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Final week of drive to match grant for Friday Harbor Food Bank

Each November the Town of Friday Harbor asks that you help us with another important community need— the Friday Harbor Food Bank. The Food Bank spends over $12,000 each month serving over 1,075 households, that’s an average of 2,278 individuals per month! In the last year, they provided nearly 470,000 pounds of food to Islanders, and they do this primarily through goods and funds donated by the community. Funds are then used in partnerships with local grocery stores, businesses, and island farmers.

CWR launches campaign to purchase new research vessel

Focusing on the birth of two new L-pod calves

From The Center for Whale Research: This year, we welcomed the birth of two new L-pod calves — L126 and L127.

New calves: L126 and L127 Photo from Dave Ellifrit, Orca Survey Lead

L127 is L94 “Calypso’s” third calf, while L126 has made L119 “Joy” a first-time mom.

In a critically endangered population such as the southern residents, all new births are a reason to celebrate. The CWR will continue to monitor the new calves, as well as the rest of the population, in subsequent ORCA SURVEY and UAV encounters.

Our late CWR founder, Ken Balcomb, began ORCA SURVEY in 1976 as a long-term study that would last (at least) an orca’s lifespan — to monitor long-term population and individual health, assess recovery, and push for conservation. 47 years later we’re about halfway through, and we would not be able to continue his work without generous donations from people like you.

Read more about the CWR’s first encounter with the new calves here.

Fundraising Campaign

CWR has launched a fundraising campaign in order to purchase a new research vessel. It will replace the current vessel that is 41-years-old and incapable of going the longer distances now required to study the whales. 

CWR’s new 23’ LIFE PROOF research vessel is on order (Read: New vessel will open up new opportunities for Center for Whale Research fieldwork).

Your financial support ensures that our ORCA SURVEY and Aerial Observation Study research continues, helps us provide public education about the iconic orcas through the ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center and WhaleResearch.com, and allows us to invest in ecosystem conservation like Balcomb BIG SALMON Ranch vital to the survival of all inhabitants of the Salish Sea. 

More information about the campaign and how you can donate is online:  https://www.whaleresearch.com/supportcwr


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WSF: Customers Should Plan Ahead for Thanksgiving Day Travel

Thanksgiving Day travelers should plan ahead for busy holiday sailings and stay up-to-date on the latest schedules online. Some routes will be operating on holiday or weekend schedules on Thursday, Nov. 23.

Route-by-route schedule information can be found by clicking on the links below. Any holiday sailings are marked on the schedules for each route:

Customers can also find a list of sailing times for a route on a specific day using the online Schedule By Date tool.


November 22: Citizen providing inter island water taxi

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 there will not be an interisland ferry for the day. Thomas Bridge is providing an emergency passenger water taxi service filling in for WSF lack of service.

Please text 360-303-6860 to reserve a spot.


How many

Departure island

Destination island

A range of times.

This is a donation-based service. Pay what you can up to $40 per person one way, we are working on a subsidized fare. San Juan County travel voucher accepted.


Lopez taxi (360) 324-8227

Oracs Taxi (360) 376-8294

Several taxi’s on San Juan plus Jolley Trolley

For Anacortes travel try Paraclete Charters 360-420-5187

or Island Opportunity Charters 360-355-3610

For air travel try Jason Douglass at San Juan Air at 1-800-874-4434


San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log: Hunting accident on Lopez, farmer shoots dogs attacking livestock on Orcas

San Juan County Deputies responded to 146 calls from November 15-21, 2023 including: An Orcas Island Deputy was dispatched to an animal problem call. The caller advised that two dogs were attacking their livestock and were subsequently shot by the farmer. Criminal charges are pending for the dog's owner for allowing them to be a public nuisance and attack animals. A Deputy on San Juan Island responded to a report of found property. An individual located an unoccupied aluminum skiff adrift in the San Juan Channel and brought it back to the Port of Friday Harbor. If you are missing your skiff, please contact the Sheriff's Office to identify it. A San Juan deputy observed someone stealing from a local grocery store. The individual entered their vehicle and drove from the store before the deputy contacted them. They were arrested for theft 3rd degree and DWLS 3rd degree.A Lopez Island Deputy was dispatched to a callback regarding the hunting incident that occurred over the weekend. The RP located an item while hiking in the area. It was later collected by the responding deputy and submitted into evidence.

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

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AG Ferguson: PeaceHealth will return up to $13.4 million to patients who should have received financial assistance

Hospital chain billed thousands of low-income patients without notifying them that they were likely eligible for financial assistance with their hospital bills

Attorney General's Press Release: SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that hospital chain PeaceHealth is refunding up to $13.4 million to more than 15,000 low-income patients of its five western Washington hospitals. The refunds are a result of an Attorney General’s Office investigation into the hospital chain’s financial assistance and collection practices. Ferguson’s investigation found that PeaceHealth billed thousands of low-income patients who likely qualified for financial assistance without informing them of their eligibility.

PeaceHealth reaches agreement with state on charity care

VANCOUVER, Wash. – PeaceHealth has  reached an agreement with the Attorney General of Washington regarding charity care.

For years, PeaceHealth cooperated with an investigation by the Attorney General, providing tens of thousands of documents and supplying evidence that the not-for-profit health system did everything required by law — and more — to inform its patients about the availability of financial assistance.

Upcoming Tree Trimming Projects: Clearing for Safety:

OPALCO has several right-of-way clearing projects happening the coming months throughout San Juan County. Right-of-way clearing helps manage trees and vegetation near power lines and is critical for wildfire prevention and safety for the OPALCO crews. 

  • Published in OPALCO
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Hunting accident on Lopez Island, investigation ongoing

On November 18, 2023,  San Juan County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a Hunting Accident on Lopez Island. Deputies worked late into the night and all day Sunday, November 19 gathering information and facts with some assistance from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police or https://www.facebook.com/WDFWPolice/, Anacortes Police Department, and Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

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