Board nominations being accepted by OPALCO

Posted December 21, 2022 at 10:13 am by

OPALCO shares news about their board nom­i­na­tion process for 2023.

Nom­i­na­tions for OPALCO board can­di­dates are now open. There are two posi­tions open — one in Dis­trict 1 (San Juan, Brown, Hen­ry, Pearl and Spieden islands) and one in Dis­trict 2 (Orcas, Armitage, Blake­ly, Obstruc­tion, Big Dou­ble, Lit­tle Dou­ble and Fawn islands). Appli­ca­tions are due to the Elec­tions & Gov­er­nance Com­mit­tee by Wednes­day, Jan. 25.

Mem­bers of the Co-op from all back­grounds and rep­re­sent­ing all iden­ti­ties are encour­aged to apply. The Co-op val­ues all kinds of expe­ri­ence and skill sets — you do not need to be an engi­neer or have pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence with util­i­ties. Our orga­ni­za­tion includes busi­ness man­age­ment, finance and account­ing, legal, insur­ance, ben­e­fits, edu­ca­tion and train­ing, mar­ket­ing, tech­nol­o­gy, pub­lic pol­i­cy, con­struc­tion, pro­cure­ment, engi­neer­ing, design, project man­age­ment, per­mit­ting and oper­a­tions. If you have exper­tise in any of these areas or oth­er per­ti­nent expe­ri­ence, you may be a good fit.

It’s an excit­ing moment in his­to­ry for our Co-op and the indus­try with the push to get car­bon out of our envi­ron­ment and renew­able ener­gy rapid­ly evolv­ing. Direc­tors set the poli­cies, bud­gets and rates for the Co-op. And, as an added ben­e­fit, OPALCO Direc­tors are paid a stipend for their time and board train­ing. As a mem­ber-own­er, you can take an active role in guid­ing the com­pa­ny you own.

There are two ways to be nom­i­nat­ed for a board posi­tion — by the mem­ber EGC Com­mit­tee, or by peti­tion. The EGC will review nom­i­na­tions received by Jan. 25  and rec­om­mend their slate of can­di­dates for the open posi­tions. Can­di­dates may also seek nom­i­na­tion to the Board by peti­tion. A mem­ber in good stand­ing must col­lect no few­er than 20 sig­na­tures of bona fide OPALCO mem­bers who reside in their district.

The elec­tion will be open March 10 through April 26. All vot­ing is by absen­tee bal­lot, via mail or online. Vot­ing mate­ri­als will be sent by mail to every OPALCO mem­ber in ear­ly March. Elec­tion results will be announced at the OPALCO Annu­al Meet­ing on April 29.

You must be an OPALCO mem­ber and meet the eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments to run for the Board. Learn more about run­ning for an OPALCO board seat on the OPALCO web­site.

Cold days

Posted December 20, 2022 at 9:32 pm by

Allison Larson’s family seeks support for upcoming surgery

Posted December 20, 2022 at 4:30 pm by

Contributed photo

San Juan Island teenag­er Alli­son Lar­son — who has been bat­tling severe health issues for near­ly two years — is prepar­ing for the next stage of a jour­ney toward recov­ery that her fam­i­ly hopes will allow her to live a full, active life. To get there, the fam­i­ly is ask­ing for help from the community.

“Alli­son and her mom will be fly­ing to Con­necti­cut for [major gas­troin­testi­nal] surgery and they will need to stay there for four to five weeks,” explains Ele­na Porten, who is orga­niz­ing the fundrais­er for Alli­son and her fam­i­ly. “Help is need­ed to cov­er every­day costs, flights, accom­mo­da­tions, a rental car, and uncov­ered med­ical costs as they nav­i­gate this new advance­ment in her med­ical journey.”

“With­out this surgery, Allison’s body will con­tin­ue to strug­gle and she will have a dra­mat­ic decline in her health,” Ele­na says.

When Alli­son became severe­ly ill in 2021, San Juan Islanders came togeth­er to raise $30,000 to cov­er the expens­es that her moth­er, Jea­nine, was unable to pay because she could not work while tak­ing care of Alli­son. They’re hop­ing to raise at least that much in the next few months through their GoFundMe cam­paign.

Our 20 favorite photos from 2022 — #11

Posted December 20, 2022 at 11:25 am by

From May 11 — Walk­ing (and run­ning) off the mid-morn­ing arrival from Ana­cortes on the Sat­ur­day of Memo­r­i­al Day weekend.

Town offers cold weather guidance

Posted December 20, 2022 at 9:10 am by

The Town of Fri­day Har­bor shares some advice about pre­vent­ing frozen water pipes dur­ing this week’s extend­ed cold stretch.

With con­sis­tent­ly freez­ing tem­per­a­tures fore­cast­ed this week, the Town is remind­ing res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers to take steps to pre­vent frozen water pipes. Fol­low­ing these sim­ple tips can pro­tect plumb­ing and pre­vent cost­ly repairs and high­er water bills.

Before freez­ing weather:

  • Advise all house­hold mem­bers where the main water shut­off valve is locat­ed in case of emergency.
  • Make sure hoses are dis­con­nect­ed from out­side faucets.
  • Make sure water pipes in unheat­ed parts of your home, includ­ing crawl spaces, are insulated.
  • Seal all open­ings in the base­ment around the foun­da­tion, win­dows, and doors.
  • Insu­late all pipes in your base­ment that are near windows.
  • Drain all under­ground irri­ga­tion systems.

Dur­ing freez­ing weather:

  • Make sure you heat all rooms of your house that have plumb­ing fix­tures. Water pipes in unheat­ed rooms are sub­ject to freez­ing and could cause exten­sive damage.
  • Leave the cab­i­net doors open to allow the heat from the room to enter if you have pipes that are locat­ed on an out­side wall.
  • Keep meter box lids closed to pre­vent cold air from freez­ing the meter.
  • If you have expe­ri­enced prob­lems in the past dur­ing freez­ing peri­ods and you have exhaust­ed all oth­er solu­tions, you can leave a trick­le of water run­ning from the high­est faucet in the house. This trick­le should be a steady stream slight­ly larg­er than the lead of a pencil.

If you have a frozen pipe:

  • Nev­er thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.
  • Use hot air from a hair dry­er, heat lamps, heat tape, or elec­tric heaters to thaw a frozen pipe.
  • Also con­sid­er using an incan­des­cent light­bulb to thaw pipes slow­ly, by plac­ing it next to pipes that are frozen. Be sure to keep the bulb away from com­bustible mate­r­i­al to avoid start­ing a fire. Today’s LED bulbs don’t let off much heat and like­ly won’t be use­ful for this purpose.

Cus­tomers are remind­ed to con­tact Town Hall at 360–378-2810 for assis­tance with turn­ing on or off water at the meter. Munic­i­pal code states that tam­per­ing with water meters is pro­hib­it­ed. For after-hours help, call the San Juan Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office non-emer­gency line at 360–378-4151.

A still and quiet morning

Posted December 20, 2022 at 8:54 am by


Posted December 19, 2022 at 8:29 pm by

OPALCO mails capital credit checks to long-time members

Posted December 19, 2022 at 5:25 pm by

OPALCO shares an update about about their cap­i­tal cred­it div­i­dend program.

More than $1.1 mil­lion in cap­i­tal cred­it checks are going out to long-time OPALCO mem­bers this month, as they do each year. As an elec­tric coop­er­a­tive, the mar­gin at the end of any giv­en year goes back into the hands of mem­bers. Each year the co-op tracks how much you pay for pow­er and deter­mines how much of the mar­gin you will receive as a cap­i­tal cred­it allo­ca­tion to your membership.

Cap­i­tal cred­it div­i­dends are paid to mem­bers after 25 years. The checks being sent out this year are for mem­bers active in 1997 and 1998 and will be in the mail today, Dec. 19. The check amounts range from five dol­lars to thou­sands, for big ener­gy users like gro­cery stores. Most checks are between $50 and $250.

Last year more than $18,000 was donat­ed back from cap­i­tal cred­it checks to sup­port Project Pal, help­ing neigh­bors in our com­mu­ni­ty. Project Pal offers a one-time-per-year grant to low-income mem­bers dur­ing the heat­ing season.

More than 6,000 mem­bers will get checks in 2022.

In 2018, OPALCO start­ed uti­liz­ing a smooth­ing method­ol­o­gy to ensure gen­er­al retire­ments are as even as pos­si­ble from year to year and to plan for big­ger mar­gins that occurred in the past twen­ty years. This year, all of the 1997 mar­gin was dis­trib­uted, plus about 60 per­cent of 1998’s. This helps OPALCO to bud­get for the cash required to pay cap­i­tal cred­its and keeps co-op mar­gins in the mem­bers’ hands. Mem­bers will con­tin­ue to get their cap­i­tal cred­its at 25 years, but dis­tri­b­u­tion will be cal­cu­lat­ed based on a gen­er­al rolling average.

Remem­ber to keep OPALCO updat­ed when your address changes so that your cap­i­tal cred­it dis­tri­b­u­tions can find you. Learn more about cap­i­tal cred­its on the OPALCO web­site.

Town requests resident help to clear snowy sidewalks

Posted December 19, 2022 at 3:49 pm by

With snow­fall arriv­ing short­ly, the Town of Fri­day Har­bor sends along a request for help keep­ing side­walks clear.

As we look for­ward to the win­try fore­cast through Christ­mas, the Town is ask­ing res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers to be vig­i­lant with snow and ice removal on side­walks this hol­i­day week.

The Fri­day Har­bor Munic­i­pal Code states that it is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of own­ers or occu­pants of prop­er­ties in the Town that abut or front paved side­walks to clear the side­walk of snow, sleet, and ice.

We are all pedes­tri­ans at some point in the day, whether walk­ing to the car, walk­ing from a restau­rant, or doing some fun last-minute hol­i­day shop­ping. With­out a wide, clear path, snow and ice on the side­walk make it dif­fi­cult for every­one to walk safe­ly – espe­cial­ly seniors, chil­dren, and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. Please clear the entire width of the side­walk rather than a shov­el width. In cas­es of ice cov­er, please put down salt or sand to min­i­mize slipping.

Town crews will con­tin­ue to do their best to address to side­walks, but pri­or­i­ty must be giv­en to the streets, inter­sec­tions, emer­gency routes, and oth­er issues that come with snow and freez­ing temperatures.

Our 20 favorite photos from 2022 — #12

Posted December 19, 2022 at 12:18 pm by

From May 11 — A warm evening near the Roy­al Marine Ceme­tery at Eng­lish Camp.

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

Posted December 19, 2022 at 10:39 am by

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety of Fri­day Har­bor shares a look at the adopt­able ani­mal of the week — Jay, a tbree-month-old dachs­hund-chi­huahua mix.

Peo­ple have called me “Tiny Tim”, “a lit­tle bat”, “Yoda-look-alike” — and all of those are cute, but you can just call me Jay. I’m the small­est of the small pup­py lit­ter cur­rent­ly avail­able for adop­tion at APS-FH. Our mom, Robin, was a pre­vi­ous Pet of the Week and men­tioned us in her fea­ture write up. Since then, Star­ling has been adopt­ed, and the rest of us can’t wait for the same.

Since arriv­ing on San Juan Island, mom and us kids have been with a fos­ter fam­i­ly, we cur­rent­ly have our shel­ter fam­i­ly, and soon — paws crossed — our for­ev­er fam­i­ly will come walk­ing through the shel­ter’s front door. You can see this door from our pup­py room, and some­times I watch it and imag­ine the person(s) who will come through it one day to adopt me. I day­dream and come up with sto­ry­lines for all the fic­tion­al adopters in my mind. It’s fun to let my imag­i­na­tion run away with itself, but the only thing that real­ly mat­ters to me is that I go home with some­one who is ready to love me as much as I can love them.

I may be just a tiny guy, but I have so much love to give. Do you think I could be your for­ev­er fam­i­ly? If so, please fill out an appli­ca­tion soon!

Con­tact APS to learn more about Jay.

Low clouds

Posted December 17, 2022 at 8:47 pm by

Friends of Lime Kiln Society hosting holiday celebration

Posted December 17, 2022 at 2:25 pm by

The Friends of Lime Kiln Soci­ety are host­ing a hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tion at the Lime Kiln Point State Park on Sun­day, Dec. 18 from 1–4 p.m. The event includes pho­tos with San­ta, light­house tours, an ugly sweater con­test, fire­side refresh­ments and s’mores, and a silent auction.

Our 20 favorite photos from 2022 — #13

Posted December 17, 2022 at 11:57 am by

From June 11 — Sun­set over the Port of Fri­day Harbor.

Film Festival hosts screening party at the Grange for high school basketball teams

Posted December 17, 2022 at 10:24 am by

From left to right — Coach Brandyn Pedersen, Jeffrey Volk, David Markham, Pierce Kleine, Jaxson Waldron, Drake Goodrich, Nathan Posenjak, Cyrus Rollins, Jasper Williamson, Jack Anderson, Jonah Parsons, Mason Clark, Mason Smith, Chris Gustafson, Mamadou Hoskins, Andrew Rezabek, Coach Brian Germaine

The orga­niz­ers of the Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val share a sto­ry about a recent screen­ing par­ty they host­ed for the island’s high school bas­ket­ball teams.

Fri­day Har­bor High School’s var­si­ty and junior var­si­ty bas­ket­ball teams met up at the Grange on Sun­day, Dec. 11 to watch a spe­cial screen­ing of the film Alaskan Nets, pre­sent­ed by the Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val. The film tells the true sto­ry of a small island accessed by a one-hour fer­ry ride from the main­land of Alas­ka. Their small pop­u­la­tion makes it dif­fi­cult to get a full bas­ket­ball team. The whole town sup­ports them as they win the cham­pi­onship against Anchor­age. But the real sto­ry is of the play­ers learn­ing to pull togeth­er as a team and then go on to win.

After see­ing the film at the Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val last Octo­ber, Rob Wal­dron thought of pre­sent­ing a spe­cial screen­ing of Alaskan Nets for the boys bas­ket­ball teams. He reached out to the par­ents of the team mem­bers, who rent­ed the Grange for the event. He asked FHFF for help. They sup­plied the film and pro­jec­tion­ist, Nor­ris Palmer. FHFF pro­vid­ed enough piz­za to sat­is­fy teenage boys, thanks to a dis­count from Kung Fu Piz­za. Ben Wal­dron brought drinks for every­one, and it was a party!

Spe­cial thanks to Win­der­mere San Juan Island for proud­ly spon­sor­ing the film.

The kids were remind­ed that all local stu­dents are encour­aged to come to the Fri­day Har­bor Film Fes­ti­val for free. Each year Suzy Mygatt Wake­field pro­vides a gen­er­ous grant to sup­port their attendance.

Afternoon at the Sculpture Park

Posted December 16, 2022 at 10:52 pm by