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Letters to the Editor - Dec. 5, 2011

  • Written by Readers

GO FALCONS!

My husband and I would like to thank the Woodinville Falcons football team for a great season!

You gave us something to look forward to every weekend, whether you were playing at home and we attended or whether you were away and we waited anxiously for the score.

You should ALL be proud of the 12-1 season that you had.  What an accomplishment!

I would also like to acknowledge the Woodinville students and band members.

After the game on Saturday we witnessed some very unsportsmanlike behavior from a few Skyline students.

From what we witnessed, Woodinville students did not stoop to their level and react to that behavior.

That is a testament to Woodinville High School, Woodinville High School families and our community as a whole.

Go Falcons!!

Ron and Kathy Paulsen, Woodinville

The Woodinville High School cheerleaders would like to thank everyone in the community who supported our October breast cancer awareness campaign.

The pink Woodinville T-shirts that were sold during football games and  at school lunches were incredibly popular with demand being much greater than supply — not a bad problem to have.

Over $800 was raised for the UW Foundation’s Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research program.

THANK YOU for helping to make this a success.

Look for many more pink Woodinville T-shirts going on sale next September.

Woodinville High School cheerleaders

To the WHS football team: You heard us cheer. What you may not have heard is our pride, the talk and the smiles for months now, everywhere we went.

At the grocery store, the hair salon, the feed store, in our living rooms and yes, on facebook, everyone was talking football, talking about you boys.

We are so proud of each and every one of you — as proud as if you were our own.

We are not supposed to be a football powerhouse. We don’t have kids moving here so they can play on our team; we don’t have the huge superstar.

What we have is a bunch of boys who have grown up together and play football because they love the game.

Every week you took that field with a passion that comes from the heart, not a drive for statistics.

And that’s why our hearts are a little broken today, because you boys are our world, and when you took that field we were bursting with happiness and pride at what you have become fine young men.

This team is a great football team — the most fun team I’ve ever watched, and you accomplished much more than a 12-1 record.

When all eyes were on you, you stood up, held hands and became a group of young men with bright futures and that is priceless.

This town is a better place because it claims you, all of you, as our very own.

If you want proof look at the stands yesterday: Woodinville fans filled half the Tacoma Dome with students, moms and dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, all wearing  green and literally rocking the house.

The other side had a mere handful — it was almost sad.

So be proud of yourselves, boys, we sure are and remember while these are great days, they aren’t your glory days. Those are yet to come. I am sure of it.

But for now you are Falcons and Woodinville loves you all. Thanks for the memories.

Becky Jack, Woodinville

REALLY?

I am writing in response to Lynn Kirkpatrick’s letter on WHS fitness runs.

All I have to say is “really?”

I graduated from Woodinville last year and the weekly fitness walks were always highly looked forward to and enjoyed.

The adult supervision, or admittedly lack thereof, is a ridiculous topic to fixate on.

These students are all at least 15 years old and should be capable of walking on a sidewalk without strict supervision.

If he is not, then that is where the parent has failed.

Woodinville is like an oasis of blissful, suburbia ignorance when it comes to “real world problems.”

If the young adult cannot handle walking two miles, then he will have a real shock when he graduates and moves out. That is entirely on the parents.

Not only is the student unprepared for real dangers, he has been babied all his life and is geared for a rude awakening once he hits 18.

That aside, the reason parent permission forms exist requires no explanation.

One does not have the right to complain about the function of a school event that you signed the permission form for! Really?

And attacking the athleticism of the course is pretty ignorant.

Does anyone really get a sufficient workout in high school gym class if they don’t want to?

Let’s be real. If they wanted to make the effort, they would.

I believe that the gym teachers Mrs. Muzzy and Mr. Mills do a great job at what they do and don’t deserve your criticism.

Ashely Hill, student, Pacific Lutheran University

COME VISIT US

To the person (or persons) who vandalized Bear Creek United Methodist Church:

Thanks for taking the time to express your point of view and opinions.

I wish that you had stopped by to talk with us in person or simply sent us an email, instead of using our building as your canvas by spray-painting graffiti all across the front.

You left no doubt as to your feelings, but they along with your insults are hardly original.

Unlike you, I feel no compulsion to destroy or deface the property of those I disagree with, or even to retaliate in kind.

Instead, I feel honored that you made us the target of your misguided anger.

And though you called us “weak,” there are none so strong as those who are unjustly struck on one side of the face, yet willingly offer the other side to be struck by their antagonist.

We are unafraid, yet you can’t face your own fears, except by lashing out at what you don’t understand.

There’s nothing mysterious or hidden about us. We’re simply a community of flawed and imperfect people who believe that light is greater than darkness and that love conquers all.

You’re welcome to visit us again, and again and again, but next time, just walk in the front door and enjoy our hospitality.

And one last thing: Matthew 5:11-12.

Bill Hoppe, Duvall

STOP BY AND SAY HELLO

Dear Woodinville voters,

Thank you so much for electing me to city council last month.

As a first time candidate, I was nervous about “doorbelling” the voters.  As it turns out, that was the most enjoyable part of the campaign.

For three months I walked every street in town, and as interesting as it was to see and become familiar with the neighborhoods, meeting all of you was the best part.

I even met some of my close-by neighbors for the first time.

Everyone was friendly.  Everyone cares for Woodinville. Most were concerned about the direction our fair city has taken the last few years.

My pledge to you is to work hard on council to bring back economic activity to help make Woodinville a more energized community by getting the city more involved in supporting local programs and activities and to work with everyone in an open and friendly manner.

If you come to a council meeting, please stop by to say hello.

If you don’t come to a meeting, hopefully, we will meet at some local event in the next year or two.

Again, thank you very much for your support.

Les Rubstello, Woodinville

The legislature (met last week) to address the projected $2.2 billion state revenue shortfall. While Washington state’s constitution proclaims that it is “the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children ...” and our governor’s budget proposal is guided by the principle that “our children deserve the best public education we can provide to ensure their future success and that of our state”, you can be sure that K-12 education, as well as many other important social services, will be impacted significantly over the next few months and years.

In the words of the governor, when she called back the Legislature: “While we have worked to adhere to these principles, reductions of this magnitude are impossible without harming many important programs and services.  ... The alternatives we have put forward could have dire repercussions for the citizens of our state, especially those who have already been affected the most by previous cuts to state services.”

Following year after year of state funding cuts to our schools, yet another reduction in funding could be devastating.

The education of our children is key if we are to look forward to a brighter future; reducing the quality of their schooling and expecting them to be contenders in an increasingly competitive workplace is like planting dandelions and expecting to harvest roses.

What can you do to get involved?

1) In times like these, our Legislature needs to hear from each and every one of us about the real impact these cuts have on our families.

Please send a note to your legislative representative, asking that the state honor the constitution and their paramount duty to provide for the education of our children.

2) Share your time and talents.

Contact your local school or the school’s PTA to see how you can support the programs that enrich your neighborhood school.

A myriad of skills are in demand: find out how you can assist the educational experience of our students.

3) Open your wallet to support education. The Northshore Schools Foundation is the fiduciary representative of parents and community members who believe in strong schools: that is you.

While we are unsure exactly what the impact of the state’s cuts will be, you can be assured that the Foundation is committed to helping our community address the gap.

Make a Bridging the Gap donation now so that when our district is faced with difficult local funding decisions, we can be there to help.

Karissa Webster

Co-President,  Northshore Schools Foundation

Kristin Auston

Co-President,  Northshore Schools Foundation

Carmin Dalziel

Executive Director,  Northshore Schools Foundation

Letters to the Editor - Nov. 14, 2011

  • Written by Readers

I’M NOT A STRANGER; I’M A NEIGHBOR

I was surprised to notice I made the front page of the 11/5 edition of the Weekly.Unfortunately it was not in a nice way — “Suspicious strangers reported in town.”

The third report mentioned in this article is about me. I found the stray dog near Mack´s Corner, I took her in over the weekend and made every possible effort to find the owners.

You can probably still see some of the posters I made at stores around the area. I won’t bore you with the story of the dog, but it turned out she had been abandoned and we ended up taking her to the shelter.

This letter is about the behavior of some neighbors northeast of Leota Junior High when I walked the dog while trying to find the owner.

At one the houses there was someone obviously inside who did not come out.

Then at the house where the police report came from, this lady did not even come out and was somewhat rude, answering in monosyllables and suggesting  I “report the dog to the police.”

I really did not expect to be the subject of one of those reports. I’ll concede I had not shaved that day and was not wearing my best Sunday clothes.

The cherry on the top occurred the next day when this lady and her husband (I presume) who were driving on 168th Avenue, stopped and snapped a picture of me.

I really hope I won’t be the first Google hit for “Woodinville Burglar.”

I feel sorry for the nice neighbors in the area –particularly the older man working on his garden and the young woman bringing in her horse, both of whom nicely tried to assist me and unfortunately had to deal with such rude neighbors.

Your Woodinville neighbor,

Alejandro López Baragaño

WATCH FOR DEER

Two weeks ago, a yearling buck deer was hit in the hind legs by a car. He managed to get as far as my backyard and then died.

The dead deer was found the next morning.

There are many deer in this part of the county and I have seen many of them crossing the road and jumping over fences.

I’m asking the county to put up “Watch for Deer” signs.

Let’s all be careful and not drive too fast up on Hollywood Hill.

Helen McMahon, Woodinville

AN OPEN LETTER TO NORTHSHORE CITIZENS:

Much has been made of the Northshore Education Association’s endorsement of me and their donation to my campaign to help me get my message out.

While the amount was unusual, it was legally given and correctly and openly disclosed to the Public Disclosure Commission.

I believe the association chose to endorse me because I view them as allies rather than adversaries in the work of educating our children.

In Washington state, unions are a reality, and I think it’s in our students’ best interest for us to work as collaborators.

The teachers’ union is peopled by those who teach our children (many are also Northshore parents) and we are so fortunate in our district to have passionate and gifted educators dedicated to that work.

I have not made promises to anyone outside the boardroom in the past 5 1/2 years and I won’t in the future should I be re-elected (ballots are still being counted).

I believe that the strength of a 5-member board lies in having 5 different voices, based on 5 different perspectives, carrying on a discussion in the boardroom and coming to a decision based upon consideration of those differing points of view.

I have built my understanding of district operations, layer upon layer, one conversation and one decision at a time, based on input from students, teachers, parents, community members and staff.

Each perspective has been important to my past decision making and will continue to be in the future.

I know that our children don’t get another shot at a quality education. Their only opportunity is now.

It’s only by working together as educators, parents and community that we can preserve and improve a system that meets our students’ needs.

There really is no other choice.

Janet Quinn, Kenmore

A HEARTFELT THANKS

Homeward Pet Adoption Center has been a member of the Bothell/Woodinville community for 21 years.  While we’ve always benefitted from the generosity of this community, as of this fall our incredible supporters have helped us move into a new facility more than double the size of our previous space.

We continue to be blown away by the generosity of everyone who helped us secure, build and prepare this amazing new space —  from the pet-loving property owners, to vendors and companies who donated their services and products, to hundreds of families and organizations that sponsored spaces in the building, kennels and tiles.

Your donations are saving lives. The increased space gives us the ability to rescue, shelter and adopt twice as many cats and dogs every year.

And because we’ve been able to build this shelter from the ground up (for the first time in our 21 years), our new facility will allow us to provide the best possible care for homeless dogs and cats and provide an improved adopter and volunteer experience.

You are helping us make a significant impact for those less fortunate in our community with the expansion of Homeward Pet’s Low Cost Spay & Neuter Services.

Increasing our spay and neuter capacity helps to ensure a cat or dog’s potentially unwanted offspring don’t end up abandoned or in shelters.

And opening in late fall, our Pet Food Bank, sponsored by Doggy Haven Resort, will distribute pet food and supplies to those local pet owners who love their pets dearly but are struggling to make ends meet.

Your gifts are inspiring so many more pet owners and pets alike and we truly appreciate all of the support.

We are celebrating our grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, with the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce and Deputy Mayor Jeff Glickman. The celebration continues all weekend, with tours during our adoption hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Join us to celebrate our grand opening, we’d love to show you the shelter you’ve helped us build.

And please accept a HUGE “Thank You” from the cats, dogs, staff and volunteers of Homeward Pet!

Terri Inglis, executive director, Homeward Pet Adoption Center

Letters to the Editor - Nov. 7, 2011

  • Written by Readers

FITNESS WALKS

I’m writing to respond to Rebecca Gerhart’s response to the letter about WHS “fitness walks.” First of all, that this is a topic to be “insulted and outraged” about suggests a need for prioritization. My daughters have also participated in these approximately 2-1/2 mile walks. I don’t particularly have a problem with them, although they certainly don’t provide the aerobic activity that a well-run PE class would. My daughters found them fun, and since they got their actual physical activity from sports teams they’re on, I didn’t mind them taking a walk and eating some junk food with friends once a week instead of doing yoga or aerobics.

My younger daughter was in PE last year for both semesters, and did these walks once a week, weather permitting. I asked her if the walks were well supervised and she laughed. The details? Two PE classes would go together, and she said that meant roughly 60 students and two teachers. She told me no other adults ever accompanied them. They walked to Starbucks, where the teachers would stay and drink coffee.

The students were free to go where they chose as long as they came back to Starbucks at the appointed time. She said that normally meant they had 30 minutes to go where they chose, completely unsupervised, while the teachers stayed in Starbucks. A friend of mine works downtown and confirmed that these students are most definitely not supervised while they’re downtown.

As far as local merchants suffering if they don’t get students in their stores during school hours — seriously? While I’m sure they enjoy the extra sales, they shouldn’t be counting on them because after all, generally speaking, during school hours students should be ... in school.

As I said, I know my daughters enjoyed these walks and found them more fun and far less strenuous than doing the PE activity they’d signed up for, so I didn’t mind signing the permission forms.

But to suggest that the students are well supervised the whole time is unrealistic and untrue.

Lynn Kirkpatrick, Woodinville

FIRE CHIEF

Were I a resident of Woodinville,  I would demand the city attorney file criminal charges of blackmail and/or extortion against Daniels, as his suit was filed solely “to inhance his pocketbook” as the extra $40,000 proved.

Jay Lyons, Bothell

GET enrollment now open

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

OLYMPIA — GET enrollment opened November 1 for families looking for a safe and convenient way to save for college. Record numbers of new accounts have been opened over the past three years, as thousands of parents opt for the state’s guarantee and GET’s flexible, tax-advantaged saving options. The new enrollment year runs November 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012.

More than 135,000 accounts have been opened since the program began in 1998.

The prepaid tuition program welcomed 15,284 new accounts last year, which was the second highest year ever for the program.

GET accounts can easily be used at nearly any public or private college, university or vocational school in the country. Already, GET students have used their accounts at colleges in all 50 states and five foreign countries. GET is a 529 plan offering tax-free growth and withdrawals. It is a self-sustaining program and is not dependent upon state general funds for ongoing operations.

The cost of one GET unit today is $163. The future value of 100 units is equal to one year of resident, undergraduate tuition and required state fees at the highest-priced Washington public university (UW or WSU), no matter how much tuition increases. Families can buy any amount from 1 to 500 units per student, and the average GET account holds just under 200 units. Betty Lochner, director of the GET program, encourages families to save an amount that fits best within their budget. “The important part is to get started,” she said, “and then have a plan to contribute regularly over the years. Even smaller amounts will add up over time.”

The value of a GET account is measured in “units.” The monetary value is the same wherever GET units are used. If a college costs more than UW or WSU, the student pays the difference. If it costs less, a GET account can also be applied towards room & board, books or other qualified expenses.

“We are expecting another strong year,” said Lochner. “With surging tuition costs, GET is a very good option, especially for families with young children. Parents who start early have the opportunity to save literally thousands of dollars on the future cost of college.”

Over 11 percent of new accounts are opened by a student’s grandparents.

GET’s Web site at http://www.get.wa.gov offers details, charts, planning tools and answers for many of the questions families may have about the program. Accounts can be opened online, and customer service staff is available at (800) 955-2318 to help in any way needed.

Letters to the Editor - Oct. 31, 2011

  • Written by Readers

VETERANS DAY

As Veterans Day approaches, I want to send a RAVE to Jubilee Cleaners, a family-owned cleaners in Woodinville, Wash.

On August 5, I stopped into the cleaners to pick up our son-in-law’s army dress uniform for my daughter and son-in-laws wedding reception.  The elderly gentleman helping me said he replaced the button on the upper right chest of the army jacket.

I asked him where he found the button.  He responded, “I took the button off my army uniform jacket.”

Here is a U.S. veteran helping a young army reservist as he begins his life serving our country.

Maureen Blum, Woodinville

QUESTIONABLE COFFEE SERVICE

Last year I permanently relocated my family to Woodinville (Snohomish County) as we really loved the area.  One of the reasons we selected our home was because it was in the Northshore School District which colleagues of mine had suggested.  Approximately  six months ago at the intersection of Maltby & State Route 9 (I believe this falls in the city of Snohomish) a “coffee stand” opened up staffed by girls in bikinis. One side of the no more than 10’x10’ building is all glass with a sliding glass door which allows these girls to be seen in plain view from the busy intersection.  This intersection is a popular route for Northshore school buses and today my 6-year-old daughter shared that she and her classmates “can see a girl in her underwear on the bus ride to/from school”.. Kids as young as 5 are being exposed to barely dressed women on a daily basis as they go to elementary school and I ask for your assistance in preventing this to continue.  Thank you!

James Campbell, Woodinville

WOODINVILLE WATER DISTRICT

The letter written by Michael Tanksley last week accused me of unspecified “inaccurate accounting” and then goes on to describe his concern with the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

I personally agree with Michael’s alarmist concern over the UGB. Unfortunately, the Woodinville Water Commissioners do not have jurisdiction or control over the boundary. For that reason they are not part of my WWD campaign. I only address the policies of WWD that are allowed by law. Those current WWD policies are a threat to the Woodinville “country living” lifestyle you also embrace.

For those of you concerned about being forced to hook-up to sewer, my position is simple. First, I will NOT force people who are on functioning septic systems to hook up. Second, I will not encourage or lobby for legislation that endangers our motto.

So, Michael, you see we are on the same side. It’s just that WWD and the commissioner job is not one that can control UGB decisions. But we can control the way that laws are crafted to protect the consumer as much as possible from the sewer encroachment that you clearly do no want. I welcome your support to guide our community in positive ways since my opponent clearly does not share our views by passing the laws they have. Those laws make it easier to force sewer connections, not to mention lobbying goals that are contrary to our goals.

I hope you will agree that our concern is real, honest and not false. We are addressing the areas of WWD that I can legally influence as a WWD commissioner.

In conclusion, your letter agrees with my position. Please work with us since it’s a job where we all need to have the same goal.

Jack Vermeulen, Candidate for Woodinville Water Commissioner

NORTHSHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

I grew up chanting that I bled that Bothell blue. Little did I know that even though I supported my school district, my school district did not support me. In 2006, I was a freshly grown Bothell graduate ready to make my way in the world. I headed first to Seattle Central Community College where I took a placement exam. That was my first realization that although I loved my hometown and my Bothell pride I was not up to snuff with the rest of the world. When my placement exam came back I was shocked to see that my math results placed me in the lowest math bracket that they offered.

Like most kids in elementary I was great at math but as soon as I entered fifth grade it all started to get confusing. Trying my hardest wasn’t enough; I always left school more confused thAn when I started. My pre-college years were spent going home and asking my mother (an art major) to help me with not only understanding the math but also understanding how the problem was written. Every year I became more confused and frustrated, the same thing could have been said for my teachers.

Everyday math or “fuzzy math” as I like to call it, not only left kids in the dark but it also did not prepare them for college.  I am one of the many that came out of that district not even close to college ready. Dawn McCravey heard many stories including mine and it is because of our stories of failure that she ran for the Northshore School Board. She not only hoped to change the math curriculum but to give kids the chance at a better future.

Since Dawn has been on the board we have seen many changes for the better, all focusing on the children of Northshore. The math has been updated ... Literacy curriculum has also gotten a face-lift in the last 3 1/2 years, not to mention the upcoming improvements to the science and many other programs. All of these changes happened in the last few years. While the boards before worried about where the next cut was going to be, the current board, with Board President Dawn McCravey, has done “magic” with what they have been given.

Dawn McCravey brought back learning to our schools; she gave children the chance to achieve.

As we all should know, giving children that chance to achieve their goals is the same as giving ourselves the chance to have goals worth achieving in our future.  Dawn McCravey has known this all along.

Katie Bell, Bothell

It is hard to believe it has been 3½ years since the Northshore School District (NSD) proposed closing Woodin Elementary to save money. Parents across Woodinville loudly opposed the plan, which would have destroyed an award-winning Dual-Language Program, and relocated about 1000 students from their neighborhood schools.  Only one member of the School Board in place at that time was willing to meet with parents to hear their concerns – Dawn McCravey.  I feel confident that if it had come to a vote, Ms. McCravey would have been the only School Board member to vote no on the closure proposal.

Since that time, NSD has undergone significant and positive changes.  We have a new Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents, and 3 new School Board members (2 members lost re-election over their stand on the school closure).  The new school board has approved a new set of goals for the district – measurable goals that will prepare more of our students to be ready for college or their chosen careers.

Teachers are being supported with new curricula and training.  The most recent new curriculum prior to that was everyday math – and we all know what a disaster that math program was!  In some classes, teachers were using materials that were 18 years old.  Now, there is a schedule for updating curricula in every class.

At the school board candidate forum, one of the questions pertained to the fact that some schools in the district are over-enrolled, while some are so small that they have begun to lose staff that serve students —  specialists and possibly even their librarian.  I paid attention to how each of the four candidates answered this question, as several elementaries in Woodinville fall into this category – Cottage Lake, Hollywood Hill, Eastridge and Sunrise are all underenrolled.

All candidates agreed this is a problem, but the differences in the answers offered by Ms. McCravey and her opponent, BZ Davis, stood out. Ms. Davis, who served for 16 years on the Northshore School Board (during the time when the district had weak goals and was not updating curriculum), clearly indicated that she would be willing to close school(s). Ms. McCravey offered a potential solution — magnet schools, which offer parents choices and attract students and their state funding from other districts.

To me, the choice in this election is clear: we can go backward, or continue moving forward with innovative, student-centric ideas.  I choose to move forward with Dawn McCravey.

Nancy Chamberlain, Woodinville

WOODINVILLE FIRE & RESCUE COMMISSIONER

I am a firefighter for Woodinville Fire & Rescue, and have been honored to perform that service to this community for 26 years (2 years as a volunteer, prior to becoming a full time paid employee). I have also resided in the Woodinville community for the past 31 years. I am very concerned about the direction that the district has taken in the last 18 months — not just as a firefighter, but also as a parent and as a resident of Woodinville.

Public Education from our fire department has been slashed.

My children have been recipients of the fire district public education programs through their pre-school, elementary, junior high and high school years, and those education programs no longer exist.

The department no longer offers infant car seat checks to those new parents delivering at local hospitals.

No longer does your fire department provide bicycle safety presentations or offer low cost bicycle helmets, as well as helmet fitting.

The fire department no longer contracts with Northshore School District to host the NEVAC program, a vocational high school program, which introduces students to careers in public safety.

I also now work for, live, shop and recreate in a district that has gutted its fire prevention office. This office is responsible for fire safety inspections, for local businesses and schools, new construction plan reviews and code enforcement. It concerns me that the safety of my family, neighbors and friends in this community, as we go about working and living in this district, has been compromised.

There is an obvious solution: CHANGE. It’s time for a new voice on the board of fire commissioners, and I’m very happy to see Mark Emery running for the position.

I have worked with Mark Emery my whole career with Woodinville Fire and Rescue and can personally vouch for his character. He is very capable, hard working and honest and has impeccable integrity. He, like me, is a long time resident of this fire district, chose to raise his family here and has the community interests at heart.

I will be voting for Mark Emery to change the direction of our fire service, and I ask you to do the same.

Ross Van Vactor, Woodinville

I have over 10 years of experience on the administrative side of Woodinville Fire and Rescue, and I am supporting Mark Emery for fire commissioner. I have looked at his resume, his record of service, and his education.

I want to know that the person who sits behind the desk knows how to run a fire commission.

That means understanding the issues, understanding the service, understanding the people and understanding the budget.

Mark Emery has all the experience and more to do a superb job on our fire commission, and I have a lot of respect for his background and his priorities. He knows what the firefighters need, he knows what the taxpayers want, and he knows the critical importance of providing emergency service efficiently and properly.

I am deeply troubled by the cutting of education and prevention services, and I’m concerned by this fire commission allowing Woodinville Fire and Rescue’s accreditation to lapse.

These are unacceptable reductions in service and they should never have happened. Mark Emery will put WF&R back on the right track. Please vote for Mark Emery.

Pam Crawford, Bothell

FITNESS WALKS

I would like to respond to K. Brady’s letter regarding the Woodinville High School fitness walks.

As a parent, of a student participating in these walks I am insulted and outraged at several of K. Brady’s remarks.

First, it is not the job of one local busybody to tell me what activities and snacks are appropriate for my child.   Students walk 3+ miles on this excursion, so if my daughter chooses to buy a beverage at Jamba Juice or a cup of frozen yogurt at TCBY, it is none of Brady’s business.  I signed the permission slip allowing my child to participate in these walks because I feel that the walks are a creative and fun way to exercise.

However, if I hadn’t signed the permission slip I can think of worse ways to spend a two-hour block period than in the beautiful WHS library reading or working on homework.

Additionally, I have been in the downtown area during these walks quite a few times and I know with absolute certainty that the students are supervised by the PE teachers and other district employees and to suggest otherwise is irresponsible.

I haven’t seen any objectionable behavior and I am offended by the implication that our teachers’ pay should be docked during the fitness walks.

Finally, I have to wonder how many Woodinville merchants would like to thank K. Brady for their immediate loss in business.  As far as I am concerned, K. Brady was totally off the mark!

Rebecca Gerhardt, Woodinville

INFORMATION NEEDED

Does anyone have any information who put what once was a hydraulic dam that stands in Cottage Lake Creek between The Polo Club and the Homestead Division l?

From what I have been told the 40 acres just south of the Tolt Pipeline was owned by the Kindall family and the Tourtelo’s … I’m not sure of the spelling.  I also heard that the property was once a pig farm.

I would like any information available as to who put in the dam, what it was used for. (I presume it generated electricity)  and when it was built.  I also would like copies of any pictures if there are any.

Jeanne Hannah, Woodinville

HIBULB CULTURAL CENTER

The Spirit and History of the Tulalip Tribes at the new Hibulb Cultural Center (9/5 edition) was fascinating and much appreciated.

The Duwamsh Longhouse in Seattle has a similar story.

I also noticed that Brightwater’s grand opening last month ((9/19 edition) featured a Blessing of the Water ceremony by local tribes.

Last spring Transition Woodinville welcomed Puyallup tribe members to offer a blessing of the Woodinville Heritage Garden.  These cultural activities not only enrich all of us but help to heal wounds of the past.

Trish Knox, via email

DANGEROUS BUS STOP

My daughter is a sixth grader at Kokanee Elementary.  She is a member of band and orchestra and therefore rides the Leota bus T33 every morning. She catches the bus at Maltby Road and Little Bear Creek Road. The bus stops as it is traveling East on Maltby Road. The children are required to cross Maltby Road to board the bus.  This is a new stop this year; in prior years the bus came down Little Bear Creek Road to pick up the students.

This is an unsafe bus stop.  We are two months into the school year and there have already been 2 incidents where children were nearly run over by a car. The first incident was on September 12 when a car almost didn’t stop as the children were entering the road to cross to get on the bus.

The second occurrence was just this week when a student who was running late ran into the road after the bus driver had pulled in her sign and cars going in the opposite direction had already started to go. This incident was so disturbing that my daughter told me the bus driver even started crying because the girl came so close to being hit.

I will also add that this is the same location that had a five car pileup in August and I, myself, have almost been hit twice.  This is not a safe location for a bus stop.It is a dark, busy road.  Drivers can be distracted in the morning and are in a hurry to get where they are going.  The mornings are dark now, often foggy and will soon be icy as well.

I have made two requests to the Transportation Department to have the bus stop changed.  In September I asked that the bus stop be moved to Little Bear Creek Road where it had been in previous years and my request was denied.  Simply telling the students that they need to wait until the bus driver gives them the “all clear” (Transportation’s solution) is not good enough as became obviously clear on Monday morning.  I submitted my second request in early October and asked that if it couldn’t be moved to Little Bear Creek Road, that possibly the bus could pick up the students as it is traveling Westbound on Maltby Road instead, so that they wouldn’t have to cross the road.  My request was again denied due to “time constraints.”

I do not know who is responsible for setting up the bus routes, but clearly this person is more concerned with their timetables than with the lives of our children.  My requests for change have been refused out of hand.  To my knowledge, no one from the transportation department has even bothered to come and observe the danger of this situation firsthand, but instead they choose to stand behind what appears to be an arbitrary route change.

We should not be putting our children in danger like this every morning.  What I’m hearing from the transportation department is that our children’s lives are not worth 10 minutes.  This is not a risk we should be taking when there is an alternate solution.

Tammy Malloy, Woodinville

In a later letter: My daughter told me last night that their bus driver advised them that the bus route would be changing.I’d like to say thank you to anyone who may have helped facilitate this change.  I am very appreciative.

Tammy Malloy