Letters to the Editor

Like Phases 1 and 2

To the editor:

In reviewing proposals for the Ray Williamson pool upgrade, I’ve looked at many of the supplemental materials, comparing other cities and the ratio of pools to the population. Bainbridge ranks among the highest. We have world-class swimmers, masters swimmers, and offer so much in the way of exercise for all ages. I am an avid pool supporter, growing up in a place with excellent public pools, then being a lifeguard and swim instructor for years. I believe every child should learn to swim. I am also impressed with how seniors and those with mobility challenges benefit from aquatic activities. So, I applaud our community for supporting such riches.

I support Phase 1 and 2 renovations, which are necessary for safety and continuance of use. But I don’t see adding the time and expense for two more lanes. Asking taxpayers to support a bond for that, when there are so many needs for other issues, is a dubious ask. It adds significant time, and may uncover more expensive issues, adding significant cost.

The proposal for two phases should carry us at least 20 years. Surely for the future beyond that, the community and parks will need to look at adding a facility and reassess demand. Other than adding two lanes, we should go full tilt on the rest of the proposal since funding seems available without taxpayers approving a bond. I thank the parks commissioners for their work on this.

KIm Leatham

Bainbridge Island

Wrong priority

To the editor:

Regarding the hand wringing over the demolition of the former police station.

I’d encourage the vacated board to consider that an older building with a clock isn’t nearly as historic as building affordable housing on Bainbridge Island is. Nor is it as meaningful to our quality of life.

Michael Reeder

Bainbridge Island

Real ‘whole story’

To the editor:

A recent column claiming to tell the “whole story” on solar and wind uses the latest misinformation talking points circulated by fossil fuel defenders. (Guest Opinion – Don Brunell, 4/12/24)

At first, the defenders of oil and gas just denied that climate change was real – but as people increasingly see the real-world effects that became untenable. Then they claimed solar and wind were too expensive – but as the cost of both have declined (as all technologies do over time), that was also abandoned.

So the latest approach is that green energy isn’t really pure green because of its own environmental impact. But compared to what? Oil and gas are bad not just for carbon emissions. The entire supply chain from mine to refinery to burning has huge environmental costs in air, land and water pollution beyond just carbon. That’s the real “whole story.”

Michael Kelly

Bainbridge Island

Green is best

To the editor:

Don C. Brunell’s opinion piece in the April 12, 2024 Bainbridge Review calls out some important details about the environmental impacts of green energy (amount of recycling, chemicals used, mining impacts, etc). But he wraps up his piece by stating: “Our nation needs an all-inclusive energy strategy that focuses on meeting power demand, eliminating toxins and recycling.”

I would urge Brunell to rethink the use of the phrase “all-inclusive energy strategy” and include “eliminate the burning of fossil fuels” as the critical priority for a livable future. I agree that wind turbines and solar panels have issues that need work (lifespan, recycling, pollution from mining, use of plastic toxins in production of wind turbines, etc).

However, Brunell omits the impacts on our planet of fossil fuel burning, and that is egregious. Weighing the environmental impacts of wind and solar energy vs. the burning of fossil fuels is like comparing a mouse to an elephant. The focus should be on the building out of more clean energy, not just any source of “energy,” which would imply support for the continuation of burning of coal, oil and gas.

Now is the time to reach out to our members of Congress to encourage them to enact energy-permitting reforms, so that clean energy can be built faster and transmitted efficiently. We need to reduce the devastating environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels, which far outweigh the environmental impacts of wind and solar production.

Bobbie Morgan

Bainbridge Island