Northwest NEWS

August 9, 1999

Editorial

Is it better to see chickens running loose or your children running on a soccer field?

This is a copy of a letter sent to the membership of the Hollywood Hill Association.

   In spite of all their promises and statements that the Hollywood Hill Association Board is pro-kids, their actions speak louder than their words. They are once again planning to go against the will of most of their membership by filing an "intent to appeal" Judge Armstrong's decision to allow King County to build playfields in the Woodinville area.

   Even though at the last annual meeting, a motion to withdraw the board's opposition to the park passed by a margin of 125 to 3, the Board has stubbornly refused to abide by the will of the majority and continues to spend the Association's money in legal fees to fight the will of the membership. Instead of supporting parks and playfields where children can play, they cling to the erroneous argument that playfields are bad for farmland as an excuse to oppose the South Gateway Park.

   By all reasonable opinions, including that of Judge Armstrong, the land where the playfields and park would be built is no longer farmland. During the past thirty years, that parcel has been lying fallow and unused. Nothing but weeds has grown on it.

   Meanwhile, your kids are running out of places to play organized sports. The past six years have seen an incredible growth in the number of children and adults playing sports, especially girls. Many of you know firsthand of the great benefits that soccer, baseball, and field sports have on your children.

   You also know of the shortage of fields and parks this demand has created. Yet the HHA Board still blindly holds onto the "principle" that we can't allow "any farmland" to be used for anything other than farming--whether the farmers want to or not.

   The HHA Board seems to be consumed by the fear that if we allow a park or playfield to be built in this weed patch, the next thing we'll see is a Sammamish Valley covered in asphalt and industrial parks. They have drawn their line in the sand, ignoring common sense and the will of the majority.

   If South Gateway Park gets built, the sky will not fall, the Communists will not take over the world, and developers will not overrun the Sammamish Valley. We'll just have one more park for our children to play on, one more park that is sorely needed.

   Contact the HHA Board members and let them know what you think. Don't let them spend your money in fighting against the welfare of your children. Tell them to support Judge Armstrong's ruling.

   Act now and you might be able to stop their abuse of your confidence. Do nothing, and they will succeed in their efforts to build a community where it is better to see chickens running lose on our streets than your children running freely on a soccer field.

Jorge Barrera, Woodinville