Letters to the Editor

Letters

Community

Neighborly? Let’s make it personal

Further about your Aug. 20 editorial (“Neighborly way is best”), being “neighborly” is as island neighborly does. And this has got to get more close and personal.

Which grocery checkers report cereal and cat food as someone’s only monthly purchases? How many local home loans are being rejected? Has anyone been invited to a Wing Point rent party yet? Invited someone next door over in a power outage?

Ever sign up at the clinic to take a car-less patient to get medication refills? Buy two books and give one to the library or an anonymous book club shut in? Pick up someone at the bus stop or give a stranger a ride home from the ferry? Sponsor a free tax relief appeal workshop like our Bainbridge realtors did a few years ago. Or provide reduced rate therapy and professional advice like some of our counselors still do. As a respite, baby-sit for free a single parent’s children?

Or initiate one affordable-housing unit start yourself, even as City Hall has run out of money and ideas? Donate heating oil money this month and a home delivery turkey in November to Helpline House? Help someone cover a leaky roof? Give someone nearby a load of fire wood? Buy someone on the financial edge a set of tires? Maybe it’s time for the city’s Island Emergency Coordinator to delay storing more storm lantern wicks and instead leading a Tuesday drive of Meals On Wheels by using some of the taxis always parked at Rolling Bay. Doing random acts of kindness has to feel better than reading about it on a bumper sticker.

R.O. CONOLEY

Rolling Bay

Election ‘08

Obama supporters fear displaying it

Having lived on Bainbridge Island for a majority of my life and seen numerous elections, I have noticed a decided lack of Obama bumper stickers. For as long as I can remember the island has long been a self-proclaimed bastion of liberalism. Remembering back to the 2000 and 2004 presidential primary seasons, every other car had a Gore/Lieberman or Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker.

As the Democratic National Convention approaches, it is impossible not to notice the lack of Obama bumper stickers. On a recent weekend I surveyed all the cars parked along Winslow Way (between Grow and 305) on both Saturday and Sunday, and counted a grand total of three Obama bumper stickers. One might say its too early in the political season but I believe that there is a much deeper issue than just a lack of bumper stickers.

There are two possible reasons for this. The first explanation is local Democrats may feel disenfranchised because they supported Hillary Clinton. The other and more probable reason is that the island liberals support Obama and his rock-star persona but are afraid to have his name on their vehicle. Bainbridge lacks diversity and local Democrats may support Obama but, because of his race, they neglect to plaster their vehicles in support of him.

CROSBY J. OLSEN

Soundview Drive NE

Public safety

SR-305 is unsafe for bicyclists, motorists

On August 1st, I witnessed a horrifying event.

As I traveled north on highway 305 that sunny day, I saw a bicyclist get struck by a van going the posted speed limit of 55 mph. The girl on the bike was only 20 years old and her life will forever be altered by the events that occurred that day. She is now suffering from head and spinal injuries, but thankfully, alive. People are quick to assume that it was the van driver’s fault, but I can assure you that it was not.

Since that day, I have been replaying the accident over and over in my mind and I feel compelled to write, not only for the safety of the hundreds of Bainbridge residents that ride their bikes every day, but also for the emotional well-being of the drivers.

There are signs posted throughout the city that say, “Bainbridge Shares the Road,” which I think is fabulous, but, I’m sorry, I don’t think that we should share a highway. Every day we see cyclists making their way to and from the ferry terminal on the shoulder of the 305, even in the winter when it’s dark and slippery. What would you think if you saw someone peddling their way along I-5 while cars go speeding past them at 60 mph? Crazy right? Well, why is it any less crazy to ride along the side of the 305, where the drivers are going 55? It just isn’t safe.

I understand that there are no quick, alternate routes for a lot of cyclists to use, but we need to think of a way to get them off that stretch of road. I would never promote cutting down trees, but if it means that my fellow residents will be safer, then I’m all for it. Trees line the entire length of the 305 on Bainbridge and I don’t see why we can’t have a trail built off the side of the highway for riding, walking, and running.

I feel as though this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately before someone else gets injured or killed. I hope that I am a voice for that young, innocent girl that is lying in the hospital. I don’t even know her name, but I saw what happened and I’m going to do everything I can to prevent this from happening to anyone else.

K. EISENHOOD

Moji Lane

Thanks

Integrity is alive on Bainbridge Island

On Aug. 13, I left my handbag on a bench near the yarn shop and didn’t discover that I was carrying only one shoulder bag until I reached Thriftway. Finding the bench empty, I inquired at the yarn shop. The ladies there assured me that people around Winslow were honest and I was reunited with my handbag in the cafe at the corner. I was tremendously buoyed up by the act of kindness of one stranger toward another. Being unable to express my gratitude personally, I hope this public “thank you” will come to the attention of my anonymous angel.

HEIDI SCHMIDT

Port Townsend

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