Menu

In pursuit of unbuckled AND distracted drivers

  • Written by Washington Traffic Safety Commission

 ‘Click it or Ticket’ patrols take on texters and talkers

 Ever wonder why Washington has one of the highest seat belt use rates in the country? It is due, in large part, to the highly visible "Click It or Ticket" campaign which includes publicity, extra enforcement and signage. In June 2002, when the primary seat belt law went into effect, approximately 82 percent of Washington drivers wore seat belts, and today, nearly 97 percent of Washington drivers are buckling up. Now, it’s time to focus on another important traffic safety concern — distracted drivers who are texting and talking on their cell phones.

Between May 20 and June 2, motorists in King County can expect to see law enforcement patrolling city and county roads in search of unbuckled drivers and passengers and drivers using their cell phones. Last year, during this same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols statewide issued 3,171 seat belt violations amongst the 11,047 motorists who were stopped.

Similarly, last year during this time period, 1,059 cell phone violations were written. However, taking a historical look, in 2010 (the same year cell phone use became a primary law in Washington), only 63 drivers were cited statewide.

In King County, the Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Port of Seattle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seatac, Seattle, Tukwila and Woodinville police departments, and the Washington State Patrol will be teaming up and participating in these extra patrols, with the support of the King County Target Zero Task Force.

These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero — striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com. Additional information on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission can be found at www.wtsc.wa.gov.

Bite Rite members focus on healthy eating

  • Written by Deborah Stone

Bite RiteCourtesy photo. From left to right (back row): Kenny Song, Rayna Tarrach, Michelle Ford, Isaac Plunk, Trenton Marquette and Xavier Gallegos; (front row): Kayla Becker, Jessica Hidalgo, Chloe Yeo, Mimee Beck, and Sarah Tretheway. Not pictured: Katie TurkInglemoor High students are fortunate to have a variety of organized extracurricular clubs to choose from at their school. The menu of options is extensive and contains everything from knitting and opera to astronomy, robotics and hacky sack. There’s even Bite Rite, a nutrition club focused on educating students about healthy eating.

Senior Kenny Song is president and founder of the group, which began last year.

He says, "I wanted to start this club because I saw so many of my peers eat junk food and I wanted to help change their habits. I wanted to show people that it is easy to eat healthy."

The teen believes that it’s important to instill healthy habits in high school students before they go off to college and live on their own. He emphasizes that a healthy diet can help kids reach their full potential in academics, sports and life, and that early education is the key.

"The goal of the club is to inform students that eating healthy is fun, easy and delicious," he explains. He adds, "Establishing a positive environment will help people to continue to improve on their healthy nutrition habits."

Song’s interest in nutrition goes beyond the norm. His passion for the subject led him to write a book, "Nutrition for Success and Confidence," which was published last fall through Createspace.

Its target audience is high school and college students, but Song emphasizes that adults will find the information very useful, too.

The content focuses on healthy alternatives for snacks and meals. Bite Rite meets once a week and engages in a variety of activities.

The group discusses everything from food labels and healthy snack and meal ideas to topics such as nutrition for athletes, new options for the school’s cafeteria and the negative effects of energy drinks and soda.

Students also cook together, preparing healthy snacks like kale chips, fruit salad and hummus.

Last year, Song and several club members worked with the Yale Rudd Center to create a sugary drinks tax proposal.

The teens then went to the Kenmore City Hall to present their proposal to the city council, but it was rejected.

Additionally, they visited a local elementary school to educate the younger kids about healthy eating.

Song talks up the club and encourages other students to participate in order to build membership. He also puts up signs around the school.

Word-of-mouth, however, seems to be the most effective recruitment tool.

The teen, who will soon graduate and attend USC to study health administration, will be passing the reins of the club over to junior Katie Turk.

"I got involved because I love food, health and connecting with people," says Turk. "Bite Rite involves all three." She adds, "There’s a great opportunity for students to become healthier eaters through education and changing the food available in schools. Working with energetic students from the club is the perfect way to make it happen." Turk feels there is a need for this group at the school, noting the growing issue of obesity within our society. She comments, "We can solve this problem if students create better habits early on." The teen explains that Inglemoor offers a variety of food items that are healthy, but many kids still opt for the junk food, perhaps because they’re not aware of what they’re actually eating. She feels that the optimal way to get nutrition information to students is via their peers, adding, "Teenagers don’t always respond well to adults telling them what to eat. If the information is coming from a friend, they’re a lot more likely to be interested."

As for types of changes that could be made on campus in order for students to make wiser choices when it comes to food, Turk says, "Making it easier to grab a healthy salad or sandwich when kids are rushing off to class would help, as would sharing calorie count information and promoting healthy foods in a fun way."

When she assumes the position of president of the club next year, the teen plans to bring in guest speakers, offer more cooking sessions, hold special nutrition-related events at the school and develop a partnership between students and the district to implement new ideas in the cafeteria.

She notes, "Contrary to what most high schoolers believe, healthy food can actually be really, really good. But, changing eating habits is hard, especially given that many kids don’t even think about what they put in their mouths."

The bottom line for Turk is that "people shouldn’t eat just to be healthy; they should eat because they find joy in it."

New water district commissioner chosen

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman Contributing Writer

ChattertonRick Chatterton will replace Tim Matson on the Woodinville Water District Board of Commissioners, the current Board decided at a meeting on April 30.
 

Chatterton wants to focus on keeping rates reasonable while conserving Woodinville’s water resources in an environmentally responsible way.
 

He said the population of the Pacific Northwest, including the eastside of Seattle, is projected to grow 30 percent between now and 2030, so he wants to ensure the Woodinville Water District will manage resources effectively to meet the needs of a larger future population.
 

“I’m an avid conservationist,” he said. “With all the rain that’s here, it’s easy to think we have water to waste, but ... it’s a limited resource.”
 

Chatterton, who has lived in Woodinville for eight years, retired from a career in financial management with Royal Caribbean in 2008.
 

“I left so I could focus on building community,” he said. His corporate career prepared him for managing the water district. “We answered to the shareholders. As an executive, I had to be financially responsible.”
He is also the president of the Woodinville Heritage Society, serves on the Woodinville Emergency Preparedness and Public Safety Commission, and ran for city council in 2009.
 

The water district Board of Commissioners “was a natural next step,” he said.
 

He will fill the spot vacated by Matson, who resigned in February because he had accepted a job outside of Washington.
 

Chatterton will serve for the rest of Matson’s term — until the end of 2013 — and plans to run for election this November for a six-year term beginning in 2014.
 

“He really stood out in terms of the homework he did and his demeanor and the way he came across,” Ken Goodwin, chair of the Board of Commissioners, said of Chatterton.
 

The current commissioners were impressed that Chatterton had read the city’s comprehensive plan. The water commissioner position doesn’t require any technical qualifications, Goodwin said; the board was looking for “somebody who understands community service and has enthusiasm for the job.”
 

All seven candidates met the position’s legal requirements — being registered to vote and living in the district — but the board chose to interview only four candidates: Chatterton, Jim Dunlap, Pao-Tsun Hwang, and Michael Lucarelli. It chose not to interview Rob Clark, Henry Stecker, and Ronald Volz.
 

Although all seven candidates were qualified, Goodwin said, the board made a “subjective” choice to interview only four.
 

“We thought four would be a good number and that’s what we selected to interview,” Goodwin said.

Detectives seek good Samaritan in Cossey murder

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Earl “Coss” Cossey, 71, was found murdered in his Woodinville home on Friday, April 26. Police are still investigating the crime.
 

King County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the “good Samaritan” who mailed murder victim Earl Cossey’s driver’s license and credit cards to his house to come forward.
 

Detectives said family members had Cossey’s mail forwarded to a relative’s house after his death.   Sometime during the last few days the relative received an envelope containing Cossey’s license, credit cards and a casino gaming card.
 

Detectives believe the items were found by someone and mailed directly to Cossey’s address which was listed on his driver’s license.
 

If you have any information regarding this case or the items mailed, please call the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-3311 (24 hours).  You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. All calls are confidential. Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for any information leading to the arrest and charge of anyone involved in this homicide.

Woodin Creek Village Development approved

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman

Tuesday’s city council meeting resolved the ongoing debate about the Woodin Creek Village Development in downtown and sparked discussion about a new issue — which businesses would be permitted in Woodinville’s business district.
 

The council unanimously approved the Woodin Creek Village Development Agreement, Resolution 434, to applause from the audience.
 

The development will include 800 multi-family residential units, 50,000 square feet of retail/commercial business space, 10,000 square feet of office space, infrastructure improvements, buffer enhancements and a trail.
 

As the long process of negotiations about the development came to an end, the council members expressed their excitement for the future and their gratitude to residents who offered suggestions.
 

Councilmember Les Rubstello urged the council to find a way to make Garden Way (138th Avenue NE) — one of the roads bordering the development — a two-lane road instead of the one-lane road or temporary driveway the city has discussed. Jens Molbak, owner of Molbak’s Garden + Home, offered to dedicate land so the city could build a two-way road.
 

“I encourage our council to find a way to get Garden Way done with this project. We have two cooperative landowners, which I don’t think we’ve ever had before,” Rubstello said, prompting laughter from the council. “We should take advantage of that and move as fast as our budget will allow us to go.”
Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders answered questions from the public about additional traffic and changes to NE 171st Street.
 

“Yes, those studies have been done,” she said. “We’ve had terrific staff involvement; the developer has been terrific, has really gone the extra mile to study every facet of this; and yes, it all works out. Yes, traffic volumes will go up, but they do not exceed our thresholds.”
 

The council also approved the 2013 Planning Commission Work Plan, a flexible guide to work and activity throughout the year, despite concerns that Boundy-Sanders raised about three items that dealt with King County annexing an area of the Sammamish River Valley.
 

Boundy-Sanders said tourism in the Sammamish River Valley is important to Woodinville’s economy, and King County has already said no to annexing the areas between downtown Woodinville and the wine district.
“We are trying to get that back into their radar, but doing so just shows them that Woodinville is a sprawl-ville,” she said. “It does not show them that we understand stewardship, land use, agricultural preservation, that we understand that the agricultural valley is the basis of our tourist economy. We’re showing them that we don’t understand that annexing that area is killing our golden goose.”
 

After approving the Woodin Creek Village Development Agreement and the 2013 Planning Commission Work Plan, the council began a public hearing on Ordinance 560, which would amend specific uses permitted in the general business and central business district zones.
 

Erin Martindale, senior planner for the Development Services Department, explained that the council previously adopted a moratorium on certain uses, which expires in July 2013.
 

The Planning Commission suggests three basic categories of changes: removing a use from the zone so it would be prohibited, adding a use so it would be allowed, and changing the scope of a use by adding conditions or limitations.
 

The Planning Commission’s goals for the business zone include adopting design standards to improve aesthetics; allowing medical businesses, schools, and personal services in the Office zone; and eliminating industrial and storage businesses “that are not consistent with the vision for the General Business Zone downtown,” Martindale said.
 

Existing businesses that do not meet the design standards or allowed uses would be grandfathered in, but new business or businesses changing more than 50 percent of an existing building would have to comply with the new standards.
 

The council and the public discussed how the ordinance would affect shooting ranges, outdoor sales lots, gas stations, construction yards, software companies, conference centers, bulk retailers (such as Costco), risque coffee stands and car washes.
 

Dan Gowen, representing Jackson’s Food Stores at the Shell Station, agreed with the general design standards the Planning Commission proposed, but pointed out problems with some suggestions. Having a screen blocking pumps or having pumps in back is a safety problem because police can’t see what’s going on and because customers can’t see if the gas station is busy, which helps them decide whether or not to go there.
 

“Having them completely in the rear, completely screened by your building, kills our business,” Gowen said. “So probably nobody would agree to move their building to that location.”
Mark Hoidal, owner of the Splash N Dash car wash, said his business was declared a nonconforming business in 2010.
 

He’s hoping the council will change that in the new ordinance.
 

“The planning department has put me in the category of automotive service, and that shall be only provided in an enclosed building,” he said. “There is not a self-service car wash in the United States that is enclosed in a building, or even garage doors on the building, because it is open 24 hours a day.”
 

The council did not make a decision about the ordinance, and the public hearing will continue at the May 14 meeting.