Letters to the Editor

Letters

Community

Caregivers auction judged successful

Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers reaches out to all members of our community to give support and assistance at a time of need. The board members of IVC would like to thank all of the community who donated time, money and items to our annual summer dinner auction. The generosity of your giving allows us to continue to serve our neighbors and continue this very important work.

SUSAN BOTTLES

LINDA HEYS

Auction co-chairs

Thanks

Conservation crew earns park kudos

This is an official thank you to the Washington Conservation Corp crew that performed trail work at Manzanita Park on Bainbridge Island during the week of Aug. 18. This was my first experience with the corp and it was incredible to watch the productivity of the crew first hand.

The work was very strenuous and weather conditions were challenging to complete the work we had planned. The crew completed all of the planned work in a very efficient and effective manner. In fact, they were able to get to do much more work than we had originally thought possible. Their work has provided some long-term repairs to sections of the trail, which will improve water run-off and minimize erosion in those areas.

Dave Coffee, the crew leader, was great to work with, providing suggestions for better ways to accomplish the tasks and keeping his crew organized and motivated. His team showed great discipline and always acted responsibly following Dave’s directions without question.

I also would like to thank Brian Stahl of the Kitsap County Conservation District for arranging to have the group help us with this much-needed project.

DAN HAMLIN

Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District

Park Services Supervisor

Islanders help ship 1,200 bikes to Togo

In 2006 we shipped our first container of nearly 300 bikes to Togo, West Africa. We distributed them to 14 villages in the northern region near Sokede. Bicycles For Education has continued to collect bikes on Bainbridge, Olympia, and Seattle. In July, three containers with more than 1,200 were shipped to Togo for arrival this September.

We would not have been so successful without the help and support of the Bainbridge community.

We would like to thank many of those who supported us in so many ways, including: Reliable Storage and their manager, Curt Bondurant, who has generously given us two units for the past three years; Safeway and store manager Duane Vickery, who allowed us to do a bike drive in their parking lot, where we collected over 75 bikes in four hours; Brenda Prowse and Hugh Nelson, owners of Prowse and Company, who loaned us their moving van countless times to take the bikes to Olympia; Detective Mo Stitch, Ken Lundgren, and Tammy Gilbert of the Bainbridge Police Department, who routinely call us when they have unclaimed bikes; Island Family Eye Care has given us over 500 eyeglasses in the past three years, which we will give to a clinic to distribute; Classic Cycle, (Jeff Groman and Kevin), and Bainbridge Cycle (Tom Clune) for supporting us with donations of bikes as well as much needed parts; the Kiwanis Club gave us bikes, and the Rotary allowed us to have the bikes and parts when the Rotary Auction finished; Zeph and Deb Watkins, and Heather Campbell for organizing the Safeway Bike Drive and continuing to support our project; Evan Hodos, who for the past three years has helped with this project whenever we needed help; Carl Shorett, who drove down to Olympia and helped us take the pedals and front tires off of hundreds of bikes; Micheal Chikamura, a graphic Designer on the Island, who helped design a nonprofit flier; The Alternative Gift Program, which for two years has supported and helped educate islanders about our project. Special thanks go to Raleigh Ballou, who lives in Poulsbo and has donated hundreds of bikes; we couldn’t have done it without him. and thank you to the hundreds of people who have donated bikes, helmets and parts.

I plan to go to Togo in mid September, with my daughter, Brittain, to help distribute these bikes. My son, Adrian, who helped form this nonprofit, will unfortunately be back in college when we go. A bike enables students to stay in school, as many have to walk over 11 miles one way. Forty-eight percent of students in Togo drop out of school before the sixth grade. With an education they are able to break the cycle of poverty. For more information, go to our website, GACE (Global Alliance for community empowerment), www.empowermentalliance.org. The project’s name is Bikes For Education.

Again many thanks for your encouragement, bikes and support.

MARIA and ADRIAN MASON

Broomgerrie Road

City

Safe roads are high on priority list

I couldn’t agree more with Mark Follett’s support for safe roadside shoulders and trails for bicyclists and walkers (“Priority should be public safety,” Aug. 27 letter).

The more than 800 Bainbridge citizens responding to the city’s spring 2008 phone and web survey rated their No. 1 under-served priority to be the need for “adding bike lanes and walking paths along major roads.”

To my surprise, Mark’s letter said I’m not taking a strong enough stand for that top community priority. He cited the Review’s August 23rd news story on City Council deliberations on our 2009-2014 plan for Capital Facilities (CFP). As reported, I joined a unanimous council vote to explore a potential voter bond in 2010 for the much-desired Senior Center expansion.

I continue to also favor putting a voter bond on the ballot in early 2009 to make roadways safer for bikes and pedestrians. Last Tuesday, the council put the bikeways and trails program first on its agenda at our second four-hour CFP workshop. For more than half an hour, the council and mayor explored the most effective ways to invest in more bike lanes and walking paths during 2009-2014, if the community is willing to help fund that work. Non-motorized road and trail projects enjoy wide support on council. And we’re looking at recent improvements in adding road shoulders in a more cost-effective way.

My thanks to Squeaky Wheels for inviting me to their board meeting and coming out strongly in support of such a voter-bond measure in early 2009. That’s the best way to enable the city to afford to continue building these important public safety infrastructure improvements next year and thereafter.

This community hugely benefits from the park land and open space we all acquired with voter bond funds approved in 2001. Let’s make another great investment in the island we share. With gas prices high, roads congested, climate change threatening, and a series of dreadful traffic injuries to bicyclists, let’s make roadside infrastructure safety improvements our 2009 voter bond funding priority.

BARRY PETERS

Vineyard Lane

Member, City Council

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