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!
Two Heron Releases
Within the past few weeks we have successfully rehabilitated and released two very different herons. The first to be released was a young Green Heron that was found, weak and thin, in a park in Burlington in late June. It was a youngster that was just growing in feathers and still had grey down sticking out all over its head and back. Green Herons are small (only ~ 18 " tall when fully grown), so we started by offering it small fish pieces with forceps and in water in a dish.
At first it wouldn't take the pieces so, several times a day, we had to carefully open its mouth and pop pieces in. This continued for 4 days, then suddenly it got the hang of it and started to pick up fish pieces and other food from its dish and swallow them down. Soon all of its feathers grew in and it was moved into an outdoor enclosure where it spent most of the time hiding among the tall grasses. After ~ 4 weeks it was able to fly and was released in a nice marshy area near Burlington.
The second heron to be released was a young Great Blue Heron that had been with us since mid May. It was a nestling that was found on the ground under a heron rookery on Whidbey Island. It was about the size of a large grapefruit, with a round belly and a huge beak and feet. It was just beginning to sprout grey, fuzzy down its on head and body. We were amazed that it hadn't been injured in the fall from its nest in the top of a tall tree. Continued here...
A Cedar Suede Coming to Friday Harbor
A Cedar Suede will be performing at The Rumor Mill Thursday, Aug. 21th at 7:00pm and down at the Port of Friday Harbor for Music in the Park on Sunday, August 24th starting at 2:00pm. A Cedar Suede presents an eclectic combination of high-energy grooves, soaring classical motifs, and spontaneous improvisations. All pieces are the result of collaborative writing by Harold Belskus, Jamie Maschler and the entire group: a crossroads of modern musical flavors.
Like the soundtrack to an adventure film, this wild ride never ceases to amaze and delight audiences of all types. With a pounding percussive guitar, and haunting tones, mixed seamlessly through organic harmonies, no one genre can encompass the artistry. More on The Music Scene...
UPDATE: Prairie Stewardship Planning Process
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: Over the past three years, San Juan Island National Historical Park has sought public input for the Draft Prairie Stewardship Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. This has been conducted through a series of public scoping meetings, workshops, and an education symposium.
The park is proposing to restore a functioning native island prairie ecosystem at American Camp on the southern end of San Juan Island and at English Camp's Young Hill.
There have been many public concerns and issues raised regarding this planning effort. These comments and concerns are summarized in documents available on the NPS PEPC website: Prairie Stewardship Planning Homepage. All of these comments are being considered in the formulation of alternatives and the draft environmental impact statement. The next step in the planning process is to publish the Draft Prairie Stewardship Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. Continued here...
Cascadia '10 Returns to The Rumor Mill for 2 Shows
Cascadia '10 returns to The Rumor Mill Friday, Aug. 22nd and Sat. Aug. 23rd, 2014 @ 8:00 to throw down San Jan Island's dance parties of the year. Deep funky grooves with sizzling horns, shredding guitars, and searing percussion....it's a rare show that's not to be missed!
Cascadia '10 is the echo of Afrobeat in the Pacific Northwest with sound resonating from Lagos to Seattle. A small army of experienced musicians brings this hypnotic rhythm straight to your hips and feet. Several members of C'10 also perform in; Marmalade, Soul Senate, & Fascination Nation; and have performed in Swamp Mama Johnson, Altered States of Funk, Sly Lothario, SuperKali & FCS North. More on The Music Scene...
"Know Your Island" Hospital Trail Walk
Sat. August 23, 2014, 1-4pm: Meet Steve Ulvi, crackerjack trail builder, former employee of the Alaska National Parks and dedicated/concerned San Juan Island citizen, to walk our new Hospital Trail. Steve will fill us in on how this trail came to be, its deliberate design as a slow, contemplative and meandering trail, what the building of it entailed, and what plans might lie ahead.
Meet and park at Peace Island Hospital parking lot on San Juan Valley Road. Length is 1.5 miles and terrain is wooded trail. Rating is easy. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Rain or shine.
Pet of The Week
Press Release: This weeks Pet of The Week from the is "Sweetie". This beautiful girl goes by the name of “Sweetie” – which is a perfect name for her because she truly is a sweet, sweet dog. She’s a “Chiweenie” – part Dachshund part Chihuahua, and about a year old. This photo doesn’t do her justice – she has gorgeous markings and is absolutely adorable!
She’s a bit shy at first, but warms up quickly and loves to chase tennis balls and play with squeaky toys. She also loves to cuddle and will make an excellent lap dog. She does great with other dogs, but we feel she is best suited for a home without cats, as she seems overly “enthusiastic” about the kitties here at the shelter.Stop by the shelter to meet her! The Animal Shelter is located at 111 Shelter Lane in Friday Harbor. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 til 3:00. Call 378-2158 for more information. Continued here...
New Home for Animal Shelter
Press Release: The is very pleased to announce the kickoff of a capital campaign to raise funds for a new animal shelter facility on San Juan Island. The project, “New Home – New Hope” was formally announced to the community at last Sunday’s ‘Wags to Riches’ event, and the initial response has been extremely positive.
The project started as a vision of the executive director, Leslie Byron and the current board president Jaime Ellsworth. Two years ago, the dream became a necessity when APS was made aware that the current property lease with the Port of Friday Harbor would more than likely be shortened from 20 years to 5 years. With the deteriorating conditions of the current shelter building and the future loss of the current property lease it was decided by the APS board to start searching for a new location and build a new facility.
The project was able to move forward with a very generous donation to APS by Robert and Rebecca Pohlad in honor of their German Shepherd ‘Luca’. The donation was substantial enough to purchase property for the new building. After an extensive search for suitable property, a 5-acre parcel was purchased very near the existing shelter at 994 Cattle Point Road. Continued here...
Town Increases Parking Time to 8 Hours for 22 Spaces
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: In response to requests from the business community, the Town of Friday Harbor has temporarily re-designated 22 parking spaces in the downtown core from 2 hour to 8 hour parking. With the busy visitor season upon us, it was becoming increasingly difficult for employees and owners of downtown businesses to find eight hour parking in close proximity to their job. The Town had agreed to investigate some alternatives to relieve the parking problems in the in Friday Harbor’s core.
The areas where parking times have been extended are on the north side of Court Street adjacent to the old Courthouse and on 1st Street north of Court. The Town has also requested that County employees utilize the county parking lot to free up many spaces on 1st currently used by them. “If we all cooperate with each other, we can assist shoppers and businesses alike in preserving parking on Spring and lower 1st Street” said Town Administrator Duncan Wilson. “We are asking that employees search for parking on Court and upper 1st before parking in the downtown core.”In July the Council gave the Town Administrator the authority to temporarily increase parking hours during the summer months to help employees find long term parking. The current modifications will last through September and will be reviewed by Council for its effectiveness. Continued here...
Appointments to National Monument Advisory Committee Announced
12 locals have been appointed to an advisory committee by the Secretary of Interior. President Obama asked the Secretary of Interior to create an advisory committee to provide "information and advice" on the development of the San Juan National Monument's management plan.
While purely advisory, the committee forms an important channel to help ensure that the community's dreams for these lands are reflected in and supported by the management plan. The Bureau of Land Management recently announced the names of the initial committee members (and the interests they were selected to represent):Michael Carlson (Private Landowners)
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...
Letter to the Editor - Vote for Ron Krebs for Sheriff
Letter to the Editor from Ron Krebs: As your next Sheriff of San Juan County, there are a number of goals that I want to achieve. There are a number of issues that I believe directly affect the communities that we serve. My goals are as follows:
Improve communication- Increase and improve the accessibility and responsiveness of the Sheriff’s Office with the community. We are public servants and we are here to serve you, the public first and foremost. Without your input and support we cannot properly do our jobs. Good communication is the key.
Drugs- The primary mission of the Sheriff’s Office of San Juan County is to provide a safe and secure environment for the residents and visitors through good department programs and community policing efforts. I will make drugs and the problems associated with them a high priority with the Sheriff’s Office. Drugs are a problem that affects us all in one way or another. Continued here...
Check out this cool time lapse video of the nearly full moon passing overhead Stuart Island! It was shot on August 8, 2014 between 12:30am and 2:00am by Chris Teren of Teren Photography.
Island Stage Left Presents Twelfth Night
Cast and crew have just returned from a wonderfully successful tour of the other islands and a three week run at Roche. On Friday, August 8th the play will be at the Wold Road venue and has been receiving great reviews!
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...
Learning More about Stranded Killer Whales
Press Release from The SeaDoc Society: Recently SeaDoc and collaborators from the University of British Columbia and SeaWorld released a revised killer whale necropsy protocol. The original protocol, written in 2004, helped to increase the number of complete examinations performed on stranded killer whales around the world by 20-fold.
The new protocol further standardizes sample collection, identifies current researchers that can help analyze samples, and provides detailed directions for doing things like examining killer whale ears for impacts of sound (as seen with sonar or other acoustic trauma).
Veterinary pathologist Dr. Steve Raverty, a faculty member at the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit, says, "Thanks to research over the last decade, we now have a better understanding of how sound can damage whale ear structure and this data has informed the protocol. When we examine a dead whale, we now have better tools to determine if it got stranded because of a blast or a sonar incident."
Killer whale strandings are as rare as hen's teeth, so every killer whale stranding represents an opportunity for researchers to learn more about the species. The new necropsy protocol improves our ability to capture as much information as possible from each killer whale stranding event. Continued here...
2014 Friday Harbor Art Market
The Friday Harbor Art Market began its third season in Friday Harbor on the Brickworks Plaza, June 20th and runs every Friday from 3pm-7pm through August 29.
There are 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 includes jewelry, pottery, photography, baskets, clothing, woodwork, glass, paintings, soaps, art cards, screen printing, lotions, and more.
Cynthia's of Course! is the seasonal food vendor, serving up her specialties each week. The music lineup includes OPA, Teddy Deane, The Rocky Bay Boys, Oliver Strasser, Kuba Tana Marimba, Katura Marimba and many more.
New to the art market is a "hands-on" activity, called “The Creation Station", which is an interactive art station for kids to adults and anyone who drops in to the station will walk away with their on artistic creation. More here...
Breakdown of the Elwha Causing More Ferry Woes
08/04/14 12:11pm UPDATE: The Elwha has been returned to service and is making the 11:55 a.m. run from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. Still a good idea to check the schedule and alerts if you plan to catch a ferry.
On Sunday night, August 3, hundreds of passengers on the Elwha were forced to don life jackets and head to the center of the main cabin as a precaution when their ferry stopped during the scheduled 6:30pm sailing from Friday Harbor to Anacortes.
The trouble started when a drive motor went out causing visible smoke to emit from the engine room. The Elwha was able to travel to Anacortes at a reduced speed with the remaining drive motor. The Kaleetan was then used to complete Sunday night’s sailing schedule.
No one was injured in the incident, but the problem is causing delays and cancellations for the Ferry system Monday:
– The 6:25 a.m. sailing to Friday Harbor was cancelled
– The 8:05 a.m. sailing from Friday Harbor to Anacortes was cancelled
– The 9:35 a.m. departure from Anacortes to Lopez was canceled and the 10:45 a.m. departure from Lopez to Anacortes was canceled.The vessel is now being thoroughly evaluated and repairs are being made as needed. The breakdown comes at the busiest time of year on the San Juan Island runs. The mechanical problems and sailing cancellations come less than a week after the ferry Tacoma lost power on the Seattle to Bainbridge Island run on Tuesday, causing major back-ups. Continued 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...
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...
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...
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...
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,,,
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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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