Friday Harbor - San Juan Island Update

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Prepared weekly or so by Ian Byington, if anything happens around here

June 13, 2003

Graduation season begins: Skagit Valley College's graduation exercises were held yesterday afterrnoon at the Grange to an overflowing crowd.

It had moments to remember: Representatives from Washington State conferred the first ever Bachelor's degree to an island student who earned it through the distance education program. And it wasn't just proud mom Chinmayo and proud aunt Susan Grout who were proud of Vail McClure (right, with SVC grad Beau before the ceremony): The graduates and the crowd offered her a standing ovation as the mom of two stepped up to get her degree. And thus was history made.

Eleven graduates received their AA degrees as part of the ceremony: Colleen Smith, Katie Leed, Heather Wilhelm, Matthew Carter, Arian Drake-Raue, Micah Hogan, Beau Hubbard, Frank Reeve, Rachelle Robinson, Tara Staehlin, and Maggie La Riviere.

The other highlight of the evening was hearing people talk about retirng English teacher Francie Kisko, who has been teaching English classes since the San Juan Center opened in its present location up above the airport in 1996. Francie's work is much appreciated, she is much loved, and she will be missed.

The high school's graduation is this Saturday at 6; Spring Street School's is on Sunday.

Casino royale: Did you hear that Barbara Dollahite at Gallery San Juan was chosen to provide the art for that new casino on I-5 the Tullalips are building? She tells me the idea her work will be seen by so many people is exciting, and that it's an honor to be chosen.

Flag Day: Oren Combs from the Ale House tells me a flag pole dedication ceremony is planned for Saturday, June 14th, at 2pm at Memorial Park in Friday Harbor. This Flag Day ceremony will dedicate the new, taller flag pole that was given to the Town earlier this year. A procession will start at Town Hall, head down Second Street, and onto Spring Street to the park.

Battery D's 1860's Color Guard will be joined by fellow re-enactors who are spending the day at American Camp for a living history weekend, as well as the Town Fire Department, with the 1927 Cadillac. A proclamation from the Mayor will be read, and the color guard will hoist the flag. All are welcome to watch or participate in the procession and ceremony.

Music that works;
Did you go to hear the middle school bands last night? They were great - band director Janet Olson does an absolutely great job with three different middle school groups, and has some awesome talent on hand as her eighth graders move up to the high school next year. Way to go.

June 11, 2003

Gravel pit bought: The County Commissioners voted yesterday to approve purchase of the gravel pit for $1.5 million dollars. While the purchase is certain to inspire continued spirited discussion about the best way to develop the land (and for parts, to preserve it), this is a visionary move that will have an impact on the way the island develops, is perceived, and is able to offer recreational opportunities, far into the future.

Matt & Sharon have more about this on the San Juan Islander (they tend to go to meetings about this stuff.)

Matt, uncovered: Speaking of Matt (right), he was often confused with Pierre (who wrote for the Sounder that became the Journal), when he was editor of the Journal (you keeping this straight?) 'cause they look a little bit alike.

Not now, as you can see.

New looks; Have you see the new re-design of the Friends of the San Juans website? easy to find info, and informative - check it out.

Meanwhile, at Ware House Coffee, Dwight & Judy just hired Lindsey Buck to work - you'll remember Lindsey started her own little coffee shop next to Coldwell Banker a few years back. Stop in and say hey. Oh, yeah...their daughter Rachel just left to move to Eugene for college on Monday this week.

Doing good: Have you dropped by the San Juan Community Foundation website lately? Check it out to get an idea of the good things they do for this island & our community.

The part I like is if you look over the list of groups they work with, it's groups that pull people together & make things better.

Mailbag: There are kind of lot of folks writing in this week, what with UFOs, marathons, and such.

From Bothell:

Could you solve a mystery?

I was camping on the southeast end of Shaw Saturday night, and was woken by loud thunderous booming that lasted for 10 – 15 minutes. At first I thought it WAS thunder, but quickly decided the weather forecast didn’t support that theory. I considered a number of other somewhat less rational scenarios, and finally came up with fireworks. The big kind, like a city uses on the 4th of July. But since it’s a month too early for that, I thought maybe there was some Canadian celebration going on. Or is that what military sonar sounds like and they figured they’d get away with it if it were late enough at night? Don’t know exact time, but given the degree of darkness, I’d guess somewhere between 11 pm and 1 am.
I really enjoy checking in with your site. We hope to migrate there (from Bothell) someday, and reading your updates makes me feel like I’ve got a jump on getting acclimated.


That was the folks at the Bayliner Rendezvous over at Roche Harbor setting off fireworks, according to Ed, the Harbormaster over at the Port of Friday Harbor. He said he could hear 'em all the way over at his house as well, so you weren't the only one.

From Eastern Washington, a note to the folks who put on the Marathon (the Update's in the loop on this, because we were one of the sponsors of the event):

I want to thank you and all of your organization for a really great weekend on San Jan Island. We brought a group of thirteen runners from the Bloomsday Road Runners Club in Spokane to your event. We all had rave reviews for your event. This is especially impressive since this was your first running of the marathon.

I found the course to be very challenging, and the most beautiful of the runs that I have participated in. All of the volunteers were extremely nice and positive even when my spirits waned in the last few miles. All of the encouragement really helped about the time I was considering hitchhiking back!

I hope that your event grows and continues to be successful in the coming years.

Jim Hoppe

Another Marathon note:

> I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Marathon on Sunday.
> It was the best racing experience I've had running. You consistently
> outperformed my expectations and even the support/services you published
> you would do. For instance, the original write up said aid stations/water
> every 4 miles. But it felt great passing one every two miles instead.

> The number of volunteers you had at each station throughout the race was
> incredible. It seemed there were 5-7 people at every station. The sheer
> numbers of volunteers you had made the race special. You also, originally
> published awards for the top 5 in ten year increment classes but you
> decided to do 5 years making more people feel great about the race. I've
> ran a lot of races and I've never seen one where every finishing racer was
> asked if they were all right and got personal attention by volunteers
> making sure they were alright. I hope you have had these types of positive
> comments from participants as I plan on being there next year and I'm going
> to make the challenge to my running group that all of them come with me.

> I would also like to encourage you to seek local participants, as a long
> time seasonal resident on Lopez, I found the locals running in the race to
> be inspiring. In particular, early in the marathon I ran with a man named
> Dave Zeretzke although I ran about 6 miles with him he served as a great
> inspiration. The companionship and conversation we had hopefully inspired
> him as much as myself. It's these locals that gave me an experience to
> remember.
> Thanks,
Kent N. Jensen

One last Marathon note:

Please convey my thanks to the many many people that helped with the race yesterday. It was beautiful weather and a beautiful course. I ran the half marathon and enjoyed seeing that there was more to San Juan Island than million dollar waterfront homes. The farms, ponds and woods were lovely. The smell of fresh cut hay added to the ambiance. All the volunteers were so friendly and supportive. (I felt guilty dropping my cup on the roadside for those sweet older ladies on Bailer Hill Road to pick up later.) The loneliest post had to be the nice man on the first right turn (Douglas and Little Road?). Some runner had his own private support team (his wife?) who would ride ahead and stop periodically and be waiting for him with his water bottle, I thought that was rather sweet.

David Ritland

And a note from longtime islander Dick Robinson (he and Kathy owned Hillside House; he taught at FHHS and served for a while on the Town Council, as well):

> Hey Ian,
> We are currently in Bar Harbor, ME, helping out at a campground in
> exchange for a campsite for the summer. This is our first visit to the
> east coast and plan to spend at least two years here before going
> elsewhere. This fall we will head north to the Maritime Provinces until
> winter sets in.
> I now have a MotoSAT satellite dish on the coach so I have great
> internet access 24/7. The rationale getting the dish was to find a
> new source of revenue via the internet to support our wandering. We'll
> see. (The one thing I didn't really want to do was be a webmaster but
> that's what I'm doing for the campground owners!)!
> Good to hear from you, I hope all is well with you and your business.
> Dick

June 8, 2003

Marathon: At seven this morning, Clark McAlpine collected 245 marathoners and half-marathoners at the Fairgrounds, gave them directions, led them in singing "Happy Birthday" for David White's 50th (can you think of a better thing to do to start your second century?), and then started the race.

Here are photos:
of people getting ready to race | the start | people finishing the race.

You'll see FHHS trackster Lucas Franco winning the half marathon for men; Tacoma's Bobbie Howard coming in first in the women's half marathon. You'll see the "winners' circle" of Lucas, Bobbie, Emily Mullin (women's marathon winner) and Michael Bebois of Redmond (men's marathon winner).

You'll see Kerwin Johnson finish, as well as FHHS distance runner Madison Judkins, prosecutor Randy Gaylord, Diana Warner and Laura Tretter from the library, veteran island distance runner Jane Hutchinson, Harvey Brown, and dozens more.

Click here for final results, and check out the photos. See if you're in there.

June 6, 2003

Hotter than you think: The last couple of days have been pretty warm here on the island. Yesterday it was 84 by one o’clock – I didn’t check after that – and it was near 70 this morning by seven, heading for 90 degrees.

This, of course, means people spend longer at lunch, wear shorts to work, and generally look for excuses to sneak outside (“I’ll go get the mail!” “Do you need something at the store?” “Are you staying till five today?”)

Clark McAlpine, organizer of the San Juan Island Marathon this weekend, says the forecast is for hot tomorrow, then no higher than 75 on Sunday, when the run is scheduled to start at 7am.

Clark tells me plans are being made to make more water available on the course.

Distance runner Jane Hutchinson told me she’s concerned about how warm it might be, since she (and others) haven’t trained for that kind of weather. Charlotte from Monroe dropped by my booth at the Expo and said the heat could prove interesting, and was glad to hear there would be extra water stops.

Marathon watch: The Expo, with vendors from all over, continues today at the Fairgrounds. Drop by to see runners, pick up free samples, and if you’re from off-island, get info about our place here.

Clark tells me there’s over 220 runners signed up from all over the country and Canada, with more expected to sign up today and tomorrow. I peeked at the list of pre-registrants (I was looking to see if you were on it), and there are folks from Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon, California, British Columbia, and all points east. Actually, everything is east of here, if you think about it.

Gravel Pit redux: The Board of Commissioners is reviewing the proposal to buy the LaFarge place next week. This would be the first and most important step in getting that project going – acres of land set aside for parks and playing fields. Sally Kerr at Island Rec tells me this is taking a direction that will positively affect the island for years to come.

June 5, 2003

Middle School on the move: Andryne Domico told me this morning she went to put her car in line a bit after seven (a safe bet this time of year), and got overloaded because so many people had hustled to get on the ferry.

One of the prime suspects: The middle school, which is sending the sixth and seventh graders camping for a couple of days. That alone meant there's some 160 kids on the boat (in four buses, like the seventh graders in the picture by Shay to the right), as well as their chaperone parents.

It's cool the kids get a chance to do this together before the end of school.

Meanwhile, the eighth graders are all in Victoria on their trip - they've been gone the whole week, and return tomorrow.

If it seems kinda quiet in town tonight, that might be part of it.

Quote: "We have spiritual needs, which are ultimately rooted in nature, the source of our inspiration and belonging." -- David Suzuki with Amanda McConnell, Authors - The Sacred Balance:Rediscovering Our Place in Nature

Whales in the neighborhood: Remember Jen who worked at the Whale Museum last summer, then went back to college in New York to finish her degree? She dropped by last weekend to say hey, and reported the whales were out & about on the westside last Saturday and Sunday.

You may think if you've seen one whale, you seen 'em all, but sometimes you really DO see 'em all: Yesterday, all three pods of resident whales met on the west side of the island for what's known as a "super pod" in which they meet, greet, mate, and generally jump around a lot. Tom Averna from Deer Harbor Charters wrote up the whole thing in his Notes from the Field on his website.

In other whale news, remember Luna, the calf who was separated or otherwise split up from L-pod? Jean from Western Prince reports a Canadian scientist says Luna's not likely to return to his pod. Those of you that are familiar with the extremely social nature of orcas - they hang together as families for life - might guess this is not good for Luna's future prospects, but it doesn't look as though he wants to be with them, or something.

Research continues.

Teresa on the move: Teresa Smith of Northwest Colors fame is planning to move to Colorado at the end of the summer, taking her watercolors with her. She and Emma dropped by yesterday, as you can see.

Place to get your e-mail: There's a new place called Digital Würkshop down under San Juan Florist (across from the ferry lines), between the Sweet Spot and the Laundromat. They've got a row of Macs set up & online to rent by the minute or hour so folks can get work done, get e-mail, or whatever ya gotta do.

Speaking of the Sweet Spot, owner Kristine tells me she's heading for Poulsbo in a couple of weeks. All the best to her as she re-locates from the island in another part of the world.

Marathon madness: The Marathon's Expo opens tomorrow at the Fairgrounds - vendors will have their booths open from 12-8 on Friday and 10-8 on Saturday. The run, of course, is on Sunday at 7am. Take time to drop by the Fairgrounds and cheer 'em on.

Mailbag: A nice note from Steve Westling in St. Petersburg, Florida:

This is a great website for those of us that miss Friday Harbor.

Thanks, Steve Westling

She's baaack: When you call the school district office these days, besides getting Lisa & Shauna & Dottie on the phone, sometimes you get the familiar voice of Girl Friday...Pam Fitch sometimes subs at the office, and I was surprised to hear her friendly voice the other day when I called for something. You'll remember Pam sold her answering service company to Tanya last year, who's doing a super job with the phone juggling that's involved with a job like that.

Shakespeare in the park! Make your plans now to see Stage Left's Romeo & Juliet the first three weekends of August!

Salmon in trouble: If you care about salmon, you care that scientists are discovering farmed salmon aren't good for the wild ones. Read more.

Quote: "I would argue that practices that destroy ecosystems always destroy jobs." --Bruce Babbitt

June 2, 2003

The sun also rises: If you missed the sunrise this morning, re-set that clock tomorrow. It was great.

Bakery closes: After some four years on Nichols Street, Felicity Milne closed her retail operation at Felicitations Bakery this weekend.

Felicity plans on still making her wonderful wedding cakes, box lunches...and sleeping in. She has been one of the steadiest, most reliable stores on the island, and she'll be missed, as will her scones, cherry danishes, sandwiches, and the whole display case full of good stuff.

Someone who works this hard & well deserves nothing but the best.

Pit: Well, here it is, a year and a month after the big fire in the middle of town (see the May 2002 listing below for photos, if you weren't here...if you were here, you remember), and we're still re-building. The pit that's being dug in the middle of town continues to be leveled and deepened in spots, as you can see in the picture to the right by ace photographer Cameron Byington, looking across the lot towards Herb's.

Where are the businesses? Rosa and Doug are selling shirts and things down by the ferrry in an open shop next to the ice cream place. Stacey at the Hungry Clam has opened up very successfully across the street, while Julie and Lisa re-opened their flower shop in the corner of the building next the ferry. They just met their second Mother's Day orders since the fire, and are doing well.

Ray's indicated he's unlikely to re-open Friday Harbor Grocery, and Wendy & Rick from the Mystical Mermaid are still sorting out their future plans.

Mailbag: This fellow wrote in, in reference to the new flagpole/cell tower erected about a month ago behind the Dance Studio, with a web address that explains concerns about cell towers and their effects on humans:

Responding to your story on May 6, 2003:

Is that not a cell tower in the top photo, on the right side? Why was there a need for one so close to the dance school
when there could have been other locations or on the already present tower?
See this page for more information:

Marathon weekend approaches: The Marathon is set for next Sunday morning, with runners from all over the country (and Canada) coming to compete in the full run or half-marathon. Whether you're doing the full 26.2 miles or the half, you can also swing by the music, tables, and booths at the Marathon Expo at the Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday as well. I'll be there selling my CDs and Tahoe Maps of the islands...come say hey.

And the Theater is in on the act, with a barbershop show Friday and the Bill Hilly Band back on Saturday night. Get your tix now!

After the run, click on the running guy at the top of this page to see the complete results.

New deck: Jerry Gordon's project behind the Doctor's Office coffee place is closing in on being done. It includes a more permanent shelter for the t-shirt place, and a deck above for people who've bought food to sit and eat/drink. Looks different...and better...every day.
(Photo by Shay Byington.)

May 23, 2003

Some things seem to stay the same, some things change. When I visited with Cal Johnson in the ferry parking lot on Saturday before the district track meet, we chatted about the usual stuff: the team’s chances, what baseball and softball were doing this week, the need for more fields around here. What he didn’t mention was that he was moving to Spokane to work in Steve Enoch’s school district after the school year ended. That news came out Monday.

I worked directly with Cal a few years back when I coached the soccer team at the high school, and I can say with authority we’re losing one of the best administrators and athletic directors around. Besides an incredible attention to detail in both policy and logistics, this is one guy who really cares about the kids of this district, and has made a positive and lasting impact during his time here.

He will be missed, and hard to replace.

Cha-cha-cha-changes II: Meanwhile, Sandy Baxter resigned as the county’s chief elections officer about a month ago, and famous drummer Dan Gillespie has been chosen to replace her. Although Dan’s probably better known around here for his high profile drumming, he’s also eminently qualified to handle the elections office. He’ll be a good one.

Change III: Did you see Wendy at M&W Auto Sales & Rentals changed her website? There’s a nice picture of her & Melisa on there, besides a list of all the cars she has for sale. Check it out.

Art this weekend: Whoa! If you don’t have enough art in your life, you can make up for it this weekend here on the island.

There’s the Open House at Island Studios on Saturday & Sunday, with some of the artists there to visit and create while you drop by. Out at Westcott Bay the sculpture park is also sponsoring an “open house” of sorts. (That's "Burnt Canoes II" by Steve Jensen above). You can drop by there while you’re doing the studio tour, which is ALSO this weekend – you can pick up a map from Ruth at waterworks.

There is so much talent on this island, all in one place. This is proof. Don’t miss it.

Give it up: Blood drive. Tomorrow (Friday). At the Grange. See you there.

Our wine – on top!: San Juan Vineyards was awarded a GOLD Medal on their 2001 Reserve Chardonnay at the Riverside State Fair Wine Competition in Riverside, CA. This is one of the largest CA wine competitions, and the Chardonnay was judged with 200 other Chards. This wine is presently available at the Tasting Room only.

Meanwhile, their Annual Barrel Tasting is Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. The Barrel Tasting features tasting of wines from the oak barrels, and other new releases, including Gold Medal Reserve Chardonnay and our newly released Syrah. Door prizes, snacks served, and great fun.

Music at the Theatre: Laura at the Theatre tells me:

We are privileged to host the final concert in the 40th anniversary tour of the Tacoma Youth Symphony on Saturday, May 24, at 7:30 pm. This is a rare opportunity to hear a 75-piece professional-calibre full symphonic ensemble on our stage. It also provides an important opportunity for local students to see what their peers are doing, and what might be possible for their own participation in the performing arts. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students - very affordable for a show of this quality.

Quotes: "Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson

I could say as passionately as Jefferson, "Indeed, I tremble for my planet, when I reflect that Nature is inflexible: that her response to our abuse cannot sleep forever." I'm sure that future generations, coping with the messes we are making, will look back at us with revulsion and ask, "how could they LIVE that way?" – Donella Meadows

May 15, 2003

Questions around town today:

How did the late start for the schools go yesterday?
As you know, the school district is thinking about starting school on Wednesdays next year at 9:30am, with that morning time being spent as staff development time for teachers. Yesterday was the first of two trial "pilot runs" of the schedule, and the feedback I got from kids and parents is that it went smoothly. We'll try it again next Wednesday.

Why is the flag at the post office at half mast today?
It's Law Enforcement Memorial Day, according to Scott who works there. Remembering the folks who have lost their lives in the past year, keeping us safe.

Isn't there a lunar eclipse tonight?
Yep, although it's kind of questionable whether we'll be able to see it, with it happening at dusk & because it's been pretty cloudy today. Read about it here.

Quote: "Not to know is bad. Not to want to know is worse. Not to hope is unthinkable. Not to care is unforgivable." - Nigerian saying, from the Town of Friday Harbor website.

May 13, 2003

Goldfinches are back: You may know them as the state bird, but they're also our returning friends. They're easy to see on the west side of the island...check 'em out. (Here's more about them.)

The Pub at 10: One of the most popular and well-known island landmarks is the Front Street Ale House down on the waterfront. Oren & Peggy Combs are planning the pub's 10th anniversary celebration for this weekend with a private function Friday night - he says, " It will be a celebration of 10 years shared with many of the people that have been involved with the pub in that time, including staff, friends, shareholders, business associates, and especially loyal customers. " The pub will be open the rest of the weekend for the rest of the world, with the band 1066 playing.

Orrin tells me they're gonna re-brew & offer original beers from a decade ago, and start making plans for the next ten. He said he and Peggy hadn't lived any one place more than 28 months before settling down to do the restaurant in '93, and are happy to now call the island their home.

The Ale House employs around 25 people, and is open seven days a week.

Global warming, soon appearing on an island near you: It's not a myth or a made-up excuse to keep poor car-makers from making obscene profits. It's real, which Australia understands.

Mailbag: Larry Wight just sent me an update on a service he and the the San Juan Islander's Matt & Sharon have got going:

"The free classifieds on <> just got better! The website, which has been running for almost a year has proved to be a popular site for posting Islander's items for sale, lost & found items, property for rent, property wanted to rent, employment opportunities, and work wanted. You can measure the site's success by the testimonials received.

Now, for a small charge, you can include a picture with your "items for sale" ad. The process is simple and the instructions are clear. Details are available. While the picture option is currently available only for "items for sale" ads, other categories will will be included as soon as possible."

More mailbag:

From Robin in Federal Way:

Is it true that the whales are declining in numbers? You should talk about that more and try to save them.
Thanks for your Update. I read it every week.

There were disturbing reports that that there were sonar "events" that certainly rattled the whales and the ocean last week (here's a report - it's actually pretty scary, so don't read it unless you're strong hearted. And here's another,.and here's one with pictures.)

Saving the whales is a full time job that has a lot of people - the Whale Museum, Orca Network, and the Center for Whale Research among them - working hard to improve their chances to survive. Click on their sites to see what you can do to help. And thanks for writing.

From Steve and Alexa in Issaquah:

Where do you camp on the island?

Outside. Either at County Park or at Lakedale. Thanks for asking.

Lorie from Seattle asks, among other things:

Is there coffee on the island? I want to come over Memorial Day.

And need to stay awake, right? I was just at the Doctor's Office (across from the ferry - a coffee place, not a medical place) this morning and heard a guy ask for a "quad shot" because he needed to get through the day.

Yes, we take our coffee seriously here. Besides the DO, you can drop by Roy's, two blocks up the street conveniently located next to the overload ferry lot, Warehouse Coffee over on Tucker Street, just a block from the tennis courts, and San Juan Coffee at the ferry landing, next to the ferry. Most of the restaurants that are open in the morning also have coffee, so get out & get down there.

From Mike at the Park:

Was perusing your web site. Bravo.

Take a look at our homepage at
Take a look. I think you will find it worthwhile. Meanwhile, we will start
changing our pages to link to you. Incidentally, we are one park: San Juan
Island National Historical Park, in case you might want to change the way
you present the link in the Directory.

Again, great job and many thanks for linking to us.

Mike Vouri, Park Ranger/Historian

Mike's redesign of this site is awesome. The photos are great, and the information is nicely laid out and easy to find. Check it out!

On the ferry: The cool part about riding the ferry is getting to see friends and meet new people....

I saw Frank Chaffee leaning over looking at the present copy of the Journal that was on the newstand on the boat. He said that was him on the front page, in his fireman's outfit helping put out the fire a year ago in the nice retrospective story the paper ran.

I met a woman named Tatinia with all her worldly belongings who was coming to the island from Brazil to work at Roche Harbor this summer...just graduated with a law degree in Rio.

You know Angie who works at the Market Chef? She and little Dahlia were coming back from laying in the sand at Oak Harbor. Dahlia was playing her GameBoy...I asked her if there were GameGirls, and she gave me that five-year-old look that said, "Not yet."

Not Al, really: Here's what happened: I woke up last Wednesday, put on my red plaid shirt (only one that was clean AND warm), my Boston Red Sox cap, mostly because it has a "B" on it, and went to Felicitations for some juice.

Brooke there looked at me funny and then said, "You look like Al. You know, Al in "Home Improvement." Then Chris Coulter dropped in, and said, "Al. Just like him." Then Felicity popped out and said, "He DOES look like Al."

So I went home, shaved, and changed into my Temple sweatshirt and tennis shoes so I'd look like Bill Cosby.

Quote: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired
signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending
money alone. It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of its
scientists, the hopes of its children.... This is not a way of life at all,
in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity
hanging from an iron cross." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

May 8, 2003

Write on! Last night the winners of the Young Authors Fiction Contest sponsored by San Juan Island Library were presented, and read their stories to an appreciative crowd. (That's Dylan Marriner reading his piece; click here for photos of all the readers last night.)

The stories are great. Here, in their entirety, are the winners.

In all, 55 entries were sent in by students from Friday Harbor High, Spring Street School, and Friday Harbor Middle School. The 600-word stories were centered on the phrase: "Out of the darkness, there came a light." Judge Janet Thomas characterized the stories as "among the most creative I've seen...every one was wonderful."

Winners: Middle School - Kelsey Kennedy (first place), Kate Fyrquist (second place), and Dylan Marriner (third place). High School: Galen Ellis (first place), Poppy Dalton (second place), and Lillan Roquet (third place).

Teen Library Assistant Siri Thorson organized the event, with guidance from assistant librarian Laura Tretter, and help from these sponsors. Way to go, everybody!

May 6, 2003 (the day after Cinco de Mayo)

Bye, Bye Birdie: Well, I mentioned that you might want to go see the play at the Theatre this weekend, and since I have to do whatever I tell YOU to do, the boys and I went Saturday night.

Here's the deal: If you miss this one, you've really blown it.

The singing is wonderful (Vanessa & Gretchen do great, and the rest of the cast is amazing), the dancing is fun (it took four choreographers, and it works), the staging is simple but effective, and the overall effect is a well-paced, feel-good musical.

All day Sunday I kept running into people who told me about their favorite bits: The Shriners under the table with Vanessa, Patty as Albert's mom (she does everything the hard way: "It took me THREE DAYS on a Greyhound bus to get here..."), Albert singing over the phone, the sleaziness of Birdie, the super dad played by Hunter Wood...

Trust me, you'll love it.

Math Olympiad: You saw the mob of kids on the ferry Saturday, with softball and track from the high school heading off to their day's work.

Did you see the 46 students who went to the Western Washington Math Olympiad on the red eye? The island had 11 teams (and two alternates) who competed and came home with medals and ribbons that ranged from excellent to superior, including the seventh grade team of Kara, Wynn, Katie, and Kelsey in Katie Hall's photo at the right. Heck, even alternate Michael Sandifer came home with a ribbon, after he helped the Moses Lake Middle School team get a superior rating (he joined the team for the contest.)

Athletes and mathletes. Good combo.

Happy Cinco de Mayo (5th of May): For the record, Cinco de Mayo is an anti-imperialist holiday: It celebrates Mexico's victory over the French Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexico had gained its independence from Spain in the early 1800s - the French tried to move in later under Napolean III. They lost.

Did you know all that? Or is margarita all the Spanish you know?

New: At King's Grocery they're putting in new shelves & new products & re-arranging things. You'll notice when you visit next.

Nice day: It's beautiful out today. Jolie Wheeling just told me she's taking her kayak out. Tom at Deer Harbor Charters says he's taking a group out whale watching. What are you doing? Get out.

Cell tower rises: Behind the Dance Studio (that's the Mason Hall, actually, as those of you who have lived here for a while know) Cellular One erected a cell phone tower over the past week. Ace photog Shay Byington for the Update shot a picture of the pole going up last week (right), and the flagpole they turned it into by Sunday (below that).

I asked Warren Jones down at the Town what the permit process for such things was - you'll remember there have been some hearings and public feedback in some areas of the islands, opposing cell towers - and he said it was a simple process, which the Masons went through. He indicated the wireless companies usually lease the site from the people, and the main leasee here is Cellular One. He said there are no Town regulations which would impede construction, and that it was all pretty straightforward the way it's handled in urban areas.

Us as an urban area. Ha. Next thing ya know we'll get a stop light & another mall besides Jeri's.

Mailbag: Joe Tien (378-8986) tells me there's a workshop coming up:
QiGong is an ancient Chinese “yoga” designed to increase the body’s strength and flexibility, alleviate stress, calm the mind, and build vital energy. It uses a series of meditative stretching movements and still postures combined with breath training to harmonize body and mind, and bring greater strength and calm. QiGong is used daily by millions of people in China and Japan to treat illness, as a preventive therapy and as a spiritual practice.

Jesse Lee Parker brings to his classes more than 15 years of experience studying the Oriental healing arts under many great Taoist masters in China, Taiwan and Japan. Jesse will be conducting QiGong practice sessions during the week between classes, and will also be offering individual healing sessions using Tui Na, the traditional Chinese healing massage method.

Friday May 9, 7pm – 9pm, Dance Workshop II
Free or by donation

May 10, 11, 17 and 18 ... 10am – 4pm
Cost ranges between $55 and $155, depending on number of classes
A complete instruction manual is included

Photos: Have you seen Pat Carver's son's photo portfolio? Or Mike Deegan's 500 photos of the San Juans, which you can buy (I've seen it - it's cool.)

More mailbag: From Peter & Michele Delorenzi:
We wish to announce 2 new websites just for your viewing pleasure.

Our new site at is our new home for our photo studio where you can see albums of the islands, Yosemite, Key West and other destinations that Michele & I have visited. We hope you enjoy sharing our travels. You can also order fine photo prints of any album image, as well as our new line of geeting cards: SINtamental Expressions.

Our other new site is at where we are showcasing some of our more creative photo endeavors and other future nonsense. Currently, we have just put up Peter's new photo adventure book (from a very twisted mind) entitled "Hairy Otter and the Porcelain Bowl". We promise no
sequels, maybe.

Take a look and enjoy the show. We hope to see as many of you as possible this year on the island!

Quote: "Do you know what I learned from you? I learned what is possible, and now I must hold out for what I thought we had. I want to be very close to someone I respect and admire and have somebody who feels the same way about me. That or nothing. I realized that what I'm looking for is not what you're looking for. You don't want what I want."
"What do you think I want?" I asked.
"Exactly what you have. Many women you know a little and don't care very much about. Superficial flirtations, mutual use, no chance of love. That's my idea of hell. Hell is a place, a time, a consciousness, Richard, in which there is no love. Horrible! Leave me out of it."
Richard Bach, Spoken by Leslie Parrish and Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever

More mailbag: My friend Vicki sent me this, which seems especially appropriate since both the public schools and Spring Street are doing teacher appreciation things this week:

You don't actually have to take the quiz. Just read this straight through, and you'll get the point (an awesome one) that Mr. Schultz (the original Charlie Brown) is trying to make!

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor
and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These
are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the
applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and
certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier? The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are
not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.
They are the ones that care.

Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life.

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already
tomorrow in Australia.

--- Charles Schultz

May 2, 2003

Bye Bye Birdie!
It opens at the Theatre this weekend for only two weeks - get your tickets now, before there ain't any. Mary Keith is stage managing the show, and she says it is funny and not to be missed.

April 30, 2003

The script that we write for ourselves: Do you ever wake up and find yourself in a script, in a play, and you wonder - "How did I get here? I don't want to be here! I don't even know my lines!"

That happened, kinda, yesterday, when some moms and their little kids went to the movies to see the Piglet movie. They were a little surprised when the previews were for upcoming PG-13 & R -type movies, and even more surprised when the other movie, "Anger Management" started. So they went and told Aaron, the island movie guy who runs the theater, and he said, correctly, "Oops," and changed reels.

Accidents happen.

I haven't heard what the folks in the other side of the theater did when Piglet & Pooh were playing....

Anyway, I hope you do that today, in your life. I hope you check the show YOU'RE in, and see if it's the one you wanted to see. If it's not, talk to the manager. Change reels. It's your it.

Sun sets: See the sunset in the photo above? That's by Chris, who's offering a photography & kayak trip with Outdoor Odysseys this summer. Check it out.

Stuff to do: The funniest thing people who haven't lived here long say is, "There's nothing to do here."


Here's the deal: This weekend is the Children's Festival at the Fairgrounds on Saturday from 10-2. Even grownups have fun there, even if it's only gossiping about what's going on.

The Friday Harbor Marine Labs has an open house this Saturday from 11-4. Listen, this is not just A open house, this is THE open house, which they hold once every two years. There's food, and experiments, and tours, and graduate students doing cool research - take the kids or not, it'll make you proud of one of the finest things going on around the island. Make plans to go, no matter what.

Spring Street School's art show/sale is this weekend.

Soccer signups are this weekend (click the top of this page) at the fairgrounds at the Children's Festival.

Forty-eight elementary and middle school kids are going to Bellingham for the Math Olympiad Saturday.

If you're still bored, come mow my yard and help me pull weeds in the garden.

April 27, 2003

Good things: You know, over the past couple of months, a number of folks have told they feel depressed and down about things - the economy, their businesses, their relationships (or non-relationships), the president's war - but I don't buy it. Partly it's because I believe what Dostoevsky said: "We must love life before loving its meaning."

And there's a lot to love. A lot of cool things are happening, so don't forget to stop and smell these flowers:

Shake: Did you feel the earthquake the other morning? Probably not - I HOPE you were sleeping. It was pretty sturdy - a 4.8 shaker at 3am Friday. Here's the details, geek.

For news about earthquakes, I like to go to the University of Washington's site...see if you like it. A good one to bookmark.

Cam scam, thank you ma'am: It's not a scam at all: Larry's put up a camera at the airport that refreshes all the time. As you can see (which you didn't, I know), I've added his link to the masthead menu above.

Baseball: This weekend our softball 7th & 8th graders won two on Orcas, while our major league (that's 4th-6th grade) baseballers beat Orcas (Mudsharks over Orcas, 8-6, in a game that had the other team load the bases with no outs in the last inning, but fail to score; our Cubs beat Lopez 18-4 later in the day.)
That's Parker Lawson with a foul tip in the game, to the left. To catch the flavor of the Mudshark game (and see how many kids, moms, and das you know), see this photo gallery.

And great weather was had by all.

SkateCam: When I was at the Orcas baseball game yesterday, I ran into Rick Boucher, the Father of the Internet over on their island.

He says he's putting a camera up that points at the Orcas skatepark there at Buck that's a good idea, as long as parents don't get the idea that watching their kids online doing 360s counts as quality time with the kid.

Changes: Maia Yip's started working last week with Tracy James at her office at Countrywide Loans. Maia worked several years as a receptionist at Coldwell Banker. With Laura Boulton leaving last month, that's two good workers who have moved on....

Building in town - besides the work where the fire was, go see what Jerry Gordon's doing to the deck behind the Doctor's Office. Check out the spot Lawrence the glassmaker's put in, in front of the Doctor's Office while you're there, too.

If you don't live here you might think the Doctor's Office is a medical thing. It's a coffee thing, actually, right across from the ferry.

True season change: Opening Day is on for next week with the boat parade at 3 on Sunday. See you there.

Beyond the war: Any given day of the invasion over the last month and a half, casualities were reported, but the 26,000 folks who die each day from starvation weren't mentioned. The Thomas Paine folks report, however, there are glimmers of hope in the quieter campaign that will more certainly define what the future looks like.

Low Impact Development: Look over the sponsors of the Low Impact Development Conference to be held here on May 17th, and you see successful business and science people who understand that LID makes good business sense. Here's the word from their website:

S.J.County Low Impact Development Conference: Sustaining Community, Environment, Economy
May 17, 2003 - 8:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m. / Friday Harbor High School.

Learn how to apply the principles and practices of Low Impact Development (LID) for the islands

Learn about the economic advantages of Low Impact Development.
Help create resources and responsible development strategies that support community,
environment and the islands' economy.

Practicing LID means making individual choices that help preserve what we all value
about the San Juan Islands and that make good economic sense:

* Planning that protects existing natural features of development.
* Managing surface water to prevent soil erosion and waterway pollution, and to enhance groundwater recharge.
* Landscaping to encourage wildlife and reduce the use of water and toxic chemicals.
* Designing buildings to reduce energy consumption and increase the efficient use of resources.
* Selecting materials to minimize resource and manufacturing impacts and taking advantage of opportunities to recycle or reuse materials.
* Using practices that reduce waste and pollution during construction

Spam I Am: What do you mean spam's not a problem? Read this.

Kayak: You know, one of the coolest things you can do here on the island is go kayaking (there's a complete list of the folks who offer trips and boats under "kayaking" on the San Juan Island Web Directory. My favorites are Crystal Seas, Outdoor Odysseys, Discovery Sea Kayak, and San Juan Safaris - take a peek at this website that a guy put together after going out with a local company and you get the idea. Get out there.

Quote: "When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it, always." -- -M.K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

To comment, feel free to add to our guestbook, or view it.

History is doomed to repeat itself:

Review the Update from March 1, 2003 - April 18, 2003

Review the Update from December 19, 2002 - February 28, 2003

Review the Update from October 26, 2002 - December 18, 2002

Review the Update from August 13, 2002 - October 26, 2002

Review the Update from May 9 (the fire) - August 12, 2002

Review the Update from April 1, 2002 - May 8, 2002

Review the Update from December 15, 2001 - April 1, 2002

Review the Update from September 11, 2001 - December 14, 2001

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

To comment, feel free to add to our guestbook, or view it.  

More info about the island:

San Juan Island: The Web Directory

Everything. Simply everything about the island.
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