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Letters to the Editor - Dec. 8, 2014

  • Written by Readers

PROPERTY TAXES

I am curious to know what the citizens of Woodinville would think when they realize that the Woodinville City Council voted to raise their property taxes next year. Granted, as some of the members of the Council and the City Manager argued, it is only 1 percent and should only equate to $5 per property for most homes in 2015, gaining the city $30,000. However, do the citizens realize that the City of Woodinville has $25 million in reserve? Thank you to the Council members who voted no, Hank Stecker, Bernie Talmas and James Evans. As for the rest of the City Council that voted yes, not sure what you were thinking.
Susan Milke
Woodinville

HILLSIDE ACADEMY

I found a gem of a school, Hillside Academy in Duvall, by doing an Internet search. My daughter was doing OK in our local public school, but not completely thriving. I wanted her to experience her life in a fuller way. As I investigated private programs, the sticker shock became the hurdle.
Then I found Hillside Academy. Their clearly stated philosophy of education and affordability had me hooked and I started connecting with the staff to explore this option for my daughter. Now three months into the school year, I BELIEVE IN THIS SCHOOL.
What do I love?
1.CARING ENVIRONMENT THAT TAILORS EDUCATION TO MY DAUGHTER’S LEARNING STYLE. Hillside’s unique blend of STEM with an arts emphasis allows for group and hands-on experience for project based learning. The teachers share learning and resources. They speak into each other’s curriculum and have a long-term view of education in mind for each student. I so appreciate the math groupings and specialized curriculum that has helped her reach a new level.
2. EMPHASIS ON ARTS AND MOVEMENT. Although each classroom is structured and accountable, kids have freedom to move while learning. Their bodies are engaged with their heads.
3. PACED FOR GROWTH. Because of the small class size and parent involvement, students have the capacity to go further in areas of strengths and experience greater support for areas of struggle.
4. PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL. I enjoy being part of the Hillside “family.” It is a culture where kids across grades know and love each other. I’m also impressed with the level of professionalism, the creativity of the director to access resources in an affordable way and the involvement of many great educators through enrichment, tutoring, and specialized groupings based on student’s learning needs.
5. ENRICHED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES. This little school packs a punch by providing Spanish, movement classes, art, music, multiple field trips, service opportunities and community connection.
The director and staff have built an incredible culture they will be able to maintain with their growth trajectory. I’m thankful for this school and the quality of education it’s providing to our children.
Lynne Ellis
Woodinville

FOUND DIAMOND

Denali Slab & Tile Studio located in Woodinville has found a loose diamond on our premises and would like to return it to its rightful owner. If you have visited our studio in the past months and lost your diamond, please contact Denali to inquire. (Must be able to identify the size, shape of diamond, proof of ownership.)
Karen Escalera
Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - Dec. 1, 2014

  • Written by Readers

SELLING PROPERTY

My husband Howard and I have been victims of foot-dragging on the part of Woodinville’s planning committee issuing permits so we can sell our 3 acre parcel to KLN developers.

Or I should say, up to this time not being able to sell it to a number of developers who have consumed nearly five years of our time, and all except the last dropped out because Woodinville’s planning requirements are so finicky, slow and abrasive to all concerned. My husband and I do not wish to declare bankruptcy, but if our latest requests via KLN to sell our property don’t work out, then Woodinville itself will be responsible for yet another pair of penniless old people who cannot afford to live on the Eastside and must give up the equity in their home besides.

Don’t you people have any concern for elderly people who have hardly the energy to move someplace cheaper? Why would you put us through a humiliating foreclosure just so every picayune matter under Woodinville’s power can be justified in the most micromanaging style?
Everyone knows it is far easier to get building permits in nearby cities. We aren’t asking for a big box store on our property or a five story downtown building. We are just asking to move from Woodinville before we are dead, and have a bit of retirement time left. Does that mean soil samples over and over again? The Quadrant company proved to us that you sit in your offices and make determinations without visiting the site itself. When someone actually visited the site, the plans for the property were reversed.

Shame on those responsible for not allowing us to sell and move, after we have lived here 42 years and been proud of our city.
Nancy Snyder, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - November 24, 2014

  • Written by Readers

WATER RATES

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

WOODINVILLE-DUVALL ROAD

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

Letters to the Editor - November 17, 2014

  • Written by Readers

FAMILY CAREGIVERS

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

THANK YOU

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

Letters to the Editor - November 10, 2014

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

WOODINVILLE MALL

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