Letters to the Editor

Letters from Nov. 7, 2007

Thank you: Bras for a Cause a success

A huge THANK YOU to our Kitsap community for their overwhelming support of the “Bras for a Cause” auction fund-raiser recently sponsored by Soroptimist International of Greater North Kitsap.

Overall, the event brought in more than $15,000 that will directly benefit women and children in the Kitsap County community. Proceeds will help with the creation of the Harrison Medical Center Oncology Services rooftop healing garden.

In addition, Hospice of Kitsap County will also be a major benefactor.

Members of the Greater Kitsap community supported this local fund-raiser by creating “art bras,” donating auction items, becoming event sponsors and by attending the gala auction. So, “Thank you so much, Kitsap County, for your generous support! You Rock!”

BARBARA HARTLEY

Soroptimist International of Greater North Kitsap

New interchange: The signage nightmare

For the second time I have witnessed the problems with the Highway 3 and 303 new interchange.

A few weeks ago, I headed west on 303, I stopped at the new first set of lights, in the straight-ahead lane and the light turned green. Across the intersection is an on-coming row of raised lane marks that guided me to the left into a head-on, but wait — that line was not meant for me westbound. It is for eastbound to enter the on-ramp going north on Highway 3. It is very confusing and misleading.

Tonight (Nov. 1) just after 5 p.m. coming south on Highway 3 with heavy traffic, there was a new sign directing the outside lane to merge to the left at the same time as the on-ramp from Trigger Avenue. I slowed down trying to determine if the merge was closing the Silverdale exit or if it was after the Silverdale exit. Again, there is very poor signage. Then I saw people in the lanes and six cars were scattered over all the lanes. Traffic was stopped and no police were there yet. Citizens were directing traffic, creating serious risk to all the people. Whoever is responsible for the signage is not doing their job. It is not communicating any single interpretation at any speed.

Meanwhile, six cars, 12 insurance companies, at least 12 lawyers and six to 12 months or more, to settle everyone’s lives.

I agree and attest to previous letter writers that the intersection is not safe. By God’s grace, I stayed out of this mess. Yes, the Silverdale exit was open.

JOHN TAYLOR

Silverdale

Fire commissioners: Tax dollars are being wasted

I must agree with recent letters written in support of Dennis Sheline for Central Kitsap Fire Commissioner. The current fire commissioners in Central Kitsap have wasted millions of our tax dollars in building a volunteer fire station on Central Valley Road that is rarely used, has an inadequate response time when and if volunteers respond from it and was only built to entice a neighboring fire district to merge with Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue. Thousands of tax dollars are wasted annually training and equipping prospective volunteer firefighters who later resign after only a few weeks of service. Citizens would be surprised, and angered, at the amount of tax monies that could be better spent hiring professional firefighters and paramedics that meet or exceed nationally recognized standards for professional development. Our community must have the best public safety protection possible, and considering the property tax rates we are currently paying, professional firefighters meet that requirement. Times and our community have changed and the days of relying on volunteer emergency responders is over. Hopefully, our elected officials will realize this.

BILL MINKS

Seabeck

Math standards: Insufficient emphasis in schools

Washington is not expecting enough of its students. There is insufficient emphasis on core mathematical content, some crucial math is missing completely.

These words are from the Washington State Mathematics Standards Review and Recommendations, recently released by the consultants at Strategic Teaching. The Washington State Board of Education asked them to analyze the state’s math standards. In particular, the consultants recommended more concrete math and a thorough set of computation algorithms.

Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, however, has long been committed to the constructivist, “new math” approach.

I urge local districts to take the initiative and pull back from the constructivist curricula such as TERC Investigations, Connected Math, College Preparatory Math, Everyday Math and Core Plus. Perhaps districts can offer a choice of math approaches, or add a rigorous supplemental text such as Singapore or Saxon math.

The formerly taught standard algorithms helped build a foundation for later algebra skills, but the “fuzzy” math approach confuses students and is causing a continuous decline in their math abilities. At least, staff could eliminate calculators in the elementary grades.

Parents, please visit http://home.comcast.net/~yes2math. Try asking a public school fifth-grader to divide 1,323 by 27, using long division. Odds are, not many can.

JOYCE FIESS

Poulsbo

Narrows Bridge toll: Businesses lose in the end

The Olympic Peninsula is a beautiful place to visit. We come at least once a year from Oregon to stay in Port Townsend. We stop on the way to buy gas, shop and eat meals in Kitsap County. We stay at a hotel on the peninsula. We spend money on the peninsula. In October, a friend and I attended an event at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. We had a great time and she planned to bring her husband back for a vacation. So, why am I writing? Because I received a notice in the mail that I owe $49 because I didn’t pay a toll. “What toll?” I wondered. I didn’t see a toll booth. My passenger also didn’t. I phoned Kitsap County Circuit Court and found out there is a toll for the Narrows Bridge. The operator told me that she receives “50 calls” a day from people who got citations, and didn’t know anything about the toll.

Do you have any idea how angrifying it is to get a citation for something you had no idea even existed? Obviously the toll booth is not obvious enough — would I really evade a $3 toll, after spending a great vacation and a great deal of money in Kitsap County? This situation doesn’t help attract return tourist business. Which means that ultimately the county loses more than the $49 fine. I suggest local Chambers of Commerce speak up and try to fix this problem. Ultimately, it’s the businesses that will be hurt.

TERRY WEISS

Corvallis, Ore.

Thanks and kudos: A wonderful performance

My husband and I took a trip to Bainbridge Island Saturday night to watch the Bainbridge High School’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Our thanks and kudos to all the students — the cast, the stage crew, the production staff, director Seb Nielsen and everyone who worked so hard to give us a totally enjoyable evening. Well done!

VIVIAN HENDERSON

Port Orchard

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