May 7, 2007

One busy weekend deserves another: Was last weekend busy or what?

Well, enough with the Mexican leftovers & all that - it's time to think about next weekend, which includes a fundraiser for Steve Maas (right) at the Fairgrounds on Saturday - here's the full scoop.

Meanwhile, a local group called Heliocentric plays its first gig at the Ale House on Friday Night starting at eight pm. The group features Avery Adams (vocals & guitar), Miles Cobos (bass), Rachel Taylor (from Orcas, guitar & vocals like a songbird), with District 49's Shay Byington on drums. See ya there!

Christian Women's Retreat: It was about three weekends ago, but I wanted to let you know all these islanders got together for a retreat. Click on that picture above for a bigger one so you can see everyone in it! Here's the story from Cathy Cole & Kris Phillips:

About 30 women representing 5 island churches participated in a retreat at Camp Orkila. The theme of the weekend was “Building Community in Christ”.  The main speaker was Barbara Henry, author of several women’s bible studies including “Renewing the Heart for Women: Life Principles from the Beatitudes.” The women had a great time getting to know each other better, learning, singing, hiking, resting and playing some fun games. “We are hoping to make this an annual event,” said Kris Phillips, the retreat organizer.  “Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and we all returned with ideas on how to keep up our relationships and positive connections between our churches and in our community.” For more information on how you can get involved, please contact Kris Phillips at 378-7199.

April showers: Well, ya know April showers bring May flowers, and that Mayflowers bring pilgrims.

What's cool is how awesome the flowers are turning out on the island - there are behind the Little Store, next to the laundromat - check 'em out next time you're taking your walk.

Mary's on the radio: Just got this from my good friend Mary Getten, who's gonna be interviewed for a national audience tonight. Here's the scoop:

Hey there,

Monday night, May 7th, I'll be interviewed by Mike Hagan of RadiOrbit about whales, my book, animals communication, and more. We'll be on the air live from 10pm-midnight Pacific Time, or the wee hours of the morning for you east coasters. If you have some time and want to listen in, you can pick up a live stream at or by tuning to 89.5 in Columbia, MO. (That would be midnight-2AM in Missouri). If you'd like to listen to this interview another time, you can go to the archives at and get it there. He seems like an interesting guy and it should be a fun interview.

Mary J. Getten

Hey, gotta date? When Mary Keith mentioned last week that yesterday we'd have 05/06/07 and all that (see below), a couple of friends threw their two cents' worth in:

First, from friend Dale Perry: From someone on the other side of the world that checks your column now and then, I was intrigued by the once in a lifetime moment of 02:03:04 05/06/07. It will happen twice, actually. For those in North America, it will happen on May 6. For those in other parts of the world, it will happen on June 5. (in almost all pars of the world, except the US, the day comes before the month).

Then, a note from Chris Hodgkin in town:

Sorry, but not so.

It will never happen in our lifetimes using the Christian calendar and American dating practices, but it will happen in May of 3007. Sound far away? It's a lot closer than the time of Homer or Christ.

And since the English (and perhaps other Europeans) put the month first in their dating systems, the same sequence for them will occur on the fifth day of June this year.

And, of course, there are many other calendars in use throughout the world which may have the same sequence at various times.

The lesson is that one should never say never!

Quote: "The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves." - Leon Trotsky

May 2-3, 2007

Helping with the housing shortage: That's the new birdhouse next to Chris & Ann Nelson's mailbox out on Pear Point Road, made out of wine bottle corks, and nicely crafted, don't you think?

One time only: Mary Keith dropped me a note for a special occasion next week:

At three minutes and four seconds after 2 a.m. on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07. This will never happen again.

John's back: Two weeks ago our good friend John Dustrude underwent emergency heart surgery, whch concerned us all. Now that he's back on the island, I spoke to him this morning & he's healing nicely, and well as laughing way too much for someone who just had his chect opened (but have you ever seen him when he's not smiling?) So, I asked Louise to catch us up to date:

We got home from Bellingham last Wednesday and John is feeling better day by day. He had triple bypass surgery (very unexpectedly) the week before on Thursday and was in St. Joseph's until last Tuesday afternoon (a week ago). He's been surprised and pleased to hear from so many of our friends as the word gets around. He'll be on oxygen for maybe a couple of weeks, and supposedly back to normal in eight weeks or so. He has to walk 5 to 8 minutes four times a day, and gradually increase that. A beautiful time of year to be out looking at the flowers and shrubs. And not too hot or too cold. - Louise

Catalyst soon underway: Shannon Bailey tells me they'll be taking off for the summer early next week, and that she & Bill (right) had a wonderful open house (I mean, open boat) last weekend. Bon voyage!

LWV meets: My friend Janna tells me this is a good one to attend:

The League of Women Voters of the San Juans will hold its Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday May 3, 2007 from 12 noon until 2pm at the Friday Harbor Golf Course Club House. Milene Henley, guest speaker, will give a talk on “Recent Changes in San Juan County Government.” The agenda will include a look at the past year, the election of new officers, bylaw changes, financial report and new budget, and input from the membership into directions and activities for the 2007-2008 League year. The cost for lunch is $10. Members and guests are welcome. Please RSVP to Janna Gingras, 370-5743, or

The real estate news: Whenever Merri Ann posts her newsletter on her site, there's always something interesting...this quarter's news reports there was a 19% drop in the number of sales this last quarter. Here's more.

Western Prince & heir apparent: It was cool to see Western Prince skipper Ivan with his favorite young prince Brendan at the Golden Triangle. Thai food makes you grow big & strong. Way to go!

Studio Tour 2007 - plan ahead: Yvonne tells me there a few new wrinkles this year:

I know that is still a month way, but wanted to give everyone a “leg up” as calendars get pretty booked up this time of the year. The first weekend in June is just around the corner and that means the island artists will be opening their doors again for the San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour.  This year it’s our 16thAnnual - can you believe it?

We have a brand new feature this year and wanted to get the word out early on this as well.  The studio tour group is offering a new transportation option for this self-guided tour.  For those walk-ons coming from off island, or for the convenience of islanders desiring transportation to and from the studios, a chartered bus will be provided for morning and afternoon trips to all the studios.  The bus will depart and return to the bus stop at WSF in Friday Harbor.  The cost is $10.00 for the day.  Reservations are recommended, but walk-ons are welcome, space permitting.  Please call Darlene Nixon at 360-378-1353, or San Juan Transit at 360-378-8887 to make reservations.

This year, the twelve studios with its 31 participating artists should provide an extremely interesting and delightful diverse visual experience for our visitors. Mark your calendar.  The studios are open for two days on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3, 10 – 5.  For more information, check the website at

Bob's new site: One of the great loan & mortgage brokers around is Bob Kelly (right) - you can get to know him a little better by taking a peek at his new website...see whatcha think!

Deb & touch therapy: Thursday night at Pelindaba at 7pm, Deb Langhans will share provocative research on touch, propose an expanded definition of touch, and invite participants to explore ways of creating more life-enhancing connection with others as well as themselves. Here's more.

Greeting Ceremony: Looks like a great event Saturday night at the Whale Museum, as they present the first "Greeting Ceremony" with dinner & dance & music & a live & silent auction &'s the details.

Open Houses this weekend: Drop by the old Friday Harbor Inn/new Elements Hotel for their open house from 2-6pm on Saturday (Adam says it re-opens more like a firecracker than a flower this Cinco de Mayo, with renovated room tours, Mexican food and music, free chair massage, a sea kayaking demonstration and general good cheer.

Then there's Congressman Rick Larsen visiting Friday Harbor on Sunday, May 6, from 11:00-12:30, in the San Juan Room of Friday Harbor House...drop by & say hey.

Poem: from Rumi, for you:

A Star Without a Name

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,
it easily forgets her
and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground,
then lift up into the sun.

So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.

That's how you came here, like a star
without a name. Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights.

May 1, 2007

Gabe & his girl: That's Gabe from the Carpet Connection with his girl Sydney this weekend at the Rocky Bay Café - both are pretty proud of each other, I'd say.

More support available: I got a note from my good friend Kathy about the cool deal that helps folks - here's the scoop:

Here at San Juan County Health and Community Services, we have received a $28,000 grant for 2007 to support island women who are breast cancer patients with transportation needs to the mainland for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. We provide ferry tickets, reimburse other transportation costs, and …and provide referrals to the volunteer pilot programs for flights on the three major islands, San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez.

We are ever so grateful to the Susan G. Komen Fund for the Cure for funding the program this year. They are an amazing group of committed individuals. For information and enrollment, they can contact me (Kathy Hagn) at 378-4474 or

Tony, walking the dog: That's Tony with his pup Mini over at Pelindaba Downtown the other day - it's good to have a friend to give you a ride.

Fiesta Bowl this weekend: I mentioned the Soroptimists have their bowlathon on Cinco de Mayo (see below), but here's a bit more from Marie, so you can get your tickets, dude:

The event is on Saturday, May 5, 2007, 6-pm at Paradise Lanes and Jimmy's Cafe. Raffle tickets will be available at King's and Marketplace on Friday, May 4 10am-4pm. There are wonderful raffle items this year!

Thank you! :)

Anniversary remembered: He was a friend to us all, the kind of guy any mom would hope to have as a son. When American Ben Linder was killed twenty years ago while working with the poor folks of Nicaragua, the light the young engineer was trying to bring to the villages was put out.

Here's a memorial editorial that will tell you more about him, and here's my song about one of my personal heroes - "Hey, Ben, Hey" is featured on my next album, out late next month. You can listen to it here (it make take a few moments to stream.)

Grand re-opening: Boardwalk Bookstore is celebrating its re-opening this Saturday from 5pm-9pm - the shelves are nearly all re-stocked after the smoke damage from a couple of months ago.

There will be refreshments, prizes, and special discounts, and you can register to win a $100 gift certificate. Drop by & cheer for their shop's graceful recovery. Way to go!

Quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Suess

April 30, 2007

Prom 2007: And a good time was had by all....

Over 150 folks attended the FHHS Prom last Saturday night, including Lillan Roquet (Class of '06) who came back from Linfield College in Oregon to dance with Cole Franklin, this year's quarterback who is going to play football this coming fall at...guess where? Linfield, of course.

To see our kids all dressed up, I made a portfolio of shots I took near the end of the dance...check it out.

What to do with your IRA: You gotta retire someday... Merri Ann Simonson at Coldwell Banker tells me there's a seminar this week that you'll want to attend:

Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands, Inc. invites you to a Real Estate Investment seminar free to the public on Thursday, May 3rd, 6:00pm to 8:00,  at the San Juan Island Fire Department located on Mullis Street in Friday Harbor. The class is sponsored by Pacific Crest Savings Bank.  Everyone is encouraged to attend this highly informative session designed to educate anyone thinking of or currently investing in an individual retirement fund.

You don’t have to be disappointed in the return of your IRA accounts that hold stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds. Similar to stock, you can buy and sell real estate with a Self-Directed IRA account and defer your tax payment on the gain. Attending this seminar will show you how you may use all or a portion of your retirement funds to invest in real estate. Come to learn how a non-recourse real estate loan is granted to your self-directed IRA to increase your purchasing power.

Here's more....

New at the Library: There's a new smiling face you'll see at the Library these days - that's Ann (right), who is a writer & reader (obviously!) who is taking Heidi's place as she takes over Linda's job that opened up when she left last month. Got it?

Besides her new job, Ann's also engaged to marry Jack Casey in June. Congrats!

Speaking of getting married: One of the most-used wedding officiants around here is Archie Brooks....he's performed over 500 weddings in his time as a preacher & officiant, and you'll like the job he does. Call him if you need someone to help with your wedding.

Author talk: Next Sunday at 6 at the Library, local author Susan Wingate speaks about her new book Of the Law. A glimpse into island life through fiction, Wingate’s book profiles the ethical struggle of an officer of the law in dealing with the death of a corrupt woman.

Closing & opening a new chapter: As Jim Horn & Bob Bellinger close the Toggery this week (and Griffin Bay Books moves into their spot - but that's another story), a little piece of longtime Friday Harbor history is gone. Meanwhile, they're going traveling, and are pretty upbeat about it.

Good luck, guys!

Soroptimist Bowlathon - it's this weekend! Here's the scoop they sent me:

Last year the event raised about $10,000 and we hope to make at least that much this year. The Soroptimist Cancer Treatment Support Mission project is to fund ferry tickets for local Islanders receiving Cancer Treatment off island. As we all know the need is great and the ferry ticket costs are on the rise. Soroptimist supplied over $8,000 in ferry tickets in 2006. You can support the fundraiser one of three ways: attend the Fiesta Dinner Event, buy a Fiesta Raffle Ticket and/or sponsor a Bowler with a cash donation. Dinner tickets available at The Garuda and I or Christy's Island Salon.

For Donations of Goods and Services or to Purchase Tickets, please contact Chairpersons Marie 378-5949 or Patty 298-1224. Can't attend? Donation checks can be mailed to: Soroptimist-Fiesta, Post Office Box 2856, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 Visit the Soroptimist Friday Harbor website: for more information.

Quote: from Gibran:

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; for love is sufficient unto love.

The information here is simply stuff we here at By Design think is important around Friday Harbor or on the Island. Some of it is news, some of it is old news, and all are just things we wanted to mention, with most of it about the things that make living here great.

There will be more next week, if anything happens.

Ian Byington

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