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A mea culpa to all island residents
I am one of the boys who participated in the recent vandalism of police vehicles on Bainbridge Island. While the intention that night was to carry out a bold senior prank, I now see that the only thing we accomplished was to hurt our families, peers and the community of Bainbridge, all of which have been good to me and deserve none of the negative byproducts of this foolish escapade. Caught up in the adrenaline of that night, it wasn’t clear to me how inappropriate these actions were.
This vandalism was not inspired or motivated by any personal vendetta against the Bainbridge Island Police or Chief Haney. Nor does it reflect the values of my family or the Class of 2008; the mistake was mine alone. I accept full responsibility for the damage we caused and we are committed to make full restitution for it. Besides apologizing to the police, I have offered to help the school turn senior paint night from one of vandalism to one that better reflects what I learned at home and school; like coming together as a class to paint someone’s house in need.
In the meantime, if the street has been painted in front of your house by someone in the Class of 2008 and you would like it removed, please contact the police department with your address and I will come by to clean it off.
With the most sincere apology,
Accused is a good person to many
I have known Colin Bowman for four years since our son was drafted into the majors in Bainbridge Island Little League and Colin helped his dad coach the team. When my son’s team went back to Cooperstown, N.Y., for a national tournament, Colin was the batting coach who helped get them ready for a successful run.
I know that he has given hundreds of hours to coaching and mentoring younger boys in baseball as a community service. He is a very talented and bright young man that has received many honors and awards for his performance on and off the field. He has been an outstanding role model for every kid he has worked with, and my son looks up to him.
I was shocked and saddened to learn of his involvement in the prank at the station. It is so unlike everything I know about Colin. It also serves as a reminder that even the best kids make mistakes and almost every adult I know has made mistakes when they were young. The boys involved in this incident should be made to pay for the damage they caused and by working it off through community service.
Beyond that, punishing them only serves to denigrate the tolerance and compassion our community prides itself on. Colin deserves a chance to repay the damage that he has caused and the chance to continue his education by going to college; so that he can create a positive future for himself and his community.
Seniors are models of responsibility
I would like to recognize the students at Bainbridge High School for hosting a car wash raising funds to help with the cost of the repair of the BIPD fleet. The Class of 2008 will be remembered not for the destruction but rather for their hard work showing they are a socially compassionate and responsible class. Their show of support models how a community can come together under such dire circumstances.
I would like to express my appreciation to the citizens who have offered rewards in finding the criminals who committed this thoughtless damage and to those citizens who have been dropping off money to help pay for the restoration and repair of police vehicles. I would also like to thank Mark Dombroski, city administrator, and his staff for figuring out a way to set up a fund for all islanders to make a contribution.
The BIPD is there for all citizens 365/24/7, protecting the community as well as providing other public services. The island if fortunate to have such great officers and staff. Without them, there would be mayhem everywhere.
So, if you missed the car wash, you can still show your support. All donations – regardless of size, I’m sure – would be appreciated by the Police Department. Get your check to the Finance Department at City Hall (made out to COBI), and let them know it’s for the BIPD Vandalism Fund.
Park serves as a speed bump
The Review’s editorial (“Someone just closed the back door,” June 25) is closest to the truth of the matter. We should learn to value better leaving in place the green plug park between Ericksen Avenue and Hildebrand for what was intended. More than 20 years ago it got there as a City Hall leap of faith for folks who might like to live downtown somewhere or keep on living there. This was done before $4.50 a gallon times.
Since then a few merchants and investors around the site are calling for more traffic flow. None of them live at or even near the site, of course. Those residents and other merchants numbering more than a few dozen who do realize that the call has less to do with safety than cash flow. Mixed use zoning can be the bane of protecting a town’s people livability. In inexperienced hands it is not always as it’s hyped. Afterwards it puzzles officials when changes are demanded and not in their own back yards. Some planners are at a loss when to ever say “No” to traffic flow. Advocates for traffic usually make the mistake of judging a place by its jingling cash register potentials. Safety is not the main issue. And “green” at this site is not a chosen color for this park when they talk about it.
Downtown has started coming around to what was intended. That was for local and new people to come downtown again, to stay, and to live comfortably. There are no better speed bumps to help that than potholes. The next best are berms as this plug was intended to be. So let’s not confuse the first meaning of the word “commerce” as claimed by advocates for punching through the plug. They’ve got it wrong. The term means social intercourse as in the exchange of ideas, talking, opinions or sentiments. In this sense, leaving the plug alone has been a major success.
Is Nobel Prize in editor’s future?
Wow! Now THERE’s a real profile in courage. After properly nailing council for predictably botching the Ericksen bottleneck, your editorial bottom line is “to live with” this latest mess. After a journalistic thunderbolt like that, I definitely see a Nobel Prize in your future.
(Editor’s note: Sometimes a writer’s use of sarcasm fails to clearly express an intended point of view).
Owners should fix the problem
Why should taxpayers be expected to bail out the owners of the Village? Who’s at fault that the traffic and pedestrian design along Hildebrand is so bad? The owners of the Village need to fix it and do it now before somebody gets hurt along Hildebrand.
Look at the University Village in Seattle. An attractive, pedestrian safe, auto friendly shopping center financed with zero taxpayer money. It can be done here too.
Property owner exercised his right
I work in a building that shares the parking lot with Mr. Frame’s property and closing the informal Ericksen-Hildebrand connection is very much an inconvenience for me. But, I congratulate Mr. Frame for taking action on what had to have been a difficult decision. I too believe the amount of traffic that flowed through the parking lot was a hazard because the parking lot was not designed to handle it.
I don’t think it is right to expect the property owners to shoulder the liability that would result from someone being run over in a parking lot being used as a city street. To the citizens who have been calling the property owners complaining about the closure: you are demanding a service from the wrong group of people.
Solution must be respectful to all
Regarding access to the south end of the Village shopping area, there seems to be three options:
1. The city creates a new opening and route to connect Ericksen or Wallace with Hildebrand.
2. The merchants and property owners talk with Mr. Frame, Frontier Bank and possibly the city to figure out safe access and parking using the existing Wallace entry; maybe involving the old route between the buildings with a height restriction.
3. Accept the lack of southern access.
Personally, I prefer the second option. It would serve the purpose of providing access to the shopping area without creating another through street; something unnecessary and probably undesirable. Two of the three access points from High School Road run through private property and it would not be untoward to adopt the same approach at the south end. It would also probably be less expensive than option one: costs would tend to trickle down to the Bainbridge taxpayer or consumer.
However it is resolved, I hope the conversations, process and solution are respectful of the interests of all the parties; consumers, taxpayers, merchants, property owners and neighbors.
Connect the roads, then drive less
It is certainly a stretch to call involved, active community members vandals (“Park is an example of “adult” vandalism”, Letters, June 25), even to imply that by standing for their beliefs and voicing their personal and community views, that somehow they are destroying parts of the community. They are in fact, enriching it!
Having said that, I must say that I think it makes good sense to complete the road connection here. While I understand the neighborhood’s concern about additional traffic, making people drive around another block or two is not going to reduce traffic, just add miles to everyone’s drive!
Consider the calming effect it will have on the intersection at Madison and High School, or Madison and Winslow. I think that while opening this road connection up may inconvenience a few, it will greatly benefit all!
We can all do something to reduce that traffic. Let’s drive less, bike more, ride the bus more, car pool! Buy that electric scooter and ride to the grocery store! Let’s get all this “horsepower” that is being burned up on this road issue and put it to a challenge that will benefit all of us and even those beyond our small island shores. Let’s make this island paradise the first city in the U.S. that is 100 percent carbon neutral! It can be done, and we can do it!
PAUL T. ZIAKIN