Letters to the Editor - April 2, 2019

  • Written by Readers
Snohomish County’s Planning Department issued a Determination of Nonsignificance decision for the North Seattle Lateral Upgrade (NSLU)- a 6 mile fracked gas pipeline expansion damming 15 streams during salmon spawning and raising our state greenhouse gas emissions 3%.  This means they don’t view the environmental impacts as significant.
The new pipeline runs 11’ from homes in the densely populated area near North Creek High; the new pipeline’s blast radius would be 150 feet.
The UN IPCC gives us 11 years to get off fossil fuels if we want a livable planet.  Yesterday, a federal judge stopped oil drilling on 300,000 acres of Wyoming BLM land because permitting ignored climate change.
It’s time to choose priorities, and figure out how to explain them to our kids in the future.
Snohomish County Council pledged 100% carbon free energy by 2045.  If the NSLU  gets built, these are empty promises; we’re locked into emissions for decades. 
Our coalition of environmental, faith, and indigenous groups brought this up to the County for months- and was ignored.  Will they ignore the 1,000+ comments sent during the NSLU comment period, calling for the project to be
stopped?  Which side of history will they be on?
Sara Papanikolaou
Proposed Winery/Brewery/Distillery Ordinance in a nutshell:
“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull….”
The unnecessarily complex convolutions of King County’s proposed “Winery/Brewery/Distillery Ordinance” serve purposes that have little to do with wineries. Anyone can see that Woodinville’s “wine country experience” is doing very well without this ordinance. However, that success will be put at great risk, along with many other elements that make Woodinville such a lovely place to live, if this ordinance passes in its current form.
The real goal of this proposal is to change zoning codes to open up our rural neighborhoods and farmlands to dense urban development. After decades of failed efforts to accomplish this, speculators have now gained a serious foothold by using the allure of “wineries” as a smokescreen.
While Hollywood Hill and the Sammamish Valley farmlands are ground zero for this issue, this ordinance would be applied across rural unincorporated King County, from the Snoqualmie Valley to to Enumclaw plateau. Imagine the Woodinville-Duvall Road being lined with bars, taverns and “event centers”, or a property in your neighborhood doing the same, and you’ll begin to see where this could go.
Locally, the green open spaces of the Sammamish Valley contribute much to our quality of life. This includes its ambiance being the foundation for the unique success of Woodinville’s “wine country” phenomenon. Any one who is enjoying the energy of the music, restaurants, theater and wineries should be very concerned with what this ordinance would do to our community’s ambiance and the future of the businesses that rely on it.
The Hollywood Hill Association website has a Q&A that can be helpful grasping what is at stake. For a more in-depth view and for learning how you can get involved, the Friends of Sammamish Valley website is a great resource.
The King County Council indicates it may vote on this ordinance as soon as this June. It is NOT a done deal! The time is at hand for citizens who care about our Woodinville community to clearly understand the issues, join with others who have been working on this and make our voices heard, lest these good ole days of Woodinville become just fond memories.
Michael Tanksley, President
Hollywood Hill Association
The Family Jewels Foundation provides scholarships to Northshore School District graduates who have had a sibling with cancer.  The family of one of our Scholars recently was hit with devastating news:  their 17-year-old son and brother’s cancer has relapsed.  Already in treatment, this local high school senior will be too sick and too immunocompromised to attend his prom in May.  This being one of our Scholar Families, FJF wanted to do something for Michael. 
As a nonprofit member of the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce, I reached out to Kimberly Ellertson, the Chamber’s Director of Marketing.  Kimberly immediately picked up the baton and reached out to three local businesses, and Michael’s Early Prom was born!
On March 15, 2019, Julie Campbell, Sales & Development Manager at Butler Seattle, pulled up to Michael’s family’s home in a gorgeous black Mercedes sedan, with Martinellis and champagne glasses on hand. Michael and Allison already were bedecked in a boutonniere and corsage beautifully prepared by Oriana at Woodinville Florist. Julie took the pair on a local joyride (traffic circle patrons reportedly were quite enthusiastic), and then she delivered her charges to Teatro ZinZanni, where Michelle Haines, Director of Sales and Marketing, and her cast and crew pulled out all the stops!  Michael and Allison enjoyed an amazing, entertaining show and a delicious dinner and also were gifted with VIP treatment, including professional photos and video of their Early Prom to remember it always.
This experience of a lifetime gifted not only a young man in brutal cancer treatment for the second time in three years but also his big sisters and his parents, who got to partake in the excitement and anticipation of Michael’s big night and experience just a bit of relief from their worry and dread about Michael’s health and future.  As Michael’s mom texted me afterward, “I’m just amazed how people that don’t even know us would step up and do all this!  It’s just amazing!”
Yes, it is.  Thank you so much Kimberly/Woodinville Chamber, Oriana/Woodinville Florist, Julie/Stuart Seattle and Michelle/Teatro ZinZanni.  You are a blessing to our community.
Nancy Balin, Executive Director, Family Jewels, Foundation

Letters to the Editor - March 25, 2019

  • Written by Readers

It is our belief that having Evergreen Health Monroe, a local, full-service hospital, plays a critical part in meeting our valley’s health care needs, today and in the future. Our local hospital was an important factor for us when we moved to the Monroe area in 1976, and, as senior citizens, it’s more important than ever. In the last six years, we have used the the emergency room on three different occasions, and had three different surgeries, including overnight stays. In all cases the care we received from the staff was outstanding.
We strongly support the long term success of our hospital, and will vote YES on the upcoming levy.

Paul & Kathy Challancin

Letters to the Editor - March 11, 2019

  • Written by Readers
I am happy to see the Washington State Legislature take up a bill (HB1211) to achieve 100% renewable energy in our state.  This is a great investment in our future, and with the costs of renewables dropping rapidly (something that doesn’t happen with fossil fuels), it makes great economic sense.  Thanks to abundant hydropower, we already have a clean grid, but we can close the gap and demonstrate that it is possible to go 100% renewable while maintaining reliability and ultimately lowering costs for consumers.  And with lots of Washington companies providing clean energy products and services, we can help drive innovation and economic growth.  This is why I am an investor with E8, a group that focuses on early stage clean tech companies.  Free markets are wonderful but imperfect, and the market currently doesn’t account for the long term harms done by fossil fuels, which is something policy can address, and HB1211 is a good start.
Eric Berman

Letters to the Editor - March 4, 2019

  • Written by Readers
According to “” four in 10 children are addicted to the internet. You may think that your kid is addicted as well because they are on the computer every day. I suggest asking your kid how they spend their time on the internet and why they use technology to understand if they are addicted or not. If you're kid is on the computer for 20 hours or more a week, you're probably thinking that's what too long. That's because you haven't heard of E-sports, what's esports you ask?
E-sports stands for Electronic sports which in other words means competitive gaming. If your child is into E-sports playing a game called “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”, the bare minimum of hours is 20-25 weekly you need to be available to practice with teams online. If you were to cut your kids screen time down to two hours a day, there's no way they will ever be good enough to be a professional and play with the pros or win the big time tournaments offering $100k prize pools! Now with E-sports in play, you must understand the difference between addiction and dedication when it comes to screen time.
This all comes down to personal opinion, for me I just want to make sure that my child is prioritizing school, homework, chores, only staying up until their bed time, family outings and family social gatherings like birthday parties. As long as my child is following these rules I don't mind how many hours they play online.
This is all subject to the parents personal preference on how they would like to raise their kid. Although I do believe that children should be taken more seriously and have a voice when it comes to competitive gaming as you can create a full time job off of playing video games competitively and even livestreaming yourself playing and uploading to YouTube too!
Joshua Dunham

Letters to the Editor - February 25, 2019

  • Written by Readers
On February 10th our home caught fire. Despite the 2 feet of snow the firefighters from 4 different stations along with paramedics were there in 5 minutes. They went to work putting the fire out dragging the large hose up our street and long driveway. They put ladders up against the house and climbed up onto the roof while carrying a chainsaw. It was extremely surreal watching our home of 30 years burn but the firefighters who risked their lives to run into our home have our heartfelt forever gratitude. The paramedics went to work immediately on my husband checking his oxygen levels and blood pressure. They helped in calming our  nerves and  stayed at the house for quite awhile. Our next door neighbors Len and Jane Parris invited all of us into their home to stay warm while the firefighters continued to work on retrieving personal valuable items from our home as well as watching for hotspots and flare ups. Our neighbors John and Lisa Brennan opened their home to us to stay with them as long as needed. There were also many other neighbors in our community that reached out to us with prayers and offers of help including staying with them. It'll be a year before we can move back in but we are blessed that we are all alive and well. We will be forever grateful to the firefighters, first responders and all of our friends and neighbors that helped us get through the traumatic event that day and the days to follow! We feel grateful to live in Woodinville,such a wonderful, caring and giving community! Thank you and God Bless!
Nelson and Kathy Goodsell
After spending a couple of weeks digging out of another “once in a hundred years” weather event, I am thinking more and more about the effects of climate change. While some question how colder weather can be related to global warming, it is clear that weather changes are happening, and that these are linked to climate change. Lately, Washington State has had a marked uptick in climate change related events, including increased and significantly worse flooding, mudslides, and wildfires. We have to do something to stop this.
One way to stop this is by adopting a 100% Washington bill (SB 5116). This bill would commit our state to using only clean electricity by 2045. It will be done in a way that addresses historical inequities around our energy system through low income assistance programs and investments in communities.
Washington is in a unique position to quickly transition away from dirty energy. We have a good deal of existing hydropower as well as strong solar and wind programs. In order to have 100% clean energy, we just need to continue our trend towards increasing solar and wind projects, as well as increasing our investment in technologies such as wave power and tidal power. These are inexpensive investments that will produce cheap, reliable electricity for all of us. At a time when dirty energy prices are rising, clean energy prices are going down. The Washington State Legislature is currently debating the 100% Washington bill. In the Senate, it has been watered down so that consequences are minimal and compliance can be appealed. These changes are leading to a bill that is high on aspirations but will likely have little real effect.
100% Washington will benefit all Washingtonians. It will bring electricity prices down, will help to clean our air, and will help to combat the drastic weather changes and climate effects we are now suffering.
Cathy Ferbrache