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prepared weekly or so by Ian Byington if anything happens around here
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December 8, 2001

Rainy, windy, rainy, windy: The last week and a half has been pretty wet & blustery, as I'm sure you noticed when you had to clean all the fallen limbs out of the yardthe weather report says it may even snow again tonight, but it shouldn't get cold enough to stick for long.

Did you see the snow on Mt. Cady and Mt. Dallas when you go out to the west side? Cool.

Egg Lake Studio: That's it on the right. Read about it below

Tom & Tammy & Levi smoked out: You may have heard the Doenges house had a fire last week ­ the smoke damage is enough that they've had to rent another place while things are cleaned up... everybody, including baby Levi (who's getting big enough to be called Leviathon), is fine.

How we are, really: It seems to me folks are being gentler and more considerate lately...stopping to say "hey" in the street, letting you pass & not being in such a hurry. Yesterday I saw someone in the line of cars getting off the ferry stop and let folks drive across the cross street so they wouldn't have to wait.

It takes a village.

In another's a good time to shop locally for the season, because there are a number of sales & good deals downtown. Let's keep the money here.

Speaking of which, have you seen the cool stuff (lots of new science stuff, too) at both Patty's Osito's and Nancy and Dave's Toy Box? I was just in both in the past week ­ no reason to go off-island after you see what THEY have.

County settles: That civil rights lawsuit based on a claim that sheriff deputies improperly entered a home without a search warrant has been settled out of court, with the County paying the plaintiffs $35,000 and requiring the Sheriff and the department to undergo search and seizure training. You can read more in the San Juan Islander story.

Other political news: By now you've seen the news: The vote recounts found Bob Mancuso beat Bryn Barnard by a scant 11 votes for that school board seat, while Howie Rosenfeld will join the Town Council instead of Wally Gillette by virtue of his 2-vote margin.

Events: A couple of events you might want to think about this weekend: The Lighted Boat Parade today (the sign on the side of Friday Harbor Grocery says it's at 5pm, other places say it's at 6...but it's sometime around then and always fun to see everyone decked out

It includes the Santa Ship, with that old elf making a trip to the Middle School Commons after he gets there. Take the kids, and make sure you've been good.

And...Diana and the good folks at Island Studios are putting on a customer appreciation weekend at the store this weekend...drop by and say hi (and get some cookies!)

And drop by Egg Lake Studio (that's it on the right) from 10 to 4 as P.L. Morningstar invites you to visit her studio to see her newest selection of framed botanicals, photographs, cards, and one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments. Several other local artisans whose work also reflects nature will share this Christmas Open Studio, including guest artists Melanie Hester with nature printed artwear, and home holiday decor, and Red Jongert's rustic cabinets. Come and enjoy a cup of hot spiced cider and cookies in the lakeside woodland setting that serves as inspiration for much of the art on display. Located at 2011 Egg Lake Road.

Also - On Sunday, December 9th, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., eight B&B's are holding an Open House Tour to benefit the San Juan Island Food Bank. They are asking people to bring donations of cash or non-perishable food items to each of
the B&B's they visit. The following B&B's of the San Juan Island B&B Association are opening their doors to the public and collecting donations while serving light refreshments and goodies: Arbutus Lodge, Friday's Historical Inn, Halvorsen House, Inn to the Woods, Lakedale, San Juan Inn, Tucker House, and Wildwood Manor.

Quote: "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it
was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."
-President Lyndon B. Johnson (upon signing of the Wilderness Act, 1964)

Noble Nobels: Have you heard about the Alternative Nobels, also known as the Right Livelihood Awards? You should have. They're for people who should get awards for what they do.check 'em out.

November 28, 2001

Let it snow...let it snow...let it stick: Not likely, since it's 40 degrees outside. Slush & wet, mostly, but still pretty to wake up to.

Isn't it funny how you wake up faster when you have kids and you think you're gonna miss school? Isn't it something how quick the kids pop out of the sack....

But school wasn't called off, or even delayed today - that's Cathy Hunter's class (click on the photo to make it bigger) with the lights on at the middle school this morning at 8am, as shot by my ace photographer (and sixth grader) Shay.

Dave's planning to go: Heard at my basketball practice last night (his kid plays 4th grade ball with me) that Dave Anderson and Denise and the kids are planning on leaving at the end of the year in June...Dave's gotten the boys' basketball program on a regular playoff-contending schedule these last few years, and did a great job filling for the football program tis past fall.

Meteors: Did you see the Leonid meteors the other night? Here's a writeup.

ATM/tree/permit dispute continues: Although the Journal made it sound like a done deal, the permit controversy about that ATM across from the ferry continues (read bout it here.) You'll remember this spring that nearly 100-year-old tree was cut down to make way ATM machine. Issues aside, I miss the the issue is whether, basically, shoreline permitting allows the machine.

'Tis nearly the season: You can tell that Thanksgiving's over, since folks downtown are hanging up their lights and decorations. That's the Theater getting decorated on Sunday (left) - even though it's called the Palace Theater now, everyone I know still calls it the Royal. Same as people going to Whitey's (Friday Harbor Grocery) or the place in Pope's Building Supply (now Island Living) or the Riptide....

New whale babies: Howie Garrett files this report:

All around Puget Sound whale watchers are celebrating the birth of two new orca calves in K and L pods. On October 29, researcher Mark Sears spent the day with J's, K's & some of L's from daybreak to dusk in south Puget Sound, & observed & photographed a new calf, with fetal folds clearly visible. The calf was guarded closely by about six females.

Then on November 4, Mark reported lots of whales again in south Puget Sound, (could've been all 3 pods again). He was able to ID another new calf!!! The calf was with its mother, L67, who had a calf in '99 that disappeared this past year. As of November 24 both calves were reported doing just fine.

This brings the Southern Resident orca community up to 81 members (counting Lolita of course). We're also happy to report that no Southern Residents have disappeared in the past six months. Salmon runs this year have been the most plentiful in twenty years due in part to improved ocean conditions, which has brought the Residents into the lower Puget Sound on numerous occasions. You can follow the whales' movements and see a map showing the whales' recent locations.

Real estate update: People ask me all the time how's real estate doing up here on the island (they usually ask from "down there")...they wonder if business is down because of the recession, or up because people want out of the city, or what.

One way to stay in touch with this is to read Merri Ann Simonson's newsletter, which tracks quarterly trends and such. If anyone knows, she knows.

More snow: Here's a kind of artsy snow photo from this morning, on the branches about a half hour before sunrise (hence the blue snow...)

Greens meet today: This note from Tom Munsey:

The public is invited to attend an important meeting of the Green Party of San Juan County on Nov. 28, 2001, at Skagit Valley College, classroom C, at 5:00pm after the recounts of the school board and town council races on the same day. In addition to discussing the recounts, the meeting will cover other important local ssues, including the proposed solid waste disposal procedures and the proposed Cattle Point Road relocation. Contact:


November 24, 2001

Weather you like it: Yep, it was great yesterday outside. Great day to get out & play...more today, I hope.

Rumor: Someone told me Friday at the Artisans' Bazaar that Madonna was seen out at Roche earlier that day. Go look yourself, and let me know. This Update is dedicated to important news like that. Dedicated.

And - I saw Vonda from the Inns and asked her if I could take a photo for her broken arm (right) - she said she slipped at the drug store...

Speaking of Roche Harbor, former Marketing Maven Chris Watling tells me she's pulling together another 'old-time' Christmas get together at RH this next month...she'll tell us more, soon - last year everyone who attended dressed up like a scene from "A Christmas Carol"... it was great.

In other Roche news, Chris' replacement, Deborah Hopkins, has sold her Oregon house & has moved (finally!) her family up to the island...she had been commuting to Portland each weekend.

Elect 'em, danno: At this point, the election has finally been certified, with two races going to a recount this next week: Bryn Barnard appears to have lost to Bob Mancuso by nine votes, while Howie Rosenfeld beat Wally Gillette by one vote. We'll let you know if the recount changes anything....

Quake: You felt the 3 point something tremblor a couple of Saturdays ago (there was a 4.0 in Spokane the next day, which feels kinda close)...with quakes in Afghanistan and Japan yesterday, makes you wonder if one's coming around...

Artisans' Bazaar: When you go to the Bazaar Saturday, drop by and see the bracelets made by Jenny, Judy, Winn, and Kara (top, right). Then go see Whale Tales author Peter Fromm's booth (middle) with his newer photos as well as copies of the books (volumes one & two).

Then...see everyone. This is as close to a town square meeting as it gets - and everybody you know is there.

There's a big push to shop locally this winter - make it start here. Drop by & see my first attempt at a booth - Cameron & Shay & I collected 17 cds & tapes from different musicians on the island, and had a wonderful day selling them & are looking forward to tomorrow. Drop by & say hullo.

Gone & back: Remember I mentioned I'd be away (below) and for you to write if something happened?

Nobody wrote.

You gotta know: Two places to give this holiday season are the local Dollars for Scholars and The San Juan Island Foundation. These organizations are two of the most active on the island - getting our grads to college, and helping the community.Help 'em out...and help our own.

Quotes: My friend Kathy sent me several quotations from a book called "Voices of Peace"...I thought about picking some out, then decided to print the whole thing...I think the times require it:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me show love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

--St. Francis of Assisi

It is very difficult to achieve peace and harmony through competition and hatred, so the practice of kindness is very, very, important, and very, very valuable in human society.

--The Dalai Lama

The world shall never know peace while one man will look at another and pass judgement on him, for this is the seed of war.

--Metropolitan Anthony Bloom.

When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace, a thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.

--Abdul Baha

When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight. When you see in yourself the wish that the other person stop suffering, that is a sign of real love.

--Thich Nhat Hanh

If only it were so simple, If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously doing evil deeds, and it were necessary simply to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line separating good from evil runs through every human heart, and who is willing to destroy a piece of their own heart?

--Alexander Solzhenitsyn

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each person's sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.


It is quite clear that where our Lord is, peace reigns and anger has no place. I could see no sort of anger in God, however long I looked. Indeed, if God were to be angry but for a moment we could not live, endure, or be!

--Julian of Norwich

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.


Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

--Matthew 18:21

You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I tell you, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

--Jesus Christ

Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state. Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another. Even as a mother protects with her own life her child, her only child, so with a boundless heart one should cherish all living beings.


"Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?
Expediency asks the question: is it politic?
Vanity asks the question: is it popular?
But conscience asks the question: is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position
that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular --
but one must take it simply because it is right."
--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Events: A couple of deals you might check out:

*In what it hopes will become a major event in Friday Harbor's growing number of holiday attractions, the San Juan Historical Museum has announced plans for An Old-Fashioned Holiday Celebration, to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, December 3rd at the Museum on Price Street.

A number of events will be packed into a very short evening, according to
Jennifer Fleming, director of the Museum. Those now scheduled are:

- A special lighting ceremony, including the Resource Center and all seven
historic buildings on the Museum site
- Strolling holiday carolers
- Open fire roasted chestnuts, served with hot homemade cider.
- Two complete model train displays manned by the San Juan Islands Model
- Special holiday decorations in the Log Cabin, King Farmhouse and Museum
Resource Center buildings
- Holiday treats, including a visit from Old Saint Nick.

Made possible by generous grants from Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands and
Lowe's of Mount Vernon, the Old-Fashioned Holiday Celebration looks to
establish itself as an annual centerpiece event, following on the highly
successful outdoor lighting program begun a number of years ago in Friday

"We have been most pleased by the enthusiastic response to our idea and we
think people will become more and more aware of the special treat we have in
store for them," said Ms. Fleming. "If I were you I'd be looking out for
young girls and families dressed in yesteryear's finery passing out
information on the celebration.

Committee members from the Museum who have put the celebration together
include Lynn Curtis, Donna Donahoo, Mark Fleming, Mike Fleming, James Lane,
Mona Meeker, and Richard Walker.

Also, at Waterworks Gallery: Joseph Lesser (pastels) and Kevin Pettelle (bronze sculpture) are on display till the stuff. Drop by & see it.

November 13, 2001

Windy, windy, windy: The wind we've been blustering with the last few hours is expected to continue for the next couple of days...nice and warm and fun to walk in, so far.

Election continues: I just talked to Sandy Gillespie, the County Elections Supe, and she says it's still to close to call the Howie/Wally town council race (they're tied, with absentee ballots still out) and the Bryn & Bob school board race. She invited me (and you) to check out the County's site for the latest...but it's gonna take a while, with a probable recount in the works.

It's OK. Real democracy's worth waiting for. Count 'em all. Here's a story where they didn't.

Drive-through hotel: Vonda Sheiman over at the Inns at Friday Harbor tells me that Sunday night/Monday morning someone lost control of their car & rammed it accidentally through a wall at the Suites...she was glad to be able to report there were no injuries, except to the hotel wall...

The Flying Burrito acrooss the street has a fly-through window, but that's different.

Dustrude for mayor: I heard John Dustrude got a write-in vote for mayor. Good idea.

Off-island: I've gotta go off-island to an environmental conference in Leavenworth for the next three days (it's at a place called the Sleeping've heard of it?). So - if anything happens while I'm away, would you write a little note to me at, and we'll post 'em Sunday if they're good. And true.


November 7, 2001

Elected, almost: There are still absentee ballots to count, but as of late last night, the school board race between Bryn Barnard and Bob Mancuso was within a couple of votes, as was the Town Council race between Wally Gillette and Howie Rosenfeld.

David Jones easily won the other Town seat, while Mike Ahrenius will take over on the Port Commission for retiring Charlie Nash.

On the hospital board, former doc James Patterson, teacher Homer Smith, and sheriff's deputy Lyle Tarte landed seats in what was perhaps the more controversial of the races this year.

For updated election results, go to the San Juan Islander.

Blue moon: You knew that full moon on Halloween was the second full moon of the month, right? That's where the expression "happens only once in a blue moon" comes Halloween blue moon is in 19 years.

Auction action: Yep, the Chamber of Commerce's big auction is this Saturday - get your tickets now....hope to see you there!

Mainstream media reports the obvious, says it's crowded: An Associated Press story reports that the world appears to have a population problem. The report notes most growth would occur in the developing world & blames that for increased consumption, comletely ignoring the over-consumption patterns of the developed world, whose people use over 70% of the world's resources.

This comes on the heels of The National Geographic devoting an entire issue to population in '98, Time magazine calling population the single biggest problem of the new millenium (in '99), and, according to the FAO at the UN, 36,000+ people dying of starvation on September 11 (the Hunger Site says about 24,000 die every day of starvation.

Heads in the sand no more.We know. It's time to do something about it.

Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler's ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.
-- William Stafford, "Allegiances,"
from Stories That Could Be True, 1977


November 5, 2001

Dawn's early light: That's all we had to see by this morning, as a pole fell across a power line on Guard Street this morning...OPALCO spokesperson Kathy says town's power has been restored (about 7 this morning), and the rest of the island should be back online later this morning.....

Play rocks: Be sure & catch Dancing at Lughnasa at the Theatre this weekend - last chance for ya. I saw it last night (the Sunday early show) and it was of the island's gems. Susan Williams is an incredible director, and her ensemble cast and she deliver the goods. Make plans now...


November 3, 2001

Children's Parade of Books - It's been a tradition for years at Friday Harbor Elementary - on Halloween, kids & teachers (and a few moms & dads!) dress up as a character in a favorite book, like the orca kid at the right from "Davy's Dream."

Then the whole school takes a walk (that would be the same as a parade) down to King's Market and back to show the whole town what's going on. The fifth graders usually take a side trip to the Convalescent Center to say "hi" to the folks there as well. Here are photos from this year's parade last Wednesday.

See how many of our great kids you know on this page!

Soccer bows out: Both teams entered the playoffs with high hopes and on a bit of a roll, but came up short on Friday. The boys ended what may be their most successful season so far with a 1-0 loss in the early afternoon to University Prep here on the muddy FHHS field, followed by the girls 5-0 loss to Bear Creek in the early evening (the girls had lost 2-0 to BC earlier in the season). The losses drop FHHS from the playoffs, but not from planning ahead: the girls return everybody next year because this year's squad has no seniors. Watch out.

Play's the Thing: Dancing at Lughnasa opened last night at the Theatre to great reviews. Read about, then get yourself down to see it. Tonight or tomorrow would be OK.

Get a way: I mentioned that Helen and San Juan Travel closed earlier in October, but remember Roberta and her crew at Great Getaway Travel are standing by to help you with your travel plans.


October 31, 2001

Halloween: It's a bit rainy this morning, but let's see how that plays out when it's time to trick or treat this get a preview (weather permitting) of kids in costume, arrange to be in town for the annual costume parade at 1:00 that FHES puts on.

Meanwhile, there are all kinds of places and parties to attend - one you might drop by is the candlelit contra dance over at the Grange. People all dressed up & someplace to go....

Closed: You heard that San Juan Travel closed...Helen Jepsen closed the doors on the 16th after 30 years of serving the community. She told me everyone on the staff who wanted jobs found 'em in town; I saw Sherry over at Islanders already. Helen says it was time - and leaves with no regrets and a smile on her face.

Passing: Jim Lawrence's dad Hugh's memorial service was Saturday...the genial elder Lawrence will be much missed.

Soccer plays on: Both the girls' team (Friday, here) and the boys' team (winning last night over Orcas) move on to the playoffs...the girls are at home for their first match - get out & cheer 'em on!

October 19, 2001

Rain, rain, go away...: Yesterday was one of the wettest this fall, with gray skies all day and what seemed like a continual drizzle or more all day....sure was nice the rest of the week, though.

I took a walk with a friend on Tuesday over to the elementary school when it was breezy but sunny, and he pointed to the clouds to the southeast and pronounced them rain clouds.

And they have lots of traffic down there, too.

Girls' soccer: Coach Randy took the girls to LaConner last night and won 2-1 in overtime on a crossing pass/shot from Mariya Porten - this follwed an earlier game this week in which they knocked off Concrete for the second week in a row by a 4-1 count. Wins over LaConner this week and next will pave the way to the playoffs....the girls play Seattle Lutheran Saturday here and finish with with the LaConner showdown on Thursday here.

VB & Boys soccer: Doggone - The girls were 2-2 in matches against ATM in Seattle last night, and 14-14 in the last game - and lost. Can't get much closer than that...meanwhile the boys soccer guys lost 3-1 to Shoreline Christian last night.

A light shines: These days it seems the news just gets darker and darker - islander Bruce Conway has taken matters into his own talented hands to produce a website called - he calls it "good news, resources, and e-publishing for challenging times. A nice balance to the usual news offered up....check it out.

Dan: Daniel Finn sings tonight at the there.

Island Studios celebrates sisth summer: At the Island Studios annual potluck last night, artists were treated to music by classical guitarist Homer Smith (yeah, he's teaching music over at FHES, and runnng for the hospital board) as well as good food..

Island Studio owner Diana Manning reported the shop now carries the work of about 125 artists, and racked up its best summer so far in sales this summer. You know the shop splits sales revenue with the artists - Diana informed the crowd that thus far the store has paid out nearly $1.2 million dollars since oopening in 1996. Wow!

If you haven't been by the store lately, you gotta get in there and check out the great job Diana and her staff & volunteers (and a bunch of talented artists!) are doing.

Blake passes: Remember Blake Howell who bought Marshall Davis' Heartworks back in '96 & turned it into Custom Screen Printing? He passed away a couple of weeks ago...he'd been ill for a while.

I remember back in the fall of '98 the FHHS girls soccer team had ordered its sweatshirts for the season - Blake and his wife Linda stayed up a couple of nights finishing them just so we could have them for our first away game...even delivered 'em to the ferry so we could wear 'em that day.

He'll be missed.

Homecoming: It was fun to see the Homecoming Parade last Friday night, and maybe even more fun to have our big game under the lights that night (right, from the endzone). You know we just got the lights a couple of years ago - it's made a huge difference to our sports program, being able to schedule games at night, especially beautiful evenings like last Friday.

The queen (Melissa Peacock) was announced at the half, and that wasn't the only surprise - our 0-5 Wolverines, who keep playing ranked teams tough, were ahead of Concrete 19-7.

We struggled to get the offense going in the second half though, and the visitors came back to nose ahead, and win, by a count of 27-19. The boys played hard.... and continue to show improvement every game.

Quote: "Fame without achievement -- the safest thing I know." - playwright Douglas Carter Beane, from his "As Bees in Honey Drown."

About us: did you know the county has more than 40% more people now than ten years ago? Did you know 19% of our population is under 18, and 19% is over 65? Did yu know nearly 15% of our county's kids live under the poverty line? YOu can review this and more at the Census Bureau's website which tells you more than anyone could tell you about us.


October 11, 2001

Big fingernail: Nice moon overhead at 6am, with stars and clear skies. See whatcha miss when you sleep in?

It may rain later, so get outside and play. Quick.

Kids' Festival: Don't miss the Children's Festival this Saturday! This completely free event is a true community event, with folks from all over town and the island putting on all kinds of activities at the Fairgrounds...10:30am - 2:30pm. Be there - take your kids.

If you don't have kids, go see what great kids we have around here.

Speaking of kids: There's more to the bombing of Kabul than what's in the papers. An Afghan nurse wonders what it's like to live in peace and security as war returns to her country....

More than a few folks I've run into in the street here are apprehensive about what we're doing in the war, and what a wider war could look like. This thing has a long run ahead of it...

Moving on: Just heard Kathryn Dernham's moving on from the Library...the longtime volunteer coordinator is taking a year to knock out training to be a paralegal. She's there till the end of the month...meanwhile, go by and say hi to Laura Tretter, who has stepped into Sally Eaton's place in the children's library.

Soccer rocks: The FHHS boys soccer team made fans for itself with its 2-1 win over Lopez last Friday night - by all reports amongst parents and kids on Saturday morning at the FHES soccer fields (games are played there each Saturday.)

According to longtime soccer player and coach Bruce Robinson, the guys are "looking to pass, playing good defense, and making some good runs at the goal." According to fifth grade soccer ace Evan Anderson, they were "cool." I found twelve different kids who attended the game, wanting to know why I wasn't there (I was home with a sick kid, thank you.) There in spirit, though.

Their last home game is today at 4:30 at the high school....then they're on the road for the last three games of their schedule.

Meanwhile, it was pretty cool to see the girls shake off a 2-2 tie against Concrete's girls squad with Shay Hopkins' breakaway goal four minutes into overtime for a 3-2 result.

Next up: ATM (that's Archbishop Thomas Murphy High) today, at their place.

Mariners: You could hear the Mariners' game on radios Tuesday pretty much everywhere you went in town (including on the TV with Nancy's afterschool program at FHES.) Fans everywhere - all hoping for a course correction after Tuesday's opening playoff loss to Cleveland. Game's at one today.

Passing: Just heard yesterday that outspoken Jan Jameson passed away...she had told me a couple of years ago she was the first woman deputy in this county, and a couple of years before that outlined her plans for that book she helped co-write & co-produce, "You Know You're An Islander When..." She'll be missed.

Party parties: The Green Party is holding their monthly meeting on the interisland ferry on Saturday, while the Democrats are meeting at Bella Luna in Friday Harbor the same day (call those guys for details.) The GOP's probably meeting sometime, too.

Quote: "Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood." -- M.K. Gandhi (1869-1948), "Non-violence in Peace and War"


October 10, 2001

Rain comes: Yep, we woke up to a windy, rainy, wet morning today, which makes the last six weeks seem like a dream - we've had a beautiful autumn start so far. Today was a nice day to ride your bike - the wind made it feel like the wicked witch of the west was going by.

Step up: The Dance Workshop's putting on a show this weekend at the Theatre. For more than a decade Selena's been putting on a fall show...this popular show displays the talents of local dancers and the artistic choreography of Forster, Lisa Duke and Freya Vaughn. Featured this year are Etienne Capko's African dancing, several talented local singers and three dance companies from the mainland. Shows are Friday night and Saturday afternoon...get your tickets now!

Daniel plays inside: Remember I mentioned that you can hear Dan Finn practicing at the Fairgrounds some mornings...? He's got a full concert scheduled for Friday the 19th at the Theatre. If you haven't heard him before, believe me - you'll be glad you went. Better hurry up & get your tickets - the people who HAVE heard him before are already getting theirs....

Felicitations update: Yes, it's true - Felicity told me last month she made 19 cakes on a Saturday...a new record. That was in addition to her usual outlay of work...there were a lot of weddings that weekend. She needs help and she's gonna get it...a fellow baker named Vinny is moving from New York at the first of next month to give her a hand.

Abe: You know Abe from the Lighthouse (you probably know him better from the Ale House, where he was a fixture as cook & kitchen manager for years)...he's been back at work for a couple of months now, working a modified schedule after that heart attack scare during the summer...

SUVs - aggh!: One of the things that is kinda noticable around the island is the proliferation of SUVs and other big-truck type Associated Press story notes that the auto makers aren't doing anything to improve gas mileage, even though administration officials say it would help with oil conservation. Congress killed a bill that would require automakers to improve gas economy in August....

Is this any way to look after the environment? Instead of looking for new places to drill, let's use what we have more wisely & carefully & thoughtfully.... we could conserve ourselves into self-sufficiency, instead of going in the other direction.


September 26, 2001

Roadway blues: Think twice if you're coming up Argyle Street...the construction along the roadway has slowed things up, especially around school times inthe morning and afternoon. The cars going to FHES were backed up all the way to the Fitness Center this morning - it looked like a great number of tardy slips were gonna be written at school. Couple of school buses were in line, too.

Foggy, then rain: You've seen the pattern before - Monday it was very foggy to start the day, which gave way to a beautiful sunny day. Tuesday it was foghorns in the harbor with an even foggier start to the day, which was kinda gray. Then the rains came - starting last night and into the day today. Kinda wet out there. Tomorrow it's supposed to clear up some, though.

Gotta good book? It's the weather for that....

What it's like: A number of people write me and ask what it's like here - to live here and to be surrounded by one of the most beautiful spots in the continent. I like to respond with this collection of photos by Rainshadow Arts' Mark Gardner which I believe captures the spirit of the islands well.

See what you think.

Eye of the storm: When Strategic News Service's (and San Juan Island's) Mark Anderson (right) went to Washington, DC a couple of weeks ago, he (and most of the world) had no idea what was about to happen. He wrote up his experiences and thoughts about being in DC during the terrorist attack for the San Juan Islander. Fascinating to read....

Business is down: As I've checked around town the last couple of weeks, it seems like things have crawled to a halt (or at least, considerable slowdown) in the wake of the terrorist activity 15 days ago. Most of my bed & breakfast friends around here have told me things are pretty slow at their places - lots of cancellations as people ditch their travel plans - while Thlayla over at the Inns of Friday Harbor's front desk says numbers have been down there, too.

Last one, maybe: I saw a yellow jacket yesterday, by himself. I think he's the last one for the season. Hope so.

Oktoberfest this weekend: Check out the Oktoberfest celebration at the Fairgrounds this weekend...

Journal/Sounder buy: For the inside skinny on the Sounder buying the Journal, check out the writeup in last week's Journal.


September 20, 2001

Terrorist attack aftermath, on the island: Like most of the country, and world,, folks on the island have been digesting the news this last nine days, trying to come to grips with the horrible events as well as an appropriate response to them. There have been memorials, moments of silence to begin meetings and classes, discussions at school, and prayers, as people try to understand what's happening.

It's obvious one of the things lost in last week's attack was a sense of innocence...a sense that we were safer than we were, and are. However, if the event makes us just a bit more thoughtful about how all this came to be, maybe some good will come of it.

Tonight the president will speak to Congress and detail his thoughts about the situation, and the country's response to it. I wonder if he'll mention that the USA gave the Taliban folks $48 million just last May because they had "banned drugs" in Afghanistan. $48 million! Or that his dad and President Reagan sponsored Osama bin Laden's terrorist training...?

But as way leads on to way, some stark choices remain - do we respond to a terrorist attack with attacks that will kill unwitting and uninvolved civilians? There was a letter to the editor in the Journal this week that spoke to this:

I hope our country will exert moral leadership by refraining from retaliation against the innocent people of another city.

We honor those killed in last week's terrorist attack not by acting like terrorsits ourselves but by honoring human life everywhere. (Louise Dustrude)

History was made last week, in a terrible way. We have a chance to plot a new course...

Flag dedication: The last flagpole put up in front of the middle school was placed there in 1939 when it was THE school on the island...a new flagpole will be dedicated this morning, with descendents of students then in attendance. Timely, during this period of our history....

Kids get it right: Speaking of the middle school - new science teacher Jack McKenna mentioned last night that 60 kids did an experiment a week or two ago in which they stood 600 feet apart, clapped two boards together, listened for the echo, timed the difference in time between the board clap and hearing it with stop watches...then pulled the results together, created a bell curve that indicated the speed of sound in miles per hour, and were off by just 10 miles an hour from the real speed of sound.

Pretty cool result for a bunch of kids with stop watches.

We need the same approach with our town council tonight, as they review the next decade's water plan.

According to Charlie Meyer and others, the data from different studies that's been accumulated over the past year doesn't jive. We need, like the six graders did, to find the point of convergence - the apex of that bell curve - before we make final decisions. I think that's what they're talking about tonight - I hope they get the information to agree first, or at least discover why it presently doesn't.


September 14, 2001

Bells ring for New York, Washington: I received this note from Commissioner Darcie about an event today you may want to attend...

Hi, Ian! - Below is what we have sent out around the community for tomorrow. The school is also doing the same thing at the same time on the Football Field. Can you post it on your update...Thanks!

To all employees, elected officials, department heads, and public;

Please note the following press release from Governor Locke. San Juan County will be participating by gathering at the Flag Pole on the Courthouse Lawn at 12:25 p.m. The remembrance will proceed as below.

Law enforcement and fire vehicles will be ready to sound sirens for the fallen emergency responders at 12:29, a minute of silence follows and then at 12:31 the of ringing of bells for one minute. If any of you know any church or business who have bells, please forward this on to them so that we may have bells ringing.

All county employees and the public are encouraged to participate. All citizens are invited, so please help us get the word out.

Thank you all. And remember to wear your red, white and blue!


From the governor: Message from Governor Gary Locke , September 13, 2001

I am asking the citizens of the state of Washington to join in the
President's call for a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance on Friday,
September 14.

Specifically, I invite all Washingtonians to observe a moment of silence
tomorrow from 12:30 to 12:31 p.m. I encourage communities throughout our
state to hold gatherings at this time to enable people to come together to
reflect upon the tragic events of last Tuesday.

As a nation, we are wounded ... but in the words of Abraham Lincoln, we will
bind up our nation's wounds with the strength and resolve of our people and
emerge even stronger and more determined.

I hope all Washingtonians will join in this observance. It is a time to
unite as a community, as a state, and as a nation to honor the memory of the
victims and to express our heartfelt condolences and unwavering support.


September 11, 2001

World Trade Center/Pentagon bombing: As news continues to come in about the bombing in New York and Washington, flags at school are at half-mast for the victims. Things are pretty calm, and at FHHS classes where it's appropriate are discussing events and watching the news. The Back To School evening planned for this evening at the middle school has been postponed till next week, and the elementary school is keeping things pretty low-key.

Journal bought by Sounder: I was hearing rumors in the street this weekend, and Matt and Sharon have the story in the San Juan Islander: It appears the Journal of the San Juans has been purchased by the folks who run the Sounder. Plans for the nearly century-old paper are still being released...

United Way rockin': Steve Buck tells me the local United Way campaign is off to a fast start - they've received over $30,000 of their $110,000 goal in the first two weeks. Get your envelope in the mail today.

Fire Station is grand: The Grand Opening for the fire station on Mullis Street is set for Saturday from 10am to 1pm...on our little tinderbox of an island, this added insurance is welcome. Drop by & see what's new.

Yella: If it seems like there are a lot of yellow jackets around, that's because there have been. There's been a run on yellow jacket traps at the hardware store, but as the weather continues to cool, that'll take care of 'em.

Out at the recycling center this weekend, they were everywhere, especially in the aluminum cans & pop bottles that people DIDN'T RINSE OUT. Guy who worked there said they weren't as bad as they had been, though.

Good start: The FHHS girls soccer team became the first squad since the team was launched seven years ago to win the first game of the Randy Martin tells me the girls beat Seattle Lutheran 1-0 (after losing two to them last year) with a balanced, patient attack. This year's team has no seniors, and already seems to be playing with a maturity that could take them places. They'll put their undefeated status on the line tonight at 4:30pm against Concrete, a new member of our league.

Meanwhile, the boys lost to Orcas 3-1 on Saturday, and the football team kept it close in their Friday loss, the first game under interim coach Dave Anderson.

Meanwhile (again!) the fall soccer season got going on a beautiful made-for-being-outside Saturday, with games all day, and the football games home all day as well. It was great.

New Farm Products Guide available: Lovell Pratt tells me the WSU Cooperative Extension in San Juan County has published the San Juan Island Farm Products Guide, a guide to the bounty and diversity of San Juan Island farm products. Find the freshest ingredients for dinner, nursery plants for your yard and garden, comforters to sleep under and scarves to knit, flowers, seafood, honey, and the perfect outing a farm to visit.

Copies of the San Juan Island Farm Products Guide are available for free at the WSU Cooperative Extension Office, 221 Weber Way; and at the San Juan Island Library. This new guide and the Lopez Island Farm Products Guide are also available on the WSU/San Juan County website at

The San Juan Island Farm Products Guide was produced and published with a grant from the USDA's Food Security Program.

Massage: Deborah Johnson has opened her new massage studio over on Rose Lane - she calls it Dancing Hands Massage. She also has some jewelry for sale down at Dolphin Arts on first Street. Call for an appointment at 1070 or 8936.



History is doomed to repeat itself:

Review the Update from June 7 , 2001 - September 10, 2001

Review the Update from March 17, 2001 - June 6, 2001

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:

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