Articles by Cliff Howard

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This Saturday, October 10, at 9:00 AM at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge,  the Island County Republican Party will be training its Precinct Committee Officers and others interested in helping at our caucus which will be held in February 2016.

Caucus is the first step in having your voice heard on a state and national level and also in becoming a delegate to your county convention, which could lead to your being a delegate at State and then National convention.

We need helpers in many capacities for this event.  Things like efficiently checking folks in, running the individual precinct meeting,  (which are held in 3 different locations around our county), helping with speakers and just making sure things run smoothly in general.

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Whidbey Daily News, By Original article

A shortfall of funding and staffing at the Island County Sheriff’s Office is leading to a lack of crucial policy updates, security measures and long-term planning, according to a report released this week by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

The voluntary review, sought by county’s Law and Justice Council to both improve the department and move closer toward accreditation, has been long in coming. Island County Sheriff Mark Brown had requested the assessment since he took office nine years ago, but budget constraints have prevented it.

Commissioner Rick Hannold, who serves on the Law and Justice Council, said the report reflected the issues he expected to see and said he was confident the sheriff and the Council would be able to address the issues listed.

Read the original article at Whidbey Daily News

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With the recent news that the Friends of Swan/Bos Lake wish to place the Fakkema Farm into a conservation easement to lock up this land from development we need to ask ourselves whether the Conservation Futures program has gone too far. We live on an Island that is already home to more state parks than any other county in the state and with much of our land locked away by already being in parks, cities and military installations what is left?

Island County has a total land acreage of 133408 acres, of that 133408 acres we have 8012 acres under the control of the cities of Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Langley, Freeland* and Clinton*. This leaves 125396 acres under county control. When you add in Whidbey NAS with a total of 8000 acres you end up with 117396 acres. With the addition of the many state parks we have here on Whidbey that total figure drops to 111085 acres under control of Island County.

The above figure does not include already existing county parks land and the parks and facilities built by the individual cities. The above figures also do not reflect the land we have under wetlands and critical areas in the county and that are undevelopable.

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An interesting video and website with information concerning resettlement of people from countries that have not been good friends with the United States. There is a lot of concern over the funding of these refugees and the potential of refugees coming to the United States that wish to undermine and damage our way of life.

Refugees have been a major topic in the recent political debates thanks to Donald Trump, it is time that we all look at what our Federal Government is doing with our tax dollars and just who is allowed into our country.

You can view more information at:

Refugee Resettlement Watch

and view Ann Corcoran’ video after the page break.

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The supposed “preservation” group called “Swan Lake Watershed “Preservation” Group” headed by our ex county commissioner Angie Homola is at it again with more new demands placed on area landowners.

The Fakkema Farm has applied for a logging permit to log their acreage on North Whidbey unfortunately they have a group of relative newcomers to the Island that wish to stop this in the name of preservation.

We have seen in the past how this group has attempted, under the name of “preservation”, to rebuild the area surrounding Bos/Swan lake to suit their concept of an idyllic watershed blessed by man using any and all funding sources available.

Their last attempt at rewriting history was when the county was rewriting the GMA plan Angie Homola attempted to insert wording into the GMA plan that would have made Bos/Swan lake and the drainage ditch that feeds it a salmonid stream. This would have made the “restoration” of Bos/Swan lake available for state funding to preserve existing and historic salmonids stream in an attempt to recover salmon rearing areas and boost salmon recovery in the state. The problem was that there has never been any history of any salmon ever being in Swan/Bos lake or in the ditch that is now called Swantown Creek.  Several hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds were spent proving what we already know, Bos/Swan lake has no salmonids in it. Read about that attempt here

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I have chosen to put my name on the ballot because of my training, background, education, personality and ability to solve the problems that we face. Problems such as conflict at the Mayor/ Council relationship, major engineering projects such as the Waste Water Treatment plant, morale at the staff level, the future of our city in the coming years and our relationship with the Navy. If you evaluate my background you will agree that I am the best candidate the citizens of Oak Harbor have to choose from on this ballot.
My background is:
I am a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer
After retirement from the Navy I worked for Lockheed Martin on the Trident II Missile program. Trident II is a submarine launched missile. I worked in Publications, Engineering, Program Management in Sunnyvale CA, Liaison to the Navy in Washington DC and finished my career there as Senior Manager doing Liaison to the Royal Navy on their missile program in Helensburgh, Scotland.

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Please mark the 2nd Annual Western Washington Republican Round-Up on your calendar for OCTOBER 10, 2015! And it will be at the same place, the Elks Club in Oak Harbor, 155 NE Ernst St., Oak Harbor.

Be prepared for an ALL  STAR Lineup! Our special Guest Speaker is Bill Bryant, Candidate for Governor of the State of Washington. Currently, Bill is on the City of Seattle Port Commission, and is a former President of that organization. As a life-long resident of Washington, you’ll have to come and hear for yourself all about his history of successful business ventures and his vision for Washington State under Bill Bryant, Governor!

We also have Fredi Simpson, National Committeewoman for the Washington State Republican Party. Fredi has been to Island County many times before and always brings us the update on what’s happening with the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C.  And, with all the candidates vying for President, there will be plenty to hear! In addition to her work with the National Committee, Fredi is active with the Washington Federation of Republican Women and makes frequent appearances at their local meetings.

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Greetings to Island Politics Posters and Readers:

The primary election results showed that I am a serious and electable candidate. I wish to thank those of you who have warmly welcomed my entry into politics. I currently hold about a 1,000 vote lead over incumbent Georgia Gardner; the two of us will move on to compete in November. I lead in North, Central, and South Whidbey precincts, and in Oak Harbor too—32 of 37 precincts overall!

This is a non-partisan office, and it is seldom we have these elections contested. I don’t believe that running a hospital in a business-like manner has much to do with political ideologies, though I will definitely apply my conservative principles to the job. I’m running because our hospital is broken, and is still reeling from 6 ½ years of bad (but thankfully past) administration. We are in crisis, and we need resolute leadership to fix things.

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Whidbey Daily News, By
Original article


A federal judge has denied the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve’s request to compel the Navy to temporarily stop touch-and-go operations at Outlying Field Coupeville.

In a lawsuit filed by COER in 2013, the group demanded that the courts force the Navy to stop the training for the EA-18G Growler until an ongoing Environmental Impact Statement could be completed. The EIS is scheduled for completion in 2017.

For the last few years, COER has advocated against the Navy’s flight of the Growler over residential areas, arguing that the electronic attack aircraft is too loud and causes mental and physical health issues.

Read the original article at Whidbey Daily News

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Election coming, filing deadline near.

Law and Justice meeting held.

Sheriff declares an “emergency”

Interesting timing to say the least.

The video below was from 2013 and is not current. It was listed as a new news article in my Google News feed so I bit on it…

Mark Your Calendars!!! September 11, 2015 – RSVP to Butch Bailey:

 Let’s All Support

SENATOR Barbara Bailey

and have FUN!!!

Barbara’s Annual Golf Tournament

Friday, September 11, 2015

Whidbey Golf Club, Oak Harbor, WA

9:30 AM Registration 11:00 AM Shotgun Start

$135 Entry Fee includes Golf, Continental Breakfast,

Box Lunch, Snacks and Hors d’oeuvres

For information contact :

Butch Bailey, Golf Chair. Phone: 360-661-5372


 Entry Form

Event Flyer



Updated 8-5-15

Next ballot count will be on 08/18/2015 12:00 PM which is the certification date.

Total ballots counted so far- 15,813

PUBLIC HOSPITAL DIST Commissioner, Position 2
Robert (Rob) Born  46.78%
Georgia Gardner  37.51%
Rita Bartell Drum   15.71%

Bob Severns  52.76%
Jim Campbell  35.73%
Martha Yount   11.52%

Tim Callison  43.76%
Sharon Emerson  39.91%
Thomas E. Gill  16.33%

FIRE DISTRICT NO 1 Proposition 1
Yes  86.08%
No 13.92%

For complete election results please visit:


We have a new news media source here on the Island that will give some competition for our out of town syndicated papers. It is called Whidbey Daily News. We had 3 print and online newspapers that served Whidbey, all of them are owned by the same out of town conglomerate Black Press/Sound Publishing. We now have a new locally owned online newspaper that hopefully will give a little better and different coverage on some of the issues we have here on the Island and be more responsive to the our needs. In the future we may even see them produce a print edition for those that prefer a traditional newspaper. Advertising dollars spent with this new publication will stay here on the Island.

Whidbey Daily News is a local news source that was started by Janis Reid a former employee and reporter with the Whidbey News Times to provide news stories of public interest and support our local Whidbey Island businesses.

Janis Reid is joined by Kathy Reed, an award winning writer and former head of our local Oak Harbor Chamber, Kelly Pantoleon a local Oak Harbor High graduate and John B Greet a retired police Sergeant from Southern California who now lives on Whidbey Island.
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The Board of Island County Commissioners is looking for interested individuals to serve on the Ferry Advisory Committee for a 4 year term.

Read the complete press release here

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The new Island County fireworks ordinance was debated at the Commissioners workshop on Wednesday the 15 of July. It was a great discussion among the commissioners and it was heartening to hear the comments Commissioner Rick Hannold made. Apparently the public had made their voice heard to our Commissioner and he listened. This is a great lesson in public involvement where citizens spoke up and our leaders listened and the results were a good outcome for all.

The decision that the Commissioners made was to craft our code to allow our county fire marshall (The Sheriff) to ban personal fireworks in time of fire danger and during fire bans. This is a good compromise and I do not believe that anyone will complain about a ban on fireworks during extremely dry conditions. This is a safety issue and this is exactly the type of actions that we wish to see our Commissioners make. Safety should be one of the primary issues our Commissioners use to make their decisions, this is what they are there for and making reasonable actions over safety issues is something we all need. Read the rest of this entry »

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