San Juan County Cooperates on Broadband Deployment in Eastsound

— from Rock Island Communications — San Juan County is allowing Rock Island Communications to install fiber optic cable in the conduit associated with the County’s Eastsound Village streetlight project. “Co-locating our fiber optic cable in the streetlight conduit will save businesses located in Eastsound Village a great deal on … Continue reading

Open Letter to Rick Hughes Re: Orcas Road Project

– from Susan Fleischer and John Fleischer – Re: Orcas Road Project (Nordstrom Lane to McNallie Lane) Dear Rick, This is in regard to the San Juan County Orcas Road proposed realignment that runs along Carol Clark’s property from Swan Road to McNallie Lane. Walt and Carol Clark (Susan’s parents) … Continue reading

Chelsea Leaves the School Garden for Adventure and Education

Colleen Stewart steps into her boots — by Madie Murray – We are saddened by Chelsea Cates leaving us, but so excited about the future she is planning for herself. She will soon be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with her partner, Evan Allred, then returning to school to study … Continue reading

Guest Column: Coping with Dementia

— by Didier Gincig — Last Saturday, March 14th, Shelly Zylstra, from the Northwest Regional Council, visited the Orcas Island Senior Center to offer a wealth of information and insight to members of the Orcas community for a training about coping with dementia. There were thirty-four people in attendance during … Continue reading

ECE Initiative: Orcas Preschools Report Early Successes

 — by Margie Doyle – The first of many steps in establishing well-qualified preschool education for all Orcas children has been taken through the Early Childhood Education Initiative. In recent interviews, Orcas’ preschool directors and some parents talked about the first year of the three-year pilot project, the Early Childhood … Continue reading

NOAA: West Coast Waters Shifting to Lower-productivity Regime


 — from Michael Milstein, NOAA – State of the California Current Report highlights record-warm conditions and effects on fisheries! Large-scale climate patterns that affect the Pacific Ocean indicate that waters off the West Coast have shifted toward warmer, less productive conditions that may affect marine species from seabirds to salmon, … Continue reading

Ferry Reservations: Working out the Wrinkles

“We’re here to listen to you”  — by Margie Doyle – Washington State Ferry (WSF) representatives heard islanders’ complaints about the ferry reservation system, now two months old, at a well-attended meeting at the Orcas Senior Center last week. WSF representatives Brian Churchwell and Dwight Hutchinson met with County Councilman … Continue reading

EDC Offers Business Boot Camp for Women

Wednesday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Friday Harbor – from the San Juan County Economic Development Council — Women entrepreneurs are invited to attend the EDC’s Women’s Business Boot Camp, an all-day workshop specifically designed to tune up or start-up businesses. Participants will learn how to … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Black Dog Farm Stand Broken Into, Closed

(Editor’s note: Since this letter was published, we learned from the owners that the clothing barn and donation box are the two portions of the farm stand that have been closed: owner Ian Harlow states: “We are just no longer accepting clothing donations at our thrift shack. An[d] yes our … Continue reading

OSC Reaches Matching Goal

– from the Olga Strawberry Council Board– We said a donation of any size would put us over the top, and it did! Amounts from $20 to $9,000 coming from as close as Olga to as far away as Delaware (with Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Missouri and Colorado in … Continue reading

New Report Shows Status of Salmon Recovery

— from the State Recreation and Conservation Office — Salmon recovery efforts in Washington are making a difference – more salmon are returning home in some areas, although significant work remains – according to a new report released by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office. “Washington State has been investing in … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Islanders Send “Do Not Invest” Message

— from Nick Jones — Dear Editor, Watching the San Juan Sungrown debacle unfold has been like watching a slow-moving, entirely preventable car accident. This situation is a tragedy for the Rice family, their employees, our struggling island economy, a tragedy, ultimately, for their neighbors, who are going to have … Continue reading