Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks this week announced that he is not the right person to perform a review into the death of Keaton Farris at the Coupeville jail this past April. While perhaps a bit overdue, this was the right call and we applaud the prosecutor’s decision to step away from this important investigation. The results may yet result in no criminal proceedings, no matter who performs it, but he is absolutely correct that his conclusions would always be suspect.
The South Whidbey School District this week said it was considering spending up to $55,000 on fencing to combat Langley’s bunny problem. This is both disappointing and encouraging news. It’s disappointing that taxpayers may shoulder such a huge bill to address the cuddly hot potato other leaders have declined to touch, but it’s encouraging to see a public agency finally taking steps to address what is clearly an out-of-control rabbit population.
There’s a glimmer of hope for the campgrounds at South Whidbey State Park. Officials confirmed Tuesday that a final decision had not yet been made and that a public process to develop a future use plan for the park would begin next month. That’s great news, because losing the campgrounds for good would be a loss for South Whidbey.
It will be sunny this weekend, it will be sunny this weekend, it will be sunny this weekend. At least that’s the mantra at The Record office this week. It’s our personal effort to thwart Sunday’s shady forecast. We simply won’t tolerate another rained out Langley Soup Box Derby, especially this year.
Last week I filed a quo warranto lawsuit against a private law firm that was hired by the Island County commissioners. A quo warranto case asks a judge to decide who can legally perform the duties of a public office — in this case, the office of the county prosecutor. I filed this suit to protect the right of Island County voters to pick their prosecutor, and to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely for legal services.
On Aug. 7, 2015, about 30 people gathered at 5 p.m. in Clyde Alley (the alley between the Braeburn Restaurant and Callahan’s Fire House Glassworks) for a special event. There was a sheet covering a rectangular piece of artwork attached to the wall of the Firehouse. Brief speeches were made, a benefactor who provided the plywood and paints was recognized, the artist was introduced, the assembly counted down from 10 to one. The curtain was pulled back, the gathering applauded, and a new colorful mural was added to the art collection in the City of Langley.
In 2010, former Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson made headlines, if not history, when she sued the county she was elected to serve. While some found her lawsuit courageous, a stand against overstepping government, most saw it for what it was — a misguided challenge steeped in righteousness and an embarrassment to Island County.
A vocal handful of people let their thoughts be known to Island County planners this week: set Freeland’s urban growth area as small as possible.
Given the climate of racial tension across the country, the timing could not be worse for a Confederate flag to show up at the Whidbey Island Fair parade.
It is the time of year when roadsides and pastures glow with golden flowers on long stalks. Before admiring, however, take a good look to be sure the flower is not tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), a poisonous invasive plant that affects horses, cows, pigs, goats, deer and, yes, humans.