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

The Cascades in late winter (like, last week) from the beach next to the Anacortes
ferry parking lot, on the way home.

March 4, 2008

Friends in front of the post office....
That's Athlene & her husband Sid (right) out front of the post office the other day....I didn't know if you knew: Athlene helped out with the sewing classes at FHHS in January/February this year, which why the kids' stuff looked so good. She's really good at that.

Trivia news from the Ale House...
Oren & Peggy had a bit of news for yous:

Would you please help us get the word out that this Thursday, March 6th, will be the last Thursday evening Trivia Night this spring. Spring signs are everywhere, crocuses, baby daffodils, & violas are popping up; even our hops are showing shoots! Daylight savings time arrives early again this spring, so we know that people’s attention will soon turn to outdoor pursuits. Chef Matt is planning leg of lamb & scallops, Peggy is putting together some tasty pecan pie, & we have Cask conditioned Haro Strait Pale Ale on tap. Of course, JB & Glenda/s Music Trivia will have a couple more showings this spring, the next one is scheduled for Friday, March 14th, All games start at 7PM.
Cheers, Oren & Peggy

Needs a cook....
Ada from Mi Piace called and asked if I'd mention that she needs a pasry chef. I told her sure.

Everybody's friendly here....
One of the cool things about living here is walking down the street & having everyone wave at you, or at least lift a paw, like this friend in his truck (right).

Typing too fast or having a really great time or what?
Can't tell you who...but someone here told me her husband went to Australia for a sales trip and e-mailed back a quick, short note: "Having a great time. Wish you were her."

I love blogs.....
I think they're such a nice way for folks to catch their friends up with what they have going on... I ran into Louisa & Steve Keys' writing the other day - here ya go, check it out!

The Hot Shop is hot!
I got a chance to drop in on the Hot Shop for the first time since Phil & Michele sold it to Eddie & Genie Williams...Eddie (right) tells me he's having a great time there, with more business than he expected this time of year, and really fun customers dropping in.

Go by & see him when you get the chance!

At the tire shop....
Have you seen Annie Adams painting called Men At Work, Tire Shop, using the tire shop here on the island? Check it out.

Joy's service is tonight....
Former islander Joy Miller will be remembered at the Grange tonight starting at 6pm....drop by. She passed away last week at the age of 28.

Newton named to Puget Sound Partnership....
Did you hear that Jan Newton (left) from the Friday Harbor Marine Labs (she teaches ecosystem dynamics) has been selected to chair the Puget Sound Partnership’s Science Panel? Here's more.

There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another.
Frank Zappa

March 3, 2008

Michael Soltman just misses the cut....
Just got a note that Michael wasn't chosen for the final three for the Northshore Superintendent job - he says he's not sure the job was a good fit, and that he's glad he's here working with us & our kids.

He's a great one - glad we didn't lose him.

Island Studios' facelift is complete....
Claudia Fullerton just took over at Island Studios last September, but she's given the store - one of the biggest on the island - a makeover, over the last couple of months.

In January, the process began with painting the ceiling black, which was no small feat with the light fixtures, turns & bends, and occasional pipes that hang there. That was followed by painting the walls so that the art would display with more contrast.

She finished the project last week by replacing the carpet with a new one. She laughed and told me some customers really like it, because they say it smells like a new car. As you can see in the picture, the greeting area has been moved to the left as you enter the store, as well, making it easier to welcome folks into the store, and opening up the way the store feels.

Claudia's closed on Tuesdays (it IS still the winter season, ya know), but you can get an idea abot the things the store carries by looking over her online store at, and order things from the comfort of your home. But you can also go see them in person and buy them from the comfort of the store, too.

Hear me out on this one.....
There's a good opportunity for seniors to get their hearing checked, which audiologist Stacie Baisch has been doing for a few months's the deal:

Audiology services are now available at the Mullis Senior Center through Island Hearing Healthcare the 1st Wednesday of every month. Free services include hearing tests, hearing aid evaluations, hearing aid repairs and hearing aid programming. To schedule an appointment, contact the Senior Center at 378-2677.

All services during this visit are provided by Stacie Baisch, Au.D., an audiologist and resident of Friday Harbor. Dr. Baisch specializes in emerging hearing aid technology and aural rehabilitation. Island Hearing Healthcare is located at 545 Spring Street, across the street from the Inter Island Medical Center.

Financial assistance and sponsorship for hearing solutions are available through the Northwest Lions Foundation. To learn more, contact Island Hearing Healthcare at 378-2330.

Whales get a break from Navy sonar testing, hopefully.....
In other news related to the month since the courts re-instated protections for whales and marine mammals from the testing & use of high-decibel sonar, people have begun to look closer at the effects of the blasts on the's more, with remarks by islander Ken Balcomb. (This is a good article that explains why the protections are needed; it doesn't explain why the administration wants to overturn those protections.)

She's underway....
Looks like Jennifer Rigg (right) has her new shop going, in the new building across from the Market Chef. Drop in & see her, or check out her site at

United Way adds new board members....
Bonnie Gilmore, Executive Director of United Way of San Juan County, wrote to let me know she has three new board members, and an exciting year ahead:

Michelle Shober, PhD, is the former Director of Compass Health in Friday Harbor and currently serves on their regional board. Michelle joined United Way in late 2007 and serves on the allocations committee. Marty Huleatte, PhD, is a retired educator with experience in both education and prevention. Susan Lembcke, Branch Manager of KeyBank in Friday Harbor, brings a wealth of financial experience to the organization. United Way's county-wide board also includes Steve Buck, Candy Dossett, Danah Feldman, Randy Gaylord, Bill Henikman, John Manning, Bill Morrissey, Howard Schonberger, Jan Koltun Titus and Jackie Worobec. Emeritus members include Irene Hall, Frank Fagan and Carol Marble.

A chance to gather with other green-minded folks....
Nonprofits Unlimited's Liz Illg dropped me a line to let us know about a Seattle-based event, with some 40,000 people expected to attend:

Hey Ian,
There is a totally cool Green Festival (click here for more) coming to Seattle April 12-13 that is seeking 1,200 volunteers to help make it happen. Nonprofits Unlimited will be registering the 350 expected exhibitors, businesses and organizations committed to social justice, ecological protection, and sustainable local economies. Can you help us recruit a few more folks from the islands that would like to help out?

And by the way, at the same time the Dalai Lama will be in Seattle presiding over the Seeds of Compassion, a gathering of educators and others concerned with children and the way they learn to care for themselves, others and the world. Check out the amazing curriculum materials for kids of all ages.

One of the quotes that is included in the material sums up both these events: “Each of us has response-ability for our unique piece of Creation, but only from the deeper wisdom and compassion of our Greater Self can we truly care for the world that is entrusted to us.” (Rabbi Theodore Falcon).

March 1, 2008

Going to the dogs...wahoo!
That's a picture of Dave Vandaveer (shot by his ace photographer wife, Dot)...she reports they're fans of the APS:

If you ever want to promote the Animal Protection Society on San Juan Island, this photo of Dave walking the Saint Bernard, Sophie, is a nice photo. Dave faithfully walks the dogs at the Animal Shelter three times a week (if they have ones that need attention). He really loves the animals there and the staff are wonderful as well. The community needs to support our local APS; they do so much with so little funding!

What's happening this weekend?
Simply - a lot of stuff! To wit:

• Remember, the March Farmers Market will be this Saturday at the Fairgrounds, usual time 10 to 1. Hope to see you there! Margaret Thorson

• The play at SJCT! See below, like yesterday.

• Beginning this next Sunday the following series is being offered to anyone who is interested. Would you please post the information on your website? Thanks so much! Kathy Eisenhauer (378.1197)

An in-Depth Christian Worldview Experience

Dates: Sundays from March 2nd to May 11th
Times: 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Place: Paideia School, 265 Price Street
Contact: Chris @ 298-1343

Childcare is provided by reservation.
Subjects Covered:
· What is truth?
· Who is man?
· What about science is true?
· Sociology: the divine imprint
· The State: whose law?
· Labor: created to create
· Philosophy and Ethics: says who?
· Who is God?
· History: whose story?
· Am I alone?
· The American Experiment: stepping stones
· God cares, do I?

Ferry changes.....
The WSF folks tell me there are some adjustments for the ferry schedule this next month you might wanna know's their complete press release:

On the Anacortes/San Juan Islands routes....
34-car Hiyu to operate on San Juan Islands inter-island route
The 34-car Hiyu will replace the 87-car Klahowya on the San Juan Islands inter-island route beginning Monday, March 10. The smallest and most unique car ferry in the WSF fleet, the Hiyu carries 34 vehicles and 200 passengers. The Hiyu’s move to the San Juan Islands was first announced in January, but was postponed when the vessel required more time in dry dock to complete necessary repairs and maintenance.

Even though the winter and spring months see less inter-island traffic than in summer, customers should expect some sold out sailings due to the reduced capacity of the Hiyu. The down-sizing is expected to last through the spring.

WSDOT has worked closely with the San Juan Islands Ferry Advisory Committee to develop a spring schedule that incorporates the Hiyu and other service impacts in the islands. The spring schedule begins on March 30. For the last few weeks of the winter schedule, the following service adjustments apply to the Monday through Friday schedule and will help customers avoid impacts during the busiest parts of the day:

* The inter-island 8:25 a.m. from Friday Harbor will be priority for Orcas and Shaw and space available for Lopez; the 11:35 a.m. sailing from Friday Harbor will not take Lopez-bound traffic. Instead, the 8:05 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. sailings from Friday Harbor to Anacortes will stop at Lopez in route to Anacortes to unload Lopez vehicles and passengers. No Anacortes bound vehicles will be loaded at Lopez.

* Friday Harbor customers who normally take the 8:25 a.m. inter-island sailing to Lopez will also have limited space available on the 8:05 a.m sailing to Anacortes, and those who would normally take the 11:35 a.m. inter-island sailing to Lopez should take the 12:40 p.m. sailing to Anacortes, which will arrive in Lopez at 1:15 p.m.

Since vessel and service changes often cause ferry customers to alter their commuting habits, the normal policy of no refunds for frequent user multi-ride tickets is waived. Customers wanting a refund just to need to call Susan Harris-Huether at (206) 515-3460 or e-mail her at

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
Victor Hugo

February 29, 2008

Lacrosse gets underway....
The guys got going on Monday this week with all the other spring sports (that would be baseball, softball, soccer, golf, girls' tennis, track) at FHHS. Lacrosse mom Cathy Cavanaugh has more:

Just letting you know the Dragons LaCrosse team is right behind the soccer team for the start of spring practice. They start today right after school at Foxhall. This year we have Ryan Bennett and Rob Cuomo coaching which is really exciting. We have a pre-season tournament on March 8th and 9th in Lynden to kick off the season.

Our annual big fundraising dinner is March 6th at 6:00 p.m. at the Mason’s Hall . It is $8.00 for under 12 and $12.00 for the rest of the crowd. Remember, we are totally self-supporting even though we are members of the Northwest High School LaCrosse League – so, the parents and players have to raise all the funds to be able to field a League team. We have the famous dessert Auction right after the dinner.

Happy Leap Year to ya....
Today is, of course, our once-every-four years Leap Day - here's more about why it's necessary, and here's why it's the (not Chinese, this) Year of the Frog.

Jodie Foster fans, unite...
It's a pretty rare event - an older film with a younger (15 years old, to the right) Jodie Foster in it. It's Candleshoe (1977) at the Library tonight at 6:30pm for Family Movie Night, with popcorn & drinks provided by our friends with the Friends of the Library. They have pals, too. And it's all free.

Irish Music Camp - it's next week already!
Wow...the years just go 'round....Dan Paulson's seventh Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp gets going on Monday. (Here's more about the camp.)

This year's scholarship winner to the camp is Miray Campbell, from British Columbia (above) - here's a bit more about her.

Here's a video of people from the camp, jamming on the ferry - you get the idea:

Susan's back next week...
The Library has scheduled an author talk with Susan Toch (right) next Sunday, on the 9th. Here two books, Water to Drink: Sustaining Watersheds and the People Who Need Them and Water Voices from Around the World focus, as she does, on the essential role water plays in our life & survival. Susan's a scientist who brings her knowledge & study of water into a coherent, clear message - here's more on her website. See ya there!

Jobs out there....
I've heard that MiPiace is looking for 2 new employees for barista/light cooking duties, and that Anna Maria from Tucker House/Harrrison House is looking for a couple of innkeepers...check 'em out!

Cats out there....
Here's a cat for sale that someone got, to help clear out their rodent here, you'll get the idea.

Hi SJCT Friends!

Meanwhile, over at the Theatre....
Jan says this is the weekend to catch Enchanted's more from her:

You get a chance to have the first look at San Juan Community Theatre’s late winter play plus bargain prices THIS Saturday, March 1.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. on the Whittier Stage for this first of seven performances of Enchanted April, a romantic comedy adapted by Matthew Barber from Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel of 1922 and directed by the island’s Gretchen Gubelman. The preview features special ticket prices of $13 for adults and $7 for student reserved, with $5 student RUSH tickets available one hour before the show.

The play begins in post-World War I, rain-drenched London; and through the determination and lead of a young housewife, takes the characters and the audience into sunshine and hope. The play features both veteran and new actors to the stage:
Patti Bair, Greg Hertel, Kate Hunter, Kaitlyn Johnson, Deb Langhans, John Pachuta, Susan Williams and Hunter Wood.

The SJCT box office is open today through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and one hour before the preview. Call 378-3210 or surf to

Opening night is Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. It also plays March 7, 9, 13, 14 and 15. Tickets prices vary, depending on date.

Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before - it takes something from him.
Louis L'Amour

February 26, 2008

Cookie monsters - here they come!
Here's the word from Jan & the Brownies & Girl Scouts:

Celebrate the leap year with San Juan Island’s Junior Girl Scout and Brownie Troops as they set up cookie “shop.”

The annual Girl Scout cookie drive kicks off on Friday, February 29. Troop members will be hosting cookie tables outside Friday Harbor Drugs and inside King’s Market from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Eight variety of cookies will be on sale—including favorites like Thin Mints and Samoas, plus two newcomers: Lemon Chalet Cremes and Sugar Free Chocolate Chips. Each box is $4.00.

The troop will also be at other locations during March, including King’s Market on Sundays March 2 and March 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Marketplace from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 3 and Thursday, March 6. Local proceeds from the cookie sales will go toward special off-island adventures for the troops, as well as into the troops’ philanthropic funds. (Junior Girl Scout 183 recently donated $500 to the Banry family).

For more information on buying cookies, please call Jan Bollwinkel-Smith at 370-5354.

About your birthday....
Click here to find out EVERYTHING about your birthday. Everything.

Gotta start the day right...
....and there's no better way than JT...check it out:

February 26, 2008

Purple gang on the way to Mount Vernon....
This year the basketball boys are playing at four levels in Mount Vernon in the SWISH League - the usual 6th, 7th, and 8tth grade teams are jined by the 4th-5th grade team, which is why you saw a lot of guys in purple on the ferry last weekend. They play their season ending tourneys this weekend & next - way to go, guys!

Michael's a finalist...
Looks like our own Michale Soltman is in the final round of candidates for the Northshore School District (that's Woodinville, rookie)...he'll find out mid-March.

I understand that there's a TV show where you can vote people off the island...if there's a way, it would be great to vote Michael onto the island instead. He has been great for our school district, straightening out an inherited financial mess, instituting the late-start Wednesday for professional improvement, getting alternative ed going with the Griffin Bay High program as well as a closer working relationship with Spring Street, and more. It'd be sad to see him go, and a great gain for Woodinville.

Here's more, in an article from the Seattle Times.

James on Oscar night....
Alison Longley sent a nice note & snap of her son James at the Oscars, which she shot at the bowling alley here:

Hi Ian,
It was nice seeing you and Josie the other day in Seattle. I hope you enjoyed your time there very much. I've attached a photo I took last night at the Oscar party at the bowling alley. There's James, and one of his editors, Fiona Otway, is sitting to his left. Barbara Cox, who is representing James' photographs, (Photokunst) organized the party.

I say, nobody loses who's been nominated for an Oscar! Thanks - Alison

Look at the lamb cam, ma'am....
Richard Foote has his hands full with the lambing season, with live pictures:

Hi, Ian! Lambing season is upon us here at States Inn, we have several pregnant ewes ready to go, and already one new set of twins - a boy and a girl born yesterday.

We've moved our webcam into the lambing barn, people can look at recent pictures at

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Lao Tzu

February 25, 2008

Thanks, Tucker! Now, I'm back!
It was cool to come back from a week's vacation and discover that not only did the crack staff at By Design (best kept secret in the Western Hemisphere) take care of everything, but that Ace Office Dog Tucker & his pals from the Witness Protection Service did a super job of updating the Update to keep you & me up to date.

More stories....gotta climb these, though.....
This coming weekend, islanders Andy Urbach, Jane Hutchison, Tony Smith, Bob Pauls, and Zaim Melic are gonna climb a 69-story building in full firefighting gear to raise money for fighting cancer.

Andy (that's him with Jill on the ferry when I saw them last week) practiced on a 40+ building last week in Vancouver - here's the story, and how you can help, from Andy:

On March 2, 2008, nearly fifteen hundred other firefighters and I 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!!

Local boy makes the Oscars, again....
You could here a collective intake of breath last night on the island when the Best Documentary/Short Subject Oscar nominees were read, because FHHS grad/Seattle filmmaker James Longley (right) had a his 21-minute documentary "Sari's Mother" up for a golden statue.

He didn't win, but his mom Alison says she is sure proud of him (I ran into her in Seattle, where she works during the week, Friday night). She says his next film will be shot in are some shots from there. James' full-length documentary film "Iraq in Fragments" was nominated last year, coming in second to "An Inconvenient Truth."

Meanwhile, she'll be talking about car-less travel at 2 this afternoon at the Mullis Center, drawing on her experience getting from here to Seattle (and other parts of the mainland.

FHHS sports get underway for the spring....
Today's the day training starts - the soccer boys win the award for earliest start, getting going this morning at 5:30am (yawn!) to begin conditioning. Coach Andy Duke is holding daily doubles to try to get an edge with fitness, with the first game at South Whidbey on March 8.

Getting bigger.....
Flight instructor & charter pilot Dan DeShon let me see how big 2-year-old Elliot has gotten, and I keep hearing things about how Dan's Westwinds Aviation is growing as well, as more & more people on the island want to learn to fly.

When one of Mike Huckabee’s biggest supporters, Chuck Norris, 67, said after the South Carolina primary that he did not think Mr. McCain, 71, would have “the stamina to run the country for four years,” Mr. McCain responded with a crack that highlighted his gene pool. “I’m afraid that I may have to send my 95-year-old mother to wash Chuck’s mouth out with soap,” he said. - From the New York Times

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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