Opinion

Department of Loose Ends

In which we take a random romp through the Review mailbag, and tie up ends left dangling and frayed:

Ticket-tape parade: Several weeks ago in this space, we noted the advent of “Click It or Ticket,” a law-enforcement campaign targeting motorists who, by indifference or resolve, flout the state’s mandatory seat-belt law. The campaign preceded a law change that takes effect mid-month, by which officers will be able to stop drivers specifically for lap-strap violations.

Supplemented by grant funding, Bainbridge Police put in an extra 60 hours on local roads over a two-week period. Traffic Officer Rob Corn reports that 93 citations were issued, 19 of them for seat-belt violations. Mind that the belt law includes passengers and responsible adults; Corn cited a motorist whose young daughter was standing on the vehicle seat, half outside the vehicle window. But an unscientific count showed 84 percent of islanders using their safety devices, putting this community ahead of most Washington jurisdictions.

While it has generated dissent – “personal freedom,” “Big Brother,” etc. – this issue reminds us of the wailing heard when states began passing mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. True, there are a few rogue outfits still proclaiming their right to “Ride free or die!” (statistically, “ride free and die” might be a better motto), but most seem to take helmet use for granted anymore. And you don’t hear of near as many bikers with heads looking like watermelons fallen off a farm truck.

We were amused by a letter exchange in the regional media, in which several decried the “Click It or Ticket” campaign as a revenue-generator for local government. Others took issue with those vowing to stand defiant against the law. “What are they going to do?” one asked. “Boycott driving?”

Now there’s a thought. Go ahead, scofflaws – make our day.

* * * * *

Auction blockhead: Also in the email bag came an anonymous complaint from a reader irked by our coverage of the upcoming Rotary Auction. Key to the news item in question was that this year’s event – slated to begin at 8 a.m. June 29, by the way – will be moved to Sakai Intermediate School.

We suggested auction-goers may need a map of the school, to locate the departments and items they’ve been able to find instinctively after a half-decade of pillaging Woodward. This was not good enough for a reader of our online edition, who wrote: “Why use a map. [sic] You didn’t even list the address of the school. How informative is that?”

Well, here are directions for our correspondent: Come auction morning, go to Woodward School like usual, face north across the fields to the building next door, and look for the big crowd that’s already beating you to the best items. Then go over there.

* * * * *

In Winslow, for Winslow: We have over the years seen a distinguished line of local developments derive their name from the island’s town center: Winslow Green, Winslow Arms, Winslow Mews, Winslow Co-housing, Winslow Manor, Winslow’s Cove. Even “Winslow Landing” is back in play, the name having been scavenged by another development after the Ferncliff Avenue project morphed into “Harbor Square.”

Now along comes... “The Winslow.” That’s right, just “The Winslow.” The project heretofore called “Re-Doogals,” for the tumbledown restaurant from whose rubble it shall rise, has assumed the singular moniker of the district itself.

Charlie Wenzlau, architect, described it this way: “It had that relationship to downtown Winslow, and it’s one of the first project of any consequence (downtown) in several decades. For that reason, calling it The Winslow seemed like a good thing.”

Um, okay. But our fear is that every time the building is referred to in print, readers will think we left a word out.

Were all the good nouns taken?

Community Events, April 2014

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