It takes a [Lopez] Village

Over the years, Lopez Island Family Resource Center Executive Director, Celia Marquis, has been asked, “What does the LIFRC do?” A better question to ask might be, “What doesn’t the LIFRC do?” This week I met Celia, Patsy Haber, Susie Teague, Heather Gladstone and Alaya Battalia at the LIFRC in Lopez Village to find out. To put it simply,…

Get them on the road

If it was the beautiful country roads and Tour de Lopez that helped establish Lopez as “the biker’s island,” it will be entrepreneurs like Heidi Hernandez and Michael Cherveny who will help the island keep that reputation. Heidi and Michael opened Village Cycles four years ago and have been steadily putting more Lopezians and island visitors on…

They Bet the Farm on Lopez

It was the spring of 2013. Life was pretty good for the Rovente family. Anthony and Crystal Rovente owned a small farm outside of Binghamton, NY, where they were raising four boys and thirty sheep. They liked their community, and Anthony loved his teaching job at the local school, where he’d been teaching for ten years.…

An Island in Transition

As I’ve biked around Lopez over the past six months, meeting so many people and hearing their stories, the biggest impression left on me is that Lopez is a community in transition. New businesses are popping up, established businesses are expanding, farms are growing, and new families are settling. It seems Lopez has a renewed purpose. That impression…

Helen’s Farm

A predominant theme across all of the subjects of the Project 468 blog is overcoming major challenges. The farmers on Lopez Island are particularly skilled at improvising to beat the odds. Two people in particular have overcome probably the most difficult challenge facing aspiring Lopez farmers: no land. Blake and Julie Johnston moved to Lopez…

Get ’em wet

When I was growing up in Spokane Valley in the 70s and 80s, one of the permanent fixtures of the landscape was a run-down billboard along Interstate 90 that said: “Future Site of the Spokane Valley Mall.” For 20 years, I’d see that sign almost daily. After a while, it faded into the background. For…