Letters to the editor

Save forest again

To the editor:

The Jones family moved to Meadowmeer in 1976. We walked and rode the DNR forest beginning in 1968 when we moved to the island after graduating from the UW. Hiking or riding through the tranquil cathedral of the tall trees brought moments of restful peace to the animals and people after a day of work or school.

When the campaign began to Save the Forest, we worked hard to make it happen. I have our t-shirts in a storage container somewhere. Kirk and Mike Jones with the Russell family cut the trails in the North Forest in the ’70s, and we use them today. It tickles my heart to watch our neighborhood and others use them 50 years later. The deer and birds share their home with the walkers, their dogs, the young riders being led on lead lines to keep them safe, as well as the skilled riders all experiencing “forest bathing” as they call it in Japan.

Saving the Grand Forest for generations to come is even more important today. We have no business cutting up our forest into specialized speed trails for bikers or any one group. Once again we have to Save the Forest. I ask for the park board to vote no on this new proposal.

Penny Jones

Bainbridge Island

Support police

To the editor:

My stomach churns and my head aches at the thought of them spending more time on the police station/court building other than reviewing the plans so it can proceed.

In light of the recent tragic accident, it seems unfathomable to me that we can continue to treat the police as second-class first responders. While the fire department may have come to the scene, they came from one of three recently new or remodeled stations, while the police are coming from, or returning to, a station built in the last century when their only responsibility was the downtown core.

Given the tragedies (car accidents, of which there are many on the island; domestic violence; mental health crises; people devastated by scams; or family members’ addictions) they witness and have to manage I am appalled that they have to return to this dilapidated, out of date building to report and organize their work.

Previous councils have been informed that this building is dangerous ­— subject to earthquakes and tsunamis, unsafe for securing arms, etc. What liability do we, as a city, face if something happens to a police staff member, or a court employee in their line of duty, or a citizen, because of your delay on securing safe and updated quarters for them, designed for the 21st century? It reminds me of the Texas power disaster that was made catastrophic by the companies’ unwillingness to winterize their equipment because it would cost too much, and it hadn’t been a problem yet.

Finally, we own the Harrison property. We cannot do over the negotiation , so I am unclear on why council members are spending time “auditing” it. The proposal that we could build another building cheaper and use this space for “something lese” is preposterous. Just look at all the empty office/commercial property available for rent and make a case for how the city could “sell” this space. There is a design for the remodel which meets the needs of the police and the court.

Council should focus on finding the right team to get to work.

Gloria Sayler

Bainbridge Island

Yes to bike trails

To the editor:

I am writing to voice my strong support for the proposed mountain bike trails in Grand Forest North profiled in the March 19 issue of the Review.

As a parent of a 13- and a 9-year-old who are avid mountain bikers and as a rider myself, I am excited about expanded riding opportunities on Bainbridge Island. We live close to the Grand Forest, and the added trails under consideration by the park board would create welcome recreational opportunities for our family and the growing number of mountain bikers on the island.

We live on the edge of the Grand Forest, and we regularly walk and ride there. More generally, our family has always appreciated Bainbridge’s commitment to facilities that support the wide range of ways that islanders experience the outdoors.

The board is considering the proposal for these trails. My understanding is that the project cost would be covered through fundraising and the many volunteer hours put in by Gear Grinders members and other bikers on the island. Mountain bikers have long been an important source of support for the island’s trail system, and this new effort will only strengthen that relationship.

I ask the board to support this effort. Hopefully others on the island who support creating opportunities for kids and islanders of all ages to get outside will also let the park board know they also support this effort.

Asaph Glosser

Bainbridge Island

Keep forest green

To the editor:

The proposed Mountain Biking Trails in the Grand Forest North ignores and violates the character, preservation and appropriate use of the Grand Forest trails. The voters passed in 1989 the Bond Levy to tax themselves where the community was ensured that the Grand Forest properties would remain undeveloped and available to the public for passive use such as trails, scenic vistas and natural areas.

Bike tracks can be built elsewhere, if needed, such as the new Sakai Park, Battle Point Park or privately owned properties. Our forests must be preserved as is consistent with our heritage on the island and is consistent with our healthy future that mandates fighting against erosion, water seepage into our sole source aquifer, and preserving our wildlife habitats and plant ecosystems.

This park is well used by nature lovers, walkers, joggers, hikers, bird watchers, deer, coyotes, owls and more. Expert owl trackers have seen the only island pair of vulnerable Northern Pygmy Owls at Grand Forest North. Citizens of Bainbridge Island, please write emails to the Parks District Board to express your concern.

Nora Masters

Bainbridge Island

Another yes for bikes

To the editor:

I am writing to voice my strong support for the proposed mountain bike trails in Grand Forest North. I have been riding in the Grand Forest since I moved to the island in 1998. In 2016, my son and I joined Gear Grinders. I have been coaching and training the 50 students and 30 plus volunteers since then.

Bainbridge Island Parks has been a great partner with the Gear Grinders, and I appreciate their support of all trail users. As a mountain biker and a coach, we teach that trail work is part of using any trail. We volunteer for work parties, and we make a point of stopping and fixing problems as we encounter them. Simple things like clearing blowdown helps all trail users.

The Parks Board is considering the proposal for these trails. The project cost would be covered through fundraising and the many volunteer hours put in by Gear Grinders members and other bikers on the island. Mountain bikers have long been an important source of support for the Island’s trail system, and this new effort will only strengthen that relationship.

I ask all of the board members to support this effort. I encourage others on the island who support creating opportunities for kids and islanders of all ages to get outside to let the Parks Board know they also support this effort.

David Joslin

Bainbridge Island

Project done

To the editor:

I recently completed my Eagle Scout project at Battle Point Park. I would like to thank the community members who helped, Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District, Battle Point Astronomical Association, Bainbridge Community Foundation and Scout Troop 1564. I’m very grateful for the financial assistance, technical expertise and time contributed.

The project is a solar walk. There are 10 signs installed around the trail depicting our solar system. Each planet’s distance from the first sign is proportional to its average distance from the sun. Look for the signs next time you’re at the park, and stop by the observatory if you’re interested in learning more.

Kyle Schroer

Bainbridge Island

Trails inappropriate

The proposed mountain biking trails at Grand Forest North are a highly inappropriate, destructive, and invasive use of a delicate natural environment and need to be relocated to a far safer, less environmentally sensitive, and more generally suitable recreationally designed location.

In addition to promoting the several local and convenient existing bike tracks why not explore using a measurably safer, and more highly controlled purpose built location such as Battle Point Park instead?

And aren’t the local wildlife such as the owls stressed and threatened enough without adding this extra burden just to please and entertain those who are mostly a few small private club members?

If it goes through I also dread hearing of another serious and paralyzing injury or fatality that is sure to eventually occur in such an unregulated, hazard-filled location.

Ed Campbell

Port Ludlow

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