|Letters to the Editor - July 22, 2013|
|Written by Readers|
Approximately 50 percent of students in Northshore qualify for the Free or Reduced Lunch program (2010 US Census).
Study after study shows the impact that poverty and low income have on children’s development and education outcomes. Despite the truth of those studies, Northshore School Board voted 4-1 to approve a calendar which they have admitted will cause a hardship for many families in our school district. The only hope for these families is if some other outside group steps in to fill the void, and thus ease the hardships caused by the school board’s decision.
Last week Mr. Tim Brittell, current president of the Northshore Education Association (NSEA), wrote a letter to the editor of the Woodinville Weekly, supporting the union’s decision to pressure the school board to approve a weekly early release schedule.
He alluded to a study allegedly conducted by the Northshore School District Elementary Design Team (EDT) ten years ago, (it was just one of numerous items they were reviewing that year, such as curriculum adoption, changes to the elementary report card, etc.). The school board rejected the EDT’s recommendations concerning early release for teacher planning time. Mr. Brittell claims that the decision to reject the recommendation of the 2003-2004 study was due to the "economic collapse"…which occurred several years later in the fall of 2008.
The NSEA continued to push for the early release time, until this year when they were able to control the majority of the school board.
What was quite clear from the purported timeline offered by Mr. Brittell, was that at no time did the NSEA or the school district involve the parents and community members in their discussion of, or decision to implement, the early release schedule.
The decisions were made behind closed doors, without the transparency that several members of the current school board had previously made part of their campaign platforms.
The lack of transparency and collaboration with parents and community has caused outrage throughout the community.
There is a marked lack of trust from parents, community members, and even many teachers toward the Northshore School District, and several members of its board of directors. The damage that has been done – and during a bond and levy year no less – is grave, and it was completely avoidable. At any time during the process the district and the school board could have convened a taskforce consisting of educators, administrators, parents and community members to truly study the issue. In doing so they would have provided the transparency which the community demands and our children deserve. That they chose not to do so is unacceptable.
Berta Phillips, Bothell
I am sorely disappointed by Lille Clinton’s recent letter.
First of all, if you’re a member of a city or county commission, your duty and place is to vent your views and vote accordingly within your power, not take out letters to the editor in the local paper smearing the city with your tainted view of what is right or legal, both of which happen to be wrong in this case.
Secondly, one police officer’s statement about the surveillance cameras is not necessarily the city’s official stance, and it’s irresponsible to state it as such.
Lastly, your issue is with the data to be consumed by these cameras, not the cameras themselves. If there is such grave concern, the committee to which you belong should be pouring those views to the mayor and the city council; however, I suspect it is only you who has such grave concerns about the nefarious use of this data by common citizens.
Shame on me should I want to request the video footage of a crime to my person or property for use in court or for the use of my insurance company.
Lori Hanley, Woodinville
When I moved to Woodinville I felt it was a community that was respectful of others.
This past January and February my home and the car in the driveway were egged twice on Friday evenings. My daughter would leave around 6:30 a.m. for work. In sub-freezing temperatures, which it was in both instances in January, the last thing we wanted to be doing at 6 a.m. was cleaning off the car and the house, including siding, windows and screens.
On the evening or early morning of July 12th someone dumped pancake mix and syrup on the car parked in my drive. I start work at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays so the last thing I want to deal with is once again my property being targeted and damaged. The paint on my home was damaged by the eggs and now the car has been damaged with pancake mix and syrup through the grates in the car which lead to the airflow and the engine. In this latest incident it is clear whoever did this parked their car around the corner from where our home is because there is pancake mix down the road from when I assume they ran after doing the damage.
My daughter had mentioned in January there were juniors that were pranking seniors at the high school.
We have no evidence on who is doing this damage so I cannot say who is responsible but obviously young adults who are out very late at night are intentionally targeting our property and causing damage.
As a single parent, I felt Woodinville would be a wonderful community in which to raise my younger daughter. I felt it was a community with strong family values and also children and young adults that would be respectful. I did nothing after the eggings, I was going to have the high school address it because of the damage it did but my daughter said don’t do it [as] it will only get worse, but after today I am engaging the police. My daughter goes off to college back east in September and at this point I am questioning if Woodinville is the kind of community I want to continue to live in.
I urge parents to talk to their children and young adults. At almost 61 I no longer want to deal with this harassment and abuse from irresponsible young adults. I have ended up in tears the last two times.
Lynn Annecston, Woodinville
I read with interest about the developer who has invested in the Woodinville tourist district. I’m thrilled to know that even more businesses and wineries will be moving in.
While I appreciate that he has ideas about improving parking, he mentioned that he doesn’t want to create a "sea of parking" and instead is looking to create something similar to what is offered at University Village in Seattle. I believe this idea is fraught with problems and raises many issues.
First, the parking lots at University Village are interconnected and contained within one site, making it easy to search for an open spot, with all parking a short distance, along sidewalks, from stores.
Our tourist district has widely spaced parking lots and people often move their cars from the west side of the valley to the east side at some point during their visit.
Second, the individual lots at the shopping center have spaces for many cars, while the tourist district is comprised, in part, of small parking areas that only have room for 25 or so vehicles. (the larger lots, most on the outskirts and often without shuttles, force people to walk along the highway)
Third, the U-Village has existing multi-story parking garages and is currently building an additional 6 story garage with room for 700+ vehicles. I didn’t read any comments about Woodinville getting a parking garage.
Fourth, neither commuters nor people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding U-Village have to pass through the shopping center parking lots on a daily basis; here, a highway bisects the tourist district meaning residents and commuters share the same roads with visitors.
Finally, the majority of people visiting U-Village have not been walking around sampling wine, nor do they have to navigate the least intuitive round-a-bout I’ve ever encountered.
While I understand nobody wants to give up profitable land for the mundane purpose of parking, something must be done to accommodate this tidal wave of visitors, particularly during passport type events, concerts and movies, and sunny days starting with the letters F and S.
This all begs the question: What if you build a tourist district and everybody comes?
Denise Anderson, Woodinville