Islanders give thanks

Every year the Journal of the San Juans asks its readers to…

  • Nov 23rd, 2016

The grey skies of election season | Editorial

This morning, voters woke up to heavy rain and dark skies. At…

County auditor reviews third quarter finances

My first year of college, I shared a landline (we called it…

  • Nov 17th, 2016

Reach out to a veteran before its too late | Editorial

I met Sgt. Gil Frazier during the war in Afghanistan. I was…

Reflections for the school superintendent

By Danna Diaz School Superintendent As I reflect on the past month,…

Update on Community Treasures

Submitted by Frank Penwell The Community Treasures (CT) Board of Directors met…

  • Nov 8th, 2016

Why does the Journal run endorsements? | Editorial

On Oct. 26, the Journal endorsed Bill Watson and Rick Hughes for San Juan County Council.

  • Nov 1st, 2016

Save the Southern residents | Opinion

There is a rising tide of tragedy in the Southern Salish Sea: the resident orca whales are facing extinction.

  • Oct 28th, 2016

2016 endorsements | Editorial

The staff of the Islands' Sounder and Journal of the San Juans held a meeting last week to discuss the candidates running for San Juan County Council. Read below for our endorsements.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Take some Initiative-Letter

Is it just me, or is anyone else confused over the six initiatives on the November ballot? They're tricky. Reading quickly, you may findyourself agreeing with one part of each measure yet disagreeing with another part. You have two options: You can "rubber stamp" whatyour political party wants you to do, or you can spend a frustrating half hour reading the "Voters' Pamphlet" and deciding for yourself. Ithink you know the answer here.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Watson and Durland-Letter

This is an exceptionally depressing election season, with one primary presidential candidate wholly unfit for office and the other whoresents an historic opportunity to become our first female president, but is opposed by a not-insignificant portion of the electorate.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Vote Durland-Letter

Michael Durland has amazing analytical skills that are applied to getting work done just right. The job always turns out better. His longtenure on Orcas Island breeds understanding. He does think of others first and has a good sense of what is best. He will work out theissues on a personal level. He knows how to care. He is open and honest. Lots of us know that voting for Michael is important.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Vote for Jarman-Letter

This letter is to encourage that you vote for Bob Jarman for county council. He now has four years on the job and has proved his valuetime and again. He came into the job with a unique work ethic, skill set, and about 40 years of county knowledge under his belt. He'sindependent, perceptive, smart and balanced. Along with his co- councilmen, he's improved the communication, cooperation, andperformance of county government within and without. We are fortunate to have such a devoted, hard-working, and effective leader whois actually a public servant seeking balanced solutions. He has no ax to grind and thinks for himself.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Cut politics out of land decisions-Letter

Bill Watson has my vote for county council district 1 – and I'll tell you why. In my 40-year residency in San Juan County, I owned asuccessful land surveying business that took me to just about to every corner on every island. I have viewed the changing landscape,changing land use and the population that has driven it. I have been on the Town of Friday Harbor Planning Commission as chair for thelast eight years and am a member of the Friday Harbor Historic Preservation Review Board. My small surveying business and thesecommissions have introduced me to a good many of the past and present county commissioners, council members and most planning,permitting, and deed recording employees of the town and county.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Watson, yes-Letter

I have known Bill Watson for many years. I find him to be exactly the sort of thoughtful person we need leading this great county of ours.We need strong, intelligent advocates for the issues that bind us together as a community. Bill joining Jamie and Rick on the countycouncil would create a team that would work exceptionally well together to represent our island communities. We have unique needsliving on these beautiful islands, from needing a county council that will continue to be strong advocates for our ferries, to making surewe grow our economy as well as opportunities for more housing, while protecting the beautiful environment. We need a San Juan CountyCouncil that is fully dedicated to tirelessly advocating for our core values. That is exactly why I support Bill Watson. Please join me invoting for Bill Watson.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Jarman for council- Letter

Bob Jarman gets my vote, hands down.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Support Jarman-Letter

As a long-time islander, teacher, farmer, wife and mother, I am very grateful to Bob Jarman for all he has done and continues to do forour county. I, and my family, have known and worked with Bob for many years. His commitment to the job, whether it's helping those ofus who farm, providing customer service and expertise at the phone company, serving as a fire commissioner, or as a county councilman,Bob gives it his all. He cares about the people in this county and works diligently to represent each and every person. It is important tokeep Bob on the job. He has the knowledge and the hands on experience. Please join us in voting for Bob Jarman, county councilman, onNov. 8.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Jarman, yes-Letter

Bob Jarman is the obvious choice for county council District 1. Having known Bob for over 20 years, I feel qualified to make thatstatement.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Bill Watson for County Council-Letter

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, Local 1849 (San Juan County employee's union)have endorsed Bill Watson.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Vote for Watson-Letter

Bill Watson has impressed me ever since we first met. I was immediately struck by his commitment to and understanding of our islands.For one thing, he had done his homework –since January, when he first decided to run, for example, he has taken in every single councilmeeting! Not only that, but in the ten years he has lived here he not only has continued his software consulting business, but also hasmade a significant impact on our islands and on many things I consider vital.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Re-elect Bob-Letter

I've known Bob Jarman for many years and have always been impressed with his honesty, his integrity, and his work ethic.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Letters-Thank you from the SJI Public Schools Foundation

Submitted by the San Juan Public Schools Foundation

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Support Jarman – Letter

Others have written letters of support for Bob Jarman, and I feel compelled to join that list. I have been on a board with Bob and have worked with him on a committee looking at the health care needs of SJC. I have been impressed with his diligence (he always comes to meetings prepared), his willingness to ask questions on issues in need of further explanation. He is nonpartisan, and responds only after considering what's best for San Juan County residents.

  • Oct 24th, 2016

Support for Watson-Letter

I am very uneasy about another term on County Council for Bob Jarman. I am not in any way a political insider and I have not been here for 85 years but I have a right to expect fair representation across the board. I am very clear that I have not had this from Mr. Jarman.

  • Oct 24th, 2016

Lessons from the storm – letter

So what if the storm from last weekend didn't turn out to be the biggest storm to hit SJI since the Columbus Day 1962 blow-out? I still disagree with the quote in the Journal (10/19/16, p. 16) by weather expert Cliff Mass that his profession "has to stop providing the worst case" scenario for a storm. I would rather know what the worst possibilities of a storm system could be, than to be lulled into a sense of complacency and inattention with "full probablistic guidance."

  • Oct 24th, 2016

Journal wins big | WNPA awards

The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association announced its winners for the 2016 Washington Better Newspaper Contest in Wenatchee, Washington. The Islands' Sounder and Journal of the San Juans took home 44 awards including general excellence. This year, the entries were judged by the New York Press Association.

Real estate market report

Submitted by Merri Ann Simonson

  • Oct 19th, 2016

Letters – scary good play

We here on San Juan Island are very generous with our applause after events at the San Juan Community Theatre.

  • Oct 19th, 2016

Letters – vote for Watson

I began visiting the San Juans in the 1990s, having heard of their uniqueness from family members who lived and worked here starting a century ago. Buying a home in 2002 and later moving here permanently from a major metropolis has givenme good insight into the issues islanders face. My career in science taught me critical thinking, especially the value ofproperly assessing relevant data before analysis. I'm supporting Bill Watson because we share that background. Adequatedata are fundamental to problem solving and our islands do have problems, such as our growing population unsupportedby a variety of housing and employment opportunities. I feel Bill brings a fresh perspective because of his understanding ofthe step-wise nature of resolving issues. Knowing Bill as a friend for about seven years and attending the recent candidateforum confirms for me his genuine integrity. Bill is a man of his word and if he says he will work diligently as a councilman,respecting staff input and other's viewpoints, he indeed will do so. Bill and I also share a deep love of the natural beauty ofthese islands. Having lived in an urban setting neither of us elects to duplicate that lifestyle here, by our own choices or bypassively accepting the poorly made decisions of others. Bill recognizes that we cannot create a community for only theprivileged few on either end of a bell curve of an environmental versus property rights agenda. His skills and strengthsinclude an ability to a forge a realistic compromise of protection and regulation fairness. Let's rise above the infighting wesee tragically occurring in our larger governmental arenas and bring a sense of really working together at our county levelby voting for Bill Watson for county councilman.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters-Big thanks for needed grant

Our sincerest thanks to the San Juan Island Community Foundation for their recent grant award to help Islands' Oil SpillAssociation obtain a badly-needed new outboard motor for our spill response vessel that is stationed at the Port of FridayHarbor.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters – vote Jarman

Bob Jarman has my vote. Bob has worked hard, along with incumbents Rick Hughes and Jamie Stephens, to move tocompletion several critical projects. They have worked cooperatively to represent all San Juan County citizens.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters – Bill for council

As full-time San Juan County residents since 1983, we've watched the county grow from sleepy little laid-back communities to vital location destinations with great eco-tourism appeal. We appreciate the difficult balance between economic survivaland potential destruction of what makes the islands so treasured and magical. Bill understands that fragile balance.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters-Reykdal support

I met Chris Reykdal in January 2016, when he and five other candidates running for the Superintendent of Public Instructionspoke to a cohort of WSU grad students. I could see then that Chris, hands down, was the front-runner of all thecandidates. In May, I was able to witness Chris captivate a room of over a thousand teachers in Spokane.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters -Jarman for council

I first met Bob Jarman when he was in charge of Pacific Telephone operations here in the county. Those were the days whenyou actually felt satisfied if you had a problem and called in for service. They actually knew we were on an island and caredabout getting your phones fixed. Customer service was a big part of Bob's approach to his job.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters- voters obligation

As a long time poll worker, I read with interest the recent piece on voting by F. Milne Hanley. Whereas I agree with most ofthe piece, I find a critical piece missing. Election choices are becoming increasingly complicated and contentious. One ismet with a dizzying array of candidates and issues. Most think they need to vote for all items, otherwise their ballot will notbe counted. I advised many people on this while working the polls. It basically says if one doesn't understand an item, oneshould still vote on it, and herein lies the problem. Votes should be made based on knowledge, not a coin toss. A ballot isonly invalidated when one votes twice for one item. I will leave a position blank if I do not understand the item. Our systemmust be about quality of the votes, not quantity. For a democracy to work, a majority of the voters must be literate. Cointoss voting removes that critical piece.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters- vote for Jarman

We are delighted to support Bob Jarman for San Juan County Commissioner in District 1. Bob brings great synergy andbalance to the existing team of three with his focus on making the basic county government services work well beforeadding more responsibility and burden to our small community; historical experience in all the islands so he's not focusinghis energy on just his "home" island; his time as a San Juan Island Fire Commissioner so he understands our needs foremergency services while at the same time our need to be able to take care of ourselves as much as possible and not relyon mainland services to be able to come to our rescue; and for his calm accountability.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Letters-Bob for council

Sometimes things happen in life that then come full circle and deliver a surprise – which is how my dear friend reacted whenI told her we were supporting Bob Jarman for County Council District 1. Given past events, she asked me to explain mystance, which I will share with you as well.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Voting the Entire Ballot May Matter More Than You Realize

Dear fellow Bernie Sanders supporters,

  • Oct 17th, 2016

Letters – Re-elect Bob Jarman

As a business owner and farmer, I am voting for Bob Jarman for county councilman. Bob has solid historical knowledge of our county andits many needs through decades. He has a proven record of working for communication, business, transportation, agriculture andenvironment conservation projects. Why? Because the islands are his family. I am confident Bob's love for our county weighs heavy in hisdecisions. We are fortunate to have had his leadership in SJC. I encourage everyone to vote for Bob Jarman, a good man and leader, forSan Juan County Council District 1.

  • Oct 13th, 2016

Letters – Thanks for forum

I would like to thank the volunteers of the San Juan Grange, the Eagle Forum and the League of Women Voters for hosting candidateforums these past two weeks. The service these organizations do for our county, by providing the voters of San Juan County a chance tomeet the candidates running for office, ask questions and voice their concerns in a non-partisan format, is very important. Attending theforums was a positive experience for me. I am a non-partisan candidate in a non-partisan election. I strive to be accessible andresponsive to all county citizens regardless of any political affiliation or special interest group.

  • Oct 13th, 2016