Articles by Cliff Howard

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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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ROBSRobert “Rob” J. Born is a long-time resident of Whidbey Island and lives in Green-bank. An attorney by profession, he recently retired and is now dedicated to bringing badly needed reform policies to the administration of Whidbey General Hospital. He is running to be elected for Commissioner of District 2, a non-partisan 6-year term.

As most of us know, Whidbey General has been in crises almost continually for over seven years. The hospital has suffered a high rate of staff turnover, irresponsible planning and spending. With an annual budget of approximately $100 Million, Born maintains, “it is not being run in a professional and business-like manner.”

The general public as well as many of the media outlets in Island County have called for greater transparency from the hospital’s Board. Rob says, “Currently the Board operates as one like-minded unit and as a rubber stamp for the hospital administration. I don’t think there has been a dissenting vote at a Board meeting since 2008.” He adds that the Board needs “to act as a scrupulous overseer of hospital doings.”

While the Hospital’s by-laws provide for 5 elected Commissioners, only one of the incumbents has participated in a contested Board election—the reason being that when one Commissioner resigns before his or her term is expired, the remaining Commissioners appoint someone to fill the vacancy. No small wonder they think alike. Please join us for this very important discussion!

Visit Rob Borns blog here

Visit Rob Borns campaign website here

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Or…How to screw the taxpayer and get away scott free with the help of friends in high places.

Inaccurate recording and documentation of vacation times by her staff leads to no charges against Marth Rose.

From the decision:

“It appears that you were unable to locate any paper trail documenting how Ms. Rose verified her usage (or non-usage) of leave time. In all likelihood that is because such paper work simply does not exist, and never did. Likewise, your witness interviews did not reveal evidence that Ms. Rose violated the law by directing subordinates to make unlawful claims for compensation. The complete lack of information is, in my opinion, a result of very loose policies which, in turn, permitted high-level employees to take vacations without decreasing their vacation leave banks, and not violate IT policies by doing so.

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Really? At the last Island County Board of Commissioners workshop there was a discussion concerning the use of fireworks in Island County. It is more than a little surprising that one our supposedly conservative commissioners is whole heartedly supporting a complete ban on the personal use of fireworks.
Fireworks are the way Americans have celebrated the birth of our country for close to 200 years, now we are seeing a few disgruntled people lobbying our commissioners to place an outright ban on the personal use of fireworks. I would venture to say that if this issue were put to a vote of the people the people would reject a ban on fireworks outright. We have recently had one of the driest years on record and what damage was caused by fireworks? We had a few small fires with no major conflagrations and to my knowledge we never have here on the Islands. This is only an issue to a few people who have lobbied and complained to the commissioners so that they can have peace and quiet for a few days around the 4th of July and New Years. Maybe they should lobby the commissioners to stop thunder and lightening also as this is just as noisey as fireworks.

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This is the official newsletter of the Republicans of Island County, published bi-monthly.

The Republicans of Island County is not the official Republican Party in Island County, it is an organization that supports conservative values and education.

Read The Liberty Bell here

 

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On June 2nd 2015 the City Of Oak Harbor City Council placed an item on the agenda that was pushed by our homosexual Council member Tara Hizon.

It was a proclamation about LGBT rights and proclaims that Oak Harbor supports the LGBT community.

You can read the proclamation here.

The 6th Whereas of this proclamation was based on a lie and not one person who signed this proclamation even did the due diligence to check and see if this included Whereas was factual.

The 6th Whereas states as follows:

“Oak Harbor voted in favor of marriage equality when R-74 was placed on the ballot, and supports our local high school and college Gay/Straight alliance clubs when they march in our parades.”

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From: KING 5 June 10, 2015
By: Glenn Farley

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, the commander of U.S. Naval Air Forces, says the future of NAS Whidbey Island is on solid ground.

“I think we’re on a pretty good footing with the value of this base and its existence for years to come,” said Shoemaker in a meeting with several news outlets, including KING 5 News.

There has been renewed anxiety about the future of the base with growing budget pressures in Washington, D.C. Oak Harbor and other Whidbey Island communities have been concerned that all or even parts of the base could be closed in a new round of base closures.

Read the rest of the article here:
http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2015/06/10/nas-whidbey-future/71044074/

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RIC_LOGOSCaucus to Convention!

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A workshop for people like you who want to see intelligent change in local and national government!

“So …”, you ask, “What’s a ‘caucus’ about, why should I care and why should I go? Besides, no-body cares what I think. Nobody listens to ‘little guys’ like me. It’s all decided by the people with money!”

If those comments sounds like you or someone you know, YOU need to come to this workshop and bring the skeptical one along!

“Caucus to Convention” was created especially to help you understand how politics begins at the grassroots levels … in neighborhoods, over the backyard fence, sharing coffee. It starts with a conversation where you find common ground – where you agree and where you disagree.

“Caucus to Convention” begins with neighbors meeting together, either in someone’s home or at an agreed-upon community meeting place. Our workshop then follows the path from the neigh-borhood to the County Convention … to the State Convention and on to the grand finale … the Re-publican National Convention where the delegates from all over the US nominate the Party’s offi-cial candidate for President of the United States!

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Reminder! RSVP by Saturday, May 16th!  We need an exact lunch count.  Thank you! See you there!

Please join South Whidbey Republican Women

* Tuesday, May 19th *

11:30 a.m. Useless Bay Golf and Country Club

A  conversation  with  your elected Island County Officials

DON’T MISS THIS!

Assessor Mary Engle

Auditor Sheila Crider

Treasurer Wanda Grone

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About Erika:

Erika believes it’s time for change on our Hospital Board.  With the hospital’s new CEO’s recent hiring,  Erika is hopeful that Ms Forbes will bring new ideas and needed improvements to our hospital, and is very excited to join her as a board member to help make some of these much needed changes.  It’s time for the status quo, to go.  The failed policies at Whidbey General are responsible for the loss of confidence of the community which results in so many leaving the island for their healthcare.   It is further evidenced by the high turnover rate of employees, from the administrative staff to medical team.  A close look at these issues as well as the fiscal failure of the hospital are in immediate need, by a new Board with new ideas that work.  Our community needs and deserves a world class medical facility of their own on our island with state of the art technology and top notch staff.  The policies of the hospital must focus on the needs of the patients in the community, including showing compassion, from the long waits in the ER to the billing and collection practices.  Erika has the passion required and will work relentlessly to cause the much needed changes our community deserves.

 

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Mayor Scott Dudley has given notice that he will not be running for reelection. This is a very sad day for Oak Harbor and for a Mayor that has given his all for our city and its residents.

From the start of Mayor Dudley’s term he was undermined by the City Council. Remember the one way street fiasco? The fiasco that city residents are still paying for in their utility bills? That was the reason the City Council gave for falsely claiming a fiscal emergency for our city. Interesting that this fiscal emergency only effected the Mayor’s office. The Council decided to lower the amount the Mayor could spend to $10,000.00 without City Council approval. It was not the Mayors fault that the city found Native American bones during this project, the mayor fought against this project to no avail but it was him and his office that was the one that was directly affected.

Remember when the council removed the power for the Mayor to hire his own staff and department heads without city council approval? They made it impossible for the mayor to hire those that he felt would be great personnel for the city and the City Council fought every one of his appointments. It was all about politics for them not what is right for the city.

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I was asked four years ago to run for mayor of the City of Oak Harbor since our existing mayor and city council were not listening to the citizens of Oak Harbor during the Pioneer Way project. I did run for mayor and was overwhelmingly elected.

I have not forgotten who I work for and whose money it is we are spending. I continue to give back 20 percent of my salary as promised and continue to focus on the priorities I ran on, which are public safety, economic development, and a more open and transparent government. I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish with such an adversarial city council.

It is because of that city council and the outlook of it not changing that I am choosing not to run again for the position of mayor. I have no desire to put myself through another four years of trying to work with a city council that has acted like children and has done everything in its power to undermine any authority that I have had.

The one bright spot on the city council continues to be Councilman Jim Campbell. He continues to meet and listen to the citizens of Oak Harbor. He questions our actions to ensure that what we are doing is in the best interest of Oak Harbor.

I would strongly suggest that the residents of Oak Harbor vote for and elect individuals to the city council and mayor’s office that have their best interests in mind, not those that come from the same group of friends who have consistently made bad decisions and are thus hurting our citizens. We need individuals on our council that represent the citizens not the same old power structure that has brought those bad decisions to our city.

The City of Oak Harbor is about to make at least $113 million mistake with our new wastewater treatment facility, which will unnecessarily burden our citizens for the rest of their lives. The existing city council will push this project through no matter what the cost is. The citizens of Oak Harbor are still paying on a monthly basis for our last mistake, the Pioneer Way project, and now are about to see their wastewater rates be one of the highest in Washington as well as see our main park, Windjammer Park, lose space due to an ever-increasing size of a new wastewater treatment plant. I have no desire to be associated with such a mistake.

I have learned quite a bit since taking office. I have learned the importance of patience and developed thicker skin. I thank the citizens of Oak Harbor for allowing me to represent them over the last four years.

Sincerely,

Scott Dudley

Mayor

Oak Harbor, WA

Original Letter

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Many of you may remember the Whidbey General Reformers blog which was located online at whidbeygeneralreformers.org during 2011 and 2012. The owner of that blog who authored 41 investigative reports about Whidbey General Hospital was Rob Born a local Whidbey Island resident.

Mr. Born is back! He has a new blog about the same subject, Whidbey General Hospital. As of today he has 6 articles published, one of them about the Linda Gipson trial which ended on April 10th. He spent all seven days at the trial and has the best knowledge on the subject of anyone, read his article about his 7 days in the courtroom at his blog.

His new blog is named “WGH Blogger – News and Views” and is located at:

http://www.wghblogger.com.

Pay him a visit! He has a very educated view on our local hospital and he has some great insight and information that everyone should read.

If you have any tips or concerns about our local hospital you can contact Mr. Born at wghblogger@outlook.com

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