The Wolverines are in action Saturday the 13th, at noon. Here.

Go see 'em.

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January 12, 2006

Everything's related. To wit:

Yesterday's weather: Well, it continues today, with the forecast saying we won't get above freezing till Saturday. Last night (Thursday night/Friday morning) the temperture wandered into the teens (17 F,
or -9 C) and are expected to do so again wrap those pipes, already. Do it when you go to check to see if they busted last night....

That's why we had no school yesterday, which relates to this:

Missing school: My memory of what happens is that when we miss a day of school, like we did Thursday, the School Board agreed in December that we would make it up during February's mid-winter tack on one, probably. Don't make plans till you hear the official word, though. Got it?

That relates to this:

Mary checks in: A lot of folks from San Juan go skiing during mid-winter break, and take their kids to the slopes (scroll down a day or two here to see all the islanders in the snow last year) - here's the word from Mary Elford:

Hi, Ian!
I'm taking over for Po so would you let Islanders know that I am purchasing group lift tickets for Big White for the winter break this year. These are daily savings club vouchers that can be traded in all at the same time or individually each day. Tickets are child 12 and under; Junior is 13-17 and 18 on up, adult. The order goes in the 1st of February. Will know exact price when the order goes in. Email your order to or call Mary 360-378-5029

Planning ahead means watching for a good deal, which relates to this:

Dominique’s winter sale starts this week! Teri & Maureen at the clothing store next to the Little Store across from the hardware store next to the bike store, across from the Big Store - they tell me they have things with 30% to 75% markdowns. Come early for the best finds! (They told me.)

All those stores - that relates to this one, in AZ:

Our old amigos check in: I got a note from Stacy & George Brem, who have a consignment store in Arizona - they ran Amigos Restaurant for years, there in the building where Dos Diablos is, now:

Hi, Ian! George and I have now been in Scottsdale for a year, where I have opened a furniture consignment shop along with design and staging services. I have sent a picture of one of our trailers that Alice from Printonyx did the logo work on. I still try and use island help when I can! Thanks, Stacy

Pretty cool to hear from our old friends...

Christine expecting: Christine Martz (right), who did a super job as the tech person at the library and now works at Coldwell Banker, tells me she and Michael found out last month they have a little one on the way - it'll be her first. They'll make great parents....

The future is now: Skagit Valley College director Denise King told me the well-attended meteorology class was especially attentive Wednesday morning as instructor Bob Bachman talked about predicting weather while the present Arctic front moved in...

Hey, do you have pictures? The McNaught Comet is visible right at sunrise & sunset - the clear days we have on tap for the next couple of days might be a good chance to catch it. Here's are some photos from around the world, and a bit more about it.

The Whale Museum's Marine Naturalist Training begins its registration: Signups begin January 23 for the program (photo, right) which runs five Saturdays beginning April 7 and ends on Sunday, May 6. The spots usually fill up fast so I'd sign up now, if I were you.

Here's more...

Anne Frank is tonight: Yep, the FHHS Drama Group's show went on to a smaller house last night, and continues this weekend. See you there!

Quote: From A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh: "If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you."

Thursday - No School!

January 11, 2006

Freeze ahead: Looks like a bit more snow & a lot more cold the next few days - stay home if you can. The roads are pretty crummy, so get home & stay there, willya? Presently it's sunny & cold (about freezing), with a stiff wind that's kicking the chill factor down, down, down. Beautiful out, but cold-to-the-bone-cold. Stay warm, my friends.

Pictures without snow: There will be a lot of wintery pictures, I'd guess, but here are some that show how nice it can be in the islands in the non-now months. Here is one gallery and then another of pix from the San Juan Preservation Trust site - I put 'em here to warm you up a bit. Hope it works.

Quote: "A person sees in the world what they carry in their heart." - Johann Wolfgang Goethe, from "Faust"

January 10, 2006

Father-Daughter Dance - only a month away: It was great last year, except that people were turned away because there wasn't room on the dance floor at the Grange - tickets sold out early.

This year the dance moves to the Mullis Center, where there's more room (that's Emily & John at last year's hoedown - here's pictures of a few dozen others).

Here's more details....

From the e-mailbag: That was pretty cool to post my little music video last week and have nearly 600 folks look at it, and a few make comments on it, as you can see on that page.

The two big questions people have e-mailed are: Where'd you get the song & is that song available on your CDs?

In brief, Kate Wolf's song is perhaps the best known of her songlist, and I chose it because it's followed me around for years & seems to encapsulate in words & music what's beautiful about being alive - a realistic grasp of how when we love each other, life is better. I've gotten to sing it at weddings, funerals, graduations, and it will be on my next CD, to be released in a couple of months. The idea that several hundred folks got to hear it on this new stage - the internet - is pretty cool. Thanks, my friends, for listening, and for your love, when you wrote in.

Snow! The snow started falling downtown Wednesday morning & kept at it all day, into the night. With big freeze-type temperatures predicted for the evening, already slick roads are just getting worse, so stay home unless you really have to get out.

Ferry's gotta work on those announcements: Last weekend I came rolling in from Seattle and took the ferry which goes to every island...that part's cool, of course - gives you longer to talk to friends on the boat.

But now the WSF is using radio guys to do the announcements about the reasons they do what they do & what to do in the event of a ship's emergency & all that. I'm not sure it works, or makes 'em more listenable - I guess I got used to the mumbled, dull-roar way they did it before.

Now, though, when the boat gets to Lopez, or Shaw, or Orcas, or home, they say, "We're at our destination," without saying what island. Since it's a recording, that's understandable, but still...they gotta fix that. Otherwise you don't know where you are.

Couple of months ago, I heard a tourist on the boat say, after listening to the announcement of our arrival home, they wondered who "Freddy Harper" was. Now THAT'S the way it's supposed to be mumbled.

One & one: The Wolverines split on Friday last week - the boys lost & the girls won vs. visiting Mount Vernon Christian (that's our Tommy Fowler rising with his jumpshot against Concrete last week at the top of this page.) FHHS takes to the road Tuesday & Friday before playing huge
(like, 6'7" & 6' 8", maybe bigger if they've grown since football) Nooksack Valley here on Saturday this week.

Deal with Dom: Dominique (right) over at Dominique's House tells me she has a sale till the 15th going on, with 20-40% off on selected items - she's ready to make a deal, if you're ready to make an offer. Drop by & see her!

Do we need a hospital here? That's the question Charles Anderson and the San Juan County Community Hospital Steering Committee will pursue when they begin a phone survey to help define the needs for expanded medical services in the county.

The survey starts January 17th...these aren't telemarketers, folks, so give them your time & input so they can help plan what would be one of the big steps forward for this new century for the islands (that's my opinion!)

Here's more about the idea & the survey.

Fishing Derby - only a few spots left: Debbie at Roche Harbor (right) tells me that last year the Roche Harbor Salmon Classic was still hustling to fill their 100 spots, but this year the 2007 Derby has only 15 left.

The deal is on the weekend of February 8-10, with a $10,000 prize - here's the details from Lisa Brown's Roche Harbor newspage.

Quote: "The only thing that I miss lately in all the new music is somebody that will put out a melody that you can whistle. It doesn't seem like there's anything happening like that." - Merle Haggard

January 9, 2007

Don't miss this one: Here's what happens - every year since I moved here in 1994, I've gone to see the high school play each January or February. Each year the play is great. And each year someone around me in the crowd says something like, "Wow...these are only kids? This is great!"

Well, teacher & director Fred Yockers & the FHHS Drama Group are at it again. This week - from Thursday to Sunday - they're presenting "The Diary of Anne Frank." You don't want to miss it & have to hear about how cool it is from someone else, afterwards. See you there!

Blog noted & honored: Captain Richard Rodriguez (right) began a blog of his Vessel Assist calls this last summer. With 148 calls, and camera in hand, there was lots of material, some funny, some serious, and all with a lesson or two. Through the end of the summer some 6,000 locals and graduates of Rodriguez's United States Maritime Academy Captain's Licensing Course had logged onto the blog.

In October, Yahoo contacted Rodriguez and asked if they could feature his Blog because of its unique content. This was to be the 18th time Yahoo had featured one of its Blogs. For seven weeks in November and December, the Blog was on Yahoo's feature page. During that time over 200,000 visitors learned about the San Jauns and boating in our waters.

You can find Capt. Rodriguez's Blog at:

Fred's on the Board now: Fred Henley has resigned as president of the Friends of the Library so he can serve on the Library there's a good move. Fred's been volunteering for the library as long as I can remember, and he knows the library well, and cares for it - he's a great choice for a board trustee. That's him at the Marathon with his daughter Joan.

Meanwhile, Judy Lingerfelt has stepped in as president for the FOL - another good move.

Vandalism at the skatepark: It's a drag - somebody ran their car into the fence at the skatepark, wrecking the fence and the water fountain there. Accident? No - Christine at the Fairgrounds says whoever did it backed their car up & rammed it more than once.

It's not something that those of us who love the Fairgrounds like to see, and certainly isn't something there's easy money to fix.

Going to Canada? Here's how: Here's the word from the WSF about what's up with the winter schedule:

The Anacortes to Sidney route is closed for winter season from January 7, 2007 through March 31st, 2007. Service to and from Sidney, B.C. will resume Sunday, April 1st, 2007. Alternate routes are available for vehicle travel to Victoria:

B.C. Ferries leave from Vancouver, north of Seattle, about a three-hour drive. The departure terminal is called Tsawwassen and sailings are about every two hours. You can call for details at 250-386-3431.

Black Ball Transport departs from Port Angeles, on the Olympic Peninsula into downtown Victoria. Sailings are once a day in January and twice a day in February & March. You can call Black Ball Transport at 360-457-4491

From Seattle directly to Victoria is the Clipper Navigation running a passenger only service daily. You can contact Clipper Navagation at 1-800-888-2535 or 206-464-6400.

January 8, 2007

It is another day, baby: Remember when you were a kid & you used to say, "Rain, rain, go away/Come again another day"? Here's comes another day - the weather report says it's gonna rain a bunch these two days, then get cold & snow on Wednesday/Thursday.

It's just that kind of winter. Get the wood ready & let's go.

Another New Year's Party checks in: Diana Stepita had a bit of a costume party for the New Year's last week, and sent along a couple of photos with folks you may know:

Dear Ian, Here are a couple of shots just forwarded to me of our New Year's Day party. In honor of 2007, guests attended in 007 attire - a lot of tuxes and formals came out of various attics on the island!

1. (click here to see this one) Ron Wilson (in wetsuit), Cari Wilson, Andy Urbach, Jill Urbach, Mike Stepita, Diana Stepita, George Smith, Jan Bollwinkel-Smith, and Marc Reshovsky (as Goldfinger)

2. The Bond Girls (right): Jan Bollwinkel-Smith, Jill Urbach, Diana Stepita, and Cari Willson. All the best for a great "007"! Cheers, Diana Stepita

Leadership program begins, and you're invited: Denise from Skagit Valley College says the county leadership program is ready to start next week, and community members can come to sessions:

Skagit Valley College is proud to announce the January 19th opening session of the Community Leadership Series being offered in conjunction with Leadership San Juan Islands. Here's more...

New toys: That's brothers Frank (left) and Rex Guard sorting out how Frank's new cell phone works, on the ferry last week.

Keep an eye on what they're up to: Our friends at The Bellingham Herald have a nice rundown of what our reps in the legislature are planning as sessions get underway in Olympia this's the scoop about Harriet, Dave & Jeff & their plans.

Mike Richardson is sick: His wife Karen wrote me to ask me to let you know...he apparently has cancer and not much time - here's her note & story & picture of Mike, and her invitation for you to write or call them in Rockaway, Oregon, where these longtime islanders have moved. We're feeling for you, Karen...

Artists step up: Call for artisits for the San Juan Island Summer Arts Fair 2007 (Debbie Pigman asked me to tell about this - I know I'll be there - I love the music at this...)

The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce invites local and regional artists to participate in the "Splash of Summer Color" weekend, by joining us in our Summer Arts Fair 2007, July 21 and 22.

There will be approximately 50 Artists Booths, a Kids Creative Zone, Music all day both days, a Pancake Breakfast and other great food! Call now to request your application. Last year's attendance was over 5,500. Applications for the screening process are due by March 1, 2007.

For more info, Contact Debbie Pigman at the Chamber, or 360 378-5240.

For sale: Patrick at Bon Accord tells me the operation's for sale, to wit:

"Locally owned and responsibly operated sea kayak tour company for sale, Includes 2005 Northwest Kayaks (3 doubles, 1 single), PFDs, Paddles, and other gear (overnight stuff...etc.), as well as ranked website, phone number, bookings 2007 and more. Does not includes "mothership", but lease on main pier possible. Call 360-378-6670 or write for serious inquiry. Great opportunity for seasonal income ~ minimal investment needed."

Quote: "Global warming is one of those things, not like an earthquake where there's a big bang and you say, 'Oh, my God, this is really, has hit us.' It creeps up on you. Half a degree temperature difference from one year to the next, a little bit of rise of the ocean, a little bit of melting of the glaciers, and then all of a sudden it is too late to do something about it." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

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There will be more next week, if anything happens.

Ian Byington

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