Letters to the editor

Support I-1362

To the editor:

Washington needs a better healthcare system. The current choices are inadequate to meet the needs of our communities and neighbors across the state.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic 550,000 people were uninsured due to prohibitive cost. The pandemic revealed that employer-based healthcare is not reliable when millions lose their jobs. A Cobra option is so expensive that unemployment compensation cannot cover its cost.

GoFundMe accounts are not a sustainable solution to meeting costs that charity care or insurance plans do not pay for. No one should have to spend time worrying, “How can I afford my healthcare?”

It’s time for a comprehensive plan that is available to everyone, regardless of income or necessary treatment.

The Whole Washington Health Trust is designed to provide comprehensive coverage from birth to the last years of life, for everyone in the state. While the trust was introduced as Senate Bill 5204 in the 2020 legislature, it did not have a hearing. Kitsap County Democrats and Legislative District 23 support the goals of SB 5204. Now the effort to bring Universal Healthcare to the state continues as Initiative 1362. Volunteers are collecting signatures to give people a choice they can rely on.

Let’s work together to support an inclusive, truly accessible healthcare delivery plan that is available to everyone in Washington as a human right. Funding and benefits are described @wholewashington.org To volunteer by gathering signatures, contact Kathy@wholewashington.org

Kathy Duprey

Bainbridge Island

Pick Peltier

To the editor:

Joe Dunstan’s letter to the editor (7/9/2021) endorsing Joe Deets for the North Ward Bainbridge Island City Council position labeled Deets’ top opponent, Ron Peltier, as a “disrupter.”

Oh my, a “disrupter!” Well, that’s exactly why we elected Peltier in 2015-to disrupt the status quo at City Hall and the pro-development rubber stampers of the city Planning Department who were practically part of the development teams who were ruining the island’s special character for short-term profits.

During Ron’s 2015 campaign, there were horror stories of sudden clear-cuts and regrades of multiple acres where valuable topsoils, geologic structures and ecological integrity were being ravaged to prepare easy-to-develop properties. The horror, people cried. Visconsi! Wyatt Way! Finch Place! Torvanger Road! Madison Avenue! Lynwood Center! When would it end?

Well, the tide turned with Ron the “disrupter.” First, he worked with council members to write and pass a new Critical Areas Ordinance that included the Aquifer Recharge Protection Areas provision, mandating that 65% of a lot’s trees and native vegetation be preserved. Then he sponsored a development moratorium that resulted in a two-year revamp of our subdivision regulations and the entire development review process. More “disruption.” Today we hear fewer of these horror stories because the pattern of reckless development was “disrupted.”

Given the choice between Ron the Disrupter and Joe Deets, please consider Deets’s record doing anything but protect our island’s special character and ecosystem integrity. Deets voted twice to support the mega hotel on Winslow Way, voted against important protections for trees and native vegetation, and voted in favor of cramming 100 units of housing on the Suzuki property, converting its pond into a stormwater retention facility.

Mary Clare Kersten

Bainbridge Island

Select Deets

I am a senior citizen now retired and living on Bainbridge Island. Three years ago I became interested in our city government. I am now a loyal and avid follower of City Council meetings.

I met Joe Deets at his office hours at Cups (before the pandemic). He has spent considerable time telling me the how’s and why’s of our city. I encourage voters to re-elect Joe. Joe is a consistent attendant and is always prepared for the agenda of the night. He researches the agenda items and comes to the meetings prepared to vote. He doesn’t waste time giving long-winded opinions.

Joe asks for citizen input and listens. He responds by voting for his constituents needs. He voted no for the controversial Winslow Hotel and the costly police station. He understands and respects his fiscal responsibilities. He recently voted to postpone the intricate waste reduction out of respect for the flailing businesses that would be most affected in our community. He is an advocate for their recovery.

Joe is mature, knowledgeable and committed to our city and citizens’ best interests. He serves as liaison to Kitsap County committees and volunteers for hospice and the recent vaccine site.

Please re-elect this humble civil servant.

Dianne Lauer

Bainbridge Island

Vote for Moriwaki

To the editor:

If residents of the Central Ward on Bainbridge Island want a representative on City Council who will honestly and transparently work for the best interests of our community, they should vote for change. They should vote for Clarence Moriwaki.

Governing Bainbridge Island is complicated, time consuming and sometimes exhausting. Clarence is up to the task. He is smart, a hard worker and is scrupulously principled and honest. He approaches new challenges with an open and independent mind. He holds himself and those who work with him to high standards of excellence and civil behavior.

I have worked with Clarence on various issues for over 20 years. Our first contact was as members of a task force charged by then-Mayor Dwight Sutton with making recommendations on the fate of the Wyckoff Superfund site. Pritchard Park was one result of our work, the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial was another. On that task force, and in many other volunteer city and civic engagements on Bainbridge Island, Clarence has proved over and over to be creative, collegial, persistent and effective.

And honest. Did I say honest?

Vote in the primary election on Aug. 3. Vote carefully. Vote for Clarence Moriwaki.

Val Tollefson

Bainbridge Island

Vote Mandelkorn

To the editor:

We immediately fell in love with Bainbridge Island when we moved here 7 1/2 years ago. However, it quickly became evident that as taxes continued to increase, our City Council continued to spend money like irresponsible children.

I have been lucky enough to get to know Lisa Mandelkorn and worked with her on holding our school district accountable for providing fair and equitable options to families during COVID-19. Lisa is a kind and genuine individual, who not only listens, but actually hears people’s concerns. Her direct and honest nature would be a perfect fit for the council. Especially a council that requires fiscal responsibility and accountability to our community.

It is time for a new perspective from this energetic candidate to help grow and protect our community.

Tanya Powers

Bainbridge Island

Bikes need lanes

The latest proposed Bainbridge transportation plan calls for more bike riding for kids going to school and adults going to work or shopping. I’m all for that, but it’s not going happen until there are safe, separated bike lanes. It’s a chicken or egg situation: People don’t ride bikes because there are no separated bike lines, and there are no separated bike lanes because people don’t ride bikes.

I lived in Holland for six years and did not own a car. I biked 5 miles to work every day on bike lanes separated from the roads and sidewalks. It was safe and efficient. Since the bike lanes were separated I was never almost sucked off my bike when a large truck sped by, which is a hazard of biking on the narrow side lanes of Highway 305 today.

Separate bike lanes will be quite a project, but maybe we could start small – like three blocks in every direction from schools. There already is a separated bike lane on 305 from High School Road to Winslow Way. Over time we can convert the dangerous bike lane on 305 from High School Road to the bridge into a bike lane separated by landscaping or a concrete barrier.

Gary Pettersen

Bainbridge Island

Yes for parks

To the editor:

The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation urges islanders to Vote Yes for Parks, to restore the operations levy for the BI Metro Park & Recreation District.

At the Parks Foundation, we raise private funds for specific capital projects and stewardship programs for parks and trails. But supporting the park district’s day to day operations – facilities, maintenance, programming and management of 1,500 acres of public parkland – falls to island taxpayers, to all of us. Working so closely with the Park District, we see firsthand their dedication, skill and efficiency in providing a first-class park system for all residents. Islanders enjoy more park services every year, even as the district contends with limited resources.

Consider: Since the last Park District levy lift in 2008, nearly 40 new park facilities, active sports courts and fields, playgrounds, dog parks and community gardens have come online. Our trails network has nearly doubled, from 23 to 42 miles. Bainbridge park use is at an all-time high. Yet revenues to support parks have not kept pace. The system is strained.

Why? The Park District cannot increase its tax revenue by more than 1 percent per year without a vote. Yet the demand for new park services for our growing island population – fewer than 23,000 of us in 2008, more than 26,000 today – plus the fact of inflation for labor and materials means that each year, the Park District must do more with less. Park District staffing is the same today as 13 years ago.

The Aug. 3 levy will restore Park District’s revenues to pay for essential operations and maintenance now and for the future. We think this is a great investment. As if there was any doubt, the past year has brought into clear relief just how central our parks and trails are to our health, our well being, our quality of island life. When we needed them most, our parks were there for us. Now let’s be there for our Park District – Vote Yes for Parks.

Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation

Board of Directors

Not consulted

To the editor:

Housing Resources Bainbridge is happy to see that the Bainbridge Island Review is giving our island’s affordable housing crisis the coverage it deserves, and we are happy to contribute to accurate reporting.

However, HRB was not consulted for this article, in which the following statement appeared: “Both Housing Resources Bainbridge and Housing Kitsap, which are also involved in the project, would agree low income households are desperate to become homeowners versus renters.” We didn’t say that to the Review, and we don’t agree with that statement.

Low-income people, like people in any other income bracket, make the decision to rent or buy for a multitude of reasons. People across the income spectrum might opt to rent because of the inability or lack of desire to maintain a property, the necessity of frequent moves, the freedom to downsize, or because they cannot afford a down payment for a desirable home.

HRB supports the Wintergreen Townhomes project because we support the creation of homes for a community that lacks a sufficient supply. These homes, in particular, will meet the needs of moderate- and low-income households, which have not been catered to by more-recent development on the island. HRB advocates for a healthy housing ecosystem, one which includes both rental and homeownership opportunities at a diversity of prices, sizes and types.

Phedra Elliott

HRB executive director

Support Peltier

To the editor:

Now is the time to return Ron Peltier to the Bainbridge Island City Council. It is imperative that we develop an evidence-based water management plan for BI, and Peltier is the individual with the credentials and commitment to get that job started and guide it over the finish line.

Growth management is the underlying principle behind state-mandated population distribution in our state. As BI struggles to comply with this mandate, it is critical that the island’s carrying capacity for population growth is determined before the island aquifer is exhausted.

If we don’t know the number of existing and future dwelling units the aquifer can support, then we are flying blind when decisions are made for new construction permits on the island. We needed a water management plan yesterday – but tomorrow is better than never- and if you share my concern on this issue I hope you will support Peltier.

Stephanie Farwell

Bainbridge Island

Like Deets

To the editor:

I support Joe Deets for Bainbridge Island City Council. In my three years as a student at Bainbridge High School, I have noticed a lack of diversity in our schools, as well as a lack of efforts to create diversity in our community. Our island has a habit of settling into comfort and ignoring the very real problems that affect many community members.

I’ve had friends who felt excluded at school because they couldn’t afford to live on the island, or because they could only afford a house in a less-affluent neighborhood. I’ve had friends who switched schools because they felt excluded being one of the only people of color in class.

Deets has been an advocate for affordable housing and diversity in government, this being part of his contribution towards equity on Bainbridge. With his help, our island can work to support all members of our community. His efforts toward change are not based on his own ideas, but by speaking to anyone who needs support and using their needs and ideas to create new projects for the council.

Vote Joe Deets, support our community.

Linden Skalak

Bainbridge Island

Afford homes

To the editor:

I was heartened to see your front-page coverage of affordable housing in last week’s Review. This issue needs attention urgently. Without the creation of more affordable housing on the island, in all its forms, Bainbridge will, over time, become less and less diverse.

If we want to save Bainbridge Island as a vibrant community with great schools, beloved businesses and rich arts, humanities and social opportunities, there needs to be substantial community-wide focus given to this issue now. The City Council needs to act to create incentives that will facilitate the creation of housing, and the community needs to come together to find ways to provide housing for our teachers, firefighters, grocers, tradespeople and their families.

Matt Albee

Bainbridge Island

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