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Letters to the Editor - 10/16/17

  • Written by Readers

Important to Vote

Dear voters of the 45th legislative district of Washington State, I hope you are all aware of the importance of the special election in your district on November 7th 2017. You will vote on a really important state senate race. I encourage you all to mail in your ballots! If you are not registered to vote, the last day to register in person is October 30th and you can do so at the county elections office at 919 SW Grady Way in Renton. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a high voter turnout? The history of voter turn in our state shows we can do way better!! https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/research/Voter-Turnout-by-Election.aspx
Democracy is really in our hands and local elections have an incredible impact on our lives. Learn about the candidates and get out there!

We’re all counting on you!
With loving pressure,
Jen Weeks, The 42nd district

Remembering Maxine Keesling

Maxine wrote in 1975 “You know, we’re in at the beginning of what is going to be a great thing” after she and Barbara Bonow met with King County. They convinced a King County Council Capital Improvement Committee to allow the community to renovate the County owned gravel pit on the NE side of Hollywood Hill. This has become the Hollywood Hill Saddle Club (Hollywood Hill Equestrian Park). The Park along with the Trail System that runs to Gold Creek Park and the Tolt Trail “created an antidote to boredom, making a place for all ages to go for wholesome activity” added Maxine.

Next time you visit the Saddle Club or walk the trails, please thank Maxine for starting it all!

Tom Short, Hollywood Hill

Vaccinate
 
Every year, there are parents who make the choice to forego or delay vaccinating their children. Although this choice is well-meaning, many do not fully comprehend the significance of their decision. Not only are these parents unnecessarily putting their own children at risk for contracting a potentially deadly vaccine-preventable disease, but they are also actively risking the lives of susceptible populations such as infants, elderly, and cancer patients.

Numerous diseases that were once very serious threats worldwide are now preventable via vaccination. However, without it, the risk of contracting one of these diseases is still very real. Washington state is currently suffering a mumps outbreak with about 891 cases as of September 13, 2017, with King County making up around 35% of them. This is just one avoidable disease that can have severe complications such as brain inflammation and deafness.

These vaccines go through intensive trials to ensure their safety before they are released to the public, however, if parents have any safety concerns, they must make sure to discuss them with a health professional, not the internet.

It is a parent’s duty to help their child be as healthy as possible, and part of that is vaccinating: enabling their immune systems to defend themselves from known, preventable diseases.

Jenna Lounsbery, Woodinville
 
Sources:
“For Parents: Vaccines for Your Children.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html.
“WARNING - Mumps outbreak in Washington State.” Washington State Department of Health, www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Mumps/MumpsOutbreak.

Letters to the Editor - 10/9/17

  • Written by Readers

Ready, Set, Vote!

The General Election on November 7th will include several key races and the outcomes are important to the quality of life in Woodinville.

We are blessed to have the right to vote and it is imperative that each and every one of us does so. It is also imperative that we take the initiative to learn about the candidates and their positions on the issues, so we can make informed choices.

The Northshore School District, Woodinville Water District, Evergreen Health Hospital District and City Council are all on the ballot, so a lot is at stake. The City Council race is particularly important, with four of seven positions in play. Two are unopposed and two are challenged.

Here are some ways you can learn more about the issues and the candidates:

When a candidate rings your doorbell, answer and engage them in conversation. Ask questions. Listen to their answers and ask more questions.

View videos of City Council meetings to get a sense of the issues being discussed http://www.ci.woodinville.wa.us/CityHall/CouncilVideos.asp

View the video of the recent Candidate Forum, featuring all City Council candidates answering questions about Economic Development, Financial Management and Overall Quality of Life in Woodinville: https://woodinvillechamber.org/about-woodinville/economic-development/

In the 2013 General Election, there were just 3,146 ballots counted in Woodinville, so a candidate could win with 1,574 votes. In Woodinville every vote really counts! Make sure yours is does, by registering by October 9th (if you haven’t done so already) and VOTE!

Dave Witt, Executive Director
Woodinville Chamber and Visitor Center

 

Letters to the Editor - 10/2/17

  • Written by Readers

TENT CITY 4

Mr. Dave Haugen shared his opinion in the 9/18/17 edition of the Woodinville Weekly that a person who lives in a temporary shelter, such as a tent, should not do so close to an elementary school or families living in permanent structure homes. If Mr. Haugen had only shared his opinion, I would not be writing this response; however, the letter to the editor that he wrote contained information that is not factual. I encourage Mr. Haugen to avail himself of readily accessible information about the residents and rules of Camp Unity Eastside (which I believe he was referring to when he called the camp Tent City 4), the current economic crisis facing the working poor, statistics on the number of individuals battling the illness of drug addiction who live in permanent homes near elementary schools, and the efforts being made by local religious organizations to improve regional housing, increase resources to combat drug addiction, and support job-search efforts. I also look forward to reading future letters to the editor with ideas on how to solve the King County housing crisis and thoughts as to where people in need of temporary housing should live.
Kathryn Rothberg, Woodinville

CAMP UNITY

Mr. Haugen is highly misinformed about the camp that is currently at Bear Creek United Methodist. We are NOT associated with Share/Wheel or Scott Morrow. We are Camp Unity Eastside and we are a drug and alcohol free encampment. TC4 is not at this site. If he wishes to discuss this in person, we invite him here and your paper as well to get the straight scoop.
Ivan Dempsey, Camp Unity Eastside

Woodinville Water District Election

This is the most important water district election we’ve ever had. Candidate debates are not planned, but it’s an essential way to distinguish the candidates from one another. Debates allow voters a chance to ask their own questions, too. I hope the Chamber of Commerce will sponsor this. Water and sewer rates affect citizens and businesses, too, in a big way.
Ratepayers rarely attend Woodinville Water District (WWD) meetings. Citizens seem unaware of very important issues affecting the District. Your elected officials are responsible for keeping you informed. Are they doing a good job? Are you satisfied with rates? Do you know enough about what  goes on at the WWD to make educated votes for the candidates? Are you satisfied with how the WWD is doing?

I made a motion to have all of the WWD meetings videotaped as I believe it is vital with respect to transparency and accountability.  Nobody seconded the motion, so it died. This is in the official meeting minutes, as all motions are entered in the minutes.

WWD Commissioner terms are six years, a long time if you make the wrong choice.
Dale Knapinski, Commissioner WWD

Keep Tasting Rooms

We have started a petition that has gathered over 2,300 signatures so far of people that are in favor of having tasting rooms and events in rural King County.  It can be found at https://www.change.org/p/jeff-otis-keep-tasting-rooms-in-rural-king-county

It states that we are both in favor of keeping all agricultural-zoned farmland protected, while also asking King County to modify and update the zoning codes for certain rural-residential parcels along main arterials to allow for tasting rooms of our size to operate, operate daily between noon and 9 p.m., and host an unlimited amount of events throughout the year in order to bring our community together in unique and festive ways.

We’ve tried to create something special for the people who live here, as well as provide a location that showcases the beauty of our area to the hundreds of thousands of people visiting this area along the way. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve built, and the community we’ve brought together as a result.

There are some who want all wine-related businesses to move inside city limits. But we think that would only turn Woodinville Wine Country into Woodinville Wine City and would lose the romance and the charm of experiencing wine in a rural, open, and more natural setting.

There are others who believe that a vote for our winery is somehow a vote against farming, but that simply isn’t true in our opinion. Not only do we support keeping all of our valley’s farmland protected, we have also planted our own farm on our own rural-residential property, which now supports our CSA program, farm-to-table dinners, farm tours, etc.
We believe our model is the correct model for what King County should allow moving forward, and we hope there are continued ways for local wineries, tasting rooms, and farms to all work together. A rising tide should truly lift all boats.
Jeff Otis, Matthews Winery

Preserve the Valley

Although my political views are greatly different from those of Susan Bounty Sanders, I must agree with her regarding the “expansion” of the Sammamish Valley.  If the Valley becomes anything other than for agricultural use, the character of Woodinville will be lost.  Not only will the character be lost, it will just become another congested boring city.  Once the door is “open” for development, you can predict with accuracy, the outcome.  Concrete structures everywhere, new roads, and traffic congestion beyond belief.  The view and the open space that we currently enjoy will just be a memory.

Of course, the argument is we need growth, and as a business man, I understand that.  What we actually need is carefully controlled growth, coupled with the preservation of our open spaces. The attempt to expand the Valley is just another example of governmental over reach.
Peter Tountas

Zoning

County policymakers are considering changes to zoning for Rural properties in the Sammamish Valley, outside city boundaries. As too often happens, there has been misleading or outright false information circulated about this by certain interests. As we consider the issues that will soon be before the citizenry, clarifying such misinformation should be helpful.
There is no move to force wineries in the Rural Area to close or relocate, as some have stated.

Numerous wineries exist legally in Rural King County under current zoning policies. These are establishments where wine is actually being made. Proposed zoning changes would continue to allow winery operations in Rural King County. The same policies, current and proposed, allow for breweries and distilleries.

The problems that have precipitated the proposed changes come from a small number of property owners around the fringes of the celebrated Woodinville Wine Country who are illegally operating retail sales outlets on properties zoned Rural Area (RA), primarily a residential zoning. The products being sold are made elsewhere. It wouldn’t matter if they were selling clothing, cars or fast food - retail sales outlets in the RA zones are not allowed. In the cases at hand, the product happens to be alcoholic beverages.

Another confusion comes from the perception of “tasting rooms.” Rural wineries are allowed to have tastings and sell products made on-site. But stand alone tasting room businesses, which are “liquor stores” per the law, are not allowed in the RA zones. Inside the city is a different story and many tasting rooms operate there legally.

The ultimate question that we will soon decide is do we want to change zoning policies that in my opinion provide the Valley’s rural ambiance, protects some of the county’s best farm land and underpins the many responsible legal businesses that make up the unique success of Woodinville Wine Country?
Michael Tanksley, Hollywood Hill, Woodinville

Healthcare for Children

Our most vulnerable citizens face the brunt of everything cruel our world has to offer. Children face every new day with hope in their eyes, smiles on their faces, and forgiveness in their hearts. These children that we treat with such flippancy our are future, and they have the ability and means to change this world. Yet, our world does not seem to care for all of the children living on it.

When we look at what children need in order to survive something people tend to forget is healthcare. Our world tends to forget children whose families cannot    afford     healthcare,    and these children are ultimately ignored. Our government has decided that universal healthcare is too expensive to fund, but they forget about the consequences of this decision. Children are left in the dust to fend for themselves when they do not have the means to. Right now, we have innocent, young people suffering from our mistakes. They have no healthcare, no means to obtain medicine, no professional to look after them, and no vaccinations. All of this is because our society could not take the time to say, “you’re important to our world and we value your health and wellbeing.” Money is hard to come by—no one is denying that fact—but children can’t just take care of themselves. They are human, they are important, and they need to have healthcare. I beg of anyone who is willing to listen, please make the right choice. Vote for universal healthcare in America, call your senators, your governors, your house representatives. Help them propose bills and laws into our government offices that will allow our children the right to have healthcare—the right to survive.
Vanessa Tav, Bothell, Washington

Editor’s Note

We have received an overwhelming number of letters to the editor endorsing candidates for the upcoming election. 

We have made an internal company decision not to publish individual candidate endorsements. 

We  do  encourage our readers review information on the candidates and elections at https://info.kingcounty.gov/kcelections/Vote/contests/candidates.aspx?eid=9 and VOTE!

Letters to the Editor - 9/25/17

  • Written by Readers

DEMOCRACY AT HOME

Do you agree that the freedoms and democracy we enjoy in our Woodinville community are worth a little of your time and focus and a 49-cent stamp?

If so, then remember we have an important, off-year, non-partisan election on November 7.

Education, health, community services and vision are at stake in four elections – Northshore School Board, Evergreen Health Hospital District, Woodinville Water District and, most importantly, four positions on the seven-member Woodinville City Council.

Question: Are you registered to vote to elect leadership for these government agencies, all of which have a lot to do with the quality of life we enjoy today?

If not, get with it. The deadline for registering is 30 days prior to election day on November 7. That would make October 9 the last day to register or change your registration address.

You can register online, in the mail, or in person. Just search the web for the Elections offices of Snohomish or King counties.

To participate: Register. Look for your voter’s pamphlet in your mailbox. Make sure your mail ballot has a 49-cent postage stamp and get it in the mail on or prior to November 7.

John Hughes
Woodin Creek Village
 
NORTHSHORE SCHOOL BOARD
 
I would like to strongly support Amy Cast as a candidate for the Northshore School Board. I have known Amy personally and professionally for over 10 years and in that time, I have found her to be a principled and passionate supporter of school excellence in Northshore. She is diligent in listening to her constituents and works hard to ensure each and every child gets a good education. Amy is willing to take a stand for what is right and she has represented the Northshore School Board in the past with integrity and action orientation. Our school district is fortunate to have such a strong candidate up for consideration. Amy Cast will represent this school district well and ensure that the Northshore legacy of quality continues for many years to come.

Kelli Hildebrand

Letters to the Editor - 9/18/17

  • Written by Readers

OPPORTUNITY FUND

I am writing this letter as a parent of Northshore School District as well as Board member of Northshore School Foundation (NSDF) to draw attention towards the Foundation’s newest funding initiative; Opportunity Fund
The Opportunity Fund provides the opportunity for deserving students to take their K-12 education to next level by providing scholarship funds to students who due to financial limitations are not able to participate in academic competitions and earn college credits at the subsidized rate.

The Foundation is seeking financial support in the form of  tax  deductible   donations  to  help  establish   and maintain a fund of $5000 per middle   school  and high school to accommodate needs of our students. You can find out more information about this program by visiting our website at: http://www.northshoreschool foundation.org/opportunity-fund/

Donations can help the National History Day finalist student to visit White House or support a FBLA student competing for a Future Business Leader Award or cover the cost of AP testing for a student whose family can’t afford it.

Thank you for helping us remove the income barrier for students who demonstrate commitment and excellence in education by spreading the word or making a donation today.

Farah Syed

TENT CITY 4

Really, TC4 in a church yard within a mile of two elementary schools and family neighborhoods?  In an economy where those who want to get work can, the ones in tent cities are usually drug addicts and should NEVER be allowed to be within such short distances of family neighborhoods or schools.  The SHARE/WHEEL group and Bear Creek United Methodist have made a large mistake as have or will any others doing the same in this region.  If the church wants to help this people, they should NOT be facilitating their lifestyle.  They should be getting them help getting off of drugs, finding jobs and basic housing like the rest of society.  Fostering continued bad life choices and allowing sanctuary for homeless is NOT the answer to this problem.  And again, they should NEVER have been allowed into an area with elementary schools and family neighborhoods. 

Mr. Dave Haugen

CSM CONCERT

To the woman at the Chateau Ste Michelle concert who complained about people with ADA status being allowed to enter the concert early with friends and taking all the best Open Seating spots: One, I find it hard to believe you couldn’t find a good seat, if you got there two hours before doors open. Second, you would have enjoyed the concert more if you paid more attention to the stage and spent less time watching those with ADA access in order to figure out if they were actually disabled or if they “took advantage of the situation” to get the best seats.

Beth Perullo, Woodinville

WINERY EVENTS

I was grateful for King County Executive Dow Constantine’s op-ed in the September 5 Woodinville Weekly, and a Seattle Times article on September 8. Both addressed a large unpermitted party on  August 26 that used protected farmland in the Sammamish Valley as a parking lot for hundreds of cars.
I think we can all agree that the agricultural Sammamish Valley is a key part of Woodinville’s character. The wine industry has located and thrives in Woodinville because the valley is a beautiful place.

Yet a couple of businesses and a small number of investors seem hellbent on using the valley as a commodity. When they want a parking lot, or cheap land for any other purpose, they use farmland to serve their own profit motives.

In reality, there are over 100 other wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries that also rely on the valley’s ambiance and allure. All of them are at risk because of this small population of bad actors.

Most wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville are renters. They can and will move further out if Woodinville loses its charm. All  that will be left is scorched, paved, or compacted earth, polluted by whatever drips out of cars.

In other words, King County’s proposals to “support the burgeoning wine industry” in Woodinville will allow a small number of bad actors to kill the wine industry, as well as the farms that attracted the wine industry here.
Through the lens of recent events, King County’s goal of “enforceable” regulations looks like either wishful thinking or a dog whistle for scofflaws to continue doing what they’re doing. What the Sammamish Valley needs is robust enforcement, immediately.

Susan Boundy-Sanders