On my most recent Woodinville Water District (WWD) bill there was a statement of a change in the way it bills its customers. The water usage is now in gallons rather than in CCF (1 CCF = 748 gallons.) My bill also stated that the WWD would be unable to generate a historical usage graph. This is a silly statement since the WWD provides the conversion factor and it would be a simple programming feat to continue historical usage graphs. I suspect the real reason is that, without notification, our water rates have been increased.
My most recent bill indicated a usage of 6,380 gallons and I was billed $131.73. This works out to 0.0206 cents/gallon. Since this was a higher bill than typical for me for this billing period I went back to the previous four bills I’ve received this year. The sum of those bills indicated a usage of 37 CCF. Using the 748 gallon conversion supplied by WWD, this would be a usage of 27,676 gallons. My total bill for this period was $510.31. Dividing the usage into the total bill indicates a cost of 0.0184 cents/gallon. This may not seem like much but if that cost had been applied to my most recent bill, my bill would have been $117.39, significantly less than my actual bill of $131.73. This is a rate increase of slightly more than 10 percent.
Why in the world doesn’t the WWD just be honest with its clients? I often get the impression that local units of government and utilities are administered for the sake of the units and not primarily for the clients. Will Peterson, Woodinville
The Woodinville-Duvall Road debacle continues. Construction was to originally be from April to October, then it was changed to April to November, with no chance of completion on the stated timetable. I have never seen such a circus as the widening of this road.
Clearly the low bid on this road proves you get what you pay for. Flaggers that pay no attention to traffic, text, smoke and talk to each other instead of focusing on safety. Announced road closures that do not take place. Large holes, missing pavement, chunks of loose gravel have composed the road surface for months. I have seen better temporary roads in third world nations.
All summer with our outstanding weather the crews quit early and rarely worked a weekend. The traffic signal at Mack’s corner has been malfunctioning for weeks. Calls to Palmer Construction go unreturned; their apparent lack of concern about the mess this job has become is clear. Entire buildings have been erected in the time it has taken to widen this tiny section of road. I have never once seen a progress report released to any local news source. No announcement of what has been accomplished or what is still ahead. I am sure this fiasco is too much of an embarrassment for Palmer to comment on. Someone should be accountable. Lynn Parker, Woodinville
Over 850,000 Washington citizens are unpaid family caregivers, providing 80 percent of the services that allow family members to remain at home as long as possible. Recent state agency data reports the uncompensated caregiving is estimated to be valued at $10.6 billion. Caregiving is a very human concern and a financial one as well. These unpaid caregivers lose about $300,000 in salary and benefits in their lifetime, having minimal financial resources to begin with.
Washington state has a Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) but it currently only serves less than 1 percent of the 850,000 family caregivers in our state. Recent research findings report some good news though. The FCSP improves outcomes for caregivers — 84 percent of the participants showed significant improvements and were slower to transition to more costly Medicaid services. Serving more family caregivers would be a great investment for our state. Our legislators and the governor should support expansion of FCSP. These caregivers need our support. Dr. Cheryl Townsend Winter Member, Washington State Council on Aging, Bellevue
Sign Up, Sign Company, located in Bothell, has had a large red step van for the past seven years, where we have taken donations as a drop-off location for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. Unfortunately, we have lost the location where the truck has sat all this time, so we are forced to sell the vehicle, thus ending the ability to help with the donations.
People around Bothell, Woodinville and Kenmore have donated thousands of bags of clothing, bedding and toiletries in the past seven years. Every time the truck has been filled up, we would call the Mission and they would send their large truck to load everything into, then they would take it to Seattle to distribute to their various mission sites.
So, we would like to send a gigantic “thank you” to everyone who donated anything at all, from the woman who had a shoe drive and collected 235 pairs of shoes to the elderly gentleman who came in with one single pair of shoes in his hands! Every single item you have donated has made a difference over the years!
We will surely miss meeting and talking with all of you, and hearing the touching stories of why you are donating your items to the Mission. Thank you, everyone! Larry and Susie Ormbrek Sign Up, Sign Company Bothell
It has come to my attention that the owner or owners of the Woodinville Mall (Optik and DOL) are planning on taking down one of the last brick and mortar buildings to build a pharmacy? This is also going to take out the Goodyear building as well as the little auto repair shop and all the businesses in that mall.
We are quickly losing our history to these kind of huge buildings. We do not need a Walgreens in Woodinville. We have one in Cottage Lake that is only a few miles away. We have a Rite Aid that will probably go out of business if we let this happen.
The Optik Eye Doctor took over the business from the Norgards who occupied that space for a long time. Optik has upgraded that space to a very inviting and state-of-the-art place to get your eyes examined. They have invested a lot of money into making it a nice business...and have been there a year and now are asked to move? The business has curb appeal for new customers. That is not to forget all the other small businesses in that little area who will have to be relocated or end their business.
We need to get our city to not let this happen. Next thing will be a Walmart in our back yard. There is not much Old Woodinville left. Can’t we keep some things?
I just want to make sure everyone knows what’s coming. Sindi Giancoli
For many, district court is the first contact anyone has with the judicial system. This moment is crucial to our very faith in the American judicial system, perhaps more now than ever. When an individual looks to explain their perspective or circumstances, they are often embarrassed, indignant or feel that they have more to say about whatever brought them to stand in front of the judge that day. Our entire system of government is premised upon the belief that each of us gets to be heard. Regardless of the outcome, this moment needs to be one of respect and conscious care. The “system” must work. As a former attorney, a business owner and mother, I have sat in courtrooms where judges looked to humiliate and degrade. These experiences leave lifelong impressions, and not the ones that foster respect for the law or judicial system. In fact, these encounters tear away at the very foundations of our society.
Sarah Hayne, who is running for King County District Court Judge, comes from a real-person background and has consistently shown her compassion for her communities. Sarah has seen the judicial system from every angle and will adjudicate those before her with respect, humaneness and a passionate commitment to the rules all must abide. Her intelligence, life experience and fair-mindedness are exactly what we need in our judicial system.
Kate Riffle Roper ____
Many of us, when it comes to casting our ballots, may not necessarily pay much attention to the judicial candidates on the ballot. This election I want to bring your attention to one candidate, Marcus Naylor, who deserves your attention. Marcus is running for the open King County Northeast District Court Judge position. I have been a friend of Marcus now for over ten years. During this time I have come to know him very well and respect him so much for his honesty, integrity and compassion. We have taken some of the most memorable fishing trips of our lives together. It is rare that we have such an honorable and well-qualified candidate. Marcus has been practicing law for over 23 years in our state. For the last four years he has been a part-time judge. As a testament to his non-partisanship he is endorsed by both the King County Democrats and Republicans. Marcus has also earned the endorsement of many prosecutors, court staff, and judges including the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. He has been rated “exceptionally well qualified” by the King County Bar Association. For more information about Marcus and his candidacy please visit marcusnaylor.com. Peter Lamanna ____
I’ve been involved in education advocacy in public schools for the past 12 years. As the parent of a child with autism, I’ve worked closely with families and schools to help students with disabilities. As an advocate for children in our foster care system, I help some of our most at-risk students get the support they need. And like so many parents, as the mother of three school-aged children I’m a committed volunteer, helping out in our schools whenever I can.
When I first met Andy Hill, I was immediately impressed by his smarts, his passion for helping others, and a problem-solving approach that puts what’s best for kids above politics. He understands the challenges our schools face. And he’s impatient, but in a good way, because that meant starting on his first day in office, Senator Hill was ready to tackle the big issues. He’s been unwilling to accept the same, tiresome excuses for past failures.
Most importantly, Senator Hill listens. When parents like me approach him with a problem, he tries to understand it from our perspective. If issues come up that directly impact our community, he asks us to share our views. That’s because he knows the value of ensuring every viewpoint has a seat at the table.
During his time in office, Andy Hill has made helping our most vulnerable a top priority. His VIP Act means that 5,000 people with disabilities and their families will receive respite care and supported employment. His Para-educator Development Bill will provide a career path for educators who provide over half of all instruction to students with disabilities. This issue is important to me because I’ve seen firsthand how these dedicated professionals have changed the lives of students with disabilities, including my own son. Thanks to Senator Hill, they will finally receive the support needed to do their jobs.
Elections are about choices. And in this election, for me, the choice is clear. I’m voting for Andy Hill because of his commitment to education and his passion for helping others. I hope you’ll do the same. Beth Sigall ____
In the race for 45th District Senator, the best decision for voters is to reelect Senator Andy Hill.
Senator Andy Hill stands for education. He led the crafting of a budget that put $1 billion into public education – the most in recent history – without raising taxes. This budget reversed a 30-year trend in which education was chronically underfunded. With the budget, education spending growth now outpaced non-education spending growth 4 to 1. Furthermore, this budget also held the line on in-state college tuition for the first time in 27 years. Our students – our future – need this kind of leadership. Those who claim bipartisanship is dead should know that Senator Hill’s budget passed both houses with 89 percent of the vote in each chamber. It was because of this budget that Senator Hill received endorsements from both Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters – organizations that might not otherwise be expected to support Republican candidates.
Senator Hill was responsible for crafting the Vulnerable Individuals Priority (VIP) Act. This proposal ensures adequate funding into DSHS so that individuals with developmental disabilities can receive the help they need. This is much-needed assistance to over 4,000 individuals that need at-home care, and over 1,000 individuals that need assistance in finding employment. Again, this resolution passed the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support. Senator Hill’s opponent, Matt Isenhower, offers little in comparison. He has a few talking points and scant experience to support himself. With Senator Hill, I know I am dealing with someone who truly cares about his constituents and all Washingtonians. His experience as a PTA dad, tutor, and soccer coach exemplify his concern for children in both the 45th District and Washington state. Senator Hill’s record of sponsoring bipartisan legislation shows that Hill is a pragmatist who truly cares about best representing all Washingtonians.
If you want honest leadership with real results in Olympia, then I encourage you to make the right decision and reelect
Andy Hill as our State Senator. Calvin Helker ____
I support the homeowners of Greenbrier Heights who bought homes with backyards that unbeknownst to them were developed outside of the legal land parcels. The most common sense solution is that they retain ownership of all the property that they were led to believe was included in their lot when they bought it. The property lines should be redrawn in the homeowners’ favor.
My expectation of government is that it spend its money wisely by doing normal due diligence and oversight on the projects that it’s involved in. Call me a fiscal conservative. But let me point out that being fiscally conservative is not the same thing as being mean. If the City of Woodinville did not manage its contractor’s work in the Greenbrier Heights development then any responsibility regarding faulty property lines is the responsibility of the developer and the City. Does the City not write its contracts in such a way that the developer is held responsible for its work? There is nothing good about asking homeowners to vacate property which they were led to believe belonged to them and they call home. It’s just plain mean. And being mean is no way to represent the good-hearted people in this town.
The at best uncooperative behavior by City of Woodinville paid staff towards Woodinville’s small business and property owners has got to stop — from the top down. Too many of us in Woodinville have stories about how our city has made doing anything constructive here in Woodinville ridiculously difficult. This part of Woodinville is downright depressing to our local economy. Yet that behavior must be benefitting someone.
Perhaps the inability of City Council members to communicate with city staff below the executive is a factor in this dysfunction at City of Woodinville? Is this legal? It gives too much power to a few.
The brilliance of American democracy is in the checks and balances that create balances of power. For some reason we’re not benefitting from this on our local level.
Please join me in thanking the dedicated volunteers who spent the last year serving our schools and community. In May 2013 Monroe Public Schools appointed a Capital Facility Steering Committee to review current capital facility needs. The charge of the committee was to develop a new set of recommendations regarding school district facilities, and to submit its recommendation to the School Board in June 2014.