Letters to the Editor

Letters

Ericksen/Hildebrand

Simple solution to a complicated issue

Why don’t we end the Ericksen/Hildebrand road debate once and for all.

Put it on the ballot in November. Problem solved.

ELLEN MINYARD

Northeast Vincent Road

Don’t let minority speak for majority

Once again the city council decides to do nothing to solve the problem of Ericksen Avenue and the “plug park.” By refusing to accept the results of a recent traffic impact study, requested in 2006, you leave an important business and residential corridor in a real mess. Of course the study recommends connecting the roads, saying the opening would not have a detrimental impact on traffic, including bikes and pedestrians.

The connection has the support of Chamber of Commerce spokesman John Waldo, who has 1,100 signatures from business owners and community members who agree with him that the roads need to be connected. And instead of moving forward on this you decide to shelve it. Amazing.

But then you have committee member Kim Brackett stating how “it is not a good idea to establish policy by putting a road through a park” and yet somehow a policy was established to allow a park to be put through a road. Visitors to this area must really scratch their heads at the planning that must have gone into this one.

I bet if traffic studies had counted 180 cars flooding through Kallgren Road on a Friday between 4 and 6 p.m., the city would have followed through on plans to open up its road. And why isn’t there more talk of the public safety issues regarding access by public safety and emergency aid vehicles, as there was for their neighborhood?

But it’s the four letters in the paper by J. Gleckler, S. Johnson, M. Kirkby and G. Pettersen that really have me ticked off, especially the knee jerk rant that “it is very important that the automobile not become the dominant mode of transportation in our small community....” I am sorry to say Maryann that we are not in Kansas anymore.

And our community is threatened with “certain ruination” by connecting the roads according to Johnson, because we will “lose another non- motorized link in our island transportation infrastructure.....” I think not.

Pettersen thinks the city wants to create “auto raceways” and has appointed himself spokesperson for the ‘new residents’ by saying they want fewer cars passing through their neighborhood, though he lives over on Parfitt Way. And he goes on to claim ‘the reason cars are using this route (through the bank lot) has nothing to do with ....new business’ at the south end of the High School Road development, they are going to Safeway, Rite Aid, etc. I’m sorry that this skewed representation of facts does not speak for me or the many other citizens who drive regularly along this busy corridor to do business; with no thoughts of racing or Rite Aid.

Three times a week, I drive an 89 year old man to Kitsap Physical Therapy from the Agate Pass Road area. Afterwards we often have to cross the street, through the bank lot, to the dog groomer, the vet, the dentist or other points south. I’m sorry that Glecklers’ plea to know my neighbors by foot or bike in this tiny “plug park” is not going to happen for me. I have to work. And it is presumptuous and arrogant to think my behavior and opinions are “counter-productive to maintaining certain qualities of small town life.” My long-time connection to the community, my neighbors and the natural world we live in are already quite satisfying. Connecting the roads on Ericksen will not make it less so.

KAREN TARDIFF

Mariner Avenue

Street was called ‘Flag Pole Alley’

This letter is in regard to the reference that Jerry Elfendal made to Ericksen Avenue, that the locals called it “Flag Alley”, because of all the flag poles that were displayed on the street.

Flag Alley is incorrect; it was called “Flag Pole Alley.” It was also called Ericksen Street for years, until it officially became Ericksen Avenue in the 1960s.

SUSAN ERICKSEN

Ericksen Avenue

Community

Editorial spun bad hyperbole by a mile

Could somebody at the Review please explain how you managed to spin two bicycle accidents caused by either inattentive or drunk driving into a call for speed traps on SR-305? In your own editorial you quote the WSP as saying “...the city’s doing a great job” already. Traveling 305 on a semi-regular basis I rarely find traffic flowing at the current posted speed limit, much less over, so I’m not sure what you think speed traps would accomplish.

The hyperbole continues: “Wisely, most islanders try to avoid SR-305...” We do? Care to find and publish the study that indicates this statement is anything but fiction from your overactive imaginations? Like it or not, SR-305 is the spine that connects one end of this island to the other. Ferry traffic is only going to increase as will inter-island use of the roadway as more homes get built here. Sadly, I suspect the best solution is going to be widening the roadway to accommodate the inevitable additional population.

STEVE BORGSTROM

Bluff Lane NE

City government

Stop throwing

‘tantrums’ at city

It really is pathetic to hear people who talk and agree that it is essential to protect the city’s future, finances and security, yet when their pet projects might be deferred, delayed or eliminated because of where in the priority their projects happen to fall in order to act responsibly, those same people overreact and get upset. I don’t think that this is about communication at all.

To rebuild trust, financial stability and actual rebuilding of this community and its infrastructure, I believe the emotional “acting out” (which has become so commonplace in the council hall meetings and by many of the local blog participants) is counterproductive at best, and polarizing at it’s worst.

I believe there is a serious, intelligent and actual effort on the part of many on the City Council today to help repair some of the damage that has been caused previously. It is time to make a significant effort to act altruistically and look at where the critical priorities in the city’s future are, and not throw a tantrum if and when pet projects aren’t in the highest-and-best-needs column.

The difference between today and a few years ago is that we are now in the position to have most of the information about the city’s financial health in front of us. Clearly this information was available to some in recent years, however, it was not acted on in a responsible or meaningful way, which has brought us to our current place.

Please allow those who are working to solve this problem in a responsible manner the space, time and respect to work the solutions. While it is critical to have great communication and critical-thinking skills, the things that I have recently been observing and reading haven’t been about communication at all.

JOEL LEVIN

Rolling Bay

Happy to pay $20 to help fix roads

The deteriorating state of the roads on Bainbridge Island is obvious, and I was pleased to read Councilman (Barry) Peters’ proposal for a $20 annual tax on island cars to help repair them.

I think taxing bicycles is a little mean, and short-sighted. What bicyclists need is fewer homicidal drivers.

I have an electric car with a curb weight of 1,200 pounds and I’ll pay my $20 with a smile, though the damage my car does to the roads is tiny compared to that from a Suburban.

At under 3 cents a mile, I can afford to be generous.

DAVID MITCHELL

Madrona Way

Politics

Obama a ‘prop’ for diverse delegates

I heard Barack Obama speak about his campaign and how some say it is like a cult and people worship him.

He said he feels more like a prop for the movement and that his supporters are more enamored of each other. People often tell him about going to volunteer meetings and being so amazed at all the different kinds of people there.

That is how I felt as a delegate at the Kitsap County Democratic Convention. I had no idea our county is so diverse! I have never been involved in politics before, and this experience was eye-opening.

As delegates for Obama, we were very happy to hear that after the final count we had picked up even more delegates, due to attrition in the opponent’s camp.

But the highlight of the day was the process by which we selected delegates to go on to the congressional district and state conventions.

We had 29 delegate slots and 14 alternate slots to fill. There were 69 people who wanted to compete for those slots. So we all lined up and each one of us gave a 30-second speech. Then we voted for 43 positions.

It is hard to describe what it is like hear 69 people one after another tell you why they want to stand up for Barack Obama.

I was so happy to be part of this process, and at the same time I found myself moved to tears by the diversity and humanity of these 69 voices.

Let me describe some of the people who will be representing Kitsap county and Barack Obama at the congressional district convention where the delegates for the national convention in Denver will be selected:

There are union members and veterans, a nurse who served in Vietnam, people with handicaps and disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, high school and college students, African-American men and women, Latinos and Latinas, and a Native American single mother who has recently been homeless.

There’s also a white woman of a certain age who is a “recovered Republican,” a young white man who owns two businesses on Bainbridge, leaders in the Democratic party, environmental activists and many, like me, who have never participated before.

Barack Obama has already given us a great gift: each other.

I am so grateful to have been chosen as a delegate because it means I get to spend more time with this wonderfully diverse group of people, bridging our differences through shared purpose and vision.

Because of Barack Obama, people across this nation are turning to each other to talk about hard issues, and coming to realize that we are not as divided as our differences suggest.

SYKIE TOLES, “A Mama for Obama”

Hansen Road

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