Welcome to Friday Harbor Now!
Hi! Welcome to Friday Harbor Now! Events posted on this page are archived as soon as they are over, so there is room for current events and news. If you missed something, you can find it on our Archived News/Events page. And for even more information and photos you can follow us on Facebook, we are on there as FRIDAY HARBOR. Thanks for visiting, and have a great day!
Port Obtains $6 Million Bond For Marina Reconstruction
Press Release: On December 4th the Port of Friday Harbor Commission approved borrowing $6 million in a general obligation bond from lslander's Bank. The funds will be used to pay for the final phase of a multi-year marina reconstruction project. The Commission is pleased to work with Islander's Bank and this is the first time the Port will work with a local lending institution to fund a major capital project.
The Port issued a call for bids for the reconstruction of the oldest parts of the marina C, E and F docks. The wooden docks will be replaced with concrete floats. Ninety wooden pilings will be removed and fifty~four steel pilings will secure the new structures. The marina's electrical system will be upgraded at the same time.
The earlier phases of the marina reconstruction project were funded with revenues saved from marina operations and dedicated to the Marina Reconstruction Fund. More than $1.3 million in electrical and dock upgrades have been performed over the last five years. More here...
Holiday Celebration At Lime Kiln Point State Park
You are invited to Jingle & Mingle at the Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters Open House. Hot Chocolate & S'Mores by The Fire. Popcorn and Berry Garland Making and Ugly Sweater Contest. Free Admission. Sunday, Dec. 15th 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. www.facebook.com/FOLKSSJI Contact Ted Schlund Email: email@example.com Phone: 360-378-2044. See flyer and more Christmas events here...
Holiday Events in December at The Whale Museum
The Whale Museum's holiday events continue! A super fun afternoon is planned for Wednesday December 11 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. when authors Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit will share stories and sign copies of their newly released book, The Lost Whale: The True Story of A Whale Named Luna. At 6 p.m. that evening, San Juan Island Cheese is hosting a wine & cheese reception (location: The Whale Museum gallery).
The last event will be a fun experience for kids of all ages! On Friday, December 13 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. educators will help kids make holiday stockings in the gallery. Upstairs in the Kids’ Room in the Exhibit Hall, kids and families can have their holiday photo taken with the big orca.
At each event, a different coupon will be available for featured sale items at the next event. If the events aren’t enough, The Whale Museum is offering great discounts on merchandise in the Gift Shop. Through the month of December, you can enjoy a 10% “locals shopping local” discount. The discounts are in addition to the membership discount. Not a member? Join today! Continued here...
San Juan Singer’s Holiday Concert “Twas the Night before Christmas”
Press Release from Kathleen Dolsen: Saturday, December 14th 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 15th 2:00 p.m. 2013 at the San Juan Community Theatre. San Juan Singers present old and new holiday favorites and are joined by neighbors playing harp, fiddle, flute, penny whistle—plus special guest appearances from other Island carolers. More than Singing! When San Juan Singers presents this weekend’s holiday concert there will be many stories behind the voices. "In my younger days, singing in a choir kept me off the streets and out of the gutters,” said longtime islander David Bentley. “Now that I think of it, I guess it still does. You can’t beat that healthy high you feel after every rehearsal.”
Then from Steffi Wehner: “After years of being a caregiver, suddenly it was over. I found myself in deep grief, with a lot of time on my hands. I haven't read music in twenty years, my voice is rusty, English is not my mother tongue. I was intimidated at the first rehearsal to say the least. Then we sang, all sections harmonizing and it brought tears to my eyes. I chimed in heartily and felt at home." Continued on the Music Scene...
It's Christmas at the Rumor Mill!
The Rumor Mill is all decked out for the holidays! Come down for Christmas cheer, great food, drinks and live music. See more photos on Facebook. On Wed. Dec. 11th @ 6:30, the San Juan Jazz Quintet will be playing and it's $2 taco night! Friday, Dec. 13th @ 7pm it's A Big Band Christmas with The One More Time Band featuring Jimmy Moe and Jill Urbach and Saturday night starting at 7:00 enjoy some blues with Portland Singer/Songwriter Matt Brown. To make reservations call The Rumor Mill at 378-5555. More on the Rumor Mill Events page.
Fall Play Other Desert Cities
LAST WEEKEND TO SEE DESERT CITIES! Island Stage Left's fall play, "Other Desert Cities" by Jon Robin Baitz opens on FRIDAY Nov 15th and runs THURSDAYS - SATURDAYS at 7:30 and SUNDAYS at 4:00 through December 15th. San Juan County Fairgrounds - 4H Building, 660 Argyle, Friday Harbor. Admission is FREE! Donations Greatly Appreciated.
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2012 , winner of the Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play 2011. “Smart, entertaining”, “richly enjoyable”, “superbly crafted”, “funny, cutting and illuminating”, “scathingly funny, deeply felt drama”, “wit, wisdom and compassion” High anxiety erupts at Christmas when Brooke Wyeth, a leftist writer with an about-to-be-published family memoir, visits her conservative parents, in Palm Springs, California.
Lyman, a former movie star and former United States ambassador during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and his razor sharp wife, Polly, have chosen to live here in luxurious exile. There are aspects of their past they would rather not be reminded of, though it is hard to forget them with Silda, Polly’s sister, in residence after her latest stint in rehab. Continued here...
Portland Singer/Songwriter Sat. Dec.14
Saturday night at The Rumor Mill starting @ 7:00 enjoy some blues with Portland Singer/Songwriter Matt Brown. Matt’s extraordinary vocals and moving lyrics are awe-inspiring and his live performance, whether solo or with a band, is an intimate and moving experience that stands head and shoulders above the crowd. Matt Brown released his first solo EP, entitled, ‘Finish Lines’, in July 2011 and 'Barcelona' in 2012.
He has opened for National acts such as Huey Lewis and the News, Vicci Martinez, Mycle Wastman (off of NBC'S The Voice), Teitur and more. For more info or to make reservations call The Rumor Mill at 378-5555. More on the Music Scene...
Mountaineers Foundation Supports San Juan Nature Institute
Press ReleaseSan Juan Nature Institute was delighted to receive news of the award of a grant from the Mountaineers Foundation to support their education program at Orcas Elementary School. The Mountaineers Foundation grant supplements a partial grant from the Orcas Island Community Foundation for Stream Studies. In their award letter Mountaineers Foundation congratulated Nature Institute on their three year program focusing on Salmon and their freshwater and marine environments.Stream studies is a program for 5th grade students to complement their 4th grade experiences in Salmon in the Classroom. Students will study the topography of a local watershed, explore the soils in the area, test the water quality using both chemical and biological tests and compare their results with similar studies at Glenwood Springs Hatchery. We will demonstrate water movement, on the surface and through soil, using a table-top model on loan from the San Juan Island Conservation District and our own underground water model. Continued here...
2013 Resurrection Fishing Derby
12/08/13 Update: Here are the top placers for the 2013 Resurrection Derby! 1st place- Dale Nelsen, 16.92 lbs, 2nd place- Randy Welch, 15.8 lbs, 3rd place- Kevin Kurras, 15.29 lbs, 4th place- Jennifer Payne, 14.68 lbs, 5th place- Mike McAuley, 14.51 lbs. Total weight: 79.37
12/06/13 Update: Was it cold today? Oh yeah! But, 95 fish weighed, 16.92 lbs in the lead and 59.12 total boat weight through Friday! Follow The Resurrection Derby on Facebook for the latest. More here...
The 2013 Resurrection Fishing Derby, organized by the Fidalgo-San Juan Islands Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers, takes place December 6 and 7, at the Port of Friday Harbor. This is the 4th year of the event and coincides with the opening week of the winter fishing season in the San Juan Islands.
The entry fee is $400. The 100 teams (with up to four anglers per team) will get a spot to vie for $15,000 in guaranteed purse money. 1st place prize $10,000; 2nd place $2,500; 3rd place $1,500; $1,000 for total team weight, and a free 2013 entry for the winner of the Mystery Fish prize. For more information, please visit www.resurrectionderby.com. More here...
PowerPoint Presentation of the Port’s Dec 3 Meeting
On December 3rd, the Port Commission hosted a community meeting to introduce the Spring Street Landing Site design teams and view for the first time the initial conceptual design drawings for the Spring Street Landing building. The Port’s Waterfront Master Plan consultant, Makers Architecture, provided an update on the Master Plan. Please click on the link below for the PowerPoint presentation from this meeting. Presentation 12-3-2013 – web
The Port has begun the process of rebuilding the Spring Street Landing building, destroyed by fire a few months ago. The Commissioners of the Port of Friday Harbor have steadily moved forward on this project by contracting with engineers and architects to create a waterfront commercial building the San Juan Island community will be proud of for years to come. Demolition of the damaged building will take place soon. More here...
Pets of The Week
This weeks Pet of The Week from the is a double feature! Meet Lilly and Jake, two of the nicest little dogs you’ll ever meet! Lilly is 4 years old and Jake is 3 years old. They are very well-mannered, quiet and affectionate and love snuggling!
Lilly loves to have her pink belly rubbed and Jake just loves a nice warm lap. They’re both a little on the “chubby” side, so would benefit from some walking and activity. Most of all they just need a home to call their own where they will get the love and affection they so deserve. They’ve lived together most of their lives and would love to find a home together, but would do alright in separate homes too. Continued here...
Santa Ship & Lighted Boat Parade
Come enjoy the tradition of watching Santa arrive by boat! For over 40 years the Santa Ship has visited Friday Harbor. Enjoy hot cider and cookies, compliments of the Port of Friday Harbor. He will arrive at Spring Street Landing around 5:00pm on Saturday, December 21, 2013 for a meet and greet then will be escorted first to the Island's Convalescent Center and then to Friday Harbor Middle School on a local firetruck escorted by Friday Harbor's finest.
The Friday Harbor Sailing Club is hosting the Lighted Boat Parade on December 21 as well which starts at Shipyard Cove at around 5pm. Christmas events...
OLYMPIA – The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership on Dec. 5 announced the award of more than $42 million in grants to organizations around the state for projects that restore and protect salmon habitat, helping bring salmon back from the brink of extinction. Projects in San Juan County to receive $648,602.
“Salmon are an important part of both Washington’s culture and economy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Healthy salmon populations support thousands of jobs in fishing, hotels and restaurants, seafood processing, boat sales and repair, charter operations, environmental restoration and more. I am very pleased with the work of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and its efforts to fund projects that help our economy and assure future generations of Washingtonians can enjoy the return of wild salmon.”
Funding for the grants comes from the federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and the sale of state bonds. In addition, $24.4 million is from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, which is jointly approved by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership in coordination with local watersheds, for projects that will help restore Puget Sound. Continued here...
News from Brickworks!
Press Release from the Ag Guild Board: What a year it has been. Last November we wrote to you asking for help to make Brickworks a reality. You did it! As dollars steadily came in from folks in all walks of life, Ravenhill Construction along with a large cadre of volunteers pounded nails and painted walls, and on June 15 you joined us as we opened the doors. In September we finished the commercial kitchen. The renovation is now all but complete — and paid for.
The Farmers’ Market has settled into its permanent home. This summer the Art Market flourished, and we began our Sunday afternoon gatherings at Brickworks. We’ve had birthday parties, dances, a chili cook-off, meetings, lectures and sing-alongs. Our Facilities Manager, Tanja Williamson is coordinating logistics for the many unique expressions of our community embracing Brickworks.
Because of strong financial support from all of you, we have also been able to pay down $200,000 of the mortgage, and are now on the homestretch to having Brickworks completely freed of debt and self-sustaining. Confident this will happen soon, we are turning to the next stage of continuing the Ag Guild’s mission to foster a vibrant and resilient local food system in the islands — developing a comprehensive and multi-faceted ‘farm to table to health’ education series. Continued here...
New Anacortes Ferry Terminal Information Tool Launched
Washington State Ferries has just launched a new addition to the Vessel Watch system, it shows the vehicle spaces available at the Anacortes Ferry terminal for the day’s upcoming sailings. The capacity numbers update in real time, and the display is updated as often as every 15 seconds. The background color of the capacity number changes from green, to yellow, to red, as spaces are purchased.
Travelers can now tell exactly how many people have already purchased tickets for a particular sailing, and plan accordingly. Note that for shared boats, the number displayed reflects all vehicles that have purchased tickets for each sailing, so space is not guaranteed for your island if you show up close to the time at which the tickets for the boat have all been purchased. See the new tool in action here: Anacortes Terminal Conditions
Holiday Events at San Juan Island Library
This December the San Juan Island Library will host special story-times and holiday activities for children, teens and families.
Children Grades K-6th make glass ornaments during After School Arts on Thursday, December 12, 3:15-4:15 PM. No registration. All materials provided. Light snack served.
On Friday, December 13 at 10:30 AM it’s Gingerbread Story-time. Hear classic stories and help make a festive gingerbread house for display at the library. All materials provided. Appropriate for preschoolers and their families. Gingerbread treats and light refreshments served.
Teens Get Crafty on Thursday, December 19, 3:15-4:15 PM. Make ornaments for gifts or decorations. No registration. All materials provided. Appropriate for grades 7th-12th.
Also for little ones ages 0-six, the library’s Annual Holiday Party Story-time will be at 10:30 AM on Friday, December 20. There will be songs, crafts, bells, and a very special guest appearance from Santa. Bring cameras to capture the moments.At 7 PM on Friday, December 20, the fun continues with Kathy and a Special Holiday Family Film Night viewing of “The Miracle on 34th Street.” This modern adaptation of the classic story will be shown in the main library on the library’s drop-down screen. Popcorn and refreshments provided. Continued here...
U.S. Customs/Border Protection Public Meeting Video
Public information meeting on the rental of Friday Harbor office space to the U.S. Customs/Border Protection that took place Nov. 25th.
Wondering Why There Is Another Crane in the Harbor?
Press Release: The Port of Friday Harbor contractor, Neptune Marine, is utilizing their crane to repair eight pilings on J-dock. They Will accomplish the repairs by splicing and cross-bracing the tops of the pilings. This is just one phase of a multi-year marina reconstruction project. Next they will move over to the shallow Water docks on A, B and D walkways to replace the small Slips and repair the structural walers.
The replacement floats will have grids to allow light penetration to the seafloor. The Port will also add two new concrete multi-hull slips on E Walkway, near the floating restrooms. This shallow water project is funded by the Port’s Marina Reconstruction Fund for a total $638,393 dollars. The next major marina project will be the replacement of C, E and F docks. Bids for this project Will be opened in January 2014. More 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.
The Amazing Holiday Show
November 30 thru December 29 at WaterWorks Gallery, 315 Argyle St. The best works of this Friday Harbor art gallery comes together for the Amazing Holiday Show, whether a gift giving for your beloved or yourself, you're sure to find something fabulous! This show features Amazing new works by gallery artists including Georgia Gerber, Amanda Richardson, Michael Dickter, Jaime Ellsworth, Jeremy Newman & Allison Ciancibelli, Janis Miltenberger, Elizabeth Bruno, Dana Roberts, Danielle Dean Palmer and Robin & John Gumaelius.
Amazing jewelry by Dianne Coe, Tana Acton, Jan Marie Tognela, Caroline Viene, Micki Lippe, Peggy Hunt, Judy Morgan and Amaru Almeida. Amazing Holiday Reception during the Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday November 30th, 4-7 PM. Amazing Holiday Gift wrapping, Delivery. Amazing Specials posted online at WaterWorks Gallery.WaterWorks Gallery is San Juan Island’s premiere gallery for contemporary artwork. Established in 1985 with the concept of showcasing artists based in the San Juan Islands and the Pacific Northwest. Continued on The Art Scene...
WSF is One Step Closer to Liquefied Natural Gas Propulsion
Press Release: Official Proposal Submitted to U.S. Coast Guard. Washington State Ferries is another step closer to significantly reducing fuel costs and transportation emissions by switching a class of vessels from diesel fuel to liquefied natural gas.
After more than three years of study, WSF has a plan to safely convert six Issaquah Class vessels to run on cleaner-burning LNG. The proposal was officially submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard on Nov. 18 in a formal letter of intent (LOI) and waterways suitability assessment (WSA). The submission of the LOI and WSA marks the official starting point of the Coast Guard’s review process. WSF expects the Coast Guard to issue a finding regarding the LNG conversion proposal in 2014.
“Fuel is WSF’s fastest growing operating expense,” said David Moseley, assistant secretary for the Washington State Department of Transportation, Ferries Division. “Replacing diesel with LNG on the Issaquah Class ferries could result in very substantial savings on fuel over the remaining 30 years of their service life. This will also mean a cleaner, more efficient future for our fleet by significantly decreasing emissions.” Continued here...
Thanks To Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: Despite being one of the driest Octobers on record, we've had an amazing abundance and variety of mushrooms this year. I heard one local mushroom expert comment that it was a bumper crop kind of year. Last weekend I took advantage of our crisp, clear autumn weather to get out there and see how many different kinds of fungi I could find. Turns out mushroom photography is a great way for a nature photographer to get a workout! I probably did about 100 deep knee bends over the course of two days and was definitely feeling it afterwards. I haven't had time to look at the field guides yet, but here are some of the results: Continued here...
“Echoes of the Tides” Multi-Media Exhibition
The San Juan Island Museum of Art (IMA) announces the opening of the “Echoes of the Tides” exhibition of multi-media art from local artists who participate in the IMA Artist Registry. The Opening Reception is Saturday, November 23rd, 5 – 8 p.m.
The “Echoes of the Tides” exhibition will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, 4-8 p.m. and Sundays 2-5 p.m. from November 23rd through December 22nd. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art is located at 540 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA.
Come to experience the art, meet the artists, and stay for coffee, cookies and conversation. You may find that special piece of art to admire, to purchase for yourself, or it may be the answer for that perfect holiday gift. IMA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and depends on donations, fundraising, and dedicated volunteers. For more information visit the IMA website at www.sjima.org or call 360-370-5050. Shown above is “The Color of Water” – Artist, Kristy Gjesme.Participating Artists: BJ Arnold, Wendy McCauley, Patti Barker, Maria Michaelson, Sondra Bayley, Joe Miller, Oak Boesky...Continued here...
CenturyLink Outage Update
11/18/13 Press Release: There are some reports of CenturyLink customers still having problems with their service. Anyone with concerns should contact CenturyLink directly at: Jan Kampbell, Public Relations & Market Development Manager Western Washington firstname.lastname@example.org Office 253-851-1416 Cell 253-549-5499.
Also, the County is trying to get a sense of economic impacts to businesses and other organizations due to outage. Anyone with impacts is encouraged to fill out the online survey located at www.sanjuandem.net/outage. There is no promise of outside help from State or Federal government at this time, but gathering this data is the first step towards gauging the impact and possibly requesting support. More here...
Majority of Citizens Willing to Pay More for Transportation
Press Release from WA State Transportation Commission: OLYMPIA – The Washington State Transportation Commission has just completed a statewide survey of the Voice of Washington State (VOWS) survey panel that asked thousands of Washington state residents several questions on transportation, including how they feel about the transportation system, what their transportation investment priorities are, and if they think the state has enough revenue to meet future needs.
A resounding 86 percent of those surveyed think it is urgent to make sure Washington’s transportation system works effectively today and into the future, and 60 percent are willing to consider raising some transportation taxes and fees to ensure future transportation needs are met. Similar to a 2012 VOWS survey, preserving infrastructure, investing in transit and reducing congestion continue to be the top benefits residents must see to justify paying additional taxes.The findings of the survey have been submitted to the Governor and the Legislature for their review as they consider a possible transportation revenue package aimed at meeting the growing needs of our state. Continued here...
Contractor Finishes I-5 Skagit River Bridge Retrofit Work
Press Release from WSDOT: After routine inspection on Nov. 17, last of lane closures wrap up for this year, minor painting to be completed in spring. Three contractors and less than six months after being struck by an oversized load, the collapsed span over the Skagit River was removed, spanned temporarily and then permanently, and the remaining steel structure retrofitted and reinforced.
With the retrofit work complete, the bridge’s overhead structure is now the same height in all lanes, which reduces the risk of the bridge being struck again. Other parts of the bridge were reinforced and maintenance was performed. Everything but spot painting was completed, which will now be completed next spring due to worsening weather this late in the year. However, temporary weight and oversize load restrictions put in place after the span collapse have been lifted. Continued here...
Investigation Finds Human Error in Hyak Collision
Press Release: A recent investigation concludes that human error was responsible for a collision Sept. 13 between Washington State Ferries vessel Hyak and a motor yacht. The incident happened at the confluence of Harney and Upright channels in the San Juan Islands, where the Hyak’s starboard bow collided with the port quarter of the yacht.
The sole occupant of the yacht Tasya was rescued by a nearby vessel and taken to Orcas Island. On the day of the incident, WSF convened a board of inquiry to investigate the collision. The board collected a wide array of data and information and spent more than 30 hours meeting to examine evidence and make its determination.According to the report, investigators determined this incident was avoidable as the Hyak had adequate time, equipment capability and “sea room” to avoid the collision. Weather, visibility, tides and currents were not factors in this incident. The report states that the root cause of this incident was human error due to lack of situational awareness. Continued here...
CenturyLink San Juan Islands Update
CenturyLink will be hosting a public forum to address any concerns from customers regarding the underwater fiber cut. Date: Thursday, November 14th, 2013. Time: 3pm to 6pm. Location: Orcas Senior Center, located at 62 Henry Rd, Orcas.
11/13/13 Press Release from Centurylink: CenturyLink experienced voice communication outages earlier this afternoon, services were restored for the majority of residents at 5:10 p.m. CenturyLink continued to monitor issues with a small number of customers until 8:00 p.m. this evening on Lopez and Orca’s Island. This outage is not due to capacity, but adding additional fiber connections to augment the network. We apologize for any inconvenience, as we are actively working to prevent these interruptions.
CenturyLink technicians continue to work around the clock in the San Juan Islands to repair the underwater fiber cut. CenturyLink’s priority is and continues to be full restoration of communications as quickly as possible. CenturyLink continues to augment voice and data capacity through alternative communications facilities as fast as they become available in addition to the fiber restoration activities. More here...
Day of the Dead ~ 4th Annual Tribute
Thanks To Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: Every year I write a blog post to honor and remember the Southern Residents who passed away during the previous year. As I was preparing for this post, I was flipping through my ID guides, looking at the family groups of the whales we've lost. As I did this, it struck me just how many elder whales have died in recent years. While no longer reproductive, older female whales likely play an extremely important role in Southern Resident Killer whale society, both as leaders and carriers of cultural information. Both last year and this year we have lost three females born before 1970. J2 Granny and L25 Ocean Sun are now the only living whales that were adults when photo ID studies began in the early 1970s. Continued here...
2014 Friday Harbor Animal Shelter Calendar is Now on Sale
The 's 2014 calendar is available now. Featuring the cat and dog photo contest winners and some of the rescue animals from the Shelter, calendars can be purchased from the Shelter at 111 Shelter Road or at the “Christmas for Critters” Holiday Craft Boutique on November 15th & 16th at the American Legion.
Calendars also available at Friday Harbor Pet Supply, 50 Malcom Street, The Barking Bird, 275 A Street, Animal Inn, 25 Boyce Road, Harbor Veterinary, 849 Spring Street and online at More here...
Orcas Island Outage Update
11/13/13 Press Release from Centurylink: The blockage that was reported on Orcas Island, Tuesday, November 12th, was caused by call volumes exceeding capacity and Orcas Island customers that tried making calls while we were at 100% were not able to make any calls including 911. We have added additional capacity and will continue to monitor the system closely.
CenturyLink technicians continue to work around the clock in the San Juan Islands to repair the underwater fiber cut. CenturyLink’s priority is and continues to be full restoration of communications as quickly as possible. CenturyLink continues to augment voice and data capacity through alternative communications facilities as fast as they become available in addition to the fiber restoration activities.
As part of CenturyLink’s multi-million dollar repair effort, we have deployed resources from across the state, brought in international experts who initially helped deploy the fiber, leveraged multiple barges and tug boats and have partnered with providers where facilities were available. More here...
CenturyLink Severed Fiber Located
11/11/13 Press Release: Company continues massive effort to repair cable, restore service. CenturyLink crews have located both ends of a severed cable causing a network outage impacting the San Juan Islands. The fiber, located at a depth of 280 feet approximately 5,000 feet from Lopez Island, was suspended along a rock face south of where it was originally placed. The cause for movement is unknown, but could have been caused by an earthquake that occurred three minutes prior to CenturyLink’s first alarm notification.
“Typically a response effort of this magnitude takes over a month to develop; the fact that we were able to mobilize within the first 36 hours is amazing. Restoring service is a top priority for CenturyLink, and we have pulled resources in from across the country to get these facilities up and running,” said Tim Grigar, vice president and general manager of CenturyLink’s western Washington market.
The next steps will be assessing how far the damage goes within the fiber and positioning the barge for placing the anchors as early as late afternoon Tuesday. Once the barge is in place, splicing the new fiber to the severed lines will begin. Survey work has begun to identify where to lay the new cable. More here...
CenturyLink is Working Around the Clock to Restore Communications
11/11/13 Press Release: CenturyLink crews are working around the clock to repair the severed fiber optic cable causing a network outage impacting the San Juan Islands. CenturyLink crews, which have dedicated more than 1,000 hours, have temporarily restored local, long distance, Internet, and 911 services in partnership with OPALCO (Orcas Power and Light Cooperative).
CenturyLink has deployed resources from across the state to assist in the repair of the fiber cable, which is more than two miles in length and rests at a depth of 280 feet. CenturyLink has brought in international experts who initially helped deploy the fiber to the Islands to help pinpoint the issue. At this time, the reason for the cut is still unknown.
In addition to the on-site team, CenturyLink has brought in additional resources, including a team of expert divers, three tug boats, two remote operating vessels, and two barges. The barges, which are between the coast of Pear Point off of San Juan Island and Fisherman’s Bay located on Lopez Island, have cranes and splicing equipment.
“CenturyLink’s priority is to fully restore communications as quickly as possible,” said Tim Grigar, CenturyLink vice president and general manager for western Washington. “We appreciate our customers’ patience while we work to resolve this issue.” Previous story here...
Herbicide to be Used to Benefit Rare Butterfly
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: The National Park Service plans to apply herbicide to Canada thistle infesting critical habitat for island marble butterfly at American Camp, announced Superintendent Lee Taylor. The treatment will target 1.5 acres east of Pickett's Lane and one acre south of the Redoubt Road. This step is one part of a broad strategy to restore habitat for the island marble butterfly (Euchloe ausonides insulanus), a federal species of concern.
"The island marble butterfly population is dwindling and American Camp is their final stronghold," Taylor said. "We must take action now to improve and expand habitat for these creatures or they will not survive."
Herbicide use will help combat nonnative, invasive thistles that compete with island marble butterfly host plants for habitat. Island marble butterflies rely on just a few plant species as a source of food...Continued here...
A New Face for San Juan Island Museum of Art
Press Release: In May 2013 the San Juan Island Museum of Art (IMA) acquired the old EMS building at 540 Spring Street in Friday Harbor. Over the past several months great progress has been made in designing the renovation of the old EMS building into a visually impactful Visual Arts Museum here in Friday Harbor.
Richard Hobbs, FAIA + Wagner Galloway, Architects was chosen as the project architect. Richard led a series of collaborative meetings with the IMA Building Committee as they identified and prioritized their needs for this facility. The results of this collaboration are represented in the architectural drawing shown here.
The stunning, light – filled glass Atrium Gallery will be added to the front of the current building. This impactful design faces Spring Street and the artful combination of wood, steel and glass create an impressive structure. This Atrium Gallery can feature sculptural art as well as serve as an open reception area for special exhibitions and events. Continued here...
Can You Help Wolf Hollow Feed the Eaglets?
Only a few days to go and we are coming up short. We've created a crowd-funded campaign to help Wolf Hollow rehabilitate two Bald Eaglets. The main cost involved in raising these eaglets is FOOD - lots of it. They are big birds and need a lot of high quality food to grown and develop muscles and feathers well.
We feed them a range of foods including rats, quail, salmon, venison and beef. The salmon and beef are mostly donated and the venison is from road-kill deer, but we have to buy the rats and quail. They eat the equivalent of three rats a day at $2.00 apiece for around 7 months (we can't take the rats from the wild as we don't know what sort of environment they are from). And quail is even more expensive!
So please help out if you can - even a buck or two. Your donation will go directly to feeding and otherwise caring for the two Bald Eaglets that we have named Artemis (pictured) and Athena. Please visit http://www.loveanimals.org/wild/adopt-2-bald-eaglets.html More here...
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee's Statement Regarding End of Federal Government Shutdown
“It is good news for Washingtonians that the federal government shutdown is finally over. Beginning October 17, federal offices will reopen and federal employees and federally-funded state employees will return to work. Washington state escaped the most severe impacts that would have soon hit had Congress not acted, though the past two weeks have brought needless stress to many families here. Fortunately, under the bill to reopen the government that was passed by Congress and signed by the President last night, Washington’s furloughed federal and state workers will be able to receive back-pay, and our state will receive reimbursement for the costs it incurred while continuing to operate important federal services, such as the administration of unemployment benefits.
“Importantly, I am pleased that President Obama held strong and that Congress voted to reopen the government without delaying or impeding our state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health coverage to nearly 25,000 Washingtonians in just the first two weeks. Continued here...
Scenic Byway Summer Shuttle Bus Report Released
Press Release: The San Juan Islands Scenic Byway Partnership recently released the final report on a two-year National Scenic Byway grant project to reduce vehicle traffic on the ferries and county roads during peak summer travel periods. The report summarizes promotion and operation of the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway Explorer Bus on Orcas and San Juan Island Byway routes during the past two summers. The grant allowed for a shuttle bus, operated by San Juan Transit, to provide service on the entire San Juan Island scenic byway route and to serve most of the scenic byway route on Orcas Island for 10 weeks both summers.
During summer 2012, 415 potential visitors completed a survey and downloaded a 2-for-1 shuttle pass; 46 of the passes were redeemed on both islands. This summer, 686 passes were downloaded and 186 were redeemed. Between June 21 and Labor Day this summer, San Juan Transit carried an average of 127 passengers per day on San Juan Island (the highest day was 264 passengers and lowest day was 68) and an average of 9 passengers per day on Orcas Island (the highest day was 59 passengers and lowest was 2; two factors are important to note: the shuttle schedule coincided with the inter-island ferry, and a majority of riders were boaters mooring at Deer Harbor or Rosario who wanted to visit Eastsound). Continued here...
Humpback Whales Recorded on Hydrophone
Humpbacks recorded in Haro Strait for the first time! On October 13, 2013, Jeanne Hyde recorded some wild sounds playing live on the OrcaSound hydrophone. Turns out, they were humpback calls!! Listen in at http://whalemuseum.org/pages/seasound-remote-sensing-network
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. More here...
From The SeaDoc Society: SeaDoc kicks off a project using trained citizen scientists to help study changes in subtidal fish and invertebrate populations. This ambitious multi-year intelligence-gathering effort will use recreational SCUBA divers, trained and certified by the REEF Environmental Education Foundation as experts in identifying fish and invertebrates to get a long-term view of what's happening at multiple sites in the San Juan Islands. Continued here...
Washington Conservation Voters Names Senator Kevin Ranker 2013 Legislator of the Year
Press Release: Washington Conservation Voters, the political voice for the environment, today awarded State Senator Kevin Ranker (D-40) its highest honor by naming him the 2013 “Legislator of the Year.” Senator Ranker was bestowed this award for his outstanding leadership during and following the 2013 Legislative Session.
“Senator Ranker was instrumental in stopping dozens upon dozens of environmental rollbacks and spearheading efforts that would protect our environment and aggressively tackle climate change,” said WCV Executive Director Brendon Cechovic, “He was our most effective champion and we can always count on him to stand up for our communities and a healthy environment.”
Highlights from the 2013 Legislative Session include: As prime sponsor, Senator Ranker worked with Governor Inslee to pass the new Governor’s first significant bill to address climate change and has been a strong voice for carbon reduction as a member of the Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup. Continued here...
Wolf Hollow Harbor Seal Release
Thanks To Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: The morning of Sept. 28 I was lucky enough to be invited to watch a harbor seal release. Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center here on San Juan Island cares for orphaned and injured wildlife found throughout the San Juan Islands and Skagit County, and harbor seal pups are one of the main animals they care for during the summer months. Some years, the rehabilitate twenty or more seals, but this year only resulted in five seals to release. The final two seals, nicknamed Leto and Phanes, were set free today from a beach on San Juan Island.
Leto, the darker of the two seals, was found alone on a beach in Ferndale. He came to Wolf Hollow in early August dehydrated and lethargic, weighing just 15 pounds. He now weighs over 50 pounds and is tagged with both a flipper tag and a hat tag marked C5. He was the bolder of the two seals, poking his nose out almost immediately to survey his new surroundings. Continued here...
Salmon Returning Home to Washington Rivers
OLYMPIA – New Videos Tell Story of Salmon Recovery in Washington. All around Washington State, salmon are returning from years in the Pacific Ocean to their home rivers, much to the delight of school children, anglers, scientists, and businesses. A major annual salmon migration from sea to river happens around the state in the fall. Community festivals, salmon bakes and 10K runs are scheduled to recognize this annual event.
In conjunction with this annual celebration, the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office is unveiling a 10-minute video that documents the state’s effort to bring them back from the brink of extinction. The video, State of Salmon: Restoring a Washington Icon, focuses on why salmon are important to Washington State, the work being done here, and the results of more than a decade of salmon recovery work. The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office also is releasing six, 2-minute videos that focus on those affected by the decline of salmon populations and those working to restore salmon and salmon habitat, all available on YouTube. 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...
San Juan County Gets a Seat on WA State Arts Commission
Press Release: Recently, WA Governor Jay Inslee appointed Diane Martindale to the Washington State Arts Commission (ARTSWA). This is a three-year appointment and the first time someone from San Juan County has been on the commission.
Diane serves as the chair of the Art Committee for the San Juan Island Public Library, on the board of the Island Arts League, and is an advisor for the San Juan Islands Museum of Art where she was the director of the most recent Bergner exhibition. For IMA she has written grants to fund arts education in our public schools and Family Arts Days. Diane is a member of the San Juan County Arts Council and a supporter of the 100 Friends of Old Island Barns.
Most recently she has been a voice in the community for public participation in public art. She is a volunteer in CATS for the San Juan Island Community Theatre. When living in Houston was on the board of the Houston Ebony Opera Guild and a member of Women in the Visual and Literary Arts. Diane is a life-long supporter of the arts, but her own personal talent is confined to quilting. Continued here...
Free Blood Pressure Testing Available at Peace Island Medical Center
Press Release: Free blood pressure checking is now available in the lobby at Peace Island Medical Center. A new automatic blood pressure testing station has been donated by Peace Island Volunteers in support of its mission to facilitate local access to healthcare services. All of the funds required to purchase this self-serve kiosk were raised at a silent auction during last May's "Art in the Afternoon" event, sponsored by Peace Island Volunteers and held at PIMC.
The new blood pressure station has been installed behind the stairs, near the coffee kiosk. The public is invited to come try it out during PIMC's regular clinic hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Those who do should remember that:Like one's heart rate, blood pressure can change. Exertion, like walking up stairs or dealing with the stress in the workplace, may make blood pressure and heart rate go higher than what you are used to seeing. Continued here...
Protecting Puget Sound's Killer Whales from Vessels
Press Release from NOAA Fisheries: The Pacific Northwest is the summer home to a remarkable marine mammal: the iconic and charismatic killer whale. Striking in their stark black-and-white appearance, social, intelligent and laudably familial, they seem designed for human admiration. And they get that in abundance, from pictures of them on local buses and billboards to a flourishing tourist business devoted to on-the-water whale watching.
The Puget Sound-visiting, salmon-eating killer whales are known by their official designation as Southern Resident killer whales, and they are different from killer whale groups that inhabit other parts of the Pacific. The size of the Southern Resident population has always been small. Historically, it was probably never more than a few hundred animals. But today, those numbers have decreased significantly. Down from a peak of almost 100 animals in the 1990s, it currently stands at 82. This decline concerns scientists because killer whales don't mature sexually until about age 15 and females have calves only once every four or five years, making recovery of small populations like this one slow and uncertain. Continued here...
In With the New: Permanent I-5 Skagit River Bridge Replacement Opens to Traffic
Press Release from WSDOT: During a carefully choreographed series of activities, crews slid and lowered the new, permanent span for the Interstate 5 Skagit River Bridge into its final location and reopened the roadway to traffic around 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15.
Starting Saturday evening, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation used a complex system of hydraulic jacks, Teflon pads and long steel rails to lift and move the two sections of the temporary span onto a work platform for disassembly. Then they used a similar set-up to usher the new, 900-ton concrete span into place.
To minimize the community impacts of a lengthier I-5 closure, WSDOT contractor Max J. Kuney Company worked closely with designer Parsons Brinckerhoff, bridge-mover Omega Morgan and several specialized subcontractors to swap the spans safely in 19 hours. Although crews encountered some complications along the way – including the time-consuming process of cutting through thick metal plates before being able to lift the temporary span – they still finished building and relocating the bridge more than two weeks before WSDOT’s Oct. 1 deadline. Continued here...
Cow & Pig Have a Baby!
Orca Calf L-119 Receives her Name
The Whale Museum: After several weeks of public voting with more than 2,500 votes counted, Southern Resident Community Orca calf L-119 has received her name! Though the voting was close, Joy is the winning name by about 100 votes. Joy is a fitting name as this playful calf has brought joy and hope for these endangered whales. Read more about this new calf and her family on the Meet the Whales page at www.whalemuseum.org. Receiving a name is an important event. It acknowledges the whale has survived their first winter, making their chances for long term survival much greater. This active young whale has returned with her pod and has been seen throughout the summer. She has now been entered into the Orca Adoption Program.
The Orca Adoption Program was started in the spring of 1984. The inspiration behind the creation of the adoption program was that, if each orca were given a name and history, people would understand that each whale has a unique personality with complex social relationships, and then form a connection to the whale and the Southern Resident Community of orcas. At the time the Orca Adoption program was created, a Congressional bill to ban live captures of killer whales was pending; it subsequently passed. Today, thousands of people know Granny (J-2), Oreo (J-22) and other Southern Resident orcas through the Orca Adoption Program. Continued here...
Downriggers Fire Determined to be Accidental
Joint Press Release from Port of Friday Harbor and : The Port of Friday Harbor and San Juan Island Fire Rescue have determined that the recent fire at 10 Front Street was not an intentionally set fire. A team of investigators determined that the cause was an electrical problem within a wall near the kitchen area of Downriggers Restaurant.
The Fire Department reports that there were no injuries. The Port of Friday Harbor wishes to thank the community for the outpouring of support for the businesses and their employees who were affected by the fire. The Port of Friday Harbor’s Board of Commissioners and the Town of Friday Harbor have pledged to work together to begin the process of rebuilding this very important part of Friday Harbor’s waterfront as soon as possible.San Juan Island Fire Rescue serves all of San Juan Island – including the Town of Friday Harbor – as well as Brown and Pearl Islands. Through a contract with the State Department of Natural Resources, the fire district also provides wildland fire suppression for all of San Juan County’s non-ferry served islands. Previous Story about the fire with video and photos here...
Congressman Rick Larson Tours Cattle Point Road Project Area
Press Release from San Juan County: On Wednesday, August 28th, U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-District 2) visited San Juan Island for a walking tour of the endangered section of Cattle Point Road in southern San Juan Island. Larsen and his aides were accompanied by County engineers and the members of San Juan County’s Council: Jamie Stephens, Rick Hughes and Bob Jarman.
The planned $6.2 million project will relocate a portion of Cattle Point Road away from an eroding feeder bluff that threatens a 500 foot section of the road. Congressman Larsen has helped secure $5.5 million dollars in federal construction funding for the project. Environmental impact studies have been completed for the project and final planning and design work is underway. Construction is scheduled for 2016.
Earlier in 2013, San Juan County committed funding for the design of the project. San Juan County is in the process of authorizing FHWA to begin the design and prepare contract documents. It is anticipated that the design will be complete by the end of 2014. The public will have the opportunity to comment at various stages during the design phase. Continued here...
State Awards $9.6 Million for Salmon Recovery Projects in Puget Sound
OLYMPIA – San Juan County to receive $800,000. The Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership on August 26th announced the award of $9.6 million in grants for 11 projects to restore salmon habitat in and near Puget Sound. “These projects will increase salmon populations while giving a boost to the economy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Salmon are important economically to Washington state and these projects will provide construction jobs and help countless numbers of Washington families and businesses, including tackle shops, charter operators, restaurants and hotels, that rely on the world-renowned Pacific salmon.”
Today, recreational salmon fishing alone creates nearly $130 million in economic activity each year. Projects include restoring Seahurst Park’s shoreline in Burien, protecting a section of the Cedar River, continuing to restore the lower Ohop Creek Valley, conserving Pysht River floodplain on the Olympic Peninsula, protecting shoreline on west Bainbridge Island and Reid Harbor in the San Juan Islands, conserving Dungeness River habitat, and restoring a portion of the South Fork Puyallup River. Continued here...
$12 Million in State Grants to Restore Puget Sound Shorelines
San Juan County's Brown Island will receive $69,975. Grant funds will be used to restore nearshore processes, improve upper beach habitat and provide a demonstration project for shoreline managers and landowners through removal of unnecessary shoreline armoring. Blakely Island's Thatcher Bay, also in San Juan County, will receive $260,055 in Grant funds to be used to supplement previously awarded grants for the removal of 12,900 cubic yards of wood waste covering 1.8 acres of valuable nearshore habitat on Blakely Island.
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has begun distributing $12 million in funding for 20 local projects designed to protect and restore the natural shorelines around Puget Sound. Project sponsors include local governments, tribes and non-profit organizations from Hood Canal to the San Juan Islands who applied for funding through two competitive grant programs administered by the department.
Funding distributed by WDFW through those programs comes from a combination of state capital funds and federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Betsy Lyons, who manages WDFW’s Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP), said most projects funded this year involve removing unnecessary bulkheads, correcting barriers to salmon passage and restoring tidal functions altered by land-use practices over the past century. Continued here...
Cultural Landscape Restoration to Continue at American Camp
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: 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 the prairie southeast of the Redoubt. There are approximately 170 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, visit: http://www.nps.gov/sajh/parkmgmt/upload/American-Camp-CLI-2004.pdf.
At San Juan Island National Historical Park, small trees and shrubs once confined to hedgerows are beginning to grow in the meadow areas and large rose thickets and Douglas firs are replacing prairie vegetation. Continued here...
Governor Announces $86 Million in Grants for Outdoor Recreation and Conservation
. OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee recently announced the award of $86 million in state and federal grants that will build parks and boating facilities, maintain backcountry trails and off-road vehicle access, improve the safety of archery and firearm ranges, conserve farmland and protect wildlife habitat.
The grants, which are awarded through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, will be given to cities, counties, state and federal agencies, tribes and non-profit organizations for work in 34 of the state’s 39 counties. “Washington’s outdoors are one of the things that make this state great,” said Gov. Inslee. “Outdoor recreation in Washington contributes more than $11.7 billion annually to our economy, supports 115,000 jobs across the state, draws people from around the world to our mountain tops and shorelines, and is one of the reasons people and businesses move here and stay here. Investing in Washington’s outdoor economy just makes good sense.”
The grants are funded through eight different grant programs that receive money from state and federal sources, including the sale of state bonds, gas taxes, and user fees. The Legislature authorizes funding for all the grants. Continued here...
A Fond Farewell to Mar Vista
Thanks To Monika Wieland of Orca Watcher for this post: Lime Kiln Point State Park is one very special place in my heart. It's where my best orca encounters have happened, where I've met so many amazing people, and where I continue to spend a lot of time every summer. But if you asked me where I fell in love with the San Juan Islands, I would tell you it was at Mar Vista Resort.
The 40-acre resort just south of False Bay opened about 75 years ago. In addition to two homes near the top of the property, it contains eight rustic cabins spaced out over the grassy meadows that gently slope down towards the water. The small cabins are clean and simply outfitted. This is a place you go to get away from it all: no internet, no TV, no phones or cell service. Continued here...
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