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News-Times LIVING Whidbey Teen art show continues at library A10 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 | Vol. 114, No. 100 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢ Residents fight back as burglary cases shoot up By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times Kumi Kosbar shares a light moment with her daughter Chelsey Kosbar at The Ballet Slipper dance studio in Oak Harbor. Both will be performing in The Nutcracker Dec. 21-22 at Oak Harbor High School. Ballet is a family affair By RON NEWBERRY Staff reporter Kumi Kosbar never thought such a thing was possible in her lifetime. The idea of slipping on tights, a tutu and funny little shoes while dancing as a ballerina was the furthest thing from her mind. “The image of ballet never existed in my brain,” said Kosbar, who grew up a competitive gymnast. Finding: County wrong to withhold documents By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter A hearing examiner with the state Public Employment Relations Commission ruled this week that Island County officials violated state law by withholding budget documents and other records sought by the deputy’s sheriff’s labor union. SEE GUILD, A20 Kosbar learned, however, that the power of a 5-year-old daughter should never be underestimated. When she put her daughter Chelsey in ballet class nine years ago while their family was stationed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, Chelsey noticed that other moms were taking dance classes, too. Curiosity turned into prodding then eventually an ultimatum: Chelsey would go to ballet class only if mom went, too. SEE NUTCRACKER, A5 A spate of burglaries in rural areas of Whidbey Island has a group of residents considering unique ways to protect themselves. Some have even been doing their own detective work. Four men and a woman gathered at the Whidbey News-Times recently to discuss what they see as a dangerous problem on the island that’s only been getting worse. Several of them are repeat victims and none of the crimes have been solved, leading some to take matters into their own hands. “It’s mine, and by God, they are not going to do it again,” North Whidbey resident Valli Eichstedt said of the burglar, or burglars, who struck her barn. “It’s going to take everyone using their eyes, their ears and their brains to put an end to this.” Lt. Evan Tingstad with the Island County Sheriff’s Office said there is a noticeable increase in residential burglaries in both North and South Whidbey in the last seven to eight months. Between June 1 to Dec. 11, a total of 105 burglaries were reported in the north precinct, which covers Whidbey north of Houston Road and doesn’t include Oak Harbor or Coupeville. That compared to 86 the same period in 2012 and 97 burglaries during that period in 2011. Sheriff Mark Brown said the statistics represent the number of burglaries reported by residents, but the actual number may be something different once deputies investigate. Tingstad said he sees the burglary increase as a direct result of budget cuts and the loss of 10 deputies since 2008. He said it’s “incredibly important” to have a detective dedicated to drug crimes, but that position was lost in the layoffs. “In law enforcement, we always see a connection between effective drug investigations and the SEE BURGLARIES, A20 Sea Mar takes over troubled Recovery Services By JANIS REID Staff reporter Mark MacNaughton saw the highs and the lows of Island County’s addiction recovery efforts. MacNaughton, formerly the county’s program manager, sat next to Island County Human Services Director Jackie Henderson as county leadership outlined Recovery Service’s mistakes and missteps, and ordered the pair to relinquish management to a private organization. “It was grueling,” MacNaughton said. The contract for Recovery Services was taken over by Sea Mar last week after errors and non-compliant practices came to light within the county agency earlier this year. Island County Superior Court judges Alan Hancock and Vickie Churchill, Prosecutor Greg Banks and Court Administrator Brooke Powell each said that the problems with Recovery Services were pervasive and that their confidence in program was “broken.” A moratorium was placed on the acceptance of any new Drug Court clients until “a reliable and effective treatment provider” was found. Banks said the moratorium was lifted Oct. 11 once the contract was awarded to SEE SEA MAR, A5 Assisted Living and Memory Care Community 1040 SW Kimball Drive | Oak Harbor, WA. 98277 (360) 279-0933

Whidbey News-Times, December 14, 2013

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