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Central Kitsap Reporter Letters to the Editor | Feb. 26
Dish from the Commish on target
I noticed Commissioner Josh Brown’s ferry column (Ferry long-range plan needs an overhaul, Feb. 20, 2009) and I would like to comment.
It is right on and I encourage any reader who might have an input they would consider helpful to the Plan C development team to contact them. I have been to a couple Bremerton/WSF meetings, read several articles like this in the Seattle Times and Central Kitsap Reporter and most of what I consider the better ideas on how WSF might be made more efficient and user-friendly were submitted by individuals and not by WSF.
In fact, the only consistent theme I’ve heard to date from WSF is cut service, charge more and implement a reservation system. The ideas that came from ferry users were consistent with current operation expenses and eliminate state law that prohibits out-of-state bidding on new ferry construction. This makes sense to me. If current operation expenses were cut, and they could be if WSF followed some of the ideas submitted to them, then less funding would have to be found to make up the deficit between fare box and operating expenses.
If the prohibition is lifted on allowing out-of-state new construction bidding, new construction would qualify for federal funding, which would reduce state capital expenditure costs for new ferry construction. Capital expenditures are, as I understand them, money spent on new vessels, docks, terminals, etc. Operating expenses are wages, fuel, maintenance, etc. For instance, the $30 million-plus transportation money Sen. Patty Murray has earmarked for WSF will paint the terminals, but not put more ferries on the water.
The cost-savings ideas put forward by ferry users were to replace the Wave2Go ticketing system with the Good to Go tolling system; eliminate or greatly reduce WSF marine
architect division; review worker wage and benefit structure; and review the sizes and types of new ferry procurements.
These are all ideas that came from concerned citizens. I happen to agree with them and whether you do or not is not important. What is important is you offer your own ideas to the team assembling Plan C so when Plan C goes forward, it is the best answer to continuing and improving our ferry system.
Commissioner Brown’s letter, or something like it, should be published in all the local papers around the Sound. WSF has done a poor job communicating their position reasoning and, unfortunately, Plan C members are guilty of this as well.
Sheriff’s Posse a blessing
For the past five years the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Posse has served our children’s organizations at Crosby Chapel. As we prepare for another year of fun out in Seabeck, I wanted to be sure to let the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and the public know just how much we do appreciate all of the work and effort the Posse puts into making our Carnival such a success!
The funds raised from this event will be used as the financial base for our Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) program to provide an affordable opportunity for all MOPS moms and to supplement our AWANA program. These programs reach out to more than 150 children in the Seabeck/Bremerton area, regardless of financial status. No parent or child is ever turned away due to lack of funds.
In order to continue these programs, we must receive generous donations from parents, individual benefactors and local and regional businesses. One of our most faithful contributors has been the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Posse. This dedicated group of people and horses has joined our carnival for the past five years, rain or shine. Their participation is the highlight of our event. The lines are long (almost endless it seems at times) as the children patiently wait for their turn on the big horses. These gentle giants then take them on the most exciting ride of their young lives. Along the way, the Posse members talk and joke with the kids, some of whom never play another game, they just go to the back of the line to wait their turn to ride again. As coordinator for the past four years, the first question I am always asked is “Will the horses be there again?” I know that the cost of coming to our event comes out of the pockets of the Posse members. Each year the Posse has helped to raise $500, for a total of $2,500 to date.
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) and AWANA will be hosting its 14th annual Carnival and Silent Auction on Saturday, April 25 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Crosby Chapel in Seabeck. More than 500 people from the community join us and we hope the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Posse will be able to be there once again.
Thank you again Kitsap County Sheriff’s Posse for such dedicated service to the Bremerton/Seabeck community.
Socialism, here we come
Today as I stood in line at a local grocery store I noticed on the magazine rack the latest issue of Newsweek and the cover stated: “We are all socialists now.” I remember a few years back when I mentioned to some friends that socialism was just around the corner in our country and they reacted with a “No, it can’t ever ever happen here” — yes it can — and did — enter Obama on the scene. I might remind you there is a thin line between socialism and communism — one uses subterfuge and the other uses force. Socialism — plain and simple — means lowering all of us to one common level. Wake up Americans!
NORMA L. CARD