BETWEEN CLASSES: A few requests from your Island teens

Living on South Whidbey is hard for teenagers. As high school seniors about to leave the island indefinitely, we have compiled a list of improvements and additions proposed by our fellow students.

Living on South Whidbey is hard for teenagers. As high school seniors about to leave the island indefinitely, we have compiled a list of improvements and additions proposed by our fellow students.

Our peers were asked if there was anything they had ever craved or felt the island lacked during their time as members of the South Whidbey youth community. We present to you our findings:

Food was clearly on the mind of the first of our classmates, who named an Ethiopian restaurant and a pizza parlor with chocolate chip pancakes, open until at least 3 a.m., as personal priorities.

Most islanders can agree that we lack true ethnic restaurants, although the new noodle shop, Basil Café (where the Smiling Dog/Three Cats used to be), has added a small burst of color to the restaurant section of our phone books.

Not surprisingly, the next demand put forth by our peers was a more extensive bus system.

This train of thought (no pun intended) led quickly to rentable bikes, as well as sailboats (which would reduce gridlock), a subway system and a complete ban on SUVs from Greenbank southward. High school students also wanted to know how long it will be before our island becomes entirely self-sustaining.

Other seniors could care less about chocolate pancakes and renewable energy resources. The fact is that they want things to make the rock more interesting not more green.

Two vehement demands were for an ice skating rink and a performance venue that holds concerts by artists and bands who aren’t Django’s thirtieth cousins.

Whidbey Island is the brunt of Mother Nature’s cruelest joke ever. Here we are, surrounded by emerald water and flawless beaches, but for eleven-fifths of the year, Puget Sound is too cold for polar bears to swim in.

The solution is to throw the joke back in nature’s face; Salt-water swimming pools. This type of swimming pool is better for children than chlorine pools and won’t burn off swimmers’ retinas. Hot springs are a nice possibility, too.

In addition, many of our peers are tired of the monotonous green that covers our island, and requested a small exotic flower and cacti conservatory with an attached aquarium.

Our island has a gorgeous, untainted setting and it would be a shame for us to waste this.

While we’re at all this improving, why not take advantage of our views of the night sky unadulterated by light pollution? An observatory would be an excellent addition to our rock.

On a less materialistic note, South Whidbey deserves its independence. Islanders have been chained to the burdens of Washington state and America for too long. Only through independence would we be able to achieve such improvements as crosswalks in Clinton, a synagogue and newer movies at The Clyde.

We want more for our homeland. Certain islanders already refer to the mainland as “America,” so why not make it happen for real?

As fellow citizens of South Whidbey, we ask you to rise up and do what’s right. Vote for an Independent South Whidbey in 2009!

Barbara Haupt and Philip Hofius can be reached at

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