Evan Thompson / The Record — Over 1,000 protestors peacefully marched about two miles around Langley in January 2017. It was perhaps the largest political demonstration in the city’s history.

Evan Thompson / The Record — Over 1,000 protestors peacefully marched about two miles around Langley in January 2017. It was perhaps the largest political demonstration in the city’s history.

2017: A year in review

So long, 2017.

Monday is the start of a new year. It’s unclear what’s in store for 2018, but if it’s anything like this year, it should be nothing less than a whirlwind.

Below is a recap of some of the biggest stories from 2017.

January

• Freeland Sewer and Water District commissioners unanimously agree to resume a phase 1A sewer project despite significant funding problems.

• The Langley City Council votes to keep Seawall Park open at night for at least nine months. Officials had concerns about nighttime drug use in the park.

• A Greenbank man avoids arrest in a low-speed police chase in Clinton.

• The Sea Float Scramble draws hundreds of people to Langley.

• Whidbey Island residents join the “Womxn’s March” in Seattle.

• Fred O’Neal is appointed to the South Whidbey School Board.

• The Island County commissioners settle a lawsuit with residents Bruce and Joanne Montgomery over a land dispute. The county and the couple split the beach access at the end of Wonn Road.

• Whidbey Island Center for the Arts joins the Ghostlight Project, which seeks to “shine a light” on intolerance.

• Sky and Tara Rudolph purchase the Whidbey Airpark hoping to make improvements.

• A Langley family traveles to Washington D.C. to celebrate the election of Donald Trump as president while others protest on the island.

• Langley officials resume discussions about becoming a sanctuary city.

• A day after the inauguration, a large group of about 1,200 people march in Langley in protest of the views and election of President Trump.

• A 600-pound sea lion made national headlines after some shenanigans at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders’ shipyard.

• The South Whidbey School Board votes 4-1 to close the doors indefinitely to Langley Middle School.

February

• Langley police officers become the first law enforcement officers to carry Narcan, an opioid overdose antidote, in Island County.

• A state audit shows that Island Transit is on the road to recovery.

• A plan by state officials closes camping at South Whidbey State Park.

• Members of the Langley City Council vote to table a sanctuary city resolution. Nearly 200 people attended a meeting on the subject. Mayor Tim Callison threatens to quit if the sanctuary city ordinance is adopted. The ordinance doesn’t pass because three council members are against it, though there wasn’t a formal vote. Instead, the council adopts a resolution about inclusion.

• Kids play in the snow at Community Park.

• Theo Wells, 90, goes public with her plans to end her own life in order to help make assisted suicide less taboo.

• Fishermen wielding bows and arrows target carp in Lone Lake.

• Two Island County commissioners block a grant to the Town of Coupeville because they perceive the community as being against the Navy.

• Roberta in downtown Langley closes.

• Jenny Barrett of Freeland and her father plead guilty to stealing from investors in their escrow company.

March

• Sixteen-year-old Langley resident Janoah Spratt becomes the youngest-ever Good Cheer board member.

• Fair organizers announce that the Whidbey Island Fair will be held two weeks earlier than usual.

• Langley City Councilwoman Rene Neff announces she will resign.

• About 200 people attend meeting with U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Arlington).

• The Langley City Council agrees to discuss a new draft of an ordinance regarding inclusiveness. The new version explicitly restricts city funds from being used to enforce federal immigration laws. The council passed a resolution making Langley an inclusive city. Council members said they will continue to discuss an ordinance.

• The Port of South Whidbey looks at $1.67 million in upgrades to the fairgrounds.

• “Citizen scientists” publish a study on seabirds.

• Langley Mayor Tim Callison sends the South Whidbey Record a bill after a reporter speaks to the city attorney. Callison later says the bill was just to get the attention of the newspaper. The issue makes regional news.

• Freeland Sewer and Water District commissioners move forward with a sewer project, voting against a resolution that would have shelved the plans.

• A sharp-shinned hawk spent 12 hours flying around The Goose grocery store until it was caught by a falconer.

• Two South Whidbey teens are arrested on North Whidbey after an alleged car-stealing spree.

• Island County launches an innovative program targeting opioid abuse on South Whidbey and Camano Island.

• Island County commissioners approve a $122,000 grant to the Whidbey Homeless Coalition. The money helps open a shelter in Oak Harbor.

April

• A Comcast outage affects 13,000 devices on Whidbey.

• A study of the proposed sewer system in Freeland shows that rates would soar, putting the project in limbo.

• Langley’s famous rabbits raid a city hall garden, but the population appears to be on the decline.

• A 30-mile Highway 525 paving project begins.

• Good Cheer Executive Director Kathy McCabe announces her retirement.

• The Langley Ethics and Training Advisory Board concludes that Mayor Tim Callison’s attempt to bill the South Whidbey Record for talking with the city attorney was “misdirected” but not unethical.

• Hundreds of people search for stuffed bunnies during the Langley Bunny Daze Rabbit Hunt.

• A federal study shows that Island County is the least sunny county in the lower 48.

• A new exhibit at the Island County Historical Society’s museum highlights 120,000 years of history.

• A boat strikes a gray whale in the Saratoga Passage, but the whale’s fate is a mystery.

• Two former corrections deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office are accused of falsifying logs and appear in court.

• WhidbeyHealth board selected Kurt Blankenship to replace Georgia Gardner, who resigned.

May

• Hundreds of people march in climate change protest.

• Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks returns from a trip to Guantanamo Bay.

• Bow fishermen return to Lone Lake and hunt for carp, snagging two.

• Hearts & Hammers workday draws over 300 people to help fix homes.

• A small earthquake at Useless Bay is noticed by some.

• Peter Morton files to run against Thomas Gill on the Langley City Council. Christy Korrow and Burt Beusch file for a seat. Bill Nesbeitt files to run against Dominique Emerson. Bigi Giese and Matt Simms file to run for the same position.

• The Langley City Council sends an inclusive city ordinance to city attorney for further review.

• Four people are poisoned in separate incidents on South Whidbey.

• Residents both criticize and embrace a sidewalks plan for First Street in Langley.

• Useless Bay tidelands remain under the stewardship of Washington State Parks in a plan approved by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

• South Whidbey girls golf wins its first state title.

• Lake Stevens resident Diane Sturlaugson is killed when her moped was struck by Clinton resident Jeffrey Lewellen.

June

• Former Greenbank resident Thom Gunn files to run for Seattle mayor. He doesn’t win.

• Langley City Council members vote 2-1 to indefinitely table a proposed inclusive city ordinance.

• Langley City Council appoint Burt Beusch to the empty seat.

• Jeffrey Lewellen pleads not guilty to vehicular homicide.

• Nichols Brothers Boat Builders launches a National Geographic Quest cruise boat.

• Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services assist South Whidbey firefighters in rescuing dog named “Chunk” from a Clinton bluff.

• Organizers scrub the Choochkam festival again and announce a new vision.

• South Whidbey is named among the “nicest” places in a Reader’s Digest Magazine contest.

• Jeffrey Chia of Clinton wins the sparring title in the 50-59 age division of the American Taekwondo World Championship.

July

• The Langley City Council votes to give The Machine Shop approval for an indoor live amplified music event.

• Island County’s opioid outreach team obtains 100 naloxone kits to be made available to crisis interveners.

• Police arrest Blake Fountain, 48, for allegedly starting a fire that burned two homes in Useless Bay Colony. Police said he was suffering from mental health problems. He was charged with arson.

• Protests against President Donald Trump continue on South Whidbey.

• Visser Funeral Home in Langley closes. It was the only funeral home on South Whidbey.

• A grassroots effort forms to save 40 acres of forested land near Langley.

• Wells Fargo announces that its bank in Clinton is closing.

• Toxic algae closes Lone Lake.

• Hundreds flock to the opening day the Whidbey Island Fair.

• A fire in the attic forces the closure of Senior Thrift in Freeland.

• Thieves once again raided the cash box at Island Greens Golf Course and Driving Range.

• A suspected drunk driver runs into a car driver by Emmy-award-winning rapper Macklemore.

August

• Island County commissioners seek solutions to backlog of code violations.

• Hundreds compete in the Whidbey Triathlon.

• The Island County Sheriff’s Office holds a meeting about drug houses in the Sun Vista neighborhood in Sunlight Beach.

• Firefighters rescue a woman after she drove a car off a cliff in Clinton.

• Officials warn that smoke from Canadian wildfires will continue to blanket Whidbey.

• Police say a Langley man shot a woman in the head with a pellet gun because she wouldn’t stop feeding raw chicken to bald eagles.

• The city of Langley and Langley Main Street orders three “pirate-style” telescopes for viewpoints overlooking Saratoga Passage.

• The Langley Art Commission propose that taxpayers pay for insuring temporary works of public art.

• March in Langley celebrates gay pride.

• Wallie Funk dies. He was the former owner of the South Whidbey Record, the Whidbey News-Times and the Anacortes American.

• The moon eclipses the sun. People gather to view the event with eclipse glasses.

• Neighbors protest an overnight camping event in Clinton.

• Macklemore appears in district court for driving with a suspended license.

• Island County Sheriff’s Office keeps its eye on five drug houses.

• A vacant Honeymoon Bay house is destroyed in a suspected arson fire. A teenager was later charged with starting the fire.

• The Soup Box Derby draws crowds and smiles.

September

• Jeffrey Lewellen pleads guilty to vehicular homicide in the death of Diane Sturlaugson.

• South Whidbey High School’s football stadium is named after Jim “Coach” Leierer.

• South Whidbey residents help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

• Birth centers report a modest increase in births.

• A final review of the Island County jail documents “impressive” changes after the dehydration death of 25-year-old inmate Keaton Farris.

• Clinton resident Anthony Banks, an employee of The Goose, competes in the Best Bagger Contest.

• The 17th annual DjangoFest jazzes up Langley.

• A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office shoots and kills a man on North Whidbey.

• The state Auditor’s Office issues a finding against Island County for the second year in a row.

• Langley officials seek audience with the owner of vacant buildings.

• Dick Caldwell, a former Island County commissioner, dies at age 83.

• Officials at South Whidbey Fire/EMS say they are considering going outside the district boundaries to recruit.

October

• A group called Tiny Houses in the Name of Christ forms with the goal of obtaining property to build a cluster of small homes.

• The Lagoon Point Community Association finishes replacing the island’s only privately owned bridge.

• Joey Shapiro Key, a 1997 graduate of South Whidbey High School, is among the 1,000 scientists who make history observing gravitational waves, an effort that earned the Nobel Prize.

• Clinton resident John Norris buys a publicly auctioned storage unit and finds a human skull inside.

• Dark sky advocates begin an effort to dim nighttime lights on Whidbey.

• Langley Councilman Bruce Allen admits to discussing city business with other council members at a social club, raising questions about public meeting law violations.

• Clinton couple Tim and Harriet Arnold raise $800,000 for clean water in Ethiopia.

• Langley holds an open house on its comprehensive plan update.

• A report shows that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases fell in Island County.

• Langley Councilman Burt Beusch files an ethics complaint against a member of the city’s ethics board for publicly accusing him of supporting President Donald Trump.

• An armed robber hits a Clinton gas station on Halloween.

November

• An Island County Superior Court judge rules in favor of the Holmes Harbor Sewer District in an easement-related lawsuit.

• Langley Middle School is reborn as the South Whidbey Community Center.

• A Lone Lake area house is damaged by a fire.

• A Greenbank man brings his therapy dog to Las Vegas to comfort victims of the mass shooting.

• An armed robber again robs a Clinton gas station. A suspect, Jonathan “Lexi” Zupan, is later caught outside the gas station by a Langley police officer.

• An unusual outage leaves thousands without power on South Whidbey.

• Christy Korrow, Peter Morton, Dominique Emerson and Peter Morton are elected to the Langley City Council.

• A wind storm knocks out power on South Whidbey, causing a school closure.

• A passenger on the Clinton-to-Mukilteo ferry is arrested after allegedly threatening a fellow passenger with a big knife.

• Senior Thrift reopens from a fire in time for the holidays.

• The Langley ethics board rules that Monica Guzman did not act unethically in writing a letter to the editor of the South Whidbey Record claiming that Councilman Burt Beusch was a Trump supporter.

• In a surprise 3-0 vote, the Langley City Council votes to become an inclusive city.

December

• A memorial sign on Highway 525 is dedicated to Tim Keil, the victim of an intoxicated driver.

• Whidbey Community Foundation forms to support nonprofit groups on the island.

• The Holly Jolly Parade spreads Christmas cheer in Langley.

• Sno-Isle library officials propose a levy increase to solve a $2 million deficit predicted for 2019.

• South Whidbey High School announces it will leave the combined 1A/2A Cascade Conference with four other 1A schools to form a new league called the North Sound Conference.

• The Whidbey Island Chapter of the Citizen Climate Lobby call on the Langley City Council to endorse a national policy that could lead to a cap on carbon production.

• State Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, introduces a net neutrality bill.

• Safe Ride Home restarts on South Whidbey. The nonprofit program provides rides home for people who are intoxicated.

• A nearly $1 million grant from the federal government helps expand Nichols Brothers Boat Builders’ apprenticeship program.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Freeland residents Sophie and Miles Price chow down on curly fries during the opening day of the 2017 Whidbey Island Fair.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Freeland residents Sophie and Miles Price chow down on curly fries during the opening day of the 2017 Whidbey Island Fair.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Sgt. Darren Crownover checks license plate numbers in the sheriff’s office database while patrolling “high-activity” houses. He says there are 5 houses on South Whidbey the sheriff’s office has its eye on.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Sgt. Darren Crownover checks license plate numbers in the sheriff’s office database while patrolling “high-activity” houses. He says there are 5 houses on South Whidbey the sheriff’s office has its eye on.

Evan Thompson / The Record — Blake Fountain, 48, was accused of burning down a Useless Bay Colony home and partially destroying another in July.

Evan Thompson / The Record — Blake Fountain, 48, was accused of burning down a Useless Bay Colony home and partially destroying another in July.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — A demonstrator waves the signature rainbow flag, one of many flown during a gay pride parade in August.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — A demonstrator waves the signature rainbow flag, one of many flown during a gay pride parade in August.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Langley residents Nancy Loorem Adams (left) and Debbie Loudon (right) sing along to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during August’s partial solar eclipse.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Langley residents Nancy Loorem Adams (left) and Debbie Loudon (right) sing along to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during August’s partial solar eclipse.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Jeffrey Lewellen, 30, sits in Island County County Superior Court as he’s sentenced to 138 months in state prison for vehicular homicide.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Jeffrey Lewellen, 30, sits in Island County County Superior Court as he’s sentenced to 138 months in state prison for vehicular homicide.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Kids piled onto the same board to pick up maximum speed down a hill at Community Park in February.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Kids piled onto the same board to pick up maximum speed down a hill at Community Park in February.

So long, 2017. Monday is the start of a new year. It’s unclear what’s in store for 2018, but if it’s anything like this year, it should be nothing less than a whirlwind. Below is a recap of some of the biggest stories from 2017. January • Freeland Sewer and Water District commissioners unanimously agree […]

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Krash Zen drummer Rachman Ross and bassist Stephen Ross play in front of a crowd at the Bayview Street Dance on June 28 at the Bayview Cash Store.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Krash Zen drummer Rachman Ross and bassist Stephen Ross play in front of a crowd at the Bayview Street Dance on June 28 at the Bayview Cash Store.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Glendale Shepherd employee Anna Magnuson enters a pen during lambing seasons to check on the older lambs, but is ambushed in the process.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Glendale Shepherd employee Anna Magnuson enters a pen during lambing seasons to check on the older lambs, but is ambushed in the process.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Theo Wells chats with The Record Feb. 9, three days before the day she selected as her last.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Theo Wells chats with The Record Feb. 9, three days before the day she selected as her last.

Marc Studer photo — Joey Shapiro Key, a 1997 graduate of South Whidbey High School, was among over 1,000 scientists who made history when they observed and studied gravitational waves in September 2015. On Oct. 3, it was announced that the breakthrough achievement received a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Marc Studer photo — Joey Shapiro Key, a 1997 graduate of South Whidbey High School, was among over 1,000 scientists who made history when they observed and studied gravitational waves in September 2015. On Oct. 3, it was announced that the breakthrough achievement received a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Jay Johnson, a Camano resident, muscles in a grass carp at Lone Lake on May 5. He and two other bow fishermen hunted the lake at the request of area fishing clubs. The carp eat vegetation and are believed to be linked to a trout die-off last year resulting from low oxygen levels.

Justin Burnett / The Record — Jay Johnson, a Camano resident, muscles in a grass carp at Lone Lake on May 5. He and two other bow fishermen hunted the lake at the request of area fishing clubs. The carp eat vegetation and are believed to be linked to a trout die-off last year resulting from low oxygen levels.

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