Notes from the Island — Sept. 1

Posted September 1, 2022 at 9:00 am by

  • Stu­dents in the San Juan Island School Dis­trict return to school today. Here’s a quick look at the year ahead from the per­spec­tive of Dis­trict Super­in­ten­dent Fred Woods.
  • Spring Street Inter­na­tion­al School stu­dents returned to the class­room yes­ter­day. This year’s class­es include stu­dents from sev­en coun­tries out­side the Unit­ed States — Brazil, Cana­da, Ger­many, India, Japan, Rwan­da, and Ukraine.
  • The Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter has free back-to-school kits for fam­i­lies who could use a lit­tle help with sup­plies. Call 360–378-5246 to learn more.
  • The Town of Fri­day Har­bor has issued a sec­ond micro-sur­vey relat­ed to the devel­op­ment of its Hous­ing Action Plan and they’re look­ing for com­mu­ni­ty input.
  • San Juan Coun­ty Pub­lic Works will fin­ish up cul­vert repairs on Beaver­ton Val­ley Road between Egg Lake and Boyce roads tomor­row morn­ing through the late after­noon. Beaver­ton Val­ley will be reduced to one lane dur­ing that time.
  • Here are the week’s spe­cials from Mar­ket Place and Kings.

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

Limekiln Preserve sunset

Posted August 31, 2022 at 10:39 pm by

County-wide power outage planned for the night of Sept. 15–16

Posted August 31, 2022 at 12:46 pm by

OPALCO shares news about a main­te­nance pow­er out­age tak­ing place next month.

All of San Juan Coun­ty will be affect­ed by a planned pow­er out­age nec­es­sary for Bon­neville Pow­er Asso­ci­a­tion to make sched­uled repairs to the trans­mis­sion lines that deliv­er pow­er to the islands. This main­te­nance out­age will hap­pen dur­ing the night min­i­mize impact to OPALCO consumers.

The out­age will begin at approx­i­mate­ly 11:30 p.m. on Thurs­day, Sept. 15 and pow­er is expect­ed to be restored by 5 a.m. on Fri­day, Sept. 16. Dur­ing this time, BPA crews will upgrade trans­mis­sion equip­ment and per­form main­te­nance on the sys­tem. While the pow­er is off, the OPALCO crew will uti­lize the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do main­te­nance work on our local system.

OPALCO con­sumers should set a reminder for the night of Sept. 15. Turn sen­si­tive equip­ment off at the pow­er strip or unplug. In the morn­ing, turn equip­ment on grad­u­al­ly to aid in pow­er load pick up. OPALCO mem­bers are respon­si­ble for their own equip­ment and encour­aged to install surge pro­tec­tion to safe­guard elec­tron­ic, com­put­er and oth­er sen­si­tive equip­ment and appliances.

Now is a great time to make sure you’re pre­pared for win­ter out­ages. OPALCO’s sys­tem is strong and its line crews skill­ful and ready, how­ev­er out­ages hap­pen and islanders must be pre­pared. Take time to get ready for storm sea­son out­ages now, includ­ing your plan to access out­age infor­ma­tion (SmartHub, phone mes­sage, web­site, social media, out­age bud­dy off island with inter­net ser­vice), assem­ble a kit of the things you need to keep you com­fort­able dur­ing pow­er out­ages, and do main­te­nance on your bat­tery or gen­er­a­tor back­up for any crit­i­cal systems.

Check our web­site for out­age check­lists and oth­er key infor­ma­tion for mak­ing sure you are ready this win­ter.

Business management and leadership course being offered this fall

Posted August 31, 2022 at 10:01 am by

The EDC shares news about their upcom­ing course offering.

The Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Coun­cil of San Juan Coun­ty will offer a busi­ness man­age­ment and lead­er­ship course for all indus­tries includ­ing hos­pi­tal­i­ty, restau­rant, and con­struc­tion this fall, as part of their Trades Train­ing Ini­tia­tive. This course is open to par­tic­i­pants from San Juan Coun­ty ages 18 and over who are plan­ning to start a busi­ness or who seek to devel­op or refresh skills.

The upcom­ing course will pro­vide insight into top­ics such as work­force devel­op­ment, com­pa­ny assess­ment, book­keep­ing prin­ci­ples, and the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. A pan­el of instruc­tors will present infor­ma­tion to help entre­pre­neurs and man­agers nav­i­gate every­day chal­lenges of small busi­ness oper­a­tions, cre­ate strate­gies for change, and plan for future growth. This inter­ac­tive course will encour­age stu­dents to net­work and learn from each oth­er beyond the dura­tion of the class.

The sem­i­nars will meet week­ly on Wednes­days from 6–8 p.m. from Sept. 14 through Nov. 9. Class­es will be held in Fri­day Har­bor, but remote learn­ing options are avail­able. Par­tic­i­pants that attend all ses­sions will receive a cer­tifi­cate of completion.

Vis­it the EDC web­site for more infor­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter. For ques­tions,  con­tact the EDC’s Trades Train­ing Coor­di­na­tor, Mar­ti McConnell, at 360–378-2906 or

Island Jobs: Island Rec is hiring a part-time Facility Supervisor

Posted August 31, 2022 at 9:25 am by

Island Rec is look­ing for a part-time Facil­i­ty Super­vi­sor to sup­port its adult drop-in pro­grams from Octo­ber to March. Learn more in the Island Jobs sec­tion of the San Juan Update.

Westbound on the Tillikum

Posted August 30, 2022 at 9:02 pm by

Two free workshops for forest owners coming to San Juan County

Posted August 30, 2022 at 3:55 pm by

North­west Nat­ur­al Resource Group, San Juan Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict, and Rain Shad­ow Con­sult­ing will be host­ing two free, in-per­son work­shops lat­er this year — one in Sep­tem­ber and one in October.

Both work­shops will pro­vide edu­ca­tion for for­est own­ers in the San Juans on iden­ti­fy­ing cli­mate-relat­ed risks in their forests, such as fire, pests, and dis­ease, accord­ing to Alexan­dra Dolk, Pro­gram Man­ag­er for North­west Nat­ur­al Resource Group. The work­shops will also help land own­ers under­stand how those risks may impact eco­log­i­cal health and wildlife habi­tat, and will present strate­gies for mit­i­gat­ing those risks, such as for­est thin­ning, cre­at­ing biochar, and plant­i­ng cli­mate-adapt­ed species.

Both free work­shops are fund­ed by grants award­ed through the USDA’s Risk Man­age­ment Edu­ca­tion program.

Hands-On For­est Health Strate­gies for San Juan County
Lopez Island — Sat­ur­day, Sept. 17
Reg­is­ter online here

At this free, all-day work­shop, par­tic­i­pants will learn hands-on strate­gies for eval­u­at­ing the health of their forests, mit­i­gat­ing fire and drought risk, select­ing trees for thin­ning, and uti­liz­ing slash-and-cut mate­ri­als for wildlife habi­tat enhance­ments and biochar creation.

How to Stew­ard a Cli­mate-Resilient For­est in the San Juans
Shaw Island — Sat­ur­day, Oct. 15
Reg­is­ter online here

Dur­ing this work­shop, local and region­al foresters will intro­duce for­est own­ers to a prac­ti­cal strate­gies for achiev­ing their eco­log­i­cal and eco­nom­ic goals in the face of the warmer and dri­er cli­mate of the future.

Renowned trumpet soloist Jens Lindemann plays at San Juan Community Theatre this weekend

Posted August 30, 2022 at 2:22 pm by

Contributed photo

SJCT sends along news about one of their upcom­ing concerts.

Jens Lin­de­mann returns to San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre on Sat­ur­day, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. with a 12-piece band ensem­ble to per­form George Gershwin’s Rhap­sody in Blue.

Mas­ter­ful­ly arranged and per­formed, this is a unique expe­ri­ence that music fans should not miss. The evening will also include selec­tions by Oscar Peter­son, Nat King Cole, and Tom­my Dorsey. Lin­de­mann is a Gram­my-nom­i­nat­ed trum­pet vir­tu­oso recent­ly named Inter­na­tion­al Brass Per­son­al­i­ty of the Year by The Brass Her­ald. Tick­ets are $50 for adults, $25 for stu­dents, and $5 for stu­dent rush tickets.

To pur­chase tick­ets, call the box office at 360–378-3210 or vis­it the SJCT web­site.

Island Neighbors program welcomes new coordinator

Posted August 30, 2022 at 12:30 pm by

Contributed photo

The Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter shares news about their newest team member.

Colleen Clan­cy is the new coor­di­na­tor of the Island Neigh­bors pro­gram for the Joyce L. Sobel Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter here on San Juan Island. Island Neigh­bors match­es aging or dis­abled islanders who want to con­tin­ue liv­ing at home with vol­un­teers who help with needs like trans­porta­tion, gro­cery shop­ping, get­ting out for social events, and companionship.

“It’s an excit­ing time to take over this pro­gram.” Colleen says. “After sev­er­al years of pan­dem­ic iso­la­tion, we are com­ing out of quar­an­tine and resum­ing our face-to-face support.”

Colleen came to the island to raise her fam­i­ly more than 35 years ago and is known to many islanders as a for­mer attor­ney with the law office of Eaton & Gor­don and as Direc­tor of Skag­it Val­ley Col­lege, San Juan Cen­ter. A com­mon thread through Colleen’s life is her desire to serve oth­ers, through her work, through vol­un­teer­ing, and through care­giv­ing with her own friends and fam­i­ly. She is excit­ed to bring this desire full cir­cle with the Island Neigh­bors program.

“We have a steady stream of islanders who need assis­tance and of ded­i­cat­ed vol­un­teers who pro­vide help,” Colleen says.

The pro­gram relies on refer­rals from the com­mu­ni­ty and vol­un­teers who step for­ward to help. If you know of some­one who needs assis­tance at home, or are inter­est­ed in vol­un­teer­ing for this pro­gram, give Colleen a call at 360–472-2798 or email her at

Notes from the Island — Aug. 30

Posted August 30, 2022 at 10:15 am by

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

At Roche Harbor Disc Golf Course

Posted August 29, 2022 at 9:33 pm by

SJIMA event examines the human struggles of the people of Afghanistan

Posted August 29, 2022 at 3:23 pm by

Shopkeeper with children — Photo credit: James Longley

The San Juan Islands Muse­um of Art shares a look at their Wednes­day event.

Afghanistan — one of the poor­est and most poor­ly under­stood coun­tries in the world — has been a cen­ter of rev­o­lu­tion, for­eign occu­pa­tion and civ­il war for over 40 years. Despite our decades of involve­ment in the coun­try, the human strug­gles of its peo­ple have remained on the periph­ery of our vision.

Join Rev. Ter­ry Kyl­lo, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Paths to Under­stand­ing, and James Lon­g­ley, pho­tog­ra­ph­er and film­mak­er, at San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre on Wednes­day, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. They will pro­vide an in-depth dia­logue about Afghanistan, its peo­ple, and the chal­lenges that con­tin­ue to face this ancient land. This event is part of a series Ask Us About Afghanistan, spon­sored by the San Juan Islands Muse­um of Art.

Lon­g­ley’s exhib­it Look­ing into Kab­ul is cur­rent­ly at SJIMA con­tin­ues until Sept. 12. Through pho­tog­ra­phy and film, Fri­day Harbor’s Oscar-nom­i­nat­ed son presents an inti­mate image of every­day life in Kab­ul’s old city. A doc­u­men­tary film, Sari’s Moth­er, is about a woman strug­gling to pro­tect her son in post-war Iraq. Angels Are Made of Light fol­lows stu­dents and teach­ers at a school in old Kab­ul slow­ly rebuild­ing from past conflicts.

Paths to Under­stand­ing is a mul­ti-faith peace­mak­ing orga­ni­za­tion based in Lyn­nwood. Its pur­pose is to bridge bias and build uni­ty through mul­ti-faith peace­keep­ing. Kyl­lo, a Luther­an min­is­ter, strives to rec­og­nize the uni­ty of the human fam­i­ly. He is the author of two books, has been fea­tured on radio and tele­vi­sion shows, and the is the recip­i­ent of mul­ti­ple awards for his con­tri­bu­tions to mul­ti-faith leadership.

The Longley/Kyllo dia­logue requires no reser­va­tions and is a pay-what-you-can event under­writ­ten by RaVae Luck­hart and Jack Rice, Rob Ray, and the Town of Fri­day Harbor.

Back-to-school update from Fred Woods, San Juan Island School District superintendent

Posted August 29, 2022 at 9:28 am by

Dear Fri­day Har­bor community,

After a two-year hia­tus, it was like a breath of fresh air to see the return of the San Juan Coun­ty Fair. Walk­ing through that front gate felt good, and dare I say, normal.

The end of the fair indi­cates that the start of school is just around the cor­ner. New and return­ing stu­dents will once again fill the halls. As always, we look for­ward to expe­ri­enc­ing the excite­ment of the pos­si­bil­i­ties that lie ahead for each child. There is an eager­ness to get back to the class­room and con­tin­ue the edu­ca­tion­al jour­ney. Two years ago, park­ing lots were emp­ty; ath­let­ic con­tests post­poned; the smiles on the faces of the chil­dren were behind a screen. Today, ath­letes are already prac­tic­ing on the field of play; stu­dents and fam­i­lies have been meet­ing with per­son­nel prepar­ing for the upcom­ing year; staff are back in the build­ing prepar­ing in earnest. Dare I say again, this feels normal.

We are cog­nizant of the real­i­ty that we remain in a pan­dem­ic and not all is “nor­mal.” Uncer­tain­ties still exist. Your schools will con­tin­ue to fol­low guide­lines devel­oped by the Depart­ment of Health that will mit­i­gate the spread of COVID. Stu­dents and staff will still quar­an­tine if they con­tract this dis­ease. We have hired a ded­i­cat­ed team of nurs­es and health aids to man­age the con­cerns, main­tain com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the local health depart­ment, and pro­vide ser­vices such as test­ing for all stu­dents with parental con­sent and staff when request­ed. Your schools will remain com­mit­ted to safe prac­tices so that stu­dents can have a suc­cess­ful school year.

We are ecsta­t­ic to be open­ing the doors to chil­dren once again. I said two years ago that noth­ing replaces live, face-to-face edu­ca­tion for many stu­dents. The social inter­ac­tion is vital. For oth­ers, though, they found that the inde­pen­dent and online approach worked best. In this dis­trict, we offer both. The San Juan Island School Dis­trict K‑12 in-per­son pro­gram is robust, but we also offer a vibrant online or hybrid for­mat through Grif­fin Bay School. The oppor­tu­ni­ty to choose is one of the lessons we learned through this cri­sis, and we are work­ing hard to pro­vide that and meet stu­dents where they are.

We have assem­bled a tal­ent­ed team of close to 150 peo­ple to serve your chil­dren from the bus stop to the class­room and every­thing else in between. We know there is work to do. COVID’s impact has been dra­mat­ic. Our community’s chil­dren, though, deserve our best. And we can promise we will do our best to pro­vide that.

Our new high school prin­ci­pal, Andrea Hilman, mid­dle school prin­ci­pal Rod Turn­bull, and ele­men­tary prin­ci­pal Hol­ly Wehn­er will intro­duce sev­er­al new staff mem­bers to the rest of the dis­trict on Mon­day Aug. 29 when our employ­ees return to work. The first school day for stu­dents is Thurs­day, Sept. 1.

The last two years have been dif­fi­cult, but we are resilient. Next week marks a new chap­ter and we get to author the sto­ry. The build­ings will be full of stu­dents, Fri­day night lights will blaze, and schools will cre­ate com­mu­ni­ty for chil­dren once again. There is no doubt we will face strug­gles and we may have to make changes through­out the year in response to what is occur­ring glob­al­ly. We can do this, though. Just like the return of the fair, the start of school is refresh­ing and full of promise.

Fred Woods
San Juan Island School District

Summer Film Series preview for Aug. 30

Posted August 29, 2022 at 6:45 am by

The orga­niz­ers of the Sum­mer Film Series at San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty The­atre send along a pre­view of this week’s film — the last of the sea­son. The show­ing starts at 7 p.m. Admis­sion is pay-what-you-can. For this sea­son only, fresh pop­corn is avail­able for free.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

Biog­ra­phy — not rated
Run time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Oliv­er Sacks, a trained neu­rol­o­gist, is best known for his writ­ings, includ­ing The Man Who Mis­took His Wife for a Hat: and Oth­er Clin­i­cal Tales, which describes some of his most unusu­al case histories.

Truth be told, his own life was as unusu­al as many of his patients. This bril­liant doc­u­men­tary cap­tures the com­plex mind and wild life-sto­ry of a sci­en­tist whose pro­found influ­ence con­tin­ues to expand across the globe. The direc­tor gives the loqua­cious doc­tor cen­ter stage at his liv­ing room table with his clos­est friends and col­leagues to under­pin a seam­less film that informs, moti­vates, and enthralls in equal mea­sure. The vibe is joy­ful and homey even as news of Sacks’s ter­mi­nal can­cer comes to the fore dur­ing the mak­ing of the film.

The cool wind returns

Posted August 26, 2022 at 5:17 pm by

Youth book groups return to the Library

Posted August 26, 2022 at 2:16 pm by

The Library shares good news about their upcom­ing book groups for young islanders.

The San Juan Island Library is pleased to announce that fund­ing has been secured for anoth­er year of youth book groups.

Two book groups will be offered for youth over the 2022–23 school year. Based on the Book, the long run­ning mid­dle school book group, will pro­vide free copies of a month­ly book to 25 stu­dents and cul­mi­nate in a movie view­ing for par­tic­i­pants. New­ly added to the cal­en­dar will be the Upper Ele­men­tary Book Group for youth in grades 3–5. Each par­tic­i­pant will receive a free copy of the month­ly book and take part in crafts, activ­i­ties, and dis­cus­sion at each meeting.

Book groups are essen­tial library offer­ings that facil­i­tate the growth of lit­er­a­cy and social skills. Par­tic­i­pants are encour­aged to con­verse open­ly and learn to nav­i­gate civ­il dis­course in a non-school set­ting, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly explor­ing a vari­ety of lit­er­a­ture for recre­ation­al reading.

The Library would like to thank the San Juan Island Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tion for col­lect­ing con­tri­bu­tions from the Healthy Com­mu­ni­ty Fund and the This­tle­down Fund, a fund of David Skin­ner and Cather­ine Eaton Skin­ner. The funds go direct­ly to the pur­chase of paper­back books that par­tic­i­pants keep as their own.