San Juan County Conservation Land Bank Commission agenda for Sept. 16

Posted September 15, 2022 at 6:47 pm by

The San Juan Coun­ty Con­ser­va­tion Land Bank Com­mis­sion will hold a reg­u­lar meet­ing on Fri­day, Sept. 16 at 8:30 a.m. Items up for dis­cus­sion or action at Fri­day’s meet­ing include:

  • Gen­er­al pub­lic comments
  • Chair and Com­mis­sion­ers report
  • Part­ner update – Angela Ander­son, San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust
  • Coun­ty Coun­cil update – Chris­tine Minney
  • Director’s report – acqui­si­tions update; Coun­ty bud­get com­mit­tee meet­ing; Recre­ation, Open Space and Stew­ard­ship Plan
  • Stew­ard­ship report – Cof­felt lease draft; pub­lic com­ments and draft respons­es for Turtle­back Moun­tain Pre­serve Stew­ard­ship and Man­age­ment Plan
  • Out­reach and vol­un­teer report
  • Future agen­da items

You can view the live stream of the meet­ing online or take part in per­son at 846 Argyle Ave.

Comprehensive Plan update enters final review stage

Posted September 15, 2022 at 5:17 pm by

San Juan County’s Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment shares details about the Com­pre­hen­sive Plan review process tak­ing place in the months ahead.

Mon­day marked the first of many Coun­ty Coun­cil meet­ings devot­ed to review­ing the 2036 Com­pre­hen­sive Plan update. The Coun­cil will review dif­fer­ent ele­ments of the Plan every Mon­day through Oct. 17 with addi­tion­al, semi-reg­u­lar meet­ings to fol­low, lead­ing up to the pub­lic hear­ing sched­uled for Tues­day, Nov. 29.

This final series of meet­ings, reviews, and rec­om­men­da­tions is the cul­mi­na­tion of years of work. The 2036 Com­pre­hen­sive Plan update process began in 2016 and has been a major focus of the County’s Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment and the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion. Month­ly com­mis­sion meet­ings, reg­u­lar pre­sen­ta­tions to Coun­cil, and exten­sive pub­lic involve­ment have con­tributed to this final phase of rec­om­mend­ed updates that the Coun­cil is expect­ed to adopt by the end of the year.

The changes are aimed at meet­ing the needs of the 2036 pop­u­la­tion and imple­ment­ing the Coun­ty Vision that was updat­ed in 2018. Changes also improve the usabil­i­ty of the Plan and pro­vide new analy­ses, assess­ments, and inven­to­ries. They also address key chal­lenges like hous­ing, eco­nom­ic diver­si­fi­ca­tion, tourism man­age­ment, pre­serv­ing rur­al char­ac­ter, and cli­mate change.

Those inter­est­ed in read­ing the cur­rent draft and learn­ing more about the Com­pre­hen­sive Plan updates can vis­it the Com­pre­hen­sive Plan web­site. The pre­lim­i­nary sched­ule of the Plan ele­ments to be reviewed at upcom­ing meet­ings includes:

  • Sept. 12: Gov­er­nance, land use, rur­al elements
  • Sept. 19: Hous­ing, trans­porta­tion, historic/archeological preser­va­tion elements
  • Sept. 26: Cap­i­tal facil­i­ties, util­i­ties, and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment elements
  • Oct. 3: Review draft of Offi­cial Map changes for Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw Islands
  • Oct. 10: Review Sec­tion B, Ele­ment 4, Water Resources; review draft Offi­cial Map changes for San Juan Island
  • Oct. 17: Review Plan for­mat­ting and tie up loose ends
  • Oct. 31: Review draft ordinance
  • Nov. 7: Fol­low up on ques­tions or changes made to the draft ordi­nance at the pre­vi­ous meetings
  • Nov. 29: Coun­ty Coun­cil pub­lic hear­ing, Plan update adoption

Pub­lic com­ments will be accept­ed through­out the review process.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Coun­ty Plan­ner Sophia Cas­sam at or 360–370-7589.

County-wide power outage happens tonight

Posted September 15, 2022 at 1:17 pm by

OPALCO shares a reminder about a main­te­nance pow­er out­age tak­ing place overnight.

All of San Juan Coun­ty will be affect­ed by a planned pow­er out­age nec­es­sary for Bon­neville Pow­er Asso­ci­a­tion to make sched­uled repairs to the trans­mis­sion lines that deliv­er pow­er to the islands. This main­te­nance out­age will hap­pen dur­ing the night min­i­mize impact to OPALCO consumers.

The out­age will begin at approx­i­mate­ly 11:30 p.m. tonight and pow­er is expect­ed to be restored by 5 a.m. tomor­row. Dur­ing this time, BPA crews will upgrade trans­mis­sion equip­ment and per­form main­te­nance on the sys­tem. While the pow­er is off, the OPALCO crew will uti­lize the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do main­te­nance work on our local system.

Turn sen­si­tive equip­ment off at the pow­er strip or unplug it tonight. In the morn­ing, turn equip­ment on grad­u­al­ly to aid in pow­er load pick up. OPALCO mem­bers are respon­si­ble for their own equip­ment and encour­aged to install surge pro­tec­tion to safe­guard elec­tron­ic, com­put­er and oth­er sen­si­tive equip­ment and appliances.

Now is a great time to make sure you’re pre­pared for win­ter out­ages. OPALCO’s sys­tem is strong and its line crews skill­ful and ready, how­ev­er out­ages hap­pen and islanders must be pre­pared. Take time to get ready for storm sea­son out­ages now, includ­ing your plan to access out­age infor­ma­tion (SmartHub, phone mes­sage, web­site, social media, out­age bud­dy off island with inter­net ser­vice), assem­ble a kit of the things you need to keep you com­fort­able dur­ing pow­er out­ages, and do main­te­nance on your bat­tery or gen­er­a­tor back­up for any crit­i­cal systems.

Check our web­site for out­age check­lists and oth­er key infor­ma­tion for mak­ing sure you are ready this win­ter.

Notes from the Island — Sept. 15

Posted September 15, 2022 at 8:15 am by

  • After 12 years in busi­ness, the end of the cur­rent iter­a­tion of The Bean is almost here. Accord­ing to a Face­book post by own­er Eric Bienen­stock, The Bean’s last day in busi­ness is tomor­row. In the post Eric says that “the cafe is for sale, and I am in dis­cus­sions with an inter­est­ed par­ty. My hope is that a new own­er will bring the ener­gy, enthu­si­asm and pas­sion that I arrived with so many years ago and return the cafe to its for­mer great­ness.” He also says that “it has been my great hon­or to serve our com­mu­ni­ty these last twelve years, and I will be for­ev­er grate­ful for the tremen­dous sup­port we have been shown.”
  • The San Juan Coun­ty Depart­ment of Emer­gency Man­age­ment has shared detailed infor­ma­tion about the sta­tus of the sunken Aleut­ian Isle fish­ing ves­sel.
  • Farm tours on San Juan Island are hap­pen­ing in just a cou­ple of weeks — Sept. 23–25. Eight island farms are tak­ing part this year.
  • Orga­niz­ers of the 2023 San Juan Islands Agri­cul­tur­al Sum­mit seek com­mu­ni­ty respons­es to a sur­vey relat­ed to this year’s event, which takes place on San Juan Island.
  • Sav­iBank is now open as a full-ser­vice branch. It’s locat­ed at 232 A St., Unit 2, across the street from Tina’s Place and the fer­ry wait­ing lanes. Busi­ness hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon­day through Friday.
  • Here are the week’s spe­cials at Mar­ket Place and Kings.
  • Thanks to our adver­tis­ers for their con­tin­ued sup­port of the San Juan Update — includ­ing Tama­ra Weaver of Win­der­mere Real Estate.

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

The last surviving kit of the season narrowly avoids oncoming traffic on a blind curve near the Cattle Point Interpretive area

Posted September 14, 2022 at 10:19 pm by

Accord­ing to Brad, “Sad­ly, they only cross the road here for one rea­son: to get food that two of the neigh­bors put out for them.”

Learn more about Brad’s per­spec­tive on the fox­es of San Juan Island.

Open house taking place at newly acquired Land Bank property on Orcas Island on Sept. 24

Posted September 14, 2022 at 9:06 pm by

Contributed photo

The San Juan Coun­ty Con­ser­va­tion Land Bank and San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust share details about the upcom­ing pub­lic event at the North Shore/Glenwood Inn prop­er­ty on the west side of Orcas Island.

Join the San Juan Coun­ty Coun­cil, and staff and commissioners/directors from the San Juan Coun­ty Con­ser­va­tion Land Bank and San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust, at the North Shore/Glenwood Inn prop­er­ty on Orcas Island from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat­ur­day, Sept. 24.

Mean­der from the upland to the shore­line and learn about the property’s mature forests, wet­lands, shore­line, and the tide­lands that sup­port eel­grass and for­age fish.

Due to lim­it­ed on-site park­ing, the Land Bank has orga­nized a roundtrip shut­tle bus from Orcas Island High School to the Pre­serve. Park your car in the stu­dent and guest park­ing area only; the shut­tle will pick up and drop off on the half hour, start­ing at 9:45 am.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Tan­ja Williamson at 360–378-4402 or

Fall Great Islands Clean-up takes place Sept. 24

Posted September 14, 2022 at 12:31 pm by

The Coun­ty sends along news about the islands’ twice-annu­al beach and road clean-up event.

Join your fel­low islanders for the 2022 Fall Great Islands Clean-up on Sat­ur­day, Sept. 24 between 10 a.m and 2 p.m. Dur­ing this event, par­tic­i­pants of all ages can sign-up to col­lect trash on a des­ig­nat­ed beach or road, and then bring their col­lect­ed trash to the cen­tral meet­ing spot to be counted.

On San Juan Island, meet at 10 a.m. at the San Juan Island Brew­ing Co. park­ing lot (410 A St. in Fri­day Har­bor) to pick up trash col­lec­tion equip­ment and receive beach and road­way assign­ments. Cof­fee and good­ies will be pro­vid­ed by Laut­en­bach Recy­cling to fuel your efforts — bring your own cof­fee cup, please. Drop off your col­lect­ed trash at the same loca­tion by 2 p.m. There will be an after-par­ty at San Juan Island Brew­ing Co. with music by T‑Flo, $1 beers for clean-up par­tic­i­pants, and a Stew­ard­ship Net­work of the San Juans raffle.

If you’d like to be assigned a loca­tion ahead of time, con­tact Kather­ine at for beach­es and Tina at for roads.

“The Great Islands Clean-up is a fan­tas­tic oppor­tu­ni­ty for our com­mu­ni­ty to join togeth­er and address the glob­al issue of plas­tic pol­lu­tion,” says Katie Flem­ing, San Juan County’s Sol­id Waste Coor­di­na­tor. “Every lit­tle bit helps — last spring, 173 miles of island roads and beach­es were cleaned by 350 awe­some volunteers.”

The Great Islands Clean Up is a bi-annu­al event held every spring and fall, coor­di­nat­ed by the County’s Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Stew­ard­ship Sol­id Waste Pro­gram in coop­er­a­tion with Orcas Recy­cling Ser­vices, Laut­en­bach Recy­cling, Lopez Sol­id Waste Dis­pos­al Dis­trict, San Juan San­i­ta­tion, Friends of the San Juans, the Stew­ard­ship Net­work of the San Juans, and many oth­er indi­vid­ual, busi­ness, and ser­vice group vol­un­teers. It is fund­ed in part by the Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Ecology.

Amara Johnsen is the Animal Protection Society’s volunteer of the month

Posted September 14, 2022 at 9:35 am by

APS-FH shares some kind words about their vol­un­teer of the month.

The Ani­mal Pro­tec­tion Soci­ety is pleased to announce Ama­ra Johnsen as our vol­un­teer of the month for Sep­tem­ber. Ama­ra has been vol­un­teer­ing at the APS-FH Trea­sure Hounds store since March of this year. She works as a retail sales clerk for the store as well as being our res­i­dent jew­el­ry expert.

We were intro­duced to Ama­ra in 2021 when she adopt­ed Char­lie Girl from the shel­ter — a long-time lob­by cat with FIV — and gave her a won­der­ful, for­ev­er home.

For Trea­sure Hounds, Ama­ra brings her knowl­edge and under­stand­ing about jew­el­ry. She is a jew­el­ry mak­er who sells her beau­ti­ful items at the local mar­kets and fairs. Ama­ra can repair jew­el­ry and brings in her own tools and sup­plies to help renew items that have been donat­ed to Trea­sure Hounds so they can be sold to raise funds for APS-FH. Trea­sure Hounds sup­ports 25 per­cent of the organization’s operations.

Ama­ra is able to rec­og­nize spe­cial prop­er­ties in the donat­ed jew­el­ry pieces so they can be priced accord­ing­ly. She cre­ates beau­ti­ful dis­plays that show off the store’s jew­el­ry. Cus­tomers delight in the mer­chan­dise and the way it is dis­played. All of these skills have helped mas­sive­ly increase jew­el­ry sales at Trea­sure Hounds.

Ama­ra is always there for any­one that needs her — she is a kind soul and a delight to be around. Although Ama­ra is very busy with her jew­el­ry mak­ing and run­ning her busi­ness, she still makes time to vol­un­teer at Trea­sure Hounds, because she cares about shel­ter ani­mals. Just ask her cat Char­lie Girl!

APS-FH has numer­ous vol­un­teer­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. If you are inter­est­ed in help­ing, vis­it our web­site to learn more about our vol­un­teer pro­gram.