Editorial | Let’s Make This Our Last Columbus Day Celebration


— by Lin McNulty — “Columbus sailed the ocean blue In fourteen hundred ninety-two” We learned to recite that little ditty in school as we were taught that Christopher Columbus’ “discovery of America” in 1492 was a defining moment in our country’s history, that it is when American history really began. We are now learning to view … Continue reading

Orcas Sends a Troubadour for Our Times to the Big Apple Call to Action: See "The Climate Monologues" and Spread the Word


— a review of “The Climate Monologues” by Margie Doyle — Update: Repeat performance on Thursday, Sept. 15 at Random Howse — Sharon Abreu is an inspired listener. She listens to the stories of West Virginian coal mining families, NW activists, Tribal leaders, Mississippi teachers, a Colorado cowgirl and Orcas’ … Continue reading

Editorial: How About Fireworks That Are Better for Pets and Vets?


— by Lin McNulty — As we wade through the festivities of Independence Day, at least two groups would give anything to not experience the sounds of a lively fireworks display: pets and vets. An annual display that is a visual celebration, rather than a reenactment of war that causes vets … Continue reading

Editorial: Trust Me, You Should Have Been There

— by Margie Doyle — That’s the message implicit in all the reporting we do for Orcas Issues. Our reports, whether on a theater event, an infrastructure crisis, a non-profit campaign, or government meetings, convey to you the important, rewarding and challenging aspects of life on Orcas Island and in … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: Theatre an Act of Empathy

Theatre Nanda feature

— by Jake Perrine originally posted Nov. 2014, reprinted upon request — “Who Needs Performing Arts?” Working with the creative team at Orcas Center this fall to resurrect the high school drama program, and preparing to spearhead the community-wide pageant that is A Christmas Carol, I am consistently reminded of … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: The Creek and The Culvert

— by Tom Welch — Cascade Creek has, like most creeks, small beginnings. It’s an ignonimous little tumbler as it scoots over, around, under and through the rocks, logs, sticks, eddies, falls and stillwaters. Suddenly, it’s a respectable creek in all her natural glory. Olga has a long, proud tradition … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: How to Respond to WSF’s Reservation Cut-Off

— by Justin Paulsen — It’s going to be a long, painful, and thanks to the new WSF arrival policy, angry summer. Apologies in advance to the booth workers on Orcas and on the Anacortes side as well, where the details of the original reservation policy were still not fully … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: Fielding Football Offers Alternatives and Discussions

— by Justin Paulsen — The issue of youth (age 6 – 18) football in a topic of major discussion in communities across America. The discussion is notable because of all of the comments raised in response to “Does Football Have a Future on Orcas?”. The question as raised in … Continue reading

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

In These Days: All Should Be Taxed….

“And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed… “And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city… And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and … 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