Letter from Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson to Executive Editor & Publisher of the Whidbey News Times Kevin Graves

*See correction below

On Monday, July 15, 2013 9:10 AM Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson sent an e mail to Kevin Graves Editor & Publisher of the Whidbey News Times asking for him to publish corrections to a recent editorial published in the July 12th edition of the South Whidbey Record.

She has so far waited 4 days for a response from Mr. Graves or for him to publish the corrections in the editorial and repeated in several more articles in the Whidbey News Times.

So far Mr. Graves has neither responded to the corrections request or responded to her e mail. The Whidbey News Times has consistently made erronious statements and false accusations surrounding this issue and has refusing to step and and at least acknowledge that there may be problems in both their editorials and the opinions on this isssue.


We are publishing the letter to MR. Graves below in the hopes that the actual truth and facts in this case are known. The Whidbey News Times is negligent in furthering the facts in this case instead allowing themselves to be a party to these false accusations and should be ashamed that they repeatedly have taken sides on this issue by publishing misleading and incorrect information in their newspaper.

From: Kelly Emerson

Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 9:10 AM

To: ‘kgraves@whidbeynewsgroup.com’

Cc: zz Bicc

Subject: your editorial

Mr. Graves,

Your July 12th editorial in the South Whidbey Record had a number of errors in it.

1. In your 5th paragraph you state: “a decision was made by the board …… Emerson’s responsibility was to implement that decision and abide by it.” There was no decision by the board to only allow one commissioner at each L & J meeting. The board does not have the authority to do so. Any commissioner can attend any public meeting they would like to attend but it is the chair’s responsibility to notice the meeting appropriately. If a board takes an action beyond their authority, not only would it be illegal for a chair to implement, it has no weight.

2. In the 8th paragraph you state: “The meeting was being held in the district Jill Johnson represents.” The meeting at the Heller Road Fire Station was actually in my district, district 3.  *See our correction below

3. In the 9th paragraph you state: “{Johnson & Johnson} said they made it clear….respective districts.” When/where did they make that illegal action clear? If it was at the June 12th meeting, why did staff ask us to have the discussion again at the June 17th meeting in order to clarify the need for special sessions? (That discussion concluded with Helen Price-Johnson and I agreeing to let staff know after checking our calendars and special session as necessary.) Also, “respective districts.” Again, the Heller Road Fire Station is in my district.

4. In your 10th paragraph you state: “Emerson….. represents Camano Island.” Please check with a commissioner district map. My district, district 3 covers a large portion of North Whidbey which includes the NASWI Ault Field Base, the Heller Road Fire Station and much more.

Please publish these corrections.

Thank you for your efforts.

Kelly Emerson

Board of Island County Commissioners

1 NE 7th Street, PO Box 5000

Coupeville, WA 98239

(360) 679-7354 office

from Camano 629-4522 #7354

from South Whidbey 321-5111 #7354

Camano Office 387-3443 ext. 225

Note: email correspondence to this account is a matter of public record and subject to release under the Public Records Act.

*Correction- After reviewing the precinct maps on the Island County website the map of the Commissioners District that we were using to determine if the firehall was in Kelly Emerson’s District was outdated. The Commissioners Districts do follow precinct boundaries and in 2012 the redistricting changed several of those precints. One of the precincts changed was precinct 204 the precinct the Heller Road firehall is now in. Last year it was in precinct 353 which is Kelly Emerson’s District. I have compared the maps and actually driven by the Heller Road Firehall and determined that it is indeed in Jill Johnsaon’s District. Not that this matters in the discussion because we still stand by the concept that all ommissioner should have attended all 3 meetings just as Jill Johnson stated in the video of the commissioner meeting on 6-17-2013 that can be viewed at the bottom of this post:

I did send an e mail to Kelly Emerson informing her of my findings.

Hat tip to TP for this information and for pointing us to the new map.


  1. Sound Publishing does not care about Facts. Keven R, Graves dodged the facts by writing an editorial “opinion” piece. Opinions don’t need facts. This entire debacle on the part of Sound Publishing is designed to promote the Progressive Democratic Socialist agenda in preparation for the 2014 elections. Keven R. Graves buys his bullshit by the barrel, and his supplier is the south end of that north bound Jackass.

  2. Cliff, I hope you don’t mind, but I just pasted a copy of the first portion of your letter concerning Mrs. Emerson on the WNT web site. I Hope it is OK.

    1. Yes it is perfectly OK. Anything that I post here feel free to distribute if you feel it is worthy.

      1. My wife just posted a comment to your comment asking Mr Graves to actually listen to and view the recordings of the meeting.

        She also feels after many hours of listening to the recordings with me that Mr. Graves is being used by his political friends and trusting them to do his research for him…

        Anyone that can come to the conclusions that he has after reviewing the recordings and coming to the “opinions” he has stated is out and out lying about the facts…

  3. I too agree with this, “… pasted a copy of the first portion of your letter… I Hope it is OK.”
    I feel the more Island County Citizens read Kelly’s letter the more Graves will feel pressure to have an attitude adjustment, rethink his priorities and who buys his product
    You’ll never make a sale just because you are nice and people like you as IBM preached to every employee back as early as 1962
    The message was loud and clear; the only way to sell an idea , product or support of a goal is to show your buying audience facts of the “you benefits” if they buy

    So Far Graves has NOT given Island County Citizens any benefits proving we should buy his products
    He needs to find a better road to his personal success goal; here or in another community

  4. Keven Graves comes across to me as smug and rude. I hesitate to call out people as liars but something here is not right. What it boils down to is either Graves is lying in his article or is truly ignorant. Both are inexcusable since ignorance at this level is not the absence of knowledge but the refusal to aquire it.
    As of now my company has pulled all advertising dollars from WNT. It was never much to begin with but there are rules here.

  5. I feel the WNT writes what they want our citizens to read, not facts. One way to get their attention to to cancel the your paper. If a large majority of the people on the island cancel this paper, maybe we can get their attention. This is what I am going to do. the only way to get their attension is through their pocket book!

      1. It is amazing that anyone even advertises with them, with a circulation of only 7,922 (Source-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whidbey_News-Times ) it makes one wonder just how they get by with their ineffective advertising. I cancelled my subscription years ago when I realized most of their political reporting was just rubbish…

        With Oak Harbor having a population of 22,239+ they only reach about 30% of the people in Oak Harbor and only a little more than 7% of those that live on Whidbey. That figure includes their free circulation also so the people actually paying for a subscription is much less…

  6. Graves is a diaper doper baby! These left wing wackos publish their smut and the sheeple read it and think it’s gospel. Their Marxist ideology with visions of kumbaya are leading the people on the path to destruction.
    You want to read something scary, read the mayor of Seattle’s comments on not allowing Whole Foods to open a store in West Seattle because it doesn’t meet the city’s social and economic justice goals. McGinn wants Whole Foods to open up their books and prove that they are providing proper pay and benefits to their workers. His quote”This is a statement of what our values are as a city”
    This is all about control folks. The progressive socialist democrats are using the media to cram their bullsh*t down our throats and force us to submit to their ways…It starts right here in Island County.

    1. Geez guys, maybe the Reverend Bob Leroy’s “Alarming Cry” published on the South End is your idea of how the new editor should run his newspaper!!!

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