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Thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes were stolen from a Freeland gas station in an early morning burglary last month and the thief remains at large.
The crew at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders are tough, grizzled, even burly. They’re the quintessential shipyard workers, which makes picturing their 10-minute morning exercise routine a bit hard to image. In dirty overalls and leather welding jackets, these rough-and-tumble men and women will be found with hands on their hips and dipping one knee, and then the other; throwing their hands above their heads and then swinging them back down behind them; reaching forward with one arm while stretching the opposite leg back.
South Whidbey School Board meetings are now being recorded, and the audio posted online. Directors approved the change during a Wednesday workshop at the request of Superintendent Jo Moccia. It's one of several changes the district is making to improve communication and responsiveness to the public.
People who ask the South Whidbey School District for public records will no longer be identified online, the school board decided this week. At a workshop Wednesday evening, directors informally agreed with Superintendent Jo Moccia’s recommendation to drop the practice in the wake of public criticism, extensive news coverage and because naming requesters doesn’t help the board understand the financial impacts of complying with the state’s Open Public Records Act — the board’s stated goal of the policy.
I got a new puppy on Friday, an Australian Cattle Dog. It’s a breed renowned for its energy, dedication, loyalty and intelligence. He has a blue coat, brown feet, a black patch over one eye and will soon have pricked ears. In recognition of those qualities, and in tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, we named him Mr. Spock.
Washington’s top elected official was on South Whidbey yesterday visiting Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and getting his first peek of the Chimacum, the state’s newest 144-car ferry.
The days of a controversial South Whidbey School District policy to identify public records requesters online may be numbered.
A $66,000 feasibility study approved this week may determine the future location of a proposed sewer treatment plant in Freeland.
An ongoing landslide in Old Clinton has claimed its fifth beach cabin.
An ongoing landslide at Brighton Beach in Clinton destroyed another shoreline cabin late Friday. The event took place at about 10 p.m., according to South Whidbey Fire/EMS authorities. The building was not occupied and no one was hurt.
A South Whidbey School District policy to name online the requestors of public records may be a violation of federal student privacy laws.
After years of complaints, tech giant Apple Inc. acknowledged two major Whidbey Island errors on its mobile map program this week and promised to have at least one of the problems fixed within two months. Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson broke the good news late Thursday afternoon with a call to The Record, saying she'd been contacted by a company representative and assured the Langley issue was being addressed.
Hat Island is getting more crowded by the second, according to Apple Inc.
Based on directions from the Apple Inc.'s built-in map and navigation programs on mobile devices, such as smartphones and laptops, a drive to Langley from anywhere on the South End now entails taking the Clinton ferry to Everett, driving to the local marina and then booking passage on the passenger-only ferry to Hat, also known as Gedney Island.
Traffic backups at a busy intersection in Freeland may soon be a thing of the past.
Underwater lines that anchor the new South Whidbey Harbor marina floats in place are rubbing and beginning to show signs of chafing.
The Washington State Patrol has identified the victim of a fatal two-car crash on South Whidbey Saturday night as Timothy Keil of Freeland. Alcohol a suspected factor, state police investigate survivor for vehicular homicide investigation.
One person is dead and another was seriously injured in a two-car crash on South Whidbey tonight, state police have confirmed. Details of the accident are not yet clear, but the collision happened around 8:30 p.m. on Highway 525 just east of Coles Road. One vehicle is believed to have crossed the centerline and struck another head on.
In trying to swear its commitment to transparency with a recent letter to the editor, the South Whidbey school board may have inadvertently broken state sunshine laws.
Jack Ng was appointed commissioner for the Port of South Whidbey’s district 1 seat Wednesday.
Holmes Harbor is sheltering a couple of unusual visitors today, two massive container ships. The 944-foot Hanjin Yantian and the 869-foot Conti Basel arrived in the area late Sunday, and are presently swinging on their anchors. Like many other container ships in Puget Sound, they are in a holding pattern as they wait to unload their cargo in Seattle and Tacoma, two of nearly 30 ports on the West Coast that were closed this past weekend due to stalled contract negotiations between shippers and a longshoremen's union.
Until a drainage problem is resolved, Sunny View Village in Freeland won’t be issued an occupancy permit.
A morning fire destroyed a Freeland home today. The blaze was reported just after 9 a.m. on Goss Lake Road. The single story structure was largely intact, but damages inside and to the roof were so severe the home is uninhabitable.
The South Whidbey School District’s new policy of proactively identifying online people who request public records is raising red flags among some open government champions.
It appears the Port of South Whidbey will get its fair money after all.
The deal is done. Linds Pharmacy in Freeland is now officially a Rite Aid. The national drug store chain has been in the process of purchasing the longtime and locally owned South Whidbey pharmacy for months, and the acquisition wrapped up late last week when operations formally changed hands. Wasting no time, the old Linds sign came down that very afternoon and a new Rite Aid sign went up.
Like it has done nearly 200 times before, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders will christen a newly completed vessel this weekend.
Asking the South Whidbey School District for public records comes with a new price tag these days — your name, the information sought, and the time and cost to fulfill the request posted for all the world to see on the district's website. Beginning late last month, such details were included in a specially created document linked to online school board agendas. The move comes in the wake of years of litigation with a single Clinton man, a former teacher who officials say has cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, and who has besieged administrators with what school leaders characterize as broad and time consuming information requests.
Hundreds of people turned out for the third annual Sea Float Scramble in Langley Saturday, and like all treasure hunts it was a madhouse.
Construction on the state’s third 144-car ferry has begun, and the job is expected to keep Nichols Brothers Boat Builders workers busy into 2016. “This is a big, big deal for us,” said Matt Nichols, CEO of the Freeland shipyard. “It takes us a long way down the road.”
Temperatures that dipped into the 20s and frost on the roads wasn’t enough to stop 178 people from taking a New Year’s swim in Useless Bay Thursday.
A few weeks ago, a Record reporter suggested we take a different tack for a New Year’s resolution editorial. Instead of doing the regular piece about what we think government can do better, how about some self-reflection for a change? Where did the newspaper fall short in 2014 and what can we do to improve?
One beach cabin was destroyed and another damaged in a mudslide in Old Clinton this past weekend. The slide happened at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday on Campers Row Walk, a walk-in shoreline community accessed off Hastings and South Brighton Beach roads. No one was injured, but the event was witnessed by at least two people and heard by several others.
Clammers will hit Holmes Harbor for the first time in nine years this spring, but their digging delight will be short lived.
Believed to be a record breaker in terms of property damage, the windstorm that blasted South Whidbey last week may help the state qualify for federal aid.
The theft of a pricey wood splitter from a church charity may spell some cold nights ahead for needy South End families.
The December wind storm of 2014 won’t be forgotten anytime soon, not on South Whidbey anyway.
Already saturated with days of rain and high tides, South Whidbey is expected to get hit with a wind storm this afternoon. The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning Thursday morning for the southwest and southeast interiors, and the Puget Sound region. Whidbey Island, Everett, Port Townsend, Bellingham and the Seattle area are forecast to get sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 65 mph, according to the warning.
The first assessment proposed in decades for Diking District 2 property owners will not move forward next year as planned. During a well-attended and cordial meeting Saturday morning, district commissioners voted unanimously not to proceed with the measure, which would have approved collection in 2015. Instead, the board committed to working with the community to rethink the existing proposal, specifically the assessment method, in hopes of passing a revised and widely-supported assessment for 2016.
It was my fault. I did it. You can blame me. Last week, I wished in my column that it would snow and voila — South Whidbey was coated with up to six inches of the white stuff on Saturday morning. Now, I realize that not everyone rejoices the arrival of this seasonal wonder like I do. It seems the very mention of snow sets people to grumbling about the prospects of navigating slippery roads and shivering through power outages. And indeed that’s just what happened to thousands of people from Clinton to Coupeville, though Central Whidbey didn’t see a flake, only power outages.
South Whidbey got a healthy dose of snow this weekend, which led to fun for some and troubles for others.
CORRECTED | Diking District proposes assessment: Residents worry tax caters to farmers, leaving homeowners with bill but no benefit
More than 50 Maxwelton landowners will likely see their property taxes go up next year as Diking District 2 commissioners are poised to adopt the area’s first assessment in recent memory.
The Record has some screwy deadlines this week due to the holidays, so as I write this column Wednesday morning I’m forecasting that by the time it’s read my sore stomach from gorging on too much Thanksgiving turkey will likely have faded and my wallet already be significantly lighter from Black Friday spending. I’ll have slept in to 7 a.m. at least twice, defeated the digital forces of evil and begun feeling the shame of what will almost certainly be a holiday video game binge, laughed, argued, cried or all three with family and begun my casing of Whidbey lots for the best deals on this year’s Christmas tree.
Port of South Whidbey officials are hoping more marina work may spell more business for Langley next summer and in years to come. The port is engaged in an effort to make the outer edge of the new floating breakwater available for large ships to tie up. The goal is to have the additional space available by Memorial Day, May 25, according to Angi Mozer, executive director for the port.
Adam Lind, a longtime front-end retail manager at a well-known Whidbey pharmacy, may be getting into the marijuana business.
A pole building, two vehicles and an accounting business were destroyed in an evening fire at the home of longtime South Whidbey residents Steve and Linda Owensby on Monday.
Hoping to bolster and improve access to Whidbey Air Park, Island County is looking at building one of its first new roads in decades on the South End.
Island County Housing Authority’s new pride and joy in Freeland is once again raising the ire of neighbors.
A colleague recently told me I’m “an old man at heart.” I remember thinking that I was “gruff” maybe, perhaps even “brusque” at times, but an old man?
A wedding planner, photographer, florist and a host of other industry vendors and support businesses will have some extra work this winter thanks to the second annual Weddings on Whidbey and Events Tour this past weekend.