Posted December 7, 2022 at 9:44 pm by Jeff Arnim
December real estate market snapshot
Posted December 7, 2022 at 7:24 pm by San Juan Update
The Simonson and Zambrovitz Team at Coldwell Banker San Juan Island send along their real estate market snapshot for the San Juan Islands for December.
The total number of home sales on San Juan Island is 40 percent less than during the same period last year, but prices are nearly 25 percent higher.
Sasha Von Dassow performs at the Library on Thursday
Posted December 7, 2022 at 5:17 pm by Jeff Arnim
Island cellist Sasha Von Dassow will perform both classical and holiday music in the Main Salon of the San Juan Island Library on Thursday, Dec. 8, starting at 4 p.m.
If you aren’t able to attend this week’s event, Sasha will also be performing at the Library next Thursday, Dec. 15 — also at 4 p.m.
Old-Fashioned Holiday Market comes to Brickworks this weekend
Posted December 7, 2022 at 8:30 am by Jeff Arnim
Friday Harbor’s Old-Fashioned Holiday Market returns this weekend — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — at Brickworks. The event features more than two dozen vendors offering an array of crafts, food products, health supplements, and other gifts for the holidays.
Families can enjoy hayrides on Saturday and pony rides on Sunday. Local musicians will be performing throughout the event.
The holiday market runs from 3–7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday.
Along the high road at the gravel pit
Posted December 6, 2022 at 8:44 pm by Jeff Arnim
Chardonnay Shopping takes place on Thursday
Posted December 6, 2022 at 7:18 pm by San Juan Update
The organizers of Friday Harbor’s popular Chardonnay Shopping event send along details about this year’s edition.
Please join us for Chardonnay Shopping and shop locally this Thursday, Dec. 8. Many of our local businesses, retailers and restaurants are offering wonderful specials just for the Chardonnay Shoppers.
You don’t actually have to drink Chardonnay to be a Chardonnay Shopper, so come out and enjoy the day. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. at Haley’s Sports Bar & Grill — 175 Spring St. Have lunch at your favorite restaurant before, then hit the stores. Nearly 50 local merchants and restaurants are taking part this year.
Click here to view this year’s shopping guide, which lists all of the participating businesses and their specials. You can also check out the video that explains the program.
Griffin Bay Bookstore has a new owner
Posted December 6, 2022 at 1:55 pm by San Juan Update
One of Friday Harbor’s longest-running businesses shares news about their new owner.
For 43 years Griffin Bay Bookstore has been prominent in downtown Friday Harbor, contributing in myriad large and small ways to the literary, cultural, and social lives of our island community. It has been our mission to provide islanders with the books and literature they treasure, catering to the unique preferences of loyal customers. Our shelves have always been stocked with a wide range of books, a collection that is considered curated in trade parlance. And though there have been many changes in island life since 1979, there has been continuity of mission and purpose. Under wise and careful stewardship, the three owners — Chris Schmidt, Susan Eyerly, and Laura Norris — have stressed hands-on customer service, bringing friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff to the bookstore, bibliophiles dedicated to finding just the right book or gifts for customers.
Laura Norris and staff extend a great thank you to all our customers for their loyalty and on-going support for the last 16 years. We have weathered fraught times together — a recession, a pandemic, and significant changes in Friday Harbor as well as San Juan Island. And as we have said before, adapting to uncertainties and changing circumstances is no small feat for any of us. Now new and refreshing opportunities are coming to the bookstore.
This month there is new ownership at Griffin Bay. Laura Norris has passed the torch to San Juan Island resident Mae Cannon effective Dec. 5. While there will be someone new at the helm, there will be the steadiness of continuity, the steadiness of mission and purpose and in staffing. You will see familiar faces behind the counter — Allyson, McKayla, Shaw, and occasionally Catherine and Laura — and Nancy behind the scenes. Business will continue uninterrupted as usual. Rest assured, all gift certificates will be honored and special orders fulfilled. The store is well-stocked for your Christmas gift-giving needs.
Laura expresses great thanks to all the book lovers who’ve browsed our shelves over these many years. “With a full and grateful heart, I am leaving Griffin Bay Bookstore steeped in the confidence that its future is secure in the hands of new owner Mae Cannon,” Laura says. “She is a devoted bibliophile with a wide breadth of talents and expertise which will suit the bookstore and reading community well. It has been my honor to serve the island community which I grew up in and love so much for these past 16 years, but I know the time has come to welcome in the next generation and I trust that all of you will join me in supporting Griffin Bay Bookstore’s new owner.”
Mae has loved Griffin Bay Bookstore since the first time she and her husband came to visit Friday Harbor. A resident of San Juan Island for the past several years, Mae loves books and has a personal collection across a variety of genres. Owning a bookstore has been a lifelong dream, and from her perspective there is no better place than on San Juan Island. Mae will be in the bookstore beginning today. Please stop in and join us in welcoming her.
“I am excited to keep the tradition of Griffin Bay Bookstore strong. My desire is for the store to continue to be a place where all people feel welcome and can come to learn about the treasures of our island and beyond, “Mae says of her vision for the bookstore. “I look forward to being involved in the island community as well as being a part of Friday Harbor’s business community. I salute Laura Norris for her years of running the bookstore, and I am grateful to learn from her expertise as I embark on this new adventure.”
Categories: Around Here
Santa’s mailbox returns to Friday Harbor
Posted December 6, 2022 at 9:21 am by San Juan Update
The Chamber of Commerce shares news about the return of a popular island holiday tradition.
The mailbox for letters to Santa is back! You can drop off your letters to Santa in the big, red, seasonal mailbox in front of Van Go’s Pizza at 180 Web St. Every year, a team of dedicated volunteer elves assist Santa in responding to the hundreds of letters from our community’s youth.
The organizers remind parents and caregivers that the letters to Santa must have a return address to receive a response, and the child’s name needs to be clearly printed or it will be addressed to My Dear Friend. Return times may vary — even by household. The volunteer elves try to respond to letters in the order they come in, but the elves work at different paces as their own lives allow. To get a child’s original letter back, include a stamped envelope with return address and a note requesting it back.
Each elf creates a few original story templates for reply letters to get through the hundreds received. For more personalized responses, kids can ask questions, or a caregiver can sneak in a note about what the child has done that year. The elves do not address a child’s gift request out of respect for caregivers’ choices and financial situations.
The deadline to drop off a letter and receive a response is Tuesday, Dec. 20.
This program is run entirely by volunteers who put their love and free time into making it happen. They do not get paid and do it for the love of Christmas. Friday Harbor Trading Post, the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce, and Van Go’s Pizza are this year’s sponsors.
December update from Fred Woods, San Juan Island School District superintendent
Posted December 5, 2022 at 1:46 pm by San Juan Update
Dear Friday Harbor community,
I have written previously that I love the holiday season. The bright lights, festive decorations, and amazing cookies are some of the traditions of the season I enjoy most. Sure, the temperature might be dropping, but there is still so much to celebrate. This is especially true in your schools.
The last two years we modified schedules, wore masks, and closely monitored COVID outbreaks. This September, however, students returned to a school that resembled what life was like pre-pandemic. Hallways were full, collaborative projects in classrooms resumed, and customary events were restored. High school students experienced the homecoming parade and dance, the middle schoolers hiked on Orcas, and the elementary school hosted a Day of the Dead celebration as well as a veteran’s assembly.
The most exciting news is that the boys soccer team brought home the class 2B state championship — the only other title in school history was in 1986. Congratulations to Coach Brett Paull and all the athletes.
There are so many success stories just from the first three months of school I could share that warm the heart. We really do have an amazing school community. This is not to say, however, that we haven’t experienced our share of difficulties. COVID remains a concern and the district continues to follow guidance given by the state and local Departments of Health. In addition to COVID, the regular viral season is upon us causing higher than normal absence rates. Although we want all students here every day, staying home when sick is a good decision. We appreciate the families supporting us in this manner and the flexibility of teachers working with students who cannot attend.
No matter the situation we are facing, the district is committed to continual improvement. Students deserve it. To that end, this month we begin creating action plans for the two goals in our strategic plan.
Tearing down the path at Linde
Posted December 5, 2022 at 12:04 pm by Jeff Arnim
County Council agenda for Dec. 6
Posted December 5, 2022 at 9:58 am by Jeff Arnim
The San Juan County Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. at Lopez Center for Community and the Arts, 204 Village Road on Lopez Island.
The meeting includes a public hearing for the 2023 budget mid-biennial review. Items up for discussion or action include:
- Adopting County staffing levels and pay and benefit plans for 2023
- Conveying a conservation easement deed on the Lopez Hill Addition property to San Juan Preservation Trust
- Human Services transportation update
- Requesting authorization to apply for a Recreation and Conservation Office Grant for the Hunter Bay Marine Facility project
Because the meeting is being held outside of the Council Legislative Hearing Room, a live stream of the meeting will not be available.
Categories: Around Here
Fall color at the Sculpture Park
Posted December 3, 2022 at 6:54 pm by Jeff Arnim
Fundraiser continues for islander MichaelJean Smith
Posted December 3, 2022 at 1:25 pm by Jeff Arnim
Long-time islander MichaelJean Smith is still looking for some help after a major stroke in February caused paralysis on both sides of her body.
“She has progressed to using a wheel chair, and is alert and aware and able to speak,” says Minnie Knych, a friend of MichaelJean’s. “She is in rehabilitation at a care center in Everett. She is improving slowly, but still needs 24-hour care, and her medical bills continue to grow.
“Her husband Sid goes every weekend to be with her in Everett, and has ferry, food and gas, plus hotel costs to cover with his job as mechanic owner/operator of San Juan Air Maintenance, along with regular home expenses and mortgage. They really could use some help this holiday season.”
Michael Jean’s church has created a Banner Bank business account to pay care expenses not covered by insurance. Donations can be made to the account, ending in 2419, directly at Banner Bank. Online donations are also being accepted.
Robin is the Animal Protection Society’s pet of the week
Posted December 3, 2022 at 7:48 am by San Juan Update
The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor shares a look at the adoptable animal of the week — Robin, a two-year-old chihuahua mix.
Hi there, my name is Robin. As a female, I am vast and I have many sides, but most pressing right now is the title of young new mom.
Although there are many things that a new mom must decide, one of highest importance is choosing a name for her child, so when I found myself bearing my first litter, I just knew I had to get it right in picking their names. I started to think of my own name, Robin. I have always been so grateful to have it as it was given to me in honor of a beloved family member. Additionally, I always liked the association with the bird of the same name — a quintessential North American species known for being an early-bird.
Before long it occurred to me to use birds as name inspiration for my babies, and although it was so difficult to choose from all the avian options, I soon settled on their names:
- Jay — Blue jays are birds known for their intelligence and tight family bonds.
- Raven — A bird that is a representative of Baltimore, a place I’ve always loved.
- Starling — I’ve always been a sucker for William Shakespeare and in the 19th century these birds arrived in North America thanks to the help of Shakespeare enthusiasts.
- Wren — Pacific wrens are known for their larger-than-life, complex, and oh-so-beautiful songs.
Birds of a feather, me and my little ones flock together. My puppies will grow quickly — I am told by all mothers that it will go by in a blink — and before long they’ll be off on their own, with their new families while I too find my next adventure. But no matter where we go, our connection will forever be in heart and name. Where will we fly to next? Is it into your home and hearts? We hope so!