Governor Orders Legislators Into Special Session

Legislature’s next round: compromise? — by John Stang for — Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered a second-30-day special session to begin Friday in order to resolve sluggish talks on the 2015-2017 budget for Washington. And Inslee ordered that House Democratic and Senate Republican budget negotiators meet face-to-face daily in … Continue reading

New OPALCO Surcharge to Correct Shortfall

Rate Structure Discussion Ongoing — by Suzanne Olson for OPALCO — OPALCO leadership pledged to continue to work toward a better rate structure while, in the interim, a surcharge will appear on bills beginning in July to address the revenue shortfall. More than 20 members representing four islands attended OPALCO’s … Continue reading

Randy Cornelius Honored for Lifetime Achievement

Randy 2011 feature

— from Suzanne Olson for OPALCO — Former General Manager and current Board Member, Randy J. Cornelius was honored by his peers with the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Life Member Award on May 20, 2015 during the association’s Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. Cornelius earned the … Continue reading

Jeremy King Honored for Work at Lavender Hollow and Longhouse

Jeremy King awarded-1 feature

— from Judy Whiting for OPAL — Jeremy King, who manages both the Orcas Longhouse and Lavender Hollow apartments, was recognized as 2015 manager of the year at the annual Washington Affordable Housing Management Convention, April 28-29 in Tacoma. Commended for his professionalism, pro-activeness and attention to residents and ongoing … Continue reading

New Call-Before-You-Dig Laws

Increased oversight and penalties — from OPALCO — Utilities, excavators and the public are all affected by a new call-before-you-dig law that includes more rigorous enforcement, mandatory damage reporting and higher penalties. The intent of the law is to improve communication between utilities and excavators/homeowners and decrease damage to underground … Continue reading

Board of Health Asked to Agree ‘Growler’ Noise Causes Irreparable Injury

— from the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve, Whidbey Island — Proof of noise-inflicted injuries were presented to the Island County Board of Health, Keith Higman, Brad Thomas, M.D., Executive Secretary and members at their meeting on May 19th in the form of declarations from medical experts, a local practicing physician, … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: OPALCO Members, Get Engaged

— by Alex MacLeod — There is growing unhappiness among many OPALCO member-customers following this year’s huge rate increase. OPALCO’s board raised the “facilities charge” to each customer by about 40% — this is a base charge, absent the delivery of any electricity — and raised electric rates by an … Continue reading

Soil — the Solution for Climate Change?

Workshops on Lopez and San Juan Islands May 30-31 — from the San Juans Conservation District — Grow soil, regenerate the land and be a part of a solution for climate change! You have an incredible opportunity to join Peter Donovan to learn the basics of soil carbon science and … Continue reading

County Starts New Inspection Schedule

New Summer Schedule starts May 26 — from San Juan County — San Juan County, Department of Community Development, will implement a new building permit inspection schedule for the period May 26th through July 2nd. Under the new schedule, inspections will be conducted on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. The schedule … Continue reading

Fire and Rescue To Hold Meetings on Cost Recovery

Two sessions on Saturday, June 6 — from Lt. Geoff Nelson, President Orcas Island Volunteer Firefighters’ Association, and Miklos P. Preysz, Acting Chief, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue — Orcas Island Volunteer Firefighters’ Association in conjunction with Orcas Island Fire and Rescue is sponsoring a Town hall Meeting to provide … Continue reading

Larsen Bill Addresses Cosigner Default on Student Loans

Larsen Bill Would Protect Student Borrowers From Harmful “Auto-Defaults” — from Ingrid Stegemoeller for U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen — Students with private education loans would be protected from “auto-defaults” when a loan cosigner, often a parent or grandparent, dies or files for bankruptcy if Congress passes a bill introduced today … Continue reading

Obamacare in WA State: Communication Complications Trump the Law

 — by Eric Scigliano for — When politicians, pundits and other know-it-alls tussle over whether to renovate, repeal or preserve Obamacare, they talk about Medicare expansion, the enrollment mandate and the ban on excluding pre-existing conditions. No one complains about one key provision: that insurers pay fully, with no … Continue reading