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News-Times Whidbey SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2012 | Vol. 113, No. 56 | | 75¢ SPORTS: RUFIT heads to Jr. Olympics. A9 Candidates spar in new league format By JUSTIN BURNETT Staff reporter Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times Island County District 2 commissioner candidate Phil Collier gets an earful from Terri Arnold after the League of Women Voters’ primary forum in Oak Harbor on Wednesday. Island County District 2 commissioner candidates faced off Wednesday at their first public political forum of the season. And while short, at just over one hour, organizers from the League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island say the event did exactly what it was supposed to do: inform voters of their choices on the upcoming primary ballot. “I think for the candidates, their strengths and weaknesses were clear to see,” said Marshall Goldberg, the forum’s moderator. Rivalries were cemented, some reputations stained, others polished. However, just how deciding the forum will ultimately be when it comes to election day is impossible to know, Goldberg said. This was the first of two scheduled primary commissioner forums being put on by the league this month. Participants included incumbent Democrat Angie Homola, Republicans Jim Campbell and Jill Johnson Pfeiffer, and Independent Phil Collier. New format Both forums utilize a new format. Instead of being quizzed by the crowd, candidates were asked previously prepared questions about current and future issues. Each candidate was also issued three challenge cards, which allowed them to contest the responses or comments of challengers. They were not wasted. Almost immediately, Collier, a small business owner in Oak Harbor, challenged Johnson Pfeiffer, the executive director of the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, when she said one of the skills she See League, A4 Race Week arrives on Whidbey Island today Thunderbird International Regatta scheduled By NATHAN WHALEN Staff reporter Celebrating its 30th year, a popular series of races will draw hundreds of boats and even more racers to Whidbey Island beginning this weekend. Whidbey Island Race Week starts today, July 14, and continues throughout the week before wrap- ping up Friday. Racers will sail in Saratoga Passage and in Penn Cove near Coupeville depending on sailing conditions. Organizer Gary Stuntz said approximately 115 boats have signed up this year, which is up eight boats from 2011. Those boats will be accompanied by approximately 1,000 race participants. The first races are scheduled to begin today with the D’s Whidbey Island, which are races featuring small dinghies that will race in Penn Cove from noon to 5 p.m. Stuntz said that an Olympian and a world champion are among the w! e N WNT-ST $25 $20 get * Rewards Club Members Age 50 and Over participants in the race that has 35 boats signed up. In addition, another race, titled “bring what you brung,” offers a fun day for people with more unusual boat designs. Racing begins in earnest on Monday. The race is starting to take on an international flavor as it has attracted competitors from Australia, Japan and Canada as well as people scattered throughout the United States, Stuntz said. In addition to the usual races, Whidbey Island Race Week is home to the Thunderbird International Regatta. It’s a class of wood boats, for 26-feet in length, originally built in the Pacific Northwest. Stuntz said that Whidbey Island Race Week is a world-class event that has been hampered a bit because of its isolated location in the Pacific Northwest, but many racers return year after year. As always, the racers will also have time for some fun. A party takes place for participants each evening at the Oak Harbor Marina. For more information about Whidbey Island Race Week, go to www.whidbeyislandraceweek. com/blog. $1 ,800 In Hot Seat Drawings! 10 am – 5 pm *Must play Full Redeemed Value of Buy-In offer. Limit one per person, per day. Visit Rewards Club Center for details. File photo Hosts of colorful sailboats will come to Penn Cove as Race Week begins. Buffet Specials $595 Dinner $895 Lunch Owned by Upper Skagit Indian Tribe On I-5 at Exit 236 • • 877-275-2448

Whidbey News-Times, July 14, 2012

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