Allegations Against Elementary Teacher Resolved

— from Eric Webb, Superintendent, Orcas Island School District — The district utilized the law firm of Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch Inc. and an outside investigator to conduct a thorough and extensive investigation into the alleged allegations involving the [elemenatry grade] teacher. The teacher in question was placed on … Continue reading

Response from Orcas Island Fire and Rescue District

— from Acting Chief Scott Williams and representatives of San Juan County Fire District #2 — We are responding to comments from community members to recent news (see orcasissues.com/coffin-resigns-fire-commission-dicaprio-appointed/) regarding the Fire District. We appreciate that several people took the time to offer their viewpoints. 1. Facilities Maintenance Contract: The … Continue reading

School Music Program Supporters Have Their Say at Board Meeting School finances in good shape; teachers retained; gift policies discussed

— by Margie Doyle — Members of the community spoke of the need and benefits of an adequate classroom to accommodate the growing School Strings Music Program, at the regular Orcas Island School District (OISD) board meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25. Before nearly a dozen people made their comments, School … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Does Eastsound Still Need Architectural Design Standards? Envisioning what Eastsound will look like entails planning and standards

— by John Campbell, Chairman, Eastsound Design Review Committee– History: 25 years ago there was a general outcry in favor of minimum architectural standards in response to a big dowdy building that engulfed a treasured old landmark. There are two legal bases for community architectural design standards: good design and … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: OPAL Working on Local Home Mortgage Fund

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— by Alexander Conrad — A recent guest opinion by Ken Wood suggested one approach to increasing the affordability of housing. The [opinion] illustrated how the cost of capital (i.e. interest rates and terms) impact affordability. Comments to the opinion also called for a local organization to step up to … Continue reading

Hard Workers Abound on Orcas Island: Let’s Honor Them! Laboring Laboriously: in Italian "Opera" Means "Work"

— by Lin McNulty and Margie Doyle — For a tourist, vacation “paradise,” many year-round Orcas Island residents are renowned for their work ethic, which seems to be “Life is uncertain, get your work done first.” With many businesses and non-profits being entrepreneurial start-ups and artistic manifestations, islanders throw themselves … Continue reading

Eastsound Visioning Statement Now Has a Survey Information Booth at Farmers Market on Labor Day Weekend

— from Jim Jonassen — The EPRC Task group  “to help enrich a community dialogue on the future to inform the [County Comprehensive] plan update,’ will again have an information booth at the Farmers Market on Saturday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day Weekend). That task group has created a report and … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Bond Proposal Will Impact School Music Program Phase III Plans for School Bond Present Music Program Crisis

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— by Catherine Pederson — Our School Music Program is facing a crisis situation! You probably received a postcard in the mail last week thanking islanders for the completion of the last two years’ Phase II Building project. It included one music classroom – now used by the Band program. … Continue reading

Flotsam & Jetsam | Horseshoe Highway Buffet

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— a semi-regular humor column by Maurice Austin — One benefit of the recent Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission decision to allow the salvaging of road-kill deer and elk is that the Horseshoe Highway might begin to smell better. The past couple of years, there’s always been a slight … Continue reading

“Con” Writers Needed for Ballot Measures

— from San Juan County Elections Office — Two local taxing districts have submitted resolutions to the San Juan County Auditor to place tax measures on the November ballot. The Orcas Island Library District is proposing to increase its regular tax levy from 30.34 to 45 cents per $1,000 of … Continue reading

Conversation with a Cop Continues at the Sea View

Thursday, Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. — from Donna Laslo — In response to national unrest between law enforcement and the citizens it is charged with protecting, retired police officer Ray Clever could no longer keep quiet. On a large piece of cardboard he wrote, “Conversation with a cop! Change … Continue reading

Flotsam & Jetsam | Nothing Compares to You

— a semi-regular humor column by Maurice Austin — Much of the discussion of the health of the southern resident orca population focuses on nutrition—those apex predators rely on Chinook salmon for the majority of their diet, and given that salmon are racing toward extinction, the southern residents orcas may … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: This, Too, is Our Village Thanks to Bruce Pavitt, Local DJ

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— from Janice Wiemeyer — On Sunday, July 24, my grandson was married at Odd Fellows Hall. He and his now wife are from Salt Lake City as were most of the family and friends. It was a beautiful wedding. But, fifteen minutes before the ceremony, they received a message … Continue reading

Guest Opinion | What Really Powers Your Electric Car?

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— from Tom Owens — OPALCO held a meeting (July 12) to examine future of energy for the Co-Op. Mr. Dauciunas is reported to have stated that since San Juan County gets 98% of its electricity from Canada (hydro, solar and wind) new electric cars here run on hydro. This … 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

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’

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— 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

Guest Opinion: An Innovative Proposal for Housing Affordability

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— 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

Reception for Cyrus Habib, Lt. Governor Candidate

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Monday, July 18 from at Random Howse — from Don Stillman — Cyrus Habib, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, will visit Orcas Island on Monday, July 18. He will speak at an informal event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Random Howse near the Post Office in Eastsound. Habib currently … Continue reading

Congressional Candidate Weighs In On Dallas Shooting

— from B.J. Guillot — Marc Hennemann, Republican candidate for Congress in the Second District, has released the following statement concerning [Thursday] night’s terrorist murders of police officers in Dallas: “I am deeply shocked and saddened by the terrorist attack on police officers in Dallas last night. My thoughts and … Continue reading

San Juan County Council Candidates Speak Before the Public First of a two-part series

— by Margie Doyle — Attendance was sparse (about two dozen) at the League of Women Voters of the San Juans Election Forum on Tuesday, July 5. Yet the audience asked knowledgeable questions that elicited the positions of the five candidates running county-wide for the seat from San Juan Island … Continue reading

Guest Opinion | How Can Islanders Save 77 Million Gallons of Water this Year?

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— from Lauren Platman, Friends of the San Juans — With summer underway, some islanders are already feeling the heat-and the drought. Some wells are already being starved of fresh water, which makes the rainy autumn season seem a long way off. As climate change affects our region, including our … Continue reading

Flotsam & Jetsam: Experienced Ferry Commuters See It All

— a semi-regular humor column by Maurice Austin — Among the joys afforded San Juan Islands ferry commuters in the dark months of July and August, those occurring among the Anacortes ferry terminal’s multiples holding lanes provide entertainment on par with island roads themselves. That guy with the absurdly large … Continue reading