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50 ¢ Farewell: Coupeville coach moving on...Pg 6 Thursday, JUNE 13, 2013 VOL. 18, NO. 45 Hospital approves $50 million bond vote By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter Voters will decide this November whether to increase property taxes to fund a $50-million expansion of Whidbey General Hospital. Monday night, hospital commissioners voted to place the bond proposal on the general election ballot. The bond will pay for construction of a new wing at the hospital’s Coupeville campus. The proposal is the virtually the same as the ballot measure that failed to pass by the necessary 60 percent supermajority in May 2011. Nearly 56 percent of Whidbey Island voters voted in favor of the measure. If approved, property owners will pay a bit more than 29 cents per $1,000 assessed property value on their property taxes. The new wing will be comprised of single rooms, which hospital officials say provide a healthier environment, improves with patient safety and allows the hospital to better comply with privacy regulations. See BOND, page 12 Staff speaks out on long hours, low pay By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter A group of Whidbey General Hospital employees descended upon Monday’s hospital commissioner meeting to speak about the long hours they work, often days at a time with no days off or no vacation, and the less-than-average wages they earn. Around 40 people, many of whom work in the hospital’s laboratory, attended the monthly meeting to voice their concerns. “They are worthy of an increase in a cost of living and worthy of no reduction in benefits,” said Pat Lamont, who retired 10 days ago after working at Whidbey General Hospital for 38 years. She added that the management team is more concerned about See UNION, page 12 Nathan Whalen photo Coupeville High School Senior Josh Wilsey holds his diploma high after receiving it during a graduation ceremony Friday. Graduation honors close-knit class By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter Nearly 70 students spent their last moments together Friday. Coupeville High School’s Class of 2013, many of whom have been together since grade school, graduated Friday night during a ceremony at the high school gymnasium. Following the festivities, the graduates will head in separate directions. Some will attend college, while others will enlist in the military or head into the workforce. Before that happens, graduates enjoyed a light-hearted event where speakers shared stories about their lives, enjoyed a nice slideshow and sang a rousing rendition of Coupeville’s fight song. Colleen Fox was one of two teachers who spoke. When she taught graduates during their freshman year, she said they were like second-graders in giant ninth-grade bodies. They were noisy, they didn’t have age-appropriate senses of humor and some would giggle while others would draw pictures everywhere. But she was quick to point out their efforts collecting numerous items during food drives, their show of school spirit, thoughtful gifts and nice treatment of their classmates. “You were crazy bananas, but you were amazingly kind to each other,” she said. Valedictorian Amanda d’Almeida talked about how a recent mission trip to China inspired her to serve others. She cited her aunt’s efforts fighting cancer an example of how a handicap shouldn’t endanger your goals. Fellow valedictorian Tommy Lile pointed out that while “schooling may be over, but education never is.” He pointed out that the Coupeville High School has a higher graduation rate than neighboring school districts. Lile also thanked his family and other people in the community who helped him through high school. Teacher Barbara Ballard also spoke during the ceremony. She encouraged the graduates to turn their heads around and look at the people who have supported them through high school. The Coupeville High School Class of 2013 gave the school a banner that has the words to the Coupeville Fight Song. That banner is hanging on the wall in the high school gymnasium. The Friday evening ceremony capped a full slate of activities for the graduates. They paraded down Main Street June 6 following their senior assembly. For more graduation pictures See page 12

Whidbey Examiner, June 13, 2013

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