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

February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day to you!
Hope you have a good one!

Where great art comes from.....
Last month the featured artist at the Community Theatre was Bryn Barnard, which gave anyone who passed through the SJCT lobby the chance to see Bryn's work up close. He paints & draws all kinds of things - walls, books, buses, museums, illustrations, and much, much more.

Bryn's got a cool website that gives you a pretty good taste of his work - check it out at ...I'm pretty sure you'll like it as much as I did.

Trivia update....
Oren & Peggy are away next week:

Ian, Could you help us send out a reminder to our Trivia players? Ale House trivia this week will be Friday, the 15th. We skip next week; we’re heading up to Big White for winter break! Trivia will resume Thursday nights on Feb. 28th.
Oren & Peggy

Call Bob!
A slip of the typing fingers led to the wrong rsvp# for the CD release party at the Labs on the 21st for Alex. To rsvp, they should dial Bob Schwartzberg at (360) 378-2165, ext. 2? Thanks!

Did you know they have a site?
The folks in the Christ the King Community Church have a website - click here to find out more & check it out!

For your valentine....
The Garuda and I will be open until 5:30 pm on Thursday for Valentine’s Day shoppers. Buy your valentine a beautiful piece of jewelry and receive free gift wrapping and a 18” mylar heart balloon. Balloons are also for sale for $2.99. All beads are still on sale at 20% off and all other inventory, including amber jewelry, is still on sale at 50% off (except consignment). Stop in to find the perfect gift. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Movie night at the library....
Friday, February 15 at 6:30pm - it's Family Movie Night! “Escape to Witch Mountain” Come to a free family movie projected on a big screen. Popcorn and drinks provided by Friends of the Library.

February 13, 2008

FHHS basketball rolls on....
The guys (now 16-6) bounced Coupeville from the playoffs last night, according to one of the players on the ferry coming home who called me, and continue district play at Meridian (15-5 on the year) on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the FHHS girls take on the Wolves at Coupeville tonight for their first game in district play.

The 4-H Annual Bake Sale went great....
Cathy Cole took a picture of the good time they had last Saturday:

Saturday, the San Juan Island Rabbit and Poultry club, Country Critters had their annual bake sale fundraiser at Market Place Grocery.

It was a very successful fundraiser bringing in more than we brought in last year. The money raised will be used to pay for club members to attend off island animal clinics and educational activities and hopefully, to bring some clinicians to the islands for clinics here at home. A BIG TIP OF THE HAT THANK YOU to activity leader, Emily Hallock for organizing and supervising this fund raiser.

Thank you as well to all the club members, parents, grandparents and friends who baked for the sale. Volunteers are truly the HEART of 4-H and you all shared your heart! Finally, THANKS to all who stopped buy and purchased our goodies. Your support is what helps our youth have opportunities to “Make the Best Better”.
Cathy Cole, Organizational Leader, Country Critters

Rising higher....
There's a fundraiser next month you'll want to know about. Five local folks - Andy Urbach, Jane Hutchison, Tony Smith, Bob Pauls, and Zaim Melic - are competing. Here's more from my friend Andy:

On March 2, 2008, I and nearly Fifteen Hundred other firefighters from around the U.S. and a few other countries will participate in the largest single firefighter event in the country.
As a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, we will race, in full fire fighting gear, to the top of the Columbia Tower in Seattle, WA.  The Columbia tower is the 2nd tallest building west of the Mississippi.
1 Tall Building
55 pounds of gear
69 floors
788 vertical feet
1311 steps
Sounds like fun doesn't it?
I am raising money for this very important cause and I'm asking you to help by making a contribution! It's very easy.  Just click on this link to go to a secure web page for donations. You will receive email confirmation of your tax deductible donation. I thank you in advance for your support, and really appreciate your generosity!

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
John Lubbock

February 12, 2008

CD Release Party for Noted Composer Alex Shapiro at Friday Harbor Labs on the 21st....
I'm telling you now so you can get it on your calendar, music fan! Bob Schwartzberg tells me:

Friday Harbor Laboratories invites the community to attend a CD release party for new San Juan Island resident Alex Shapiro, celebrating "Notes from the Kelp," her latest Innova Recordings CD on Thursday, February 21st at 7 p.m. at the beautiful Friday Harbor Labs Whiteley Center.

Alex has had an extensive and entertaining life in the music business, and will speak about her diverse work and play excerpts from the new disc and other recent releases. All proceeds from the evening's CD sales will benefit the Labs' K-12 Science Outreach Program.

If you're curious about Alex, there's plenty of information on her engaging website,, but you'll want to meet her in person. After working as a film and television composer for fifteen years, she shifted her musical focus and has since become one of the Pacific coast's best known composers of concert chamber music. She is also a familiar personality in the contemporary music world as a popular speaker and moderator of many events, including this April's ASCAP Expo in Hollywood, and June's enormous National Performing Arts Convention in Denver.

Educated at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, Alex often jokes that had she not been a musician she would have been a marine biologist. She has managed to stay out of the salt water long enough to develop a distinguished music career and produce a widely published catalog of very expressive music that's performed and recorded around the world, and often inspired by her love of the ocean and its creatures.

Born and raised on a much smaller island known as Manhattan, and then living for many years in Malibu, California, Alex is thrilled to call San Juan Island home. You can enjoy her photos and commentary about life in the islands by visiting the companion blog to her new CD, "Notes from the Kelp," at

To RSVP, please contact Bob Schwartzberg at (360) 378-2165 ext. 2.

The Adventurous Wench reports on the sonar situation....
In her blog this weekend, Deanna the Adventurous Wench addresses the tug-of-war between the judiciary, which keeps outlawing the sonar blasts from the Navy & the administration, which wants to blow the whales away with them (240 decibels is enough to deafen any mammal, and for an orca or other whale who uses echo-location to hunt, navigate, mate, and stay in contact with his or her surroundings, that can be fatal. A deaf whale is a dead whale, I'd say.) She has more....

Also, she'll be here in August with her outfit, which provides outings & trips & adventures for women - here's more on that.

About the ferries...what next?
In Richard's blog, he posts comments from observers that the WSF simply isn't doing the job, who wonder what the state system's direction can mean for travellers (and people who live on islands - that's you & me, rookie.) Check his well-thought out remarks here.

Basketball on the road to glory...
Our basketball guys (10-2 in league, 15-6 overall) hit the road today to head to Coupeville (7-7, 11-9 in the Cascade League) for a 5pm date in the district playoffs...if we win there, we face Meridian on Thursday. I'll keep ya posted. Go, Wolverines!

The girls won two of their last four, so they'll play there tomorrow as well for their playoff game, also at 5pm. Go, girls!

Orca Bowlers place third....
We've been kinda spoiled by our Orca Bowl kids tending to go to nationals each year, but our marine science team coming in third isn't so bad! Our team of Pablo Lopez, Kate Fyrqvist, Nick Roberts, Theo Pratt, and Hannah Snow did well...way to go - you guys are champs!

Art in town...
David Price wrote in to tell us about this:

On Valentines Day, Feb. 14th, and for the next three days (15th, 16th & 17th), there will be an interesting art display of coursework at the Waterworks Gallery on Argyle Street. The 25 artists, enrolled in classes provided by the Island Arts League, recently went through a demanding course assignment requiring that each artist complete 100 drawings in a period of only 3 weeks--and then to follow that with 30 paintings in a like period of time. The display at Waterworks presents representative samples of this project with each artist’s work arranged on individual panels.

Art enthusiasts and prospective enrollees alike will find this short duration show to be encouraging to the novice, and an hour well spent for all as a range of talent and style will be on display. A reception for the artists is scheduled to run from 5:30 until 8:00 on the 14th.

More art in town....
This is way cool - Jen at Lavendera tells me they have a show of eleven-year-old Fiona's work - here's more (I love the last line of this press release):

Lavendera Day Spa is pleased to host an open house featuring the artworks of Fiona Rose Small on Friday February 15th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. There will be complimentary 15 minute body work treatments available to all who attend. We will also have tasty finger foods and beverages available.

Fiona Rose Small announces her artistic debut in an innovative show at the Lavendera Day Spa where she will present an imaginative and inspiring group of pieces that explore a broad range of imagery and techniques including encaustic, collage, painting, photography, and poetry. In her eleven years, Fiona has studied with many excellent artists on the island including Annie Adams, Taylor Bruce, Beth Hetrick, and Becky Kilpatrick.

Fiona's artwork is inspired by windows, luck, and the ability to find sunshine even on dark days.

Please Vote! Your Ballot Counts!
The superintendent of schools, Michael Soltman, weighs in on why we're not done yet with the vote:

The presidential primary ballot is confusing, but don’t be confused about the school levy measure on the back side of your ballot. The election on February 19th is more than a presidential primary in our county. The San Juan Island School District is asking voters to renew the capital projects and technology levy for four years.

This levy provides funding for nearly 100% of major maintenance and improvements of facilities, and approximately 65% of overall technology operations and equipment. “Basic Education Funding” provided by the State of Washington is not sufficient to fully fund our District’s capital facility improvements and technology programs.

Renewal of this levy ensures the continuing excellence of our school programs and maintains the investment in our school facilities. Please be sure to turn your ballot over and vote on the school levy. Return your ballot by February 19th. Your vote counts!

Doggone...looking for love....
Got this pic & note from Scott & Alisa Schoultz about one of my favorite dogs on the island (and he's HUGE, too):

Niko is looking for a Valentine. He's a slobbery kisser but has a big heart. Please let us know if you come across any candidates.

Scott & Alisa

Birding trip this Saturday....
Barb from the Audubon Society reports:

Come out and brave the winter weather with San Juan Islands Audubon on Saturday, February 16th on San Juan Island. Meet at the Whale Museum at 9:45 am. Trip ends mid afternoon. Call 378-3068 for information.

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.
Bob Marley

February 11, 2008

Father-Daughter Dance - photos posted!
As promised this weekend, here are some 85 pictures from the dance on Friday evening. You never saw so many paps dressed up, looking proud of their girls. From the first song till the last strains of the Temptations singing "My Girl" for the last dance, it was non-stop dancing by dads & their dates. Look through the portfolio and see whom you know!

Just for fun, here is the portfolio of pictures from 2007, and here are the pix from 2006.

When you drop by the Rocky Bay Café, tell John you saw him here on the Update.

Well-attended caucuses yield winners for the island, and the state.....
You may have heard, and you may have gone - Saturday's caucuses statewide delivered half the Republican delegates (the other half will be chosen in next week's primary), while the Democrats chose all their delegates.

The winners: John McCain in a contested squeaker over Mike Huckabee, and Barack Obama in a landslide over Hillary Clinton.

Derby winner cashes in....
Chris Watling reports that a fellow from Arlington has won the 5th Annual 2008 Salmon Classic Invitational at Roche Harbor - $10,000! Wahoo! Here's the story.

Your morning song.....
Here's a song by your friend & mine, for you this morning....

While you were watching the Super Bowl last weekend, Dave Ellifrit from
the Center for Whale Research was visiting with J-pod near Active Pass.

February 9, 2008

Not sure how to attend the caucuses on Saturday?
Click here for the details! Friday, the governor endosed Obama, while both senators have endorsed Clinton. Tomorrow, let's see how it all turns out.....

The Father/Daughter Dance was a blast!
Last night's third annual Father-Daughter dance had about 175 papas & their girls dancing the night away for the evening, including Megan dancing with dad Tim Wilson (right). The near-Valentine's Day event has been a hit since Island Rec got it started in '06.

I'll post a ton of pictures from it on Monday - I promise! Check back, willya?

The Roche Harbor Fishing Derby got started on Friday....
The Salmon Classic Invitational got started on Friday morning with windy seas - here's more from the Roche Harbor News.

One of my favorite people to see at the post office each week, getting his mail & always greeting me with a huge smile & a handshake, was our friend Carl Wills. He passed away on the second of this month.

After moving here in '71 to teach drivers' ed, he was also really active at the Community Theatre, and always asked me, "So when are you going to have time to do a play with me?" He was a great one, and he'll be missed. Here's a more detailed writeup from the San Juan Islander.

Coming this way....
A woman named Maddie is going to do research at the Labs in the's her blog.

Westcott Bay wins grant.....
The Westcott Bay Institute here on San Juan Island has been awarded a $20,000 Arts Education Grant from the Norcliffe Foundation in Seattle! Here's more.

"This is our mammalian conflict --- what to give to others, and what to keep for yourself. Treading that line, keeping the others in check and being kept in check by them, is what we call morality.”
Ian McEwan

February 8, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to ride the ferry again....
My friend Peggy sent me this link about the way the wind is kicking the ferries around in the waves - a woman from Lopez whose windshield was broken by the waves (yep, you read that right) is interviewed. Here's the report, from Channel 5 in Seattle.

Father-Daughter Dance rocks, baby!
It's tonight - and you can bring any daughter you want - doesn't matter how old you OR she is! And I like the idea that no one is turned away for financial reasons - here's more from Island Rec:

Hey Ian,

Folks wanting to come to the Father Daughter Dance on Friday February 8 can still get tickets from Island Rec. There will be great dance music played by Shamrock Sound and appetizers and desserts by Vinny’s Ristorante. $20 tickets are for the father daughter pair. Tickets at the door are $25. All daughters receive a corsage and a keepsake photo.

This is a special event for father and daughters of all ages! The dance is from 7-9pm at Mullis Center. Generous scholarships are available for families that qualify for free or reduced school lunches.


Helping out for Valentine's Day....
I asked Rebecca Barnard how her daughter Wynn (FHHS, '08) is doing with her calendar sales, and she told me about this cool project that will help out this coming week - now I know where I'm gonna buy my Valentine for you, dear reader! Here's the scoop:

You probably know some about Wynn's Village to Village group at the high school. Their goal is to connect our island to impoverished villages through art, and to use that connection to improve education in those villages. Last year, they sold calendars to raise money for a school in Commandancia, a remote village in the Peruvian Amazon.

Recently they collaborated with JoanRuth Baumann to expand their project to a village in Kenya called Kunya Village. A high school education in Kunya Village costs $600 a year, more than most families make annually. If parents can afford education, they usually choose to educate their sons, not their daughters.

Over the next two weeks, Village to Village is selling Valentines featuring art made by Grace, a talented young girl there. Each nicely packaged valentine includes a framable small print of one of six works by Grace.

The proceeds from the Valentines sold will go toward scholarships for girls in Kunya Village, as well as to buy school supplies for both Commandancia and Kunya.

The Valentines are available by donation at the following stores on the island:

Friday Harbor Drug
Griffin Bay Books
Spirit Tree
Island Wools
King Printing and Design
Pelindaba Downtown
San Juan Florist
Warehouse Coffee

Thank you for helping spread the word!

Playwrights Festival swings into action....
It's this weekend & next - great chance to see local talent on stage & behind the pen, with five shows written by local playwrights. Click here for more.

Benefit Players has the show:
Sally from the Benefit Players Theater wanted you to know about the next show:

It's Ballet Folklórico Monarca de Friday Harbor on February 11 at 7:30pm at the Benefit Players Theater, corner of Tucker Avenue and Guard Street. The show repeats February 16, at 2:30pm at the Benefit Player Theater. Maria Chavez and Salvador Garcia put the group together in 2004. The group started out performing for the Catholic Church here in Friday Harbor. Soon, they were invited to perform at the Festival of Trees and the County Fair. Here's more, on the Performing Arts Society's website, made by Richard Foote for them.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....
States Inn's Richard Foote says this is a good time to drop by:

Our Ranch Store is still open over the winter, with fresh eggs, fresh bread, meat pies, fruit pies, local beef, pork and lamb, and regional cheeses. We also have fresh milk available each week, by order only. Call 378-6240 for more details. We have a calendar and product info online at

Yes'm, old friends is always best, 'less you can catch a new one that's fit to make an old one out of.
Sarah Orne Jewett

February 7, 2008

Historic site! That's us!
Sandy Strehlou, who is the Historic Preservation Coordinator for the Town, tells me reps from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Washington Trust will be on hand to present the Town with a plaque naming FH as a distinctive destination for 2008. The ceremony is at noon at the Town Council meeting - this is really quite an honor!

Here's more about their 2008 list of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations - drop by at lunch if you can!

Meanwhile, here's the Town's website, just launched this week, that celebrates our history - it's called

Swearing in....
The Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court will be on hand Friday afternoon to swear in newly-appointed judge John Linde at 4pm in the Superior Court Room. John's been away to Judicial College to get ready for his new responsibilities. Way cool - way to go, John, and congratulations!

"So-called "Global Warming" is just a secret ploy by wacko tree-huggers to make America energy independent, clean our air and water, improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, kick-start 21st-century industries, and make our cities safer and more livable. Don't let them get away with it!"
- Chip Giller, Founder of

February 6, 2008

Last night's Knowledge Bowl was great fun, with the FHHS Junior/Senior team
winning it all at the end, beating the FHHS 9th/10th graders, the FHMS 8th graders,
and the hard-charging, second-place Soroptimists, as well as the Rotarians, the Lions,
and the Kiwanis Club. That's Kate Fyrqvist (she was on the team when they won in
ninth grade, too), Kara Dunn, Cody Price, and Otto Schmidt.

The big winner of the night: The San Juan Public Schools Foundation put on the
well-attended fundraiser. The biggest winner because of that: Island kids.

Looks like our votes/choices may matter after all....
After Super Tuesday's not-completely-decisive results, it looks like our caucuses this week may actually matter! The local GOP & Dems meet to register their thoughts - you don't want to miss this chance to help shape the future. The local League of Women Voters' Nancy Wight sent me the caucus times:

The Democratic Caucus is at Friday Harbor High School at 1:00 to 3:00 pm this Saturday with the doors opening at l2:30 pm.

The Republican Caucus is from 12:30 pm and I don't know if they had an end time but I presume 3:00pm this Saturday at the Grange.

Wonder how it all works? Republican friends can look up the caucus process on the county GOP website (you gotta download the newsletter - describes things pretty well there), while Democratic friends have it easier - delegates are selected at the caucus, and the Feb. 19th primary expresses preferences but doesn't select delegates to the convention (here's their site, with a YouTube video to explain things to you).

I thought this Seattle Times article explains it pretty well - see if it answers your questions.

Juvenile humpback off the west side of San Juan Island
on Monday - photo by Jim Maya.

Whales on the loose...
Jim Maya (Maya's Whalewatch Charters - he runs all year) sent me this picture of a humpback he shot (above), the last couple of days. You know how we can tell the orca whales apart by their saddle patches - each one is distinctive & different?

You can tell humpbacks apart by the underside of their flukes, like the one Jim shot to the right - click on it to see an enlargement.

Here are his reports from the two days:

Feb. 4: The same juvenile humpback (above) that I saw on Saturday, 2/2/08, was seen this afternoon (2/4/08) off of Bellevue Pt. San Juan Island, by Ken Balcomb. I went out to see if I could get a better shot of the underside of the fluke so that it might be identified. It was feeding in erratic directions, so I didn't get the shot I wanted.

Feb. 2: We picked up the juvenile humpback right off of Henry Island (N. San Juans) on Saturday, 2/2 about 1400 hrs. I had just gotten through saying to my passengers that if they come back in late summer or in the fall I could show them humpbacks, but not at this time of the year, and boom, I saw the first blow about 200 yds off my port. He zigged and zagged for about an hour feeding off of south Kellet Bluff and then we left him/her. Of course, my passengers were thrilled.

Remember Liana Turner?
She used to live here ages ago, and now has a bakery in Mexico - here's more.

Speaking of baking....
My friend Cathy Cole says there's a 4-H Bake Sale (it's the San Juan Country Critters annual bake sale, to be precise) this Saturday from 10am-2pm at the Marketplace. She says all proceeds go to support educational field trips and other learning opportunites. Stop by and pick up cakes, cookies, brownies, breads, and many more delectibles!

A song for you....
Here's Joni Mitchell, in 1970, singing one of my favourite (she's from Canada!) songs. And...don't it always seem to go - you don't know what you've got till it's gone... They paved paradise & put up a parking lot...

More on the flying squirrels.....
The discussion continues - see the other stuff below if this is news to you. My friend Denny writes in:

Thought I'd add my experience with F.S.'s too.

My cat Momo brought one inside a few years ago when he was younger and more hunter active but by the time I got to it the head was missing. I was very impressed by what was left however: very soft fur, grey on top, white belly, with flaps under the legs very prominent. I really felt badly when I saw how beautiful it was.

Someone put me onto Terry Domico and I called him to see if he wanted the remains. He didn't, but we talked for quite a while and he told me that there was a small colony of the squirrels on Mt. Dallas. My place is in West Side Story which is just below Mt Dallas. Terry said the squirrels eat truffles and come down to the forest floor at night but that is when they are at risk from owls, and unfortunately outside cats, when they scratch around for food.

It's been a bunch of years since I talked with Terry but I seem to remember him saying that he had one as a pet that would come to his place in the morning and crawl all over him, then go inside where he had a nest where the squirrel would sleep all day. In the evening Terry would then let it out and it would head for a tree, climb up and sail off.

Let me know if you want to see one (sans head). It's still in my freezer.


"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one"
Mother Theresa

February 5, 2008

Animals on the loose...I thought they were bats...
Yesterday, the first thing I heard was, "Dude, we got flying squirrels on the island. Haven't you ever seen one?" (see below for my observation there are no squirrels on the island, and other cosmo-biological but incomplete data from my research lab).

Besides Chris Hodgkin's observation that Garfield couldn't possibly see his shadow because he's looking the wrong direction, my friend Boyd Pratt offered his thoughts:

Well, yes, I do read your website regularly, and I believe that you have said more than once (i.e., more than the mention on the 3rd) that there are no squirrels on the island. Actually, there are, old timer, and they are flying squirrels; the reason that you may not be aware of this is that they are nocturnal... Dave Brandt and I had a ‘discussion’ about them; we both were aware that they were on Orcas, and I mentioned that they were here, which he denied, and then the next time I saw him he said that his cat brought one in the next day.

The orcas go south.....
Richard Rodriguez offers a more in-depth look at L pod's trip to California by including an article by the Center for Whale Research's Ken Balcomb, the world's most noted orca researcher who lives on the west side. Here are his remarks (and thanks, Richard!).

The ferries may be worse than you thought.....
According to this article in the Everett Herald, a guy tapping on the Hiyu's hull with a hammer poked a hole in it in December 'cause it was so rusty. Read more about the parlous state of our ferries....

The Unitarians go online.....
Kurt and the Unitarians now have a blog to let you know what they're up to - check it out!

Let 'em eat cake!
Have you seen Daniel Van Hamersfeld's new website for his cake business? Check it out here (he makes some pretty awesome-looking cakes!)

From ashes were ye made, to ashes you shall return....
Tonight is Shrove Tuesday, and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday here on the island, and there are services around. Here's the word from Jill Urbach:

I wanted to let you and your readers know that the Presbyterian Church is having an Ash Wednesday service this Wednesday the 6th at 12:15 PM. Swing by on your lunch hour. All are invited. The simple service will be led by the church elders with Bob Benz speaking.

Meanwhile, over at St. David's:

Hi Ian - Thank you for helping get out the word! Here's what is happening at Saint David's:
Tuesday 5:30-7:00 -- a Shrove Tuesday Crepe Supper - $5.00 donation to the building fund
Wed. 7:30 am Prayer Service with Imposition of Ashes
and 5:30 pm with the Lutherans, a Prayer Service and Imposition of Ashes
Peace, Nancy
Saint David's Episcopal Church

The Arts Fair is coming - get ready!
There are two ways you can get involved in the Chamber of Commerce's Arts Fair:

CALL FOR ARTISTS- San Juan Island Summer Arts Fair 2008: The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce invites local and regional artists to participate in the "Splash of Summer Color" weekend, by joining us in our Summer Arts Fair 2008, July 19 and 20, outdoors in Friday Harbor.

There will be approximately 50 Artists Booths, a Kids Creative Zone, a Sidewalk Art Contest, Music on the Courthouse lawn, a Pancake Breakfast, a Food Court and Farmers' Market!

Call now to request your application. Applications for the screening process are due by March 17, 2008. For more info, Contact Debbie Pigman at the Chamber, or 360 378-5240

Call for Souvenir Art Poster Contest Entries. The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce is seeking entries for its art poster contest for The "Splash of Summer Color" weekend. The Splash weekend, July 19 & 20, is a two day festival of showcasing the Summer Arts Fair in Friday Harbor and the SJI Lavender Festival at Pelindaba Lavender Farm. The winning entry will be the art used for the souvenir poster, sold during the weekend and will also be used for the cover of the arts fair souvenir program. For an entry form, contact the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce, or 360 378-5240.

Today's writing is from Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet".....

And a man said, "Speak to us of self-knowledge."
And he answered, saying:

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.

The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.

For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.

The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

February 4, 2008

Basketball rolls on....
The FHHS boys whumped Lynden Christian Saturday afternoon, a day after jumping LaConner. The Wolverines (14-5, 9-1 in league) are now tied for the league lead as they head to Darrington to play the Loggers (13-4, 7-3) tomorrow, then wrap up the season at home on Saturday with Shoreline Christian (9-10, 6-5).

With the playoffs looming in a couple of weeks, it feels like the guys are peaking at just the right time. Way to go!

New biz in town.....
I hear my friend Rebecca Barnard has begun marketing a holistic aromatherapy/meditation-based weight release program, called AromaSlim. You can check it out online at Read all about it!

Where are YOU going for Mardi Gras?
Obviously, there's the Knowledge Bowl at the Community Theatre on Tuesday night, but there's also a little Fat Tuesday action at the Ale House. Here's the word from Oren:

We’ve put together a little Mardi Gras celebration at the Ale House Tuesday Evening. It will be downstairs, some wonderful food & drink specials, as well as live music! From 7-10pm, enjoy King Steve & the Blues Guardians. Steve, Roger & Cecil will be putting out some blues, we’ll serve up Hurricanes, and feature a limited edition Bourbon Street Black Hoo Doo Lager. Chef Matt has put together Mardi Gras dinner features, including Masa Calamari strips with spicy roasted Poblano Remoulade, Andouille Sausage corn dogs with a sweet horseradish mustard, Pine Nut crusted chicken with Andouille cream, fried polenta & roasted butternut squash, & flat iron steak with skillet corn sauce on shrimp Clemenceau. Knock off those winter Blues and kick it up a little!

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.
Marshall McLuhan, in the 1970s

Sometimes it's pretty sunny here, even in the dead of winter.
The ferry came in this weekend, in this photo shot from Downrigger's.

February 3, 2008

Shadow seen....
I sat in my backyard for HOURS waiting for the groundhog to come out & look for his shadow, before I realized I had never seen a groundhog on the island (there are no squirrels, either, rookie).

So I put Garfield out to see if he saw his shadow, and as you can see, he did. (That was shot next to the parking lot of By Design, the best-kept web-designing secret in the world.)

The Groundhog site says that means six more weeks of winter, but I think when Garfield sees his, that means six weeks of cats. I'll look it up and get back to you.

Chris found....
I had heard in town Saturday that after a month missing, Chris Ogle was found in his truck off Egg Lake Road this weekend. Those of us that knew Chris as one of the hardest-working guys around, who deeply loved his family, are gonna miss him. Condolences to Roma and the kids.....

Can Lolita come home?
It was more than thirty years ago that Lolita the orca whale was captured from her L pod family, and she still performs in the Miami Seaquarium. People supporting her release from the swimming pool prison she currently inhabits range from Placido Domingo to 50 Cent to Johnny Depp to me.

One way to help - quit drinking beer made by Anhauser Busch, who owns the Seaquarium.

Another - sign up with islander Howie Garrett's campaign to free Lolita. Here's more from the Victoria newspaper, the Times-Colonist.

Buying a car? Look here!
Wendy at M&W Auto Sales & Rentals has added a page to her site that lists all the cars she has on the lot for sale - you'll want to look here when you're on the prowl for a new car...check it out. Her site is at, and the car listings are at

Vegetarian Potluck on Sunday!
If you want some good eating, and a chance to meet other islanders, put this on your calendar. Here's the word from Jane:

Sam and Jane Buck’s 21st Vegetarian Potluck will be held Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Friday Harbor Grange. Guests are asked to arrive at 4 p.m. Two videos will be shown. At 5:45 pm the Vegetarian Dinner begins with beautiful piano music by Chetana. Please bring foods free of meat, fish, fowl, eggs or anything which contains their essence such as gelatin, egg whites or lard. Vegan & Raw Foods are encouraged. Please label food containing dairy, honey or nuts.

Bring your own full place settings and optional copies of your recipe to share. Our traditional Food Bank Donations of canned food or donation of $3 per person or $5 family will be collected. Everyone is welcome to view DVDs only, or enjoy the potluck or both! Questions – Call Jane Buck 378-2170 or write her at

“The Future of Food” is a documentary film by Deborah Koons Garcia,offering an in-depth investigation into the truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade. We cast our votes each day by where we spend our dollars, and corporations tally those votes. Do you know how you are voting?

“The N’kisi Project” is a remarkable short video featuring a dramatic scientifically controlled demonstration of the telepathic abilities of an 8 year old African Grey Parrot named N’kisi.

Why rainforests are important for islands like us.....
You may have heard that the rainforests of South America and Africa have been wiped out, and continue to be - just while you were reading this sixty acres were cut down.

You might be thinking - so? This is one more thing we can't live without, or more precisely, breathe without. The forests provide the balance between the carbon dioxide we (and all animals) breathe out and the oxygen the forests make when they "breathe out." Africa may seem like a long way away, but islanders need air, too. Here's a quick rundown of the problem.

And don't tell me you don't "like" science stuff...this is more. It's BREATHING.

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music."
George Carlin

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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