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

Letter to Editor: Thanks for 20 Years of Project PAL

— from Madeline Danielson, Project PAL Coordinator — Twenty years ago, Project PAL was started by Beth Anderson of OPALCO and a few community volunteers so Co-op members could give each other a hand up with electric bills in tough times. This gets done by rounding up the power bills to the next whole dollar … Continue reading

Editorial: Reality Check – We Rely on Outside Help When Disaster Strikes

— by Lin McNulty — Whaddaya mean we don’t have a bomb squad? Whaddaya mean we don’t have a HazMat unit? Two recent incidents have brought this reality to light in our neighborhoods. On Friday, April 10, a gas spill on Seaview Street on Orcas at 2:49 p.m. prompted a neighborhood evacuation of one-half … Continue reading

Thomerson Addresses OPALCO Candidacy, Rock Island Merger


— from Chris Thomerson, OPALCO Board Candidate (Incumbent) — In running to retain my OPALCO Board seat, my goal, apart from getting us reliable high speed internet, emergency and cell phone coverage, is to ensure OPALCO continues to deliver the cleanest electricity, at lowest cost, when you need it, and, fairly … Continue reading

Editorial Update: The Girl Who Was Hit and a Softer Society

— by Margie Doyle — Update: Since publishing this editorial, a fund-raising effort has been launched online. Please consider helping Emily Foster out by going to By now, most islanders have heard that 17-year-old Emily Foster, an Orcas High School Senior, was hit at the intersection of Main Street … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: OPALCO’s Commitment Justified

— by David Mieland — [In the recent conversation about the ”morphing” of OPALCO], maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not under the impression that OPALCO’s venture into broadband is impacting electric rates much at all. We have seen small increases in kilowatthour rates related mostly to wholesale increases from … Continue reading