Letters to the Editor

Letters

Don’t reward

Oke’s betrayal

The fact that the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge has made some lives easier isn’t the point. It’s the fact that Sen. Bob Oke did exactly the opposite of what his people told him to do.

He was elected to carry out the wishes of his constitutes, not what he thought might be best. And for that reason alone I am against naming the bridge after him.

The role of government is to enact the will of the people, especially when it was put to vote, and this man purposely did the opposite in what his job asked of him.

You should not reward this gross misdeeds just because a few happen to think it worked out after all.

I still feel if we can fund superstadiums for teams who whine about leaving if they don’t get what they want, then he could have found funds for a bridge that would not require a toll that is — shockingly — going up in price under a year.

Thanks. I love the fact I now have to pay to even get off the peninsula.

Why even vote when our elected leaders ignore our will and now get rewarded with having their names exalted for it?

JAMES HARRIS

Port Orchard

Name tollbooth

after Bob Oke

To think that the Port of Bremerton commissioners are supportive of naming the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge after Oke does’t surprise me (“Port board backs naming bridge for Oke,” April 12).

They, like Oke himself, do not represent me or the majority living on this peninsula.

They continue to do what they feel is best, not what they were/are being paid to do.

If it is such an important issue for them and Oke’s widow, let them pay for the naming. I am slowly going deeper into debt because of them.

I am literally being taxed out of my home in one way or another and find myself seriously considering moving. If I were living off of the taxpayers like all of them, then perhaps it would be affordable.

Just who do they think they are? Certainly not my parent(s) or my representatives. It is time for the community to step up and let their voices be heard.

Oke never did a thing for me and having his name put out there blantantly in front of me on my daily commute will only deepen my ill feelings about him and the self-serving bunch on the taxpayers payrolls.

Perhaps one of the tollbooths could be named after him — that would be more fitting.

CAROL STEVENS

Olalla

Dissent can

be positive

It has been interesting to hear and read about the unfolding of responses brought about how Cedar Heights’ student Maria Alvestad-Ereth and her parents worked with the school and district on the district’s policy regarding not wearing jewelry to gym class.

As a teacher for more than 20 years, there are plenty of students who can tell you that an ongoing theme in my classes has been that attitude is a choice, and since name-calling and put-downs are not allowed, students are encouraged to say and do things to build each other up —something we can all benefit from.

And so I have been dismayed and disappointed by the negative responses (name calling and put-downs) that readers of the Independent have sent in to the editor in regards to the Alvestad-Ereth story.

The way I see it, Maria, guided and supported by her parents, saw what appeared to be a discrepancy and some inconsistencies in the districts policy.

They conferred with Cedars administrator Andrew Cain, and also took their questions and concerns to the school board for review.

This afforded the district the opportunity to examine and clarify the policy, which can now be clearly communicated and consistently enforced.

Many positive lessons can be learned from these events. Mr. Cain described to me that the Alvestad-Ereth family have been nothing but professional in raising a question for consideration.

The Independent quoted Assistant Superintendent Dave LaRose calling the parents question “a very articulate appeal.”

The school district personnel can be complimented for being responsive and courteous when making their analysis and considerations.

Independent reporter Aaron Burkhalter wrote a fair and well-balanced report and produced an excellent photograph of Maria.

Another staffer, cartoonist Frank Shiers, created a very funny, light-hearted caricature to represent one exaggerated take on the situation.

The keys to the success of all of this is open, respectful communication; between a child and parents, between families and schools, and between the school and the community.

This is an example of civics in action. We need to continue to encourage bringing questions, ideas and solutions to the discussion tables.

This is what diplomacy is, which leads to meeting the best interests of everyone.

By choosing to look at the positive aspects of this story, we see courage, maturity, support, consideration, success and productive role-models.

Maria Alvestad-Ereth is one of my heroes.

BECKY SCHMUCK

Cedar Heights

Junior High

Why endorse this lifestyle?

I am writing to request that the South Kitsap School District refrain from participating in the “Day of Silence” scheduled for April 25. By choosing to participate, the district endorses the unnatural, unhealthy and destructive homosexual lifestyle so harmful to children and families.

Our kids deserve better.

I am a graduate of South Kitsap High School, a Port Orchard resident, a husband, a father and a local pastor. I have the privilege of ministering to young people ages 12 to 18 on a weekly basis.

Every week, I see firsthand the pressures and confusion that kids today deal with concerning sex and sexuality. I also am aware of facts such as that one in four teenage girls has at least one sexually transmitted disease (New York Times, March 12, 2008).

As a Bible-believing Christian, I know that humans are no accident, nor are we merely the result of time and chance. The Bible states clearly that we are created, fearfully and wonderfully made by a master designer.

This same designer has a plan and purpose for men, women and children — a plan and purpose that is also designed for their good.

The upcoming “Day of Silence” communicates sympathy with and endorsement of a lifestyle that defies this purpose and plan. What if I were to propose to the school board that there be a day set apart to recognize all those who are looked down upon by society because they are addicted to cigarettes?

You’d say, “That’s ridiculous. Why would we promote something that is unhealthy and destructive? Rather we should have a day were we teach the children entrusted to us about the dangers and consequences of this destructive behavior.”

And I would agree. To promote the homosexual lifestyle is no different than encouraging drug and alcohol use.

I understand this is a very sensitive and hotly debated topic. While I do not agree with this lifestyle, I in no way condone the verbal or physical abuse of anyone who chooses the homosexual lifestyle.

Rather, as teachers, parents, and leaders, we should take every opportunity to reason with our children about the physical and spiritual consequences of the homosexual lifestyle.

I am sure members of the school board consider the great responsibility with which they have been entrusted by thousands of parents in South Kitsap to prepare our children to be successful adult members of our society.

I am sure they have taken time to consider that they will be accountable for every influence (whether good or bad) that enters the school doors.

So I am asking that they and all others responsible to stop telling our children that premarital sex and homosexuality are normal, healthy, natural, and OK.

I am asking them to raise the standard for our children.

Some may make the argument that children will have sex no matter what we say. That may true, but at least our consciences as parents, teacher and faculty members can rest knowing that we’ve told our children the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Parents as well as schools should be telling them that a virgin until marriage — heterosexual, monogamous, until-death-do-you-part marriage — is the safest, most healthy, and happiest lifestyle.

Even the Center for Disease Control, a non-religious organization, states with regard to HIV and STDs that the surest way to avoid transmission is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

God’s way is the only way to avoid premarital pregnancy, AIDS and other STDs, and the host of other related emotional, physical and spiritual consequences of homosexual and premarital sex.

In closing, let me say that I am very thankful for those teachers and staff with in the district who not only had a positive influence on me but continue today to prepare our children for their futures and to focus on academics instead of these other issues.

JEREMY McLELLAN,

associate pastor

Calvary Church

of Port Orchard

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