I am a parent of two boys at Fernwood Elementary in the north end of Northshore School District. I am also a home owner in a neighborhood adjoining the proposed high school site and despite the challenges this will bring, I’m in favor of the upcoming 2014 bond and levies.
My day job as a real estate broker gives me a unique perspective as I work with buyers comparing housing options within King and Snohomish counties. Historically, homes within the Northshore School District have been considered more desirable and have fetched higher prices. This is illustrated perfectly by two new housing developments in north Bothell, built by one builder. Although just a block apart, these neighborhoods are serviced by different school districts, one being Northshore.
Based on my conversations with the listing agent and closing data, near identical homes located within the Northshore neighborhood sold for up to $15,000 more than those in the neighborhood serviced by the other. Simply, today’s buyers see the value of our schools and are willing to invest more.
This vote has potential to greatly impact our recovering housing market.
As a homeowner I have to ask if it’s fiscally responsible to reject a small tax increase and risk a much larger hit to property values not to mention the quality of education our children receive? If Northshore School District cannot effectively meet the demands of the growing student population, its overall reputation, and our property values, will most certainly suffer. In order to maintain the high level of excellence the public has come to expect from Northshore, I urge my fellow voters to consider the long-lasting, negative ramifications failure would have and stand united in support.
Finally, as a Fernwood parent for the past six years, I’ve witnessed the growing pains first hand but also the tremendous efforts of staff and teachers to address them with extreme care, always keeping the needs of the students in mind. We are fortunate to have such talented educators and I hope we will all be able to breathe easier come February, knowing relief is on its way.
Stacy Rus, Bothell
Each year the Northshore Youth Soccer Association (NYSA) hosts youth soccer league and tournament play culminating in its annual Cranberry Cup. The Cup is a celebration of the sport of Northshore select soccer and treats the community to competitive boys and girls soccer traditionally held Thanksgiving weekend.
Our recent season-ending tournament hosted more than 60 teams from across the greater Seattle area including Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Bothell, Woodinville, Redmond, West Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Granite Falls and Silver Lake as well as several teams in from Canada for the first time in the tournament.
The 2013 edition of the Cranberry Cup was one of the most successful to date due in large part to the City of Woodinville and the numerous tournament sponsors that we would be remiss not to recognize! Special thanks is extended to the city manager’s office in Woodinville, specifically Alexandra Sheeks, Brenda Eriksen and Nancy Brandt for their assistance with field support and event coordination. NYSA would like to recognize the following local sponsors of this year’s Cup:
I have lived in the Northshore School District since the very early 1950’s and graduated from Bothell High School in 1963.
I have always valued the education I received in this community.
We have one of the best school districts in the state because of great teachers and a strong administration. In addition, our three communities have always worked together to ensure that we build schools when we needed them to prevent overcrowding, maintain our facilities to protect our investment, and provide up-to-date technologies to keep our graduates competitive in a fast-paced modern world.
Knowing that this area was a wonderful place to raise a family and poised for continuous growth in the future, our forward thinking citizens in the 1950s and 60s voted to fund the purchase of lands for future schools.
The Northshore community continued that commitment to education as the district grew, never failing a school bond or levy.
It is because of that legacy, along with a personal feeling that every student in our community deserves the best education we can provide, that I’m voting to support all three school measures on the ballot February 11th.
I encourage all of my fellow citizens to do the same and please don’t forget to vote.
George Selg, Bothell
Thank you to the Woodinville Weekly staff for writing up a great article for our 2nd annual meal packaging event.
We raised $3,821, enough for 15,284 meals!
On Tuesday, the 17th, about 60-65 people gathered and, in 1 hour, using COTN’s assembly-line meal packaging system for their recipe of lentils, freeze-dried vegetables, vegetable bouillon and rice, sealed up 15,284 meals for Children of the Nations (COTNI.org). These meals will make their way to a hungry orphaned or destitute child served by COTN.
Thank you to everyone who participated. We had SUCH a blast!
Getting to know neighbors, meeting new friends, sharing the love and generosity of the holiday season, and packaging over 15,000 meals made it a great success!
Thank you to everyone who gave their dollars, quarters, nickels and dimes, their time and energy, and to Maltby Christian Assembly church for letting us use their facility and for putting up with all the organized chaos this event brings.
You did so with grace and generosity, which is fitting for this time of year, as well as for this wonderful organization. Makes Christmas feel even merrier!
To the person who backed into me in DeYoung’s Farm and Garden store parking lot on the afternoon of December 31st, way to go!
Not only did you do a hit and run without leaving a note, you also took off with the trim piece you knocked off my car when you hit it!
And to add insult to injury you turned what I had hoped to be a fond farewell to the store into a bad memory.
I can only ask that at the least you return the trim piece to me.
You can mail it to me anonymously; I’ve been in the phone book since I moved here 28 years ago.
Make a New Year’s resolution too for me: promise to be a responsible citizen in 2014.
Don Brocha, Woodinville
NSD HAS DONE PROPER PLANNING IN OPEN AND PUBLIC WAY
I support the Northshore School District.
As a former high school teacher and son of local teachers, I purposely chose to buy a house in the Northshore School District. The district has a long history of excellence, from its bond ratings to the fact that they have always worked carefully with their terrific teachers and have never gone on strike.
I have a senior in the full IB program at Inglemoor High School who is applying to some of the top schools on the west coast and have seen firsthand how she got this far.
My 8th grade son is hopefully following in her footsteps.
One of the key issues in a strong community has to be the willingness to support reasonable taxes that support our parks, our libraries, our emergency response units, and our schools.
As our area has grown and thrived, we have needed at times to re-evaluate what is needed. Not too many years ago, the district had to even consider closing a school due to a decline in enrollment. Enrollment is now booming on the north side of the district, as the far west side and east side have faced some enrollment declines.
After dozens of meetings and discussions with the whole community, the district has decided the best way forward is to build a new high school in the north side. The district is also aligning its grade levels at the schools to more closely match the neighboring districts and expectations of most colleges.
The new high school helps with this process.
The Northshore School District has a long history of doing what it has promised in regards to bonds and levies and they have done it in an open and public fashion. They have provided enough reasonable documentation and evidence through their finance department to the community and the bond underwriters that I am comfortable with their worst case scenario of an additional $60.00 per household.
I am comfortable that Superintendent Larry Francois and the diverse school board have done proper planning for the best interests of our community. I have worked closely with them as a former president of the Northshore Schools Foundation, in PTA, as a local businessman with Snapdoodle Toys, and as a parent.
As a practicing engineering geologist of 40 years, and a Woodinville area resident of 35 years, I am taken aback at some of the comments attributed to one of the City Council members at a recent council meeting.
There are members of the community, and on the council, who would like to buy a series of properties in the northeast quadrant of the city.
Supposedly this would "protect" the steep slope areas above and east of the Hwy 522 corridor.
Certain of these properties were to be developed but the developer had been turned back by ordinance and lawsuits over the last decade.
I would like to voice my concerns with what I believe are inaccurate statements made by City Council member Susan Boundy-Sanders regarding these sloping properties and the risks associated with their developed and undeveloped conditions.
The statements made in the lead story of the Weekly dated December 9th, 2013, relate to the risk of landsliding on these properties.
Having lived in the area, and conducted geologic and engineering studies for several projects over the years on the slope between Costco and the NE 195th Street right-of-way, I take exception to the risk statements made in public by Ms. Boundy-Sanders.
I need to point out that there is a big difference between Steep Slope Hazard and Landslide Hazard under most Municipal and County codes including King County.
Granted, there certainly are Steep Slope Hazard areas present under Code for 40 percent slopes in portions of the properties Ms. Boundy-Sanders mentioned in council.
However, steep slopes do not necessarily make a Landslide Hazard.
Landslide Hazards must meet certain criteria relating to silt/clay soil types, significant springs, documented previous areas of movements and other criteria under KC Code, for instance.
I would be interested to see what documentation Ms. Boundy-Sanders has obtained to label these various properties Landslide Hazards other than her "visual estimation."
In addition, the City of Woodinville Identified Critical Areas Map (Figure A13-1) shows steep slope hazard areas over these properties but not Landslide Hazard delineations.
Several hundred acres of land to the south and southwest of downtown is delineated Landslide Hazard.
I wonder if the city should also buy these designated lands to lock up as "Open Space" for no residential development and no improved park use?
As a geologist, I am also very careful about labelling any properties with a negative designation unless I have conducted detailed studies to show that those properties do indeed fulfill the code definitions.
I am concerned when a public official uses an apparent scare tactic to validate the purchase of these slope parcels to "protect" them and to protect the public from a risk of "dangerous landsliding."
Perhaps, Ms. Boundy-Sanders has a count of the "homes and properties and lives of the unbelievers" that may have already been affected by this purported potential area of sliding?
Please, Ms. Boundy-Sanders, don’t try to scare the public into thinking that the acquisition of these parcels would "protect" the public from slide danger and save families and children from landslides striking their homes lower on the slope.
For the last ten years I’ve been involved in the running of a food bank in Carnation. We feed around 200 families (about 700 people) a week and seem to be one of the very few food banks that serve everyone who comes to our door without question — no ID needed, no must show proof-of-area residence, no personal information required.
We are also one of the only food banks that feed the homeless with no questions asked.
And we are very much an "All You Can Eat" food bank."
Since being founded over 38 years ago, this food bank has operated in several locations in the Snoqualmie Valley, moving to our present building seven years ago.
During all these years of operation this service to the needy has been very generously sponsored by the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, even when they as a people had nothing, they were always there, supporting this public food bank as a community service. In fact, this food bank was founded by a Snoqualmie Tribal member.
The reason I’m writing this is not to pat the tribe and we volunteers who work here on the back for many years of a job well done — although they all certainly deserve it. The reason I’m writing this piece is that this long-time service to East King County is tentatively ending as we have been told that our funding from our primary sponsor, including the use of our building and truck will cease at the end of this year. We are heart-broken and are searching for a replacement space and funding, but we weren’t given much warning and time is short.
This is a disaster not only for our food bank but more so for the entire Lower Snoqualmie Valley!
We occupy a very critical spot in the whole "help" grid in East King County that many not involved in the system may not be aware of. A large portion of our clients can not (or will not) be served at the other major food banks in the area.
They have been turned away because they can’t meet those food bank’s requirements for Food Bank registration, including a valid current photo ID, proof of current address and residency, (utility bill or bank statement), current income (or lack of income) information. If you do not have the information they request – or even do have the information but don’t meet their requirements — They Will Not Serve You!!!
We ask for nothing – no ID or personal information required.
This food bank was founded on the principle that we would do nothing to impugn our clients’ dignity, self-respect or right to privacy. We are here to help people, not to gather information.
Without us there are very few places in this part of King County that many of these people can go to for help. Of the three large food banks in NE King County: one in North Bend, one other in Carnation, and us (The Snoqualmie Tribe Public Food Bank), we are the only one that has no registration requirements or restrictions. We Feed Everybody!
The others turn people, (who do not meet their qualifications) away. Simply going to their websites can verify this. In fact, both of these food banks send the people they will not serve to us, as they are quite aware we have no restrictions on who we help.
I’m not writing this to put anybody down – I’m not a confrontational or controversial person. However, I will say that my observation is that one of the main reasons for this information-gathering disaster at some food banks is the guidelines, or these food bank’s understanding of the guidelines set up by the USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program, I believe administered in this state by DSHS.
Our food bank has refused to sign up for food assistance because of the qualifying requirements our clients would have to meet. Not only are they intrusive but they make the food bank experience an upsetting and uncomfortable process. Many who come to food banks are already at risk, why make it worse?
Because these food banks comply with what they see as the information gathering requirements that come with signing up for the food assistance (commodities), program, they just go ahead and have everybody who comes into the food bank register, and if they don’t have the information or even do but don’t qualify — Too Bad! No Food For You!
What is not realized is that there is food other than that from food assistance that comes into these same food banks — lots of it!
It comes from groups like Northwest Harvest or Food Lifeline – or maybe direct donations from small businesses and corporations – maybe it’s just a bag of groceries that somebody drops off at a food drive that ends up at that same food bank. These donations are also being kept from those who "Don’t Qualify." I suspect that most people that donate food don’t put restrictions on who gets it. In fact, I’ve been very involved in the food bank thing for quite a few years now, and nobody’s come in to any food bank I’ve been working at yet and made a donation with a list of whom they didn’t want their food to go to.
Here in East King County, just 20 miles from the Microsoft campus, you’d be amazed to know how many people are below the poverty level, but you’d be far more amazed to know how many people live below that!
People who live in old vans and cars in a friend’s back yard – or in the woods – even in tents, and it’s starting to get cold up here.
We help these people – they come to us for food and clothing – no questions asked – no ID or paperwork needed – They can’t get served at other food banks, but you know what? They still get hungry!
Most people aren’t even aware of food banks except on Thanksgiving and Christmas when they show them on TV – but we are here all year … Going Full Tilt!!!
We are HOPE for many of the families we serve … Some are people that get their entire nutrition for the week from our food bank – who because of their situation can’t get help elsewhere in the area … We MUST be here to help them … this food bank MUST survive!
But even if we can’t save our food bank and we are forced to close, this is a wrong in the food distribution system that must be righted.
Fred Vosk, lead volunteer, Snoqualmie Tribe PUBLIC Food Bank
It’s biting cold outside, even during the daytime hours. Where are we as citizens of Woodinville housing anyone who is homeless, caught out in this cold weather?
There are people out there, perhaps some hiding in parks, or in the woods, without true warmth or even food.
How is it our community has not opened up the City Hall west side door at night with lights and warmth for the homeless?
The PD is connected within the building, and certainly, the on-duty officers are not supposed to be sleeping on the job.
Why can’t we open those doors during this terrible cold snap?
I know the city hall does not have carpets on the floor, but you cannot tell me that it has no heat or lights. We as a community can afford to pay for additional heat, especially if we can pay for a sports field, pay to have art works scattered all over town, pay to have a mural painted on the old brick schoolhouse, etc. We CAN afford to help the poor.
Where is this community in helping to feed these folks, as well.
I do NOT mean just gathering food into bags at churches or grocery stores, as these go to families in need, not to the homeless. We need to organize now and get something going for these people, as well as notify them out in public with signs as to where to go. We must have somewhere, and we can all step up to bat, not just with funds [good though] but with our hands. Christmas has nothing to do with a tree, gifts or shop ‘til you drop; Christmas is a celebration of life and LOVE. Where is love if we cannot love the unfortunate?
I’m 77 years old, fighting cancer and pneumonia but I am so angry with humanity’s indifference during this cold all over, staying awake to pray for those out in it. We show more caring for illegals than we do our own. We need to care about all people, including those unfortunate in our OWN country right now. Times are tough all over the world.
So my question again is: Where are we housing those homeless people caught out in this terrible cold? Where have we designated an eating place for them? Where is our TRUE Christmas spirit? Can you still have a merry Christmas? Let’s try to do something. My part is bringing it out in the open and praying someone will act on it. Let’s HELP!
Diane M. Condon, Woodinville
I would like to commend the exceptional students/softball players from our own Woodinville High School Lady Falcons Fastpitch team for their volunteer efforts recently.
The Lady Falcons, along with coach Dani Weir and assistant coach Mike Dale, took time out of their weekends to provide an unprecedented set of four free clinics designed to encourage girls to play softball.
I would further like to thank Absolute Blast/the Launch Pad for donating their facility for the clinic. Playing softball is a lifetime sport — it encourages team work, sportsmanship, drive and dedication — all virtues exhibited by the exceptional Falcons.
Thank you for showing our girls what it means to be a Falcon and for showing them how much they have to look forward to by participating in high school sports.
Jess Smith, VP Softball, Woodinville Little League