Editor, I wanted to extend a public thank-you to the whole community for making the HallaDay brain cancer fundraiser such a success. This community never ceases to amaze me. Growing up here my entire life, I’ve always taken the small community for granted. At times I resented it, even.
Editor, The most confident vote I will make this coming November is for Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson. She exemplifies good governance functioning at the local/regional level. We citizens of these islands have issues that we need to tend: water usage, shoreline usage, noise abatement (from fireworks to jet engines), managed growth and preservation.
Editor, I am so proud of the House Democrats! The revolution that Bernie Sanders spoke about was catapulted into reality when a group of Democrats, fed up with fainthearted gestures of concern from Republican House members, took action for meaningful change. In amazing coverage by C-SPAN and later via the internet, the American public could clearly witness blatant Republican obstructionism (an everyday occurrence for President Obama during his entire presidency).
Editor, When I first became an apprentice plumber in 1978, Coupeville artist/builder Mikal Park was already something of a legend. He was building the most interesting homes, he was one of the primary inspirations for the fledgling Whidbey PlayHouse, he was artist at large, a force of nature, a whirlwind of creative energy and the Johnny Appleseed of our island cultural landscape. And then there was his mother, Dorothy Park, proprietor of the Wind and Tide Bookstore.
Editor, As a member and past president of Kiwanis of South Whidbey, I wish to thank the many friends and neighbors who have supported our annual children’s fundraiser by purchasing fireworks from Kiwanis at our location at the Red Apple Market at Ken’s Korner.
Editor, Driving is terribly dangerous. More vehicles on the road equals more reasons for drivers not to pay attention: Talking on the phone, adjusting the music, setting the navigation system, texting, watching videos, reading, grooming or eating, to name a few. Hands-free talking truly means not holding the phone in your hand and talking via the speaker. Distracted driving causes more than one million accidents annually, and results in 300,000 injuries and deaths which are often pedestrians, cyclists, and persons in other vehicles.
Editor, This is an open letter to Congressman Rick Larsen, a Second Congressional District Democrat. In a blog post from Thursday, you wrote that, “The shooting in Orlando broke my heart…. The feeling was depressingly familiar. I felt it in 2008 after the shooting spree in Skagit County. I felt it in 2012 after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Editor, I would like to respond to Jim Thompson’s letter of June 11, decrying the unfairness of a $15 minimum wage to our military. Quite frankly, at first I was shocked to think that our service members put their lives on the line for only $18,000 a year compared to a fry cook making $31,000 a year at $15 per hour. So I decided to do a little math myself. Unlike the fry cook, a single E1 private in Oak Harbor receives a basic allowance for housing that starts at $891 per month, or $10,000 year.
Editor, We’re wondering how the South Whidbey School District can justify giving the superintendent another large salary increase while at the same time letting teachers go. We understand her job is important, but teachers have such an impact on young people. We’re especially sad to learn that Mr. Delmedico, the band teacher at Langley Middle School is one of those teachers being let go.
Editor, National candidates are in the news around the clock in an election year, but local officials affect our day-to-day lives and deserve voters’ thoughtful attention as well. During the years of her service as an Island County commissioner, I have been impressed with the dedicated leadership and far-reaching accomplishments of Helen Price Johnson.
Editor, “Mommy, why is the flag at half staff?” my daughters asks as I drive her to school. I take a deep breath. I knew this day would come; after all, it was nearly four years ago when she asked me where babies came from, to which I responded, “I’m not sure what to say to you about it. Do you mind if I find out how to tell you, then we can talk about it?” She happily accepted and I went to a seminar on how to speak to your kids about sex and love. Can I get a seminar on how to speak to your kids about massacres and hate?
Editor, Island Beach Access has set as its goal the identification and preservation of public beach access here on Whidbey Island. What is becoming increasingly clear is the distinction between public beach access and public beach accessibility. There are many mobility-challenged citizens on our island, including those in wheelchairs, cane or walker users, the elderly and children in strollers to name some.
Editor, After the Newtown mass murder of the school children I wrote a letter to this newspaper urging a restoration of the ban on large magazined automatic and semi-automatic weapons. My letter and a friend’s letter were met by indifference at best by the public and menacing hostility by those who wish to possess such weapons.
Editor, Helen Price Johnson is, has been, and will be a knowledgeable and professional leader as an Island County commissioner. She listens intently to her constituents and professional advisors. She considers the opinions of all parties. She reaches her conclusions and defends them in an informative and reasonable manner. She treats others with respect. She has a soft, yet powerful voice on issues affecting our communities.
Editor, I attended Whidbey General Hospital’s June 13 WhidbeyHealth (WH) launching. With a new administrative team and new wing construction the hospital district is showing itself to be in restructure and redirect mode. Will everything work out as planned? No, nothing ever goes 100 percent according to script. But if the hospital is to be successful a major attitude change is needed.
Editor, I am writing in support of the re-election of Helen Price Johnson for District 1 Island County commissioner. Helen has served her district and all of Island County with distinction and deserves another term of office to continue to work on behalf of the best interests of her district and Island County. Helen is involved in the community. She attends enough community meetings to tire the most energetic person.
Editor, The Central Whidbey Lions appreciate all parade goers and community members who stopped by our tents after the Memorial Parade on May 28 and thanked us for preparing and handing out free hot dogs, bottled water, and ice cream treats. We want to acknowledge that all food items were donated by Central Whidbey Lions Club member Ken Hofkamp who owns Prairie Center Red Apple in Coupeville.
Editor, My wife, Ruth Den Adel, was finally forced into hospice transferring from Virginia Mason Hospital to our Eastlake co-op after a courageous one-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. It was a natural for her to be in the care of Evergreen Hospice which typically covers King County. This allowed all her family and friends easy access to her without involving the ferry lines for the first three weeks of her critical condition.
Editor, How many people have to die in a mass killing before the American people will demand a total ban on the sale and ownership of assault weapons? You don’t need an assault weapon to kill a deer, or to protect yourself from anything less than an armed mob, something we don’t have many of in this country since the taming of the Ku Klux Klan.
Editor, Whidbey Islanders probably will not be bothered by this because it is my opinion. Most don’t give a damn about our military, in fact, most older people were in all likelihood protesting the war fought in Vietnam. Here goes anyway. Concerning the proposed minimum wage of $15 an hour, low military pay is not mentioned. Working with hamburgers for minimum wage was mentioned in the State of the Union address. And striking for that just doesn’t work for me. So let’s do some math.