Letters to the Editor - Nov. 11, 2013

  • Written by Readers

A letter from Grandma:

Since 1998 the Northshore Wranglers Program has offered activities, advocacy and support for individuals of all ages with intellectual, cognitive and developmental disabilities.

I write this letter today requesting your generous support. The Wranglers Program needs your help! Our program currently serves over 180 young people ranging in age from grade school and beyond.

The Northshore Wranglers Program includes families and caregivers, offering year-round, weekly, and ongoing specialized and inclusive opportunities for all participants. The Wranglers is a non-profit program.

Donations are currently being accepted online and via email to support and ensure a bright future of fun and friendships in Wranglers weekly programming activities.

Through a generous anonymous donor,the first $10,000 in donations will be matched until December 6.

This letter has been written from my heart. My granddaughter, Taylor, has greatly benefited from this program and I can’t imagine our life without it. Taylor is currently in a drama production, and the number of hours volunteered to make this production happen is overwhelming. I’ve watched her learn life skills, participate in bowling, drama performances, basketball, swimming, and so much more. The joy on her face is priceless; as are the friendships she has created. This program makes her and others feel special, rather than a child with special needs. This program is not just about the kids. Many parents can’t leave their child unattended. These programs provide a break for the parents as well! Not only do parents receive an hour or two each week to themselves, but they get the joy of watching their child perform just like any other child on the day of the performance, game, or event. The number of volunteers is amazing and as I watch the teen volunteers, I wonder who is getting the most from this program ... the special needs children or those donating their time. We all learn so much from each other!

This program is our safe place; there is no bullying, strange looks or misguided comments. Rather, this program generates the much needed praise, cheers, and laughter we all need in our lives.

Please help support this program! Many participants cannot afford to participate due to their high medical costs and costs for special care.

This giving campaign helps bridge that gap so all can participate and it also helps us retain individuals like Coach Cole Caplan, program coordinator, who make this program run so efficiently. Coach Cole has dedicated himself to this program for many years and is like family to us all. He is truly a saint with our children and we are blessed beyond words to have him. Our needed goal is $30,000 and we are far from it. Whatever you can spare $10, $50, $100 ... is much appreciated and benefits so many.

TAX-DEDUCTABl E DONATIONS can be made online at


Taylor’s Grandmother



Last month was homecoming for WHS. My son and friends went to a bowling alley and then to an indoor trampoline center to celebrate.

My hubby and I went to dinner in Redmond. There we ran into two party bus loads of WHS students. Funny thing is, none were planning on attending the dance either. We have found that the music and style of dance is unacceptable to a large percentage of our kids and that’s a shame. Many of these kids would like to dance but can’t stand the raunchy music and shameless grinding that is found there. Oh, I know what you’re thinking…"that’s what our parents said of our dances!" Have you been to a high school dance in the last decade? We used to chaperone many dances at WHS and Leota but found that we were so discouraged and saddened by what we saw and felt so helpless to stop it and effectively create a change for the better, that we quit.

Rules at the dances are not enforced. Chaperones stand by with their hands in their pockets looking lost and useless. Occasionally, a good song will get played and the floor will suddenly become full of dancing kids but then the rap crap starts again and most of the kids leave the floor. At one dance, we saw a 9th grader lift her dress high while twerking her tush into the crouch of a very excited boy – while her mother was watching! The mother was smiling and said, "Isn’t she cute?!"

So what can we do about it? I know … a lot of kids like that (nasty) music. So maybe we mix it up more? Or have themed dances based on music genre? If I had the funds, I would open a dance club where teenagers could come for some good, clean fun.

It would be local and affordable and have enforced rules! It would have free dance lessons for those who showed up early.  (Swing, Ballroom, Salsa, Country Line dancing, etc.) It would have chaperones who cared about kids. I know that many will disagree or just don’t care, and for you kids who like to bump and grind – it’s not all about you.

Tina Sander, Woodinville



Regarding the front page story, "City Seeks to Ban Panhandling ...," rather than finding ways to sweep away panhandlers, perhaps we ought to be looking at ways of protecting the homeless through the hard winter for the short term, with a longer view toward ensuring none of our citizens need to beg for money or food. As already stated within the article, laws currently exist to curb harassment and similar illegal activity.

Until we are ready to create a pilot program for eliminating homelessness in our city, let’s avoid legislation that ignores our poorest citizens and criminalizes their search for aid. In the meantime, you can save lives this winter by donating sleeping bags at Northgate P&R on November 16 from noon-4 p.m.

Raven J. Demers


I feel compelled to speak on behalf of the homeless folks who wind up on the streets and those facing insurmountable social, economic or emotional obstacles.

I too have, "taken inventory," but with a very different outcome. I’ve discovered that the circumstances that brought the panhandlers here to Woodinville are all quite unique, and the only commonality is that they enjoy no advantages over us with lovely homes, cars and a secure life free of fear and anxiety.

For many years my husband and I have been acquainted with the man who carries the sign pictured in your article. He is an interesting, warm-hearted fellow who happens to face some mental and physical disabilities. I would describe him as chronically homeless rather than,  a "professional panhandler" or someone with a bankable income. 

During a terrible snow storm a couple of years back, my husband gave the man a ride to the non-running van he was living in at the time. This rig provided shelter but it did not have a source of heat. He needed blankets and warm food and clothing. (Since that time, because he was not able to move the van off of the city street, it was impounded and towed away. ) He does have a name and a story and I wish I could tell you more of his, but out of respect for him, I will not.

I hope those who have been annoyed by the presence of homeless folks and panhandlers will count your many blessings and discover instead a spirit of kindness and compassion.

Yes, our First Amendment can sometimes include inconveniences but I believe it is our moral imperative to tolerate free speech.

Kathryn Johnson, Woodinville


I would like to give a very public kudos to my hard-working, enthusiastic and energetic NYSA U-9 boys team — the Stingers. Each year I find the boys teaching me more than I could ever hope to impart. Our roster this year included Casey Holling, Hayden Burgess, Jackie Flamer, Rafael Luanava, Reece Mustarde, Robert Hoagland, Sinclair Jones and Xavier Graziano. Congratulations Stingers on another exciting, winning season!

Coach Kathryn Holling, Woodinville

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter