Editorial: Here’s to a better 2008


The year 2007 won’t go down as a great one in Whidbey Island’s history.

Oak Harbor’s city government spent the year immersed in controversy, ranging from a 14 percent utility rate increase to the Dillard’s Addition sewer fiasco and the continuing controversy over how to implement the Windjammer Plan for downtown.

Island County’s government helped make a big property acquisition, but it wasn’t for a valuable wetland, beach access or a public park area. It was for an empty lot along the highway that the county and city want to keep empty, or virtually so, to avoid encroaching on the Navy base. A practical move, perhaps, but not inspiring to those who think of the needs of future generations.

Some of the biggest county news was made by departures: Commissioner Mike Shelton and Auditor Suzanne Sinclair, both of whom left for greener pastures elsewhere. Late in the year State Rep. Chris Strow joined the exodus from elective office, also for personal reasons.

Whidbey Island Naval Air Station continued to be a vital part of the community, but it was bad news that brought the mainland media to the base. Memorial services were held for six members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11 who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq.

In Coupeville, Whidbey Island’s last surviving dairy farm gave up when 437 cows from Wilbur Bishop’s farm were shipped to dryer pastures in Idaho. And the town of Coupeville suffered financially when the state abruptly halted vehicle ferry service between Keystone and Port Townsend. In addition, Whidbey Island Bank, which was founded in Coupeville, sold out to a larger Everett bank.

Further south, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland announced it was bankrupt and laid off most of its workforce.

It wasn’t a year of entirely bad news. Coupeville opened its new high school, Oak Harbor opened its new football stadium, and the populace as a whole seemed to prosper.

But we can do better simply by thinking more of the future than the present when making important decisions. Here’s to 2008 — may it be a very good year.

More in Opinion

Sound Off: The sooner we’re vaccinated, the sooner we’ll be back to normal

We all wish COVID-19 was over, don’t you? Eighteen months into this… Continue reading

Dave Paul
Sound Off: Local law enforcement needs continued investments

In my three years in office, I’ve spent a lot of time… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Servers need higher wages, even if it means $10 shakes

Workers simply need a livable wage, not just a living wage.

In Our Opinion: Unvaccinated need to take responsibility for their choices

The pandemic in America would be over if everyone had gotten vaccinated.… Continue reading

Rockin’ a Hard Place: An irresistible urge to emerge takes hold, on and off the Rock

One of the benefits of this urge for me was recalling what I miss about our Rock while far from it.

In Our Opinion: With tourism at all-time high, change in investment needed

More money could be spent on long-term, concrete investments related to tourism.

In Our Opinion: Meetings should be recorded, posted online even after COVID

One of the few silver linings of the pandemic has been the… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Barriers to prevent bridge suicides worth considering

Two suicides at Deception Pass Bridge in July have reignited a community… Continue reading

San Antonio - Torch of Friendship
Rockin’ a Hard Place: Opportunity to make statue a landmark slipping away

Oak Harbor could use a big landmark, something people recognize and talk about when they visit.

In Our Opinion: Island County’s pandemic bonuses are a smart idea, if legal

The latest federal stimulus plan, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Welcome back, Whidbey Island Fair, how we missed ya

After a year marked by fear, divisiveness and distancing, attending the Whidbey… Continue reading

My garden.
On the Rock, we walk, wander and garden while the sun shines

During sunshine, we are outdoors walking our trails, wandering our beaches and tending our gardens.