Sara Hansen

Coupeville native reflects on past 101 years

In 1994, Leone Argent helped her son put a new roof on her home. She was 81 years old at the time, moving trusses and doing what needed to be done. After that, she said she retired from roofing. On Wednesday, Jan. 29, Argent turned 101.


Focus on feathers: A field trip with Whidbey Audubon Society offers closer look at birds as well as an education from experienced leaders

As the fog lifted from West Beach parking lot at Deception Pass State Park, bird watchers pulled spotting scopes out of their cars and headed for the beach. “This is the perfect light this morning,” Jo Reeves said. It was around 9 a.m. on Saturday, and they were all there to try to spot the red throated loons that would be arriving soon.


Travel, event planning business opens in downtown Oak Harbor

If you look up at the second level of a building in historic downtown Oak Harbor, you might see a silhouette of a wolf. “I love wolves,” Iris Gutman said. “He’s guarding my business.” Gutman started Oak Harbor Travel and Event Planning a year ago out of her home and just moved into an office on 801 S.E. Pioneer Way.


‘Happy guy’ becoming a familiar face along Highway 20

Driving by on a weekday, you’ll see a guy smiling with a sign in front of Louie-G’s Pizza. He’ll give you a wave as you’re waiting for the light to turn green at the intersection of State Highway 20 and Pioneer Way. “I just wave at people and they wave back,” Demetrice Wall said. “You wave at someone random that you don’t even know and they wave back.”

The Honey Bear helps to sweeten education locally

As fifth grader Catherine Lhamon entered The Honey Bear, she was excited to spend the dollar she’d been allocated. “There’s 100 cents in a dollar,” she said. Helene Lhamon, Catherine’s mother, said they’ve been coming down to the store since she could walk. “Back then, it took us 45 minutes to walk down here, and 45 minutes to walk back,” Helene said. The Honey Bear will host a fundraiser for the Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools Sunday, Jan. 26. Owner Karla Mackintosh said she will donate 100 percent of the profits to the organization.

North Whidbey park and rec district postpones decisions again

After deferring approval for three meetings’ minutes, tabling an amendment to the bylaws, postponing electing 2014 commission officers and delaying review of the state auditor’s report — the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District Commissioners meeting came to a close. “Bring some coffee and tea because it’s going to be a long meeting,” said Commissioner Allan McDougall, referring to the next February meeting.

All in the family tree: Greenhouse Florist and Nursery is still going strong after 60 years in Oak Harbor

For 60 years the Greenhouse Florist and Nursery has been a fixture in the Oak Harbor business community. Siblings and owners, Henry Vanden Haak and Audrey Butler, said the business has been in the family since 1954, but the business itself has been around for nearly 70 years. It used to be in two locations: one on Midway where Traders Village is, and at a second spot called Antone’s Florist.

Rally point: Whidbey fans gain Seahawks’ attention

Oak Harbor is one of 12 locations statewide chosen to host an official Seattle Seahawks rally. The rally will start at 6 p.m. Friday at Flyers Restaurant and Brewery. “We’re excited and looking forward to it,” said Jason Tritt, Flyers owner. “It’s going to be an awesome time.”

Sound Waters: Beach Watchers’ 19th annual one-day university focuses topics that affect Puget Sound

For anyone wanting to learn more about Puget Sound, Beach Watchers is holding a one-day university with 65 classes. Sound Waters, now in its 19th year, was started after the first Beach Watchers organization was formed. The program is a Washington State University Extension service which brings volunteers together to educate the public about Puget Sound. “I’m trying to do my bit to save the planet,” said Julie Ward, publicity chairwoman for Sound Waters.

Hawks fans roll into Coupeville

Coupeville residents could hear the Blue Wave approaching before they could see it. More than 80 Seahawks fans marched down Main Street on Sunday, Jan. 5 to meet at the Coupeville Wharf, posing for a photo on the pedestrian bridge over State Highway 20. The procession culminated in a photo at the wharf.

Retiring Oak Harbor dentist reflects on years in industry

After more than 35 years in dentistry, with 23 years in private practice, Dr. Harry Turner is officially retiring. “We want to do some traveling,” Turner said. “See the USA in my Chevrolet.” Turner sold his practice, Acorn Dental Clinic, to Dr. Joseph Keyes. Turner plans to help Keyes with the transition and slowly phase out of the practice. It will take about three months, working four then three days a week, to eventually be retired.

N. Whidbey Park & Rec launches search for new director

As a new year begins, so does the search for a new director by the North Whidbey Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners. Bill Walker resigned as director at the end of a commissioners’ meeting Nov. 21. Walker’s last day was Thursday, Dec. 19. The board is working with a human resource specialist to rewrite its job notice, said Sean Merrill, North Whidbey Park and Recreation District commissioner chairman.

Fitness for the new year: Oak Harbor graduates, baseball coaches open training facility for individuals, athletes

Now that 2014 is here, it’s time to start making those resolutions a reality. Fitness tops the charts when it comes to putting one’s best foot forward for the new year, and a new Oak Harbor business might help reach those goals. Kyle Isaacson and Tyson Van Dam opened Rep Fitness on 3075 N. Oak Harbor Road Nov. 18.

Oak Harbor High School Transition students collect food for local children

Even when temperatures dipped during the second week of December, the chill didn’t deter students from their prime directive. “It was really cold,” student Diamond Antoniou said. “My fingers were purple.”

Soroptimist’s Tree of Hope keeping holidays bright for those in need on Whidbey Island

Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor’s Tree of Hope is helping local families again this year. The program has more than 950 children enrolled and, at one point, only had about 500 of them sponsored. The community since rallied to fill the remaining sponsorships. “We’re still getting last-minute sponsors who want to help out,” said Rose Freitas, Tree of Hope co-chairwoman. “That’s how great this community is.”

Holistic healing: New Oak Harbor center offers chiropractic treatments and massage

A new wellness center is in town. North Island Chiropractic and Wellness Center opened Oct.1 at 520 E. Whidbey Ave., Suite 101. Owner Dr. Rondle Bennett likes the location because there is plenty of room for growth. “It’ll take me to retirement,” Bennett said.

Whidbey Island fire districts may need to provide health coverage to their volunteers

Fire districts may have to become compliant with the Affordable Care Act by 2015. Volunteer firefighters are considered employees when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, said Marv Koorn, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue chief. “At this point we have a year to investigate all what’s going on,” Koorn said. “We’re going to have to track all the volunteer hours until the IRS or Congress exempt volunteers.”

WAIF pooch inspires ‘Running Free’ memoir

While walking along a beach in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1979, Barb Bland came upon an injured seagull. Instead of walking past, she decided to stop and help the crippled bird. “I realized then that there are things out there that needed to be fixed,” Bland said. She began volunteering with wildlife rescue groups. She and her husband, Curt, moved to Whidbey Island in 1980 after sailing down from Alaska with friends. After some time on the island, she started volunteering at Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation, or WAIF, when it was started in 1990.

Stretching the household budget using coupons

Adults gathered around long tables with coupon books — clipping, passing and chatting away as rugrats played with Duplos and other toys in the center of the tables. “We have C-O-O-K-I-E-S for the kids,” Amy Hannold spelled out for the parents, so she wouldn’t cause a sugar riot amongst the children. For the past three years, this has been Hannold’s favorite part of the week. She is the North Whidbey Coupon Club coordinator, and every Friday morning devoted couponers congregate to clip and confer about their week.

Oak Harbor teacher, coach expands screen printing business

After spending six years in his garage, Eric Peterson’s business has a store front. “It’s grown enough to be able to purchase this space,” said Peterson, Ashley’s Design owner. “It’s still blowing me away.” Peterson started the shirt screen-printing company, Ashley’s Design, because of his experience trying to order custom printed T-shirts. He’s the Oak Harbor High School cross country head coach and the girls’ track team head coach. When the teams ordered shirts, sometimes they would not receive them for six to eight weeks.