News

Editor's Column

"When I was sports editor for this newspaper, I got a call from an unidentified Oak Harbor resident.Why are you always writing about Coupeville? he demanded. Why aren't you giving better coverage to Oak Harbor teams?I can't remember the circumstances, exactly. Maybe the Coupeville girls basketball team was on a run to the state tournament. Maybe the Oak Harbor teams weren't playing quite as well. I always tried to balance our coverage, but like most sportswriters I could be guilty of jumping on the bandwagon of a winner.But then the caller got down to his real beef. Maybe it's because all you News-Times writers live in Coupeville, he said.At the time, one of our reporters lived in Coupeville, as did our editor. I lived in Rolling Hills, between Oak Harbor and Coupeville. But this caller probably figured my 678 home prefix meant I was another Coupevillian infiltrator.Today, none of our newsroom staff lives in Coupeville. We've got two Oak Harborites, two Greenbankers, two Rolling Hills folks and one guy still looking for a place to live. And we're still trying to balance our Oak Harbor and Coupeville coverage. Not just on our sports page, but throughout the paper.Since I became editor last spring, if anything our coverage has tilted more toward Oak Harbor. Again, maybe this is appropriate, since the News-Times is based in Oak Harbor, more news happens there and more of our circulation is centered there. But a lot happens in Coupeville, too, and we need to cover it.In today's News-Times you'll find our latest attempt at reflecting our entire community in the pages of this paper. We've decided to try a Coupeville page, which we'll run every other week. On it, we plan to do a featured story about the people or news of that town. We'll also gather together other bits of current information about Coupeville happenings, and include our Coupeville advertisers on the page.This does not mean Coupeville news won't be in the paper at other times. Coupeville stories will still make the front page of the News-Times. Coupeville sports stories will still be featured on our sports pages.The Coupeville page is simply meant to give our readers a regular dose of Coupeville news. (Today you'll find it on page A7.)So I didn't tell that Oak Harbor caller my personal feelings about Coupeville, because I didn't figure he'd want to hear it: I love the town.I have vague memories of visiting Coupeville when I was a kid growing up in Tacoma. Honestly, though, Deception Pass sticks in my mind more. But exactly six years ago, in January 1995, I visited the News-Times for a job interview, and afterward drove down the road to Coupeville.It was around 4:30 p.m. I parked on Front Street. Downtown Coupeville is a pretty quiet place in January. I looked at the picturesque shops, the wharf and its backdrop of Mount Baker and Penn Cove. The sun was setting, and the waters were tinged gold. On cue, the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce eagle flew overhead. It was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen. I know other people have had similar Coupeville moments. It's why Coupeville residents care so much about where they live. It's why Ken Pickard and Will Jones talk for 45 minutes at a stretch on a single issue at a town council meeting. It's why you have lifetime Coupeville residents like Nancy Conard, Larry Cort and Rob Harbour working to hang on to Coupeville's unique character. It's why half the town turns out for a homecoming gridiron showdown between the Coupeville Wolves and the Darrington Loggers.Coupeville is a special place.You can reach News-Times editor Mike Page-English at editor@whidbeynewstimes.com "

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