Letters: Point Brown project, Hawks Fan Fest, Library reading program

In support of

Point Brown project

I am 100 percent in favor of the Point Brown Avenue Project. Here’s why:

Safety. Presently walking and biking along this route is not safe. How about large trucks and/or RV’s trying to make a turn across the median… not safe. You cannot accomplish this safety goal without a major redesign… and now we have a plan.

Creating a more livable city for our residents and visitors. Walking and biking are important attributes of a downtown area. This plan provides that.

Economic benefits. It is hard to attribute direct numbers to an investment like this. However, I do feel I have experience in seeing the results of making something positive happen. Our non- profit Ocean Shores Development Association, was able to recruit more than a $100 million in new commercial development to Ocean Shores in the 1990’s. It started with an investment by the City to fund OSDA and market the City. That effort created positive momentum. Recruiting the developers for the Best Western was our first success. This was followed by the Shilo, McDonalds, Holiday Inn Express, Assisted Living, Movie Theater, Burger King and on and on. Positive momentum is a wonderful thing to witness.

I concentrate my business on commercial development. I can tell you without doubt that developers I speak to have the feeling that Ocean Shores feels stagnant. In my estimation a project like this, whether it is done in one or two stages will send a loud and clear message to all (visitors, potential new and existing residents, and prospective developers) that the City of Ocean Shores is making something positive happen. One success leads to another.

Paying for it. Don’t be fooled by thoughts that we can do this on the cheap. This plan corrects a major flaw in the original downtown traffic design that did not allow for sidewalks and safety. Being able to fund this project with a 14% local match seems like good math to me.

I know there are many citizens and business owners who are very much for this project. Most are not as vocal as I. Frankly I commend the City and Consultant for all the hard work they have put into this project. We have come a long way on this. Citizens and businesses have had numerous opportunities to provide input and indeed there has been a lot of input as the project has moved forward. Has communication been perfect… no. However, I know of few things that are perfect. There are still details to work out and challenges to be met. This is a good plan. Let’s make this happen … NOW!

Jim Donahoe

Ocean Shores

Facts or fiction

about Ocean Shores

I want to thank Patty Lavallee for her letter of August 3, 2017. As I re-read her letter I didn’t find anything to suggest that fresh input from new community members was not welcomed. Instead, she was encouraging new residents to research information and seek the truth and not be swayed by the many unsubstantiated rumors that have been circulating.

Along with the financial rumors Ms. Lavallee referenced is the issue of the ballot box. The myth that is being perpetuated is that if you drop your ballot in the ballot box it won’t be counted. Nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to elections the State of Washington has an excellent check and balance system. To suggest otherwise is to discredit all of the people who work so hard to maintain the integrity of the ballot box. Yes, preliminary returns are posted as soon as the polls close at 8:00pm on Election Day. This is done in every city, county, state and federal election. However, final results are not posted until several days following the election to ensure that all ballots have been counted. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

Spreading rumors is not team building – it is divisive and hurtful. We welcome new residents and new ideas but it is in everyone’s best interest, “oldies and newbies,” to look for the facts, not form opinions based on sound bites and hearsay.

Karen J. Baer

Ocean Shores

Council should listen

to its citizens

As a new Ocean Shores resident who has observed the dynamics of the City Council meetings for several months, I find it interesting that when citizens speak, council members watch, appear to take notes and sometimes even nod, but then do little or nothing with our suggestions. You may appear to listen, but you do not seem to hear.

Time and time again, the Point Brown project discussion returns to the council agenda in the same form. Many have heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, a statement generally attributed to Einstein. Is it any wonder that citizens are frustrated and that their remarks during public comment sometimes seem confrontational?

We hear officials commenting on the radio that candidates “sprinkle their supporters” in the crowd. The implication is that we don’t have our own opinions or cannot form our own thoughts. I resent this; the opinions that I express during the occasional times I speak are my own. I do not need anyone to tell me what to say. Citizens are lectured, again on the radio, about being nicer, that a respectful difference of opinions may convince a council member to rethink a position. However, there is no evidence that citizens are being heard. Instead, observations are made about a few naysayers. Comments like that are disrespectful to your citizens.

Little regard is shown for citizens’ time – items of public interest such as Point Brown are often scheduled late in the meetings and come up after people have left. Observations that only a few citizens speak during public comment mistake our interest for exhaustion. Is this agenda placement intentional, designed to wear us down? Then when we do speak, we are often shouted at that our time is up. Is it any wonder that we are upset at not being heard?

Does anyone think that splitting this project fools us? The eventual costs are the same, or higher, if the entire project is ever completed. Why would we pit the North end businesses against the South end? This will not help with community unity. Would tourists be expected to walk halfway up the street on sidewalks and then step off to continue their exploration? Would they do that? Is it safer with only half of the street and sidewalks complete?

As I’ve stated in previous council meetings, an idea to save significant funds, at least $4 million, is to eliminate the roundabouts that are a major cause of the resistance to this project. Build sidewalks, put in raised cobblestone or painted crosswalks to slow traffic. Look for revitalization and community improvement grants and funding.

Councilors, I wonder if any of our suggestions over the past several meetings will see the light of day. I wonder if you even heard us on Monday. After your 5 – 2 council vote the project continues; the only redeeming factor is that you asked to go back to the drawing board on the design, something that several citizens, including Shannon Rubin and Susan Conniry, have recommended countless times. They appear to have listened and heard us. For that reason, I will be voting for them on November 7, to bring their listening skills to city council meetings.

Councilors, do you hear your citizens?

Kathryn Sprigg

Ocean Shores

Great Hawks fan parade,

except for the politics

What a wonderful weekend filled with Hawk fans from all over. A big shout out and thanks to the Mighty 12s Alliance for all their efforts to bring this great event to our fair city by the sea for the third year.

We settled in to watch the parade on Saturday and we were thoroughly enjoying the “Hawked out” vehicles, salute and recognition of our military services, the Seahawk families who came to join us signing autographs and pausing for selfies and the cheerful shouts of “Sea-Hawks,” and then – what do our eyes see? An inappropriate intrusion of a political nature. Some of us were actually enjoying a time when politics were not the focus, this was a Seahawks themed parade after all.

But nonetheless, someone, and only one, has to take advantage of an event at which hundreds of people from out of town could care less about our local politics. This was not appropriate, the hundreds came to support and enjoy our team – Go Hawks!

Bob DeBuhr

Ocean Shores

Support from community

for Summer Reading Program

At the Ocean Shores Library this summer, local young adults have been participating in the 14th annual Teen Summer Reading Program. This year the theme was “Get in the game, Read!” 68 local teens signed up for the program and read a total of 88,125 pages over two months. The three events were attended by a total of 104 teens.

I would like to thank the local businesses that donated prizes and helped offer incentives to students that read over 1,000 pages. Without the support of our local business community, our Teen Summer Reading Program would not be such a success! Thanks to; Ace Hardware, Beach Town Toys, Buddy & Howie’s Old Fashioned Sweet Shoppe, Dugan’s Pizza, Las Maracas Mexican Restaurant, Lucky Dragon Chinese Restaurant, Murphy’s Ice Cream, North Coast Surf Shop, Ocean Shores Cinemas, Ocean Shores IGA, Pacific Paradise Family Fun Center, Playtime Family Fun, Red Genie Pizza, Salon Maude & Day Spa, Seaweed, Shores Bowl, Viet Hoa Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisine.

I would also like to thank the Friends of the Library for supporting all the teen programs financially.

We had a great cooperation with the North Beach Jr. and Sr. High School English Teachers. These teachers collaborated with us to give extra credit to any students that finished the reading program by reading at least 1,000 pages. 28 students earned extra credit to start out the school year!

None of this would have been possible without the ideas and support of the Teen Advisory Board. The members supported the program and helped out immensely. Thanks to all of you! We appreciate Kevin Traer making pulled pork sandwiches for the July Party Rock event. Also a big thanks to the adults who chaperoned our July event; Melissa Van Horn, Shyanne Morrow, Devin Pruitt, Hannah Raaberg and Niko Laranang.

What a wonderful community that pulled together to make this summer fun for local teens. —-

Michelle Traer

Ocean Shores Library

Local Indivisible group

We, the Indivisible group in Ocean Shores, wish to publically express our respect for the peaceful marchers in Charlottesville and our sympathy for the injuries and loss of life. We join the large chorus of voices supporting freedom and respect for all races, religions and nationalities.

We also condemn the KKK, neo-nazis and white supremacist perpetuators of violence, as well as Trump’s feeble response to their criminal behavior.

We owe a great debt of appreciation to everyone who is standing for truth, civility and kindness in these troubled times; they remind us that we are all part of each other. We all suffer when racism and violence erupt. We all flourish when human rights are upheld.

Richard Wills

Ocean Shores