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Letters to the Editor
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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
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Letters to the Editor published in the May 24 Tribune:

Open government
Was report worth the money?

To the Editor:
You don’t need a focus group to tell you how to openly ommunicate with citizens (May 11 Tribune story).
Being an elected official implies the willingness to take on this responsibility.
The Snohomish City Government, just needs to  “be transparent.”
Transparency is not working behind closed doors for a year with Verizon to erect a 100’ cell tower next to the Snohomish Boys and Girls Club in an historic Snohomish city park, Averill Field, before even revealing the plan with the citizens.
Transparency is not stealthily removing the deed restriction that disallowed that kind of use and then trying to sneak it past the citizens.
Transparency is not trying to bill property owners thousands of dollars for developer fees the City neglected to collect.
Who chose the vendor to conduct the transparency focus group? Was it put out for bids?
How did the city government arrive at their choice of vendor to perform the study about how the citizens of Snohomish feel about their city government?
Snohomish citizens are speaking out about the lack of transparency in City government and City Councilman Derrick Burke disparages them by calling them lazy-minded.
This is an example of the very attitude from elected public officials that has caused so many Americans to become cynical and no longer trust their representative government.
Councilman Derrick Burke and others in Snohomish City government need to find another hobby.

David Clay

PUD billing
Oppose monthly PUD billing

To the Editor:
I have been opposed to monthly billing by the PUD since it was first announced but I have not been harmed by it. I am still opposed to it.
According to the mission statement and values and goals, the PUD aims to provide products and services in a cost effective and environmentally sound manner, to manage our supplies to control cost, to provide cost effective service and to be sensitive to the natural environment in operations.
According to the April 27 Tribune, it will cost $18 million and require many more meter readers and customer service workers over the next three years to continue the monthly billing which has, evidently, already caused much consternation for some.
I do not believe spending that money, adding more vehicles to traffic and increasing our carbon footprint by burning more fuel is in keeping with the values and goals of the PUD.
I think a better plan would be to realize a mistake was made and to return to billing every two months. I urge you and your fellow commissioners and all who are involved in the decision making to consider this option and adopt it.

Ed Crawford

Letters to the Editor published in the May 18 Tribune:

Open Government
Name who was surveyed

To the Editor:
Regarding the May 11 article “Survey: City Hall can be more transparent”: I am one of those citizens who cannot attend Snohomish City Council meetings or “coffee with the mayor” as I am a single mom who has to work seven days a week just to make ends meet.
However, I try to be an engaged citizen. 
I did read Ron Dotzauer’s opinion research report. I noted from the report that due to a mistake by one of his employees (sub-contractor?), Dotzauer had to conduct eight interviews “over the phone” with individuals from the “the city of Snohomish.” 
For the sake of “transparency,” I would like the press or better yet the city manager to make public the names and resident addresses of the initial eight individuals who were interviewed in-person in Kirkland and also the second batch of eight individuals who were interviewed over the phone.
These 16 individuals’ opinions are what created the $13,000 report. 
Call me cynical, but I am concerned that some of those interviewed may have been city employees or contractors who do business with the city government. 
Personally, I couldn’t find anything of value in the report. The suggestions Dotzauer made were the same suggestions floated in front of the Council by the citizens. For example, audio streaming of meetings and toughening conflict of interest guidelines for council members.

Evangeline Loranc

Singin' in the Rain
SHS put on great show

To the Editor:
To say that the Snohomish High School production of “Singin’ in the Rain” was fabulous is an understatement.
The acting, the dancing, the costumes, the set design, the singing, the tech and creative team, and the production team were each superlative and seamless in their work together. To name each person would be ideal; to leave even one person out would negate the magnificent teamwork. And the sponsorship that enabled this eptiome of what we want our talented youth to achieve. 
Congratulations to all.

Mary Dessein

City spending
On whether study wasted money

To the Editor:
The people writing recent letters to local papers are concerned Snohomish City Hall is spending too much money on Strategies 360 to improve Snohomish’s image and communication skills.
Give the City Council members some credit. They realize they need help in understanding they have an obligation to be more responsible to us.
Is that a waste of money? Could be.
Let’s talk about wasting our money. Here is an example of just that: The city just purchased, for $700,000, land for a future park. The council spent this large amount of money before the public Metropolitan Parks Tax vote was taken. It failed. Now the property sits because money is not available to develop it. This is an example of assuming too much, thinking too little.
I’m not convinced Strategies 360 can fix City Hall. Paying Strategies 360 $13,000 could be as pointless as teaching a horse to play tennis.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Food to Africa
Let’s tackle hunger together

To the Editor:
It was inspirational to see Snohomish High students and staff packing meals for the hungry in Africa. (“Panthers pack meals for Africa,” front page May 11).
Snohomish also has a local food bank with support of community of volunteers who care, working and donating to alleviate local hunger. All of these inspirational activities are so helpful to meet the immediate need of so many who are hungry in our country and our world. This includes at least one in six in America, and a large percentage of those are children. So while I applaud these efforts, I encourage people to go beyond the immediate need and take action on the underlying causes and possible solutions to the problem of hunger. 
Hunger is one of the issues RESULTS ( is working on, including the local Snohomish group.  We would love for you to join us in working to end hunger and poverty.  Connect with us at “RESULTS in Snohomish County” on Facebook, or call me at 253-831-1453, and help us make a positive difference in our country and our world.

Willie Dickerson

Senior center story
Thank you

To the Editor:
I am a member of the Snohomish Senior Center Board of Directors and I want to thank you for the wonderful article (“Senior center looks for more membership dollars through city match,” May 11).
The center’s facility is located in Snohomish; however, members live in areas throughout the library and school district. We have a very small, primarily part-time, staff.

Bob Knight

Letters to the Editor published in the May 11 Tribune:

Open government in Snohomish
Was report worth the money?

To the Editor:
Regarding the Snohomish City Council’s decision to pay Ron Dotzauer of the firm Strategies 360 $13,000 for an “Open Government Opinion Research Report”: The report was made public at the May 3 council meeting by city manager Larry Bauman.
There were eight focus group members who were paid $150 each to attend in-person sessions in Kirkland.  However, after realizing the members selected by Dotzauer through “word of mouth, social media,referrals,etc.” were actually non-city residents, Bauman and the council accepted an additional eight city residents’ opinions by telephone to supplement the bogus group of non-city, in-person interviewees at the Kirkland location.
I urge Snohomish residents to read Dotzauer’s report to see if his findings and conclusions were really worth $13,000 from the taxpayers.
All of my neighbors who read the report replied they didn’t learn anything new about city government. The report was a waste of city taxpayer money and another example of our city government not spending money wisely and responsibly.

Morgan Davis

Transgender policies
Praise for school district

To the Editor:
Re: “School district talks transgender policy,” April 20 Tribune: I highly approve of what the Snohomish School District is doing, and it is a darned shame that the politicians in North Carolina and other like-minded states don’t get onboard with this progressive and just approach. Good job!

Lynne Stevens
Juneau, Alaska

Fire District Merger
Thank you, public

To the Editor:
On behalf of Monroe Fire District No. 3, I would like to thank the community for participating in recent discussions about a proposed merger with Snohomish County Fire District 7.
We appreciate the time you gave to learn about how the merger would benefit taxpayers and improve emergency services. Based on public input, our board voted to place the merger on the Aug. 2 primary election ballot for voter approval.
Many fire districts are merging to improve service and efficiencies for taxpayers. Fire District 3 already shares a repair shop, community resource paramedic and administrative functions with Fire District 7. These efforts have made both agencies more efficient, and improved operations for the communities we serve. The merger would make these benefits permanent, as well as reduce taxes for our community by creating economies of scale.

Commissioner Bill Snyder
Chair, Monroe Fire 3 board

Letters to the Editor published in the April 20 Tribune:

Snohomish seeks park names
Remember Snohomish history

To the Editor:
My family is now five generations from Snohomish. I would like to know who comes up with the project of renaming some of the parks ("Snohomish seeks help for park names," April 13 Tribune).
Can’t the city put its time and money into better things?
Snohomish should be so proud of Earl Averill and what used to be Averill Field. Do these people on the committees even have a history with Snohomish?
Let’s celebrate and take pride in the history of this town. We should be teaching future generations why these names have been in place for years. Please explain the reason for wanting to rename some of our longtime parks.

Janis Woods

Cancer care
Proton therapy access easy in Texas

To the Editor:
Re: “The life he wants to save is his own,” April 6 Tribune: Can Dave Alberts go to Houston, Texas for proton therapy? Please contact the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston. They will treat you, and you won't be dogged to pay. Finest cancer center in the world. Ask the King of Saudi Arabia.
I among thousands of others live a wonderful and full life without having to be distressed in anyway. During and after the treatments. I still have an exam by my original doctor from 2013 every six months.
Thousands of children were being treated at the same time and place with protons and living wonderful lives without pain, without discomfort, without ever having to be stressed out by a “system.”

Richard Newton
Harlingen, Texas

Everett Transit bus bulbs
Story omits traffic blockage risk

To the Editor:
Your story of the bus bulbs to be installed in Everett (April 6 Tribune) I believe overlooked one important point. Although they may cut down on accidents when re-entering the traffic lane, what you did not mention is that if they will now be stopping in the outside traffic lane they will be in fact blocking traffic behind them. There are times during the day when both north and south bound lanes are crowded and as how the bulbs will be located at intersections it is a given there will be times when traffic gets caught backed up in the intersection and possibly against a red light.

Pat Colwell

Howarth Park beach access
Few options for beach access “ridiculous”

To the Editor:
So the saga of church and money may finally come to an end. (“Is it over?” April 13 Tribune)
I hope so. It was a sorry spectacle.
On the legal side, why the people of Monroe haven’t filed a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) lawsuit against Heritage Baptist Fellowship, Thomas Minnick, ex-mayor Zimmerman and all the others involved, is puzzling.  The whole unseemly and squalid affair was right out of Chicago’s bad old days when corruption ruled the roost.  The only thing missing in Monroe was the guy in a pin-striped suit with a .45-caliber pistol stuck in his belt.
On the moral and ethical side, how can a church be so at odds with its founder and still survive is a wonder.  The so-called “Reverend,” Thomas Minnick, seems to be far less interested in saving souls than in making money.  When it comes to a Baptist Church’s guiding principles, the New Testament is supposed to say it all, right?  Well, then, let’s consider Matthew 6:24: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  
May Pastor Minnick choke on a dollar bill.

Tom LaBelle


Letters to the Editor published in the April 13 Tribune:

Howarth Park beach access
Few options for beach access “ridiculous”

To the Editor:
Once again, the only decent beachfront to the Puget Sound in the Everett Area is closed for “fill in the blank.”
I find it ridiculous that a city the size of Everett has so little public access to the water and the only decent location is constantly being closed for repairs and upgrades. The city websites keep pushing people to Mukilteo when it is not a beach. It is a very rocky grade into the ocean next to a parking lot and picnic area.
According to the Everett website, the beach upgrade was supposed to have occurred during the repairs to the bridge. At the very least, the city website could have informed the public that the one year closure was going to be two years instead of teasing us with a completion date in spring 2016 (which is still on their website).

James Swanson

Letters to the Editor published in the April 6 Tribune:

Snohomish Parks
Sell westside park land to fund other city projects

To the Editor:
Regarding the March 30 Tribune article, “Large park projects, such as 20-acre (sic) westside site, progressing”: I just learned from this article that the city can’t place an artist-in-residence and/or caretaker (originally favored by the mayor and other council members) in the farmhouse at 2000 Ludwig Road because of “labor law issues” forcing the city to rent it out at “market rates.”
The city paid $700,000 in cash for the 10-acre 2000 Ludwig Road property in 2013.  Currently, a similar 9.33-acre parcel at 8130 Ludwig Road near a BPA transmission line is listed for sale at $2.150 million.
Anyone else renting out a $700,000 property would have to get at least $4,000 per month just to break even.
I don’t believe the 2000 Ludwig Road property was acquired through “eminent domain.”  Consequently, the city can legally surplus the 10 acres and sell to the highest bidder.
Just think what $2 million in proceeds could do for our city parks.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the March 30 Tribune:

Everett Crosswalks
Add warning signs

To the Editor:
In regard to “Drivers blowing past crosswalk is root of issue,” (March 16 Everett Tribune): Maybe larger blinking lights or a sign with a notice of the fine amount for not yielding to pedestrians would help. Hopefully this will be addressed before a child is killed or injured.

Darlene Russell

PUD Administration
Monopoly is questionable

To the Editor:
Where is the accountability for this monopoly? Every week I hear of another person being bilked by PUD, and it’s not because of the weather or more usage. It seems like the public meetings are just for show? Who regulates them? There must be something we can do to stop this theft.

Audrey Larson

Food stamp cuts
Extending tax credit is one step forward

To the Editor:
With food banks bracing for the end of a waiver program, what can be done?  (“End of food stamp benefits waiver has food banks tense,” in the March 23 Tribunes).
The work programs are helpful, but not yet reaching every one. Another ladder out of poverty could be extending the Earned Income Tax Credit to childless working adults. This tax credit has been shown to keep millions from falling into or deeper into poverty. 
By asking our representatives to extend it to childless adults who are working, but don’t earn enough to make ends meet, we can provide a path to self-sufficiency.  In the short run this will make a difference, while long term solutions can be found to finally end hunger in America.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the Editor published in the March 2

High PUD bills
Writer suggests billing afterwards

To the Editor:
Since the meter readers only go out every other month, why not bill for the previous two months instead of billing accurately one month and guesstimating the next? Seems like the only fair way to accurately bill. We should only pay for what we use, not what PUD THINKS we will use.

Julie Storjohann

Konicke issue
Leave neighborhood alone

To the Editor:
When reporting on this horrific incident in future with trial coming up it would be great if you could put the Konicke home on PRIVATE road off Dubuque.
As everything you write about this, stupid people come to stare at the remains of the horrific incident.
This is not a county road and people to do have the right to come and look at a community’s loss during their time of grief.
As neighbors we, too, are grieving for the loss of our friend and neighbor as well as our loss of her family. Inconsiderate, rude people driving by to look at the house is sick and needs to stop. Our family and neighborhood needs to grieve without idiots driving by on our private road.

Tresa Marshall

Konicke issue
Support for Mike Konicke

To the Editor:
I knew Mike (Konicke) as a supervisor in my job. He expressed a genuine concern for the people he worked with. There is no way he deserved anything like this. I suppose in much the same way children cannot choose their parents, parents also cannot choose their children. I hope Mike gets the physical and emotional support he needs.

Daniel Thacker

Letters published in the Feb. 24 Tribune:

High PUD bills
Writer: Public utility is scamming customers

To the Editor:
I can tell you that the PUD is full of it. I do hope you don’t buy into their scam.
I have documented proof that the temperatures this year are no more than 5 degrees colder than last year at the same time. I also have documents concerning tort laws that apply here, as we are being billed for something that has yet to happen, and there is no way of knowing exactly what the actual bill would be.
The ‘computer’ thing is also bunk. A bill for $100 one month and the estimate next month is $400-plus? I think not. Only a fool would buy into that.
Please do us all justice and report the true facts, and not their spew! Thank you for your time.

John Wilkins

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