Author: Kate Poss | With Photos by David Welton

Kate Poss This Is Whidbey was founded by Kate Poss for readers who are interested in cultivating our island’s quality of life, including its land, sea, and air; its people, plants, and animals; and the bodies, minds, and spirits of its inhabitants. You may know Kate from her work in island libraries through May of 2016. Her background includes a career in newspaper reporting in Los Angeles for various weeklies and dailies, including The Los Angeles Times. She was a frequent contributor to the online Whidbey Life Magazine and still writes for the biannual print magazine. David Welton Stories are highlighted by David Welton’s excellent photography. David is a retired physician who was a staff photographer for Whidbey Life Magazine since its early days. His work has also appeared in museums, art galleries, newspapers, regional and national magazines, books, nonprofit publicity, and on the back of the Whidbey Sea-Tac Shuttle!

Though she was born and raised on South Whidbey, it wasn’t until she went away to school that Anne Madsen discovered her affinity for roping and rodeo. Four years after graduation, she’s back home, and hosting a rodeo at the Whidbey Island Fair, Friday, July 26 at 6 PM. “Last year the fair asked me to put on a roping clinic,” Madsen said. “I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I called the kids in my roping class—there was a huge interest, and we had a big turnout. They said we need to figure out how to get a rodeo going. This year, I…

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Note: all photos by David Welton, unless otherwise noted. Nancy Thelen, a South Whidbey local since she was 10, is this year’s manager of the Whidbey Island Fair. The fair celebrates its 99th year, and runs from July 25-July 28. Thelen’s office is located in the Island County Fair Building, one of the original structures built by the Works Progress Administration during the post-Depression years of the 1930s. Carol Coble, who served as fair manager from 2015 until this spring, said: “I would say that she is a welcome addition to the fair organization! Nancy has lots of good ideas.…

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This summer we can help fund affordable housing while enjoying concerts by talented local musicians. The Rootstock Concert Series features music by the Shifty Sailors, and Rob Harris and Russell Clepper of the Porch Brothers July 7 at a Mutiny Bay home. The Heggenes Valley Band performs at the Chicken Barn Aug. 31, and Ike and The Old Man will play at Bayview Hall Sept. 15. Visit this webpage for more information. The summer concerts benefit Island Roots Housing, a nonprofit which was created in 2022. Rose Hughes, managing director of Island Roots Housing, explained that its focus is on…

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It is most energizing to be among folks who gather and empower others to be their best selves. The South Whidbey Pride Parade June 22 brought together businesses, churches, drag queens, schools, libraries, organic farms and rainbow-clad people and dogs to celebrate diversity. David Welton took these excellent photos of a memorable day when the weather gods cooperated and speeches were genuinely heartfelt. Being among 450 parade participants, hugging the good folks of our community, made my day. Meander Dance Collective Faces in the Parade Trinity Lutheran Church A rainbow White House Crocheted artistry Dachshunds show their colors Whidbey Island…

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Folks suffering from neurohealth disorders may be interested in exploring treatment using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). The Breathing Space Counseling Clinic in Freeland offers TMS treatment using NeuroStar technology, an advanced therapy used for treating depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders, among other illnesses. Paula Lintin, LMHC, LPCC, serves as the CEO/Clinical Director of the Breathing Space Counseling Clinic. She has more than 30 years’ experience working in hospitals and in private practice, treating trauma, psychiatric assessment and crisis intervention. She moved her former Kirkland practice to Freeland in August 2023. “I have an interest in alternative treatments,” Lintin said,…

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Celebrating its 25th year of hosting a regional campout at the Whidbey Institute for fourth grade students, the Whidbey Island Waldorf School and other schools paid homage to the original people of the Salish Sea. Students from other Waldorf schools, including Bellingham, Bellevue, Port Townsend, three Seattle-area schools, Sandpoint, Idaho, and home-schooled students were invited to participate in the three day event last May. The gathering’s name has evolved from what it was once called, Potlatch, to include a description of the south and central coast Tulalip people including the Lower Skagit, Swinomish, Suquamish, and Snohomish tribes. The event has…

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Note: I enjoy posting stories about Doe Stahr’s art.  Here’s her story about how her art wove its way into our near summer celebration. Doe’s ‘event décor’ gave this year’s Whidbey Ren Faire its genus loci. Look for some of her Ren Faire’s inspirations on display in the main room at the Bayview Cash Store. Photos shared/taken by Doe Stahr, unless otherwise noted. The Art of Whidbey Ren Faire (a wee bit of it) By Doe Stahr and excellent volunteers. 18 years ago, when Lord of the Rings was all the rage, a close friend introduced my daughter to Ren…

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Whidbey Island Garden Tour’s annual event Saturday June 22, from 10 AM to 4 PM, offers a peek at some of our island’s most delightful gardens, some of which include art studios. Ticket proceeds support groups such as 2023 grant recipients: Good Cheer, South Whidbey School District, South Whidbey Commons, Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens, Price Sculpture Park, and Readiness to Learn. Since the non-profit’s inception more than 25 years ago, the tour and its sponsors have raised more than half a million dollars, whose proceeds benefit community organizations. Five gardens that opened their homes to the public this year include: A…

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We visit our daughter Gillian about three times a year. She lives in Corvallis and works at Les Schwab in Philomath. She enjoys trouble shooting car problems and telling stories about her interesting work life. We camp at the Benton Oaks RV Park at the Benton County Fairgrounds. This time, we camped in site #27 with a view of Oregon white oaks rising out of the meadow dotted with English daisies. Camp spaces are angled in this part of the campground, have full hookups, and we were fortunate to have a site that did not look directly into our neighbor’s…

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Our Langley Library is undergoing the largest remodel in its hundred year history. Construction began in March, and is expected to be completed within a year. Rest assured, the building’s exterior will maintain its historic appeal. Last week I donned a hard hat, safety vest and closed-toe shoes to tour and report on the progress made by Valdez Construction, the contractor selected for the library’s construction project. My tour guide was Chy Ross, Langley Library’s project manager, with the official title of Sno-Isle Library’s assistant director of capital strategy. Joining him were Kaley Costello, Langley Library’s manager, and Katie Leone,…

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