Oregon Denies Permits for Columbia River Coal Transport

– by Floyd McKay for Crosscut.com — 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

Guest Column: What It Takes To Build Community

— by Hedrick Smith — Orcas has the irresistible lure of a natural Paradise and the attraction of a welcoming civic spirit – a caring human community. [In 2006], that community spirit inspired San Juan Islanders to raise $18.5 million to save Turtleback Mountain from development and to preserve its … Continue reading

The Circus Came to Town! Funhouse Commons Annual Gala Fundraiser

– by Cara Russell – The Annual Funhouse Commons Gala Fundraiser was a regular circus on Sunday evening, August 3. Volunteer staff dressed up as carnies, tattooed ladies, clowns, and tightrope walkers for the event at Jeff and Angie Johnson’s historic barn on Nordstrom Lane. 120 guests enjoyed cocktails, spiritual … Continue reading

Energy Prize: San Juan County Advances to Quarterfinals


52 Communities Competing for Energy Efficiency – from Lynda Lyshall, San Juan Conservation District Manager – San Juan County was just selected to advance to the quarterfinalist round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a $5 million incentive competition to reduce energy consumption. “The enthusiasm in these communities is contagious,” … Continue reading

Head of San Juans’ LWV Testifies at Cherry Point Hearing

On July 24, League of Women Voters of the San Juans’ president, Diane Martindale testified at the Seattle Cherry Point Dock DEIS (draft environmental impact statement) Rally and Hearing. Below is the text of her speech. (Click  here to see the PDF of her speech with footnotes and sources included). … Continue reading

Attention Seniors: Hearts and Hands Can Help

– from Didier Gincig — Attention Seniors: If you or anyone you know could benefit from a little friendly help and companionship, please contact Didier Gincig at the Hearts and Hands office 376-7723 or e-mail him at heartsandhands@orcasonline.com. Trained volunteers are available for friendly visits, meal preparation, transportation, shopping/errands, respite … Continue reading

A Drop of Ink May Make a Million Think


Read a Free Book and Work for the Future  – by Margie Doyle – Joe Symons and Anita Orne have again collaborated to make their fortune and ensure their future. How? By bringing possible solutions for climate change to the stakeholders whom they most believe in: school students, specifically, middle … Continue reading

Orcas Auction: 130 Years of Stories and History


– by Margie Doyle – It’s August and an historic auction of island and international artifacts, called “An Orcas Family — 130 Years and Counting” will wow event guests at Youngren’s Barn at the end of the month. Auction assistant Millie Vetterlein writes, “Art objects from around the globe, furniture … Continue reading

To Be or Not to Bee Safe

Sunday August 3, at  2:30 p.m. upstairs at the Orcas Food Co-op – by Chom Graecen – Gardeners beware. Some “bee friendly” plants that you buy may end up harming, instead of, helping bees. The health of honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinators have been under serious threat and … Continue reading

Train Traffic and Oil Spill Protestors Attend Army Hearing

– by John Stang for Crosscut.com – The fate of a Cherry Point oil-loading dock. Distrust of BP. A minor oil-car derailment in Seattle. All of these surfaced Thursday at a hearing in Seattle. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held the public hearing to discuss a draft environmental impact … Continue reading