Letters to the Editor

No crematorium

To the editor:

In regard to the numerous concerns surrounding the proposed crematorium at Hillcrest, one issue ranks chief among them: that of inappropriate land use.

A crematorium is a smokestack industry. There is no denying that crematoria release emissions, and the contents of those emissions are serious concerns for public health. Crematoria are significant sources of mercury pollution and recent studies have shown that the amount of mercury being released by crematoria is rising.

The Environmental Protection Agency previously considered crematoria as incinerators but after intensive lobbying declassified them as such. Consequently, crematoria are no longer required to adhere to the solid waste incinerator emissions regulations, nor the regulations requiring operator training, performance testing or emissions monitoring.

Contrary to popular belief crematoria are not required to utilize emissions filtering or mercury abatement measures. Those technologies exist and are required in most European nations.

Countless municipalities across the nation classify crematoria as industrial uses, prevent their construction in residential areas and require minimum setbacks from residential zones. Kitsap County code would not even allow a crematorium to be constructed at Hillcrest due to its close proximity to homes.

A crematorium is industrial use. The city needs to adopt a use table that clearly defines industrial uses and restricts them to industrial zones.

The fact that this proposal was not rejected outright demonstrates that the city’s land use code is broken and fails to protect people’s health, the environment, and lacks adequate safeguards against inappropriate and irresponsible land use.

For more information: www.fixthecodebi.com

Mike Kushler


Vote for pool

To the editor:

Please come together to vote for the Aug. 6 pool bond so we can update and expand our failing Ray Williamson pool and build a more-inclusive aquatic community.

-For little ones who need to learn to swim – we are surrounded by water but there are not enough lesson spaces.

– For kids who want to swim with our island swim club but can’t because lack of space requires a waitlist or crowded practice lanes intimidate and overwhelm slower swimmers.

-For kids who would try water polo or diving but can’t – lack of space can push practices until 10 p.m.

-For adults with limited exercise time but find lap swim lanes regularly overfull, or who would love to access our Masters swim club but can’t because of space constraints and a waitlist.

-For seniors who love gentle water exercise and can’t participate because there’s not room.

-For those needing gentle water for rehabilitation from injury or illness.

The list goes on – safety training, sailing and kayak lessons. We can create an aquatics space that supports a wider range of activities and exercise than any other place on BI. Moreover, we should not fail our kids by foreclosing opportunities, especially when kids’ mental health is in steep and well-documented decline.

You can help make BI a more -inclusive, accessible, pool-friendly place for our community, and we will all benefit.

Gretchen Gende