The best of intentions couldn’t spare a newly-created ferries task force from an untimely demise. Citing absence of a game plan, as well as its own lack of leadership and support, the San Juan County Council last week dissolved the task force which it intended to be its eyes and ears, and its advocate, in Olympia and at the headquarters of the state ferry system in Seattle, and beyond.
At the San Juan Island School Board meeting last night, the budget ax hit the spreadsheet and six sports programs hit the floor. Football stays. Girls soccer stays. Boys and girls basketball teams stay. Baseball, softball and girls tennis stay. Boys tennis and girls volleyball are gone. Boys soccer is gone. The co-ed sports — golf, track and wrestling — are gone. Cheerleading, not technically a sport since the team doesn’t compete, stays.
It’s hard to deny that the antics of a California sea lion that showed up recently on San Juan Island are, let’s say, amusing. In less than 24 hours, it gave chase to several boats — hoisting itself out of the water and onto the back of one boat — and then chased off a mother, son and family dog during the sea lion’s temporary takeover of Jackson’s Beach. But local biologists say there’s nothing funny about the affliction that the animal is probably suffering from. If they’re on target, its days could be numbered.
San Juan County Councilman Kevin Ranker told a U.S. Senate Subcommittee today that Washington state is especially vulnerable to the effects of global climate change and quoted a University of Washington study which estimates sea levels in the Puget Sound may rise by half a foot over the next 40 years.
San Juan County Councilman Alan Lichter, Orcas West, announced May 26 that he will run for re-election. Lichter was elected as a Democrat in 2004 to the three-member Board of County Commissioners that preceded the present council, defeating the three-term Republican incumbent by more than 1,300 votes.
Superintendent Michael Soltman announced today that Gary Pflueger will be recommended to the school board as the new principal of Friday Harbor Elementary School. The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 6 p.m. in the Friday Harbor High School Library. The meeting is open to the public.