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Letters to the Editor - January 21, 2019

  • Written by Readers

Microsoft has announced it will contribute $500 million toward affordable housing in the Puget Sound area.  Whereas, this will not solve the crisis, it is a great step forward toward a solution...plus it includes a call-out to other big companies in the area to open up their philanthropic pocket books.

But this is not why I am writing.  I am wondering why our mayor’s name is not on the Microsoft draft that includes mayors of cities in the area, all pledging to eliminate and/or reduce costs associated with building affordable housing...permits, inspections etc.

One is left to believe that either our City or our mayor are of so little consequence that they were not contacted (I know they were contacted), or our City does not wish to be a part of helping make affordable housing truly affordable. 
Apparently all these other cities have room to find cost reduction in the permitting process, but Woodinville is running lean and efficient with no room to participate.

I rather think it a lot of both.

Kevin S. Murphy

Letters to the Editor - January 14, 2019

  • Written by Readers
MOTHER’S HELPER
 
I am a college-educated mother of 3 elementary-aged children.  Both my husband and I grew up in Woodinville and chose to raise our family here because it is a safe community. We have lived in our home for 18 years and feel comfortable letting our children play outside, ride bikes and walk to the neighbor's house-just like we did when we were kids! Recently, I posted the following ad for my daughter on our neighborhood website:
Mother's Helper
 
Hello! My almost 10-year old is available as a mother's helper.  She is the oldest of three and is quite capable. She can fold and put away laundry, sweep, set tables, clean dishes, take out the trash, make beds, vacuum, make light meals, and keep your kiddo busy. We are a homeschool family so she has a flexible schedule.  Please message me if you are interested in meeting with us.
 
Six hours later the Sherriff was knocking on our door.  He was embarrassed and apologetic but said he had to do a welfare check to make sure I wasn't running a sweat shop! Apparently, the ad generated multiple phone calls from at least one paranoid neighbor thinking I was using my child as a slave. When my husband explained that we were simply trying to teach our child the value of a strong work ethic so they wouldn't grow up to be spoiled, he replied, "I wish more parents would do that."
 
At 8-years old I was working in a nursery with infants, at 11 I was babysitting and doing yard work, at 12 I had a paper route, and by age 17 I was living on my own, working almost full-time, and attending college. All those things would likely violate our state’s child labor laws today.
 
It's a shame that our culture has resorted to this paranoia. It’s irrational (crime nationally is the lowest it has been since the 1970s!) and this fear is robbing our children of an admirable attribute called grit as well as the pride that learning skills, independence, and hard work bring.
 
Christina Behar

Letters to the Editor - January 7, 2019

  • Written by Readers
CITY COUNCIL
 
We know we have a little over a decade to reduce atmospheric carbon to avoid catastrophic climate change. Because cities are at the forefront of climate change risk and opportunity, they have a big role to play in creating solutions. We can do it if we get started now.
 
As a City Councilmember, I’m proud that the Council has taken a huge first step by being a partner in creating a livelier, lower carbon-footprint downtown where people will enjoy living, experience better amenities and transit, and reduce their need for driving. A big win!
 
Next - should we as a City start work on a goal of 100% renewable energy by increasing low-carbon mobility (pedestrian/biking/transit), requiring greater building energy efficiency, installing solar panels on city hall, reducing waste going to the landfill? What else?
 
I believe that what citizens ask their cities to do filters up to our local State representatives and eventually even higher. So your voice is crucial! Come to a council meeting, call city hall at 425-489-2700, or email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Give us the backup of your support so that we as a city can make a difference for our kids and grandkids.
 
Paula Waters
City Councilmember

Letters to the Editor - December 31, 2018

  • Written by Readers
Farming and Education in the Sammamish Valley
 
Preserving and protecting the farmland and rural spaces in the Sammamish Valley has direct impact on the farms and organizations that offer their products and educational resources to the community. Farming in the Valley is a viable entity and we’ve seen growth in recent years with farm production and education programs bringing in an increasing number of young farmers growing food in the Valley. Education programs that provide increased opportunities for food access and food security. Farming practices that regenerate the soil addressing weather issues and climate challenges affecting production.
 
Each year thousands of youth and young adults are in the fields and on the grounds at these Valley farms learning valuable skills about how food is grown, harvested and used. These farms host school field trips, are adventure centers for farm camps, serve as homes for veterans healing, and locations for volunteering and community service. The SAgE program for example, is a collaboration of five Seattle colleges and WSU, who use their Valley farmland for hands-on curriculum in their Sustainable Agriculture degree programs. Participants continue their education working on the farm, becoming successful incubator farmers growing MORE food in the Valley for the community. They look for land to farm they can call their own. Access to affordable, useable farmland is key, it allows these farmers to remain in business, increase food production goals and support the local food economy.
 
Please protect this viable farmland and keep the rural buffers free from development creating additional water issues that affect production. Do NOT put our Valley farmers out of business. In fact, King County’s current Local Food Initiative has established goals for GROWING 25 NEW farmers every year and INCREASING the amount of King County acreage in food production. Please support Friends of Sammamish Valley’s amended Ordinance.
 
Brenda Vanderloop
Sammamish Valley Alliance

Letters to the Editor - December 10, 2018

  • Written by Readers

I would like to thank Donna DeYoung and Bob Parks for lighting the magnificent sequoia in downtown Woodinville this holiday season. If you haven’t seen it, the tree stands high above all else in town lit with thousands of white lights. Donna DeYoung, from one of Woodinville’s founding families, donated the money to light the tree as a contribution to the city’s overall holiday cheer. Bob Parks, one of the owners of much of the commercial real estate in downtown Woodinville, also contributed to the lighting of this tree. These are two families who continually contribute to the city in meaningful ways.

“Love of Woodinville” is a theme in many of the projects going on in the city currently. From the recently redeveloped DeYoung Park, to the upcoming rehabilitation of the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse, to the work the heritage society of Woodinville does, to the community mural completed last year, to the Peace Poles in DeYoung Park. There is a positive, uplifting and community-building momentum in this great city.

I wish for the families of Woodinville a holiday season filled with love and peace.

Elaine Cook
Deputy Mayor of Woodinville