Archived Updates: November 1, 1998 - January 3, 1999

Friday Harbor - San Juan Island Update

January 3, 1999

Sunrise early: Even though sunrise isn't until about eight in the morning these days - and it was beautiful this morning with reds, blues, and orange stretched acroos the sky - it looked like it was coming an hour or two early as the nearly fully moon was setting at6 to 6:30 this morning. Of course, having it get light in the western sky is clue that it must be the moon...

The last couple of days have been sunny and just a bit chilly - in the 30s and 40s - but good for walking & playing outside.

Macs & stuff: Did you see Bruce Conway moved his Macman Computers office over next to the health club on Argyle Street? My guess is that business for him - setting up and servicing Macs - will be booming, since Macintosh announced they've doubled their market share in the last few months...even Time magazine is impressed.

And it seems like those iMacs are popping up everywhere - Marilyn O'Conner and her boy Kevin got one for Christmas, Maryellen Foster has had hers since early fall, FHES' Cathy Bordi and her girl Jenny got one in August, Sara Grace got one for the Menu Bar Internet Café, Farhad at Harrison House got his last get the idea. The two words that come up in conversations about their new machines: fun and fast.

Does this sound like an ad for Apple or something? Well, shoot, if Bruce is MacMan, call me MacFan.

Orcas shootout: When was the last time Orcas High and FHHS battled for league honors? I can't remember either...but I can tell you the next time: Tuesday at their place, as our Wolverines take on their tough squad, while our girls play their undefeated girls' team. Should be fun.


December 31, 1998

Y2K stuff: People around here - and I understand, around the world - are worrying and wondering what to do with the so called Y2K bug for the world's computers. As a public service (to scare, enlighten, inform, or otherwise confuse), here are some links you might check out about the issue:

What it is:

How big a problem is it?

What people are doing about it:

See if that helps.

Quote: "We may not have got everything right, but at least we knew the century was going to end." - Douglas Adams

Town square: You know, we don't have a town square here on the island, but we do have spots that serve that purpose - getting out & about and visiting folks - including the theater and the Theatre, the grocery stores, the streets on sunny days like today, and, somewhat weirdly, the ferries.

See, this time of year, many of the folks on the boat are Friday Harborites escaping to the mainland to return holiday presents, buy cars, do work, or just go malling. On Monday, my son and I went to Anacortes for eyeglasses, and we ran into Gayle and Dennis Hazelton (she grows herbs, he's in charge of US Customs here) with Gayle's sister Glenda up from Oregon for the holiday; Maryellen Foster from Coldwell Banker was taking her daughter to America with friends, while Carol from Serendipity Used Books was going to Seattle to prowl for new books; saw Brock Harmon from the American Legion Angels talking with his mom Renee (she just got married to her fellow Tim this year, did you know that?) and others.

It's fun to ride the ferry. Hard to feel lonesome.

Unarmed with a bad break: Marilyn Madson (of All Islands Reservations) is visiting in San Francisco this week and tells me she slipped on some ice and fell against a curb - and the curb won. Her left arm'll be in a cast for 5-6 weeks...she's one of the fastest typists on the island, nearly 90mph (oops, I mean wpm), but this may be the only thing that could have slowed her down.

Other Marilyn stuff: The Town proclaimed Tuesday "Marilyn Campbell Day" as the longtime director of Skagit Valley College's branch here retires this week.


December 27, 1998

Whoosh: This may go down in history as the windiest month or so, if anyone keeps such records...seems like the wind is always blowing, lately, with branches in the street and yard to pick up or drive around. The forecast is calling for gusts up to 45 mph today.

Nice walking weather: Took a hike to town and back Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and yesterday, and with it near 45-50 degrees, it's good to get out...just a little sprinkly.

Whale Tales on TV: A company is developing a TV series based on Peter Fromm's book Whale Tales: Human Interactions With Whales, due out next year. Whoa! Check out that website...sounds like a big deal!

Beamed in: Hey, it was a big deal that the new Star Trek movie came to our local theater on Christmas Day (the new movies always start on Fridays)...those of us who hadn't seen it off-island - die-hard Star Trek nuts went to the mainland to catch it when it opened - were ready for it to come here.

The movie was supposed to start at 8:45pm, but when we got to the show at 8:42, the film still wasn't here...we were told Aaron King (he runs the place) was at the airport picking it up (the supplier hadn't allowed for less flights on the holiday). So Aaron shows up with the film in the shipping case at 8:46 or so, plops it on the projector, then thanks the nearly-full room for everyone's patience, since it ended up starting about 20 minutes late. Of course he got a big ovation, for hustling to make sure the show went on...besides, it gave us all time to visit with each other before the show.

Our second chance to visit came about 10pm when the town's lights went out, halfway through the film (Picard was just meeting this woman who...well, you go see it). Almost everyone got up and milled around till the electricity kicked back in.

Holiday'd in, holiday'd out: As quiet as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were around the island and in town - lots of parties, potkucks, dinners, church, and family time - town began its postseason sales this weekend & looked right touristy yesterday, with lots of people in the streets. Shoot, it was nearly crowded.

Travelers: Deborah Johnson mentioned Dave Stegman and his wife Yolanda will be back from Argentina this week (her home stomping grounds before here), while Ally Pemberton from FHHS heads for Argentina in February. Tina Fisher and her daughter return from Australia this week (Tina's a native of New Zealand), while Pat Bryant tells me Will has gone to California for a spell, as has TPR's Jim and Ginny Asher (Jeff's dad & Russell & Sam's grandad & mom).

If you're wondering who else has been gone, just hang around the ferry dock and watch 'em get off the boat as they return...

Pinned: Ace wrestler Kim Wargo got her first pin of the season this last week, pinning a boy for the first time in her career. Way to go, Kim!


December 25, 1998

Weather clears, for a moment: This last week's snow gave way to 45-degree rain yesterday, with no snow on tap for Friday, probably. Saw the sky - but not the sun - for a moment. Town sure looks nice in snow, though...the 2-3 inches we got Wednesday brightened up the streets, and went very nicely with all the lights.

Grocery store cometh: It's true - the owners of Mark & Pak are expanding into a new store, located over behind the Technology Center. Expected to open in the spring of 2000, the floor plan runs some 27,000 square feet, making it the biggest retail deal on the island.

Passing: Have so many longtime islanders passed away in so short a time? Besides Joan Lawrence last week, Bernice Crosby (born here in 1924), Frankie Gross (born here 1919), and Ralph Erickson (born on Stuart Island in 1911) all died in the last couple of did a part of our collective memory about what makes & made the island what it is now.

The season: Stores downtown Friday Harbor were mostly closed last night & today in honor of the holiday, as folks either hustled over to family & friends, or to the ferry to do the holiday ritual of an off-island visit...downtown looked deserted & quiet here, while it sounds like the weather farther downsound was kinda crummy.

Relax: Sign up at the Front Street Café: You came to Friday Harbor to Relax. Please Start Now.


December 21, 1998

The light & snow: On the shortest day of the year, we have the sun elbowing its way over the horizan just after 8 in the morning. Yesterday, even though the sun set around 4:15 or so, with no clouds the sky stayed lit up another half hour afterwards.

The wind finally let up...for most of Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday, we had a steady wind, with gusts up to 45mph; AND it was cold. Didn't climb over 30 or so Sunday, with possibilities for more snow on Monday joining last night's dustin'. Brrrr..with promises to remain chilly.

National news from the island: The impeachment deal on Saturday was watched by a number of islanders, with one of the more salient remarks regarding the situation: "We're paying for this?" Another: "What's the process for impeaching Congress?"

Our congressman, Republican Jack Metcalf, proudly voted for all four articles of impeachment. You can write him at (put 98250 in the ZIP blank - that's us) and tell him whatcha think. I know I did.

Meanwhile, the country stopped its airstrikes on Iraq. To get an idea of what people who live over there are thinking, see The Arabic News, or review scary accounts of the damage in a British newspaper. Independent of national concerns, those are normal, regular folks - the innocent civilians - who got bombs dropped on their homes and families.

Notes around the rock: FHHS basketball continues to rise: Friday the boys whumped Darrington (4-2) by a dozen to remain unbeaten (and, it's whispered, statebound if they keep it up!) at 6-0. These guys can score, play defense, and yes, dunk! Slammit! Meanwhile, the girls had a tough time with the Lady Loggers, but played hard in the second half of the evening's doubleheader.

Did you hear the Cork Paupers at Katrina's this weekend? Real Irish music, played real other music news, the founders of the marimba community, Michael and Osha Breeze are heading to Hood River after New Year's. They've taught dozens of islanders the music of the Shona people, and helped folks make their own marimbas from scratch. Picking up their teaching load: Deborah Johnson, who also plays in Musasa, and has been instruction for years now as well.

Quote: "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.


December 18, 1998

With war in the air: There's not much to say. Light a candle for the families and children of Iraq. Read something besides the mainstream media. And hope it ends soon.

Weather chills ahead: The weekend report is talking about 15 degrees or so. Wrap your pipes, bust some wood, and chill out. The wind has relaxed some, but the lights still blink & I have a feeling not all the limbs have fallen yet.

Holidays & events: Ramaden starts this weekend, Hannakah is in full swing, the Solstice is Sunday (yay! Nothing but LONGER days ahead!) and of course, Christmas next weekend.

Around here there's the teddy bear tea at the Theatre on Saturday, Glenn Yarborough comes to town Sunday, and the annual Posada it has for the past 22 years. That's the deal where folks dress up like Joseph & Mary & do the rounds of inns in town, getting turned down at each place. Nice singing.

There's some photos of the Posada in 1976 hanging in the barbershop window, next to the Donut Shop. See whom you recognize.

There's a memorial deal for Joan Lawrence today as well.

Notes around town: The local Chamber of Commerce has elected three new folks to the board: Libby Thompson, Stephanie Picconi from Lakedale, and Sue Jarman from downtown's Sandpebble....Friday Harbor Realty's Diana Clark tells me Chita Miller has headed down to visit daughter Mimi for the holidays: in Ecuador....

Basketball on a roll: the FHHS boys (5-0) are looking strong & playing well, heading into the Darrington discussion at 4pm here today, while the girls are excited to pick up their first win, knocking off Concrete on Tuesday. Concrete is always hard to play. Really hard....Wrestling enjoyed a rare home match on Tuesday (only two left; the rest are on the road) - can anyone who sees Nate Prescott not imagine him placing at State this year? He's a tough one...

Juan Lopez put on a storytelling evening last Friday at the elementary school, during which local folks told the kids stories. My favorite was Sam Buck (Sr., Sam, Jr.'s dad & Charlie's grandfather), who told of being a boy here and being asked to go to the grocery store by his mom and "just put it on our account." So he did, and noticed he got away with it. He said he thought that was a pretty good deal. So he went down and bought a big, huge ("50 cents worth!") bag of candy the next day, and put it on the account. Worked like a charm, till his folks found out...

Elise from the Sounder was telling me about her adventures, being asked to go to Iceland in October to participate in the release of Keiko the orca (right, in his "baypen"). Updates about his progress are positive....

Rumor mill: two biggest ones making the rounds these days - a merger of the two local papers, with one buying out the other (can't get anyone at either to confirm it); and a proposed grocery store up near the senior center (who do I call?). Let me know if you know anything.


December 15, 1998

The sounds of the seas: The wind last night and this morning sounds for all the world like someone left the water's been pretty blustery this morning.

Remember I told you about the Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday? Rose from Charters Northwest says there were only four boats (she was there), while Islands Reservation's Marilyn says she only saw three from the Yacht Club, but she wasn't really counting. Mitzi Johnson says there were five...but I'm amazed anybody braved the wind & waves. The Santa Ship was apparently late because of all the weather, but no one in their right mind would complain...the important part is that they got here safe and sound.

Passing: Just heard that Joan Lawrence died yesterday. Hugh Lawrence has suffered double this year: Son Hugh passed away earlier this year on Lopez. Son Jim runs Thirsty Goose Farm....


December 13, 1998

More dark: Friday Harbor went dark yesterday afternoon for an hour or two, as strong winds continued to blow from Friday, with rain...the outage was the third in three weeks, beginning with the day & a half one two days before Thanksgiving.

When it was out during school two Tuesdays ago, I asked School Superintendent Steve Enoch what the teachers did with the lights out. "Just kept teaching," he replied, noting that our teachers in the district are both flexible & creative, and that things seemed to work out just fine. Kids I checked with at the elementary school said it was "fun" to do their work in the differently-lighted conditions.

Speaking of dark side stuff, we're a week away from the Solstice, with sunrise currently near 8am and sunset just past 4pm each day. A friend told me yesterday it's easy to sleep in.

Other dark stuff: Couple of guys who apparently were involved in the outage-store breakin have been picked up.

Holiday stuff: In spite of the wind (or maybe tacked down well because of it), the town continues to glow brightly whenever the electricity is working, and it looks like the decorations & lights are holding up pretty well - I've heard planes can locate town easily from the air.

TV stations from Seattle have been up here making up "news stories" about our lights. Talk about slow news days... glad to hear things are so quiet downsound that they think this is hard news.

A good sign for the new year.

Lotta stuff going on: Turkey shoot today at the Fairgrounds, Santa ship was last night, along with the Lighted Boat Parade, Irish music at the Theatre tonight, on the heels of the San Juan Singers doing their Christmas shows last night & this afternoon, with an Irish dance at the Grange last night as well.

And more...including Glenn Yarborough next week, and holiday parties & potlucks all over the place.

Budgets are in: Both the town & county have shot lower with their budgets for next year, keeping things conservative heading into '99, with the Town continuing to keep an eye on the spiriling costs of sewer, water, and waste here.

The discussion about what to do with the Town's hotel/motel collections will be extended into the next year, with a number of groups wanting a piece of that pie, while the town assesses how, if ever, it can build bathrooms for visitors and take care of water needs, both real & projected. Some Council people are seeing that discussion as maybe lasting deep into next year.

Nice writeup of the details of this stuff at the Journal's site, along with a photo of the Post San Juan lights.


December 6, 1998

The dawn's early light: Despite reports of snow further downsound and mentions of flakes at Roche Harbor yesterday (heck, even the tourists don't stick around when it's 40 degrees), all we got was clear skies, frost on the ground, and fog in the harbor this morning. Get outside and play.

All lit up: Town is lit up with lights & decorations, and the contest winners' list has been slipped to me by Liz & Janna from Post San Juan. In second place: Post San Juan! Best use of inside decorations: the American Legion! Best use of natural materials: Downriggers! Best use of business inventory: Brown Lumber! Best traditional Christmas: Roche Harbor! There were also a bunch of honorable mentions...

And the grand prize - you couldn't miss 'em; they also should win something for decorations least likely to get blown away in the wind - the Royal Theater!

The decorating contest has been sponsored these last couple of years by the Chamber of Commerce and organized by Bob Pittman (not the CEO for AOL - he doesn't have time for us, with the Netscape merger and all - but our own Blair House Bob).

Speaking of lit up: did you see all the dressed up folks in town last night? That must mean the annual CATS auction & fundraiser was happening at the Community Theatre...kinda like Prom Night to the second power, and an important part of what makes it fun to live here.

Birthdays overlap: Did you know that Deborah and Christy's birthdays (they both work at Christy's hair & nails place on Spring Street) are BOTH IN THE SAME MONTH! December! And so is Dominique's from across the street!

AND...Katie Ellingson got her wisdom teeth out this week!

News you can't get anywhere else.

SVC headed up: Just heard that Colleen Clancy has been named to replace Marilyn Campbell at Skagit Valley College here as director...Colleen was a familiar sight at the college a couple of years ago as she, husband Ron, and kids Will & Anna helped out by volunteering with the ESL classes. The family just got back this year from teaching English in Ecuador. She's a well-respected attorney in town who brings a sense of humor, organization, and a smile to the job.

Meanwhile, Cindi Baker notified the Island Rec (Park & Rec) Board Thursday she'll be moving on...she's been the P&R director for the past five years - she and Keith (and Josh & Molly) have decided to return to Maine, to be closer to family. Departure date: sometime next summer. She's gonna be tough to replace.

Food: The high school ASB is running a food drive this next couple of weeks (organized by prez Shaina Sekey) to benefit the local food bank & our friends in Honduras who are still digging out from that hurricane. Get over to school with some cans or a check...

Speaking of school - have you been by FHHS lately? The front office area has been completed for nearly a month now, and serves as a harbinger of how cool the school will look and feel when the construction project's all done.

Orcas comes close: Our friends at Orcas High came in second in Friday's state championship football game, losing by 20 to a tough Desales all reports these guys represented their school and our islands well. Congrats to our local's wonderful to see them go so far.

November comes due: Spoke to a high schooler a few days ago who told me she's had enough of her parents and was going to move out and get her own apartment. I asked her how in the world she was gonna afford rent, plus first and last month's rent AND a deposit.

She said: "Why should I pay last month's rent? I wasn't there last month."

Quote: The most savage controversies are about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. - Bertrand Russell.


December 3, 1998

Island Times online: Have you seen Liam's Island Times? It's a nice rundown of issues & news we face here in the islands, with gritty commentary. Been up for a while, and Liam's one of the better writers in the region, doing work for NPR, among others.

Weather report: Today was the weirdest day since...yesterday. Started out with hail whitening parts of the island, blue skies & springlike weather during midday, then pouring rain in the afternoon - not your usual half-baked Northwest drizzle - followed by a pleasant moon-lit evening that seemed lighter than parts of a dark day with its near-full moon. Then it hailed an inch deep - really big hail - and thundered about 11pm.

Yesterday, the wind blew hard enough to peg the electricity for a couple of hours. Saw the lines of people waiting patiently at King's Market to be checked out. Reports of 60 mph gusts. Bad hair day has no meaning.

I asked Bob at the Little Store what he does...he keeps a Coleman lantern available, which lights up the solar-powered calculator they use when there's no lights. Dave at ET has a generator for the no-lights times, while other stores just close up. Jen Allen told me yesterday there were a couple of breakins at downtown stores during last week's lights-out - it's a drag when they happens: life's tough enough without us making it tough on one another.

Meanwhile, the wind's really roughing up the pretty holiday decorations around town...but I noticed many of the boats in the marina aren't bobbing around - a good sign, meaning most are tied down so they won't get tossed around.

Daniel Finn: Friday, at the Grange. Miss it, you lose. He's awesome. CD Release party...

Bunches of holiday stuff around the island this weekend...check the paper & don't say there's nothing to do.

FHHS sports: Wrestling & basketball start this week. Get over to the gym & support your Wolverines. Now.

Quote: The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.


December 1, 1998

Whales? This time of year? My friend Erin tells me she and her sister saw orcas over near Deadman's Bay last know, the cove right before you get to Lime Kiln. While that's pretty unusual this time of year, it may have been transient orcas - the ones that travel from the Alaska down to Baja - rather than the resident ones (they hang out between the top of Vancouver Island & the bottom of Puget Sound). She said they were breeching and playing, and looking pretty happy.

They're gone now, of course...

Weather watch: The leaves moving sounds like the constant pounding of the surf:The wind's been blowing hard since the middle of the night, and continues this morning, with rain promised for this afternoon and gusts of 60 mph reported. While the lights have blinked a couple of times, so far they've stayed on...


November 29. 1998

The wind continues: Today has been windy and somewhat rainy on the island, as the wind & rain from the last couple of weeks continues its on-again, off-again visits.

Wind & more wind: The lights went out Monday evening around six and stayed out till Tuesday evening.

The electricity-free day was dealt with by adaptable islanders: many people already have woodstoves for heat (and sometimes cooking), and opened their doors to people who don't. Some stores were open by candlelight, taking orders by hand to enter into the computer later; others, like ET (the convenience store, not the alien) have their own generators for emergencies. School was open Tuesday, getting in the required half-day by 11am so we wouldn't have to make up the missed day in June.

The report is that OPALCO (our local electric utility) didn't get blown down - the router in Anacortes was messed up by the winds Monday, apparently turning off the whole county.

Thanksgiving: Was nice, thank you.

Holiday lights up town: The town is ablaze with seasonal lights, with the pub (Front Street Ale House) and the Royal Theater currently the best-lit...if any planes get lost in the fog, Friday Harbor should be easy to find. Last year the lights bug caught on, and most business people I saw today downtown were hanging up lights or decorations of some kind.

Help: The Journal reports that local paramedic-about-town Jim Ricks is heading for Honduras for a two-week stint to help with the cleanup & healing...thanks, Jim.

Two-percent: The town council is considering how to allocate its extra money, gathered from room tax (or "hotel-motel tax"). Currently with almost a half million dollars stashed away, the council is reviewing applications from the Chamber of Commerce, the Whale Museum, the Community Theatre, the school district, and others. They meet again this Thursday to consider the requests.

PPP: Calling it the Progressive Political Potluck, Lee Sturdivant tells me a group meets each first Monday of the month to discuss progressive ideas...this week's meeting is at the Gray Top Inn at 6pm - bring something to share!

League honors: for FHHS's fall sports:
Volleyball: Jessie LeVee (first team), Erin Woodward (second team)
Soccer: Daryl Bacon (first team), Conrado Ayala (second team)
Soccer: Shaina Sekey, Amber Peterman, Kristen Bull, Allison Pemberton (first team)
Football: Nate Prescott (first team on offense & defense)


November 21. 1998

Eating out: I've been hearing good things about the new Italian restaurant that China Pearl's Charles has opened in the old Electric Company space. It's called Bella Luna - Rhonda Johnson, formerly of the Springtree, is helping run the place - check 'em out.

Just up the street, Tori from Friday Harbor House tells me they have been written up nicely in the July 1998 issue of Gourmet, the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit and the November/December issue of Northwest Palate.

Wind & rain: That's been the weather report lately. You've heard about the 50 mph winds down Seattle way? We got vestiges of 'em ourselves....with plenty of rain making up for the dry - so far - year. Makes the ferries rock & the grass grow & the leaves blow off the trees. More tomorrow....

Hardware check: On Wednesday, ace junior Lauren Holt got her driver's license (yay!) and also was named co-Most Valuable Offensive Player for the Wolverine women soccer squad (the other co: high scoring senior Shaina Sekey). If she can drive a car the way she drives a ball into the net - well, it's good they're not the same. Needless to say, she's good at both. See the girls' team page for other awards (like co-MVPs Kiyo and Allison) and their new team photo.

Besides that, Holy Cross is playing in the state championship tonight - didn't the girls beat them back in September?

We'll report other FHHS sports' awards as we chase them up - stay tuned.

Crafty: The Artisans' Craft Fair is next weekend & don't forget to go - it not only offers great stuff, but is a great opportunity to see folks you never have time to see - they'll be there, you know...meanwhile, eleven galleries in Friday Harbor are involved in this year's Artwalk from 11am to 4pm today - make the circuit & check out what's new in the galleries.

Notes & nicknacks: I hear Roche Harbor's open year round, and that Richard Pederson (late of the Mercantile) will be managing the hotel...

Remember, no school on Wednesday, so people can make their travel plans work...

There are some Thanksgiving dinners planned around the island - check the papers if you don't already have plans...

Over across the Sound, the Makahs and folks opposing their desire to kill a gray whale are still fussing...

Is it my imagination, or is the island for sale? Just saw a sign on the Bistro, next to the one on Friday's Inn, and others are listed in various places....

Nancy at Diesel America West tells me she & Steve are hustling to keep up with the orders for their diesel generators. The buyers: People spooked by the Y2 bug. DAW has been making engines for over a quarter century, and contributed to the Exxon Valdez cleanup with their well-made machines.


November 17, 1998

Rain, rain: And the rains came and came again. Actually, it wasn't too wet today, after all we got the last five days or so...but it does feel like the Northwest.

Farewell, Frank: Big crowd at the Selaks' house last night to say goodbye to Frank Geltner, as he leaves the Community Theatre. Heartfelt expressions of how he will be missed....


November 15, 1998

Blowin' in the....: Well, the winds have finally eased up - they've been blowing on & off since Thursday, at different speeds & with different results. The most noticable: All those gold and red and brown leaves that lit up the sky now carpet the street and yards around Friday Harbor. Reports of gusts up to 50 miles an hour were reported from Seattle.

Much needed rain came with the wind - enough so that the hour or two of blue sky we got this afternoon was appreciated, even if it was bookended by lots of gray & rain. It's wet enough....

Art works, it really works: Dropped by Waterworks Gallery yesterday to see some offerings by Tom Small, the guy who works for the Electric Company (his wife runs Oak Ridge Bed and Breakfast)...more proof we have more talented people per square inch than most islands.

Speaking of art - did you see Chinmayo's exhibit over at the Community Theatre?

Other art: The contra dance at the Grange last night was a mob scene, with a group from Kitsap playing, giving the regular band a chance to dance....also, last night Sylvia completed a successful run at the theatre; most of the reviews I heard were positive.. .Katrina's continues to host local singers, and was full last night to hear a fellow doing his own original electronic stuff, sounding something like Sting.

Other creative types: Rob Cuomo and his wife Wendy welcomed their new kid Griffin into the world last month...took him to skating at the fairgrounds last night with sister Megan.

In the dumps: Went last Sunday to the recycling place (sometimes called the dump around here), as I told you before (see below), only to discover it was closed on Sundays. Last night my friend Serena said she did the same thing on Vets' Day, when it it was also unexpectedly closed...islanders, as you can see, have a lot in common. Mostly carrying around our garbage till the next day....

Last time I saw Serena, she was meeting a truck with a deer in it at the ferry for Wolf Hollow, our local animal rehab organization. She, and they, do great things....

Quote: "Ah as a bird. You know at one time, I used to break into a pet shop to liberate the canaries, but I decided that was an idea way before it's time. Zoos are full, prisons are overflowing. Oh my, how the world still dearly loves a cage." - Maude, Harold and Maude.


November 12, 1998

Cell towers: There's an on-again, off-again fuss about whether cell towers - more of them - should be allowed to be sited on the islands in different places. Joining the discussion: actress Linda Evans, who lives downstate from here, opposing putting the things near her property in Rainer.

Yoga chips: Friend of mine whom I ran into after her yoga class last night said it tickled her to get out of class, and see a number of her classmates down at King's buying potato chips, Doritos, and such right after class (someone once told me: we think we're working on ourselves, but all we're really doing is delaying the inevitable)....

Speaking of eating out, that was Mike & Trish taking a Vets' Day holiday off from Vic's (they're ALWAYS there! And I can't think of a time when Mike wasn't smiling) eating breakfast at the Blue Dolphin yesterday...saw they have Vic's on the market - they've been owning & working the place for the last nine years.

Cetacean talk: Visited with islander Ryan DeMeres yesterday and looked over her website about interspecies communication (sponsored by the Dolphin Institute). This isn't just frivilous stuff: the matter prepared & presented here is the basis of her PhD study; she was awarded her degree a couple of weeks ago.

Note from the library: Wade reports another new service our local amazing library offers:

We've got a new service at the library that I may have already told you
about - an extensive magazines and newspapers database - available both on
library workstations in-house and through the library web site (you need a
valid patron account to use the database through the web site).

The new service is available immediately and it's really cool. Check it out
some time.

Internet disappoints again: A report indicates it'll be 2000 or later before many Internet companies make a profit. Now ya tell me.

Indoor hockey starts: The Park & Rec (IslandRec) people have started indoor rollerblade hockey over at the fairgrounds on Tuesday nights. It was fun to see the kids playing, and the adults, too - last night saw Larry Wight, Mike Adams, Tony Fvyrquist, Anna Sakstrup, and others know, they're pretty good.

My wife Sherri & the boys have taken it up as well, with helmets, sticks, and presumably, in time, broken teeth and other hockey cool stuff. Actually, they're all quite good.

As for my playing, I tend to like any sport that's not played on cement. I cheer a lot.

Biz Notes Afloat: Mike Dean has joined Northwest Yachts, working with Steve and Vivian there. He told me Tuesday he really likes it here on the island - he and his wife moved here in August - and is excited to be part of the business (the other part: Charters Northwest)....meanwhile, Denny Sevier bought San Juan Cellular from Dave & Michelle over in the Sustainable Tech Center (which recently took the "Sustainable" part out of their name....we'll look into it), and he tells me he's excited to be here, too - his family will be moving up here later this month from Seattle.

Also, Minnie Knych at the Private Industry Council can help you find employees in the her at 4662 for more details about this free service.

Chamber plans ahead: At last night's Chamber of Commerce meeting, guest speaker Commissioner Darcie Nielsen addressed and sought input about affordable housing, where to site the county overflow (presently under consideration: the old public works building), and the continued development of the Economic Development Committee.

On the lighter side, she also indicated the courthouse will be decorated this holiday season, and that plans are in the works for a town birthday party (in '99 we're 90) and a New Year's 2000 party for the whole community. We'll talk about the Y2K stuff later.

Artwalk about to stroll: Eleven galleries in Friday Harbor are involved in this year's Artwalk from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, November 21. Get yaself some culcha...and check out the talent on the island (most of the galleries feature local artists' stuff.)


November 9, 1998

Executive Director moves on: The Community Theatre's executive director, Frank Geltner, has announced plans to leave the post at the end of his contract year to return to Oregon. Since he got here in August of last year, Frank's done a number of innovative things for the theater - he will be much missed.

The press release accompanying the announcement says a replacement will not be immediately sought:

With Dr. Geltner's imminent departure, the Board of Trustees will take the
opportunity to reevaluate the total operation of the Theatre as well as its
mission to the Community. Applications for a new Executive Director will not
be solicited until this reevaluation is completed. During the absence of the
Executive Director, the Theatre will function with the staff and members of
the Board performing necessary tasks.

I've worked with Frank since before he arrived on the island, and he's gonna be hard to replace.

Election results: The winners: Rhea Miller over Jack Giard for County Commissioner, Jeff Morris over Steve Chronister for State Rep, Stewart Andrew over Ron Gordon for judge, Paul Dossett over Manford Rose for Assessor, and so on.

Most everybody knew this voting stuff last Wednesday; I'm putting it here in case you didn't know. The Andrews/Gordon race wasn't a done deal till absentee votes were counted Thursday & Friday.

Yellow fellow: I saw the last yellow jacket on the island last Thursday. Whumped him with a phone book. 'Till next summer...

Chamber elections: The Chamber of Commerce elections are this month...they need people to run for the board, so run, willya? Call Dave at the Wine Shop for details.

Sports & season-enders: The FHHS girls soccer team dropped their playoff match 2-1 with powerful Lynden Christian last was the first post-season game for the four-year old program, which this year recorded its most wins & ties, most goals, and most smiles.

FHHS Volleyball went in search of glory last weekend, coming one match short of a return trip to state at tri-districts; the football team went to Tacoma to play somebody who won 20-something to 2 (we got a safety) for the last game of the season.

Meanwhile, the U-14 girls soccer squad ended their season by taking 3rd in their weekend tournament - some of them will be playing at the high school next year.

Passing through, in the air: I got the chance to visit with Barbara Hoyt this weekend - she's an editor for Pilot Getaways, a magazine for small craft pilots. They're considering a piece about the islands and were checking us out...her magazine is of great use to folks looking for tips about flying places.

Notes about notes about notes around town: Have you been by San Juan Coffee Company lately? Irene & Steve are right by the ferry in Cannery Row, with gift coffees roasted right here and all kinds of chocolates & stuff - and they're friendly folks...

Did you see the weather this weekend? What is this, summer or something? Blue skies, temp in the 50s...pleasant.

Went by Andy Duke's place (Duke's Sporting Goods) on Saturday - he had, on display, a 1910 soccer ball, all blown up & working. Made out of leather - can you imagine heading that thing when it's wet? It'd be like a little medicine

The FHHS theater folks are at it again: Fred Yockers' kids are working up two plays this time: One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest & The Comedy of Errors, both to be presented in January...hear that Sylvia, the play at the Community Theater now, is pretty funny - catch it while you can.

Finding one's whaleness: A report has it that Keiko is doing well in Iceland, pending his return to the wild... meanwhile, the Makahs still haven't killed a gray whale (see previous stories below), and the campaign to free Lolita in Miami continues to pick up steam.

Did you see Jodi from the Montessori School on Saturday? Her usually curly hair was was waxed (or something) into shape so she looked like June Cleaver....not so much a fashion statement as that she was going to a costume party, a late Halloween function.

Gotta recycle. This is an island...where'd ya THINK the garbage is gonna go? So I loaded up the car with all the paper & cans & plastics and stuff so I could surprise my out-of-town wife by taking everything over to the recycling place. Loaded up the car, front seat & all, and drove over to discover...they're closed on Sundays. They USED to be open then...OK, so it's been a while since I've gone. That's why it would have been a surprise, see? Huh.

She came on the late ferry last night. "What's all this stuff doing in the car?" Told you she'd be surprised.

New restaurante: The Electric Company is being transformed into an Italian place called the Bella Luna...due to open on the 18th.


November 1, 1998

Halloween on the island: Last night brought out the best (and occasional worst) in islanders as the weather allowed for a pleasant evening for trick or treating, and parties into the night.

It was fun to run into people: Cindy Mullis was dressed up as Mullis Street (just off Spring Street, if you're lost - she wore a black garbage bag with yellow traffic dividers: it worked!); saw Darcie Nielsen dressed up "dark & mysterious" and somewhat scary, caught two "bushes" walking down Spring Street in front of the theater - they looked real; ran into TJ Small (who was dressed like she just finished "Mists of Avalon,") with her knight in shining armor, Dean; Gary from the former La Cieba was dressed as a Hershey's kiss while playing with Soundwave down at Herb's, and more.

There was music seemingly everywhere: I think the most costumes, per capita, were at the Legion Hall, while the Pub, Herb's, China Pearl, Katrina's, and the Electric Company all had stuff going on.

Meanwhile, parents were out en masse at the Greenway subdivision, the famous 'burb here where it seems the whole island goes to trick or treat (one house reported 600+ visitors last year). Kids were dressed in everything from the scary (a lot of ghouls, skeletons, monsters, one-eyed things, and one football player), the mundane (plumbers, fairies, Raggedy Ann, a couple of Star Trekkies, gypsies and pirates), to the pithy (Uncle Sam, a woman dressed as "Autumn," another disguised as The Indian Ocean).

I would tell you who all these folks were - they mostly recognized me & said, "Hi, Ian," to me as I worked the houses with my two boys, cleverly disguised as a guy in a sweatshirt with a cap on. I would tell you who they were, but I have no idea. Bad light, maybe...

Did you see the Pederson house? Tombstones in front, with the names of dead Friday Harbor businesses on them. I asked Richard about certain unmentioned businesses; I don't think he had enough wood for all of 'em.

Lousy deal of the night: Certain cretins who think it's funny to egg cars. Luckily they're outnumbered by both people with sense and who don't like cleaning it up...

Overall, a good time had by all...

Good kids on the loose: How can they get so much done?

Example: senior Sarah Hartzell serves as the editor of the FHHS newspaper, stage manager for Fred Yockers' drama group's shows, and soccer manager, and gets the grades an ace student is supposed to.

Or senior Shaina Sekey: seemed like she was everywhere yesterday - reffing kid soccer games in the morning, working the concession booth at the football game in the afternoon, helping with the Haunted House in the evening, which doesn't even count her regular jobs as student body prez, soccer scorer, and 4.0 student taking a handful of AP (advanced placement) classes.

Or soph Shane Coulter, also reffing games in the morning, playing in the pep band in the afternoon, and playing soccer the rest of the week.

These guys are amazing...and there's more where they came from.

Practically magic: Finally wandered down to the theater to see Practical Magic, that film that was filmed mostly here and Coupville...and it was fun seeing occasional faces we knew in the flick. One interesting face at the movie theater: Dona Wuthrow, the parks superintendent who oversaw all the hoopla surrounding the selection and use of San Juan County Park last spring for the shooting of the movie.

Islander Dale Roberson tells the story, with pictures, of the building of the set at the Park.

It's fun to see the west side of our island look so good on film....

Whither goes the weather: As mentioned in previous reports here in this Update, the weather has been somewhat topical around here on the island as some have been predicting the coldest winter in 50 years, and so on, based on varying levels of science-based fact, rumor, innuendo, and joint-aches - all based on the La Niña discussion

Ann Pullman (one of the great gardeners on the island) sent over a few addresses to review for students of this phenomenon: a report that it all shouldn't be too bad (from the University of Washington meteorology folks), and a less certain NOAA report, that says, in part:

The conflict is between La Nina, which indicates a higher probability of colder than normal 
temperatures, and a long term warming trend in place over the Pacific Northwest. It is uncertain 
as to which effect will dominate.

It is important to note that La Nina winters are often characterized by strong fluctuations 
in temperature and precipitation. As a result, it is reasonable to anticipate periods of cold 
winter weather and periods of mild weather, which average out over the course of the winter.

Read the whole thing...and get ready.

Mitch watch: Saw Sandra Nash yesterday...she and her sister Sonia are from Honduras, and are anxiously watching what's happening with the hurricane down there. She said the phone lines there have been down most of the week. Forget Halloween - this is the real scary stuff.

Sports update: At FHHS, the volleyball team has earned its way into the playoffs. Presently on a roll, they'll finish the regular season on Tuesday, then go to Edmonds for the tri-district meet next Saturday, where, if they're successful, they'll qualify for a return trip to state.

Football ran into a buzzsaw yesterday as Orcas avenged last year's 55-7 loss with a 57-0 victory over the undermanned but not under-hearted Wolverines.

Boys soccer ended their last week with a win and a loss to put the cap on their first season under rookie coach Colin Casabelos.

The girls soccer team lost a heartbreaker to Holy Cross last Thursday 2-0, and now face either Bellevue Christian or Lynden Christian in a playoff on Wednesday. The Woverine Women finished the regular season with a 6-8-1 record, with a 4-2 record in league.

History is doomed to repeat itself:

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.

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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