Justin Burnett

Whidbey pumpkin patches offers harvest fun

Finding the perfect pumpkin is no easy task. You can look at a thousand and still find yourself searching for more. Well, a small army of Central Whidbey students have been giving it their best shot over the past few weeks. Since he opened his squash patch to the masses earlier this month, Coupeville farmer Dale Sherman’s fields have been buzzing with pumpkin-hunting kids, teachers and parents.

Sailor begins circumnavigation attempt from Oak Harbor

Rimas Meleshyus, a Russian immigrant with big dreams, sailed out of Oak Harbor Monday and into history. To what end, no one can say.

Trillium closure delayed; Land Trust officials say deal is still imminent

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust had been hoping to make history today by becoming the new owner of the fabled Trillium property in South Whidbey. But it appears history will have to wait another week. The conservation group was expecting to close with three Snohomish County banks for the 664-acre tract of forest between Greenbank and Freeland Wednesday, Sept. 22. However, some last minute but essential details have stalled the finalization of the deal, according to Pat Powell, executive director for the land trust.

Holmes Harbor Golf Course failing to draw any potential buyers

A two-week window for prospective buyers to make offers on the Holmes Harbor Golf Course has come and gone without a single bid. For Holmes Harbor Sewer District commissioners who are trying to shed unwanted ownership of the golf course’s 50 acres of fairways, that they didn’t get even a nibble was disappointing, but not surprising.

Motorcycle accident claims Whidbey sailor

The search for a missing Whidbey Island Naval Air Station sailor ended late Friday when his body was discovered in a yard off Yates Road. Nikolas "Nik" Ngo, 21, was found at about 5 p.m., according to Lt. Tim Sterkel of the Oak Harbor Police Department. The 911 caller noticed the wreckage of Ngo's motorcycle and notified authorities.

Community honors Whidbey Island Naval Air Station’s best

The very best and brightest at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station were honored in a special luncheon on base this week. For their outstanding service, Petty Officer 1st Class Ross Beebe, Petty Officer 1st Class Dennis Holloman and Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Benito Chavez were named sea and shore sailors of the year and marine of the year by the Oak Harbor Area Council Navy League and the Rotary Club.

Ducklings added late to Oak Harbor art mix

The Oak Harbor Arts Commission will hold a special meeting Monday in the hopes of shoring up one of its Pioneer Way art recommendations before it’s vetted by the city council Tuesday night. The group will meet with Clinton bronze artist Georgia Gerber in an attempt to hammer out an actual proposal for a piece on Ireland Street. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be held at City Hall.

Lonesome Dudley votes no again

For the second time in as many weeks, Oak Harbor City Councilman Scott Dudley found himself alone in his opposition to the SE Pioneer Way improvement project.

Wreck slows traffic on Highway 20

A lane of Highway 20 near San de Fuca was closed to traffic for nearly an hour Monday following a two-car collision that sent one person to the hospital. The accident occurred at about 12:10 p.m. just north of Arnold Road. According to Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Merwin, British Columbia resident Artur Pasternak, 40, was northbound on Highway 20 when his vehicle was struck from behind.

Bean fire nearly claims home

A burning pot of beans nearly destroyed a home on West Beach Road Tuesday. According to Mike Brown, assistant chief of North Whidbey Fire and Rescue, a 911-caller reported a fire at a home just south of the intersection at Fort Nugent Road just after 6:30 p.m.

Businesses expose themselves at Oak Harbor Elks Lodge

From beautiful textiles to tasty treats by some of Whidbey Island’s best restaurants, this year’s Spring Business Expo in Oak Harbor will have it all. Kicking off Thursday, March 31, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Oak Harbor, the fourth installment of the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s annual event will host about 30 individual business, according to membership and administrative coordinator Tammi Petty.

Sprinkler system tackles Oak Harbor nursing home supply room fire

A fire that broke out at an Oak Harbor nursing home Thursday evening could have been much worse had it not been for an overhead sprinkler system.

Sunken vessel removal advances

Strong currents and the continuation of light oil sheen coming from the 128-foot derelict crab boat that burned and sank in Penn Cove has prompted state officials to solidify and accelerate plans to remove the vessel. Toni Droscher, spokeswoman for the state Department of Natural Resources, said that the agency has wanted to raise and dispose of the Deep Sea since it sank, May 13, but that it was proceeding cautiously.

Whidbey’s student vets feel squeezed, Larsen told

The lack of financial benefits during school breaks and ever more stringent class reimbursement qualifications were among the topics discussed at a meeting with Congressman Rick Larsen and student veterans this week. Larsen, a Second District Democrat, spent more than an hour with student veterans at Skagit Valley College in Oak Harbor Wednesday in hope of learning what educational difficulties they might be facing.

Whidbey General Hospital seeks candidates

Whidbey General Hospital officials are putting out a call for people interested in serving as the District No. 4 commissioner. Roger Case held the position for nearly 18 years but is stepping down. His last day is June 15.

Island County considers holding public hearings at night

In an effort to comply with Island County code, the commissioners may soon start holding some public hearings during the evening. Nothing has been decided yet, but the commissioners are also considering moving their regular Monday meetings to Tuesday and holding town-hall-style meetings, also during the evening, either on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Penn Cove’s derelict crab boat: Up, up and away

Weather cooperating, Wednesday will be the derelict crab boat Deep Sea’s last day in Penn Cove. Richard Walker, the on-scene coordinator with the state Department of Ecology, said Tuesday morning the boat was ready to be towed to dry dock in Seattle but that the forecast made it unsafe so authorities would make the attempt as soon as the weather breaks Wednesday.

SUV rolls on Highway 525

A Coupeville couple were involved in a rollover accident on State Highway 525 this weekend. According to Sgt. Bruce Maier with the Washington State Patrol, the accident occurred Saturday evening at about 7:30 p.m. just south of Donahey Road in Central Whidbey.

Oak Harbor pier grant surrendered, dream lives on

When asked to drive home the final nail in the coffin for Oak Harbor’s Municipal Pier Project, the city council responded with a resounding “no.” Last Tuesday, the council said it was unwilling to scrub the project for good and voted unanimously to keep it on the books. There may be no money to pay for it now but that doesn’t mean it should be abandoned. “I don’t think we should ever give up on the dream of the pier,” City Councilwoman Beth Munns said.

Decision erases Oak Harbor Arts Commission members

In the wake of the downtown art decision, three members of the Oak Harbor Arts Commission have resigned.