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News-Times Whidbey

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2013 | Vol. 114, No. 7 | www.whidbeynewstimes.com | 75¢

SPORTS: Grapplers win in Lynden. A9

Violence imperils Whidbey skyline Element’s license Oak Harbor council schedules meeting to discuss nightclub By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

The Oak Harbor City Council is holding a special meeting next week on one issue: the possible revocation of a popular bar’s nightclub license. Following an executive session on potential litigation, the City Council passed a motion last week to hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29 to discuss the possible revocation of the Element’s nightclub license. “Their license is coming due, so it’s a good time to discuss the issue,” said Councilman Jim Campbell, who made the motion. The Element Nightclub on Bayshore Drive has been the subject of City Council discussion for years. Most of the concerns have centered on noise complaints from residents in nearby condominiums. But over the last year or so, law enforcement officials have become alarmed at the number of violent incidents connected to the Element, culminating in the beating death of 23-year-old Chris Cooper last November. The police believe he was at the Element prior to the fight that left him unconscious a few blocks away. At a Dec. 20 Public Safety Standing Committee Meeting, See Element, A8

Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

Jose Garcia, an officer stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, snaps a photo of Thursday’s sunset over Oak Harbor bay. The spectacular colors proved too much of a temptation for many motorists to resist as cars lined the side of Bayshore Drive and Pioneer Way. Some, like Garcia, took pictures while others were content to simply watch in awe.

Commissioner Johnson rams message home to Old Goats By JUSTIN BURNETT Staff reporter

Jill Johnson, Island County Commissioner

“I don’t like bullying. I don’t like it,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t work well with me, it’s not effective. If you’re somebody who wants to get something from me as a county commissioner, you need to have

good ideas. They need to be thought out and well presented.” “I’m not going to meet your standard, ‘My way or the highway,’” she added. “I’m not going to bully you back or call you names. I’m

just going to disengage. That’s how it is. I’m a county commissioner elected to serve the people of Island County.” And for the “more conservative” members of the audience, she had a special message. “I’m disappointed in you, just like you’re disappointed in me. I’ve been on this job two and a half weeks and you expected what, some kind of blind loyalty, some kind of no thought behind my decisions? That’s what you thought you were going to get? I don’t think you know who you voted for,” Johnson said. “I’m going to think it through and do what’s right. You have four years

to vote for somebody else who will blindly follow your cause. I’m going to make good decisions for Island County.” Johnson’s pointed comments came at the end of a 35-minute talk and were in response to strong criticism she’s received since taking office late last month, See Johnson, A8

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Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson doesn’t like bullies and she isn’t going to be blindly loyal to her political party. If that hadn’t already been made clear by her record during her first two weeks in office, the freshman Republican commissioner dispelled any misconceptions about how she plans to approach her job, and deal with harsh criticism from fellow party members, during an Old Goats-Fully Informed Voters luncheon on South Whidbey this past Friday.

“I’m going to think it through and do what’s right. You have four years to vote for somebody else who will blindly follow your cause. I’m going to make good decisions for Island County.”


Whidbey News-Times, January 23, 2013