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Lopez farmer sues San Juan County over ordinance requiring vendor permits; says law is discriminatory, unconstitutional

  • Sep 16, 2009 at 3:00PM updated at 5:20PM

Lopez Island grower Gary Franco has sued San Juan County over its ordinance requiring some vendors to obtain a permit to sell in public places. Franco teamed up with the Institute for Justice — an advocate for the rights of entrepreneurs — in the suit, announced today in a press conference on the courthouse steps.

Gaylord finishes 11th in his age group in France-to-Italy mountain trail run

  • Sep 16, 2009 at 5:00PM updated Sep 18, 2009 at 9:21AM

Minutes before the 5 a.m. start, instructions are given in French. Local ultra-marathoner and county prosecutor Randy Gaylord listened intensely, but couldn't understand a word that was spoken. A few seconds before the hour, the countdown begins, in French, from 10 to one, and at the shout of "Allez!" all 800 runners, wearing headlamps, begin running in the dark and cold, as the temperatures were in the 30s and cloud deck low, similar to the Pacific Northwest. This would be a long day for all of them.

Ferry Advisory Committee chairman explains fall schedule

  • Sep 17, 2009 at 2:03PM

Ferry Advisory Committee members asked that I provide you with a letter for publication that explains the changes in the new fall schedule that is effective Sept. 27. Summer is nearly over, and the new WSF fall schedule will take effect on Sunday, Sept. 27. There are several changes that everyone needs to understand.

First of three meetings tonight on National Marine Fisheries Service's proposed no-go zone

  • Sep 24, 2009 at 7:00AM updated at 2:54PM

The first of three public meetings is scheduled today on the National Marine Fisheries Service's proposal to put more distance between vessels and the Southern Resident killer whales. The meeting is tonight, 7-9 p.m., in the Pier One Main Warehouse, 100 Commercial Ave., Anacortes. Other meetings are scheduled Sept. 30, 7-9 p.m., at the Seattle Aquarium, Pier 59, Seattle; Oct. 5, 7-9 p.m., in the San Juan Island Grange Hall, Friday Harbor.

Derelict fishing nets' toll: 30,000 marine birds, 110,000 fish and 2 million invertebrates a year

  • Oct 6, 2009 at 11:00AM updated Oct 13, 2009 at 2:42PM

"Lost" gill nets are never really lost. Fishing boat operators cut loose snagged nets and get their boats free and head for port. The derelict nets remain where they were snagged — often for decades — catching and killing marine life.

Town administrator's daughter shares swine flu experience: 'This flu was tough after all'

  • Oct 13, 2009 at 11:00AM updated at 3:38PM

Friday Harbor Town Administrator King Fitch has a daughter and grandchildren in Nashville, where the H1N1 flu virus re-emerged this fall. His 8-year-old granddaughter, Eleanor, was one of the first to become ill — and she became very ill. At Fitch's request, his daughter Stephanie Shippen, described the experience in an email to share with people who have not yet seen the effect swine flu can have on young children. Here is her description of how the disease progressed.

Woman born on ferry 30 years ago has a special guest at wedding

  • Oct 14, 2009 at 10:00AM updated at 4:45PM

The Evergreen State pulled up to the ferry landing as Dave Jorgensen and Sonia Mattoon exchanged wedding vows on the Orcas Hotel lawn Aug. 15. It was an extra special moment for the bride, who might have considered the ferry more wedding guest than seagoing vessel. She was born on the ferry 30 years ago.

'Carmen': Opera Pacifica brings a rare opportunity, and a beautiful story, to SJCT

  • Oct 14, 2009 at 11:00AM updated Oct 15, 2009 at 5:09PM

Since Georges Bizet’s "Carmen" premiered in 1875, the comic opera and its music ("Les Toreadors," "Habanera") have become immortalized on stage and in film. Hard to infuse something unique into such a classic, particularly after so many film adaptations (the 1983 film directed by Carlos Saura was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, and Beyonce Knowles starred in an MTV “hip hopera” version in 2001). And yet, Opera Pacifica's "Carmen" — Oct. 24 and 25 at the San Juan Community Theatre — will have its own unique flair.

Meet L113, the newest Southern Resident killer whale calf

  • Oct 14, 2009 at 4:00PM updated Oct 15, 2009 at 5:06PM

A calf has been born to L pod, bumping the Southern Resident killer whale population to 86. Center for Whale Research director Ken Balcomb said today that the calf was born sometime between Sept. 20, when the pod was last seen without a new calf, and Oct. 10, when the calf was sighted off Port Townsend.

For the second time this year, Friday Harbor Animal Shelter helps animals from outside area

  • Oct 28, 2009 at 12:11PM

Leslie Byron says was been a quiet summer for the Friday Harbor Animal Shelter. With a marmalade cat at her ankles and Halloween pumpkins at the door, the place does exude a certain peace.

Voters approve Proposition 1, will raise money for county programs and services; Orcas voters create recreation district

  • Nov 3, 2009 at 7:00PM updated at 9:11PM

An 11th-hour reprieve stood between some of the more popular publicly-funded programs in San Juan County and the chopping block. Today, voters granted that reprieve.

Goodbye, safe and sane: San Juan County voters uphold fireworks ban

  • Nov 3, 2009 at 8:00PM updated Nov 4, 2009 at 11:53AM

Put away the fireworks, the party is over. Voters on Tuesday ratified a local ordinance approved by the County Council more than a year ago that bans the use of all types of so-called consumer fireworks, including those labeled "safe and sane," such as fountains, snakes, pinwheels and sparklers.

Write-in candidate wins on Lopez Island; three votes separate two candidates for Orcas Island recreation commission

  • Nov 6, 2009 at 3:42PM

Tuesday's election was historic: Election of the first woman mayor of Friday Harbor. Funding of school sports through a recreation district. Creation of a recreation district on Orcas Island. There were surprises as well.

Surviving winter storms is a team effort: Weather wisdom from Department of Emergency Management

  • Nov 19, 2009 at 10:00AM updated at 12:23PM

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is the need for islanders to take care of one another. Check in on your neighbor’s house when things get cold, call that older couple who you see at the Post Office to see how they’re doing, and offer to split some fire wood for the fellow recovering from knee surgery. Islanders helping islanders is an old and essential part of life here.

Mom, daughter killed in Saturna Island plane crash have San Juan ties

  • Nov 30, 2009 at 10:00AM updated at 4:20PM

The sister-in-law and infant niece of a San Juan Island couple were killed Sunday when a floatplane in which they were passengers crashed after takeoff in Saturna Island's Lyall Harbour, east of Pender Island. Witnesses at the scene say the Richmond-based deHavilland Beaver floatplane took off from Saturna after picking up two of the craft's eight occupants, but soon took a nose dive into the harbor. The crash occurred around 4:30 p.m.

The bad news: We’re running out of electricity. The good news: There’s a lot you can do about it

  • Dec 2, 2009 at 9:47AM

As you illuminate your house for the holidays, keep this in mind: America has maxed out its electricity generating capacity. There will be electricity shortages as soon as 2011 in some parts of America. And it could get worse as we struggle to find new, cleaner ways to generate electricity: America lacks the technology to meet its climate change goal deadlines.

One of Linde's final acts: Finalizing adoption, raising awareness of children in foster care

  • Dec 4, 2009 at 9:00AM updated at 12:29PM

In San Juan County Superior Court, where John Linde presided over such controversial matters as civil complaints, felonies, and land use disputes, Nov. 20 was undoubtedly a joyful day for the career lawyer and judge. On that day, Linde finalized an adoption, uniting a child with his new parents. It was the first county participation in National Adoption Day, a collective national effort to raise awareness of children in foster care waiting to find permanent families.

Gregoire offers condolences to Linde's family; autopsy Monday or Tuesday

  • Dec 4, 2009 at 2:00PM updated at 4:53PM

For a moment this morning, San Juan County Superior Court was still. No gavel, no opening statements, no questions, no testimony. Judge John Linde's courtroom opened at 9 a.m. today with a moment of silence in his honor, the county communications office reported. Linde, 62, died Dec. 3 while vacationing in Hawaii. He had been snorkeling with a friend; an autopsy was scheduled.

Hancock will serve on interim basis as San Juan County Superior Court judge

  • Dec 8, 2009 at 2:37PM

The state Supreme Court has appointed Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock to perform judicial duties in San Juan Superior Court, succeeding John Linde, who died Dec. 3. Linde, 62, died of apparent cardiac arrest while vacationing in Hawaii. Memorial service is Dec. 12, 11:30 a.m., at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church.

$1.4 million in funding to improve salmon habitat in San Juan County

  • Dec 15, 2009 at 12:00PM updated Dec 16, 2009 at 12:15PM

Seven organizations will share more than $1.4 million in funding for projects to improve salmon habitat in San Juan County. All told, the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the awarding of $42.8 million in grants to protect and restore salmon populations to communities across Washington state.

Western bluebirds are back in the San Juans

  • Jan 27, 2010 at 3:32PM

It's a familiar story: You're born and raised on the island, you spend some time on the mainland, you meet your life partner, you return to the islands to raise a family. A familiar story, even among birds. Western bluebirds have returned to the San Juan Islands, the San Juan Preservation Trust reports.

White announces campaign for second term as county clerk; 17 positions on 2010 ballot

  • Jan 28, 2010 at 2:00PM updated Jan 29, 2010 at 12:51PM

San Juan County Clerk Joan P. White has announced she plans to seek re-election this year. The primary is Aug. 17; the general election is Nov. 2. "It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of San Juan County as clerk since 2007," White said in an e-mailed announcement.

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