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!
07/05/15 from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: Lots of people have noticed the orange sky today. There are no wildfires burning in San Juan County, but the Pacific Northwest has a lot of fires to deal with, which is probably the source of our atmospheric conditions right now. Here are two Web sites you can use to get the latest info: http://bcwildfire.com/Situation/ and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/49/ and here's info about the Portage Island fire: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article26520439.html
2015 Parade Winners
07/04/15 from The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce: What a great parade we had today! Floats, the Community Marching Band, the University of Washington Marching Band, the Highland Bag Pipers, 30+ golden retrievers, kids, Jerry Alhadeff as our grand marshal - well done San Juan Island! See photos here...
Friday Harbor's 4th of July 2015 Celebration
Friday Harbor's 4th of July highlights include a small-town parade, a community picnic, live music, dancing and fireworks! The parade passes through downtown Friday Harbor at 10:30 a.m. San Juan Island's Chamber of Commerce sets the stage to celebrate the 100 Year Anniversary of the Palace Theater by choosing “Hooray for Hollywood” as the theme for the 2015 Fourth of July Parade. To enter, get the info and download the application here.
The Palace Theater opened in 1915 as the Fri-Bor, then was renamed The Royal for many years. The current title of “Palace” began in 2001. The theater has continuously been the source for Island residents to get their Hollywood fix. 2015 marks its first century as the provider of quality first-run movies, and a friendly gathering place for all.
Immediately following the parade, attend the Annual Kiwanis Fourth of July Pig War Picnic on the San Juan Historical Museum Grounds on Price Street. Enjoy music, a pie-eating contest, a cakewalk, kid's games and the best barbecue in town! Continued here...
Fireworks are Illegal without Permit in Town of Friday Harbor and throughout San Juan County
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Town of Friday Harbor would like to remind residents and visitors that it is illegal to possess, sell, offer to sell, use, transfer, discharge or explode fireworks anywhere in San Juan County without a permit (SJC Code 9.20). This includes within the Town limits of Friday Harbor (Town Municipal Code 9.06). All personal fireworks, including those recognized as “Safe and Sane” such as sparklers, are prohibited.
While the fireworks prohibition has been effect for many years, the urgency of this reminder is extremely important this year. The recent high temperatures and lack of precipitation have created tinder dry conditions that are more typical of early August than mid-June. District 3 Fire Chief Steve Marler says he wouldn’t be surprised to see the fire danger level increase from “moderate” to “high” by the end of June. The danger level did not exceed “moderate” in 2014. “This year it will be absolutely critical that islanders and visitors respect the rule and enjoy the professional pyrotechnic shows on the islands,” said Marler. Continued here...
Goose Island Fire Update
UPDATE from The Nature Conservancy: After consulting with San Juan Island Fire & Rescue, Lopez Island Fire & Rescue, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the San Juan County Department of Emergency Management, the San Juan County Fire Marshal, Fire Management experts from Olympic National Park and the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy has determined that the most practical strategy to deal with the fire that is burning on Goose Island in Cattle Pass is to let the fire burn itself out.
San Juan Island Fire & Rescue made two attempts to extinguish the fire with their volunteer firefighting staff, Fire Boat Confidence and Public Safety boat Sentinel. More than 100,000 gallons of water was pumped during those attempts, with only moderate success. The continued application of salt water onto this protected nesting area has the potential to do more harm than good.
San Juan Island Fire & Rescue consulted with a number of subject matter experts and determined that quick extinguishment would require the application of firefighting chemicals that are not allowed to be discharged into the marine environment, and would harm Goose Island’s natural ecosystem. San Juan Island Fire & Rescue will continue to monitor the fire on Goose Island, but plans no further attempts to extinguish it. Continued here...
Open Burning Season Suspended Immediately
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: All Residential and Commercial burn permits have been suspended because of the unusually dry weather. There have already been a number of grass and brush fires throughout San Juan County. Recreational fires (two feet in diameter or less) are still allowed as long as they’re contained within a suitable fire ring. However, the State Parks System has banned recreational fires at their campsites statewide. San Juan County’s fire risk has been raised from “Moderate” to “High”.
With the changing of the seasons, Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is has announced a state-wide outdoor burning restriction effective yesterday. It is expected that the burning restrictions will remain in place at least until October 1st. Each year, San Juan County follows the same schedule as DNR, recognizing that even with our mild climate and beautiful green landscapes, the risk of a damaging or life-threatening fire rises with the great summer weather that we all enjoy. Continued here...
High Speed Internet Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?
Article by Merri Ann Simonson, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc: Congratulations to Mineral Heights, Mineral Point and The Highlands at Mineral Point for moving forward with the installation of fiber to their neighborhood. Many subdivisions and neighborhoods are in the process of considering the installation and are interested in the process.
I thought it would be helpful if I wrote a recap article. The initial stages require enough people in the neighborhood to express their interest and desire to cost out the project. It is best if a leadership committee is formed to help with communication and coordination between the property owners and Rock Island Communications.
As interest builds, Rock Island Communications and the neighborhood leadership group set various dates for presenting to the property owners. This may be an organized homeowner’s association or just a group of people in several adjacent neighborhoods. Continued here...
Plan Ahead for Smooth Fourth of July Travel
Press Release from WSDOT: OLYMPIA – Want to thoroughly enjoy your hot dogs and fireworks during the Fourth of July weekend? Then make sure you plan ahead and get to your destination on time. Drivers can use the Washington State Department of Transportation’s traffic volume charts to “know before they go” and help time their travel on key routes.
Washington State Ferries travelers using the San Juan Islands; Sidney, British Columbia; or Port Townsend routes should check out the new reservation system for smoother holiday sailing. Reservations are strongly recommended during busy holiday weekends. Under the new system:
3rd Annual Fiesta San Juan
Sunday, July 5th starting at 5:00pm at Brickworks. They're returning from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! An exciting and fun concert and dancing with Los Bambinos Music - plus a delicious Mexican dinner, margaritas, ballet folkloric dancers and an auction! All for $30.The last two years have sold out so get your tickets soon! Tickets are available at the Home Trust's booth at the Farmer's Market, or at the office at 435-C Argyle Avenue. Or call 378-5541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Benefit for San Juan Community Home Trust. More on The Music Scene...
Waggoner's Pacific Northwest Boating
Waggoner's Pacific Northwest Boating is a great digital destination for sailors, power boaters, charter vacationers, and enthusiasts. They combine current announcements with magazine quality content, and provide an effective marketing platform for boat dealers, brokers, and vendors of marine oriented services and supplies. Click here to read the July 2015 issue...
The Grand Unveiling
Press Release: A San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild event @ Brickworks Friday Harbor, San Juan Island July 3, 2015 5 - 7pm Dinner Tickets $15 at the door. This little piggy went to market...Guests are invited to come for an awesome, locally sourced dinner, root around at the Friday Art Market and celebrate the arrival of PIG - a new long-term resident of Friday Harbor, San Juan Island!
Local sculptor Matthew Gray Palmer, who currently has a show at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, has generously donated a public sculpture created especially for our much loved community facility and home to the Farmers Market, Brickworks. We are anticipating that the perky PIG will become an iconic image for the island, linking agriculture and history, with its references to local food and the famous Pig War.On being asked to create a Pig by the San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild, Matthew said, “I made a connection with the Three Little Pigs. She looks like she is made of bricks, and the last and only remaining house in the story was also made of bricks. I like the metaphor of sustainability, which is what the Ag Guild and our local organic farms are all about.” Continued here...
Pet of The Week
Press Release from the What’s up? My name is Coulee, but I should have been named “Sinatra” what with my gorgeous blue peepers. I’m told that I’m a flame point Siamese fellow, but to be honest with you, I’m really just a terrific cat.
I’m only about six months old, but I already know a lot about life. I started out in the home of a hoarder with 70 other cats in a very small house. Lucky for me, I was rescued! Maybe I can teach you a few things about life? Stop by and visit me!
Utility Poles Going Up for Field Communications/Public Safety
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO and Rock Island are making progress on our promise to improve wireless communications in the field for our line crews and for all first responders. The first five poles have been installed throughout the county, and the remainder (about 38 total) will be completed over the next 12-18 months. These poles will be equipped with radios that will utilize our 700 MHz LTE spectrum to transmit field communications to first responders, electrical system devices and, eventually, end-user Internet connections.
“We have a very skillful and dedicated EMS community in San Juan County,” said Dr. Michael Sullivan, San Juan County EMS Medical Program Director. “But until we improve communications in the field for our first responders, we are limited in our ability to serve those who need us. OPALCO’s commitment to solving this problem is tremendous – no one else has been willing to step up. With the wireless infrastructure in place, everyone will benefit from improved communications and safety.” Continued here...
New Non-Profit for Animals in Need
Press Release from Julie Duke: Island Haven Animal Sanctuary's mission is to provide lifetime care and sheltering for animals who, while still able to lead a quality life, are unable to find homes due to old age, chronic illness, handicaps, temperament issues or other factors, or who have been rescued from neglect and/or abuse situations and require rehabilitation.
However, before we can provide a home for these special animals, we have to find a forever home for the Sanctuary. Donating it would be a great tax write-off for someone, or leasing it to us in-kind or for a reasonable amount are also options. Ideally it would be at least five acres, have fenced pastures, a barn and/or stables, running water and electricity, and either a small home or ability to put a trailer on it so a human caregiver can stay there if an animal needs around the clock care. So, if you or someone you know has such a location, please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com or 360-472-1040.
This all began about a month ago when I answered a Facebook post to adopt three senior horses (two of them have never been ridden, one not in the last twenty years). Continued here...
OPALCO Board Sets Temporary Revenue Recovery Add-On
Press Release from OPALCO: At the June 18 board meeting on Lopez, the Orcas Power & Light Cooperative Board approved a temporary revenue recovery add-on to make up for the current cost-of-service gap and projected revenue shortfall through the end of 2015. The add-on will be applied to all member bills beginning in July, 2015.
“Members have not been paying their full share,” explained Foster Hildreth, General Manager. “They’ve been undercharged because our rates have not collected the true cost of service.”
Residential members will pay an additional one cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) and commercial members will pay just more than a half-cent per kWh. The difference between the residential and commercial add-on is due to the cost-of-service spread: commercial usage is less than 25% of our total system load. The increase will average $8.43 for a residential member with average usage.
“However, the situation is better than we thought,” said Hildreth. “Our first quarter financials came in with less shortfall than anticipated due to lower power purchases from BPA and savings from cutting expenses.” Continued here...
New Railroad on San Juan Island
Press Release: The residents of the Life Care Center on Spring Street in Friday Harbor are building a scale model garden railroad. The LC & Pacific RR, operating since August of last year, has approximately 200 feet of tract, four engines, passenger and freight cars and the Red Ball Trolley. Under the guidance of Ron Garner and Phil Myers, the residents are creating mountains, tunnels, buildings and small gardens when they are not busy running the trains.
The 13 active and numerous observers at the LC Center are looking for volunteers to help with their projects and running the trains. No previous knowledge with model railroads is required, just wanting to have a good time with the residents. The present meeting time is Tuesdays at 12:45 to 2:30. If someone wants to help after dinner we can create a program one evening a week.To join the railroaders, drop by at 660 Spring Street on Tuesday afternoon or call Ron Garner at 378-7722. Continued here...
San Juan Prepares for a Dangerous Fire Season
Press Release from San Juan County website: The current fire risk conditions in San Juan County are more typical of August. But this is June. Grasslands are already sufficiently dried out so that one careless act may cause a serious fire. Other fuels, like large bushes and trees, are also showing signs of being less resistant to fire than normal because the amount of moisture that they’ve been able to retain.
The fire risk in San Juan County is determined by averaging the “1,000 hour fuel moisture” reported by automated weather stations located in Bellingham, Oak Harbor and Everett. Those are the closest facilities available. When the readings show 23% moisture or more, the fire risk is considered to be “low”. At 22% fuel moisture, the risk is moved to “moderate”. 18% is the trigger to move to “high” fire risk. When the number drops to 15% or less, a complete burning ban is implemented.
Some years, the fire risk stays “low” until early fall, when it moves to “moderate” for a few weeks. This year, the hazard level moved to “moderate” in early June, which is very unusual. With warm and dry weather in the long range forecast, it’s very likely that the hazard level will need to be moved to “high” very soon. Continued here...
Young Hill/Royal Marine Cemetery Guided Walks
San Juan Island National Historical Park is offering five 2015 Young Mountain guided walks, Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m., June 14 to July 12. This walk is for serious hikers that will enjoy a 2-hour journey, led by Park Historian Mike Vouri up the slope of 650-foot Young Hill, where the summit offers splendid views of the Juan de Fuca and Haro straits, Vancouver Island, and the Olympic Mountains. See the and the Garry Oak woodland. Meets at the north end of the English Camp parking lot. More here...
Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates at IMA
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, The Backbone of Life by Susan Middleton: See the Stubby Squid close up on San Juan Island this summer, as celebrated wildlife photographer Susan Middleton exhibits huge portraits of marine invertebrates May 23 through August 21 at San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) in Friday Harbor.
The exhibit is aptly named Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, the Backbone of Life, from Middleton’s book of the same name published to great fanfare this year by Abrams. Middleton's dramatic images fill the rooms of the new museum with underwater photos taken up close and personal by the photographer whose acclaimed work has graced covers of National Geographic, Smithsonian, Life Magazine, and more.
This is a show that the kids will adore, with family friendly workshops planned in conjunction with the University of Washington Marine Biology labs. Continued here...
Town Seeks Proposals for Use of Lodging Tax Grant Funds to Promote 2016 Tourism
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Town of Friday Harbor’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) is accepting applications for grants to fund tourism promotion. The promotions must be for events and activities specifically intended to draw visitors to the Town in 2016. Preference will be given to those activities that encourage tourists to visit during the spring and fall shoulder seasons. Summer activities are acceptable; however applicants are advised to give careful and strategic thought to the scheduling of their events to avoid what are recognized as high traffic weekends.
The grants are awarded annually and are funded with the State’s Hotel Motel Tax collected on all lodging stays of less than 30 days in length within the Town. Funds must be used to promote tourism within the Town of Friday Harbor. Grant proposals are reviewed by the LTAC which is made up of council members, lodging owners, and community members appointed by the Mayor. The LTAC then provides recommendations to the Town Council on how to allocate the grant funds. Continued here...
The Campaign to Save Mount Grant
: The San Juan Preservation Trust announces the launch of a major fundraising campaign to create a new nature preserve in the heart of San Juan Island. The Campaign to Save Mount Grant, if successful, will permanently protect one of San Juan’s most valuable gems and make it accessible to the public.The 141-acre property, valued for years by locals as a hiking destination, was identified on historic maps as “Mt. Grant” as late as 1920. Known by various names since then, it was most recently marketed as the “Lawson Ridge” residential community. The property hosts important native plant and animal habitat, lush wildflower meadows, serene hiking trails, and, with some improvements, easy road access to the summit so that people of all ages and physical ability can enjoy the spectacular, 360-degree views. From the top, one can gaze northeast to Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters, southeast down into San Juan Valley and Lopez Island, and north/northwest to Stuart Island and beyond to the Canadian Gulf Islands. Continued here...
2015 Friday Harbor Art Market
The Friday Harbor Art Market begins its forth season in Friday Harbor on the Brickworks Plaza, June 19. The art market will run every Friday from 3pm-7pm through September 4th. There will be several new artists this year, joining the “Artisans on the Plaza”, not only from San Juan Island but also from Orcas and Lopez. The variety of work will include jewelry, pottery, photography, baskets, clothing, woodwork, glass, paintings, soaps, art cards, screen printing, lotions, and more.
For information as to how you can participate as an artist, a food vendor, a musician or an art project facilitator, contact Becky Day at firstname.lastname@example.org. More here...
NOAA Fisheries Killer Whale Tracking Program Wraps Up
Press Release: NOAA Fisheries scientists in late May wrapped up more than four months tracking the winter movements of Southern Resident Killer whales off the West Coast, the longest continuous period of winter tracking of the endangered whales so far.
The data and results will help unravel the mystery of where the whales go and what they do in winter, and what habitat is most important to them during that time. This year biologists from NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center recorded travel by some Southern Resident pods as far north as the central west coast of Vancouver Island and as far south as Cape Mendocino off the coast of Northern California.
“The more years of data we have under our belt helps build confidence that we understand those areas the whales range through and what areas they’re concentrating on,” said research scientist Brad Hanson, who leads the tracking program. Continued here...
Hike, Restore, and Explore Patos Island on July 24
Press Release from FRIENDS of the San Juans: Take a trip out to beautiful Patos Island with Friends of the San Juans and the Bureau of Land Management on Friday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Patos is full of interesting geology, beautiful beaches, opportunities for native plant and wildlife viewing, along with a working lighthouse. Different activities will be offered, from light house tours, to a restoration project to a hike around the island. The Humpback Hauler will depart from Roche Harbor. A shuttle from the ferry in Friday Harbor will be arranged.
Cost is $55 per person to cover boat fees. Space is limited. Please RSVP with Jana Marks at Friends by July 10 at email@example.com or 360-378-2319. Photo and more here...
Welcoming the New M/V Samish to the San Juan Islands
06/15/15 UPDATE: Thanks to Teren Photography for this photo of the M/V Samish arriving in Friday Harbor under escort on it's official maiden voyage to the San Juan Islands Sunday. Check out more photos of the welcoming of the M/V Samish here...
Press Release: The San Juan County Council and the Town of Friday Harbor will be welcoming the M/V Samish on her official maiden voyage to the San Juan Islands. The Welcome begins at 9:45 AM on Sunday, June 14th at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the San Juan Jazz Quintet followed by a few words from Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation Lynn Peterson, Town of Friday Harbor Mayor Carrie Lacher and San Juan County Council Chair Bob Jarman.
Fire District #3 and the new fire boat Sentinel will provide an escort into the harbor. Come welcome the new ferry, watch the fire boat display its water cannons, and help kick off the Summer 2015 sailing schedule. Continued here...
Washington State Ferries Ramps Up Summer Service
Press Release from The Washington State Ferries Summer 2015 sailing schedule takes effect Sunday, June 14, with highlights that include more sailings, a new Olympic Class vessel the M/V Samish, vehicle reservations to the San Juan Islands and increased service hours on many routes.
This summer, customers can get ahead of the weekend-getaway crowds by making a vehicle reservation to and from the San Juan Islands. WSF releases reservations two weeks before, and then two days before each sailing departs. Reservations also are available on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route and for international sailings between Anacortes and Sidney, British Columbia.Other changes to the summer 2015 sailing schedule: Anacortes/San Juan Islands: WSF added a fifth vessel, the new Olympic Class Samish, for more sailings. Changes to the schedule allow for better connections to Anacortes and Friday Harbor during commute hours. Continued here...
Cattle Point Road Construction Progresses as Newly Excavated Slopes are Stabilized
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: Work is progressing on the Cattle Point Road realignment project with a lane closure on the present road scheduled to begin between June 11-15, according the Federal Highways Administration and Strider Construction. The lane closure will accommodate the removal of asphalt and use the cleared area to store soil and construction materials. A traffic light will be installed on a timer to accommodate bicycles and mopeds, as well as automobiles and trucks.
"They investigated having the light tripped when a car was waiting, but this wouldn't work for the bikes and mopeds," said Lee Taylor, park superintendent. "Those smaller vehicles would end up waiting forever for the light to change, so hopefully motorists will not become impatient when they have to wait when nothing is happening on the road."The $6.2 million project, targeted for completion by October 15, is relocating 1.27 miles of county road between Pickett's Lane and the Cattle Point lighthouse to a glacial bench about 300 feet uphill from the current roadbed. Continued here...
Listen to The Whales
From Orcasound.net: Listen to the whales! A growing coalition of scientists, educators, and citizens are working together to expand a regional hydrophone network in the Salish Sea. The site is part of the SeaSound Project of The Whale Museum and is an experiment in sharing real-time underwater sound. The goals are to monitor the critical habitat of endangered southern resident killer whales to detect orca sounds and measure ambient noise levels.
The hydrophone node at Lime Kiln State Park is located just southwest of the Lighthouse in about 7 meters of water. The current dual-hydrophone system began streaming live sound on May 14, 2007. The hydrophones were wired up by Val Veirs and attached to existing moorings during a SCUBA dive by David Howitt and Scott Veirs. Custom software written in Visual Basic by Val Veirs assesses average underwater sound levels and automatically detects "unusual" sounds. Continued here...
Wednesday Farmers' Market
Midweek San Juan Island Farmers' Market is on every Wednesday, 3pm-6pm, weekly through mid September 2015. Anchored by Thousand Flower Farm. Other regular vendors at this time will be Lost Valley Farm, Bakery San Juan, San Juan Pasta and Handwovens By Margaret. High Seas Tuna will also make regular appearances, as will as Helen's Farm from Lopez. Other farm vendors are expected to join during the season. Regular Farmers' Markets run every Saturday 10am-1pm. More here...
Sen. Kevin Ranker Asks for Input on Ferry Reservation System
Press Release from Sen. Keven Ranker: Over the past several weeks, I’ve heard from many of you regarding your ideas, questions and concerns regarding the Washington State Ferries Reservation system.
I want you to know that I too have questions and share some of your concerns. While some of you have shared stories with me regarding significant benefits of the reservation system, others have expressed serious concerns stating that the reservation system has made it difficult for locals and businesses that rely on our ferries.
One thing is for sure, the implementation of the Reservation System is a work in progress and while I do not anticipate, nor do I support, the repeal of the system, there are likely to be changes made as we learn what works and what doesn’t.
In addition to receiving comments from dozens of individuals at my office in Olympia and on the island, I have held meetings with members of our lodging industry, construction industry, local ferry workers, chamber of commerce, visitor’s bureau and others. I have also met directly with State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. Continued here...
New OPALCO Surcharge to Correct Revenue Shortfall; Rate Structure Discussion Ongoing
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO leadership pledged to continue to work toward a better rate structure while, in the interim, a surcharge will appear on bills beginning in July to address the revenue shortfall.
More than 20 members representing four islands attended OPALCO’s special board meeting on Thursday, May 28th in Eastsound. As is customary at OPALCO Board meetings, each member was invited to speak to the Board and most did. The topics touched on by member comments were primarily rate fairness, transparency, communication with members and appreciation for the Board’s foresight and progress with broadband.
General Manager Foster Hildreth led the presentation on the factors influencing the current $600,000 revenue shortfall and provided background on rate structure and design. Key concepts addressed were the relationship of weather to rates and the actual impacts on member bills (see below). In a nutshell, a member bill equals rates multiplied by weather. Warmer weather equals a smaller bill; colder weather equals a larger bill. The revenue shortfall is due to lower than projected sales of kilowatt hours because of record warm temperatures this year. Continued here...
MS Chief Administrator Search Committee Forms
Press Release: The San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 Commissioners will be forming a search committee to find a new EMS Chief Administrator for San Juan Island EMS. The committee will include two hospital district commissioners, Lenore Bayuk and Dr. Michael Edwards, San Juan County EMS Medical Program Director Dr. Michael Sullivan, two volunteer EMTs to be chosen by their peers, Director of Emergency Response Weyshawn Koons, Director of Critical Care Larry Wall, District 3 Fire Chief Steve Marler, and a community member.
The San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 Commissioners hope to appoint a community member at the next special Hospital District meeting scheduled for June 8th, 5pm at the Legislative building. Community members interested in being a part of this committee should contact Pam Hutchins at 378-2857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents on San Juan Islands Frustrated by Ferry Reservation System
From KIROtv.com, by Graham Johnson: A number of San Juan County residents tell KIRO 7 they are unable to make trips that are not planned well in advance because of the system, in which up 90 percent of vehicle space is reservable ahead of time.
Most concerned are those who live on San Juan or Orcas Islands, where, save for the ten percent standby space, reservations are required both leaving the islands and Anacortes.
Rebecca Parks of Friday Harbor wrote to KIRO 7 saying she is "absolutely appalled and not a little frightened by this new system. I feel trapped here, and it's not a good feeling." Parks cited numerous examples of the inflexibility of the system for island residents when the boats are fully booked, from being unable to catch an earlier ferry home while visiting family off-island, or being unable to leave the island on a summer weekend to visit a friend in the hospital. Continued here...
Press Release from the My name is Barlow. Some of you have probably met me walking around town with my owner, Lori Stokes or at the dog park. I’m what you might call a walking “happy ending story” - thanks to my friends at The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor and a lot of other nice folks I’ve met along the way.
After having endured more heartbreak than any four-year-old pooch deserves (particularly one as handsome and smart as I am), I’m happy to report that I have finally found my forever home where I can cuddle to my heart’s content with my favorite friend in the whole world.
The earliest thing I remember was growing up on the streets of Los Angeles with a homeless man for company. After I was treated for the broken leg I got when I was hit by a car, my owner disappeared.
We do care for injured and orphaned fawns each summer but don't want to "kidnap" a fawn that is doing just fine, so please spread the word and let your friends and neighbors know that they shouldn't pick up a fawn, but can call Wolf Hollow at 360-378-5000 if they are concerned about a fawn they come across. Most Black-tailed Deer fawns in our area are born in May, so this is the time of year when we receive calls from concerned people who are seeing tiny fawns curled up in the grass and are worried because the mother deer are nowhere to be seen. This gives us the opportunity to explain that the fawn is doing exactly what it should be doing, lying still and quiet waiting for Mom to return. For the first couple of weeks, their little legs are too weak to follow Mom through the woods, so the fawns are left in a sheltered spot while the doe goes off to feed. After a while (up to 6-8 hours) she will return to feed her fawn and maybe move it a short distance to anther safe spot.Continued here...
Thanks to Chris Teren of Teren Photography for these photos taken at the Open House for the Samish ferry on Wednesday, May 20th at the Anacortes ferry terminal. Visit Washington State Ferries Blog for more info. Left: Inside the Samish during the ceremony. Right: Chris is standing next to his photo '50 Shades of Blue' displayed on the Samish. Click to enlarge. See more photos on Facebook.
The brand new, 144-car Samish ferry will begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route Sunday, June 14, just in time for the start of the summer sailing season. The new ferry’s name comes from a tribal word meaning, “giving people.” It is the second of three funded, Olympic Class vessels to replace the aging, midcentury-era Evergreen State Class vessels. Continued here...
OPALCO Member Feedback Posted Online
Press Release from OPALCO: OPALCO is listening. Of the 337 people who attended OPALCO’s 78th Annual Meeting, 54 members submitted questions and comments for staff to respond to. Member comments, questions and answers have been posted online in our Recently Asked Questions.
All but four of those members have been contacted personally with a response (four did not give contact information). At the meeting, all were invited to give OPALCO feedback on how we are doing by posting comments on a “Did Well, Do Better” chart on the ferry. That member feedback is also posted online (Find Documents/Governance & Finance/Annual Meeting Materials). Some excerpts from the “Did Well, Do Better” survey are: Continued here...
IMA Donates $13,300.00 to Help Support Art Instruction at SJI Middle School
Press Release from the San Juan Island School District: San Juan Island School District is grateful for San Juans Islands Museum of Art annual support for the middle school art program. According to SJISD Superintendent Rick Thompson, “The San Juan Island School District is very grateful and would like to formally thank the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) for their annual and highly significant donation in support of public school art."
The San Juan Islands Museum of Art is committed to helping to support a first class K-12 art curriculum in the face of school budget limitations. For the last five years IMA has administered the elementary school Art Enrichment Program that provides a variety of artistic learning opportunities for the youngest students in the district. This program is made possible through local partnerships that include the San Juan Island School District, the Washington State Arts Commission, San Juan Island Community Foundation, San Juan Public Schools Foundation, local PTA organizations and private donors.
This year, in addition to support for art in the elementary school, IMA has donated $13,300.00 toward the cost of a middle school art instructor for the school year 2015-16. Continued here...
Open Letter to OPALCO Board and Members
Letter to The Editor from Chom Greacen: At the OPALCO Election this year, we saw a record voter turnout, 24% compared to around 15% in the past years. Thank you all who have taken the time to vote. Every vote counts, and record voter turnout means we members-owners are paying more attention to the business of our co-op.
I was pleasantly surprised by the board election results. Winnie Adams got the most votes (1,643) followed by OPALCO former manager Randy Cornelius (1,597 votes). Incumbent Chris Thomerson was unseated, with 330 votes behind Cornelius.
Having served for 9 years on OPALCO Board, Chris played a strong role in leading OPALCO into the era of broadband prominence. His departure from the board will be a loss to OPALCO in terms of his intellectual contribution.
However, the election results indicate that there are other attributes that members-owners value as equally important if not more. While financial expertise may not be Winnie’s strongest point, we admire her courage to attend the Candidates Forums and to listen to members’ grievances and answer questions about the rates and OPALCO’s involvement broadband business. Continued here...
Friday Harbor Summer Flower Baskets!
Press Release from The San Juan Island Garden Club: If you've ever wondered where those beautiful downtown flower baskets come from, they come in part from our very own SJI Garden Club!
They've just voted to give another $500 to the cause this year and if you want to help contribute to beautifying the town and your garden at the same time, consider buying some plants here to help with their fundraising efforts! http://sjigardenclub.weebly.com/flower-power-fundraiser.html
Thanks for the consideration and have a wonderful Summer, SJI Garden Club.
The San Juan Island Garden Club was founded in 1944 and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month September thru June (no January meeting). The Club meets at The Mullis Center located at 589 Nash Street in Friday Harbor. More here...
We have compiled a pretty good collection of cool old postcards of Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor and the San Juan Island islands, see them all here...
2015 Salish Sea Pilot Guides Now Online
Press Release: Salish Sea Pilot has released the 2015 editions of their cruising guides to the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and Desolation Sound. The popular guides have been completely updated with many new illustrations and updated information about anchorages and marinas in the Salish Sea off BC and Washington state.
Jim Burgoyne and Lynne Picard launched the little company in 2011 after sailing home from Asia. Their original plan was to build small freely downloadable guides for cruising friends and foreign sailors visiting this part of the world.
But soon the project took over their lives, becoming a full-time obsession.
"It just kept expanding," said Burgoyne. "There are so many terrific cruising areas, you just don't know where to stop." And free was not really sustainable.
"It wasn't long before it took over my life," he said. "Our financial advisor was getting hives. So we agreed 'almost free' was a more sensible price. He was relieved. Continued here...
What Lies Behind OPALCO’s Rate Increases?
From Chom Greacen of Islands Energy Coalition: If you find the electricity rate increases, 12% this year and 41% by 2019, alarming, what’s behind the rising rate is worse. Given OPALCO’s broadband busy-ness lately, how much of the rate increase is due to broadband? OPALCO’s answer is only an average of $3/member/month for 24 months, roughly $1 million total.
So what explains the sudden need for 41% increase in revenues or $28 million in accumulated total by 2019? The explanation we often hear from OPALCO is 1) warming temperatures and 2) the submarine cable between Lopez and San Juan.
By OPALCO’s estimate, warmer temperatures 2014 caused a $1.4 million revenue shortfall, a tiny sum compared to $28 million. The $15 million price tag for the submarine cable is a big surprise compared with earlier estimates of $3.5 million, but when amortized over 30 years at 3%, contributes only $759,000 to OPALCO’s annual expense. In contrast, the increase in revenue requirement in 2015 is $2.7 million. What else lies behind the rate increases? Continued here...
New Book by Local Author John Geyman M.D.
Press Release from Emily Reed Geyman: John Geyman, M.D., Friday Harbor, has published a new book: How Obamacare is Unsustainable: Why We Need a Single-Payer Solution for All Americans. He was a physician at the Inter Island Medical Center from 1990-97 and was chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington from 1976-1990.
This is the first book to take an evidence based assessment, after five years of experience, of the good and bad about the Affordable Care Act. It also offers economic, social and moral reasons that a single-payer system - Medicare for All - would provide universal access to comprehensive health care, paying less than we do now with more value and less bureaucracy.
Larry Churchill, Ph.D., professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center states: "John Geyman has provided us with the most lucid, best documented, and most compelling portrait of what's wrong with the Affordable Care Act yet available. He also argues forcefully for the fix we need. This is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of U.S. healthcare, and the essential playbook for policy change." Continued here...
Sunshine Alley Revitalization Plan Receives Merit Award
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Sunshine Alley Revitalization Plan commissioned by the Town of Friday Harbor was selected for a 2015 Merit Award from the Northwest Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects (NWAIA). Architects of the plan were HKP Architects working in conjunction with Beckwith Consulting and SVR Design Company.
The NWAIA Design Awards celebrate the best architectural designs available from architects in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties. According to the AIA, these projects represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance and overall integration with the client and surrounding community. Judging was based on design quality, functional utility, accessibility, aesthetic delight, sustainability, creativity and innovation as well as the independent merit of each project.“
The award recognizes the designers’ professional excellence and the cooperation demonstrated by the Town in demanding the highest of architectural standards,” said Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator. “The Town has greatly benefited from the quality of this work.” Continued here...
Orca Baby Boom Continues with Discovery of Fourth Calf
From Paige Cornwell and the Seattle Times: Whale-watching crews spotted a new baby orca in the Salish Sea on Monday, March 30th, marking the fourth documented southern-resident killer-whale birth in three months. The calf was spotted among the J-pod near Galiano Island, B.C., about noon, according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
Researchers spotted the calf while watching the subgroup known as the J16s with its 3-month-old calf, known as J50, according to the association, which represents 29 whale-watch operators in Washington and British Columbia.
“We were assuming we had only the J16s,” naturalist and researcher Jeanne Hyde said in a news release. “And as they passed in front of the boat, I saw a small calf surfacing next to J16 and said ‘there’s the baby.’ But then J50 surfaced behind all the rest."
The calf has heavy fetal folds, indicating that he or she is a newborn. The birth brings the endangered killer-whale population to 81. A female calf in the J-pod was spotted in late December and a second calf was spotted in early February. Continued here...
Thanks to Jim Maya of Maya's Westside Whale Charters for the photo (click to enlarge).
Toxic Creosote Treated Wood Removed from Local Beaches
Press Release from FRIENDS of the San Juans: Over the past month, restoration crews from the WA Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have removed over 50 tons of toxic creosote treated wood from public and private beaches on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands. Special thanks to the Puget Sound Conservation Corps members who did the hard work and to the concerned individuals who reported creosote debris to FRIENDS of the San Juans for their support of improved beach conditions for people, fish and wildlife.
Creosote-treated wood was commonly used in marine structures throughout the Salish Sea for more than a century during a period of rapid development and industrial expansion. Like other chemical compounds that were innovations in their time, creosote was broadly used without knowledge of its long-term consequences. It is now known that creosote contains more than 50 carcinogens to humans and is toxic to marine fish and other wildlife. Much creosote remains in local waters today, washing in with storms and tides and persisting in older structures such as docks and pilings. Continued here...
New Nature Preserve for San Juan Island?
: The San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank are collaborating on an exciting land acquisition project on San Juan Island that, if successful, will become an extraordinary nature preserve accessible to all.
Long valued by adventurous hikers willing to trespass to capture its stunning 360-degree views, this 141-acre ridgetop property had been subdivided into twelve view lots and listed for sale as “Lawson Ridge,” an exclusive residential development. A portion of this property drains into Trout Lake, the Town of Friday Harbor’s primary source of drinking water, and includes important native plant and animal habitat, lush wildflower meadows, miles of trails, and easy road access to the summit and its spectacular panoramic views.
On March 9th, the San Juan Preservation Trust, a private non-profit land trust, and the San Juan County Land Bank, an agency of San Juan County, made a $1.0 million down payment on the $3.0 million purchase. A $2.0 million seller-financed loan is secured by the land itself; should this conservation partnership default on this loan, the sellers would likely re-list the lots for sale as private residential estates.
The Preservation Trust will launch a community fundraising campaign on San Juan Island to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the purchase. “If we succeed, this could provide San Juan Island with the very first place where visitors with mobility restrictions can enjoy such sweeping vistas,” said Tim Seifert, Executive Director of the San Juan Preservation Trust. Continued here...
The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest
With over 250 stunning photographs and a beautifully written, fact-filled narrative, we think it will inspire everybody that reads it to know and love the Salish Sea. Another bonus - proceeds will go to support the work of the SeaDoc Society. More here...
Volunteering at the Animal Shelter – Everyone Wins!
Press Release Do you have some free time, love animals and have an interest in making a difference in your community? If the answer is yes, then the Animal Shelter is the place for you! The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor is always in need of caring folks for a wide variety of tasks. Whether you’d like to walk dogs, greet visitors, spend time with cats or help out at a fundraising event there are many ways you can make a big difference in the life of homeless animals. Here are just a few of the benefits of volunteering:
1. Be part of the solution. You'll join a network of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, working to make the world safer and more humane for animals. You'll make the jobs of everyone working for animals a little easier by lending a hand and spreading the message of responsible pet ownership and animal protection.
2. Get warm fuzzies. You'll never find a more grateful and accepting friend than an animal you've been kind to.
3. Keep good company. You'll make lots of new friends—and not just the four-legged kind. Working side by side with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships.
Rock Island Communications: Why it Makes Good Sense to Opalco
Press Release from OPALCO: The news last week that Orcas Power & Light Co-op and Rock Island have joined forces to deliver Internet services to islanders in San Juan County is the latest in a long chain of thoughtful decisions and deliberate action on the part of the OPALCO leadership.
“This is a community effort reminiscent of getting electricity to the islands back in 1937,” said Bob Myhr, OPALCO Board member since 1986. “It’s a game changer. Moreover, the revenue from Rock Island will come at just the right time to help finance the increasingly expensive costs of necessary future submarine cable replacements, hence -- keeping the power flowing to us in the islands.”
OPALCO funded the start-up costs and working capital for Rock Island Communications in the form of a loan. The impact on members is $3 per month for 24 months and is included in the recent rate increase.
The merger with Rock Island is a mutually beneficial effort. Rock Island founder Mike Greene calls it a “win-win-win.” Both parties share a strong desire to meet the communication needs of islanders in San Juan County. Rock Island Communications is a local company committed to providing excellent service for the benefit of the local community. Continued here...
New Report Shows Status of Salmon Recovery
OLYMPIA – Salmon recovery efforts in Washington are making a difference – more salmon are returning home in some areas, although significant work remains – according to a new report released by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office.
“Washington State has been investing in salmon recovery for more than a decade, and we are starting to see some results,” said Kaleen Cottingham director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, home of the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, which created the report and Web site. “That’s heartening. But we also see that we have a long way to go until all salmon species are healthy enough to be removed from the endangered species list.”
The newly released State of Salmon in Watersheds Executive Summary and interactive Website show Washington’s progress in trying to recover the 15 populations declared as at risk of extinction by the federal government and listed under the Endangered Species Act. The Web site puts online live data from many sources around the state and offers interactive story maps from efforts statewide. Continued here...
OPALCO and Rock Island Join Forces to Deliver Internet Services to San Juan County
Press Release from OPALCO: General Manager Foster Hildreth announced on Thursday, Feb. 19th that Orcas Power and Light Cooperative (OPALCO) has acquired Rock Island Communications. Rock Island will merge its staff, infrastructure and operations with OPALCO to deliver modern, scalable and reliable broadband services for homes and businesses in San Juan County. “The full transition may take a little time,” said Hildreth, “but we can hit the ground running, thanks to the tireless efforts of Gerry Lawlor, who will serve as the Executive Vice President of Rock Island."
"This is a win-win scenario for all of us in San Juan County,” said Mike Greene, founder of Rock Island. “We have the expertise and a long history in the community, and OPALCO has the infrastructure backbone to take us to the next level.” Mike will continue to manage the system as Vice President of Technology. “The sale satisfied all my criteria,” said Greene, who has entertained a number of offers. “This acquisition meets my personal and professional goals, protects the interest of our employees, and benefits the community with an exciting new line of services."
For existing Rock Island and OPALCO customers, the transition is planned as seamless: the same excellent, local customer service and increasingly faster, more reliable Internet services. Rock Island Communications will build on its strong foundation to provide several new types of services. Learn more at http://rockisland.com.
Rock Island’s Friday Harbor office and retail store on Court Street will remain open. A new office at 208 Enchanted Forest Road, adjacent to the Orcas Rental & Saw shop, will open on Orcas Island. Continued here...
Meet Your Volunteer Firefighters' New Fire Engines
Press Release from San Juan Island Fire & Rescue: Six new engines are all here now and ready to go! Actually they have been in service for several months. They are replacing the fire engines that have protected us for 30 years.
San Juan Island Fire Rescue purchased your new engines from General Fire Equipment in Spokane, Washington. Not only did we get a good deal, but we also were able to arrange the sale so that much of the sales tax revenue stayed local. The new engines should serve the community for at least 25 years. The Fire District paid about $350,000.00 per engine. (That's about $50,000 LESS than most communities pay for a fire engine.)
The engines are island specific. In other words they were designed with our island's particular needs in mind. They provide much better driver sight therefore providing more safety for the crew aboard. The crew all face forward providing safety and much better communication between them. The retiring engines had firefighters sitting facing backwards and exposed to the elements. Continued here...
IMA Susan Middleton Wildlife Photography Workshop
Press Release from the San Juans Islands Museum of Art: June 15 - 19 and June 30 - July 4. A Five-Day Wildlife Photography Workshop with Susan Middleton, Author of Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates. This workshop offers a unique San Juan island experience designed to maximize photographic opportunities for photographers of all skill and experience levels. Explore San Juan island through your camera lens, learning tips and techniques from workshop leader Susan Middleton.
Examine the treasure trove of marine life that thrives in tide pools, encounter marine life (think orca whales!) from our chartered boat, witness glorious bald eagles in flight, take in exceptional island views and seascapes, experience a visual realm from tiny jewel-like invertebrates to magnificent sunrises! Meet some of the creatures portrayed in IMA’s Susan Middleton “Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates” exhibition face to face! Workshop attendees will be guests at a private exhibition reception with the artist.
This is a special opportunity for a limited number of participants, weaving the best of art and science, picture making, fine dining, and island camaraderie. Attendance limited to 12 per workshop. For more information, please contact IMA at 360 370 5050 or apply online at http://sjima.org/susan-middleton-workshop/
The Spineless exhibition will be at IMA May 23-August 21. Continued here...
Gov. Inslee Proposes Free Ferry Rides for Electric Vehicles
Governor Inslee has released his proposed 2015-2017 budget, which includes a proposal to allow electric vehicles to travel for free on ferries and HOV lanes. The budget also includes funding for a new Olympic Class 144-car ferry.
From the HeraldNet: “Electric vehicles are here and they’re here to stay,” said Charles Knutson, the governor’s transportation adviser. “We want to see them … promoted in Washington state.” Giving drivers of electric vehicles a break on ferry fares and traveling in high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes are the ideas eliciting the sharpest rebukes from lawmakers of both parties.
“If a vehicle is driving on the ferry, regardless of how it is powered, it requires space,” said Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton. “Why would you exempt a vehicle because of its power source and require other Washingtonians to pay their bill? That’s not fair.” Leaders of the House and Senate transportation committees seem certain that particular proposal won’t be in any funding package embraced by the Legislature.
”“I don’t see where you get the votes for that,” said Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who chairs the House panel. “With all the different constituencies that you need to bring to the table to pass a package, this doesn’t bring a lot of people to the table.” More from HeraldNet...
Town of Friday Harbor Receives $500,000 Energy Grant from Washington State Department of Commerce
Town of Friday Harbor Press Release: The Town of Friday Harbor is pleased to announce that it has received a grant award in the amount of $500,000 from the State Department of Commerce for Energy Efficiency Projects on Town owned real properties. The Town made application for the grants in October of this year and was one of 70 submittals from around the State of Washington. Of those applications, 28 were awarded funding for a total of $8.6 million. In total, 21 local jurisdictions, two State agencies and five higher education institutions received monies.The Town will be responsible for a $50,000 match bringing the total budget to $550,000. The match portion can be repaid over five years after completion of the improvements. The grant will facilitate a number of projects including, in part, new VFD pumps, lighting, insulation and heat pumps at the Town’s Water filtration plant; tank mixers and lighting at the Water Pumphouse; heat pumps, insulation, variable speed pumps and new controls at the Sewer Treatment Plant; and new indoor and outdoor lighting, HVAC and duct work at Town Hall. Continued here...
Salmon Recovery Projects Awarded $18 Million in Grants
OLYMPIA – Organizations in 29 counties were given $18 million in grants to restore salmon habitat and conserve pristine areas, helping bring salmon back from the brink of extinction, the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board recently announced. Projects in San Juan County to receive $307,270.
In addition, the salmon board awarded $250,000 to replace culverts on salmon-bearing streams damaged by the Carlton Complex fire and subsequent flooding this past summer near Twisp. The money will be used to construct two additional bridges on Frazer Creek. Previously, the salmon board and Washington Department of Transportation funded replacement of five other bridges in the area.
“Salmon are important to Washington because they support thousands of jobs in Washington - fishing, seafood processing, boat sales and repair, tourism and more,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “When we restore land and water for salmon we also are helping our communities. We get less flooding, cleaner water and better beaches. We also make sure that our grandchildren will be able to catch a fish or enjoy watching the return of wild salmon.” Continued here...
A little History: English Camp
A little history from the NPS: When Great Britain and the United States in 1859 agreed to a joint occupation of San Juan Island until the water boundary between the two nations could be settled, it was decided that camps would be located on opposite ends of the island.
Shortly after the British and American governments affirmed Lieutenant General Winfield Scott’s proposal to jointly occupy San Juan Island, the Royal Navy started looking for a home for its British Royal Marine Light Infantry contingent. Capt. James Prevost, commander of H.M.S. Satellite, selected the site on Garrison Bay, 15 miles northwest of American Camp, from among seven finalists.
Roche described the ground as "well-sheltered, has a good supply of water and grass, and is capable of affording maneuvering ground for any number of men that are likely to be required in that locality..." He added that a trail, 11 miles long, led from this area to the Hudson’s Bay farm at Bellevue. Continued here...
Who is Interested in Property in the San Juan Islands?
Article by Merri Ann Simonson, Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc: Over the last twenty years, the “typical” buyer profile has not changed. The majorities of the new-comers are between the ages of 45-65 and interested in purchasing a second home or property for their future retirement. Since the recession, we have not had many investors in our market due to lack of appreciation but that will change with more market recovery.
Looking at the chart, 76% percent of the buyers live in Washington. This falls in line with the premise that most second home owners desire to purchase a home within 2-3 hours from their primary residence. The out of state buyer’s percentage was 24% with California contributing the most. California was actually down a few percentages from the last time I created this chart (click to enlarge) back in 2008.
SJI Park Debuts Salmon Bank Webpage
Press Release from SJI National Historical Park: Before there was the South Beach, known and loved by San Juan Islanders and visitors from around the world as a summer picnic ground and a spot to watch winter storms, there was the Salmon Bank. And for thousands of years, it was a place to make a living. Spanish explorers during expeditions up the Strait of Juan de Fuca conducted 1790-1792 reported "...an incredible quantity of salmon and numerous Indians."
Fifty years later, in October 1853, James Alden of the U.S. Coast Survey enthused about the maritime resources. "Salmon abound in great quantities at certain seasons of the year, when the water in every direction seems to be filled with them…The Hudson's Bay Company has a fishing establishment at San Juan … where I am informed they have put up this season 600 barrels of salmon. Continued here...
Updated App Lets Public Report Whale Sightings
Press Release from NOAA: The free mobile application, Whale Alert, developed in 2012 to help protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by reducing the risk of injury or death from ship strikes on the East Coast, has been updated to Whale Alert 2.0 for use on all whale species on the East Coast, West Coast, and off Canada. The app uses Global Positioning System (GPS), Automatic Identification System (AIS), Internet, and NOAA nautical charts to provide mariners with a single source of information about whale locations and the conservation measures active in these locations.
Researchers Christin Khan, Timothy Cole, and Elizabeth Josephson of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)’s Protected Species Branch were part of the team that developed both the original and updated app. Most of their efforts focused on how the app would work and how it would be applied. (Thanks to James Mead Maya for the photo below). 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...
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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