Opinion

Dept. of Loose Ends

WOOLIES BULLIED: Our coverage of recent dog attacks on island sheep prompted a number of calls to the Review office this week.

A reader on Springridge Road reported that he’s still recovering financially from a similar attack on his animals 18 months ago, after ongoing veterinary and legal bills. A woman on Torvanger Road, in the neighborhood where sheep were mauled a week ago, expressed concern for the safety of her young children. Just this week, she said, a roaming German shepherd came bounding into her yard in wild pursuit of a cat.

What, she asked, is being done for animal enforcement?

As coincidence would have it, the city council next week will consider renewal of the city’s contract with the Kitsap Humane Society for these services. It seems like a good time for council members to grill KHS, and let islanders know what they’re getting for their money (next year’s contract is for $50,064).

How often does the dog catcher show up on the island? How are complaints handled? What are last year’s statistics on impounded animals? Might we see an education program, reminding owners to keep dogs in fenced yards or on leads?

With last week’s attacks, we found ourselves picturing a Far Side cartoon, with a tattered sheep surveying five dogs in a police lineup. Except it’s not that funny; Thursday, we received a follow-up note from Ann Morse, one of the sheep owners we interviewed for Wednesday’s story. She wrote:

“On a sad note, one of my ewes who had prolapsed after the attack and aborted one fetus died this morning in the barn with at least one more lamb if not two on board.”

We’ve all got some questions to ask – of our animal control officers, and our neighbors.

* * * * *

STUPOR-MINORITY: Last Saturday in this space, we opined in favor of House Joint Resolution 42-19, legislation that would end the cumbersome 60 percent “supermajority” requirement for passage of school levies.

We’re pleased to report that our local representatives, Phil Rockefeller and Bev Woods, both voted “yes” on the bill; unfortunately, it failed by a single vote, 65-31.

Most often heard from detractors was that the supermajority is a failsafe for taxpayers, and that “most levies eventually pass.” But that reasoning is disingenuous at best; what finally gets past voters in some communities is so stripped-down that districts are left bereft of essential programs and resources.

We hope some enterprising legislators will rekindle such a bill in the next session, and extend it to park districts. For the challenge is still there; next month, voters in North Kitsap, Central Kitsap and Bremerton will face the 60 percent hurdle for school levies in those communities.

We hope they pass; heaven forbid it takes another round of failures to finally wrest levies from the naysaying thrall of a

stupor-minority.

* * * * *

12-MONTH RIPOFF: Some time ago, we reported that an out-of-state company of shady intent was working local businesses by phone, selling advertising on “a Bainbridge High School athletic calendar.” The operative phrase was “a calendar” – for their $50-225, businesses received exactly one. And our school athletic department received nothing.

Word now comes to us that another outfit is working the same game, selling ad space on calendars that are not sanctioned by BHS. Athletic director Neal White and Bainbridge Police have asked us to remind island businesses:

There’s only one outfit that works in partnership with our high school and returns part of calendar proceeds to fund local athletic programs. It’s called the School Calendar Co., and it doesn’t do phone solicitations.

If anyone else calls, don’t be a 12-month sucker.

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