Letters to the Editor

On May 10th I stood vigil in front of Bangor Gate with

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Military

Why do we need nuclear weapons?

On May 10th I stood vigil in front of Bangor Gate with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. The Sunday before I stood up in Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church and asked for support for my action. The dialogue which unfolded after church amazed me.

First, a man stepped up and suggested that the weapons would never be used and that it was “just a game which countries with nuclear weapons play.”

I responded: “That’s a cruel and horrible game to play when we need those funds to provide health care, education and food for children.”

Next a man who works at Bangor strode over and in an angry voice chided me for what I was doing. Then he said, “It’s a total waste of time and only makes people late for work.” I said: “I understand your anger but I have to stand on the opposite side of the fence from you on this issue.”

Fifteen miles down the road. How many of you are equally uninformed?

I explained that the many subs at Bangor Submarine Base – how many I’m not quite sure – each carry 24 Trident D-5 missiles. And each of those 24 missiles can carry up to 3,640 kilotons of nuclear explosives.

The Natural Resources Defense Council declared in November 2006 that the 2,364 nuclear warheads stored at Bangor are about 24 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal – the single largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in the country.

I admitted that I did not know what a kiloton [Editor’s note: a kiloton is a measure of explosive power (of an atomic weapon) equal to that of 1,000 tons of TNT] was but I did know that the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were only 15 kilotons each. In Hiroshima 40,000 persons died instantly and by the end of 1945 another 100,000 had died of related causes.

It’s estimated that the total dead now stands at 242,437 from just that one 15-kiloton bomb – approximately the same number of souls that live in Kitsap County!

Obviously there are many points of view about this contentious subject – even in my own church, which many consider very liberal. I hope you will ask yourself, what do we need with all those nuclear weapons? We have to find better ways to settle our disagreements. A nuclear war will destroy us all!

DONNA MOORE

member of Women in Black

Bainbridge Island

Parking

Vigilance is not needed with her

To the person who left a note in my pickup at Safeway on Sunday afternoon: While I appreciate your effort to keep able-bodied parkers out of the few handicapped spaces available, I urge you to be more observant. Your claim that I shouldn’t have been in that space because there was no placard displayed shows your ignorance of the law. My vehicle was properly equipped with disabled person plates front and rear, negating the need for a placard. If you happened to observe me walking into the store with no apparent disability, it’s because you saw me on a good day, walking on the level.

I urge you to resist jumping to conclusions, as folks who rush to judgment are, in your words,” the people that make life here so difficult.”

CK RILEY

Island Center

Community

City’s sidewalks need attention

Yes, our community’s infrastructure needs repairs. Hopefully the list of repairs includes our sidewalks.

Sidewalks are one of our most important infrastructures – they connect our community together.

Our downtown sidewalks are unsafe and badly in need of repair.

They are far too narrow and many large vehicles extend their bumpers into the sidewalks and further restrict our limited pedestrian space.

Let’s have welcoming sidewalks so people can walk and talk together, merchants can display their crafts and that are not a patchwork of unsafe patterns, cracks and slopes.

Winslow Way should be considered the “living room” of our community. Look around at our personal living spaces – do we allow uneven, inconsistent and cracked walking surfaces, industrial lighting and exposed wiring in our homes?

Investing in our community’s infrastructure (above and below ground) now would greatly enhance the life and livelihood of our social/cultural/business community.

If we consider roads an important infrastructure, we must include sidewalks that are so vital to encouraging walking and reducing our carbon footprint.

It would be so costly to businesses and our budget to rip up the street now to repair underground infrastructure and then at a later time do it again to repair our sidewalks and above ground systems.

Walkways are the “river of life” for successful, livable communities.

Bainbridge, please support the plans to improve our above- and below-ground infrastructure.

We are very willing to invest in our downtown and like the business community, are willing to donate to pay for some amenities.

How about having community events like those that occurred in creating that wonderful Battle Point Park playground?

TOM AND HELEN BARTSUKA

Winslow Way

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