News

San Juan’s choices: Obama, Gregoire, Larsen, Ranker, Morris, Rosenfeld, Pratt, Fralick

San Juan County voters helped make history Tuesday. They voted overwhelmingly for America’s first black president, sent one of their own to the state Senate for the first time in 100 years, elected two new County Council members, and helped Gov. Christine Gregoire maintain the governorship.

  • Nov 5th, 2008

Larsen easily wins fifth term in Congress

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Bellingham, easily won a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, District 2, Tuesday. At 8:10 p.m. Larsen was leading with 65,976 votes to Rick Bart's 41,066, according to the Secretary of State's office. Votes had been reported in Island and Snohomish counties. Elections officials were still awaiting results from King, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

  • Nov 5th, 2008

Pratt elected to County Council from San Juan South

Lovel Pratt was elected to the San Juan County Council from San Juan South tonight, succeeding Kevin Ranker, who opted to run for state Senate rather than reelection.

  • Nov 5th, 2008

Morris reelected to state House of Representatives, 40th District

Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Anacortes, won a seventh term Tuesday as the San Juan Island's representative in the state House. At 8:59 p.m., Morris received 11,630 votes to Howard Pellett's 3,206. Pellett is the Green Party's candidate and a former Bothell city councilman now living in Anacortes.

  • Nov 5th, 2008

Ranker wins state Senate seat; first islander in Senate in about 100 years

For inspiration, Kevin Ranker turned to the rock on Election Day. Not just any rock -- a little white rock with the word "hope" etched in the surface, a good luck charm given to him during his first campaign for political office by a neighbor's son.

Larsen leading in bid for fifth term in U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Bellingham, was coasting Tuesday to a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, District 2. At 8:10 p.m. Larsen was leading with 65,976 votes to Rick Bart's 41,066, according to the Secretary of State's office. Votes had been reported in Island and Snohomish counties. Elections officials were still awaiting results from King, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

  • Nov 5th, 2008

San Juan County voter turnout expected to reach 90 percent

Libby Nieland of the Secretary of State's office watched as San Juan County elections workers processed ballots in the tight quarters of the elections office. She was impressed.

  • Nov 4th, 2008

It’s Election Day: Ballots must be postmarked by 3 p.m., placed in drop box by 8 p.m.

Ballots must be postmarked by 3 p.m. today. If you miss the post office, you have until 8 p.m. to drop your ballot off at the county Elections Department at Second and Reed streets, or in a drop box in front of the County Courthouse, the Lopez Fire Station or the Orcas Senior Center.

  • Nov 4th, 2008

Auditor’s reminder; free election java; record turnout | Election Notebook

Auditor Milene Henley, the top elections official in San Juan County, submitted…

  • Nov 4th, 2008

County auditor predicts San Juan voter turnout will reach 90 percent

Sixty-three percent of voters in San Juan County had turned in their ballots by Monday morning, and County Auditor Milene Henley expected the final turnout to be 90 percent. Tuesday is Election Day. Ballots must be postmarked by 3 p.m. Tuesday. If you miss the post office, you have until 8 p.m. to drop your ballot off at the county Elections Department at Second and Reed streets, or in a drop box in front of the County Courthouse, the Lopez Fire Station or the Orcas Senior Center.

  • Nov 3rd, 2008

School district consolidation will be discussed at public meeting Monday

The superintendent of the local educational service district will present the possibilities and pitfalls of consolidating the islands' school districts Monday, noon, at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church. The meeting is open to the public and will constitute a special meeting of the San Juan Island School Board. Lopez and Orcas school officials are expected to participate.

  • Nov 3rd, 2008

Damaged cable leaves Orcas, Lopez and Shaw without 911 coverage or off-island calling

In case of emergency, those without phone service are asked to contact their local fire station or emergency medical services (EMS) so emergency calls can be routed to the Sheriff's office in Friday Harbor and emergency personnel can be contacted

  • Nov 3rd, 2008

Plastics in Our Oceans, presentation Monday at UW Labs

On Monday, Capt. Moore, a pioneer in oceanic research and advocate for clean oceans, will be at the UW Friday Harbor Labs to talk about plastics and pollution in the world's oceans as part of a lecture entitled, "Synthetic Polymers in the Marine Environment: A Rapidly Increasing, Long Term Threat".

  • Nov 1st, 2008

Cable repaired, 911 service restored

At about 3:15 p.m., Bill Henikman of Century Tel confirmed that repair crews had fixed the damage and telephone service on Orcas, Shaw and Lopez islands had been restored and is fully operational.

  • Oct 31st, 2008

Red flags raised over pending cut in juvenile probation

For local law enforcement officials, such a cut would not only be shortsighted, it would be a serious setback in the county's ability to reduce or prevent juvenile crime, keep children in school and keep troubled teens under watch but close to home.

Home Trust’s annual Dessert Night to feature plans for the Buck/Boreen property

The San Juan Community Home Trust's seventh annual Dessert Night and membership meeting is Nov. 3, 7 p.m. in the Skagit Valley College Community Room in Friday Harbor. An update on the Home Trust’s progress on a new neighborhood on the Buck/Boreen property will be given by emeritus board member Larry Soll.

  • Oct 30th, 2008

Pat Speer ‘was everyone’s favorite teacher’

Retired Friday Harbor High School art teacher Pat Speer died in her sleep Sunday evening in her brother's home in Plattsmouth, Neb. She was 62. Speer retired from teaching in June after a 35-year career in the San Juan Island School District, beginning in September 1973.

Meeting today for eight potential Firewise communities

Byron, Eagle Cove, Foxhall, Hannah Heights, High Haro, Leeward, Timber and Yacht Haven community members are invited to attend an introductory Firewise meeting discussing wildfire behavior and actions home owners can take to prevent catastrophic destruction in their neighborhoods.

  • Oct 29th, 2008

Be afraid, but have fun too; San Juan sets a spooky stage for Halloween

A cauldron of Halloween fun is brewing, with live music, a teen dance, games and, of course, trick-or-treating in local neighborhoods. The annual Halloween Parade featuring Friday Harbor Elementary School students will begin downtown at 1 p.m., as eager spectators await the arrival of children dressed in their Halloween finery.

Plan calls for expansion of English Camp boundary, new American Camp visitor center

A proposed new year-round visitor center at American Camp and the expansion of the English Camp boundary are among the highlights included in San Juan Island National Historical Park’s General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement released last week.

  • Oct 29th, 2008

Don’t let the big equipment dissuade you: First Street is open

So, you're hungering for a Lopez or a Waldron sandwich at Rich's Cannery House, or you're heading to a club meeting in the Legion Hall, or perhaps you want to take some guests to the Whale Museum. Don't let the big equipment and trenched roadway dissuade you. First Street is open for business.

  • Oct 29th, 2008

Updated: Ferry passenger suffers heart attack, dies at Island Hospital

A Portland man en route to the San Juan Islands on vacation had a heart attack on the Sealth Tuesday afternoon as the ferry was preparing to leave Anacortes for the San Juans. David Kinzer died later in the Island Hospital emergency room, according to Evans Funeral Chapel in Anacortes.

  • Oct 29th, 2008

San Juan officials condemn theft, vandalism of political signs

There have been numerous reports of campaign signs being stolen on the islands. Sheriff Bill Cumming has this message: Stealing signs is illegal and violators will be prosecuted. And if you take a sign off of someone's property, you can expect a trespassing charge tacked on to your theft charge.

  • Oct 28th, 2008

Retired art teacher Pat Speer dies in Nebraska

Retired art teacher Pat Speer died quietly in her sleep Sunday night at her brother’s home in Plattsmouth, Neb., the San Juan Island School District announced today. Speer retired from teaching in June 2008 after a 35-year career in the San Juan Island School District, beginning in September 1973. She was 62 years old.

  • Oct 28th, 2008

Passages: Darline D. Evans-Nichols

A Memorial Celebration for Darline will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008 at the home of Shaun Evans and Beth Rosenzweig, 10425 E. Riverside in Bothell, between 3-6 p.m. Funeral arrangements are being made at Evans Funeral Home in Anacortes, Wash. Visit www.evanschapel.com.

  • Oct 28th, 2008

90-car ferry Sealth is serving the Anacortes-San Juan Islands route

The 90-car ferry Sealth began service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route on Oct. 26. This means a slight reduction in vehicle capacity for the route.

  • Oct 28th, 2008

Updated: School district consolidation will be discussed at public meeting Nov. 3

The superintendent of the local educational service district will present the possibilities and pitfalls of consolidating the islands' school districts Nov. 3, noon, at a yet-to-be-named venue in Friday Harbor. The meeting will be open to the public and will constitute a special meeting of the San Juan Island School Board. Orcas School District officials are expected to participate. The Lopez School Board will discuss participation on Oct. 29.

  • Oct 28th, 2008

Two solid waste transfer station sites nixed by SWAC; meeting Monday at 11:45 a.m.

One is too remote. The other is not for sale. And while the factors may differ, the Solid Waste Advisory Committee last week trimmed down from five to three the number of sites it will consider as the home of a new transfer station on San Juan Island.

Dip in town sales, lodging tax revenue, but treasurer expects F.H. will finish year as budgeted

Friday Harbor sales tax receipts are about $15,500 lower than in 2007, and hotel/motel tax receipts are about $10,000 lower than in 2007, according to a report from the Town Treasurer's Office. But Town Treasurer Wendy Picinich said she expects the town will come out as budgeted: $950,000.

  • Oct 27th, 2008

OPALCO’s October Surprise: $1 million being returned to ratepayers

There will be a surprise in every OPALCO member's October bill: a credit for a good portion of the electricity used during the October billing period.

  • Oct 24th, 2008

It’s the FTEs that count; school enrollment is down only 10 students

Turns out, there are only 10 fewer students attending San Juan Island public schools right now, compared to the same time in 2007. There are 858 full-time-equivalent students (a kindergartner counts as .5 FTE, and some home school and private school students take only a class at a public school). In October 2007, there were 868 FTEs. An earlier version of this story compared the current FTE to last year's head count, which is higher because the head count includes part-time students and kindergartners. The district receives per-student funding from the state — currently $5,411.70 per student — based on its annual average FTE enrollment.

San Juan: Fire destroys old building across the street from high school

A fire destroyed an old laundry/storeroom/garage behind the former Virgil Frits house, across from the courthouse, this morning. There were no reported injuries.

  • Oct 23rd, 2008

20 San Juan County jobs in jeopardy; drop in sales tax revenue blamed for $1M shortfall

Seven day-use parks would be shut down. A public health nurse and a 4-H coordinator would be let go. Support for recreation programs — on Orcas Island, in particular — would be cut by $41,000. And that's just for starters.

Passages: Calvin Van Cleve Cantrill

At Cal's request, no services will be held. His ashes will be dispersed in the waters of the San Juan Islands. Memorials may be made to the Animal Welfare Institute, Friday Harbor, (360) 378-8755.

  • Oct 22nd, 2008

Junior Class wins Homecoming float contest

Roller skaters, prize fighters, an abominable snowman, and root-beer floats served up on a ’50s-style diner rolled down the streets of downtown Friday Harbor in the annual Homecoming parade Friday. Enthusiasm rang high among the crowds of students on a rainy afternoon as they proudly displayed their eagerness to dominate the Nooksack Valley Pioneers, the opposing team in the Homecoming football game.

Community sports fields project 50 percent completed

The community sports fields project at the end of Carter Avenue is on the 50-yard line, with curbs, gutters, roads and sidewalks completed and the clubhouse under construction. Donny Galt Jr., president of the Friday Harbor Athletic Association, put the value of the work to date at $1.3 million — funded through private donations and volunteer labor. Now under way: grading the sports fields and completion of the clubhouse.

  • Oct 22nd, 2008

Candidate Q&A: Steve Van Luven, 40th District state Senate

The Journal’s series of Candidate Q&As continues with candidates for 40th District state Senate. The 40th District comprises San Juan County and parts of Whatcom and Skagit counties, from Bellingham/Lake Whatcom to Mount Vernon. Senators serve four-year terms. Their annual salaries are $42,106 (effective Sept. 1) and they receive health benefits.

  • Oct 21st, 2008

Admitting uphill challenge, ex-sheriff Bart hopes to replace Larsen in Congress

It isn’t easy running for office against a popular, four-term congressman. As Nov. 4 fast approaches, Republican Rick Bart is, in the main, upbeat about his chances to unseat U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Bellingham, in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes all of Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties, as well as parts of King and Snohomish counties. Upbeat, but realistic.

  • Oct 21st, 2008

Economy weighs heavily on future and hopeful members of Congress, Legislature, County Council

The economy is weighing heavily on future and hopeful members of Congress, Legislature, County Council. About 70 islanders attended the candidates forum Oct. 11 at Friday Harbor Middle School, hosted by the League of Women Voters of the San Juans.

Candidate Q&A: Kevin Ranker, 40th District state Senate

The Journal’s series of Candidate Q&As continues with candidates for 40th District state Senate. The 40th District comprises San Juan County and parts of Whatcom and Skagit counties, from Bellingham/Lake Whatcom to Mount Vernon. Senators serve four-year terms. Their annual salaries are $42,106 and they receive health benefits.

  • Oct 21st, 2008