Near the Royal Marine Cemetery at English Camp
Posted May 11, 2022 at 9:22 pm by Jeff Arnim
Town discusses next steps for Spring St. fire cleanup and traffic reconfiguration
Posted May 11, 2022 at 8:06 pm by San Juan Update
The Town of Friday Harbor shares an update about the status of the fire cleanup and road closures on Spring St.
The Town has been reworking the traffic configuration necessitated by the downtown fire.
Our initial traffic configuration was meant to last only a short while, never anticipating that the ATF would be called in and a lengthy investigation would be needed. Post-investigation, the contractor hired by the property insurers requested that we keep lower Spring St. closed to facilitate speedy debris removal. That speedy cleanup didn’t happen because testing of the debris revealed the presence of asbestos and lead. This means the debris cannot be taken to a nearby landfill but instead must be delivered to a permitted facility in Seattle. The contractor will be bringing in scales to weigh their trucks and there are other logistics involved, but we are making progress. Yesterday the Town issued a demolition permit to the contractor and we are told the cleanup will begin soon.
We understand the streets have been closed much longer than anyone anticipated, and we are moving ahead with plans to reconfigure the traffic flow to make it safer for the traveling public. This requires us to consider not only how vehicles move, but also pedestrian safety, the parking needs for downtown businesses, ferry offloads including large trucks needing to navigate tight corners, and the need to have access to busses and taxis. There are a lot of moving parts.
Thank you for understanding that because the fire was on private property, the Town is not responsible for — nor do we have control over — the cleanup. Even so, we are helping to facilitate the effort by issuing permits as soon as requested. We believe everyone is doing their best with a difficult situation, and we appreciate the efforts of the contractor to move this along as quickly as possible.
San Juan Island Trails Committee holding family picnic walk and film party on May 29
Posted May 11, 2022 at 5:50 pm by Jeff Arnim
The San Juan Island Trails Committee has organized a family picnic walk to Briggs Lake on Sunday, May 29. Leaving at 11 a.m. from the triangle parking area at the junction of Roche Harbor and West Valley Roads, local students will lead a walk on a stroller-friendly path to the lake, where San Juan Islands National Historical Park Superintendent Lexi Fredy will give a talk about the nature of her work on the island, followed by a question-and-answer session.
At 4 p.m. that afternoon there will be a showing of three short documentary films at the Grange — When Goats Fly, Grizzlies of the Sea, and Cascades Crossroads — thanks to a donation from the Friday Harbor Film Festival.
All islanders are welcome to take part in both events.
Library to hold farewell reception for Beth Helstein
Posted May 11, 2022 at 8:47 am by San Juan Update
The library sends along news about a celebration taking place on Thursday.
The San Juan Island Library is grateful to celebrate Beth Helstien’s 20 years of dedicated, innovative, and community-enriching service. Join us for a farewell reception on Thursday, May 12 from 2–4 p.m. in the Library’s Main Salon to wish Beth well in her future endeavors, and share your memories of Beth in a special book.
Beth began at the San Juan Island Library back in 2001 and has held a range of positions over the years, including Bookkeeper and Outreach & Volunteer coordinator. A true bedrock of our community, Beth has provided a vast array of services that have made our Library and community stronger. Beth is currently our longest standing library employee. Some of the highlights of Beth’s career include providing regular visits to the Life Care Center, Mullis Senior Community Center, and the Village at the Harbor, and initiating the Tech Tuesday, Aging Mastery, and Memory Cafe programs among many others. Continue Reading
Notes from the Island — May 11
Posted May 11, 2022 at 6:00 am by Jeff Arnim
- Friday Harbor High School baseball takes on Coupeville High School in a playoff tiebreaker tomorrow at 3 p.m. in LaConner.
- A Bear Called Friday — a project that aims to raise funds to adopt and provide sanctuary for a rescued moon bear on behalf of the town of Friday Harbor — is holding a fundraiser garage sale this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 518 Vine St. There will be a wide range of items for sale, including dishes, bedding, furniture, household items, art, and women’s clothing.
- The San Juan Islands Museum of Art will be discussing its accomplishments, activities, and community contributions at a public event next Thursday, May 19 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the museum. The event is free, open to the public, and doesn’t require advance registration.
- The Kettlebell Cafe, located at San Juan Island Fitness & Aquatics, is offering two-for-one breakfast sandwiches today with the purchase of a coffee drink between 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
- The San Juan Island Half Marathon needs a few more volunteers for the event, which takes place this Saturday.
- The San Juan Lions Club is sponsoring free health checks through the Lions Health Screening Unit on Thursday and Friday at the Mullis Center. They’ll be offering confidential screenings for issues with vision and hearing, blood pressure, blood sugar, and glaucoma. The clinic runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Free transportation is available if you call 206–251-4972.
Have something to share with the Island? Whether the news is big or small, let us know!
Spring in the cemetery
Posted May 10, 2022 at 9:35 pm by Jeff Arnim
Senior community lunches to resume starting tomorrow
Posted May 10, 2022 at 7:27 pm by Jeff Arnim
Although COVID cases are once again on the rise, senior community lunches are set to return to the Mullis Center starting tomorrow after a two-year hiatus.
Organized by Meals on Wheels and More, along with San Juan County Health and Community Services, the lunch program is scheduled to take place on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. through the month of May. Starting in June the organizations hope to expand lunch to service to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The meals are available on a donation-only basis to people age 60 and older. Others eligible for a donation-based meal include the spouse/domestic partner of an eligible senior, the unpaid caregiver of an eligible senior, the disabled dependent of an eligible senior, and volunteers of any age who support the meal program. The suggested donation is $5 per meal, or whatever is affordable. No eligible person will be turned away due to the inability to donate, according to the organizers. Anyone under age 60 who wants to take part in the meal program will be charged $8.50.
Senior center membership is not required to participate in the community meals. Masks are not required inside the senior centers, except when eating, but they are encouraged.
For more information, contact Debbie Haagensen at 360–370-7526 or email@example.com.
Alchemy Art Center’s Artist Talk series coming to the SJIMA
Posted May 10, 2022 at 10:55 am by San Juan Update
Here’s an update from Alchemy Art Center about their upcoming artists series, hosted by the San Juan Islands Museum of Art.
Alchemy Art Center, in partnership with the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, is hosting an artist talk series featuring visiting and local artists. Talks will take place in the upstairs workshop area of the SJIMA at 540 Spring St. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on select Sundays between May and September.
The first talk in the series is Sunday, May 22, and features visiting artist Sarah Aineb and local artist Sam Ford. Sarah Aineb is a visual artist, mostly working in printmaking, comics and film, based in San Francisco. With most of their work being autobiographical or semi-autobiographical, their work explores the invisible connections between feeling and space and time. Whether it’s a singular drawing or a series of prints or a narrative comic, Aineb’s works illustrate the emotional imprint of personal histories on physical landscapes, altering how we see space and feelings. Sarah is living and working at Alchemy Art Center April and May as part of our Artists in Community Program.
Sam Ford is an artist from Friday Harbor, specializing in pen and ink illustration. His work has been featured on album covers, posters, and other music-related art, as well as business logos and his first published graphic novel, a retelling of the horror classic The Willows, adapted by Nathan Carson. Both artists work in the realm of drawing, illustrations, graphic design, and printmaking. They will show their work, discuss their process, and answer questions from the audience.
The next talk in the series will take place on Sunday, June 26. Visit the Alchemy Art Center website for more information.
Notes from the Island — May 10
Posted May 10, 2022 at 6:00 am by Jeff Arnim
- 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!
Categories: Around Here
Low tide at the ferry landing
Posted May 9, 2022 at 7:38 pm by Jeff Arnim
County Council discusses ballot measure that would permanently increase road levy
Posted May 9, 2022 at 12:14 pm by Jeff Arnim
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
Categories: Around Here
Fire relief fund auction open until May 15
Posted May 9, 2022 at 11:08 am by Jeff Arnim
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 Jeff Arnim
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.
First Street paving takes place May 9, weather permitting
Posted May 7, 2022 at 7:53 pm by Jeff Arnim
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 San Juan Update
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.