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 the Search 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!
First Arthroscopy Performed at Peace Island Medical Center
Press Release: Orthopedic surgeon Jeffrey Krusniak, MD, on Monday, July 24 performed arthroscopic surgery to repair a patient’s rotator cuff, the first surgery of its kind performed at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor. An anesthesiologist from PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center flew from Bellingham Monday morning to administer the anesthesia and monitor the patient throughout surgery.
Arthroscopy involves making a small incision through which a pencil-sized scope and specially designed instruments are inserted. The scope is attached to a camera, allowing the surgeon to view the joint area on a screen without needing to make the kind of larger incision associated with “open” surgery. The procedure does not require hospitalization, and patients typically have an easier recovery than they may have with open surgery.
General surgery has been available at PeaceHealth Peace Island since December 2014 and orthopedic surgery since April of this year. Continued here...
Town Seeks Artists’ Proposals for Sunken Park
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Town of Friday Harbor is accepting proposals for what will become the first public art project for the Friday Harbor Arts Commission (FHAC). The artwork is to be displayed on or against a concrete wall in Sunken Park. Proposals will be accepted until September 4, 2015.
All proposals will be considered with preference going to those from local artists. The FHAC will review and select one or more proposals to recommend to the Town Council. The Council will determine the final selection.
The FHAC was formed earlier this year to advise the Council on the cultivation, selection, acquisition and placement of public art. Eight residents, including one student, were appointed by the Mayor to represent the interests of the Town, the community and local artists.According to FHAC Chairperson and Councilmember Noel Monin, the Sunken Park art selection process will include forming a sub-committee of Commissioners and community representatives who will review the submissions and present up to three proposals to the public for review. Continued here...
Whale Museum’s Lecture Series: “The Sea Floor Around Us”
The Whale Museum: The Whale Museum and San Juan Nature Institute are pleased to host Gary Greene for a lecture on July 30. Professor Greene will discuss “The Sea Floor Around Us” on Thursday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor.
Formerly the Director of the Moss Landing Marine Labs on Monterey Bay in California and currently a research faculty member at Friday Harbor Labs, Greene has pioneered sophisticated interpretive sonar techniques to map the sea floor in many regions of the Pacific Ocean. Now working with SeaDoc Society and heading its Tombolo Mapping Lab on Orcas Island, he has been making high-resolution 3D images of the Salish Sea floor. In the process, he has uncovered previously unknown benthic habitats and discovered geological features such as submarine faults and folds.
Greene will bring alive the deep undersea world around us through his exquisitely detailed maps which reveal the habitats of rockfish, Pacific sand lance, and other organisms critical to the local marine food chain. Continued here...
New San Juan Island Library Art Show
A new Library Art Show begins on August 29 at the San Juan Island Library. THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS OR MICROSCOPE. Bring art of scenes through a looking glass or from the magical world of the microscope to share with the community. All media, all ages and all talents are welcome. Check in ready-to-hang art from 10-noon on Saturday, Aug. 29. Those with pieces in the One The Road show, please pick up your work at this time. Questions? Call Diane 370-5814. More here...
Pet of The Week
I prefer to be the only cat in your world because I’m clearly entitled to all of your attention, but if necessary, I can be persuaded to share my world with other pets. If you’re looking for a glamour-girl, look no further! I’ll be here at the animal shelter waiting for you. A little caviar would be nice...
Wednesday Farmers' Market
Midweek San Juan Island Farmers' Market is on every Wednesday, 3pm-6pm, weekly through mid September 2015. Anchored by Thousand Flower Farm. Other regular vendors at this time will be Lost Valley Farm, Bakery San Juan, San Juan Pasta and Handwovens By Margaret. High Seas Tuna will also make regular appearances, as will as Helen's Farm from Lopez. Other farm vendors are expected to join during the season. Regular Farmers' Markets run every Saturday 10am-1pm. More here...
The David Bromberg Quintet
Saturday, August 8th at 7:30 p.m. at the San Juan Community Theatre. You can tell a lot about a person from the company he keeps. When that company has included Bob Dylan, The Beastie Boys, George Harrison, Emmylou Harris, Doc Watson, John Hiatt, Jerry Garcia, Reverend Gary Davis, Dr. John, Pete Seeger, Willie Nelson, John Prine, Phoebe Snow, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Mississippi John Hurt, you realize you’re dealing with a very special talent.
David Bromberg began playing guitar when he was 13 and eventually enrolled in Columbia University as a musicology major. The call of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-60s drew him to the downtown clubs and coffeehouses where he could watch and learn from the best performers. Continued here...
2015 San Juan County Fair
The 2015 San Juan County Fair is August 12-15. Wed.-Saturday, 10am-9pm. Entry day hours are Tuesday, August 11, 9am-6pm. This years theme is Strawberry Fields For-heifer. There is plenty of fun for the whole family at this great 4-day event. See all the info at More here...
Elwha Out of Service for the Summer
Press Release fromThe 48-year-old Elwha will remain out of service for approximately four months while crews perform emergency repairs to a drive motor. We realize having one of our mid-sized vessels out for an extended period of time puts a strain on travelers, especially during the height of our busiest season. Until further notice, the 124-car Kitsap will continue to serve the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route in place of the Elwha. More here...
County Fair Looking for Local Performers
Press Release from San Juan County Fairgrounds: We love showcasing local and Pacific Northwest talent! If you are based anywhere in the San Juan Islands or surrounding areas, apply now! Performers who are willing to volunteer their time and music are greatly appreciated! The Fair happens on August 12-15, 2015 at the San Juan County Fairgrounds. We are looking forward to hearing from a variety of genres and styles!
To check out our current headliners and fair information, visit www.sjcfair.org/events. If you have any questions, or would like to send a sample of your work to us, please e-mail email@example.com. We would love to hear your sound! YouTube link or .mp3 file preferred.
To apply, please visit: http://www.sjcfair.org/p/fair-event/performer-app. Don't miss this opportunity to perform in front of such a great crowd! The residents of San Juan County want to hear you! More here...
San Juan Island Farmers' Market
San Juan Island Farmers' Market runs every Saturday 10-1pm. The San Juan Island Farmers Market is your source for beautiful and bountiful island produce, fine crafts, and delicious prepared foods.
Fill your market basket with the freshest local produce, meats, eggs, cheese, and prepared foods. Tap your toes the music of the market band and guest musicians.
Enjoy delicious, locally prepared, breakfast or lunch fare. Mix and mingle with friends and neighbors; it’s the social event of the week. And check out the fine selection of locally made arts and crafts.
Early Morning Fire On Snowberry Lane
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: Fifteen firefighters answered the call at 2:45 AM Monday, July 13th to Snowberry Lane. Fifteen minutes after the call went out from Dispatch, the first engine was on scene reporting flames reaching into the trees from two small out buildings.
The flames were soon knocked down but the smoke from the buildings continued rising for several hours as the fire crews continued to pour water on the scene.
Two Engines, two Water Tenders, and two Brush Trucks were on scene to assist the firefighters. SJIF&R Rescue Truck 214 and EMS was there. The American Red Cross and the SJI Fire & Rescue Logistics team were represented. The cause of the fire is under investigation. If it had been hot and dry as in days past, the firefighters' jobs would have been more difficult, but last night's rain was helpful in keeping the surrounding woods damp. More here...
Construction to Begin on Spring Street Landing Commercial Building
Press Release from t Port of Friday Harbor: The Friday Harbor Port Commission approved a construction contract with Wellman and Zuck for the Spring Street Landing Commercial Building. The publicly bid project was awarded to Wellman and Zuck in the amount of $5.375 million. This project will begin immediately, with the goal of completing the building in time for the 2016 summer season.
Port Director Marilyn O’Connor acknowledged that construction will impact visitors and activity along the waterfront. Access to the passenger ferry terminal and businesses on the Spring Street Pier will be maintained through the summer season. “We intend to work closely with the contractor to create safe pedestrian passage and vehicle access along Front Street throughout the construction period. We want to thank our neighbors and community in advance for understanding the need to get this project underway.”
The Campaign to Save Mount Grant
: The San Juan Preservation Trust announces the launch of a major fundraising campaign to create a new nature preserve in the heart of San Juan Island. The Campaign to Save Mount Grant, if successful, will permanently protect one of San Juan’s most valuable gems and make it accessible to the public.The 141-acre property, valued for years by locals as a hiking destination, was identified on historic maps as “Mt. Grant” as late as 1920. Known by various names since then, it was most recently marketed as the “Lawson Ridge” residential community. The property hosts important native plant and animal habitat, lush wildflower meadows, serene hiking trails, and, with some improvements, easy road access to the summit so that people of all ages and physical ability can enjoy the spectacular, 360-degree views. From the top, one can gaze northeast to Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters, southeast down into San Juan Valley and Lopez Island, and north/northwest to Stuart Island and beyond to the Canadian Gulf Islands. Continued here...
Jaime Ellsworth and Barbara Duzan Art Show
The Horse, a creature that sparks the imagination is imagined by these two artists and equestrians in their unique style. Jaime Ellsworth, a San Juan Island painter, uses simple, clean forms in a limited color palette to convey the movement of the creature. Barbara Duzan, dividing her time between San Juan Island and Arizona, sculpts horses with attention to detail and texture. Both artists in their works convey the beauty and magic of this time-honored creature - the Horse.
Please join us for a reception for the artists Saturday July 11th 4.30 - 7.30. Both artists will be in attendance. The Gallery is now open Monday - Saturday, 10.30 - 5.30. The show runs until August 1, 2015. Established in 1985, this contemporary light filled gallery space continues to evolve as a gallery dedicated to showing artists from the Islands, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. Continued on The Art Scene....
Listen to The Whales
From Orcasound.net: Listen to the whales! A growing coalition of scientists, educators, and citizens are working together to expand a regional hydrophone network in the Salish Sea. The site is part of the SeaSound Project of The Whale Museum and is an experiment in sharing real-time underwater sound. The goals are to monitor the critical habitat of endangered southern resident killer whales to detect orca sounds and measure ambient noise levels.
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. Custom software written in Visual Basic by Val Veirs assesses average underwater sound levels and automatically detects "unusual" sounds. Continued here...
Waggoner's Pacific Northwest Boating
Waggoner's Pacific Northwest Boating is a great digital destination for sailors, power boaters, charter vacationers, and enthusiasts. They combine current announcements with magazine quality content, and provide an effective marketing platform for boat dealers, brokers, and vendors of marine oriented services and supplies. Click here to read the July 2015 issue...
Five Days of Island Willow Weaving with Judy Zugish
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: August 3 - 7 in three sessions: choose one, two or all three! Immerse your fingers, heads and hearts in locally grown willow barks in a series of workshops with Judy Zugish that leads you gently through basket to wearable hat to sculpted art.
Judy will share her willow growing, harvesting, and prep tips while you engage with this lovely renewable material. Imagine the fun of making your own willow hat to wear to festival days and the joy of sculpting with soft fibers and twinkling copper strips. A chance to work with materials and concepts intensively grows your confidence and ignites your creativity. Five days of island weaving, ahhhhh! Three sessions: take one, two or all three.
Session 1 (August 3): Tsumugi Reflections
Summertime, 2012, teaching at Convergence, led me to a delicious new fiber, Tsugumi, to plait and twine with my special willow barks. I love the ancient in it, also the shine and softness. Continued here...
High Speed Internet Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?
Article by Merri Ann Simonson, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc: Congratulations to Mineral Heights, Mineral Point and The Highlands at Mineral Point for moving forward with the installation of fiber to their neighborhood. Many subdivisions and neighborhoods are in the process of considering the installation and are interested in the process.
I thought it would be helpful if I wrote a recap article. The initial stages require enough people in the neighborhood to express their interest and desire to cost out the project. It is best if a leadership committee is formed to help with communication and coordination between the property owners and Rock Island Communications.
As interest builds, Rock Island Communications and the neighborhood leadership group set various dates for presenting to the property owners. This may be an organized homeowner’s association or just a group of people in several adjacent neighborhoods. Continued here...
New Non-Profit for Animals in Need
Press Release from Julie Duke: Island Haven Animal Sanctuary's mission is to provide lifetime care and sheltering for animals who, while still able to lead a quality life, are unable to find homes due to old age, chronic illness, handicaps, temperament issues or other factors, or who have been rescued from neglect and/or abuse situations and require rehabilitation.
However, before we can provide a home for these special animals, we have to find a forever home for the Sanctuary. Donating it would be a great tax write-off for someone, or leasing it to us in-kind or for a reasonable amount are also options. Ideally it would be at least five acres, have fenced pastures, a barn and/or stables, running water and electricity, and either a small home or ability to put a trailer on it so a human caregiver can stay there if an animal needs around the clock care. So, if you or someone you know has such a location, please contact us as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-472-1040.
This all began about a month ago when I answered a Facebook post to adopt three senior horses (two of them have never been ridden, one not in the last twenty years). Continued here...
4th of July Fireworks
Thanks to Barbara Bender for these photos taken of the Fireworks displayed this year, from Friday Harbor and Lopez Island. See all the photos here...and see more about Friday Harbor's 4th of July here...
2015 Parade Winners
07/04/15 from The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce: What a great parade we had today! Floats, the Community Marching Band, the University of Washington Marching Band, the Highland Bag Pipers, 30+ golden retrievers, kids, Jerry Alhadeff as our grand marshal - well done San Juan Island! See photos here...
Goose Island Fire Update
UPDATE from The Nature Conservancy: After consulting with San Juan Island Fire & Rescue, Lopez Island Fire & Rescue, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the San Juan County Department of Emergency Management, the San Juan County Fire Marshal, Fire Management experts from Olympic National Park and the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy has determined that the most practical strategy to deal with the fire that is burning on Goose Island in Cattle Pass is to let the fire burn itself out.
San Juan Island Fire & Rescue made two attempts to extinguish the fire with their volunteer firefighting staff, Fire Boat Confidence and Public Safety boat Sentinel. More than 100,000 gallons of water was pumped during those attempts, with only moderate success. The continued application of salt water onto this protected nesting area has the potential to do more harm than good.
San Juan Island Fire & Rescue consulted with a number of subject matter experts and determined that quick extinguishment would require the application of firefighting chemicals that are not allowed to be discharged into the marine environment, and would harm Goose Island’s natural ecosystem. San Juan Island Fire & Rescue will continue to monitor the fire on Goose Island, but plans no further attempts to extinguish it. Continued here...
Fireworks are Illegal without Permit in Town of Friday Harbor and throughout San Juan County
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Town of Friday Harbor would like to remind residents and visitors that it is illegal to possess, sell, offer to sell, use, transfer, discharge or explode fireworks anywhere in San Juan County without a permit (SJC Code 9.20). This includes within the Town limits of Friday Harbor (Town Municipal Code 9.06). All personal fireworks, including those recognized as “Safe and Sane” such as sparklers, are prohibited.
While the fireworks prohibition has been effect for many years, the urgency of this reminder is extremely important this year. The recent high temperatures and lack of precipitation have created tinder dry conditions that are more typical of early August than mid-June. District 3 Fire Chief Steve Marler says he wouldn’t be surprised to see the fire danger level increase from “moderate” to “high” by the end of June. The danger level did not exceed “moderate” in 2014. “This year it will be absolutely critical that islanders and visitors respect the rule and enjoy the professional pyrotechnic shows on the islands,” said Marler. Continued here...
Open Burning Season Suspended Immediately
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: All Residential and Commercial burn permits have been suspended because of the unusually dry weather. There have already been a number of grass and brush fires throughout San Juan County. Recreational fires (two feet in diameter or less) are still allowed as long as they’re contained within a suitable fire ring. However, the State Parks System has banned recreational fires at their campsites statewide. San Juan County’s fire risk has been raised from “Moderate” to “High”.
With the changing of the seasons, Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is has announced a state-wide outdoor burning restriction effective yesterday. It is expected that the burning restrictions will remain in place at least until October 1st. Each year, San Juan County follows the same schedule as DNR, recognizing that even with our mild climate and beautiful green landscapes, the risk of a damaging or life-threatening fire rises with the great summer weather that we all enjoy. Continued here...
Utility Poles Going Up for Field Communications/Public Safety
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO and Rock Island are making progress on our promise to improve wireless communications in the field for our line crews and for all first responders. The first five poles have been installed throughout the county, and the remainder (about 38 total) will be completed over the next 12-18 months. These poles will be equipped with radios that will utilize our 700 MHz LTE spectrum to transmit field communications to first responders, electrical system devices and, eventually, end-user Internet connections.
“We have a very skillful and dedicated EMS community in San Juan County,” said Dr. Michael Sullivan, San Juan County EMS Medical Program Director. “But until we improve communications in the field for our first responders, we are limited in our ability to serve those who need us. OPALCO’s commitment to solving this problem is tremendous – no one else has been willing to step up. With the wireless infrastructure in place, everyone will benefit from improved communications and safety.” Continued here...
OPALCO Board Sets Temporary Revenue Recovery Add-On
Press Release from OPALCO: At the June 18 board meeting on Lopez, the Orcas Power & Light Cooperative Board approved a temporary revenue recovery add-on to make up for the current cost-of-service gap and projected revenue shortfall through the end of 2015. The add-on will be applied to all member bills beginning in July, 2015.
“Members have not been paying their full share,” explained Foster Hildreth, General Manager. “They’ve been undercharged because our rates have not collected the true cost of service.”
Residential members will pay an additional one cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) and commercial members will pay just more than a half-cent per kWh. The difference between the residential and commercial add-on is due to the cost-of-service spread: commercial usage is less than 25% of our total system load. The increase will average $8.43 for a residential member with average usage.
“However, the situation is better than we thought,” said Hildreth. “Our first quarter financials came in with less shortfall than anticipated due to lower power purchases from BPA and savings from cutting expenses.” Continued here...
New Railroad on San Juan Island
Press Release: The residents of the Life Care Center on Spring Street in Friday Harbor are building a scale model garden railroad. The LC & Pacific RR, operating since August of last year, has approximately 200 feet of tract, four engines, passenger and freight cars and the Red Ball Trolley. Under the guidance of Ron Garner and Phil Myers, the residents are creating mountains, tunnels, buildings and small gardens when they are not busy running the trains.
The 13 active and numerous observers at the LC Center are looking for volunteers to help with their projects and running the trains. No previous knowledge with model railroads is required, just wanting to have a good time with the residents. The present meeting time is Tuesdays at 12:45 to 2:30. If someone wants to help after dinner we can create a program one evening a week.To join the railroaders, drop by at 660 Spring Street on Tuesday afternoon or call Ron Garner at 378-7722. Continued here...
San Juan Prepares for a Dangerous Fire Season
Press Release from San Juan County website: The current fire risk conditions in San Juan County are more typical of August. But this is June. Grasslands are already sufficiently dried out so that one careless act may cause a serious fire. Other fuels, like large bushes and trees, are also showing signs of being less resistant to fire than normal because the amount of moisture that they’ve been able to retain.
The fire risk in San Juan County is determined by averaging the “1,000 hour fuel moisture” reported by automated weather stations located in Bellingham, Oak Harbor and Everett. Those are the closest facilities available. When the readings show 23% moisture or more, the fire risk is considered to be “low”. At 22% fuel moisture, the risk is moved to “moderate”. 18% is the trigger to move to “high” fire risk. When the number drops to 15% or less, a complete burning ban is implemented.
Some years, the fire risk stays “low” until early fall, when it moves to “moderate” for a few weeks. This year, the hazard level moved to “moderate” in early June, which is very unusual. With warm and dry weather in the long range forecast, it’s very likely that the hazard level will need to be moved to “high” very soon. Continued here...
Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates at IMA
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, The Backbone of Life by Susan Middleton: See the Stubby Squid close up on San Juan Island this summer, as celebrated wildlife photographer Susan Middleton exhibits huge portraits of marine invertebrates May 23 through August 21 at San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) in Friday Harbor.
The exhibit is aptly named Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, the Backbone of Life, from Middleton’s book of the same name published to great fanfare this year by Abrams. Middleton's dramatic images fill the rooms of the new museum with underwater photos taken up close and personal by the photographer whose acclaimed work has graced covers of National Geographic, Smithsonian, Life Magazine, and more.
This is a show that the kids will adore, with family friendly workshops planned in conjunction with the University of Washington Marine Biology labs. Continued here...
Town Seeks Proposals for Use of Lodging Tax Grant Funds to Promote 2016 Tourism
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Town of Friday Harbor’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) is accepting applications for grants to fund tourism promotion. The promotions must be for events and activities specifically intended to draw visitors to the Town in 2016. Preference will be given to those activities that encourage tourists to visit during the spring and fall shoulder seasons. Summer activities are acceptable; however applicants are advised to give careful and strategic thought to the scheduling of their events to avoid what are recognized as high traffic weekends.
The grants are awarded annually and are funded with the State’s Hotel Motel Tax collected on all lodging stays of less than 30 days in length within the Town. Funds must be used to promote tourism within the Town of Friday Harbor. Grant proposals are reviewed by the LTAC which is made up of council members, lodging owners, and community members appointed by the Mayor. The LTAC then provides recommendations to the Town Council on how to allocate the grant funds. Continued here...
2015 Friday Harbor Art Market
The Friday Harbor Art Market begins its forth season in Friday Harbor on the Brickworks Plaza, June 19. The art market will run every Friday from 3pm-7pm through September 4th. There will be several new artists this year, joining the “Artisans on the Plaza”, not only from San Juan Island but also from Orcas and Lopez. The variety of work will include jewelry, pottery, photography, baskets, clothing, woodwork, glass, paintings, soaps, art cards, screen printing, lotions, and more.
For information as to how you can participate as an artist, a food vendor, a musician or an art project facilitator, contact Becky Day at email@example.com. More here...
Welcoming the New M/V Samish to the San Juan Islands
06/15/15 UPDATE: Thanks to Teren Photography for this photo of the M/V Samish arriving in Friday Harbor under escort on it's official maiden voyage to the San Juan Islands Sunday. Check out more photos of the welcoming of the M/V Samish here...
Press Release: The San Juan County Council and the Town of Friday Harbor will be welcoming the M/V Samish on her official maiden voyage to the San Juan Islands. The Welcome begins at 9:45 AM on Sunday, June 14th at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the San Juan Jazz Quintet followed by a few words from Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation Lynn Peterson, Town of Friday Harbor Mayor Carrie Lacher and San Juan County Council Chair Bob Jarman.
Fire District #3 and the new fire boat Sentinel will provide an escort into the harbor. Come welcome the new ferry, watch the fire boat display its water cannons, and help kick off the Summer 2015 sailing schedule. Continued here...
Washington State Ferries Ramps Up Summer Service
Press Release from The Washington State Ferries Summer 2015 sailing schedule takes effect Sunday, June 14, with highlights that include more sailings, a new Olympic Class vessel the M/V Samish, vehicle reservations to the San Juan Islands and increased service hours on many routes.
This summer, customers can get ahead of the weekend-getaway crowds by making a vehicle reservation to and from the San Juan Islands. WSF releases reservations two weeks before, and then two days before each sailing departs. Reservations also are available on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route and for international sailings between Anacortes and Sidney, British Columbia.Other changes to the summer 2015 sailing schedule: Anacortes/San Juan Islands: WSF added a fifth vessel, the new Olympic Class Samish, for more sailings. Changes to the schedule allow for better connections to Anacortes and Friday Harbor during commute hours. Continued here...
Sen. Kevin Ranker Asks for Input on Ferry Reservation System
Press Release from Sen. Keven Ranker: Over the past several weeks, I’ve heard from many of you regarding your ideas, questions and concerns regarding the Washington State Ferries Reservation system.
I want you to know that I too have questions and share some of your concerns. While some of you have shared stories with me regarding significant benefits of the reservation system, others have expressed serious concerns stating that the reservation system has made it difficult for locals and businesses that rely on our ferries.
One thing is for sure, the implementation of the Reservation System is a work in progress and while I do not anticipate, nor do I support, the repeal of the system, there are likely to be changes made as we learn what works and what doesn’t.
In addition to receiving comments from dozens of individuals at my office in Olympia and on the island, I have held meetings with members of our lodging industry, construction industry, local ferry workers, chamber of commerce, visitor’s bureau and others. I have also met directly with State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. Continued here...
New OPALCO Surcharge to Correct Revenue Shortfall; Rate Structure Discussion Ongoing
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO leadership pledged to continue to work toward a better rate structure while, in the interim, a surcharge will appear on bills beginning in July to address the revenue shortfall.
More than 20 members representing four islands attended OPALCO’s special board meeting on Thursday, May 28th in Eastsound. As is customary at OPALCO Board meetings, each member was invited to speak to the Board and most did. The topics touched on by member comments were primarily rate fairness, transparency, communication with members and appreciation for the Board’s foresight and progress with broadband.
General Manager Foster Hildreth led the presentation on the factors influencing the current $600,000 revenue shortfall and provided background on rate structure and design. Key concepts addressed were the relationship of weather to rates and the actual impacts on member bills (see below). In a nutshell, a member bill equals rates multiplied by weather. Warmer weather equals a smaller bill; colder weather equals a larger bill. The revenue shortfall is due to lower than projected sales of kilowatt hours because of record warm temperatures this year. Continued here...
Press Release from the My name is Barlow. Some of you have probably met me walking around town with my owner, Lori Stokes or at the dog park. I’m what you might call a walking “happy ending story” - thanks to my friends at The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor and a lot of other nice folks I’ve met along the way.
After having endured more heartbreak than any four-year-old pooch deserves (particularly one as handsome and smart as I am), I’m happy to report that I have finally found my forever home where I can cuddle to my heart’s content with my favorite friend in the whole world.
The earliest thing I remember was growing up on the streets of Los Angeles with a homeless man for company. After I was treated for the broken leg I got when I was hit by a car, my owner disappeared.
We do care for injured and orphaned fawns each summer but don't want to "kidnap" a fawn that is doing just fine, so please spread the word and let your friends and neighbors know that they shouldn't pick up a fawn, but can call Wolf Hollow at 360-378-5000 if they are concerned about a fawn they come across. Most Black-tailed Deer fawns in our area are born in May, so this is the time of year when we receive calls from concerned people who are seeing tiny fawns curled up in the grass and are worried because the mother deer are nowhere to be seen. This gives us the opportunity to explain that the fawn is doing exactly what it should be doing, lying still and quiet waiting for Mom to return. For the first couple of weeks, their little legs are too weak to follow Mom through the woods, so the fawns are left in a sheltered spot while the doe goes off to feed. After a while (up to 6-8 hours) she will return to feed her fawn and maybe move it a short distance to anther safe spot.Continued here...
Thanks to Chris Teren of Teren Photography for these photos taken at the Open House for the Samish ferry on Wednesday, May 20th at the Anacortes ferry terminal. Visit Washington State Ferries Blog for more info. Left: Inside the Samish during the ceremony. Right: Chris is standing next to his photo '50 Shades of Blue' displayed on the Samish. Click to enlarge. See more photos on Facebook.
The brand new, 144-car Samish ferry will begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route Sunday, June 14, just in time for the start of the summer sailing season. The new ferry’s name comes from a tribal word meaning, “giving people.” It is the second of three funded, Olympic Class vessels to replace the aging, midcentury-era Evergreen State Class vessels. Continued here...
Friday Harbor Summer Flower Baskets!
Press Release from The San Juan Island Garden Club: If you've ever wondered where those beautiful downtown flower baskets come from, they come in part from our very own SJI Garden Club!
They've just voted to give another $500 to the cause this year and if you want to help contribute to beautifying the town and your garden at the same time, consider buying some plants here to help with their fundraising efforts! http://sjigardenclub.weebly.com/flower-power-fundraiser.html
Thanks for the consideration and have a wonderful Summer, SJI Garden Club.
The San Juan Island Garden Club was founded in 1944 and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month September thru June (no January meeting). The Club meets at The Mullis Center located at 589 Nash Street in Friday Harbor. More here...
We have compiled a pretty good collection of cool old postcards of Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor and the San Juan Island islands, see them all here...
2015 Salish Sea Pilot Guides Now Online
Press Release: Salish Sea Pilot has released the 2015 editions of their cruising guides to the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and Desolation Sound. The popular guides have been completely updated with many new illustrations and updated information about anchorages and marinas in the Salish Sea off BC and Washington state.
Jim Burgoyne and Lynne Picard launched the little company in 2011 after sailing home from Asia. Their original plan was to build small freely downloadable guides for cruising friends and foreign sailors visiting this part of the world.
But soon the project took over their lives, becoming a full-time obsession.
"It just kept expanding," said Burgoyne. "There are so many terrific cruising areas, you just don't know where to stop." And free was not really sustainable.
"It wasn't long before it took over my life," he said. "Our financial advisor was getting hives. So we agreed 'almost free' was a more sensible price. He was relieved. Continued here...
What Lies Behind OPALCO’s Rate Increases?
From Chom Greacen of Islands Energy Coalition: If you find the electricity rate increases, 12% this year and 41% by 2019, alarming, what’s behind the rising rate is worse. Given OPALCO’s broadband busy-ness lately, how much of the rate increase is due to broadband? OPALCO’s answer is only an average of $3/member/month for 24 months, roughly $1 million total.
So what explains the sudden need for 41% increase in revenues or $28 million in accumulated total by 2019? The explanation we often hear from OPALCO is 1) warming temperatures and 2) the submarine cable between Lopez and San Juan.
By OPALCO’s estimate, warmer temperatures 2014 caused a $1.4 million revenue shortfall, a tiny sum compared to $28 million. The $15 million price tag for the submarine cable is a big surprise compared with earlier estimates of $3.5 million, but when amortized over 30 years at 3%, contributes only $759,000 to OPALCO’s annual expense. In contrast, the increase in revenue requirement in 2015 is $2.7 million. What else lies behind the rate increases? Continued here...
Sunshine Alley Revitalization Plan Receives Merit Award
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Sunshine Alley Revitalization Plan commissioned by the Town of Friday Harbor was selected for a 2015 Merit Award from the Northwest Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects (NWAIA). Architects of the plan were HKP Architects working in conjunction with Beckwith Consulting and SVR Design Company.
The NWAIA Design Awards celebrate the best architectural designs available from architects in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties. According to the AIA, these projects represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance and overall integration with the client and surrounding community. Judging was based on design quality, functional utility, accessibility, aesthetic delight, sustainability, creativity and innovation as well as the independent merit of each project.“
The award recognizes the designers’ professional excellence and the cooperation demonstrated by the Town in demanding the highest of architectural standards,” said Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator. “The Town has greatly benefited from the quality of this work.” Continued here...
New Nature Preserve for San Juan Island?
: The San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank are collaborating on an exciting land acquisition project on San Juan Island that, if successful, will become an extraordinary nature preserve accessible to all.
Long valued by adventurous hikers willing to trespass to capture its stunning 360-degree views, this 141-acre ridgetop property had been subdivided into twelve view lots and listed for sale as “Lawson Ridge,” an exclusive residential development. A portion of this property drains into Trout Lake, the Town of Friday Harbor’s primary source of drinking water, and includes important native plant and animal habitat, lush wildflower meadows, miles of trails, and easy road access to the summit and its spectacular panoramic views.
On March 9th, the San Juan Preservation Trust, a private non-profit land trust, and the San Juan County Land Bank, an agency of San Juan County, made a $1.0 million down payment on the $3.0 million purchase. A $2.0 million seller-financed loan is secured by the land itself; should this conservation partnership default on this loan, the sellers would likely re-list the lots for sale as private residential estates.
The Preservation Trust will launch a community fundraising campaign on San Juan Island to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the purchase. “If we succeed, this could provide San Juan Island with the very first place where visitors with mobility restrictions can enjoy such sweeping vistas,” said Tim Seifert, Executive Director of the San Juan Preservation Trust. Continued here...
Volunteering at the Animal Shelter – Everyone Wins!
Press Release Do you have some free time, love animals and have an interest in making a difference in your community? If the answer is yes, then the Animal Shelter is the place for you! The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor is always in need of caring folks for a wide variety of tasks. Whether you’d like to walk dogs, greet visitors, spend time with cats or help out at a fundraising event there are many ways you can make a big difference in the life of homeless animals. Here are just a few of the benefits of volunteering:
1. Be part of the solution. You'll join a network of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, working to make the world safer and more humane for animals. You'll make the jobs of everyone working for animals a little easier by lending a hand and spreading the message of responsible pet ownership and animal protection.
2. Get warm fuzzies. You'll never find a more grateful and accepting friend than an animal you've been kind to.
3. Keep good company. You'll make lots of new friends—and not just the four-legged kind. Working side by side with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships.
New Report Shows Status of Salmon Recovery
OLYMPIA – Salmon recovery efforts in Washington are making a difference – more salmon are returning home in some areas, although significant work remains – according to a new report released by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office.
“Washington State has been investing in salmon recovery for more than a decade, and we are starting to see some results,” said Kaleen Cottingham director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, home of the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, which created the report and Web site. “That’s heartening. But we also see that we have a long way to go until all salmon species are healthy enough to be removed from the endangered species list.”
The newly released State of Salmon in Watersheds Executive Summary and interactive Website show Washington’s progress in trying to recover the 15 populations declared as at risk of extinction by the federal government and listed under the Endangered Species Act. The Web site puts online live data from many sources around the state and offers interactive story maps from efforts statewide. Continued here...
Meet Your Volunteer Firefighters' New Fire Engines
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: Six new engines are all here now and ready to go! Actually they have been in service for several months. They are replacing the fire engines that have protected us for 30 years.
San Juan Island Fire Rescue purchased your new engines from General Fire Equipment in Spokane, Washington. Not only did we get a good deal, but we also were able to arrange the sale so that much of the sales tax revenue stayed local. The new engines should serve the community for at least 25 years. The Fire District paid about $350,000.00 per engine. (That's about $50,000 LESS than most communities pay for a fire engine.)
The engines are island specific. In other words they were designed with our island's particular needs in mind. They provide much better driver sight therefore providing more safety for the crew aboard. The crew all face forward providing safety and much better communication between them. The retiring engines had firefighters sitting facing backwards and exposed to the elements. Continued here...
A little History: English Camp
A little history from the NPS: When Great Britain and the United States in 1859 agreed to a joint occupation of San Juan Island until the water boundary between the two nations could be settled, it was decided that camps would be located on opposite ends of the island.
Shortly after the British and American governments affirmed Lieutenant General Winfield Scott’s proposal to jointly occupy San Juan Island, the Royal Navy started looking for a home for its British Royal Marine Light Infantry contingent. Capt. James Prevost, commander of H.M.S. Satellite, selected the site on Garrison Bay, 15 miles northwest of American Camp, from among seven finalists.
Roche described the ground as "well-sheltered, has a good supply of water and grass, and is capable of affording maneuvering ground for any number of men that are likely to be required in that locality..." He added that a trail, 11 miles long, led from this area to the Hudson’s Bay farm at Bellevue. Continued here...
SJI Park Debuts Salmon Bank Webpage
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: Before there was the South Beach, known and loved by San Juan Islanders and visitors from around the world as a summer picnic ground and a spot to watch winter storms, there was the Salmon Bank. And for thousands of years, it was a place to make a living. Spanish explorers during expeditions up the Strait of Juan de Fuca conducted 1790-1792 reported "...an incredible quantity of salmon and numerous Indians."
Fifty years later, in October 1853, James Alden of the U.S. Coast Survey enthused about the maritime resources. "Salmon abound in great quantities at certain seasons of the year, when the water in every direction seems to be filled with them…The Hudson's Bay Company has a fishing establishment at San Juan … where I am informed they have put up this season 600 barrels of salmon. 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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