Orcas School District Changes

  Bond remodel, enrollment, budgeting, new track, legislative actions and hiring – by Margie Doyle – The Orcas Island School District Board of Directors on Jan. 20, 2015 considered many changing elements of millenial education. Superintendent Eric Webb commended the school community for the positive light in which it is … Continue reading

OICF Kicks Off Annual Grants Program

– from Hilary Canty – The Orcas Island Community Foundation (OICF) is now accepting applications for the 2015 competitive grants program. Trustee Coleen O’Brien will chair the committee, whose members include both OICF Trustees and community members. In the last year’s grants cycle, OICF, together with its Partners in Philanthropy, … Continue reading

MAG Concert in Just One Month!


Sunday, March 1, 3 p.m. Orcas School K-8 Gym – from Kristen Wilson for Music Advocacy Group (MAG) – Mark Your Calendars for MAG’S 18th Annual Concert! It is the biggest music concert on Orcas Island, it happens just once a year, and all the proceeds support the music program … Continue reading

Navy Wants to Increase Use of Sonar-emitting Buoys

elaine thompson orcas feature

By Phung Le for Associated Press.com – The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales and other creatures that live in the water. The Navy … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Help Re-purpose the Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant

— by Boyd C. Pratt – I am writing to ‘nudge’ you in the direction of the Olga Strawberry Council’s “Final Push” to rebuild the Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant. Please support them in the efforts to finish restoration of this building, which is significant to the history, economy, and well-being … Continue reading

Guest Column: Economic Impacts of an Oil Spill

– by Lovel Pratt , originally published in Whatcom Watch — Lovel Pratt is a former member of the San Juan County Council. While in office she served on the Puget Sound Partnership Oil Spill Work Group, the Oil Spill Rule Advisory Committee and the Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment Update … Continue reading

Point in Time for Local Homeless Count

Annual Homeless Count January 29 – from San Juan County Communications – San Juan County’s 2015 Point in Time Homeless Count will be conducted on Thursday, January 29. Count organizers and volunteers work with local family resource centers, food banks, churches, healthcare providers, senior centers, libraries, the sheriff’s office, and … Continue reading

San Juan County and OPALCO Advance in $5M Georgetown University Energy Prize


– from Michel Vekved, San Juan Islands Conservation District – Today, San Juan County officially advances to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that is challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink their energy use. At a press event in Washington, D.C. today, San … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Spirit of Abundance

— from YMCA Camp Orkila Staff and Annual Campaign Team– Every YMCA program, including summer camp at Orkila, comes with the promise that, “All are welcome. Financial assistance is available.” This promise affords every child the opportunity to live in community with a close-knit group of peers, engage with positive … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: The Right to Farm in SJ County

 — from Jenny Rice – (Editor’s note: the San Juan County Council is holding a Workshop regarding Land Use Regulation of Marijuana Producers and Processors on Monday, Jan. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon in Council Chambers in Friday Harbor. Citizen access is welcome, but limited to the workshop topic … Continue reading

School Bond Project Continues Apace

– by Margie Doyle – When Orcas Middle School students returned to their classrooms on Monday, they found a brand new situation in their “new” Middle School. Just before winter break, school district staff boxed up and moved their materials from the “1980s” Middle School/cafeteria/home ec/music room building, so that … Continue reading

Lummi Nation Requests Coal Facility Permit Denial


Lummi Nation cites severe impact to treaty fishing rights – from the Lummi Nation – The Lummi Nation, in a strongly worded letter, asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) to take immediate action to deny a permit to build North America’s largest coal export terminal at Cherry … Continue reading