Life on Whidbey: From can of worms to glory

I met RICK BARTLETT when he was editor of “The Dispatch,” the Naval Station Everett newspaper. I was editor of Crosswind, the NAS Whidbey Island newspaper.

He had been a civilian journalist for the Air Force and later journalist and editor for Navy public affairs. He knew his way around and I admired that.

We’d talked about downsizing. “It only happens at other bases, right?” Then it was at our door. Suddenly, two busy editors who barely had time to return phone calls were tasked with carrying out the grunt work of the Commercial Activities Study, tracking each task, how long it took to complete and how often it was repeated.

The end result was to replace the papers at Everett, Bangor and Whidbey with a single regional newspaper. Bartlett was the right choice for regional editor. He would oversee news gathering, editing and production. The Northwest Navigator was born on Oct. 30, 2004. Now, 18 months later, it has even won an award.

It took Second Place in the Chief of Navy Information Office annual CHINFO Merit Award Contest. Well done to Rick, his staff members and the publisher’s production team. Thanks for bringing another award to our part of Northwest Washington.

Dutch love their beer ...

The extremely popular Beer Garden at last weekend’s Holland Happening was a hit thanks to the coordination of KELLY and CLIFF BEEDLE of Oak Harbor Tavern, and PRISCILLA HEISTAND and her crew from the Chamber of Commerce.

Kelly did the legwork in advance, getting advance approval from the Health Department, Police Department and required license. Then she and the OHT staff showed up at 6 a.m. Saturday to set up the self-contained beer trailer with taps at the ready for thirsty parade-goers.

OHT even provided ID checkers to contain minors, and officials from the Health Department and Oak Harbor Police were there. That Kelly doesn’t miss a thing.

In all, four watering holes took part: Oak Harbor Tavern, P.W. Murphy’s, Harbor Lite Tavern and Flyer’s. Hot food was delivered to the workers later in the day, and people from all four establishments kept things humming at the taps.

Rain fell as glasses filled, but people didn’t seem to mind. Our Dutch forefathers came from a country where pilsner is king, and Heikeken and Grolsch are big Dutch exports.

You’ve got a friend …

Spend an evening with the music of CAROLE KING when the Island County’s Citizens against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault presents the Seattle Women’s Chorus for a benefit concert Saturday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Coupeville Performing Arts Center.

General admission is $25; tickets are available in Oak Harbor at the Chamber of Commerce, Daily Grind and Wind and Tide, in Coupeville at Videoville or by calling CADA at (360) 678-9363.

In good hands ...

The Allstate agency of GAIL IVERSON on Midway Boulevard has received the “Quality Service Agency Award” from Allstate Insurance Company as one of the top agencies in customer satisfaction and retention.

Son MATT IVERSON, daughter MIMI IVERSON JOHNSON, BECKY PETERSON, KRISTY MILLER and Financial Services representative RUTH BOSCHMA make up the rest of the staff. They also had to meet specific customer satisfaction measures.

It’s nice to see his agency get recognition for doing what they do best: giving customers great service.

They were here first ...

Canoe races are just one part of the Penn Cove Water Festival, taking place in Coupeville this Saturday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine.

Native Americans were here long before white settlers arrived. We honor them when we learn about their customs, crafts and partake of their traditional salmon and fry bread. The entertainment this year is listed at

How has the high price of gasoline impacted your family or business? Help me share your story with our readers. Call 675-6611 or log onto See you on May 10.

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