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News-Times Whidbey

SPORTS Injuries cripple soccer team A10

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014 | Vol. 124, No. 40 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | 75¢

Candidate fired for filing to unseat her boss By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Photo by Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times

Mark Calim works on a car at his auto repair shop on North Whidbey. His business and several others are being displaced by a marijuana business, but he hopes to find another spot on Goldie Road.

New owners to bump shops for recreational marijuana biz

By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

The recreational marijuana business is off to a rocky start on North Whidbey. Mark Calim, owner of Mark’s Auto Repair on Goldie Road, said he and two fellow businesses are effectively being kicked out of their location to make way for pot-related businesses. And they aren’t happy about it. Four marijuana-related businesses, including two in the Oak Harbor area, made it through the state licensing process for retail pot stores so far. But neither of the proposed Oak Harbor businesses appear to be located in areas that conform to the city and county’s new marijuana zoning regulations, which will likely doom the ventures. Consequently, the future of the pot industry in Oak Harbor remains uncertain. Calim said he received a certified letter this past week advising him

that his rent will be increasing by more than 300 percent and he must sign a two-year lease. His only other option is to get out within 30 days. After he received the letter, Calim said the new owners of the property stopped by his business and told his employee that they plan to turn their building, and a number of adjacent structures, into marijuanarelated businesses. For Calim, the situation is especially galling because he helps so many people in the community from his shop. He sometimes fixes cars for free, allows people to pay him when they can and generally helps people out of jams. The marijuana business, by comparison, he said, seems like a fly-bynight venture. “I don’t see how anything good can come from it,” he said. Michael Thelen, an Oak Harbor business consultant, said he’s wor-

The election season turned a little ugly even before filing week was over. The candidates filing period yielded a number of surprises in both county and state races — by midday Friday — not the least of which was in the race for Island County treasurer. Wanda Grone, the Island County chief deputy treasurer, filed to run against her boss, Ana Maria Nunez, without letting her know. Grone is a Republican and Nunez is a Democrat. Since learning last Tuesday from the Whidbey News-Times that Grone filed against her, Nunez said she deliberated, cried and prayed over what to do. Thursday, she fired Grone. “The chief deputy position is one that requires loyalty. It’s someone who is the confidant of the elected official,” she said. “It’s someone I need to be able to trust.” Nunez said that Grone’s decision to run against her and not tell her ahead of time shows that she can no longer trust her. Grone could not be reached for comment. The chief deputy is an at-will position, which means she serves at the pleasure of the treasurer. Nunez said she hired her from outside the county after coming into office. On Friday afternoon, Coupeville resident Christa Canell filed to run for treasurer as a Republican. She works at Land Title and Escrow. “Changes need to be made in that office and I feel I’m the best candidate to do that,” she said.



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Whidbey News-Times, May 17, 2014  
Whidbey News-Times, May 17, 2014  

May 17, 2014 edition of the Whidbey News-Times