Archive for the ‘Not sports? Tough!’ Category

Give a box, get a box.

It’s the great circle of life, written in cardboard.

The Whidbey Island Conservation District is looking for cardboard boxes to use in packaging plant sale orders for pickup.

They’re asking for small to medium boxes up to 14″x20″x12″ and you can drop them off at their Coupeville office.

The district office is at 1 NE 4th Street, and boxes can be dropped off Monday-Thursday.

With COVID having shut down businesses to the public, you’ll need to call (360) 678-4708 to let them know they have an incoming delivery.


For more info on the plant sale, pop over to:

Plant Sale Storefront – WICD (whidbeycd.org)

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A duck, drawn by my youngest nephew. This is the kind of quality content you support when you support Coupeville Sports

How did I get here?

There are days when I ask myself that, and many more when those around me either ask, or at least think the thought, I am sure.

If we believe my birth certificate, and the date on it — April 30, 1971 — I sit 144 days away from turning 50.

I started working, really working, before I was 10, as my dad firmly believed I should learn the family business early — window washing and carpet cleaning — while giving him the chance to pay me less than a real employee.

As in, “You’re helping the family,” so maybe, probably, don’t expect a paycheck…

I think my first “real” job, one where an employer gave a chunk of my money to the state, was when I was a dishwasher at a rest home.

Or maybe it was when I slung beans all over the back room walls at a Taco Time.

You turn on the power mixer BEFORE the blade is down in the beans one time…

I’ve had stellar jobs — most of my years in the video store biz were sublime — and ones that were less so.

Mussel harvesting was one epically stinky, four-month slice of watery horror.

And I survived not one, but two stints, separated by decades, at a local inn where, when you touched the walls, your hand started to sink into the wood.

Through it all, the one job I have held the longest, sort of, is being some version of a journalist.

My first freelance story — a game piece on an Oak Harbor vs. Shelton boys basketball game — hit the Whidbey News-Times in January, 1990.

Since then, I’ve pounded out hundreds of thousands of words, covering sports and non-sports.

I became the Sports Editor at the WNT, and stayed for two years before moving to the mussel rafts (cause, I’m an idiot), then returned to freelancing for decades.

My movie column ran 15 years, and I never missed an issue during that run.

Then, back in 2012, I said farewell to any further connection with corporate papers, and launched this blog in mid-August.

Jump forward to today and I am 15 articles away from publishing #8,000.

I also have a second blog, having returned to my movie review days — Flat Butt Film Fest – One movie, 100 words — where I already sit at 507 articles in less than four months.

My writing isn’t making me rich, that’s for certain.

I like to say, it’s not an official non-profit, I just don’t make a profit.

Which is fine, as I’ve somehow managed, often by the slimmest of margins, to survive on my writing without a “real” job to suck my time away for the past five years.

How long can this go on?

That’s really up to you, the reader.

Being obstinate, I am choosing to remain on the outside looking in, writing for myself and not for other, better-funded, publications.

It’s probably not the smartest choice. But, it is a choice, and the one I’m making.

At this point in time, as I hover ever-closer to being the guy who goes and lives in the woods away from society, it’s what works best for me.

So, Coupeville Sports and Flat Butt Film Fest will continue to be here, free to read. No pay wall, ever.

To those who have supported me financially as I type away at 2 AM, you have no idea how important you have been, and continue to be.

You are the difference between me writing these blogs from my Penn Cove duplex, and me (attempting to) write them from the back seat of my 2000 Nissan Xterra.

Your donations are the lifeblood of this irrational dream, and give me the ink — so to speak — to keep telling prairie tales.

Thank you.


To support the cause, there’s this link:



I can also be reached at:

David Svien
165 Sherman
Coupeville, WA 98239

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Working to keep local schools strong. (Photo property KA Bloomquist)

With the ongoing pandemic making every part of teaching harder, the Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools has stepped up big time to support remote learning.

The foundation, which normally issues grants to teachers and scholarships to students, has donated $45,000 to assist the school district.

A $30,000 check was given to the district to “supplement remote learning software and hardware purchases.”

Of that money, $10,000 will be used to help fund the iReady curriculum, with $10,000 going for the Character Strong curriculum.

The purchase of classroom technology (lapel microphones and cameras for teachers) nets $6,000, with the remaining $4,000 going to create 20 additional hot spots for students and their families.

The foundation then added an additional $15,000 donation for “Covid relief support.”

Fundraisers such as Dine Out/Shop Out, and the annual Circumnavigate Whidbey event helped raise funds.


For more info on the donations, pop over to:


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Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King

Local classrooms are shutting down again.

With a substantial county-wide spike in COVID-19 cases, the Coupeville School District announced Wednesday that it is returning to full remote or distance learning.

This will go into effect immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday, and is scheduled to last from Monday, November 30, through Friday, January 8.

Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King issued the following statement:


Over the past few weeks we have been closely monitoring the rising COVID-19 rates in our state and county.

Up until recently our county was considered either moderate or low-risk when it comes to in-person instruction.

Over the past couple of weeks we have become a high-risk county for in-person school according to the chart on page five of the Washington State Decision Tree.

In fact, we have now more than doubled the high-risk threshold of 75 per 100,000 with the most recent time period (11/08/20 – 11/21/20) showing 152.09 new cases per 100,000.

We were provided with this most recent data in the past 24 hours and this morning we consulted with Island County Public Health, area superintendents, school board members, and our District Leadership Team, and the clear consensus was that we need to prioritize the safety of our staff, students, and community and go to 100% distance or remote learning.

For those students and families who have been able to have in-person services this fall I am sorry that we are having to make this change.

Your teacher(s) will be in contact with you in regards to what your fully remote learning program will look like.

Please know that our teachers have done an outstanding job of improving and implementing a very improved remote learning program for our students since last spring.

This was a complex decision for us as we know that for many families this will be extremely difficult to lose the in-person services.

Families who are having their schooling impacted by this decision should contact their teacher(s) or school office if they have any specific questions or concerns.

Our current food service program will continue for our families with weekly ordering and pick-up on Wednesdays and Thursday mornings.

We are thankful for our food service team providing this very important service during these difficult times for our families.

Staff who continue to work onsite will still be able to purchase daily lunches as well.

I am encouraging all staff members to work from home during this period of time if they are able to do so.

Having fewer staff members in the building on a regular basis will help reduce the risk of spreading COVID.

If you do work onsite please make sure you sign in as you enter the building and also on your classroom door if you are a teacher.

This will help us with contact tracing if needed and also with our efforts to efficiently sanitize our schools on a daily basis.

I know this has been a very difficult time for all of us but as we go into the Thanksgiving holiday I want you all to know that I am truly thankful for you.

I appreciate our students, staff, and families navigating these difficult and complex times with us.

I hope you can join me in being optimistic and hopeful in regards to our future.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you,

Steve King

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With COVID-19 cases spiking in Washington state, WhidbeyHealth is adjusting its rules regarding visitors.

The new guidelines, issued Monday, are in effect at the Medical Center, Primary and Specialty Care Clinics, and Walk-In Clinics.

Routine visitation is being suspended at all locations in favor of the modified policy.

Temperature monitoring and COVID-19 symptom monitoring are required before entrance of any person (patient, visitor, support person, staff) at all locations.

Additional monitoring of travel history and exposure history is also in place prior to entry.

Patients will not be denied care if exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

Visitors, support persons, and staff will not be granted entrance if they cannot meet the temperature monitoring requirements (less than or equal to 99.9◦F/37.6◦C), or if there is exposure history.

All patients, visitors, and support persons are required to be masked during any/all interactions with WhidbeyHealth staff.

Visitors/support persons to departments/areas of care are restricted as follows:


Emergency Department:

No visitors or support persons.


Medical/Surgical Inpatient Department:

No visitors. One support person. If a support person wishes to stay, they must remain in the hospital for the entire length of the patient’s care.


Intensive Care Unit: 

No visitors. One support person. If a support person wishes to stay, they must remain in the hospital for the entire length of the patient’s care.


WhidbeyHealth Family Birth Place:

No visitors. One support person. If a support person wishes to stay, they must remain in the hospital for the entire length of the patient’s care.


Surgical Services: 

No visitors and no support persons. Responsible adult support person should remain in their vehicle or return home during the procedure.



No visitors or support persons.


Rehab Services:

No visitors or support persons.


Respiratory Therapy:

No visitors or support persons.



No visitors or support persons.


Diagnostic Imaging:

No visitors or support persons.


Primary Care, Specialty Care, and Walk-In Clinics: 

No visitors or support persons.


West Wind Café (Medical Center):

Only employees will have access to the West Wind Café. Visitors and support persons may request a meal through the kitchen.


Gift Shop (Medical Center):

Patients, visitors and support persons will not have access.

Gift shop will offer “curbside pickup” through phone orders — (360) 678-7656, ext. 3901 — between 10-5, Monday-Friday.

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