Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Expect more embarrassment

We are sorry that Rep. Barry Sehlin feels "It's an embarrassment to be in a school district in which taxpayers have refused to accept even a small burden.” (News-Times, Jan. 21). We will certainly do our part to see that he need not serve people who embarrass him.

Historically, the majority vote of school district 201 taxpayers (constituents of Rep. Sehlin) have rejected district funding requests. Maybe this is because they felt spending plans were unnecessary and lacked cost justification or they were not satisfied with the quality of education received from existing education efforts. Or maybe, they just felt the district managers had not demonstrated they were prudent custodians of the funds and assets they had been provided, and thus were not worthy of being trusted with additional taxpayer funds.

Whatever the reasons, Rep Sehlin will probably continue to be embarrassed by those he was elected to represent until a point in time when the school district's management establishes credibility with the voters or … Rep. Sehlin changes his mind and gets in step with the majority of his constituents on this subject … or he moves to a new place where the majority of school district voters fit his comfort level.

It’s about time we see a different approach, with improvements in the school district’s management of facilities, budgets, education quality (especially in hard core subjects) and communications, including listening to the voters.

It’d be nice if school district leaders worked in harmony with the majority of voters; not the all knowing, demeaning, adversarial rhetoric of past requests for funding programs to replace facilities because of poor construction decisions and neglected maintenance.

While we have no children or grandchildren in District 201, we would be willing to support a bond for high school athletic facilities within reason. The fact that we have historically voted against bonds reflects our frustration with the district’s present management or lack thereof.

Barbara and Bill Strowbridge

Oak Harbor

Display tree

in museum

I have to agree with the removal of the Garry oak as a safety hazard.

However, I do not agree having it turned into a piece of standing art. The idea is admirable, but instead of one idea, here's two:

Being an artist myself, I agree with the trunk of the tree being converted into a beautiful piece of art that will accent Oak Harbor's atmosphere.

With the remains of the tree top, since this tree has become a part of Oak Harbor's history, preserve the remaining portion of the tree and have it displayed at Oak Harbor's museum.

Michael J. Obney

Oak Harbor

Whidbey General

‘Patients First’ accounting needed

Jan. 26 I visited the newly remodeled Whidbey General Hospital for a routine mammogram. I stopped by administration to verify the date of the next board meeting. I was struck with the stark contrast between the wood-toned warmth of the administrative quarters and the ceiling stained cheerlessness of the mammography room.

In a remarkable example of “The Emperors New Clothes” the Whidbey General administrators call their program “Patients First” while focusing mainly on their own comfort and privilege -- with cuts in basic staff and continued use of outdated equipment necessary for funding of their enterprise.

As a taxpaying citizen I demand a detailed public accounting of the amount spent to date on “Patients First”: as well as the results of inpatient and employee satisfaction surveys since the program’s inception.

Carolyn A. Kinch



Cheap stuff is costing more

Have you noticed that prices on traditionally cheap imported stuff have crept up in recent months? A light fixture from China I could have bought last year has gone up about 30 percent. Clothing in discount stores is creeping up and

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