Page 1



Thursday, octoBER 3, 2013

Reserve, base take hit during shutdown By Janis Reid Staff Reporter

As a result of Congress’s inability to pass a budget by the Sept. 30 deadline, hundreds of Department of Defense employees on Whidbey Island were furloughed Tuesday as part of a countrywide government shutdown. Of the some 1,200 civil service employees at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, employees that work in safety, life and wellness will be exempted, said NAS Whidbey Public Affairs Officer Mike Welding. It was unclear how many of the base’s 1,200 contractors will be affected. Many essential federal services island wide will not be affected, however, including the U.S. Postal Service, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. At Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, two full-time national park employees were furloughed because of the shutdown, said Lisbeth Cort, interim Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve manager Tuesday. About 21,000 park employees were furloughed around the country, she said “We’re answering the phones, but we’re curtailed with everything on the park service side,” Cort said. Because of the partnership with the Trust Board of Ebey’s Landing, Cort said the office is able to remain open, unlike other parks across the country. For those who have received rehabilitation grants, they are still able to get assistance. All projects headed by the national park employees, such as trail maintenance, signage and the Ferry House rehabilitation have stopped, Cort said. Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said the shutdown adds to the frustration of local governments who have been trying to get back on their feet after the economic downturn and sequestration. “People across the county will be impacted if this continues,” Price Johnson said. “I think it would be better for them to promote stability instead of manufacturing crises.” The U.S. Senate and House of

See SHUTDOWN page 12

VOL. 19, NO. 9

Feeding fun

File photo

A team gets pumped up during last year’s HarvestFest relay. Teams competed in various events each year as part of a fundraiser for Gifts from the Heart food bank.

Relays and huge pumpkins highlight harvest festival By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter

The final Coupeville Farmers Market of 2013 features a celebration. Relay races and a giant pumpkin contest are just some of the highlights of HarvestFest, which takes place during the Coupeville Farmer’s Market 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 at the community green located behind the Coupeville Public Library. “It’s great fun and a chance for customers to appreciate the market,” said market manager Peg Tennant. HarvestFest marks the completion of the market’s 35th consecutive season. HarvestFest relays, which also benefit Gifts from the Heart food bank, features teams competing in a series of races that Ten-

nant is currently keeping under wraps. As for what kind of races, Tennant said she is keeping that a “deep, dark secret.” She doesn’t want any of the teams to gain an unfair advantage by practicing beforehand. One thing is for sure, several of the stages won’t take place this year. She said there won’t be a fish toss and the milking contest has been pulled too. It turns out the wooden cow used for the relays has been taken out to pasture. “The poor cow is getting too fragile to handle the intensity of competition,” Tennant said. Six teams have currently signed up to compete and Tennant said she is looking for more. Teams that have signed up include farm interns, Town of Coupeville staff, women from the Lions Club, the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and the Pacific North-

west Art Center. Tennant said people can pick up an entry form at the market or at the food bank location on North Main Street. The entry fee is $100 per team. The proceeds from that go to the food bank. In addition to the relays, the ever-popular Giant Pumpkin Contest takes place. Competitors come together to see who grows the largest squash. In previous years, pumpkins have topped the 1,000-pound mark. Awards are also given for biggest and ugliest pumpkins. A competition also takes place to find the largest zucchini as well. It looks like there will be a new contest winner this year. Contest winners in previous years aren’t participating next week,

See HARVEST page 12

Whidbey Examiner, October 03, 2013  

October 03, 2013 edition of the Whidbey Examiner

Whidbey Examiner, October 03, 2013  

October 03, 2013 edition of the Whidbey Examiner