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Sounder The Islands’

WEDNESDAY, July 4, 2012 n VOL. 45, NO. 27 n 75¢

Summer fun in the sun

Happy July 4th Schedule of events – page 3

www.islandssounder.com

Solid waste collection continues transition

County says big changes for the new system will take place this summer and fall by CALI BAGBY Staff reporter

Colleen Smith Armstrong/Staff Photos

Left: Iris Parker Pavitt was one of many islanders in the 14th Annual Solstice Parade and celebration on Saturday, June 23. Above: an Orcas dog also gets into the action. The whimsical and always colorful foot parade made its way up North Beach Road and ended at the Stage on the Green for local entertainment and the Exchange’s “Trashion Fashion” show. For more photos of the day’s events, visit the “Lifestyle” section of www.islandssounder. com.

PeaceHealth pledges to offer women’s services by STEVE WEHRLY Journal reporter

PeaceHealth officials vowed last week that there would be no scale back in women’s services when the medical center in Friday Harbor closes its doors and Peace Island Medical Center takes its place as the main provider of publicly funded health care services on San Juan Island. It will be San Juan County’s first hospital and is open to all residents.

The solid waste system is evolving and county staff like Public Works Director Frank Mulcahy is optimistic that garbage and recycling collection is changing for the better. “It’s such a sensitive time for the county,” Mulcahy said. “There have been lingering issues with garbage, so a lot of energy and momentum is going into the transition. And I think people will overwhelmingly be pleased with what is put in place.” And some of those big changes will occur this summer and fall. Here is an update for each island.

San Juan Island The county is not accepting proposals to run the transfer station because Friday Harbor’s Administrator Duncan Wilson and Mulcahy are attempting to reach an agreement on renewal of the lease that for years has allowed the county to use a portion of town-owned property on Sutton Road for its solid waste transfer station. The Friday Harbor Town Council recently approved a list

Those promises were made June 20 at As designed, it will be a 10-bed critical a meeting of the San Juan Island Hospital access hospital providing expanded primary District Commission and follow in the wake care and specialty clinic, enhanced diagnosof a request from an official with the Catholic tic center, a cancer care suite providing onArchdiocese in Seattle, sent recently to island chemotherapy and cancer services and PeaceHealth’s Bellingham laboratory, asking a 24-hour emergency room. As part of a bindthat the lab stop providing services to Planned ing agreement approved by the hospital comParenthood clinics. mission, PIMC will replace San Juan Island’s At the June 20 meeting, attended by about 38-year-old medical clinic, Inter Island Medical 50 islanders, Peace Island Medical Center Center, once it opens. The hospital district will CEO Jim Barnhart said pass onto PeaceHealth its PeaceHealth has no intenannual property tax reve“Emphasis on human nue – about $1.2 million a tion of denying services to Planned Parenthood. Barnhart year – to subsidize health rights, especially noted that PeaceHealth opercare at the new medical women’s rights.” ates independently of Seattle’s center. Archdiocese despite its Roman A Bellevue-based non— Roman Catholic Congregation Catholic roots. of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, profit healthcare system, “PeaceHealth is not owned, founders of PeaceHealth PeaceHealth owns and operated or governed by the operates St. Joseph Medical Catholic Church,” Barnhart Center in Bellingham, as said. well as medical centers and Peace Island Medical Center, which is slated rural-care hospitals in Alaska, Washington to open in Friday Harbor at the end of the year, is a unit of PeaceHealth. See HEALTH, Page 6

of conditions for continued lease of that site by the county. Mulcahy is optimistic that he will have approval from the town at the end of July and then they will start the request for proposals process.

Orcas Island At a county meeting in May there were four parties interested in taking over the transfer station: the Exchange, San Juan Sanitation, Cimarron Trucking and Kentech USA. Mulcahy said he anticipates that all four operations will put in a proposal by the deadline date of July 13. For islanders concerned about the fate of the Exchange, which offers recycled items for a donation and is located on the transfer station site, Mulcahy said that whoever takes on the transfer station will have to comply with the Exchange. “The real concern is that if no one picks up the operation of the transfer station, the Exchange will lose business,” Mulcahy said. But he said he has seen similar recycling endeavors on San Juan

See solid waste, Page 6

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Islands' Sounder, July 04, 2012