The annexation hearing is Thursday….

If you see a mob at the Mullis Center at 5:30pm on Thursday, that’s because the Town Council has scheduled a public hearing to review the annexation of the Buck Property. I asked Roxanna from the Town to send me a writeup of the proposed annexation, zoning, and developer agreement – here it is…check it out.

Be there…

The SJISD Superintendent Search meetings are today!

The SJISD Superintendent Search meetings are Thursday of this week! These meetings are for gathering input and information from the school community and other interested parties.

Timelines, schedules and desired qualifications in leadership will be discussed.  A survey is available to anyone who cannot make the meetings.  People can contact Maude at the district office to get one.  Either of these meetings (or both) would be appropriate for the general public.

Thursday, March 19

Public meeting, parents, students, community members, 5:00 pm, high school commons

Special School Board meeting, 6:00 pm, high school commons

See ya there!

Pay it forward….on the island. An approach to barter here….

Hi Ian,

Love the new website! Great job. I recently saw a piece on Good Morning America on a “time bank” and thought it would be perfect for our small community. Please check out this page.

It’s a way to pay it forward for services you can offer to someone in exchange for their services.

For example, I need a roof repair and Ed can offer car repair. You sign up for 2 hours of free labor for someone who offers 2 hours of their free labor in roof repair in exchange for Ed’s mechanical expertise (He is ASE Certified not to mention the hot sauce expert on SJI). You enter a credit (say for 2 hours or whatever) and are able to debit (again for 2 hours or whatever) in exchange for those repairs.

Of course if you’re the letigious kind, this won’t work but I think it would be great for our small community. It goes back to the old days of the barter system of trading your skills for someone else’s skills. Just a thought but I thought this would be a great idea in these economic times.

Of course someone would need to manage the credits and debits and I would be happy to donate my time for that. I immediately thought of your website as it does so much good for the community. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Genie Williams

Quote

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Confucius

What's up for the kids, this summer?

Debbi wrote and says she’s looking to make a complete guide for kids about what they can do this summer – and she needs your help. Here’s more:

Hey, Ian!

I have a favor to ask.

I’m working on the SJI Summer Activity Calendar for our Youth 2009. This will be our third year to offer this to parents, families and to our community. The calendar is FREE with the help of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition. I’m in the midst of collecting information from various people and organizations, but thought, maybe I’m missing someone! Would you be able to inquire if someone is offering a new or unadvertised youth program this summer on SJI, they could contact me to add it to the calendar?

Last year’s calendar came out of necessity for me. I found some programs weren’t advertised well, so they were cancelled because of low participation, or others would fill up before I heard about them. So, having all the information in one place, made it a better summer for my kids! The calendars will be available at the Children’s Festival (May 2) at the SJIPC booth and will be mailed out from the SJISD parent/guardian mailing list and various email groups.

I feel the more programs we can add, the more useful this tool becomes for families! I put mine on the refrigerator and we kept on top of what was available throughout the summer!

Thanks again, Ian, for your support of the programs we’ve been involved in. It takes a Village…

Debbi (fincher@rockisland.com)

What’s up for the kids, this summer?

Debbi wrote and says she’s looking to make a complete guide for kids about what they can do this summer – and she needs your help. Here’s more:

Hey, Ian!

I have a favor to ask.

I’m working on the SJI Summer Activity Calendar for our Youth 2009. This will be our third year to offer this to parents, families and to our community. The calendar is FREE with the help of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition. I’m in the midst of collecting information from various people and organizations, but thought, maybe I’m missing someone! Would you be able to inquire if someone is offering a new or unadvertised youth program this summer on SJI, they could contact me to add it to the calendar?

Last year’s calendar came out of necessity for me. I found some programs weren’t advertised well, so they were cancelled because of low participation, or others would fill up before I heard about them. So, having all the information in one place, made it a better summer for my kids! The calendars will be available at the Children’s Festival (May 2) at the SJIPC booth and will be mailed out from the SJISD parent/guardian mailing list and various email groups.

I feel the more programs we can add, the more useful this tool becomes for families! I put mine on the refrigerator and we kept on top of what was available throughout the summer!

Thanks again, Ian, for your support of the programs we’ve been involved in. It takes a Village…

Debbi (fincher@rockisland.com)

Tom rocks out, the country dances….

Tom Doenges, AKA Tom Henry
Tom Doenges, AKA Tom Henry

Last Friday, CNN aired a report on their iReports section about Tom Doenges’ song, “Looking for a Bailout”…. I got reports from all over the country (Christiane Biermann was the first, writing from Portland, and reminding me that Vikky Dauciunas did the really cool video work. Way to go, Tom!)

You can see the CNN report by going to this page and looking for “Rockin’ the Recession” – (it’s after the Dust Storm story, and before “Barbie Turns 50”), or you can go straight to the YouTube version, so you can see the song without all those reporters talking.

All about chocolate, from Ecuador….

Enrique won't be here this week, but the presentation at the Library is still on.
Enrique won't be here this week, but the presentation at the Library is still on.

Linda & Maureen have been helping the folks with the Slow Food Project & the cool direction that healthy eating is going on the island (I love it! Have you eaten at the high school lately? It rocks!) Here’s more from our friends:

Please see our latest update: http://slowfoodlandandsea.blogspot.com/

Enrique Cerda, the truffle maker from the Kallari chocolate cooperative
who was to visit SJI won’t be here. The U.S. embassy in Ecuador has been
holding up his passport and visa. (Contact info for the embassy is on our
web page).

His translator and intern Becca Roebber, who also lives and works with
Kallari cooperative in Ecuador, will have a chocolate tasting and
presentation about Ecuador, sustainable farming, indigenous rights, the
very successful Kallari chocolate farmers’ cooperative, and probably a
little about the politics that hold up visas. The presentation is called:

“FROM BEAN TO BAR”
WED. 3/18 at the SJI LIBRARY MEETING ROOM from 3:15-4:45 pm.
1010 Guard St. Friday Harbor 360-378-2798
Admission is free, and the meeting room holds 35 people.

Kids love chocolate....
Kids love chocolate....

Becca will bring a lot of Kallari chocolate – “the best chocolate on earth”.

The truffle class scheduled for 3/18 was full, but is canceled due to
Enrique’s absence. He hopes to visit next year…

Our Youth web page has pictures of some of our recent activities. We’ll
post more pictures and stories soon –

http://sites.google.com/site/landandseayouth/pictures-1

Best wishes,

Linda and Maureen
Land & Sea Slow Food Friday Harbor/San Juan
slowfoodlandandsea@gmail.com
360-472-0880 Maureen/360-317-5890 Linda

Chocolate beans.....
Chocolate beans.....

The book about Friday Harbor continues to sell well….

mike-julia1That book about Friday Harbor that Mike & Julia Vouri (right) wrote with the Historical Museum continues to sell well…Museum Director Kevin Loftus says you can still pick up your copy at the Museum, so drop by & get it.

The book starts with a picture of Friday Harbor from the harbor in 1883, and tells the story of the town’s growth through the first half of the last century. It’s a good read, to find out where today’s town came from, and how our forebears envisioned things. I sat down and read my copy in a couple of hours one Sunday, and the choice of old photos & compelling, well-written narrative that goes with them is wonderful. Get yours now!

Mike tells me Richard Walker is doing a similar book for Roche Harbor’s history, so I called Richard, who says it’s been a blast to complile the pictures & stories of the community there, over the years. He says the book should be available in late June – I know I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Taking tourism on the road….

The Visitors’ Bureau here in the islands is pretty active when it comes to spreading the word….last week they were in Olympia visiting with our newly-minted state senator Kevin. Here’s more from Robin:

On March 9, Deborah Hopkins and Robin Jacobson of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, as well as Carol and Bogdan Kulminski of the Blue Heron B&B on Orcas Island, represented the San Juan Islands during “Tourism Day” in Olympia, with more than 250 tourism industry professionals from around the state.

They took part in the “Why Tourism Matters” rally on the Capitol steps, met with District 40 legislators Senator Kevin Ranker, Representative Jeff Morris and Representative Dave Quall, then enjoyed a reception at the Governor’s Mansion.  Governor Chris Gregoire spoke at the reception, with enthusiastic support of the tourism industry, which is Washington’s 4th largest industry (following software, aerospace and agriculture/food/wine).

Left to Right – Robin Jacobson, Carol Kulminski, Deborah Hopkins, Sen. Kevin Ranker, Bogdan Kulminski
Left to Right – Robin Jacobson, Carol Kulminski, Deborah Hopkins, Sen. Kevin Ranker, Bogdan Kulminski

The news release below contains further information, followed by the list of media coverage received so far.  The day was coordinated by the Washington State Destination Marketing Association and Seattle’s Convention & Visitors Bureau.

(The photo was taken in Sen Ranker’s office.  Left to Right – Robin Jacobson, Carol Kulminski, Deborah Hopkins, Sen. Kevin Ranker, Bogdan Kulminski)

++++++++++++++++++++++
News Release & Media Report By David Blandford, Director of Public Relations, Seattle’s Convention & Visitors Bureau

Washington State’s Tourism Industry Unites in Olympia
New Statewide Advocacy Campaign to be Announced on Capitol Steps,
Governor Proclaims “Tourism Day in Washington State”

OLYMPIA, WASH. – Today more than 250 tourism industry professionals from Tacoma, Spokane, Bellingham, Yakima, Vancouver, Seattle and many other communities across Washington will converge on the state capitol to tell legislators Why Tourism Matters.

An industry rally and press conference will be held on the state capitol’s north steps at 1:30 p.m. by a coalition of convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce and other destination marketing organizations from across the state.

The effort inaugurates the statewide roll-out of the Why Tourism Matters public outreach and advocacy campaign which will convey the importance of tourism by way of advertising, online content, public relations and cooperative communications.

The campaign website at www.whytourismmatters.com will go live today at 1:30 p.m., featuring the latest tourism statistics for the state and many communities, industry news and links to national initiatives. Much of the web site is dedicated to profiles of local tourism industry professionals, or “tourism ambassadors,” who work on the frontlines and serve as the industry’s face of tourism.

These tourism ambassadors will attend today’s event in Olympia. Other participants – many clad in work-day uniforms and costumes – represent the spectrum of the tourism industry: from hotel managers and housekeeping attendants to restaurateurs and servers, tour leaders, travel agents, convention center presidents, vintners, artists, bell captains, tour boat captains and at least one cabaret performer.

“Today the tourism industry in Washington State has many messengers but one common message: tourism matters,” said Katherine Kertzman, President of the Washington State Destination Marketing Organizations (WSDMO). “Visitors to the state spent $15.7 billion here last year and generated $1 billion in state and local taxes. Tourists support nearly 150,000 jobs and generate $4.3 billion in earnings.”

Following the rally, the statewide tourism industry contingent will call on state legislators to ask for their support in two areas of concern: maintaining current funding levels for the 2009-2011 state tourism office budget; and support of SB 5875 and SHB  2297 which call for funding to study expansion options for the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.

Today’s state initiatives coincide with national news, including current tourism industry efforts to counterbalance the harmful political rhetoric and sensationalism that is influencing the unnecessary cancellation of corporate meetings and events across the U.S.

The U.S. Association of America ranks $740 billion travel and tourism industry fifth in nation among 20 major private industry sectors. The industry directly employees 7.5 million people, generates payroll of $178 billion and tax revenues of about $110 billion. Visitors to the U.S. spent more here than U.S. residents traveling abroad, creating a positive balance of trade of $8.3 billion for the national economy.

Washington State’s core of private sector destination marketing organizations competitively market their respective cities, counties and regions to leisure travelers and meeting and convention groups.  Largely non-profit economic development agencies, these convention and visitor bureaus and chambers of commerce work in tandem with the Washington State Tourism Commission and Washington State Tourism office to jointly position the state as a premier travel destination.  Direct visitor spending benefits hotels, retailers, restaurants, attractions, transportation services and other businesses, and supports jobs in throughout the state.

++++++++++++++++
To learn more about why tourism matters to Washington State, visit www.whytourismmatters.com.

Here’s what we know so far on the news front.  More is coming in and we’ll send an update in a day or two. –David Blandford, Seattle CVB

Yakima Herald (page one, 3/9) – “Invisible Tourism”
http://www.yakimaherald.com/stories/2009/03/08/invisible-tourism

Tacoma News Tribune  (3/9) – “Tacoma Tourism Sees Mini Boom
http://www.thenewstribune.com/1031/story/651556.html

Tacoma News Tribune (3/8) – Tourism Funding
http://www.thenewstribune.com/voelpel/story/650836.html

KING-5 TV (3/9, Seattle)

Northwest Cable News (3/9, statewide)

KONG TV (Seattle, 3/9)
http://www.nwcn.com/video/travel-index.html?nvid=340151

KIRO Newsradio
http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=11&sid=143136

KAYA Fox TV News (Spokane) – story about half-way through
http://www.myfoxspokane.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=8371025&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=3.2.1

KREM TV (Spokane)
http://www.krem.com/news/local/stories/krem2-030609-rallyforeconomy.e1e47c8.html

KSTW TV (Tacoma) – story to follow

Q13 TV (Seattle) – story to follow 3/9 or 3/10

PR Week (national trade) – story to follow in March

Society of American Travel Writers national newsletter – story to follow in March

Islanders noted for helping with salmon recovery….

You know, one of the reasons the local killer whales are on the endangered species list is a shortage of their main dinner: salmon. Recovering the salmon’s previous numbers is a key to restoring a healthy ecosystem… and several islanders have been key to that recovery effort. Here’s more from Barbara Rosenkotter, who is the Lead Entity Coordinator for Salmon Recovery for our county:

San Juan County Volunteers Receive Salmon Recovery Citizens Awards
On March 10 at the State Capitol in Olympia, the Washington State Salmon Recovery Lead Entity Program honored outstanding volunteer citizens at the ten year anniversary celebration of the Lead Entity.  Eight citizens and groups from all over the state were selected for their dedication and significant contribution toward salmon recovery.

The San Juan Islands community was well represented among the winners with awards being given to Jim Slocomb of San Juan Island and volunteer beach seiners from throughout the San Juans.

The first local winners were a group of over 44 volunteer “Beach Seiners”. The beach seiners were recognized for outstanding and ongoing volunteer efforts supporting critical salmon recovery projects that assess the use of the San Juan Islands’ nearshore environments by young salmon.

Many of the seiners are WSU Beach Watchers working with Fisheries Oceanographer Dr. Tina Wyllie-Echeverria to gather data critical to the understanding of salmonid resources and habitat use. To do this work, they travel via a 20’ research vessel and, during the March through September sampling season visit five or more sites, in all kinds of weather, ten times per month. They set over 500 beach seines on nine islands, sampling thousands of fish including pink, chum, Coho and Chinook salmon as well as important prey species for fish, marine birds and marine mammals such as sand lance, herring, surf smelt and shiner surf perch.

Another group of beach seiners are a part of community citizen science teams organized by Kwiaht on Lopez and Waldron Islands. This group helped with the project described above and also conducted a study of the prey used by juvenile salmon guided by Russel Barsh. These volunteers, working in small groups with microscopes on evenings and weekends, identified and counted more than 4,000 bits of fish, crustaceans, insects and other prey items and developed digital taxonomic keys and photo atlases for reference and training future volunteers. More than 35 Lopez and Waldron volunteers participated in extensive specialized training, field and lab work, contributing over 1200 volunteer hours.

Both highly dedicated teams plan to monitor juvenile salmon abundance and prey use over the next few years.

The beach seining volunteers are: Marolyn Mills, Chuck O’Clair, Harry Dickenson, Rick Ekstom, Martha Dickenson,  Mike Kaill, Zach Williams, Mike Griffin, Chuck Rust, Martye Green, Robin Donnely, Tom Donnely, Phil Green, Marta Branch and Orcas Island students, Lorri Swanson, Chris Davis, Mike O’Connell, Jim Patton, Andria Hagstrom, Quinn Freedman, Kim Secunda, Donna Adams, Fred Adams, Lance Brittain, Isa Delahunt, John Droubay, Laurie Glenn, Ann Gwen, Holly Lovejoy, David Loyd, Julie Loyd, Daphne Morris, Diane Robertson, Steve Ruegge, Josie Scruton,  Dan Silkiss, Elsie Silkiss, John Swan-Sheeran, Lorri Swanson, Gretchen Wagner, John Waugh, Susie Waugh, Cathy Wilson, Susan Wilson.

These 44 dedicated citizen volunteers demonstrate that it truly does take a community to support salmon recovery efforts and have provided over 2400 hours of volunteer time.

Another San Juan County award winner was Jim Slocomb. He was honored for his efforts as a dedicated salmon recovery project volunteer. He began donating time in 2001 with the Forage Fish Habitat Assessment project and has continued ever since.  Slocomb has recently volunteered hundreds of hours in order to complete the very complex Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling required for the Salmon Habitat Protection Blueprint project.

“Many in our community are grateful for all the time that Slocomb dedicates to marine resource protection efforts.  He has served on the county’s Marine Resources Committee (MRC) for ten years and continues to provide countless hours of volunteer service to help the MRC achieve their goals and program objectives” commented Barbara Rosenkotter, Lead Entity Program Coordinator for San Juan County.

Jim often donates the use of his boat for survey and monitoring work. For the past two years, Slocomb has also volunteered hundreds of hours sampling water quality in San Juan County.

During the celebration event in Olympia, members of the public also had an opportunity to learn more about lead entities, which are local, citizen-based organizations that develop salmon habitat protection and restoration projects with the help of technical experts.   Lead entity coordinators and volunteers from across the state were on hand to discuss their work and projects.

Established by the state Legislature in 1998, the Lead Entity program has grown to 27 lead entities across the state and is considered a national model for creating effective restoration projects at the local level.

“Salmon recovery and habitat restoration in our watersheds would not be possible without the partnerships and commitment created through this critical program,” WDFW Deputy Director Joe Stohr said.

For further information, please contact Barbara Rosenkotter, San Juan County Salmon Recovery Lead Entity Coordinator, 360-370-7593 or barbarar@sanjuanco.com

Fill out the survey….

Pamela Williams biking with Ian.
Pamela Williams biking with Ian.

Tim & Shannon & the bike club want to hear from you – this is getting off to a great start (that’s Pamela Williams out biking with Ian last summer, right):

The San Juan Island bike club is looking for input from local bicyclists and would love to have anyone who is interested go to our website and click on the Survey link on the home page. We are a newly forming club here and would like to have more members and we would like to know what potential members are interested in. So far we haven’t had an official club meeting, but we’re thinking that when the weather gets nicer, and more people participate in our group rides, one of these times we’ll have a meeting after the ride and start making this club more of a tangible thing.

Could you put a link to our website www.bikesanjuan.com on your update, and let your readers know about our survey invitation? The survey closes at the end of March so we’re hoping people will get on there before that.

Thanks so much!

Tim Dustrude and Shannon Dean

WSF adds back the Sidney/Anacortes run….

After discussing whacking the springtime run of the international boat, Washington State Ferries announced today they will run the route, starting March 29th. Here’s more, from them:

WSDOT Ferries Division (WSF) will add service hours and re-open the Anacortes/Sidney, B.C. route with the beginning of the spring sailing schedule on Sunday, March 29.

WSF will provide one round trip sailing per day between Anacortes and Sidney, B.C. through the spring on the 124-car ferry Chelan. Customers are encouraged to make reservations for travel on this route on the WSF Web site.

Anacortes to Sidney ferry in Washington State
Anacortes to Sidney ferry in Washington State

Getting sports back in the schools….

volleyball at FHHSJust received this note from schools superintendent Michael Soltman….as you know, the school board cut the funding for school-funded sports last week. Now, the schools are looking for another entity to work with on this, so they’re getting a campaign ready to reach their goals, with Island Rec. Here’s more:

Island Rec and SJISD Announce Partnership to Fund Athletic Programs: San Juan Island Park and Recreation District (“Island Rec”) and the San Juan Island School District have announced a partnership to develop a funding strategy to continue an interscholastic athletic program for Island students.  At a School Board meeting last week, the board took action to reduce nearly $800,000 from its $9 million operating budget.  Program reductions included significant cuts in administration and non-instructional services, reduction of 3 teaching positions, and the elimination of funding for the athletic program.  At the meeting, Superintendent Soltman said, “We remain committed to providing interscholastic athletic programs to our Island students, but we must find a way to fund this program outside of the District’s general fund.”

“Island Rec is the community’s Park and Recreation District and a natural partner to approach to obtain resources to sustain this essential program for our youth.  Over 289 students participate on 14 athletic teams, annually, including students from the public school, private schools, and home schools throughout the community,” Soltman said.  Ralph Hahn, Chair of the Island Rec Board of Directors said, “Island Rec’s Board is in full agreement of doing what we can to sustain the sports program for our kids.  It is just not an option for our community to eliminate its interscholastic sports program.”

Details of the funding strategy will be discussed at a public meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th, 7:00 p.m. at the Middle School Commons.  “Now is the time for all people concerned about sustaining this sports program to join us at this meeting,” said Sally Thomsen, Island Rec Director. The funding solution must include a plan to renew the Island Rec Park District levy in November with sufficient capacity to support the annual cost of the athletic program.

football at FHHS
football at FHHS

Assuming a successful levy in November, first tax receipts would be received in April 2010, providing enough revenue to fund the winter and spring sports seasons. However, in order to fund the fall 2009 season, $45,000 must be raised this spring.  Purple and Gold and Friday Harbor Athletic Association have joined this effort as partners to conduct fundraising and serve on the Island Rec. Levy Committee.  “It’s up to us as a community to develop a sustainable funding source for this program,” said Elisa Howard, President of Purple and Gold. “Friday Harbor Athletic Association is committed to this partnership.  We must insure that a sports program is available for our kids,” said Don Galt, Jr., President of FHAA.