Bainbridge Island Review Letters to the Editor | July 30
July 29, 2008 · Updated 4:22 PM
Poor timing on warnings by FDA
It’s a disgrace that it took the FDA over three months to trace the salmonella saintpaul outbreak to jalapeno peppers, and to finally only be able to “warn” us to not eat jalapenos and serranos on July 21. (Thanks to food industry lobbyists, the FDA lacks mandatory recall authority.)
The outbreak has killed two people, hospitalized 229, and sickened over 1,251, including Kitsap County citizens. California grocers began pulling the peppers from shelves July 22, but there were still fresh serranos at the Bainbridge Safeway on July 25. Salmonella is an intestinal organism found primarily in animal feces, 1.5 billion tons of which are generated annually by U.S. confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The proximity of a huge CAFO manure site to the spinach fields is suspected as the culprit in last summer’s spinach salmonella outbreak. All this adds up to yet another reason to grow your own or eat local enough to know who grew your food.
Where do our priorities truly lie?
Is it a need or a want? First things first: Can we afford it? What are the consequences of this action? Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
I recommend that COBI, the mayor, the council and the citizens of Bainbridge Island repeat the above at all discussions and at the time of every decision.
Are bike lanes, open spaces and affordable housing needs or wants? What about fixing our clearly failing infrastructure? Should the City Council and the mayor direct staff to work on projects that may never come to fruition? Can we wait another 23 years to fix the pipes under Winslow Way? Or wait to fix Wing Point and Rockaway Beach Roads? Is Wing Point Way a real priority over Winslow Way? Do we have enough money to do every project that every special interest group wants? Can we afford more studies and consultants? Can COBI afford another round of lawsuits that will result from the proposed change in regulations to shoreline?
The basic responsibilities of any government are to see to the smooth running of said government and to insure the well-being of its citizenry. This means keeping infrastructure in good repair, and seeing to community health and safety. After that comes satisfying the “wants” – amenities that are certainly desirable but are not necessities. Which is more vital to community health – clean drinking water or walking paths?
It is clear that COBI faces a financial crisis. No matter what each of us wants to see on the island, we must look at what we can afford. No home or business should be run the way that our city government now seems to be working. I would hope that every representative of the citizens of Bainbridge Island – volunteer, hired or elected – will look at the city as its own business, and that its citizens will do likewise. The island is our home. It deserves better care than it seems to have at present.
Rockaway Beach Road
Peters is a solid councilman
In last Wednesday’s Review, Anthony Sultan urged the silent majority to pipe in on their feelings about Councilman Barry Peters (“Councilman Peters should resign,” Letters, July 23). I realized I’m part of the silent majority, so I’m piping in.
I have consistently found Mr. Peters thoughtful, a great listener, careful to understand the facts of each situation, eager to find positive solutions, able to reach out to those who seem to disagree, and deeply committed to a vision of Bainbridge Island as a fun, community-oriented, healthy, and beautiful place to live. I am enormously grateful that he has chosen to devote his time and energy to working through the difficult issues this island community faces, and hope he stays on the council a good long time.
Our council and city administration have a tough job in this time of shrinking budgets. I know it takes a lot of patience and persistence – and am grateful we have folks willing to work hard and help our island rise to the challenges ahead.
Courtesy is sorely needed on roads
I work as a nanny for several families that live on different ends of the island and recent events within my work have made it all too apparent that my fellow islanders need to be a bit more respectful and aware as they go about their daily business.
Residents of Bainbridge need to learn to share the roadways. Because Bainbridge is mostly rural, there simply are not sidewalks all around the island. This means that people will be walking, running, and biking along the side of the road. Whether or not they have a small child and/or a dog in tow (as I often do), it is your job to SLOW DOWN.
Please don’t just give the person a bit of space and continue to zoom on by. Simply speaking there is no reason or place that you need to get to that is so important that you should put lives or sense of safety of others at risk.
Beaches are another location where some islanders have been forgetting to be mindful of others. If you bring your dog to the beach, keep it either on a leash or under your control. Although I consider myself to be a dog lover, it doesn’t mean I want your dog barreling up to me and spraying sand in my entire picnic because you decided to sit back and read rather than keep him in control.
Also, don’t assume that all dogs are friendly. Some dogs, like humans, simply do not play well with others. That is why it can be frustrating when others choose to ignore leash laws and let their dogs come sprinting up to mine, when she is leashed and under my command and control in order to avoid conflict with other dogs.
When it comes down to it, these requests are about respect and awareness. Yes, it is fun and magnificent on the island during the summer time, remember though that we live on this island together.
Please slow down and be mindful of your fellow islanders no matter their size or whether they have four legs or two so that we can all enjoy a safe and beautiful summer on Bainbridge.