Posts Tagged ‘lighthouse’

“How am I supposed to tell one Washington state fort from another? I live in Vegas!!”

We’re going to have to call this one a loss for the road team.

For the past year, Steve Schorr, a fixture in Las Vegas for decades, has hoped we here on Whidbey Island would believe his shot-in-Sin-City “newscast” The Whidbey Buzz had any real local connection.

It doesn’t, and he doesn’t.

Well, I mean, he is buddies with Vegas transplant Scott Thompson, a builder who has been trying, and repeatedly failing, to force Oak Harbor to accept his dead-on-arrival housing project, Wright’s Crossing.

Schorr and Thompson met in Vegas, bonded over show dogs, and, lo and behold, The Buzz hit our airwaves just in time to try and slip some positive PR Mr. T’s way, in between a hail of rehashed press releases and anti-homeless digs dropped in to appeal to a small, crusty band of water carriers.

But the danger of making a web series about a place which sits 1,200 miles from your Sin City home is how many chances there are to stumble over things you have no real knowledge about.

Take today’s broadcast, and begin at the 2:47 mark.

The official transcript from The Buzz (produced exactly as they posted it on their website, so it doesn’t 100% match with what is on video) reads:

There is a new effort underway to save and refurbish one of the most historic lighthouses in Washington State. A group called the Keepers of Admiralty Head Lighthouse had announced their effort to help restore and preserve the Lighthouse that is part of historic Fort Whitman, the old Coastal Artillery Fort from WWII.

The Keeper was first started by a group of Whidbey Island residents back in 1995 as a non- profit to promote the Lighthouse awareness and its importance to the historic nature of Whidbey Island.

Each year some 55,000 people visit the Lighthouse at Fort Whitman.

The current restoration project for the Lighthouse is the first one since the 1970s. Those interesting in supporting the effort, and the Historic Lighthouse can send an email to Keepers of AHLH@gmail.com

Now, if you’re wearing a fluffy robe, sipping mai-tai’s poolside in the 102-degree hellhole that is Vegas right now, cooling down after being bathed by the sizzlin’ lights of the digital studio, probably sounds like you aced it.

Oh lord, where to begin?


I’ve lived on Whidbey for 31 years, and had never even heard of the fort. So off to the internet with me!

Where we discover said fort, or what remains of it, is located on Goat Island, over in Skagit County, closer to La Conner than any of us living here on Whidbey, in Island County.

It also is far more likely to have five visitors a year than 55,000…


Check out this page:



Or this one:

Little-known Fort Whitman has been hiding in plain sight


Now, it’s true, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse itself, which is located at Fort Casey, just a stone’s throw from Coupeville Sports world headquarters, here on Whidbey Island, is undergoing a major renovation.

If you visit the Keepers of Admiralty Head Lighthouse Facebook page, the top post is about the work on our lighthouse.

That post also includes a photo of a field trip to Goat Island, where the keepers visited Fort Whitman.

If you’re 1,200 miles away, trolling Facebook for “local Whidbey” news nuggets you can pluck and then pretend you’re reporting on, it would be easy — if you’re skimming while mai-tai’ing, say — to get mixed up and think one thing is connected to the other.

Mr. Schorr hates it when I point out 98.2% of the Buzz is regurgitated press releases, hastily-rewritten Facebook posts, and baseless rumors spewed by homeless-hatin’ nutballs.

And then he offers us up such a juicy display of exactly that.

Now, there may be some who will say I’m being too hard on Mr. Schorr, whacking the big city slickster like a piñata, waitin’ for the candy to pop out of his well-tailored suit.


I didn’t go to college.

I went to the hard knocks school of journalism, getting a job in the Whidbey News-Times press room at 18, hustling to earn freelances stories, before working my way into the newsroom, where I sat next to Mary Kay Doody, the ultimate bulldog investigative reporter.

This was a woman who never let a double-speak politician slide away from her, a titanic terror who crawled through the woods on her hands and knees to report first-hand the day the feds shot it out with the Neo-Nazi’s in Freeland.

Mary Kay would look at The Buzz, with gives us less transparency than Al-Jazeera, and she would seethe.

When Schorr slips in positive PR for Thompson, and never acknowledges their real-world connections, she would pace.

When the Buzz, claiming to be a “non-profit,” responds to a request for its federal ID number by sending out a number not registered with the IRS, then threatens to call the police on the person requesting the number, Mary Kay would lower her head and come out a’swingin.

She’s not here to do that anymore, but I am.

When I swing the piñata stick, Mr. Schorr, I do it for her.


For more on All That Buzz, check out:




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