Spotlights Stories

These Doctors Make ‘Horse’ Calls

by Petra Martin in Farming, Spotlight

On Whidbey Island, we’re outnumbered; there are more domesticated animals than humans. That includes horses, cattle, goats, sheep, alpacas, and llamas as well as dogs, cats, parrots, parakeets, turkeys, and chickens. Given the island’s rural-agricultural heritage, and the passion of many new arrivals to live the “island dream” on a few acres with trees and a pasture, that should come as no surprise. Nobody keeps an exact tally, but that animal-to-people ratio is likely to grow—as will the need for healthcare for all those critters.

Whidbey has a dozen or so veterinarians who attend to our feline, canine, and feathered pets. But who takes care of the bigger ones? Only a small number of vets have that specialty, and they have some unusual stories to tell.

Letterpress Printing: Something to Crow About

by Shawn Berit in Spotlight, Visual Art, What's up

An old-world rhythm softly floats down the halls at the Ken’s Korner Shopping Plaza. It’s the sound of spinning wheels, smoothly moving belts, handmade machinery, and craftsmanship. The printing presses of Crow’s Nest Press are living history.

In 1439, Johannes Gutenberg changed the world with one of history’s most influential inventions: a printing press that used movable type. This made the mass production of books possible and led to improvements in literacy—and education in general—for larger populations. Books, once the privilege of only the wealthy, were now available to the masses. Gutenberg’s invention also led to the introduction of mass media. To say it changed the world is an understatement.

As technology marched forward to other methods of printing, the original printing presses became obsolete but were not forgotten. “I’ve been interested in printing my entire adult life,” says Marq Dean, owner and operator of Crow’s Nest Press, “I was in the newspaper business right out of college.

Through His Own Healing, Lucas Jushinski Brings Healing to Others

by Mark Forman in Health & Fitness, Spotlight

Lucas Jushinski sustained a traumatic brain injury and PTSD during his front-line service as a combat corpsman in the U.S. Navy. Like many returning veterans, he found that the effects of the large cocktail of drugs prescribed by VA doctors was worse than the conditions they were meant to alleviate. As he recalls, “I felt like a zombie. I didn’t feel like I was being healed at all.”

Ultimately, the pain of that led to a moment of decision and a commitment to personal power. “I said okay, this isn’t working, and I took myself off all those pills. I had to find my own path of healing.” Support for that path came through the Warrior Transition Program at Evergreen State College, where Jushinski returned to finish his degree.

During this time, though Jushinski remained true to his commitment to steer clear of the synthetic drugs that had left him feeling he had “lost connection with humanity.” He was open to the possibility that the natural medicinal properties of certain plants could be beneficial. He obtained a medical cannabis card and began using cannabis. The results were welcome. “I noticed how cannabis really helped me to calm down, to find some sort of peace of mind again. It helped me to sleep. It helped me in all sorts of ways.”

Postcards From Whidbey Island: Friends Of Clinton Library Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S

by Dianna MacLeod in Community, Humor, Literary, More Stories, Postcards from Whidbey Island, Spotlight

When the Friends of Clinton Library decided to hold a fundraiser, they settled on the idea of a spellathon–and then set about finding folks who would be willing to form teams, don costumes, invent names for themselves, and then spend Saturday evening, Oct. 1, testing their knowledge of words.

Blog as Classroom—Retired Professor Urges Us to Look Deeply into Nature

by Judy Feldman in Community, Gardens, Humor, Nature, Spotlight

If you aren’t listening closely, a conversation with Johnny Palka, neurobiologist, retired professor, former board member of the Whidbey Institute and numerous other Whidbey Island non-profits, might lead to you believe he’s a bundle of walking contradictions.

A Community Growing Together: Farmers Markets

by Judy Feldman in Community, Festivals, Food, Gardens, Health & Fitness, Nature, Spotlight

Wendell Berry, farmer, poet and cultural critic, has said: “Eating is an agricultural act.”

Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve—Reflected in Four Lenses

by Marsha Morgan in Feature, Photo essay, Spotlight

I recently had the opportunity to attend an excellent photography workshop taught by Keron Psillas at Coupeville’s renowned Pacific Northwest Art School.

Lumens || Of Falcons, Rabbits and the Ego-logical Niche

by Sharon Betcher in Community, Feature, More Stories, Nature, Spotlight

Zoologist Steve Layman stood, quietly surveying the emotional surges moving among those gathered for Langley’s public forum on rabbits last October. Layman, the eagle-eyed falconer, watched how ideas collected and formed pockets of allegiance; he felt the effects, like winds and riptides, move through the room.