New director hired at Island Rec

Posted December 29, 2022 at 5:49 pm by

Island Rec shares news about the newest addi­tion to their staff.

Island Rec’s Board of Com­mis­sion­ers is pleased to announce that Ker­ry Jack has been select­ed as the new Direc­tor for Island Rec. Ker­ry, who is a Cer­ti­fied Park & Recre­ation Pro­fes­sion­al, brings a wide range of expe­ri­ences in com­mer­cial and munic­i­pal recre­ation, includ­ing super­vi­sion of facil­i­ty rentals, spe­cial events, out­door recre­ation, and the cre­ation of class­es, pro­grams, and trips for all ages. She has worked in Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon, and Wash­ing­ton, most recent­ly for Pierce Coun­ty Parks.

Island Rec has been under the lead­er­ship of Mad­die Ovenell since 2015. Her last day with the dis­trict is Fri­day, Dec. 30, and she will be stay­ing here on San Juan Island with her family.

Reg­is­tra­tion for win­ter and spring pro­grams opens next Tues­day, Jan. 3.

Our 20 favorite photos from 2022 — #3

Posted December 29, 2022 at 12:07 pm by

From Nov. 1 — A qui­et autumn morn­ing at Dream Lake.

Library and Mullis Center hosting daytime New Year’s Eve event for island kids

Posted December 29, 2022 at 10:12 am by

San Juan Island Library invites fam­i­lies with tod­dlers, preschool­ers, and oth­er young kids who might not make it to mid­night to take part in Noon Year’s Eve. This day­time event starts at the Mullis Cen­ter — 589 Nash St. — at 11 a.m. on Sat­ur­day, Dec. 31 with themed crafts, activ­i­ties, and games. Atten­dees will ring in the new year at noon with a bal­loon drop and dance party.

The event is free and no advance reg­is­tra­tion is required.

Still waters on Westcott Bay

Posted December 28, 2022 at 9:56 pm by

2023 dog licenses on sale starting Jan. 3

Posted December 28, 2022 at 3:33 pm by

Cynthia Parkin, Jet, Ruffles, Raquel Lackey — Contributed photo

The Coun­ty sends along news about this year’s dog licens­ing program.

The San Juan Coun­ty Auditor’s office is ready for the 2023 dog licens­ing sea­son. Each year, the depart­ment has the plea­sure of rec­og­niz­ing a celebri­ty dog and issu­ing them the first dog tag. Com­pe­ti­tion in 2023 was steep and just one Celebri­ty Dog could not be crowned, so the hon­or goes to Jet and Ruf­fles, the Cri­sis Response Canines for San Juan Coun­ty. Jet and Ruf­fles encour­age all pet own­ers to license their dogs as soon as pos­si­ble in the new year.

Ruf­fles and her own­er Raquel Lack­ey sup­port first respon­ders and spend time with chil­dren learn­ing to read in an effort to pro­mote lit­er­a­cy. Jet and his own­er Cyn­thia Parkin joined the Fire Depart­ment in 2021 after cer­ti­fy­ing through Nation­al Cri­sis Response Canines. They remain grate­ful for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sup­port first respon­ders and any com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers affect­ed by cri­sis or trauma.

All dogs in San Juan Coun­ty are required to be licensed annu­al­ly. Dog licens­es are avail­able start­ing Tues­day, Jan. 3, and cur­rent fees are $15 for dogs that are spayed or neutered and $40 for oth­er canines. A late fee of $10 applies to licens­es pur­chased after March 31. Add a pho­to of your dog for an addi­tion­al $5 per year, which will dis­play when the dog’s license num­ber is looked up. This addi­tion­al mea­sure of secu­ri­ty adds price­less peace of mind if a dog is lost.

San Juan Coun­ty dog license fees fund the licens­ing pro­gram and an account that com­pen­sates res­i­dents for live­stock killed or injured by stray, dan­ger­ous dogs. The bal­ance of col­lect­ed fees is dis­trib­uted to the local Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­eties for impound services.

Dog licens­es are avail­able at a vari­ety of San Juan Coun­ty loca­tions. If you live on San Juan Island, get your tag at the San Juan Coun­ty Auditor’s office or the Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety. For added con­ve­nience, licens­es can also be pur­chased through the mail:

San Juan Coun­ty Auditor
Attn: Dog Licensing
PO Box 638
Fri­day Har­bor, WA 98250

Our 20 favorite photos from 2022 — #4

Posted December 28, 2022 at 12:24 pm by

From April 22 — Up and over the closed gate on the way to Fourth of July Beach.

Christmas Eve power outage occurred in the same location as two days prior, OPALCO says

Posted December 28, 2022 at 10:11 am by

OPALCO crew making repairs in the snow on Dec. 23 — Contributed photo

OPALCO shares details about the main­land pow­er deliv­ery issues that caused the all-coun­ty pow­er out­age on Christ­mas Eve.

At 8:30 a.m. on Sat­ur­day, Dec. 24, all of San Juan Coun­ty lost pow­er again – only a day after after expe­ri­enc­ing anoth­er coun­ty-wide out­age. An OPALCO engi­neer hap­pened to be dri­ving through Ana­cortes and saw a flash as equip­ment failed on the trans­mis­sion feed that serves San Juan Coun­ty. He stopped to doc­u­ment and report the dam­age to the equip­ment and was able to get a video of the equip­ment fail­ing from a neigh­bor. This was the same pow­er pole where equip­ment fail­ure caused the pre­vi­ous pow­er out­age on Dec. 22–23.

By 2:40 p.m., Puget Sound Ener­gy had com­plet­ed the repairs on the trans­mis­sion line. They replaced two jumpers and an insu­la­tor, in addi­tion to the jumper they replaced on Dec. 23. By 5:30 pm, every­one in San Juan Coun­ty had their pow­er ful­ly restored.

OPALCO has noticed mis­in­for­ma­tion being spread about the cause of the recent out­ages. Please get your infor­ma­tion direct­ly from OPALCO as oth­er sources can pro­vide mis­lead­ing or inac­cu­rate infor­ma­tion. OPALCO pro­vides reg­u­lar updates on its web­site, on the phone sys­tem at 360–376-3500, and on Face­book and Twit­ter. Mem­bers can even sign up for noti­fi­ca­tions on their loca­tion through SmartHub.

The cause of an out­age is dif­fi­cult to com­mu­ni­cate while the crews are in the field mak­ing repairs under extreme­ly chal­leng­ing con­di­tions. OPALCO is still inves­ti­gat­ing all the issues relat­ed to the out­ages that occurred last week. Because the equip­ment was on trans­mis­sion lines oper­at­ed by PSE, OPALCO will need to get the infor­ma­tion from them first. OPALCO main­tains strict pro­to­cols fol­low­ing an out­age to doc­u­ment and fol­low-up on any fur­ther main­te­nance need­ed on the system.

As the recent coun­ty-wide out­ages demon­strat­ed, OPAL­CO’s trans­mis­sion sys­tem is depen­dent on main­land facil­i­ties owned and oper­at­ed by PSE and Bon­neville Pow­er Admin­is­tra­tion. Work­ing with this sys­tem, OPALCO main­tained a reli­a­bil­i­ty rat­ing of 99.87% in 2021. When out­ages occur, OPALCO works close­ly with PSE and BPA to get the sys­tem back up and run­ning. How­ev­er, dur­ing a major storm event like we expe­ri­enced last week, PSE had hun­dreds of thou­sands of con­sumers out of pow­er and it took longer than expect­ed to get our lines repaired.

OPALCO would like to have a redun­dant trans­mis­sion line for emer­gency dis­rup­tions and have inves­ti­gat­ed a new over­head trans­mis­sion line through Ana­cortes, as well as a new sub­ma­rine cable to the main­land. Both projects would cost in the hun­dreds of mil­lions and require acqui­si­tion of ease­ments and land in devel­oped res­i­den­tial areas. As a small non-prof­it co-op, OPALCO is seek­ing grants for major projects such as these to pro­tect rate pay­er affordability.

OPALCO appre­ci­ates mem­bers’ patience dur­ing these dif­fi­cult times. OPALCO is incred­i­bly grate­ful to our tal­ent­ed line crew and their com­mit­ment to keep­ing our lights on. The team also appre­ci­at­ed all the emails and notes of grat­i­tude that came pour­ing in – even as peo­ple were still wait­ing for their pow­er to return.

Food Bank open regular hours this week

Posted December 27, 2022 at 7:32 pm by

Contributed photo

The Fri­day Har­bor Food Bank is back to its reg­u­lar hours this week — 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednes­day, noon to 2 p.m. on Thurs­day for online order pick-up, and New Year’s Eve Sat­ur­day from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Our 20 favorite photos from 2022 — #5

Posted December 27, 2022 at 11:34 am by

From Oct. 13 — Foot­steps at high tide at Eagle Cove.

OPALCO shares details about Dec. 22 power outage

Posted December 27, 2022 at 9:13 am by

OPALCO sends along news about the cause of the first of two coun­ty-wide out­ages from last week.

Just before 5 p.m. on Thurs­day, Dec. 22, as tem­per­a­tures dipped into the low 20s, a main­land elec­tri­cal feed­er serv­ing San Juan Coun­ty lost pow­er. Short­ly after the pow­er went out, the Bon­neville Pow­er Admin­is­tra­tion team helped iden­ti­fy the cause of the out­age, which was faulty equip­ment on Puget Sound Energy’s trans­mis­sion sys­tem. OPALCO crews were called out and remained on stand­by for when the the main­land repairs were complete.

The OPALCO team wait­ed 8 hours for PSE crews to respond and com­plete the work on the main­land feed. Through­out the evening and into the wee hours of the morn­ing OPALCO was in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with BPA and PSE to coor­di­nate the out­age work.

At 2:10 a.m., the main­land pow­er to the islands was re-ener­gized and OPALCO began to bring the pow­er to the island back up. They did this in phas­es to help pro­tect the sys­tem. When the pow­er goes out dur­ing such extreme tem­per­a­tures, the grid must be man­aged care­ful­ly because pick­ing up such a heavy load too quick­ly will over­load the system.

Because the main­land out­age last­ed so long and the out­side tem­per­a­tures remained so low, parts of the OPALCO sys­tem were over­loaded, result­ing in small­er neigh­bor­hood out­ages. About 1,200 meters remained with­out pow­er through the night as OPALCO crews worked to repair and restore the local­ized sys­tem out­ages. By Fri­day after­noon, most OPALCO mem­bers had their pow­er restored.

Rainy tabletop outside Sweet Retreat

Posted December 26, 2022 at 8:53 pm by

Town continues to hunt water leaks, seeks help from residents

Posted December 26, 2022 at 6:46 pm by

The Town of Fri­day Har­bor sends along a request for help with its con­tin­u­ing fight against water leaks.

The Town is con­tin­u­ing to lose ground with our water sup­ply. We are ask­ing those on Town water to please check for water leaks. At this point leaks most like­ly will be some­where in your home or busi­ness rather than under­ground. Sig­nif­i­cant dam­age has already occurred to at least one home. Please check on your neigh­bors, par­tic­u­lar­ly if their home or busi­ness is unoc­cu­pied at this time.

If you find a leak:

  1. Imme­di­ate­ly shut off water to the struc­ture at the main valve.
  2. If you can­not find the main valve, call the Sheriff’s non-emer­gency line at 360–378-4151 and the Town’s water depart­ment staff will be dis­patched to turn off the water at your meter. Do not tam­per with the water meter your­self. Meters may only be turned off by Town staff.
  3. Call a plumber to assess your situation.

In an effort to con­serve our water sup­ply, we will cease bulk sales to con­trac­tors start­ing tomor­row, Dec. 27, until fur­ther notice. Thank you for your assis­tance. We’re all in this together.

County launches text-to-911 for emergency response

Posted December 26, 2022 at 4:40 pm by

The Coun­ty shares news about the newest addi­tion to its emer­gency response capabilities.

San Juan Coun­ty is pleased to announce that cell phone users in the coun­ty can now send text mes­sages to 911 in an emer­gency. This new fea­ture increas­es acces­si­bil­i­ty to emer­gency ser­vices and helps San Juan County’s emer­gency response teams quick­ly and effec­tive­ly assist res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike. San Juan Coun­ty is the 32nd coun­ty in Wash­ing­ton to imple­ment the new feature.

“With the chal­leng­ing geog­ra­phy of our coun­ty, text-to-911 will give more acces­si­bil­i­ty to those who have min­i­mal cell phone cov­er­age,” says Sher­iff Ron Krebs. “Nation­wide text-to-911 is being used by the hear­ing impaired, as well as those whose safe­ty is in dan­ger of mak­ing a 911 phone call. This is anoth­er piece that allows us to con­tin­ue to serve our com­mu­ni­ties better.”

Learn more about the details for the text-to-911 pro­gram.

Our 20 favorite photos from 2022 — #6

Posted December 26, 2022 at 11:51 am by

From Aug. 19 — High above the San Juan Coun­ty Fair.

Eureka and Stanford are the Animal Protection Society’s pets of the week

Posted December 26, 2022 at 9:36 am by

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares a look at the adopt­able ani­mals of the week — Eure­ka and Stan­ford, two year-and-a-half-old domes­tic shorthairs.

Hiya guys, the names are Eure­ka and Stan­ford. We’re broth­ers — lit­ter-mates actu­al­ly. We’ve been togeth­er since birth, came to the shel­ter togeth­er, and togeth­er is how we plan on leav­ing here.

The humans around us haven’t always been con­sis­tent, but we have been the con­stant for one anoth­er. We made a bond ear­ly on as broth­ers — one to stick togeth­er always, and we don’t plan on break­ing it. We are both smart, capa­ble, guys who can take care of our­selves, but we’d rather take care of each oth­er than be alone. We each feel more com­fort­able with the oth­er around. We feel more con­fi­dent in our­selves with our broth­er by our side. We feel more capa­ble, hap­py, and con­tent know­ing we have each oth­er. So, it is togeth­er we hope to stay! Luck­i­ly, it seems like the peo­ple here at the shel­ter who are help­ing us get adopt­ed under­stand that. They see our broth­er­ly love and they respect it. Although we don’t exact­ly speak their lan­guage, we can tell by the way they say that we are “a bond­ed pair,” that they get our vibe and know what we’re look­ing for.

Now with their help, we’ll hope­ful­ly find a per­son look­ing for a two-some like us to become part of their fam­i­ly. In addi­tion to us look­ing out for one anoth­er, we are look­ing for­ward to the chance to warm up to our peo­ple — to be able to receive pets from them and show them our affec­tion­ate sides. We’d love to join a fam­i­ly that lets us keep our indoor/outdoor bal­ance, to be able to explore out­side — maybe even has some prop­er­ty where we can safe­ly play and hunt, with a warm home to crawl back into for the evenings cud­dling up with our favorite broth­er and our for­ev­er family.

Con­tact APS to learn more about Eure­ka and Stan­ford.