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WEDNESDAY, July 9, 2014  VOL. 47, NO. 28  75¢ 

SJPT awarded $100k after lawsuit


The following was submitted by the San Juan Preservation Trust. The owner of an Anacortes bed and breakfast establishment has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement for illegally clear-cutting a waterfront nature preserve on Fidalgo Island. The nature preserve, which is owned by the San Juan Preservation Trust, a private land trust that protects open space throughout the San Juan Islands, is situated on a steep slope between the bed and breakfast and the shoreline. It is presumed that the owner of the bed and breakfast ordered the removal of all of the trees from a one-quarter acre area extending from the top of the bank down to the beach in order to enhance the views from his establishment. This action damaged shoreline wildlife habitat and destabilized the steep bank by eliminating native vegetation and undermining its natural water drainage patterns. The clear-cut property is part of the Preservation Trust’s 1.25-mile long “John H. Geary Shoreline Preserve,” a 38-acre collection of 22 contiguous parcels along the west side of Fidalgo Island that was permanently conserved in 1992 by a coalition of neighbors concerned about a proposed development along this steep hillside. The preserve follows Fidalgo’s western shoreline beginning north of Sunset Lane, continuing around Edith Point, and then proceeding south toward Biz Point.


Contributed photo

Jim Connell with his wife Cristine, who passed away in July 2012. Jim has recorded his first album. by MEREDITH M. GRIFFITH Sounder Contributor

When Jim Connell asked Martin Lund for piano lessons back in 2007, Lund was skeptical of his commitment. Connell insisted – he wanted to work on his song-writing. “Martin said, ‘Why don’t you sit down and play one?’” remembers Connell. “I thought I was going to die. My hands were shaking. When I was done, Martin said, ‘That’s a nice song.’” Seven years later, Lund is still teasing Connell about the “three-chord songs” he used to write. Accompanied by other island artists, the two have recorded an album called “Early Lessons.” The 10 songs composed by Connell feature Lund on piano, flute and saxophone accompanied by Connell with other Orcas friends on piano, guitar, trumpet, acoustic bass, trombone and drums. Darvill’s Bookstore will host a CD release event for “Early Lessons” on July 10 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Connell began writing songs in 1968 at a Catholic boys’ summer camp. He dropped out of Yale to go play rock ‘n roll and began playing in a country rock band called Milkweed, which made a demo album. “It wasn’t picked up by the big distributors, so that part ended for 40 years,” Connell says. He had a career in education reform on the East Coast before moving to Orcas in 2007 and kept

playing and writing for special occasions, but did very little musically until a confluence of events lit the proverbial fire under his piano fingers. To start with, life was getting rough. Connell’s beloved wife Cristine was battling cancer, and work was stressful. “I just needed something, to be in a different place, and the music really helped me channel my emotions and feelings about what was going on,” Connell said. He also encountered what he calls “a steamroller of talent”: he attended one of Martin Lund’s One World Music festivals, and shortly thereafter heard Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” performed at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. “The combination of those two things just sort of pushed me into saying, ‘I’ve got to go back and take music more seriously,’” he said. He practiced daily and studied twice weekly with Lund, who pushed him to practice piano technique and to learn music theory and history to enrich his own songwriting. Two years ago Connell found solace in his music as he said a final goodbye to Cristine, his partner of 35 years. “Early Lessons” is a tender eulogy to Cristine, telling stories of loss and recovery. Connell has


Moran bike trail proposed

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is holding a public meeting on Orcas Island to discuss a proposal to develop a mountain bike trail in Moran State Park. The meeting is from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 21 at the Eastsound Fire Station. The public will have the opportunity to comment during the meeting and by email. Washington State Parks is looking at long-term management options at Moran State Park as Orcas Power and Light Cooperative transitions away from the current utility corridor there. Parks has received a proposal from Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance for formal development of a trail that will follow the alignment of the power line corridor. The developed trail would use an existing trail and the power line access road. For more information about the proposal, contact Andrew Fielding, environmental planner, at (509) 665-4312. Email comments may be addressed to:

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Islands' Sounder, July 09, 2014  

July 09, 2014 edition of the Islands' Sounder

Islands' Sounder, July 09, 2014  

July 09, 2014 edition of the Islands' Sounder