Bainbridge Island Review Letters to the Editor | Aug. 9
August 12, 2008 · Updated 4:59 PM
Preserve island’s quality of life
In a recent letter to the editor (“City needs to communicate,” Aug. 6), islander Joe Honick expressed hope that younger working people with families would weigh in on the controversies surrounding our city government.
The issues filling editorial pages, blogs and public comment periods with passionate exchanges and, sadly, creating a serious divide in our community.
Honick shakes his head at what he apparently perceives as negativism and suggests that the voices of these younger members of the community might change that tone and that “perhaps then we could all eventually raise a toast ‘To Life!’”
Well, this group of citizens, all in our 30s and 40s, all of us parents and all busy with family and work, would like to take Mr. Honick up on that invitation.
Most of us don’t have much time to attend public meetings or write letters to the editor, but we care deeply about issues facing our beautiful island and are genuinely concerned that our city government is failing to adequately protect our environment and quality of life.
We are a diverse group. Some were born here. Some moved here as recently as last year. But we all came and stayed because we want to live and raise our families, not in an urbanized homogenous “city,” but in a green, small town.
We are concerned about the Winslow Tomorrow vision for downtown, because we don’t want four-story buildings lining our “funky” and intimate main street.
We don’t believe that our city has shown that encouraging population growth by planning for a thousand new condos is sustainable for the island’s limited resources.
We don’t want Waterfront Park trees felled to create a “view corridor” for the new and improved Winslow.
We do want our city to protect the trees we have left. We want to know how much water we have and for the city to plan accordingly.
We want our city to enforce its land use laws.
We want our city to spend our tax money using the same restraint and wisdom that we aspire to use in our own households.
We want to trust that our city officials and staff are acting in the best interest of the island.
All we are really asking is for the city to reflect the whole community’s values and goals, rather than to work to implement the vision of a small group of special interests.
Whether we make these statements, or whether our “older” or “retired” neighbors make them, we all in fact believe that our shared goal is to celebrate “Life!” – a green, vibrant, community-oriented life.
And to seek an end to environmental degradation, urbanization and City Hall intrigues.
Like Mr. Honick, we too hope that other younger, working families and individuals will join us in the community conversation about our broken city government and our island’s future.
We must continue to demonstrate that, just as every community survey has shown, a strong majority of islanders across all demographics share the same desire to preserve our quality of life and to make our small community even greener and more sustainable.
Kirsten Hytopoulos, Blakely Heights
Carol Appenzeller, Winslow
Bonnie Albin Fraik, Pleasant Beach
Rob and Candace Gudmunson, West Blakely
Julie Hall & Sarah Lane, Battle Point
Rick Hawkins, Winslow
Jessica Rockers and William Flitter, Fletcher Bay
Rebecca Rockefeller Campbell, Emerald Heights
David and Naomi Spinak, Winslow
Foxes would take care of varmints
When we bought our house near Battle Point Park 18 years ago, there were several articles in the Review about how bees were endangered on Bainbridge.
People were planting for foliage instead of flowers, and bees weren’t getting enough food. I decided I would provide flowers for bees. I have something flowering every month of the year.
I’ve seen bees in my garden in January. I’ve seen as many as six different kinds of bees at one time on some plants!
I should say I used to have something flowering year round. Now very often there are no flowers on many of my plants. The plants are there, all right, and the stems. But the flowers are gone. Why? Deer. And rabbits.
As land around us has been cleared, the deer have discovered my garden and decided that it provides dessert. They don’t eat anything in my garden but the flowers.
Then there are the rabbits of all different varieties. I can’t believe the irresponsibility of the people who decided they didn’t want their pet bunnies after all and decided to turn them loose in Battle Point Park.
They obviously had no idea of the ecological damage that rabbits can do. (Rabbits nearly stripped Australia bare until the government there organized a continent-wide hunt in an attempt to eradicate them. If they can take over a continent, image what they can do on a small island!)
Both deer and rabbits are prey animals. On Bainbridge, the only predators they face are cars. Cars aren’t effective predators since they stay on roads and since most drivers try to avoid hitting animals.
Prey animals with no predators will eat and breed until they reach a point of over-population. At which point their population will be brought under control through one of two things – disease or starvation. Of course, before they starve, they will eat everything they can reach.
I used to live in really rural country, where people’s livelihood depended on the success of their crops. Farmers think of deer and rabbits as cuter versions of rats. They’re varmints.
I know I live on Bainbridge now. I know people here are thoroughly Bambi-ized. People say the animals were here first (well, not the rabbits, they were introduced by nitwits).
People say they are part of nature. But having prey animals with no predators is not natural.
If we can’t hunt them, I say we need to add predators. How about introducing some foxes into the park?
Pick a name out of the election hat
In reviewing the voter information pamphlet I found it disturbing that only one of the several candidates for governor mentioned tax reform as a goal to be met.
To me this means more of the same old Washington shell game. Increasing sales taxes, increasing special levy requests by all and sundry, outrageous property taxes based on artificially inflated values, etc.
A 1 percent tax cap? baloney! And so is Gregoire! Rossi says it’s time for change and with this I agree.
But Rossi presents no better aspect than Gregoire. Maybe we should just put all candidate names in a hat, don a blindfold and draw one name out.
The top two primary is definitely unfair to minority parties. The “top” consideration needs to be expanded to include the top vote-getters from each party appearing on the ballot.
Democrats and Republicans do not own the country; only the elective processes. Time that was changed, too.
Jasper R. Cutter