Letters to the Editor

Letters

Strawberry Plant Park

Unhappy with city’s planning process

This letter is about Libby Hudson’s rebuttal to your editorial about the Strawberry Plant Park public process. She states that the charrette is part of a “continuing public process.” The fact is that this was the first time the public had a chance to speak.

The editorial was right about “... the decision was already made to go with the shoreline restoration.” We don’t know who made it, but it would appear that Peter Best, the mayor, Libby Hudson or a few self-appointed environmentalists made it for us. There has been no transparency. Government seems to follow the laws of inertia in that policies in motion tend to stay in motion and bodies (and brains) at rest tend to stay at rest. Railroading also seems to be in process.

I am not against shoreline restoration but that should not mean that anything man-made should be removed. The existing east and west land piers provide an interesting experience for all park visitors. It is apart of human nature to get enjoyment from walking to the end of a pier and seeing water all around you. Piers exist throughout the country for this reason.

They do no damage to the environment except maybe remove a few feet of approximately 20,000 feet of Eagle Harbor’s natural-looking shoreline.

I have problems also with the city inviting neighbors and not the rest of our island community. Neighborhoods prefer to have as few people using the park as possible, thus supporting the city’s plans for a non-active or passive park. Some have said no to sports and boating.

The grant money from the Wyckoff/Pritchard Park is $200,000 for studying the park. No estimate of cost has been provided, although a preliminary cost at construction could be provided. The city council has approved going into debt with councilmanic bonds for Strawberry Plant Park.

The city continues to posture as being as pure as the driven snow when they are hiding incompetence with arrogance. The city should contact the Review with news about their projects, not the other way around. They talk about well intentioned projects and public credibility of the city and the Review.

The reality is that the park looks like no one cares for it. It has been vandalized after volunteers cleaned it up.

Richard LaBotz

Springridge Road

Gazzam Lake

Paving our beautiful parks is a bad idea

Having just finished reading Sean Roach’s article about the Gazzam Lake lawsuit leaves me very sad. He states that “two plaintiffs would not comment and their attorney Blair Burroughs would not return follow up calls.” Small wonder, they should hang their heads in shame.

Can it be that there is still a shred of ethical concern in their being? Let’s hope so. Burroughs claims: “We have a firm legal position.”

Thank God his keen legal mind was not around when the vision of better men produced wonderful parks such as Golden Gate Park, Central Park and so many others.

I have flown over Manhattan Island many times and Central Park stands out like a beacon of beauty and hope in the cluster of ugly, built by the insatiable appetite of the developer.

While Burroughs’ legal vision will limit his legacy, he reminds me of a like personality, part of the cockpit crew of a flight returning to Seattle after two weeks in the Far East. As they descended over the beautiful Olympics headed for Sea-Tac, my friend remarked how the beauty of the mountains and unspoiled terrain almost choked him up. His flight engineer, who was also a developer said: “Yeah, but just think how good it will look when we get it leveled and paved.”

My best wishes to the McGraw family

John Kastien

Kent, Wash.

Island history

Woodward book is worth reading

I think every resident of Bainbridge Island should read Mary Woodward’s book, “In Defense of Our Neighbors,” which has just been published.

In it she describes how her parents, Walt and Millie Woodward, who were owners and co-publishers of the Bainbridge Review newspaper in 1942, reacted when all the Japanese-American citizens on the island were sent to concentration camps.

It is an inspiring story. It is as much a part of our history, we who live here, as are the timbers of our homes.

Ada Lou Wheeler

Pleasant Beach Drive

Opinion

Bored by paper’s political cartoons

Anyone else have this opinion? This is not a big matter, but I can’t understand why with all the artists and talent on this island we can’t have guest political cartoonist besides Mr. Bruce Pritchard. I do think we could come up with more stimulating punch for our measly buck.

Venera Di Bella Barles

Sunrise Drive

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