Ron Newberry

Whidbey strawberry pickers in short supply until school gets out

Jerry Bell spotted a clearing in the gray sky and guessed it wouldn’t be long before his body started warming up. The chill from the nearby Strait of Juan de Fuca was still in the morning air, keeping Bell and the strawberries he watches over from overheating. “I’m semi-retired, or tired, anyways,” said Bell, 88, one of the founders of Bell’s Farm near Coupeville. “I let the kids do this now.”

Historic home in Coupeville gets reprieve — for now

Perhaps it’s fitting that the once grand home of a Civil War Army major isn’t going down without a fight. A group working to save Coupeville’s Haller House got a double dose of good news last week to keep alive hopes that it can purchase the home, restore it and one day turn it into a heritage and visitor center to showcase Washington’s territorial period. Historic Whidbey, a nonprofit working to acquire the 150-year-old house, didn’t raise the $250,000 it had hoped to reach by a May 19 deadline to be eligible to apply for a state grant, but a significant pledge by a donor and a sympathetic gesture by the homeowner kept the project from being defeated.

State spares Joseph Whidbey park from rec business activity pilot

Supporters of Joseph Whidbey State Park upset with the idea of private development in their park can breath a sigh of relief. Joseph Whidbey is no longer under consideration for recreational business activities (RBA). At least, for now. The scenic waterfront park in Oak Harbor didn’t make the final cut of state parks being considered for the proposal, a controversial idea Washington State Parks is exploring that would allow private investors to help develop visitor amenities in an effort to provide additional revenue for a cash-strapped state parks system.

No coho this year anglers; state closes season for low expected return

For many salmon anglers who cast their lines in the waters around Whidbey Island, 2015 was a fishing season to remember with a solid presence of pinks topped off with a strong showing of silvers.

New group to advocate for, support Central Whidbey State Parks

About an hour into the meeting, it was time to get down to business.

Trout aplenty in Whidbey lakes

Some trout flipped and flopped on the surface, bursting with new life in a giant, new world.

Making a big splash on Whidbey

Leave it to a pod of orcas to crash the gray whales’ annual party. While Whidbey Island celebrates the annual return of gray whales, a large pod of Southern Resident orcas have been splashing around Saratoga Passage in recent days, upstaging the larger marine mammals. It’s a rare sight to see resident orcas in the waterway between Whidbey and Camano islands in April and even more unusual to see them travel so deeply into Holmes Harbor near Freeland.

Digitizing history, one photo at a time

A day rarely goes by that Rick Castellano doesn’t feel a sense of approval from Janet Enzmann.

RBA idea at Joseph Whidbey State Park is ‘terrible,’ public says

It’s a good thing sticky notes were in abundant supply at the Coupeville Recreation Hall Monday night.

Whidbey Island inspired film winds up being shot in Canada

Joseph Itaya’s dream was to bring Whidbey Island to the big screen. In spirit, he believes he was still able to accomplish that.

Park staff, beavers enjoy a busy year at Deception Pass

Jack Hartt and his staff at Deception Pass State Park will remember 2015 as another busy year bustling with visitors and projects.

Researcher sheds light on mysterious Whidbey family

He was as mysterious as the fog that snakes its way over Ebey’s Prairie. Who was Frank Pratt, Jr.?

Whidbey church to host free Thanksgiving dinner

A church in Greenbank is cooking up a free holiday meal for the public in celebration of Thanksgiving.

Central Whidbey collisions claim two South End lives

Two South Whidbey people were killed this week in separate accidents that occurred on the same stretch of highway on Central Whidbey.

San Juan Island plane makes emergency landing at OLF

A single-engine civilian aircraft carrying four people made an emergency landing at the Naval Outlying Field near Coupeville this past week.

Camera phone shot wins Whidbey Camano Land Trust calendar photo contest

Before you empty your wallet on the latest, fanciest digital camera or lens, take note of the winning entry in the Whidbey Camano Land Trust calendar photo contest.

Artists reflect on ‘Whidbey Expressions’ to benefit Coupeville school

Gary Schallock holds a soft spot in his heart for Coupeville’s Pacific Northwest Art School.

Greenbank couple, land trust protect a little piece of paradise

When Frances Sweeney was a young girl, one of her childhood sanctuaries was her grandparents’ home in Los Alamitos, Calif. She remembers the chili peppers in their garden, the eucalyptus trees and the orange groves nearby. After her grandfather died in 1969, her grandmother finally relented to the demands of a developer and sold the land.

Whale of an accomplishment: Orca Network founders recognized by Whidbey Audubon Society

On more than one occasion, Anna Swartz poked fun at the couple standing next to her. These were good-natured jabs, the sort of thing that happens among friends at recognition dinners such as the one hosted by the Whidbey Audubon Society this past week in Coupeville.

Mobile poultry processing comes to Whidbey

The feathers that stuck to the side of a steel work platform were a clear indication that this was no ordinary semi-truck. “It can be pretty messy,” David Bauermeister said.