Letters to the Editor


Fear and hatred controlling many
As person of Filipino/Scotch-Irish-Norwegian ancestry, and a military veteran born and raised in the USA, who just happens to be “Arab-looking,” (go figure), I have to chuckle every time I read in the Island scanner section of your newspaper, where a caller has sighted an “Arab-looking” person performing such dubious and suspicious acts as “driving down Pioneer Way,” or “fishing near Deception Pass, with the wrong kind of equipment,” or “buying a map of Whidbey Island,” and finally heaven forbid ... “Riding on a ferry!” because I wonder how many times it was me being reported, over and over again, while trying to carry out the normal activities of every day life on the island where I’ve lived for some time now.
All I have to say is thank God the attacks of Sept. 11 weren’t carried out by members of the Irish Republican Party! Can you imagine how many phones calls our poor local law enforcement personnel would have to field concerning the suspicious activities of “Irish-looking” people? Or would they? Hmmmmmm.
Anyway, someone much smarter than I once wrote: “Control your preconceptions, least they control you.” I mention this because in light of the current environment, it might be a good time to start putting these words of wisdom into daily practice, least we all be consumed or “controlled” by fear and hatred, then who’s really winning the war?
Bob Afenir

Small acts can have big influences
I am not afraid. Terrorists can murder my loved ones, but I have experienced loss before. I grieved, then moved forward because I knew those I had lost were here only for a brief visit before continuing on a greater journey. I will see them again.
Terrorists can maim me, but I have been maimed before. I learned to live with it.
Terrorists can inflict pain and suffering on me, but I have known pain and suffering before. It passes.
Terrorists can take my life, but all of us must die one day. And while they can kill my body they cannot kill my legacy because during my lifetime I have tried to do no harm.
In adhering to that principle I discovered a happy side effect ... good. So I went out and did some. When I am gone others will follow in my footsteps, though they may not see them.
I like to think the world will be a slightly better place for my having been here. My contribution will be small, even unknown, because I lack the physical strength and financial assets necessary to pursue huge, heroic, humanitarian endeavors. But at least it will be a positive one.
I am not afraid. Because I am not alone. There are billions of people just like me. Each of us is greater than any terrorist ever could be though we may be anonymous.
Islam is not my enemy. Nor is Judaism. Or Hinduism. Or any reasonable person of any ethnic background or religious belief.
Fear is my enemy, and the few murderous extremists who wield it. But they and the terror they wish to impose have already lost the war. Because I am legion. And I am not afraid.
Diane Griffin

Relief efforts
An invitation and challenge made
To our fellow costmetology professionals, we would like to extend this challenge.
On Oct 31, Halloween, the staff at Carla’s Shear Inspiration is hosting a fundraiser for the Red Cross. We are inviting all of our clients to visit the salon during the day to vote on our costumes and make a donation to aid in the relief efforts in New York and Washington, D.C. Our hopes are to lift spirits locally and play a small part in making a difference. No amount is too small or too big! All funds will be mailed as a whole and signed by all participating. If you have any questions, feel free to call Pam Tyhuis at 679-4477.
Join us. United we can make a difference.
Oak Harbor

‘Religious right’
Leaders preach division, not unity
I am deeply saddened that, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, religious right political leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have chosen the path of division rather than unity.
At at time when political leaders of both parties are urging bipartisanship and national unity, it is truly unfortunate that Americans who watched Pat Robertson’s 700 Club television program on Sept. 13 received a far different message from Robertson and Falwell.
This is a time for a shared national commitment to bringing those responsible for the terrorist attacks to justice. It is also a time to renew our commitment to protecting the constitutional liberties and democratic values that sustain our free society.
Comments by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell can only impede efforts to bring the nation together in pursuit of these goals. On Sept. 13, Fallwell and Robertson blamed “the pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays and lesbians, the ACLU and People for the American Way” for the attacks.
Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are doing exactly what the Taliban and their leaders want us to do. These two men are turning Americans against Americans. Each group these men spoke out against has been represented in our military and has fought and died for the right and freedom so that Robertson and Falwell could publicly discriminate against them without fear of being lynched.
As a boy growing up in a Baptist family, and later changing to Catholic, I have always been terrified of the teachings of the impending arrival of the antichrist. I was told that the antichrist would be deceiving and manipulative, yet loved by many. The antichrist would make many people he/she is speaking the truth. Robertson and Falwell are deceiving and manipulative by teaching discrimination, hypocrisy and to be judgmental of other human beings, yet are loved by many. Discrimination is hate. Being judgmental of other human beings is hate. Hate is not Christian.
So when our “Christian” friends like Falwell and Robertson say “God bless America,” to whom are they referring? All Americans or just the few they are not discriminating against?
Oak Harbor

U.N. forces abortion
The “historic documents” Mr. Papritz (Giving thanks for forming the U.N. - Oct. 17) refers to would (a) force all Roman Catholic countries including the Philippines, Spain and Italy herself, to officially allow and sanction the infanticide of abortion on demand. (b) It would also force all member countries to allow (really “coerce”), without question, physician’s exam or parental consent, any child of any age to obtain birth control pills, contraceptives or abortions.
Mr. Bush is absolutely correct in his withholding of support for such an organization that absolutely mandates such practices. I would ask all of the bill’s backers: What happened to the U. N. Charter concepts of self-rule and individual determination of destiny, for which the organization was formed?
I don’t thank God for the U.N. I thank him, once again, for a president who has the political courage to take the high moral ground and stand firm on his Christian principles.
Sonny Starks
Oak Harbor

Historic home
Permit to destroy house withdrawn
On Oct 15, 2001, a letter was sent to Larry Cort of the town of Coupeville reading in part, “I have been instructed by Ardell Kuchenbecker to request that you withdraw the application for permit of demolition of the Judge Still/Flora Engle house at 808 North Main.”
This action was taken at the advice of Ms. Kuchenbecker’s attorney based on the fact that withdrawal of this application at this time does not in any way affect a future demolition permit application regarding this house and property, and this withdrawal does not preclude possible future demolition of the Judge Still/Flora Engle house located at 808 North Main Street after following town of Coupeville demolition permit procedures.
The actions taken by Ms. Kuchenbecker have been misunderstood. It was her intention, at the advice of her attorney, to have the application for permit of demolition grandfathered in before the change in the Comprehensive Plan.
She is deeply hurt by the mean-spirited accusation by Ken Pickard that her decision to sell was “motivated by greed.”
Ms. Kuchenbecker understands the sentiments surrounding the Judge Still/Flora Engle house expressed by community members and they are exceeded only by her own.
She has been a steward of the house and property at Coveland and Main for more than 30 years and is now at the time of her life that requires simplifying. It is her ardent wish and belief that the property will be sold to someone who will retain the property as it is.
Anyone with a serious interest in purchasing and preserving the property are invited to send a letter to The Still House, P.O. Bo 1721, Coupeville 98239.
In the meantime, I hope all who round the corner onto Coveland from Main commend Ardell Kuchenbecker for maintaining this property for the last 30 years. It was she who purchased the property in 1970 from someone who was intending to build low cost housing on the parcel.
Property manager,

Wallin is right for Oak Harbor
In 1991 a student was injured in a fight at the high school. A group of more than 100 concerned parents asked the school district if they could start a parent patrol to help ensure this did not happen again. The school district agreed and set up the training. By the next year only one parent was still active in the patrol. That was Gary Wallin.
Gary has lived in Oak Harbor his whole life. Gary served in the Emergency Medical System for 30 years, culminating in running the ambulance service for Whidbey General Hospital. He now works for a successful business as a funeral director.
Gary has served the community as a Kiwanis member for 15 years. He is the advisor for Oak Harbor Police Department Explorer Post and on the board of directors for Help House.
Gary has been a Key Club advisor for the past four years and a volunteer in Oak Harbor schools for the past 20 years. He has been involved in the parent patrol for the past 10 years, putting in more than 100 hours for three of those years. Gary has served on numerous committees that have worked to improve education in Oak Harbor, and has been a member of Oak Harbor School Board for the past year.
Gary has been devoted to Oak Harbor, and its young people, for the past 20 years. He has a combination of business experience and working with young people that will serve him well as a continuing school board director. Please suppot Gary Wallin on Nov. 6.
Oak Harbor

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