News-Times Whidbey INSIDE: Greenbank celebrates birthday. A11 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 | Vol. 113, No. 74 | www.whidbeynewstimes.com | 75¢ Nichols Bros lands $17M ferry contract A ROUGH LANDING Local company will build the superstructure of new 144-car ferry By JUSTIN BURNETT Staff reporter There are a lot of smiling faces at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders this week. Company of ficials announced the signing of the firm’s second $17-million contract this year with Seattle’s Vigor Industrial to build the superstructure of a new 144car state ferry. The Freeland shipyard began work on the first boat earlier this year. Although it was unlikely that Nichols Brothers would not be working on the second ferry as well, there were no guaran- tees and CEO Matt Nichols was happy to confirm that the deal was finalized early last week. “Signed, sealed and delivered,” a smiling Nichols said Thursday. The two jobs combined, totaling $34 million for the small Whidbey firm, has allowed the company to hire an additional 100 workers and means steady work until the end of 2013, Nichols said. Many of those hired are young people from the community, continuing a long trend of Nichols Brothers See NICHOLS, A7 Mayor Dudley will present his vision By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley will give a State of the City address at a special workshop Wednesday in an effort to head off complaints from members of the City Council about his supposed lack of vision. Dudley has invited the council and the public to a meeting at 6 p.m., Sept. 19 at City Hall. He will be giving a speech, complete with a PowerPoint presentation, but doesn’t expect to take questions or open discussion to the public. Dudley said he’s grown weary of the council members repeatedly and publicly complaining that he doesn’t have a vision for the city. He claims that he’s talked to council members individually and laid out his vision and plans, but that didn’t stop the bellyaching. “They’ll have a tougher time after this to state that they don’t know what the vision is,” he said, but he John Nesset of Captain Jack’s Salvage in Port Townsend (above) tows a single-engine floatplane to Port Hadlock Sunday after it landed due to engine trouble. (Justin Burnett photo) Nesset (inset photo) fires a Lyle gun to send a messenger line to the seaplane in the water off Ebey’s Bluff. The depth of the water made it difficult to get a line to the aircraft without aid of the gun. (Contributed photo) added that they are “probably going to continue saying that, no matter what.” Dudley said he had looked forward to giving the traditional address to the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce in September, but the chamber’s schedule changed in order to accommodate Olympic champion Marti Malloy. Dudley said he’s optimistic about the direction the city is heading, though he said one of his greatest challenges is dealing with a city council that wants to micromanage city departments. People who attend the meeting can expect the mayor to speak about how the city works, his plans for the future and his vision. His top priority, he said, is public safety. “I think it’s going to be extremely helpful for the citizens of Oak Harbor,” he said. The meeting will be broadcast live online and will be videotaped for channel 10 on TV. Coach recovering from beating Boon was assaulted outside a restaurant By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter A well-known Oak Harbor family man and youth football coach is recuperating at a Seattle hospital after suffering a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain from an assault outside a downtown restaurant just after midnight Sunday. Tyson Boon was moved from the intensive care unit Thursday and took his first unassisted steps. He still has difficulty speaking, performing simple tasks or remembering visitors. Sarah Reinstra, his older sister, said the family hopes he will be able to come home this weekend, but he has a long road of recovery ahead of him. “He will just have to go through the healing process and see how his memory comes back or doesn’t come back,” she said. “We’re just waiting for our brother to come back to us.” Boon’s friends and family have set up the “Tyson Boon account” at Wells Fargo so that people can help Boon and his family with future expenses. Boon is a 2006 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, the coach of the Oak Harbor Courtesy photo Oak Harbor resident Tyson Boon is pictured in happier times with his wife and 1-year-old son, Tyson. He is recuperating from injuries suffered in an assault. Youth Football League and a player for the Snohomish County Thunder, a semipro football team. He and his wife, BreAnna, have a 1-year-old son. Detective Sgt. Teri Gardner with the Oak Harbor Police Department said investigators are still interviewing witnesses in order to piece together the events from the night of the assault and are asking for anyone who saw anything to come forward. Detective Ron Hofkamp can be reached at 279-4648. Gardner said the assault occurred outside Mi Pueblo restaurant just after midnight Sunday. Trevor Fleming, a 30-year-old South Whidbey man, allegedly punched Boon in the head, according to Gardner. She said she didn’t yet know what, if anything, may have precipitated the assault. The detective said it was unclear, at this point, whether Boon’s head injuries were a result of the punch or from falling on the ground afterward. Boon was transported to Whidbey General Hospital and then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. According to Gardner, police officers arrested Fleming on suspicion of second-degree assault. He was released on his personal recognizance.