County fair is an island tradition | Editorial

Yep, with a quick look at the calendar we’re reminded that opening day of the San Juan County Fair is just a week away. Its four-day run begins Aug. 13.

  • Aug 6th, 2014

Building a community

Orcas has the irresistible lure of a natural paradise and the attraction of a welcoming civic spirit – a caring human community. A decade ago, that community spirit inspired San Juan Islanders to raise $18.5 million to save Turtle Back Mountain from development and to preserve its pristine beauty.

  • Aug 6th, 2014
Liz Taylor

When does memory loss mean trouble? | Opinion

There are two kinds of memory loss in older people. The first is normal forgetfulness, which most of us experience starting in our 40s and 50s — like not remembering a good friend’s name or where we put the car keys. I know this one well!

  • Jul 23rd, 2014
Liz Taylor

Give the gift of life: donate blood | Editorial

There is no substitute for blood. It cannot be manufactured in a factory or created in a laboratory by scientists. Blood is one of the few life-saving measures that can only be given organically from one person to another.

  • Jul 22nd, 2014

Come meet Mike Lapointe, Independent Candidate for Congress

The proposed Cherry Point coal terminal in Bellingham and the growler jet noise on Whidbey Island are issues that make us angry.

  • Jul 21st, 2014

On libraries, Las Vegas and Elvis

Who knew that Elvis was a convincing 3-D printer pitchman? In late June, I attended the American Library Association meeting in Las Vegas along with 18,000 other library lovers – librarians, trustees, and library friends from public, private and academic libraries.

  • Jul 16th, 2014

Fire chief report

Total call volume for 2012 was 783 and for 2013 it was 879. To date for 2014 that number is at 459 – a 13.3 percent increase from last year.

  • Jul 15th, 2014

What the Supreme Court ruling means for us | Editorial

Here at the Sounder, we pride ourselves on covering news that pertains to our communities. And sometimes there is a national news story that has local implications.

  • Jul 15th, 2014

Airport flight checks

Eastsound residents probably couldn’t help but notice a blue and white Lear Jet that made repeated approaches and departures at the Orcas Airport on Monday, June 24.

  • Jul 1st, 2014
Kevin O'Brien

Fire Chief’s report

Orcas Fire and Rescue responded to the following notable alarms. Personnel were dispatched to the Deer Point neighborhood on May 1 to conduct a search for an adult male missing overnight. He was found approximately 1,000 feet away from his home. The patient was treated for traumatic injuries and exposure.

  • Jun 26th, 2014
Kevin O'Brien

The fun of fireworks | Editorial

We would like to remind everyone that personal fireworks are not allowed anywhere in our beautiful county. The use of any type of personal fireworks presents a very real danger of injury and fire.

  • Jun 24th, 2014

A letter to graduates | Editorial

Every year a new batch of eager young adults stand on the threshold of adulthood. With a diploma in one hand and an iPhone in the other, they are prepared to take on the world.

  • Jun 17th, 2014
Liz Taylor

How do you know when you are ‘old’? | Guest column

What is aging? When is a person “old”? When I was a kid, I yearned to be older. My mom promised, “You’ll understand when you grow up.” But when I did get older, I discovered there were things I didn’t want to understand.

  • Jun 12th, 2014
Liz Taylor
Leslie at work

Deep communication with dogs | Guest column

Service dog trainer Leslie Liddle spoke at the May 25 Unitarian Fellowship service describing her connection with the dogs she works with. She shares these thoughts here.

  • Jun 11th, 2014
Leslie at work

Even kids care about pollution runoff | Editorial

Planning to wash your car this weekend? Use pesticides in your garden? Ignore that oil leak in the old rig?

  • Jun 10th, 2014

Time to start talking | Editorial

Homeless is a relatively new term. In the 1920s those without homes were hobos, tramps, bums and box-car riders. Homeless is a much nicer word for those of us who have found ourselves without a roof over our heads.

  • Jun 4th, 2014

Goodbye to the Sheriffs Log? | Editorial

Periodic trips to the Sheriff’s office had been one of my many tasks for the better part of the past 14 years.

  • May 27th, 2014
A bird rescued by Wolf Hollow

Relating to animals, part 2

Shona Aitken, Education Coordinator for Wolf Hollow, will be speaking at the Orcas Island Unitarian Universalist Fellowship worship service on May 27, along with Kate Wood and Leslie Liddle. She writes here about working with wildlife.

  • May 21st, 2014
A bird rescued by Wolf Hollow
A bird rescued by Wolf Hollow

Relating to animals, part 2

Shona Aitken, Education Coordinator for Wolf Hollow, will be speaking at the Orcas Island Unitarian Universalist Fellowship worship service on May 27, along with Kate Wood and Leslie Liddle. She writes here about working with wildlife.

  • May 21st, 2014
A bird rescued by Wolf Hollow

Be kind to your neighbors and tourists | Editorial

Cherry blossoms are bursting with color and kayaks are being taken out of storage. It’s soon to be summer in the San Juans – which means tourist season is just around the corner.

  • May 20th, 2014
Milene Henley

Quarterly review of finances | Guest column

Being a somewhat superstitious person, I’ve always been reluctant to trumpet good news. This reluctance comes across, at times, as pessimism. I’m not really pessimistic, though; I’d just rather be surprised by good news than by bad.

  • May 13th, 2014
Milene Henley

Why we celebrate Mother’s Day | Editorial

Mother’s Day has a rich history of motivating people to rise up for peace and human rights. Take a look at how Mother’s Day has affected our nation.

  • May 7th, 2014

Why it’s important to talk to kids about sex | Editorial

As we come to the end of April, which is sexual assault awareness month, we want to talk about healthy adolescent sexual development.

  • Apr 30th, 2014

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