At Key Peninsula News our focus is local. The very word “local” means different things to many people––to the point it feels as if we need a better word altogether to adequately define it.
It is entirely disingenuous for our local focus to prevent us from acknowledging that these are uncertain and troubled times. From one extreme to the next our hearts beat in uneasy rhythms as we try to make sense of it all. One thing is clear: The divisive atmosphere across the nation brings deep concern for our democracy.
It isn’t easy for anyone. We guard our words, watch our tongues and occasionally swallow our truths with the hope others will return the favor. If you are anything like me, you take a deep breath, put on your brave face, smile and go forth with your daily routine. We hope for the best.
Many of you have shared that Key Peninsula News has become your newspaper of choice as a welcome refuge after growing weary of the relentless barrage of anger and outrage that feels so intentionally provocative.
People tell us stories all the time. We don’t explore them all; that is not our function. But after listening to so many there are some unique characteristics of Key Penners that stand out:
We want to help. We like to share. We want to learn. We like to teach. We love to play, laugh, and make music.
As we all experienced this summer, none of us can get away from air pollution regardless of who or what we think caused it; nor can the Southern Resident orcas or the Chinook salmon escape the continuing consequences of human actions and pollution disrupting the web of life undersea.
The orcas arrived in July. The first call to KP News reported sightings of Southern Resident orcas in Carr Inlet and was followed by more sightings in Henderson Bay, Case Inlet, and even an orca pod in Drayton passage. Callers were ecstatic, still breathless from the thrill of seeing these iconic mammals in local waters.
Phone calls and emails came pouring in as well from residents furious over the sight of pleasure boaters pulling up too close to the orcas just off Wyckoff Shoal. People said they shouted and motioned to thoughtless boaters from the shore, “Get away! Get away!”
These environmental issues are important realities that must rise above political ideology. Between the real and metaphorical poles we find ourselves in, we often lie stuck, incapable of meaningful compromise in times that demand thoughtful action.
An encouraging thing about humans is that we have the unique ability to quickly adapt. We have the capacity to see what’s not working and make adjustments. The question remains whether we have the will to rise above our challenges, individually and collectively.
There is good news to report and the smoke need not clear for us to see the value of compromise in action locally.
We begin another school year, on time and as scheduled, with thanks due in no small part to the Peninsula Education Association whose members now have a collective bargaining agreement in place with Peninsula School District. With an overwhelming 89 percent approval rate, Peninsula Education Association members approved their contract by a vote of 477 in favor with 61 members opposed.
We have teachers who want to teach. We have children who want to learn. There is no greater investment we can make than to offer them the most supportive environment at home, at school and at play within our vibrant and loving community.
It takes far more than willingness or good intentions to change bad habits much less accomplish something worthwhile. It takes identifying a goal and taking action to do it. Much of that action involves this thing called “practice.”
If there was ever a group with the experience of practicing together to resolve difficulties and provide opportunities for improvement, it is the residents of the Key Peninsula. Countless organizations and individuals work to nurture the strength and resilience of our community.
Sometimes it takes cheerleading to rally ourselves to rise again when we’re feeling uncertain. Fall delivers a comforting sense of tradition. From the beginning of school to the appearance of scarecrows in Key Center and the return of football season, rejoice in the community you make possible.
Go to at least one football game at Peninsula High School and get in touch with the power of working in unison as a team. Life is not without healthy competition but the best place for that is on the field. Support your local PHS Seahawks and cheer them on this season. We have a Fish Bowl to win.