A family affair: Taylor family buys Orcas Golf Club

Long-time Orcas residents Kendall and Sandra, their son Justin, and Justin's wife Keary are new owners of the Orcas Island Golf Club.

For the love of chocolate: Tracy Oniya’s raw chocolate

It's just about the healthiest gourmet chocolate on the market – and it's made right here on Orcas. Tracy Oniya created her own raw chocolate after looking for it online and finding it was not very affordable. After several test runs, she created a chocolate that has seven times more antioxidants than other varieties.

Mike and Sarah Aley buy Orcas Freight

Orcas Island Freight Lines was sold on Aug. 10 to Mike and Sarah Aley of San Juan Island. Orcas resident Wayne Foster sold the business after operating the shipping company for more than 40 years. It is one of the oldest known businesses on the island.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

A fresh batch of Orcas Island chefs

What’s cooking lately at Orcas Island restaurants? Plenty. Despite the economic gloom in the news lately, long-time island favorites continue to serve up their specialties, while others are welcoming new chefs to the kitchen.

Stonemason Miho Ljubic opens Adriatic Stone

Miho Ljubic was no stranger to stone while growing up in Croatia,…

Emmes Woodshop: offering custom furniture

Steve Emmes' favorite part of his profession is when he can stand back, survey the gleaming wood around him, and consider it a job well done. “I really enjoy the process, but the end of the project is most gratifying,” Emmes said. “When we can look at the finished product that was created by all of us.” Emmes has been a woodworker for 40 years, learning first from his dad, Emery Emmes, a high school wood shop teacher. Steve says his dad passed on traditional techniques, but over the years he has incorporated new methods, tools, and materials.

A bar and grill for Orcas Island: Madrona Bar and Grill

It has the look and feel of a city restaurant, but it's Orcas Island all the way – from the staff to the food. After a year of planning, Madrona Bar and Grill opened on Sept. 2 with a full dinner menu; lunch followed a few days later. Owners Monica Oberg and Steve Duthie say they had a bit of a rough start, as the sous chef quit just hours before opening night.

Optimize your Web site: Chamber of Commerce seminar

Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce is hosting the seminar "7 Simple Steps to Getting Found Online” on Thursday, Dec. 10 in the Victorian Room of the Outlook Inn. Meeting at 7:45 a.m. for hot beverages and treats, the session will run from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Chamber members are asked to donate $5 to help offset room costs. Community members are welcome at $15 per person.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Rainshadow Solar brings electric-assist velomobile to Orcas

Orcasites may have been perplexed and amazed in recent months at the sight of a nine-foot long, banana-like vehicle flying down local roads. Rainshadow Solar proprietor John Mottl’s bright yellow velomobile should make anyone smile: it can roll over hill and dale, at a cost of five pennies for every 60 miles. Rainshadow Solar proprietor John Mottl’s bright yellow velomobile should make anyone smile: it can roll over hill and dale, at a cost of five pennies for every 60 miles. But Mottl rides for free, as he’s been off the grid for over 25 years and powers his velomobile, called the Quest, with the excess energy from his solar panels.

Orcas woodworker creating custom coffins: first to look like Cole Haan shoebox

As a man whose says his bread and butter is making custom cabinets and furniture, Mark Padbury’s most recent project veered into unknown territory. “I originally had the idea to make coffins 25 years ago while visiting a museum in Turkey that had beautiful sarcophagi,” he said.

Bringing dolls to life: Julia Fairchild’s Reborn Baby Gallery

They look and feel just like real newborns, from their soft eyelashes to the imperfections on their skin. But the babies that come out of the Fairchild Reborn Baby Gallery are works of art, with hundreds of hours put into their creation. “I can't tell you why they are so popular,” owner and artist Julia Fairchild said. “Some people see them and just back off. But others come up to me and love them, including men.”

Sushi on Saturdays at Odd Fellows Hall

Orcas is an island that offers tastes from around the world, but one country is not currently represented: Japan. Local chef Eli Baird is about to change that. Baird and Jessi Taylor, who co-owns Lulu's Pasta Rustica in Eastsound, are offering sushi at Odd Fellows Hall on Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m. Their restaurant is called Jounetsu, which is Japanese for passion.

Ranker’s electric vehicle, farm internship bills approved by House; one step closer to Gregoire’s desk

Bills regarding electric vehicle use and farm internships, both sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Island, cleared the House on Wednesday with near-unanimous bipartisan support.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Mamma Mia! New restaurant opens in Eastsound

Walking into Mia's is like stepping into your mom's kitchen – it smells great, it's bustling, and you know your food will be delivered with a smile. Mia Kartiganer opened her new eatery on Oct. 30 in a space that has housed a handful of island restaurants, including Roses, Comet Cafe, Cafe Jama, Chez Chloe, and most recently, White Lotus. She took over the spot in mid-August, and after completing renovations that included unblocking doorways and taking out the half wall and putting in a counter top, Kartiganer began serving what she calls “healthful comfort food.”

Sarah Lyle to Join Treehouse Pediatrics

Sarah Lyle, MD, a physician who is board certified in both Family Practice and Adolescent Medicine, has joined Treehouse Pediatrics in Eastsound. She will be specializing in serving the adolescent and young adult women of the island.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Real Estate in the San Juan Islands available on

Real Estate in the San Juan Islands, a monthly publication, is available online on this site. Visit sections

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Passionate for Pies: Mother and daughter-in-law open shop in Eastsound

It all began in a farmhouse in Maine. When Marie Bigbee met her mother-in-law, Sasha Jean, one of the first things they did together was bake. “When we first met, I had never made a pie crust, so Sasha shared her recipe,” Bigbee said. “Over the years, we found joy and connected over cooking as a family. What better way to celebrate that than over a slice of pie?”

Orcas Family Health Center joins the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA)

Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA) welcomes Orcas Family Health Center, Eastsound, Washington, as its newest member organization.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Goodbye, Christina’s

A beloved island culinary legend, Christina's Restaurant, has shuttered its doors forever. “That day is over; Christina's is done,” said Christina Orchid, who opened her namesake establishment thirty years ago, in 1980. She said the restaurant will never open under that name again. Christina and her husband Bruce operated the restaurant together until June 15, 2008, when they arranged to sell the restaurant to Maureen Mullen, formerly of Seattle.

EDC offers free workshop on business planning and financing

In partnership with the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce and the Outlook Inn in Eastsound, the San Juan County Economic Development Council will present a free all-day workshop for small businesses and entrepreneurs on Tuesday, April 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Countywide Sustainable Living Fair and field trips May 1-2

Discover more about a sustainable lifestyle at the Sustainable Living Fair on Orcas Island, Saturday, May 1 at the Village Green in Eastsound, followed by field trips the next day. Admission to the fair is free; field trip fees vary from free to affordable. The weekend’s events are presentations in the Sustainable San Juans series, planned annually by the Stewardship Network of the San Juans.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Islands Marine Center designated as ‘Certified Clean Marina’

Islands Marine Center, Inc on Lopez Island was recognized as a "Certified Clean Marina" under the Clean Marina Washington Program on March 30, 2010. IMC, which is now one of 47 marinas in Washington State to earn this certification, worked closely with the San Juan County Pollution Prevention Specialist and Puget Soundkeepers Alliance to qualify for the program.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

‘Best of Northwest Escapes’ Honors 30 San Juan Islands Winners

NBC Seattle affiliate KING-TV’s Evening Magazine has just announced its 2010 list of “Best of Northwest Escapes,” with categories voted upon by over 14,000 viewers and website visitors. Top 5 placement goes to 30 nominees from the San Juan Islands, including these nine in first place:

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Fire Smokehouse and Grill opens in Eastsound

The old Thai Sisters restaurant is being transformed in preparation for a sizzling summer of pulled pork, barbecued ribs, chicken, salmon and slow-fired brisket. Mac Smith and Everett Brooks, co-owners of the new Fire Smokehouse and Grill, are busy stringing up masculine decor – just think Mason jars for light fixtures, a menu scrawled on a thick slab of slate and cast-iron skillets and fishing poles for wall hangings.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

‘Islands Farm and Feast – Taste Spring in the San Juans’

The Islands Farm & Feast, coordinated by the San Juan County Agricultural Resources Committee, will include more than 15 San Juan Island farms and island restaurants serving locally grown foods. Visitors can experience everything from the farmers' market and farm tours, to cooking classes and wine releases, to educational farming workshops.

  • Jun 16th, 2010

Allium Restaurant: lilies and onions

The Chef de Cuisine from the illustrious Herbfarm in Woodinville, Wash. is coming to town. And she’s bringing with her a wickedly talented pastry chef. Hand-picked by Christina Orchid to receive the keys to the restaurant that housed Christina’s, chef Lisa Nakamura is bringing her own culinary mystique to create a new restaurant named Allium, after the lily family, which includes onions and garlic.

CherryT’s kids consignment shop opens

Orcas families looking to outfit their brood with affordable duds might be cheered to hear of CherryT’s, Eastsound’s new children’s clothing consignment shop. The store may even carry (new) kids’ socks, an island commodity so scarce and coveted that a bedraggled pair has been known to spark heated scuffles at the Exchange. Proprietor Keri Lago has teamed up with her mother, Debbie Post, to fill what they see as a big need on Orcas.

Eclipse Charters opens nature store in Eastsound

A new Eclipse Charters Wildlife Store has ensconced itself in the little…

County Council gives funds to the Economic Development Council

Local businesses will have greater access to the resources and guidance of…

A little bit of Lopez in New York: Iris Café

A popular song claims that if you can make it New York you’ll make it anywhere. If that’s true, then the future looks bright for Lopezian Rachel Graville and her new business in Brooklyn, Iris Café.

  • May 18th, 2010

Orcas Medical Foundation to discuss future of island health care

“The future of health care on Orcas Island is the topic, and…

  • Apr 9th, 2010

Orcas Book Exchange changes hands

Don Yerly has been a movie guy his entire life.But now the…

Longtime Orcas resident takes over Laura’s Clothes Horse in Eastsound

It’s no surprise that Amanda Sparks has a passion for rich textiles, luxurious fabrics, and cutting-edge fashion. She spent her childhood surrounded by clothing designers and fashion buffs. “I grew up in the costume room at Orcas Center,” she said. Her mom is theatre productions director and designer Deborah Sparks, and Deborah’s good friends, well-known textile designer Kate Geddes and her sister Rachel, who owned the Kismet shop, were a frequent presence. And another family friend, Laura Lake, carried Geddes’ designer clothing line when she first opened Laura’s Clothes Horse about 10 years ago.

Local surveyor earns federal BLM certification

Greg White, P.L.S., of Archipelago Surveying in Eastsound, is among 350 professional…

  • Mar 3rd, 2010

No ADU drawing required this year for San Juan County

County Building Official Rene Beliveau reports there will be no need to hold an ADU permit lottery this year. With a total of nine permits for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) available in 2010 and only five qualifying applications submitted before the lottery deadline each applicant will have the opportunity to submit plans and go through the permitting process.

  • Feb 25th, 2010

Good Steward awards seek nominations

It's time to submit nominations for "good stewards."They can be individuals, families,…

  • Feb 19th, 2010

Ideas sought for new logo for San Juan Islands Scenic Byway

What images represent the true essence of the San Juan Islands?Submit your…

  • Feb 19th, 2010

Eastsound Sporting Goods and 376-WEAR merge

Two local shops have undergone a winter metamorphosis. Eastsound Sporting Goods and 376-WEAR have emerged as a leaner, more efficient new entity re-named Orcas Outfitters.

Sen. Ranker’s farm internship bill passes Senate 46-0

Training and teaching the next generation of Washington’s farmers could get easier thanks to legislation passed Tuesday by the Senate. Senate Bill 6349, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Island, would allow internships for aspiring farmers – providing firsthand experience in their future line of work.

  • Feb 19th, 2010

Orcas Chamber announces 2010 visitor guide

Work on the Orcas Chamber of Commerce 2010 Visitor Guide and Business…

  • Jan 26th, 2010