Janis Reid

Island County makes strides toward GIS system completion

It’s a rare moment when all three Island County commissioners are silent and enwrapped. Just such a moment was witnessed as Public Works staff unveiled a first glimpse of the county’s long-awaited Geographical Information System (or GIS) at a recent work session.


Oak Harbor base opens doors to the public for Prowler sunset

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is inviting the public to its second annual open house this Saturday, June 27.


Whidbey hospital, agencies remain noncompliant with state auditor

Despite firing off a warning shot in January, the Washington State Auditor’s Office has still not received required financial data from Whidbey General Hospital and other local entities. It is the fourth year in a row that Whidbey General Hospital has failed to file documents on the state auditor’s website as part of an initiative to increase public access to information. Those filing the documents complain that the process is arduous and redundant and, for the moment, noncompliance carries no penalties so it tends to fall low on the priority list.


Coupeville man rides network of international cyclists

Pat Rodden didn’t have to fall on his head to decide to take his passion for cycling to the next level. But he did.

Holistic ‘nedicine’ doctor sues state, Oak Harbor

A holistic practitioner who was arrested by Oak Harbor police in March is suing the state Department of Health for $25 million. C. Hugh Jonson filed the lawsuit in federal court in Seattle last month claiming that he should be able to practice “nedicine” — not to be confused with medicine — under a federal trademark. Jonson and the organization that issued his license are fighting on a national level to retain their right to practice their own brand of natural medicine.

BEACH WATCHERS TO STAND ALONE: Group casts off university shackles to become independent organization

The Island County Beach Watchers are breaking free from Washington State University Extension, citing frustration with restrictive policies and conflicts in vision.

Frustrations, concerns mount over critical areas ordinance update

The long and drawn-out process of updating the county’s critical areas ordinance continues as the county outlined yet another plan last week. The state’s hearing examiner rejected a quick-fix ordinance protecting wetlands and other critical areas in May, a process that has been ongoing for years.

State Route 20, Deception Pass construction project began Monday

The paving project from Frostad Road to Sharpes corner began Monday and will include five nights of full closures for Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges in mid-July or August.

Homeless count yields a few surprises in Island County

Nearly half of Island County’s homeless are working. This fact is one of several revelations discussed in recent weeks with Island County commissioners as the result of the 2015 point-in-time count performed in January.

Sea star populations make slow recovery from disease

Sea stars around Whidbey Island are making a slow recovery after the effects of a deadly disease wiped out millions of them over the past year.

Langley man rams neighbor’s car over property dispute

A Langley man is facing assault charges for allegedly ramming his car into a neighbor’s vehicle and threatening to kill them. Christian Devon Irmer, who was charged this week in Island County Superior Court, and his neighbors had an ongoing dispute about property lines, according to a police report.

Stay away from Whidbey fawns, experts say

The first two weeks of May is when Whidbey Island sees an increase in the number of adorable and seemingly helpless baby deer. Despite the human urge to gather them up and protect them when they appear abandoned, state and county officials urge people to keep away.

Judge vindicates Island Transit in racial lawsuit

An Island County Superior Court judge has ruled that Island Transit leadership did not fire a former lead mechanic because of his race or age.

Forum to hone in on Whidbey’s mental health issues

A forum on South Whidbey will tackle the complex issues surrounding mental health and its treatment next week.

‘Heroes’ honored for improving Island County community health

Around 125 people gathered Tuesday night to celebrate some of Whidbey Island’s most civic-minded citizens as the 2015 Linda Lee Martins Memorial Community Health Heroes.

Whidbey General’s new CEO hits ground running

Whidbey General Hospital’s new CEO Geri Forbes demonstrated a new brand of leadership this past weekend when she attended a community event at Fort Nugent Park.

Whidbey General Hospital withheld information, nurses say

A complaint filed by the state nurses’ association last month includes a claim that Whidbey General Hospital withheld requested information several times in recent months.

South End family offers hospital $50,000 in matching funds

In keeping with their father’s vision, the Waterman sisters have offered $50,000 in matching funds to the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation.

Freeland continues fight for growth in Comp Plan | CORRECTED

Island County is tackling the complex subject of transitioning a rural commercial district into a city — namely Freeland.

Whidbey man survives Nepal earthquake

A Whidbey vintner got more than he bargained for when he survived the recent earthquake in Nepal during a Mount Everest ascent.