Opinion

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

Seniors shine at annual presentations | Editorial

Anyone who says our youth is apathetic should sit through Orcas High School’s senior project presentations.

  • Jun 20th, 2013
The wind picked up dust from the open-air petroleum coke pile on the side of the Detroit  River as the 'petcoke' was loaded onto the Manitowoc (photo taken on May 14

Petcoke – a new danger is coming to our waters | Guest column

The image of a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block by the Detroit River that appeared in a May 17, 2013 New York Times story was a wake-up call for me.

  • Jun 20th, 2013
The wind picked up dust from the open-air petroleum coke pile on the side of the Detroit  River as the 'petcoke' was loaded onto the Manitowoc (photo taken on May 14

Fire chief report

Year to date responses have increased 21 percent. As of this report, the total call volume is 344 for EMS and fire combined. Last year, the number was 284.

  • Jun 19th, 2013

Learn to have fun this summer | Guest column

Summer is coming fast and so are some fun activities for children and teens on Orcas Island. Your Park and Recreation District, Orcas Island Library, and the school district are collaborating to host a diverse set of children’s and teens’ summer activities. Some are already set and some are in the process of being finalized.

  • Jun 11th, 2013

San Juan County finances review | Guest column

The first quarter of 2013 was a disappointment, at least on the revenue side. In particular, sales tax revenue to San Juan County did not meet expectations. Whether the county can meet revenue projections for the year will depend on activity picking up in this and other key sectors in the following quarters.

  • Jun 11th, 2013

An open letter to the class of 2013 | 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 11th, 2013

The value of a strong community | Editorial

The scope of the Orcas Island Community Foundation is far-reaching – and it’s all because of the generosity of islanders.

  • Jun 5th, 2013

Solutions for after-hours medical care | Guest column

When you call 911 or knock on our door, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue is at your service. As the provider of emergency medical services for Orcas Island, we have a primary mission of helping people stay safe and alive.

  • May 29th, 2013

The next chapter | Guest column

Thank you to all of the co-op members who participated in our 76th annual meeting. We are now looking forward to the next chapter of OPALCO’s long story – which we will write together.

  • May 29th, 2013

Let’s talk about mammograms | Guest column

Orcas Library is sponsoring a Health and Wellness week from June 10 to 15.

  • May 23rd, 2013

OPALCO not ready for Broadband | Guest column

Is OPALCO ready for broadband? We don’t think so. No doubt that better and faster internet would bring economic, educational and communication benefits. But we have grave concerns about OPALCO’s current business plan to venture into broadband business.

  • May 22nd, 2013

What Memorial Day is really about | Editorial

Fun in the sun. Backyard barbecues. An extra day off work.

  • May 22nd, 2013

It’s a fine life | Play review

Orcas Center’s newest production is community theatre at its finest. Director Deborah Sparks has brought together a dynamic cast that has chemistry throughout the two hours they are singing, acting, fighting and crying on center stage.

  • May 16th, 2013

All-male council to take the reins | Editorial

San Juan County’s new legislative body is made up entirely of men.

  • May 7th, 2013

DH Fire Station has been completed | Guest column

Orcas Island Fire and Rescue is pleased to report to our community that we have completed the construction of Deer Harbor Station 24.

  • May 7th, 2013

10-minute Playfest review

Ten minutes can go by in a flash, unremarkable and mostly unremembered much of the time.

  • May 2nd, 2013

Success, disappointment with Lopez solid waste | Guest column

The first quarter report by the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District highlights some clear successes, a few disappointments, and much work in progress.

  • May 2nd, 2013

Learning the art of customer service | Editorial

It’s the first week of May, which means the summer tourist season is just around the corner.

  • Apr 29th, 2013

Are you missing the Exchange? | Guest column

Many people who are expressing concerns about the recent fire at the Exchange are now realizing that for the past 30 years, the organization has been a significant public service on Orcas Island.

  • Apr 24th, 2013

Orcas Fire Department made the right call | Editorial

The Orcas Fire commissioners had to make a tough decision, but we think it was the right one.

  • Apr 22nd, 2013

OPALCO’s next chapter | Guest column

We have celebrated our 75th Anniversary and our success in building a member-owned cooperative to meet our electrical needs in San Juan County. OPALCO consistently rates at the top of the co-op world for our safety record, system reliability, financial strength, and innovative approach to solving problems.

  • Apr 18th, 2013

A time of rebirth and renewal for the Exchange | Editorial

We applaud the Exchange for its thoughtful approach to reconstructing its operation after a devastating fire in February.

  • Apr 16th, 2013

Final county conversation | Guest column

The San Juan County Community Conversations continue and conclude April 16-18. Averaging 40 to 60 participants per meeting, with some attracting more than 90 participants, the conversations have been a huge success thanks to you. If you haven’t participated so far, you still have a chance.

  • Apr 10th, 2013

Exchange moves towards renewal | Guest column

Good news, folks: the permit for cleaning up the fire site at the Orcas Transfer Station was obtained during the last week of March and the work was carried out on April 1 and 2.

  • Apr 10th, 2013

Election questions are answered | Guest column

San Juan County has not had an April election for at least 20 years (that’s how far back we looked). But last week, you received your ballot for our upcoming April election. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of confusion about this election: Why are we having it? Why are we having it now? What races do I get to vote in, and why?

  • Apr 8th, 2013

Explanation of ‘five-person council’ proposal | Guest Column

The effort by Council Members Marc Forlenza and Rich Peterson to promote an ordinance from the county council to place two measures on the November 2013 ballot, has generated several questions, primary among them, “Why are we making this effort and why now?”

  • Apr 2nd, 2013

How to defend yourself from predators | Editorial

Expanding on last week’s editorial about keeping our community protected from registered sex offenders, we’d like to encourage you to be proactive about your safety.

  • Mar 27th, 2013
Jim Hopper

Our county economy | Guest column

Our county economy: part of the fabric of our lives. How the economy performs affects our own lifestyle and the funding for public services. Availability of the public services we want affects our quality of life.

  • Mar 25th, 2013
Jim Hopper

Why we run stories about sex offenders | Editorial

They have “paid” their debt to society and now they are free.

  • Mar 20th, 2013

Stop the dirty politics | Editorial

Looks like the politics of divisiveness and disparagement have come to roost in San Juan County.

  • Mar 12th, 2013

Love is in the air | Editorial

It’s one of society’s oldest traditions: joining two lives as one.

  • Mar 5th, 2013