Editor, I have been tempted to write a letter to the editor more often than anticipated since moving to the island, but the recent article proudly announcing the new name for Whidbey General Hospital as, “Whidbey Health” (Hospital Board to Vote on New Name) simply cannot be ignored. The article touts the excitement of CEO Geri Forbes in promoting the entire transition strategy and steps in accomplishing the unapproved decision by the board of commissioners.
Editor, Thank you South Whidbey Record for your recent pledge to publish news stories about happenings in Olympia regarding legislation and legislators! Thank you for your great start with the piece about the teachers compensation and how that is being handled, with regard to the McCleary decision. And how great an opportunity and joint effort to host our local legislators later this month!
Editor, I find it interesting that the Bundy Clan and the dispute over Wonn road and public beach access are so similar. Cliven Bundy still has not paid grazing fees. Ammon Bundy and his followers are being prosecuted to some point. It is still to be determined just how far prosecutors will go. Certainly if Cliven Bundy had not got away with his theft in Nevada his son Ammon wouldn’t have felt so confident in his actions in Oregon.
Editor, Your article on the WhidbeyHealth town meeting in Langley was really good. It covered the topics discussed at the meeting well and also captured the tone and the people who were there in a three-dimensional and lively way.
Editor, WhidbeyHealth? Is this a medical clinic? A fitness center? A health club? Perhaps it’s a health formula, or a “toast” to your health on Whidbey? It also sounds a lot like a health insurance company.
Editor, Several hundred people gathered Sunday evening for Trinity Lutheran Church’s “burn the mortgage” celebration. Food, conversation and fun was abundant. Then, an additional highlight captured the crowd. Langley Middle School students, led by their highly energetic and passionate band leader — a first-year teacher — performed. Abundant talent with captivating head-bobbing and finger-snapping beats exceeded expectation for any young jazz band.
Editor, Washington State Ferries, the City of Mukilteo, and WSDOT are looking at a “Road Diet” concept for the new road alignment when the new ferry terminal is built in Mukilteo. Basically, the concept being considered is to squeeze the two lanes coming off the ferry into a single lane before passing through the planned and new signalized intersection (where the toll booths are currently located) and continuing through the Highway 525/Fifth Street intersection. Currently, the two lanes exiting the ferry merge into a single lane just past the Fifth Street intersection where the speed limit increases from 25 to 35 mph.
Editor, A public expression of appreciation is due the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island for bringing such high quality musicians to Whidbey Island. The chamber music concert I attended Saturday evening was first class, easily the best I’ve heard on Whidbey.
Editor, On Jan. 25, a police officer asked me if I saw anyone snooping around Bruce Montgomery’s property on Wonn Road in Greenbank, the property currently under dispute in court over a wall that blocks public access to the shoreline. I said, “No, just a man on the end of Wonn Road leaning against his car looking through his binoculars to see the whales.” Then the police asked the man for his ID; he was with the Orca Network.
Editor, It’s unfortunate a few bad apples have caused the Port of South Whidbey commissioners to severely curtail the use by the public of the new Langley marina floats for crabbing and fishing. If all businesses and public venues on South Whidbey were closed to the public due to the inappropriate behavior of a scant few, the streets of Langley would be dark and empty year-round. My husband and I spent many hours out on those floats during the past two crabbing seasons and found most of our fellow crabbers and fishers to be friendly and considerate. Furthermore, visiting boaters were often excited to see what we’d hauled in and wished us luck.
Editor, On Feb. 9, registered voters in the South Whidbey School District have the opportunity to support their school system by voting “yes” on the replacement maintenance and operations levy. There are a number of reasons why we should pass this levy. First, it is not a tax increase. This levy will merely replace the expiring levy that we passed two years ago. Second, it will provide much needed money to help maintain the school’s physical plant. It will also augment funding for instructional costs such as classroom supplies and it will help offset losses in state funding.
Editor, Walkers, please wear white/light clothing and/or reflective tape and carry a visible light at dusk and when it’s dark. Also walk facing the traffic. Bikers also need to do this but ride with the traffic.
Editor, For months I have been reading about the pros and cons of fighter practice training at the U.S. Navy’s Outlying Field Coupeville or OLF. I am clearly on the con side. The con side feels that an entirely different location for the OLF is in the best interest both for the Navy and for the surrounding civilian neighborhoods. My solution to the problem is to simply relocate the present OLF to Smith and Minor islands. This location would be very similar to what has been done in California by having the Navy aircraft and weapons training done at the offshore location of San Clemente Island, west of San Diego.
Editor, Over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday there were three events held on South Whidbey related to Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. The event The Record chose to highlight, “Good Cheer gets helping hand” was the least directly connected to essence of the Civil Rights Movement. Doing community volunteer work is certainly commendable, but it fails to grasp the importance of the nonviolent activism of Martin Luther King and the thousands of students, sharecroppers and clergy whose witness and sacrifice changed America.
Editor, The Port of South Whidbey is working with a consultant to discuss ideas for Clinton. I think that is a great idea, and things are really just in the preliminary phases of that work. Let’s not get too critical of the first bit of news. One of the biggest “myths” on this island is that nobody wants to go out at nighttime for dinner, or at least that is how many of our local restaurants operate their businesses by closing at 8 or 8:30 p.m.
Editor, I have some further thoughts about Clinton’s economic future. The problem: How to get people to linger in Clinton and spend a little money. The solution (which has been painfully obvious for the past millennium): Install public restrooms accessible to people waiting in the ferry line.
Editor, “The Big Short” might be the best movie of the year. Its topic is certainly the most egregious. The movie is an outrageous, but true account of how four separate businessmen figured out the housing and credit bubble, then reaped billions in profits by betting on America to fail in the late 2000s. Things began to unravel in 2006, but in 2008 when the dam broke, our economy descended into a downward spiral that nearly took the global economy down with it. And we have yet to really get out of it.
Editor, The experience we had last Sunday afternoon at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts at a staged reading of Mitch Albom’s best selling memoir, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” was unprecedented. The story traces the development of a relationship between the writer and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The performance was a benefit for a loved and respected member of the community, Charlie Murphy, who also has ALS.
Editor, The Langley Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association, or PTSA, would like to thank the staff and parents who helped out during our annual fundraiser, The Elf Chase. Because of all of your efforts, we had a very successful event. We’d like to especially thank the following local businesses and individuals for their generous support:
Editor, The Holiday Season is difficult for those without a home and means to do all they would like for their families. Thanks to the Whidbey community, the homeless individuals and families we host at the House of Hope experienced an unexpected outpouring of cheer and good will from individuals, community clubs, businesses and churches. There was sufficient food, gifts and decorations for us to spread the cheer to those formerly in the House of Hope who now have their own housing but live on marginal resources.