Letters to the Editor - July 26, 2010

  • Written by Readers

Carol Edwards Center


It’s a really good thing one of the first votes the "New Majority" at City Hall put in place was a method to control angry (or even happy) crowds at meetings – what with all of the current votes that may enrage the citizenry. You may be justifiably and righteously angry, but the upshot is, we need to be pro-active and do the work we have been challenged to do – work our council didn’t do before they shot from the hip with motions yielding devastating consequences.

We have been told if we would like to save the community center as a usable building and the Parks and Recreation programs as the glue to our community, we have to do it ourselves.

So how about it – do we want to let 17 years of program-building fall away and a newly renovated building be closed indefinitely? Do we want to lose an award-winning staff, beloved pre-school program, special people’s program, and put our seniors on a bus to elsewhere? As a long-time resident, I voted for incorporation to enjoy services I had been using in other locales. A city is just a name if the only services are police, fire and roads – our city, Woodinville, is a great place to live because we have active programs and events to help residents (inside and outside of city limits!) become friends.

I know there are some tremendous business minds here – look at the remarkable businesses! I know there are folks passionate about recreation and sports. Could some of the recreation contractors, independent businesses, and sports associations form a consortium to use the building and provide services? Are there some legal minds that could help its formation? Will we support a levy to ensure our kids continue to have a positive resource available in a safe environment, and the adults can also recreate and celebrate? Give your ideas and willingness to help to City Hall (425) 489-2700, e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. also write to the Weekly – your publicly shared thought may spark someone else’s imagination, passion, or profession. Together, we can refuse to destroy the accumulated hard work and resources we all have enjoyed through our Parks & Recreation Department.

Debra Sternagel, Woodinville


I moved my family to Woodinville 16 years ago because I knew it was the perfect place to raise children. I have graduated the University of Washington with a degree in psychology and I am currently attending their master’s in social work program. I also work for the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group where we do various longitudinal studies on families, children, adolescents, and communities. The current council’s action defies all the current research which shows that community support is crucial to maintaining healthy families and, in particular, healthy children. Study after study has proven that the more community services offered the better the outcomes for the children within that community. How we take care of our seniors, preschoolers, disabled, our truly vulnerable citizens speaks volumes to what type of community we are trying to build and provides the example for which our children will pattern their lives. It is critical especially in these stressful times when people are bearing the burden of making difficult financial decisions and having to do without so much that we provide them with support from the community. This city has so very much to proud of and is truly one of the gems in the Pacific Northwest. It would be a tragedy beyond measure to allow the council to dismantle all the great things that have been accomplished in the past few years.

Lisa Machotka B.A.


Let me start out by saying, "No, I am not a resident of the City of Woodinville." I live in unincorporated King County and by default have a Woodinville address. I would like to clarify though, I am part of the general population that constitutes 55 percent of the city’s "General Fund Revenue." I shop/dine (sales tax - 55 percent), purchase fuel (street fund) and get entertained (admissions tax fund - revenue from theater complex) in the city of Woodinville. These purchases are not just casual occurrences, they are daily as I work within the city center.

I find it highly appalling that the City Council would discount my voice and my neighbors’ voices.

Documents from the City of Woodinville Web site (2009-2010 Sources of Revenue) clearly state that actual property owners only represent 29 percent of the general fund revenue. It comes down to the old adage "Don’t bite the hand that feeds."

I was present at the July 20 council meeting and watch them regularly via the Internet. I understand Mayor Price’s need to reiterate the rules for the public comment section of the meeting, but felt that the council was very remiss in allowing both Mr. Fazzio and Mr. Cowles to have allotted time during the "public’s time." According to the city’s Web site, they are appointed chair and vice chair respectfully to the Parks and Recreation Commission. As outlined in the city’s policies, Fazzio and Cowles are considered volunteers and are under the same rules and regulations as that of an employee.

Taken from the Appointed Officials General Orientation (pdf): "Public officials, employees and volunteers are agents of the people... . The City of Woodinville expects volunteers to be aware of its code of ethics and to abide by its standards."

Their time to contribute was through their commission and reports, they should not be taking valuable time from the general public. It was very remiss of the council and Mayor Price to allow that type of bias to take place. The mayor needs to ensure they follow the same rules of decorum and decency that they expect from the public and should be held accountable.

As Councilman Glickman stated on air: The "Carol Edwards Center is a money pit."

Did the commission not see the discrepancies in the labor and labor percentage (non-direct vs. direct) and positions that are not even there?

Did they question what advertising was done on the property? In making a good solid business decision you look at everything, you compare the numbers and when numbers don’t match up, you look at management.

In conclusion, not only am I personally disappointed in the City Council and manager, but lack of business owners who attend the meetings that help determine their customer base is appalling. Maybe we need to have changes on the council, but also boycott Woodinville businesses for their complacency and not working harder to come up with solutions.

K. Brady, Woodinville


Trail is to be shared


I was riding my horse yesterday close to the Tolt Pipeline and equestrian center off 232nd when two young children on bikes almost rear-ended my horse. They were riding extremely fast without caution or notice when they turned down the narrow trail we were on, suddenly coming up behind us when this near miss occurred. My horse was ready to bolt out of sheer fear that she was being attacked from behind. Fortunately I was able to turn her nose into her body in time so that she didn’t buck to protect her hind quarters. Had this occurred, the young child closest to her would have been severely injured. I quickly told the children to stop, which they did not do and they rode on almost colliding with the horse and rider in front of me before they zipped down the trail. This trail is for equestrian use as well as bikes, runners and hikers. I feel that we need increased awareness out on the trails that everyone shares to make it safe for everyone to enjoy. Joggers/runners especially with I-Pods can come up quickly behind horse and rider as well without thought, spooking a horse and unnecessarily creating a very hazardous situation that could have been easily preventable with a little education.

Dione Lee, Woodinville




(Copy of a letter sent to Ryan Cloward, Albertson’s district manager)

I’m sure you’ll agree that customers typically bring complaints to retail management. But today, I am delighted to bring you, instead, a heart-warming, true story of Dan Eichner and members of his Woodinville Albertson’s team.

On my way into the store July 9, I noticed two courtesy clerks carefully searching the shopping-cart storage area. I heard one clerk say, "Nope! Not here!" She proceeded into the store just ahead of me. Inside, I saw the clerk and another quietly talking to a third. The concern on their faces was notable. Quickly they split up, each disappearing down different aisles. I cruised the store, picking up items on my shopping list and several times noticed clerks searching different sections of the store.

Something was up and I began hoping I’d find out just what it was! My final stop was the produce section. It was there the mystery was solved. I found myself standing less than 10 feet away from a very distraught customer, her young daughter and Mr. Eichner. The customer didn’t speak English, but the look in her eyes was that of sheer panic. Whatever she’d lost was of paramount importance to her. Mr. Eichner calmly and supportively communicated with her when a bi-lingual clerk and began to translate. Upon hearing Mr. Eichner’s statements in her native tongue, the woman looked a bit more hopeful and was calmer.

Only seconds later, up ran Jesus Lopez, the dairy manager. Aware of the search-in-progress, he suspected the missing item may have been part of the litter he’d picked up in the parking lot moments before and then thrown away. He went to the trash can and retrieved the missing item — a check for a large amount of money made out to the distraught woman. Rushing into the store and to the group, he handed the check to the woman, who, in an instant, was overcome with great relief and began to cry tears of gratitude. The group sent up high-fives and rousing "hoo-rahs." For the woman, tears and abject fear turned to bright eyes and a broad smile of relief to the strangers before her.

I consider myself blessed to have observed this incident. The teamwork I witnessed, played out quietly, efficiently, effectively and with great sensitivity by Mr. Eichner and his team, was extraordinary. Their compassion, underscored by verbal and non-verbal means of communication reflected well on the Woodinville Albertson’s, as well as the larger Albertson’s brand. I write to enthusiastically commend the leadership excellence of Mr. Eichner and the actions of members of his team: April Lopez, GM manager; Gerrald Logan, grocery manager; Jesus Lopez, dairy manager; Eric Booth, produce clerk; Emily Millard, front end manager.

Their actions, selfless and authentic, indicates this is a store with which I shall gladly continue to do business. Authentic action in response to a customer’s plight is the very best PR in the world!

Cyndie Ulrich, Woodinville

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