Letters to the Editor

Vote yes for Coupleville library | Whidbey Letters to the Editor


Vote yes on library

Please help the Coupeville Library expand and upgrade so it can continue to be a hub of community activity. A strong and free nation requires an informed citenzry. Libraries are, have been, and will continue to be a pillar for keeping “we, the people” knowledgeable.

Help our library keep up with the needs of our community. It needs more space for books, for information access, for children, for staff work areas and for people to meet and discuss ideas, plans, projects and issues important to them, our community, our nation and our world.

Your vote is important. For the cost of less than one hardback book a year, $21, an owner of a house assessed at $300,000 can help our community have a library that will serve us well for many years to come. If you can save the purchase of one book a year by making better use of the library, you will come out ahead.

For more details on the proposals, go to www.votyescoupevilleli


Chic Merwine



Penn Cove fest a success

Saturday, May 17, we celebrated the 17th annual Penn Cove Water Festival in Coupeville.

Thanks to the hard work of a small group of dedicated volunteers, we have been able to carry on the revived tradition of historic Coupeville Water Festivals of the 1930s featuring Native canoe races on Penn Cove, with the added cultural and environmental education features of the Penn Cove Water Festival.

The support of many individuals, organizations and businesses enable us to continue this tradition, and though we don’t have room to possibly thank everyone involved, special thanks go out to the following for financial support of the festival:

National Endowment for the Arts, Tulalip Tribes, Stillaguamish Tribe, Island County Hotel-Motel Tax Fund, Coupeville Arts & Crafts Festival Association, Town of Coupeville, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Lummi Tribe, Port of Coupeville, Washington State Arts Commission, and the many businesses and individuals who generously contributed to the sponsorship of canoe races.

We also truly appreciate the help and support of the Amateur Radio Club, Cambey Apartments, CHS Honor Society, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Pat Cozine, CP Prints, Mark Dahl, Mariner’s Haven, Howard Garrett, Betty Gewald, Island County Historical Society and Museum, Island County Sheriff Dept., Lighthouse Environmental Programs, Orca Network, Craig Platt and Mimi Buescher, Roger Purdue, Barry Rix, Bob and Dillon Sines, John Weber, Whidbey Examiner, Whidbey Island Bank, Whidbey-SeaTac Shuttle, Windjammer Gallery, and the many, many dedicated volunteers who helped make the Water Festival a success.

Since becoming a non-profit organization in 2004, the Penn Cove Water Festival Association has worked tirelessly to continue this unique family festival, and to build upon the Native cultural components of the event. Our goal is to provide a festival that is not only a fun celebration of the history and culture of Penn Cove, but a learning experience as well. We continue to bring quality Native performance, storytelling and arts to the festival, and provide a mix of environmental education exhibits and children’s activities that provide an enjoyable learning experience for kids and adults alike. The festival offers a rare chance for communities of Native tribes, Whidbey Islanders, and visitors to all convene on the shores of Penn Cove to celebrate our natural and cultural resources, and to share with and learn from each other.

This year’s festival was blessed with one of the very few sunny days this spring, dozens of Native canoes raced, music and dancing filled the streets of historic downtown Coupeville, and we were pleased to see the fruits of our efforts and share the day with all who attended and participated in the festival. This wonderful festival would not happen without the talent and efforts of those who have dedicated so much time to keep this historic festival alive. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the Penn Cove Water Festival Association members: Cheryl Bradkin, Molly Hughes, Robin Hertlein, Benye Weber, Lynda Imburgia, Lou LaBombard, and Celia Bartram, and to Marty Crowley for taking the lead with children’s activities and Al Smith for being lead volunteer for performances. Without you, this beautiful tradition would be lost, and every moment you work toward continuing the Penn Cove Water Festival is very much appreciated.

The Penn Cove Water Festival welcomes community members or organizations who would like to be involved in the 18th Penn Cove Water Festival, to be held May 16, 2009, to join us in this endeavor. More information can be found at www.penncovewaterfestival.com.

Susan Berta

Penn Cove Water Festival Association president

Culinary students widely supported

We would like to thank you for supporting the Oak Harbor High School Culinary Team. You made it possible for us to participate in the 2008 National ProStart Student Invitational. Along with a $1,500 donation from The Washington State Restaurant Association Education Foundation, raffle tickets sponsored by the Elks, and personal donations, raised the rest of the money we needed to be able to travel to San Diego to compete.

We were very proud to represent the City of Oak Harbor, Oak Harbor High School and the State of Washington. Thirty-four states and Guam participated, we are very proud of our 7th place finish.

Congratulations to Bruce and Sharon Nicholson for winning the Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway raffle, and to Shelli Trumbull for winning a gift certificate for a one night stay at The Compass Rose Bed and Breakfast.

We want to extend a special thank you to the following businesses and people for their donations: Whidbey Island Bank, Susan and Jerry McClung, North Whidbey Lions Club, Dan and Patricia McCutcheon, Oak Harbor Rotary, David S. Weisbrod, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Shuart, Sandra Oehring, Jim and Marsha Phay, Rick Almberg, Chris and Debbie Skinner, Gordon and Linda McLean, Vern and Dani Fowler, Bayview Embroidery’n Print, Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle, and everyone who purchased a raffle ticket!

We also want to say thank you to our coach and mentor, Chef Scott Fraser – we couldn’t do it without your skill and knowledge. Your contribution of time and talent is priceless!

Louise Reuble, teacher

Tatyanna Thompson

Jackie Palmer

Jan-Rachelle Angel

Alena Stapel

First graders visit the farm

On Monday, June 9, the first grade classes from Hillcrest Elementary went on a field trip to Hummingbird Farm. The owners, Lee and Lori Spear, had graciously invited us to come use their farm as an outdoor classroom. Our students had a wonderful and educational time.

Olivia Forte-Gardner, the Agriculture Sustainability and Land Stewardship Program Coordinator from the Island County WSU Extension, taught the students about soil.

Judy Feldman, the 4-H Program Coordinator from the Island County WSU Extension, taught the students a lesson about seeds.

Janet Hall, the Island County WSU Extension Waste Wise Coordinator, taught the students a lesson about composting and worm bins.

Renee Smith and Jenny Brown, members of the Education Committee of the Whidbey Audubon Society, taught the students about local birds.

Lee Spear, owner of Hummingbird Farm, helped students look through the farm?s compost pile to see what they could discover.

It is fantastic to have such great educational resources locally. Our visit to Hummingbird Farm was a wonderful experience for all of our students. Many parents took time out of their busy schedules to help make the field trip possible. Thanks to all who helped with this learning opportunity for our first graders.

The Hillcrest Elementary First Grade Teachers:

Kathy Ridle

Lynn Nickerson

Tristy Nielsen

Val Jones

We did well with this kid

Aida and I, Chris and Ryan would like to take this opportunity to say thank you!

What a wonderful place to live, Oak Harbor! A place to raise your children like no other, a community filled with caring and supportive citizens. Specifically thank you for the help in raising a child, because it does take a community to do so. There were hundreds if not thousands of times over the years people would come up to my wife and I and let us know how great our son Chris is. They would say what a great kid, what a nice young man he is, what a fantastic athlete he is and so on. To you the community of Oak Harbor the Valencia family would like to say, what a great town you are, what a nice place to live, what a fantastic place to call home!

I would like to thank some specific people who made the day or maybe just a moment. To the many teachers that stopped us to say he was in my class I remember him well, he is a good kid, thank you! To the coaches who took their time to teach and be mentors, we thank you! To the first grade teacher who sent the note on graduation day, thank you! And another great bunch of people, those guys and gals down at the post office who always left encouraging notes of praise and wishes of luck, thank you!

Aida and I take great pride in the young man that he has become, but we would like to share the credit with those that helped in all the little things they’ve done. He’s a product of his environment and if he makes Oak Harbor better, it’s because we the community helped him to be better.

Thank you!

Scott Valencia

Oak Harbor

Bazaar event goes splendidly

On behalf of the Kiwanis Club of Oak Harbor, I would like to thank the community for their support of our recent Beachcomber’s Bazaar. The Bazaar was truly Oak Harbor’s largest garage sale with 55 vendors and a steady stream of shoppers.

A special thank you to the All Island Concert Band for their wonderful music, the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce for being the central location for vendor registration, the City of Oak Harbor for help with set up and take down and also providing for the use of the Smokehouse and Gazebo, and the Whidbey News-Times for helping us to publicize the event.

Plans are already underway for next year. We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday, June 20, 2009!

Martha Wallin, chairperson

Beachcombers Bazaar

Cars just drive on by

A sign of the times? About six years ago I had a flat tire on my bicycle out on Madrona Drive. I used the phone at the mussel place to call Carol to come and get me. While I was waiting about five or six cars stopped and asked if I needed any help. I graciously said no and they went on their way.

Last Saturday at the intersection of Wanamaker and Fort Casey roads, I had another mishap dealing with pressurized air. This time, since Carol said she was going to her shop for a while and would be right behind me, I began walking toward Coupeville to attain my original target of a gym workout at Island Fitness on First Street. After a few autos went past me I began counting. By the time I reached the high school area 47 vehicles had passed me by and not a one even hesitated.

In this day and age I can understand -- a bit. The only person kind enough to stop and inquire as to my condition was another bike rider. She wouldn’t let me have her bike so off she went. By the old dairy I helped a young man secure one young, black Lab (Buddy) who was grinningly romping around the road and environs. He is safely home now.

Once at the bus stop my longing for a workout had vanished into the morning air and I caught the bus and went home. Have we changed that much? Does our fellow man mean less? Again, a sign of the times? Pity!

Robert Moliter


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