Auditor Gives Update on Orcas School District Bond Measure Why are we waiting to count 15 ballots?

— from County Auditor F. Milene Henley — I’ve been asked why the San Juan County Elections Office is waiting to count 15 ballots in the Orcas School District Election. At this point, the measure is losing, with 59.73 percent of votes cast in favor, in an election which requires a … Continue reading

Fire Commission Addresses, Tables Hot Topic

— by Lin McNulty — Orcas Fire Commissioners met at Eastsound Fire Station on Tuesday evening in a regularly-scheduled session. Two topics were included under Old Business: (1) Public comment guidelines during Commission meetings and (2) increasing the number of Commissioners to five, following the recent passage of Proposition 1. … Continue reading

Education Funding Bill Passes House, Moves to Senate Statement from Governor Inslee

— from Tara Lee, Governor’s Office — Following passage in the state House of HB 1843: “Fulfilling the state’s paramount duty for all children through equitable and responsible investments in the state’s basic education program and reductions to local effort contributions,” Governor Jay Inslee released the following statement: “I appreciate … Continue reading

Under New Bill, Veterans Could Use Post-9/11 Benefits to Cover Higher-Ed Application Fees Reps. introduce bipartisan Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act of 2017

— from Erin Schneider, Rep. Larsen’s Office — Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Republican Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) are working to reduce the financial burden on veterans seeking higher education by making application fees eligible under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. “Veterans should not miss out on higher education because of … Continue reading

San Juan County Bond Rating Upgraded

— from San Juan County Communications — San Juan County Treasurer Rhonda Pederson was notified last week of an upgrade in the County’s bond rating, from Aa3 to Aa2. The upgrade followed an announcement in December that Moody’s Investors Service would be eliminating the distinction between ratings for non-voted Limited … Continue reading

Whidbey Airplane Noise Case Remanded Back to Trial Court

— by Lin McNulty — The Washington Court of Appeals, Division One, in a ruling on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 reversed a lower court ruling in Jonathan Deegan and Alice O’Grady v. Windermere, et. al and remanded the case back to the trial court. When Jonathan Deegan and Alice O’Grady purchased … Continue reading

Orcas Women’s Coalition Sets Initiatives for Action

— from Paula Treneer — The Orcas Women’s Coalition (OWC), formerly known as the CWOO, met on Sunday, February 19, continuing discussions and setting initiatives for the group to address specific issues that affect individuals, locally, at the state and federal level. These discussions and initiatives include education, climate change, … Continue reading

Senator Ranker Meets with the Orcas Community "What's Next" concerns overflow crowd at Orcas Center

— by Margie Doyle — Senator Kevin Ranker advocated “Hope and Action” to over 235 people at the Orcas Center on Sunday afternoon. The event drew county residents from Lopez, Shaw and San Juan Islands to hear Ranker’s take on “What’s Next.” Ranker, who came to the island from Olympia … Continue reading

Islanders Get “First Dibs” on County Camps 2017 San Juan County Resident Camping Reservations

— from San Juan County Parks and Fair — San Juan County Parks & Fair is again offering advance camping reservations for people who reside in our county year ‘round. Choose from: San Juan County Park San Juan County Fairgrounds (RVs only) Odlin County Park Shaw County Park for any … Continue reading

Students Treated to Private “Hidden Figures” Viewing

— by Lin McNulty — Orcas Middle and High School students were treated to a private showing of the new film “Hidden Figures” on Friday afternoon at Sea View Theatre. The movie reveals an incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at … Continue reading

Local Students Explore … Edible Insects

— from Russel Barsh — Are easily-grown insects such as crickets the sustainable food of the future? The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) thinks so, and promotes international research identifying edible insects and ways of raising them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently granted hundreds of thousands … Continue reading

Stewardship Network Accepting Good Steward Award Nominations Calling all tree huggers

— from Amy M. Nesler — Look out Oscar, the Finnie is coming! Its award season here in the San Juans. Know someone who deserves to walk the stewardship red carpet? Nominate them for a Good Steward Award. Since 2008, the Good Steward Awards, affectionately known as “Finees,” have been … Continue reading

Author Spagna to Read at Darvill’s on Living Lightly Artsmith Salon Series at Darvill's Bookstore

Friday, February 24, 5:30 pm at Darvill’s Bookstore — from JoEllen Moldoff for Artsmith — Ana Maria Spagna returns to read from her nonfiction book, Reclaimers, about removal of the White Salmon River dam, and her new middle-grade novel, The Luckiest Scar on Earth, about the adventures of a back-country, … Continue reading

Free Workshop on Business Feasibility for Entrepreneurs Offered

Tuesday, February 28, 10 – 11:30 a.m., Eastsound Fire Station — from Victoria Compton — All entrepreneurs wonder if there is a market for their business ideas, or if they will make money from them. Join the San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) for a free workshop to learn … Continue reading

Dvořák’s Rusalka Streaming to Orcas Center Dvořák’s fairy tale— Rusalka, a water nymph and her ‘song to the moon'

Sunday, February 26, 1 p.m, Orcas Center — from Susannah Weaver — Orcas Center presents the New York Met’s Rusalka by Dvořák streaming Live in HD on Sunday, February 26 at 1 pm. Islanders will be smitten by the enchanting opera about a mermaid who gives up her voice to … Continue reading

Deer Harbor Bridge Work Nears Finish

—  from John Van Lund — Crews continue final removal of fill from the temporary bridge, while drivers get accustomed to the two-way traffic across the bridge. The yellow shaded area in the rendering above shows the location of the now-demolished temporary road embankment and bridge, which was used to … Continue reading