County Council Has Approved Chip Sealing

— from Islanders Saving Dolphin Bay Road — As you may have read by now, on Tuesday the Council voted to proceed with the recommendation by Public Works to chip seal Dolphin Bay Road, notwithstanding the strong opposition and feedback received. Obviously we are very disappointed, but respect the decision of … Continue reading

Rock Island Working with T-Mobile to Accelerate Wireless Internet Services

T-Mobile to offer cellular service in San Juan County — from OPALCO and Rock Island — Rock Island will deliver on its promise to bring wireless services to both home and business users in San Juan County via LTE Fixed Wireless by working with T-Mobile USA, Inc. “This is a … Continue reading

Help Low-Income Households with OPALCO’s Energy Assist Credit and Project PAL

— from Suzanne Olson, Public Relations Administrator, OPALCO — Did you notice the new line item on your January bill from OPALCO? All co-op members began paying about 45 cents per month (average residential bill) to fund the new Energy Assistance Credit to help qualified low-income households pay their electric … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Local Perspective on Water Issues in Flint


— from Paul Kamin, General Manager, Eastsound Water Users Association (EWUA) — It is hard to miss the distressing news of high lead concentrations found in the public water supply in Flint, Michigan. Unfortunately this will be one of the most significant public health system failures in American history, with children being … Continue reading

Citizen Volunteers Needed: Land Bank, Anyone?

— from Tanja Williamson — The County Council is searching for a San Juan County citizen to fill an upcoming vacancy on the San Juan County Land Bank Commission. District Two position – partial four year position expiring December 2019 (Orcas, Crane, Obstruction, & Waldron Islands) If you are interested in serving … Continue reading

Ranker Notes Passing of Harriet Spanel

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released this statement [on Feb. 2, 2016] on the passing of former Sen. Harriet Spanel, his predecessor as senator representing the 40th Legislative District. “I am extremely saddened to hear of the loss of Harriet Spanel. She was a dear friend and mentor to me. … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: How Should We Be Looking at Energy Use and Conservation?


— by Tom Owens — OPALCO — ¨Clean All The Time¨ Energy. Really? Overview OPALCO is now telling us that the energy they provide is ¨clean all the time.¨ This is a very important piece of information because it will influence our decisions on the use of energy. CO2 is … Continue reading

Eastsound Planning & Review Committee to Focus on Streetscapes

Thursday, Feb. 4, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Eastsound Fire Hall The Eastsound Planning & Review Committee (EPRC) agenda for its regular monthly meeting calls for a discussion of the Streetscape Standards with County Public Works Director Brian Vincent and County Planner Colin Huntemer on such matters as: … Continue reading

Our Representatives Report: Larsen Votes to Support Iran Nuclear Treaty

Larsen: Derailing Iran Agreement Short-Sighted, Ineffective — from the office of U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen– Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, [on Feb. 2, 2016] voted against a [House of Representtives] bill that would undermine the U.S. government’s ability to carry out the international agreement to prevent Iran from building a nuclear … Continue reading

Orcas School to Hire Additional Principal, Director for ALE and Special Ed

— by Margie Doyle — At its Jan. 28 regular monthly meeting, the Orcas Island School District Board voted unanimously to hire a Principal for the Alternative Learning Experience (ALE-OASIS); and Director for the Special Education Program. The one position will be fulltime, with hours equally divided between the two … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: We Are All Stakeholders of Dolphin Bay Road


— by Ken Katz — No one person owns our roads, libraries, schools and parks. These are for us to use now and preserve for future generations. We are all stakeholders of public assets in our community, the nation, and the world. All of us have different needs and wants … Continue reading

Upcoming Orcas Currents Lecture: How Birds Fly


Sunday, February 7, 1:30 p.m., Orcas Center — from Michael Riordan, Orcas Currents — Birds fly through our lives every day, so their flight might not seem extraordinary — until you recognize that it’s a marvel of mechanics that evolved over millions of years. With just over a century’s worth of powered … Continue reading

Our Representatives Report: Morris Pushes Solar and Space Bills

— from Washington State Representative Jeff Morris — It’s been a busy start to a short 60 day legislative session. I greatly appreciate the honor of serving the 40th Legislative District and representing you here in Olympia. Please take a look at some of the bills and issues I am … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for the Apology!

— from Moriah and Daniel Armstrong — On Wednesday, as an Orcas Coop member, I was quite surprised to open an email from the coop encouraging folks to sign the “Preserve, Not Pave” petition regarding Dolphin Bay Road. I live on Dolphin Bay Road and am sincerely hoping that the … Continue reading

Fisherfolk! Fish with the American Legion Derby

— from Judi Resch for the American Legion — American Legion Post #93 will be hosting their 37th Annual Fishing Derby the weekend of January 29th-31st. Registration for the derby is from 4 – 11 p.m. on Friday, January 29th, at the Post home (793 Crescent Beach Dr., Eastsound). $50. … Continue reading

Video Showcases Brown Island Beach Restoration Project

— from Katie Fleming — FRIENDS of the San Juans (FRIENDS) is releasing a new video about a project that removed large unnatural rock from a historic feederbluff and restored a local beach. This project is helping to “set the table” for the entire Salish Sea food chain. Removing unnecessary armoring and restoring this beach helps … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: Our Last Chance to “Just Say No” to the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

by Tuesday, February 2 — from Islanders for Safe Shipping — Remember the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion? This is the project that would increase Canadian crude oil tankers in the Salish Sea from 120 to 816 transits a year. Because this dramatic increase in shipping brings with it … Continue reading

Crowdfunding Can Work for You — Workshop offered by County EDC

Monday, Feb. 8 from 9:30 to 11:30 at San Juan Island Public Library, Friday Harbor — from Victoria Compton for San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC)– Crowdfunding is an exciting way for entrepreneurs to ask for monetary pledges from individuals using online services like Kickstarter. Learn how to procure … Continue reading

Ranker Introduces Oil Spill-Job Protection Bill

— from Rick Manugian for the Senate Democrats — A major oil protection bill introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, would establish economic safeguards and significantly strengthen protections for the public and the environment from oil spills while protecting refinery jobs. “The evolving nature of oil products moving through … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Warm Hearts on a Cold Winter Day


— by Heidi Lindberg– I need to thank the people publicly who came out of nowhere to help me, on a very cold damp day, when my usually trusty 38-year-old car stopped as I was backing into a parking space right in the main part of town. While I was … Continue reading

Board Workshop: Work to Your Full Potential

Boards in Gear: Unlocking Board Practice to Help You Achieve Your Mission Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 1-5 p.m., Eastsound Fire Hall — from Hilary Canty, OICF — This interactive, hands-on workshop will cover board responsibilities, operations, development, fundraising, and advocacy. It is based on the Boards in Gear resources developed in partnership with some … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Citizens Review Orcas Park & Rec Levy


— from the Orcas Island Park and Recreation District Commissioners — Dear Orcas Island Citizens, We, the commissioners of the Orcas Island Park and Recreation District (OIPRD), take the stewardship of public funds as a critical component of our job as elected officials. As part of assuring the voters that … Continue reading