Art is like beauty — its qualities are often in the eye of the beholder. That’s only true, of course, when there’s actually something to behold, and that’s no longer the case at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, the Coupeville facility formerly known as Whidbey General Hospital. A rather unique-looking sculpture that decorated the hospital’s entrance for more than 45 years, and ironically one that was registered with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Save Outdoor Sculpture program, was recently bulldozed.
As a transplant from the east coast, it’s a question I hear often from neighbors, friends, and fellow islanders. My answer generally includes family, the slower pace of life and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. But perhaps more interesting is not why I came, but why I stay. I work with the Island County Marine Resources Committee, a group of volunteers appointed by our Island County commissioners to protect and restore local marine resources.
Standing on the sidelines and whining about government and the quality of the services it provides is a time-honored tradition, and likely one that’s practiced everywhere. Far harder is getting up and doing something about it, especially when it’s for free.
The Island County commissioners this week took a bold step when they approved several changes to Whidbey Island’s rural fireworks regulations. This has been a hotly debated and explosive issue for years, both among the public and elected decision makers. Good arguments have been voiced on both sides, but ultimately we believe the commissioners made the right decision.
If the life and happiness of Earth’s whales were a nuclear explosion, Langley would be ground zero. A whale center, a whale bell park, proposed whale rights, whales, whales, whales. One might say the Village by the Sea is mad when it comes to these underwater behemoths, which makes the state Department of Natural Resources’ decision to lift a sand shrimping ban a pretty gusty call. It also appears to have been the right one, unpopular as it may be.
I wasn’t a standout student in high school. Being painfully shy, I was happy to blend into the sea of boisterous classmates, decorated lockers and school spirit posters. When I played, I didn’t excel at football or wrestling. When I graduated, I was mostly relieved to have that part of my life behind me. It was during high school, however, that I figured out how to apply my talent for writing to something that I believe in and love.