Roy Jacobson

The Island Home

Nichols Brothers vies for Keystone ferry contract

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders is preparing a bid to construct a portion of two new 64-car high-speed ferries for the Keystone-Port Townsend run, said Matt Nichols, managing director for business development, Thursday

The Island Home

Ride the bus and make money for schools, officials say

Student ridership during the week beginning Monday, Oct. 13, will determine how much transportation money the South Whidbey School District gets from the state.

Schools put pressure on to get water back

The South Whidbey School District wants its contractors to get the lead out in getting the lead out.

Two for the show: County auditor’s race suddenly contested

First there was no opponent in the Island County auditor’s race, and then, all of a sudden, there was. Oak Harbor City Council member Jim Palmer received enough votes in a write-in campaign in the primaries to qualify for the general election ballot Nov. 4. He’ll face incumbent Sheilah Crider, who assumed the office in January.

Leigh Anderson signs her first set of documents as a member of the South Whidbey School District board on Wednesday night.

Anderson picked to fill South Whidbey school board seat

Leigh Anderson, a Freeland business consultant and longtime education advocate, is the newest member of the South Whidbey School District board.

Leigh Anderson signs her first set of documents as a member of the South Whidbey School District board on Wednesday night.

Bayview on track to become healthcare central in South Whidbey

Bayview will soon be the hub for South End medical services offered by Whidbey General Hospital.

An architect's rendering shows the retail/office building planned for the Harbor Avenue site of Freeland Lanes.

Commercial building to replace historic Freeland bowling alley

Freeland Lanes is about to be knocked off its pins. Owner Steve Myers plans to tear down the landmark bowling alley on Harbor Avenue and put up a retail/office building.

An architect's rendering shows the retail/office building planned for the Harbor Avenue site of Freeland Lanes.

South Whidbey school enrollment figures reflect downward trend

Barring an unlikely invasion of the South End by a swarm of children lugging books, this year’s high school graduating class will be the largest for a long time to come.

Hearing coming for removing moratorium on Dogwood property

The owner of forest land north of Freeland is moving ahead with plans for five housing projects on a portion of the property. Dogwood Whidbey Development has applied to Island County for permits to establish planned residential developments, or PRDs, on 234 of its 800 acres, and to lift a moratorium to allow clearing and grading on the sites.

Navy Chief Petty Officer Rusty Vonqueruer

Donated home is almost ready

When you’re battling the high cost of housing, there’s nothing like a freebie. And once you get a free house, there’s nothing like some free labor to spruce it up.

Navy Chief Petty Officer Rusty Vonqueruer
JaNoah Spratt shows off some home-grown potatoes on Thursday. He plans to sell them and other vegetables to benefit Good Cheer’s food bank.

Youth fights hunger, one tater at a time

From a little booth at the end of his driveway along Fox Spit Road, JaNoah Spratt is living proof you’re never too young to make a difference. “I just wanted to help out with the hungry and stuff,” he said. “And I’ve found a way to do it.”

JaNoah Spratt shows off some home-grown potatoes on Thursday. He plans to sell them and other vegetables to benefit Good Cheer’s food bank.
Signs warning about the swimming danger in Holmes Harbor were still posted Thursday

UPDATE: Holmes Harbor is now safe for swimming

The surge to clean up Holmes Harbor appears to be working. You still can’t eat the shellfish, but you can swim again, county health officials say.

Signs warning about the swimming danger in Holmes Harbor were still posted Thursday

Cellphone driving law: biteless to distraction

You’re headed down the road, doing the speed limit. CD’s playing. You tap your left foot. It’s OK, you’re not using it for anything else. You rap your right hand on the steering wheel, maybe both hands. You warm up your baritone, get in the groove, lay down some harmony. Hmmm, a sneeze coming on. No problem. You can sneeze with your eyes open. Usually. The kids are getting into a fight in the back seat.

Island County Fire District 3 talks finances with volunteers

A meeting to tell volunteer firefighters about future funding plans being considered by Island County Fire District 3 will be held tonight at South Whidbey High School. Fire District 3 wants to build a new headquarters and training facility in Bayview, and is expected to ask taxpayers for $4 million, although no date has been set.

No new school bond vote coming next year

South Whidbey school officials are looking farther down the road as they consider a new bond issue to make needed building improvements. “We need more time,” South Whidbey School District Superintendent Fred McCarthy said Thursday. “This is something we want to be really well-planned, with lots of data and lots of community input.”

Middle school seismic upgrade: How costly?

School officials aren’t shaking in their shoes over a new seismic study of the middle school, but they would like to know the bottom line. “We want a ballpark number,” South Whidbey School District Superintendent Fred McCarthy said Thursday. “Is it going to cost $20,000 or $2 million?”

$20 million bond on the horizon for schools

With one eye on the economy and the other on the number of requests for public money, South Whidbey school officials are considering a bond issue next year for building maintenance and improvements.

District 3 firefighters Bryce Lyshol

South End firefighters take the Firefighter Combat Challenge

Four members of South Whidbey Fire District 3 took part in the two-day Firefighter Combat Challenge at the recent Pioneer Square Fire Festival in Seattle.

District 3 firefighters Bryce Lyshol
Volunteers Laura Hernandez and Anie Piehler look over items available to students at the Family Resource Center.

Project makes sure start of school is fun for all

School starts Thursday, but it’s not too late to return to class in style, thanks to the Back to School Project. Now in its 10th year, the charitable effort sponsored by the Readiness To Learn Foundation and the Family Resource Center, gathers community donations to help outfit students who may not be able to afford essential items.

Volunteers Laura Hernandez and Anie Piehler look over items available to students at the Family Resource Center.

WASL scores are a mixed bag for South End

There was some good and some bad, but nothing really ugly. South Whidbey School District students showed mixed results in the latest WASL, the statewide learning test.