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!

The public is invited to a book launch of  Hometown Heroes Volume 2, Sunday, October 23 upstairs at the Bayview Cash Store. The book is a collection of stories once published in the South Whidbey Record by a local woman who wrote about the every day heroes in our midst. Susan Knickerbocker, author of the popular series, was struck with inspiration for Hometown Heroes at 2 a.m. in March 1995. She drove to the South Whidbey Record’s office and pitched her idea to then-editor Jim Larsen. Larsen told her she would have to write the series, since the paper lacked…

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Note: all photos in this story are shared by Heather Johnson and taken by David Stern. I have always felt at home with Heather Johnson. I first met her when she helped direct the Whidbey Institute, a place that complimented her progressive and compassionate approach to living.  The campus in the woods hosts retreats, conferences and workshops, which introduces tools for a better life, a better community and a better planet. Heather’s work enriched the community for the past dozen years. I was once a sometimes caterer for little retreats of 20 or less at the Whidbey Institute and came…

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October is Civility Month. Civility First, a grass roots movement promoting courteous private and public dialogue, is hosting a number of workshops and an art contest. Note: After this story was published I, Kate, had an opportunity to practice the skills I learned from last week’s conversation on September 28. While waiting in the service lounge at Frontier Ford in Anacortes October 4, a woman engaged us in conversation. It began with her wanting to turn on the dark tv in the room. She asked if we would mind if she watched the news. We told her we would mind,…

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David Welton was in his element Sept. 21-25, shooting photos of musicians gathered for the 22nd annual DjangoFest NW 2022. Whidbey Island Center for the Arts hosts and produces the festival, which draws international bands, and local talent such as Hot Club of Troy. French-Romani jazz musician Jean ‘Django’ Reinhardt was born January 23, 1910, and went on to create a legacy as a premier jazz guitarist. His work is celebrated in festivals worldwide, including Langley’s annual DjangoFest NW. Ours is a festive event with musicians playing at local cafes, the sound of Paris in the air. Django’s unique…

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If Coyla Shepard could make wishes come true, buyers with deep pockets would appear with a million dollars to buy the properties on either side of THINC, the first tiny home village in Langley. Tiny Homes in the Name of Christ, or THINC, a non-profit founded more than five years ago, will provide nine tiny homes for Whidbey’s residents challenged with finding affordable places to live. One of the 264-square-foot homes is nearly complete and six others of the same size are under construction. Providing affordable housing for everyday workers is among the highest priorities facing the City of Langley…

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Kevin Hurtley was working in Alaska last February when he read a story in the South Whidbey Record about a Husky-mix dog named Trek who needed a home. He phoned his wife Kathryn Hurtley on Whidbey Island and mentioned how the dog’s wild, blue-eyed gaze had struck a deep cord.  Kathryn Hurtley then learned that the young feral dog, his siblings and mother, were found in 2021, barely surviving, emaciated and flea-ridden, in an eastern Washington cornfield. Red Waggin’ Rescue, a non-profit pet rescue service, found the dogs and looked for folks to foster them. Soon after, Lyn Kiernan, a…

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Seeking to raise awareness of and take immediate action on global climate threats Earth is facing, United Student Leaders-Whidbey Island asked Island County Commissioners to pass a climate emergency declaration at its board meeting Sept. 6. USL is a youth-led social and climate justice organization which formed in 2019. Their influence led to an expanded curriculum, which included new ethnic studies, environmental science classes, and a broader sex education class, which covers a spectrum of orientations. Additionally, the students successfully petitioned the City of Langley to declare a climate emergency. As a result, the city created a Climate Crisis Action…

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Spending time with artist Kéké Cribbs is like breathing fresh air you didn’t know you needed.  It was seeing Kéké’s recent photos posted on Facebook of her ‘Persephone’ glass art that brought us together for this story. In her post, she notes the piece was finished, packed, and shipped to a California art museum for its upcoming show, “Transformations in Glass: Vitreous Funk, Fantasy, and Light.”  The Claremont-Lewis Museum of Art in Claremont CA will host the retrospective October 5 through February 5, 2023. The exhibition celebrates the art of Vitreous—Richard Marquis, an internationally acclaimed glass artist; Fantasy—Kéké Cribbs, who,…

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Update! About 70 members of the community took a peek at Langley Library’s proposed remodel and design at a community meeting Aug. 30 at 6:30 pm.  Sno-Isle Library staff and MSR Design, an architectural team which designs libraries, presented a conceptual plan, which incorporates community input. Plans are to update the Langley Library with improved accessibility, improved energy efficiency, a meeting room, an additional restroom, plus additional space downstairs for browsing, and quiet areas. The library’s update will preserve the historic aspects of the building. Preliminary design of the library can be found here. MSR Design is a national leader…

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Raising funds to empower South Whidbey women toward reaching their goals, Soroptimists International of South Whidbey Island will host its second annual Whidbey Women & Art Benefit Show & Sale Sept. 3-4 at Dancing Fish Vineyard in Freeland. The show is a win-win for the artists, the Soroptimist Club and the winery: artists sell and show their work, the club charges a booth rental fee, which goes towards its scholarship funds; and Dancing Fish wines and fare can be sampled.  “Dancing Fish is hosting us at no cost,” said Elin Waldal, SISWI club president. “Its new owners will carry on…

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