Bamboo grow green and lush in Toni Shiurba’s garden.

Me, you and a beautiful plant named bamboo

Then it’s time to put on your gloves and fertilize your dazzling perennial shrubs. With an optimistic outlook, I’ve planted lilac colored dahlias, deep pink peonies and a fascinatingly fragrant foxtail lily (Eremurus stenophyllus).

  • Jun 3rd, 2015
Bamboo grow green and lush in Toni Shiurba’s garden.

Anyone can rent Lopez Community Center

Last month Lopez Center demonstrated its value to the island as a venue and gathering place. The Ruth Moody Band and Acrobatic Conundrum performed for sold-out audiences, community organizations and members produced Solar de Mayo, Procession of the Species, Great Pairings, and the Lamb and Wool Festival, to name just a few.

  • May 27th, 2015

Is spring here? | Editorial

Yes we live on an island. Many of us moved here for the temperate climates. The founding American pioneers came here to escape the grueling snowstorms and freezing temperatures in the east and the extra inches of rainfall on the mainland.

  • Feb 23rd, 2015

Exports in Salish Sea, risks beyond climate change

The Keystone XL oil pipeline has earned much national attention recently for the damage it would do to the climate. But another potential climate disaster is playing out in our region that we must all be actively involved in stopping.

  • Jan 30th, 2015
Liz Taylor

Staying young while we’re old | Guest column

After four decades working in the aging field, I’ve discovered something interesting: we each get “old” at our own unique pace. This is different from any other time in our lives.

  • Jan 22nd, 2015
Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor

Gifts for this holiday season | Guest column

As the season of gift-giving descends upon us – Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa and Christmas – you might be having trouble thinking of the right present for a frail older person.

  • Dec 10th, 2014
Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor

How to avoid telephone scams | Guest column

I don’t write much about telephone elder scams — it’s like warning against the ocean. Those who need to hear the message aren’t listening, and the rest seem already on top of it.

  • Oct 23rd, 2014
Liz Taylor
Due to failing pipes and septic problems

Revised school bond is best for our children | Guest column

Having carefully considered the facts and differing opinions regarding the upcoming school bond, we believe that the revised bond deserves our support. The fact that we do not have a perfect school or management cannot be used as a justification for holding Lopez children hostage and voting down the revised bond. Here is why.

  • Oct 13th, 2014
Due to failing pipes and septic problems
Recycle volunteers Julie Van Camp and Mac Langford.

Vote yes for prop 1 for solid waste levy | Guest column

The Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District has had another successful year. Through July 2014, 267 tons of garbage (up 12 percent from this time last year) and over 167 tons of recyclables (up 17 percent), not counting metals, batteries, E-waste, and this year textiles, departed Lopez on local trucks – including our own truck– with local drivers.

  • Sep 29th, 2014
Recycle volunteers Julie Van Camp and Mac Langford.

Bringing the old and the young together | Guest column

I am 81 years old and one day I realized that I missed having a little girl in my life, with that wonderful innocent youthful energy. My grandchildren are gone and do not live on the island.

  • Sep 29th, 2014
A stretch of Bailer Hill Road is submerged following heavy rains.

Plans afoot for stormwater solutions | Guest column

Last year the season started with a shockingly large storm event that overwhelmed our Eastsound storm sewer system. With that memory almost one year behind us, the Stormwater Utility is moving into the final phase of countywide stormwater management planning.

  • Sep 18th, 2014
A stretch of Bailer Hill Road is submerged following heavy rains.
Liz Taylor

Ignoring aging won’t make it go away | Guest column

If you want to learn mountain climbing, you won’t start with Mount Everest. If you yearn to become a great cook, I doubt you’ll begin by hosting a huge dinner party. For all things that are complicated and worth knowing, it takes time, education, practice and patience to learn the tricks, absorb the subtleties and understand what’s really involved.

  • Sep 18th, 2014
Liz Taylor

Citizens Protest Navy ‘Growler” Jet Operations on Whidbey Island | Guest column

Citizens from Whidbey Island and the Puget Sound region will gather at the Navy’s Outlying Field at Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Friday May 9 at 1 p.m. to protest the Navy’s resumption of Growler EA-18G electronic attack jet operations.

  • May 13th, 2014

Visiting Santa Cruz de la Laguna, Guatemala

Many of us support international development organizations with our donations, but rarely get to observe their work firsthand. Recently several Lopezians converged at Santa Cruz la Laguna, Guatemala, to see Amigos de Santa Cruz Foundation in action.

  • Apr 17th, 2014
Kevin Ranker

Three-step fix for ferry system | Guest column

The level of unpredictability and lack of ferry service in recent months is unacceptable. As a frequent ferry commuter myself, I share the frustration other riders have with the inconsistent and uneven service. I also agree that the responsibility for this lies not as much with Washington State Ferries, but right here in Olympia.

  • Mar 18th, 2014
Kevin Ranker

Ferries, keep us informed | Guest column

Most of us in the islands are concerned about the ongoing problems with the Sealth, one of three mainland ferries, which is undergoing lengthy repairs in Anacortes.

  • Mar 4th, 2014

Straight talk on the subject of meditation | Guest column

When I was 26 I signed up for my first 10-day silent meditation retreat. My mother’s response was “Why on earth would you want to sit around and think for 10 days?” Right, why would I? The truth is, “thinking” is not what meditation teaches. I get plenty of that everywhere else!

  • Mar 3rd, 2014

Higher wages equals more spending, and more jobs | Guest column

Growing up in Arlington, a lot of my friends worked minimum-wage jobs. I worked at a bookbindery during high school, pulling in about $3.50 an hour during the summer break.

  • Feb 6th, 2014

In Take-It-Or-Leave-It we trust | Guest column

Here is a confession: I LOVE the Take-It-Or-Leave-It! My love affair with Take-It-Or-Leave-It dates way back. But now I want to come clean because I finally have some data to retroactively justify my behavior.

  • Feb 6th, 2014
Nurse and diabetes educator Joann Mayo prepares to test the blood-glucose level of a participant in a state-funded free diabetes class

A road map to living well with diabetes | Guest column

Peace Island Medical Center was awarded a grant by the Washington Office of the Attorney General to provide three series of diabetes classes over the course of this next year.

  • Jan 22nd, 2014
Nurse and diabetes educator Joann Mayo prepares to test the blood-glucose level of a participant in a state-funded free diabetes class

Reconceiving ‘Good Life’ | Guest column

In the last Energy Matters article “Facing the reality of fossil fuel economy and climate change”, I wrote about the ubiquity of fossil fuels in our everyday lives. Fossil fuels and the numerous products derived from them have fuelled our cars, factories that make stuff we use, agriculture that puts food on our tables, and economy on which we all depend. So how can we wean ourselves from “oil addition”?

  • Jan 16th, 2014

Facing the reality of fossil fuel economy and climate change | Guest column

My heart wrenched as I followed the news of the Super Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines. One of the strongest storms on record, Haiyan made Katrina and Sandy look like “weak cousins.”

  • Nov 26th, 2013

522 will finish the job | Guest column

Pamm Larry, a former midwife, farmer, and business owner, quit her job to spark a campaign that last November came surprisingly close to defeating the Big Chemical and Big Food giants.

  • Oct 21st, 2013
Typical scene at the Recycle Plaza

Why we need to pass the Solid Waste Levy again | Guest column

In the nine months since the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District took over operation of the Lopez Dump, 331 tons of garbage, 209 tons of separated recyclable materials, and 14.5 tons of commingled recyclables have left the island on local trucks – including our own District truck – with local drivers.

  • Oct 11th, 2013
Typical scene at the Recycle Plaza
Master Carver Jewell Praying Wolf James

A look at Lummi’s stance on the coal terminal | Energy Matters column

The news that the Lummi Nation stood firm to “unconditionally and unequivocally” oppose the ill-considered Gateway Pacific Terminal project has brought us joy and humility.

  • Aug 14th, 2013
Master Carver Jewell Praying Wolf James
Michael Riordan

Army Corps of Engineers decision on the coal terminals | Guest columns

Recently coal-terminal advocates won an apparent victory when the Army Corps of Engineers told Congress it would not perform an area-wide review of the proposed projects’ environmental impacts. Instead it would only consider the projects on a case-by-case basis and focus narrowly upon their impacts on U.S. waterways, over which it has regulatory control.

  • Jul 1st, 2013
Michael Riordan

The next chapter | Guest column

Thank you to all of the co-op members who participated in our 76th annual meeting. We are now looking forward to the next chapter of OPALCO’s long story – which we will write together.

  • Jun 3rd, 2013

Is OPALCO ready for broadband? We don’t think so | Guest column

No doubt that better and faster internet would bring economic, educational and communication benefits. Speaking personally, it is frustrating to pay Centurytel for 1.5 megabytes of download speed only to get as low as 0.02 Mbps or no internet at all.

  • May 21st, 2013

Lopez Island School bond on April ballot | Guest column

At a special board meeting on Feb.13, the Lopez Island School Board voted unanimously to place a bond measure for a major school renovation project on the April 23 ballot for voter consideration.

  • Feb 28th, 2013
Tommer Roush

Lopez Emergency Medical technician – a day in the life | Guest column

I am on call 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for one week, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next week and the third week off, then I start again. I am also a lieutenant firefighter, so really I am on 24/7.

  • Jan 30th, 2013
Tommer Roush
Top left and right

Inspired living Lopez style | Guest column

“Thriving Communities” are growing in several communities around the Salish Sea in a mutually supportive way. On Friday, Jan.4, a day was set aside at the Lopez Community Center to envision and discuss ways of strengthening and developing visions for community enrichment. Roughly between sixty and eighty people attended. The purpose of this event was to create successful growth models here at home. Ideas were discussed about how to take action to make our homes healthy and resource efficient, our lands sources of food and beauty, and our communities vibrant and resilient in these changing times. Most of those who attended came away moved with a sense of possibility and hope.

  • Jan 14th, 2013
Top left and right
Bill Evans

Lessons learned in Sandy Hook tragedy | Guest column

My heart is broken as I reflect upon the tragic events of Dec. 14, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. That such innocent lives could so quickly and brutally be ripped from the tight fabric of that community and that school, is unimaginable to me.

  • Jan 7th, 2013
Bill Evans
Aerial views of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast taken during a search and rescue mission by 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion

Lessons from the battered East Coast

What can the San Juan Islands learn from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy?

  • Nov 12th, 2012
Aerial views of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast taken during a search and rescue mission by 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion
Islanders assemble on ferry car deck before marching up to FHHS to attend the EIS meeting.

Islanders say no to coal | Energy Matters

On Saturday Nov. 3, over 450 residents of San Juan County packed the gymnasium at Friday Harbor High school during a three hour meeting to provide scoping comments to the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point in Bellingham.

  • Nov 12th, 2012
Islanders assemble on ferry car deck before marching up to FHHS to attend the EIS meeting.

Domestic violence from the criminal justice perspective | Guest column

The dispatcher recognizes the victim’s voice. The deputies know the address. The prosecutor remembers the prior incidents. The advocate knows the victim. The defense attorney, judge, probation officer, counselors, domestic violence perpetrator treatment provider know the abuser.

  • Oct 28th, 2012

GMO-Free creates economic opportunity | guest column

Salmon, transportation, recreation, tourism, commerce … Puget Sound waters have provided food in the belly and cash in the pockets of islanders for generations.

  • Oct 24th, 2012

Legacies left behind and the importance of Initiative 2012-4 | Guest column

Our generation inherited a world contaminated with PCBs. They were considered as safe as mineral oil and table salt. PCBs were used in hundreds of applications from insulating fluids, plasticizers in paints, pesticide extenders, caulking, adhesives, to carbonless copy paper.

  • Oct 11th, 2012
One of the birds of prey the author loves and fears.

A fear and love of birds | Editor’s notebook

I have a fear of birds, which I suspect originated on a beach trip with my father when I was eight. He thought it was hilarious to put bits of bread on my head to feed the seagulls.

One of the birds of prey the author loves and fears.

Can islanders influence coal transport? | Guest column

Many wonder if we citizens can influence coal transport around the San Juan Islands. We can, but first, we need to get informed and involved.

  • Sep 4th, 2012

No on charter amendments | Guest column

I, too, am a member of the Charter Review Commission, one of three No votes on the amendments. I would like to respond to some of Gordy Petersen’s statements. Mr. Petersen decries the “costly” decisions from the current six-member council. He does not, in this case, and almost every other, explain or support his opinion. He just believes it.

  • Aug 20th, 2012