Archive for the ‘Not sports? Tough!’ Category

“Let there be … FIRE!” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Burn, baby, burn.

And click, baby, click.

The Oak Harbor Fire Department was in full-on training mode Saturday, razing a building over by the North Whidbey Help House, and wanderin’ photo clicker John Fisken was along for the soot-stained ride.

The pics above and below are courtesy him but are just the beginning of what he shot.

To see all the fiery images he captured, pop over to:



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Oak Harbor High School stage star Maria Andelmi wonders, Does Your Mother KnowThe Winner Takes It All … When All is Said and Done? (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Do I like ABBA?

I am a human being with working grey matter (at least a little bit…) so, of course, I do.

Plus, I also enjoy access to free photos, so keeping alive my tradition of sponging off of John Fisken for glossy pics, here’s a look at Oak Harbor High School’s ongoing production of Mamma Mia!

The school’s first musical in five years, it runs Feb. 16-18 and 23-25.


For ticket info, pop over to:



To see more photos, pop over to:


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It’s Christmas for gardeners.

The Deer Lagoon Grange in Langley is ground zero for veggie lovers, with an annual seed swap set to go down Saturday, Feb. 18 from 9 AM until noon.

The grange is located at 5142 Bayview Road, and the event is open to the public.

Bring your seeds. Come to get some in return. And you never know what info you might pick up from fellow soil enthusiasts.

“Love to see you all there,” said event organizer Sarah Kirkconnell.

“This is about community. Build the community you want, that shares knowledge and skills.”

Sno-Isle Libraries previously ran seed swaps but discontinued the practice during the height of the pandemic.

So Kirkconnell and company stepped up to fill a need last year and are keeping it going this time around.

“Not having a seed swap yearly was a huge loss in people coming together,” Kirkconnell said.

“People saw the sign and stopped in.

“They were just so happy to socialize with other people who love gardening.”

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Holly Bloom

Alert the town’s deer, there’s a new sheriff at the Coupeville Farm to School program.

Holly Bloom recently replaced Zvi Bar-Chaim, who departs after an eight-year run as Program Manager.

The new face of the school system’s highly successful bid to bring together students and fresh veggies hails originally from Buffalo.

Bloom lived and worked in Truckee, California the past two years, and brings a decade-plus of educational and horticultural experience to her new position.

“I specialize in hands-on project based learning and outdoor education,” she said in a Facebook post.

She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in 2008, then went on to charter a Farm to School program through that company.

Bloom has worked for a variety of non-profits, public, private and charter schools, as well as state and county agencies.

She earned a B.A. in Art Education and an A.A.S. in Horticulture.

“I’ve found that both the visual arts and horticulture go hand in hand and provide students with a safe space where they can connect with each other and the world around them,” Bloom said on Facebook.

“I feel most at home in the garden, where I can share my passion for the natural world and instill a stronger sense of humanity in my students through the pursuit of academic and hands-on learning.

“I am very excited to join the Whidbey Island community and to be a part of the Coupeville Farm to School team!”

Bloom, out and about.

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Leslie Franzen (center) enjoys time with family. (Photo courtesy Kelsi Mottet)

There’s a changing of the guard in the world of books.

Longtime Coupeville Library Manager Leslie Franzen is retiring Mar. 1, putting a cap on 43 years of work in the industry.

She’s ridden the ever-changing waves from the days of card catalogs to a world driven by computers, always remaining one of the friendliest, kindest guardians of the written word.

A celebration of her library tenure is set for Thursday, Feb. 23.

The event, which will feature light refreshments and is open to the public, is set for 1-4:00 PM in the library’s meeting room.

The Coupeville Library is located at 788 Alexander Street.

Franzen, a CHS grad, began her library life by working as a page while still in high school.

After a stint off-Island, she and husband Derek returned to Whidbey, where they raised children Kelsi and Garrett, and Leslie was tabbed as Coupeville’s managing librarian in 1988.

Over the years, Franzen (and the library) bounced from location to location in Coupeville, with the snazzy current version being built in 2010.

Two bond measures were passed in 2008 to finance the library improvement, with Franzen among those leading the charge in stumping for the new building.

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