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The Spanish founded the island and named it Isla y Archipelago de San Juan. That is our history. We speak the words almost every day, "The San Juans." But the first ones did not come in a ship from Europe. They were an ancient people who traveled here on foot after the great ice sheet thawed. More than 8,000 years ago they made their homes on the shores of the islands. They fished for salmon off the coast and gathered oysters and mussels. If you have ever appreciated the pretty purple flowers that bloom in the San Juan national park, then you have seen a primary food source for the islands' early people. They picked the camas bulbs and cooked them in the earth like potatoes.
Community Events, September 2016
On an evening ferry sailing to Anacortes on Sept. 23, passengers heard a disturbing message from the loudspeakers: "We have very sad news. There has been a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington. If you have shopping, we urge you to not go to the mall, as the shooter is still at large."
My phone and email have been very busy lately with community members who want to talk about the heart-breaking event in our island community this month.
I, too, was shocked to see the headline "Reality of Heroin Addiction – Is heroin becoming more common in the San Juan Islands?" on the covers of our local papers on Aug. 17. I applaud the writers of this well-written article as well as the editors for printing it as it behooves us all to be well-informed in matters that significantly affect our communities.
By Doug McCutchen