Letters to the Editor

Use parking lot

To the editor:

There is a daunting list of challenges facing the proposed high-density affordable housing development at the intersection of Finch and Sportsman Club roads – property owned by Bethany Lutheran Church.

Because the project lies within a “Conservation Area” rather than one of the “Designated Centers,” opponents of the project would irrevocably damage wildlife habitat, reduce open space, and run counter to the land-use needs and preferences of both neighbors and Bainbridge Island residents.

There is an alternative. The project can protect wildlife and open space, support affordable housing, and lower the cost to future homeowners by reducing development costs. It could also enhance the existing biodiversity within the Conservation Area, increase wildlife habitat and diversity of native plants; all within the same property. How is that possible?

Because the parking needs of the Bethany congregation and park-and-ride users have changed over the years — 40% of the parking lot on the southeast section is empty 96% of the time, including Sundays. By repurposing the parking area to serve as the development site instead of the Conservation Area, it would address many concerns of opponents.

By combining the talents, resourceful leadership and innovative ideas of the Bethany congregation, environmentalists, developers, city leaders and planners, the project could serve as a shining example of our commitment to social justice, sustainability, respect for the land and environmental protection.

Stan Wiegman

Great read

To the editor:

Thank you for the excellent feature in the July 29 edition on the Eber family’s epic around-the-world bicycle trip to raise awareness about asthma and the need for clean air and sustainable transportation. The magnitude of this undertaking, especially with 11- and 13-year-old daughters, is breathtaking.

In a most fulfilling way, “Breathtaking” became the title of the book written by Paula and Lorenz Eber about their two-year odyssey. Reading it has been a highlight of my summer.

It fits so many ages and interests from cycling aficionados to armchair travelers. I love that this book comes from our community and represents ways that we can all help “to create a world where everyone can breathe.”

Best wishes to Paula and Lorenz, who currently are cycling the West Coast on an unconventional but totally appropriate book tour.

Barbara Tolliver