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

Confused About Primary Election? Help Available Online No local voters' pamphlet

— from Milene Henley, Auditor — This year’s primary is long and confusing, with many candidates for several of the state-wide elections. For that reason, the San Juan County Elections Office has received an unusually large number of calls about the availability of a Voters’ Pamphlet for the election. Election … 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

Help the Ferries Improve the Reservation System Survey asks specific route questions

— from Anne Haley, Chairman, Washington State Transportation Commission — The Washington State Transportation Commission is asking members of the Ferry Riders Opinion Group (FROG) both users and non-users to provide their views/opinions on the WSF reservation system. The results of this survey will be delivered to WSF leadership and … Continue reading

Our Representatives Report: “Questioning NATO Commitment Is Dangerous” Larsen: Questioning U.S.’ Commitment to NATO is ‘reckless, dangerous, and weakens our role in the world’


— from U.S. Representative Rick Larsen — On July 21, 2016, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee,  released the following statement after Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump questioned the United States’ existing agreements with and commitment to defending its NATO allies: “For almost … Continue reading

Economic Development Council Seeks Assistant

— from Victoria Compton, Director, San Juan County Economic Development Council — Title of Position: Economic Development Program Assistant Job Description: Plan, organize, develop, implement, oversee and review economic development programs and activities. Involves: Organize and coordinate a wide variety of business workshops. Analyze regional and local economic data and … 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

Guest Opinion: An Innovative Proposal for Housing Affordability


— by Ken Wood — Okay, let’s talk about HOUSING AFFORDABILITY; specifically here on the island, though the basic problem is actually everywhere: 1. There is a disparity between what it is possible to earn and what a mortgage payment costs each month. I say mortgage payment and not rent, … Continue reading

The Life, the Library, the Legend How the Orcas Island Public Library Came to Be


— by Emma Heikkinen — Let’s start in 1949, glossing over the bit where the Madrona Club hosted a small library in their clubhouse in 1909. Sally Ployart had books. Hundreds of brand new books. She didn’t know what to do with them — a three months’ collection of publishers’ … Continue reading

County Council Looking to Fill Board Vacancies Your chance to serve?

— from San Juan County Communications — The County Council is searching for San Juan County citizens to fill current and upcoming vacancies on various boards and commissions. Additional information about each committee is available on the County’s website at: Persons interested in serving on a board or advisory … Continue reading

Groundbreaking at the Library: Smiles and Sharing a Special Secret

— by Madeleine Treneer — There was an excited, joyful feeling in the air as islanders gathered to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eastsound Library expansion on Saturday morning.  This event attracted entire families, ranging from young kids to older seniors, to enjoy this groundbreaking moment. Some people stood … Continue reading

Editorial: Join the Movement to Keep Ferry Food Local!

— by Margie Doyle — A petition by Susan Meyers to maintain local vendors for ferry and ferry terminal food services is circulated through a campaign. The petition will be delivered to Governor Jay Inslee. Orcas Issues readers are encouraged to sign the petition and circulate it. Earlier this … 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 Planners Discuss Vision and Details Upcoming projects also reviewed by County advisory committee

— by Margie Doyle and Madeleine Treneer, updated July 16 at 4 p.m. — The bulk of the Eastsound Planning Review Committee (EPRC) monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 12, was spent on refining the allowable uses in the tables of the Eastsound Subarea Plan update, approved by the County last … Continue reading

Three More Orcas Graduates Students pass milestone of Graduation Equivalency Diplomas

grad feature

— by Margie Doyle — Orcas Alternative Student-Initiated Studies (OASIS) High School celebrated three more students achieving their Graduation Equivalency Diplomas (GED) on Monday evening, July 11. Zonia Darnall, Ashanti Ellyson and Danny Hodges donned the traditional caps and gowns (well in Zonia’s case it was the tassle on the … Continue reading

Reception for Cyrus Habib, Lt. Governor Candidate

Cyrus Habib

Monday, July 18 from at Random Howse — from Don Stillman — Cyrus Habib, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, will visit Orcas Island on Monday, July 18. He will speak at an informal event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Random Howse near the Post Office in Eastsound. Habib currently … Continue reading

Letter to Editor | Durland Explains Campaign Michael Durland Candidate for County Council Seat District 2


— from Michael Durland — People are asking me, “What’s the deal?” Why am I not campaigning. Why do I not have a social media presence or website? I am withholding my campaign until after the Primary Ballot August 2nd. Four strong candidates have stepped up to challenge the incumbent … 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