Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | March 15, 2012

SIPO thanks auction, dinner supporters

Soroptimist International of Port Orchard (SIPO) held its 17th annual Auction and Dinner on Feb. 23 at the Clubhouse at McCormick Woods.

We wish to thank everyone who participated in making this year’s event the most successful in several years. Our sincere thanks go to our generous sponsors, including Harrison Medical Center (a long-time supporter and the event sponsor), The Clubhouse at McCormick Woods, St. Anthony’s Hospital, Dr. Jennifer Quimby, The Port Orchard Independent, Recognition Plus, CBI/Weatherill Dental Lab, Kitsap Veterinary Hospital, Grey Chevrolet, Compensation Consultants and Wet Apple Media.

We also extend special thanks to Stokes Auction Group, McCormick Woods, Master of Ceremonies Bryan Petro, South Kitsap High School volunteer students, the SKHS “S” Club and of course, the auction guests. SIPO is blessed to have members who work tirelessly on all club projects and we wish to award special recognition to them as well. Kimber Coleman, Chris Stansbery, Mary Kaltenborn, Kate Espy and Mary Aykens were key players in the success of the auction, along with all of the members who donated their time, resources and talents to the event, and we extend a hearty “thank you” to all of you, and to anyone who donated cash, auction items or their valuable time to the effort.

Funds from the auction go toward SIPO’s scholarships, awards, grants and community projects.

A large portion of the proceeds went to the “Fund a Need” segment of the auction. This year it was Harrison’s Women’s Health Screening Fund of Kitsap County, and due to the generosity of auction attendees, $8,500 will provide many uninsured and low income women health testing otherwise unaffordable for them. A significant share of the proceeds will be devoted to our grant program, the annual process for which will begin soon.

Any organization interested in applying for a grant may visit SIPO’s website at siportorchard.com, or email us at siofpo@gmail.com. SIPO is a non- profit organization and is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls and their families in their communities and around the world.

Again, on behalf of SIPO, thank you to everyone who made this year’s event possible.

Linette Zimmerman, President and Bobbie Weatherill, Public Awareness Chair

Legislators must take responsibility

Well, all of the South Kitsap people who voted for the South Kitsap School District levy must be real happy. You also must be happy that the passage of the SKSD levy will take 80 percent of my latest Social Security increase for the entire year and even more in the coming years.

I think that all of the people who voted for the SKSD levy should be directing their efforts and time to lobby Olympia legislators to fully fund K-12 education in our state. Our state constitution specifically says that the states “paramount duty is to fully fund education throughout the entire state of Washington.”

So why aren’t our state leaders living up to what our state constitution says?

All of you who supported and voted for the SKSD levy, why don’t you do something really constructive and get our state legislators, Gov. Jay Inslee and other officials to start obeying our state constitution.

We need to hold our state leaders’ feet to the fire to abide by our state constitution and fully fund K-12 education.

Let’s face it, our state has plenty of revenue.

Rob Daugherty | Olalla

Reform is critical before new taxes

Washington’s 63rd Legislative 105-day session races along with bills penned, debated, and discarded to the cutting-room floor. “All animals are equal but some more than others.”  Same holds true for legislative bills.

House Democrat majority prepares to steamroll their $10 billion transportation package built on new gas taxes (10 cent/gallon),  jump in car-tax fees (100-200 percent), bicycle fees. End product: Series of statewide mega-highway projects. Glaringly absent is genuine reform to transportation priorities, WSDOT organization/performance and Washington State Ferries’ (WSF) vision.

Remind our representatives true reform must precede $10 billion in taxes. Democrat pending bill is AWOL on reform.

Fortunately, the new Senate coalition majority indicates they will demand reform before any transportation plan is approved. I have long championed the key element of WSDOT funding reform by repeal of RCW 47.60.814(17) passed in 1990.

This law requires WSF vessels be built only in Washington State (Vigor Industries sole bidder) resulting in taxpayers paying a 40 percent subsidy mark-up on all WSF vessel construction.

Both the State Auditor’s WSF audit last month and Gov. Christine Gregoire’s 2010 Blue-Ribbon Commission challenged the fiscal sense of preventing an open-bid national search for vessel-construction value. With an aging ferry fleet with a replacement-rate of a vessel every 2.7 years, billions of dollars in taxpayer waste are in the balance.  Free-market construction  bidding works outstandingly well  for private business/individuals, why not WSF?

Senate majority coalition is giving this critical reform a hearing in Olympia.

Reform of WSDOT/WSF is critical before we see a dime in new taxes. Our ferry fleet is expensive and critical to us, we must have the highest and best value for our taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

James M. Olson | Bainbridge Island


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