Laura Guido

Habitat taking over Saratoga Community Housing

After witnessing Saratoga Community Housing’s declining effectiveness, Habitat for Humanity of Island County is taking over the agency. “They just didn’t have the staff to… Continue reading

Community weaves together fundraiser after fiber theft

In late February, Lydia Christiansen and her husband Alan woke up to a small business owner’s worst nightmare. A trailer carrying most of their inventory… Continue reading

Staff from Island County Human Services gave a presentation on housing issues and homelessness in the county to the Planning Commission Monday. The department has been able to help over 400 households with its Housing Support Center since it opened in August 2016, but there are still more than 400 households waiting for assistance, largely due to the lack of affordable housing. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group

Point in Time count shows 170 without permanent housing

Over 170 people were counted as either unsheltered or in temporary housing during the annual Point in Time Count in January, according to a presentation… Continue reading

Staff from Island County Human Services gave a presentation on housing issues and homelessness in the county to the Planning Commission Monday. The department has been able to help over 400 households with its Housing Support Center since it opened in August 2016, but there are still more than 400 households waiting for assistance, largely due to the lack of affordable housing. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group

Developer appealing Hearings Board decision

The developer Wright’s Crossing, LLC filed a motion to reconsider Thursday after the Growth Management Hearings Board dismissed its appeal. In December, Wright’s Crossing submitted… Continue reading

Island County Commissioner Rick Hannold speaks at a work session meeting Wednesday. After a request for more funding from the Freeland Water and Sewer District, he said at the meeting he has “no confidence whatsoever” in the district and its effort to put a sewer system in Freeland. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Island County commissioners lacking faith in Freeland sewer board

The Island County Board of Commissioners responded with skepticism Wednesday to a request for funding from the Freeland Water and Sewer district. The sewer district’s… Continue reading

Island County Commissioner Rick Hannold speaks at a work session meeting Wednesday. After a request for more funding from the Freeland Water and Sewer District, he said at the meeting he has “no confidence whatsoever” in the district and its effort to put a sewer system in Freeland. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                Deputy Marshal Leif Haugen reads to second grader Colby Terry in the library of Coupeville Elementary School. Haugen is part of the recently launched “Bigs with Badges” program at Big Brother Big Sisters that pairs children in the community with law enforcement officers.

Bigs with Badges: Connecting with kids

On a typical Tuesday afternoon, students and staff at Coupeville Elementary School might witness a rather unusual sight— fully uniformed Deputy Marshal Leif Haugen racing… Continue reading

Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                Deputy Marshal Leif Haugen reads to second grader Colby Terry in the library of Coupeville Elementary School. Haugen is part of the recently launched “Bigs with Badges” program at Big Brother Big Sisters that pairs children in the community with law enforcement officers.

New Island County contract brings more WSU programs

As of March 1, Washington State University Extension, Island County will serve as an independent contractor with Island County instead of a department. The change… Continue reading

South End getting first drug treatment center

Freeland will soon be home to the first medicaid-funded substance use disorder treatment facility on South Whidbey. American Behavioral Health Systems is planning to open… Continue reading

Knox Shannon, 8, looks out the window of his new bedroom in the house built by Habitat for Humanity. Island County is set to implement fee changes that would result in savings for the organization, and other developers, in the plan review stage of receiving building permits. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/ Whidbey News-Times

New building permit fees should reduce costs in county

The Board of Island County Commissioners is set to vote on building permit fee changes, including stock plan review fees that will result in savings… Continue reading

Knox Shannon, 8, looks out the window of his new bedroom in the house built by Habitat for Humanity. Island County is set to implement fee changes that would result in savings for the organization, and other developers, in the plan review stage of receiving building permits. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/ Whidbey News-Times
Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                The Kettles trails were acquired by Island County in 1996 using funds from the conservation futures program. The county is now accepting applications for the 2018 award cycle, but a low fund balance may limit the acceptance of new projects.

No guarantees for awarding of conservation futures funds

The Island County Conservation Futures Program is now accepting applications from eligible organizations for acquisition projects or maintenance and operations projects. However, Island County Commissioners… Continue reading

Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                The Kettles trails were acquired by Island County in 1996 using funds from the conservation futures program. The county is now accepting applications for the 2018 award cycle, but a low fund balance may limit the acceptance of new projects.
Planning Commission member Tracy Gilroy speaks during a meeting on Monday. The commission voted to approve amendments made in response to a settlement agreement between Island County and the Whidbey Island Environmental Action Network. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Forest practices changes heading to board

Island County Planning Commission voted Monday to amend code related to forest practices in response to a settlement agreement filed with the Whidbey Island Environmental… Continue reading

Planning Commission member Tracy Gilroy speaks during a meeting on Monday. The commission voted to approve amendments made in response to a settlement agreement between Island County and the Whidbey Island Environmental Action Network. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Economist to give talk on housing market at WICA

A local real estate agent is hosting a presentation on economic forecasting by the chief economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner, at 6 p.m.… Continue reading

Law will allow for nuclear missile preparation

It’s unclear what exactly would happen if Whidbey Island were to receive a message of an impending missile attack, because for more than 30 years… Continue reading

The county is seeking input on draft regulations that develop new definitions and regulations for wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries in rural areas. Photo provided

Island County drafts new winery and event regulations

Island County is looking for input on draft regulatory updates to code focused on special events and wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries in rural areas.… Continue reading

The county is seeking input on draft regulations that develop new definitions and regulations for wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries in rural areas. Photo provided

Officials consider islandwide high-speed internet

Elected officials in Island County discussed the possibility of implementing islandwide broadband last week at a Council of Governments meeting with the hope of eventually… Continue reading

State lawmakers talk goals, policies at brunch

State legislators spoke about net neutrality, big data brokers and carbon taxes on Jan. 20 at the Brunch with Our Legislators event, held by the… Continue reading

Island County to tackle public health issues

A wide-ranging plan that could lead to more help for victims of domestic abuse, house visits from medical personnel and improved transportation for the homeless… Continue reading

Housing Authority of Island County scores HUD grant

The Housing Authority of Island County recently received a $51,269 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to go toward the salaries… Continue reading

County looking for Freeland code input

Island County Planning and Community Development is seeking more feedback on its draft development regulations for Freeland. As a result of earlier public comments, the… Continue reading

Laura Guido / Whidbey News Group
                                County Prosecutor Greg Banks, center, attorney Lee Pence and County Commisioner Helen Price Johnson sit around the work session table Wednesday. Tensions hit a boiling point during the meeting that included yelling and name-calling.

County commissioner calls prosecutor ‘snake,’ liar

Tensions boiled over Wednesday when Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks asked the Island County Board of Commissioners for permission to hire an outside attorney for… Continue reading

Laura Guido / Whidbey News Group
                                County Prosecutor Greg Banks, center, attorney Lee Pence and County Commisioner Helen Price Johnson sit around the work session table Wednesday. Tensions hit a boiling point during the meeting that included yelling and name-calling.