Island Reproductive Health Initiative Moves Forward With thanks to Jean Henigson

— from Alison Shaw — Alarmed by a recent increase in teen pregnancy and lack of local access to affordable, confidential, reproductive health care on Orcas Island, concerned members of the community gathered in 2009 to examine this problem. The primary needs were for financial assistance plus confidential on-island medical … Continue reading

March Turtleback March Just Down the Road

Sunday, March 19, 1 p.m., Turtleback Mountain Preserve — from Tanja Williamson, San Juan County Land Bank — Welcome Spring. The San Juan County Land Bank and San Juan Preservation Trust invite you to the third annual March Turtleback March, a 5 mile “up and over” hike on the Turtleback Mountain Preserve. … Continue reading

Navy Shares Drinking Water Sampling Results

— from Mike Welding, NAS Whidbey — The following update is provided as part of the Navy’s ongoing community drinking water testing for the emerging, national environmental issue of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). As of Feb. 25, 2017, the Navy has received 173 lab results from drinking water sampling … Continue reading

Governor Spotlights Threats to Washington’s Economy and Natural Resources from Invasive Species

— from Susan Zemek, Office of the Governor — OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee declared the week of Feb. 26 as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington State, noting that invasive species cost the United States more than $137 billion annually in crop damage, loss of fish, and damage to … Continue reading

Catkin Cafe Hosts Student Chef Winner

— from Ashley Randall — On February 3, Catkin Café hosted Orcas School’s Student Chef Winner, Theo Vaccarella, and six friends for a pasta making class. Theo won first place in the 2016 Student Chef Competition with his healthful and tasty garden meatball soup. Under the direction of Angela Emery, … Continue reading

Fire Commission Addresses, Tables Hot Topic

— by Lin McNulty — Orcas Fire Commissioners met at Eastsound Fire Station on Tuesday evening in a regularly-scheduled session. Two topics were included under Old Business: (1) Public comment guidelines during Commission meetings and (2) increasing the number of Commissioners to five, following the recent passage of Proposition 1. … Continue reading

Whidbey Airplane Noise Case Remanded Back to Trial Court

— by Lin McNulty — The Washington Court of Appeals, Division One, in a ruling on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 reversed a lower court ruling in Jonathan Deegan and Alice O’Grady v. Windermere, et. al and remanded the case back to the trial court. When Jonathan Deegan and Alice O’Grady purchased … Continue reading

Local Students Explore … Edible Insects

— from Russel Barsh — Are easily-grown insects such as crickets the sustainable food of the future? The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) thinks so, and promotes international research identifying edible insects and ways of raising them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently granted hundreds of thousands … Continue reading

Shepler to Speak on Causes of Death Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief to address Sunrise Lions

Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8 a.m. at the Skillet — from Chris White for Orcas Lions — Battalion Chief and Paramedic Patrick Shepler of Orcas Fire and Rescue will speak next Wednesday Feb 22 at 8 a.m. to the Orcas Lions and Sunrise Volunteer members regarding the four most common … Continue reading

Ranker Bill Gets Hearing in Senate Committee Regardless of U.S. Supreme Court, Washington must protect women's reproductive rights

— from Dave Pringle, Senate Democratic Communications — The Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee held a hearing on Sen. Kevin Ranker’s Senate Bill 5760 to ensure employers cannot discriminate against women seeking full health care and access to contraception in response to the U.S. Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision. … Continue reading

Orcas Fire Successfully Handles Three Rescues, Back-to-Back

— from Marla Johns, Orcas Fire — Crews from Orcas Island Fire & Rescue responded to multiple simultaneous calls for service Thursday evening, including an incident with an airplane. At 3:10 p.m., crews from OIFR responded to a medical aid call. A decision was made to transport the patient off … Continue reading

Votes Favor Passage of School Bond and Add’l Fire Commissioner Still a "nail-biter" for School District

— by Margie Doyle — As of 8 p.m. on Feb. 14 Election Day, both the School District’s $8M bond measure and the Orcas Fire District’s increase in commissioners measure were favored by Orcas voters. However, the Orcas School District bond requires 60 percent approval; as of last night’s tally, … Continue reading

Pending Legislation to Create Health, Safety Rules for Outdoor Based Early Learning

— from Andrew Youngren — A Bipartisan Bill, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island), SB 5357, will develop health and safety rules for the growing number of outdoor preschools in Washington. If passed by the legislature, the Department of Early Learning will manage a pilot project to license outdoor preschools, … Continue reading

NAS Whidbey Island SAR Conducts Three Medical Evacuations Within Two Days Includes Friday Harbor mom in labor

— from Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island — Search and Rescue (SAR) teams from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted three separate Medical Evacuations (MEDEVACs) between Thursday, Feb. 9, and Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. The first was from Friday Harbor Airport to Island Hospital in Anacortes, the second from … Continue reading