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Guemes Island Community Center Association

Enriching and Connecting Our Island Community

 

 Island Happenings

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Guemes Island, Skagit County, WA, USA

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Community Messages


Burn Ban in Effect Beginning, July 16

Due to forecasted weather conditions, a modified burn ban for all residential and land-clearing fires in unincorporated Skagit County will go into effect this Saturday at 8 AM, July 16, 2022, and continue until further notice.

 

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New Playground Coming in August

Following input from the Guemes community, the Skagit County Parks Department has ordered new playground elements for the Schoolhouse Park Playground. Installation is scheduled to begin on August 15 and be completed by August 22. Long-range planning will add additional equipment in subsequent years.

Why? Where? What?

 

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Thank you to Skagit County Parks for supporting recreation on Guemes Island!

Film Showing & Fundraiser, Sept 3

GICCA is proud to host a showing of the award-winning documentary First Time Home at the Community Center Hall on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 4:00 PM.

 

The documentary was filmed and directed by four indigenous Trigui 2nd generation immigrants who are first-generation college students. They traveled for the first time to their family's ancestral village in Oaxaca, Mexico to see their grandfather who was gravely ill. The film has been shown at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon and in Bellingham as well as at several film festivals where it received awards. Donations will go to the four students to help fund their college expenses.

 

Click HERE for more details about the film and how you can donate.

 

A special thank you to the Historic Lincoln Theatre and the Guemes Church for their support.

Island Pie Sale Returns, Sept 4

This favorite island event is returning to the Community Center Hall on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 11:00 AM. If you like to bake and/or eat pie, don't miss this event.

 

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Guemes Island Water Well Study Needs Your Help

 

U.S. Geological Survey Data Collection Begins September 2022

 

In order to better understand the complex hydrogeologic system and the continued growth and development of the island and the new demands for groundwater on Guemes Island, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is revisiting a network of 83 wells that had been visited in the 1990s. Additionally, we are expanding the study to include more wells on the island. Our work will involve locating existing water wells and measuring the depth to the water in the wells.

 

We would greatly appreciate your cooperation in the study by granting us access to your property and well in order to measure depth to the water in the well. The more wells that information can be gathered from, the better the overall assessment will be.

 

This work will begin September 12 and last for approximately two weeks. For more information on the data collection efforts or to give permission for an inventory of your well, please contact Elisabeth Fasser by email at efasser@usgs.gov or call (970) 531-2653 of the USGS Washington Water Science Center.

A Reminder About Stage & Park Use

As a requirement of our Special Use Permit, GICCA's property at Schoolhouse Park is now designated as a Community Park. The rules that govern the Skagit County Schoolhouse Park also apply to the Stage and Pavilion picnic structure.

 

The Park, Community Stage, and Pavilion are open for public use from dawn to dusk. In other words, day use only.

 

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Featured Artist: Mary Lascelles

This month's Artist of the Month is offering free portraits for island residents!

 

Photographer Mary Lascelles is offering free individual portraits to island residents during the month of August.
 

Mary brings her skilled eye for details with shadows and light to capture images. You can schedule a time to meet, and she brings her camera to you. She often uses a location that offers a personal connection or a bit of humor. At the end you have a beautiful digital photo! Free is a very good price. Contact Mary at mmlascelles@gmail.com or (530)515-6299.  This offer is only in August so make an appointment today.

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Meet Your Neighbor

Don Bird – Music, Broadcast, Film, and More -















Photos and narrative provided by Don Bird


Born and raised in Seattle, Don Bird started learning to read and write music before he learned English. Those lines, dots, and squiggles and the sounds they produced fascinated him. With a mother classically trained on piano and pipe organ, and an uncle who was a semi-professional trumpet player, Don grew up surrounded by a wide range of music and styles and learned to play numerous instruments including trumpet, fluegelhorn, guitar, bass, piano, and organ. He turned professional upon graduating high school and enrolled in UW School of Communications (Radio/TV). Working his way through college, he played for the Bellevue Symphony, various Seattle shows/musicals, and local acts like the New Deal Rhythm Band, Shots, Gabriel, and his own progressive rock band, Ears, voted Seattle’s best band in KZOK’s 1977 contest.

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GICCA Welcomes Two New Board Members - The Guemes community turned out during the month of November to vote in members for the 2022 GICCA Board of Directors. Two new members, Nancy Fisher-Allison (left) and Darlene Klister (right) were elected to the seven-member Board.

Nancy Fisher-Allison was raised to lead a life of service. Throughout both her private and professional lives, she has found ways to give back to the communities where she has lived. Nancy is a former public-school librarian with interests that include history, the arts, and the natural world. Using her experience as an educator, Nancy hopes to establish an adult education series aligned with the wide-ranging interests of Guemes islanders.

Darlene Klister is known to many for her unique jewelry creations and the art classes that she teaches from her island studio, Firelight Designs. Her creative path has led her from painting in different mediums to silver and coppersmithing. Darlene's professional career included over 30 years as a paralegal. Her intention is to bring a balanced business and creative perspective to her work with the GICCA Board.

The three incumbents, Libby Boucher, Tom Sternberg, and Barb Ohms were reelected. Two returning Board members, Kathy Whitman and Mary Hale each have one year remaining on their terms.

Your 2022 Community Center Board looks forward to a productive and creative year ahead.
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.

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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.
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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.
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Volunteers Install New Floor at the Community Hall

 

The Community Center Hall, built in 1914, now has a new floor! A peak group of twelve volunteers (and two dogs) sanded, prepped, and installed the new floating floor in record time. Community donations funded the project. Overall, twenty-two islanders contributed time and expertise to the project.

 

Thank you to:
Karen Anderson, Scott Anderson, Randy Cotton, Patrick Dougherty, Klaudia Englund, Nancy Fisher- Allison, Tom Hancock, Bill Heft, Mary Holmes, Mary Joyce, Norlin Joyce, Mary Lascelles, Kelly McAllister, Barbara Ohms, Mark Ohms, Dave Shill, Karen Shill, Jeff Spada, Lorrie Steele, Diana Tsang, Larry
Verbano, and Kathy Whitman.

 

Get Involved in Your Community

So, you've brought skills and talents to your new home on Guemes and you want to get to know people. Consider joining the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) Board or just volunteer for a project or a cooking team.

 

* Join the GICCA Board

The GICCA Board is looking for enthusiastic people to help continue the good work of the association.

 

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* Volunteer Opportunities in August

August offers more volunteer work opportunities. Please let us know if you have some time to help with any of these upcoming projects:

 

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* Join the Gathering Lunch/Soup-to-Go Team

During the Fall, Winter, and Spring, Guemes Islanders flock to the Church every Thursday for a "home-cooked" lunch prepared by a team of volunteers.

 

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* CERT Seeking HAM Radio Operators

The Guemes Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is in need of more HAM radio operators to join the CERT Radio Team.

 

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Beware of Text & Email Scams

Some islanders have recently received messages claiming to be from Barb Ohms, GICCA President and representing the Guemes Island Community Center Association. These are scams. GICCA does not solicit money in this manner or request your "discrete reply by text only" nor do any of the GICCA officers. If something sounds suspicious DO NOT respond to it. If the message is from an unknown email address or contains an unknown phone number, it is likely a scam. Contact GICCA directly at 4gicca@gmail.com and report the scam.

Latest COVID News & Updated Hall Use Policy

The health of the Guemes Island community continues to be a top priority for GICCA as we offer venues for public gatherings. We appreciate that there are varied views on this important topic, and we remain attentive to changes from Skagit County, the State, and the CDC.

 

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Click here to read the updated Hall use policy, effective March 12, 2022

Discover the World of Virtual Learning

GICCA's Social Connections page has a number of interesting virtual learning links to podcasts and videos covering a variety of topics from travel destinations to humor, music, nature, and more.

 

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Pickleball on Guemes

Regular pickleball practice with two nets and courts (with some instruction)  is on Thursdays at 1:00 PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 AM, weather permitting. Pickleball organizers can be reached through Guemes Island Pickleball Players Facebook page.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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.

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!


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.

Helpful Links

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

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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!

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