Letters to the Editor

No development

To the editor:

North Kitsap County is not a generic swath of land to be classified, subdivided, and developed into a checkerboard of residential developments and commercial strip malls that could be in any suburban area.

North Kitsap has a soul woven through its land and water. It’s in the thick, moist understory of ferns. It’s in the verdant green of woods that seem ready to reach out and embrace the roads. It’s in the massive springboard stumps, generating new life. It’s in the few old-growth trees that stood high and broad before the first colonizing Europeans looked over the horizon. And it’s in the tall trees reclaiming the land and sky.

It’s in an eagle’s silent soaring, the cycles of spawning, and knowing that we share space with bears and mountain lions, as much as we do with salamanders and salmon. It’s realizing that the first people are not history; they are the present, and it’s recognizing their stewardship of this land and ancestral ties. It’s in the history of Poulsbo, Kingston, Indianola, Port Gamble and other communities that still hold their identity.

It’s in the eclectic and sometimes eccentric character of rural properties. It’s a soul that should not be diminished by the rezoning of Raydient’s Bond Road property into something that will forever change North Kitsap with no promise of benefit and the certainty of loss that cannot be reversed.

Joseph Forsthoffer

North Kitsap

Simmons stuck

State Rep. Tarra Simmons is the primary sponsor of a new bill that would allow people serving criminal sentences to serve on a jury.

Of the many problems with this idea, here are a few. Escorting prisoners between jail and a court will take valuable time from our already understaffed law enforcement agencies. Many people will not feel safe sitting in a deliberation room with a convict in an orange suit and handcuffs who may have a history of violence. We want responsible adults to serve on juries, and people in prison have been shown to have been irresponsible. A resentful prisoner could cause a hung jury.

Even our Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs opposes Simmons’ bill.

This is not the first misguided legislation introduced by Simmons. In 2021 she co-sponsored House Bill 1054, which greatly curtailed police pursuit of suspects. The Association of Washington Cities, over 100 cities, mayors and law enforcement associations have all said those restrictions have resulted in significant numbers of people taking advantage of them to flee police. People who commit a crime, especially when they are not caught, are more likely to commit additional crimes.

Many people realize some of the policies and attitudes adopted during the feverish days of the 2020 “Defund The Police” period were a mistake. Crime, especially murder and car theft, has skyrocketed statewide over the last few years. I encourage Simmons to support policies that reduce the number of crime victims, like restoring police pursuit.

Brian Anderson


Why the no vote

To the editor:

In over 40 years as a voter, 17 in North Kitsap, I have always voted yes on school bond proposals — until now. My misgivings date to the recent artificial turf replacement at Strawberry Field. During construction, I was dismayed to learn the project was enabled by voter support for a North Kitsap School District levy, I believe in 2018.

After the original turf installation in 2008, I became aware that artificial fields are poisonous to the environment and potentially to athletes. I’ve read that pro players don’t like artificial turf because they’re more likely to be injured on it than on natural grass. Turf also traps and emits heat, and it stinks.

The usual argument for artificial turf is that it holds up and is easy to maintain. But the Strawberry Field one had to be replaced after 10 years; that does not suggest durability. And what of the disposal cost and carbon emissions of removal and replacement? Protecting players and the environment is worth the effort of maintaining real grass, as schools have done for generations.

Another problem with the bond proposal was its scope. NKSD diminished community support by including controversial ideas like moving an elementary school.

I suggest NKSD be more focused and forward-thinking next time. For example, replacing all portable classrooms is something most voters probably would support. Better still if projects followed green building standards and included solar collectors for energy self-sufficiency. For that kind of investment in our children’s future, I would gladly vote yes.

Edie Lau