By starting the consumer shopping frenzy called Black Friday a day early, several large retailers are being criticized for eating away at Thanksgiving Day, a traditional time for family gatherings, feasting and reflection, Whidbey residents can easily avoid the madness and keep the holidays merry by shopping on the island. Whidbey Island has an abundance of unique shops and is great for thoughtful gift items all season long.
It is human nature to take things for granted. When you’ve always had something, when it’s been around your entire life, it’s only natural to overlook it, to think it will always be here. But that’s not the case, and this time of year reminds us to be appreciative of what we have. I’m not talking about creature comforts like plentiful electricity, clean water, electronic gadgets or the family car.
Each year, as individuals, many of us gather with friends and loved ones to give thanks for the incredible blessings in our lives. As a community newspaper, the Whidbey News-Times has much to be grateful for. First and foremost, we are grateful to exist in a free society, one in which the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to free speech.
When Everett Democrat Nick Harper abandoned his state Senate seat earlier this month, you might have thought voters would be the ones to pick his replacement. You’d have been right 100 years ago. Not today. Washington’s original state constitution required that special elections be held to fill vacancies in the House or Senate. A change enacted in 1929 shifted the state to an appointment process and put county councils in charge of finding suitable successors from any political party.
The North Whidbey Park and Recreation District Board of Commissioners seems to be floundering in the deep end of the pool. The board has yet to approve a 2014 budget, and now the district’s director, Bill Walker, has submitted his resignation. Walker cites a dysfunctional board that’s too focused on the public pool’s aquatics club and masters programs.
Initiative 522 failed to pass for more reasons than just the $22 million opponents shelled out to defeat it. All those bucks certainly made a difference; it was the most money ever spent against an initiative in state history, so far. Had those pushing the food labeling initiative done a better job seeding their message throughout the state and tilling the fields of voters, they could have harvested victory.
Editor’s note: The following column may contain language considered offensive by some. Politics is a blood sport on Whidbey Island. Within weeks of my arrival here nearly nine months ago, I managed to upset the local Tea Party supporters and quickly landed on a long list of their “enemies.”
Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson has, for the second time in three years, filed a lawsuit against the county Planning Department concerning the same issue — the dispute over a building permit. It’s unfortunate that the fires of this seemingly endless debate are relit under the banner of righteousness. This long-drawn-out controversy began in 2010 during Emerson’s campaign to unseat former District No. 3 Democrat Commissioner John Dean. Word got out that Emerson and her husband, Kenneth, were building a deck at their Camano Island home without first obtaining a county permit.
No words can express the sadness being felt in our community in the wake of the deaths of twins Janesah and Janeah Goheen. Janesah died Monday at Harborview Medical Center. Janeah was declared dead at the scene of the Oct. 31 accident near Anacortes. The girls, who lived in Oak Harbor, were 17.