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No words can express the sadness being felt in our community in the wake of the deaths of twins Janesah and Janeah Goheen. Janesah died Monday at Harborview Medical Center. Janeah was declared dead at the scene of the Oct. 31 accident near Anacortes. The girls, who lived in Oak Harbor, were 17.
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting with some Oak Harbor merchants at their businesses. Some are advertisers, some not. The intent wasn’t to sell anyone advertising. I learned years ago — during a very brief stint at a local car dealership — that sales isn’t my forte. It’s something best left to the professionals. These visits were an opportunity to meet business owners face to face and hear what they had to say about the newspaper, and to learn what issues are on their minds.
An article appearing on page one of Wednesday’s Whidbey News-Times hit close to home. “Burn camp helps healing,” told the story of Oak Harbor’s Suzi Bartlett and her 12-year-old son, Joey. When he was 8, Joey was burned over 27 percent of his body. He was on the back porch, trying to light a newspaper with a match and a couple of drops of gas from an empty gas can that sat nearby.
Every October, the Whidbey News-Times recognizes and celebrates National Women in Business Month. And for very good reason. Women-led and -owned businesses play a key role in keeping our community vital and strong. Despite the economic difficulties of recent years, the National Women’s Business Council reported that women-owned businesses performed just as well as men-owned businesses between 2007 and 2010.
Saturday’s Whidbey News-Times article on Ken Pickard, president to the board for the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve, resulted in some serious backlash this week. The most vocal response wasn’t from the corner one might expect. COER’s board of directors responded to the article by calling the article a “hatchet job” and saying they were canceling a scheduled full-page advertisement in the News-Times after deadline.
While some people are quick to deem public libraries as obsolete because of the Internet, I believe libraries will forever hold an important place in our society. No electronic device can replace the experience of reading a real book, magazine or newspaper. Holding a Kindle doesn’t offer the sensation or satisfaction of holding a print edition or provide the distinctively soft rustle that comes from turning a page.
Can you imagine Whidbey Island without its parks? Luckily, none of us has to. On Saturday, Aug. 3, a celebration is planned at Deception Pass State Park, the grandaddy of all state parks, located in our own backyard here on Whidbey Island.
As the publisher of all three Whidbey Island newspapers, one of the challenging parts of the job is also one of the most enjoyable. From end to end, Whidbey is approximately 35 miles long, but jumping into the car and traveling to each of the newspapers is one of my favorite tasks.
I’m not politically correct. Hopefully that admission won’t land me in the kind of hot water that’s currently boiling TV cooking show host Paula Deen. Her career is falling faster than a bad butter soufflé.
I think taxpayers are feeling fatigued. Not just by the rising costs of living, but also from the constant drumbeat of government asking for more money. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that rumbles of an additional state tax on gas wasn’t embraced with open arms.