News from Hughes: Looking Ahead Trails, Orca protection and partnerships top the list

— by Margie Doyle — In recent days County Councilman Rick Hughes from Orcas Island has looked at the year ahead and announced his plans and “pipedreams” for the coming year. Relieved to sit back from the chairmanship of the three-person Council, Hughes says he’s re-energized to be an advocate … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Public Meets to Discuss Proposed Deer Harbor Parking

— from Terry Neill — The Jan. 13 meeting concerning the Deer Harbor parking plan was attended by about 70 people in addition to Councilman Rick Hughes, County Engineer Colin Huntemer and half a dozen other county employees. As the meeting opened there were handouts on each chair containing the … Continue reading

Editorial Reprise: Not a Time for Keeping Silent on Climate Change A call to cooperative action

— by Katie Wilkins, originally published Feb. 15, 2017 — I have wanted to write this for a long time. I have waited because I didn’t know how to fit a topic as large as climate change into few enough words. But as the price of saying nothing grows higher, … Continue reading

Editorial Reprise: Women of Orcas! We Can Do It!

— from Donna Riordan, Anne Bertino, Martha Fuller, originally posted on January 6, 2017 — Rosie the Riveter used to say, “We Can Do It!” Since the November [2016] election, women across the country have been organizing in new ways to ensure that our voices are heard. Here on Orcas, we’re … Continue reading

Guest Column: Courageous Work of Women Continues

— by Cindy Wolf — As evening falls this Solstice, the lights in the village windows remind me that islands of warmth and camaraderie are that much more precious when the world feels cold and dark. The increasingly hostile rhetoric coming from the White House and contempt for democracy shown … 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

Guest Opinion: Thoughts on Affordable Housing "At all cost we must maintain the rural aspect of Orcas"

— by Walt Corbin — Sitting down here in palm tree land and seeing the never ending forecasts of rains and flooding in the NW Pacific removes me a bit from the affordable housing problems that San Juan County faces. So, I am not sure I am one to really … Continue reading

Representative Larsen Statement on Republican Tax Plan ‘the House Republican tax plan does little more than stack the decks for the wealthiest Americans’

— from the office of Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) — Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) issued the following statement on Nov. 16 after voting no on the House Republican tax plan: “The House Republican tax plan does little more than stack the decks for the wealthiest Americans. “Americans deserve better. Americans … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: School Observes Veterans Day

— from Tom and Karen Ritter — A tribute to the military veterans of the United States of America was conducted on Thursday November 9th at Orcas Island Public School. This special event has been conducted for five years and each time it becomes more dramatic and “professional.” Early this … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Beyond the Eastsound Vision Survey Directing future efforts

— by B. Sadie Bailey — I just took the Eastsound Vision survey on Saturday, November 4, a day before the Nov. 5 deadline; primarily because, as a gardener, I had no large chunk of time or mental energy to devote to it until it snowed the other day. When … Continue reading

Have You Taken the Eastsound Vision Survey Yet?

–from Paul Kamin — Sunday November 5th is the last day that Orcas residents have to take or complete the online survey that is posted at The survey is an initiative of the volunteer Eastsound Planning and Review Committee (EPRC). It has been designed to get community feedback on … Continue reading

Editorial: Local Pride Requires Local Support of Schools

— by Margie Doyle — The Chamber of Commerce got it right when it honored three local businessmen with the Community Service Award for 2017. Tony Ghazel, Scott Lancaster and Chris Sutton all have island “day jobs” that demand their time, energy and revenues. Yet they consistently step up to … Continue reading

Chamber of Commerce Awards Honor Community “Doers”

–– by Susan McBain, Orcas Issues reporter — The Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce held its 2017 Annual Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26. Besides the usual good food, mingling, door prizes, and information on what’s been happening at the Chamber, the meeting featured the Chamber’s much-anticipated annual awards. Here are … Continue reading