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It’s a rare moment when all three Island County commissioners are silent and enwrapped. Just such a moment was witnessed as Public Works staff unveiled a first glimpse of the county’s long-awaited Geographical Information System (or GIS) at a recent work session.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is inviting the public to its second annual open house this Saturday, June 27.
A holistic practitioner who was arrested by Oak Harbor police in March is suing the state Department of Health for $25 million. C. Hugh Jonson filed the lawsuit in federal court in Seattle last month claiming that he should be able to practice “nedicine” — not to be confused with medicine — under a federal trademark. Jonson and the organization that issued his license are fighting on a national level to retain their right to practice their own brand of natural medicine.
Despite firing off a warning shot in January, the Washington State Auditor’s Office has still not received required financial data from Whidbey General Hospital and other local entities. It is the fourth year in a row that Whidbey General Hospital has failed to file documents on the state auditor’s website as part of an initiative to increase public access to information. Those filing the documents complain that the process is arduous and redundant and, for the moment, noncompliance carries no penalties so it tends to fall low on the priority list.
Pat Rodden didn’t have to fall on his head to decide to take his passion for cycling to the next level. But he did.
BEACH WATCHERS TO STAND ALONE: Group casts off university shackles to become independent organization
The Island County Beach Watchers are breaking free from Washington State University Extension, citing frustration with restrictive policies and conflicts in vision.
The long and drawn-out process of updating the county’s critical areas ordinance continues as the county outlined yet another plan last week. The state’s hearing examiner rejected a quick-fix ordinance protecting wetlands and other critical areas in May, a process that has been ongoing for years.
The paving project from Frostad Road to Sharpes corner began Monday and will include five nights of full closures for Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges in mid-July or August.
Nearly half of Island County’s homeless are working. This fact is one of several revelations discussed in recent weeks with Island County commissioners as the result of the 2015 point-in-time count performed in January.
Sea stars around Whidbey Island are making a slow recovery after the effects of a deadly disease wiped out millions of them over the past year.
A Langley man is facing assault charges for allegedly ramming his car into a neighbor’s vehicle and threatening to kill them. Christian Devon Irmer, who was charged this week in Island County Superior Court, and his neighbors had an ongoing dispute about property lines, according to a police report.
The first two weeks of May is when Whidbey Island sees an increase in the number of adorable and seemingly helpless baby deer. Despite the human urge to gather them up and protect them when they appear abandoned, state and county officials urge people to keep away.
An Island County Superior Court judge has ruled that Island Transit leadership did not fire a former lead mechanic because of his race or age.
A forum on South Whidbey will tackle the complex issues surrounding mental health and its treatment next week.
Around 125 people gathered Tuesday night to celebrate some of Whidbey Island’s most civic-minded citizens as the 2015 Linda Lee Martins Memorial Community Health Heroes.
Whidbey General Hospital’s new CEO Geri Forbes demonstrated a new brand of leadership this past weekend when she attended a community event at Fort Nugent Park.
A complaint filed by the state nurses’ association last month includes a claim that Whidbey General Hospital withheld requested information several times in recent months.
In keeping with their father’s vision, the Waterman sisters have offered $50,000 in matching funds to the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation.
Island County is tackling the complex subject of transitioning a rural commercial district into a city — namely Freeland.
A Whidbey vintner got more than he bargained for when he survived the recent earthquake in Nepal during a Mount Everest ascent.
Island County will be awarded more than a dozen rental vouchers to help homeless veterans find permanent homes.
A state nursing association has filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint against Whidbey General Hospital for disciplining or firing nurses without providing supporting documentation.
Island County leaders are banding together to pressure state leaders for their fair share of marijuana sale tax.
Nearly 200 Whidbey General Hospital staff are reportedly wearing purple wrist bands inscribed with the letters “LG” in support of their chief nursing officer who was found not guilty of assault last week.
Island County leaders are trying to dissuade Skagit County from dumping them from a regional transportation planning board.
A new community group is trying to combat proposed regulations that would allow large events at wineries, functions they say disrupt their quality of life.
Whidbey General Hospital is 45 years old. Staff gathered in front of the entrance March 25 to take a group photo commemorating “45 years of Neighbors Caring for Neighbors.”
The scenic acreage that surrounds Monroe Landing has been a home and refuge to many. Initially one of three Salish villages located on the shores of Penn Cove, the beach made a perfect canoe landing area and temporary encampments cropped up around the cove.
Allowing wineries to become rural event centers has become a heated discussion among commissioners and South Whidbey residents alike. Business owners have said the existing regulations are too restrictive and “problematic” while residents have complained that the events destroy the rural atmosphere of their neighborhoods. The Island County commissioners could not agree last week on how to approach these regulations for wineries and rural event centers, but agreed that the issue needed to be addressed at some point.
Saving old growth trees while still maximizing parking was one of the top concerns about Whidbey General Hospital’s expansion project, revealed for the first time this week.
The Island County commissioners don’t always agree on how to approach the comprehensive plan update due next year, but all believe it needs as much public participation as possible.
Whidbey General Hospital’s new CEO will assume her duties April 20. Geri Forbes, currently an employee of Doctor’s Memorial Hospital in Florida, will replace Tom Tomasino who has served as Whidbey General’s chief for five years.
Early estimates show that the county’s sales tax revenues are down from last year despite more optimistic projections.
Whidbey Environmental Action Network renewed legal action this past Thursday after Island County commissioners passed this week on a settlement.
Getting people to inspect their septic systems has been an ongoing battle for Island County.
Beach access advocates have something to celebrate. Island County has earmarked $175,000 to identify the county’s many beach access points and prioritize them for maintenance and signage. The lack of county-sanctioned beach access, along with clearly marked kayak access points have been an ongoing concern for groups supporting public access to the seashore.
County commissioners are planning to adopt a short-term critical areas ordinance to meet a court-ordered deadline.
The cacophony of honks rising from Dugualla Bay Farm is evidence that more trumpeter swans are wintering this year on Whidbey than ever before.
As the state combines mental health and chemical dependency services, small counties like Island County are doing some creative jockeying to remain at the table.
Island County’s two Republican commissioners want the economic potential of a property to be considered when approving or denying a Conservation Futures application.
Gerral’s Girl finally got an escort through downtown Oak Harbor.
A South Whidbey homeowner is taking the county to task for mischarging him $6,125 in property taxes.
More than 2,000 feet of shoreline, 33 acres of forest and wetlands, and 26 acres of beach and tidelands on South Whidbey will be protected in part due to a $1 million federal grant awarded this month.
Deception Pass Bridge will be closed for five nights this summer for paving and bridge maintenance.
Skagit County leaders are looking at separating or revising the regional transportation agreement with Island County.
Despite the troubles faced by Washington State Ferries in recent years, the agency still manages to be reliable 99.5 percent of the time, according to Washington State Department of Transportation, Ferries Division, Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith.
Former South Whidbey teacher Eric Hood is suing the City of Langley in Island County Superior Court for allegedly violating the Public Records Act.
It took two tasings and several officers to take down a Freeland man who was charged last week with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest. Kyle Landry, 32, who has a history of drug use and domestic violence according to court records, was taken into custody after he allegedly violated an anti-harassment order at a Freeland home Dec. 18.
Petty Officer Michael McCastle completed 13 miles flipping a 250-pound tire in cold and wet weather for his dad Dec. 20.
Jason “Potbelly” Rodger has been rocking out for what seems like forever.