Letters to the Editor

Wrong ferry solution

To the editor:

Living in Eagledale, getting to the ferry has always involved turning right at Highway 305. The state plans to disallow that as of June 4. For those of us who live on the south end, that is not a good plan.

I can appreciate that there is a need to stop the “cutting in line.” But when there is no line the rule makes no sense.

If we have to turn left, the next east-west road isn’t until High School Road. High School Road already has so much traffic from the shopping center, high school and so much more. Adding south-end ferry traffic is not safe.

Winslow, by contrast, with cars going in and out of parking spaces, and so many pedestrians, is more traffic-calming.

Department of Transportation cameras now show the 305/Winslow Way intersection and 305 to the north. When ferries are running late, or overloaded, and traffic is backed up on the highway, could there be some system (a sensor?) to change the right-turn light to a red arrow, indicating that no right turn is permissible?

Then, perhaps, there could be an additional stoplight up the highway that allows for a U-turn to get to the end of the line of waiting cars.

South enders need to get to the terminal safely, without adding to the traffic on High School Road. I don’t know the answer, but DOT’s solution seems ill-conceived.

Deborah Cheadle


Vote for pool

To the editor:

I’m writing in support of the upcoming bond measure to improve the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center. BI Metro Parks District commissioners voted May 2 to put the bond before voters. The bond would pay for required upgrades to architecture, mechanics, plumbing and safety for the 54-year-old Ray Williamson Pool, as well as expanding the pool by two lanes and creating a uniform depth.

Because bond measure language intentionally allowed discretion for the project unknowns, the commissioners passed an important motion May 16 that reads in part: The board hereby clarifies that its intent is to expand the Ray Williamson Pool to an eight-lane width and create an even depth of 6.5 feet, so long as construction is financially feasible.

Passage of the bond gives our community a one-time opportunity to increase capacity at our overcrowded aquatic center, potentially growing swim lesson opportunities by 35% and water exercise programs by 50%, as well as adding 33% more capacity for youth and adult swim programs.

Our island population and the surrounding communities have doubled since the pool was built in 1970. Our investment now will rehabilitate our aging and beloved pool to serve generations to come.

Please vote with me to help our growing community by approving Proposition 1 Aug. 6.

Joy Archer


Ferry improvement

To the editor:

I am very pleased to see the sustained advocacy of Greg Nance and the positive tone being set by Assistant Secretary Steve Nevey regarding our flagging ferry service.

We moved to Bainbridge Island from Vancouver, BC in late 1999. We were struck by the astonishing efficiency, pride and timeliness of the Washington State Ferries at the time. We have sadly borne witness to the virtual collapse of the system since then – all of which was predictable and preventable.

The abject failures of WSF management, legislative support and executive-level leadership is a textbook, and cautionary, tale that dramatically affects the lives of all who rely on the system. It’s nice to know that important steps to right the system are underway – as long as we can all afford to wait for that bright, shiny day.

Peter Denis


Support protests

To the editor:

Your guest columnist makes some curious claims calling protesters of the Gaza War “privileged students … whose most-pressing concern is what pronoun they’ll use on any given day,” and the protesters “are nowhere near the caliber of those who went before them,”—Vietnam protesters, when “young American men were being sent to fight.” Is protest only acceptable if your countrymen are sent to fight?

I was a University of Washington student when that campus and 900 others nationwide erupted over the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. The protests were over President Nixon’s policies, and the killing of Americans and Vietnamese.

Today’s protests, if the thousands of comments Thomas Friedman’s articles generate in the NY Times are correct, are over the killing of innocent Palestinians and Netanyahu’s policies. It has nothing to do with “caliber.” Protesters in Israel also protest the war.

Throughout history, students have demonstrated against what they considered injustices, government overreach or oppression. In 1209 King John of England hanged three innocent Oxford clerks, and most students and teachers protested and left for Cambridge.

In 1989 the Czechoslovakia “Velvet Revolution” by students from Prague University overthrew Communism and elected Vaclav Havel president.

There have been thousands of protests from Oxford to Gaza because it is the nature, if not duty, of students, to question authority, to think critically, and not to act like lemmings. Students follow their conviction and emotions, see right and wrong without considering their political standings. Students can be the conscience of a nation.

Jim Behrend