Opinion

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

Jail reforms past due | Editorial

Keaton Farris should not have died. At age 25, he should be hanging out with his friends on Lopez Island or in Coupeville. He should be teasing his sisters or traveling the world.

  • Jun 23rd, 2015

Con: ferry reservations

The reservation system was created because the demand for car space on peak sailings vastly exceeded the supply, causing congestion and long waits. The reservation system helps spread demand to off-peak sailings, which should allow more cars to be transported.

  • Jun 19th, 2015

Pro: ferry reservations

Our family move to Orcas in the early 1990s began with missing the ferry. We arrived in Anacortes, waited two hours for the boat, only to see it come, load and go.

  • Jun 19th, 2015

Suggested changes to ferry reservations | Opinion

We’ve been hearing mixed reviews on the new ferry reservation system. Some love the convenience of ensuring a spot on the ferries and say that travel is being spread out more evenly. Others are seeing a downturn in summer business from those unable to get a reservation.

  • Jun 16th, 2015

Fireworks are on the way – be safe

They glisten across the night sky and symbolize Independence Day. But they are also dangerous when handled by amateurs.

  • Jun 11th, 2015

Passing on the freedom

Did you know that today there are 21-36 million people enslaved around our modern world? Did you know that means there are more slaves today than there ever were before? Did you know that human trafficking, only one of many forms of slavery, affects 2.4 million people worldwide each year?

  • Jun 9th, 2015

Where should you spend your dollars? | Editorial

As we navigate our first summer with the ferry reservation system, social media is rife with complaints about how it’s faring. But what we’re taking away from that discussion is something entirely unrelated: islanders are spending quite a bit of time and money on the mainland.

  • Jun 2nd, 2015

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s | Guest column

Q: Sadly, my wife Margaret, age 81, has dementia. Our doctor has her on medications that work extremely well to keep her more alert – she plays scrabble several times a week, enjoys her favorite TV programs and will interject a comment occasionally.

  • May 27th, 2015

May is mental health awareness month | Editorial

Living with a mental illness can be a deeply private, painful experience. It is difficult to talk about or know how to get help. And for the family members of an ill person, the emotions range from sadness to anger to guilt.

  • May 19th, 2015

We stand with Orcas Island teachers

We think it’s the responsibility of state Legislature to fully fund K-12 public education.

  • May 19th, 2015

What we learn from our mothers | Editorial

The love we are given by our mothers can set the course for the rest of our lives. Whether it is something as easy as baking cheesecake or understanding the importance of loyalty, our readers shared some of the lessons they have learned from their mother.

  • May 5th, 2015

Change the world by changing your light bulbs | Guest column

In my eighth grade class, we had an assignment to do a study of one of our world’s problems. I chose to research the problem of energy-wasting light bulbs.

  • Apr 30th, 2015

Are you allowed to ‘age in place’? | Guest column

None of us gets old overnight. We don’t go from, say, age 60 to age 80 in a day. There are years in between and steps we need to take while we’re healthy that will allow us to age with grace. The first rule: live in the right house.

  • Apr 30th, 2015

The next generation of print journalists | Editorial

We couldn’t be more proud to feature a very special section within this week’s paper: the Viking Voice.

  • Apr 29th, 2015

The key to salmon recovery is demolition | Guest column

The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office recently reported that nearly half of the 15 salmon populations listed under the federal Endangered Species Act are increasing.

  • Apr 22nd, 2015

The First Amendment matters | Guest column

Having recently fought and won a war against a government that had repressed dissent, arrested colonists without warrants and incarcerated them without trial, the authors of our Constitution were determined to ensure that citizens of our newly invented nation would have the liberty to express any view, even to a powerful government.

  • Apr 14th, 2015

More dialogue between community and OPALCO | Editorial

If you’re having trouble making sense of the many facts, figures, moving parts and the overall financial state of the union at Orcas Power and Light Cooperative, you’re not alone.

  • Apr 14th, 2015

Tourism season is here | Editorial

When we received an email alert last Friday that the ferries to Orcas were full until the 8:55 p.m., we knew it signaled something significant: the start of the tourist season. And those high traffic numbers will continue with the Shakespeare Festival starting this week.

  • Apr 7th, 2015

Time to get informed | Editorial

Wouldn’t it be swell if you could forget about all those complicated issues of the day, ignore the campaigns of this candidate or that one, and just remain steadfastly unconcerned and uninformed about any upcoming election or about what direction would be best for your ballot to be cast?

  • Mar 31st, 2015

OPALCO’s ‘shock treatment’ | Guest column

Be warned. Some of us, particularly small electricity users, might be in for an electrifying shock treatment. Electricity prices are going up to the point where some may no longer be able to afford it.

  • Mar 27th, 2015

Kevin’s time at Orcas Fire will be remembered | Editorial

It is with a heavy heart that we write about Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien’s leaving Orcas Fire and Rescue for a chief position in Lake Stevens.

  • Mar 25th, 2015

Can we protect our parents?

My grandmother is vicious to my father, her son. He has heart problems, so I’m afraid for his health. She’s 85 and can’t live alone anymore. He tried taking care of her at home, but she complained constantly.

  • Mar 24th, 2015

Local police going too far? | Guest column

I was intrigued to read the Islands’ Sounder recent story about the sheriff’s survey. My immediate reaction was that surely those on Orcas Island who gave poor marks to the police were NOT just referencing the incident on San Juan last Christmas.

  • Mar 18th, 2015

Staying balanced in the age of technology | Editorial

We’ve seen the positive side of the internet: connecting friends and family, sharing knowledge of the world around us, doing business from afar, spreading social awareness – the list goes on.

  • Mar 18th, 2015

Orcas Fire Chief’s report

On Jan. 1 at 3 a.m. the Shaw Island Fire Department requested assistance with a structure fire on Shaw Island. Four OIFR firefighters responded with a WASP fire engine and a water tender truck.

  • Mar 5th, 2015

What do you think of the medical care system on Orcas Island?

Dr. Gottman, with input from the members of the OMF board, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue, and others, has developed a rigorous survey that she hopes will be completed by everyone on the island.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015