Letters to the Editor - March 12, 2012

  • Written by Readers

Mayor Talmas:

Not too many months ago your constituents spent over $150,000 of their own money and City of Woodinville spent many thousands more constituents’ tax dollars to win in State Supreme Court against a Wood Trails Subdivision rezone in the Wellington neighborhood.

The intent was not only to uphold the R-1 zone but to keep sewers from invading neighborhoods of R-1.

NOW here we are, faced with a similar yet dissimilar situation.

Again the developer proposes to bring in sewers and develop on lots smaller than an acre.

The difference this time is not by a rezone but by clustering with density transfer credits on lots as small as 12,000 square feet. Do we, your constituents, AGAIN need to go to court and spend another $150,000 of our own money to maintain one acre building sites without sewers in the R-1 zone?

Or will you and the City Council step up to the plate, modify Ordinance 532 for consistency and  require that lots created in R-1 have the minimum size to support on-site septic?

And while you are modifying 532 please modify Woodinville Municipal Code so that sewer hookups in the R-1 zone are not required and households in the R-1 zone with septic systems cannot be required to connect to sewer.

PLEASE modify Ordinance 532 and the Municipal Code and fix the R-1 zone problems once and for all.

We, your constituents, cannot afford to keep fighting battles in court that can easily be resolved by you and members of our City Council.

Thank you,

Phyllis Keller, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - March 5, 2012

  • Written by Readers

Medical Marijuana

I see that the City of Woodinville has taken the immensely brave step of prohibiting medical marijuana collective gardens.

I wonder about their justifications, though. The council gave many reasons for banning the gardens, such as housing stock removal, degrading neighborhood aesthetics, smell, chemical discharges, electrical fires, mold, loiterers, traffic and crime.  All of these problems exist without the marijuana collective gardens.

Removal of housing stock?  How many foreclosed houses are sitting empty in your neighborhood?  I can see one right now.

Smell? What about horse manure?

Mold? We just paid thousands of dollars to get rid of mold due to a poorly-installed roof.

Loiterers? How about those kids that have been hanging around at the end of the cul-de-sac for the last 21 years?

Traffic? Better close down every home business.

Crime? We have had several break-ins on our street already.

These problems already exist without marijuana collective gardens, and most of them can be dealt with through existing laws.  There are already ordinances dealing with unsightly dwellings, with loitering, with crimes, with excess traffic.  And there is no reason that Woodinville should not join forward-looking cities and states and allow the production of medical marijuana. Sure, marijuana use is a federal crime, but there is no law, federal or otherwise, that prevents a municipality from making a law allowing production. If the law seems unconstitutional, someone will contest the law and the courts will decide. Many people, people I know and love, cannot deal with some medical problems using legal drugs.   The drugs make them sick, stupid, poor, or just don’t work at all.  The wave of realization that marijuana can be an effective treatment is beginning to crest. Unfortunately, Woodinville is trying to stop this wave, but will be washed over.

John S. Snow, Woodinville


Northshore School District (NSD) has the earliest high-school bell time of any district in the region. Early bell times mean teens get inadequate sleep which leads to poorer academic performance and health. Parent Advocates for a Later Start (PALS) is currently working toward achieving a later start time for high-school students in NSD. Please sign the online petition to reach the goal of presenting 500 signatures by the March 13 NSD School Board  meeting. Online petition —

Debra Srebnik, Woodinville

Guest Editorial - State Senate was right in protecting domestic violence victims

  • Written by Vicci Hilty
On Tuesday (February 28) the Senate released its proposed supplemental budget, which made protecting victims of domestic violence a priority.

The Senate’s proposed budget preserves funding for domestic violence emergency shelters and other crucial social services, without shortening offenders’ prison sentences.

On a single day in 2011, Washington state domestic violence programs served 1,884 domestic violence victims, including providing 1,080 victims with emergency shelter or transitional housing, and 804 victims with non-shelter services, such as individual counseling, legal advocacy and children’s support groups.

On that same day, Washington domestic violence programs were unable to meet the needs of 502 requests for services due to a lack of funding or resources.

Clearly, the Senate understands that further cuts to these life-saving services for domestic violence victims and their children would have grave consequences.

We appreciate the Senate prioritizing the protection of life-saving services for domestic violence victims.  We hope the Legislature  makes sure the final budget preserves these services for victims and their children.

Vicci Hilty is the deputy director at Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County

Letters to the Editor - Feb. 27, 2012

  • Written by Readers


The Woodinville City Council is paying, let me get this straight — $600 an hour to have someone teach them how to operate more efficiently as a council?

I would start by finding someone more cost-efficient to run the meeting.

Susan Milke, Woodinville


Just wondering if the city had to pay for the line painting job on Woodinville/Duvall Road?

So many of the marks are askew that one has to guess that a cut-rate firm was hired to do the job.

Those marks are a terrible distraction as one drives and I certainly hope that the responsible company is legitimate enough to come back and correct their shoddy work.

Andrew Cook, Woodinville


I just spent a few minutes researching the economic benefits of public investment in major sports facilities.  In short, any benefits are doubtful, and often there is a  net drain on the local economy.

Little to no new money is brought in from outside of the area, and local money not spent for sports tickets will be spent in other local venues.

We’ve already had two shiny new ego-boosters forced on the public to bolster a few politicians’ egos, and what has it gotten us?

The opportunity to smash through ever-deepening potholes on the way to see football or baseball games.

Dow Constantine is a good King County executive who seems to have the public’s interest in mind, but in this case his ego is getting the better of him.

The  Giants play in a stadium built completely with private money, but you can bet that San Francisco gets tax revenues from every ticket sold and with no public subsidy of the stadium.

If it’s a good idea to build a stadium in Seattle, it’s a good idea to do it without King County dollars!

John Snow,Woodinville


The Sammamish Valley Grange “Sleeping Bag for the Homeless” project (now in its 12th year), needs volunteers to help them keep up their production.

They meet on Tuesdays, 9:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall on 148th next to Hollywood School House.

If you have time, stop by and see where you might help  – pinning materials, tying knots, button hole stitching,  etc.,

Bring your lunch; coffee is provided).

For additional information or if you have questions, call 483-2693 or Joan Brennan at 481-6567 or the Grange at 398-3701.

Thank you for reading and considering participating.

Helen McMahon, Woodinville

‘No cuts’ budget does not mean the Legislature has met its paramount duty

  • Written by Jeff Vincent

The recently released house budget includes significant cuts to state spending in order to address a $1.2 billion shortfall.

Despite the significant deficit facing the state, the K-12 education budget was spared the more drastic reductions faced by social services.

Clearly K-12 education was a priority in this budget.

The preservation of levy equalization funding, and funding for 180 days of instruction, is a relief to school districts across the state.

Understandably, the initial reaction to the K-12 budget is generally positive. Yet, what standard are we to apply in judging this budget?

Just because the budget proposal is better than what was expected, does not necessarily mean it will satisfy the State Supreme Court.

The Court, in the recently released McCleary school funding decision, made it clear that current levels of school funding are inadequate and unconstitutional.

The Court also made it clear that it would not “idly stand by as the Legislature makes unfulfilled promises for reform.”

The 2010 Legislature promised significant funding enhancements phased in over time when it passed Substitute House Bill 2776. In McCleary, the Court states unequivocally that the magnitude of prior phase-in steps have been unsatisfactory; even pointing out that full day kindergarten, at the current pace of phase-in, would not be fully implemented until the year 2090.

This budget, the first issued after the release of McCleary, makes no meaningful improvements to this timetable.

A “no cuts” budget does not mean that the Legislature has met its paramount duty – nor does another school funding study.

And while it is true that a short supplemental budget session is probably not sufficient to develop a comprehensive solution to funding SHB 2776, the State Board of Education believes that a meaningful down payment is needed to send a “good faith” message to the Court and to schools and set the implementation of SHB 2776 on a reasonable and attainable course.

We appreciate and acknowledge the leadership of the House in protecting K-12 from further reductions, but we believe the post-McCleary era demands a higher standard.

Jeff Vincent is Chair of the Washington State Board of Education.