Top-two primary ruling doesn’t fix the problem

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent top-two primary ruling was gift-wrapped by the Washington State Grange to look like a blanket primary.

Children’s vaccinations serve the common good

With respect to Erwin Gemmer, his recent letter concerning vaccinations is highly misleading and in some cases completely wrong. Vaccinations have been responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Contrary to his assertion, most of the diseases did not see a drastic decline until after we started vaccinating against those diseases.

‘Independent’ doesn’t mean having no opinion

“If you are an Independent, then I am the Angel Gabriel,” writes Earl P. Otto of Bremerton.

Fasten your seatbelts — sans safety training

The North Kitsap School District is doing an awful lot of belt-tightening lately. State and federal funding is dwindling, and what little money the district does receive comes with so many strings that choice is taken away from the district as to how to use the money.

I-601’s provisions violate state constitution

The people who wrote our state constitution were pretty smart. They had watched other western states adopt constitutions — some better than others — and they were very savvy about how to write a constitution that protects the public interest.

Oke’s supporters use same tactics that built bridge

I confess I was surprised — although pleasantly so — when the state Legislature rejected the idea of naming the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge after the late Sen. Bob Oke.

Since when does she have a ‘right’ not to be judged?

Soundoff is a public forum. Articles are selected from letters to the editor or may be written specifically for this feature. Today, Port Orchard resident Anthony Johnston responds to a recent story in the Port Orchard Independent featuring a teen-aged, unwed mother and her belief that others were being unfairly critical of her.

State’s water law doesn’t encourage conservation

Washington’s water law is probably the most complicated set of statutes we have. The root is in the state’s water code enacted in 1917; and the fact that the waters of Washington State collectively belong to the public and may not be owned by any individual or organization.

If Rossi expects Dems’ help, he shouldn’t

It’s going to be interesting to see whether those Democrats who were so offended by the way King County beat Republican Dino Rossi out of election for governor will stand by their 2004 vows to atone for it the second time around.

Vaccinations aren’t mandatory for children to attend school

Why do state and county officials who know that vaccinations are not required say the opposite? Why do respectable media sources such as newspapers and television repeat this misinformation? How can parents make informed decisions when their decisions are based on deceptive information?

Who’s that knocking on my door?

A 47-year-old Sammamish woman was at her boyfriend’s house in Bremerton playing a video game when there was a knock on the door about 8 p.m. She opened the door to a young woman who asked the couple if she could use a telephone. As the Sammamish woman was walking to get her cell phone, the visitor came into the house, saying it was cold, asked for a drink of water and if she could move some items from a chair to sit down for a minute.

There’s a good reason for my dizziness

The first time I had labyrinthitis, back in 2000, it was something, according to medical authorities, that you usually only get once in a lifetime. When it hit me again in January, I asked the physician how come and he said, “That’s in one ear.” It turned out it was in the other ear this time.

Poulsbo’s own Santa finds joy in making others joyful

At 80 years young, Wally Harrison thrives on making children happy. So much so that the Poulsbo resident has transformed his garage into a year-round Santa’s workshop of sorts, using his idle time to build wooden toy cars.

Is SEED plan on its last legs? Let’s hope so

Multimillion-dollar public projects, like battleships, can’t be expected to stop on a dime. Consequently, we’re satisfied — encouraged even — by the Port of Bremerton Board of Commissioners’ decision this past week to table, at least for now, the controversial Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project. Our preference would be to pull the plug on the whole boondoggle immediately, but a stay of execution at least represents a promising start.

Independents’ voices being stifled again

Unless voters in Kitsap County who have no declared party affiliation want to be left entirely out of future presidential primary elections, they need to do more than toss their ballots in the trash or mail them without declaring a party on the ballot envelope. Unlike the previous presidential primary elections in 1996 and 2000, the ballots of nonaffiliated voters (who usually call themselves independents) were not even counted this year.

Green means go — but I’ll look first

I’m going to change one of my driving habits. From now on, when I am at an intersection and the traffic light turns green, I am not going to pull out until I see that all cars coming from my left or right are stopped.

Locke’s speech both insulting, embarrassing

Had former Gov. Gary Locke’s remarks last week at the annual fundraiser for Kitsap County’s Boy Scouts merely been tactless, the appropriate response would have been for the event’s organizers to simply conclude it was a mistake to invite him in the first place and make a note not to repeat the same mistake next year. But Locke’s performance went so far beyond the pale that we feel obliged to heap just a little more scorn before moving on.

State’s baffling primary yields honest results

Depending on the outcome of yesterday’s Super Tuesday vote in the 2008 presidential primary, Washingtonians may or may not get to play a meaningful role in selecting their party’s standard bearers. But even if they do, it’s only going to happen by means of a confusing process calculated to appeal primarily to hardcore party activists and policy wonks.

I’m excited about clean technology

As I sat listening to the governor speak last week at the Priorities for a Healthy Washington lobby day, a thrill rose from my toes, because I was looking at and listening to some of the most exciting legislation that I had ever witnessed. The stuff was good. The stuff was really, really good.

Why couldn’t the bridge’s name be sold?

Erstwhile Tacoma Narrows Bridge opponent Randy Boss, now that the project has actually been constructed, has lately become an outspoken critic of the growing momentum in Olympia to name the span for the late State Sen. Bob Oke. But at least no one can say his quest is entirely personal, since Boss has come up with an idea that could make far more sense economically than turning the bridge into a shrine to the Port Orchard lawmaker who was so instrumental in getting it built, only to die of cancer just weeks before its completion last summer.