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Fire Marshal Low's departure for Quilcene: One resignation, a lot of shoes to fill

  • Feb 2, 2010 at 12:41PM

One resignation, a lot of shoes to fill. Bob Low's resignation as San Juan County fire marshal to become fire chief in Quilcene has left a void in more than one area on San Juan Island. Low's last day as San Juan County fire marshal was Jan. 28. His first day on the job in Quilcene was Feb. 1. Besides serving as fire marshal, he was also a San Juan EMT, and had just completed a term as a hospital district commissioner. Low ran for mayor in November and had sought appointment to the Town Council. He was actively seeking street improvements for his neighborhood, the Greenway subdivision, which has poor drainage and potholed streets. His wife, Barbara, was active in the local American Red Cross chapter and was also an EMT.

Judge says state's failure to fund basic education is 'unconstitutional'

  • Feb 4, 2010 at 4:00PM updated Feb 5, 2010 at 11:22AM

In what plaintiffs in a landmark school funding lawsuit called “a huge victory for Washington school children,” a Superior Court judge ruled Feb. 4 the State in violation of its constitutionally mandated “paramount duty” to amply provide for the education of all children.

Dr. Frederick Ellis, conservationist, dies in his Shaw Island home at 93

  • Feb 8, 2010 at 4:42PM

Dr. Frederick Ellis, a founding member of the San Juan Preservation Trust, died in his Shaw Island home Feb. 5. He was 93. No funeral arrangements had been set by press time Monday. Visit this week for updated information.

Kickoff for this year's Relay for Life is Feb. 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the San Juan Island Library

  • Feb 9, 2010 at 2:00PM updated Feb 19, 2010 at 9:25AM

The kickoff for this year's Relay for Life is Feb. 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the San Juan Island Library. The kickoff is open to the public, particularly those interested in knowing more about Relay for Life. Last year's local Relay for Life raised $72,000 for the American Cancer Society. The kickoff party includes door prizes and refreshments.

Voters on Lopez, Orcas, San Juan islands renew M&O, EMS levies

  • Feb 9, 2010 at 7:38PM

San Juan County voters overwhelmingly renewed property tax levies supporting schools and emergency medical services Tuesday. With results posted at 8:24 p.m., San Juan Island School District's maintenance and operations levy was approved 1,869 votes to 841, or 68.97 percent to 31.03 percent. The San Juan Island EMS levy was approved 2,057 votes to 658, or 75.76 percent to 24.24 percent.

Street legal: Ranker bill would expand use of electric vehicles in the San Juans; increased registration fee could follow

  • Feb 11, 2010 at 10:26AM

Legislation proposed by Sen. Kevin Ranker and unanimously approved by the Senate Wednesday evening would expand the use of neighborhood electronic vehicles (NEVs) for residents of San Juan County. Senate Bill 6346 would allow residents of San Juan County to operate NEVs and medium-speed electronic vehicles on town streets and county roads that are not state routes, provided the road has a speed limit of 45 mph or less. The bill is specific to the San Juan Islands.

Break-in, airplane theft could be linked to 'Barefoot Burglar' Colton Harris-Moore

  • Feb 11, 2010 at 11:00AM updated Feb 16, 2010 at 10:12AM

An airplane theft and a break-in at an Eastsound business could be linked to alleged serial burglar Colton Harris-Moore, authorities say. On the morning of Feb. 11, an airplane taken from Skagit County was found abandoned at the Eastsound airport, and employees at Homegrown Market and Deli walked into a nightmare: the store was broken into, vandalized, and sustained damage to internal security systems.

News of Colton Harris-Moore's capture is false, says Coast Guard

  • Feb 12, 2010 at 10:00AM updated Feb 16, 2010 at 10:11AM

Association of Professional Landscape Designers-Washington Chapter 10th anniversary gala March 20

  • Feb 12, 2010 at 11:34AM

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers-Washington Chapter, or APLDWA, is hosting a gala to celebrate the state chapter's 10th anniversary. The celebration will take place March 20, 6-11 p.m., at the Hotel Deca in Seattle’s University District. The catered fare will include hors d’oeuvres and libations in the hotel’s lobby, followed by a sit-down dinner in the Grand Ballroom.

Colton Harris-Moore, the 'Barefoot Burglar,' is still at large

  • Feb 19, 2010 at 10:00AM updated Feb 22, 2010 at 2:08PM

Colton Harris-Moore has not yet been officially named the suspect in an airplane theft and burglary on Orcas, according to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

San Juans reportedly on list of proposed national monuments

  • Feb 19, 2010 at 4:40PM

The San Juan Islands have been designated a national wildlife refuge and a scenic byway. Next, they could become a national monument. Fox News reported today that the Obama administration is considering 14 sites, including the San Juan Islands, for national monument designation. The report was based on Department of Interior documents leaked to a Utah congressman and obtained exclusively by Fox News. The mostly public lands include Arizona deserts, California mountains, Montana prairies, New Mexico forests, Washington islands and the Great Basins of Nevada and Colorado — totaling more than 13 million acres.

Orca born to L pod makes 89 in Southern resident population

  • Feb 23, 2010 at 6:00AM updated at 4:37PM

The Center for Whale Research has confirmed the birth of a new L pod calf. L114 was photographed with its mother, L77, on Feb. 21 in Cordova Bay. The new calf brings the Southern resident orca population up to 89.

Four in early running for Quall's 40th District state House seat | Election 2010

  • Feb 23, 2010 at 9:35AM

State Rep. Dave Quall is retiring after 18 years of service in the Legislature. Quall is a retired teacher, counselor and coach. He is chairman of the House Education Committee, and has also been devoted to clean air and water, economic development, farmland preservation, and transportation. Four district residents are already out of the chutes with their campaigns to succeed him.

Congressman Larsen gets two challenges from within party | Election 2010

  • Feb 23, 2010 at 10:00AM updated at 4:37PM

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Bellingham, will have a challenge in the primary from within his own party. Larry Kalb, 55, announced his candidacy Jan. 15 for the 2nd Congressional District seat, to which Larsen was elected in 2000. Kalb lives in Bellingham, works for the Whatcom Transportation Authority finance department, and is president of Health Care for All, a statewide organization advocating single-payer health care. And Diana McGinness of Bellingham, a retired insurance fraud investigator, announced her candidacy Jan. 20.

Looking for a job? The U.S. Census is hiring

  • Feb 23, 2010 at 11:22AM

Census tests are being scheduled throughout the Northern Puget Sound Region. Call 1-866-861-2010. With communities across the country reeling from job loss, the U.S. Census Bureau has its own way of providing a stimulus to local economies — hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary workers to ensure the 2010 Census is a success.

Without a local coordinator, derelict boats are often not removed from the water until it's too late

  • Feb 23, 2010 at 5:00PM updated Feb 24, 2010 at 11:13AM

Fast forward to August 2009. A 35- to 40-foot pontoon houseboat is photographed off Shipyard Cove taking on water Aug. 2, then partially submerged Sept. 2. And no one would take responsibility, to give the OK to take the vessel out of the water. The registered owner said she had sold it. The U.S. Coast Guard waited to see if it became a hazard to navigation. State DNR waited to see if it became an environmental hazard. Meanwhile, currents carried the houseboat around Turn Island, through Cattle Pass, to Eagle Point, and then across Haro Strait to Canadian waters. Without a local coordinator, the San Juans' participation in the Derelict Vessel Removal Program was rudderless.

Gov. Gregoire appoints Eaton San Juan County Superior Court judge

  • Feb 26, 2010 at 3:48PM

Donald E. Eaton was serving today as Superior Court commissioner. Effective March 22, he'll be serving as Superior Court judge. Gov. Christine Gregoire today announced Eaton's appointment to the San Juan County Superior Court, effective March 22. He will succeed Judge John O. Linde, who died in December.

Colton Harris-Moore possibly strikes again in Eastsound

  • Feb 28, 2010 at 10:00AM updated Mar 1, 2010 at 4:38PM

Lessons from Chile: What the Pacific Northwest can learn from the Chilean earthquake | Guest Column

  • Mar 2, 2010 at 4:00PM updated at 7:20PM

First Haiti, now Chile. Widespread destruction on a scale most of us have seen only in a Hollywood movie has many in the Pacific Northwest wondering what it would look like here after a similar quake. And the reality is, of course, that it will happen here.

What’s best for Tillikum now, and what have we learned? | Guest Column

  • Mar 2, 2010 at 4:00PM updated at 7:21PM

The terrible tragic death of veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau at Sea World Florida has suddenly generated a nationwide public examination of our feelings about captive orca shows. We’ve now seen the harm they can do even to compassionate humans, and the mental distress captivity can cause in the orcas. Google shows at least 6,892 articles on the trainer’s death. No other single news event has brought out such a groundswell of emotions doubting the ethical wisdom of using captive orcas for entertainment.

United Way of San Juan County raises $152,600; 2010 goal is $250,000

  • Mar 15, 2010 at 11:00AM updated at 6:40PM

United Way of San Juan County announces that more than $152,600 was raised during its 2009 campaign. The money will help support 31 local programs providing essential services for individuals and families.

Ban on safe and sane fireworks overturned because of a technicality

  • Mar 18, 2010 at 3:00PM updated at 5:08PM

A San Juan County Superior Court judge has overturned a ban on the use of so-called safe and sane fireworks because of a technicality. Islanders will vote on the measure again in November. The decision was made March 15 by Friday Harbor attorney Don Eaton, filling in for Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock.

Eaton takes oath of office as San Juan Superior Court judge

  • Mar 19, 2010 at 12:51PM

Donald E. Eaton was scheduled to be sworn in Friday at 1 p.m. as San Juan County Superior Court judge. Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock, who has been filling in here since Judge John Linde died in December, was scheduled to administer the oath of office in a private ceremony in the county courthouse. Eaton's appointment, by Gov. Christine Gregoire, takes effect Monday.

Bob Myhr seeking re-election to the San Juan County Council, District 6 | Election 2010

  • Mar 19, 2010 at 1:44PM

Bob Myhr announced Friday he will seek re-election to the San Juan County Council representing District 6 – Lopez, Blakely, Center, Decatur and Shaw islands. Myhr was elected to the three-member San Juan County Commission in 2005, succeeding Rhea Miller, who resigned. Re-elected in 2006, he served as the first chairman of the new six-member County Council. "I hope I have earned the trust and confidence of the voters and their support for another term," Myhr said in his announcement.

Henning Sehmsdorf in the lead for another term on San Juan Islands Conservation District Board of Supervisors

  • Mar 22, 2010 at 3:00PM updated Mar 23, 2010 at 10:13AM

Henning Sehmsdorf appears to have won another term on the San Juan Islands Conservation District Board of Supervisors. According to unofficial results, Sehmsdorf received 262 votes, Ed Kilduff 229.

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