NEWS BRIEFS Nov. 17, 2001 issue

Naval station opens gate

The Whidbey Island Naval Air Station security department has reopened the Maui Gate to the Seaplane Base, on Pioneer Way near Skagit Valley College, for authorized persons.

The gate had been closed to incoming traffic since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The gate is open both ways 24 hours per day, with security restrictions. Incoming vehicles are stopped and all vehicle occupants must have ID authorizing base access. Nevertheless, the open gate will make access much easier to the Navy Exchange, Commissary and gas station.

Catch the flu clinic Tuesday

A flu vaccine clinic was canceled in Coupeville last week, but it has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Coupeville Recreation Hall at 901 NW Alexander.

Last week’s canceled clinic, sponsored by the Island County Health Department and Whidbey General Hospital, was reported in advance in newspapers, but no notice was posted on the hall door, resulting in some people waiting needlessly. “We understand this inconvenienced many people and we are sincerely sorry,” said Carol McNeil, nursing director for the Health Department.

McNeil said there is not shortage of flu vaccine this year, but manufacturing delays have forced some changes in the clinic schedule. Before going to get a flu shot, call 679-7351 to make sure the clinic is still being held.

Upcoming flu shot clinics, all from 10 to 1, are also scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland; Friday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 14 at the Coupeville Recreation Hall; and Monday, Dec. 10 in Oak Harbor at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 201 NE O’Leary St.

Whidbey 24 inspires ‘JAG’

A two-part episode of JAG, a CBS program, will be based in part on the downing of a VQ-1 EP-3E reconnaissance plane earlier this year. The drama, “Dog Robber Part I” begins Tuesday, Nov. 20. It will air at 8 p.m.

The crew of the downed plane became known as the “Whidbey 24” and received a hero’s welcome upon their release.

According to a description from CBS, “the Chinese government, claiming that a U.S. Navy spy plane invaded its air space and collided with a Chinese fighter plane killing its pilot, takes the damaged spy plane and its crew hostage.

Harm is sent to China as part of a military delegation to facilitate the freeing of the crew and plane, which is outfitted with highly sensitive surveillance equipment. Working on a hunch, Harm brings evidence to the Chinese that successfully forces the release of the U.S. crew, but not the plane. Then, as Harm returns safely with the crew to a U.S. aircraft carrier, one of the U.S. Navy fighter escorts returns to the Chinese airfield against orders and takes matters into his own hands.”

Thanksgiving dinner for all

There’s no need for anyone to be hungry or lonely on Thanksgiving day.

A group of volunteers, numbering in the dozens, has put together a Thanksgiving feast, called Harvest Celebration, to take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the Elks Lodge at 155 NE Ernst St. in Oak Harbor. The meal is offered to anyone at no cost.

Pot Belly Deli, the Elks Club, and Whidbey Cruzers have joined to provide the holiday meal and transportation to and from the Elks Lodge. Anyone physically unable to get out of the house can call for delivery.

Call the Elks Club at 675-7111. Donations are accepted.

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