Letters to the Editor

Letters

Recycling

Is recycling now less for more?

Let me get this straight: Bainbridge Disposal now wants to charge me even more to recycle, while cutting the service in half? What do they think they are, an airline? In Seattle, curbside recycling is mandatory; on Bainbridge, it’s punitive. Why not make the people who don’t recycle pay more?

ROB CLARK

Ferncliff Avenue

Serenity Court

Housing agency’s priorities misplaced

I read your article on the tragedy that is coming for the residents of Serenity House and see more questions than answers.

Most of us islanders celebrated when Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority bought the property from the former owner. But that now looks like it was a land grab.

Vague notions about “modern facilities” and “we don’t have group homes like this anymore” are no assurance that the human beings and staff who live and work on the island were even part of any consideration as the agency moves forward. In fact, it doesn’t seem as though any strategies have been explored except more development by the agency.

This is the same agency that is lending money – in the form of tax credits – to Kitsap Transit so they can build fast ferries. Those ferries serve less than 2 percent of the population and are frequently mentioned as the only way Bremerton can become a “modern city” – whatever that happens to mean.

This how a housing agency is using our tax dollars? While people’s lives are uprooted in a facility that continues to function well? The priorities of KCCHA are misplaced and, frankly, wrong in this instance.

I have twice worked with others to successfully defeat the sales tax increase proposal for fast ferries because they are not cost effective and are environmentally unsound. Sales taxes are regressive.

But I think using tax money/credits that could be spent keeping these folks in their home is just plain cruel.

Let’s keep Serenity House as it is and let the folks living there remain. They don’t need to accept new patients, but a transition over the next few years seems more compassionate than the current misplaced priorities of KCCHA.

SHARON GILPIN

Fort Ward

There are other options out there

Thank you for your recent articles on housing for people with developmental disabilities on the island. Although Serenity Court may need to close, it is important to know that a transition to several smaller homes integrated into the community and based on individual needs can also provide a caring and safe place for its residents to live. Hope House provides an encouraging example of a group house that is successfully fostering independence for five young people.

The Community Summit on Disability – held in 2001 and a follow up session last year – identified as important and urgent the need to create supported housing options on the island. A group of parents of young adults with disabilities joined by concerned professionals has been meeting for several months. Currently we have a short survey available for anyone interested in supported housing options.

Please email: renlac@msn.com or stop by at Stephens House, 191 Winslow Way Monday through Thursday mornings to receive a copy.

RENATA LAC

Seattle

Transportation

Road users should share expenses

Councilman Peters’ recent letter to the editor recommended a $20 annual fee per auto registered in our city. He thinks the fee should be earmarked to either pay for road expenses as money comes in or to pay off road expense bonds. The latter course will allow long-delayed work to be completed in a timely manner, say before a school bus, or fire truck splashes into the Sound along Rockaway.

I fully agree with his proposal. If enacted, it will go a long way to fix some of our infrastructure ills. I would go a bit further and include bicycles, motorcycles and electric vehicles at the same level of yearly taxation. We pride ourselves on sharing the road here on the Island. As a matter of equity, all users should share the expense.

ALBERT GREINER

Rockaway Beach Road

City

Bike tax would help local roads, too

As noted in his recent letter, City Council member Barry Peters is looking for tax revenue to make up for the expected shortfall in collections this year. Mr. Peters mentioned that he has heard several islanders suggest that the council adopt a $20 annual charge per car to help fund transportation infrastructure work.

I would like to advise the council that I have heard several islanders recommend that the City of Bainbridge Island implement an annual bicycle tax to generate funds for road and trail maintenance and improvements. There appears to be hundreds of bicycles on the island, and a modest annual fee of $10-$20 per bike could raise considerable revenue.

MICHAEL MCCANN

Bainbridge Island

Community

Slow down: a poem for Ericksen Park

What do we need at this time

In this era of more & more

Faster & faster & faster?

Oh, and then there’s the fear.

What is it that you long for as everything

Becomes tighter & smaller & scheduled, constricted, congested & controlled?

Oh, and our children – what do their growing, galloping, passionately jumping bodies and minds need?

MORE stuff & stimulation?

Better internet and cell phone connectivity?

More enriching, extracurricular activities?

The latest, greatest security system?

Sigh,

or is it perhaps the precious opportunity

to slow down for awhile to Earth time

To turn away from all our busyness for a spell

And be enchanted by Mother Nature

With her grace & strength & patience

To be outside for no other reason than because it’s there,

It’s here.

And we’re here

Simply to enjoy the sweet pleasure of being together

Of being neighbors.

CAROLANN BARROWS

Homestead Lane

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