Get some help — now | Letters to the editor

Get some help — now

I recently read an article in the January 2017 issue of The VFW, in which the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization was encouraging members to be aware of and promote mental wellness campaigns. They want to avoid what they refer to as a “tsunami of mental health issues.”

Using Veterans Administration data from 2014, about “65 percent of all veterans who died from suicide were aged 50 years or older.” They hope that treating at-risk individuals and educating the public will avoid this potential disaster.

In September, the VFW formally adopted partnerships with three organizations to assist in preventing some of these suicides: Patients Like Me, One Mind and Give An Hour, which identifies “five signs of emotional suffering as personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness.”

These signs alert us to watch for atypical behavior, uncharacteristic mood changes and anger issues, a propensity to become easily agitated or unusually anxious, withdrawal from friends, family or coworkers, decreasing interest in personal hygiene and/or safety, plus expressing overwhelming personal problems.

Any one of these signs should raise a red flag and alert you that the person in which you’ve seen those signs need help — now.

Ken Bicha

Port Orchard

Tight budget precludes a vote for SKSD levy, bond measure

This letter is in response to the letter to the editor “Third time a charm” (Dec. 23 Independent). Why does the school district keep wasting money trying to get the levy through?

I have paid school taxes since 1958. I am 91 years old and they tell me at the courthouse that I am $200 above from having my taxes lower. I lost my husband three years ago and have to watch every penny and keep track of expenses.

Annetta Fickle

Port Orchard

Editor’s note: South Kitsap School District has two propositions on the ballot Feb. 14: one is to renew a programs and operations levy, which funds daily activities in the schools; the second is a bond issue to fund construction of a second high school in the district and provide security and safety systems, and swimming pool upgrades.

A bond measure to build a new high school has been put before voters three times in the past two years.

South Kitsap School District is ‘arrogant’

After researching and contemplating the latest school bond request from the South Kitsap School District’s board of directors, one word came to mind—arrogant. Now that’s a relatively strong word and, when communicating, words mean a great deal.

Being a bit old-fashioned, I reached for my dusty, trusty thesaurus to see if there might be a more appropriate adjective to describe the school board’s latest action.

Among others, Random House offered the following alternatives: pretentious, high-and-mighty, insolent, disdainful, contemptuous and pompous.

Following two unsuccessful bond measures in 2016 that requested $127 million over 30 years, your elected school board officials voted unanimously to try a third time.

However, this time they decided to increase the amount and decrease the term of the bond request, substantially increasing the annual assessment.

The bond issue you are being asked to ratify with your vote on Feb. 14 has now morphed into $172.6 million over 21 years. In whose “standard operating manual” does that translate into heeding the will of the voters?

Under the circumstances, prudent and responsible elected officials would listen to a majority of voters and either drop the request or go back to the drawing board and seriously scale back the scope of the project to a bare-bones plan, a blueprint that would be palatable to the voters as well as begin to meet current needs.

There is nothing prudent about wasting precious tax dollars (paid to Kitsap County) on funding a third ballot measure in less than a year while potentially placing an inordinate number of seniors and economically disadvantaged families in financial jeopardy.

By my calculations, if I lived in the mythical $250,000 home cited on the SKSD website and both the bond issue and levy renewal passes, I will allocate at least $110 per month of my fixed retirement income to support the school district.

That does not include the state’s portion of my property tax or the governor’s proposed 25 cents per gallon increase in motor fuel tax that would be dedicated to schools.

How many of us on fixed incomes will have to soon make decisions on putting food on the table, life-saving prescriptions in the medicine cabinet or building a Taj Mahal-like edifice for a privileged few?

Is arrogant the best word to describe this bond proposal? Check your thesaurus. Maybe you can find a more appropriate word.

I have no choice. Survival dictates I must vote “No” on Feb. 14.

Jim Wilson

Port Orchard

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