Opinion

Airport looks at reconstruction | Guest column

The Orcas Airport is embarking on a major reconstruction project scheduled for next year. We will have a public meeting about the project on Thursday, Dec 12 at 5 p.m.

  • Dec 4th, 2013

Be smart about your holiday parties | Editorial

Almost every 90 seconds, a person in the U.S. is injured in a drunk driving crash and one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. An average drunk driver has gotten behind the wheel 80 times before his/her first arrest.

  • Dec 3rd, 2013

Farm to Cafeteria reaches its goal… and then some

By the strike of midnight on Saturday, November 30 when the campaign officially ended, the Farm to Cafeteria “Edible Eats and Education” crowd-funder on indiegogo.com reached its matching goal of $11,000.

  • Dec 3rd, 2013

What are you thankful for this year? | Editorial

It’s the time of year for lighting candles on a cold winter night, breaking bread with loved ones and remembering what we are thankful for. Our readers offered the following gems of gratitude.

  • Nov 25th, 2013

CenturyLink outage was a wake-up call | Editorial

We are over the worst of it now, and we need to focus on the future. There was a fair amount of anger and frustration expressed by islanders at CenturyLink’s public forum last week. There are very real health and safety concerns as well as economic consequences when our communications are interrupted.

  • Nov 19th, 2013

Listen up, men: your health matters | Editorial

Watching our friends and family grow mustaches is entertaining and fun, but there is a serious reason for “Movember”: raising awareness about men’s health. We urge men to take a look at the following information and take action.

  • Nov 12th, 2013
Kevin O'Brien

Orcas Fire’s budget explained | Guest column

The cost of maintaining the effective emergency response system we have on Orcas Island is a significant challenge.

  • Nov 6th, 2013
Kevin O'Brien
John Nance

San Juan EMS is making decisions for wrong reasons | Guest column

San Juan EMS Chief Jim Cole's statement flies in the face of the reality in the Sounder’s story “Airlift Northwest cuts ties with Island Air Ambulance” that ran last week.

  • Nov 5th, 2013
John Nance

Reject prop one | guest column

Last year, a majority of San Juan County’s citizens voted to make some important updates to our county charter. Specifically, we voted to create a full-time, three-member county council that was elected county-wide.

  • Oct 29th, 2013

From the living dead to cute costumes | Editorial

As yellow and red leaves litter our streets and decorations of orange and black hang in windows, one can’t ignore that Halloween is coming.

  • Oct 29th, 2013

Losing family to cancer | Reporter’s notebook

She wore red lipstick and her neck was often adorned with a colorful scarf. She was an artist who painted watercolors with scenes of vibrant bouquets and shorelines of calm waters.

Orcas School responds to audit | Guest column

Recently, there have been some questions about audit results of our 2010-2011 OASIS program. For clarity I offer this timeline of events, the results, and how the OISD has responded.

  • Oct 10th, 2013

Kudos to the county | Editorial

It seems to be human nature to complain more than compliment, and our county gets its fair share of grievances.

  • Oct 1st, 2013

The flu vaccine is for everyone | Guest column

An annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and the flu-related complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death. Health experts across the country recommend that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine.

  • Sep 30th, 2013

The trouble with spiders | Editor’s notebook

I’ve woken up with them in the palm of my hand. They’ve clung to the inside of my sweater, crawling up through the neck. I’ve wrapped myself in a towel, only to look in the foggy mirror and see a huge black shape making its way across the cloth.

It’s a balancing act for island businesses | Editorial

A handful of the businesses and restaurants in Eastsound were closed on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. The result: frustrated tourists and long lines out the door of the few restaurants that were open.

  • Sep 18th, 2013

Quarterly review from county auditor | Guest column

I work for the government, which gives me a warped view of the world. I forget that not everyone knows obscure stuff like how levies work, or that sales tax is comprised of lots of little parts.

  • Sep 17th, 2013

Goodbye Ronnie and Robert | Guest column

I have had the great privilege in recent weeks to work in close quarters with the long-time operators of the Orcas Transfer Station, Ronni Silva and Robert Hammermeister.

  • Sep 17th, 2013
Cali Bagby is a staff reporter for the Islands’ Sounder. She was promoted to editor & sales rep of the Islands’ Weekly on Lopez Island. She will continue to love life on Orcas.

Take a vacation for your brain | Reporter’s Notebook

The mornings come so reliably – a cup of coffee, familiar faces and the daily sifting of emails. At the Sounder we write, we read, we juggle to be fair and ethical and still remain sensitive to our neighbors.

Cali Bagby is a staff reporter for the Islands’ Sounder. She was promoted to editor & sales rep of the Islands’ Weekly on Lopez Island. She will continue to love life on Orcas.

Lessons for our kids | Editorial

The smell of fall is in the air, and for parents, it’s a busy time of buying back-to-school supplies and gearing up for early morning sports practice. As our children prepare for a year of learning inside and outside the classroom, we urge parents to talk with their kids about tolerance.

  • Aug 30th, 2013

We must preserve women’s rights to health care | Editorial

Washington state women who are served by the more than 50 public hospital districts in the state will continue to have the assurance they can exercise their legal reproductive rights.

  • Aug 27th, 2013
Fargo

Keeping a paw on the pulse of Eastsound | A word from the mayor

In my first few weeks as the honorary mayor of Eastsound, I have been a proud puppy when I see what a great community we have here.

  • Aug 22nd, 2013
Fargo

Intolerance should not be tolerated | Editorial

We like to consider our communities open and welcoming of diversity – but does that sentiment disappear when it’s part of Eastsound’s landscape?

  • Aug 20th, 2013

As local as it gets: the San Juan County Fair

Horse competitions. Carnival rides. Corn dogs. Rabbit races.

  • Aug 13th, 2013

Summer time and the living is … busy

Outdoor concerts, bustling farmers’ markets, busy hiking trails, limited parking spaces, long overload lines.

  • Aug 6th, 2013

Strength during a time of fear | Editorial

In the wake of three suspicious fires in Olga, it’s clear there is an arsonist in our midst. Instead of being overwhelmed by panic, let’s stay calm and be proactive.

  • Jul 31st, 2013
Dick Staub

Re-imagining the good life | Guest column

Albert Einstein famously quipped, “How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will.” When I first set foot on Orcas Island in 1981, I believed I got a taste of such a place.

  • Jul 24th, 2013
Dick Staub
From left to right: Cali Bagby

Transitions at the island newspapers | Editorial

Change can be a time of sadness and exuberance, as we bid farewell to one chapter and open up another.

  • Jul 24th, 2013
From left to right: Cali Bagby

‘Love, loss and what I wore’ play review

Doug Bechtel’s staging of Nora and Delia Ephron’s play “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” at the Grange is proof once again of his unerring eye for casting.

  • Jul 19th, 2013

Why noxious weeds matter | Guest column

While invasive weed populations are expanding at an almost exponential rate across North America, annually costing the US economy billions of dollars, we in the San Juans have been more fortunate.

  • Jul 16th, 2013

The thing about Alan Lichter | Guest column

The thing about Alan is that he would be horrified to know I am starting a sentence that begins, “The thing about Alan Lichter.”

  • Jul 16th, 2013

Guard rails on Orcas are long overdue | Editorial

The roads in San Juan County can be dangerous. Some are narrow, winding and parallel to sharp drop-offs with cold, deep water below.

  • Jul 16th, 2013

Council Clerk’s Corner | Guest column

The week of June 23 started off with a council and Department Head (both elected and appointed) workshop on Tuesday, June 25.

  • Jul 10th, 2013

A letter to our readers | Editorial

The Islands’ Sounder is proud to be your newspaper. We’ve been the voice of our community since 1964.

  • Jul 9th, 2013
Andrew Reynolds with his daughter Tess

Political pundits offer insight on mayoral race

The Honorary Mayor of Eastsound race – an annual fundraiser sponsored by and benefiting Children’s House – concludes on Saturday, July 6.

  • Jul 2nd, 2013
Andrew Reynolds with his daughter Tess

Appreciating our rich history | Editorial

We spend so much time thinking about the future – what could happen, what we’d like to have happen – that it’s easy to overlook the rich history of those who came before us.

Elwyn Pratt

Big bets on Byway Bus project | Guest column

Taking a bus out to the westside of San Juan may sound a little counter intuitive to a local, but then again, it is the greener way.

  • Jul 2nd, 2013
Elwyn Pratt

Things looking up for Broadband | Guest column

OPALCO has made a major shift in its approach to bringing high speed broadband to most island locations.

  • Jul 2nd, 2013

Freedom of the ride | Editorial

Happiness eluded me for many years. I knew where it was hiding, but it felt like a treasure lying beneath a rock I could not lift.

Update on Orcas School’s budget | Guest column

I know it may come as a surprise to some, but our legislature was unable to complete its work within the 105 day limit of the “long session.”

  • Jun 22nd, 2013