Civil Rights Groups Sue ICE Over Refusing FOIA Requests

Public News ServiceSEATTLE -- Here in Washington and across the nation, civil rights and immigrants' advocacy groups are suing over the federal government's refusal to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act request about a recently planned immigration raid.

In September, immigrant groups obtained details of "Operation Mega," which internal documents said would be the "largest raid in U.S. history." After it became public, more than 200 groups nationwide filed FOIA requests about it with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The requests were denied.


Could GOP Tax Bill Hurt Washington State's Most Vulnerable?

Public News ServiceAUBURN, Wash. - On Thursday, the House approved the GOP's efforts to overhaul the nation's tax code. But some health professionals are concerned the bill will lead to cuts in programs like Medicare. The changes to the tax system are estimated to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion in the next decade, and that could force the government to slash $25 billion from the Medicare budget next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.


Public can weigh in on state's plan for $112.7 million VW settlement

OLYMPIA – Washington state aims to turn an environmental scandal into an opportunity to transform the transportation system and improve air quality under a new proposal released Thursday, November 16.

The plan would use $112.7 million the state is eligible to receive from a federal settlement with Volkswagen to reduce air pollution from diesel vehicles and increase access to electric vehicle infrastructure.



Skagit Land Trust raising funds to save Yellow Bluff and Kelly’s Point on Guemes Island

Skagit Land Trust (the Trust) has partnered with community members in a fundraising effort to purchase and permanently protect Yellow Bluff and Kelly’s Point on the southwestern corner of Guemes Island. Well-known to boaters and ferry passengers entering and leaving Anacortes, these large sandy bluffs stand as the sentinel to Guemes Channel. The 27-acre property that will be protected includes the immense bluffs, undeveloped coastal forest and over 3,000 feet of marine shoreline.


Curb-side recycling to continue in Friday Harbor

The Town of Friday Harbor has re-established its source for processing of comingled recyclable materials and, as a result, the Town curbside program will NOT be discontinued on November 22, 2017 as previously announced. Lautenbach Industries and the Town have concluded negotiations with Recology of Seattle, Washington and will maintain their existing relationship.


Update on the Community Long-Term Care Options Task Force

Over the last few weeks, many of you have shown concern about the limited availability of long-term care, rehabilitation and housing for our county’s aging and at-risk, or complex-care populations. This subject has reached crisis-level with the closure of Life Care Center of the San Juan Islands; a facility that has been subsidized by Life Care Centers of America for the last 20 years in order to keep it open and serving residents across the County. A thoughtful community meeting held in late September at the Mullis Community Center in Friday Harbor highlighted many of your concerns, some facts about the depth of the problem, a willingness of many to be part of a sustainable solution and some brainstorming ideas. Among these was the creation of a taskforce.


Navy medevacs Friday Harbor patient in critical condition

A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Friday Harbor to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Wash., on Wednesday, November 14, 2017.

The SAR alert crew received an urgent call for help from the Friday Harbor medical clinic for an unconscious patient in critical condition that needed to be transported to a higher level of care. Due to the inclement weather conditions other agencies were unable to transport the patient. The NAS Whidbey Island crew departed just after 8:15 p.m. and arrived at the Friday Harbor airport shortly thereafter. Once the patient turnover was completed the crew immediately flew the patient to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, arriving just prior to 10:00 p.m.


Sheriff's Log Nov. 8-15: Overdose, burglaries, damaged stolen vehicle, graffiti

Deputies in San Juan Islands responded to 357 calls from Nov. 8 - 14, 2017 including this one: A Lopez Island deputy was sent to assist in a collision between an empty utility trailer and van. The parked trailer was spun by the strong wind gusts, causing the trailer tongue to strike the side of a van parked nearby.

The disposition codes are: ACT- active; CIC - citation issued; CLO - closed; FAL - false; INA - inactive; NR - no report; UNF - unfounded; GOA - gone on arrival; FTA - failure to appear.


State not in compliance on funding education; Court continues sanctions

Olympia, WA – The Washington Supreme Court today (November 15, 2017) issued an order in the case of McCleary, et al. v. State of Washington ruling that the State is not on track to meet the September 1, 2018 deadline to fully implement its program of basic education.

The court’s ruling retains jurisdiction of the landmark education case, continues daily sanctions and orders a report by the State by April 9, 2018 on its progress toward full compliance during the next legislative session.


Sheriff's Log Oct. 25-Nov. 8: Prowlers, DUI, roaming goats and not a good time for deer

Deputies in San Juan Islands responded to 357 calls from October 25 to Nov. 8, 2017 including this one: A deputy responded to a report of a possible DUI arriving at Friday Harbor on the ferry. Upon arrival the Deputy made his assessments of the individual involved and determined that the male was not impaired and just had difficulty driving a manual shift vehicle.

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