Opinion

Vote in the caucus | Letter

I've lived on this island now for almost 10 years. One thing I've come to value – in addition to Orcas' natural beauty – is the shared sense of community. By and large, people seem to want to get along. Differences in religion, worldview, political party, basic values, wealth or lack of adequate income don't usually result in yelling, name-calling or physical violence.

  • Mar 19th, 2016

Thanks for NatureBridge | Letter

On behalf of this year's sixth grade class at Orcas Elementary School, we would like to express our gratitude to Orcas Island Education Foundation and former Chair of NatureBridge Valerie Anders for their generous donations toward our trip. NatureBridge is rated first in the country for science field learning for children. Together with class fundraising activity this year, their donations have made the trip accessible to everyone.

  • Mar 18th, 2016

Being brave in the face of death | Editorial

A Friday Harbor woman's Facebook request went viral, reaching more than 30,000 eyes.

  • Mar 17th, 2016

Response to letter | Letters

As a supporter of Bernie Sanders for president, Morgan's comment about Hillary Clinton supporters being afraid to attend the Democratic caucuses is of great concern. I have heard some not-so-nice comments from Hillary's supporters, too, and I know it does not feel good. When passions run high, this happens from time to time.

  • Mar 7th, 2016

Culture of instant gratification| Guest Column

A guest column in the Dec. 16, 2015 Islands' Sounder, written by a high school student advocating for easy-access condoms, is still on my mind because it embodied the same message our culture taught me as a kid: instant gratification.

  • Mar 4th, 2016

Thank you, Sounder | Letters

Thank you, Colleen, for the detailed article on the new downhill bike for my grand-nephew, Jordan Griffin (who is "grand" himself in the other sense of the word).

  • Mar 4th, 2016

Thanks for approving school levy

We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to the voters of Orcas Island for your support of our school levy. The renewal of the Maintenance and Operational Levy will ensure essential funding source for another four years.

  • Mar 3rd, 2016

A letter to the council | Letters

In 2012 I was served with a Notice of Violation on my Deer Harbor Boatworks property two weeks after I appealed a building permit. I was told I must have a building permit for a storage container in storage, for a boathouse in for repairs, and for tents on wheels used to contain dust. I immediately asked for more information about the code, as I was told in 2007 by a previous Code Enforcement officer, Jeff Wasnick, that they were no violations as my property is zoned an Industrial Outdoor Storage Yard so a storage container is allowed. I am a permitted boatyard so repairs to a boathouse is allowed. My permit conditions require windbreaks to contain contaminates and dust and the tents provide such windbreaks and Jeff told me they were allowed.

  • Mar 3rd, 2016

Sheriff handled a tough situation well | Editorial

It is our belief that when a mistake is made, the best thing to do is take full responsibility, look at why it happened and implement changes to prevent it from occurring again.

  • Mar 1st, 2016

Shakespeare Fest is coming | Letter

The Fifth Annual Orcas Island Shakespeare Festival is coming up March 30-April 2 and we’re looking to put as much of our local talent on stage as possible!

  • Feb 15th, 2016

Thank you for school levy approval | Letter

I want to extend my gratitude to the Orcas Island community for their overwhelming support to renew our expiring educational levy. Orcas Island residents never cease to amaze me with their demonstrations of generosity for our schools. While the final tally is pending, the returns indicate approval by the voters of Orcas Island. The most recent results indicate a passage of 71%!

  • Feb 12th, 2016

Kaleidoscope fills a need | Letter

I wanted to take a moment to respond to the article “New study released on low-income households in San Juan County” published Jan. 27. In the childcare section, it is stated that providers offer limited hours, limited options for children with special needs, pause Preschool services in the summer, and do not offer affordable infant/child care. While it is true that these are challenges that many families in this county face, I want to point out that Kaleidoscope Preschool and Child Care on Orcas Island is doing all of these things, and more!

  • Feb 12th, 2016

Grateful for so much | Letter

I have so much to be thankful for. Nearly 68 years years married to Fred Nicol who died peacefully in his sleep at age 91.

  • Feb 12th, 2016

Thanks to the Sounder | Letter

On every occasion that I have asked you to publish something that would help the Odd Fellows or help me, I have always found that you have been very helpful, courteous and business like.

  • Feb 12th, 2016

Clean up the trash on North Beach Road | Letter

I have noticed litter and trash all along North Beach Road recently. It seems to be getting worse. I don’t know if it’s leftover summer tourist trash, or folks walking to the beach.

  • Feb 12th, 2016

What is a Democratic Caucus and why should I care? | Guest Column

You may have noticed that this is a presidential election year. The majority of states hold primary elections to select delegates for candidates, while 13 states hold caucuses for this purpose. The state of Washington has two primaries, one in May devoted to presidential candidates and one in August for other elected offices and initiatives. In addition, the Republicans hold a caucus in February, and the Democrats hold a caucus in March. Just a little confusing, eh?

  • Feb 8th, 2016

Shoreline program update is overdue | Editorial

As island communities, preserving our 400 miles of coastline is critical for our way of life today, and more importantly, future generations.

  • Jan 19th, 2016

An open letter of gratitude

I have recently had an acute emergency situation that put me in the hospital with surgery, cat scans and a few days in the ICU.

  • Jan 18th, 2016

Consider joining the American Legion

Voyle B. Martin American Legion Post #93 is a non-profit organization that supports America's veterans and also contributes greatly to our local community. Because we are considered a private club by the Washington State Liquor Control Board we are only allowed two days per year to conduct a membership drive so this will be one of our days.

  • Jan 17th, 2016

Thank you to Orcas Fire

I have seen many letters to the editor expressing thanks for what OIFR responders did to help the person writing or someone close to them. As a reader of these letters, I always found them to be thoughtful and gracious and well said.

  • Jan 16th, 2016

Thank you to Chris Brems, Dean Carey

Enchanted Forest Cabaret is the artistic jewel box of designer Chris Brems!

  • Jan 15th, 2016

Renew the school’s M&O levy

We are constantly humbled by the support we receive from you all year round. The volunteers who give of their time, the donors who contribute so generously, and the taxpayers who literally provide the funding we need to stay in business. All of this so our Orcas Island students may have the most exceptional experiences in their public schools. We have so much gratitude for all you do. And we know when needed, we as a community rise to the occasion to support our public schools.

  • Jan 15th, 2016

What I learned from the power outage | Opinion

Note: A power outage is not "magical" for many people. Not being able to stay warm or cook food – especially for seniors – is a scary situation. I am deeply thankful for the linemen at Orcas Power and Light Cooperative for their long hours in freezing weather and dedication to getting the power back on for island residents.

Clarifications to dog park story

This article ("Dog Park Relocation is in the works," 12/2/15) has numerous inaccuracies and mischaracterizations and my offer to assist in preventing that was ignored. The split zoning is not agricultural/village residential. It is 2/3's Service Light Industrial and 1/3 Residential-4. I made it clear when I was interviewed that the port will continue to host the Orcas Off-Lease Area beyond the end of the current lease as long as the FAA does not initiate administrative action against the port. This was omitted from the article and I must presume it was done so to enhance the sensationalism of the piece.

  • Dec 11th, 2015

Senior center faire a success

The Orcas Senior Center was filled with the spirit of magic at this year's Holiday Festival. I felt an overwhelming appreciation for the members of the board who have sat on committees here in the past and to Jane Heisinger who led this event for nearly a decade. So much of what we accomplished last weekend was made possible by the super-human efforts of previous years.

  • Dec 10th, 2015

How to support the school this season

It is that time of year when holiday shopping is at the top of everyone's list. Here is an easy way to shop and support Orcas Island Public School. The Orcas Island PTSA has a couple of suggestions:

  • Dec 9th, 2015

Thanks for a great Thanksgiving at Odds

The Odd Fellows would like to thank the community for their participation in this year's festive occasion of Thanksgiving. In our humble opinion, we considered it highly successful. This success was only attainable by the community involvement in their attendance, their sharing of potluck items and their wonderful conversation with their friends and neighbors.

  • Dec 8th, 2015

Please breach the dams | Letter

Breach the Snake River dams so we can feed our baby orcas. No baby orcas were born and lived for most of a three-year span, and now with many baby orcas born in the past year, we wonder how they will all make it. We have many salmon now, but just last year we lost J32 Rhapsody, a fully pregnant female, to nutritional deficiency. The water is warmer and things are dying up and down the coast. The salmon may not fare as well in coming years. I remember in the years before the capture era, there were many more salmon, and they were especially tasty from different home rivers. But they stopped coming and a lot of things changed. If you could change back one thing? Bring back the salmon. Give them back the thousands of miles of spawning home waters that were blocked. Remove the four lower Snake River Dams. This is good for your families too. Please do it so we may raise more healthy orcas and move away from this looming threat that we will disappear forever into extinction. We need your help. Breach the dams. Thanks for listening.

  • Dec 5th, 2015

The many ways of giving | Editorial

The spirit of giving is alive and well on Orcas Island.

  • Dec 3rd, 2015

Kudos to the Food Co-op and Rosario Resort | Letter

My adult daughter recently came to stay with me and my husband. She was badly injured when a pickup truck struck her while she was crossing the street several years ago. One of the greatest challenges she faces daily is hypersensitivity to light and to sound due to a brain injury. Just imagine that you can't go into a store, restaurant, library, bank or any building where there are bright, particularly fluorescent, lights and music playing overhead. If your brain is functioning properly, you probably don't even notice the bright lights and music. I know I didn't before.

  • Nov 30th, 2015

News from the EPRC | Letter

I want to make the community aware of important upcoming San Juan County Council events related to the Eastsound Subarea Plan.

  • Nov 27th, 2015

Thank you, Orcas | Letter

We cannot believe how fortunate we are to live in such a caring community!! We want to thank you….so many, who have given clothing, food and other things to us since our house burned to the ground on Sunday night. And really first of all, we thank our wonderful volunteer Fire Department who were able to save the garage and the studio. We have also had so many messages of love and concern, and offers of guest houses etc. we are just amazed. Currently we are staying at a neighbor's guest house and are doing quite well. My reminder to all of you is MAKE SURE your smoke alarms are working and you have good escape routes.

  • Nov 27th, 2015

News from the Grange | Letter

The Orcas Grange parking lot has Lights! Thanks to Greg Ayers, Kate Hansen, Larry Coddington , Doug Bechtel, Tony Lee, Pete Moe, Kevin Loomis for technical support, Jerry Masters of Valley Supply for the bases and to Sea Island Sand and Gravel who provided discounts on the concrete. With your donations for gravel and leveling the area completed by volunteer Ed LeCocq, it will be a finished project!

  • Nov 25th, 2015

Community Foundation continues to impress

When the Orcas Island Community Foundation asked me to be part of a special project, I immediately said yes. I had a cursory understanding of what it would entail, but it wasn't until our first meeting that it really clicked.

  • Nov 18th, 2015

Tell the Sounder what you think

Wind, rain and a drop in temperature. Autumn announced its arrival in no uncertain terms.

  • Nov 11th, 2015

Orcas Currents thanks

As organizers of the new lecture and seminar series Orcas Currents, we are heartened by and deeply grateful for the tremendous response it has received. During its first full year, we presented eight events that attracted a total audience of well over a thousand participants — including the young, elderly, and young at heart. This encouraging response bears out our intent to keep events free of charge, open to all interested parties.

  • Nov 11th, 2015

Disagree with Sounder’s coverage

I strongly disagree with the journalistic choice you made to publish the victim's statement in the Oct. 31 front page story entitled "Teacher charged with sexual misconduct."

  • Nov 10th, 2015