Editor's Column

"Island needs contrary viewsWe’re in a new year, a new century, and a new millennium, which means it’s time to start some new thinking. Contrary thinking, to be exact. It’s regular thinking that has brought us to where we are today so we need some contrary opinions issued by a support group that might be called the Whidbey Island Contrarian Society, whose goal it is to boldly speak the thoughts of many islanders who are too cowed by regular thinkers to speak up.When being contrary, there is strength in numbers. And although the contrarian view would likely not carry many arguments, it would at least enliven the discussion and show there’s another way of looking at things.There are so many things to be contrary about that it overloads aging synapses, but as a sampler here’s some popular regular thinking contrasted with the contrarian view.Regular thinking: These ferry cutbacks caused by I-695 are terrible. Tourism will drop like a rock tossed off the back end of the Kittitas.Contrarian view: These ferry cutbacks are great. There’s already too many tourists using our county roads. You don’t need a ferry to get to Spanaway.Regular thinking: These ferry cutbacks are going to kill local businesses.Contrarian view: These ferry cutbacks will be great for local business. Locals will finally shop locally if it takes eight hours to get to Costco.Regular thinking: All the cities and counties should jack up room prices two percent and use the money to attract more tourists.Contrarian view: Jack up room prices as much as you want, but use the money to pay for mainland ads that will keep tourists away. Possible themes: “Whidbey Island -- a Great Place to Wait in Line,” and “Whidbey Island -- Welcome to our Wal Mart.”Regular thinking: Let’s have annual tours of the island’s finest homes and gardens.Contrarian view: Let’s show people our seediest lawns and dumpiest double-wides and admit that’s how many islanders live -- and you could too, if you moved here.Regular thinking: North, Central and South Whidbey should work together for economic development.Contrarian view: Whatever happened to the idea of building a canal and wall across the island at Greenbank?Regular thinking: Let’s storm the newspaper office and lynch the editor.Contrarian view: Hey, that’s a good idea."

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