LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Michael Nutt touched many

To the editor:

I’m re-reading a remarkable book, titled “Power Vs Force” by Dr. David R. Hawkins.

About power, he says, “It appeals to what uplifts, dignifies and ennobles. Power gives life and energy, force takes these away. Power has to do with motive and principal, with that which supports the significance of life itself. Force, with its insatiable appetite, constantly consumes and divides.”

It’s been a week of contrasts.

Monday and Tuesday this week, on KCTS, a series aired titled “Bush’s War,” in which an elaborate display of force was documented. Tuesday and Wednesday this week many of us here witnessed the heart wrenching and soul warming display of true power, as our community honored Michael Nutt, who equally acknowledged us.

Death itself, in this case, comes with grace. This humble man, this comedic, gifted human being, who touched so many and envisioned so much, has made his exit with a sense of timing that would make any dramatic production ring.

My heart goes out to your family, Michael, and all the friends and organizations who will feel your loss the most.

Joan Govedare


Langley couple are true treasures

To the editor:

At the high school this evening, many from our community came forward to praise, to thank and to tease Michael Nutt.

Near the end of the evening, Michael climbed up to the stage and gave a little speech about how it takes many people to make a community. Michael also made his own tribute to Diane Kendy, his remarkable spouse and another community treasure.

Of course, it’s true that many people joined together with Michael and Diane to do the work of community building. However, without their leadership and example to stir us to move forward, many of us would still be just talking about what we’d like to do to make the world a better place.

Thank you so much, Michael and Diane, for caring enough to be leaders and examples for the rest of us.

Paul Mathews and Karen Vanderbilt


Academy also has many unmet needs

To the editor:

Thank you to recent “letter to the editor” writers who have noted, among other things, that unlike the rest of the South Whidbey School District with declining enrollment, Bayview School’s enrollment is increasing and that the space available is inadequate.

But Bayview is not the only one. Whidbey Island Academy, the South Whidbey School District K-12 Alternative School and Home School Support Program, also has had increasing enrollment and inadequate space.

In fact, the WIA Parent Counsel informed the South Whidbey School District a year and a half ago regarding their knowledge of the state laws determining square footage requirements for public schools and how those laws were not being met at WIA.

Further confusion, dangerous for WIA’s future, ensued when the facilities committee, after more than a year of hard work on recommendations to the school board regarding how to use or close buildings as enrollment decreases, presented both a chart and graph in the report which states erroneously that WIA has more space than it needs!

In spite of parents’ efforts to spruce up the grounds and buildings inside and out; the interior square footage of WIA’s three aged, rickety portables located behind the high school is only about 4,200 square feet which, according to WAC’s plus-or-minus 100-square-foot per student, depending on age, would be at legal capacity with about 42 full-time equivalent (FTE) students.

WIA has had as many as 97 FTEs, and both programs have the potential for growing, not declining, enrollment given the space, which we have in abundance, and the support.

My hope is that the needs of these unique contributory alternative programs will be addressed very, very soon. All South Whidbey School District students have the right to an equitable share of district resources.

Lynn Smith


‘Cowboy’ insults get us nowhere

To the editor:

Mr. Michael Sheehan’s letter regarding all of us “misguided” Americans who support our fight against terrorism deserves a response on several points.

First, my uncle Vernon was cowboy living nearly all his life in Wyoming and Montana except during the three years he was in Europe fighting the Nazis, which included that little skirmish at the Battle of the Bulge.

He was a person of careful deliberation, uncommon good sense and thoughtfulness. The current popular use of the term “cowboy” to demean and insult people is just not acceptable to many of us.

Secondly, if the wisdom of Mr. Sheehan regarding international policy is derived from fictional television shows, I am in sympathy for those who must try to make any sense of what he says. Reading a book entitled “The Fourth Turning” by William Strauss and Neil How might afford him some perspective about history.

Another book entitled “The Middle East: A brief history of the last 2,000 years” by Bernard Lewis and even the Qur’an might also help him understand a little more about Muslim extremism. In case you don’t realize it, the failure to fight for your life, and in this case, our country’s life, is a solid confirmation that we are deserving of death in the eyes of the extremists.

Lastly, some international travel to the parts of the world where freedom does not exist might also help convince Mr. Sheehan that we are nowhere near to being “the world’s greatest terrorists.”

I am sure Mr. Sheehan’s thoughts are a work-in-progress and I do not intend to demean his efforts. But, we should all allow our insults to stand alone without dragging other whole groups of good people into the fray.

Stan Walker


Scott Mauk’s dedication is evident

To the editor:

Bayview School secretary Deann Houk is right when she says about teacher Scott Mauk, “He is what Bayview is.” (Bayview leader will step down, March 22, edition.)

Two of our children (so far) have attended Bayview and our younger son graduated from there last year. Anyone lucky enough to sit in on one on Scott’s classes or during a “mock trial” knows they are in the presence of a true teacher.

Scott cares deeply about Bayview and it’s students. His dedication, hard work and commitment to the students, staff and school are unmistakable.

The South Whidbey School District is extremely lucky to have him, and we hope he continues his excellence in teaching at Bayview for many years to come. Scott, we support you 100 percent.

Marv, Luanne, Eric, Daniel and Kaitlyn Raavel


Scott Mauk can’t be replaced

To the editor:

Scott Mauk is a wonderfully inspiring person. Without him I don’t know where I would be.

I would most likely be a high school dropout, moving from home to home with drug abuse problems, if Scott had not reached his hand out and said “What’s wrong? I want to listen. I’m here for you.”

It was like a hand of acknowledgment. It was amazing to know that he cared. I know that many other students feel the same way as I do.

Scott has made our enrollment increase by getting into our hearts and saying, “I’m here with open ears, open heart and a non-judgmental mind.”

He has a lot of work to do just to be our teacher and director but he also makes time to be our friend — a helping hand to everyone who needs it. Scott is a person everyone can trust and look up to. He is a teacher and director parents look to and say, “My God, how did he get through to my stubborn teen and open their heart again?”

Scott has taught us to have freedom and a voice. For a long time, he has been our voice but now we are speaking out.

We ask the community to keep Scott Mauk as our director. We do not want him to be replaced by someone who thinks they know how to run our school and relate to us when we know the right person is sitting right here with us. He is an important part of the foundation holding our incredible school together — for us and for the whole community. No one can be a better director than Scott.

People of our community, help us keep Scott as our director by signing a petition in Clinton, Langley, Bayview or Freeland. Thank you!

Heather Nielsen


Costs are high in this senseless war

To the editor:

“A roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad on Sunday, the military said, pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000. The grim milestone came on a day when at least 61 people were killed across the country.” Those were the stark words from the Associated Press in the late hours of Easter Sunday.

By the time you read them here, the words will be old news, and the numbers may be higher; but tonight as I write this, they are fresh: young men and women continue to die. The words and the numbers are worth repeating.

Perhaps “the surge” is working as some claim; but at what price? As part of the president’s new strategy, the U.S. military is actually paying approximately 90,000 Iraqi militiamen (many of them former guerrilla fighters) $300 each per month to not kill Americans or loyal Iraqis.

You do the math. What could we do here with $27 million each month? Surely better things than to buy a temporary and clearly imperfect reduction in violence to make an ill-conceived war with no clear objective seem a success.

How long will we pay armed Iraqis not to kill too many people? Is there an acceptable number of days, of dollars, of deaths?

I am not a cynic. I am a citizen of conscience who says it is time to take back our country from those who think we should use American blood and treasure to sustain a senseless occupation of Iraq for the next 100 years.

Hal Seligson