Ben Watanabe

Ben posted 2002 stories to South Whidbey Record.
Page 4 of 41

Queer Pride Parade gives people a chance to celebrate difference, progress

Langley will become awash in chants, cheers and plenty of rainbows Sunday for the second annual Whidbey Queer Pride Parade.

  • Jul 29th, 2015 5:20pm

Langley Passage reemerges after four-year hiatus

A plan for a hotly debated 20-home development in the Edgecliff neighborhood of Langley has resurfaced.

  • Jul 28th, 2015 9:31pm

Langley mayoral candidates look to improve commerce, resident inclusion

Langley is less than two weeks away from its first mayoral primary in years.

  • Jul 27th, 2015 3:15pm

Bayview farm transforms into restaurant, classroom, event center

Tyla and Vincent Nattress found and built the home business of their dreams. Orchard Kitchen, a farmhouse/restaurant/classroom/event center/catering business in Bayview, opened this month after years of planning and nearly a decade of dreaming by the husband and wife business duo.

  • Jul 27th, 2015 3:55pm

Langley bakery scorched by electrical fire Thursday

Sundance Bakery in Langley will be out of business for a while due to damage sustained during a fire Thursday evening.

  • Jul 24th, 2015 11:10pm

Mayor McCarthy proposes Langley food truck rule changes following investigation

Following a bumpy start to food trucks in Langley this past June, Mayor Fred McCarthy is recommending citywide review of mobile food vendor rules, legal review of the ordinance and a revised application.

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 2:55pm

A Rose by any other name: Island Shakespeare Festival founder provides steady hand

Six years into an ever-growing Island Shakespeare Festival, founder Rose Woods still worries that the tent will be empty.

  • Jul 22nd, 2015 3:48pm

Ransom for a king: Season opener finds South Whidbey anglers eager to pay time tribute for a chance to hook the big one

The early bird gets the worm, and only the earliest of anglers can get the king.

  • Jul 19th, 2015 7:31pm

Shakespeare Festival offers tales of power, honor, redemption

Island Shakespeare Festival’s two 2015 productions are two sides to the same coin of humanity. One side has the females of “The Tempest,” which opened this weekend; the other, “The Three Musketeers,” represents the male. They play on the themes of honor and power crafted by artistic director and founder Rose Woods, who is directing “The Tempest.”

  • Jul 21st, 2015 10:08pm

Gill goes it alone at first meet-the-candidate

Other than one Record reporter, a few passing cars and people walking by, Thomas Gill was all alone at his first meet-the-candidate stint Monday night.

  • Jul 16th, 2015 5:27pm

40th Choochokam art, music bonanza draws thousands to Village by the Sea

Judging by the number of parked cars that choked the streets of Langley Saturday, the 40th annual Choochokam Arts Festival was a huge hit.

  • Jul 14th, 2015 8:07pm

Mayoral hopefuls offer visions for Langley

Langley mayoral and Whidbey General Hospital commissioner candidates shared a little more about their backgrounds and vision at the final scheduled public forum on South Whidbey before the primary election.

  • Jul 13th, 2015 3:48pm

New Whidbey Island Fair administrators are a potent tandem

The people in charge of putting on the Whidbey Island Fair are quite the pair. Carol Coble, 59, and Kiley Grant, 29, could be mother and daughter. In some ways, they kind of are. Grant was good friends with Coble’s daughter and they have known each for the past 20-plus years. They can finish each other’s sentences and are frank and honest with each other during their part-time duties as interim co-fair administrators.

  • Jul 12th, 2015 3:53pm

Firehouse to stay in Langley’s hands; city considers lease extension

The old fire station on Second Street will stay in Langley’s hands after all. Council members entertained an offer to buy the building by current tenant Callahan McVay, but decided it was best to keep the building for now, during Monday’s regular city council meeting.

  • Jul 8th, 2015 12:00am

Langley mayoral candidate goes for one-on-ones in first coffee klatch | CORRECTED

Langley mayoral hopeful Sharon Emerson made good on her hope to have small group or one-on-one chats with Langley residents this past weekend. Wearing a bright yellow hat with “SHARON 4 MAYOR” written in blue across the front, and a white T-shirt that displayed her campaign logo and slogan, she met with members of the public at the Commons on Sunday.

  • Jul 8th, 2015 3:06pm

Choochokam Arts Festival turns 40 this weekend

Choochokam Arts Festival, one of Langley’s premier weekend events and biggest crowd pleasers, is turning 40 this weekend.

  • Jul 7th, 2015 10:20pm

Langley city council gives food truck green light, again

Admitting it made an error and wanting to fix it, the Langley City Council approved a handful of changes that will allow the city’s first food truck to keep operating this year.

  • Jul 9th, 2015 7:40pm

Langley council gives food truck two-day reprieve

The Langley City Council unanimously approved on Friday night a two-day stay of an order to desist business issued Thursday to food truck owner Joe Wierzbowski. The city suspended the man's mobile food vendor license for a violation of the ordinance's maximum vehicle length. City code dictates that mobile food vehicles not exceed 20 feet, and Mayor Fred McCarthy said the city measured it at 25 feet, while he also said that the owner said it was 23.5 feet.

  • Jul 4th, 2015 3:50am

It’s open season on the fat of the Whidbey seas: crab

Clinton was buzzing Thursday morning as people lined the Port of South Whidbey pier, lines tied to the railing a few paces apart, hoping to catch a crustacean.

  • Jul 4th, 2015 12:00am

Langley councilwoman lays out resignation criteria if husband elected mayor

Councilwoman Robin Black is willing to give up her seat if a particular mayoral candidate wins. That candidate is Tim Callison, her husband. Black announced her decision to submit a contingent resignation earlier this month after speaking about the issue with Callison. They checked the state’s laws and found no rule prohibiting a husband and wife from holding positions in government together, and Black said she did not believe there was an issue after reviewing the state’s Appearance of Fairness Doctrine.

  • Jul 2nd, 2015 11:37pm

Future Falcons work on form, team chemistry in Legion play

The grass is a little more brown in spots, and with a recent streak of dry, hot days, the winds that once cooled baseball players at South Whidbey High School whipped up dirt and dried grass this past Friday afternoon.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 10:56pm

The must-do activities of Celebrate America in Freeland

In its 21st year, the annual Third of July fireworks festival in Freeland, Celebrate America, is now old enough to order a drink.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 10:54pm

Langley man may lose arm after rear-end motorcycle crash | CORRECTED

A Langley man was taken to Harborview Medical Center on Tuesday night after being rear-ended on his motorcycle in Bothell.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 3:19pm

Langley mayoral candidate kicks off campaign with backyard event

Tim Callison says he’s not a politician. For all of his political denial, he stood before a few dozen people in his neatly manicured backyard during a campaign kickoff event last week and told the crowd how he will behave if elected as the next mayor of Langley. Callison, a public election neophyte, said he wanted to apply the teamwork lessons he learned in a long career as a business executive to fill City Hall with highly-skilled people and continue to work with those already serving the city.

  • Jun 23rd, 2015 10:35pm

Little League Whidbey sluggers swing into postseason

Just under 30 South Whidbey Little League athletes will take part in the summer postseason of All-Star tournaments this year. Olivia Batchelor, first-year president of South Whidbey Little League, said 29 small sluggers — boys and girls — will take the field in the next few weeks. In all, the District 11 All-Star tournament will see at least nine games, potentially 10 depending on the championship.

  • Jun 23rd, 2015 10:31pm

Langley mayoral candidates hit the streets for campaigns

Door-to-door visits, handshakes, public forums and a few signs are the campaign pursuits of the three Langley mayoral candidates: Tim Callison, Sharon Emerson and Thomas Gill. Combined, their campaign budgets likely won’t reach the individual threshold for the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s reporting minimum of $5,000. No need for big money on billboards or skywriting, they said. Instead, they’re relying on face-to-face introductions and word of mouth to let the less than 1,000 registered voters of Langley know who they are as candidates and what they want to accomplish if elected as the city’s top administrator.

  • Jun 22nd, 2015 5:24pm

South Whidbey boys make all-league baseball lists

Strong batting and solid defense landed a trio of South Whidbey baseball players on the all-Cascade Conference first and second teams this season. Voted on by the league’s coaches, senior to-be Ricky Muzzy and just-graduated sluggers Brent Piehler and Mo Hamsa represented the Falcons on the honorary lists. Muzzy was the lone Falcon on the first team, and was one of four players considered for the league’s most valuable player, which went to Cedarcrest’s hurler Adam Davenport.

  • Jun 19th, 2015 11:24pm

Langley officials back off long-term marina access plans to identify community need

Heeding public comments from an April charrette in Langley, city leaders are once again taking a step back on plans to improve access the marina. Specifically, Langley Director of Community Planning Michael Davolio said this week that a need must be identified before the city can decided on a longterm and permanent solution. Davolio presented his report to the council with the understanding that he’s asking the planning advisory board to forward a similar recommendation to the council.

  • Jun 17th, 2015 8:39pm

Fundraiser brings in $45,000 for South Whidbey man in need of kidney transplant

It took members of the Brager family less than a second to start rattling off descriptions of what happened at a fundraiser Saturday for one of their own. Just a few: “Huge,” “Awesome,” “Overwhelming.”

  • Jun 16th, 2015 11:09pm

Plate prowess a common trait for all-league softball South Whdibey pair | FALCON FASTPITCH

Batting averages in the .300-range get you noticed in the Cascade Conference. That’s what led the Falcon fastpitch team’s pitcher and third baseman to be voted to the all-league softball second team. Mackenzee Collins, a freshman, and sophomore Kacie Hanson were among the top 23 players in the eight-team league this season. Voting was conducted by the coaches, with the top vote-getters receiving offensive and defensive player of the year awards. Being consistent in the batter’s box was the key common trait for both Falcon girls, according to their coach.

  • Jun 16th, 2015 10:21pm

South Whidbey Little League claims Andrade Tournament title

Behind efficient pitching, solid defense and mighty batting, South Whidbey Little League’s Dodgers squad claimed the Andrade Tournament championship on Thursday in Oak Harbor. South Whidbey never trailed as the 11- and 12 year-old Dodgers broke free from a tie in the fourth inning and piled on more runs in the fifth and sixth to beat Coupeville 9-2.

  • Jun 12th, 2015 11:22pm

Falcon athletic director leaves SWHS for Vashon job

As South Whidbey High School’s days wind to a close, so do they for athletic director Kelly Kirk. Kirk, who took over the assistant principal and athletic director position in the 2013-14 school year, is leaving for a similar position at Vashon Island High School. The departure was necessitated by family needs, he said.

  • Jun 12th, 2015 11:19pm

Langley considers option for firehouse sale

Langley is trying to find a way to part with its old fire station. The city had put it up as a surplus property through a request for proposals. Only one proposal was submitted, and it came from current tenant Callahan McVay, who runs Callahan’s Firehouse Studio in the Second Street building.

  • Jun 12th, 2015 10:53pm

Conference leading nine SWHS players voted to all-league squads

Take a look at the 2015 all-Cascade Conference boys soccer team, and there are a lot of South Whidbey High School names listed. Bryce Auburn, Jeff Meier, Davin Kesler, Kai da Rosa, Andy Zisette, Charley Stelling, Anders Bergquist, Kameron Donohoe, and Lucas Leiberman: Nine in all, five were voted to the first team, representing the top 14 players as voted by coaches. Eight of them just graduated from South Whidbey on Saturday, and only one is expected to return to the squad next season.

  • Jun 9th, 2015 10:35pm

Francisco, Sarkises move ahead with $950,000 Langley land deal

The Village Pizzeria building is now owned solely by Paul and Micky Sarkis. After 21 years running Langley’s pizza shop on First Street, the white building with a glittering view of Saratoga Passage is theirs. Paul Sarkis said he has no plans to change or alter the building any further and the pies will keep cooking just as they have been for two decades.

  • Jun 11th, 2015 5:07pm

Langley man rolled over by truck airlifted to Seattle hospital

A Langley man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after having a truck roll over his chest Monday morning. Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg said Michael Ferren, 45, was in satisfactory condition upon arrival Monday and remained in satisfactory condition Tuesday morning.

  • Jun 9th, 2015 10:30pm

Shakespeare festival finds new Langley home

Like the theater troupe of yore, Island Shakespeare Festival is packing up and moving on down the road. Its new location is only a two-minute drive down the road. The now-sprawling 31-days across three months, three-play festival is moving less than two miles away from the Langley Middle School field to a larger, less-crowded lawn at South Whidbey Academy on Maxwelton Road.

  • Jun 9th, 2015 10:17pm

SLIDESHOW | Graduates celebrate struggle, triumph at South Whidbey Academy commencement

South Whidbey Academy sent forth its third graduating class since opening in fall of 2012. The 15 grads continued the longstanding tradition of wearing cap and gown - or not - of their own choosing to celebrate their individuality. Take a look at the commencement from June 4.

  • Jun 8th, 2015 5:17pm

South Whidbey Academy says goodbye to the Class of 2015 | CORRECTED

True to the individuality brought and sought by South Whidbey Academy students, the class of 2015 graduates got to do things their way during their commencement ceremony Thursday.

  • Jun 12th, 2015 4:14pm

Meet Meaghan de Wolf, Isla Dübendorf, 2015’s valedictorians

The two valedictorians for South Whidbey High School have stood alone, and together, as the top students in the class of 2015 since their sophomore year.

  • Jun 3rd, 2015 2:00pm

Academy seniors look to post-grad future

They came from different starts and found a similar finish at South Whidbey Academy.

  • Jun 4th, 2015 3:25pm

Despite offense, softball swept at state | FALCON FASTPITCH

With 17 hits across two games, South Whidbey’s offense couldn’t carry it past the first two rounds of the state 1A softball tournament in the Tri-Cities on May 29.

  • Jun 2nd, 2015 9:34pm

South Whidbey finishes second at state tournament | FALCON BASEBALL

South Whidbey lost the state 1A baseball championship game 6-4 to Hoquiam and still made history.

  • Jun 3rd, 2015 4:15pm

CLINTON: AVAILABLE FOR LEASE | ‘Ghost town’ feel a concern for community, business leaders

Drive on Highway 525 into Clinton, and the “for lease” signs dot the roadway left and right. There’s space available, high visibility and frequent traffic. Yet Clinton, the southern gateway to Whidbey Island that sees hundreds of thousands of passersby every year, struggles to fill its ample vacancies.

  • May 30th, 2015 2:00pm

Early scores dump South Whidbey from state | FALCON BOYS SOCCER

A pair of goals around the 20-minute mark put Bellevue Christian ahead in the second round of the state 1A boys soccer tournament against South Whidbey, and the Falcons were unable to tie the game in Covington at Tahoma High School on May 23.

  • May 29th, 2015 10:59pm

Madsen single sends softball to state | FALCON FASTPITCH

Lots of children dream of their shining moment, that chance to be a hero. When the moment came for Anne Madsen, she delivered, and now her South Whidbey softball team is headed to the state tournament for the first time in recent memory. The Falcon fastpitch squad won three of four 1A bi-district games May 21 and 23 to punch its ticket to the state tournament, the first time South Whidbey has qualified in more than a decade. And they did so in dramatic fashion.

  • May 29th, 2015 10:55pm

15-inning state playoff pushes South Whidbey toward title | FALCON BASEBALL

History will be made when South Whidbey baseball plays for the state championship Saturday. The Falcons defeated the Cashmere Bulldogs 3-0 on Friday morning to advance to the state 1A championship game on Saturday, May 30. It is the first time in South Whidbey High School history and in recent memory that the baseball team reached the title match.

  • May 29th, 2015 11:15pm

Quick goal sets tone in win over White Salmon

Based on the first goal Wednesday, South Whidbey boys soccer’s first round of the state 1A tournament was going to be a charmed match. Falcon junior defender Lochlan Roberts had pushed up into the White Salmon goalie box and headed a ball. It was deflected by a White Salmon player into his own net about five minutes in.

  • May 22nd, 2015 11:16pm

Langley’s Moore leads way in tournament title

For the second time in three years, South Whidbey girls golf is headed to the state tournament. In the 1A District 1/2 girls golf tournament at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club, four Falcons finished in the top seven places. The top half of the field of 36 golfers qualified for the state championship in Pasco next week.

  • May 22nd, 2015 11:16pm

Marina access future divides city electoral candidates, Mayor hopefuls not so excited about eminent domain proposal

Potential use of eminent domain as a means of improving marina access is a divisive issue for Langley’s election candidates.

  • May 22nd, 2015 11:03pm