League of Women Voters Sponsor Election Forums Throughout Islands Forums will take place on four consecutive evenings at ferry-served islands

— from Clare Kelm for the League of Women Voters of the San Juans — The League of Women Voters of the San Juans will be sponsoring candidate forums on each of the following islands for state and local contests in the 2016 general election. We expect some or all … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Lessons Learned from School’s Community Forum

— by Maggie Schuler — Thanks to all who came [to the school-sponsored Community Forum on Sept. 21], shared their beliefs and therefore furthered MY education. I came thinking I was adamantly opposed to building a track– mainly because I knew there are so many other, and to me, more … Continue reading

Calling All Gardeners to Annual Gardening Workshop Secrets of Wheat, Bees, Tomatoes and Deer to be revealed at day-long event


Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday Harbor Middle School, advance registration required — by the San Juan County Master Gardeners — Come join other garden enthusiasts at the 2016 Annual Gardening Workshop, Secrets of Gardening, at Friday Harbor Middle School, on Saturday, October 1, from 8:30 a.m. to … Continue reading

Thor Hanson Keynote Speaker at Annual Gardening Workshop "Secrets of Gardening" takes place Saturday, Oct. 1 on San Juan Island

Thor Hanson. Photo courtesy Kathleen Ballard

— from the WSU/San Juan County Master Gardeners — Calling All Gardeners to Our 2016 Gardening Workshop Author and biologist Thor Hanson will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Gardening Workshop presented by the San Juan County Master Gardeners on October 1, 2016. As the first speaker at this … Continue reading

Commmunity Discusses School Bond Priorities


— by Margie Doyle — The school cafeteria buzzed with hive-like activity as OPAL Executive Director Lisa Byers moderated a community forum about proposals for a “Phase III Bond” for the Orcas Island School District (OISD). After OISD Superintendent Eric Webb Webb acknowledged Board members Janet Brownell and Greg White, … Continue reading

EPRC Consideration of Street Standards “Throws a Curveball” to OPAL Comments bring out issues with unfinished zoning, increased infrastructure demands and urbanization


— by Emma Heikkinen and Margie Doyle — At the September 15 meeting of the Eastsound Planning Review Committee (EPRC), much of the discussion focused on  the continued urbanization of Eastsound and efforts to maintain the area’s rural character. Public comment opened with a suggestion from John Campbell to the … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Track Donation Brings Problems

— by Bea vonTobel — Updated Sept. 20: I would like to offer a couple revisions to my original letter. (Editor’s note: revisions are in italics) Sometime when you look a gift horse in the mouth you may need to say, “Thanks but no thanks.” The extreme generosity of a … Continue reading

Fire Commissioners Deliberate Appointee and Increased Number of Commissioners Five applicants come forward; appointment deferred until public meeting on Oct. 3

— by  Margie Doyle — Members of the public clearly expressed their support for additional Fire Commissioners at the regular meeting of the Orcas Fire and Rescue District commissioners on Monday, Sept. 19. They also expressed their gratitude and admiration for the candidates who had stepped forward to fill that … Continue reading

Ferry Alert: Two Sailings Tonight to be Delayed 8:25 and 8:55 p.m. departures from Anacortes to sail late

— from Washington State Ferries (WSF) — Please be advised that tonight, September 20, the M/V Yakima will tie up early for a repair to the coolant system in the ship’s service generator. While no sailings will be canceled, this means that the 8:25 p.m. departure from Anacortes will leave … Continue reading

Letter to Editor | Evaluate Elements of Proposed Bond on their Separate Merits Numbers of Students in the School Music Programs increasing


–from Miriam Ziegler– This letter is in response to Peg Manning’s comment following Martha Farish’s excellent “Guest Opinion: Broad Public Input Needed in School’s Bond Discussion,” published 9/19/16. I cannot address Peg’s question about construction costs of the track and the anticipated maintenance costs. What I do have is information … Continue reading

Fire Risk Status Now “Low”

Fire Risk Status “LOW,” Burn Permits set to begin October 3rd — from Robert Low, SJC Fire Marshal — Due to current fuel conditions and the long range weather forecast, San Juan County has reduced the fire risk status to “LOW.” However, burn permits will not be issued until October … Continue reading

Letter to Editor | Did You Get Our Mis-directed Mail?


— from Antoinette Botsford for Shinola Jewelry — UPDATE 2:15, September 21: It was discovered.  Within the post office building, if not the post office itself. Thanks for caring.  Love, AB A small package directed to Shinola Jewelry has been lost. The key to that locker was put in someone … Continue reading