Howard Schonberger

Howard posted 53 stories to The Journal of the San Juan Islands.
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Ferry Home Companion: Where have all the babies gone? | Column

After having a Baby Derby in the Journal for nearly 30 years we've come to a new record… with 31 days in January, and checking with all the local hospitals, we have yet to know who will be crowned the 2015 Baby Derby winner in San Juan County.

  • Jan 31st, 2015 2:46am

Gone, but not forgotten

Almost 'Standing Room Only' at the Whittier Theatre, those attending had to park as far away as Spring Street on a rainy day to attend the ceremony for the late Andrew McLaglen.

  • Nov 13th, 2014 7:11pm

We might disagree – but we all love the islands | Ferry Home Companion

We’ve had a County Fair for over a hundred years, just as we’ve had a strong newspaper for more years than that. It is just one example of how we all pitch in to make things work.

  • Aug 12th, 2014 9:00pm

Best part of summer vacation? Getting home in time for the 4th of July | Ferry Home Companion

One of John's gifts was a "Sneaky Pete" pool cue. The next day we foolishly asked John if we could go to the pool room. "Sure," he said, "although I might be a bit rusty." I should have known better.

  • Jul 9th, 2014 5:29pm

The Importance of being San Juan Community Theatre! | Column

I had seen the play in London in 1978 and wondered how youngsters could possibly do that. The play was not only "nice," but also one of the greatest weekends we can remember.

  • Apr 5th, 2014 10:50pm

‘We Serve’… good motto for any group | Ferry Home Companion

Greatest achievement probably is the continuing growth of the Leo’s club at Friday Harbor High School.

  • Mar 19th, 2014 9:00pm

Of playwrights, polished performances and a half-pint for Ethel Barrymore | Journal Column

Sitting in the audience at the Community Theatre, watching "On the Fringe", the local playwrights festival, Journal columnist Howard Schonberger is reminded of the late Ethel Barrymore, and of the lasting impression that the accomplished actress made on him.

  • Jan 29th, 2014 12:04am

Better because of change, innovation | Guest Column

When you get to your tenth decade on this globe, you sometimes have to take a break and wonder if all the high tech things happening are for the best.

  • Aug 27th, 2013 9:28pm

Our ‘C.U.P.’s’ for kids runneth under | Guest Column

Let’s rally to remove the last bit of red tape from the community ballfields

  • Aug 1st, 2013 2:00pm

In this place that heroes call home | Editorial

There’s something about these islands that makes past troubles become smaller, whether they are from war times or other hard times.

  • Jul 2nd, 2013 8:03pm

Bow to humility; Francis at the helm | Guest Column

New pope brings exemplary style to the world’s pulpits. It reminds me of when…

  • Mar 26th, 2013 8:11pm

Don’t forget to count your island blessings | Column

The Community Dinner's Greek cuisine was a total dinner-winner! Where else for a $10 donation, can you get a pre-dinner concert by our high school orchestra followed by a Greek menu, prepared byFriday Harbor high schoolers who are trained to be chefs in our Food for Thought Program.

  • Jan 25th, 2013 8:12pm

Space exploration should be an international relay event

If we can collaborate in space, why can't we do it at the United Nations, or in Washington, D.C., or in Olympia, or in San Juan County?

  • Aug 28th, 2012 7:26pm

Hi-Dee Hi-Dee Hi-Dee Ho…Mullis “Canteen” Dinner/Dance a blast | Column

Maybe it was the fact that Helen and I were sitting right next to the bandstand at Mullis, but the best thing that got to me was how Tom's local band could have such a tremendous big band sound. When they wound up the evening with Cab Calloway's music, I could have sworn I was in the Cotton Club listening to the crowd echoing to Cab's leads, sung by Jimmy (hidee) Moe.

  • Jun 26th, 2012 1:24am

Auction of FH liquor store license draws 12 bids—so far

The store has attracted 12 bids on the internet auction site Public Surplus. The current high bid, by someone using the bidding name "Altruism," is $2,650. Bids are expected to rise significantly between now and April 20, when the auction ends, according to Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith.

  • Apr 1st, 2012 1:37am

The Super Pac is the greatest threat to democracy since Hitler, Stalin and Bin Laden

My mother, Ann, would be shocked to know how few people go to the polls (even if they only have to vote by mail). But worse, she would shudder to hear how easy it is to buy an election under the present "donation" laws, whereby the Supreme Court ruled that there is no reason to limit the money that unions and corporations can spend on their candidate.

  • Mar 6th, 2012 4:26am

Olympia? Too many chiefs, not enough revenue | Opinion

Eureka! I remembered something that happened during the Great Depression. Senator George W. Norris, a great legislator during the New Deal years, had long felt there was no need to have two legislative bodies in government.

  • Feb 4th, 2011 12:47am

A funny thing happened on the way to the Lions | Ferry Home Companion

I hated to go to the Lions Club that day but I did my duty, stopped at the bank ATM and started to the Legion Hall. Suddenly, my one good eye started to flash on and off.

  • May 4th, 2010 7:20pm

I’m convinced we need to approve the M&O levy | Ferry Home Companion

Tuesday, Jan. 12, the San Juan Lions Club hosted San Juan Island School District Superintendent Walt Wegener and school board member Brent Snow to present their views on the M&O Levy coming up for vote on Feb. 9. Snow, who is manager of Roche Harbor when he is not devoting time to family and all sorts of community causes, kicked off what he called the "pony and dog show." He was most persuasive.

  • Jan 18th, 2010 3:35pm

Organizations resist ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to land use regulations in San Juan County

A perceived one-size-fits-all approach to land use regulations in San Juan County is meeting stiff resistance from two growing groups in the islands — the Common Sense Alliance, headed by Planning Commissioner Mike Carlson, and the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, directed by Frank Penwell.

  • Nov 11th, 2009 12:22am

Island Stage Left’s production of ‘Rabbit Hole’ is compelling | Review

What a wonderful job Director Helen Machin-Smith has done with Island Stage Left presentations through the years. "Rabbit Hole," the winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and five Tony awards, now being performed to perfection by a cast of five actors -- three of them professional -- is solid proof of that accolade.

  • Nov 5th, 2009 3:54pm

‘The Odd Couple’: Another big hit for director McLaglen in presentation of classic comedy

Thanks to director Andrew V. McLaglen, a marvelous array of local talent and the great theater our community has generously established, we now have a boffo performance of a play by the most successful playwright in American theatrical history, Neil Simon. I kid you not: Our local performance of “The Odd Couple” excels the show I saw on the stage when it won all those Tonys, the great movie starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, the long-running TV comedy series, and, of course, the ABC cartoon series. Theater, anywhere, anytime, doesn’t get any better than this.

  • Oct 8th, 2009 11:13pm

The more we can find out about what is good for us, the better off we’ll be | Ferry Home Companion

We're doing this for EVERYBODY'S GRANDCHILDREN, not just ours. The more we can find out about what is good for us and all creatures large and small, the better off we'll be.

  • Aug 4th, 2009 9:53pm

Sacrifices are still being made in name of liberty | Ferry Home Companion

Newspapers, schools, government ... all are among the many institutions who are chided if they don’t fly the flag on Flag Day. We used to fly it at The Journal when our offices were on Guard Street, before moving to Mullis Street a few years ago. Only trouble, we were on the first floor and we lost a few flags.

  • Jul 1st, 2009 11:27pm

‘Always … Patsy Cline’: Schuman, Greene are bombshells in biographical blockbuster

I was a bit ambivalent about watching a show about Patsy Cline, not being a strong country-western fan, although I remembered listening to a few of her songs back in the ’50s. I am now here to tell you that even if you never heard of her before, you will become an instant Patsy Cline fan if you attend director Merritt Olsen’s production at San Juan Community Theatre.

  • May 8th, 2009 11:45pm

A new era in journalism, starting right here

Everywhere this old dinosaur goes these days, he’s confronted with condolences about the death of the newspaper business, the “fact” that the Internet is taking over, that you have to know texting and tweeting and Blackberry lingo to keep up with modern times. Well, as I did when radio was going to be our downfall, and then television, I feel sure, as my mother used to say, “This too shall pass” (TTSP to you tweetybirds). Why, just last Saturday night, I had a great example.

  • Apr 8th, 2009 12:21am

Charlotte Guard wins Soroptimists’ community service award

Soroptimist President Debbie Staehlin introduced Joyce Sobel, who chaired the Soroptimist Club selection committee (which also comprised Nancy DeVaux and Lenore Bayuk), March 18. Sobel presented a certificate, flowers and a check for $750 to Charlotte Guard. The Friday Harbor High School senior was selected winner of the annual community service award, which is named for the president of the first Soroptimist Club in 1921, Violet Richardson.

  • Mar 28th, 2009 12:16am

Beth Williams-Gieger did well in the Lions’ den | Column by Howard Schonberger

I had my skeptic's guard up Tuesday when I attended the San Juan Lions Club meeting, where Beth Williams-Gieger, superintendent and clinic administrator of San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1, was scheduled to speak about the proposed integrated medical center. Williams-Gieger was impressive enough to make a believer out of me.

  • Mar 5th, 2009 6:58pm

‘Your Town’: Centennial production of Wilder’s classic play is good theater | Review

If you don’t make it to the San Juan Community Theatre Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights at 7:30, or Sunday at 2, you will miss a meaningful experience that no islander should miss. It’s not just the fact that it’s one of the crowning events of the Friday Harbor Centennial Celebration, nor that a cast of 24 of our talented friends and neighbors have put in long hard hours of rehearsal these recent months to bring it off. `

  • Mar 3rd, 2009 11:57pm

Lincoln Day dinner at the Grange — bloodied but unbowed | Ferry Home Companion

One thing you can count on after a general election: most of the speakers at this San Juan County Republican Party gathering like to face things as they are. That certainly was the case down the line Saturday at the San Juan Island Grange,

  • Feb 25th, 2009 1:16am

The importance, and empathy, of being Ernest | Review

The production of five wonderful examples of Ernest Pugh's playwright talents at the San Juan Community Theatre was a well-deserved tribute, Jan. 16-17. It takes a keen eye and sharp ear to have such talent. And, of course, an equally talented cast and crew to bring the playwright's drama to powerful life.

  • Jan 27th, 2009 7:41pm

Nothin’ to do in January? You gotta be kidding! | Ferry Home Companion

When I first came to the islands, I lived across the road from Ross and B.J. Miner and next door to Jim and Bea Hitch. These two fine couples guided us as to the ways of the island. "There's nothin' to do in here in January," said Ross, "except freeze." I thought of that last weekend, after all the holidays including Epiphany, when Helen and I spent a quiet January Saturday that ran us ragged.

  • Jan 29th, 2009 8:15pm

Sidney ferry is part of San Juans’ charm | Ferry Home Companion

WSF is an iconic symbol of our home and charm to visitors. In fact, it could be one of the principal reasons to live here if it were improved and reliable. And a reason why the value of our homes would be secure, rather than shaky.

  • Jan 12th, 2009 6:06pm

I love my Broadway — but oh, you C.A.T.S.! | Ferry Home Companion

I love my Broadway — but oh, you C.A.T.S.! Coming back from a two-week sojourn with family in Poughkeepsie, Hudson Valley and The Big Apple for Thanksgiving, we wondered if we might feel like Little Appleseeds. Occasionally, we’ve heard comments that we go overboard comparing our local theater talent to the greats of the Great White Way.

  • Dec 30th, 2008 12:17am

Daisy Bloom, Creme Brulee ‘tres chic’ on Spring St. | Column by Howard Schonberger

What do you do when you are a creative retailer, wife and mother with two children? You work around the clock, you hire clerks for the times when the children need you and pay babysitters when you are at the store. That might work when sales are brisk during tourist season, but might be marginal at other times. Michelle Waldron and Megan Van Hamerssfeld have solved that dilemma by combining their two shops — Daisy Bloom and Creme Brulee — into one at 165 Spring St.

  • Nov 27th, 2008 12:00am

Prosperity, as well as charity, starts at home | Editorial by Howard Schonberger

Let’s take a good look at what we can get locally before buying gifts elsewhere. Maybe we should have a “Blue Heron” poster and badges made, like in the 1930s, to show we believe that prosperity, as well as charity, starts at home.

  • Nov 26th, 2008 10:10pm

We have overcome | Commentary by Howard Schonberger

It seems like only yesterday when I was a kid in Omaha working at the Omaha theater as an usher for the first time and Jimmy Hall, a star halfback on our football team, came in with his mother. I greeted him warmly and the doorman came over when they started forward. "Kindly take the stairway to your right, please," he said gently. They nodded and started upstairs. The doorman turned to me and said: "Don't ever forget those words when Negroes come in."

  • Nov 5th, 2008 9:25pm

Homecoming Day … some things never change | Ferry Home Companion

Every once in a while, I see someone shaking their heads in disapproval when they see the weird costumes on the kids at the Homecoming Parade and game. “We didn’t do that sort of thing when I went to school,” they grumble. They probably think they didn’t, but it’s only because their memory bank doesn’t go back that far.

  • Oct 30th, 2008 3:31pm

‘Rumors’: It doesn’t get better than this

Some things in this life can be disappointing. The market. The weather. Your aching back. Forget it. If you go to a performance of a play directed by Andrew McLaglen, written by Neil Simon and performed by our local thespians at our beautiful theater, you can be sure you won’t have a gloomy thought.

  • Oct 9th, 2008 12:35am

Vets, widows, widowers: We want you Oct. 11 | Ferry Home Companion

Every one of our 61 vets in the Legion and any other local vets or widows or widowers of WWII service men or women, will be guests for a catered dinner at the Legion Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008.

  • Oct 7th, 2008 4:15pm