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ISLAND LIVING Top dogs learn agility A11

News-Times Whidbey

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 | Vol. 114, No. 73 | | 75¢

GOP endorses mayor’s council choices

Navy EIS to look at more than just noise

By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Though he’s not on the ballot, the November election appears to be shaping up as a referendum on Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley. In a rare move, the Island County Republican Party weighed in on the nonpartisan races for Oak Harbor City Council seats, endorsing all the candidates considered by some to be supportive of the mayor and his policies. Dudley and the majority of council members have been at odds over a range of issues, from the firing of administrative employees to gun rights to funding of Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce. The mayor said he’s even ringing doorbells in support of his choice of candidates. Aaron Simpson, chairman of the Island County Democrats, said the group doesn’t endorse candidates in nonpartisan races unless one candidate makes a request; in that event, all the candidates in a race are considered. Simpson said he’s not aware of any City Council candidates who’ve asked for an endorsement from the Democrats. Tim Geist, chairman of the Island County Republican Party, agrees that the party’s choice of candidates would swing the council in favor of the mayor if all of them win. See ENDORSEMENTS, A5

By JANIS REID Staff reporter

On the rocks

Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

A blue heron acts as a sentinel as it stares out at the Strait of Juan de Fuca from West Beach south of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station over the weekend. Most of the beaches also were popular gathering spots for fishermen still trying to land pink and silver salmon.



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Though the scope of the Navy’s planned Environmental Impact Statement is still being determined, project managers said the study will be “comprehensive,” responsive to public feedback and will look at more than just jet noise. The Navy maintains that an Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, was in the works for some time, but members of a Central Whidbey-based citizen group claim it’s the direct result of a lawsuit they filed against the Navy in July. The group, Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve, is calling for a complete closure of OLF, claiming that the outlying runway is unsafe. Not only will the study be looking at noise, but it will also look at air quality, safety, the habitats of migratory birds and other factors, said Lisa Padgett, U.S. Fleet Forces Command project manager for the EIS. “All the potential environmental effects,” Padgett said. Padgett said the Navy has already begun an airspace and airfield analysis in preparation for the public forums to be held in December. Three open houses are scheduled as follows: 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Coupeville High School; 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 at Oak Harbor High School; and 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 at Anacortes Middle School. The EIS process under the National Environmental Protection Act is a “very regimented” schedule with public input opportunities available throughout, according to Ted Brown, the Navy’s Installations and Environmental public

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Whidbey News-Times, September 11, 2013  

September 11, 2013 edition of the Whidbey News-Times

Whidbey News-Times, September 11, 2013  

September 11, 2013 edition of the Whidbey News-Times