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

December 23-26, 2007

The season is upon us....
There are a number of ways to tell the season is here - it was crowded (like, mobbed) in Friday Harbor's stores all day Saturday, and the best part was the way folks are saying hey to each other & hugging each other & wishing each other well. That's what makes Christmas so cool - is the love & giving & smiles.

[That's Audrey & Jenny at King's with the first pink Santa hats I've ever seen.]

I hope this finds you well & happy & that people are giving you the love you deserve, and that you get the chance to love them, too. I'm gonna relax from reporting stuff to ya for a few days till mid-week & do the family thing - I hope you're surrounded by love & light, now and in the days ahead. Merry Christmas to you & yours!

Smarter than you think....
It was cool to hear from so many people who watched the dancer turn (click here) to see if you're using your right brain or left brain (or maybe, your medulla oblongta) & if your IQ places you above your statistical review of the results (people who reported they're geniuses divided by the number who read the Update multiplied by the amount of intelligence it takes to use a computer times the need for proving you're smart) and have concluded that the entire island is above average, at least.

While a great number of people wrote to tell me they passed, and they are geniuses, I have yet to hear from anyone who says they're not.

Here's a review of the phenomenon that's scientific & takes all the fun out of it or makes it it more fun, depending on which side of the brain you read it with. And here's an article about it.

A celebration....
You're invited.... my friend Cathy Cavanagh says she and Christine Uri & Jens Townsdin are hosting a celebration of Richard Uri & Mary Roth's marriage at the Grange on Wednesday (the 26th) from 4-6pm, and they would love for you to drop by. No gifts needed, and food & drink provided by the family - see you there!

A song for the season.....
Actually, a fun mashup of songs - - show this one to your mom, and best of the season to ya!

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
Calvin Coolidge

December 21, 2007

Happy solstice to you!
You may have been hearing that Solstice isn't till tomorrow, but this chart shows why - it's at 10:08pm tonight, which is on the 22nd for folks in the Central & Eastern Time Zones, who of course get better media coverage.

So a happy one to ya, and happy longer days to ya, too!

Whales come from a indrohyus, maybe....
Scientists are saying that whales & porpoises may be descended from an animal called an indrohyus. The resemblance (as you can kinda see in the picture) is's more.

Let her hear from you.....
Did you know she does this? Once a month hearing doctor Stacie Baisch drops by the Mullis Center for the day & gives free consultations for seniors - she's gotten to be a regular there, and the folks there say they love it. Her next visit is set for Wednesday, January 2nd.

Kurt Long takes over at the former Island Dive....
Kurt Long wrote to let us know that he'll be running the dive shop (originally called Emerald Seas, back in the days that Tom & Linda Hemphill ran it, with a couple of owners in-between, the last being Dawn & Mike Hilliard)...he'll be calling it Naknek Charters (here's the website). Here's more:

Hi, Ian - Island Dive and Watersports is closed. We are taking over the “compressor” room as of Jan.1 and will offer air and nitrox fills as well as rental equipment and, of course, the dive charters. Thanks for your support! Kurt Long

Upon the appointment of our friend John Linde to become the county's new judge, here are remarks from a fellow who lived five centuries ago:

Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than that of laws.


Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.
Francis Bacon

December 20, 2007

John appointed to become San Juan County judge....
Yesterday, the governor appointed local lawyer John Linde to the newly created judge position so we have our own County judge (we've been sharing the judge from Island County). The County Council requested that we get our own judge last year, and the appointment answers that question.

John's previous judicial experience includes being a San Juan County District Court judge for 21 years, as well as court commissioner and Superior Court judge pro tem. He runs a good courtroom - we're lucky to get someone as qualified as he is. The appointment is effective January first.

New play structure at the Presbyterian Preschool....
Kenneth at Spirit Tree tells me:

There is a new play structure for the kids at Lighthouse Preschool. It went in last Saturday with the help of Ron Wilson with his boys Cole and Tanner, Dan Brown, Brian Germain, Mike Erickson with his boys Hank and Luke, and Ken Atwell with his son Erich. Teachers Tracy and Carmen, seen here with their afternoon class, are very happy with the new structure and enjoy watching the children climb and play.

It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells... to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.
Dave Barry

December 19, 2007

By Design in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island

Friday Harbor's best-kept secret, revealed.....
The other day, one of my clients here at By Design asked me, as we finished up his web site, if I knew anyone who made rack cards or could do business cards for him. Made me realize I hadn't done a good job of telling you what we do (we do stuff like that, see...) So I thought I'd tell ya:

• We design & lay out printed materials. Anything, including your self-published book.
• We make web sites. Big, small, always cool.
• We manage the San Juan Island Web Directory, the community's number one source for information. Been doin' that since '95.
• We write this online rag, which you read every day (I checked.)
• We consult - which is to say we teach people stuff about ways to communicate & connect with folks, which ranges from internet marketing to personal communication coaching.
• Sometimes I sing a bit, too. Hope you do, too.

The other question someone asked is: How do you get yourself so you show up in the Google map, like you see above. Here's how:

San Juan Island

Now you know. And the secret's out.

You're welcome for Christmas....
Cathy Cole & the good folks at Christ the King wrote to tell me you're welcome to come to their services on Christmas Eve - their candlelight service is at 5pm at Paideia School over on Price Street with music, worship, and fellowship. She asked me to tell you the whole community's invited.

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart... forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.
Hannah More

Paloma on San Juan Island!

December 18, 2007

She's getting bigger....
Wasn't it just yesterday that Paloma was born? She came around in September (there's a pic of her in the Update then), and now she's hanging around with mom Michelle Waldron at Daisy Bloom, helping her handle the Christmas rush...drop in & say hey when you get a chance.

The Roche Harbor Block Party set the tone...
It was a festive thing - songs & stuff to drink & good cheer out at Roche this weekend, with a lighted boat parade thrown in for good measure.

It was pretty cold, but there were fires to keep ya warm, and smiles all around, including head chef Bill Shaw & his daughter Grace towards the end of the event.

Girls come close in the tourney....
Vic & Mo Woodward report that the girls did a good job last weekend playing basketball in Sedro Woolley - here's more:

Our 5th-6th grade team, sponsored by the Friday Harbor Athletic Association and Paideia Classical School, took 3rd place in the SWISH basketball tournament, held Saturday at Sedro Woolley High School.

The Friday Harbor Tigers!Our two victories on Saturday were nail biting, hard fought battles over teams from Stanwood and Mt. Baker. We'd like to thank the Friday Harbor Athletic Association, Paideia School and a group of wonderful parents who made this season possible for all of us.
Thanks! Coaches Vic and Monique Woodward

Picture from left to right, front row, Jacquelyn Justiniano, Emily Guard, Carly Woodward, Naomi Deitz, Julianne Schreiber, back row, Vic Woodward, Tabitha Keane, Kathryn Root, Alyssa Hallock, Monique Woodward. Not pictured: Faith Buck and Katie Lamphere.

It's tomorrow, food fans...
Margaret Thorson tells me that the Farmers' Market will be held this week at the Grange from 4-6pm on Wednesday - see ya there.

Volunteers at the San Juan Island Library!Library honors volunteers...
One of the reasons we have the coolest public library you ever did see is because we have somewhere between two & three million volunteers working there (that's an unofficial count, by me).

So, Laura & the staff had a volunteer appreciation party last Friday that had a good sized mob, including friends Joan, June & Mary (left to right). I was glad to get to drop by, because of all the smiles & hugs & cookies.

Susan moves on...gets a job two blocks away....
Anyone who has had a kid at Friday Harbor Middle School over the years knows that we have a pretty good deal there with our teachers and the support staff - but the first smiling face you always met was Susan Evans in the front office. I've seen her do traffic control of all the late kids & sick kids & collecting parent notes & posting the lunch schedule & the whole thing without forgetting to smile. She's a huge part of why FHMS is one of the best places for kids's more from Carol Ford:

Hi Ian;
As you may have heard by now, our wonderful office manager, Susan Evans, is moving on to greener pastures (is it possible to have greener pastures than the middle school?). Would you mind letting the community know that the FHMS staff and PTA would like to invite everyone to attend a "Farewell Celebration" for Susan on Wednesday, December 19th, at 3:30 in the FHMS Commons. This will give people the chance to thank Susan for all she has done for our children and to wish her well as she moves on to her new position at the soon-to-be-completed assisted living facility. Thanks so much and we hope to see everyone there on Wednesday! Carol Ford

Hours change at Mi Piace...
Ada at Mi Piace Coffeehouse says they're gonna start closing at 6pm this week - they have been staying open till 8pm, but it's time to shorten to the winter hours now.

Tuna time....
At the Flea Market at the Fairgrounds on Saturday I ran into Elizabeth & Wendy (right), who were offering samples of their tuna (smoked & unsmoked)...they've been doing this for a while & it's going well.

You'll get the idea about what they're up to when you look over Wendy's website, which explains why their tuna has more omega-3 in it than the usual.

Fire safe....
There's a lotta chances for fires this hoiday season - are you playing it safe? Here are some tips (click here) from Carolyn Hudson at the San Juan Island Fire Department.

Yep, that's Mount Baker in the background of this awesome photo submitted by Chris Teren...he's the pilot in this pic taken by Traci Walter from Mount Constitution, with the Firefox logo on the wingtips - here's the rest of the story from the Operation Firefox blog (yep, THAT Firefox - they like Chris, one of the island's favorite tech support dudes.)

Watching the dancer turn.....
Barb Rouleau sent me the figure at right, with this little writeup, which is kinda fun, as IQ tests go:

This is quite amazing ....
If you see this lady turning clockwise you are using your right brain.
If you see it the other way, you are using your left brain.
Some people do see both ways, but most people see it only one way.

If you try to see it the other way and if you do see, your IQ is above 160 which is almost a genius. Then see if you can make her go one way and then the other by shifting the brain's current.

Both directions can be seen...This was proved at Yale University, over a 5-year study on the human brain and its functions. Only 14% of the US population can see her move both ways.

Village To Village Calendars for Sale!
FHHS seniors Wynn Barnard & Kelsey Kennedy are offering these calendars, with a good reason to get one - these are the last of the calendars that are part of their project, which has been going on throughout this year. Wynn tells me the entire calendar is bilingual (translated by Lino Ayala, the Mexican custodian at the high school who was recently deported, and is very much missed). Here's more:

This program set up by high school students is connecting Friday Harbor to a small village called Comandancia in Peru. After ten students were able to see the conditions of the village's small and unequipped school, Village To Village decided to take an active role in bringing the village necessary school supplies and books.

Be a part of the sharing by buying your 2008-09 calendar for $12 at the Office Center on Spring Street. Not only will you help supply the kids with the school supplies they need, but you will read about the great kids there and see some of their artwork created with the use of plants and roots native to the Amazon. Village to Village is under the umbrella of The San Juan Island Family Resource Center, a 501(c)(3) organization, so all Village to Village contributions are tax-deductible. Checks may be made payable to the San Juan Island Family Resource Center with Village to Village on the memo line.

Be a part of the giving this holiday season and stop by the Office Center or contact us at villagetovillage (at) to find out more about how you can help!

Meanwhile, over at the yoga studio....
Amar Kaur is offering kundalini yoga at her studio (Yoga Isle, located in Jeri's Mall) this winter - she has a complete schedule of classes on her website (, as well as CDs for sale....drop by & say hey! Here's bit about her, from the website:

Amar Kaur has been doing Kundalini Yoga for over six years. She recently return from India & received her KRI Teacher Training at Yoga West, in Vancouver BC, a Yoga Alliance school.
Amar inspires everyone to vibrate their inner peace into everyday life. She enjoys using mantra and meditation to harmonize her mind, body, & spirit. One of her favorite Yogi Bhajan quotes, "We live not by the thoughts in our head, but by the beat of our heart."

If Amar looks a bit familiar to you, that's because you've also seen her at FHHS where she works in the Career Counseling Center office, where she also goes by her other name, Alicia Robinson.

Girl Scouts on San Juan Island!Girls Scouts deliver the goods....
Remember I told you about the Girl Scouts' pie sale at Thanksgiving? I know you were wondering what they did with the dough - here's more, from Jan Bollwinkel-Smith (by the way, if you click on the picture, which I KNOW is too small, you can see the big version - much better):

Hi, Ian! Here's a photo of the girls (and me) from Brownies and Junior GIrl Scouts 183 handing Deana Banry a check for $500. We then headed to the convalescent center where they sang carols and handed out cards and candy/cookie goodie bags to the seniors. The money to the Banrys and to pay for the goodie bags came from part of the proceeds from our Thanksgiving Pie Sale. They worked really hard to make all of those pies and are committed to giving to their community. Pretty neat! And they're so cute, too! Thanks, Jan

FHES kids entertain the seniors...
Debbie Fincher tells me there was a show at the Mullis Center yesterday:

Today the Seniors at Mullis Senior Center were treated at their luncheon to Christmas Carols by the three 2nd grade classes from FHES.

Approximately 60 students and same number of seniors shared singing and the Christmas spirit as the children gave each senior decorations they made at school. The experience was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Ms. Evans, Mrs. English, Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Hull, all teachers at FHES for their involvement in this special day.

These pictures attached by Shutterfly Studio...

Susan's coming....
David sent me this on behalf of St. David's - you can't miss this!

Don't know if you've heard yet or not, but we're finishing up the remodel at St. David's. Next Wednesday, 12/19, Susan Osborn is coming over from Orcas with some friends to give a concert in our new space at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited. Tickets are available at Griffin Bay Books. Suggested donation is $10. More info on Susan and pics at
David Bentley

Passports, next year & the next year after that....
The discussion continues - here's more.

It was sad to hear our old friend Dan Fogelberg passed away this weekend from prostate cancer at the age of 56...I've had "There's a Place in the World for a Gambler" and "Longer" as part of my set for years, and it's hard knowing that he won't be around to sing for us any more...

Here's him singing "Leader of the Band," written as a tribute to his father Lawrence (Larry) Fogelberg, who started as the director of a military battalion band in Detroit, and who left the military and went to Peoria, Illinois, where he was a high school band director for the next 31 years.

When Dan dropped out of college to pursue music full time, his father gave grudging permission, with the provison that should things not work out Dan would return to school. Thus, the line in the song "I thank you for the freedom, when it came my time to go."

Ian Byington sings
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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