Searching for the landing

Posted September 30, 2022 at 9:30 pm by

Letter to the Editor: Vote yes on SJI Library District Proposition 1

Posted September 30, 2022 at 7:36 pm by

Some islanders won­der about build­ing a new library while the island has an afford­able hous­ing issue, but afford­able hous­ing and an expand­ed library serve the same island fam­i­lies in dif­fer­ent ways. Low- to mid­dle-income fam­i­lies need after school youth pro­grams in safe spaces; books, movies, and audio to check out instead of pur­chase; and free access to tech­nol­o­gy and tech­nol­o­gy instruc­tion. What seems like stan­dard tech­nol­o­gy to own nowa­days is out of reach for many who can­not afford home com­put­ers or inter­net ser­vice, includ­ing seniors liv­ing on lim­it­ed incomes. The Library pro­vides these. The Library also loans out adap­tive equip­ment for those with mobil­i­ty, vision, and hear­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, Dis­cov­er Pass­es to state parks, bird­watch­ing kits with binoc­u­lars, a tele­scope, and glass­es for col­or­blind­ness — items whose costs would be too pro­hib­i­tive for many.

But the Library is out of space and thus lim­it­ed in what it can offer. Our pop­u­la­tion has grown 50 per­cent since 1995, but the Library has not. It is not pos­si­ble to expand either upwards or out­wards, and cur­rent park­ing is dan­ger­ous and insuf­fi­cient to meet demand. The building’s infra­struc­ture is out of date and lim­its ser­vices. Pro­gram space is too small to accom­mo­date all who come to pro­grams, forc­ing library pro­grams off­site. The Library is a noisy place with­out pro­tect­ed qui­et retreats, and the teen and children’s areas are far too cramped. There are no study rooms for online inter­views, small col­lab­o­ra­tive groups, or qui­et study space.

Please vote yes on SJI Library Dis­trict Propo­si­tion 1.

Lau­rie Orton
San Juan Island

County shares its vision for road levy projects

Posted September 30, 2022 at 10:58 am by

San Juan Coun­ty sends along its plans for the rough­ly $4 mil­lion in addi­tion­al fund­ing that would be gen­er­at­ed by the road levy increase propo­si­tion on this Novem­ber’s ballot.

The upcom­ing Novem­ber elec­tion includes Res­o­lu­tion 20–2022 – a propo­si­tion to increase the road levy. It is a one-time, per­ma­nent levy lid lift for the coun­ty road fund. If approved, the Coun­ty levy would increase from $0.56 to $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The Coun­ty is respon­si­ble for over 270 miles of pub­lic roads, thou­sands of cul­verts, numer­ous marine facil­i­ties, bridges, trails, and oth­er trans­porta­tion-relat­ed facil­i­ties locat­ed on sev­en dif­fer­ent islands.

San Juan Coun­ty’s road levy is the low­est in the state. Our road levy is cur­rent­ly 7.24 per­cent of the total prop­er­ty tax. The levy is expect­ed to gen­er­ate an addi­tion­al $4 mil­lion in rev­enues for the road fund every year which will sup­port repairs and replace­ments of fail­ing cul­verts, updates to marine facil­i­ties, and widen­ing of shoul­ders for mul­ti-modal trans­porta­tion. Con­tin­ue Reading

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

Posted September 30, 2022 at 9:51 am by

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares a look at the adopt­able ani­mal of the week — Riv­er, a six-month-old domes­tic Pug-Chi­huahua-Shih Tzu mix.

Pan­de­mo­ni­um / (noun): a wild uproar (as because of anger or excite­ment in a crowd of people).

Pup­py pan­de­mo­ni­um / (noun): when the pan­de­mo­ni­um (of the excite­ment vari­ety, obvi­ous­ly) erupts in response to the cute­ness over­load that pup­pies bring.

Hi! My name is Riv­er, and I’m one of the eight pup­pies who arrived here at the shel­ter ear­li­er this month — but based on the excite­ment we’ve stirred up in this island com­mu­ni­ty, I have a feel­ing you may already know that. You may be so wrapped up in pup­py pan­de­mo­ni­um that you’re unable to see all the indi­vid­ual ways in which each one of us lit­tle pups shine. Don’t wor­ry though, there are no judg­ments from me and my shel­ter friends; we know all too well the effect baby ani­mals (espe­cial­ly pup­pies) have on peo­ple — us included.

So, before cute­ness over­load takes hold of your brain com­plete­ly, I want­ed to share some fun facts about the one and only me, River:

  1. I’m a Par­vo+ survivor
  2. I have an under­bite which I’m told is very adorable
  3. Out of all eight of us, I’m the biggest
  4. Although this pho­to doesn’t show it, I have a lit­tle white mohawk which is my favorite hair­style right now

One final note: although I’m a very hap­py pup­py, I will only be friends with some­one who notices that some­times I get a lit­tle scared and who will respect my bound­aries. Don’t wor­ry though, I warm up to new, under­stand­ing, friends quickly.

Learn more about Riv­er here.

Possibly the most colorful spot on the island

Posted September 29, 2022 at 10:02 pm by

County seeks senior services volunteers

Posted September 29, 2022 at 7:04 pm by

San Juan County’s Health & Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices depart­ment needs your help sup­port­ing island seniors.

HCS is call­ing for vol­un­teers to sup­port senior ser­vices on San Juan Island.

HCS Senior Ser­vices pro­vides and sup­ports pro­grams and ser­vices that assist seniors in remain­ing inde­pen­dent and in their own homes for as long as pos­si­ble. Senior Ser­vices is also a resource for those who pro­vide care to par­ents, old­er fam­i­ly mem­bers, or neigh­bors. Avail­able ser­vices include Meals on Wheels — with both home-deliv­ered meals for eli­gi­ble seniors and on-site com­mu­ni­ty meals at the local senior cen­ter — as well as indi­vid­ual case coor­di­na­tion, fam­i­ly care­giv­er sup­port, and trans­porta­tion assistance.

The Meals on Wheels pro­gram and trans­porta­tion ser­vices rely on vol­un­teer assis­tance. If you are inter­est­ed in con­tribut­ing to your com­mu­ni­ty by becom­ing a Meals on Wheels dri­ver, help­ing in the kitchen, or pro­vid­ing trans­porta­tion to off-island med­ical appoint­ments, con­tact Deb­bie Haa­gensen at or 360–370-7526.

Letter to the Editor: Support the Library bond

Posted September 29, 2022 at 12:33 pm by

I am writ­ing to urge you to join me in vot­ing yes for the Library bond this November.

There are lots of rea­sons why we need a new build­ing — safer park­ing, space for pro­grams, more space for books and oth­er mate­ri­als, and to save mon­ey on build­ing upkeep, which takes a larg­er bite out of the Library’s oper­at­ing bud­get every year as the cur­rent build­ing ages.

I am espe­cial­ly excit­ed to see a new build­ing that will make the Library more of a com­mu­ni­ty space. We need space for all kinds of gath­er­ings — casu­al meet­ings where islanders run into neigh­bors and sit down to chat, small meet­ing rooms where a few peo­ple can sit down to have a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion or make an online pre­sen­ta­tion, and for­mal meet­ing space in a room right-sized for our community.

Please vote yes.

Beth Hel­stien
Fri­day Harbor

Notes from the Island — Sept. 29

Posted September 29, 2022 at 9:00 am by

  • The San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre’s pro­duc­tion of Mau­ri­tius opens at 7:30 p.m. tomor­row. It runs through Sun­day, Oct. 16.
  • Deer Hazel (165 Spring St.) cel­e­brates its sev­enth anniver­sary today from 3–8 p.m. They’re hav­ing sales through­out the store, a prize give­away draw­ing, and food from Natalia Swan Catering.
  • League of Women Vot­ers of the San Juans are host­ing a vot­er forum about the San Juan Coun­ty Sher­iff elec­tion on Thurs­day, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Grange. The event is both in-per­son and vir­tu­al. Reg­is­tra­tion is required for vir­tu­al atten­dees.
  • The Coun­ty Health & Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices Depart­men­t’s free flu vac­cine clin­ic for chil­dren age six months to 18 years hap­pens on Tues­day, Oct. 25 from 2–5:30 p.m. in the Com­mons at Fri­day Har­bor Mid­dle School — 85 Blair Ave.
  • Recov­ery efforts are under­way for the float­plane that crashed off Whid­bey Island on Sept. 4 after leav­ing Fri­day Harbor.
  • 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 Fri­day Har­bor Real­ty.

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

Real-time sculpture creation happening at SJIMA

Posted September 28, 2022 at 7:50 pm by

Contributed photo

The San Juan Islands Muse­um of Art shares news about an unusu­al upcom­ing exhibition.

It is not often we get to wit­ness the artist at work — but in the com­ing days, Kevin Chris­ti­son will be fin­ish­ing his art piece in the glass Atri­um Gallery before our eyes.

You can walk into his SJIMA stu­dio at 540 Spring St., Fri­day through Mon­day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or view him in action through the windows.

Enjoy watch­ing the cre­ative process and the sculp­ture grow. The work is part of The New For­bid­den exhi­bi­tion at SJIMA. Chris­ti­son unique­ly uses an array of upcy­cled waste mate­ri­als — PET plas­tics, glass, alu­minum, paper, and nat­ur­al fiber. We do not know when Kevin will be fin­ished, but esti­mate about Oct. 10

Exhi­bi­tion spon­sors include the Hon­ey­well Char­i­ta­ble Fund, Nation­al Endow­ment for the Arts, ArtsWA, Town of Fri­day Har­bor, San Juan Coun­ty, Print­onyx, Browne’s Home Cen­ter, Har­bor Rentals and Friends of Kevin.

COVID booster clinics to take place Oct. 17 & 18

Posted September 28, 2022 at 1:00 pm by

The Coun­ty sends along an update about the return of COVID boost­er clin­ics on San Juan Island.

San Juan Coun­ty Health and Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices is bring­ing back Bird’s Eye Med­ical in Octo­ber to pro­vide biva­lent COVID-19 boost­er vac­ci­na­tions on San Juan Island.

HCS will be on San Juan Island on Mon­day, Oct. 17 and Tues­day, Oct. 18. Biva­lent boost­er vac­cines will be avail­able to any­one 12 and old­er. Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er biva­lent boost­ers will be pro­vid­ed, how­ev­er Pfiz­er dos­es will be pri­or­i­tized for chil­dren 12 to 18 because this is the only vac­cine avail­able to that age group.

While these clin­ics are focused on pro­vid­ing biva­lent boost­ers, islanders 18 and old­er will still be able to receive pri­ma­ry dos­es of Mod­er­na at these clin­ics if they have not com­plet­ed their ini­tial vac­cine series.

Appoint­ment slots will be released online on Mon­day, Oct. 3 by 9 a.m. If you need the biva­lent boost­er soon­er than our Octo­ber clin­ics, or if you are not able to attend our clin­ic offer­ings, go to the Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Health’s Vac­cine Loca­tor tool to explore oth­er provider avail­abil­i­ty. We are also plan­ning to hold addi­tion­al clin­ics dur­ing Novem­ber and Decem­ber depend­ing on demand.

For more infor­ma­tion about the biva­lent boost­er, check out our most recent Hot Top­ic pub­li­ca­tion.

Soroptimists accepting applications for Live Your Dream Award

Posted September 28, 2022 at 8:57 am by

The Sorop­ti­mists share news about one of their edu­ca­tion­al programs.

Sorop­ti­mist Inter­na­tion­al of Fri­day Har­bor is now accept­ing appli­ca­tions for the Live Your Dream Award. This award helps women in over­com­ing per­son­al dif­fi­cul­ties and bet­ter­ing their lives through edu­ca­tion and training.

The recip­i­ent may use the cash award for tuition, books, child­care, trans­porta­tion, or any oth­er costs asso­ci­at­ed with her edu­ca­tion­al expens­es. To be eli­gi­ble, a woman must be enrolled in an under­grad­u­ate degree or voca­tion­al skills train­ing pro­gram, be the pri­ma­ry wage earn­er in her house­hold for her­self and her depen­dents, and demon­strate finan­cial need.

SIFH has made up to $4,000 avail­able for this award, and the recip­i­ent of it will become eli­gi­ble for addi­tion­al cash awards at oth­er lev­els of the Sorop­ti­mist orga­ni­za­tion. Appli­ca­tions must be received by Tues­day, Nov. 15.

For infor­ma­tion on how to apply, or to view infor­ma­tion on oth­er avail­able awards, vis­it the SIFH web­site.

Sorop­ti­mist mem­bers, their imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­bers, and past Sorop­ti­mist award win­ners are not eli­gi­ble for this award.

Tomato season

Posted September 27, 2022 at 7:16 pm by

Fire danger level downgraded, burn permits available Oct. 10

Posted September 27, 2022 at 2:44 pm by

The San Juan Coun­ty Fire Mar­shal shares news about two impor­tant fire-relat­ed pol­i­cy changes.

Effec­tive today, San Juan Coun­ty’s fire dan­ger lev­el has been down­grad­ed to mod­er­ate. This change is due to cool­ing tem­per­a­tures at night, a high dew point, and high­er rel­a­tive humidity.

Recre­ation­al camp­fires remain open at this time and include attend­ed fires con­sist­ing of clean, dry fire­wood in an approved fire pit up to three feet in diam­e­ter sur­round­ed by at least three feet diam­e­ter of bare soil, grav­el, or oth­er non-flam­ma­ble material.

Res­i­den­tial burn per­mits will become avail­able for pur­chase on Mon­day, Oct. 10 at 8 a.m. They are $20 and remain valid from the time of pur­chase until May 31, 2023. Com­mer­cial burn per­mits are $300, require heavy equip­ment, on-site water, and a field inspec­tion pri­or to burning.

Per­mits can be obtained online or by mail.

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

Friday Harbor Film Festival seeks volunteers

Posted September 27, 2022 at 11:58 am by

FHFF is look­ing for help putting on this year’s fes­ti­val, which returns to the­atres for the first time in three years.

You can be an inte­gral part of this year’s in-the­atre Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val. With­out the com­mit­ted help of many film-lov­ing vol­un­teers there would be no fes­ti­val. Your time and ener­gy make all the difference.

Vol­un­teer time com­mit­ments vary from a few hours to a few days dur­ing Octo­ber. Help is need­ed work­ing in the FHFF Office, at the Gala, and at all film venues. To view all the pos­si­bil­i­ties, dates, and times need­ed, vis­it the FHFF web­site.

The Fes­ti­val pro­vides train­ing and sup­port. In return for vol­un­teer hours, peo­ple earn film tick­ets for both the in-the­atre and on-demand fes­ti­vals. In addi­tion, vol­un­teers receive a free FHFF 10th anniver­sary t‑shirt and hat. Fol­low­ing the fes­ti­val, all will be invit­ed to a thank you par­ty, the Vol­un­teer Appre­ci­a­tion Bash.

Notes from the Island — Sept. 27

Posted September 27, 2022 at 8:45 am by

  • Fri­day Har­bor High School boys soc­cer takes on Mount Ver­non Chris­t­ian High School at 4:30 p.m. today at Linde Com­mu­ni­ty Fields. Vol­ley­ball plays Mount Ver­non Chris­t­ian on the road at 3:30 p.m.
  • Alche­my Art Cen­ter’s Octo­ber class­es still have some spaces left.
  • San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust is host­ing two vol­un­teer par­ties focused on seed­ing plants that will sup­port the Island Mar­ble But­ter­fly. Both events hap­pen on Mon­day, Oct. 17 — one at 10 a.m., the oth­er at 1:30 p.m. — start­ing at Red Mill Farm, 290 Val­ley Farms Rd. SJPT is look­ing for as many vol­un­teers as they can get. Snacks and hot bev­er­ages will be provided.
  • San Juan Island Library hosts The Secret Life of Slugs with con­ser­va­tion biol­o­gist and author Ter­ry Domi­co over Zoom tomor­row at 7 p.m. Email to register.
  • A vin­tage cloth­ing pop-up with Wild Sequoia Vin­tage is hap­pen­ing this Fri­day and Sat­ur­day from noon to 5 p.m. at Salty at Heart Island Apothe­cary, 310 Spring St.
  • Thanks to our adver­tis­ers for their con­tin­ued sup­port of the San Juan Update — includ­ing the San Juan Islands Muse­um of Art.

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