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Letters to the Editor - April 23, 2012

  • Written by Readers

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS ANIMAL?

I have worked on our acre-plus parcel of land for over 30 years making it a safe haven for wildlife. Recently I spotted what I thought might be a nutria.

The thing is about 20 pounds and has a rat-like tail that looks to be about the length of its long slender body.  The hair/fur is darkish brown or possibly black.

On two occasions it dove into the water as if coming off a spring board and it moves so fast that I have yet to capture it on film.

It looks somewhat like a river otter only bigger and it swims rather snake-like.

My concern is for the health of our creek and environment.  Over the years I have involved many neighbors up and downstream from me to plant native vegetation and I am concerned for that, too.

I would appreciate hearing from someone regarding this concern and what I can do to keep it from becoming a problem.

Jeanne Hannah, Woodinville


SHE WANTS TO DIG A WELL

[This is my] first letter to the Woodinville Weekly  regarding a public service in the 16 years I have lived here.

We have waited a very long time for Woodinville Water to enable electronic payment.

While the staff who have accepted the occasional phone payment have been most gracious, dealing with the district has remained a very sub-par experience.

Have the commissioners tried to locate a secure mail drop recently?

And what do we get after this wait? A user experience that will burden customers with a $3.75 charge per payment, and which does not bear the imprimatur on the integrated site of any of the major security firms, to wit, VeriSign and/or Truste.

And this is a utility which has the benefit of being located in one of the greatest concentrations of competent developers and system integrators in the world.

There is no excuse for such a poor experience.

The second sentence at the Woodinville Water District’s home page is: “This site was created for you, the ratepayers of the District and the public at-large.”

I beg to differ.

The job of commissioners and staff includes an obligation to rate payers to provide a reasonable payment process and experience on a timely basis, in my opinion.

Even for a captive customer population, this solution provides none of the above.

And we have waited until the second decade of this century for this — totally unreasonable.

Despite years of drama at the fire district (never dull!), this is the first time ever  that I have commented publicly or privately on the provision of public goods or the public sector.  Blows me away.

Makes me want to dig a well.

Jennifer N. Curtis, Woodinville



CHOICES ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

As my neighbors ponder the Gravity Works zip line proposal to King County Park’s officials, it appears that the decision of the park system will represent a choice between continuing to support the community’s 40-year use of Gold Creek Park as a place of nature, horse trails, hikers and bird watchers or approve the effective annexation of the park by a commercial profit making venture.

The choices are mutually exclusive as birds, horses and hikers will not coexist within the constant noise level of the thrill ride of zip line riders who will be generally shrieking like passengers on a roller-coaster as they hurl down the hill.

We must ask the decision makers if turning Gold Creek Park over to a profit-seeking commercial venture provides the King County Park system with sufficient return to warrant the destruction of this very rare habitat for the current population of nature’s creatures, as well as the elimination of its current use for the community as a place for public horse trails, hikers and most of all: solitude.

It will also be worth evaluating the cost of claims that will likely accrue to both the county and Gravity Works for the property value destruction of the homes such as ours who unfortunately have property that adjoins the park’s boundary.

Ask yourself if the placement of a chair lift in your backyard feels like an appealing opportunity.

Preliminary estimates from real estate experts advise us to expect value declines of $100,000 for each property impacted by the noise, traffic and commotion of being located near an adventure theme park.

We also wonder if the decision makers appreciate the risks related to a zip line operation where operating/engineering standards have not been established.

Staff associated with a Maui zip line operation resulted in the 2011 fatality of a Washington state man when the tower supporting a 2,300-foot span collapsed.

So, do we, the community choose preservation or the ultimate disruption of our quiet lives on Hollywood Hill?

Dennis and Alyse DeKraker

David and Kari Drobesh

Mark and Valentina Giovannetti

Eric and Dottie Greenwood


ONLY SIGNS SEIZED WERE ILLEGAL

Illegal portable signs, banners and A-boards left out overnight were confiscated by the City of Woodinville late on Friday, April 13. The “theft” was not the work of burglars, vandals or neighborhood kids.

This time, it was city officials.

It was bad luck for many local businesses that depend on drive-by and walk-in customers, but the city has a sign code and permit system to assure that all merchants have fair and equal access to such signage.

It pays to know the rules of the road inside the city limits.

Every business is entitled to one portable sign, displayed during business hours, that is no more than 36 inches in height and six square feet per side.

Companies in the industrial zones may use two A-boards. Banners are limited to 32 square feet and can be displayed for a limited time only.

Handmade signs of any kind are prohibited.

All portable signs require a “temporary” sign permit from the city with fees ranging from a $27 annual renewal to an initial $183.

The only signs seized by the city were illegal in number, location and/or size, or those left out overnight.

Merchants impacted may retrieve their signs from city hall after application and issuance of a temporary sign permit.

Most local sign professionals keep the local code, zone map, forms and fee schedule on-hand for guests.

A complete explanation and Woodinville municipal code is online: http://www.ci.woodinville.wa.us/Work/SignCodeRegulations.asp.

Jeff Thomas, Crossroad Sign, Woodinville


APPRECIATES THE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES

Many thanks for the articles by Deborah Stone. She is an excellent writer.

I especially appreciated her article about Nepal and the recent article about the “Environmental Class Focuses on Sustainable Design.”

Her articles are informative, educational and very interesting.

She often inspires the reader to think beyond the routine daily news.

Wendy Walsh, Woodinville

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