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Letters to the Editor - July 21, 2014

  • Written by Readers

BICYCLISTS

I thoroughly agree with Ms. Gilliland’s letter last week, that rabid bicyclists don’t belong on a trail with the leisurely class of dog-walkers. I have given up the entire idea of a leisurely walk in Woodinville, just because no one thinks to separate these two vastly diverse activities, walking and maniacal bike-riding on the same narrow strip of pavement. Perhaps Ms. Gilliland would enjoy Aaron James’ writings, which I’ve read several times myself. My husband was hit by a bicyclist and fell down, and that was it for us.

On another note, we are getting ready for a move to a new home, hopefully in Woodinville, our home of over 40 years. While browsing realtor ads I see the new listing realty photos that make the image of homes so obscure, so washed out, that one is hardly motivated to drive by. I believe realtors should be held to a standard of photography that translates into a viable picture in the Weekly, even if I’m browsing above my income level.
Nancy Snyder

CAMP UNITY

Camp Unity Eastside encampment is moving on Aug. 1 ​to Kirkland Congregational​ ​​Church. CUE has been located at Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church since November 2013.

Camp Unity Eastside is a transitional mobile encampment and self-managed outside community. We make our focus on giving a hand up to those who have a need for simple shelter. Each member here is a responsible and active part of keeping CUE running. To offset the cost of operating and handling the responsibilities that come from offering safety and a place to reside, shower and eat, we each pay a maintenance fee of $30. In this way we empower our camp and each other to be contributors.

​We are supported by donations in kind. Meals, food, and clothing are surely appreciated as they are what makes us capable of providing beyond our own means.

This will be our first time being hosted at KCC. Yet we are excited to be part of Kirkland once again. Also, we will be moving to Holy Spirit on Nov. 1.
Allen Bolen

BIKE ACCIDENT

I wish to make some observations about your June 30 front page article, “Driver Fined Only $175 for Fatal Crash in Kenmore,” about Caleb Shoop’s tragic accident.

I witnessed the accident (and submitted my observations to the city’s police chief) and I concur with the King County Prosecutor cited in the article that vehicular homicide does not apply. I disagree with Fucoloro’s gratuitous allegations that the hapless truck driver whose vehicle hit Caleb ought to be penalized further.

The accident was first triggered by the driver of one of the cars headed south, who decided far too suddenly to stop to let Caleb cross the street forcing the rest of us drivers to stop quickly too. Upon seeing all of the cars stopping unexpectedly Caleb traversed the street. The youngish truck driver on the farthest right lane going north didn’t see any of this and failed to slow down enough or stop. I think the $175 penalty the young truck driver had to pay and the pangs of regret which I’m sure he carries are commensurate with what he did.

I consider the response by the City of Kenmore to re-stripe 61st Avenue extremely questionable although probably goodhearted. One of my neighbors thought it goofy. A sort of a bike lane was added (but not for the entire length of the street) which I used yesterday for the first time. It was only a small relief because the city eliminated one of the northbound lanes and this forces drivers wishing to give a biker a little more room than the narrow bike lane offers to drive over the solid yellow line, which few are willing to do.

As a result of the re-striping, an entire lane is out of bounds for drivers and this can only cause even longer lines for the greater number of commuters that use 61st. Given the greater number of homes the city has allowed in our area, 61st now carries more traffic than before but now, with the re-striping, there is less street space for the cars to go through. It doesn’t make any sense.
Carlos B. Gil

Letters to the Editor - July 14, 2014

  • Written by Readers

AUTOMATED WATER METERS

The anti-science alarmists are at it again, spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) based on irrational and unfounded beliefs. If you’re against automated water meters, you should also avoid wireless phones, cell phones, microwave ovens, computers, wi-fi, and in fact electrical circuits of all kinds. An automated water meter is hardly any more than a walkie talkie that sends a small radio signal to an antenna. The idea that this is dangerous in today’s culture is ridiculous, and serves only those who prey on people’s fears.
David Blatner

TRAIL ETIQUETTE

While walking with my dog on the Burke-Gilman Trail near Lake Forest Park, a man riding a bicycle threatened to “cut my dog’s head off.” We weren’t even in his way. We had stepped off the trail for my dog to sniff around on the shoulder. There were no other people on the section of trail at the time, so he had more than ample space to pass safely.
This is the second time in the past three weeks that some guy riding a bike has been rude to me while using the trail. The first time my dog and I were looking at a heron on a bridge. Three guys were approaching our location but had not yet reached us. They screamed out “bike!”, startling us even though I had already seen their approach and was well out of their way. I understand a warning would be appropriate if I had stepped out into their path suddenly; however, this screaming and threatening is more than anyone should be expected to tolerate. The trail is not only for the zealot bike rider in his designated “uniform” acting as if he is in the most important race of his life, but for everyone wishing to use this public recreational space.

There were quite a few other people out for a walk; however, there was plenty of space for everyone to enjoy their exercise and none of them were shouting at anyone. Also, there were other bicyclists riding along at a reasonable speed and passing without incident, as well as people walking, jogging and roller blading.

I spoke with another woman who also had a run-in with some bike rider that “let out a stream of expletives” at her because she was supposedly in his way.

I believe it is time for the militant bike riders to join the automobiles on the roads, since they feel they deserve more right-of-way on the trail than pedestrians do. This way, they would be able to ride as fast as they want and scream at other drivers just like motorists.
Noreen M. Gilliland

ELECTION

Joel Hussey is running for state representative in the 45th district. You may have seen his name on signs in your neighborhood, or read about him in a newspaper. Joel Hussey, a long-time Redmond resident and small business owner, has the experience and passion to bring about positive changes in Washington state.

As the CEO and President of Tailwind Capital, LLC, Mr. Hussey leads a company that manages and markets aircraft for investors, lenders and airlines here in Washington state and around the world.

For many years, Joel Hussey has benefited the community. He served on the school board of Bellevue Christian School for seven years, including three years as board president. Additionally, as president of the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association, he helped to reorganize the association. Mr. Hussey has also served as the committee chair of a Boy Scout troop, and coached youth sports and Math Olympiad teams.

Education, jobs, and a sustainable state budget are Mr. Hussey’s top priorities. He desires to put kids and schools first and to fully fund education, including early learning. Mr. Hussey wants to limit tuition increases at public universities, and expand the capacity of high-demand programs such as science and engineering. He wishes to cut wasteful spending and find balanced solutions to our state’s problems. By reducing onerous regulations and taxes on small business, Mr. Hussey wants to help businesses create jobs and strengthen the economy.

Many local political leaders have given Joel Hussey their endorsement. Secretary of State Kim Wyman, State Representative Chad Magendanz, former State Attorney General Rob McKenna, State Senator Andy Hill (chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee) and many others have endorsed Mr. Hussey.

Mr. Hussey truly cares about the community. With years of experience in the business world, he desires to bring lasting and meaningful change to our state. Let’s vote to elect Joel Hussey as our next State Representative.
Grace Deng

NEW COUNCIL MEMBER

The meeting to appoint a new Woodinville City Council member seemed to go for an agonizingly long time. But I think the Council sent an important message about civility at meetings during the process.

In the end, the Council appointed Hank Stecker, a former Council member, to fill the vacancy. I think this was the best thing to do for many reasons. The appointee will be sworn in and will assume some very important responsibilities, with no time for playing catch up. Having an experienced person, who is very familiar with city business and the workings of the Council, was an important factor. Hank Stecker was previously elected by the voters of Woodinville, and since the Council is an elected position, weight should be given to applicants that were previously supported by the voters. Mr. Stecker is a current Planning Commissioner, and has dedicated many hours of his time to the city. When the Council was stuck at a 3-3 vote between the final two applicants, James Evans eventually displayed a lot of courage by settling the issue. James had stated that he wanted to see new faces on the council. But filling a vacant spot, mid-term, with somebody that had no previous experience, had never served on a city commission or board, and who had difficulty presenting a vision for the city, left me apprehensive about appointing a wild card to the council. Hank Stecker brought more to the table, displayed a knowledge of city history and presented a clear vision for the city.

The newly appointed Council member takes over for the balance of the term, and then the issue goes back to the voters on the November ballot in 2015 for the new term starting in January of 2016. I encourage all of the people that applied for appointment to study the issues, serve on a city commission or board, meet with voters, and run for the ELECTED position of council member. The voters want to know what they are getting, and it is the voters that have the privilege of selecting their representatives.
Dale Knapinski

Letters to the Editor - Valley View July 14, 2014

  • Written by Readers

Another 4th of July has passed and what a 4th it was.

The weather was perfect, the day was perfect. We started the day with the 5K Run which had over 600 registered runners and walkers and ended with the most speculator FIREWORKS DISPLAY!!!

But what a parade!!! We had the Chinese Drill Team back, the Ixtapa Horses, I think they doubled in size this year, they were outstanding. Then we had the Washington Fallen Heroes Banners, there are no words to describe the emotion this brought out. As someone said, “It was bittersweet!!”

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Letters to the Editor - July 7, 2014

  • Written by Readers

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

Our comprehensive plan suggests Woodinville wants to stay green and open. We like our rural feel — our nature, trees, fish and waterways, and our food and wine! The right kind of hotel that would encourage people to love our city and enjoy our amenities would be fabulous.

The Woodinville landscaping code states: “the purpose ... is to preserve the aesthetic character of communities ... to promote retention and protection of existing vegetation, to reduce the impacts of development of drainage systems and natural habitats.” This explains the hotel requirements for the tourist district with its open space, river, trees, drink, and restaurants — all fabulous places to gather.

We want to reduce the impact of development while preserving the character. There should be places to stay, especially when offering so much drink!

The first paragraph of the article on the hotel desires is totally misleading. Per the city council agenda of April 2, 2014, “only 50 percent of the property is allowed to be impervious.” Impervious and developed are different things. Pervious implies that the muck be filtered instead of running off into streams. Parking lots, which generally take up a lot of hotel space, can be pervious.

Outdoor sitting areas can be impervious. There are multiple other “green” and “sustainable” low impact development (LID) options that could be applied using a pervious concept. Green roofs collect and clean water as it goes to cisterns for re-use on landscaping. Vertical gardens are lovely, peaceful, and can add to local character as well as reducing impact to the surrounding area.

Rain gardens and other bioretention offerings are used countywide. They beautify and fulfill the requirement to “reduce the impact.” I do not know if the planning staff negotiates this sort of thing, but do see verbiage in parts of the code that leave that discussion open. Have the developers tried code negotiations using sustainable design in order to fit into the requirements? It might be worth asking a consulting firm that will negotiate exactly this sort of thing.
Steph Young

HOLLYWOOD HILL ROUNDABOUTS

As residents of Hollywood Hill, we make almost daily use of the roundabout at the Hollywood Hill Schoolhouse intersection.

We are alarmed about the prospect of further development of hotel and commercial space on the Apple Farm Village site. The site is quite close to the main roundabout at the schoolhouse.

On weekends the area is flooded with both foot traffic and auto traffic. Some out-of-area tourists are confused about the right-of-way rules of roundabouts (and possibly drunk!)

On weekday rush hours, the roundabout is extremely busy with commuter traffic.

How much more burden can this small area tolerate? We have seen two wrecks occur on this roundabout and were nearly hit by a school bus driver who seemed not to know about roundabout rules.
Mr. and Mrs. H. Goeppele

Letters to the Editor - June 30, 2014

  • Written by Readers

STOW THE FRAGRANCE, PLEASE

For years, folks at Top Foods have exemplified being good neighbors doing business in our community. I suffer from ME/CFIDS/MCS, which among other things, leaves me sensitive to fragrance and chemicals. Ramifications include brain/spinal swelling. On several occasions, folks have kindly adjusted to allow for my safety.

Over the last while, I have watched with interest as Haggen updates and converts the store. All in all, it seems like good work. But I am deeply disappointed in one choice — and not just for myself.

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