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THE BEES’ KNEES Orcas Center transformed into 1920s speakeasy Page 11

REAL ESTATE Monthly section inside this week’s edition


NEWS | San Juan County crime briefs [3] MEDICAL | OIFR discusses after-hour medical care [9] WILDLIFE | Update on how to interact with raccoons [12]

Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2013  VOL. 46, NO. 25  75¢

Bright future

up ahead by COLLEEN SMITH ARMSTRONG Editor/Publisher

A tight-knit group of 37 island kids have moved on to the next chapter of their lives. The class of 2013 graduated from Orcas High School on June 15. The students were: Ruby Adrian, Solange Aguilar, Macklin Blackadar, Daniel Briggs, Joshua Bronn, Lana Bronn, Freeda Crow, Spencer Crowe, Rylan Date, Juan Pablo Dias-Alvares, Chase Drake, Ridley Folkins, Jessica Gudgell, Winter Hyatt, Ryan Ivans, Bailey Johnson, Mykal Keyes, Ana Ledgerwood, Juliette Mann, Aidan McCormick, Jordan McGee, Di Wang Mowrey, Adelaine Newcombe, Tara O’Neill, Garett Pietsch, Andrew Nile Reed, Annie Ryder, Morgan Sabine, Doug Smith, Devon Stanvione, Soren Sweet, Nicholas Toscno, Jenna Tully, Zackary Wolford, Tika Zbornik and Jake Zier. The audience heard speeches from Class President McCormick and Valedictorians Ledgerwood and Blackadar. Salutatorian Mann sang her own composition with accompaniment by Lana, Josh and Ryder. Daniel Briggs was honored for never missing a day of school during his entire education on Orcas. Teacher Mark Padbury called him the “Iron Horse of the class of 2013.” Superintendent Barbara Kline also recognized retiring staff members Linda Sullivan, Martin Lund and Sharon Mierau. Retired fifth grade teacher Colleen O’Brien dispensed advice during her commencement address. Some her recommendations were: don’t

Chris Gill and Colleen Armstrong photos

Above: Colleen O’Brien giving the commencement address. Far Left: Devon Stanzione and Mykal Keyes. Left: Daniel Briggs and Soren Sweet. Briggs was honored for never missing a day of school during his entire education on Orcas. The class received a total of $70,000 in scholarships; see page six for a full list.


New vision for Broadband initiative by STEVE WEHRLY Journal reporter

Somewhere along the line, Orcas Power and Light Cooperative’s vision for expanded county-wide high-speed internet service took a turn. Over the past year, OPALCO developed and promoted a plan to provide high-speed Internet access and internet-based telephone service on a subscription basis to its membership for $75 per month. In recent weeks, however, the co-op has decided not to become an internet service provider itself. The build-out of the fiber optic

infrastructure would be financed in part by a $34 million U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development loan, some of it to be repaid with a $15 monthly additional charge to co-op customers whether or not they subscribed to Internet service. OPALCO announced in December it would proceed with the provision of internet service plan if half of its membership indicated support for the plan by signing up with the company and providing the company with a presubscription deposit. Some 900 OPALCO members signed up for Internet service and

made pre-subscription deposits of $90. The deposits were returned or credited to customer accounts when OPALCO announced the plan would not be implemented. On Wednesday, June 12, at the first of four meetings on San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands, Assistant General Manager Foster Hildreth introduced the revised plan to an audience of about 50 people at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor. Several people in the audience dubbed the change of course as “Plan B.” Before the meeting, a dozen islanders gathered around Hildreth to ask questions about the “new direction.” Some said they still supported the plan approved by the Board in December, others expressed satisfaction that OPALCO had scrapped that plan. Hildreth told the small group that the vision hadn’t changed, but said the co-op was moving to an

“incremental approach to leveraging our assets” for the benefit of its members. When the meeting started, the crowd of 50 listened attentively to Hildreth’s explanation that the original plan approved by the OPALCO Board of Directors had not generated the level of support necessary to offset the risk to the cooperative’s financial structure. “We’ve learned a lot from our members over the past year,” Hildreth said about the reaction to the co-op’s broadband initiative. Hildreth pointed out that although the co-op won’t be moving forward with the proposed plan, “we’ll do what we can with our infrastructure to benefit our membership and make best use of co-op resources by leasing the present fiber-optic network to telecommunications and internet


Sounder deadlines Display advertising: Friday at noon Classified advertising: Monday at noon Legal advertising: Thursday at noon Press releases, Letters: Friday at 3 p.m.

How to reach us Office: 376-4500 Fax: 376-4501 Advertising: advertising@ Classified: 1-800-388-2527, classifieds@ Editor: editor@

Islands' Sounder, June 19, 2013  

June 19, 2013 edition of the Islands' Sounder

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