Dan Richman

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.

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.

Island County commissioners appeal WEAN victory

Island County’s obligation to protect some ecologically sensitive areas under the state’s Growth Management Act remains unclear after the county appealed last month a recent and adverse decision by the Growth Management Hearings Board.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Island County Planning Commission sets dates for two meetings

The Island County Planning Commission is planning two public meetings to address topics of general interest.

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.

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.

Whidbey Environmental Action Network wins again in wildlife rules challenge against Island County

Island County must protect some ecologically sensitive areas and animals under the state’s Growth Management Act following a decision by the county’s Superior Court on Wednesday. Judge Alan Hancock ruled that the county failed to appeal in a proper and timely manner a June 24 decision by the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB). Therefore that board decision remains in force.

Skagit/Island Counties home tour set to begin Friday

Media rooms are so 2014. The newest things in home design are outdoor kitchens and “Costco rooms,” a fact that those participating in the upcoming Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association home tour will be able to see for themselves, said the event’s coordinator, Brenda Harter.

County to talk speed limit changes at public meeting

Speed limits on 10 Whidbey and Camano roads may change after public meetings scheduled for Aug. 17 and 18.

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.

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.

Island County settles records request failure for $15,000 | CORRECTED

Island County has agreed to pay $15,000 to The Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based advocacy group, after failing to act on a public-records request. County commissioner Rick Hannold on Monday said he is disappointed the county agreed to the settlement, while a Foundation attorney characterized it as a victory for citizens' rights.

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.

New flood maps expensive for some, wash for others

Some Whidbey residents will see their flood insurance premiums rise by up to 400 percent under new flood insurance rate maps released by the federal government, while others’ rates will remain flat.

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.