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INSIDE: Bid on trees, wreaths to support mentorship program, A10

Record South Whidbey

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2012 | Vol. 88, No. 94 | www.SOUTHWHIDBEYRECORD.com | 75¢

Sleeping captain adds to ferries’ late start woes BY BEN WATANABE Staff reporter FREELAND — Ferry riders from Whidbey Island are furious over cancelled sailings, the most recent caused by a sleeping captain. Wednesday morning at 4:30 a.m. the first boat out of Clinton, the Cathlamet, turned around more than halfway to Mukilteo, reported two South Whidbey residents who were on the boat, Bill Couch and Pamela Sipe. The captain announced the reason as a “staffing issue,” a problem that has become common and widely reported. However, this one was

different. Couch said he heard from a ferry worker that the captain of the Kittitas was asleep on the Cathlamet and as soon as that was discovered, the boat had to turn around. That account was confirmed by Marta Coursey, Washington State Ferries spokesperson, later Wednesday morning. “The captain of the Kittitas was overnighting on the Cathlamet,” Coursey said later Wednesday morning. “He overslept, and the See ferries, A11

Jim Larsen / The Record

Art Taylor, president of the Mobile Turkey Unit, mashes 400 pounds of steamy, hot potatoes for delivery to needy South Whidbey residents on Thanksgiving Day.

Mobile Turkey Unit sets a record BY RECORD STAFF A record 380 meals were made, packaged and delivered to homes, service stations, and businesses on South and Central Whidbey Thanksgiving Day by the Mobile Turkey Unit, a group of volunteers now in their 14th year of service.

Jim Larsen / The Record

Pete Seybert, right, and Paul Nettleton, Island County Public Works Department employees, reposition what is called a “wattle” that contains materials and protects the dike. They were working on shoring up the Shoreview Drive dike when the rain stopped Tuesday afternoon.

The MTU was started by the late Tommy Arhontas, who with a few helpers the first year delivered a small number of turkey dinners cooked in the school district’s bus barn kitchen. Although Arhontas has been gone for four years, his community vision lives on.

“I go back 12 years,” said MTU’s new president, Art Taylor, as he used a potato masher and a lot of muscle and sweat to turn 400 pounds of boiled spuds into mashed potatoes See turkey, A9

Have your say on ferries A Washington State Ferry community meeting is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 Highway 525, Freeland. “The community meetings are a great opportunity for us to hear from our ferry-served communities,” said David Moseley, assistant secretary for the state Department of Transportation, Ferries Division, in a news release. “I will discuss the future of the ferry system as we head into the 2013 legislative session.” During the meetings, Moseley will discuss system-wide and route-specific issues. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to Moseley and his team. Materials and comment forms are posted on WSF’s community meetings page.

County shores up Shoreview Drive BY JIM LARSEN Record editor It looked like they were battling a giant python, but in fact Pete Seybert and Paul Nettleton were only grappling with a wattle. One definition of a wattle has to do with a turkey’s neck, which seemed appropriate for the season. But in this case the wattle is a long, straw-stuffed creation 8 inches around and 25 feet in length that is meant to

protect a working site. With a dike roughly 800 feet in length, there were a lot of wattles to readjust. “It did its job quite well,” Seybert said. The wattle protected the dike from erosion while capturing sea flotsam to strengthen it further. At the time early Tuesday afternoon, the skies were blue but Seybert knew that was a trick of nature. “It’s a sucker hole,” he said of the sun, explaining it was shining just long enough to draw

workers outside before the rain hit again. South Whidbey was drenched by approximately 2 inches of rain late Sunday and Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The downpour finally let up but light showers were common Tuesday. Shoreview Drive in front of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has long been a sore See dike, A20


South Whidbey Record, November 24, 2012