Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Nov. 24, 2001, issue

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After Sept. 11, we should be nicer

I had an eye-opening moment at Wal-Mart today that has prompted me to write this. I was going about my business with my three sons, shopping for those needed items. As I just mentioned, I have three sons between the ages of 4 and 11. As many of us know that have children, they don’t always behave as well as we would like them to. My youngest decided that shopping wasn’t his piece-of-cake and decided to play chase. Unfortunately, he had involved a pregnant woman in his game and she wasn’t too happy to say the least.

This is where I feel that I need to write this article... Instead of approaching me and asking me nicely if I would see that my child behaves; which I was doing as she approached me, this woman went off on me as if I had no business having children. I love my three boys more than anything in this world and have done my best to raise them by teaching them morals, ethics and love. People such as this pregnant woman, who obviously doesn’t have children yet, make it very hard to live up to these teachings when they don’t seem to possess the same.

As of Sept. 11, I have heard nothing but how much the event has changed people and how nicely they treat each other. From what I have seen on the island, it hasn’t made much of a difference. Just one day after the terrorist attacks, I witnessed a man being rude. If the event has changed people, I would really hate to see what they were like before Sept. 11. I only pray that it doesn’t take a bomb or airplane to crash close to home for people to “wake up.”

Is it that difficult to have a smile on our faces and be courteous to one another? If so, we might as well stay home. Now that we have the American Flag proudly waving, let’s pull out of the closet our smiles, manners and respect for one another!

And as for the pregnant woman, “My son and I are very sorry if we bothered you in any way.” and “From the bottom of my heart, I do pray that the child you’re carrying gives you no headaches like mine have given me.”

J. Gill

Oak Harbor

One good deed deserves another

Some kids will pass up a hundred chances to do a good deed. On the other hand . . .

In Market Place the other day, an old man (older than me, and I’m retired) dropped a single coin, perhaps a dime. And before he could move, stoop and retrieve it, a small, observant boy corralled the rolling coin and returned it to its owner.

The old man took the coin and quietly reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of additional coins. He gave the change to the boy. The boy grinned, and the boy’s mother smiled approvingly as the old man returned one good deed with another.

Gary Blevins

Oak Harbor


Clinics, physicians free to negotiate

I am writing to address a possible inaccurate perception in your Nov. 17 article about the Group Health contract dispute.

Skagit Health Associates (SHA) will take no position nor will it advocate to individual clinics or physicians on the matter of their accepting or not accepting individual contracts with Group Health. Each member of Skagit Health Associates can make their own independent decision as to whether to accept the individual contracts Group Health has now offered them.

SHA, as an organization, has contracted with Group Health for some 14 years. During that time, SHA has worked hard to improve efficiency and to maintain high quality of care for Group Health enrollees. After a year of negotiations, GHC’s final offer was, we felt, unacceptable.

Group Health is now attempting to directly contract with local physicians. This is a matter between GHC and individual clinics. Each clinic must weigh the merits of the GHC offer and make its own decision.

Paul Creelman, MD

President, SHA


Voter turnout creates doubts

Have we become a nation of “rainy day” patriots?

Since Sept. 11, America has been wrapped in the American flag, portrayed as a banner of renewed patriotism not seen since World War II. Unfortunately, election day, Nov. 6, may reflect a truer sense of patriotism than the renewed display of our nation’s flag.

In Island County alone only roughly 40 percent of eligible voters exercised their right to vote on election day. This while literally thousands of U.S. flags graced our island landscape.

What does this say about our island community, let alone our nation as a whole?

How should we judge patriotism, at the voting poll or at the end of the flag pole?

Thomas Strang


Actions suggest paper is biased

I believe that your readers are entitled to know that information provided by the Whidbey News-Times regarding the election for Oak Harbor City Council Position 6, contested between challenger Pat Gardner and incumbent Richard Davis, was biased in favor of Davis. That bias culminated in the Nov. 3 issue which immediately preceded the election.

First, despite printing an interview with Gardner in an earlier issue and carrying a paid-for political advertisement for her, you misinformed the public on election eve, Nov. 3, by writing, “In the City of Oak Harbor there is only one contested race for city council, where Eric Gerber and Howard Thomas are vying for Position 5.” That statement was absolutely untrue. Nonetheless you provided that information to the voters of Oak Harbor.

Second, letters supporting challenger Gardner were disregarded for publication in the Whidbey News-Times, even though submitted at least four days prior to the Nov. 3 issue. You considered letters to the editor dealing with animal shelter appreciation, and “Arabs gangs in orange pants,” to be more important than voters choosing city government.

Third, a political ad in the Whidbey News-Times, paid for by candidate Gardner, was “buried” on the bottom of a page carrying TV listings, unobtrusive and far removed from the other political advertisements and election news. The location minimized its effectiveness.

One error or mistake is understandable. Two such incidents create suspicion. Three biased actions essentially confirm an intent to deny your readers objective information regarding candidate Gardner. It is possible that the election results could have been different.

At least an apology and a refund of candidate Gardner’s advertising costs are warranted.

Jerry Jones

Oak Harbor

Advice based on experience

I would like to thank the voters and people that supported me during the recent election. I extend my good wishes to Commissioner-elect Ron Muzzall as he assumes leadership in the greatest all-volunteer (chiefs, officers, firefighters) fire district within Island County.

If I may give one piece of advice to an oncoming FD 2 commissioner, it is “listen and support your volunteers, they make up the fire district, not the leadership.”

I would also like to thank the residents of the district for the opportunity and their support which allowed me to serve as a firefighter/FR and commissioner for the past 39 years. The experiences and fellowship with the other volunteers will be remembered for a long time.

Kenneth Buehn

Oak Harbor

Just answer the questions

Rather than give an emotionally charged anti-Republican or Democratic pitch (as in the “loot treasury” letter to the editor on Nov. 14), I propose the following questions be answered without rancor or negative adjectives strewn about:

1. Your and my money (i.e. tax surplus), should it be returned or spent by the Democrats and Republicans?

2. Name any time a broad tax cut is beneficial. If you cannot, why?

3. Define a specific amount which is considered “wealthy.” If you can, then explain why anyone, companies included, cannot spend their money any way they wish. Hint: Their money is not yours, and getting at their money via taxation or depriving anyone tax relief for the benefit of others describes other economics — not capitalism.

4. Explain how any citizen who supports tax relief can be called a looter?

5. Explain why JFK cut taxes (i.e., stimulus).

6. Explain how Clinton left us a large surplus and a faltering economy. Hint: These just may be related and explain why every “sector” in our economy is shrinking except for one growth area — government.

7. Can we answer these questions without emotional adjectives and in a non-partisan manner?

Dirk Van Dyke

Oak Harbor


Explore effects of pesticides

There is a common practice throughout Island County to spray pesticides and herbicides on our roadways and in our parks to decrease the growth of vegetation and unwanted “weeds,” primarily for ”safety reasons,” as we are told. Ironically, these safety measures create tremendous health risks to the children and citizens of Island County, not to mention the affect it has on our wildlife, air and water.

The commissioners of Island County have been presented with medical and scientific evidence, as well as personal testimonies on the detrimental and life threatening impact of chemical sprays used here on the Island. Oust, Roundup Pro, and Direx 4L are very serious toxins that have irreversible damage on our human bodies. I am curious why we would be so intent on using them considering the knowledge we have about them, as well as proven alternative methods that are much safer and more effective. Snohomish and Jefferson counties have long implemented a no spray policy, and would more than satisfied with the results.

This letter is to speak to the public ... not to take my word for what I say, but to encourage further exploration into the affects of these chemicals, and to write our commissioners who are considering and reviewing a policy that affects everyone who lives here.

Shirley Jantz


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