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Letters to the Editor - August 4, 2014

  • Written by Readers

STATE LEGISLATURE

In the race for 45th District Senator, the best decision for voters is to re-elect Andy Hill.

Senator Andy Hill crafted a budget that put $1.4 billion into public education without raising taxes. This has been the most put into education in recent history. Furthermore, this budget also froze in-state college tuition for the first time in 30 years. This is a major achievement. The importance in the passage of this budget was that it did not pass with 51 percent of the vote. No, it passed in both the House and Senate with 89 percent of the vote. This was the most bipartisan budget in over 20 years. It was because of this budget that Senator Hill received endorsements from both Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters.

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Letters to the Editor - July 28, 2014

  • Written by Readers

TRAIL ETIQUETTE

In light of the couple of letters over the past few weeks regarding trail etiquette, I’d like to respond in defense of bicyclists. It seems that people are quick to criticize bicyclists’ use of the trail, while no one draws attention to the fact that many pedestrians simply do not follow basic trail safety rules.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen pedestrians walking on the wrong side of the trail, in the middle of the trail, walking their dogs with a leash extended across the trail (or with no leash at all), or walking in “packs,” spread out in a large group across the entire trail. I’ve had several near run-ins when pedestrians unexpectedly dart out or stop and block the trail.

To Ms. Gilliland and her fellow petrified pedestrians, I’d like to offer a bit of guidance in trail use: (1) Do not stop on a bridge, where the trail is narrower than other sections. (2) It is a common courtesy for bicyclists to offer a warning; in fact, trail rules require cyclists to give an audible signal when passing. (3) Pay attention! Pedestrians get themselves in trouble when they blithely walk down the trail wearing ear buds or in a daydream. Trail rules state that pedestrians must “listen for audible signals and help faster users pass safely.”

Are there rude cyclists out there? Absolutely, and there is no excuse for bad behavior, but pedestrians need to do their part too and follow the trail rules. These are available on King County Parks’ website, posted along the trail, and printed on the Regional Trails map.
Peter Drewel

Letters to the Editor - July 21, 2014

  • Written by Readers

BICYCLISTS

I thoroughly agree with Ms. Gilliland’s letter last week, that rabid bicyclists don’t belong on a trail with the leisurely class of dog-walkers. I have given up the entire idea of a leisurely walk in Woodinville, just because no one thinks to separate these two vastly diverse activities, walking and maniacal bike-riding on the same narrow strip of pavement. Perhaps Ms. Gilliland would enjoy Aaron James’ writings, which I’ve read several times myself. My husband was hit by a bicyclist and fell down, and that was it for us.

On another note, we are getting ready for a move to a new home, hopefully in Woodinville, our home of over 40 years. While browsing realtor ads I see the new listing realty photos that make the image of homes so obscure, so washed out, that one is hardly motivated to drive by. I believe realtors should be held to a standard of photography that translates into a viable picture in the Weekly, even if I’m browsing above my income level.
Nancy Snyder

CAMP UNITY

Camp Unity Eastside encampment is moving on Aug. 1 ​to Kirkland Congregational​ ​​Church. CUE has been located at Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church since November 2013.

Camp Unity Eastside is a transitional mobile encampment and self-managed outside community. We make our focus on giving a hand up to those who have a need for simple shelter. Each member here is a responsible and active part of keeping CUE running. To offset the cost of operating and handling the responsibilities that come from offering safety and a place to reside, shower and eat, we each pay a maintenance fee of $30. In this way we empower our camp and each other to be contributors.

​We are supported by donations in kind. Meals, food, and clothing are surely appreciated as they are what makes us capable of providing beyond our own means.

This will be our first time being hosted at KCC. Yet we are excited to be part of Kirkland once again. Also, we will be moving to Holy Spirit on Nov. 1.
Allen Bolen

BIKE ACCIDENT

I wish to make some observations about your June 30 front page article, “Driver Fined Only $175 for Fatal Crash in Kenmore,” about Caleb Shoop’s tragic accident.

I witnessed the accident (and submitted my observations to the city’s police chief) and I concur with the King County Prosecutor cited in the article that vehicular homicide does not apply. I disagree with Fucoloro’s gratuitous allegations that the hapless truck driver whose vehicle hit Caleb ought to be penalized further.

The accident was first triggered by the driver of one of the cars headed south, who decided far too suddenly to stop to let Caleb cross the street forcing the rest of us drivers to stop quickly too. Upon seeing all of the cars stopping unexpectedly Caleb traversed the street. The youngish truck driver on the farthest right lane going north didn’t see any of this and failed to slow down enough or stop. I think the $175 penalty the young truck driver had to pay and the pangs of regret which I’m sure he carries are commensurate with what he did.

I consider the response by the City of Kenmore to re-stripe 61st Avenue extremely questionable although probably goodhearted. One of my neighbors thought it goofy. A sort of a bike lane was added (but not for the entire length of the street) which I used yesterday for the first time. It was only a small relief because the city eliminated one of the northbound lanes and this forces drivers wishing to give a biker a little more room than the narrow bike lane offers to drive over the solid yellow line, which few are willing to do.

As a result of the re-striping, an entire lane is out of bounds for drivers and this can only cause even longer lines for the greater number of commuters that use 61st. Given the greater number of homes the city has allowed in our area, 61st now carries more traffic than before but now, with the re-striping, there is less street space for the cars to go through. It doesn’t make any sense.
Carlos B. Gil

Letters to the Editor - July 14, 2014

  • Written by Readers

AUTOMATED WATER METERS

The anti-science alarmists are at it again, spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) based on irrational and unfounded beliefs. If you’re against automated water meters, you should also avoid wireless phones, cell phones, microwave ovens, computers, wi-fi, and in fact electrical circuits of all kinds. An automated water meter is hardly any more than a walkie talkie that sends a small radio signal to an antenna. The idea that this is dangerous in today’s culture is ridiculous, and serves only those who prey on people’s fears.
David Blatner

TRAIL ETIQUETTE

While walking with my dog on the Burke-Gilman Trail near Lake Forest Park, a man riding a bicycle threatened to “cut my dog’s head off.” We weren’t even in his way. We had stepped off the trail for my dog to sniff around on the shoulder. There were no other people on the section of trail at the time, so he had more than ample space to pass safely.
This is the second time in the past three weeks that some guy riding a bike has been rude to me while using the trail. The first time my dog and I were looking at a heron on a bridge. Three guys were approaching our location but had not yet reached us. They screamed out “bike!”, startling us even though I had already seen their approach and was well out of their way. I understand a warning would be appropriate if I had stepped out into their path suddenly; however, this screaming and threatening is more than anyone should be expected to tolerate. The trail is not only for the zealot bike rider in his designated “uniform” acting as if he is in the most important race of his life, but for everyone wishing to use this public recreational space.

There were quite a few other people out for a walk; however, there was plenty of space for everyone to enjoy their exercise and none of them were shouting at anyone. Also, there were other bicyclists riding along at a reasonable speed and passing without incident, as well as people walking, jogging and roller blading.

I spoke with another woman who also had a run-in with some bike rider that “let out a stream of expletives” at her because she was supposedly in his way.

I believe it is time for the militant bike riders to join the automobiles on the roads, since they feel they deserve more right-of-way on the trail than pedestrians do. This way, they would be able to ride as fast as they want and scream at other drivers just like motorists.
Noreen M. Gilliland

ELECTION

Joel Hussey is running for state representative in the 45th district. You may have seen his name on signs in your neighborhood, or read about him in a newspaper. Joel Hussey, a long-time Redmond resident and small business owner, has the experience and passion to bring about positive changes in Washington state.

As the CEO and President of Tailwind Capital, LLC, Mr. Hussey leads a company that manages and markets aircraft for investors, lenders and airlines here in Washington state and around the world.

For many years, Joel Hussey has benefited the community. He served on the school board of Bellevue Christian School for seven years, including three years as board president. Additionally, as president of the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association, he helped to reorganize the association. Mr. Hussey has also served as the committee chair of a Boy Scout troop, and coached youth sports and Math Olympiad teams.

Education, jobs, and a sustainable state budget are Mr. Hussey’s top priorities. He desires to put kids and schools first and to fully fund education, including early learning. Mr. Hussey wants to limit tuition increases at public universities, and expand the capacity of high-demand programs such as science and engineering. He wishes to cut wasteful spending and find balanced solutions to our state’s problems. By reducing onerous regulations and taxes on small business, Mr. Hussey wants to help businesses create jobs and strengthen the economy.

Many local political leaders have given Joel Hussey their endorsement. Secretary of State Kim Wyman, State Representative Chad Magendanz, former State Attorney General Rob McKenna, State Senator Andy Hill (chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee) and many others have endorsed Mr. Hussey.

Mr. Hussey truly cares about the community. With years of experience in the business world, he desires to bring lasting and meaningful change to our state. Let’s vote to elect Joel Hussey as our next State Representative.
Grace Deng

NEW COUNCIL MEMBER

The meeting to appoint a new Woodinville City Council member seemed to go for an agonizingly long time. But I think the Council sent an important message about civility at meetings during the process.

In the end, the Council appointed Hank Stecker, a former Council member, to fill the vacancy. I think this was the best thing to do for many reasons. The appointee will be sworn in and will assume some very important responsibilities, with no time for playing catch up. Having an experienced person, who is very familiar with city business and the workings of the Council, was an important factor. Hank Stecker was previously elected by the voters of Woodinville, and since the Council is an elected position, weight should be given to applicants that were previously supported by the voters. Mr. Stecker is a current Planning Commissioner, and has dedicated many hours of his time to the city. When the Council was stuck at a 3-3 vote between the final two applicants, James Evans eventually displayed a lot of courage by settling the issue. James had stated that he wanted to see new faces on the council. But filling a vacant spot, mid-term, with somebody that had no previous experience, had never served on a city commission or board, and who had difficulty presenting a vision for the city, left me apprehensive about appointing a wild card to the council. Hank Stecker brought more to the table, displayed a knowledge of city history and presented a clear vision for the city.

The newly appointed Council member takes over for the balance of the term, and then the issue goes back to the voters on the November ballot in 2015 for the new term starting in January of 2016. I encourage all of the people that applied for appointment to study the issues, serve on a city commission or board, meet with voters, and run for the ELECTED position of council member. The voters want to know what they are getting, and it is the voters that have the privilege of selecting their representatives.
Dale Knapinski

Letters to the Editor - Valley View July 14, 2014

  • Written by Readers

Another 4th of July has passed and what a 4th it was.

The weather was perfect, the day was perfect. We started the day with the 5K Run which had over 600 registered runners and walkers and ended with the most speculator FIREWORKS DISPLAY!!!

But what a parade!!! We had the Chinese Drill Team back, the Ixtapa Horses, I think they doubled in size this year, they were outstanding. Then we had the Washington Fallen Heroes Banners, there are no words to describe the emotion this brought out. As someone said, “It was bittersweet!!”

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