NEWS BRIEFS Nov. 14, 2001, issue

Chief finalists meet the public

Six police chief candidates will be introduced to citizens of Oak Harbor on Monday, Nov. 19 from 5-7 p.m. at the Public Works Facility, 1400 NW 16th Ave.

Biographies of the candidates will be available for public review in the mayor’s office at City Hall beginning Nov. 14, according to a news release from the city. On Nov. 20, the six candidates will participate in an interview process.

Former Police Chief Tony Barge’s contract was not renewed. The replacement process began in July, resulting in applications from 48 candidates from across the nation. From the original 48, 11 were selected to responded to a set of questions, and from those answers the number of finalists was trimmed to six.

Learn all about drinking water

Concerned about your drinking water? Then you might want to attend a drinking water symposium set for Saturday, Dec. 8 that is sponsored by state and local water management agencies.

The symposium will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Oak Harbor High School. The purpose is to bring all individuals affiliated with maintaining, representing, or regulating small water districts in island County up to date with new state and local regulations, and provide the most current information on water system operation and water treatment. It’s the first such symposium in seven years.

Admission is free but registration must be made by Nov. 23. For information call Lori Procter at Fakkema & Kingma, Inc., 360-675-5973.

Appreciate our military families

The Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Fleet and Family Support Center and department of Morale, Welfare and Recreation want military families to feel appreciated.

The two departments have scheduled Military Family Appreciation Night from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29 in Parker Hall at Oak Harbor High School.

The free event, open to all military families, will offer a range of family activities and free food. Face painters, balloon-twisting artists, a bowling game and a magician will provide fun and entertainment. Booths and displays from the Navy Exchange, MWR and FFSC will be open as well. Food will include hot dogs, chips, popcorn and soda.

The Navy’s philosophy for holding this type of event is to recognize the unselfish dedication of spouses and family members who support our nation’s armed forces, so the military can go about the business of defending our contry, said Susan Port of the naval air station’s FFSC.

Volunteers to plant the prairie

People who want to help the environment are needed Sunday, Nov. 18 at Highway 20 and Zylstra Road, north of Coupeville. Starting at 11:30 a.m., Whidbey Environmental Action Network will be replanting sections of native prairie on cut slopes created by highway construction in 1999. WEAN salvaged native plants from the prairie remnant before highway construction began two years ago.

According to Steve Erickson of WEAN, 9,000 plants need to be set out over not quite a half an acre. Mostly native fescue and native foothills sedge along with other native prairie plants need to get in the ground. Erickson says work will continue on Sundays through January, depending on volunteers. “That area is so dry, we need to catch fall rains,” he says.

For more information, call (360) 579-4202 or e-mail

“Inland Sea” sounds alarm

A new 30-minute documentary co-produced by the environmental organization People for Puget Sound explores the declining fish populations in the waters between Washington and British Columbia, also known as the Inland Sea.

The video, entitled “The Inland Sea: A Puget Sound Fish Story” is narrated by Jean-Michel Cousteau and takes a close look at the disappearance of marine wildlife such as herring, cod and rockfish.

Mike Sato, People for Puget Sound’s North Sound director, called the depletion of bottom fish a “silent crisis,” in that it doesn’t received the level of attention given to decreasing salmon runs.

“Unless you scuba dive, this is a world you don’t really see,” Sato said. “These critters are just incredibly wonderful.”

The documentary, which features footage of rare underwater creatures such as wolf eels and vermilion rockfish, is the second in the Inland Sea series. The video also touts interviews with several experts.

Free local presentations of the documentary can be scheduled by calling 360-336-1931. Copies of the video are available for $25 through the People for Puget Sound’s Seattle office, 206-382-7007.

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