OPALCO Board passes 2023 budget and rates
Posted December 2, 2022 at 4:34 pm by San Juan Update
OPALCO shares news about rate changes coming in 2023 and beyond.
The 2023 OPALCO annual budget was approved at the Nov. 17 board meeting. It includes a six percent rate increase for all members, funding for construction of the Bailer Hill Community Solar Project, and energy efficiency incentives.
The budget forecasts a six percent rate increases for each of the next five years to keep up with inflation, the rising costs of power and labor, and to manage the co-op’s equity position. The co-op uses equity to borrow federal funds for major capital projects, like the submarine cable replacements that are scheduled in the next 10–20 years.
OPALCO continues to leverage grant funds and the Bonneville Power Administration rebate program to encourage members to make their homes and business more energy efficient and help reduce their total energy spending. OPALCO’s on-bill financing program, Switch It Up, lets members start efficiency projects now and pay for them later. Members in good standing can get projects such as weatherization, solar and battery projects, or upgrades to heating systems installed with no money down and two percent interest. Other residential and commercial rebates are also available.
OPALCO’s second community solar project, the Bailer Hill Microgrid, is scheduled to begin construction in 2023, and members will be able to purchase a piece of the project as soon as next spring. Community solar is locally produced power that members buy into and get credits on their bill for the energy produced. These projects are funded through grants and by the members who buy into the project. This project will includes battery storage like OPALCO’s Decatur Island Microgrid.
The budget also includes increased support for energy assistance to households who struggle to pay their power bill. There are two programs that members can apply to for bill assistance — Project Pal, which is a grant once each year during the heating season, and Energy Assist, which provides a bill credit every month based on household size. Islanders can apply for energy assistance online or through the Family Resource Center.
Island Lights Festival happens tonight
Posted December 2, 2022 at 10:09 am by San Juan Update
The Chamber of Commerce shares news about tonight’s holiday event.
The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce’s Island Lights Festival will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Friday Harbor. This kick-off event for the Friday Harbor Winterfest is presented in partnership with Island Rec and, of course, Santa Claus.
Our tree lighting will be a touch different this year and we will be resorting to how the Island Lights Festival was years ago. This is due to the sad demise of the big tree in Memorial Park. The Town will make the shape of a tree with twinkling lights and the colors will coincide with the Noel sign, which is managed by the San Juan Island Lions Club.
It will be a fun-filled evening when the community gathers on Spring Street between First and Front streets to await the arrival of Santa. We will have caroling while sipping some hot chocolate and coffee before he arrives to light the tree. Then it’s up to Brickworks for crafts with Island Rec and the opportunity to take pictures and selfies with Santa.
Along Westcott Bay
Posted December 1, 2022 at 6:55 pm by Jeff Arnim
Glenn Hendrick hosts solo show at Artspace
Posted December 1, 2022 at 2:27 pm by San Juan Update
One of San Juan Island’s artists shares news about an upcoming solo exhibition.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, a selection of works on paper by local artist Glenn Hendrick will be featured in Joe Cooper’s intimately proportioned Artspace, located at 160 Macginite Road. The opening will take place from noon to 3 p.m., with tea and cookies.
Artspace is the home studio of Joe Cooper, tucked around the corner from partner Paula West’s pottery studio. In addition to providing display space for finished pieces and works in process, this 200 square foot space is home to periodic, carefully curated shows of work by other artists. The spare, simple building provides a clear and clean context for the presentation of small but potent bodies of work.
Glenn Hendrick works in ceramics, printmaking, painting, drawing, textiles, and photography, weaving observation, symbolism, and personal mythology. This selection of work was mostly created within the past two years, and features painting, drawing, and printmaking inspired by the natural features of her island surroundings.
Glenn received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. She has lived on San Juan Island since 2013 and is Co-Director of Alchemy Art Center.
Island Senior: An introvert’s guide to the holidays
Posted December 1, 2022 at 12:51 pm by Peggy Sue McRae
For the last few years the global pandemic has wreaked havoc with many of our cherished holiday traditions. This has given us all an opportunity to shift to simpler scenarios. We’ve out of necessity had to shift, or in some cases give up, traditions that pre-pandemic seemed permanently established. We have an opportunity now to create new and possibly more rewarding traditions.
But wait — is the pandemic over? While some of my friends have been eagerly filling up their social calendars and planning trips, I’m still wondering where I’m going to find the level of solitude required to learn how to make sourdough bread!
That’s right. I’m an introvert.
Often misunderstood, we introverts don’t dislike people — we just might not want to see all of you at the same time. We need quiet spaces in between activities to regroup. The more extroverted among us might benefit from strategies introverts use to avoid stressing out during the holidays.
Rather than becoming like a ping-pong ball batted from one activity to the next, become the captain of your own destiny. Make a plan. Before your calendar is full, block out days for quiet activities you know you will enjoy.
Spend some quality time with people you love making cookies, watching movies, and taking nature walks. Plan a spiritually renewing retreat. Spend some time with animals. Create your own journaling workshop. These are just a few suggestions to keep the madness of the season at bay.
I recently saw a holiday message from my friend Alejandra Zacci, who works as a life coach. She reminds us, “For those of you who don’t want to celebrate, who don’t feel like celebrating, it’s OK. You don’t have to.” Let me repeat — you don’t have to, and it’s OK. You have free will and are allowed to make choices.
Here’s wishing you and your loved ones the very best of this winter holiday season in whatever ways suit you best.
Categories: Around Here, Island Senior
Posted December 1, 2022 at 10:55 am by Jeff Arnim
Peace Island Volunteers host Christmas basket sale on Saturday
Posted December 1, 2022 at 9:30 am by Jeff Arnim
The Peace Island Volunteers Christmas Shoppe returns this Saturday with dozens of holiday baskets available for sale. The event takes place at the Mullis Center, with doors opening at 10 a.m.
There are gift baskets for children, adults, dog and cat lovers, wine lovers, sports fans, and many others — each assembled with care by a dedicated team of island volunteers. Baskets are priced from $5 to $150, with all proceeds benefiting the Volunteers’ Angel Fund.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as the baskets usually sell out early in the day.
Drawn to the light
Posted November 30, 2022 at 8:34 pm by Jeff Arnim
County Council adopts revisions to Comprehensive Plan
Posted November 30, 2022 at 4:08 pm by San Juan Update
The County shares news about the culmination of planning and community input six years in the making.
The San Juan County Council adopted the 2036 Comprehensive Plan Update today after six years of meetings, public hearings, and input. The document will serve as the road map for future development, growth management, and County programs over the next two decades.
“This is such an important achievement for the County,” said Councilmember Jamie Stephens, who has spent half of his 12-year council career working on the Plan. “I’ve been part of difficult decision-making over the years in hopes that bringing it up to date will help the County plan more easily and mindfully for future growth.”
The 2036 Comprehensive Plan Update process began in 2016 and has been a major focus for the Council and the County’s Department of Community Development. The Planning Commission dedicated 71 meetings to the Comprehensive Plan Update over the last six years, and since mid-September the Council has held special meetings to review different elements of the Plan including land use, housing, transportation, historic and archeological preservation, and official maps.
This accomplishment is possible thanks to the work of countless members of the public, Planning Commission volunteers, past and present councilmembers and County employees, consultants, and more, who contributed their time, talents, and expertise. Continue Reading
Old Town Lagoon
Posted November 30, 2022 at 12:42 pm by Jeff Arnim
Friday Harbor Atelier hosting holiday open house
Posted November 30, 2022 at 11:10 am by San Juan Update
One of San Juan Island’s local artist groups shares news about their upcoming art sale.
The artists of the Friday Harbor Atelier invite the public to a holiday open house and art sale on Friday, Dec. 2 from 4–7 p.m. More than a dozen artists will be on hand to open their studios or present their work in the gallery space for sale, with styles and themes including portraits, landscapes, florals, animals, and abstract fine art. There will also be a selection of cards, fine art prints, tote bags and other unique gifts.
“This year we are celebrating our fifth anniversary as an art community,” says artist Debbie Daniels. “After the past few years, more than ever we want to celebrate local small businesses and encourage islanders to give the gift of handmade art for the holidays.”
Friday Harbor Atelier — located at 313 Spring St. — will also be open Dec. 3, 10, and 17 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Atelier is an independent group of artists working in a common studio space. They provide affordable private studio spaces, an open studio space, showcase art, and host classes, workshops and exhibitions. Member artists of the Atelier include Gretchen Allison, Rita Althoff, Shannon Borg, Mary Bruce, Debbie Daniels, Alison Engle, David Harsh, Lori Hellstrom, Pam Hoke, Lisa Lamoreaux, Laura & Sammy Long, Jan Murphy, Teresa Smith, and Dolly Sundstrom.
A dusting of snow
Posted November 29, 2022 at 8:55 pm by Kristen Arnim
Library hosting Harry Potter Trivia on Wednesday
Posted November 29, 2022 at 5:35 pm by Jeff Arnim
The San Juan Island Library hosts Harry Potter Trivia for youth in grades 5–12 from 2:30–4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30 in the Library Meeting Room. According to the Library, questions cover a variety of wizardly topics and will draw facts from the original Harry Potter books and movies.
Snacks will be available, the winning team gets a prize, and no registration is required.