School Music Program Supporters Have Their Say at Board Meeting School finances in good shape; teachers retained; gift policies discussed

— by Margie Doyle — Members of the community spoke of the need and benefits of an adequate classroom to accommodate the growing School Strings Music Program, at the regular Orcas Island School District (OISD) board meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25. Before nearly a dozen people made their comments, School … Continue reading

Elementary School Year Begins with Back to School Kickoff


Drop-In Tuesday, September 6, 4 – 6 p.m., Orcas Elementary School — from Cathy Ferran — Attention Orcas Island Elementary Parents, Grandparents, and Guardians: Did we mention lately how much we appreciate you? Your commitment to our school and children is nothing short of amazing! In an effort to make your life … Continue reading

Tea by the Tree with New Interim Principal

— from Orcas Island School District — The public is invited to meet the new interim Elementary Principal, Lorena Stankevich on Monday, August 29 at 3:30 p.m. under the Maple Tree. This “Tea by the Tree” will give parents, friends and relatives of the school the opportunity to socialize with … Continue reading

Entering Phase III: School District Starts Community Discussions Meetings on Aug. 15 and 16: presentation, discussion, tour, discussion. More meetings planned

— by Margie Doyle, updated Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. — Should the Orcas Island School District (OISD) ask the community to support a bond for improvements? But before deciding, what improvements are we talking about? The public was presented with a beginning draft of eight projects that might be … Continue reading

Brigid Ehrmantraut Interns for the Chamber Music Festival

— by Emma Heikkinen, Orcas Issues Summer Intern — A concert is more than musicians performing — a great deal of organizational work is required, with a multitude of artists collaborating in order to create the final product. At Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Brigid Ehrmantraut is a particularly special … Continue reading

Whale Museum Lecture | Salish Sea: What’s in the Name?


Tuesday, August 23, 6:30 p.m., The Whale Museum — from Jill Berger — The Whale Museum is pleased to welcome Bert Webber as part of the 2016 Summer Lecture Series on Tuesday, August 23rd at 6:30 p.m. Bert will present “The Salish Sea: What’s in the Name?” Bert came to … Continue reading

Sam Coleman At the Helm of the Chamber Music Festival


— by Margie Doyle — Sam Coleman has been a familiar face for over a decade on the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Board and in the audiences, and, in 2013, he assumed the duties of President of the Board. He and his wife Cynthia have had a home on … Continue reading

Phase III School Bond Discussion Meeting in School Cafeteria Monday & Tuesday to discuss modernization

— from the Orcas Island School District — Modernization: Phase III, August 15th and 16th, 2016 Schedule: 9 a.m. – Introductions and Welcome (School Cafeteria) Goals o Community Input o Create Schedule o Create Project Needs History of Work: Phase II Scope Overview of work just completed: o Middle School … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Bond Proposal Will Impact School Music Program Phase III Plans for School Bond Present Music Program Crisis


— by Catherine Pederson — Our School Music Program is facing a crisis situation! You probably received a postcard in the mail last week thanking islanders for the completion of the last two years’ Phase II Building project. It included one music classroom – now used by the Band program. … Continue reading

Get Ready for Entry Day at the Fair Youth Exhibitors FREE Again at the Fair


Tuesday, August 16, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Fairgrounds — from Ashley King, et. al — You’ve seen our posters, you’ve heard the chatter, it’s FAIR season. Are you getting your entries ready? We are excited to have our online premium book again this year ( —be sure to look up … Continue reading

Pod Nods Return to Whale Museum August 12 and 26


— from Jenny Atkinson — Pod Nod overnight marine adventures return to The Whale Museum this summer! The first of the popular “pajama party” sleepovers for children ages 6 to 10 will be held on August 12.  Pod Nods are led by Museum Educators with assistance from other adult professionals. … Continue reading

School Board Adopts 2016-17 Budget Superintendent Sets Out Class Configurations and Bond Plans

— by Margie Doyle, updated August 2 at 3:45 p.m. — At the July 28 meeting of the Orcas Island School District (OISD) Board, the main order of business was to approve and adopt the budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. That budget is set at a General Fund appropriation … Continue reading

Another Vege Potluck 1st Sundays Vege Potluck & Movie!

Sunday, August 7 at 6 p.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall — from Lydia Miller — This monthly gathering celebrates compassionate, healthy and sustainable plant based lifestyle. Join in on the lively conversation, get inspired, learn something new, come home with recipes, and enjoy yummy food! Everyone is welcome to … Continue reading

State-approved Massage School Comes to Friday Harbor

— from Richard Davenport — Friday Harbor School of Massage was approved by The Washington State Board of Massage, and the Workforce Training Board approved the curriculum and program on July 8. The school is officially a state-approved school for training new massage therapists.  Currently the closest massage schools are located in Bellingham, … Continue reading

School Board Meeting and Public Hearing Today! Following adminstrators' reports, a Public Hearing will be held on the 2016-17 Budget

— from the Orcas Island School District — The regular monthly meeting of the Orcas Island School District (OISD) Board of Directors will take place at the School Library at 5 p.m. today with the following agenda: 5:00 PM CALL TO ORDER – REGULAR MEETING – School Library. ADJOURN to … Continue reading

Calendula Salve Workshop in School Garden

— from Ashley Randall — The Farm to Cafeteria Program is hosting the second of three summer workshops in the school garden this weekend! Colleen will be teaching our friends of the garden how to transform our organically grown calendula flowers into a nourishing skin salve. Fee is $5–10 sliding … Continue reading

Rep. Larsen Introduces Computer App Contest Students K-12, alone or in teams, can enter until Nov. 2

— from the office of U.S. Representative Rick Larsen — Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02)  announced [on July 26] the launch of the 2016 Congressional App Challenge – an opportunity for students to learn key computer science skills by creating their own original applications for a local competition. The competition – … Continue reading

Preschool Positions Available Through ECEAP

— from Ethna Flanagan — San Juan County’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP, pronounced E-cap) is Washington State’s family-focused preschool program modeled on the federal Head Start Program. ECEAP has been preparing 3 and 4 year olds for success in school and life since 1985. There are 39 preschool positions subcontracted … Continue reading

Support Orcas Schools through Education Foundation "One-armed" videos raise awareness and donations

— from Janet Brownell for OIEF — [As of July 19], the Orcas Island Education Foundation is in its last 7 days of the “One Arm Tied Behind Your Back” challenge. Started on June 22, OIEF created the campaign to raise both donations AND awareness. Public education is under-funded in … Continue reading

Mountain Lake Trail Gets a Face Lift Orcas Island Youth Corps at work


— from Martha Lum and Molly Troxel, with Mindy Kayl — The Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps (OIYCC) was hard at work last week, and the Mountain Lake Trail has emerged newly improved. With guidance from Crew Leaders from the Washington State Trails Association the crew enhanced about 35 feet … Continue reading

Orcas Issues Looks to the Future Summer Interns Bring a Fresh Perspective to Orcas Issues, News and Views

— by Margie Doyle — Orcas Issues is proud to introduce its two summer interns to our readers. Emma Heikkinen, daughter of Phil Heikkinen and Ellen Goldberg, has worked as editor on the revived high school newspaper, the Viking Voice. You may already have seen her articles about the Pet … Continue reading

Meditation Master Coming to Darvills


Saturday, July 23, 2016 – 6 p.m., Darvill’s Bookstore — from Heather Simon — Meditation master and founder and spiritual director of Pristine Mind Foundation, Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, will discuss his transformative book, Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness at Darvill’s Bookstore. The true nature of our mind … Continue reading

Robots Are Coming to Orcas Island Robotics is starting a robotics club at the Funhouse.

Monday, July 25, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Funhouse Commons — from Rebecca DeMeritt — Orcas Island High School student, Sandy Rost, will be running the program. Kids, ages 9-14, are invited to join. Adults with robotics experience or interest are invited to participate and help out. Join the fun and learn STEM related skills. This … Continue reading