Around town | Community service, upcoming events andan opportunity to host an exchange student

United Way needs your ideas

United Way needs your ideas. For  one day each year United Way of San Juan County does a community project on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan islands.

In the past, United Way has done beach and trail cleanup, helped elderly residents with light housekeeping and gardening and/or done maintenance on public community buildings.

Contact United Way with your ideas for what is needed or wanted this year, at 378-4121 or

Museum’s lecture series

The Whale Museum continues its Research Lecture Series with Tom Bloxton, Andrea Havron and Michelle Savoie of the Marbled Murrelet Research and Monitoring Project on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 7 p.m. at the museum.

The team will discuss the general biology of Marbled Murrelets and give an overview of the Monitoring Project, including the telemetry study conducted from 2004 to 2008.

Tom Bloxton is the lead biologist for the Marbled Murrelet Research and monitoring project conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.  He holds a Master in Science in Wildlife Science from the University of Washington where he studied foraging ecology of Northern Goshawks.

Andrea Havron is the crew leader of the San Juan Island monitoring project.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from North Carolina State University and is currently pursuing graduate studies in Geographic Information Systems at Oregon State University.

Michelle Savoie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Pacific University.  This is her second year working on the Marbled Murrelet population monitoring project.

The lecture is free and donations are encouraged.

Host families still needed

Foreign high school students will arrive soon for academic semester and year homestay programs, and the sponsoring organization needs a few more local host families.

According to Pacific Intercultural Exchange President John Doty, the students are all between the ages of 15 and 18 years, are English-speaking, have their own spending money, carry accident and health insurance, and want to share their cultural experiences with their new American families.

PIE has programs to match almost every family’s needs, ranging in length from one semester to a full academic year.

“At this critical time in our country’s history, hosting an international teen is the best and purest form of public diplomacy the United States has,” said Doty.

PIE matches students with host families by finding common interests and lifestyles through an in-home meeting. Prospective host families are able to review student applications and select the perfect match.

PIE can fit a student into just about any situation, whether it is a single parent, a childless couple, a retired couple or a large family.

Host families can claim a monthly charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns for each month with a sponsored student.

For the upcoming programs, PIE has students from Germany, the former Soviet Union, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Croatia, Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, China, and many other countries.

Doty encourages families to contact the program immediately, as it will allow the proper time for the students and hosts to get to know one another before they actually meet for the first time.

The agency also has travel and study program opportunities available for American high school students as well as possibilities for community volunteers to assist and work with area host families, students and schools.

For more information, call 1-866-546-1402.

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