Letters to the editor | Nov. 4 edition

Islanders write about redistricting, election coverage and more.


Where is passion for Vashon remaining in 34th?

I’m quite surprised that no one else has a strong opinion about our island being moved from the current legislative district (34th), grouping us with West Seattle, to the 26th district, grouping us with Bremerton and Kitsap.

We have a lot in common with the rest of the 34th district. We’re in the same county, we get four school buses full of off-island kids from the West Seattle side every school day. Our street numbers and names are a continuation of West Seattle, and our police are dispatched out of South King County.

I love taking the ferry to Southworth. In 20 years, I’ve never missed a boat from overloading. I just don’t think our island should be in their district.

– Chris Greenlee


Ah, Our Earth, Our Birds …

North America, we have lost three billion birds in 50 years.

The Cornell Ornithology Lab, the bird experts, tell us this, and that during the months of February through August, birds are building nests and caring for young. In Britain, there is a Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 which includes fines and imprisonment for disturbing nests.

Have you ever stepped away as you were unknowingly approaching a bird nest? You looked up and saw the mother bird fervently calling to you or she flew up in your face as you bent down to weed or prune a bush.

Here’s something we can do for birds that nest on the ground, in bushes and in trees. For many of us, this is a big change in our work schedule and perspective. We garden and work landscape now with more awareness. Now we assist in giving nature a home.

We delay mowing fields thru spring and summer to allow for ground nesters and other wildlife. Trees, preferring to be pruned when dormant, September thru January, appreciate spring and summer as their time of growth. These are the months when we can work in nature with more confidence that we are not disturbing but in sync with the cycles of life.

Remember that “nature loves a mess.” Provide cover, water and native plants for birds and their insect food. Please no pesticides or herbicides, minimize lawns and consider rethinking cats who roam outdoors. We observed this summer during nesting season one cat who killed, in just one month on just one property, at least six baby birds.

Greg Smith, Facilities Director for King County Library System, has agreed to these principles going forward for maintaining our library grounds.

Now we know better and are concerned about the future of our earth ourselves and the animal lives we love. Now we will do better. Together. Thank you, Vashon!

Find out more at birds.cornell.edu and nwf.org/nativeplantfinder.

– Jo Ann Herbert


Editorial missed mark

With less than a week before Nov 2, an editorial on “Exercise your right to vote” was timely, but I am deeply disappointed. You lost me in the second paragraph. Yes, advisory vote measures are unnecessary, as these bills have passed in state legislature, but they are not “misleading and meaningless.”

Advisory Vote #36: ESHB 1477 expands the state’s crisis response system to divert some calls away from 911 to a new hotline for mental health emergencies.

Advisory Vote #37:ESSB 5096 creates a 7% capital gains tax on the sale of assets like stocks valued above $250,000; estimated revenue $415 million primarily for childcare and early learning.

Advisory Vote #38: ESSB 5315 This 2% tax closes a tax loophole for corporations with their own insurance policies, an important step toward balancing our state’s tax code.

A vote to maintain doesn’t just “hearten the legislators” who are working to repeal Tim Eyman’s I-960. It provides voters the opportunity to learn about some of the important legislation that our elected representatives have been working on.

“Okay, whew, we made it past the top of the ballot.” Is it a chore to read the ballot through?

Where you find “deeply entrenched” and “established politicians” others, as shown in the Progressive Voters Guide, recognize King County Executive Dow Constantine as a strong and effective leader for economic justice, who has fought for and delivered transportation and transit solutions, action on climate, improvements in public health, and an efficiently run government. Constantine led efforts to pass Best Starts for Kids, a model initiative that increases access to healthy food, affordable housing, and public health services for many of King County’s most vulnerable children.

It is telling that other progressive leaders who represent us in the 34th Legislative District support Dow Constantine, not to “keep the status quo” but to continue his good governance that continues to meet challenges with solutions, is inclusive, not exclusive, while “our very own state senator Joe Nguyen,” who undoubtedly has a promising future in politics, has not yet finished his first term as state senator.

– Linda Bonazza