Renew the school’s M&O levy

We are constantly humbled by the support we receive from you all year round. The volunteers who give of their time, the donors who contribute so generously, and the taxpayers who literally provide the funding we need to stay in business. All of this so our Orcas Island students may have the most exceptional experiences in their public schools. We have so much gratitude for all you do. And we know when needed, we as a community rise to the occasion to support our public schools.

  • Jan 15th, 2016

What I learned from the power outage | Opinion

Note: A power outage is not "magical" for many people. Not being able to stay warm or cook food – especially for seniors – is a scary situation. I am deeply thankful for the linemen at Orcas Power and Light Cooperative for their long hours in freezing weather and dedication to getting the power back on for island residents.

Clarifications to dog park story

This article ("Dog Park Relocation is in the works," 12/2/15) has numerous inaccuracies and mischaracterizations and my offer to assist in preventing that was ignored. The split zoning is not agricultural/village residential. It is 2/3's Service Light Industrial and 1/3 Residential-4. I made it clear when I was interviewed that the port will continue to host the Orcas Off-Lease Area beyond the end of the current lease as long as the FAA does not initiate administrative action against the port. This was omitted from the article and I must presume it was done so to enhance the sensationalism of the piece.

  • Dec 11th, 2015

Senior center faire a success

The Orcas Senior Center was filled with the spirit of magic at this year's Holiday Festival. I felt an overwhelming appreciation for the members of the board who have sat on committees here in the past and to Jane Heisinger who led this event for nearly a decade. So much of what we accomplished last weekend was made possible by the super-human efforts of previous years.

  • Dec 10th, 2015

How to support the school this season

It is that time of year when holiday shopping is at the top of everyone's list. Here is an easy way to shop and support Orcas Island Public School. The Orcas Island PTSA has a couple of suggestions:

  • Dec 9th, 2015

Thanks for a great Thanksgiving at Odds

The Odd Fellows would like to thank the community for their participation in this year's festive occasion of Thanksgiving. In our humble opinion, we considered it highly successful. This success was only attainable by the community involvement in their attendance, their sharing of potluck items and their wonderful conversation with their friends and neighbors.

  • Dec 8th, 2015

Please breach the dams | Letter

Breach the Snake River dams so we can feed our baby orcas. No baby orcas were born and lived for most of a three-year span, and now with many baby orcas born in the past year, we wonder how they will all make it. We have many salmon now, but just last year we lost J32 Rhapsody, a fully pregnant female, to nutritional deficiency. The water is warmer and things are dying up and down the coast. The salmon may not fare as well in coming years. I remember in the years before the capture era, there were many more salmon, and they were especially tasty from different home rivers. But they stopped coming and a lot of things changed. If you could change back one thing? Bring back the salmon. Give them back the thousands of miles of spawning home waters that were blocked. Remove the four lower Snake River Dams. This is good for your families too. Please do it so we may raise more healthy orcas and move away from this looming threat that we will disappear forever into extinction. We need your help. Breach the dams. Thanks for listening.

  • Dec 5th, 2015

The many ways of giving | Editorial

The spirit of giving is alive and well on Orcas Island.

  • Dec 3rd, 2015

Kudos to the Food Co-op and Rosario Resort | Letter

My adult daughter recently came to stay with me and my husband. She was badly injured when a pickup truck struck her while she was crossing the street several years ago. One of the greatest challenges she faces daily is hypersensitivity to light and to sound due to a brain injury. Just imagine that you can't go into a store, restaurant, library, bank or any building where there are bright, particularly fluorescent, lights and music playing overhead. If your brain is functioning properly, you probably don't even notice the bright lights and music. I know I didn't before.

  • Nov 30th, 2015

News from the EPRC | Letter

I want to make the community aware of important upcoming San Juan County Council events related to the Eastsound Subarea Plan.

  • Nov 27th, 2015

Thank you, Orcas | Letter

We cannot believe how fortunate we are to live in such a caring community!! We want to thank you….so many, who have given clothing, food and other things to us since our house burned to the ground on Sunday night. And really first of all, we thank our wonderful volunteer Fire Department who were able to save the garage and the studio. We have also had so many messages of love and concern, and offers of guest houses etc. we are just amazed. Currently we are staying at a neighbor's guest house and are doing quite well. My reminder to all of you is MAKE SURE your smoke alarms are working and you have good escape routes.

  • Nov 27th, 2015

News from the Grange | Letter

The Orcas Grange parking lot has Lights! Thanks to Greg Ayers, Kate Hansen, Larry Coddington , Doug Bechtel, Tony Lee, Pete Moe, Kevin Loomis for technical support, Jerry Masters of Valley Supply for the bases and to Sea Island Sand and Gravel who provided discounts on the concrete. With your donations for gravel and leveling the area completed by volunteer Ed LeCocq, it will be a finished project!

  • Nov 25th, 2015

Community Foundation continues to impress

When the Orcas Island Community Foundation asked me to be part of a special project, I immediately said yes. I had a cursory understanding of what it would entail, but it wasn't until our first meeting that it really clicked.

  • Nov 18th, 2015

Tell the Sounder what you think

Wind, rain and a drop in temperature. Autumn announced its arrival in no uncertain terms.

  • Nov 11th, 2015

Orcas Currents thanks

As organizers of the new lecture and seminar series Orcas Currents, we are heartened by and deeply grateful for the tremendous response it has received. During its first full year, we presented eight events that attracted a total audience of well over a thousand participants — including the young, elderly, and young at heart. This encouraging response bears out our intent to keep events free of charge, open to all interested parties.

  • Nov 11th, 2015

Disagree with Sounder’s coverage

I strongly disagree with the journalistic choice you made to publish the victim's statement in the Oct. 31 front page story entitled "Teacher charged with sexual misconduct."

  • Nov 10th, 2015

Response to alleged sexual misconduct

Editor's note: In no way does the Sounder condone the following judgment on the court case involving an Orcas High School teacher (Teacher charged with sexual misconduct, 11/3/15). But we are obligated to publish letters from the community unless they are slanderous to a named private party. This type of victim-blaming is widespread and can be seen in similar cases across the country. Fair and accurate reporting includes protecting the victims of sexual crimes.

  • Nov 10th, 2015

Remember to drive safely this time of year

While driving from Eastsound to Olga in the dreary, gray, rainy weather, I noticed many vehicles did not have on their headlights. They were difficult to see as the weather "grayed-out" color, etc.

  • Nov 4th, 2015

Winner of wood raffle

We would like to thank the community for its participation in this year's Odd Fellows Wood Raffle. We had are best year ever and all the money raised will go to our Scholarship Fund and our Community Giving Fund.

  • Nov 4th, 2015

Trashion Fashion: thank you

Thank you to everyone who attended, the participants and the businesses that supported the first annual Trashion Fashion Show: Island Market, Darvill's, Cottage Gift Shop, Kay's Antiques, Rainbow Services, Chamber of Commerce, Orcas Recycling, Orcas Issues and Islands' Sounder (thank you to Meredith Griffith for a wonderful write up).

  • Nov 3rd, 2015

The importance of school spirit | Editorial

Walking into school last week after regular hours, I was met with the sounds of kids’ laughter and excited chattering.

  • Oct 27th, 2015

A survivor’s story | Guest Column

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and an anonymous client of Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Services of the San Juan Islands wrote the following piece.

  • Oct 15th, 2015

Let’s get big money out of politics

We need the law to declare that money is not speech, that corporations are not people, that all political contributions must be publicly disclosed and that our federal, state and local governments have the right and ability to regulate political spending.

  • Oct 15th, 2015

Starving orcas and Snake River dams | Guest Column

Recently, a contingent of San Juan Islanders joined three hundred fishermen, Native Americans, farmers, orca activists, business owners and conservationists to advocate breaching four federal dams on the lower Snake River in Southeast Washington.

  • Oct 13th, 2015

Why we write crime stories | Editorial

Why do we write crime stories? Do we want to sensationalize violence in an effort to sell more papers? We are a small knit community – should we really hear about the harsh realities of life?

The truth about domestic violence | Editorial

Every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten.

Mixed feelings about funding for veterans | Editorial

The housing crisis has been a well-documented nightmare for islanders.

Support for marijuana producer | Guest Column

I am a lifelong Orcas Island native, born here in 1985.

  • Sep 24th, 2015

Accept I-502 into our communities | Editorial

Although San Juan County residents voted 68 percent to legalize the use and sale of marijuana to adults back in 2012, the actual implementation of I-502 has been rocky.

  • Sep 22nd, 2015

Drive safely during dark winter nights | Editorial

Driving on our rural roads has unique dangers – like deer waiting to leap in front of you and bicycle riders weaving into traffic.

  • Sep 15th, 2015

OIFR’s cost recovery is a great idea | Editorial

An EMS cost recovery program has been working successfully for the Lopez and San Juan Island districts for the past five years.

  • Sep 9th, 2015

Be safe and drink smart | Guest Column

This labor day weekend the “Stand Up Men” of San Juan Island Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (DVSAS) is partnering with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office to raise awareness and safety on our island.

  • Sep 2nd, 2015

Goodbye to Joanna, hello to Bridget | Editorial

The Islands’ Sounder, Journal of the San Juans and the Islands’ Weekly welcome new circulation manager Bridget Wright.

  • Sep 1st, 2015

Why local pharmacies are important | Editorial

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, when the first person expressed juice from a succulent leaf to apply to a wound, it was being practiced.

If the tsunami comes, are you prepared? | Editorial

The earthquake that will devastate Seattle and will destroy the coast of the Pacific Northwest could strike now or in 50 years ... or maybe 600 years.

  • Aug 19th, 2015

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.