Ben Watanabe

Ben posted 2002 stories to South Whidbey Record.
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Parking spaces to be striped behind Langley post office barricade

Facing the reality that the one-time, interim access from Third Street to Second Street through the post office lot is no more, Langley’s mayor is hoping to make lemonade out of lemons, so to speak. Mayor Tim Callison has a plan to stripe a few more parking spaces adjacent to the concrete barriers set near the former Third Street access to the post office parking lot. That area of Third Street already offers public parking and essentially operates as a dead-end lot. A private home blocks Third Street from connecting to Cascade Avenue, just east of the post office. Parking spaces are available on either side of the road, from Anthes Avenue to the dead end. Among persistent criticism that there is not enough parking in the downtown hub, any additional parking is welcome.

  • Mar 29th, 2016 10:49pm

Coles Road stop sign necessary, Langley residents say; city to research issue

Langley, a city without a single signal light, is thinking about putting in a couple more stop signs at one of its gateways.

  • Mar 25th, 2016 2:01pm

Langley City Council nixes proposed business restrictions

The Langley City Council this week rejected a first-draft proposal from city hall to lobby state regulators to place restrictions on the liquor license of Spyhop, the new restaurant and lounge trying to open up in the space formerly occupied by Mo’s Pub & Eatery.

  • Mar 22nd, 2016 10:56pm

Bunny fever grips Langley stores, ready to hop on fame

Bunny fever has gripped Langley’s stores, and now the merchants are coordinating a new event in honor of the little critters bounding around town.

  • Mar 21st, 2016 4:50pm

New famous Clinton cake shop owners promise same quality

JW Desserts, a South Whidbey bakery that achieved national fame, is no more, but in its place is something just as sweet.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 10:50pm

Culinary scholarship struggles to find any takers

Like so many dishes, a Whidbey scholarship board is having a hard time finding the right ingredients to entice would-be chefs to apply for a culinary school award.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 10:46pm

Restoring an epic tradition: Langley woman to help retell 1,500-year-old Celtic story

Telling a nearly 1,500-year-old Celtic story is challenging on its own. Memorizing it is another task entirely, and one Jill Johnson of Langley is taking on with a dozen other storytellers March 19 in Seattle.

  • Mar 12th, 2016 12:22am

Langley roosters rescued

Like a fox in a hen house at night, a South Whidbey woman plucked chickens on the loose in Langley one by one this past week, but a couple of cluckers eluded her.

  • Mar 11th, 2016 11:57pm

Liquor license for lounge at old Mo’s Pub spot gets OK from Langley council

The usually simple approval of a liquor license request turned into a long discussion of past problems being projected onto a new business in Langley.

  • Mar 9th, 2016 2:00am

Langley mayor picks 20-year veteran to head Langley planning dept.

Langley’s new planner is a nearby foreigner with expertise in environmental sustainability and affordable housing.

  • Mar 8th, 2016 10:31pm

Gardeners of South Whidbey continue philanthropy, spreading natural beauty

Winter is no time to rest for the busy bodies of the South Whidbey Garden Club.

  • Mar 8th, 2016 10:20pm

Big dreams brew in a small space: Clinton salon hopes to capitalize on traffic, convenience

Alicia Clancy has a grand vision brewing in Clinton, and it only requires a small footprint.

  • Mar 8th, 2016 10:22pm

Barricade placement a safety matter, Langley Post Office supervisor says

Bright orange barricades that have Langley residents in a huff were placed there for safety reasons, according to a post office official. The federal agency is required to provide a safe working environment for its employees, and the three concrete barriers that showed up this week to block the back entrance on Third Street to the Langley Post Office, much to the chagrin of city residents, were installed for just that purpose.

  • Mar 5th, 2016 12:47am

Events, RV campground, ownership change focus of Island County Fairgrounds plan by South Whidbey port

Improving the Island County Fairgrounds is going to cost millions, and some of it may be in the form of increased taxes.

  • Mar 5th, 2016 12:42am

Bayview ‘Feels the Bern’ at second South End rally for Sanders

Smiles, shouts, waves, honks, and a lot of signs were all part of the two-hour rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday.

  • Mar 3rd, 2016 4:55pm

Hundreds scour Langley for mystery weekend

Another year, another faux murder was solved at the 32nd Langley Mystery Weekend.

  • Mar 1st, 2016 10:32pm

One-lane merger in Mukilteo won’t affect ferries, state transportation officials say

A possible revision to the existing Highway 525 bridge in Mukilteo will not affect offloading ferry traffic, state transportation department officials said Tuesday.

  • Feb 27th, 2016 8:00pm

Overnight parking left out, crowd slams new Mukilteo ferry terminal’s lack of parking, second slip

Ferry users let state officials have an earful about poor parking considerations and a lack of preparations for emergencies Tuesday night.

  • Feb 27th, 2016 12:00am

All signs point to Museo

Need a sign? Look no further than First Street in Langley. Museo will open an exhibit all about signs in the literal sense with an artist reception 5-7 p.m., Saturday, March 5.

  • Feb 27th, 2016 6:50pm

‘Harefic’ murder sets sleuths loose in Langley

Bunnies, hares, rabbits, coneys — leporidae by any other name may be the reason for the murder in this year’s Langley Mystery Weekend.

  • Feb 25th, 2016 12:00am

South Whidbey port leaders to vet traffic concepts for feasibility

Early concepts for rerouting traffic along the highway near the Clinton Ferry Terminal will get a simple look-over by officials from state agencies and Island County at a meeting in late March.

  • Feb 24th, 2016 4:10pm

Trio of businesses seek to jump-start Clinton with rebranding; area christened Port Clinton

With patience and persistence, a few Clinton businesses are hoping to get a head start in making the once seemingly vacant commercial area into a destination town.

  • Feb 25th, 2016 4:22pm

Reverence, in-jokes around every turn in ‘The 39 Steps’

Watchful eyes should pay attention for more than just whodunit in “The 39 Steps” at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.

  • Feb 21st, 2016 12:00am

Mukilteo ferry terminal, highway plans draw ire

An early idea to bolster pedestrian access along Highway 525 near the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal has government leaders, residents and commuters on both sides of the water calling for a halt.

  • Feb 22nd, 2016 5:41pm

Langley fixes Washington State Auditor’s Office finding

A state audit finding for the City of Langley has already been addressed and corrected.

  • Feb 16th, 2016 11:15pm

Langley City Council to reconsider food truck rules

Langley leaders will once again consider adopting rules to allow food trucks to roll into town, hoping this go-around will be less bumpy.

  • Feb 16th, 2016 2:57pm

Back Country Horsemen continue long path of Putney Woods forest stewardship

The trails of Putney Woods in Langley are clearer, sturdier and more traversable these days, thanks to the labor of dozens of Back Country Horsemen volunteers.

  • Feb 18th, 2016 6:24pm

Public sets high standard for Langley’s next planner

Langley’s next planner will need to be a tightrope walker, balancing growth against preservation, emotional intelligence mixed with code acumen and enforcement, organization and communication.

  • Feb 10th, 2016 12:00am

Clinton car comes down: Businessmen remove area ‘landmark’

The once-stuck and seemingly permanent hillside car in Clinton is no more.

  • Feb 6th, 2016 2:00am

Once in a new moon: Special visit from Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery founder marks celebration

The Chinese New Year at the Northwest Language Academy and Cultural Center next week will be rung in by a special guest.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 11:23pm

Langley sewers in dire shape, council considers rate hike

Aging, leaky pipes and facilities have created a foul scenario for Langley’s sewer system, and the fix is going to be a painful process of rate hikes.

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 5:39pm

BrazilFest immerses island students in Latin jazz

South Whidbey High School’s music students are taking a Latin immersion trip without leaving the band room next week.

  • Feb 1st, 2016 4:18pm

Innovation, flexibility key lessons learned in Langley affordable housing project

Langley’s newest permanently affordable housing is set to receive its final plat approval next week.

  • Feb 1st, 2016 4:36pm

You can’t spell emotion without motion: Island Dance’s visual showcase features modern moves, story | CORRECTED

Modern dancing should tell a story, and 17 Island Dance students are ready to spin a tale.

  • Jan 27th, 2016 2:00am

Public comment time shifts under new Langley mayor

Anyone with something to say to Langley city leaders may have to wait a while longer for their turn at the council’s bi-monthly meetings.

  • Jan 26th, 2016 10:51pm

Big plan gets little support from Clinton Community Council

A “dream” proposal to rename the Clinton Ferry Terminal fell flat with the volunteer-led, long-range planning group working to give Clinton a voice and an identity.

  • Jan 28th, 2016 4:13pm

Spirited away: Brackenwood exhibit reflects on booze

There is only a little to see and much to experience in Brackenwood Fine Arts Gallery’s new exhibit, “Spirits,” launching today through February.

  • Jan 23rd, 2016 6:50pm

Langley council picks Emerson to join its ranks

Dominique Emerson became Langley’s newest city councilwoman on Tuesday.

  • Jan 21st, 2016 5:13pm

Troy Chapman leaving Pearl Django after six years

One of the progenitors of Pearl Django will pluck his last string during a farewell concert later this month in the town that has taken on gypsy jazz as its municipal sound.

  • Jan 19th, 2016 11:11pm

Animator explores vast themes in Sundance festival film

Fame, notoriety, and time as themes and ideas drew animator Drew Christie to make a short film about a man who trailblazed film and animation during westward expansion of the United States.

  • Jan 16th, 2016 12:01am

Langley council to choose interim member from familiar faces

A few familiar faces at Langley City Hall are up for consideration as the newest council member.

  • Jan 18th, 2016 4:14pm

Over 500 turn out for Sea Float Scramble in Langley

Months of planning and hours of staging were rewarded with hundreds of people turning out for the fourth annual Sea Float Scramble in Langley on Saturday.

  • Jan 14th, 2016 3:59pm

A tale of choice, consequence showcases young talent

A dark story about the power of choice and its consequences has emerged from a group of young Whidbey filmmakers’ minds and talents.

  • Jan 8th, 2016 11:50pm

Generator may not be feasible, reasonable, Langley leaders say

Questions arose about justifying the cost and true need of installing a large generator in town during the Langley City Council meeting Monday night.

  • Jan 8th, 2016 11:43pm

Study confirms hunch: people leave South Whidbey Island to shop

Focus groups and online surveys confirmed what many on South Whidbey and in Clinton have said for years: people leave the island to shop.

  • Jan 11th, 2016 5:09pm

Cause unknown of man’s car crash into Freeland tree

A man whose identity was not released by emergency responders is in critical condition after crashing his truck into a tree near Freeland Hall on Friday afternoon.

  • Jan 9th, 2016 2:51am

Towering titans: Artists add color, light to Langley sculpture plaza

The men behind the pieces are Dale Reiger of Greenbank and Woody Morris of Clinton. Both are career artists who pursue other creative endeavors — Reiger builds homes and Morris runs a water feature company. They replace Lloyd Whannell’s and Sue Taves’ sculptures, which were first installed in October 2014. All four have space at the Freeland Art Studios.

  • Jan 5th, 2016 10:46pm

Langley rings in fresh year with new mayor, council

Langley is under new management with a new mayor, a new councilwoman and soon enough a new council member.

  • Jan 7th, 2016 5:17pm

Choir forms on South Whidbey to help girls find their voice

A handful of girls are getting a little help finding their voice on South Whidbey.

  • Dec 28th, 2015 6:35pm

McCarthy showered with thanks, gifts in final council meeting

A host of supporters, grateful residents and business owners thanked Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy for his service and leadership during the final city council meeting of the year Monday night.

  • Dec 28th, 2015 6:24pm