Democracy Futures: Reasons for Hope

— An ongoing column by Lori Benjamin — On the inter-island this week, I ran into Justin, of Skyline Tree Service. Soil water content, he says, is the lowest he’s ever seen. “If you’re planting trees, you might want to avoid cedars. Serious drought, followed by an ice age in … Continue reading

Editorial: Make Your Support of ORS/The Exchange Known

Persuade Council to Add Funding for Site Road —Update, Monday, Aug. 3: The County Council meets on this matter on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 9:15 a.m. at 350 Court St #1, in Friday Harbor, directly west of the County courthouse. Thanks to Ellen Edwardson — by Margie Doyle — This … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Absentee Owners and Managers Hurt Island Rentals

— from Karen Key Speck — Recently I responded to a local island resident who complimented me and my company for regulating my vacation rentals in a manner as to be the least intrusive to neighbors and to his concern about Vacasa mass marketing to Orcas Island residents. I appreciate … Continue reading

Larsen Votes For Critical Transportation Funding

Calls Out Congress For Failing On Export-Import Bank — from the Office of Representative Rick Larsen — Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today voted to make sure transportation projects nationwide will continue to receive funding through summer construction season. Larsen voted … Continue reading

County Fair Office on Limited Service During Fair Week

— from San Jan County Parks — During County Fair week, August 10-14, the County Parks Administration office will have very limited walk-in access by appointment only. With the Parks office now situated on the Fairgrounds, parking and access to the office will be difficult while the County Fair is … Continue reading

Flamenco with the Funhouse

gnome house feature

— from Krista Bouchey, Funhouse Commons Director — We love what we do at The Funhouse and appreciate your support of the Funhouse Commons and our programs for island youth. Our 2015 Gala includes Flamenco dancers, delicious food, fun games, and a live auction! And everyone can Raise the Paddle … Continue reading

Bernie Sanders Gathering this Wednesday

Wednesday, July 29 at 6 pm. in Friday Harbor — from Sharon Abreu — There will be a gathering in support of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in Friday Harbor this Wednesday, July 29. You can RSVP for the event here: There’s a 10 p.m. ferry from Friday Harbor that … Continue reading

Peace Island Medical Center Does First Arthroscopic Surgery

— from PeaceHealth, Peace Island Medical Center — Orthopedic surgeon Jeffrey Krusniak, MD, on Monday [July 20] performed arthroscopic surgery to repair a patient’s rotator cuff, the first surgery of its kind performed at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor. An anesthesiologist from PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center … Continue reading

Random Howse: the Go-To Spot for Lively Entertainment

Random Howse feature

World of Stories, Acoustic and LOUD music featured this week — by Margie Doyle — Random Howse is making an indelible impression on those who want to taste first-hand a variety of entertainment. New General Manager Wendy Shinstine is working towards the goal of entertainment five nights a week to … Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee Talks Reading


— by Valerie Easton for — Jay Inslee is a home-grown governor. His Dad was a biology teacher at Garfield and Sealth high schools, and Inslee’s first foray into public service was when he fought for a new public high school during the years he lived near Yakima. Our … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Is OPALCO Mismanaged?


— by Alex MacLeod — A day after the OPALCO board approved an emergency 10% increase in our electric rates, effective at the start of this month, its management issued a press release announcing the “Temporary Revenue Recovery Add-On.” In it, General Manager Foster Hildreth “explained” that the emergency increase … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Rental Housing and “Families”


— by Fred Klein — First off, OPAL is to be congratulated for thinking big and initiating the first large, affordable rental housing initiative that Eastsound’s seen since Wally and Gretchen Gudgell’s creation of Lavender Hollow over twenty years ago. Likewise, OPAL’s approach to gather community input via an initial … Continue reading

Membership Drive is ON at Orcas Senior Center

No age requirement to get Senior Center Benefits! — from Jami Mitchell, Senior Center Manager — The annual membership drive for the Orcas Island Senior Center is in full swing! Member perks have been added, expanded, and re-vamped to make the benefits of membership enticing, advantageous, and convenient to use. … Continue reading