Editor, Recently there was a community forum in Clinton regarding drug use and crime. The Langley Seawall Park now has hours limiting night use because of crime, vandalism and drugs. I found a used needle at the park this spring, but threw it away before I realized there was a growing issue. At a vacant property that I have listed for sale, I have had someone sleep in the yard this summer, something I’ve never seen before, even during the recession years.
Editor, It’s the political season and, in America, isn’t it always? I just had to chime in re: a County Commissioner, Jill Johnson. When asked by Steve Erickson who she was supporting in the national campaigns for president she said, “None of your damn business, Steve.” I happen to believe it is all of our business to know where a local candidate stands philosophically. I suspect that Jill will vote for Trump and follow the “party line” with an answer like that to a constituent’s question, very Trumpian.
Editor, Lest anyone feels sorry for the Archbishop Murphy football team, which has now had five consecutive forfeits, here are the facts about private schools like ATM competing in sports versus small, rural public schools. For the past seven years in the Cascade Conference, in the major team sports Archbishop Murphy and King’s have combined to win 90 percent of the Conference Championships.
Editor, The Trump campaign has now gone largely non-partisan with the abandonment of many of the GOP leadership. As such any normative constraints of civility on his campaign are lost and the Republican party has been dangerously, morally compromised. And most tragically, the self respect of our entire nation, both internally and abroad, is ever more dishonored and ashamed. We can expect political discourse to stretch truth in favor of a candidate’s position, but stretching the truth is quite different from mostly outright lies for the purpose of self promotion and fear mongering. The country is not in dire crisis. The government is nowhere near a disaster. We still hold to a resilient constitutional process, albeit challenged by political and cultural divisions.
Editor, Thank God for Donald Trump. He stands up for the true values that have brought freedom to all Americans. He believes in the Bremerton football coach who kneels and prays on the field. From 1964 to 1967, I attended a public school in Santa Ana, Calif. Our Christian football coach and entire team knelt and prayed in the center of the football field at our stadium before the crowds and before every game. I never heard anyone complain about Santa Ana High School.
Editor, First showers, now food. Wasn’t this the type of thing I was just talking about in my last letter? After Clinton’s community meeting last Monday, I have observed the prompt closure of the food machine behind the community hall. If you think taking away access to free food (which is for ALL WHO ARE IN NEED) will drive the junkies out of the community, think again.
Editor, Mixed in the array of initiatives on this year’s ballot is one that deserves the attention and support of Island County voters. Six years ago the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Citizen United decision, formally equated money with political speech, and in so doing, unleashed a torrent of campaign finance contributions that were unprecedented in our nation’s history.
Editor, Thank you all who came to the Syrian refugee talk on Monday night. The take away was that the most useful area to focus our resources on is financial assistance to the Lutheran Community Services Refugee Resettlement organization, and the making of kits for the new arrivals. These consist of items broken down into categories such as kitchen, cleaning, etc.
Editor, I worked as a building inspector with Angie Homola from 2001 to 2004 in Island County’s planning department. Angie was a dedicated and skilled employee. Her plan reviews and permitted plans were always thorough, which made for fewer complications in the field and smoother projects for builders. She was careful to catch any errors in permit fees and always went the extra mile to assist citizens and builders alike. Angie had good ideas for the department and offered to create code compliant detail handouts for the public, and standardized inspection and plan review check lists for the staff.
Editor, Granted, it’s hard to figure why a candidate runs for office and even harder to predict what, if anything, they will do if elected. Our grandfather would probably advise, “Just follow the money.” I tried it.
Editor, Angie Homola gets my vote for senator in the state’s 10th Legislative District. She’s an honest person who will represent the citizens who live here and, unlike Barbara Bailey, she doesn’t take money from corporate sponsors or run smear campaigns against decent people. Her campaign is one of the people, by the people and for the people. For many years, I was a strong supporter of former state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and if she were still available, she’d get my vote, but she was smeared by an unsavory corporate shill, Barbara Bailey, and lost the election.
Editor, Help me out here. In the same paper I read that we have an affordable housing crisis on Whidbey and that the Navy is bringing in thousands more sailors and their families to Naval Air Station Oak Harbor in the next few years, but sees no need to provide any new island housing because they believe there is plenty within a 100 mile radius. Since we don’t have enough on the island, will the new sailors commute from Issaquah? Index? Darrington? Kent? Langley, BC?
Editor, While you threw in the towel before joining a team for the SPELLathon, your candor about your reservations (strong competitors and being humiliated) spurred the community to participate in this event. We had teams that amazed us with their spelling, and amused us with their team names and costumes. The Clinton Community Hall was packed and the audience participation made the event even more fun. The “Braniacs” (Paul Thompson, Marshall Goldberg & Dianna MacLeod) earned best spellers and best costumes.
Editor, I’m writing in response to a letter penned by Sharon Emerson, published Sept. 12 in the South Whidbey Record regarding Seawall Park. For starters, conversation about Seawall Park was certainly on the agenda for the city council meeting on Oct 3. I was there, in support of the closing of Seawall Park from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m., allowing police to lawfully approach and question people in the park after hours in light of used needles being found down there over the past few months. I also understood that the closure was temporary.
Editor, I just read Wednesday’s paper with the two Langley articles in it. One was the “Happiest Seaside Town” story and the other was about the Langley City Council endorsing closing hours for Langley Seawall Park and the Whidbey opioid problem. This just doesn’t compute! One of these is a wonderful thing, “The Happiness Factor,” we all love happiness. The other is a story about fear and suffering, which we all would rather be free of.
Editor, After Hurricane Matthew has passed, the Southeast Coast will experience a huge secondary disaster, never seen across such a large area: extended power outage. This will impede rescue efforts, slow or block traffic, discontinue clean water service, disrupt sewage treatment, keep the lights, air conditioning, telephone landlines and computers off; discontinue some mobile phone, text, and Internet service, and delay the return of evacuees to their homes.
Editor, In a sneak attack not on the agenda, and despite the mayor’s assurances a week before that the city wasn’t going to act on the proposal for a long time, the council voted to close Seawall Park at night. The vote was the triumph of irrational fears over fact. The council knew full well that there is no ongoing Seawall Park problem.
Editor, The Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund (FoF) wants to thank the South Whidbey community for a successful Mr. South Whidbey Pageant 2016. Our annual fundraiser grossed over $29,0000 — money that will continue to help South Whidbey neighbors with medically-related expenses. Six local men played to an enthusiastic crowd on October 1, competing for the Mr. South Whidbey title. The tongue-in-cheek pageant rules are simple: the candidate who raises the most money for FoF wins.
Editor, As the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island commences its 10th anniversary season this month, we would like to publicly thank the community for all the support it has shown us over the past nine seasons. It is indeed impressive that a community our size can count a hometown professional orchestra among its cultural jewels. This season we are dedicating our season to Whidbey’s greatest asset — its youth.
Editor, I was going to let it go, but now that Marion Blue has lifted the lid on the horse manure debate with her Oct. 5 letter to the Editor, I’m compelled to weigh in. As a user of the many and wonderful trails on the South End of the island, I too have had to navigate around enormous piles of horse dung during my wanderings. Luckily, I’ve been on foot and could either leap over the mounds or leave the trail and go around. Not so easy for bicyclists or parents with hiking strollers, I would imagine.