Respect Madrona Point

On the weekend of March 6, my partner and I were at…

  • Apr 7th, 2009

Take charge of your health care

It has taken 18 months of researching and planning, but the Fire…

  • Apr 6th, 2009

April is Child Abuse Prevention month

Sex offenders rarely strike at random – they choose their victims carefully…

  • Mar 31st, 2009

Guest Opinion by Helen Bee

How many island nonprofit organizations can you name? If you can list…

  • Mar 24th, 2009

Be on guard

The roads in San Juan County can be dangerous. Some are narrow, winding, and parallel to sharp drop-offs with cold, deep water below. When locals die on roads without guardrails, it raises the question: Could these deaths have been prevented?

Go green and save some green

What’s better than saving a little money every day?How about helping the…

  • Mar 16th, 2009

The power of song

by Mary W. GiampietroSpring whispers from just around a corner. Signs all…

  • Mar 16th, 2009

Walking with a purpose

Has your life been touched by cancer?For most, the answer is yes.…

  • Mar 9th, 2009

County government wants YOU (to speak up)

If last week’s attendance was any indication, Orcas is ready for regular…

  • Mar 3rd, 2009

Small increase for a big reward

Now may be the worst time to ask taxpayers to approve a raise in local levies.

  • Feb 24th, 2009

Letters to the?editor

Support for education bills

  • Feb 16th, 2009

Preventing spontaneous combustion fires

With the recent fire at one of our local restaurants due to spontaneous combustion, county businesses have been asking how they can prevent the same thing from happening to them. The most important point to make is that these fires are extremely rare. However, there are some things you can do to lower the chance of ever having one.

  • Feb 16th, 2009

A skeleton in our closet

There is a problem here on Orcas that is ugly and uncomfortable to face. It affects a segment of our community that feels powerless to speak up.

  • Feb 16th, 2009

Letters to the?editor


  • Feb 10th, 2009

Some ideas for thinking outside the box

After reading the editorial in the Sounder’s Jan. 21 edition, “Time to Think Outside the Box,” it got me thinking. What are some of the ways we could think outside the sandbox while still playing in it?

  • Feb 10th, 2009

Don’t wait to get involved

As a community, it is our job to keep informed about projects that are funded by public money – and to do so in enough time to have an impact if we want to make a change.

  • Feb 10th, 2009

Letters to the?editor

Help bill pass for seniors

  • Feb 3rd, 2009

Keeping Orcas Center open and affordable

Imagine life on Orcas without the arts, without affordable music, theater and dance, without attractive spaces to showcase the work of local painters and printmakers, without an attractive and centrally located venue for lectures on important contemporary issues. Such a life would be much poorer – intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, socially, and economically.

  • Feb 3rd, 2009

Don’t forget the elderly

Some people steal for the thrill of it. Some do it because they simply don’t want to pay. And then there are those who steal because they have no choice or don’t have the mental faculties to stop themselves.

  • Feb 3rd, 2009

Feed the orcas Letters to the?editor

If the orcas are suffering from hunger, let’s feed them. Now!

  • Jan 27th, 2009

Support a bond for Orcas Island School District Editorial

The Orcas School Board is thinking of putting a bond before voters in 2010. The amount is yet to be determined, but the scope of the project is huge.

  • Jan 27th, 2009

Milestones in safeguarding Orcas Island drinking water

Customers of Eastsound Water Users Association (EWUA) and Washington Water Service Company’s (WWSC) Rosario system may have recently noticed the improved quality of water coming from the tap. But, if you didn’t, that’s okay. Water produced by these utilities already meets or exceeds strict water quality standards. Most often, we, as customers, don’t pay much heed when we turn on the water unless there are problems like discoloration, low pressure, or some other water-related controversy.

  • Jan 27th, 2009

Protect your land’s resources through an open space program

Property owners who are willing to protect resources that have a public benefit may be eligible for tax relief through several different open space programs.

  • Jan 27th, 2009

Ferries are ‘ugly stepchild’ of Washington transportation

What would it be like if the thousands of drivers commuting to Seattle each day experienced crumbling freeways? Or if the exit to a town was closed off because there wasn’t enough funding to maintain the roads? That is the equivalent of what we, as residents of an area that is completely dependent on ferry transportation, may be facing. Despite the fact that we are considered part of the highway transportation system, the ferries are treated like the ugly stepchild that has to cut service levels just to make ends meet.

  • Jan 20th, 2009

Suggestion box Letters to the?editor

The new Sounder format is a nice improvement. In keeping with the new look, I would like to make a recommendation: add a “Suggestion Box.” It could be small, perhaps a third the size of “Street Talk,” and provide islanders the opportunity to share ideas on how to improve island life.

  • Jan 20th, 2009

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