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"Learn to live with Clinton lanesPart of a popular prayer asks God's help in letting us accept those things which we cannot change. Such a prayer seems appropriate in Clinton, where the Department of Transportation's new ferry lane scheme is crying out for change.The DOT placed white stripes in a lane and called it a shoulder. Unfortunately, a lane by any other name is still a lane to many people, and motorists are still using the shoulder as a lane, dangerously passing those drivers obeying the law and using the sole remaining lane as a lane.New traffic signs are ambiguous at best and misleading at worst. The whole idea of eliminating one lane in Clinton is silly. For decades, islanders and tourists alike did fine using both lanes until they came to the ferry lane back-up. Then, using their innate common sense, they either joined the back-up or moved to the other lane. Suddenly, the DOT thinks we're a flock of brainless sheep needing to be herded down the desired path.But wait. Let's not get too exercised about this. The DOT started playing with the lanes over a year ago, and yet the number of accidents doesn't appear to have increased. The most recent signing and striping efforts haven't helped, but then again they haven't resulted in even more collisions. People are getting by even if they're confused, thanks to their own good judgement.The DOT determinedly put its Clinton traffic plan in place. All input from the public, including the Clinton Subarea Planning Committee, the Clinton Forum, and the Ferry Advisory Committee, was ignored. It's a state highway, and residents of this community have no more say than the beetles that crawl along the outside lane. Oops, make that the shoulder.No, we don't like it but we'll learn to live with it. Be careful driving down the inside lane in Clinton, watch out for people passing in the shoulder lane, and never turn right without looking real carefully first.We may not like the DOT changes, but we pray that we we can learn to live with them in serenity. There's no other choice.Good may come from Exxon stationAn interesting situation in Freeland may result in some public good -- and good will -- from the controversial Exxon gas station project.Developers discovered that a septic line easement from the project site to the off-site drainfield runs through a wetland. They would like another easement from Trinity Lutheran Church, which owns the property. The other alternative is to run the line alongside the highway, but it's a costlier, more time consuming option.The church finds itself mixed up in the Exxon controversy, but it also has found a possible way out. The developers will pay for the new easement across church property, with the money directed to some general community good as determined by the church's board of directors. Helping Hand and/or the Friends of Freeland property acquisition project have been proposed.This looks like a win/win situation for all concerned. The developers get their easement and the community as a whole benefits. The time to fight about the project is past. Now, it's simply a situation where a neighbor can help a neighbor with everyone benefiting.Who could argue with that? "

Community Events, April 2014

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