Letters to the Editor

Why keep coach?

To the editor:

I do not understand why Bainbridge Island Swim Club coach Kyle Harris has been reinstated after complaints of “SafeSport boundary violations; racism; harassment, intimidation and bullying of swimmers; harmful training tactics; and miscellaneous behavioral complaints.”

A study was undertaken, and it did not conclude that the complaints were false, only that “it determined no allegations warranted termination.” If numerous swimmers and their families have left the club, and numerous members of the board have stepped down, it seems to me that there is a problem.

The reason given for reinstating the coach is that the parks department felt swimmers would be safe under the coach’s care. OK, sure, you can be harassed, belittled and feel like the coach is creepy and disrespectful, but still be safe. But, aren’t we trying to get away from this whole male entitlement attitude? Don’t our athletes need our support to not feel vulnerable and bullied?

In any other job setting, I would think someone who is causing these complaints, and this much disruption would be terminated.

Marilynn Gottlieb

Bainbridge Island

Bethany progress

To the editor:

As we enter the 2022 holiday season, Bethany Lutheran Church celebrates breakthroughs in its long-time vision for affordable housing on its property and begins to set the table for the next phase of planning.

The first breakthrough includes the long-awaited approval of Ordinance 2022-02 providing an “increased density bonus for affordable housing” and receipt of a $100,000 grant from the Bainbridge Community Foundation Housing Action Fund.

Both resulted from support of community members and service organizations, including Housing Resources Bainbridge, Helpline House and BCF.

Now, you’ll begin to see activity on Bethany’s property as consultants begin their site analysis. Also, stand by as our congregation and its Affordable Housing Task Force begin to work to address the regulatory requirements of the permitting process and to initiate community conversations.

We hope and pray that 2023 brings real success in translating Bethany’s affordable housing vision into reality and as the city works in other ways to address this difficult and complex issue.

Tom Croker and David Swartling

Bainbridge Island

Hall not needed

To the editor:

I’m a professional orchestral musician who grew up on Bainbridge Island and still live here. All I hear with the Cavatina Concert Hall project is more light pollution, traffic and unaffordable housing that’s so tall you can’t see the water anymore. I don’t want BI to become “an extension of Seattle,” there’s already so many concert halls in Seattle that do the job very well, especially Benaroya Hall. It is already a struggle to fill the seats of the concert halls and performing arts centers that we have in place, there is no demand for a project like this here.

There’s no reason why we can’t make what we already have nicer. People come to BI because it’s not Seattle. It’s small, it’s historical and many of the residents, including myself, want to keep it that way. As for ecological footprint, plopping down another massive development is never good for the environment, so instead let’s make what we already have more sustainable.

In regard to affordable housing, I have real doubts that the idea of affordability aligns with the housing market. If this project does bring more retail traffic, Gross Domestic Product for the city will rise and rents all over will as well.

There is no need, or want, for this project. Focus more efforts on land restoration and sustainability, and better bike lanes all over the island.

Lea Fetterman

Bainbridge Island

No concert hall

To the editor:

I have watched the pitch video by the slick salesmen wanting to build a “World Class Concert Hall” at the ferry terminal. Words fail me.

Bainbridge is not Bellevue, and we do not want it to be Bellevue. We live here, and people come here, because we are trying to hold on to who we are and protect our home from Monster Projects that serve no one but the many grab-the-money-and-run developers with their big useless ideas. There are needs on this island that need funding. Not this one. Probably never.

Please no! You will need a larger venue than the council chambers if this gets even as far as asking the people who live here if they want this … Again, words fail me.

Ann Nagle

Bainbridge Island