Time to forgive vandal for misdeeds | Bainbridge Letters to the Editor
July 2, 2008 · 8:59 AM
Integrity arises from culpability
A guest columnist for the Seattle P.I., Anthony Robinson, recently wrote an article on the top 10 “markers of integrity.” I believe there are two principle marks of integrity that relate to the recent vandalism by a few of our youth on Bainbridge Island.
His fifth principle states: “Integrity doesn’t mean that a person never makes mistakes. But a person with integrity accepts responsibility for his or her own mistakes or failures and does what’s in his or her power to put things right.” Indeed, Colin Bowman has now lived up to this principle.
The 10th principle states: “People with integrity know that they aren’t perfect and sometimes in this life it is not possible to avoid disappointing or hurting others. Because of this they are able to forgive and they recognize their own need for forgiveness.”
Perhaps now our community is ready to forgive. And hopefully the other guilty participants will have the moral courage of Colin Bowman to confess!
Park serves as a calming feature
Dear City Council members:
First I want to thank you for your service to the community. I understand how difficult your jobs can be. You will likely make some folks happy and some unhappy.
The issue I want to discuss is the relentless attempt by commercial interests to cut Ericksen Avenue through in a single-minded manner without consideration of reasonable alternatives, nor impacts on neighborhood.
For a long time it has been a well-known fact in city administrative circles around the country that calming traffic by any number of means helps foster and maintain healthy and desirable neighborhoods. In the situation concerning Ericksen Avenue there is an easy solution.
The owner of the commercial property in question has the ability to redo, at minimal cost, the informal entrance that he has allowed many people to use, on and off, for many years. Traffic can enter and exit from the existing drive west of the bank, then, if going north, turn east on the north side of the bank. That can be one-way east. Now, on Hildebrand, a two-way street, proceed north. For southbound motorists, simply turn west at the next drive north, one-way west and then south through the entrance on to Wallace. He owns the property... the solution is in his hands and he should pay for it.
This is a simple win-win solution. It does not destroy Ericksen Park, which is an important value to those of us who live in Winslow. It is in keeping with traffic calming features because it does not present a straight thoroughfare, which encourages speeding, but instead presents a turning of directions, which encourages slow driving. And it does not cost the people of Bainbridge Island $1,000,000, as estimated by our Public Works Department, and we know how these estimates often go. It can be built by and paid for by the private property owners that it serves.
Let’s remember some important history. We resisted this assault by commercial interests on the neighborhood many years ago, and the City Council voted to never open Erickson Avenue. Massive support from all over the island made that possible. We only have a City of Bainbridge Island because the people of the City of Winslow wisely and generously agreed to annex the rest of the island. Their wisdom and foresight was based on the idea that on this island we all had the same interest in keeping the island a wonderful place to live ... Winslow the city was a wonderful place to live.
Now, with the neighborhood (formerly City) of Winslow taking half of the growth on the island, thousand of folks can live on beautiful acreage, with gardens and peace, and less threat of new streets cutting through their neighborhoods. But very special consideration should be given to the people of Winslow so that their neighborhoods can also remain desirable places to live.
Incidentally, I used to live on rural acreage in the home I built and moved to Winslow to be part of the solution. I walk most places, bicycle some and am very happy I made the move.
Please, save Erickson Park. Save the impact on the neighborhood. Save the taxpayers of Bainbridge at least $1,000,000. Please have the courage to do the right thing.
‘Kindness criminals’ take care of park
If we neighbors are to be considered “vandals” for reconstructing a gazebo that had been knocked down (“Park is an example of adult vandalism,” Letters, June 25), then we’re proud to join the list of Bainbridge Island “Kindness Criminals,” who commit acts of generosity on public and private property: those that pull weeds, build trails, remove ivy, plant daffodils and build bus stops.
The same night that our neighborhood gazebo was toppled, traffic signs were pulled and graffiti was painted on buildings and sidewalks along Ericksen Avenue.
What would you do if something were torn down or damaged in your neighborhood? Wouldn’t you respond quickly to show that someone cares?
As the gazebo was originally hidden and had become an area for mischief, we decided to move it out closer to the road so it was more visible to make it less desirable as a place to drink or smoke at.
We plead guilty for reconstructing the gazebo, pruning trees, cutting back blackberries, planting flowers and installing picnic tables, a park seat, and a memorial bench – all done with our own hands, time, and money. We’d like to think these park “vandalisms,” are improvements which have not cost the city a dime.
Our gang, “The Community Building Commission,” includes neighbors from Blue Heron, Co-Housing, Island Homestead Apts., Madison Square Condominiums, Meridian and the Mobile Home Park.
We invite you to come by and visit Ericksen Park. Hold your next meeting outside there, bring a picnic, take a lunch break, or just sit and view the pond with lovely yellow irises that you can now see because the blackberries have been removed.
Go online and look at the fun we are having building community around our neighborhood park: http://www.ericksenpark.myphotoalbum.com.
Who knows? You might become inspired to commit a random act of kindness! How about installing and watering flower baskets along Winslow Way before July 3?
Reconsider Art Biggert’s closing statement, “Hello Houston... we have a problem.” Try, “Bainbridge... we have a solution?”
The Community Building Commission