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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2014 | VOL. 90, NO. 3 | WWW.SOUTHWHIDBEYRECORD.COM | 75¢
Seahawks fever floods wharf By SARA HANSEN South Whidbey Record
Coupeville residents could hear the Blue Wave approaching before they could see it. More than 80 Seahawks fans marched down Main Street on Sunday, Jan. 5, to meet at the Coupeville Wharf, posing for a photo on the pedestrian bridge over State Highway 20. The procession culminated in a photo at the wharf. By the time the band of fans reached the historic structure, the crowd had grown to approximately 150 people. Teresa Besaw and Kory Dyer were the organizers behind the 12th Man Wharf event, as well as the Deception Pass 12th Man rally the previous weekend. Besaw said she came up with the idea for the rally, and told Dyer because he makes her ideas come to life. “Kory is a true planner,” Besaw said. “I don’t think about logistics.” The Seahawks had a bye during the first playoff weekend and will play the New Orleans Saints at 1:35 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at Century
Sara Hansen / The Record
More than 150 Seahawks fans rallied to support their team on Sunday, Jan. 5 at the Coupeville Wharf. The Hawks play the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Jan. 11. Link Field. With the upcoming matchup against the Saints, Besaw is confident about Seattle’s chances of winning. “I’m not worried about the Saints we beat them last time,” Besaw said,
referring to a 34-7 victory on Dec. 2. As the crowd began to march, they echoed the same sentiments as Besaw. “Bring on the Ain’ts and we’ll spank ’em again,” a few shouted from the crowd.
Residents from all over Whidbey Island were joined by neighboring fans who made the trek for the rally Sunday. “We came all the way out from Sedro-Woolley,” said Heather Grimm.
Grimm is the president of the Skagit Sea Hawkers Booster Club — an official booster club of the Seattle Seahawks. Grimm said she’s talked with Dyer about starting a Whidbey Island chapter. Skagit currently is the fastest growing booster club. “We started with six on a Monday and had 100 in a week,” Grimm said. “We hope to get one started out here.” John Bonilla drove up from Renton for the event, and was selling flags to participants who didn’t have any. “I didn’t make it to Deception Pass (before) — I missed it,” Bonilla said. Another Seahawks fan, Jason Malisch, wanted to show off his Hawk pride by carrying two flags attached to the same pole. He decided to make it that morning for the cause. “Go big or go home,” Malisch said. Others brought their dogs dressed up for the occasion to show their support. Tuxedo, a Boston SEE SEAHAWKS, A9
Langley welcomes whales/ State dings Island Transit with finding tourists with new center
Ben Watanabe / The Record
Fred Lundahl presents a framed photo of a gray whale spyhopping.
By BEN WATANABE South Whidbey Record Hoping to boost tourism, Langley leaders have plans to lure people to town with a new whale-watching center. At the Langley City Council meeting
Monday, Fred Lundahl said a lease has been signed and $5,000 doled out to pay for startup costs. The center, essentially a museum for Puget Sound whales, will be located on the corner of Second Street and Anthes Avenue in the building — owned by former mayor Paul Samuelson — that houses the Langley Main Street Association. The organization provided the seed money for the new whale center in the hopes of bringing people into Langley, adding yet another draw for the Village by the Sea. “We think it’s going to attract a lot of people to town,” Lundahl said. “It will do a lot for economic revitalization in the town.” Creating a whale museum has been an idea for a few months. It was spawned from the Langley Main Street Association, of which Lundahl is a member. Lundahl and others with the
association looked at another whale tourism hotbed for a template: Friday Harbor. “We learned that the whale museum in Friday Harbor is the single most visited spot in San Juan County,” he said. “About 60 percent of the people that come as visitors to Friday Harbor come to do whale-related activities. We realized we are a lot closer to the Seattle Metropolitan Area than they are, and we have whales you can see from the wine bars and the taverns.” That’s no exaggeration either. The group’s planned promotional image is a photo by Janet Hein of a gray whale spyhopping just off the beach near Sandy Point, much to the delight of a handful of people about 20 feet away. The key was getting local whale SEE WHALES, A9
By NATHAN WHALEN South Whidbey Record For the second time, state auditors are questioning Island Transit officials on how they monitor staff uses of take-home vehicles and fuel cards. According to an Accountability Audit Report issued Dec. 30 by the Washington State Auditor’s Office, agency regulators issued a finding stating Island Transit officials “did not adequately monitor take-home vehicles and fuel card use to ensure they are only used for official purposes.” Island Transit has 14 vehicles and fuel use cards assigned to be taken home. Island Transit implemented a policy stating vehicles and cards can only be used for official purposes. According to the report, however auditors found: • Transit didn’t adequately monitor vehicle and fuel use. Employees are required to report mileage on a weekly basis, but 11 of the 12 home vehicles tested didn’t report mileage every week. • Of the mileage that was reported, fuel use and purchases were not reconciled to miles logged on vehicles to determine SEE TRANSIT, A9