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Record South Whidbey INSIDE mlk day celebrated in the garden See...A9 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2014 | Vol. 90, No. 7 | | 75¢ Freeland fuel plume in check, lab results indicate The road to success By NATHAN WHALEN South Whidbey Record By JUSTIN BURNETT South Whidbey Record Freeland’s water supply appears to be under little immediate threat from a 2005 fuel spill on Main Street, state regulators have announced. Four additional groundwater monitoring wells were dug on select properties between Main Street and Highway 525 in December, and preliminary test results of water samples revealed contamination from petroleum compounds in only one of the four — the well located closest to the spill site. The results indicate the underground “plume” is not moving quickly toward large wells on Scenic Avenue that supply most of Freeland’s water. “It’s good news,” said Diane Escobedo, a project lead with the state Department of Ecology. “To see that we have clean wells, if we step out from the gas station a bit, is really good news.” This was what Freeland Water and Sewer District officials had been hoping to hear since the samples were collected last month. The possibility that the plume was moving through the aquifer toward the district’s primary wells across Highway 525 was unsettling, and several officials expressed relief following the announcement. “It’s very good news,” Commissioner Lou Malzone said. “It was a scary thing.” The district’s wells supply water to about 90 commercial businesses and about 400 residences in the area. Escobedo did warn, SEE WATER, A11 Landslide house burns in late night blaze Burglars have struck another blow on South Whidbey, this time to a non-profit group. Senior Services of Island County’s South Whidbey Center in Bayview was broken into last week and the thieves got away with several computers, some cash and other miscellaneous items. Organization leaders say Senior Services has been burglarized before, but it’s been some time and the experience has left A Driftwood Way home abandoned since a massive landslide made national headlines in 2013 burned to the ground Sunday night. The house, a double-wide manufactured home, was red-tagged by Island County following the disaster in Ledgewood last March as unsafe to enter or live. The house had slid toward the shoreline during the landslide and part of it teetered over the edge of a mound. The landslide destroyed a section of Driftwood Way and left firefighters Sunday with several challenges to overcome before they could extinguish the blaze. With a portion of the road gone, the only access to the neighborhood is provided by a small, one-lane-wide road. The road’s narrow width and a hairpin turn made it impossible for large fire engines to maneuver down to the neighborhood. Rather, three smaller brush apparatus responded to the Sunday evening fire, said Chad Michael, deputy chief of Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue. The fire was reported by Ralph Young, who lives in a house atop of the bluff overlooking the manufactured home. He was just getting ready for bed after celebrating the Seahawks victory when he spotted the fire. “It was quite an inferno,” Young said when he reported the blaze. Michael said the fire had engulfed the home by the time firefighters arrived on Driftwood Way, about 10 SEE BURGLARY, A11 SEE FIRE, A11 Justin Burnett / The Record Construction on the Second Street renovation project began Tuesday morning in Langley. Work crews arrived early and began breaking up sidewalks along the north side of the street. The $2.2 million project is slated for 100 days of work, putting completion on June 7. The project will replace aged utilities and redesign the street with the intent of fostering economic development in the Village by the Sea. For more information on the project, visit Director of Community Planning Jeff Arango’s blog at Burglars hit SW Center By JUSTIN BURNETT South Whidbey Record Justin Burnett / The Record A scraped-up door is the believed entry point of burglars who stole computers from South Whidbey Center last week.

South Whidbey Record, January 22, 2014

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