"Transit vote fills gap left by I-695Island County's voters did the sensible thing last Tuesday and voted for a minor sales tax increase in order to keep Island Transit running near its traditional service level.Although the proposal prompted many naysayers to write letters to the editor and attend Transit Board meetings, in the end the vote wasn't even close. County-wide an impressive 59 percent of voters said yes, with South Whidbey precincts leading the way with an astounding 77.5 percent yes vote. Central Whidbey wasn't far behind with 73 percent support.The proposal failed only in the area north of Oak Harbor, which has never been supportive of Island Transit. But the traditionally tight-fisted Oak Harbor city voters approved the tax with a solid 54.5 percent majority, slightly less than the Camano level of support.The election results should boost the spirits of Island Transit officials who have been under fire since I-695 gutted their budget last November. Now they know for sure that the people of Island County support the bus system, and they can now confidently plan for the future.The transit vote also helped heal the damage from I-695 which eliminated the state Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. The sales tax increase of .03 percent won't cost Island County residents nearly as much as they saved by the removal of the MVET, so taxpayers are still ahead of the game.Memorial Day for youth, tooMemorial Day has always been well recognized on South Whidbey, but this year will be better than ever with services planned for three of our communities: Bayview, Clinton and -- new this year -- Langley.It will be easier than every for islanders enjoying the long weekend to take an hour out to remember what it's all about. Our nation's freedom and prosperity were purchased at a high price, through the deaths of thousands of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice defending their nation and its ideals. South Whidbey's organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Scouts and others recognize that sacrifice by organizing and participating in Memorial Day services.The various services have been well attended by those who remember the wars and lost loved ones to them. But what is generally missing is a sizeable representation of younger people in the community. This year, parents should make a real effort to take their children to one of the services. Fortunately, the United States hasn't been involved in a protracted war since the end of the Vietnam experience, but that also means that a generation has grown up without understanding the true cost of freedom.By attending a solemn Memorial Day ceremony next Monday, children will benefit by getting a taste of what sacrifice is all about. Services will be held at the Langley Cemetery at 10 a.m., Bayview Cemetery at 11 a.m. and Clinton Cemetery at 11 a.m. Attending should be part of every family's Memorial Day weekend plans."

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