Dan Richman

Dan posted 72 stories to South Whidbey Record.
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IBA seeks speedy end to beach wall dispute

Citing newly discovered evidence, one party litigation against a Coupeville couple who are blocking a Greenbank public beach access with a wall told the Skagit County Superior Court May 17 that the case’s “facts are undisputed and the law is clear,” urging the court to decide the matter without a trial.

  • May 24th, 2016 9:40pm

Coupeville man pioneers art of bonsai tree construction

As the finest silk flowers are to real blooms, so John Antonia’s “preserved trees” are to the living, miniature potted trees that comprise the ancient Japanese art of bonsai. More than 20 years ago, the 69-year-old Coupeville man and his brother, Paul, 60, pioneered the practice of attaching preserved evergreen foliage to weathered wood found high on Montana mountainsides, John said during a recent visit.

  • May 20th, 2016 11:17pm

Spate of clearcuts on the horizon: Permits OK’d for 90 acres, pending for another 44

An influx of clearcuts is coming to Whidbey Island, according to recent Department of Natural Resources decisions analyzed by a local environmental-protection group.

  • May 18th, 2016 2:00pm

Island County looks to permanently trim hairy willow herb

It looks so pretty — showy purple-pink flowers, long slender seed pods, soft hairs all over. But it’s the most invasive weed Whidbey Island’s wetlands have ever faced.

  • May 10th, 2016 10:33pm

Island County Lodging Tax committee rules become more transparent

The county's Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, a volunteer group charged with recommending who gets hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in tax dollars, will face new restrictions and procedures in this year’s deliberations. Those seeking the money, including chambers of commerce, foundations and arts organizations, will also be affected by the changes. “The process is going to be more transparent and predictable,” Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said. “There will be a more level playing field for the applicants.”

  • May 6th, 2016 10:27pm

Island County Public Health to release health improvement plan

After months of study, four main areas of concern — access to health care, housing, depression and suicide, and interpersonal abuse — have emerged as the foci for an emerging community health improvement plan, Island County’s public health department told the Council of Governments on Wednesday.

  • May 2nd, 2016 4:50pm

Logging on Whidbey: the clear-cut truth

They’re big, they’re shockingly ugly, and you probably can’t do a thing about them. They’re clear-cuts, the elimination of every tree on a piece of property. Under current state and county law, clear-cuts are often permissible, and they mar the landscape from south to north on Whidbey Island — or exemplify an efficient and ecologically sound timber-harvesting method, depending on your point of view. Both may be true.

  • Apr 12th, 2016 10:17pm

Governor OKs new law, paving way for county group

Gov. Jay Inslee on March 25 signed into law a measure letting Island County form an organization of local governments to plan and fund future transportation projects.

  • Apr 5th, 2016 11:18pm

County, state fireworks proposals fizzle

A proposed law restricting private fireworks use in parts of Island County next year got delayed yesterday at the regular Tuesday meeting of the Board of Island County Commissioners.

  • Apr 8th, 2016 2:08pm

Funding sought for Central Whidbey highway bypass

Island County will pursue roughly $7 million in federal grant money to underwrite construction of the so-called Race Road Bypass, said Connie Bowers, the assistant county engineer, during a recent Board of Island County Commissioners work session. The 1.5-mile road will link Race Road and Houston Road on Central Whidbey, ensuring that north-south traffic can flow even if Highway 525 is blocked.

  • Apr 1st, 2016 11:57pm

Fragile market: Financial return on recyclables at its worst

Like many Whidbey Island residents, you probably support recycling, but have you ever wondered what becomes of, say, that fabulous bottle of wine you enjoyed after it’s dropped into your curbside recycling container?

  • Apr 1st, 2016 11:21pm

Island County unveils new, modern website

Island County this week revamped its website, modernizing its look, feel and capability, said Rick Hannold, chairman of the Island County commissioners.

  • Mar 29th, 2016 10:26pm

Fairgrounds transfer gets unofficial nod from Island County Commissioners

The Board of Island County Commissioners yesterday unofficially approved ending the county’s 54-year ownership of the historic Langley fairgrounds and transferring ownership to the Port of South Whidbey, pending a public vote on the matter.

  • Mar 22nd, 2016 10:49pm

Comprehensive plan will be late, Island County board says

Island County’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan, the object of intense effort for at least three years, will be late, the board of commissioners acknowledged for the first time on Thursday.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 10:53pm

Whidbey Island Fair will go on two more years; property ownership still at issue

The Board of Island County Commissioners agreed informally Tuesday that the Whidbey Island Fair will be held for the next two years, despite the unsettled and contentious issue of who will own and run the fairgrounds.

  • Mar 15th, 2016 2:24pm

Island County joins solo transportation planning group

State, county, municipal and other entities on Wednesday officially formed the Island Transportation Planning Organization, a group intended to ensure that Island County allocates federal transportation funds most effectively county-wide. The group chose Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson as its chair and Langley Mayor Tim Callison as its vice-chair.

  • Mar 5th, 2016 12:46am

South Whidbey port pushes Island County to accept fairgrounds vote | Corrected

The Port of South Whidbey, which since April 1, 2015 has managed the historic Island County Fairgrounds under a one-year, no-cost lease from the county, on Feb. 24 threatened to refuse to sign a new lease on April 1 if the county doesn’t agree to accept the results of a proposed August referendum by the Port.

  • Mar 3rd, 2016 6:21pm

FEMA will reconsider flood map areas of Island County

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, agreed this past week to reconsider its preliminary mapping of some Island County areas as subject to flooding. The concession, made by FEMA Engineer Ted Perkins during a work session with the county commissioners, apparently eliminates the county’s need to undertake expensive studies of every remapped parcel that it disagrees now faces a flood hazard.

  • Feb 23rd, 2016 11:31pm

Joseph Whidbey State park ‘concept’ riles residents

Regular users of Joseph Whidbey State Park are upset that their cherished spot is one of 10 state parks under consideration for private business development.

  • Feb 17th, 2016 2:00pm

State auditor stings Island County Council of Governments

The Washington State Auditor’s Office last week chided the Island County Council of Governments for failures to comply with state law.

  • Feb 16th, 2016 10:28pm

Crunch time: NAS Whidbey grows, Oak Harbor feels housing squeeze

How is Oak Harbor going to keep up with the expected expansion at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island? Schools and housing will be two obvious areas of impact.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 11:16pm

Tattoo artist plans for permanence in Greenbank

That little red building off the highway in Greenbank has a new tenant and, unlike some recent renters who seemed to last there only a matter of days, this one says he’s here to stay.

  • Feb 9th, 2016 11:15pm

Island County judge spruces up courtroom with area, historical art

An appreciation for Whidbey Island’s history — and his own — led Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock to cover the bare walls of his courtroom with a dozen historic black-and-white photos.

  • Feb 9th, 2016 11:08pm

Island County looks for planning help to meet comprenehsive plan deadline

Seeking to strengthen a planning department that has endured much turnover, Island County is seeking a consultant, assistant director of planning and a long-range planner.

  • Feb 9th, 2016 11:03pm

FEMA maps may be wrong, Island County says

Island County has given the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, the first evidence that the agency erred when it revised flood-risk maps this summer, Hiller West, director of current-use planning and community development, told the county commissioners during a work session Wednesday.

  • Feb 8th, 2016 8:36pm

Montgomerys pitch new Wonn Road deal

A part-time Greenbank couple sued by Island County for blocking a Coupeville public beach access has sweetened its settlement offer.

  • Jan 25th, 2016 5:01pm

Wonn Road settlement offer finds commissioner support

Island County’s commissioners are far apart on whether to accept an offer that could end litigation over a stone wall blocking public beach access at the east end of Coupeville’s Wonn Road.

  • Jan 17th, 2016 2:28am

Coupeville Careage facility closed to new patients due to violations

Careage of Whidbey, a skilled-nursing facility in Coupeville, has been closed to new patients since December 17 because it had too many violations of nursing-home regulations, owner Ron Hayes said. It could re-open as early as Feb. 12, when state inspectors are scheduled to re-survey the institution, Hayes said.

  • Jan 15th, 2016 11:45pm

Battle for Wonn Road may end with settlement

An eight-year-old squabble over a wall built to block a popular beach access in Greenbank may come to an end with a settlement. The Island County Commissioners are poised to discuss a controversial settlement offer from the Montgomerys at their regular work session. The meeting begins at 9 a.m., and the settlement will be discussed around 10:45 in the Commissioners Hearing Room in Coupeville.

  • Jan 14th, 2016 7:00pm

Firefighters, nurses ferment good times at Rain Shadow Cellars

Wines that taste the same year after year? That’s not what the foursome who own Rain Shadow Cellars are all about, they said during a recent visit.

  • Dec 30th, 2015 9:16pm

Compliance with Hearings Board order easier on some issues than others

Three of the seven environmental-protection issues in which a quasi-judicial board found Island County lacking can be resolved with minimal effort, while four others require more research, the county’s principal planner said in a memo earlier this month.

  • Dec 28th, 2015 6:09pm

Island County awards tourism money

Coupeville’s chamber of commerce scored the lion’s share of the county’s basic 2 percent hotel-motel tax revenues for 2016, garnering $26,450 for use at its visitor center, according to a document approved Tuesday by the Board of Island County Commissioners.

  • Dec 23rd, 2015 11:23pm

Road destroyed by Ledgewood landslide drops eight feet

A short stretch of Driftwood Way, the same road that was cut in half two years ago by one of the largest landslides in Whidbey’s recorded history, broke apart and slid about eight feet downhill on Monday night, isolating four houses at the northern end of the road.

  • Dec 28th, 2015 6:06pm

Island County commissioners considering challenge of federal flood area findings

The Island County commissioners are considering hiring an Edmonds engineering firm to help stave off new or increased flood-insurance premiums for waterfront landowners.

  • Dec 21st, 2015 7:10pm

State allots more retail pot shops to Island County

Oak Harbor can become home to a second state-licensed marijuana retailer, and the rest of Island County can host an additional two stores, under measures proposed this week by staffers at the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board. The measure, which a spokesperson predicted will be approved Jan. 6 by that agency’s three board members, is meant to ensure medical patients have enough access to products they need.

  • Dec 21st, 2015 5:52pm

Oak Harbor Haggen among stores on auction block

Oak Harbor’s Haggen store is among the 33 “core” locations that the Bellingham-based grocery chain won court approval last week to try selling as part of its bankruptcy. Though the auction could spell the end of Haggen as a grocery company, it does not necessarily dictate the Oak Harbor store’s closure and the possible loss of 85-plus jobs, or even the end of the Haggen name on grocery stores, one expert said.

  • Dec 11th, 2015 11:33pm

Increased Island County budget includes more money for law enforcement

Driven partly by an improved real estate market, Island County’s 2016 preliminary budget will increase by 8 percent in 2016, to $83.2 million, according to figures slated for a public hearing Dec. 7.

  • Dec 4th, 2015 11:22pm

WEED ON WHIDBEY: Part 3-A day at the island’s first pot shop

“Have you tried the Pink Lady Kush concentrate? It’s an 80/20 indica dominant.”

  • Dec 2nd, 2015 2:00pm

WEED ON WHIDBEY: Part 2-Where the green gets grown

Rockie Eggebrecht is a hard-working farmer, but not the kind who wears overalls, labors in the soil and grows broccoli. He wears street clothes, works indoors and plants exclusively in pea gravel.

  • Nov 30th, 2015 4:35pm

Weed on Whidbey: A comprehensive review

Rhetoric about recreational marijuana flew fast and loose on May 5, 2014, a lively day in the basement of 1 NE 6th Street in Coupeville.

  • Nov 27th, 2015 6:26pm

Island County approves $1 million to conserve Fakkema Farm

Much of the Fakkema Farm, 377 acres of forest and high-grade farmland on north Whidbey Island, could be preserved through up to $1 million in Conservation Futures Fund easements under an enthusiastic, unanimous vote Monday by the Board of Island County Commissioners.

  • Nov 17th, 2015 11:04pm

Council of governments looks to state for fireworks ban, transportation aid

Fireworks, regional transportation and vacation rentals led the list of topics addressed Thursday at the Island County Council of Governments’ monthly meeting.

  • Nov 14th, 2015 12:24am

Environmental issues put on hold until new comprehensive plan

Island County wants to address some contentious environmental-protection issues when it releases its new comprehensive plan by June 1, 2016, and not before, according to a Monday filing with the state’s Growth Management Hearings Board.

  • Nov 14th, 2015 12:23am

Beach Watchers set for split from Washington State University

On Jan. 1, the Island County Beach Watchers will part ways with long-time administrator Washington State University and become an independent, non-profit organization with a new name: Sound Water Stewards of Island County.

  • Nov 10th, 2015 10:28pm

Growth Management Hearings Board tells Island County to hurry up, comply

A state judicial body last week gave Island County until Nov. 10 to say how and when it will comply with a decision the body issued this summer. But two Island County Commissioners insisted the county will not be pushed.

  • Nov 9th, 2015 5:24pm

Island County adopts Shoreline Management Act

After five years of work, Island County has a new plan governing development and permitted activities along its 207 linear miles of seashore and lakefront.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 11:32pm

More than $800,000 planned for Island County conservation projects

The public will get a chance next month to weigh in on Island County’s decision whether to spend as much as $818,000 this year conserving land and improving a natural area.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 11:32pm

Rural event noise re-emerges as major issue for Island County

Noisy events held on rural land emerged Wednesday night as a major concern for about 30 residents attending one of three meetings island-wide on how best to use rural land.

  • Oct 23rd, 2015 11:39pm

Decision to force Island County planner out may have run afoul of state sunshine laws

The Board of Island County Commissioners may have violated the state’s Open Public Meetings Act in ousting planning director Dave Wechner and splitting the Planning Department’s leadership, experts said this week.

  • Oct 22nd, 2015 3:37pm

Planning chief resigns under pressure from Island County commissioners

Island County Planning and Community Development will likely be split in two, with a separate leader for each half, following the surprise resignation Monday of department director Dave Wechner.

  • Oct 13th, 2015 9:43pm