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News-Times Whidbey LIVING New book tells tales of land protection A10 SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2014 | Vol. 124, No. 58 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢ With reserves gone, Transit axing staff, routes Director: ‘I take full responsibility for this situation’ By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter A total of 24 employees will be laid off, Saturday bus service is being cancelled and five routes will be eliminated or changed due to financial problems uncovered at Island Transit. Martha Rose, director of Island Transit, said she fired Financial Manager Barbara Savary in May after she disclosed that the agency didn’t have the money to pay $135,000 in bills. Rose said she was dumbfounded to discover that Savary hadn’t been running the monthly cash flow analysis for years. She said the simple, internal report is not only a vital part of the job, but would have alerted the agency to cash flow concerns years ago. SEE CUTS, A5 Larger squadron options may delay Growler study By JANIS REID Staff reporter the Island County Sheriff’s Department. Wallace said that Navy Search and Rescue and officials from Washington State Parks, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue and the Coast Guard responded to the report. Two helicopters were used in the search. The Navy announced Friday its plans to consider larger EA-18G Growler squadrons as part of the Environmental Impact Statement it initiated last year. Including new alternatives in the EIS will likely require re-scoping of the project and push out the completion date, according to a news release issued Friday by Fleet Forces Command. A draft of the EIS is currently slated to be released next year, with an adoption date in 2016. The move is in response to Congress’ current discussions about appropriating funds to the U.S. Navy for additional Growlers, the news release said. “While it is unclear whether more Growlers will ultimately be procured, the Navy has decided to be proactive in analyzing the potential growth in the Growler inventory, in SEE RESCUE, A20 SEE GROWLERS, A20 Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times A Coast Guard helicopter lets out two kayak instructors at Whidbey General Hospital Thursday. The instructors and seven children were rescued by Coast Guard and Navy personnel and transported to the hospital after they were separated while kayaking near Deception Pass. No one was hurt. Young kayakers rescued at Pass By MICHELLE BEAHM Staff reporter Seven kayaking students were temporarily missing near Deception Pass Bridge Thursday afternoon but were found uninjured. Two instructors took their class of 12-year-olds and temporarily lost sight of them “due to whatever reason,” according to Ed Wallace from Assisted Living and Memory Care Community 1040 SW Kimball Drive | Oak Harbor, WA. 98277 (360) 279-0933

Whidbey News-Times, July 26, 2014

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