Pete Rose.

New county work boat was a sound decision | Guest column

Guest column contributed by Pete Rose, San Juan County Administrator In the past couple of weeks the county has been on the receiving end of attacks that I can only describe as mean-spirited and ill-informed concerning the purchase of a work boat by the Public Works Department.

  • Oct 3rd, 2011
Pete Rose.

Standing up for Orcas | Editorial

It’s time to defend the honor of Orcas Island. If you've read the mean-spirited Seattle Weekly blog about Orcas Island this week, you were likely left with a feeling of “What? He can’t possibly be serious!”

  • Sep 20th, 2011
Chris Hoffman.

Determining future of county’s shorelines | Guest opinion

In the past, shoreline development in Washington tended to be piecemeal and uncoordinated, which often had negative impacts on shoreline areas.

  • Sep 17th, 2011
Chris Hoffman.

Remembering 9/11 | Editorial

What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

  • Sep 13th, 2011

Madrona Point is not open to the public | Editorial

It’s a great disappointment to many islanders that Madrona Point is officially closed to the public. And vandalism to the land does not help community efforts to mend bridges with the Lummi Nation. On Aug. 3, deputies confiscated a human skull from a 19-year-old Orcas Island man who claims to have stumbled upon it while digging for arrowheads near property belonging to the Lummi Nation at Eastsound’s Madrona Point. The skull reportedly still had dirt embedded in it at the time it was seized by deputies.

Stormwater work has serious consequences | Letter

All vegetation except for a few trees will be torn out behind the Village Green for the stormwater construction. Any vegetation holds ground in place. Little enough exists in this area. Replanting may not correct messing with nature.

  • Aug 24th, 2011

Fairgrounds future is now – weigh in | Editorial

Kids strolled hand in hand with tired moms, sheep bleated in their stalls, and the smell of fried butter and cinnamon, sun-kissed skin and hay filled the air. The San Juan County Fair is four days of old-fashioned fun. But its future is at a crossroads.

  • Aug 24th, 2011

Council made the right call with Watmough | Editorial

It was a sad day for many Lopezians, who watched as public works trucks rumbled down the dusty roads of Watmough Head, preparing to put down pavement. We understand the protesters’ desire to keep a rural road free of asphalt. But we don’t agree with those who say democracy has failed.

  • Aug 16th, 2011

Orcas Island Library has Vikings yearbooks | Guest column

Remember when? Here on Orcas, we are used to having many (some would say hoards) of visitors each summer.

  • Aug 9th, 2011

‘Whale watch boats directly responsible for death of resident orcas’ | Guest Column

By Mark Anderson, chairman, Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance: While the orca birth rate continues its robust rate, the current head count could mislead islanders into thinking the whale population is regaining health.

  • Aug 9th, 2011

Protect your noggin | Editorial

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of kids playing on the beach, runners pounding the pavement, kayakers slapping the water with paddles, and bicyclists pedaling down country roads.

  • Aug 9th, 2011
Dr. Barbara Swahlen practices on Lopez.

The cost of canine freedom | Guest column

It is a common sight on the roads of our beautiful, rural islands to see dogs riding “free” in the back of open-bed trucks. As a veterinarian who has treated dozens of dogs who rode unrestrained in the back of their owners’ trucks, I can say that the cost of this freedom can be painful, expensive and often deadly.

  • Aug 9th, 2011
Dr. Barbara Swahlen practices on Lopez.

‘Every mother’s worst nightmare’ | Guest column by Lori Gates

The phone rings in the middle of the night – every mother’s worst nightmare. You hear your son mumbling, his girlfriend crying and unfamiliar noises in the background. You feel fear, shock and confusion. Then you finally make out six words that stop your heart dead and send your world spinning: “Mom, my house is on fire.”

  • Aug 2nd, 2011

Tell us what you think about advertising on the ‘tank’ | Editorial

We miss seeing community messages on Orcas Island’s old tank at the intersection of Olga Road and Crescent Beach Drive.

  • Aug 2nd, 2011

Sounder reporter Meredith Griffith receives environmental journalism fellowship

Orcas Islanders are passionate about their environment, and we want our coverage to reflect that. So when staff reporter Meredith Griffith was accepted into a week-long fellowship with the Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources, we knew her experiences would result in better stories about the local environment.

Sheriff Rob Nou.

New law aims to deter drunk drivers | Guest Column

On Friday, July 22, “Hailey’s Law” becomes effective. This new law requires that vehicles operated by drug- or alcohol-impaired drivers must be impounded for a minimum of 12 hours. So not only does the driver go off to jail, but the car will also “go to jail” when the driver is arrested for DUI. The law says cars MUST BE IMPOUNDED. No discretion is allowed. The cost of the tow and impound are the responsibility of the driver or vehicle owner and must be paid to the tow company before the vehicle can be released.

  • Jul 19th, 2011
Sheriff Rob Nou.

More problems with Discover Pass | Editorial

We’ve got a few more things to say about last week’s editorial topic: Washington state parks’ new “Discover Pass."

  • Jul 7th, 2011

Was the public misled on state park fees? | Editorial

It was the cost of a lunch out. Now it’s the price of lunch – and that proverbial cup of java.

  • Jun 28th, 2011

Helping Hands Noramise Reports a second successful year of grass-roots revitalization in Haiti | Guest Column

A local Orcas Island woman, originally from Haiti, returns after a very successful second year of effective back to roots revitalization work in her family’s hometown of Limbe. Here is the latest update on the continuing saga of how one person can and is making a real difference in Haiti, yesterday, today, and the future.

  • Jun 15th, 2011

It starts at home | Editorial

Our final installment of “Student life: let’s talk about sex” is in this week's edition. Last week featured interviews with parents and teens about the culture of sexuality among youth. This portion focuses on local resources and what parents can do.

  • Jun 15th, 2011

The public’s right to tidelands … not so fast! | Guest Column

We are responding to “The public’s right to low tidelands” letter. One big problem we see is that the public, as yourself, is not aware that there is not just one set of circumstances for every property owner who lives on the beaches of San Juan County

  • Jun 8th, 2011

Introducing our new series on teens and sex | Editorial

One of our duties as a community newspaper is to report on…

  • Jun 8th, 2011

A way forward for Orcas Schools | Guest Column

The following is an interim report to the Orcas Community and the…

  • Jun 8th, 2011

21th Annual Orcas Pet Parade ‘a huge success’ | Letter

I don’t know who came up with the idea 20 years ago to march children and their pets through Eastsound, but I’m sure glad they did! Grassroots fundraisers like Kaleidoscope’s Pet Parade are another reason we choose to live on this glorious island.

  • Jun 1st, 2011

A win-win scenario for solid waste | Guest Column

by Libby Cook & Marta NielsonWhat does everyone have a hand in…

  • May 25th, 2011

Birding hits the big time | Editorial

It’s been a tough spring for birds – and for birders. Unusually…

  • May 17th, 2011

Why we love our mothers | Editorial

Everyone has a mother, but our reasons for cherishing and loving our…

  • May 3rd, 2011

Courtesy and civility in community debate | Editorial

It has the power to unify or divide a community: debate.In past…

  • Apr 27th, 2011

Tourism matters, now more than ever | Editorial

If we all invited one person to visit Washington state, it would…

  • Apr 21st, 2011

Feedback on school district | Guest Opinion

by CHRIS BUTLERI stood out in front of the post office Wednesday,…

  • Apr 13th, 2011

Falling in love with the library | Guest Opinion

by RACHEL NEWCOMBESpecial to the SounderMany folks on Orcas Island enjoy swapping…

  • Apr 11th, 2011

Medical oversight protects the public | Editorial

Sometimes the Sounder is tasked with reporting a story that casts a prominent community member in an unfortunate light. As uncomfortable as it may be for us, it should never prevent us from following the ethics code of our industry: seek the truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently, and be accountable (Society of Professional Journalists).

  • Apr 1st, 2011

Sowing the seeds of knowledge | Editorial

We’re particularly excited about a new state program that aims to make…

  • Mar 29th, 2011

SB 5763 makes cents | Editorial

Government is often criticized for moving with all the swiftness of a…

  • Mar 15th, 2011

Get mobile with a little help from the senior center | Guest Column

by Don WebsterOrcas Island Lions ClubDo you know someone who is having…

  • Mar 10th, 2011
The number and quality of feeder bluffs in the San Juans
The number and quality of feeder bluffs in the San Juans