Look down

Posted September 13, 2022 at 10:08 pm by

Lainey Volk of San Juan Island EMS to receive national award for community service

Posted September 13, 2022 at 5:44 pm by

Contributed photo

San Juan Island EMS shares news about an impor­tant award that Lainey Volk will receive next month.

Lainey Volk has been nom­i­nat­ed and cho­sen for the 2022 EMS World/Dynarex EMS Car­ing Award, giv­en to EMS pro­fes­sion­als who show out­stand­ing ded­i­ca­tion to their com­mu­ni­ty. This award is nation­al­ly rec­og­nized at the EMS World con­ven­tion, which takes place this year on Oct. 10 in Orlan­do, Florida.

Volk has served the San Juan Island Com­mu­ni­ty as a mem­ber of San Juan Island EMS for more than 30 years. She is cur­rent­ly the Direc­tor of Out­reach and Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine. Many mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty may rec­og­nize her from the CPR, First Aid, and Basic Life Sup­port cours­es she teach­es to the pub­lic at reduced rates through San Juan Island EMS. Her ded­i­ca­tion to health­care edu­ca­tion plays a large role in the rea­son why San Juan Coun­ty has one of the high­est save rates from car­diac arrest in the nation.

In addi­tion to the edu­ca­tion­al cours­es Volk offers the pub­lic, she also directs the Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine sec­tion of San Juan Island EMS, which works with vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to pro­vide care coor­di­na­tion, injury pre­ven­tion, and fol­low-up vis­its. Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine pro­vides grab bars, safe­ty poles, med­ica­tion dis­pensers, walk­ers, and car seats to mem­bers of the public.

T.J. Bish­op, Assis­tant Chief of Oper­a­tions and Train­ing, nom­i­nat­ed Volk for the EMS Car­ing Award. Bish­op not­ed that, “She has trained thou­sands of health care pro­fes­sion­als and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, [and] indi­rect­ly con­tributed to sav­ing count­less lives in the San Juan Islands due to her love of com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice and ser­vant leadership.”

Volk, along with two oth­er mem­bers of San Juan Island EMS, will be trav­el­ing to the EMS World Expo in Octo­ber. Volk will receive her award in per­son, with all trav­el expens­es paid for by EMS World.

Volunteer training to be offered by Hospice of San Juan

Posted September 13, 2022 at 1:33 pm by

Hos­pice of San Juan sends along news about their fall vol­un­teer train­ing class.

If you have been look­ing for a way to give back to this com­mu­ni­ty, and want to be part of a lov­ing and car­ing team, you can learn to be a Hos­pice of San Juan vol­un­teer at HSJ’s fall train­ing event. The train­ing takes place on Sat­ur­day, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the San Juan Island Grange — 152 First St N.

Thanks to the San Juan Island Com­mu­ni­ty Foundation’s Coun­ty Fair Giv­ing Cam­paign and incred­i­ble gen­eros­i­ty from the com­mu­ni­ty, HSJ is able to ful­ly fund vol­un­teer train­ing, so entrance is free and lunch is included.

Expert instruc­tors will dis­cuss the nuts and bolts of hos­pice care, talk about how to safe­ly care for oth­ers and our­selves, reveal the ingre­di­ents need­ed for good home vis­its, and mod­el how to be present for a dying per­son. Addi­tion­al­ly, the co-exis­tence of Hos­pice of the North­west and Hos­pice of San Juan will be explained.

Space is lim­it­ed, so reg­is­ter by Mon­day, Oct. 10. For more details or to reg­is­ter, vis­it the HSJ web­site or email info@hospiceofsanjuan.org.

Friday Harbor Film Festival passes and film guide now available

Posted September 13, 2022 at 12:08 pm by

Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val shares news about this year’s event, hap­pen­ing both in the­atres and online.

It’s time to make your plans for the Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val, tak­ing place Oct. 21–30. Pass­es are now avail­able on the Film Fes­ti­val web­site for both the in-the­atre and on-demand fes­ti­vals. The full film guide is also online, pro­vid­ing details of all the fea­ture doc­u­men­taries and short films to be shown.

Join film lovers for three days of in-the­atre doc­u­men­taries, film­mak­er Q&As, an open­ing night gala hon­or­ing film­mak­ers, the Film­mak­ers Forum, and spe­cial awards — and vote for your favorites to win Audi­ence Choice awards.

You can par­tic­i­pate in the fes­ti­val even if you can’t make it in per­son. Watch most of the fea­tures, shorts, and stu­dent films, as well as record­ed Q&As and Film­mak­ers Forum, on-demand from Oct. 24–30.

The 2022 Fri­day Har­bor Film Festival’s 60-page pro­gram is also avail­able for free at the Film Fes­ti­val office at 10 First St.

Notes from the Island — Sept. 13

Posted September 13, 2022 at 9:00 am by

  • The Nation­al Trans­porta­tion Safe­ty Board announced yes­ter­day that the wreck­age of the de Hav­il­land DHC‑3 Otter float­plane that crashed on Sept. 6 on its way to Ren­ton from Fri­day Har­bor has been locat­ed in Mutiny Bay off Whid­bey Island.
  • Fri­day Har­bor High School’s com­mu­ni­ty projects class is brain­storm­ing ideas about com­mu­ni­ty prob­lems that its stu­dents can help solve this semes­ter. They’re ask­ing for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions to sug­gest poten­tial projects.
  • It’s game night at the Grange, from 7–10 p.m. Bring your own games, or play the games brought by oth­ers. Free drinks and pop­corn are being pro­vid­ed by The Toy Box. All are wel­come, but the orga­niz­ers ask that all minors come with an adult.
  • The San Juan Coun­ty Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Stew­ard­ship proud­ly announced that 560 pounds of com­post were gen­er­at­ed as a result of col­lec­tion efforts at the Coun­ty Fair, instead of end­ing up in a land­fill. The peo­ple respon­si­ble for those efforts include the San Juan Island Youth Con­ser­va­tion Corps, Tran­si­tion San Juan Island’s Waste Reduc­tion Team, and staff from Laut­en­bach Recycling.
  • The Sakya Kachod Chol­ing Bud­dhist retreat cen­ter is for sale for $1.85 mil­lion.
  • The Library’s Nature’s Mys­ter­ies series con­tin­ues on Zoom at 7 p.m. tomor­row. The top­ic this time around is Cli­mate and Cli­mate Change from A‑Z. Pre­sent­ed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with San Juan Island Nation­al His­tor­i­cal Park, the event will exam­ine cli­mate, weath­er, and their short- and long-term effects on the envi­ron­ment and ecosys­tems of the park. Email sbenson@sjlib.org to register.
  • Thanks to our adver­tis­ers for their con­tin­ued sup­port of the San Juan Update — includ­ing OPALCO.

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

Sign of the times

Posted September 12, 2022 at 8:19 pm by

Peace Island Medical Center reduces visitor restrictions

Posted September 12, 2022 at 1:14 pm by

Peace­Health sends along news about its revised vis­i­ta­tion policies.

Peace­Health is pleased to announce that effec­tive imme­di­ate­ly vis­i­tors are again allowed — one per patient and one at a time — at Peace Island Med­ical Center.

Vis­i­tors are still required to wear a mask in health­care set­tings, per the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion and state health depart­ment guidelines.

The eas­ing of restric­tions comes as COVID-19 trans­mis­sion rates in San Juan Coun­ty con­tin­ue to fall. In align­ment with oth­er Wash­ing­ton state health­care orga­ni­za­tions, Peace­Health is using the CDC’s trans­mis­sion map to guide us on next steps in COVID-19 response in our com­mu­ni­ties. The deci­sion was made after San Juan Coun­ty had main­tained a low­er trans­mis­sion risk lev­el for more than sev­en days, there­by meet­ing PeaceHealth’s cri­te­ria for eas­ing restrictions.

In addi­tion to vis­i­tors, vol­un­teers will again be allowed inside Peace­Health Peace Island with no restrictions.

Although we’re pleased to be able to ease these poli­cies, we remain cau­tious and are pre­pared to tight­en up pro­to­cols should trends again reverse.

WSU Extension offers farm planning course

Posted September 12, 2022 at 11:04 am by

Wash­ing­ton State Uni­ver­si­ty San Juan Coun­ty Exten­sion shares news about an upcom­ing course for future farmers.

If you are inter­est­ed in farm­ing, not sure how to begin, or dream of begin­ning or expand­ing your own small farm, the Cul­ti­vat­ing Suc­cess series of cours­es com­bines work­shop and farmer-direct learn­ing expe­ri­ences to help fos­ter the suc­cess of new and exist­ing farms. Cul­ti­vat­ing Suc­cess helps par­tic­i­pants explore the unique advan­tages avail­able to the small and mid-size farm.

The first course in the series, Whole Farm Plan­ning, will be held on Mon­days from 6–8:30 p.m. from Sept. 19 through Dec. 5. Offered statewide, the course will be con­duct­ed online using the Zoom plat­form with in-per­son field trips avail­able in some regions of the state. The course will also be offered with Span­ish lan­guage inter­pre­ta­tion and facilitation.

Week­ly pre­sen­ta­tions include local grow­ers, orga­ni­za­tions, and agri­cul­ture pro­fes­sion­als with exper­tise in direct mar­ket­ing, val­ue-added pro­cess­ing, pro­duc­tion plan­ning, agron­o­my, and live­stock pro­duc­tion. Cul­ti­vat­ing Suc­cess pro­vides stu­dents with the tools nec­es­sary to cre­ate, devel­op, or expand a sus­tain­able farm operation.

The twelve-week course Costs $200 per farm or fam­i­ly. Schol­ar­ships are avail­able for mil­i­tary vet­er­ans and any­one for whom the course fee is a bar­ri­er. Vis­it the Cul­ti­vat­ing Suc­cess web­site to reg­is­ter.

For more infor­ma­tion on the course, con­tact Kate Smith at 360–395-2363 or kate.smith@wsu.edu.

County Council agenda for Sept. 13

Posted September 12, 2022 at 8:42 am by

The San Juan Coun­ty Coun­cil will hold a reg­u­lar meet­ing on Tues­day, Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. The meet­ing includes a pub­lic hear­ing accept­ing tes­ti­mo­ny about emer­gency and sup­ple­men­tal appro­pri­a­tions to the 2022 Coun­ty bud­get. Items up for dis­cus­sion or action include:

The meet­ing also includes a closed ses­sion to dis­cuss mat­ters per­tain­ing to col­lec­tive bargaining.

You can view the live stream of the meet­ing online or attend in per­son at the Coun­cil Leg­isla­tive Hear­ing Room. To make a pub­lic com­ment, sign up pri­or to 9 a.m. on Sept. 13.

Notes from the Island — Sept. 12

Posted September 12, 2022 at 6:30 am by

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

County Council to consider proposal for high-density, permanently affordable housing project in Friday Harbor

Posted September 11, 2022 at 8:06 am by

A portion of the undeveloped 1.75 acre lot at the corner of Argyle Ave. and Malcom St.

The San Juan Coun­ty Coun­cil is set to review a pro­pos­al that calls for the devel­op­ment of up to 42 units of low- and mod­er­ate-income rental hous­ing in down­town Fri­day Harbor.

A draft of a Request for Qual­i­fi­ca­tions relat­ed to a 1.75-acre par­cel of Coun­ty-owned land at the cor­ner of Argyle Ave. and Mal­com St. has been pre­pared by the Coun­ty Depart­ment of Health & Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices for the Council’s review at Tuesday’s Coun­cil meeting.

“San Juan Coun­ty seeks an expe­ri­enced devel­op­er to part­ner with and enter into a long term, low- to no-cost lease agree­ment for a 1.75-acre par­cel,” accord­ing to the RFQ. “The site presents a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for a large-scale afford­able hous­ing devel­op­ment serv­ing a vari­ety of income lev­els, pri­mar­i­ly house­holds that earn at or below 80 per­cent of area medi­an income.”

The Fri­day Har­bor Town Coun­cil has agreed to allow den­si­ty of up to 24 units per acre on the prop­er­ty, which means that up to 42 hous­ing units are pos­si­ble if the site is devel­oped to max­i­mum capac­i­ty. The draft RFQ calls for up to 50 per­cent of the new units to be afford­able for mod­er­ate-income house­holds earn­ing between 80 and 115 per­cent of AMI. The oth­er 50 per­cent of the units must be dis­trib­uted between low income (80 per­cent AMI or less), very low income (50 per­cent AMI or less), and extreme­ly low income (30 per­cent AMI or less) levels.

80 per­cent AMI for a fam­i­ly of four in San Juan Coun­ty is rough­ly $70,000 per year.

“The Coun­ty is pre­pared to make sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial con­tri­bu­tions to the project to off­set infra­struc­ture costs,” the draft RFQ says. It also com­mits the Coun­ty to pro­vid­ing frontage improve­ments on the site, includ­ing side­walks, street trees, land­scap­ing, curbs, gut­ters, and street lamps.

In addi­tion, the draft RFQ details design require­ments and pre­ferred approach­es to ener­gy effi­cien­cy. The Coun­ty seeks a devel­op­ment that “main­tains the char­ac­ter and design of the his­toric Argyle neigh­bor­hood in Fri­day Har­bor while max­i­miz­ing allow­able den­si­ty for long-term afford­able hous­ing rental units … As fea­si­ble, [the devel­op­er should] pro­vide solar arrays and ener­gy-effi­cient build­ings, appli­ances, and low-flow or water-effi­cient plumb­ing fix­tures. This will not only help con­serve our water resources; it will low­er util­i­ty costs, which will help main­tain long-term affordability.”

Should the Coun­ty move for­ward with the project, the draft RFQ out­lines a three-step devel­op­er selec­tion process. Coun­ty staff would first eval­u­ate sub­mis­sions and their adher­ence to the stat­ed project goals, pri­or­i­ties, and strate­gies. The Hous­ing Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee would review the staff reports and present their rec­om­men­da­tions to the Coun­cil. The Coun­cil then has the option to accept or reject the HAC’s rec­om­men­da­tions, or make mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the scope and terms of the project.

Smoke on the water

Posted September 10, 2022 at 8:34 pm by

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

Posted September 10, 2022 at 5:55 pm by

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares a look at the adopt­able ani­mal of the week — Zel­da, a five-year-old domes­tic short­hair tabby.

Hi, I’m Zel­da! Although you may have already heard the sto­ry of how I end­ed up in the shel­ter, I’m here to tell you the real, insid­er sto­ry straight from the cat’s mouth — mine.

The sto­ry, as the shel­ter knows it, is that I end­ed up in one of their traps meant for the fer­al cats and imme­di­ate­ly upon real­iz­ing I was too lovey-dovey to be fer­al, they tried to find if I had own­ers. But here’s what only I know, and what only I can tell you: I went into that trap inten­tion­al­ly. I know I’m not fer­al, but that doesn’t mean I’m not street-smart. These smarts led me to real­ize that these traps, once filled, made their way to APS-FH and that’s exact­ly where I want­ed to be. Why you ask? Because although you may notice the beau­ty scars I’ve obtained from a life on the out­side, what I have always real­ly dreamed of, is being some­one’s. I long for the com­fort, safe­ty, and nev­er-end­ing love that comes from being a part of a family.

I made and exe­cut­ed the plan to get here, now I just need you to come adopt me!

Learn more about Zel­da here.

County seeks stolen sign help

Posted September 10, 2022 at 3:44 pm by

The Coun­ty’s Pub­lic Works team requests the pub­lic’s help deal­ing with an increase in stolen street signs.

San Juan Coun­ty is expe­ri­enc­ing a slew of street sign thefts, leav­ing inter­sec­tions and many pop­u­lar roads unmarked. Coun­ty offi­cials are call­ing for the public’s help in find­ing and return­ing miss­ing street signs.

In the last two months, 13 signs were stolen, bring­ing 2022’s total to 35 stolen signs. Used for more than nav­i­ga­tion by locals and vis­i­tors, street signs are imper­a­tive for the Sher­if­f’s Office, EMS, fire­fight­ers, and oth­er emer­gency and util­i­ty ser­vices who rely on accu­rate signage.

Each road sign costs around $250 to replace if the post and brack­et can be sal­vaged. These replace­ments are paid for by tax­pay­er dollars.

Pub­lic Works crews are work­ing quick­ly to replace the miss­ing signs, but in doing so are being pulled away from oth­er impor­tant duties like mow­ing, road repair, and main­te­nance projects. That’s why the depart­ment is ask­ing for the public’s help in track­ing down and return­ing stolen signs or urg­ing friends and fam­i­ly to leave signs in place.

The depart­ment would like to thank the anony­mous cit­i­zen who brought back sev­en of the stolen signs to the Guard St. office. Oth­ers wish­ing to pro­vide the same ser­vice are encour­aged to return signs – no ques­tions asked – to 1000 Guard St. in Fri­day Harbor.

Freezer Burned: Tales of Interior Alaska

Posted September 10, 2022 at 10:33 am by

Freez­er Burned is an ongo­ing series for the San Juan Update, writ­ten by Steve Ulvi. Read the pre­vi­ous sto­ry in this series.

Trou­ble at the Ramparts

The full moon loomed high in the sky; the fad­ing cre­pus­cu­lar light of mid-after­noon gave in eas­i­ly to the rush­ing tide of night. The radi­ant moon­glow cre­at­ed spec­tac­u­lar soft light­ing; grey-blue shad­ows from tall wil­lows and trees along the riv­er bank lat­ticed on reflec­tive snow. Son­ny was glad to save on pre­cious head­lamp bat­ter­ies. He filled up on snow­shoe hare stew using the last of some pre-cooked rice from Ada; stand­ing on a cush­ion of spruce boughs, rotat­ing front to back near a sub­stan­tial “white man’s blaze” to stave off the pen­e­trat­ing cold. He mar­veled think­ing about his Atha­paskan ances­tors liv­ing suc­cess­ful­ly for thou­sands of years through the long win­ter nights with­out arti­fi­cial light.

The Ram­parts Cliffs shone bone-col­ored in the reflect­ed lunar light; the maw of the canyon, the gates to the upper Kuuk Riv­er. Son­ny sought the respite of heat­ed space again. Ram­parts Cab­in, only two or three miles away as the raven flies, was still twice that dis­tance trudg­ing on the sin­u­ous riv­er. Repet­i­tive hoots from Great Horned Owls, asked and answered, punc­tu­at­ed the night.

After he drift­ed to sleep in his tarped sleep­ing bags, he was dream­ing of snow­ma­chines speed­ing around his vil­lage of Tonas­ket with­out rhyme or rea­son. The dis­rup­tion was the plague of boot­leg­ging in a dry com­mu­ni­ty after the arrival of sum­mer fire-fight­ing pay­checks in the mail. Elsa Hen­der­son was roman­ti­cal­ly present and a con­fus­ing ele­ment in the nether­world of emo­tions. Son­ny wak­ened; star­tled to hear actu­al snow­ma­chines loud­ly announc­ing human trav­el in the motion­less dense air. At first, he thought that they were com­ing right into camp and sat up con­fused, grop­ing for his head­lamp. He soon real­ized that they were near­ly a quar­ter mile away, across the riv­er from his siwash camp; bounc­ing head lights sweep­ing the frozen shore. A dog-hair stand of young spruce around him hid his dying fire, smoke spi­ral­ing heavenward.

No longer alone in the vast land­scape, Son­ny was imme­di­ate­ly jolt­ed from tired slum­ber to stress­ful spec­u­la­tion. He knew that it had to be that damned Pok­er Creek crew. They were run­ning hard. It was cold, maybe ‑40F. Vil­lagers had no rea­son to be trav­el­ling way up here. Most of them would be hun­kered by the stove and blan­ket­ing doors or has­sling with haul­ing in more wood. Those vil­lagers often paid out­ra­geous prices for green wood as skimpy piles dis­ap­peared rapid­ly in try­ing to main­tain heat in their old drafty cab­ins. Some homes had two or even three wood­stoves requir­ing reg­u­lar stok­ing like the boil­ers on the small stern­wheel­ers that once served Tonas­ket. Besides, he thought, bad things often hap­pened with snow­ma­chines oper­at­ing in rub­ber and plas­tic break­ing tem­per­a­tures. Must be a damn good rea­son for run­ning in this cold; at night. Con­tin­ue Reading

Notes from the Island — Sept. 10

Posted September 10, 2022 at 8:00 am by

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