Roy Jacobson

Laura Valente looks out at Saratoga Passage from her deck at Whidbey Shores. She fears that ghost-shrimp harvesters will keep the gray whales away.

Residents worried about impact of shrimp harvesting on whales

Residents along Saratoga Passage are concerned that shrimp harvesters are depleting the traditional feeding grounds of the gray whales that have been stopping for lunch on their annual journey from Mexico to Alaska.

Laura Valente looks out at Saratoga Passage from her deck at Whidbey Shores. She fears that ghost-shrimp harvesters will keep the gray whales away.

Report urges seven-fold rate increase in stormwater fees

Six years from now, city property owners should be paying more than seven and a half times as much as they do now to get rid of stormwater, according to a preliminary report prepared for the city council.

Play area at primary school closed following seismic study

Students at South Whidbey Primary School will have to find another place to avoid the rain at recess. The covered play area between buildings on the south side of the school has been closed after a seismic study determined that it isn’t up to state earthquake standards.

Hospital commissioner spreads the word on South End healthcare

rethe Cammermeyer of Langley bit off a mouthful when she became the South End representative on the Whidbey General Hospital board of directors. But she’s chewing as fast as she can.

Juli An Panfilio

Living Green is a place you can just let it be

Juli An Panfilio considers herself to be a merchant for the Self. “People who come in here get to take off their facade and be real,” she said. “They’re able to just be. That’s what makes this place really great.” Panfilio, 48, is owner of Living Green Natural Food & Apothecary, an oasis of “nourishment” in a vintage building with a big white “Langley” painted on the wall at Second Street and De Bruyn Avenue, surrounded by storage lockers and a couple of metal sculptures at the top of the hill out of downtown.

Juli An Panfilio
Oliver the cat clings to the topmost branch of an 80-foot cedar tree north of Freeland. He was rescued after spending at least two days and nights on the precarious perch.

Langley’s high-stakes cat drama comes to a happy finish

Oliver went out on a limb the day he decided he was an outdoor cat. The limb, unfortunately, was about 80 feet up a Western red cedar tree.

Oliver the cat clings to the topmost branch of an 80-foot cedar tree north of Freeland. He was rescued after spending at least two days and nights on the precarious perch.

Hub to hand out condoms; infections on the rise

In the face of an “alarming increase” in chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections among Island County youths, condoms will be made available beginning next week at a teen drop-in center in Langely.

Randall Leese of Greenbank is about to leave with his brother on a round-the-world bicycle adventure. “It’s not about finishing the trip

Around the world for children

Two brothers from Greenbank are peddling and pedaling philanthropy in a big way. They’re setting off early next month on a two-year, 25,000-mile bicycle trip through 25 countries.

Randall Leese of Greenbank is about to leave with his brother on a round-the-world bicycle adventure. “It’s not about finishing the trip
Little Miss

Freeland sunbather is The Clyde’s alpha dog

Woof, Mr. DeMille. She’s ready for her close-up. Little Miss, a 9-year-old miniature American Eskimo dog, took the folding seat of honor in the balcony Saturday after being selected from among 116 entries to become The Clyde Theatre’s 2009 Top Dog.

Little Miss

Drinking fountains are almost ready, school officials say

After a seven-month delay, the South Whidbey School District may be within a couple of weeks of bringing water fountains back to its buildings.

Dave Johnson and Glenn Jones repair the stairs to the beach at South Whidbey State Park last weekend. “It was silly not to have them open

Two years later, volunteers repair state park stairway

It’s back to the beach at South Whidbey State Park north of Freeland, thanks to a few community volunteers who took tools in hand and fixed the stairs waylaid by a winter storm two years ago.

Dave Johnson and Glenn Jones repair the stairs to the beach at South Whidbey State Park last weekend. “It was silly not to have them open
This hopper barge built in the past by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and launched in Holmes Harbor is similar to those ordered in a tentative contract with the Panama Canal Authority. Nichols Brothers has built a variety of barges

Nichols Brothers close to landing $25 million contract

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders is on the verge of a $25 million barge-building contract that would provide jobs for as many as 75 new employees in the next two to three months, Len York, chief executive officer, said Thursday. That’s if the company can borrow the money.

This hopper barge built in the past by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and launched in Holmes Harbor is similar to those ordered in a tentative contract with the Panama Canal Authority. Nichols Brothers has built a variety of barges

Highland Games needs volunteers or it may be cancelled

The air may be about to go out of the bagpipes. The annual Whidbey Island Highland Games, sponsored by the Whidbey Island Celtic Society, is in danger of being cancelled after 10 years for lack of volunteers.

Holmes Harbor: An uphill fight with downhill pollution

The battle goes on to reduce pollution threatening shellfish in Holmes Harbor as county officials kick off a series of public information meetings on the subject this week.

Budget crisis may force sheriff to cut back at county fair, Maxwelton parade

Police staffing for the Island County Fair and other South Whidbey community events may dwindle as county officials look for ways to combat a huge budget deficit.

Stimulus benefits ferries, schools

Ferries and schools will get a little piece of the federal stimulus pie, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen said Friday.

Michael Scullin and sculptor Tim Leonard hoist the bell that will become Langley’s early-warning system for visiting whales. Scullin

For whom the Langley bell tolls? It tolls for whales

When it comes to timely whale-spotting, Langley’s reputation may be saved by the bell. An early-warning system was erected in the nick of time this past weekend for this year’s gray whale migration.

Michael Scullin and sculptor Tim Leonard hoist the bell that will become Langley’s early-warning system for visiting whales. Scullin

Critics of diking district get a seat at the table

Embattled Island County Diking District 1 has a new commissioner — one of its critics. John Shepard, a retired professor of medicine, was appointed to the three-man commission this week by Island County Commissioners.

South Whidbey Historical Society President Bob Waterman looks over documents from the campaign to save Saratoga Woods in Langley on Wednesday. With him are Elizabeth Guss of the Whidbey-Camano Land Trust; Cary Peterson and Cynthia Tilkin

Battle of Saratoga Woods to be preserved at historical museum

An important chunk of South Whidbey history wound up in an appropriate place this week. Files documenting the six-year battle to preserve Saratoga Woods north of Langley were presented Wednesday to the South Whidbey Historical Society.

South Whidbey Historical Society President Bob Waterman looks over documents from the campaign to save Saratoga Woods in Langley on Wednesday. With him are Elizabeth Guss of the Whidbey-Camano Land Trust; Cary Peterson and Cynthia Tilkin

Rep. Smith moves to strengthen penalties for DUI convictions

Tougher penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are being pushed by state Rep. Norma Smith of Clinton.