Editorial: Council, Please Deliberate on Protections in SMP


— by Margie Doyle — Dear County Council, I am writing to ask that you consider not just the legality and appropriateness of the existing and proposed Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), but that you also consider the potential to make a significant statement of stewardship in the final formulation of … Continue reading

Editorial Column: In Defense of the Much-Maligned Fruit Cake

— by Margie Doyle– Reprinted upon request  Fruitcakes — everybody has an opinion about them. I remember the horrible dark concoctions, mis-named “cake” that arrived on Christmases past. Morbidly dense and heavy, they were nibbled at by adults; I  suspect it was for the hint of liquor in them. Children … 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

Guest Editorial: Gov. Inslee’s Response to Refugees FROM War and Terror

— from Washington State Governor Jay Inslee in the New York Times — For the last week, a growing number of governors, representatives, senators and presidential candidates have demanded that America slam shut our borders to refugees who are fleeing unspeakable horrors at the hands of the Islamic State. On … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: A Solution to the Split-Zone Dilemma

–by John M. Campbell — To: San Juan County Council, EPRC, Port of Orcas, Orcas Issues, OPAL [and private citizens] Subject: Proposed rezoning of the Port-owned NW corner of North Beach Road and Mt. Baker Road (dog park) from Residential to Industrial. Since its inception, the Eastsound Plan has recognized the … Continue reading

Fall Fundraising Appeal: To All Our Readers

Dear Fellow Islanders, Orcas Issues is looking ahead as we enter the last quarter of this year, with colorful leaves, full moons, autumn harvests and winter preparations. I hear from many of you throughout the year; you are smart, engaged and very passionate about neighborhood, island, county and regional affairs. … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: What the School Renovation Means to Farm to Cafeteria

School Cafeteria Staff Extraordinaire

— by Madie Murray, F2C Coordinator– I guess it would be more appropriate to say what it means to me! The amazing transformation of the entire public school campus is, by itself, awe-inspiring. But for me, what has occurred in the school cafeteria, old home ec and old science rooms … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: The Exchange and Habit for Humanity — A Working Partnership


— by Skagit Habitat for Humanity — Over the past 18 months, during which time the Exchange has been out of operation, the Store truck from Skagit Habitat for Humanity (SHFH) has filled in to accept recyclable donations from Orcas Islanders. The working partnership evolved out of coincidence, but has … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Court Needs to Keep Pressure on Legislature


— from Tony P Ghazel, OISD Board Vice Chair; WSSDA Legislative Committee Chair — The Washington Supreme Court continues to be dissatisfied with the legislature’s continual failure to comply with the court’s order to have a complete plan to fully fund education by 2018. The court, a few days ago, imposed a $100,000 fine for … Continue reading

Editorial: Make Your Support of ORS / The Exchange Known


Persuade Council to Add Funding for Site Road —Update, Monday, Aug. 3: The County Council meets on this matter on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 9:15 a.m. at 350 Court St #1, in Friday Harbor, directly west of the County courthouse. Thanks to Ellen Edwardson — by Margie Doyle — This … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: Good People Grace Our Garden

Colleen and our water guru, Craig

— by Madie Murray for the Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program — There are so many unsung heroes on our Island. It would take a novel to laud them all. But I’d like to mention three that have given so much to our Public School Garden over the past … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Resolution Needed from Council for Safe Shipping


— from Islanders for Safe Shipping — A growing number of communities in Washington State have been voicing their concerns over the increase of fossil fuel rail transport. When this volatile danger travels right past their front yards, waterfront parks, their places of business, and their children’s schools, people speak … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: Gov. Inslee Applauds “Obamacare” Decision

— from the office of Governor Jay Inslee — Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued the following comment regarding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]: “I applaud the Supreme Court for upholding this landmark law that is helping so many people here in Washington state … Continue reading