Opinion

Dear Editor

Young readers write letters

young readers The following letters are from young people who are concerned about a variety of issues in their community and their world. We will continue to publish the letters as space is available.

Alcohol is a big problem
    There's so much to tell you, but I'm just going to tell or talk about drinking and driving.
   There's a big problem with people using alcohol. It's a very bad thing to learn.
   But the worst thing about it is that my mom got in an accident. She wasn't driving; her friend was. My mom luckily only hit her head. No one got injured.
   All that I'm saying is that try to get stores to stop selling that stuff or to try to keep educating people about using it.

Heather Christina Franks, Woodinville

Guns should not be sold publicly
   I have noticed that many kids (teenagers and gangs mostly) are carrying guns. How and where do they get these?
   I'm not sure how old you have to be to buy a gun, but I have heard of 15-year-olds carrying guns. People get hurt because some careless person shoots off a gun.
   I think guns should not be sold publicly. If you want to purchase a gun, you should have to be a police officer or a hunter that works for food companies.
   Even police officers should have to go to a store (unknown to the public) and show their badges.
   Either this or stop selling guns altogether, which is a lot more simple.
   This would go on until all people owning guns would run out of bullets. They couldn't buy them any more, and they would eventually have to get rid of their guns since they couldn't use them.
   But, hey! You might have some good ideas, maybe you can put an idea into action. It won't hurt to write down some of your ideas and send them to your local newspaper or the president. Maybe one of your ideas will go into action and help stop teenagers from carrying guns.
   Also, just one more word to you gun carriers out there: If I were you, I would toss my gun into a trash compactor before the trigger pulls at the wrong time and shoots someone I love.

Emily Gray, Woodinville

Helmets reduce chances of head injury
   I'm writing about what can happen when you're not wearing a helmet when you are riding a bike. A lot of people get hit by cars or just fall off without their helmet and get put in the hospital.
   I got hit by a car without having a helmet on. I was in the hospital for a week with a fractured skull, a brain bruise, and almost died from that.
   There's a lot of counties that have laws about helmets but they are not strong enough. I think there should be more laws, in more counties about helmets. I bet that you reduce the chances of a head injury by 90% by wearing a helmet.
   Do you have a helmet? If you do, wear it! If you don't, consider getting one and be an example to your community.

Garrett Halsey, Woodinville

Higher speed limits unsafe
   I'm writing about the speed limits being changed. I think this is a bad idea. If you take Woodinville's speed limits on the highways, and raise them by 10 mph, there will be a lot more accidents.
   Let's take Woodinville, for example. Every single day I go on the highway, I see at least two accidents.
   Now imagine if you raise the speed limits from 55 to 65. There's a lot more accidents.
   In the '90s you need to be more careful on the road. With teens getting their driver's licenses, it gets even more dangerous.
   So what speed are you going to vote for? Here's your choice: safe (55), or unsafe(65).
   On most highways, people sometimes break the speed limit at 55 by 10 mph. Now picture this. The speed limits changed from 55 to 65 mph, and those same people decide to break the speed limit again by 10 mph. Only this time they are going 75 mph. That is unsafe. Once again, it's your vote.
   After reading this letter, you should have a clear idea about how unsafe it would be if we raised the speed limits.
   So when it is time to vote, remember these three things: (1) When my kids get their driver's licenses, will they be safe on the road? (2) Will somebody I love get hit by a car going 65 mph? (3) Do I want safe or unsafe? It's your call!

Matthew Hicks, Woodinville

Better communication needed for youth sports
   I think there should be more sport gyms and ballfields for youth sports. I think there are not enough which makes it hard for coaches to schedule games and practices.
   When parents drop their kids off expecting them to practice and there's no gym available, it isn't fair. This is very frustrating to everyone.
   This last month, my basketball team has met for practice four times, and every time it was cancelled and rescheduled at the last moment. Sometimes it has been rescheduled for a different night.
   This is unfair because parents and kids will have already scheduled something that night. I don't think it's fair for kids to miss practice which is needed for games, do you?
   One problem is that the school activities and the youth sports activities share the same gym and fields. There should be better communication between the schools and sport programs.
   A solution would be to have the school send out a schedule for that month so the coaches know what nights they have to reschedule. Another solution is for the teams to rent private school gyms.
   It would be nice if there were more gyms, but that's not possible, so I think there should be better communication between the two.

Chad Hoflin, Woodinville

Woodinville could become like Seattle
   If Woodinville keeps on growing like it has been, it might become like Seattle, and I don't think that should happen.
   I'm not trying to persuade the readers of anything, I just want their opinion. Woodinville is a nice peaceful city, and I don't think it would be any better if it was much bigger, but I asked 10 families what they thought about the growth of Woodinville, and this is what they said:
   Seventy percent of the people I asked like the changes in Woodinville, 30 percent don't. Ten percent of the people I asked said they liked the local government; 20 percent said that they liked the local convenience stores; and 70 percent liked other things like Molbak's, the size and location, the sense of community, and that it's a great place to raise children.
   Sixty percent of the people I asked don't like the traffic, 20 percent don't like all the trees that are being cut down to make room for houses, etc., and 20 percent don't like other things, like the way downtown Woodinville is laid out.
   Out of that group, 20 percent also didn't like all the trees that were being cut down and 10 percent also didn't like the population of the schools.
   Thirty percent of the people I asked don't think that having a local government and a mayor helped the city, and 70 percent do think it has helped.
   Some things that people have said would make Woodinville a better place to live are: a park, a movie theater, more all-age clothing stores, some NICE restaurants, more family-oriented businesses, a library downtown, making Sorensen a town square, getting involved with issues, and improving the traffic.
   You know and I know that we cannot make the city smaller, but some people came up with some ideas how to not make it much bigger. They are: not having big malls to attract people, and not allowing any more building permits.
   Many people have many opinions on how they feel so please write in response to this letter! I'd be interested to see what more people thought. I'd like to thank the people who helped me on this.

Robin Kierstein, Woodinville

Blowers trade a big mistake
   I am writing in regard to the trade of the Mariners 3rd baseman Mike Blowers. Blowers was traded to L.A. for two minor league men. I was wondering how this would effect the Mariners' winning?
   Mike has helped the Mariners out tons, and now they are paying him back like this. That is not fair.
   The Mariners management has made a big mistake. I wish Congress told who to trade with who. Now, who is going to be our third baseman, besides Doug Strange?
   If I could, I would take a vote of who thinks Mike Blowers should or shouldn't be traded. Then we could get the count of who thinks the Mariners management has made a mistake.
   If I could make a solution to help us keep him, I would say to have him play 10 games or so and decide from there. Blowers' batting average is .259.
   Right now I am thinking of how to help the Blowers family get through this. If I could, I would ask everybody in the city, state, country and the world what they think of this mistake. All of us need to realize what time Mike Blowers put into this. Blowers grew up here and now he has to go. What do you think about this?

Nicole M. Koeplin, Woodinville

Kids watch too many violent TV shows
   I'm writing this letter to parents Washington, because all of you are letting your kids watch too many violent TV shows.
   I disagree with what you are doing because I see kids at school fighting, calling people bad names, and pretending to point guns. Do you want your kid doing that? Kids getting into real fights and shooting real guns.
   Just the other day, my 4 1/2- and 7-year-old brothers were running around the house kicking, hitting, and calling each other bad names. If you told them to stop, they would call you a bad name, too.
   All children probably learned these bad names from some TV show that you unknowingly let them watch.
   I can't stand this because young kids watch a show like "Power Rangers" and think fighting is all right. Yes, at the end of the show they have "Power Promises" that explain what not to do, but kids don't watch the end of the show after it's over. They quickly go and put on those harmless Power Ranger costumes that you bought them, then chop up your coffee table.
   A solution to this is that maybe you could supervise the children, or let someone responsible. If you think something violent is going to happen, then obviously switch the channel or distract them.
   Maybe you could spend "quality time" with them, something they need anyway. You could maybe help them bake some cookies or cook dinner. Also play a game; they may say they want to watch their shows, but just hide the remote or something.
   Just try to keep those little helpless angels away from those bad, violent, harmful TV shows. I believe if you keep them away maybe there could be a chance there would be one less gang member, one less bad word said, and one less person coming out of a fight with a serious wound.

Melissa Kelly, Woodinville

See next week's issue for more letters from young readers.