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Letters to the Editor - Dec. 15, 2014

  • Written by Readers

WOODINVILLE-DUVALL ROAD

Whilst reading the article about the Woodinville-Duvall widening update, I decided I wanted to comment about the topic. The road widening has been going on for close to nine months and was said to wrap up at around 14 months, when the initial date of completion was eight months. I understand that weather can affect the ability of the construction workers to fulfill their job, but the road sometimes, in perfect weather, seems to not be at full capacity of workers. This might be due to timing of what is being worked on at the road or caused by miscommunication of the workers and work times. No matter the reason, it seems a little ridiculous that the project went from eight months’ expected completion to 14 months.

Although now as they have ended summer they have been increasing the speed of their work. They have put up walls, finished sidewalks and paved half of the road, which makes me very happy, because they seem to be getting all the work finished. As someone who needs to travel the road every day, and sometimes several times a day, it is a relief to be seeing major progress and seeing such nice work being done. Hopefully they will finish sooner than what is expected.
James Petry
Woodinville

GUN CLUB APPLICATION

In reading the Woodinville Weekly’s Dec. 1 article regarding a permit application for a gun club near Woodinville, I was disappointed that the deadline for public comments was also Dec. 1.
Maybe if the Securite Gun Club developers had returned the reporter’s request for comments the article would have appeared sooner and provided even more information.

I would welcome a well-run shooting range that would also provide affordable instruction for the general public on safe gun handling/use. It would be a good business enterprise for our area as well as give families the opportunity to learn about and experience one of our constitutional rights, to keep and bear arms.

Young ones are naturally curious about what they see as so-called entertainment or hear adults talking about. It seems like the days when Dad or Grandpa could take them out to the back forty and plink at soda cans under strict supervision with common sense talk about the sanctity of life and what guns are for are becoming distant memories in some locales.

Personally, I would rather live in a community where trained gun owners who understand the appropriate use of weapons in hunting and self-defense outnumber those who would choose to prey on a helpless citizenry. And during the hunting seasons when some of my friends and family are out in the woods, it would be nice to know that a far larger number of new hunters have been able to get expert instruction before heading out.

Hopefully, Securite Gun Club will not be totally focused on exclusive luxury memberships but will also serve the need for classes with range use at a cost the general public can afford.
Melinda Scott
Woodinville

ETHICAL WOODINVILLE

My thanks to the Woodinville Weekly for publishing a story on Lucy DeYoung’s hearing before the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which fined her for her activities as “Ethical Woodinville” in the 2013 Woodinville City Council campaign.

The hearing lasted only about 25 minutes, but the concerns of the PDC were clear. DeYoung’s prolonged concealment of her identity, failure to report her spending, and attempts to frame her personal attacks as issue advocacy were unacceptable.

It appears that, when Ms. DeYoung is subject to the same expectations the rest of us, she doesn’t measure up well.

I dream of a day when every entity in Woodinville — including the city, utilities and service districts, Chamber of Commerce and Heritage Society — are run for the benefit of the entire community.
Susan Boundy-Sanders
Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - Dec. 8, 2014

  • Written by Readers

PROPERTY TAXES

I am curious to know what the citizens of Woodinville would think when they realize that the Woodinville City Council voted to raise their property taxes next year. Granted, as some of the members of the Council and the City Manager argued, it is only 1 percent and should only equate to $5 per property for most homes in 2015, gaining the city $30,000. However, do the citizens realize that the City of Woodinville has $25 million in reserve? Thank you to the Council members who voted no, Hank Stecker, Bernie Talmas and James Evans. As for the rest of the City Council that voted yes, not sure what you were thinking.
Susan Milke
Woodinville

HILLSIDE ACADEMY

I found a gem of a school, Hillside Academy in Duvall, by doing an Internet search. My daughter was doing OK in our local public school, but not completely thriving. I wanted her to experience her life in a fuller way. As I investigated private programs, the sticker shock became the hurdle.
Then I found Hillside Academy. Their clearly stated philosophy of education and affordability had me hooked and I started connecting with the staff to explore this option for my daughter. Now three months into the school year, I BELIEVE IN THIS SCHOOL.
What do I love?
1.CARING ENVIRONMENT THAT TAILORS EDUCATION TO MY DAUGHTER’S LEARNING STYLE. Hillside’s unique blend of STEM with an arts emphasis allows for group and hands-on experience for project based learning. The teachers share learning and resources. They speak into each other’s curriculum and have a long-term view of education in mind for each student. I so appreciate the math groupings and specialized curriculum that has helped her reach a new level.
2. EMPHASIS ON ARTS AND MOVEMENT. Although each classroom is structured and accountable, kids have freedom to move while learning. Their bodies are engaged with their heads.
3. PACED FOR GROWTH. Because of the small class size and parent involvement, students have the capacity to go further in areas of strengths and experience greater support for areas of struggle.
4. PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL. I enjoy being part of the Hillside “family.” It is a culture where kids across grades know and love each other. I’m also impressed with the level of professionalism, the creativity of the director to access resources in an affordable way and the involvement of many great educators through enrichment, tutoring, and specialized groupings based on student’s learning needs.
5. ENRICHED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES. This little school packs a punch by providing Spanish, movement classes, art, music, multiple field trips, service opportunities and community connection.
The director and staff have built an incredible culture they will be able to maintain with their growth trajectory. I’m thankful for this school and the quality of education it’s providing to our children.
Lynne Ellis
Woodinville

FOUND DIAMOND

Denali Slab & Tile Studio located in Woodinville has found a loose diamond on our premises and would like to return it to its rightful owner. If you have visited our studio in the past months and lost your diamond, please contact Denali to inquire. (Must be able to identify the size, shape of diamond, proof of ownership.)
Karen Escalera
Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - Dec. 1, 2014

  • Written by Readers

SELLING PROPERTY

My husband Howard and I have been victims of foot-dragging on the part of Woodinville’s planning committee issuing permits so we can sell our 3 acre parcel to KLN developers.

Or I should say, up to this time not being able to sell it to a number of developers who have consumed nearly five years of our time, and all except the last dropped out because Woodinville’s planning requirements are so finicky, slow and abrasive to all concerned. My husband and I do not wish to declare bankruptcy, but if our latest requests via KLN to sell our property don’t work out, then Woodinville itself will be responsible for yet another pair of penniless old people who cannot afford to live on the Eastside and must give up the equity in their home besides.

Don’t you people have any concern for elderly people who have hardly the energy to move someplace cheaper? Why would you put us through a humiliating foreclosure just so every picayune matter under Woodinville’s power can be justified in the most micromanaging style?
Everyone knows it is far easier to get building permits in nearby cities. We aren’t asking for a big box store on our property or a five story downtown building. We are just asking to move from Woodinville before we are dead, and have a bit of retirement time left. Does that mean soil samples over and over again? The Quadrant company proved to us that you sit in your offices and make determinations without visiting the site itself. When someone actually visited the site, the plans for the property were reversed.

Shame on those responsible for not allowing us to sell and move, after we have lived here 42 years and been proud of our city.
Nancy Snyder, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - November 24, 2014

  • Written by Readers

WATER RATES

On my most recent Woodinville Water District (WWD) bill there was a statement of a change in the way it bills its customers. The water usage is now in gallons rather than in CCF (1 CCF = 748 gallons.) My bill also stated that the WWD would be unable to generate a historical usage graph. This is a silly statement since the WWD provides the conversion factor and it would be a simple programming feat to continue historical usage graphs. I suspect the real reason is that, without notification, our water rates have been increased.

My most recent bill indicated a usage of 6,380 gallons and I was billed $131.73. This works out to 0.0206 cents/gallon. Since this was a higher bill than typical for me for this billing period I went back to the previous four bills I’ve received this year. The sum of those bills indicated a usage of 37 CCF. Using the 748 gallon conversion supplied by WWD, this would be a usage of 27,676 gallons. My total bill for this period was $510.31. Dividing the usage into the total bill indicates a cost of 0.0184 cents/gallon. This may not seem like much but if that cost had been applied to my most recent bill, my bill would have been $117.39, significantly less than my actual bill of $131.73. This is a rate increase of slightly more than 10 percent.

Why in the world doesn’t the WWD just be honest with its clients? I often get the impression that local units of government and utilities are administered for the sake of the units and not primarily for the clients.
Will Peterson, Woodinville

WOODINVILLE-DUVALL ROAD

The Woodinville-Duvall Road debacle continues. Construction was to originally be from April to October, then it was changed to April to November, with no chance of completion on the stated timetable. I have never seen such a circus as the widening of this road.

Clearly the low bid on this road proves you get what you pay for. Flaggers that pay no attention to traffic, text, smoke and talk to each other instead of focusing on safety. Announced road closures that do not take place. Large holes, missing pavement, chunks of loose gravel have composed the road surface for months. I have seen better temporary roads in third world nations.

All summer with our outstanding weather the crews quit early and rarely worked a weekend. The traffic signal at Mack’s corner has been malfunctioning for weeks. Calls to Palmer Construction go unreturned; their apparent lack of concern about the mess this job has become is clear. Entire buildings have been erected in the time it has taken to widen this tiny section of road. I have never once seen a progress report released to any local news source. No announcement of what has been accomplished or what is still ahead. I am sure this fiasco is too much of an embarrassment  for Palmer to comment on. Someone should be accountable.
Lynn Parker, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - November 17, 2014

  • Written by Readers

FAMILY CAREGIVERS

Over 850,000 Washington citizens are unpaid family caregivers, providing 80 percent of the services that allow family members to remain at home as long as possible. Recent state agency data reports the uncompensated caregiving is estimated to be valued at $10.6 billion. Caregiving is a very human concern and a financial one as well. These unpaid caregivers lose about $300,000 in salary and benefits in their lifetime, having minimal financial resources to begin with.

Washington state has a Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) but it currently only serves less than 1 percent of the 850,000 family caregivers in our state. Recent research findings report some good news though. The FCSP improves outcomes for caregivers — 84 percent of the participants showed significant improvements and were slower to transition to more costly Medicaid services.
Serving more family caregivers would be a great investment for our state. Our legislators and the governor should support expansion of FCSP. These caregivers need our support.
Dr. Cheryl Townsend Winter
Member, Washington State Council on Aging, Bellevue

THANK YOU

Sign Up, Sign Company, located in Bothell, has had a large red step van for the past seven years, where we have taken donations as a drop-off location for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.
Unfortunately, we have lost the location where the truck has sat all this time, so we are forced to sell the vehicle, thus ending the ability to help with the donations.

People around Bothell, Woodinville and Kenmore have donated thousands of bags of clothing, bedding and toiletries in the past seven years. Every time the truck has been filled up, we would call the Mission and they would send their large truck to load everything into, then they would take it to Seattle to distribute to their various mission sites.

So, we would like to send a gigantic “thank you” to everyone who donated anything at all, from the woman who had a shoe drive and collected 235 pairs of shoes to the elderly gentleman who came in with one single pair of shoes in his hands! Every single item you have donated has made a difference over the years!

We will surely miss meeting and talking with all of you, and hearing the touching stories of why you are donating your items to the Mission. Thank you, everyone!
Larry and Susie Ormbrek
Sign Up, Sign Company
Bothell