Menu

Letters to the Editor - August 8, 2011

  • Written by Readers

IT CAN HAPPEN

Who do we have to thank for the latest plot of land that was clear cut for a new Walgreens store on Woodinville-Duvall Road? Our King County Council? Why does Woodinville have to look like every other city with its cookie cutter strip malls? Where are the county’s "design standards?" Let’s keep the "wood" in Woodinville! We can live without more stuff; we cannot live without the lungs of the earth as trees provide.When was the last time you stopped in the fast track of consumerism to sit under a tree and smell its green life and to watch the birds enjoy that habitat? Trees have rights. Nature has rights. Humans do not have the right to destroy the future of our grandchildren’s children. Yes, that can happen one Walgreens, one strip mall, at a time.

Trish Knox, via email

 

GRATEFUL FOR PATIENCE

Thank you for the opportunity to write a response to a letter concerning our construction project on the Woodinville-Duvall Road.

We are doing our best to minimize the inconvenience as we connect utilities and create turn lanes into the property that will help the flow of traffic once we move in. I am grateful to our community for the warm welcome as we make plans to serve Woodinville for decades to come and for your patience during construction.

Our parish, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, is a new Catholic community in our area with faithful parishioners and ministries. During these trying economic times, we feel good about providing jobs for construction workers who otherwise might not have employment. As you know, the money that we are spending on our new spiritual home is also good for the local economy. Because we value Mother Teresa’s example, it may be of interest to your readers that we are simultaneously building a house for orphans in Kenya this year.We have several ministries that reach out to the poor in our area as well.

We invite anyone who would like to consider visiting us at our temporary church located at Check Ride Driving School in Woodinville or at the new church when it is built.More information about our community can be found at www.blessedteresa.org.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. May God bless you with his love!

Fr. Frank Schuster, pastor, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Woodinville

 

WHERE IS PRIDE?

The flower pots on Main Street are a huge factor in making downtown Woodinville have an inviting, small town feel. They cost the city money to put in and many of the plants in the pots were donated by the Woodinville Garden Club. It is tragic to watch the City of Woodinville let many of these plants die because they don’t water them. They have also let many of the plants around the Carol Edwards Center die due to lack of water. I know we have had an extraordinary amount of rain this year, but pots dry out faster and need water more often. The cost of watering the plants on a timely basis is far cheaper than buying new ones. Dead plants and empty planters make the city look run down and tacky. Where is the city’s civic pride?

Lucy DeYoung, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - August 1, 2011

  • Written by Readers

NO CONFIDENCE

In the view of the Woodinville firefighters of the IAFF, Local 2950, Chief Daniels provided yet another example of poor leadership and obfuscation last week, when regarding the vote of no-confidence he stated (in "Fire Chief Responds to Vote of No-Confidence, July 25, 2011), "There are fire districts all over the country going through similar circumstances, where they have to re-evaluate the way they do business. It’s happening everywhere; it really is. This is not unique to Woodinville."

Not unique?

Those of us familiar with the issues and in union leadership were stunned: what could he possibly be referring to?

It seems unlikely that he is referring to the vote itself. No-confidence votes are quite rare in the public safety arena, even today, when budgets are tight and the public sector is stressed financially.

There are thousands of fire departments and police departments across the country and only a small percentage of these agencies experience no-confidence votes in their chiefs. This is the first such action in the history of the Woodinville fire district and is a clear signal that our firefighters are in desperate need of new leadership.

If not the vote itself, perhaps the chief is referring to some of the grievances listed within the Vote of No-Confidence Resolution. If so, he is mistaken.

These things are not happening "all over the country."

A couple of examples illustrate how far from "normal" we now are:

•Expansion of administrative staff — Clearly the trend is for public agencies to trim anywhere possible. Public schools, police departments and fire districts are certainly not adding administrators in tough times.

Yet Chief Daniels’ tenure has seen the executive staff almost double in size, from a group of four in 2009 to seven presently.

His plan even calls for one more full-time administrator, a human resources manager. This is all happening while cutting 10 positions that prevent fires, do public education, fight fires and provide emergency medical services.

• Loss of the fire district’s international accreditation — This is certainly not a national trend. According to the Center for Public Safety (formerly CFAI), there are only 153 accredited fire agencies, 43 applicant agencies and 16 candidate agencies.

Woodinville FD was clearly in a small, elite group.

It is extremely rare for an agency to attain its accreditation and then lose it because of the incredible amount of time, energy, and financial resources required to accomplish accreditation.

In fact, only nine agencies have lost their accreditation after attaining it, including Woodinville Fire and Rescue.

Regardless of what he was referring to, the statements made by I. David Daniels in the article seem to be an attempt to confuse the issues and draw attention away from the very real problems that are currently facing the Woodinville fire district.

The vote of no-confidence is a rare action that is taken only after all other efforts have been exhausted.

When Chief Daniels attempts to water-down the significance of the Woodinville firefighters’ unanimous vote and makes statements that illustrate his failure and unwillingness to be accountable for the shortcomings of his own fire district, it serves as additional confirmation that the members of Local 2950 did the right thing, for the right reasons.

It’s crucial that Woodinville citizens take action. We urge everyone to tell their fire commissioners what they think, attend meetings, write letters and call the main office.

It’s your fire department, and we’ve done what we can to tell you that change is necessary.

Wally Holstad, vice president, Local 2950, Woodinville Firefighters

 

THANK YOU

An open letter to the citizens of Woodinville:

"Thank you" just doesn’t seem to cut it.

Our fundraising rummage and bake sale at the Lion’s Club last weekend was a huge success because people like you opened their hearts to a stranger.

We had hoped to raise $1,000. While counting it all out at the end of the day, someone squealed, "There’s $1,900 in 20-dollar bills alone!" Our final count was over $3,500.

People came in droves. They gave, and gave and gave. One teenager opened his wallet and donated its contents: $41.

A mom gave $40 before even walking through the door.

Another picked out a few articles of clothing and wrote a check for $50. Someone else slipped us a hundred dollar bill. And scores of people picked out a dollar or two worth of "treasures," handed us $10 and said, "Keep the change." We were blown away.

And then there were all those (most having never laid eyes on our friend) who donated the plethora of high-quality items to sell.

And those who gave cash long before the sale, all anonymously. (When I asked, "Whom should I say is giving this?" the most common response was something along the lines of "Just tell her it’s God taking care of her.")

And then there were those who baked all the delicious goodies (which our dear soccer girls sold all day long in the blazing sun) and all the kind souls who helped us set up, run and tear down the sale.

And don’t let me forget our wonderful husbands who picked up and delivered the furniture and who stayed all day and into the evening doing whatever was needed. And of course, there are the Lions Club members who generously donated the use of their building for two days, without which we never could have held a sale of this magnitude.

I have chills as I write this note of gratitude to the multitude of people who helped make this event happen in such a big way.

And our friend? Well, she doesn’t have the words to adequately express her feelings, either.

All of us involved have been so blessed to a part of helping her out. Please know that the generosity and efforts of the Woodinville community have given one of its own a sense of security that will help her in ways perhaps only those in her same situation can truly understand.

So thank you, Woodinville. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

Cindy, Barb, Kellie, Kim, Christine, Alicia, Ann, Lisa, Theresa, Kristy, and Michelle

 

FLUORIDATION

Fluoridated water was a topic in the July 25 Letters and I agree with the writer who said that it is way past time for this toxin to be eliminated from our drinking water.

Begun in the 1940s to address the dental problems of the poor, the program is one more example of the government mandating that everyone be tucked under one blanket.

In modern-day America, bad teeth and gum disease are still prevalent in spite of the fact that most of the nation’s poor live in cities where water fluoridation has been in place for decades.

I think it is not the lack of enough fluoride causing decay and life-threatening gum disease but from diets high in sugar and low in nutrition provided by fresh whole foods as well as knowledge and/or incentive to maintain a healthy mouth by brushing and flossing.

Fluoride doesn’t solve the problem of people’s access to fresh food and dental care.

Hopefully it won’t take decades for serious discussion on yet another toxin.

Those funny-looking lighbulbs PSE hands out contain deadly mercury. The feds have banned the cheap, safe and functional incandescent bulb, pushing us to use a more expensive product so toxic even waste management doesn’t want it.

Proponents say the bulbs use less energy and the amount of mercury in one bulb is miniscule.

Then why the need for hazmat protocol for a broken bulb?

It is illegal to throw them in the regular garbage. They require specialized recycling techniques so you must pack them into the car, gas up and drive to a special recycling place in the name of energy savings. Nonsensical.

Someone forgot the lessons learned from the use of lead and radium in everyday products.

They tell us: "Sure we are phasing out mercury thermometers because they are really bad.

"The amount of mercury in one thermometer is enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake — but hey, this lightbulb, don’t you worry your head over it."

I resent being treated like a child pointing to a sinister shape at the window whose parent keeps tucking her back under the blanket, telling her to be quiet, close her eyes and trust blindly.

But wait! I want to ask my big wise, government daddy how the workers put mercury in the lightbulbs without hurting themselves or the environment.

Don’t we care about the people and earth in the countries that are producing our new bulbs?

Mercury is high on the heavy metals list as a carcinogen.

What’s a little mercury added to benzene in the carpet where the baby plays? She’s already got a busy little liver trying to filter out all the other environmental toxins accumulating daily.

Washington should repeal the incandescent bulb ban, however once these bureaucracies and programs are in place they are a bugger to dismantle.

It is surreal trying to get my head around an issue such as this right now. Worry over lightbulbs — must I?

The future may reveal that a jump in the cancer rate can be partially attributed to increased mercury exposure.

It is up to us as individuals to seek out the truth on what affects our health and well-being and make sound choices for our bodies with the same tenacity as when buying a new car.

One question to ask while researching is: "who benefits?" Is it the earth, the public or in the case of energy, maybe the G.E. company which has a big global sandbox and is taking our jobs to China, or someone else?

Fact is, all the U.S.-owned lightbulb manufacturers have been put out of business, jobs gone, doors closed adding yet more people to the public dole who will eventually need cancer treatment.

Whose bright idea was this anyway?

Melinda Scott, Woodinville

 

WRONG AND

A WASTE?

A lawyer told me that if someone is caught with marijuana, chances are the police will add "intent to distribute," even in the absence of supporting evidence. The accusation of intent changes the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.

This fills up our prisons faster than anything I can think of and it is flat-out wrong!

Let’s change the laws on marijuana and regulate its use and make some tax money off it!

Recently I was found with two grams of marijuana while hiking along the trail near Lake Washington. It was an unreasonable search, yet I was taken to King County jail.

The prosecutor declined to press any charges and I was let out of jail the next morning. I still wonder why. I wasn’t hurting anyone.

It was not fair and a waste of money!

Darral Good, Shoreline

 

PUT SUICIDE RACE OUT TO PASTURE

In 2011, why is a deadly spectacle called "The Omak Suicide Race" still permitted, much less promoted?

Part of the Omak Stampede held in Omak, Wash., the "race" sends horses plummeting 210 feet downhill in an almost vertical drop into the Okanogan River.

Horses frequently end up tumbling and falling down the steep drop after slipping or colliding with other horses.

Many have had to be euthanized after suffering broken legs, necks, backs, shoulders, pelvic bones and knees; some horses have even drowned.

The race has been rightfully condemned by animal protection organizations and caring people around the world.

The Wall Street Journal called the event "The Race Where Horses Die."

Former Mayor Dale Sparber, who admitted that he received 15 to 20 messages a day from people opposed to the race, said that he set up his inbox so that it automatically filtered out e-mail containing the phrase "suicide race" and forwarded it to his "delete" file.

People who don’t think that horses should pay with their lives for entertainment should ask the sponsors of the Stampede — including Wrangler and Pepsi — to pull their support until the Suicide Race is put out to pasture for good.

Colleen Weber Borst, Seattle

Letters to the Editor - July 25, 2011

  • Written by Readers

FIRE CHIEF

 

I attended the Woodinville Fire commission meeting the past week where the firefighters voiced their vote of "No Confidence" against Chief I. David Daniels.

It should be noted that the vote was unanimous at 59-0. The vote of "No Confidence" was supported by battalion chiefs and firefighters who represented our neighboring communities of Snohomish, Bellevue, Bothell, Kenmore, Mercer Island.

A vote of "No Confidence" does not "happen all the time;" it is extremely uncommon.

I heard their exhaustive list of very real concerns regarding the problems that have been occurring in the district since the chief was hired.

I was stunned by the response of the commissioners and the chief, that "It happens all the time" and that "everyone is entitled to their opinion."

Did they not hear the same things that I did? Namely, that there will be no more annual fire inspections of senior housing communities (by fire department personnel), that the district has accrued nearly half million dollars in legal fees, that there are more highly paid administrative staff on duty at the fire station than there are fire fighters? That the district will be bankrupt by 2016, at the latest, if the deficit spending continues? That the department has lost its elite status of International Accreditation that it has worked so hard to earn?

The decisions made by the Chief since his arrival have caused hemorrhaging of the budget, a reduction of services and a failure to maintain the high standard of accreditation that Woodinville has had for years prior to his arrival. The concerns that were presented are not simply irritations occurring between staff and managers.

There are legitimate, profound and far-reaching concerns that affect the public safety of people in our community. The total lack of accountability on the part of the commissioners, who are elected to oversee and make better decisions, is unconscionable and appalling to me.

The fire commissioners must start listening to the people who know the fire service and who have been telling the commission, in no uncertain terms, that this chief is destroying this fire district and that his inappropriate and risky decisions are compromising the safety of the citizens of this community.

Rebecca J. Clark, Woodinville

 

I attended the fire commissioners meeting on July 18 and came away appalled.

Our Woodinville firefighters have been forced to take a last resort action in an effort to stop the erosion of the very department that they work for.

Woodinville firefighters unanimously declared a vote of no confidence in their fire chief, David Daniels.

All the while, Chief Daniels sat with furrowed brow, his chin in his hand looking as disinterested as a 15 year old listening to his dad lecture on the virtues of keeping a clean bedroom.

And the commissioners, (they were) blank faced and bored. At least that’s what I was left to believe, because not a word was uttered by any of them acknowledging this declaration of crisis by our firefighters.

At this point, the board of commissioners has only one acceptable option available. Remove Chief Daniels and start the process of finding a new fire chief.

The commissioners must understand that the chief works for them and when the chief’s performance is the sole cause for a demoralized work force and reduced services to us, the taxpaying citizens, something must change.

In the private sector you can bet that a unanimous vote of no confidence to the board of directors, coupled with reduced performance by the company would result in an immediate termination of that company head.

This is exactly what we have here in Woodinville.

Under Chief Daniels’ leadership we have seen increased response times to large portions of the community, i.e., Hollywood Hill, elimination of valuable services and an approved budget that contains deficit spending, much of it careless and wasteful.

I hope none of us ever need to dial 911, but if we do, we deserve a timely response by highly motivated, well trained firefighters.

After all, we are paying for it.

I’m sad to say that currently Chief Daniels and the board of commissioners are failing to provide us with the service that we all deserve.

The only way to reverse this fatal course for our fire department is to speak our minds.

I encourage all readers who value the health and safety of their families to communicate with our elected fire commissioners by writing letters, making phone calls, and/or attending the twice monthly meetings.

The message from the community must be unified and must call for the removal of an incompetent fire chief who is jeopardizing the safety of each and every citizen within his fire department’s boundary.

Roger Kacmarcik, concerned citizen

 

ONLY STATIC

For the past several years I have noticed a strange occurrence in the Duvall area.

When driving towards Monroe on Hwy. 203, about a mile north of Duvall, I lose my AM radio station and just hear static. It lasts for about a mile, and ends just north of the green barn on the right.

This goes on for about half the year, from May to September or so (roughly). Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone know what is causing it?

Thank you!

Kathy Ulrich, via email

 

TWELVE IN A ROW

The Woodinville Garden Club has successfully completed its 12th Tour of Gardens and would like to thank the community for its generous support. For the twelfth year, Molbak’s was a major sponsor, and provided us with a beautiful reception following the tour. The Woodinville Weekly, and publisher Julie Boselly continued their support with advertising and articles promoting the event and informing the community of the club’s mission.

Generous merchants and professionals provided items for our drawing: Lorrie Cain, landscape designer, provided one hour of professional design advice, Willows provided a stay in their beautiful hotel, Molbak’s gave a gift card, DeJong’s gave a load of mulch and our artist, Susan Summit Cyr donated the original silk painting from our poster and postcards.

In addition, local businesses provided advertising and services: Classic Nursery & Landscape Company, DeYoung Farm & Garden, Fairwinds Brittany Park, In Harmony Sustainable Landscapes, Kathy Brown, Realtor, Maltby Café, Pasta Nova and Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door.

Not least, we once again had the support of the Woodinville community, who braved the rainy summer day to enjoy a trip through our six gardens, whose owners deserve a great deal of credit for their enthusiasm and gracious hospitality.

Without our garden owners, there would be no Tour! Now we are starting our quest for gardens for the 2012 Tour of Gardens: if you would like to propose a garden for next year’s tour, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ann Parrish and Donna Wolthuis, co-presidents, Woodinville Garden Club

 

BACK UPS ON W-D ROAD

 

For three days now there have been large – and very lengthy – back ups on Woodinville-Duvall Road due to the Catholic church construction.

I have to travel down that road several times a day and have had to turn around and go another route, so extreme were the back ups.

Luckily I’m a quick learner and have taken 165th for the past couple of days. However, the way this has been handled, by the church, by the construction company and by the county is completely, and unbelievably, unacceptable. You’d think at least one of those entities would have thought to plan ahead.

First, there were no signs posted that warned that road construction was about to commence.

Second, once the construction began, there were no notices posted far enough in advance to warn us to take another route, before we unexpectedly came upon the back up after having already passed a road which would have allowed us to go another way.

Third, not only should notices be posted, but detour signs should have been supplied for those who don’t know the area.

Fourth, there has been no notification of when this is due to end. It may have already finished upon receipt of this letter, but how are we, who are now traveling 165th just in case, meant to know that it’s safe to return to Woodinville-Duvall Road?

This has been going on for three days now. Too late now to do anything about it I suppose, but if there is going to be any further construction that requires a lane of Woodinville-Duvall Road to be closed for any length of time, I believe I speak for all residents and visitors who use that road when I request that, we would appreciate appropriate notice and detour routes posted.

I’m sure Mother Teresa would have had the sense to do so.

Beth Rand, Woodinville

 

FLORIDE?

Woodinville’s annual drinking water report published June 2011 boasts a recent reduction of fluoride levels in our water supply. Anything short of total elimination, however, is inadequate. Here are just a few reasons why:

Fluoride is a carcinogenic industrial waste — a by-product of the nuclear arms, aluminum and phosphate manufacturing industries. Rather than paying to properly dispose of this waste, these industries earn billions of dollars in revenue by selling it as an additive to our water supply. Using logic that I fail to comprehend, selling it somehow turns it from a toxin into a "product." A brilliant marketing plan if I do say so!

Fluoride has never been proven to prevent tooth decay and can actually cause dental fluorosis.While fluorisis appears to be just a cosmetic issue resulting in discoloration of the teeth, it also adversely affects the structure of the teeth and bones. Fifty percent of ingested fluoride is deposited in your bones, damaging them and in some cases causing osteosarcoma.

Fluoride lowers thyroid function. Low thyroid function can result in low body temperature, lack of energy and dry skin, as well as other symptoms.

Elevated fluoride exposure has been shown to reduce IQ in children. Cognitive ability is further reduced if your child is iodine deficient. According to renowned allergist and author Doris Rapp, M.D., fluoride can alter how you walk and talk and can even cause A.D.D.

Dental caries, or cavities as they are more commonly known, are not related to a fluoride deficiency.

Avoiding sugary foods and brushing your teeth (with fluoride-free toothpaste) after meals will go a long way in preventing cavities.

This list goes on, but hopefully you get the idea. Fluoride has no place in our water supply and never should have been added to it to begin with. I encourage you to do your own research and make your voice heard to put an end to this highly questionable and harmful practice. In addition to the health benefits, think of all the money the district will save that could be put to much better use, especially during these challenging economic times.

Meanwhile, consider filtering your water, including the water you bathe with since your skin absorbs it. Use fluoride-free toothpaste and avoid fluoride treatments as well as dental sealants which contain BPA, another known toxin. These few simple steps will go a long way towards reducing your overall level of toxicity which can result in illness. Prevention is key.

Madeline Eyer, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - July 18, 2011

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

THIS IS WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

We knew her back when we were Woodinville soccer moms, but we had lost touch. One of us ran into her at the library and she shared how she had just had her "plumbing" removed and was battling stage 3b ovarian cancer — alone and broke — renting a room from a friend and eking out an existence on state assistance. We told each other we needed to help.

She said the hardest part was feeling so alone.

When asked what we could do (drive her to chemo so she didn’t have to take the bus, bring her some soup, clean her house), she asked for only one thing: help in finding a job.

She said, "I get sick from the chemo some, but when that’s not too bad, I can do yard work, housecleaning, nannying, office work, house sitting."

Fighting cancer on state assistance, and all she asks for from the old soccer moms is a job mowing lawns? This does not compute.

So we took her out for dinner and slipped her some cash.

She cried. We talked up her situation to our friends and neighbors, and she got some more cash.

She cried again. These same friends and neighbors are donating truckloads of high-quality goods, and the old soccer team is baking up a storm for our fundraiser rummage and bake sale and that’s where you come in.

Head over to the Woodinville Lions Mountainview Community Center (19008 168th Ave NE — up the hill from Mack’s Corner, just south of Leota Jr. High) on Saturday, July 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You’ll find a plethora of choice household goods, high-quality bigger ticket items and the best brownies in town!

There will also be a jar for donations if, like others, you too would like to make our friend cry.

What she doesn’t realize when she receives each small gift with, "This is such a blessing! This is such an awesome blessing!" is what a blessing her presence is to us. Come and be a part of that on Saturday.

A HUGE thank you to the Woodinville Lions for donating the use of their excellent facility for our sale!

Cindy Horst, Woodinville

 

FIRE CHIEF

I am responding to the letter concerning I. David Daniels.

Knowing his record from the Renton Fire and Emergency Services, why did Woodinville hire him? He’s doing all the same things he did at Renton.

I would think it would be illegal to require a shift of 96 hours straight.

My personal opinion is a little power has gone to his head.

He has closed a fire station here, as well as put an engine and aid car out of service like he did in Renton. Response time is getting longer and it’s unsafe.

I believe this man is no asset to Woodinville and going by his track record should be fired.

I’m so glad the president of Local 2950 informed us.

Pauline Thompson, Woodinville

 

MORE ON THE FIRE CHIEF

The Woodinville Weekly’s July 11 article on regional policing in conjunction with local control brought to mind our Woodinville area fire service.

Has there been change for the better in Fire Chief Daniel’s fire department’s top-heavy ratio of administrative employees to the number of actual firefighters?

How about an update article on the current situation with the Woodinville area fire department’s employment situation.

Sincerely,

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville