Letters to the Editor

Letters

Don’t limit property owners

Reading the recent news items concerning the property restrictions to be inflicted on the owners by the Navy and local politicians and board members. I am flabbergasted.

After living on Moran Beach for 16 years, and having the planes doing “touch and go’s” over the houses with nothing being done to keep them in their prescribed patterns, I cannot see the logic in restricting the rights of property owners in areas where the planes fly no lower than they do over our houses. It is a frequent occurrence for the planes to come over our houses at 200 feet and 300 feet altitude, at times gunning it. It is also interesting to note that when pilots rent houses in our area, no planes come over at all.

Do not decrease the value of the land and homes of these people when you can’t even regulate the flights over existing populated homes.

Bart Bush

Moran Beach

We’re right up there with China

Here’s a news item you probably won’t see reported in the U.S. press:

The annual survey of worldwide privacy rights conducted by Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center has been released for 2007, and the U.S. has been downgraded from “Extensive Surveillance Society” to “Endemic Surveillance Society,” the worst possible category there is for privacy protections, the category also occupied by countries such as China, Russia, and Malaysia (details at privacyinternational.org).

This is what seven years of rule by conservatives, those “defenders of our Constitutional rights”, have done for us.

Do you feel safer now? Or perhaps you’re among those people who “haven’t done anything wrong, so have nothing to fear.”

Rob Lewis

Langley

Firefighter

to the rescue

We are writing to make the community aware of service beyond the scope of duty by one of your firefighters, Ray Merrill.

On April 4, our husband and father, Robert B. Tant, was in the process of dying in a nursing home. It was very important to him and to us that he get to die at home.

Bob’s nurse in the nursing home assured us that she had checked everywhere, and that there was no ambulance service that would be able to transport him home, for a variety of reasons. We were pretty distraught, until we thought of checking with the local fire department.

Linda proceeded to the main fire station, where Mr. Merrill answered her knock on the door. She explained the situation of Bob’s imminent death, his life spent in service to his country and his community, and of our need to get him home to die, and asked if he could help us find a way. He assured her that he “had him covered” and would do everything he could to assist.

Shortly thereafter, an ambulance arrived at the nursing home and brought Bob home. He arrived home around 7:30, and he passed away at 8:45. He knew where he was, and he had apparently just been waiting to get home to die and so he passed away very peacefully.

Had it not been for Ray Merrill, his outstanding compassion and willingness to go out of his way to accommodate us, we would not have had the opportunity to see Bob out of this world in the comfort and serenity of his own home, and we would have lad to live the rest of our lives with the knowledge that we had failed to keep our promise to him.

We therefore want to express our eternal gratitude to your remarkable firefighter. He’s a wonderfully compassionate person and an outstanding public servant. He accomplished what we’d been assured could not be done, and we will always remember him for it.

June H. Tant, wife of Robert Tant

Linda C. Tant Miller, daughter of Robert Tant

Irish find

great support

What a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day parade! The weather turned out great and we had one of the best crowds ever downtown to watch all the festivities parade their green down Pioneer Way!

The ceremonies at our Blarney Stone at the windmill were very fun. They included our Grand Marshal, Mike Thelen, Vern Olsen on the accordion, Mayor Jim Slowik kissing the Blarney Stone, as well as Captain Gerral David from NAS Whidbey.

Special thanks to our local merchants who donate their time and merchandise for this fun day: Discount Party Store for special parade handouts and prizes; Midway Florist for the beautiful corsages and boutonnieres for our dignitaries; Mr. Music for the speaker system; and Seasha Hall from Custom Engraving, who donates the fabulous plaque every year.

This year’s winners were Regency on Whidbey (plus their two leprechauns, Tammy and Kelly) for Most Enthusiasm, the Crab Queens for Classiest Green Float, and Louise Mueller and her dog Molly for Best Green Ensemble.

We had super entertainment at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club following the ceremonies. Our Community Band played Irish songs for the sing-a-long and Vel catered a delicious corned beef buffet enjoyed by everyone. It was a fine day for the Irish and Irish wannabes. Many thanks to everyone!

Barb Jacobs

The Irish Wildlife Society

Writers enjoy historic setting

The Whidbey Writers Workshop, a program of the Whidbey Island Writers Association, recently completed its sixth semi-annual residency on the grounds of the charming and historic Captain Whidbey Inn in Coupeville. Students from across the country joined a faculty of award-winning author-instructors for 10 days of immersion in the process of creative writing, as well as the profession of writing.

The board of directors, faculty and WWW staff express our heartfelt thanks to Loyd Moore of the Captain Whidbey Inn for our use of the inn during its renovation, our many scholarship donors for recognizing that higher education should not remain a dream deferred, the board of directors and members of the Whidbey Island Writers Association for their support and encouragement and our outstanding staff, faculty and students, whose enthusiasm and love for writing energizes us all.

With the continued support of this generous community, we look forward to our next residency in August at Camp Casey, along with the commencement ceremony of our second graduating class. In the meantime, we encourage local writers to become involved in WIWA and its ongoing programs, including writing classes, author readings and our nationally recognized Whidbey Island Writers Conference, celebrating its tenth anniversary beginning with pre-conference workshops on Feb. 28. For more information about all of WIWA’s programs for writers, visit www.writeonwhidbey.org.

Pam Owen

WIWA program director

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