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News-Times Whidbey

ISLAND LIVING Food forest takes root A10

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014 | Vol. 124, No. 34 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢

Prosecutor to seek reelection Banks detours from earlier plan to leave office after his term ends By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Photo by Michelle Beahm/Whidbey News-Times

Baritone saxophonist Andrew Eaton and the rest of the eighth grade marching band from Oak Harbor Middle School head to the Der Kinderhuis Montessori Thursday to surprise the preschool students for the second year in a row.

Little kids enjoy big music Excursions get students ‘jazzed about the marching band’ By MICHELLE BEAHM Staff reporter

Patrick Manuel’s eighth grade marching band marched to Der Kinderhuis Montessori school Thursday afternoon to surprise the

little kids with some big sound. It wasn’t the first time the band made the merry march. Manuel, the band teacher at Oak Harbor Middle School, decided to take the band over to the school to surprise

his son, Alexander, who was attending Montessori at the time. “He really loved it and his friends loved seeing the marching band,” Manuel said, “so we decided to do it SEE MARCHING BAND, A20

Greg Banks isn’t ready to give up his day job. The Island County prosecutor decided last year that his fourth term, which ends this year, would be his last. But this week he changed course, announcing that he will seek another four years. “It really is a great job,” he said. “We work in pursuit of justice, not in pursuit of profit. I get to wear the white hat and I get to go home at the end of the day and I sleep well at night.” Island County Sheriff Mark Brown is also running again and said he is glad that Banks wants to stay. In fact, he encouraged him to run again. “I think we have a very good partnership,” Brown said.

A s Island County prosecutor for m o r e than 15 years, Banks successBANKS fully handled cases against a half dozen murderers, innumerable rapists, a mayor and one Barefoot Bandit. His tenure hasn’t been without bumps. Most recently, his office, along with just about every department in the county, faced drastic budget cuts which he said resulted in “intolerable case loads.” Last year, after handling a particularly grueling double-murder case, Banks said he felt completely burned out and decided he wasn’t going to run for his fifth term. Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme, the second in command, made preliminary plans to run. Banks said he had a couSEE PROSECUTOR, A20

Whidbey gets green light for Poseidons By JANIS REID Staff reporter

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy

A P-8A with Maritime Patrol Squadron Five recently visited NAS Whidbey.

Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is tentatively approved for six P-8A Poseidon squadrons. The six squadrons are slated to replace the base’s three existing P-3C squadrons.

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The Navy will now undergo a 30-day waiting period, after which the assistant secretary of the Navy is expected to sign a record of decision. The Navy has been conducting a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement since 2008 to

consider alternative bases for Poseidons. U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, who has been a proponent of base expansion, released a statement Friday. “Completion of the Supplemental EIS is another important step in the process of bringing the P-8As

to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and an additional indicator of the Navy’s commitment to the base,” Larsen said. “I am pleased the community was able to provide input to the

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Whidbey News-Times, April 26, 2014