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Letters to the Editor - August 26, 2013

  • Written by Readers

A GUERILLA GARDENER IN HOLLYWOOD HILL?

We have just moved to Woodinville (Hollywood Hill) around one month ago.

The house we bought had been a foreclosure and had been completely remodeled.  I am guessing by the number of people who slow down outside it and stare, it must have been in a pretty dire state and judging by the Bing Maps pictures, it was in a pretty dilapidated state. 

Anyway, in the last couple of days, someone has very kindly (and a little bit scarily) left a beautiful large bouquet of geraniums in one of the empty plant pots we’ve put outside the house. 

We have no idea who it is – possibly a neighbor or someone else, which has led me to wonder if there is a guerilla gardener on the loose in the Woodinville Hollywood Hill area?  It was a lovely gesture.

Thanks & Kind Regards, James Whelan

 

PARKING PROBLEM IN WOODINVILLE

Dear retailers, restaurants and any others that rely on the public for their income:

Walking was hard, especially from the parking lot. Since I was so slow I had the time to look around and observe the parking in Woodinville. I was completely surprised by the overwhelming number of businesses that allow their employees to park as close as they can to the business’s front door at the expense of the paying customers who have a hard time finding parking.

For some businesses, it’s easy to spot employee cars as some have their store, restaurant, etc., name on the vehicle.

Others it’s easy to tell as the closest spaces are taken way before the store is open.

Others, you can tell because the cars never move until shifts are over.

What does this show me?

The employee is more important than the customer who is shopping there, paying the salary and the money to keep the business open.

Parking is not really easy here.

Just to let you know how important I am as a customer and I will park accordingly — in front of your business or in front of a business in Bothell, Redmond or Kirkland.

Kathryn E. Laine

 

WHO ARE THEY?

By now, many Woodinville residents have received a call from an organization called Ethical Woodinville. What I found disturbing about this call and the organization’s website is that there is no reference to who this organization represents.

I ask those involved with Ethical Woodinville to disclose who they are and engage in a civil discourse of how to improve the way City Council operates for the benefit of our city.   

Further I hope that this is not the beginning of another negative election campaign and I hope the residents of Woodinville ignore anonymous websites like this one and will evaluate the candidates for what they have done for the City in the past, what they think the issues are for the future and how they will be addressed.  Only then can voters make an intelligent decision on which candidate best matches their values and vision for Woodinville.

Jim Dunlap, Woodinville,

THANK YOU

The Celebrate Woodinville 2013 Concert Series and Festival are history and a great new tradition has been created in Woodinville. "It was an honor and pleasure to partner with the City of Woodinville and Woodinville Wine Country," said Woodinville Chamber of Commerce executive director, Dave Witt. "Working together, we successfully achieved our mission to bring Woodinville residents together for family-oriented events, encourage a sense of community, and promote Woodinville’s wineries, breweries, local businesses, agriculture, and unique character to visitors from the Puget Sound Region."

Many organizations and individuals played a role in the success of these events. We extend our sincere appreciation to each of you.

Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor:  EvergreenHealth.

Gold Sponsors: 4Culture, Fairwinds-Brittany Park, Frontier Communications, Northshore YMCA, The Woodinville Weekly, Waste Management.

Silver Sponsors: Cascadia Community College, Gentle Dental, McLendon Hardware, Portraits by Carol Hook, Tom Quigley, arborist, Union Bank.

Woodinville Leadership Challenge: Precor

Friends of Woodinville: Bassett Home Heating, Northshore Schools Foundation, Puget Sound Energy, Sterling Bank, University of Washington Bothell, Westhill, Inc., WIN Home Inspection, Windermere Real Estate Woodinville, Woodinville Sport & Spine.

Community Friends

Starbucks Woodinville II

Woodinville Alliance Church

Woodinville Community United Methodist Church

Woodinville Bicycle

Volunteers

Julie Boselly, Woodinville Weekly

Liz Aspen, Woodinville city councilmember

Bill Ledbetter, Go 2 IT Guys, LLC

Debbie Peterson, Peterson LTC

Bob and Jeanie Rash, Sound Business Development

Diane Kolb and Ed Wegner, Children’s Country Home

Brenda Vanderloop, 21 Acres

Teresa Nelson, Windermere Real Estate

Brad Bossio, Welcomemat Services

Bob Green, WIN Home Inspection

Bob Platte, Colonial Life & Accident Insurance

Lucy DeYoung

Rob Raile, Whidbey Island Bank

Charlie Murphy, Whidbey Island Bank

Brian Bass, Whidbey Island Bank

Wineries

Ancestry Cellars

Auclair Winery

Brian Carter Cellars

Castillo de Feliciana

Convergence Zone Cellars

Davenport Cellars

DeLille Cellars

DiStefano Winery

Dusted Valley

EFESTÉ

Elevation Cellars

Eye of the Needle Winery

Forgeron Cellars

Gard Vintners

Goose Ridge Estate Winery

Isenhower Cellars

J. Bookwalter Wines

Lauren Ashton Cellars

Matthews Estate

Page Cellars

Patterson Cellars

Pondera Winery

Silver Lake Winery

Smasne Cellars

Sparkman Cellars

The Woodhouse Wine Estates

Vortex Cellars

Woodinville Wine Cellars

Breweries

Brickyard Brewing

Dirty Bucket Brewing Co

Triplehorn Brewing Co

Twelve Bar Brews

Food Vendors

Barking Frog Mobile Kitchen

Gobble Food Truck

French Bakery at the Vineyard

Twisted Café

Pasta Nova Italian Restaurant

Crafted

Wellington Chocolates

TNT Treats

Planning Committee

Dave Witt, Woodinville Chamber of Commerce

Robin Sell, Woodinville Chamber of Commerce

Tiffany Stetson, Goose Ridge Estate Winery

Susan Straub-Martin, Strauberry Studios

Bob and Jeanie Rash, Sound Business Development

Michael Charlton, Friend of the Chamber

Laurie Cook, Wordsmith Diva

Mike Stevens, Brian Carter Cellars

Sandra Lee, Woodinville Wine Country

Alexandra Sheeks, City of Woodinville

Valerie Schick, Woodinville Farmers Market

Julie Jacobson, YMCA

  

Letters to the Editor - August 19, 2013

  • Written by Readers

CELEBRATE WOODINVILLE

I never had the pleasure of knowing Carol Edwards, the "Mother of Woodinville" and organizer of the first All Fool’s Day Parade, but I can only imagine how proud she must have been looking down from heaven seeing neighbors and friends come together at Celebrate Woodinville. 

What a truly fun and joyful event for our community! 

Sincere thanks to Dave Witt, Suzanne Rollins and Robin Sell of the Chamber of Commerce for taking the lead to make this such a successful event. While I am sure that the challenges leading up to Celebrate Woodinville were many, the end result appeared flawless.

Thank you, also, to Commissioner Brad Walker and Councilmember Liz Aspen for collaborating with Precor to raise money for local charities through "The Precor Challenge." 

Your dedication and efforts will benefit our community in ways you could have never imagined.

My family, friends and I are already looking forward to next year’s Celebrate Woodinville!!

Rick Chatterton, Woodinville

We would like to congratulate The Chamber of Commerce and the City of Woodinville and all of the partners on a wonderful Celebrate Woodinville Festival.

We would like to give a big thank you to Precor for their partnership and generosity in the Woodinville Leadership Challenge.

Without their donation of exercise equipment for the day and a piece of equipment for a raffle we would not have raised nearly $3,000 for Woodinville Storehouse Food Bank and Northshore Backpacks for Kids.

It was very gratifying to see elected officials, commissioners, city staff and businesses come together to support our local community in a meaningful way, and have a great time exercising in public no less.

Thank you to our participants:

Ron Dembowski – King County Council

Les Rubstello  – Woodinville City Council

Paulette Bauman – Woodinville City Council

Liz Aspen – Woodinville City Council

Rick Chatterton – Woodinville Water District Commissioner

Sandra Smith – Woodinville Water District Commissioner

Mark Wiitala – Planning Commissioner

Kevin Stadler – Planning Commissioner

Paula Waters – Planning Commissioner

Steve Yabroff – Planning Commissioner

Brad Walker – Parks & Rec Commissioner

Norm Maddex – Parks & Rec Commissioner

Zach Schmitz – City Staff

Dr. Lanika Buchanan – Health Moves

Lucy DeYoung – Ideal Office Suites

Kay Taylor – Evergreen Hospital

Jan Newton – The Collective On Tap

Chelsey Easton – McLendon Hardware

Ken Kelleigh – McLendon Hardware

Tom Quigley – Arborist

Julie Boselly – Publisher Woodinville Weekly

Gib Aspen

Stefan Aspen

James Evans

Also, a big thank you to our major donors:

Senator Andy Hill

Fairwinds Brittany Park

North Creek Self Storage

Councilmember Scott Hageman

Councilmember Les Rubstello

Kristin & Robert Gulledge

Robb Anderson – Northwest Trophies

Larry Francois – Superintendent Northshore School District

McLendon Hardware

Health Moves Naturopathic Medicine

Kay Taylor

Lucy DeYoung

Water Commissioner Rick Chatterton

Water Commissioner Karen Steeb

Liz Aspen & Brad Walker

 

SECRET GROUP AT WORK?

Why are thousands upon thousands of dollars being spent by an anonymous political PAC to affect the outcome of Woodinville’s City Council election this fall?

Who is this anonymous group trying to influence our citizens with expensive robo-calls to our homes and websites full of innuendo and false statements?

Citizens sign their name at the bottom of what they write. King County publishes where we live, what we paid for our homes and yes if you want to see the Deed of Trust (bank note) for our homes you can call any Title Company in the county.

I have to declare my name and address when I speak at council meetings.

We all have to declare our names and addresses when we request records from City Hall. 

Yet this so called political PAC, "Ethical Woodinville" won’t declare who they are and have not registered with the state of Washington, Public Disclosure Commission. This secret group "Ethical Woodinville" just filed a request for records at our City Hall without declaring their names or address which is against our city policy and not the standard our very own citizens are held to.

Yet your city staff is releasing information to this anonymous political group without question. Why?

So much good has been done over the last four years in our city.

New development is underway in our downtown, the city budget is in the black, our roads are being paved and plowed and it no longer floods downtown every time it rains. The one thing that still needs to change is these anonymous individuals that slip into our city and spend thousands of dollars to affect your vote and manipulate our city staff.

There is only one city council seat that is being challenged this fall.

Take a long hard look at who you hand control of our city to.

Make sure it’s someone you know.

Make sure they live in our city and declare who they are and who supports them versus an anonymous group that speaks in mistruths, innuendo and hides in the shadows of a faceless political PAC.

Hank Stecker, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - August 5, 2013

  • Written by Readers

The City of Woodinville Parks and Recreation Commission is currently updating the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, more commonly known as the PRO Plan. This document guides the city’s decisions with respect to matters such as land acquisition, planning, park property development, maintenance standards, operational goals, recreation programs, special events, fees and facility rentals. In short, if it has to do with parks, open space, recreation or special community events, the PRO Plan provides a framework for addressing the needs of the community as it relates to these areas. This is where you come in. The PRO Plan is only as good as the information we receive from our fellow citizens. We need your input! What do you like or dislike about Parks and Recreation in Woodinville? What would you change? What would add? Do you want to see more trails that connect your neighborhood with downtown? Do you think we need more dedicated open space? Are there areas in Woodinville that you think would make a great park?
Let us know. As we work through updating the PRO Plan we will be surveying residents more formally through a variety of methods. In the meantime you can send the Commission a note with your thoughts and ideas to the city’s Commission liaison, Alexandra Sheeks, at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

You are also encouraged and welcome to attend all commission meetings to let us know your thoughts in person. Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
 City of Woodinville Parks and Recreation Commission

______________________

I would like to remind everyone that the trails are to be shared by everyone: cyclists, walkers, joggers, families, skaters, etc. I’ve seen all of the above on the trails and then some, and I’ve seen a lot of nasty behavior out there lately, too. Please think about the following before going out on the trails to help make it a great experience for everyone.
 

• There are a lot of folks using these trails. It really isn’t fair to everyone to do your thing in a pack 4 people wide, using the whole trail.
• If you’re coming up to pass someone, please let the person in front of you know you’re passing by calling out, “On your left.” When someone comes by to pass, please move to your right and let them by. A nasty comment isn’t called for. It’s my trail, too.
• If you need to answer your phone or look at messages, please move off of the trail and out of the lane of traffic for everyone’s safety, especially your own.
• Also, in the interest of everyone’s safety, please leave the headphones at home. They’re great for the gym, but really not for the trail or the road. If I call out to you that I’m passing and you can’t hear me because you’re wearing headphones and then walk directly in front of me, it won’t be my fault when I hit you and I’m going to be mighty unhappy with you when I can untangle myself and get up.
Lori Hanley, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - July 29, 2013

  • Written by Readers

TWO SIDES
There are two sides to every story, and in response to the ignorance of the supposed lack of any heroin problems in Woodinville, I’d like to voice mine.
 

Opiates were my world for a time — obtaining them, using them, hiding them … It absolutely consumed me.
But then, anyone who has experienced or witnessed first hand the grip of addiction understands this.
 

Still, I was able to fly under the radar; as an athlete, an honor student, while also holding down a job.
To the outside observer, maybe drugs were never a “problem” for me, or using is “nothing out of the ordinary” for a teenager.
 

But my years at Woodinville High School, after growing up in the Woodinville community, were torturously consumed by drug use.
 

Saying Woodinville has no problem with heroin is a sad attempt at brushing a serious issue under the rug of our community.
 

When I wanted to get sober, I was terrified to attend school because I knew that the presence of what I was so craving was immense.
 

Following my completion of inpatient treatment I did return to school, where a drug counselor met with at least a dozen students once a week. The most common drug of choice? Heroin.
 

The article stated that there was nothing related to heroin at the high school this year.
 

This either means the adults at the school are as naïve as drug users like to think, or they are frequently and purposefully turning a blind eye.
 

I understand that a community being labeled with a heroin epidemic is something to be avoided, but not by misconstruing the reality of its usage.
 

Woodinville may not be so frequently referred to as “The Pharmacy” anymore, but just because the drugs being used have shifted doesn’t mean that the problem has dissipated.
 

There isn’t some genius insight I have in order to solve this problem, but properly recognizing its reach is  necessary in order to change it.
 

The 12 Steps taught me that you’ve got to admit your problem if you have any hope of ever righting it.
Ed. Note: It was the editor’s decision to run this letter without the writer’s name. Although the Weekly does not usually accept anonymous letters, in this instance it was felt the message of the letter warranted its publishing. - A

YOUR CAT

Every so often I write a letter to the Weekly about all the missing cat signs. 

Right now there are a number of signs around Mink Road about a missing orange cat, and some others.

I always feel so sad when I see these signs, as obviously the owners don’t understand that we have many predators which eat cats in Bear Creek Valley. 

Orange cats and white cats are particularly vulnerable as the are easy to see in the dark.  

The predators are mainly coyotes, bobcats and raccoons.  

The only way to keep housecats safe is to keep them inside, especially at night. 

If cats are let out, they should be monitored, because if they wander off, they will likely be killed.   

Wendy Walsh, Bear Creek Farm, Woodinville


WRITER WON’T BE BACK
The following letter is a copy of one sent to the City of Bothell:
 

I wanted to let you know that even though I’ve been participating in the 4th of July Parade for 50 years, I won’t be coming back again.
 

Congratulations.
 

You’ve succeeded in over-regulating practically everything, including our 4th of July Parade.
 

You managed to take all the fun out of it, and now we can’t even throw candy to kids at a parade.
 

Maybe next year instead of a parade to celebrate our freedom from over-regulation, you should have a parade to celebrate your success at controlling practically everything.
 

Ronald J. Nardone, Snohomish

Letters to the Editor - July 22, 2013

  • Written by Readers

Approximately 50 percent of students in Northshore qualify for the Free or Reduced Lunch program (2010 US Census).

Study after study shows the impact that poverty and low income have on children’s development and education outcomes. Despite the truth of those studies, Northshore School Board voted 4-1 to approve a calendar which they have admitted will cause a hardship for many families in our school district. The only hope for these families is if some other outside group steps in to fill the void, and thus ease the hardships caused by the school board’s decision.

Last week Mr. Tim Brittell, current president of the Northshore Education Association (NSEA), wrote a letter to the editor of the Woodinville Weekly, supporting the union’s decision to pressure the school board to approve a weekly early release schedule.

He alluded to a study allegedly conducted by the Northshore School District Elementary Design Team (EDT) ten years ago, (it was just one of numerous items they were reviewing that year, such as curriculum adoption, changes to the elementary report card, etc.). The school board rejected the EDT’s recommendations concerning early release for teacher planning time. Mr. Brittell claims that the decision to reject the recommendation of the 2003-2004 study was due to the "economic collapse"…which occurred several years later in the fall of 2008. 

The NSEA continued to push for the early release time, until this year when they were able to control the majority of the school board.

What was quite clear from the purported timeline offered by Mr. Brittell, was that at no time did the NSEA or the school district involve the parents and community members in their discussion of, or decision to implement, the early release schedule.  

The decisions were made behind closed doors, without the transparency that several members of the current school board had previously made part of their campaign platforms. 

The lack of transparency and collaboration with parents and community has caused outrage throughout the community.

There is a marked lack of trust from parents, community members, and even many teachers toward the Northshore School District, and several members of its board of directors. The damage that has been done – and during a bond and levy year no less – is grave, and it was completely avoidable. At any time during the process the district and the school board could have convened a taskforce consisting of educators, administrators, parents and community members to truly study the issue. In doing so they would have provided the transparency which the community demands and our children deserve. That they chose not to do so is unacceptable.

Berta Phillips, Bothell

I am sorely disappointed by Lille Clinton’s recent letter.

First of all, if you’re a member of a city or county commission, your duty and place is to vent your views and vote accordingly within your power, not take out letters to the editor in the local paper smearing the city with your tainted view of what is right or legal, both of which happen to be wrong in this case. 

Secondly, one police officer’s statement about the surveillance cameras is not necessarily the city’s official stance, and it’s irresponsible to state it as such.

Lastly, your issue is with the data to be consumed by these cameras, not the cameras themselves. If there is such grave concern, the committee to which you belong should be pouring those views to the mayor and the city council; however, I suspect it is only you who has such grave concerns about the nefarious use of this data by common citizens.

Shame on me should I want to request the video footage of a crime to my person or property for use in court or for the use of my insurance company.

Lori Hanley, Woodinville

When I moved to Woodinville I felt it was a community that was respectful of others.

This past January and February my home and the car in the driveway were egged twice on Friday evenings. My daughter would leave around 6:30 a.m. for work. In sub-freezing temperatures, which it was in both instances in January, the last thing we wanted to be doing at 6 a.m. was cleaning off the car and the house, including siding, windows and screens. 

On the evening or early morning of July 12th someone dumped pancake mix and syrup on the car parked in my drive. I start work at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays so the last thing I want to deal with is once again my property being targeted and damaged. The paint on my home was damaged by the eggs and now the car has been damaged with pancake mix and syrup through the grates in the car which lead to the airflow and the engine.   In this latest incident it is clear whoever did this parked their car around the corner from where our home is because there is pancake mix down the road from when I assume they ran after doing the damage.

My daughter had mentioned in January there were juniors that were pranking seniors at the high school.

We have no evidence on who is doing this damage so I cannot say who is responsible but obviously young adults who are out very late at night are intentionally targeting our property and causing damage.

As a single parent, I felt Woodinville would be a wonderful community in which to raise my younger daughter. I felt it was a community with strong family values and also children and young adults that would be respectful. I did nothing after the eggings, I was going to have the high school address it because of the damage it did but my daughter said don’t do it [as] it will only get worse, but after today I am engaging the police. My daughter goes off to college back east in September and at this point I am questioning if Woodinville is the kind of community I want to continue to live in. 

I urge parents to talk to their children and young adults.  At almost 61 I no longer want to deal with this harassment and abuse from irresponsible young adults. I have ended up in tears the last two times.

Lynn Annecston, Woodinville

I read with interest about the developer who has invested in the Woodinville tourist district. I’m thrilled to know that even more businesses and wineries will be moving in.

While I appreciate that he has ideas about improving parking, he mentioned that he doesn’t want to create a "sea of parking" and instead is looking to create something similar to what is offered at University Village in Seattle.  I believe this idea is fraught with problems and raises many issues.

First, the parking lots at University Village are interconnected and contained within one site, making it easy to search for an open spot, with all parking a short distance, along sidewalks, from stores.

Our tourist district has widely spaced parking lots and people often move their cars from the west side of the valley to the east side at some point during their visit.

Second, the individual lots at the shopping center have spaces for many cars, while the tourist district is comprised, in part, of small parking areas that only have room for 25 or so vehicles. (the larger lots, most on the outskirts and often without shuttles, force people to walk along the highway)

Third, the U-Village has existing multi-story parking garages and is currently building an additional 6 story garage with room for 700+ vehicles. I didn’t read any comments about Woodinville getting a parking garage.

Fourth, neither commuters nor people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding U-Village have to pass through the shopping center parking lots on a daily basis; here, a highway bisects the tourist district meaning residents and commuters share the same roads with visitors.

Finally, the majority of people visiting U-Village have not been walking around sampling wine, nor do they have to navigate the least intuitive round-a-bout I’ve ever encountered.

While I understand nobody wants to give up profitable land for the mundane purpose of parking, something must be done to accommodate this tidal wave of visitors, particularly during passport type events, concerts and movies, and sunny days starting with the letters F and S.

This all begs the question:  What if you build a tourist district and everybody comes?

Denise Anderson, Woodinville