Rate increase graph.

OPALCO’s ‘shock treatment’ | Guest column

Be warned. Some of us, particularly small electricity users, might be in for an electrifying shock treatment. Electricity prices are going up to the point where some may no longer be able to afford it.

  • Mar 27th, 2015
Rate increase graph.

Kevin’s time at Orcas Fire will be remembered | Editorial

It is with a heavy heart that we write about Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien’s leaving Orcas Fire and Rescue for a chief position in Lake Stevens.

  • Mar 25th, 2015
Liz Taylor

Can we protect our parents?

My grandmother is vicious to my father, her son. He has heart problems, so I’m afraid for his health. She’s 85 and can’t live alone anymore. He tried taking care of her at home, but she complained constantly.

  • Mar 24th, 2015
Liz Taylor

Local police going too far? | Guest column

I was intrigued to read the Islands’ Sounder recent story about the sheriff’s survey. My immediate reaction was that surely those on Orcas Island who gave poor marks to the police were NOT just referencing the incident on San Juan last Christmas.

  • Mar 18th, 2015

Staying balanced in the age of technology | Editorial

We’ve seen the positive side of the internet: connecting friends and family, sharing knowledge of the world around us, doing business from afar, spreading social awareness – the list goes on.

  • Mar 18th, 2015
Chief Kevin O'Brien

Orcas Fire Chief’s report

On Jan. 1 at 3 a.m. the Shaw Island Fire Department requested assistance with a structure fire on Shaw Island. Four OIFR firefighters responded with a WASP fire engine and a water tender truck.

  • Mar 5th, 2015
Chief Kevin O'Brien

What do you think of the medical care system on Orcas Island?

Dr. Gottman, with input from the members of the OMF board, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue, and others, has developed a rigorous survey that she hopes will be completed by everyone on the island.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015

Smart planning is needed for Eastsound | Editorial

Eastsound is the hub of activity for retail, dining, foot traffic, community events, parades and more on the island.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015

Rock Island: why it makes sense for OPALCO | Guest column

The news last week that Orcas Power and Light Co-op and Rock Island have joined forces to deliver Internet services to islanders in San Juan County is the latest in a long chain of thoughtful decisions and deliberate action on the part of the OPALCO leadership.

  • Mar 3rd, 2015
Liz Taylor

Is a poor appetite dangerous? | Guest column

I once consulted with a company to evaluate the health of people over 80 who had applied for long-term care insurance. The goal: to ensure they were healthy enough not to use their insurance benefits right away.

  • Feb 27th, 2015
Liz Taylor

Don’t ignore the threat of tsunamis | Editorial

Be afraid, but don’t be too afraid, and above all – be prepared. That is essentially the message that Brendan Cowan of the San Juan County’s Department of Emergency Management wants to get out to island residents.

  • Feb 25th, 2015

Is spring here? | Editorial

Yes we live on an island. Many of us moved here for the temperate climates. The founding American pioneers came here to escape the grueling snowstorms and freezing temperatures in the east and the extra inches of rainfall on the mainland.

  • Feb 17th, 2015

Power of love | Editorial

Working in the newspaper business, you grow accustomed to churning out tales on the daily.

  • Feb 4th, 2015

More than 50 years later, MLK’s dream is still just a dream | Editorial

Reporter Samantha Pak, from one of our sister papers, the Redmond Reporter, wrote the following piece. We thought it was too good not to share.

  • Jan 28th, 2015
Liz Taylor

Staying young while we’re old | Column

After four decades working in the aging field, I’ve discovered something interesting: we each get “old” at our own unique pace. This is different from any other time in our lives.

  • Jan 28th, 2015
Liz Taylor

Orca survival depends on humans taking action

That the local orca whale population, known as southern resident killer whales, is in dire trouble is not in dispute, even as recent widespread press reports have focused on the positive news of the birth of J-50, a new calf in J-pod (J, K and L pods together make up the endangered southern resident orca).

  • Jan 27th, 2015
Chief Kevin O'Brien

Orcas Fire Chief report

On Dec. 1, 8 p.m., Orcas Island firefighters responded to reports of a large fire with dark smoke in the area of Mt. Woolard.

  • Jan 27th, 2015
Chief Kevin O'Brien

County: stop impeding marijuana production | Editorial

We are disappointed with the direction that San Juan County is taking in regard to cannabis farming.

  • Jan 20th, 2015

Keep the Exchange at transfer station | Guest column

We’re all ready for the new Exchange. It’s a vital part of our community, moving toward a zero waste goal.

  • Jan 15th, 2015

Love for what we do | Editorial

Even in a place as radiant as the San Juans, the monotony of routine can get to the best of us.

  • Jan 14th, 2015
Kevin Ranker

Legislative session 2015 update | Guest column

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends. The 2015 Legislative Session began Jan. 12. Here are my top priorities for this year.

  • Jan 14th, 2015
Kevin Ranker

Ways to get inspired this winter | Letter

It’s a new year and with it comes possibilities and the always returning resolutions to better ourselves. We make promises to lose weight, exercise more, be kinder and find balance. Are these fresh starts attainable? Some say no.

  • Jan 7th, 2015

Goals and aspirations for the new year | Editorial

Every year, we ask our readers to tell us what they hope for in the new year. For some, it’s about fitness and health. For others, it’s about finding balance in our daily lives.

  • Dec 29th, 2014

How Christmas ‘as we know it’ came to be | Editorial

At the Sounder, we are well aware of the powers of the pen. So it came as no surprise to learn that Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was one of the major influences that has instilled the idea of Christmas as a celebration of family and friends in addition to it being a religious day.

  • Dec 23rd, 2014
Liz Taylor

Gifts for the elderly | Opinion

As the season of gift-giving descends upon us – Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa and Christmas – you might be having trouble thinking of the right present for a frail older person.

  • Dec 23rd, 2014
Liz Taylor

Thank you, Phoebe! | Letter

Thank you for the care and kindness you brought to Orcas Island!

  • Dec 23rd, 2014

Help with a kidney transplant | Letter

My wife and I have lived in the San Juans for seven years and we are now asking our community for help.

  • Dec 23rd, 2014

A library love story | Opinion

A preemptive apology to readers. This article is chock full of sentimentality. I tried to edit out any hint of schmaltziness but the task feels insurmountable.

  • Dec 17th, 2014

Reservation system might not be so bad | Editorial

When it happens to something very familiar, something very important, like travel on the state ferry system, change may seem even that much more of a headache.

  • Dec 17th, 2014

Get into the spirit of giving this season | Editorial

We’ve all heard the phrase “the spirit of Christmas,” but its meaning is sometimes lost amid the barrage of consumerism that has come to define this national holiday.

  • Dec 9th, 2014
Kathryn Farron

First impressions are everything | Guest column

Quite simply, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true in real estate and even more so in the islands where so many of the potential buyers may only be here for a limited amount of time.

  • Nov 25th, 2014
Kathryn Farron

Remember to be thankful | Editorial

Every year we gather together with friends and family to express gratitude. Thanksgiving is about socializing and eating, but it’s also a great time to truly think about what matters in your life.

  • Nov 25th, 2014

Age Deliberately | Guest column

We can learn many lessons from watching how other people age — what they do and don’t do right, their attitudes, their coping skills. Mainly, aging successfully — or as I say, “deliberately” — takes planning.

  • Nov 18th, 2014

San Juan school drug policies in need of change | Guest column

I made a terrible mistake. I knew my child’s friends and where she was every minute of the day. But I made a bad assumption. I thought she was safe at school. I was wrong.

  • Nov 18th, 2014

Give the gift of food this season | Editorial

It’s a universal feeling. The hours have whisked by and suddenly it is lunch. You are starving and the thought of eating that thick tomato soup or fresh salad makes your mouth water.

  • Nov 18th, 2014

Reach out to a veteran before it’s too late | Editorial

I met Sgt. Gil Frazier during the war in Afghanistan. I was an embedded journalist and he was a Marine. One of the reasons I am alive today is probably, in part, thanks to him.

Light up Eastsound with holiday cheer | Editorial

We’ve written before about the need for streetlights in Eastsound. It is dark by early evening when the streets here are still busy.

  • Nov 5th, 2014

Facts about ferry reservations | Guest column

Starting Jan. 5, 2015, reservations will take effect for vehicle travel between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. Reservations may be made starting Dec. 2.

  • Oct 28th, 2014

I-594: common-sense? | Guest column

Recent TV ads promoting I-594 tell us that it will close a “loophole” which lets felons and other violent persons acquire guns at will, without going through any kind of background check or other control.

  • Oct 24th, 2014

Puzzled over county sheriff race | Editorial

Sometimes in small-town elections, things get a little fierce. And it would seem the sheriff’s race is one of those times.

  • Oct 21st, 2014