School District Readying for First Day, Sept. 3

 – by Margie Doyle – Behind the chain link fences at the Orcas Island School District campus, the work of Tiger Construction and subcontractors has been simmering all summer long. Every day achieves some new benchmark towards completion of the “2012 Bond Project” to update the public education buildings. Behind … Continue reading

Just In: Climate Change Impacts on the Pacific NW

Friday, August 29 at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Parish Hall in Eastsound — from Marta C. Branch, San Juan County Dept of Community Development and Planning Marine Program Coordinator — Learn how climate change impacts the Pacific Northwest in a presentation by Dr. Philip Mote, Oregon State Climatologist and … Continue reading

When a Business Becomes So Successful That…

– by Margie Doyle – Clyde Duke saw a beautiful building abandoned in the middle of our community that could be brought together for fun and camaraderie under its roof. April Duke saw a full-time business opportunity for a couple who already had a full-time business — and more — … Continue reading

Community Solar for our Schools

— from the San Juan Conservation District – Community Solar for our Schools was developed by Islands Energy, a collaborative group of local and regional nonprofits and community volunteers led by the San Juan Islands Conservation District and sponsored by OPALCO. The intent of Community Solar for our Schools is … Continue reading

Utilities Commission Staff Concludes CenturyLink Violated Laws and Rules

– from The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission — On August 20, 2014, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission released its report on CenturyLink’s November 2013 outage. The report from commission staff recommends the commission order CenturyLink to pay over $170,000 in penalties. This is in addition to the $271,000 … Continue reading

‘X’ to Mark the Spot: Nominations Open


– from Adam Farish – Do you have an “idea worth spreading” or know of someone that does? Is your neighbor working on something that could change the world? Know a grade school kid who does something interesting with recycled golf clubs?…. Yes?… Here’s where you can tell us about … Continue reading

County Councilman Rick Hughes Drafts Strategic Economic Plan

San Juan County Councilman Rick Hughes, who resides on Orcas Island, presented a draft strategy for economic development to the County Council earlier this year. Hughes said recently, “When I ran for County Council, I hoped to add jobs in the county. I’ve found that’s it’s not easy for Council … Continue reading

Oregon Denies Permits for Columbia River Coal Transport

– by Floyd McKay for — An Oregon agency created a major setback Monday [August 18] for plans to build a complex coal project on the Columbia River upstream from Portland. The Department of State Lands (DSL) denied a removal-fill permit for a small area of state-regulated waters on … Continue reading

Food Bank Begins Senior Outreach Program

 – by Madie Murray – Through a cooperative effort between the Orcas Island Food Bank (OIFB) and Orcas Island Senior Services, a number of seniors who have trouble getting out of their home to go shopping or visit the food bank for one reason or another receive a personally-delivered bag … Continue reading

Pre-schoolers Get an Educational Boost!

Children with chalkboards(1)

— from Jim Connell and Joe Cohen – Orcas Island’s four pre-schools, Montessori, Children’s House, Kaleidoscope and Salmonberry have combined school fundraising, parent tuition and community-based “investment” dollars to provide all Orcas 3-5 year-olds access to quality early childhood education. Research shows that children who attend pre-school at least 12 … Continue reading

A Legacy Shared: Trudy Erwin

Trudy Erwin and a young potter. Photo: Islands Weekly

Restoration and stewardship on private property – from Jill Clark, Development Director, Northwest Straits Foundation – West Beach Creek property owner Dianna Down reminisced about her mom, long‐time Orcas Island potter Trudy Erwin, who died in 2013 at age 90. Erwin was inspired to restore a fish passage and improve … Continue reading

Last Hearing of New Eastsound Plans Before Council’s “First Touch”

Friday, August 15 at 8:45 a.m. in Friday Harbor — Teleconference from Orcas, Lopez Islands The San Juan County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on the proposed Eastsound Subarea Plan update. The SEPA Determination of Nonsignificance regarding the plan will also be discussed before the County Planning Commission … Continue reading

Olympic National Park Scientist to Discuss How Climate Change Impacts Our Coasts

Wednesday, August 20, 7 p.m., San Juan Island Library – from Julia Vouri – Learn how the coasts and intertidal biological communities of the Pacific Northwest are impacted by climate change in a presentation by Olympic National Park Coastal Ecologist and Marine Resources Manager Dr. Steven Fradkin at 7 p.m., … Continue reading

At the Fair: Block Kinder Morgan Project with Brownies

–San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping – Chocolate and crude oil don’t mix, unless of course you bite into one of the delicious brownies for sale at our Safe Shipping booth at the San Juan County Fair, August 13-16. We will be offering 4 different flavors (including Bakken Shale Brownies … Continue reading