As another Northshore School Board election looms, I’ve been trying to figure out how best to help my friends decide which candidate to support. In District 3, there are three candidates running in the primary: Berta Phillips, David Cogan and Isaac Parsons.
What have these candidates done in our district for students, and why are they running? Have the candidates been active in schools and PTAs? Do they understand there are legislative issues which impact district policies? Are they prepared to confront the conflicting demands of providing higher wages to district employees, raising levies and bonds on district residents and businesses, and the costs/benefits these decisions have on the quality of education for our students? Do they appreciate that a school board director requires a substantial time commitment to do a good job?
I encourage people to check out candidate endorsements. Personal endorsements are important because the candidates need to have great people skills – the community needs to feel comfortable talking to them about important issues. Organizational endorsements need to be transparent about how they selected their candidates – were all candidates given equal opportunity to present their views? Do these organizations provide access to the information they received from the candidates? What are the priorities of the organizations? PALS wants later high school start times; political party endorsements are for candidates whom they believe will further party priorities (local, state or national control of curriculum); and district employee unions (NSEA) want to ensure that a candidate is willing to support their agenda (e.g., whether the “surplus” of educational funds this year can be redirected toward higher wages for their membership.)
The position of a school board director has immediate and long-term consequences, with issues ranging from maintaining high academic standards for all students, while supporting struggling learners and implementing quality programs for highly capable students; to balancing the overcrowding in Bothell schools and the under-enrollment in Woodinville elementaries. In the next four years, NSD will open a fourth high school, and reconfigure grade bands. This is indeed a crucial election for School Board! Be informed!
STADIUM MANAGER RESIGNS
In our local sporting world, the resignation of Mike Dale, stadium manager of Pop Keeney Stadium, was a total surprise to many of us who know him well and what he stands for. His standard has always been to do it right. His wise and far-reaching decision to change the face of Pop Keeney Stadium earns both the Northshore School District and City of Bothell highest praise. This sports facility has greatly benefited from his Midas touch.
I was fortunate to spend 18 seasons coaching Bothell High football on that field. It’s fair to say Pop Keeney Stadium is now the best planned and maintained first-class prep facility in the state. Mike’s trademark touch shows up everywhere from the locker rooms, press box, grandstands, field and concessions stands to handicapped viewing. Nothing was left to chance.
What we have in Mike Dale is a man who devoted his school district employment to give the community a piece of history. It is unthinkable that Mike is leaving, and now, he will no longer be on that field wearing his red jacket. My friend will be sadly missed by all those who know him. It’s hard to believe he’s gone.
Retired BHS football coach
TOUR OF GARDENS
The Woodinville Garden Club Tour of Gardens 2015 was a huge success! Over 500 guests visited the five gardens that were featured on the Tour. We deeply appreciate all the support from our advertisers and community sponsors, which made possible this great event.
Molbak’s served as a major sponsor for the 16th year, providing a sales outlet for tickets and a beautiful venue for our after tour reception. The reception was enhanced by Icon Winery’s generous wine tasting and savory bites from Haggen Market. Molbak’s also contributed gift certificates for the drawing at the reception, which also included an overnight accommodation for two at Willows Lodge, mulch from de Jong Sawdust & Shavings, a landscape consultation from Garden Workz Design, the original signed artwork by Ben Mann used for the 2015 poster art and gift cards from Purple Cafe, The Commons and Teddy’s Bigger Burgers.
The Woodinville Weekly also served as a valuable sponsor, providing poster ads and articles throughout the weeks leading up to the event. Many thanks are also due to our other major sponsors, Butler & Butler Realtors and Brittany Park, along with community businesses who displayed our posters throughout Woodinville.
The Woodinville Garden Club provides civic beautification, scholarships, youth gardening programs and support for community charities with the proceeds from the Tour. We would like to express our gratitude to all of our guests and to the businesses that supported us. We look forward to another great season next year. The search for 2016 gardens began this week. Contact www.woodinvillegardenclub.org if you wish to suggest a garden. See you next year!
Woodinville Garden Club
SAMMAMISH VALLEY LAND USE
I can understand the frustration of the owners of several businesses who have located in the agricultural district in the Sammamish Valley who now are being informed that their businesses do not conform with King County zoning restrictions. They feel persecuted, some operating for years without any apparent complaints or code enforcement actions by the county. However, rules are rules, and these business owners need to follow them. There is no good reason for establishing a non-conforming use on one’s property when the zoning restrictions are readily available. Were they misled by their realtors? Did they not exercise due diligence in property research? Are they intentionally establishing non-conforming businesses in the hopes that no one will complain or no actions will be taken?
Admittedly, King County has played a part in the feelings of persecution, having taken literally years to begin to investigate code violations. But these business owners need to realize that the Sammamish Valley is an attractive place to be only because we have established rules to prevent inappropriate development of the land. At least King County is waking up to the fact that if we allow every use that even violates the zoning a little bit, it will be a death by a thousand cuts that will inexorably destroy our lovely valley.
And as far as winery owners feeling specifically targeted, this is not the case. There are other types of businesses that have complaints lodged against them, but there are so many wineries in the area that they dominate the business climate outside of the city limits.
John S. Snow
I am glad to see steps being taken towards enforcing zoning laws in the Sammamish valley. Woodinville is a great place to visit wine country and enjoy the rural nature of the valley, but the community is losing out when the county does not enforce its zoning codes.
First I must commend the dozens of legally zoned tasting rooms and restaurants in the Hollywood, Industrial, and Wine districts that are fitting good city planning and occupying the festive retail spaces a successful development plan has provided. I value visiting the country roads with fresh air and scenic views of the valley floor.
As enthusiasm grows for more tasting rooms in the valley some prudent entrepreneurs are building their businesses on the coattails of the city’s hard work and good planning. These retail tasting rooms on county-zoned agricultural land aren’t paying city fees, but their business is dependent on city infrastructure. They’re getting an unfair edge over the compliant neighborhood companies and setting a bad precedent for the valley’s rural character. Congestion in town is bad enough; we don’t need more backups from traffic to businesses who aren’t participating in Woodinville’s master plan.
IMPOSSIBLE TO SELL PROPERTY
This is in response to the recent post by Nancy Snyder “Building Houses.” I too am a senior citizen and owner of 2.56 acres in the city of Woodinville, R1 zoning. I purchased my home in 1985 on the North End of Hollywood Hill. I have resigned myself to the fact that Woodinville has made it impossible to sell property or do business within the city limits.
I feel sorry for my brother who is the beneficiary of my estate should I pass! Maybe the best revenge would be to leave my acreage to the City of Woodinville and designate that it be used for a park and then they would have to maintain it for life. Let them pay for sidewalks, widening of roads, ditches, lighting and anything else they require to short plat properties. Enough already.