Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the editor for the week of April 19

Letters to the editor - up to 250 words - can be submitted by 5 p.m. each Friday at gatewayeditor@gateline.com. They may be edited for style, grammar and punctuation. One letter may be accepted per month for each individual.
Letters to the editor - up to 250 words - can be submitted by 5 p.m. each Friday at gatewayeditor@gateline.com. They may be edited for style, grammar and punctuation. One letter may be accepted per month for each individual. Getty Images

Overwhelming support for safe, secure schools

The measure of our community is the investment we make in our children. Great schools make great communities, and great communities make great schools. Judging by the overwhelming and bipartisan support that Stand Up for Peninsula Schools has received while campaigning for the school bond, our community is strong and our schools will soon be safer and more secure, when this measure passes.

What is Stand Up for Peninsula Schools exactly? It is the hundreds of volunteers that have rang doorbells, made phone calls and waved signs. It’s the thousands of social media followers and hundreds of homeowners and businesses displaying 'yes' yard signs.

It is the dad who handmade 750 'vote yes' buttons. It’s the students that will graduate before their school facilities improve but are volunteering for the next generation of students.

It’s the countless individuals, families and businesses that have helped get out the vote. It’s the over 200 contributors that have donated financially to our campaign.

It is the individuals that researched and shared accurate information to help others be informed. It’s a district administration that has spent our tax dollars as promised, and continue to be transparent and communicate facts to the public.

It's the retired communities, churches and organizations, across party lines, that invited us in to educate their members.

It is the man who told me he was originally voting no but educated himself on the facts and is now a strong yes.

Our community is standing together for education, our taxpayers and our entire community. We are all Stand Up for Peninsula Schools. Join us in voting YES, and turn your ballot in by April 24!

Deb Krishnadasan, Gig Harbor

Speak up, attend April 23 council meeting

You are urged to attend the April 23 City Council meeting, 5:30 pm at the Gig Harbor Civic Center.

The city council will discuss specific zoning changes to slow growth. I have asked the planning department to clearly explain any potential changes — and specifically how those changes will help to slow growth.

Last November you elected four new council members and a new mayor. We promised we would listen to you and make slowing growth and improving infrastructure a top priority.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” — M. Eldman.

Votes are vital and so is holding your elected officials accountable for the votes we promised to make on your behalf. Please come and keep score.There is a city council election in 2019.

I have heard from folks who have a personal interest in not supporting slow growth in Gig Harbor. These folks send emails and phone calls to your elected representatives.

If you are in favor of slow growth, please be active. Your city council needs to hear from you. Send your email to our city clerk, towsleeM@cityofgigharbor.net, who will distribute it to the council.

Many Gig Harbor citizens have told me it is time for a sports complex for families who live in Gig Harbor today. I have heard your concern about the time spent sitting in traffic, safety in roundabouts, lack of schools, clear cutting of trees and other issues affecting our hometown.

If you think the council needs to slow growth while we fix these issues first, it is vital we hear from you by email and in person.

Jeni Woock, Gig Harbor City Council position #1

Safety, equality for all Peninsula students

Our students deserve safety and equal accessibility.

I was a member of the Facilities Planning Committee, a large team that evaluated our schools. Facing the reality of school shootings, like Sandy Hook, I counted 26 unsecured entry points at Peninsula High School. I later learned Gig Harbor has 36!

My boys attend Peninsula. One walks the halls; the other uses a wheelchair. Principal David Goodwin takes security seriously, but he cannot efficiently lock down the building with the press of a button.This is essential technology for the lessons our community has learned from the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida. While it may resonate more dramatically in my mind, whose wheelchair-bound son is particularly vulnerable, all parents, students and educators deserve to know our schools are as safe as we can make them.

At Artondale Elementary, the kindergarten classrooms indoor access requires navigating stairs. Students like my son who can’t walk must exit the building in their wheelchairs, navigate around the back of the building, traverse a ramp, and then finally join their peers who walked the stairs. I feel strongly, and the Americans with Disabilities Acts seems to agree, that students of all abilities deserve basic dignity. Our district needs funds to fix these problems.

I am extremely satisfied with my boys’ teachers and administrators, persevering with excellence, despite building conditions.They deserve a sense of safety, and all students deserve equal access to their school facilities. Please join me and my family in voting yes for the bond!

Lance Hester, Gig Harbor

Home values, quality of schools go together

High quality schools are a huge driver of where people want to live, more so than ever today. And it’s a proven fact that there is a direct correlation between the quality of local schools and maintaining our home values.

The Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula region have not passed a Peninsula School District bond in 15 years, and as a result, our schools are unsafe and overcrowded. Most of our schools are more than 30 years old and need critical updates.

A yes vote for the replacement school bond will start to put us back on the track we should have been on, investing in and rebuilding our schools.

Mail in your ballot before April 24, and join me in voting yes, to help make this great place to live even better for everyone.

Thelma L. Channon, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor, Realogics Sotheby's International Realty

District graduates ask for your yes vote

We ask you to vote yes on the Peninsula School District bond to provide current and future students with the facilities they need to learn and excel. When we were in school (graduates of the classes of 2001-2010), we saw the beginnings of the significant challenges facing facilities today. We studied in portables. We studied in aging science classrooms, or worse, off of carts. We saw the effects of leaky roofs.

Our community has a chance with this bond to rebuild our school facilities to meet the challenges of today's education. We are the generation of Columbine, Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. We watch these shootings and know that our buildings do not have security systems in place to help secure students. This bond will pay for these critical security updates. It will also bring buildings up to current fire code.

There is a much larger debate in our state about school funding, which is incredibly important, but it should not prevent us from recognizing that our facilities need fixing now. It’s time for the community that has supported us to support the next generation and say, with your yes vote, that this is the better way.

Hannah Johnson, Kjersti Johnson, Ted Steingraber, Amanda Spadoni, Jenni Glover, Andy Rothenberg, Laura Sullivan, Kaitlyn Crudge, Kelsey Wasmund, Hillary Powell, Susan Glenn, Megan Gurr, Kaitlyn Savage, Ashley Holland, Ashley Krom, Conner Peloquin, Gaby Kinner, Taylor Indahl, Cammie Jones, Stephanie Hinch, Hayden Indahl, Tajia Bergman, Leslie Walker, Katie Ventura, Stephanie Somers, Maddie Shjerven, Denise Lund, Jenni Cinq-Mars Chadick, Katherine Aosved

No confusion — vote yes on bond

Don Snowden's cartoon of April 12 has me scratching my head. Is he saying that he's confused by the bond proposal, or by the naysayers who are trying to obfuscate the issue? Hopefully the latter.
In the many years I've been involved with the Peninsula School District, I've never seen more transparent documentation of the need for the funds and how, when and where they will be spent.
The key is putting our kids into safe and secure buildings, which means water-tight roofs, adequate heat, safe water, secure entries and space for the activities of education. That's it! And it's to be done in the most cost-saving way.
No confusion — vote a resounding yes!
Marsha Williams, Wauna

Read the measure before voting

If you haven’t voted for the special bond levy, I would strongly suggest reading the entire measure before casting your vote. It is posted online and you might be surprised at what you are obligating yourself and other property owners to. The last thing that you should relay on are the roadside signs as they don’t give you the full details of the measure. Please read the entire measure before casting your vote.

Rufus W. Clark, Gig Harbor



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