Letters to the editor

Election help

To the editor:

With the election just days away, I wanted to let your readers know that the BI Chamber of Commerce has produced an excellent, non-biased tool to aid in decision-making relative to the City Council election.

Available are individual video interviews with each candidate at bainbridgechamber.com . The chamber crafted a dozen questions and asked each candidate the same questions. Each interview is approximately 30 minutes long. Our goal was to aid in educating voters and to allow the community to actually see the candidates addressing various issues. In today’s environment, we do not have the usual opportunity to visually observe. Hopefully, this will inform decision-making.

Belinda Thornburg

Bainbridge Island

Change teaching

To the editor:

The North Kitsap School District, according to a letter from the superintendent, faces “critical staff and substitute shortages” and warns that the district may “close certain classrooms … or entire school buildings.” This is very discouraging news, as a former teacher at NKHS I feel terrible about the devastation COVID-19 has caused on education and the lives of all people.

Remembering my own expensive schooling to become a teacher, and the expensive teacher education one of my nieces went through – she took a night job, after teaching during the day, to pay off her education debts – I always wondered if there could be a better and less-expensive way to “make” new teachers. The process has not changed for years; the cost goes up every year. Is it time to contemplate tweaking the system?

If the NKSD has problems attracting teaching staff, I assume other districts face the same problem. Maybe the “making” of teachers should be modified from spending a year learning the theories of education and doing a few months of student teaching, and, having to pay for it, to spending one year as an “apprentice” with a master teacher and getting paid for it (how about substitute wages?).

NKSD, get together with other districts and lobby the state superintendent to transform the present teacher education system. If you need teachers, make it affordable and give future teachers a real-life, in-class experience for at least one year.

James Behrend

Bainbridge Island

Collect rainwater

To the editor:

When I moved to Bainbridge Island from Seattle in 1963 the water table in May was at 18 feet below ground level, so a 28-foot-deep well provided adequate water for a home on 20 acres.

There are three political divisions on BI: south, central and north. The south is sitting almost entirely on solid rock and thus no water table. The central and north are atop sand and gravel and a large water table. They supply almost all of the water for the south, which actually uses the most water.

The soil allows rainwater to slowly penetrate and feed the water table. The water table cannot renew itself as fast as citizens use it, so my well had to become 163-feet deep with a holding tank.

All our water comes from rainfall. We are experiencing a drought. But our population does not reduce its usage – and it must. Water for domestic use must be shared with fire protection, and that means storage is needed.

Meanwhile, California and Texas, because of overpopulation and radical lowering of the water table, have developed rooftop rain collection. It is mostly used for toilets, pools, gardens and fire protection.

What’s Bainbridge going to do about our ever-diminishing water table? Our building code must make rooftop collection mandatory, and we must require modifications of existing structures.

Our councilmembers say, “I’m in favor of correcting the problem,” but they never do anything about it. Rooftop rain collection is the answer.

Dick Krutch

Bainbridge Island

Delays risky

To the editor:

There has been a lot written about the cost of the police station or affordable housing, but relatively little about the cost of not doing anything. First, there is the cost of the delay in revamping the Harrison site. Then, there are the potential liability costs associated with the risks inherent in both the current police station and the courthouse. Since the city has known these facilities are unsafe for almost a decade, there are major liability risks if anyone were seriously injured due to the vulnerabilities of both buildings.

The need for affordable housing is clear. Help wanted signs are posted in most shop and restaurant windows, as well as our assisted living and nursing homes. Both the schools and the city have had more difficulty hiring as well. If people have a choice to work in a place where they can also live and a place where they can work, but have to commute because the people who live there don’t want to have housing they can afford, which would you choose?

People who have lived here for many years may not be able to stay because there are not enough safely staffed places for them.? We are fortunate that many islanders have devoted some of their time and money to saving wildlife habitat and expansive tracts of older growth forest. By not sustaining/building a more diverse community, socioeconomically, generationally and racially, we are losing important aspects of what has made this island a wonderful place to live.

Gloria Sayler

Bainbridge Island

WSF dismal

To the editor:

Where do we draw the line with the Washington State Ferries dismal service? I draw it here, with the 50% cut in service to Bainbridge Island. We have all been patient and typically understanding Bainbridge Islanders as WSF grapples with the COVID-19 fallout. But it has been 19 months, and WSF leadership still has not figured out how to adapt to the pandemic, as most businesses have had to do.

Their notion of innovation in response to the pandemic is the unique “improve reliability by cutting service” strategy. That is like an airline deciding to tackle an on-time departure issue by canceling all flights. No flights are late – problem solved. I wonder how Seattleites would respond to having I-5 shut down every other hour.

The ferry is our highway. I am sympathetic to the plight of small businesses. As a business owner, we all have had to adapt, innovate or close up shop. WSF is a crucial taxpayer and user-funded state service, with health, safety and livelihood implications for those of us living on Bainbridge and throughout Puget Sound. Is any of the federal COVID assistance funding being deployed to resolve WSF issues?

The COVID situation requires rethinking, challenging long-held assumptions and policies, and active experimentation. It demands learning fast. I do not see evidence of such changes by WSF leadership. British Airways did a culture change initiative years ago. Their primary learning was “if you can’t change the people, change the people.” I am more than curious to see what WSF leadership and our Bainbridge Island representatives in Olympia do next to support their customers and constituents.

Jonno Hanafin

Bainbridge Island

Vote Nassar

To the editor:

I hope my fellow Bainbridge Islanders will join me in supporting Rasham Nassar in the upcoming election. As a member of the city’s former Race Equity Task Force and more recently the Race Equity Advisory Committee, I have witnessed Rasham’s clarity and courage in speaking out on issues of equity and democracy.

Rasham is a brilliant defender of the democratic rights of all people. She is willing to ask the hard questions in council meetings and in the community at large. Sometimes her questions and her analysis make others uncomfortable, but her goals are clarity, fairness and responsible stewardship of community resources. Vote to preserve Rasham Nassar’s independent voice on City Council.

Peggi Erickson

Bainbridge Island

Pick Peltier

To the editor:

If you want Bainbridge Island to look and feel like Mercer Island in 25 years with development from shore to shore, Ron Peltier is not your candidate for City Council. But if you want Bainbridge to retain its semirural roots and charm as an ideal place to live, Ron is your candidate.

He’s lived here for more than 55 years, which gives him the rare vision to see where this island is coming from, where we should go and where we might go if we’re not careful. As a master carpenter, Ron has deep experience in dealing with the intricacies of city government. He knows that in developing every plan, you need to “measure twice, cut once” and build to last a century.

As a former city councilman and co-founder of Islanders for Responsible Development, he understands that we need to follow our comprehensive plan and strong stewardship principles to control growth carefully if we don’t want to end up with massive development here. Above all, Ron is a leader who believes in transparency in city government. He says what he stands for, says what he’ll do, and does what he says. He understands land-use regulations and has innovative ideas about how to protect the island from overdevelopment, preserve open space, ensure affordable housing, make our roads safer for bicyclists and more. As an island steward featured in the book In Praise of Island Stewards, Ron Peltier is the real deal. He has my vote for Bainbridge City Council.

Mark Hoffman

Bainbridge Island

Goodlin endorsed

To the editor:

I endorse Tom Goodlin in his run for Bainbridge Island Parks Commissioner. As a longtime neighbor of Tom, I know he is someone who not only talks the talk, but literally walks the walk. A professional hydrogeologist for decades, his personal time and efforts reflect the true grit of a conservationist with a long lens toward averting environmental impacts.

Almost three decades ago, Tom and wife Cestjon McFarland placed a conservation easement on their property through the BI Land Trust, including pond and woods that all in the neighborhood now enjoy in its natural splendor. A decade ago, he personally chose to convert his home’s heating and cooling to a geothermal loop with heat pump.

When Tom and I recently worked with neighbors on a road paving project, Tom showed the skills to genuinely hear various sides of issues, speak with candor and guide us toward the most salient solution. His time volunteering on the BI Land Trust board, including serving as president, shows his true personal commitment to improving our island community. We islanders will benefit from installing Tom Goodlin as a parks commissioner on Nov. 2.

David McCaughey

Bainbridge Island

Deliver Deets

To the editor:

All politics is local and often messy. But it needn’t be so petty and dramatic, especially at the City Council level. And while it’d be great if politicians just “got things done,” it’s seldom that simple. What’s important to me is that my representatives are authentic, compassionate and good stewards. Like Joe Deets.

I worked closely with Joe when I was a member of the Climate Change Advisory Committee. Never in my decade-plus experience of briefing elected officials on both sides of the Sound did I see someone understand, balance and prioritize certain issues like Joe did. It was impressive and reassuring, but what really inspired me was the scene at Joe’s campaign kickoff this past summer. It was an inclusive and positive gathering, focused not only on protecting what many already love about the island, but also on ensuring that others can equitably enjoy even more of it in the future.

Joe Deets will continue to actively listen to and advocate for all his neighbors. He’ll get some good things done, too. Please do the island a favor and re-elect Joe.

James Rufo-Hill

Bainbridge Island

Scott it is

To the editor:

I support Kent Scott for BI City Council. I know Kent as a man who tirelessly prepares for any job he takes on, keeps his commitments, values the importance of relationships and is a man of integrity. Kent is an active listener who works to fully understand all sides of an issue before he seeks to reach a workable solution.

He has a deep understanding of the complexities of issues facing the island through his 33 years of living and volunteering here. His commitment to the island way of life will serve us all. We need Kent Scott on the council.

Craig Nelson

Bainbridge Island

Maron a must

To the editor:

I am writing to proudly share my enthusiastic support for David Maron’s candidacy for park district commissioner. For the past five years, I have had the honor of working closely with David in an educational setting where commitment to care and community are front and center. On a regular basis, I have the pleasure of observing firsthand the profound impact David makes on a community.

Daily, I witness an educator who intentionally pauses, observes, notices and responds to his students and their needs. David in action looks like listening, pitching in, problem-solving and just as significantly – creating and engaging in lots of pure, meaningful and necessary fun. He sees understanding, belonging and connection – be it with students, colleagues or families, not as part of what shapes community, but as what defines it.

David is a living, breathing, biking, climbing, hiking, playing example of what it means to connect and join in community through recreation – whether on the dirt, climbing wall or tennis court. He is deeply passionate about the critical role parks, trails and recreational play in defining a healthy and vibrant community and understands that tending to the social, emotional and physical well-being of our community is one of the most vital ways to contribute to it. I have no doubt that David’s dedication to our parks, trails and recreation programs will be a source of inspiration that will lead us from strength to strength, and I can’t wait to cast my vote for him in the upcoming election.

Suzanne Messinger

Bainbridge Island

Quitslund for council

To the editor:

We highly recommend voting for Jon Quitslund for the South Ward seat on the Bainbridge Island City Council.

Jon has been a good friend for many years, and a hallmark of that time we have known Jon is his dedication to this island and to service on behalf of the community. He comes from a family with deep island roots that imbue his desire to see this island prosper sustainably into the future.

Jon has been a member of the Planning Commission for nine years, a time in which he’s demonstrated his thoughtfulness, research into issues, collaborative approach and commitment to seeing something through to completion. Part of that completion is now how we implement our Comprehensive Plan, and that is where Jon is ideally positioned to assist what needs to happen to make sure that our on-the-ground implementation truly reflects the intent of the Comprehensive Plan.

This is a critical moment. Jon brings proven skills and clear insight into the issues facing our island’s future environment and growth. He is the right man for City Council.

Marcy and Gary Lagerloef

Bainbridge Island

Vote Peltier

To the editor:

The silver lining to another contentious City Council election is that Ron Peltier is running, and we can vote for him.

Anyone here longer than an escrow or two knows that Ron is the one steward who will watch out for the irreplaceable elements of this island. Nature and Public Good. Too many candidates smile to your face while protecting wallets from another area code.

Ron is here to protect the island community, not the inland profits. Bainbridge is not an unlimited resource. It should exist as a beautiful and thriving destination because of what is renewable not what is exploitable. In a world quickly becoming alien to its habitants, Bainbridge Island has an opportunity to show that we can survive with foresight and fairness. Ron has both. Vote for him. You will not regret it.

Alan and Joyce Rudolph

Bainbridge Island

Vote Deets

To the editor:

I often wonder what shapes our behavioral boundaries regarding politics these days. It seems that the certainty of one’s cause too often erodes the borders of respect and reason. Our differences divide us.

As we ponder who to support in the race for City Council, it might be helpful to remind ourselves of what we have in common. Most of us were drawn here by the natural beauty of this place and a sense of community that is unique to a city surrounded by the sea. Those natural spaces we cherish provide us a window into the patterns and rhythms of nature. Life is drawn together in groups – groves, flocks, packs, clubs, cities – all products of some invisible force that compel us to gather.

I hope when our new council sets priorities for this community, the invisible force that draws us together will be at the top of that list and will drive the thoughtful consideration of our differences.

I will be casting a vote for Joe Deets. As a City Council member and a citizen, he has shown that he prioritizes community, reason and respect. He deserves your vote, too.

Eric Driggers

Bainbridge Island

More Maron

To the editor:

David Maron is the right choice for commissioner on the Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation District. David grew up on Bainbridge, and as a parent of a young family he will bring a much-needed perspective to the board.

I have seen David’s deep concern for our Bainbridge community and for increasing opportunities for all islanders to explore and enjoy the outdoors. David has a keen understanding of the balance between stewardship and the recreational opportunities in our parks. His interactions with, and respect for, people with different points of view have convinced me that he will be a valuable addition to the board.

One of the many pressing issues in our parks is the need for innovative solutions to improve our trail system. The island needs to develop approaches that expand our trail system, provide for all user groups to benefit from the trails and integrate our trails into an island-wide approach. We worked on the trails committee, which is made up of islanders with different interests and views on our trails. From that work it was clear that David has the skills to engage with the entire community to achieve creative solutions to improving our trails and other decisions that parks must address in the future.

John Benjes

Bainbridge Island

Nassar needed

To the editor

The race between incumbent Rasham Nassar, mayor, and newcomer Clarence Moriwaki is critical. The winner of this particular race directly affects us all, and there is good reason to re-elect Nassar.

The most-important financial issue ever facing Bainbridge is the new police station project currently stalled pending investigation of gross financial mishandling of funds to the tune of $8 million. The Bainbridge Review published a terrific Op-ed Oct. 15 that really explains the subject.

To properly investigate and take corrective action we need a City Council that will act appropriately. Between candidates Moriwaki and Nassar, only Rasham Nassar, as mayor, has taken the lead and been proactive to tackle a very tough and politically sticky situation.

Her opponent, Moriwaki wants to move ahead with no investigation whatsoever and simply ignore the problem. How can any responsible candidate ignore a substantiated claim of wasting millions of dollars and simply move on? If you are concerned about your local government spending your money wisely, Rasham is the only one shining a bright light on the issue.

Rasham Nassar will continue to work hard to solve this problem. Moriwaki will not. His stated position is to do nothing. Moriwaki calls it “analysis paralysis”. Rasham demands finding the truth. She has earned your vote.

Sue Haugan

Bainbridge Island

Moriwaki, Deets

To the editor

Both Rasham Nassar and Ron Peltier insist they are environmentalists and great supporters of our island’s attempts to reduce emissions and air pollution. Their words hardly match their actions.

Transportation is our country’s biggest source of emissions largely due to our car dependence. We have ample proof that the “built it and they will come” approach (or in this case they will walk and bike) applies to these healthier and environmentally friendlier modes of transportation. An island-wide survey taken a few years ago revealed that a substantial number of our residents would bike and walk if it were simply made safer and more convenient for them and their children.

If you watched council meetings when both Nassar and Peltier were on council, you saw them engaged in lengthy and redundant arguments against expanding walking and biking trails. They both refuse to invest the kind of money it will take to make non-car travel safer and easier. Either they just don’t understand the science and the facts or they are not serious about reaching our climate plan goals and reducing car exhaust pollution.

Their opponents, Clarence Moriwaki and Joe Deets, understand the science and are committed to realizing real emission and air pollution reductions. They support a fact-based approach to transportation planning and funding.

If you care about our environment, it only makes sense to vote Deets and Moriwaki for City Council.

Robert Bosserman

Bainbridge Island

Pick Peltier

To the editor

When it comes to voting for City Council, etc., for many of us the choices are confusing. As transparent as the city tries to be, we seem to have little information that makes sense. Added to this perennial confusion, this year we have smear and sleaze, along with exaggerated claims made by seemingly nice people.

The big issue is always development. So much “outside” pressure on us to develop, people say. Indeed, we see it in the campaigns. It’s the headline on Joe Deets’s advertisements. Prominent quotes from outsiders like Derek Kilmer and the mayor of Bremerton. Do you really think they’re following our politics closely? Really?

Their interest in our politics is their interest in shaping Bainbridge to better serve the region. Obviously that is Joe Deets’s North Star. This is all happening in plain sight.

If in 10 years our roads are too congested and our taxes are sky-high from paying for increased services, Bainbridge won’t be so great anymore. People will say it was caused by outside pressure. Not entirely true. It will have been caused by councilmembers who pandered to the outside pressure.

Vote for candidates who have a proven track record of strength and who pledge their faithfulness to our Comprehensive Plan and our island way of life. Vote for Ron Peltier. He puts Bainbridge first.

Mary Clare Kersten

Bainbridge Island

Vote Maron

To the editor:

David Maron is the right choice to join the Bainbridge Island Parks Board of Commissioners. This election offers a true choice between candidates. David knows Bainbridge Island and has deep connections with the community. David is a native islander. He grew up here and then returned after starting his own family. He knows what makes this such a special place. As a father to two active girls and as a teacher at Hyla, he is in a unique position to understand the changing needs of our active community, especially island youth. Our children and young people deserve a strong voice on the parks board. David will be that voice.

We raised our children here and treasure the memories of afternoons at Battle Point, Rotary Park and Strawberry Hill. Our parks are the true hub of our community, places where we made new friends and where today we reconnect with old ones. There’s never been a better time to be active and outside on BI. We have watched our parks grow and improve over the years. The BI parks board has been a model of excellent local government. David will seek to continue that work, something he has already demonstrated through his work helping to expand and improve our trails. Sometimes staying on the same path is the right choice. Vote for David Maron for parks board.

James and Jan Sanders

Bainbridge Island

Choose Nassar

To the editor

Candidate for City Council Clarence Moriwaki has refused to commit to a ban on new upzoning. When challenged by Mayor Nassar to commit at a recent forum, Moriwaki answered “only 10% of our island is built, so we are ‘way ahead’ on ‘green coverage.’” Implying that 90% of the island is available for development is the wrong approach to preserving our quality of life, though it’s obviously great for Moriwaki’s developer and consultant donors.

When Nassar confronted him about his donors, Moriwaki deflected to suggest Nassar was impugning his donors’ motivations. No answer to the question, though. How many trees is Moriwaki willing to cut down to benefit developers and landowners? How many more straws will he allow in the finite acquifer before we have a water crisis to address?

Our Island already has the zoning required to accommodate all anticipated population growth through 2050 – so any additional upzoning will unnecessarily degrade the environment, water resources, etc. If you build it, they will come.

Rasham Nassar knows this, and she is committed to the island’s preservation. Don’t let developer and consultant donors strip mine Bainbridge Island as they have Mercer Island. Re-elect Rasham Nassar, so she can continue to represent islanders, and protect our quality of life.

Chris Neal

Bainbridge Island

Re-elect Deets

In these times when “the big lie” can metastasize beyond all the fact-checking in the world it is saddening and disappointing that here on Bainbridge Ron Peltier needs to resort to misinformation and mendacity against his opponent. The only truth in Peltier’s political ads was his characterization of Joe Deets as an environmentalist, which Joe has always been.

When I served on council (eight years) we tried to confine political discussions to issues relevant to islanders within the guardrails of honesty and transparency. Fortunately, Deets shares that philosophy and is committed to campaigning on the issues about which our community cares.

Joe has a great record from his first term on council, and the campaigns should be run on records and issues. But, if your only record is one of divisiveness, which so sadly characterized Peltier’s last stint on council and got him turned out of office, then it is easy to understand why Ron turns to innuendo instead of issues. This is both ironic and evasive since the Public Disclosure Commission gave him a formal warning for his campaign’s lack of timely and accurate filing of his campaign expenses.

We must keep Peltier’s history fractiousness and falsehood in the rear-view mirror (instead of a fog in the headlights). Joe has a proven track record. Join me in voting for Joe Deets – concerned, caring, capable. Probity counts.

Jim Llewellyn

Bainbridge Island

Deets changed

To the editor

The Bridge to Nowhere” was the issue that determined the winners of the 2018 City Council campaign. Joe Deets ran on a platform that included the promise to fulfill the voters’ wish to cancel this unpopular multi-million dollar highway bridge in Winslow. Deets admitted that public sentiment was “10-1” against the bridge. Despite his promise and the clear direction from voters, as soon as he took office, Deets reversed himself and voted to save the project.

It was a clear case of outrageous voter betrayal. He said what he needed to say to get elected, and once in office quickly switched. We have lost faith in Deets. This untrustworthy behavior does not deserve another term. He cannot be trusted to follow through on his promises.

By contrast, Ron Peltier consistently represented islanders’ view on the Bridge; voting against it as he said he would in the campaign. Ron tells the truth and follows through on his promises. He works to represent islanders voices just as he says he will; he will protect the island in all development decisions as promised. He’s earned our trust. Ron Peltier deserves our vote.

Tami Meader

Bainbridge Island

Deets again

To the editor

Joe Deets takes the lead supporting issues that Bainbridge residents care most about. Joe is a current councilmember from the North Ward, and he represents all island residents. Joe has a proven track record of listening to island residents’ share their concerns, suggestions and ideas. He takes great pride in his distinctive ability to promptly reply to resident’s questions or ideas.

Joe promotes creative solutions for quality and equitable housing, priced fairly, that is near public transportation, and where island seniors, disadvantaged residents and island service workers can maintain affordable residences without concerns of future unaffordability.

Leading climate action into the future, to lessen the island’s carbon footprint is a heartfelt pursuit for Joe. He ardently promotes, and supports, the Climate Action Plan, approved by the council in late 2020. Joe is a vigorous supporter of the Race Equity Advisory Committee – so firmly intertwined with cost-affordable housing, sustainable energy utilization and for much-improved public transportation. Joe continues to actively contribute to regionwide government committees – the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Kitsap Transit and West-Sound Partners for Ecosystem Recovery.

Joe promotes the creation and stable operations of small businesses on Bainbridge. He knows the personal dedication and selflessness required of an owner, to risk their own time, money and a belief that they can personally improve services on Bainbridge. The commitment by owners of small island business is irreplaceable. Please mark your ballot for Joe Deets, City Council.

Bob Russell

Bainbridge Island