Letters to the Editor

MORE letters

More parks, fewer roads

The pressure is on once again to connect Ericksen Avenue with Hildebrand and in the process destroy a delightful public park.

That park was once established to mitigate the destruction of other lands in the process of developing the shopping area by Hildebrand. To destroy that park is to destroy faith in the process of mitigation. If mitigation is just temporary until the development forces overrun what was mitigated, then what is the point of such negotiations?

We need more parks, not less. We need more places where neighbors can gather, and folks can pause for a summer picnic or take in the spring frolics of the ducks.

It is true that many cars take a short-cut behind the Viking Bank to make it from Hildebrand to Ericksen. I have done that myself. But that does not mean that even the people taking that short cut would actually vote to abolish the park. Efficiency isn’t everything.

We are a growing community but we must not let the needs of traffic trump all. I hope our citizens, planners and City Council will keep a vision of Bainbridge that combines our love of beauty and quiet spots with the need for a thriving business community.

FRAN KORTEN

Byron Drive

Park displays public spirit

I write to express my strong support for Ericksen Park and the amenity it provides to the community of Bainbridge Island.

As a recent permanent resident of Bainbridge, I have been particularly impressed with the facility provided by the park and the sense of community it engenders. Both my wife and I utilize the park daily for our recreation and I find it abhorrent that this facility could be taken away from the citizens of my neighborhood.

To visit the park is to leave impressed with the level of public spirit that has been shown in its maintenance and enhancement. I am aware that almost all of this work has been completed by local residents, with much of the funding derived from their personal finances. This is a corporeal indication of the critical importance so many of these citizens place in this valuable resource.

I am not one of Bainbridge Island’s wealthier citizens and am not afforded private outdoor space in my residence. To people like me, access to open space within a close walking distance of my home is essential.

Ericksen Park is not just a place where I can relax quietly, but also a resource I share with my community and neighbors. It brings us together.

To hear that this green, open, community space could be bulldozed and replaced with yet more tarmac for yet more automobiles runs against everything I believe in. It runs against everything I find the residents of Bainbridge to believe in.

I would strongly encourage council to work with vigor to stabilize the position of Ericksen Park as a permanent community resource.

STEPHEN R. SKILLCORN

Island Way

Where is the money going?

I am concerned about the apparent allocation of who pays for Winslow Way’s badly needed infrastructure. I hear from people outside Winslow that they should not have to pay to upgrade Winslow’s terrible water, sewer and storm drainage infrastructure.

I note that all the island will save money on their home fire insurance if we upgrade the Winslow utility water mains. I complain that with the proposed allocation of who pays for the improvements it is too heavy on Winslow water and sewer customers.

Most islanders probably do not know that there is a state agency, Washington State Surveying and Rating board, that determines how much you pay for fire insurance business or homes.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best, Bainbridge Island is rated 6. The biggest ksland fire risk is in the Winslow areas where we have a very small water main in town and only one fire hydrant in the middle of town.

Because we are a city, the rating bureau gives us a whole island rating. Because we recently installed bigger water mains in most of Winslow, the rating board dropped the B.I. rating from 7 to 6. This should have reduced all island fire insurance premiums throughout the island by about 10 percent.

I am guessing that by fixing Winslow Way fire flow capabilities our rating should go down to 5. So all Islanders win. If you have any questions about my point, please call our fire district fire marshal.

I live in Winslow and feel that my utility bills should not go up to reduce the fire insurance rates of the island outside of Winslow. So let’s look at the financing plan of COBI to make us utility customers to pay more than our share of utility costs.

While I am complaining about Winslow utility costs, wait until you get the estimate of the $10 million Winslow Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade that is out for bid. And it will not include a money maker to treat the 600,000 gallons average per day that is now dumped in Puget Sound off Eagle Point. Why not put in a simple tertiary treatment facility to substitute well water at Wing Point Golf course — like every Arizona, Florida and most California parks and golf courses do — and recharge the best recharge area on the island just north of the golf course?

I note with interest that the South Kitsap water district is working with the Port Orchard sewage treatment plant to put purple pipes into the water infrastructure ditches to irrigate our gardens.

I thought I lived in a green community. Where is COBI in all of this?

By the way, Wing Point has its own wells to water the course and does not use Winslow water.

MERRILL ROBISON

Winslow

Earth hour

figures wrong

In two recent letters to the Review, figures have been cited of which I was skeptical and having investigated further I found them to be in error. The numbers published in the Review indicated that by turning off the lights for one hour, the Australian city of Sydney saved the energy equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the road for one year. Expanding this event one hour every day of the year (1 hour x 365 days x 48,000 cars) means the CO2 emissions from over 17 million cars would be mitigated by the Sydney population of 2.2 million. These figures just didn’t make sense.

Investigating further I found the published figures for the CO2 reduction resulting from the 2007 Sydney event. By turning off the lights for one hour the citizens of Sydney reduced the CO2 output from their power plants by about 10 percent or approximately 25 tons of CO2 for that single hour without lights. A car getting 20 miles per gallon and traveling about 12,000 miles per year generates about 6.6 tons CO2 for that year. Therefore by turning out the lights for one hour the city of Sydney took the equivalent of nearly four cars (25 tons/6.6 tons) off the road for a year. I am not against reducing CO2 emissions, or having a clean environment, or turning out the lights, but I am in favor of being realistic and providing accurate information. This error was too far off to remain uncorrected. In the hypno-media environment today we should always be skeptical. I invite you to check the information yourself.

GARY LOVERICH

Fletcher Bay Road

Community Events, April 2014

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