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"Learning to love initiativesIn the 1960s there was a popular phrase that went something like this: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. Well, times have changed, so we're learning how to love initiatives.After this space advised people against a couple of school funding initiatives, the public went ahead and overwhelmingly supported both. As a result, applied locally, South Whidbey schools will receive an additional $4 million over the next five years, and South Whidbey teachers are guaranteed cost of living increases annually.It's not that we were against spending more on education, but we realized that there are many other needs facing our elected representatives in Olympia. What about maintaining and improving state parks? We need better enforcement of our fish and wildlife rules. Nursing homes are in dire straits. Our mentally and physically handicapped citizens have needs that are not being met. Endangered salmon need more protection. Puget Sound needs cleaning up in places. The Department of Social and Health Services must do a much better job protecting the state's neglected children from abuse. The list goes on and on, and if there is one constant it is that there is never enough money to meet all the needs.However, the people, through the initiatives they supported, have taken the burden off the Legislature by prioritizing spending. Millions more for education means less for everything else. We can live with that. The Legislature will have to live with that. Once you learn to love initiatives, there are fewer things to worry about in the world.Saying something nice about PSEPuget Sound Energy and its predecessor, Puget Power, has been South Whidbey's favorite whipping boy for years. To recount just a few complaints: Removing Langley's generator, clearcutting outside the city limits, slow response to power outages, excessive right-of-way clearing, elimination of the local office. The list goes on, but you get the idea.So it is with some surprise that we find ourselves praising Puget Sound Energy. Our only power company decided this year to do what many citizens have been requesting for years -- put some of the power lines underground where the tree limbs can't find them.Finally, PSE has responded. The company has spent about a quarter of a million dollars this fall undergrounding lines along Resort Road, Swede Hill Road and Saratoga Road, three places where the tree limb problem is particularly bad. Next time the wind blows, those branches won't have any lines to crash into.Puget Sound Energy plans to do more undergrounding of South Whidbey electrical lines next year, if the proposal survives the budgeting process. This effort is PSE first real public relations success for many years. We appreciate the good work, PSE. Keep it up. "

Community Events, April 2014

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