Gotta Know: Island Things:
Everything  |  Ferry Schedule  |  Send A Postcard...Now! | Weather, Now | Where the Ferry Is, Right Now
Visitor's Center:
The San Juan Island Directory | IslandCam | Port Cam | Airport Cam | Chamber of Commerce | The Island Quiz | MapQuest: Where We Are
Other Online News:
San Juan Islander | The Journal of the San Juan Islands 
Prepared weekly or so by Ian Byington, if anything happens around here

powered by FreeFind

Friday Harbor - San Juan Island Update

December 6, 2003

The way we were: The picture to the right is a reminder of town before 1905 or so. It's nice to live in a place that hasn't changed all THAT much since then, especially in important ways.

Plenty of stuff to do: You know it's the season, and there are things going on:

The high school senior class is sponsoring the Harlem Ambassadors basketball team against a team of local folks at the FHHS gym tomorrow night - should be fun. Starts at 7:30am.

The Annual Island Studios' Open House is set for Saturday & Sunday. Artists Darleen Nixon, Dale Schneider, Margaret Thorsen, and Shari Larsen will be around to show what & how they do what they do, and owner Pat tells me anyone who buys $15 or more gets a bar of that sweet-smelling Seraphim soap that'll make you smell like Cleopatra. Drop by.

The moon is nearly full - it's all the way there on Monday. Kinda bright outside, if it's not too cloudy.

And it's dark. Sundown at 4:15 or so, coming up at 7:45am or so. Humfph. Just wait until solstice. And get some candles.

Speaking of artists, I updated that page of artists and folks at the Holiday Marketplace last weekend, adding about three times more people. You're probably in there - take a look.

Don't forget the Lighted Boat Parade Saturday night. Ed from the Port wrote it up in his monthly newsletter.

Herb & Spice & everything nice: Have you seen the Herb & Spice Farm website? Deb and Lindsey do a good job - check them out.

From the mailbag: Carol's got the inside scoop on the student music scene:

Hi Ian;
It's band concert time again and I'm wondering if you might mention these upcoming concerts in your column?
Friday Harbor High School Concert Band & Choir will be performing on Tuesday, December 9th at 7:00pm at the San Juan Community Theatre. Admission is free and the concerts are always wonderful. It means a lot to the musicians to play to a full house so everyone is encouraged to attend and enjoy the music and songs.

Also, the Friday Harbor Middle School 6th, 7th & 8th grade concert bands will be playing for the public on Thursday, December 11th at 7:00pm at the Community Theatre, as well. It's always exciting to hear the beginning 6th grade band on stage for the first time and listen to how the seasoned veterans of the 7th and 8th grade bands have grown since last year. The community's support is always much appreciated at these concerts and sends a good message to these dedicated young musicians.

Thanks a lot. Carol Ford

Here's a note from David Bentley:


Here's the press release that Colette Landerville and I sent out on Friday.
Please feel free to edit it and to let people know that this is for any
type of grief -- death of pets as well as humans, loss of job, divorce,
retirement, moves, etc.



A free grief support group will begin meeting this month in Friday Harbor.
Sponsored by Hospice of San Juan, the group will meet on the second Wednesday (12:00 pm - 1:30 pm), and the fourth Monday (6:00 pm - 7:30 pm) of each month starting December 10th and 22nd. Meetings will be held in the "living room" of the Mullis Senior Center.

For more information, leave a message with Hospice of San Juan at 472-0322. A volunteer will reply promptly.

From down-sound:

Hey, Ian -

Did you know J & K pods were spotted down near Vashon this week? Just wanted to let you know!

Alice & Debbie, your fans

Answers to e-mail: I won't print these letters themselves due to imagined space and electron limitations in this edition of the Update, but here are the answers to some of the mail I've received:

Arthur: You're right. The island does seem to glow this time of year. Pilots coming into the airport can see town from miles away. Thanks for noticing what you couldn't miss.

Miles & Allison: No, it's not true there is money being spent to promote the island as a tourist destination by putting ads on the sides of a satellite that will orbit the earth from 29 feet in the air. Where do you get such ideas?

Kari: No, he's not single, but I have friends who are. Most of them have degrees in either English, education, or both. Is it like that where you live?

Half-century: Next Monday I turn fifty years old, according to the clock in my office.

This is an occasion of deep and compelling thought and meditation, which I will share with you after I have time to collect, as well as a time of enduring a period of introspection which tends to conclude that I feel very much the same as when I was seventeen.

Have a good weekend!

November 29, 2003

Holiday Marketplace continues: You gotta drop by the Holiday Marketplace today, as it continues for the second day. It's not just about the cool stuff to see and maybe buy (or eat, or feel, or wear...), it's also about seeing all the people you know on the island.

Just in case you're too busy, my friend Brett (he's eight), my son Shay, and I took some pictures of the folks we saw yesterday. Here's a nice gallery of the pictures that turned out mostly OK...

That's Winn, Kara, and Jenny selling their snow globes and necklaces at their booth.

See you there!

November 27, 2003

Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder: First, thank you for checking in. The Update is six years old this week, and the thing that keeps it going is knowing you read it. You write to me, you give me ideas, and you tells me things to share. Most of all, you offer places of belonging on this island, which helps others find places to connect. It's why we're here in this tight little community. Thanks for that.

It seems to me that much is made about Thanksgiving being a time when we're grateful for the stuff we have. Even more, I think, it's about what's most important: friends, family, partners, and the time we share together. If this is a time of appreciation, make it one of gratitude for what we share of our souls..

Happy Thanksgiving!


I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton

No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. Alfred North Whitehead

Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out. John Wooden

I like to walk alone on country paths,
rice plants and wild grasses on both sides,
putting each foot down on the earth
in mindfulness, knowing
that I walk on the wondrous earth.
In such moments, existence is a miraculous
and mysterious reality.

People usually consider walking on water
or in thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle
is not to walk either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle
which we don't even recognize:
a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,
the black, curious eyes of a child--
our own two eyes.
All is a miracle.
Thich Nhat Hanh, "Miracle of Mindfulness"

None of those material possessions do anything to make your life any better....
I know a lot of people who have a lot of everything, and they're absolutely the most miserable people in the world.
So it won't do anything for you unless you're a happy person and can have peace with yourself.
Lenny Kravitz
An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
--Carl Jung

Crafts Fair: Hope to see you at the Artisans' Holiday Marketplace at the elementary school on Friday and Saturday from 10 to 6. See you there! Drop by my booth (selling CDs) and tell me stories, like you do.

Novermber 23, 2003

Music store opens: It's been years now since Kirk closed Mellowwoods Music, which was located in the building where Funk 'N Junk now holds sway. It was the center of the island's music life, with lessons, a recording studio, instruments & strings, and of course, Kirk, always there with a story and a song.

In fact, it was behind the counter there that Kirk heard so many people come in, tourists and locals, and say, "Where do we go from here?" which ended up as a tune on 1996's All in the Mix album (you can see more about that here).

Now, Steve (right) and Kathy Anderson have opened White Dog Music, right across the street in the building that will long be known as the place where Gray Matter was. Steve's been a promoter of local music for some time, offering his restaurant (The Place Next To The Ferry) as a venue for people to play, sing, and visit. He's a pretty good guitar player himself, so drop by and see what's going on in the new shop.

As if he wasn't busy enough, he's cooking at the Place still, and coaching the girls' basketball team. Kathy tells me they're probably closing the restauarant for January, so then he'll only have two jobs.

Sugar on the disc: Mike Cohen used to record for vinyl back in the 1950s when he was part of the New York folk revival, and now he's at it again. He and his friends Lee, Ken, and Darlene have been playing together as Sugar on the Floor for three or four years now, and have now put out their first album together.

It features them doing the songs they've done everywhere on this island - at Front Street Cafe, contra dances, weddings, dances, and everywhere in between. Call Mike at 378-6313 to find out how to get yours.

More music: Yep, Steve Miller was back at Bella Luna again last Wednesday for Blues night. I asked Tom Doenges how it went and he said, "Pretty good." The standing-room overflow crowd thought so, too.

More and more music: The boys and I are selling CDs and tapes by local musicians at the Artisans' Bazaar at the elementary school on Friday and Saturday. We'll have a listening station set up - drop by and give a listen, and see all the other art on the island as well.

See ya there.

Even on the radio: CKMO, better known as Village 900 (AM) in Victoria, has been playing my Flowers in the Sand song since summer (you can see it on their playlists from the 14th and 19th). You can download it here for free if you like.

I got to sing it at Amy Wynn's Writers' Cafe Friday night, and you know, no matter how good it is to hear it on the radio, it's even cooler to have a roomful of folks singing it.

Recycling: You know, it's good to see all the recycling around here. The trucks were all backed up at the dump this weekend because of people taking their stuff to recycle; it's not uncommon to see kids at school wearing the clothes other kids have grown out of. I saw Binney driving Sally's old VW Eurovan the other day, while Sally's driving Jon & Dodie's old truck.

And then there's island relationships.

Bowling for the next half-century: It was great. Bruce and Denise Nelson put on a great party last night at their bowling alley - anyone who was born in 1953 could bowl for free, with food as well. I think it's Bruce's birthday this year....

But there was a nice mob there of those of us who are finally at the age of wisdom. The food was great, bowling was fun, and it was good to find out who else was born around then. Sharon (her, too!) and Matt were shooting pix for their San Juan Islander - you might click over there to see what they posted or to see yourself. Great fun.

Notes: Looks like John Volk's finishing the last steps for getting his pilot's license....Cindi Mullis got a 229 at bowling last night....Matt (left) and Barbara had a nice turnout for their fundraiser for Compass North yesterday at Gallery San Juan, and raised some money for them as well.....

You probably heard that Arbutus Lodge sold last month, but that Susan Millington is still giving massage. You can call her at 8840.

Not only did Robert Demar's ferry photographs book get mentioned in the New York Times, but Bryn Barnard tells me his new book, Danerous Planet: Natural Disasters That Changed History, got reviewed as well. Very cool.

The Writers' Cafe at the Flying Burrito had a nice 25 people turnout of folks who came to hear each other's poems and writing on Friday night.

And it didn't snow in town last night.

November 20, 2003

Snow what? The reports of snow in the Everett area didn't turn into anything like that here yesterday, as the sun even made a two-hour break into the middle of the day. Last night was pretty cold, though...remains to be seen if that balance of rain & cold can translate into snow here - whenever we get close, warm winds blow in off the water to thaw things out.

Tripping: Sue and Avon went back to visit friends in Alaska for the weekend two weeks ago, which is why the Thai Kitchen was closed for a couple of days. I know you were wondering...

Dan & Steve jam like an eagle: Dan Gillespie (he plays drums on my last album) told me he was playing at the Wednesday night jam at Bella Luna a couple of weeks ago and Steve Miller dropped by to jam with the band.

He said THAT was pretty cool.

New site for artists: You may have heard about it by now. There's a site letting folks know about the artists in the islands - called the San Juan Islands' Artist Community, web designer Tori Williams hopes to let the world know there's a lot of talent here. The home page says, "We are just in the beginning stages of what will be an expansive resource for all of the San Juan Island Community, where a San Juan Islands' artist can provide information about their arts and the classes they offer, and share with you resources for art materials, and more."

Drop by and find out about artists like Annie Adams (that's her Egg Lake work to the right), and others. You'll like what your neighbors are up to.

Computer games 'R Us: Game maker Her Interactive in Seattle has just released a computer game called Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island. In development for a year, they tell me the game includes locales modeled after local San Juan Island tourist attractions such as Friday Harbor, The Whale Museum and area beaches. The game even includes a controversy about an orphaned killer whale - a storyline that's reflective of the real-life Luna news.

Check it out, especially if you're looking for a non-violent, non-gender stereotype computer game for your kids.

Nice trend. Hope it catches on.

Whale fix: I know you miss the whales as much as anybody. Have you checked Orca Cam lately? Have you seen the cool breaching orca on the front of the San Juan Safaris page?

Writers' Cafe´ this Friday: She talked me into it - I want to check this out this weekend.
Amy Wynn writes in:

Ian, I sure do enjoy your website. I would like to let your readers know about a great happening this weekend on the island. This coming Friday, November 21 is Writer's Café at the Flying Burrito. Our motto is "You write, you read, we listen." It is a great chance for local writers to come try their material out on an audience. Writers of any style and genre are welcomed. Come join other writers at 6:30 for (no host) dinner, drinks and fun. Sign up for 5 minute slots begins at 7 and the open mike starts at 7:30. If you have any questions about this event, you can call me, Amy Wynn at 378-2912. Thank you.

November 11, 2003

Time of year: It's the season when lots of little things are happening, so check 'em out:

FHHS sports ended Friday night with playoff soccer losses by the girls at Seattle Academy (5-0) and with the boys here against Overlake 3-2 in a shootout. Football, meanwhile, finished their most successful season in years with a win Thursday afternoon. On to basketball & wrestling....

Go see DeathTrap at the Theatre this weekend.

You saw the lunar eclipse Saturday, right? Nice photos over the harbor on the San Juan Islander yesterday...

No school today (Veterans' Day) & late start for Wednesday as usual, tomorrow.

There is a community meeting November 12, 7-9pm in the middle school commons with representatives from San Juan County Public Works; the Land Bank, Port of Friday Harbor, the school district, Island Rec and Lafarge making brief presentations to inform the public as to the status of the acquisition of the gravel pit area. The presentations will be followed by Q&A from the public/panel.

November 5, 2003

The results are in: Looks like the County's levy and the Island Rec levy got punted at the polls last night, as voters on the island added tax requests to their belt-tightening. Over the past few weeks, I've mostly heard either opposition or indifference, both of which will lead to defeat for these kinds of levies.

Meanwhile, Heidi Lopez unseated Sally Bryan on the San Juan Island School Board, while Lenore Bayuk beat Michelle Shober by a handful of votes for the Hospital Board spot.

Island Studios' new pix: Yep, Michael Bertrand has more pictures hung at Island Studios - go by & check them out. The one on the right he shot one early morning as the ferry came into the harbor. He's got a great eye....

More results: The FHHS girls soccer team tipped their season into overtime as they nipped Concrete in a shootout last night. The 0-0 game was resolved as keeper Anna stopped two of the four shots she faced in the tie-breaker. Now the girls move on to an away game somewhere on Friday for the first game of Tri-Districts this weekend.

Off all week, the FHHS soccer boys are resting from their 11-2 they'll find out whom they play on Friday, here at 4:30. Be there...last chance to see the best team this school has produced.

The FHHS football guys end their season tomorrow amidst faint playoff hopes at 4pm, here. See ya there, I hope.

San Juan U-13 Boys Win Championship, end Undefeated: It was a tough road at the end, but the U-13 boys ended the season with a 1-0 victory over once-beaten Sedro-Woolley, a 2-0 win in the tournament over Conway, then capped their undefeated season with a 1-0 championship over Burlington on Sunday.

The boys roared through their regular season (11-0) with a mixture of clever passing and defense, as well as an extremely balanced attack that featured eight different players scoring. That continued in the tournament as Forrest Dayton and Grant Schwinge scored against Conway, while the team's leading scorer Pablo Lopez scored the only goal versus Burlington.

Island Gold (San Juan U-14 boys) drop 1-0 heartbreaker to Mount Vernon, finish second: "We played well, but we couldn't put it in," said disappointed defender Louis Paul after the Gold (10-1-1) suffered its only loss of the year in the championship league game this past weekend. The team put itself into the finals with a convincing 3-0 victory over Anacortes the day before, behind Shay Byington's hat trick and stifling defense from Kyle Schaffer, Josh Combs, Paul, and Kevin O'Connor, with the near-shutout at the hands of goalkeepers Theo Pratt and Justin James.

In spite of the defeat, the players expressed satisfaction at winning or tying all their games till the end of the season. "All the the winning was nice," said midfielder Jens Townsdin afterwards, "but the important thing was that we played well together. It was a good season."

In the final game, the Gold produced numerous chances to score, but were unable to put the ball in the net. Although San Juan outshot Mount Vernon 16-4, the Eagles were able to muscle the ball away from the outstretched San Juan goalie for the game's only goal, in spite of protests to the ref from the coaches and crowd.

U-14 Girls Take League Sportsmanship Trophy at Tourney: "Win, lose, or draw, these girls have a great attitude," said coach Kevin Porter Saturday as the U-14 girls won the league's sportsmanship trophy, voted on by the league's coaches. "They never complain about opponents, and always bounce back when things don't go their way."

The tournament was a learning experience for the girls (including Kai, right, in red), as they lost 4-1 in the first match to Mount Vernon (goal by Sunny Pascoe), then rebounded against Burlington 2-1, getting a goal from Pascoe before winning in a shootout.

Hampered by injuries to defender Kate Fyrqvist and midfielder Winn Barnard, the team nevertheless lost only 3-2 to Mount Vernon in a consolation round game on Sunday, getting goals from Ashleigh Barnes and Whitney Porter to end the season on a high note.

October 31, 2003

Coldly: It's supposed to be pretty cold this weekend, especially tonight, when everyone's out trick or treating...stay warm! The football game starts at 5 at the high school...see you there!

Ferry & high swells: Most of the ferries have been on time, even with the high winds & whitecaps, but you never know. Leave a little exrta time as teams & isllanders go off island this weekend...

October 30, 2003

Blow away, blow away: That was Griffin Bay (right) yesterday afternoon, before the wind blew gray and cold for the rest of the day and the rest of the evening, and even this morning.

Bring your coat.

Math in the news: I teach & tutor math as part of my ongoing campaign to make a living here on the island, and one of the things that sometimes undercuts my efforts is the mainstream media's inability to count.

In USA Today a couple of days ago, the headline said, "Poll results back Bush in 2004. " Then they supported that with this trice of lead paragraphs:

In an Ipsos-Public Affairs survey of 742 registered voters for Cook Political Report, 40% said they definitely would vote for Bush if the presidential election were today, 33% definitely would vote against him and 24% would consider someone else.

Those national numbers have been pretty stable for Bush all year but his support is down a bit from early 2002, when at least 50% said they would definitely vote to re-elect him.

The survey was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 21-23, and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Maybe I'm missing something, but if 57% of folks say they'd vote for somebody else, and 40% say they like you...heck, you do the math. It's not the poll results backing him, it's the paper.

We'll talk about the deficit later.

Baseball in November: Remember I told you Karen Gambrell got a job a couple of years ago working in marketing with the Mariners? Yesterday, Steve over at Coldwell Banker told me that Elise DuFour's working with the San Diego Padres now.

I'm detecting a trend, here. Play ball.

Pierre checks in: I know you remember Pierre from when he was the guy with the solid reporting for the local papers here for years. He's been working in LaGrande, Oregon, and reported in a couple of weeks ago:

Hey, I have my byline in the Tacoma News-Tribune and! I covered a Pacific Lutheran-Eastern Oregon football game for the TNT, and they published my story with byline. I didn't expect the byline. After the game, I interviewed Frosty Westering, and he's got flibitis in his leg, so he leaned on my shoulder as we walked all the way back to the locker room.

La Grande is good...

I'm spending a week in Eugene later this month attending a newspaper design conference and covering a couple of state volleyball tournaments. Would you like a lemon custard-coloured Oregon Ducks jersey?

All the best,

Standards: You know all the national and state commotion about the idea that more testing and more testing and then more testing will somehow make our schools better?

While I can see ways it would help, I like what Heidi McKenna said the other day: "Just because you weigh the goose over and over again, that doesn't make him fatter."

Soccer: The San Juan U-13 boys slipped by visiting Orcas yesterday 3-0 in the wind, as they ran their season record to 9-0 for the season going into this weekend's wrestling match for the league championship at Burlington.

That's Isaac Taylor (front) and Landis Pederson getting after the ball in this photo by Dylan Marriner.

October 21, 2003

Hell or high water: Just when it seems it couldn't rain more, it rains some more.

After a bit of a reprieve on Saturday, it rained buckets again Monday, and seems like it'll never stop. There were puddles on the streets, puddles on sports fields, water everywhere.

Stay dry.

Let's take a look at playoff possibilities for some of our local athletes:

Football conquers Concrete: The FHHS football squad became the first team since the '80s to beat Concrete, winning 6-0 Friday night for homecoming. After scoring in the first quarter, it was simply a matter of trying to get traction on an impossibly muddy field. The boys next play at home on the 31st against Archbishop Thomas Murphy High.

Soccer boys roll on: You get your chance to see the playoff-bound soccer team today or Friday as they play two at home...they still haven't lost to anyone but ATM. Cheer 'em on...they deserve it.

Soccer U-14, U-13 Boys Remain Unbeaten; U-14 Girls Fight to Valiant Draw
Island Gold 3, Anacortes 1
The Gold (under-14 boys) held off a tough Anacortes team 3-1 Saturday to remain undefeated going into this weekend's match with unbeaten Conway for the league regular-season championship. The Gold scored in the first minute of both halves on goals by Dylan Marriner and Jens Townsdin, only to have the visitors pull within 2-1. Eric Haenel-Nash's blast with five minutes to go put the last touches on the Gold's 9-0 season start. Tough defense led by Josh Combs, Kyle Schaeffer, Louis Paul, and Kevin O'Connor stopped the hard-charging Quakes.

The team has good chemistry, according to midfielder Marriner. "We've played together for eight or nine years, and you can tell," he said. We play as a team. It should be a good game with Conway this week. I don't know what will happen, but I think we have a shot."

U-13 Boys 6, Conway 1
The U-13 Boys continued their domination of league opponents last Saturday with a 6-1 victory over visiting Conway. The boys carried a 3-0 halftime lead to a decisive second half over the outmanned Conway team, as five players scored.

The boys (7-0) finish their season against Sedro-Woolley next weekend, and are favorites to win the league tournament championship the first weekend in November.

U-14 Girls 3, Burlington 3
It ended as a 3-3 tie, but it felt like a victory for the U-14 Girls team. The girls got three goals from Sunny Pascoe and Whitney Porter (above, with the ball) to forge a 3-1 lead, but allowed two goals in the last eleven minutes to hold on for the draw. Contributing to the day's success was strong defense by goalkeeper Beth Ware and defender Kate Fyrqvist.

The girls travel to Stanwood next weekend for their season-ender.

Quote: When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1824

October 16, 2003

A blustery day, again: Looks like we're in for it for a couple more days at least. All that rain and wind you heard last nighht...get used to it.

Soccer heads for playoffs, football postseason hopes remain: It's not when you'd expect, so take note: the Homecoming football game is at 5 Friday afternoon, with the parade at 3 or so downtown. Like all get-togethers on an island, don't miss this chance to visit with friends and family at this gathering of our little tribe.

Meanwhile, the soccer boys play today to continue their winning ways - thus far they've only lost to Murphy High (we call 'em ATM, because it's Archbishop Thomas Murphy High), and appear to be headed for the playoffs (November 7), and for greater things. Their match is at 4;30pm. Don't miss 'em.

From the street: I heard FHHS senior Anna Gordon has received notice she'll get a full ride scholarshi to Washington State - congrats!

I mentioned to Frances at the Journal that Simon & Garfunkel are playing in Seattle this fall, on the first of November. She said she saw them from the second row back when she was in high school, and even got to go back stage & chat with Paul afterwards. Wow.

Quote: "Hope for the earth lies not with leaders but in your own heart and soul. If you decide to save the earth, it will be saved. Each person can be as powerful as the most powerful person who ever lived - and that is you, if you love this planet."--Helen Caldicott, M.D. from If You Love This Planet: A plan to heal the earth.

Marty checks in: Back in the summer, I mentioned that Robbie Lawson had hiked across Spain; Marty Robinson from over at FHES was with her, and offers more detail of the amazing journey:

I love your site. I read a few of your articles and wanted to tell you that Robbie Lawson and I walked together across northern Spain. It's the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. For the past 3 summers we've walked sections of the 500 plus mile route and finished this year. For me, the highlight was walking from Santiago de Compostela to Fisterra on the Atlantic Ocean. Last year's highlight was walking over the Pyrenees from France into Spain. We averaged 14 miles per day last year and this year. It's a gorgeous, rigorous hike.

Keep up the great work, Ian!

October 8, 2003

You know, there's been quite a lot of talk about Ryan's death nearly a month ago, just a couple of days after the harvest moon that week. There's been grief, shaking rage, and perhaps worst of all, the same thing happening - people drinking and getting into cars and driving the roads of the island.

It's called "The Measure of a Community." If you don't do anything else today, or this week, to remember a person who died way too young, please read this piece by Court Bell that was released on the San Juan Islander (it's on the lower part of the page). Read it, and tell me what we're gonna do. What we gotta do.

Gandhi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

Starts here. Starts now.

October 6, 2003

A bigger deal than I thought: Hey, I knew Sharon Duncan's new novel was good, which I told you about, a month ago or so (see below.) But I just got a note that confirms it:

Ian: Thanks for the blurb and the photo on DEAD WIVES SOCIETY. I just learned it's been nomimated for an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original for 2003!
Sharon Duncan

Here 's list of Edgar winners back to 1972 or so, and here's more about why this is a very prestigious award (Mystery Writers of America website). The MWA site hasn't been updated to reflect this year's nominations yet, but you'll get the idea.

This is cool.

Local farm goes national, too: Put it on your calendar: Jim Lawrence's Thirsty Goose Farm is profiled on Food Finds on the Food Channel on the 13th at 3:30pm.

Get cable! Get satellite! Don't miss it!

From the street: Saw Burgundy Waite over the weekend for a few minutes - she and her husband are expecting in January. She was just up for a bit - they've been living aboard in Mexico, but hope to have the baby up here.

Saw a couple dozen kids on the ferry from Anacortes coming back from seeing the opera in Seattle from FHHS; also, the eight graders are hosting a couple of actors from the Seattle Shakespeare Company today. A little culture goes a long way. Is good.

Lee & Tal Sturdivant just left this morning for Australia for a month or so. Meanwhile, Melonie & Chris from Tif & Gif just left for a week in Paris.

I just visited with Melonie a bit last week. You know there's people on the island who look after horses & dogs & other pets for you, while you're away....did you know she & Chris do fish sitting?

Also, they took over Mark Connor's blueprint making business...Mark moved to the big city a month or two ago. He made a great architectural impact on the island during his tenure here, including designing the former Sustainable Technology Center. He makes good looking buildings....

Local sports: Our football guys lost their first of the season last Friday at Tacoma Baptist, and are now working to get ready for mighty Orcas this weekend.

Meanwhile, the soccer boys won Saturday 9-2 (they're 5-1 now), while the girls won 3-1 Saturday. Good soccer day as the U-14 & U-13 boys won as well to stay undefeated on the season. Wahoo!

October 3, 2003

Hike to Mt. Baker: This is a beautiful time of year for hiking near and around Mount Baker. The trees are changing colors, the air is in that bracing not-hot, not-cold temperature range, and it's a wonderful place to get outside. (Photo to the left by The Update's Shay Byington)

Earlier this week, the eighth graders from Friday Harbor Middle School, took an all-day trip to visit over there, and by all reports it was great.

From catching the red-eye at 6, doing homework on the ferry, hiking over seven miles, and simply being surrounded by a beautiful fall all day, I heard nothing but good reports from teachers, kids, and parents who went.

Usually by the end of eighth grade, the kids in classes here are pretty close, and activities like this are part of the reason.

Island Rec kicks into gear: Keep yourself moving with Island Rec...they have open gym basketball, yoga, open volleyball, and lots more. Call Island Rec at 378-4953 or visit for more information.

Music tonight! Laura from the Community Theatre tells me there's a pretty good band tonight: "Join us Friday night for a joyous concert by the award-winning Evergreen Brass Quintet.

"This spirited ensemble performs regularly for festivities such as Olympia's Harbor Days, Centrum, the Canterbury Fair in Kent, Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival, and Tacoma's Summer Concert series, as well as numerous other Puget Sound-area venues. Their consummate musicianship, contagious warmth, and enthusiastic spirit attracts audiences as varied as the music they perform."

RuthE from the Theatre tells me there's also a playwright opportunity coming up:

Calling All Writers in San Juan County
Deadline for submission for original 10-minute plays, to be presented at San Juan Community Theatre in March 2004, is Monday, December 8, 2003. "The popularity of doing and seeing short plays is growing not only in our theatre but nationwide," said Merritt Olsen, Executive Director. "Why not get local writers involved in this phenomenon?"

Soccer teams win a pair, football plays tonight: The FHHS girls won in a thick fog yesterday that gave a dusky feel to an afternoon game. They evened the score with a LaConnor squad that bumped us earlier this season, as we won this time with a stingy defense and a 1-0 count.

Meanwhile, the boys ran their surprising strong start to four wins with a solo loss with a win over at Orcas last night. The day before, the island's U-14 boys beat Orcas 4-1, as well.

Tonight, the football boys go to Tacoma Baptist with their unbeaten record tonight, with Orcas coming over the horizon next week.

Shaw news: It's bad enough the sisters are selling and moving away on Shaw. The ferry's got some funky scheduling to keep na eye on while the dock is fixed:

From the WSF site: WSF began an eight-week reconstruction of the Shaw Island Ferry Terminal slip. To complete work in a reasonable time and to control construction costs, a combination of reduced weekday ferry service and a four-day complete closure of the terminal is planned. The closure is tentatively scheduled for November 8-11, over Veterans Day. Shaw traffic has priority on the 7:15 a.m. sailing off the island and the 3:25 p.m. sailing back to the islands on weekdays with a 25-30 minute advance arrival for vehicle traffic during the mid-day closures.

Workshop tomorrow: Got this note about an important workshop being put on tomorrow:

I wanted to let you know about an upcoming Friday Harbor workshop being given by a really interesting Seattle-based curriculum development firm, the Edvita Corporation. Attached is a short flier about the Violence, Learning and Society
workshop that presenters Ari Cowan and Jim Sorenson will hold October 4, at the Mullis Center from 1:00 - 4:00. Teachers, parents, students and community members are all invited.

The mission of Edvita is to make a significant positive contribution to the health and well-being of people, their children, and their families through innovative, practical, and cost-effective life skills and character education. This program has been consistently rated "Excellent" by those attending it. It has been presented at the 2002 Partners in Peace Conference in San Diego (US Navy, US Dept. of Immigration and Naturalization, City of San Diego, and others), the 2003 Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference in San Francisco, and the 2002 and 2003 Washington Association for Learning Alternatives Annual Conferences.

You can also learn more about their workshop from their website presentation, at

The program is sponsored by Spring Street School. There is no fee, however a $5.00 donation is requested from adults to support the school's scholarship program.

Thanks much and please spread the word!

October 1, 2003

San Juan Update becomes "America's San Juan Website": Well, it's official. This website is now America's San Juan Website. Of course, there are other sites that WISH they were America's website, but this one is it. Wonder no more.

How can I do this? The same way the Dallas Cowboys (an American football team who won 5 lost 11) became "America's Team", Rudolf (not Rudy) Giuliani became "America's Mayor", Sarah Hughes became "America's Ice Skating Princess", and MSNBC became "America's News Center."

They declared themselves to be "America's Whatever."

This, of course, sets us apart from all the others.

Thirsty Goose: Jim Lawrence from Thirsty Goose Farm says the farm's organic produce & lamb will be featured on the Food Channel next week on the 13th. Cool. If anyone deserves notoriety & fame for doing a good job, it's Jim & his family. They make good food. Really good food.

History is doomed to repeat itself:

Review the Update from August 20, 2003 - October 1, 2003

Review the Update from June 19, 2003 - August 20, 2003

Review the Update from April 18, 2003 - June 19, 2003

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

More info about the island:

San Juan Island: The Web Directory

Everything. Simply everything about the island.
This site prepared by our friends at By Design in Friday Harbor.
The information contained here is
©Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 by By Design, Friday Harbor.
Unauthorized reuse of the content of these pages is prohibited;
links to other sites is intended to be to the benefit of those sites,
and for the edification of our readers,
and does not constitute endorsement or
agreement with views expressed there.