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Memorial service Thursday, 5 p.m., at St. Francis Church for Beatriz Velilla de Tobon | Passages

  • Jul 28, 2009 at 12:00PM updated Jul 30, 2009 at 11:55AM

Memorial service is Thursday, 5 p.m., at St. Francis Church for Beatriz Velilla de Tobon of Friday Harbor. Mrs. Tobon passed away July 25. She was 64. Her family remembered her today as a person who loved children, loved dancing and parties, and enjoyed the company of friends.

Celebration of Gale Carter’s life Saturday | Passages

  • Jul 23, 2009 at 1:00PM updated Jul 30, 2009 at 11:45AM

Gale Carter, a pioneer in convalescent care on San Juan Island, has died. His passing was announced by Pam Fry, RN, at Mullis Community Senior Center today.

'Mom and pops,' Navy sonar are the real problems

  • Jul 30, 2009 at 10:25AM

I have read enough letters to the editor from people who think that whale-watching boats are harassing the orcas, that we are causing them to become disoriented in their environment, that we are causing them stress and are making it impossible for them to find food.

Beat the heat at Islands Convalescent Center

  • Jul 29, 2009 at 2:00PM updated Jul 30, 2009 at 8:16AM

Need a place to beat the heat? Then get over to Islands Convalescent Center. With temperatures hovering around 90 degrees and humidity at levels rarely felt in the islands, Islands Convalescent Center has opened its doors and its air-conditioned living and dining rooms as a "cooling station," and is inviting anyone needing to escape the heat to stop by.

Critical Areas Ordinance: Protect our heritage in the waters around our islands

  • Jul 28, 2009 at 1:00PM updated at 4:35PM

Thirty years ago, the waters around the San Juan Islands teemed with waterfowl, salmon, rockfish, and ling cod. The fish and waterfowl fed on the locally spawned forage fish. Now, the birds and the larger fish are almost gone. There is little left for them and for the orcas to eat.

Only you can put out forest fires; San Juan County burn ban now in effect

  • Jul 28, 2009 at 2:00PM updated at 4:35PM

If you start any kind of fire this summer, you're going to pay the price. The San Juan County Fire Marshal has issued a burn ban for the county, which means campfires, fire pits, free-standing fixtures, and beach fires are all banned. Those who disregard the ban will be fined and/or billed the cost of fighting the fire if the fire department gets called.

Critical Areas Ordinance: 50-foot setback is adequate

  • Jul 28, 2009 at 2:00PM updated at 4:35PM

I understand that many of you don’t believe that real estate sales are being affected by the council’s decision to move forward on the 100-foot shoreline setback portion of the CAO. As a REALTOR, on the front line, I can attest that there is an impact, and it is a huge economic impact to our community.

Public meeting on Critical Areas Ordinance today in Friday Harbor High School's Hall Gym

  • Jul 27, 2009 at 8:00PM updated Jul 28, 2009 at 8:34AM

Common Sense Alliance is hosting a public meeting on the Critical Areas Ordinance today, 5 p.m., in Friday Harbor High School's Hall Gymnasium.

One dead, two hurt in Lopez Island crash; excessive vehicle speed is suspected cause

  • Jul 27, 2009 at 6:00PM updated at 8:27PM

A man from British Columbia is dead and a Lopez Island teen is in a Seattle hospital after a collision Sunday afternoon on Lopez Sound Road. Paul John Jaholkowsky, 26, was jogging southbound on Lopez Sound Road at about 2:30 p.m. when, according to authorities, he was struck head-on by a 1974 Chevy Nova sedan driven by a 15-year-old Lopez boy who was driving north at what is believed to be a high rate of speed.

The Pig War: Little-known facts about the joint military occupation of San Juan Island

  • Jul 24, 2009 at 4:00PM updated Jul 27, 2009 at 8:55AM

What we now call the Pig War was referred to in 19th century documents and press coverage as the “San Juan Affair,” “San Juan Imbroglio,” and “San Juan Difficulty.” The term “Pig War” is likely a local creation. “It is a 20th century iteration,” historian Mike Vouri said. “I have never seen it in 19th century documents.”

San Juan Island man pleads no contest, faces at least five years in prison for shooting his girlfriend

  • Jul 24, 2009 at 9:00AM updated at 4:45PM

A San Juan Island man will face a minimum of five years in prison after pleading no contest two weeks ago to allegations that he acted recklessly when he shot his live-in girlfriend in the chest with a .40-caliber handgun. On July 13, Douglas Curnow, 36, pleaded no contest in San Juan County Superior Court to first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, a Class A felony; and to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, a Class C felony.

'Pig War' began 150 years ago; British consul, tall ships will attend events this weekend

  • Jul 22, 2009 at 5:00PM updated Jul 24, 2009 at 4:42PM

History was made on San Juan Island 150 years ago. While the event is a mere footnote in world history books, it was an event of national and international importance. In 1859, American and British troops occupied San Juan Island to defend their claims to the archipelago. What ensued over the next 12 years was a peaceful occupation that proved that nations, even superpowers, can resolve conflicts without bullets or blows.

The Pig War: Several descendants live on the island

  • Jul 24, 2009 at 4:41PM

Numerous islanders are descendants of American soldiers and British marines who served here during the joint military occupation of San Juan Island.

Celebration of Joan Komen's life Wednesday, 2 p.m., at Roche Harbor Pavilion | Passages

  • Jul 24, 2009 at 11:00AM updated at 4:20PM

Joan Komen passed away July 23 at her home in Roche Harbor after a courageous two-year struggle with ovarian cancer. She was 71. A celebration of her life will be held at Roche Harbor Resort Pavilion on July 29, 2 p.m.; and at Seattle Golf Club on Aug. 5 at 4 p.m.

Jim Basnight Band headed to Big Apple for CD release party

  • Jul 24, 2009 at 4:10PM

The release parties celebrate the CD "We Rocked and Rolled / The First 25 Years With Jim Basnight: The Moberlys and Beyond." "This is a huge step," said Basnight, 52, a former stockbroker. "I moved to New York City when I was 19 to pursue music, and I've been pursuing music and supporting myself as a musician for the last 17 years."

County Council hosts special budget workshop Monday

  • Jul 24, 2009 at 11:00AM updated at 1:51PM

The San Juan County Council will hold a special budget workshop July 27, 1 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room of the Legislative Building at 55 Second St., Friday Harbor. According to the county communications office, the council will discuss the second phase of cuts to the 2009 county current fund budget, and measures necessary to create a 2010 budget that maintains an adequate working cash balance.

Two San Juan County residents, local Green Party take ballot bar codes to state Supreme Court

  • Jul 14, 2009 at 5:00PM updated Jul 24, 2009 at 5:44AM

Two San Juan County residents, two Grays Harbor County residents and the San Juan County Green Party today sued Secretary of State Sam Reed and County Auditor Milene Henley, seeking to prohibit placement of unique bar code identifiers on ballots. The plaintiffs are Allan Rosato and Tim White of Orcas Island, Arthur Grunbaum and Linda Orgel of Grays Harbor County, and the San Juan County Green Party.

Storm Bridgmon, Friday Harbor Sailing Club mascot, was one cool character

  • Jul 23, 2009 at 3:55PM

By all accounts, Storm Bridgmon was one cool character. He was named after a brand of bowling ball, enjoyed rock climbing and exploring caves, and fished for crab on Stuart Island. He lived on a boat in Friday Harbor and, when he tired of life as a liveaboard, his grandmother bought a condo that became known as the Dog House.

Support Relay for Life this weekend and make a difference in the battle against cancer | Editorial

  • Jul 23, 2009 at 9:00AM updated at 2:27PM

Times are tough right now. But for just a few dollars, and a little bit of your time, you can bolster cancer research and help provide services for local cancer patients. This year, Relay for Life is July 25-26, 2:30 p.m. to 11 a.m., on the Friday Harbor High School football field.

Old-Time Fiddle Contest at the fair; fiddlers invited to compete

  • Jul 23, 2009 at 11:00AM updated at 2:27PM

Fiddlers will compete for division prizes, including $100 gift certificates from sponsor Hugo Helmer Music, in the San Juan County Fair’s first annual Old-Time Fiddle Contest.

Margaret Joan Brown | Passages

  • Jul 23, 2009 at 9:00AM updated at 2:27PM

Maggie enjoyed her time working at San Juan County Bank and at various retail stores in town. She was active in her community, which she cherished. She volunteered at the Blood Bank and with the Booster Club, and was instrumental in the formation of the Purple and Gold Club in 1978. She was always an avid supporter of her children's and grandchildren's school activities.

Friday Harbor House appoints Michael O'Dell general manager

  • Jul 23, 2009 at 11:37AM

Friday Harbor House has appointed Michael O’Dell as general manager. In his new position, O’Dell will manage all employees, hotel operations and overall guest experience at the 23-room waterfront inn.

Council strikes down surcharge on permits for beefy homes

  • Jul 15, 2009 at 11:00AM updated Jul 23, 2009 at 11:41AM

Bigger might not necessarily be better when it comes to the size of a home. But it won't cost any extra when you pay for a permit to build one in San Juan County. The County Council on Tuesday reversed an earlier decision and eliminated a so-called surcharge on building permits for homes of more than 3,500 square feet. That surcharge would also have applied to an addition of an existing home that bumped its size beyond that 3,500-square-foot mark.

Updated: About 500 San Juan County residents are collecting unemployment checks

  • Jul 14, 2009 at 4:00PM updated Jul 23, 2009 at 11:40AM

News that San Juan County has the lowest jobless rate in the state may come as small comfort to the 500 or so islanders who are collecting unemployment checks. San Juan County's jobless rate was 5.4 percent in June, far better than the U.S. rate of 9.5 percent — the nation's highest in 26 years — and the state rate of 9 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department. It was also far better than in neighboring counties: Island County, 8.7 percent; Whatcom, 8.4; Skagit, 9.9; Snohomish, 10.1, King, 8.8. The worst unemployment rate was in Lewis County, where almost 13 of every 100 working-age residents is out of a job.

Friday Harbor postmaster kisses a pig to raise money for Relay for Life

  • Jul 23, 2009 at 10:40AM

Friday Harbor Postmaster Dan Fleming turned out to be the big winner in the "kiss-a-pig" Relay for Life fund-raiser. More than $1,700 was raised as islanders cast votes — donations of $1 — for one of five brave volunteers who volunteered to kiss a pig as part of a unique and apparently popular fund-raising event.

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