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Whidbey General Hospital needs to tighten reins on pay protocol | Some Perspective

  • Feb 21, 2014 at 3:08PM

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.

Washington State Parks schedule free days

  • Feb 25, 2014 at 10:00AM

Washington State Parks will offer free days where visitors won’t have to display a Discover Pass when visiting a state park.

Port commissioners laying groundwork for Greenbank Farm change

  • Feb 22, 2014 at 10:00AM

Commissioners for the Port of Coupeville are starting work to determine how the Greenbank Farm will be operated. The current contract with the Greenbank Farm Management Group expires in mid-2015 and port commissioners are looking at the best way to prepare for that deadline. The three-member elected board will meet in March to discuss parameters they would like to include in the request for proposal used to advertise for potential entities interested in managing the Greenbank Farm. “There are a lot of questions that need to be addressed,” said Port of Coupeville executive director Tim McDonald.

New owners take on Coupeville's Back to the Island

  • Feb 25, 2014 at 10:00AM

There’s a new face running one of the businesses on Coupeville’s historic Front Street. Pati Schmakeit recently bought Back to the Island, a small boutique located next door to the Penn Cove Gallery. Back to the Island sells clothes and novelties popular with tourists and neighbors alike. She had a casual journey to becoming a business owner.

Whidbey grower starts selling organic seeds

  • Feb 24, 2014 at 2:00PM

Gardeners will have a new source for seeds that should thrive in Whidbey’s climate. Deep Harvest Farm located on South Whidbey Island is offering a selection of organic vegetable seeds at Bayview Farm and Garden located in Langley. Nathaniel Talbot, owner of Deep Harvest Farm, has been developing organic seeds since he was a student at the farmer training center located at the Greenbank Farm. He has 20 varieties of vegetable seeds he has available for sale at the south end garden center.

Proposed law could shift farm costs

  • Feb 23, 2014 at 10:00AM

A proposed change to a law aimed at preserving farmland and open space could result in higher taxes for some Washington property owners, including in Island County. House Bill 2306 would expand a tax classification on land actively used for agriculture, timber production or undeveloped open space. While property tax is generally assessed on the market value of a parcel, the state’s Open Space Taxation Act allows land to be taxed at a lower rate based on its current use, such as farming.

Storm wreaks havoc on Port of Coupeville floats, wharf

  • Feb 22, 2014 at 2:00PM

Repairs keep piling up for the Port of Coupeville. The small port district owns the Coupeville Wharf and the Greenbank Farm, both of which are 100 years old, and repair projects needed to keep the historic buildings safe are adding up. The latest project emerged last week after a wind storm blew through Whidbey Island. The blustery weather damaged the moorage floats and the deck and moorage tubs located at the Coupeville Wharf.

Audit finds Whidbey General Hospital overpaid its staff $180K

  • Feb 21, 2014 at 2:29PM

State auditors are critical of the way Whidbey General Hospital officials handle the payroll system. In a report released Tuesday, auditors said hospital officials “did not have adequate controls over payroll process to safeguard public resources.” Because of this problem, Whidbey General Hospital made $183,211 in overpayments to hospital employees and staff accrued 22.73 hours in unearned time off, according to the report.

Blaine bounces Wolves from district | Girls basketball

  • Feb 15, 2014 at 8:11AM

Emotionally spent after a tense, thrilling win the night before, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team fell at Blaine and out of the district tournament 50-40 Friday, Feb. 14

Elementary school cheerleaders joined high school comrades for a halftime performance

  • Feb 14, 2014 at 3:05PM

Their stature was small but their smiles were big. Coupeville High School cheerleaders of the future performed at halftime of the CHS girls basketball game Friday, Feb. 7.

Open house scheduled for construction project

  • Feb 15, 2014 at 10:00AM

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.

Opinion: Let’s hear it for the good ol’ damp and dark

  • Feb 14, 2014 at 3:02PM

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.

Letter: We’re not willing to sacrifice our future for Keystone pipeline

  • Feb 14, 2014 at 2:59PM

Editor, “Thou shall not pass!” was the Oglala Sioux and First Nations’ response to the State Department’s determination that the Keystone XL pipeline would not contribute to climate destabilization nor endanger the Oglala aquifer.

Chamber honors Coupeville’s business stars

  • Feb 14, 2014 at 2:59PM

Coupeville Chamber of Commerce honored several members Feb. 6 during its annual awards banquet. The big winner of the night was Dan Miranda and Front Street Grill, which won Business of the Year.

COER asks Whidbey land trust to suspend taking Navy funding

  • Feb 14, 2014 at 2:58PM

Whidbey Camano Land Trust will continue to accept Navy money to acquire land within Ebey’s Reserve, despite a request from jet noise opponents to suspend the relationship.

Coupeville school levies still passing after Thursday count

  • Feb 14, 2014 at 2:57PM

Central Whidbey voters gave Coupeville schools two thumbs up Tuesday.

Team effort carries Wolves to exciting win | Girls basketball

  • Feb 14, 2014 at 9:00AM updated at 1:04PM

Julia Myers was the last of a series of heroes that saved the day – and the season – for another night. Myers dropped in a free throw with 9.9 seconds left to help the Coupeville High School girls basketball team defeat visiting Meridian 42-41 in a district tournament, loser-out game Thursday, Feb. 13.

Slow 3rd quarter sinks Wolves in district opener | Girls basketball

  • Feb 12, 2014 at 8:00AM updated at 11:07AM

The Coupeville High School girls basketball team scored the first basket of the second half to take its first lead of the game but would score only once more in the decisive third quarter and lose 56-46 to Mount Baker Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Deming in the first round of the district tournament.

Coupeville School District levies passing with more than 60 percent voter approval

  • Feb 11, 2014 at 8:26PM

Two levies proposed by Coupeville School District are each passing tonight with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Wolves split 2, head to postseason | Girls basketball

  • Feb 10, 2014 at 9:00AM updated Feb 11, 2014 at 9:55AM

After splitting its final two regular season games, it's on to the playoffs for the Coupeville High School girls basketball team.

Coupeville deputy marshal arrested and held on $30,000 bail

  • Feb 7, 2014 at 4:25PM

A deputy with the Coupeville Marshal’s Office was arrested Friday in connection with a 2007 incident in which he allegedly handcuffed his former girlfriend on the side of a dark road during a fight, according to an Oak Harbor police report. Hodges Gowdey III, a well-known and longtime deputy marshal, appeared in Island County Superior Court Friday afternoon, shackled and dressed in an orange jail outfit.

New owners taking over Coupeville's Milepost 19 Farm dream

  • Feb 10, 2014 at 10:00AM

Kimberly Jaderholm remembers well that first raspberry harvest five years ago at Mile Post 19 Farm near Coupeville. A former Nordstrom vice president and lifelong city dweller, she and her husband Jerry, a computer leasing executive, had chucked their stress-filled, fast-paced lives to become farmers on Central Whidbey. “I became a pioneer woman!” she recalls. “That first summer, after picking berries, I brought home all the dirty linen and hundreds of plastic picking bins to wash. I thought, ‘I’ve gone from Nordstrom and business meetings and hosiery and makeup to this.’”

Volunteer needed for Island County Planning Commission

  • Feb 9, 2014 at 9:00AM

The Island County Board of Commissioners is seeking applicants to complete a term on the Island County Planning Commission as Commissioner District 2 (which encompasses all of the greater Oak Harbor area). The term will run until Jan. 2, 2015. Members must reside in the district appointed to represent. The Board of County Commissioners appoints commission members to four-year terms, which may be renewed by mutual agreement.

Sound Physicians will provide Whidbey General Hospital hospitalists

  • Feb 8, 2014 at 10:00AM

Sound Physicians, based in Tacoma, has agreed to provide hospitalist services to Whidbey General Hospital beginning Feb. 5. Traditionally, hospital patients are seen by their personal physician, frequently at night. Today in many hospitals including Whidbey General, these patients are treated by hospitalists, who are available around the clock and who specialize in hospital care. Hospitalists work with physicians in the community to ensure continuity of care after patients leave the hospital.

Don’t forget school levy vote Tuesday | Some Perspective

  • Feb 8, 2014 at 9:00AM

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.

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