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Thursday, November 14, 2013

VOL. 19, NO. 15

Hospital folks begin planning expansion By Nathan Whalen Staff reporter

Now that voters have spoken, hospital officials are beginning to plan the expansion of Whidbey General’s Coupeville campus. Voters appear to have approved a $50-million bond proposal that will fund construction of a new wing at the publicly owned hospital. As of Nov. 7, 13,063 Whidbey Island voters approved the bond while 8,169 voters rejected it, which is above the 60 percent supermajority needed to pass. With the bond passing, hospital officials are starting to plan for the new wing. Spokeswoman Trish Rose said no timelines have been set yet. “We haven’t done any of the detail planning,” Rose said before Monday’s hospital board meeting. “We didn’t want to until the bond had passed.” The hospital’s building committee will meet later in November to examine regulations and go over possible building methods before forwarding a recommendation to the hospital board of commissioners. Once the construction method is decided, then the project will go out to bid. Hospital officials needed the bond to finance construction of a new wing that will be located on the south end of the hospital’s Coupeville campus. The new, 31,000-squarefoot wing will include single-patient rooms along with additional space to accommodate future growth. A new parking lot will be built to replace the one that is lost with the addition of the new wing. The current patient wing will be modified for clinic space for hospital services. The Nov. 5 election marked the second time Whidbey General leaders asked voters to approve bonds to pay for expansion. In 2011, it failed to top the 60 percent supermajority needed for approval. This time around, however, the hospital benefited with the help from the Friends of Whidbey General Hospital, a volunteer group tasked with promoting the bond. The volunteers focused their efforts on the north end of the island. The volunteers’ work seemed to have been fruitful. The majority of precincts on the north end of Whidbey saw more than 50

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Nathan Whalen photo

Veterans helped place flags of each branch of the service during a somber Veterans Day recognition organized by the Town of Coupeville and held at the memorial at the Island County campus.

Coupeville hosts veterans recognition By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter

Dozens of patriotic residents took some time Monday to honor the men and women who served this country. The Town of Coupeville organized a Veterans Day recognition ceremony late Monday morning for veterans of every branch of the armed forces. Taking place at the Veterans Memorial located at the Island County campus, veterans from each branch unfurled a flag while members of the Shifty Sailors sang each branch’s song. “Veteran’s Day was originally established in recognition of the end of ‘The Great War,’ World War I,” Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard said during the ceremony. “Fighting ceased in that war at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month. Regrettably, additional wars and conflicts occurred after World War I.” Conard also took time to mention the background of each of the veterans unfurling flags. • Lt. Col. James Puhr, U.S. Army: Puhr served in the Army from 1951 to 1971. His career included tours of duty consisted of Germany, Korea and Vietnam. He was awarded the Air Medal, the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.

• Lt. Col. David Sullivan, U.S. Marine Corps: Sullivan served in active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from January 1966 to January 1970. Serving as a captain, he was posted in Vietnam working as a Vietnamese language, pacification and intelligence officer. He served in the reserve until retiring in 1993. • Capt. Jill Usher, U.S. Navy: Usher served as a line officer from 1972 to 1988. She served in Washington DC; Conterey, Calif; Seattle; and Barbados, West Indies. Prior to her retirement, she was assigned to San Diego where she oversaw Navy housing. • Col. William Bradkin, U.S. Air Force: Bradkin served in the air force from 1956 to 1959 and the reserve from 1960 to 1988. His active-duty assignments in the Central Pacific and his reserve assignments included deployments to Germany, Korea and numerous stateside locations.

• Capt. Richard Collins, U.S. Coast Guard: Collins graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1957 and served until 1986. He served on a cutter and commanded a Coast Guard station in the Philippines. His later assignments included posts in San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis. • Ken Bishop representing John Moon, Merchant Marine: Moon in 1944 entered the Merchant Marine at the age of 16. He served on Liberty Ships that ventured throughout the South Pacific during World War II. Following the war, he enlisted in the Navy. • Dick Johnson, representing Bill Ethridge, unfurled the POW/MIA flag: Johnson is a veteran of the United States Army and he is a representative of the Disabled American Veterans, which is also the custodian of the memorial. Ethridge wasn’t able to attend the

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Whidbey Examiner, November 14, 2013  
Whidbey Examiner, November 14, 2013  

November 14, 2013 edition of the Whidbey Examiner