Archives for category: Local Stuff

A short trail takes you to the beach at Fort Ebey.

Local info:

Two Bluff Trails



In recent weeks, the trails I am familiar with at Fort Ebey have remained unrestricted. Back out today to enjoy the scene.


Mixed Messages On What Is An Emergency

Two Bluff Trails



The beach is back.

Local info:

Two Bluff Trails


Headed south on the Ebey’s Landing Bluff Trail.

Local info:

Two Bluff Trails


Daytime beach walks are back.


Hastie Lake/Strait of Juan de Fuca

Back in 2016:

Winter boat launch scene


A view from the beach at Ebey’s Landing.

Protection Island and the Olympic Mountains in the distance.


On the Ebey’s Landing Bluff Trail.

Busy shipping lanes and the Olympic Mountains:

Local info:

Two Bluff Trails


If we hear the Sound of Freedom can we live like free people?

Went to Port Townsend on Saturday & visited a cozy NW pub. My sister wanted to take a smoke break, and we stepped out & crossed the street to spend a few moments visiting.

Shortly after I got across the street I realized I had carried a glass about 1/4 full of beer with me when I left the pub. I finished the beer & carefully set the glass down. Moments later, a flustered bar tender came out to retrieve the glass. Before he had a chance to speak, I admitted that it was my fault & apologized for leaving his establishment with a beer.

The pub we were visiting featured decent service, food, & lots of choices for beers.

Not the fault of pub staff that I lost track of where I was and walked out with a beer in my fifty-something year old hand. Not the fault of pub staff that their liquor license could be placed at risk by this peaceable & nonviolent act. Not the fault of pub staff that state law gives them no choice to allow a smoker to light up in their establishment.

Laws involving disturbing the peace and public drunkenness make sense.

Briefly stepping away from the pub with a 1/4 glass of beer in hand and being totally off limits? Doesn’t seem to fit with a society that can’t stop bragging about freedom, thanking the troops for freedoms, fighting wars for freedoms, staging military jet flyovers at sporting events for freedom, etc.

I’m thinking this is less of a big deal in other parts of the world. Ditto for a lady sunbathing topless at the beach or city park. Maybe you are the weirdo if you call attention to her. In countries that brag less about freedom, she is thought to be doing nothing wrong.


“During the warmer months, parks in Germany are popular locations for alcohol consumption

“The possession of open containers of alcohol and drinking in public (street, park etc.) is legal for people of the legal drinking age (16 for beer and wine; 18 for distilled spirits).”

In the US there are concerns related to college binge drinking. In Germany, where beer is legal for people age 16 & up, do they have similar concerns at the college level?

Do they brag about freedom in Europe as much as we do here in the US?

We are frequently told that The Troops are in distant lands fighting to protect American rights and freedoms:


“…the men and women of the armed forces guarantee our freedom…”


“For now, the skies above the Olympic Peninsula belong to the Navy’s mission of defending freedom. What that sounds like is up for debate.”


Congressman Derek Kilmer:

Wars are for freedom and democracy.


The US should maintain strong and ready military forces.

In some cases, the US Armed Forces provide for our physical security. That’s as good as it gets.

In terms of American rights and freedoms-The Dept. of Defense has no more say than the Dept. of Agriculture.


Legal marijuana, concealed carry of handguns, semi automatic rifle sales, federal minimum drinking age, sports betting, voting rights, bump stock baninterracial marriage, gay marriage, tobacco sales, open container laws, etc.

None of these are linked in any way with The Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Troops, The Dept. of Defense or the outcome of military operations overseas.

As the decades of undeclared/unwon wars stack up (The Department of Defense track record goes back to 1949.) the greater the cultural urge to glorify people who do, or did time in uniform.

If there is an honest reason to send people away into decades of undeclared/unwon wars overseas let’s hear all about it.

Just Be Honest.

Stop with the glorification of undeclared/unwon wars in distant lands.


Maybe Get Away From The Bragging About Freedom?

Freedom Comes And Goes – Joint Chiefs of Staff Play No Part

Liberty And Justice For All?

Various states have recently sent National Guard troops to distant lands. Each one claims that military operations overseas are somehow linked to American rights and freedoms:

How did Rhode Island freedoms get over to the Middle East?

Maryland Freedoms Found In The Middle East?

West Virginia Freedom Found In The Middle East?

How did our freedom and liberties get over to Kosovo?


How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

Not asking about the oath of enlistment. Asking about what happens after the oath has been taken.




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Hastings Building, Port Townsend


Ebey’s Landing Bluff Trail:

Starting from the Prairie Overlook parking area near, Sunnyside Cemetery, the first part of the hike takes you out towards the beach.

Caution-this trail may become muddy & slick during winter and early spring. Footing can be tricky.

More here:

Two Bluff Trails


Local group: Whidbey Island Rocks – WIR


Fort Ebey



Geography note:

A line from Point Partridge to Point Wilson is the boundary between Admiralty Inlet and of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Waiting on a wave at Point Partridge

Local trails overview here:

Two Bluff Trails

Fort Ebey Surf Forecast

Point Partridge Tide Predictions

Article describing local surf conditions:

Surfing on Whidbey Island Fort Ebey State Park


Fort Ebey


Same location a few months back:

Whidbey Tulips

Vendor info here.

Same location a few months back:

Whidbey Tulips

Vendor info here.


Same location a few months back:

Whidbey Tulips

Vendor info here.


Same location a few months back:

Whidbey Tulips

Vendor info here.


Fort Ebey


Make happy mushrooms at Fort Ebey.


Local group: Whidbey Island Rocks – WIR


I enjoyed an excellent tour of the facility on Tuesday, Sept. 24th, 2019.

Mr. Phil Matthews is the Wastewater Plant Supervisor. He contacted me recently after he saw that I had posted concerns related to recreational shellfish.

Phil invited me to come down and speak with him and see how the operation functions. This was a very open & hassle-free experience. I have dealt with several publicly funded departments here on Whidbey Island. In some cases, the attitude is that if you want more information, you can submit a public records request. To start the process of interacting with a department you fill out a complaint form. I would rather call it a request for service. Maybe just some human interaction would help to smooth things out.

No complaint forms or public records requests were required for me to meet with Mr. Phil Matthews. He has people skills and was ready to provide an educational component related to the Clean Water Facility. He said that storm drain runoff would be the major concern in impacting recreational shellfish. I very much appreciate the open attitude and interaction with Mr. Matthews. He provided me with a detailed information packet, describing the steps required to create clean water.

As time goes on, maybe WDFW will emphasize the issue with storm drain runoff. This would give the public a better idea of what they could do to improve the situation. It would be helpful for newspeople to keep the public informed by reporting on the sewage treatment plant outfall issue described by WDFW.

Over the years, several people who work for, or once worked for various publicly funded departments here on Whidbey Island have made a very positive impression on me.

These are people who are the best representatives of local government and the departments they work for. These folks have people skills. They are ready to make a sincere effort to improve situations and educate the public.

Thanks for taking time.

Phil Matthews

Carol Barnes

John S. Clark

Traci Faught




Photo- Whidbey scene


For scale:

Our local source:

Whidbey Beer Works

A friendly shop with a very large selection.

Along for the afternoon: Classic Deep Cuts

Probably some of this going on too.


A view from Sharpe Cove.


The wooden sign at Libbey Beach is gone.

Something with an industrial look has taken its place.

A Favorite Spot


The Cedar Hollow area at Fort Ebey can be seen just to the right of the sails.