To the editor:
Arts & Humanities Bainbridge manages the Public Art Committee that presents and curates the public art in Winslow for the enrichment and enjoyment of our community as well as to support and promote local artists. The program is funded by the city.
Both organizations are saddened that someone would deface Ed McCarthy’s “I Watch Salmon from the Bridge Above.” Marking it with a swastika is a hate crime that harms all our community. We’re working toward repairing the piece.
McCarthy is disappointed. At best he hopes it was a spontaneous act of a mindless person who doesn’t get the seriousness of the symbol but also reflects that as an artist, “It can make you feel vulnerable.”
Rabbi Dario Feiguin of Congregation Kol Shalom had these words to share:
“It was with shock and pain that we received the sad news of the defacing of a beautiful work of art on Bainbridge Island.
“Our community has enjoyed a peaceful, harmonious and loving coexistence among everyone, without distinction of creed, political ideas, skin color, origin or social status. It is especially tragic to see this vandalism and act of hatred become visible in a work of art, when art is one of the universal languages that unite people.
“We are concerned as members of the Jewish Community, but also as members of the general community. We know from historical experience that hatred for one group can transform into hatred for one another. Ultimately, it is hatred that can destroy.
“We call on our communities to unite in defense of the values that we represent; respect for one another, solidarity and peace.”
We appreciate Rabbi Darios’ insight and reminder we are one community.
Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and Public Art Committee
To the editor:
Sometimes, the “Big Picture” can be found in a small document, in this case, the November 2021 COBI Connects “celebrating” 30 years of all-island government. Absent from the document? Any mention of the real reason “why” residents finally opted for home rule. Turns out, after the Safeway complex and the Port Blakely 1,100-acre housing development scare, residents were terrified of Kitsap County allowing uncontrolled over-development, chain restaurants, etc., on BI.
Why no mention in COBI Connects? The answer lies within, where the city’s post-election priorities are revealed – sales tax increase for affordable housing; spending $3.75 million for affordable housing; forcing extra, unsupportable, population density increases via “multifamily tax exemption”; and a “density bonus” for “religious organizations” that want to enter the development business (with a sewer line you subsidize). And we’re adding a $140,000 “Housing Specialist” to facilitate all of this “affordable housing,” as well as hiring a “consultant” to “develop a Housing Action Plan.”
Bainbridge Island’s voters spoke loudly this election – “we’re preoccupied and not paying attention – do what you will,” by creating a largely developer-funded, pro-density/development council.
Now that they’re not hiding behind an election, I expect 2022 will see lots of new development here, including the un-shelving of Island Center for high-density development, the return of the Winslow Hotel, a high-density subsidized housing project at Suzuki, residential development of COBI-leased farmland, and inclusionary and general upzoning, as well as Comp Plan revisions to facilitate development. We certainly got the government we deserve.
To the editor:
You may not all be aware that in the history of our city the three citizen bodies who are responsible for managing Bainbridge Island development – the Design Review Board, Planning Commission and City Council – have only officially met in the same room twice. At those two meetings, the principal topic was the pace of development on Bainbridge.
As I recall all 21 members were somewhat surprised that the city staff agenda under review was focused on faster review and approval of development applications. Public records will show that all 21 members felt the need for further meetings together to ensure that all three citizen bodies shared better lines of communication about how to co-manage toward the goals of our Comprehensive Plan.
That plan is up for review. May I recommend that these groups schedule more time together and with city staff, as twice in history seems not enough to all be on the same page.
Clean up roads
To the editor:
They say the first step to solving a problem is understanding you have one. So, let’s fess up and admit our beautiful island has a litter problem. Regrettably, some of our neighbors and visitors think it’s OK to toss their trash out the car window. Then there’s the stuff that inadvertently blows out of truck beds or falls off garbage trucks. If you walk or ride a bike along our roads, you know what I’m talking about.
Fortunately, there’s a solution that only requires a little leg work from us, thanks to Kitsap County’s Adopt-a-Road Program. This program provides everything needed to adopt an island road and keep it litter-free: high visibility vest, gloves, litter grabber and bags. Perform this service on a mile of road twice a year for two years, and they’ll even put your name on a sign to recognize your efforts. If you’re already picking up litter, as many islanders do, thank you. This is a great way to expand on that.
Our family adopted Sportsman Club Road between Highway 305 and High School Road a year ago, and we’ve picked up 20 bags of trash so far. The most common litter? Beer cans. The strangest find? A large unopened box of disposable diapers.
Picking up litter is easy and more satisfying than you might expect. People passing by appreciate it, and often wave or shout their thanks. To sign up call 360-337-5777 and ask for the Adopt-a-Road staff.
Fritz Feiten and Leah Applewhite
To the editor:
My husband and I moved to Bainbridge Island a couple months ago. We like to cook and have been trying to find all the fun farm, flower and food stands on our new island home – and out of this came a map to help others have fun finding fresh good food here, too. It’s called Finding Fresh Bainbridge (www.findingfreshbainbridge.com).
Over 60 people on NextDoor said “yes, please” when we asked if such a map existed. Funny enough, now we’re encouraging our neighbors to get fresh foods from neighbors. We’re also sharing cafes and restaurants who support local farms and growers so that people can support the spots that keep our farms running during the winter season.
Caroline and Christopher Raftery