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"Politics at its finestThe successful effort to open the Possession Point coho shore fishing season earlier than planned was an excellent example of good politics in every sense of the word.Two Democrats, Rep. Dave Anderson, D-Clinton, and John McCoy, a Tulalip tribal member and Democratic candidate for the state House, managed to do the seemingly impossible. Coho fishing opened Saturday in front of the Possession Point Bait Company two full weeks earlier than planned.The early opener translated into some much-needed business for the family-owned Bait Company and hundreds of hours of recreation for the island's shore anglers. Without the early opener, many of the hatchery coho returning to the Bait Company pond where they were raised in their early months would have gone to waste.To accomplish the early opening, the pair of Democrats had to quickly gain support for the idea from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the other Puget Sound Indian tribes. Getting all these parties on board to support a single good idea usually takes months of negotiations, but Anderson and McCoy did it in a week.Their success no doubt won the two candidates some well-deserved points in their respective campaigns. Anderson is in a tough race with Barry Sehlin, R-Oak Harbor, while McCoy is trying to unseat Republican Kelly Barlean, R-Langley.Neither election will hinge on the early opening of salmon season on one tiny Puget Sound beach. But on Whidbey Island, at least, anyone who helps fishermen is going to benefit at the ballot box. The early opener was an excellent demonstration of politics at its finest.Phone booth on Classic is classicWhidbey Telephone Company owner David Henny expressed exactly the right sentiments when he stated recently that he wants to replace the phone booth at Classic Road and Highway 525 when a road widening project is finished.For decades, the phone booth has marked the divide between South Whidbey and the rest of the island. Classic Road is roughly the boundary of the South Whidbey School District and Port of South Whidbey, and the end of the old Whidbey Telephone service area. Not long ago, anything beyond the phone booth was a long distance call. In recent years Whidbey Telephone has expanded its service into the Greenbank area, but the phone booth is still the symbolic boundary of South Whidbey.Due to the increased use of cellular phones and the cost of maintaining phone booths in an age of frequent vandalism, the days of phone booths are no doubt numbered. But the Classic Road phone booth is more than that -- it is where South Whidbey begins. David Henny understands this and will have 100 percent support from South Whidbey residents when he replaces the phone booth after the highway work is done. If the state Department of Transportation tries to stop him, we'll have to organize a demonstration. Nobody should try to mess with out Classic phone booth. "

Community Events, April 2014

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