Langley is not on Hat Island. It never has been nor will it ever be. Yet, good luck trying to convince Apple Inc. of that fact, or for that matter even getting a media representative on the horn. That such a large and respected tech company could make such a mistake in the first place is difficult to believe. That they would ignore repeated requests to fix the error, however, one that’s persisted for years, is rude and just plain irresponsible.
The city first received a Rural Economic Development grant in 2005 from Island County for $242,423 to widen Wharf Street and better connect the Langley marina and the City of Langley. For six years thereafter the grant funds remained unclaimed and the economy declined significantly at the end of 2007.
Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation is well on its way to having a new shelter for the island’s homeless pet population. It’s taken years of fundraising and a lot of community support to reach this point. While things are moving along quickly, more support is needed to finish the job.
A Freeland man was killed in a head-on collision Saturday evening, struck by what police suspect was a drunk driver. His name was Tim Keil.
Editor, When most people think about veterans groups, they picture old soldiers sitting around telling each other war stories over a few drinks. This is the perception that, at one time, seemed to prevail. That has changed thanks to the largest veterans group, the American Legion and its auxiliary.
Whidbey General Hospital has a new CEO-apparent, one who has talked about the importance of openness and transparency. We like the talk, but we hope to see the action behind the words. Geri Forbes will step into the lead role at the public hospital in April, if the Whidbey General board of directors has its way. Forbes is currently the CEO of Doctor’s Memorial Hospital in Perry, Fla. She chaired the Rural Health Council, was involved in the Florida Rural Health Association and chaired the Government Affairs Committee for the Florida Regional Hospital Association. Meanwhile, the hospital board’s president, Anne Tarrant, scolded a reporter this week for being audacious enough to ask about the details of Forbes’ hiring and her proposed contract. Considering that the hospital CEO has quite possibly been the highest-paid public employee on Whidbey Island, if not Island County, questions about details of the contract seem quite reasonable. The hospital was also unresponsive to questions about the specifics of Tomasino’s departure — his resignation was to become effective in October 2015. Will he be receiving pay through that date? Is there a severance deal for Tomasino? We don’t know. The hospital doesn’t want to talk to us about it. “Transparency means to me to keep people informed, within the limits of what you can keep them informed on. It’s letting them know where the organization is going, speaking plainly about your issues and concerns,” Forbes said during the hospital’s interview luncheon on Jan. 16.
Last week, the Island County commissioners’ Republican majority informally agreed that a funding program designed specifically to preserve land deemed too valuable for development needs criteria that would weigh possible economic losses of future purchases. The Conservation Futures fund, as it’s commonly known, isn’t perfect and may indeed need some revision, but the board should consider this proposal carefully. This taxing program, which is outlined in state statute, is about preservation, not economics, and confusing the two seems contrary to the legislation’s intent.
The resurrected debate over vaccinating our children is rapidly spreading like wildfire, both in the news and over the Internet in the wake of a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland. In sum, the national Centers for Disease Control reports more than 100 cases of measles in January, most connected to the Disneyland case.