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INSIDE: Fully exposed? ... Island Life, A12


Super slide

Jim Larsen / The Record

Whidbey Telecom employee Marius Artis wires the security system for the new gun store going in at Ken’s Korner Mall. With cameras and motion detectors to deal with, the system should deter thieves. Justin Burnett / The Record

Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson meets with county crews Wednesday to assess the damage a landslide did in the Ledgewood Beach area of Coupeville.

Landslide destroys home, devastates Ledgewood By JUSTIN BURNETT Staff reporter An enormous landslide in Ledgewood on Wednesday morning severely damaged at least one home and impacted more than 30 others. The slide occurred in the Central Whidbey community at about 4 a.m. Hundreds of feet of earth sloughed off from the bluff above Driftwood Way, destroying much of the road and knocking one home off its foundation. “It’s massive. I wouldn’t even put a description on it,” said Chad Michael, assistant chief of Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue. Looking at the devastation from above, the affected area appeared to be at least the size of two football fields. In fact, aerial footage from news helicopters show a shoreline

Justin Burnett / The Record

This view from the top shows part of the slide. transformed, from a once straight waterfront to one that now has a large peninsula jutting out into Puget Sound. The destroyed road cut off 17 homes, five of which were

occupied at the time of the slide, Michael said. No one was hurt but the resident in a home that was knocked off its foundation had a SEE LEDGEWOOD, A19

Gun shop readies to open next week By JIM LARSEN Record editor Next week if all goes as planned South Whidbey residents looking for a rifle or handgun won’t have to go to Oak Harbor or the mainland. Whidbey Arms is opening at Ken’s Korner Mall under the ownership of Freeland resident Jim Childers. “We’ll be opening Wednesday or Thursday,” he said as workers pieced together display cases, furniture and the security system. Marius Artis from Whidbey Telecom was wiring the security system, an essential item for a store that sells weapons. “Very, very,” Artis answered when asked if the store would be secure. “There’s not a spot you can step without setting off a motion (detector).” “Or from the ceiling,” added Childers, who’s ready for anything, even something like a Tom Cruise-like descent from the ceiling to grab a gun. With Childers’ system, even Cruise couldn’t escape unnoticed. Live cameras will record everything going on, day and night, and store the images at a separate location, making pulling off a successful burglary virtually a mission impossible. In terms of timing, Childers could have done better than pick a period when the entire nation is caught up in an emotional gun control debate, but Childers is undaunted, anxious to move his online business indoors. For the past year Whidbey Arms has been selling guns online. Purchasers have to

“I’ll defend their rights to the death.” Jim Childers Whidbey Arms owner

go to a federally licensed firearms dealer to pick up their weapons. He’s also sold at gun shows in Monroe and Puyallup, but this is his first retail shop. Whidbey Arms is located in the space recently vacated by Richard “Woody” Woodham, whose Workwear Jeans store had been a mall mainstay for a couple of decades. Right across the hallway is Island Drug. The Record received a few emails and voice messages expressing concern about the shop. “I was less than thrilled by this news,” said one caller, Marianne Edain. She worried that the gun shop is in the same building as Skagit Valley College’s South Whidbey branch. Childers said most people were curious but friendly as he was working Thursday. There was one angry woman who wouldn’t let him talk, repeating “Oh, my God!,” but there were no other issues, he said. People were commenting on the new store at Island Drug, but not in a negative fashion, said Amanda Markle, a pharmacy assistant. “It’s nice not having it empty,” she said, describing comments customers SEE GUN SHOP, A10

South Whidbey Record, March 30, 2013  

March 30, 2013 edition of the South Whidbey Record

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