Whidbey News-Times, March 15, 2014
March 15, 2014 edition of the Whidbey News-Times
News-Times Whidbey SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014 | Vol. 115, No. 22 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢ BRIDGE Oak Harbor’s ‘cheerleader’ leads parade A4 Pilot error blamed in Navy EA-6B crash Squadron revising training program By JANIS REID Staff reporter A Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Prowler squadron is changing its aviation training program in the wake of news that “pilot error” was responsible for the March Prowler crash in Eastern Washington. Three Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 crewmembers who died in the March 11 EA-6B Prowler crash were the pilot, Lt. Valerie Delaney, 26; flight officer, Lt. William Brown McIlvaine III, 24; and instructor, Lt. Cmdr. Alan Peterson, 34. A detailed report of the crash was released by the Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in recent months, and included recommendations to changes VAQ-129 should make to its training program. Patterson, a returning trainer, was placed into an “unnecessarily accelerated training” program without “normal oversight or formal review by existing standardization of procedures,” according to the report. Recommendations listed in the report include the review and modification of instructor qualification, designation and SEE FINDINGS, A20 Navy aids in airliner search By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter A crew from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is helping in the search for the missing Malaysian airliner as the mystery into its disappearance deepens. SEE SEARCH, A20 Tribe, city on cusp of bones deal By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter New charges filed against disgraced OH attorney By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter The City of Oak Harbor and three contractors reached a tentative settlement with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community over the desecration of Native American burial grounds during the 2011 Pioneer Way construction project. Under the proposal, the city’s insurance provider will pay $1.2 million and the insurance companies for the three companies will pay a total of $800,000 to the tribe. In addition, the city Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times Steve Bebee, operations manager for public works, inspects the site of the city’s old shop. The two-acre site may be given to the Swinomish Tribe under a preliminary settlement of a lawsuit over the desecration of an ancient grave site. The tarps in the background cover dirt from Pioneer Way which likely contains cultural remains. would turn over the deed to the old city shop property to the tribe for a future cemetery, according to City Administrator Larry Cort. The terms of the settlement are still preliminary, Cort emphasized, explaining that the City Council and the tribal leaders must approve the deal. The council members will discuss the proposal during an executive session set for Tuesday. Nevertheless, Mayor Scott Dudley said he is pleased with the proposal, noting that the tribe previously offered to settle for $3.9 million and the old city shop property. “I think it’s the best possible outcome we could have hoped for based on what we know,” he said. The city already spent an estimated $3.5 million on archaeology and other costs associated with the unearthing of the ancient burial grounds, according to City Engineer Joe Stowell. Dirt from the project was hauled to several different locations and given out as “free dirt” to residents; archaeologists had to sift through the SEE PROPOSAL, A17 A formerly prominent Oak Harbor attorney could face many years behind bars if convicted on charges that include theft and money laundering. Douglas Saar, 40, formerly of the Law Office of Skinner and SAAR Saar, is accused of stealing from estates he represented, shifting money around in accounts to hide the thefts and using stolen funds to pay for a limousine ride and a Hawaiian vacation, according to the police report. Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks is handling the case against Saar. Banks charged Saar in Superior Court Thursday with four counts of theft in the first degree, one count of theft in the second SEE CHARGES, A17 $20,000 * GRAND PRIZE AT 8 PM BAG YOUR TICKETS NOW - MARCH 20 Owned by Upper Skagit Indian Tribe WEEKLY DRAWINGS: 2 - 7:30 PM FINAL DAY! MARCH 20 On I-5 at Exit 236 theskagit.com • 877-275-2448 WNT-ST *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.