>Miscellaneous Items – 5/18/09


Monday Illahee Community Meeting.  The Monday (5-18-09)meeting @ 6:30 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship Church on Perry Ave is a quarterly ICC meeting, but theprimary issue to be discussed is whether the Illahee Community can come up with a counter proposal to the Timbers Edge plan.  There is evidently a draft of a proposal that will be passed out at the meeting.  If you have any questions we will be glad to pass on what we know.
Tuesday Illahee Forest Preserve Meeting.  This meeting will be held on Tuesday (5-19-09) at the Eagles Nest at the Fairgrounds beginning at 6:30 pm.  The primary issue on the agenda is a sheriff”s representative to talk about various issues within the Illahee Preserve, the major one being homeless camps.  This should be a great interest to Illahee residents because of the potential for fire damage to the 460 acres of Preserve forest land in an otherwise urban setting. 
Concern Regarding Homeless Camps in Illahee State Park.  We received a copy of an email that was sent to Patty Lent, who was quoted in a Kitsap Sun article as suggesting that if Illahee State Park is mothballed that maybe the homeless could camp and help take care of the Park.  We think that the Park will not be mothballed, but found the email very insightful regarding possible issues with those using the facilities.
I realize that your suggestion regarding the use of Illahee State Park if it is closed to the general public because of budget constraints was based on your compassion for the individuals that are homeless. My wife and I have lived adjacent to the park for 23 years. I have been a park volunteer in the past. We know exactly the events that occur in the campground on a daily basis under “normal conditions”. The campground host is not there to be a friendly guide for campers, they are there to control the behavior within the campground. Sometimes they do and sometimes they are not able to maintain control. I truly believe that you don’t understand the impact of your homeless shelter proposal.

It is true that I do have somewhat of an “not in my backyard” attitude but we understand the unpublished events that happen on numerous occasions within the campground and the remainder of the park. Today neighborhood families will not let their children walk through the campground and park without supervision because of what has happened in the park. I know of adults that won’t walk into the park without a weapon on their person. The park manager and assistant park manager carry weapons for their own protection. These conditions exist in a facility open to the general public. Do you have any concept of what conditions would be like if the front gate were locked and as you suggested the facilities become a homeless refuge?
I do hope we can continue this dialogue.
Let us know your thoughts and we will pass them on.
Jim Aho, Phone 479-1049