Whidbey Island digest

Nichols Bros. wins 3 new contracts

Freeland-based Nichols Brothers Boat Builders earned three new contracts that will keep the builder busy through 2014 and increase its workforce by 30 employees. Nichols will construct a 100-foot tractor tug for San Francisco-based Bay Delta Marine; a 150-foot landing craft for Bowhead Transport in Alaska; and a 100-passenger ferry for Wahkiakum County. The boat builder is currently finishing work on the superstructure for a 144-car ferry for Washington State Ferries. “We’re in the sweet spot with lots of work and the right kind of work,” CEO Matt Nichols said to the South Whidbey Record.

Sixth-graders solve math challenge

n Sixth-graders from Langley Middle School’s advanced math class earned fourth place in the state Algebra Challenge that took place in June. Twenty-five students solved algebra problems online for five days in the contest sponsored by the University of Washington. The award-winners included Keegan Bryan, Graham Colar, Russell Daly, Brent DeWolf, Maxwell Dodd, Aidan Dona, Amara Fulton, Emma Gibson, Brock Gray, Niki Greene, Sophie Hamer, Farriss Jokinen, Caitlyn Jonsson, Marla Kelly, Michael Maddux, Ainsley Nelson, Kyah Nelson, Jordan Neubrech, Carli Newman, Annie Saltee, Lillian Timms, Jadan White, Kylayna White, Jasmine Wu and Mary Zisette.

Trust plans invasive plants workshop

Whidbey Camano Land Trust will hold a workshop on ways to remove invasive plants, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Whidbey Institute located at 6449 Old Pietela Road in Clinton. The event will include a discussion on the best practices for removing invasive plants followed by a work party to help remove the ivy, holly and blackberries growing on the institute’s grounds. To sign up and to find more information, go to

‘Hearts’ in search of volunteers

Organizers for Central Whidbey Hearts and Hammers are recruiting volunteers to participate in the annual work day scheduled for mid-2014. Volunteers, who are 12 and older, divide into teams and spend a day completing home-improvement projects for the elderly and families who don’t have the financial resources to maintain their homes. People of all skill levels are invited to participate. Email or call 360-720-2114 for more information.

Comments taken on town budget

Coupeville Town Council is asking for the public’s input on the town’s proposed $5 million 2014 budget. A draft of the budget is available at town hall or online at and a public hearing is scheduled during the next regular council meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 in the Island County Commissioner hearing room.

Bayview ceremony honors veterans

More than 60 people on Nov. 11 attended a ceremony honoring veterans at Bayview Cemetery on South Whidbey. People attending brought relics and the veterans from American Legion Post 141 brought poppies. Members of the Marine Corps League provided the Honor Guard and Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy spoke to the crowd.

Foundation dollars help fund projects

South Whidbey Schools Foundation provided more than $21,000 Nov. 4 to area educators. The money will help fund projects for 16 teachers spread throughout the South Whidbey School District’s four campuses. Projects include building and operating underwater robots, raising young salmon in the classroom and modeling kits for high school biology. For more information, go to

Langley facing a $200K shortfall

Langley City Council is currently looking at ways to resolve a $200,000 shortfall in the city’s sewer fund. City officials cite increased regulations and restrictions as the cause of the shortfall. To resolve the funding difference, officials are considering a rate increase for residents.

Oak Harbor man wins 1949 tractor

Oak Harbor resident Andy Nielsen won a 1949 Ford tractor Oct. 20 during a fundraiser benefiting South Whidbey’s Good Cheer Food Bank. The tractor is valued at $3,900. Good Cheer sold approximately 1,200 tickets to win the antique tractor and the event raised nearly $4,000.

Island glass studio hoping to expand

A Langley glass studio is requesting the city to increase the power to a city-owned building so production can be expanded. Turning the building into a light industrial zone is one of the goals of Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy, who was appointed to the post in 2012 after his predecessor resigned.

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