Letters to the Editor

Letters April 2, 2010

9/11 Memorial

Silverdale waterfront is wrong place

The CK Fire people are looking for a “home” for their recently acquired debris from the 9/11 destruction site in New York City. They want to create a memorial site on the Port of Silverdale’s prime no-bank waterfront property in Old Town Silverdale utilizing the entire waterfront area extending all the way from the existing dock to the existing boat ramp on the west.

Old Town Silverdale public waterfront of both the county and Port of Silverdale is the jewel of Silverdale and is used by many people, especially children all year round. Parents bring their small children to run and play in the park and older and not-so-old people enjoy the opportunity just to sit and enjoy the view and noises from the children. The boat launching area, on the port’s property next to the proposed memorial site, is used by young sailors and is a great use of the site. It is marine/water-oriented.

The fire fighters were the heroes in this horrible tragedy. Since the local fire people want to honor their fellow comrades and victims of this terrible tragedy, this memorial should be located on the fire district’s beautiful new facility located on Newberry Hill Road where there is plenty of room. This site is a great location as it is quiet and serene and would provide a reflective environment for the use.

Old Town Waterfront Park is a public recreational salt-waterfront park and is just the wrong place for a memorial of this magnitude. This public waterfront park/port property is for recreational use where families go with their children making it a lively and playful area.

Joyce Merkel

Silverdale

Shooting death settlement

Cartoon showed poor taste and judgement

Comments by our public officials and the political cartoon in the Central Kitsap Reporter and Bremerton Patriot, concerning the shooting death of Shane Williams and the $217,500 compensation to his family, demand a public response.

According to published facts, Shane himself called 911 for help with the threats his mental illness had caused him to perceive, and was shot seven times after he dropped his machete and put his hands in the air. A witness reportedly saw the scene tampered with and the machete moved closer to his body. Did Shane actually pose a threat that justified killing him?

We have excellent deputies in Kitsap County who are called into difficult situations, but they are human and can make mistakes. Those mistakes need to be acknowledged and compensated for, and money is the only compensation that society offers.

A mentally-ill family member is not a throwaway. His family sought justice for their loss, and a $217,500 settlement seems precious little compensation for the loss of a father and son. This family needs empathy, not public punishment.

Perhaps the political cartoon is tongue-in-cheek, calling for a re-examination of our community’s values. We hope so.

Karen and Phil Best

Bremerton

Cartoon was disrespectful

On March 26 your newspaper ran a horribly disrespectful cartoon about our nephew Shane Williams and our families lawsuit against the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. Shame on you for running such a horrible depiction of lies!

Our family did not sue the sheriffs office to live “fat and happy” and gain monetary value from the death of our sweet Shane. We sued because we want the police to change their procedures when dealing with people that are known to be under the care of mental health professionals.

Yes, the police on the scene were told by the 911 dispatcher that Shane had missed his last two mental health appointments. They were given this information, it is on the 911 recorded tape that we listened to right after Shane was killed.

We also sued because there is a little girl who has had to live without her daddy and will continue to live without her daddy because of the lack of proper equipment and the lack of training/good choices. No one in the media has ever published this information. We will never know why Shane called 911 and asked for a police officer to come to his home. We do know that Shane was suffering from schizophrenia and had been extremely frightened in the days leading up to this event.

Another important fact the people in Kitsap County need to know is that the sheriff’s office does not have enough Tasers for every officer. This means that it is a luck of the draw. If your mentally ill family member is in a confrontation with a sheriff that does not have a Taser, he will more than likely be shot and killed. If you are lucky they will have a Taser on them, and maybe the sheriff will call for a mental health professional to help diffuse the situation. Our law enforcement officers need to be trained in proper procedures to deal with schizophrenia.

The cartoonist says that Shane “charged the police.” This is another fact that has been wrongly reported over and over again. The first thing that I asked the investigating officer was whether or not Shane had “charged” or “ran up to” the officers at the scene. It was reported by the officers at the scene and by the witness that Shane never charged them, he was walking toward them with his hands up in the air.

I think instead of making sick and insensitive cartoons, we should see how our mental health system and our law enforcement officers can work together to make sure this never happens in our community again.

Jenny Cutler

East Bremerton

Health care reform

Liberal ideology of majority

Health care reform has been a contentious debate since this Democratic administration decided to restructure our great nation. The facts are that most Americans, even evil Republicans, agree that health care reform is a good idea.

The issue is the total takeover of health care and ramming 2,700 pages of unread bureaucratic gobbledygook down the throats of the American people.

In addition to the underhandedness, flat-out lies, special deals, real costs and the overall prostitution of the legislative process and Constitution which has ticked off the opposition. This corrupt administration is attempting to dismantle the very foundations of this great nation, by imposing government takeover of financial institutions, automotive companies and now health care.

They have imposed government control over the very foundations of free enterprise.

President Obama along with Pelosi and Reid’s Chicago and Politburo style of government legislative action cannot be denied. They have arrogantly defied 76 percent of the voters who desire the current health care bill be scrapped.

Thirteen State Attorney Generals are filing lawsuits against the constitutionality of this legislation. Thank you, Rob McKenna! Others are passing bills to prevent their states from complying with its mandates.

Obviously Democratic liberal ideology is what this bill is about. Not health care.

Dean Jenniges

Bremerton

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