Fire on the Island Last Night – UPDATED Story Cabin fire near Orcas Landing extinguished with help from San Juan Island crews

— from Marla Johns, Public Information Officer, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue — UPDATE: 3:30 p.m., July 25: Orcas Island Fire crews have been on scene of the Minnow Creek Fire since approximately 3 a.m.  Crews from San Juan Fire and Department of Natural Resources responded and assisted in the extinguishment … Continue reading

Gov. Inslee Comments on Historic Health Care Vote Statement issued in advance of the Senate vote

— from Washington State Governor Jay Inslee — “It’s inconceivable that any of our nation’s leaders think our health care system will be improved by ripping away health care from 22 million Americans and vastly increasing the costs for millions more. “President Trump promised Americans he would improve our health … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Planning an Afterthought to County Leaders?

— by Walt Corbin — There appears to be little concern on the part of County leadership in addressing the matter of future planning for the County, as required under the Growth Management Act. Unfortunately many citizens are complacently comfortable in the warm waters of summer, not realizing that the … Continue reading

Canada to Study Ship Noise Effects on Orcas in Haro Strait

 — from Port Technology International — Fifty-three marine shipping industry organizations have committed to participate in a first-of-its-kind voluntary study focusing on the relationship between slower vessel speeds, underwater noise levels and effects on killer whales. Between August 7 and October 6, 2017, the speed of participating vessels will be … Continue reading

Fire Commission Meeting Focuses on Propane Tank Safety Issues Regular meeting dominated by neighbors concerned for safety

— by Susan McBain — The “hot topic” for the July 17 meeting of the Orcas Board of Fire Commissioners wasn’t on the agenda. The public wanted to talk about Inter-Island Propane’s proposed location of a 30,000-gallon propane tank on Aeroview Lane near Seaview St., and the capacity of Orcas … Continue reading

Ferries Now Operating on Four-boat Emergency Schedule No new vehicle reservations being taken at this time

— from Washington State Ferries — [Ed. Note: See earlier stories on recent ferry delays] Because of a generator failure on the M/V Yakima, the Anacortes/San Juan Islands/Sidney, BC route is operating on a four-boat emergency schedule until another vessel can join the route and restore it to a full … Continue reading

Letter to Editor | It’s Time to Deal With This Gentle-eyed Island Menace

— from Emery Rhodes — Deer. They are here, there, and everywhere. Day and night these normally nocturnal animals are now out searching for anything tasty and tender. After dusk their numbers increase, they veritably turn the San Juan Islands into Deer Zombie Islands, wreaking havoc and occasionally attacking innocent … Continue reading

Roll Out Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Olga Daze of Summer

Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m., Downtown Olga — from Lorna Rhodes — Olga Daze festivities will begin in front of the Community Club at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 15th. The day will be better than ever this year, with something for everyone. Come for breakfast at the Bake Sale, … Continue reading

County and WSF Show Off New Orcas Landing Lots of work still to do on Park and Ride and Landing improvements

— by Margie Doyle — State Transportation/Ferries officials joined County executives and staff to celebrate the revamped Orcas ferry landing on Tuesday, July 11. Lots of changes have been made, and there are lots more to come. They also toured ongoing work on the future Park and Ride lot up … Continue reading

The Exchange Introduces Management Team

— from Orcas Recycling Services — Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) is pleased to introduce a stellar management team for the new Exchange reuse center. Jeff Ludwig has accepted the position of Exchange Manager; Peg O’Hara will assist as retail and merchandising consultant; and Jim “Duff” Duffield will act as volunteer coordinator. … Continue reading

School District Holds Public Hearing on State Education Budget How new formulae will affect local school still to be determined

— by Margie Doyle — Orcas Island School District Business Manager Keith Whitaker presented his initial analysis of the recent State Budget and its provisions for funding “Basic Education” in compliance with the McLeary Decision, in a written report at the Board’s Special Meeting on Tuesday, July 11. He responded … Continue reading

Public Hearing Scheduled on Vacation Rental Code Amendments

Friday, July 21, 8:45 a.m., County Council Chambers — from San Juan County Communications — The San Juan County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on proposed amendments to the vacation rental and code enforcement provisions of the San Juan County Code. The hearing will begin on or after … Continue reading

Editorial: Safeguard the Seaview Neighborhood Families, OPAL's first neighborhood put at risk

— by Margie Doyle — (Disclosure: I live across the street from 27 Aeroview in a lot also zoned Service/Light Industrial. My husband has lived on the island since 1982 and in this house since 1989). I’ve always loved living on Orcas, because for good or ill, you know most … Continue reading

Orcas School Board Ups Lunch Prices, Hears from Juvenile Court Rep. District receives nearly $63,000 in grant funding

— by Ayn Gailey — [Note: This article has been updated to clarify the school lunch price increase.]* Classes and graduation ceremonies may have wrapped, but the OISD School Board, none of whom take compensation for their services, keeps on working. At the June 22 regular board meeting, Principal Kyle … Continue reading

County Health Dept. to Present at Community Meeting What is the future of health care in the San Juan Islands?

Thursday, June 29, 6 p.m., Senior Center — from Mark Mayer — What is the future of healthcare in the San Juan Islands? Director of San Juan County Health and Community Services, Mark Tompkins, and Ellen Wilcox, Community Health Services Manager, will be detailing the mission, responsibilities, programs and efforts … Continue reading

Library Opens Henigson Wing Expansion to All of Orcas Henigsons among many acknowledged for successful completion of project

— by Margie Doyle, updated June 25 at 10 a.m. — Historic crowds attended the dedication of the Henigson Family Wing, the “Next Chapter” expansion of the Orcas Island Public Library on June 23, 2017. Director Phil Heikkinen proudly and happily greeted the hordes of islanders on a sun-soaked afternoon, … Continue reading