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Letters to the Editor - July 30, 2012

  • Written by Readers

PROTECT FARMLAND


The farms in the Sammamish Valley are special. Not only are is the open space a big part of our city’s beauty, the lands also provide opportunities for new farmers and help support our local wine-tourism industry.

Unfortunately, there’s currently a proposal before the King County Council that would expand the urban growth area and allow sprawl into the valley -- losing our farmlands forever.  As there is plenty of land available within the city limits for urban growth, this is completely unnecessary.

Please support protecting our farmland and tell the King County Council to vote down the proposal. You can learn more at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5127/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11079.

Rachel McCarthy, Woodinville


CANDIDATES


Northshore’s teachers, librarians, nurses and para-educators ask you to re-elect Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe.  We are proud of the high quality of the Northshore schools and credit Rosemary with much of Northshore’s success.

Northshore needs Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe in Olympia continuing to provide leadership on education funding and reform!

Sen. McAuliffe laid the foundations for Northshore’s success during her many years on the Northshore School Board from 1977 to 1991.  She created a district culture of collaboration between teachers, administrators, school board members and the community.

Rosemary created this culture by asking teachers: “What’s working and what’s not working?” and bringing people together to make improvements.

In the Senate since 1993, she has continued to bring people together, to ask educators what they need for their students to succeed and to pass legislation that has improved our schools.

She has two well-financed opponents. All of us are likely to receive many postcards from them filled with misinformation in the coming weeks.

Dawn McCravey is a Republican who has done everything possible to divide our school district. On the school board for four years, her “My Way or the Highway” attitude and her advocacy for the latest education fads (instead of talking with actual classroom teachers about what’s working and not working) has been an obstacle. Fortunately, she is an outlier on the school board, and we have a solid Northshore administration.   Northshore’s success is in spite of Dawn, not because of her.

Guy Palumbo, a retired Amazon executive running as a Democrat, is well-intended, but offers no compelling reason to unseat Rosemary (chair of the Senate Education Committee), whose accomplishments dwarf his.

Like McCravey, he is relying on wealthy individuals and groups outside of our community to fund his effort.

Rosemary’s experience has served Northshore exceedingly well.

Let’s continue to benefit from her leadership in Olympia!

Tim Brittell, President

Northshore Education Assn


I read an article about Darshan Rauniyar, one of the five Democratic candidates in the 1st Legislative District, last fall and I was so impressed with what I read that I volunteered to work in his campaign (the first time I have ever volunteered in a political campaign in my 45 adult years).

I continue to be impressed with him, but as the only non-career candidate and the only candidate not accepting special interest money, he hasn’t gotten the attention that the other candidates have.  Darshan is originally from Nepal.

He came here to go to college, stayed and started a family and built a successful business.  He is acutely aware of the American Dream, how unique and

precious it is, and how it is being eroded.

As an independent thinker, a successful business and family man, and someone with a valuable global perspective, he is exactly what our Congress needs!

At a time when partisan politics is dividing and immobilizing our government (and thereby, our nation), we need someone who is guided by his ideals and his common sense.

He deserves the consideration and support of every voter who truly wants a change in Congress.

Julia Craig, Bothell


Rosemary McAuliffe was elected to the Washington State Legislature nearly 20 years ago.  During that time Washington state has fallen to 45th in the nation in terms of education funding. Class sizes have increased, leaving our classrooms among the most crowded in the nation.

Our state legislature wasted over a BILLION dollars on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL).  School districts were burdened with having to purchase expensive curriculum designed to “teach to the test.”  These curricula left many of our students ill prepared for college.

Several years ago I [met]with Rosemary McAuliffe. We discussed the WASL and its negative impact on the children of Washington.  She agreed that the WASL was a flawed test that was not meeting the needs of our students.  When asked if she would sponsor or support a bill to remove the WASL, she refused to do so, stating that, as a Democrat, she did not want to put such a bill before the governor, knowing that the governor would veto it. She said that she wouldn’t put a fellow Democrat in such a position.  It was clear to me that her party politics and friendship with the governor were more important to McAuliffe than the children of Washington.

Despite McAuliffe’s opposition, the WASL was eventually removed as an assessment tool.

McAuliffe has repeatedly blocked efforts to improve education for our children.  Her refusal to allow key pieces of education reform to even be heard in Olympia is part of the reason the Seattle Times refused to endorse McAuliffe, stating that as education committee chair McAuliffe “resisted and stymied key reforms” and that she failed to provide the leadership necessary to affect positive change in Olympia.

Dawn McCravey is willing to listen to parents and educators.  She has proven during her time on the Northshore School Board that she is willing to make the difficult choices, putting the needs of the students above all else.

Dawn McCravey has often been the sole voice on the Northshore School Board, voting against cutting school nurses, standing firmly and consistently against school closure.

Berta Phillips, Bothell


As a 3rd grade teacher in Northshore, I’ve been down to Olympia to lobby on behalf of what I think is best  for students.  Specifically, I want  to make sure that in the rush to close the achievement gap, we do not pass legislation that prompts districts and educators to focus a disproportionate amount of resources on a specific group.  My mantra is some students need more time, but all students need some time.

I’ve lobbied in from of Rosemary McAuliffe on at least three occasions.  I’ve found her to be respectful of opposing viewpoints and mindful of unintended consequences of well-intended legislation.  I see her as intelligent, well-informed, and willing to communicate.

I’m writing because my experience with Senator McAuliffe differs greatly than the image projected in the Seattle Times endorsement article for the seat:

(http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2018563867_edit02legedist1.html).

While she’s certainly open to hearing the viewpoints of educators, I did not get the impression that her priorities are “demonstrated loyalties to the education establishment” but rather a dedication to do what is best for students.

I respect all the candidates in this race and need to learn as much as I can about all of them before I feel comfortable making a decision.  That’s my responsibility as a democratic citizen.

From my personal experience, I will definitely weigh Senator McAuliffe’s focus on students first, knowledge of education issues, and pragmatism along with her track record when it comes time to pick up my black ink pen and fill in the bubble.

David Schneider


I’ve  noticed an increase in negative campaigning against candidates for state office.  In the race for state senate (Legislative District 1), the NSEA’s union president is making false and misleading accusations against Northshore School Director Dawn McCravey, who is challenging the incumbent Rosemary McAuliffe. ...

Let’s put aside all the negativity and look at what we need from a District 1 State Senator.

Both the leading candidates, Dawn McCravey and Rosemary McAuliffe, are hard working and dedicated to public service.  Both their strengths are in education. This is not an insignificant issue because educational needs and priorities take up about one-half of our state’s budget. We need a senator that understands and puts in place educational policies that are effective.

In other words, have our children’s lives and education been improved by their terms in office?  Do we have well qualified and adequate staff and teachers? Have the candidates demonstrated fiscal responsibility?

One ongoing, highly debated and extremely costly issue in education has been high stakes testing. McAuliffe, as the chair of the Senate Education Committee,  supports and funded high stakes testing for the past decade.

Dawn McCravey opposes it as a measure of student ability.  More recently, there’s debate over the inclusion of charter schools as alternatives to regular public schools.

Dawn McCravey supports charter schools as an option for students, McAuliffe does not support this option. As voters, these are some of the issues in education that we need to consider when making our senate selection.

Additionally, District 1 constituents need to consider how our senator will help improve our quality of life.  Are we happy with our current economic situation? Do we see more economic opportunities for ourselves and our children, or have our opportunities dwindled?  Is the state mindful of maintaining our natural resources, supporting our parks and ensuring our waterways, air and soil stay unpolluted?

... I encourage everyone to carefully research the candidates, ask questions and seek answers and make the best decision that you can make.

Lying (Lyng) Wong, Bothell


I applaud each and every candidate for caring so much about this country that they want to represent their communities by standing up for election.

And for me, whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent is not as important as whether they are the right person for the job.  As far as Dawn McCravey is concerned I think she is the right candidate for state senate.

I say this because as an advocate within the Northshore School District I have seen her stand up for issues when no one else would because they were just causes. She is honest, caring and above all wants accountability and transparency within any publically funded institution.

Annette Whelan, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - July 23, 2012

  • Written by Readers

For all the many bright gold and red Dawn McCravey signs that litter our streets, being able to read her party affiliation is near impossible. And no matter how large she makes her billboard-sized signs, GOP (aka Republican), is still too small and faint to read … and out of compliance with the PDC (Public Disclosure Commission) regulations. Is she embarrassed to associate herself with the Republican brand that is taking apart public education in states like Wisconsin?

Cathy Ferbrache-Garrand, Bothell


Do we want to have happen in what’s left in agricultural land here in our valley? Look what happened in the once flourishing beautiful Kent Valley.

Once many vegetable farms, dairies, bulb, flower farms, now all gone. Only one dairy left, a small one, all else warehouses, factories, businesses, etc.

I read the article last week and am glad to know she feels like a few others, about the efforts some are trying to obtain more of our valley for commercial use.

There are many people working in Woodinville, but don’t live here, so do the owners of establishments so they aren’t concerned about what is being done to try to take more of what’s left of this fertile farmland.

Thank goodness the zipline wasn’t allowed by the county. People did a good job in making people realize what would have happened to our peaceful Hollywood Hill and surrounding area (including schools, parks, riding arena, saddle club).

We must keep aware of what’s going on.

Helen McMahon, Woodinville


I think it is an amazing idea to build the sports park. I think it’s a good idea because it’s useful for many sports and games. It will also be a great place to spend time with family and friends. Another great thing about the park is there is enough parking for everyone so that means no parking in neighborhoods close by. There will be free activities for every age, and there will be many sports to play. There will be additional sports fields for football, soccer, and LAX, which will make it easier and closer to go to a game.

There are going to be indoor facilities, so that means no rain-outs. Also, there will an off-leash area for dogs, which will make it easier, instead of going to Marymoor Dog Park.

There are going to be some concerns, but I also have some solutions. There could be a littering problem, but there could be a lot of garbage cans around the area. Mess from dogs could also be a problem, so there could be “Doggie Stations”, like at Marymoor Dog Park. There would no longer be a golf club, but there is also Echo Falls close by. The lights might be a problem, so there could be a timer so the lights could turn off at a certain time.

Environmental preservation is also wanted around Woodinville, so they could have a part where it’s woods and/or remain a wetland. There is also one problem of stormwater flooding, but like at the Carol Edwards Fields, the synthetic fields could have drains under them to stop the flooding.

Like I said before I think this will be an amazing addition to the Woodinville community.

Elaine Tarter, 5th Grade, Wellington Elementary

Letters to the Editor - July 16, 2012

  • Written by Readers

The farms in the Sammamish Valley are special.

Not only is the open space a big part of our city’s beauty, the lands also provide opportunities for new farmers and help support our local wine-tourism industry.

Unfortunately, there’s currently a proposal before the King County Council that would expand the urban growth area and allow sprawl into the valley —  losing our farmlands forever.  As there is plenty of land available within the city limits for urban growth, this is completely unnecessary.

Please support protecting our farmland and tell the King County Council to vote down the proposal. You can learn more at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5127/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11079

Andy and Teresa Delano

Woodinville


As a 63-year-old man, I decided that it was time to think about a will, and with that came questions regarding organ donation.

In researching this, I found that although my driver’s license listed me as an organ donor, it’s didn’t necessarily mean that I could donate all of my organs.

In my search to find out how “Total Body Donation” works, I contacted [an Everett-area hospital].

After being forwarded to several different people, I was soon put in touch with “the person in charge of the ER” who I hoped would answer my questions.

Unfortunately, that conversation didn’t go well.

One of the several questions I asked included: “What condition does a body have to be in to be able to use their organs? Does it matter what the cause of death is?” (Heart attack, car wreck or gunshot wound, to name a few).

This question got me put on hold and soon I was connected with another person at the hospital who was afraid I was talking about killing myself  – which I wasn’t.

This situation went from bad to worse and soon the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department was at my doorstep and escorting me to the hospital, thinking I was suicidal.

After my clothes were confiscated, guards placed at my door and four hours later, I was able to go home to my wife.

However, I now have a police record and a medical record that states, “I wanted to know that if I came to the hospital and shot myself in the head, could I donate my organs,” which I never said. My concern is that these records may hurt me in the future.

My intent in writing this is to warn others not to have complete trust in professional healthcare workers.

Even they make mistakes sometimes.

One simple question got misconstrued; all I wanted was to be able to help others after I die.

Joe Ashead, Lake Stevens


I have lived in my house for 30 years. My home, out of all the homes in our neighborhood, has the most flowers/trees/bulbs and shrubs. We are a registered wildlife habitat. We have squirrels that do not destroy our gardens, birds that nest and dine in our gardens and we have hummingbirds feeding year round.

Even when we have snow during the winter we enjoy them at our feeders. And  [we have pleasant deer visits] from time to time.

My neighbors do not enjoy that part of rural life and they are entitled to feel that way. But what is upsetting is when they let me know they have poisoned squirrels or trapped them.

We have squirrels year round. We enjoy them feeding in our feeders, running around chasing each other. [We like getting to know them] and seeing the regulars come back each day to the feeders.

I went from 8 to 10 squirrels in my back yard feeders to just one this month.

One might say it could be something else.  I hope that is the case.

I would challenge any one person to get up in the morning and picture your back yard (home) without the sounds of birds, butterflies fluttering in the garden and squirrels chasing each other. What would it sound like?  Ghost town mentality.

Today, I feel we have become so busy that we are forgetting to stop, relax and enjoy what God has created for our earthly pleasure .

God did not intend for creatures to be trapped or poisoned, but for us to find God even in the enjoyment of His Creation.

We enjoy and take time to walk and listen to the sounds of BEAUTY within our own home.

Rural or city, the sounds of birds singing is as relaxing as the sound of the waves crashing on the ocean beaches.

Linda Duenow, Bothell


I have no idea where [the letter writer] got the erroneous information that Reuben sandwiches originated in Nebraska — possibly from the song lyrics” Reuben. Reuben I been thinking ...”?

The Reuben sandwich originated more than 2,000 miles to the east, at Reuben’s delicatessen in Manhattan. They were famous for this combination of pastrami, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on toasted bread.

On trips to NYC I would usually stop in for this famous sandwich, until the deli closed.

Dr. Leonard M. Guss, Woodinville

Guest Editorial - Leota Junior High

  • Written by Leota’s WEB Coordinators

We want to inform readers about an exciting opportunity at Leota Junior High. Research confirms that the transition from elementary school to middle school can be stressful for young people, contributing to bullying, substance abuse, and other disciplinary issues.

Luckily, there is more we can do to reduce the incidence of such behaviors, while increasing a sense of connection to school.The staff at Leota Junior High is committed to implementing the WEB program, which stands for Where Everybody Belongs.

WEB is the most researched middle school transition program in the country, with a demonstrated ability to:

•increase school attendance;

• reduce disciplinary referrals;

•  decrease alcohol, tobacco, and drug consumption; and

• improve overall school climate.

How does it work? 9th graders, carefully selected from a cross-section of the student body, go through powerful leadership training curriculum.

Then, these 9th grade students mentor incoming 7th graders, guiding them toward academic and social success.

We are currently struggling to find funding for this program. Won’t you join us in bringing this research-based, cost effective program to our community?

Your tax-deductible contribution will bring us one step closer to making this vision a reality. For more information, please our WEB Coordinators: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Together, we can make Leota Junior High a place Where Everybody Belongs.

_______________________

Ryan Adams and Kathleen Hartman

Leota Junior High

19301 168th Ave NE

Woodinville WA 98072

408-6540

Letters to the Editor - July 9, 2012

  • Written by Readers

POLITICAL SIGNS

Open letter to the thieves and vandals attacking campaign signs in the 1st Legislative District:

It is election season once again and sadly, as in past elections, someone is targeting the campaign signs of Dawn McCravey, candidate for state Senate in the 1st Legislative District.

Perhaps the thieves and vandals do not realize that their actions are illegal. RCW 29A.84.040 states that “a person who removes or defaces lawfully placed political advertising including yard signs or billboards without authorization is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable to the same extent as a misdemeanor that is punishable under RCW 9A.20.021.

The defacement or removal of each item constitutes a separate violation.”

The sentence for stealing or vandalizing campaign signs is up to 90 days in jail, or a fine of up to a thousand dollars, or both imprisonment and a fine for each violation.

Beyond just the legal ramifications from these unlawful acts is the fact that by attacking the campaign signs of a candidate you don’t support you only succeed in making the other candidates look bad.

You see, when you steal or vandalize Dawn McCravey’s signs, it gives the appearance that one of her opponents is behind your actions.

Your sleazy behavior in regard to Dawn’s signs reflects badly on Guy Palumbo and Rosemary McAuliffe.

It makes them look guilty. It’s just bad politics no matter how you look at it.

Berta Phillips, Bothell


Could someone remind me again: in the upcoming election, are we suppose to vote for the person with the most signs, or the one with the best design?

Karen Holt, Woodinville