Medicare’s open enrollment period for prescription drug plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage plans started Oct.15 and runs through Dec. 7. “Many Medicare plans are changing this year,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Our Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) can help you choose a plan that best meets your needs.” SHIBA can help answer questions and evaluate plans. “Our unbiased volunteers in your community can answer your questions and search for plans online,” said Marijean Holland, SHIBA program manager. “We also offer assistance with Original Medicare and other health plans, and provide free, unbiased information.”
Before you choose a Medicare plan, consider the following tips:
• Plan costs and coverage can change every year, so carefully review all letters and notices from your current plan.
• Make a list of all current prescription drugs you take, the doses and how often. Then, use the Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov to compare Part D plans.
• Review the 2013 Medicare & You handbook. You should receive it by mid-October.
• If you have questions, call 1-800- MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) before you sign up.
• If you have limited income and need help paying for prescription drugs, check out Medicare’s “Extra Help” program. To see if you qualify, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or go to www.socialsecurity.gov and click on Medicare.
“Call us today at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to schedule an appointment with a SHIBA volunteer advisor,” added Kreidler.
For free Medicare workshops in your area: www.insurance.wa.gov/shiba/index.
After seven previous discussions, two moratoriums and more mathematical minutiae than you could shake a stick at, the Woodinville City Council passed first reading of Ordinance No. 532 regarding residential density regulations and minimum lot sizes for single-family residential subdivisions.
The vote was 6-1, with Councilmember Les Rubstello opposed.
For those of you not paying attention, it’s a development thing and it has everything to do with preventing unwanted density in neighborhoods, particularly R-1 neighborhoods.
The city is required by the Growth Management Act (GMA) to provide for 2,200 more dwelling units by 2031.
At its September 18 meeting, the council received a supplemental report from an outside consultant which addressed proposals to modify minimum lot widths, increase minimum lot size in the R-1 zone when critical areas are present and establish regulations which close loopholes that currently allow lot consolidation by developers seeking to achieve greater unit development yields from consolidating unbuildable critical areas.
The pressing issue Tuesday appeared to be choosing one of three critical areas regulations options proposed by the consultant and endorsed by staff.
Ultimately an amendment by Councilmember Paulette Bauman to maintain critical area transfer regulations as currently written in city code but increase minimum lot sizes in R-1 zones from 16,700 square feet to 31,000 square feet was passed unanimously.
Earlier, an amendment by Councilmember Liz Aspen to calculate allowable dwelling units on a parcel by “rounding up” versus “rounding down” (i.e: a property owner with 1.5 acres can build two units) was passed 4-3 with Mayor Bernie Talmas, Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders and Councilmember Art Pregler opposed. Ostensibly the decision repealed a recent amendment to “round down,” changing the code back to where it was previously.
Currently there are two moratoriums in effect that restrict single-family subdivisions. To avoid extending those moratoriums further, the council needs to take final action on Ordinance No. 532 no later than October 16, 2012.
Photo courtesy of WF&R . New WF&R fire commissioner Roger Collins gets sworn in by board chair Tim Osgood.
Once again, it’s a full house over at the Woodinville Fire & Rescue board of commissioners. Finally … at least for now.
At its October 1 meeting the WF&R board appointed Roger Collins to fill the fire commissioner seat vacated when former commissioner Gerry Vucci resigned from the post in July due to moving away from the district for professional reasons.
Vucci replaced Randy Ransom, who resigned 16 months ago due to health reasons.
Collins was selected unanimously over two other applicants — both of whom applied for the position before — and will serve the duration of the term which expires December 31, 2013.
He has no previous affiliation with fire service but brings a solid business background to the board.
Collins, a 26-year Woodinville resident, is owner and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sierra Construction Company, which, he said during his October 1 public interview, relocated to Woodinville about 12 years ago.
In that interview, the CEO expressed a desire to give back to his community.
Further, Sierra Construction has 110 employees, he said, and does $100 million in revenue annually with balanced books.
That, apparently, was enough to impress the four standing commissioners.
“Roger brought a refreshing business approach,” Commissioner Kevin Coughlin said. “He’s the owner of a major construction company and understands business. (Fire) commissioners have to balance public policy and business, and he emphasized to us how we need to market our product.”
Coughlin said Collins was a breath of fresh air in this new budgetary world.
“Nothing against the other two guys because they were good candidates, but it’s nice to get somebody with his qualifications who’s already well respected in the community and well known in the area.”
He added that it was good, finally, to get that fifth commissioner chair filled.
“Absolutely. We have some serious business to take care of and we’re currently getting deeply involved with budget.”
Cool note: Collins, later during his public interview, with a smile, said he owned his own personal fire truck. “It’s a ’47 Ford ... and I’ll look official when I drive it around. It’s a beauty.”
Terry Jarvis, left, is running against Joe Truglio in the race for mayor of Grace.
The election heat is on and it’s a tight race that promises to be a nail biter to the bitter end.
And no, I’m not talking about the upcoming presidential election. I’m referring to the all-important race for mayor of Grace.
Incumbent Terry Jarvis, who is the self-proclaimed “Mayor-for Life” of the tiny township is running against upstart Joe “Giuseppe” Truglio, who threw his hat in the ring just months ago.
The upcoming election will be the first held in Grace since it was re-established in 1993 when Jarvis assumed the role of “Hiz Honor.”
For those of you who don’t know exactly where the town is located, John Hughes, campaign manager for both candidates, explains: “It’s just north of the King-Snohomish County line and borders Highway 9, right next to Woodinville. It’s about three quarters of a square mile in size with a population of 12 residents. We even have a sign to welcome people, so they know they’re entering the town.”
In addition to a mayor, Grace has a chief of police, Don Fitzpatrick; a treasurer, Steve Dolan, who supposedly keeps the municipal funds in an ancient cigar box and even a town mascot, Scape the goat.
In addition to campaign manager, Hughes also serves as grand marshal (yes, that’s marshal with one ‘l’) of the now defunct St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“I continue to serve in this capacity though my role is limited to announcing the cancellation of the parade each year,” comments Hughes.
According to Mayor Jarvis, Grace boasts a number of commercial enterprises, including Costco, a gas station, used car lot, self-storage business, marine store and then, of course, there’s Brightwater.
Hiz Honor Terry Jarvis urges his supporters to “vote early but vote often.” Courtesy photo.
“We welcome entrepreneurs of all kinds,” says Jarvis, “and we’re happy to spot annex anyone who wants to be a part of our town, but they have to be people who like to have fun. There are no serious people allowed in Grace, and definitely not any lawyers, insurance salesmen, accountants or consultants. We got rid of them because they are nonproductive. They don’t add to the GDP, the Grace Domestic Product.”
Jarvis, who represents the So-So Party, is running on a platform that includes renaming Kokanee Elementary School as Grace P.S. No. 2 to provide historical respect for the good old days; annexing Woodinville (but only after all the city’s roads and the city hall are paid for in entirety); keeping sales taxes at low rate of 7.8 percent; continuing to issue building permits on the same day of application; retaining Police Chief Fitzpatrick and expanding Scotch Broom Park, a 5- by 7-yard plot of land given to the town by the ever-benevolent Mayor Jarvis.
Hiz Honor stands by the promise, “It isn’t broken and we won’t fix it.”
He also guarantees he’ll provide a chicken or two in every Gracean’s pot and urges residents to “vote early, but vote often.”
Jarvis vows to maintain a generous annexation policy, emphasizing that the town’s growth is dependent on being able to acquire more property.
His opponent, Giuseppe, who is a member of the Ho Hum Party, shares many of the same views, but emphasizes that he will put steak, not chicken, in the hands of every citizen in Grace.
He points out that the mayor is only promising chicken for the masses and reveals (gasp!) that Hiz Honor secretly eats steak as often as he can.
“What kind of mayor reserves steak for himself while his constituency is relegated to eating chicken?” he asks.
The local man is running because he feels it’s time for change in the town.
“Grace isn’t getting enough attention and it has fallen from people’s awareness,” explains Giuseppe. “The job of promoting Grace is not being done. The leadership has gotten lax.”
In an effort to keep campaign costs to a minimum, both candidates have implemented frugal practices. They hired a joint neutral campaign manager and are employing sign-sharing techniques to demonstrate their financial restraint.
Every Tuesday, the candidates meet at the Sammamish Valley Grange and gather as many citizens of Grace as they can to do informal polling. Each man is confident he will win the election, but both agree that the race is going to be close.
“If we have a recount, I will count the votes,” asserts Jarvis.
Giuseppe believes that it won’t come to that because he thinks Jarvis will bow out at the last moment.
“He will do the right thing by conceding to me,” adds Giuseppe. “And I will be very gracious and offer him a job as Grace city manager because he’s still very valuable to the town.”
As Election Day nears, however, the candidates have thrown off their white gloves.
Giuseppe supporters recently charged that Hiz Honor has ordered town election officials to keep mum about the locations of voting precincts.
Jarvis responds that he will only reveal the locations on a need-to-know basis, adding, “Those who are voting for me will know exactly where to cast their ballots.”
The mayor considers Giuseppe to be wildly unpredictable and extremely radical, and he resents his rival’s decision to enter the race.
“I am mayor-for-life,” stresses Jarvis, “and everything was going along fine until this interloper challenged me. I’m not giving up my robe and crown without a fight.”
The candidates will have a chance to present their views on a number of pertinent issues at an upcoming debate (date and time has yet to be determined), which may or may not be moderated by radio and T.V. personality, Pat Cashman, and news columnist, Patti Payne.
OLYMPIA — The state archives might not have every episode of the long-running TV series “Law and Order” in its collections, but it does have an extensive collection of legal and historical documents and photos featuring criminals, law enforcement and courts in Washington.
This collection provides the theme for the state’s sixth annual Archives Month this October. This year’s official theme is, “LAW & ORDER IN THE ARCHIVES: Crooks, Cops and Courts.” The month-long event, part of a national celebration, is co-sponsored by the Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of Secretary of State. To learn more about the state archives, go to its Web site at http://www.sos.wa.gov/archives/.
Throughout October, the public is encouraged to explore, free of charge, millions of items through the state archives and its digital archives, historical societies, museums, public libraries and university special collections.
“Here in Washington, there are interesting stories about criminals – some notorious – and the admirable efforts of our law enforcement and courts to bring them to justice,” said Secretary of State Sam Reed. “Thanks to our state archives, an enormous number of documents related to crime, cops and courts are preserved for the public to see, and it’s exciting to make this collection this year’s Archives Month theme.
“I encourage people to go to one of the archives events this month and learn how to explore a part of Washington history or even their own family roots,” Reed added.
The State Archives houses nearly 2 billion legal and historical items and is the
home for the nation’s first Digital Archives (located on the Eastern Washington
University campus in Cheney), which preserves electronic records in an award-
winning online database that is used by thousands of people every day. Check