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Letters to the editor
The concept has been well vetted
Where has Tom Bangasser been? The concept of a mixed use of the K2 site for local small business, light manufacturing, nonprofits and public entities (like schools, library and parks) has been discussed throughout the community since March of last year! There were several public meetings, all well publicized and well attended.
I met with board members and directors of most of the nonprofits and public entities last spring as well as county officials. They were all very enthusiastic. All of this was well documented in public announcements and articles. Mr. Bangasser seemed to have missed it all.
At the end of the summer I reported back to the community council that many of the nonprofits and public entities wanted and needed the space at K2 but none had the money. Then in October, when a local developer, Heritage Group, stepped forward and said they could do it and would follow the concept discussed by the community, Mr. Bangasser suddenly got interested. As you stated in the article last week, he had been turned down by K2 when he approached them to just give him the building or sell it to him for a song, so this sounds like sour grapes to me.
Heritage Group presented their vision at the community council meeting in December at K2 that was attended by about 150 Vashonites. Several nonprofits and small businesses are already committed. I noticed Mr. Bangasser showed up just as the presentations concluded. Heritage has invited public comments and been giving tours of the building to anyone interested.
Think about this. The Sound Food building just sold. Did the building owner ask the community to vote on the next owner? Of course not. The Variety Store just closed. Will the building owner hold a public meeting to decide who moves into the building? Hardly. The take-out restaurant is now a chocolate store. Did we vote on that? No way. Heritage has been more open and available than any developer I know, and they have made me hopeful.
Controversy still clouds the issue
It appears that the reference to the BBC in my letter to the editor regarding climate change that appeared in The Beachcomber on Dec. 26 was incorrect. In fact the documentary was aired by Channel 4, another British television station.
More importantly, with regard to the other criticisms of the original letter, aside from the fact that it appears that few if any of theses critics have actually seen the documentary, it is coming down to arguments as to whose science, scientists, data and sources are more credible those on the side of global warming that say that it is far more a function of natural cycles than man-made or those opposed to this point of view. These arguments could go on until global cooling actually sets in.
If one Googles the IPPC report or the summary of this report, global climate change or Al Gores movie An Inconvenient Truth and arguments for and against these topics you see immediately that the issue of climate change and mans effect on it are far from settled science as the majority of those in the man-made global warming camp would have us believe.
If one is really interested in a different, well-reasoned point of view on global warming, then take the time to view the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle and see for yourself. It is that simple.
Before we saddle ourselves with more taxes, more regulation and fewer choices based on the cloud of controversy surrounding this issue, it must become much clearer. Is climate change man-made, or is it simply mainly natural cycles with some lesser impact made on the climate by man? It is also that simple.
Douglas E. Larsen
Brush piles help critters, people
To consider burning the best way to handle land waste is short-sighted (Proposed ban is an infringement, Letters to the Editor, Jan. 9). Best for whom? Not for those who need to breathe the air. Nor for the soil. Nor for biodiversity. Nor for our grandchildren and their grandchildren who will need to deal with the effects of global warming, which burning exacerbates.
Burning even dry material creates toxic pollution. Smoke that crosses the boundary of your property infringes on others right to clean air, and damages their health.
Brush fences and piles do eventually decompose into lovely friable soil. Unless you need instant gratification. Unless you keep adding to them. My biggest pile, which started with slow-to-decompose laurel trees, never seems to get bigger, even though pruning material, storm blow-down, etc., have been continually added. Other piles have completely disappeared.
Unless food scraps are added, brush fences and piles are less likely to attract pests than are blackberry brambles and ivy-covered trees and slopes.
Instead of burning or hauling, some imaginative folks are creating interesting garden art from stumps, root wads and other vegetative material.
Historically, some donated a tithe of their income. Better than burning would be to dedicate a tithe or smaller portion of our property to brush fences and piles.
Priorities may need revision
I am 66 and have been driving for 50 years. I had been awarded only one moving violation, for going 11 miles over the speed limit, until I moved to Vashon five years ago.
On Vashon, I have been pulled over twice for the same violation: not coming to a complete stop at the corner of 204th and Vashon Highway. It has always been well after dark; since the headlights of any vehicles were not visible I guess I assumed the coast was clear. I know I stopped at the corner, but I cannot claim that my stop was complete.
I received a fine upbringing with respect for law and order and also for the fine men and women of the thin blue line who maintain it. This letter is not meant to be a rant against the police, but it is to strongly question what they are protecting on Vashon.
I just left Café Luna, and there is a sign out front asking what happened to the sculpture there. I remember the delightful bench at the bus stop by the US Bank that was destroyed. I also remember the ticket window at the movie theater that was trashed, as well as several windows at the medical center. There has been serious vandalism around the Land Trust building.
I served many times as an adult supervisor at The Crux. We called law enforcement after every concert to request a sweep of the area with a squad car to prevent behavior that could reflected poorly on the event at Crux.
Law enforcement did not honor our request almost 100 percent of the time. I can only conclude that pulling me over for not coming to a full stop is more important than preventing vandalism. I thank you, law enforcement, for not giving me tickets, but please reconsider your priorities!