News-Times Whidbey ISLAND LIVING Dedicated to the Relay for Life cause A12 SATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 2014 | Vol. 115, No. 6 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢ City explores panhandling ordinance STATE of the STATION By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter Janis Reid/Whidbey News-Times Capt. Mike Nortier, commanding officer of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, presents the annual State of the Station to more than 100 attendees during the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday at the Elks Lodge #2362. Skipper says NAS Whidbey Island will see substantial growth in coming years Although “Jeff the Giant” claims to be the tallest man on Whidbey Island, he doesn’t cut a very imposing figure as he stands with a cardboard sign at the entrance of the Oak Harbor Safeway complex Wednesday afternoon. With a goofy smile and an affable manner, Jeff Pangburn happily collects cookies, deli food and a few dollars from people driving by. “I don’t ask people for nothing, I just stand here with my sign,” he said. Pangburn is one of the increasing number of homeless and poor people who’ve taken up panhandling in the city. The spot near Safeway, he said, is the most popular and can be hard to get. Pangburn said he’s mystified and a little worried that Oak Harbor City Council is considering a panhandling ordinance at the Jan. 21 meeting, though he doesn’t know the details of it. Nobody he knows SEE PANHANDLING, A15 Sheriff hosting public meeting on sex offenders By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter By JANIS REID Staff reporter Capt. Mike Nortier, commanding officer of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, praised the community’s support of “Team Whidbey” at Thursday’s annual State of the Station address to the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “For the leadership on base, those community partners and service providers are what make Team Whidbey successful,” Nortier said. “Those relationships we have, both on a personal and professional level are both very important.” More than one hundred people attended the luncheon at the Elks Club to hear about future growth in base population, aircraft Graph courtesy of NAS Whidbey Oak Harbor and the surrounding community can expect the number of active duty personnel at NAS Whidbey to increase by 25 percent between 2015 and 2018. The Island County sheriff is holding a community meeting Thursday to discuss a homeless, Level 3 sex offender who’s moving to the Oak Harbor area. In addition, a Level 2 sex offender recently moved to Southwest 10th Avenue in Oak Harbor. A person deemed as “a Level 3 sex offender” is considered a high risk to reoffend; Level 2 offenders are considered a moderate risk. The meeting will be 6:30 p.m., SEE NAS GROWTH, A15 SEE SEX OFFENDERS, A15 Thursdays, January 23 & 30 Play our Pharaoh’s Pyramid Game! to WIN PRIZES! 8 PM GRAND $ PRIZE DRAWINGS: WNT-S I N C A S H & P R I Z E S !* HOURLY DRAWINGS: 2 - 7 pm 10,000 EARN TICKETS: Now – January 30 Owned by Upper Skagit Indian Tribe On I-5 at Exit 236 theskagit.com 877-275-2448 *Must be a Rewards Club Member – Membership is FREE! See Rewards Club Center for complete details. Must be present to win. Casino opens at 9 am daily. Must be 21 or older with valid ID.