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Letters to the Editor - 10/2/17

  • Written by Readers

TENT CITY 4

Mr. Dave Haugen shared his opinion in the 9/18/17 edition of the Woodinville Weekly that a person who lives in a temporary shelter, such as a tent, should not do so close to an elementary school or families living in permanent structure homes. If Mr. Haugen had only shared his opinion, I would not be writing this response; however, the letter to the editor that he wrote contained information that is not factual. I encourage Mr. Haugen to avail himself of readily accessible information about the residents and rules of Camp Unity Eastside (which I believe he was referring to when he called the camp Tent City 4), the current economic crisis facing the working poor, statistics on the number of individuals battling the illness of drug addiction who live in permanent homes near elementary schools, and the efforts being made by local religious organizations to improve regional housing, increase resources to combat drug addiction, and support job-search efforts. I also look forward to reading future letters to the editor with ideas on how to solve the King County housing crisis and thoughts as to where people in need of temporary housing should live.
Kathryn Rothberg, Woodinville

CAMP UNITY

Mr. Haugen is highly misinformed about the camp that is currently at Bear Creek United Methodist. We are NOT associated with Share/Wheel or Scott Morrow. We are Camp Unity Eastside and we are a drug and alcohol free encampment. TC4 is not at this site. If he wishes to discuss this in person, we invite him here and your paper as well to get the straight scoop.
Ivan Dempsey, Camp Unity Eastside

Woodinville Water District Election

This is the most important water district election we’ve ever had. Candidate debates are not planned, but it’s an essential way to distinguish the candidates from one another. Debates allow voters a chance to ask their own questions, too. I hope the Chamber of Commerce will sponsor this. Water and sewer rates affect citizens and businesses, too, in a big way.
Ratepayers rarely attend Woodinville Water District (WWD) meetings. Citizens seem unaware of very important issues affecting the District. Your elected officials are responsible for keeping you informed. Are they doing a good job? Are you satisfied with rates? Do you know enough about what  goes on at the WWD to make educated votes for the candidates? Are you satisfied with how the WWD is doing?

I made a motion to have all of the WWD meetings videotaped as I believe it is vital with respect to transparency and accountability.  Nobody seconded the motion, so it died. This is in the official meeting minutes, as all motions are entered in the minutes.

WWD Commissioner terms are six years, a long time if you make the wrong choice.
Dale Knapinski, Commissioner WWD

Keep Tasting Rooms

We have started a petition that has gathered over 2,300 signatures so far of people that are in favor of having tasting rooms and events in rural King County.  It can be found at https://www.change.org/p/jeff-otis-keep-tasting-rooms-in-rural-king-county

It states that we are both in favor of keeping all agricultural-zoned farmland protected, while also asking King County to modify and update the zoning codes for certain rural-residential parcels along main arterials to allow for tasting rooms of our size to operate, operate daily between noon and 9 p.m., and host an unlimited amount of events throughout the year in order to bring our community together in unique and festive ways.

We’ve tried to create something special for the people who live here, as well as provide a location that showcases the beauty of our area to the hundreds of thousands of people visiting this area along the way. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve built, and the community we’ve brought together as a result.

There are some who want all wine-related businesses to move inside city limits. But we think that would only turn Woodinville Wine Country into Woodinville Wine City and would lose the romance and the charm of experiencing wine in a rural, open, and more natural setting.

There are others who believe that a vote for our winery is somehow a vote against farming, but that simply isn’t true in our opinion. Not only do we support keeping all of our valley’s farmland protected, we have also planted our own farm on our own rural-residential property, which now supports our CSA program, farm-to-table dinners, farm tours, etc.
We believe our model is the correct model for what King County should allow moving forward, and we hope there are continued ways for local wineries, tasting rooms, and farms to all work together. A rising tide should truly lift all boats.
Jeff Otis, Matthews Winery

Preserve the Valley

Although my political views are greatly different from those of Susan Bounty Sanders, I must agree with her regarding the “expansion” of the Sammamish Valley.  If the Valley becomes anything other than for agricultural use, the character of Woodinville will be lost.  Not only will the character be lost, it will just become another congested boring city.  Once the door is “open” for development, you can predict with accuracy, the outcome.  Concrete structures everywhere, new roads, and traffic congestion beyond belief.  The view and the open space that we currently enjoy will just be a memory.

Of course, the argument is we need growth, and as a business man, I understand that.  What we actually need is carefully controlled growth, coupled with the preservation of our open spaces. The attempt to expand the Valley is just another example of governmental over reach.
Peter Tountas

Zoning

County policymakers are considering changes to zoning for Rural properties in the Sammamish Valley, outside city boundaries. As too often happens, there has been misleading or outright false information circulated about this by certain interests. As we consider the issues that will soon be before the citizenry, clarifying such misinformation should be helpful.
There is no move to force wineries in the Rural Area to close or relocate, as some have stated.

Numerous wineries exist legally in Rural King County under current zoning policies. These are establishments where wine is actually being made. Proposed zoning changes would continue to allow winery operations in Rural King County. The same policies, current and proposed, allow for breweries and distilleries.

The problems that have precipitated the proposed changes come from a small number of property owners around the fringes of the celebrated Woodinville Wine Country who are illegally operating retail sales outlets on properties zoned Rural Area (RA), primarily a residential zoning. The products being sold are made elsewhere. It wouldn’t matter if they were selling clothing, cars or fast food - retail sales outlets in the RA zones are not allowed. In the cases at hand, the product happens to be alcoholic beverages.

Another confusion comes from the perception of “tasting rooms.” Rural wineries are allowed to have tastings and sell products made on-site. But stand alone tasting room businesses, which are “liquor stores” per the law, are not allowed in the RA zones. Inside the city is a different story and many tasting rooms operate there legally.

The ultimate question that we will soon decide is do we want to change zoning policies that in my opinion provide the Valley’s rural ambiance, protects some of the county’s best farm land and underpins the many responsible legal businesses that make up the unique success of Woodinville Wine Country?
Michael Tanksley, Hollywood Hill, Woodinville

Healthcare for Children

Our most vulnerable citizens face the brunt of everything cruel our world has to offer. Children face every new day with hope in their eyes, smiles on their faces, and forgiveness in their hearts. These children that we treat with such flippancy our are future, and they have the ability and means to change this world. Yet, our world does not seem to care for all of the children living on it.

When we look at what children need in order to survive something people tend to forget is healthcare. Our world tends to forget children whose families cannot    afford     healthcare,    and these children are ultimately ignored. Our government has decided that universal healthcare is too expensive to fund, but they forget about the consequences of this decision. Children are left in the dust to fend for themselves when they do not have the means to. Right now, we have innocent, young people suffering from our mistakes. They have no healthcare, no means to obtain medicine, no professional to look after them, and no vaccinations. All of this is because our society could not take the time to say, “you’re important to our world and we value your health and wellbeing.” Money is hard to come by—no one is denying that fact—but children can’t just take care of themselves. They are human, they are important, and they need to have healthcare. I beg of anyone who is willing to listen, please make the right choice. Vote for universal healthcare in America, call your senators, your governors, your house representatives. Help them propose bills and laws into our government offices that will allow our children the right to have healthcare—the right to survive.
Vanessa Tav, Bothell, Washington

Editor’s Note

We have received an overwhelming number of letters to the editor endorsing candidates for the upcoming election. 

We have made an internal company decision not to publish individual candidate endorsements. 

We  do  encourage our readers review information on the candidates and elections at https://info.kingcounty.gov/kcelections/Vote/contests/candidates.aspx?eid=9 and VOTE!

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