VIKING SPORTS Last week’s football, soccer, volleyball games Page 3
FALL PLANTING IDEAS Garden expert shares tips for fall Page 11
SOUNDER THE ISLANDS’
PEOPLE | Check out what your neighbors are up to  OBITUARIES | Read the life stories of two islanders  ARTS | Brass quintet coming to Orcas Island 
Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County
WEDNESDAY, September 25, 2013 VOL. 46, NO. 39 75¢
Two WSF employees relieved from duty
by SCOTT RASMUSSEN Journal editor
The Fourth Annual Great Island Grown Festival is from Oct. 1-13 as part of Savor the San Juans. For a full story on the happenings and a calendar of events, see page 9.
Washington State Ferries removed the captain and the second mate from duty onboard the Hyak and placed the two on administrative assignment in the wake of the vessel’s collision on Sept. 13 with a sailboat in Upright Channel. The Hyak, a Super Class ferry with a 144-vehicle capacity, is roughly 382 feet in length and is capable of traveling up to 17 knots. It collided with a 28-foot sailboat, the Norma Rae, at about 2 p.m., while en route to Orcas Island and shortly after leaving the Lopez Island ferry terminal. A Department of Fish and Wildlife boat towed the sailboat away. The state ferry system convened a board of inquiry late Friday afternoon to investigate the collision. WSF Spokeswoman Marta Coursey said that placement of the two WSF employees on adminis-
Myths and facts about the arrival of spiders by CALI BAGBY Staff reporter
New residents seem to be appearing on the island everyday. They are found on windowsills, porches, hanging off plants and in nooks and crannies. “Spiderwebs are everywhere in my yard,” said Orcas resident Nicole Cline. The species islanders are watching crop up are known as European cross spiders, shown at right. Individual spiders’ coloring range from light yellow to dark gray, but all have mottled markings across the back with five or more white dots forming a cross. Rod Crawford, curator of arachnids at the Burke Museum in Seattle, told the Seattle Times in August that the presumed spider boom this year is a phrase he has heard every year for the last 30 years. “There are always lots this time of the year,” echoed Orcas Islander Rochelle Severson. Crawford accounts for the increasing vis-
ibility of these eight-legged creatures due to spiders coming into maturity and needing more space to make cobwebs. The spiders are hatched in early May and become adults in the late summer. On his website, Crawford goes on to explain that August and September are actually the worst time of year for northern hemisphere spider collectors. Only a few spider species including the larger orb weavers and the giant house spiders are mature at that time, but not many other spiders are around. Crawford is clearly prepared for a range of arachnid-oriented questions from the funny to the bizarre. His FAQ page is full of topics such as swallowing spiders while sleeping to camel spiders that run 25 miles per hour screaming like a banshee to a gigantic spider that lives in tunnels under Windsor Castle. These are all
myths that Crawford dispels. One popular myth is that spiders come indoors in the fall to escape the cold. According to Crawford, house spiders are not the same species as the yard or garden spiders, which live outdoors. “If a large number appear [indoors] at a specific season, it is usually late summer and coincides with the mating season of the given species,” said Crawford. Spiders are “cold-blooded” and not attracted to warmth. “They don’t shiver or get uncomfortable when it’s cold, they just become less active and eventually, dormant,” said Crawford. According to the staff of the WSU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory staff, spiders, due to their predacious nature, are beneficial; they
SEE SPIDERS, PAGE 7
trative assignment is routine procedure as part of such an investigation. Coursey said the board will release its “finding of fact” after conducting interviews with the crew of the Hyak and reviewing details of the crash. The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a separate but parallel investigation as well, she said. The sailboat’s lone occupant at the time of the collision, a man in his mid-60s, was transported to San Juan Island’s Peace Island Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries shortly after the incident. The heavily damaged sailboat was towed from the crash scene by a boat provided by Fish and Wildlife, but it later sank, reportedly in 250 feet of water. Cousey said the time of release of the inquiry board’s findings-offact will depend on the length of evaluation of the collision.
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