It's that time of year again, where surviving World War two alumni of Farragut Naval Base congregate once again. This will take place this Saturday, September 12 at the park. Festivities kick off at 9:00 am with the flag raising ceremony along with a memorial service dedicated to the sailors that are gone. We lose more every year and every year, it is considered probably the last reunion. This one may well be the end.
Oktoberfish has come around again. October 2 Ralph's Cafe sponsors a fishing derby every year at this time with all entry fees going into the prize pool. Friday evening, 7 pm at the Captain's Wheel hosts an auction with the proceeds also going to the winners pool. Prize distribution can be seen on the blog if you scroll down a few posts. The derby itself is Saturday and Sunday, October 3 & 4.
The community is still roiling over the behind the scenes attempt by Kootenai county Parks and Waterways to eliminate or severely modify the no wake zone in Scenic Bay. The 5 mph speed limit in the bay has been in effect for more than twenty years with the required hearings followed by the then county commission voting to establish this low speed zone. Since then there are no re callable incidents where injuries or death have resulted from slow moving boats interacting with kids on tubes, kayaks and canoes. It appears that a slight inconvenience to out of town boaters who are in a hurry have complained, yet when asked to produce logs of such complaints, which we understand are required, show no complaints at all. A further misrepresentation by an unknown entity, informed KREM TV that the Navy is in favor of abolishing this safety net for more efficient operations. When asked directly, Alan Griffith, director of research at the base, denied that any statement of that sort was made. He went further and I quote, "My job is to protect the safety and security of the base. We take no position and can live with either a no wake zone, or without."
This is going to be an issue that will be remembered for a long time. Elected officials must on occasion take note that the folks stepped on have long memories come election day. That was proven in recent election cycles, when an almost complete turnover of commissioners occurred.
The issue raised the question who should maintain the buoys. For these twenty plus years, the county parks & waterways people have done so. Now they say they don't have the money and want out. This is not acceptable to the Bayview community. The fees from boaters that use our bay and in most cases, actually moor their boats here should more than pay for the small amount needed to retain the status quo. For those that are just learning about this issue that should have been brought up in the community long ago, write or e-mail your county commission with your concerns. Remember, however, the waterways board only represents boaters, not shoreline homeowners or marinas. Now that the issue is above water, so to speak, we, as a community can deal with it out in the open and not behind closed doors.
The Navy, not subject to county or state law, may, if they wish, do whatever they want out there, but a desire to foster good community relations has held them to compliance with local regulations. We hope that continues.
A web site has recently been created for people to use as a forum regarding this issue. You can access it at: http://www.nowake.us/
Photo by Taryn Hecker Thonpson.
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