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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 published in the February 15 Tribune:

Point in Time Count
Questioning the numbers

To the Editor:
I have a hard time trusting the numbers. According to an article in The Seattle Times dated January 31st the count of homeless students in the Everett School District is 1101. According to the Snohomish County Tribune article written on Feb. 1, the Point of Time Count of homeless people in the Everett area the count was 1188.
Both can not be correct. The only explanation is the “Definition of Homelessness” is different between the Point in Time and the Everett School District. Then I ask, why? I don’t know the answer but the Point in Time and the Everett School District needs to get together so when the numbers come out they are comparing apples to apples.

Steven Lay

Search and Rescue
A great team

To the Editor:
I am in southeast Washington and have deployed and trained with Snohomish County Search and Rescue (Feb. 8 Tribune cover story).
They are top notch not only in their local community but in their outreach across the state to other SAR Teams with training and support. They are a rock solid, life saving, committed group of volunteers.

Catherine Best

Letters to the Editor published in the February 1 Tribune:

Traffic safety
Lowering Second Street speed limit uncertain to work

To the Editor:
Regarding Second Street traffic congestion (Jan. 25 Tribune): I saw a man halfway through a crosswalk, at dusk, wearing dark clothing, with a walker, and a car crossed right in front of him unseen.
Traffic has to move, people have to walk. Lowering the speed limit to 20 on Second Street might cause more traffic to move through all the historic district residential streets. I don’t think that will be acceptable. No one wants a bypass. Perhaps cross walk reflectors, flashing lights, lights on the street of the crosswalk, or the red crosswalk flags held in containers at each corner when someone has to cross, can help. Right now there’s nothing and there’s no place else to take traffic. People will do anything to avoid a slow down and that means alternative roads through town.

Mary Lena Fleisner

Lake Stevens library
Vote "yes"

To the Editor:
Over seventy years ago, Lake Stevens community members saw a need for a library and took action. A corner of a living room was the first library site. Researching library history, I found that every time more space was needed the community worked together as they did in 1949 when the library moved from Mrs. Gibbs’ home to Main Street.
It happened again in 1963 when volunteers built shelves, painted and readied the old Post Office for a spacious 700 square feet library.
The community continued to grow creating a need for a bigger library. Many, many people, businesses, and service groups came together donating their time, materials, and money to make a 2,400 square foot library a reality. In 1985, the library moved to its present location. It has served the community well in the ensuing years making the best of the small space.
Once again, Lake Stevens is in need of a larger library. While we no longer can grab a hammer or a paintbrush, we can vote to fund a new library.
Come together as a community and vote yes two times on the Feb. 14 ballot.

Ann Hoffmann
Lake Stevens

Letters to the Editor published in the February 1 Tribune:

Harvey Field
Plan would harm property values

To the Editor:
Regarding the expansion plan at Harvey Field:
Here I am again pleading my case against expanding the runway at Harvey Field. Let’s review the reasons “against” the plan:
1) Plummeting property values for those of us closest to the airport.
2) Additional flooding.
3) Higher taxes for Snohomish County.
4) Added dangers from larger and additional planes.
5) Higher noise level.
6) New construction or re-constructing Airport Way, really? Who is paying for a new road?
7) Snohomish County citizens contributing to the wealth of a “private” airport.
And the list goes on and on. I see only one reason “for” the plan and that is to add more wealth to Harvey Airport. I remind you this is a privately owned airport.
My hope is that people will get involved and see this for what it is: Tremendous financial gain for Kandace Harvey.
My husband and I are senior citizens happy living our life in Snohomish and we shouldn’t have to worry about this upsetting our way of life. I don’t want to be forced to sell my home. Our neighbors are not quitters, we will fight and believe me we are not going down easily. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!”

Michael and Aneene Potts

Highway 9
Why not widen it?

To the Editor:
They could save the $300,000 and just fix Highway 9 from Lake Stevens to Clearview (widen and eliminate lights).
For some reason, I don’t understand why in a state that has some of the biggest high tech companies in the world that WSDOT and municipalities are in the dark ages when it comes to analyzing traffic flow patterns, applying some common sense and fixing the roads. Either way, this area better get on it quickly because it’s only going to get worse with the increase in the region’s population.

Brad Booth

$5,860 raised

To the Editor:
The Board of Directors of the Snohomish Senior Center wish to thank both the members of the center and the general community for responding to a December request for financial support. Sixty-one people contributed amounts ranging from $10 to $1,000, for a total of $5,860. While these gifts are sincerely appreciated, they are part of an ongoing request for donations through individual and corporate contributions. This money is needed to maintain and enhance the programs and services of this nonprofit organization.

Robert Knight
Board member of the Snohomish Senior Center

No Letters to the Editor published in the January 25 Tribune

Letters to the Editor published in the January 18 Tribune:

Carnegie Building
Will city be on hook for all of it?

To the Editor:
Regarding the Jan. 11 article “City ramping up Carnegie remodel”: In 2006, the city granted the private Snohomish Carnegie Foundation, d/b/a “Carnegie Library and Education Center,” a 50-year lease at a dollar a year rent.  The Foundation was to privately raise $4 million to restore the property to its original 1910 splendor plus adding a new annex to the back of the 1910 building. This happened after Sno-Isle Library built a new $8 million library at Fourth and Maple.  (Its 5,000 square foot 1968 Annex was not large enough for its needs.)
The current tenant at the 1968 Annex is moving out.
The City Manager, as far as I can tell, hasn’t made public a formal, detailed cost analysis of renovating the annex for the new council chamber and meeting room.
The Foundation has posted signage listing seven phases of its master plan. Only the first phase is completed (a $1 million taxpayer grant to replace the Spanish tile roof and to seismically retrofit).
Reading the city wants to spend $230,000 in 2017 is a surprise.  Who’s really in charge? The city or the private Foundation?  Should it become a council chamber or an educational center? 
Will the city taxpayers end up paying for the $4 million final Carnegie Master Plan’s vision for the properties at First and Cedar?

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the January 11 Tribune:

Councilman's exit
Reprimand Wilde

To the Editor:
Regarding Bruce Ferguson’s Jan. 4 letter in the titled “Council’s rush led to Wilde revelation”: I disagree with the main premise of his letter that former councilman Wilde being “outed” is the fault of only Mr. Wilde and that people will mistakenly view this as just another example of a poor relationship between City Hall and its citizens.
The Snohomish City Council has been run like a private club.
On Dec. 13, when a citizen asked the council “Where does councilman Wilde live?”, Mayor Guzak reflexively replied, “He lives in Snohomish.”  Prodded further by the citizen for a residence address, the mayor covered for Mr. Wilde by saying he doesn’t have to answer allowing Mr. Wilde to abruptly exit the meeting out the back door without being forthcoming and transparent to the citizen.
Later in the same meeting, Mr. Michael Whitney, one of Mayor Guzak’s partners in her $4,400 recount effort to overturn Proposition 2, made the startling and revealing statement about his attitude towards the citizens: “We are not in a position where we can have citizens governing themselves.”
Asking Mr. Wilde to return his salary won’t do much to change City Hall.  Only replacing five council members and electing a new mayor in November will “drain the swamp.”

Judy Kirkland

(Editor’s note: The Michael Whitney named is not the Tribune editor.)

Domestic policy
Group working to keep up safety net

To the Editor:
The recent election has left many people troubled and wondering what the future holds. The new administration has offered a hazy 100 day program for America., a nonprofit working to end hunger and poverty here and globally, is offering its own 100 day program to work to preserve safety net programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) for the 1 in 5 children and their families who need this compassionate program to put food on the table.
RESULTS also works to battle disease by supporting America’s pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.  Saving the lives of 8 million people in our world and averting 300 million new infections is the promise of the next three years, if Congress funds America’s promise.
Find RESULTS on Facebook.

Willie Dickerson

Lake Stevens library
Vote yes for library

To the Editor:
Voters residing within the Lake Stevens School District will have the opportunity to show some love to their library on Valentine’s Day.  Two yes votes on the February 14th Election Ballot, one designating the Lake Stevens Library Capital Facilities Area, and the other a vote of support for a bond leading to the construction of a new library will complete bringing a new library to Lake Stevens.
I am pleased to see that half of the land acquisition cost, along with closing costs, was pledged up front by the Sno-Isle Board of Trustees. 
Amongst the many benefits of the proposed library I am most excited for is a large community room that will offer groups and organizations a place to meet. 

Paul Ryan
Lake Stevens

Letters to the Editor published in the January 4 Tribune:

Councilman's exit
Reprimand Wilde

To the Editor:
Apparently, another “grease fire” has surfaced with ex-councilman Zach Wilde being “outed.” No one is at fault, except Mr. Wilde. However, people will view this as just another example of the poor relationship between City Hall and the people of Snohomish.
Did Mr. Wilde break a law? City attorney Grant Weed will answer with a “yes” or “no.” However, Mr. Wilde did violate his oath, his obligation, his character and his duty. He practiced fraud.
That being the case, don’t you think the City Council would require him to return the money he was given to be on the council? I don’t believe the city will take any legal action (more bad press.)
Some type of reprimand is due. The people of Snohomish have a right to a fair and impartial City Council.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Councilman's exit
Council’s rush led to Wilde revelation

To the Editor:
Information concerning Zach Wilde not being a resident of the City of Snohomish surfaced from an injunction that was being filed to stop the City Council from rushing through three ordinances at a special City Council meeting Dec. 13.
The City Council was in a hurry to pass these three ordinances to enable them to control the wages of the new strong mayor, hire a city administrator and put forward a snap election. In other words even though they lost they were trying to control the outcome of the vote.
If Zach Wilde voted in Snohomish and voted on Proposition 2 then voter fraud may have occurred which would be a felony
“Transparency issues” between the Snohomish City Council and the citizens of Snohomish continue.

David Clay

No Letters to the Editor published in the December 28 Tribune

Letters to the Editor published in the December 21 Tribune:

Councilman's exit
Will city prosecute?

To the Editor:
Knowing now that Snohomish City Council member Zach Wilde was not a City of Snohomish resident as of April (which allowed him to vote on City of Snohomish policies when he should not have been able to), I have two questions: 1) Will the city be prosecuting Mr. Wilde for voter fraud? 2) If not, does that open up the city to some sort of negligence charges itself?

Jesse Podoll

Election costs
City talk on costs backed down

To the Editor:
All of this year the City Manager, Mayor, and rest of the council members opposed Proposition 2 every step of the way.
One of their main arguments was the primary and general mayoral elections would cost up to $50,000 each for a total of $100,000.
As late as the Dec. 5 council meeting, this was still the line peddled to the public for a quick vote on Dec. 13 for a filing deadline of
Dec. 21, claiming it was required by state law.
However, at the Dec. 13 council meeting, attorney Thom Graafstra, substituting for Grant Weed, made the revelation that state law clearly allows the two mayoral elections on the same day as the regular primary and general elections on Aug. 1 and Nov. 7, respectively, at no extra cost to city taxpayers. No wonder city voters approved Prop. 2. They simply do not believe or trust City Hall to be good stewards of their tax dollars.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the December 14 Tribune:

Be alert of epidemic

To the Editor:
Heroin overdoses in Snohomish County has become quite the epidemic in the last five years. Statistics show that in this area 1 in 5 deaths are due to heroin overdose. There is no speculation on whether Snohomish County has a problem or not, the question is why?
As marijuana has been liberated in the last few years, demand for Mexican marijuana has gone down. Thus, creating the Mexican heroin drug trafficking issue. With the extreme increase in distribution the price of heroin has significantly dropped, making it more accessible.
The drug has infiltrated many communities that do not know how to deal with this problem. The government has put into action a couple ways to try to reign in on the epidemic but the issue still grows. Regulating the painkillers being prescribed and regulating the hospitals needs to be a more permanent solution to the problem. This way, if the plan worked out the way it hopefully would, we wouldn’t have people searching for cheaper alternatives to prescription drugs. Heroin is a large issue in our region and attention must be brought to it, to raise awareness and get people involved in the fight against it. Attention must be paid to the amount of prescriptions given and the amount of people at risk of becoming addicted.

Bethany Flett

Art in Snohomish
Art Walk enjoyed

To the Editor:
Art is happening in Snohomish!
Members of art and exercise classes from the Snohomish Senior Center recently enjoyed a Holiday Art Walk in downtown Snohomish. Participating galleries included: Arts of Snohomish, Avenue D Gallery and Bruning Pottery, with a final lunch stop at The Hungry Pelican on Avenue C, which is also a showcase for local art.
Terra Kelly, owner of the Hungry Pelican, is partly responsible for organizing the art walk. She also sponsors an open mic night every Thursday.
A special feature of the Holiday Art Walk was the donation of “Art for Kids” by the Senior Center and customers, to be donated to The Boys and Girls Club of Snohomish.
My friends and I are looking forward to more art exposure in downtown.

Valerie Berger

Letters to the Editor published in the December 7 Tribune:

Thanksgiving Community Dinner
Thank you for continuing meal

To the Editor:
I am so happy someone picked up Sue`s Thanksgiving tradition (“Thanksgiving for all on First Street,” Nov. 30 Tribune). It meant so much to her. Thank you so much.

George M. Garrett
(Sue Williamson’s father)
Bernice, California

Harvey Airfield
Skydiver runs are an annoyance

To the Editor:
   Finally some input and unity on the Harvey airport noise. My wife and I have lived on Three Lakes Road two miles out of town just past the pallet factory for 15 years.
There is nothing more annoying as the constant drone of the skydiving planes trying to reach optimum altitude for the paying customers to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Once or twice a day on a normally peaceful weekend in the country would be acceptable, but — as stated in previous letters to the editor — it is every 15 to 20 minutes all day long both on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not up to date on all of the legal ramifications or decibel codes and what-not, all I know is it an issue of personal gain and not an issue of community service or community revenue.
Please publish any contact information on a public petition or formal complaint to the FAA we can sign.

James and Amy Berry

Letters to the Editor published in the November 30 Tribune:

Harvey Airfield expansion
Neighbors won't back down

To the Editor:
We’re still pleading our case against the Harvey Field expansion.
How long are we going to let the airfield’s owner get richer and richer with our money?
Although the owner thinks the people on our street don’t matter, we are not going down without a fight! We are not quitters when it comes to someone trying to ruin our way of life.

Michael and Aneene Potts

Letters to the Editor published in the November 23 Tribune:

Harvey Airfield
Airfield expansion plan will cost public

To the Editor:
In regards to “Plane noise is unbearable” (Nov. 9
Tribune letters): I flew my own Decathlon plane for over 30 years. I was taught by one of my best friends who was a fighter pilot in Viet Nam and later an airline captain. I have a soft place in my heart for pilots and private airport owners.
That said, my home is also on 111th Street SE near the south end of the runway and I know exactly what writer Doug Owens is experiencing with respect to that Skyhawk. It may be landing there illegally. No one on 111th or Springhetti Road has any other complaint about the airport and its runway as is. But people living everywhere in the county have good reason to oppose this second attempt to expand (remember we won the first one.)
The proposed Harvey Field expansion has nothing to do with benefitting private pilots. It has to do with a tremendous increase of profit for the airfield at the expense of everybody else. We’ll find out exactly how much of your tax money will go into the cost of tearing out the old and rebuilding a new Airport Way to accommodate the proposed expansion and let you know.

J. Murray Kleist

Seattle-Snohomish Mill site
Rezone plan opens site to unsavory uses

To the Editor:
Concerning the Waltz family’s request to upzone their former Sea-Sno Mill site of 33 acres to all permitted uses under the county’s Light Industrial (LI) zoning:
Without any prior notice to the public or even the city’s own planning commission, the Snohomish City Council swiftly and unanimously approved a letter to the Snohomish County Council signed by mayor Karen Guzak, enthusiastically supporting the complete array of all permitted uses under the LI upzoning for the 33 acre site.
Here are just a few of those permitted uses: Adult Entertainment Business, Auto Wrecking Yard, Commercial Vehicle Storage Facility, Fuel and Coal Yard, Hazardous Waste Storage and Treatment, Junkyard, Commercial Dog Kennels, Marijuana Processing, Marijuana Production, Massage Parlor, Race Track, Woodwaste Recycling (think Cedar Grove Composting in Marysville).
It’s understandable why the Waltz family would want to entice more prospective buyers for their property with the LI upzone, but what about the citizens who live here? They aren’t enriched with any of the corporate welfare so often dispensed by this City Council.
I urge Snohomish residents contact the County Council and tell them not to change the zoning of the mill site.  Period.

Morgan Davis

Public records
Writer: Fishy business in Shavlik case

To the Editor:
Regarding the story on Snohomish legal fees (Nov. 9 Tribune): Public records are free, hiding them is not. The citizens of this state do not yield power to the agencies that serve us.
Earlier this month we received payroll records from Snohomish documenting that the state’s primary witness Rebecca Bradshaw was on the county’s payroll. A fact withheld from Lori Shavlik in violation of Brady v Maryland. Let’s not forget, Ms. Shavlik was found not guilty twice. One can argue the first trial may be, but the second trial was malicious. We’ve caught the city and county.
Just as 9th Circuit Justice Kozinski held in the Joshua Frost case, withholding evidence until after the accused is tried is done with malicious intent and amounts to prosecutorial misconduct.

Anne Block
Gold Bar

Seattle-Snohomish Mill site
Council didn’t ask public on rezone request

To the Editor:
Last Tuesday night, our “representative” council spun the tables by having us represent them without consent, voting 7-0 to ask the County, on behalf of Snohomish, to do a favor for the owner(s) of the old Sea-Sno lumber mill: To change the current zoning for their 33 acres to Light Industrial Use – without limitation.
Morgan Davis tried to warn Council by reading a list of approved uses under such designation — putrid smelling compost facilities, marijuana manufacturing, “adult” entertainment, chemical treatment / storage facilities, etc. He also reported that the owner stole over $600,000 of water from our town years ago by tapping an underground fire hydrant main.
After Davis spoke, I asked, “Why the rush to send this request in the name of the People of Snohomish without first informing them?” This picturesque entrance into Snohomish is currently protected by zoning which only allows wood-sawing, parkland and farming. Inviting large, cubical, concrete factories doesn’t protect our town.
Council gave oath to represent us, yet exploits Snohomish so land owners and big time developers can make exponentially more money per square foot. I believe we need seven new councilpersons — a majority of which come up for re-election this next year.

John T. Kartak

Letters to the Editor published in the November 16 Tribune:

Proposition 2
Writer: We still need a new mayor

To the Editor:
Snohomish politics is nothing if not entertaining. We’re now asked to believe that the mayor, who has been in politics for years and managed to obtain a $3,500 campaign contribution from a Washington D.C. PAC for her “No on Prop 2” group, doesn’t know how to use a computer or complete the group’s required Public Disclosure Commission forms.
Well, we all make mistakes.
Karen Guzak is a good-hearted, dedicated public servant who goes above and beyond in what is basically a volunteer position. Does that translate however, to being an effective leader? Her excursion train-focused agenda, her resistance to providing any sort of accountability in local government, and her unrealistic assessment of the size of dissenting voices are bad for the community.            
Snohomish will return to a Strong Mayor system, sooner rather than later. The current system is undemocratic and promotes an elitist mentality.
In the meantime, the City Council should consider selecting a new mayor, one who will get off the defensive and move to a focus of providing basic city services to all citizens in an equitable manner.

Carey Clay

Community kudos
Thanks for helping tree farm

To the Editor:
I would like to thank Keith Stocker and family for making it possible for the Reade Christmas Tree Ranch in Snohomish to be open this year.

Moira Earl

Community kudos
Great job on veterans memorial

To the Editor:
Thanks to Riverview Elementary in Snohomish for the moving memorial to veterans. 
It was a wonderful tribute honoring all branches of service. Each veteran in attendance was  given a flag and a memo written by a student after standing to attention as the song for their branch of service was played.
The music,videos of veterans and the heartfelt thanks for serving was very touching.
The music director, Colleen Anderson, deserves a lot of thanks for a fantastic job of putting this all together and helping to instill a sense of patriotic respect to those who serve.
Fantastic job!

Darlene Burgess

Letters to the Editor published in the November 9 Tribune:

Snohomish Proposition 2 acrimony
Food bank targeted unfairly

To the Editor:
There has been talk on social media about our local food bank taking sides on the issue of Proposition 2. As a volunteer, I have some insight. 
When I filled out an application to volunteer at the Snohomish Community Food Bank, there was not a box to check that asked how I was voting on Prop. 2. When I spoke with the director, they asked me about availability and reasons for volunteering. 
A typical day at the food bank includes stocking, sorting, and handling food. The typical conversation is about food. Because that is what the food bank is about, food for Snohomish residents. 
To say that our local food bank has taken up political ambitions is ignominious to suggest there is a place for politics in offering a helping hand. The food bank is a place for everyone, no matter their politics.
This idea has come from a video the food bank director has made with her personal opinions on Prop. 2. It does not represent the views of volunteers. I myself made a video on my personal stance. That does not mean my local company has the same stance or that we require our clients to have the same.
As the holiday season approaches, let’s remember the importance of our local food bank. It is a resource, not a political entity. 

Meagan Gray

Clean and sober houses
Call them what they are

To the Editor:
A changed mind will always lead to a changed behavior. We call them clean and sober houses. The real name is a halfway house.
I understand the community and city response to the problem of bad houses,but that’s just what they are ­— some bad houses.
The concern should not be “how many people.” The thought should be “does it work?”
I have a high success rate because we are involved. Its not just a business but a passion. People in our houses are now college students instead of drug addicts. They have jobs instead of being thieves and addicts. People are returning to their families as men and women, fathers and mothers, instead of being junkies. You tell me who’s who.

Rick Taylor

Harvey Field
Plane noise is unbearable

To the Editor:
In reference your article on Harvey Field in the July 8, 2015 Tribune called “Explaining Harvey Field’s runway issues”: We live in an area that apparently is directly in the flight path of this Cessna Skyhawk that is much too large for the existing runway. The pilots gun the engines as they approach the field, making the noise unbearable. You are welcome to come by our residence on any given weekend; the noise is so unbearable that we can’t even sit outside without getting a massive headache from the incessant buzzing that takes place literally every 15 to 20 minutes, all day long. I am going to file complaints with the FAA, the county, and the state.
This is a quality of life issue; they are disturbing the peace and must be stopped. 

Douglas Owens

Congressional policies
Congress bill will help end needless death

To the Editor:
I looked at a Tribune online recently: cider pressing, ballot measures, hope for domestic violence, and draft beer festival ­— a wonderful sense of home. Amidst all this news, and in this political season, some hope still exists for the 5.9 million children under five and 289,000 mothers who die each year of preventable causes:  The Reach Every Mother and Child Act.  Cosponsored by 201 members of the House, including Reps. Larsen and DelBene, and 25 senators, this bill can still pass this year.  It needs our calls and letters to our Members of Congress to
ask them to make sure it passes.  Hope.  Let’s end these unnecessary deaths in our world.  Make a call, send an email, there are lives in the balance!

Willie Dickerson


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