Letter to the editor

We can reduce fires

Safety measures

To the editor:

COVID-19 has impacted the sheriff’s office in a manner never expected. The new rules for interfacing have changed how we conduct business. When calls to 9-1-1 can be addressed over the phone, they are. Communication at counters is limited to three people in the lobby, wearing masks is required, and there now are protective barriers between staff and the public.

People entering the jail have their temperatures taken, and prisoners are screened for illness before booking. Employees are checked throughout the day. Everyone is adjusting to the new processes, and the need to wear personal protective equipment is standard.

We are doing our part to keep you safe. I hope that you are, too.

As our country grapples with unrest and differences of opinion, I am grateful for the outpouring of support in recent weeks. The abundance of thank you cards, letters and e-mail messages, flowers, and snacks has been overwhelming. With these gestures of goodwill I know there’s hope, and that a better future is around the corner. I’m confident we are doing the right thing, and I know we’re appreciated for the work we do each shift … every day.

Despite these challenges I often see our communities demonstrate their resilience. Kitsap County residents continue to build stronger and more vibrant neighborhoods. Thank you to all who have been a positive influence in making our world a better place.

Gary Simpson

Kitsap County sheriff

Help environment

To the editor:

As I write this, I am unable to go outside.

My name is Arjun, and I am 17. Air quality is the worst I have ever experienced. For teenagers like myself, the EPA advises that we avoid all activities outdoors at this pollution level.

Undoubtedly, climate change is the cause of these fires. In Washington state alone, 620,000 acres have burned over the past few weeks, making 2020 the second-worst fire season in state history. As Gov. Jay Inslee aptly put it, we are battling “climate fires,” not wildfires.

So, what can be done about this crisis?

One action is pricing carbon to reflect its real cost on the environment. The organization I volunteer for, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, proposes this through the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

The act aims to place a starting fee of $15 per metric ton of CO2-equivalent emissions from fossil fuels, which will escalate by $10 every year after it is enacted. This fee will be charged at the first point of sale. Apart from administrative costs, 100% of the carbon fee revenues will be given back to households as a monthly dividend. Within the first 12 years of enacting the act, we can reduce carbon emissions by 40% while creating more than 2.1 million local jobs.

Given our current economic and climate crisis, we need the EICDA. I encourage you to join Citizens’ Climate Lobby and speak to your representatives about the act.

Arjun Subramanian

Bells wonderful

To the editor:

Thank you for the bells Eagle Harbor Congregational Church. A little birdie told me that Dave Beemer rings the church bells every night at 8.

I feel so grateful to be living on my floating home in Winslow Wharf Marina where I am lucky enough to hear the church bells and am reminded every night of the healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers,and community volunteers who continue to do their work during this pandemic.

It’s a reminder that the small sacrifices we all make in our daily lives don’t compare to what’s happening 24/7 on the front lines. Please remember this when you hear the bells in Winslow.

Laurie Isenman

Bainbridge Island

RGB never quit

To the editor:

I’ve helped coordinate and create all kinds of fundraising activities – but never for political reasons. However, months ago I got involved with an event for the Bainbridge Island community to help flip the Senate. I was compelled to participate because I felt that the quality of my life was being controlled by elections in these far-away states where the results would impact my life in untold ways. I wanted to have a say in my future.

Then I found out that in order to host a political event – we would have to be a Political Action Agency. Without an event, the best we could do was to create a webpage using the PAC Swing Left. And, without an event, momentum stalled.

After the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I can no longer be passive and realized that we don’t need an event, we need action.

If you have the same concerns about the ruling Republicans in the Senate, you have most likely already made donations to this cause, or perhaps, you haven’t made a donation yet but believe it’s time for a change. Either way – please consider making a small or large contribution to BI Flips the Senate through Swing Left to show that this island has a voice here and beyond Bainbridge. That we stand together against injustice and hypocrisy. That we stand together in our commitment to RBG’s values of being a transforming force for good. That, like her, we can and will make a difference. And, like her, we will not quit.

Wendy Johnson

Bainbridge Island

Pool costly

To the editor:

The cost of coached swimming at the pool has gone up sharply. Before the pandemic, an hour cost about $4, that of a large coffee drink. Today the cost is $26.66 per hour, that of several meals at home. While swimmers are glad to see their coach get a paycheck, many now find themselves priced out of the water. This raises an important question: shouldn’t a publicly funded facility be available to all?

Masters swimming is not an elite program for a small number of former collegiate swimmers. Before the pandemic, this was the pool’s largest user group, regularly drawing more than 150 people. Most swam simply for fitness and companionship. Two-thirds were over the age of 50 and one-half over 60. Swimming was such an important part of their lives that turnover had been less than 10 percent.

Even though the Park District gets more than 60% of its funding from property taxes, it has treated this program as a cash cow, one that over the last five years generated about $250,000 in operating income. The district’s refusal to provide the same kind of scholarships for masters swimming as for other activities left out poorer people. Now many more can’t afford to come.

Swimmers have generously offered to fund one another’s swimming, but that money is limited, and people are reluctant to take a hand out from those they know. Between the pandemic and the new prices, many people may be out of the water for a year or more, from an activity that keeps them young. The Park District needs to find a way to provide more equitable access to the pool, regardless of wealth or income.

Rod Stevens

Bainbridge Island

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