Opinion

What’s up with dog vaccinations? | Guest column

I grew up thinking that vaccinations for dogs were always a good thing. Recently when I adopted my first adult dog in 20 years I discovered that many of the earlier “best practices” on booster vaccinations for adult dogs were no longer valid.

  • Apr 18th, 2014

Wondering about Watoto, too | Guest column

Last week Anita Holliday wrote an important piece about the controversy surrounding the Watoto Children’s choir. First I want to thank Anita for her gracious, and respectful spirit towards the our church, a spirit which is so useful for productive dialogue.

  • Apr 17th, 2014
Representative Rick Larsen kayaking at the monument dedication last year.

Celebrating the islands | Guest column

One year ago the persistence and vision of the San Juan Islands’ community paid off: nearly 1,000 acres of pristine lands and shoreline in the San Juan Islands became a National Monument.

  • Apr 9th, 2014
Representative Rick Larsen kayaking at the monument dedication last year.

Why we support the Orcas Fire levy | Editorial

When we look at the Orcas Fire Levy, it comes down to the numbers.

  • Apr 8th, 2014
A child from the Watoto Child Care Ministries of Uganda

Wondering about Watoto | Guest column

I’m writing regarding the March 20 performance by children/youth from the Watoto Child Care Ministries of Uganda – reluctantly because I don’t want to offend members of the Orcas Community Church who invited and hosted them.

  • Apr 8th, 2014
A child from the Watoto Child Care Ministries of Uganda

Vote no on the fire levy | Guest column

As most people do, I too appreciate Orcas Fire and admire the volunteers. I dedicated 17 years of my life to it and them. I do not believe this entitles the administration to a blank check.

  • Apr 4th, 2014

Vote yes on the fire levy | Guest column

I’ve had my doubts about the spending practices of our fire department. In fact, until recently, I was quite vocal with my questions and concerns.

  • Apr 4th, 2014

What does sexual consent mean? | Guest column

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. As part of our work at DVSAS of the San Juan Islands, we understand we need to do more than just tell the community that sexual violence is a problem. We need to engage in meaningful conversations with the community, building skills regarding ways on how to participate or respond with proactive, positive behavior.

  • Apr 4th, 2014

Stand up together for what is right | Editorial

Every two minutes, an American is sexually assaulted. Think that doesn’t happen here? You’re wrong.

  • Apr 1st, 2014

Fire chief report

On Jan. 4, responders assisted an adult female with injuries following a vehicle accident on Orcas Road near Judd Cove. The patient was treated and transported in stable condition to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Bellingham.

  • Mar 27th, 2014

Shakespeare love, community love | Editorial

Four hundred and fifty years later and Shakespeare is still rockin’ the arts.

  • Mar 25th, 2014

Why you should care about stormwater | Editorial

The county has asked islanders to alert them to stormwater problems. And with the recent rains, the submissions have been plentiful.

  • Mar 12th, 2014

We can all benefit from change | Editorial

Water samples at more than 80 public beaches in the Puget Sound region, including Kitsap County, show fecal coliform bacteria levels that exceed levels considered to be safe.

  • Mar 5th, 2014

Poor ferry service is ‘unacceptable’ | Guest column

The level of unpredictability and lack of ferry service in recent months is unacceptable. As a frequent ferry commuter myself, I share the frustration other riders have with the inconsistent and uneven service.

  • Mar 5th, 2014

Moonlight and Magnolias | Play Review

“Moonlight and Magnolias” by Ron Hutchinson is the latest production from The Actors Theater of Orcas Island. This is a fun, thoughtful, and dynamic show.

  • Feb 25th, 2014
Michael Riordan

Michael Riordan in NY Times: ‘Don’t sell cheap U.S. coal to Asia’ | Guest column

Editor’s note: Orcas resident Michael Riordan’s following op-ed piece on coal exports ran in the Feb. 13 edition of the New York Times.

  • Feb 20th, 2014
Michael Riordan

Auditor to seek re-election | Guest column

If you’d asked me 20 years ago if I would ever consider running for office, I would have laughed at the idea.

  • Feb 19th, 2014

The many lives touched by Bob Henigson | Guest column

It has taken me a while to organize my thoughts enough to write this letter about Bob Henigson.

  • Feb 19th, 2014

Where do we turn in our golden years? | Editorial

Whether you resist it fiercely or embrace it with optimism, we are all getting older. And for those of us without family members to provide care or a paid home care worker, it can mean moving into assisted living.

  • Feb 18th, 2014
Charles Zalmanek

Three ways to improve the property tax system | Guest column

The 1889 state constitution recognized that to be effective, uniformity must apply to both assessments and tax rates.

  • Feb 12th, 2014
Charles Zalmanek

The power of Seeger | Reporter’s Notebook

The first time I sang “We Shall Overcome,” I was standing on the roof of a hospital in Bangladesh. My grandfather, an orthopedic surgeon who founded the hospital, was singing “We shall all be free. We shall all be free someday” as the nurses, janitors, cooks and doctors hummed along.

Therapists Analisa Lee and Brandon Adams.

Embracing loss in love | Guest column

In this season of Valentine hearts, Hallmark cards and molded chocolates, it may seem strange to willingly consider love’s more difficult but constant companion – loss – as a pathway to more fulfilling love.

  • Feb 5th, 2014
Therapists Analisa Lee and Brandon Adams.

Ripple effect of gossip | Editorial

Privacy on our small island community can be hard to come by. We like to know what is going on with each other, and sometimes it’s hard to discern whether that knowledge is based on fact or fiction. We

  • Feb 4th, 2014
Nurse and diabetes educator Joann Mayo prepares to test the blood-glucose level of a participant in a state-funded free diabetes class

Living well with diabetes | Guest column

Peace Island Medical Center was awarded a grant by the Washington Office of the Attorney General to provide three series of diabetes classes over the course of this next year

  • Feb 1st, 2014
Nurse and diabetes educator Joann Mayo prepares to test the blood-glucose level of a participant in a state-funded free diabetes class

Spread the word on what you offer | Editorial

Word around town is that it’s been a lackluster start to 2014 for island businesses.

  • Jan 30th, 2014

OFHC looks at last 10 years | Guest column

I have been practicing medicine on Orcas for 20 years. I have a basic and passionate philosophy in my approach to medicine.

  • Jan 22nd, 2014

Nou answers questions about controversial traffic stop | Guest column

On Christmas Eve deputies were involved in a traffic stop in Friday Harbor that involved a hay ride of Christmas carolers and ultimately a heated and disturbing confrontation that has triggered great concern and emotion in our community.

  • Jan 22nd, 2014

Positive changes at the Derelict Vessel Program | Editorial

The Sounder applauds the Derelict Vessel Removal program and Joanruth Baumann for a job well done, not only for removing 75 unsightly and environmentally dangerous boats from the water, but also for revitalizing the program to the point that it’s become a model for the state.

  • Jan 21st, 2014

Bad experience with Island Air | Guest column

My wife and I live on Waldron Island, and for years we have had a subscription to Airlift Northwest – as have most Waldron residents.

  • Jan 14th, 2014

Gratitude for local school board members | Editorial

It’s a job that doesn’t pay, requires long hours, lengthy meetings and number crunching come budget season.

  • Jan 14th, 2014

Sheriff’s department is under fire | Editorial

We trust them to serve and protect. But what happens when a group of people claim a police officer abused his power?

  • Jan 8th, 2014

Hopes and dreams 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 30th, 2013

Review of county finances | Guest column

Third quarter is the neglected stepchild of quarterly financial reporting. During the time when I should be reporting on the County’s third quarter results, I am instead immersed in preparation of the next year’s budget.

  • Dec 26th, 2013

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 a a religious day.

  • Dec 26th, 2013

Concerns over jet noise | Guest column

Citizens in the San Juans have recently learned about an Environmental Impact Study that is being conducted by the Navy to evaluate the potential environmental and health effects of adding 10 Growlers (EA-18G electronic attack aircraft) to the expeditionary force and 3 Growler aircraft to the training squadron at NAS Whidbey in Oak Harbor.

  • Dec 20th, 2013
Clematis vitalba

The story of clematis | Guest column

Invasive Clematis vitalba (Old Man's Beard, or also called Traveler's Joy) is one of the largest noxious plant species by volume and a threat to trees, eventually causing them to collapse.

  • Dec 17th, 2013
Clematis vitalba

Dreaming of a white Christmas | Editorial

It’s been a while since Washington has experienced such cold temperatures. Some of the lows in the last two weeks were in the 20s.

  • Dec 17th, 2013
Diane Walsh with her husband Michael.

Orcas Island from a medical student’s perspective

Friends and strangers have told me about Orcas Island for quite some time. People were drawn to Orcas for some reason unknown to me and would always return mesmerized by their experience.

  • Dec 13th, 2013
Diane Walsh with her husband Michael.

‘Almost, Maine’ play review

The Actors Theater of Orcas Island’s production of “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani explores the theme of love in a delightful and original way.

  • Dec 13th, 2013

We need streetlights in Eastsound | Editorial

There are a variety of reasons to dislike these dark winter nights, but foremost for us it the lack of lighting in Eastsound.

  • Dec 12th, 2013