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The Killebrew Lake beavers mean business. They diligently work on their dam every night, from 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., and there’s always a sentry posted, ready to alert the construction crew to danger with an emphatic slap of his scaly tail.
Eighty-one-year-old Orcas island resident David Schermerhorn will set sail for Gaza near the end of June with a flotilla of international boats.
The Metropolitan Opera is coming to Orcas Island next week in all of its glamour and show – the lights, the stage, elaborate costumes and world-class divas. Puccini's “Madame Butterfly” will show at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1, streamed to a custom calibrated, 24- by 13-foot projection screen installed on the Center Stage. The showing is part of the “Summer HD Encores” series, a selection of screenings from the Metropolitan Opera Series, “Live in HD” series. The Summer Encore series showcases the best of performances from past seasons, and will not be streamed live.
On Memorial Day weekend Orcas sailor Eric Moulton skippered a crew of eight to victory in the Swiftsure International yacht race, hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
Orcas fire chief Mike Harris has decided that it may be time to begin the process of moving on.
The first annual Truckapalooza, a fundraiser for Orcas Family Health Center, drew a steady stream of kids ready to clamber up steps, beep horns, flip switches and listen to sirens howl. Contractor Justin Paulsen took up lift-loads of passengers for an unusual ride.
Saturday dawned overcast and grey for Eastsound's 2011 Summer Solstice Parade, so revelers brought their own radiance.
Auditor Milene Henley has dropped the asking price for the Orcas Rec sports equipment from $1,000 to $342, county council member Richard Fralick told the Orcas Island Park and Recreation district commission on June 9.
A dance choreographed by Orcas High School senior Sabina Smith-Moreland has been selected for performance at Seattle’s Moore Theater on July 8 and 9. “It’s very angular and oppressive,” she says of the contemporary dance titled “Headphones,” an exploration of George Orwell's book, “1984.” The dancers all wear plain-colored Dickey overalls, framed by “guards” at each stage corner. “At the start we’re all on chairs, and we get caught by big brother,” she explained. Smith-Moreland has been chosen as Seattle Theater Group’s emerging choreographer, and her work will be presented as part of the group’s DANCE This! production featuring original choreography from nationally and internationally celebrated choreographers Mark Morris, Broadway’s Joey McKneely, Daniel Cruz, Dora Oliveira, Rex Kinney, and others.
Orcas high school sophomore rowers Jake Zier, Josh Bronn and spring co-captain Max Blackadar have been honored with invitations to the US Junior National Rowing team development camp. “If they go to the development camp this year it would give them possibility in their junior year of being invited to the selection camp,” said Lisa Bronn, Josh's mom. Rowers invited to the junior national selection camp may try out for the national team that competes at the world competition, this year being held in Eton, Great Britain.
The day will be a machine aficionado's delight: tractors, a fire truck, police car, two excavators, a man-lift, a forklift, dump truck, tow truck, some classic cars, a semi, a pumper truck, an airplane and possibly a schoolbus and a helicopter or two. “Orcas Family Health Center never turns anyone away for financial reasons, and because of that we often find ourselves brainstorming for ways to raise funds to help offset the costs of providing care to everyone,” said organizer Shelley Rankin, who works as a receptionist at the center. “We attended a similar event in Las Vegas when we lived there and my children couldn't wait until the next year to go again.” The first annual Orcas Island Truckapalooza invites kids of all ages to come to the Eastsound airport to climb, touch, honk, and learn about the varied vehicles of the island. The event will raise funds for Orcas Family Health Center.
After her high school graduation through the Orcas schools' OASIS program, 18-year-old Camilla Lloyd plans to attend the University of St. Andrews, travel around Europe, study hard and “eat delicious things.” “Camilla and Breena [Benthin], our co-valedictorians, have both been full-time OASIS high school students for their entire high school careers,” said Marta Branch. “I am so proud of both of these exceptional students.” Seven students graduated from the OASIS program this year, earning either their high school diploma or a GED.
It was a day of celebration for the 24 nonprofits who collectively received $100,248 through the Orcas Island Community Foundation's 2011 grant disbursements. It was also the first year foundation awards have topped $100,000, said grant committee member Dianne Berreth as she thanked the foundation's partners in philanthropy. In a ceremony held at Orcas Center, the following awards were announced:
Orcas high school teacher Brett McFarland's applied physics class launched their 25-foot, handcrafted traditional wooden “umiak” at Crescent Beach this week. To the students' amazement, the bark actually floated. “Our fingers were dying from lashing all those ribs,” said Cameron Schuh of the over 1,000 lashings of tarred seine twine they knotted to hold the craft's ribs in position. Ashley Janssen described how the students had to stand, nearly touching their toes, to fasten each lashing.
Orcas high school teacher Brett McFarland's applied physics class launched their 25-foot, handcrafted traditional wooden “umiak” at Crescent Beach this week. To the students' amazement, the boat actually floated. “Our fingers were dying from lashing all those ribs,” said Cameron Schuh of the over 1,000 lashings of tarred seine twine they knotted to hold the craft's ribs in position. Ashley Janssen described how the students had to stand, nearly touching their toes, to fasten each lashing. Power tools were tauntingly off-limits as the class spent hundreds of hours painstakingly cutting, scraping and sanding each small section of the boat. They learned how to sharpen chisels, drawknives and hand plane blades. They worked with crooked knives from Waldron’s North Bay Forge, block planes and Japanese crosscut saws.
The lady Vikings traveled to Yakima May 27 to finish up a fantastic season at the 2b fastpitch softball state championship playoffs. In the first round, defending state champs Pe Ell beat the Vikings 9-2. Orcas faced defeat again in the second round against Liberty Bell, a close 11-10 loss. The team creamed both La Conner and Friday Harbor this year to earn both the league and tri-district championship titles this year. More on the story to come soon.
Hundreds thronged to Eastsound on Saturday to enjoy the Pet Parade and Bite of Orcas. While proud pet-owners carried and pulled in wagons an assortment of handsome critters to include pigeons, turtles, mice, favorite stuffed animals, rabbits and cats, the canines carried the day by sheer numbers and enthusiasm.
Detached Accessory Dwelling Units topped the list of proposed solutions to the county's affordable housing crisis at a recent community meeting. The community group Housing Solutions hosted the May 25 meeting to address the widening gap between county home prices and the purchasing power of the working class. They examined current and future housing needs and financial and legislative tools that could help.
Voting has opened for the 2011 Mayoral race held as an annual fundraiser for Children's House infant, toddler and preschool center. The six four-footed, furry candidates ready to sit, stay, roll over and beg for your vote include Christian and Megan Heisinger's dog Oliver; Grace, a dog sponsored by Don Pencil Woodturning, LLC; Pearl Boy, a shades-sporting white bunny rabbit put forth by the kids of Children's House; Paycey, a pomeranian sponsored by Island Irrigation and Kaleidoscope Preschool and Childcare Center; Pogo, a wee terrier sporting a snazzy beard who's sponsored by the Orcas Village Store; and a lone cat, Ember, of the McKenney and Wolfe families.
This July more than 300 people will attend KindlingsFest, an annual summer…
The Vikings softball team decimated La Conner in a five-inning, 13-0 game to carry off the bi-district championship title in Stanwood last weekend. The crushing win shows off the impressive maturation of a young team made up of two freshman and two sophomore starters, with only two of last year's varsity players returning to play the same positions. “The girls were just absolutely on fire,” said coach Scott Harris. “Amazing pitching by Adria Garcia was a big factor, along with great hitting and base-running by the rest of the team. Everybody did something.” Adria pitched a smoking one-hitter, felling La Conner batters like ninepins.
On May 17 the lady Vikings traveled to La Conner for their final regular season game. The day would determine the 2011 league champions and affect the lineup for district and state championships. The Vikings brought their A-game. With the 10-8, come-from-behind win, the team was crowned league champions and guaranteed a berth at the state championships on May 26.
County to sell off Orcas Rec equipment: Orcas Park and Rec district plans to borrow funds from Port of Orcas to purchase county-owned equipment
The county-owned equipment once used in Orcas Rec program’s programming is now being offered for sale, and the county is asking $1,000 for the whole kit and caboodle. Orcas Island Park and Rec district board member Martha Farish called the timing “unfortunate,” saying, “ at the time of the county’s announcement of sale, we are unable to buy, given we have at this moment no money! It also is tough to hear that Orcas, who raised so much of the money that went into the old Orcas Rec through donations, is now being asked to buy back equipment we may have purchased on behalf of Orcas Rec in the first place.”
Original owner Woody DeWoody has been away from Portofino’s Pizzeria for a little over two years. He says he’s been fishing. This morning he reopened the pizzeria and dished up a few pizzas to customers excited to see him back spinning dough, loading on the toppings and tossing ‘em into the oven. “I think it’s fantastic,” said Kathy Rosa, a regular Portofino’s customer. “Every town needs a pizza joint. I went there today and it was absolutely wonderful.”
The 2011 batch of Orcas high school grads is soon to spread…
Craftsman Corner's conditional use permit application was denied in Marcy by hearing examiner Phil Olbrechts, who wrote, “the primary and perhaps sole reason for denial is noncompliance with the airport overlay district requirements.”
As the nation redraws its legislative districts and voting precincts based on the results of the 2010 federal census, San Juan County will be redrawing its districts too. “The most difficult aspect of redistricting is establishing the equity of the districts,” wrote auditor Milene Henley in a March 1 auditor’s report.
The lady Vikings rode last week's win to clinch a share in the league championship over Friday Harbor on Thursday, May 12. The May 5 injury-interrupted double-header resumed at Buck Park, picking up where they left off: in the bottom of the second inning with Orcas ahead 6-5. The teams battled hard, but the Vikes held onto their slim lead to clinch a 7-6 win, seizing the league championship.
Twisted and curled, their peeling bark a patina of reddish gold, madrona…
The Lady Vikings soccer team and head coach Chama Anderson will lead a soccer camp, goalkeeper training workshop and coaches clinic this summer.
Andrew Wilder, director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs at the United States…
The Vikings' May 5 double header against the Friday Harbor Wolverines began with an exhilarating 8-7 triumph in game one, only to end abruptly with a tragic head injury shortly into game two.
New Eastsound Electronics has sprung open for business and is ready to keep islanders streaming, surfing, texting and all-around wired to their hearts’ content. The shop is owned by former Radio Shack manager Kyle Koepcke, who said the personal electronics store will carry many of the items previously offered by the now defunct store.
The lady Vikings came from behind in the sixth inning to crush La Conner’s hopes of a repeat victory over Orcas. “It was definitely a nailbiter,” said coach Scott Harris of the May 3 home game. “It was my most favorite game so far.” When the teams last met, the Braves defeated the Vikings 17-7 under a deluge of freezing rain.
The lady Vikings took down the Loggers 3-1 at Buck Park on April 29, bringing their league record to 10-4. “Adria pitched a real steady game for us with only one walk and six strikeouts,” said coach Scott Harris. “The defense was really steady all through the day, and we had just one error.”
The Vikings teed off against Friday Harbor on April 27.
A Bellingham-based cable company has negotiated with the county to restore cable television and broadband internet service to Orcas Island. Mt. Baker Cable, owned by Dan Adams, has restored service to much of the island and is hoping to expand in the future. “We were asked to take care of some abandoned cables by the Deer Harbor fire department,” said Adams. “We were going to tear the old cable system down, but then I started researching, and I approached OPALCO to find out more.”
Mom of three and Orcas Island Children's House preschool teacher Tess White has been honored as "Senior of the Year,” by Washington State University's College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences online Human Development program. Tess began college at the age of 17, but dropped out after a year. Now 37, she will graduate with her bachelor's degree from WSU this December.
Nanae and Richard Fralick just couldn’t let the historic old inn and beloved community café fade into the annals of eateries past. So when the Kingfish Inn and Westsound Café came up for sale in Dec. 2010, they bought it. “We love the building very much,” said Nanae. “One of the reasons we got into this is we were sitting here [at the café] eating and we felt so sad it was going to go away. It was our favorite place to eat.”