Opinion

Letters

Wicca

Boat deserves to float again

We have more creativity than to allow the houseboat/structure Wicca to be destroyed. This is a terrible reflection upon our leadership and us all.

Wicca could easily be transported to any land site on a low boy or floated anywhere on a new float – all legally – and at relatively little expense.

The City Council has not heard a peep from city administration about this issue. The Review reported (“Houseboat Wicca’s odyssey coming to close,” June 21) that city staff threatened the contractor who carefully towed it to its Port Gamble site with breach of contract unless they destroy Wicca by June 27.

At their April 1, May 6 and June 3 meetings, the Historic Preservation Commission encouraged consideration of preservation of Wicca and forwarded a detailed nomination with lengthy narratives of description, history and significance to the city planning director. On June 3, the commission requested a 30-day grace period – a stay of execution – hoping that something would be done to make the publicly owned vessel available to the public for preservation.

Wicca is not an outlaw to be put to death. People save history. Leaders lead. Has the city yet solicited requests for proposals to save Wicca? If it were at the Rotary Auction, I suspect it would be gobbled up in a hurry!

The people of Bainbridge Island are as creative and resourceful as any on the planet. Their leaders should create the opportunity for them to act. Publish and solicit a request for proposals to use Wicca in a creative manner within the law. That’s no big deal and doesn’t cost the flowerless city a cent. Let the Historic Preservation Commission choose the best proposal.

People created much on this island during the Great Depression because they had leaders who took action. No matter what the year, we should not be so wasteful and disrespectful of the community history or the commission you appoint to preserve it.

Wicca’s history played a role in establishing an environmental program at T&C Market. It’s where T&C environmental director Susan Transeaux learned to think green and make sound and efficient choices. Shouldn’t Wicca be recycled in some non-wasteful way? I’ll bet few have even driven to see it.

GERALD ELFENDAHL

Westerly Lane

Wicca’s demise unnecessary

I found last week’s “Houseboat Wicca’s odyssey coming to close” both sad and appalling. Over the last 35 years I have come to know members of Eagle Harbor’s houseboat community.

The Wicca is being destroyed by the city because it represents people the city fears.

The Wicca is a symbol of the houseboat community that represents simple and honest living, individuals living “away from the maddening crowd.” Spend an hour along the public dock and you’ll find men and women who have chosen a different path, but are just as honorable as the rest of us. You will like them.

The Wicca is on dry land in Port Gamble, harming no one. Her caretakers at Port Gamble wish that the Wicca would survive. The city wishes to destroy her, fearing that she will sneak back into the bay. I hope she will.

The (city’s) Master Plan finds it easier to push this community away rather than to honor its unique contribution to the island.

JIM TAYLOR

Bainbridge Island

Class of 2008

BHS grads party safely

On Saturday, June 14, 337 of the island’s new high school graduates celebrated in style at the Grad Night Out Party, formerly the senior cruise. The event was a substance-free, all-night adventure, which let all of the graduates celebrate together, and come home safely the next morning.

Many island businesses provided invaluable support for this event. We, the parent organizing committee, would like to whole heartedly thank them for their support.

We would like to thank Real Foods Market & Cafe, Island Fitness, Lucia Olson Designs, Ace Hardware, Silverscreen Video, Oil & Water, Dana’s, Blackbird Bakery, Dancing Paintbrush, Paper Products, Blinx, Andante Coffeehouse, Bay Hay and Feed, Town & Country Market, and the Best Western Hotel for their donations of prizes for the graduates. And the Bainbridge Review generously provided money for the scholarship program, which helped ensure that any graduate who wanted to could attend the party.

Thank you all so much for helping to make this such a memorable night for the graduates, and for continuing a long-standing Bainbridge Island tradition.

EMILY PARSONS

Class of 2008 Grad Night parent organizing committee

Fourth of July

Volunteers’ zeal impressive

Thank you so much for the beautiful write up about the Grand Old Fourth of July in the Celebrate Summer! pull out. There are dozen’s of volunteers who donate hundreds of hours to execute this event, as well as sponsors who donate funds, and of course merchants or residents of Winslow who joyfully and graciously yield the entire downtown area for our community celebration of Independence Day.

As a new employee at the Chamber of Commerce, I am viewing the production mechanics of the Grand Old Fourth for the first time, and I am astounded by the generosity of this community, as well as the work ethic and dedication of my colleagues. The Chamber is doing it again... for the 41st time, and they are doing it better than ever! Happy Independence Day!

LIZ GADBOIS

Event Coordinator

Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce

Bike safety

Car and bike alike can share

The recent editorial on road and bicycle safety was very timely, and we appreciate all of the support the Bainbridge Review has given the bicycling community over the years. Road safety is one of the most important missions of Squeaky Wheels, the Island’s bicycle advocacy and education organization.

One great step in increasing safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike is the new state law, which makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a hand-held cell phone or text messaging. That law goes into effect on July 1.

In order to educate people about this law and other safe road practices, Squeaky Wheels recently teamed with the Bainbridge Island Police Department and the City of Bainbridge Island to produce a flyer on road safety tips for drivers, cyclists and walkers. In the coming weeks, these flyers will be distributed around town and posted on the ferries.

I urge drivers, cyclists and walkers alike to take a moment to read the tips and put them into practice. We especially want to remind drivers that it is legal to cross a double yellow line when passing a cyclist if there is a clear view ahead and no oncoming traffic.

As your editorial noted, with summer here and fuel prices soaring, bicycles and cars will be sharing the road more than ever in the coming months. Let’s remember that it’s up to each of us to keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely.

DANA BERG

President

Squeaky Wheels

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