50 ¢ Thursday, December 12, 2013 Coupeville schools get new phone numbers VOL. 19, NO. 19 Greening of Coupeville By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter Thanks to a technology levy, Central Whidbey parents will have a chance to contact their children’s teachers directly without having to go through a switchboard. The Coupeville School District recently spent approximately $25,000 to install a new phone system. The new system will tie into the one being used by the Oak Harbor School District and the City of Oak Harbor. With the new phone system comes new phone numbers, which are posted on the school district’s website at www.coupeville. k12.wa.us while the old numbers will work for about a year. Bruce Roberts, information services director for the Oak Harbor School District, said plans were originally put forward to replace the phone system at the elementary school, which was old and the district had trouble getting parts to maintain it. The Coupeville School District contracts with the Oak Harbor School District for information services. In coming up with options, staff discovered that there were also complaints concerning the phone systems operated at the middle and high school as well as the district office. “We also found frustration with the district office having its own phone system and the middle and high school having its own phone system,” Roberts said. He added that staff phone calls couldn’t be transferred between buildings caused dissatisfaction among staff. They would have to dial out to call someone else in the district. Although the high school’s phone system was installed when the building was constructed several years ago, staff complained about the voice mail issues along with several other problems, prompting officials to purchase the new system districtwide. The school district budgeted between $30,000 and $35,000 for the phone system. Roberts was quick to point out some of the features of the new phones. The new system is funded by the technology levy voters first approved four years ago. Voters will again re-consider that levy See Phones, page 2 Nathan Whalen photo Members of the Central Whidbey Co-op preschool dress up as snowmen Saturday during the annual Greening of Coupeville parade. For more photos from the event see page 16. Crowds gather to celebrate holidays By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter Sub-freezing temperatures couldn’t put a chill on holiday spirit Saturday. Despite temperatures under 30 degrees, hundreds of people bundled up and braved the cold during the annual Greening of Coupeville celebration. The annual event featured a parade, tree lighting, lighted boat parade and Christmas carols. The parade started at 4 p.m. and was led by Frosty the Snowman, closely followed by the Coupeville High School marching band and cheerleaders. Lyla and Phil Snover were the grand marshals for the parade. They are responsible for the snowmen that currently line the arterials of Coupeville. The parade procession included community groups such as the Gifts from the Heart food bank and their synchronized shopping cart team; Christ the King Church’s Nativity scene; fire engines from Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue; and members of Coupeville United Methodist Church. Following the parade, crowds of people walked up to the Anchorage Inn to sing Christmas carols led by Vern and Karl Olsen. Everybody then viewed the annual tree lighting display in Cook’s Corner Park that was designed by employees for the Town of Coupeville. The businesses in downtown Coupeville were open late Saturday night, which allowed shoppers to get in some holiday shopping. They could also walk to the end of the Coupeville Wharf to view the 10 or so boats participating in the Lighted Boat Parade organized by the Oak Harbor Yacht Club. Folks will have a chance to earn some last-minute shopping dollars by attending the Red Ticket drawing, which is organized by the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association. For every $20 a shopper spends in Coupeville businesses, they will earn one red ticket. The drawing takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22 on the steps of the Island County museum located on Alexander Street in downtown Coupeville.