Letters to the Editor

Letters - May 20, 2011

CK High Mock Crash

Thanks to all who helped

Senior prom provides many fun and hilarious stories, but on April 19, Central Kitsap High School students had a different story to tell. Eight student actors participated in the aftermath of a simulated car crash in order to inform their peers of the dangers of drunk driving. Under the direction of Mock Crash Chairwoman Janice McFarland, Central Kitsap high counselors Randy Templeton, Michelle Sotelo and Scott McMinds, and MADD Kitsap County Chapter President Marsha Masters, also with the support of the school administration and staff, the annual “Last Dance” Mock Crash was presented to the Class of 2011 – touching the hearts of the students and the community.

The Mock Crash begins with loud music and laughter, as the seniors went to a party after prom, drank alcohol and made the terrifying choice to drink and drive. The music is cut and the sound of cars crashing and glass breaking echoes across the field. The tarps are dramatically pulled off the scene to reveal two smashed cars and the victims of drunk driving. The results of the crash included two fatalities — one dead on arrival, the other dying on the scene — two critical injuries, three minor injuries and one unharmed drunk driver. The demonstration revealed the chaos, fear and repercussions of drunk driving, giving the seniors a poignant example of how fragile life is and how quickly it can be taken away. As Central Kitsap High School’s ninth annual presentation, Mock Crash continues to be one of our most proud and impactful traditions.

We would like to thank a number of people for making the entire experience possible and powerful. The involvement of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue and Airlift Northwest made the performance frighteningly realistic, helping our message resonate with our peers, and we thank them for their time and effort. We also thank CenCom and Silverdale Towing for their contributions. Thank you to school’s PTSA volunteers and students who helped with makeup, and many thanks to Paul Stensen, Jeff Schmitt and all students who organized the sound system and were involved with photographing, videotaping and editing.

A huge thank you also goes to Leah Meadows, for her bravery in sharing her daughter Heather’s wrecked car and her story. We thank her for her strength and message that she provided the students. We especially thank Janice McFarland for chairing Mock Crash, coordinating the event, meeting with us, helping us prepare and continuing to inform students and keep our community safer and more aware.

Even though Mock Crash was a somber event, it ensured that the actual 2011 Prom remains as a happy memory, not a tragic one. We hope that we left an impression on our peers, which will continue to help them make the right choices and stay safe. We appreciate the help of everyone who made this striking event possible and with heartfelt gratitude we say thank you. Thank you for allowing us to be part of this important and life-changing demonstration. We will remember it always.


Central Kitsap High School Mock Crash Actors:

Shannon Lubetich

Cookie Trout

Vincent Dour

Brett McDonald

Devon Lewis

Brittany Zawadzki

Alanna Flynn

Jack Lau


The death of Osama bin Laden

Celebrate as inclined

The editor asks if “celebration” is in order with the death of Osama bin Laden (May 6, “Victory at a terrible cost). However, his framing of the question is a set-up. He paints a bleak picture: “considering how many lives were ruined, the mountains of bodies and lies, the bottomless grief and suffering.” Reminds me of Prime Minister Thatcher’s admonition to President Bush: “George, don’t go wobbly on me.”

The death of bin Laden is a victory in the “Long War,” an important victory but far from the end of the story. Given the millions of soldiers, sailors and airmen who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 10 years, a shout-out for the removal of bin Laden is far from out of order.

We must remember history to frame the editor’s list of deaths of U.S. servicemen and civilians. Yes, these numbers are large, but so are 50,000 U.S. yearly traffic deaths or millions dying from malaria. Also, the world has evil and the evil is fleet of foot. World War II total casualties were 50 million and a world turned on its head. U.S. military deaths were 400,000. The Vietnam War produced 50,000 U.S. military deaths. Communist totalitarianism caused death in excess of 100 million.

Citing overstated civilian deaths or general cynicism about the democratic process may be cathartic but failure to stem evil has long-term consequences. The destruction of Nazism, Japanese militarism and triumph in the Cold War have profound and long-term benefits to the world. At any step along those battles, similar listing of costs-to-date/set-backs could have swayed some from our goal.

God bless our soldiers and sailors for their outstanding service. Stay the course and celebrate when inclined to.


James M. Olsen

Bainbridge Island



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