It’s a handout with my money

I was dumbfounded by the arrogance of Rick Flaherty’s statement in support of naming the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge after Sen. Bob Oke (“Port board backs naming bridge for Oke,” April 12).

I was dumbfounded by the arrogance of Rick Flaherty’s statement in support of naming the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge after Sen. Bob Oke (“Port board backs naming bridge for Oke,” April 12).

Flaherty, saying his Port Orchard company, Leader International, would have been forced to move if the bridge hadn’t been constructed, said, “Anyone who thinks (Oke’s) name shouldn’t be on this bridge — shame on you.”

On the contrary. If Flaherty thinks it’s somehow my obligation to pay $800 a year out of my pocket just to keep his company in town, then shame on him, not me.

I’m all for supporting local business, but there’s a fine line between support and out-and-out corporate welfare — and that line is crossed when you ask the people of the community whether they want a toll bridge, they tell you overwhelmingly they don’t, and you decide to ignore their wishes and build it anyway.

Instead of just naming it after Oke, why not name it for both Oke and Flaherty.

We can call it the Greed Memorial Bridge.



It’s well worth

the cost to me

I cannot believe the people in Kitsap County are still complaining about the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Don’t you remember sitting in traffic backed up to Gig Harbor for a half hour or more every day? Or sometimes an hour or more coming back from Tacoma?

I’m thankful every time I go across the bridge that Sen. Oke had the foresight and knowledge that this would be good for Kitsap County despite all the whiners and complainers.

I have a Good to Go pass for $1.75 and I will gladly pay the proposed $2.75 for the peace of mind of being able to get across the bridge without delay. Maybe you complainers should ride the ferry for twice the price of the bridge.


Port Orchard

No one will

call it that

When can we stop wasting precious time contemplating a new name for the third Tacoma Narrows Bridge? Whatever name is bestowed on the new span, it will always be referred to as the Narrows Bridge.

How well I remember the construction of the first bridge, though I was only a youngster, and the news so soon afterward that a storm claimed the newly christened bridge.

Again I watched a bridge being built — a better second bridge. It has an will continue to serve a multitude of travelers.

Now living on the peninsula and often traveling the bridge route, I was afforded a spectacular vantage point for watching my third bridge miraculously reach toward the east and west shores of the Tacoma Narrows.

This bridge is the first bridge to be built in the United States in 44 years. We can have an icon in our front yards and we need to enjoy the marvels of its engineering while calling it what it is — a span across a body of water in Puget Sound called “The Narrows.”

Consider adding east and west if you like, but we need to move on to more important issues affecting our joined communities.

Hopefully for a long time to come I, for one, will be driving State Route 16 over the Narrows Bridges.


POrt Orchard


continues here

I am an eighth grader who also had a nose ring.

One of my best friends is Maria Alvestad-Erth, the one who is trying to fight the Cedar Heights Junior High school policy.

I also think the rules should be changed.

I mean, it seems like evryone at Cedar as a nose ring or a lip ring, and I have even seen belly-button rings.

So why is that Maria and I had to sit out?

I also believe that there is discrimination at our school. Maria just started participating in physical education class and she already has a B-minus — I believe because (of the controversy).

Meanwhile, I have been participating for at least two months, yet I still have an F.

Yes, I do walk sometimes instead of running, but so does Maria.

I have confronted our PE tacher and all he can say is, “She has special conditions.”

That is not fair at all.


Port Orchard


Breaking even

is a success?

It comes as no surprise that the Kitsap County Public Works Department didn’t recognize the irony of its Earth Day Award recipients for 2008. But it saddens me to think of how many of the Independent’s readers also missed the joke.

According to your April 16 front-page story (“Healthy farm, healthy cows”), the county this month honored South Kitsap residents Butch and Myrna Ashby with a Clean Waters Partners award for the environmentally friendly practices they employ on their 50-acre farm.

Not to belittle the couple’s efforts, however, but what really caught my eye in the story was the quote from Mr. Ashby that, when you factor in the expense of special fertilizers, feed and the other costs associated with being a good environmental steward, his business of raising grass-fed, hormone-free beef just about breaks even.

This is a success?

Apparently environmental sustainability outweighs economic sustainability for the deep thinkers down at Public Works. Either that or they recognize that breaking even while still complying with all the odious regulatory demands of environmental extremism actually does represent a success of sorts.

Either way, I can’t help wondering whether the Ashbys could assure themselves permanent place of honor in next year’s competition by declaring bankruptcy between now and then.


Port Orchard

Let’s consume

nothing at all

I think Earth Day should be a national holiday every year, where school is out and nobody has to work or go anywhere.

And nobody should go anywhere.

Think of all the pollution school buses and cars and transit busses are putting out every day. On Earth Day, everyone should walk wherever they go, not drive.

Everyone should go out with a plastic bag or a garbage can or something and pick up all the dirty waste and filth from the earth’s surface.

Everyone should plant plants on this day. Everyone should shut off their electricity not use any energy that could harm the earth in any way.

Nobody should use computers, phones, electric ovens, microwaves, cars, radios or electric coffee pots.

All stores should be closed. Local stores use up the most energy from all the, big lights, big ovens, and all the electricity they use for Starbucks.

And don’t use lights in your house — use candles. No flashlights, because you use batteries that may not harm the earth now but they harm the earth when all the used dead batteries get thrown away into landfills that push down into the earth.

All I’m saying is I think everyone should care a little more and not harm the earth on Earth Day. And there should be more fuel-efficient cars around that don’t burn as much gas/oil, or other fluids that pollute the air and earth.

That is my dedication to the earth, and I hope you make it yours, too.


Age 14


Day of Silence

Just mentioning

it is abusive

So Jeremy McLellan says he does not condone either verbal or physical abuse of homosexuals? (“Why endorse this lifestyle,” April 16)

I wonder if he understands that when you tell a homosexual that because of who they love they are unnatural, unhealthy and living a destructive lifestyle is abuse.


Port Orchard


Gradually, our

freedom lost

Jack Hamilton’s lucid commentary on the costly buden of over-regulation (“Too little growth the result of too much regulation,” April 19) reminded me of an extraordinarly wise statement made by a 15-year-old girl to her sister on how we lose our freedom.

In the book “Down The Wild River North,” the author, Constance Hemericks, relates how her 15-year-old daughter explained the process to her 12-year-old sibling.

“Here’s what I think happens,” she said. “They pass laws — that’s all. They keep on passing them in their state legislatures and in the U.S. Congress. Just pass them everyplace. Well, since they have no Legistlature to un-pass them, can’t you see what happens? Every power group that wants something special gets its own laws passed. Soon they’ve legislated everything out of existence. You can’t even go to the bathroom without special legislation regulating it. It’s easy to lose freedom, Anne, just give any nation hundreds of years of legislation. They just keep on making more laws and — whisk! — before you know it, freedom for everbody to do anything is gone from all the world.”

Wow, the wisdom. However for those of you who doubt, just remember “Ignorance of the law is no defense.”




Why the rush

to annex SKIA?

I understand Port of Bremerton Commissioner Cheryl Kincer has been a strong proponent for driving the South Kitsap Industrial Area annexation efforts toward Bremerton. What is her reasoning behind this rush to annex?

My concern is that not all the costs of infrastructure have been defined.

Why Bremerton? Why not a larger entity, like Kitsap County?

The “build-it-and-they-will-come” mentality that permeates Bremerton’s mayor and city council resulting in the condo fiasco leads me to believe that Bremerton will be looking for additional funds from taxpayers to fund SKIA infrastructure down the road.

And since the port board has willingly offered its taxing authority in the past to ensure Bremerton’s “future vision,” you can understand my skepticism.

Furthermore, the port’s desire to close the door on Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola’s participation indicates to me there is little desire to allow Port Orchard to contribute to the development or benefit from the subsequent development.

The follow-on revenue-sharing from the development of the areas should be defined before any annexation is proposed. And that revenue-sharing should include the surrounding cities and Kitsap County.

And that leads me to ask why should we proceed without Kitsap County?

Why shouldn’t Kitsap County play a vial role in this decision? Why should Kitsap County allow Bremerton to do this on its own?

Property owner David Overton and Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman tried to cut Kitsap County out of any SKIA land development with an annexation bid during NASCAR. At that time, several county commissioners new it was a bad deal for Kitsap County.

Having seen Mr. Overton in action with the deal for NASCAR and having observed his “get-the-money-and-run” maneuvering, I want my county commissioners to stop this annexation action.

We all have heard Mr. Overton’s lack of appreciation for the processes and land management established by Kitsap County; it would seem inappropriate for him to leverage a relationship with the port board to achieve his goals, even if it is only an incremental step.

As stated earlier, the city of Bremerton and the Kitsap County Housing Authority have lost millions on the failed Harborside condo development.

The city of Bremerton needs a lesson in economic development versus economic growth and how those two disciplines interrelate. So you can understand my desire to have Kitsap County play a larger more influential role in this decision.

Why not ask the taxayers? Why not ask the county taxpayers about the SKIA land-use decisions that will be made?

I know that many of you do not hold me and my fellow taxpayers in high regard. We do ask too many questions sometimes.

And of course, you may be concerned about our desire to resist change. However, many of us do want to see development in SKIA.

But what I’m hearing and seeing is little or no planning or contingency planning if the chosen goals/path for SKIA are affected by outside influences beyond our control.

The obvious “Fire, Aim, Ready” approach to annexation of SKIA that is now being facilitated by the port commissioners is not what the taxpayers and voters of Kitsap County want to see happen.