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Opinion

Little League parking situation explained

Little League parking The Little League Baseball Interleague Council of Presidents, which includes Bothell North, Kenmore, Northshore, Woodinville, and Woodinville West Little Leagues, welcomes you all to the Northshore Little League Baseball Complex.
   We take a tremendous amount of pride in this complex. There are not many of its kind in the state, or in a lot of states, for that matter.
   We want you to know that the complex is a business. The costs for maintenance of the fields, dugouts, and fences are $54,000 to $60,000 a season. This does not include the thousands of hours put in by some very wonderful volunteer moms, dads, players, and businesses doing a lot of pick-and-shovel work to get the complex in playing shape for each upcoming season, which includes 3,100 young baseball players playing around 450 games starting March 30 and ending in July. So you can see there is a lot of planning to make sure that youth baseball happens.
   Local Little League is governed by very stringent rules from National Little League. The operating manual of National Little League is very comprehensive and is directed to the operation of big business. These rules in turn give us direction in some rules we have to put into place on a local basis.
   Safety of players, parents, and spectators is a major issue. Parking is part of this issue and we need to address this before someone gets hurt.
   Let me introduce you to Everett Bonorden. He is the bespectacled gentleman that you see at the complex all the time. He is in charge of maintenance of our baseball fields when the season gets underway.
   His day starts at 6 a.m. and sometimes ends at 9 p.m. He gets the infields and outfields in safe playing condition daily, he makes sure we have clean dugouts, he picks up the trash that we leave behind, he mows the grass, and he keeps up with latrine duty as best as he can.
   Everett does this daily. So we have given Everett a gift. We have given Everett his private parking space. You see, Everett has to travel between fields to fix things. And a lot of times this fixing takes place during game times.
   We used to let Everett park inside the complex. But because of safety issues, we cannot do that any more. Travel back and forth between fields requires that Everett have a private parking space. So, to the individuals who have taken exception to this and park in Everett's clearly marked parking space, now you know the reason it is there.
   This same situation applies to our umpires. We have fields at the complex that require a plate umpire at a "game in progress." This means we are going to have to have five to 10 umpires coming and going between games and fields.
   Out of courtesy, we have given them eight clearly-marked parking spaces for the "game in progress umpires." So, to the individuals who have taken exception to this situation and taken away those parking spaces, remember, many of these are volunteers and they don't have to be there.
   We also have three clearly-defined no-parking areas at the north end of each parking T. This is for the safety of the players, parents, and spectators during game times, due to the obvious congestion in these areas. So, to the individuals who have taken exception to this situation by parking or waiting for people in these areas, you have forced us into working with a local towing company and the King County Sheriff's Department to help with the safety of our ball players.
   We are not trying to take away parking places and we continue to work on solutions to alleviate parking problems. But these are some pretty simple choices. If we as adults cannot make these simple choices, the consequence could be silence: Silence meaning no noise at the complex because someone got hurt. And this someone figured out liability and lawsuit and closed the complex down.
   Remember, you make youth baseball happen--we just follow the rules.

Curt Wyatt, President, Woodinville West Little League