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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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, email@example.com.
Subscribe here for the latest Skagit County COVID-19 updates and news.
The Help You Want
The Resources You Need
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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).
GICCA Stage Project Progress
- FULL SLIDESHOW - Stage Progress, "Through the Years"
- Stage timeline – August 2009 to September 2021
- Stage references/history from GICCA minutes November 2011 through September 2021
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 email@example.com if you would like to participate in the planning.
Join Our Mailing List
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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.
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!
- CERT Neighborhood Sectors & Volunteer List
- CERT Description
- CERT Household Preparedness
- CERT Neighborhood Procedures
- CERT Questionnaire
- Search & Rescue Sign
Earthquake early-warning notifications
- Schedule GICCA Facilities
- Hall Rental Agreement
- Hall Amenities
- Volunteer Waiver (Stage)
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!
Click here to see how much you have made GICCA smile. Thank you!