INSIDE: Set for success ... Sports, A7
Record South Whidbey
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2013 | Vol. 89, No. 1 | www.SOUTHWHIDBEYRECORD.com | 75¢
BY RECORD STAFF
A LOOK BACK AT 2012
Langley’s mayor gets sentenced to jail, seventh graders get iPads and the Wells Fargo Bank in Clinton is robbed. These are just a few of the big stories reported in the South Whidbey Record in 2012. Here’s a month-by-month review of the top news of the year.
January Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick was sworn, after having run opposed the prior November. “People should never doubt my commitment to the city and the community,” he said. It was announced that due to falling enrollment, South Whidbey Falcon athletes would compete in the 1A sports classification beginning in the fall. James “Jim Huden,” who was arrested eight years after shooting to death a man near Freeland, asked for a new lawyer. Langley Police Chief Randy Heston announces his threeperson department would work 10-hour shifts, four days a week. The HUB, Langley’s teen hangout at the United Methodist Church, announced it would reopen part-time after funding problems forced its closure in 2011. A new group called Occupy South Whidbey announced it would make its first public demonstration in Freeland. A new board took over at the Freeland Sewer District, after voters threw out the previous commissioners due to the high costs of a proposed sewer system. Island County Fire District 3 officially changed its name to South Whidbey Fire/EMS to better describe the district’s activities. Langley Councilman Hal Seligson proposed a resolution favoring same-sex marriage. Matt Nichols, former owner of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, was named CEO of the company, now owned by Ice Flow based in Dallas, Texas. South Whidbey was surprised by a Jan. 17 snowstorm that left about 6-inches of white stuff to deal with. A four-story, mixed use building was proposed for the Langley waterfront, including a funicular
Remember this snowstorm in January 2012? Serious snowfall covered Whidbey Island to the point where people traveled to some remote areas by skis. A bomb scare caused by an abandoned backpack in Mukilteo shut down the Clinton ferry for a few hours. A surprise north wind hammered waterfront homes along Saratoga Passage. Sandy Point was one of the hardest hit areas. Lucas Jushinski, an Iraq vets, announced plans for a medical marijuana business in Langley.
February Complaints arose about noise emanating from Mo’s Pub & Eatery, which had opened the previous spring near the corner of Second and Anthes in Langley. Langley agreed to a contract with its new police union, includ-
ing a 2 percent raise — it’s first since 2009. Animal Hospital by the Sea in Langley held its grand opening, occupying a building that had housed medical care for humans for many years. Incumbent Ray Gabelein lost his seat on the Diking District 1 board, losing by a vote of 232 to 105 to Tom Kraft. The school board discussed the idea of paying teachers to leave the South Whidbey School District to take the pain out of layoffs. A celebration was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Freeland after the governor signed legislation making samesex marriage legal. At a special meeting, Langley officials were receptive to the idea of a medical marijuana business but the effort was later snuffed out. Whidbey Islanders objected to a ferry system proposal for a new terminal in Mukilteo that would require removal of Ivar’s restaurant. Gas prices topped $4 on South Whidbey. The school board reviewed safety policies after a middle school student threatened a teacher on Facebook. New owners Brian and Nancy Cedar reopened the Greenbank Store, which had been run for several decades by the Coupe family.
March Island County Republicans gave See 2012, A10
Kwarsick resigns his Coupeville position Amid legal troubles with county, Kwarsick leaves planner job BY RECORD STAFF Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick, caught up in a scandal of his own making, resigned from his part-time job as city planner for the Town of Coupeville on Friday. In a brief letter to Mayor Nancy Conard, Kwarsick asked that his firm, Sound Planning Services, be released from its contract. “I am requesting the town’s agreement to immediately terminate the contract,” he wrote. Kwarsick cited as his reason the recent lawsuit filed by Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks aimed at ousting Kwarsick from both public offices he holds, as mayor of Langley and planner for Coupeville.
“I am requesting the town’s agreement to immediately terminate the contract.” Larry Kwarsick Coupeville planner
Larry Kwarsick was sworn in as the mayor of Langley in January, with the aide of his granddaughter. to move people from Cascade Avenue to the marina area. More snow Jan. 19 left up to a foot on the ground, and some islanders took to their cross country skis to get around. State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen announced she would vote for same-sex marriage. Later, she blamed the decision in part for her defeat in the November election.
Beth Stout and Lisa Toomey celebrate Gov. Chris Gregoire’s signing of the marriage equality act with their children at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island in January.
Kwarsick made no mention of his intentions for Langley. In an interview with the South Whidbey Record last week, he said he would decide within the 20 days he has to respond to Banks’ lawsuit, filed Dec. 21. In his letter to Conard, Kwarsick said he disagrees with the law, RCW 9.921.120, cited by Banks in his lawsuit, but that, “these proceedings are the basis of my request for immediate release from the current contract as town planner.” Until Kwarsick’s letter, Coupeville officials were undecided about his future with the town. See Kwarsick, A3