Opinion

EDITORIAL: 65 reasons to be thankful

What better time than Thanksgiving to look back at the past year to find things for which to be thankful? Bad news often dominates national and state headlines, but on Whidbey Island there has been plenty of good news reported. Here are just 65 things to be thankful for as you slice into the turkey.

1. Island County quit spraying poison along its roads.

2. A new tradition of a community Thanksgiving at the Elks Lodge began.

3. No terrorist acts were committed on Whidbey Island.

4. Taxes won’t increase gas prices.

5. Whidbey still has a lot of surviving veterans of World War II.

6. The Wildcats football team went to state playoffs.

7. No major storms occurred in 2002, at least so far.

8. Dorothy Neil is still writing.

9. Greenbank Farm got a pack of alpacas.

10. The state Legislature didn’t do much damage.

11. Flintstone Park kept its name.

12. You can still see Big Rock from Main Street.

13. NAS Whidbey continues to thrive.

14. Coupeville’s school levy passed.

15. Thunder on the Rock was a great show.

16. Operation Enduring Freedom is succeeding with the help of our sailors.

17. The property tax rate in Island County declined.

18. Oak Harbor’s pier idea got $200,000 from the feds.

19. Whidbey Playhouse continues its outstanding tradition of entertainment.

20. Kenmore Air brought seaplanes back to Oak Harbor.

21. New Navy homes alleviated the housing crunch.

22. Whidbey Pies Cafe opened at Greenbank Farm.

23. Spring arrived with a beautiful snow storm.

24. When Island County Red Cross looks for “Real Heroes,” it has no trouble finding them.

25. Coupeville’s girls basketball team finished sixth in state.

26. You like festivals? Whidbey Island has an abundance.

27. On Whidbey Island, if your house burns down, community help comes flowing in.

28. Oak Harbor’s Kmart is still doing business.

29. Elections were held, some incumbents lost and the transfer of power was peaceful.

30. Despite financial problems, Whidbey General Hospital remains an outstanding facility.

31. Les Schwab visited Oak Harbor and checked our tires.

32. Habitat for Humanity keeps pounding nails on Whidbey Island.

33. Whidbey Island has five farmers markets.

34. In Oak Harbor, you can dump your junk for free one day a year.

35. A diverse community makes Oak Harbor interesting.

36. Thanks to WAIF, Whidbey Island is a great place to be a homeless pet.

37. We’re rural enough that coyotes are a problem.

38. Island youth have plenty of athletic and other activities to keep them busy, if they participate.

39. If you dream of becoming a telemarketer, you can get a job in Oak Harbor.

40. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation likes Coupeville’s schools.

41. When our school buses have accidents, no one is seriously injured.

42. In Deception Pass State Park, we’ve got one of the state’s top tourist attractions.

43. Hundreds of outstanding seniors graduated from our high schools.

44. Orca and gray whales continue to swim in our waters, and bald eagles fly our friendly skies.

45. Farmers still grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and lavender that people can pick.

46. The Navy has spend millions to clean up parts of Whidbey Island, and the work continues.

47. A PBY “flying boat” is coming home, thanks to the PBY Memorial Association.

48. Ebey’s Reserve continues to grow through federal funding.

49. Despite low pay, Whidbey Islands teachers keep right on teaching.

50. We should start looking better now that we have a plastic surgeon working on the island.

51. Salmon fishing isn’t what it used to be, but there’s still plenty of fish in the Sound.

52. Oak Harbor’s two Dutch churches have been serving the community for 100 years.

53. WASL test scores in Oak Harbor and Coupeville are generally improving.

54. We had a beautiful October.

55. Toby’s Tavern has a moose head that can act.

56. Even in this military area, people can stand on a corner and protest a war and be treated respectfully by passersby.

57. You can now ride your BMX bike in the skateboard park.

58. The big Garry oak tree still stands by the post office.

59. Small, independent business people and artists make the island a more interesting and creative place to live.

60. With little public recognition, ferry employees keep the boats safely coming and going from Whidbey Island in all kinds of weather, while bringing thousands of tourists to our shores.

61. Poor people can now get legal advice for free in Oak Harbor.

62. We’ve got some of the best cheerleaders in the U.S.A.

63. Coupeville finally has its own bakery.

64. Island County government is now a two party system.

65. We had little earthquakes, but not the big one.

You get the idea. There’s plenty to be thankful for if you live on Whidbey Island. Now, have a happy Thanksgiving!

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