OPALCO Board Election Opens April 13 – Meet The Candidates

Bill Severson, Vince Dauciunas and Mark Madsen – Contributed photo

OPALCO is a member-owned cooperative governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the membership. Members will have a chance to vote for two open board positions in the election that opens on April 13th. There are three candidates for the two open positions in District 1 (San Juan, Brown, Henry, Pearl and Spieden islands): Bill Severson, Vince Dauciunas and Mark Madsen. All Co-op members vote in all elections, regardless of their home district.

The three candidates participated in election forums on four islands during the week of March 28th, presenting their campaign platforms and answering questions from members in attendance. In addition, each candidate completed a written Q&A which will be posted online at www.opalco.com/elections. You can also find candidate bios, the Voter’s Guide and a video of the San Juan Island Candidate Forum posted online in OPALCO’s Resource Library (see link above).

Ballots and voting materials will be sent on April 13th to members via email or mail, depending on each member’s stated preference. All ballots must be returned online or by mail before the deadline of Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 10:30 am PDT. Please be aware that there will no longer be any voting on the boat during the annual meeting, in order to have more time for member activities and discussion. Any paper ballots must be mailed in time to meet the May 4th deadline and will not be accepted in OPALCO offices. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting.

OPALCO will celebrate its 80th Anniversary at the Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 6th aboard a Washington State Ferry. The travel schedule is available online in OPALCO’s Resource Library. Members traveling from San Juan Island must make a reservation by calling 376-3549.

Park Street Sewer & Water Line Replacement Project

The Park Street project, scheduled to begin the week of April 3rd, is in anticipation of other street and sidewalk improvements that are scheduled to begin in May 2017. Improvements are estimated to be completed within sixty (60) calendar days.

The Town awarded the project to Ariston Pacific, Inc. from Bellingham, Washington. The Contractor will be mobilizing equipment on Monday, April 3rd and Tuesday, April 4th. Construction is currently scheduled to begin Wednesday, April 5th. Construction will take place on Park Street between Hillcrest Place and Blair Avenue at these locations:

  • Sewer Main Replacement: From Blair Avenue to Scenic Place;
  • Water Main Replacement: From Price Street to Marguerite Place; and
  • Sidewalk construction: From Price Street to Marguerite Place.

The project includes removal of portions of existing asphalt, trenching and grading in order to install new sewer and water mains. Local access will be maintained at all times during construction, but travelers should expect delays and limited access during certain phases of the project. According to Town Administrator, Duncan Wilson, every effort will be made limit closures and to have both lanes of traffic open in the evenings and on weekends. Continue reading Park Street Sewer & Water Line Replacement Project

An Evening of Poetry

Tod Marshall – Contributed photo

Griffin Bay Bookstore & The San Juan Island Library are celebrating National Poetry Month with Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall on Saturday, April 1st, 7:00 pm at the Library.

Tod Marshall, a poet and professor at Gonzaga University, is the author most recently of Bugle (2014), which won the Washington State Book Award in 2015. He is also the author of two previous collections, Dare Say (2002) and The Tangled Line (2009), and a collection of interviews with contemporary poets, Range of the Possible (2002). He succeeds poets Elizabeth Austen (2014-2016)

The Washington State Poet Laureate serves to build awareness and appreciation of poetry — including the state’s legacy of poetry — through public readings, workshops, lectures, and presentations in geographically diverse areas of the state. The appointed poet laureate serves a two-year term.

Island Senior: Seniors Celebrate the Sixties for Meals on Wheels and More

“Mamas and Papas” Callie Daniel McKay, Gail Leschine-Seitz, Ian Cassinos, and Benjamin Spaulding – Photo Peggy Sue McRae

By Peggy Sue McRae…

It said on the poster “60’s attire encouraged” so I put on my love beads and pinned a peace sign to my jacket before attending the Mullis Center’s, March for Meals to a 60s Beat, a benefit for Meals on Wheels and More. This special lunch was well attended by tie-dye wearing “flower children” of all ages.

Besides being served a delicious lunch we were entertained by live music. Featured musician Paul Arroyo serenaded us through lunch with songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Woody Guthrie, and Buffalo Springfield to name a few. Then as a grand finale the kitchen crew gave us a lively rendition of the Mamas and Papas, California Dreaming. Some of us couldn’t help but sing along.

“Flower Child” Cynthia Olsen – Photo Peggy Sue McRae

I spoke to Julie Meyers, the director of Meals on Wheels and More for both San Juan and Whatcom counties. Meals on Wheels programs have been in the news lately due to the president’s proposed budget cuts. Our program gets about a third of its funding from the federal government, the rest comes from donations, grants, and city or county sources. “The loss of federal funds would be painful,” said Meyers, “and programs would have to be restructured if those funds are cut.” But this, I was told, is not cause for panic. Wendy Stephens, our Senior Services Manager recommends, “Let’s not speculate about what may be.” It is not clear at all that these budget cuts will actually take place. Stephens does not want islanders to worry and has confidence that whatever happens our community will not let our seniors go without meals.

Meyers suggested that it would not hurt to contact your representatives if these programs, both Meals on Wheels and regular senior lunches, are important to you. “Personal letters make a difference, let them know what these programs mean to you.” Other ways to support these programs are to donate money or time by volunteering. There is always a need for drivers, kitchen helpers, and more.

In 1967 the Beatles asked the musical question, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?” Here at the Mullis Center the answer is… yes! We do need you and we will feed you. You don’t even have to be sixty-four.

New Maps for the County

SJC Public Works is very pleased to announce that the Cyclist Map PDFs are now available for download online. They can be found here: Cyclist Maps

These maps will be updated periodically as comments come in and road conditions change. To provide comments for future updates, please send an email to pubwks@sanjuanco.com.

There is also a major update to the County “Recorded Plats, Surveys, & Condos” map

The San Juan County “Recorded Plats, Surveys, & Condos” map was first released in 2014 with very approximate and often erroneous locations of recorded documents. About a year ago, the San Juan County GIS team collaborated with the County Assessor’s Office with a plan to correct and update the data. For eight months, Chris Ledgerwood, Cartographer for the Assessor’s Office, meticulously pinpointed and updated the location of over 5,000 maps one-by-one!

Over 5,000 maps of recorded Surveys, Long Plats, Short Plats, Condominiums, Planned Unit Developments, and Binding Site Plans are located on this map by color-coded pinpoint dots. Click on any dot and scroll down within the pop-up Information Window to find active links to the actual related survey maps as PDF images. Click on the PDF image link and the PDF map will show up in your browser. 

Spreadsheets and GIS shapefiles of the mapped locations (excluding PDF documents) can be downloaded from the San Juan County Open Data website.

Every effort is made to maintain correct and updated data. However, there may be missing documents or mapping errors. Please report questions or data issues to us at sjcgis@sanjuanco.com

Plats, Surveys, & Condos Web Map

WSF Summer Schedule Cover Contest

Calling all high school students: Washington State Ferries is looking for a sunny new look for the summer 2017 sailing schedule. THey want you to create and submit original artwork based on the theme “Summer sightings on the ferry.”

Don’t delay – entries must be received by April 10.

More info and contest rules on the WSDOT Blog.

Best of the Fest!

Do you know anyone in New York? Or anyone who’s going to be in New York this weekend? If so, the Friday Harbor Film Festival would like you to let them know that they are in New York this weekend too showing the Best of the Fest – a one day event with the winning films from last Fall’s FH Film Festival. In their words:

“Join us for a fascinating day of great films and informative discussions. The Friday Harbor Film Festival has selected the “Best of the Fest” from its 2017 Film Festival. All the films to be screened highlight the benefits of taking risks, of stepping out of your comfort zone. Each film will be followed with 15-20 minutes of Q & A, either with the filmmaker or an expert on the subject of the film.”

More info here Best of the Fest.

Taylor 2 Dance Troupe

Photo by Tom Caravaglia

The Taylor 2 dance troupe arrives in Friday Harbor Sunday, April 2 for both a free master dance class for all ages (2:00 pm) and an evening performance (7:30 pm) at San Juan Community Theatre.

One of the “grandfathers” of American modern dance, choreographer Paul Taylor established Taylor 2 in 1993 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world, unhindered by economic or technical limitations. Taylor 2 features six professionals with a particular gift for his style.

Tickets for the evening event are available online at www.sjctheatre.org or at the box office (378-3210). Space is limited for the free dance class; please sign up at the box office.

Taylor 2’s Friday Harbor appearance is partially funded through a grant from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The performance was breathtakingly beautiful, we got numerous responses from patrons young and old about how inspired they were by the artistry, polished technique, and personal audience connection. The program had something for everyone –the balletic Aureole, then dramatic and angst ridden contemporary The Uncommitted, and the playful but poignant Company B. Wow!” ~ Heidi Ehle, Assistant Director, Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, East Tennessee University.

Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Rest

The League of Women Voters of the San Juans will hold its April Membership meeting on Monday, April 10 at the San Juan Island Library Meeting Room from 12:00n to 2:00pm. Entitled “Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Rest” the meeting will focus on possible changes in government policy and funding in light of a new administration, and what we may need to plan for in San Juan County.

If you are wondering what effect new laws and policies will have on you, your family, and our community, come hear what insights local officials have to give about government funding and policy. This is a chance to ask your questions and discuss your concerns with the people entrenched in the work.

The meeting format will be a panel discussion followed by questions from the audience. Our panelists will be San Juan County Auditor Milene Henley, speaking about federal funds coming to the county; Washington State Arts Commissioner Diane Martindale, speaking about the arts and public broadcasting; San Juan County Land Bank Director Lincoln Bormann, speaking about the EPA and related environmental issues; Peace Island Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer Merry-Ann Keane will speak on Health Care and Health Insurance; SJI Family Resource Center Director Jennifer Armstrong will speak on Social Safety Net Programs.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Please join us.

Volunteer of the Month

Emily Volkmann is the APS-FH Volunteer of the Month – Contributed photo

The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor is happy to announce that Emily Volkmann is the Volunteer of the Month for March.

Emily has been a loyal volunteer for several months and spends every Monday morning at the animal shelter walking dogs, cuddling cats, and assisting where needed.

Thanks so much, Emily for making a difference in the lives of homeless animals. Your dedication and hard work is greatly appreciated!

Happening This Weekend

Julie Hagn of Isle Seat Theater reminds you this is coming to town this weekend…

Mod Carousel is bringing an evening of tantalizing tease with a mix of both classical and neo burlesque flavors to Friday Harbor!

Mod Carousel is a multidisciplinary boylesque collective featuring the talents of Paris Original, Trojan Original, the Luminous Pariah, and Moscato Extatique. Paris Original and Trojan Original are no strangers to the islands, having performed at SJCT in La Danse de la Mer’s Winter Carnivale for the past 6 years.

The core troupe is joined by striptease guest stars Seraphina Fiero, The One The Only Inga, and the vocal powerhouse Caela Bailey. All highly trained artists, Mod Carousel offers what is sure to be an unforgettable evening of song and dance, comedy and glamour, and world class striptease.

Mod Carousel has performed continuously since their founding in 2010. With over 50 international shows in Europe and Australia and countless U.S. performances under their “belts”, Mod Carousel shows no signs of stopping their antics any time soon!

Join them for any of three performances offered:

  • March 31st 7:00PM
  • April 1st at 6:30 PM
  • April 1st at 8:30 PM

Continue reading Happening This Weekend

Open House at Sun Rise II

A few of the houses at Sun Rise II Neighborhood – Jim Maya photo

All are welcome to an Open House at Sun Rise II, the newest San Juan Community Home Trust neighborhood, on Sunday, April 2nd from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Sun Rise II is the third Home Trust neighborhood of permanently affordable homes, preceded by the Salal neighborhood on Carter Avenue (2006) and the Sun Rise I neighborhood (2011) located on Grover Street and nearly adjacent to Sun Rise II.

While Salal and Sun Rise I were new construction projects, Sun Rise II is comprised of early to mid-century homes rescued from demolition in Victoria B.C. and barged to San Juan Island. They were placed on new foundations and renovated, so they feel like new.

The charming Sun Rise II homes will be on view during this special, public open house on Sunday. Light refreshments will be offered along with tours of all of the homes.

Directions to Sun Rise II: Drive east on Grover Street past the Elementary School until almost reaching the turn-around; turn right a few feet beyond the Sun Rise I parking lot onto the newly constructed asphalt road. Sun Rise II is at the south end of the road on the right.

Spring Break Workshop for Kids at SJCT

Island youngsters have a chance to explore Adventures in Theatre as part of their spring break fun in April.

San Juan Community Theatre’s Theatre Arts for Kids program is offering two sessions for elementary school age children from Monday through Friday, April 10-14. FHHS & FHMS Drama Director Jenni Merritt and vocal coach Jamie Mountford will lead the classes, where kids will play theater games and act out familiar stories through movement and character explorations. 

Students in grades kindergarten through 2nd grade may attend the morning class from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; a class for kids in grades 3rd to 5th is scheduled from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Both classes will be at the PARC Studio, 70 Saltspring Drive off Beaverton Valley Road.

Registration for the class is required; the cost for each workshop is $75 per session (limited to 10 students). Scholarships are available for students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. For more information, contact Bobby Ryan at EAD@sjctheatre.org.

Easter Basket Sale

Peace Island Volunteers have assembled Easter Baskets filled with loads of goodies – and will be selling them at very affordable prices – for young and old. The baskets are chocked full of delightful surprises, and each has a theme such as pets, kids, gardening, spa, baby, get well, or hostess gifts, as well as baskets specific to Cancer Care patients.

The baskets will be for sale in the main lobby of Peace Island Medical Center on Friday, April 7, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Don’t miss out!

Proceeds from the sale of the baskets will go toward the purchase of Chemo Comfort Kits for chemotherapy patients at Peace Island Medical Center. 

Peace Island Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) organization, overseeing many projects at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, including:

  • Angel Fund for medical emergencies not covered by insurance
  • Cancer Care caps, lap blankets, mitts, Chemo Comfort Kits
  • Holiday decorations
  • In House Volunteers who staff the reception desk and support visiting physicians
  • “Peace Path” trail
  • Stuffed animals & small toys to comfort young ED patients

Funding for these projects is obtained through dues, donations, and fund raising events.

For more information, email us at peaceislandvolunteers@gmail.com.

Job Opening at the Port

The Port of Friday Harbor is seeking an energetic person to work on the Maintenance Team during our busy summer season. This is a temporary grounds keeping and janitorial position, 40 hours/week for 5 months, 5/1–9/30.  Hourly wage $16-$19 depending on experience and eligible for Washington State Retirement benefits. A complete job description and application is on the Port’s website www.portfridayharbor.org  For questions contact Tami Hayes at (360) 378-2688

Connector Road Open House

Click to enlarge (Note this drawing has been rotated so North is at top)

San Juan County Public Works is hosting a Connector Road Open House on Wednesday April 12th at the San Juan Island Fire Station, 1011 Mullis Street, Friday Harbor from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.

Come learn about:

  • The “Connector Road” project from Pear Point Road to Turn Point Road
  • Project design and details
  • Construction Schedule

Current details on this project may also be found on the County Public Works 6 year Transportation Improvement Program. Public Works Website.

Download a PDF of the drawing at right. (4 mb)

Dave Hall 1957 – 2017

Dave Hall 1957 – 2017

Dave Hall died peacefully at his Friday Harbor home Tuesday, March 7, 2017, after waging a three year battle with cancer. He lived a life of devotion to his work, honor to his God and his Country, and love for his family and friends.

In 1957 he was born in Los Angeles, CA and grew up in Southern California, attending San Marino High School and Pasadena City College. Dave met Nadine in summer of 1980. They married in 1982 and before long became a family with three delightful children; Jake, Jessie and Katie. Dave and Nadine moved to the San Juans in 1993 and became a fixture in the community. Their family has grown to include Jake & Relissa Hall with 2 grandchildren; Elijah and Harmony; Jessie & Ian Joujan with 5 grandchildren: Theresa, Gwen, Faith, Maureen and David; and Katie Hall & Cory Parsons. Dave was a very loving husband, father and grandfather and a best friend to many.

His deep faith in God gave him the strength he needed during his fight with cancer and during his final days. Dave was at peace with his God and with going home to heaven. He and Nadine created a God loving home for their children and grandchildren. He supported many local non-profits and benefits for islanders in past years. In summer of 2015, the community came together in a Benefit for Dave that was attended by over 400 people. His family is forever grateful for the kindness shown.

Dave started his career at age 18 with City Mirror and Glass in San Gabriel, CA. After many years of managing residential and commercial glass and glazing businesses, Dave and Nadine stepped out in faith and opened Island Glass Service in 1998 on San Juan Island. Through long hours of hard work, honesty and perseverance, Dave created a reputable window and door business that proudly served his community and provided jobs for locals. His son Jake is now carrying on the family business. Continue reading Dave Hall 1957 – 2017

D.E.M. Survey

The San Juan County/Friday Harbor Department of Emergency Management is working on a “Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan”. The goal of the plan is to identify ways to reduce the risk of injuries and  damage to the island community from natural hazard disasters. 

We are kicking off  the effort  by asking for your input on a survey about natural hazards, approaches to reducing risk and your disaster preparedness. You can find the survey at this link: 


The survey will be followed up with some local meetings, to be scheduled later in the Spring. If you have any questions about this, please call 370-0587. Thanks for your input and help!

FHFF Winter Film Series

This was the Audience Favorite from the 2016 Friday Harbor Film Festival: “The Babushkas of Chernobyl”

For nearly 30 years a community of unlikely heroines have lived in Chernobyl’s post-nuclear disaster “dead zone.” Stylish and stubborn, these fascinating women have survived, and even thrived, on some of the most toxic land on Earth. They are the last survivors of a community who refused to leave their ancestral homes after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

But the babushkas aren’t the only risk-takers: scientists, bureaucrats and even young men and women called “Stalkers” (who break in illegally to pursue their video game-inspired fantasies) explore the dystopian zone and seek out its radioactive grandmas.

First-time feature documentary filmmakers Holly Morris and Anne Bogart’s portrait of a community tells a remarkable tale about the pull of home, the healing power of shaping one’s own destiny and the subjective nature of risk.

Tuesday, April 4th at the Grange – 7:00 pm


In the SJ Update mailbag, we have this letter from Richard Davenport at FH School of Massage…

Hello SJ Update,

Time to check in. The Friday Harbor School of Massage is about to complete the first year in three weeks. All four students that attended will graduate. In the next two weeks we still have openings for Student Clinic Massage, Tuesday after 1:30 pm or evenings 5 or 7 Wednesdays or 1:30 pm Monday, Thursday or Friday.

Currently enrollment is open for a limited number of students for the next session, starting in September 2017 through Mid-April 2018.


March for Meals to a 60’s Beat

A luncheon to benefit Meals on Wheels and More Featuring tunes by Paul Arroyo and Friends.

  • Herb Seared Chicken Breast
  • Pasta with Pesto Garlic Butter
  • Oven Roasted Squash
  • Breadstick
  • Salad Bar
  • Tiramisu

Wednesday, March 29, at 12:00pm

Mullis Community Senior Center, 589 Nash Street, Friday Harbor.
Tickets cost $15 and are available at the Mullis Center

60’s attire encouraged!

For More information, call (360) 378-2677