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San Juan Islands May 2014
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Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County
Published the third Wednesday of each month by the Journal of the San Juan Islands, Islands’ Sounder and Islands’ Weekly
WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2014 VOL. 47, NO. 21 75¢ islandssounder.com
Library profile Holly King by CALI BAGBY Assistant editor
Editor’s note: The Orcas Island Library is hoping to embark on an expansion of its facility. In the next year, there will be public meetings, design work and fundraising. The Sounder is running a series on the library’s staff in the coming months. Librarian Holly King enjoys the quirks of small-town life. When people stop her at the grocery store to return overdue library books, King happily accepts. “I love it,” King says with a laugh. Some people come to the island planning to spend their lives here, others come for a summer and end up never leaving. King is one of the latter group of people. Not only did she not ever “get off the rock,” but she has planted deep roots by creating a family and finding a career as a librarian. For King, the public services librarian at the library, getting to Orcas was a long journey. She was born in Amarillo, Texas and went to college in Massachusetts. As part of her studies, she spent a year in Florence, Italy. One of the highlights of the trip, she recalls, was visiting the Berlin wall right after it came down. Her interest in library studies grew while living in Seattle. She would spend her days looking for jobs at the Seattle Public Library. It was there
she started thinking, “Maybe I can make a career working at a library.” She attended the University of Washington and earned a masters in library science. She came to the islands in 1996 to “just stay for the summer.” Now 18 years later she has a job she loves, a husband and two boys, ages nine and six. She originally wanted to work in an academic or corporate library, but after sending numerous resumes across the country with no reply, she started to open her horizons. When there was a job opening at the Orcas library for support staff, King thought it wouldn’t hurt to have her foot in the door. Soon after that there was an opening for a full-time position. “I have been here ever since,” said King. She describes the staff at the library as doing a little bit of everything. Her primary responsibilities are the young adult, music, large print and reference sections and manning the front desk. Over the years, King says technology has changed her job at the library in subtle ways. “There are more questions about computers and technology driven questions,” she said. “People come with their Kindles, E-books and audio books.” Her favorite aspect of working at the
Holly King, the public services librarian at the Orcas Island Public Library. library is the community support and the freedom to explore her own interests. King’s brainchild last year was the Health and Wellness Week, which involved classes, demonstrations and free mammograms. King also does an outreach program for seniors once a month. “When someone asks me a question,
I think how I want someone to treat my mother,” she said. According to fellow librarian Nita Couchman, King’s talent of working with diverse ages of people is what makes her a great asset to the library. “Holly is good with all kinds of people with older people and teens,” she said.
Candidates lined up for county elections by STEVE WEHRLY Journal reporter
Election season in San Juan County may not end up being a snoozer after all. Even though most candidates are unopposed and the county council has decided not to put any charter amendments on the ballot, races for sheriff and county clerk are likely to be hard-fought and local political parties are gearing up to challenge the “non-partisan” label. The election for sheriff may be contentious. Deputy Ron Krebs has filed to oppose Sheriff Rob Nou, who won election in 2010 with 66 percent of the vote. Usually, an incumbent elected the first time with two-thirds of the vote against opposition would not
face much of an election contest. But recent departmental disciplinary and transparency matters may make Krebs’ challenge significant. And Krebs isn’t pulling any punches. On his Facebook page, he writes: “Our county deserves better than what you are getting.” As he did in 2010, Nou is expected to wage a vigorous, positive campaign, according to sources close to the incumbent candidate. At this writing, only four of 15 local races have competition. For county clerk, incumbent Joan White has drawn an opponent in District Court Clerk Nancy Vejvoda. In the race for county treasurer, two political newcomers and first-time candidates are seeking to succeed retiring Treasurer Jan
Sears. Rhonda Pederson, longtime county employee and now chief accountant for Auditor Milene Henley, is running against local banker Tony Fyrqvist. Both promise to run vigorous campaigns. Pederson has lived on San Juan Island for 20 years. She worked at Haggen grocery, Geiser Escrow and 14 years for the auditor. Pederson cites that 14 years as the reason she “is the only reasonable choice for the position of treasurer - a position (she) feels she will transition into smoothly from the auditor’s office.” Fyrqvist maintains his 30 years of banking experience (23 years at the Friday Harbor branch of Islanders’ Bank) qualifies him to be the county’s banker. “I will put the customer service
skills and efficiency I have learned in private industry to work to serve the public as the San Juan County treasurer,” he said.
Federal, state races Rick Larsen has filed for an eighth term in Congress representing the 2nd Congressional District, which includes all of San Juan and Island counties and parts of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom. Larsen has had three tough campaigns and four relatively easy ones, including 2012 when he won more than 60 percent of the vote against Republican Dan Matthews. As of press time, his only filed opponent
SEE ELECTIONS, PAGE 6
Cali Bagby/ Staff photo
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May 21, 2014 edition of the Islands' Sounder