Overnight Shelter Opens for Cold Nights Ahead

— from Janine Heimerich for the Orcas Interfaith Council of Churches — The churches here on Orcas have gotten together to provide an overnight Severe Weather Shelter. In a nutshell, the shelter will be: Located in the basement fellowship hall at Orcas Island Community Church, with Benson Hall at Emmanuel … Continue reading

Special Town Hall to Discuss Eastsound Changes

San Juan County Councilmember Rick Hughes will host a Town Hall meeting at the Eastsound Fire Hall from 5-7 pm on Thursday, December 3, 2015 to present and discuss changes to the proposed Eastsound Subarea Plan. “The Subarea Plan is a really important document that I have been working on … Continue reading

Orcas Choral Society Concert Will Celebrate Our Longest Nights

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Saturday Dec. 5 at Orcas Center; Sunday Dec. 6 at Lopez Center — from Lynn Baker for the Orcas Choral Society — Contentment. Companionship. A good book by a crackling fire. Longing. Love. Prayer. These are a few of the many moods evoked in songs of the Orcas Choral Society’s … Continue reading

County Auditor Reports on 3rd Quarter Finances

— by F. Milene Henley, County Auditor — How Are We Doing? A recent local political cartoon pictured a person, labeled “County Budget,” stuffing money into one pocket, labeled “Reserves,” while simultaneously shuffling money from that pocket to another pocket, labeled “spending,” and pulling money out of the “spending” pocket. … Continue reading

Historical Museum Celebrates with Cookies, Rosario Tree and BOGO

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Friday, Nov. 28 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Historical Museum — by Carol Kulminski for the Orcas Historical Museum — This Friday, the Historical Museum in the village will be giving cookies, hot chocolate and hot cider during the Artwalk between 2 and 5 p.m. Visit the museum … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Your Care after House Fire

— from Josie and Wally Barrow — We cannot believe how fortunate we are to live in such a caring community!! We want to thank you…so many, who have given clothing, food and other things to us since our house burned to the ground on Sunday night. Also..and really first … Continue reading

Thanks Olga Symphony for Music, Memories and More

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Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Orcas Center — by Margie Doyle — More, like old-fashioned Orcas-style philanthropy — that’s what the Olga Symphony has given to their friends and neighbors all these years, since the early 1980s, as they play for goodwill donations that … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Thanks, Kiwanians and Volunteers for New Playground

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— from Krista Bouchey, Funhouse Commons Executive Director — To Members of the Orcas Kiwanis Club, This past summer you gave a very generous contribution in support of a new playground for the Funhouse. Over the weekend 37 volunteers installed the structure and the base chips. Yesterday [Nov. 18] was … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: The Dire Consequences of TPP: What You Need to Know

— by David Turnoy, reprinted Nov. 24 upon request — What do you know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? After years of negotiations, its text was finally released last week, and it is truly the trade treaty from Hell. Here are some of the very likely consequences: More early deaths … Continue reading

Take Charge! Energy Pie Social

Wednesday, December 2, 5-7 pm, Emmanuel Parish Hall — from Kari Koski, for San Juan Islands Conservation District — Stay warm this winter & decarbonize your energy. Join us to discuss how you can take charge of your energy use. Learn how to use OPALCO’s Smart Hub tool; Understand the benefits of … Continue reading

Presidential Medal of Freedom Goes to Two Washingtonians


— from Washington State Legislature — The considerable accomplishments of two iconic Washingtonians will be recognized with America’s single highest civilian honor this week at the White House when President Obama will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Bill Ruckelshaus and, posthumously, to Billy Frank Jr. “These two incredible Washingtonians and … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: New Shoreline Aquaculture Laws Could Impact Homeowners, Tourists

— by Lovel Pratt — The SJC Council is updating the Shoreline Master Program (SMP), with hearings beginning on November 30th. This update is this community’s opportunity to address requirements for future aquaculture operations in SJC, including the types of commercial aquaculture we don’t yet have. There are two types … Continue reading

Orcas Musicians Perform at SJMEA Senior Honor Festival


— from Kristen Wilson — Western Washington University’s 650-seat Performing Arts Center was packed for a performance by students from this year’s San Juan Music Educators Association Senior Honor Festival on November 11. Thirteen musicians from Orcas High School’s Strings and Band Classes attended this year’s Festival. WWU hosted some … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Now is the Time to Let Council Hear from You on Shoreline Protection

— from Rein Attemann, Puget Sound Advocacy Manager, Washington Environmental Council — Shorelines define the uniqueness of the San Juan Islands – from the rocky shores of Lime Kiln State Park to the beaches of Spencer’s Spit on Lopez Island. And in San Juan County, there are more shorelines than … Continue reading

Editorial: Cram for the Changes in Shoreline Master Plan

— by Margie Doyle — As your Community-Journalist-in-Chief, I have an apology to make for the scarce coverage Orcas Issues has given to the County’s Shoreline Master Plan update. I confess it hasn’t been a top priority with the Eastsound Subarea Plan update, Managing Editor Lin McNulty’s 12-day hospitalization (thank … Continue reading

School Board Meet to Introduce New Student-Families Program

Monday, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. in the School Library — from the Orcas Island School District — The Board of Directors of the Orcas Island School District will hold a special monthly board meeting on Monday, Nov. 23 to accommodate the Thanksgiving holiday. The meeting time is moved up … Continue reading

Roger Sherman’s New “Bach: Under the Influence” a Milestone

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— by Margie Doyle — Orcas Island business Loft Recordings is pleased to release “Bach: Under the Influence,” a recording of the Sept. 20, 2001 concert of the same name at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. The concert, performed by Loft Recordings owner, Roger Sherman, came just 10 days after … Continue reading