San Juan Island Update - serving San Juan Island, Friday Harbor, and Roche Harbor

November 22-25, 2007

Thank you, thank you, thank you....
You know, it's the time of year when folks lean back & review the ways life is good, and the extent to which we're lucky & blessed to have the cool stuff going on around us that we do.

Living on our island really makes that point, doesn't it - bright sunny days like today, beautiful ocean around us, locally grown food as well as what's offered at the stores, and friends. People whose friendship deepens with each passing year, as we help each other, comfort each other, help each other heal, share a laugh or a knowing's good to be here, don't you think?

As we celebrate, let's take what we can from the blessings we are surrounded by. Let's find a way to share it with other foks around us, both on the island and off-island, whose luck could use a boost. We have neighbors here who fear for their jobs, who work too much & see their kids too little, who aren't sure about how to make it all work.

As we take in the joy of the season, let's continue to look for ways to spread that joy. It makes us all better.

Thank you, again....
As you notice the date above, that's kind of a clue that I'm gonna relax for a few could tell, I know. I wanted to tell you one of the things I'm thankful for - this week is the San Juan Update's tenth birthday.

Most of 1997, I played with the idea of getting an online news-thing (wasn't sure what to call it - ain't on paper) going, and as you can see when you look through the Archives, I posted my first entry on November 24, 1997. At that time I was updating it every week or so, depending on whether anything happened.

Some stuff did happen - occasional disasters like the Elwa destroying the Orcas dock in 1999 or the great fire that wiped out a block of town in 2002, and the great island get-togethers of graduations, Fairs, football, races, Fourths of July, log rolling contests, as well as all the little stuff in between.

Now, in late 2007, over 1300 people a day (sometimes it's as many as 2900) click on their bookmark for the Update, and that number seems to keep growing.

So, for a stroll down memory lane, just go the Archives & you'll see a lot of places to start. See what you think. See what you remember. And thanks for being a part of the Update, my friend.

Love & peace, with many thanks for all you've given,
Ian Byington

November 21, 2007

The Artisans' Holiday Marketplace is set for Friday & Saturday.....
It's a great place to gossip, to catch up with the kids who are home from university, to buy your Christmas wreaths from the seniors, to just gotta go. Here's what it looked like last year....this year it is Friday & Saturday from 10am-5pm at the elementary school - breakfast & lunch available. See you there!

Helping the Banrys out....
Next week, I'm gonna tell you more about the fundraiser for the Banrys on the 7th of December, but first I want to tell you about this, this weekend. Here's more from Mary Karen:

Hello Ian!

I am hoping you might help me get the word out that Stage Left has kindly agreed to offer an extra performance of "Doubt" at the Roche Harbor Pavilion on Sunday November 25th at 7:00. ALL the proceeds from this will be donated to the Banry Family. The suggested donation is $15.00. Since time is of the essence on this, is it possible to help spread the word?

Thank you!
Mary Karen Ryan

Running hard....
Did you know about this? Wow! Here's more from my pal & running reporter Jen:

Hi Ian,

Just thought you'd like to know that Booboo finished the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend in 4:30:55, just 6 weeks after the Bellingham Marathon! Attached is a photo of her crossing the finish line in Bellingham.

Jen Fleming

More from the Market....
She's one of the best cooks on the island, so you'd guess Chrristine Gabler knows where the best food comes from - don't miss your chance to get good, locally grown food for this weekend (this is how we're gonna save the world - locally grown. Get used to it!) Here's more:

Hi Ian - I am hoping to get the word out the best I can that this Wednesday November 21st, the Farmer's Market will be creating its magic at the Grange from 4-6pm. You will be amazed what produce is still available this time of year, as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, goodies and more. It is the perfect opportunity for people to get their Thanksgiving Day neccessities and support local agriculture. See you there! Christine

New interisland ferry (actually it's an old one)...
The WSF has pulled the Illahee from service, suddenly, replacing her with the Evergreen State for the interisland's more from the WSF press release:

Washington State Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond announced today that Washington State Ferries (WSF) will pull all Steel Electric class vessels out of service after they complete their last run today. This decision means that the Port Townsend-Keystone car ferry route will be closed beginning tomorrow until further notice.

Washington State Ferries owns four 80-year-old Steel Electric class vessels – Quinault, Klickitat, Illahee and Nisqually. These vessels predominantly serve the Port Townsend-Keystone and San Juan Islands inter-island routes. They are the only ferries in the system capable of operating in Keystone’s narrow and shallow harbor.

“After meeting with staff concerning the most recent inspections of the Steel Electric hulls, I have decided that we must pull these ferries from service to examine each of the hulls more extensively,” said Hammond. “Ongoing work on the Quinault has revealed significant hull pitting along the keel that likely extends to all four Steel Electric vessels.”

I traveled a good deal all over the world, and I got along pretty good in all these foreign countries, for I have a theory that it's their country and they got a right to run it like they want to.
- Will Rogers

November 20, 2007

Another new islander....
It was last Wednesday that Marlis Sandwith gave birth to Finn Henry (9 pounds & 3 ounces!) - congrats! Papa Roger is doing fine, too!

Support your seniors!
The Class of 2008 (those seniors, not the ones at the Mullis Center) are selling wreaths at the Artisans' Fair this Friday & Saturday, but you can get yours from 2-6pm on Wednesday at the Fairgrounds, where they're makin' 'em...go get yours now! Here's the details.

She's open out there!
Dominique's House is open at Roche! Dom's fall and winter business hours for the Roche Harbor store are Thursday-Sunday, 11am - 5pm. Lots of Christmas decorations in stock now!

Shopping spree....
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...John Bostrom (right, during the spring) is the best - all the time he puts into kids in the community, helping with the Leos & the Lions, and just an all-around great guy.

He won the four-minute shopping spree this weekend, which will be held Tuesday (shouldn't he get more time now that King's has expanded? And he should get more time to figure out where everything is!) Here's more from Lion Frank Penwell:

Past Lions President John Towson held the box containing the raffle tickets for this year's Shopping Spree while Shantel Fessenden, a Griffin Bay Student, who was shopping with her sister, drew the winning tickets. Turkeys were won by Ginny Beaudoin, Jean Von Weier and Joan Benedict. John Bostrom won the 4 minute shopping spree.Fellow Lions pictured are: (clockwise from upper left) Assistant Chair of the Shopping Spree Stacie Baisch, Roy Matsumoto, Howard Schonberger and Chair Laurie Wangenheim.

Another couple of plays....
The Benefit Players Theater is showing Endgame this coming weekend, with The Fantasticks the week sure and see the shows! Here's more.

More pictures of that regatta....
Remember the regatta a couple of weekends ago? Here are more photos, which Jayne Hemmerich tells me are taken from the westside on Saturday of the race.

The state of real estate....
You're probably wondering what's going on with real estate around here - and it's probably a good idea to get a bit of an historical perspective, and a local (rather than national) perspective. Here's more, in a little article sent to me by Merri Ann Simonson (right) from Coldwell Banker.

Local Girl Scouts Sell Pies for Thanksgiving
You know, it's hard enough when the Girls Scouts sell all those cookies - I mean, who can turn down a girl with her big, bright eyes who asks you, "Will you by my last 27 boxes of double mint chocolate to the third power cookies? Please? Please?"

You try & say no. You can't, and you know it.

So now it's pies! But I can tell ya, because I got a pecan pie last year for Thanksgiving from them, these are great! Here's more from scout-moms Jan & Wendy:

Friday Harbor’s Junior Girl Scout Troop 183 is ready to help make that Thanksgiving dinner so much easier—they’ll handle the dessert! For the second year, the troop is selling homemade pies.  Pumpkin pies are $10 and pecan pies are $12. The pies will be on sale at Marketplace on Wednesday, November 21, from 9 am to 2 pm, BUT they do sell out fast and folks might want to reserve early by calling 370-5462. If pie isn’t your favorite dish, there’s a way to make a double contribution! Just pay for a pie or two - or more! - and the troop will deliver them to the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

All knitted up....
That's Doris Van Alen catching up on her knitting (right) on the ferry Friday after a trip to LaConner.

Mark's on the mark, digitally....
Mark Gardner's starting up classes next week for photography & imaging & such at his studio - here's more.

Cleaning up....
In another note from Frank Penwell, he reminds us of something cool on the island:

My hat is off to the Trashmasters and the San Juan County Road Department. I was driving on the Roche Harbor Road on 11/15/07. Between town and Consignment Treasures, I saw 9 people with vests on picking up trash along side the road. I stopped to thank the 9th person and asked what was going on. I learned it was a group called Trashmasters and that the County provided the safety vests. What a heartwarming sight to see volunteers working so hard, and knowing that the local government is supporting them by providing safety vests. My thanks and admiration to all the volunteers!
Frank Penwell

Makin' a list & checking it twice......
While you are getting ready for a month of holidays, you might want to make some space in your home, garage or driveway and get rid of some of the things you haven't been using, or need to replace...and get a tax deduction as well.

My friend Bob Schwartzberg at the Labs tells me that the Friday Harbor Labs is in need of the following items for use by students, researchers, instructors and the K-12 program at the Labs. They only ask they all items be in good condition. If there is a need for them to come pick things up, let them know (378-2165) and they will be glad to do so.

The main things they need are:
Marine equipment
Digital photo equipment
Kitchen items
Pick up truck
Dump truck
and anything else you think we might be able to use.

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.
Benjamin Franklin

November 19, 2007

Back for a visit....
It was nice to see old islander Dawn Presta on the ferry Friday afternoon, coming with her friend Anna (from Seattle) for a visit this past weekend, Dawn's been in eastern Washington the past four years or so, doing a number of things, including selling phones like the one she pulled out of her bag to show me.

New photos posted by an old friend....
Have you seen Robert Demar's photos lately? Get up to date with his blog & his homepage....

Finished the latest Harry Potter book....
I know, most of the literate Western Hemisphere finished it ages ago, but I checked it out of our fine library (the finest library in the Western Hemisphere, I checked) & finished it off this weekend.

Now, my question to you: Do I sound like Rita Skeeter when I write? Please tell me I don't.....

New School Board member.....
I believe our School Board got nothing but stronger when David McCauley (right) was elected earlier this month - I visited with him & board members Heidi Lopez & Boyd Pratt on the ferry when they were coming back from a school board conference downsound... he joins them and Todd Roberts & Sally Bryan to make one of the most intelligent & good-hearted boards I've seen around.

The play's the thing.....
This weekend I got to see Doubt out at Roche Harbor, and since it still has a couple of weekends left to play, I hope you don't miss it.

One of the ways I know a play has really affected me is when I find myself thinking about it a bunch the next day - the show is an intense piece that presents a dilemma of judgement shaped by the fears we allow to grow inside us. It's not depressing or "dark," but I think it is both an entertaining and thought-provoking look at some of the dark parts of human nature.

Shoot, I could tell you more about how the play goes, but I'm gonna let you take care of that - you go see it, and you'll be telling me you're glad you went. Here's the schedule.

Emotional Freedom Technique at the library....
Tomorrow from 5-6:30pm at the library, Cynthia Elliot (left) will demonstrate EFT with a tapping circle - she'd like you to call her at 378-8426 if you're coming (to pre-register). She'll also offer the circle on Wednesday, December 19th as well.

Here's more about EFT, from Cynthia:

How would you like to experience the holidays this year? From Thanksgiving until the New Year, if you could change some things about the way you experience this time of year, what would they be? What would you like to enhance your sense of connection to others and a  feeling of safety? Learn how you can use EFT to help initiate and sustain the changes you want to make in your life. Learn how to get to a place of calmness and relaxation. Feel peace in your heart going into the holidays. Learn and use a technique to deal with the uncomfortable stuff as it comes up. For more info regarding EFT go to

Aussies are coming.....
You probably already knew there's a team of basketball players coming to visit us in a couple of weeks from Australia to play our boys at FHHS - here's the inside scoop about our visitors, from their local online paper.

What ARE you doing for Thanksgiving dinner, anyway?
A lot of islanders plan to go to the Grange for the Community Dinner friend Ary asked me to tell you it's "popular, non-denominational, non-discriminating and free, not to mention filling and prepared by enthusiastic volunteers." I love the way he puts things....hope to see you there! Here's more, from our friends at the San Juan Islander.

A ferry reminder.....
The state ferry, as you know, has a daily run to Sidney, BC this time of year (there are two during the summer, and none for a few months starting in January). These days when you go to Canada they're strongly suggesting you take a couple of pieces of photo ID, and a passport if you have one. I've been doing things in Canada this year more than usual, and it really is handy to have a passport.

One of the weird parts, though, is that if you get on the Friday Harbor to Anacortes leg of the trip from Sidney, you have to go through customs, too. In other words, you go from the US (Friday Harbor) to the US (Anacortes), and have to show your ID and prove what you're up to and all that.

Here's a article in the Seattle Times by a reporter who wasn't ready for the extra hour (I've been in line for an hour and a half, once) that's tacked onto your ferry trip on that sailing, or for having to go through customs without leaving the country.

More ferry news....
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, meanwhile, reports the Washington State Ferries provided an incomplete picture of problems on its oldest vessels when it briefed state lawmakers late last month about detailed inspections of the 80-year-old hulls. Here's more.

And no immigration, too.....
Finally, for today, a video of John Lennon singing "Imagine," with a couple of line inversions that echo what's going on these days - swapping in a line for "no immigration," and broadening his line that hopes for a "brotherhood of man" to a "brotherhood & a sisterhood." Peace...

The information here is simply stuff we here at By Design think is important around Friday Harbor or on San Juan Island.

Some of it is news, some of it is old news, and all are just things we wanted to mention, with most of it about the things that make living here great.

There will be more next week, if anything happens.

Ian Byington

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