Orcas Fire and Rescue Sends Unit to Fight Eastern WA Fire

The following letter was written by Acting Fire Chief Mik Preysz to Orcas Fire and Rescue Commissioners on Aug.27: Dear Commissioners: I am writing you to let you know that I authorized the deployment of our Brush truck with Seth Ybarra as “Engine Leader” to the Kettle Complex (60,000 acres) … Continue reading

San Juan Island’s Scenic Westside Preserve More than Doubles in Size


— from the San Juan County Land Bank — The San Juan County Land Bank received a 30-acre donation along Westside Road on San Juan last Friday, August 21st. “We are very happy to see this special piece of land preserved for future generations and enjoyed by a wider public,” … Continue reading

Help Celebrate Your “Island Fare”

Islandfare feature

— by Margie Doyle — There’s an intergenerational triumverate at work on Orcas Island to bring “a place where islanders can gather — albeit via the magic of the Internet,” says octogenarian Charles Binford. Together with the resources of 20-something Joe Boucher and Baby Boomer Gerry Baker, a new, interactive … Continue reading

Farmers Market: A Summer Tradition for Locals and Visitors

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— by Margie Doyle — The Orcas Island Farmers Market may be the greatest single tourist attraction on the island, but it is also a summer Saturday tradition for many islanders. Which is only fitting, because only Orcas Islanders can sell their products –whether farm produce, dairy or crafted items … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Is A Community Loan Fund Coming to Orcas? Should it?


— by Alexander Conrad — Would the Orcas Island community support a local Community Loan Fund? Would there be sufficient borrower interest? Would there be sufficient investor interest? How would it work on Orcas? These are just a few of the questions that a group of islanders (the loan fund … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Meetings to Address Proposed Farming Regs


Wednesday, August 26, from 4-5:30 at the Eastsound Firehall — by Sandy Strehlou — Dear Friends of Local Agriculture: I am writing to encourage you to attend one of the following meetings on the proposed greenhouse regs. The San Juan Island meeting is [Tuesday] afternoon at Brickworks. There will be … Continue reading

Apply for Low Income Housing Grants, Loans by Sept. 30

Funding for non-profits and developers, not individuals — — from Melanie Rollins, San Juan County Affordable Housing Coordinator — San Juan County will award grants and loans totaling up to $20,000 in 2015 for projects that help make housing available to local residents of very low income. The Low Income … Continue reading

Exchange Progress Public Forum on Tuesday

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Tuesday, August 25,  5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Eastsound Fire Station — from the Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange newsletter (reprinted from Aug. 18)– Save the date! The team at ORS/The Exchange wants to update you, in person, on what we’ve been up to! Please join staff and the board of directors on … Continue reading

Islanders’ Opposition to Trans-Mountain Pipeline Voiced

— from Shaun Hubbard for SJ Islanders for Safe Shipping — 16 months after applying and being accepted to comment, and after many delays and extensions on Canada’s part, San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping just submitted our letter to Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) asking them to reject the … Continue reading

The Current State of Island Agriculture: Greenhouse Regulations Proposed

Orcas -Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. at Eastsound Fire Hall Lopez – Thursday, August 27 at 4 p.m. at Lopez Library — from Peggy Bill, County Agriculture Resources Committee Coordinator — San Juan County Council is currently considering adoption of new regulations that would be applied to greenhouses and … Continue reading

Planning Commission Continues Deliberations on Sub-area Plan

— by Margie Doyle — The County Planning Commission will continue its deliberations on the Eastsound Subarea Plan update next Tuesday, Aug. 25 at the Eastsound Fire Hall. The commissioners, from Lopez and San Juan Islands as well as Orcas Island’s Bob Gamble, Brian Ehrmantraut and Tim Blanchard, agreed to … 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

Letter to the Editor: Bring Back the Traditional Library Fair


— by John Erly — The Island is down to very few folks who were born here on Orcas. There are a considerable number of people who have lived on the Island for 20 to 70 years. Most folks move here because of the uniqueness of the Island, which includes … Continue reading