Steve Wehrly

Steve posted 123 stories to The Journal of the San Juan Islands.
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Friday Harbor grad helps lead NY school to $100K international alternative energy prize

Nathaniel Wight and students from the Bronx Design & Construction Academy traveled to Abu Dhabi to accept the Zayed Future Energy Prize on behalf of the school.

  • Jan 28th, 2014 6:49pm

Health effects move to forefront of protest over ‘Growlers’

In a Jan. 14 press release, COER President Michael Monson announced that the organization is now seeking removal of the jets from Whidbey Island, not just stopping further use of OLF Coupeville for Navy "touch and go" carrier landing exercises.

  • Jan 25th, 2014 1:07am

Fresh start in the ‘Field of Dreams’

A $1 million "challenge grant" from an anonymous donor promises to reinvigorate construction of the San Juan Island Community Sports Field, commonly called the Carter Avenue ballfields.

  • Jan 21st, 2014 5:14pm

Islands ignored by coal port EIS

The County Council approved a letter to the Corps of Engineers that asks for specific consideration of the impacts of the project on San Juan County.

  • Jan 14th, 2014 11:18pm

More ‘Growlers’, more noise; Whidbey NAS subject to full-blown environmental review

Even though complaints from the San Juans represent less than one percent of the total noise complaints received at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, according to Mike Welding at NAS Whidbey, islanders from as far away as Waldron Island are telling the Journal and the county council that they are bothered by increased noise from the new planes, which are gradually replacing the 1970’s era EA-6B Prowlers as the fleet’s electronic warfare jets.

  • Jan 14th, 2014 10:06pm

Northwest Marine Technologies founder OK after airplane crash

Keith Jefferts was transported by Airlift Northwest to Bellingham's St. Joseph's hospital, where he was treated for cuts and contusions and released.

  • Jan 8th, 2014 12:59am

New rules require hospitals to disclose health care policies

The rules also require hospitals within 60 days to "submit to the department its policies related to access to care" in the areas of admission, non-discrimination, end of life care and reproductive health care. After review by the DOH, each hospital must post the policies on its web site.

  • Jan 7th, 2014 2:56am

New mission, new manager, new $325K grant for derelict vessel removal program

In a state with more than 300,000 recreational and commercial boats and over 2.4 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands, derelict or abandoned boats can cause serious environmental problems.

  • Jan 6th, 2014 8:16pm

State cites shoreline ‘violations’ at Mar Vista clearcut; Ecology issues demands

Although local code enforcement personnel are maintaining a discreet silence concerning the ongoing investigation, San Juan County Prosecutor Randy Gaylord responded to questions about the next steps in the enforcement process. “The primary objective is to obtain compliance," he said.

  • Dec 29th, 2013 11:18pm

Sale price plummets; Allen sells Allan Island for $8 million

Led by space travel entrepreneur, island purchased by investors for one-third original list price, $25M

  • Dec 28th, 2013 3:51am

Waterfront clearcut prompts ‘stop work’ order on Mar Vista remodel

New owners of the former San Juan Island west side resort reportedly cleared trees and vegetation at the water's edge without having the required state and local permits.

  • Dec 21st, 2013 1:53am

Wetland buffers: return of ‘cookie-cutter’ approach

The wetland protection buffers were, and still are, among the most fought-over parts of the ordinances.

  • Dec 19th, 2013 1:00am

Port moves forward with waterfront plan; demolition of fire-ravaged building

The commission also approved a $75,000 contract with MEM Enterprises of Friday Harbor for demolition of the burned-out building, without chairman Greg Hertel's amendment that demolition should begin immediately. Port Director Marilyn O'Connor explained that the insurer needed "a few more days" to finish their work on the old building, but that "demolition should start after the holidays and be finished in about two weeks."

  • Dec 17th, 2013 2:15am

Complaints, losses, frustration aired over telecom outage

The state Utilities and Transportation Commission spent nearly three hours reviewing the facts and frustrations of the 10-day telephone and internet service outage. David Danner, chairman of the commission, said the hearing was part of a "thorough investigation of the cause of the service disruption and of the adequacy of the emergency preparations and response" of CenturyLink, especially focusing on the disruption to 911 emergency services in the county.

  • Dec 10th, 2013 11:19pm

County earmarks $6M for capital improvements in 2014

Major planned capital expenditures included in the 2014 capital improvement plan are $250,000 for a patrol boat based on Lopez and $600,000 for the public safety boat acquisition, most of which will be financed by a federal grant.

  • Dec 6th, 2013 7:32pm

Locals line up for shot at pot market

Lopez islanders apparently don’t want to have anything to do with marijuana

  • Dec 5th, 2013 5:30pm

Insurance settlement elusive for fire-ravaged Spring Street Landing

Three months after the fire that burned the Spring Street Landing Building, the Port and its insurer, Enduris Washington, are wrangling over the amount that will be paid for damages.

  • Nov 26th, 2013 11:34pm

League of Women Voters Forum on Catholic Hospitals

More than 130 people filled every seat and stood in doorways and along the walls to hear a wide-ranging discussion that touched on women's health care rights.

  • Nov 23rd, 2013 3:44am

CenturyLink: Fiber cable repaired, communications restored

At noon Friday, Nov. 15, CenturyLink Northwest Region President Brian Stading informed the Journal, "Our fiber has been repaired and is now fully operational as of this morning. We are making arrangements to install microwave radios for diversity purposes even after the fiber is restored."

  • Nov 16th, 2013 9:23pm

Ahrenius, Ghatan, Schwinge post wins in contested races; I-522 backed by local voters, but fails statewide

Voter turnout in the Nov. 5 election totaled 61 percent, a little below average for general elections, but close to the 2009 and 2011 off-year election turnouts.

  • Nov 12th, 2013 8:49pm

New lease puts U.S. Customs office in heart of downtown Friday Harbor

Once occupied by Windermere Realty and currently the home of Howard's Sell it Again, the 4,500 square foot retail at Friday Harbor Center will be used to house Customs and Border Patrol agents now working out of leased space at the Port.

  • Oct 31st, 2013 12:33am

Repair or replacement? Fate of fire-damaged waterfront building still unknown

Friday Harbor Port Director Marilyn O'Connor said the port has received no offers of settlement from its insurers as of Oct. 23, and that the port commission has not discussed costs to repair or replace the building.

  • Oct 29th, 2013 9:55pm

Future home for artsake

The building reflects what is going on inside. Coming here will be an artistic experience.

  • Oct 29th, 2013 6:56pm

Airlift NW drops reciprocal payment program with SJ EMS

Although Airlift Northwest will continue to provide emergency transportation to county residents, it will no longer cover out-of-pocket costs if Airlift Northwest members are flown off San Juan Island by Island Air Ambulance, a service of San Juan Island EMS.

  • Oct 28th, 2013 3:28pm

Woman of many hats, many friends | Women in Business

Debbie Dardanelli's is to make people happy, to make them satisfied with what they buy and feel good about doing business with her.

  • Oct 24th, 2013 4:46pm

Candidate Q &A: Friday Harbor Town Council | Election 2013

Town council candidate Farhad Ghatan answer four questions from the Journal.

  • Oct 24th, 2013 4:29pm

Town council weighs zoning restrictions on retail pot shops

The marijuana zoning ordinance, part of the late afternoon council session, attracted the most public interest, especially when town planning chief Mike Bertrand said a marijuana retail store would probably be limited to a strip along Mullis Street, from the Technology Building to Browne’s Home Center.

  • Oct 24th, 2013 4:39am

Health risks vs. higher costs; supporters, critics clash over impact of I-522

Both federal and state law identify and regulate foods that are “misbranded” or “adulterated,” but neither state nor federal law requires specific labeling of foods produced using genetic engineering.

  • Oct 19th, 2013 9:20pm

Larger than life

This isn’t just an artist at work, it’s a woman who’s doing what she wants

  • Oct 16th, 2013 4:07pm

Journey of success spans culture divide

Seattle author recounts rise and fall of family fortune in heart of Japan

  • Oct 15th, 2013 5:18pm

Tax breaks for farms in jeopardy

San Juan County Assessor Charles Zalmanek thought he had found a way to give local farmers a three-year grace period to make enough money from farming

  • Oct 15th, 2013 5:03pm

Tug-of-war over CAO headed to court

On Oct. 1, the Common Sense Alliance filed a petition for review in San Juan County Superior Court, contesting the ruling by the Growth Management Hearings Board in the CAO update case. Over the next few days, Friends of the San Juans, P.J. Taggares Co. and William H. Wright took the opportunity to file appeals of their own.

  • Oct 7th, 2013 1:22am

New battlefront opens over CAO

Questions have been raised about whether board members of the Common Sense Alliance, which challenged the county's critical areas ordinance before Growth Management Hearings Board, ought to be able to weigh in on required changes as part of their role on the Planning Commission.

  • Oct 1st, 2013 2:23am

Flair for adventure; beyond the Neslund trial | Reporter’s Notebook

Feisty to a fault, Betsy Roberts, presiding juror of the Ruth Neslund murder trial, lived life with flair, and on her own terms.

  • Sep 27th, 2013 12:08am

Investigators: rodent responsible for Downriggers fire

Heat, debris and sparks from electrical wiring left exposed after being chewed on by rodents combined to cause the Aug. 17 blaze that destroyed Downriggers and displaced three other waterfront businesses in Friday Harbor, according to fire investigators.

  • Sep 25th, 2013 10:58pm

County OK’s Penwell Permit

New CUP allows for drop-off at RH Road recycling center

  • Sep 25th, 2013 5:09pm

Beyond the Neslund murder trial

Feisty to a fault, Betsy Roberts lived life with flair, and on her own terms

  • Sep 24th, 2013 4:14pm

Boost in funding spurs new slate of construction projects

Plans and projects are buoyed by the success of the Brickworks, with five construction projects in various stages of completion and six major planning efforts underway. Town Administrator Duncan Wilson likes to call Friday Harbor “The Busiest Small Town in America (or at least the state).”

  • Sep 17th, 2013 2:44am

Fall Season Preview: Six skilled seniors lead the charge | Girls soccer

Their experience gives the girls confidence, and I have confidence in this team.

  • Sep 10th, 2013 10:04pm

State sets quota of San Juan County pot shops at three

Three marijuana retail stores will be permitted in San Juan County, one each on Orcas, San Juan and Lopez islands, under regulations proposed Sept. 4 by the Washington State Liquor Control Board to implement Initiative 502, which legalizes marijuana production, processing and retailing.

  • Sep 10th, 2013 5:46pm