Posts Tagged ‘Coupeville’

Sylvia Arnold hugs husband Garrett after being gifted her grandfather’s 1949 Chevy truck, lovingly restored by local volunteers. (Photos courtesy Garrett Arnold and Jerry Helm)

Not quite road ready at this point…

Sylvia hugs Collin McGinness, who helped spearhead the project.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone in Coupeville who doesn’t like Sylvia Arnold.

She puts the friend in friendly, and has positively affected more people in our community than you can count.

Sylvia led the CHS cheer program for two decades-plus, and remains the only Wolf coach to win a team state title in any sport.

But her time on the sidelines, in the huddles, and bringing the pep 24/7/365, is most remembered for how inclusive she was.

There were years where Sylvia’s cheer squad had far more athletes than the football team did, and she welcomed girls (and boys) from all avenues of life.

There are a lot of cheerleader stereotypes, and she happily, merrily broke them all.

If you showed up and worked, you were one of her kids, and not just for that season, but for life.

Sylvia’s positivity, her love of others, and her genuine care for all she meets has colored every part of her life, from cheer to her work with her church, Living Hope on Whidbey.

Wanting to give something back, to show her a blessing for all she has done, a group of Whidbey residents, led by Collin McGinness and Darrell Jacobsen, started a seven-year project which paid off this week.

Putting together a team of workers, the duo shepherded the restoration of a 1949 Chevy truck which originally belonged to Sylvia’s Grandpa Engle.

In the words of those involved, it became “more than a renovation, it became a labor of love.

“A story that exemplifies the good in people, giving selflessly, to say “Thank you!” to someone who has given much of herself to bless others.”

“The open road is a’callin’.”

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The highway overpass in Coupeville. (Lori Taylor photo)

A former Coupeville High School student/athlete is organizing a Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest this Saturday, June 27.

The event, planned by former Wolf soccer ace Dawson d’Almeida, begins at 10 AM at Coupeville Elementary.

The school sits in the heart of Coupeville at 6 S. Main Street.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, masks are required for anyone who attends.

After meeting at the elementary school, marchers will discuss why they are there, then hold a silent vigil for eight minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd, a Black man killed in police custody in Minneapolis.

Following the vigil, marchers will walk through Coupeville.

Water and some signs will be provided, though marchers can also bring their own signs.

Event organizers ask marchers to reflect beforehand on why they intend to participate, and spend time learning about the best ways to peacefully protest and be a supporter of Black Lives Matter.


BLM resources:


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Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King

The on-camera murder of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has been the catalyst which sparked ongoing demonstrations across the world.

Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King released the following statement Friday morning:


Dear Coupeville Families and Staff,

Recently, I watched a video of another black person being killed in the streets by a police officer.

His name was George Floyd and he was murdered by a policeman.

It was completely inhumane the way this man was killed with the knee of the policeman pressed against his upper back and neck area laid face down on the streets.

This happened for several minutes and I heard the man saying over and over that he could not breathe and he became so desperate for his life he started to cry for his mother.

As I watched the video I had a mixture of feelings that included anger and compassion for Mr. Floyd.

Over the years I have lost track of the number of African Americans who have lost their lives in similar ways.

I have spent the last week trying to figure out how to step out of the safety of my own white, middle class world to use what influence I have to help change an American system that now has practiced generations of racism and inequality.

I, like many white Americans, have ignored this problem for years, choosing personal comforts, job security, and the risk of criticism over standing up and speaking out against injustice and racism in our country.

I now see that I represent so much of what is wrong in America right now.

For years, while feeling compassion on this issue, I have never courageously stood up for our people of color and especially our black Americans who have suffered systemic racism.

Guilt and compassion without action is effectively silence and makes me complicit in our horrible history of discrimination.

Minneapolis, Minnesota seems like a long way from Coupeville.

But I can tell you that racism and discrimination does exist in our community and in our schools.

To our students and families of color please accept my apology for not standing up stronger for you sooner.

I want you to know that while I am not sure how to do this, that I am committed to doing it. I share in your grief and your anger.

Some of you may feel hopeless after all these years and incidents.

I hope that you will be able to forgive me for my years of silence and cowardly choice to stay silent and safe.

It is time for us to start having difficult, messy, and uncomfortable conversations about this issue.

Our nation seems like a very dark place right now and it is hard to stay positive and have hope.

It is time for us to act in love for the injustices that we see. Guilt and compassion is simply not enough.

I understand if you do not want to join me in this work or even if you are critical of the message.

I myself have done the same thing to people and leaders who try to speak up on this topic.

Here are a few videos that I wanted to share with all of you about systemic racism in our countries and in our schools to help us begin to educate ourselves and to open up the discussion on this issue.


Steve King, Superintendent




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After a ten-year absence, the Whidbey News-Times is moving back to its old stomping grounds in Oak Harbor. (Photo property Garage of Blessings)

You can go home again.

A decade after taking up residence in Coupeville, the Whidbey News-Times is moving its base of operations back to Oak Harbor.

And when the newspaper returns to the Island’s biggest city, it’s landing back in the building from where it came.

The News-Times will occupy the top floor at 800 SE Barrington Drive, right next to the Oak Harbor police station, but this time around reporters and ad salespeople will share the residence.

Back in olden days, like when I was Sports Editor for a hot moment from 1992-1994, the WNT used the entire building, with printing presses camped out in the back half of the ground floor.

The downstairs is now occupied by Garage of Blessings, a non-profit thrift store which relocated there in 2018.

Sound Publishing, the parent company which owns the News-Times, also owns the Barrington building, and has chosen to move the newspaper staff back to Oak Harbor.

The WNT moved its base of operations to Coupeville in early 2010, and has been the anchor of the Coupe’s Village development on S. Main Street ever since.

At first, the News-Times shared office space with its sister paper, the South Whidbey Record, though later the Record returned to its own roots, opening an office on the South end of the Island.

After Sound Publishing purchased the previously-independent Coupeville Examiner, that newspaper also operated out of the S. Main Street location until the paper was discontinued.

Later, after a change in staffing, the Record returned to the building as well.

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down most Washington state businesses, and throwing the brakes on print advertising, Sound Publishing combined the News-Times and Record into one paper, which still publishes twice a week.

It’s expected the papers will return to operating as separate publications at some point down the road.

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(Lori Taylor photo)

For those who drove under the highway overpass Sunday in Coupeville, there was a message which could be seen in both directions.

We live on a rock in the middle of the water, several states away, but the death of George Floyd, the black man murdered on-camera by a Minneapolis police officer, should rock all of us to our core.

Remember his name, and remember the names of the men and women who came before him – those whose deaths made the news, and those who did not.

It shouldn’t be hard to say “black lives matter.”

But we also need to go beyond words, and prove the same with our actions.

There is no other way.

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