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A total of 16 groups will share $409K in county lodging tax dollars in 2015. The LTAC facilities grants are about half of the lodging tax funds available for distribution by the county.
Contested races coming up for San Juan County treasurer, sheriff, court clerk. Even though most candidates are unopposed and the county council has decided not to put any charter amendments on the ballot.
Under current county law, land in the open-space farmland program must be returned to active farming within 10 years or the owner must enter into a conservation easement permanently prohibiting development in order for a reduction in the land's property tax assessment to continue.
DNR launches new program to assist vessel owners without means to dispose of a bad boat. Many of the more than 60 boats on his program’s watchlist could be candidates for free disposal.
The new Community Solar Program will be kicked off on San Juan Island at the Island Energy Fair on Saturday, May 17. Also on the schedule are a Home Energy Conservation Workshop, a solar home tour, and demonstrations of energy-related technologies.
Before the fire, the building housed Downriggers Restaurant, Friday Harbor Marine, San Juan Excursions and San Juan Safaris. The fire devastated the operations of all four businesses.
After another successful island ride introduced Washington Bike Month so appropriately, the Lopez Chamber's Lia Noreen said, "We think Lopez and the San Juan Islands are a big reason the state's been honored seven years in a row, and we're happy it came just a few days after our successful event."
Those on Lopez will have to travel off-island to score legal weed, at least until the state Liquor Control Board reopens the window to apply for a marijuana retailer license later this summer. But Lopezians won't have to travel far. Potential retailers were approved for Orcas and San Juan Island, one for each.
The Navy says the June 7 to June 13 closure may affect Lopez Island and the San Juans more than the earlier closure, but that the level of jet noise will depend on wind direction and takeoff and landing patterns on particular days.
Results of the board election, in which outsider Steve Hudson fell just 50 votes shy of unseating incumbent Glenna Hall, wasn't the only "news" announced at the 78th OPALCO annual meeting, Saturday, May 3, on the inter-island ferry. So was the pending retirement of co-op's general manager and name of his heir apparent.
The three proposed amendments include relocation of a required sidewalk on Carter Avenue, from Guard Street to the ball fields, construction of a 1,440 square-foot pump-house and maintenance building, and relocation of the family playground area to an area nearer the restrooms and parking lot.
"I'm disappointed in the decision and in the fact that the very brief opinion was unpublished, which is an impediment to obtaining Supreme Court review," CAPR attorney Dennis Reynolds said of the appellate court decision.
Five islanders talk about their interest in OPALCO's upcoming annual meeting and board of directors election. Six candidates are seeking election to the board, and two member-initiated bylaws amendments are also on the ballot.
In safeguarding marine waters from potential pollution of derelict boats, prevention is proving to be the key. Nearly a half-dozen counties have jump onboard to learn how the prevention program in San Juan County can help reduce hazards posed by abandoned and dilapidated boats.
Negotiations among the town, the county and Lautenbach Recyling have been ongoing for nearly two years after a town-county selection committee used a “proposal approach” under state law.
OPALCO is moving ahead with expanding its Island Network services from its base of fiber optic cable servicing its electric grid. It is already an internet service provider and a network provider, mostly in populated areas like Friday Harbor and Eastsound, and it resells "backhaul" fiber connections to ISPs such as Rock Island, The Computer Place, CenturyLink, NoaNet and Zito Media.
‘It was a better reception than we expected,’ — Mike Monson, Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve
The latest state audit of the San Juan hospital district’s books noted that financial controls “are inadequate to ensure accurate reporting,” but found no wrongdoing, misappropriation of funds or noncompliance which would require reporting to other government agencies or the legislature. District commission Chairman Dr. Michael Edwards said, “The auditors accepted our commitment to address the issues identified and said they will follow up during..."
Although marijuana stores in Washington will not open until July or later, marijuana sales to individuals started in Colorado last year at medical marijuana dispensaries. Reports from from the Weed Blog indicate that January sales in Colorado were $14.02 million, which raised about $2 million in tax revenue for the state. (This article has been updated since its initial post to clarify applicants listing 775 Mullis Street as a potential retail location).
A freshly revised design for the Spring Street Landing Building is just the start of the Port of Friday Harbor's proposed 10-year, $10-plus million dollar revamp of the waterfront.
The upcoming election promises to highlight contrasting views on what direction Orcas Power & Light Cooperative should take.
Although the Prince William Sound fishery, as it was, is a distant memory, David Nash believes that there are lessons from the Exxon Valdez oil spill that still apply today. “They said it wouldn’t happen there and I believed them," he said. "I don’t believe them anymore.”
Revaluations are now made annually to all county properties, although only one-sixth of the county is physically inspected every year. Other valuations are made on the basis of local property sales in the areas not physically inspected.
The noise from thousands of engine tests and training runs by new EA 18G “Growlers” has generated two recent community meetings on Lopez and San Juan islands.
In addition to a dogged tenacity and unwavering work ethic, former sheriff Bill Cumming said that Silverman will long be remembered for the compassion that he brought to the job, a quality that endeared him to his many colleagues and to the community as well. Silverman was involved in every “big case” in San Juan County over the last 20 years.
Tax shift cited as cause for concern, scrutiny over compliance with guidelines for current-use programs
The most far-reaching amendment abandons the complex, site-specific 13-category wetland and water quality rating system devised by the county in 2012 and substitutes a four-category rating system developed by the Washington state Department of Ecology.
Aaron D'Errico says town Administrator Duncan Wilson and Mayor Carrie Lacher needed little convincing to help make town streets safer and navigating across the street easier for those with mobility challenges. "it took somebody like Aaron to make us aware of the situation," Wilson said. "He's been gracious thanking us, but we should thank him."
Plans for a restaurant on a newly constructed second story of Jeri's Mall have been shelved, as the prospective new owners of the building reportedly intend to turn the top floor into living space.
At the Feb. 6 public meeting to review new preliminary designs for the SSL building, architect Peter Brachvogel of BC&J Architects unveiled a two-building package having roughly 1,000 square feet more than the previous structure. The main building would have an upper level restaurant of about 4,000 square feet, plus a considerably larger deck to offer customers more outdoor dining space.
Do you have a stormwater problem? If so, Public Works would like to know.
Two-term incumbent seeks a third as chief of county finances, elections
Suleiman the Magnificent, Atticus Finch, Gene Gould and Sacagawea were the answers. Do you know the questions? Except for Gene Gould, whom no one could identify as Friday Harbor’s first mayor, the juniors and seniors came forth with those names without difficulty on their way to winning yet another coveted Knowledge Bowl championship, sponsored for the 20th consecutive year by San Juan Public Schools Foundation.
The Honeywells, who won a nine-figure Powerball prize in early 2013, purchased the property in mid-2013 for $6 million. According to an eight-page statement signed by Honeywell and prepared in response to the county investigation, the Honeywells intend to use the property as their retirement home and family retreat.
Bump in sales tax would net $220K a year for road projects
Update: click on the article to watch video footage of the demolition of the Spring Street Land Building, former home of Downriggers Restaurant.
If the CAO takes effect March 31, permit applications filed before March 31 will be considered under the laws and regulations in effect before CAO updates were passed in 2012. After March 31, plans and applications will be considered under the new law, including amendments presently being considered and which are expected to be approved March 5.
In the wake of the massive snow problems in the Atlanta area, San Juan County Public Works Director Frank Mulcahy wants you to know he's got you covered—even if Friday's flurries don't amount to much more than a minor inconvenience.
The current levy, at a rate of 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, does not expire until the end of 2016. The proposed levy, at 50 cents per $1,000 dollars of assessed valuation, would replace the current six-year levy with a permanent levy at the maximum allowed by state law for EMS levies.
On Jan. 29, the federal Chemical Safety Board issued a draft report detailing extensive lapses in safety by Tesoro, by industry support groups such as the American Petroleum Institute and by state and federal regulatory agencies.