Letters to the editor

Ambitious plan

In November 2020, the Bainbridge Island City Council approved an ambitious Climate Action Plan calling for a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, compared with 2014 levels. The plan is critical to the future of our island and achievable if we start now.

One of the most immediate impacts we can have is by electrifying our transportation system, which accounts for over one-third of our island’s greenhouse gas emissions. The plan contains numerous steps for achieving electrification, including installing more charging stations and transitioning the city’s fleet to primarily to electric vehicles.

The CAP also calls for reducing miles traveled in private vehicles by increasing public transportation as well as active transportation like walking and biking. The Sustainable Transportation Task Force is working on a plan to create interconnected road and trail systems to increase walking and biking.

We may have some help in accelerating the switch to EVs. The state legislature is considering House bill 1204 Clean Cars 2030, requiring all new cars registered in Washington to be electric beginning in 2030. People can buy, drive and sell gas-powered cars from model-year 2029 and earlier as long as they wish. Clean Cars 2030 simply ensures that no new gas cars are added to our roads starting in 2030.

Clean Cars 2030 will encourage investment in EV manufacturing and charging infrastructure, while increasing the number of affordable used EVs on the market. I encourage you to contact our elected representatives in Olympia to voice your support for the legislation.

Our Island’s citizens have shown broad commitment to doing what it takes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Clean Cars 2030 strengthens our means to rapidly cut our transportation emissions and do our part for the climate.

Michael Cox

co-chair Climate Action Bainbridge

Race equity

I want to extend my sincere thank you to the Bainbridge City Council and Race Equity Advisory Committee. Two years ago the council voted to form a Race Equity Task Force after a number of islanders shared moving testimony about their experiences on the island with racism. Last Fall the council moved to make the RETF a standing committee recognizing the ongoing need for guidance in becoming an inclusive community that values equity.

The task force has done a formidable job in the midst of obstacles placed before them both from within and outside City Hall. By staying focused on the charter and the mission, the task force – turned committee – has done a great job. Racism is one of the most challenging topics to talk about and the road to dismantle institutional and structural racism is not a straight line. Only with focus, determination and intelligence mixed with a good dose of humor will we be able to make progress as a community.

The quality of the solutions we achieve is enhanced by the diversity of the individuals contributing to these solutions. Having a Race Equity Advisory Committee has expanded the seats at the table, and I know that our entire community is better off for it.

Charlotte Rovelstad


Support us

So, you may have heard. We went back to the school building. As an elementary BISD teacher, everyone keeps asking me, “How’s it going?” Well, I can’t be any more articulate than, “It’s not great.” Every day teachers put on two sweaters, two masks and a positive attitude (whether they’re feeling it or not) and make the best of a historically hard situation. But we’re doing it, and we’re there for kids, and we’re backed by our administrators, our custodians, our bus drivers and so many others.

There are really joyful moments and really heartbreaking ones. For me, the whole room belly laugh I got last Tuesday during Pippi Longstocking got me through till Thursday. This Monday, one student who previously refused to write, spontaneously wrote a whole page and read it out loud to his peers. That carried me through the week. Even though it’s a challenge, teachers are practiced at looking for the good.

So I’m asking you, too, community, to actively look for the good. We can tell our neighbors the heroic things that teachers and kids (let’s not forget their strength through all this) are doing. We can circulate amazing stories on social media that celebrate resilience. We can text our friends and share a small, daily success.

I’m not asking you to Pollyanna the situation – keep asking questions, keep the dialogue going so we can all be better. But don’t forget to acknowledge all the hard work that is happening behind the scenes. We are out here teaching and learning and working. You can be part of it, too. A supportive community has the power to keep us afloat.

Anne Willhoit

Bainbridge Island

Unfair interviews

Imagine going to a job interview and learning that one of the people conducting the interview created a dossier on you, not the other candidate, just you.

Does that sound like an objective interview to you? It doesn’t to me either. Problem is, this isn’t the first time that a council member has manipulated the selection process. It seems to be a reoccurring theme – it’s the third time – and it is disturbing.

If council members cannot view information, data and candidates in a fair and objective way, then they are ill suited for the role.

This doesn’t just affect the individual targeted by the behavior but casts a shadow on the candidate that ultimately succeeds. When I vote for a council member, I expect them to carry out the business of the city honorably and ethically. I don’t expect them to turn the council chamber into their own personal Game of Thrones.

Catherine Freudenburg

Bainbridge Island