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The Best of Whidbey From restaurants to services, people & places, look inside to see your vote results.

Zombie teacher brings choir program to life

Contributed Photo

Darren McCoy is Whidbey’s “Best Teacher” of 2012, voted by the readers of the Whidbey News-Times. His dedication to broadening the horizons of his students through music and performance has made a big difference at the school and in the community of Oak Harbor.

Whidbey’s best teacher is more than a high school choir teacher. Darren McCoy, Oak Harbor High School choir director, is an inspiration to his students, a hard worker and also a zombie. “I think teaching is not just something you want to do. It’s something you’re called to do,” McCoy, 28, said, adding that teachers can’t say they love teaching because they love kids -- “give it two or three weeks,” McCoy said with a laugh. Teachers also don’t teach because they love the subject matter; they repeat the same topics year after year. “I think it has to be something you want to share how utterly amazing classical music is,” McCoy said of being a choir teacher. McCoy’s passion for music is undeniable, a fact obvious to 2012 Best of Whidbey voters. He said he plans to hold public lectures and recitals later this year to educate about music from different periods in a fun way. He’s also responsible for one of the most exciting choir events on Whidbey, an event that brought community-wide attention to the choir program: “Thrill the Island,” a student-created music video inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Students and community members dressed up like zombies and stormed local hotspots like Pioneer Way, Deception Pass Bridge and the Coupeville Wharf to film their exciting dance scenes. Production wrapped up in June and the short film is available to view on the “Thrill the Island” Facebook page, and is being shown on Wildcat TV Channel 21. “And when you see it and see how many community members are in it, it’s mind boggling,” McCoy said, adding that especially with the school district levy coming up in February 2013, it’s important for students to

Published as a supplement to the

be visible in the community so voters can see what their funding achieves. “Students won’t take education seriously unless the community also takes it seriously and puts their money where their mouth is,” McCoy said. With worries about the levy hanging over McCoy’s and his students’ heads, McCoy wasn’t about to sit still and wait for something to happen. Instead, he took some of his students to Oak Harbor School Board meetings to speak about the value of the choir program.



By REBECCA OLSON | Staff reporter

I think teaching is not just something you want to do. It’s something you’re called to do. Darren McCoy

“High school kids are misjudged. They’re very loyal and way more creative than I am,” McCoy said. But McCoy has found no shortage of creative ways to improve on the choir program at the high school over the past four years he has taught there. One change he made was getting the girl choir members matching outfits. “That may not seem like a lot but imagine the football team not having matching jerseys. There’s a certain amount of self-respect in what you’re wearing,” McCoy said. The girls now wear flowing, satin dresses and the

See McCoy, page 5

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Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012

We’d Like To Make One More Nomination For‘‘The Best Of Whidbey.’’ Our Customers.




Pg. 1 Best Teacher: Darren McCoy brings new life to OHHS music program Pg. 3 The Best of Whidbey: Your 2012 online survey results for this years reader’s choice awards Pg. 8 Best Elected Official: Tara Hizon Pg. 11 Best Dining: Flyers Restaurant & Brewery soars with awards and many top 3 mentions Pg. 17 Best Police Officer: Tony Slowik Pg. 20 Best Golf Course: Gallery Golf offers great views Pg. 22 Best place for kids: Blue Fox Drive-In is fun for all


Thank you to all of our customers who have become part of our family. Tues-Fri 11am-8pm • Sat 12-8pm • Sun 12-6pm 601 Midway Blvd • Oak Harbor • 360-679-3500


Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

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Best of Whidbey | staff Publisher: Marcia Van Dyke Editors: Jim Larsen & Jessie Stensland Design & Layout: Michelle Wolfensparger Words & Images: Justin Burnett, Rebecca Olson, Jessie Stensland, Jim Waller & Nathan Whalen

DARIN COOK Voted Whidbey’s Best Financial Advisor

Marketing Manager: Lee Ann Mozes Marketing Sales: Gail Rognan & Angela Wood Marketing Artists: Rebecca Collins, Ginny Tomasko & Leslie Vance Production Manager: Michelle Wolfensparger Selection Committee: Whidbey Islanders who logged on to cast more than 1,678 web ballots for their choices of the "Best" Whidbey Island businesses, services, food, places & people. Thanks!

Additional copies of this publication, subscriptions to the newspaper, and advertising information can be obtained by contacting: WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES


PO Box 1200 107 S. Main Street, Ste. E101 Coupeville, WA 98239

Thank you for voting me the Best Financial Advisor on Whidbey Island for the second year in a row!

31650 SR20, Ste. 2 • Oak Harbor, WA • 360-682-5955 www.cookwealthmanagement.wfadv.com Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN). Member SIPC. Cook Wealth Management is a separate entity from WFAFN. ©2009 Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC 0712-03577.

Darin Cook,

AAMS, Senior Financial Advisor

Best of Whidbey does not have a selection criteria, and winners were chosen based strictly on the number of votes received from the public. Voters may be allowed to vote more than once, and votes may have been cast by those who are not clients of Cook Wealth Management. The award is not a recommendation or testimonial, and is not necessarily reflective of the past or future performance of the advisor, or of client satisfaction.

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Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012


Say hello to “The Best” Night & day life Bar/Tavern Toby’s Tavern Flyers Restaurant & Brewery  Oak Harbor Tavern

Place to Dance Element Nightclub Mi Pueblo Mexican Restaurant Off the Hook

Place to Play Pool Oak Harbor Tavern All Sports Pub & Eatery Toby’s Tavern

Place to Take a Date

Best Place to Hear Live Music

Frasers Gourmet Hideaway Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Blue Fox Drive-In

Oak Harbor Tavern Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Ciao

Entertainment for Kids Blue Fox Drive-In Oak Bowl Windjammer Park

Place to Work

Romantic Dinner Spot Frasers Gourmet Hideaway Christopher’s On Whidbey Front Street Grill

NAS Whidbey Island Whidbey Coffee Whidbey Island Bank

The Best Food, Fun, People and Places found on Whidbey, as voted upon by the readers of the Whidbey News-Times.

restaurants & Food


Clam Chowder

Safeway Yummies Donut House

All-Around Dining


Seabolt’s Smokehouse Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Toby’s Tavern

Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Island Café Zorba’s

Appetizers Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Applebee’s China City

Asian Menu China City 123 Thai Sweet Rice

BBQ Joint Sho’ Nuff! BBQ Catering Flyers Restaurant & Brewery

Best Burger Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Zorba’s Toby’s Tavern

Coffee Shop/ Stand Whidbey Coffee Starbucks Coupeville Bistro

Deli Safeway Lund E’s bayleaf

Cheap Meal


Taco Bell McDonald’s Wendy’s

Frasers Gourmet Hideaway Dairy Queen Baskin Robbins

Continued on page 6

Thank You

Antiques • Collectibles

Molly McPherson For voting her one of the Top 3 Attorneys for Whidbey Island

so very much!

We are honored to be voted the Best of Whidbey. We wouldn’t be here without you!

BEST SALON/SPA BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE We are proud to provide our guests a professional environment. Our dedicated team takes pride in providing an exceptional salon experience.

Thank You for Voting Us One of the Best Anitques Stores on Whidbey Island! We are so grateful for your support!

Jewelry, Gifts, And much more!

(360) 679-4477 830 S.E. Bayshore Dr. Ste 101, Oak Harbor

861 Pioneer Way, Suite 102 Oak Harbor Like Carla’s Shear Inspiration inc. on



Joined Now By Neil McPherson

McPherson & McPherson 360-678-4407 1 NW Front Street Coupeville www.McPhersonLegal.com Joan McPherson of Counsel


Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

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McCoy from pg. 1

Photo Contributed

Darren McCoy makes his debut as a zombie for “Thrill the Island,” an island-wide dancing and filming project that his Show Choir took on to participate in the community -- and for the fun of dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

beginning choir wears robes and has folders. McCoy started the Show Choir, now a well-known and very popular performing group in the community. McCoy and Show Choir members participated in at least three productions at the Whidbey Playhouse, a first for most students. In December, McCoy starred in “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” along with half a dozen of his students. “I think the community involvement is what’s important because I don’t want this program cut,” McCoy said, adding that he wants the program to be unforgettable to the community. The choir already holds performances for the Rotary and Soroptimist clubs, the Navy, and now, thanks to McCoy, retirement homes, elementary schools and they even did a flash mob at the middle school. But McCoy’s program is also meant to inspire students to find a path for their lives. “I want kids to see where they can go with this program. They need

Continued on page 7

Thank you Whidbey Island for voting us


Chicago Title Company Strength and Stability in Island County.

Oak Harbor 360-675-0733


WHIDBEY’S BEST Best Fish & Chips Best Clam Chowder Best Seafood Restaurant 675-6485 • 31640 SR 20 #3

Thank You! To the Whidbey Island Community

For your support & for choosing me as One of Whidbey’s Best Dentists

It has been an honor to provide you and your family caring, quality dental care. Valerie Cicrich, DDS

275 SE Cabot Dr Ste A1, Oak Harbor 360-675-2222

Most Dental Insurances Accepted. We offer cash discounts & special senior discounts.


Serving lunch and dinner in a comfortable, inviting atmosphere!

Grilled Wild Sandwiches • Salads • Fresh Shellfish Specialty Fish & Chips • Homemade Soups Gourmet Burgers

Look for Seabolts at Deception Pass! We have opened the deli/market formerly “Whidbey Market” Lots of Seabolt’s products, camping supplies, limited menu & take out menu. Inside seating, Come see us.

We Ship Worldwide! Order Online: www.seabolts.com

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Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012

restaurants & Food Drive-Thru Restaurant Wendy’s Taco Bell McDonald’s

Family Restaurant Island Café Zorba’s El Cazador Mexican Grill & Cantina

Fish & Chips Seabolt’s Smokehouse Toby’s Tavern Island Café

Happy Hour Applebee’s China City Flyers Restaurant & Brewery




Book Store

Furniture Store

New Store

El Cazador Mexican Grill & Cantina Mi Pueblo Esteban’s

Frasers Gourmet Hideaway Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Front Street Bar & Grill

Wind & Tide Bookstore His Place Book Rack

Whidbey Furniture Furniture World Habitat For Humanity Re-Store

Whidbey Party Store West Coast Style Co. Crafter’s Coop

Mexican Menu El Cazador Mexican Grill & Cantina Esteban’s Mi Pueblo

New Restaurants Football Bat CIAO Agave

Seafood Seabolt’s Smokehouse Frasers Gourmet Hideaway Flyers Restaurant & Brewery




Papa Murphy’s CIAO Football Bat

Oak Tree Antiques Shady Ladies Michael John’s Trading Post

Salsa El Cazador Mexican Grill & Cantina Esteban’s Mi Pueblo

Building/ Remodeling Supply Store

Gift Store Island Drug Rusty Chandelier Aqua Gifts (Coupeville)

Home Depot Ace Hardware Frontier Building Supply

Grocery Store Safeway Red Apple-Coupeville Albertson’s

Clothing Store Maurices Casual House West Coast Style

Gym/Fitness Center/Yoga Center

Flooring Store Floors Plus Carpet One Home Depot North West Granite

Auto Dealership

Flower Shop

Oak Harbor Motors Slowik Motors Pioneer Automotive Services

Midway Florist The Greenhouse Nursery & Florist Coupeville Florist

Nursery/Plants The Greenhouse Nursery Mailliard’s Landing Nursery Home Depot

Pet Store Island Pet Center Country Store (Cenex) Whidbey Island Natural Pet


Thrive Fitness NorthEnd Fitness Center Lotus Yoga

Island Drug Walgreen’s Rite Aid

Jewelry Store

Island Thrift W.A.I.F. Thrift Store My Father’s Closet

Gerald’s Jewelry Jewelry Gallery Island Jeweler

Thrift Store

Continued on page 11


PET CENTER Thank you for voting for us!

BEST PET STORE! A proud member of the community for 35 years!


with savings throughout the store

August 3rd & 4th All Dog & Cat Food Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price

Fri & Sat, Aug 3rd & 4th, 10am- 6pm

All Fish Half Price Fri, Aug 3rd, 6pm - 9pm

All things delicious!

hungry people of Whidbey Island for having us cater your events and enjoying our BBQ! ShoNuff Is A Mobile Catering Company Serving Authentic Southern Goodness!  Market Menu Ribs, Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Collard Greens, Cornbread, Red Beans, Rice, Sweet Tea, Pork Loin, Beef Tri-tip Beef Short Ribs...and more!


for recognizing us as the


Thanks for recognizing us! We love serving up the best for Oak Harbor and Coupeville Coupeville 360-678-6603

Oak Harbor 360-675-6600

w w w.bay leaf.us

New Owner, Karen Mueller 790 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor


w w w.bay leaf.us w w w.bay leaf.us


Contact us for your next event!


Thank You

Aquariums • Freshwater Fish Saltwater Fish & Corals Exotic Birds • Reptiles • Small Animals Full Line of Supplies Premium Quality Foods

for choosing us as one of your favorite and best Whidbey Island gift stores.


we appreciate your support!

OAK HARBOR • (360) 675-9646 MON-SAT 10-6PM SUN 11-5PM

360.675.1741 • 770 SE Pioneer Way • Oak Harbor


Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

McCoy from pg. 5 to have goals. Without goals, you can’t have success,” McCoy said. “I would like them to keep music in their life forever, whether it be on stage or in the audience.” McCoy said he knows not all of his students will major in music, but his program goes beyond music too. “I want them to feel comfortable with their own voice … I think kids want to learn and they want to contribute to their learning, at least in my classroom,” McCoy said. Next school year, McCoy’s most exciting goal is splitting the choir into boys’ and girls’ choirs. He’s expecting 70 to 80 boys instead of the 20 to 30 he has had. “I don’t think this community has any idea what a great high school men’s choir does,” McCoy said. While Show Choir has fun with choreography, the Man Choir will be different. “They don’t have to move. They just sing and people love it.” He plans to use the Man Choir to bring back the school fight song. “Nobody knows it,” he said, adding that no one has sang it in probably a decade, even though the words are painted in the

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school gym. McCoy said he hopes to attract more “jocks” and “popular” students to choir by having his choir sing at all the games. Something a male student told him last year will always stay with him: “Without choir, I would never have even talked to most of you and now you’re like my family.” “And I think it’s so true,” McCoy continued, adding that in choir, he teaches “emo” students, “drama geeks,” “jocks,” “academics” and more. “All the terrible cliches that ‘Glee’ has on the (TV) show, we have,” McCoy said with a laugh. As the students work to raise money to go on a tour out of state next year, McCoy said he plans for the choir to continue to be active in the community. “I’m very honored to work with the kids that I have,” McCoy said.

Photo Contributed

Darren McCoy believes in the importance of his choir program contributing to the community. One way they have done this is by holding “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” a performance featuring well-known songs from the radio and shows like “Wicked” for the community’s enjoyment.

Thank You Whidbey Island. Congratulations And Thank You For Voting Our Barista Debbie Henderson-Vescovi One of Whidbey Island’s Top 3 Baristas!

1203 West Terry Road, Coupeville

(360) 678-7375


Whidbey’s Ultimate Dining Experience

Visit our full menu at www.frasersgh.com


1191 SE Dock Street • Oak Harbor

Banner Bank is honored to have been voted as one of the top mortgage lenders in the Best of Whidbey for 2012. Thank you Whidbey Island for your continued support. We invite you to call or stop in to meet our experienced real estate lenders at Banner’s Oak Harbor Home Loan Center. Our team is ready to assist you with all your home loan needs.




75 SE Pioneer Way • Oak Harbor •1-888-595-6209


Over 30 Years Serving the Community on the Rock!!

Better ideas. Better banking. Oak Harbor Home Loan Center 570 N.E. Midway Blvd. (360) 240-8533 www.bannerbank.com

Member FDIC

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Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012


‘I’m just myself,’ says winning elected official By JUSTIN BURNETT | Staff reporter

Young and passionate, a freshman Oak Harbor city councilwoman is proving that experience really isn’t everything. Despite being perhaps the youngest person currently serving in elective office anywhere in Island County, Tara Hizon, 33, has been selected as the best elected official in the 2012 Best of Whidbey competition. The Whidbey News-Times readers’ choice awards is an annual competition that recognizes the top people, businesses, organizations and locations in the community through an open public voting process. This year, 1,678 readers participated in balloting on our website. Justin Burnett/ Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor City Councilwoman Tara Hizon smiles at a copy of her recognition by Whidbey News-Times readers as the best elected official on Whidbey Island.

Thank you for voting us




275 SE Cabot Drive, Suite B101 Oak Harbor • 360-675-6648






Thank you for voting us one of the best pharmacies on Whidbey Island!



2011 2012!

(360) 675-3497 walgreens.com

THaNkS for your voTe Top 3 in the categories of

• Best New Restaurant • Best Pizza • Best Place To Hear Live Music

701 N. Main St. Coupeville 360.678.0800 Mon-Sat 11-8pm ciaowhidbey.com

Thank You!

We’re Proud To Be Your #1 Choice For Pizza! for voting us

Best Cheap Meal

31490 State Route 20 Oak Harbor

Continued on page 9

Our Doctors!

Whidbey Community Physicians wishes to thank the readers for voting Dr. Langrock & Dr. Sanders as 2 of the best doctors on Whidbey Island.


We are truly grateful to have so many devoted customers, friends & fans!

Whidbey Island

Holding true to her down-toearth and easy-to-like character, the councilwoman just couldn’t suppress a few exuberant “no way” and “you’re kidding” comments when she was alerted to the news. Hizon went on to say she was flattered, humbled and a little at a loss for an explanation, though not for words. She said she’s known about the annual competition for years, but admitted she never expected to be among those honored. While she definitely has a “different energy” from others on the council, Hizon couldn’t point to any specific accomplishment that has earned her the respect of the News-Times’ newspaper and website readers. “I don’t know, I’m just myself and I think people identify with that,” she said. Hizon was elected to Position 1 this past November during one of the most contentious city elections

Handmade. Home Baked. Call ahead and Pick Up at the Drive Thru!

360-675-5505 • Oak Harbor

and one of top 3 Best drive-thur restaurant

32780 SR 20 • Oak Harbor • (360) 675-6868 Sun-Thurs: 8:00AM - 2:00AM • Fri-Sat: 8:00AM - 3:00AM


Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

Hizon, from pg. 8 in years. Several council seats, along with the mayor’s office, were up for grabs. Entering a four-way race largely as a political unknown, Hizon came out of the gates swinging positive energy and one or two new ideas. By the time November came around, she walked home with over 55 percent of the vote. One of Hizon’s pitches on the campaign trail was to take advantage of new technologies to improve communication with the public, such as airing council meetings live on the city’s website. Although it was not her doing alone, that has since been accomplished. “The response has been incredible,” Hizon said. Public viewing for a meeting in June exceeded the website’s programmed bandwidth – in other words, more people were watching than the website is set up to handle. Some adjustments will have to be

made to accommodate the higherthan-expected participation. “I think that’s just wonderful,” she said. Although the meetings can currently only be watched as they are happening, Hizon said she is hoping that eventually an online archive of meetings will be available on the website, allowing people to watch past meetings at any time. Hizon has also made herself known to Whidbey News-Times readers via the newspaper’s online comment session. She and Councilman Jim Campbell are the only two members of the seven-member council to do so on any regular basis. Hizon said readers participating in the forum often express questions and concerns about what’s going on in Oak Harbor. There is also the occasional bit of misinformation. As a councilwoman, Hizon said she believes it’s her responsibility to respond to all of it. “If I just sat by and watched that happen, I don’t think I would be doing my job,” Hizon said.

Thank you for voting us

Best Hair Salon and Best Stylist Reghan Campbell

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We’re proud to have you on our team! Thank you, Oak Harbor, for recognizing her as one of Whidbey’s Best Insurance Agent!

Koetje Insurance Home • Auto • Business

780 SE Pioneer Way • Oak Harbor 360.240.8492 • mysalonlux@gmail.com

775 NE Midway Blvd, Oak Harbor 360.675.5916 • www.koetjeinsurance.com a division of Whitfield’s United Insurance Agencies, Inc.

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Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012




File Photo/ Whidbey News-Times

Best place to take kids... To their rooms!

Funniest Voters




The “best place to take a walk” in Oak Harbor is City Beach, and one of the best parks as well as places for “entertainment for kids” was Windjammer Park, (shown above) according to our 2012 online poll of Whidbey News-Times readers in the Best of Whidbey contest.

Whidbey Island has so much to offer recreation seekers that many of the parks, picturesque beaches and trails are also national favorites as well. Deception Pass State Park still rates #1 as “best place to go camping,” “best place to get married” and “best view” to name a few. (Below)



Thank you for voting me


It has been a pleasure serving our community for the last 14 years. • Gentle, hands on, low force techniques and manual care • Most Insurances Accepted • Other onsite businesses include: Massage, Naturopaths, Counseling

Steak - Seafood - Burgers - Pub Fare - Cocktails - Martinis - 15 taps Family Friendly - Patio Seating Open Daily 11:00 am • Breakfast Saturday, Sunday Until 2pm.

www.eatatflyers.com Please Call for Reservations! 360-675-5858 32295 State Route 20 • Oak Harbor, WA 98277

Bayshore Chiropractic 360-675-1066 • 840 SE Bayshore Drive • Oak Harbor • www.drdawnchiro.org


shopping Tire Store

Les Schwab Tire Center Precision Tire Midway Muffler

Hardware Store Ace Hardware Home Depot Sebo’s Do It Center

services Accountant Kathy Jones John E. Kingma Harriet Berg

Attorney Christon Skinner Mollie McPherson Doug Saar

Automotive Repair Jack’s Automotive Pioneer Automotive Martin’s Auto Electric

Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey Bank Whidbey Island Bank Navy Federal FCU Alaska USA FCU

Barbership Nexie’s Ex’s Dave’s Midway Barbers Chrome Barbershop

Barista Erin Headrick Starbucks Hilary Gardner Carpenter - Whidbey Coffee Debbie Henderson Vescovi - Prarie Perks

Bartender Paco Rodriguez - El Cazador Mexican Grill & Cantina Alex Bennet - Off The Hook Jamie Goodenough - Flyers Restaurant & Brewery

Bus Or Taxi Driver Island Transit Whidbey Seatac Ault Field Taxi

College/University Skagit Valley College Brandman University Columbia College


Contractor/ Builder

Serendipity Catering bayleaf BBQ Joint

Cascade Custom Homes Lang Co. P & L General Contractors

Chiropractor Dr. Dawn Keith-Madeiros Bayshore Chiropractic John Raymond Whidbey Island Chiropractic Bob Shelly - Island Chiropractic

Continued on page 15

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Thanks! To the more than 1,678 readers who logged on to whidbeynewstimes.com and voted for “The Best” Thank you Whidbey Island for voting us the


Church Living Word First Reformed St. Augustine’s Catholic

Cleaning Service Merrill’s Carpet Cleaning Servicemaster Margi’s Maids

Serving up some of the best desserts in town! Thank you Oak Harbor, have your party with us. 32760 State Rte 20, Oak Harbor


PLUMBING & REPAIR Plumbing Services • Water Heater Services Fixture Installations

Contact today at 360-675-1402 to schedule an appointment.

(360) 675-3103

JILL JOHNSON Thank you for your business and votes Best Building/Remodeling Supply Store

BEST Community Leader

33860 SR-20 Oak Harbor (360) 675-7790 www.fbs.us

Dogwood Pet Resort 360-675-4483 Dog & Cat Boarding Professional Dog & Cat Grooming by John Cline State of the Art Facility • Heated Floors Warm • Safe • Secure • Professional Staff

Thank you for choosing us for your precious pet’s care.. they will thank you too!

Dog Daycare • Members Only Dog Park www.thedogwoodonwhidbey.com reservations@thedogwoodonwhidbey.com Hwy 20 to Fakkema Road, to 2945 Taylor Road in Oak Harbor

CONgraTuLaTIONS, JILL! From the Board of Directors at the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce

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Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012


Flyers soars to best dining, appetizer award By NATHAN WHALEN | Staff reporter

Nathan Whalen/ Whidbey News-Times

T hank You!

to our customers for voting and choosing the Coachman Inn for the “Best Lodging” in Oak Harbor. Thank you for your support and votes “Best Customer Service” We appreciate your loyalty and business.

Flyers Restaurant and Brewery co-owners Jason Tritt and Tony Savoy have been in business in Oak Harbor for seven years. The popular brew pub earned best all-around dining, and best appetizers in the 2012 Best of Whidbey contest. Their waitress, Jaimee Zook, also took best honors. The restaurant was named in the top three of over 10 categories in this year’s contest results.

A combination of locally brewed beers and a tasty menu featuring ingredients grown from around the region has made an Oak Harbor brew pub a popular destination. So many people have enjoyed it that the readers of the Whidbey News-Times named Flyers Restaurant and Brewery Best All-around Dining in the 2012 Best of Whidbey Contest. The brew pub also earned the Best Appetizer award. Flyers Restaurant and Brewery has been open near the corner of Whidbey Avenue and Highway 20 in Oak Harbor for seven years. Co-owner Jason Tritt oversees the dining side of the business, while co-owner Tony Savoy is the brewmaster. Flyers currently offers a combination of beers it brews on site along with several featured taps from breweries located throughout the Puget Sound region. Currently, Flyers is brewing First Flight Amber, Humbles Blonde Ale, Afterburner IPA, Barnstormer Brow, Pacemaker Porter and Heat Seeker Hefeweizen. “We offer a little bit of something for everyone,” Tritt said. He added that Flyers offers several guest taps to show customers the type of beers being crafted throughout the region. “We always have guest taps,” Tritt said, adding it helps educate guests about the many varieties of locally made brews available. Flyers shows homage to military aviation, which is a significant part of Tritt’s family. He said five generations of the Tritt family have been involved in Navy or Army aviation. Photos of family members hang on the wall next to the bar and an image of his grandfather adorns the front page of Flyers’ menu. Aviation related paintings and airplane models can be found throughout the restaurant. The menu selection has recently been updated, which is done occasionally throughout the year to

Still haven’t seen the light? 360-675-0727 • 32959 State Route 20 • Oak Harbor


Continued on page 14 Come to the place where we’ll treat you right! Your Locally Owned

Serving The Oak Harbor Community Since 2012. 150 SE Pioneer Way



Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

Page 13

Nathan Whalen/ Whidbey News-Times

Steaks and salads are just some of the meals that feature regionally grown ingredients. Flyers also won the coveted “Best Burger,” and was mentioned as a top three favorite for the steak, the seafood, the BBQ and their clam chowder as well.


THANKS FOR THE RECOGNIZING US! We are happy to serve you!



A Family-Grown Business Since 1954

Nathan Whalen/ Whidbey News-Times

Flyers offers a selection of beers brewed at its Oak Harbor location along with several guest taps. Flight squadron memorabilia, like this helmet at right, as well as the propellershaped taps, model airplane collections, and other flight-themed treasures add to the atmosphere.


for voting for us Florist, Nursery/Plants

877-855-9222 360-675-6668

555 NE 7th Ave, Oak Harbor www.thegreenhousefandn.com


(360) 240-0946


The Seaside Spa Gals

Thank You for making us feel Glamorously Famous! Voted one of Whidbey’s Best Salon/Spas & one of the Best Massage Therapists, Shanti Sivadas

Thanks for your votes.

Proud to serve our Whidbey Island communities! Helping Whidbey Island Families through the Windermere Foundation.

360-678-0508 5 NW Front Street, Coupeville www.SeasideSpaandSalon.com Historic Waterfront Coupeville’s Premier Hair Studio & Spa Retreat

Since 2005, we have contributed over $60,000 to organizations like The Opportunity Council, Readiness to Learn and the North Whidbey Help House. View all available properties at www.windermerewhidbey.com

Oak Harbor 360/675-5953

Coupeville 360/678-5858

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Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012


Flyers from pg. 13

Nathan Whalen/ Whidbey News-Times

Flyers is located near the corner of Whidbey Avenue and Highway 20 in Oak Harbor.

See more of your choices of “The Best” on page 15...

keep the selection fresh. Tritt said Flyers uses area farms to supply his restaurant with locally grown ingredients, which has proven popular with customers. He is quick to list the farms where his gets ingredients for his menu. Flyers works with such places as Pleasant Valley Farms and Native Catch Seafood, both located near La Conner, and Sukuma Brothers near Burlington. Flyers also partners with Case Farm of Oak Harbor, which uses the spent grain from the brewing process. Despite the brewery that operates out of Flyers, Tritt emphasizes that the brew pub is kid friendly and the owners encourage families to eat and enjoy themselves at Flyers. He credited the quality of the food and beer, the ambiance and the experienced staff as the reasons for Flyers’ success over the years. The business also offers such events as a brewer’s night and live music to further attract people. With the restaurant staying popular, Flyers is planning to expand its beer production facilities, guaranteeing it will remain a top choice for Whidbey Island restaurant goers.

Thank you for voting us one of the BEST CLOTHING STORE on Whidbey!



C A S U A L H O U S E fashi o n - fo o t w ear - gi ft s Downtown Oak Harbor ∙ 360.675.2541 Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30 ∙ thecasualhouse.com

More than a college, it’s a community. Whidbey Island Campus 360.679.5319 South Whidbey Center 360.341.2324

Thank You Whidbey Island for voting us

BEST FLOWER SHOP Skagit Valley College provides a drug-free environment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or age in its programs and employment.

888-394-2525 • 360-679-2525

midwayflorist.com • mymidwayflorist.com • Weekdays 9am-5pm • Sat. 9am-1pm

91 NE Midway Blvd • Oak Harbor


Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey


Financial Planner

Customer Service

Darin Cook - Cook Wealth Mgmt Jeff Pleet - Edward Jones Gene Barner - Edward Jones

Carla’s Shear Inspiration The Coachman Inn Whidbey Island Bank


Insurance Agent

Funeral Home

Steve Richardson Insurance Sue Blouin At Koetje Insurance Shelly Trumbull Cascade Insurance

Kennel Watch Dawgs Boarding & Grooming Dogwood Pet Resort Sun Set Kennel

Dr. Gordon Keyes Dr. Gary Berner Dr. Valerie Cicrich


Golf Course

Landscaping Businessman

Gallery Golf Course Whidbey Golf and Country Club Lam’s Links

3 Men And A Mower Pioneer Tree Service Greg Abrahamse Whidbey Lawn Services

Hair Salon


Salon Lux Carla’s Shear Inspirations Gallery Salon

Coachman Inn Best Western Hotel Candlewood Suites

Dry Cleaner Whidbey Cleaners Dutch Maid Island Cleaner

Bringing Fun To The Island! Locally owned and operated.

Thank You For Voting Us “Best New Store”

We’ve Got Party Supplies, Lots of Balloons, Invitations, Wedding Favors, Root Candles. New Merchandise arriving weekly!


270 SE Cabot, STE 2 Oak Harbor

ak Bow

Shady Ladies’

Thanks for supporting us for 20 years! • Antique & Vintage Furniture • Collectibles

• Jewelry & Gifts (360) 679-1902 656 SE Bayshore Drive, Ste 5 (next to Drivers License Office)


Mario’s Pizza

Mortgage Lender

Oil Change

Pamela Eragon Shanti Svida - Seaside Spa & Salon Toni Amsler - Nuvo Health And Wellness Center

Alaska USA Mortgage Company Guild Mortgage Banner Bank

Non-Profit Organization W.A.I.F. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Island County Island Thrift

Wallin Funeral Home & Cremation Burley Funeral Home Whidbey Memorial

Dr. Sidney Sparks Dr. Doug Langrock Dr. Jerald G. Sanders

Massage Therapist

Page 15

Martin’s Auto Electric Mike’s Quick Lube Hill Top Auto Service

Optometrist Dr. Chris Gaustad Dr. Justin Wright Whidbey Vision Care Dr. Mark Cichowski

Continued on page 16

Thanks For voting us one oF the Best on WhidBey!

We are committed to serving you only the best & highest quality products! Locally Owned and Locally Locally Owned andOperated Locally Operated

Thank You for your votes and customer loyalty throughout the years! We are thrilled to be voted One of the Best on Whidbey Island! COME CHECK OUT OUR NEW KIDS AREA!

We are THE place for fun in Oak Harbor! Bowling, birthday parties, leagues, pizza, and daily specials!

531 SE Midway Blvd • Oak Harbor w w w. o a k b o w l . c o m

67 9 -2 5 3 3


408 S. Main • Coupeville, Wa (360) 678-5611 • pcredapple.com

Page 16

Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 23, 2011

services Personal Trainer Tyson Van Dam Thrive Fitness Todd Ritter - Thrive Fitness Rodger Schnell - North End Fitness


Pet Groomer

Place To Buy Gas Photographer

Tanning Salon


Charity Hamilton WatchDawgs Grooming Heathers Pet Grooming (Coupeville) Corinne’s K-9 Cuts

Safeway Skagit Country Store (Cenex) Arco In Oak Harbor

Desert Sun Tanning Whidbey Tropics Nami Sun

Jaimee Zook - Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Judy Curtain - Knead & Feed Sabrina Cummings Zorbas


Scottie’s Plumbing Bob Watt Northwest Plumbing Harbor Plumbing


Thank you for voting for us as one of the Best Places to Dance

and Best Bartender Alex Bennet

We strive to provide the best customer service. Alex Bennet, Heather Henderson, Lucy Giroir, James & Mason 880 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor (360) 679-5100 • 4:00 pm - 2:00 pm Custom Landscaping & Landscape Maintenance

We do it all!

Customized Maintenance Packages with easy, monthly payments

1215 Silver Lake Rd., Oak Harbor, WA

Reneé Giugliano Photography Ryan Nowicki Captured Moments Photography Erik Vail - Vail Studio Photography

Real Estate Agency Windermere Real Estate GO Realty Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate

Real Estate Agent Gerry Oliver Gerry Morgan Veronica Burlup

Retirement Center Regency On Whidbey Summer Hill Harbor Tower Village

Salon/Spa Carla’s Shear Inspiration Seaside Spa & Salon (Coupeville) The Gallery Salon

Stylist Reghan Campbell Salon Lux Meghan Sams - Salon Lux Laura Crandal - Carla’s Shear Inspiration

Tattoo Shop Reno’s Back Alley Tattoos Thrashers Bayside Tattoos

Tax Preparer Kathy Jones - Jones Accounting Assoc. John E. Kingma & Assoc. Cpa’s Harriet Berg

Title Company Chicago Title Company Island Title Land Title & Escrow

Transportation Island Transit Whidbey-Seatac Shuttle & Charters Ault Field Taxi

Veterinarian Best Friends Veterinary Hospital Penn Cove Veterinary Clinic North Whidbey Animal Hospital

Waiter Loren Lynch, Zorba’s Restaurant Trevor Adams - Flyers Restaurant & Brewery Cody Rikard Christopher’s

people Community Volunteer Brian Jones Jo Balda Shelli Trumbull

Community Leader Jill Johnson Jim Slowik Scott Dudley

Local Band/ Musician/DJ Johnny & The Bull Dogs Pot Belly Jacobs Road

Businessman Gerry Oliver Darrin Cook Steve Richardson

Businesswoman Carla Dozier Shelli Trumbull Kathy Jones

Elected Official Tara Hizon Scott Dudley Rick Almberg

Continued on page 19

THANK YOU for voting us Thank You Whidbey Island for letting us manicure your yards!


ASE Certified Mechanics

3 Years in a row!!


Family Owned & Operated Since 1959 • Located On Oak Harbors Other Main Street

152 NE Midway Blvd • Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm • (360) 675-2754


Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

Tony Slowik wins top cop honors By JESSIE STENSLAND | Staff reporter

The residents of North Whidbey picked a homegrown cop as the “best police officer” in this year’s Best of Whidbey survey. Detective Tony Slowik with the Oak Harbor Police Department has a familiar name in the city, especially as the son of the former mayor. But he’s distinguished himself in his own right as a hard-working, professional and amiable officer of the law. And apparently the public has noticed. Slowik has been in the news quite a few times during nearly nine years on the force. Most recently, he investigated a horrendous case of child abuse that garnered a lot of attention in the community and affected many people. He somehow was able to get the defendant to confess to horrible crimes that police didn’t even know about. As a result of his investigation and the work of others, the man was convicted and ultimately sentenced

Voted Best Police Officer for 2012

to 60 years to life in prison. The tiny victim is doing well. “That’s one of those cases that changes you,” said the 36-year-old father of two girls. “It’s great to see that out of tragedy, there is an opportunity for her and her brother to succeed.” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme was so impressed with three detectives’ work on the case that he sent their boss, Lt. Tim Sterkel, a letter exalting their excellent police work. “I must specifically point out the extraordinary amount of work that the lead detective Tony Slowik put into this case,” Ohme wrote. “Much of Detective Slowik’s efforts went above and beyond what I would normally expect in a case. Detective Slowik joined me when I interviewed medical experts in Seattle; we had countless conversations about the

Continued on page 18

The clean you expect. The service you deserve.®


Jessie Stensland/ Whidbey News-Times

Detective Tony Slowik with the Oak Harbor Police Dept. was voted the best police officer, most likely for his hard work on tough cases and dedication to his hometown.

Best place to people watch... Walmart



Funniest Voters

Page 17


Thank You for Voting Us One of the Best Cleaning Services on Whidbey Island! We Are Proud To Serve Whidbey Island!

Thank You


SERVING ALL OF WHIDBEY IS ISLAND The Most Reliable The Most Trips All Weather Service Limosuine & Charter Service for Proms, Parties, etc.


Book Online or Call 360.679.4003 / 877.679.4003


Services to Make You Smile! RESIDENTIAL

Helping people keep their homes beautiful for more than 50 years.


Offering daily, weekly or monthly cleaning for your facility.


Call for information: 360-679-6443 P.O. Box 1073 • Oak Harbor, WA 98277 smisland@whidbey.net

Page 18

Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012

slowik from pg. 17 evidence, witnesses and follow up to be done.” Sterkel agreed that Slowik is a very hard-working detective. Slowik joined the Coast Guard after graduating from Oak Harbor High School. He left after six years of active duty and returned to Whidbey Island. He worked for an electrical designer at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders before deciding he wanted a


According to one voter the “Best place to Fish” is. . “If I told ya, I’d have to kil ya.


Funniest Voters Comments


badge. Slowik said he was interested in the police department because of his experience in the Coast Guard. “I really appreciated the camaraderie of people working together for a common good. It’s all about serving the community,” he said. Slowik worked as a patrol officer for six years before being rotated into the detective unit. Like any patrol officer, he dealt with a great variety of serious, weird or mundane cases, from a stabbing at the Walmart

Dave’s Midway Barber Shop

parking lot to a theft of a bottle of bubbles that resulted in felony charges. One of the scariest moments, he said, came one night when he was on patrol and answering a call about someone at a trailer park shining lasers at Navy jets. He and another officer knocked on a door and drew their weapons as a drunk man answered armed with a gun. Thankfully, the tense standoff ended without violence. As a detective, he’s investigated some pretty serious cases in the last few years, including a head-stomping outside a nightclub and a throatslashing inside a nightclub. While he enjoys being a detective,

Slowik said his goal is to become a sergeant and hopefully a police chief someday. But unlike his dad, Jim Slowik, he’s not interested in running for office. “There’s a lot of good you can do as an officer,” he said. When he’s not chasing bad guys, Slowik volunteers at the Oak Harbor Christian School, which his children attend. He enjoys speaking with children and being a mentor. In addition, Slowik participated with Detective Sgt. Teri Gardner in a middle school program aimed at teaching children about expectations and responsibilities, especially how it relates to law enforcement, as they move toward adulthood.

41 NE Midway Blvd # 104 Oak Harbor 360 675-4344

Thank you to our customers, for your votes and your support!

Thank You

for your continued support!

WE DO CUSTOM ORDERS Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm • Sat: 9am-2:30pm

1191 SE Dock St., #2 • Oak Harbor 360-682-2761

THANK YOU FOR VOTING US ONE OF THE BEST COFFEE SHOPS ON WHIDBEY! Coffee • Breakfast • Lunch • New Nosh Plates Friday & Saturday Nights JUNE BLOUIN, OWNER

200 S. Main Street, Coupeville 360-682-5832 • www.coupevillecoffeeandbistro.com

File Photo/ Whidbey News-Times

According to our 2012 results, the favorite festival and event is still Oak Harbor’s own unique Holland Happening, put on by the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce. One of the favorite things to do was watch Elmer, the “wooden shoe man” hand craft a pair of Klompen, and watch the parade through downtown.

Thank you for voting Pioneer Tree Service & Landscaping one of the Best Landscaping businesses on Whidbey Island!

Professional residential and commercial tree and landscaping services. Contact us for an estimate!




Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

people Coach

whidbey aspects

Tyson Van Dam Jay Turner David King

Place To Take A Walk City Beach Ebey’s Landing Deception Pass State Park

Local Artist Galen Jernberg Don Jernberg Perry Scott Woodfin


Local Author Deb Lund Pete Hunt Doug Dunn

Firefighter Mike Engle Shannon Holcomb Steve Lacey

Kettles Trails City Beach Ebeys Landing



Tony Slowik John Dyre Detective Hoffkamp


Historic Building

Darin McCoy - Oak Harbor High School Barbara BallardCoupeville High School Deb Sherman Coupeville Elementary

Red Barn - Now Roller Barn Roller Skating Admiralty Head Light House Ebey House

Jill Johnson Angel Almedya Gerry Oliver

Bike Route

Place To Get Married

Holland Happening Art’s & Crafts Festival Coupeville 4th Of July - Oak Harbor


Ft Nugent Park Windjammer Park Deception Pass State Park

West Beach Crockett Lake City Beach


Police Officer


West Beach City Beach Rocky Point Beach

Holland Happening 4th Of July Fireworks Mussel Fest

Parade 4th Of July Parade Oak Harbor Holland Happening Coupeville Memorial Day Parade

Page 19

Deception Pass State Park Greenbank Farm Rocky Point

Place To Go Camping Deception Pass State Park Ebey’s Landing Fort Casey

Place To People Watch Walmart Pioneer Way City Beach

Nathan Whalen/ Whidbey News-Times

Cranberry Lake Park, part of the Deception Pass State Park, is still the #1 place to fish, according to the Best of Whidbey poll. It remains a popular spot year after year.

Crabbing Spot

Place To Fish

Cornet Bay Crescent Harbor Penn Cove

Cranberry Lake Park Deception Pass State Park Cornet Bay

See you next year! Remember to check the website www. whidbeynewstimes.com for up to date local news and information.


View Deception Pass Bridge West Beach Ebey’s Landing

HOME • AUTO • BUSINESS • LIFE • HEALTH Thank you for voting for Shelli Trumbull as one of Whidbey Island’s best insurance agents for the 3rd Year in a row!

www.cascadeinsuranceagency.com facebook.com/CascadeInsurance

404 S. Main St. • Coupeville, WA 98239 • 360-682-2162

Thank you for recognizing us as one the Best Places for Appetizers!


JOIN US FOR HAPPY HOUR 3 - 6 pm & 9 pm - Close Every Day • 1/2 Price Selected Appetizers

31810 SR 20 • Oak Harbor • 360-679-6100

Page 20

Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012


Gallery’s views are hard to ignore for golfers By JIM WALLER | Staff reporter

Contributed Photo

Muchas Gracias, Whidbey!

BeST MexIcan MenanuD BeST MaRGaRITa anD BeST SaLSa congratulations to our very own


Dine In • Take Out • Delivery

Daily Food and Drink Specials • Banquet Room for Large Gatherings

32195 SR 20 • Oak Harbor • 360.675.6114

The Gallery Golf course can’t be beat for views of Puget Sound. Scenery like this, great rates, a stellar golf course and a bundle of amenities attract players from throughout the Northwest.

The Gallery, the 2012 Best of Whidbey’s favorite golf course, encompasses what is truly best of Whidbey -- outdoor recreation in a beautiful setting complete with green fairways, majestic trees, lush landscaping and striking views of Puget Sound. No wonder golfers sometimes find it hard to keep their eye on the ball. The par-72, 18-hole course is part of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and is open to the public. The hours are dawn to dusk, and the pro shop is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wayne Dorrenbacher, recreation aid assistant and director of golf operations, said he believes the popularity of the Gallery is based upon “its price, views and location.” “Our rates,” he said, “are comparable with the courses on the island, with courses throughout the area.” He added that it is the only 18-hole course on Whidbey that is open to the public and not private or semi-private, although, he added, some still don’t realize that nonmilitary personnel can use the course. Dorrenbacher said the course was listed in Golf Digest in 2010 as one of the best places to play. “People come from as far away as British Columbia, Seattle, Olympia to play; that should tell you something,” Dorrenbacher said. He also proudly pointed out that the Gallery hosted the Navy’s win in the Service Cup over teams from the Army and Air Force. The Gallery provides many services. Clubs, carts and lockers are available for rental. Tee-time reservations are available daily and can be made in person, by calling 360-279-2178 or online. For your initial online reservation, visit the pro shop for registration information.

Continued on page 21

Gallery From page 20 The Gallery, which is located at 3065 N. Cowpens Road, also offers several practice options, including a grass tee in the summer, 12 artificial grass hitting stations in the winter, target greens and signs, putting green, chipping and putting green adjacent to the No. 1 tee, and pitching and practice bunker. Activities this summer include the Nine-hole Tipped and Tucked Tournament Aug. 10, the Men’s Invitational Aug. 24 to 26 and Glow in the Dark Golf Sept. 15. The Tipped and Tucked Tournament begins at 4 p.m. with a shotgun start. The $25 fee includes green fees, bratwurst and a beverage. Everyone is eligible for a prize drawing, and awards will be given to the males and females who are closest to the pin and who hit the longest drives. The deadline to register for the Men’s Invitational is Aug. 20; registration forms are available at gallerygolfcourse.com. The entry fee is $125 and includes three days of golf (including a practice round on Friday), range balls, tee gifts and lunch Saturday and Sunday. A

horse race is set for 3 p.m. Friday. A GHIN USGA handicap is required to participate in the Invitational. The Glow in the Dark event starts at 8 p.m. and is $25 per player. It will feature a nine-hole, best ball format with no carts. All family members participating must be at least 7 years old. The Gallery also offers a free 18-hole round of golf on a player’s birthday. The course has golf associations for both men and women. The Men’s Association holds a meeting and tournament the first Saturday of the month, March through October. The Ladies’ Association plays each Tuesday, April through September. Inside the pro shop, golfers will find Duffer’s Deli, which serves lunch and provides beverage-cart service throughout the course during summer months. The Gallery has a dress code. Shirts with sleeves as outerwear are required and must be worn at all times. Bathing suits, sweat suits, gym shorts, cut offs, halter tops, tank tops, spandex, soiled or torn clothing and items that expose the midriff are prohibited. For more information about the Gallery Golf Course, visit gallerygolfcourse.com.


Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

Page 21

the best place to dance... in my living room

Funniest On-Line Voters Comments




The doctors and staff of Whidbey Vision Care would like to thank you for your continued support. OAK HARBOR 380 SE Barrington Dr

FREELAND 1690 Main Street




THANKS YOU, Whidbey Island,

• Forethought Funeral Insurance Available • Transfer of Existing Funeral Arrangements

For Voting Us (360) 675-3447


Serving all of Whidbey Island



Our Appreciation and Gratitude for voting us


FLOORS PLUS CARPET ONE 3175 North Goldie Road,Oak Harbor (360) 679-5570



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FREELAND CARPET ONE Freeland (360) 331-5570 floorspluscarpetoneoakharbor.com

Page 22

Best of Whidbey | Saturday, July 21, 2012


Blue Fox: This year’s best place for kids With go-karts, movies and video games, the Blue Fox Drive-In has a plethora of activities that are fun for kids. They have so many that the long-running movie theater earned first place for Best Entertainment for Kids in the 2012 Best of Whidbey contest organized by the Whidbey NewsTimes each year. The drive-in theater, which has been open since 1959, is a frequent winner in the category each year, also taking the title last year. “I just try to give people a good value for their dollar,” owner Darrel Bratt said. His family owns the business located on Monroe Landing Road near the intersection with Highway 20.

The Blue Fox has stayed in business while hundreds of other drive-in movie theaters across the state and nation have gone under. Currently, there are only six drive-ins open in Washington. Others are located in Port Townsend, Bremerton, Shelton, Auburn and Colville. With drive-ins few and far between, the Blue Fox is attracting movie goers from off-island to spend the night watching what sometimes is three first-run movies in a single evening. People will often arrive in the early evening in time to enjoy the go-karts or video arcade before dusk, when the movies start rolling. During some evenings, people will stay from dawn till dusk

We appreciate your business and enjoy keeping Whidbey Island healthy!

Raise your education to a higher degree.

Whidbey Island Chiropractic Center

Providing adults access to quality education consistent with the needs of their busy lives.

270 SE Cabot Dr #4 Oak Harbor

Whidbey Island Campus 1045 Midway St., Suite 116 Oak Harbor

By NATHAN WHALEN | Staff reporter

John Raymond, DC

(360) 279-9955

and sleep in their cars into the morning hours. While Bratt has found a way to attract movie-goers, he does have challenges keeping open in the 21st century. The Blue Fox has to transition from the venerable film projector and make a digital upgrade. Unfortunately, this is an investment that will cost approximately $80,000. To help offset the steep cost, he is selling T-shirts, blankets, sweatshirts and other items to

Nathan Whalen/ Whidbey News-Times

A giant platter reel holds the feature film that is viewed nightly at the Blue Fox Drive-In.


A big Thank You to everyone who voted me one of the best on Whidbey! Established in 1979 • Same Expertise, New Location

harrietberg.com 360.929.0495 2171 West Beach Road, Oak Harbor

help raise money. He said he has raised approximately 20 percent of the cost. The digital upgrade has to be made by January 2013 so the Blue Fox can continue showing movies. Members of the community are planning fundraisers to keep their beloved drive-in alive for another generation of Whidbey Island kids to enjoy. For more information about the Blue Fox Drive-In, or to purchase fundraising items, go to www.bluefoxdrivein.com.

Thank You for voting us


Two Locations: Oak Harbor - 230 SE Pioneer Way Clinton - 11042 SR 525 #130 in Downtown Oak Harbor

in Ken’s Corner Shopping Plaza




Saturday, July 21, 2012 | Best of Whidbey

Page 23

Nathan Whalen/ Whidbey News-Times

Blue Fox Drive-In owner Darrel Bratt shows the projector that has been used to show movies since the popular theater opened in 1959. He is raising money to help pay for the costly transition to a digital system. The Blue Fox Drive-In, located near the corner of Highway 20 and Monroe Landing Road, is one of six remaining drive-in movie theaters still in business throughout Washington state.

Thank you! For three years in a row, you’ve chosen Alaska USA Mortgage Company as the top mortgage company on Whidbey Island. FAMILY DINING • BREAKFAST • LUNCH • DINNER

Thank You for voting

Meet face-to-face with Alaska USA Mortgage Company. 650 NE Midway Blvd. Suite 101, Oak Harbor (360) 679-9755 | (800) 813-1799


Best Family Restaurant 32070 SR 20

Oak Harbor, WA 98277 (360) 279-2838

Come in today!

Washington Consumer Loan Registration #CL-157293


We try hard and always strive to do better.

THANK YOU If you have any suggestions please email info@whidbeycoffee.com.

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The Best Of... - Whidbey 2012 Edition  


The Best Of... - Whidbey 2012 Edition