Orcas Recycling Services Team Travels to Manzanita, OR

— from Danielle Wheeler — In mid-July, Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) representatives travelled to Manzanita, on the Oregon coast, to visit CARTM (Community Action Recycling Team of Manzanita), a pioneering community recycling organization in Tillamook County. Like ORS, CARTM operates a solid waste transfer station for the county and has … Continue reading

Support Orcas Schools through Education Foundation "One-armed" videos raise awareness and donations

— from Janet Brownell for OIEF — [As of July 19], the Orcas Island Education Foundation is in its last 7 days of the “One Arm Tied Behind Your Back” challenge. Started on June 22, OIEF created the campaign to raise both donations AND awareness. Public education is under-funded in … Continue reading

Help the Ferries Improve the Reservation System Survey asks specific route questions

— from Anne Haley, Chairman, Washington State Transportation Commission — The Washington State Transportation Commission is asking members of the Ferry Riders Opinion Group (FROG) both users and non-users to provide their views/opinions on the WSF reservation system. The results of this survey will be delivered to WSF leadership and … Continue reading

Mountain Lake Trail Gets a Face Lift Orcas Island Youth Corps at work


— from Martha Lum and Molly Troxel, with Mindy Kayl — The Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps (OIYCC) was hard at work last week, and the Mountain Lake Trail has emerged newly improved. With guidance from Crew Leaders from the Washington State Trails Association the crew enhanced about 35 feet … Continue reading

Orcas Issues Looks to the Future Summer Interns Bring a Fresh Perspective to Orcas Issues, News and Views

— by Margie Doyle — Orcas Issues is proud to introduce its two summer interns to our readers. Emma Heikkinen, daughter of Phil Heikkinen and Ellen Goldberg, has worked as editor on the revived high school newspaper, the Viking Voice. You may already have seen her articles about the Pet … Continue reading

Our Representatives Report: “Questioning NATO Commitment Is Dangerous” Larsen: Questioning U.S.’ Commitment to NATO is ‘reckless, dangerous, and weakens our role in the world’


— from U.S. Representative Rick Larsen — On July 21, 2016, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee,  released the following statement after Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump questioned the United States’ existing agreements with and commitment to defending its NATO allies: “For almost … Continue reading

Economic Development Council Seeks Assistant

— from Victoria Compton, Director, San Juan County Economic Development Council — Title of Position: Economic Development Program Assistant Job Description: Plan, organize, develop, implement, oversee and review economic development programs and activities. Involves: Organize and coordinate a wide variety of business workshops. Analyze regional and local economic data and … Continue reading

Meditation Master Coming to Darvills


Saturday, July 23, 2016 – 6 p.m., Darvill’s Bookstore — from Heather Simon — Meditation master and founder and spiritual director of Pristine Mind Foundation, Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, will discuss his transformative book, Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness at Darvill’s Bookstore. The true nature of our mind … Continue reading

Public Comments Sought on County Shorelines Program Comment Period: July 22 to September 2, 2016, 5 p.m.

— from the Washington State Dept. of Ecology — Washington State Dept. of Ecology seeks public comment on updates to San Juan County’s Shoreline Master Program. Authority for this update is based on Washington’s Shoreline Management Act (Ch. 90.58 RCW) and related rules. Send comments to: Bob Fritzen, WA Dept. … Continue reading

Lord of the Rings: Ancient Oak Dendrochronology Presentation Date Correction to Sunday, July 24


Sunday, July 24, 9 – 11:30 a.m., Turtleback Mountain Preserve — Tanja Williamson, SJC Land Bank — Dr. David Jordon, Trinity Western University, BC, studies forests, particularly the Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) forests that occur from Southern Vancouver Island to Northern California. He uses the analysis of tree rings not only to … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: An Innovative Proposal for Housing Affordability


— by Ken Wood — Okay, let’s talk about HOUSING AFFORDABILITY; specifically here on the island, though the basic problem is actually everywhere: 1. There is a disparity between what it is possible to earn and what a mortgage payment costs each month. I say mortgage payment and not rent, … Continue reading

The Life, the Library, the Legend How the Orcas Island Public Library Came to Be


— by Emma Heikkinen — Let’s start in 1949, glossing over the bit where the Madrona Club hosted a small library in their clubhouse in 1909. Sally Ployart had books. Hundreds of brand new books. She didn’t know what to do with them — a three months’ collection of publishers’ … Continue reading

Wolf Hollow Releases Bald Eagle After Rehabilitation Free again; free again

Final Eagle Release FEAT

— from Amy Saxe-Eyler, Wolf Hollow — After two months of intensive care at the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Friday Harbor, this female Bald Eagle is flying free again. She was first spotted in May by residents of the False Bay area of San Juan Island dragging a heavy … Continue reading

Washington Boaters Reminded to Clean, Drain, Dry Boats to Stop Invasive Species

— from Susan Zemek, Recreation & Conservation Department — As summer weather heats up in Washington and boaters prepare for more adventures on the water, the Washington Invasive Species Council would like you to remember: Clean. Drain. Dry. Invasive species are non-native animals, plants, microorganisms and pathogens that can out-compete or prey … Continue reading

Groundbreaking at the Library: Smiles and Sharing a Special Secret

— by Madeleine Treneer — There was an excited, joyful feeling in the air as islanders gathered to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eastsound Library expansion on Saturday morning.  This event attracted entire families, ranging from young kids to older seniors, to enjoy this groundbreaking moment. Some people stood … Continue reading

OPAL Announces Progress in Addressing Housing Crisis The first major apartment project on Orcas in nearly 30 years


— from Judy Whiting — While the lack of affordable housing continues to frustrate island employers and employees alike, OPAL Community Land Trust has quietly made significant progress in developing 30 affordable rentals on North Beach Road – the first major apartment project on Orcas in nearly 30 years. “We … Continue reading

Business Spotlight: Sugar Shack Brings Orcas Adventures to Cascade Lake

sugarshack feature

— by Madeleine Treneer — Looking for a snack at beautiful Cascade Lake? Then the Sugar Shack is the place for you! Here, at the little booth at the end of the dock on Cascade Lake you can enjoy a range of tasty goodies, from mouthwatering panini, to grilled cheese … Continue reading

Hands-On Forestry in San Juan Woodlands


Saturday, July 30, 2016, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thornbush Farm, Friday Harbor —  from Cailin Mackenzie, Northwest Natural Resource Group — Managing small forests for the do-it-yourselfer Many San Juan forests are overstocked and need ecologically-based thinning to be their healthiest. Join us for a walk in the woods and learn … Continue reading

Influencing the Future of Eastsound Task group produces report and survey to invite community participation

— from Jim Jonassen– The process for updating the county’s comprehensive plan has begun and will unfold over the next eighteen months. Things missing from the Eastsound Urban Growth Area in the existing plan include parking and traffic plans and anything significant about a vision for the future. Out of … Continue reading

Eastsound Planners Discuss Vision and Details Upcoming projects also reviewed by County advisory committee

— by Margie Doyle and Madeleine Treneer, updated July 16 at 4 p.m. — The bulk of the Eastsound Planning Review Committee (EPRC) monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 12, was spent on refining the allowable uses in the tables of the Eastsound Subarea Plan update, approved by the County last … Continue reading

Three More Orcas Graduates Students pass milestone of Graduation Equivalency Diplomas

grad feature

— by Margie Doyle — Orcas Alternative Student-Initiated Studies (OASIS) High School celebrated three more students achieving their Graduation Equivalency Diplomas (GED) on Monday evening, July 11. Zonia Darnall, Ashanti Ellyson and Danny Hodges donned the traditional caps and gowns (well in Zonia’s case it was the tassle on the … Continue reading