Justin Burnett

Justin posted 734 stories to South Whidbey Record.
Page 6 of 15

Island County prosecutor recuses himself from jail death review

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks announced today that he no longer believes he is the right person to review the April death of Keaton Farris in the Coupeville Jail. In a released statement, Banks said to avoid any perceptions of a conflict of interest that he has requested Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney Dave McEachran perform the review on behalf of his office.

  • Aug 27th, 2015 12:59am

Overnight camping at South Whidbey State Park not just a dream

A public process to help decide future uses at South Whidbey State Park, including overnight camping, will begin next month.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 9:29pm

Pinks or punches? Despite fisticuffs, anglers say fishing still a congenial affair

The humpy salmon season is reaching its peak and every day legions of anglers swarm Whidbey Island beaches for their share of pink gold. And with an estimated 6.8 million spawning through Puget Sound, people are landing fish and good memories both. But is there a darker side to the much anticipated, every-other-year salmon boon?

  • Aug 24th, 2015 3:16pm

Sunny View affordable housing development finalized

It took about seven years, was riddled with hurdles and cost $6.8 million, but it’s finally done. Sunny View Village, a 26-unit affordable or workforce housing project in Freeland, is officially complete. “What a glorious day, seven years in the making,” said Carolyn Zielinski, assistant director of Asset Management for the National Development Council, during a grand opening ceremony this week.

  • Aug 8th, 2015 12:27am

EDITOR’S COLUMN | Real, undiluted power awaits at the fair

The Whidbey Island Fair is this weekend and I admit I’m pretty pumped. Of all the events held on South Whidbey, it’s easily my favorite. Not only is it a chance to eat cotton candy in public and without shame, it’s my one chance a year to wield real power. I’m a high and mighty newspaper editor, you see, so I have for the second year in a row been asked to be a judge at one of the fair’s many awesome contests. That’s right, Judge Justin. You may also address me as Your Honor. Either is acceptable.

  • Aug 5th, 2015 4:06pm

Callison, Emerson ahead in first ballot count for Langley mayor; Born, Gardner lead in hospital race

The first batch of primary election results was tallied Tuesday and showed Tim Callison and Sharon Emerson leading the three-way race for Langley mayor. Callison captured the most votes with 160 — 44.69 percent — while Emerson amassed 134 votes — 37.43 percent — according to online results posted on the Island County Auditor’s Office website.

  • Aug 5th, 2015 4:06am

Holmes Harbor Golf Course back on the market

For the third time in less than five years, the Holmes Harbor Golf Course is for sale. The fairways, the clubhouse, the waterfront property, the dock, all of it is up for grabs for anyone with a spare $2 million. At least that’s the sum of the two property owners independent listings: the Holmes Harbor Sewer District’s rock-bottom price for about 50 acres of fairways is $450,000, and Holmes Harbor, LLC, which owns just about everything else, is asking $1.6 million.

  • Jul 29th, 2015 3:52pm

Freeland ponders future at planning meeting

Developing rules to guide growth in Freeland was the topic of a public meeting Tuesday, and it did just what it was supposed to — draw a healthy cross section of people with varying views and visions.

  • Jul 27th, 2015 4:12pm

EDITOR’S COLUMN | Attention ferry cutters: punishments are ‘fake’

Saturday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the weather warm, so, naturally, my wife and I decided to punish ourselves with one of our seasonal trips to Everett. The drive to the Clinton ferry was pleasant, thanks to the Ragnar Relay. Racers from across the state had flooded Whidbey to finish the two-day race in Langley, and, like usual, teams had all the flair and personality for which they’re known. Less fun was the van of racers who cut in front of us about a half hour into the 90-minute ferry line. The driver, God bless him, took advantage of a no-blocking section of the line just north of town.

  • Jul 22nd, 2015 2:00pm

EDITOR’S COLUMN | Real manhood ended up having to wait

Ahhhhh… manhood! I’ve arrived at last. Admittedly, it was a couple of days later than planned, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Let me just say first that the air is clearer up here with us real men, us crabbers. As the elite we know things that other people don’t, stuff like how it feels to be that guy in the office who gives away free crab because he caught more than he can eat. Well, this week I’m that guy because I caught two.

  • Jul 17th, 2015 9:29pm

EDITOR’S COLUMN | Dungeness crab, real manhood here I come

I’ve done some pretty cool stuff in my life, things many people will probably never do. For example, I know what it feels like to be at sea on a sailboat and look in any direction and not see land. I’ve jumped out of an airplane 169 times and lived the life of a parachute packer. I’ve worked at national parks, been a captain on a shark-tour boat and walked the ancient streets of Istanbul. I even got married and became a father. Despite all of that, it’s only this week that I will truly become a man and pass a Whidbey rite of passage. This week, I drop my first crab pot.

  • Jul 15th, 2015 6:34pm

South Whidbey community volunteer dies in horse accident

Tammy Stillwell died Sunday from injuries she sustained while participating in a Civil War reenactment at Willamette Mission State Park in Oregon. The Langley area resident specialized in emergency management and played leadership roles in major Whidbey crises such as the sinking of the Deep Sea in Penn Cove, was a volunteer at a half a dozen groups and organizations, and was widely recognized for having a kind and giving spirit.

  • Jul 10th, 2015 10:51pm

Hot rods heat up for Cool Bayview Nights

Muscle cars, low riders, trucks, hot rods, foreign beauties and American classics will all be rolling to one spot on South Whidbey this weekend. Arriving by the dozens in tones of Pacific blue, candy apple red, sun fire yellow and just about every other shade of the rainbow, they’ll transform Bayview Corner into a sparkling treasure chest of the most coveted cars in the world for the 10th annual Cool Bayview Nights Car Show. “I think we’ll have 60 to 70 this year,” said Brian Grimm, event chairman and founder. “It’s a tribute to anyone on South Whidbey who has ever loved cars,” he said.

  • Jul 7th, 2015 11:16pm

Today’s brushfires on South Whidbey scorched an estimated 15 acres, officials say

South Whidbey firefighters fought what they called the largest brushfire on the South End since the 1990s today. According to Mike Cotton, deputy chief for South Whidbey Fire/EMS, it scorched about 15 acres of grassland, damaged power lines and power poles, and threatened a number of buildings. Multiple island and state agencies responded to the emergency, it caused heavy traffic delays along Highway 525 and even resulted in some residents leaving their homes as a precautionary measure.

  • Jul 4th, 2015 3:44am

Beaver, wildlife rules appeal holds water with hearings board in Island County

Island County’s 2014 beaver dam rules sprang a significant leak recently when a state regulatory board found they failed to protect critical areas as required by state law and were not based on best available science.

  • Jul 6th, 2015 4:31pm

EDITOR’S COLUMN | Lots of Fourth of July fun to be had on South Whidbey

From where I’m sitting, there’s no better place in the world to celebrate Independence Day than right here on South Whidbey. Truly, between Celebrate America in Freeland and the Maxwelton Independence Day Parade, events that offer everything from great food, awesome music and an outstanding fireworks display to a glimpse of days gone by and good ole fashion fun, who could ask for more?

  • Jun 30th, 2015 10:55pm

Maxwelton Independence Day Parade: A community, family affair for 100 years

It was once a small family affair, a chance for relatives and close friends to come together and celebrate America’s birthday.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 10:55pm

Freeland city study passes first step with reluctant OK

Absolutely not. Well, maybe. OK fine, let’s send it to the Island County commissioners and let them figure it out.

  • Jun 28th, 2015 2:11pm

Food truck debut leaves some in Langley with sour taste

For a parked food truck, The Big Wierzbowski’s first week in Langley has been one bumpy road. The new business, the first in a commercial experiment approved by the city council earlier this year, rolled into town last week on Thursday and it was trouble from the start.

  • Jun 26th, 2015 10:35pm

EDITOR’S COLUMN | One grizzly mistake

As a newspaper editor, I’m infallible when it comes too literary errors. Misspellings, rogue comas, incomplete sentences — these are the headaches of lesser writers, not accomplished wordsmiths like myself. Apparently there are some who are unaware of my perfection, however. This past weekend, several people had the moxie to claim that their are in fact words that sound the same yet have different spellings and meanings. Psh, I have no idea what they we’re referring too, homonyms or homographs or something (I stopped listening), but they went on to say that I had made just such an error, a rather grizzly one in fact.

  • Jun 23rd, 2015 10:37pm

Island, Freeland business leaders seek funding for incorporation study

The old drumbeat of Freeland incorporation will be heard anew this week, this time before the Island County Council of Governments.

  • Jun 24th, 2015 3:17pm

Pitbull in Clinton kills neighbor’s Bichon Frise, leads to community meeting

A Clinton woman is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge following a grisly pit bull attack last weekend that left a neighbor’s dog dead and a community in uproar.

  • Jun 20th, 2015 2:00am

Clinton ferry stop favorite Shirley’s Kitchen claimed by fire

Shirley’s Kitchen, a longtime food stand located next to the Clinton Ferry Terminal, was destroyed by an unexplained fire late Thursday.

  • Jun 20th, 2015 12:15am

Charges pending for fatal South Whidbey Valentine’s Day crash

The South Whidbey woman involved in a fatal two-car collision on South Whidbey in February was drunk, according to documents released by the Washington State Patrol. Blood samples taken from Michelle Nichols, 46, several hours after the crash revealed her blood-alcohol content was .11, which just exceeds the state limit of .08. And while aspects of the investigation are still wrapping up, authorities say there is enough evidence for a vehicular homicide case.

  • Jun 17th, 2015 4:00pm

Clinton woman wins car in Eagles’ charity raffle

Possession Point resident Gay Turner bought a used car this month, for $10. She was the winning recipient of a Whidbey Island Eagles raffle, which raised money for charities across South Whidbey. According to Dave Moulton, a member of the club’s board, Turner was more than a bit excited to learn she was the winner.

  • Jun 14th, 2015 2:00am

Diking District 4 assessment proposal to move forward

A proposed property tax hike for Diking Improvement District 4 appears as if it will move forward with little heartburn from area residents.

  • Jun 12th, 2015 10:53pm

Last-minute response saves Freeland post office from having water shut off

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can stop the mail, but a pesky and persistent water leak came close this week.

  • Jun 16th, 2015 2:09pm

Fire burns down Greenbank barn

Firefighters from South and Central Whidbey battle a barn fire in Greenbank Saturday. The structure was owned by David and Terri Schaal and was a complete loss. A cause was undetermined.

  • Jun 9th, 2015 10:36pm

Fly Falcons, fly: Class of 2015 graduates before massive crowd

The Class of 2015, 116 students in all, graduated Saturday to the sound of thunderous applause from hundreds of proud parents, friends and educators during a ceremony at South Whidbey High School.

  • Jun 10th, 2015 3:36pm

John Brunke appointed to Freeland sewer district

Freeland Water and Sewer District residents have a new commissioner. John Brunke, an engineer and regular attendee of district meetings, was appointed by unanimous decision Monday to replace Marilynn Abrahamson, who resigned suddenly last week. He was appointed by commissioners Eric Hansen and Lou Malzone during the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, June 8.

  • Jun 9th, 2015 10:29pm

Truck accident leaves hundreds without power in Freeland

Hundreds of Freeland residents were without power for nearly 11 hours Sunday after a large truck sheared a telephone pole in two and then burst into flames. The driver of the vehicle, identified by police as Coupeville resident Robert Blouin, was not injured in the accident though first responders marveled that he escaped unharmed. Live wires were draped across his vehicle and the man reportedly scrambled out a window to safety, all without a scratch.

  • Jun 8th, 2015 7:03pm

South Whidbey’s sure shot does it again with European win

Competitive speed-shooting champ Mike Gallion is fast. Blisteringly fast. Five targets, five shots, three seconds or less — that’s his average. Not only is that swift enough to rank him among the world’s quickest senior shooters, but it’s earned the Sunlight Beach-area resident dozens of national and international awards over his 15-year competitive career, so many that he’s lost count. Some hang on his walls, others lay in forgotten dusty stacks on the living room table and some are who knows where.

  • Jun 6th, 2015 12:29am

Old tire complaint rolls over Langley mayor

A kerfuffle over a cache of old tires on Langley city property has Mayor Fred McCarthy scrambling for answers, though it may be more than one year too late.

  • Jun 7th, 2015 3:34pm

Election finance rules catch candidates unaware

A host of electoral candidates seeking office on South Whidbey this year will be getting formal warning letters from the Washington Public Disclosure Commission next week.

  • Jun 7th, 2015 3:34pm

County proposes Diking District 4 tax; public meeting planned for June 10

Deer Lagoon residents who reside within Diking Improvement District 4 may see their property tax bills increase next year.

  • May 29th, 2015 11:14pm

South Whidbey remembers America’s fallen with Memorial Day services

Clinton resident Roy Simmons will never forget 1945. He was 8 years old, and his older brother Stanley was overseas fighting in World War II. Like many young men at the time, Stanley had been eager to serve his country and dropped out of Langley High School to enlist. He said goodbye to his family, and was shipped off to fight in the Pacific Theater.

  • May 27th, 2015 12:21am

Box lunch program earns thousands for student programs

The Readiness to Learn Foundation raised more than $3,700 with its annual Box Lunch program this week.

  • May 22nd, 2015 10:57pm

Book dealer gives Nazi titles to Holocaust museum

John Norby stumbled across several anti-Semitic works at an estate sale, and with the help of friends Kyra Reafs and Kenneth Parker recently donated about 35 of the books to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. A living memorial, the museum works to “inspire citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity,” according to the museum’s website.

  • May 26th, 2015 3:38am

Herd of landscaping goats returns to South End

They’re baaaack. Carol Osterman’s famous herd of landscape clearing goats returned to South Whidbey last week, and as usual they came ready to work… er eat. Arriving at the Inverness Inn Friday in one large trailer, they poured out the back gate with little urging and voracious appetites.

  • May 19th, 2015 9:42pm

Phase 3 yields promise

A piece of property off of Highway 525 is being considered for purchase by the Freeland Water and Sewer District, and the consulting firm was on site Monday and Tuesday conducting the third and final phase of testing — measuring drainage capacity.

  • May 19th, 2015 9:32pm

Officials confirm South Whidbey State Park will transition to day-use only

It appears the campground closure at South Whidbey State Park may be permanent.

  • May 13th, 2015 4:28pm

South Whidbey Record welcomes new marketing consultant

The South Whidbey Record has hired JoAnn Baker as its new marketing consultant.

  • May 8th, 2015 11:28pm

EDITOR’S COLUMN | Waiting for candidates akin to Christmas eve

It’s Friday morning, the sun is shining and next week is filing week. That might not get a lot of motors running, but for political junkies and journalists it might as well be Christmas. And I gotta tell you this guy can’t wait to open his presents. There are a lot of seats up for grabs, which means this is shaping up to be a big election year for Whidbey Island. At the risk of ruining my self-imagined public image of professionalism, I admit next week and the months that follow can’t come soon enough. The people, the debates, the shockers and headlines; no self-respecting newsman — the honest ones anyway — can say they aren’t drooling just a little over the fun ahead. The hardest part is waiting, waiting to find out who is running and who isn’t. Most newspapers can’t, which is why they publish stories ahead of time, spoiling the juicy details before filing week actually begins (see page 1). While most people are upfront about their election plans, there are always a few who keep their intentions secret until the very last minute. Sometimes it’s because they haven’t made up their minds, and in other cases it’s because they want to see who is filing before they make a final, and public, decision. Rubbish. Waiting until the last minute, especially if it’s to better calculate the odds of a successful bid for office, may be clever political maneuvering but it’s cruel to salivating newspaper editors such as myself. If you’re going to run, run and quit teasing dogs with a bone. Someone should lobby the Legislature to create an announcement day, which would officially precede filing week. The results, however, would not be posted as candidates announce, but at the end of the day. That way, crafty political hopefuls couldn’t pick and choose which race to enter based on perceived odds — they’d actually have to be upfront about which position/office they really want — and it would eliminate those who are only running if their friends aren’t. Again, if you want to run, run. And tell everybody about it beforehand. If not a trial run in transparency, it’s at least a mercy to those who can’t wait to find who may or may not be Langley’s next mayor, city council member, school board director, parks commissioner or whatever.

  • May 8th, 2015 11:22pm

Hearts & Hammers: Volunteers fix, repair more than 30 homes on work day

The garden is weeded, the grass cut, the rotten deck boards replaced, the roof is blessedly free of moss and Langley resident Laura Fitzgerald couldn’t be happier.

  • May 5th, 2015 9:42pm

Barber says adieu to Whidbey clients, friends after 30 years

After nearly three decades of cutting hair on South Whidbey, Theresa Johnson set down her shears for good this week.

  • May 4th, 2015 4:25pm

Freeland bald eagle lives to soar again

An injured bald eagle from the Freeland area was released back into the wild Thursday.

  • May 3rd, 2015 1:31pm

South End PR firm owner arrested, charged with child rape

A Langley man who ran a public relations firm on South Whidbey turned himself in Monday after being charged with several sex crimes.

  • Apr 28th, 2015 9:26pm

New Island County fairgrounds manager eager to see growth

Meet Melene Thompson. She’s already well-known to people on South Whidbey, but will likely become even more familiar over the next 12 months.

  • Apr 28th, 2015 9:23pm

Drilling for answers

J. Glenn Mutti-Driscoll, a hydrogeologist with Seattle-based Pacific Groundwater Group, looked at a core sample dug on a 24-acre property in Freeland Monday. The firm was hired by the Freeland Water and Sewer District to examine the property, which is owned by Jerry Stonebridge, to determine if it is suitable as the future location of a sewer treatment plant.

  • Apr 28th, 2015 9:22pm

EDITOR’S COLUMN | A rebirth for Clinton?

I thought with regular exercise one is supposed to lose weight. What a crock. Six pounds. Six. Pounds. That’s what I’ve gained since Mr. Spock and I began our daily after-work wanderings across South Whidbey more than a month ago. And these aren’t five-minute jaunts to the mailbox, mind you, but expedition-length treks through forests and along many miles of shoreline. So you can imagine my outrage after that first trip to the scale.

  • Apr 28th, 2015 9:18pm