August 30, 1998

Morning calls: You can always tell when it's foggy in the harbor: At 6am this morning (or thereabouts), we could hear the ferry horns as the boats came in and left. Sounds kinda like a Canadian goose with the bass turned up, on steroids. Really deep. If you're not already awake, and you live in town, it can help get you going for the day....

BOCC & jetskis: On September 8, the Board of Commissioners has scheduled a public hearing at Skagit Community College regarding the proposed jetski ban. They'll be looking for input - pro & con - about when, where, and how to deal with the things. Can't be there but got something to say? The last day for letters is September 4.

Cruise for Wolf Hollow: The Fifth Annual Nature Cruise aboard The Western Prince happens on September 13th from 9am -'s a fundraiser for the people on our island who look after rehabbing injured and displaced animals here. Call 378-7032.

Crash: Word on the street has it there was a seaplane crash over on the other side of the strait, close to the Anacortes side of things. According to the person telling me about it, there may have been a fatality...more soon as we find out...

August 29, 1998

Here comes the sun: Even locals occasionally stay there: my son Shay wanted to sleep out at Lakedale for his birthday last night (he's 9), so we camped out next to the lake. A beautiful evening: Sitting by the campfire, watching the stars (you can see ALL of 'em here), and the clean air...

Then, when I got up to come into town this morning just after sunrise - my, oh, my, you should see it - the fog hanging low over the fields, the sun rising over the trees, the mist over the water at both Lakedale and Sportsman's Lake. It's all only for a moment, but certainly a great moment...I feel sorry for folks who sleep in & miss it.

Yellow, redux: Still got a bunch of yellow jackets (those are like bees, not firepeople's coats) around. Don't want to talk about it.

Another approach to whales: Do you want to get closer to the whales, but can't make it up to the island? Check out Peter's Whale Tales: Human Interactions with Whales...sells his book right off his webpage.

Duke's on the loose: Andy and Lisa tell me they're going to move Duke's Sporting Goods over next to Island Studios...they'll be even easier to find, right there on Spring Street. Drop in and say hi...their year-old experiment in seeing if a little island can support a sporting goods place is going well.

Ferry tales, continued: The new ferry schedule for the fall makes it even tougher for school activities: Last year the sports teams would leave at 11:30 for a 3:30 match on the mainland somewhere, to return on the 8:25, which gets us home at 10:30 or so. It's a real commitment for the teams...this year those ferries may leave as early as 9am. Heckuva long day gets, school, and ferry officials are looking into the matter.

By the way, did I tell you school starts next Thursday, the third?

Summer rolls on: You can feel it already...the summer's winding down. There are dead leaves (a few) under the trees, it's a touch cooler at night, and, of course, the days are getting shorter, with it dark around 8 or so. The weather's been great - warm during the day, pleasant in the evening...Stephanie out at Lakedale told me last night this has been one of the most pleasant summers she can remember.

And we have a little bit of it left.

August 26, 1998

Visitors check in: Anne Trotter writes that she was on the island during the fair, and keeps up with things here by reading this Update (her wonderful daughter Kelly works over at Mi Casita, a pleasantly-priced Mexican place here)...

She said she saw two bumper stickers while she was here:

She adds that she actually likes cats, and not for dinner...

August 25, 1998

Y2K at home: While the Year 2000 (Y2K) bug looms on the horizon of the next 16 months, and people take varying degrees of precaution about it, it's nice to know one way to prepare: Get a generator from our friends Steve and Nancy at Deisel America West, right here on the island. They've been making engines and generators for some 27-28 years now, and you can guess they wouldn't stay in business that long unless they made good machines. Nancy tells me the bug has sent some concerned people their way....

Fishin' : Jeremy Nash tells me the fishin's good, as he takes people out in his chartered boat this season. He showed me a couple of 25-pound king salmon to make his point.

The music seen & heard: Can there be so much music in one place? The Theatre continued its classical series on Saturday, while the same night heard Penga over at Pope's Lumber, and the ever-popular contra dance at the Grange Hall. Along with the bar bands and Katrina's offerings (which included me and my modest following) it all made for a pretty tuneful weekend here on the island.

By the way, at Katrina's, regular Update readers Bob and Marilyn from McLean, VA, dropped in...It was great to meet them.

Yellow: Yes, there are a lot of yellow jackets this time of year. That's all I want to say about it...

School halls on the mend: The middle school's nearly done, but the high school's renovation isn't slated for completion till sometime next March. We're going to have a fine looking school when it's all done, but in the meantime the older kids will be shuffling between the portables and a couple of the new classrooms. Everybody's working hard to get this project done....should make for a first class facility when it's done.


August 18, 1998

Merge: Lisa McCormick over at Windermere Real Estate tells me her office and John L. Scott have joined, bringing their sales force (as listed on their website) to some 30 agents...the two offices will operate under the Windermere banner, with offices at both ends of Spring Street.

Another bumper crop of bumper stickers (seen around town):

August 16, 1998

Pack it up, move it out (and the winners are...): Well, the San Juan County Fair has come, put on its show for another year, and is now breaking down today to move on.

Some of the action:

Once again, the music was fine - lots of local talent during the day and early evening, with the evenings' entertainment anchored by our local marimba all-stars Musasa, the Clumsy Lovers (gotta see their webpage!), and last night's grand finale with the Zydeco Flames that seemed to never end. Great for dancing the night away.

Ya know, the Clumsy Lovers were FUN! They mix a Celtic foundation with any other style they can lay their hands on, and what's amazing: it works. Besides that, these obviously serious (and seriously good) musicians appear to have a great time on stage with each other, and with their audience. Impossible to sit still while listening to ' their CD so I don't have to describe their stuff to you, 'cause I can't. Hope they're back this way soon.

A new category this year was "Weird Stuff Found on the Beach," with the winner a fellow named Peter who found a rusted can of construction foam - the foam had escaped into the water and made an interesting, if undescribable design. Or sculpture. Or blob. Or something. Liz Illg reported she had 37 entries this fair....

The politicos were all around, with lots of buttons & bumper stickers on display. Saw a baby whose diaper was pinned on using two opposing judicial candidates' buttons.

Over in the flower competition, Chris Watling served as superintendent, with a number of the first places going to Lea from Olympic Lights B&B. Chris organized the area to show off the quantity as well as quality of the gardens around the island. She mentioned there were some 520 entries this year, down from last year's 800 or so...that's still a heck of a lot of color! It was great.

Leisha Holmes was over in the Arts & Crafts exhibit (at the Grey Top Inn) boxing everything up this morning from her Club Mud students - she's taking the claywork over to set up a show at the library, so you can see the kids' work there after this coming Friday for about a month.

There were the little local touches: One of the food booths offered blackberry lemonade, and was nearly out of blackberries by the middle of of the neighbors found this out and went and picked them a gallon (they're all over the place) and dropped 'em off for free.

Big deal on Saturday: Brandon Guard's 600+ pound sow gave birth to 15, eliciting squeals from the kids and newborn piglets both. Just what moms want to hear: Mom, they're CUTE! Can't we get one?

They WERE cute, though.

There was kind of a line for one of the rides, which gave us a chance to check out the guys RUNNING the rides. You wonder a little - they didn't replace some of the lights that were out, and occasionally looked a little distracted - but the rides seemed to work OK, and of course the kids tried to pick the ones that make them the diziest or sickest, or both.

The Sorophomists volunteered to watch the gates, which is why you saw local businesswomen staffing the ins-and-outs of the fair, including County Commissioner Darcie Nielsen at the front on Saturday. Speaking of commishes, did you hear Rhea Miller sing on Friday? Talented folks in charge around here...

Saw John Pachuta from Shaw Island School (some 15-20 kids in the whole school) checking out the Stuart Island School (less kids) raffle to raise money to take the kids to Washington, D.C., like the Decatur Island School did earlier this year with their six kids. Field trips ARE fun, especially if you live on an outer island...

Signs of the apocalypse at the fair:

Ran into former Fair Boss Janet Thomas (with her new do) wandering the fair, and asked her if she misses getting to put on the island's biggest party. She said she really enjoyed this year's event, without missing all the organizing. She's working as an editor for a national mag these days, and having a great time.

Of course, there was much, much more than just these few things...that's what made it so cool.

A great time was had by all. Community at its best.

Goin' to the chapel: Yesterday was the getting-married day for Linda Cooper (second grade teacher at FHES) and middle/high school drama teacher Fred Yockers out at their place, with a cast of hundreds (of friends). Lovely music by Vanessa Ament (during the ceremony) and Penga - a new marimaba/drums group on the island featuring a bunch of Fred's students, and others - set the tone for a touching day full of hugs and warmth. Neat to see many of the teachers and administrators for our school system mingling with their colleagues from Spring Street, as well. The Episcopal service (West Davis officiating) drew from both church tradition and the couple's sense of community...these two people have brought a lot of islanders together.

I heard Tori Williams and her fellow Peter got hitched yesterday, too.

Ferry Tales: Looks like the WSF folks are adding a ferry this fall with extra spaces...more on that when the schedule becomes available. But, hey, we don't want to make it TOO convenient to live here...

New soccer coach: Athletic Director Cal Johnson tells me Friday Harbor High has selected Colin Casabelos to replace retiring Juan Lopez in the boys' soccer head job. Colin works over at the Computer Place, played at Santa Monica, and brings a great deal of playing experience and enthusiasm to the position.

Meanwhile, the volleyball team begins practice in a week without benefit of a main gym, as the floor continues to get itself they'll prep for the season in the small gym. They also are getting ready for Coach Michelle's baby, due in early October...she's got her assistants ready to step in when the Date Arrives. The VB'ers hope for a return trip to State this fall.

The girls' soccer squad starts daily doubles next week as well, with most of last year's team back. There's much excitement among the team, as they join a league for the first time in two years, and play a mostly single-A schedule this fall, with a few AA teams just to balance the schedule out.

Jackson signs off: Last Wednesday, Phill Jackson rode his motorcycle to the Fair, hopped off, and suffered a massive heart attack. The 63-year-old author, essayist, educator, and Macintosh enthusiast was a familiar sight in the street in his deputy uniform directing traffic and doing other volunteer reserve police stuff; and an easy person to chat with, about most anything. He wrote a weekly column for the Morrock News Service, as well.

Phill's wife Carol runs Serendipity Bookstore (shelves by Phill), and tells me she's doing OK...she says he was physically active with no previous history of heart trouble, and only a couple of weeks ago hoisted 20 boxes of books into their truck, at the Library Book Sale. He's already much missed. A wake for Phill is set for Tuesday at 5:30 over at the Legion Hall.

August 11, 1998

A great one passes: Peter Fromm told me Tuesday that Warren Everson (he owned Charters Northwest) suffered a fatal heart attack couple of Saturdays back. An avid boatsman all his life, Warren was helping put on the Shaw Island Classic (August 1st) when he passed...Peter said the greatest thing would be to die while afloat, so he's pretty sure that's what Warren would have wanted....Vivian from his office mentioned that he had retired a month before, but still kept dropping by the office. She says he is much missed.

Autumn looms: When was the last time you dropped by the Farmers' Market? The great food just keeps coming, whether it's Steve and Linnea and Rhianna's produce from Waldron (they always have such a long line - it's worth it!), oysters from Westcott Bay, the ostrich meat guys, or ice cream sandwiches, little pizzas, or bread from Anne and Maggie at Isis Bakery (smiles are free!). The Market runs from 10 - 1 each Saturday, and Maggie says it's a good idea to show up early - she was nearly sold out in the first 45 minutes.

Bumper stickers seen around Friday Harbor lately (plastered pithily on local cars, mostly, I think):

Fair about to unfold: The rides and carnies are setting up over at the Fairgrounds as the county gets ready for the County Fair this week (Wednesday - Saturday). Eric says he's pointing the IslandCam at the fair (see his stuff at IslandCam - so you can see what's going on, the horses are starting to trickle in, exhibits are being erected, and the kids are starting to scheme about what rides they want to ride till they get sick. It's cool.

Friendly: I dropped by to say hi to my friends at Friday Harbor Realty yesterday, and visited with Diana Clark there for a moment. A couple of visitors dropped by to ask about a cabin on the west side, and I'm telling you, it was fun to watch Diana work with them...she showed them their options, pointed out whom to talk to in town about stuff, told 'em a little about what's it's like to live here. She was great. I've noticed most all the realtors around here are that way...they are often our "welcome wagon" to the island for folks thinking they'd like to move here.

Where there's a will: Have you read Will Bryant? He lives right here on the island...he's written several bestsellers, including (the last one I read) A Time For Heroes...most of his stuff's available in any good library...check him out! I was up till 2am finishing a book of his last night...proof that he writes gripping prose. Proof to me, anyway. Yawn, today.

Island car redux: I sold my island car (discussed in the February 9th entry below) to a fellow named Keith.

You'll remember I told you that folks around here sometimes have a second (or first!) car that's basically a rust accident waiting to flake...mine was an '80 VW Rabbit which had a ton of needed body work, a busted windshield, a bolted-shut driver's door, and - dare I say? - it ran like a top. Good engine, good brakes, good steering, and worried me someone might get tetnus leaning against it.

Keith - here for the summer - needed a way to get from the Oaks where he lives to Roche where he works...he bought it, saying it ran the best of the beaters he looked at - two of which didn't start when he went to try 'em out. Thus the circle stays unbroken.

Job help helped out: Wade Guidry (who works at the library doing their computer stuff) told me yesterday at soccer that he reads this Update every week, which leads me to think he's a fine, well-read young man.

He mentioned the library has set up a Job Resource Station for patrons. He says,"This dedicated workstation provides resumé and cover letter authoring software, links to selected career siteson the Internet, and presentation-quality printing." There's also a 10 minute one-on-one tutoring session covering the new software for patrons as well ... call Kathleen (the head librarian) at 378-2798; the library's website also has information.

All that jazz: Jazz Festival Director Mark Kendziorek told me over the weekend he'll find out the "bottom line" about how the festival went two weeks ago from his board this week...he noted people seemed to have had a great time, but remarked the present Canadian exchange rate - something like $1.52 Canadian for each US greenback - didn't help encourage our friends to the North to attend.

Quote of the week: "Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain

August 3, 1998

Principals move: The word from the school district is that middle school principal Ricke Swaim has accepted a position in another district...the district has decided to move elementary principal Court Bell over to the MS, and has commenced searching for a new elementary boss. All this with only a month till the next semester...

In other school news: I know you were worried: the soccer field's being nicely watered and is looking pretty good for the fall. And, yes, the football team uses it, too. They call it the football field, sometimes.

And have you seen the renovation work on the middle school lately? It's looking great! Next up - the high school.

Weather action - gray: Although it was kind of gray a couple of days ago, it was beautiful Saturday and Sunday. You know not to listen to the Seattle weather forecasts about us, right? It's always nicer here.

And the garden's doing super, thank you, as are the blackberries. Why buy 'em in the store when they're everywhere on the island? Making cobblers and great smoothies...

Elections in gear: Informally & county-wise, I heard this weekend that John Vogt's planning to run for sheriff against incumbent Bill Cumming; that Manford Rose filed to oppose Paul Dossett for assessor, a job Paul has never had to campaign for since no one ever ran against him in his other two campaigns; and Jack Giard (no surprise) is Commissioner Rhea Miller's only opponent. Filing day was last Friday...there are some other races too; we'll see what we can find out. There are already some candidate webpages out.

July 31, 1998

Ferry meeting: Last night's meeting at the Grange between community members and the Washington State Ferry officials drew sparks...the officials came to get feedback, and apparently got an earful, according to my friend Sandy after the meeting. She said folks were riled up about the medical preference policies of the WSF, and were pretty vocal in expressing their concerns. She also said Bob Distler and Commissioner John Evans were doing a good job moderating the meeting, in spite of the high emotions.

Wherein I get famous: My friend Julie works at the recycling center on the island here (she's a great actress at the theatre too, but that's another story). The other day she came up to me and said, "I really like your tape! It sounds great!"

Naturally, I was pleased to hear someone liked my music, and asked if she had bought it at Mellowwoods Music here or had borrowed it..."Oh, no - I just found it in the dump. Shoot, it still had the plastic wrapper on it."

I'm touched.

The weather: Kinda gray, but pleasant yesterday...should be a great weekend. A friend who's coming up from Oregon asked how the weather would be next week...has it been hot? Heck in the last week we've hit 87 degrees, had a little rain, and had highs of 65 as well, all on different days. Plan ahead...probably won't snow, but anything else could happen.

Wildlife on the loose: Driving home from Brad Mitchell's wedding to Tanja at Roche Harbor the other night, I swung by the west side to see who was around. There was a pheasant on Mitchell Bay Road, as well as a couple of deer and a youngish Bambi-sized and -spotted companion. Also saw a fox dart into the woods, and had a spirited conversation with a couple of tourists from North Carolina about whether a whale we saw was a minke or a Dall's porpoise. There was a bald eagle watching over the water in a tree, which you could see from Lime Kiln as the sun went down.

You had to be there.

County Fair is coming: Well, the Fair runs from the 12th to the 15th this year...make your plans now! Probably the closest thing we have to an all-island meeting, the Fair has great music, great food, and a chance to mingle with neighbors and see what they've been up to.

Books and more books: The Annual Book Sale by the Friends of the Library is Friday and Saturday...they set up tons of used books in the elementary school gym, then unload 'em on the community. A great deal.

July 28, 1998

All that jazz: If you missed the Jazz Festival last weekend, you can still catch a glimpse of it at Eric's IslandCam site, where he's posted some images from the 19th annual event. A local favorite: the street dance on Thursday that provides the first evening's entertainment. And a good time was had by all...

Superpods: The folks at Deer Harbor Charters report that there have been more superpods (meetings of the whale pods) this summer.

Ferry notes: A lot of attention has been directed at our venerable ferry system this summer, partly because they went to a modified system while they fixed one of the bigger boats, and partly because the ferry folks ran into a situation in which they denied boarding to a woman who was so sick she died the next day (they usually make room for medical situations). The Journal has been covering this discussion, and Steve has started a page for reviewing the situation.

Berry good time: The strawberry season seems to have dried up here, but the blackberries are coming in in full can tell both by looking at the bushes and the purple-stained teeth of the kids at the grocery store.

Hotter: The last week has been warmer than the rest of the summer...Ernest Pugh described the first two days last week as being hotter because the air didn't move; yesterday I saw some 90 degree-registering thermometers around town. Sure was warm in the Corporate Suites of By Design; like most folks, we have no air conditioning - who needs it the rest of the year? So far, it's been a little cooler today....

July 18, 1998

Whale Tales: Howie Garrett reports the campaign to free local whale Lolita (sometimes called Tokitae) continues in Miami, where she's held in a tiny pool and made to perform for food...For an update on the campaign, see his page. Lately, he says, the story has been covered on every English language TV station in Miami, plus talk radio. In addition, KOMO-TV (Seattle) has done two stories on the campaign in the past week.

Howie says, "Coincidentally, there was a story on German, Swiss and Austrian TV about Lolita last week. Monday morning I presented my report on the releasability of long term captive orcas to County Mayor Penelas. Then I took one to the mayor of the city, then the mayor of Key Biscayne."

Lolita was born around here, and captured in the 1970s; there is a growing movement to return her home. Opponents to the move insist returning her to the wild after a couple of decades would doom her; Garrett and others insist she can handle it, and would thrive back in the company of her family. Naturalist Peter Fromm's analogy: "It would be like one of the hostages coming back from Lebanon - there's no question it would be an occasion of joy for Lolita and her family."

Whether it's hot: After a rainy week, it's been HOT! here - in the 80's yesterday - and sunny, with a nice weekend ahead (see the weather report on the menu above).

The wild streets of San Juan Island: I live on Fir Street in Friday Harbor. I can't tell you how many people tell me they can't find me...on First Street. Similarly, there are both a Fir Way and a Fir Avenue on the island (all short streets) as well.

Because of this and other almost-thought-out road names (Carter Avenue and Carter Street come to mind), there's a move to organize & rename streets so the 911 folks don't get lost when someone calls in an emergency - spending their time trying to figure out First Street and Fir Street alone puts them a mile apart from reality.

They asked for citizen input, and they could be sorry. Of course, there's all sorts of ideas about the renaming, including a computer buddy of mine wanting to live on Hard Drive, some type-A types who would live on Over Drive, a poet who likes "DownThe" Road, a kid who told me his parents are pushing for "Sex Drive" (I'm not sure it's his parents), and the usual assortment who want to name their roads after relatives, saints, former presidents, and their dogs.

Kids loose & close encounters: Val at San Juan Excursions tells me that when they go out, lately they've been seeing a lot of Oreo & Princess Angeline's new calves playing. She also said last week a whale came right up to the boat and removed some kelp caught on the bow, then went on her way...and that yesterday some males were chasing salmon around the boat.

Bottomfish news: The Marine Resources Committee's newsletter just went online, addressing the issues around the Bottom Fish Recovery Program (BFRP).

July 14, 1998

Under review: Now that the state's Supreme Court has upheld our county's ban on jet skis (see the Journal's account tomorrow), the County's Board of Commissioners begins hearings and deliberations this morning to begin deliberations to write a new ban.

Meanwhile, Mary Ann Anderson tells me there's a celebration/potluck of the court's decision scheduled this Saturday at Jackson Beach from noon-3pm, with beverages and music provided.

And we're not the only ones thinking about this stuff - the National Park Service is reviewing plans to ban personal watercraft as well, according to a report in the Seattle Times last week.

Campers abound: Molly O'Neil reports her computer camp at the Computer Place went well last week, as it continues this week. One of their activities: To count the number of computers in use during a "scavenger hunt" of the downtown business area. Avery Adams reported his group (the boys) found 227, while Megan Corbett's girls found 207. Crystal Rose says, "The boys won, but only because we let them." The kids agreed they had a great time.

Meanwhile, soccer camp continues at the elementary school (sponsored by Park & Rec and The Northwest Soccer Camp folks), where they had to turn people away yesterday at signups - the camp is offered this year with a couple of counselors from Gonzaga and George Washington Universitys.

Then, over at Club Mud, kids continue to make stuff out of clay (and mud!) this week, under the guidance of Leisha Holmes...they have an open house tonight to show parents what fun they've been having.

Whales wail: In her weekly newsletter, Elizabeth talks about the orcas' vocalizations, especially this last week, and more.

Rock Island continues to grow: Local Internet Service Provider (ISP) Rock Island has announced they've opened their new modem pool on Orcas, which promises to provide a more local presence for that island. This ISP began in early 1996 providing service to the islands, and is currently the largest out here.

Rain today: While the weather report today calls for rain, it should be clearing up soon - and, anyway, sometimes it forgets to rain when it's supposed to, anyhow. Get outside and play.

Soccer news: At Sunday's pickup soccer game at the elementary school (usually around 4pm - where were you?) the games have taken on a cosmopolitan flair, with players from all around the world represented. A sampling: Sonia (Honduras), David (Colombia), Edgar (México), Seamus (Ireland), Tony (Finland), Tina (New Zealand/Australia), Johannes (Germany, at least according to his new world Cup jersey), Renee (Kansas, via Evergreen State - needed a passport!), as well as a few native born USAers. The mixture of styles and skills is what makes this fun; all of us live and work on the island, and this gives us one more place to work together.

And we're not the only ones there: the softball teams practice right next to the playing field, so we trade fly balls and errant free kicks. The fields get a lot of use....softball happens all week, with games Tuesday and Wednesday, while pickup soccer also meets Monday and Thursday nights at 7pm.

July 12, 1998

Then the rain came: After a pleasant, if gray, day on Saturday, the drizzle-rain started later in the day. Still warm though, and I hear that Farmer's Market (over next to the Theatre every Saturday at 10am) was well-attended again. Great place to get your vegies, bakery stuff, and much, much more.

Checked out the ferry line around six thirty Saturday night - a lot of people getting off, with all the bikers in their rain gear. They're ready for the weather.

Taku passes: The Whale Museum has announced it's pretty sure Taku, one of the more noticeable and popular whales in the resident pods here, has died. The researchers are able to determine this from patterns established in previous years, and Taku simply hasn't been seen. Their press release says The Museum is working up a "Tribute" exhibit in honor of the whale.

Internet Café doing great: Sara Grace's Menu Bar/Internet Café continues to be a popular attraction for coffee addicts, e-mail getters, and folks just looking for a place to hang out. Drop by and see her - right next to the Health Club and Computer Place on Argyle - next time you're in town.

The big drug bust: Details in the Journal this week...seems some 18 folks were taken in, including a couple of kids.

The important part of the news, if this is really news: Get outside and play.

July 9, 1998

Jet skis bite the dust: This morning it was announced the State Supreme Court upheld the County's ban on personal watercraft.

The story here: Couple of years ago, the Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to ban personal watercraft in the waters around our islands - a move much applauded by most residents and many visitors. The decision was appealed, and the Whatcom appeals court rescinded our ban, effectively saying it was legal (not to be confused with OK) to run the doggone things around here.

With the court's decision today, the original ban will have to be re-passed (it had a time period on it), but re-asserts the notion that folks with noisy, dangerous machines don't have a right to impose them on other folks. Jet ski industry folks spent a rumored $2 million in legal moves in this case, defending their right to sell & use the machines.

Morning run: The weather outside's been great these last few days, and it appears will be this weekend as well..."great" is sort of relative, I suppose - it hasn't been hot, hasn't been cold, just 70 or so...just right. Kinda like Baby Bear's porridge, or something.

Sent my little family off on the "red eye" ferry this morning to do a mainland trip. While we call the first ferry of the day the "red eye" for obvious reasons, it didn't seem to apply this morning, as most folks seemed wide awake...possibly moved by the bright reds and yellows of the sunrise across Friday Harbor.

Tried to eat breakfast with them at the Blue Dolphin, but it was too crowded, so we visited in the car till the boat loaded. Then I made my way back to the office, running into all kind of folks, starting at the Dolphin, which, of course, cleared out with the ferry leaving.

Dolphin owner Jeannie said hey, and showed us her nice new color menus, while Rhonda the ace waitress checked in about the latest (can her kid REALLY be a year old already?). Then Ted Roell said hey, and mentioned how he'd gotten a nice new Macintosh G3, which makes him the fourth person this week I've heard who has just gotten one (including Kim Miller, Emily of Emily's Guides, and the school folks over at Shaw School).

Someone told me that Kathy and Steve from the Place Next To The Ferry Café have bought the Springtree Restaurant (which Kathy mentioned to me at the Fourth of July picnic) - the big question is whether they'll rename it the Place Next To Browne Lumber Café. Food should be great: The Place's chow is outstanding.

Walking home, Elise from the Chamber says she's going to start working at the Sounder as well, selling ads, while Sandy Woodruff (the previous ad-seller for years) moves over to help Chita Miller at Friday Harbor Realty.

It was a nice morning.

Bits & pieces of news:

Friday's Inn's Steve Demerest dropped by an article he wrote for a bed-and-breakfast newsletter called the Inn Times about promoting one's inn on the Internet - his book about that continues to sell well, as he continues to travel around the country promoting it.

Want to see how the Fourth of July went? Check out Eric Brandt's photos...

My good friend Laura from the Orcas Hotel reports that J-pod dropped by the Orcas Landing a couple of days ago to visit; while unusual for the whales to be in that neighborhood, it's not unheard of, and it makes the tourists on the ferry think it happens all the time.

In other whale news, Elizabeth from Deer Harbor Charters explores the Makah tribe's desire to go whaling in her installment of this week's newsletter that she writes. Meanwhile, Jean from Western Prince Cruises tells me Whale Tales author Peter Fromm has been working as a captain for her this summer, and has added a bit to her website explaining that Orcas Island is not named after the whales, after all, but after a Spanish fellow who was in the neighborhood a couple hundred years ago.

July 6, 1998

The rains make way: Well, after a downright wet Friday and a gray Saturday, the rest of the weekend turned bright and cheery. The Fourth of the July Parade came off without a hitch, even with all the people looking up to see if it would rain, which it didn't. The events at the Historical Museum were varied and age-diverse - egg-tossing for the lil' 'uns, using seemingly indestructible eggs from the westside, Sousa marches and opera on the outside stage, and everything in between. With the fireworks in the evening, it was another wonderful Fourth here on the island. As usual, another fine chance to visit with neighbors and play some.

Bits of news: Heard in the street: a big drug bust late last week. Wasn't able to scare up details, but it'll probably be in the Journal (click at the top of this page after Chris Minney over there updates their page on Wednesdays). He does a super job keeping that page up-to-date, and as you may know, he designed it, as well....

Pretty crowded last weekend, as expected, but most people figured out the Sunday ferry schedule, where to eat, and the other things that go with visiting here, so it worked out all right. Doug at the shirt-selling place next to the Hungry Clam said the busiest day of the weekend was Friday, then all the visitors seemed to melt back into the island for the rest of it.

Mailbag: Daniel Keebler takes care of the Bruce Cockburn newsletter, and filed this report last Thursday with a foggy morning:

hello, ian,

i live up on san juan drive and watch the international run go by several times a day. this morning at about 9am it (i *assume* it was the international run!) came by headed toward sidney, but was off its usual course... much closer toward orcas than normal, and it seemed to be at a dead stop for a bit, then it began to creep slowly along. the stranger part is that it then went NORTH of spieden island, rather than south through spieden channel. it was foggy of course, but it didn't appear so foggy as to affect the navigation of the ferry, at least in my limited knowledge of such things.

anyway, i was wondering if you'd heard of this, or if the ferry service is conducting some secret mission up here at the north end :)

cheers, daniel keebler

July 3, 1998

Weather or not: Well, we woke up this morning around 4 or 5 to the sounds of rain on the roof and in the trees outside (you sleep with the windows open, too, don't you?) and the birds going nuts because of the worms all popping out... it's rained or sprinkled most all day, and most of the conversation around town is hoping it's nice - or at least dry - for tomorrow's parade and Fourth of July stuff. The weather report is usually right, but not always.

And the crowds are coming: my friends Joe and Debbie just arrived from the mainland, where they said they waited in line for a half hour just to get a ferry ticket. Should be a mob - but what's a party without a crowd?


July 2, 1998

Wherein the island gets famous: Frank from the Community Theatre tells me the Theatre's getting written up in the Wall Street Journal next week; he was just interviewed...meanwhile, The Island's food gets a writeup in Gourmet Magazine this month. I'll tell you more about it as soon as I see the articles.

Roche preps for the Fourth: Chris from Roche Harbor Resort dropped by to mention they're getting excited about the 4th of July, where they have an old-fashioned holiday with sack races, fireworks, log rolling, tons of kids activities, and more. With the marina's expansion, she expects more boats than ever before for the Fourth...

She also mentioned they've built on to the top of the Lime Kiln Cafe - there's a meeting place called the Yacht Club Room available now. Looks good. She also said that Robin, the gardener who broke her foot, is feeling much better now, thank you.

That's the news from Roche!

More ferry news: Because of the limited space & the WSF folks' need to shuffle the boats and schedule as they work on the Evergreen State, the Sidney-Anacortes run will be canceled from the 7th to the 11th.

Need to see the ferry in line while you're online? See the IslandCam page to find out what things look like in the harbor, from the camera's point of view.

Fourth steps forth: This weekend is one of the big ones for the island: tons of visitors (someone told me last year our population of about 8,000 swells to 25,000 on the Fourth - I don't know where they got the numbers but that feels about right), tons of food, the Parade (starting at 10:30am - early!), and activities all over the island, including up by the Historical Museum. Always fun, and a great to chance to visit neighbors.

About the radio station: Our little radio station (102.1FM) is off the air pending discussions about getting licensed by the FCC or somebody. At issue is whether they're too small to need a permit, or large enough to have to get one...Bruce Nelson has to decided to relax till the issue is settled.


Back issues:

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.

Other places with info about the island:

San Juan Island: The Web Directory

Everything. Simply everything about the island.

The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce.

Pretty complete site about the island.

The Journal's Site

Includes news and classifieds!


The camera's pointed at Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor.
Updated every five minutes.


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This site prepared by our friends at By Design in Friday Harbor.