Indian Island in the winter


2023 is off and running. High winds and high tides continue to keep us on our toes and our flashlights and candles on hand, just in case. 

OICF continues negotiations in pursuit of the purchase of the Lavender Farm Property. We remain hopeful that we will be successful, realistic that the timeframe to complete our vision is quite wide, and that there are many hurdles ahead of us. We are working closely with the OPAL CLT, OCRC, and the Food Bank on potential buildings and uses, as well as keeping neighbors informed of our efforts. We recognize that the development of this 11 acres will have an impact on many, and we are doing our best to be sensitive. 

Washington State Ferries are hosting two virtual meetings this week. Sign up here. The topics will include a review of the Service Restoration Plan. In my 30 years of relying on ferries to get to and from America, I have never experienced this level of service disruption. It has been an inconvenience for our family, and I am aware, that for many others, it has been downright dangerous, as they have had to cancel critical medical appointments or been left to sleep in vehicles during frigid weather. I appreciate that this crisis has been years in the making. It will take a creative effort to resolve it, as the same old, same old has failed. I hope you can attend and bring some good ideas for a way forward.

The Island Reproductive Health Initiative (IRHI) is a program whose mission is to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STDs in the Orcas community. They help eligible, uninsured, or under-insured patients get access to subsidized reproductive health services and birth control. They are in the process of rebuilding their advisory team and are hosting an informational meeting on Tuesday, January 10 from 5:30 to 6:30pm at the Eastsound Fire Station Meeting Room. This well-funded vital program ensures much needed services are available to all in need. If this is an area of interest for you, I hope you can attend. If that time does not work for you, please email Jannice Rose, and she will be happy to connect with you another time.

Finally, the OICF Office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday next week (1/9-10) as the entire staff (all 3 of us!) are off to a gathering of Washington State Community Foundations where we will learn more about the new features of Community Suite, our content relationship management program (CRM). OICF worked with Chris Sutton, a local computer programer, to create Community Suite 13 years ago. It is now the gold standard for Foundations across the country — a great and lasting contribution to our sector. We may be small, but we are mighty!

Hoping that 2023 has dawned bright for you,