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Letters to the Editor - Oct. 14, 2013

  • Written by Readers

The 10 minute later start implemented this year by NSD was appreciated by PALS as a small "step in the right direction."

However, as many of you are aware, this did not automatically translate to more time for students, as buses were on the same or in some cases earlier, pick up schedules than last year. 

Although times of pick up are getting better, this does not mean 7.20 a.m. is the right start time for students in high school.

The school board agrees with all the statistics that have been provided by PALS over the years to support later start. However, it all comes down to money. As transportation will now be fully funded by the state within the next year it will free up levy dollars that have been used to support transportation.

Therefore wouldn’t this be the right time to put at least some of those levy dollars back into transportation?

In order to have high schools start later without affecting junior high or elementary schools, transportation needs to be adequate for the population it transports.

This is not the case within NSD, who have reduced transportation funds over the last few years leaving this district with less buses and more children to transport than any other district. Transportation is an important part of the educational process and should be treated with the priority it deserves.

If you would like to see a later start for high school then please support our petition on Change.org Northshore School Board Start Later.

PALS Representatives Wendy Reynolds, Annette  Whelan, K. Van Til

It was with interest that I read Susan Stoltzfus letter regarding school capacity in Northshore.

I initially shared her concerns regarding grade reconfiguration and how that might impact some of our smaller elementary schools.  I was pleased to see the Board  addressed this concern in adopting resolution 680 at their June board meeting.

This resolution speaks to the overcrowded schools in the northern part of the district. 

It also recognizes the under capacity in some of our elementary schools.  It goes on to encompass the state Legislature’s revised definition of basic education to include universal full-day kindergarten and K-3 class size reduction. The McCleary ruling makes this mandatory by 2018. 

These considerations, individually and collectively will impact our elementaries in ways that we cannot foresee at this time, and makes talking about school closures possibly premature.

Superintendent Larry Francois recommended to the Board that school closures not be a part of the current plan to pursue a new high school and grade reconfiguration, but that the possibility of closure be assessed in the future as circumstances evolve. This makes sense.

A new high school in the north end of the district; along with grade reconfiguration creates a long term solution to an ever increasing need.

Get more information at www.nsd.org.

Please support our schools in the 2014 levy/bond election.

B-Z Davis – Citizens for Northshore schools co-chair

Jodi Spitalli, the fantastic Outdoor Curriculum Specialist at Woodinville Family Preschool, will be leaving the preschool, effective  October 31.

Jodi has a unique opportunity to move with her family to a beautiful property on Orcas Island.

Jodi became part of the Woodinville Family Preschool staff in 2008.  Through her resourcefulness and hard work with others in our community, we have renovated our playground to a natural play space.  Through her dedication and singular persistence, we have achieved certification as a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. 

In addition, Jodi has been a source of comfort and friendship to hundreds of children and a mentor and shoulder to cry on for hundreds of parents. 

For our staff, she has been a joy to work with — compassionate, caring, funny, and a visionary for what can be accomplished at Woodinville Family Preschool. 

Jodi will be missed in so many ways, big and small.

If Jodi has been part of your parenting journey or your time at Woodinville Family Preschool and you wish to share a memory or photo, please send to Jodi Spitalli, c/o Woodinville Family Preschool, PO Box 125, Woodinville, WA  98072

Cecile Culp Mielenz, Ph.D., LMHC, Director, Woodinville Family Preschool

As a first-time council candidate, people want to know my priorities and how I will make decisions for Woodinville.

I know that many people will offer advice, hoping to convince me of one policy or another. And, of course, I will listen to all of them, even those attacking me currently.

It is the only way to get past the gridlock that has taken hold of the council.

Ultimately, however, I will have two guides: my sons. Every decision will focus on how it affects their future in our community.

I am not a politician. I don’t have years of political obligations and constraints to live up to.

I do have a family and Woodinville is our home. I will work to make sure it stays a great place for my sons.

I want to work to ensure Woodinville remains a jewel of our state.

I do not want to see our home become another cookie cutter city with mega chain restaurants and big box retailers, but instead a lush tourist village with craft eateries and artisan shops.

Our "wine pioneers" who draw so many to our area deserve to have our support and infrastructure to continue to make Woodinville a premier destination for wine, spirits and food.

I live in Woodinville with my wife, who is a speech therapist for Northshore School District, and our two young sons.

We are very proud to live in the area and to call Woodinville our home!

I have promised my family, friends and neighbors to serve the city with an open mind and with the understanding that while I will not always agree with those I will serve with, their voice is just as important as mine, and their message deserves to be heard.

Brad Walker, Woodinville City Council Candidate - Position 7

Wow! It’s election season for the hamlet of Woodinville and this time around I find a need to wear rubber gloves just to pick up and handle my mail.

A weekly attack on Mayor Talmas has now invaded the postal system.

Packed with so much slime  that one needs to bathe before going on with the day, these hit pieces use lies about the mayor in order to give a back door endorsement to the person running against him.

This unethical anonymous group,  seems to feel that the mayor’s attempt to get at the truth of a council member’s residency, is a big deal.

Folks, it’s really not. The mayor did not contract anyone to follow the council member in question.

I think even that council member  gets that. That same council member probably also realizes that all he needed to do at this infamous council meeting, was to correctly give his address to all, showing that he was indeed a legitimate resident of Woodinville. He did not do that.

Now, in this election season, we the citizens have our mailboxes polluted with some of the meanest mailers I’ve seen in my lifetime.

The mailers can only appeal to a segment of the voting public who have not taken the time to really look at the issues.

Don’t be manipulated into an ignorant fervor against an incumbent.

Please look into this election.

The future of our city is at stake.

The truth of the matter is that Mayor Talmas is not only a good and decent man, he may also be one of the greatest mayors this city has been fortunate to have.

A quick look at his web site would show any thinking voter how much he has done for all of us.

He has earned the respect of all major parties and those endorsements are a good measure of the man who represents all of us not only locally but regionally and state wide.

Personally I believe that all of our council members are underpaid, under perked and overworked.

That said, Mayor Talmas’ commitment to the city of Woodinville has been enormous, his accomplishments many and is the primary reason for re-electing him to the Woodinville City Council

Steve Maloney, Woodinville

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