Fish For Teeth bringing mobile dental clinic to Friday Harbor March 6 and 7

Islanders can receive affordable dental care, thanks to the local nonprofit Fish For Teeth, on Friday, March 6, 2020 and Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Mullis Community Center on San Juan Island.

"Many volunteers and local businesses work as a team to bring this service to those who cannot otherwise afford dental care," said Fish For Teeth Founder Matt Marinkovich, a San Juan Island commercial fisherman.

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Area Near Shoreline Public Health Lab Identified as Possible Quarantine Location For Healthy Travelers

OLYMPIA -- In response to new federal measures around controlling the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus, the Washington State Department of Health has been working to identify several suitable locations for a quarantine site, should the need arise. The purpose of quarantine is to prevent healthy people who’ve potentially been exposed to a communicable disease from spreading it to other people.

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Road closures due to weather

Two roads on San Juan Island are closed due to the heavy rains according to San Juan County Public Works. Bailer Hill Rd (west of False Bay Dr) and San Juan Valley Rd (west of Douglas Rd).

Please avoid the area and use alternate routes when necessary. Thank you for your patience and please drive safely.

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WA Bill Would Ban Private Detention Facilities

Washington News Service: OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington lawmakers could bring an end to private prisons in the state this session.

In January, the Senate Committee on Human Services, Re-entry and Rehabilitation held a public hearing on a bill that prohibits new, and phases out existing, contracts for private detention facilities.

The majority of testifiers expressed support for the bill, including Tacoma's deputy mayor. The city is home to the Northwest Detention Center, a private facility that has held more than 60,000 immigrants during deportation proceedings over the past two decades.

"People see that private companies care about profits but not the communities where their facilities are located, and so there were a number of people testifying -- even Tacoma city council members and others who recognize that putting profits before people is not Washington values," relates Enoka Herat, police practices and immigration counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.

The operator of the Northwest Detention Center, GEO Group, estimates it makes $57 million a year when all its beds are full. Its contract runs through 2025.

Some people at the hearing expressed concern that the bill might be too broad, asking lawmakers to ensure it doesn't outlaw work-release programs with private facilitators.

Maru Mora Villalpando is a community organizer with La Resistencia, an organization working to end immigrant detention and advocating for people in the Northwest Detention Center. She says a variety of groups testified at the hearing, including indigenous and Japanese American groups.

Folks also testified about the environment within private facilities.

"They all explained how horrible conditions are in regards to being in detention because these private corporations don't have oversight," Villalpando states. "They're not accountable. They obviously profit, and they cut corners in regards to conditions."

A similar California law went into effect this year.

GEO Group has sued the state over the law, calling it "a direct assault on the supremacy of federal law."

 

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WA State Program Could Open Retirement Savings to More Workers

Washington News Service: OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill that would give workers a new retirement option.

Under the legislation, the Department of Commerce would operate the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, allowing Washingtonians to automatically save part of their paychecks, and also bring their retirement money with them if they change jobs.

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Sheriff's Log from the San Juan Islands Jan. 22-28: Kidnapping scam calls, sick horse, trespassers, hit and runs

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 174 calls from Jan. 22-28, 2020 including: An Orcas Island  woman reported that someone accessed her bank account information and made purchases worth several thousands of dollars purchases in another state. Two instances of a scam where a citizen received a call about a kidnapping. 

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Presidential Primary Student Mock Election opens for all Washington K-12 students

OLYMPIA — In conjunction with Washington state’s upcoming presidential primary in March, Secretary of State Kim Wyman has launched a special Student Mock Election for students to learn more about the state’s presidential primary.

The Mock Election will run through March 10, and is a non-partisan educational event that teaches youth how to become informed voters. Students will have an opportunity to vote for the candidate they believe should receive the Democratic or Republican parties’ nominations for U.S. president. Votes will be cast on real paper, just as adult voters do throughout Washington. Ballots and tabulation sheets are available for download and printing at sos.wa.gov/elections/mock-election/.

Other free resources available online include “I Voted” stickers to be requested by March 5, a print-friendly Voter’s Pamphlet, and the curriculum book “Teaching Elections in Washington State.

“As Washington’s chief elections officer, it’s important we engage young people in order to foster lifelong civic engagement. The Mock Election is a great way for students to dip their toes into elections to better understand the power and importance of voting,” said Secretary Wyman. “Much like participation for the actual presidential primary on March 10, I hope to see record turnout for this edition of the Mock Election.”

The Secretary of State’s Office conducts an annual Student Mock Election in conjunction with the general election each fall. Since 2004, more than 265,000 students have voted in the Mock Election.

To learn more and download participation materials, visit the 2020 Student Mock Election resources page at the Office of the Secretary of State website.

 

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Trail completed at John O. Linde Community Park

A fully paved one-mile long loop trail is now open at John O. Linde Community Park in Friday Harbor. Island Rec says the final phase of the trail was completed this last fall in conjunction with the baseball field construction through the generous support of a private donor. If you have any questions about the trail or park please feel free to call the Island Rec office at 360-378-4953, or drop by the office at 580 Guard St. Monday – Friday 11am – 5pm.

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