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Sewer loans to save Oak Harbor millions

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 9:00AM updated at 3:44PM

The City of Oak Harbor received the green light to obtain a low-interest loan of state and federal dollars to help fund the new sewage treatment plant. Borrowing money for sewage treatment may not seem sexy, but Finance Director Doug Merriman said the low interest rate of 2.7 percent will save the city about $6.1 million in interest payments over the life of the financing period.

Crime solved: Langley’s mystery weekend comes to a close

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 9:58AM

Langley’s 30th annual mystery weekend came to a close Sunday, as residents and out-of-towners cracked the case of “The Deadly Deed.” More than 1,000 people joined fictional detective I.B. Fuzz to solve the murder during the 30th Langley Mystery Weekend sponsored by the Langley Chamber of Commerce. The complex story, by Loretta Martin, wove together 24 characters as suspects in the murder of fictional Italian citizen Carmelo Geaherdelli.

Oak Harbor trash fee unfair to many | Letter to the Editor

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 10:00AM

Does anyone besides me feel that the demand we pay a minimum of $19.90 to the city of Oak Harbor to pick up our garbage is unjust, un-American and just plain wrong? I take a lot of stuff to recycle and don’t generate even one full can a month. At the facility on Old Oak Harbor Road, the most I ever paid was $14.50. Usually it’s $11 and that’s for several months. I have a metal can to keep out rats, and, yes, it gets icky.

Island County law library struggles to remain open

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 10:00AM

The county’s law library is asking the county to grant them $3,200 to cover a 2013 deficit and approve an increase in filing fees from $17 to $20. Librarian Tom Karras has also offered to reduce his hours by five per week, which would reflect a savings of $4,000 per year in the library’s budget. In previous years, Karras accepted a cut in pay to assist the library.

Oak Harbor School Board includes member who offers different view

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 10:04AM

As the clock approached 8 p.m. Monday night, Reilly Richards remained focused on the matters at hand. It would have been easy to drift into thought about Advanced Placement chemistry and other homework that was waiting for her at home. It might have been easy to dwell on the weariness from an alarm clock that had sounded at 5 a.m. earlier that day to wake her.

Oak Harbor woman accused in burglary on Zylstra Road

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 10:00AM

An Oak Harbor woman is accused of burglarizing a home on Zylstra Road, which has been a hotspot for residential burglaries over the past six months or so. A number of residents and property owners in the Zylstra Road area of North Whidbey contacted the Whidbey News-Times about recurring problems. One woman said she cruises the area at night in search of possible burglars.

Compromise may be closing Island County offices on Wednesdays | Letter to the Editor

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 10:00AM

With regard to the closure to the public of certain Island County offices on Fridays and the push to reopen them, maybe there is room for compromise. If the office staff has found it useful and efficient to close one day a week, move the day to Wednesday.

Oak Harbor to save millions on sewer loans

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 10:00AM

The City of Oak Harbor received the green light to obtain a low-interest loan of state and federal dollars to help fund the new sewage treatment plant. Borrowing money for sewage treatment may not seem sexy, but Finance Director Doug Merriman said the low interest rate of 2.7 percent will save the city about $6.1 million in interest payments over the life of the financing period. What’s more, the $11.46-million loan is just for one year of the project and city officials plan to apply for the loan throughout the multi-year project, so the savings could balloon.

Happy reunion for Oak Harbor coffee shop owner

  • Feb 28, 2014 at 3:26PM

It’s rare to find Tina Carman without a smile. As a small-business owner in a world of coffee shops big and small all around her, Carman goes about her day offering not only a hot drink but a warm expression.

Promised appeal was more of a sales pitch | Letter to the Editor

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 9:00AM

My wife and I are one of the hundreds of families affected by the Navy’s pronouncement that we will no longer be able to see the primary care providers we have seen for years, if not decades. My former physician and I have developed a level of communication and intimacy over the years that cannot be replicated by a doctor who knows nothing about me and who may or may not be around the next time I need care.

Money better used to create a youth center | Letter to the Editor

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 9:00AM

I can’t believe that the Oak Harbor City Council is considering spending more money on art. We need to put the money to better use. We already have ducks and a mermaid. I challenge the city council to go to Coupeville to the Juvenile Court, held 1 p.m. on Mondays. That might offer an idea if what our youth have to do in Oak Harbor.

Island County commissioners clear way for sheriff’s office to cover Coupeville

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 10:00AM

There’s a new sheriff in town. The Island County commissioners approved a contract Monday empowering the sheriff’s office to run the Coupeville Marshal’s Office. Sgt. Rick Norrie will step in and function as the new Coupeville Marshal March 1, but under the guidance and budget of the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Public weighs in at Island County Fair planning meeting

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 10:00AM

About 75 people crammed into the Coffman Building at the Island County Fairgrounds to hear and see the plans for restructuring the facility’s management and revamping its structures. Some of the most noticeable changes are a planned reduction from 27 buildings to 12 and paving of the RV park and campground south of the main fair area. Animal safety and comfort, failed bonds and adequate demand were among the main concerns aired during a public presentation Tuesday about significant changes proposed for the Island County fairgrounds.

Whidbey residents offer comments on Island County transportation options

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 10:00AM

Island County’s top priorities should be transportation that encourages tourism and expands existing transit services, according to some residents. Island County kicked off a series of transportation-related public meetings last week, attracting folks with a wide berth of priorities. “The two meetings we’ve had so far have been really good,” said Doug Cox, transportation planner for Island County. “I’m impressed with how many people made time to come to them. It’s encouraging to see how engaged our residents are.”

Fired assistant nets $182,500 in settlement from City of Oak Harbor

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 11:00AM updated at 5:06PM

Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley’s former executive assistant settled a wrongful termination claim against the city this week for $182,500. Renee Recker is the third fired employee to win an employment-related claim against the city based on allegations against the mayor. All three of the former employees were represented by Oak Harbor attorney Chris Skinner.

Oak Harbor man faces charges for allegedly beating kids with cord

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 3:00PM

An Oak Harbor man is facing felony charges for allegedly beating children with some sort of cord and leaving welt marks on their bodies, according to court documents. Prosecutors charged Alonzo R. Boyles, 37, Feb. 7 in Island County Superior Court with two counts of assault of a child in the third degree. Oak Harbor police officer Manuel Silveira investigated the case after a counselor at the Coupeville Middle School reported on Feb. 5 that a 12-year-old girl had welts on her arm.

Kraken is a luxury; put it on hold for now

  • Mar 1, 2014 at 3:00PM

I think at the next Oak Harbor City Council meeting I will personally ask each council member for $5. That way I can pay for the $25 manicure I get each week. As I do it, I will also complain about how I just can’t make ends meet each month and that I’m going to need to keep asking them for money.

Voicing concerns to our representatives helps | Letter to the Editor

  • Mar 2, 2014 at 9:00AM

We live in such a peaceful place with low persecuted people of faith in the U.S., even with the terrible crimes that we have. But, imagine waking up to a day-to-day, in fear of seeing your neighbors, friends, even families being killed, beheaded, tortured — women and children being raped and killed. For what? For just believing in the same God as we do, for not denouncing God and conforming to someone else’s beliefs.

Rifle-toting man walks toward trailer park | Whidbey Island Scanner

  • Mar 2, 2014 at 9:00AM

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County Sheriff’s Office and the Oak Harbor Police Department:

Changing tax allocation takes collective voice | Letter to the editor

  • Mar 2, 2014 at 9:00AM

I had sent an email to Mayor Scott Dudley expressing my concern about the proposed art work. Your article says the art work will be paid out of a utility tax, which infuriated me and apparently a lot of Oak Harbor citizens. I was surprised and delighted when I received a phone call from Mayor Dudley on Sunday afternoon responding to my email.

Oak Harbor City Council OKs Kraken

  • Mar 2, 2014 at 10:00AM

Members of the Oak Harbor City Council had no reservations about unleashing the Kraken downtown. Last week, the council unanimously approved a $33,000 contract with an Oregon-based sculptor to create an eight-foot metal octopus-like monster attacking the Nautilus submarine. Councilwoman Tara Hizon and Councilman Bob Severns were absent. The unique thing about the work of art will be tentacles. Two sets of tentacles will appear to emerge from the pavement and wrap around walk signals on either side of Pioneer Way at the Southwest City Beach Street intersection.

Off-with-their-heads approach not working | In Our Opinion

  • Mar 2, 2014 at 1:00PM

The fallout from Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley’s spate of firings continued this week as his former executive assistant settled a wrongful termination claim for $182,500. The exact amount Dudley’s actions have cost the city and its insurance provider is a matter of debate, but what’s clear is that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been wasted and it has affected the city’s ability to attract talented employees. Renee Recker and her attorney Chris Skinner argued that Dudley violated state and federal protections for ailing and disabled people.

Failing to use Naval Hospital impacts jobs | Letter

  • Mar 2, 2014 at 3:00PM

First, let me say that I am grateful for the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. Their sacrifices allow me the freedom to write this letter. The Tricare health benefit extended to our active duty personnel, retired service members and their eligible beneficiaries is excellent: Free for active duty service members and their beneficiaries under the Prime benefit — managed care — and very affordable for retirees and their family members at $45.64 a month.

Oak Harbor man airlifted to Harborview following Crosby Road crash

  • Mar 2, 2014 at 7:08PM

George Bernard Churchill, 69, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle following a one-car accident earlier today on Crosby Road in Oak Harbor.

Serving up hope: Spin Cafe offers place to eat, chat for those in need in Island County

  • Mar 3, 2014 at 10:29AM

Scott Sayre lifts a spoon from a steaming pot of potato, broccoli and bacon soup, takes a sip and senses something isn’t right. “You can taste the bacon,” Sayre said. “Let’s put a little more broccoli in there.” Sayre was one of six volunteers busy preparing meals in the kitchen of the Oak Harbor First United Methodist Church Thursday. Sachie Sutterluey and Hidemi Dettman stood side by side, chopping broccoli and mixing raisins for broccoli salad.

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