Tribune Logo Serving text
facebook Logo Come see us on Facebook







Letters Archive

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
All letters must be signed by the author and include a phone number and address for verification. The Snohomish County Tribune will edit all letters for brevity, clarity and style.
Letters must be 250 words or less.

Authors may be published once every four issues.

Letters policy
The Tribune provides a general forum for pertinent local public comment, but the viewpoints published in letters to the editor do not carry any implied endorsement or fact verifications by the
Send us a letter:

Letters to the editor in the Jan. 16 Tribune:

Suggestions if the city wants to honor war vets

To the Editor:
Regarding the Jan. 2nd and Jan. 9th Tribune articles on Snohomish parks names: The city Parks Board started the parks naming process in 2017, even appointing a special parks naming committee.
According to the Jan. 2 article, 52 suggested names were evaluated and decided on for five parks for submission to City Council for final approval.
Now, according to the Jan. 9 article, all bets are off. Someone on the parks board doesn’t want the 20 acre boat launch park named to honor the historic Pilchuck Julia — a Snohomish icon and fisherwoman who sold smoked salmon in town up until her death from smallpox in 1923. Her colorful history is prominently and widely reported in the first edition of the early Snohomish history book “River Reflections.”
If the parks board wants to name a park after a Snohomish war veteran, I would like to submit some names of additional war veterans killed:
Vietnam War — Charles Peterson and Owen McCandlis.
Korean War — Charles Burrows.
Personally, for memorializing Cpl. Jeffrey Starr killed in the Iraq War, I suggest the parks board consider naming the upper floor of the soon-to-be-refurbished 1910 Carnegie Building “the Jeffrey Starr Events Center.”
It would be more visible to the public, and one of Cpl. Starr’s sisters happens to be an attorney working in a law office right across the street from the Carnegie Building.

Morgan Davis

BOLD Act funds important brain health screenings

To the Editor:
The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act has just been signed into law, and I want to thank Congressman Rick Larsen and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene for having been a cosponsor of this meaningful legislation. 
The BOLD Act will allow effective Alzheimer’s public health interventions to be implemented across the country.
This is important to me because I am a family caregiver for my wife of 56 years, who is in the early stage of Alzheimer’s.
Every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease – which is why Congress must remain committed to action on this devastating disease.
By applying a public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms, and advance care, Congressman Larsen and Congresswoman DelBene are helping to change the trajectory of this devastating disease.

Mike Allert

C’mon, pick up your dog feces

To the Editor:
I am a resident of South Everett’s Evergreen Neighborhood and I have noticed people have not been picking up after their dogs. It is a nuisance to me, and I’m sure others as well.
I have a dog and I pick up after him because not only it is considerate but it is the law, and I am appalled that I have to play a game of hop scotch to walk down the street.
On Saturday I was getting off Everett Transit’s Route 3 and I stepped off the back door at Beverly Lane and 75th Street and my first step was in dog poop. I just don’t understand why people don’t pick up after their pets because the sidewalks would be more beautiful if you didn’t have to worry about stepping in dog poop and it would make the world a better place. 

Elijah Edens

Letters to the editor in the Jan. 9 Tribune:

Put the focus on First Street first

To the Editor:
Regarding the proposed changes to Second Street: has the city considered the possibility that those millions of dollars allotted to making a congested street out of an existing thoroughfare could be better used to make Snohomish’s main attraction to visitors, FIRST STREET, a friendly walking street, with a large free parking lot located somewhere along an uphill street adjacent to First.    
 I have been in big towns/small cities in England where the Main Street (where most of the shops are located) has been converted into a pedestrian-only street (after 8 a.m.). Apprehensive shop owners worried, but soon found out that the shoppers loved the new hassle-free arrangement, and business improved!  Some shops even put up awnings to lure customers into their shop. Of course, sidewalk
cafés popped up for nourishment and a little rest.
It makes for a Win-Win situation, easily accessible from Second Street, the way they got into town. 
Please consider this possibility before making it difficult for shoppers to find their way to a unique First Street, one of the reasons for people (including us residents) to enjoy this “One-of-a-kind” delightful town.

Glenda Barnhart

Writer: Adjust grant priorities

To the Editor:
I am a city of Snohomish Second Street resident concerned about state Sen. Steve Hobbs’ priorities involving state grants to Snohomish.
In 2018, Hobbs was instrumental in getting a $500,000 grant to remove the city’s 1968 Carnegie Annex and a $350,000 design grant for increasing bicycle safety on Second Street, although most bicyclists take other routes. In 2019, the city is hoping for another $2 million grant to restore its 1910 Carnegie Building for an “events center” and other grants to help fund its so-called Second Street Corridor Beautification project, costing up to $15 million over three phases.
I strongly disagree with Hobbs’ priorities. Both of the aforementioned projects are “frills” and benefit only a few influential and well connected townspeople. Any future state grants should go to improving the congested state Highway 9 between Clearview and Lake Stevens. This congestion is what makes area motorists opt for the county roads and Second Street. Once Highway 9 is fixed, commuters will no longer clog Second Street during the rush hours.
Sen. Hobbs, please rearrange your priorities and put the grant money where it will do the most good for the most people.

Evangeline Loranc

Editor’s note: Prior Tribune reporting shows the city’s Second Street plan is not a $15 million project.

Dems repeating last year’s I-1631

To the Editor:
After a 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent failed I-1631, state Sen. Steve Hobbs and the Democrats are back at it again with a reworded exact same tax to impose on Washington. What baffles me is this, what part of NO does Hobbs and the Democrats do not understand?  Yet the Democrats persist to ignore the “WILL” of the people.  Again targeting your pocketbook and a sleight of hands in wording of this so- called new proposal, Hobbs and his friends along with environmental special interest groups are attempting to sell you snake oil again. 
Really? I do not think so, personally its smoke and mirrors, just like I-1631 was to get you focused on while the anti-gun proponents sneak in I-1639.  Just wait and see, another round of anti-gun bans are coming for 2019 and the focus will be on what?  Carbon tax! 
Maybe it is time for Washington to drain the swamp in Olympia.

John Lorenz

No Letters to the editor published in the Jan. 2 Tribune

Letters to the editor in the Dec. 26 Tribune:

Weigh it carefully

To the Editor:
In reading over the range of proposals, I thought this historically moderate town would choose one of the less extreme options and not opt for a full ban, so I was gravely disappointed to find that the full ban had been chosen.
Minimizing pollution is a laudable goal. That doesn’t mean it is necessary to join in the present fad for hysterical environmental extremism or accept that our town needs to adopt an unsustainable mind set, wherein a small minority of agitators can reduce our ability to make choices for ourselves by banning everything they don’t like or mandating everything that they like. That’s not the way our city has worked or should work.
Finally, I would like to encourage the Snohomish Youth Council to take a different approach. Emotional arguments based on fear and throwing around manipulative statements about greed (oh that nefarious Plastic Bag Lobby) are not the way to make good policy. Good policy comes from fact-based analysis (cost and practicality of alternatives) and consultation with as many of the affected parties as possible (e.g., businesses, residents). Emotional fearmongering about our future is not the trump card that overrides all other considerations.
I hope the City Council will consider this matter a lot more carefully, and consult with the citizenry as a whole, before jumping on the latest political bandwagon.

Don Baldwin

Approve it for future generations

To the Editor:
I have lived in Snohomish for all 17 years of my life. I have lived in a town where it is normal to see sides of roads littered with plastic products. By being on the high school cross country team I have seen many parts of Snohomish that many haven’t seen, including under bridges, in alleys, and even on dirt roads on farms. Every run we go on it is a guarantee that there will be a plastic bag entangled in a bush or a plastic bottle in a ditch.
I’m sick and tired of having the generations who left us with this mess remain in the seats of power both locally and nationally demonstrate their lack of political will to do something as simple as ban plastic bags. We are the generation that will have to suffer the consequences of climate change. I want my generation’s voice to be heard because we deserve to have a clean planet. We deserve to have a future that your parents and their parents before them strove for, which was one in which their children would be better off than them.

Claire Gillings

Letters to the editor in the Dec. 19 Tribune:

Thank you

To the Editor:
As we enjoy the Christmas Season in Snohomish, I would like to recognize and commend Ms. Karen Guzak and her volunteers for creating the annual Snohomish Winter Solstice Candlelight River Walk!
It’s a lot of work to create the lights that line the walk, but it makes a wonderful fairyland of light for the darkest evening of the year.
This December 21st will mark the 14th year we have been treated to this beautiful event along our waterfront.
Last year was very cold, but very well attended and all are welcome!
So thank you, to Ms. Guzak and her elves!  We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of citizens in our town!
If you are looking for a way to spend the 2018 Winter Solstice, come to Downtown Snohomish between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and experience a bit of magic!

Lanni Johnson

County should buy Bonneville plot

To the Editor:
Snohomish County is soliciting ideas from the public to distribute $5 million in federal funds to help low-income folks whose annual income is under $80,250 for a family of four (Dec. 12 Tribune, page 12).
County government plans to sell 7.4 vacant acres on Bonneville Avenue in the city of Snohomish in 2019 to the highest bidder.  The county assessor has it valued at $1.5 million.  Proceeds will go to county Public Works as the site was its public works yard for decades.
The site overlooks Bonneville Power Administration’s sub-station and is adjacent to the Snohomish Mobile Home and RV Park.  It is a perfect location to house East County’s very low and low income folks as it is close-in to all urban services.  It is zoned industrial/commercial/ multi-family apartments
7.4 acres would allow a mix of apartments, mobile homes, RV’s, and social and medical services, sorely needed in East County.
However, here’s the rub.  Snohomish city government doesn’t like low-income folks.  It has effectively moved to a “gentrification strategy.”  For example, an ambitious $15 million beautification project for bicyclists on its Second Street corridor and a $2.5 million restoration of the 1910 Carnegie building for wedding venues or class reunions, sought by a private foundation.
The county Housing and Community Development Department should take the $5 million HUD grant and purchase the Bonneville Avenue property from Public Works and use the balance to help the truly needy, very low income citizens with housing and services.

Morgan Davis

In opposition

To the Editor:
The numbers do not match the narrative of those who insist that plastic is evil. The science and facts are never shared honestly by these groups. Well intended and I am one for conservation, I am neither an alarmist nor a global warmest. Yes the Earth warms, has done so for millenniums, But this is bags, the numbers being told are false, the 100,000 marine mammals that died is from a 1987 Canadian study over the period of 1981 to 1984 which was sampled and estimated only to find that it was discarded commercial fishing nets, not bags or straws and they even explain what mammals and numbers including “one Sea turtle.” What is shown are Manilla bay, Sri Lanka and Fukushima after the Tsunamis. Bags are not single use, that is a myth. The truth, there are seven categories of plastic. Only 1 and 2 are recycled in Wash., why? Bags and straws are 4 and 5, the technology is there. Look up Sweden and see. A company in Oregon Pacific Northwest Polymers recycles all and produces building materials out of all the plastic, almost zero impact. Why do we not insist our contracted garbage companies use this tech? This ban is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction, passing the buck to small business for a touchy feel good me. I would ask the City Council for extra time than three minutes to present the science not shared as they allowed for the other groups.

John Lorenz

Letters to the editor in the Dec. 12 Tribune:

Letter of support

To the Editor:
After reading a number of negative letters to the editor about the planned safety improvements on Second Street in Snohomish, I write in support of the city’s intent, the process, and what I have no doubt will be a well thought out result.  
As a 35 year resident of Snohomish, living in a neighborhood directly north of Second Street, I have witnessed the city’s efforts, past and present, to make the city safer, more efficient, and more attractive for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and not lastly the residents who live here.  When I first moved to Snohomish there were still unpaved roads on the east side of the town.  While there are still streets that do not have paved sidewalks, these too are fewer in number.  Sidewalk bump-outs were added to streets that are challenging to cross, including a particularly worrisome section of Avenue D, at Snohomish High School.  All cross streets are controlled with signage. 
New traffic lights have been added to Second Street, allowing safe crossing to downtown from the residential old town neighborhood. The traffic bottleneck on Avenue D at the north end has been resolved with a traffic circle.  I’m sure there are more examples I have overlooked. 
All of these improvements were met with negative feedback; in fact some still are.  In my opinion, all of these changes have been positive, and welcome.   What comes next I’m sure will best serve the needs of the residents and vendors who are fully invested in Snohomish.

Janice Lengenfelder

Why prioritize bicyclists as No. 1?

To the Editor:
Why are we kowtowing to the bicyclists on Second Street with choked down vehicle lanes? They already have full lane usage in both directions on First Street and the bike trail. It has been a long disputed issue that the cyclists come into town, park, and unload their bikes, and take off, leaving would be shoppers with no parking to support local businesses. I don’t want this to sound like I am against cycling but they are not required to have a registration or license at this time (a good source of tax revenue). If we are concerned about pedestrian safety they should install the flashing yellow strobe-type cross walk warning lights and as stated in the last letters to the editor, the well synchronized traffic lights and left turn arrows. None of us want a “freeway” just a smooth, safe flow through town. Once you change it and it doesn’t work or it’s worse you can’t go back!
Wasted tax dollars!

James Berry


Letters to the editor in the Dec. 5 Tribune:

Let the public vote on street decision

To the Editor:
Let the citizens vote on Second Street traffic. If it’s not broke, do not fix it. Where was the outcry of citizens and business owners to change Second Street because it was not working? Second Street is very functional. But, with this political machine we have here in our midst, the city staff and government has its own agenda to make Snohomish the bike capital of the Pacific NW. Centennial Trail is not good enough for bikers. They need more. $15 million more. $15 million more that will hurt business and property owners along Second Street.
I say enough. This boondoggle must stop. The council should let the citizens vote on a traffic change along Second Street. Senator Hobbs should release all relevant information as to what his role has been in this fiasco, and so should the city. This causes one to wonder what the City Council’s or the mayor’s role was in all of this. But even then, with a vote and with Sen. Hobbs releasing documents, this Snohomish political machine will spin things to get its way. The truth does not matter. Knowing how this all came to be will not matter. All that matters is the end result. The end justifies the means. Bikers rule, citizens drool.

Sue Mitchell

DelBene listened to concerns

To the Editor:
Thanks to Congresswoman Suzan DelBene for speaking to 40+ of us in Snohomish at our RESULTS fundraising event. She spoke of the need to battle hunger in our country and America’s work to end preventable deaths and disease in our world. As always she answered questions and listened to our concerns. This is a great way to follow voting: sharing our concerns with those we elected. RESULTS ( is bipartisan and teaches volunteers how to do this by providing information and training. Our local Snohomish group meets the third Tuesday of the month and is open to people of all ages. Together we can use our voices to create a country and a world with hope and opportunity for all by ending hunger and poverty.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 28 Tribune:

Don’t be a victim

To the Editor:
I read a recent article citing a PEMCO insurance poll with regards to stolen packages on porches. Of 1,100 people surveyed, 48% had stolen packages. This does not make for a season to be jolly. What can we do? A determined thief will get what they want from you or your neighbor. Sure cameras will record the thieves, but your package is still gone, and recovery is pretty much not going to happen. Plenty of options for us all beyond cameras and video: (1) Talk to your neighbors. Many work from home or are stay-at-home parents, ask if they can have packages delivered to them while you are at work. “What a great way to be of service in your neighborhood” (2) ask your place of business first, have your packages delivered to you at work (3) use the Amazon drops (Safeway) and UPS stores near you to deliver your packages. Neighbors looking out for neighbors this holiday season is a great way for us all to enjoy the festive season.
Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas

John Lorenz

Leave Second Street alone

To the Editor:
WSDOT, with approval by state Sen. Steve Hobbs, granted the city of Snohomish $350,000 to redesign Second Street to improve bicycle safety. Mayor Kartak has used the grant to effectively turn Second Street from a major east-west arterial into a slow side street, forcing motorists to use the other residential side streets: Third, Fourth and Fifth Streets.
Mayor Kartak’s city administrator, Steve Schuller, claims city residents have only two choices: Make Second Street a major freeway, or discourage motorists from using it and forcing them to use alternative east-west routes.
I disagree.
There is the third option: Leave Second Street as-is with the addition of modern, synchronized traffic signal lights with left-turn arrows on First and Avenue D, Second and Avenue D, Second and Maple, and Second and Pine.
If the council approves Kartak’s plan at the next council meeting, at the minimum, they should insist the City install new traffic signal lights at Fourth and D and at Second and J to accommodate all the motorists who are forced off of Second Street.
For some reason, the City is reluctant to put its final redesign of Second Street on its website or even make public the results of its expensive survey of citizen comments. Instead, the mayor claims he has personally met with First and Second Street business owners who support the plan.
Well, residents like myself who live in old town Snohomish should also have a say in the decision.

Evangeline Loranc

A blessing but food insecurity is rife

To the Editor:
It brought me such joy to read about the Community Kitchen (Nov. 21 Tribune.)  I could practically smell the food and feel the sense of love, concern, and belonging from the descriptions in this article.  To know that there are helping hands for those in need of some extra help is a quality I value about living in Snohomish.  With one in five children and one in seven seniors living in poverty, hunger is a major problem in America.  We can help sustain our concern for those in need by pressing for the Senate version of the Farm Bill that protects the SNAP program to which supports veterans and millions of other Americans. SNAP is a lifeline for so many families trying their best to find their footing. 
Thank you Community Kitchen and thanks to all of you who reach out to your members of congress to encourage them to support the Senate version of the Farm Bill so that families and individuals do not have food taken away from them this holiday season nor in the coming year.

Teresa Rugg

2019 INTIATIVE 1000
Petitioners not telling whole story

To the Editor:
On the afternoon of Nov. 7, I was stopped by a signature collector of the Initiative Measure 1000. She didn’t explain what I-1000 was but just told me it’s about “equal pay for women.” I smelled something fishy, so I walked away.
After I did some research, I realize that, in the name of  pursuing equal opportunity, I-1000 seeks to repeal the state initiative I-200, the legislation that truly pursues fair treatment and equal opportunity for every person in our diverse society and outlaws special preferences based on race and gender in college admission, public employment, and contracting. The people pushing I-1000 are so dishonest! They flip the words to hide their true agenda – to use race, gender, ethnicity to divide our society and pit people of different races, colors, and genders against each other.
“Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth,” said American writer and historian James Truslow Adams who coined the term “American dream” in 1931. Eighty seven years later, the people behind I-1000 are attempting to take this American dream away from us. Shouldn’t we say NO? 

Lucy Liu

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 21 Tribune:

Writer: Call Sen. Hobbs to kill the project

To the Editor:
Regarding Morgan Davis’ Letter in Nov. 7 Tribune about Second Street redesign, an interesting point comes to mind.  The best avenue to stop the city scheme is to contact Senator Hobbs and divert the $15 million.
I give credit to former City Manager Larry Bauman for creating and putting into motion a worthy political machine that simply cannot be held accountable.  The city and council just do whatever they want: Delete a 92-year-old Deed Restriction on Averill Field for benefit of Verizon; rent the house on Ludwig Road to a former city finance director; award a contract for collection of garbage services without competitive bids when city code requires a bidding process; the City Manager and Assistant City Manager editing the Op-Ed written by the President of Carnegie Foundation before it appeared in the Tribune; etc., ad nauseam. The list just never stops.
The intent to “change” Snohomish is deliberate.  Who has property and business ventures in the downtown district?  Who wants to bring a dinner train to Snohomish?
This city political machine, which radically attempts to control the narrative and spins all dissent, appears to be impregnable.  A process will be followed which shall appear honorable, but in essence is totally corrupt. The cake is already baked. Contact Sen. Steve Hobbs, maybe withholding funds is the only way to defeat the city.
Fifteen million would be better spent on police.  What about the Triangle Bait & Tackle? It will simply go out of business, when Bowen St. is converted to a Plaza, ergo taking away its parking.

Mike Coombs

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 14 Tribune:

Parents, quit letting your kids run amok

To the Editor:
I am writing as a Everett resident who shops at its local grocery stores and I am writing because safety inside our grocery stores is a great concern to me. I was shopping at the QFC on Broadway in North Everett recently and a child was running in front of customers and the parents weren’t paying attention, which is a huge problem these days but the store staff here don’t do their part to make sure their customers are safe. Customers have to pay the consequences of negligent employees and parents. Store staff should make sure that their customers are safe and children aren’t running in the store. I hope parents read this and make sure their children are behaving appropriately in public. 

Elijah Edens

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 7 Tribune:

Writer: Second Street redesign a waste of money

To the Editor:
Regarding all the excellent letters in each of the Tribune’s five October editions critical of the City of Snohomish’s latest design to “beautify” Second Street:
As a Second Street business property owner, I support those critical of the design. Mayor Kartak’s proposal not only wastes scarce tax dollars and staff time but will only make congestion much worse.
Example: Kartak plans to dead-end a current working west First Street thoroughfare at the City Shop, 1801 First St.  To add insult to injury, Kartak’s plan adds a roundabout on First Street at the City Shop, because he worries some wayward westbound motorists may have missed the new dead-end sign at First and Avenue E intersection.  Avenue E residents will most certainly be adversely affected.
Instead of making First Street partially one-way, I support simply improving the awkward intersection at First Street/Second Street/Avenue J, not only for motorists, but bicyclists and pedestrians as well.  Yet, the City refuses to get a cost estimate to improve and square up that awkward intersection.
Other Kartak bad ideas for Second Street include back-in only parking and removing left-turn center lanes.
State Sen. Steve Hobbs, chairman of the state transportation committee, and WSDOT should scrap the Kartak plan and divert the estimated $15 million or so to instead build on/off ramps at the planned 4-lane SR9 Snohomish River Bridge to access the Snohomish-Lowell River Road below.
That alone would allow commuters to bypass Second Street altogether to reduce congestion.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor in the Oct. 31 Tribune:

More parking, not decoration

To the Editor:
As a city resident who lives very near Second Street, I have an interest in the widely-discussed revamp project. On mornings when either 2nd Street or Avenue D would be considered congested, many cars detour themselves onto the surrounding avenues as a “shortcut,” often traveling at a high rate of speed through areas where kids are walking to bus stops or the high school. Darkness on winter mornings makes it unsafe for these kids attempting to dodge drivers who don’t feel traffic rules apply to them. Neighborhood kids report being worried they’ll be hit. It seems logical to conclude that some of the “improvements” to Second Street may serve to frustrate drivers even more, causing side streets to be used as avoidance routes.
Are bicycle lanes safe for cyclists on such a busy street? Are the improvements going to be easier for inexperienced teen drivers to navigate or will they be a distraction?
If we’re looking to improve our economic growth by inviting tourism to flourish downtown, let’s improve parking. Negotiate a deal with the County regarding the bridge (put that money that’s earmarked for holiday lights toward the repairs), buy the mill and turn it into a parking area. Offer a shuttle service for those who may struggle with walking over to the shops. Build a covered area and invite the farmer’s market to establish there.
I’ve heard many times from people who’ve driven through, but not stopped-due to the frustration of driving around and being unable to park.

Susan Bjorling

Vote for 5/2 districts split

To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in support of the 5/2 districting plan which is on the November ballot for the city of Everett. It is what the people want. I have heard citizens speak at city council meetings in favor of 5/2 because it will bring more  representative government to every part of the city. At Cafe Zippy, my restaurant in north Everett, I often talk with residents who seem surprised that Everett is just now getting around to dividing the city into districts. Other cities of our size have been successful with creating districts. By dividing our city into five geographic districts, where one council member is elected from each district  by the people living in that district,  and keeping two positions elected by the city at-large, the voices of  people from more diverse backgrounds will come to the table. That is one thing that is needed for creative change in our city government.
The 4/3 proposal would neither create change nor readily bring more diversity to Everett’s Council. Considering the present makeup of our Council with 4 of the 7 council members residing in northwest Everett, it is not hard to see that we could see three at-large members and one district member residing in that same neighborhood. That is not the outcome of districting that I want to see. That situation is impossible with the 5/2 plan.
I urge you to vote for the 5/2 districting choice on your ballot in favor of fair and equitable representation.

Marilyn Rosenberg

Letters to the editor in the Oct. 24 Tribune:

Not hearing support in the community

To the Editor:
Although I’ve read a few letters supporting the re-vamp of Second Street, some with reservations, I’ve yet to talk to any resident in favor of this. This sounds like another excuse to spend money on a project that doesn’t need doing for any other reason than answering an unnecessary dream to “beautify” an otherwise very functional and very vital Snohomish street. I drive this street several times a week, looking for a needed improvement area. Other than perhaps one more stop light, the street has sufficient width for all traffic, sufficient space for most parking needs (which will lose out if the renewal goes through), and sufficient access to both residential and business areas. Why lessen this for the sake of “beautification” to attract more tourists, who are coming anyway?
This is a working thoroughfare, a very vital thoroughfare. Please find a better use for the money this would take and leave Second Street alone. It’s just fine as it is.

Linda Bresee

Vote for 5/2 split

To the Editor:
In January 2017, the 38th Legislative District Democrats voted to endorse Everett Districts Now’s proposal to transition from electing all seven City Council members citywide to election of 5 by districts with only 2 at-large. This action was in recognition of the historically disproportionate number of City Council members residing north of 41st Street. Such a change would improve representation for citizens in all Everett neighborhoods. Mayor Ray Stephanson was opposed to the measure as was a majority of City Council members. When the 5/2 proposal came to the Charter Review Committee, a committee appointed by the mayor and council, committee members rejected their opportunity to put the measure forward in their recommendations.
The nonpartisan coalition comprising Everett Districts Now persisted despite resistance from city government and now, at last, citizens have their chance to choose improved representation when they vote in November.
The measure will appear on the back of the ballot as two questions. We encourage voters to approve Proposition 1 which makes districting possible. Then we urge you to opt for Proposition 2 A , the 5/2 districting plan. 5/2 better guarantees improved representation of South Everett residents and was the overwhelming favorite when the city sent out a survey earlier this year. 4/3 was not favored and could very easily allow the continued trend where 5 councilmembers reside north of 41st Street.

Nancy Sosnove
38th LD Precinct Committee Officer

Letters to the Editor in the October 17 Tribune:

Increase the salary only if sizable admin team is cut

To the Editor:
Regarding the Oct. 10 letter in the Tribune about the Snohomish Mayor’s salary being too low: Just a few weeks ago, the City Council voted to keep the mayor’s salary at $18,000 (which was set well before John Kartak filed for the job).
After becoming mayor in November 2017, Kartak elected to hire a full-time administrator, a full-time economic development manager, and a full time executive assistant (all are very highly paid for a small town, population 10,000).
If Kartak had opted to forgo hiring all these administrators and perform the duties himself as a professional executive mayor, then Kartak would be justified in asking the council for a raise.
The letter writer claims Kartak works 60 hours a week. If that’s true, he still has not learned to delegate tasks to his expensive management team. A lot of his time is taken up in activities some consider akin to campaigning for the next election.
Mayor Kartak’s two signature projects, the $2.5 million restoration of the Carnegie building and the now estimated $15 million so-called “Second Street Corridor Improvement Project,” are in my opinion not needed, and in the case of Second Street, this project will be making traffic flow even more dysfunctional (see Oct. 10 Tribune letter by Thomas E. Hansen, P.E.)

Evangeline Loranc

Oppression in small increments

To the Editor:
The surreal U.S. minimum wage history — reconstructed: Once in late 1930s government suggested workers supporting a family deserve a break. It ordered a newly designed minimum pay to be a set amount an hour. 
It realized such law would cause hundred thousands of business closures and tens of millions workers losing their sometimes meager livelihood. But polling employees and employers beforehand — surprise! Most agreed!  No sacrifice too big! A poll among customers about products and services to be discontinued by business closures turned positive as well. Customers would tolerate deprivation if it helped stressed families!
Can you believe it? By accident many laid-off workers actually were heads of a family!

Gunnar Unneland

Letters to the Editor in the October 10 Tribune:

Redesign lacks left turn lanes, will cause backups

To the Editor:
I attended the open house in August and have continued to monitor the proposed re-design of Second Street from state Route 9 to the east city limits. I agree with many of the goals that the project is trying to meet for the “new look” and function of the street but I am very concerned about a few specific features.
The project as currently designed will not have left turn pockets at several public road intersections. Left turning cars will cause significant backups for through traffic at these locations waiting to make their left turns. I can easily envision the impacts in the afternoon for eastbound traffic quickly backing up to SR 9 as as there are very few gaps in the westbound traffic. Traffic going through town will come to a standstill on this street.
City staff told me at the meeting that their traffic engineering consultants have modeled the proposed project and they say that it will work just fine. Based on my 36 year career as a public roads engineer, design, construction, operations and maintenance, I have a hard time believing that this will be the case. In the last 16 years of may career, I was either a Public Works Director or a City Engineer, including a stint working for the City of Snohomish. I would find it difficult to defend to citizens or a City Council the proposed project without modification.
More field observations of afternoon traffic volumes, destinations, and characteristics may yield a different outcome and conclusion. The project needs to provide left turn pockets at each public intersection or prohibit left turns at those same intersections if the pockets are not provided. I hope the City Staff will come to the same conclusion.

Thomas E. Hansen P.E.

$18k a year too low to survive on

To the Editor:
Our mayor, John Kartak, has committed to serve our city as a strong mayor for a four-year term. He routinely works at least 60 hours per week at his job but is only being paid $18,000 per year. It is not enough to provide for his family’s expenses.
Five of the seven City Council members voted against having a strong mayor and it seems they are determined not to pay him for his full time service. I petitioned the council to raise his salary but they said no, in spite of the fact that the people of Snohomish voted for a strong mayor.
There is record income for the city. If the council agrees to spend $2 million to restore a historic building, they can also afford to increase the mayor’s salary. He should not have to pay out of his savings to be a strong mayor.
Please, Snohomish, support your mayor. The next city Council meeting will be Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. at the School District Administrative Building, 1601 Ave. D.

Diane Tunnell

Tax exemption will pinch everyone else

To the Editor:
A letter in the Sept. 12 Tribune showed the Snohomish City Council’s propensity and willingness to increase property taxes to fund dubious projects.
Now here’s one more source for a property tax increase for city property owners: ”The Multi-Family Property Tax Exemption.”
Under a “Presentation” agenda item during the Oct. 2nd council meeting, the council approved going forward with the tax break for developers in the so-called “blighted, high crime area” in the Pilchuck District.  (The city had in attendance Everett’s planning director extolling the virtues of their exemption ordinance in Downtown and North Broadway Everett districts).
Not discussed was the impact this exemption for developers will have on all existing property taxpayers.
Property taxes are “budget-based”, meaning each taxing district will receive the same amount of total revenue irrespective of property valuation.  In other words, if a property is sold to a nonprofit or government organization or developers with this exemption, then the remaining property taxpayers will have to increase their tax obligation in order for each taxing district to reach their budget target.
For the last 125 years of steady growth, the City never resorted to tax breaks for a favored few at the expense of everyone else.  This exemption is corporate welfare, plain and simple.
I urge residents to contact council members and tell them to reverse this unfair tax break for developers.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor in the October 3 Tribune:

If you won’t stand, then who will?

To the Editor:
Thanks to the leaders of Snohomish for Equity for bringing the community together to discuss racism in our town. (“Snohomish anti-racism group grows its campaign,” Sept. 26 Tribune).
Attending, I found our small discussion groups a real chance to begin the conversation about racism. The people in my group ran the gamut from personal experiences of racism for one participant and her children, to not seeing any problem. But it was important for each of us to listen to each other and speak our truth in a safe environment. RESULTS, the group I volunteer with began the talking about anti-oppression (like the pledge expresses) several years ago, and it is progressing, but takes time. This is the dialogue all of America must have to move to true “liberty and justice for all.” So watch for the next Snohomish for Equity event and give it a try. And once again, thanks to the Snohomish women: Rachel Escoto, Lisa Odom, Elena Pullen-Venema, Robin Rotondo, Teresa Rugg, and Joan Robinett Wilson, who set this dialogue in motion.

Willie Dickerson

Plan will hinder trucks and tractors

To the Editor:
The Snohomish Second Street beautification project will restrict traffic.
The city plans to make improvements on Second Street from State Highway 9 to Lincoln Avenue. It will include about fifteen blocks at an estimated cost of $15,000,000. The landscaped corridor improvements will have wider sidewalks and narrower vehicle lanes. It will have back-in angle parking and landscaped center medians. Some side streets may not be accessed with turn lanes while others may be closed to vehicles. Community Transit turnouts will be eliminated and buses will stop in the traffic lane to load and unload passengers. Bump outs on street corners will facilitate pedestrian safety.
City leaders are optimistic that by beautifying Second Street, it will enhance First Street.
The increased traffic congestion may double the required time to drive through town. Alternative routes through Snohomish will be sought out within the residential areas. Oversized loads including agricultural equipment will also need to find alternative routes. Deliveries to current businesses will be challenging. Large trucks will have difficulty making the tight turns. Traffic on State Highway 9 may be impacted due to backed-up traffic trying to exit for Snohomish.
The city has received the initial funding for the study and design. It has already applied for construction funding before the public hearing process is complete. If you have any concerns, you need to voice your opinion.
Will the price we pay for the beautification of Second Street be worth the inconvenience?

Dan Bartelheimer

No Letters to the Editor published in the September 19 or 26 Tribunes

Letters to the Editor in the September 12 Tribune:

Do not overreact

To the Editor:
I agree with Snohomish Mayor John Kartak that racial bigotry is ugly, divisive, and wrong. But it is important to understand that the overwhelming number of our residents in this sweet town (and country) of ours are good and decent people. 
The alleged actions of a few are aberrations that will always be with us. They serve as useful reminders of what we are all capable of when we are lead by bitterness and anger. During these times it’s important for all of us to be careful where we let these dark emotions take us. 
 The mayor and council should not assume responsibility for correcting our human shortcomings. “Diversity” initiatives are ineffective at best, and at worst they become propaganda machines of restrained bitterness and anger that perpetuate what they proclaim to reject.That’s not good. Let’s not go there.

Mark Anderson

Taxes are pricing people out

To the Editor:
At the Aug. 21 Snohomish City Council workshop, the city’s finance director stated she is concerned about “systemic problems” in the property tax and the sales tax not being sufficient. The city’s 2019/2020 budget ending balance is estimated at $1.9 million or a reserve of 22.9% of the operating budget. A citizen’s utility bill will show an increase of 2.5% for water and 2.0% for storm water charges.
Yet, the City Council is toying with the idea of more property tax increases with or without a vote from the citizens. Earlier this year, the city’s park project manager favored resurrecting the MPD property tax to help fund parks improvements. During the workshop, the city administrator stated “there will be two future meetings regarding a possible property tax increase.”
The city government is pricing out low and moderate income folks and young people from being able to live in decent housing in Snohomish. In other words, “gentrification.” The Kartak/Schuller administration is squandering as much money on needless projects as the previous Guzak/Bauman administration.
Some of those dubious projects include a roundabout at the 1801 First Street City Shop for the convenience of city employees and inconvenience to motorists; the illumination of city bridges with programmable LED lights; and spending $3 million or so for a “weddings venue” at First and Cedar.
Citizens already are suffering from “property tax fatigue.” Enough is enough. The city can surely and easily live within its means without raising taxes and utility charges.

Evangeline Loranc

Letters to the Editor in the September 5 Tribune:

City could snap up site for residents

To the Editor:

Regarding the Aug. 29 Tribune article “What happens when affordable housing is lost?”:
This article is just one more indication that the city of Snohomish has been ruled by and for geriatrics and developers.
The Pilchuck Ridge site was zoned for years and years as agricultural/horticultural land (Mollgaard and later Shinoda greenhouses).
Paul Shinoda, a former city councilman, and Steve Holt, the former mayor, were instrumental in rezoning all the ag land into high-density apartments and commercial buildings.  Holt at the time was HASCO’s executive director.
Poor, low-income and/or disabled people are shunned by Snohomish city government.  The council will freely give property tax breaks to developers for senior housing. They will give a million dollar land site to a Senior Center for a dollar a year in return.  They will spend around another $3 million at the old Carnegie building in 2019 alone.  They plan to spend $8-10 million to spruce up Second Street to discourage motorists from using it to commute to their jobs.
I have a suggestion for the City Council:
Postpone the $3 million 2019 Carnegie Restoration project and instead purchase the Shinoda site and then lease it to a non-profit such as HASCO, SAHG, or Housing Hope to operate for low-income housing with no age restriction — just as it is now.
The city taxpayers would recoup their investment while helping deserving low-income folks instead of squandering the $3 million for an unneeded “wedding venue/events center” at the Carnegie site.

Morgan Davis

Service is lacking in Everett

To the Editor:

As an Everett resident and customer to local businesses, I have noticed that some stores and restaurants in Everett have some employees that don’t provide good customer service and I am appalled that I see that some of those business owners and supervisors don’t seem to care. I have noticed this at a few places in the greater Snohomish County area and I want to see change. 

Elijah Edens 

Letters to the Editor in the August 29 Tribune:

It just doesn’t fit

To the Editor:
Disneyland and Las Vegas meet the Snohomish River Bridge! Well maybe not quite that classy.
Who is planning this tacky travesty of Snohomish’s character? What regard do they have for architecture, environmental design, aesthetics, preservation or branding? What do they really know about our town?
Snohomish is not all that is modern and trendy. We are one of the few small towns left that typify early 20th century living. Because we are Snohomish we have an opportunity to showcase and brand our city for what it has; small town charm. We should celebrate what makes us special, not model our city after any other.
Yes, it is vital to our residents and businesses that we keep up with modern technologies, and life improving change. We can have wi-fi without embracing electronic signs. We can have smart phones without having the ugliest cell towers available. We can even have business parks without sacrificing character.
We can have a brand without borrowing from Vegas.
We can have success, character and dignity without changeable holiday lights on our bridge.

Colleen Dunlap

Not in Snohomish

To the Editor:
As deeply invested members of the Snohomish community, it is disheartening to report a  recent upsurge in racist activity in our town. Earlier this summer a young man in a swastika shirt stood at the corner of Avenue D and Second Street screaming, “Heil Hitler.” That same week, a photo of local teens, proudly posing with the Confederate flag reemerged on social media. More recently, a large, vulgar, racial epithet was etched on a downtown sidewalk. Then, last week, white supremacist posters were posted on telephone poles around town.
Snohomish is a wonderful, welcoming community; bigotry is not welcome here.
If you, too, feel there is no place for racism in Snohomish, please join us for the first community meeting of Snohomish for Equity on Monday, September 17th  from 6:15-7:30 pm at the Snohomish Library meeting room.
Not in our town!

Jointly signed by
Rachel Escoto
Lisa Odom
Elena Pullen-Venema
Robin Rotondo
Teresa Rugg
Joan Robinett Wilson
Snohomish for Equit

Taxes in measure will harm families

To the Editor:
In response to Karen Guzak’s support of I-1631 (Aug. 22 Tribune letters section), the voters and taxpayers should understand that this initiative is yet another state tax.
While it’s being sold as a fee imposed on the large emitters, it will not only raise the cost of our car gas, but also affect our electricity, natural gas, and propane rates as well. Some estimate this tax could cost an additional homeowner $400 a year!
This state has a horrible record of being responsible with our tax money— look at our traffic, roads, increased crime etc. Do not play into local politics that have promoted this tax during heavy smoke that has come from Canada, the smoke has been from mismanagement of our forests, not due to “extreme effects of climate change” as Ms. Guzak said. She also said this tax will be imposed on our largest polluters, but the law excludes large companies, companies that support these politicians’ reelection campaigns.
If passed, my family will stop using the clean natural gas energy and turn to the burning of heavy polluting fire wood, which will not be taxed under this measure. We are one of the least polluters in the country, this is a money grab, if you want to help the environment, go clean a beach, don’t allow the taxation of some of the cleanest forms of fossil fuels.
Please do research and vote no.

Ty Hammond

An economic killer

To the Editor:
The recent forest fires which has compromised air quality in the PNW in recent weeks is alarming to say the least. The global alarmist always taking advantage on peoples fears once again promoting another bad initiative is just wrong.
What is their next proposal? A lawsuit against mother nature for a carbon fee? Is that anymore rational then banning straws based on a child’s blog and bad science? I-1631 will not create jobs, unless you are hand picked by the governor to head up these “new” committee’s which means more legislative cronyism as these same members will be “hand” picked from the entrenched bureaucratic overlords of the department of health, department of transportation, and the superintendent of public instruction. Carbon fee’s or taxes will only hurt hard working families that will lose jobs due to the Exodus of companies not willing to pay these fees and move to other states. Bad initiatives are just that, bad initiatives. We all want clean air, we all want a clean Earth, there are plenty of great ideas, this is not one of them, do not be fooled or fall under the alarmist fear mongering, this is just wrong for Washington families and wrong again for Washington State. Protecting our home is a world effort, imposing taxes or fees on state industries is not an answer but a economic killer. Vote No on I-1631, your children will thank you.

John Lorenz

Letters to the Editor in the August 22 Tribune:

It’s a chance to cut pollution

To the Editor:
We are blessed to live in the Northwest, but many places on our planet are suffering from the extreme effects of climate change. The time for action for those of us who care about life on earth is NOW.
We have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the widely supported I-1631, known as the Clean Air, Clean Energy Initiative. It aims to: “reduce pollution by investing in clean air, clean energy, clean water, healthy forests, and healthy communities by imposing a fee on large emitters based on their pollution.” The measure would charge large polluters a fee for every ton of greenhouse gases they emit and invest the revenue in clean air, clean energy, clean water, and healthy forests in Washington. I-1631 will create thousands of rural and urban jobs in Washington, and move us toward a greener future.
A coalition of businesses, labor, tribes, environmentalists, social justice, health and faith groups, including our local group, Snohomish Rising are strong supporters.
No doubt the big polluters especially those in the oil industry will try to stop this as they have previous attempts. But we know the time is ripe for this thoughtful, balanced, and highly beneficial I-1631.
Vote yes. I am.

Karen Guzak

You can make a difference

To the Editor:
In a recent town hall, Congresswoman DelBene reminded us of the importance of working together, using our voices to make a difference. Holding two town halls on Saturday (Aug. 11), she listened and spoke on a variety of topics of importance to citizens: hunger, health care, disease control, living wages, immigration, and the importance of a free press. No stranger to working across the aisle, Rep. DelBene was thanked for cosponsoring the bipartisan Reach Every Mother and Child Act to end preventable deaths of millions of mothers and children in our world. She also joined members of both parties as one of the 106 representatives to sign a letter to the administration, requesting bold action be taken at next month’s high level United Nations meeting on the world’s number one infectious killer, tuberculosis. She spoke of the work training programs that she set up under the last Farm Bill as a part of the SNAP program (food stamps) being in danger under the current Farm Bill passed by the House. Our voices requesting the Senate version of the Farm Bill be adopted will avoid the loss of these important programs and save 2 million people from being cut off from help putting food on the table.
This is how democracy works, town halls, and calls and letters to those who represent us in congress make the difference.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the Editor in the August 15 Tribune:

Proposed changes are not right

To the Editor:
I used to be more pro-bicycle lanes than I am now. I’ve been to Amsterdam, I’ve seen how it’s done right, and in America, we’re probably never going to do it right.
If we were doing it right, we’d put one way bike paths between the planting strip and the sidewalk, with a six inch curb between the pedestrian and bike lanes, on both sides of the street.
When I was younger, I did a fair amount of cycling in traffic, and I’m kind of astounded I survived.
On top of requiring athletic levels of strength and stamina, to handle our hills, it’s just a higher level of stupid to mix bikes and 2,000 pounds of moving death metal.
I’d like to see our roads redesigned. Then again, I’d also like a pony, a truly functional mass transit and my 28-year-old joints and tendons.
Second Street is the main thoroughfare to get to Highway 2 going east from town. Traffic already backs up too much as it is, and we really don’t need to make it worse. The proposed changes won’t increase the quality of the ride for either cyclists or drivers.
Money would be better spent replacing traffic lights with roundabouts where possible. Either do it right, or stick with what we’ve got. First, do no harm.

Chris Bingham

Deck the Carnegie with LED lights

To the Editor:
Regarding the Aug. 8 front page article “Economic growth plan previewed”:
Snohomish Mayor John Kartak hired Wendy Poischbeg to permanently fill the longtime vacant Economic Development Manager earlier this year. According to the article, her first priority for 2019 is to “illuminate a yet to be named city bridge with programmable LED lights.” Presumably, county and state bridges are not on her list.
Ms. Poischbeg’s purpose fo the lighting scheme is to “transform a historic landmark into a destination focal point” and to “create a brand for the city that would attract new businesses.”
I have a suggestion for Ms. Poischbeg and the mayor. Instead of illuminating a city bridge, why not illuminate at the multi-million dollar Carnegie building? It’s already nicknamed “Snohomish’s Taj Mahal”?
Programmable LED lights could, for example, have a weddings theme in June, a haunted house theme in October, Christmas lights in December and January, and a Valentine’s Day theme in February. St. Paddy’s Day in March, etc.

Evangeline Loranc

Chief says thanks

To the Editor:
South County Fire wants to thank voters for supporting the community levy for emergency medical service (EMS). This levy replaced two others that were paid to the Lynnwood Fire Department and Snohomish County Fire District 1.
 After replacing the EMS levy, the final step of the plan calls for disbanding Snohomish County Fire District 1. This will be on those voters’ ballots in early 2019.
 Eighty-five percent of all our emergency calls are EMS-related. Our EMS program has received national awards for the innovative care we provide. Your support means we can continue providing the highest level of service possible for your family and area businesses.

Bruce A. Stedman
Fire Chief, South County Fire

Letters to the Editor in the August 8 Tribune:

Benefits to going without plastics

To the Editor:
Today, most of us understand that we are polluting the planet with plastics. We got rid of DDT, and the birds came back. If we get rid of plastic trash, the seas will recover.  Let’s start with straws!  It’s encouraging to see Alaska Airlines and Starbucks taking steps, and cities like Seattle, New York, and Miami Beach. This movement is spreading around the country and the world.
Consider the economic potential for Snohomish. We’re near the Port of Everett, have tracks in place, and large tracts of underutilized commercial/industrial land nearby. Snohomish could become a manufacturing or trans-shipment center for paper straws. We need forward-thinking development.
Green Snohomish is working to encourage less plastic use in our town, beginning with straws. Join us! Let’s all do our part. Simply ask your server when you order to keep the straw. 
Other things you can do: carry a set of flatware in your purse or car to avoid single-use utensils. Bring your cup to the coffee shop. Use a cloth or paper bag for groceries. Haggen sells a 25-cent re-usable grocery bag, of biodegradable stuff that lasts months. Plastic bags recycle at Fred Meyer, in a bin at the entrance. Changing the plastics habit takes time but isn’t hard. Think of the world you want to leave for your children and grandchildren.

Bonny Headley

Pay raise talks had reporting errors

To the Editor:
Regarding the Tribune’s front page reporting on this agenda item from the July 17 meeting of Snohomish City Council please note:
Linda Redmon did not support a pay raise for the mayor. She explained her reason for wanting the agenda item discussed by the full Council. In summary remarks Council Member Redmon said, of the residents contacting her, only two supported a raise for the mayor, the rest (apparently more than two) did not. She would honor the majority “nay” votes of her constituents.
Steve Dana did not support a raise for the mayor. Rather he supported a citizens’ salary review to determine whether a raise was warranted, based on competitive factors, and Snohomish’s ability or inability to attract candidates to the city to run for mayor. Think about the weirdness of that statement for a minute.
Larry Countryman was the only Council Member who suggested raising the Mayor’s pay; suggesting an amount of $60,000 annual salary as appropriate. As a prelude, Larry Countryman confirmed that he is related to John Kartak by marriage, that he has employed John Kartak in the past, and that he considers him a good friend.
This was a discussion item; there was no vote taken. Reporting the results as a vote of Council is inaccurate and biased. But if you want to report a “show of hands,” for the record, the accurate result would be 5 against the Mayor’s request for a raise, 1 pro raise, and one punt.

Janice M. Lengenfelder

Editor’s note: The Tribune stands by how it reported there was a division among council members and also crosschecked with Dana and Redmon on the concerns raised in this letter. When asked, Dana replied that the article represented his thoughts fairly and that he supports increasing the mayor’s salary. Redmon replied that she currently does not support increasing the mayor’s salary, and when asked post-publication said she meant to give a clear statement to this effect in her comments during the July 17 City Council meeting.

Letters to the Editor in the August 1 Tribune:

Wagoner is true

To the Editor:
I am a military veteran and 39th district PCO in good standing who has given my full support and endorsement to Senator Keith Wagoner since April of 2018.  Senator Wagoner has done an exemplary job in Olympia since taking his seat in January 2018.
As veterans, Senator Wagoner and I uphold honor and integrity.
We are no strangers to the moral obligations, and sometimes, the constraints of public service.
After giving Elizabeth Scott, his opponent, notice that I was changing camps in April (and receiving her personal response by email),  I find my name under Endorsements on thousands of Elizabeth Scott campaign handouts and mailers.  When I protested to her campaign staff, I was called petty.  Need I say more?
I am casting my vote for someone who says who he is and is who he says.  I am voting for Senator Keith Wagoner.

Rod Eggerling
Sedro Woolley

Harmsworth declined meeting

To the Editor:
I decided to email both the candidates for representative in my district, Jared Mead and Mark Harmsworth, and ask for an interview.
Mead responded within 24 hours and agreed to a face-to-face meeting. We met and he gave me an hour of his time and I published a summary of the interview on Facebook. Meanwhile I reached out to Harmsworth twice and heard no response. When I published the interview with Mead,  I forwarded it to Harmsworth and said I would like to have a similar interview with him. He sent me his own responses to the interview I had with Mead. I responded that the published article was a result an hourlong interview with Mead, and that I would need more details if I were to publish his response. He declined to meet in person but agreed to an email exchange and I emailed some follow up questions. After a week with no response I followed up, then again after a few more days. Finally I received a Facebook message that he did not wish to participate further with the interview.
Being a State Representative means representing the people of your district, and you cannot do that if you are unwilling to engage with your constituents. Jared Mead understands this. I plan on voting for Jared Mead this fall. 

Michael Hammond

Letters to the Editor in the July 25 Tribune:

Restoration path costs taxpayers

To the Editor:
The Snohomish City Council on July 17th voted 5-2 to award a $277,000 contract to the ARC Architects for another redesign of the old Carnegie Library site at First and Cedar streets.
In 2013, a quarter of a million dollars of city funds together with a federal grant of three quarters of a million dollars were invested at the site.
The City in 2017 awarded ARC $80,000 for a preliminary concept, now outdated.
The City expects to invest well over $2 million next year to complete the latest plan.  Funding will come from a city fund dedicated for parks (REET), the city’s Utility Fund, the city’s General Fund (sales taxes and real estate property taxes), and an expected state grant of $500,000, courtesy of Sen. Steve Hobbs.
As we recently learned from the county courthouse debacle, construction bids are coming in well over previous estimates.  The same thing will happen with this Carnegie project.
Snohomish Mayor John Kartak and the council have made this project irreversible.  It will be completed no matter what the final cost and harm it inflicts on other critical city priorities.
In other words, this very fluid project over the years has become a “bottomless money pit” — so that Snohomish can have one more place to hold weddings, receptions, and other events.

Morgan Davis

Keep salary the same

To the Editor:
I strongly oppose raising the salary for our new mayor, John Kartak. He has only been in office for 6 months! Would we be having this conversation if Ms. Guzak was still in office? I think not. She was paid less than half of what Mr. Kartak is making and never had her friends lobby the city for a raise. John Kartak ran for office knowing what the salary was and it seems disingenuous for him (through his friends) to ask for more. As far as I can see, this transition in government has already cost the Snohomish property taxpayers more money.
It seems pretty clear to me now why the mayor and his friends did not want to set the salary before the election.

Joan Whitney

Letters to the Editor in the July 18 Tribune:

Don’t soften the curriculum out of sensitivity concerns

To the Editor:
A 2010 Think Progress Report found that states whose resident have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth and that while teens across the country have largely been having less sex and using more contraception, teens in rural areas have actually been having more sex and using birth control less frequently.
When one suggests we “Snohomish-ize” the curriculum because the neighboring county where the curriculum originated is too liberal does that mean we are dooming our youth to fall victim to these statistics? (“School district pivots on sexual health curriculum,” June 27 Tribune). Are we doing a disservice to our youth by not fully educating them on their sexual anatomy and sexual health because we as adults are too conservative? To act as if our students have “specific needs” different than those of our neighboring county students is to deny them knowledge. Why would we ever ask our educators to withhold teaching our children, to edit out facts, or to water down the curriculum when statistics show that those who possess the wisdom make better choices in protecting their sexual health and feeling empowered to use their voice to say no? Our children are being raised in a new era with social media and internet at their fingertips 24/7. They aren’t as naive about sex, genders, or sexual orientation as us adults were at their age. The least we could do is make sure the information they have is factual. 

Kate Kelley

Dangers seen yet again

To the Editor:
July Fourth in Lake Stevens, Washington was extraordinarily loud for a work day/night. Several homes burned. Many burn injuries did not make it to the news or 911 call center.
Several fireworks were thrown at my front door and car. We do not allow fireworks in our HOA property.
Noise continued past midnight. I did not get any sleep. Nearby neighbors have no common courtesy for others. The garbage left behind was not picked up by the neighbors. The air was full of stench smoke fumes for days. Some light flying lanterns of course landed on someone else’s house roof.
Two women at my work said a mortar flew in between her and a lady with a small baby in her lap, the mortar hit her 14 year old’s arm and explode just beyond him, caused ringing in the ear for quite a while. The other woman told me, her friend’s son was taken to Harborview Hospital in Seattle. A firework exploded in his face and blew off several fingers, he’s in a coma as we speak. At my other job a staff person’s son blew several fingers off.
I should not have to listen to or participate in such a dangerous act of unpredictable explosives around me. 
My 13 year old son Shane Lynch died from fireworks.
The firework shattered his forehead to tiny bits, cracked his skull in half from the left ear to the right and burned 90% of his brain.
He lasted 13 days at Harborview Hospital before we had to take him off life support.
Consumer fireworks should be banned completely.

Glenda Lynch

Letters to the Editor in the July 11 Tribune:

Are more cyclists on Second Street a good move?

To the Editor:
This is an open letter to Snohomish city government regarding the redesign of Second Street to reduce the number of motorists using it and to increase the number of bicyclists and pedestrians using it.
I live on Second Street and am concerned about “making Second Street be more like First Street” as envisioned by Mayor Kartak.
Narrowing vehicle lanes, installing separate bicycle lanes and encouraging small children to ride their bicycles on Second Street are not going to make the street safer for anyone.
The bicycle clubs from Everett and Seattle currently arrive in Snohomish from Riverview Road and Airport Way via First Street which has “Sharrows” and a lower speed limit. Why in the world would you want to divert them to Second Street instead? And according to city project manager, Denise Johns, her survey brought an “indifferent response” to the City’s plan from these bicycle clubs.
How many of our elected officials bicycle from home to shop on Second Street?
I understand state Sen. Steve Hobbs was instrumental in getting WSDOT to award Snohomish the $323,000 redesign grant as he is the chairman of the state Transportation Committee.
I respectfully request Mayor Kartak invite Sen. Steve Hobbs to attend the City’s third public meeting on Second Street in August and explain why they believe spending $8-10 million “to make Second Street more like First Street” will benefit Snohomish area citizens.

Evangeline Loranc

Children can be saved through bill

To the Editor:
Thanks for the wonderful visual of the beginning of summer fun, with plenty of free family activities in the area. (“Goodbye school, hello summer,” front page photo of the June 27 Tribune).
We are so blessed here in Snohomish County. Meanwhile, in our world nearly 16,000 children under five and 800 mothers die every day of preventable causes.
We know how to save these lives. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act would help to end these preventable deaths by making our work to do it more efficient. Unfortunately, this life-saving legislation is currently stuck in committee. Our calls, letters, and visits to those who represent us in Congress can build the political will to pass this bill and help save millions of lives. In the midst of our lovely summer days, let’s take a few minutes out to speak up with calls, letters, and visits to those who represent us in Congress to build the political will to pass this bill and help save millions of lives.

Willie Dickerson

No Letters to the Editor published in the June 27 or July 4 Tribunes

Letters to the Editor in the June 20 Tribune:

Consider the facts

To the Editor:
I’d like to respond to some unsettling comments made by Snohomish Mayor John Kartak, council members Sanders, Merrill, Redmon, Dana, and city administrator Steve Schuller during the June 5th city council meeting. All of them attacked the veracity and professionalism of the local weekly Tribune for its reporting of credit card account fraud, uncovered during a state auditor’s office review of city government.
Here are the simple facts:
1.  Three city credit card accounts were fraudulently charged a total of $4,319.70 between May 2017 and April 2018.  Fortunately for the taxpayers, as with most banks, U.S. Bank absorbed the loss.
2.  The City didn’t promptly report the fraudulent charges to the bank to close the account to block further unauthorized charges.
3.  The Snohomish Police Department closed their “stolen funds” investigation as “unsolved”.  To this date, the perpetrators of the fraud have not been identified.
For our elected officials and City staff to attack our local free press for their accurate reporting shows for all our citizens what kind of city government we have now.  (Audio comments of the June 5th council meeting are now available online.)

Bill Betten

Pro 5/2 districts

To the Editor:
The People have spoken. We want 5/2 districts. 
The Everett government survey showed: 
31 percent want five district city council members and two at large. Second place, 29 percent of the people want ALL seven city council members to be from districts. The People have said what we want and its not what city council member Paul Roberts has proposed. 
  This Wednesday, June 20, Everett City Council will introduce an ordinance to put 5/2 and 4/3! on the November ballot. 4/3 received 13 percent on the survey. HALF of the other two plans. 
  Everett Districts Now EDN research and the League of Women Voters found anything less than 5 districts won’t give people fair and equitable representation. 
  Ignoring thousands of People who signed the EDN petition and now ignoring their own survey proves something is wrong.  This opposition is why many People say they “don’t feel represented at all.”
  That said, two city council members support the People’s Choice 5/2. Brenda Stonecipher and Judy Tuohy. But, why not all of them? Why don’t the people have at least a majority of our city council’s support?
  If our system worked, city council would make decisions based on the People’s will. The majority of the people who elected them into office want the People’s Choice 5/2.  
  Our Founding Fathers said the People run the government, not the government runs the People. 
City Council swore a commitment to uphold our U.S. Constitution’s representative democracy.   Everett can do better.  The People deserve better.  If you feel as passionately about this as I do, please email City Council members at 
Brenda Bolanos-Ivory 

Letters to the Editor in the June 13 Tribune:

Making Second similar to First Street a backward step

To the Editor:
Regarding the June 6 Tribune article on the proposed Second Street
corridor project:
As the former business owner of the River’s Edge Cafe on First Street in Snohomish, I know something about the traffic patterns on Second Street.
The reporter writes: “Mayor Kartak envisions how ‘nice’ it would be for Second Street to be more like First.”
I strongly disagree.
Adding bicycle lanes in both directions, constricting the width of vehicle lanes, and planting more landscaping, trees and shrubs obstructing sight distance will not increase pedestrian safety.
What’s needed instead are more modern traffic signal lights at Maple and Pine avenues and a complete revamping at the Avenue D intersection.
Several years ago, bicycles were encouraged to travel on the designated bicycle-friendly First Street and Avenue A. You can still see the “sharrows” the city installed at the behest of Mayor Guzak. Spending $2 million on each of the three phases just so bicyclists from Seattle or Everett can, what, shop at a Second Street furniture store or attend a function at the Events Center? Makes no sense.
The public grant money will be coming from taxes paid by motorists, not bicyclists.
Mayor Kartak should spend the money on road improvements such as more roundabouts and better traffic signals which will
increase safety for pedestrians and motorists as well as the bicyclists.

Gwen Parker

Get the issue figured out

To the Editor:
Only in Snohomish do councilmembers refuse to legislate and then place the blame on the city attorney.
For over two years the city council has failed to produce a viable solution to nighttime noise nuisances from commercial businesses. The loud late night and early morning activities of Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Haggen, Safeway, and the Post Office continue to adversely affect residents’ lives. It is no surprise that the affected residents, who are left in the role of enforcement officers, live outside the favored Historic District where the mayor and most of the councilmembers reside.
Rather than modeling the codes of surrounding cites which effectively handle commercial noise issues, Snohomish continues its long tradition of government impotence.
The council and mayor need to forgo the excuses and contribute to a solution post-haste.

Carey Clay

Be sure to keep theatre in town

To the Editor:
Every time I attend a production of the Village Theatre and KidStage, I am absolutely amazed and thankful that this extremely high quality arts organization is in Everett.  Ticket prices are much lower in Everett than at theaters in Seattle, yet many of the Village Theatre performers have also graced the stage of the 5th Avenue Theater and other large venues. 
According to the article in the May 23 Tribune titled “City arts center contract losses questioned,” the city of Everett’s contract with Village Theatre for management of the Everett Performing Arts Center will be up in August. 
I urge the Everett City Council members to find a way to keep the Village Theatre in Everett.  The city’s expenditures for management and maintenance of the Everett Performing Arts Center facility will be incurred regardless of the name of the company hired to manage the building.  Let’s keep high quality art in Everett by supporting the Village Theatre and the Everett Performing Arts Center.

Suzanne Dahlquist

Put onramps at Airport Road

To the Editor:
Attention all East County motorists who commute through Snohomish to the major job centers using Airport Way and/or the Snohomish-Lowell River Road.
Mayor Kartak is promoting the revamping of Second Street from SR9 to Pine Avenue.  His purpose is to encourage more bicyclist and pedestrian usage while discouraging motorists from using the street as a major arterial to and from the job centers in Everett, Paine Field, and King County.
The mayor’s project manager, Denise Johns, during the May 24th public meeting, indicated she hoped construction would begin in 2020, irrespective of WSDOT’s final SR9 new Snohomish River bridge design, expected to be completed the same year.
The city has placed the cart before the horse.  Whatever design WSDOT and Snohomish County finalize is what should drive the redesign of Second Street.
For example, on/off ramps from SR9/ Snohomish-Lowell River Road, if any, will have a huge impact on commuting motorists.
Mayor Kartak and the city council are making another bad decision bulldozing ahead now instead of waiting for the WSDOT/Snohomish County final design at the SR9 bridge over the Snohomish River and the Snohomish-Lowell River Road.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor in the June 6 Tribune:

Save city money for higher needs

To the Editor:
There seems to be much talk over mayoral pay in Snohomish. In a town of 10,000 people, we cannot afford an expectation of big city level salary for our mayor.
I admire those who are doing their civic duty, and step up to serve their community with their time and talent. It’s not about dollars. It’s about maintaining the quality of life and maintaining the character of our town.
Over more than 40 years of having a council-manager form of government, mayors had a full-time job outside of their city responsibilities. The council and mayor got a stipend for their efforts on our behalf, minimal recompense for the time they gifted to the town they love.
We have a professional city administrator. We have a professional administrative assistant. We have a professional economic development director.
If the mayor chooses to devote time to cutting ribbons and visiting city commission meetings, that is commendable but please don’t ask for the dollars we need for other, more important services.

Julie Davis

Letters to the Editor in the May 30 Tribune:

The salary was set well before election

To the Editor:
Regarding the May 23rd letter, “Mayor’s Salary - Just pay the guy”:
I agree with the letter writer’s words that “I am really disappointed that government is so corrupt in our little town (Snohomish).”  I also agree partially with her statement “Instead of wasting money on the old (Carnegie) library, give the man a paycheck.”
Here’s where I disagree.
Everyone who filed (or not filed) for the mayor’s position knew the salary and what it entailed ($18,000 per year with no set hours to work).
Mayor John Kartak had the option of not filling the City Administrator position and doing the work himself as a full-time, professional executive mayor with a salary similar to the City Manager’s salary of $153,376. Instead, he opted to hire the Deputy City Manager/Public Works Director, Steve Schuller, as the City Administrator with a salary of $166,092 in 2020.
Mayor Kartak also created a new Executive Assistant position and filled the vacant Economic Development Manager position, which each position costing over $100,000 in salary and benefits.
This little town’s government hasn’t changed for the better. Mayor Kartak has kept all the old managers and even hired a couple of new ones. Yes, I agree. Just pay the guy: $18,000 per year.

Evangeline Loranc

Donation means new shelter roof

To the Editor:
The Snohomish Carnegie Foundation is proud to announce we have received a donation from Weyerhaeuser Timberlands.  This donation consists of cedar shake material, valued at $1,500, and will replace the existing roof on the shelter protecting our city’s historic log on the Carnegie grounds.  A big thank you goes to Weyerhaeuser Timberlands and Eric Fritch, owner of Chinook Lumber.  Eric is responsible for securing this donation from Weyerhaeuser.  Our board members are working closely with the city’s parks staff in coordinating the repair work on the shelter this year.  Foundation members and supporters are donating their time and labor for this important project. 
This historic log was donated to the city in 1940 by Lervick Logging Company.  It was paraded up First Street on Kla Ha Ya Days and then ceremonially placed at the Carnegie grounds.  Imagine, this Douglas Fir was 620 years old when it was cut in 1940.  That means it was a seedling in the Lake Roesiger area in 1318 A.D.! 
Our community is marching ever closer to the day that the Carnegie site will be fully restored and once again open to the public for cultural, recreational and educational purposes. 

Melody Clemans
President, Snohomish Carnegie Foundation




Check out our online Publications!

Best seen in the Firefox or Chrome Browsers