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Congressman visits Goosefoot businesses

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen speaks with Bayview business owner Chris Dennis, not pictured, Friday. His son, 9-year-old Cedar, was less interested by the visit. - Ben Watanabe / The Record
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen speaks with Bayview business owner Chris Dennis, not pictured, Friday. His son, 9-year-old Cedar, was less interested by the visit.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

On a short stop in Bayview, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen visited with business owners at the Bayview Cash Store on Friday.

Larsen, who represents Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, including Whidbey Island, stopped by on his way to meet with the Island County Housing Authority. And while owners of the Handsome Framer, La Salon Bella, Tres Gringos and Sojourn Studios were plenty happy to make small talk and shake Larsen’s hand, a couple of youngsters were more interested in what Jeff Corwin had to say about exotic animals.

Larsen, speaking with Chris Dennis, owner of The Handsome Framer, asked what Dennis’ sons were watching. They were too engrossed in the laptop screen to answer, however, leading Larsen, Dennis and Goosefoot’s Sandra Whiting and Marian Myszkowski to laugh.

“I felt nervous, like I had the truant officer here,” Dennis laughed.

His sons, 9-year-old Cedar and 6-year-old Leo, were not in school because they attend South Whidbey Academy and regularly do not have class Friday.

The Dennis children ignoring the congressman was just an extension of the family’s history. Dennis said his niece infamously asked Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch of the United Kingdom, why she picks at her nails.

“Our family has a history of snubbing,” he said. “Our niece snubbed, actually insulted the Queen of England.”

Larsen’s interest was far more domestic. As he entered the Bayview Cash Store, Larsen mentioned he was closely monitoring the Washington State Legislature as it worked on a special session for possible incentives to keep Boeing work on the 777X in Washington. 

Speaking to Whidbey business owners, like 25-year-old Brittany De Martini, Larsen asked how they were faring. Goosefoot Community Fund, a nonprofit that works on economic development, has filled the Cash Store with nine businesses, despite losing the Star Store last month.

“Our main goal is economic development on the South End,” Whiting said.

Goosefoot’s leaders have ambitions to expand its largest holding — retail space near the Goose Community Grocer — in the next 10 years. Don’t expect a Starbucks or Taco Bell, though.

“There will only be local business,” Whiting said.

 

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