Public Hospital Districts: Been There, Done That District commissioners from Mason County and Lopez Island give perspective

— by Susan McBain, Orcas Issues reporter — People who have been involved in existing Public Hospital Districts (PHDs) in Washington were the focus of the Dec. 18 Town Hall on establishment of a PHD on Orcas. The four guests gave short presentations on their experience and then answered many … Continue reading

Environmental Groups Appeal Permit Decision on Petrochemical Expansion Proposal in Salish Sea

— from Alex Ramel for — On Thursday, December 14, six local and regional environmental organizations filed an appeal of the Skagit County Hearing Examiner’s of the Shoreline Substantial Development Permit for the Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) Anacortes Refinery petrochemical expansion project. Last week, the Hearing Examiner approved the permit, despite … Continue reading

NAS Whidbey Island SAR Transports Lopez Heart Patient

— from Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island — A Search and Rescue (SAR) team of seven from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Lopez Island Airport, Lopez Island, Wash., to the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. The SAR … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Both Types of Air Ambulance Insurance Worth It Don't find out the hard way

–by Cathy Ellis — Our San Juan Islands community needs clarification about the different types of air ambulance flight insurance that are available. I found out the expensive way that there are two (non overlapping) types of Medical Flight Evacuation Services/Insurance for the S.J. Islands. Please be aware….. there indeed … Continue reading

Sheriff’s Report | December 6 – 13, 2017

— from San Juan County Sheriff’s Office — December 6, 2017 17-008517 Accident-NonInj 08:44:22 12/06/17 A Lopez Island Deputy responded to a non-injury two vehicle collision in the 3300 block of Center Road on 12/06/17. One of the involved vehicles struck the other when he lost traction due to ice … Continue reading

OPALCO Bills Go Up in January Average of $7/month

— from Krista Bouchey for OPALCO — When OPALCO members open their bills in January, they will be about $7 higher. Most of the increase is driven by the 2017 installation of “George” (our new $15M submarine cable named after George Goff), inflation, and BPA rate increases. This change represents a … Continue reading

Sheriff’s Report | November 29 – December 5, 2017

— from San Juan County Sheriff’s Office — November 29, 2017 17-008395 Accident-NonInj 07:47:14 11/29/17 An Orcas Island Deputy was dispatched to a single vehicle motor vehicle collision on Orcas Rd. The female driver, who was the vehicles soleoccupant, was uninjured. A report was taken. 17-008401 Theft 11:21:49 11/29/17 Mail … Continue reading

Town Hall on Hospital District Draws Throngs of Islanders Next meeting to be Dec. 18

— by Susan McBain, Orcas Issues reporter, updated Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. — High Community Interest in Public Hospital District Town Hall Meeting More than 100 people crowded into the Orcas Fire District’s Eastsound meeting room on Thursday, Nov. 30, for the first of four Town Hall meetings sponsored … Continue reading

Sheriff’s Report | November 22 – 28, 2017

— from San Juan County Sheriff’s Office — November 22, 2017 17-008243 Vehicle Prowl 06:04:50 11/22/17 A deputy responded to a walk-in report of a vehicle prowl in Friday Harbor. The Deputy gathered the needed information and completed a report. There is no suspect information available at this time and … Continue reading

Board of Fire Commissioners Approves 2018 OIFR Budget

— by Susan McBain, Orcas Issues reporter — The Board of Fire Commissioners of Orcas Island Fire & Rescue (OIFR) held its regularly monthly meeting on Nov. 20. Commissioners Barbara Bedell, Tim Fuller, Wes Heinmiller, and Amanda Montague and Chief Scott Williams were present. • Chief Williams presented the final … Continue reading

OPALCO Linemen Work Dark to Dark to Bring Back the Light 55 MPH winds swept power outages across San Juan Islands

— from Suzanne Olson for OPALCO — Sunday, November 26th was a long day for OPALCO linemen, engineers and staff members. A big wind storm knocked down transmission poles on Shaw at around 3:15 a.m. cutting off power to Shaw, Orcas, Crane, and Blakely for more than 20 hours and … Continue reading

OPALCO Restores Power After Sunday Outage Two power poles broken and replaced on Shaw

— from — Sunday, November 26th @ 11:05 pm: Power restored. UPDATE: Sunday, Nov 26th @ 7:15pm: The OPALCO crew now estimates power restoration for Orcas, Shaw, Blakely and Crane by 10:00 pm tonight. They have installed two new transmission poles and restrung wire on seven spans – about … Continue reading