Posts Tagged ‘Coupeville’

Irrational. Obstinate. Committed foe of paywalls. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

How long can I keep this going?

That’s been the question since August 15, 2012, when Coupeville Sports debuted on the internet.

Back then, I was full of self-righteous fury over having hundreds (probably thousands) of bylined stories erased from existence after the Coupeville Examiner was sold to Black Press, the owner of the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record.

Feeling sorry for myself carried me a certain distance, then the blog morphed into something more positive.

Now, even after several aborted attempts at walking away from the job, we sit at 8.5 years and 8,058 articles.

I haven’t had a “real job” since I left Christopher’s on Whidbey in 2015, surviving by the slimmest of margins thanks to readers who have donated to the cause and advertisers who stepped up in the early days.

Coupeville Sports is never going to make a profit.

The subject matter is too narrow, and the audience, while parts of it can be found in unexpected places, from Pennsylvania to Brazil, will never be universal.

My ingrained stubbornness contributes to that, as I have held on to two early declarations with a fanatical commitment — no paywall, ever, and ads, once bought, are good for the life of the site.

I had a chance recently to possibly go in a different direction, to return to my journalism roots and work for someone else.

If it had worked out, if I could have gotten past some personal concerns while convincing others that I could commit for a reasonable length of time, it would have likely improved my financial state.

But, I’m stubborn, and apparently still haven’t completely gotten over the erasure of my previous work, so I chose not to pursue that path.

At least I’m staying on brand here, irrational and obstinate to the end.

So, I plug on, pounding out Coupeville Sports, while returning to my days as a “film critic” with the launch of Flat Butt Film Fest – One movie, 100 words back in August, 2020.

853 articles and zero dollars earned — faithful to the brand, ever and always.

Even without games being played, this is the 51st story I’ve published in 2021 here on Coupeville Sports.

Or 50 more than either the News-Times or Record, which don’t have a sports writer since my mentor, Jim Waller, retired in December.

Now, with authorities moving all of Washington state’s counties into Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s latest COVID reopening plan, games should return to Cow Town for the first time in a year-plus.

Coupeville High School is scheduled to launch spring sports — track, softball, girls tennis, and baseball — next Monday, Feb. 22.

The opportunity for many more stories seems like a sure thing.

My ability to scrape out a meager living, paying rent and such, is less of a sure thing.

It’s the dilemma I’ve built for myself, and one unlikely to fade any time soon thanks to my “business plan.”

How long can I keep this going?

I don’t know. We shall see, I guess.

Still not going to use a paywall, though.


Want to help keep me typing away at 2 AM on the shores of Penn Cove, using a computer powered by a hamster on a treadmill?

1) Buy an ad. $50 for the life of the site, plus, BONUS, you get an identical ad on my movie blog. BOGO fever rages.

2) Donate to the cause, through PayPal or by mailing me at 165 Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239. You are the wind beneath my typing fingers.



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Roads? Where you’re going, you better not need roads this snowy morning. (Photo courtesy Seaneen Kardly)

Snowpocalypse 2021 has claimed its first victim.

The rapidly-falling white stuff has left Coupeville buried under at least 75 feet of snow as of Saturday morning.

OK, maybe more like eight-plus inches…

Either way, it appears at least one mail truck attempting to exit the Coupeville Post Office parking lot isn’t going anywhere else anytime soon.

Well-played, snow, well-played.

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Mallory Kortuem (in red jacket) celebrates her CHS soccer Senior Night with mom Heather, dad Alex, and big sis Miranda. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One of the core families of Coupeville athletics is in major need tonight.

Alex Kortuem, father of three CHS grads, and a longtime general contractor on Whidbey Island, suffered a substantial brain bleed January 25, resulting in a hemorrhagic stroke.

After emergency brain surgery, he spent five days on a ventilator, and 10 days total in an ICU.

As he stabilizes, the plan is for him to be transferred to an intensive inpatient rehab facility in Seattle.

Currently, the 45-year-old Kortuem is still unable to move or feel the entire left side of his body.

Due to the severity of the stroke, it is unknown if or when he will be able to return to his work, which provides the majority of his family’s income.

Alex and wife Heather have three children — Keegan, Miranda, and Mallory — and he was a frequent fan at soccer games and track meets featuring his kids.

His offspring get a lot of their athletic chops from their father, who has been an avid mountaineer and backcountry skier for much of his life.


To read more, and help the Kortuem family, pop over to:

Fundraiser for Heather Kortuem by Hilary Lott : Alex Kortuem’s Stroke Recovery (gofundme.com)

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Your wallet could help save lives.

Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue is asking for the public’s help in purchasing a LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System, which would be a boon for professionals who handle medical calls from Coupeville to Greenbank.

CWIFR launched a fundraiser Wednesday to try and meet the $18,580 goal.

Many calls are for patients in cardiac arrest, and the chest compression system would be “a crew member who will never get tired, deliver perfect compressions, and can’t get hurt.”

The automated CPR device maintains “uninterrupted chest compressions over long periods,” while “ensuring chest compressions remain consistent and effective, no matter how long the call lasts.”

One recent call required CWIFR crew to provide chest compressions for more than three hours.

Having this device aboard the ambulance would also allow crew members to travel more safely, remaining in safety restraints while transporting patients to the hospital.


To find out more and donate to a good cause, pop over to:

Fundraiser by Jerry Helm : CWIFR- LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System (gofundme.com)

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Jack McFadyen with his children, Jason and Aleshia. (All photos courtesy McFadyen family)

He was a decent man.

In a world where so many are not, I can think of no better way to describe Jack McFadyen.

The Navy brought him to Whidbey Island, along with wife Carmen, the spice to his sugar, and the couple spent decades helping make Coupeville a better place.

I arrived on The Rock in ’89 and first came to know of the duo during my early newspaper freelance days.

Later, in the fall of ’94, I walked into Videoville, and vowed to never leave my movie cocoon again.

Well, made it to 2006, which is a good run.

During those 12 years, my appreciation for the McFadyen family and the man who stood at the center of things, grew by leaps and bounds.

Pops with the grandkids a few years back.

Jack was a frequent visitor, with family and alone, sometimes to get movies, and sometimes just to hang out and class the joint up.

He was a rarity, a man who could softly needle you, then, with a huge smile, make the person he was talking to know he loved them.

And I mean that last part.

Some people are friendly, are easy-going, brighten the day of everyone they meet.

Jack went beyond that.

When he left the store, there would be a moment when you realized he really, truly loved others.

His family meant everything to him, but friend or stranger, Jack welcomed all with an embrace, whether physical or in words, which elevated all who were touched by it.

You had to be a pretty big ass for Jack to not like you.

Thankfully, as far as I know, I always stayed on his good side — even if he hated a movie I recommended — and, for that, I am grateful.

In the time between the days when he cheered his kids, Aleshia and Jason, as they wore the red and black of CHS, to my entrance into video store life, Jack was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.

That meant he lost his larynx and used a “voice box” to speak.

It can’t have been easy, but Jack, every time I saw him, used that as a positive.

He thought it was hilarious to come up behind people at the video store counter, especially young children, and then speak with his “robot voice.”

The kids would have to be scraped off the ceiling, and then, after a great bout of chuckling, Jack would use the opportunity to tell the whippersnappers why they shouldn’t follow his path as a smoker.

His words, given with love, had a measurable impact.

The eyes of the children widened (and more than a few parents suddenly discovered someone in the store was chopping onions) and you knew this was a lesson few would forget.

Now, no one is perfect, and Jack was a deeply-committed Husky football fan, when we know Cougars rule, and the U-Dub drools.

But we’ll overlook that fact.

He was a kind and loving man, one concerned with the lives and well-being of all around him.

He served his country with great honor and distinction.

He was, and always will be, a treasured part of my Videoville memories.

Today, he joins the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, inducted as a Contributor, remembered for his enduring passion as a Wolf fan and supporter, and as an integral part of our community.

After this, when you wander past the Legends tab at the top of the blog, you’ll find him hanging out, along with son Jason and a whole lot of people who would agree with the final sentence of this story.

Love you, Jack.

Carmen and Jack.

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