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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.

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


Letters published in the Feb. 10
Tribune:

Marijuana shops
Don’t fear the reefer

To the Editor:
Old habits die hard. Witness the knee-jerk response of the anti-pot store crowd, who continue a century of ridiculous propaganda against cannabis.  
Meanwhile, at the bars, they drink a toxic brew that lowers inhibition to aggression. People smoke pot, experience a mild euphoria, and get the “munchies.” People get drunk, they pick fights with cops. Yet pot shops are a “menace?”
We bought our house and have lived in Snohomish for 15 years. We love it here. Why make people drive up the hill to buy pot? Why give the taxes to the county? Why deprive adults access to a legal pursuit, voted on by a majority of the state? Every chance we have to make our community more self-sustaining is one we should embrace.
If you’re worried about high school kids getting access, wouldn’t you rather have them filching from their parents than buying from the meth dealer in the locker room?
I don’t even smoke pot. I just want to live in a free country. We’ve been lied to about pot for almost 100 years. Let’s use this opportunity to make a small step toward moving our town and country back to the greatness we had before the drug war put more people in prison than Communist China.
Harry Anslinger died 40 years ago. It’s time to let go of the fears caused by his legacy of lies.
I urge the Snohomish City Council to approve pot shops. Take the profits away from the cartels. Just legalize it.

Christopher Bingham
Snohomish

Open government
Committee is worth its value

To the Editor:
After the initial meeting of the Ad Hoc Open Government Committee, and as a member, I can respond to part of Evangeline Loranc’s letter to the editor (“Change is good,” Dec. 30 Tribunes).
Continuing education is a requirement in many professional fields. The city’s efforts to learn to increase its transparency and ability to engage citizens seems to fall in this category. After the lack of communication, misunderstandings, and hard feelings from the cell tower proposal and other issues, city government created an avenue to do better: learn from citizens how to better communicate and as importantly, how to engage citizens in the governing process.
From information presented at the meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee’s six month process cost is $12,000, facilitated by an experienced, neutral facilitator.
The volunteer members submitted applications to the City Council to be on the committee. These meetings are open to the public. Two Focus Groups, intended to provide in-depth information from citizens to the city and the committee, are selected by the Focus Group consultant. The focus group members, approximately eight to ten per group, are paid $150 each for their time. The Focus Group process cost is $12.000 - $14,000. The total $24,000 - $26,000 was taken from savings in another city department.
Bottom line: Building trust and engaging citizens in city government. I will work toward those goals.
 
Mary Dessein
Snohomish


Letters published in the Feb. 3
Tribune:

Light pollution
Closed mill should shut off lights

To the Editor:
The sawmill across the river has ceased to exist, and there is no longer any lumber stored on its property. Why is it necessary for the very bright lights to still blaze every night, making it impossible to observe the night sky anywhere near downtown?
 
Frank Baumann
Snohomish

Marijuana shops
Shops don’t belong in Snohomish

To the Editor:
My family has had the pleasure of living in the city of Snohomish for almost 11 years now. We love this place and want to make sure that our voice is heard. Both my husband  and I have the pleasure of working here in town and all but one of our five children attend school here in Snohomish. 
Over the last couple of years I have watched Highway 9 develop into the new “Highway 99,” offering pot shops, both recreational and medical and half-naked coffee shops. The only thing missing are pawn shops. I have often wondered at how that happened and why the local people didn’t say no.
I love the modern, artistic charm and historical character of Snohomish. It’s a classy place with forward-thinking citizens that love their community. 
This type of business, a marijuana business, does not belong here. Folks have plenty of choices farther down the road, right after picking up their latte from the topless barista. 
To the City Council: Please don’t make this your legacy. 
Let’s keep our town healthy, preserve our kids (it’s tough enough!) and encourage business that bring our community together in ways that enrich our society, not drag it down. Money should not be the bottom line here; consider the quality of Snohomish and the future of our children. 

Heather Sommer
Snohomish


Community thank you
Food bank donations helped

To the Editor:
Is there anything more touching than the joy in a child’s eyes on Christmas morning? Thanks to our caring and generous community the Sky Valley Food Bank’s “Hope for the Holidays” program was able to provide nearly 600 children in need with a little Christmas wonder.
Thanks to the organization and guidance of volunteer Becky Grannan, the toy room elves sorted and filled shelves with age appropriate toys and games that were then distributed in the days before Christmas.
The family of Diane Wilton and all the good folks at Central Welding once again gathered cheer and filled stockings for a festive touch in Diane’s memory.
Overall, the Sky Valley Food Bank gave out holiday meals to about 400 families in our 3 days of distribution. All of these efforts were made possible by the many businesses, schools and individuals that held food or toy drives as well as all the generous community members who donated.
We feel blessed to live a community that cares. Thank you Monroe!
 
Neil Watkins
Director of the Sky Valley Food Bank
Monroe


Letters published in the Jan. 27 Tribune:

City governance
Strong mayor system provides accountability

To the Editor:
Ours is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization whose purpose is to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse at all levels of local governments. This is our mission statement.
The best way to accomplish this is to require those who serve in our highest executive position to live here and be directly accountable to our electorate. Human nature: Leaders are more prudent with their own local tax dollars –especially when counting on their neighbor’s vote in the next election. Currently, our city manager lives near Seattle and is not held accountable by election.
Despite claims made by the opposition, preventing waste, fraud, and abuse aren’t partisan issues. We are not a partisan group; we have Democrat and Republican leaning members.
The current, unelected City Manager is naturally prone to exaggerate the cost of adding the mayoral issue to the November ballot. Yet according to hard estimates gleaned from county records, the total cost for the entire process is closer to $5,000 than his $50,000 distortion. It would certainly be less than the ridiculous $50,000 he spent on the Metropolitan Parks District the voters overwhelmingly rejected — and less than
the $28,000 committee he just hired to brainstorm how voters think. The most efficient poll is called Election Day!
Furthermore, while it’s been argued that a mayoral election could be more expensive when only two candidates run, more than three qualified candidates have already stepped up to serve.
Let voters decide for themselves this coming November; it’s time we have a say in such matters.
 
John T. Kartak
Snohomish

Hans Dunshee
Old land issue raises questions

To the Editor:
Regarding the article, “Rep. Dunshee wants County Council seat” (Dec. 30 Snohomish County Tribune):
Remember the Herald story on Feb. 12, 2007 called “Land sale to lawmaker revises ire?” Dunshee was buying a piece of a Snohomish city park. The follow up article was “Neighbors still fighting Dunshee’s lot.”
Is this a cause for County Councilmembers to think twice before they vote?
Couldn’t this have been a mini park for all of us to enjoy?

Ann Bjorneby
Seattle Hill area

Sultan school bond
Bond is needed for future

To the Editor:
I would like to take a moment to comment about the upcoming school bond in Sultan. 
As someone who is retired and living on a fixed income, I fully understand how some people might consider it as expensive and maybe even excessive.  Well, folks, we must face the facts that without this new bond our school system will have to continue to try to house about twice as many students as it was built for and who knows what our growth rate might be in the future. What you may not be aware of is that if the levy passes, we will be eligible to receive matching funds of over $9 million. This will make it possible to add a performing arts center plus an additional  gym.
Please take time to seriously consider your vote.  Keep in mind that this will just take us back to the previous level we voted for and lived with in 2006.

Charles “Ole” Carlson
Sultan

Tuberculosis
TB efforts must get increased funding

To the Editor:
Perhaps the State of the Union two weeks ago is old news, but I am still inspired by President Obama’s statement that “American leadership in the 21st century is not a choice between ignoring the rest of the world...When we help African countries feed their people and care for the sick, that prevents the next pandemic from reaching our shores. Right now, we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS, and we have the capacity to accomplish the same thing with malaria.” 
Allow me to add tuberculosis (TB) to this list since TB has surpassed HIV as the leading cause of death from infectious disease in the world.  We must continue to support people impacted by TB on our shores and around the world, for if they are stigmatized and isolated the disease will easily continue to flourish and needless suffering will prevail . After spending time in South Africa last month with advocates and scientists who are doing their best to end TB, it is clear to me that it is up to our local communities to ensure that our government fully support efforts such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
Contact your member of congress to increase the goal of ending TB for good.

Teresa Rugg
Snohomish

City governance
Change is good

To the Editor:
Regarding the front page article, “Future change in mayor role in city?” (Dec. 16 Snohomish County Tribune): Electing the Snohomish mayor by a direct vote of the citizens and eliminating the pricey city manager position is a good idea.
Snohomish voters should be allowed to vote on the issue this November. The cost to put the issue on the ballot then would be minimal, unlike the recent Metropolitan Parks District special primary ballot measure.
The mayor is selected by fellow council members, not the citizens, and is considered mainly a ceremonial position. Her vote on the council is no more important than any other council member’s vote.
I support the change because Snohomish is still a
really small town yet our current city government spends money foolishly. For example, at the December 15th city council meeting, the council authorized spending $28,000 to create an “ad hoc” committee (cherry-picked by the mayor and mayor pro-team) and a separate redundant “focus” group conducted by the city’s lobbyist, Strategies 360. Each cherry-picked focus group member will receive $150 to express his or her opinion on “citizen communications.” 
Focus groups, polls and surveys are not worth the extra money.
Spending $28,000 on committees and focus groups has the real purpose of justifying the status-quo in city government. In other words, more window-dressing and propaganda by city government to further their own pet agendas at the expense of the citizens.

Evangeline Loranc
Snohomish

 

Flood history
Heartwarming, informative article

To the Editor:
Dan Bartelheimer wrote a great article regarding the 1975 flood (“They kept coming,” Dec. 16 Tribune).
I was unaware so many kind people came to the aid of the devastated farmers. It is heartwarming to learn even 40 years later.
Shortly before Highway 2 was closed, I drove from Monroe to Snohomish. The water was 3 to 4 inches high and you could barely see the yellow line. My friend following had a car with anti-pollution equipment which stalled the car on the highway. It was towed out by a county truck.
I’m sure everyone hopes we never see another flood like the one in 1975.

Joan Keller
Snohomish



State learning project
Child wants interesting items

To the Editor:
My name is Emma Hogarth and I live in Granger, Indiana. I attend Covenant Christian School and I am in 7th grade. My literature class is currently reading the book A Walk Across America. It is about Peter Jenkins and his journey walking across America. From that, my class wanted to learn more about the states. Our teacher then assigned us to do a project on researching a state. I decided that I would research the state of Washington. I chose the state of Washington because I visited it once and loved everything from the view to all of the monuments. A part of our project is to write a letter to the editor asking to publish our letter so the people of that city can read it and then send letters or postcards explaining what they love about the state of Washington.
All responses will be greatly appreciated.

Send materials to:
Emma Hogarth
c/o The Tribune
P.O. Box 499
Snohomish, WA 98291

 

Fireworks
Don't shoot off fireworks

To the Editor:
Fireworks in Snohomish City and Snohomish County harm animals.
There are two times in a year when the morning is deadly silent - the 5th of July and New Year’s Day – mornings after the fireworks.
Birds left their nests and young, wild animals left their resting places terrorized by fireworks explosions.
Our wildlife is diminishing due to the environmental stress. Animals fleeing from fireworks often get lost or killed. Dogs are prone to being hit by cars and birds are prone to breaking their necks by flying into buildings.
Listen, observe – be human – and save our fellow species: ban fireworks.
Welcome New Year 2016 in peace and quiet.

Jiri Janacek
Snohomish

 


East Monroe Rezone
Dirty tricks, writer says

To the Editor:
The East Monroe rezone is corruption at its worst. It provides no benefit to the public whatsoever. This entire rezone is for the sole purpose of providing a financial windfall to Heritage Baptist Fellowship Church. And then, to top it off, the City Council has the nerve to ignore the very people they claim to represent.
This is an example of the worst sort of government. For shame, Monroe City Council, for shame.

Mark S. Moore
Monroe

Community paramedic program
Paramedic says thanks

To the Editor:
I wanted to thank our community for supporting a new collaborative, cost-saving program, and report back on the progress we’ve made so far.
Three months ago, I began serving as the Community Resource Paramedic (CRP) for a program launched jointly by Snohomish County Fire District 7, Monroe Fire District 3 and Lake Stevens Fire. The aim of the CRP program is to connect patients in need to non-emergency medical or social services. Long-term, this will reduce calls to 911, lower healthcare costs for the community and improve patient care.   
I’ve attended several events hosted by the fire districts, including the final Summer of Safety event for Fire District 7 where we provided blood pressure checks for seniors from Mill Creek and the surrounding areas and helped them create a Medical Information Form.
I’ve spent time building relationships with healthcare providers and first responders in the area, too. Before the program officially launched, I responded to five referrals – mostly cases of frequent 911 users. Now, our three fire districts have developed a joint database of patients who require follow up after an emergency call. 
Because of the partnership, fire districts servings Mill Creek and the surrounding area, Monroe and Lake Stevens have been able to provide better service, cost-effectively to meet the changing needs of our communities. It reduces health care costs, as well. It feels good to see what a difference we are making in the lives of the people we serve.

Scott Koch
Community Resource Paramedic for Fire Districts 7, 3 and 8

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