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Letters to the Editor - February 18, 2013

  • Written by Reader

PRESCHOOL CLOSURE

... this letter regards the elimination of the tuition-based preschool program currently held at Cottage Lake Elementary School. Our family resides in Woodinville and our oldest child started in the program last fall. It is an exceptional program, whereby typically developing children are educated by certified teachers and para-educators who are familiar with school district curriculum and guidelines,  where class sizes are slightly smaller than is typical, curriculum includes weekly interaction with CLC (special education) students, outdoor play is incorporated into each class session, and tuition rates are competitive with that of other nearby secular programs. The school district has cited the primary neccesity of the closure as a growing need for special education services and a lack of space to facilitate that expansion. As a family where our middle child currently receives early intervention services through Kindering and will potentially require access to the districts special needs programs, we greatly understand the importance of those programs; however, we’re highly disappointed that their expansion is at the cost of the tuition based preschool. It is both programs that suffer when the elimination of one means the lack of interaction between the two. It is also inappropriate that the issue wasn’t raised in a timely fashion to allow community involvement to build solutions or at minimum that impacted families received notifiction in adequate time to respond accordingly, as nearby equivalent programs opened registration weeks ago and as a result many are full or near full. These families will be forced to act quickly in order to access the less desirable offerrings that remain available, due to the district’s disregard of those timelines.

Sheri Chamberlain, Woodinville


WELLINGTON PARK

On January 31, Snohomish County Parks and Recreation held a public meeting to present their latest design for the proposed “improvements” to Wellington Park.  Their plan for the former golf course includes 7 sports fields (4 artificial turf), stadium lighting for night games, Costco-size paved parking and two large buildings.  This sports complex will sit up on a hill in the middle of a Wellington neighborhood, to be accessed by a steep and winding 2 lane road that connects Route 9 to Bostian Road (another 2 lane road).

This park and all improvements are to be paid for with Brightwater mitigation funds that were supposed to compensate residents and neighborhoods in and around Brightwater for the loss of green space, habitat disruption, traffic and other issues.  The county purchased the Wellington golf course for $9.7 million in January 2012, and spent approximately $800K to develop the current Master Plan.

The County expects to raise additional funds to complete the project (not paid for by Brightwater funds); maintenance costs for this elaborate design would be the responsibility of the County and all of us taxpayers —  only partially offset by usage fees.

The County has spent in excess of $10 million, but has yet to produce a formal needs analysis or summary of input from a majority of the community about features they would like and use in any park design.  Few of us would spend over $10 million without clearly demonstrating a need and a future use for any building project.

We have not seen estimates for maintenance of the proposed complex.

Poor planning could force tax increases or a poorly maintained complex (which would be) a dangerous and unsightly addition to our neighborhood.

You cannot compensate for loss of green space, habitat disruption and traffic issues by building a sports complex that destroys green space and creates more traffic issues, in a small neighborhood on a hill.

It is condescending for Tom Tiegen to say that we should try his park design for 2 years, and then we’ll like it.

This park needs to be designed with real input from the neighborhoods around Brightwater, to ensure that residents in the 4 mile radius are compensated, and the resulting park is suited to the community.

Tina Stewart, Woodinville


The Woodinville community needs to hear the truth about the plans for Wellington Hills Park.

Contrary to what Snohomish County Parks & Rec Department has been saying, the plan to replace the park with an oversize regional sports complex is NOT FINAL.

The County’s plan has yet to pass SEPA review, be approved by the County Council or survive a legal challenge.

This park is to be paid for using funds set aside as part of the Brightwater Sewage Treatment Plant settlement.

As such, these funds were intended to mitigate the negative impacts to the community surrounding Brightwater.

But now Snohomish County is attempting to build a regional sports complex with destructive effects on the community that far outweigh those brought by the sewage plant.

Having attended several meetings where Tom Teigen presented his proposed plan for seven soccer fields (4 full-sized artificial turf), stadium lighting, large commercial buildings, and parking for over 700 cars (to name just a few of the features), it is obvious that the County is giving precious little consideration to the impact of a huge regional sports on its neighbors — the very people who were supposed to benefit from the mitigation agreement.

Consider the effects of traffic congestion from an annual 7-10+ regional, national and international tournaments, the destruction of natural landscape and habitat, deals made with private interest groups and costs well exceeding budget.  No matter how they try to dress this up, it will bring a critical reduction to the quality of life we now enjoy in rural Woodinville.

But it’s not too late to design a park that fits and serves the community.

Many of your neighbors and friends have joined together to reshape plans for Wellington Hills.

Neighbors to Save Wellington Park (NSWP) invites you to attend a community meeting in which you will hear the facts about the park and learn exactly what you can do to effect change, protect your quality of life and support a legal challenge to the plan to replace the park with a regional sports complex.

Monday, February 25, 7 – 9 p.m. at Woodinville Church of Christ (22502 – 75th Avenue SE, Woodinville, WA 98072)

Together, we can be sure our community remains a wonderful place to live.

Janet Littlefield, Woodinville


SMILES ARE RARE

You will probably get many letters about the anonymous posting last week by a forlorn local woman.

I want to compliment the editor for posting this.  I also believe our editor will find more challenges from the greater world as they become known in Woodinville.

I wrote a few weeks ago about slaughtering of horses and now it’s become uproar news in many countries, that their beloved hamburgers are really horsemeat, not beef.

But back to the depressed woman.

We have 46 million mentally ill in this country.  How are we ever going to make a breakthrough into that population?

What are the avenues for “reaching out?” I don’t think we know.  I have had two experiences: a teen-age foster child in my home for a year, and a 3 1/2 year stint helping a schizophrenic clear his thinking.

I haven’t made even a dent by doing this work.

It is such a blight on our nation that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. We don’t even look into it.

There are not numbers of co-operative people who can organize persons to take a one-on-one help situation for these poor veterans.

Even the list provided for services in this letter just shows that people can’t make a personal connection with someone walking in a park, let’s say.

Smiles are rare in Woodinville.  What’s wrong with you people?

Nancy Snyder, Woodinville


AVOIDING ROBBERY

Dear readers:

It’s me again – being concerned about the robberies going on in our community.  There are so many ways we can avoid this happening to us.  The police officers have put out a brochure that could help everyone.

Some suggestions are: never  leave your car keys (or the engine running) until you are ready to go somewhere and then realize that you forgot something in the house. This happened to two different people recently, valuable information or a purse was stolen off the front seat; so lock your car.

When you go out in the evening, leave a light on, radio on, lock all doors (even garage door), especially if it has a door to the house inside of the garage.

Never tell anyone that calls or comes to the door that you are alone.

Black out your name and address on all mail before putting in paper recycling.  You can legally put a “NO SOLICITING” sign on your front yard or near your door and can call 911 if it is ignored by door-to-door salesperson.

Never talk about going somewhere when you are in a public place, you never know who may be listening.

If you are going on a trip, don’t close all the blind or drapes completely, have your mail stopped (left at the post office) or have a neighbor pick it up every day.

A flood light that comes on when a person or car comes within range of its light.

Maybe you can add these suggestions.

Helen McMahon, Woodinville

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