Letters to the editor

Celebrate election

To the editor:

As Bainbridge Island celebrates its 30 years as a municipality and local government, it’s also important to celebrate the council members who were elected during the recently concluded election. With their votes, islanders chose candidates who not only hold specific views and have policy agendas but who bring a sense of civic engagement and healthy civil discourse that is needed for a vibrant democracy.

As a new resident, voting in my first local election, I was appalled at the vitriol and personal attacks that some candidates and council members based their campaigns on. The caliber and experience of our newly elected council members, coupled with how they communicated during the campaign, brings hope that our city government can effectively lead Bainbridge Island into the future. Given the complexity of the challenges we face, we deserve nothing less than a City Council that works together thoughtfully and with a spirit of collaboration.

David Marzahl

Bainbridge Island

Bad behavior

To the editor:

I haven’t been to a high school football game in a long time, but I did attend the recent North Kitsap game as my nephew was playing for the opposing team from Renton.

I was surprised at the behavior of Viking students on and off the field. Despite the announcer reminding everyone that masks were required, a majority of students around us weren’t wearing masks. Adults kept yelling at them, “Put a mask on.” They did nothing.

What really got to me was when a Renton player got hurt and was lying on the field for at least 20 minutes while EMT’s attended to a broken leg. Renton players took a knee. North Kitsap’s cheerleaders took a knee. But the North Kitsap players didn’t. They wandered along their sideline, talking, laughing, seemingly oblivious to the injury. Even the coaches showed no respect for the Renton player who was loaded into an ambulance.

When leaving, I walked by a referee and asked if there was a rule about taking a knee during an injury. He said it was up to the coaches. But when asked if he’d seen a team not take a knee, he said ,“Not until tonight.”

The Viking players (and the kids with no masks) looked like self-absorbed, reckless, cold, ambivalent teens.

In case any of you Viking players care, the Renton player is having surgery at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Maybe you should send a card.

Leslie Kelly

Bainbridge Island

Fulbright award

To the editor:

Akuyea Karen Vargas is called “A Drum Major for Peace,” a force of nature, and an unwavering advocate for the underserved and for youth. She founded Living Life Leadership and Living Arts Cultural Heritage Center to inspire leadership, life skills, arts engagement and cultural education.

When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly shuttered public schools and interrupted healthy social life, Akuyea realized that art is a healing force and could provide much-needed mental health benefits. She immediately reached out to dozens of organizations asking for help in reaching kids who were suddenly stuck at home. She organized several projects and online weekly Zoom-meeting places for kids to help them through isolation, pain and trauma.

Val Tollefson

Bainbridge Island

Great job

To the editor:

Bainbridge Prepares, Bainbridge Island Community Pharmacy, BI Fire Department, city of BI, Bainbridge Pediatrics staff and families of our community did a great job last weekend.

A COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. Pediatric clinics across the country were asked to lead this vaccination effort. While pediatricians unwaveringly support vaccination, accomplishing this objective for primary care clinics is a Herculean task.

There are about 1,800 children on BI in this age group, which translates into administering over 3,500 vaccinations to a needle-phobic population within a month’s timeframe.

Every Fall, Bainbridge Pediatrics holds regular flu clinics where we administer 100 vaccinations in four-hour time slots outside of our regular patient hours. We would need to create over 30 such four-hour clinics over the next one to two months to achieve this goal – while maintaining our regular clinic schedule.

Fortunately, Bainbridge Prepares and its amazing volunteers stepped up to this task. This past weekend, hundreds of volunteers administered 1,600 vaccinations to the 5-11 age group at Commodore school.

Given high demand, an additional clinic is planned for this weekend (www.covidbi.timetap.com): second doses will be administered in early December.

Because of the efforts of so many in our community, Bainbridge will again lead Kitsap County in terms of having one of the highest vaccination rates among 5- to 11-year-olds … an important step in keeping our entire community healthy.

Dr. Fred Walters

Bainbridge Island