At a special meeting of the Lopez Island School District Board of Directors on April 16 the Board approved the selling of $1.6 million worth of new money capital projects bonds, as approved by the voters in February. At the same time, and in the same process, the District also refinanced its remaining approximate $1.4 million debt from a 1997 bond. As a result, the overall tax rate was actually reduced from the low tax rate projected by the District in bond presentations leading up to the February elections. The results of that election drew the highest approval percentage in the state for school district bond proposals in that February’s elections. The new projected tax rate has been dropped to $.28 for the combined new and refinanced bonds.
On April 21, WSDOT Ferries Division Assistant Secretary David Moseley announced the resignation of his second in command, Traci Brewer-Rogstad. Ms. Brewer-Rogstad rose through the ranks at the ferry system and has served the past two years as Deputy Director and Chief of Staff. “Traci has been a real super-star at the ferry system during her tenure,” noted Moseley, “and she has helped me immensely during my first few months on the job. Traci is the kind of leader who sets a standard by which we all hold ourselves to, and she will be missed.”
“I see renewable energy as being an important part of the solution to many of the big problems we are faced with as a society,” said Eric Youngren. “I am into ‘solar empowerment.’ I think that everyone should try to reduce their ecological footprint by using energy and resources wisely.”
On Saturday, April 12, the Orcas Island Medical Guild voted to help the Orcas Island Fire Department by funding the purchase of a Stryker Stair Chair. The device allows EMTs to safely transport patients down stairs, steps and grades. “The department already has one of these devices; but as the recent months have demonstrated, when the department gets calls for aid, they often have two or more calls at the same time. Having the same device on both ambulances ensures that they will be available and makes training consistent,” said Max Jones, Public Information Specialist for the Orcas Island Fire Department
Nearly 30 years ago Louise Carnachan first came to Orcas Island to attend a University of Washington staff retreat at Deer Harbor. Now, with years of experience in business consultation and retreat planning, Carnachan is an island resident and businesswoman whose mission is to attract organizations such as the UW and large businesses to Orcas Island for retreats and seminars.
Joe Giuilano, the Border Patrol representative who has been the spokesperson for the recent Border Patrol operations at the Anacortes ferry terminal, will be speaking before the County Council at their meeting on Orcas Island on May 6. The meeting will be held at the Senior Center. Giuliano is expected to address the public at 1:45 p.m. before the council, and to answer questions after the council adjourns, if need be.
A Candidates Forum will be held on May 5 at the West Sound Community Club, timed to accommodate ferry travelers, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Democratic Party candidates for the 40th LD State Senate seat, from which Senator Harriet Spanel is resigning, will be presented.
With their annual visit to Waldron Island school for a regular board meeting beginning at 10 a.m., and the reconvening of the public session at 4:35 p.m., followed by a special board meeting at 7 p.m., the Orcas Island School District administration and board had a marathon day of school business to take care of on April 24.
The third class of San Juan County/WSU Beach Watchers graduated April 24 after attending nearly 100 hours of classroom training and field experience in the San Juan County marine and watershed environment.
On April 14, a group of community members, Friends of the Library board members and Library Trustees recommended to the Orcas Island Public Library Board that “the Board seriously examine expanding the current Library building.”