Opinion

It happens here, too

At first, the abuse she endured was subtle, nothing more than a few harsh words. Then it became violent. And then he turned his anger on their children. Without her own source of income and with an increasing feeling of shame, leaving didn’t seem like an option. She felt alienated from friends and family, completely alone, and desperate for a way out.

  • Jan 13th, 2009

“Shop local” — what exactly does it mean? | Islands Sounder Editorial

“Shopping Local” is more than frequenting an island store now and again. It’s about understanding the link between healthy communities and healthy businesses. It’s about hiring local contractors, buying local food, and patronizing local shops because it strengthens the island for all of us.

  • Jan 6th, 2009

The current economy: what it means for 2009

Current economic conditions have created a fair amount of anxiety both locally and nationally. Some in the media have equated the current conditions to those of the Great Depression. While the record number of job losses, rising unemployment rates, and the crises in the financial markets all make for a very difficult 2009, it would be highly inaccurate to compare what is occurring now to what occurred during the 1930s.

  • Dec 31st, 2008

Orcas Island Fire Department report

From Dec. 19 to 25 Orcas Fire and Rescue responded to three alarm activations at the public school due to extreme weather, a breathing emergency, a burn, a medical emergency, one medical assist, two public assists for vehicle versus snow and a report of a vehicle blocking a fire station. No medical calls resulted in off-island transport. Department members coordinated emergency response plans to deal with any community isolated due to weather. Fortunately, there was no need activate the plan.

  • Dec 30th, 2008

Susan Osborn concerts canceled due to weather

Susan Osborn’s 21st Annual Victorian Valley Chapel Christmas Concerts were canceled this year because of the weather and road conditions.

  • Dec 30th, 2008

County news page premieres on San Juan County website

A redesigned County News page went into service last week on the county website (www.sanjuanco.com/news).

  • Dec 30th, 2008

Orcas sewer expansion: there’s more to the story

Your editorial on sewer expansion, “A step toward saving our sound,” misrepresents the full spectrum of solutions available to us.

  • Dec 23rd, 2008

Letters to the?editor Community bikes vandalized

Some great community minded individuals, myself included, decided to start a community bike program to better serve pedestrians in town. Many of the bikes were lovingly restored classic cruisers that had been rescued from the exchange by myself and others. This project was a symbol of our communities strength and character and the son of the bike shop owner had made this his senior project. The bike shop has donated many parts and much grimy labor on the old machines to bring them to our community.

  • Dec 23rd, 2008

Sounder to start new year with new look

The Islands’ Sounder will be converting to a new, smaller-sized format beginning with the January 7, 2009 edition. The size will be identical to that of the Sounder’s award-winning sister paper, The Journal of the San Juan Islands.

  • Dec 23rd, 2008

Stealing hurts us all

In a season we like to think of as characterized by giving, tolerance, love, and gratitude, it is particularly painful when someone steals from a member of our community.

  • Dec 23rd, 2008

Recession hits Orcas residents hard

Imagine having rent to pay, a car with an empty gas tank, school supplies to buy, and bare kitchen cupboards with not enough money in your pocket to pay for even half of those things.

  • Dec 16th, 2008

Letters to the?editor Account opened for RoseAnn Dolan

On behalf of the Dolan family, thank you for the love, prayers and help of all kinds you’ve continually offered in support of RoseAnn. The generosity and kindness of this community is amazing. RoseAnn is at Swedish Hospital in Seattle recovering from surgery related to her ongoing liver disease. For more information, please visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/roseanndolan1.

  • Dec 16th, 2008

Fire Commissioners discuss Deer Harbor Station

At the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 9, Fire Chief Mike Harris reminded the commissioners and attendees that in 1999 voters passed a levy.

  • Dec 16th, 2008

New cell ordinance in question

The name of the game is “Beggar Thy Neighbor.”

  • Dec 16th, 2008

Working towards a healthy Puget Sound

The San Juan Islands boast some of the most pristine waters and habitat in Puget Sound. So why the concern for their protection and restoration?

  • Dec 16th, 2008

Letters to the?editor Thank you for the community Thanksgiving

On behalf of the Odd Fellows, we would like to thank the community for making this Thanksgiving at the Odd Fellows Hall the best and most attended ever. Your participation guaranteed a memorable evening and showed us why we live here on Orcas and why we love Orcas. Thanks also go to Orcas Center for their contribution of chairs and tables, a big thank you to Kyle at Orcas Homegrown, Ron at Orcas Village Store, and Jason at Island Market for their donation of turkeys. They were appreciated more than you can imagine.

  • Dec 9th, 2008

Why Kayl requested a recount in council race

On Thursday, Dec. 4, the San Juan County Elections Department conducted a hand recount of the District 4 Council Race, as per my request. I did not expect the results to change. I was trying to provide an audit of a system that is being questioned.

  • Dec 9th, 2008

Recent hunting incidents raise questions

Gone are the days when Native Americans gracefully hunted through the plains of North America, bow and arrow in hand, bare feet lightly treading the ground. It was about food. It was about warm hides for the winter. It was about survival.

  • Dec 9th, 2008

San Juan mental health tax will help many — especially students

My name is Bill Evans. I am the Superintendent of Lopez Schools and I was a member of the task force established by the San Juan County Council to bring recommendations to them as they considered and recently passed the 1/10th of 1 percent mental health and chemical dependency sales tax.

  • Dec 9th, 2008

Sewer just a small step toward saving Puget Sound

The scientists call it “nonpoint pollution,” meaning it emanates from sources that aren’t specific or readily identifiable. Oil leaks from automobiles and chemical treatments on lawns are two good examples, swept as they are by rainwater through ditches and storm drains and into the waters of Puget Sound. Another example: the septic systems of shoreline homes, which over time send untreated waste oozing out to contaminate our waterways.

  • Dec 2nd, 2008

Islands Sounder Letters to the?Editor | Dec. 3

We are writing to express dismay at Margie Doyle’s separation from The Islands Sounder. Margie has demonstrated a keen understanding of events that are important to islanders. She knows how decisions are made and writes clear and comprehensive stories that include useful background to set the context for current events. Her editorials provided a suggested focus or action steps that made it easier to know what we, as citizens, could do to engage. Her tone was just right: positive and inclusive, with an appropriate amount of scrutiny. It is noteworthy that in a relatively short period of time, Margie demonstrated these traits. We have come to respect her work and wish that she could continue as editor.

  • Dec 2nd, 2008

Orcas Senior Center

This is an open letter to the elected officials of San Juan County and their appointees.

  • Dec 2nd, 2008

Don’t leave seniors standing at the curbside

Don’t leave seniors standing at the curbside

  • Nov 26th, 2008

Keep San Juan regulations simple — New, countywide aquifer protections are confusing

The county approved the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Ordinance on Nov. 18, a Critical Area Ordinance that is as difficult to understand as it is to pronounce.

  • Nov 25th, 2008

Letters to the?editor Youth services Thanks to the United Way Seniors count on services Margie Doyle will be missed

At this time of year when thinking about all we have to be thankful for, I would like to recognize the United Way of San Juan County for its continuing support of The Funhouse and our Mentoring Programs.

  • Nov 25th, 2008

Like charity, prosperity begins at home

During the Great Depression, a number of agencies created by the New Deal assisted in the eventual return of normalcy.

  • Nov 25th, 2008

Changing of the guard

Margie Doyle, who served as editor of the Islands’ Sounder for more than two years, is no longer with the newspaper. Ms. Doyle started with the Sounder in October of 2006, succeeding Finn John, who was editor for a brief period following the retirement of Ted Grossman, former owner of the newspaper and its long-time editor.

  • Nov 19th, 2008

Saving the San Juans

In a victory for thoughtful planning, the County Council on Oct. 20 unanimously denied an application for a franchise to construct a private waterline to move water from Crow Valley agricultural lands to a proposed subdivision in the separate Eastsound watershed.

  • Nov 19th, 2008

Toward more efficiency in the new year

Anticipate revenue to come in lower than expected and budget accordingly. If revenue comes in higher and you have money left over at the end of the year, put that in reserve for future major expenses.

  • Nov 19th, 2008

United Way – an anchor in the storm!

Are you aware that United Way supports the fine work of many local organizations? The dollars that you give to San Juan County United Way stay right here and go to work for County children and families. Orcas Family Connections, formally Orcas Early Childhood Consortium, provides resource and referral services, crisis intervention, and parenting education to Orcas families with children age 0 to 5. Our organization could not do the work we are doing without the support we received from United Way. With the financial storm that is brewing around us, the families of Orcas need us more than ever and we need the help from United Way more than ever. Please consider giving to United Way. And we send a huge “Thank you” to United Way for giving back to us. To make a donation go to www.unitedway-sanjuancounty.org or by mail to United Way PO Box 3181, Friday Harbor, WA 98250-3181. Our island kids will thank you.

  • Nov 12th, 2008

Orcas Rec: Supporting youth and preventing crime

What are some of the options for addressing the proposed elimination from the county’s 2009 budget of Orcas Island Recreation program funding (amounting to about $12,500) and a juvenile probation officer with the county Sheriff department (costing about $56,000)?

  • Nov 11th, 2008

Odd Fellows wood raffle

The winner of the wood raffle held on Oct. 31 was Jill Galeotti of Seattle, who generously donated the wood to a needy family on Orcas. We thank Jill for her donation and will locate those families in need of wood for this winter.

  • Nov 11th, 2008

Thanks to the community

Now that the elections are over, I’d like to thank all the members of the Orcas and San Juan County community for their support and partnership during my four year term. I’ve always felt that it was a privilege to serve both as a Commissioner and Councilmember, and I urge everyone to support and assist the new members of our county government.

  • Nov 11th, 2008

Often overlooked

We take the Islands’ Sounder a lot for granted, expecting to see it each week in our Sounder tubes and in the news stands; knowing we can rely on its articles and “What’s Happening” to keep us up to date with the plethora of activities that abound on Orcas; trusting in the accuracy of the reporting, knowing corrections will be printed when necessary; learning about the richness and diversity that surrounds us through in-depth interviews of Island people and their work.

  • Nov 11th, 2008

Ranker pleased at election

Thank you for the tremendous support you have shown these past months.

  • Nov 11th, 2008

Ballot research

I was concerned about my vote being counted in the Nov. 4 election, so I called the San Juan County Voter Registration Office, 378-3357 and asked three questions:

  • Nov 11th, 2008

United Way supports prevention

Prevention can mean vitamins, seat belts or exercise. It can also mean helping kids to achieve goals, feel successful and grow into resilient healthy adults. We can prevent self destructive behaviors by helping kids develop strong and appropriate problem solving skills. We can prevent social and academic failures by helping kids discover their individual strengths and self-discipline. We can help prevent violence by assisting children in understanding appropriate emotional outlets and encouraging goal setting with self-esteem. Prevention helps form a healthy community, which is good for everyone.

  • Nov 11th, 2008

Anything is still possible

Never have I experienced goose bumps for such an extended period of time as when I heard the election night’s acceptance speech by president-elect Barrack Obama. That “anything is possible” in America was proven to such an historical degree Tuesday night that it reminded me of the lunar landing, knowing exactly where I was and at what time it happened nearly forty years ago, simply said, mind numbing!

  • Nov 11th, 2008

PTSA Harvest Fair a success

We here on Orcas have yet another example of how fortunate we are to live in such a caring community. On November 2nd, on short notice and in response to a keen sense of loss and concern for a number of families at the school, the PTSA sponsored its first Harvest Fair. Families came together to enjoy harvest-themed baked goods, soup and chili, to press cider, take hayrides, make candles and other crafts, play bingo, twister and rollerskate and, especially, to enjoy each others’ company. The event was a wonderful success!

  • Nov 11th, 2008

Mowrey wedding thanks

I wish to express the Mowrey family’s appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the members of the Orcas Fire Department for the wonderful and extravagant manner in which they prepared and handled David and Bing’s wedding, and they know what I mean by that. Not only was the room beautiful, but the arrangements for the food, the register, the ceremony and the toasts after, were all wonderful. Pat yourselves on your backs, people. You did good!!!!!

  • Nov 11th, 2008