Letter: Wearing a mask should be 'my choice'

  • Written by Judy Gunn

Dear Editor:

Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate to wear masks is confusing and not based on science or medical advice. He states masks are recommended to protect “me” from contracting COVID-19. 

Some experts have said masks work. Others say they do not work. Most importantly, a number of medical doctors have expressed that masks are unhealthy and can lead to lowering my immune system caused by breathing my own CO2.

I think the governor's "mandate" is not based on medical science and has gone too far. If I do not believe masks are healthy and I choose not to wear one, that makes my beliefs my own. That should not affect another's decision to wear a mask if it is their belief wearing a mask is healthy and will result in "protection" from COVID-19 infection.

I expressed this to my 45th District Legislator, Larry Springer. He said I should wear the mask “for others” anyway. That’s exactly my point. I do not want to become unhealthy for others. I want to continue to take good care of my immune system by washing my hands, keeping my distance, eating healthy, exercising, breathing fresh air and getting some sunlight. 

That should be my choice, not someone else's.

Judy Gunn


Letter: Congress can act to help the Alzheimer’s and dementia community during this crisis

  • Written by Pete Minden

Dear Editor:

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions in this country and around the world but also presents additional challenges for more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's, their caregivers, the research community, and the nonprofits serving these vulnerable populations.

As an advocate for people with dementia, I understand first-hand the impact Alzheimer’s and all dementia has on families across America.

Congress can act to help the Alzheimer’s and dementia community during this crisis, by including these bipartisan Alzheimer’s Association proposals in the next economic relief package:

• The Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act would require the Department of Justice to develop best practices materials to assist professionals who support victims of abuse living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, to improve the quality of interactions with this vulnerable population.

• The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would educate clinicians about the Alzheimer’s and dementia care planning services available through Medicare.

• Create a fund to support larger nonprofits, including loan forgiveness, so that charities like the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to effectively serve the communities that depend on them.

Please join me in encouraging Senators Murray and Cantwell and Representative Suzan DelBene to include these proposals in the next pandemic relief package that will help the millions of families affected by Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Pete Minden


Woodinville remains committed to our community

  • Written by Mayor Elaine Cook

To our community,

These are challenging and scary times. It appears the whole world has changed in a matter of weeks. But one thing has not changed: City Council and staff at the city of Woodinville remain committed to our community.

Under Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, most local government operations are deemed essential and must continue. However, we have changed how we operate in an incredibly short period of time. 

New technology solutions have been deployed, enabling 70% of City Hall staff to work from home. We have temporarily suspended processing of passports, concealed carry permits, finger printing, and pet licenses. City Council meetings are now completely virtual, and the Council meeting agenda can only include items that are “necessary and routine” or COVID-19 related.

While most private development has been put on hold by the Governor’s order, the city is making sure construction can resume when the time comes. 

Staff continues to digitally process building permits and perform basic inspections. Large development projects like Wine Village in the tourist district and Woodin Creek Village downtown continue to work their way through the permit approval process. Work continues on the Civic Campus project next to City Hall in a limited capacity in order to prevent weather damage to exposed wood framing. 

Parks and other public facilities have been closed for several weeks to facilitate social distancing and protect staff from potential exposure. Although park maintenance activities such as mowing the grass and emptying trash continues as before, sports field reservations have been cancelled and refunds issued. 

One positive side effect of reduced traffic around town is that planned street maintenance has moved forward at a faster pace. City crews are taking advantage of the calm by filling potholes and rehabilitating street medians.

The city’s engineering staff is moving forward with infrastructure projects planned for construction this summer. That includes design work and bidding of four street resurfacing projects, five pedestrian safety projects and several stormwater system improvements. One project to install a signal at the intersection of 175th Ave and 133rd near the Civic Campus project has been delayed for now.

City Council and staff are evaluating how the coronavirus response will financially impact the city. At this point, the city does not anticipate cuts to service levels thanks to years of sound financial planning and decision making resulting in a healthy rainy-day fund. 

As a next step, we are now working on community relief programs to help those most impacted by COVID-19. Despite the challenges it presents, the city has adjusted operations and continues to provide basic services. 

Our goal is to get back to business as usual when this ordeal is over. In the meantime, keep a close eye on our website (, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@woodinvillecity), or tune in to the remote City Council meetings to stay updated.


Mayor Elaine Cook, 

City Manager Brandon Buchanan

'Plan, plant, and find delicious meaning'

  • Written by Alexia Allen

Dear Editor,

I write with what I hope will be reassuring words. My husband Daniel Kirchhof and I spent all of 2017 eating only food gathered by hand by us or friends. We did not go to the grocery store at all. When people wondered if we were losing weight or having to eat tree bark, we were fortunately able to reply that we were eating goat cheese omelets and big salads. It took us six years of preparation to grow our skills and our garden, but it’s possible to do it faster.

I wish to cheer on the many people looking to grow food for themselves and others. A resilient local food supply is a great comfort and is entirely possible. We are doing our best to feed and educate our community at Hawthorn Farm and beyond.  While we need to keep our distance from other humans, the plants and animals who give us food are great company too. We have a local resource in 21 Acres and other organizations supporting people who are ready to take their supply chain into their own hands. 

Now is the perfect time to plan, plant, and find delicious meaning in growing your own food and supporting the local farmers who do too!  Imagine good food within walking distance for every person, and let’s make it happen.

In good health,

Alexia Allen 


Newspaper edition keeps positive tone

Dear Editor,

I want to commend you on your issue of April 2, for the positive tone throughout. A minister has said that this virus epidemic can be seen as a great chance given to us to see that the world is one, that we are all here to work together, and that there is no distinction between the poor person and the rich person. 

We are all to work together. Your paper illustrated this admirably. I was beaming after having read it. Please keep up the good work. There is always the temptation to show that we are not perfect, that so-and-so is a scoundrel, that I am right, and you are wrong. You have shown that it is better to see what is good. Thank you very much.

Dan Geels