Passenger ferry service from Seattle officially suspended for the 2022 season

Posted April 29, 2022 at 11:04 am by

The Wash­ing­ton Util­i­ties and Trans­port Com­mis­sion on Thurs­day grant­ed a peti­tion filed by the oper­a­tor of MV San Juan Clip­per to tem­porar­i­ly sus­pend­ed oper­a­tions until May 2023.

San Juan Express, Inc. filed the peti­tion with the UTC two weeks ago, on April 13. With its approval, SJE will elim­i­nate their four day per week ser­vice from Seat­tle to Fri­day Har­bor between May 12 and Sept. 5, as well as their three day per week ser­vice between Sept. 9 and Oct. 9.

“SJE had hoped, bol­stered by a prospec­tive fuel sur­charge, to con­tin­ue oper­a­tions at an increased capac­i­ty of approx­i­mate­ly a 200 pas­sen­ger lim­it, to resume ser­vice and attain mod­est prof­itabil­i­ty in the 2022 sail­ing sea­son,” accord­ing to the peti­tion. “How­ev­er, in late March 2022 and iron­i­cal­ly on the same day of SJE’s pend­ing fuel sur­charge sub­mis­sion, the Company’s out­side naval archi­tect was informed by the Unit­ed States Coast Guard that appar­ent­ly due to con­trol­ling fed­er­al reg­u­la­tions which were revised fol­low­ing a major ves­sel fire off the coast of Cal­i­for­nia, SJE’s ves­sel capac­i­ty would be lim­it­ed to 150 pas­sen­gers for the indef­i­nite future until and unless sig­nif­i­cant design changes in the ves­sel were implemented.”

Those design changes relate to the vessel’s stair­cas­es, which cur­rent­ly have direct access to spaces in which a fire could orig­i­nate. Con­tin­ue Reading

Notes from the Island — April 29

Posted April 29, 2022 at 6:00 am by

  • MV Yaki­ma remains out of ser­vice. This will can­cel the 5:45 a.m., 6:25 p.m., and 10:05 p.m. sched­uled sail­ings from Fri­day Har­bor. New reser­va­tions are still sus­pend­ed and exist­ing reser­va­tion hold­ers will be pri­or­i­tized on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Due to the strong response it received the first time around, 50 more prints of Doug DeMeerleer’s paint­ing of the build­ings at the cor­ner of Spring and First Street have been cre­at­ed thanks to the fine folks at Print­onyx. The prints won’t last long, so get to Cecil’s on Argyle as ear­ly as you can today if you want one. They’re $25, cash or check only, and all pro­ceeds once again go the Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter to help those impact­ed by the April 7 fire with essen­tial house­hold and fam­i­ly needs.
  • The store at the farm for­mer­ly known as Danc­ing Seeds is open. They have tulips, let­tuce, radish­es, greens, and spring gar­lic. You can find them at 3501 Beaver­ton Val­ley Road.
  • It’s the last day to take part in the Com­mu­ni­ty Care Cans project orga­nized by Sorop­ti­mist Inter­na­tion­al of Fri­day Har­bor, which is col­lect­ing house­hold items to help islanders in need.
  • There are cur­rent­ly 24 active­ly mon­i­tored COVID cas­es on San Juan Island. Next week’s on-island vac­cine clin­ic for sec­ond boost­ers is cur­rent­ly full, but appoint­ments may become avail­able if exist­ing reg­is­trants cancel.
  • Coho is back with anoth­er Sat­ur­day night pop-up. This week it’s Mex­i­can-themed — tamales, tacos, mole, enchi­ladas, huaraches, flan, con­cha and hor­cha­ta. It runs from 5 to 10 p.m.

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

Only Peej

Posted April 28, 2022 at 9:48 pm by

Spring Street fire cleanup expected to start on Monday

Posted April 28, 2022 at 7:38 pm by

The charred remains of the four Spring Street build­ings destroyed in an April 7 arson will like­ly start to come down on Monday.

Accord­ing to Fri­day Har­bor Town Admin­is­tra­tor Denice Kulseth, the two insur­ance com­pa­nies that under­wrote the poli­cies on the build­ings – Farm­ers Insur­ance and Lib­er­ty Mutu­al – have agreed to hire local com­pa­ny MEM Enter­pris­es to demol­ish and haul away what remains of the structures.

MEM expects to start work on Mon­day and has esti­mat­ed that the project will take two weeks to complete.

It’s not yet known when Spring Street will reopen to traffic.

“The Town will need to ensure the site does not present a safe­ty haz­ard to vehi­cles or pedes­tri­ans and that any traf­fic rout­ing makes sense from a safe­ty per­spec­tive,” Kulseth explained.

Friday Harbor Labs holding open house on May 21

Posted April 28, 2022 at 11:14 am by

Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton Fri­day Har­bor Labs shares news about their first open house in sev­er­al years.

We are delight­ed to share the good news that UW Fri­day Har­bor Labs will host its first open house in sev­er­al years. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing our com­mu­ni­ty and San Juan Island vis­i­tors to the Labs on Sat­ur­day, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dur­ing the free open house, the Labs will be open for self-guid­ed tours. Every­one is wel­come and invit­ed to check out the research and teach­ing facil­i­ties. This is a won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet sci­en­tists and stu­dents who will show­case their marine sci­ence research, answer ques­tions and pro­vide demon­stra­tions. There will be posters, marine plants and ani­mals, micro­scopes, plank­ton sam­pling and obser­va­tions, and activ­i­ties for vis­i­tors of all ages. This is a great fam­i­ly-friend­ly event.

The pub­lic is invit­ed to learn more about marine zool­o­gy, botany, fish­eries, oceanog­ra­phy, and the equip­ment used by sci­en­tists in these fields. The R/V Kit­ti­wake, FHL’s research ves­sel, will be open for vis­i­ta­tion. There will also be an under­wa­ter SCUBA demon­stra­tion from the FHL dock, and sci­en­tif­ic lec­tures by res­i­dent researchers. Walk­ing shoes are rec­om­mend­ed because the tour route includes rough dock planks, grav­el paths and trails.

In keep­ing with Fri­day Har­bor Labs open house tra­di­tion, there will be free popcorn.

FHL’s web­site pro­vides a detailed overview of our research, ser­vice and edu­ca­tion­al activ­i­ties.

MV Yakima out of service indefinitely

Posted April 28, 2022 at 9:26 am by

MV Yaki­ma, the num­ber two ves­sel on the San Juan Islands-Ana­cortes fer­ry route, is out of ser­vice indef­i­nite­ly fol­low­ing an inci­dent at Lopez Island yes­ter­day afternoon.

“We’re just begin­ning an inves­ti­ga­tion into what hap­pened,” says Ian Ster­ling, pub­lic infor­ma­tion offi­cer for Wash­ing­ton State Fer­ries. “We know that the anchor was dis­lodged some­how and dam­aged both parts of the dock and the Yaki­ma itself above the water­line. The ves­sel is out of ser­vice until we can deter­mine what led to the inci­dent. We’re begin­ning repairs to both the slip at Lopez and the Yaki­ma today. Hope­ful­ly, we’ll know more soon.”

With all of the Yaki­ma’s sail­ings can­celled, no new reser­va­tions are avail­able for the rest of the sail­ings in order to leave extra space for trav­el­ers affect­ed by the dis­rup­tion in ser­vice. Exist­ing reser­va­tions hold­ers will be giv­en pri­or­i­ty on a first-come, first-serve basis. No-show fees will not be charged for those who do not travel.

To help lim­it addi­tion­al ser­vice dis­rup­tions, new reser­va­tions have been sus­pend­ed through at least Sun­day, May 1.

Notes from the Island — April 28

Posted April 28, 2022 at 6:00 am by

  • San Juan Coun­ty is hold­ing the first of three pub­lic meet­ings relat­ed to the devel­op­ment of its Sus­tain­able Tourism Man­age­ment Plan tonight. The meet­ing will take place over Zoom from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Pre-reg­is­tra­tion is required.
  • Fri­day Har­bor High School base­ball lost 11–8 at Coupeville, end­ing their win­ning streak at ten games and plac­ing them in a tie with Coupeville at the top of the 1B/2B North­west Dis­trict stand­ings. The Wolver­ines play again on Fri­day in a road game at Concrete.
  • High school fast­pitch also lost to Coupeville on Tues­day by a 6–3 count. They’re off until next Tues­day when they play a home dou­ble­head­er against LaConner.
  • Schol­ar­ships are avail­able for Island Rec pro­grams. Make sure to apply before sum­mer pro­gram reg­is­tra­tion opens on Monday.
  • Salty at Heart Island Apothe­cary is hav­ing their grand open­ing on Fri­day. Stop by between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • The Madrona Bar & Grill at Roche Har­bor re-opens for the sea­son today. They’ll be open dai­ly from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Morning clouds on Argyle

Posted April 27, 2022 at 9:17 pm by

Candidate filing week runs May 16–20

Posted April 27, 2022 at 1:55 pm by

Start­ing Mon­day, May 16, res­i­dents inter­est­ed in run­ning for polit­i­cal office can sub­mit their can­di­date fil­ings. Eight coun­ty­wide offices are up for a vote in the Novem­ber 8 gen­er­al elec­tion, includ­ing Asses­sor, Audi­tor, Clerk, Dis­trict 3 Coun­cilmem­ber, Dis­trict Court Judge, Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney, Sher­iff, and Treasurer.

Accord­ing to the San Juan Coun­ty Elec­tions Office, can­di­dates may sub­mit their fil­ings online, by email, by fax, or in per­son at 55 Sec­ond Street, Suite A. Online fil­ing will be avail­able start­ing at 9 a.m. on May 16 through 4 p.m. on Fri­day, May 20. In-per­son, emailed, or faxed fil­ings will be accept­ed on the same days between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Coun­ty will accept mail-in fil­ings no soon­er than Mon­day, May 2. Mailed fil­ings must be received no lat­er than May 20.

The names of can­di­dates fac­ing two or more chal­lengers will appear on the August 2 pri­ma­ry bal­lot. Offices with one or two can­di­dates filed will go direct­ly to the Novem­ber 8 gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot. Precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers are elect­ed on the August 2 pri­ma­ry bal­lot, if opposed. If unop­posed, they are deemed elected.

More details are avail­able on the Elec­tions Office web­site.

Notes from the Island — April 27

Posted April 27, 2022 at 8:39 am by

  • Doug DeMeer­leer’s art­work, Print­onyx’s print­ing, and Cecil DeMeer­leer’s pub­lic­i­ty efforts joined forces to raise $1,155 for the Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter. The funds will be used to help those impact­ed by the April 7 fire with essen­tial house­hold and fam­i­ly needs. There’s a chance that addi­tion­al prints of Doug’s paint­ing of the build­ings at the cor­ner of Spring and First Streets will be avail­able soon. We’ll keep you posted.
  • A meal train has been orga­nized for James Duke, whose part­ner Veni­ta Iver­son passed away on Sun­day. There are plen­ty of open­ings left if you’re inter­est­ing in help­ing out.
  • The OPALCO Board of Direc­tors elec­tion dead­line is today. At least 10 per­cent of co-op mem­bers must cast a vote in the elec­tion in order to achieve a quo­rum and have the elec­tion count.
  • Fri­day Har­bor High School base­ball and fast­pitch had their road games against Coupeville post­poned due to weath­er. Both teams will give it anoth­er shot today.
  • The Madrone Cel­lars & Cider tast­ing room at 40 First Street is back to their nor­mal hours, start­ing today. They’ll be open Wednes­day through Sun­day from noon to 6 p.m. Their wine gar­den is open as well.

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

Along the roadside

Posted April 26, 2022 at 9:55 pm by

John Kulseth running for re-election for County Assessor

Posted April 26, 2022 at 1:42 pm by

Incum­bent San Juan Coun­ty Asses­sor John Kulseth has announced his inten­tion to run for re-election.

“I’ve had the priv­i­lege of serv­ing as your Asses­sor for the past eight years and am ask­ing for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­tin­ue serv­ing you,” Kulseth said in his cam­paign announce­ment. “I’ve worked for the past eigh­teen years to under­stand and suc­cess­ful­ly respond to the chal­lenges of the Assessor’s Office, includ­ing mov­ing from a three-year cycli­cal re-val­u­a­tion process to an annu­al re-val­u­a­tion process, and adapt­ing to the increas­ing pub­lic desire for online infor­ma­tion. I have and will con­tin­ue to ded­i­cate my time and effort to pro­vid­ing the ser­vice tax­pay­ers expect and pro­mot­ing an assess­ment process that is pro­fes­sion­al, fair, and clear­ly under­stood. I ask for your ongo­ing trust and your vote in November.”

Coun­ty Asses­sor is one of eight posi­tions up for a vote in the Nov. 8 gen­er­al elec­tion. The Coun­ty Coun­cil seat for Dis­trict 3 (Lopez and Shaw), Audi­tor, Clerk, Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney, Sher­iff, Trea­sur­er, and Dis­trict Court Judge are also open in 2022. The pri­ma­ry elec­tion for those con­tests takes place Aug. 2.

National Historical Park visitor centers announce opening dates

Posted April 26, 2022 at 10:30 am by

San Juan Island Nation­al His­tor­i­cal Park shares an update about the open­ing of its Eng­lish Camp and Amer­i­can Camp vis­i­tors this spring and summer.

San Juan Island Nation­al His­tor­i­cal Park is get­ting ready to open its vis­i­tor cen­ters for the year.

This year, the Eng­lish Camp Vis­i­tor Cen­ter will open Fri­day, May 28, and will remain open until Octo­ber 1. The Amer­i­can Camp Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, where staff and vol­un­teers are work­ing on vis­i­tor enhance­ments and installing a brand new, state of the art exhibits, will open the week­end of July 4. San Juan Island Nation­al His­tor­i­cal Park received over 630,000 vis­i­tors in 2021, a steep increase above past years. Our sea­son­al staff and park hosts are ready and excit­ed to wel­come you to our park.

The new Amer­i­can Camp Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, cre­at­ed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the park-asso­ci­at­ed Tribes of San Juan Island, will be unlike any oth­er park facil­i­ty we have built. Park staff have worked close­ly with artists, arti­sans, schol­ars, and sci­en­tists to cre­ate a com­mu­ni­ty facil­i­ty that pays trib­ute to the mul­ti­ple his­to­ries of San Juan Island and their mean­ing for dif­fer­ent indi­vid­u­als and groups and the unique envi­ron­ment of our island.

Reg­u­lar pro­gram­ming sched­uled for this sum­mer include guid­ed walks, his­tor­i­cal tours, liv­ing his­to­ry, and recur­ring Mon­day night con­tra danc­ing. This year is the 150th anniver­sary of the Bound­ary Dis­pute Res­o­lu­tion which ensured a peace­ful set­tle­ment to The Pig War; we have already begun pro­gram­ming and have much more on hand this sum­mer. A major high­light will be the long await­ed return of pop­u­lar mul­ti-day liv­ing his­to­ry encamp­ment which will return to Eng­lish Camp in ear­ly August. If you or your orga­ni­za­tion would like to part­ner with us to com­mem­o­rate this his­to­ry, please con­tact us.

Our staff is excit­ed to see vis­i­tors new and old this summer.

Notes from the Island — April 26

Posted April 26, 2022 at 6:00 am by

  • Fri­day Har­bor High School’s base­ball and fast­pitch teams take on Coupeville on the road today at 4 p.m.
  • St. David’s Epis­co­pal Church is host­ing a free con­cert this Sun­day fea­tur­ing works from C.P.E. Bach, Gio­van­ni Per­golisi and Richard Lind. Any pro­ceeds from dona­tions at the door will be giv­en to the Fri­day Har­bor Food Bank and the Fam­i­ly Resource Center.
  • The Mullis Cen­ter is look­ing for vol­un­teer dri­vers to deliv­er meals and help clients trav­el to appoint­ments both on and off island. They also need recep­tion desk help and assis­tance with meal set­up and kitchen cleanup. Con­tact Deb­bie (360–370-7526) or Anna (360–370-7520) if you’re able to help.
  • Fam­i­ly Art Days con­tin­ues at the San Juan Islands Muse­um of Art this Sat­ur­day, where fam­i­ly art packs can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This week’s project involves cre­at­ing seascapes and waves with pat­terned paper. Pre-reg­is­tra­tion is required.
  • Fri­day’s Crab­house opens for the sea­son on … Fri­day, of course.
  • The San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust is look­ing for bird enthu­si­asts to help them search for West­ern Blue­birds on San Juan Island tomor­row morn­ing in their sec­ond and final blue­bird blitz of the year. You can reg­is­ter here.

Pho­to cred­it: Brad Pillow

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

On the rocks

Posted April 25, 2022 at 9:46 pm by

Town receives USDA environmental stewardship award

Posted April 25, 2022 at 3:26 pm by

The Town of Fri­day Har­bor shares an update about the USDA award they received last week.

The Town of Fri­day Harbor’s waste­water treat­ment plant improve­ment project begins lat­er this year and has already earned the Town spe­cial recog­ni­tion. On behalf of the Town, May­or Ray Jack­son accept­ed the Build­ing a Bet­ter Amer­i­ca Envi­ron­men­tal Stew­ard­ship Award from USDA Rur­al Devel­op­ment at San Juan County’s Earth Day cel­e­bra­tion. This award is in response to major upgrades planned for the plant that will ensure its abil­i­ty to pro­vide the increas­ing­ly high lev­el of treat­ment required by the state.

“As a coastal com­mu­ni­ty, we have both the desire and oblig­a­tion to invest in the pro­tec­tion of our marine envi­ron­ment,” said Jack­son, adding that the Town is proud to be bring­ing this qual­i­ty improve­ment to the community.

Accord­ing to the State Direc­tor for USDA Rur­al Devel­op­ment, Helen Price John­son, the award is in “grate­ful recog­ni­tion on Earth Day, April 22, 2022, for your con­tin­u­ing com­mit­ment to main­tain and improve the envi­ron­ment and ensure a sus­tain­able future for the mem­bers of your com­mu­ni­ty and beyond.”

The waste­water treat­ment plant project is expect­ed to take two to three years. The Town has secured grant fund­ing and low-inter­est financ­ing from USDA Rur­al Devel­op­ment for most of the $16 mil­lion project.