Lt. Chris Lawson

Port starts plan for Greenbank future

The commissioners for the Port of Coupeville are looking at how the Greenbank Farm will be operated in the future.

 

Sherman resigns from school board

A longtime advocate of Coupeville schools is retiring. Don Sherman, who has been a member of the Coupeville School Board for 12 years, announced his resignation during a public meeting last week. His last day is March 31.

 

WGH officials found payroll error prior to audit

Several employees at Whidbey General Hospital are seeing smaller paychecks thanks to a snafu in a new payroll system.

 

Science Olympiad students prepare projects for regional competition

A small group of students are spending their afternoons rebuilding and tweaking science projects in preparation for competition.

Port commissioners laying groundwork for Greenbank Farm change

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

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

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.

Storm wreaks havoc on Port of Coupeville floats, wharf

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

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.

Coupeville school levies still passing after Thursday count

Central Whidbey voters gave Coupeville schools two thumbs up Tuesday.

Coupeville Elementary School students honored for helping breast cancer fight

During a tearful ceremony Thursday afternoon, seven fifth-graders were honored for their efforts raising money for a parent who’s battling cancer. The Coupeville Elementary School students, who participate in a breast cancer club formed this school year, spent part of last fall collecting money to support Heather Ausman, who is fighting stage four breast cancer.

Whidbey General Hospital hires new project manager for expansion

Whidbey General Hospital’s expansion has taken a step forward. The hospital’s board of commissioners approved an agreement in January with Marc Estvold to manage the project. Voters approved a $50-million bond in November.

Coupeville High School woodworker project aids Fort Casey gun emplacements

Thanks to the help of a few handy students, the gun emplacements at Fort Casey State Park are getting new equipment that will add to the historical feel of the park. Coupeville High School seniors in the woodworking class spent part of their school year making equipment that was used around the large, 10-inch guns on display. Visitors to the state park will notice the two guns, one in a firing position and one in a resting position. The students are building powder canisters, a time-and-range table along with a rammer head and a sponge head that were used in the gun barrels.

Weber finishes dozen years on the port board

Benye Weber worked through many changes during her 12 years serving on the Port of Coupeville’s publicly elected board.

Ledgewood landslide still unstable

Homeowners still living near the massive landslide area in Ledgewood are wary as more pieces of the bluff continue to slough off.

Support rallies for school levies vote

Coupeville School District has two proposals on the Feb. 11 ballot. The first request is for renewal of the maintenance and operations levy, which will bring in $2.24 million each year for four years.

Prolific Coupeville artist Roger Purdue passes away

Whidbey lost a masterpiece this week. Coupeville’s Roger Purdue, a popular artist, educator and pilot, died early Sunday morning from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.

Condemned Ledgewood house burns to ground months after landslide

A Driftwood Way home that had been abandoned since a massive landslide made national headlines in early 2013 burned to the ground Sunday night.

Island County struggling to find Conservation Futures Fund volunteers

After months of searching, Island County is still looking for volunteers to participate in two boards that evaluate projects trying to utilize Conservation Futures Funds. The county started looking for volunteers in October to serve on the Community Advisory Board and the Technical Advisory Board; however, nobody has applied yet. “It would be nice to fill the positions,” said Pam Dill, who is coordinating the application search for Island County. She said it doesn’t require a large time commitment.

Whidbey’s Island Transit settles into new facilities

Today’s Island Transit looks a lot different from the entity that formed in 1987 with five buses and 20 employees working out of a former auto shop that contained two maintenance bays and one restroom. The publicly-funded transit entity currently has more than 200 vehicles and more than 140 employees who recently moved into a new headquarters facility that was mostly paid for by a federal grant. That headquarters is located on Highway 20, south of Coupeville near the Pacific Rim Institute and Outlying Field.