Life

Music takes to the forest to drive South Whidbey State Park usage

The old growth forests of South Whidbey State Park have always been a prime destination for hiking and trail running, but the park will have a different element over the weekend — live music. Nonprofit organization Friends of South Whidbey State Park has organized the first-ever Forest Music Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 at the park’s amphitheater in an initiative to increase the park’s usage. South Whidbey’s “conductor of fun” and go-to host Jim Freeman will emcee the festival, and five Whidbey-based groups will perform throughout the afternoon with performers covering a range of genres from jazz to maritime tunes to bluegrass.

South Whidbey “heroes” release debut album

To many, the members of Western Heroes are South Whidbey legends. For years their grooves have gotten people young and old out of their seats and onto the dance floor.

Coupeville counselor’s self therapy: acrylics

As a mental health counselor and grief specialist, Mark Lucero often helps people get through some of the most heart-wrenching experiences of their lives. He works with those who’ve lost a loved one, are facing a terminal illness or are coping with other major life events. Sometimes, the emotional investment Lucero puts into comforting others and guiding them through life changes can lead him on his own path to recharge himself.

Concerts in the Park back for summer nights

Nights are long, picnic blankets are fully stocked with finger food and music is flowing through Community Park. The Concerts in the Park series is back and in full swing.

Gear heads rev up for Bayview car show

In the driveway of his family’s Langley home, Janoah Spratt examines his 1965 candy apple red Ford Mustang as the sky reflects off the hood. The exterior looks spick and span, the interior is clean and all the parts are working perfectly. His baby looks good, he says, and that will need to be true as his mustang will go toe-to-toe with South Whidbey’s most sought after trucks, muscle cars and low riders. Spratt is preparing for the Cool Bayview Nights Car Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 10 at Bayview Corner.

Whidbey crabbers pinch themselves as season approaches

Hardware stores across the South End are fully stocked with the necessities: round and square pots, bait, buoys, bait boxes and lead line. And they are going fast. Crab season opens July 1 and runs through September 5. Hunting the succulent crustaceans is permitted throughout the season except for every Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Puget Sound is home to Dungeness and Red Rock crabs, both of which are free to catch and eat.

RELIGION NOTES | Worship with Whidbey Quakers

Whidbey Island Friends Meeting (also known as Quakers) holds its regular gathering for worship from 4 to 5 p.m. every Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist building, 20103 Highway 525. The group meets in silent worship together and worship may include spoken messages.

  • Jun 24th, 2016

RELIGION NOTES | System of healing is still applicable

On Sunday, June 26, the Christian Science service focuses on founder Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery “introduced … to designate the scientific system of divine healing” (Science and Health) and how that system, as taught by Jesus, is as applicable today as it was two centuries ago.

  • Jun 24th, 2016

RELIGION NOTES | Forgiveness, the need to be right

Unity of Whidbey will hold regular service at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 19 at the church in Langley, 5671 Crawford Road. The title of day’s talk is “Forgiveness and the need to be right.” Barbara Johns will explore, through her own personal stories and experiences, the power of the need to be right and how this “need” interferes with the ability to forgive and grow spiritually.

  • Jun 24th, 2016

Monastery celebrates 20 years of Zen on South Whidbey

With the reverberating metallic sound of the rin gong, or singing bowl, meditation at Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery in Freeland has begun. For the next two hours, those in the meditation hall will sit still, exhale and refresh their minds. Tahoma has been a place for meditation and practicing Zen Buddhism for twenty years, a milestone the monastery will be celebrating as they look forward to many more.

Unplugged artists to show off South End acoustics

Linda Good hands children an instrument when they’re young.

Whidbey Cup Regatta: sailors enjoy more than a breeze

With winds swirling left and right on Lone Lake, sailors were doing their best to use their sails to harness the erratic gusts, in order to be the first boat in their class to cross the finish line. Despite the patchy wind, which usually separates competitors, the boats raced neck and neck to the finish line and produced some photo finishes. The race was the first ever Whidbey Cup Regatta held this past Saturday and Sunday afternoon by the South Whidbey Yacht Club. Nineteen boats in total raced for at least one day, with a few competitors dropping out on the second day for a variety of reasons. The tricky wind conditions made a day’s-worth of sailing more strenuous, and was a factor behind the smaller attendance on Sunday, Regatta Chairman Bill Brown said.

RELIGION NOTES | St. Hubert’s plans choir concert

St. Hubert Church will host an Ecumenical Choir Concert featuring the many church choirs of South Whidbey at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18 at the church in Langley. Music will dance from wall to wall as dozens of voices join together to celebrate in song. Take time to rest and enjoy the beautiful, rich sound.

  • Jun 11th, 2016

RELIGION NOTES | Worship with the Whidbey Quakers

Whidbey Island Friends Meeting (also known as Quakers) holds its regular gathering for worship from 4 to 5 p.m. every Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist building, 20103 Highway 525.

  • Jun 10th, 2016

RELIGION NOTES | Reflections on a community

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island will hold service at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 12 at the church, located on Highway 525, two miles north of Freeland. Worship leader Laurie Riley will host this week’s service, “Reflections on a Beloved Community.” Ken Morrell and accompanist Eileen Soskin will perform the music.

  • Jun 10th, 2016

RELIGION NOTES | Ask God Almighty for support, help

Unity of Whidbey will hold service at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 12 at the church, 5671 Crawford Rd. The day’s talk, “Run Wilbur Run,” will see Rev Ann Thomas remind the congregation that in times of challenge, people can call on God almighty for help.

  • Jun 10th, 2016

RELIGION NOTES | God is a preserver of humankind

The Christian Science Society will hold service at 10:30 Sunday, June 12 at 15910 Highway 525, just north of Bayview and across from Useless Bay Road. The service will revisit the spiritual promise that people need never fear being alone in a discussion on “God the Preserver of Man.”

  • Jun 10th, 2016

Meet the green thumbs of South Whidbey: Gary and Janie Gabelein

The Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast is more than the name entails. While the Clinton homestead is located on a large, rural lot that overlooks Useless Bay and offers quaint rooms as vacation rentals, a walk to the backyard shows a different side to homeowners Gary and Janie Gabelein.

Bishop: Caring is cool, South Whidbey senior says | HOMETOWN HERO

Once a year South Whidbey schools nominate one senior to be a hometown hero. This person is chosen by adults and students, is a person who inspires others, and makes the community and school a better place. This year it’s Macey Bishop. Caring isn’t always easy. Sometimes it comes with a price. The person who acts indifferent or apathetic towards others and life may think they’re avoiding being hurt, but the truth is, fear of showing vulnerable feelings of caring and acting detached is more painful in the end. It hurts oneself, others and the world is cheated out of the real you, says Macey Bishop, hometown hero.

Marimba performances, classes keep feet moving

With the smacking of a mallet against the wooden bars, the party has begun. The sound emanating from the marimba vibrates through the body, causing the people in the room to shuffle with the beat.

Too cold? Not for Whidbey’s swimmers

The Whidbey Open Water Swimmers are a bold bunch. Rain or shine, summer or winter, 20 or so regulars plunge into Puget Sound. At a minimum, they do it once week — sometimes it’s daily. Yet, tough as they are to willing to submerge themselves in water that can dip into the low 40s, there is a group of five ladies who are the craziest of the group. According to the swimmers, Teresa Wiley-Forsyth, Megan Scudder, Sarah Manchester, Marni Zimmerman and Danielle Rideout are the most ardent swimmers and cheerleaders of the group. It can be expected that they will be out on the water facing the elements in December or January, while others may not be as open to the idea of a wintertime swim.

Whidbey Girls Choir debuts June 10

With a flutter of his baton, Jerry Mader signals to his pupils that the time has come to belt it out.

Freeland Art Studios open their doors

Walking into Freeland Art Studios feels starkly different from other art studios or chic gallery spaces. The roar of the industrial-calibre masonry saw and the sound of hammers hacking away at a chiseled sculpture-to-be give the studio an industrial aura upon entry. Inside, the process of creation is happening, and it’s happening all the time. The public will have the opportunity to view and purchase the latest works out of Freeland Art Studios during its sixth annual open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4. A plethora of artistic styles and media will be on display at the 7,000-square-foot complex, ranging from stone sculpting and cast glass to resin art. Refreshments and live music will be provided, and artist demonstrations held throughout the afternoon. Admission is free.

Island dancers train with stars

Music flooded South Whidbey High School as Island Dance students twirled and leaped under the tutelage of two internationally renowned dance stars this past weekend. During the two-day workshop, Joy Spears and Barry Youngblood taught contemporary dance classes to 30 dancers ranging from ages 8 to 18. Spears was one of 10 top female dance competitors on the second season of the hit Fox television show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” and has performed with Lady Christina, Britney Spears, Will.i.am and many other entertainers.

Horseback riding gives South Whidbey riders pride and therapy

Sitting atop the saddle 10 feet off the ground is a powerful feeling. Regardless of the reason, be it the lofty heights, the sensation of being top dog or simply being perched on a towering horse is empowering. The sensation doesn’t exclude the disabled, either. Riders of all kinds, from internationally recognized dressage riders to the physically impaired have opportunities to ride right here on South Whidbey as riding season is in full swing.

Paddling with critters: kayaking offers an immersive, natural experience on South Whidbey

The water is tranquil in the Langley Marina at 8 a.m. The morning haze is still burning off and the air is crowded with the songs of a number of bird species. With each stroke of the paddle, the kayak distances itself from the shore as the senses are overloaded with the sounds and smells of Puget Sound. An eagle soars above, and sea lions pop their heads out of the water nearby. Life could be worse. This is what late spring and summer is like off Whidbey’s shoreline. One way to enjoy the picturesque nature of Whidbey Island is via kayak, and Whidbey Island Kayaking offers rentals and tours.

Soda crackers made clam chowder fabulous — thanks Mom | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Hello, Mom? Warning: For those readers who may be allergic to “maudlin,” read no further.

Walk the spiritual trail with Freeland author’s book

When Gina Marie Mammano walks into a room, the energy levels seem to rise. The Freeland native’s smile and ever-present positivity rubs off on those around her, and her body of work has a similar impact on readers and listeners alike. Her newest piece is no different. Mammano’s new book, “Camino Divina — Walking the Divine Way: A Book of Moving Meditations with Likely and Unlikely Saints,” takes walks from multiple trails, including paths across Whidbey Island, and pairs them with mental exercises that encourage self-discovery. The walks are inspired by the ancient spiritual practices of lectio divina, or divine reading, and walking meditation.

Langley church announces new logo competition

St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley needs a new logo, and organization leaders want the public’s help to find it. In a recent news release, the church announced the beginning of a design contest that determine the right logo.

  • Apr 12th, 2016

South Whidbey farmers to offer tasty lesson on springtime vegetables

As spring brings warmer weather to Whidbey Island, it brings with it a wide array of new tastes for our dinner plates that come straight from South Whidbey’s many farms. Some of the seasonal produce is more popular than others, ranging from rhubarb to bokchoy to the often maligned kale, but it’s all delicious to Annie Jesperson, the cheerful and young co-owner of Freeland’s Deep Harvest Farm. And she’s going to demonstrate how to cook it fresh from the garden at a presentation this month.

“4,000 Miles” for two more weekends at WICA

Though half-way through its production run, there’s still time to attend “4,000 Miles,” a Amy Herzog script that nearly claimed a Pulitzer Prize. Presented by Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and the same time Friday and Saturday, April 15-16 at WICA in Langley.

  • Apr 8th, 2016

Meerkerk Gardens currently in peak bloom

The lush and dog-friendly Meerkerk Gardens in Greenbank are in bloom, displaying a vast array of bright colors and smells that send the senses into overdrive. Open throughout the year, the woodland gardens are sprawled over a 53-acre property that overlooks Holmes Harbor and Saratoga Passage. Rhododendrons are the specialty at Meerkerk, as they are native to Washington, but a wide variety of azaleas and trees of all types accompany the “rhodies.” For those looking to do more than a steady stroll though the 10 gardens that are within Meerkerk, there are four miles of nature paths to hike. The real magic, however, is in the garden and those tending it.

Saving South Whidbey’s felines, one kitty at a time

Beth McPhee’s home garden is a colorful place filled with things that grow, from flowers of all varieties to succulent vegetables destined for the dinner plate. Naturally, it’s a place where she spends a lot of her time and the few feral cats that lived nearby lightened her labors by keeping her company. But, when she heard an unfamiliar meow while tending her tulips one evening, and then another, she knew she had a problem that was multiplying and getting out of hand. She turned to Jean Favini, South Whidbey’s one-person rescue organization.

A South Whidbey avian love story: a pileated woodpecker on finds a mate

Two pileated woodpeckers have landed on separate branches in an old decaying alder tree in our ravine. They call to each other with long staccato tattoos, sometimes alternating, sometimes in duet. The male whacks its strong bill into dead wood and chips scatter. The female hitches up one trunk and flaps to another. Then one takes off, careens through the branches and loops across the lawn, before alighting on a different tree. The other follows.

Andersen: Recognizing, moving past our fears | HOMETOWN HERO

What are your fears? We all have them. You know, the ones that hold you back from being your better self. Fear of failure, success, rejection, not having enough, being good enough or perhaps fear of being alone.

Health care for the soul: Chaplain lending an ear

It’s Friday at Whidbey General Hospital and Dave Engle is making his rounds.

America’s Cup host to present multimedia show in Port Townsend

Sailing fame is coming to Puget Sound, specifically the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend.

  • Mar 12th, 2016

Restoring an epic tradition: Langley woman to help retell 1,500-year-old Celtic story

Telling a nearly 1,500-year-old Celtic story is challenging on its own. Memorizing it is another task entirely, and one Jill Johnson of Langley is taking on with a dozen other storytellers March 19 in Seattle.

Art show organizers seek high school artists

High school artists are invited to participate in the Art Show for Whidbey Earth & Ocean Month and share their perspective on climate change.

  • Mar 11th, 2016

Gardeners of South Whidbey continue philanthropy, spreading natural beauty

Winter is no time to rest for the busy bodies of the South Whidbey Garden Club.

Whidbey ladies take the stage for stories of challenge, triumph, passions | CORRECTED

Five years in, and WOW! Stories has just scratched the surface of the tales ready and not so ready to be told by Whidbey Island’s women.

  • Mar 7th, 2016

Hundreds scour Langley for mystery weekend

Another year, another faux murder was solved at the 32nd Langley Mystery Weekend.

All signs point to Museo

Need a sign? Look no further than First Street in Langley. Museo will open an exhibit all about signs in the literal sense with an artist reception 5-7 p.m., Saturday, March 5.

Personal story laid bare on WICA stage

Actress and storyteller Ann Randolph has quite the life story to tell, from living in an Appalachian mental institution to working with Mel Brooks and Ann Bancroft in an off-Broadway play.

  • Feb 26th, 2016

‘Harefic’ murder sets sleuths loose in Langley

Bunnies, hares, rabbits, coneys — leporidae by any other name may be the reason for the murder in this year’s Langley Mystery Weekend.

Reverence, in-jokes around every turn in ‘The 39 Steps’

Watchful eyes should pay attention for more than just whodunit in “The 39 Steps” at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.

Once in a new moon: Special visit from Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery founder marks celebration

The Chinese New Year at the Northwest Language Academy and Cultural Center next week will be rung in by a special guest.

Age makes no difference in Whidbey Island Community Orchestra

Sean Miles and Avrey Scharwat share a passion for playing classical music just like everyone else in the Whidbey Island Community Orchestra. The only difference between them and their colleagues is a number.

BrazilFest immerses island students in Latin jazz

South Whidbey High School’s music students are taking a Latin immersion trip without leaving the band room next week.

Begrudgingly enjoying the big game with a ‘souper’ bowl | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Well, here we are approaching the end of our first month of 2016, and as far as I’m concerned this “new” year hasn’t shown me much to feel optimistic about the rest of the year. Perhaps that will change as the weeks go on.