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life ❉ insight ❉ style ❉ culture ❉ fun ❉ shopping ❉ biz

The essentials of 98277

magazine

Surf local with OH e-commerce Look who’s in the hot seat!

(hint, hint...)

July-August 2008


contents

Pg. 4 Ahoy! Welcome to OH Magazine Pg. 6 Essentials: Food, fashion and more Pg. 12 Q&A: New Mayor Slowik opens up about his work & family Pg. 14 H2(OH!): Oak Harbor boaters set sail

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Pg. 16 Calendar: Summer is heating up, getting busy Pg. 18 Drop Anchor: Ah, beachfront living Pg. 20 Beacons & Bearings: Oak Harbor Business scene Pg. 21 {e} grown: She sells glass seashells Pg. 22 Crow’s Nest: Best of Whidbey honors

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on the cover 2

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ak Harbor Mayor Jim Slowik played along as OH Magazine pulled him away from a recent day’s work to enjoy the sunshine down at Flintstone Park. During the photo shoot, Slowik talked enthusiastically about plans to develop the city’s waterfront and marina. He cordially greeted a couple who ferried across from the marina via dinghy. “We’re from B.C. and we love coming to Oak Harbor,” the woman of the couple chimed. He continued with the “future plans of Oak Harbor” lesson until the couple marched merrily on their way into town. It’s not every day that visitors get a dockside welcome from the city’s mayor, but as Slowik is already proving in his first months of service, he’s just that kind of guy. For more about the good mayor, turn to page 12 to see what Slowik said when we made him the first subject of our Q&A: hotseat.


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ahoy! welcome aboard for the journey

This month, Sound Publishing and the Whidbey News-Times are pleased to launch the first edition of our much-anticipated OH Magazine, “The Essentials of 98277.” It is our hope that OH Magazine truly becomes an essential in and of itself — your guilty pleasure you can’t Cynthia Woolbright wait to pick up and read. Expect to find the content on these OH Magazine Editor pages to be modern, stylish, fun and basically everything a great community lifestyles magazine should be. The bi-monthly publication will be filled with fashion, housewares and gadgets found right here in town. Our regular features and edition specials will be all about your neighbors, friends and the people who help keep this city ticking. This inaugural edition is geared around the idea of “Whidbey on the water” with multiple pages of boating and sea inspired essentials, food to take with you on the water, and even a Q&A with new mayor Jim Slowik about plans for Oak Harbor’s waterfront. Read about setting anchor with real estate, get the pulse of town business with our “Beacons & Bearings” and an inside look at Whidbey Island Race Week from local sailors. Each edition of OH Magazine will have a different theme to build our editorial content around, and we hope to grow the publication with each edition we put together. Expect more regular features, always improving content and plenty of ways you can keep in touch with local shopping, business and happenings. Can’t wait to bring it all to you!

Until next edition, Cynthia 4

July/August 2008

ohmagazine

life ❉ insight ❉ style ❉ culture ❉ fun ❉ shopping ❉ biz Publisher: Marcia Van Dyke Editor: Cynthia Woolbright Production: William Bolles & Connie Ross Art: Teresa Besaw, Susan Hanzelka & Abbie Martin Contributing writer: Jill Johnson Copy Editing: Nellie Williams Marketing: Robyn Bainbridge, Kory Dyer & Cindi Peters Special Thanks: City of Oak Harbor, Mayor Jim Slowik and gracious Oak Harbor merchants.

OH distribution OH Magazine: The Essentials of 98277, is a bimonthly community lifestyles magazine produced at the Whidbey News-Times office and published as a product of Sound Publishing, Inc. It is distributed to all Whidbey News-Times subscribers in the 98277 and 98239 area, and is available at select sites around Oak Harbor. For additional copies, visit the Whidbey News-Times office at 800 SE Barrington Drive, Oak Harbor, WA, 98277.

OH is all yours OH Magazine is always on the lookout for content ideas and talented freelance writers. To submit a suggestion for edition theme, Crow’s Nest coverage, Bearings & Beacons business, feature story or to be a freelance writer, contact editor Cynthia Woolbright at 675-6611, via email at cwoolbright@whidbeynews times.com, or write 800 SE Barrington Drive, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.

OH! there’s more ... OH Magazine content and web exclusives can be found in the lifestyles section of the Whidbey NewsTimes website www.whidbeynewstimes.com. The new Whidbey News-Times site is easier to navigate, is packed full of new features and links to more ways to enjoy your island. The web site offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in Oak Harbor, the surrounding community and anyone interested in learning more about Whidbey. For information about advertising online, call the marketing department at 675-6611.


July/August 2008

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food

fashion

beauty

home

gadgets

boating bounty

❉Find these items at bayleaf, 720 SE SE Pioneer Way Suite 1-B

(clockwise from bottom left) ❉ Molinari “chub” salami, $7.99 a stick. ❉ Island Trollers, individual can of albacore tuna with pull top, $3.50 ❉ Virgils, rootbeer, $1.50 ❉ Zyliss, corn picks, $4.99 ❉ Rick’s Picks, GT1000s pickled green tomatoes, $9.99 ❉ Spirit of Fire grinder, Cape Herb & Spice, $5.99 ❉ Cinq Cents, Chimay Ale, $11 ❉ Anchor Brewing Co., Liberty Ale, $6.99 ❉ Screaming Banshee, tuscan white, $4.50 a loaf ❉ Nirvana, organic Belgian dark chocolate, $5.99 ❉ Cahill’s, porter cheddar, $19/lb. ❉ Canadian extra-sharp cheddar, $14/lb.

essentials The 98277 you can’t live without

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f you’re heading out on the water — whether aboard a yacht for a cruise around Saratoga Passage, or a smaller boat for a day of fishing under Deception Pass — be sure to pack a lunch to keep you fueled up for the fun. If you’re going to enjoy your time on the water the food should be simple according to Beth Graves, owner of bayleaf specialty 6

July/August 2008

cheese and wine shop on Pioneeer Way. “A knife, maybe some napkins and a fast turn of the wrist should be all you need,” she said. Graves suggests making your food and drink choices to match the beauty of the boating experience on our amazing waters. “These treats are bold and satisfying,” Graves said. “You aren’t skimping on flavor.”

Don’t hesitate to mix and match flavors and enjoy every moment. Oak Harbor bayleaf manager Cynthia Mason walked OH through some choice items for a tasty time on the water. Be the envy of your friends at the next barbecue when you unholster this Smith & Western “Whidbey Island” corkscrew, $5.99 at Island Drug.


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essentials food

fashion

beauty

home

gadgets

Eco-minded Screen print cotton T from the “But a T Save a Tree” collection, $16; Canvas tote, $15; Necklace, $12; Cotton cropped walking pants, $32; all found at Maurices.

Peaceful & playful Aviator style wrap shades, $14; Cotton print tank, $44; Orange walking pants, $58; Leather sandal, $75; all found at Casual House.

Cool & casual Wave print hoodie, $67; Turquoise leather purse, $89; Bermuda style walking shorts, $79; Leather sneaker, $146; all from Casual House.

beach walkers

Editor’s Note: Prices, styles and availability at stores listed are subject to change. Check stores for current prices, availability of products featured here, and new items. 8

July/August 2008


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ummertime in Oak Harbor brings (hopefully) sunny days and plenty of reasons to head out and enjoy a day on the water or shore. Whether you’re taking the kids out for a day in the sand and sun, strolling the beach with your sweetie, or cozying up for a deck party, you’ve got to be prepared to show your island pride. Luckily, Oak Harbor’s shops have you stylishly covered.

food

fashion

beauty

home

gadgets

Dressed for the occasion FROM LEFT: Silk shift dress in “caribbean” print, $152 at Casual House; Shift tides in this tank dress, $39 at Maurices; Sea inspired tank, $28, at Maurices; Pearl necklace, $14 & painted shell earrings, $8, at Maurices.

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food

fashion

beauty

home

gadgets

island home

Bowling for compliments Serve up some fun and island flavor with these bowls that are pretty enough to make Penn Cove Mussels blue with envy. Mussel shaped glazed bowls $19-39 at Island Drug.

After-beach eco clean up crew

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ant a cleaner that not only works, but smells great and is friendly to the environment too? Then try Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day. You’ll soon see why there’s a devout following on island and off. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Aromatherapeutic line in lemon verbena — hand lotion, $7; laundry detergent, $17; dryer sheets, $11; stain remover, $9. All found at Casual House.

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July/August 2008


Sun worshippers Even when the days are cloudy, it’s a smart move to keep your skin protected. The sun’s rays can be harsh, especially when amplified by reflecting ocean waters. Keep your skin protected and glowing all summer long.

food

fashion

beauty

home

gadgets

❉❉

Burts Bees honey lip balm, $2.99; Sunflower illuminating bronzer, $9.95; Kubuki bronzing brush, $5; Premier Value spray aloe, $3.99; Alba Organics sugar cane body polish, $10.95; Alba Organics kukui nut body cream, $11.95; Burt’s Bees aftersun soother, $9.99; Burt’s Bees SPF 30 sunscreen, $14.49. All at Island Drug.

Editor’s Note: Prices, styles and availability at stores listed are subject to change. Check stores for current prices, availability of products featured here, and new items.

July/August 2008

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Q & A

Mayor Jim Slowik

{hot seat}

‘‘

When people say you can’t change a person, or you can’t effect change, I know that’s not true.

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’’

July/August 2008

Still fresh in office, car salesman turned politico talks plans for the city’s waterfront, time with the grandkids & life as a tree jill johnson, interview ❉ cynthia woolbright, photos


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ust six months into his job as mayor, and Jim Slowik appears to be living up to his campaign backers’ predictions. “You know, we have four new members of City Council that have five months or less of experience,” he said. “The hard work they go through to make the right decisions, to learn the issues, is incredible.” It appears as if the days of council contention and division are gone, as Slowik is ableto strike a perfect balance of rule that leaves everyone feeling heard and understood. Too good to be true? Maybe. But in his core he is a man who likes balance. Take a recent lunch, at which OH Magazine contributor Jill Johnson and Slowik sat down for sushi and the mayor ordered two Oak Harbor mayor Jim Slowik fields a phone call in his office at city hall. sushi rolls — with no hint of raw fish. your biggest misconception of the job? honeymoon period. Is the honeymoon over? “I like my sushi cooked,” he laughed. JS: I’m still in the honeymoon period, so I’m JS: It’s still going. We’ve done quite a few To balance his safe choice, he applied his knocking on wood, but I expected more critithings in the fi rst fi ve months we’ve been in wasabi directly and generously. cism and I haven’t been criticized very much offi ce and some we are very, very proud of. “I like the heat.” yet. But, I’m not complaining (laughs) I am Wanting to go beyond sushi eating habits, OH: Like what? sure it’ll pick up after this. OH Magazine chose Slowik to be its first JS: We went to Olympia and were able to Q&A “hot seat” subject. So read on, and convince the legislature (with the help of our OH: So you’re looking for more criticism? get to know the new mayor a little more. local representatives) to help the City of Oak JS: Well I don’t take criticism personally. I think we need to hear it so we can see the Harbor with the upgrading of the marina. OH: Why did you decide to run for Mayor? other side of the issues. So I would like to That’s a positive thing. We also tackled the JS: I was worried about the direction of the see alternate views to some of these issues waterline downtown. That did two things. city. I knew that the city conducted business that we take on. So yes, I would like to hear First is upgrading the waterline that was put and I was good at business. Having been something from the critics. in in 1928. In some places the dirt was the exposed to the school district I watched how business was conducted there and felt that it was done in a very efficient way. So I thought I could make a difference. I find I was right. Good business practices work in any setting. OH: They call the first 90 days in office the

only thing holding the line together. It also gave us an opportunity to communicate with downtown merchants and improve on that.

OH: Describe Oak Harbor in three words. JS: A beautiful, friendly, mariner community.

OH: Most folks have imagined what they would do if they were mayor. What has been

OH: Mariner, that’s an interesting choice. JS: Whether you’re on a boat or on the

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shores of Windjammer Park, the crown jewel of Oak Harbor is our low-bank waterfront. And I think a lot of us, if we closed our eyes and thought about our town, we would see that. That’s the beauty, the harbor itself. OH: You’re known as a big reader. What book has influenced you the most? JS: That’s hard to say. I love reading books about our great presidents. I think Lincoln’s life is maybe the thing that influenced me the most. He had the strength to make decisions that completely changed the direction of the nation. When people

say you can’t change a person, or you can’t effect change, I know that’s not true. You can influence change; all you have to do is try. OH: Tell me about your typical workday. JS: Well there isn’t a typical workday. My wife, Candy, and I start each day at the gym. It’s a healthy way to go. It helps with the stress of the job and it is a chance for me to spend time with my wife every single day on a good level. OH: Do you have a vision for Oak Harbor’s waterfront? JS: It’s really a community vision. One of the things that is obvious is that we have to improve our marina, and the other is that we need to keep as much of the waterfront as possible available for public use.

OH: Favorite place for dinner? JS: Oak Harbor. OH: (laughs) Want to get more specific? JS: We go to a lot of the local, smaller, family-run restaurants. Candy and I have about five or six we like to go to and they all serve delicious food. I don’t think I could pick one. OH: What do the grandkids like to do when they come and visit? JS: Oh man, they love coming over because we spoil them! They like the parades, special events, and going downtown to Paint Your World to create little things. These are only things they do here. They wouldn’t have those moments if we lived anywhere else. OH: Are they excited that you are the mayor? JS: I don’t know, only the older ones understand. They like to be in the parade. That’s what it’s all about for them. OH: If you could change places with any modern day leader, who would it be? JS: I’m such a local guy, I love Oak Harbor and I think it’s such a great community. I don’t think I would trade being mayor. OH: How about a historical leader? JS: It would have to be an American leader. I would pick a modern American President like Reagan, Truman or Eisenhower.

It’s your turn.

Each edition OH Magazine will pick a person to put in the hot seat for some “to-the-point” Q&A. If you have suggestions for who you’d like to see be interviewed, email cwoolbright@whidbeynewstimes.com or write OH Magazine c/o the Whidbey News-Times at PO Box 10, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.

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OH: I have always wanted to be Barbara Walters so here’s my shot. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? JS: A Garry oak, of course OH: Of course


wind walkers

If

Oak Harbor sailors set sail for Race Week

you ask any Whidbey Island sailor the best time of the year to hit the water they’d say “any.” But if you ask Oak Harbor sailors Byron Skubi and Carl Freund, they’ll immediately respond “Race Week.” These local sailors are among the hundreds of crew, from near and far, that flock to Oak Harbor each July for the annual sailing regatta in Saratoga Passage. This year’s July 20-25 event has already lured close to 100 boats to register, with only more expected to sign on by race week. “Hopefully everyone’s ready for us and the grocery stores are stocked up,” Skubi said. While there’s no lure of prize money and the trophies they win will only collect dust, there’s a higher power that calls hundreds of

sailors back to Oak Harbor each year. They have salt water in their veins and a steady wind pumping through their heart. Spinnakers drift through their daydreams and they can tie bow lines in their sleep. They love the sport — and they want bragging rights. “Some moments there can be a lot of wind to try and get control over,” Skubi said. “At others you’re completely without and doing everything you can to find wind.” Whidbey Island Race Week, this year managed by Clear Ahead Marine Productions, is five days of sailing that offer a variety of winds, scenic courses, fun on shore, and great sightseeing for non-seafarers. “It’s an amazing sight to have that many boats on the water at once,” Freund said.

Pick a place on the Oak Harbor waterfront and you’ll have a vantage point of the boats. Key lookouts are also the Coupeville Wharf, Monroe Landing and Snakelum Point. One of the newer sailors to the sport is Joe Flowers, who will crew on good friend Scott Ellis’s boat “Shenanigans.” “There’s the peaceful challenge of making the boat go where you want to when the wind is calm, and then there’s the amazingly frantic pace you have to hit to run with the wind,” he said. “There’s nothing like it. you’ve got to love it.”

@

OH! There’s more! Read an extended version of this story online in the lifestyles section of www.whidbeynewstimes.com.

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July 2008

events ❉ happenings ❉ life ❉ festivals ❉ gatherings ❉ much-a-do ❉ fun Oak Harbor Lions fruit sale (ends July 4)

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Whidbey Island Camera Club, 6:30 p.m. at SVC Oak Hall

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2 9 Step away from the TV. Go enjoy the sun.

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Oak Harbor Public Market (4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays)

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July Fourth! Have fun! (City offices closed)

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Parents’ Day. Say thanks. Spoil them.

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Youth Sailing session III begins.

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Whidbey Island Race Week begins!

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Oak Harbor Whidbey Public Market Island Race Week ends.

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July 4: Old Fashioned Fourth of July parade, 11 a.m. on Pioneer Way. Celebration all day at Windjammer Park and fireworks at dusk. July 5: Comcast Outdoor Cinema at Windjammer Park, watch “A Night at the Museum.” Begins at dusk. July 11: Teen Moonlight Musical

Adventure, begins at 8:30 p.m. at the John Vanderzicht Pool. July 11: Stargazing beginning at 7 p.m. to benefit HELP House. July 12: Native American barbecue, at 6 p.m., Dugualla Bay Clubhouse. July 26: Double Float Aquatic Fun, begins at 5:30 p.m., the pool.

Barbara Lyter/Lyter Photography/Design•www.lyterphotography.com • 360-240-1202

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July/August 2008


Willy Wonka, Jr. continues at Whidbey Playhouse

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Friendship Day. Be nice.

2 23rd Annual North Whidbey Lions Car Show

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Family FloatIn & Frankfurter Fest, at 5:30 p.m. at the pool

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July 27-Aug. 10: Willy Wonka, Jr., weekends at the Whidbey Playhouse. Aug. 2 & 3: Lavender & Wind Art Festival at Lavender Wind Farm on Darst Road, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Aug. 7: Oak Harbor Public Market (4 to 7 p.m. every Thursday). Aug. 9: Challenge Series sailing . Aug. 10: Fidalgo Ave. Block Party & Pig Roast fundraiser for Red Cross. Aug. 21: August Chamber luncheon,

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Invite friends over for a luau.

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National Night Out, 4 to 8 p.m., at Windjammer Park

aug. 2008

events ❉ happenings ❉ life ❉ festivals ❉ gatherings ❉ much-a-do ❉ fun

Oak Harbor Public Market

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National Aviation Day. Wave to the planes today.

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Looking for more?

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11:30 a.m. at the Elks. Aug. 21: Chamber Afterhours, 5:30 p.m. at Whidbey Playhouse. Aug. 23: Saratoga Sprint race around Whidbey Island sponsored by the Whidbey Island Naval Sailing Association Aug. 23 & 24: Inaugural Summer Art Studio Tour on North Whidbey. Aug. 24: Fourth Annual Dog Swim, at 7:30 p.m. at Vanderzicht Memorial Pool

Oh, there’s plenty happening in town and the social calendar just keeps growing. Be sure to read the Whidbey News-Times for listing details and check the following community Web sites.

www.whidbeynewstimes.com www.oakharborchamber.com www.oakharbor.org www.whidbey.com/ohmarina/ www.oakharborpool.com http://northwhidbey.lionwap.org/ www.whidbeyislandraceweek.com www.whidbeyplayhouse.com www.whidbeyworkingartists.com www.oakharborwa.lionwap.org/ http://groups.msn.com/washing tonicas www.islandhistory.org www.whidbeyplayhouse.com www.ohyouthsailing.org

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anchor

drop

Our featured home sits right on the shore of Oak Harbor Bay and at the heart of the city. City parks, shopping and entertainment are but a walk away.

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magine having front row seats for this Friday’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Extravaganza. Now imagine having annual seats for the show and the added thrill of 365 days of wildlife entertainment. Our featured home this edition of OH Magazine is a Dillard Lane beauty in the heart of Oak Harbor. This 2,387 square foot home named “Driftwood” was designed by RO Anderson Engineering and completed by Yonkman Contruction in 2007. It’s a rare jewel, even on Whidbey, according to listing agent Geri Morgan of Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate. “Surprisingly, this is a rare property in the Oak Harbor area,” she said. “No bank waterfront is hard to find and to find it in the heart of the city, nestled in a secluded area — that’s priceless.” Morgan said that despite its front and center location, the strip of houses on Dillard Lane often goes unnoticed. “People don’t know they’re there half the time,” she said.

OH! There’s more! Read an extended version of this story online in the lifestyles section of www.whidbey newstimes.com.

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July/August 2008


“Driftwood” is luxurious, yet cozy, with an interior a wash in shades of sand and sea. “The owners chose materials that were fit for a beach house,” Morgan said. The three-bedroom, two and-a-half bath house boasts an abundance of built-ins and cabinetry. ‘Just like you’d find in a New England seaside cottage,” Morgan said. The downstairs boasts a mini-master that is perfect for visiting grandparents and an additional bedroom for guests or the kids. An open floor plan makes it perfect for entertaining and the whole house is wired for sound. The neighborhood is a desirable location that makes people keep tabs on vacancies. “I had one person want to move into a

AT LEFT: Inside and out, the Dillard Lane home aptly named “Driftwood” is a wash in shades of sea and sand. BELOW: The master suit balcony gives a glorious panoramic view of Oak Harbor Bay and mountains in the distance.

house but just missed being able to buy it,” Morgan said. “When the house went back on the market years later they jumped on the opportunity.” The house is next-door neighbors with Windjammer Park and a short walk from shopping, restaurants and entertainment “It’s close to everything,” Morgan said. Later this month Race Week will be right in the back yard waters of Saratoga Passage. “It’s first rate,” Morgan said. “You find you have lots of friends when summer rolls around and every day feels like a vacation.”

on the

home front

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ne of the perks of living on Whidbey Island is the luxury of beachfront property. Seaside cottages allow you to walk out your door and be steps from the water. Canal communities allow residents to tie up and moor right in their own backyard. Undeniably, there’s nothing like it. Breathtaking views are neverending. The wildlife is always entertaining. There’s always recreation opportunities. And for some reason, everyone keeps inviting themselves over to your house. Welcome to beach house living.

West Beach - $739,000 Details: 2029 West Beach Road; 3,276 sq. feet; 2 beds, 2.5 baths; built in 1999. Selling Points: Two-car garage, spectacular views, 93 feet of high bank waterfront, and formal gardens. Listed by: Jim Konopik, Windermere, 675-5953 or kono@ windermere.com.

Mariners Cove, $699,900 Details: 2251 Mariner Beach Drive; 2359 sq. feet; 2 beds, 2.5 baths; built in 2004. Selling Points: Premiere home in canal community, double lot, great view, moorage and dock rights. Listed by: Joseph Marvin, Windermere, 675-5953 or joemarvin@boatcommunities. com. July/August 2008 19


beacons bearings&

business ❉ real estate ❉ loose talk ❉ what’s hot

cut&run

‘‘

I’m a fan of government running like a businesses.

’’

But did we really need to model our ferries after

commerical airlines? Reservations, cancellations, delays? -JILL JOHNSON, executive director, greater oak harbor chamber

{fathom this}

• The worst pollution in Puget Sound comes from our storm water. 40% of Puget Sound’s commercial shellfish beds and many recreational areas are closed or restricted due to degraded water quality. • There are an estimated 15,420 dogs in Island County. They excrete roughly 2.5 tons of waste daily. Please, pick up after your pet. • One motor oil drip per minute is equal to 32 pints per year. 32 pints could cause a 64 acre oil slick. If you car leaks oil, fix the leaks, or put absorbent material under it when it’s parked. • In Oak Harbor there’s numerous fundraising car washes throughout the summer months. ll the grease, grime and soapy water flood the bay with pollutants. The city has car wash kits to loan that make these fundraisers more eco-friendly. • The city’s Web site has a brochure on storm water discharge and car wash fundraisers, and a video that shows what’s in a kit and how simple it is to set it up. Visit http://www.oakharbor.org/pages. cfm?id=13&pid=89 -Source: Maribeth Crandell, Environmental Educator with Oak Harbor Public Works.

• 816 cameras • 1,014 cell phones • 800 DVD players • 966 home computers • 578 televisions • 1,054 coats 20

July/August 2008

• 990 pieces of jewelry • 2,884 pairs of men’s shoes • 634 new cars • 729 golf clubs • 87 skateboard • 776 doors

• 879 windows • 190 dance lessons • 475 kitchen cabinets • 214 generators • 515 microwaves • 261 video games

• 863 fences • 840 decks • 341 hot tubs • 776 mattresses -Source: Pulse Research 2006 market data for Whidbey News-Times readership

tides&currents

What are we buying? (in a year)


local{e}grown

Shimmering success

FROM TOP: Kelsea Donnell has found success with her glass jewelry. A lovely pair of glass bead earrings. A striking fused glass pendant.

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OH! There’s more! Read an extended version of this story online in the lifestyles section of www.whidbeynewstimes.com.

Kelsea Donnell turns glass castoffs into colorful creations

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or one 24-year-old Oak Harbor native, life is lived at hundreds of degrees. Her eyes sparkle like glass. Her future is boundless and her spirits high. It’s no surprise that Kelsea Donnell has found success with her business and Web site of the same name, Kelsea’s Creations by the Sea. Her fused glass pins and necklaces are delectable to the eyes and glass bead earrings addictively wearable. Passion for glass is in her genes. Her father, Clark Donnell began blowing glass a few years ago and has been basking in the glow of fire ever since. Walk into the Donnell home and be transported into the city’s own little glass museum. Every shelf, table, nook and cranny proudly display Clark Donnell’s fragile art. “Each time he goes he breaks atleast one piece,” said Joan Donnell, Kelsea’s mom. “When we went to watch him we started picking up the shards and soon wondered if we could do something with them.” Everyday is an artistic adventure for Kelsea. She sits for hours at her kitchen table overlooking the waterfront. Her father sometimes sidles up to join in piecing together the tiny stacks of glass that are then fired to new life. “I’ve cut my hands so many times,” she said. “But it’s so much fun.” {continued on page 23}

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Crow’s Nest

Best of Whidbey 2008 Awards announcement @ June 19 OH Chamber Luncheon

Some magazines may claim to have a “culture vulture” on staff, but not here at OH Magazine. In this seaside town we give you a glimpse from the crow’s nest — the perch at the tip top of our ship with a view of it all. The Crow’s Nest is where you’ll find photos of local events and gatherings you won’t find anywhere else. This month, OH Magazine was there when the 2008 Best of Whidbey winners were announced during the June 19 Oak Harbor Chamber luncheon at the Elks Lodge.

AT LEFT: Whidbey Island Bank branch manager Kari Holmly strides up to the podium to accept the bank’s plaque for Best Financial Institution. BELOW: Whidbey NewsTimes publisher Marcia Van Dyke gives Frasers Gourmet Hideaway owner Scott Fraser some mic time. He told the crowd of the high school culinary program’s recent top ten finish at nationals. Frasers took honors for Best All-Around Dining, Place to Take a Date, and Romantic Dinner Spot.

AT RIGHT: There was plenty of mixing, mingling and networking before the Chamber luncheon got underway. Marta Page of Farmers Insurance, at right, makes sure to say hello to Chamber ambassador Jacki Wyatt of ReMax/ Acorn Properties. AT RIGHT, TOP: Jo Balda, Whidbey’s vote for best community volunteer, is all smiles as she fills out name tags for arriving guests. RIGHT: Saratoga Community Housing executive director Sandra Stipe talks to the crowd about her organization’s mission. To learn more about the non-profit working to build affordable housing on Whidbey, visit www.saratogacommunityhousing.org. FAR LEFT: State Rep. Norma Smith was among the special guests at the lunch. The Crow’s Nest spotted Smith graciously pulling out her checkbook to write out a contribution immediately after hearing Saratoga Community Housing director Sandra Stipe share the message of the non-profit. Way to go Norma! AT LEFT: Safeway Head Checker Teresa Stump happened to be in the audience and cheerfully accepted Safeway’s awards for Best Bakery, Best Deli, and Best Grocery Store. “Thank you for shopping there, I really appreciate it.” Stump’s husband, John, is the Safeway bakery manager.

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July/August 2008

OH Magazine welcomes suggestions and submissions for Crow’s Nest coverage. Contact editor Cynthia Woolbright at 675-6611 or e-mail cwoolbright@whidbeynewstimes.com.


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Kelsea’s Web site was a Skagit Valley College assignment that has grown into a permanent avenue for her jewelry sales. Word of mouth is fast moving about this young woman’s talented pension for creating one-of-a-kind gems. “It’s fun to know that my jewelry is all over the country and even in other countries,” Kelsea said. Kelsea’s creations are truly treasures from this remarkable young woman who has already overcome so much, having been born with spinabifida, a birth defect that causes an

opening in the spine. On Donnell’s site, she explains that her spinabifida keeps her from driving a car, running a race, or even standing for more than a few seconds. “I can, however, swim like a fish, ski (with the right equipment) and make beautiful hand-made glass jewelry,” she writes. “I decided years ago to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t.” Kelsea’s newest aspiration? She hopes to head to next year’s Country Music Festival (formerly known as FanFare) in Nashville, Tenn., and take some of her jewelry with her.

more {e} stores • A Knot in Thyme www.aknotinthyme.com • All Quality Stitches www.allqualitystitches.com • Bayview Embroidery ‘N Print www.whidbeyislandgifts.com • Bella Vé www.bellavebeauty.com • Captured Moments www.capturemymoments.com

• Citrusolution Cleaning www.citrusolutionswest.com • Feather Duster www.ohfeatherduster.com • Gene’s Art & Frame www.genesartframing.com • Hummingbird Farm & Garden www.hummingbirdfarmnursery.com • Hunni Bunni Creations www.hunnibunnicreations.com

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OH! We want to know! OH Magazine wants to link local e-commerce with Oak H Harbor customers. If you have a Web site for your business, contact Cynthia Woolbright at 675-6611 or cwoolbright@whidbeynewstimes.com.

Watch out Oak Harbor, this artist and her trendy art jewelry have gone country. Better claim her as ours while we can.

• Island Signs www.custombuiltsigns.com • James Geddes Photography www.takeyourbestshot.com • Lavendar Wind Farm www.lavendarwind.com • Lyter Photography/Design www.lyterphotography.com • Midway Florist www.midwayflorist.com • Pendleton Imaging www.pendletonimaging.com • Riney Production Services

rineyproductionservices.com • Seabolt’s Smokehouse www.seabolts.com • Sports Sketch www.sportssketch.com • Sunset Kennel www.sunsetkennel.com • Greenhouse Florist & Nursery www.thegreenhousefandn.com • Whidbey Beers Works www.whidbeybeerworks.com • Wildwood Farm www.wildwoodfarm.com

July/August 2008

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OH Magazine | July-August 2008