Hitchhiker

Posted October 8, 2022 at 10:18 pm by

Letter to the Editor: In support of the Library levy

Posted October 8, 2022 at 7:02 pm by

Our Library is the hub of our com­mu­ni­ty – more than just loan­ing books.

Did you know that the Library also pro­vides things like:

An after­school bus stop for stu­dents K‑12.

Reli­able wi-fi dur­ing pow­er out­ages, for doing home­work assign­ments, for fil­ing job appli­ca­tions, for fil­ing taxes.

Use of in-house lap­top computers.

A free meet­ing room for local orga­ni­za­tions to meet.

Eng­lish class­es for res­i­dents of all ages.

Tech class­es in using per­son­al devices.

Right now our library is burst­ing at the seams with pro­grams, class­es, audio books, mag­a­zines, news­pa­pers, DVDs, CDs, com­put­er areas, read­ing areas, a meet­ing room, offices for staff and, yes, books to loan.

Vote yes for our Library on Nov. 8.

Liz and Brad Pillow
San Juan Island

Letter to the Editor: Lucky to have Ron Krebs

Posted October 8, 2022 at 4:32 pm by

I ful­ly sup­port and encour­age the re-elec­tion of Ron Krebs for San Juan Coun­ty Sher­iff. As a busi­ness own­er and 15-year coun­ty res­i­dent, I have learned that we are very lucky to have him. While I do not know the Sher­iff per­son­al­ly, I have found him to be a strong leader who rec­og­nizes the true nature of his job of pro­tect­ing our com­mu­ni­ty rather than as a polit­i­cal fig­ure push­ing an agen­da. He has not allowed the virus of vio­lence and lack of con­se­quences, com­mon else­where, to infect our community.

I was most impressed with Sher­iff Krebs dur­ing the depths of the pan­dem­ic when he was tasked with admin­is­ter­ing the his­tor­i­cal­ly abhor­rent “snitch line”. I observed that he and the under­sh­er­iff han­dled both the vic­tim­ized busi­ness­es and the kind of peo­ple that would call such an enti­ty with pro­fes­sion­al­ism, kind­ness and decen­cy. This appears to be his approach to law enforce­ment which we all should appreciate.

I do not know his oppo­nent, but some “woke” lan­guage used in cam­paign pro­pa­gan­da is of con­cern as it has no place in law enforce­ment. That said, I have no doubt he is a ded­i­cat­ed Sheriff’s deputy hon­or­ably serv­ing our cit­i­zen­ry and deserv­ing of respect for the brave nature of the job. He seems well liked.

Ron Krebs has faith­ful­ly served both coun­try and com­mu­ni­ty dis­tin­guish­ing him­self as the kind of indi­vid­ual we need lead­ing this depart­ment. His steady gov­er­nance has been good for this unique com­mu­ni­ty. I sin­cere­ly hope he is re-elect­ed and can con­tin­ue demon­strat­ing the excel­lence we have come to expect.

Lau­ren Cohen
San Juan Island

Letter to the Editor: Support San Juan Island Library District Proposition 1

Posted October 8, 2022 at 1:48 pm by

When my wife and I moved to Fri­day Har­bor eight years ago, one of the first stops we made – even before the mov­ing van arrived – was at the San Juan Island Library to get our library cards. Dur­ing the intro­duc­to­ry tour, the staff made it a point to describe the library’s many fea­tures – the dif­fer­ent sec­tions of books for chil­dren and young adults, com­put­ers avail­able for pub­lic use, the meet­ing room, the area used for com­mu­ni­ty lec­tures – as well as its hands-on pro­grams such as com­put­er assis­tance and children’s activ­i­ties. And what­ev­er we couldn’t find on the shelves or in the dig­i­tal cat­a­logue, they said, we should ask them to search for it through inter-library loans.

From the start, though, we rec­og­nized how small the space was for the amount of mate­ri­als and resources the library had to offer. There was no room for growth back then. Eight years lat­er, the sit­u­a­tion is even more pronounced.

The vot­ers of San Juan Coun­ty have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to approve a bond pro­pos­al that would allow for the con­struc­tion of a big­ger facil­i­ty in a more cen­tral loca­tion in Fri­day Har­bor. A new library would pro­vide the entire com­mu­ni­ty with more space for its var­i­ous col­lec­tions, larg­er meet­ing rooms for com­mu­ni­ty groups and pub­lic lec­tures, and a bet­ter chance to offer the tech­no­log­i­cal assis­tance that libraries will increas­ing­ly be called upon to pro­vide in the future.

I urge you to join us in sup­port­ing San Juan Island Library Dis­trict Prop 1.

Field­ing M. McGe­hee III
Fri­day Harbor

Five flu shot clinics taking place at Peace Island in October

Posted October 8, 2022 at 11:20 am by

Peace­Health shares news about their upcom­ing flu shot clinics.

Peace Island Fam­i­ly Prac­tice clin­ic is hold­ing flu shot clin­ics in the month of Octo­ber for all com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers aged six or old­er, regard­less of whether they are an estab­lished Peace­Health patient.

The clin­ics are by appoint­ment only, and run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Fam­i­ly Med­i­cine clin­ic lobby/conference room on:

  • Thurs­day, Oct. 13
  • Fri­day, Oct. 14
  • Thurs­day, Oct. 20
  • Fri­day, Oct. 21
  • Thurs­day, Oct. 27

Call the clin­ic at 360–378-1756 to sched­ule an appointment.

Peace­Health patients also have the option of get­ting the vac­cine at their next pri­ma­ry care provider vis­it. The CDC warns it could be a rough flu sea­son this year, based on trends being seen else­where in the world.

Notes from the Island — Oct. 8

Posted October 8, 2022 at 8:15 am by

  • Fri­day Har­bor High School boys soc­cer improved to 3–0 in con­fer­ence play and 6–1 over­all with a 4–1 road win over La Con­ner High School yes­ter­day after­noon. They play again on Tues­day against rival Orcas Island at Linde Com­mu­ni­ty Fields at 3 p.m.
  • San Juan Island Fire & Res­cue is host­ing a col­or­ing con­test in hon­or of Fire Pre­ven­tion Week. Young artists can pick up a blank fire­fight­er col­or­ing page at the Library or Kings Mar­ket, then return their fin­ished work to the fire sta­tion at 1011 Mullis St by Fri­day, Oct. 14. All entries are eli­gi­ble to win a gift card to the Toy Box or Grif­fin Bay Book­store. The win­ner will be select­ed at the Fire & Res­cue open house next Sunday.
  • The Library is host­ing a free cos­tume exchange. Clean cos­tumes of all sizes in good con­di­tion can be dropped off Mon­day through Fri­day dur­ing the Library’s reg­u­lar hours until Oct. 21. Cos­tumes will be avail­able for the com­mu­ni­ty to pick up start­ing this com­ing Mon­day, Oct. 10 — also Mon­day through Fri­day dur­ing reg­u­lar hours.
  • Appli­ca­tions are now open for Spring Street Inter­na­tion­al’s 2023–24 school year. Spring Street is host­ing an admis­sions open house on Wednes­day, Oct. 26 from 5–6:30 p.m.
  • The reg­is­tra­tion dead­line for Hos­pice of San Juan’s vol­un­teer train­ing is Mon­day.
  • The online gar­den­ing work­shop pro­vid­ed by the Mas­ter Gar­den­ers of San Juan Coun­ty has a reg­is­tra­tion dead­line of this Wednesday.
  • Thanks to our adver­tis­ers for their con­tin­ued sup­port of the San Juan Update — includ­ing Island Petro­le­um Services.

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

Lap time

Posted October 7, 2022 at 9:45 pm by

Letter to the Editor: Vote to re-elect Sheriff Ron Krebs

Posted October 7, 2022 at 6:30 pm by

We are writ­ing in sup­port of re-elect­ing Ron Krebs as our Sheriff.

I am a retired deputy and have known and worked direct­ly with Ron for years. My wife, also retired, worked for Dis­trict Court and she too worked with Ron over the years.

Ron is ded­i­cat­ed to San Juan Coun­ty and its cit­i­zens. He has the skills need­ed to work effec­tive­ly with­in his office, with oth­er depart­ments, as well as with the Coun­ty Coun­cil. He dis­plays the high­est lev­el of integri­ty, hon­esty and com­mit­ment. He works tire­less­ly on behalf of the res­i­dents of our County.

The Sheriff’s office must fol­low the law in every­thing they do. At times changes to the laws can con­strain the Sher­iff department’s abil­i­ty to act deci­sive­ly. Recent law changes have ham­pered law enforcement’s abil­i­ty to make arrests.

In any elec­tion the can­di­dates make promis­es, but the fact is that promis­es can only be ful­filled with­in the bounds of the law, the bud­get and Coun­ty Coun­cil endorse­ments. We ask you to vote for the can­di­date who has a proven track record, who can nego­ti­ate and works well with oth­ers and who is ded­i­cat­ed to pro­tect­ing our unique com­mu­ni­ty and pro­vid­ing qual­i­ty ser­vice to our County.

Vote for experience.

Vote to re-elect Sher­iff Ron Krebs.

Scott & Marie Johansen
Fri­day Harbor

October real estate market snapshot

Posted October 7, 2022 at 12:52 pm by

The Simon­son and Zam­brovitz Team at Cold­well Banker San Juan Island send along their real estate mar­ket snap­shot for the island. For the first time in years, the sup­ply of for-sale sin­gle-fam­i­ly homes is expand­ing quick­ly. Com­pare the snap­shot above to sim­i­lar data from sev­en months ago, when there were zero for-sale homes under $600,000 and just four under $1 million.

“Fur­ther, as the mar­ket is trend­ing slow­er, sell­ers are now allow­ing more offer con­tin­gen­cies as com­pared to last year,” Mer­ri Ann Simon­son says.

The aver­age inter­est rate for a 30-year fixed mort­gage is an omi­nous 6.66 per­cent this week, up from 2.99 per­cent a year ago today.

Letter to the Editor: Human and wildlife health are interconnected

Posted October 7, 2022 at 10:54 am by

An out­break of avian flu in upper East­sound this sum­mer raised an impor­tant pub­lic pol­i­cy issue that should not be left by the way­side: to pro­tect peo­ple from emerg­ing pathogens, we need to mon­i­tor wildlife dis­ease — and inter­vene, swift­ly and appro­pri­ate­ly, to wildlife epidemics.

Peo­ple and non-human ani­mals share many fam­i­lies of bac­te­ria, virus­es, and fun­gi. Muta­tions in these microbes can make them more infec­tious and dead­lier to their usu­al hosts; and some­times enable them to “jump” to oth­er host species — and back again. Coro­n­avirus­es, for exam­ple, are wide­spread and genet­i­cal­ly diverse in the world’s bats. Bats appear to be immune to most of them most of the time. But some strains of these virus­es may not only sick­en bats but could also infect peo­ple, as shown by a recent study pub­lished in the jour­nal Nature. The ori­gins of COVID-19 remain uncer­tain, but sim­i­lar virus­es have been found in some species of Asian bats.

The H1N1 swine flu pan­dem­ic in 2009 appar­ent­ly orig­i­nat­ed in a muta­tion in infect­ed pigs, and there is con­cern that the cur­rent spread of H5N1 avian flu across North Amer­i­ca, although chiefly among wild and domes­tic water­fowl, may be capa­ble of jump­ing to humans direct­ly or through an inter­me­di­ate mam­malian host such as fox­es. Some of the tick-borne pathogens that our lab­o­ra­to­ry recent­ly detect­ed in the San Juan Islands, such as Anaplas­ma, can infect humans, dogs, and oth­er mam­mals, mak­ing it very dif­fi­cult to locate and control.

Cli­mate change may exac­er­bate the dan­ger to humans. Hun­gry ani­mals with weak­ened immune sys­tems are per­fect incu­ba­tors for pathogens. When more ani­mals sick­en more often, the prob­a­bil­i­ty of pathogens thriv­ing, diver­si­fy­ing, and then jump­ing to new hosts increases.

Islanders inter­act fre­quent­ly with wildlife. We have deer and rab­bits brows­ing in our back­yards, rac­coons — or fox­es, on San Juan Island — in our com­post piles and gar­dens, bats in eaves and attics, and geese in our ponds. Many of us have domes­tic flocks, cat­tle or sheep, and dogs or cats that inter­act with vis­it­ing wildlife. Wildlife are an impor­tant dis­tinc­tion of island life, whether they are aes­thet­ic, a nui­sance, or food. Because of this, our microbes and our health are deeply inter­con­nect­ed, and it is essen­tial that we treat wildlife epi­demics as seri­ous­ly as human epidemics.

We note that three state depart­ments — Fish and Wildlife, Agri­cul­ture, Health — and the Coun­ty’s Depart­ment Health & Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices have over­lap­ping author­i­ty over wildlife dis­eases, but it is unclear whether they have the resources or road map for a coor­di­nat­ed response to dis­ease outbreaks.

One step that state and local author­i­ties should take is adopt­ing a pro­to­col for respond­ing to an out­break of wildlife dis­ease, such as the deer ade­n­ovirus, rab­bit hem­or­rhag­ic dis­ease, and avian flu that we have seen in the past few years. There needs to be a clear allo­ca­tion of respon­si­bil­i­ties and ade­quate fund­ing for sam­pling and test­ing, deten­tion and dis­pos­al of dying and dead ani­mals, and issu­ing informed pub­lic guid­ance. A col­lab­o­ra­tive team of first respon­ders at the coun­ty lev­el should be des­ig­nat­ed and include non­prof­its that study and mon­i­tor wildlife, as well as human and wildlife health professionals.

Our lab­o­ra­to­ry vol­un­teers to be a part of that team. But we urge the state and coun­ty to embrace a more active approach to wildlife health. It is insuf­fi­cient sim­ply to com­pile oppor­tunis­tic data, typ­i­cal­ly from reports made by con­cerned citizens.

Rus­sel Barsh
Direc­tor, Kwiáht
Lopez Island

Spock and Kirk are the Animal Protection Society’s pets of the week

Posted October 7, 2022 at 8:28 am by

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares a look at the adopt­able ani­mals of the week — two four-month-old black kit­tens named Spock and Kirk.

Hi, we’re Spock and Kirk! You may already know who we are, but also, giv­en our occu­pa­tion, you may have yet to see us well enough to rec­og­nize us. This is because we are pro­fes­sion­al hide-and-seek athletes.

Whether it’s squeez­ing behind fur­ni­ture or slink­ing into nar­row spaces, we can do it all. Our ver­sa­tile skills of con­tor­tion are some of the best in the game, and allow us to twist and tuck away just so. Anoth­er hid­ing tool of ours is our silky, black fur which allows us to achieve an extra lev­el of stealth by dis­ap­pear­ing into the darkness.

Although most peo­ple assume that pro­fes­sion­al hiders such as our­selves will take to hid­ing in all areas of their lives, we are not like that. Although we’ll be the first to say we love a good hid­ing spot, we also love receiv­ing pets and indi­vid­ual atten­tion from humans like your­self. Although we can’t wait to explore the nooks and cran­nies in our next home, we assure you we also can’t wait to cud­dle up with our new loved ones.

We’re look­ing for a home with peo­ple who appre­ci­ate our skillset, but will also help to ensure our safe­ty and com­fort when we decide to hide. It’s impor­tant to us that our pro­fes­sion remains fun, and that we aren’t stuck hid­ing due to fear, but instead just for the love of the game. Are you some­one who self-iden­ti­fies as a seek­er and a lover? Then you’re the per­fect per­son for us. Come find us at APS soon!

To learn more about Spock and Kirk, con­tact the Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety.

Letter to the Editor: Vote yes for our Library

Posted October 6, 2022 at 7:46 pm by

Join me in vot­ing yes for our San Juan Library bond levy. Our com­mu­ni­ty has grown by 50 per­cent since 1995. Our library has not grown at all dur­ing that same time peri­od. The mis­sion of the library is to pro­vide com­mu­ni­ty access to col­lec­tions, infor­ma­tion and ser­vices to pro­mote con­nec­tion and learn­ing. We must invest in our library to keep up with com­mu­ni­ty growth and evolv­ing needs to ensure that every­one has access and opportunity.

As a library vol­un­teer, I see first­hand the diver­si­ty of library users and uses — chil­dren and their fam­i­lies laugh­ing, learn­ing and con­nect­ing at sto­ry times; young peo­ple com­ing in after school to do their home­work and social­ize a bit in a safe place; peo­ple gath­er­ing and read­ing around the fire­place, secure and warm; com­mu­ni­ty meet­ings and forums; avid view­ers of the exten­sive DVD library; job appli­cants and oth­er peo­ple work­ing at the com­put­ers who are with­out in-home access to tech­nol­o­gy and infor­ma­tion deliv­ery advances; home bound whose fam­i­lies and neigh­bors pick up mate­ri­als put on hold for them — the list goes on.

The role played by the library in the vital­i­ty and sus­te­nance of our com­mu­ni­ty can­not be over­stat­ed. Please join me in vot­ing yes for our Library.

Dana Ander­son
Fri­day Harbor

Letter to the Editor: Endorsing Ron Krebs for Sheriff

Posted October 6, 2022 at 5:39 pm by

I whole­heart­ed­ly endorse the re-elec­tion of Ron Krebs for Sher­iff of San Juan Coun­ty and urge every­one to vote for him in the upcom­ing election.

I have known Ron since 2007. At that time, I was the secu­ri­ty man­ag­er for Roche Har­bor. I was in that posi­tion for 18 years until March of this year when I retired. I met Ron when he was first hired as a deputy and made the resort a reg­u­lar stop on his patrol rou­tine. With­in those times I got to know Ron very well, as he assist­ed me as a deputy with many dif­fer­ent law enforce­ment needs that arose at the resort. This includ­ed the suc­cess­ful stake­out and appre­hen­sion of the Sculp­ture Park thief in 2014.

Ron is very approach­able and very easy to talk to. I can call or text him any­time if I have any ques­tions or con­cerns about issues hap­pen­ing in the com­mu­ni­ty and he has made him­self avail­able 24/7. He has respond­ed to many late-night marine res­cue mis­sions in every sea­son and weath­er. This is very impor­tant to me and I feel safer know­ing he is always capa­ble and clear head­ed, and able to make deci­sions and respond at a moment’s’ notice. To me, this is ded­i­ca­tion and love of the job.

I have been on a few ride-alongs with Ron when he was a deputy. When­ev­er he pulled any­one over, he was nev­er rude and always treat­ed peo­ple with the utmost respect and gave most­ly warn­ings instead of tick­ets. He still has this respect­ful inter­ac­tion even after he became Sher­iff, always treat­ing oth­ers with dig­ni­ty and respect. He nev­er shows anger or uses inap­pro­pri­ate lan­guage and is always, always, will­ing to listen.

My wife, who recent­ly became an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen, is from the Philip­pines. Ron, along with many oth­er peo­ple, helped me with let­ters to immi­gra­tion on my behalf, to get her accept­ed to enter the USA. This was only pos­si­ble with the sup­port of so many peo­ple, includ­ing Ron.

He is, in my opin­ion, very com­mu­ni­ty ori­ent­ed and very car­ing about the peo­ple who live here in this awe­some place called home. It is my opin­ion that he is and will be for many years to come the best per­son for the job of Sher­iff of San Juan County.

Dan Aman
San Juan Island

Island Rec drop-in programs return

Posted October 6, 2022 at 3:26 pm by

Five low-cost evening recre­ation pro­grams offered by Island Rec — some for youth, some for age 16 and over — return to action this week. The pro­grams will run through the end of Decem­ber, tak­ing place either at the San Juan Coun­ty Fair­grounds or Turn­bull Gym at Fri­day Har­bor High School.

Pro­gram offer­ings for the fall include:

Pick­le­ball
Tues­days at San Juan Coun­ty Fairgrounds
Ages 16+
6:30–7:45 p.m. beginner/intermediate, $7 per person
7:45–9 p.m. intermediate/advanced, $7 per person

Bas­ket­ball
Tues­days at Turn­bull Gym
Ages 16+
7–8:30 p.m., $5 per person

Roller hock­ey
Wednes­days at San Juan Coun­ty Fairgrounds
6–7 p.m. ages 5–15, $7 per person
7–8:30 p.m. ages 16+, $8 per person

Ping pong and badminton
Wednes­days at Turn­bull Gym
Ages 16+
7–8:30 p.m., $5 per person

Skate night
Sat­ur­days at San Juan Coun­ty Fairgrounds
5:30–6:30 p.m. scoot­ers and trikes, $2 per rid­er or $5 per family
7–8:30 p.m. fam­i­ly open skate, $3 per skater or $8 per family

Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion is avail­able on the Island Rec web­site.

Notes from the Island — Oct. 6

Posted October 6, 2022 at 9:55 am by

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