NEWS BRIEFS: Port officials approve budget

The Port of South Whidbey settled on its final draft for the 2009 budget Wednesday.

Commissioners whittled down the original $60,000 deficit to $8,414 by examining the budget line-by-line.

“It’s a tight budget, further constrained by uncertainties in the economy, expected costs and revenues for the operation in Langley and the November election,” said port manager Ed Field.

The revised total expected income — mainly from property tax revenue — is $583,046. That total may change depending on the outcome of the Nov. 4 election, because the port is asking voters for a 9-cent increase to pay for the proposed $8.2 million small-boat harbor upgrade in Langley.

The total expenditures expected for next year are $591,460. The big-ticket line items include $110,000 for engineering, permitting and design work related to the marina and $33,000 for repairs and maintenance to boat-launch facilities in Langley, Clinton Beach, Bush Point and Possession Beach Waterfront Park.

“I am pleased we were able to come close to a balanced budget tonight,” Port Commissioner Lynae Slinden said. “We are all conscious of the struggles that people on the South End are having with this economy.”

Port updates city agreement

Port of South Whidbey commissioners continue to get ready for their official takeover of the Langley small-boat harbor in January.

Wednesday, they cleaned up some technical issues related to their interlocal agreement with the city of Langley, including language adding a septic barge, garbage-can placement and other movable equipment.

“We’re dealing with the nuts and bolts issues that will ensure a smooth transition,” said port manager Ed Field. “We are meeting with city officials every two weeks to that end.”

As part of that effort, the port accepted 15 applications for the job of harbormaster. Field said there were three categories of people seeking the position.

“Seven were simply not qualified,” he said. “Six had some experience in marine operations or boating and two were excellent candidates who offered clear ideas in dealing with port concerns.”

The latter two individuals will be interviewed prior to the port’s next regular meeting, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the Freeland Library.

Mayoral raise details are set

The Langley City Council voted for an ordinance mapping out the details of a pay raise for the mayor.

Earlier this year, the council approved a pay increase of up to $10,000. The new ordinance details that the mayor will get $21,000 of base pay and the additional $10,000 can be paid out after the mayor submits a work plan. The ordinance follows a Coupeville model, in which Mayor Nancy Conard acts as mayor and city administrator.

City to hold land workshop

The city of Langley planning department invites citizens to help map Langley’s future land use.

Leading up to changes to city rules, the city is looking for input from its residents.

A workshop, Mapping Langley 2030, is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday,

Oct. 28 at the Langley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.

Registration is required, and sign-up forms are available at city hall and online Deadline for sign-up is Oct. 23.

Historic reserve is 30 years old

Next month, Ebey’s Landing will celebrate its 30th year as a National Historic Reserve. A series of workshops will be held Nov. 7 and 8 designed to highlight the Reserve’s rural heritage.

There will be two days of field trips, workshops, keynote speakers, panels, local foods, exhibitions and music as attendees discover, explore and celebrate a uniquely American cultural landscape.

Friday’s program offers eight different field trips covering the historic waterfront, pre-1850 native villages and sustainable farming

Saturday’s program features keynote speakers John J. Reynolds and Arlin Wasserman, and eight different breakout sessions to choose from. Each day concludes with a celebration at one of Ebey’s historic barns.

Registration forms are available now, with an Oct. 31 deadline. Contact to download a form and view event details. Locally, registration packets are available at Coupeville’s visitor center, Island County Historical Museum and the Coupeville Library.

Preregister for canning class

Organizers of a canning workshop say that learning the skill can brighten your economic outlook.

Learn to can from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday,

Oct. 25 in a class at the Clinton Progressive Hall.

Learn how to preserve local, organic, pesticide- and preservative-free food and eat locally, healthier and more economically.

Students will learn the basics of home canning and leave with canned goods, instructions, insider tips, recipes and a book.

Canning workshop teacher Sue Ellen White has been growing organic food, gleaning, wildcrafting and preserving since 1972, eating largely from her garden and local sources for much of the year.

Class size is limited to 14; no walk-ins. Preregistration is required. The cost is $45.To register, call 341-2434 or e-mail

Langley named Power Player

The city of Langley was the only city to win the 2008 Power Players Award for its dedication to reducing the community’s energy footprint.

Puget Sound Energy honored several Power Players at the Seahawks game on Sept. 21, including Mayor Paul Samuelson. The Power Players were selected for their dedication to saving energy and the innovative measures they’ve taken to do so.

The award recognizes several years of effort, said Linda Irvine, the city’s conservation manager. In 2006, Langley hosted an energy intern through ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. She completed a carbon emissions inventory for Langley and proposed a plan to cut emissions, including a boost in energy efficiency in city operations and community homes.

The city created the position of community resource conservation manager to promote savings for the community as a whole.

“It’s an innovative twist on the traditional resource conservation manager supported by Puget Sound Energy at large institutions — where energy savings can easily pay for a full-time staff position,” Irvine said. “Instead, and for the first time ever, PSE agreed to support a city in working on behalf of the community at large, to treat the community as a single institution.”

The city of Langley was chosen for an impressive array of community conservation projects, starting with city facilities, and moving to local businesses, schools and residential customers, Puget Sound Energy officials said.

Awardees were presented a plaque at a pre-game reception by Cal Shirley, vice president of energy efficiency services for Puget Sound Energy, and introduced on the football field by the Seahawks announcer while the players warmed up for the game. The honorees, including Samuelson, appeared on the Hawk Vision screen with their Power Player plaques and stayed to watch the Seahawks beat the Rams 37-13.

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