Northwest NEWS

December 14, 1998


Solution must address many issues

I usually find that in debating matters of public policy, it is possible to exchange ideas, arrive at mutual understandings, and find some common ground. Such a respectful atmosphere usually leads to some form of agreement or solution.

   Unfortunately, a Nov. 23 letter was not only a disrespectful attack on me, but an unabashed piece of disinformation that does a disservice to all of us who are trying to address the protection of the Sammamish Valley agricultural lands, as well as the quality of life in our adjacent neighborhoods in a productive manner.

   Most of us recognize that there are many elements contained within this issue. These issues include longstanding zoning regulations, open space, traffic density, wetlands, sports facilities, agricultural products, real estate speculation, taxpayer financed purchases of development rights, etc.

   The letter writer is stuck on framing the debate as simply "kids vs. weeds." Such tidy distillations of complex issues are seductive in these days of information overload, but are not accurate. The letter contains numerous misrepresentations of my recent letter concerning the Hollywood Hill Association's (HHA) annual meeting and discussions of the status of the Sammamish Valley.

   In that letter, I noted that we already have a high concentration of soccer fields in the Sammamish Valley. Much of our facility's overcrowding stems not from local players, but from players whose local communities have inadequate facilities. In order to play, they must travel here, often during peak traffic hours. For instance, the Woodinville Weekly has been full of commentary from citizens around Duvall on the issue of a lack of playing fields in that area. And there are very few facilities east of Avondale.

   If Quadrant and friends can find room for thousands of new homes, plus retail, surely there must be room for a few soccer fields.

   Again, the above paragraph is in support of more soccer fields in outlying communities so that kids can practice in their own neighborhoods.

   The letter writer supports soccer fields on Sammamish Valley farmland while criticizing some of the alternate playing field locations due to wetlands issues. Perhaps he should do some research next time it rains. Most of us already know that the Sammamish Valley is one of the soggiest places around, both from surface water retention and from springs fed by groundwater.

Michael Tanksley, Hollywood Hill