Letters to the editor

Health security

To the editor:

Given that more than 500,000 Americans and two million people across the world have died of COVID-19, the United States must be prepared to prevent future crises such as this. On top of the devastating number of deaths that pandemics cause — epidemics and pandemics also disrupt trade and tourism, totaling about 18 percent of the global economy. The U.S. Government Accountability Office stated, “national security and public experts agree that infectious diseases pose a substantial direct and indirect threat to U.S. interests.”

This is why it is so important that the U.S. create a global health strategy. We need a global health security policy so that there is an active, permanent official in charge of monitoring world diseases and disease prevention. The Global Health Security Agenda is a multilateral initiative to increase a country’s preparedness for an epidemic and elevate health security as a global priority. As a constituent of Rep. Derek Kilmer, and as a concerned citizen living through a pandemic, I urge Kilmer to support the Global Health Security Act to prevent infectious diseases from getting out of hand in the future.

Alexa Sinclair

Bainbridge Island

Bus driver retires

To the editor:

I have had so many inquiries I reckon that I should announce my retirement as of Feb.1 . It has been a great ride, I have had so much fun. So many good times, thousands of great groaner jokes a few tears here and there, many bloody noses, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

For over two decades we have met and talked most mornings and afternoons, and I will miss that. I would like to thank all of you and your children for your overwhelming support and generosity. It has been my pleasure to watch and participate as they have grown up. Thank you.

Steve Brown

Bainbridge Island

Cougars help

To the editor:

Did you know that the deadliest mammal in the U.S. is the deer? Every year, deer cause car accidents that kill about 200 people in the U.S. Cougars, on the other hand, kill about one person every four years in the U.S. Deer thus kill 800 times as many people yearly as cougars do. Even dogs kill 177 times as many people yearly as cougars do.

Without cougars, our deer have no natural enemies except four-wheeled vehicles. I love deer, but we need more cougars here — not fewer.

Evidently this current cougar mania is a lockdown-induced, irrational fear of the furred, four-legged animal. Leave that cougar alone. It’ll leave on its own, and it’s just doing its job: Reducing the population of the real killer — deer.

Mark Hoffman

Bainbridge Island

Failed process

To the editor:

Real estate experts have weighed in: COBI paid $5 million too much for the Harrison property. So how did that happen? It wasn’t an accident. The negotiations for Harrison were part of a deeply flawed process that included councilmembers being provided inaccurate and incomplete information, serious potential conflicts of interest and an unprofessional approach to negotiating.

The $9 million price tag for the Harrison property was based upon the value of a successful medical facility, which Harrison was not. The City Council, however, was eager to cross a major item off its work plan. Grossly ill advised, the council then allowed itself to become fixated on the Harrison facility. When negotiations with CHI stalled, and a conversation about possibly locating our police and court on Visconsi’s Wintergreen Way property near Virginia Mason was proposed, supporters of that option were met with hostility for refusing to obediently line up behind the former mayor and his preference for Harrison.

Essentially, COBI negotiated for Harrison as a captive buyer, with CHI Franciscan sitting in the driver’s seat. Support for investigating alternatives that could serve to strengthen the city’s negotiating position, and possibly offer a viable alternative, was met with hostility. Ultimately this failure at responsible governance will cost us $5 million. How that happened, regardless of what we do about it, needs to be brought into the light of day. It’s a matter of transparency that not every member of our City Council supports.

Ron Peltier

Bainbridge Island

No to PSE

To the editor:

Last week, PSE tried to defend its third proposal to build a new transmission line. But here’s what PSE didn’t say.

It didn’t mention the back story. Twice before the island gave a thumbs down to a new line. PSE told the City Council that it “listened in 2010 when Bainbridge residents voiced concerns about a new power line.” So why isn’t PSE listening now?

Nor did PSE mention a new line’s impact on homeowners. PSE will cut a large swath of trees on private property if the project goes forward. Remember the trees that were cut a few years ago along Highway 305 near Winslow? That cut pales in comparison.

Rather than build an unwanted new line, PSE should fix the electric system that exists today. That’s what PSE did to the supply lines that cross from North Kitsap. After PSE rebuilt them in 2016, outages on the lines fell from seven in 2013-2016 to just two in 2017-2020 — a decline of more than 70 percent.

PSE has also begun to rebuild the failing Winslow Tap — one of the island’s two main lines, and the source of almost every transmission outage. There were 24 outages on the Tap in 2013-2020, compared with just two on the other line. PSE’s rebuild will greatly improve the Tap’s reliability.

Thanks for your good work PSE. But please focus on the existing system — and don’t burden the island with a new line.

David Johnson

Bainbridge Island

Climate legislation

To the editor:

In a new legislative session, what climate bills are possible? We feel optimism that this incredibly important challenge can receive strong attention this year.

Join us online March 10 from 5-6 p.m. for a conversation about 2021 Federal Climate Legislation with Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA 06) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (invited).

We know that the pandemic is an urgent priority right now, but we also know that the reality of the climate crisis is unrelenting. With new possibilities for enacting effective climate legislation, we are eager to learn more about what could get passed this year. Zoom link: http://bit.ly/mar-10-forum. The event is part of the Climate and Energy Forum sponsored by Climate Action Bainbridge, Eco-Adapt, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Sustainable Bainbridge, Olympic Climate Action and Local 20/20.

Station needed?

To the editor:

The majority of the City Council voted to severely limit a discussion on the Harrison purchase and remodel. That may be unwise.

For example, Architect Coates said (May 2, 2017) that the city (the council) decides what the seismic requirements are for the police/ court facility. I received a public records response recently that indicated the council intended the building to have the highest seismic standards. It seems that we might want to review whether we need a court facility to be open 24 hours a day immediately after a disaster (after all, court is only in session one or two days a week) and the same for our officers who take their police cars home.

They put on their uniforms and are ready for work before they get into those cars. Furthermore, officers are dispatched out of a central location in Kitsap County by radio and have computers in their cars. A simple police command station could be set up immediately after a disaster at one of our three fire stations or at a nearby station in either Suquamish or Poulsbo. Fire stations do have a need to remain functional during and immediately after a disaster. Personnel required to man the fire and rescue vehicles are housed in the fire station between calls as are the fire and rescue vehicles.

Are there other cost savings to be had on the Harrison remodel?

Cindy Anderson

Bainbridge Island

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