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Whidbey Crosswind The Puget Sound Veterans’ Monthly | August 2018

Model citizens

Oak Harbor group toys with radio-controlled planes z pg. 4

A supplement to the Whidbey News-Times


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Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor receives welcome feedback from accreditation survey By TRISH ROSE

Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor Public Affairs

Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor staff members received welcome news on June 22 when they learned they had successfully completed a Joint Commission and Navy Medicine Medical Inspection General, or Medicine Medical Inspection General, accreditation survey and inspection process. Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor, the first medical treatment facility in the Department of Defense to undergo a Joint Commission accreditation survey/ Medicine Medical Inspection General inspection using Department of Defense’s new electronic health record, Military Health System GENESIS, was also the first Military Health System GENESIS MTF to successfully undertake a primary care medical home survey which they passed with zero findings. “The fact that we had no high risk findings at the conclusion of several years of significant information technology changes, the most obvious being the fielding of MHS GENESIS, along with multiple departmental moves, construction noise/ delays, leadership changes and rebranding with the new name, is truly incredible. Our dedication to each other and our patients shone through as we welcomed the Joint Commission surveyors and the Medicine Medical Inspection General inspectors and showed them how we keep our patients and ourselves safe every day,” said Capt. Christine Sears, Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor commanding officer. Of particular note was that Joint Commission surveyors found no significant problems with such major areas as leadership, administrative, infection control, emergency management, and provision of high quality care. Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor infection preventionist, Krista Burckhardt, RN, was recognized for having spearheaded the implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program, ensuring the safe and effective use of antibiotics, including a focus

on avoiding harm that may result from antibiotic overuse. In addition, there were several “Bravo Zulu,” or “well done” acknowledgements that went to a number of Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor programs and staff, such as the Civilian Drug Free Workplace Program maintained by Passion Kuntzsch; Michelle Smith and Jaci Swankie for their Shipshape, Wellness and Tobacco Cessation Programs; Robert Digirolamo for his Contracting Officers Representative Program; Carol DiCerto for her TAD process improvement; and the Information Security Program maintained by Mike Timm. HM1 To, HM1 Manila and HMC Stuttle were all recognized for their Hospital Corpsman Skills Basic Program as well as HM1 Manila and HMC Alfonso for their Urinalysis Program. HMC Alfonso also received Kudos for his Physical Readiness Program. The Physical Evaluation Board Program, managed by Traci Conroy and Ariel Magdalera received recognition as well as the Command’s Diversit y Program,

maintained by LCDR Edmondson. The Crisis Response Team, led by HN Froemel and the Command Indoctrination Program, led by HM1 Robinson both garnered high praise from the inspectors. Duty driver HM2 Arnold, was hailed as being one of the most prepared and knowledgeable duty drivers the team had experienced to date. Another form of recognition is to be presented with a Medicine Medical Inspection General coin, and several of our staff were on hand to accept that honor, like Lt. Wilcox for his leadership of the Human Resources Dept., MA2 Bouscher for her Physical S e c u r it y/A nt it e r ro r i s m Programs, HM3 Ramirez’s Victim Advocate Program and Lisa Dalton for overall MEDIG Coordination and Command Preparedness. The entire purpose of the Joint Commission and Medicine Medical Inspection General inspections was to evaluate the compliance of Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor with nationally established Joint Commission and Navy standards. The results then determine whether, and the conditions under which, accreditation should

be awarded to Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor. According to Cmdr. C.J Kucik, Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor chief medical officer, surveyors and inspectors from the visiting survey teams commented on the exceptional professionalism and dedication of the staff. “They continued to perform their daily duties at the same high standard as always and were not overwhelmed being in the spotlight of inspection. That is the very essence of a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO) and I’d like to extend my sincere appreciation for everyone’s sustained level of effort and professionalism culminating in last week’s success,” Kucik said. By continuing to be an accredited organization, Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor enhances community confidence, stimulates the organization’s quality improvement efforts, aids in professional staff recruitment, provides a report card for the public, offers an objective evaluation of the organization’s performance, and provides a staff education tool. “I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this

space shine, both physically, and with your warm welcoming attitude. It set the tone for learning and collaboration, rather than adversarial inspection. From the moment we greeted the team, the surveyors were smiling because of your dedication and positive first impression”, said Command Master Chief Stanley Kaneshiro. There is a difference between the Joint Commission and Medicine Medical Inspection General survey teams, although their focus can and does overlap at times. The Joint Commission Survey takes place every three years and is a hospital accreditation carried out by a civilian organization based on demonstrated high standards of patient safety and quality. Joint Commission standards deal with organizational quality of care issues and the safety of the environment in which care is provided. The surveyors evaluated the clinic’s compliance with established standards and identified strengths and weaknesses. The overall goal was not only to find problems, but also to provide education and consultation

so health care organizations could improve. The Medicine Medical Inspection General inspection also takes place approximately every three years to assess a command’s effectiveness, efficiency, readiness, capability, and quality of healthcare services in accordance with Secretary of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery directives and instructions. Medicine Medical Inspection General also assesses interoperability, integration and collaboration with Department of Defense, other federal government, and civilian organizations. The Joint Commission accredits nearly 16,000 health care organizations in the United States and many other countries. The Department of Defense uses accreditation as a benchmark for national standards set by health care professionals. An accredited organization such as Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor substantially complies with Joint Commission standards and continuously makes efforts to improve the care and service it provides.

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‘Boys and their toys’ Come fly away with Whidbey Island Radio Control Society By EMILY GILBERT egilbert@whidbeynewsgroup.com


omething other than military jets are taking to the skies at the Navy’s Outlying Field Coupeville.

Something very similar, but much smaller and a bit quieter. “You could call this downsizing,” said Brien Lillquist,

president of the Whidbey Island Radio Control Society, or WIRCS. WIRCS members get together to fly their model airplanes. On a warm, sunsoaked Saturday morning, about 10 men went to OLF Coupeville to stretch their wings. “I think it’s something that goes back to when they were a kid,” Lillquist said of the club’s appeal. That’s certainly true for Vernon Brisley of Greenbank, who said he was age 8 or 9 when he first became interested in flying. “I came back to flying hobby about 50 years (later),” he said, during his first

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Scott Storer explains that this alien spaceship-looking aircraft is good for mapping since it can take in precise GPS coordinates. Saturday out with the club. looking prototypes good for Mechanical sounds of He came with a variety of Amid models of old- mapping fields, the club’s engines whirring to life and aircraft on Saturday and had time aircraft, like a WII-era members talked shop about landing wheels rolling over some of the more unusualJapanese Zero and a Douglas average cruising speed and the ground created a scene looking ones. He also had that felt like an alternate- cameras on his planes that DC-3 to the alien spaceship- weather observations. reality where size proportions offer him a bird’s-eye view of were flipped. the island.

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“As soon as I was born I think I was already into it. … I’ve been flying since 1986,” said Oak Harbor resident Scott Storer.

Lillquist explained that club members are restricted to flying under 400 feet to stay out of controlled airspace, and


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VOL. 8, NO. 7 WHIDBEY CROSSWIND STAFF Executive Editor & Publisher...............................KEVEN R. GRAVES Associate Publisher....................................... KIMBERLLY WINJUM Editor................................................................JESSIE STENSLAND Reporters... LAURA GUIDO, PATRICIA GUTHRIE, MARIA MATSON Newsroom Intern....................................................... EMILY GILBERT

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READER INFORMATION: ADMINISTRATIVE: The Whidbey Crosswind is a monthly publication of Sound Publishing, and is a member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, the National Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. Advertising rates are available at the Crosswind office. While the Crosswind endeavors to accept only reliable advertisements, it shall not be responsible to the public for advertisements nor are the views expressed in those advertisements necessarily those of the Whidbey Crosswind. The right to decline or discontinue any ad without explanation is reserved. DEADLINES: Classifieds and Display Ads – 4 p.m. Monday prior to publication; Community News and Letters to Editor – Noon Monday prior to publication.

Photo by Abigail Gilbert.

Some of the planes have video cameras that show the grounded pilots a birds-eye view of the island.


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 they are required to be members of Academy of Model Aeronautics, so they are covered by insurance in case a plane crashes and damages anything. Lillquist said that members also have speed restrictions of 200 mph. “But that’s only the jets, really,” he said. There were no jets that day, but almost everyone brought multiple aircraft with them to fly “as a backup,” according to the club’s vice president, Bill Diekman. The group can teach prospective fliers the rules of the sky, too.

“We have people who come to us who have absolutely no experience, and we have several models that we take them out and train them on,” Lillquist said. “Anyone can fly — the hard part is landing,” said Mark Saia. Saia brought along 11 aircraft that day. He got his first plane, a shiny DC-3, for free from another club member during a meeting. He’s on version two of the plane now. The first one crashed when he was landing it for the first time. It had balance issues, he said. “The learning curve is steep,” Diekman said. “It’s just like flying the real thing, but a lot less expensive.”

Photo by Abigail Gilbert

There are lot of details on the model airplanes.

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Big passion for small-scale replicas Whidbey Island veterans pursue miniature hobby By PATRICIA GUTHRIE



on’t call them old men and don’t call their hobby little kid stuff.

They are proud veterans of various military service and proud to pursue an ageless passion called plastic modeling. Photos by Patricia Guthrie

Roy Schlicht works on assembling a small-scale plastic model kit during a recent Friday evening gathering of Whidbey Island veterans who are known as “modelers.”



Every Friday evening, they dive into kits that contain plastic scale models of aircraft, cars, armored tanks, ships, movie monsters

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Currently, the half-dozen friends are working on a group collection to submit to an upcoming show and contest. Each are constructing an American tank, M41 Walker Bulldog, that’s now used by many national armies. “This tank was exported all over the world,” says Roy Schlicht, who served in the Navy from 1987 to 2007. He checks out three smallscale armored tanks, each created with a unique look. They represent Austria, Germany and New Zealand. Ray Scott points to his handiwork, painted in brown camouflage. “It’s New Zealand military,” he says. “That took me about two weeks. I even drew a little kiwi on the back.” The guys inspect the tiny tank without picking it up because it’s not completely dry. “You make us all look like a bunch of amateurs, Ray,” proclaims Fred Benninghoff.

“My wife always said ‘I’d rather have you sniffing glue than out drinking at the bars,’” jokes Shawn Gehling, who served in the Navy from 1978 to 2002. Sitting at tables in the cool confines of Benninghoff ’s Man Cave, otherwise known as a pimped-out garage, they pass the time squinting at parts and chatting and reminiscing about old times. Over the years, some women modelers have joined but there are none in the group now. Most of the guy talk revolves around modeling and models — but it has nothing to do with beauties or bikinis. “We used to put on model contests at the YMCA on Pioneer Way and they had a group called North Whidbey Plastic Modelers Society,” says Dave Campbell, in the Navy from 1990 to 2010. “We’re certifiable now but not a club,” adds Gehling.

The hobby is time consuming and it can become obsessive, some say.

They laugh about one avid modeler who ran out of space at his house to display his models so he kept them at a hobby store. Then the store sold them all.

But it’s also relaxing, educational, keeps them out of trouble and keeps their spouses happy.

That was back in the day when Oak Harbor had two hobby shops and one train shop, and model kits were SEE MODELS, PAGE 7

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 viewed as toys for eager young boys. These days, modelers tend to be adults assembling kits for collections. Many are former members of the military who like to recreate the actual equipment they used in service. Model kits have been used as dexterity therapy and for emotional healing at vet centers. Model enthusiasts say it’s a relatively cheap hobby, compared to other pastimes such as golf, boating or skiing. But that’s only if kits don’t end up stacked and packed away in closets, sheds, under beds and other out-of-sight places. “Everyone here has a model stash somewhere,” declares Benninghoff, the elder of the group who served in the Army from 1963 to 1966. He points to the other half of the garage where his classic bright red 1972 Plymouth Scamp — of real size dimensions — is parked. “The upper part of the garage there is filled with kits,” he says. “My wife asks all the time, ‘You going to sell them? You going to sell them?’” The answer is a resounding ‘no,’ says Scott, who served in the Navy from 1984 to 2005. “There’s a few reasons we buy them and don’t build them,” he explains. “Maybe the kits will go out of production or we say we’re waiting until we retire. “Most modelers I know have a huge collection and build maybe only 1 percent.” Scott remembers meeting Benninghoff in 1985.

They gathered at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island back in the day when it was open to the public. Now, they meet in Benninghoff ’s brightly colored Man Cave that’s lined with shelves and glass cabinets displaying hundreds of models, dioramas and collections. Keith Johnson worked at NAS Whidbey for 28 years as a private contractor. Now retired, he’s keen on model trains but sometimes chooses ships or aircraft from the past. “You try and get something in history and try to replicate it the best you can,” Johnson said. Most modelers have stacks of books on aircraft, trains, ships, automobiles, motorcycles and other topics of interest they’ve been accumulating since their first whiff of modeling glue — which is no longer toxic and “smells like oranges.” Or so they claim. Benninghoff recalls being 5 or 6 years old when he first fiddled with a model airplane. “Of course, back then it was balsa wood,” he says. “Every time, I cut my finger using a razor blade. I bled and every time the doctor fixed me up. “I pretty much cut off the top of every one of these fingers,” he says, holding up both hands. His buddies can’t resist adding insult to injury. “Model kits were pretty well established in the 1970s when most of us began,” says Gehling. “Not like Fred who had to whittle his own

The Friday evening club of small-scale modelers discuss who’s building other tiny tanks needed for an upcoming contest. Left to right are Dave Campbell, Roy Schlicht, Ray Scott and Fred Benninghoff. airplane from a tree his Dad cut down in the back yard.” It’s all in good fun. They obviously enjoy each other’s company. These modelers seem models of long-lasting friendships, the kind spanning decades and generations, family joy, family tragedy, illness and death. They try and spread their love of the modeling hobby to the younger set but admit it’s tough to compete with electronic gadgets and gizmos. Among six, none have children who took up the pastime and only one of their grandchildren has expressed interest. “What everyone does here is like being a master craftsman,” says Johnson. “We’re a dying breed.”

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The armored tank, called M41 Walker Bulldog, was created in the United States and exported worldwide. The modeling group is building five small-scale replicas of it. These tanks represent Austria, New Zealand and Germany.

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VP-9 completes Orion to Poseidon transition, certified ‘safe for flight’ By LTJG LESLIE GREENE, VP-9 Public Affairs Officer

The Golden Eagles of Patrol Squadron 9 recently completed a successful sixmonth aircraft transition, from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon. They are the ninth squadron to successfully transition to the Navy’s newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. Cmdr. Jeffrey Bowman, VP-9 commanding officer, announced the Golden Eagles are “safe for flight” in the P-8A Poseidon. “Throughout the past six months, our sailors’ hard work, dedication, positive attitude and willingness to learn have been astounding, and as a result we have been praised by both VP-30 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN as the best transitioning squadron to date,” said Bowman.

“We are more than ready to rejoin the fleet as an operational squadron and are excited to continue our legacy of superior performance in this new aircraft.” Pending the retirement of the P-3C, the Golden Eagles began their three-phase indoctrination into the P-8A Poseidon. Phase one began in Nov. 2017, during which the Golden Eagles conducted initial classroom and simulator training at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Phase two took place on board NAS Jacksonville, Fla., during which training continued with simulator, flight, and maintenance instruction by Fleet Reserve Squadron VP-30. Phase three brought VP-9 back to NAS Whidbey, where the Golden Eagles completed their advanced tactical aircraft employment training. The culminating days of the

squadron’s transition included the combat air crews and maintenance personnel completing their final tests and evaluations under the supervision of Patrol Squadron 30’s instructor cadre. The combat air crews executed five tactical flights, during which they were evaluated on their ability to safely operate and employ the mission systems on board the P-8A. Additionally, maintenance personnel completed an intensive series of tests, drills and inspections. Ultimately, the Golden Eagles passed all inspections with flying colors and were deemed safe for flight. Following the safe for flight inspection and certification completion, the Golden Eagles will continue to train and prepare for future combat operations. VP-9 originally commissioned in 1952 at Naval Air

U.S. Navy Photo by Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Alexis Calhoun

Lt. Scott Bird, attached to Patrol Squadron 9, receives a challenge coin from Boeing personnel during a safe for flight certification ceremony at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. VP-9 is a maritime patrol squadron assigned to Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten, stationed at NAS Whidbey Island and just recently finished transition from the P-3 Orion to the P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s premiere long-range anti-submarine warfare platform. Station Whidbey Island, and recently returned home to Whidbey after many successful years’ operating from Kaneohe’s Marine Corps Base Hawaii, or MCBH. In

February 2017, VP-9 began its historic final P-3C deployment out of MCBH to the Seventh Fleet area of operations. Their seven-month sun-

down deployment concluded in Oct. 2017, when the squadron executed a home port shift back to its original duty station of NAS Whidbey.

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Whidbey Calendar July 22

Sea, Trees, & Pie Bike Ride, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., July 22, Birding Platform at Keystone State Park near the Coupeville Ferry Terminal. The 2018 Sea, Trees, & Pie Bike Ride is a non-competitive bike ride with three routes (5, 10 and 20 miles) through beautiful Central Whidbey. Cost is $30 per adult, $15 per child (ages 6-16).At the end of the ride, participants receive a slice of pie generously donated by event sponsor Whidbey Pies. The event is a fundraiser for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust and is centered around Crockett Lake. To register, go to www.wclt. org/bikeride

July 28

Pratt Barn Open House, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 28, 162 Cemetery Road, Coupeville. Learn more about the plans for this fascinating building and about the Pratt Legacy. Park at the Cottage at Sunnyside, then take a short hike down the Pratt Loop Trail. This open house is free and open to the public. www.nps.gov/ ebla

August 2

Family Storytime, 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Aug. 2, Oak Harbor Library. Funny stories and action songs will make you giggle and move while getting your little ones ready to read. Playtime or craft may follow. For children and caregivers.

August 9

Family Storytime, 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Aug. 9, Oak Harbor Library. Funny stories and action songs will make you giggle and move while getting your little ones ready to read. Playtime or craft may follow. For children and caregivers.

August 10

Gentle Chair Yoga, 2-3 p.m., Aug. 10, Oak Harbor Library. Gentle chair yoga good for all ages. Simple movements designed to wake up both the small and large joints of the body! Come join us for a chair yoga class led by Kumi.

August 11

Sons of the American Legion Breakfast, 9 a.m.

to 12 p.m., Aug. 11, 690 SE Barrington Dr., Oak Harbor. $9. All-You-CanEat breakfast, which supports veterans and their families.

August 18

Tour the Historic Ferry House, Aug. 18, Ebey’s Landing. Tour the Historic Ferry House at Ebey’s Landing. Learn about the history of this iconic building and its importance to Central Whidbey. Tours twice a day at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., with a maximum of 20 people per tour. Reservations required and will be accepted after May 1. Call to reserve your place at 360-678-6084. www.nps.gov/eb

August 30

Mystery Lovers Book Group, 3-4 p.m., Aug. 30, Oak Harbor Library. Share your love of mysteries. Join the discussion of books by your favorite authors, and discover some new ones, too.

Sept. 7

Whidbey Walking Festival, 9 a.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7-9, Camp Casey Conference Center. Three day event

of mapped walks in several locations. Sponsored by the NW Tulip Trekker Volkssport Walking Club. www.nwtrekkers.org

Sept. 8

Sons of the American Legion Breakfast, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sept. 8, 690 SE Barrington Dr., Oak Harbor. $9. All-You-CanEat breakfast, which supports veterans and their families.

Sept. 14

Gentle Chair Yoga, 2-3 p.m., Sept. 14, Oak Harbor Library. Gentle chair yoga good for all ages. Simple movements designed to wake up both the small and large joints of the body! Come join us for a chair yoga class led by Kumi.

Sept. 22

Whidbey Audubon Society Bird in the Hand Festival, 10 a.m.1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, Bayview Farm and Garden, Langley. Free, family event to hold and closely examine stuffed preserved bird specimens, with children’s activities, live raptors and more.

www.whidbeyaudubon. org.

Sept. 27

Mystery Lovers Book Group, 3-4 p.m., Sept. 27, Oak Harbor Library. Share your love of mysteries. Join the discussion of books by your favorite authors, and discover some new ones, too.

Oct. 13

Sons of the American Legion Breakfast, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Oct. 13, 690 SE Barrington Dr., Oak Harbor. $9. All-You-CanEat breakfast, which supports veterans and their families.

Oct. 25

Mystery Lovers Book Group, 3-4 p.m., Oct. 25, Oak Harbor Library. Share your love of mysteries. Join the discussion of books by your favorite authors, and discover some new ones, too.

Nov. 9

Gentle Chair Yoga, 2-3 p.m., Nov. 9, Oak Harbor Library. Gentle chair yoga good for all ages. Simple movements designed to wake up both the small

GO LOCAL BUSINESS & SERVICES DIRECTORY CONTRACTORS Waldron Construction 31640 SR 20 #2, Oak Harbor www.waldronconstruction.com 360-679-1827 COUNTERTOPS Northwest Granite & Flooring 687 Mobius Loop suzette.nwgf@hotmail.com www.nwgraniteandflooring.com 360-675-4978

FLOORING Northwest Granite & Flooring 687 Mobius Loop suzette.nwgf@hotmail.com www.nwgraniteandflooring.com 360-675-4978

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and large joints of the body! Come join us for a chair yoga class led by Kumi.

Nov. 10

Sons of the American Legion Breakfast, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Nov. 10, 690 SE Barrington Dr., Oak Harbor. $9. All-You-CanEat breakfast, which supports veterans and their families.

Dec. 8

Sons of the American Legion Breakfast, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Dec. 8, 690 SE Barrington Dr., Oak Harbor. $9. All-You-CanEat breakfast, which supports veterans and their families.

Dec. 14

Gentle Chair Yoga, 2-3 p.m., Dec. 14, Oak Harbor Library. Gentle chair yoga good for all ages. Simple movements designed to wake up both the small and large joints of the body! Come join us for a chair yoga class led by Kumi.

REAL ESTATE AGENT Cheri English Broker, REALTOR®, SRES Windermere Real Estate/Whidbey Island Cheri@Ask4Cheri.com Agent4Life.net 360-320-9764 Elaine McDowell Managing Broker, REALTOR®, SRES Windermere Real Estate/Whidbey Island EMcDowell@windermere.com ElaineMcDowell.withwre.com 360-929-1500 Linda Earnhart, Managing Broker, REALTOR®, CRS, GRI Windermere Real Estate/Whidbey Island Earnhart@whidbey.net WhidbeyIslandHomes.com 360-929-0922

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Learn about US Family Health Plan before open enrollment season this fall by calling (866) 890-5491. Or go to USFHPhealthy.org. TRICARE is a registered trademark of the Department of Defense. Defense Health Agency. All rights reserved.


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Whidbey Crosswind, July 27, 2018  

July 27, 2018 edition of the Whidbey Crosswind

Whidbey Crosswind, July 27, 2018  

July 27, 2018 edition of the Whidbey Crosswind