Letters to the Editor - June 17, 2013

  • Written by Readers

I am writing in response to the front page article in the Woodinville Weekly about the surveillance cameras that will be going up in Woodinville. I personally had a conversation with an officer from the Woodinville Police Department, who informed me that “it is perfectly legal for a person to stand on your sidewalk taking pictures through your windows into your home with their camera without your premission. It is not a crime,” he stated.  

Given this is the offical position of the Woodinville Police Department/City of Woodinville  on surveillance  within our city, there is grave concern how this information will be used, especially as surveillance of private citizens will be available to any person who requests it.

I am a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Public Safety Commission. But I am also personally very concerned  about the rights and privacy of all citizens and families that would be in the surveillance areas due to the fact that any one can request copies of the tapes.
Lille Clinton, Woodinville

My name is Samantha and I am in the 8th grade at Leota Junior High. I wish to write about the Northshore School District’s decision to bus the half-day kindergarteners from their homes near Kokanee to Maywood Hills Elementary. This change to the kindergarten program will have a significant effect on me and my family.

When we were discussing these adjustments as a family, I immediately recognized the impact on me. If my sister is assigned to afternoon kindergarten, the timing of the bus will make it impossible for my mom to pick me up after school if I participate in after-school activities.

As we all know, about half of what colleges look for is how many and what activities you participate in during your 9th through 12th grade years.

My goal in life is to go to a competitive college. It is important to me that I will be able to put in my college application that I have participated in sports.  

But how will this be possible if my mom can’t pick me up?

Not only will this affect my goal for college, but it will take away the joy I have at school.  

The district’s decision to bus kindergarteners so far away may impact my opportunities for a college education.

The district’s motto is, “Strengthening Our Community Through Excellence in Education.”

How does limiting my educational opportunities support this motto?
Samantha Green, Snohomish

A very heartfelt thank you to our wonderful friends and neighbors for your generous donations and kindness at our yard sale last weekend. We raised $503 for Homeward Pet in Zac’s name!

If he could have been there, we’re sure he would have given you lots of XXX’s, OOO’s & LLL=Licks!
We send you XXX and OOO (ok...not the LLL). :)

Karen & Bob Myles, Woodinville

I don’t even know where to begin addressing the fallacious ideas and pipe dreams that generated City Ordinance 560.

And if indeed this missive makes it into print, it may already be too late, a penalty (not to mention increased taxes) we will all pay for the general populace’s apathy towards local government.  

But perhaps I can start with Councilmember Rubstello’s statement that “we are now a city …. it’s an evolution.”  

Well, Mr. Rubstello, Woodinville is not a city, it remains a small town with a crowded two-lane road, one shopping center, and a few smaller strip malls.

Woodinville even has a nursery and a feed store in the central business district, not normally commercial activities associated with the central business district of a “city.”

Up to this date, no developer has come forward to build anything beyond what would normally be built in a small town.  

There has been no evolution, there has been little change apart from the grandiose delusions of this newest iteration of council members.

If and when an evolution from a  small town to a city begins, it will be signified by neither code nor regulation but by the private sector acknowledging that the local demographics have changed significantly enough to make a concrete investment. The signs will come from the private sector first, not from the personal desires of the council members.

There are specifics of Ordinance 560 that are simply ridiculous.

Perhaps the most inane are the restrictions on auto services and gas stations.

The ordinance would put five long existing auto service business “out of compliance.”

In other words, the council members have told these businesses “thank you very much” for your years of employing our local citizenry and paying and generating tax revenue, but now it is time to leave in the hopes of replacing you even though the market has shown no interest in providing any replacement services.  

And the restrictions that 560 places on the few gas stations in town are simply laughable.

The council members and a few of the planning commission members have found a few isolated examples of gas stations that appeal to their personal aesthetic tastes and now wish to force that aesthetic — an aesthetic built voluntarily by the example stations and not by code, upon all of us.

Well, let me be the first to confess that when I get off the interstate to gas up my vehicle at some unknown small town like Woodinville, I want to be able to make out my preferred gas station hopefully even before I get off the freeway, and I want to be able to see a big sign and the pumps, giving me plenty of time to navigate safely through the traffic to my destination.

You simply can not compare a commercial intersection leading directly to and from a major interstate highway to a gas station in downtown Lynnwood or Snoqualmie.  That is just plain nonsense.
Another specific of Ordinance 560 that makes no sense is the prohibition on the indoor gun range.
Now I can certainly understand the need to have codes regarding noise from such a facility. 

But once the noise issue is properly addressed, how is an indoor gun range any different than the indoor golf range that 560 does allow.  

Both services would bring in visitors who might not otherwise come into Woodinville.

Both services would generate welcome tax revenue and both services would lead to their patrons visiting and patronizing other neighboring businesses, thus generating even more revenue for the city.

Where is the legal justification that allows these arrogant council members to decide which sport facility is allowed and which sport facility must be banished from the commercial district to a distant industrial region?

The bottom line, and I could go on at length at other inanities and delusions contained in Ordinance 560, is that the market will decide how Woodinville evolves.

In another five years we may see the proposed Canterbury development come to fruition.  It might indeed cause an evolution in Woodinville from a small town with lots of underutilized, if not undeveloped land, contained within its commercial core to something else.

Perhaps it might be the seed that will cause Woodinville to evolve into Councilmember Rubstello’s imagined city.

And at that point it might indeed be time for the council members to facilitate that change by tweaking the city codes and regulations.

But at the moment nothing is changing or evolving to an extent that necessitates this poorly conceived ordinance that penalizes existing businesses and land owners that the city now, and in the foreseeable future, will continue to rely upon to provide the revenue needed to properly maintain our town.  
       R. Jaffe, Woodinville

I am the proud grandparent of a Woodinville graduate, class of 2013.

My husband and I attended the graduation ceremony Wednesday evening with our family.

It was a proud occasion, marred only by the extremely disrespectful rendition of our National Anthem by a teacher.

We were appalled at the display of disdain for the National Anthem and wondered why he wasn’t vetted before hand, or if he was, why you would allow an unsuspecting audience to be assaulted by his obvious statement of disrespect for our country — which makes me ask, who was in charge of this part of the program?

And believe me, we were not the only ones who were offended.

The people sitting around us were also commenting on the disrespect. It really doesn’t matter what anyone’s political beliefs happen to be, this was no place for him to make his statement.

I think he, and whoever chose him, owes everyone in attendance a huge public apology at the very least.

He should at the very least, be reprimanded. He needs to keep his political opinions out of school, or resign.

I would not want him having any influence over my children and will check to see if my other grandson who will be a junior this year, is in his class.

There is no doubt that his rendition of our National Anthem was a statement of his utter disrespect for our great country.

It was disgusting and unacceptable at what was a proud moment for the families of the graduates.
 Pamela Anderson, Woodinville

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