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Sign rules in Island County that have been a headache for the business community for years got an overhaul this week.
Business leaders will encourage visitors to Deception Pass to drive south a few miles more on their trips. The Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce is unveiling a new advertising campaign, “Just a Splash Past Deception Pass,” to encourage visitors at Deception Pass State Park, one of the busiest parks in Washington state, to continue driving south on Highway 20 rather than heading north onto Fidalgo Island.
Aunt Thelma would be proud. Brett Rebischke-Smith has taken her old family recipe for bread and is hoping to turn it into some dough.
Oak Harbor city officials are looking for someone to provide and operate an animal shelter to care for lost and unwanted pets. The city council voted Tuesday to issue a request for proposals for animal control management and operations services, even though it’s still unclear whether the Navy is going to continue to partner with the city on animal control.
Oak Harbor resident Kristiina Miller found her calling in life in a cold industrial garage on the north end of town. It may not seem like much from the outside, but inside it is filled with clothes, housewares, furniture, books, toys, crafts, some food and a plethora of other everyday items. It’s all free to anyone who comes in. “The blessings are unlimited,” Miller said.
The 2013 issue of the popular Whidbey Island Almanac published by Whidbey Island's three community newspapers is in the works. The Almanac includes everything newcomers to the island need to know – and a lot of things old-timers didn't know or have forgotten.
“People like helping Habitat for Humanity,” said Sandra Stipe, manager of the nonprofit organization’ retail store in Freeland. “Habitat has hit on a good formula of helping people and having fun while we’re doing it,” she said with a smile. The store, which opened in late 2011, occupies the building vacated last fall by Skagit Farmers Supply and offers affordably priced furniture, mattresses, building materials, plumbing fixtures and appliances – all donated by Whidbey Island residents.
Businesses in downtown Oak Harbor have more of a holiday flair to their storefronts. More than two dozen businesses painted holiday themes on the main entrances to their stores as part of the Pioneer Way “Deck the Door” contest, sponsored by the Whidbey News-Times.
Ott and Murphy Wines is releasing its newest wine, a red named after a local beach on Whidbey Island. The Mutiny Bay bluff is also the location of two pigeon guillemot nesting colonies.
Whidbey General Hospital pharmacy technician Cherie Post types in her password and swipes her finger across the reader. For the rest of her shift, the electronic device will accept Post’s fingerprint as a way to access the medications contained within the clear rectangular cabinet and she will not have to re-enter her passcode. This new system lets Post dispense the medications her patients need quickly — and accurately.
A meeting sorting out how the local economy is affected by the military turned into a meeting where critics questioned the Navy’s benefit to Whidbey Island. The meeting, held as a fact-finding event for the Washington Military Alliance and facilitated by the Economic Development Council last week, was attended by several critics who questioned whether there was any economic benefit to the island.
A trip to Oak Harbor’s newest bakery will have some people reminiscing. Kakie’s Donuts and Bakery, owned by sisters Karen Hossfeld and Dianne Varshock, are baking an orange bread every Saturday. The treat will bring back memories of the Chris’ Bakery specialty for some longtime North Whidbey residents. That family-owned business closed about a decade ago. The new family-owned bakery has been producing made-from-scratch baked goods from its Pioneer Way storefront for several months.
The Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association again offers its popular Red Ticket Drawing to reward those who shop in the historic district of Coupeville during the holiday season. For every $20 spent at any of the 26 participating businesses through Saturday, Dec. 22, shoppers receive a red ticket.
Take a deep breath, and pull as much air into your lungs as you can possibly hold.
Walking into Toppins is like entering a childhood fantasy: heaps of chopped Kit Kats sit near gleaming gummy bears and toasted coconut, a wall is devoted to creative, blend-able frozen yogurt flavors and in the evenings, laser lights dance on the tables and floor beneath a disco ball. Frozen yogurt isn’t the only thing that makes Oak Harbor’s new business cool; Toppins is entirely devoted to fun.
Small business planning for unforeseen emergencies is the focus of a free workshop scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Coupeville Recreation Hall, 901 N.W. Alexander St. Representatives from local emergency planning and response organizations will provide a series of short presentations with information for small business owners and suggestions on how to learn more.
Beer aficionados on Whidbey Island have a local place to support and diversify their passion for brewing suds. Whidbey Island Home Brew Supply opened recently on Fidalgo Avenue in Oak Harbor and provides all of the equipment and ingredients to brew the alcoholic concoction people have been enjoying for thousands of years.
Local businesses will be on hand to talk about their goods and services at the Island County Biz Expo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 and Sunday, Oct. 7 at Oak Harbor High School. The event, sponsored by the Island County Economic Development Council, provides an opportunity for Island County businesses to showcase their products and services.
Sometime in the next few weeks, Coupeville will join the growing list of tourist destinations that are viewable online through the Google Maps Street View Partner Program. A Google crew will come to the historic waterfront town and film the streets from a specially outfitted car or trike.
Pedestrians and bus riders may have a safer way to cross Highway 20 on the eastern edge of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve.
A new art gallery is opening in Coupeville, just in time to celebrate the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival.
A Marketing 101 class will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Sept. 20 and Oct. 4, at the Coupeville High School Library.
The annual Coupeville STATE OF THE TOWN will be hosted by the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Coupeville Recreation Hall on Coveland Street.
RICHARD NASH is Penn Cove Gallery’s featured artist for September. He will be available to meet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 4 and 5, at the gallery on Front Street. For details, call 678-1176.
WHIDBEY INSPIRATION held a ribbon cutting for its new location on SE Pioneer Way Wednesday, Aug. 22.
SEAN POPP, an Oak Harbor High School graduate, has been promoted to branch manager of a Wells Fargo branch in Banning, Calif.
Whidbey Island’s only store devoted to cameras and images is shuttering its doors this month.
Through July and August, Penn Cove Gallery artist M. DENIS HILL’S work will be featured in the dining room at Christopher’s on Whidbey in the Coupeville’s historic waterfront district.
THE PURPLE BENCH, Antiques & Garden will be one of seven gardens on the Oak Harbor Garden Tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 7.
A $19 MILLION CONTRACT has been awarded to Bremerton-based Vet Industrial, Inc., to repair and renovate bachelor quarters number 12 at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. A firm-fixed-price construction contract, the work includes labor, materials and equipment for repair and modernization of the four-story concrete masonry structure.
Peoples Bank has promoted KEVIN ENGSTROM to assistant vice president and real estate loan manager for Island County. “Kevin has been a great addition to our mortgage team and I am pleased to announce this promotion,” said Tony Repanich, an executive vice president. “Kevin joined the bank last summer when his team from First Island Financial made the move to Peoples Bank and opened our Freeland Office. Since that time he has been a solid producer and leader as the assistant loan center manager.”
Cookbook author and TV personality Graham Kerr will be at Wind and Tide Books in downtown Oak Harbor Saturday, July 14 at 1 p.m. to sign books. Seating is extremely limited so please call and RSVP at 675-1342.
Five new businesses have qualified to participate in the Sustainable Whidbey Coalition’s WHIDBEY GREEN SEAL program.
The SUMMER SAILING SCHEDULE for Washington State Ferries is now in effect. There are a number of changes throughout the day including an additional late night round trip on Friday and Saturday night leaving Port Townsend at 10 p.m. and Coupeville at 10:40 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit mwww.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/.
The July and August MEMBER MEETINGS for the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce have been canceled. The next meeting will held September. For details, call 678-5434.
JENNIFER WYNN has joined the team at Windermere Real Estate/Whidbey Island in Coupeville as a new agent.
The Oak Harbor Lion Club is now selling Wenatchee-grown, sun-ripened, Bing and Rainier cherries from 9 am to 6 pm, daily, until sold out. Look for the bright yellow stand in the Rite Aid parking lot. All proceeds support community services and projects.
AEROSPACE COMPOSITE TECHNOLOGY training with Skagit Valley College will begin July 9 at the Marine Technology Center in Anacortes.
It’s CHERRY TIME again as the Oak Harbor Lions Club is gearing up for its annual sale of Wenatchee-grown, sun-ripened, Bing and Rainier cherries.
Whidbey Island’s BIGGEST AND BEST annual garage sale, a Coupeville Lions Club fundraiser, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 30, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, July 1.