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INSIDE: Life through a lens ... Island Life, A12

RECORD SOUTH WHIDBEY

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2013 | Vol. 89, No. 27 | WWW.SOUTHWHIDBEYRECORD.COM | 75¢

Langley council embarks on era of webcasting

Cats vs. Birds

Ben Watanabe / The Record

Justin Burnett / The Record

A 45-minute walk every day keeps cats like these, owned by Gordon and Linda Bainbridge, healthy and ensures birds and small mammals are relatively safe from the leashed killers.

Control those natural-born killer kitties By JIM LARSEN Record editor As a bird lover and cat lover who’s allergic to cats, Linda Bainbridge has had to make some unusual adjustments in her life. The dedicated Whidbey Audubon Society member hates what cats do best — kill birds and small mammals — but loves the furry little killers anyway. So she, with help from husband Gordon, takes extra special precautions to protect her beloved birds from her equally beloved cats. Of the two cats, a male stray who happened upon their property several years is the most enthusiastic killer. Perry will boldly stare down a deer until it runs off

and chases after anything smaller. Once, Gordon Bainbridge watched Perry stalk a rabbit in the herb garden at their home near Honeymoon Lake, assuming the rabbit was too big to be considered serious prey. Wrong. “Perry caught that rabbit in 10 bounds,” he said in awe. Another time a low-flying bird made the mistake of passing over Perry. “He SEE CATS, A8 Jim Larsen / The Record

Leashing a cat isn’t always an easy task, but Linda Bainbridge gets it done each morning. Perry, a notorious bird killer, is now ready for his walk.

Councilwoman Rene Neff participates in Langley City Council discussions April 1. It was no April Fools’ joke, Langley City Hall is capable of virtual participation.

By BEN WATANABE Staff reporter City hall in Langley now features 21st century technology that could save $800 in lawyer travel time alone. City council voted for select remote access for its meetings and other public gatherings at City Hall in April 2012. First, Langley needed the technical know-how and infrastructure. “If we pass ordinances and something’s doable, we should just do it,” said Councilman Hal Seligson, referring to the city policy for such meetings approved last year. “We passed this a year ago and here we are a year later with virtually no action.” On Monday, nearly 12 months to the day after the ordinance was passed, the first digital representation of a council member was recorded in the city’s annals. Rene Neff participated from Orcas Island via Skype, though the

process was far from seamless. At one point, a private conversation Neff had off screen was overheard in City Hall. “We haven’t even gotten to the executive session yet, this meeting is taking forever,” she said. At other times, the connection would lag or the audio would cut in and out, chopping her speech to make her questions and comments incoherent. Several times the conversation in City Hall was recited so Neff could hear, as city staff sit too far away for their normal speaking volume to adequately cast on the laptop’s microphone. Saving money was one reason the council considered the upgrades. Council members estimated the city could save $800 per teleconference with its legal advisors at Kenyon Disend of Issaquah. The law firm charges a traveling fee that can total about $800. SEE WEBCASTING, A8


South Whidbey Record, April 03, 2013