Jim Larsen

John Palm of Oak Harbor brought his boys to the Memorial Day ceremonies so they would learn to appreciate the meaning of the day. Listening with a coonskin cap on his head is Ambrose Palm

A solemn morning at Maple Leaf

With more than 800 U.S. flags flapping gently over the graves of military veterans, a sizable group of Oak Harbor residents gathered on a sunny Monday morning for a solemn Memorial Day ceremony at Maple Leaf Cemetery. “I was particularly glad to seen the number of families with kids so they’ll understand freedom is not free,” said Ben Bunnell, a Navy veteran and member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7392.

John Palm of Oak Harbor brought his boys to the Memorial Day ceremonies so they would learn to appreciate the meaning of the day. Listening with a coonskin cap on his head is Ambrose Palm
The towering and fragrant Albatross rhododendrons are in full bloom this weekend at Meerkerk Gardens.

Late bloomers add magic to holiday weekend

There’s a colorful lining in this year’s unusually cold spring: many of Whidbey Island’s rhododendrons will be in full bloom Memorial Day weekend. Highway 20 on North Whidbey south of the Libby Road intersection is festooned with the pink blossoms of wild rhododendrons, and others both tame and wild can be seen further south, particularly in the Greenbank area.

The towering and fragrant Albatross rhododendrons are in full bloom this weekend at Meerkerk Gardens.
With a copy of “A Dawn Like Thunder” in the foreground

A dawn like thunder

“A Dawn Like Thunder” is a book that draws on the memories of Oak Harbor resident Harry Ferrier to depict the incredible courage of American aircrews during the early months of World War II in the Pacific, when the war’s outcome was very much in doubt.

With a copy of “A Dawn Like Thunder” in the foreground

Editor’s column: Give Bucky Beaver his day in court

News watchers know that on the far south end of our fair isle, several homes were almost demolished when water swept down a canyon and… Continue reading

Vandals steal memorial plaque

The family of Matthew Hubner never had a grave to visit, but at least they had a memorial plaque attached to a bench at Deception Pass State Park.

Building without a permit to cost double

Island County is headed back to the past in doubling the building permit fee for anyone who decides to build without a permit. That was the policy until 2004, when the county, following the state’s lead, adopted the International Building Code, said Andy Griffin, Island County’s building official. The new code does not include the provision to double permit fees for scofflaws.

Oak Harbor’s Royce Cardwell flips his man over at 119 pounds. Cardwell won the decision.

Wrestlers charged with escaping pins

In wrestling, a coach pins his hope on -- pins. Not enough pins was the problem Wednesday night when the Oak Harbor Wildcats hosted the Anacortes Eagles in a WESCO 4A battle. Oak Harbor won 6 of the 14 contested matches, but ended up far behind in the total score, 45-25, due mostly to pins, said coach Mike Crebbin.

Oak Harbor’s Royce Cardwell flips his man over at 119 pounds. Cardwell won the decision.

Editor’s column: The top news stories of the coming year

Anyone can review what happened in 2008, so we’ll break with tradition and look back at what happened the following year, 2009.

Thief grabs Salvation Army kettle and runs

Oak Harbor police are looking for a thief who grabbed a kettle filled with holiday donations from a Salvation Army site at Wal-Mart early Wednesday evening. Police Chief Rick Wallace said the volunteer bell-ringer manning the kettle was a Junior ROTC student. He left his kettle momentarily to go inside the store for a soft drink, and when he returned the kettle was gone.

EDITOR”S COLUMN: Our campaigns need to be dirtier

With the election safely over, I can now express my minority view that campaigns aren’t nearly dirty enough.What passes for dirty campaigns, particularly at the… Continue reading

Joanie Johnson and her children

Storm front reaches Whidbey Island

Rain started falling steadily Friday morning in Oak Harbor but that's just a taste of things to come in the next few days.The Wal-Mart parking… Continue reading

Joanie Johnson and her children

McDowell, Smith still have a chance in Island County

Don't count Island County Commissioner Mac McDowell out quiet yet, and the same can be said for 10th District State Rep. Norma Smith.McDowell, and Oak… Continue reading

Oak Harbor High School offensive player Donovan Hunt drags an Arlington player down the field at Friday’s homecoming game.

Wildcats must win at Lake Stevens

The defending Wesco North champions and winners of the 2006 State 4A football championship will be battling for a playoff spot Friday night at Lake Stevens. “We have to win this one — this one’s a must win,” said Oak Harbor Wildcats football coach Jay Turner.

Oak Harbor High School offensive player Donovan Hunt drags an Arlington player down the field at Friday’s homecoming game.

Candidates agree to cut, spend

Citizens, we are facing difficult economic times. The country is broke, the stock market is eroding, and by this time next year we’ll all be… Continue reading

The secret to animal longevity

After opening bills for eye exams, blood tests and the other routing family medical procedures, I looked at the dog and said, “Good boy, I’m… Continue reading

Pastor Fannie Dean reaches toward the broken thrift store window and picks up the head of a statue she has loved for 24 years. A vandal possibly motivated by hate decapitated the statue of an African mother holding a baby.

Racist vandal strikes again

The head of a statue of an African mother was ripped off Wednesday night in the latest in a series of vandalism incidents at a… Continue reading

Pastor Fannie Dean reaches toward the broken thrift store window and picks up the head of a statue she has loved for 24 years. A vandal possibly motivated by hate decapitated the statue of an African mother holding a baby.

We’re happy to bail them out

The bailout of Wall Street couldn’t have happened at a better time for the average American who will have to foot the bill.This week Albertson’s… Continue reading

A berry good revenue source

One day I was eating blackberry pie as I filled out my Dungeness crab report card, and it dawned on me: The state is losing… Continue reading

There’s plenty of small town talent

Whether you like her politics or not, if you’re an islander you’ve got to like Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate.

How to improve our brainpower

Watching the national scene today we can only shake our heads in wonderment when we have one presidential candidate who has never headed anything and another who could have retired with full Social Security benefits seven years ago.