Letters to the Editor

Boat safety benefits agency

Regarding the Aug. 25 letter from Edward Drum: No doubt we citizens are being managed instead of represented.

It’s not just fee increases by state agencies; it’s the inventing of new fees. Here is a prime example. If you’re a boat owner like I am then you understand. A new law recently went into effect requiring all boaters to take a Washington State Parks approved boater education course. After that you make a copy of your certificate of completion, fill out a Boater Education Card application, place these items in an envelope along with a $10 fee, and mail them to Washington State Parks Dept., which will then send you your Washington State Boater Education Card.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for boater education. As a responsible boat owner, I took the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills and Seamanship course in 1987. In 2006, Washington State had 96 boating accidents that resulted in 21 fatalities. Twenty-three accidents involved alcohol accounted for nine fatalities. Of the 21 fatalities, drowning caused 11. Property damages came to $946,905. Making all boat owners and operators attend a boater education course will definitely drive those numbers down. For more information visit www.uscg

boating.org

What I find appalling is the $10 fee attached. In 2006 there were 270,627 boats registered in Washington State. That equates to $2.7 million going to Washington State Parks Dept.

Too bad boaters can’t simply present their course completion certificates when they register their boats next year and get a Washington State Boater Education Card then. Free of charge of course. After all boaters are paying for the boater education course along with boat registration, boat launching and mooring fees.

When is the state Legislature and state agencies going to get the hint? Get out of my wallet!

Perhaps the passage of I-690 will do the trick.

Kenneth J. Wolf

Coupeville

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