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Letters to the Editor - March 3rd, 2014

  • Written by Readers

I was very disappointed in the recent article The Woodinville Weekly did on the City Council’s public hearing on Wellington Hills Park. A large number of people spoke against the Snohomish County Parks Department proposal to change Wellington Hills Park into a Regional Sports Complex.  In general, people were concerned over the very real issues of traffic congestion on local roads, noise, light pollution, loss of natural habitat, public safety, lack of any input into the park’s design as required and loss of the quality of life that’s associated with living in Woodinville.    
 The fact is:  the director of Snohomish County’s parks was not at the public hearing yet he was quoted in the article.  The terrible misconception is the things he said were sound bytes, clichés, half truths or totally unsubstantiated and condescending generalities.

 The fact is: Snohomish County’s proposal is huge.  The south side of 240th SE would get artificial turf fields, stadium lights, a huge Costco-sized park lot and a giant activity building – all of which has approximately the same size footprint, lighting and noise impact as that of Safeco Field.  
 Furthermore:  the south side will be dug up and over 250,000 cubic yards of soil would be trucked across 240th and dumped on the rolling terrain of that area.  After the flattening, their plans call for a commercial mountain bike building and another large parking lot.  How this accounts for just 25% is unclear.  
 The irony is King County gave Snohomish County mitigation money to compensate the neighbors and the community that have to live by an essential public facility – the Brightwater Sewage Plant.  The 2005 Settlement Agreement stated there was to be a “community” park for residents near Brightwater and that they’d be included in the park design.  Somehow “Community Park” changed into a Regional Sports Complex reflecting only sports enthusiasts interests – and the consequence of that change of land use is; the sports complex would be worse for the area than Brightwater.
 If the Weekly wants “fairness” and it wants to give “equal time” to citizens and to Snohomish County’s Director of Parks, then it should do a bit of investigative reporting.  If they do their homework, the proposal for a sport complex will look like a nightmare.
Linda Gray, Woodinville

To the anonymous, kind hearted 12th Man who shared more than “a gift” left on my gate yesterday…….Thank you :)  
Deanne Martin
Grateful Seahawk Mom
Woodinville

I’m writing in response to the 1/2 page ad that Northshore Youth Soccer placed in The Woodinville Weekly issue of Feb.17. I’d like to help inform not only the writer(s) of the ad, but anyone else who has not reviewed the numerous materials on the County Parks website.  
As the ad suggested, people need to “get informed.” This does not mean taking the word of any biased party as truth, which goes for organizations on both sides of this issue. Northshore Youth Soccer is biased, as the development proposed most definitely serves their interests. I’m sure they have their reasons, and I will not insinuate that their claims regarding their need are untrue. As a 20+ year resident of this neighborhood, I am also biased, concerned for my property value, the noise and lighting impact, and mostly for the dramatic increase in vehicle traffic that is expected as a result of this development.
 A comment in the NSYS ad states that the citizens opposed are “a few vocal opponents who prefer to protect the open space for themselves.”
Frankly, I find that comment insulting, very presumptive, misinformed and self-serving. My primary concern is the increased traffic, and were it not for a woefully insufficient infrastructure to support this plan, I would not have a problem with it.
The increased traffic is not just my opinion, it is a fact that is substantiated by the reports of the traffic consultant hired by the County, and available on the Parks website.
I quote from their report: “232 new PM peak hour trips daily,” “276 new Saturday peak hour trips daily.” It also notes “vast majority of the visitors/traffic will come from the west” via Hwy 9 and SR522 (at Costco), citing “long delays” and/or “very long delays.”
Those who drive to Costco or commute to/from work through that intersection now already know what a terrible one it is, with the frequent red light running by exiting shoppers. The County Parks website includes meeting comments (5/4/2012) made by a NSYS representative that they are looking to support “8 tournaments a year, to pack the place,” with “130 teams” with “5-9PM target usage time for NYSA.”
The plan for 700 parking spaces speaks for itself (I noted the ad didn’t indicate what percent those will take of the park space, only the field space).
The long, slow line of cars coming out of Woodinville at PM commute now will be even longer and slower and during a tournament will be a travesty.
I also noted on the County website that the name of this development started out as “Wellington Hills Regional Sports Complex” (meeting notes 4/27/2012), with comments by the Parks Director stating “not just a sports park but an economic driver of the region,” and the hope to “draw regional and national tournaments on a regular basis.”
He later attempted to deny this position (Woodinville Weekly article 5/6/2103), stating “when you say this is a regional sports complex, we simply don’t agree with that,” and that the park would host lacrosse/soccer tounaments “once a year, if we’re lucky.” Which statements are we to believe?
The name for the development was changed to a more benign “Wellington Hills County Park” when the County realized their sports park plan was not being embraced by the park neighbors.
My biggest concern?
As the traffic issues escalate at the Costco intersection, people will naturally look to the east entrance on 240th St SE as an alternative (via 156th Ave NE in King Co, 75th Ave SE in Sno.County).
156th/75th is already heavily traveled as a result of the Costco development and will certainly see a significant increase in congestion (and accidents due to the many driveways, cross streets, cycling events and hilly terrain).
The road improvements proposed are seriously inadequate.
Frankly, the only solution I find acceptable for my biased interests, short of moving the sports park to a more appropriate locale, is to block any entrance to it from the east, thus eliminating the traffic through the residential areas and forcing it through the industrial area on the west side. I’m sure Costco will not suffer from the added traffic.
Carol Welch, Woodinville

So forcing PSE to move from coal to wind or solar is good news only if you like higher utility bills and less efficiency on the grid.
Wind and solar are more expensive per kilowatt hour to produce and less reliable than coal, or nuclear, or hydro electric, or natural gas.
Also, when you plan for using wind and solar you have to plan for a back up source when there isn’t enough wind or sun to meet the demand, so guess what you end up with?
That coal plant remaining on line to pick up the slack on those cloudy/non-windy days plus those long winter nights.
And, that coal plant is not going to just sit there free of charge until PSE needs its capacity, PSE will be paying for it along with the expensive wind and solar.
So we the rate payers will end up with the double whammy on our bills. So thank you very much Paula I can’t wait to see the fruits of your labor on my bill.
Erich V. Britton, Woodinville
 
On Wednesday night I was called by Ms. Delbene’s office and asked to join a town hall “meeting” phone call.  I accepted and then accessed the screener to present my question to my representative.  Which was:  What steps has the Congresswoman taken, or plans to take, in response to the unconstitutional and lawless actions of our president?  Mr. Obama’s use of executive orders is not legal and I want to know that my representative is fully engaged and dealing with this very unsettling situation.  The screener said “good question”.
Strangely, half way through the call I was disconnected.   Hmmm…
 The next day I emailed Ms. Delbene, told her what took place and re-posed my question.  Today, I received a form letter from her office thanking me for my interest in her Farm Bill.  Huh?
So I called and restated my question for the 3rd time.   I don’t really hold out any hope of receiving an intelligent response because:  
1) she really has no clue how to deal with the magnitude of this situation with  Mr. Obama’s lawless behavior,
2) she is obviously way in over her head with the responsibilities of this office and
3) she has become irrelevant – which I know to be true of Ms. Delbene and most, if not all, of her fellow members of Congress.
Patty Franklin, Woodinville

I’m responding to Jim Rettig’s letter. I’m in total agreement with him.For some reason, a lot of people fail to see this. I don’t understand; it’s so obvious.
Pauline Thompson, Woodinville

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