Northwest NEWS

August 3, 1998


Community needs caring woman to stay

   This is written on the behalf of my next door neighbor, Catherine Howard. She is what I refer to as the "glue" of the neighborhood. Always with a kind word to say, she has touched everyone's life with her goodness. Catherine reaches out to youth of all ages in our neighborhood and community with love, encouragement and praises for their positive efforts.
   She has done an immense amount of volunteer work for the Woodinville community. I have seen her struggle with tremendous disabilities and pain to accomplish seemingly selfless goals and deadlines. Other countless achievements and recognition awards from the Woodinville community adorning the wall of her home are proof positive of her consistent commitment to the entire Woodinville community where she has re-built her life.
   The many ways she has reached out to the Wells Wood neighborhood has never gone unnoticed. Often her random acts of kindness leave people wondering who to thank. She's always festive and full of fun and surprises. Catherine is a talented, graceful lady who mentors many young mothers here at Wells Wood.
   She is very much the grandmother of the Wells Wood Complex. She even shares her resourceful tips!
   She has been the recognized leader in putting together our Wells Wood Tenant Association. She had the experience we needed to make it happen. The community cannot bear to lose her as our neighbor and citizen of Woodinville.
   We so desperately need more people like Catherine who care and get involved.
   Once, when my son was four years old he had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night with a severe asthma attack. Catherine stayed with my two daughters. The next day I tried to pay her; she refused and said "Neighbors help each other; pass it on when you have a chance."
   She smiled and went back to her gardening.
   Somehow she has managed to teach a lot of respect to the children of the complex through her gardening talents and has inspired many a local garden, including my own. The results have blossomed into a very pretty apartment complex.
   Catherine has a way of breaking the ice and keeping communication flowing; she is well liked by many. She is helping so many people just by being herself. A survivor of domestic violence, she is an example to all women who have to start over. She proves it can be done and it will be better.
   Her life experiences have enabled her to be insightful to the pain of others. She inspires healing through her loving example. We need her to remain a stable fixture in our lives. I truly fear for the well being of our neighborhood if she is removed. We need the people who truly care to stay.
   Can't some of the tenants with a high arrest rate that cause problems, the known trouble makers who have violated the lease time and again be relocated instead?
   Other reasons Howard needs to remain are: she truly, in my opinion, needs a roommate/aide which would require a two bedroom unit.
   I am very disappointed with all the time and money being spent on the upheaval of this woman's life. Let's do something about the known major drug felons that have been living very extravagantly and in our faces next door to Catherine for six years. We have been warned by the police authorities how dangerous they are. I am sick and tired of dodging bullets, gang related activity, child neglect and abuse. This should be a priority before someone is killed.
   Cindy L. Cottle, Woodinville