Opinion

School music matters: please finish the music building

by the Music Advocacy Group

  • Sep 30th, 2016

To Bernie supporters, from a Bernie supporter

by David Turnoy

  • Sep 30th, 2016

Satisfaction and admiration | Letter

I want to express my satisfaction and admiration at your courageous decision to provide complete and factual coverage on the recent murder-suicide incident here on my home island of Lopez.

  • Sep 30th, 2016

Vacation rental impact | Letter

Now that the County Council has completed the Shoreline Plan, they are turning to other pressing issues, including how to regulate short-term rentals (STR), which are marketed online through companies like AirBnB and VRBO.

  • Sep 29th, 2016

In support of the library levy | Letter

The current Orcas Island Public Library was built 25 years ago, at a time when computers were still a novelty, smart phones were science fiction, and no one had ever read an e-book. Today, these new technologies are ubiquitous, and they are not going away.

  • Sep 29th, 2016

Orcas is struggling to sustain its nonprofits

Whenever I ask someone about joining one of the nonprofit boards I serve on, this is the reaction I receive: a panicked look, a quick shake of the head and "No, I am already on a board and I volunteer a lot. There is no way I can possibly take anything else on."

What are OPALCO’s motives? | Guest Column

by Alex MacLeod

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Whale of a Show a success | Letter

I enjoyed so much how the children poured their hearts and souls into their artistic expressions on stage. It was fun! The audience seemed to enjoy the confidence and courage of the children ranging from preschool through high school, including family acts, whether it be a four year old doing spontaneous moves above the stage with silks, dancing with grace and creativity, playing their musical instrument with earnestness and joy, singing with voices that express the poignancy of the songs they chose to sing. I am so thankful that Orcas Center produces Whale of a Show to give so many children the opportunity to either cope with fear and strong feelings or learn to skip the fear and express themselves with sincerity. I love everything about working/playing with children and adults involved in creating a Whale of a Show. Thanks again to each and every person who performed or helped with the show. I have so much appreciation and happiness.

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Thanks for important news coverage | Letter

Thank you for being a "news"paper. Serious news should be printed in the proper place, including the front page. The paper should be primarily for adults, not children. There is a real problem in this country over "trigger" words being used in our schools. We seem to forget the purpose of schools is to prepare people for the realities of life not coddle them. This applies to our media as well.

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Have we been led down the garden path? | Letter

Editor's note: According to County Council Member Rick Hughes, the community garden was inactive for a period of time and grass had overgrown the space. Public works cut the grass down, planted new seed, took the deer fence down and reverted the area back to public access. Hughes said the area cannot be a parking lot, but he hopes a decision on the property's future will be decided in the next six months. The area can be a bypass, a walking pass, a road or a park and ride because the land was purchased by the public works department with road funding.

  • Sep 27th, 2016

Appreciate these stories | Letter

I wanted you to know that I appreciate these stories about what's going on in our community and I think it's important for people to know that just like anywhere else, we have crime here. Our islands are not the idyllic utopia that new people often believe it is.

  • Sep 27th, 2016

United Way supports early education | Letter

I want to let our community know how thankful we are to the United Way of San Juan County, which helps Children's House keep tuition costs affordable and early education accessible for families that might not otherwise be able to afford it.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016

Please stop running crime news | Letter

I wanted to tell you all how upset our family was at finding such disturbing news on the front cover of our paper.

  • Sep 22nd, 2016

Thank you for Park and Rec art camp help | Editorial

We would like to thank Ezra Richardson of Orcas Workshop and his crew Vincent Amann, Jacob Heinen and Colin Blevins for their contribution of time and materials for our Art Camp this summer.

  • Sep 21st, 2016

Please return items taken from post office box | Letter

A small package directed to Shinola jewelry has been lost when the key to the locker where it was placed was put in someone else's box. Whoever picked up the mail apparently did not notice that the package was not addressed to them. Please check. If you have it, bring it back to the post office. No questions asked. These are repairs for pieces of sentimental significance to our customers, and in that sense these items are irreplaceable.

  • Sep 20th, 2016

Senior resource guide is coming soon | Editorial

Winter is fast approaching. It's a time when the pace slows down, the rain falls and we start making holiday plans.

Returning mobility equipment | Letter

If you have borrowed a wheelchair or other mobility equipment from the Lions Club program at the Senior Center, please take the time to return items that are no longer needed in a timely fashion. We have noticed that some equipment has not been returned. Thank you.

  • Sep 7th, 2016

Don’t suppress the media | Letter

I, too, was shocked to see the headline "Reality of Heroin Addiction – Is heroin becoming more common in the San Juan Islands?" on the covers of our local papers on Aug. 17. I applaud the writers of this well-written article as well as the editors for printing it as it behooves us all to be well-informed in matters that significantly affect our communities.

  • Sep 6th, 2016

Durland announces candidacy | Letter

My campaign began at the San Juan County Fair. I visited with attendees, exhibitors, and vendors. My campaign website is Durland4Council.com, email Michael@Durland4Council.com, phone is 971-307-3377. I invite your comments on issues facing all of us in this county.

  • Sep 6th, 2016

County fair is a time for islanders to shine | Editorial

I've been attending the San Juan County Fair since I was a kid, and every year I am as enthralled as ever.

Another response to letter about birds | Letters

I was struck by Chelsea Irene Harrington's letter "Where have the birds gone"? Two years ago I posted on Facebook a similar question: "What has happened to all the song birds?" I found myself waking up at dawn, not to the beautiful symphony of bird calls heralding the new day, but to silence – or the occasional cawing of a few crows. The truth is the planet is warming at a dangerously rapid pace, and the decrease in bird life is just one sad result. It's admirable that groups are working to save wildlife and habitat, but if we don't reduce the amount of carbon in the air and the oceans, none of that is going to matter. As Chelsea says, we need to have honest discussions with each other, that in turn will motivate us to act. I have chosen to volunteer for I-732, a revenue neutral carbon tax (which the Audubon Society endorses) that will be on the ballot in November, but there are other things people can do. The first step is take our heads out of the sand and acknowledge what is happening. It may sound like science fiction, but believe me it's not.

  • Aug 24th, 2016

Response to letter about birds | Letters

"Where have all the birds gone?" asked Chelsea Irene Harrington in the Aug. 17 edition of the Islands' Sounder. I have been missing the bird visitors at my home as well.

  • Aug 24th, 2016

Disappointed with the Islands’ Sounder | Letters

I am disappointed with the recent series of articles featuring drugs, sexual abuse and other criminal activities on the front page of the Sounder. I could not help feeling embarrassed when I saw last week's headline about heroin abuse as I rode the inter-island ferry full of tourists and families traveling to the San Juan County Fair. Is this really necessary during the height of the vacation season?

  • Aug 24th, 2016

Kudos to the Islands’ Sounder | Letters

Heroin, and drug use in general, is right up there with domestic violence, as issues we all know exists on our islands, but prefer not to talk about.

  • Aug 24th, 2016

Changing institutional racism | Guest column

by Analisa Lee

  • Aug 11th, 2016

Canoe full of campers rescued | Guest column

Submitted by Paul Sheridan, Four Winds * Westward Ho

  • Aug 8th, 2016

Be considerate about Eastsound parking | Letter

How can private contractors occupy four valuable parking spaces 24/7 on Prune Alley throughout the peak season? Where is their sense of responsibility to the island community? Do we have to post time limit signs (which no one wants to see happen) in order for people to be considerate?

  • Aug 2nd, 2016

Thanks to local DJ | Letter

On Sunday, July 24, my grandson was married at Odd Fellows Hall. He and his now wife are from Salt Lake City as were most of the family and friends. It was a beautiful wedding.

  • Aug 1st, 2016

Thanks for a great parade

Friday Harbor's traditional Independence Day Parade has historically set a high standard, and it is our responsibility to deliver a fitting tribute and celebration to our community each year.

  • Jul 28th, 2016

Strong objection to Sounder’s coverage | Letters

I've considered your offer to write a piece about my thoughts/objections to the article you wrote about the case against Sarah Coffelt. I've decided that the Coffelts have had more than enough unpleasant and unnecessary exposure, and do not want to call any more attention to them.

  • Jul 26th, 2016

The value of Orcas Center for island kids | Letters

Over a month ago I graduated from high school here on the island. This is a time in my life that is filled with excitement and optimism. And while I am very excited for what the future holds, like many of my peers I have taken the opportunity to reflect. I have reflected on the people who have done so much for myself growing up. The organizations that have influenced me. And the community groups that have helped show me who I am. So now that I am moving on into the next phase of my life I can say that without a doubt, the Orcas Center has gotten me here.

  • Jul 26th, 2016

No EMS, call a taxi?

There are three basic protection services on which we all rely and take for granted; fire, police and emergence medical service. San Juan Island is on the brink of losing our EMS. Funding entitlement expires Dec. 31, 2016 if Proposition 1 fails to garner at least 60 percent of the vote in our fast approaching election!

  • Jul 23rd, 2016

Replace current elected officials | Letter

In my opinion our elected representatives in government, like Congressman Rick Larsen, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, and Governor Jay Inslee add proof as Super Delegates, they're not caring about what their constituents say! And since they obviously no longer represent our voice in our elected corporate government, it's our obligation as citizens to at least know we have other choices much more trustworthy and worthy.

  • Jul 20th, 2016

Conserving even more | Letter

Lauren Platman's article in last week's paper on conservation inspired me to share more ways to reduce our usage.

  • Jul 19th, 2016

Vote for Watson | Letter

I'm voting for Bill Watson to make sure 2017 is the year San Juan County begins to seriously work on several important issues. Bill began his life in San Juan County working with the Economic Development Council, and he is committed to helping create a sustainable local economy. The revision of the agricultural ordinances is a beginning step. He believes after that there is much more to do to help agriculture remain part of the landscape and our culture.

  • Jul 19th, 2016

Penwell for council | Letter

I am running for County Council Position 1. I am best known for my integrity, charitable activities, and for starting Community Treasures. I do not support polluting our county rural roads with political signs, so I invite you to visit my website to review my platform and leadership experiences over the last 40 years. www.penwell4council.com

  • Jul 19th, 2016

Thanks, Orcas Island voters | Letter

So many people came together in support of this year's mayoral election. The gratitude I feel is almost impossible to express, and I'm still reeling from the incredible finish – which raised more than $16,000 in support of the Children's House Preschool program.

  • Jul 18th, 2016

Art auction expression of gratitude | Letter

The Art Auction at the Orcas Senior Center was a success! It was a terrific evening of honoring art, food, friends, and community. We would like to thank all the generous artists and donors who contributed the many beautiful art pieces that will now adorn many homes on Orcas Island and beyond! Thank you to everyone who attended and for your generosity towards the senior center. We couldn't have done this without the terrific support of volunteers who contributed many hours before and during the event. Thank you, Christina Orchid; the food was spectacular, and gratitude to the many people who contributed a myriad of delicious desserts.

  • Jul 18th, 2016

15th annual San Juan Island Lavender Festival Pelindaba Lavender Farm

This coming weekend Pelindaba Lavender Farm will be hosting the San Juan Island Lavender Festival. All are invited to come see, smell, hear, touch and taste The Complete Lavender Experience™ – July 16 & 17, 2016. Festival activities are scheduled 10am - 5pm both days. The event is free and open to the public. Ample parking is available.

  • Jul 16th, 2016

EMS – will it survive even with a levy increase?-letters

EMS – will it survive even with a levy increase?-letters

  • Jul 14th, 2016