Letters to the editor

PSE needs to clean up forests to limit wildfires

Do you smell the smoke?

To the editor:

Our world is on fire. Smoke this week is from fires as far away as Central California and as close as Eastern Washington. Long term drought, freakish high temperatures and insect infestation have left our forests vulnerable to massive wildfires.

Earlier this summer we watched a freak windstorm flatten Iowa. Destroying 43 percent of the corn crop of farmers struggling to keep their farms alive. This was followed by a rare Category 5 hurricane that battered the COVID-19 ravaged gulf states. The human and financial cost is immense.

These are some of the horrific faces of human caused climate change. We have known for decades that burning fossil fuels causes this disaster. PSE has certainly known because many Bainbridge residents have worked tirelessly to get them to divest from their filthy coal plants in Montana and accelerate their transition to clean renewable fuels.

I began this this conversation with PSE 7 years ago when. I gathered signatures from 50 business owners requesting PSE divest from coal. I testified at a 2013 UTC meeting regarding PSE understatement of the real costs of maintaining coal production.

You’d think that, a responsible utility, knowing of the consequences caused by their fuel choice, would move aggressively to transition to renewable fuels. Instead we have seen lies, foot dragging and excuses for very nominal actions.

Over my years in business, I learned to trust not what people said, but what they do. PSE has acted in bad faith for years.

Bainbridge is now in a position to negotiate real vs. symbolic advances in clean energy. Let’s demand a greener future from PSE.

Ellen Lockert

Bainbridge Island

Kay remembered

To the editor:

When I was a freshman at U.C. Berkeley in 2003, I was enrolled in a required writing class where the course’s theme was World War II History. Our final paper was assigned, and I selected the Japanese internment. Especially against the backdrop of our country’s perpetual current event – social inequality – and certainly in honor of Kay Nakao’s century upon this earth, I feel compelled to share my story.

While I’ve never lived on Bainbridge, my parents are close friends with Eric Cederwall and Jo Vanderstoep. I can’t remember how it came to pass, but Jo caught wind of my paper and suggested I interview a friend of hers, Kay Sako— the namesake of Sonoji-Sakai Elementary and where Jo was the inaugural principal.

A few weeks later, I found myself sitting with Kay Nakao, the 85-year-old survivor of perhaps the most egregious, and sadly, under the radar violations, of American civil rights in the 20 century — the internment of Japanese-Americans. Kay told me the story of how she lived a number of her early years — an innocent American child — a prisoner and enemy of the state.

What I remember most was her laugh. I can still hear it— a high-pitched giggle that rang with wisdom and light-heartedness at the same time. Someone who has lived through the good and bad of life and still came out the other end with a smile on her face and a ton of love in her heart.

Kay wins the award in my book for “most memorable school assignment ever.” My casual meeting with Kay for a couple of hours was an experience I will never forget. If she could touch my life and imprint herself in my memory in a single, brief meeting, I can only imagine the how many lives she touched in her 100 years. She will be missed!

Philip Campos

Walnut Creek, Calif.