THURSDAY, JANUARY 2, 2014
VOL. 19, NO. 22
Front Street art gallery closes doors By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter
After 17 years, a popular Front Street art gallery is closing its doors. The Windjammer Gallery, located across the street from Mariners Court, shuttered its doors Friday to make room for a wine shop. “We’re retiring,” owner Chuck Poust said the day before the closing. “It demands a lot of your time. We were only closed three days out of the year.” Poust and his wife Sandy, opened the gallery in the mid-1990s, featured paintings, sculptures and jewelry created by artists throughout the Pacific Northwest. Poust said he and Sandy fell in love with Coupeville about five years before he purchased the building that houses the gallery, and wanted to retire here. There are two parts to the Windjammer business. The gallery was housed in the front part of the building facing Front Street and a custom framing business in the back of the building. While the gallery portion of the building is closing, the frame shop will remain open. Longtime employee Brandy Benson, who has worked at Windjammer for 16 years, will take over ownership of the frame shop. It will eventually be cordoned off from the former gallery space. Benson takes over a business with which she is familiar and has a record of success. “We’re leaving it in excellent hands,” Poust said of Benson. A new tenant is already lined up to take the spot of Poust’s gallery. Vail Wine Shop, which has been in business for the past two years, is set to move into the brown building. The Vail’s are busy adjusting the space to fit their needs. They installed equipment needed to serve food and replaced part of the floor. Patsy Vail said she knew Poust from her days as a photographer. When Patsy and Larry heard of upcoming closure of the gallery, they decided to move in. Their new spot is twice the size of their former home and they will be able to serve small plates thanks to the help of a partnership with the Oystercatcher. Poust has been active in the community outside of owning his business. He used to be a member of the former Design Review Board and he is the current president of the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association. With Poust retiring, he has some more time to visit his children in the Midwest and will now have time to travel.
2013 in Review File photos
Above: Workers for Town of Coupeville review damage from a small landslide along Front Street. Right: A major landslide in the Ledgewood community south of Coupeville closed a road and threatened homes.
Landslides, big and small plague Central Whidbey news January n Volunteers examining the future of the Greenbank Farm recommended that the Port of Coupeville explore selling the publicly owned farm. The proposal sparked discussion about the farm’s future, but the port renewed a contract with the farm management group. n Coupeville High School senior Jai’Lysa Hoskins was honored by the Boys and Girls Club as the Youth of the Year. n With the addition of the Pole Building at the Island County Fairgrounds, the fair is the first in the state to have all its barns on the Washington State Heritage Barn Registry. n Whidbey General Hospital installed a new CT machine. n The Front Street building that previ-
ously housed the Mad Crab was purchased by Seattle businessman Thom Kroon. n Glenda Merwine was appointed to fill a Coupeville School Board seat vacated by Carol Bishop. n Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick resigned. He had pleaded guilty the month before to falsifying city documents when he was planning director, but still earned $50 an hour working for Coupeville. n The Department of Natural Resources ruled that arson caused a fire that preceded the sinking of the Deep Sea crab boat in Penn Cove in 2012. n Whidbey Island Naval Air Station announced it would start releasing flight scheduled for the Outlying Field near Coupeville. The release of information was abandoned years prior.
n Former lovers came face to face after years apart during a court hearing in a murder case. Peggy Sue Thomas, a former beauty queen, faced a murder charge for her alleged role in the 2003 shooting death of 32-year-old Russel Douglas on South Whidbey. James Huden, her former boyfriend, was convicted of first-degree murder in a high-profile trial in 2012 and was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Thomas later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge under a plea bargain and was sentenced to four years in prison.
February n A massive landslide at Ledgewood, the Central Whidbey neighborhood, destroyed one house and left residents of 30 other homes homeless. The disaster made international
See Review page 3