JANUARY 13, 1997

 The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Article one-sided and deceiving

Children's Country House The article about Children's Country House and Mary Shemesh (Dec. 30, 1996) not only painted a very deceiving picture of this project but was also written from only one point of view which had to be an interview with Mary Shemesh herself. The picture would be very different if you had investigated further and actually talked with the families in this affected neighborhood.
   This project was portrayed as the perfect solution to specialized health care for children with widespread community support. If you had checked your facts, you would find this project has no support from this community on Hollywood Hill and certainly not from the neighborhood in which she intends to operate this business.
   This facility is not approved for operation (no license) in this rural family neighborhood and is in direct conflict with King County zoning regulations. Hollywood Hill is rural family environment with single family homes on acreage or large lots. It is not an industrialized neighborhood suitable for a medical facility for the long-term care of severely disabled children requiring specialized medical attention, which is exactly the business Mary Shemesh intends to operate.
   We have frequent power outages and road closures. What happens to the child dependent on a ventilator when a storm such as the one last week hits? We couldn't even get out to the main road with chains and 4-wheel drive for days.
   Mary Shemesh also does not have community support for her other facility in Kirkland which she opened and is operating without proper license and zoning approvals. I am sure that City of Kirkland officials would be able to add a much clearer idea of her intentions and operation of this business.
   Mary Shemesh is a very shrewd businesswoman who stands only to gain financially (and quite significantly) from Children's Country House and other like facilities. She is not doing this out of the goodness of her heart.
   Her many companies (Acute Care, Inc. is just one) will be supplying medical supplies and nursing services (probably leasing out the house which she purchased and remodeled) while at the same time she is paid to "administer" this facility. All of this is to be paid by our tax dollars. Children's Country House is an extremely profitable arrangement for Mary Shemesh, not a volunteer effort on her part.
   You should check your facts before publishing such inaccurate information to this community and as a responsible voice within this community you should make it a point to investigate this further by speaking with the communities already affected and which may be affected if indeed she does open Children's Country House on Hollywood Hill. And of course, just ask Mary how much she stands to gain financially from this project.

Lisa Albright, Woodinville