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Letters to the Editor
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Letters must be 250 words or less.

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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 July 20 Tribune:


To the Editor:
It tortures the imagination to understand why anyone would want to fire a trained professional city manager and replace him with an amateur with no training or experience in managing a city (“Petition to turn Snohomish into a ‘strong mayor’ city filed for ballot,” July 13 Tribune). And while being an amateur is bad enough, the only reason the person wanting the job gives us is, he wants to get a full-time job with full-time pay so he can be a strongman.
If we go with an elected mayor/manager, every four years we will get a new amateur with his own agenda after a very divisive election.
I love Snohomish. Let’s keep it the way it is.

Terry Cohn


Tackling poverty commendable

To the Editor:
Re: “Senior centers stymied by funding cut,” July 6
Tribune: There is an old adage titled, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” In this case that hand has been feeding local senior centers for about 40 years. There is no entitlement here. United Way has generously supported local senior centers because at the time, they believed this was the best way to support the needs within communities.
That thinking has changed.
After much research, United Way has decided to attack homelessness and poverty in our neighborhoods differently. I commend their decision to tackle the never ending cycle of poverty by identifying and attacking those issues individually, instead of cumulatively. Causes for homelessness and poverty have many components.
Not all persons in need fall into each and every category. There is: 1. Addiction (drugs and/or alcohol) 2. Mental health 3. Lack of education 4. Homelessness, need for safe housing 5. Domestic violence 6. Job opportunities 7. Child care 8. Nutrition.
By focusing on each of these components, United Way is able to select those organizations who already are in place. These additional United Way funds will allow them a greater
opportunity to address the root causes of poverty. My wish is they will divide and conquer.

Joanne Hiersch


Don’t shame Guzak

To the Editor:
I am in the process of moving back to Snohomish, precisely because of the positive changes that have occurred in Snohomish during my absence. Downtown is vibrant and flourishing; I witnessed music and art, restaurants, boutiques, and the ever-present meandering of the Snohomish River.
As I transition back, I now pick up a copy of the Snohomish County Tribune, as I once did when I lived in Snohomish full-time seventeen years ago. I was stunned to read of the recall statement that was filed against Mayor Guzak in the Tribune’s June 29th edition, since I credit her and the current City Council with so many of the improvements and enrichments to the city.
My association with Karen is through her Yoga Circle Studio in Snohomish. I have witnessed compassion, intelligence, grace, and kindness for each student.
Those qualities of service translate to her position as Mayor as she also brings honesty, integrity, realism, and leadership skills - facets that help identify her as a pragmatic progressive.
The recently filed Statement of Recall by Bill Betten and the follow-up Letter to the Editor by David Clay are harassment: filing a recall statement against Mayor Guzak drains the city’s coffers with legal fees.
“Violation of her oath of office” and “an act of malfeasance (secret ballot)” are incongruent with the person I know Karen to be.
Mayor Guzak’s integrity and honesty are cornerstones of her service to the community, and I am grateful that she represents our city.

Melinda Gladstone

Writer: Council gave away money without consent

To the Editor:
I wish for the truth to come out, therefore, I will share it with you. At the last Snohomish City Council meeting dated July 5, Mayor Karen Guzak appealed to the City Council members to cover her court costs of up to a point of $15,000 to pay to cover the recall process that she is involved in. The council was very apprehensive about the decision when it was brought forth by the City Attorney at this meeting...They had a pause....There was a large turn out that evening of citizens. They were asked to make a decision to”pass” her appeal right then. The council finally came to vote on it and it was passed. Thus, the city council voted and passed her appeal. Karen Guzak was basically given a check, up to $15,000, to cover her court and attorney costs. This money came from the taxpayers without consent from the citizens.

Susan Mitchell

Public under attack by effort

To the Editor:
It appears Snohomish residents are under attack by those who claim to have the best interests of our town in mind. I beg to differ.
When your divisive rants and harassment of the elected gem of a mayor we have in Karen Guzak are simply taking away funds taxpayers have paid, you are not helping, but hurting our special and unique town.
How many frivolous public information requests do you need? This is costing an awful lot and just another form of abuse. If you want to change things, an expensive recall which we all will pay for, is not a way to progress.
Your undermining and nitpicking need to stop, for you are just a burden now, and should redirect your efforts in a way that does not affect the town negatively. Try running for office. What have you done for our city? I have the answer: nothing.

Lisa Webb

Letters to the Editor published in the July 13 Tribune:

Snohomish government restructure
Strong mayor city would give one person too much power

To the Editor:
I feel compelled to speak out about the ongoing efforts of Mr. Betten to disrupt the current city of Snohomish government. First, regarding the petition to change our city government from weak to strong Mayor. The question to me is whether we want one individual making all of the important decisions or a committee. I prefer a committee as I think there is more oversight and it is more democratic. Our current mayor system doesn’t give broad sweeping authority to the mayor and I like it that way.
Second, regarding the recent recall petition. The type of infractions that Mayor Guzak is being accused of are very minor and inconsequential events in the general scheme of things. Calling writing down of a vote and then reading it out loud as “secret” balloting? Making a huge issue out of asking for a person’s full name? Mr. Betten has the right to petition for what he believes to be true, but I find absolutely no merit in his accusations and think that the council’s time could be spent on more important issues than trying to make the universe line up perfectly for him.
Contrary to Mr. Betten’s insistence that he considers our mayor to be a friend, I think he has a personal bone to pick and hope that once this process is complete, we can all move on to more positive endeavors. In these times of global unrest, I feel it is important to sift out the inconsequential events, put them in the background so we can focus on what is important.
We have a plethora of important issues to focus on like feeding the hungry, fighting crime and building cooperative communities that work together, not fight against each other.

Donna Ray

Mayor recall effort
Guzak is doing a good job

To the Editor:
I think Mayor Guzak has done a fine job so far and can see no reason to recall her.
Just look around and see how well the city has done so far. We have no new fast food places in the historic sections of town and we have a great shopping center that is thriving upon Bickford.
I say leave things as they are. I have lived here with my family for almost 30 years and have been very happy here.

Linda Steen

Mayor recall effort
Criticisms are unhealthy

To the Editor:
In the five years my husband and I have lived in Snohomish, I’ve heard nothing but good things said about Mayor Karen Guzak and all the growth she has brought to Snohomish, including a yoga studio. Yet there are people who berate her with so much anger and hate in every City Council meeting, public mayor chat and in letters to the editor.
A recent wellness brochure from a popular health insurance company suggested that in order to avoid stress, which causes sickness and disease, one would benefit from avoiding negative thoughts and people who mostly think negatively.
Unfortunately the mayor is confronted often and although she handles it with strong fortitude, I would like to speak out and see other positive-thinking people come to a council meeting or chat with the mayor or write a letter in the Tribune so that those few negative people see that there are far more who like what Mayor Guzak has done, and is doing for the city of Snohomish for schools, parks, businesses, elderly and others.
Mayor Karen Guzak is a visionary, and visionaries always have enemies, but visionaries are the ones who keep us moving forward as a people, and evolving and taking care of the planet we live on.

Elaine McClain

Zika virus in Snohomish County
Support federal efforts

To the Editor:
Zika virus arriving in Snohomish County is not surprising.  (‘Zika virus confirmed in Snohomish County,’ July 6 Tribune
While we are not in danger from the mosquito that causes it in our state, 41 other states are. The question is, what will we do about it?  Urging Congress to fund the President’s request for $1.9 billion to fight the virus is one way.  Both of our Senators and most of our House delegation has been pushing for this funding, including Snohomish County Reps. Larsen and DelBene.  Congress has done well, robustly funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria with life-saving results. 
In addition to over 15 million lives saved comes the possibility of controlling these three pandemics.  Now it is time for Congress to fund the fight against the Zika threat. Our calls and letters will help this happen.

Willie Dickerson

Community thank you
Finding gifted gravestone brought mom to tears

To the Editor:
In the midst of the political din, there are some who without fanfare, quietly make meaningful contributions to the very soul of our community. I drove through the GAR Cemetery today where I have a child buried. Never able to afford a marker, I was deeply touched and moved to unstoppable tears to find a marker and a statue at his grave.
To the anonymous soul who made this gift, I offer my sincerest gratitude. This is an example of the small town heart and soul I seek to preserve for future generations.

Megan Anderson

Letters to the Editor published in the July 6 Tribune:

Mayor recall effort
Recall will cost city money

To the Editor:
Bill Betten claims to want “fiscal responsibility,” yet this recall statement will cost the city.
The cost will come in dollars spent to refute his charges, and in staff and council time. Our current City Manager, Mayor and staff brought us through the fiscal downturn with flying colors, they deserve our support.
I have attended many council meetings over the years and served on city committees, I am an owner in two business in the city and have found our manager, mayor and staff available, trustworthy and responsive in my dealings with them.
These charges are spurious and unfounded.

Mary Pat Connors

Mayor recall effort
Guzak is an upstading leader

To the Editor:
I’ve never known Karen Guzak to be anything less than a person of great integrity, acting in the best interests of the citizens of her city. This is one citizen who will not back this recall petition or the bizarre and unfounded claims against her.

Tom Pendergast

Open government
Discrepancy in goals apparent

To the Editor:
It appears the members of the “Open Government Committee” and the City Hall of Snohomish have different objectives and goals (“Council doesn’t keep Open Gov. facilitator,” June 29
Tribune). From the beginning, the two parties were never on the same page. Toss in the overpaid facilitator, and we have a 3-way tie for failure.
Councilman Michael Rohrscheib was correct in saying don’t waste more money on the facilitator.
The committee will introduce their recommendations on July 19. Had I been selected to be on this committee,  I would have provided a “completion date,” by which City Hall would honor the recommendations.  If no date is given, could it be nothing would change? 
City Hall answers to us, we don’t answer to them.

Bruce Ferguson


Government responsiveness
A "to-do" list for city leadership

To the Editor:
In December of 2015, I attended a meeting with City Manager Larry Bauman and Owen Dennison, the former City Planning Director.
The topic: restore the years-old deed restriction, “for playground use only,” to Averill Field.
They both assured the group that it would be re-established.
To date, it has not been done, 7 months later.
I have a to-do list for the city officials:
1. Restore the deed restriction.
2. Provide detailed timeline of dealings with Verizon and who first contacted who.
3. Apologize to the citizens.
4. Undergo an audit of internal procedures, quit holding back room deals kept secret from the citizens of Snohomish!

Arlyce Hopkins

Letters to the Editor published in the June 29 Tribune:

Open government
Be transparent or leave office

To the Editor:
Legitimately formed or not, the City of Snohomish “Open Government” committee does exist and volunteer members are likely doing what they can to make it work. This, in spite of an unreasonably short time frame, being instructed as to how they should proceed by the City Manager and Mayor, and having a “facilitator,” Margaret Norton-Arnold, with a known reputation for being condescending, unprofessional, and biased.
Committee members are caught up in what really is a communications divide between city officials and citizens who want to hold the city officials accountable for their decisions.
NO Open Government committee recommendations will bridge that divide. The idea that a committee to address the lack of transparency in local government, sanctioned and tightly controlled by the very government officials who refuse to be transparent, can be relied on to affect meaningful results defies logic.
City officials don’t get a pass simply because they threw some money and lip service at a problem of their own making.
Nothing short of the City Manager and the Mayor coming to the table in a non-defensive manner, in a neutral environment, bringing their authentic voices will do.
If they are unwilling or unable to directly participate in the difficult process of rebuilding trust, then they need to go.

David Clay

United Way
Don’t shame United Way over its priorities

To the Editor:
Regarding the June 22nd Tribune letter from Bob Dvorak, the Snohomish Senior Center executive director: I have to disagree with his negative portrayal of United Way of Snohomish County.  The United Way is a wonderful private charity, focusing its priorities on helping the truly needy and breaking the cycle of poverty in our communities.
Snohomish city taxpayers have been and still are very generous  to the senior center.
After the city government spent well over $200,000 (see July 26,2006 Tribune article “Senior center woes continue”) in a failed attempt to build a new senior center on top of a known cemetery on Cypress Avenue, it then leased a city-owned lot on Fourth Street (which cost $1 million or so in the purchase price plus all the extra costs to make it buildable) to the nonprofit senior center for only a dollar a year up to 50 years.
The center has thrived with about half of its members driving from Everett, Lake Stevens, and other areas outside Snohomish city. Its attractions include pinochle, bridge, and yes, poker games for money.  The city government just increased its annual allotment to the center which now has a well-paid staff instead of all volunteers.
Don’t blame United Way for spending its donations on the truly needy poor.  All poor people matter, not just seniors.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the June 22 Tribune:

Snohomish Water Sourcing
Keep both sources

To the Editor:
Re: “City proposes an ‘all-Everett’ drinking water plan,” June 15 Tribune: Given the effects of global warming — like dry water reservoirs in California — we should keep both resources of water for Snohomish to avert future water shortages. Earthquake protection note: Keeping water sources from two different sources could be wiser choice than Everett only.
Remember the history and cost of moving waste water treatment to Everett (44 million) that ended up to be necessary. The main motivation for the “progress” in our society seems to be quick profit, not the benefit of the citizenry or society.

Jiri Janecek

United Way
United Way shut seniors centers out

To the Editor:
The United Way of Snohomish County (UWSC) recently announced a new round of funding for community programs.  What they did not discuss was what they chose not to fund.  UWSC has decided to exclude all senior centers in the coming round of grants; this breaks a four-decade long partnership between senior centers and UWSC.  UWSC’s new theme “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” was interpreted in a bizarre way as if no seniors are poor, when in fact seniors are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population nationwide.  Five regional senior centersapplied collaboratively for funding ($30,000 each for a total $150,000) to create a county-wide network to address poverty issues among Seniors.
Poverty is a real issue for many Snohomish County seniors — adults 65 and older sustained the largest increases in poverty of any group in recent years.  UWSC’s decision is both sad and outrageous.  Once a respected leader in the community, United Way of Snohomish County is now saying seniors don’t matter.  Whatever UWSC is becoming, it no longer has the right to call itself the “United” Way.

Bob Dvorak
Director of the Snohomish Senior Center

Letters to the Editor published in the June 15 Tribune:

Snohomish park renames
Don't rename Averill Field

To the Editor:
In the article “Transgender school policy talk is June 22" (June 1 Tribune), you state: “The policy must be implemented per state law, which allows people in the State of Washington to use the bathroom of with which gender they identify.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Citizens of the State of Washington are not governed by a 5-member unelected panel (Washington Human Rights Commission) and appointed by one person (the Governor). This five member panel cannot make law. They can interpret laws passed by our legislature, but their interpretation cannot go against the intent of the legislature regarding the law.
This ruling which permits males to access to restrooms and locker rooms and showers, presently used by females exclusively (and vice versa) is presently under several appeals and has a long road to becoming “law.”
We need good governance by our government. This is not. Such a drastic change to our way of life should start in our House, then move to the Senate, from there to the Governor’s mansion. Where was the open discussion of this issue? The citizens of the State of Washington should be concerned and alarmed by this abuse of power.
The Snohomish School District should cool their jets until all appeals of this rule are exhausted.

Michael Coombs

Sheriff's Deputy Shortage
Training program was defunded

To the Editor:
Re: Sheriff’s Office deputy shortage (May 25 Tribune): A great follow up would be sharing with the public the lack of funding at the Police Academy.
Since 2009, the Legislature took the funds that use to fund the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission from ticket revenue and put it into the general fund. The state has about 500-700 officer openings this year and passed a budget that at the most can train 300 cadets. So even if Everett, the county or Seattle try to hire more officers as suggested by studies like this, the departments would not be able to get them trained.
Currently there is about a 6-month waiting period to get a person into the Academy. Anything beyond that actually violates state law requirements for training.

Henry Simon

Letters to the Editor published in the June 8 Tribune:

Snohomish park renames
Don't rename Averill Field

To the Editor:
What are these city employees thinking? They are not lifelong residents, save for one, to my knowledge.
To even think about renaming Averill Field is ludicrous. I have lived in and around Snohomish my entire life and Averill Field is simply Averill Field. Ask anyone that has lived in Snohomish for any real length of time and they know the property as Averill Field. Why, oh why on earth would the city even think that renaming Averill Field is even an option? That is like renaming the Space Needle!

Arlyce Hopkins

Urban planning
An idea for First Street

To the Editor:
City of Snohomish, we would like to make a suggestion for the city to consider: Buy up the site of the now closed Seattle-Snohomish Lumber Mill across the river from town, turn it into a parking area and riverfront park, construct one or two pedestrian bridges across the beautiful Snohomish River to First Street, have complimentary shuttle to town, close off First Street to traffic and make it a walking pedestrian-friendly open mall.
One example you could use for ideas, and to see the popularity of such an idea, is the Pearl St. Mall in Boulder, Colorado. They have restaurants/coffee shops open to the mall with outdoor seating, sculptures, street vendors and performers, beautiful vegetation, and of course, a large tourist/local clientele. Pearl Street Mall is an outdoor destination and is extremely popular. Snohomish is a venue for urban people and inviting them to stroll and delay leaving in an outdoor mall setting would be ideal for the merchants and restaurants. Snohomish is growing, will continue so, and now would be the time to plan for the future of this lovely town and keep it vibrant with people wanting to come back again and again. First Street presently has wonderful ambiance, but the traffic and parking make it not so attractive and inviting as it could be. Water attracts people and perhaps a consideration to offering boat rides could also be discussed — an idea fostered by old pictures of the paddle wheel boats that used to work the river.

Bruce and Angelina Buchholz

Letters to the Editor published in the June 1 Tribune:

Open government
City should be transparent, and listen to public

To the Editor:
The City Manager believes it’s simply public misperception that backroom deals exist in Snohomish City government (“Survey: City Hall can be more transparent,” May 11 Tribune).
The city’s recent failed attempt to force the placement of a cell tower next to the Boys and Girls Club is a prime example of backroom dealing. The city worked behind closed doors with Verizon for over a year before fully informing the public of the unvetted plan. It also appears the city circumvented its own rules and procedures, obtained the silence of the Boys and Girls Club director and improperly removed a deed restriction to the property without bringing the change to the City Council for a vote.
I invite city officials to practice the transparency being touted by fully addressing the details of this failed endeavor in a public forum.
City officials can either continue to dismiss dissenters as uninvolved, “lazy-minded” cynics or they can heed their own Open Government study and begin to acknowledge the legitimacy of citizens’ complaints.

Carey Clay

World War II vet
Good profile

To the Editor:
From your story on World War II veteran Ann Bjorneby (May 11 Tribune), I now have learned more about my husband’s aunt than I think he even knows. The family was large and they were poor but all have great senses of humor. All were hard workers. I had no idea she has been so adventurous and led such an interesting life. She is a great lady. Thanks for the well written story. Much appreciated.

Joyce Freiburg
Lake City

East Monroe rezone
Council is waiting for what reason?

To the Editor:
As a long-time opponent of the East Monroe rezone, I remain frustrated by the Monroe City Council’s reluctance to put an end to this costly debacle.  Certain City Council members have staunchly supported the rezone without regard to the financial cost to the city. 
I should note that the City Council has responsible council members who have opposed the rezone. 
The council members who have supported the rezone must be held accountable for their poor financial stewardship. A key step in holding them accountable begins with a complete financial accounting audit by an independent firm of the direct and indirect costs and expenses incurred by the city associated with the East Monroe rezone. 
Additionally, the city’s continuing noncompliance with the Growth Management Hearing Board’s earlier rulings have resulted in the city being ineligible for certain grants. 
The city needs to be entirely transparent in tallying its costs and lost grant opportunities so residents can understand the total financial and other resources the city has devoted to this futile exercise in rezoning a virtually undevelopable parcel in East Monroe. 
From the outset of the East Monroe Rezone it is clear that the rezone effort was all about pursuing a narrow, private interest at the expense of the common good.  Objective observers of the process have consistently ruled in favor of the opponents of the rezone including two rulings by the Growth Management Hearing Board which have placed the rezone at death’s door. 
It is time to inter the corpse.

Lowell Anderson

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

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