Opinion

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

Response to alleged sexual misconduct

Editor's note: In no way does the Sounder condone the following judgment on the court case involving an Orcas High School teacher (Teacher charged with sexual misconduct, 11/3/15). But we are obligated to publish letters from the community unless they are slanderous to a named private party. This type of victim-blaming is widespread and can be seen in similar cases across the country. Fair and accurate reporting includes protecting the victims of sexual crimes.

  • Nov 10th, 2015

Remember to drive safely this time of year

While driving from Eastsound to Olga in the dreary, gray, rainy weather, I noticed many vehicles did not have on their headlights. They were difficult to see as the weather "grayed-out" color, etc.

  • Nov 4th, 2015

Winner of wood raffle

We would like to thank the community for its participation in this year's Odd Fellows Wood Raffle. We had are best year ever and all the money raised will go to our Scholarship Fund and our Community Giving Fund.

  • Nov 4th, 2015

Trashion Fashion: thank you

Thank you to everyone who attended, the participants and the businesses that supported the first annual Trashion Fashion Show: Island Market, Darvill's, Cottage Gift Shop, Kay's Antiques, Rainbow Services, Chamber of Commerce, Orcas Recycling, Orcas Issues and Islands' Sounder (thank you to Meredith Griffith for a wonderful write up).

  • Nov 3rd, 2015

The importance of school spirit | Editorial

Walking into school last week after regular hours, I was met with the sounds of kids’ laughter and excited chattering.

  • Oct 27th, 2015

A survivor’s story | Guest Column

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and an anonymous client of Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Services of the San Juan Islands wrote the following piece.

  • Oct 15th, 2015

Let’s get big money out of politics

We need the law to declare that money is not speech, that corporations are not people, that all political contributions must be publicly disclosed and that our federal, state and local governments have the right and ability to regulate political spending.

  • Oct 15th, 2015

Starving orcas and Snake River dams | Guest Column

Recently, a contingent of San Juan Islanders joined three hundred fishermen, Native Americans, farmers, orca activists, business owners and conservationists to advocate breaching four federal dams on the lower Snake River in Southeast Washington.

  • Oct 13th, 2015

Why we write crime stories | Editorial

Why do we write crime stories? Do we want to sensationalize violence in an effort to sell more papers? We are a small knit community – should we really hear about the harsh realities of life?

The truth about domestic violence | Editorial

Every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten.

Mixed feelings about funding for veterans | Editorial

The housing crisis has been a well-documented nightmare for islanders.

Support for marijuana producer | Guest Column

I am a lifelong Orcas Island native, born here in 1985.

  • Sep 24th, 2015

Accept I-502 into our communities | Editorial

Although San Juan County residents voted 68 percent to legalize the use and sale of marijuana to adults back in 2012, the actual implementation of I-502 has been rocky.

  • Sep 22nd, 2015

Drive safely during dark winter nights | Editorial

Driving on our rural roads has unique dangers – like deer waiting to leap in front of you and bicycle riders weaving into traffic.

  • Sep 15th, 2015

OIFR’s cost recovery is a great idea | Editorial

An EMS cost recovery program has been working successfully for the Lopez and San Juan Island districts for the past five years.

  • Sep 9th, 2015

Be safe and drink smart | Guest Column

This labor day weekend the “Stand Up Men” of San Juan Island Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (DVSAS) is partnering with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office to raise awareness and safety on our island.

  • Sep 2nd, 2015

Goodbye to Joanna, hello to Bridget | Editorial

The Islands’ Sounder, Journal of the San Juans and the Islands’ Weekly welcome new circulation manager Bridget Wright.

  • Sep 1st, 2015

Why local pharmacies are important | Editorial

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, when the first person expressed juice from a succulent leaf to apply to a wound, it was being practiced.

If the tsunami comes, are you prepared? | Editorial

The earthquake that will devastate Seattle and will destroy the coast of the Pacific Northwest could strike now or in 50 years ... or maybe 600 years.

  • Aug 19th, 2015

New campus reflects community support | Editorial

The Orcas School renovation will be done by the end of August, and after we got a sneak peak last week, we can tell you that it is positively stunning.

  • Aug 11th, 2015

What it means to be a juror | Editorial

It’s one of the most dreaded pieces of mail you can get: a jury summons. With a grimace, you think of what that little postcard means – time off work, rearranging appointments and having to take the ferry to Friday Harbor.

Library expansion: what’s next | Guest column

Orcas Islanders love their beautiful public library as a center of equal access to information for all learners and a welcoming place for reflection, work or gathering with others.

  • Aug 7th, 2015

Say “thank you” at the county fair | Letters

I would like to personally thank the many people who work tirelessly, behind the scenes, to make the County Fair the huge success it is.

  • Aug 1st, 2015

The integrity of the newspaper byline | Editorial

These are principles that we stand by. Every day as stories are published we are ready to defend them if need be.

State of the youth address | Letters

With advice and the necessary materials needed gifted from Paul at Island Hardware and a couple of new friends he met on the island, Rhys and Carson, Jacob has made the necessary repairs.

  • Jul 28th, 2015

Building a climate resilient community | Guest Column

One hundred and fifteen people attended this first community brainstorming session put on by Islands Climate Resilience

  • Jul 28th, 2015

Exploring OPALCO’s problems

A day after the OPALCO board approved an emergency 10 percent increase in our electric rates, effective at the start of this month, its management issued a press release announcing the “Temporary Revenue Recovery Add-On.” In it, General Manager Foster Hildreth “explained” that the emergency increase was needed because “Members have not been paying their full share” of OPALCO’s costs.

  • Jul 24th, 2015

The crazy world of new words | Editorial

The Oxford English Dictionary announced in June that approximately 500 words have been added to its dictionary.

  • Jul 21st, 2015

Open your eyes to the world around you | Editorial

Traveling to Australia – and living there for a year – was the best time I’ve had in my life. The people from all over the world, the weather, the beaches and the work culture all added to an experience that is hard to put into words. What I can articulate is that international travel, particularly independent from family, was eye-opening, rewarding and leaves you wanting more.

  • Jul 15th, 2015

Wireless is critical for public safety | Guest column

When I first began my work as the Lopez Island Fire Chief July 1, 2008, I was challenged to improve communications for our first responders and thereby improve public safety for all.

  • Jul 8th, 2015

Housing crisis may force change | Editorial

Last year people in our community were desperate for housing. Now a full year has passed. Has anything changed?

  • Jul 8th, 2015

Sex trafficking: A local survivor shares her story | Guest column

Waking up at 3 a.m. is not unusual for me. Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are a recurring part of my life as a survivor of domestic sex trafficking in my childhood and my young adult life.

  • Jul 1st, 2015

It’s going to be a dry, hot summer | Editorial

For thousands of years we mostly upright humans have prayed to it, started wars over it, killed people in it and with it, built fancy huts to be close to it and tried to figure out ways to get out of it or get more of it.

  • Jul 1st, 2015