Letters to the editor

Help students

To the editor:

Because a number of kids in our community avail themselves of the Running Start program through Seattle Central College, and because SCC’s programs are rare, affordable options, I want to call attention to something my son, a student at SCC, told me.

The chancellor and president of SCC has decided that they need to sunset four programs in the next week and have selected the culinary, apparel, maritime and wood-technology programs for the chopping block. Although students in those programs will be allowed to graduate, the program may cease to exist in two years due to budget cuts.

For example, unless the apparel design and development program makes something ridiculous like $500,000 by some undisclosed time this week, and the culinary program makes $1 million in 10 days, the school is saying they’ll need to shutter the programs.

The maritime academy is the main avenue of ferry workers for WSF, and they currently have a deficit of workers. It will affect all of us if that program ends.

To help us avoid this turn of events, interested parties can call the chancellor, named Shouan Pan. His email is Shouan.Pan@seattlecolleges.edu and phone number is 206-934-2011. He is the highest-paid individual at Seattle Central Colleges at $320,800 per year. The interim president, who is also instructing, advising, and overseeing this decision, can be contacted at Yoshiko.Harden@seattlecolleges.edu and called at 206-934-3851.

Abigail Hamilton

Bainbridge Island

Wake up BI

To the editor:

The Bainbridge Island City Council continues to dismiss the availability of a large parcel of publicly owned land as a site for the Police/Court facility, costing we taxpayers the needless expenditure of $10 million.

The land is at the prominent intersection of Madison Avenue and Highway 305, next to Fire Station 21. It provides ready egress in the event of an emergency. The $8 million of municipal bonds, already issued, could be legally transferred from the proposed Harrison site and used to cover the costs of design and construction of the new facility, with no additional funds required, leaving the Harrison site available for sale.

The Harrison site will require the added expense of several million dollars to provide a ready access to Highway 305, an issue not yet addressed by the City Council. This proposal has been repeatedly discussed verbally with city officials, and well-flagged out, multiple times in The Bainbridge Review for many months, and has as yet, mysteriously, not been considered, with no rational reason proffered for not implementing this proposal.

Implementing this simple solution to a 20-year hiatus will require convincing a recalcitrant City Council to act. Something only a United Bainbridge Citizenry can accomplish. Call your City Council members, and demand an answer. Why isn’t this proposal being seriously considered?

Fred McGinnis

Bainbridge Island

Road safety?

To the editor:

A recent Bainbridge Review article on “BI police reputation better than elsewhere” says that “police were asked to reduce contact with community, limiting stops to serious violations…Therefore, traffic stops and citations have gone way down.”

As traffic stops and citations have gone way down and auto traffic has gone up, speeding has gone up, and roads are even less safe for non-motorized travel. Meanwhile, the city promises to do something about road safety someday, maybe, in the next 10 or 20 years or so.

Is this your plan?

Peter K. Harris

Bainbridge Island

$6 million gone

To the editor:

We know the Bainbridge City Council spent close to $6 million too much of our taxpayer money on the Harrison Medical Center. What we didn’t know was where that $6 million went.

In the April 15 edition of the Bainbridge Island Review, we found an answer. Daniel Parker, a member of Harrison stakeholders, published a letter suggesting that Harrison’s assets, including our $6 million, were transferred to CommonSpirit Health, a colossal Catholic Church hospital chain based in Chicago. CommonSpirit Health owns 700 facilities, including 142 hospitals.

Nonprofits such as CommonSpirit Health have the legal right to lobby Congress and state and local government officials. But should their behind-the-scenes maneuvering stay secret when they take our money? A thorough investigation would reveal CommonSpirit Health’s lobbying efforts to acquire Harrison Medical Center.

Most importantly, Bainbridge citizens, is this how you want your tax dollars spent? That $6 million did not help us build a badly needed new police station. Instead it went into the coffers of a giant Catholic healthcare chain, which can spend it however it wants. We will continue to pay off that $6 million debt — with interest — through 2036.

Had the council fulfilled its fiduciary responsibilities two years ago, it would have discovered all this and saved us $6 million. Now it’s up to us as taxpayers to demand an investigation, rescind the agreement, and claw back our $6 million from the Catholic Church.

Mark Hoffman

Bainbridge Island

No to dock

To the editor:

I am opposed to the proposal for a 240-foot deep-water dock in Little Manzanita Bay.

It’s not a good thing for salmon, herons and creatures of every kind; it’s not right for the bay, and it’s not a good thing for islanders who enjoy this quiet, shallow bay, free of deep-water docks.

Paige Boren

Bainbridge Island