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Book of the San Juan Islands


Information & relocation guide

San Juan Orcas Lopez Shaw Anacortes A publication of the Journal of the San Juans, Islands’ Sounder & Islands’ Weekly


San Juan Island’s Favorite Corner — Since 1920 —

Photo credit Todd Owens

22017 016

Painted by Lanny Little, the front of the store features the interior of the original pharmacy based on photos from Al Nash Jr. Art donated by A&H Stores, owners.

Prescriptions • Souvenirs T Shirts & Sweatshirts • Cosmetics Hallmark Cards & Gifts, Gift Wrap Candy • Party Ware Art, Office & School Supplies

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SJIMA champions artists, the arts, and arts programming because we champion authenticity of expression, place, and connections. Hours: Friday through Monday, 11–5 540 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360-370-5050

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Right Care. Right Here. When you need health care, it’s nice to know that you can get the care you need, right here on the island. PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center is San Juan County’s only critical access hospital.  Primary Care  Hospital Services  Specialty Clinics  Emergency Department Find the care you need at


2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

What’s inside…



History of the Islands


San Juan Island




Real Estate

Lopez Island


Shaw Island

Orcas Island








Greg Sellentin/staff photo

Real Estate - Lopez Island

(360) 468-3344 •

Serving Lopez Island From Our “Downtown” Location In The Friendly Isle Building 1986 - 2017


Beth Andrewes BROKER

Dianne Pressenda MANAGING BROKER

Heidi Hernandez BROKER

Jim Gorton BROKER

Mitty Huntsman BROKER

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Terry Tuszynski BROKER



Your full service Market

Featuring a great selection of Northwest local products including meat, seafood, produce, beer, wine and spirits.

Monday - Saturday 7 am - 9 pm • Summer Hours: Monday - Saturday 7 am - 10pm • Sunday 8 am - 8 pm • (360) 376-6000


2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

Welcome to the San Juans


he tiniest county in Washington state as far as land mass, San Juan County might just bear the moniker of the man with the longest title: Juan Vicente de Güemes, the 1789 Viceroy of New Spain, second Count of Revillagigedo. (We just call them the San Juans or “the islands” for short.) Perched in the heart of the Salish Sea, the county has 172 islands, rocks and reefs at high tide - and 743 at low tide. These add up to 174 square miles of land and 447 square miles of water. Historically, the islands’ countless coves and inlets provided hideaways for rum-runners and other smugglers. Now, they’re a lush and lovely playground for boaters, beachcombers and other wild creatures. The terrain ranges from 2,398-foot Mount Constitution on Orcas, to rocky, forested hillsides and rolling meadows that slope down to craggy stretches of waterfront. Streams and lakes cross the landscape, offering wildlife sanctuaries, swimming and fishing. People who set foot on these islands quickly fall under the spell of their natural beauty, sparkling seas, rumbling, steadfast ferries and misty meadows. Home to 16,320 residents in 2016, San Juan

County’s growing population ranks the county 24th in the state. Most islanders live on the four largest, ferry-served islands: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw. About 75 percent of islanders live outside the three urban village areas: Friday Harbor, population 2,278; Eastsound, 980; and Lopez Village, 190. There are about 94 people per square mile. About 30 percent of islanders are over age 65, which is more than double the state average of 14 percent. Just 14 percent of islanders are under the age of 18. Households also tend to be smaller than the state average (2.54), at 2.01 persons. Top industries are construction; government; arts, entertainment and food services; professional services; and educational, healthcare, and social services. About 18 percent of islanders are self-employed, and many jobs are seasonal. Per-capita income was $38,556 in 2014, but a significant percentage of that is made up of retirement savings or pensions: 40 percent of the county’s population is not part of the labor force working here in the islands. The median worker here earned $26,795, compared to the state average of $33,492. The cost of living index for the islands is 151 (the

The Book of the San Juan Islands

national average is 100). Homeownership averages 72 percent, and the median home value is $472,900 (state median value is $262,000). The latest census revealed that of 13,721 housing units in the county, over 28 percent are kept for seasonal (normally summertime) use. Island life ebbs and flows with the seasons, as the annual tourist (and seasonal resident, or “snowbird”) influx rises each spring with the first daffodils and slows to a trickle as the mists of grey October creep in. Summer is a time of festive parades, with the hum of weekend crowds browsing at farmers’ markets or relaxing at music festivals. The islands are home to a thriving culinary arts community, with local artisans crafting brews, ciders and fine wines; fromagers; shellfish farmers; and chocolatiers. And wintertime has its own quiet island rhythm, a time for friends to gather, to play in the occasion-

al snow on the slopes of Mount Constitution or to explore the great outdoors. San Juan County consistently ranks among Washington state’s healthiest counties, thanks to low crime rates, access to health care, good air quality and residents’ physical activity. The county also boasts a high level of education: 45.1 percent hold bachelor’s degrees or higher; and 94.5 percent are high school graduates. Islanders come from all walks of life, experiences and income brackets, but are united by a deep and abiding sense of community and care for one another and for the earth and its creatures. Residents have created a phenomenal number of nonprofits - over 100 on Orcas Island alone - and donate countless hours every year. There’s no place like San Juan County for a warm sense of belonging and nurturing, a bond created both with the people and the land.

Islands by Population • Lopez Island: 2,400 residents • Orcas Island: 5,000 residents • San Juan (unincorporated): 6,822 residents • Friday Harbor: 2,306 residents • Shaw Island: 246 residents

2017 - 2018

Information and Relocation Guide

Publication Information

Contributors Group Publisher – Colleen Smith Armstrong Editor/Writer – Meredith Griffith Advertising Sales – Colleen Smith Armstrong and Cali Bagby Graphic Artist – Shane Watson and Greg Sellentin Cover Photo – Greg Sellentin

The Journal of the San Juans 640 Mullis St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250 P: 360‑378‑5696, F: 888‑562‑8818 - The Islands’ Sounder 217 Main Street, Eastsound, WA 98245 P: 360‑376‑4500, F: 888‑562‑8818 - The Islands’ Weekly 217 Main Street, Eastsound, WA 98245 P: 360-376-4500, F: 888‑562‑8818 -

The Book of The San Juan Islands


The San Juan Islands: A little history


he San Juan Islands are actually the tops of sunken mountains of a long-ago continent dating back to the Paleozoic era. They are made of the rock that remained after the area was deeply scoured by retreat-

ing glaciers - and you can still find glacial erratics, large boulders dropped by the glaciers, scattered across meadows on San Juan Island. Scientists say the islands actually rose after the weight of the glaciers was removed, in a gradual process

Left: Historic aerial view of Eastsound (property of Orcas Island Historical Museum). Above: Mud Bay School on Lopez Island (Mandi Johnson/staff photo). called elastic rebound. Before Europeans began settling here in the San Juan Islands, they were home to six Central Coast Salish Tribes: the Sooke, Saanich, Songhee, Lummi, Samish and Semiahmoo. These people shared the Northern Straits language, and lived off the land, harvesting fish, shellfish, camas bulbs, waterfowl, berries, prairie plants and other wild foods. Many wintered at larger villages like English Camp, spending their summers foraging for abundant foods at less sheltered places like Cattle Point.

It appears that the Salish were in the habit of setting fires before leaving certain summer areas each fall, which would keep the land clear of shrubs and trees, allowing favored forage crops like camas and nettles to thrive. Some experts believe these peoples were here for 11,000 years before Europeans arrived. In the late 1700s, Spanish navigator Juan Perez visited the area; soon after, deadly European diseases began spreading through the native tribes, SEE HISTORY, PAGE 9

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HISTORY FROM 8 greatly reducing the population. Coastal tribes from the north were already in the habit of raiding the Central Coast Salish tribes for slaves and plunder; so when these northern tribes got firearms from fur traders, the native islanders’ situation grew more difficult. In 1791, the islands were named the “Isla y Archipelago de San Juan” by Spanish explorer Francisco Eliza, who mapped the area as part of a mission to firm up Spanish control. That same year, British explorer Captain George Vancouver traveled through the archipelago, and Americans soon discovered the islands as well. British Hudson’s Bay Company set up the first permanent non-Indian presence in 1850, creating fishing camps on the south shore of San Juan Island. They also bought fish from the local tribes, processing them at salmon salting stations. Soon, the Hudson’s Bay Company had brought in 1,369 sheep and a handful of other European farm animals at the new Bell Vue farm on the southeastern tip of San Juan. By 1859, the farm had 4500 head of sheep, 40 cattle, 5 yokes of oxen, 40 hogs, and 35 horses. Much of the island

Fun facts • Friday Harbor was actually named after a native of Hawaii, Peter Poalima, whose last name translates to “Friday.” • The county has four historic light houses on public lands (three are open to visitors in the summer). • John Wayne’s custom over-sized bath tub is at Roche Harbor’s Hotel de Haro, on San Juan. • Call us stuck in the past, but there still isn’t a single traffic light any where in San Juan County. We like it that way.

was eventually taken over by sheep runs. There were wolves living on San Juan in those years, and they made midnight meals of the hapless sheep until around 1859, when they were exterminated from the island. Haidas also raided livestock from the farm, and farm records indicate that alcohol was negatively affecting the Native tribes during that time. Towards the end of that decade, British Royal Navy Captain George Richards extensively mapped the San Juan Archipelago. Meanwhile, the Americans were moving into the islands as well. A Bell Vue farm manager recorded losing 400 sheep to Americans in 1855. The Oregon Territory claimed them in 1852, then Washington Territory named them part of Whatcom County in 1853. American officials asked the Hudson Bay Company to pay customs duties and property taxes, and actually seized a number of sheep as tax payment. A few years later came the infamous “Pig War” standoff. A handful of Fraser River gold rush miners had settled on San Juan Island as American homesteaders. One day, American settler Lyman Cutler found one of British Belle Vue Farm manager Charles Griffin’s pigs rooting in his potato patch, and he shot it.  Griffin threatened to retaliate, and the situation escalated. Britain and America saw the opportunity to solidify their claims to the islands, and stationed troops at military camps on the west side of San Juan. Both nations continued their join military occupation until 1872, when the Kaiser of Germany finally designated the current international boundary running north to south to the west of San Juan Island.  It was the last territorial dispute between the two nations. In the early 20th century, the islands’ economy began to boom with the lime and timber industries. Sawmills supplied timber to build steamships, and cordwood to power them. The largest lumber mill was on Orcas Island, now home to Rosario Resort. During that time, many of the islands’ forests were logged to feed the lime kilns and timber mills. Orcas Island was also home to many The Book of The San Juan Islands

plum, pear and apple orchards, while Lopez Islanders farmed, ranched and fished. Many islanders still enjoy plentiful harvests from the ancient fruit trees around their homes. Things changed again in the 1930s, when area lime deposits ran dry and new irrigation methods in Eastern Washington depressed prices for orchard fruits. Railways and motor vehicles became cheaper than water transport, making island products less competitive. Much of the islands’ history can still be read in the terrain by careful observers: from the traces of ancient orchards to the ruins of historic lime kilns and lighthouses; American and English Camps; Lummi burial site Madrona Point and more. The islands today are known for their concern for the environment: San Juan County was the first county in the country to designate itself as a “Leave no Trace” area and to ban jetskis; it was the first county in the state to ban styrofoam takeout containers. To step into the islands’ history, visit the historical museums on San Juan (, Orcas (, Lopez ( and Shaw ( The Orcas museum showcases six original homesteader cabins, artifacts, the skull of a bison antiquus estimated to be 14,000 years old, and a display on Colton Harris-Moore, the infamous “Barefoot Bandit.” The Lopez Island Historical Society has exhibits on the island’s salmon fishing history; historical island women of note; natural history, including evidence of wolves on the island; and a comprehensive Native American artifact collection. The museum on San Juan hosts an annual Pig War picnic, along with an assortment of photographs, artifacts and stories from past islanders, and they’re now building a new Museum of History and Industry as well. Also on San Juan, you can trace the history of the resident J, K and L orca pods still living here in the Salish Sea.


Lopez Island George Willis Photo


opez is the first stop for Washington State Ferries winding through the San Juan Islands, and the third largest of the islands. It’s known as “The Friendly Isle,” famous for residents’

habit of lifting a few fingers from the steering wheel in an offered wave, whether you be old friend or a brand-new face. With just 2,500 yearround residents, Lopez is a great place to take your foot off the accelerator and settle

Lopez Island

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Lopez School (360) 468-2202 86 School Road Lopez Island, WA 98261

Decatur School (360) 375-6004 Decatur Island Anacortes, WA 98221 10

into the pace of island life. Lopez is quiet and relaxed, the gently rolling, open landscape peppered with sunny farms where islanders raise sheep, llamas, wine grapes, apples, pears, kiwis and more. Scandinavian farmers began the tradition in the 1850s. Bicyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the quiet, winding roads. Each spring, the annual Tour de Lopez event draws 900 riders to meander the length of the island. At 15 miles long and 8 miles wide, Lopez covers just under 30 square miles, with an incredible 63 miles of shoreline.The island offers generous array of lovely day-use parks: Perkins County Park, Shark Reef Sanctuary, Agate Beach County Park, Blackie Brady County Park on Hughes Bay, Mud Bay County Park, Lopez Village Park and Lopez Skate Park in Lopez Village.  In 2016, average temperatures ranged from 34 to 45 degrees in January; to 50 to 70 degrees in August, with precipitation at less than one inch in July, and around four inches per month in Novem-

2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

ber, December and January. For overnight camping, 80acre waterfront Odlin County Park has 30 overnight campsites scattered along fine sandy beaches. You can also camp at 138-acre Spencer Spit State Park, where a quarter-milelong sandy spit juts out into the swift channel of Lopez Sound toward precipitous Frost Island. The spit also encircles a muddy tidal flat that’s prime habitat for native littleneck/varnish/butter/horse clams and cockles. You can learn about open seasons and limits for shellfish harvesting online at fishing/shellfish/. Lopez Island School District had 239 children enrolled in spring 2016, with class sizes averaging 14-15 students. The district includes one elementary, middle and high school, as well as the K-8 school for nearby Decatur Island. The school offers several different types of alternative learning experiences. If you wander into Lopez Village, you’ll find yourself in the midst of cozy coffee shops like Isabel’s Espresso and Holly SEE LOPEZ ISLAND, PAGE 11

LOPEZ ISLAND FROM 10 B’s Bakery (famous for having “the best buns!”), fine restaurants and stylish boutiques, not to mention the Just Heavenly Fudge Factory next door to an ice cream shop. Vortex Cafe and Juice bar serves up fresh juices and smoothies, along with organic local vegan and gluten-free fare. Two of the islands’ three main grocery stores are here: Lopez Village Market, and Blossom Grocery. The other is Southend General Store and Restaurant, located on the island’s south end. Just outside town, Lopez Center for Community and the Arts hosts island benefits, concerts and community events. The center also hosts a community garden, Lopez Children’s Center, a skateboard park and Lopez Island Family Resource Center, which helps with food and financial assistance, life skill classes and workshops. Restored historic Woodmen Hall, more than 100 years old, is another community gathering place; recent events include a Murder Mystery Night, line dancing, a barbecue and an auction. Woodmen Hall is also home to the island’s senior center (468-2421). Lopez Thrift Shop sells used items to raise funds, giving yearly grants for locals in need. Current real estate prices on Lopez range from $54,000 for a half-acre lot to $3,650,000 for a 4,000-square-foot estate with spectacular ocean views. The recent median sale price is $570,000. Many homes are on private or small shared wells, as well as onsite septic systems. Affordable housing is provided by Lopez Community Land Trust, Lopez Housing

Lopez Island Services Options and Westview Apartments. And the nonprofit Lopez Housing Solutions operates The Hamlet House in Lopez Village, a development dedicated to the support of senior citizens who are limited by their health. The Lopez community has created a unique safety net for island residents with terminal illness: Lopez Island Hospice and Home Support. The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization provides its neighbors with professional case management, chore and respite services, errands, transportation, loans of durable medical equipment, and friendly company. Other nonprofits based on Lopez Island include the Islands Oil Spill Association (, which prepares supplies and responders to react quickly whenever there are oil spills in local waters. IOSA responds to multiple calls each year, mainly in regard to private vessels that are sinking or leaking fuel due to other reasons. IOSA volunteers work to contain the oil, reduce spills and mitigate harm. You’ll also find the Lopez Animal Protection Society working to protect and provide for four-footed islanders. The Catherine Washburn Medical Association helps support and maintain the Lopez Island Medical Clinic for all residents. The Friends of Lopez Island Pool are now in the process of building a set of two community pools for Lopez Island that will serve kids, adults and those needing water therapy.

County Council Jamie Stephens (360) 378-2898

Senior Services Lopez Senior Center (360) 468-2421

Fire Department Jim Ghiglione, chief 2228 Fisherman Bay Rd. (360) 468-2991, www.

Utilities & Services CenturyLink (Phone, Internet, TV) 1 (844) 223-8516

Sheriff’s Department 2228 Fisherman Bay Rd. (360) 468-2333 (non-emerg) Sheriff

Fisherman Bay Sewer District 295 Village Rd., #201 (360) 468-2131

Lopez Island Public Library 2225 Fisherman Bay Rd. (360) 468-2265 Lopez Island Medical Clinic 103 Washburn Pl. Lopez Village (360) 468-2245

Fisherman Bay Water Assoc. 2205 Fisherman Bay Rd. (360) 468-2002 Orcas Power & Light Cooperative 4232 Center Rd. (360) 376-3544

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Orcas Island

Erica Lyons photo


rcas Island has the most varied terrain of the San Juans, rising dramatically from the Salish Sea. Many homes are perched in niches along the hillsides for spectacular views of the valleys and shorelines beyond. At 57 square miles, Orcas is larger than San Juan, but has fewer year-round residents - about 4,500. It tends to be cooler and wetter than Lopez and San Juan, with more tree cover, especially in 5,252-acre Moran State Park, densely forested woven with hiking trails, streams and lakes. Mount Constitution, towering half a mile high, offers astounding 360-degree views of the surrounding Sound. Turtleback Mountain Preserve sprawls another 1,718 acres, while various small public parks offer patches of beach access.  The main hub of community and commerce on Orcas is Eastsound, or “town.” You’ll find grocery stores, a movie theater, post office, hardware store and small shops. The Orcas Island Library is currently being remodeled to double its size, thanks to new community funding. Orcas Center showcases local artists and world-renowned talent throughout the year, including big-screen live streamings 12

of National Theatre Live, The Met and The Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. The Orcas Island Senior Center is a great social hub for seniors, hosting off-island shopping trips, weekly senior lunches (and transportation to lunch, if needed), recreational gatherings and support for seniors and their families.  In summertime, there’s a weekly Farmers’ Market and Music on the Village Green where you can shop for fresh organic produce, meat and textiles, hot lunch-wagon fare, and handcrafted gift items made by island artisans from locally grown sheep’s wool, beach glass, rocks and more. Islanders love parades, and hold them at every possible excuse: The fourth of July, a hilarious pet parade, the Shakespeare Festival, and Summer Solstice, which is often particularly wacky and enthusiastic as participants flounce through Eastsound dressed in outlandish costumes that may or may not include live artichokes. Don’t be surprised to find your neighbors scantily clad and suddenly sprouting butterfly and fairy wings, garish giant flowers, zany hats or furry creature costumes. At the edge of town is the Funhouse Commons, a place for kids and teens to hang

out after school, get help doing their homework, join an art class or robotics club. The building also houses Orcas Island Park and Recreation District, which handles community recreation programs like kids’ soccer, running club, softball/baseball, adult recreational volleyball, swimming lessons, sailing lessons and more. The rec district also manages popular Buck Park, just outside Eastsound, where you’ll find the Orcas Skate Park, tennis courts, soccer fields, a playground, and next door, a new dog park now under construction. The park grounds butt right up to the fields of the Orcas Island Elementary, Middle and High Schools. The high school was ranked 19th in the state by the 2016 US News and World Report.

2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

The reported enrollment was 129 students. From Eastsound, you can follow the main road southwest to the ferry landing and Deer Harbor, or southeast to Moran State Park, Olga, Doe Bay and beyond. Island hamlets include Orcas Village, home of the ferry landing, a gourmet grocery, a post office and specialty shops. Deer Harbor, on the sunny west side, has a water-view, family-style restaurant, a marina, lodgings, and a thriving and sociable community club that hosts monthly potluck meetings.  The tiny hamlet of Olga, nestled on the east shore, also has a community club - a 1913 clubhouse built by the members of the all-female “Olga SEE ORCAS, PAGE 12

Custom Homebuilding on Orcas Island

ORCAS FROM 12 Energetic Club.” Club members host the annual July Olga Daze festival and barn sale, where the scent of homemade maple dough-nuts lingers in the air and intricate

handmade quilts are up for raffle. Out beyond Olga is Doe Bay Resort, which hosts the annual summer Doe Bay Music Fest and has a general store, lodging, a hot tub and a restaurant where locals perform at open-mic nights to benefit island nonprofits. Recently, the median home sale price

Orcas Island Services County Council Rick Hughes, (360) 472-0253

(360) 378-4141) http://www.sanjuanco. com/344/Sheriff

Fire Department Station #2 Fire chief Scott Williams 45 Lavender Lane (360) 376-2331,

Orcas Library Phil Heikkinen, director 500 Rose Street 376-4985

Sheriff’s Office Orcas Substation 1323 Mt Baker Rd (360) 378-4151 EMERGENCY: 911 (If calling from a cell phone, dial

MEDICAL SERVICES Orcas Family Health Center 1286 Mount Baker Road (360) 376-7778,

was $415,000. Prices range from $55,000 for a .18 acre vacant lot, to $17,000,000 for a 12,000 square-foot estate on 118 acres. For more information about Orcas, visit Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce online at

Orcas Island Family Medicine 33 Urner Street, #5 (360) 376-4949

Eastsound Sewer and Water 143 Cessna Road (360) 376-2720

Orcas Medical Center 7 Deye Lane (360) 376-2561

Eastsound Water Users Assoc. (360) 376-2127

Orcas Senior Services 62 Henry Rd. (360) 376-2677 UTILITIES & SERVICES CenturyLink (Phone, Internet and TV) (844) 223-8516

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative 183 Mt Baker Rd (360) 376-3500 - office (360) 376-3599 - outages

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Visitor Services • Free Map & Guide • Event & Relocation Info Representing the Business Community of Orcas Island i nfo@ OrcasIsl andC

On North Beach Rd., just off Main Street 360.376.2273 • P.O. Box 252, Eastsound, WA 98245 “We Fix Boats”

• Haulouts to 30 ton, 64 ft. LOA, 18’ beam at any tide. Factory certified mechanics: • Engine service and sales. • Volvo • Mercruiser • Yanmar • Evinrude E-TEC • Complete Chandlery, most everything you need for boat and crew. • Moorage: 180 year-round slips – Guest dock. • Fuel: • Gas • Diesel • Propane • Dry storage area.

P.O. Box 119 • Orcas, Washington 98280 (360) 376-2314 • Fax (360) 376-4634

ORCAS VETERINARY SERVICE Swaran Dhaliwal, DVM, CVA, CVFT Ron Schuler, DVM PO Box 237 429 Madrona Street Eastsound, WA 98245

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Phone 360-376-6373 13


• Lopez School District. Grades K-12;, (360) 468-2202. • Columbia Virtual Academy. Grades K-12,, (360) 468-2201.

ORCAS ISLAND • Orcas Island School District. Grades K-12;, (360) 376-2287. • OASIS Alternative School. Grades K-12, online or classroom, (360) 376-1598. • Waldron Island School. Grades K-8; (360) 376-2286. • Orcas Christian School. Grades K-12;, (360) 376-6683.

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• Kaleidoscope. Ages 4 weeks-12 years;, (360) 3762484. • Orcas Montessori School. Ages 2 1/2-6;, (360) 376-5350. • Orcas Island Children’s House. Ages 1-6;, (360) 376-4744. • Salmonberry School. Preschool- age 6; (360) 376-4310 or (360) 376-6310. • Orcas Island Forest School, preschool - age 6. (360) 3768444, orcasislandforestschool. org.

SAN JUAN ISLAND • San Juan Island School District. K-12; www.sjisd.wednet. edu, (360) 378-4133. • Griffin Bay School. Grades 8-12, (360) 378-3292. • Stillpoint School. Grades K-6;, (360) 378-2331. • Spring Street International

School. Grades 5-12;, (360) 378-6393. • Paideia Classical School. Grades K-8;, (360) 378-8322.

SHAW ISLAND • Shaw Island School, K-8;, (360) 468-2570. EARLY CHILDHOOD: • Alphabet Soup. Ages 1-6; www.alphabetsouppreschool. com, (360) 378-9166. • Children’s House Montessori School. Ages 3-6;, (360) 378-5255. • San Juan Center Preschool Head Start. Ages 3-5; www., (360) 3786030. • Lighthouse Preschool. Ages 3-5; fridayharborpresbyterian. org/lighthouse-preschool/, (360) 378-4885. • Stepping Stones Early Learning Center, 720 Park St., (360) 378-4455.

Orcas Family Health Center FENCES


Cell: 360.317.5490

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360-376-3812 • 360-298-2909

2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

Weather: Many microclimates “If any place has localized weather features… it is [the San Juan Islands],” says Pacific Northwest weather guru Cliff Mass. The islands’ complex combination of terrain and water features, combined with their nearness to Vancouver Island and the Olympic mountains, cause large variations in the weather. Each particular valley, hillside, or bit of coastland creates its own pocket of weather depending on the surrounding geography. Annual precipitation varies from 20 inches per year for south San Juan and Lopez Island, which fall under the rain shadows of the Olympics, to 30 inches on northern San Juan and Orcas, and even more than that on Orcas Island’s Mount Constitution and other high terrain. In general, the coastal mountain range of the Olympic peninsula causes incoming clouds to drop their loads of moisture before they hit the San Juans – so the islands stay relatively dry, even compared to Seattle. The San Juan Islands receive an average of 247 days of sunshine, and about

half the rainfall of Seattle. The islands not only have rain shadows – they have “wind shadows,” too: gusts heading down out of the Fraser River Valley strike hard against the northeast side of the islands, but ricochet off headlands and hills to provide quiet, protected areas in their lee. In wintertime, southeasterly winds also come barreling around the north end of the Olympics, hitting the islands from the east. A group of islanders recorded temperatures and precipitation across Orcas, San Juan and Lopez in 2013. They recorded nearly 53 inches of rain on 2,398-foot Mount Constitution, while the south end of Lopez received less than 19 inches. Roche Harbor, on San Juan, was also fairly dry, at 20 inches. Orcas saw the most rainfall: Eastsound got 22 inches; Deer Harbor and Spring Point about 25 inches; and Olga saw 28 inches. During a 2013 snowstorm, Orcas Island’s Olga received just an inch and a half of snow, while Point Lawrence just four miles away got 17 inches. Buck Mountain

Month January February  March  April May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December 

High/Low Prec 46/36 3.57 48/36 2.28 53/39 2.17 57/41 1.78 63/45 1.66 67/48 1.29 71/51 0.88 71/50 1.06 66/48 1.26 58/44 2.85 50/39 4.33 46/36 3.70

also got 17 inches; Mt. Woollard got 10 to 12 inches. Enchanted Forest Road saw 8 to 10 inches. The North shore had 5 to 6 inches. Killebrew Lake, 6 inches. The ferry landing had zero inches. The lovely thing about microcliimates is, you can pick your personal niche in the islands. Like to garden? Find a warm spot on south San SEE WEATHER, PAGE 17


LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED 315 CARTER AVENUE FRIDAY HARBOR, WA 98250 WWW.ONLYIPS.COM (360) 378-4430 The Book of The San Juan Islands


Southern Resident Orca Whales In October 2015, The Seattle Times published a story entitled, “Puget Sound’s killer whales looking good.” At the time, the 82 members of J, K and L pods of southern resident killer whales appeared to be in good health, and several were pregnant. The population had dropped to a historic low of 78 whales at the end of 2014, prompting grave concern over their survival - so orca enthusiasts rejoiced over this good news. Sadly, 2016 was tough on


the southern resident orca population, with the death of at least five members of J Pod. The capper came in January 2017, when “Granny,” the world’s oldest known orca, at 105 years old, was announced missing and presumed dead. The population was first listed as endangered in 2005, when there were 88 orcas. The number is now down to 78, and the latest reports say the orcas are in serious trouble. Southern resident orcas range throughout the inland

Center for Whale Research photo Granny, the world’s oldest orca at 105 years old, is presumed dead.

waters of Washington and southern British Columbia. They live in extended family groups called pods, made up of mothers and their offspring. There are three southern resident orca pods: J, K and L. These orcas communicate through series of clicks, whistles and pulsed calls emitted beneath the blowhole, and the three southern resident pods actually share about 30 common calls. Within each pod, the whales also share calls that are unique to that pod, like a regional dialect. You can listen to the local orcas vocalizing via an underwater hydrophone installed at Lime Kiln Point State Park ( user-125970769). Individual orcas can be identified by the unique markings of the whitish-grey “saddle patch” on their back, along with the shape of their dorsal fin and accompanying nicks or scars. In the 1970s, when observers noted this, they quickly also realized that there were far fewer orcas than many had assumed, and conservation efforts began to gain steam. The Center for Whale Research has now

2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

studied the whales for 41 years. Resident orcas rely for their survival on another endangered species - chinook salmon, their main food source. While transient orcas can snack on a variety of marine mammals: seals, sea lions, walruses, other whales (both baleen and toothed), and sea otters, the residents are not so lucky; their diet is limited to fish, and that must be mainly chinook. Adult orcas need to eat between 100 and 300 pounds per day. They use echolocation or sonar to find their prey. The whales are among the eight most endangered species in the country, and are trying to survive in waters crowded with shipping traffic, tainted by stormwater runoff and other pollution. In 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said the main threats to the whales are decreased salmon populations, vessel traffic and noise, and chemical contamination. Orcas win a dubious prize for being some of the most contaminated marine mammals in the world, carrying residues of pesticides, SEE WHALE, PAGE 17

WHALE FROM 16 flame retardants, industrial coolants and solvents. According to the Center for Whale Research, the miscarriage rate is well over 50% of pregnancies, and entire matrilines are dying out, because young mothers are dying before they can be replaced by maturing orcas. “We have seen virtually no growth in this population in twenty years in spite of large amounts of money spent to study and ‘recover’ them,” stated the center recently, saying “baby boom” headlines in recent years have been hyperbole. While reducing pollution and marine traffic and noise in the Salish Sea would alleviate stress on the resident orcas, they are also in desperate need of more food. As long as the orcas have enough food, they are more or less protected from the toxins sequestered in their own blubber; when they lack food, their bodies start to process this

WEATHER FROM 15 Juan. Love being shrouded amidst mossy trunks and sunlight so filtered by boughs, it looks green? Head for a cabin

toxic blubber, exposing them directly to the chemicals. The Southern Resident Killer Whale Initiative suggests that the four lower Snake River dams are a huge part of the problem, drastically reducing populations of chinook salmon who spawn on the Snake River. Arguing that fish mitigation efforts have already been tried and found insufficient, the initiative advocates the removal of these dams in order to provide the orcas the food they need to survive. You can participate in local efforts to monitor the orca population by reporting sightings to The Whale Hotline at 800-562-8832 or http:// Donations toward further research are welcome at The Center for Whale Research (http://www.whaleresearch. com/donate). The Whale Museum also recommends helping by taking these steps: - Use only biodegradable cleaning supplies - Reduce the amount of

in the woods outside Olga. If you love the howl of a good nor’easter, find yourself a cliffside perch off Raccoon Point Road on Orcas and settle by a cozy fire while the salt spray spatters your windows.

chemicals you use in and around your home - Go organic - Use a Seafood Watch card as a guide when you purchase seafood - Make your vote count on issues that matter to the orcas Southern resident Orca pods: J pod: 24 individuals. J pod can often be seen along the western shore of San Juan

Island, and is the only pod seen at least once a month throughout the winter. K pod: 19 individuals. K pod can be seen nearly daily in the summertime, feeding along the west side of San Juan Island. L pod: the largest pod, at 35 individuals. K pod often splits up into matrilineal groups, and also spends time feeding on the west side of San Juan Island in summer.

“Community Banking since 1981”

We take great pride in being the local bank providing our Island Communities financial products & services with an Islanders touch.

Loreen Arnold Rick Draffkorn Bruce Martin NMLS# 619915 NMLS# 1134378 NMLS# 328045 Mike Taylor AJ Tokunaga NMLS# 720611 NMLS# 579152 Friday Harbor (360) 378-2265

Lopez Island (360) 468-2295

Orcas Island (360) 376-2265

San Juan County Emergency Providers Wi sh e v e ryo ne a saf e Ind e p e nd e n c e Day! Enj oy t h e p u b li c f i re wo rks d i sp l ay s! We remind you that personal fireworks are against the law.

The Book of The San Juan Islands


San Juan Island

Greg Sellentin/staff photo


an Juan Island is the most urban of the islands, home to the only incorporated town (Friday Harbor), and also a busy international port of entry for Canadian boaters and pilots. It has the most residents, about 8,000 year-round, and yet still keeps a firm hold on its small-town mystique. At 24 miles long and 9 miles wide, the island covers just over 55 square miles. Quiet country roads wind gently through sunny meadows and pockets of deep, cool forest. You might come across an alpaca ranch, fields populated by thoughtfully ruminating cows and sheep, the terraces of Pelindaba Lavender Farm, or San Juan Vineyards’ grapevines and winery. Founded in 1909 and perched at the San Juan Island ferry landing, Friday Harbor has a mayor and town council. As the county seat, Friday Harbor is also home to county courthouse, government headquarters, and associated agencies and public services. 18

The town offers dozens of galleries showcasing fine art, native art and photography. The Islands Museum of Art hosts exhibits by artists worldwide, the San Juan Community Theatre offers live weekly performances, and the local bookstore often hosts guest speakers. There’s a movie theatre, a popular county fair, a well-stocked public library, and most everything else offered by any self-sustaining town, without the big box retail stores, fast-food chains and traffic lights. Instead, small restaurants offer home-cooked fare from a variety of ethnic cuisines.  In the summertime, you can find island-raised meats, cheeses, eggs, honey and organic produce at weekly Farmers’ Markets. Weekly Art Markets give local artists a forum to sell and share their work.  Also nearby are the San Juan Historical Museum, The Whale Museum, and the University of Washington’s world-class marine research center, Friday Harbor 2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

Labs, which offers field trip tours, undergraduate and graduate coursework as well as apprenticeships. On the northwest tip of the island, in Roche Harbor, you’ll find the Hotel de Haro, named after 1787 Spanish explorer Captain de Haro, and built in 1886 at the original Hudson’s Bay post. The harbor has a bustling marina with 377 slips, hiking trails winding around Roche Harbor’s historic lime quarries, and three waterfront fine dining restaurants. On the west side of the island, Lime Kiln State Park is the only whale-watching park in the world. You’ll find a 1919-vintage lighthouse and stunning cliffside vistas with powerful currents swirling visibly at your feet. The nearby waters of Haro strait are frequented May through September by three southern resident Orca pods: J, K and L. At the southern end, San Juan Island National Historic Park offers wide open SEE SAN JUAN ISLAND, PAGE 19

SAN JUAN ISLAND FROM PAGE 19 prairie views soaked in sunshine. South Beach, Jackle’s Lagoon, Fourth of July Beach and Grandma’s Cove are just a few amazing places to explore. Miles of gravelly beach alongside miles of hiking trails offer many perfect options for a blissful afternoon. The former U.S. Pig War encampments, American and English Camps, are situated on opposite sides of the island. The joint British-U.S. occupation of San Juan began in 1859 and ended in

1867; the camps are now peaceful parks for wildlife and island folk to wander, as well as sets for occasional historical reenactments. San Juan is the only island with regular mass transit, with a circuit to popular spots provided daily by San Juan Transit shuttle buses. There are also cars and mopeds for rent. Current real estate prices range from foreclosures offered at auction, to $265,000 for a single-family manufactured home on 2.4 acres, to almost $20 million for a nearly 20,000-square-foot, gated-entry, water view luxury estate on 21 acres. Recently, the median sale price

was $399,000. San Juan tends to be sunnier and drier than Orcas Island, especially the south end. In 2016, temperatures ranged from a low of 21 to a high of 93 degrees. The strongest winds recorded were 53 mph, with an average of 22 mph. San Juan Island has a public elementary, middle and high school as well as a district-hosted alternative school and a handful of private elementary, middle and high schools. For more information on San Juan Island, visit the chamber of commerce at

Services on San Juan Island County Council Bill Watson 350 Court St. (360) 370-7473 Town of Friday Harbor Carrie Lacher, mayor 60 Second St. (360) 317-8440 Fire Department 1011 Mullis St. (360) 378-5334 SJ Island Library Laurie Orton, director

1010 Guard St. (360) 378‑2798 Sheriff ’s Department Ron Krebs, sheriff 96 Second St. (360) 378‑4151 EMERGENCY: 911 Sheriff Port of Friday Harbor Marina: (360) 378-2688 204 Front Street Airport: (360) 378-4724 800 Franklin Rd.

San Juan Island EMS 1079 Spring Street (360) 378-5152 SJ Island School District 285 Blair St. (360) 378-4133 Peace Island Medical Center 1117 Spring St. Friday Harbor (360) 378-2141 Mullis Community Senior Center 589 Nash St.

(360) 370-7527 www.rockisland. com/~mcsc/mainpage.htm SJI Chamber of Commerce 135 Spring Street (360) 378-5240 Utilities and Services CenturyLink (Phone, Internet and TV) 1 (844) 223-8516 Town of Friday Harbor 60 Second St. Water: (360) 378-8353 Solid waste: (360) 378.5400 Wastewater: (360) 378‑8449

• 24 hr. Access & Video Surveillance 7 days/week • 3 Unit Sizes 6x10, 10x12, 10x24

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Orcas Island

Family Medicine, PC

San Juan Surveying, llc Land Surveying

David L. Russell, MD, Board Certified Family Physician

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Serving the Orcas Island community since 2004 with the full spectrum of family medicine services available, including… • Preventive care & routine exams • Urgent & emergent care • Laceration repair & minor skin surgery • House calls for home bound patients • Pediatric through geriatric care • CDL Exams

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Since 1972 815A Spring St. #3 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (360) 378-2300


360.378.2012 • 1.800.562.3245

• Friday Harbor, stylish Assisted living a comfortable, environment PO Boxin728 WA 98250

Village at the Harbour in Friday Harbor is a full-service assisted living community on San Juan Island.We provide a variety of services and amenities to meet the individual needs of our residents. Tastefully appointed private apartments are ready to be furnished in your personal style.Attractive indoor and outdoor community areas offer many comfortable places to visit with friends and neighbors. And our attentive staff is committed to the highest standards of quality care.

543 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360.378.7144 20

2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

San Juan Island School District serves over 750 students with an elementary school, middle school, high school, alternative program and a new STEM Center. The schools are unique learning communities with growing economic and ethnic diversity. Students are encouraged to reach their highest potential in academics, arts and athletics. The district is well supported by parent and community involvement, low staff turnover, and strong voter support for levy and bond measures. Danna Diaz, PhD Superintendent San Juan Island School District 360.370.7905

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Log . . . . . Page . Sheriff’s ...... ...... Series 3 Lecture Winter . . . . . . . . . . . Page . ...... 4 classes . Page Business . . . . . . . . .

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LOPEZ PAGE 7 upgrades and safety, health #6 Orca todstretch hlan against PAGE authorit p.m Higrally more hefinan s 6:00 a folk y, why would s in the ards. dying t basic 1/7 vs. be called Boy mee death ., stand hero to a al by p.m some and a crimina ation PAGE 3 With four ths and not by others? nally prol and educ Girls 4:30 ‘The Pack’ site last 12 mon cing origi newborn After three years By redu additions and surviving years, the of work and numerous intervie single two posed new ents, trimming ws, Bodmer t of for more than ern resident thinks her improvem refurbishmen film answers inat- fate of the south questions. But these grew even back on s and elim r killer whales s in 2014. wait until the you may have to for wate uck classroom ariou last plans J-32, Potl prec scene the nal rd er, , in the documentary wint ing origi t for irrigation a more to get Spirit Awa 15 at 7:30 p.m. Then this female of the “I was trying it. catchmen able to presentest The film was10th ter orca to make sense is of the story,” y origia pregnant resident Lopez Cennally shown atJan uar district e revised requ ¢ Friday Harbor was wanted more said Bodmer. “I film festival ay,andthe southerncommunity, responsiv s. then at a Bahama tangible answers Members of Orcas Sat passing filmurd the ‘whys.’ I whale to the voter think I successf to with festival, creating a parallel Wednesday, Plunge” on New Island Rowing jumped into dead. Her action for answer the why. ully Harris-Moore’s found Year’s Day. For Cascade Lake 7, 2015 call to o ” Marty January own jourmore photos of and during ney starting You can find the team’s sheriff Krebs, a sparkede aprotection “no-g 1 “PolarZier photo community member Vol. with theft annual Dolly Holl uck 108 Issue #5 New at the screenin out for yourself s braving Andy & Juans Potlending with in the San Ron a whal rdand 5 the cold, see page Bear his arrest in Deputy candidate for ES, PAGE the Caribbe Bandit Documeg of “The Barefoo Spirt it Awa 8. pients an. The docume mTOP STORI reci SEE incu time ntary” 4 d at the 201 also had screenin firstntary View Theater e, ouste a ckler gs in Olympia on Thursday, Sea Stanwoo public offic Guide is Jan.Carol Ste d, Mt. Vernon, en Portland&, music Wellness of the Weekly, enz Lor on



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J-36, could be The newborn the mother. At Brin Sale her prime for age 16, J-36 isyin8 addition to the calf in J-pod is a welcom breeding. Balcomb said ed population in At the time Januar the baby time will tell peril, but only the Display advertis who swimming alongsidnewborn was first sighted al behaviors in the first also exhibited unusuing: The Center for its mother is. days after its e J-16, J-36 appeare the first week Friday at noon missing. Ken birth. For Whale Researc or so of life orca d to be seeing and photogr Balcom h confirmed for calves and Whale Researc b, founder of the Center mothers usually maintai aphing 42-yearClassified advertis with, presum n eye contact their swimming along. old J-16 ably, ing: “Thank goodnesh, feared the worst. while the south shores her newborn baby, Monday at noon s she was alive, the two are relativelFor the first month of off “The issue of life, ” he said. Canadian waters of North Pender Island y inseparable. who is the mother Neither Legal advertising: in be Dec. settled of of J-50 may these normal 30. The baby, the next time as J-50, is the displaye behaviors were known whales. second calf to Thursday at noon Or, it may take we encounter these swimmi d by J-50. He said after a two-yea be born in 2014, the calf was some time.” r ng lull The away of seen birth no “Point in southern resident births among of Press releases, Letters: ralled back to from J-16 and had to be the year for the J-50 comes at the end of a The San Juan County of 2015 corits presumed rocky southern resident The calf appearekiller whales. Count” mother by other Friday at 3 p.m. Time Homeless Thursday, Jan. tion, which was d to be healthy s. The popula- members of J-pod. ic, swimming declared endange and energetThese behavio alongside its will be conducted red in 2005, rs could presumed mother. suffered four deaths in 2014. However, research 29. brings it back The birth of J-50 the mother, and the calf indicate that J-36 is ers immedi s and volsome peculiar up to 78, a 30-year was Count organizer local famity surrounding ately recognized less. low nonethe- because its mother was severalswimming away Office: 376-4500 with its J-16 was not unteers work If J-36 is the miles behind. expected to be birth. Odditie food banks, mother, this would centers, due to her advance carrying a calf appeare s surrounding the resource Fax: known ily 1-888-562-881 be her first calf. providers, d age and no birth has given birth 8 other female discoverd to Balcomb and his team of J-50 ously abort But because orcas can spontan churches, healthcare the shera fetus, it’s Advertising: advert when they ed that the newbor efour decades at over 42 years of age in senior centers, libraries, of demographic the on its dorsal n had teeth marks previous pregnancies. impossible to rule out many other comislandssounde ising@ the southern fin. field studies iff ’s office, and While the nearly resident of birth, in which This could indicate a difficult service providers Researchers speculatorcas. munity support J-32, was found full-term pregnant female, Classified: 1-800-3 use its mouth another whale may have had ed that J-16’s dead in to help pull the to conduct the count. to daughter, mother’ the state of classifieds@ 88-2527, baby out of its first “known” calf was in December with the s uterus. Initiated by her uterus, her the Point in soundpublishi ovaWashington in 2005, Journal staff report state Supreme conducted at the / Center for Whale Research Time count is SEE CALF, PAGE Editor: editor@ Contributed photo The Washington year. 6 by each three time on first January of the end on the day islandssoundemother, J-16. The whale was spotted for 4-10 days old. Court issued decisionsDec. 11. Agencies not open cases its presumed calf was energetic & between authorized to San Juan County land-use sighted the calf, J-50, swims alongside of the count are to be healthy. When Two cases involved resident The newborn orca 30, and appeared Harbor Page 2 researchers on Dec. appeals by Deer The third case See HOMELESS, Michael Durland. rape case that involved a 10-year-olddue to changes received a fresh look “open courts.” in the rules regarding Randall has given Prosecuting Attorney and no other female decades age cases, three all advanced “in four to her Gaylord said that law taken by the years of age in thethe Southern birth at over 42 studies of the position on the was upheld.” demographic field of office ’s prosecutor by Durland Resident orcas. that J-16’s daughter, The two cases filed to a buildResearchers speculated At age 16, J-36 is in her involved a challenge mother. adjacent J-36, could be the ing permit on property filed the swimDurland prime for breeding. was first sighted to his property. By Emily Greenberg be missing. in Skagit County At the time the newborn J-36 appeared to first case directly to the county’s Journal reporter addiming alongside J-16, in J-pod is a welcomed the Center for Whale without appealing Weddings in the The newborn calf in peril, but only time will Ken Balcomb, founder of hearing examiner. the worst. that withtion to the population Juan Islands Research, feared San alive,” he said. “The The trial court ruled Publication of the Journal, Sounder hearing goodness she was J-50 may be settled who its mother is. Research confirmed seethe tell & Weekly section, “Thank from In partnership with the San Juan special of out a ruling Our 24-page Islands Visitors Bureau island The Center for Whale42-year-old J-16 with, pre- issue of who is the mother these whales. Or, it no final decian ideal hing examiner there was and the court offers ideas for ing and photograp the south shores the next time we encounter off yours up today appealed baby, be to sion wedding. Pick sumably, her newborn in Canadian waters Dec. may take some time.” (Jan. 10/11) of a rocky to hear the case. Island had no authority court of appeals comes at the end or visit the Seattle calf to of North Pender 17/18) wedThe birth of J-50 residents. The population, J-50, is the second births as The Washington known and Portland (Jan. suffered 30. The baby, that decision lull of no year for the Southern after a two-year whales. in Seattle upheld appealed to endangered in 2005, ding shows. be born in 2014, which was declared The birth of J-50 brings it Resident killer and Durland then Southern ener2014. the Court, in and among ss. Supreme four deaths to be healthy the Washington Supreme Court mother. back up to 78, a 30-year low nonethele The calf appeared appeared alongside its presumed ng the birth of J-50 in Olympia. The of the lower recognized getic, swimming Oddities surroundi s immediately upheld decisions attorney fees to , Page 4 However, researcher See NEWBORN surrounding its birth. a calf due courts and awarded some peculiarity carrying be to neighbor. Durland’s J-16 was not expected simultan eously Durland 17 in all g a potl Sound er deadlines

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Shaw Island


lanked by San Juan Island to the southwest, Orcas to the north and Lopez Island to the southeast, Shaw Island is an oasis of stillness. It was named after United States naval captain John Shaw, who spent his career capturing French warships and retaking abducted American merchantmen in the late 1700s. This tiny isle measures just 7.7 square miles, and is home to a population of about 250 year-round residents. At the ferry landing, Shaw Island has a small marina, café and general store built in 1924, where you can find everything from nails to gourmet groceries. The store also offers a cottage for nightly lodgings for four to six people.  Beyond that, Shaw has no restaurants, sidewalks, public dock, gas station, movie theater, bank, hardware store, airport or hotels. Instead, Shaw islanders have built a thriving residential community.  Social activities like talent shows, plays, concerts, exercise classes, seasonal holiday bashes, senior dinners, 4-H and a Sunday Church Fellowship are held at the Shaw Island Community Center, run by nonprofit Shaw Islanders, Inc. ( The center is also home base for volunteer EMT / aid team and fire department drills. Shaw does not have a doctor’s office, so islanders rely on its first responders for emergency care. Built in 1890, the historic Shaw Island School, also known as “The Little Red Schoolhouse,” is still in operation today – the longest-operating school in the state. Its two multi-age classrooms host about 15 K-8 students. For more information, visit Another key local watering hole is the Shaw Island Library and Historical Society. Library membership is $5/year, or $50 for a lifetime, and the organization checks out 2,400 books and videos per year. The museum was built in 1970 using logs from the original Shaw Island post office. Visit www. If you enjoy roughing it, Shaw has 11 campsites at 60acre Shaw County Park, about two miles from the ferry dock on sandy South Beach at Indian Cove. Visit Parks/shaw.aspx. Boaters have the option to overnight on nearby Blind Island State Park, as well. In the summer months, Shaw gets lots of boating visitors, who stop at the marina and store for supplies and anchor in nearby bays or coves. Parks Bay on the west side of the island is known for its spectacular sunsets. A long-time part of the Shaw island community are the sisters of a 300-acre Benedictine monastery and farm called Our Lady of the Rock ( The nuns raise Cotswold sheep, llamas and alpacas for wool, Highland cattle, pigs, poultry, and Jersey cows for milking and cheesemaking as well as flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Visitors can participate in farm-work retreats and internships, daily mass, or stay at the retreat house in exchange 22

Joe Massey photo

for a small donation. To visit, call (360) 468-2321 or email Nuns have been an integral part of Shaw for decades. From 1976 until June 2004, the ferry wharf and general store were managed by four Franciscan nuns who collected tickets and directed traffic wearing yellow safety vests over their dark brown habits. The Benedictines and another order, the Sisters of Mercy (, remain on Shaw. Shaw has two University of Washington preserves: The Cedar Rock Preserve, and the 496-acre Shaw Island Marine Preserve donated by Fred and Marilyn Ellis, which is the department of Fish and Wildlife’s largest marine preserve. The area is home to masses of floating kelp beds, quillback, copper and Puget Sound rockfish, kelp greenling, and lingcod, as well as the usual species commonly observed in the San Juan Islands: great blue herons, eagles, cormorants, gulls, diving seabirds, river otters, and orca whales. The Department of Fish and Wildlife set aside five of these “partial-take” marine preserves in the San Juans at the request of the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs, which argued that local wildlife needed more protection from har-

2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide


SHAW FROM 22 vesting pressures. WDFW and UW students and scientists actively monitor and conduct research in these preserves. And since the preserves were established, the protected fish are getting larger. Real estate for sale on Shaw is limited: At press time, there were just four properties for sale, priced from $275,000 for a 5-acre, 1,036-square-foot home, to $1.59 million for a water-

front luxury home. The recent median list price for a home was $700,000. Most homes on Shaw rely on well water and on-site septic systems. In 2016, average temperatures ranged from 34 to 45 degrees in January; to between 50 and 70 degrees in August. Monthly summer precipitation was just under one inch in July, rising to about four inches in the winter months of November, December and January.

Shaw services Learn more about services on Shaw Island at

Harbor Rental & Saw Shop 890 Guard Street

Friday Harbor, WA 98250 Tel: 360-378-2220 Fax: 360-378-5341

The Book of The San Juan Islands




seaside village, Anacortes is the magical gateway to a glorious archipelago set in the Salish Sea: both the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island, home to British Columbia’s provincial capitol. Technically located on an island itself (Fidalgo Island), Anacortes is also its own thriving mini-metropolis with vibrant cultural, commercial and scenic charisma. The city is rich with 20 miles of saltwater shoreline, five freshwater lakes, a dozen city parks that total 468 acres, more than 50 miles of forested hiking trails, a 220-acre state park and campground, and six different marinas with up to 2,500 boat slips. The weather is typically mild, with average temperatures ranging from 35 to 45 degrees in winter, to 53 to 74 degrees in summer. Anacortes has a thriving arts community, highlighted by over 150 colorful, hand-painted murals painted by local historian Bill Mitchell and friends, with small galleries, a 114-seat theater, and chic local boutiques. Each July, “Shipwreck Day” draws crowds for an annual flea market/garage sale. In August, Anacortes hosts its annual Arts Festival; and every September, 15,000 motorcyclists gather to enjoy the city’s scenic roadways during the annual Oyster Run. Long ago, the area was home to the Samish and Swinomish peoples, who built longhouses over 1,000 feet long using the abundant local old-growth cedar and Doug fir. Anacortes proper

was founded in 1891. As European settlers moved into the area, local fishermen trawling Alaskan waters began returning with loads of cod for salting. Known as the “City of Smokestacks” in 1920, Anacortes bustled with timber mills and salmon canneries. Today the southeast peninsula of Fidalgo Island is an official reservation, belonging to the Aboriginal Swinomish, Lower Skagit, Kikiallus and Aboriginal Samish tribes, which operate a busy casino and gas station a few miles outside Anacortes. The Samish Indian Nation keeps its headquarters in Anacortes and operates Fidalgo Bay Resort. In other modern-day industry, Anacortes is the homeport of two major petroleum refineries, Shell and Tesoro, that together employ about 1,050 people, refining 270,000 barrels of crude oil a day into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Shell alone funnels over $80 million per year in salaries and wages to the area. A privately owned shipyard on the outskirts of town, Dakota Creek Industries, specializes in building and repairing steel and aluminum vessels, and employs 360. The largest seafood company in the United States, Trident Seafoods employs 225. Island Hospital, a general medical and surgical healthcare facility, has 190 physicians and 43 beds. The population of Anacortes is about 16,000. Much like the San Juans, the median resident age is higher than the state average, at about 47.  The per-capita income is $33,107 and the median household income is $59,369. At press time, there were over 214 homes for sale in Anacortes, ranging from foreclosures slated to be sold at auction, to $49,500 for an undeveloped 1.28-acre lot, to $6,500,000 for a 7,265-square-foot estate. The latest reported median home price is $374,100. The Anacortes School District offers one early childhood education center, three elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools. A thriving public library offers special story and Lego times for kids, among other programs. The city of Anacortes Parks and Recreation Program operates SEE ANACORTES, PAGE 25


2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

ANACORTES FROM 24 many programs: adult tennis and co-ed softball; pee-wee sports, youth wrestling, soccer, basketball, and track and field; community sailing; youth camps; early childhood enrichment programs; youth running camps; Skyhawks sports camps and British Soccer camps. Special events include a Daddy Daughter Dance; a 10mile relay run on the Dallas Kloke Sunset

Loop; a spring Egg Dash; a kids’ fishing derby at Heart Lake; an annual “Bark in the Park” dog festival; a kid-geared “Kids R Best Fest”; an Art Dash Half-Marathon/10 &5k run along the Tommy Thompson Parkway; a family-friendly outdoor movie night; a fall Dallas Kloke Mt. Erie Road & Trail Run; a breakfast with Santa and a Winter Wonderland Walk at Washington Park. The Anacortes Arts Commission advises the City of Anacortes on public arts and culture. The city has a variety of arts

organizations that offer year-round programming in theater, music, visual and literary arts. The commission’s website (http://www.anacortesartscommission. com/) gives information on where to view much of the city’s extensive collection of public art, including the Anacortes Sculpture program’s many outdoor sculptures. For more information about Anacortes, visit Anacortes Chamber of Commerce at, or call (360) 2933832.

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The Book of The San Juan Islands


A recap of the 2016 San Juan County Real Estate

Market Snapshot - This vs. Last Report

Published: January 2017* Location: SAN JUAN COUNTY (by Area) Property Types: Single Family Homes - All Property Statuses - All Properties - All Properties Date Range: Price Range: Sorted By: Display Filter:

Year To Date vs. Previous Year To Date $0 - No Limit Area - ASC Show All

For single family homes in the county, this chart shows the 2016 market activity;


Decatur/Ce nter/Blakely Islands (903)

01/01/2016 01/01/2015 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 to to to to 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change to to to to (Closed (Closed (Closed (Closed (Closed (Closed 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change Sales in Sales in Sales in Sales in Sales in Sales in (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. Units) Units) Units) $,000) $,000) $,000) in Units) in Units) in Units) In $,000) In $,000) In $,000) 8
























Orcas/Sha w/Obstructi on/Crane Islands (901)






















San Juan Island (900)












Lopez/Fros t Islands (902)

Other San Juan Islands (905)

Market Snapshot -500.0% This vs. 6 1 5,274 Last 649 Report 712.6%

Stuart/Henr y/Pearl/Joh n Islands (904)

Waldron (899)

Published: January 2017* Location: SAN JUAN COUNTY (by Area) Property - All Property Statuses 0 Types: 2Vacant Land -100.0% 0 727 - All Properties -100.0% - All Properties 0 0 Date Range: Year To Date vs. Previous Year To Date Price Range: $0 - No Limit Sorted By: Area - ASC Display Filter: Show All

01/01/2016 to 12/31/2016 (Avg Days on Market) 119

01/01/2015 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 to to to 12/31/2015 % Change 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change (Avg Days (Avg Days (Sold/List (Sold/List (Sold/List on Market) on Market) Price %) Price %) Price %) 214























































For vacant land in the county, this chart shows the 2016 market activity;


Decatur/Ce nter/Blakely Islands (903)

01/01/2016 01/01/2015 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 to to to to 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change to to to to (Closed (Closed (Closed (Closed (Closed (Closed 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change Sales in Sales in Sales in Sales in Sales in Sales in (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. (Curnt Inv. Units) Units) Units) $,000) $,000) $,000) in Units) in Units) in Units) In $,000) In $,000) In $,000)

Lopez/Fros t Islands (902)

























01/01/2016 to 12/31/2016 (Avg Days on Market) 209


01/01/2015 01/01/2016 01/01/2015 to to to 12/31/2015 % Change 12/31/2016 12/31/2015 % Change (Avg Days (Avg Days (Sold/List (Sold/List (Sold/List on Market) on Market) Price %) Price %) Price %) 137










*All reports are 96 published January on data available at the end30,139 of December 2016. Orcas/Sha 55 66 -16.7% 11,849 13,083 -9.4% 100 2017 based -4.0% 34,481 14.4% 182 168 8.3% 97.3% 91.1% 6.8% **No longer with this broker or office info is not available. w/Obstructi ***No longer with this office/broker or agent info is not available. on/Crane AllIslands reports presented are based on data supplied by the NWMLS. Neither the Association nor its MLS guarantees or is in anyway responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Associations or their MLSs may not reflect all real estate activities in the market. Information deemed reliable but (901) not guaranteed. If information has been filtered, the report/graph does not represent data in its entirety.

Other San Juan Islands Market (905)



















San Juan Island (900)





































Waldron (899)



















Stuart/Henr y/Pearl/Joh n Islands (904)

Snapshot - This vs. Last Report (January 19, 2017) - Copyright © Trendgraphix, Inc.

Page 1 of 1

Real estate activity in the County depended on which island you were on. San Juan Island had more home sales and fewer land sales in 2016 vs. 2015. Orcas had negative numbers in both categories and Lopez had increases in both. Overall, the median sales prices went up for homes and the inventory went down. There was a slight appreciation in value as prices rose. We believe mortgage rates will head up and inventory will increase in the Spring, but upward pressure on prices will continue. If you are considering selling, your property will have less competition for buyers if you list it before Spring. Be sure and contact a local Realtor who is knowledgeable of the neighborhoods here in the islands and who knows what Buyers are looking for. They will be your best guide through the real estate process. See options at More and more people are realizing that this county is a “safe haven” and the desire to become an “islander” is catching! *All reports are published January 2017 based on data available at the end of December 2016. **No longer with this broker or office info is not available. ***No longer with this office/broker or agent info is not available.

All reports presented are based on data supplied by the NWMLS. Neither the Association nor its MLS guarantees or is in anyway responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Associations or their MLSs may not reflect all real estate activities in the market. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. If information has been filtered, the report/graph does not represent data in its entirety.

Market Snapshot - This vs. Last Report (January 19, 2017) - Copyright © Trendgraphix, Inc.

(Source NWMLS, WinderemereSJI. com) 26

2017-18 Information & Relocation Guide

Page 1 of 1

SJI real estate market summary by: Merri Ann Simonson Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands In reviewing the year-end results for 2016, the sales dollar volume for the real estate market in San Juan County per the Northwest Multiple Listing Service was $251,020,953 which reflects an increase in volume of 16.4% over 2015 when the volume was $215,561,667. The percentage of growth this year was very similar to the increase we enjoyed in 2015 over 2014. No complaints; as stable, controlled growth is much more sustainable. The County closed an average of 42 transactions per month which is above 2015. Total volume on San Juan Island in 2016 was $124,582,355 as compared to $106,889,601 in 2015. The increase is 16.5%, almost identical to the increase the County enjoyed. On San Juan Island we closed an average of 19 transactions per month. As reported in my last real estate market update, I had to change my data sources and utilize the NWMLS. The result is the volume and transaction number reported is approximately 17% less than what is actually reported on the County site, the NWMLS lacks transactions that were unlisted and direct sales without agent involvement. I mention this again, as I am sure that a few of you may retain copies or just recall my past real estate market updates and if you are reviewing those, you would be comparing apples to oranges due to the change. In addition to healthy volume increases, other positive data for San Juan Island property owners includes steady decreasing inventory levels. There was a 29% decrease in inventory numbers in January 2017 as compared to January 2016. In some pricing categories, we are struggling with choices for our buyers. We are noting in some segments of our market that more aggressive pricing is being tested. This confidence is based on the theory that prices will eventually increase due to supply and demand. As an agent with “boots on the ground”, clear evidence to me is presented when I know that the home that just closed last month could be sold again and again, and I have no replacements.

We are a second home market and, thankfully so, are not experiencing multiple offers on every transaction or bidding wars. That type of hectic market leaves many disappointed people in it’s wake. Our market still favors buyers in many of the categories although their selection has decreased and once inventory is below a 3 month supply, the favor will switch. I believe it to be a very good time to invest in property for a second home, future retirement or held for investment due to the current real estate climate. However, it may be necessary for your agent to conduct a customized search via reviewing off market, expired and cancelled listings to find the property you are seeking. The Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands Inc. office did well this year with 3 of our agents placing in the top 5 for the Island. Our company volume reflected an increase of 7% and was similar to 2004. As you may recall, the volume peaked was in 2005. More positive data includes the median home price for the County and San Juan Island reflect increases of 7% and 9%, respectively, over year ending 2015. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Increases in median prices indicate our market is headed in the right direction but it is not a measurement of price appreciation. The actual computation of appreciation or depreciation would include analyzing a number of properties that were sold in 2015 and again in 2016. Then one would average those gains or losses to produce the actual appreciation or depreciation percentage. Due to how small of a market we are, it is difficult to have a reliable number of similar properties that transact in a two year period. Nationally, the economic forecasters are able to cite appreciation in the large metropolitan markets as they have large amounts of data to rely upon. The Average days on market number for homes in the County and on San Juan Island was 256 and 269, respectively. Both of these reflect a decrease from the average reported the end of 2015. In some pricing segments of our market the days on market increased, which is actually a good The Book of The San Juan Islands

event. Many of us agents have had what we call a “career listing” and in some cases those properties will finally close after being on the market 2000 days or more. These transactions factor into the average and cause the increase. The good news is the market has recovered enough for these properties to sell. Other highlights of our market include: Waterfront home sales represent 36.2% of our total dollar volume on San Juan and 35.6% for the County. These percentages are more in keeping with our market prior to the recession. Sellers negotiated on average 6.5% off the list price at the time of sale for homes on both San Juan Island and the County. This is down from the 8% for year-end 2015. This percentage varies based on the price range. Sellers negotiated on average 10% off the list price at the time of sale for land on San Juan and 7% for the County as compared to 17% on San Juan and 13.5% for the County last year. Again, this percentage varies based on the price range. Land is the “winner” of the recovery within this type of analysis. Sales in excess of $1,000,000 increased on both San Juan Island and the County. The increase was most prevalent at the County level due to Orcas and San Juan Islands. The only negative segment of our market is waterfront lot sales. Land sales have started to reflect more recovery with the exception of the waterfront. In the County, 12 parcels sold for a total dollar volume of $3,600,000 as compared to last year when 23 parcels closed for volume of $6,700,000. San Juan fared better as a percentage of decrease but basically no growth in the category. In 2016 only 4 waterfront parcels closed for $1,200,000 compared to 3 parcels with volume of $981,000 in 2015. The average sales price of waterfront lots in 2016 on San Juan was $301,250; pretty sad. During property showings, it is apparent that buyers are still concerned about purchasing waterfront lots due to the uncertainty, expense, and impact associated with building regulations. 27

Local Government T he county seat is in the Town of Friday Harbor, the only incorporated town in the county, which is nestled right up against the ferry landing in a quiet bay on the eastern shore of San Juan Island. Friday Harbor’s historic, two-story county courthouse built in 1906, along with a nearby legislative building, host the offices of 11 elected officials who together manage and oversee county agencies, departments, assets and projects. Both the legislative powers and the executive powers of the county are vested in three county council members, who serve four-year terms, each elected from one of the county’s three geographically defined districts: (1) San Juan; (2) Orcas, Blakely and Waldron; and (3) Lopez, Shaw and Decatur. The council is given the power to levy taxes, decidee the compensation of county employees; manage the county’s administrative offices; adopt ordinances regarding comprehensive plans and development regulations; approve contracts for the county; and conduct hearings about matters of public concern. The council also appoints officers; manages administrative offices; ensures the county’s compiance with the county charter and all federal, state and county laws; reviews and approves operating and capital budgets; and is the signing authority for the county on all claims, deeds and contracts. The main administative position appointed by the council is the San Juan County manager, who manages day-to-day operation of the county and directly supervises the administrative departments that aren’t already overseen by an elected official. These departments include: Public Works, Health & Community Services, Community Development, Washington State University Extension, County Administration, Land Bank and County Parks and Fair. Other elected county officials are a district court and a superior court judge, a county prosecutor, an auditor, a sheriff, an assessor, county clerk and treasurer. In their decisions, these elected officials are assisted by a number of advisory panels and volunteer committees, as well as a community of thoughtful, involved (and sometimes strongly opinionated) individual members, who often bring a lifetime’s wealth of experience, as well as an extraordinary level of care for their island county. Islanders in the Salish Sea have always been known for their


your orcas coworking space 28

Hayley Day photo

fierce independence, and in 2005, San Juan County voters adopted “home rule,” an alternate form of county governance allowed by a 1948 amendment to the state constitution. Home rule allows counties to create their own voter-approved county charter to govern themselves by (within the limits of the federal and state constitutions), instead of simply following the state-mandated structure of governance. Local voters occasionally approve updated to the county charter, tinkering with the structure of governance to better serve the needs of the community. San Juan County government has 19 junior taxing districts that provide public services, such as ports, libraries, fire, school and recreation districts, and cemetery districts, all of which derive financial support from property tax levies, in varying degrees, and are supervised by their own panel of elected officials. For more about San Juan County, visit more about Friday Harbor, visit www.fridayharbor. org. For voter registration info, visit auditor.

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The Book of The San Juan Islands



The Book of The San Juan Islands


Profile for Sound Publishing

Almanacs - 2017-18 Book of the San Juans  


Almanacs - 2017-18 Book of the San Juans