Eagle Cove footprints

Posted October 13, 2022 at 10:42 pm by

Letter to the Editor: In support of Ron Krebs

Posted October 13, 2022 at 9:21 pm by

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.

Craig Bai­ley
San Juan Island

Freezer Burned: Tales of Interior Alaska

Posted October 13, 2022 at 6:59 pm by

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

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.

Leslie Bren­nan
San Juan Island

Notes from the Island — Oct. 13

Posted October 13, 2022 at 9:54 am by

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

Letter to the Editor: Reject ranked-choice voting charter amendment

Posted October 12, 2022 at 1:46 pm by

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.

Paul Dos­sett
Fri­day Harbor

San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee nominations sought by BLM

Posted October 12, 2022 at 9:26 am by

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 jeffclark@blm.gov.

Letter to the Editor: Vote no on the Library bond proposal

Posted October 11, 2022 at 9:00 pm by

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.

Lynn Dana­her
San Juan Island

Alchemy Art Center hosting fundraiser Nov. 4

Posted October 11, 2022 at 5:43 pm by

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

  • 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

Rotary raises $15,000 for local programs

Posted October 10, 2022 at 12:04 pm by

Rick Hughes, Rotary President; Jennifer Armstrong, Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center; Sara Werling, Family Umbrella Group; Zoe Froyland, Mobile Dental Van; Jim Corenman, Sports Car Club of San Juan Islands — Contributed photo

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

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 julie@fridayharbor.org. 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

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.