting.
- In celebration of National Fire Prevention Week, the Library hosts its annual firefighter story time event on the front lawn at the Fairgrounds tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. Kids can learn about fire safety, meet local firefighters, and see a fire engine up close.
- It’s the last week of performances for San Juan Community Theatre’s highly popular production of Mauritius. There are shows Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with the final show on Sunday at 2 p.m.
- This Seattle Times column takes a look at the reasons why the San Juan Islands have had much less severe health outcomes during the pandemic, as compared to the rest of Washington state.
- Here are the week’s specials from Market Place and Kings.
- Thanks to our advertisers for their continued support of the San Juan Update — including the San Juan County Conservation Land Bank.
Have something to share with the Island? Whether the news is big or small, let us know!
Outside Earthbox Inn
Posted October 12, 2022 at 9:15 pm by Jeff Arnim
Letter to the Editor: Reject ranked-choice voting charter amendment
Posted October 12, 2022 at 1:46 pm by San Juan Update
Ranked-choice voting changes the traditional democratic principle that the candidate with the most votes wins. Under RCV, the ballot lets the voter choose multiple names in order of preference. If no candidate wins a majority, the bottom contender is eliminated and that person’s votes are reassigned to their second choices – or third or fourth, as the process goes on.
Pierce County had approved RCV in 2006. It was voted out in 2009 by 70 percent of the voters after being used two years. Why? Voters were confused and felt cheated.
RCV is a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allow candidates with marginal support from voters to win. It obscures true debates and issue-driven dialogs among candidates and eliminates genuine choices between two top-tier candidates.
RCV disenfranchises voters, because ballots that do not include the two top finalists are cast aside to manufacture a faux majority for the winner.
Voters do not need a computer to manipulate their votes based on a computer algorithm.
RCV is a confusing system and is not straightforward as compared to our current system, which has served our voters well over time.
Please vote no for ranked-choice voting.
San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee nominations sought by BLM
Posted October 12, 2022 at 9:26 am by San Juan Update
The BLM shares news about its search for three members of the public to serve in advisory positions.
The Bureau of Land Management Spokane District is seeking public nominations for positions on the Monument Advisory Committee for the San Juan Islands National Monument. This citizen-based committee assists in the development of recommendations that address public land management issues within the monument.
The committee, which is formally chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on the development and implementation of management plans.
“The MAC is an important forum for the community conversation that is a key component of public land management,” said Spokane District Manager Kurt Pindel. “The MAC members have a variety of perspectives and experiences, which provides us with valuable insight to this remarkable landscape.”
The MAC consists of 12 members that include two recreation and tourism representatives; two wildlife and ecological interests representatives; two cultural and heritage interests representatives; two members of the public-at-large; a Tribal representative; a local government representative; an education and interpretation interests representative; and a private landowner representative.
Nominations are needed for a wildlife and ecological interests representative and two members to represent the interests of the public-at-large.
Individuals may nominate themselves or others to serve on the committee. Nominees, who must be residents of the state, will be reviewed based on their training, education, and knowledge of the committee’s geographic area. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to consensus building and collaborative decision-making. Letters of reference should accompany all nominations from any represented interests or organizations, along with a completed committee application.
The BLM will accept nominations until Friday, Nov. 4. For more information, contact Jeff Clark at 509–536-1297 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fox on the rocks
Posted October 11, 2022 at 11:20 pm by Brad Pillow
Letter to the Editor: Vote no on the Library bond proposal
Posted October 11, 2022 at 9:00 pm by San Juan Update
I love libraries. I think they’re extremely important. We have a great library in Friday Harbor. It’s important to note for populations up to 10,000, the average size of a library is 0.6 square feet per person, or in our case 6,000 square feet. Our current library is over 8,000 square feet on 0.66 acres. Our population on San Juan Island is just under 10,000. Therefore, we are already 2,000 square feet over the national average for a library in a community of our size. What is being proposed at the Life Care Center, 15,000 square feet, is far more than what is appropriate for our community. If the library truly thinks they need additional space, it would be far less expensive to build up and add a story to the existing building.
Currently the plan is to tear down the Life Care Center, a functional 28,000 square-foot building with a commercial kitchen and laundry facility. It is utter lunacy. This extremely important fact is not revealed in the information the library is sharing with the public about the proposed project. This would create an unimaginable amount of building material waste. Because most material would not be allowed to go into our landfill, it would have to be transported via the ferry on diesel fuel semi-trucks off island to other landfills. The demolition plan for the Life Care Center is extremely wasteful and environmentally inappropriate on multiple levels. The well-established gardens could not survive the demolition. If there is asbestos in the building, it is far easier and cheaper to encapsulate than to tear out and put in any landfill. Perfectly good valuable construction material would be destroyed and hauled away.
With some repairs and remodeling and for far less than $20 million, the old Life Care Center could be converted using the principals of adaptive reuse to create affordable housing and mixed uses. Currently the zoning is professional use. I have confirmed that a change to multifamily and mixed use would be supported by the Town of Friday Harbor. This could address our community’s real immediate need, housing. As someone who has restored several historic houses and created adaptive reuse of multiple buildings in Friday Harbor, I speak from years of knowledge and practical experience.
Finally, the library claims that the project is going to cost $20 million — that is $2,000+ for every man, woman and child on the island. If you vote yes, you have agreed to go in debt for a bond for $12 million, which is only a portion of what they have estimated the project is going to cost. Your vote will determine whether you personally agree to go into debt for everyone in your family.
If this bond proposal passes, a 28,000 square-foot building will be demolished. That’s a lot of building material that could be better utilized in an adaptive reuse plan. I guarantee if this levy passes it will create a huge boondoggle in Friday Harbor. The practical, economic, and environmental reality dictates to vote no on the library bond.
San Juan Island
Categories: Around Here
Alchemy Art Center hosting fundraiser Nov. 4
Posted October 11, 2022 at 5:43 pm by San Juan Update
San Juan Island’s community art center shares news about their upcoming fundraising event.
Alchemy Art Center is celebrating their fifth year as a registered nonprofit with a Fall Fundraiser Gala, and you are invited.
On Friday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. at Brickworks, Alchemy will host a gourmet dinner provided by a team of local farmers and chefs with live music and multiple auctions featuring prizes like a spa experience at an island bed-and-breakfast, a tarot and tapas party for a group of six friends, a scenic airplane ride, and a sailing adventure on the high seas.
The event also features a cake auction, which raises the entirety of Alchemy’s tuition assistance fund each year.
Alchemy relies on donations for fully one-third of their annual operating budget, and proceeds from the fall fundraiser are an essential source of this income. Alchemy’s mission of providing arts access for all includes a free youth mentorship program, numerous free community art activities, tuition assistance options for all adults and kids classes, affordable studio membership, donation-based music events, and partnerships with the Family Resource Center, Island Rec, and Compass Health.
You can help support community arts on San Juan Island by attending the fundraiser and by helping spread the word.
Notes from the Island — Oct. 11
Posted October 11, 2022 at 9:00 am by Jeff Arnim
- Friday Harbor High School boys soccer — 3–0 in conference play, 6–1 overall — takes on the rival Orcas Island Vikings at 3 p.m. this afternoon at Linde Community Fields. Friday Harbor and Orcas are two of the best 1B/2B teams in Washington, with Orcas having won the state championship last year. The Wolverines handed the Vikings their only loss of the year back on Sept. 20 by scoring a late goal in their 1–0 victory on the road.
- The boys soccer team’s breast cancer awareness fundraiser is still taking pledges.
- Friday Harbor girls soccer plays a 4 p.m. road game this afternoon against Mount Vernon Christian.
- The high school volleyball team takes on Mount Vernon Christian at 4:30 p.m. today at Turnbull Gym.
- Game night returns to the Grange tonight from 7–10 p.m. Everyone is welcome, but minors need to be accompanied by an adult.
- San Juan Preservation Trust is still looking for volunteers its two Gardening for Butterflies volunteer events, both of which take place on Monday, Oct. 17.
- Kitchen Sink Dinners return to Cynthia’s (65 Nichols St.) starting next Thursday, Oct. 20 from 4:30–6 p.m.
- Thanks to our advertisers for their continued support of the San Juan Update — including Yote Yes for Our SJ Library.
Have something to share with the Island? Whether the news is big or small, let us know!
Waiting for rain
Posted October 10, 2022 at 10:17 pm by Jeff Arnim
Rotary raises $15,000 for local programs
Posted October 10, 2022 at 12:04 pm by San Juan Update
Our local Rotary Club sends along good news about the results of their San Juan Concours event, held this past August.
The Rotary Club of San Juan Islands recently presented checks to the recipients of net proceeds from the 14th Annual San Juan Concours, held on Aug. 14 at San Juan Vineyard. This event was co-sponsored by the Sports Car Club of San Juan Islands.
Three organizations — Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center, Family Umbrella Group, and Medical Teams International’s Mobile Dental Van program — each received $5,000. PolioPlus Fund of Rotary International received $1,000. This year was Rotary’s most successful fundraising event.
Over the past 14 years, the generosity of our sponsors has allowed us to donate over $100,000 to many local charities and Rotary’s worldwide effort to eliminate Polio.
Town seeks poetry garden contest entries
Posted October 10, 2022 at 11:23 am by San Juan Update
The Town of Friday Harbor shares news about an artistic opportunity for island poets of all ages.
Entries in the 2023 Poetry Garden Contest are due Monday, Oct. 31. San Juan County residents of all ages are encouraged to enter the contest sponsored by the Town of Friday Harbor and Friday Harbor Arts Commission.
Winners in adult and student divisions will be determined by past Washington State Poet Laureate and Seattle Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna. Engravings of the 30 winning poems will replace the original winners, which have been on display since spring 2020 in poetry gardens throughout the town. A booklet of the poems will be published for limited distribution.
Further details may be found on the Town website or by contacting the Friday Harbor Arts Commission at email@example.com. Entries should be mailed to Poetry Garden Contest, Town of Friday Harbor, P.O. Box 219, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 or delivered to Town Hall at 60 Second Street. There is no entry fee.
County Council agenda for Oct. 11
Posted October 10, 2022 at 10:07 am by Jeff Arnim
The San Juan County Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Orcas Senior Center, 62 Henry Rd. in Eastsound. Items up for discussion include:
- 2022 Home Fund projects
- Proposed road levy increase ballot measure
- Recreation, Open Space & Stewardship Plan
- Orcas Island public works projects update
Because the meeting is being held outside of the Council Legislative Hearing Room, a live stream of the meeting will not be available.