We all have a right to know what we are eating and when our food has been adulterated.
Monsanto has never fully proven the safety of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds. They claim there is no significant difference between GMO seeds and conventional ones, but they also patent them at the same time. There is no ability to contain GMO seeds from contaminating other fields. A recent find of GMO wheat plants growing in Oregon (a variety that was never allowed on the market, but had been tested in Oregon a decade prior) is just one example of this inability to contain them.
Birds, squirrels and wind easily spread these seeds far and wide. One thing we do know for sure is that plants grown from GMO seeds will contain a large quantity of pesticides. That is the one thing these seeds were designed to do. Unfortunately, it also creates super weeds and bugs that are tolerant of these high levels of pesticides.
Farmers using pesticides like RoundUp are advised to wear suits to spray the pesticides, yet we are told that it is safe to eat. The No on I-522 campaign has been claiming that requiring manufacturers to label their food products will cause increases in food prices. These same manufacturers manage to have a new label for every holiday. All one needs to do is visit a grocery store right now to see all the Halloween packaging.
The Green Party of Snohomish County endorses a Yes vote on I-522.
Debbie Shapiro, Officer at Large - Green Party of Snohomish County
I read B-Z Davis’ response to my recent letter to the editor with a smile on my face. B-Z should know, as a former school board member, that the most significant effect on public school enrollment is new housing development, not full-day kindergarten or smaller class sizes. It was on her watch that the district changed boundaries and moved hundreds of students around to try and manage the lopsided effect of new housing development. Northshore is not to blame for this situation; it’s a function of the Urban Growth Boundary, an outcome of the State Growth Management Act.
Development is restricted in the eastern part of the district, but as an attractive place to live, demand for homes has increased and the supply of those homes is only allowed in the north and west parts of the school district. We’ve all seen the explosion of new home construction happening now that there is more confidence in the economy. I’ve seen large developments nearing completion but nowhere near the eastern part of the district where development is restricted. District decision makers need to do the right thing and not wait for circumstances to "be assessed in the future." Delaying a decision and keeping parents in the dark as long as possible is not the responsible action to take. District leaders need to begin a public process to engage parents, staff and community members in the tough decisions that need to be made. Then there will be a clear roadmap between now and the "circumstances as they evolve." This makes sense.
The 10 minute later start implemented this year by NSD was appreciated by PALS as a small "step in the right direction."
However, as many of you are aware, this did not automatically translate to more time for students, as buses were on the same or in some cases earlier, pick up schedules than last year.
Although times of pick up are getting better, this does not mean 7.20 a.m. is the right start time for students in high school.
The school board agrees with all the statistics that have been provided by PALS over the years to support later start. However, it all comes down to money. As transportation will now be fully funded by the state within the next year it will free up levy dollars that have been used to support transportation.
Therefore wouldn’t this be the right time to put at least some of those levy dollars back into transportation?
In order to have high schools start later without affecting junior high or elementary schools, transportation needs to be adequate for the population it transports.
This is not the case within NSD, who have reduced transportation funds over the last few years leaving this district with less buses and more children to transport than any other district. Transportation is an important part of the educational process and should be treated with the priority it deserves.
If you would like to see a later start for high school then please support our petition on Change.org Northshore School Board Start Later.
PALS Representatives Wendy Reynolds, Annette Whelan, K. Van Til
It was with interest that I read Susan Stoltzfus letter regarding school capacity in Northshore.
I initially shared her concerns regarding grade reconfiguration and how that might impact some of our smaller elementary schools. I was pleased to see the Board addressed this concern in adopting resolution 680 at their June board meeting.
This resolution speaks to the overcrowded schools in the northern part of the district.
It also recognizes the under capacity in some of our elementary schools. It goes on to encompass the state Legislature’s revised definition of basic education to include universal full-day kindergarten and K-3 class size reduction. The McCleary ruling makes this mandatory by 2018.
These considerations, individually and collectively will impact our elementaries in ways that we cannot foresee at this time, and makes talking about school closures possibly premature.
Superintendent Larry Francois recommended to the Board that school closures not be a part of the current plan to pursue a new high school and grade reconfiguration, but that the possibility of closure be assessed in the future as circumstances evolve. This makes sense.
A new high school in the north end of the district; along with grade reconfiguration creates a long term solution to an ever increasing need.
Get more information at www.nsd.org.
Please support our schools in the 2014 levy/bond election.
B-Z Davis – Citizens for Northshore schools co-chair
Jodi Spitalli, the fantastic Outdoor Curriculum Specialist at Woodinville Family Preschool, will be leaving the preschool, effective October 31.
Jodi has a unique opportunity to move with her family to a beautiful property on Orcas Island.
Jodi became part of the Woodinville Family Preschool staff in 2008. Through her resourcefulness and hard work with others in our community, we have renovated our playground to a natural play space. Through her dedication and singular persistence, we have achieved certification as a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.
In addition, Jodi has been a source of comfort and friendship to hundreds of children and a mentor and shoulder to cry on for hundreds of parents.
For our staff, she has been a joy to work with — compassionate, caring, funny, and a visionary for what can be accomplished at Woodinville Family Preschool.
Jodi will be missed in so many ways, big and small.
If Jodi has been part of your parenting journey or your time at Woodinville Family Preschool and you wish to share a memory or photo, please send to Jodi Spitalli, c/o Woodinville Family Preschool, PO Box 125, Woodinville, WA 98072
Cecile Culp Mielenz, Ph.D., LMHC, Director, Woodinville Family Preschool
As a first-time council candidate, people want to know my priorities and how I will make decisions for Woodinville.
I know that many people will offer advice, hoping to convince me of one policy or another. And, of course, I will listen to all of them, even those attacking me currently.
It is the only way to get past the gridlock that has taken hold of the council.
Ultimately, however, I will have two guides: my sons. Every decision will focus on how it affects their future in our community.
I am not a politician. I don’t have years of political obligations and constraints to live up to.
I do have a family and Woodinville is our home. I will work to make sure it stays a great place for my sons.
I want to work to ensure Woodinville remains a jewel of our state.
I do not want to see our home become another cookie cutter city with mega chain restaurants and big box retailers, but instead a lush tourist village with craft eateries and artisan shops.
Our "wine pioneers" who draw so many to our area deserve to have our support and infrastructure to continue to make Woodinville a premier destination for wine, spirits and food.
I live in Woodinville with my wife, who is a speech therapist for Northshore School District, and our two young sons.
We are very proud to live in the area and to call Woodinville our home!
I have promised my family, friends and neighbors to serve the city with an open mind and with the understanding that while I will not always agree with those I will serve with, their voice is just as important as mine, and their message deserves to be heard.
Brad Walker, Woodinville City Council Candidate - Position 7
Wow! It’s election season for the hamlet of Woodinville and this time around I find a need to wear rubber gloves just to pick up and handle my mail.
A weekly attack on Mayor Talmas has now invaded the postal system.
Packed with so much slime that one needs to bathe before going on with the day, these hit pieces use lies about the mayor in order to give a back door endorsement to the person running against him.
This unethical anonymous group, seems to feel that the mayor’s attempt to get at the truth of a council member’s residency, is a big deal.
Folks, it’s really not. The mayor did not contract anyone to follow the council member in question.
I think even that council member gets that. That same council member probably also realizes that all he needed to do at this infamous council meeting, was to correctly give his address to all, showing that he was indeed a legitimate resident of Woodinville. He did not do that.
Now, in this election season, we the citizens have our mailboxes polluted with some of the meanest mailers I’ve seen in my lifetime.
The mailers can only appeal to a segment of the voting public who have not taken the time to really look at the issues.
Don’t be manipulated into an ignorant fervor against an incumbent.
Please look into this election.
The future of our city is at stake.
The truth of the matter is that Mayor Talmas is not only a good and decent man, he may also be one of the greatest mayors this city has been fortunate to have.
A quick look at his web site would show any thinking voter how much he has done for all of us.
He has earned the respect of all major parties and those endorsements are a good measure of the man who represents all of us not only locally but regionally and state wide.
Personally I believe that all of our council members are underpaid, under perked and overworked.
That said, Mayor Talmas’ commitment to the city of Woodinville has been enormous, his accomplishments many and is the primary reason for re-electing him to the Woodinville City Council
I read the front page of the Woodinville Weekly and would like to correct and clarify the record. There seems to be a huge misunderstanding on the word "censor."
Our agenda packet on September 24, 2013 Agenda Item 4 states, "Schedule Consideration of Amendments to Council Rules of Procedure and/or Code of Ethics to Establish a Complaint and Discipline Procedure for Council members."
The word "censor" in the main motion was mistakenly printed in our agenda packet.
It should have been written as "censure" which was my intent as the maker of the motion.
Our city manager is quoted as saying, "I believe they meant ‘censure,’ Leahy explained after the Sept. 24 meeting."
The city manager is correct. There is no intent to censor (edit or delete) council members’ comments through a formal process.
The purpose of establishing a Censure Process to our Rules of Procedure is to address continued violations of our City’s General Decorum section 7c of Council Rules of Procedure.
There currently is no enforcement procedure or censure process to reprimand City Council members who violate this code.
The censure process under Council Rules of Procedure would permit the City Council to write a letter of reprimand approved by the majority vote of the other City Council members to be administered personally to the individual council member in open session of the City Council.
Currently we have council members who continue to detract from city business and more importantly city priorities with their constant personal insults, slanderous remarks and personal attacks with no consequence for their actions.
Please set the record straight.
Woodinville Councilmember Paulette Bauman
I love you! I love walking into McLendon’s and being greeted like Norm on Cheers.
I love walking into Italianissimo with my wife and end up pulling tables together with familiar faces.
I love attending the Leota Jr. High Watch Dogs program and recognizing so many fathers.
I love that I’m at one neighbor’s house borrowing eggs and butter while my other neighbor is driving off with my horse trailer.
I love that my kids can approach a Woodinville cop and be greeted with a smile and humorous remark instead of a baton.
So when we next meet and can clink a glass at one of our many wonderful events, gatherings or tastings, let’s toast to our wonderful Woodinville and ignore the political drama.
Peter VC Hickey, Woodinville
I am writing in response to Andrea Heald’s letter to the editor submitted on 9/30/2013. Ms. Heald laid out an attack on Mayor Bernie Talmas that needs to be addressed.
She states that nothing has been done to improve traffic, pedestrian and bicycle access in our downtown.
Yet she does not recognize the 20-acre development in our downtown that is approved and slated to start construction this spring.
This will open up access throughout the downtown with three new roads, sidewalks and bicycle improvements.
She states a lack of state and federal grants yet fails to recognize the new bridge over the Sammamish Slough that has significant state and federal monies slated towards its construction.
She states a pavement overlay project for the Woodinville-Duvall Road has no bicycle improvements planned for it.
Pavement overlay is not road construction.
She ignores the main Woodinville-Duvall Road improvement project which will be underway soon that does add bicycle and pedestrian access and is also funded with substantial state and federal grant money.
Instead of continuing to correct all these unsubstantiated attacks in last week’s letter, it is more important to note that these attacks continue coming from the same camp.
... Let’s be constructive. Many of us participate in local government as citizens. You don’t need to be a board member or council member to participate or to be informed.
It is disheartening to see a letter like this one written last week so full of misinformation by people who say they have an interest in our city government but have no participation ... .
Hank Stecker, Woodinville
Thanks for the Weekly’s coverage of the upcoming NSD Bonds/Levies.
I’ve had some concerns about them.
For one, there will be a $68 increase per year for a $400,000 house.
This happens because we pay for the additional $20-25 million increase over 20 years.
We are probably paying off a bond that was approved before we ever moved here.
While this may not seem a lot to some, I know many people who are still struggling to support their families – some of who work two jobs.
This district has approximately 50 percent of its students who qualify for free/reduced lunches.
The economy is still not fully stable – unless the NSD knows something that the state and federal economists don’t know.
And even when our community has had "flush" years, we’ve had programs being stripped for our children.
In the past several years, as we’ve seen increases to our taxes but no direct benefits to our classrooms for our kids, I’m beginning to think: " I won’t pay more for less service."
When you think about the increase of funding from the state, and the increased capacity of local levy, the district could have offered our students later start times and a seven period day for HS students.
Instead, we increased salaries throughout the district, created many new administrative positions while reducing our kids’ instruction time one day out of each week, then tacking on a few extra minutes to each day (which many teachers and families had opposed). This then forced the district to provide raises for the teachers for five of those minutes.
Oh, yes, and let’s not forget about slapping our community in the face on their opinion about which day to get their kids forced out of school early – a day that an overwhelming number of teachers and parents had opposed!
What has become of this district’s priorities?
The district will surely be having another boundary change that will be displacing our students again.
For the next five years, until the high school is built, we are in for a lot of decisions.
With all this occurring, I’m not assured that the district is looking into the best interests of our children and community.
The 2010 Bond/Levy measure tax rate was ‘estimated’ to be $4.07 per $1,000 assessed property value.
Our rate increased year on year and is now $5.29! So seriously, how does the NSD estimate the $4.98 tax rate for the 2014 bond/levy decreasing over the next 4 years when there are increases in the Bond, Tech and M & O levy!
"Sensitive to the impact on taxpayers and voters" I don’t think so! A new high school is not being built to deal with growth and overcrowding at the elementary level. It is being built because of grade reconfiguration which just happens to make space available within the elementary schools.
And since grade reconfiguration won’t happen until 2017 we will continue to be overcrowded for 4 more years.
This bond is not only the most expensive but also the most disruptive, boundary changes for at least half the schools affecting thousands of children, closures of under-utilized elementary schools, house prices affected, communities split up.
If the educational benefits of grade reconfiguration are so good, then why is it that our current grading structure still puts our student’s scores well above the state average?
I would suggest that of the 4 options presented to the board by the EDTF the one that most directly deals with overcrowding and growth is to build an elementary school for $40 million, with little or no impact in the M & O and Tech Levy and minimal disruption.
This is clearly the way to be "sensitive" to the tax payers, the economic situation we are in as well as satisfying those families that have children in overcrowded schools.
When Bernie Talmas ran for City Council four years ago he m ade several pledges. He promised improved connectivity for pedestrian and bicycle traffic through the city.
Traffic congestion on 175th Street and at the entrance to 522 (especially from 132nd Ave. NE).
Today this is now worse than it has ever been. Getting in, out and through the city has not improved.
Pedestrians and bicyclists both take their lives into their hands.
Just last week the mayor voted to "improve" Woodinville-Duvall Road but failed to include improvements for bicyclists or pedestrians.
Mr. Talmas chairs the Eastside Transportation Partnership and is a member of Puget Sound Regional Council.
Both boards lobby for state and federal transportation funding.
The City of Woodinville has not received anything from these boards. No grants or support.
Crime is also getting worse. In January our crime rate was up 44 percent!
When the chief of police asked the council in May to help reduce crime, the mayor turned his back on the citizens of Woodinville and voted against their proposal.
And now, we read in the Woodinville Weekly that the city has spent over $2.1 million of our tax dollars on legal fees.
That equates to over $780 for a family of four!
Just imagine how much safer our neighborhoods would be or the transportation improvements we could buy if the city had allocated that money to improving our quality of life.
Mr. Talmas and the "Woodinville Ticket" promised to end the bickering and sniping on the City Council.
The September 9th Letters to the Editor from Councilmember Boundy-Sanders and Mayor Talmas is proof that the Council is even more petty and polarized today than it was in 2009.
My family really can’t afford another four years of Mr. Talmas’ political games.
Andrea Heald, Woodinville
The anonymous "Ethical Woodinville" scam are still afraid to let us know who they are.
We may not know their names, but we know what they are — cowardly propagandists because they perpetuate a lie that because the mayor does not support ethical conduct legislation he is therefore not ethical.
The point is either you have ethics or you don’t, and those who don’t identify themselves when making accusations don’t have ethics in my opinion.
It takes ethics for a council member to question if another council member still resides within the city when public documents indicated that the council member resides in Kirkland. ...
It takes ethics to address the financial drain of previous councils on programs and facilities it could not afford. It takes ethics to stand on Constitutional ground and oppose the installation of public cameras in Woodinville ... It takes ethics to be a good steward of the city’s funds — all traits possessed by our mayor.
I know not what others may say but the choice for me is clear: I’ll side with the mayor and not the cowards who comprise Ethical Woodinville.
Paul O.Cowles, Woodinville
So let’s do some math. Perhaps a story problem.
A school district proposes to build a new high school and reconfigure grades to make four-year high schools, middle schools for grades 6-8, and elementary schools for grades K-5.
Because there are now only six grades at each elementary school instead of seven, each of those school’s enrollments is reduced by about 15 percent.
Question: If the district has 20 elementary schools, how many schools will have to be closed to avoid increasing the operating costs at those schools by the same amount?
Superintendent Francois, how are your math skills? Which three schools do you plan to close?
And if you say that no elementary schools will be closed, how do you justify increasing operating costs by 15 percent and asking people to pay more in property taxes?
Susan Stoltzfus, Woodinville
I am writing this in response to the article in your paper regarding the school board seeking input on bond and levies — seriously folks?
The NSD did not ask any of us tax-paying folks for our input on the soccer field they demolished and made into a parking lot during the remodeling of the Woodinville High school. We folks that live around this school have had to deal with students getting hit by cars, speeding, trash and parking all up and down 136th Avenue.
When they tore out that soccer field and made that parking lot I thought what a great idea.
Then they start charging the kids to park there, then after remodeling was done they took the parking lot OUT and made a big grassy field again
I have lived here over 30 years and have never seen that field used for anything school related.
I think if the NSD had asked us, we would have voted to keep the parking lot as it was and make it free to the kids to park.
It has gotten so bad during school hours,but these kids need to park somewhere.
I have had to call the school several times regarding trash to no avail.
I would tolerate the street parking better if the kids would show some respect.
I will never vote to raise my taxes for the Northshore School District to spend my money any way they see fit.
That was a very poor decisionand the fence is still locked to the grassy field.
The Woodinville Heritage Society would like to express our sincere appreciation to the agencies and kind individuals that made "Let’er Boom: Celebrating 125 years of Railroads" a great success.
The event was of particular historic interest for the Heritage Society since the railroad’s arrival in 1888 put Woodinville on the map and has been instrumental in our development for over a century.
Woodinville Councilmember Les Rubstello and Snohomish Mayor Karen Guzak co-chaired this wonderful celebration.
Ernie Wilson and Kathy Cox brought it all together in two locations: Woodinville and Snohomish.
We would like to first express our gratitude to the Woodinville City Council for providing $2,000 from the annual Community Grant.
The Heritage Society would like to thank the Woodinville Fire District, especially Deputy Fire Chief Greg Ahearn, Lt. Greg Garat, and Community Service Officer David Weed.
The courtesy and assistance from the Explorers (Andrew de Boer, Ben Harris and Jacob Krause) was exceptional.
All of these exceptional individuals went above and beyond the call of duty to help us and make this event possible.
While the train and speeders were the center of attention, the addition of vintage fire trucks added a whimsical flair to the event.
Our special thanks to Roger Collins, John DeYoung and Harold "Butch" Kent for bringing down their antique tire trucks.
Additional thanks to Dan Wells of Mac’s Towing for transporting the fire district’s original fire truck from Old Woodinville over to the event and Ron Nardone for bringing down his antique Bothell school bus.
And, thanks to BNSF, the younger generation was able to enjoy the kid’s train around the fire complex and antique fire trucks.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize my fellow board members of the Woodinville Heritage Society.
My personal thanks to Lucy DeYoung, Terri Malinowski, Jim Kraft and Kevin Stadler whose patience, professionalism and dedication truly keep the "train on the track."
Finally, we would like to express our grateful appreciation to the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce for letting us use their tents and Minuteman Press for always being there to help us.
Rick Chatterton, President
Woodinville Heritage Society
WRITER WANTS PROGRESS TO CONTINUE
Now that we have a mayor who is working in behalf of all the citizens of Woodinville, I want to see the progress he has made continue.
I know him to be a man of honor and integrity. He stands up for what he believes in ... publicly. He is well educated – Doctor of Law, Fordham Law School; BS degree in Business Administration from Lehigh University.
As an attorney, he is licensed to practice law in the states of New York, California and Washington. His experience includes being a former Deputy District Attorney; in private law practice for 30 years; Chief, Central Accounting Office, U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground, as an Officer.
So he understands the nuances of legislation and what its impact and unintended consequences might be.
Clearly, he could use his time much more profitably if he so chose, but instead he has served Woodinville as one of the best mayors I have seen.
So about that "progress." He has become a very credible spokesman, making Woodinville’s voice heard on matters important to us all. He is:
• Chair, Eastside Transportation Partnership
• Vice Chair, Public Issues Committee of the Sound Cities Association
• Member, King County Regional Policy Committee (on behalf of Sound Cities Association)
• Member, Growth Management Policy Board of Puget Sound Regional Council (on behalf of Sound Cities Association)
These regional groups make decisions/recommendations which have profound impact on Woodinville and its future. Having a credible voice on them is very important. And he strongly supports the current character of our neighborhoods, one of the major reasons we live in Woodinville.
This means focusing development in the downtown core, rather in the residential neighborhoods as the developers would like.
Finally, he is being endorsed by groups and individuals on both sides of the aisle:
• U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
• 45th District Democrats
• King County Republicans
• Washington Conservative Voters
• State Senator Andy Hill
• King County Executive Dow Constantine
• State Representative Larry Springer
• Northshore School District Board President Julia Lacey
• King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski
So, lets re-elect Bernie Talmas.
Steve Yabroff, Woodinville
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THAT TREE
Now I am upset!
In 1974 I was chair of the Bothell Park Board.
The Park Board put a park in the triangle property at the corner of 522/527[Baskin and Robbins] in honor of Rich Worthington’s son who was killed in the war.
The property was owned by Vern Keener of Keener Meats and donated to the City of Bothell for the Triangle Park.
The Lion’s Club put in the drinking fountain, RichWorthington of Bothell State Bank put up the flag pole and I planted the tree.
This was a very special tree with a history.
The tree was a blood red maple, grafted by Aire Osterwick and sold to Jack Leamer who owned Rhod-A-Zalea Gardens, I bought Rhod-A-Zalea Gardens and ended up with the tree.
I lent the tree to the Worlds Fair in Seattle 1963.
When I brought it home I called Ron Nardone and we planted the tree in Triangle Park.
The tree was healthy and happy, it bloomed every fall bright red.
It looked like it was on fire.
For years Tony Van Denacker took cuttings from that tree.
He loved that tree.
My question is: What is going on?
If I had only known, the tree could have been moved and been put somewhere safe. I sure hope whoever made that decision is proud of him or herself.
Now let me tell you I planted one more tree in the town and it is a weeping Alaska cedar in front of City Hall.
I don’t care if you have to build the City Hall around it. Keep your hands off it.
P.S. I just hope you don’t take the pictures of the old timers down on Main Street because you don’t know who they are:
Verne Keener; Keener Meats
Alex Sidie; Sidie’s Pharmacy
Bill Shannon; Shannon’s Florist
Max Logston; Logston’s Building
Bud Erickson; Mayor of Bothell
BOOK WILL HELP OWEN FAMILY
As many of you recall, Bothell’s Owen family endured tragedy last December on Stevens Pass when a snow-laden tree crashed onto their SUV, killing parents Tim and Cheryl.
The accident critically injured their adult children, Jessie, Jaime and son-in-law, Steven Mayer.
As the young adults endure surgeries, their blog has been most helpful informing the community as to their condition and ways to help. Please visit www.lovetheowens.wordpress.com
[There is] another way the community can help, in particular Jessie Owen, who was paralyzed in the accident and needs life-long medical assistance.
[My] book, "The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs" written by me and John S. Pfarr takes the reader on a 6-year roller coaster ride through the courts, mediation, scuttled settlements, battles with family members, to see who will inherit my great uncle Art Hadley’s $7 million fortune.
The story is one of greed, mystery on who will inherit, and a cautionary tale on writing a clearly written will or trust.
Please visit www.theinventorsfortune.com.
Investigation Discovery "The Will" found the story intriguing and aired a T.V. documentary entitled, "The Art Hadley Estate Story.
The book sells for $16 with $5 of every sale going to HelpHOPELive.org, a spinal cord injury organization to help Jessie Owen build her much-needed funds.
The $16 amount includes a signed copy, shipping costs with $5 going to HelpHOPELive.org.
Thank you to our extended Northshore and Eastside communities for all of your support of the Owen family!