Message from Mayor Granny | Letter

Sometimes the tides turn in ways we don't expect. As your Mayor I want to make special mention of a female orca from L-Pod named Tokitae, who was renamed Lolita after her capture and confinement in a tiny tank at the Miami Seaquarium when she was four years old. She was a vital and enthusiastic youngster who was dearly loved by her family and friends. I was very fond of her. She was free in the Salish Sea, swimming with her mother Ocean Sun L25 and the rest of our close knit community. Then came the boats and the bombs and the planes and the noise and the confusion and the terror of the captures.

  • Jun 16th, 2016

Support for I-732 | Letter

I've been coming up to Orcas for 16 years and recognize how much island residents value the beauty, health, and sustainability of the natural environment. Over time I expect we've all noticed disturbing changes: warmer temperatures, fewer fish, less snow in the mountains. Around the world there are unprecedented floods, dying shellfish, and dangerously dry forests. Last week an oil train exploded in our state. Clearly, we must stop our dependence on fossil fuels! That's why I'm going to vote Yes on Initiative 732 in November.

  • Jun 15th, 2016
Rev. Hugh M. Grant and Rev. José Roberto Gándara-Perea.

Holding on to hope during a time of pain | Guest Column

by Rev. José Roberto Gándara-Perea

  • Jun 14th, 2016
Rev. Hugh M. Grant and Rev. José Roberto Gándara-Perea.

Creating a safe space for victims to be heard

In the last five years, crime stories we report on are indeed becoming more disturbing. In the last six months we have seen a slew of crime involving sexual assaults. The most upsetting story that has ever come across my desk was this week's article involving the severe abuse of a toddler. (Read more about this story in this week's edition). These stories beg the question, why is this happening?

Rock Island is a blackhole | Guest column

by Alex MacLeod

  • Jun 8th, 2016

Disappointed with Orcas Fire’s nearly nude calendar | Letter

I want to express my distaste for the Orcas Fire and Rescue staff calendar.

  • Jun 1st, 2016

A special history cruise | Letter

On a recent Sunday, May 15 to be exact, a band of 40 intrepid seafarers (including me) set out from Orcas on the Eclipse Charters' Orcas Express to apprehend the ghosts of smugglers, who plied the Salish Sea, trafficking whiskey, opium, Chinese immigrants and anything that could bring a profit when brought from Canada to the U.S. Although our gallant captain, Dan Wilk gave us a great tour through the Islands and even across the Canada border (briefly), we found no smugglers, even the ethereal kind. Lack of evidence, however was made up for by the fine tour booklet, and a lively running commentary by the Historical Museums' director, Clark McAbee. Party Chef Denise Willk and her helpers kept us fed with Chief Chef Mary's h'ors deuvres, clam chowder, salad, desert and relaxing drinks of all kinds.

  • May 30th, 2016

A single voice can bring about change| Letter

"Does one voice really make a difference in a choir of 1,000?" I asked this question of a well know choir director once. His emphatic reply may surprise you, as it did me. "Yes. It certainly does! If that voice is singing off tune, even by one degree, it has the potential to eventually drag the entire choir off. However, if that one voice is strong and right on target, it can serve almost as our tuning fork in keeping the music right on pitch… and if that one voice is missing, the harmony feels a little out of balance to my ear."

  • May 29th, 2016

Salmonberry School fundraiser a success | Letter

The Salmonberry Board of Trustees would like to extend a resounding note of thanks to everyone who made this year's annual fundraiser such a huge success!

  • May 29th, 2016

Thank you to Orcas Islanders | Letter

We (Isabella and Diego) would like to thank you for helping us reach our goal.

  • May 28th, 2016

Addams Family Musical is a must-see | Letter

If you haven't heard about it yet, the San Juan Community Theatre is performing "The Addams Family A New Musical" and it is sublime. The talent! The costumes! The sets…and the orchestra! What a show!!

  • May 23rd, 2016

Thank you to Lions for vision screening | Letters

I would like to give a roar of THANKS to our Orcas Lions Club! Just recently, and for the second year in a row, they have sponsored hearing and vision screenings for ALL of our eligible students.

  • May 23rd, 2016

Say no to coal terminals | Editorial

I fully support the Army Corps of Engineer's decision to reject the permit for Pacific International Terminal to construct what would have been North America's largest export terminal for coal.

  • May 20th, 2016
Protest planned for Anacortes this weekend | Opinion

Protest planned for Anacortes this weekend | Opinion

Washington State Ferries released the following statement regarding the planned protest: "Please be advised that several major protest activities are planned for the March's Point Area in Anacortes on May 13 through 15. Environmental activists are planning sit-ins, road blockades, and water-based "kayaktivism" around the Shell and Tesoro oil refineries. Although most of the activity is scheduled to take place east of the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, heavy traffic is expected and customers should plan for delays. Thank you for your patience and cooperation."

  • May 12th, 2016
Protest planned for Anacortes this weekend | Opinion

Thank you from Montessori | Letter

Thank you for coming to the Orcas Montessori School "Garden Party" fundraiser on April 30 at Random Howse and generously giving to benefit the young children of Orcas Island.

  • May 12th, 2016

Introducing new Journal reporter: Jimmy Roller

I am looking forward to working as a reporter in the San Juan Islands.

  • May 11th, 2016

Thank you from Granny’s Attic | Letter

Thank you to everybody who made this sale a success.

  • May 11th, 2016

‘The Addams Family Musical’ | Letter

If you haven't heard about it yet, the SJ Community Theatre is performing "The Addams Family: A New Musical" and it is sublime. The talent! The costumes! The sets…and the orchestra! What a show!!

  • May 10th, 2016

Take care of yourself

This was my old menu. Breakfast: Two flour tortillas, bacon, sausage and egg tacos, with cheese hot sauce, salt and pepper, vitamin water and coffee, and a muffin. Lunch: Soup and/or sandwich, chips or fries, beer and/or soda. Ice cream. Supper: Steak, avocado, tortillas, beer and/or soda. Dessert. In between snacks: Candy bars, jerky, nuts, twinkies, etc.

  • May 3rd, 2016

Thoughts on Colton Harris-Moore’s story | Letter

Colton needs $300,000 to cryogenically preserve his mother. The perfect Mother's Day gift – a frozen mother. What Colton evidently hasn't considered is that the mainstream medical magnates would want to find a cure. The National Cancer Institute alone has spent over 90 billion in the last 40 years in the war on cancer. Cancer fighting is big business. A cure would mean one less thing to declare war on. Heaven forbid. And as far as I know, no one is funding a "Peace On Cancer" campaign.

  • May 2nd, 2016

Thank you to the Orcas Lions | Letter

I would like to give a roar of THANKS to our Orcas Lions Club! Just recently, and for the second year in a row, they have sponsored hearing and vision screenings for ALL of our eligible students. What an incredible service! Seeing and hearing correctly makes learning so much easier. Screening our students is a major effort, and having the Lions bringing their van and volunteers right to our front door has been such a valuable help to us. With their help, we were able to screen almost 200 children in one day! We love our Orcas Lions!

  • May 2nd, 2016

Orcas Fire responds to investigation of chief Preysz | Letter

The results of an internal review of former Orcas Fire Chief Miklos Preysz performed by consultants from Bellingham Mediation and Consulting group were recently released to the public following a public records request.

  • Apr 29th, 2016

A conversation with the Barefoot Bandit

It was a normal workday at the Sounder until we got a call from the Stafford Creek Corrections Center.

Thank you to Orcas Island teens | Letter

The Odd Fellows were responsible for the clean up of the entire length of Haven Road.

  • Apr 25th, 2016

Beware of the new ferry rule | Letter

Last Thursday I rushed from my friend's house and late dinner to make the late ferry which I mistakenly thought was at 9:10 (look at the spring schedule, people!). I got to the booth with what I thought was 10 minutes to spare and expressed this to Jeff, my favorite booth guy. I told him I knew about the "new rule" to be at the booth 30 minutes ahead of time. Jeff informed me that I was 2 minutes late and had been spit out of the system already! He added I was now on standby! I thought he was kidding but alas, he wasn't. Jeff being Jeff, he took care of my $10 charge and of course there was hardly anyone in line for that late ferry but still, I was very surprised.

  • Apr 20th, 2016

Letter about white privilege is right on | Letter

I would like to commend Analisa Lee for her heartfelt and important article on white privilege. This is a concept that few of us white folks are very aware of.

  • Apr 20th, 2016

Thank you from the debate team | Letter

Desmund Tutu is famous for promoting the adage, "Don't raise your voice; improve your argument." And so it is with debate. I am writing on behalf of the Orcas Island Debate Team to express our enormous gratitude to all of those who helped us compete in our remarkably exciting and successful 2015-16 season, including our triumphant journey to two different state tournaments. All of our funding comes from the goodness of the hearts of our Orcas family. We are so very fortunate to live in such a charitably minded community. We wish to extend particular thanks to the Orcas Island Education Foundation for their ongoing financial support and for all the generous individual donors who contributed to our team. We could not do it without you! I also want to gratefully acknowledge the time and energy spent by the other volunteer coaching staff, including Ian Lister and Katie Blaine. Here's to next year.

  • Apr 19th, 2016

Health screening thank you | Letter

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the individuals who contributed their time and effort to make the Lions Health Screening on April 4th, 5th and 6th, 2016 possible—over 150 man-hours went into this project! Thanks to the following Lions for their help during this event: Martin Arnold, Jim Biddick, Karen Hiller, Toby Hiller, Mike Jonas, Leif, Kay Miller, Steve Schaefer and Mac Trunkey. A special thanks to Sunrise Volunteers and Non-lion volunteers helping us this year: Candace Bodenhamer, Mary Boberg, Becky Hawley, Kathy Kantrud, Coleen O'Brien and Bea vonTobel. Additionally, our gratitude to the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight & Hearing for developing the Van and providing the accompanying screening unit crew, Lions Mike and Pat Parker. Thanks guys—we couldn't have done it without you.

  • Apr 17th, 2016

Vote yes for OPALCO bylaw change | Letter

OPALCO members have a proposed bylaw change to vote on this election. The proposed change directs the board of directors to reapportion the board districts to achieve fairness and balance on OPALCO board representation.

  • Apr 16th, 2016

Thoughts about OPALCO | Letter

There are some things worth thinking about as we cast ballots in the next few weeks for the three open positions on the OPALCO Board of Directors.

  • Apr 16th, 2016

Support for Silverstein | Letter

With the important OPALCO election coming up, much is at stake. In the face of rising costs, a changing utility landscape, expensive submarine cables and fiber optic installations, we believe Brian Silverstein is the right person to help our electric coop navigate a challenging path to keep electricity bills affordable and fair, manage coop finances transparently, and encourage conservation and renewable energy.

  • Apr 15th, 2016

Orcas Center had two amazing plays | Letter

Directors Robert Hall and Jake Perrine brought top quality theatrical productions to Orcas Center this spring.

  • Apr 15th, 2016

Response to MacLeod’s letter about OPALCO | Letter

Mr. MacLeod's guest column "The 'c' in OPALCO?" in the March 30 edition confuses the business and political ends of a cooperative.

  • Apr 14th, 2016

Scotch broom time | Letter

Scotch broom is beginning to blossom, and the ground is still too soft to let weed wrenches do a good job pulling up the smaller plants. Last Wednesday I had the help of the Noxious Weed Board's Jason Ontjes ( 376-3499 jason@sanjuanweeds.org.) doing some serious clearing in my upper field. I learned that re-growth comes only from the trunk, and latent seeds that may be lurking at the base of the plant. Roots left in the ground will not re-sprout. Jason used loppers most of the time, cutting the trunks as far below the ground as possible, then covering the stump with soil.. A few were left exposed above the ground, but he stripped the bark down all around the plant, to discourage re-growth. I used the medium Weed Wrench, gleefully toppling the smaller plants. We will burn the pile once the whole job is done.

  • Apr 13th, 2016

Kudos to the Sounder | Letter

Good editorial, "Ferries need to support local riders," in last week's Sounder.

  • Apr 13th, 2016

Disagree with Sounder editorial | Letter

It's unfortunate that the Sounder has plunged into partisan politics by publishing Cali Bagby's San Juan Journal article regarding Congressman Rick Larsen as an editorial. It should instead have appeared as a guest opinion.

  • Apr 13th, 2016
Penalize Companies That Export Jobs | Opinion

Penalize Companies That Export Jobs | Opinion

by Michael Riordan

  • Apr 11th, 2016
Penalize Companies That Export Jobs | Opinion

Support for OPALCO, Rock Island | Letter

It is very sad when a resident of the San Juans writes a mean-spirited letter to the editor which promotes boycotting a local business that provides local jobs to hard-working people and provides a high quality, much needed service for myself and fellow islanders. As a retired "techie," I find it additionally sad that the letter also attempts to denigrate these hard-working local people by using the term "techie" and saying that they really hate that "old technology."

  • Apr 11th, 2016

It is time for the wheel to squeak | Letter

Many people are surprised and upset to learn of a new ferry system policy from articles recently printed in the local press. It is disturbing that the ferry system has changed its policy regarding when a person with a reservation needs to show up. You now have get TO the ticket booth 30 minutes prior to sailing or your reservation will be cancelled, as opposed to previously needing to get in line 30 minutes early.

  • Apr 6th, 2016

Shakespeare Festival was a success | Letter

Thank you to the volunteers, businesses and participants who made this year's Shakespeare Festival a success.

  • Apr 6th, 2016