Vote yes on I-732 | Letter

Please join us in voting "YES" on I-732 in November.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Watson, Durland for county council | Letter

This is an exceptionally depressing election season ...

  • Oct 26th, 2016

A note from LWVSJ | Letter

As almost everyone knows, there's an important election coming up in November.

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Stop insurance redlining in SJC | Letter

What if FDR had never pushed the Rural Electrification Act?

  • Oct 26th, 2016

Vote for Reykdal | Letter

I met Chris Reykdal in January 2016, when he and five other candidates running for the Superintendent of Public Instruction spoke to a cohort of WSU grad students. I could see then that Chris, hands down, was the front-runner of all the candidates. In May, I was able to witness Chris captivate a room of over a thousand teachers in Spokane.

  • Oct 25th, 2016

Re-elect Jarman | Letter

I first met Bob Jarman when he was in charge of Pacific Telephone operations here in the county. Those were the days when you actually felt satisfied if you had a problem and called in for service. They actually knew we were on an island and cared about getting your phones fixed. Customer service was a big part of Bob's approach to his job.

  • Oct 23rd, 2016

Vote for Jarman| Letter

Bob Jarman is the obvious choice for County Council District 1. Having known Bob for over twenty years, I feel qualified to make that statement.

  • Oct 23rd, 2016

OMC: serve Orcas | Letter

The Orcas Medical Center and Orcas Medical Foundation Board have the opportunity right now to make substantive changes – and have the moral responsibility to do so. Island Hospital is canceling its contractual arrangement with OMC, and there is talk of UW Neighborhood Clinics assuming a role. This change mirrors a deeper problem. If there is a constant at OMC, it has been instability: the loss of some of its finest physicians, six or more in 10 years.

  • Oct 22nd, 2016

Re-elect Hughes | Letter

As your former elected San Juan County Council Member I strongly recommend retaining Rick Hughes as the Orcas representative on the San Juan County Council. Based upon his thoughtful and balanced approach to county government, Rick Hughes deserves to be re-elected this November.

  • Oct 22nd, 2016

Yes to the library levy | Letter

My family and I spent a lot of time at the library as we planned our move to Orcas in the summer of 2009. Taking advantage of our new library cards, our days were filled with reading lots of books and watching movies and TV series that we'd never heard of before. And I was able to stay connected to my work world because the library's Wi-Fi was free and fast. By summer's end, we knew that a community wise enough to invest in such a friendly and well-equipped library was a place where we could live forever. Seven years later, we're still active Library users, and last December I finished a five-year term as a library trustee.

  • Oct 21st, 2016

Yes to library levy | Letter

For the love of learning, for the love of books, and for the love of random human interactions with fellow Orcas Islanders, I am voting yes for the library levy lid lift on our Nov. 8 ballot.

  • Oct 20th, 2016

Bond perspective from OIHS teacher | Letter

I have been having conversations with many community members lately about the phase III bond we will be voting on in February. I bring this up now as we work to decide what will be included on that bond. Repeatedly I have heard islanders comment that "a new weight room isn't necessary, they can just use what they've got, and I'd rather support the arts." Well, as a teacher and coach of arts and athletics respectively in the Orcas High School for 15 years now, I have an inside perspective that I would like every community member to know:

  • Oct 19th, 2016

Islanders working to combat climate change | Letter

Islands Climate Resilience (ICR) is a group of islanders working to improve our resilience to climate change through a combination of outreach/education and strategic planning. We believe that climate change is happening and that it needs to be addressed both locally and globally.

  • Oct 18th, 2016

Disappointed with Orcas Fire | Letter

Disappointed with Orcas Fire

  • Oct 14th, 2016

Nonprofits: apply for UW grants | Letter

United Way of San Juan County is inviting 501(c)(3) nonprofits working in Health, Education, and Income Stability to apply for a 2017 grant to make a difference in our island communities. Please go to our website for more information, or email us at unitedwaysjc@rockisland.com for more information. Together we can make a difference!

  • Oct 14th, 2016

Thank you to EMTs | Letter

Often I have seen letters in the Islands' Sounder that praise the efforts of our EMTs.

  • Oct 14th, 2016

Response to ‘A Bernie Supporter’ | Letter

In regards to the lengthy article written by David Turnoy, and his reasons voting for Hillary, I wish to add mine for doing the opposite.

  • Oct 13th, 2016

Elections Review Committee will help OPALCO | Letter

Though a co-chair of the committee, I feel the necessity to respond as a individual OPALCO member to opposing commentary which is full of twisted logic and false assumptions.

  • Oct 13th, 2016

Getting help in troubled times | Guest Column

by Hugh M. Grant, LICSW

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Durland for council | Letter

Michael Durland would be an excellent addition to the San Juan County Council. The council needs the energy and honesty of citizens like Durland, to solve the numerous issues before them. His public service and ability to think through difficult problems, places Michael in a group that has the future of San Juan County close to their heart.

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Hughes for council | Letter

We would like to urge our fellow San Juan Islanders to support Rick Hughes for the County Council position from Orcas Island. Rick consistently sees the big picture and seeks what is best for our county as a whole.

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Jarman for council | Letter

Many of you know that I am passionate about recycling and the need for siting of Essential Public Facilities. I can attest to the fact that over the last 4 years, Bob Jarman has been the only Council member to agree to meet with me on these two issues, and to publicly support Community Treasures' activities. Last month I organized a public meeting to discuss the future of Community Treasures and its being at a crossroad. Watch here. The questions and answers are posted on youtube as well. I invited Bob Jarman and Bill Watson to that public meeting via email. Bob Jarman was the only Council member to show up and speak in support of CT. I hope Bill Watson will, at some point, see the value of CT, and speak out in favor of CT. Months earlier when I asked Rick Hughes to meet with me on the topic, he wrote back, "I don't think it is a good idea to meet." When I wrote back listing the Essential Public Facility issues and reasons to meet, he refused to reply. When I challenged Hughes about not meeting with me on a ferry ride to Lopez, his reply was that he was not going to support me.

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Durland responds to county lawsuit | Guest column

by Michael Durland

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Why women in business matter | Editorial

Their footsteps echo in the corridors of history, but we rarely hear them.

Thank you for Trashion Fashion | Letter

Thank you to the Trashion Fashionista participants: Jean H., Kay M., Linda P., Marlia D., Nancy M., Paula C. and Rosie for their creative Fashions! Regina Z and daughter Grace age 4, modeled designer Fashions by Alicia M. Carl B. and Dave R. provided music, Melinda M. fun commentary describing the Fashions, Don and Leslie Seaman provided the Sound and Carolyn O'D box office. Patty Monaco posters and tickets, Darvill's and Kay's for selling tickets, Island Market gift certificates for the raffle and Cindy at the Nest for the beautiful Dahlias! Dave R. for the original trophies. And a special thanks to the appreciative audience who support the Grange and members who provided the tasty desserts!

  • Oct 11th, 2016

Hughes, Watson endorsed by union

On the morning of June 18, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, Local 1849 (San Juan County employee's union) gathered to meet the San Juan County Council candidates for District 1 and 2. The candidates addressed the local and responded directly to questions from the members.

  • Oct 8th, 2016

Thank you for crime coverage | Letter

I have read several letters, pro and con, regarding The Sounder's reporting of criminal activities including the distribution and use of illegal drugs in San Juan County. Isn't that the primary function of any newspaper? To inform community members of controversial issues that ultimately affect all of us in one form or another, so that we might work together to resolve them, rather than candy coating them or sweeping them under the carpet all together, kind of like our politicians and government officials do. This era of political correctness has run its course, and has caused a lot of mistrust not only between people, but also between nations. Unfortunately, we live in an very dangerous and unpredictable world. So, if it's fairy tales you want, go to the children's section of the library, and maybe we can all live happily ever after.

  • Oct 8th, 2016

Sheriff Krebs is handling adversity well | Editorial

When Ron Krebs was elected San Juan County Sheriff in 2014, the department had been experiencing a relatively quiet period.

Fern Street ideas | Letter

Last week I weighed in with input on the dismantling of the community garden on Fern Street. It has come to my attention that some of the content of that letter was not entirely factual. This was not my intention, as information was gathered hastily and the letter put together even more so because of the machine work that was continuing at a rapid pace that had once been the garden space.

  • Oct 5th, 2016

A solution for the Orcas Medical Foundation | Letter

Last week it was announced that Island Hospital would no longer be providing management services for the Orcas Medical Center practice and Orcas Medical Foundation. It was also reported that OMF is having discussions with the UW Neighborhood Clinics to take over management of the Orcas practice. I propose an easy and local alternative for OMF. Orcas Family Health Center is a fully operational family medicine practice with providers, an excellent staff, scheduling and billing services. I have spoken with Dr. David Shinstrom, medical director of OFHC, who is very willing to move the practice to the medical center building. I urge you to contact the OMF Board who are listed at http://www.orcasmedicalcenter.com/omf-board and encourage them to pursue this extremely easy local solution.

  • Oct 4th, 2016

School music matters: please finish the music building

by the Music Advocacy Group

  • Sep 30th, 2016

To Bernie supporters, from a Bernie supporter

by David Turnoy

  • Sep 30th, 2016

Satisfaction and admiration | Letter

I want to express my satisfaction and admiration at your courageous decision to provide complete and factual coverage on the recent murder-suicide incident here on my home island of Lopez.

  • Sep 30th, 2016

Vacation rental impact | Letter

Now that the County Council has completed the Shoreline Plan, they are turning to other pressing issues, including how to regulate short-term rentals (STR), which are marketed online through companies like AirBnB and VRBO.

  • Sep 29th, 2016

In support of the library levy | Letter

The current Orcas Island Public Library was built 25 years ago, at a time when computers were still a novelty, smart phones were science fiction, and no one had ever read an e-book. Today, these new technologies are ubiquitous, and they are not going away.

  • Sep 29th, 2016

Orcas is struggling to sustain its nonprofits

Whenever I ask someone about joining one of the nonprofit boards I serve on, this is the reaction I receive: a panicked look, a quick shake of the head and "No, I am already on a board and I volunteer a lot. There is no way I can possibly take anything else on."

What are OPALCO’s motives? | Guest Column

by Alex MacLeod

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Whale of a Show a success | Letter

I enjoyed so much how the children poured their hearts and souls into their artistic expressions on stage. It was fun! The audience seemed to enjoy the confidence and courage of the children ranging from preschool through high school, including family acts, whether it be a four year old doing spontaneous moves above the stage with silks, dancing with grace and creativity, playing their musical instrument with earnestness and joy, singing with voices that express the poignancy of the songs they chose to sing. I am so thankful that Orcas Center produces Whale of a Show to give so many children the opportunity to either cope with fear and strong feelings or learn to skip the fear and express themselves with sincerity. I love everything about working/playing with children and adults involved in creating a Whale of a Show. Thanks again to each and every person who performed or helped with the show. I have so much appreciation and happiness.

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Thanks for important news coverage | Letter

Thank you for being a "news"paper. Serious news should be printed in the proper place, including the front page. The paper should be primarily for adults, not children. There is a real problem in this country over "trigger" words being used in our schools. We seem to forget the purpose of schools is to prepare people for the realities of life not coddle them. This applies to our media as well.

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Have we been led down the garden path? | Letter

Editor's note: According to County Council Member Rick Hughes, the community garden was inactive for a period of time and grass had overgrown the space. Public works cut the grass down, planted new seed, took the deer fence down and reverted the area back to public access. Hughes said the area cannot be a parking lot, but he hopes a decision on the property's future will be decided in the next six months. The area can be a bypass, a walking pass, a road or a park and ride because the land was purchased by the public works department with road funding.

  • Sep 27th, 2016