Guest Opinion | What Really Powers Your Electric Car?

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— from Tom Owens — OPALCO held a meeting (July 12) to examine future of energy for the Co-Op. Mr. Dauciunas is reported to have stated that since San Juan County gets 98% of its electricity from Canada (hydro, solar and wind) new electric cars here run on hydro. This … Continue reading

Orcas Recycling Services Team Travels to Manzanita, OR

— from Danielle Wheeler — In mid-July, Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) representatives travelled to Manzanita, on the Oregon coast, to visit CARTM (Community Action Recycling Team of Manzanita), a pioneering community recycling organization in Tillamook County. Like ORS, CARTM operates a solid waste transfer station for the county and has … Continue reading

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

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— 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

Summertime, and Eastsound Water Use Down by 17%

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— from Paul Kamin, Manager, Eastsound Water Users Association — The summer of 2016 has been markedly different than last summer. In a good way, at least water-wise. This summer (starting in the middle of May) water use has been more “normal.”  Last summer the Pacific Northwest experienced the most significant … Continue reading

Public Comments Sought on County Shorelines Program Comment Period: July 22 to September 2, 2016, 5 p.m.

— from the Washington State Dept. of Ecology — Washington State Dept. of Ecology seeks public comment on updates to San Juan County’s Shoreline Master Program. Authority for this update is based on Washington’s Shoreline Management Act (Ch. 90.58 RCW) and related rules. Send comments to: Bob Fritzen, WA Dept. … Continue reading

Lord of the Rings: Ancient Oak Dendrochronology Presentation Date Correction to Sunday, July 24

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Sunday, July 24, 9 – 11:30 a.m., Turtleback Mountain Preserve — Tanja Williamson, SJC Land Bank — Dr. David Jordon, Trinity Western University, BC, studies forests, particularly the Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) forests that occur from Southern Vancouver Island to Northern California. He uses the analysis of tree rings not only to … Continue reading

Wolf Hollow Releases Bald Eagle After Rehabilitation Free again; free again

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— from Amy Saxe-Eyler, Wolf Hollow — After two months of intensive care at the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Friday Harbor, this female Bald Eagle is flying free again. She was first spotted in May by residents of the False Bay area of San Juan Island dragging a heavy … Continue reading

Washington Boaters Reminded to Clean, Drain, Dry Boats to Stop Invasive Species

— from Susan Zemek, Recreation & Conservation Department — As summer weather heats up in Washington and boaters prepare for more adventures on the water, the Washington Invasive Species Council would like you to remember: Clean. Drain. Dry. Invasive species are non-native animals, plants, microorganisms and pathogens that can out-compete or prey … Continue reading

Hands-On Forestry in San Juan Woodlands

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Saturday, July 30, 2016, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thornbush Farm, Friday Harbor —  from Cailin Mackenzie, Northwest Natural Resource Group — Managing small forests for the do-it-yourselfer Many San Juan forests are overstocked and need ecologically-based thinning to be their healthiest. Join us for a walk in the woods and learn … Continue reading

Influencing the Future of Eastsound Task group produces report and survey to invite community participation

— from Jim Jonassen– The process for updating the county’s comprehensive plan has begun and will unfold over the next eighteen months. Things missing from the Eastsound Urban Growth Area in the existing plan include parking and traffic plans and anything significant about a vision for the future. Out of … Continue reading

Eastsound Planning Committee Meets Tuesday

Tuesday, July 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Eastsound Fire Hall The monthly meeting of the Eastsound Planning Review Committee (EPRC) is held on Tuesday, July 12, instead of the usual first Thursday date.The EPRC serves as an advisory committee to the County Council; its members are appointed … Continue reading

An Inside Look at the Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps – Week 2

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— by Izabela Janacek, Martha Lum & Molly Troxel — Have you ever wondered how people make trails? The kids of Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps or OIYCC learned just this, during a recent Camping Trip to Shaw Island. Fourteen enthusiastic crew members from the corps, aged from 12 to 16, … Continue reading

Conservation District Program Makes it Possible to Lease a Leaf

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San Juan Islands Conservation District announces Take Charge electric vehicle (EV) program — from Jensen Lovelett — The San Juan Islands are the perfect place for electric vehicles. To support the transition to low carbon transport technology, we are promoting two new programs: The Public Charge Station Incentive Program, sponsored by … Continue reading

Indian Island Reveals Deadly Result of Holiday Weekend Visitors Oystercatcher Chick Survives; 50 Sea Stars Dead, Injured

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— from Russel Barsh, KWIAHT — More than 500 people visited two-acre Indian Island over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend, many of them taking advantage of the opportunity to observe an annual bivalve census that measured nearly 800 clams and cockles, and bimonthly seining of fish in the … Continue reading

Shibori in the School Garden: Indigo and Imagination

— by Ashley Randall — On July 2nd the Farm to Cafeteria Program hosted its first of three summer workshops in the school garden. Our incredible garden keeper, Colleen Stewart, led a Shibori workshop in which friends of the garden played with indigo dye and their imagination to create astonishing … Continue reading

Guest Opinion | How Can Islanders Save 77 Million Gallons of Water this Year?

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— from Lauren Platman, Friends of the San Juans — With summer underway, some islanders are already feeling the heat-and the drought. Some wells are already being starved of fresh water, which makes the rainy autumn season seem a long way off. As climate change affects our region, including our … Continue reading

Take a Look At / From Islands’ Best-Kept Secret

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— from Craig Canine, Preservation Trust — Quick: From what publicly accessible high point in the San Juan Islands can you see three of Washington’s five volcanoes? If you guessed Mount Constitution, guess again. The answer is Mount Grant Preserve on San Juan Island. The sweeping 360-degree views from Mount Grant’s … Continue reading

Environmental Protection Rulings Upheld in B.C. Pipeline Project

 — by Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams — Environmentalists and Indigenous rights advocates celebrated on Thursday [June 30] after a judge struck down the Canadian government’s 2014 approval of a controversial pipeline project in a landmark ruling. The court found (pdf) that the government had not done enough to consult … Continue reading

Editorial: How About Fireworks That Are Better for Pets and Vets?

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— by Lin McNulty — As we wade through the festivities of Independence Day, at least two groups would give anything to not experience the sounds of a lively fireworks display: pets and vets. An annual display that is a visual celebration, rather than a reenactment of war that causes vets … Continue reading

Illegal Seal Pup Pickups Emphasize Need to “Share the Shore” with Wildlife

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— from Michael Milstein, NOAA Fisheries — Following four recent incidents in Oregon and Washington in which people illegally picked up harbor seal pups off the beach, leading to the death of two of the animals, NOAA Fisheries is reminding beachgoers to “Share the Shore” with wild marine mammals and … Continue reading

When Warmer is Not Better: Drought Warning for Vancouver Island

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— from Lindsay Kines / Times Colonist — Record high temperatures and low rainfall have prompted the province to upgrade the drought warning on southern and eastern Vancouver Island to its highest level. Most rivers and streams will close to fishing on July 1. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural … Continue reading

News from Hughes: Islands’ Housing and Transportation Summer Plans

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— by Margie Doyle — San Juan County Councilman Rick Hughes commented on government matters that impact Orcas Islanders recently. So many active projects “are coming to the front of the queue,” he says. Still, housing issues dominate his concerns for the county. Hughes commended the work of a task … Continue reading