Whidbey Island Digest

Nichols Brothers announces new projects for 2014

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 up work on the superstructure for a 144-car ferry for Washington State Ferries.

Soroptimists’ Tree of Hope in need of sponsors

Many children in the community need a little help over the holidays. Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor is looking for sponsors for their annual Tree of Hope, which helps distribute gifts to children in need.

Currently only about 506 sponsors have signed up and more are needed. The program has more than 1,100 children enrolled. To participate, a sponsor states how many children they would like to help and then they receive a list with children’s names with their wish lists. The sponsor can buy what they deem is appropriate, then wrap and label each gift.

All gifts must be ready for pick-up by Monday, Dec. 16. For more information, or to sign up email

Four vehicles damaged in S. Whidbey crash

An accident on Highway 20 Nov. 12 resulted in severe damage to two vehicles.

The driver of a white pickup failed to slow down at the intersection of Highway 525 and Cultus Bay Road and collided with a stopped vehicle, which caused a chain reaction with two other vehicles. The driver of the pickup was cited for following too close, driving without insurance and driving with a suspended license.

Harbor expansion causes another headache

Leaders of the Port of South Whidbey announced earlier in November a problem with the marina expansion project. The project concerns the underwater cables that keep the new dock in place. Port officials received a $12,000 bid from Neptune Marine to revise and reconfigure the cables and determine what is causing the problem. The Port of South Whidbey received $152,000 worth of unplanned expenses and is nearing their budget contingency of $158,971.

South Whidbey School Board heads to Bellevue

South Whidbey School Board members Fred O’Neal, Damian Greene, Linda Racicot and Steve Scoles along with Superintendent Jo Mocca, student representative Sydney Ackerman and director-elect Rocco Gianni will attend the Washington State School Directors Association fall conference scheduled for Nov. 22-24.

The conference features break-out session covering a variety of speakers including Jon Kitna, a former NFL quarterback who teaches high school in Tacoma and Robert Brooks, who writes about nurturing resilience in children. The conference will cost the school district $3,060.

Hospital reaches agreement with S. Whidbey Fire

An agreement between Whidbey General Hospital EMS and South Whidbey Fire/EMS will cover the fire district’s costs for “consumables” such as gloves, bandages and other items stored in emergency response vehicle. The South Whidbey Fire district will receive a portion of the hospital EMS levy to cover those costs.

Master Gardeners seek new students for 2014 training

Applications are being accepted for people wishing to join more than 350 Master Gardeners in Snohomish County. Applications are being accepted for the 2014 training that begins in January and is held at the Extension Education Center at 600 128th St. in Everett. The class will take place from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Thursdays from early January and continue into April. For information, go to and look under News and Announcements. Applications are due by Dec. 16.


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