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Letters to the Editor - May 22, 2017

  • Written by Readers

WOODINVILLE GARDEN CLUB

The thirtieth annual Woodinville Garden Club Plant Sale on Saturday, May 13th, was another great success.  Our non-profit organization has been serving Woodinville and the surrounding community for 33 years with scholarships, sculptures and other beautification, and educational enrichment in the schools.  We would like to thank the entire community for their support and participation which makes our efforts possible.  Our hosts, Chateau Ste Michelle Winery, once again extended their hospitality, even while in the throes of a massive road and construction project.  R and G Auto Body advertised our sale on their reader board again this year, as did the Splash and Dash Car Wash.  Dozens of community members stood in line in the drizzle, waiting for the rope to drop, and then in a giant wave, they swept up 800 tomato plants, hanging baskets, sedum bowls, and thousands of plants!  The weather was not cooperative, but Northwest gardeners are not deterred by a little rain!

Our best communication tool, the bright yellow and green signs we place around the Woodinville area, are put out on the Sunday before the sale, and are in place for only one week.  This year, for the first time, we experienced substantial removal and theft of these signs!  Other groups’ signs seemed to stay in place where ours were removed, sometimes from private property where we had permission to place them.  We cannot imagine what the motive was for such vandalism.  If any community member has found one of our signs and would like to return it, please contact us at: www.woodinvillegardenclub.org and we will be happy to come and get it.
Ann Parrish, Publicity Chair
Woodinville Garden Club

CAMP UNITY

Woodinville is blessed with a City Council and City Staff that care for all their citizens.  When there are competing interests and passions this can be a challenge.  Last year and again this year the homeless encampment, Camp Unity Eastside, has been sited in Woodinville; once on city property and soon to be at Northshore United Church of Christ.  Both times the Council has been supportive and the city staff have worked diligently to make sure that both the campers and the community needs are being met through the permitting process.  As someone who is a supporter and volunteer with CUE, I am very proud to be represented by the City Council and the City Staff.
David Orendorff

NSD

Many folks move to Kenmore, Bothell and Woodinville for the great schools.  The Northshore School District (NSD) has a rich history with a share of ups and downs, especially the past 4 years.  With 4 of 5 School Board seats up for election, it’s a perfect time to review three “chapters” in our recent history.

Chapter 1 - NSD on Facebook

Social media today is a turbulent mix, especially when used by activists seeking government change.  Massive change is possible when a movement goes ‘viral’ and the community gets organized.  Since 2015 we’ve had a great resource in the “NSD Discussion Group” on Facebook.  Check it out, more than 3,300 people are there.

Chapter 2 - Bumps along the way

While NSD has many amazing things, we sometimes forget the difficulties in our past.  We need to remind ourselves that after 10 years of advocacy, our start times miss the national health standards by nearly an hour.  We have new policies and practices for equity, but we stumbled publicly after black students in our District received racist threats in 2015.  We’ve encountered controversy and litigation with land purchase and leasing efforts.  And the August 2015 Audit Findings relating to violating Code of Ethics and Open Meetings were a particularly low point.

Chapter 3 – Leadership changes

As events unfolded through 2015, it became clear to those on social media that our experiences were not isolated and a change was needed.  The election just two years ago was vibrant with a total of 5 candidates seeking 2 seats.  Thankfully, the voters agreed to a change in tone in November of 2015 with the election of two new School Board members.  The new Board has been widely praised for their collegiality, commitment to listening and an overall change in the way the entire Board interacts with each other.

Next chapter - New Board Members – our Trajectory is??

We don’t yet know all the Board candidates, yet we need to before we decide who to trust with being our elected representatives.  As we’ve seen nationally, it really matters WHO we elect.  Perhaps more important, however, is HOW we go about elections.  I’m an eternal optimist and continue to believe that transparency is key.
Please get involved if you have not, and stay involved if you already are.  We are a strong and thoughtful community here in NSD – lets keep discussing.
Ken Smith

DEYOUNG PARK

The renovation of De Young Park has been a contentious issue within the City Council, best exemplified by the disgraceful bickering at the May 16 Council meeting.  The Parks and Recreation Commission, in partnership with City staff, have held public meetings dating back to September 2016 to gather input.  These findings were presented to the Council on April 4 and a 6-1 vote passed in favor of the plan.  Deputy Mayor Evans claimed that he was unaware of the scope of the renovations but it appears he simply did understand the vote.

I find it amusing that this Council will spend unlimited funds on lawsuits and lobbyists in Olympia, fighting for land that is neither within City nor County limits.  The legal invoices have been buried among meeting agendas.  No public discussion or notification has occurred.  More than $350,000 of our tax dollars have been wasted on a lawsuit that we have no hope of winning.

And yet, a plan that would rejuvenate a neglected downtown park, supported by the vast majority of citizens, is heralded as an example of wasteful spending.  Is it the money or is it something else?  The De Young family has a long history in Woodinville politics, not all of it positive.  Mayor Talmas, Council member Boundy-Sanders and the De Young family have committed election violations against each other.  Is this power-struggle worth allowing downtown Woodinville to fall into disrepair?
Rachel Best-Campbell

Letters to the Editor - May 15, 2017

  • Written by Readers

POP KEENEY

I’m a Bothell High School Class of 1964 graduate. I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps from 1964 to 1968, and one year in Vietnam. When I think of two of my classmates, Richard Worthington, the grandson of the founder of Bothell State Bank, and Chuck Slusser, and all of the other fallen students that went through the Northshore School District, I can’t understand why anyone would think they aren’t important enough to be honored by their own school district.  

School districts all over the Puget Sound area are dedicating their district stadiums to their fallen students. The Northshore School District is one of the best school districts in the area, why would they want to ignore their own students who died fighting for our country? They wouldn’t!  We can’t start making suggestions to give them a less honorable dedication than all the other school districts. There is reason that those districts have dedicated their stadiums to their fallen students, it’s the most honorable thing they can do, and it’s sending the wrong message to our local veterans to do otherwise.  

The Snohomish School District already had their district stadium dedicated to their fallen students, and recently they upgraded their memorial to include a gorgeous granite monument at the stadium. http://www.heraldnet.com/news/monument-unveiled-at-snohomish-veterans-memorial-stadium. We want to do something similar!

Nearly 100 percent of the comments on Facebook are positive, not to mention the 113 supporters who signed the on line petition. Nobody wants to take the Pop Keeney name away, we only want to add the word “Memorial” to it. We also want to honor Pop Keeney like he has never been honored before, right along with our fallen veterans by placing a monument just outside of the stadium gates, not on the inside where it can’t be seen! That way everyone walking around the Stadium and McMenamins can enjoy it! 
 
Parl Guthrie
BHS Class of 1964 &
United States Marine Corps 1964 to 1968

Thanks to the City of Woodinville

Once again, the City of Woodinville has demonstrated sound judgment and compassion in dealing with the problem of homelessness by granting Northshore United Church of Christ a permit to host Camp Unity Eastside from May 26 through August 26. Last year, the city did what no Eastside city has ever done and allowed the camp to stay on city property at the Carol Edwards Center for 120 days. After that stay, the camp went to Kirkland Congregational Church in Kirkland and then to St. Jude Catholic Church in Redmond, where they are now. I especially want to thank the city staff for their courtesy and diligence in working with the church through the permitting process. Citizens of Woodinville can be proud of their city council and staff for the excellent job they are doing.

Dennis W. Lone

Letters to the Editor - May 8, 2017

  • Written by Readers

POP KEENEY

As an Army veteran, I am all in favor of remembering our community’s military sons and daughters who gave their lives for their country and for our freedoms.

We don’t have to change the name of Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell to do that.

The city already has a legacy of remembering those loved ones. That’s where the idea should be considered and discussed, not at a school district committee. It is not good use of teacher and administrators’ time to endlessly hold meetings in another study committee. They should be teaching our kids.

Years ago, Bothell meat market owner and pioneer Vern Keener devoted a memorial to our fallen heroes on a v-shaped corner of his property at the five-corner Bothell Way intersection in the heart of downtown Bothell. He planted a tree, added a flag pole and plaque as well as a remembrance bench. That is gone now with the “revitalization” of downtown Bothell.

A Boy Scout troop not long ago designed and installed a really nice memorial to veterans in the Park at Bothell Landing along Sammamish River. I would like to see those who support the idea of adding a memorial at the football and soccer stadium to shift their purpose and proposal to the Bothell city government. Let these advocates raise the money and work with the city to either enhance the memorial at the Park at Bothell Landing or find another suitable public location.

The Park at Bothell Landing is accessible every day without an admission charge. Everybody would have a chance to visit whenever they wanted to, not just when the Stadium is open.

Let’s keep on remembering Pop Keeney as one of the most creative, inspiring and winning coaches of our state over a period of nearly 30 years.
Ron Nardone
U.S. Army 1965-66

M.I.L.K. MONEY BOTTLES

Change is a Powerful Thing: Northshore Schools Foundation sets out to raise $20K to support students experiencing homelessness.
For the seventh year in a row, M.I.L.K. Money Bottles are popping up around town, in local churches and in homes in an effort to affect change for the nearly 200 Northshore School District students that are experiencing homelessness this year.

Homeless students are defined by the federal McKinney-Vento Act as those who lack a stable nighttime residence. While the Northshore District funds the expenses that accompany Federal legislation which guarantees students right to remain in their original school district, there are a significant number of “extracurricular expenses” which are not covered.   

“The face of homelessness in our community may not be what you imagine.   While there is no shortage of students living in camps or cars or on the streets, it is also common that those students are ‘couch surfing’ and the people hosting them may not even know they don’t have a home to go home to,” said Carmin Dalziel, executive director of the Northshore Shools Foundation.

“What all students in crisis need, is a sense of stability.  By providing just a little bit of resources we can help them have a chance at a more traditional school experience and hopefully give them the support they need to graduate at the same level of success as their peers,” said Dalziel.

“The majority of the students that we support are at the top of their class. We’re covering costs for college prep, test fee, school supplies, and graduation fees,” said Sara Hayashi, Milk Money co-founder.

“We couldn’t provide the services we do without the support of the Northshore Schools Foundation,” said Dr. Chris Bigelow, Student Services director and Homeless Liaison for the Northshore School District.

The Foundation has a goal of raising $20,000, an average of just $100 per student, during May, which they have designated as MILK Money Month. Community members can get involved by visiting a local business that is collecting change or starting their own campaign at home or in their office by downloading an at-home campaign kit from their website.

M.I.L.K. is an acronym for Making an Impact on Learning for Kids, and is a play on many concepts including collecting change to be a part of the change.

Since 2010, the program has donated over $40,000 to students. The Windermere Foundation has provided more than a quarter of those funds as matching dollars. 

“The community involvement in this campaign has been phenomenal,” said Dalziel “We’ve seen Evergreen Church encourage their entire congregation to participate, received anonymous $1000 gifts, and had several places like Banner Bank, Sparta’s Pizza, Alexa’s Café, Proper & Ernest & Sound Credit Union decide to keep a bottle out all year.  We ever know what to expect but we know people are willing to help so that’s exciting.

The Milk Money campaign is sponsored by A.S.A.P. Appliance, Banner Bank, Country Village Shops, EricksonPNW Real Estate and Twin Brooks Creamery.

Find out more and get involved at www.NorthshoreSchools Foundation.org.
Carmin Dalziel
Executive Director
Northshore Schools Foundation

Letters to the Editor - April 17, 2017

  • Written by Readers

FUNDING K-12 EDUCATION

As a parent of two grown children who were able to flourish academically in alternative educational programs in Washington state, I wish to express my support for a tax system that can supply the revenue necessary to keep our state-based educational programs, including the gifted, homeschool, running start, and high school technical opportunities that we were able to access; plus many others that should continue to be funded and available to students of all learning styles. Not all kids benefit from a one-size-fits-all traditional learning environment. My kids didn’t fit that mold and could have been lost in the shuffle, but because of the availability of our state’s educational choices, they were able to find and pursue their passions and become the successful adults they are today.

The Democratic House budget proposal will not only fix our upside-down tax code, but it effectively sets Washington state up for a brighter future by fully funding K-12 education for students of all learning styles, thus creating the means for our state to sustainably invest in our shared future.

The house budget does this in part by closing the capital gains loophole, which will generate almost $715 million that can be invested in education, infrastructure and our fellow Washingtonians.

Thriving communities depend on excellent educational opportunities. We need to clean up our tax code to raise the $4 billion needed to fully fund our schools, as mandated by the Washington Supreme Court. Every year, we lose billions of dollars that could be invested in our schools because powerful special interests and the wealthy have manipulated our tax code to benefit themselves. If we eliminate wasteful tax breaks and make sure the wealthy chip in what they owe, we can close the McCleary Gap.
 
Robin Wyll,
Concerned Woodinville Parent
 
OUR CIVIC CAMPUS IS ABOUT TO BE ANYTHING BUT CIVIC
 
Merriam-Webster’s definition of Civic Center is “a large public building for sports events, concerts, etc., a section of a city or town where there are public buildings.” The definition did not include five-story apartments or hotels!
 
At the March 28 meeting of the City Council a consulting firm presented four ideas which they considered suitable options for our three-acre Civic Campus between City Hall and City Landmark Woodinville School. Their discussion can be viewed at http://www.ci.woodinville.wa.us/CityHall/CouncilVideos.asp?view_id=2
 
Unfortunately, except for the YMCA, none of the proposals even mentioned public buildings. Townhouses, five story apartments or hotels with huge parking garages were the ONLY options! Five story hotels or apartments, in the middle of our Civic Campus between City Hall and Woodinville School, mean the campus will no longer be civic. Except for the Y, there will be NO public places for Woodinville residents. Apartment dwellers or hotel guests will occupy our town’s unique and irreplaceable three-acre Civic Campus.

If you have concerns and opinions about the future of our Civic Campus, please let our council members know. Their email addresses are on the city’s website http://www.ci.woodinville.wa.us/CityHall/CouncilMembers.asp.
 
Phyllis Keller
 

Letters to the Editor - April 10, 2017

  • Written by Readers

Litter

Thank you to Grace Baird for bringing attention to the trash along Avondale. I would like to add my voice to hers regarding the litter problem in Woodinville.  Every road leading into and out of downtown Woodinville is littered. We live in a beautiful part of the world but it looks like a third world country where they just dump truck loads of trash beside the road. (FYI. It is mostly beer bottles and pop cans so you can guess who is tossing their garbage.) I have called the city, county and state about the litter problem but nothing has improved.  If the city of Woodinville would declare a city-wide cleanup day a couple of times a year and encourage everyone to go outside their homes or businesses and pick up the litter, it would be great! I have been picking up the litter coming up on Hollywood Hill past the medical center for the past year. As much as I hate to admit it, I am a senior citizen and my children are not happy with me being out on the road but I just can’t ignore the trash. I count the litter and when it reaches a certain point, I clean it up. The last couple of weeks there has been a litter fairy. As I was thinking about stopping to pick up the trash, I noticed some of it was gone. The next day more of it was gone. Whoever you are, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  Let’s be good citizens and appreciate this beautiful country!
 
Carolyn Norton, Woodinville

DEYOUNG PARK

I feel it is important for the community to know the Parks and Recreation Commission supports the transformation of DeYoung Park 4-1. Three design concepts ranging in cost were developed by Site Workshop, the consultant chosen to create a design concept for DeYoung Park. There are several reasons why the Commission felt investing in such a small park was the right decision. The Park is small; but, its location is both ideal and unique, in the heart of the downtown surrounded by retailers and lots of activity. I voted in favor of the transformation of this Park; because, this alternative achieves the goals expressed by the community through the public engagement process. Many expressed the importance of adding lighting, incorporating play, enhancing the existing tree canopy, and creating infrastructure that supports events; such as the Saturday Market. This alternative meets all of these objectives along with enhancing accessibility for all users and creating a warm and inviting unique gathering space for the community to relax and play. Revitalizing the park will benefit both the community and will support the businesses in the vicinity by drawing in people looking for places to shop, eat, relax and play outdoors. Investing in parks is an investment in the future of our community as well as the youth. 

Julie Elsom
Woodinville Parks and Rec Vice Chair