SOUNDER THE ISLANDS’
Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County
Open House Weekend! See pages 11-14
San Juan Islands June 2014
Real estate section WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 VOL. 47, NO. 25 75¢ islandssounder.com inside this edition Published the third Wednesday of each month by the Journal of the San Juan Islands, Islands’ Sounder and Islands’ Weekly
PO Box 171 Eastsound, WA 98245 360.376.2145 www.orcasislandrealty.com
Dreamy Rosario Waterfront Home
Views from Timber Frame
Abundance of eagles at Crescent Beach Follow your dreams to Rosario Resort Estates. Enjoy outdoor pool and recreation area rights, dine at the mansion, sunsets from the deck and hiking, biking and swimming in nearby Moran State Park.
Beautifully crafted 4000 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms on 5 acres. Kitchen is ideal for entertaining with an open floor plan and large decks and water views. Lower level has separate entrance to an apartment plus shop and garage spaces. Great value.
Deborah Kathryn Sherman photoHansen
by CALI BAGBY Assistant editor
Dozens of eagles have been spotted swooping over the waters of Crescent Beach with their talons outstretched and their beaks ready to carry off shiny perch. Local photographer Amy Masters spent three days capturing the eagles with her Nikon. She counted as many as 23 eagles at one point. “It will be one of the moments I will remember for the rest of my life,” she said. “We truly live in paradise.” According to Russel Barsh, director for the Lopez-based laboratories Kwiaht, the eagles, seagulls and herons were gathering on the beach last week to feed on fish killed by a massive algal bloom. Barsh, who sampled and analyzed the bloom on June 8, said it was made up almost entirely of Heterosigma akashiwo, a tiny organism implicated in fish kills in western Washington and the Pacific Coast. A bloom also occurred in Shoal Bay on Lopez. “It is unclear how or why Heterosigma kills fish,” Barsh said in a recent press release. “One possibility is that dense clouds of this tiny organism simply pack up inside the gills of fish, like a sand storm, and make breathing difficult.” Kim Secunda, a volunteer for Kwiaht’s Indian Island Marine Health Observatory,
saw at least a dozen eagles feasting on dead fish along the tide line last Monday. Most of the fish were shiner perch, a schooling fish species that congregates each summer around Indian Island to reproduce. According to Barsh these small fish are especially vulnerable to low oxygen levels.
Chris Gill/WestBoundary Photography Editor/Publisher
It was a day of tears and smiles at the Orcas High School class of 2014 graduation ceremony this past Saturday. Seniors accepted their diplomas
Amy Masters/Contributed photo
At left: Orcas photographer Amy Masters took this image of one of the eagles.
He added that birds are not in danger by eating the fish. The organism causing the fish die-off is not toxic, just a physical problem affecting the gills of fish. Barsh has sent samples to NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center for further study. What can be harmful to the eagles is the
influx of people watching them in action. Shona Aitken, education coordinator for Wolf Hollow Rehabilitation Center, warns islanders to be aware of the birds while driving as they are prone to swooping down and could be injured by your windshield. She also recommends not getting too close to the animals especially since it's breeding season and many eagles are bringing food back to their young. “Use a long lens so you are not affecting their behaviors,” said Shona about photographing wildlife. She added that these birds may be beautiful to observe, but they are also fierce predators. The biggest birds are females ,and the average weight of local bald eagles is about 10 to 12 pounds. “People are pretty amazed when they hear that,” she said, referring to how large they are. She has seen eagles with talons the same width as a human hand. Aitken guesses that these predators of the sky will be seen at Crescent Beach until the fish are gone. “They are taking advantage of this bonanza,” she said.
Class of 2014 closes its final chapter
by COLLEEN SMITH ARMSTRONG
against a backdrop of a quilt made when the class was in kindergarten. It featured 12 of the 23 graduating students’ handprints. The seniors were: Sky Bear Aguilar, Aidan Anderson, Diansa Anuenue, Chris Babcock, Matthew
Bowen, Carra Bowes, Caleb Dean, Eric Eagan, Brigid Ehrmantraut, Wayne Foster, Jack Gates, Caitlyn Holley, Emily Jackson, Maya Burt Kidwell, Joe Kostechko, Zack Kostechko, Lindsay Lancaster, Isabella Nigretto, Sebastian Paige, Alex Rogers, Shelbi Rogers, Jack Russillo and Zachary Tillman. Co-valedictorians Ehrmantraut and Jackson spoke about the diversity and strength of their class and Salutatorian Russillo pointed out that the class of 2014 is the final group of kids to graduate under superintendent Barbara Kline. School Board Vice President Janet Brownell spoke of Kline’s 40-plus years in education. “She believes in the potential of each child to be his or her best,” Brownell said. Kline is retiring June 30. She came to Orcas Island in 1990 as the high school principal and has
been superintendent since 2008. Eric Webb, who is replacing Kline, also spoke at the ceremony and is “excited” to be a part of the Orcas community. Other retiring staff members are Sharon Harvey, Iris Graville, Gail Glass and Marie Hilje. The class presented the first annual “senior appreciation award” to school office manager Georgia Philbrook in the amount of $1,000. An anonymous donor is providing this new tradition. Elementary teacher Mandy Randolph gave the commencement address and left her beloved students with these parting words: “Asking is free. The worst that can happen is that someone will say no ... people don’t know what you want until you tell them.” The students received $110,000
SEE GRADUATION, PAGE 3
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June 18, 2014 edition of the Islands' Sounder