Island Living: Mature women make crafty stuff ... A7
Vol. 127, No. 27
New cheer coach is a hoot ... A6
Saturday, April 1, 2017 • WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM • 75¢
Top Gun 2 to be filmed at NAS Whidbey By RON NEWBERRY
Paramount Pictures announced this week that it will shoot most of “Top Gun 2” this summer at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The movie, a sequel to the 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun,” will again star actors Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, not in roles as pilots “Maverick” and “Iceman,” but instead as rival flight instructors at VAQ-129. Although NAS Whidbey isn’t home to fighter jets such as the F-14 Tomcats
used in the original movie, the island’s scenic beauty won over the heart of the film’s director. He said that such details in fiction don’t always have to add up to reality. “Do you see a naval officer candidate school in Port Townsend?” the director asked, referring to the shooting location of the 1982 film, “An Officer and a Gentleman.” The announcement that Oak Harbor and Anacortes will be featured prominently during three weeks of
Tom Cruise shooting this summer was warmly received by chamber of commerce directors in both cities.
Council OKs Costco store in Coupeville By MEGAN HANSEN
Whidbey residents soon won’t have to travel off the island to stock up on a year’s supply of toilet paper or buy two-gallon buckets of mayo. Coupeville Town Council Tuesday night approved a conditional-use permit allowing Costco to build a new store off State Highway 20, just south of the Main Street intersection. The 145,000-square-foot
A standoff with a naked man who perched on a rooftop and called himself “Blueberry Jones” ended after three days when Oak Harbor police finally gave up and went home Tuesday morning. The incident began Saturday afternoon when a Swantown Avenue resident reported to police that she came home to find a stranger scrubbing her toilet and
pany got permission for one of Maverick’s understudies, a Growler pilot played by actor Taylor Lautner, to do multiple flybys at Ault Field, each time rattling an air traffic controller. Wanting to give the film an authentic Whidbey flavor, the base’s public affairs officer Mike Welding has been cast to play the role of the unnerved, coffee drinker in the tower. Tom Skerritt, who lives in Seattle, will make a cameo appearance in the film. April Fools!
It tolls for thee
warehouse, which will also include a separate gas station, will be accessible from the highway as well as Terry Road. Addressing the council, some Coupeville residents voiced concern that access from the highway would cut through the Kettles Trail and cause traffic backups on the highway. The town planner responded by saying Costco will pay for a trail bridge over the entrance, SEE STORE, A20
Standoff with naked rooftop guy ends By JESSIE STENSLAND
Mike Welding “Top Gun” was shot mostly around San Diego and Fallon, Nev. But the film’s director and producer
wanted a new, more tranquil setting for the sequel, focusing on the twilight years of the former hot-shot pilots as they adjust to middleage life. The once embattled pair join the same bowling team, which starts the competitive fire all over again. The Oak Bowl will be the site for those scenes, the director confirmed. Frank’s Place will serve as the location where Maverick finds his new love interest, the director said. The film’s production com-
singing opera, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Officers arrived to find the man still inside the house, having stripped off his clothes, rubbed Crisco all over his body and consumed uncooked bacon. He was uncooperative, so the two responding officers deployed their Tasers, accidentally hitting a piano and the family dog, the police chief admitted. SEE NAKED, A20
The state Department of Transportation plans to place a toll booth on scenic Deception Pass Bridge.
DOT announces $5 fee to cross bridge By JESSIE STENSLAND
The state Department of Transportation announced plans this week to place toll booths on Deception Pass Bridge to help pay for a seismic retrofit of the aging structure. The bridge will also be painted its original shade of puce as part of the project, WSDOT announced. The amount of the toll hasn’t been set, but state officials say it will likely
be $5 in quarters. Oak Harbor community leaders expressed shock at the plans, which they say will put a big wet blanket on tourism and cause traffic backups to extend miles on both sides of the bridge. “Anyone without spare change will be trapped on the island,” the county’s public works director said. “And they should have discounts for Canadians and people in orange cars.”
Not everyone is upset. An entrepreneurial kindergartner plans to open a lemonade stand near the bridge for thirsty motorists caught in stalled traffic. And a self-described “grumpy old man” said he hopes the toll will keep ragamuffins and vagabonds off the island; he also wants the state to jack up the cost of ferry tickets to keep swashbucklers at bay. The need for the retrofit came SEE TOLL, A20
Saturday, April 1, 2017 • Whidbey Snooze-Times
City begins $1-a-flush fee Toilet tax will fund sewage treatment plant project By JESSIE STENSLAND
Oak Harbor residents may want to take the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule seriously. The Oak Harbor City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that will create a “per flush” fee to help pay for the $100-million sewage treatment plant under construction in Windjammer Park. The $1-a-flush charge will be in “loo” of regular sewer rates. City utility workers will start handing out the new toilet meters on April 1. Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns said he came
up with the idea for the new fee while reading the newspaper first thing in the morning. He said it’s only fair that households with frequent toilet usage should pay more than homes where flushes are few and far between. “I recommend cheese to those wishing to save money,” he said. Several residents complained about the idea, saying they don’t want to flush their money down the drain. The toilet-related controversy came to a head Saturday when several residents “TPed” City Hall, but the mayor told them to put a lid on it. The per-flush tax is part of a growing trend across the nation in which users are asked to fund services directly through such fees. The state’s Discover Pass program, for example, collects
funds from those who use parks. Similarly, the EPA is reportedly looking at a special tax on mouth breathers to fund clean air initiatives. Council members are also looking at ways to generate money with the new sewage treatment plant. Whidbey Coffee and Scottie’s Plumbing have submitted bids for naming rights to the facility. Council members also plan to sell the grainy, dried end-product of the facility back to residents who created the raw material, possibly under the name “You Poo.” The material isn’t just good for gardens, they said, but it can be used to reinforce concrete, fill cat-litter boxes or put out kitchen fires. Local artists have even used the wet material to sculpt statues of local elected officials. April Fools!
Even those who own the most stylish toilets in Oak Harbor will pay $1 each time they flush under a new city fee.
Controversial ‘Nightly Grind’ gets go-ahead to open April 1 By PATRICIA GUTHRIE
Island County Board of Commissioners gave the green light to Whidbey’s first red-light district, saying a proposed business added another dimension to the county’s ongoing mission of broadening the local economy. The establishment, which will be located on Happy Valley Road, is named the Nightly
Grind. Its Texas-based owners said they saw an opening for adult entertainment after learning a long-time popular business for seniors had recently been forced to close. “I’m so happy,” said Norm, who requested his last name not be used in order to maintain some semblance of respectability with his partner who prefers quiet evenings at home. “Now, there’ll be another place where us old geezers can
sit around for hours griping and gawking,” Norm said. Opposition came from many sectors, including coffee drinkers, swimmers and master gardeners. Public health officials also expressed concern that the new business would attract the “wrong” element, such as cigarette smokers. “And don’t even get me started on the septic system,” Health Services Director Keith Higman
said. “I don’t have enough inspectors to handle that workload.” WEAN, a local environmental group, gave its blessing after an extensive three-year study costing taxpayers $3.5 million determined no Western toads were in the pathway of the business. The fate of horned toads, however, remains to be seen. All protesters were ultimately overruled by Commissioner Jill Johnson, who threatened
a filibuster in the dank, dark, dismal basement floor of the Courthouse Annex Building. “I will stand here and read the meeting minutes of Island County Board of Commissioner meetings starting with the first one on April 4, 1853,” she said. Grand opening for The Nightly Grind is set for midnight April First. April Fools!
ISLAND SCAMMER •••
The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County Sheriff’s Office:
MONDAY, MARCH 27 At 10 a.m., a Monkey Hill Road resident reported that her husband’s face makes clicking noises every time he blinks. She said she might divorce him. At 2 p.m., a Jones Road resident reported that someone stole his glasses. He called back to say he found them on his head. At 5:45 p.m., a caller reported that a man walking along the highway smiled suspiciously. She said he was wearing shoes. At 7:20 p.m., a driver reported that an elk walking along Strawberry Point Road seemed doleful and possibly even lugubrious. At 10:20 p.m., there was a report of glowing naked people running around a meadow on Zylstra Road.
TUESDAY, MARCH 28 At 5:15 a.m., a man at the Oak Harbor Marina reported that a senior citizen with an eye patch and a peg leg stole his sailboat. At 6 a.m., a West Beach Road resident reported that teenagers were “up to no good” and needed hair cuts. She said they were probably thinking about smoking cigarettes and using rude words. At 10:20 a.m., a man on an Island Transit bus reported that a strange woman wearing a scarf was taking photos of fellow bus riders. At 12 p.m., a man in Coupeville reported finding an “unfathomable” number of dead flies in his office. He said they are icky and make him feel funny inside. At 2:30 p.m., a caller reported that an odd woman was stumbling around drunk and laughing loudly in the
woods off Henni Road. At 6 p.m., a raccoon was reported near Silver Lake Road. At 7:20 p.m., two raccoons were reported near Silver Lake Road.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29 At 7:30 a.m., a caller in Freeland reported that a loud, bearded man with a camera bag was asking people odd questions and scribbling in his notebook. She said the man may seem angry and cocksure but was really soft and sensitive on the inside. At 12:30 p.m., a woman in Coupeville reported that someone keeps stealing her protein shakes from the refrigerator. She said she suspects a man who sniffs hand sanitizer. At 3:45 p.m., an Arnold Road resident reported that neighbors were beating an old printer with baseball bats in a field.
At 6 p.m., a caller on Fakkema Road reported that he ate too much pudding and his tummy hurts. At 8:48 p.m., a resident on South Main Street reported an ongoing problem with her upstairs neighbor walking too loudly. She said she also suspects the upstairs neighbor receives “adult” toys in the mail.
At 6:20 p.m., a Sleeper Road resident reported that a neighbor’s dog house was on fire. The caller claims the Doberman Pinscher had been playing with matches in recent days. At 8:20 p.m., a young, friendly Oak Harbor man reported that his wife is pregnant.
THURSDAY, MARCH 30
At 10 a.m., a caller reported that she had a great idea for a new reality show. At 1:22 p.m., an Admirals Cove resident reported that a man regularly walks a big dog named “Buster” that scares everyone in the neighborhood. He said the dog is known to swallow eagles whole and chase grown men up trees. At 4 p.m., a caller reported that a man in a “freaky green suit” with matching hat and ties was wearing a sash in downtown Oak Harbor. The caller reported
At 2:22 p.m., a Jones Road resident reported that deer were hiding behind a shed and “twerking.” At 3 p.m., a retired teacher working in Coupeville reported that a co-worker with a messy desk keeps making inappropriate jokes and looking at inappropriate things on her computer. At 3:45 p.m., a man on Newman Road reported that his girlfriend pierced his nipple with a rusty nail and now it kind of hurts.
FRIDAY, MARCH 31
that other suspicious people wearing green and kids playing instruments also seemed to be milling around the street. At 6:22 p.m., a teenager on Parker Road reported that his older brother cheated when they were playing Halo. The caller requested that an officer “rough up” his brother and confiscate his remote control for evidence. At 7 p.m., a caller reported that a duck followed him home and squirrels were looking at him funny. At 9:30 p.m., a resident reported seeing William Shatner walking on Monkey Hill Road. At 10:30 p.m., a man said he woke up next to a mannequin in a strange place.
SATURDAY, APRIL 1 At 12:01 a.m., April Fools!
Saturday, April 1, 2017 • Whidbey Snooze-Times
SQUINTING BACK •••
Whidbey blocks Nirvana’s rural tour due to loud music, plaid By DANIEL WARN
From the Oak Harbor News 100 years ago, in 1917:
n Days before President Woodrow Wilson historically asked the U.S. Congress to declare war on Germany, he was in Oak Harbor, scouting out the area as a possible site for Princeton University’s West Coast extension. He abandoned the project after the citizenry drove him out of town by chucking handfuls of loganberries at him. n At a barn raising party, a brawl broke out after the structure’s facade was pulled into place. The brawl, which arose over whether Martha Stillwater was courting Barney Balister or Henry Turpins, became so bombastic that the quarrelsome youth slammed into the not-yet-secured structure. The barn swayed for a moment, then fell apart like a house of cards. It took another two hours to undo the damage wrought by young love. n Farmer Abbot paid $127 at the chicken auction, an alltime high for a rooster and two chicks.
From the Island County Farm Bureau News 75 years ago, in 1942:
n Two dozen youth were arrested, tried and convicted of ignoring the air-raid siren and wartime curfew. They were sentenced to dredge out the lagoon at Oak Harbor’s City Beach. n Archive documents found buried beneath a low rock wall on Ebey’s Prairie seemed to prove that Oak Harbor was first settled by Canadians. Commissioner Egbert Van Dutchy ordered the records burned. n After building the exact replica for the Island’s first settlement from Lincoln Logs, William Alcott was given the key to the City of Oak Harbor. n Island Mortgage advertised a monthly rate of $33.
From the Whidbey News-Times 50 years ago, in 1967:
n The Blue Fox Drive-In managed to play one showing of “Bonnie and Clyde” before Oak Harbor youth began freewheeling in their parents’ automobiles, knocking over grocery and convenience stores. Instead of punishing the teenagers, the drive-in had to pay reparations to all the establishments that its lewd choice of “entertainment” had damaged. n Jailers came across a message that had been scribbled in the corner of a cell in the Island County Jail, “Charlie was here,” written by Manson during his short incarceration two years earlier after shoplifting at the Prairie Center Mercantile. n Hubert Woosley attempted to purchase a radio for his entertainment room, but Sears turned him away, saying that “radios had finally been phased out of production following the continued success and high demand of the color television.” n The Cash store advertised a special deal on ponies for $14.99, “just so long as you take the darn things off our hands.” Apparently, the store thought it was purchasing toy ponies.
From the Whidbey News-Times 25 years ago, in 1992:
n Coupeville Town Council and the City of Oak Harbor banded together to impede Nirvana’s ability to tour Whidbey, in what the band called its “Smells Like Rural Tourism Tour.” The coalition blocked the band’s travel, issuing a statement that read: “The grunge movement in our schools is distracting students from academic and future success. We are simply trying to keep our island’s youth safe from loud guitars and plaid shirts.” n Pogs sold out across the island, causing the mass panic of participation-trophy wielding parents who were overrun by the demands of their tantrum-throwing 10-yearolds. n Oak Harbor woman Madge Slundack made the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest time walking on a sidewalk without stepping on a crack. “When I was a kid I really didn’t want to break my mother’s back,” she said. “I guess I took the game to heart.” n Shirts with “AC/DC” on them sold for $45 a piece, ostensibly encouraging a more refined ear for music. April Fools!
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson speaks with coach Pete Carroll about plans to train on Whidbey Island this summer.
Seahawks to train at Camp Casey By JIM WALLER
The Seattle Seahawks announced this week that they will hold training camp this summer at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island. The Seahawks’ primary training center in Renton, the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, is going through its first extensive renovation since being built in 2008. Because of some undisclosed complications, the upgrade is taking longer than expected and will not be completed in time for the 2017 training camp, according to team spokesman Peter Puhmcaneator. Camp Casey was selected, Puhmcaneator said, because of its “beautiful setting, open spaces and proximity to Seattle.” “We also like how it is somewhat isolated from city nightlife,” coach Pete Carroll said, in a statement released by the team. “We want the players to focus on training and not on the night club scene. It will be easy for us to monitor Toby’s and the OHT after curfew.” The Seahawks will pay no user fee,
Earl Thomas said he is looking forward to training camp and getting back into the game after an injury last season. but agreed to finance a full-sized turf field that will remain at Camp Casey.
Work on the new field begins April 4. “We are getting the best of the deal,” Terry Klauth, director of Camp Casey, said. “We get an Astroturf field and get to watch the Seahawks — and Sea Gals — train.” In addition, the Seahawks will build a temporary facility to house their weight-training equipment. The tent-like structure will be torn down when camp ends in August. One of the benefits of Camp Casey, Carol said, is that the noise of Growler aircraft flying overhead mimics the noise inside the stadium on game day. Puhmcaneator confirmed that the team will be staying at Oak Harbor’s Acorn Motor Inn on weekdays. Sightseeing trips are planned to Deception Pass, Greenbank Farm and the “cow crater” in Coupeville. The practices run July 30 through Aug. 16 and are open to the public. The number of slots for attendance are limited, so tickets will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline to order the tickets is April 1. April Fools!
Hospital to change its name once again BY PATRICIA GUTHRIE
WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, once called Whidbey General Hospital, is changing its name for the third time in three years. WouldbeHealth?/CouldbeWorse! was chosen as the new company name from a staff contest. It will be shortened to WbH/CbW. Because the facility is a public hospital financed by taxpayers, it must abide by Truth in Advertising guidelines, CEO Geri Forbes explained. An investigation by Patients
Are So Annoying (PASA) found WhidbeyHealth to be in violation because it didn’t live up to its motto: Come in Sick, We’ll Get You Out Quick. “Statistics comparing 2016 admissions and discharges to 2015 admissions and discharges found we didn’t improve,” lamented CFO Ron Telles. “In fact, patients stayed longer, which we don’t want.” “It’s not that we don’t want them but we can’t afford them,” Telles added. “Not with the health insurance reimbursements we receive under the
Affordable Scare Act, I mean Care Act. “However, numbers, trends, data and the bottom line could improve once Health Insurance is Made Great Again. Wait, I forgot. That didn’t work out either.” Other submissions for the name change included: WouldBe Wealthy, WhataRacket, OLF View and Knot Island Hospital, Forbes said. The new logo, a blooming multicolored question mark, was not available at press time. April Fools!
STORE CONTINUED FROM A1 and the state was requiring a roundabout to mitigate traffic at the new intersection. As a condition of its permit application, Costco had to go through design review to ensure it meshes with the historic integrity of Ebey’s Reserve. The Historic Preservation Commission found that the traditional Costco red and blue “didn’t quite fit” and are requiring the wholesaler to change its exterior signage to Sherwin Williams America’s Heritage Pallette’s Rookwood Red and Bunglehouse Blue. Costco officials said they will keep with the scheme throughout the interior of the store as well for continuity’s sake. This will be the only store of its kind to have
different colors, they said. And because of ongoing redrafts of the town’s sign code, the wholesaler will be prohibited from using its standard business practice of advertising current gas prices on A-frame signs near site entrances. Council also voiced concerns over outdoor lighting requirements outlined in the permit. Councilwoman Pat Powell wanted to ensure the permit specified Costco had to use 3,000 color correlated temperature LED lights, which fall into a softer light spectrum and is recommended to be healthier for the night sky and migratory fowl. Costco is expected to break ground April 26 and construction will begin in May. Project completion is anticipated in February 2018. April Fools!
TOLL CONTINUED FROM A1 to light after two middleschool children were climbing under the bridge on a dare. They noticed large cracks throughout the structure and also realized that the bridge was leaning to one side.
Around the same time, historians discovered the bridge wasn’t originally black and white, as old photos suggest. They tracked down an elderly resident who remembered that it used to be a
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Langley Mayor Tim Callison announced plans this week to charge newspaper reporters for the use of chairs at council meetings. The $5 fee will cover the city’s cost of furnishing the “sitting devices” for reporters, Callison said. Langley residents will not be charged for chair usage, he said, as long as they can produce a city utility bill to prove they actually live in city limits. The mayor defended his proposal, saying that not charging a reporter for sitting while listening to council meetings would
be an illegal gift of public funds. He pointed out that buttocks, particularly those of the news media, cause a lot of wear and tear on furniture. “Reporters are welcome to stand for free,” he said. “They can even lean against a wall and are free to slouch, but sitting on the floor is strictly forbidden.” Callison said he’s considering a reduced fee for stool usage. Council members created a special committee to analyze a proposal to purchase bean bag chairs that can be rented out to audience members. The city’s police chief will be charged with policechairs. April Fools!
purplish-brown color, possibly with yellow polka dots. The state is also looking at building a floating bridge or possibly a tunnel from Coupeville to Camano Island, but funding for the project is currently stalled in the senate committee on pipe dreams. April Fools!
Officers called for backup after the suspect ran out of the house and skipped down the road. Deputies from the Island County Sheriff’s Office and a K9 unit from the state patrol conducted house-to-house searches. The trail of Crisco led to the other side of the city, where the suspect was discovered on the roof of a
sandwich and friendship. Police officers and firefighters played a game of “rock, paper, scissors” to decide who would climb onto the roof and drag the naked, greased suspect down, but negotiations broke off after a fireman caught an officer cheating. Sheriff Mark Brown showed up at the end of the crisis. He put his sunglasses on in a dramatic fashion and declared, “We’ve got ourselves a slippery situation.” April fools!
two-story rambler. Police officers, using very stern voices, called to the man to come down, but he refused. Officers cordoned off the area to keep out onlookers, but the standoff quickly became a media circus with cameramen climbing in trees and helicopters circling overhead. The naked man released a list of demands: a robot, a ham
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