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prepared weekly or so by Ian Byington

October 18, 1999

Children's Festival: When I visited the fairgrounds at the Festival with about an hour to go, organizer Robin Jacobson told me they had been counting heads at the gate, and over 900 people had come through...and that didn't count the folks who came from soccer games all day through the back gate. Lots of hands-on activities and music and story-telling...and you could tell by the looks on the kids' faces: they were into it.

Levy needs to pass: The Island Rec (formerly San Juan Island Park & Rec) folks have a levy up to a vote on November 2 which will allow them to expand their scope and do more for the community....whether you're waiting till then to vote, or voting absentee (those ballots were mailed last week), vote yes on this thing. We need it & our kids need it.

They're the ones who sponsored the Festival, and midwifed the Skatepark and Sunken Park projects, which have proven to be roaring successes.

This was an unpaid-for political announcement.

Sports stuff: The Wolverine Women soccer squad dropped a couple of close ones Thursday & Saturday, both by 1-0 scores. In spite of a spate of injuries, the girls keep on keeping the score had a 30-something to six setback on Friday off-island, while boys soccer picked up another win on Saturday.

Wasn't Saturday a great day to play outside? At the elementary school there was Tiger football going on, as well as kids' soccer all morning & early afternoon in the cool autumn sun. Perfect baby bear & Goldilocks weather - not too hot, not too cold, just right. Sunday: a nice reminder of the day before.

Out & about: Heard there was good music in town this weekend, but sometimes you just gotta go to a movie, so I went to the Royal Theater to see a movie called "Random" something and ate popcorn.


October 13, 1999

Gray Matter to close: Dave at Gray Matter says the popular kids' hangout is closing this weekend...there are games and other inventory on sale: my boys and I picked up a couple when we dropped by last night for only a couple of bucks each.

Check it out...and take the time to drop by and thank Dave for giving the kids a place to go for the last 2-3 years.

Bowling alley: Yep, they're planning one for here for the spring sometime. Word has it that it'll have 10 lanes and someone said it would be smoke-free, which is a fine thing.

The breaks: Someone on the ferry Saturday night told me this island is a Bermuda Triangle for relationships...some days it seems to be so. I've heard of three couples busting up just this week....

Weather: After yesterday's drizzliness and some rain last night, what a beautiful, blue-sky day we had today! Did you get a chance to get outside & play?


October 10, 1999

From the e-mailbag:

Ed Kilduff checked in from the lower 48 with a news tip:

Speaking of breaking news -- I was watching the national network news (I think it was ABC), and they mentioned that there was a newborn orphaned orca in the San Juans that had been adopted by other members of the pod. The other members of the pod were catching food for it and/or chasing fish towards it so it could eat. They briefly showed Ken Balcomb and mentioned that the newborn was being watched to ensure that it was doing okay, but if it appeared to be in trouble, it would be caught and hand fed. Do you know anything about this? Is it the same newborn orca mentioned in your column recently?

BTW, I love your site. I own property on Lopez, but live in California (Ugh!!!) , and I check your site regularly for the sunsets and news. Thanks for a great site.

All the Best, Ed Kilduff

Nancy Wampler also checked in about that all-classes FHHS reunion she and her friends are putting together for next year (mentioned below):

Hi Ian: We had a great reunion meeting last night at Haileys.
Next meeting: Wed. Nov 3, at the High School. Tentative time: 5 pm. Reunion website: (Meeting Minutes, log on addresses, site, etc.)
Local contact: Nancy Wampler at Coldwekk Banker (378-2101, ext 232) or

Mary Keith (and five others, actually) commented on the sunset we showed you in the report below:

Hi Ian, Thanks for the sunset on the web page!
I was coming home from Spokane (went to visit my son) on Monday and the drive on Hwy. 20 afforded me a beautiful sunset for several miles of driving. I do think they are special this time of year, and agree with you that they are often more interesting than the local "news".

Car afire: Carolyn at the Little Store tells me she knows of two car fires last week - one across the street at Ace Hardware and one on the ferry. Hope this isn't a trend...

Local singer releases latest CD: OK, that would be me. My latest album came out about a month ago, and is called "Just An Idea." You can read all about it, and either purchase it from the website, or one of these fine Friday Harbor establishments: Harbor Books, Griffin Bay Bookstore, The Trading Company, Dolphin Arts, Funk 'N Junk, Osito's, King's Variety, or Post San Juan.

Kent at the Whale Museum's gift store is not carrying the CD because it doesn't have any whale songs on it (I'm writing a song that says, "Oh, baby, we had a whale of a time" for the next one so he'll reconsider), while Carol at Serendipity Used Books is not carrying it because it is neither used nor a book. Similarly, The Toy Box is not carrying it because it is not a toy.

I believe these to be sound business decisions.

October 5, 1999

Sun sets, anyway: The sunset Sunday night was brilliant....for those of you who missed it, here's a photo of it (right) at exactly 6:45pm. You may have noticed we post pictures of sunsets here in the Update like it's breaking's our editorial opinion that that is more interesting than what passes for news in the papers, some weeks. No big deal, just a difference in focus - and there's room for us all, here.

Another kid, another dog: Becky Shanks tells me Michele Mayer (and her lovely husband Phil) have another kid on the way. This time the FHHS volleyball coach is due in April...she had her first last year during the season. Great parents with great kids.

Meanwhile, Maryellen Foster tells me Jessica found her dogs (see below), and Jessica reports that she's working on a fence to keep 'em in.

Reunion: Nancy Wampler writes:

July 8, 2000
Friday Harbor High School (Tentative site)

First Wednesday of the month, 7 pm @ Hailey's.
Contact Nancy Wampler @ 378-6419.

P.S. My thought is to try to interweave Island Traditions into the reunion. So, I need feedback from people
We need people to get involved and help us!!!!!!
Thanks, Nancy

Talk with the animals: Jim Nolman's organization, Interspecies Communication inc. now has a large web presence at You can hear music with orcas, project descriptions from around the world, 60 book reviews, nature writing, and more.

Nothing much: I was away for five days last week (business trip) and when I came back I asked three different people what had happened while I was gone. They all said, "Nothing." So that's why this report is so short. I don't make the news, I just report it.


September 28, 1999

Where is the ferry? Jean from Western Prince showed me this site, which tracks exactly where the ferries are in transit...check it out, then hurry. You're still late for your boat.

From the mailbag: Jessica at Panacea tells me her dogs are missing since last Thursday:

REWARD: Two lost dogs, males, nutered and friendly, last seen Thursday 9-23 on Park Street. Large black Lab and medium brown and black Boxer mix. Greatly loved and missed. Please call Jessica at 378-3757 with sightings or information.

I know she'd love to hear from you...she's very close to her dogs.

Sun's up: Did you see the sunrise this morning? Pink & blue & bright & great. Whoa.

September 27, 1999

Weekend doin's: Seemed like a bunch going on this weekend, with lots of people in town.....

Daniel Finn played to his usual overflow crowd at Katrina's last night, while up the street both "music bars" offered music. Nice little crowd at the contra dance at the Grange (I had time to drop in for one dance), while the Chamber San Juans folks did their classical gig at the theater.

Sam Pope's services were held at the old Pope Building Supply building - they even put up the old Pope's sign for the occasion - and a friend who attended told me it was standing room only and crowded...and that's a big place. If a man is measured by his friends and admirers, Sam was mighty tall.

The Whale Museum held its 20th anniversary bash, with food catered by the Thai Kitchen folks (right next door, they're sometimes called the Whale Museum Cafeteria, since museum workers have to smell the cooking all morning, they usually are persuaded by noon or so.) Lee Bave, who helped found the Museum, in '79, gave a little talk, there were kid activities, and a nice chance to get folks together.

Milestones: Susie Campbell of Susie's Mopeds got married, and Cathy Cavanaugh celebrated her 50th with friends Sunday night at the pub. Meanwhile, the football team capped a homecoming day/dedication of the new high school day with a nice 45-0 could hear the cheering all the way down to the harbor.

Crash: They're saying the ferry crash three weeks ago over at Orcas was caused by a computer glitch.

September 24, 1999

Da moon, da moon: Look for the moon over Griffin Bay in the early evening was beautiful last night, rising just as the sun set. Nearly full for the equinox.

House afire: It's one thing to hear about a house on fire, but my wife Sherri saw one in the middle of the road out past Mitchell Bay Road on Westside...apparently Pat O'Day was moving a house to a new lot over there when it hit some power lines and caught on fire. No report of extent of damage, but someone else on the scene told me even the trailer wheels melted....

Weekend: Lots to do this weekend, including Homecoming stuff at the high school, Swamp Mama Johnson at China Pearl tonight (they're great), contra dance at the Grange Saturday, services for Sam Pope, and more. Get out and play.

Chamber office moves: The Chamber of Commerce has moved its office to above the Amigo's Sauce shop....Jody Price tells me she really likes the new location.

September 20, 1999

Sam Pope passes: Gene Wilson told me this morning that Sam Pope has lost his long fight with cancer. Sam gave a lot to this community to make it a community, and will be much missed.

Baby born: With each passing, there is also rebirth...Jean from Western Prince Whale Watching files this report:

Sunday, September 19 we saw something really neat. The first whale report of the day came in around 10:30 a.m. It was of a lone female transient orca in the False Bay area. No one saw a baby at that time. We heard from one of the other captains out that day that she breeched several times, swam fast up the west side of the island, and then once she got to Balcombs, Balcombs' identified this whale as L67 with a new baby. It is very unusual for a L pod whale to be here all alone.

Reports indicate this new baby was born Sunday morning. When we went out on our tour, we found them over by Kelp Reef. We turned off our engines and watched them. We were the only boat near them at the time since everyone else was watching J pod close to San Juan Island. She even brought the new baby over to the boat about 3 pm in the afternoon (they swam towards us within 100 feet of the boat and the new baby was on our side of her, not the far away side of her.) Everyone aboard was in awe. And the color of the newborn was an unmistakable bright orange color where the white normally will be. The mom was rolling over and the baby was flipping here tail up and, both appeared in good health. Pretty neat -- we all hope the new baby will survive.

All nines: Nancy Hanson at the Toy Box's birthday was 9/9/99 ...she passed the day with no computer errors...

Cameni in the city: Cameni Williams graduated from FHHS last June, and is in college in New York. Proud mom Anne tells me her daughter's web site is pretty neat.

Ferry schedules: They change in reaction to the Orcas dock sure and check when the boat really leaves. The Friday Harbor terminal number is 8665...check first.

Real estate boom: My friends at Friday Harbor Realty, Windermere, and Coldwell Banker all tell me they're having their best selling & listing years since the early '90s...kinda goes with the rest of the country's economic boom.

Even up, then dark: With the equinox tonight, the day light's the same length as the night...and shorter days from here on out. Sunset near 7, with highs of 75 called for tomorrow. Shoot, that's hotter than most of the rest of the summer.

September 13, 1999

United Way on the way: The Campaign for the island's United Way kicked off this weekend with a whoop-dee-dah at the Grange, with music and dancing on Saturday. Campaign chair Steve Buck tells me the goal was $34,000 a couple of years ago and $68,000 last year. This year's target: $100,000. There's some info about them on the web, as well.

FHHS sports: The young girls soccer team traveled to Blaine on Saturday, and surprised the mostly junior & senior Borderites with a 0-0 score at the half, before losing 3-0. With about half our starting lineup being freshmen and sophs, this appears to be a promising start. Vets Lauren, Kim, Lizzy, and Rheanna (left to right in photo by Kelly Domico) promise to keep the rookies' heads in the game.

Rueben Woodruff down at ET is an assistant coach with our football team: he said they had a tough time with Charles Wright Academy Friday night, losing 30-something to not as much. Hoping for better things this week...meanwhile, the volleyball team ran into a rough Blaine squad on Saturday.

The boys soccer team opens with Masters' Touch today at their place, which I believe may be a massage parlor. I'll check & let you know...

Did you notice that Holy Cross High has changed its name to Archbishop Thomas Murphy High? That would ATM, for short. Generally, I think this is funnier than they do.

Other sports: The doggone ferry situation (see links in stories below for updates; I don't want to talk about it) canceled Saturday's three younger football games; the Tigers hope to be able to play this week. The U-13 soccer game was scrubbed as well; while the U-14 girls picked up a win in its doubleheader.

Meanwhile, the local kid soccer scene began its season with kids everywhere on a beautiful Saturday. About 245 kids are in the program, with most of 'em playing on Saturday. Between that and football, you can't say this community doesn't love its kids.

And they are GREAT fun to watch.

Meanwhile, Scott Bell at FHHS tells me the truck that's involved with making the track at FHHS is stuck on Orcas, courtesy of the bashed dock. Scheduled for last week, work is now postponed indefinitely.

Playwrights get it right: The Playwrights' Festival runs one more weekend next weekend. Don't miss it; you'll wish youda gone. Everyone who has seen it tells me they loved it this year. Check it out.

Little things: Did you see that Monica who used to work at Friday Harbor Grocery is now working at Friday Harbor Drug? She says it's nice not to have to wear a name tag: she got a bit tired of the remarks about her name over the past year or so.

Sometimes attempts at wit around here are as thin as the national media's assessment of what's really newsworthy...

Speaking of which, behind the grocery store Sunday, I overheard someone say, "Did you smell dirty socks?" and someone replied, "I think it's just politics."

That's the only part of the conversation I heard.

Lakedale's Stephanie and Jack are driving daughter Cember to college in California this week and next, taking the long way back....meanwhile, Serendipity Books' Carol Jackson is back this week after a month in Alaska. And...Fred Yockers & Linda Cooper leave today for China - they'll return with new daughter Jade, three months shy of being three years old. After two weeks in China, they'll both take extended leaves from FHHS drama (Dottie McNairy will cover as his sub) and FHES (third grade) to work with their new child. Fred told me Friday he's nervous, excited, scared, and exhilarated, all at once, about this experience. Talk about great parents....Vivian Simonis, formerly of Charters Northwest, has taken a job in Newport Beach, California, as of a couple of months ago; she was back in town this past weekend, seen at the Yacht Club and hanging around with her sister Rose as well.

Economic Development is the discussion at this week's Chamber of Commerce meeting, scheduled for 5:30pm Tuesday at the Golf Course, of course.

Did you know that Dave at Entertainment Tonight used to be in the New Christy Minstrals?

Rock Island's Tom Doenges is marrying his friend Tammy this weekend coming up; Charters Northwest's Dana Orlando got hitched to her friend Ferdinand this weekend past.

Seems I keep hearing about people splitting up, too, but you can read about that in the other papers.

September 10. 1999

More on the dock knockout: For the latest updates: You can catch Rick Boucher's San Juan Web updates (besides running his webpage biz, Rick also works at the Orcas terminal for the ferry stystem; he has photos as well). Also: Sharon Kivisto tells me the Journal's updating their site daily (sometimes hourly) as the story about how our Orcas friends are handling this continues to unfold.

September 9. 1999

More on the dock knockout:

This report from the County Board of Commissioners (via San Juan County's Darcie Nielsen; Orcas' John Evans is on-island there dealing with things):

Both the PINTAIL and the NORDLAND are available for vehicle transport at Obstruction Pass and at Westsound on Orcas Island. Call them direct for reservations and schedules. The Norland is listed in the phone book under San Juan Ferry and Barge Company.

WA State Ferries have contacted the Permit Center and are moving forward with emergency repairs. I have duplicated two paragraphs from the FAX we received this morning directed to Grant Beck, Director , from Sasha Visconty, Interim Assistant Environmental Manager for WSF. It explains the schedule in detail and will answer most of your questions:

"On September 8, 1999, the vessel Elwha lost power while landing and struck the dock. The impact destroyed the right wingwall, heavily damaged the left wingwall, broke a total of 10 piles associated with the towers, damaged the bridge seat, and damaged the Elwha. The dock is currently being surveyed to assess additional damage that may have occurred.

"WSF has two goals in the repair process:

1) to immediately repair the terminal to provide some level of service to Orcas Island, and
2) to make permanent repairs to the structure.

To meet both goals, the project will be completed in two phases.

Phase 1 will involve temporarily stabilizing the towers by installing between 8 and 16 pilings, depending on the availability of pile types and extent of damage to the towers.
Both creosote-treated wingwalls will be removed, and a temporary dolphin installed to allow vessel to land.
After these repairs are made, limited operations to Orcas will be restored.

Phase 2 will permanently restore structure to its previous condition and includes installing two steel wingwalls and replacing the towers. Existing creosote-treated wingwalls and towers will be replaced with steel.

Phase 1 repairs are expected to take one week, and Phase 2 repairs are expected to take several weeks."

Commissioner Evans is working with Orcas citizens and will call the office with any important new information.  He did say that everyone is really great and all are working together and taking the inconvenience in stride.

Check the Washington State Ferry page for updated schedules at .

Other news - Dock knocked out: News continue to roll in about the wreck of the Orcas ferry dock yesterday...For the latest updates: You can see photos at the Seattle Times site and catch Rick Boucher's San Juan Web updates (besides running the webpage biz, Rick also works at the Orcas terminal for the ferry stystem; he has photos as well).

Doug of the Orcas Hotel tells me he felt the hotel shake when the collision occurred yesterday. He told me the inspectors were arriving this morniing to see what it was going to take to repair the dock; their estimates will probably supplant the rumors going around about it taking anywhere from a week to two months to restore car-ferry service.

September 8. 1999

Elwha takes out Orcas dock: This morning the ferry Elwha was unable to hit reverse during its approach to the Orcas dock, and ran into it. Result: The dock got "munched pretty good," according to the ferry worker I spoke to around noon. He said there's no car traffic for the time being (Bob Pittman of Blair House said he heard it would be a week; Kathryn at the Wine Shop at Cannery Landing said it was at least five days) until the dock is repaired. No report of injuries; the ferry worker said the boat also sustained some damage.

Until then, the ferry will drop people off at Shaw, with passenger-only shuttle service from there.

This reminds one of when the Nisqually lost power three years ago and whacked into the Lopez dock, causing much damage and resulting in it, too, being closed for repairs.

Sun sets: The sun is just setting earlier and earlier - it was way down last night by 7:45 or so, as seen in this photo taken at 8. Lots of couples at the Land Bank spot on the west side; cool, calm water and a pleasant evening for salt water meditations.

Street walk: Got out a little Monday and yesterday, and have a few things to report:

Did you hear Denise Salisbury broke her arm? Hard to be a masseuse with one hand.....

Gail at Century Tel (that's our phone guys, the ones who took over for PTI a couple of years back) tells me that they're starting to assign new phone numbers with new prefixes. Till now, if you have a phone on the island, your prefix is 378-something; now numbers will start with 370. She told me the restaurant at Roche Harbor has 370-5757 - I tried it and it didn't appear to be working yet.

Proof it's maybe getting crowded here.

Ah, progress.

Maya Burnett (pictured at right at Just Shirts, upstairs at Cannery Landing) says she bumped her head on Wayshawn Koons' car door yesterday. Luckily, Wayshawn is an EMT, so she pronounced her OK. Maya remembers everything else, too...she also says the store did well this summer; it's the sister store of Dolphin Arts, which is now located in the old Annikin's spot next to Bella Luna.

Cynthia D'Errico tells me Jan Senne, longtime bodyworker here, will be moving the Colorado when she sells her house so she can be around her son and daughter-in-law ...

Heard at the Little store on Monday that Ron and Kandy Loewen will be leaving the island at the end of the year. Ron's tenure as head of the County's Public Works Department has seen some incredible progress in the islands...


September 3, 1999

Weather: Hey, hasn't it been nice lately? Pleasant, fall-like weather that is easy to take walks in.... went down to South Beach yesterday and it was pretty cool to be able to see the Olympics and Whidbey Island and Vancouver Island in the sun.

School starts: Holy mob-scene, Batman! The first day of school around here, all the parents (or it sure seems like all of 'em) drop their kids off at school and say howdy to their new teachers and then visit till they have to go to work. It's great. Traffic and parking at the elementary school is tight, then, but it's for a good cause.

Meanwhile, over at the high school: The building's renovation project should be done this fall (last thing I heard was November), with the dedication later this month. If you haven't been by to see the new parts yet, go see 'em - school looks great!

Besides, you and I paid for it.

The track'll get worked on next week, dislocating the soccer & football teams during that period. It was supposed to get done this summer, but that contractor apparently stiffed the school district & didn't show up as scheduled.

Speaking of the teams: Sounds like football's had a rash of injuries parent told me they may be down to as few as 13 healthy players at present. They always have a way of getting well near game time, though. Boys' soccer has cuts today (they'll pare from 19 to 15 for the season), and the girls' program seems to have nearly 20 kids. Volleyball has its first jamboree this weekend to kick things off for the fall.

Plays, right: The Playwrights' Festival is next week at the Theatre. Make plans: It's always great to see what the local writing scene has been up to ... runs for a couple of weekends.

Quote: "A book is the only place in which you can examine a
fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive
idea without fear it will go off in your face.... It is one of
the few havens remaining where (your) mind can get both
provocation and privacy." Edward. P Morgan

Other quote: "Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God." George Washington Carver


August 29, 1999

Special: Photo scrapbook around the island for Saturday, 8/28.

Crowd: You know, if it seems like there's a lot of people in town this weekend, that's because there are. The picture to the right (click here to see the masses descending in the middle of the day Saturday...and those are just the walk-ons!
I've heard estimates of some 350,000 ferry riders/visitors this summer....whew! A lot of folks passing through our little 2,000 people town.

Moon: Did you see the moon last night or Friday night? Came up right after sunset and seemed to fill the eastern sky. Don't need a flashlight to walk outside, either. Getting easier to see the moon, too, with the sun going down sooner and sooner as we creep up on the equinox in three weeks.

Finding stuff: You've been looking for information about the Island? Check out the newly re-designed (by By Design's Yona Burdge) Friday Harbor/San Juan Island Web Directory. Professing to be comprehensive - including all the web pages about the Island that we've discovered - the site also offers phone numbers & addresses, if that's what you're looking for. Check it out!

Accept no imitators. It's the real thing.

Labyrinth: Have you seen the labyrinth at Moon & Sixpence Bed and Breakfast? Ev and Chinmayo have it ready for visitors....

Next stop: China: Famous second-grade teacher Linda Cooper tells me she and her drama teacher husband Fred Yockers are heading for China in a couple of weeks to adopt their second child. With her classes ably covered by long-term sub Sue Patterson, Linda says they'll stay there for a couple of months, then come back to introduce their new kid to the island.

School starts Wednesday: Really. Buy those notebooks & get ready.

Bike smart: Have you ever tried to ride a bike from Friday Harbor to the west side, or down to Cattle Point, or to American Camp? The Public Works folks put together a little website that explains some of the things you might think about when you go. Prepared by Barbara Wright, the site also offers a useful map of the islands (it's a county job - you knew all our islands make up the county, right?).

Signing: Holy moley...have you seen the road sign changes around the island? If you haven't, be sure and check before you give somebody directions. My street, for example, turns from Fir Street to Apple Tree Lane. Now I like this, because I use Apples (Macs, to be exact) and if the 9-1-1 guys need to find us, they won't confuse us with First Street or Fir Lane or Fir Way.

That's why the streets are being make thngs easier to find and to make the anming more consistent. But check before you give directions.


August 26, 1999

Jazz blows last horn: Both papers reported yesterday that the Jazz Festival is calling it quits after 20 years. Although they finished in the black this year, the Festival Board decided to pull the plug on putting on the Festival in the summer, citing a lack of support amongst island & town members.

They left the door open for considering bringing the annual music get-together in the shoulder season of May or September.

Upgrade: Speaking of papers, have you seen the super job the Journal's doing, getting their news online? The link is in that grey box to your right.

Harbor Press: Did you know Chris Combs, who's been working at Harbor Press for the last three years, is buying the place at the end of the month? Well, he is.

Cope steps up: Roy Cope, perhaps most famously known as an actor, folk dancer & caller, singer, ex-teacher, and Nancy's husband, is expected to be named to replace Chris Nelson on the Island Rec (San Juan Island Park & Rec) Board at their meeting today. Good choice.

Stars: It's your chance to see the once & future stars: New elementary principal Carolyn Haugen is meeting with interested parents at FHES at 5 today - drop by & say howdy. I met her last week and she strikes me as sharp, decisive, and a good listener. Good to have her here.

Friday night, folksinger Jim Page drops in to play at Katrina's. Jim been on the folk circuit for over a couple of decades, and does great stuff. Check him out.

Actually, the amazing thing is that Jim isn't playing in a bigger place, like the Theatre, where Peggy Seeger & Natalie McMaster played last year.

Providing a big enough place to play is what'll keep Friday Harbor on the folk circuit...anyway, thanks to Kate at Katrina's and Chinmayo (the music scheduler) for getting Jim to come. Good to have him drop by.

Quote: "Let me be known as the man who told you something you already know." Woody Guthrie.


August 23, 1999

Special: For a 24 picture scrapbook of the Fair, see
You're probably in one of the pictures, you know.

Notes in passing: Big going away party for Sounder reporter/editor Ann Carlson out at South Beach yesterday, as she prepares to take off for Bellinghm next week for grad school.

Lots of people in attendance, including former Sounder employees, people from her boy Kirk's school, present employees, and even John Jull from the other paper. Ann's bright, cheery prose will be missed; she also will be missed at the high school, where she started the school newspaper a couple of years ago.

Journal Run: Saturday's Journal Run pulled together some 120-something runners & walkers (you can tell who they are - the ones with the race shirts around town). I heard Colin Casabellos (FHHS boys' soccer coach) took first in his division & fourth overall, while FHHS soccer player Rheanna Bensel took second in hers. Good thing to get in shape: practice starts for fall sports this week at FHHS.

Side notes: Ellen Johnson tells me she rode the Zipper - a ride at the Fair that basically turns you upside down and all around - four times... braver than most folks I know.

Speaking of the Fair, isn't it great the Soropomists volunteer to staff the ticket booths & gates? They're there when you need 'em.

Mike Cohen, the island's foremost musical folkloricist, says the Whale Museum's asked if he'll sing sea shanties at their 20th anniversary party. Mike reminded 'em most of the shanties are about whale & love: usually hunting the whales and being in love with prostitutes. They said they'll get back to him....

Been hearing reports of a big hoo-rah at last week's Town Council meeting about regulating guesthouses here (a big deal if you're a bed & breakfast) and the lights at the football field...not sure what the details are, just who's getting mad at whom. Back to you with details as they unfold...

It was nice to see the lack of campaigning around the Fair this last week. Doesn't mean the town & school board races aren't important. They'll keep, till fall.

Saw there was a nice mention of San Juan Vineyards in the August '99 Sunset magazine...they do a good job, as do Dave & Kathyrn at San Juan Wine Co. next to the ferry.

Mailbag: Someone wrote & asked why yesterday's mention of the peregrine falcon is "news." 'Cause that's the kind of stuff we care about around here.

Don't you?


August 21, 1999

The Fair: The San Juan County Fair has been rolling along this week, with most of the prizes awarded, a lot of music (including those Ecuadorian guys who seem to play nearly every hour - saw them down at Folklife in Seattle in May). Penga had a crowd dancing on Thursday night, while the One More Time Jazz Band did a super job on Wednesday night. Tonight: The Paperboys. Should be great.

But it's not all music...besides the food and the rides and seeing all the animals, it's fun to visit with people & see what they're up to. It's our best chance to find out who's gettng married to whom, who's splitting up, who's leaving the island for a job in Bellevue (are ALL the jobs in Bellevue?) and to hold all the new babies. (Of course, it's a great chance to show off all the babies, too.)

Dead whales: Over 150 whales, mostly grays, have died and been washed up on beaches around the Sound this year, including three that I've heard of on Lopez. Probable case of death: Malnutrition, but the jury's till out.

Meanwhile, the orca population here has decreased enough to where it's at 15% less than it was only four years ago. A move is a foot to place the whales on the "threatened" list, which is the step before the endangered list.

Back: The peregrine falcon has been removed from the endangered list, coming back froma DDT-induced low of only 324 birds in existence.

Ferry schedule: The ferry system around here has had a tough time these last few weeks staying anywhere close to on-schedule, with fog, slow-loaders, stalled cars all conspiring to gum things up. Heck, the Hyak even broke down for a while last week.

The Sounder reports a 6% increase in vehicular traffic in July this year on the boats...that probably has somethng to do with things, too.

August 17, 1999

Fog: Even this morning, the ferries got off about 15 minutes late due to fog...and, correctly, they move slower because of it. Puts the whole schedule behind, some days, to start the day with fog, but it's better to be careful.

Fair tomorrow! The San Juan County Fair kicks off tomorrow - get your stuff in!

Sold: Steve Dyer tells me he heard the Ale House has been sold to a new owner... we'll look into that.

August 13, 1999

Red sky: After Thursday's rain, the weather's been sorta beautiful. Get over to the west side and catch a sunset, and let me know if you see the whales.

There was a weather report on a Bellingham station that said something about there being a "threat of sprinkles."

Threat. Ha.

Babies parked here: Just heard that Cindi Baker gave birth to her baby yesterday - named Emily. Cindi is the San Juan Island Park & Rec (Island Rec) director; the County Parks Superintendent had a baby last May - Dona Wuthrow. Husband John Pachuta (who teaches at the Shaw School) says they're doing great, AND that the family will move over to Wold Road on this island this month. Now it's HIS turn to commute...

The two "Parks" departments are sometimes confused - at least they can share babysitting now, if they like...

Farmers Market rolls on: Nice to see a good crowd at the Theatre parking lot picking over the fresh produce (and more) at the Market this morning. Good to see Sam Pope there, looking good (and bald!) after his therapy - still selling the ostriches.

The Thirsty Goose Farm produce looked good as always, and there were tons of flowers and other baked goods as well. Ran into Jean Hendrickson, who performs weddings for people - she says she'll set a new world record (for herself) with five next Saturday. She was there with her friend Margaret, who just moved here from Australia.

Fair's next week: Are you ready?

Hitch up: Is everyone getting married? Charters Northwest's Dana Orlando says she's getting married to an Irish guy named Fernando next month; Mandy Bickell's marrying Dave tomorrow at Roche Harbor, and Sarah Porter's tying up with Matt McCutcheon next weekend.

Ferry late: The ferries seem to be somewhat behind these last few days, sometimes as much as an hour or two. Bring a book and plan to get a little more time in during your wait. Good chance to visit with other friends in line. Last night the 4:55 didn't leave here till after 6, for example.

On the ferry, it was neat to see & visit with Dave Ellingson, who is back from helping out with water systems in Albania...he has stories to tell about the craziness there.

Slade Gorton was on the ferry as well...he was the guy in the red sweater.

Waiting for the ferry? Go by San Juan Coffee...Tom Meyer there tells me he's taking off for college next week, and reports Wayne Foley has already left for college in Michigan. Of course, Maddie & Mary Sheplor work there as well during the summer - they'll be going back to school later this fall...friendly folks to visit when you gotta wait.

Also saw Barb Garner, who's visiting the island from Huntsville, Alabama, with her beau Dominic...Barb was a longtime fixture, cooking at the Blue Dolphin. She's learning printing in Alabama now.

Skate on: The Skatepark's Grand Opening was today - bands, music, food, and most importantly, a place for the kids to go.

The Skatepark (right, with a skateboarder airborne) was a huge undertaking by the Island Rec folks, with assistance from Jon Roney and a zillion volunteers, and input from the kids who now are using it. Board members Fay Chaffee and Bill Cumming spent hours helping pull it all together.

If you haven't been by lately, go see it. It's cool.


History is doomed to repeat itself:

Review the Update from May 17, 1999 - August 12, 1999

Review the Update from April 8, 1999 - May 17, 1999

Review the Update from February 26, 1999 - April 8, 1999

Review the Update from January 3, 1998 - February 26, 1999

Review the Update from November 1, 1998 - January 3, 1998

Review the Update from August 31, 1998 - October 31, 1998

Review the Update from July 2, 1998 - August 30, 1998

Review the Update from May 25, 1998 - July 2, 1998

Review the Update from April 3 - May 25, 1998

Review the Update from January 22, 1998 to April 3, 1998.

Review the Update from November 24, 1997 to January 22, 1998.

The information here is simply stuff we here at By Design think is important around Friday Harbor or on the Island. Some of it's news, some of it's 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

To comment, feel free to add to our guestbook, or view it.


Other places with info about the island:

San Juan Island: The Web Directory

Everything. Simply everything about the island.

The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce.

Pretty complete site about the island.

The Journal's Site

Includes news and classifieds!


The camera's pointed at Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor.
Updated every five minutes.


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