Letters to the Editor: Dec. 10

Fauntleroy restripe

VMICC’s stance is of concern

The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council has written a letter to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels stating that “Vashon residents” are against a city proposal to restripe the lanes on S.W. Fauntleroy Way between California Avenue S.W. and S.W. Edmunds Street in West Seattle. The reason for the restriping is primarily to increase public safety and to work toward the objectives of the city’s “Complete Streets” initiative, which promotes transit and non-motorized traffic.

The restriping will result in one traffic lane in each direction, a center turn lane and a wider area for bicycle traffic. The current configuration has two lanes of traffic in each direction and no turn lane or bike accommodation. VMICC’s letter states, in so many words, that we oppose this proposal because it will adversely affect the flow of traffic from Fauntleroy to points east (such as downtown Seattle). The adverse impacts cited in the letter are based on speculation and not supported by facts. The city has studied this proposal and believes it will achieve the objectives while not causing the kinds of impacts cited in the letter. The city’s opinions are based on data and analysis by experts, not pure speculation. Who should we believe?

I am a Vashon resident, and I support the city’s proposal. It will reduce car accidents, and the “Complete Street” concept is progressive in that it allows for the safer use of transportation modes other than cars. This is called making sustainability real.

My sense is that “Vashon residents” are generally pro-sustainability and pro-safety and would support the city’s proposal.

Are we so bent on racing through West Seattle to catch the ferry that we are willing to put those values aside? I truly wonder if the few individuals who composed this letter really represent “Vashon residents.” You can find out by coming to the VMICC meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, at Courthouse Square where this letter will be discussed.

Whether you are pro or con, come out and speak your mind so that Vashon can send a message to our neighbors that truly represents our community’s position.

— Henry Haselton

School bond

Board needs to unite and lead

I am writing to strongly convey my support for the full $79 million package the school board had voted to put before the voters in a bond issue. This package represents more than three years of a participatory process, represents the school board’s commitment to educating the whole child and was carefully considered to represent the least expensive combination that would still do the job. It is not a deluxe package with unnecessary extras. What’s more, while a difficult time economically, it would NOT increase Island taxes beyond what people were paying in 2005, and we currently pay among the least school taxes of any district in the Puget Sound area, as Bill Ameling discussed at the last school board meeting.

My concern is that at the 11th hour, the school board is fussing around with cutting the second gym and reinforcement of the grandstand from the package — $5 million out of the $79 million — in order to save the Vashon taxpayers a few dollars (maybe 12?) annually.

We need the school board to unite and provide leadership around the whole package for educating the whole child regardless of their learning styles. We do not need members of the school board to nickel and dime that package with small cuts to the athletic improvements that will divide the community and make a minimal difference in the overall tax impact of the bond.

— Marcie Rubardt


Misty Isle follows state gun rules

Statement of fact: Misty Isle Farms abides by all applicable rules and regulations regarding hunting on its properties. (See “Residential areas no place for guns,” Nov. 26.)

The postings referred to are in place to discourage poaching and as a promise to prosecute trespassers. The policy of the ranch is to offer permission to hunt on Misty Isle property only to qualified, competent and licensed hunters.

Public safety is of paramount concern among the legitimate hunting community, which is highly regulated to ensure that safety.

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife classifies Vashon/Maury Islands as a firearms restricted area. Under this classification and in accordance with all the other firearms safety rules, it has so far as I know prevented any serious hunting-related accidents here on the Island.

The resident deer population on the Island has, however, become a genuine public safety hazard. Many Island residents have stories of unfortunate and sometimes tragic vehicular contact with deer.

Vashon is in somewhat of a conundrum that will not lend itself to easy solutions on this subject.

The facts are that the Island is primarily a rural area, which is inevitably transitioning to a suburban area. Regardless of how you feel about growth, the Island appears destined to grow, and with growth come growing pains.

The truth is, with less opportunity for deer to be taken by legal hunting means their populations will increase. Coupled with increased human population, the situation appears ripe for trouble.

Perhaps it is time for the appropriate state agencies to re-examine the situation here and devise a forward-looking plan to manage the problem. In the meantime, it appears that the legal hunt is our only recourse for putting a dent in the numbers of deer.

— Hans Youngmann,

Misty Isle Farms

Vashon is no place for hunting

I agree completely with Bob Smueles with regard to hunting on Vashon Island. (See “Residential areas no place for guns,” Nov. 26.)

When I hear the guns going off in the evening, I stay inside now after calling and being told by the authorities that anyone can shoot any time at targets.

After seeing fawns trying to make it on their own and a wounded doe, it becomes clear that the targets are moving.

Years ago I attempted to petition for a moratorium in just this small area in Burton, but after hearing witnesses explain what happened to a courageous soul who took the same idea to a community meeting and met up with the “hunting lobby,” I backed off.

My hope is that no one has to be injured or killed before a coalition is formed to address this issue.

— Marilyn Kastien