Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Safety

Please, slow your pace

The Board of Directors of Squeaky Wheels of Bainbridge Island was very disappointed to learn of the incident described in the Wednesday edition of The Bainbridge Review.

We condemn such behavior in the strongest possible terms. This is unacceptable.

The behavior of this bicyclist not only was a gross and flagrant violation of traffic laws, by running the school bus red lights it put Officer Stich’s daughter at risk of severe injury.

We must remind all bicyclists that as operators of legal road vehicles we must comply with all of the traffic laws just like all motorized vehicle operators do.

When bicyclists violate traffic laws we do more than put cyclists at risk; we could injure or even kill pedestrians. We ask all drivers and cyclists to be more careful when using our roadways and to place safety of self and others around us as the highest priority when using the roadways. Slow down, everyone – this is not the mainland! Most drivers of cars do so in a safe lawful manner – as do the majority of bicyclists. The few violators give all the law abiding riders and drivers a really bad name and reputation.

Please take some personal responsibility and initiative. If you see a flagrant violation either speak directly with the person – or if you feel uncomfortable doing so – contact law enforcement personnel to assist.

Joel Levin

As a representative of the 12-member board

Election ‘08

Is gender bar next?

In the midst of the jubilation many of us feel about the results of Tuesday’s election has emerged the dispiriting news that Prop. 8 in California has been passed. This proposition, largely backed by religious groups, reinstates a ban on same-sex marriage. Similar laws were passed in Florida and Arizona.California voters also passed a law to improve and safeguard the living conditions of farm animals. Such is the fearfully self-righteous and judgmental nature of some religious groups that they teach people to extend the generosity of their hearts to animals but not to humans. Worse yet, these groups then impose upon and dictate how others should live their lives.

Being subject to the dangers of religious zeal and homophobia, this is not material for a ballot. I am in a heterosexual marriage, and the few same-sex marriages I have known are utterly thoughtful, committed and loving. I have nothing but respect for these courageous people and wish them success in their renewed effort to once and for all safeguard their rights. Hopefully the gender barrier will be the next to fall.

Janet See

Beck Road

Community

Thanks to Junkoh

The community-funded expansion of the Bainbridge Public Library was nearing completion in 1997 when Junkoh Harui approached the Library Board with a wonderful proposal He observed that the library’s larger footprint on one of the island’s busiest corners needed a more graceful presence.

Junkoh presented his initial sketch of a Northwest-influenced Japanese garden that would be donated by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community in honor of the Issei generation of Bainbridge Islanders. With BPL Board’s blessing, Junkoh assembled a talented team of local artisans, landscaping specialists and BIJAC volunteers to design and install the magnificent garden we enjoy today.

Thanks to Junkoh’s inspiration, oversight and generous financial support, the Haiku No Niwa (Haiku Garden) is a peaceful refuge for library visitors as well as an enduring tribute to a vital part of the Island’s history. This garden is yet another facet of Junkoh Harui’s remarkable legacy.

Cindy Harrison

Arrow Point Loop

Stressed? Take a hike

The economic climate is troubling, the cost of living is skyrocketing and the stock market is gyrating. One thing is certain, our stress levels are elevated.

While watching one of the recent stock market plunges, we recently overheard a person say, “I have lost everything!” We couldn’t help reflect that if you maintain your health, you have everything you need to combat the stress of the volatile world we live in.

Here’s some interesting science. Evidence suggests that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise has been shown to increase the neuromodultator norepinephrine.

This is particularly interesting to researchers because half the brain’s supply of this chemical is produced in the area of the brain that connects most of the brain regions involved in emotional and stress responses.

The chemical is thought to play a major role in modulating the action of prevalent neurotransmitters that play a direct role in the stress response.

The science is voluminous, and sometimes complex, but the facts are clear. The benefits of exercise are practically a panacea for most of life’s ills.

However, it is important to choose an exercise that works best for you. You are more likely to continue to exercise if you choose an activity that gives you pleasure.

You don’t need a vigorous workout to combat stress. Gentler activities such as yoga and tai chi are helpful in managing stress.

Exercise, of course, takes effort. Go for a brisk walk, hike or jog through Gazzam Lake or the Grand Forest.

Walk, dance, bike ride or do anything to move your body. Begin with as little as 20 minutes, three times per week.

How will you know if you are moving enough to realize real benefits? Try listening to your body to gauge your exertion level.

If you are new to exercise and find yourself getting out of breath quickly or needing to rest often, then you are probably doing too much. If you can sing and maintain your effort, then you are probably not working hard enough!

So when you are faced with decisions about which areas of your life to cut back, consider keeping your mind, body and spirit as a priority for your overall well being. Stay committed to moving forward, to inward reflection and to investing in your physical and mental fitness.

Michael, Alexa Rosenthal

Owners of Island Fitness

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