Notes from the Island — May 10

Posted May 10, 2022 at 6:00 am by

  • The Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Coun­cil has raised near­ly $46,000 in sup­port of busi­ness­es affect­ed by the April 7 fire in Fri­day Har­bor. Select­ed mem­bers of the EDC board recent­ly fin­ished review­ing the grant appli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted by the affect­ed busi­ness­es, and grant checks will start mak­ing their way to busi­ness own­ers lat­er this week.
  • The Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter’s kinder­garten kick­off takes place on Thurs­day from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the ele­men­tary school. It’s a chance for incom­ing kinder­gart­ners and their fam­i­lies to meet with school staff and learn more about what to expect dur­ing the 2022–2023 school year.
  • The sec­ond Sus­tain­able Tourism Man­age­ment Plan com­mu­ni­ty meet­ing takes place tonight over Zoom from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The con­tent of this meet­ing is specif­i­cal­ly focused on San Juan Island — here’s the agen­da.
  • The San Juan Islands Con­ser­va­tion Dis­tric­t’s Youth Con­ser­va­tion Corps is still accept­ing appli­ca­tions for its out­door stew­ard­ship pro­gram for stu­dents age 12–18, but the dead­line to apply is this Thurs­day.
  • There’s a moth­er-son glow dance tak­ing place on Fri­day at 6:30 p.m. at the Fair­grounds. Tick­ets are $10 per family.

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

Low tide at the ferry landing

Posted May 9, 2022 at 7:38 pm by

County Council discusses ballot measure that would permanently increase road levy

Posted May 9, 2022 at 12:14 pm by

Faced with the task of over­see­ing aging road and marine infra­struc­ture in an era of increas­ing costs, lim­it­ed rev­enue, and more extreme weath­er, the Coun­ty Coun­cil last week dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­i­ty of intro­duc­ing a mea­sure on the Novem­ber 2022 bal­lot that would per­ma­nent­ly increase the County’s road levy.

The addi­tion­al fund­ing would be allo­cat­ed to three key areas – sta­bi­liz­ing the County’s road fund, repair­ing the County’s pub­lic marine facil­i­ties, and pro­vid­ing ini­tial fund­ing for a lim­it­ed num­ber of non-motor­ized trans­porta­tion projects.

The cur­rent road levy sits at $0.56 per $1,000 of assessed val­ue for prop­er­ties locat­ed out­side of the incor­po­rat­ed areas of Fri­day Har­bor – rough­ly $280 per year for a home with an assessed val­ue of $500,000 – and is expect­ed to gen­er­ate $5.03 mil­lion in fund­ing for 2022. One pro­pos­al out­lined by the County’s Pub­lic Works depart­ment sug­gest­ed increas­ing the levy amount to $0.76, which would gen­er­ate $1.8 mil­lion in addi­tion­al rev­enue in the first year.

The Coun­ty is just com­ing out of an excep­tion­al­ly wet win­ter sea­son that required its Pub­lic Works crews to mit­i­gate dozens of road washouts, cul­vert col­laps­es, and mud­slides – like­ly a pre­view of the broad impact that chang­ing weath­er pat­terns will have on its infra­struc­ture in the decades to come. Con­tin­ue Reading

Fire relief fund auction open until May 15

Posted May 9, 2022 at 11:08 am by

The San Juan Island Cham­ber of Com­merce and San Juan Can­vas Co. have part­nered to orga­nize a silent auc­tion in sup­port of the Cham­ber’s Fire Relief Fund. Bid­ding is open now and runs through Sun­day, May 15 at 10 a.m.

The auc­tion was moved online to accom­mo­date the unex­pect­ed­ly large num­ber of items donat­ed by the com­mu­ni­ty, but all of the items up for bid can be viewed in per­son at the Cham­ber office at 165 First St. S.

Win­ners will be announced and noti­fied on May 16.

County Council approves additional behavioral health funding for San Juan Island School District

Posted May 9, 2022 at 7:15 am by

Fol­low­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion from the Human Ser­vices Advi­so­ry Board, the San Juan Coun­ty Coun­cil unan­i­mous­ly approved a con­tract amend­ment with the San Juan Island School Dis­trict last week, agree­ing to increase behav­ioral health fund­ing for the dis­trict by rough­ly $168,000 for the 2021–2022 school year.

“What we’re see­ing is that the San Juan [Island] School Dis­trict has had a sig­nif­i­cant increase in behav­ioral health issues among stu­dents due to the COVID pan­dem­ic,” Coun­ty Human Ser­vices Man­ag­er Bar­bara LaBrash told the Coun­cil. “They are report­ing that the oth­er sources of fund­ing are not suf­fi­cient to pro­vide the lev­el of ser­vice nec­es­sary to address the unmet behav­ioral health needs of stu­dents and fam­i­lies as a result of the pandemic.”

“We believe the fund­ing request is a pos­i­tive invest­ment in the future of stu­dents, with the aim of reduc­ing the need for more inten­sive ser­vices,” LaBrash explained.

Rough­ly 20 per­cent of the request­ed funds will be applied to the district’s Fam­i­ly & Com­mu­ni­ty School Liai­son posi­tion, which Coun­ty Behav­ioral Health Spe­cial­ist Richard Uri described as ful­fill­ing a unique and crit­i­cal role with­in the community.

“He works with all fam­i­lies, which was espe­cial­ly help­ful dur­ing remote school­ing when they could­n’t have con­tact [with in-per­son resources],” Uri explained. “And as a bilin­gual work­er he has made con­nec­tions with the Span­ish-speak­ing fam­i­lies much bet­ter for the schools, and helps to bring them into more services.”

The mon­ey for the one-time fund­ing increase will come out of the County’s Men­tal Health Tax Fund. Rev­enues from that fund are gen­er­at­ed by a 0.1 per­cent sales tax adopt­ed by the Coun­cil in March 2009.

Right this way

Posted May 7, 2022 at 9:08 pm by

First Street paving takes place May 9, weather permitting

Posted May 7, 2022 at 7:53 pm by

With util­i­ty upgrades most­ly com­plete, Kon­nerup Con­struc­tion has sched­uled the paving com­po­nent of the First Street over­lay project to begin on Mon­day, May 9. Both Tues­day and Wednes­day have been set aside as alter­nate paving days in the event of poor weather.

Crews expect to work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in an attempt to com­plete paving in one day. Both lanes of traf­fic will be closed, but flag­gers will allow local access to off-street park­ing as need­ed. No park­ing will be allowed on First Street and the Town may tow vehi­cles left in the con­struc­tion zone dur­ing work hours. Side­walks will remain open.

First Street will be reopened as soon as the asphalt is cool enough for vehi­cle traffic.

Alchemy Art Center hosting youth Art+Environment exhibition on May 13

Posted May 7, 2022 at 7:27 pm by

Alche­my Art Cen­ter shares news about their upcom­ing pub­lic exhibition.

This spring, Alche­my Art Cen­ter part­nered with the San Juan Island Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict and the Madrona Insti­tute on the first ever Art+Environment pro­gram, a 10-week arts and envi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship pro­gram host­ed at Alche­my and geared toward mid­dle school-age kids.

Each week, stu­dents were instruct­ed by dif­fer­ent guest pro­fes­sion­als in arts and envi­ron­men­tal fields, cov­er­ing top­ics like sense of place, reuse and upcy­cling, and design/messaging. Guest instruc­tors includ­ed fine arts pro­fes­sor Danielle Dean, biol­o­gist and for­ager Kari Kos­ki, founder and direc­tor of Back­bone Cam­paign Bill Moy­er, botan­i­cal dyer and print­mak­er Katey Ris­si, and founder of the Lopez ReMak­ery Niky­ta Palmisani.

On Fri­day, May 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. the pub­lic is invit­ed to an exhi­bi­tion dis­play­ing the incred­i­ble body of work this group of young peo­ple has cre­at­ed over the last 10 weeks, includ­ing pho­tog­ra­phy, upcy­cled fash­ion, recy­cled clay sculp­ture, found object assem­blage, cyan­otype, print­mak­ing, and more. The exhi­bi­tion and recep­tion will be held in the dome space at Alche­my. Light refresh­ments will be served.

Alche­my is locat­ed at 1255 Wold Rd. Vis­it our con­tact page for direc­tions and acces­si­bil­i­ty infor­ma­tion.