Letters to the Editor

Letters - March 18, 2011

Kitsap Transit’s new bus stop

Opinion was misguided

I think your opinion piece  “How not to move a bus stop” (March 11) is completely misguided.

Why pummel the Kitsap Transit organization for a temporary bus stop that lacks a shelter? The article on the front page of the same issue explained how the bus stop came to be. It wasn’t the first or best choice of location, it was forced on them by a retail client of the Kitsap Mall concerned with the image a bus stop and its clientele would present. Why haven’t you chosen to criticize them with equal zeal?

You only criticize, you don’t provide any meaningful help to the situation. Where will the transit system get the money for a temporary shelter? Who will pay the lawyers to obtain a temporary zoning variance? Would it even be possible to obtain the necessary permits in the time available? Where would you suggest the temporary site should be located? In your parking lot? Could the bus passengers take temporary shelter in your offices?

I think it’s time you spent some effort to correct the problem rather than just bathing the issue in hot air.

Ralph Featherstone

Silverdale

 

Legislative forum

Bracing for a big budget shortfall

On Saturday, March 12, the 23rd legislative district delegation of state Sen. Phil Rockefeller D-Bainbridge Island, and Reps. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, and Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, met with constituents in Manette and Poulsbo. Kudos to our elected leaders for open government and meeting with the 140 constituents in Poulbso for 90 minutes.

I attended and posed a question to the delegation. Given the state’s $7.7 billion biennial shortfall would you A) support a bill declaring all public sector contracts null and void under emergency provisions and B) would you support ending the current public sector union collective bargaining monopoly held by union bosses? Rofles replied “this is not Wisconsin” and answered with a no and no. Appleton dodged the question totally. However, Rockefeller stated “everything is on the table.”

A forum attendee said as the forum wrapped up:  “We are doomed with these legislators.” I say, hope springs eternal. Truth be told, a $7.7 billion budget shortfall in Olympia is certainly bracing.

James M. Olsen

Bainbridge Island

 

Medical marijuana

Legalize it

Not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in need, but adult recreational use should be regulated. Drug policies modeled after alcohol prohibition have given rise to a youth-oriented black market. Illegal drug dealers don’t ID for age, but they do recruit minors immune to adult sentences. So much for protecting the children.

Throwing more money at the problem is no solution. Attempts to limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only increases the profitability of drug trafficking. For addictive drugs like heroin, a spike in street prices leads desperate addicts to increased criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The drug war doesn’t fight crime, it fuels crime.

Taxing and regulating marijuana, the most popular illicit drug, is a cost-effective alternative to never-ending drug war. As long as marijuana distribution is controlled by organized crime, consumers will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. This “gateway” is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe

policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC

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