"...to protect and preserve the Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park as wildlife habitat for present and future generations."
(KT 2012 Mission Statement)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Good Beginning

Much Scotch Broom was pulled this week at the Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park south of the small pond. Come join the fun and show support for the park. Weed pulls will continue Wednesday 9:30-11:30am and 1:30-3:30pm and Saturday 1-4:30pm until April 19. Tools, snacks, and tea provided. Also looking for volunteers to provide snacks. Clara's cookies were delicious. Please contact me at rosemarysikes@olympus.net.

We are recruiting new Kah Tai 2012 members at the Food Coop alcove March 19, March 31, and April 2. To help with this project email Julie Jaman (jaman@olympus.net) or Rosemary Sikes (rosemarysikes@olympus.net)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Town Meeting March 6

Michele Sandoval, our mayor, is calling a Town Meeting Thursday March 6, 6pm, at Fort Worden Commons. The theme is "community values" and "maintaining our small town character". The information in the utility bill was rather vague and worse in the Leader. However when I attended the City Council retreat in January the big topic was that expenses are exceeding revenues and have been for some years. How is the city going to fund the general fund. The library, parks, police, and streets are paid for by the general fund. All other services have separate funding. In the past parks took the biggest hit with decreased personnel, this last year library hours were cut. For those that value services such as parks it will be important to speak out. Parks are considered a "nonessential service" and is cut first. So once again if we want to preserve Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park as well as our other city parks we need to show up at the Town Meeting and let our Mayor know we care about parks.

Rosemary Sikes

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The KAH TAI 2012 Initiative

While waiting for the town hall meeting, which is postponed until after the completion of Make Waves' feasibility study, we can allow ourselves to refocus to the greater issue at hand, which is the long-term plan for the preservation, protection, and habitat enhancement of Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park, in light of the fact that the lease of the area between the lagoon and Sims Way expires in 2012.

The Port would love to turn this area into boat storage and parking or worse. To keep this area a nature park, we need to organize public support for the park. If you know of anyone that wants to preserve our park have them send their email address to rosemarysikes@olympus.net.

Work is in progress on a PowerPoint presentation about the need to preserve the Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park. Stay tuned for an announcement of the first showing.

Fowler Stratton and Jill Silvers of the Jefferson County Noxious Weed Board have formed a partnership with Admiralty Audubon and the Kah Tai 2012 initiative to pull Scotch Broom in the park beginning Wednesday March 12 for six weeks. Wednesday times are 9:30-11am and 1:30-3:30pm. Saturday date and times are to be announced. Anyone willing to provide snacks and/or drinks for workers, email rosemarysikes@olympus.net. Come show your support for Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Park Supporters Crowd Transit Meeting

Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park supporters spoke up again.
On Tuesday, February 19, the Jefferson Transit Authority Board discussed as part of its business meeting the aquatic center proposed by Make Waves. Fifteen minutes were given at the beginning of the meeting for public comment and 10 minutes at the end of the meeting. Three people spoke in favor of the Kah Tai Park site for the aquatic center. Nine people spoke in opposition to the pl ans to locate the 40,000 sq.ft. aquatic center in Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park.

Reasons included destruction of habitat, loss of open space, loss of parking in Park and Ride (both from the building and use of the park and ride for aquatic center clients), increased traffic congestion from 500-650 persons per day using the aquatic center. Rosemary Sikes asked that no developments be allowed on the public land surrounding the Kah Tai Lagoon until a comprehensive plan is developed. Paula Mackrow asked that park proponents be given equal time for a presentation.

After discussion the Transit Authority Board, consisting of the Jefferson County Commissioners (one absent) and 2 City Council members (one absent), decided to schedule a town meeting in which Make Waves and park proponents could give their presentations, then public comment would follow. Reason for the town meeting was in part because not everyone who attended the Transit meeting had an opportunity to speak.

Rosemary Sikes

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Good Idea in the Wrong Location

Port Townsend's Port Commission today heard the impassioned pleas of some twenty-five local residents who objected to the Making Waves plans for building an aquatic center in a part of the Kah Tai Nature Park adjacent to the Park & Ride and Henery's Hardware store. Resistance to the plans also came from organizations such as the Kah Tai Alliance and the Audubon Society, and other environmental groups.

Issues raised were the disappearance of open spaces within walking distance from residential areas, disruption of both human and bird habitat, storm water runoff issues, construction problems relating to the soggy ground at this sea-level location, the existence of more suitable locations, the eradication of opportunities for children to spend learning time in a natural environment, and the fact that this choice of location would split up the movement and reduce the momentum towards a pool in a non-controversial location - a goal that none of the speakers objected to.

Indeed, several of the speakers had been supporters of Making Waves before this organization zoomed in on the Kah Tai location and ruled out other options. All opponents of the construction plans agreed that an aquatic center as such would be a great idea - but that putting another large building between the Safeway store, Henery's Hardware, and the McDonald's drive-through was a bad idea.

A principal objection to the construction plans at this location was also voiced by Commissioner John Collins. The construction plans were supported, however, by Commissioners Dave Thompson and Herbert Beck, who stated the truism that the Port was not in the business of administering a park, as if that was the issue. Commissioner Thompson actually openly expressed hostility to the existing wildlife sanctuary, stating his preference for a big lawn-type park, serving as a public-drawing backyard for the aquatic center. Representatives of Making Waves present at the meeting did not distance themselves from Thompson's interpretation of their concept, and in a two to one vote, the Port Commission decided in favor of allowing the Making Waves group to go ahead with a feasibility study for that site.

Action items: show up and be counted! Keep the Kah Tai sanctuary intact! Leave a comment here by clicking on the comment button, send a Thank You to Commissioner Collins or a protest to his two colleagues (click on their names for their e-mail addresses), or send an email to our webmaster to let us know that you want to be involved in actions to keep Kah Tai as it stands.

Keeping Kah Tai in its current configuration will take a good deal of time and effort. We will need all the help we can get.