Letters to the Editor

I am stunned. I find it amazing that the leadership of our great city of Poulsbo has postponed the annexation of property located in the urban growth area again. If the urban grown areas were some new concept, sure, I would understand. That is not the case. Urban growth areas have been around for more than 14 years. They were virtually dictated to us back in the 90s by the state. The grand plan then was to locate all the new growth in and around the existing cities. Almost all the property outside of those areas was down-zoned to one unit per five acres. In some cases they were down-zoned to one unit per 20 acres.

Annexation

Landowner: Throw the rascals out

I am stunned. I find it amazing that the leadership of our great city of Poulsbo has postponed the annexation of property located in the urban growth area again. If the urban grown areas were some new concept, sure, I would understand. That is not the case. Urban growth areas have been around for more than 14 years. They were virtually dictated to us back in the 90s by the state. The grand plan then was to locate all the new growth in and around the existing cities. Almost all the property outside of those areas was down-zoned to one unit per five acres. In some cases they were down-zoned to one unit per 20 acres.

I witnessed thousands upon thousands of property owners collectively lose millions upon millions of dollars at the will of the state. The plan was called Vision 2020. Well, all I can say is that 2020 will soon be here, but what happened to that vision? Kathryn Quade and many of the Poulsbo City Council members have been around for a very long time. This is not new information to them. Yet they still don’t get it. Bottom line, urban growth areas equals annexation. The fact that the city government has failed to do its job to accommodate growth is no reason that property owners in these areas should be punished.

Having been involved in real estate here in the Poulsbo area for the past 25 years, I can tell you that there will always be people opposed to growth. In most cases, these people steal the rights of others to enhance their own selfish interest. We once called them NIMBYs (not in my backyard). I don’t know what you call them now. But I do know this. The idea of preserving Johnson Creek for bear, cougar, coyote and bobcats is just insane. These are wild animals that prey on other animals. I guarantee you, the first time a cougar or bobcat drags someone’s pet poodle or even worse, a toddler, off into the woods it will become quite clear that free-roaming predatory animals do not belong in this or any other city. What ever happened to common sense?

Over the past 25 years, property owners have see their rights erode dramatically. The rules and regulations just keep piling on. The taxes go up, the rights go down. When will we finally realize that property ownership in this country should be encouraged and supported by our state and local government; that property ownership is a fundamental tenant of democracy; and the usurping of property rights is the usurping of that democracy?

Dave Foraker,

Poulsbo

Reader

seconds editorial

Three years down and nothing to show for it — repeat!

Ted Carlson,

Poulsbo

TSE

Program serves

the public good

Traffic Safety Education has operated as a non-profit self supporting program since 2002 when state funding ended.

In that time the program has successfully operated in the black as a service to the parents and students of this district. Currently the cost for the class is $335, far less than the $450-$550 charged at the commercial for profit schools. Additionally those who teach the classes in the school district are held to standards set by OSPI as well as the Dept. Of Licensing, standards that are higher than the for profit schools.

At this time there are only two commercial schools in the North Kitsap area, NW Driving School and Advantage (formerly Diamond Driving School), both are located in Poulsbo. The TSE program is offered directly after school at NK High and Kingston High. Kids will either be picked up by a parent or will take the activity bus home. As far as liability is concerned, in all the time this program has been in place there has been only one very minor accident and in that case the liability was not the schools.

Average enrollment in the class has been between 300 and 400 students. This year enrollment was down to approximately 250 because of transition with the addition of Kingston High and with the behind the wheel phase going from 4 hours to 6 hours. However it is expected that enrollment will increase again with the addition of drivers/instructors who are planning to join the TSE program. We are a growing community not a shrinking one. The cost to the district quoted of $122,600 I believe reflects indirect costs that are going to be there weather or not TSE is continued. The lights and the heat will still be on in the classroom with or without this self-supporting program.

By ending the TSE program parents who can afford the cost of commercial schools and who have a way to get their student to Poulsbo (from Hansville or Jefferson Beach for example) may not have a problem with TSE going away, but for the kids who come from lower income homes or families with 2 or 3 teens this program is very important. Not to mention that the classes are taught by teachers who are known by the parents as well as the students.

Ending TSE will mean that many will go without a solid drivers education. Personally I would rather be on the road with 17-year-old drivers who have learned how to merge into traffic and follow the rules of the road taught by a high quality TSE instructor than a group of 18-year-olds with no formal drivers training or behind the wheel instruction.

Driving is something most of us do or will do and every teen should have the opportunity to learn to drive correctly and safely for the benefit of the entire community.

Maybe traffic safety isn’t the core mission of schools, but I believe teaching kids the lessons that they will carry on into their adult life is.

Nora Sizemore,

Kingston