June 25, 2008 · Updated 9:41 PM
"We are luckyIt should have been worse.When 70 mph winds ripped across South Whidbey Thursday night and early Friday morning, the damage caused by the tempest was the kind that can kill. On Saratoga Road, near Baby Island, a giant tree smashed the old Baby Island Manor to bits, crushing both floors of the landmark building. Its owners were not sleeping there that night. On Cultus Bay Road, another huge tree fell across the road, taking down power lines with it. No one was driving there at the time. It is simply amazing and fortunate that not a single person was hurt during the wind storm, which was one of the worst in recent memory. Even the power was not out terribly long: Most Southend residents had their lights on by late Friday night or early Saturday morning thanks to Puget Sound Energy line crews that pulled 24-hour shifts in freezing weather to fix scores of line breaks between Deception Pass and Possession Point. As all of us start the holiday season, this storm serves as an excellent reminder -- a reminder that we are soft creatures in a hard world and that we Americans, specifically, are the most fortunate of those soft creatures. Most of us here on South Whidbey will spend the holidays with family, eat good food, and even exchange gifts that we were able to buy with disposable income few people in the world can say they have. Few of us will be sick or dying and, luckily, none of us will be counted as victims of the Big 2000 Wind Storm. So when the holiday turkey gets a little overdone and dry, or when every holiday gift turns out to be socks, underwear, or a new steam iron, don't forget how lucky we are to escape Mother Nature's winter wrath. Feel fortunate, because you are.Soccer, baseball must work together at the parkLast week, the relationship between the two largest youth sports organizations on South Whidbey was strained to the breaking point. At a meeting of the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District board of commissioners, parents representing the South Whidbey Youth Soccer Association did everything but actually come out and say that Little League baseball players do not deserve more field space at the South Whidbey Community Park.The near-assertion came as the association waits to take possession of the largest soccer field complex ever built on South Whidbey. The parks district is building three new soccer fields on 30 acres of land it purchased earlier this year, fields it expects to finish by 2002. Even so, members of the soccer association called into question the park's intention to spend $40,000 of $1.3 million in voter approved bond money to build a baseball field on a portion of an existing soccer field after the new soccer fields are completed.In the discussion that followed, association members took some deserved credit for helping pass that bond. But at the same time, in a thinly veiled allusion to South Whidbey Little League, the association's president said other sports organizations should have to step up to the plate financially before they also receive more field space.That sort of attitude is not what the taxpayers of South Whidbey voted for last May when they approved that bond. The money, and the land and athletic facilities it is buying, is for all park users. The soccer association and Little League just happen to be the two heaviest users, with more than 1,300 athletes between them. Both sports are and should be benefiting, as the voters intended. Arguing about who gets more is childish.If the park is to continue to be the sort of facility visiting teams talk about when they go back to their home fields, cooperation between its two biggest users is a must. It's time for soccer and baseball to get along and be happy for one another. Because, isn't that what sportsmanship is all about? "