Letters to the Editor

Letters from Oct. 17, 2007

Feedback: Tom and his “Pit-to-Pier” terror

It is unfortunate that Tom Hujar (CK Reporter letters, Oct. 10) chose to attack people rather than deal with the facts. It is appropriate for him to point out that Val Torrens made mistakes in her opinion (Oct. 3) expressing concerns about the Pit-to-Pier Project, but is it necessary to exploit those errors with a personal attack that attempts to discredit her intent, rather than reveal the truth?

And then he takes off on leaders of the Hood Canal Coalition. It may give him personal satisfaction to “put down” those who oppose the project, but is it necessary to launch personal attacks on their leaders? Does Mr. Hujar believe he serves the public by attacking opponents rather than defending his position? Or does he believe the citizens of our region are just not capable of understanding fact from fiction?

I found the response from Jack Hamilton (Oct. 10) to be more helpful. He stuck with the facts, as he sees them, and made a number of credible points. I can read Mr. Hamilton’s letter and draw my own conclusions. When I read the letter from Mr. Hujar, all I sense is a lack of respect for the opposition and a political approach that is distasteful to me, and I hope to the rest of your readers.

TOM GISKE

Port Ludlow

Reject Ref. 67

Again Torrens (CK Reporter, Oct. 10) misinforms your readers with distortions and half-truths. Referendum 67 is on the ballot because the Legislature and Governor, who have been bought and paid for by contributions from 10 Trial Lawyer PACs, passed a very damaging piece of special interest legislation designed to introduce punitive damages into Washington courts. Unlimited triple damages and unlimited attorney fees, fees that could be in excess of the amount in dispute will in time be felt by every one of your readers who buys insurance, other than health insurance, for whatever reason. Even then, accepting the tear jerking TV ad about the cancer-stricken firefighter at face value, leaves that in doubt too. Consumers already have the right to sue their insurance companies for damages beyond what their policies provide, on negligence, bad faith and Consumer Protection theories. Earlier this year, Dr. Wu was awarded $1 million in his suit against Fireman´s Fund. The current availability of a listing with the Insurance Commissioner of public complaints by company makes her assertion of companies´ invisibility false. Ref. 67 adds a provision introducing a 21-day window during which a company must respond. In cases where it takes time to develop evidence of fraud, artificial deadlines are for the criminal´s benefit. The term “unreasonable” is indefinite as the sole qualifier for triple damages. Unlike similar laws in other states, it leaves the insurers badly exposed should they not be able to immediately substantiate the reasons for dragging their feet.

Accepting this referendum gives trial lawyers a green light to broaden their anti-Robin Hood role, of taking from the many of lesser means through higher premiums and giving to the few.

Learn through the mistakes in other states, who are saddled with laws awarding punitive damages, increased opportunities for fraud and frivolous lawsuits.

REJECT Initiative 67.

MATT RYAN

Bremerton

Downtown Bremerton: Parking troubles are the last straw

I am sure at some point the subject of parking in downtown Bremerton has been addressed many times over but I feel I must, once again, approach this drastic subject.

I am a native to Bremerton, born and raised here, and have seen quite a lot of changes over the years to the area. Growth and population have expanded our business areas and have brought much to local communities.

I grew up roaming the downtown streets of Bremerton, shopping, eating lunch, going to a matinee, watching a parade or visiting the library and never once do I remember having to worry about parking. As I grew up I started to commute to Seattle for work, having then to pay for parking everyday and again watching the city change and the parking become more scarce and more expensive.

As many businesses left our downtown streets to move to better areas and better parking for their customers our downtown has become like a ghost town. Small businesses trying to strive off of PSNS workers and possible ferry traffic. Our waterfront has changed for the better, very pleasing to the eye, but once again, who wants to come downtown where they can’t find any parking? Most of the eating establishments barely make it as no one wants to have to pay to park in order to eat.

This past weekend the Shipyard had a family day. It opened its gates to many, more than 8,000 employees and their families, to come and visit and see what has been hiding behind the gates for the many who don’t know or have always wondered. It was an opportunity for those who work there to share this with their families. But, once again, everyone had to worry about parking.

Now, I visited with my family and I parked in a two-hour zone. My thinking was that the city wouldn’t be marking tires on this day of all days. When people were once again flooding the streets of downtown and possibly spending their money and contributing to the businesses that try to strive there. Keep in mind that I am sure the count in total had to be more than 10,000 people on this day. Once again I was fooled as I found a parking ticket stuck to my window when I returned.

I was infuriated to say the least to think that the city cared more about handing out parking tickets that they did about the support of all those who attended this day. Now, if you had to stand in line to enter the Shipyard and was able to enter in less than one hour and 40 minutes, count yourselves lucky. As the minutes ticked by I again wondered if they city would actually be checking. Since I was in a two-hour zone that left me approximately 20 minutes to tour the Shipyard and run back to my vehicle, which didn’t happen, because I had faith in our fair city and just knew they wouldn’t be that small-minded. But, again, I was proven wrong.

Will I visit the downtown area again? It hurts me to say this but most likely not. Unless I am taking a ferry and driving on, I feel my time and money are better spent elsewhere. Where I don’t have to worry about moving my vehicle every hour or paying more than $3 to park somewhere. Where I can go into an establishment and spend my money and my time, worry-free.

We can see how much the city cares as construction progresses this underground tunnel to shuttle even more people out of town. To those who do own businesses downtown I wish you well and hope that someday in the near future the city of Bremerton might support you.

L. HALFFMAN

Silverdale

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