Letters to the Editor

Coyotes in Kitsap

Coyotes in Kitsap

Animals shouldn’t wander unattended

Some of the coyotes are gone from North Kitsap, trapped because of the fears of locals for their pets. (“Messin’ With the Food Chain” in the May 3 Herald). The lead sentence in your article tells the story … “Finding household cat collars in a coyote den … .” Why are the cats roaming? It is an infraction of Kitsap County Code … 7.14.030 … “for the owner of a pet or livestock to suffer or permit such animal to leave the premises of the owner, unless the animal is under physical restraint … or is sufficiently near its owner to be under the owner’s direct control.”

Residents of Driftwood Key were quoted in your article. The 11th Covenant of the Driftwood Key Membership Handbook states “No pets shall be permitted to run at large.” Have any pets in Driftwood Key or elsewhere in North Kitsap been harmed by coyotes while they were under the control of their owners?

I’m certainly in favor of limiting coyote numbers since the natural predators of coyotes have been removed in North Kitsap, but people who value their pets … cats included … must keep them safe from coyotes, eagles, owls, racoons and the other natural predators that live in North Kitsap.

Coyotes are opportunistic feeders, and if people keep their pets inside, or on a leash, or under their control, the coyotes will revert to their natural prey: mostly rodents.

Thad McManus

Hansville

Property taxes

Baby boomers should speak out

In response to a recent newspaper article I thought I’d share a view of the voting block of baby boomer seniors who may influence the future of property taxation in Washington state.

In most states, including Washington, property taxation and school funding are tied together. Somehow we (collectively home owners, policy makers and educators) need to reduce reliance on property taxation to fund schools and possibly look to some form of increased state funding.

As the baby boomers move in greater numbers into their 60’s with fixed incomes, Washington State will experience (I predict) a full taxpayer revolt on increased property taxes for school funding even with the 50 percent majority recently passed. Forty years ago we were activists in the 1960s and now in our 60s we may become activists again, if only to protect a key asset — our homes.

I have several suggestions:

1. Our state, county and Local taxing authorities must now start to work together, understanding there is only “one pot of money.” If our taxing authorities insist on passing increased levies onto home owners as the Bremerton Port Authority recently did for the Bremerton Marina without consideration for school, fire, police and EMT levies pending; the future will result in reduced support for all those other entities. And school funding throughout the state will continue to suffer.

2. We must find a way to change the way we fund education. Our state policy makers need to think “outside the box” by increasing state aide for education. Possibly carving out a certain element of the “sales taxes” which has been earmarked to support “sports franchises” or “stadiums” and send that revenue to Washington states’ neediest schools. This is an idea that needs real analysis. It may not be feasible nor the “best” solution to the problem. Perhaps this is already being considered.

3. Our public policy makers along with educators need to “do their homework” by digging into these complex issues with detailed analysis and research.

Not just gathering a bunch of parents together and telling them to choose between smaller classrooms, lunch programs or paying teacher a living wage; and then calling the decisions that were drawn from those meetings a solution based upon “community involved decision making.” This is pandering to the taxpayer in its simplest form.

This problem is too critical and will become too pervasive to continue to be resolved through a patchwork of “local” solutions or budget cutbacks.

Linda Fischer

Port Orchard, WA

Suquamish Photo Voice

Participants did Suquamish proud

Upon entering the room for the first exhibit showing of Suquamish Photo Voice at the Clearwater Resort/Hotel, at first glance I thought, “Wow.” The set up of the photos was very professionally done. The inscriptions by the participants who took the photos explained what the photo represented through their eyes.

After viewing all the photos, two struck a chord in me. The first photo was the one taken at the cemetary of a heart wreath with the photographers inscription “Why are you here?” It choked me up for a bit by remembering family and friends who had left all too soon.

The second photo that brought a flashback of many happy memories was the one of the dock. I was there to watch it being built to replace the one before it. Through the years my family and countless other families used it for fishing, tossing out crab traps, watching sunrises and sunsets, or just simply walking out to the end to take in the breathtaking view. For years I had walked to the end and released a balloon in memory of family who had passed on. When the dock became inaccessable this came to an end. Now with the new dock coming, I hope to once again walk to the end and release a balloon, watching till it soared out of sight.

I want to thank the participants, those who provided funding, support and the long list of volunteers who made this a huge success. All in all, this showed what our little town of Suquamish is all about. We should be proud.

Helen Pendergraft

Suquamish, WA

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