Each year the businesses and community in Coupeville come together to celebrate one thing the area is known for — mussels.
One of the things my mutt from the pound and I like to do together is go on long walks. Sometimes on weekends Buster Brown and I stroll at the bottom of the Snake River Canyon where dogs can be off-leash (as Mother Nature intended). There’s a 6-mile walk in the canyon we like to do: me limping along in a straight line, Buster ranging over a wider area of ground sniffing for wildlife. Closer to home, there is a 6-mile loop around town we enjoy.
Regarding the Feb. 13 The Whidbey Examiner article, “COER asks Whidbey land trust to suspend taking Navy funding,” please let me see if I’ve got this straight. The Navy contributes funds to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust which, in turn, uses the funds to protect the island’s natural resources.
An audit report released Tuesday by the state auditor’s office reveals Whidbey General Hospital overpaid its employees more than $180,000 in 2012. According to the report, auditors concluded that hospital officials didn’t have adequate control over the payroll process. This undoubtedly comes as a shock to voters who, in November, approved a $50 million bond for the hospital to expand and renovate its aging facilities.
An open house is scheduled to inform residents about road construction that will prompt the temporary closure of the intersection at Zylstra and Hastie Lake roads.
I think this time of year on the Rock gets a bad rap. People are prone to use a lot of words that start with “D” to describe it. Damp, dark, dank, dreary, dour, drizzly, depressing.
Next week voters are being asked to renew two existing levies in the Coupeville School District. One levy covers the district’s maintenance and operations, which brings in $2.24 million each year for four years. Those levy dollars help pay for vital needs in the district such as teacher salaries, para-educators, a school nurse, library services, transportation and instructional materials. The other levy is a technology levy brings in $300,000 each year and provides funds to keep technology up-to-date, an important investment in society today.
Thirty years ago I was a light smoker. What can I say? I liked the effect nicotine had on my brain. Once I was hooked, I even liked the smell of tobacco smoke. Then there was the ritual. I enjoyed lighting up with others, sharing a match, having a few minutes to talk together. But I also realized smoking was a dangerous habit. After several failed attempts to quit, I was able, for some reason, to go cold turkey and finally be done with tobacco. There were some difficult days and restless nights, but I made it and have been free of my nicotine dependence for a long time.
During a special meeting of Coupeville Town Council last week, Councilman Bob Clay expressed his frustration at the public’s perception of how the town is handling issues surrounding jet noise. The purpose of the special meeting was to approve a statement from the council for submission to the Navy’s environmental impact study of jet noise at Outlying Field.
When I was a kid, Jimmy Carter was in the White House. His wife, Rosalynn, was quite an active First Lady. She sat in on official meetings held by her husband and was said to be one of his closest advisors. Many First Ladies have used their position to promote a cause. One of the things that most interested Rosalynn Carter was mental health research and treatment. She has remained active in promoting those areas since leaving the White House. So it was fitting when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently addressed the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on mental health policy in Atlanta. Sebelius announced new federal rules that will beef up the 2008 mental health equity law.
This is the time of year when we pray for peace and goodwill on earth, and resolve to do better in the future. We need some of that peace and goodwill to wash ashore on the rock right about now. It’s been a tough year for peace and goodwill on Whidbey Island. We rock dwellers, usually so blissful and content, have become stranded at the intersection of Jets = Jobs and Jets = Deafness, hung up by the nexus of Tourists = Dollars and Tourists = Crowding, tangled in the Gordian knot of taxed too much versus not enough services.
For the past year, Town of Coupeville officials have been exploring options in dealing with staffing issues within the marshal’s office. Mayor Nancy Conard said the issue began a little more than a year ago with a sudden turnover within the department. The town is looking at two options, to keep its department with changes to staffing, or to contract with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.
There aren’t a whole lot of spaces on Central Whidbey that can accommodate larger meeting groups and events.
We ate a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner last week at the Oystercatcher restaurant in Coupeville. Chef-owners Joe Scott and Jamie Sastre, who are about to leave us for the wilds of Asheville, N.C., outdid themselves with everything from soup (creamy celery root blended with kale) to salad (local greens with apples, pickled figs and feta) to roast turkey (heritage breed grown in Ephrata with sage stuffing and local braised vegetables) to nuts (pecan tart with sour cream sorbet).
It makes good financial sense to get your home and vehicle ready for the winter. So doesn’t it make just as much sense to put some effort into winterizing your landscaping? After all, according to horticultural and lending experts – not your usual bedfellows – landscaping is one of the few home improvements that always increases both the curb appeal and the value of your property. Not only that, but that added value can grow as the landscaping grows and matures over time. Besides, if you’re reading this column, you either enjoy gardening or you enjoy the results of gardening. The last thing you want is to see your hard work during the other three seasons of the year come to nothing after an ugly winter catches you off guard.
I’m a horrible Christmas shopper. You will never catch me standing in line on Black Friday waiting for some crazy savings. In fact, I haven’t even started my shopping list.
I’d like to introduce you to some of the new faces at Town Hall: Bridget Smith is our new planner, and is also handling some of the work regarding building permits. Bridget has been on board since May 28. She has a bachelor’s degree in architecture, from University of Oregon, which will serve her well in working with the Historic Preservation Commission and our local residents processing building permits in Ebey’s Reserve.
As the holiday season approaches, people usually take a moment to stop, look around and appreciate the things for which they are thankful. Residents in Coupeville should have a lot of thankfulness. They get to live in a beautiful, charming community that does so much to support each other.
While results haven’t yet been certified, last week voters seemingly approved a $50 million bond for Whidbey General Hospital to upgrade and expand its facility.
‘Tis autumn on the Rock, and although it’s my favorite season I also consider it a bittersweet time of year.