Letters to the Editor

Letters from Jan. 19, 2008

SR 3/303 interchange

Who designed the flaws?

The public must unite to change the new SR 3/303 interchange before someone dies. Our local families, friends and those from out-of-state who visit our area need us to intervene before tragedy strikes. Can you imagine the confusion in the left turn lanes to SR 3 north or SR 3 south when the power goes out or an emergency vehicle needs to get through the intersection and oncoming and left-turning traffic are in a face-off? It’s terrible at night or when the weather is bad. Who designed these flaws? Any suggestions on how to expedite changes on the new SR 3/303 interchange would be greatly appreciated.

PEGGY KERMATH

Bremerton

CKSD diversity

New hire gives hope

With the celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. approaching, it is again time to reflect on the efforts we are making as individuals and as a community to insure that King’s “dream” is attained. This time last year I wrote a guest editorial in these same pages expressing my dismay at the efforts of the Central Kitsap School District (CKSD) in addressing a number of issues they had been made aware of by community individuals and organizations. At the same time, I issued a challenge to African-American parents whose children are performing below acceptable academic levels to become more involved in the education of their children and take advantage of resources, community and school district, that are available to help them become proactive advocates for their children.

There are many people and organizations in our community working to make King’s “dream” a reality. In the face of much criticism, CKSD has begun to move in the right direction by taking the unprecedented step of hiring a diversity and mentoring specialist, Leah Kyaio, who began work on Jan. 14. CKSD should be applauded for making this major change in what had previously been an entrenched, defensive, unyielding, march-to-their-own-drum type of attitude. If this new posture is sincere, then the work that needs to be done will proceed with a new sense of cooperation and partnership between the district and those individuals and community groups that, in the past, have felt ignored by the district.

The possibility of a new direction by the district is encouraging. While I am not one to be overly optimistic, given the district’s dismal record, it serves no productive purpose to assume the worst or view the hire as simple window-dressing. For now, a wait-and-see approach is the best course, and I will be available to offer Ms. Kyaio any support I can as an individual and as a member of the community.

Whatever the pressure that prompted CKSD to hire Ms. Kyaio, I hope it continues. Making the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. a reality will take a lot of hard work and will take a genuine commitment to the values and ideals he advocated. It will also require a change in the mindset that has dominated the thinking of those in the district administration. The creation of the position of a diversity and mentoring specialist is a positive step in the right direction. I am not yet ready to declare “Free at Last ... Free at Last ...” However, CKSD, by this hire, has given the students, parents and community it serves cause for optimism and hope.

JD SWEET

Bremerton

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