Oregon Denies Permits for Columbia River Coal Transport

– by Floyd McKay for Crosscut.com — An Oregon agency created a major setback Monday [August 18] for plans to build a complex coal project on the Columbia River upstream from Portland. The Department of State Lands (DSL) denied a removal-fill permit for a small area of state-regulated waters on … Continue reading

Pre-schoolers Get an Educational Boost!

Children with chalkboards(1)

— from Jim Connell and Joe Cohen – Orcas Island’s four pre-schools, Montessori, Children’s House, Kaleidoscope and Salmonberry have combined school fundraising, parent tuition and community-based “investment” dollars to provide all Orcas 3-5 year-olds access to quality early childhood education. Research shows that children who attend pre-school at least 12 … Continue reading

Last Hearing of New Eastsound Plans Before Council’s “First Touch”

Friday, August 15 at 8:45 a.m. in Friday Harbor — Teleconference from Orcas, Lopez Islands The San Juan County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on the proposed Eastsound Subarea Plan update. The SEPA Determination of Nonsignificance regarding the plan will also be discussed before the County Planning Commission … Continue reading

Guest Column: Streetscape Plans for Fern Street Extension

 – from Fred Klein – Pictured  is the sketch prepared under the auspices of Eastsound Planning Review Committee (EPRC) concerning the future use of the increasingly famous 50 foot wide lot originally acquired by Public Works to extend Fern Street to N. Beach Road. Prepared as part of the Prune … Continue reading

At the Fair: Block Kinder Morgan Project with Brownies

–San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping – Chocolate and crude oil don’t mix, unless of course you bite into one of the delicious brownies for sale at our Safe Shipping booth at the San Juan County Fair, August 13-16. We will be offering 4 different flavors (including Bakken Shale Brownies … Continue reading

Guest Column: What It Takes To Build Community

— by Hedrick Smith — Orcas has the irresistible lure of a natural Paradise and the attraction of a welcoming civic spirit – a caring human community. [In 2006], that community spirit inspired San Juan Islanders to raise $18.5 million to save Turtleback Mountain from development and to preserve its … Continue reading

Head of San Juans’ LWV Testifies at Cherry Point Hearing

On July 24, League of Women Voters of the San Juans’ president, Diane Martindale testified at the Seattle Cherry Point Dock DEIS (draft environmental impact statement) Rally and Hearing. Below is the text of her speech. (Click  here to see the PDF of her speech with footnotes and sources included). … Continue reading

Attention Seniors: Hearts and Hands Can Help

– from Didier Gincig — Attention Seniors: If you or anyone you know could benefit from a little friendly help and companionship, please contact Didier Gincig at the Hearts and Hands office 376-7723 or e-mail him at heartsandhands@orcasonline.com. Trained volunteers are available for friendly visits, meal preparation, transportation, shopping/errands, respite … Continue reading

Orcas Auction: 130 Years of Stories and History


– by Margie Doyle – It’s August and an historic auction of island and international artifacts, called “An Orcas Family — 130 Years and Counting” will wow event guests at Youngren’s Barn at the end of the month. Auction assistant Millie Vetterlein writes, “Art objects from around the globe, furniture … Continue reading

Ferries Secretary Reviews a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Week

— from George Capacci, Interim Assistant Secretary WSDOT/Ferries Division – This has been a challenging week for Washington State Ferries and the customers we serve. On Tuesday, July 29 the Tacoma lost power while entering Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island. Captain Ty Anderson and crew dropped anchor and immediately stabilized … Continue reading