Opinion

Editorials

"Kids responsible for drug actionsSouth Whidbey parents are deeply concerned about illegal drugs, a fact evidenced by two very well attended meetings last week.Law enforcement officers, community members, students and school officials made it clear that drugs are a serious problem in the community. That old standby marijuana remains popular, as is cocaine, but the biggest fear is the increased use of methamphetamines which are cheap and dangerous. “Meth” is suspected as contributing to the recent murder of one young man who not that long ago was a student in the high school.These and many other inducers of altered states of consciousness have parents and authorities wringing their hands about what to do. Pardon a bit of cynicism, but we have seen all this before through the years, and nothing has stopped the increased tide of drug use despite many good-faith efforts to be supportive of middle school and high school students.What appears to be missing from all the proposed solutions is a clear message that the students themselves are responsible for their actions. Even at middle school age they know right from wrong. They’ve been subject to a barrage of anti-drug messages from parents, the schools, media and teen cultural icons for many years. But still they choose to use drugs, showing little fear for the physical or social consequences.It’s time to stop all this hand wringing and just send a clear message to the kids. Get caught with drugs in school or out of school and you’re expelled -- for the rest of the year or even longer. You’ll also spend time in the new juvenile jail once it is built, and your case will go to a judge ( even on a first offense), and he or she will hand down an appropriately painful sentence.This isn’t getting tough, it’s just getting real. Society doesn’t owe young lawbreakers any special treatment, and our experience has shown that hugs and other types of moral support are ineffective.Kids need to learn at a young age that they -- and no one else -- are responsible for their actions. Only when they understand that message will our drug problem begin to wane.Two markets is so -- South WhidbeyIt’s not very sensible. It’s not very logical. But it’s very South Whidbey, which makes it very likable.This is in reference to to the recent decision by the Tilth membership to move its highly popular farmers market down to Thompson Road, and away from its 25-year home at Bayview Corner.The decision was made in order to retain control over the historic farmers market. New Bayview Corner owner Nancy Nordhoff decided to expand management of the existing market location to include other organizations, businesses and the public. Tilth wasn’t willing to give up its control, so its members simply decided to move elsewhere.Nobody is to blame for splitting the market. Nordhoff was trying to make it more inclusive, which is hard to argue with; while Tilth proudly wanted to keep something it had started, which also is understandable. Sure, having a single farmers market makes more sense, but South Whidbey tends to attract independent minded people who like to do things their way. So we’ll have two farmers markets when the season begins next spring. Customers no doubt will frequent both, and we’ll all live happily ever after."

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