Editor, We are blessed to live in a really great community. This includes really great teachers and staff at our schools. I want to personally thank all teachers and staff on Whidbey. You are amazing!
Editor, The South Whidbey Homeless Coalition would like to thank all the wonderful friends who attended the dedication and celebration of the House of Hope in Langley. Our awesome “Parking Guy,” Charlie Davies, counted the number of those who stopped by at 175. We also wish to thank the dedicated and hardworking volunteers who are upgrading the home and making it ready for occupancy for families with children and vulnerable adults in our community this spring.
Editor, We feel compelled to comment on the April 8 front page article “Winery debate ferments into complaint.” Thus far coverage of the topic has highlighted the concerns of a small, but very vocal group. Carl and Rita Comfort have been portrayed as having little regard for neighbors or the quality of life on Whidbey. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Editor, On Saturday, April 18, Whidbey Environmental Action Network and Island County Noxious Weed Board held a Scot’s broom pulling event at Double Bluff beach. We thank the Whidbey Island Garden Tour for the grant which provided the weed wrenching tools. A fair amount of broom was pulled, but there’s a lot more to go. The largest plant was attacked with a chain saw because there was no way a weed wrench could have gotten it. The stem had a diameter of about 4 inches and we counted 14 rings. This was a very well established plant. We took home a round as evidence.
Editor, When I attended the April 14 meeting on the proposals for the Langley marina, there were brochures being handed out at the entrance to the meeting hall and on the tables inside titled “The Langley Funicular… we can make it happen!” Upon reading the brochure I noted the author(s) of the brochure made some claims as to the similarities between Langley and Saltburn by the Sea, which is a Victorian seaside town on the North Sea in North Yorkshire, U.K.
Editor, I attended the meeting in Langley, re: ideas to move people up and down from the Marina to Cascade Avenue. The three options that make the most sense are funicular, elevator or trolley-on-wheels. All three choices can have a wheelchair lift.
Editor, There are two successful funicular projects on the West Coast: Dana Point, Calif. and Ketchikan, Alaska. The Ketchikan Cape Fox Tram is 24 years old and was developed to connect Creek Street/downtown with the Cape Fox Hotel/Conference Center and City Civic Center 130 feet above Creek Street.
Editor, South island is generally liberal with numerous contesting agendas, a healthy condition minus a few nasties. Let us not use the lift as a political football, instead work together to strengthen downtown, the marina and resort district. How?
Editor, If we don’t build a funicular/elevator, would we have to return the money? One of the grant’s original purposes was to widen Wharf Street and make the bluff safer. After all, improvements to the marina will be wasted if Wharf Street is damaged or destroyed. Private property owners might be reluctant to invest in new development if Wharf Street is not improved to accommodate more traffic and reduce the likelihood a slide will occur.
Editor, Trish Nilsen’s letter on Wednesday, April 15 deserves further discussion. She laments the incident with the mentally ill patient at Whidbey General Hospital and the subsequent circus of accusations, trials and tarnished reputations. She further states that a patient like this has no business being held in a small, rural hospital like Whidbey General Hospital. Rather, the patient belongs in a specialized facility which doesn’t exist.
Editor, The people of Washington State should support the Overturn of Citizens United versus Election Commission. The influence of money on elections and government policy is now much worse than before the Supreme Court decision. This is not a partisan issue, it is a real assault on our democracy. The grip of corporations and big donors on our political process is not democracy and it silences the voice of the people.
Editor, I want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for the professionalism, competence and compassion of the Whidbey General Hospital Emergency Room staff who were on duty the evening of April 8 when my husband arrived there in the throes of a life-threatening heart attack.
Editor, If I am a pleasure boater who needs walker, wheelchair, motorize scooter, etc. and am coming to Langley to shop (that’s the point of all this), how do I get to the wharf from the floating dock where I have to tie-up? There is a ramp that is very steep at low tide, fairly steep at high tide and slippery when wet. Climbing that ramp with a walker will be difficult, with a wheelchair next to impossible, and a motorized scooter — no way. Trying to come back down that ramp with all the things I have purchased is a lawsuit waiting to happen (and it will).
Editor, Per The Record’s Wednesday, April 15 headline, “Gipson found innocent.” A responsible journalist knows the difference between “innocent” and “not guilty” which are legal terms. The headline could well have been “Gipson not guilty” and still fit.
Editor, I am a co-organizer of the Queer Pride Parade on Whidbey. I claim “queer” as a personal and political identification. Captn Blynd believes that “queer” cannot be spoken in love, and that the pride parade is a hate event. I have extended invitations to meet in person, but to no avail. Sir, I know I will never understand how it feels to be you. Words mean something different to everyone, and I do not seek agreement or sameness. My intention is not to convince you that your experiences with the word “queer” are invalid. But your rejection of “queer” does not mean that I, and this community, cannot claim it.
Editor, Although I do not live in Langley, I have lived in Freeland for 10 years, owned property, paid taxes and have become active in my community. That being said, the Langley funicular issue has my interest. As I write, Island Transit is in the midst of a terrible financial crisis and now has a new, interim executive director with four new Island Transit board members who are trying to balance the books. One of the ways they are doing this has been by cutting back service, including paratransit.
Editor, It is too bad a young man had to die in our county jail to finally get an investigation, hopefully on how the inmates are treated. It doesn’t surprise me though, especially after what I witnessed in the courtroom on Monday April 6. A gentleman was brought in from the Oak Harbor city jail who had simple charges of trespass but when the judge was finished, he was not.
Editor, A germ of another option popped up at the lift workshop on Tuesday. An older idea with a possible new twist: a participant suggested extending the waterfront alley to Boy and Dog Park, then using a lift to access First Street — a long distance and there are issues with adjacent property owners. However, a hybrid may be better: construct an elevator/bridge from the alley to the intersection area of Wharf Street and Cascade/First Streets, between Wharf Street and the Pizzeria.
Editor, Island neighborhoods could suffer serious impacts from a proposed creation of an Island County code for wineries. While part of code language needs clarification, Comfort’s winery on South Whidbey is driving this effort because they don’t meet requirements for rural event centers. It’s important to them because they built a 9,000-square-foot building despite being told previously by county officials that the building and their property doesn’t adhere to existing rules for event centers.