Northwest NEWS

August 7, 2000


Letters to the Editor

Is this the price for being young?
   Two weeks ago there was a letter to the editor titled "This is a plea to parents of teen drivers" which assumed all teenage drivers are dangerous.
   This is a very false statement. I understand that some teenage drivers are dangerous, but there are dangerous drivers in every age group.
   I am not saying that the driver of the car was not a teenager, they very well could have been, but it could have been an older individual also. I am only concerned about the fact that despite the lack of evidence that it was a teenager, we, as teenagers, were still blamed. Not only is it suggested that teenagers did it, but it is stated outright, "For the kids who were responsible"
   I believe that even if it is slightly more likely that teenagers did this than any other age group, we are still being a scapegoat for others because of our age nothing else. Most assumed that if it was a stupid driver, it was a teenage driver, and that is a stereotypical statement, which is not necessarily true.
   Even assuming that it was a teenager, all drivers have been teenagers once, and as I admitted earlier, some do drive recklessly, but do all of us need to be blamed? I believe we should be given the benefit of the doubt, regardless of our age.
   The letter ended with the statement, "Do you really believe this is the price we are supposed to pay for driving down the road on a warm summer evening?" and yet, it's the same for us. Is this the price we have to pay because of our youth?
   Glen Trowbridge, Woodinville
   Garden Tour is success
   On July 15th The Woodinville Garden Club hosted its first public Tour of Gardens 2000. With over 600 tickets sold, the Tour's success is the result of the efforts of many people in the community.
   We wish to acknowledge these people and express our sincere gratitude.
   Thank you to the garden owners: Jerry and Dorothy Stansberry, Paul and Judy West, Tom and Kathy Leitch, Judy Thomas and Anne Keith for opening their inspiring private gardens to the public.
   To Pat Sayre, a local artist: "Thank you!" Her original outdoor art graced our posters, provided cover art for our tickets and enhanced our financial efforts when the painting was raffled to a delighted garden tour guest.
   We are grateful for the support of our major sponsors, Molbak's and Pemco Financial Services. Our community is fortunate to have the presence of these quality companies. And thank you to Columbia Winery for hosting a special "After The Tour" wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres and a complimentary wine glass for each ticket holder.
   To the local businesses that supported this event our heartfelt thanks: Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery; Classic Nursery; Coffee Republic; Cottage Creek Nursery; DeYoung Farm and Garden; House; The Maltby Cafe; Redhook Ale Brewery/Forecaster's Public House; Pennsylvania Woodworks, Ltd; Kathy Brown, agent, Windermere Real Estate; and Woodinville Cafe.
   To the Woodinville Weekly and Northshore Citizen we cannot thank you enough for all the publicity you gave our tour.
   The Woodinville Garden Club has been an active part of the Woodinville community since 1984. With the proceeds from the "Tour of Gardens 2000" we will continue to support many local horticultural activities. Thank you, Woodinville, for your support. We hope to make this an annual event.
   Leslie Okerman, Woodinville Garden Club, "Tour of Gardens 2000," chairperson
   Shoreline Management rules are bad and go too far
   Since they're worse than before, it's abhorrent that the State Department of Ecology (DOE) plans September adoption, without major changes, for the new shorelines management rules.
   The rules go far beyond the allowed implementation of the Legislature's 1971 Shorelines Management Act (SMA). Instead of following its duty to carry out the Act's provisions, DOE has added concepts never included in the SMA.
   Such as: New definitions that effectively change should to shall, and change significant ecological impact from "more than a moderate adverse impact" to "a measurable or noticeable reduction or harm to ecological functions"; restoration to tree-height-width for shoreline vegetation management corridors; emphasis on public access to all shorelines instead of to the SMA's "public access to publicly owned areas"; promoting, instead of minimizing, flooding by prohibiting gravel removal and requiring in-stream installation of logs and root wads; effectively requiring, via "Letters of exemption", shoreline substantial development permits for SMA-exempted single-family homes and "the normal protective bulkhead common to single family residences"; requiring extensive inventorying of both shore lands and uplands that will involve trespass unless landowners giver permission - and permission is not even mentioned; and etc., etc., etc.
   The real zinger, though, is the new concept of requirements for restoration to "properly functioning condition" (PFC) must be protected "along those shorelines that are 'properly' and 'at risk,' and (restored along) those shorelines 'not properly functioning' to the point of where they effectively contribute to and eventually attain PFC for all shoreline areas within the watershed, sub-basin, or shoreline area within question."
   Under PFC where homes can't be constructed outside the required up-to-200' vegetation management areas, there are requirements for reducing the building dimensions and prohibiting lawns, flowers, and non-native trees and shrubs. In other words, the fire-hazard native vegetation will be abutting the house.
   This is pure and simple back-to-pre-European-pristine-nature condition, and the concept is not even mentioned in grossly inadequate guidelines' Modified Draft Environmental Impact Statement. (That MDEIS would be ridiculed and rejected if presented for government approval by a private project.)
   Not all of the preservation/restoration is confined to the non-urban areas as is commonly supposed. A management policy for "urban and developed settings" calls for "Where feasible, shorelines restoration and public access should be required of all nonwater-dependent development on previously developed shorelines."
   Since "feasible" includes "relative public costs and public benefits" without any mention of costs to the private applicant, and since "the burden of proving infeasibility is on the applicant," it appears that the government will regard as feasible whatever it takes to re-nature urban shorelines as a condition of obtaining building or alteration permits, no matter the applicant's cost.
   The worst of it is that most of the baddies of the new guidelines are involved with Endangered Species Act (ESA) fish habitat enhancements, which of course were not part of the 1971 SMA, so should not be included in SMA guidelines.
   Fish will eventually be restored, at which point the fish regulations should level off. But since the Growth Management Act requirements and the GMA has already proved almost impossible to ratchet downward, we can be forever stuck with the onerous ESA fish requirements.
   ESA fish protections should be adopted under a separate legislative act with its own non-GMA/SMA amendment processes.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville
   Global Gag Rule
   What would Americans think about passing a bill that does not care about free speech, the rights of women, or overpopulation and the vast array of environmental and social problems it precipitates? Sadly enough all of the above are indirectly incorporated in a new law signed in Congress November 1999 dubbed the "Global Gag Rule." The Global Gag Rule cuts off U.S. family planning to groups in other countries that either use privately-raised funds to provide abortion or if they just talk about their own county's abortion laws.
   It will effectively cut off funding to millions of women who depend on the family planning and contraceptive services (which is the best defense against abortion) provided by U.S. aid. Incidentally, US foreign aid is lowest per capita compared to any other major western country. The loss of this particular aid will reduce the capability of the women in the effected countries to space the number of children they wish to have. The loss of funding this year alone is estimated to lead to more than 250,000 unintended pregnancies and will require over 100,000 additional abortions. It will cause 10,000 more maternal deaths and force over 120,000 unwanted births on a planet that is already sorely overpopulated.
   If fellow readers felt outraged about the attacks on freedom of speech, the rights of women and the impact on the environment they should write to their local member of Congress to ask them to repeal this odious law. One can also write to the president to veto any such legislation.
   Jim Overton, Bothell
   Taxes way up, growth rate in spending down
   Here are 7 undeniable facts about the United States government's financial picture:
   1. Under Clinton, taxes have risen in excess of 41% (in
   inflation adjusted dollars) since he took office in
   1993. Under Reagan, taxes increased 14% in adjusted
   dollars during his 8 years in office.
   2. Under Clinton, government spending has increased just
   over 8% (Republicans took control of Congress in 1995).
   Under Reagan, government spending grew by 18%.
   (Democrats controlled Congress.)
   3. Despite claims of "surpluses," according to government
   estimates, the Federal Debt will grow to nearly $6
   trillion (from its current $5.65 trillion) by 2004.
   4. By the end of this year, the government will have
   spent the entire $2 trillion dollars they claim is
   reserved for Social Security and Medicare. Under
   Clinton, just over $1 trillion dollars of the Social
   Security and Medicare trust funds have been spent to
   offset continuing deficit spending.
   5. Government estimators admit that between now and 2004,
   the federal government will spent nearly $1 trillion
   dollars of SSI surpluses to offset increased spending and
   reduction in the publicly held portion of the debt.
   6. By 2004, the federal government will owe "itself" $3
   trillion dollars, equaling the entire sum of all the
   federal trust fund accounts, including Social Security
   and Medicare.
   7. Since 1973, the U.S. government has doubled in size
   (after adjusting for inflation) as measured by its
   spending. It is more than 14 times its size in 1940,
   growing at an average inflation-adjusted rate of 4.5% per
   Michael Costello
   22115 NE 114th St.