Letters to the Editor

Bainbridge Island Review Letters to the Editor | Sept. 20

Schools

Packing the bus: Is that cheating?

Laurie Rice suggested in her letter to the editor (“Go green(backs)! Ride that bus,” Sept. 17) that parents of school age children pack the school buses on Bus Count Week. Packing the school busses during Bus Count Week would cause the state to overpay the school district for the services actually provided. Excuse me, isn’t that cheating? What kind of a lesson are you teaching your children? Are you saying it is OK to cheat the state out of money because you believe school busses are good or the schools need more money?

Why go halfway? Let’s just invent some phantom kids to enroll in school and get some real money.

GARY TRIPP

Bainbridge Island

Art

Gallery offers elegant show

One does not have to be an aficionado of art to appreciate the strikingly unique collection of paintings titled, “French Wall Paper,” by the artist Kathe Fraga. The show is now on display at the family-run Fraga Gallery.

The unusual surfaces of the paintings resembles patent leather and the color combinations and the designs of the paintings seem to have a subtle feeling of orientalism, which echoes the interest of the impressionists in the art of China and Japan. Kathy Fraga is an artist of exceptional creative ability. Kudos to Jeff Fraga, director of the well-run Fraga Gallery.

DOMINQUE PHILLIPS

Bainbridge Island

Community

Project involved more than islanders

Our intention in the article on Bicycles for Education (“Islanders outdo themselves with 1,200 bikes for Togo,” Aug. 30) was to thank Bainbridge for supporting this project, and inform the community that three shipping containers holding 1,200 bikes were headed to Togo, West Africa.

Unfortunately, the title is not only incorrect but diminishes all the dedicated work of other individuals and groups who have also been an integral part of this project. It implies we alone collected all 1,200 bikes. We did not. When asked how many I thought we had collected in the past three years, I estimated about 700 (200-plus in 2006 and 498 for this shipment).

Olympia is the headquarters for Bicycles for Education, and has always been a drop-off area for bike donations. Bike drives have been held in Olympia, Issaquah, West Seattle, Salem (Oregon), and on Bainbridge. Schools, students, 4H groups, Boy Scouts and other members of the Washington community have been part of the hundreds of volunteers needed, to collect, hold bike drives, take apart and load the bikes into shipping containers. Our family is only one cog in the wheel that supports this project by collecting bikes on Bainbridge and Kitsap County.

It is the dedication of Olowo-n’djo Tchala and his wife, Rose, who are the driving force behind this project. They created the Alaffia/Abanga Karite shea butter cooperative in Sokode, and the facilities in Olympia where Alaffia sustainable skin care products are made. They donate over 10 percent of Alaffia’s sales for community enhancement programs in West Africa. Their daily role in coordinating and orchestrating Bicycles for Education, is paramount and what makes it successful.

The delay in the arrival of the shipping containers to Togo has thrown a wrench into our plans. I was due to leave Sept. 18 to help distribute 1,200 bikes to 50 villages. The trip is cancelled as the bikes have not arrived in Togo.

Instead of arriving in early September as planned, they are due within the first two weeks of October. His shipment has taken three months, compared to six weeks in 2006. For now it looks like the bikes will be taken to Sokode and distributed at a later time. Heavy rains and floods in July and August have damaged the roads It’s a two-day trip now instead of eight hours. The students will get their bikes, just when is up in the air.

MARIA MASON

NE Broomgerrie Road

Environment

Knotweed project returns to island

Last year the Kitsap Conservation District (KCD) and the Kitsap County Noxious Weed Control Program (KCNWCP) began a joint effort to eradicate knotweed from Bainbridge Island right of ways. Agency staff members surveyed last year’s treatment sites and found that knotweed stem density was reduced by about 95 percent on all the treatment sites, and complete eradication was achieved on 30 percent of the sites.

On Sept. 22, we will begin treatment of knotweed on city right-of-way sites. Similar to last year, “caution” signs will be placed adjacent to knotweed locations prior to treatment. As work progresses, signs will identify date treated, herbicide used and re-entry time. If foliar application is used, the knotweed will be covered with a blue dye. 

A state Department of Agriculture grant has extended treatment coverage to private property. KCD has an existing inventory of property owners, but would like to hear from landowners who have not previously contacted us. Call Brian Stahl at 360-337-7171, ext. 23.

If you have knotweed on your property and want to tackle the job yourself with herbicide, you must read the product label carefully and apply it according to the law. The label will provide application methods and safety precautions. Call Dana Coggon at 360-307-4242 for assistance.

Knotweed is a creeping perennial which dies back with the first frost and returns each year from the same root system, which is extensive in size. The following practices can spread knotweed: mowing or weed whacking; tilling, digging or pulling; using contaminated soil from topsoil companies; and improper disposal of roots and plant material.

BRIAN STAHL

Resource Coordinator

Kitsap Conservation District

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