Life on Whidbey: Party animals benefit WAIF

By Eileen Brown

Why does he do it? “Because I live here. These aren’t just WAIF’s animals, they’re ours. We need to take care of our own. Even if you can’t go to the show, buy a ticket — it’s for the animals.”

So said JOHN TRISTAO, lead singer for Creedence Clearwater Revisited, talking about the March 8 concert at Jazzbones, located in historic Oak Harbor at 930 E. Pioneer, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., a special benefit to help Whidbey Island’s homeless dogs and cats.

All the proceeds from the $15 per ticket admission will help WAIF. Doors open at 7. Tickets are available at Jazzbones, at Miriam’s Espresso Cafe in Coupeville, at WAIF’s Thrift Stores in Freeland and Oak Harbor and at WAIF’s Coupeville Shelter on Highway 20. The event is limited to those over 21 years of age.

Tristao plays the ’60s and ’70s rock of CCR, plus the Beatles, Wilson Pickett, rhythm and blues, and a mix of original songs from his own CDs. JANIE CRIBBS and JOE REGGIATORE will open for Tristao.

“Come party for the animals,” urges WAIF Communications Manager BARBARA MORAN. “We are thrilled that John, Janie and Joe care this much for our island’s homeless pets. Besides, you’ve got to love a band with bulldog in its name and a club that references bones. Woof!”

SHARI BIBICH, WAIF Shelter Manager, said, “Paws up to some of Whidbey’s finest talents for helping less fortunate animals in our community.”

You can help WAIF individually or as a group. Call WAIF at 678-1366. The Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation (WAIF) provides shelter, care and reunification assistance to Whidbey Island’s lost and homeless dogs and cats.

‘Too far, too long’

Rep. RICK LARSEN, at the opening of an interim clinic for veterans in Mount Vernon on Feb. 15, said, “Northwest Washington’s veterans have traveled too far, for too long, to get the health care they need and deserve. This temporary facility is a positive step, and Senator Murray and I continue to urge the VA to open a permanent facility as soon as possible to bring health care and services closer to home for Northwest Washington veterans.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs now has an interim clinic adjacent to Skagit Valley Hospital. It has been serving veterans living in a five-county area since Feb. 15.

Murray and Larsen have pressed the VA to open a permanent community-based outpatient clinic in Northwest Washington, and DAVE MICHEL, local Veterans Affairs director with an office in the building that once housed The Opportunity Council, is grateful for their advocacy. He speaks for the many local vets who must spend hours in traffic to get needed medical care in the VA hospital in Seattle.

All agree. Northwest Washington veterans have waited long enough. We’ll be waiting to see them deliver on their commitment to open a permanent facility here.

Be more specific

I admit I was confused, and other North Whidbey voters may have been as well. I thought the fire district levy would have increased our property taxes by $1 per $1,000 assessed value. Right? Wrong!

Fire Chief MARVIN KOORN says they are now collecting 64.7 cents; had the levy passed, it would have added just 35 cents per thousand assessed value.

Needless to say, he is disappointed they will be unable to improve facilities and replace equipment.

I asked him, “Isn’t that fire station on Heller Road sufficient?”

He said, “I have five chief officers (volunteers) who squeeze into a tiny office and my admin staff is basically housed in a small cubicle. We really need a place large enough to hold our 90 volunteers.”

Koorn also said they keep a rescue truck at the San de Fuca fire station and they hoped to combine San de Fuca with the Zylstra Road station. Yes, the Monroe Landing station covers a lot of the same area, but growth demands that emergency services ramp up too.

Koorn said the fire district plans to try again at a future date. Meanwhile, he’d like to hear from voters who may have been unclear on their message. Call Koorn at 675-1131 or email him at

Call me at 675-6611 or write to Share your news with North Whidbey.