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

July 7, 2008

The Food Bank is now open on Saturdays!
Hey, I went by the FB last week & saw they started opening Saturdays from 2-5pm as well as the usual noon-2pm on Wednesdays...that's cool. It's tough when workin' folks can't get by to visit...

Breaking news!
This just keeping with the journalistic standards that only the Update employs, I will now post this, then go check to see if it's true. Then maybe I'll put some more news up, if I can find any. Today. Or tomorrow (it's been really nice out which makes it hard to do news gathering, you know.)

So, kinda in honour of the Fourth - this just in:

Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A.
A Message from John Cleese (right)

To the citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America
without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate
will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to
determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Colony, the following rules
are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be
amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and
'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping
half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise.
Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable
levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such
as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form
of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let
Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell- checker will be
adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination
of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers,
or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows
that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be
handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without
suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough
to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more
dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish
to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your
own good. When we show you European cars, you will understand what we

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will
start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you
will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion
tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the
British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
calling gasoline)-roughly $10 per US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries
are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips
are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat,
and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually
beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as
beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will
be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are
pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be
due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see
what it did for them.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good
guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play
English characters. Watching Andie McDowell attempt English
dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having
one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of
proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in
time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American
football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or
wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try Rugby
- the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly
thrash us.

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host
an event called the World Series for a game which is hardly played outside
of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond
your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we
will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out
of their deliveries.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An official from Her Majesty's Inland Revenue (i.e. tax collector)
will be with you shortly to ensure the collection of all monies
due (backdated to 1776). Until these are paid, there will be no
representative government in the USA, in line with the policy: 'No
representation without taxation'.

17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups and saucers
(never mugs), and with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes;
strawberries in season.

18. Some tea has gone missing, and we expect it back. We'll be searching
Boston first.

God save the Queen.

John Cleese

July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July to you!

Not sure what to do? It's easy - the parade in Friday Harbor is at 10:30am, the Pig War Picnic is at 11:30, and the Rock the Dock Concert is at 6:30pm, with the fireworks at dusk. Out at Roche Harbor, they have events all day long - check out their schdule on their website.

What was it like last year? Here are some galleries from times gone by:

Parade - 2007
Parade - 2006
Parade & Picnic - 2005
The Fourth at Roche - 2005
Parade - 2004
Log Rolling at Roche - 2004
Parade - 2002
Picnic - 2002

July 3, 2008

Fireworks early this morning....
Sounded like the holiday started early last night with all the thunder & lightning at around 2am....

Click on the little picture & see the big version of a photo Tim Dustrude took last night over near his place in the Greenway

Check the weather for tomorrow - looks like it may be a bit cool & cloudy...

Mike Vouri's doing his Pickett show (right) at the Community Theater this weekend for the 13th year...I truly believe this show ought to be required "seeing" for anyone who lives here - Mike does a super job.

See you there...details on the Library's Community Calendar.

Speaking of the Fourth...
What's going on, on the Fourth? Click on on the Library's Community'll get the idea.

The Pig War Picnic is on....
Nancy Fusare & our friends at Kiwanis wanted to make sure you have the details for this annual Fourth of July event:

Kiwanis Club of Friday Harbor is proud to present the 10th annual Pig War Picnic at the San Juan Historical Museum at 405 Price Street. Come join us for food, games, live entertainment and a beer garden. Parade contest winners will be announced by emcee Pat O'Day.

Mike Vouri and Sugarland will tell the Pig War story. Steve Keys and the Ottomatics will entertain, as will Devorah and featuring Geoffrey Castle, the One Time Band and the local high school band "Anthemology". $5.00 barbecue lunch. Starts right after the parade. No admission cost, donation only.

Great spot for the parade....
Teri at Dominique's says you're invited to Dominique's Annual 4th of July Pre- and Post- Parade Party (right next to the Little Store)! She says to stop in for mimosas and breakfast goodies, and enjoy the parade right outside her door!! Starting at 9:00 am (the parade is at 10:30am), you can save 15% on any purchase made on July 4th 2008! (with the exception of sale items and jewelry).

With an eye on the future.....
As we celebrate freedom & all the cool stuff that comes with the hoilday tomorrow, I think it's also good and necessary to cast a hard eye on the future that lies ahead.

One of my heroes is Paul Ehrlich, who has been monitoring the impact of population growth on humanity's chances for success for the past 40 years. Did you know that in 1961 there were 3 billion people on the earth? Today there are 6.7 billion, and that number continues to explode. Take a moment & see what Dr. Ehrlich is saying these days - click here.

Shameless namedropping....
One of the things people tell me they like about the Update is the way they can see a lot of people they know all in one place...I can think of no better way to do THAT than to report the cast list of last week's Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs at the Community Theatre, which went great, by the way.

That's Kimberly Mapstead (Snow White) with the Missoula Children's Theater's Kepler Correia in rehearsal before the show.

Snow White Cast of Characters

Snow White: Kimberly Mapstead
King: John Ogle
Queen: Bella Natalie Smoczyk Wrye

Mirror: Celeste Smoczyk Wrye

Phineas Finch: Sean McLaughlin

Foxy Fox: Emily Guard

Fernando: Peter Strasser

Dwarfs: Madison Wrese, Maddie Schroeder, Beatrice Grauman, Gunnar Sandwith, Libby Anderson, Eric Sable, Carly Woodward

Henchmen: Zack Reitan, Oliver Strasser

Black Forest Creatures: Ziah Guidotti, Rhiana Franklin, Julie Machin, Marga Eshelman, Ellie Woodward, Christine Machin

Bats: Doria Alsbree, Isabella Davis, Julian Brown, Joanna Evans, Jaclyn Domenech, Bailee Lambright, Joely Loucks, Jayna Ott, Brandon Payne, Chiara Power, McKenzie Serratt, Vida Wight, Caleb Wolf, Greta Wolf

Forest Animals: Isabella Brown, Faith Buck, James Guard, Abbi Haver, Hannah Hopkins, Samantha Hopkins, Madrona Jameson, Ashley Lambright, Coey McPadden, Talhia Mosher, Grace Ogle, Jessie Pachuta, Rachel Porter, Zack Porter, Audrey Sable, Julia Smith, Julian Stone, Naomi Whiting

Basketball is's proof....
That's Carly Woodward (right) and Zoe Cromer at the Advantage Basketball Camp a couple of weeks ago.

Learn to swim...hey, you live on an island! We're surrounded by water, dude!
Amy from the Fitness Club has the swim lessons going again this summer - here's the story:

Hi Ian! I don't know if you knew this, but one of the other hats I wear is co-ordinator of swim lessons at San Juan Island Fitness. We are offering swim lessons this summer and our schedule and registration information is up on our website. People are also welcome to stop by the Club and pick up a schedule. Please let folks know about this great opportunity for kids to learn to swim. Thanks, Amy Wynn

The Downtown Forum in action!
The Chamber of Commerce's Debbie Pigman announces that Forum members are getting things done! Here's more:

I'm pleased to announce three action plans, initiated by businesses in Friday Harbor during Chamber Downtown Forum discussions, have come to fruition.

One of the chamber's objectives is to nourish a healthy business environment. One way to do this is by developing a comfortable and inviting place to do business.

As a result of suggestions from local business people, the Chamber in partnership with the Town of Friday Harbor, implemented the action plans.

The first is an "Adopt a Tree Well" program. The Chamber asked individuals and business to participate by taking responsibility for planting and maintaining the ground areas under the trees in town. Friday Harbor Center, Dominique's Clothing, Chicago Title Company, King's Market and the Chamber of Commerce adopted all of the tree wells on Spring Street. (That's
Lori Petersen of Friday Harbor Center at right, planting in one of the adopted tree wells.)

The second is Information Signs. To help visitors and locals better navigate our town, several Information Signs have been hung directing people to more shops and restaurants.

And the third is a new Shop Local decal, designed with a more personal message, that is now visible in many of our businesses' windows.

"It is exciting to see what once was just an idea become a reality...what began as a discussion at a small gathering of people develop into a partnership among the Chamber of Commerce, the businesses sector and the Town," says Pigman.

The Chamber Downtown Forum meets on the fourth Thursday of the month from September through May.
The purpose of the forum is to provide an opportunity for those with interests in the Town of Friday Harbor - employers, employees, owners, government and other community members- to communicate. The result is discussion, planning and action.

Contact Debbie at or 378-5240 for more information.

A good place to go with your hair....
Our friend Kenneth over at Spirit Tree Gifts told me that his daughter Emily had her first haircut last weekend at Christy's, and donated her hair to Locks for Love. Awesome.

No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams.
Jesse Jackson

July 2, 2008

New folks in town....
Debbie from over at Kirk House has her daughter around now - here's more:

I would like to introduce my daughter Erin and her boyfriend Jason. They are both school teachers who have decided to move away from the heat and crowds of Phoenix . They will be staying with us and using Friday Harbor as a “base camp” while they search for teaching positions somewhere in the Northwest. They are VERY happy to be here!

Blast from the past.....
Just like you were, I was a regular at Felicitations Bakery till it closed in '03...and one of the friendly faces there was Jenny, who wrote a note the other day:

Hi Ian,
I don’t know if you remember me, but I used to see you at Felicitations Bakery when I worked there years ago. I also worked for Key Bank and then Whidbey Island Bank. I just wanted to say hi and thank you so much for your update page. I really love seeing the familiar sights and faces and hearing the great stories. It’s much more personable than the paper and gives me the facts about the island so I can stay updated even though I’m now living in Tennessee. I miss the island and the people SO much, but am so blessed to be here in Franklin. My older sister has decided to move down here from Seattle too! I’m working for Suntrust Bank down here (the 7th largest bank in the nation) and having a blast with my new church and new friends. I’m hoping to come for a visit hopefully sometime around October. Thanks so much for the updates and great info and pictures! Hope you and your family are well. Please tell everyone hi and kiss the ocean for me. I’m having withdrawals. : )

Jenny Krein

Bird identification folks check in....
Remember that set of pictures (click here if you don't) that Jim Maya took of the eagle towing the seagull? Here's another view...check the pictures & see what you think:

I looked carefully at the Jim Maya photos of the eagle, the seagull, and the crow.
The seagull is "belly up" in every picture. Have you ever seen a seagull swim upside down? I doubt if this is possible. I think the seagull is (was) a dead duck.
--John Whetten

Meanwhile, out on the water....
Those paddlers at Jackson's Beach have been pretty active lately - here's more from Amy Lou:

Dear Ian,
Just in case you’re looking for more news about paddlers:
Our annual San Juan Canoe and Kayak Open House is coming up on July 5th. It’ll be a lot of food, canoe games, friends, and fun on Jackson Beach from 4 until 7pm. Everything free.

Also, I’ve attached a photo of Willow Seaton, soon to be sixth grader at the middle school. She competed for the very first time in a single canoe and won third place at the PNW-Orca regional championships at Silver Lake on Saturday. In the photo, she is teaching her dad, Dan Seaton, to be very very brave.

Happy Fourth of July,
Amy Lou

Hello, Bluebird Enthusiasts!
Summer is finally here, the blue skies are returning...and the SJI Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project is in full swing. Here's the word from Kathleen Foley:

First, some really great news: of the 10 pairs of Western bluebirds that we have translocated so far (the last pair just translocated yesterday) 5 adult pairs have nested! All of these nests have been made in nest boxes made by island volunteers. In addition, we have brought up from Ft. Lewis 2 pair of birds with their pair with 3 young, another with 6 young. I would like to reiterate the significance of 2007 we only had one pair nest that raised 3 young. Therefore, we are already miles ahead of where we were this time last year.

At the right, a young male shows his colors.

Currently, we estimate that there are 7 juveniles that have survived through the fledgling phase and are now flying with their parents. Additionally, 2 pair that have already raised young are renesting...and laying more eggs! (2 broods/year is not uncommon for Western bluebirds). These juveniles will likely remain with their parents for a time, but will be establishing their independence as they grow stronger and able to catch thier own meals. They will join together again for the fall migration.

Sadly, some of the nestlings did not survive, and we suspect that some of the fledglings perished during the really nasty cold snap we had a few weeks ago.

The bad weather, and the unseasonally low number of insects (these birds' food source) were the most likely factors in the birds' demise. To put this in perspective, on average, in WA state, only 30-40% of bluebirds usually survive past the ciritical fledgling phase.

In the meantime, we are providing mealworms near the active nest boxes to help supplement the birds' diet. That, combined with fairer weather, will hopefully increase the fledging success.

Please continue to keep an eye out for the remaining three pair of birds we have not located. Report your sightings to 360-298-2822, to me at 378-2461, or to Barb Jensen at 378-3068.

Enjoy the photos, and your summer. More updates to come later.

On behalf of all the partners in the San Juan Islands Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project, thank you.

Kathleen Foley

July 1, 2008

The Tempest is coming....
You're gonna love it...and it all gets started on the 18th here on the's more from Helen (that's a picture from rehearsal by John Sinclair of Prospero & Ariel going at it):

Island Stage Left, the islands' only professional theatre company, celebrates its tenth anniversary of 'Shakespeare Under the Stars' by mounting Shakespeare's glorious swansong 'The Tempest'

A usurped duke and his young daughter are marooned on a enchanted island. Twelve years later, a tempest brings their enemies to the same shore. Revenge is in the air. Freedom beckons. The hour is now come.

In turns imaginative, hilarious, dynamic and achingly human, this is Shakespeare's last and perhaps greatest play teeming with comedy, romance, music, revenge and forgiveness.

Refresh your spirits this summer. The magical isle beckons.


Stage Left performs "The Tempest" from July 11th - August 23rd.
All performances are at 8:00 pm

Waldron Island July 11th
Shaw Island July 12th
Lopez Vineyards July 13th and 14th

and on San Juan Island at:

1062 Wold Rd July 18 - 27th (Fri - Sun)

Roche Harbor Outdoor Stage
July 31st - Aug 10th (Thurs - Sun)
Aug 13th - Aug 23rd (Wed- Sat)

I asked Kevin Loftus where this picture he took was, on the island: "That was on No. 2 Schoolhouse, just off SJ Valley Rd. You can see it for a long way. It shows up well in the distance when you are on Douglas just before you go down the hill to SJ Valley Rd. This particular field has been like this for the last few weeks. Magnificent!"

Lisa launches her website....
She's running for County Council, too - Lisa Guard has her website online now for you check out. She's running against Lovel Pratt, Gordy Peterson, and Daniel Miller in the August primary, which will leave District One voters with two candidates in November.

You probably heard that Nancy Tiederman is retiring as pastor at St. David's Episcopal Church - last Sunday was her last sermon. The church has pulled together a committee to search for a new priest - happy trails, Nancy!

The anniversary to waterworks....
Couple of weekends ago, Ruth Offen (right) celebrated her 23rd year at the's more:

Hey Ian, Hope all is well with you and yours!

I thought I would share this fabulous photo of the cake that we ate at waterworks gallery's 23rd anniversary. It was great to have a celebration for all those artists, clients and supporters of the arts that have contributed to the success of the gallery. I am grateful to them and say thank you.

Stop by the gallery to actually see the show that includes art from all the gallery artists.

The cake was the creation of Patrick Honeywell, whom with Mark Sheppard is opening that new bakery on Mullis St. It was amazing! Cheers, Ruth

Don Galt receives Melvin Jones Award from Lions Club
Melvin Jones awards are given to express thanks for what someone does for their community and for their modeling the philosophies of Lionism. A Melvin Jones recipient is chosen for their unusual and unselfish amount of time expended on community projects and Lionism. Here's more from Frank Penwell....

Alert for writers!
Barbara Bevens tells me this year's will be fun:

Announcing The Written Word 2008! If you are a writer in San Juan County, we need YOU! The annual San Juan County Fair presents its annual Written Word contest. If you write Poetry, Short Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Children’s Stories, Young Adult Fiction, or want to write about The San Juan County Fair – The Heart of the Islands, here is your chance!

Please see the on-line Fair Premium Book at for specific details on lots, categories and rules. Entries are due July 16th, but we may make an exception for YOU! Questions? E-mail the Written Word at the address below.

Please e-mail your entry as a Word document attachment to:

You may also snail-mail your entry to:

San Juan County Fair, Written Word
P.O. Box 1094, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Local firefighters help out....
The folks at the fire department wanted me to share this with's cool:

This morning, Monday June 30th the San Juan Island Fire Department dispatched two firefighters and a wildland fire engine to assist firefighters attempting to contain a 3,000-plus acre wildland fire near Warden in Grant County, Washington.  As of this morning, the fire threatened 55 homes and was completely uncontained.

Lieutenant Tad Lean and Firefighter Michael Henderson responded in “Brush 352,” one of the San Juan Island Fire Department’s specialized wildland firefighting vehicles.  They are scheduled to be assigned to the “Seep Lakes” fire.

The deployment is coordinated through the State Fire Marshal and could last up to 14 days, depending upon fire behavior.

San Juan Island Fire Department personnel are often asked to participate in wildland fires statewide.  Local firefighters have earned a good reputation off island for being well trained and equipped.  Each re quest for off-island assistance is evaluated to ensure local needs are not impacted.  However, every effort is made to fill a request, because it is very likely that the day will come when San Juan Island will need help from mainland fire departments. The immediate benefit is that the firefighters gain valuable experience that they may bring back to the island.

Local author writes aviation-based novel
Maddie Leiren tells us about Bob's novel "Last Clear Chance," which he told me he was working on 10-12 years ago - he has it done! Here's more:

"Last Clear Chance takes the reader down roads we do not find on the usual maps," said Richard Drury of Airways magazine of local author Bob Tripp's newest book. "The feast is on the table, but we first need the address. Bob Tripp gives it to us," Drury added.

Tripp has been in aviation for 50 years as a commercial and test pilot. In addition to an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, he holds a designation as a Federal Aviation Administrator DER Test Pilot, and is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Tripp has written numerous magazine articles on aviation, sports, and adventure.

Tripp's book tells the story of Captain Dan Swanton who crashes his plane at Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport. What follows in the aftermath is the human story of Swanton behind the headlines. His judgement questioned, Swanton's job is put on the line while his family and personal life are torn apart. Swanton questions the twists of fate and the nature of it as he finds himself questioning the abyss of death and the mystery of survival as he faces these new challenges in his life.

Tripp's new book, Last Clear Chance is available in bookstores, as well as from Tropicbird Publishers. Call 378-5234 for more information on the book.

For more information about Bob or to buy a copy of his book, visit his web site.

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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