Employers eligible for incentive to avoid layoffs

A new Employment Security Department program offers a layoff-avoidance incentives to Washington employers. The program allows them to participate through June 2015 with little effect on their unemployment taxes. Since 1983, Washington’s Shared-Work Program has allowed employers to temporarily reduce the hours of their workers, and the employees can claim partial unemployment benefits to help bridge the difference.

  • Aug 22, 2013
Owners Brenda and Eliaser Loera stand in front of their new business.

Father-daughter duo launch mobile Mexican eatery in Oak Harbor

When Eliaser Loera and daughter Brenda, both of Oak Harbor, purchased a large food truck, they initially thought they would be selling seafood from it. Then their friends and neighbors started to get Loeras thinking. “Everyone kept asking if we were starting a taco truck,” Brenda Loera said. Given their Mexican descent, Loera said it seemed like an even better idea and that it would be “easy food for us to cook.”

Owners Brenda and Eliaser Loera stand in front of their new business.
Members of the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce show their support for a resolution in support of the Navy base.

Oak Harbor chamber members united in support of pro-Navy resolution

The Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and its members love the Navy. With a show of hands during the chambers monthly luncheon meeting Thursday, members expressed their support of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. During the luncheon, Chamber Director Kathy Reed spoke about the organization’s new “Jets = Jobs” campaign.

Members of the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce show their support for a resolution in support of the Navy base.

Farmers Insurance donates to IDIPIC

Farmers Insurance and its Richard Voit Agency in Oak Harbor recently donated $2,500 to the Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County. The donation will help to sponsor several DUI prevention panels at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in the coming year as well as funding IDIPIC’s work with driver’s education students.

  • Aug 8, 2013

Island County seeking projects to fund with tourism tax dollars

Applications are available for projects looking to be funded by Island County’s 2 percent Hotel/Motel Tax Tourism Promotion. The Isand County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee solicits proposals until Aug. 31.

Freeland arts gallery opens | Business Brief

A new fine arts gallery and gift shop is celebrating its grand opening in Freeland July 27. Inspired Arts is opening on the corner of Main and Harbor, across from the Radio Shack.

  • Jul 25, 2013

Island Transit’s Vance winner of Whidbey Bus Roadeo | Business Brief

MARK VANCE of Island Transit is the winner of the local 2013 Bus Roadeo. Vance will represent Island Transit at the Washington State Bus Roadeo sponsored by Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Transit Association, and Washington State Transit Insurance Pool.

  • Jul 25, 2013
Michele Skyles

Frontier Building Supply’s tradition keeps growing on Whidbey Island

A group of builders working around Whidbey Island took a day off Friday to enjoy some light-hearted fun while helping a charitable cause at the same time. Families, builders and vendors came to Frontier Building Supply, located north of Oak Harbor, to enjoy the annual belt-sander races. Sixteen people brought their favorite sander to the wood track to see which one was the fastest.

Michele Skyles

Oak Bowl plans teen night in summer

Oak Bowl and Mario’s Pizza is proud to present Teen Night, 6-9 p.m., every Tuesday through the summer until Sept. 1. For a $10 entry fee, teens ages 13 through 18 can enjoy unlimited glow bowling, including a shoe rental, half-off arcade, all-request music videos, a personal one-topping pizza and a 16-ounce fountain soda, and door prizes.

  • Jul 17, 2013

Whidbey Island Conservation district starting fresh produce program for Oak Harbor

The Whidbey Island Conservation District is coordinating a new program to provide residents on the north end of the island with the area’s freshest produce. The conservation district, based in Coupeville, is working with five Whidbey Island farms to provide a community supported agriculture program for residents in Oak Harbor and surrounding areas.

Lost dog, leaky hot tub spark calls

The Coupeville Town Marshal’s Office responded to the following calls:

Outdoor dining proposal sparks discussion with business owners

A proposal by a downtown business to encroach on public parking for outdoor dining has other area businesses talking.

Bag shop owner aims for designer education

Kimberly Hoctor made three sales before she even opened her Coupeville store last weekend. Women saw handbags in a window display and walked right in, excitedly ignoring the signs informing customers of her opening date.

Whidbey General Hospital honors staff during National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6 through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. This year’s theme is Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care. There are 200 nurses, certified nursing assistants, emergency department technicians and Health Unit Coordinators at Whidbey General.

Whidbey’s Biz Expo changes name, expands focus

An annual event showcasing the businesses operating on Whidbey Island is changing its name and expanding its focus. The Biz Expo, which takes place in the fall and organized by the Island County Economic Development Council, will now be known as the “Explore Whidbey: Business and Home Show.”

Small-business jobs to get boost from bill headed to governor

Small businesses will get help equipping employees with the skills they need to do their jobs better under a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen — the companion of a bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Barbara Bailey — that is on its way to the governor for signing into law.

Mozes named Whidbey News-Times general manager

Advertising Sales Manager Lee Ann Mozes was promoted this week to general manager for the Whidbey News-Times and The Whidbey Crosswind in Oak Harbor. “I’m really impressed with Lee Ann’s outstanding sales abilities and her excellent representation of the Whidbey publications in the community,” said Keven R. Graves, executive editor and publisher for the Whidbey News Group.

  • Apr 12, 2013

Oak Harbor chamber raising money for OH firework show

For the first time, Oak Harbor community members at large have a chance to put their money behind the city’s patriotic pyrotechnics. Kathy Reed, the new director for the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, said the organization is running behind on its annual fundraising campaign for the Fourth of July fireworks show over the water. The chamber traditionally raises cash for the fireworks from within its membership, but this year the group is running short on funds.

Blue Goose now offering weather tracking

One thing is for sure, everybody loves talking about the weather. To give people something to talk about, a Coupeville business owner and amateur meteorologist has a weather station that puts local weather stats on the Internet for everybody to see.

3 Sisters Beef opens new store location

What started as a way to pay for college while providing a local source of beef for Whidbey Island residents has slowly grown over the course of 13 years.