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Friday Harbor - San Juan Island Update

June 14, 2004

Grads in great numbers: Sharon did a super job of shooting the graduation happenings for the San Juan Islander this weekend, and she has tons of photos. Check 'em out.

Renewal: Part of what's fun about spring and early summer is all the new stuff that pops up. So, too, there's a bit of a glow as the new building downtown gets going - the Mystical Mermaid is back, as of Memorial Day weekend, and Osito's has moved from up the street, and it's open as well. Rick (with Tabitha above) and Wendy at the Mermaid says business is good, and that's it's good to be back in the spot they were for eight years before the fire in 2002.

And...the mermaid herself - Beulah - is back, after a brief kidnapping after the fire, and now graces the entrance. Those of you who are easily offended by scantily-clad wood sculptures, please turn your heads.

Homecoming: One of the nice things about graduation weekend is seeing the foks who come to visit - Elliot Pemberton and his sister Allison came from San Diego & Spokane to cheer for their mom Wendy getting her AA at Skagit, and Mari getting her diploma at FHHS. Elliot's getting married this coming weekend, and Allison returns to the island in August to get married at Lakedale.

More homecoming: Looks like Zeraidah (I think I spelled that wrong - it's pronounced Zah-RYE-da) Zeretzke & Amanda who works at the drug store are due to have their babies any day now...

Bumper sticker: Outside King's. The zen of walking around town, if you don't get too distracted.

Quote: "There is a future for the man of peace." - Psalm 37.

Community impact: Reading the extensive coverage in the Port Angeles newspaper last weekend about THEIR marathon, they mentioned the great economic impact of having a race. According to that report, the average runner brings along an average of 1.8 people for support, which means our 322-people race a weekend ago probably brought around a thousand people to the island who needed to eat, sleep somewhere, and buy sweatshirts that say "San Juan Island" on 'em.

And THAT means the Town Council and County Commisioners oughta give Race Director Clark Gilbert an award for not only doing that, but also helping raise money for CATS, our theater support group.

And, heck, that's just the money - it's also a great community service to flood the community with neat people, and the runners that came are as first-class as they come. Way to go!

June 11, 2004

Graduation season kicks off: Friday Harbor High and Spring Street School are gearing up for their graduation festivities this weekend, which promises to be fun.

Graduation is perhaps the biggest community event around here in which the most people are in one place at one time, besides maybe the Fourth and the Fair. FHHS will graduate what I believe is the biggest class ever - 81 - this year, eclipsing our usual 50-60 people classes. (Classes in the coming years, based on this year's numbers, are smaller.) It's a good weekend for smiles, hugs, and feeling proud of our kids.

Meanwhile, Skagit Valley College's San Juan Center held its graduation exercises last night. High school completion grads Lacy Dixon and Bruce Turman (in red, starting at left) joined Skagit grads Eric Tubbs, James McGregor, Wendy Schloredt, Carrie Fisher, and Nick Brown as degree recipients. In front in black are Dynana Pruitt (left) and Linda Dingman, who both completed their bachelors work for Washington State by distance ed, becoming the second & third people to get their bachelors through our local college. (Photo by Update cub reporter Randy Martin.)

June 10, 2004

Changes: I was sorta surprised to see Chita Miller over at Windermere's offices yesterday when I went there for a meeting, but even more surprised when the longtime Friday Harbor Realty agent told me she and Gail Hyland have changed offices. Remember that Chita was part of C,M &M Realty back in '94 (the M&M were Patrick Mallory & Cathy Cavanaugh)?

The circles go round...

Fire: I heard there was a fire call out to the Animal Shelter yesterday bacause of a fire started by an one hurt.

Writers' Café next week: Amy (378-2912) wrote to tell me to tell you:

Dear Ian,
The next Writer's Café will be held Friday, June 18 at the Flying Burrito.
This is a wonderful opportunity for writers in our community to read their
work to an eager, appreciative and supportive audience. We encourage folks
to come early to enjoy dinner, drinks and conversation. Sign-up starts at
7:00pm and the open mic readings begin at 7:30pm. We welcome all types of
writers, even songwriters. (hint, hint, Ian, we hope to see and hear you

June 9, 2004

Coffee to go: Looks like Kevin & Diana Porter are off & running with their Not Just Desserts cafe, located in the same spot as San Juan Fast Foto was (or where Great Getaway was, if you haven't been on-island for a while). Drop in & give them a wave...

Meanwhile, it looks like that coffee place Monica & Bill were gonna open in the Windermere spot downtown isn't going to happen...a mixture of second thoughts & the spot not being open till later in the summer drove that decision. Bill says they haven't ruled out the idea of having a shop, just not right there, right now. And you knew they were getting married in August, right?

Sasquatch awards: You know, over the past few weeks, doesn't it seem like you've seen a lot of those walking casts? Sue Aylward at Amigo's turned her ankle, Michele at Wells Fargo (formerly Pacific Northwest Bank) still has hers, and Leigh Freeman has one for a broken foot left over from his trip to France last month.

Watch your step.

Computer Place sold: George & Milene set up one of the island's going concerns: The Computer Place offered classes, computer gear, Internet service, and computer repair for nearly a decade. As of June first, it got bought by Paul Moore (you know, the red-haired guy), who tells me he's going to keep things pretty much the same for the short term.

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

Another commish candidate: While John Evans didn't surprise anyone as he announced he's running again to hold onto his Orcas spot on the Board of County Commissioners, local Tom Fenley also announced late last week he's going for retiring Darcie's spot. Here's a bit from his press release:

Tom Fenley (left), a nine year resident businessman in Friday Harbor announces his candidacy as an Independent for the open 1st District, San Juan Island, commissioner’s seat.

He said he looks forward in the weeks ahead to a lively discussion of the issues all islanders face. “As a Commissioner I will strive to bring people together, on the island in general and within county government,” Fenley said. “With citizens and commissioners working together, we can bridge the gaps between the many interests of our unique island community,” he said from his home and workshop on Limestone Point Road.

Tom Fenley has been in business as a cabinetmaker and small manufacturer on San Juan Island for nine years. He has been a small businessman for 22 years in Washington State. As a resident and business person, Fenley is ready and eager to foster an environment of pride and purpose in the departments of county government much like his own crafted products. One goal he has set, if elected, is completion of the public safety building because security on the island advances in importance.

Quote: "I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life." - Ronald Reagan

June 7, 2004

Special report: San Juan Island Marathon
Photos of the race (the start and the finish)
Complete results are posted here. And...see below!

Craig Hersh of Camas passed Bob McNaught of Bellingham at the 12-mile mark of yesterday's San Juan Island Marathon, and was able to win by 12 seconds as he took first place in the CATS Second Annual Marathon. On the women's side, Heather Griffith of Seattle copped first with a 3:12:30, just ahead of last year's winner Emily Mullen, who still managed to shave four minutes off her time from a year ago.

Local FHHS trackster Lucas (right below, runniing on Douglas Road) won the half marathon for the second straight year with a 1:22:59 time, followed closely by Jessie Swan of Seattle 46 seconds later.

This year's event drew 322 paid registrations, hundreds of supporters and families of runners, and drew praise from runners and locals alike. Northwest Runner magazine's Martin Rudow liked what he saw. "With all those hills, it's going to be a while before last year's course record is broken. But noneless, it's quite a beautiful run."

For the first dozen miles of the men's marathon, McNaught set the pace for the field. Running his 124th marathon, he laughed after the race, "So close, so close. I needed another half-mile and I might have caught him. It's a tough course, with all those rolling hills."

Hersh said, after the race in a note to Race Director Clark Gilbert, "It was a wonderful race. The course was always beautiful and well marked. The volunteers were so friendly and helpful. My family (here's a picture) and I had a great vacation on San Juan Island and hope to come back next year. Thanks again for a great race."

Personal fitness trainer Heather Griffith says she played it conservatively, and was able to get the lead for good around the 22nd mile. The 32-year-old said she ran the race for a friend's birthday (her friend finished fifth).

Franco agreed that pacing was the key. "I wanted to set a consistent pace, and it looks like it worked. I sometimes start out too fast, so it was good that I could get consistent early." The FHHS senior plans to attend Seattle University this fall, where he intends to try out for the track team there.

Marquette University grad Swan (finishing, above) said she had never run a 13.1 mile race before, but felt good afterward and said she could imagine doing it again. "My goal was to stick to sub-7 minute miles and then I thought I'd have a chance."

In a race that featured runners from all over the world, including Hajime Nishi (left) from Japan, running his 350th race and carrying a camera and a wide smile, local runners perfomed well.

Ross Lockwood's 3:21 marathon was good enough for third place on the men's side, while Jane Hutchinson warmed up for a triathalon next week by finishing first among local women in the marathon. Librarian Laura Tretter was joined by her sister Susan from Lopez and her parents Tom & Pat from Iowa to walk the half marathon; Darlene Wahl and her husband Ken laughed that the Tretters and they were competing to see who would come in last.

Bruno Pernet from the Labs posted a respectable 1:47 in the half-marathon, and a number of people who grew up here used the race as a reason to come home for a weekend. Randy Gaylord took off in good spirits (in the starting line photo above) and finished with a smile as well, which matched Julie Ochoa's - she just decided Saturday night to give the half-marathon a try.

The Marathon is directed by Clark Gilbert, and is a fundraiser for CATS for the San Juan Island Community Theatre. The race is sponsored by King's Market (show sponsor) and wells Fargo (course sponsor), as well as a group of local businesses mentioned on the event's website at

There are a couple of zillion pictures my ace photog son Shay & I took to show you what happened - lots of faces you know are at the place we have the pictures of the first of the race and the finish. Check 'em out, and see yourself in action!

Below - see who ya know: From the top (going clockwise): Jane Hutchinson, Ross, the Walkers; Julie; Vern Tator and Susan; Jen Fleming with the twins, doc Mark, and the best "Go Mommy! sign around; and Pat, Laura, Susan, and Tom.

June 4, 2004

Marathon & Expo: Yep, it's this weekend. The Expo is Saturday from 10am to 7pm with all kinds of stuff happening at the Fairgrounds, and the run is Sunday at 7am.

See yourself: or your favorite runner: I'll be posting a scrapbook of photos here on Sunday or Monday, as well as posting the results on their website as soon as I get 'em.. See ya there...

Notes around town: All that commotion out at Roche Harbor yesterday afternoon was about Brian (he of San Juan Safaris) and Rachel (she of the beautiful paintings at getting married - their 4 o'clock wedding pulled together a sizeable chuck of the community.

Congrats, you two!

Baby notes: Stephanie Buffum over at the Friends of the San Juans is five & a half months pregnant - she and Cy expect their late-summer arrival to be a boy. She's got that cool about-to-be-a-mom glow.

Piano notes: Former islander Joe Bongiorno's new album (left) just got reviewed online by Solo Piano Publications and the word is good. Kathy Parsons says, "The music is peaceful, and there are no hard edges. The pieces are quietly passionate and optimistic, making the listening experience a very calming and uplifting one." Get your copy on Joe's website at

Help out: You know, I mentioned the group that Amber Peterman works for in Cameroon's website (Women for Health, Progress and Development)...they do great things for HIV/AIDS ophans & families. They DO take donations - go to the website to see how you can help some folks who really need it. she didn't ask me to say that...that's my plug. It'll make a difference.

Moon out: Go to the east side of the island tonight & check out that full moon over Griffin Bay - it was beautiful last night at around 11:30pm.

State Ferries hit the low tide: You may have noticed the water's kinda low. Here's the reoprt from the Washington State Ferries:

Puget Sound will be experiencing extreme low tides this Thursday, June 3, thru Saturday, June 5. This will impact vehicles with low ground clearance, including RV's, commercial trucks and some small sports cars seeking passage on WSF. On Thursday, low clearance vehicles should not plan to board from 10am-1pm.; Friday, between11am-2pm.; on Saturday, between noon and 2:20pm. Low clearance vehicles that arrive at the terminals during these time frames may be held until a later sailing.

June 2, 2004

Featured artist: Hey, did you see the writeup about local artist Mari Williams in the April issue of the Crafts Report magazine? The article was called "Emerging Artist: Mari Williams — Each Creation Has a Different Personality" by Sue Wasserman.

The kids are alright: Amber Peterman (FHHS class of '99) dropped by this last month...she spent most of the last year in Cameroon working with HIV/AIDS education and helping improve the lives of AIDS orphans. Here's more about Women for Health, Progress and Deveopment (WHEPD), the non-governmental organization she was working with.

The former FHHS valedictorian is off to work on her doctorate at North Carolina this fall. She's doing great things...

Al's cool car: I ran into Al Commins over the weekend at the post office - he was taking his 1929 Ford Roadster out for a spin with his sister Mary, so I asked if I could take a picture of it.

June 1, 2004

Name hijacked, franchise established: When you drove by the place at the right in Oregon, I'm sure you thought the same thing as I did - either Greg & Carol Ford have started selling franchise rights to "Mi Casita" or maybe the people heard about their place & liked the name.

Or maybe they heard the saying, "My house is your house - Mi casita está su casita" - as well. Have you ever noticed that Mi Casita's is full for lunch & dinner, during the summer & during the winter? The friendly, welcoming atmosphere that Greg and his staff offer makes it a great place to eat.

By the way, Pierre LaBossiere shot the picture...he works at a paper down near LaGrande, Oregon. He notes: "I took this photo. Thought you might be interested. This is a taco shack in Island City, a few miles outside of La Grande. The Fords should sue for copyright infringement."

Crowded at the end of the long weekeend: Yesterday the ferry part of town was a zoo...people were getting in line so they could leave on the ferry after next. It was a pleasant day with a tiny bit of sprinkles and that nice, warmish weather in the 60s, even with a bit of cloud cover at times.

Celebrity Golf Classic: It's this weekend coming up. Plan ahead!

Softball rocks: The FHHS girls had a great time going to state last week, something Coach Kevin Carlton is gettin them used to doing each year. The San Juan Islander has the story, with a nice wad of pix. Great kids, great results. Way to go, girls!

The Marathon - nearly here, with the 350th race for this guy: Yep, the San Juan Island Marathon is this weekend on Sunday at 7am...Race Chief Clark Gilbert tells me we'll have some famous company:

Hajime Nishi, author of ECOMARATHON DATA BOOK and LOSING IS WINNING: THE JOY OF SLOW RUNNING PHILOSOPHY will visit Friday Harbor to run the 2004 San Juan Island Marathon as his 350th marathon.

He's been running marathons around the globe since 1990. In 1995, he's started to campaign Ecomarathon, a run for ecology, to create a healthy, peaceful and harmonious planet for all and future generations. In the meantime he created a whole new way of running, Slow Running Philosophy, to enjoy the wholeness of marathon by focusing on connectedness of body, mind, spirit and environment.

He became the first person who ran 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 months in 1997 that Guinness had created new world record, "The fastest time to run marathons on each of seven continents" or so called, "The Triple Seven" for his record and certified him as a world record holder on Jan. 1999.

In 2000, he became the first non-North American resident who ran marathons on each of all 50 US states plus DC and in 51 countries.

He'll keep inspiring the people around the globe through his century long Ecomarathon Mission, "We can live in peace, we can live in Harmony and we can live together."

Here's his philosophy:

Ecomarathon is not a race, but it's a way of life

Beyond competition, but with connection

Beyond conquest, but with harmony

Beyond dominion, but with sharing

Beyond possession, but with simplicity

Ecomarathon is not a race, but it has a goal

Everyone has equal opportunity to live with dignity

and to have enough food to eat with peace in mind

and with gratefulness to nature

No visa, no border

One people, one planet

Don't just run it, Ecomarathon it

Time is not essential, but the timing is

Back in town: You've seen him around - Adnan is back to open Maloula's for the summer...that's the great Mediterranean restaurant above Friday Harbor Yachts & the pub. His family moved to Damascus, Syria last winter.

Garage sale: I'm having a garage sale this weekend, with a food dryer, big office desk, hammock, life jackets, books, book shelves, and more. Drop by. 8-12...

Quote: "In 1920, Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz wrote that The (New York) Times had missed the real story of the Bolshevik Revolution because its writers and editors "were nervously excited by exciting events." That could have been said about The Times and the war in Iraq. The excitement's over; now the work begins. - Daniel Okrent, for the New York Times

May 28. 2004

Slug alert: Yep, that's what you get when you get enough rain...slugs. The photo at the right was shot on the sidewalk across from the ferry last night, so you know they're coming your way.

Get your beer tins and salt shakers ready.

May 26, 2004

Why run? Why you? OK, I know you're dithering about coming here to run in the San Juan Island Marathon that's scheduled for the weekend after this.

You WANT to come & do the race (or the half marathon, 'cause your knees are like mine & you'll walk half of it). Time to get off the fence. Here are ten great reasons why you are crazy not to come:

1. It's nice this time of year. I have no idea if it'll be warm like last year (it was in the 70s at the end of the race) or cool, but it won't be freezing & it probably won't be unbearably hot.

2. Whoever you bring will be glad. While you're running, they will either sleep in, go walk on the beach, take a hike somewhere, go to the Blue Dolphin or the Bowling Alley or the Donut Shop & drink coffee & swap stories with colorful locals who are barely awake but who will let you read their copy of the P-I, if it's arrived from the ferry.

3. Drink coffee while all this is going on. We have more coffee places than you.

4. You want to rest your legs the day before, right? That's why God invented kayaking. Lotta arm action there.

5. You read the Canterbury Tales, right? We re-create that several times a day with a Ferry Trip. You ride to Canterbury, uh, I mean Friday Harbor, with a bunch of pilgrims with interesting stories & different reasons for coming. Good place to swap stories.

6. The cultural advantages! We have NO fast food places! We have no traffic lights at all. Heck, we don't even have much traffic - when there's three or four cars at an intersection people start mumbling about how crowded we've gotten. People don't honk when you're slow!

We have more dogs per capita than any place in the Western Hemisphere, half of whom come when you call 'em & all of whom are nice & not fierce.

We have music at night, somewhere in our little town.

We have a sense of history, usually back to around the time Free Willy was filmed.

7. Oh, yeah - the run. The reason it says "the most beautiful run in the state!" is because that's what people said after last year's run.

8. What if you DON'T run? That's cool - it's pretty awesome & downright inspiring to watch & cheer for those who do. You'll get an appreciation for what humans are about, as they reach for the limits of what being human can mean. Pretty amazing & way cool.

9. If you run, you get a cool shirt. When you wear it, everybody will see it saying San Juan & figure you've been to Puerto Rico.

10. You'll feel good about yourself, and about the other runners.

See you there. You know this is where you really wanna be.

Swan rises: Mark & Aylene from Trumpeter Inn just posted some awesome photos by Tom Munson on their website, including the one to the right. You gotta see 'em to believe 'em. Better yet, get outside & look at the birds in person. Or in bird. Or whatever you say.

The Update turns 200! Yep, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia & it's true: The San Juan Update - America's San Juan Island News Source - is about to register 200,000 frontpage views.

See the counter at the bottom of this page to see if we're over the top yet. Wahoo!

Art Walk: It's next weekend...the Studio Tour is fun if you want to see how our famous artists make their wares. Here's the story: check 'em out.

The Labs have music & history in the air: Bob Schwartzberg from the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories asked me to tell you about these two deals:

Please join us as Friday Harbor Laboratories presents The 4th Annual Jazz at the Labs on Saturday, June 5, 2004. Featuring “The San Juan Jazz Quartet + 1”...and from Seattle, the phenomenal Jazz and Blues Group “Chimera” - Dinner and Music 6:00-9:30 p.m. $30 per person. Music only 7:00-9:30 p.m. $15 per person. Funds from Jazz at the Labs supports the Friday Harbor Laboratories' K-12 science programs in the San Juan Schools. For reservations and information call 360-378-2165.

And remember to visit the San Juan Historical Museum, featuring Friday Harbor Laboratories’ Centennial Anniversary - “100 Years of Marine Science Excellence.”

Quote: "I have spent my days stringing & unstringing my instrument
while the song I came to sing remains unsung." - Rabindranath Tagore

Click here for more news!

Read the Update from years gone by - history is doomed to repeat itself:

Review the Update from April 19, 2004 - May 25, 2004

Review the Update from February 8, 2004 - March 19, 2004

Review the Update from December 6, 2003 - February 8, 2004

Review the Update from October 1, 2003 - December 6, 2003

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.

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