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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.

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
Tribune.
Send us a letter: letters@snoho.com

 

Your letters:

Foster care
Keeping families together important

To the Editor:
The article by Melanie Russell on March 11 decries the lack of foster homes, but the bigger issue with the entire foster system is spelled out loudly and clearly in the article:  “…Our primary focus is. . . keeping families preserved.”  
That’s the problem.  If the focus were exclusively on the long term placement and well being of the foster kids instead of shunting them back and forth like chaff through the system and multiple times into their own dysfunctional families, perhaps the foster families would be less burned out and be able to give them more than “three hots and a cot” that the state wants them to get, as was quoted by one of the state social workers.  As it stands, the state has built a self-perpetuating system of misery and failure: for the kids, their caregivers and their families.

Katya Knowlton
Snohomish  

Snohomish proposed Metropolitan Parks District
Sales tax an option not discussed much

To the Editor:
Regarding the Snohomish City Council workshop on the proposed creation of the Metropolitan Parks District held on March 17:
Councilman Paul Kaftanski proposed to increase property taxes without a vote of the citizens and just bypass the creation of another layer of bureaucracy, the MPD.
I have proposed another alternative to raising property taxes: namely, a voter-approved modest 0.1 percent sales tax increase, also without the creation of an MPD.
The city manager, mayor and other councilmembers wouldn’t even consider it. Councilwoman Lynn Schilaty mistakenly believed only property tax ballot measures could be put to the voters.
The city of Monroe recently enacted a modest voter-approved sales tax to fund two police officers.
Here are the advantages of a sales tax over the property tax:
1. Everyone pays their fair share. Bicyclists and tourists that use the parks contribute when they purchase anything in town, except groceries and prescription medicine.
2. Taxing housing costs with a 0.75 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation property tax hurts the city’s most vulnerable citizens - those in multi-family affordable housing. $225 extra per year in rent is a hardship to the average renter. Why should only they pay when wealthy families from Fobes Hill or Clearview that use the Centennial Trail or Riverfront trail in town pay nothing?
3. A sales tax levy is for a certain period of time, say five or 10 years. The MPD property tax is permanent, and can’t be undone by the voters.
Snohomish voters should not be bamboozled into thinking the MPD property tax is the sole solution to maintaining parks.

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


Making a difference
Help kids by increasing food stamp funding

To the Editor:
Thanks for the inspiring article about bikers caring for abused kids. (“Local bikers stand against child abuse - and take kids under their wing,” March 18 Snohomish Tribune).
The BACA folks show us how to make a difference.
All of us can do something.
For example, right now is budget time in Congress and big decisions on how to spend our taxes are being made. We have it in our power to end child hunger by fully funding the SNAP program (formerly food stamps). By contacting our representatives and telling them it is important to end hunger in the world’s richest country, we can do just that.
Take a few minutes to call or email your Representative and Senators. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene is on the Agriculture Committee that funds SNAP and always fights hard for it, but she needs our support. Won’t you contribute your voice to end hunger?

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish

 

 

Letters published in the March 18 Tribune:

Planes and Ducks
Duck leader by no means neighborly, writer says

To the Editor:
I was amused by your recent article describing Scott Gunning as a “Duck Conservationist” and he as a self-described “live and let-live kind of guy.” (“Hobby flying group collides with duck conservationist,” Feb. 11 Tribunes)
As a neighbor of Scott’s, I beg to differ. Scott’s for-profit duck hunting operation has preened the land to attract ducks so he and his club members can kill them. If he thinks model airplane noise disturbs his operation, perhaps he should consider that we, his neighbors, are frequently awakened by numerous early-morning shotgun blasts from his operation throughout every hunting season.
When my wife and two relatives went for a walk on Christmas day, 2013, they were approached on the RC field driveway by a very angry Gunning. Although the women may have crossed a portion of his land during their walk, their presence was completely benign. My wife identified herself as a neighbor (most people in our valley are actually neighborly). According to the women, Gunning was frothing angry, cussing and yelling. At one point he called them a bunch of “liberal Democrat (expletives)” and threatened to call the police (which would have been welcomed by my wife, fearing he was completely unhinged). The women ignored his demands to get into his off-road vehicle (destination unknown), and made a hasty pedestrian exit to the highway.
Scott needs to re-assess his self-described “live and let live” attitude regarding neighbors. Perhaps he could take a cue from the ones who rarely (if ever) complain about noise and disruption from his operation.

Dave Crosby
Snohomish River floodplain

Compliments
Tuck Gionet an inspiring teacher

To the Editor:
My name is Jeff Orren and my daughter is a senior at Snohomish High.
Tuck Gionet has been an incredible inspiration to her.
His fight against cancer doesn’t deter him from teaching real life lessons to his students that will they will carry with them the rest of their lives.
He truly cares about his students. He engages them, motivates them, and holds them accountable.
Cheers and good luck to Mr. Gionet!

Jeff Orren
Snohomish

Letters published in the March 11 Tribune:

Paine Field County Council decision
Disappointed in County Council

To the Editor:
I am disappointed in the County Council decision today to take a first step towards changing the role of Paine Field. Paine Field best serves our region as a significant economic engine, through aerospace manufacturing, general aviation and aviation tourism. It is a mistake to assume that commercial air service is a better economic development tool. I remain committed to defending the quality of life for our residents. 
There are many steps that remain before commercial flights begin. The County’s permit and review process should assess all direct and indirect impacts that could stem from allowing commercial flights. These flights cannot be limited by a building footprint, the choice of the Council, or anyone else. I encourage the County to consider the full potential of their action as they move forward

Mayor Jennifer Gregerson
City of Mukilteo


Paine Field County Council decision
Who wins here?

To the Editor:
I remember this was a ballot measure a while back, I believe it didn’t pass. The vote should stand until passed by voters. I’ve tolerated Boeing inbound/outbound flights and private air traffic since 1985, propeller planes excluded but the last three or four years with FedEx and UPS included, it’s very annoying. The all-hour traffic directly over my house at 1,000-feet just west of 36th Avenue on 188th. Who wins here? Not me or taxpayers. It’s more of the same crap from developers/speculators/big money buying political favor, It’s Tim Eyman time again. I’m retired now and I can get involved now. One thing I’ve learned in life, when it comes to money — TRUST NO ONE.

Charles Croke
Lynnwood


Heroin
Write more stories about heroin user arrest process

To the Editor:
I have followed your many stories on the heroin epidemic in our town and other local towns and have seen first hand the devastation caused to families and communities. I know that the local police department is trying to do their part to curb the crime fueled by this epidemic. I would like someone to do a follow up story on what happens after the ”big arrest.” In your March 4 edition you printed a story about suspected heroin dealers being arrested in Monroe (“Suspected heroin dealer tried to flush evidence,” Pg. 11 in March 4 Tribune) on February 24th, with officers confiscating 46 grams of heroin. Today is the 5th of March and when I check the daily jail registry neither of these two persons are still being held. Therein lies the biggest problem...a slap on the wrist and they are back on the street dealing and stealing in less than a week.

Rachel Ren
Snohomish

Snohomish Parks District Tax
City’s parks tax not necessary

To the Editor:
On Feb. 17, the City Council decided to schedule a decision on a Metropolitan Parks District tax to March 17 with a special one hour workshop at 6 p.m. (The workshop will be open to the public but citizens can’t speak unless the mayor allows certain citizens to speak at her discretion or pleasure).
If the city voters approve the MPD, the council could initially set the tax rate at either $0.25 or $0.75 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. It cannot be undone if voters approve it. Even if the council starts the tax vote at $0.25, the council can raise the tax rate later to $0.75 without a vote of the citizens.
A typical city homeowner with an assessed valued property of $300,000 would pay $225 extra per year.  A city renter could expect a similar increase in annual rent because the property tax is the largest component of net operating expenses.
The city manager’s main argument for this property tax increase, instead of a 0.1 percent sales tax increase, is that during a recession or even a depression, property tax revenue never decreases unlike sales tax revenue which is correlated to the citizens’ income and wages.
I think the city wants the extra $750,000 per year dedicated to parks to free up to $750,000 in the General Fund to “feather their own nests.” With the $750,000 freed up in the General Fund, guess who will get the windfall?
I also am concerned that only city taxpayers are required to fund it. The residents in wealthier areas like Fobes Hill, Dutch Hill, Lord Hill, and Clearview who use the city parks won’t have to contribute.
I’m a single mom who works my tail off just to survive in Snohomish. Property taxes and city utility bills are my biggest living expenses. I’m not guaranteed a stable income during recessions and depressions. I just don’t understand why city managers should raise my taxes so they can have a guaranteed income in hard times.
This is the same council that overturned the will of the voters in October by ending any chance of getting I-502 revenue from the state.

Evangeline Loranc
Snohomish




Letters published in the March 4 Tribune:

Harvey Field Master Plan Process

Show us this won’t cause flooding

To the Editor:
Re: “Harvey airfield seeks public input,” Feb. 25 Snohomish County Tribune: If Harvey Field wants public input, then transparency and authenticity might recover trust in their process this time around. The last attempt involved a “study review committee” consisting of neighbors who would receive fill allotments under the expansion plan. As a downstream district potentially affected by flooding from mountains of fill proposed to expand Harvey Field, we were never even consulted. County taxpayers funded floodplain studies to support the expansion until the County Council pulled the plug. 
The Snohomish River Valley floodplain situation is even more dire now than it was then. The farmer-engineered dikes are seven years older. There are seven more years of upstream development and unmitigated sedimentation raising the bottom of the Snohomish River and lowering flood threshold. FEMA has gone broke after Hurricane Sandy. The diking and drainage districts are advised to implement unaffordable dike upgrades to Army Corps of Engineers-certification standards to qualify for disaster funds.
If Mrs. Harvey and her Denver consultant want to demonstrate transparency, they should be prepared to roll out every hydrologic study showing no more floodwater heading downstream as a result of any recommendation.  The “water hydrology” focus group should be qualified to focus on this problem.
Increased fill in floodplain threatens homes, farms, the Olympic jet fuel pipeline, PSE power transmission lines, Everett city water mains, roads, bridges, and a lot of taxpayer money that keeps paying for poor land use decisions in our county. Do we really have to discuss this point again?

Monica Van der Vieren
Snohomish

Planes and Ducks
RC flyer baffled by troubles

To the Editor:
Your story (“Hobby flying group collides with duck conservationist,” Feb. 11 Tribunes) of the issues of a usage permit, the flying club and the duck hunting club baffles me. I have flown at the Snohomish club a few times during IMAC contests and am familiar with the field layout in relation to the duck sanctuary (killing field). I’m not anti-hunting or anti-guns but I am anti-stupidity on both the part of the hunting club and ignorance of the county.
I am from the east side of the state where the property for our flying field is located on county property. The county embraces and supports our club and we in turn take care of the grounds and are stewards of the area that has been set aside for our use.  Without a designated area for these activities to take place you then end up with a bunch of rogue RC flyers with nowhere to fly that will most likely start flying at parks, schools and other recreational areas being chased out of one to the next.
As for ducks and other birds: Our field is within 300 yards of a slow moving river that ducks frequently hang out in. Our planes don’t seem to bother them at all. We also have several birds that nest in the trees at our field and one that builds its nest in our windsock each year. We have had several occasions where hawks will come in close to the planes flying and check them out.
The thing that I really don’t understand is that duck hunting season is mid-October through January.  The main flying season is March through October.  Do you honestly think that planes flying throughout the summer months have anything to do with migratory birds that are gone through this time of the year?

Clark Hymas
President, Miniature
Aircraft Association Club
Kennewick


Planes and Ducks
Opinion: Story used shallow angle


To the Editor:
Why does this even need to be a story?
You have a model airplane club, for families, teaching children a technical hobby about aviation, versus a rich guy’s duck killing club, with politicians taking guess which side? You have county government officials stalling, failing to cooperate and imposing expensive requirements, and you think the club fight is the story?
It’s called journalism. It has purpose to inform the public. Please, do some of it.

Mike Partain
Renton

Editor’s note in response: The story was published as an overview of the issue with an attempt to provide a broad scope of all sides and voices involved. The Tribune chose to let readers decide who’s right or wrong. We are following the story for any new developments.

 

Letters published in the Feb. 25 Tribune:

Snohomish marijuana growers in rural areas
Say 'no' at March 4 meeting

To the Editor:
Want to really support our troops? Defend your hometown.
Most revere our military troops – risking everything to protect our way of life. If we too are ‘patriots’, we also have a responsibility to defend our way of life ourselves, wherever possible, versus passively standing by and ‘letting’ things we don’t believe are right happen to us in our own backyards.
On Wednesday, March 4, such an opportunity exists.
The Snohomish County Council will consider public comments at a hearing and all written input received up until then. They’ll decide on whether it’s ‘right’ to allow commercial marijuana retail/growing/processing operations to be allowed within current non-commercially zoned family-dense R-5 zoned parcels (Rural 5 acres zoning).
As residents, we have choices. We can passively watch our neighborhoods begin to host commercial marijuana/drug grow operations ‘next door’; live in fear of dramatically lowered property values and/or potential drug-related criminal activity close by; angrily protest only to one another, or move. Or we can step up and do our job as patriots and citizens and fight to protect the ‘rights’ we believe are appropriate. Send an email to the council at
contact.council@snoco.org stating “No marijuana
operations on R-5 land,” or better yet testify at the March 4, 1:30 p.m. hearing.
The bottom line is: Enabling commercial drug businesses to operate in R-5 zoned areas, in family neighborhoods, is flat out wrong. Like other businesses, that’s what commercial zoning is for.
You don’t need to be a soldier to act – but you do need to care about right and wrong.

Mary Harwood
Snohomish

 

Letters published in the Feb. 18 Tribune:

Planes and Ducks
Key source lied to Tribune, letter writer says

To the Editor:
Re: “Hobby flying group collides with duck conservationist,” Feb. 11 Tribunes:
When Scott Gunning told your paper that “I’m not running around out there like this jerk property owner who wants it all to himself. I’m a ‘live and let live kind of guy’,” this is false and an outright lie!
Before the complaints to the county, Scott Gunning literally got in pilots’ faces while they were flying their models. He also literally ran two club members off the gravel easement to the club. He also threatened to “shoot down the aircraft with his shotgun.”
It’s sad that a guy like Mr. Gunning can find a county loophole and use it to get what he wants under false pretense.
The truth is Mr. Gunning and the group only play the role of wetlands conservationist so they can draw the ducks in for hunting purposes.
Furthermore, the true reason Mr. Gunning doesn’t like the model aircraft flying is because he rents out duck blinds to hunters, but the hunters do not want to rent the duck blinds because they are afraid the ducks will not show up with the model aircraft flying.
I hope the truth comes out and the club gets it usage permit.

Victor Chatellier
Snohomish


Letters published in the Feb. 11 Tribune:

Snohomish Homeless
Agree with past letter writer

To the Editor:
Bravo for the caring and heartfelt letter in your Feb.4 edition on the plight of our city’s homeless (“Homelessness is not a crime,” Letters section.) Young people are a blessing!
Thank you Mary Gleason and husband for opening your arms and heart to those in need.
My church is only one of the many churches in Snohomish that have rallied to the cause of the “young & old” that are without adequate shelter and useful items that would make it somewhat better and tolerable for those weathering the elements.
For weeks we collected new and clean used bedding that was needed by each individual taken into the Snohomish cold weather shelter and was provided for their own personal care, to be taken with them.
I am certain that I am only one of many empathetic Snohomish dwellers that has taken in “our friends” who need “a helping hand” — in these uncertain times.
Charity starts at home, and Snohomish is our home!
Let us all befriend the unfortunate!
It is my conviction that who we invest our lives in are the ones we come to have a deep regard for — in helping others---we truly are helping ourselves!

Maureen Cramer
Snohomish


Snohomish Airport Harvey Field Master Plan
Be aware things are happening

To the Editor:
The public should be aware of what’s going on with the new 20-year Master Plan. So far, there has been little publicity.
The Harveys hired an out-of-state airport consultant who created a policy advisory committee.
From what I have been able to glean from reluctant city officials is that there is one more important closed-door session in March of the policy committee, and then in June, the Harvey family will choose from alternatives on runway configuration and location. It could reroute Airport Way, at the cost of tens of millions of county taxpayer dollars.
Please note the Haveys hand-picked the committee members. Representing Snohomish city residents is Snohomish City Councilman Tom Hamilton. Tom Hamilton’s day job has been a pilot for many years by and for Marilyn Harvey, daughter of Eldon Harvey who established Harvey Airfield in 1945.
From 1945 to 1959 the runways ran from east to west over the valley. After 1959, the runways were changed to run south to north over Avenues I and J in the city.

Morgan Davis
Snohomish

 

Letters published in the Feb. 4 Tribune:

Snohomish Homeless
Homelessness is not a crime

To the Editor:
I‘d like to respond to the article about Snohomish youth and homelessness ("Teens on acid and transients concern cops,” Jan. 21 Snohomish County Tribune).
Homelessnesss is not a crime, nor is poverty. The 20 year old, claiming to be homeless, drug dependent generalization violates these individuals dignity. They are a blessing – in desperate need of our hospitality and support; and our community has welcomed them, sheltering them from freezing.
The youth of today face many challenges, they may experience homelessness. I hope that they will find their community warm and hospitable, practicing charity. I hope our police officers will try to understand the problems of those most in need.
The remains of an 18 year old girl who had been homeless were found in Lake Stevens in December. What will it take for us to listen to this cry for justice? Shelters should be available in all communities.
Thank God for those in Snohomish who have welcomed those most in need.
My husband and I are truly blessed to spend a few hours with these guests at the cold weather shelter, hosted by Snohomish Free Evangelical church. I would be glad to see the shelter expand to meet the needs of the homeless in our community, until affordable housing is available to all.

Mary Gleason
Snohomish


Longfellow Building
Make it a shelter

To the Editor:
I think the Everett School District’s Longfellow building up for sale would be the perfect spot to open a living center privately funded by grants and local sponsors to house and train the homeless and addicted how to get their lives back on track. www.thehandupproject.org

Robert Smiley
Everett

Vaccines initiative abroad
Group supported locally now funded

To the Editor:
Great news: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is fully funded to help developing countries vaccinate 300 million more children. In the process, their health care systems are strengthened and these countries become responsible for the programs in the future. In this way developing countries become independent of our help and able to take care of their own people. This also makes them more able to stop epidemics like Ebola.

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish


Letters published in the Jan. 28 Tribune:

Bond Street access
Business community also supports access

To the Editor:
Thank you for your coverage on the Bond Street issue. In spearheading the Everett business community response to the proposed closure, it was blindingly obvious that this access will be defended publicly and privately if required. With the neighborhood support, along with business stakeholders, recently closed public access will also be pursued regardless of the outcome.

Rick Lapinski
Everett

 

Letters published in the Jan. 21 Tribune:

Twin Eagles Cafe
It was Sue's dream

To the Editor:
What a great story (“Twin Eagles Café still standing strong,” Jan. 14 Snohomish Tribune).
I knew Sue since she was 13. At 15 she told me that her dream was to own her own restaurant. She achieved that dream. I am grateful to see her sons continue to keep her dream alive.

Dave Webster
Marysville

Twin Eagles Cafe
Family was Sue's priority


To the Editor:
I am so touched and proud of my nephews, and how wonderful for the investors to step up. Sue was my big sister and family was her highest priority. Right now, she is probably thinking, “I guess I did something right.” Good job, boys.

Cherie Kelsay
Cloverdale, Calif.


Snohomish Stocker Property
Not a fair deal


To the Editor:
The article “City buys Stocker land for future park” (Jan. 14 Snohomish Tribune) reports that the city and the Stockers consider the $500K deal paid for by Snohomish County property taxes “a fair deal.”
Well, it isn’t a fair deal for me. As a city resident and Snohomish County property taxpayer who expects the city and county to be good stewards of both finances and the environment, this deal is a boondoggle and actually is harmful to the environment.
The Stockers disclosed to the city the fact that there may be hazardous waste on the twenty acres. Many decades ago, there at one time was a wood mill operation on site. My elderly neighbor remembers the mill making railroad ties among other products. As far as I know this deal let the Stockers “off the hook” for possible cleanup costs. (Creosote takes hundreds of years to aerate, dissipate and become harmless).
As far as I know I don’t believe the city or county performed even a preliminary soil testing of the site.
The city attorney has a long history of waiving the “due diligence clause.” Remember the Central Feed Mill and the purchase of the land from BNSF? It cost city taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up the contaminated soils in order to build the current senior center - all because the city never required soil testing at time of purchase.
And remember the city not checking early on for human remains in the abandoned cemetery on Cypress Avenue ­— wasting $300,000 in the process?
And what happened to the city’s stated goal of restoring salmon habitat on the Stocker land? Cow manure runoff is not good for salmon or humans (think E. Coli).

Evangeline Loranc
Snohomish

Steve Bertrand
An amazing man

To the Editor:
Over the course of my four years at Cascade High School, I have had the great honor to receive coaching and community service opportunities by the legendary Steve K. Bertrand. Mr. Bertrand has been a positive role model for me ever since the beginning. He has strengthened my mental, physical and even my intellectual capabilities as a student at Cascade High School. He has also made me proud to be at the school of pride, through his encouragement and motivation at every single practice; honor, strength, and unity.
Coach Bertrand is a very understanding, and flexible person. He is a very versatile man that is not just about running or helping the community. He is a very successful writer, martial artist, and guitarist. Besides being a coach at Cascade, he teaches two other topics: guitar and English. To this day, I do not know another person at Cascade who can educate in so many diverse ways. He is the ideal coach that any school would want, because he knows the perfect medium to balance running, the community, and morals. This has led to many of his successes as a coach, teacher, and volunteer. His legacy is far from being over: he has more teams to send to state championships, he has more opportunities to present to the team about volunteering opportunities, and he has far more years into making not only the school of pride a better place, but the community as well.

Ken Tran
Cascade High senior
Everett



Letters published in the Jan. 14 Tribune:

Former Snohomish Mayor
Remembering Ralph Davis

To the Editor:
The Snohomish Rotary club is saddened over the passing of former member Ralph Davis. 
In June 2004, Ralph Davis traveled to Chengdu, China, as part of a RotoPlast Mission and served as support to the surgical teams who were busy mending cleft palates. It was like going back “home” to Ralph as he spent the school year of 1984-1985 as an exchange teacher at Shi Shi High School.
On behalf of the Snohomish Rotary Club we would like to express our deepest sympathy to Ralph’s family and thank him for his many years of service.

Robert Knight
Snohomish Rotary

East Monroe Rezone
City's spending habits misguided

To the Editor:
It’s ironic that the City of Monroe cannot afford to hire another certified public accountant, but can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the East Monroe rezone boondoggle. 
The state Growth Management Hearings Board issued an order extending the compliance schedule for the church and city on
Jan. 2, 2015, which means the city will pay staff costs and legal expense for another year of conflict. The sad thing is the city will have nothing to show for the huge expense even if successful, which I doubt it will be.
The city taxpayers may thank the four council members who have supported the property owner for over four years on the East Monroe rezone. 
 
Lowell Anderson
Monroe



Lowell book
Tribune praised


To the Editor:
The Lowell Civic Association would like to thank
Michael Whitney for the article “Lowell’s gritty history is new book” (published in the Dec. 10 Tribunes).
We received many inquiries and further information about our history, and some purchased our new book.
Not one, but many individuals made our book possible. From our Historical Committee members, to businesses, grants and individual donors that contributed time, money, resources and stories, we are truly grateful.
Some stories included in our book came from people that wrote memories as a direct result of previous articles by Mr. Whitney.
Karen Redfield’s expertise, knowledge of layout and dedication made our book of high caliber that would not have been possible without her.
We always welcome new stories, pictures, history and contacts. I may be contacted at 425-258-9381 or at iamchism@yahoo.com

Gail Chism
Lowell Historical Chair
Lowell Civic Association

 

Letters published in the Jan. 7, 2015 Tribune:

Snohomish Stocker Property
Critic would love a deal like that

To the Editor:
This is an open letter to the Snohomish County Council.
Dear Councilmembers:
I understand the County Council considers the County to be flush with property taxpayers’ dollars.
Please refer to the Stocker Property deal.
Where can I get in line for a similar deal?
I have 20 acres of swamp land and if you can get the right appraiser you might be able to get them to overrule the County Assessor and state appraisers’ opinions by saying one or two acres might be developable.
However, I insist on the following conditions:
1. Thanks to the generosity of county property taxpayers, the acreage for decades has been classified as tax exempt open space agriculture land. It must remain that way - no parks, no ballfields, no parking lots, no dog park, etc.
2. I retain all mineral and water rights in perpetuity for my heirs and/or assignees.
3. I retain the right to pasture and move my cattle across the property in perpetuity for my heirs and/or assignees.
4. I want to have naming rights to the acreage as I have an “emotional” attachment. Right now, I would call it “Opie’s Land” after Ron Howard. Also, “O.P.” could stand for “Other People” as Snohomish mayor Karen Guzak was quoted in the Herald as saying “We got what we wanted. And somebody else to pay for it.”
5. Since I’m on the board of trustees along with my church president who is on a city council, I want to be able to have the acreage for two church picnics and attendant parking each year.
6. The acreage may contain hazardous waste and possibly a million dollar cleanup bill for which I will not be responsible. O.P. (Other People) will have to pay for it.

This deal will be really good for me.

Morgan Davis
Snohomish

Human trafficking
Tips on fighting trafficking

To the Editor:
Thank you Melanie Russell for such a well written and awareness raising article (“Teens often targeted to be swept into forced sex trade, even here,” Dec. 24 Tribunes).
Thank you for mentioning “the signs” that a child is in danger. One thing missing was what to do when you recognize the signs. Some of the recommendations are: Do not try to rescue, do not approach a suspected trafficker, take notes on your observations and call the Human Trafficking hotline 888-3737-888.
Always call 911 if a child is in imminent danger.
Also we encourage the term “prostituted children” versus prostitutes.
I do awareness training for airline and airport personnel, and for the tourism industry.
We must keep up this movement and I thank you for your commitment!

Deborah Quigley
Honolulu, Hawaii

Sky Valley Food Bank
Grateful to donors

To the Editor:
A wise man once said, “He is blessed who possesses a giving heart.”
Monroe is blessed with many, many giving hearts.
Because of your generous support we were able to provide complete holiday meals for 394 grateful families. We were also able to bring Christmas joy to 603 children with your donations of toys, books and games.
Once again, the Wilton family, in memory of Diane Wilton, donated Christmas stockings stuffed with treats and surprises to brighten the holiday.
We here at Sky Valley Food Bank, as always, remain forever in debt to you, our donors, to our wonderful dedicated volunteers, and to all the extra volunteers who came in to assist us in this massive endeavor.

Neil Watkins
Executive Director, Sky Valley Food Bank

 

Letters published in the Dec. 17 Tribune:

New Everett logo
Logo misses hometown feel

To the Editor:
I considered entering the contest for the new Everett logo. As a matter of fact I had quite a few rough drafts drawn up but did not have any fancy computer software or Photoshop so I bowed out knowing that someone else would have all the fancy techniques to create a beautiful product that would, by the city’s own guidelines, include our Everett Navy base, Boeing, BNSF and fishing and crabbing. The winning design has none of those things. It looks like a piece of paper folded up. And we’re going to spend thousands of dollars changing everything from stationary to city trucks? I’m embarrassed. And to top it off the contest winner Sean Hamilton is a graphic artist?

M’Lissa Hartley
Everett

Road safety
A plea to be more visible at night

To the Editor:
As we all know, Snohomish is filled with bicyclists and pedestrians walking on nearly all of our streets. Now that the days are shorter and the darkness is much longer, I feel a few things need to be addressed. I live in the Fobes Hill area and have always been very cautious of people walking and ridding on the roads. Too often I see people at the last moment because it is dark, and they are wearing all dark clothing. This makes me very concerned for the safety of these pedestrians as well as the driver. How can the drivers be expected to see people if they are not doing anything to make themselves visible? Just carrying a flashlight or wearing an inexpensive reflective vest can make all the difference in the world. 
 
Moneka Clayton
Snohomish


Helping nature
Put up bird feeders in wintertime

To the Editor:
It’s that time of year again. Time to feed the birds, especially the Hummingbirds. We have four Hummingbird feeders and today I counted (as best I could) between 25- 28 hungry hummers. If I have that many hummers in my little corner of the world, just image how many are out there looking for flower nectar that is presently scarce.
I never realized that so many birds stayed in the Northwest. We keep two other feeders going. These are filled with sunflower seeds. We also scatter cracked corn for the bigger birds. Our feeders are very close to our kitchen nook windows and that doesn’t seem to bother the birds at all, plus we get to see them up close. When we go to fill the feeders the birds fly around us as if to say, hurry up we are hungry.
Please do your part for our beautiful feathered friends. Put up feeders all winter long.
 
Joanne Hiersch
Snohomish

 

Letters published in the Dec. 10 Tribune:

Smoking rules
Enforce them first

To the Editor:
Regarding the health district’s proposed smoking regulation changes (“County smoking rules may tighten up,” Dec. 3 Tribunes): It is strange that the health district would want to, as they call it, strengthen existing laws when I go to a place where people who smoke constantly disregard the no smoking signs that are posted outside the building. The need to be able to address and enforce this problem would be more of a need than what’s proposed.

Patricia Presley
Everett


Secure your loads
One driver's traumatic experience

To the Editor:
On Dec. 17, 2013, I was driving toward town on Bickford Avenue just past the Quick Kick Java coffee stand (at Skipley Road/52nd St. SE). It was dark. I could not see that there was something in the middle of the road until I was too close to avoid it. I hit it square in the middle of my car. My car bucked hard and I thought I had somehow driven over it. I was very shook up. I had a half mile to go so I drove home. Just before I got there the car started hesitating. I pulled into the driveway. I looked at the front of my car and saw a huge round stuck in my front end.
My thought is someone was carrying unsecured firewood. They turned from Skipley Road onto Bickford. As they turned onto Bickford, three rounds rolled off the vehicle onto the road.
I was without my car for 11 days. My car had 3,334 miles on it. It hadn’t even had its first oil change. It cost $6,635 to get it fixed.
The reason I am writing this letter is because I am haunted by what happened.
I have driven for 47 years and never had this happen. Now I am terrified to drive at night. I know it is unreasonable, but I fear what might be hidden in the darkness. I will not drive at night if it can be avoided. It has been almost a year and the fear has not lessened.
I am asking that when you are carrying a load please secure it. It may prevent an accident.

Judy Young
Snohomish

 

Letters published in the Dec. 3 Tribune:

Hal Moe Pool
Give Boys & Girls Club the site

To the Editor:
Regarding the Hal Moe Pool site (“Hal Moe Pool site may be rebuilt,” Nov. 26 Snohomish County Tribune): Give the space to the Boys & Girls Club to expand. They deserve it so much! It’s such a great place for kids! The staff and kids at the current location are crammed in the facility and, despite the awesome effort of the staff, the kids get bored with the lack of space to play. If the club needs money to build it, the community will be happy to oblige, I am certain. My kids used the Boys & Girls Club for many years and still talk about the fun times they had there! The new facility could house an awesome teen center with maybe a snack bar, movie room, game room, study/homework room and a computer room. The location is perfect since it’s right next door to the current facility and skate park.

Heather Craig
Snohomish

Fobes Hill School Bus Stop
Safety issue on Fobes Road


To the Editor:
I have video of the large bus going down Fobes and turning around, after dropping off my grandson at this very dangerous intersection (“Bus stop too far away, one mom says,” Nov. 5 Snohomish County Tribune). The school district has a short bus going through this intersection minutes before the large bus. They can pick up our children! This is a safety issue; these are very young children. The short bus now drops off my grandson most of the days after school because the driver must pick up a student who must use a car seat. Maybe ALL our children ought to be using them.

Denyse Cook-Whitlatch
Snohomish

Take action
Speak up to make a difference


To the Editor:
Matt White recently shared an idea to help the homeless in his letter. (‘Idea: Open shelters in Everett,’ Tribune letters, Nov. 19) We can speak to our representatives and tell them hunger in America is not acceptable. Or we can ask them to support funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to ensure all children in our world are vaccinated against disease. Recently, child deaths from measles have risen by thousands in our world.  And we could ask them to extend the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Both of these tax credits are due to expire and keep millions of Americans out of poverty.  Take a moment to think of what you can do for others.  Then take action, like Mr. White, and make a difference in your world.  If you are still unsure of what to do, pick up a copy of Sam Daley-Harris’ book, Reclaiming Our Democracy, and learn about active citizenship.  Or check out the organization he founded, RESULTS (results.org) and join the local Snohomish group working to end hunger and poverty in our world. 

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish

 

Letters published in the Nov. 19 Tribune:

Homeless population
Idea: Open shelters in Everett

To the Editor:
Regarding the city’s plans to address homelessness (story in the Nov. 12 Everett Tribune): Open up shelters in vacant commercial space. Staff those shelters through a volunteer fair and have a beard competition to help pay for the fair. I know guys in the Emerald City Beardos, who do a lot of these shows for charity. Push this on Facebook and Twitter and all the other sites and remind people that a lot of the homeless are veterans. Pay the property owners for the commercial space at a very low rate, per head sheltered, for their space that is earning them nothing. They can help spread the word, which then earns them more money per homeless sheltered. Probably not in the real world, but hey, it’s an idea.

Matt White
Everett

Snohomish Stocker Property
Keep it agricultural

To the Editor:
Regarding the Tribune’s Nov. 5 article “Stocker park plan faces zoning threat”: As a 72-year-old resident and 50-year Snohomish City and County property taxpayer, I take issue with the statement in the story, “As negotiations continue between the city and the Stocker family, it has been noted by officials that the land is not farmable due to its location in a flood zone.”
The Snohomish River Valley, although it floods frequently, is very viable agricultural land. That’s why it is zoned Ag-10 ag land. Stockers’ 20 acres is home to a large herd of Hereford cattle.
Not online is Ag-10 ag land in a major floodway and undevelopable, it should be off-limits to anything not connected to agriculture.
Otherwise, you’re going to see the Snohomish River Valley turn into the Green River Kent Valley with jet aircraft, ballfields, warehouses, etc.
I support County Counciman Dave Somers’ efforts to preserve basic agriculture in the Snohomish River Valley floodplain.
There are other options for a boat launch. Ironically, the whole purpose of the County Conservation Futures Fund, paid for by property taxes, is to buy and preserve open space.
The Stockers’ 20 acres are already classified tax-exempt open space. Keep it that way.

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


Letters published in the Oct. 29 Tribune:

East Monroe rezone
Sept. 23 aftermath unfortunate

To the Editor:
Regarding the story “Council halts East Monroe rezone plan,” Oct. 22 Snohomish County Tribune : The statement, “the voting activity leading up to last week’s final decision spurred little comments from concerned citizens” is not accurate. You will find that seven “concerned citizens,” including the ever-vigilant Lowell Anderson, spoke at the Oct.14 Council meeting in favor of ending the city’s pursuit of this insane rezone proposal. Sixteen “concerned citizens” did the same at the meeting on Sept. 23. Many of those comments were actually quite lengthy and certainly eloquent.
By their presence and their applause, the members of the capacity crowd that showed up on Sept. 23 to oppose any further city expenditure for the rezone made a loud “concerned citizen” commentary themselves.
That being said, it was very unfortunate that following the meeting on Sept. 23. two individuals lost their tempers and directed that anger at Pastor Minnick.

Doug Hamar
Monroe


Everett Recovery Cafe
Staff is great

To the Editor:
Regarding the story on Everett Recovery Cafe opening (Oct. 15 Tribunes): I have been a member of Seattle Recovery Café for 3 months now. After 40 years of dealing with my recovery going to various doctors, I have found what I needed. The staff is absolutely amazing.

Jessica Stevens
Seattle

 

Letters published in the October 22 Tribunes:

Snohomish Marijuana ban decision
Pleased with ban

To the Editor:
As a recently retired scientist from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, I am pleased with your officials’ (Snohomish City Council) recent marijuana prohibition activities.
There are no approved medicinal uses for pot. The dangers of this drug to the developing brain is not a controversial issue in the health community.
My interests are in advocating for my rights and those of my fellow citizens to breathe clean air without having to worry about being impacted by the decisions of those around them.

Douglas Carlson
Mill Creek

Ebola
Kudos on Ebola piece

To the Editor:
Thanks for the article on Ebola and vaccinations ("As Ebola breaches U.S., push mounts for vaccines abroad," Oct. 8 Tribunes).
These issues come together as the health care systems of systems of developing countries are having great difficulty battling the Ebola outbreak.
There are hopes for a vaccine in the future. Enter Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, working with developing countries to create and carry out vaccination plans to reach all children.
This process strengthens the health care systems and saves lives. Once in place, it will also be able to disseminate an Ebola vaccine when it comes available. This in turn protects everyone, since epidemics must now be treated globally, as shown by the recent case of Ebola in Dallas.
Funding Gavi is an excellent step to preventing disease and saving lives. Citizens can take action by speaking to their elected representatives about these important matters.

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish


Everett City Council Elections
Vote for Tuohy

To the Editor:
Judy Tuohy has brought Everett important recognition and helped revitalize downtown.
She’s worked with people from diverse backgrounds and has earned your vote.
With Judy on the Council, Everett would have a more representative government.
Four out of seven council members are CPAs or CFOs. Everett’s council needs fewer CPAs and more women qualified to lead. We don’t need another numbers person; we need someone who understands the social issues beyond the numbers.
With Judy on the Council, Everett would not have passed the burden of fixing the budget by approving a regressive utility tax and $20 car fee. The 4 to 3 vote to increase taxes passed by one vote-Richard Andersen. He was appointed to the Council by Scott Murphy, after he got Murphy elected. We need an open government, not back room deals, secretes and scandals.
With Judy on the Council, Everett would have a council member who listens. Last fall, the Council heard from Everett residents asking for more representation -they ignored the will of the people and appointed more of the same.
That decision brought a new layer of government with car fees and taxing the heat on poor people!
Judy helped raise millions of dollars to start the Shack Art Center; she has the leadership to find long term solutions to Everett’s financial problems.
Now Everett residents, not just four council members get to decide who represents us!
Join me in voting for Judy Tuohy for Everett City Council.

Megan Dunn
Everett

 

Letters published in the Oct. 8 Tribune:

Paine Field

To the Editor:
There are a countless number of folks who live north of Seattle, including myself, that have been wishing for an airport at Paine Field for decades. Sea-Tac has had a stranglehold on air travelers from Snohomish County and beyond way too long and it's time for change. It seems Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson continually says, "we oppose the airport expansion." It's time to bottle the whine, move into the 21st Century and support the airport expansion.

Terry Tollefson
Everett


Snohomish Parks Tax Idea

Writer says this is a bad idea coming

To the Editor:
Regarding the article titled “Slow-growing city budget will allow for new hires next year” (Sept. 3 Snohomish County Tribune):
The article reports that the “city appears likely it will take a parks district property tax ballot measure to voters next year.” (It’s also called an MPD — Metropolitan Parks District.)
I supported Snohomish’s TBD (Transportation Benefit District) that brought us the roundabout at 15th and Avenue D. The city initially wanted to fund it with a $20 car tab fee without a vote, but another citizen and I convinced the council instead to go with a 0.2 percent sales tax increase for 1å0 years. The city voters approved the measure.
However, the MPD is vastly different.
Once created, it can’t be undone by the city voters and it goes on forever and it is funded by a regressive property tax that can be increased by only the council, not city voters.
In other words the council is given a blank check with the implied message to the voters of “trust us.”
And that’s only the half of it. The city’s proposed boundary line for the MPD taxing district is the city limits. Those outside the city like Fobes Hill, Dutch Hill, Clearview and the rest of the Snohomish School District #201 areas get a free ride. They get to use and enjoy the parks but don’t contribute a dime to help pay for them.
The MPD, as proposed, is a bad idea.

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


Letters published in the Sept. 24 Tribune:


Brain Cancer Profile
Kudos on accurate piece

To the Editor:
Bravo on Melanie Russell’s article about Marty Weed and the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk (“When cancer returns, fight on,” Sept. 17 Tribunes).
As a 5-year survivor of brain cancer this will be my 5th year walking. You did an outstanding job describing his journey which was very similar to mine. Now I’m eager to meet him and his daughter and give them a thumbs up! Thanks for an uplifting and highly accurate depiction of what purposeful and positive living is!

Melonie Claybrook
Snohomish


Snohomish Roundabout
The speed limit is 25

To the Editor:
Recently, while turning right on to Avenue D from 14th a car came speeding up behind me. The driver got angry at my slow speed. This is not the first time a driver has exited the roundabout at a high rate of speed to tailgate me or other cars doing the speed limit on Avenue D.
The posted limit for going through the new roundabout is 15 mph. I regularly see drivers using the exit onto Avenue D as their own personal slingshot and start on Avenue D (as well as Bickford and Ridge) easily doing 30-35 mph. This is a common speed limit for most city streets; however, the speed limit in Snohomish is largely 25 mph. Unfortunately, there is no sign to indicate this at the roundabout. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.
The people responsible for the roundabout really dropped the ball. Traffic has increased, the flow and speed of cars coming off the roundabout makes it almost impossible to turn left from 14th or the businesses along that portion of Avenue D during certain times of the day. And often to even turn right onto Avenue D. Granted turning onto Avenue D has always been a problem, but now that cars no longer have to stop before entering Avenue D, there is no reason to slow down either.
Or perhaps even a police presence to remind drivers: Surprise, surprise the speed limit is 25!
There must be a way to solve this and make getting onto Avenue D safer and maybe even a little bit easier. Citizenship at work!

Claudia Stephens
Snohomish


Everett logo contest
Waste of money

To the Editor:
Re: “Everett opens $5,000 city logo contest to public,” Sept. 17 Tribunes: The need for this is what? In this time of balancing the budget, raising taxes, this town is worrying about a “do I look pretty” item such as a new logo!

J.B. Wildman
Everett



Letters published in the Sept. 17 Tribune:

Marijuana in Snohomish
Pot shop flip flop wrong

To the Editor:
I'm saddened that a vocal group of "passionate" (read intimidating) anti-drug zealots can convince the town council to outright ban legal marijuana shops in our town.
The only thing banning legal sales does is to help the black market thrive.
They want to "save" your kids by sending them to jail? Brilliant! Destroy the village to save it! Over a useful, and sometimes  enjoyable herb.  Do you really think your children won't touch the forbidden fruit? When I was a teen, it was the wealthy, "upstanding" kids that were the most hardcore stoners.
We have more people in prison than Stalin had in the gulags, and these "brave" drug warriors want to add your sons and daughters to ranks of the unemployable.
Meanwhile, do you imagine that guys trafficking in South American meth, with a little pot on the side, will hesitate to sell your kids heroin?  I read that opiates have become the drug of choice in our fair hamlet - it's so much easier to hide than either pot or booze.
Thomas Jefferson said: "No nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage."
It was true then, and it's true now.
This state wisely voted to legalize (but sadly, over regulate) pot because prohibition creates a market that feeds criminal cartels.  After 40 years of the failed drug war, you'd think even a football coach could understand
the dynamic.

Christopher Bingham
Snohomish



Marijuana in Snohomish
Snohomish as Mayberry

To the Editor:
  Although the majority of Snohomish legal voters voted in favor of I-502, the Snohomish Council sided with a vocal group of teachers and non-city voters who want to keep marijuana criminalized as a “message to teenagers”. Responsible law-abiding adults are left out in the cold as a consequence.
Contrast that with the Lake Stevens City Council who want Lake Stevens to be known as a progressive, diverse city, tolerant of different lifestyles and socioeconomic status. The council fully embraces I-502 with a retail shop opening this month on Hartford Drive. The council was even invited for a tour of the facility prior to the grand opening.
The Snohomish City Council regressed to its old image of trying to be like “Mayberry,” full of country bumpkins. However, I don’t think Don Knotts, Ron Howard and Andy Griffith would have voted for intolerance and against liberty and free choices and certainly wouldn’t hijack a certified free and fair election result.
Shame on the Snohomish City Council. Thank God we have a courts system that will weed out such dinosaurs’ thinking.

Evangeline Loranc
Snohomish


Smith Island Project

A failure waiting to happen?

To the Editor:
The recent testimony given to the Snohomish County Council regarding the restoration project on Smith Island could be summarized as follows:
• Snohomish County has failed to comply with the legal process and has given inaccurate information to the public.
• 350 acres of land currently utilized for agriculture will be lost or destroyed.
• A goal has been set by Snohomish County and the Tribe to convert 1,200 acres from agriculture to native habitat.
• This 350 acres will meet the goal.
• Similar multimillion dollar salmon habitat projects within the Snohomish River delta have been a failure and have not provided any salmon habitat.
• The proposed habitat on Smith Island may only produce a “bug” population to feed the fish.
Spending $20 million to create 350 acres of habitat to grow a “bug” population is absurd and abusive.

Dan Bartelheimer
Vice president, Snohomish County Farm Bureau

 

Letters published in the Sept. 10 Tribune:

Snohomish marijuana ban
Why let minority decide majority rule?

To the Editor:
While I’m not a marijuana enthusiast, I hope the city does not extend this silly, nanny state restriction.
One thing I love about this town is how politically eclectic it is: I see numerous cars besides mine that have both National Rifle Association stickers and equality stickers on them.
Unlike the control freaks in King County, ours is a town
where people with a variety of viewpoints get along well and which isn't heavily invested in micromanaging our neighbors.
I found the description of the N.O.P.E. group ludicrous. Why would Snohomish let people who collected a mere 275 signatures affect the choices available to a town
of over 9,000 people, mostly adults who voted to legalize?
Your article (“Heroin: Use impacts more than just the user,” Aug. 27 Snohomish County Tribune) mentions a real drug problem that need to be combated: heroin use.
And we have quite a few bars here in town. Alcohol is a much more dangerous drug: I have seen two people drink themselves to death and several people ruin their lives
with its abuse. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions towards violence. How many times are police called in response to fights outside of bars? In comparison, how often are they called to deal with violence outside of recreational and medical marijuana stores?
I don’t hear about that happening.
One concern mentioned in your article that does deserve attention is keeping underage youth from accessing marijuana. If stores selling pot are required to check IDs that
should be a non-issue. Let's forget extending this pointless moratorium.

Don Baldwin
Snohomish


Snohomish Senior Center

Rebukes claim that center is “selfish”

To the Editor:
Re: Evangeline Loranc’s letter (Letters, Aug. 27 Tribune):
Where do you get your facts?  The Senior Center has never put out a “no vacancy sign” to the City Council.
I checked with the current Director and the Program Manager, they both confirmed that the city of Snohomish has never approached us to host the Council meetings. 
Our center staff often works with the city on many events held in Snohomish.  We have a good working relationship with the city. 
Also, about the $1.5 million the city spent on the clean-up of the site:  The city was required to clean up the ground regardless who built there.  Yes, the city did pave our parking lot.  The city would have done the street work regardless who built there, that’s what the city does.  By the way, Second Street looks great with its new surface.
I stand behind my statement that the building was built with mostly private funds and if taxpayer dollars were used they were a small portion. We are not ungrateful of our support.  The city takes care of the outside of our building, we take care of the inside.  When vandals broke our windows we paid for the repair.
I believe “The Pink House,” where the Snohomish Senior Center started, was a private donation. That was donated to the city.
I also am a taxpayer, but I think my membership dues are the best $30 I spend all year.
The return on my investment is limited only because I do not have time to enjoy all the activities.
 
Bernice Wright
Snohomish

Heroin
Similiar experience

To the Editor:
Re: “Heroin: Use impacts more than just the user,” Aug. 27 Snohomish County Tribune: I, too, am a single woman, 56 years of age, and also missing that special “grandma time” with my now adopted 7-year-old grandson.
I never dreamed of raising another child after raising my own two children, now adults. Child Protective Services removed my grandson at 18 months old from his mother, my daughter, upon my request.
When she learned she was pregnant she promised me she would quit using and that her life would be at it’s fullest with a baby in her life. I was sickened when she said that.
She proved herself wrong. She started using meth when she was 19 and is using heroin now at age 29.
Her son has not seen her for over 4 years now, my wishes, until she can live a sober, responsible life. She has put him through so much hurt.
His father is incarcerated and unknown to us when his release will be. Both parents’ rights were relinquished, and/or terminated. I adopted him three years ago this December. He is a bright, healthy, loving child, she is missing so much, and that does not take away the pain she has caused him and this family. I don't wish anyone to experience life with an addict, it truly can make you all sick. Get the help and support to get yourself through it is all one can do.

Debbie Eisenhauer
Everett

Snohomish County
Government overruns

To the Editor:
Do you recall the controversy over spending $17 million to build the new Everett School District building rather than putting that money into upgrades on current facilities or the classrooms?
When one of our new legislators went to Olympia a couple of years ago, discussions about Common Core were shut down immediately with: “That train has left the station!”
No matter how many hearings there are, how many objections there are, or how many studies show that the Smith Island Project does not accomplish its purported goal – saving fish – one gets the impression that “that train has left the station!”
Now let’s consider the proposed new Snohomish County Courthouse: In May, County Councilman Ken Klein was quoted by KOMO 4 as saying, “It’s hard to stop a train that's already left the station!”
Do you see a pattern here?
In that same piece, County Executive Lovick was quoted as saying: “It really is not a big deal.” And, isn’t that just the problem!? ‘Taxpayers and property owners be damned, I am in charge!’
A recent Daily Herald article says, “Snohomish County’s future courthouse won’t go over budget . . . .”
What is the budget now? Has there ever been a government project that didn’t go over budget?
This project has already been poorly managed and ground hasn’t even been broken yet. There is a new architect firm. What are the current expenses attributed to the old firm?  Since it was not included in the original plan, how will the transfer of inmates be handled?
Do we really need a new courthouse? If so, why not stick to the original plan, which would save millions by building on county property?
Oh, that’s right! That train has left the station!

Jeannette Sumpter
Bothell

Jericho All-Ages Venue
Thank you for spotlight

To the Editor:
Thank you for bringing light to Jericho (“Everett’s all-ages concert venue left searching for home,” Aug. 27 Everett Tribune).
As parents who have three adult children and work with the arts and local shelters, we see the need for a safe place for our young adults and teens to thrive and be encouraged to be a part of something creative. Thank you again, we of course are really rooting for this as it would be beneficial to our communities to keep youth off the streets!

Jackie Cort
Snohomish


Letters published in the September 3 edition of the Tribune:


Recreational marijuana businesses in Snohomish
Legalize it here to fight drug cartels


To the Editor:
I’d like to thank reporter Melanie Russell for her
excellent and informative article on the heroin problem in Snohomish County and the nation (“Heroin: Use impacts more than just the user,” Aug. 27 Snohomish County Tribune). The plague of heroin addiction is a scourge that needs to be fought from all directions.
One way to fight heroin is to legalize marijuana. I know this is hard for some to swallow, but if you think about it, it makes sense and here’s why.
The illicit drug cartels and crime syndicates make 80
percent of their total profits from the lucrative black market sale of marijuana — with a lot of the sales going to minors. The drug cartels then take their lucrative profits from marijuana and invest in cut-rate, cheap heroin that they then flood into the U.S. market, addicting millions of citizens. After getting them hooked on heroin, they raise the black market prices.
Initiative 502, in its full implementation, will help fight the heroin problem.
Profits will go to the taxpayers and local law-abiding entrepreneurs instead of the drug cartels which have killed 70,000 people since 2006, many of them gruesome beheadings.
It was in 1971 that Richard Nixon realized he was losing the war in Vietnam. Instead of blaming his Secretaries of Defense and State and his own generals, he blamed our fighting American troops whom he falsely believed were smoking marijuana. He even blamed the Beatles because they smoked marijuana.
So Nixon placed marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, more dangerous than heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, thus starting the war on marijuana and consequently ruining millions of lives and cost the taxpayers trillions of dollars in law and justice and incarceration costs.
All Snohomish citizens should embrace I-502. After all, it’s state law and we live in a majority rule democracy.

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


Hagen Water Fight
Things are different on Ebey Island

To the Editor:
Regarding the stories on the Hagen water fight: That is an interesting story, to say the least! We have lived on Ebey island over 25 years and have a private water district also. We get our water from the Everett water district but pay the administrator and "meter reader," a fee which is added to our water bill. It is now an additional $48 per billing cycle (every 2 months).
We have residents who refuse to pay their bills, some are behind over 4 months. We also have had damage to our main water pipes from transients, which ends up being the responsibility of the 12 or fewer homeowners in the private water district. Unincorporated Snohomish seems to have their own rules sometimes. Everyone needs to pay their share, if the farm has two rental properties, I think they should be billed separately. They are clearly getting income from the property.

Daphne Godejohn
Ebey Island



Prior letters published in the August editions of the Tribune:

Hagen Water Fight
Disappointed in water district

To the Editor:
I’m disappointed in the way the Cross Valley Water District is handling the case with the Hagen Family Farm. Most water districts have cases where arrangements were made decades ago which differ from current practices, but those should be grandfathered. Who knows what the agreement between the land owner and the district was 50 years ago? I’m sure most business back then was done on a handshake between neighbors, and it just wasn't documented. How can the district retroactively charge for something that was worked out so long ago; especially since the district clearly knew about the setup all this time? Small, local family farms are under pressure from so many angles, it is very difficult for them to make it in today’s world. They are an important part of our community, and undue, high-priced, made-up charges are an unfair and inappropriate burden. Let’s take care of our local farm families and treat them fairly.

Michelle Canfield
Snohomish


Hagen Water Fight
Shame on water district

To the Editor:
I worked with my father building some of the barns in the background of the Tribune’s photos with Jay Hagen. That was in 1955 or so. I was shocked to see the callus treatment of a solid family like the Hagens!
The two small houses had been used for hired help when the dairy farm was in need of full time hands. I find it outrageous that Cross Valley would suddenly hold hostage a family farm’s essential water after half a century of good faith by the Hagen family. Cross Valley has been paid for all the water delivered. What difference if it is metered by separate meters? More bureaucratic double charging for identical service.
Shame on Cross Valley! We all should speak up on behalf of an honest farm family man!

Richard Lyon
Juneau, Alaska


Snohomish Senior Center
Senior center selfish to not host council

To the Editor:
Re: Bernice Wright’s letter printed Aug. 15, 2014 in the Daily Herald titled “Snoho-mish Senior Center built privately”:
I am a hard working single mom whose main living expenses in Snohomish are property taxes and utility bills (water, sewer and garbage).
I was told that the city owns the senior center property and leases it to the nonprofit center for $1 annually. I was also led to believe city government has invested well over $1 million in land and improvements plus a $12,000 annual subsidy for operating expenses.
For a director to say the center came into fruition through private tax–deductible donations and without city taxpayers’ dollars is disingenuous at best and ungrateful and unappreciated to the taxpayers like me at the least.
Just think about it. I work my tail off so the city can provide a place for seniors to play cards and gamble and have other activities and then when someone suggests the city be allowed to use a center meeting room for nightly, bimonthly council meetings (instead of raising city property taxes for a $2.5 million for a new council chamber at First and Cedar), the center director puts out a “no vacancy” sign in her Daily Herald letter.
How selfish.

Evangeline Loranc
Snohomish


Poverty forum
Make a difference

To the Editor:
The global poverty forum Aug. 20 put on by RESULTS with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene was very informative. RESULTS leader Teresa Rugg talked about many humanitarian efforts the congresswoman had made, including her work to end hunger in America. She emphasized solutions that are proactive, like early childhood education that saves $7 for every dollar spent. She also stated that citizen voices could help to get Congress moving again. That active citizenship is what RESULTS focuses on to end hunger and poverty in America and the world. Currently, RESULTS is working to make sure the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) has sufficient funding to continue sustainable programs to make sure all children are vaccinated against common diseases.
RESULTS invites you to be a part of making a difference.
Call Teresa Rugg at 425-345-3958 for details.

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish


Prior letters published in the Tribune:


Repainting Monroe Steamstack

Design options too wacky and tacky

To the editor:
Once again the Chamber of Commerce must have gotten into the wacky weed (“What should Monroe’s iconic steamstack look like?,” July 30 Tribune). I find the cow motifs “udderly” ridiculous. Or a can of Carnation milk?? When’s the last time you bought one, much less know what it’s for? Our youth here doesn’t.
Welcome signs (east and west) on Highway 2 lets people know what town they are in.
You have an artist in your midst, Janie Olson, who can do the stack justice — perhaps a candy cane spiral effect going upward would show something new. Check Olson out at ww.thestorybookstudio.com or email storybookstudent@verizon.net.

Steven Hillesland
Snohomish


Heroin
Where do users go for detoxification?

To the editor:
Thank you so much for doing this story. It’s about time that the media get involved with this epidemic.
I see way too much of this, and it is heartbreaking. There are not enough recources to help those wanting help.
I tried to get a man help about a week ago, and I only found one detox center and that was full. The man said to me he could’t t wait, and he needed in now or he wouldn’t do it.
Also where do they go after detox? Back out to the streets.
We need more detox centers, rehab facilities that will take the homeless, and then sober houses. Just putting these people in detox won’t do it.

Nora Beggs
Lake Stevens


Combat drugs with full-time jobs

To the editor:
There is a way to combat drugs. That comes from employers providing jobs with hours and wages that reflect today’s demands. It’s clear that $9 an hour and 20 hour workweeks doesn’t provide satisfaction. When you can’t buy food for your family, clothe your kids, buy decent transportation, you’re trapped in a cycle that demands an escape.
We’re asking young people to act responsibly while we show by our own actions they have no hope.
Give people full-time work, give people a reason to be responsible and stop hiding behind failed excuses. To combat drugs, let’s start a war on unemployment and disrespect for the workers.

Victor Harris
Everett

Lake Tye
Speed boats eroding Lake Tye shores

To the editor:
Lake Tye is a pristine water enjoyed by the public but with restrictions not exercised by the special interests.
Huge high powered speed boats towing skiers. Three foot wake eroding the western shoreline.
In time the city of Monroe will need to replace and move over our asphalt hiking trail further west.
Currently one area is doomed to lose a comforting rest bench. Three more feet of shoreline and the bench will learn how to sink or swim.
I ask the City Council to inspect the west shoreline of Lake Tye. To concur that either stone be placed to provide a bulwark or discontinue the use of speed boats. The special events group prohibits public use of beach access while the only boats allowed are ones with electric boat motors.
The park belongs to the people — does anyone ever read the last line of the Gettysburg Address?

Aaron “Mac” McCann
Sultan


Snohomish Roundabout
In favor of the new traffic circle

To the editor:
I have no doubt that the new traffic circle in Snohomish will alleviate the previous traffic on Avenue D at 15th Street, while adding a rather elegant intersection to our town. Our mayor's doing an excellent job of keeping our town quaint while clean and functional. I love this place!

Martin Cayford
Snohomish

Heroin
Suspicious of drug use among students

To the editor:
My daughter is at Ingelmoor High School and I am terrified at the thought of these drugs are around her and us.
Frankly with all the crap about marijuana she says everybody smokes dope now. Who knows whether it is laced with heroin? Stupid, stupid, stupid to legalize any more drugs. No wonder kids are going right to heroin. Everything else is almost legal.

Brian Gardner
Bothell

Support the Poor letter response
Help the homeless

To the editor:
I am inspired by Particia Johnson’s call to “help the poor now today.”  (“Support the poor,” Letter to the Editor in the July 30 Tribune).
With nearly half of America poor or near poor, each one helping one would do the trick. 
Another idea would be to write or call our elected leaders to do something about poverty in America. Start with renewing the child tax credit and the earned income credit.  Continue by giving all children an equal start in school by passing universal pre-kindergarten. 
Living wage jobs are important and can be increased by passing a transportation package to repair America’s failing infrastructure.  So use your vote and your voice to help the poor by supporting these and other proven solutions!

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish


Everett Police satellite station
Appreciative of Delta’s efforts

To the editor:
I would hope the Everett Police Department would also be inclined to have this office (“Satellite police office coming to northeast Everett,” July 9 Everett Tribune) because of the on-going efforts of the Delta Neighborhood Crime Watch.
As the NW Neighborhood Chair, I know we report our share of crime to 911 in the north end but the Delta Crime Watch has been extremely active in placing calls concerning drug houses, loitering problems at Safeway, prostitution on north Broadway and many hooded people riding children's bicycles with numerous items in their hands headed for various drug houses or a local pawn shop!
In addition, the participation by neighbors in Delta has really increased so that more neighbors are watching out for each other. We had the Delta Crime Watch leadership at our most recent neighborhood meeting and the information that was provided, including handouts from EPD, was far above most information we have had presented by the EPD at our neighborhood meetings.
I for one am greatly appreciative of the Delta Neighborhood Crime Watch efforts.

Shelley Weyer
Everett


 

 

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