Climate Action Rally and Solutions Fair

Salish Sea Stands for Climate Action Rally and Solutions Fair!

Join your community on Saturday, April 29 in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in solidarity with Climate Movement marches throughout the world.

  • When: April 29, 2917
  • Where: San Juan County Courthouse Steps, Friday Harbor WA
  • Time: 12 pm – 1:30 pm

The People’s Climate Movement and Mobilization is part of a larger strategy to push back on Trump’s agenda of climate denial and fossil fuel expansion, and show we support real climate solutions here in the San Juan Islands.

Share your energy, creativity, and leadership to promote climate and clean energy solutions in the islands and resist fossil fuel infrastructure projects. This is our best chance of continuing to keep playing offense, even as we defend everything this administration wants to take away. This is an inter-island event, and planned around the inter-island ferry.

Local speakers on the topics of energy production, conservation, food, transportation, soil health, and other topics will discuss initiatives to reduce climate impacts starting at noon. Then stretch your legs for a march around Friday Harbor in solidarity with other communities around the world. The march will end at an electric vehicle car show and solutions fair.

If we want to build the future we need, it will require us mobilizing to make change.

For more information call Friends of the San Juans at 360-378-2319 and visit

Locker Room Remodel

Friday Harbor High School’s Turnbull Gym Locker Room Remodel to begin April 12, 2017

San Juan Island School District is excited to announce the start of the Turnbull Gym locker room remodel. The demolition and construction phase of the long awaited re-model and refurbishment of the Turnbull Gym locker rooms will officially begin on Wednesday, April 12th. This project is scheduled to be completed by the middle of August so that it does not interfere with next year’s curriculum or sport schedules.

The Turnbull Gym remodel bid was awarded to H.B. Hansen Construction, Inc., from Lynden Washington.

After April 12th gym access will be limited to the weight room area for weight training classes only. Island Rec activities that are usually scheduled for Turnbull Gym will continue in the Friday Harbor High School’s Hall Gym. Middle School and High School PE classes will take place also in Hall Gym or outside during favorable weather. During inclement spring weather, high school Baseball and Fastpitch practice will take place in Hall Gym as well.

Ralph Hahn, SJISD Board Chair, said, “We are looking forward to completing the Turnbull Gym Locker room remodel. The district is very thankful to the community for support for this project through the Capital and Technology Levy.”

Questions may be directed to Garret Holmes, SJISD Facility Manager, (360) 370-7902.

FRIENDS’ New Video

New video highlights how healthy shorelines can adjust to rising seas, protecting habitat and property.

Sea level rise and climate change: they’re what coastal communities around the globe are increasingly talking about and feeling the impacts of. Forward-thinking individuals and governments are taking steps to prepare.

In San Juan County, the most likely impacts associated with sea level rise are higher water levels, high tides and increased frequency and magnitude of coastal flooding and erosion events. Many places in the San Juans, especially low lying shoreline roads, are already impacted by coastal erosion and flooding.

Beach habitat for recreation, shellfish and forage fish spawning will also be lost in a process known as the “coastal squeeze” – when hard armoring prevents the beach from naturally adjusting landward in response to rising seas, causing the beach to be under water even at lower tides.

Friends of the San Juans’ new video called “Planning for the Future: Benefits of Restoration” documents the approach one family took when undertaking a major redevelopment of their property.

“When we were looking at our options for redeveloping our property, one of the things we took into account was sea level rise. We wanted to get rid of the big seawall and make sure both the house and beach would be around in 100 years. By moving the house back, we were able to restore the beach for now and the future,” said John and Maia Vechey, who are spotlighted in the new video.

This beach restoration project was funded by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the private landowner.

To view the video and for more for information, visit the Friends of the San Juans website.

“Everyone can play a proactive role addressing the projected increases in erosion and flood hazards—whether as individuals or as a community in terms of public infrastructure and the siting of new development. How we adapt will impact how our shorelines look and function for generations to come,” said Tina Whitman, Friends’ Science Director.

The Great Islands Clean-Up

Land Bank - Contributed photo
Land Bank – Contributed photo

Litter-Free by the Sea: The Great Islands Clean-Up on Earth Day (April 22)

Mark your calendars – it is time for the 2017 Great Islands Clean-Up, the annual county-wide spring-cleaning event, during which volunteers collect litter from public beaches and roadways. This year, the clean-up will be held on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.

During last year’s event, approximately 450 islanders collected almost 5000 pounds of litter. And things looked pretty spiffy! But sadly, sometimes our refuse continues to end up as litter. Thoughtless tossing of bottles, cans, food wrappers, or cigarette butts; accidental “blowing away” of debris from unsecured loads on boats and trucks; or deliberate dumping of tires, etc., all contribute to the need to make litter pick-up an ongoing effort.

Many businesses on the islands have been supportive – particularly San Juan Sanitation, who always provides collection for the event. This year multiple organizations have joined the effort – including the town of Friday Harbor, Washington State Ferries, the Orcas Chamber of Commerce, San Juan Islands Leave No Trace, and Friends of the San Juans.

All islanders are encouraged to help pick up the accumulated trash so that residents and visitors alike are treated to a litter-free island where clean roadsides and beaches are the standard.

Want to help?

Free bags, grabbers, safety vests and gloves will be available on San Juan Island at the County Public Works office at 915 Spring Street during the week before the event, and on the other islands the day of the event. Pick-up of collected litter will be at various places on each island; check with your island’s organizer for that information. 

More info and photos below –  Continue reading The Great Islands Clean-Up

Awaken Your Inner Healer

Free Presentation: Awaken Your Inner Healer

Stephanie Prima – Contributed photo

Despite what the medical system tells you, there are many things you can do naturally to move you towards the wellbeing and health you desire.

Learn how to “Awaken Your Inner Healer: Simple Strategies to Heal Yourself from Inside Out” on Monday, April 10th from 5:15 to 6:30pm, at the San Juan Island Library meeting room with Stephanie Prima. This event is free to the public.

In this presentation, Stephanie will share three specific tools she has used to activate her innate healing as well as insights she has learned along her journey in holistically healing from cancer.

This event is not sponsored by the San Juan Island Library. 

Email questions to

7th Annual Procession of the Species

On Saturday, April 22, Lopez Island Conservation Corps (LICC) invites the community to join in on the seventh annual Procession of the Species. The Procession kicks off promptly at 3:30 pm, so plan to arrive at 3:00 to get set up.

To participate in the procession, all you need is a costume or adornments that display any living thing–animal, plant, fungus–wearable while walking. Only three rules govern costumes: please, no written words; no motors; and no living animals. This is a free, all-ages event, rain or shine, and open to all members of the public.

Need help creating your costume? In partnership with the school, LICC is sponsoring a costume-making workshop in the school’s Art Room on Saturday April 15 from 10 am- 2 pm. A LICC representative will be on site to advise, assist, and provide art materials to bring your creativity to life. Children must be accompanied by their parents.

As it did last year, the Procession will begin and end at Lopez Village Water Tower Park. Animal costumes and accessories will be available before the parade, for those who haven’t had the chance to make their own but still wish to participate. Spectators are also very welcome!

This Earth Day celebration is sponsored by the Lopez Island Conservation Corps (LICC) and Lopez Island Prevention Coalition (LIPC). For more information about this event contact: Erin Licata, erin [@]

Wolf Hollow to Resume Marine Mammal Rehab Program

“Nootka”, a Pacific Harbor Seal pup in rehab – Wolf Hollow WRC photo

Resuming rehabilitation for harbor seal pups has been a top priority for Wolf Hollow since the temporary suspension of its marine mammal program in 2016, primarily due to a lack of funding. After many months of diligent work to assess facility needs and raise funds, Wolf Hollow recently announced they will be accepting injured harbor seal pups again this summer. 

Historically, facility and rehabilitation costs (an average of $40k per year) have been largely funded by NOAA’s John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Grant. As with any grant program, funding is not guaranteed. In 2015 and 2016, Wolf Hollow’s proposals were not selected for funding. There were also some facility items to address to get back up and running.

“It wasn’t an easy hurdle to clear, but we had a lot of help,” said Amy Saxe-Eyler, Wolf Hollow’s Executive Director. “By the end of March, we reached our goal to obtain enough private donations to prepare our facilities and feel comfortable about committing to resuming our program this summer. We’re so grateful for the support we’ve received from our donors, volunteers and marine mammal community partners like the San Juan and Whatcom County Marine Mammal Stranding Networks, NOAA and other state wildlife facilities. This is a strong network of people committed to the health of the animals.” Continue reading Wolf Hollow to Resume Marine Mammal Rehab Program

‘Terrestrial Managers’ Meet, Compare Notes, and Share Resources

Just one of many places represented at the Terrestrial Managers Meeting, Mt. Young in English Camp – Tim Dustrude photo

Managers of conservation lands in the county met Thursday and Friday at the Grange, in their sixth annual meeting to compare notes and collaborate. Their breaks were not called coffee breaks or restroom breaks, but “networking breaks.”

Representatives of the National Historical Park, the San Juan Islands National Monument, the State Parks, the Department of Natural Resources, County Parks, the Land Bank, the San Juan Preservation Trust, the Conservation District, and others stretch their resources by working together and making use of volunteers.

These face-to-face meetings help them know the person they’re talking with when they pick up the phone and ask for — or offer — help.

None of the agencies has the resources to accomplish all that they need to with paid employees alone, so there was considerable interest shown in finding and sharing volunteer workers, many of them young adults and teens trained by the Youth Conservation Corps and other groups.

One of the main areas of emphasis for the meeting was a joint effort to assess impacts to natural areas, and to explore potential options for accommodating increasing demand for these special places.

Another major concern is how to provide more camping opportunities in the county. Dona Wuthnow, director of County Parks, with campgrounds on Shaw, Lopez, and San Juan, and provision for campers at the fairgrounds, said when they opened camping reservations for this year “we filled up Memorial Day weekend by early afternoon.”

Lex Fredy, superintendent of the National Park, reported that the group campsite at English Camp is now under construction, and “we are exploring what [additional] kind of camping we might be able to develop.”

Dean Washington, Lummi elder and master canoe builder, encouraged those present to “listen to one another,” and that did seem to be their goal.

The group, which is chaired by Land Bank director Lincoln Bormann, meets annually, and many expressed appreciation of the benefits to their agencies of this regular collaboration.

By Louise Dustrude

Library Love and Fun Factoids

SJI Library circa 1922 – Photo courtesy Margaret Nash

The San Juan Historical Society and Museum shares the April 2017 edition of their History Column…

This month we salute the San Juan Island Library in recognition of National Library Week, which will be April 9-15. This year’s theme is “Libraries Transform” and we can certainly say that’s true on an island. Recently, a detailed history of the Library, written by Lynn Weber/Roochvarg, was published on History Link. We thank her for inspiring this short list of interesting facts about our Library’s locations throughout history, as found in her article.

  • Beginning in the 1890s, Washington state’s free traveling libraries provided books to islanders. Books on loan were stored in the County Clerk’s office in the Courthouse on Spring Street until a larger space was needed.
  • In 1922, a private/public library next to the drugstore was sponsored by the American Legion and its auxiliary, so the County Clerk got his office back. Pictured is a news clipping photo from about 1922, courtesy of Margaret Nash.
  • When you attend a meeting of Town Council, you are in the next old library building. The Library moved there in 1936, sharing the new building with the Town of Friday Harbor.
  • In 1982, legislation allowed for island junior taxing districts and the former Shrimp Boat restaurant on Guard Street was purchased and remodeled as a library. When this current library building opened, 4,800 books had been relocated in a massive community effort.

Even though a library is most often thought of as a building, we know the heart of it all is its librarians, support staff, and volunteers. To all of them, we send appreciation during Library Week and every week.

3D Printing is now available at your Library!

After a few months of staff experiments and training, the San Juan Island Library is now offering 3D printing for public use. We have created items ranging from semi-useful (soap dish, cardholder, plastic bag carrier, fly swatter, cookie cutter) to ridiculously cute (cat ring, gnomes, dragons and the ever-popular and much-needed cork pig).
To request that an item be printed patrons will need to fill out both an Agreement Form and a 3D Printing Request Form, both of which can be found on the website and also next to the printer at the Library. There is a handy FAQs sheet for people wanting more information.
Wanting to submit a request but don’t know what to print? Try finding already designed items at Thingiverse, save the files in an .stl format and you are all set. If you want to create your own design try TinkerCad. People can request one item file per week at a cost of $1.00 regardless of the success of the printing. This helps cover the staff and material costs associated with 3D printing.
The San Juan Island Library sees digital literacy as an important part of its mission, and is proud to add 3-D printing to its existing literacy programs such as Tech Tuesdays, Rock Island Seminars and ongoing computer classes.
Need that missing chess piece or a new Star Trek Insignia Badge? (oh, wait- that’s just me…) Well you know where to ‘Boldly Go.’ Drop in and join us in this exciting new endeavor! 
For more information, visit the San Juan Island Library at 1010 Guard Street or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Our website offers streaming movies, downloadable eBooks and audiobooks, and a wide range of online databases and access to all of our collections. Questions? Call us at 360-378-2798


Another Aviation Field Trip

Tour group in the maintenance hangar with a F-18 – Contributed photo

Mari Peterson, Assistant Chief Pilot at Westwind Aviation shares this with you…

Hi San Juan Update,

Took my students on another class trip on Sunday the 2nd, this time to the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station! Here’s the run down:

Myself (in Westwind Aviation’s Cessna 172, donated by Westwind Aviation) and four volunteer pilots (Bob Tauscher in his Cessna 172, Dennis Willows in his Glasair, James Cox in his Bonanza, and Darryl Swenson in his Light Sport Aircraft) flew the seven students (and my STEM counterpart Derek Smith) from the Friday Harbor Airport to the Oak Harbor Airport on Whidbey Island. There we were met by four Navy personnel who escorted us onto the base.

These four volunteers (Air Traffic Controller Petty Officer 3rd class Elsier, Air Traffic Controller Petty Officer 3rd class Whitson, Air Traffic Controller Petty Officer 2nd class Chrisman, and Air Traffic Controller Petty Officer 1st class Schultz) gave my students and volunteer pilots a guided tour of many different areas of the base. This was a real treat for everyone, because many professional pilots go their entire careers without seeing these kind of operations that are so integral to Aviation as a whole. Whidbey Island NAS controls the airspace surrounding their base, which includes part of the San Juan Islands. All airplanes flying through the area from Lopez Island to Everett talk to the Whidbey Air Traffic Controllers.

The group was able to see the Air Traffic Control Room (Radar Room) and learn about how their Air Traffic Control system operates and how airplanes are observed from their point of view. The students were able to see a few different types of approaches that are conducted there and what services are available to both military and general aviation pilots. No photos were allowed in the Radar Room. Continue reading Another Aviation Field Trip

Design a License Plate for the SJ Islands!

San Juan Islands Specialty Plate Design Initiative

What is this all about? 
This initiative encourages the public to help create and select a specialty license plate that will generate funds on an annual basis for the conservation and stewardship of natural, agricultural, historic and cultural resources in the San Juan Islands. 

Who is running this effort? 
The Terrestrial Managers Group, a chartered organization representing all of the land management organizations, came up with the idea. Working with the Madrona Institute, the initiative will progress through 2017 to complete the steps needed for Sen. Kevin Ranker to introduce a license plate bill to the legislature in January 2018. 

How does the plate generate money? 
The San Juan Islands specialty license plate will be offered by the Washington Department of Licensing as an alternative to the state’s regular vehicle plate. It will be issued to those who ask for it and voluntarily pay an additional fee of $28 which is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution on both the original purchase and renewals. Two additional dollars are charged by the Department of Licensing for administering the program. 

How much money will it generate? 
Continue reading Design a License Plate for the SJ Islands!

Find Your Calm

Stephanie Prima – Contributed photo

Here’s a message from Stephanie Prima…

You’re working in a stressful job, taking care of kids, aging parents, or all of the above. You’re helping out a few non-profits here and there, and fighting your unsettling anxiety and frustration with our country’s current political mess. It seems like you’re getting less and less done, feeling pretty worn out, and barely hanging on by your fingernails. Does that about sum it up?

I know what that feels like because I’ve been there. But I found something that has helped me improve my focus, my energy, my sleep, and my overall well-being. It’s moving meditation, and that’s why I created a class called FIND YOUR CALM. The class is on Mondays, beginning April 17, 5:15 – 6:30, and runs for 6 weeks. This spring session will be held at the lovely Island Art Collective, top floor of the Cannery Landing, 100 Front Street.

Yah, I know, you think you can’t meditate because your brain won’t calm down. That’s the point of ‘moving’; it’s much easier to reach that peaceful state when you’re focusing on the simple, gentle moves that I’ll teach you, and the sensations in your body.

In fact, it feels so luscious, you’ll find yourself actually setting aside time to do it because my intention is for you to have these simple tools to use on your own, anytime, anywhere. And with regular practice, you’ll learn to focus better so you get more done; prioritize to spend your precious time on the things that are most important in your life; energize your life force so you can get through the day without feeling depleted; and improve your general outlook on life. Moving meditation offers all the things that traditional meditation does, but I find it to be much more gratifying – but of course, I’m biased.

If you’re ready to take control of your life and your health, you can register by going to this link and clicking on FIND YOUR CALM. The session is $97.

Email me or call if you have questions,
Outreach [@] 360.317.1448.

No ‘ohm,’ just ‘A-h-h-h.’

Spotted Wing Drosophila Workshop

Click to enlarge

Spotted Wing Drosophila is a new pest threat to Blueberries, Strawberries, Cherries and Plumbs in the San Juan Islands.

Drosophila suzukii, commonly known as Spotted Wing Drosophila or SWD, is of concern to home gardeners and commercial producers. SWD is unique because it lays eggs inside ripening fruit. The maggots hatch from these eggs and feed inside fruit accelerating decay. It is considered a serious threat to fruit, especially berry crops, and this pest is particularly difficult to manage, especially on crops ripening after July. This workshop will give you tools to identify and manage SWD.

Free Workshop – Learn to identify SWD, set traps and available organic controls.

Presentation by Dr. Bev Gerdemen, WSU Mount Vernon

April 6th, 11:00am to 1:00pm
San Juan County WSU Extension
Skagit Valley College Community Room
221 Weber Way, Friday Harbor

Sponsored by Master Gardener Foundation of San Juan County and San Juan County WSU Extension

To register:

Round Towner

Here’s a letter from Curt VanHyning in the mailbag today…

Dear Editor,

Can you imagine being unable to get to your medical appointments, pharmacy, grocery store or community events? Neither can we so in 2013 we formed the non-profit shuttle service RoundTowner to serve low-income seniors, elderly and disabled rural residents of our county.

At $3.00 per ride, we are the only affordable, subsidized transportation in the Friday Harbor area. Without county, town or other government support, we can continue to exist only due to the generous donations of our neighbors, service organizations and the United Way. We are fortunate to receive volunteer time, and the commitment of veteran drivers. The United Way grant will cover most of our liability insurance for the year.

Feel free to contact us at curt [@] with suggestions or questions. Phone 298-6108 for a ride in the Friday Harbor area.

Curt VanHyning, Chair

Whale Museum Volunteer Open House

The Whale Museum is holding an open house for anyone interested in volunteering. If you have some spare time and are interested in our marine ecosystem, the museum has something for everyone! The program will take place on April 11. Drop by anytime between 5:30 and 7 pm. Museum staff and volunteer managers will be available to discuss volunteer opportunities and answer questions. Light refreshments will be served.  

On-site volunteer opportunities include becoming a docent to educate visitors about marine mammals and assisting with collections care and digitization. Off-site opportunities include Soundwatch, which educates boaters on the water, and the Stranding Network, which protects and studies distressed marine mammals. For more information, email Museum Curator Rebekah Cousins at or call (360) 378-4710 ext. 31. 

The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. In addition to providing exhibits, the Museum also provides programs including: the Orca Adoption Program, Soundwatch Boater Education, Marine Naturalist Training, San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline. The Whale Museum can be found online at


EDC offers free workshop on communication skills using SuperConnectivity

Effective and powerful communication can help build companies and careers. It’s a critical component of enduring success in today’s competitive business world. Whether a face-to-face conversation or well-written e-mail, a meaningful and well delivered message establishes a connection that creates a powerful impression with customers and colleagues.  Join the San Juan County Economic Development Council for a FREE workshop on the topic of improving communication skills using SuperConnectivity™, on Wednesday, April 12th from 9:15-10:15 on Orcas Island.  Advance registration is required.

The keys to effective communication in business are self-awareness, using appropriate mediums, surgical use of connective language, directness, and simplicity. Noted management consultant and author, Mike Sanders will show the class how to communicate powerfully, effectively and fast. Free handouts and “SuperConnectivity Certification” are included.

Details:  Wednesday, April 12th from 9:15-10:15 at Russell’s Landing on Orcas Island.  FREE workshop; advance registration is required.  Please call 360-378-2906 to reserve your space, or email:

The EDC thanks Orcas Island Market, San Juan County government, our ports, Heritage Bank, Islanders Bank and the Department of Commerce for their support of this workshop. 

Garden Club Excursion to Evergreen Arboretum

What is a Nativar? Join us and learn about the latest craze in gardening – Nativars- improved cultivars of native plants. Breeders have taken natives and tweaked them to bloom longer, grow tidier, have more colorful foliage and be more disease resistant.

  • Date: April 15, 2017
  • Location: Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens
  • Time: Eastbound 8:00AM ferry
  • Westbound 8:20 PM ferry
  • Cost: $45

Includes: Transportation only. Not included: Food and driver gratuity

Reservations required prior to April 11th. To register contact:

Kathie Forsyth at 360-378-5071
Vonnie Harold at (360) 298-0859 or

For more information check out


SSIS Scholarship Dinner & Auction

Scholarship dinner and auction for Spring Street International School on Friday, May 5 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at Friday Harbor House, 130 West Street, Friday Harbor. 

The evening will feature a gourmet dinner of locally sourced ingredients by Friday Harbor House Executive Chef Jason Aldous. Come experience why local families choose Spring Street International School. Space is limited to 60 guests.

RSVP by April 28, 2017 at (360) 378-6393 or jcarlson [@]

$100 per person – Tickets are available in the front office. If you cannot attend, consider a donation by mail or online. All proceeds go to scholarships.

Spring Street International School
505 Spring Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360 378-6393

Pet of the Week

Chappie is this week’s Pet of the Week – Contributed photo

Hello Friday Harbor! My name is Chapito, but my friends here at the animal shelter call me, “Chappie”. I’m far too busy exploring the dog yard here to stop for a photo shoot, but I have lots of time for cuddling, walking, beach-combing and yet-to-be discovered adventures.

I think I would be a huge fan of zip-lining. I can’t say for sure, because I haven’t tried it, but it sure looks like my kind of thing. If you like adventure too, please consider being my new best friend! Call my people here.

Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor
111 Shelter Road
(360) 378-2158

Help Wanted

WaterWorks Gallery, Friday Harbor is seeking 2 ​gallery ​sales ​​assistants. This is a part time position, approx. 35 hours per month, usually working 2 days​ ​week. Applicant must be comfortable in a retail environment​ with sales and people skills​, meeting, greeting clients, being a representative of the gallery. This is a seasonal position running late May or June thru November, depending on the applicants.

Duties include but are not limited to sales, creating displays, interacting with clients, hanging installations of shows, set-up for artist’s openings and talks, computer skills necessary include WORD, familiarity with ACT [a plus] and knowledgeable about online promotions using Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

A positive attitude, sales experience, good grooming and dressing are fundamental for this position. Training for this position will be scheduled based on the ability of the candidate. Starting hourly pay ​dependent on applicant. Please send your resume​, email and phone information​ to the director/founder of the gallery, Ruth Offen, Ruth [@]