Guemes Island Community Center Association

Enriching and Connecting Our Island Community

 

 Island Happenings

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Guemes Island, Skagit County, WA, USA

Ferry Cams

Click here for full-size views

(Find out if there's a 2nd 11:15am sailing)


⛴ Catch the Ferry

Note:
Ferry times are provided as a courtesy and without guarantee.

Ferry departs from Guemes approximately 8 minutes after the listed times below. Crossing time approximately 5 minutes. Round-trip time approximately 20-25 minutes.

*Wednesday 9:15 AM to Guemes and 2:00 PM from Guemes are hazardous materials runs only. No other vehicles or passengers may travel on these runs.
▼ Click here to show times

Community Messages


Buy Local & Support Island Artists

 

Open Studio Tour on Saturday
December 11 from 10:00 to 4:00

 

The holiday season is now upon us. Please consider supporting local artists on Guemes Island. Virtual sales by participating artists will take place the entire month of December. Save the date for an Open Studio Tour on Saturday, December 11 from 10:00 to 4:00. COVID precautions will apply.

 

Click here for more information including available items from participating artists and a printable map. You may find the perfect gift, a piece of jewelry, a gift certificate for classes, or handmade notecards.

Chamber Music Series Winter Concert, Dec 18

 

Island Organizations Partner to Bring Visibility to Guemes History

The Guemes Library and the Guemes Island Historical Society have partnered to acquire a grant through the Washington State Library's Rural Digitization Project. There are now over 100 historic photos posted online. The Strickland family is well represented. Don't miss seeing the 1914 photo of a group of islanders in front of the "new" community hall, built that very year. See the 1962 photo of the old Guemes Schoolhouse for which Schoolhouse Park is named.

 

If you have historic family photos to share, please contact guemeshistory@gmail.com.

 

More GIHS news:

  • Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, GIHS has elected not to sponsor the Holiday Bazaar this year.
  • In light of the pandemic's continuation, the society will continue to hold its business meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month at 5:45 p.m. at the church. GIHS programs will begin again once it's safe to do so.

Read more GIHS news

Featured Artist: Becky Rodman

 

 

This month’s artist, Becky Rodman, is unique in her artistic endeavors. She has spent years in Italy learning an ancient craft and produces some melodious masterpieces that are truly spectacular.

 Read more

Still Need a COVID Vaccination?

If you're still looking for a COVID vaccination Skagit County Public Health wants to help.

 

The Health Department has provided on-island mobile clinics for homebound individuals or those who cannot easily travel. Undocumented residents can also receive vaccinations.

 

Please contact the Health Department's main line at 360-416-1500 to set up an appointment. Or you may contact Katherine Chapman, Communicable Disease Public Health Nurse, 360-399-0348, kchapman@co.skagit.wa.us.

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The Help You Want

The Resources You Need

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources for help – help with alcohol or drugs, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, feeling depressed or anxious, or having trouble affording basic needs. To find these resources, or if you could use someone to talk to who is caring, compassionate, and confidential, visit:
No judgment. No pressure. Just resources for help.

COVID-Safe Ways to Volunteer

Volunteering is not only helpful to others it is rewarding for you and good for your mental health. GICCA has many suggestions for COVID-safe volunteering.

 

GICCA’s Virtual Lecture Series is seeking one or two volunteers to help coordinate and manage group presentations on Zoom.

We have several interesting speakers lined up, but we need a Zoom leader to help make these a positive experience for both speakers and attendees. If you are interested, please email 4gicca@gmail.com.

Read more

Thank You to Our Generous Donors!

Generosity runs deep in our community; we have come together over this past year to support each other in so many ways.  The GICCA Board of Directors thanks you for your generous support.

 

GICCA is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We appreciate your financial support. You can find out about ways to donate here.

Meet Your Neighbor

Neighbors Helping Neighbors – Guemes Connects Needs You - A "community" is defined as a group of people living in the same place. There is also a more internal definition. A community is a group of people that takes care of each other. As Guemes Islanders, we are geographically connected but when we feel we are part of something bigger than ourselves, we truly function as a community.

For many years, Guemes Connects has brought neighbors together to help neighbors. Their mission is to foster a network of support for the Guemes Island community. This group of dedicated volunteers is committed to meeting the needs of anyone requesting assistance, regardless of age, illness, disability, race, or religion. Now Connects needs new volunteers as several of the founders are retiring.

The group's goal is to provide on-island skilled, compassionate assistance in the following areas:
  • Emergency Meals
  • Respite care (temporary relief for caregivers)
  • Transportation to medical appointments (not available during COVID)
  • Home Maintenance (helping needy island residents with uncomplicated maintenance tasks)
  • Housing (availability information)
  • Medical equipment (free wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, bedside commodes, grab bars, etc.)

Guemes Connects also sponsors the popular Gathering Lunch (not available during COVID) and Soup-to-Go (a COVID safe alternative). These weekly lunch programs are open to everyone. Meals are served on Thursdays from 11:30 to 12:15 from November to April at the Guemes Community Church. A suggested donation of $5.00 helps to fund the program.

When the in-person Gathering Lunch is possible, free blood pressure testing is available from 11:15 to 12:30. The "Gathering" began as an opportunity to visit with neighbors, meet new friends, and enjoy a home-style hot lunch cooked in the Church commercial kitchen by island volunteers.

Soup-to-Go provides the same home-style soup lunch, bread, and a cookie as a COVID-safe alternative. Drive through at the front of the Church from 11:30 to 12:15, beginning on Nov 4. No lunch i served on Thanksgiving, Nov 25.

Following is the current contact list of the coordinators for the areas Connects serves.
Meals Lorraine Francis 360-293-8364 (H)
Respite Care Juby Fouts 360-293-2704 (H)
Transportation Open
Home Maintenance Bill Clark 360-299-3230 (H)
Housing Ron Knowles 360-588-9922 (C)
Medical Equipment Juby Fouts 360-293-2704 (H)
Barb Ohms 360-298-1885 (H) 303-521-9094 (C)
Gathering Lunch/Soup-to-Go Beverly James 206-660-1447 (C)
Sharon Hughlitt 360-588-0179 (C)
Contact Lorraine or Juby with questions or if a specific coordinator cannot be reached, OR if you wish to volunteer! Guemes Connects needs YOU to help keep these valuable services going.

"Do more than belong: participate." "Do more than care: help." "Do more than dream: work." Words of wisdom from William Arthur Ward

How An Aquifer Works
Be a Good Neighbor — Conserve Water! -

Image credit: Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee


It’s been a long, dry summer on Guemes Island. The Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC) noted in a recent post on myguemes.org entitled, “Be Water Wise,” that, “During the dry season, we are tempted to increase water usage by watering lawns, washing cars and boats, and entertaining visitors who are not familiar with the need to conserve water.” In an August 3, 2021 article on postalley.org entitled, “Reckoning: Guemes Island Keeps Growing; The Water Supply Isn’t,” which also cites GIPAC members, the author, Elisa Claassen, conveys that more people, more wells, increasing water use, and rising sea levels are putting Guemes’s two aquifers, the island’s main source of potable water, under stress – causing many wells to fail already.

Funds have recently been appropriated for a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to update the 1995 USGS report on groundwater on the island. The study is set to begin in 2022 and is estimated to take a year and a half to complete. GIPAC and fellow islanders hope that the results of the upcoming study will motivate Skagit County to take quick and decisive action to protect our very limited water supply - before it is too late.

Learn more about how we ALL can protect our limited water supply.

Be a good islander – be water-wise!
Photo provided by the McCracken family
Phil McCracken, Long-time Guemes Resident and Art Legend - A difficult period of pandemic isolation is punctuated by the loss of another longtime islander and renowned artist, Philip Trafton McCracken. Phil passed away after a long illness on June 6, 2021, at the age of 92.

"Though most will remember Philip primarily as the renowned artist he was, his family and close family friends will hold the memory of a complicated but dearly loved man who adored family gatherings, took a childlike pleasure in small moments, never aged out of playing animals with young children, loved dreamy whimsy and strange little objects as much as he loved esoteric ideas and theoretical paradigms, relished telling humorous stories about the past, had a distinctively wry smile and a memorable high pealing laugh." For the complete tribute and obituary provided by his family, click here.

Phil's art lives on in many public venues and in private homes. For a map of Phil's sculptures accessible for public viewing, click here.

As a mentor, Phil drew a number of artists to Guemes Island. His legacy of connecting to the mysterious energies of the animal and plant world continues to inspire generations of new artists. Guemes provides a nurturing sanctuary for all the creative arts.
Adam Mimnaugh, What It Means to Be an Islander - After years of discussion, many options considered, an architect consulted, bids entertained, grants denied, budgets constrained, and many heads scratched, the Guemes Island Community Center Hall finally has a new front porch and walkway. Wheelchairs and food carts can now reach the front door unimpeded by stairs or detours onto gravel. Only two steps now lead onto the deck to reach the Guemes Library. Soon the walkway near the Church will also be repaired providing a smooth interconnection between facilities.

The community is grateful to islander Adam Mimnaugh, Mimnaugh Excavation, and his crew for a job well done. Thanks to workers Dan Raynor, Adam Pahnke, Chris LeBoutillier, and Max Boucher. Several other volunteers also lent their expertise to the project and wish to remain unacknowledged. Mimnaugh is donating the labor costs with the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) covering the cost of materials. Retired builder and resident, Bill Heft, worked with Adam to develop the plan and elevations. Bill was part of the crew that leveled and finished just over 10 yards of concrete.

Mimnaugh Excavation has been serving the Guemes Island community since 2003. Adam offers professional service for Guemes Island residents that includes general excavation, septic system installation and inspections, utilities, road building, and more. Adam and most of his employees live and work right here on Guemes Island. With their equipment here on the island, Adam has the ability to get whatever is needed to a job site minimizing delays and commute costs.

“Being an islander” means sharing your success and giving back to the community. Over the years Adam has employed many islanders and has donated equipment time, labor, and materials to a number of island community projects including the Stage Project at Schoolhouse Park, Kelly’s Point, and now the welcoming new entrance to our 107-year-old Community Center Hall.

The GICCA Board and the Guemes community wish to thank Adam and his crew and all the volunteers!
David and Paul on the beautiful bench made for the Dog Woods entry meadow by John Hoenselaar
Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer -

Photo and narrative provided by David Wertheimer



Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer have been island residents since 1998 when they visited Guemes after reading Valerie Easton's article "The Secret Gardens of Guemes" in the Seattle Times. Paul and David purchased a home at Kelly's Point where they spent nearly every weekend since, commuting back to Seattle for work on weekdays.  With David's retirement in 2019 and a shift to remote work during the pandemic, they now consider Guemes their permanent year-round home.

Paul is the Executive Director of the Wilburforce Foundation, which works to protect and preserve North American wildlands.  David retired after 13 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he served in various roles on the Pacific Northwest team and as Director of Community & Civic Engagement.  Both have been actively involved in island organizations over the years.  Paul served on the Community Center board for 7 years, David served on the board of Friends of Guemes Island, is an occasional speaker at the Guemes Island Church, and both have been involved in various land conservation campaigns, including the efforts to save Guemes Mountain and to permanently protect Kelly's Point.  David has also stepped in to serve as a Commissioner for the Guemes Island Fire Department after the tragic and untimely death of Frank Crawford.

A few notes on Dog Woods:  After years of walking past the wooded parcels on West Shore Road on a regular basis, Paul and David decided in 2020 to acquire 120 acres of woodlands, portions of which had, in the past, been heavily logged.  The land is designated as forest land.  They call the property "Dog Woods," both to honor the Samish history of the island as a place where this First Nation community raised their unique Woolly Dogs, and to celebrate the dogs that populate and enjoy the island today.  Paul and David are working with local naturalists Peter Dunwiddie and Samantha ("Sam") Martin to learn more about the unique features of the Dog Woods environment, and to determine the best ways to nurture the forest lands and restore its full health. Their primary goals in the years ahead are to remove invasive weeds, restore and enhance the native plants, and maintain a trail network to welcome community access.  In time, they plan to donate the land to Skagit Land Trust.  (For additional information, see:  https://guemesisland.info/dog-woods-trail/)

David and Paul planting paper birches at Dog Woods, a restoration forest (ARF!)

Photo Credit: Mary Lascelles



Dog Woods is truly becoming a community effort.  There are numerous community members involved with Dog Woods that we'd like to acknowledge.  These individuals include, (in no specific order):
  • Jimmie and Lu Lemieux (who are building the Dog Woods trail network)
  • Rick Petrick
  • John Hoenselaar
  • Sam Barr and Eric Licata
  • Manuel, Lynette, Ioanna, Elia and Aiden Mattke
  • Jim, Joanne and Lisa Cieko
  • Dyvon Havens and Jep Burdock
  • Rebecca and Bud Ullman
  • Terri and Joe Gaffney
  • Barbara and Randy Schnabel
  • Jeff Hale and Mary Parker-Hale
  • Robert Olson
  • Marc Beaudet
John Strathman, Adventure During A Pandemic - John Strathman is no stranger to memorable moments on the water. He’s been kayaking in the Pacific Northwest for years. Since moving to Guemes Island in 2014, John has kayaked in the 2015 inaugural  R2AK “Race to Alaska” (Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK), rowed in two “SEVENTY48s,” (Tacoma to Port Townsend), and completed a solo kayak adventure from Ketchikan to Guemes. His most recent leisurely trip around the San Juans with his friend, Tim, was memorable in its own way.

Read article

NOTE: The stalwart Odyssey has been repaired “good as new” and is safely tucked away, awaiting next year’s “moments.”

Tom Sternberg, GICCA Board Member -
The GICCA Board welcomes its newest Board member, Tom Sternberg, who was recently appointed to fill the vacant Trustee position. Like many of us, Tom and his partner Virginia’s visits to Guemes grew into a desire for a peaceful, rural place to make their full-time home. The pandemic changed their work situations and working from home became the required option. A small tight-knit rural community with an active community center was just the place they were looking for.


Tom quickly made friends with neighbors and fellow ferry passengers. Community involvement is important to Tom and he was interested to learn more about our island organizations and activities. A recent opening on the GICCA Board provided him with the opportunity to bring his work and hobby experience to the Community Center Association. He answered the call and submitted a letter of interest. The GICCA Board voted unanimously to appoint Tom to the Board.

Currently a high-end web and software developer, Tom has also worked in the restaurant industry in both staff and management positions. He started his own commercial landscape business overseeing five condominium complexes. Acting as the general contractor, Tom built two homes and remodeled three in the Seattle area. These varied and useful skills will be invaluable to the Association and to our island community. Tom’s enthusiasm and willingness to be involved are his greatest assets. He has already hit the ground running and is helping to design GICCA’s new “sister” website that will feature the many artists of Guemes Island.

We welcome Tom and Virginia and their sweet dog, Trigger, to our community
Read more
You – An Encore Performance - This month we are, once again, featuring YOU because you deserve an encore!  YOU are a neighbor. YOU are a part of what makes us a community.

In the recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Newsletter, Public Health Matters, we are reminded that “the word community can mean different things." It can describe a geographic area, a group of people with shared interests, or a feeling of teamwork and fellowship.” At the core is YOU.

The Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR) is a part of the CDC and they outline ways that YOU can create community where you live. The following are excerpts and links from the CPR’s “create community” newsletter.

Care for Each OtherTake care of yourself and others.
The greatest strengths of a community might be its people and their relationships with each other. People who are personally prepared, invested, and socially connected are often better able to protect themselves and more willing and ready to help others through adversity.

Improve AccessSupport the needs of the whole community.
Community health preparedness and resilience is not achieved until everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as prepared as possible. It is the shared responsibility of the whole community to find ways to make preparedness more inclusive, available, and achievable for everyone.

Lead by ExampleInspire others’ healthy behaviors.
Get in the habit of being a preparedness role model for your family and in your community. Modeling healthy behaviors, attitudes, and habits, like getting a seasonal flu vaccine and frequent handwashing, can inspire others to do the same.

Get InvolvedTake action to help improve everyone’s health and resilience.
People who are resilient and ready to care for their neighbors can have positive and even life-saving impacts on their neighbors and in their communities at large. Response training and exercises, donations, and volunteerism are just a few of the many ways that you can help yourself and others prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency.

The Guemes Island Community Center Association has recently posted, on our website and on island bulletin boards, a list of our Top Ten Volunteer Opportunities. YOU can help to “create community.” There are many ways, even during a pandemic, to safely connect with or inspire others, to become more resilient, and to become more involved. Whether it is just neighbor helping neighbor or through greater involvement with island organizations, your efforts will build “community.”
Read more
Dog Island Dogs, Then and Now - The dogs of “Dog Island” are carrying on the long tradition of canine companions on Guemes Island. Few bear resemblances to the historical “wool dogs” raised by the Samish tribes in the late 1700s and early 1800s, except for one island favorite, Dakoda, or “Koda”, as he's best known.

The now extinct Wool Dogs were described as looking like the modern-day Spitz and stood about 17 inches high with long white fur. They were raised in “flocks” on Guemes and other nearby islands and kept separated from other village dogs in order to preserve their prized white fur. They were shorn like sheep and the fur was woven into blankets used as valuable trade items. As island settlement displaced the native tribes, the weavers switched to more accessible sheep wool and the Wool Dogs became extinct.

One-year-old Koda joined the family of Wendy Saver and Dave Rockwood in 2012 as a rescue from a local animal shelter. It was one of those “meant-to-be” moments when the planets were aligned and the time was right. Koda found his new family and a happy life on Guemes Island. He was “Best Dog” at Wendy and Dave’s wedding on North Beach in 2018.

Although not genetically related to the Samish Wool Dogs, Koda has become an island mascot and a source of smiles for many as he greets ferry passengers and crew and, before the pandemic, made regular appearances at island events. The pandemic is difficult for such a social dog (and for social humans, as well) but Wendy and Dave appreciate Koda’s companionship as he helps them adjust to social distancing and fewer opportunities to gather with friends. A romp on the beach or a roll in the dirt will have to suffice for now. Our furry, or woolly, or feathered, finned, scaled, or otherwise, pet-friends are helping us all through these difficult times.

If you'd like us to feature your animal companion and share your story, please contact us at myguemes@gmail.com.
Read more
Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis Retires -

In July, Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis retired after 12 years of service to our community.



Gerry’s history with the Guemes Island Fire Department is chronicled in archived issues of the Guemes Tide (see guemestide.org). In the October 2010 issue of the Tide, Edith Walden writes that Gerry and his wife Lorraine “first moved to Guemes from Utah in 2004, when Gerry retired as a maintenance planner with Kimberly-Clark. They constructed their home on Samish Street in 2005. In November 2006, a storm threw a huge fir tree through their bedroom roof at 5:30 a.m., just missing Lorraine’s head. Gerry remembers the impressive help they received from then Fire Chief Carl Meinzinger and fire volunteers Bob and Nancy White. In 2008, at age 66, Gerry joined the Guemes Island Fire Department after seeing a recruiting flyer.” Gerry’s life was anything but boring after that.

The required firefighter training and rigorous emergency medical technician (EMT) training program are challenging for even young recruits. At age 66, Gerry excelled, graduating as class valedictorian at the recruit academy. Gerry was certified as an EMT in January 2011 after many hours of home study, classroom training, exams, and volunteer shifts in an ambulance and an emergency room.

The Board of Fire Commissioners for Fire District 17 appointed Gerry Francis to the assistant chief’s position in 2011. In 2014, Gerry was promoted to chief. As a first responder to many medical and fire emergencies on Guemes, Chief Francis has provided compassionate care to those in need. He has led his dedicated team of volunteers in protecting home and property from fire, as well as mitigating storm damage until other emergency responders can arrive.

Mentoring new firefighters strengthens every fire department while providing continuity of service. Gerry has mentored newly appointed Fire Chief Olivia Snell, who served as assistant chief for the past five years.

A grateful community wishes to thank Gerry Francis for his many years of service. In addition, we thank Gerry’s wife, Lorraine, who is also stepping away from the fire department where she served as Public Information Officer and “Chief Chef.” They will both be missed on the front lines.
Read more

Neighbor News

GICCA Election Results

 

Congratulations to the five individuals who were recently elected to the 2022 GICCA Board. Incumbents Tom Sternberg, Libby Boucher, and Barb Ohms were reelected. Nancy Fisher-Allison and Darlene Klister were newly elected. Kathy Whitman and Mary Hale continue on the Board with one year remaining on each of their terms.

 

The GICCA Board is made up of no less than seven members comprised of four officers, a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and a minimum of three other Members at Large commonly known as Trustees serving staggered terms of two years. The continuing incumbent and newly elected Board members will meet in closed session in December to determine the Officer and Trustee positions.

 

Thank you to Dave Shill, Loalynda Bird, and Carol Deach who also ran but were not elected.

2021 Social Connections

Staying connected in safe ways with friends and family is more important now than ever. GICCA has suggestions for virtual activities with friends, educational talks and virtual learning, and limited scheduled outdoor activities. Check out the Social Connections tab at the top of this Home page.

Pickleball on Guemes

Regular pickleball practice with two nets and courts (with some instruction) is on Thursdays at 3:30 PM and Sundays at 9:00 AM.

 

Skagit County Parks asked that we remind folks to protect the new surface of the court; it is for feet with shoes and not for wheels or dogs. Please no bikes or skateboards.

 

A storage cabinet on the north side of the court is intended to store paddles, balls, portable nets, and a broom. It will have a small combination lock to keep things secure (but no treasure, cash, rare artifacts, or valuables will be found inside).

Read more

GICCA Stage Project Progress

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Stage front view Oct3
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Links:

 

GICCA maintains a master list of names of stage volunteers, donors, and business partners.  The list currently contains over 145 names and continues to grow - thank you! GICCA looks forward to publicly acknowledging all the hard-working and generous volunteers, donors, and business partners in conjunction with a well-deserved and long-awaited community celebration at project conclusion.

The Long Road to Permitting the Stage

Anyone who has built on Guemes Island or in Skagit County knows that the permitting process is long, tedious, and expensive. That was certainly the case for GICCA's Schoolhouse Park Stage.

 

The permitting process for this long-running project began in 2012. Mark Linnemann was the first of four project managers. A Pre-Development application is required prior to receiving a building permit. The Stage Project site was determined to be adjacent to a wetland and therefore in a Protected Critical Area (PCA) requiring a Critical Area Review. Mark and then GICCA President, Julie Pingree hired the necessary consultants to complete the review.

 

In the Pre-Development Meeting Notes, GICCA was told that in order to comply with the Rural Reserve zoning requirements of the project property and to allow for public events, a Special Use Permit must be obtained along with a designation as a Community Park. Special Use Permits also require review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

 

The first three-year building permit was issued on Oct 5, 2012 with conditions to complete mitigation within the adjacent wetland buffer zone and with the requirement that GICCA must obtain a Special Use Permit.

 

The building permit was renewed in 2015 by then President, Kathleen Phillips and extended for another three years. After a final six-month grace period, the permit expired. A new building permit was obtained on April 22, 2019 by then-president, Barb Ohms.

 

Work began in earnest to complete the project and work through the very tedious tasks of completing the Special Use Permit Application and the painstaking SEPA Checklist, obtaining a Reciprocal Agreement with Skagit County Parks & Recreation (SCPR), another Pre-Development meeting with the County Planning Dept., and in March of 2021, filing the required documents, site plans, parking plans, and landscaping plans. Special thanks to the GICCA Board for their many hours of work on this process. GICCA also paid the required application fee to the County of $4925.

 

Public notices were published and posted that opened the public comment periods for the SEPA determination, the proposed land-use change, and the announcement of the required Hearing Examiner's Hearing for the Special Use Permit. GICCA President, Barb Ohms addressed the Hearing Examiner and was available to answer any questions or concerns from the community. No concerns were presented.

 

On November 3, 2021, the Skagit County Hearing Examiner approved GICCA's Special Use Permit, with conditions. The complete document of determination can be viewed here.

 

The building permit final inspection required fulfilling several mitigation conditions in the wetland buffer zone. Stockpiled soil has been removed. All disturbed soils have been either hydroseeded or graveled. Native conifers have been planted. The County has accepted our mitigation measures and on November 9, 2021 GICCA passed the final building inspection. The occupancy permit is forthcoming.

 

Before celebrations can begin, all conditions of the Special Use Permit must be met. The ADA walkway and ADA parking places are still to be completed. The GICCA Board is working diligently to find the quickest option. Contractor schedules and unfavorable weather are the biggest obstacles at this time.

 

Please be patient. This project has taken over 10 years since the dream began taking shape. Plans are in the works for an opening celebration when the weather improves for an outdoor event. ALL volunteers, donors, and community partners will be recognized at that time. Please see the Stage Slideshow on this site for a few photos from beginning to end.

 

GICCA has formed a committee to begin planning the Stage opening event. Please email 4gicca@gmail.com if you would like to participate in the planning.

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Guemes Island Community Center Association email lists on other island websites are no longer used for GICCA mailings of any kind. To receive GICCA news, please click below to subscribe.

Reality Check - Skagit County at Record High for COVID Cases

The latest press release on November 10, 2021 from the Skagit County Health Department continues to have alarming news about high COVID-19 case rates in our county. Community spread seems to be a big factor. Skagit is more rural and agricultural than neighboring counties with more residents who do not work from home.

 

Skagit's vaccination rates are still behind neighboring counties. Until vaccinations increase, COVID-19 will continue to spread.

 

Masking and limiting gatherings have proven to help lower the rate of transmission. With the holidays fast approaching, gathering with others if you are unvaccinated is extremely risky.

 

Vaccination is a personal choice and some individuals are unable to be vaccinated because of underlying health conditions. However, healthcare professionals agree that getting vaccinated not only protects you individually but slows community spread and protects others. Breakthrough infections have been documented even in those who are fully vaccinated, but vaccination is still the best protection for all.

 

The Guemes Island Community Center Hall is available for meetings and rentals, but COVID restrictions are in place. Click here to read why there are entry restrictions for the Community Center Hall. Masks are required for entry. Do not attend in person if you are not fully vaccinated. Building capacity is reduced and no food or drink is allowed inside as that would require removing your mask. Immunocompromised individuals should consider staying home. Virtual options are offered whenever possible in order to protect the health of all attendees. GICCA's COVID restrictions and rules are supported by the Skagit County Health Dept and CDC recommendations and can change without advance notice.

Heart-Felt Thanks

To the doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacy and other medical workers, police officers, home-care workers, grocery store personnel, delivery people, transit workers, airline workers, and anyone who serves the public .....

Thank you for your bravery, dedication, and sacrifice during the COVID crisis.
You are truly heroes!

 

And to all of you who are continuing to heed the advice of health experts - getting vaccinated and masking-up when recommended/required  ... we applaud you as well!

Thank you for demonstrating respect for others and for doing the right thing!

Helpful Links

CERT - Community Emergency Response Team

  • CERT Neighborhood Sectors & Volunteer List
  • CERT Description
  • CERT Household Preparedness
  • CERT Neighborhood Procedures
  • CERT Questionnaire
  • Search & Rescue Sign

Emergency Preparedness - 'do1thing'

 

Earthquake early-warning notifications


GICCA Facilities & Forms

  • Schedule GICCA Facilities
  • Hall Rental Agreement
  • Hall Amenities
  • Volunteer Waiver (Stage)

Guemes Island Fire Department (GIFD)

Guemes Island Ferry Committee (GIFC)

Guemes Island Library (GIL)

Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC)


What's Up, Guemes? (FB)

Guemes Island General Store (FB)

Guemes Tide and Evening Star Archives


Ferry Notifications (Unplanned outages, etc)

Explore Skagit Valley

On Deck

Click on the blue "Island Happenings" box below or in the banner at the top of this page to view a full month-at-a-glance calendar view.

Weather Map

Mobile? Click 'Rain/Snow' tag for options

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of AmazonSmile purchases to their customers' chosen charitable organization. Guemes Island Community Center Association is registered on AmazonSmile. So, if you’re already shopping anyway, why not let Amazon make a small donation to GICCA - at no additional cost to you or GICCA!

How does it work?

  • Click on the AmazonSmile box (right) which brings you to the AmazonSmile GICCA page
    (you might want to bookmark that page to easily find it again).
  • Sign in to Amazon as usual.
  • Then, just shop as you normally would!

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