Letters to the Editor - 3/26/18

  • Written by Readers
In reference to the February 26 Letter to the Editor about Triangle Park, I want to let the city of Bothell know that I enjoy Triangle Park.  I hope the city will spend some time there and restore its beauty.
Removing the monument that was dedicated to the memory of the men and women that served our country is very upsetting.  My uncles and later my husband served as the fighting brave.  It seems as though these people are not meaningful to Bothell.
Laura Reardon, Woodinville
I would like to comment about the DeYoung Park “improvements.”
I have walked through DeYoung Park a few times a week over the last 15 years. It is comforting to walk under the grove of giant trees, residents of the park for many years. Today, the park is wrapped in chain link fence and being dismantled in preparation for changes. These changes include the removal of 2 historical heritage trees, to be replaced by lawn and a walkway.
Many trees have already been removed in the area for the Woodin Creek Development. Ducks have been seen nesting off-site, displaced from their home in the development site. Large trees were also recently removed in the Molbak’s parking lot, at least one secondary to damage.
It surprises me that the DeYoung family is giving money to a project that includes the destruction of the trees they saved so many years ago. All of this diminishing regard for live trees is a painful picture of where we are heading and seems hypocritical to the name of the city.
I understand the city’s goal to improve the park. With so many trees being cut around our region, it would seem to me, an old architecture student myself, that planning would be focused on the preservation of our heritage trees. I was taught in architecture school to design around them, rather than consider them an obstacle.
While some large trees will remain in the park, hopefully including the horse chestnut tree, trees in groups are more stable against the wind. It will be sad for the other trees in the park to lose some of their wind protection.
I hope these trees have been checked for presence of bird nests. It is against federal law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA), to cut trees with active nests.
I wonder if anyone else has noticed the significant loss of tree canopy in the downtown region of the City of Woodinville? I have. The birds and squirrels have. It will be hard for me to say “goodbye” to these old trees.
Tracy Hendershott, Kirkland, (Works in Woodinville)
Separation of church and state is a foundational tenet of our democracy. Indeed many early colonists made the perilous journey to the New World to escape religious persecution. So important to our earliest citizens was the concept of religious freedom that it is the first issue addressed in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”
The Internal Revenue Code of 1954 included a provision exempting churches and other non-profits from taxes, provided that the non-profit does not participate in political campaigns. This provision is known as The Johnson Amendment, named for the senator who proposed it, Lyndon B. Johnson. Lawmakers enacted this amendment to the tax code without debate and thus considered it uncontroversial. The provision remained undisputed when it became a part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 under President Reagan.
Last year during the National Prayer Breakfast President Trump promised to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment, attempting to bear out one of his campaign promises. The tax overhaul bill passed last December originally contained language to overturn the Johnson Amendment. Fortunately at the last minute legislators removed this stipulation.
The Johnson Amendment is once again facing reversal, this time as a rider to the spending bill Congress must pass to fund the government. Bill riders are provisions attached to unrelated legislation; riders can thus pass without separate vote or debate. “Destroying” the Johnson Amendment is tantamount to further demolishing campaign finance rules.  Do we want, need, or benefit from more Dark Money influencing our elections?  How will our country benefit by having our religious institutions engaging in political activity?  Church and state will no longer be separate institutions in the United States.  Democracy will find itself in a more ragged state than it is today, in desperate need of monumental repair.
Linda Bock, Sammamish

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