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Letters to the Editor - July 25, 2011

  • Written by Readers

FIRE CHIEF

 

I attended the Woodinville Fire commission meeting the past week where the firefighters voiced their vote of "No Confidence" against Chief I. David Daniels.

It should be noted that the vote was unanimous at 59-0. The vote of "No Confidence" was supported by battalion chiefs and firefighters who represented our neighboring communities of Snohomish, Bellevue, Bothell, Kenmore, Mercer Island.

A vote of "No Confidence" does not "happen all the time;" it is extremely uncommon.

I heard their exhaustive list of very real concerns regarding the problems that have been occurring in the district since the chief was hired.

I was stunned by the response of the commissioners and the chief, that "It happens all the time" and that "everyone is entitled to their opinion."

Did they not hear the same things that I did? Namely, that there will be no more annual fire inspections of senior housing communities (by fire department personnel), that the district has accrued nearly half million dollars in legal fees, that there are more highly paid administrative staff on duty at the fire station than there are fire fighters? That the district will be bankrupt by 2016, at the latest, if the deficit spending continues? That the department has lost its elite status of International Accreditation that it has worked so hard to earn?

The decisions made by the Chief since his arrival have caused hemorrhaging of the budget, a reduction of services and a failure to maintain the high standard of accreditation that Woodinville has had for years prior to his arrival. The concerns that were presented are not simply irritations occurring between staff and managers.

There are legitimate, profound and far-reaching concerns that affect the public safety of people in our community. The total lack of accountability on the part of the commissioners, who are elected to oversee and make better decisions, is unconscionable and appalling to me.

The fire commissioners must start listening to the people who know the fire service and who have been telling the commission, in no uncertain terms, that this chief is destroying this fire district and that his inappropriate and risky decisions are compromising the safety of the citizens of this community.

Rebecca J. Clark, Woodinville

 

I attended the fire commissioners meeting on July 18 and came away appalled.

Our Woodinville firefighters have been forced to take a last resort action in an effort to stop the erosion of the very department that they work for.

Woodinville firefighters unanimously declared a vote of no confidence in their fire chief, David Daniels.

All the while, Chief Daniels sat with furrowed brow, his chin in his hand looking as disinterested as a 15 year old listening to his dad lecture on the virtues of keeping a clean bedroom.

And the commissioners, (they were) blank faced and bored. At least that’s what I was left to believe, because not a word was uttered by any of them acknowledging this declaration of crisis by our firefighters.

At this point, the board of commissioners has only one acceptable option available. Remove Chief Daniels and start the process of finding a new fire chief.

The commissioners must understand that the chief works for them and when the chief’s performance is the sole cause for a demoralized work force and reduced services to us, the taxpaying citizens, something must change.

In the private sector you can bet that a unanimous vote of no confidence to the board of directors, coupled with reduced performance by the company would result in an immediate termination of that company head.

This is exactly what we have here in Woodinville.

Under Chief Daniels’ leadership we have seen increased response times to large portions of the community, i.e., Hollywood Hill, elimination of valuable services and an approved budget that contains deficit spending, much of it careless and wasteful.

I hope none of us ever need to dial 911, but if we do, we deserve a timely response by highly motivated, well trained firefighters.

After all, we are paying for it.

I’m sad to say that currently Chief Daniels and the board of commissioners are failing to provide us with the service that we all deserve.

The only way to reverse this fatal course for our fire department is to speak our minds.

I encourage all readers who value the health and safety of their families to communicate with our elected fire commissioners by writing letters, making phone calls, and/or attending the twice monthly meetings.

The message from the community must be unified and must call for the removal of an incompetent fire chief who is jeopardizing the safety of each and every citizen within his fire department’s boundary.

Roger Kacmarcik, concerned citizen

 

ONLY STATIC

For the past several years I have noticed a strange occurrence in the Duvall area.

When driving towards Monroe on Hwy. 203, about a mile north of Duvall, I lose my AM radio station and just hear static. It lasts for about a mile, and ends just north of the green barn on the right.

This goes on for about half the year, from May to September or so (roughly). Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone know what is causing it?

Thank you!

Kathy Ulrich, via email

 

TWELVE IN A ROW

The Woodinville Garden Club has successfully completed its 12th Tour of Gardens and would like to thank the community for its generous support. For the twelfth year, Molbak’s was a major sponsor, and provided us with a beautiful reception following the tour. The Woodinville Weekly, and publisher Julie Boselly continued their support with advertising and articles promoting the event and informing the community of the club’s mission.

Generous merchants and professionals provided items for our drawing: Lorrie Cain, landscape designer, provided one hour of professional design advice, Willows provided a stay in their beautiful hotel, Molbak’s gave a gift card, DeJong’s gave a load of mulch and our artist, Susan Summit Cyr donated the original silk painting from our poster and postcards.

In addition, local businesses provided advertising and services: Classic Nursery & Landscape Company, DeYoung Farm & Garden, Fairwinds Brittany Park, In Harmony Sustainable Landscapes, Kathy Brown, Realtor, Maltby Café, Pasta Nova and Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door.

Not least, we once again had the support of the Woodinville community, who braved the rainy summer day to enjoy a trip through our six gardens, whose owners deserve a great deal of credit for their enthusiasm and gracious hospitality.

Without our garden owners, there would be no Tour! Now we are starting our quest for gardens for the 2012 Tour of Gardens: if you would like to propose a garden for next year’s tour, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ann Parrish and Donna Wolthuis, co-presidents, Woodinville Garden Club

 

BACK UPS ON W-D ROAD

 

For three days now there have been large – and very lengthy – back ups on Woodinville-Duvall Road due to the Catholic church construction.

I have to travel down that road several times a day and have had to turn around and go another route, so extreme were the back ups.

Luckily I’m a quick learner and have taken 165th for the past couple of days. However, the way this has been handled, by the church, by the construction company and by the county is completely, and unbelievably, unacceptable. You’d think at least one of those entities would have thought to plan ahead.

First, there were no signs posted that warned that road construction was about to commence.

Second, once the construction began, there were no notices posted far enough in advance to warn us to take another route, before we unexpectedly came upon the back up after having already passed a road which would have allowed us to go another way.

Third, not only should notices be posted, but detour signs should have been supplied for those who don’t know the area.

Fourth, there has been no notification of when this is due to end. It may have already finished upon receipt of this letter, but how are we, who are now traveling 165th just in case, meant to know that it’s safe to return to Woodinville-Duvall Road?

This has been going on for three days now. Too late now to do anything about it I suppose, but if there is going to be any further construction that requires a lane of Woodinville-Duvall Road to be closed for any length of time, I believe I speak for all residents and visitors who use that road when I request that, we would appreciate appropriate notice and detour routes posted.

I’m sure Mother Teresa would have had the sense to do so.

Beth Rand, Woodinville

 

FLORIDE?

Woodinville’s annual drinking water report published June 2011 boasts a recent reduction of fluoride levels in our water supply. Anything short of total elimination, however, is inadequate. Here are just a few reasons why:

Fluoride is a carcinogenic industrial waste — a by-product of the nuclear arms, aluminum and phosphate manufacturing industries. Rather than paying to properly dispose of this waste, these industries earn billions of dollars in revenue by selling it as an additive to our water supply. Using logic that I fail to comprehend, selling it somehow turns it from a toxin into a "product." A brilliant marketing plan if I do say so!

Fluoride has never been proven to prevent tooth decay and can actually cause dental fluorosis.While fluorisis appears to be just a cosmetic issue resulting in discoloration of the teeth, it also adversely affects the structure of the teeth and bones. Fifty percent of ingested fluoride is deposited in your bones, damaging them and in some cases causing osteosarcoma.

Fluoride lowers thyroid function. Low thyroid function can result in low body temperature, lack of energy and dry skin, as well as other symptoms.

Elevated fluoride exposure has been shown to reduce IQ in children. Cognitive ability is further reduced if your child is iodine deficient. According to renowned allergist and author Doris Rapp, M.D., fluoride can alter how you walk and talk and can even cause A.D.D.

Dental caries, or cavities as they are more commonly known, are not related to a fluoride deficiency.

Avoiding sugary foods and brushing your teeth (with fluoride-free toothpaste) after meals will go a long way in preventing cavities.

This list goes on, but hopefully you get the idea. Fluoride has no place in our water supply and never should have been added to it to begin with. I encourage you to do your own research and make your voice heard to put an end to this highly questionable and harmful practice. In addition to the health benefits, think of all the money the district will save that could be put to much better use, especially during these challenging economic times.

Meanwhile, consider filtering your water, including the water you bathe with since your skin absorbs it. Use fluoride-free toothpaste and avoid fluoride treatments as well as dental sealants which contain BPA, another known toxin. These few simple steps will go a long way towards reducing your overall level of toxicity which can result in illness. Prevention is key.

Madeline Eyer, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - July 18, 2011

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

THIS IS WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

We knew her back when we were Woodinville soccer moms, but we had lost touch. One of us ran into her at the library and she shared how she had just had her "plumbing" removed and was battling stage 3b ovarian cancer — alone and broke — renting a room from a friend and eking out an existence on state assistance. We told each other we needed to help.

She said the hardest part was feeling so alone.

When asked what we could do (drive her to chemo so she didn’t have to take the bus, bring her some soup, clean her house), she asked for only one thing: help in finding a job.

She said, "I get sick from the chemo some, but when that’s not too bad, I can do yard work, housecleaning, nannying, office work, house sitting."

Fighting cancer on state assistance, and all she asks for from the old soccer moms is a job mowing lawns? This does not compute.

So we took her out for dinner and slipped her some cash.

She cried. We talked up her situation to our friends and neighbors, and she got some more cash.

She cried again. These same friends and neighbors are donating truckloads of high-quality goods, and the old soccer team is baking up a storm for our fundraiser rummage and bake sale and that’s where you come in.

Head over to the Woodinville Lions Mountainview Community Center (19008 168th Ave NE — up the hill from Mack’s Corner, just south of Leota Jr. High) on Saturday, July 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You’ll find a plethora of choice household goods, high-quality bigger ticket items and the best brownies in town!

There will also be a jar for donations if, like others, you too would like to make our friend cry.

What she doesn’t realize when she receives each small gift with, "This is such a blessing! This is such an awesome blessing!" is what a blessing her presence is to us. Come and be a part of that on Saturday.

A HUGE thank you to the Woodinville Lions for donating the use of their excellent facility for our sale!

Cindy Horst, Woodinville

 

FIRE CHIEF

I am responding to the letter concerning I. David Daniels.

Knowing his record from the Renton Fire and Emergency Services, why did Woodinville hire him? He’s doing all the same things he did at Renton.

I would think it would be illegal to require a shift of 96 hours straight.

My personal opinion is a little power has gone to his head.

He has closed a fire station here, as well as put an engine and aid car out of service like he did in Renton. Response time is getting longer and it’s unsafe.

I believe this man is no asset to Woodinville and going by his track record should be fired.

I’m so glad the president of Local 2950 informed us.

Pauline Thompson, Woodinville

 

MORE ON THE FIRE CHIEF

The Woodinville Weekly’s July 11 article on regional policing in conjunction with local control brought to mind our Woodinville area fire service.

Has there been change for the better in Fire Chief Daniel’s fire department’s top-heavy ratio of administrative employees to the number of actual firefighters?

How about an update article on the current situation with the Woodinville area fire department’s employment situation.

Sincerely,

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - July 11, 2011

  • Written by Readers

Just say no

It is just about midnight on Independence Day, and the fireworks are finally dying down. How ironic that we are reminded yet again that we are in the midst of a serious "recession" and the entire nation is suffering, yet there seems to have been thousands and thousands of dollars literally going up in smoke for the past five or six hours here in Duvall and across the entire area — mostly spent by folks who undoubtedly should not and cannot afford it to gratify "the kids" or indeed themselves. They cannot or will not get a reality check and a spine, and say "NO, we simply cannot afford it this year!" and fail to involve their kids in learning the facts of growing up and being responsible!

It makes me very sad and amazed at the spineless way we are facing the truth. I lived through the "Great Depression" as a child and learned that we can live happily on VERY limited funds. These folks simply don’t know what individual responsibility IS, let alone how to practice it!

Janice Ochoa, Duvall

 

To the baseball player who tried to scalp me with a Twix bar:

I’m sure that from your place in the parade down main street in Bothell you had an excellent view of all of us who had come to watch. I’m also sure that you have a fine arm and are well positioned to use it on the ball field. Unfortunately, no one seems to have informed you that "tossing" candy to the watchers of the parade was not a chance to show off your target hitting skills. To jog your memory – I’m the mom who was sitting by the brick wall (of the pet store) toward the beginning of the parade that your buddy pointed out and that you promptly took aim at. Your aim was dead on and I can still feel the spot on my head that "caught" your "toss." I am thankful that your throw was accurate. I had two 3 year olds and a 9 month old close at hand (I wasn’t watching you go by so that I could feed her some lunch — my apologies for not paying better attention to you). My 12 year old was the one who saw the whole thing happen and told me about it later. She was confused as to why it would be so amusing to you. As much as my children love the parade and the candy that goes with it, I am more than tempted to ask that only adults be allowed to hand out the candy – it would have been a lot harder to explain if one of my kids had taken the brunt of an ill-tossed piece of candy. To the adults who were with the baseball teams – it’s all about fun. Try to help your players understand that it is only fun (and funny) if everyone is laughing and having a good time.

Carrie Poole, Woodinville

 

Bickering again?

Why am I not surprised that Woodinville Fire & Rescue has internal strife. Just look to the city council for leadership. Maybe fire departments should return to all-volunteer groups. I was one for 27 years. We had some internal problems occassionaly, but we got the job done.

Chuck Kaysner, Bothell

 

To our wonderful animal lovers:

Cats are very smart animals and when given lots of love they can be wonderful companions. They don’t take a lot of care: dry food left in a bowl for them to munch on along with a bowl of water, a treat of wet food (they aren’t fussy), plus a clean litter box — which is a must. They are better kept indoors, are very clean animals, and generally require little if any care other than an occasional grooming. You will never have to worry about mice or bugs in your home as kitties love to bring you presents. Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville has many wonderful animals to choose from for adoption. My husband and I currently have six cats, the most recent four from Homeward. Both their cats and dogs are very health, are well cared for, and you will not be disappointed with the little bundle of joy that you bring home.

David and Marta Jenkins,

companions of six kitties

Letters to the Editor-July 4, 2011

  • Written by Readers

NEW FIRE DEPARTMENT — SAME MISTAKES

Before becoming Woodinville’s fire chief, I. David Daniels was employed by Renton Fire and Emergency Services where he also served as head of the fire department.

By many accounts, his tenure in Renton was marked by discord, deficit spending and poor relations with employees.

Shortly after he left Renton to become Woodinville’s fire chief, the Renton firefighters began a process to have I. David Daniels censured by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF).

Renton’s firefighter censure resolution cited Daniel’s decision to place two engine companies out of service and noted the increase in response times and a reduction in firefighter safety that resulted.

It also criticized Daniel’s management decisions, safety concerns, communication problems and poor morale.

At the IAFF National Convention, the censure resolution was passed by a unanimous vote of 2,250 delegates.

After more than 18 months as Woodinville’s fire chief, it appears that I. David Daniels is making the same mistakes all over again.

He has closed a fire station and placed an engine company and an aid car out of service. Consequently, response times to the affected areas have increased and firefighter safety has been diminished.

Communication with employees is poor and employee morale is at an all-time low.

This has compelled some excellent Woodinville firefighters to leave Woodinville to take jobs with other fire agencies.

Chief I. David Daniels has reduced the number of firefighters employed by the Woodinville fire district, but he has added five new costly administrative positions.

The department’s reserve fund is being depleted because of deficit spending.

Safety complaints have been made and, in a safety-related arbitration hearing that was brought forward by the Woodinville firefighters, an independent neutral arbitrator just recently ruled that the fire district, with the complete approval of I. David Daniels, required a battalion chief to work 96 hours straight under circumstances that even Daniels later admitted under oath were unsafe under the terms of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.

Woodinville Fire Chief I. David Daniels is fond of saying that he only looks forward and is not willing to look or go backwards.

Without looking back on occasion however, it is impossible to learn from one’s mistakes, and it appears that I. David Daniels is making the same mistakes all over again.

Greg Ahearn

President, Local 2950, Woodinville Firefighters

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPASSION

To the kind unknown Woodinville gentleman:

You were waiting to be seen at Woodinville Urgent Care Clinic on Sunday morning and were called to triage shortly after my daughter and I arrived in the waiting area. She was crying, scared and in pain while awaiting stitches for a gash in her leg.

You, clearly were there to be treated for your own injury, (but when you) were called to be seen, you requested that my daughter be seen before you.

You selflessly gave up your turn in a situation where everyone understandably wants to get in and out and quickly as possible.

Your generosity was so appreciated, and my daughter was thinking of you while getting her stitches, hoping you were okay and not hurt badly.

You reminded her, and everyone else there, of the importance of compassion.

We thank you for your kindness and we wish you well!

M. Cipra, Woodinville

WHERE ARE THE MOWERS?

All the abundant rainfall we’ve had this year has kept our surroundings lush and green.

The problem with this is the jungle-like quantity of grass, berry bushes and even small trees that are flourishing on the sides of our country roads.

Their beauty disguises the fact that they are potential death traps.

Visibility is nil as we try to pull out onto the roads. We have to travel out onto the street before we can see if anyone is coming.

I’ve been patient, content to wait for our road’s turn, but NONE of the roads are being mowed.

Is this one of those nasty tricks where the money used for the things taxpayers really need is taken away so we’ll pass more levies? If so, shame on you (them)!

This is really dangerous. I’ve just avoided being hit a number of times already.

My kids and precious baby granddaughter slid almost into a ditch to avoid a deer as it bounded unseen from the underbrush.

With the number of bikers we get on our curvy roads, I am surprised no one has been killed as they are impossible to see.

I love living in the "country" where things are wild and green, but this is getting ridiculous.

Annie Gurke, Woodinville

 

MORE MEDITATION AND LESS BICKERING

I am enjoying your Health and Wellness section and appreciate the article "Why Every Person Should Meditate" by Kimberly Palm, C.M.I."

I learned to meditate many years ago and it transformed me and my life for the better.

Today much of my meditation practice takes place in nature and in my gardens.

Our culture is driven to go go go and achieve, whereas meditation is a way to slow down and be be be still.

It’s a way to balance our energies and our lives.

Meditation changes our brain waves and gives us access to information that is inspirational.

Imagine that!

A place within our own being that has intelligent information to sustain us. How about more meditation in our personal lives and less bickering in our community and world?

Trish Knox, Heritage Garden manager

Letters to the Editor - June 27, 2011

  • Written by Readers

PAYING IT FORWARD

Educating our local area is my focus and rule in life. When I am faced with the most painful reminders and memories of the death of my beautiful son, I’m compelled to say something. Accidents happen. Each year (around the 4th of July) we hear about fires, injuries, burns, lost pets, noise, garbage, allergies, costs of rebuilding homes and people sent to emergency rooms — not knowing they died weeks or months later from injuries.

Shane Lynch, age 13, died from legal fireworks. My son sustained extensive injuries including a shattered forehead. His skull was cracked in half; Ninety percent of his brain was burned.

If only knowledge had been shared, Shane might still be here.

Dynamite is safer than flash powder. Flash powder can ignite from STATIC ELECTRICITY. Many fireworks are made from flash powder.

I organize school assemblies to save lives with several agencies. Children are important and require guidance and protection.

Encourage public fireworks display shows. Help keep the county safe.

Writing an obituary and deciding on cremation or casket are not decisions you want to face over the 4th of July!

Donate blood at the Puget Sound blood Center in Everett on Oaks Avenue to help others.

Glenda Lynch, Snohomish