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Friday Harbor - San Juan Island Update


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prepared weekly or so by Ian Byington if anything happens around here
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May 28, 2001

Softball kicks butt:
Whoa! Our wonderful softball girls had a great season that went to the edge of destiny at state. After compiling a 20-4 regular season, they roared into the state tourney in Spokane this weekend and immediately knocked off Royal 10-3 and then Seattle Christian 9-6.

That set the stage for a showdown in the finals with last year's champs, Zillah, on Saturday afternoon. Zillah knocked us off, 17-0, but the girls claimed the second place trophy, and ya gotta admit, went way farther than anyone expected.

That's why the fire engines and crowd were down at the ferry yesterday making a ton of racket - to meet our champions coming home with the hardware. Even the tourists were cheering when the girls got off the boat.

Wait'll next year.

Meanwhile, the girls 4x100 relay team came in 8th in the state tournament at Cheney...some more folks to be proud of. Way to go, girls.

Going in-seine: You hadda be there: Last Wednesday the fourth graders from the elementary school went to Jackson's Beach to do some high-level marine biology.

Directed by folks from the UW Marine Sciences labs (I didn't get everyone's names, but I know the Duggins and Tansy were helping), the kids laid down the seine (at least seven kids told me, "That's a net.") in the water (right). The kids pulled the pull ropes toward the beach, and the net came in with all kinds of marine life in it. (Photos by my boy Cameron, except for the one he's in.)

All that was scraped, pushed, strained, or pulled into three wading pools, where the kids (like Pablo - click to see) metiuclously identified each species of fish, shellfish, shrimp, mullosk, plant or whatever it was, then returned them live to the ocean.

As lesson plans go, this one was a winner: it was 75 degrees or better on the beach, and that wasn't the only thing heating up. The students went about their tasks with energy & enthusiasm, and squeals of delight as they ID'd the organisms, from a big ol' dungeness crab to little bitty shrimp that really were shrimpy.

Great to watch 'em in action.

By the way, this is kind of cool stuff we do all the time.

Passages: Just heard yesterday that Ray Kinnemann passed away this weekend - Dave & Dean's dad, Jim Skoog says Ray was a key person in getting first-run movies here to the island, and more. He'll be missed....

Jeb & Tyra Byers delivered baby Connor last week...welcome to the island, kid.

Graduations & proms: Do you have your date yet? The prom's this weekend at the Mullis Street Senior Community Center (I went there last week - it's a good place to hold a party).

Graduation's set for Saturday the 9th at the big gym at the high school. Whether you have a graduate or not, this is one of the highlights of the year here, and a gathering of the community you don't want to miss. You'll see SOMEBODY you know there, since most of the island's there.

Whales everywhere: Guide Charlton from Outdoor Odysseys told me for the past few days the orcas have been coming around the sea kayaks when he's gone out - a pretty amazing experience.

Listen close, now, here's how it works: It's against the law (and good courtesy toward our whale friends) to approach marine mammals closer than 100 yards. However, if you're just sitting there in your kayak and the whales come to visit you, that's OK - which is what happened with Charlton this weekend and in this photo taken last summer on a trip with some Microsoft employees.

For more about that, here's what the Whale Museum says...

Don't crowd 'em.

Hey, ho, the wind and the rain: Today it was grey and sprinkly for morning runs, then poured for part of the morning, with a good wind behind it. Then the wind blew away the clouds for a beautiful, blue afternoon.

By the way, that line, "Hey, ho, the wind & the rain," is from Twelfth Night, which plays here in late July or so. I'll sing it for you if you want.

Market: The Farmer's Market's open on Saturdays at 10...get over there & get good, homegrown food.


May 25, 2001

Softball rocks: The softball girls are poised on the brink of greatness, as they travel to Spokane to the state tourney to play at 1pm this afternoon. There's the familiar and the unfamiliar - league rival Concrete is also making the trip, and there's the uncharted territory: no FHHS softball squad has won as many games (we're 20-4) or gotten to state.

Check in with the San Juan Islander as Matt phones in the scores through game time, today and tomorrow.

Track, too: Meanwhile, just down the road from Spokane in Cheney, our relay girls (Marina Bull, Catherine GrosJaques, Krysta Brem and Tessa Gilfillan) are at state as well...go, girls, go!

Weather: It's been better than summer most of this week, and the morning started out great today (I didn't see you this morning when I ran at 6am, so I gotta tell you about it.) The sun was already over the trees at 5:50am, the air was slightly crisp, and the air was clear as the sun dried up the dew on all those spiderwebs in the fields.

Gonna be a great weekend.

Studio tour: It's tomorrow! Read all about it - and check it out! There's more real art per square inch on this island than any island around! Go see it! And drop by the Farmer's Market at the Theatre parking lot on your way.

Movie: You gotta see "Shrek" at the theater...and forget about thinking it's just a kids' movie (but be sure & take them.) You'll be glad you did. You heard it here first: It'll be the first animated film to be nominated for best film at the Oscars. And it's got a real princess in it, like good stories are supposedta. See it.


May 18, 2001

Is it possible to live in the Pacific Northwest and not remember this is the 21st anniversary of Mt. St. Helens blowing up?

Look at that: This (photo, right by Shay - click on it to see a bigger view) is the new front to the Fairgrounds - the project, putting all these tiles together from dozens of kids here on the island, was managed by Chinmayo and Beth Spadafora, and was put up this week. A colorful addition to the ' sure & see it in person - it's great! It shows a lot of love & care for the'll love it!

Overlap: Ever notice that we have lots of the same names in places? At the schools there are Bells (Court, FHMS principal and Ann, who works as classified staff, and Scott, who's the facilities manager, and Jody, who teaches third grade) and Clarks (Joel and Darlene, both at the middle school.) But, hey, there's a science opening, and maybe some others - we can always use more Clarks and Bells.

Speaking of school, I hear middle school teacher Gordy Waite's recovering OK from that kidney transplant...he'll be back in the saddle this fall. Meanwhile, it's true: ace kindergarten teacher Nancy Cope is retiring - she is truly one of the great ones, and will be much missed.

Around the world: Juan & Heidi Lopez (and the kids) are back from a month in Peru, while Simona & Lawrence DeLay are off to her Italy at the end of the month. Jan at Friday Harbor Yachts tells me Brian Calvert's in China checking out boats. Meanwhile, Tom & Stephanie Gonser are back from a couple of weeks of tending to grandchildren while Tom, Jr and his wife went to Taihiti...that's sorta like getting around the world. They said they had a great time with the kids.

Mowed: Tired of mowing? Turn your backyard into a habitat! Here's a page ( that tell you how.

Ball: The boys are still alive in their quest for a trip to Yakima in baseball this year - it's one of our most promising squads in years. It'll be fun to see how far they go - they play tomorrow.

Meanwhile, softball continues its Cinderella season at Tri-Districts tomorrow as well. Can they keep the edge? Stay tuned - they're on a roll!

Check the San Juan Islander at the link above for latest scores...

Whalewatching: Yes, the boats are running! Check out Western Prince or San Juan Excursions or San Juan Safaris and get out on the water...this is the nice, uncrowded part of the year.

Gardening: Yes, things are coming up nicely, thank you...that's Shay's picture of our garden getting watered. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend a year ago who said her husband didn't want to put a garden in the backyard (they had a big enough space!) because it would "mess it up."

Hope she grows one this year...

Magic: You know that magician who did the free show at the Theatre Wednesday night? Dr. Carolyn Haugen had him in 4th grade at her old school years back, and was instrumental in getting him up here to visit. Good show, too...


May 13, 2001

All you mothers: And a glorious day it was - with all kinds of mom stuff going on. The restaurants were full of prodigal kids taking their moms to Sunday dinner, the flower rack at King's was running low, and chocolate consumption hit record levels.

Mother's Day should be a national holiday.

Oh, it is.

Pumped up: Tom from the Theatre tells me there have been good crowds for "Pump Boys and Dinettes," so get your tix early for this last week's set of

Ferry fares to rise: Yep, the ferry rates are going up at the end of this month, but the people still seem to come. The last couple of weeks have been especially busy in town, with visitors coming already. It seems like they're bringing their cars, too, which is pretty unnecessary, with everything in Friday Harbor an easy walk away, and San Juan Transit ready to take you all over the island. It's OK to leave the car in Anacortes...

Run: Does it seem like more people are out running these days? Pounding the pavement...and there's open soccer on Sundays (at 3pm) and Thursday nights (6pm) for men and women. Get out & play.

Bike rally: Viv Simonis from Company Gear (she puts logos and designs on hats, shirts, anything for national companies) tells me the Bike Rally was a big deal - over fifty kids came and registered for a bike inspection, ride around Turn Point, and free hot dogs, and even more came to see the trick riders at the end of the day. Cool.

It's good to train kids about bikes, especially for when we run out of petroleum...

School's nearly out: You know Steve and Nancy at Diesel America West? Their girl Holly is just finishing her first year teaching elementary school in
Issaquah. She student taught at FHES, showing signs of coming greatness....

Kayak change: Ed Spurr tells me he has sold Adventure Kayak Tours. New owner Carolyn is from Bend - she'll be operating this summer with help from her boyfriend and parents. Ed'll be heading down to California...

Former local boy does good: Remember Joe Bongiorno? Not only does he have a new album out (I've heard it - it's really good! You can order yours at, but he's marrying Debbie Rogers this weekend down in Edmonds. Former Sundog Tom Doenges from Rock Island will be one of the best men. Joe was a fixture at the Front Street Ale House for years, waiting tables and cooking - now he's playing piano around Seattle and running his recording studio.

Ferry busy: Already it's getting crowded enough for the Sunday morning ferry to get overloaded...plan ahead.

May 7, 2001

Moonstruck: You must have seen the moon last night over the island...looked beautiful at around ten as people were tucking kids in, singing the last songs, and taking a moment to remember how good it can be to be loved. It was that kind of moon, last night at 10. Cool.

Not moon buggies: Susie's Mopeds still has mopeds for you to ride this summer, but now offers these little two-seaters as well (right, photo.) Drop by & say hi to Susie, and check 'em out.

Labs rock: The UW Marine Sciences Labs held their biannual (that's every coupla years, you know) Open House, with hundreds of visitors dropping by - kids everywhere, feeling starfish & sea slugs, checking out research & experiments, getting their shirts wet, with lots of smiles in the sun.

It was cool to see Labs Director Dennis Willows popping popcorn for everyone, Director of Development Bob Schwartzberg greeting everyone, Craig Staude and David Duggins down on the docks, and Claudia Mills showing people around. Jeb Byers says Tyra's due to deliver their first baby any time in the next couple of weeks (he was due to deliver a lecture, so we didn't talk long) seemed like every young wannabe biologist or already-arrived biologist from Western Washington was there (the ones from Eastern Washington were much missed), and a great time was had by all, celebratiing that amazing place.

Someone said pro basketball player Deltef Schrempf was there as well, although the kid pronounced his last name as "shrimp," which he's not.

It's the principal of the thing: The school district has chosen Marilyn Luckman from Issaquah Middle School as the new high school principal, replacing retiring Ralph Hahn.

Where the news comes from: A lot of the information I put in this newsletter comes from the produce department at the grocery store (photo, at King's - that's Erin in the foreground, who just got back on-island from horse shoeing school. She'll be setting up shop this fall to make sure your horse's feet are happy). So here's a picture of it.

Theater on the island: "Pump Boys and Dinettes" opened this weekend, and continues this week at the Theatre...meanwhile, FHHS's multi-talented Tyler Ryan says rehearsals for the summer production (by Stage Left) of Twelfth Night are going well. He plays Sebastian.

Fox TV: My friend Wendy who's the bookkeeper for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society tells me they've moved on...after hanging their shingle here for a couple of years, they've moved their offices to Los Angeles. Wendy's staying put, though, with a new job helping with books & records at the medical center.

She told me she was out walking at American Camp and saw a passle of baby foxes sitting, watching a bunch of bunnies run around. Said it was like the kits were transfixed in front of a tv.

New school: Several folks have told me math teacher Jeff from Spring Street School and science teacher Steve Brumsickle from FHMS are leaving their respective schools to start a K-6 private Christian school on the island. When I talked to Spring Street's Peg Hope this weekend, she says she welcomes the new alternative to the public system, and doesn't see it as a threat to what her school's doing - SSS's 6-12.

About Bob: Remember I mentioned Bob Schwartzberg at the labs? He and his wife Marilyn moved here about six months ago from back east...they saw me singing at Katrina's a couple of years ago and said, "Are you the Ian that writes the Update? We read it all the time!"

It's great to know people read this; it's even better when the great ones move here. Good to have ya'll here.

Cinco de Mayo: A benefit to help the Dollars for Scholars program Saturday night was a huge success by any measure - the number of cars in the Fairgrounds parking lot, the people dancing, the kids swinging at the piñata, the number of people there - all in all, a good time was had by all.

About Katrina's: Ran into Gary Antzoulatos this weekend - he says he's moving into Marilyn's spot where the Garden Path is now, and Marilyn will be moving to Kate's old place where Katrina's is. Kate, meanwhile, will be moving to Alaska...she'll be much missed - her restaurant has pulled together people from all over the island for years, and her rare touch at cooking was exceptional.

Gary's new place will be, as he describes it, kind of a surfer shack. He hopes to offer an eclectic blend of home-cooked dishes, opening sometime in June.

Gardens around: It was great to have some sun this weekend to get out in the garden to plant stuff and pull weeds...the garden at my house is finally all in (we'll have vegetables till 2003), so the boys and I visited Farhad's garden over at Harrison House Suites (right). He keeps a year-round garden going, and can eat a different meal every day from it. He's the one with all the ribbons for his beautiful flowers at the fair....

Something in the hair: Have you seen Christy's Island Hair Salon's website ? Just up...

Even faster: Journal Run 2000 Women's Champ Lori Clark ran in Bloomsday (that's a big race in Spokane) yesterday, and clocked a more than respectable 49:36 for the 7.5 mile course - that's about 6:39 a mile - to come in 52nd among the thousands of female runners in that race.

Island Studio Tour: It's coming! This year it'll be the 26th & 27th...check their website for more info. This free event is an island favorite, and a great chance to meet the people behind the wonderful art produced here.

Moved: I just heard Betty Brown has moved to Newport, OR. This longtime islander managed the affordable housing program that's gotten dozens of people squared away in the apartments around here....she'll be missed.

Life's Reflections: My friend Nick sent these thoughts, which he says sums up his philosophy:

> 1. I'm not into working out. My philosophy is no pain, no pain.
> 2. I'm in shape. Round is a shape.
> 3. I've always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more
> specific.
> 4. Ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you, but
> when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window?
> 5. Ever notice that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, but
> anyone going faster is a maniac?
> 6. You have to stay in shape. My mother started walking five miles a
> day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we have no idea where she is.
> 7. I have six locks on my door, all in a row. When I go out, I lock
> every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there
> picking the locks, they are always locking three of them.
> 8. They show you how detergents take out bloodstains. I think if
> you've got a T-shirt with bloodstains all over it, maybe your laundry
> isn't your biggest problem.
> 9. Ask people why they have deer heads on their walls and they tell
> you it's because they're such beautiful animals. I think my wife is
> beautiful, but I only have photographs of her on the wall.


April 25, 2001

Quote: "To change and to improve are two different things." - German proverb.

Featured: Olympic Lights Bed and Breakfast was one of the places featured in a story about the islands in the June issue of Travel Holiday magazine - Christian & Lea do a super job there - it's good to see them get the spotlight they deserve!

Cameron's picture: Did you see that Matt & Sharon used Cameron's photo of the Gallery San Juan remodel (see below) in the San Juan Islander this week? We love sharing our stories (they are, after all, the shared stories of our tribe here on the island), and glad Matt called about using that little photo. Kid's only nine, and he's already published...

Stopping traffic: It's neat to see people stop their cars to let folks who are walking across the street seems the polite thing to do. Makes you glad to live here, ya know. As busy as it seems sometimes, there's not that big of a rush...

Early morning run: You know, if you take your walk or run early enough - around 6 these days - you can see the sun get up. It's great - not as early as it'll be in mid-summer (around five am!) or as late as mid-winter, when it's nearly 8am. Check it out - don't miss the show...!

Re-fi: Nancy Chafee tells me a lot of people are re-financing their homes because of the low interest rates...she sees 'em first hand over at Friday Harbor Escrow.

Break: I talked to three people yesterday who separately said they went and took a walk in the middle of the day for lunch, and I talked to three other people who worked at their desks and ate lunch while they worked, and didn't get up all day.

Guess who won.

Larry's pix: Have you seen what Larry Wight (his company is has been doing with moving pictures and panoramas on the web? Cool stuff. I asked him the best stuff for me to tell you about, and he suggested looking at these three sites - see what you think!:


April 20, 2001

Nothing new under the sun: What a glorious week it's been here on the island, weather-wise & otherwise. Sunday was the comfortable, shirtsleeves-kinda day you hope for on an Easter Sunday (it helps when Easter is deep into April!), with services & egg hunts all over the island. The annual hunt at Jackson Beach seemed to have smaller numbers, but with Spring break this week there WAS a bit of an exodus on the ferry Friday and Saturday.

Lots of people are putting their gardens in this month (the one at our house is a cooperative with neighbor & friend Shannon, her fella Tim, her kid & his kids Cody, TJ, and Courtney, and my boys - many hands make light work, eh?), and as such it was nice to have the downpour on Tuesday and the sprinkles the rest of the week to go with the warm weather.

It's nice to look for your coat on Thursday and realize you haven't worn it for a couple of days.

The sunset (right) on Wednesday night was amazing - it always amazes me one can go to the west side (this was shot at the Land Bank place, mile or two below Lime Kiln) and find it uncrowded or even deserted. You're watching TV instead of this?

Get outside and play.

Save the Earth: The Earth Day cleanup is this weekend's so cool that in 31 years this annual event has gone mainstream, and people are finally waking up to our place in and on the planet. We're getting there....

Notes: Wing in a sling: Saw Steve Demerest yesterday with his arm all wrapped up and cast - seems he wiped out at the skatepark and got his elbow in four places. He says the worst part is he can't use his new Powerbook, 'cause typing's tough...

If Chris at Harbor Press looks anxious, it's because Leslie's due with their first kid the first week of June...they'll be great parents...

Have you met Sally Kerr at Island Rec? She took Cindi Baker's place early last year and has been doing a bangup job for the Parks & Recreation District. She just finished putting together the summer program which you'll get in the mail in a few days. Looking at the broad array of programs she's put together - she's amazing.

Speaking of amazing - Sharon Spangler ran the Turn Point loop this weekend - way to go, Sharon!

Gallery grows: You've seen all the construction... Gallery San Juan is expanding its gallery space on Nichols Street in front of the laundry, as you can see in this picture by Cameron on Wednesday when it was's seems it's been forever since the building was used for the dry cleaners...

Conserve it: I was visiting with Lori at the San Juan County Conservation District office the other day - it's great to know these guys are here! This nonprofit, which is not a County department but an independent office on its own, works to conserve & preserve the County's natural resources. Their website gives a nice rundown of the good work they do.

Quote: "A happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found; for a happiness that is diminished by being shared is not big enough to make us happy." - Thomas Merton, American poet and author (1915-1968).

More bandwidth, finally: The San Juan Islander (and people in the street!) report that several new, affordable ways to access the Internet are coming to the island, including wireless at Rock Island (which they began offering earlier this year) and DSL service through CenturyTel, the phone company, in June. This could change the way people work around here; it could change the kind of businesses who may choose to work here.

Power & ferry fares: Ferry fare increases will be delayed at least a week when they go into effect, meaning a loss of revenue to the financially strapped ferry system and a brief reprieve for budgetary ferry riders. It'll be interesting t see what effect the increases will have on summer business - it's hard to believe it'll help...meanwhile, the Sounder reports there may be electricity shortages this summer on the island as rates stay the same but supply is expected to be down. California...

Meanwhile, lobbying efforts to persuade Olympia that the ferries are our lifeline to the mainland they get overpriced, the effect on life here could be pretty dramatic.

Baseball & softball: Both teams are atop their leagues in first place - the boys play third-place LaConner today....the girls have won ten and are 7-1 in league after Wednesday's win over Coupeville.


April 14, 2001

Busy, busy, busy: Is it the same for you? Seems everyone I talk to is overbusy getting ready for the summer, or ready for college applications, or ready for Easter, or ready for something. Lots of hustle & bustle as a result...

Of course, a huge chunk of the gotta-do blues comes from spring break, which started yesterday for the schools. People are all over the place: Doug & Jill Bull are taking their family to Mexico, Jane Weil and David Smith are headed for Hawaii, and it seems nearly everyone is headed somewhere, including our ace softball & baseball teams, both perched on top of their leagues and off to an awesome start this season. They're not on vacation, though - you'll get a chance to see them play next week in town - their last few games have been off-island.

Circles: Have you run/walked/biked the Pear Point Road circle from Jackson Beach, past the gravel pit and Duffy House, on toward Turn Island and around through town and back to the beach lately? Sometimes called Lori's Loop (after the woman who won the Journal Run last year on the same course), it's a great way to see water, trees, town, and the beach all in one shot.

The circle reminds me of Harry Chapin's song, where he says: "No straight lines make up my life, all my roads have bends. No clear cut beginnings, so far no dead ends."

Whales: It's unusual, but I saw the whales (Peter Fromm was on the ferry and said it was j-pod, and lent me his binocs) just north of the labs in the Strait out of Friday Harbor last week, from the ferry. The pilot very nicely slowed down so we could get a good look & say ""welcome back."

Aussie ozone: Ran into Howie Rosenfeld this morning on my way to Felicitations for coffee (you oughta see the cool stuff Felicity's making for! But I digress.) and he told me a bit about his recent trip to Australia. I asked if they're feeling the effects of the ozone hole expansion down there, and he said one indicator: a friend of his is getting 30% more power in the solar collector on his boat when he's Down Under.

Don't tell this to the oil cartel presently running our government - they'll think it's a good thing and a good way to replace oil when it's gone. Heck, they'll wanna make the hole bigger, and put policies in place to do just that...oh, wait. They already did.

Egg-zactly: The Fire Department gets out there and hides a zillion eggs under the driftwood, then hundreds of kids descend on Jackson Beach at 1pm tomorrow to get 'em (the plastic ones are good for prizes, the real ones are good for a couple of weeks of egg salad). There's also an egg hunt at Roche Harbor at 1pm.

Art: Wander over to Island Studios and see all the new stuff Diana Manning and the artists have there...or visit their website and buy what you want online. Pretty good deal, and a continuing reminder how many talented people there are around here.

Harbor: Over at Andrea & Paul's Wayfarer's Rest hostel there's a sign inside the door that says, "A ship is safe when it's in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for," Zen saying. Good reminder about our constant quest for security...

Sign up: Ever wonder who changes the high school's sign for coming events that hangs on the drug store facing King's? I saw Mike Biggers changing the board for next week's games earlier this week....Thanks, Mike!

Still on: "Painting Churches" by Stage Left is on for one more night - that's tonight. Don't miss it!

Unless you're going to the contra dance at the Grange. Or Soni Ventorum over at the Theatre (which is free, by the way, as is the play.)

Dances, etc: Bob at the Little Store tells me The Chamber of Commerce's Hoedown fundraiser was wall-to-wall people last weekend; Sandy who works there said they couldn't have put too many more people in there if they tried. What a great way for a bunch of people to experience the newly-opened Mullis Senior Community Center...

Meanwhile, over at the elementary school the same night, the Family Fun Night was also a big, crowded success. Basically, it was a big dance put on by the oldies station from Seattle with a bunch of activities for the kids. We do have some dancers in the fourth grade, believe me.

And a good time was had by all.

Quote: "What's the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" - Henry David Thoreau


April 6, 2001

Busy, busy, busy: This is one of those weekends in which there's plenty to do around the island. Over at the Fairgrounds the Stage Left folks are putting on their performance of "Painting Churches" (if the Fairgrounds seems an interesting choice for a play, remember that these guys have made everywhere they stage a show, including an abandoned building supply place and the out doors for the last two summers - come alive. They're the real thing...don't miss this show!)

At the new Mullis Center the Chamber of Commerce is putting on its Spaghetti & Hoedown tomorrow night, with a new family rate to encourage people of all ages to attend. Also Saturday night the PTA at the elementry school is sponsoring Family Fun Night from 5 - 8pm...great place to take the kids & play, and hang around with the other parents & see what they're up to.

And...Chamber Music San Juan is playing on Saturday night as well!

Harbor Air struggles: The islands' best chance to keep daily flights to SeaTac is trying to keep afloat...they're behind in their payments to the Port of Seattle for their lease of the gate at SeaTac, and so have been shunted over to Boeing Field. Curiously, they have posted a press release on their website saying they are "excited" to be at Boeing, and that this is really a good deal, somehow, for customers.

Baby: Becky Phillips had her baby... 9 lb., 10 oz. Lucas Monty!

Ball: Both the softball & baseball teams are off to roaring starts this spring - the girls finally lost one but have looked near unbeatable, while the boys look sharper and sharper as they attempt to return to the playoffs again this spring.

Fee: A story in the Journal says they Park guys are gonna charge a $5 fee to park out at Lime Kiln when you visit this summer...hey, it's a nice bike ride to get there, anyway...

Quote: "Time was invented by Almighty God in order to give ideas a chance." - Nicholas Murray Butler, American educator (1862-1947).


March 25, 2001

Weather break: You decide if the weather's nice. Sometimes a little sun, sometimes grey, a little drizzle, and in the 50's this week. We got to all, with no snow.

Open house for departing Kathleen: John Sinclair from the Library tells me: On Friday, March 30, 2001, the Library will host an open house from 2.00-4.00pm to give the community an opportunity to say goodbye to Kathleen McHarg.

McHarg has resigned her position as Director of San Juan Island Library and will be relocating to Sedona, Arizona, where she will assume the directorship of Sedona Public Library. Providing leadership for the San Juan Library since 1990, a few of her accomplishments include implementing many new technological enhancements, several successful grant awards, and project director for the 1995 renovation and expansion of the Library. The public is cordially invited to attend this going-away event.

Poll: Did you see the poll on the first page of the San Juan Island Web Directory? It's asking if folks think the ferry fare increase will hurt the islands' economy...check it out & see what people think!

Harbor Air grounded, sorta: Interesting story - apparently, Harbor Air and the Port of Seattle are disagreeing about the airline's back-payments on their lease at SeaTac, so the Port closed their gate at the big airport.

Even though those little planes don't carry a LOT of people, they provide a pretty important service to the island, flying people on & off. I called to check in with them, and they say they're gonna keep flying, by providing a shuttle from SeaTac to Boeing Field, where they'll land till the lease discussion gets cleared up.

Whale plates: According to Howie Garrett, three students from Snohomish High School (north of Seattle) sponsored a bill to get the orca whale on the Washington State Plate. The money raised would go to research and preservation of the dwindling Southern Resident Community. Similar plates have raised millions in Florida for Manatees, dolphins and sea turtles.

Representative John Lovick sponsored their bill and Rep. Aaron Reardon co-sponsored it after listening to the presentation.

Howie says to please let your local representative/senator know if you would like them to support this bill (it is in the process of being assigned a number). Find their email address at this site:

Quote: "When we try to pick out anything else in the Universe, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." John Muir, Sierra Club Founder


March 16, 2001

Grey day: Sort of a grey day today, but people seem to be out and about - it's the season, as folks hustle around getting ready for the summer. Wait'll the weekend...

The picture at the right was taken last summer on the west side. That's what we're gettting ready for.

Shows: Stage Left is presenting "Painting Churches" the first week of April for a couple of weeks. If you haven't seen their work before ("The Tempest" and "Lion in Winter" in '99, "Midsummer Night's Dream" last summer, which I went to twice), you're in for a real treat.

Waxed: The cement guys over at the Fairgrounds who are putting in new sidewalks are making 'em look real good...we're coming to a time when walking to the Fair doesn't mean walking in the mud, eh?

Band on the run: The Battlefield Band's back next weekend for two nights at the Community Theatre. Ya gotta love a band from the UK that has an album called "Leaving Friday Harbor." (review) These Scots have a huge following here - be sure and catch them...

Meanwhile, there's music down at the Front Street Cafe most Saturdays now, and Blues Night at Bella Luna on Wednesdays. Really good music, as a constant reminder how talented an island we have here. Get out & listen.

More run: FHHS hosts its first track meet on the new track today. The last home meet was four years ago, and it's pretty exciting to have the chance to compete without having to go off-island. The San Juan Islander has more on the story.

Babies: Renee and Tim Polda welcomed Victoria (they're calling her Tori) last month, while Jen Allen's due this spring as well. Just heard that Tom Doenges (guitar picker who works at Rock Island) and his wife Tami (she cleans teeth at Mark Fleming's office) are due later this year, as is Tyra over at the labs. And...Becky at InterWest Bank has her last day today: she's due in about three weeks.

Soroptomists celebrate St. Paddy's: Wear green and help support one of the most active service groups on the island this weekend by attending (and eating!) the Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner Saturday night. The deal includes dinner, auction, and dance....and fun. Here's a list of places that sell tickets, or call my friend Rose over at Windermere - that's where I got mine.

Quote: "Until we lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves." - Henry Miller, American author (1891-1980).


March 15, 2001

Whales & whales: I asked Western Prince's Jean to let me know how the Whale Watch meeting on Tuesday went, and she filed this report (it's kinda long so I made a separate page for it).

Sports: Both baseball and softball got started with wins yesterday...way to go. The boys hope to return to state, while the girls hope to build on a solid group from last year. Great things ahead.


History is doomed to repeat itself:

Review the Update from December 18, 2000 - March 16, 2001

Review the Update from July 25, 2000 - December 17, 2000

Review the Update from April 21, 2000 - July 25, 2000

Review the Update from January 1, 2000 - April 21, 2000

Review the Update from October 21, 1999 - December 31, 1999

Review the Update from August 12, 1999 - October 21, 1999

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review the Update from April 3 - May 25, 1998

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

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

The information here is simply stuff we here at By Design think is important around Friday Harbor or on the Island. Some of it's news, some of it's old news, and all are just things we wanted to mention, with most of it about the things that make living here great.

There will be more next week, if anything happens.

Ian Byington

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Other places with info about the island:

San Juan Island: The Web Directory

Everything. Simply everything about the island.


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