Ben Watanabe

Ben posted 2002 stories to South Whidbey Record.
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Who will be Langley’s next mayor?

Langley’s next four years will be guided by either a retired corporate executive or a nurse-turned home care business owner. Sharon Emerson and Tim Callison want Langley’s votes, and have made themselves known over the past year. Whoever is voted in next month will face a string of challenges. Aging infrastructure and roads, a desire to see ever more tourism and commerce, residents’ worries over cost of living and utilities bills, and economic development are ahead of the new mayor, a four-year position that pays $55,000 a year plus benefits.

  • Oct 17th, 2015 2:00pm

Langley mayoral candidate quick takes

A quick look at the Langley mayoral candidates’ positions on some pressing issues in the city

  • Oct 18th, 2015 3:11pm

One-night art show, ‘Underneath the Doghouse,’ a mirror of Whidbey memories

Fear is present in at least some small way in all of Allegra Rose Brown’s works of art. In her upcoming Friday, Oct. 23 installment and one-night show, “Underneath the Doghouse,” Rose Brown’s paintings, sketches and kinetic sculptures depict the 38-year-old woman’s recollections of life on Whidbey Island. There are scenes of the Island County Fair rides like the Scrambler, the discontinued barnyard scramble — derided as the source of Langley’s rabbit population problem.

  • Oct 16th, 2015 10:21pm

Councilwoman Rene Neff chooses life

Rene Neff considers herself fortunate. She’s a retired teacher, a Langley city councilwoman, former art gallery owner, wife, mother and a soon-to-be three-time grandmother. And she survived a horrific diagnosis of cancer in both of her breasts back in 1988 as a 38-year-old mother of a fifth-grade son and twin second-grade girls.

  • Oct 15th, 2015 3:12pm

Clinton author with MS finds her voice after losing her speech

Deborah Livesey found her voice even as she lost the ability to speak. The 63-year-old Clinton woman wrote a book about family and the secrets kept from and between siblings and parents. But Livesey could not just sit down and type up a chapter, a word, or even a letter. Livesey has multiple sclerosis, a degeneration of the nervous system. Essentially, Livesey’s beautiful mind — one that creates stories about a daughter dealing with the pains of her past and the repercussions in the present — is trapped in a frail and increasingly uncooperative body.

  • Oct 13th, 2015 9:25pm

Planners expect little to no growth in Clinton by 2017

Clinton is likely to stay much as it is today for at least the next two years.

  • Oct 13th, 2015 9:24pm

LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT: Biermeister has Village by the Sea hopping

Something’s been brewing in Langley, and it has nothing to do with a funicular, rabbits or mayoral races.

  • Oct 12th, 2015 3:42pm

Bunny problem not city’s fault, Langley councilman says

Bunnies, bunnies, bunnies. It’s about all some people talk about in Langley these days, even in the hallowed halls of City Hall during Monday’s city council meeting.

  • Oct 7th, 2015 2:00pm

Hark back to a time of classics with Island Consort

A chorus of strings, woodwinds, voices and a harpsichord will resound through the sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation this Saturday during the season opener for Island Consort.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 9:26pm

Whidbey General Hospital hopefuls make affiliation plans clear, Langley mayoral candidates say ‘no’ to funicular, ‘yes’ to diversifying economy

Six people hoping to fill three positions in the general election this November answered a string of questions during a forum hosted by The Record on Wednesday night in Langley. Before a crowd of about 70 people at Langley United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall, four candidates for two spots on the Whidbey General Hospital board of commissioners and the two Langley mayoral candidates responded to inquiries about their leadership style, what they want to improve and change, and where they want to take their respective agencies in the coming years.

  • Oct 3rd, 2015 12:00am

Clinton pushes for Ferry Dock Road changes, awaiting port study

Despite a handful of “for lease” signs that dot Highway 525, a group of a dozen people is vigorously working to spark growth in Clinton.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 10:57pm

Fungi fever grips South Whidbey activities

Only a few steps into the Wilbert Trail at South Whidbey State Park, Ida Gianopulos is already rooting through the decaying matter of a fallen tree trying to find any sign of fungi.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 11:17pm

The Record to hold election forum tonight

Election season is ramping up with the first of three October forums taking place on the South End on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Hosted by The Record, candidates in three contested positions will answer questions from Record editor Justin Burnett and from the audience.

  • Sep 30th, 2015 5:14pm

Langley UGA change dispute settled with county’s help

Amid discord and disagreement between Langley City Hall and the planning advisory board over how much land was needed for growth, the city council agreed Monday to wait for clarification on several points from county experts before making a decision.

  • Sep 26th, 2015 2:00am

Bunny battle divides Village by the Sea

With the city, port and school district waiting to declare a course of action on what some fear is a runaway rabbit population, it appears regular citizens are willing and ready to become Velveteen vigilantes.

  • Sep 25th, 2015 10:49pm

Trek for the troops – Retired Army man gears up for cross-country walk

Retired Army man gears up for cross-country walk to draw attention to veterans’ struggles

  • Sep 28th, 2015 5:19pm

Hot jazz goes on at DjangoFest Northwest

DjangoFest Northwest, one of the premier gypsy jazz festivals in the country, is still going on with evening performances tonight, Saturday and Sunday, in addition to daily workshops and impromptu "djams" around Langley.

  • Sep 25th, 2015 10:41pm

Council prioritizes seniors, economy in 2016

The Langley City Council’s priorities for the 2016 budget shared a handful of small tasks and noticeably omitted some of the major lingering issues.

  • Sep 18th, 2015 10:40pm

DjangoFest Northwest: Immersing Langley in gypsy jazz

The sounds of plucked guitars, thrumming bass and tinny snare drums, plus accordions, piano and plenty of horns will wash over Langley as DjangoFest Northwest returns for its 15th year.

  • Sep 21st, 2015 4:18pm

Agriculture, fireworks among top worries during commissioner visit

Getting fireworks restricted was a uniformly endorsed topic during Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson’s informal chat with constituents in Clinton on Thursday.

  • Sep 18th, 2015 10:28pm

‘Looped’ — reciting the same line while finding your voice

The lives and times of stars and celebrities are commonplace today.

  • Sep 16th, 2015 2:00am

Mule and Horse Clinic sure to be a kick

Rose Shoemaker knows she gets plenty of long glances and odd looks when she rides atop her 13-year-old steed Evelyn.

  • Sep 16th, 2015 4:22pm

City storm water pond pumped, no outfall pipe found in Langley

A storm water retention pond in Langley found to have petroleum and barium contaminants in the sediment was recently pumped of its water.

  • Sep 15th, 2015 9:19pm

Dog House Tavern deal back on track after hearing

A missed step was made up in the land swap transaction between Langley and owners of the Dog House Tavern with a public hearing Monday night.

  • Sep 11th, 2015 10:12pm

Langley Design Review Board seeks greater role, oversight

Crafting and curating the look and feel of Langley may become the purview of the city’s Design Review Board sooner rather than later.

  • Sep 15th, 2015 1:52pm

A Scotchman’s dream: Clinton man brings booze business to limelight

Colin Campbell knows how to make a splashy entrance.

  • Sep 9th, 2015 2:00pm

Woodworkers showcase form, function at Woodpalooza

Everyone has heard the complaint that nothing is made in America any more.

  • Aug 28th, 2015 10:57pm

Good tunes, ‘fish dance,’ having fun help land prize pink at derby

Sarah Holm beamed a bright smile while holding up her mighty, first-place winning fish at the Freeland Ace/Fishin’ Club Pink Salmon Derby on Saturday.

  • Aug 26th, 2015 4:00pm

Sick trees, tall grass become eyesore for Langley’s Second Street

One of the gleaming jewels of Langley’s redesigned Second Street has a blemish, according to City Hall.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 9:30pm

Langley chocolate shop owner shares 10-year recipe of success

The smell is intoxicating in Sweet Mona’s, and wherever owner Mona Newbauer visits after work in her Langley chocolate shop.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 9:41pm

Soup Box Derby becomes race for remembering

Another name in memoriam will be included in the upcoming Langley Soup Box Derby.

  • Aug 21st, 2015 10:30pm

Langley considering uploading council meeting audio online

Putting audio recordings of city council meetings online is on Langley’s list of things to do.

  • Aug 21st, 2015 10:28pm

Langley cops serve popular pub first noise fine

Langley city leaders were wondering this week how to permanently resolve long-standing conflicts between residents and a neighboring tavern.

  • Aug 21st, 2015 10:27pm

LAKE, 10 years later: Olympia indie band with South Whidbey roots to perform 100+ songs during 12-hour set

Ten years later, LAKE has plenty to sing about. The indie pop band that sprung from Olympia’s music scene a decade ago is returning to frontman Eli Moore’s hometown for a free 10-year anniversary performance Aug. 22. LAKE will play every song from its 10 albums (seven published, three unreleased), an estimated 120 pieces, during a 12-hour marathon at Bayview Hall this Saturday.

  • Aug 18th, 2015 11:01pm

Dog House howls quieted with City Hall assurances

The Dog House Tavern land swap deal is still on the table and is actively being pursued, Langley city leaders affirmed this week.

  • Aug 18th, 2015 10:16pm

Port of South Whidbey to back parking study in Mukilteo

Overnight parking in Mukilteo recently took another step toward becoming reality — some day.

  • Aug 19th, 2015 8:15pm

Freeland Ace/Fishin’ Club Pink Salmon Derby celebrates community, fishing

Bonnie Nichols likes her chances to claim a prize at the upcoming Freeland Ace Hardware/Fishin’ Club Pink Salmon Derby next Saturday.

  • Aug 14th, 2015 10:41pm

Freelanders tell county they want smallest urban growth area option

A small and vocal crowd of Freeland residents let Island County planners know Thursday they wanted the smallest possible urban growth area boundary.

  • Aug 18th, 2015 2:52pm

Confederate flags flown in Whidbey Island Fair parade draw ire

A different set of stars and bars drew the ire and attention of plenty of people at the Whidbey Island Fair parade Saturday.

  • Aug 12th, 2015 8:28pm

Luise’s legacy: German composer’s descendant brings music to Whidbey Island

A German woman’s compositions will be played in full on Whidbey Island with the first Luise Greger International Music Festival this month. Luise Greger, a German composer whose works from the early 1900s were discovered only recently in the past two decades, will receive a new life. She is featured in Brigham Young University’s list, The Sophie Project, of German-speaking women’s works. Deer Lagoon-area resident Elizabeth Derrig, Greger’s great-great granddaughter, organized the Aug. 14-15 festival in honor of her ancestor.

  • Aug 8th, 2015 2:00pm

New Langley shop with fair trade mindset opens

Lilly and Barry van Gerbig are taking a stand and an admittedly exciting and nerve-wracking risk by opening their store, Fair Trade Outfitters.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 11:48pm

Whidbey Island Fair slides to start with plenty of fun, sun on opening day

The signs that the 91st Whidbey Island Fair has begun are noticeable well before any waft of fried food, blaring tunes of stage music or shrieks of ecstasy from rides. Cars lined Camano Avenue/Langley Road, and the few paid parking lots were already smattered with cars before noon on the fair’s opening day on Thursday.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 11:43pm

SLIDESHOW | Fun aplenty at first day of Whidbey Island Fair 2015

Hundreds of people flocked to the Island County Fairgrounds in Langley for the opening day of the Whidbey Island Fair on Aug. 6.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 11:30pm

Polluted retention pond mires Langley’s dredging plans

The discovery of pollutants in a Langley retention pond have put dredging plans in limbo and left city leaders with more questions than answers over their next step.

  • Aug 5th, 2015 12:00am

Seabird sighting in Langley has birders frenzied

First, there were the whales, then the deer, then the rabbits. Now, Langley may have pigeon guillemots as one of its resident species to adore.

  • Aug 4th, 2015 9:41pm

Dog House plans hit another snag

An unexpected hiccup in the Dog House renovation has the building owners calling foul, a city councilman apologizing for an overly difficult approval process and the mayor personally offended.

  • Aug 6th, 2015 4:17pm

103rd annual Whidbey Island Fair set to launch

For its 103rd birthday, the Whidbey Island Fair is sticking with what works: food, farming, games, rides, music and a parade.

  • Aug 4th, 2015 9:39pm

Students take reins of making a short film at Whidbey Children’s Theater Film Camp

A couple dozen students got an in-depth, two-week lesson with Whidbey Children’s Theater Film Camp that started July 27 and wraps Aug. 7.

  • Aug 5th, 2015 5:19pm

Anglers ready for salmon season’s full swim

After the pink salmon season got off to a surprisingly early start, it has since come to a seemingly sharp halt around South Whidbey.

  • Aug 1st, 2015 4:00pm

Clinton council prepares for comp plan update

A county planner met with members of the Clinton Community Council this week to discuss two upcoming public meetings about the Island County Comprehensive Plan update.

  • Jul 31st, 2015 10:51pm