Letters to the Editor

Bainbridge Letters to the Editor | July 16


Historic oak is being drowned

The Harbor Square Condo Owners Association is finishing off the job that the developers started: killing the historic oak they “saved.” By planting grass within the drip line of the tree and overwatering the grass growing on the soils compacted by the developer’s heavy equipment (they parked a trailer under the oak!), the tree is getting drowned. It’s tree waterboarding. They’ve been warned by renowned Bainbridge Island arborist Olaf Ribeiro but they claim they have no money. How much money does it cost to turn off the water? I’ll rip out the grass for free.

I’m sure the chemical fertilizers and pesticides they likely use (only 5 percent homeowners use organic methods) on the grass aren’t helping either. Nor are they helping our health, since 13 of the 30 commonly used pesticides are probable or possible carcinogens. (Not to mention that emissions from lawn equipment account for 5 percent of air pollution).

Anyone interested should read “Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community,” by H.C. Flores.


Ferncliff Avenue

Woodshop co-op would work here

This is a sequel or a “friendly amendment” to Dave Ullin’s article (“Liveaboards need haul-out facility,” July 12) regarding the need for a haul-out facility at the old Strawberry Plant property.

Ullin suggests the use of volunteers to construct and operate a proposed haul-out facility and to operate the facility as a community (public) resource and not a commercial one. This idea is in line with the multifaceted children’s playground in Battle Point Park and the Marge Williams Center, both constructed with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

I’d like to expand on Ullin’s haul-out facility.

There is a woodshop co-op in a small town in southern Arizona (Green Valley). It is run and operated by volunteer members and provides a very creative outlet for active seniors to build furniture, carve toys for grandkids and turn beautiful bowls. As a member of this group, I can attest to the fun and sense of fulfillment this woodshop offers.

I have approached quite a number of residents with the idea of starting such a woodshop co-op here on the island. There is a huge reservoir of woodworking talent and tools that already exist and as seniors retire and sell their homes to move to smaller homes or condos, home woodshops are abandoned.

Let’s build a co-op woodshop on the old Strawberry Plant property and set it back in the trees a couple of hundred yards from the high-tide line. Build it with volunteers.

Have the volunteer members run and operate it. Offer internships to high school students who have an interest in woodworking and run it in conjunction with the woodworking classes at the high school.

With the help of high school students, produce one or two Habitat for Humanity houses a year and place the houses on the six-plus acres donated to the city for affordable housing.

Ullin would be one of many instructors of the co-op and could teach pre-power tool applications. The woodshop would have a maritime focus like the boat-building program at Port Hadlock, but be more general in that we would offer a broader range of woodworking skills training and recreational opportunities for woodworking hobbyists.

This need not to be a costly city program. It could be under the park district jurisdiction and added to the senior center program offerings. If we were careful, it could be member owned, operated and funded.


Agate Street


Paint job ruins building’s milieu

The recent “repainting” of the Sterling Building on the northeast corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305 is just one more example of how ill thought out color choices can completely change the whole meaning of what was an attractive, well thought out building.

Not only has the building served its occupants well, but also, and most importantly, has reflected its immediate surroundings by plan, elevations and exterior color selections, not to mention the extensive landscaping.

What is especially unfortunate about the large, dark green band is that it completely destroys the relationship of the building to its landscaping.

Generally, what was an inviting building now looks like a federal detention center for Level 3 offenders. This is not meant as a criticism against the owner or contractor, because I strongly suspect that what really happened was that their “exterior decorator” quite simply got away from them before they realized what was happening.

Oh well... another attractive building shot to hell!


Bainbridge Island

Grand Old Fourth

Beat Poetry was the best event

What a Grand Old Fourth of July on Bainbridge Island... and my favorite part was attended by just a few lucky folks. The Beat Poet Reading at Winslow Green was just great. It was a trip down a foggy lane of weighty thinking, good humor and bongos. Many thanks and cheers to the participants. It was a “beauooootiful” event.


Casey Street

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