Letters to the editor

No to PSE

To the editor:

Everyone wants better electrical reliability on the island, but Puget Sound Energy’s latest transmission line proposal is not focused on the more common sources of outages. PSE is making improvements, but the additional transmission line for the “missing link” project is not going to deliver the bang for the buck we all want.

PSE’s proposal isn’t new. They have tried to build these lines in the past, and each time it was met with community opposition. The current proposal has been communicated through moderated Zoom meetings that don’t capture the community’s concerns or give the broader community a chance to voice their feedback. Why the rush to push this proposal now? We should have more open community discussions before changing the landscape, affecting property values and requiring a waiver for category II wetland protection. Additionally, new aerial lines are not a good idea because they can be affected by storms, pose a safety risk and contribute to wildfires.

If the new transmission lines are installed, we will pay higher rates, and we won’t notice any reliability improvement. Since most outages come from local distribution lines and aging PSE equipment, the transmission lines will have little to no effect on many of the outages we’ve had since the 2016 Foss Corner upgrades. The only guarantee for the Missing Link line is higher rates for all of us.

Mark Shriver

Bainbridge Island

Perfect for housing

To the editor:

I was walking at the Suzuki woods property on the southeast corner of Sportsman Club Road and New Brooklyn, a 14-acre property the city of Bainbridge purchased in 2014 to use for affordable housing. I have never seen in my 40 years in real estate and mortgage lending a more ideal property for a successful affordable housing development.

And yet the City Council, Planning Department and Planning Commission have walked away from it to embrace two hyper-density sites instead that will damage BI for generations. The Suzuki property is zoned for some thirty 20,000-square-foot lots (each just less than a half-acre); the land is above the roadways, dry, level and covered by scrub fir, and its proximity to the high school, Woodward Middle School, Ordway Elementary and St. Cecilia’s Catholic School are all short walks away.

Across the street is the largest Bainbridge housing development, North Town Woods, and the Suzuki property is adjacent to Commodore Lane, which borders the high school. Suzuki will consist of 1,750-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bath, one-car garage homes. The city owns the property free and clear and could donate it to the project.

Compare this to the 82 dwellings/13 affordable homes at Madison and Wyatt on roughly 3 acres or the Wintergreen Project next to Virginia Mason and Walgreen Drugs with 50-foot buffers to Highway 305 with 73 homes, 31 of them affordable.

Please familiarize yourselves with all three properties and give feedback.

Tom Golon

Point Monroe

Christmas cards

To the editor:

This year for the first time in many years I am going to send Christmas cards. Christmas cards are a wonderful way to let people know we care about them even though physically they may not be physically present. Christmas cards are a wonderful way to celebrate the values of giving, new life hope and peace that are the heart of this season.

Christmas cards are a way to celebrate those important values that give our lives meaning that we so often forget with all the cynicism and crass commercialism that seem to be so much a part of our lives these days.

Please encourage your readers to send out Christmas cards as a way to celebrate the very best in our human nature.

Stephen Ekholm

Bainbridge Island

Park info

To the editor:

Thank you for the updates regarding sports field lighting and the park district’s upcoming year’s budget.

Regarding lights, the commissioners and staff are listening to all input and are actively working to find the best solution to meet the growing need for lighted fields. There are many moving pieces to consider and, while progress is being made, the process is taking a bit longer than many would like.

As to the Recreation and Park Services Divisions operating in the red, there are two important things to consider:

First, regarding Recreation, the Aquatic Center annually receives a subsidy of $650,000-$720,000 from the general fund. Without the subsidy, the admission costs would be out of reach for the vast majority of users.

Second, Park Services handles the planning, construction and maintenance for the district. The division is not designed to make a profit. One example is the construction and maintenance of the restrooms and sanikans in our parks.

Speaking of which, two more restrooms are budgeted for this year near the parking lots in Grand Forest West and the Marshall Road in Gazzam Lake Preserve. It’s important to look at the overall budget, which is in sound financial shape.

Ken DeWitt


Ferry traffic

To the editor:

In a recent North Kitsap Herald, our U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer commented on the infrastructure bill saying that, “People are tired of sitting in traffic,” and that the bill would make a “substantial investment” to address that. Amen!

By 2001 a plan had finalized, even with an initial design, to deal with Kingston’s ferry traffic debacle. It shifted downtown ferry traffic over one block and built an overflow traffic lot at Lindvog Road. While there have been seven gas tax increases since, for a total of 215%, progress since has been limited to studies and engineering.

Kingston’s summer traffic is the largest in the system. That traffic enables the route to operate at a profit. After 20 years isn’t it time for our State Route 104 project to be a bride instead of the bride’s maid?

Walt Elliott


Check priorities

To the editor:

Our nation faces an existential question of budget priorities in the next month or so. How will we respond?

In the U.S. Congress and national news, we hear loud voices saying the “Build Back Better” plan, to address urgent climate change, infrastructure and human needs, is “too expensive.” If approved by the Senate, the BBB cost is $1.75 trillion for ten years. That is a cost of $175 billion per year.

A new defense budget is also being considered.

Some of the same people who denounce the BBB plan as too expensive are eager to pass a bill giving the Pentagon $778 billion for one year, or nearly $8 trillion over 10 years. That is four times more expensive than BBB.

This is the largest proposed military spending bill in American history, and $25 billion more than President Biden requested. Much of that amount would go to defense contractors instead of to military families and basic defense of America.

At the very least, we should compare “apples to apples” when discussing budget numbers.

Why is it so hard to spend money on our country and its people, but so easy to dole out money for our military? Deficit hawks seem to be blind to huge defense expenses but eagle-eyed when considering budgets that benefit everyday citizens.

America, it’s time for a priority check.

Alice C. McCain


Wrong opinions

To the editor:

Opening the Bainbridge Island Review Nov. 19 gave me the opportunity to once again read a number of “Guest Viewpoints” from columnists who have nothing to do with Bainbridge Island. For a paper whose masthead states, “The Only Newspaper in the World that Cares About Bainbridge Island,” I find this odd. And the odd becomes disturbing when two minutes of online sleuthing reveal that at least one of these columnists, Peter Roff, is affiliated with Frontiers of Freedom, a right-leaning think tank funded in part by fossil fuel and tobacco industry money.

Roff’s opinions are unapologetically corporate in their flavor: unfettered business innovation will save us from all ills and regulations are holding back our corporate saviors. Where is the value to Bainbridge Island in providing a platform for the antediluvian views espoused by Roff and his ilk? Please do more to identify and promote the views of island-based writers, activists and practitioners whose opinions are genuinely relevant and of interest to people who live here. Our subscription fees actually pay for Roff’s hopelessly biased content, and we deserve better.

James Sheldon

Bainbridge Island

Public money?

To the editor:

I am a Jewish person living here on Bainbridge. I noticed that BI parks is putting on a Xmas event called “Holiday at Fey” but has opted to skip celebrating all the other holidays.

Holiday at Fey is Xmas coded with Xmas trees on the marketing and Santa on the website. There is no attempt whatsoever to include other holidays, regardless of disingenuous use of the word “holiday”.

As a taxpayer on Bainbridge Island, I do not want public money going to religious displays or “Christian America” culture war events. BI makes all sorts of noise about how progressive and inclusive and welcoming we are but doesn’t seem to walk that talk.

This sort of thing is best left for a church group, and government should stay out of it.

Joe Benoliel

Bainbridge Island

‘Fake news’

To the editor:

The accusation of “fake news” calls to question whether history itself is an art or a science? Here CFR historian Carroll Quigley’s sharp distinction between intelligence gathering and espionage kicks in. The two function as yin and yang, and espionage trumps any serious intelligence surveillance or “fact-checking” with a wide range of tactics- from blackmail to sabotage to assassinations to propaganda-disinformation to false-flag terror events like Epstein, who didn’t kill himself on 911.

Espionage is an art, and has long employed important artists, from Christopher Marlow to J.D. Salinger. A good act of espionage aspires to the level of poetry and is equally inscrutable.

Those who have bad faith in investigative journalists like Bob Woodward must face the facts that his career has deep roots in spy-craft. Quigley narrates the “fake-news” driven rise and fall of the Henry Wallace campaign as an example of espionage, flying in the face of any liberal’s pie-eyed pipe-dream of a balanced ticket.

Quigley notes the harsh toke of capitalism of taking luxuries and making them into necessities- for all of us with a hand-held device who remember dial-up access. This model of infinite growth based on finite resources will always result in rule by elites behind the scenes, and the politics of the “smoke-filled” room, and much like his protégé, Bill Clinton, paying “lip-service” to any such noise, any reasonable facsimile of truth will only be close, but no cigar.

Pete Lindall

Bainbridge Island