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Letters to the Editor - August 18, 2014

  • Written by Readers

WATER METERS

Last week it was announced that due to numerous house fires, all “smart” meters made by Sensus, Woodinville Water District’s newfangled meter manufacturer, are to be removed throughout the province of Saskatchewan, Canada — all 105,000 of the faulty devices, which are not UL-tested. You can guess who is going to pick up the $50M bill. (Portland also just announced the removal of 70,000 “smart” meters.)

Reams of evidence are now surfacing that hourly usage data from all wireless meters can be intercepted or hacked by anyone, including those who’d like to see when you’re home or tamper with your meter.

The WWD is misleading customers by telling them emissions from the automated meters are “weaker than a cell phone.” This is a bold-faced lie. Like utility customers are doing elsewhere, we tested WWD’s 2-watt Sensus meters to emit 590,000 times more electromagnetic radiation than WWD is telling the people of Woodinville. The meters pulse once per hour. But WWD admitted they take the average output over time to get this false data. Using this type of skewed calculation, a bullet fired from a gun is not strong enough to crush an ant. The truth is that from 4 feet away the emissions are 142 times higher than science-based safety thresholds, and 1,000 to 10,000 times stronger than a cell phone. But WWD has blatantly refused to inform their customers of this because they know people will object.
Now, WWD is attempting to force these on everyone. But they have not asked your consent. By using notices and legal loopholes of “implied consent,” they are attempting to legally bind you into agreement with what they are doing. They are committing fraud and appear to see the harm this system will cause as a “necessary byproduct” of what they want to do. There is a reason why over 50 local governments in California have made official statements against, or even criminalized, “smart” meters.

But you have rights. As one option, you can send a “conditional acceptance” letter. To learn about what you can do, and to get involved in this important discussion for Woodinville, visit www.woodinvillesafemeters.org.
Josh del Sol

GEESE

Thank you for your recent article “Wild goose chase: Efforts to control goose population have proven successful.”

However, killing geese has not been successful, as the slaughter continues year after year.

USDA Wildlife Services has been lethally removing Canada Geese in the Puget Sound area for 13 years under an interlocal agreement between several cities and entities within the region. The geese are being rounded up in our parks and gassed to death or shot on Lake Washington. In 2013, nearly 1,200 geese were killed by Wildlife Services in just King County alone.

Woodinville, as well as several other cities in the area, is a  member of the interlocal agreement and pays to have the geese killed.

Many humane solutions can be utilized to mitigate conflicts with geese in urban areas. These include landscape modifications; goose deterrent products and control techniques; public outreach on the need to stop feeding waterfowl; automated devices to clean up goose droppings; and reduction of populations through egg addling.

Only sporadic half-hearted attempts have been made using humane methods. Relying on an agency whose primary job it is to kill wildlife needs to end. A new integrated plan using only humane measures needs to be developed and implemented by knowledgeable geese management professionals.

Health concerns are often cited in order to justify the killing of geese. However, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife web site, “Canada geese are not considered to be a significant source of any infectious disease transmittable to humans or domestic animals.”

Killing geese creates a void in the environment, other geese quickly move in, and a new round of killing begins. This creates an endless cycle of killing. The brutal killing of thousands of geese, including their newborn goslings, must stop.

We must do a better job of sharing the earth with wildlife.

For more information and to sign a petition to stop the killing, please see https://www.change.org/petitions/puget-sound-area-officials-stop-killing-canada-geese.
Diane Weinstein

Letters to the Editor - August 11, 2014

  • Written by Readers

ELECTIONS
Woodinville might’ve just hosted the beginnings of the next generation of public service and a reversal of the supposed apathy of millenials to politics.

A couple weeks ago I was making a late run to the Triplehorn Brewery and was surprised to see the place packed at last call. It turned out to be a campaign kickoff for Brendan Woodward, a 30ish local boy turned Marine officer who is running for state Legislature. Turns out that despite his age he has a broad range of life experience, rivaling the previous generation now in office (and look at the recession they brought us.) That combination seems to be why he drew a packed house of around 100 people to the Triplehorn when most campaigns draw only 40 to 50 grayhairs to their kickoffs.

It gives me hope to know there are young candidates who bring both maturity and youth to our representation, and are re-creating buzz and participation among the next generation that’s supposedly turned off by politics.
Kristie Mahon

Letters to the Editor - August 4, 2014

  • Written by Readers

STATE LEGISLATURE

In the race for 45th District Senator, the best decision for voters is to re-elect Andy Hill.

Senator Andy Hill crafted a budget that put $1.4 billion into public education without raising taxes. This has been the most put into education in recent history. Furthermore, this budget also froze in-state college tuition for the first time in 30 years. This is a major achievement. The importance in the passage of this budget was that it did not pass with 51 percent of the vote. No, it passed in both the House and Senate with 89 percent of the vote. This was the most bipartisan budget in over 20 years. It was because of this budget that Senator Hill received endorsements from both Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters.

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Letters to the Editor - July 28, 2014

  • Written by Readers

TRAIL ETIQUETTE

In light of the couple of letters over the past few weeks regarding trail etiquette, I’d like to respond in defense of bicyclists. It seems that people are quick to criticize bicyclists’ use of the trail, while no one draws attention to the fact that many pedestrians simply do not follow basic trail safety rules.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen pedestrians walking on the wrong side of the trail, in the middle of the trail, walking their dogs with a leash extended across the trail (or with no leash at all), or walking in “packs,” spread out in a large group across the entire trail. I’ve had several near run-ins when pedestrians unexpectedly dart out or stop and block the trail.

To Ms. Gilliland and her fellow petrified pedestrians, I’d like to offer a bit of guidance in trail use: (1) Do not stop on a bridge, where the trail is narrower than other sections. (2) It is a common courtesy for bicyclists to offer a warning; in fact, trail rules require cyclists to give an audible signal when passing. (3) Pay attention! Pedestrians get themselves in trouble when they blithely walk down the trail wearing ear buds or in a daydream. Trail rules state that pedestrians must “listen for audible signals and help faster users pass safely.”

Are there rude cyclists out there? Absolutely, and there is no excuse for bad behavior, but pedestrians need to do their part too and follow the trail rules. These are available on King County Parks’ website, posted along the trail, and printed on the Regional Trails map.
Peter Drewel

Letters to the Editor - July 21, 2014

  • Written by Readers

BICYCLISTS

I thoroughly agree with Ms. Gilliland’s letter last week, that rabid bicyclists don’t belong on a trail with the leisurely class of dog-walkers. I have given up the entire idea of a leisurely walk in Woodinville, just because no one thinks to separate these two vastly diverse activities, walking and maniacal bike-riding on the same narrow strip of pavement. Perhaps Ms. Gilliland would enjoy Aaron James’ writings, which I’ve read several times myself. My husband was hit by a bicyclist and fell down, and that was it for us.

On another note, we are getting ready for a move to a new home, hopefully in Woodinville, our home of over 40 years. While browsing realtor ads I see the new listing realty photos that make the image of homes so obscure, so washed out, that one is hardly motivated to drive by. I believe realtors should be held to a standard of photography that translates into a viable picture in the Weekly, even if I’m browsing above my income level.
Nancy Snyder

CAMP UNITY

Camp Unity Eastside encampment is moving on Aug. 1 ​to Kirkland Congregational​ ​​Church. CUE has been located at Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church since November 2013.

Camp Unity Eastside is a transitional mobile encampment and self-managed outside community. We make our focus on giving a hand up to those who have a need for simple shelter. Each member here is a responsible and active part of keeping CUE running. To offset the cost of operating and handling the responsibilities that come from offering safety and a place to reside, shower and eat, we each pay a maintenance fee of $30. In this way we empower our camp and each other to be contributors.

​We are supported by donations in kind. Meals, food, and clothing are surely appreciated as they are what makes us capable of providing beyond our own means.

This will be our first time being hosted at KCC. Yet we are excited to be part of Kirkland once again. Also, we will be moving to Holy Spirit on Nov. 1.
Allen Bolen

BIKE ACCIDENT

I wish to make some observations about your June 30 front page article, “Driver Fined Only $175 for Fatal Crash in Kenmore,” about Caleb Shoop’s tragic accident.

I witnessed the accident (and submitted my observations to the city’s police chief) and I concur with the King County Prosecutor cited in the article that vehicular homicide does not apply. I disagree with Fucoloro’s gratuitous allegations that the hapless truck driver whose vehicle hit Caleb ought to be penalized further.

The accident was first triggered by the driver of one of the cars headed south, who decided far too suddenly to stop to let Caleb cross the street forcing the rest of us drivers to stop quickly too. Upon seeing all of the cars stopping unexpectedly Caleb traversed the street. The youngish truck driver on the farthest right lane going north didn’t see any of this and failed to slow down enough or stop. I think the $175 penalty the young truck driver had to pay and the pangs of regret which I’m sure he carries are commensurate with what he did.

I consider the response by the City of Kenmore to re-stripe 61st Avenue extremely questionable although probably goodhearted. One of my neighbors thought it goofy. A sort of a bike lane was added (but not for the entire length of the street) which I used yesterday for the first time. It was only a small relief because the city eliminated one of the northbound lanes and this forces drivers wishing to give a biker a little more room than the narrow bike lane offers to drive over the solid yellow line, which few are willing to do.

As a result of the re-striping, an entire lane is out of bounds for drivers and this can only cause even longer lines for the greater number of commuters that use 61st. Given the greater number of homes the city has allowed in our area, 61st now carries more traffic than before but now, with the re-striping, there is less street space for the cars to go through. It doesn’t make any sense.
Carlos B. Gil