The Island Guardain
Locally Owned & Operated
360-378-4900 - PO Box 38, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
The Island Guardian is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists

Former astronaut William Anders, who took iconic Earthrise photo, killed in Washington plane crash

William Anders, the former Apollo 8 astronaut who took the iconic “Earthrise” photo showing the planet as a shadowed blue marble from space in 1968, was killed Friday when the plane he was piloting alone plummeted into the waters off the San Juan Islands in Washington state. He was 90.

Same-day camping reservations now available at 26 state parks

Same-day reservations program expands across Washington

OLYMPIA — June 6, 2024Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) is excited to announce its same-day reservation pilot program has expanded to 26 parks across the state. 

Additionally, Parks has implemented a new flexible dates feature in its reservations system. Rather than searching for exact dates, visitors can now choose the flexible booking dates option and see when different sites are available. This great new feature lets campers with flexibility find a site, especially during peak season, at busier parks.

Pet of the Week


Age: ~8.5 months old
Sex: Female
Breed: Domestic Medium Hair, Black
Origin: San Juan Island
Weight: ~5lbs
Personality: Conscientious, One-of-a-Kind, Worth-the-Wait
Energy Level: Varying, and still revealing itself.
Likes: Building Trust, Cryptozoology, Fellow Feline Friends
Dislikes: Parades, Poachers, Surprises


Community Meeting: Discussion of Trail Routes on San Juan Island

The County is exploring trail routes between the Town of Friday Harbor and Zylstra Lake Preserve, as well as other routes and destinations that connect the Town with neighborhoods, public lands, and other amenities. The community is invited to a meeting where together, we will recap the trail project goals, share potential trail routes, and open discussion for ideas and feedback. 

Detransitoner Guest Speaker Shunned by Friday Harbor Citizens

Matt and Maureen Marinkovich invited 23-year-old Nicolas Blooms to speak to the comunity about his journey down the slippery Transitional experiment. While many in the community welcomed Nicolas, there were many who rejected him, including The Grange, where Nicolas was going to speak.

Listen to Maureen on [un]Devided with Brandi Kruse and KIRO's John & Jake

San Juan County Files a Lawsuit Against the Town of Friday Harbor to Protect Access to Water

The County has a 21-day window to appeal the Town’s decision before forfeiting the right to engage in further action.

San Juan County made the difficult decision Tuesday, May 21, to file a lawsuit against the Town of Friday Harbor in an effort to protect access to water at the Fairgrounds. 

Raw Milk at the Crossroads, Again

Analysis by Sally Fallon Morell

  • The campaign against raw milk began with a fabricated 1945 article in Coronet magazine claiming a deadly brucellosis outbreak in a nonexistent town, leading to restrictive laws against raw milk starting in Michigan in 1948

  • A 2007 PowerPoint presentation by an FDA official falsely maligned raw milk using flawed reports; none of these reports proved pasteurization would have prevented alleged outbreaks

  • The 2024 USDA announcement attributed symptoms in dairy cows to avian flu without confirmed viral presence in milk, relying on questionable PCR testing methods

  • Despite claims, there is no peer-reviewed evidence supporting transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza from raw milk to humans

  • While pasteurization is promoted as making milk safe, the actual diversion or destruction of milk from infected animals suggests that pasteurization may not guarantee safety

San Juan County Launches 2025 Comprehensive Plan Update Process

San Juan County is kicking off its Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) Update with support from a consultant team and a grant from the Department of Commerce. All project information, including updates, announcements, and drafts will be available on the project's Engage webpage

San Juan County Announces Resurfacing of Nearly 16 Miles of Roads this Summer

San Juan County’s Public Works Department is announcing its annual summer road resurfacing schedule to chip seal nearly 16 miles of roads on San Juan and Orcas Islands. Chip sealing is a pavement treatment that extends the life of the road surface. Learn more by visiting the County Roads Program webpage at and see the schedule and map below for a complete list of projects.

Sections of roads to be resurfaced this summer: 

  • The week of May 13 on Orcas Island: Orcas Rd, Killebrew Lake Rd, LaPorte Rd, Dolphin Bay Rd, Enchanted Forest Rd, Terri Ln, Michael Ln, Sunset Ave, Matia View Dr, Olga Cemetery Rd, Buoy Bay Rd, Willis Ln. Only sections of these roads will be resurfaced - see the map below or linked here for more details. 
  • The week of June 3 on San Juan Island: West Side Rd, Beaverton Valley Rd, Cattle Point Rd, Little Rd. Only sections of these roads will be resurfaced - see the map below or linked here for more details. 

Council to Consider Three Finalists for County Manager Position (none from San Juan County)

San Juan County nears the end of the County Manager hiring process after interviewing three finalists. The County Council will deliberate during a closed session at the May 14 Council meeting where they will select a County Manager or determine next steps for further recruitment.  

Process Recap:

The County’s core hiring committee consisted of the Human Resources Director, Interim County Manager, and County Council, assisted by the recruitment firm Strategic Government Resources (SGR). The job posting yielded 39 applicants from around the country that were screened and vetted via resume reviews, video interviews, and written responses.

After a thorough interview process, three finalists were invited to San Juan County for in-person interviews:


  • Ana Cortez, City Manager of Carnation, WA
  • Jessica Hudson, Director at Fairfax County Public Library
  • Sri Krisham, Deputy Director of Finance & Administration at the City of Kirkland