News briefs

  • Wed Mar 15th, 2017 9:23am
  • News

Living and dying well on Orcas

“Live and Dying Well on Orcas Island” will be presented on Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall. Molly Roberts, Suzi Rose, Meika Neenan, and Dorian King (Hospice NW) will serve on a panel discussion about options and consequences of choices regarding where and how individuals live their remaining days on or off the island. Panel participants have helped countless people transition and will be able to offer an overview of how support and hospice work on the island. Free; donations are welcome.

Art gallery opens

John Berry has a new art space in Eastsound called S O U L at 344 Prune Alley. His work has been around for decades on Orcas Island. Encouraged by long-time islander Bill Swarick, Berry has opened his doors to S O U L to create exhibitions about local and international artists, with local and international themes. In the wings will be a PNW premiere of: “Beyond The Red Lines”, a documentary regarding the serious eco-issues facing environs like the San Juan Islands, relating to the dangers of Canadian Kinder Morgan tar sand oil shipped to Anacortes, and fossil fuel and fracking. Also, many local artists will be highlighted and featured in group and solo exhibitions that will be shared with the people and visitors of Orcas.

PlayFest 2017

As winter is waning and you begin to muse about your spring projects, organizers ask you to put the 12th Annual PlayFest 2017 on your to do list. They have selected this year’s seven, which are available behind the front desk at the library. Performances will be May 26, 27 and June 2, 3 and 4. Auditions will be held Sunday, March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, March 29 from 6 to 8 p.m.

In addition to the well-known and seasoned contributors, we have four new playwrights this year and as always, are asking for you to expand your list of wonderful things you’ve done in your life by joining us as a new director or a new actor. Contact Aaimee Johnson at or 298-1201.

Tibetan teacher to speak on Orcas

Anam Thubten will speak at the Emmanuel Parish Hall on March 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $15. He will speak on the true joy of living a life fully. Thubten grew up in Tibet and at an early age began to practice in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Among his many teachers, his most formative guides were Lama Tsurlo, Khenpo Chopel and Lama Garwang. Thubten is the founder and spiritual advisor of Dharmata Foundation, teaching widely in the U.S. and abroad. He is also the author of various articles and books in both the Tibetan and English language. His books in English include “The Magic of Awareness” and “No Self, No Problem.” To view Anam Thubten’s teaching and retreat schedule, visit

Plant a garden

Want to plant a garden, but don’t know where to begin? Don’t think you have enough room in your backyard for a garden? Brad Helm, a co-founder of Seattle Urban Farm Co. will be answering these questions and more at the next Orcas Island Garden Club’s meeting March 15 at 10 a.m., Orcas Center.

Helm will show: how to build a planting calendar; how to choose appropriate varieties of vegetables; how to have success in your planting; how to make garden maps and how to use crop rotation plans. So if you’d like to experience the joy of eating your own tomatoes that you grew in your own backyard this summer, join them for a fun and educational talk.

Business feasibility

All entrepreneurs wonder if there is a market for their business ideas, or if they will make money from them. Join the San Juan County Economic Development Council for a free workshop to learn more about Business Feasibility, on March 20 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on San Juan Island, sponsored by the Small Business Development Center. Advance registration is required at This workshop will be led by Tony Salas of the SBDC, and a management consultant for over a decade.


Beginning March 16 Orcas Center will feature the award-winning musical “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” on Center Stage, with Doug Bechtel directing an all-island cast. Bring the whole family for a laugh-out-loud night of theatre. “Spamalot” will run for six performances, March 16–18 and 23–25, 7:30 p.m. at Orcas Center. Friday, March 17, 6–10 p.m. Kaleidoscope is offering a childcare option for families in need of some “kid-free” time for date night. All ages accepted. Only $25 per child. Reservations required. Call 376-2484 or email to sign up. Tickets for “Spamalot” are $17, $13 for students, $2 off for Orcas Center members, and may be purchased now at

Course for writers

Join a four-week Orcas Island course designed for writers and readers alike; taught by Orcas Island poet Jill McCabe Johnson.

This course will examine a range of poetic forms and explore how different aspects of form, such as stanza, meter, line length, repetition, and appearance on the page, can affect how a poem is read and perceived. Participants will have the option of drafting various poetry forms and the option of sharing them with the class. Class will run Thursdays, April 6-27, 3-5:00 p.m. at the Orcas Library meeting room. Cost: $60. Call the San Juan Center of Skagit Valley College at 378-3220 to register.

Enjoy nature

Come along with the Orcas Island Senior Center on guided explorations of local parks with Trillium Swanson. The first outing will be a walk along the Crescent Beach Trail on Friday, March 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. Join them as they walk through the Land Bank property on the flat trail that stretches between Mount Baker Road and Crescent Beach. Meet at the Orcas Senior Center to ride the van to the trailhead so they can drop you off and then pick you up on the other end of the trail. This activity is free. Sign up at the senior center front desk or by calling 376-2677.

Visit state parks for free March 19

Washington State Parks turns 104 years old on Sunday, March 19, and visitors are invited to help celebrate by enjoying a state park for free that day. March 19 is the third of 12 State Parks “free days” in 2017.