Welcome to Friday Harbor Now!
Hi! Welcome to Friday Harbor Now! Events posted on this page are archived as soon as they are over, so there is room for current events and news. If you missed something, you can find it on our Archived News/Events page. And for even more information and photos you can follow us on Facebook, we are on there as FRIDAY HARBOR. Thanks for visiting, and have a great day!
Ana/Sidney International Ferry Departures Canceled
Washington State Ferries just sent out a bulletin saying that all international departures from Anacortes, Friday Harbor and Sidney, B.C., will be canceled on Thursday, 7/31 and Friday, 8/1 due to vessel repositioning throughout the system. The affected westbound departures are Anacortes 8:25 a.m. and 2:50 p.m., and Friday Harbor 9:45 a.m. The affected eastbound departures are Sidney, B.C., 12:00 p.m. and 5:55 p.m., and Friday Harbor 7:25 p.m.
With passengers facing waits of up to 2 1/2 hours on the Edmonds-Kingston run, the interim head of Washington State Ferries said he'll move a ship from the San Juan Islands Thursday to help deal with service outages caused by what he calls an unprecedented "coincidence of events." MYNorthwest has more of the story here...
New Ferry Vehicle Reservation System Website
Washington State Ferries has created an informational website called Save a Spot which is about the upcoming vehicle reservation system that is scheduled to begin January 5, 2015. The Save A Spot online reservation system will make it easy to book vehicle reservations to and from the San Juan Islands. Currently, reservations are offered on international sailings to Sidney, B.C., and on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route.
WSF representatives will be on the island to answer your questions about the new system on Sunday, August 3: 9:00am – 4:00pm at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal and Wednesday, August 13 to Saturday, August 16: 9:00am to 9:00pm at the San Juan County Fair. See more info at WSF Vehicle Reservation System FAQ for San Juan Islands Routes. here...
Young Naturalists Classes
Press ReleaseSan Juan Nature Institute: Environmental educator and artist Alice Hibberd is offering classes at the Sculpture Park, Roche Harbor from, 10 a.m. to 12 noon on August 3 and 23. The course is designed for young learners 5-8 years old and costs $20 per child per class, or $ 30 for both classes. Please register by calling San Juan Nature Institute at 378-3646. Classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students.
Alice has a great reputation as a teacher specializing in environmental education for young people. She brings to her classes a very personal connection to the environment and shares her talent for observation and recording nature. San Juan Nature Institute is pleased to sponsor these classes in collaboration with the Sculpture Park. Parents enjoy the park while your children explore with Alice. More here...
Polecat Returns to The Rumor Mill Friday
Don't miss Country/Bluegrass band Polecat at The Rumor Mill Friday, August 1st @ 8:00pm. was formed in Bellingham, Washington in early 2010, and quickly established themselves in the Northwest, with two records and over 100 shows in one year. Their unique instrumentation is comprised of Karl Olson (drums), Jeremy Elliott (electric guitar and vocals), Aaron Guest (vocals and 12 string guitar), Cayley Schmid (fiddle), and Richard Reeves (upright bass). This enables them to seamlessly blend genres including bluegrass, country, celtic, rock, and world music into their sound. More here...
Special "Know Your Island" Walk
Sunday, August 3, 2014. 2-5pm. This extra special walk is to CELEBRATE TRAILS and walk with National Park Superintendent, Lee Taylor, on the Westcott Bay Trail, stopping to meet new owners of the Westcott Bay Shellfish Company, Andrea and Erik Anderson. If you missed the February walk in rain and 35-degree weather, now's your chance to walk with Lee!
She will tell us of the new improvements to this trail and its history. Before the return trip, we will stop at the Westcott Bay House to enjoy delicious refreshments from local folks; Kari Koski, Angel Michaels, and Felicity Milne. Meet and park at English Camp main parking lot. Round trip 3 mi., terrain is wooded park trail, rating is moderate. No dogs, please.
Music on the Lawn Concludes with Rewind
Come join for the free “Bring Em’ Back” Music on the Lawn concert series at the San Juan Historical Museum on 405 Price St. every Wednesday night at 6:30 from July 9-August 6, 2014. Music Island Rec is celebrating 30 years of people, parks, programs and trails and to honor this milestone they are bringing back the most popular bands as voted in a people’s choice balloting.
August 6 - Rewind features popular local musicians Kate Schuman, Tami and Tom Doenges who will bring fun songs from the ‘60s and ‘70’s, with an emphasis on strong vocal harmonies. Come out and unwind with Rewind for the final concert of the season.
Bring blankets or lawn chairs, a picnic if you’re hungry, and enjoy an evening of great music. Please, pack it in, pack it out - no pets or alcohol. Call 378-4953 or visit www.islandrec.org for more information. Island Rec - Celebrating 30 years of people, parks, programs and trails. P. O. Box 1946 Friday Harbor, Washington 98250 360-378-4953. Continued here...
5th Annual Friday Harbor Airport Fly-In Photos
It was a beautiful day for a Fly-In on Saturday, July 26th! Thanks to Steve Brandliand see more about the Fly-In
Dramatic Landing at Friday Harbor Fly-In
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: San Juan Island Firefighters assisted with the removal of a plane from the runway at the 5th annual Friday Harbor Airport Fly-In on Saturday, July 26th. The pilot indicated that a complete electrical failure prevented him from lowering his landing gear. The pilot and two passengers were not injured.
There was no leakage of fuel. The pilot indicated that while it will be expensive, the damage is repairable. Congratulations are in order for Firefighter Ian Paterson, who was acting as the officer of the first arriving engine. Later, Lieutenant Goddu assumed command to complete the process of lifting and moving the aircraft off of the runway. Airport staff and Island Towing were essential components of this successful operation.
Cultural Landscape Restoration Continues on American Camp Prairie and Mt. Finlayson
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: San Juan Conservation Corps and park staff will be clearing young trees and woody vegetation from south slope of Mt. Finlayson. Work is under way at American Camp as the next step in the Cultural Landscape Restoration moves forward. The park will be removing a stand of young Douglas fir that has encroached on Mt. Finlayson and Grandma's Cove area. There are approximately 300 trees in the stand which will be removed by mechanical methods and chipped on site.
The most significant threat to the integrity of the cultural landscape at American Camp is encroachment of woody vegetation onto prairie land, which is altering the historic relationship between the camp and the natural landscape. The removal of the Douglas fir trees is just one component of the long term Cultural Landscape Restoration Plan. To learn more about the cultural landscape at American Camp and prairie restoration in general visit us here. Continued here...
Letter to the Editor From Wolf Hollow
We were recently asked by a concerned private citizen to reach out to the community to explain what to expect from Wolf Hollow when someone calls us to report a stranded Harbor Seal pup. We are more than happy to do so and we hope this message will help everyone understand the complexities of the situation.
Harbor Seals, being marine mammals, come under the authority of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which makes it a federal offence to touch, harass, injure or feed any marine mammal, including Harbor Seal pups. Wolf Hollow staff and volunteers have no more authority to rescue a seal pup than has any member of the public. We are not permitted to go out and check on the pup, or bring it to the center for care.In San Juan County the only people who can respond to a stranded seal pup are county, state or federal government officials such as rangers within their parks, and the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Continued here...
Town Cracking Down on Trespassers at Trout Lake
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: Trout Lake is an environmentally sensitive area consisting of approximately 600 acres that supplies the drinking water for the Town of Friday Harbor. The Town has recently installed security cameras to monitor activity at the Trout Lake Dam and to regulate access to the Town’s water shed.
Town officials were greatly disturbed to find evidence of significant trespassing activity at the lake which was detected with these security cameras. People have been photographed with their horses, dogs and apparently have been swimming in the lake; all in violation of posted NO TRESPASSING signs at the locked gate.
“We understand that Trout Lake is a very beautiful and pristine area, but has remained so because it is a protected watershed where access is restricted” said Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator. “The State Department of Health and the Town are extremely concerned about this unauthorized intrusion into the watershed, especially during the summer months when the fire risk is so great.” Continued here...
Brickworks Mortgage Paid Off in Full
Press Release from the San Juan Island Ag Guild: It is with deep gratitude that the San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild announces that it has achieved its major goal of paying off the remaining mortgage on its downtown Friday Harbor Brickworks property.
Reaching this goal was the culmination of a long journey that followed the initial purchase of the property in late 2010, with a Washington State grant of $365,000 and a federal USDA grant of $100,000 joining some $228,000 in private donations. The Ag Guild then embarked on a major community-wide fundraising effort to support the dream of completely repurposing the property as a permanent home for the San Juan Islands Farmers Market. Over subsequent years that dream, which became the Brickworks Project, increasingly captured the imagination of the community as a whole.
“What we came to experience was an amazing blending of community-wide passion, persistence, generosity and commitment,” said Susie Wampler, Ag Guild Board chair. “Though the odds initially seemed daunting, we strongly believed in the worthiness of the cause. We believed that if we built it, they would come. And come they did, with donations ranging from $5 to over $100,000 added to over 35,000 hours of volunteer time and the gift of many talents.” Continued here...
Island Stage Left Presents Twelfth Night
Press Release: Summer is here and it’s time for you and your guests’ annual treat - Island Stage Left’s magical “Shakespeare Under the Stars”. We are thrilled to announce that this year’s production is our favorite romantic comedy, “Twelfth Night” Written just after “Hamlet”, “Twelfth Night” reveals a more mature Shakespeare, writing about miracles of reconciliation, of second chances and of redemption. It is paired with his trademark laugh-out-loud comedy plus a liberal dosage of romance. Perennially popular, this is Shakespeare at his best.
We welcome you to join us for the fun! The play starts July 9th on Orcas and then back to San Juan Island starting July 17th at Roche Harbor and then to the Wold road venue starting Aug 8th. Continued here...
2014 San Juan County Fair
The 2014 San Juan County Fair is August 13-16. Wed.-Saturday, 10am-9pm. Entry day hours are Tuesday, August 12, 9am-6pm. This years theme is Farm-tasic Fun! There is plenty of fun for whole family at this great 4-day event. See you at the Fair! See all the info at
For more than one hundred years this community has been coming together to celebrate island life. The first San Juan County Fair was held in 1906 in a warehouse on the waterfront in Friday Harbor during the first week of October, a time when agriculture was flourishing in the islands. The event drew a crowd of over 1,200, not just islanders, but visitors from Bellingham and Anacortes who came by the steamer.
Headliners include: Rock- Bot Live Band Karaoke - Fri. Aug 15, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Rock-Bot is the Northwest's premier live-band-karaoke group! Bring out the secret rockstar in you! Rock-Bot has literally HUNDREDS of songs to choose from and you get to sing with some of the best musicians around. The Fair-ly Outrageous Trashion Fashion Show - Sat. Aug 16. The show, in it's seventh year, is a crazy runway fashion show of folks modeling costumes entirely made of recycled items and Hit Machine - Sat. Aug 16, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. This high energy 5 piece band is contagious to say the least. The band plays hits from all eras and has synchronized dance moves and many appropriate ways to involve the crowd in the performance. Continued here...
SJI Staff Mobilized to Wildland Fires
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: Early on Tuesday, July 15th, San Juan Island Fire Rescue’s Administrative Assistant Carolyn Hudson was deployed as a part of an “Incident Management Team” to assist with efforts to control a forest fire near Detroit, Oregon. Ms. Hudson is a specialist in managing the finances of major emergencies.
On Tuesday afternoon, San Juan Fire Rescue was asked to send a brush truck and two person crew to assist with the “Stokes Road” fire, near Twisp. Firefighters Michael Henderson and Kate Hunter have been assigned. The fire has consumed nearly 500 acres so far and is burning in very steep terrain.
The Fire District participates in these mobilizations for two reasons. First, it provides valuable experience for our firefighters. The lessons they learn are shared with all local responders. Second, the day may come when San Juan Island needs help from the mainland. Being a part of the State Fire Mobilization System assures that help will be available to our community when we need it. Continued here...
Early Morning Fire Erupts at Sunshine Laundry
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: At 2:32 AM Tuesday, July 15 a neighbor made the call to Dispatch who alerted San Juan Island Fire Rescue of a fire at the Sunshine Laundry on Web street in Friday Harbor. Three engines and the Rescue unit responded as well as EMS. There were 14 firefighters, four officers, and three EMTs plus a Paramedic who ran the rehabilitation unit for the firefighters. OPALCO was there to shut off power to the building.
Smoke was showing in the back corner of the approximately 40' X 60' building. Hoses were brought in and the fire was quickly extinguished. No adjacent buildings were affected although the guests of the hotel above Funk ‘n Junk were evacuated for a while until it was determined that it was safe to return. Continued here...
Mar Vista Property Owner fined $79,000 for Illegally Clearing Shoreline
Press Release from the Dept of Ecology: A property owner who cleared shoreline vegetation along the west side of San Juan Island faces $79,000 in fines for state water quality and shoreline violations and an order to restore the damage.
The Washington Department of Ecology has issued two penalties and a corrective action order to Orca Dreams, LLC for removing at least 80 trees from 1.25 acres of shoreline last fall.
“State law does allow for responsible waterfront development,” said Doug Allen, manager of Ecology’s Bellingham field office. “When the law is clearly violated, however, it’s our responsibility to take action, to protect shorelines and to be fair to property owners who abide by necessary permits.” Continued here...
Thursday Night Music Summer Concert Series
The 2014 Night Music Summer Concert Series debuts with Bayley and Chorba, Thursday, July 10 in the Gubelman TheatreSan Juan Community Theatre and runs every Thursday night through August 7th. Social Hour is at 7pm with music starting at 7:30pm. All tickets $12. Festival seating. Business Partner is Islander's Bank.
Special chocolate desserts, wine and beer will be available for purchase in the adjacent Steele Memorial Garden.here...
Why Do Harbor Seals Swim Upside Down When Foraging?
Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: The answer can be found in a new species profile of the harbor seal, just published in the online Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. (Look for the answer on page 8.) This species profile, written by Jacqlynn Zier and Joe Gaydos, captures the state of knowledge about harbor seals in the Salish Sea. The 55-page profile includes detailed information on diet, mating, pupping, diseases, toxin exposure, rehabilitation techniques, and much more.
SeaDoc's summer research interns did the bulk of the work on this project over the course of 3 summers. They combed through over 115 published papers and reports to create a single authoritative resource for any scientists or citizens working on harbor seals or, probably more likely, working on other issues such as rockfish or salmon recovery where they need to learn more about the role of harbor seals in the Salish Sea. Continued here...
Island Rec – Photo Contest
: As part of our 30th anniversary celebration, Island Rec invites photographers of all ages to participate in our first-ever photography contest. Participants to submit original photographs that best represent Island Rec and 30 years of People, Parks, Programs, and Trails. Categories include: Faces: People + Pets; Parks or Trails (Island Rec’s); Activities - Sports - Events; Historical Photos of an Island Rec Program; Young Photographers; Professional Photographers.The deadline for all submissions is August 29th 2014. Winners will be announced and displayed on Saturday, September 6th at the Sunken Park during Island Rec’s ‘Movies in the Park’ program. There will be prizes and awards for each category. Full details and rules can be found under the special events heading at our website www.islandrec.org, or you may stop by the office at 580 Guard Street. Continued here...
Forage Fish Research Project Underway on Local Beaches
Press Release: Many people are surprised to learn that two kinds of marine fish, Pacific sand lance and surf smelt, use the upper portions of sand and gravel beaches to spawn and incubate their eggs. Smelt and sand lance are part of a small group of species of schooling fish known in our area as ‘forage fish’’ for the important role they play as food for larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals.
Currently, spawn activity has been documented along 10 miles of San Juan County’s beaches, comprising just 4% of total shoreline length and 10% of the non-bedrock shores. “Because these fish rely on beaches for incubating their eggs, they are at risk from the impacts of shoreline development activities like vegetation removal and bulkhead installation. Knowing which sites are used by forage fish helps us focus work with interested public and private property owners to protect or, in some cases, restore spawning habitat,” said Tina Whitman, Science Director at FRIENDS of the San Juans. Continued here...
Throwing Fire on the 4th of July
Check out this cool time lapse video made by Chris Teren of Teren Photography. Chris made it rain fire on the 4th of July, with the Roche Harbor Resort fireworks off in the distance. This was about an hour and 15 minutes, squeezed down to a 1 minute video.
Whales, Whales, and More Whales!
Thanks To Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: June was a fantastic month from start to finish, with Residents around (and on the west side of San Juan Island) almost every day. After last year's record low sightings, it feels an awful lot like the "good ol' days", as many local naturalists have been commenting. Lest anyone get too carried away, salmon numbers have been better than the last three years, but still much, much lower than historical numbers. But we're all certainly enjoying the presence of the whales, and loving the fact that right now at least they're finding enough to eat to stick around!
June 25th: I took an early lunch from work to go out and join friends at Land Bank, where watched Js and Ls porpoise their way across the strait directly towards us. They spread out all along the west side of San Juan Island, but the group that passed us (including J2, the J14s, and the J16s) kept booking it north. Continued here...
Climate Scientists Coming to the San Juans
Press Release: June 18th-August 28th San Juan County residents and visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the impacts of climate change through a dynamic speaker series scheduled June through September in venues in Friday Harbor, as well as on Orcas and Lopez Islands.
The Climate Action Imperative: Understanding Impacts & Making Choices will feature eight experts on the topic—from oceanographers to botanists, biologists to meteorologists. The series will provide a current look at climate change and what actions are warranted by individuals as well as by our state and nation, according to Ron Zee of the Madrona Institute, a co-sponsor of the series. Lee Taylor, superintendent of San Juan Island National Historical Park, another co-sponsor, emphasized the dramatic ecosystem changes National Parks are experiencing.
“The impacts of climate change on national parks are immediate and real–rising sea level, ocean acidification, and increased wildfire to name just a few,” Taylor said. “We need to increase our resilience to these changes here in the Islands and beyond.”
All talks are free and scheduled for 7 p.m. at different venues (see list here). Please call 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2228 for information. A concluding session on September 10 will feature State Senator Kevin Ranker, a leading legislative advocate for climate action, along with special guests. Continued here,,,
Music in The Park 2014
Get ready for some great live music at an unbeatable venue. The Port of Friday Harbor once again hosts the "Music in the Park" Summer Concert Series down at the Port. Enjoy free music concerts on Friday evenings at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. in the Port's .
Bring a picnic, relax and listen to local and regional music as you gaze out at the harbor, watching ferries, boats and seaplanes come and go. Special kick off show on Thursday, July 3rd at 5:00 p.m. and then shows from Friday, July 11th until Sunday, August 31, 2014. More on the Music Scene...
Elusive Slug-Eating Snake Found on San Juan Island
Press Release: A San Juan Island couple, Maria Michaelson and Eben Shay have recorded the first documented sighting of the Sharp-tailed Snake on San Juan Island when their cat brought it home last Thursday evening. “It was a totally lucky find,” said Michaelson. “We had just learned about the snakes the day before and we were determined to find one, but didn’t expect for it to happen so quickly and certainly not this way.” The snake was carefully collected and will be donated to the University of Washington’s Burke Museum.Sharp-tailed snakes are a small, secretive species that is presumed to be closely associated with Garry oak ecosystems. Less than five percent of Garry oak habitat remains from its historic extent which account in part for why the snakes are so infrequently encountered. The snakes, which specialize in eating slugs, spend almost all of their time undercover, in rotting logs, and possibly underground. Continued here...
San Juan Historical Museum Adds New Outdoor Interpretive Signage
The San Juan Historical Museum announces the addition of 15 new interpretive outdoor signs. The professionally designed signage provides a cohesive and consistent branded identity for the interpretation of the museum’s heritage structures and outdoor exhibits.
When you visit the museum this summer for the Kiwanis Pig War Picnic, Island Rec’s Music on the Lawn or with your summer visitors, give them a look and you may learn a bit more about San Juan Island history. For instance, did you know that the first automobile arrived on the island in 1905? That the jail was used until 1971, when it was condemned and declared to be the worst jail in the state of Washington? Continued here...
Listen to The Whales
The hydrophone node at Lime Kiln State Park is located just southwest of the Lighthouse in about 7 meters of water. The current dual-hydrophone system began streaming live sound on May 14, 2007. The hydrophones were wired up by Val Veirs and attached to existing moorings during a SCUBA dive by David Howitt and Scott Veirs. Continued here...
Evergreen Ferry Takes it's Last Trip
Say Goodbye to the Evergreen State Ferry
On Sunday, June 29, the Evergreen State will make her last trips before being retired on June 30, 2014. Members of the community are welcome aboard the Evergreen State for her final two sailings in the San Juan Islands. The ferry’s last inter-island sailing leaves Friday Harbor at 11:35 a.m. with stops in Orcas, Shaw and Lopez before returning to Friday Harbor. Her final journey as the oldest member of the WSF fleet will be the 2:15 p.m. departure from Friday Harbor to Anacortes. Walk-on passengers ride for free on both sailings, standard fees apply for vehicles. Private boats are welcome to escort the Evergreen State from a safe following distance.
The Evergreen State Ferry was built in 1954 in Seattle taking only 11 months. When it entered into service, it was the largest, most modern ferry in the fleet at 310' long and holding 87 vehicles max. The ferry's open girder texas deck was rumored to have been accidentally installed upside down. The decision to plate over the deck in 1988 turned out to be problematic, making the Evergreen State top-heavy. To rectify the problem, WSF was forced to remove all "non-essential" weight, which meant creating a false ceiling in the passenger cabin. More here...
CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION TO THE EVERGREEN
County Council Chair Rick Hughes will be reading the following proclamation at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal at approximately 2:00 PM on Sunday, June 29, 2014. The proclamation recognizes the service of the MV Evergreen State and her crew upon decommissioning of the vessel.
UPON: The retirement of the MV Evergreen State, San Juan County and the Town of Friday Harbor wishes to thank our local crews, captains, ferry staff, Washington State Ferries and the Washington State Department of Transportation for six decades of loyal service to our community. The Evergreen State brought generations of islanders to, and home safely from, the mainland and allowed us to share our beautiful islands with visitors from around the world.
WHEREAS: We meet today to commemorate Evergreen State’s last sailing on the waters of the Salish Sea and bid her “bon voyage”.
WHEREAS: The 87-car MV Evergreen State is the oldest and longest serving ferry in the Washington State Ferries fleet. Continued here...
2014 Friday Harbor Art Market
There will be several new artists this year, joining the “Artisans on the Plaza”, not only from San Juan Island but also from Orcas, Lopez and Waldron islands. The variety of work will include jewelry, pottery, photography, baskets, clothing, woodwork, glass, paintings, soaps, art cards, screen printing, lotions, and more.
Cynthia's of Course! will be the seasonal food vendor, serving up her specialties each week. The music lineup is almost complete as the market welcomes back Teddy Deane, The Rocky Bay Boys, Oliver Strasser, Kuba Tana Marimba and Katura Marimba.New to the art market will be a "hands-on" activity, called “The Creation Station". This will be an interactive art station for kids to adults and anyone who drops in to the station will walk away with their on artistic creation. Continued here...
Lower Your Blood Pressure and Help the Animal Shelter at the Same Time!
Press Release: Petting a dog or cat feels good to most folks – and multiple studies have shown that it can also lower blood pressure – in addition to helping your body release a relaxation hormone, which cuts down on stress levels. Dogs and cats seem to like it too!
If you are concerned about your own blood pressure or stress level, would love to help you out!
Windermere SJI, Cattlepoint Rock and Topsoil Making A Difference
Press Release from Tawny Martel: The Realtors and Staff of Windermere San Juan Island once again closed their office (except for mobile) Friday morning to help make a positive difference in our island community! This year was a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Windermere Community Service Day which started in 1984 with a handful of Windermere Owners, Agents and one elementary school.
Thirty years and more than one million hours of community service later the tradition has grown to include Windermere offices from the San Juan Islands and Hawaii to Mexico, all who went into their respective communities on June 20th, 2014 to work for community and neighborhood enhancement. Continued here...
Third Saturday Gallery Walks
The Friday Harbor Gallery Association is pleased to announce a new event for your calendars, Gallery Walks Friday Harbor on the Third Saturday of each month beginning in June and ending in September, 2014. The dates are June 21, July 19, August 16 and September 20. Time TBA.
The participating Friday Harbor galleries are: Arctic Raven, 130 First Street www.arcticravengallery.com. Gallery 9, 60 First Street www.gallery9art.com. Island Studios 270 Spring Street www.islandstudios.com. WaterWorks Gallery, 315 Argyle Ave www.waterworksgallery.com. And the newest member, Ogle Fine Art Studio 180 First Street.
Third Saturday Art Walks will encourage both the visitor and island residents to venture down town for an evening of festivities in Friday Harbor. Art, food and fun in Friday Harbor on the third Saturdays in the Summer. More here...
Orca Sing 2014 Video
Orca Sing is an annual event where people gather for an evening of music at Lime Kiln Point State Park to honor the Southern Resident orcas. This year’s event was the 15th annual and took place on Saturday, June 21, 2014. More here...
Audio Available: Coast Guard Seeks Help to ID Hoax Caller
Press Release: The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying a hoax caller that made multiple false distress calls earlier this month in the Puget Sound area. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound in Seattle received a Mayday call via VHF-FM radio channel 14 around 11 p.m., May 31, reporting that five people were donning life jackets and abandoning the fishing vessel Bristol Maid, reported to be on fire in Lilliwaup Bay, Hood Canal. No other communications were received.\
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, but did not receive any response. Two Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle, and a Mason County Sheriff’s Office boatcrew completed multiple searches of the area, but found no signs of distress. The cost of the search totaled approximately $138,000. Continued here...
Our Resident Transients: The T65As
Thanks To Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: On the evening of June 9th I got the chance to go out with Western Prince Whale and Wildlife Tours, the company I used to work for. After running their daily trips, the owner offered to take crew and friends out to see more whales, and of course we were all up for that! We left aboard the Western Explorer and met up with the T65As in Presidents Channel heading north.The T65As, who I've seen a couple of times over the years including in early May while out with Western Prince, have been spending a lot of time here this spring. Certain groups of transients tend to visit the Salish Sea more often than others, but typically these marine mammal eaters are around for a day or two and then take off, with weeks, months, or even years before their next visit. This family group, made up of mama T65A and her four living offspring, have been plying these waters regularly over the last 2-3 months, becoming more "resident" of late than our so-called resident fish-eating whales. Part of the reason may be fish numbers have been low, but marine mammal populations (harbor seals, Steller sea lions, harbor porpoise), have been booming! Continued here...
ARE YOU READY to Defend your Island if a Wildland Fire Occurs Here?
Press Release: Take up the challenge--Take the class--Spend two weekends--Get certified. San Juan Island Fire Rescue is offering a free class for those who have ever wanted to answer the call to serve their Islands fighting wildland fires. The call is out.
The Wildland Firefighter 2 class will be held June 21st/22nd and June 28th/29th at the Mullis Street Fire Station. You must be 18 years of age or older (as long as you are physically capable of performing the tasks there is no maximum age limit). Both men and women are invited. Students will receive a physical examination-paid for by the fire district, all required safety gear, and be paid for their training hours.Upon passing the training course, students will be awarded the nationally-recognized "Wildland Firefighter 2" certificate. This class is an excellent prelude to taking the structural fire fighting classes held in the Fall. There has been many a structure saved on the Island because of the quick actions of San Juan Island Fire Rescue Wildland fire fighters. Continued here...
Kilmer, Members of WA Delegation Call on Canadian Government to Stop Dumping Sewage Into the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Press Release: On June 13, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) led a letter with members of the Washington state delegation to British Columbia Premier Christy Clark calling for an end to the dumping of raw sewage from Canada into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Recently, the government of British Columbia decided not to move forward with a sewage treatment plant in the Victoria region at McLoughlin Point. The Victoria area, home to 300,000 people, has pumped effluent into the waters across from Washington state for years. The treatment facility was supposed to be completed by 2018 until the local Canadian government decided to table the site.
The members pointed out the risks to fisheries, businesses, and healthy waters in their letter and that Canada must develop a new plan in a timely manner.
“We urge you to work with your colleagues at the local and federal level to find an agreeable solution so that an appropriate treatment facility is completed as soon as possible,” the members wrote in the letter sent today. “The strength of our economies in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia depends on the health of our waterways and natural resources. Continued here...
Tuesday Night Films at the Grange
Every other Tuesday Night the Friday Harbor Film Festival will be showing a selection of the films from their 2013 festival at the San Juan Island Grange located at 152 N. First Street. Donations appreciated. Keep up-to-date about year-round events and plans for the 2014 FHFF through Facebook, Twitter or newsletter. Or stop by their Office & Hospitality Center at 10 First Street, Friday Harbor. Screening Schedule:
DATE FILMS LENGTH
June 24 The Living Sea 77min.
July 8 Salmon Confidential 70 min.
July 22 Wayfinder + Coal 47 min. + 27 min
August 12 Awim 74 min.
August 26 Baraka 90 min.
September 16 Pandora's Promise 98 min More here...
New Mobile App Helps Anglers Know Where to Go
Press Release from NOAA Fisheries: Planning a recreational fishing trip involves more than just checking the water and weather conditions. It also requires knowing the fishing regulations. For Harry Carpenter, a long-time southern California saltwater angler, navigating the network of marine protected areas meant visiting a number of government websites and referring to printed state and federal rulebooks. He thought there must be an easier way.
Last year, Carpenter launched a free mobile app called FishAlerts! to put accurate information about marine protected area (MPA) boundaries at anglers’ fingertips. In 2014, his company—Great Outdoors Mobile, Inc.—was awarded a grant through the Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund to enhance the functionality of the app.
The FishAlerts! app allows anglers to accurately view their location on a map in relation to MPA boundaries. “Anglers want to fish safely and abide by the rules, but there are no lines in the ocean,” says Carpenter. “Using the latest technology, we’re allowing anglers to access this critical NOAA information on their cell phone or tablet from their home, dock or boat.” Continued here...
Your Fire District, Your Property Taxes, Your Fire Insurance Coverage, and You
Press Release from Steve Marler, San Juan Island Fire & Rescue. That’s the name we use to describe what is actually San Juan County Fire Protection District # 3. The fire district was created by the voters in 1958, and serves San Juan, Brown and Pearl Islands. While the Town of Friday Harbor is not within the fire district’s boundaries, San Juan Island Fire and Rescue provides fire protection for the town through a mutually beneficial contract. The district also provides wildland fire suppression services to the non-ferry served islands via a contract with the Department of Natural Resources.:
The majority of the funding to support the fire district comes from property taxes. State law limits a fire district like ours to a maximum tax rate of $1.00 for each $1,000 of property value. However, since the district was first formed, the Fire Commissioners have worked hard to limit expenses and keep the tax rate as low as practical. Currently, property owners pay approximately $0.58 per $1,000 of their property’s value. Continued here...
Ferry Reservations Update
Press Release: WSF is on track to offer reservations for most of the San Juan Islands routes starting with the Winter 2015 schedule, starting December 28, 2014. The planning process started in late 2012 with the formation of a Reservations Partnership Group to work with ferries and develop a reservations program that might work for the San Juan Islands. The group consists of about 25 members including the FAC (Ferry Advisory Committee), representing all four ferry-served islands as well as various user groups and WSF management and project leaders and designers.The goal is to make better use of available ferry resources, and to make traveling to and from the islands less frustrating and more predictable for everyone—locals and visitors alike. Currently the only way to be sure of getting onto a boat during the busiest periods is to show up at the terminal hours early. That gets tiresome, as does getting to the terminal at what you think is a reasonable time, and then having to wait three or four hours for the next boat. Continued here...
State Launches New Boating App
OLYMPIA – Boaters who want to find out where to launch their boats or tie up for a weekend on the water can do so now through Washington Water Cruiser, a new app launched by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).
The app, for Apple and Android devices, is free. It maps all state-owned boat launches and moorage sites open to the public, along with amenities for boaters at each site. Get the app for Apple devices at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/water-cruiser/id791731884?ls=1&mt=8, for Android devices at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.geoengineers.wawatercruiser and on the Web at watercruiser.smartmine.com.
“This app brings together information from three state agencies,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office. “It has information on boat launches, moorage slips and pumpout locations, in both eastern and western Washington, from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Recreation and Conservation Office.” Continued here...
Sunshine Alley Final Alternatives
Press Release from Tom Beckwith Consulting Group: Based on the results of the open house we are finalizing the design plan and projects for Sunshine Alley. However, there are 5 plan alternatives outstanding that we need to resolve before we can complete the design. The 5 key proposals involve alternatives concerning the location of the performance stage, Sunshine Alley connections across First Street, Alley traffic management, Alley parking allowances, and the public restroom.
We would like your preferences concerning the alternatives shown here so that we may complete a final design, program concept, cost estimates, and financing particulars. You may also comment on the complete list of 91 proposals if you wish which are available for viewing on the Town website. Please access the survey on-line at the link listed below to advise us of your preferences. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PlanOptions Continued here...
Have You Ever Seen a Sora?
Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: This bird was caught by a cat on a horse farm near Mount Vernon and taken to the pet Emergency Clinic. Wolf Hollow volunteer Ann Tanner picked up the bird and sent it over to Friday Harbor on the ferry. It had a small wound on its wing but was otherwise uninjured. We administered antibiotics to prevent possible infection from the cat's teeth and claws.
Because Soras are shy birds that usually hide among the rushes in wetlands, we housed it in a large tub with plenty of hiding spots. It showed no signs of infection or other injuries, so after a few days of antibiotics it was returned to the mainland and released close to where it had been found. This was only the third Sora we have cared for in our thirty-one year history!
International Drift Card Study Highlights Cross-Border Oil Spill Risks
Friends of the San Juans Press Release: Look for pink drift cards on beaches in the Salish Sea. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on March 24th, an international team of conservation groups launched about 650 ‘drift cards’ – biodegradable plywood cards, each with a unique serial number – along the oil tanker route that runs through the Gulf and San Juan islands.
The event, organized by FRIENDS of the San Juans in the US and Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Georgia Strait Alliance in Canada, is part of a larger study to map the path an oil spill might take. The results of the study will help us to understand the impacts of a potential spill on the Salish Sea as a whole. The cards were dropped at locations at higher risk of an accident along the tanker route (Turn Point in Haro Strait and near Bird Rocks in Rosario Strait). They carry a simple message: this could be oil. Continued here...
San Juan Island Sunset
Check out this sunset video taken out at South Beach on San Juan Island in March.
Latest News on the Spring Street Landing Building
Press Release from t Port of Friday Harbor: The Port Commission held a Special meeting the evening of March 17th to decide on the architectural design of the Spring Street Landing Building. The Port’s architect, Peter Brachvogel with BC & J Architects, presented to the public audience several roof profiles compared to the old Downrigger’s roof line. He pointed out that the new building’s perpendicular orientation to the street will provide improved views through the site.
After listening to public comments and discussion amongst themselves, the Commission approved the building design that they believe meets the community’s desire for a traditional form. They further directed Mr. Brachvogel to return with drawings illustrating this decision for the Commission to review. Commissioner Chair Mike Ahrenius reiterated to the audience the Commission’s priorities for this project: improve pedestrian and public access to the waterfront, consideration of view corridors, and to recover the previous restaurant and retail space.
Computer-generated drawings are here: March 17, 2014 SSL Building Approved and SSL Building roof profile. Building materials such as siding and windows will be decided at a later date. Continued here...
San Juan Islands Video Cruising Guide
Local liveaboard cruisers Darren and Lisa O’Brien have created a new series of video cruising guides showcasing the Washington Marine State Parks in the San Juan Islands.
Washington State Parks Cruising Guide DVD Vol. 1 – San Juan Islands contains over 90 minutes of footage, detailing the approaches to each park, amenities and facilities, hiking trails, and more. The video format allows for a far more immersive experience than is possible in a traditional cruising guide. The videos are well done, thoroughly researched, and fun to watch. Below is Darren and Lisa’s take on Blind Island State Park. Continued here...
Friday Harbor Waterfront
Local San Juan County writers who, in partnership with HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history, recently launched the "writing our history" project. This project adds stories written by our own local writers and is a countywide collaborative effort to create a body of well-researched and broadly accessible essays on the history of Friday Harbor and San Juan County. A history of Friday Harbor’s waterfront, written by Boyd Pratt is the most recently added story.
Local History Essays Published on HistoryLink
Press Release from Sandy Strehlou Historic Preservation Coordinator, Town of Friday Harbor: Thanks to local San Juan County writers who, in partnership with HistoryLink.org, the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history, have launched the "writing our history" project. This project will add our own stories to HistoryLink.org, written by our own local writers, and will be available to more than 5,000 students, teachers, journalists, scholars, government and business researchers, tourists, and general public who come to HistoryLink.org every day. Several new articles have recently been published.
A history of Friday Harbor’s namesake, written by the late Brenda C. Pratt and originally published in the San Juan Historical Museum’s 2003 newsletter, is now included in the People’s History Library on HistoryLink.org. Her article, Thank God It's Still Friday!, can be read here...Pratt’s research authenticates our most storied place name: It is possible that Friday's name was Poalima. He was born on Oahu, in 1830, according to the 1880 San Juan Island Census. His Hawaiian name has been written as "Poalie," though this word has no meaning in the Hawaiian language, and therefore was most probably "Poalima," which translates as "Friday." This would have been his only given name due to his class in Hawaiian society. During his employment with Hudson's Bay Company from 1841 to 1860, he is referred to as "Friday" only. Brenda Pratt. Photo above: Friday Harbor, 1906 J. A. McCormick, Courtesy UW Special Collections. Continued here...
Check out this cool time lapse video made by Chris Teren of Teren Photography of an hour long ferry trip from Anacortes to Friday Harbor.
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