Letters to the editor

New PSE route

To the editor:

Our electric utility, Puget Sound Energy, has narrowed the route options for its proposed high-voltage transmission line.

Three options include High School Road, and two options include New Brooklyn Road and part of Fletcher Bay Road. By summer, PSE will select one of these options as its preferred route.

We’ve seen this process before. In 1995, Puget Power (later renamed as PSE) proposed the same project. The utility selected High School Road as the preferred route because it was shorter, had fewer residences, required less tree removal, and cost less than the New Brooklyn/Fletcher Bay alternative.

In the end, Puget Power didn’t pursue the project. But PSE is back for another try. The utility has collected data on line length, affected residences, tree canopy and project cost. All of these data still favor High School Road as the best route for a new line – assuming, of course, that the community wants the line at all.

PSE is holding an online meeting on May 3 to review the route selection process. This will be the last such meeting before PSE selects a preferred route.

Please sign up for the meeting to learn more about what the utility wants to build and where.

David Johnson

Bainbridge Island

Council overboard

To the editor:

I’ve always appreciated how the citizens of Bainbridge Island care so deeply about our city and community. However, on April 13 the City Council made a decision that should remind us that too much of anything can be bad for you. The emotion that led up to changing zoning laws at the last minute to get their way on the Winslow Hotel issue deserves our attention.

Years of careful planning, thought and emotion have formed a set of values and priorities for this island. The comprehensive plan, support of local business, and values such as respect and justice have helped form our local identity.

For those precepts to be so quickly subjugated to fears and personal preference is misguided. Treating local citizens, who seem to have honored the permit process, so poorly is condemnable. Being concerned about an extra 150 well heeled visitors enjoying Winslow on a summer weekend is a first world problem.

The degradation of trust and integrity of local government is a problem no matter what part of the world you live in. Respect and integrity are not commodities to be traded away to get what we want. The processes, standards and values we say define us need to be honored or they will be reduced to mere rhetoric.

Eric Driggers

Bainbridge Island

Don’t kill rats

To the editor:

I get it. You don’t like to see rats running around your yard. The ones we have here are Norway rats, and they’re decent size. They move fast, look scary, can carry disease transmissible to humans/pets; you’re concerned for your kids, etc. Some years we have fewer raccoons and coyotes, owls, hawks, etc., so the rat population increases, especially during spring. Some call a “pest” professional.

So, the guy comes, lays down sanitary-looking bait stations loaded with anti-coagulent (death by internal bleeding – pretty horrific way to go, so hide the kids), hands you a bill and drives away. Problem solved. A few days later, a few rats-without-boundaries show up in my yard, dead, or dying, for me to deal with (the rats that co-exist on my property are not an issue, but poisoned rats become my problem to remove from the food chain).

The dead ones are predated on by survivors, which ingest the poison and die. I just found one dying in my yard, which prompts this letter. Luckily, my dog was on a leash, so he didn’t get a chance to gobble down the dying rat, saving me a trip to the doggie ER.

Unhappily for other rat-eating animals who find/consume dead/dying rats (coyotes, other dogs, cats, raccoons) and birds (owls, eagles, hawks, crows, ravens), their latest meal is also their last. Taking the poison back to the nest? Bye-bye, fledgling fowl and baby animals.

Enough. Norway rats live almost exclusively in burrows made outside. There’s no reason to kill them, and, what’s more, killing them just makes the rest double-down on breeding to replace the lost members (coyotes do this, too). Try living a couple of years coexisting with rats. You wanted life in the country, after all.

Poisoning, painful killing/trapping/drowning, etc., of any animal on Bainbridge Island should be illegal. As Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Let’s be better.

Chris Neal

Bainbridge Island

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