Posted September 17, 2022 at 7:53 pm by San Juan Update
The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor shares news about their recent experiences in Eastern Washington, including the ways in which APS-FH can work to support animal welfare in the region.
On Sept. 6, Animal Protection Society-Friday Harbor Executive Director Cristin Felso and Shelter Manager Beth Anderson were invited to join a team of animal welfare champions on a private airplane trip across the north-central region of Washington state, including the cities of Omak, Okanogan, Cashmere, and Wenatchee. The goal of the trip was to visit with local animal welfare leaders and tour facilities, as well as pick up two litters of puppies to be transferred to APS-FH and Orcas APS. The trip was organized by San Juan Island resident Cindy Koch in a continued effort to address gaps in animal welfare services and identify potential solutions to decrease overpopulation and the number of unwanted pets in the region.
Members of the touring team included Cindy Koch, Jill Servais, island resident Mia Shepard, APS founding board member Yolanda Morris, and Pawsitive Alliance Executive Director Jenny Fraley.
There are many factors at play in the region that create a challenging animal welfare environment, including large, rural land areas that are geographically isolated and a high rate of poverty that presents barriers to accessibility and affordability of pet-care services. There are also few available resources to address the prevalence of animal overpopulation, such as consistent and low-cost spay and neuter services, accessible animal shelters, and availability of other shelter and rescue partners to accept animals from the region through transport and transfer.
During the tour, the group visited several organizations struggling to do all they can do for an overwhelming number of homeless and abandoned animals in a severely under-served and under-resourced region. Okanogan Regional Humane, The Cat House, Okanogan County Animal Foster Care Cat Shelter, City of Omak, and Okandogs are all organizations doing their best to cover the needs of the animals within their community, but are either struggling or unable to keep up with the demand. The commonality between all of them was a lack of funding, housing space, and access to resources for the homeless or stray animals in need.
Through this visit, it is clear that the entire region needs access to sustained, low-cost spay and neuter and veterinary services via clinic and mobile units, and efforts should be made to increase public awareness regarding the importance of spaying and neutering owned animals. Finally, transport and relocation programs with shelters throughout the state are critical to shelters in this area.
APS-FH is in the early learning stage of identifying ways we can support this region. We are working with shelters and rescues in the area to set transfer parameters that will allow us to accept animals more readily from the region. And our own shelter veterinarian, Dr. Merriss Waters, will lead a team of vets and other animal medical personnel during a high volume spay and neuter, vaccination, and ID event taking place at Okanogan Regional Humane in Omak Oct. 21–23. At least 200 animals will receive services through this collaboration put together by Okanogan Regional Humane, Animal Balance, and Pawsitive Alliance of Bellevue.
In addition to the insight APS-FH reps received on this journey, they were also able to tie in a transfer of eight small, mixed-breed puppies from ARFS of Grant County and Okandogs. All pups will soon be available for adoption through APS-FH and Orcas APS. By adopting a rescue pet, you can make all the difference in the life of an unwanted animal, while helping support the many organizations working together to resolve animal welfare related issues.
Posted September 17, 2022 at 11:56 am by Peggy Sue McRae
This past week, the world lost not only the longest serving British monarch, but at 96 years old a woman who embodied longevity itself. Queen Elizabeth II had plenty of healthy habits. She started her days with a pot of Earl Grey tea, a bowl of Special K cereal, and a bagpipe serenade. She rode horses, walked her dogs, and eschewed bread and pasta, avoiding starch. She also enjoyed venison burgers, chocolate, and gin martinis.
Blue Zone longevity studies focus on communities throughout the world with particularly long-lived populations. Centenarians living in “blue zones” areas — places where people were living longer lives with more vitality — have a strong sense of purpose throughout their lives. The Okinawans call it ikigai and the Nicoyans call it plan de vida. For both, it translates to why I wake up in the morning.
Queen Elizabeth’s purpose was clear. Due to her uncle’s abdication followed by her father’s poor health, Elizabeth’s destiny was thrust upon her at a young age. On her 21st birthday she made her commitment clear stating, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.” At the age of 25 she became Queen of the United Kingdom. She kept her promise to steadfastly serve her people for the next 70 years.
One of the most important duties of the British monarch is asking a new Prime Minister to form a government. On Sept. 6 the Queen accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson, her 14th Prime Minister, and asked her 15th Prime Minister, Liz Truss, to form a new government. Two days later the Queen passed away. She died with her boots on, you could say, fulfilling the promise that she made in her youth.
Few of us live lives of such notable consequence. Yet, our purpose can be as simple as showing kindness to others. What is it that gets you up in the morning?
Posted September 17, 2022 at 10:33 am by San Juan Update
The San Juan County Economic Development Council shares news about an upcoming event.
Community leaders and members are invited to join the conversation on Future Focus: San Juan Islands Resilience at the 13th Annual EDC Economics Luncheon, held at Brickworks in Friday Harbor on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Featuring noted speaker Louis Harris from the Washington State Department of Commerce, the event will include a deep dive into community resilience initiatives and policies, as well as a panel discussion with experts from Congressman Rick Larsen’s office and local elected officials. The conversation will examine efforts at the local, state, and federal level to create a resilient future for our islands and region.
Luncheon tickets are $39. Visit the EDC website to order tickets or for more information.
Posted September 16, 2022 at 12:41 pm by San Juan Update
The Library sends along news about its upcoming in-person English classes.
The San Juan Island Library is excited to announce the return to in-person English language classes for adults beginning Thursday, Sept. 22. Classes are free of charge and will take place in the Library from 6–8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays until Dec. 15.
Students of all English language levels are welcome and will receive individual workbooks and learning materials, funded in part by the San Juan Island Community Foundation. Thanks to a partnership with the Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center, a family enrichment program will be offered to students’ children four years of age and older. In addition to a paid instructor, volunteer English tutors will support students’ success in class. Volunteers receive free online training prior to classes through the San Juan Island Library.
To learn more about the English Language Learning Program, register for classes, or apply as a volunteer tutor, contact Wendy Waxman Kern at the San Juan Island Library at email@example.com or 360–378-2798.
Posted September 16, 2022 at 10:16 am by San Juan Update
The Master Gardeners of San Juan County share news about their upcoming speaker series.
Join the Master Gardeners of San Juan County in welcoming the very popular Dr. Linda Gilkeson — also known as the Garden Doctor — as the keynote speaker at our annual Gardening Workshop Series this October. Dr. Gilkeson’s talk, Resilient Gardens in a Changing Climate, will discuss how greater resiliency in our gardening methods can help minimize the effects of local climate change. Pacific Northwest gardeners need to be prepared to handle cooler, wetter springs; longer, drier summers; unexpected winter cold snaps; and water shortages.
In addition to her keynote address, Dr. Gilkeson will also speak in an afternoon session, Preparing Our Gardens for Winter, which will talk about protecting soil and preserving beneficial insect habitat. It will also cover what to plant in the fall to increase next year’s food supply for pollinators.
Dr. Gilkeson earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from McGill University and worked for the Canadian government on various programs designed to reduce pesticide use. She is the author of Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. She lives in British Columbia and writes a monthly newsletter with gardening tips on her website.
The workshops consist of two Zoom webinars at noon and 1:45 each Tuesday and Thursday from Oct. 18–27. Each session is an hour long with a question and answer period at the end. Continue Reading