Letters to the Editor

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Runners should see cars coming

My husband and I enjoy watching the marathon pass by our house every year. We were amazed and delighted by the numbers this year.

We do have one concern: Why do the runners run with the traffic instead of against the traffic? The organizers had set up cones along the road that we assumed were to guide the runners to stay out of traffic. However, on more than one occasion we felt the need to honk our horn at a runner running to the left of the cone in the car traffic lane.

Suggestion: Have the runners run against traffic. Then they can see that a car is coming before they decide to pass another runner.

At the very least, they’ll know what hit them.

Rita Dybdahl Cline

Oak Harbor

Many make

job easier

The residents of Oak Harbor and Coupeville made my volunteer job of Volunteer Coordinator for the 2008 Whidbey Island Marathon a breeze! Thanks to many civic groups (including Kiwanis, North Whidbey Lions, Boy Scouts 92, 4-H, WAIF, Radio Club, Gold Wing motorcycles), local churches, student and athletic groups from Oak Harbor and Coupeville, and private individuals, coming up with almost 400 volunteers for the marathon was a breeze!

I want to say a special thank you to OHHS ROTC cadets, who alone provided 200-plus hours of volunteer service for the race and race preparation, and to Niki Luper, OHHS athletic director and Randy King, Coupeville track coach. NAS also stepped up, including the Marines who helped with last minute volunteer needs. We were able to show many island visitors the enthusiasm and hospitality that Whidbey Island has to offer. Thanks again and we hope to see you again next year!

Dena Royal

Coupeville

Take time to thank a teacher

I don’t really recall where I saw this sign recently. Maybe on the back of a car or in a teacher’s lounge, but I remember chuckling when I saw it and thinking, corny, but catchy just the same. However, as the days passed, the phrase kept rolling around my head until I came up with this idea. What if we actually thanked a teacher, or two, who did something that made a profound impact on us or one of our children? So, hoping that the editor will find this worthy to include, here is my list of thank yous to some of the teachers that made a difference in my life.

1. Thank you, Mrs. Helen Bean. It was my 5th grade year and I was at Broad View Elementary. Yes, the one here in town. I was caught cheating on a reading test. Mrs. Bean took me in the center room and using the perfect blend of guilt and reason as only a skilled teacher can, taught me a lesson I have never forgotten. Thanks for helping me see the error of my ways.

2. Thank you Mr. Ed O’Leary. He taught me more about the value of reading than any other teacher. I remember so vividly him reading the last few chapters in “Where the Red Fern Grows.” You know, the really sad chapters. He cried and cried. I have never been able to read that book without shedding tears. Thanks for showing me the power books can have.

3. Thank you, Mr. Ken Grigsby. During my time at Oak Harbor Junior High, he was my history teacher. He inspired me to become a teacher. There was no specific experience I can connect to my love of this profession, but simply that he made it look like a fun job to have. Well, 16 years later, I still wake up in the morning and like coming to work. Thanks for passing on such a great profession!

4. Thank you, Mr. Ken Bender. Mr. Bender was my mechanical drawing and shop teacher. I’m not sure what they call it nowadays, though. Mr. Bender taught me a couple very practical skills that I used most recently when I built a deck on the front of my house. He taught me to never put more of my finger in front of the saw blade than I wanted to get cut off. He taught me how to read a tape measure. He also taught me that a saw blade takes off 1/8 and to take that into consideration when cutting wood. Thanks for helping me make my deck turn out perfectly!

I could go on and on with this, but you get the idea. So, take a little time to make a teacher’s day. Teachers love to have students return years later and tell them that they made a difference. Email them, call them, or send them a card. With all the bad press public education gets these days, there was a teacher who made a difference for you. Take a moment to find that teacher and say thank you.

Duane Sisto

Oak Harbor Middle School teacher

Police should register bikes

I was thinking the other day. I remember when I was growing up, when we got a new bike, we could go down to the police station and get our bikes registered including a small license plate for our bikes. I don’t think we had to pay for that at the time.

I think the police or city should consider some program for kids where they can register their bikes with the police station in case their bikes get stolen. Kind of like the fingerprint program. Maybe charge about $5 or so filing fee. It would put money into the city fund and the kids would have a registration in case the bikes are lost or stolen. What do you think?

Jill Hagar

Oak Harbor

Benefits to

Navy’s departure

“What if the Navy left?” (“Sound Off,” April 19.)

Well, let us just consider the consequences:

Quiet after the last plane departs.

Freedom from noise restricted land use.

Navy night life that includes night clubs, fights, and intoxication: gone.

The roads approaching the base will no longer ring with the boom of sound systems.

The roads approaching the base will no longer feature daredevil motorcyclists and road racing.

A larger percentage of area consumers will vote locally and politicians will no longer bank on a voiceless constituency.

No more will money avoid Oak Harbor.

We can now build a sustainable community with jobs capitalizing on our natural resources instead of our national defense. Martha’s Vineyard is a nice model for Whidbey.

If the Navy left Whidbey, I think we will survive quite nicely.

Thomas Garrod

Oak Harbor

Thief hits

wren’s box

To the miscreant who stole my small wrens’ nest box, take a good look in the mirror.

H.E. Link

Oak Harbor

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