Keven Graves

Best of Whidbey contest underway | Publisher’s Column

Did you hear the starting pistol? The annual Best of Whidbey is underway.

Best of Whidbey gets underway for 2014 | Opinion

Did you hear the starting pistol? The annual Best of Whidbey is underway.

Dark cloud is of Emerson’s own creation | Publisher’s Column

While Kelly Emerson has all but checked out of the Island County political scene, it isn’t without some curious, bitter rantings ...

Vaccinating kids is an obligation we must all honor | Publisher’s Column

At the elementary school I attended in Anacortes, my classmates and I would line up in the halls for immunizations. There were the shots for measles/mumps/rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and sugar cubes for polio. We all held a copy of our vaccination records and, when our turn arrived, handed them to the school nurse for updating. It was the culture … you got your shots and you didn’t argue about it.

Share the cold hard facts about heroin | Publisher’s Column

I was raised not to use the word “hate.” My mother used to say, you “dislike” something, don’t say “hate.” Most of the time I’m conscientious of that little rule. Most of the time. But there are times when “hate” is the only word available to describe how intensely you feel about something. I hate heroin.

Successful marathon showcases Whidbey as a travel destination | Publisher’s Column

Congratulations to the City of Oak Harbor on a marathon well done. The 13th annual event drew more than 3,000 people to run along Whidbey Island’s scenic roads. And with many of those 3,000 participants came family and friends to cheer them on. That’s a pretty hefty number of visitors.

Recognizing the value of news you get | Publisher’s Column

For nearly 125 years, the Whidbey News-Times has been providing loyal readers with coverage they can count on. The industry has been transformed countless times during that century, going from hot-lead presses to giant floppy disks to all-desktop. Now into our second century, newspapers are finding a place on the Internet. Our most avid website readers will notice something new starting today. All website readers will be prompted to either register their print subscription account for full online access at no additional charge, and others will be invited to subscribe.

Digital subs are the next wave for newspapers

For nearly 20 years, The Whidbey Examiner has been providing loyal readers with coverage they can count on. The industry has been transformed many times over the decades, incorporating websites and, later, social media.

More than an oak tree fell victim to Oak Harbor’s saw | Publisher’s Column

It wasn’t just the mighty oak tree that was lost this weekend in Oak Harbor. A good deal of trust in Oak Harbor city government also fell victim to the city’s chain saw this weekend.

Football signed by Russell Wilson going to good cause | Publisher’s Column

All too often, you hear about the professional athlete who runs afoul of the law, or who comes off as kind of a jerk. And then you hear about a great athlete who’s also a great guy — someone like Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Should art be safe, or is it better to challenge thinking? | Publisher’s Column

The sculpture of a large octopus proposed for downtown Oak Harbor — a piece being referred to as a “Kraken” — is certainly fulfilling one objective of good art — it has people thinking and talking about it. I’ve gone back and forth in my opinion about this particular piece. I feel differently about it at different times. And I kind of like that.

Ignoring arrests flies in face of transparent judicial system in U.S. | Publisher’s column

Two recent articles drew some particularly emotional reactions from some readers. The first was a Jan. 28 article about the arrest of Coupeville deputy marshal Hodges Gowdey III. Gowdey, 44, was charged with unlawful imprisonment and witness tampering in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred in 2007. Gowdey was ordered held in lieu of $30,000 bail and put on administrative leave.

Seahawks provided a moment to savor | Publisher’s Column

The past few weeks have been pure electric on Whidbey Island and throughout Washington state. The excitement and energy that mounted with the Seattle Seahawks’ ascension to the Super Bowl has provided us all with an experience to savor.

Help bring local history to the pages of your newspaper | Publisher’s Column

A community newspaper is a historical record. With every edition of the Whidbey News-Times, events are recorded for posterity. On a regular basis, as I unlock my office door, there is someone poring through the back issues of the newspaper, furiously taking notes. At times I fear it is forgotten — even by those of us in the newspaper business — that our responsibility goes beyond reporting the news of the day.

Funding for NAS Whidbey projects very welcome news | Publisher’s Column

Like countless other communities across the nation, North Whidbey and the Oak Harbor have felt the sting of hard economic times in recent years. That’s why the news that Whidbey Island Naval Air Station projects will be funded to the tune of $117 million is very welcome. The funding is included in the National Defense Authorization Bill, approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

Asking Santa to bring some very important gifts | Publisher’s Column

Dear Santa, I’m writing to you this year from Whidbey Island. I moved here in February after spending the previous 13 years as publisher in Yelm. My wish list this year is a little different than when I was in Yelm.

Attack on Christian values is a low blow | Publisher’s Column

Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve certainly has a right to voice an opinion. The group has the right to file a federal lawsuit if members believe they’ve been wronged, and they did just that. However, COER can’t expect that everyone will agree with their position, or that others might not hold an opposing viewpoint. Case in point, Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson, a staunch proponent of the Navy and its presence on Whidbey Island.

Learning from a devastating tragedy | Publisher’s Column

No words can express the sadness being felt in our community in the wake of the deaths of twins Janesah and Janeah Goheen. Janesah died Monday at Harborview Medical Center. Janeah was declared dead at the scene of the Oct. 31 accident near Anacortes. The girls, who lived in Oak Harbor, were 17.

Working to give what you expect from your Whidbey News-Times | Publisher’s Column

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting with some Oak Harbor merchants at their businesses. Some are advertisers, some not. The intent wasn’t to sell anyone advertising. I learned years ago — during a very brief stint at a local car dealership — that sales isn’t my forte. It’s something best left to the professionals. These visits were an opportunity to meet business owners face to face and hear what they had to say about the newspaper, and to learn what issues are on their minds.

Burn camp for kids a very worthy cause | Publisher’s Column

An article appearing on page one of Wednesday’s Whidbey News-Times hit close to home. “Burn camp helps healing,” told the story of Oak Harbor’s Suzi Bartlett and her 12-year-old son, Joey. When he was 8, Joey was burned over 27 percent of his body. He was on the back porch, trying to light a newspaper with a match and a couple of drops of gas from an empty gas can that sat nearby.