Letters to the editor

Story off track

To the editor:

I’m discouraged by what I read in the paper regarding your coverage of the park board’s May 6 meeting. I attended part of this epic meeting and in my view there seems to be a misrepresentation going on here. Clearly a lot of folks in our community —­ for and against- are passionate about this. I’m one of the many who love to ride my bike and love to take my young niece and nephew out to explore the island trails on bikes.

We also use the pickleball/tennis courts, baseball/t-ball diamonds and community swimming/water polo pool. However, we don’t play baseball in the pool or swim at the pickleball courts. There is something to be said for shared-purpose built facilities, and we are lucky to be able to offer these to our community.

Sen. Moynihan famously said something along the lines of “you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.” This is where things are getting out of hand. The misrepresentation on the Review’s part warrants a plea for more accurate reporting. I suggest you start here: https://biparks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/FAQ_mtb_gfn_5.5.21.pdf. A careful review of the facts will illustrate that, despite what the opposition says about the proposal: it is not exclusively for mountain bikers; it is not designed for speed or advanced mountain biking; it will not destroy the environment; and it is fully consistent with the original purposes of the Grand Forest purchase. These are the conclusions of our own wonderful parks department.

Let’s raise the bar and renew your promise to fair and balanced reporting on community issues. This whole debate has been an interesting and, at times, perplexing exercise in community discussion, and I feel the need for accurate reporting is greater now than ever.

Alan Schmitz

Bainbridge Island

Be more positive

To the editor:

I’m disappointed in all the naysayers on the island. No to the hotel. No to mountain bike paths. No to salary increases to the City Council. I moved here so pull up the drawbridge, and don’t change anything. Someone cut down all the trees and built the home you bought, but don’t let that happen to the lot across the street or anywhere else on the island.

The false horror of the hotel was all those people and cars overrunning Winslow. The extra people caused by the hotel would have been minor compared to the hoards of tourists walking off the ferry. The extra cars would also be a minor problem. Most of the hotel guests will not be driving around town. They will park their cars at the hotel and be walking four blocks to the ferry or taking the hotel shuttle. I suspect most of the guests will not have cars as they will be out of towners flying into SeaTac and preferring to have a room in quiet Winslow rather than a downtown Seattle hotel.

As for the bike paths we need more of them. I go on a walk every day in the Grand Forest and other island parks. On the shared paths bike riders are always polite saying “On your left” when approaching from behind. Giving them a “bikes only” trail is a small price to pay and prevents them from overusing common trails or creating new illegal trails. I lived in Holland for six years, did not own a car and biked everywhere. In Holland there were separate/safe bike paths. Here I rarely ride my bike as I have to ride in the car lane or on the too narrow side lanes and endure the suction of cars as they speed past. If we had separate bike lanes here I would be using my bike and not my car.

The City Council members were grossly underpaid, so tripling their pay was just a catch-up. I know having served on the planning commission years ago that there is a lot of reading and research prior to the meetings so they all put in a lot of hours.

Let’s all try to be a bit more positive.

Gary Pettersen

Bainbridge Island

Nuke deal

To the editor:

Hopefully President Biden will make nuclear deals with Iran and North Korea. However, it is equally to be hoped that he does not repeat the fatal flaw of the first Iran deal: It imposed a waiting period for the inspection of suspected sites. This would have allowed them to move the materials for making a nuclear weapon — such as enriched uranium —t o a second site during the waiting period for the first site; then when the second site would come under suspicion, it would have a waiting period during which the material could be moved to a third site; and so on. (That is why a future president may cancel the deal again.)

Alvin Blake

Bainbridge Island

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