Letters to the Editor

Attend Monday WSF meeting | Bainbridge Letters to the Editor

Ferries

Attend Monday’s ‘strategy’ meeting

If you don’t care what you pay to take the Bainbridge ferry; if you are happy to have others decide that for you – people who don’t live on Bainbridge or Kitsap County, people who don’t even use ferries – then don’t bother to attend the meeting being held Monday evening at the Commons.

But if decisions on service changes and what you pay for that service is important to you, it would be a good idea to show up. Because those decisions will be made, and this is an important opportunity to let Washington State Ferries hear what you have to say about it.

WSF is required by the state Legislature to consider changes to both operations and pricing, and make recommendations to the Legislature before the end of the year. What is driving this is a serious gap in funding that has been made worse by rising fuel costs. The question is how to close that gap. Bainbridge riders pay about 110 percent of the operating cost for their run. They represent over 25 percent of the ridership, and approximately that amount of the revenue.

I think it is safe to say that the Bainbridge route, especially in conjunction with the Kingston run, represents the cash cow of the ferry system and helps to support the rest of the service. One option WSF is considering is peak-period pricing – charging more for vehicles on the commuter runs when demand is highest. Guess who is likely to be most affected by peak period pricing?

WSF will present this option as well as others such as reservation systems at Monday’s meeting at the Commons. People will have an opportunity to comment. I urge people to attend and make their opinions known.

MARTHA BURKE

Chair Bainbridge Ferry Advisory Committee

City

A curmudgeonly view of muddling

When I saw the headline “Strapped City Mulls Land Sale” (June 14), I miss-read it as city “muddles” (not surprising since it’s the city!), which is perhaps more appropriate since Merriam Webster defines “muddle” as:

1. To make turbid or muddy; 2. To befog or stupefy especially with liquor; 3. To mix confusedly; 4. To make a mess of, bungle.

Not to seem like the curmudgeon I may be (again, Merriam Webster: 2. A crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man), why are we spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore the Yeomalt Cabin when there are homeless people on the street?

Why are we destroying beautiful, livable old houses to build more ugly condos when Winslow is awash with unsold condos already? Why has my water and sewer bill gone up so much so a Bellevue developer (Opus One) could get enough service for their hideous Harbor Rectangle (as I recall, a 330-foot by 660-foot property is not a square).

Keeping Bainbridge rural is a myth created by the Gross Mismanagement Act. Open up the rest of the Island to 1-acre zoning and stop destroying what’s left of Winslow.

ROB CLARK

Ferncliff Avenue

Recycling

How do we recycle old inner tubes?

As I’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of life for our children and grandchildren, I am also aware of the many things I put in the garbage that will likely end up in the landfill and remain there for many years.

Every time I am forced to throw one of these things away, I multiply it in my head by the number of other households in this country (not to mention the world), with similar items, and I start to feel sick.

So, if anyone knows any good places to recycle things which are not the list of items picked up by Bainbridge Disposal, I’d love to hear your ideas.

We already take many items to the dump and recycle station, but still don’t know where to take things like: the plastic containers that plants come in (all sizes); old bicycle inner tubes; an old VCR; miscellaneous pieces of metal (for example, from the inside of worn-out three-ring binders)

You get the idea. I’d be willing to pay to dispose of some of these things if I thought they’d be recycled or reused in some way.

Yours trying to step more lightly on the planet,

JANE DUNKEL

North Town Loop

Community

Shellfish gardeners sought for project

I hope all you gardeners have your tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and herbs planted because it is now time for a little maritime gardening!

For the past two summers, Puget Sound Restoration Fund has been helping local residents install shellfish gardens on their beaches. Gardens are located all around the island from Port Madison Bay to South Beach. These farmers of the tide flats have harvested tasty manila clams, slurp-able oysters and fresh plump mussels.

This summer, in addition to installing individual shellfish gardens and replenishing existing garden plots, we are gearing up to start a community shellfish garden. This will be a multifaceted garden providing local and sustainable grown shellfish to farmers’ markets, grocery stores and local restaurants. Proceeds will be pumped back into water-quality issues around the island. 

The project will also provide volunteer opportunities for those interested in getting their hands muddy, learning more about our intertidal habitat and meeting new neighbors.

The Puget Sound Restoration Fund has started and operated community shellfish gardens in Whatcom County and Thurston County, and both have had great successes.

In Whatcom County, funds from the sale of oysters have helped identify and cleanup pollution sources that drain into Drayton Harbor.

In Thurston County, oysters from the Henderson farm have been gifted to those living in the watershed who pumped and repaired their septic systems.  Oysters from the Henderson farm have also been featured for the past two years at Elliott’s Oyster New Year event on Pier 56.

We are excited to get the Bainbridge Island Community Shellfish Garden Project going and also seek volunteers for the project. We hope to find a location for our garden this summer, coordinate permits with the city and state and get some oyster seeds planted as well.

Please contact Morgan Rohrbach at 206-780-6947 or morgan@restorationfund.org for additional information.

You are also invited to learn more about the Community Shellfish Garden on Monday, Aug. 4, 7-9 p.m. at The Commons on Bjune Drive. The Puget Sound Restoration Fund will be presenting this idea for Sustainable Bainbridge at Sustainable First Mondays: www.sustainablebainbridge.net.

MORGAN ROHRBACH

Project Manager

Puget Sound Restoration Fund

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