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Clinton’s future

Justin Burnett / The Record

Clinton residents discuss the future of their town at a Clinton Community Council meeting Thursday.

A community’s continued search for hope, prosperity By JUSTIN BURNETT South Whidbey Record Downtown Clinton is not dead, nor will it be anytime soon. That was the collective sentiment of the sizable crowd of people who filled the Clinton Community Hall Thursday to discuss the tiny ferry town’s future. “Rumors of Clinton’s demise are greatly exaggerated,” said Bob Craven, president of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. “Considering our size, we pack one hell of a punch,” he added, referring to the chamber’s membership growth in recent years.

But were those just hollow words of a community leader desperate to save a struggling town? Several other speakers at the meeting, members of the Clinton Community Council, said “No” and that the approximately 70 people seated around the room were evidence to the contrary. “I think it indicates there is energy and enthusiasm for moving something forward,” said Sherryl Christie-Bierschenk, vice president of the Clinton Community Council. Christie-Bierschenk has been one of the galvanizing forces behind an effort to revitalize Clinton. In January 2012, the Clinton Future Search Conference was held, and over a twoday period, a large group of residents and business owners brainstormed ways to improve the community’s future.

One offshoot of the conference was the birth of the Clinton Community Council. Composed of residents, merchants and representatives from county government and some junior taxing districts, such as the Port of South Whidbey, the group serves as an official voice for the area. It was seen by many as a sorely needed step, as Clinton is not an incorporated city and lacks the central and cohesive voice of elected city councils in Langley, Coupeville and Oak Harbor. The newly-formed community organization has just begun SEE CLINTON, A11

Clinton ferry narrowly misses fishing boat By JUSTIN BURNETT South Whidbey Record

Justin Burnett / The Record

The ferry Cathlamet steams toward Mukilteo on Thursday evening. The same ferry nearly collided with a fishing boat in heavy fog earlier that morning.

A state ferry leaving the Clinton ferry dock in heavy fog Thursday morning nearly collided with a fishing boat, the U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed. The 9:30 a.m. ferry Cathlamet had left the terminal and was proceeding toward Mukilteo when it encountered the fishing vessel Taku, a boat approximately 60 feet in length, said Petty Officer George Degener with the 13th

Coast Guard District’s public affairs office. Both vessels had to take “evasive action” to avoid a collision, he said. “I don’t know exactly how close they were,” Degener said. “I know it was closer than they should have been.” Jane Edgley, a Langley resident, was on the ferry with her husband. Sitting in their car, they heard a “frantic” voice over the loudspeaker. “All of a sudden, ‘Ladies and gentleman, brace for impact. Brace for

impact,’ ” Edgley recalled. The ferry then veered sharply to one side. Edgley said she was surprised to watch a man in the car ahead of her jump out of his car and look out a porthole. “I thought, ‘That doesn’t look like bracing for impact to me,’ ” Edgley said. “I don’t think people took it seriously.” Edgley said the crew then told SEE FERRY, A11

South Whidbey Record, October 26, 2013  
South Whidbey Record, October 26, 2013  

October 26, 2013 edition of the South Whidbey Record