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Letters to the Editor - 1/1/18

  • Written by Readers
ORDINANCE 18403
 
I'd like to point out that you missed the gross illegality of Ordinance 18403 - King County is trying to charge for the use of what is the equivalent of an easement on my property (the right-of-way).  King County may not charge a fee for that which it does not own; my property includes the public right-of-way.  See mrsc.org/Home/Stay-Informed/MRSC-Insight/January-2014/What-is-the-Nature-of-a-Public-Right-of-Way.aspx for more information on this, including case law from before Washington was a state that says that ownership of rights-of-way stay with the owner of the adjacent property.
 
Karen Isaacson, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - 12/18/17

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
NAFTA
 
Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is underway.  Concerned citizens desire democratic, transparent negotiations.  Imperative for U.S. negotiators is the removal of controversial NAFTA provisions that gave multi-national corporations immense powers to attack environmental and consumer safety laws which corporations deem detrimental to their business model and to offshore American jobs.
 
Perhaps the most egregious chapter of NAFTA is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).  Under this provision of NAFTA multi-national corporations have the right to sue for the loss of anticipated future profits before a tribunal of three corporate lawyers.  This tribunal can order American taxpayers to pay corporations when their lawyers “prove” to the tribunal that existing laws protecting public health or the environment violate special trade agreement rights and thereby impede the corporation’s ability to make profits.  The tribunal’s decisions are not subject to appeal.  Corporations thus benefit from a special system of “justice” outside our courts.
 
These 1994 NAFTA trade provisions, coupled with 1995 World Trade Organization agreements, precipitated  the  loss  of  more than 79,000 Washington  jobs  according to the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Americans nationwide have experienced the loss of nearly five million manufacturing jobs.  This “free trade” agreement has driven down wages and created record trade deficits.  The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that a majority of Americans have experienced wage suppression of 12.2 %.   In 2016, the trade deficit for American goods rose to $173 billion.
 
A new trade agreement must include enforceable labor and environmental standards which protect us all from corporate greed.  Replacing NAFTA is essential to creating a global economy which benefits working families instead of corporate elites.
 
For more information refer to www.tradewatch.org. 
 
Linda Bock
Sammamish, WA

Letters to the Editor - 12/4/17

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

KING COUNTY RIGHT-OF-WAY TAX

On November 27 I received a letter from the Woodinville Water District with the heading “Notice of Utility Rate Increase Due to King County Right-Of-Way Rental Fee/Tax.”

~ I have seen nothing in print or other media announcing or even discussing this issue.
~ Apparently this was passed as an Ordinance on November 7, 2016.
~ From the date passed, only 30 days are set aside for comments. It certainly smells as a fast track to implementation.
~ If not for the WWD, I probably would not have found out about it until I questioned our various utility bill increases.
~ Every homeowner that pays for utilities could be facing an additional county tax approaching $500/year.
~ This is serious money county wide.
~ Even worse, the money collected goes to the general fund.
~ Nothing is earmarked for road improvement.

I am completely opposed to this underhanded attempt to pass new substantial tax law.

It is nothing short of a complete money grab.

I encourage each of you to voice your opinion both to your county representative and the website in the WWD letter.

Ed Ries - Woodinville

NEW COUNTY FEE / ORDIANCE 18403

Last November (2016) the council passed Ordinance 18403 (sponsored by Balducci, Upthegrove, Lambert, and Dembowski), which charges “rent” to utilities to use the King County right-of-way to help defray the costs resulting from allowing use of public property by the utilities.  While I agree with the reasoning for these fees, I do not agree with the disposition of the money.  It is to be put in the General Fund for use for anything.  This money should be used solely to defray costs resulting from use of public land by the utilities, not for housing, or jails, or administrative costs, etc.  If we allow this kind of blanket taxation our taxes will be higher, but our roads will still be falling apart.

John S. Snow - Woodinville

WOODINVILLE WATER DISTRICT ARTICLE CORRECTION

The website address in the article on King County Ordinance no. 18403, Right-of-Way Rental Fee/Tax is incorrect.  I think that your “typesetting” software condensed the address to make it fit the column.  In doing so it deleted a hyphen between facilities and management...without it the result is a 404 error message. The correct link is: http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/facilities-management/real-estate-services/public-rule-proposal.aspx

It’s important that objections be submitted by Dec. 7th.  The ordinance number and title should be included in the comments section to be clear.

Patricia Friesen

Letters to the Editor - 11/27/17

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
ALZHEIMER’S
 
It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s disease. Too often Alzheimer’s and other dementias are treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the U.S. develops every 66 seconds.
 
With two-thirds of its annual costs being borne by Medicare and Medicaid, it is an issue that demands more attention from our government.
 
My wife Taryn, of 41 years, is one of the 110,000 living with Alzheimer’s in the state of Washington. I am also one of the 335,000 Washingtonians providing care to someone living with Alzheimer’s. I understand the physical and emotional costs of the disease.
 
Congress has a chance to take decisive action passing the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256), endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association. This new bill would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions like increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
 
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. The nation currently spends $259 billion a year on Alzheimer’s, which is why we need this new approach. If we are going to end this disease, then we must start treating it like the public health threat it is.
 
Join me in asking Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to fight for the five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s by cosponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.
 
Jeff Jensen
Alzheimer’s Advocacy Member

Letters to the Editor - 11/20/17

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton
EDUCATION
 
Congratulations to Savannah McKinnon for recently receiving the President’s Scholarship.  (‘Applause’ in the Woodinville Weekly, Nov. 7, 2017)  Education is a game changer.  Unfortunately, 263 million children and youth in our world have no opportunity to go to school.  Thanks to a bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 466) introduced by Congressman Dave Reichert and cosponsored by six members of our delegation, including Rep. Suzan DelBene, this could change.  This resolution supports funding of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in its work to get 25 million more children in school.  The GPE partners with countries to create plans to educate all children.  In the process, countries gradually take over the cost of the program.  So, let’s encourage congress to follow through on this bipartisan work that results in less conflict, better health, lower birthrates, and more opportunity.  A thank you to our representatives is appropriate on this issue, so take the time to drop a line or make a call, letting them know this work matters!
 
Willie Dickerson
Snohomish, Washington
 
PEACE POLES
 
The City of Woodinville, the Woodinville Rotary and Woodinville’s Arts Alliance have partnered on a project for the community, called “The PEACE POLE PROJECT.” They are calling on all artists in the community to get involved. There are 20 ten foot cement poles in DeYoung Park being offered up for sponsorship, with the intention of creating 20 different pieces of art with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” as part of the poles. The intention is for each pole to be unique and symbolize the characteristics of Woodinville in some way. If folks in the community would like to either sponsor one of the Peace Poles or paint one of these poles, they can go to the city’s website for more information.
 
http://www.ci.woodinville.wa.us/News/CurrentRFPs.asp
 
To date, at least five of the poles have been sponsored with the cornerstone pole sponsored by Woodinville Rotary.
This project is also a meaningful contribution to the redevelopment of DeYoung Park, scheduled to begin in the early part of 2018.
 
Elaine Cook
Woodinville