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Letters Archive

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
All letters must be signed by the author and include a phone number and address for verification. The Snohomish County Tribune will edit all letters for brevity, clarity and style.
Letters must be 250 words or less.

Authors may be published once every four issues.

Letters policy
The Tribune provides a general forum for pertinent local public comment, but the viewpoints published in letters to the editor do not carry any implied endorsement or fact verifications by the
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No Letters to the Editor published in the December 13 Tribune.

Letters to the Editor in the December 6 Tribune:

Marijuana shops
Anti-pot letter took myopic stance

To the Editor:
Regarding Mr. Ferguson’s letter in the Nov. 22 Tribune, it seems he must think that Snohomish is somehow isolated from the county. He implies that keeping marijuana shops out of Snohomish is safer for the residents. 
Has he looked at a map?
There are many places on the outside of the city that are easy to access by vehicle and even public transit. The Bud Hut is on Fobes Hill on the north edge of the city. Cross the river on Avenue D or go east on Second and there are lots of places for a store that will pay no tax to the city. 
All the vote did was give some people a sense of satisfaction and cost the city future revenue.

George Mells

New Mayor Kartak
Criticism misdirected

To the Editor:
Regarding the Nov. 29th letter “Frugal? Then hire Bauman”: Blaming John Kartak for city taxpayers shelling out $112,015.35 to former City Manager Larry Bauman really takes brass!
The real blame for the payoff rests squarely on the shoulders of the council who knew full well early this year (after the passage of Proposition 2) that, by law, the city manager position is eliminated in November, 2017.
In September, 2017, the council asked a Seattle law firm to confirm city attorney Grant Weed’s opinion that Bauman is entitled to $112,015.35 in so-called severance pay. 
Yes, Mayor-elect John Kartak is frugal. Just give him six months in office to prove it. Some of the ideas being considered include taking a fresh look at all the city-owned properties at 105 Cedar Ave. and taking the savings to lower water, storm water, and wastewater utility rates.
Finally, with Bauman’s impressive resume and outstanding performance evaluations from the council, he should be able to land another job.

Bill Betten

Letters to the Editor in the November 29 Tribune:

New Mayor Kartak
Frugal? Then hire Bauman

To the Editor:
When answering a question in the Nov. 22nd Tribune Q-and-A article with new strong mayor John Kartak, he says: “....I am very conscious of money, very frugal...”
Apparently not. The front page article of that same issue is: “City manager will receive $100k as farewell payoff.” And the article states this will come from the city’s day-to-day expenses. Our city manager was a former assistant city manager in Shoreline before he worked for Snohomish, So clearly he is qualified to sit interim for 9 months as our City Administrator until his contract is up.
But our ‘Frugal’ new Mayor Kartak chooses to hire someone else for this position and give Mr. Larry Bauman a 9-month paid vacation instead of holding him to his contract.
Meanwhile our city street Holly Vista Drive still has the 65-year-old original paving covered with uneven patches and another sink hole developing in the same previous location.

Barbara Rivett


Change our thinking on disease

To the Editor:
It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s disease. Too often Alzheimer’s and other dementias are treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the U.S. develops every 66 seconds.
With two-thirds of its annual costs being borne by Medicare and Medicaid, it is an issue that demands more attention from our government.
As one of the 335,000 Washingtonians providing care to someone living with Alzheimer’s, I understand the physical and emotional costs of the disease.
Congress has a chance to take decisive action passing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256), endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association. This new bill would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions like increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. The nation currently spends $259 billion a year on Alzheimer’s, which is why we need this new approach. We must start treating it like the public health threat it is.
Join me in asking Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to fight for the five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s by cosponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.

Mike Allert

Letters to the Editor in the November 22 Tribune:

Marijuana in Snohomish
Respect the Prop. 1 vote

To the Editor:
The advisory vote on Prop. 1 was “not even a close call,” as stated on page two of the Nov. 15 Tribune.
With that result, allow me to remind the old and new City Council: You were elected to represent the will of the voters. It’s what we want, not what you think is best for us and the city.
If any councilmember supports a pot shop in Snohomish, they must not be listening. Their problem? Putting city revenue before public safety; public safety comes first and a pot shop would increase property crime and other issues.
The store owner can make his fortune in another town, but not off the backs of the people who live here. City Hall can always invent a new tax source.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Snohomish Mayoral Election
Guzak blaming pot for loss is misguided

To the Editor:
Regarding the Nov. 15th article on page 9, with the subheadline “Snohomish:  Kartak, who’s never held government office before, poised to lead city of 10,000”: Karen Guzak is quoted as saying “I feel really sad that those misconceptions and lies (about the marijuana issue) were propagated about me” and “I feel that I ran a really great, clean campaign and my ‘Kindness Crew’ helped me enormously.”
Blaming the Proposition 1 ballot issue for her defeat is ironic.  It was Mayor Guzak herself who cast the deciding vote to hold the marijuana election in 2017 instead of 2016, a presidential election year where more younger voters turn out. (See minutes to Feb. 16, 2016 Snohomish city council meeting).
Further, she hardly ran a campaign of “kindness” when candidate Guzak calls her opponent’s supporters in the press “liars” and “anarchists.”
Karen Guzak lost because the citizens got fed up with the poor management, arrogance, cronyism, and wasteful spending in city government.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor in the November 15 Tribune:

Be sure to write to representatives

To the Editor:
Now that the elections are over, it is time to continue communications with our elected representatives, locally and nationally.  
Congressman Rick Larsen is a proponent of fixing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure before more incidents like the Skagit River bridge collapse occur.  He has also supported efforts to insure education for all children in our world, often called the key to creating opportunities, battling disease, and creating a more peaceful world.  Rep. Larsen joined other Democrats and Republicans recently to cosponsor House Resolution 466 to support the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to continue to work to help countries bring education to the 263 million children not in school.  
Thank you, Congressman Larsen, for you efforts to create a better America and a better world.

Willie Dickerson

No Letters to the Editor ran in the November 8 Tribune

Letters to the Editor in the November 1 Tribune:

Snohomish County Council District 5 race
Sam Low working on homelessness

To the Editor:
As a woman and a mom, I have compassion and concern for the homeless in our town. I know homelessness and drug abuse have impacted almost every community in our state. Monroe is no exception. We all see it when we go to the grocery store, or when we take our dogs for a walk. We see it in the parks we take our families to and it is an issue we can no longer avoid.
Sam Low has fulfilled his campaign promise on addressing this problem during his time on council. He has made it a priority to talk about this challenging issue.
But he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. Sam has regularly attended community meetings in Monroe related to homelessness. He has been a voice of support for our embedded social worker and other programs to try to address this issue. It is refreshing to see a politician stand true to their word and prioritize the issues we elected them to address.

Janet Daniels

Snohomish Mayoral Race
Guzak will maintain unity

To the Editor:
We support Karen Guzak for Mayor of Snohomish because we believe she is the candidate best qualified to lead Snohomish through a change in the form of government. As mayor, Karen will unite a new group of City Council members to make decisions which will impact all residents of Snohomish long into the future.
Karen is committed to our community’s children and seniors, to financial stability, playgrounds and parks, affordable housing, as well as a measured and thoughtful transition to a new governance system. Karen is a pragmatic problem-solver, willing to look at all sides of an issue. She advocates for thoughtful growth while preserving our history, including a plan to preserve the historic Carnegie Library as a community center and create a Veterans’ Park on the site of the annex.
Karen’s experience on council, her long-range vision, management skills, compassionate outlook, willingness to listen and experience in bringing diverse groups together uniquely qualify her for the role of mayor. 

Candace McKenna and John First

Snohomish Mayoral Race
Guzak can serve better on council, not as the mayor

To the Editor:
I don’t know Karen Guzak personally. My impressions come from newspapers and discussions with her supporters. I am wondering if Guzak is disingenuous, hypocritical, devious or egotistical in her bid for strong mayor.
Hypocritical? Last year she campaigned hard to prevent a strong mayor government. Now Guzak wants to be the strong mayor. To me, that’s fishy. Egotistical? Guzak told supporters she’d only run for mayor if no other candidates were qualified. Never mind that Snohomish has a long history of successful, strong mayors whose qualifications, like John Kartak’s, were no more or less than other citizens interested in the well-being of Snohomish.
My impressions leave me wanting Guzak to stay on the council, and I would unhesitatingly vote for her in that position.
Her explanations of why she’s running for strong mayor do not make her a credible or trustworthy candidate. Vote for John Kartak and hope Karen Guzak will support Snohomish by guiding Mayor Kartak from her council position.

Paul Heckel

Letters to the Editor in the Oct. 25 Tribune:

Snohomish Mayoral Race
Would Kartak veto council over marijuana?

To the Editor:
Snohomish made the decision, by 11 votes, to move from weak mayor to strong mayor with the idea of giving people the vote and hence the voice in local government. The man leading the charge was none other than the man running for current mayor, John Kartak. But at a public forum led by the League of Women Voters, Kartak gave a startling response to the issue of marijuana being sold in Snohomish. If Advisory Position #1 –Measure for the Sale of Marijuana within Snohomish City Limits is passed by the voters and the city council approved, Kartak stated he would use his power to veto their votes.
He had stated on June 19, 2017 that has is always capable of setting his own feelings aside in order to properly represent our town, then by his words said at the League forum that he would set aside the views of the people.
So, what is it? If elected to a 4-year term is he for “personal agenda” or “will of the people.” If history serves me right, Snohomish had voted out the “strong mayor” role because of self-serving, pet projects and going against “will of the people.” We are now back to the “strong mayor” role and it looks like we’re back in the same boat.

Amy Buddie

Gun control
Writer: Get rid of your guns

To the Editor:
Don’t just lower the flag; drop your guns.
Fifty-eight people just like us, just like our families, died in a fusillade of automatic gunfire on October 1st.  Five hundred further casualties have had their lives changed traumatically.  A madman had acquired more than 23 firearms legally, had a permit to carry them, and so we pay lip service to preserving a Second Amendment  that is literally massacring our citizens in our streets, our homes... our schools.  We have become inured to “just another mass shooting” because our politicians lack the political courage to end this war on ourselves.  We must drop our guns and say “no more.”
Call your local police and tell them you want to help by having your guns destroyed.  Stop buying guns... invest in peace, not violence.  Overcome your fears, or that fear will own you.  It will kill you as it did my neighbor, by his own hand. 
Drop your guns. Save yourselves. 

Peter Messinger

Letters to the Editor published in the October 18 Tribune:

County Council race
Sam Low working to fix traffic

To the Editor:
I am tired of traffic. I am tired of being late to work. I am tired of missing dinner with my family. I realize that our traffic woes won’t be solved tomorrow and we will never get rid of traffic altogether but we can make improvements, and Sam Low is fighting for those  improvements.
When Sam Low introduced himself at a Monroe candidates’ forum last year, his No. 1 issue was transportation. He wanted to address safety on Highway 2 and congestion on 522 and the trestle. No easy feat for a new councilman.
Sam has worked tirelessly to find creative solutions to our traffic nightmare in east county.

Jay Dillon

Columbus Day
Sometime history needs rewriting

To the Editor:
In response to a letter in the Oct. 4 Tribune: Sometimes history needs rewriting.  So much of what we learned in school has been sugar-coated to make certain events and people look better than deserved.  As for indigenous peoples oppressing women and engaging in slavery, it might be noted that Columbus and those who followed him did no better.
The Arawaks of the Caribbean were decimated and enslaved as a source of wealth for the European explorers. This does not make for good history book reading, does it? 

Linda Bresee

Snohomish Mayoral Race
Guzak has ample experience

To the Editor:
Karen Guzak has worked tirelessly and effectively during her tenure as a councilwoman. Her contacts with county and state leaders have helped to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into our city for projects such as the Bickford Avenue roundabout and our new boat launch. These are dollars that did not have to come directly out of the pockets of Snohomish citizens.
Karen sees the need not for growth, but for smart growth, bringing in enough revenue to lessen the tax burden on individual citizens while maintaining the beauty, character and lifestyle of the city we love.
Management and government experience couldn’t be more important during this transition to a strong mayor form of government. We need someone to administer a $28 million budget with efficiency and effectiveness and Karen has the skill to do the job.

Janet Kusler

Snohomish Mayoral Race
Kartak rolls up his sleeves

To the Editor:
I have worked with John Kartak for a number of years in the building/ contracting business.  He is organized and hard working.  We have done many jobs together which required putting people and parts of the project together to get the job done right.  He has the ability to bring people together, which is an important skill to have as our mayor.
John is rooted in the City of Snohomish.  He wants only the best for the
citizens of Snohomish and he will represent us well.  He has spent many hours giving community service to the city from organizing volunteers for litter pick-up, including drug needles, to bringing people together in the blockwatch programs.
Yes, John Kartak, Mayor.

Larry Countryman

Letters to the Editor published in the October 11 Tribune:

Letters to the Editor in the Herald
Some letters went too far

To the Editor:
In all my 75 years living in Snohomish, I have never witnessed a mayoral campaign such as this one, filled with acrimony and outright falsehoods and,yes, libel.
Specifically, the Daily Herald recently printed three scurrilous letters attacking John Kartak or his supporters.
The first letter by Jeff Vileta linked John Kartak with the “alt-right,” a hate group. John is certainly no white supremacist.
The second letter by Karen Guzak libeled Bill Betten, a close associate of John’s, as having “a history of lying and character assassination.” Bill’s letter Guzak referenced contained no lies or falsehoods. City records show the 2011 Carnegie Master Plan, again adopted by the City Council on June 20th, will cost the city taxpayers $5,145,722.  Guzak wrote
the cost is “undetermined.”
The third letter by Lanni Johnson questioned John’s education and even intelligence or “horsepower” to run a city of 50 employees. 
These are gutter campaign tactics.

Morgan Davis

County Council race
Kristin Kelly fights for the people

To the Editor:
I’ve lived in the Cavalero Hill area most of my life.  I’ve watched as Lake Stevens has expanded from a little town on the northeast side of the lake to the new subdivisions on the hillsides above the trestle.  I’m supporting Kristin Kelly for Snohomish County Council District 5 and I’d like new residents to know why.
Back in the ‘90s, Kristin co-owned Turners Grocery.  When it became clear that the county was going to allow a big box store and strip malls at the top of Cavalero Hill, Kristin worked to inform and organize neighbors and the community.  By pushing back, these 33 acres are now a county park. This park would not be there if not for Kristin Kelly.
Kristin did not stop with Cavalero Hill, she has continued to advocate for quality of life issues throughout Snohomish County.  She’s a proven leader who not only talks the talk but actually walks the walk.

Carol McDonald
Lake Stevens

Letters to the Editor published in the October 4 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Annex
Let annex age gracefully

To the Editor:
Regarding the Sept. 27 letter in the Tribune by Garth Culver: I respectfully disagree with his statement “it (Annex) is the only structure on First Street that wasn’t built in the 1880s to 1930s or designed to be compatible with same.”
Here’s just one example that belies Mr. Culver’s statement: Bob Hart, a builder in Snohomish, built “Patrick Plaza” right across the street from the Carnegie properties. Just before the building was completed, the Tribune quoted Karen Guzak as describing Mr. Hart’s new building as the “yellow monstrosity,” a reference to the building wrapped in yellow insulation before siding was applied.
It’s such a huge building so out of scale with the neighborhood, it dwarfs the 1910 Carnegie building even with the Annex.
Karen Guzak is determined to pour $4 million to $5 million of city tax money into destroying the Annex and restoring the 1910 building, albeit in phases.
Mr. Culver further states the businesses on First Street generate sales taxes that are shared with the city (about 1 percent of sales).
To recoup the millions spent on the 1910 building, First Street businesses would have to generate NEW sales amounting to $400 million to $500 million!
Let the historic 50-year-old Annex age gracefully: It ain’t broke, don’t destroy it.

Evangeline Loranc

Global Affairs
Education bill’s passage helps kids

To the Editor:
Great news: the READ Act was signed into law. This legislation that was called the Education for All in past years, focuses America’s efforts to help all children in our world to get an education. With 263 million children and youth not in school, there is plenty of work to do. The dividends from education are higher earnings, better health, lower birth rates, and less conflict. Our calls and letters helped to pass this legislation, which supports the Global Partnership for Education, targeting getting 25 million more children in school over the next three years. Imagine the voices of 25 million cheering children!

Willie Dickerson

Columbus Day renaming
Rewriting this history is hypocritical

To the Editor:
Evidence shows that the tribal people of the Pacific Northwest oppressed women, engaged in slavery and followed rules dictated by tribal elders.
While the left attempts to tear down history, we are left with statues of Chief Seattle who embraced slavery and Vladimir Lenin who suppressed tens of thousands of his opponents by killing them or sending them to concentration camps.
By renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day, hypocrisy exists in the left’s attempt to rewrite history.

Jeff Scherrer

Letters to the Editor published in the September 27 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Annex
Building is today out of place

To the Editor:
Regarding the Carnegie Annex and Morgan Davis’s letter (Sept. 13 Tribune):
50 years ago I might have thought the Carnegie Annex was beautiful and modern. At age 76, I think it is an example of one of the worst periods of architecture. The thing that makes it a “cancerous growth” (Warner Blake’s word choice Mr. Davis responded to) is that it is the only structure on First Street that wasn’t built in the 1880s to the 1930s or designed to be compatible with same. The annex doesn’t fit the city and it should go.
Taxpayers? The businesses on First Street pay property taxes and they generate sales tax that is shared with the city. It is the character of the street that brings in visitors and revenue. A restored library will be a major asset to that character. The annex is not.
I have lived in a lot of places, never one as well managed as Snohomish. Karen Guzak and others deserve kudos for preserving it. It ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.

Garth Culver

Town Clock on First Street
It shows the wrong time all the time

To the Editor:
I see in the Sept. 20 Tribune that another photo of the town clock is prominently showcased.
If the traffic lights, hydrants, street lights or water fountain  downtown did not function, they would be immediately repaired. Not so with the town clock. It always gives the public the incorrect time and has for several years.
The question shouldn’t be why the clock has two number 12s. I have heard this comment in the paper for several years, but I never hear the question why the clock does not tell correct time.

Steve Schmidt

Political season
Please don't uproot signs

To the Editor:
Kristin Kelly and Sam Low, candidates for Snohomish County Council District 5 for the Nov. 7 election, are asking “everyone” to stop tampering with their (and any) political signage along our roadways.
Candidates Kelly and Low have agreed to run clean campaigns and want to focus on the issues and their
positions, leaving the decision up to voters who they want to represent them.
Political signs need to be left alone until after the election on November 7th.

Jointly signed
by Kristin Kelly and Sam Low

Civic Engagement
Community building doesn’t just ‘happen’

To the Editor:
Cultural preservation is more than sandblasted buildings and brick painted sidewalks. Cultural preservation is about character, community and sharing the old with the new. 
Understanding why places, people, objects and events are treasures helps people find their place in the community. 
Newcomers become Locals by knowing our cultural history, sharing the old stories and participating in decision making.
So, while you are giving sushi to new neighbors, welcome them with a few local legends and invite them to a public meeting. 
Council meetings have time for citizen comments on any topic. They meet on the first and third Tuesday every month at 7 p.m., agendas are available on the city website. 
Council workshops are where the decisions are made and where you can discover the character of the council members. Workshops are held at 6 p.m. before Council meetings.
If you like your community, build it. 

Colleen Dunlap

Letters to the Editor published in the September 20 Tribune:

Snohomish Garbage Services
Trash bins are the same size

To the Editor:
I read with interest Bruce Ferguson’s letter to the editor (Sept. 13 Tribune) regarding Republic’s new smaller trash containers, and the lack of respect that he felt had been paid to the citizens of Snohomish by our current city government for forcing a fraud on its residents. 
The first thing I did was go out and read the lid of my new wheeled container (which Bruce could have done himself).  New containers hold 35 gallons of rubbish.  The old standard garbage container, which residents had to supply themselves, held 32 gallons of trash.  The fact that our new container has wheels, I am grateful for. The fact that it has a lift bar, which means it can be securely hoisted and emptied, likely helps Republic ensure the safety of their employees’ work environment. 
The new contract lowers residents’ garbage bills, though not by a huge amount.  In fact, at our house we use a 20 gallon (small can) insert in our new trash bin, which lowers monthly costs by an additional $3.35.  
I would suggest to Mr. Ferguson if he wants low cost, a monthly trip to the local transfer station would be $20. Another idea would be to organize, with like minded residents, his own garbage collection cooperative.  And while this suggestion may yield reduced costs, it definitely would provide input regarding the value of this service.
In conclusion, I congratulate our city government: council, mayor and city manager for a great trash/recycling collection contract. 

Janice Lengenfelder

From the heart
Don’t look at gangs positively

To the Editor:
I grew up in Snohomish (Dutch Hill) where I lived my life until the age of 27. I now reside in a California state prison, sentenced to an accumulation of 140 years.
I was a member of a Snohomish-based religious cult called “The Gatekeepers.” 
Upon my arrest in 1998, the town I grew up in and loved was shocked with disbelief that one of their own was being shown on the television having been involved in a high-speed chase with the San Diego Police and subsequently arrested and charged with a litany of serious charges; one of which was attempted murder of a police officer.
My reason for writing a letter is that I hope my story could make some small difference in the lives of other young men and women who find themselves lost in life, where the pull of either gangs, or like in my case, religious cults, look attractive.
How many are out there just looking for love and acceptance in our own town?
With the explosion of drugs and vandalism in the town of Snohomish, would this be considered inevitable due to the growing population, or a telltale sign that our families are weakening and the immediate need to bring light to the culture that will inevitably inherit the town I still call home.
I hope my tragic mistakes could be used to help others. 

Blaine Applin
California Mens Colony State Prison
San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Letters to the Editor published in the September 13 Tribune:

Snohomish Garbage Services
Claim: Smaller trash cans were by design

To the Editor:
Republic Services has provided all of Snohomish with new garbage cans, and many people asked themselves why the new cans are so small.
With the cans being that small, it will force and endorse the city policy of once-a-week pickups. City Hall must have become tired of people wanting less pick-ups. During contract negotiations, this problem was on the table and Republic had the solution.
Your old can held more, right?
Many people told City Hall they didn’t need once-a-week pick ups, but City Hall told us once-a-week was the only policy.
With a new form of government, we just might have the respect we all want from Snohomish City Hall.

Bruce Ferguson

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Tearing down annex insults locals’ tastes

To the Editor:
Warner Blake wrote a recent letter to the editor (Aug. 29 Herald newspaper) that removing the 1968 Carnegie Annex is like removing “a cancerous growth.”
I disagree.
50 years ago, our last strong mayor, the iconic and colorful Payson Peterson, among others dedicated the annex.  Everyone in town at the time loved its design and aesthetics. They especially liked the one story, no elevators, and handicapped accessibility features. They loved its practicality and cost effectiveness that the hardy townspeople were famous for.  
Almost 30 years later we have the spectacle of Warner Blake coming to Snohomish insulting the locals’ tastes and decisions and working to destroy what he calls a “cancerous growth.”
The problem is, Blake and his partner Councilwoman Karen Guzak, who’s running for mayor, now want us local taxpayers to pay $4 million to achieve their “dream.”
(See Snohomish City Council meeting minutes for July 15, 2014).

Morgan Davis

No Letters to the Editor published in the Sept. 6 Tribune.

Letters to the Editor published in the August 30 Tribune:

Downtown Snohomish
City can use a parking lot

To the Editor:
There have been many articles written recently about our Historic Carnegie Building and Hal Moe Pool. I find city parks and grass to be aesthetically pleasing. Our riverfront trail downtown has a few picnic tables and city visitors can enjoy the view and take a nice stroll.
Being grandparents, we have found the play parks here nice and never crowded, even on the weekends.
The point I would like to make is instead of parks, lets think parking lots. We avoid our beautiful town of shops and restaurants on the weekend because parking is so limited. When we have out-of-town guests, who also love our town, we drop them off and search for a place to park that usually involves a long hike back.  I have also discussed this with merchants that are frustrated they and their customers have no place to park.
Hal Moe is not that far from the trail that leads to downtown. It would be a nice place for the bike riders to park. A parking lot could have beautiful hanging flower pots and a bench to the side. Even 10 or 15 extra parking spots would accentuate downtown.

Barbara Rivett

Drug abusers
Pick a path for drug users

To the Editor:
I just got through reading the article about Clearview’s opiate problem (Aug. 23 Tribune). I must say, that once again, I am appalled at the way that the authorities are making the problem worse. What I mean is that instead of “sticking up” for these people, and saying they don’t belong in jail, why doesn’t everybody put their heads together and come up with a way to either keep the addicts locked up, or treated? If you don’t have money for jails and prisons, then get some. If you feel like they are sick, then get money for hospitals, but, whatever you do, keep them away from the rest of us! A junkie can get cleaned up if they want to, but, they never will, because their life is so absolutely glamorized, that they don’t even need to worry about consequences of their bad behavior! The way you guys are doing now, is obliviously not working.

Joanie Bagan

Snohomish mayoral race
Guzak is the better leader

To the Editor:
I would like to write in support Karen Guzak for Mayor of Snohomish.
I have known her for over 10 years through Snohomish Women’s Networking. She has faithfully supported this group and our businesses, using our services, befriending us, opening up her business and home for many of the activities.
She has respect for me as person; for my Christian faith and the different faith of others. It is important to me leadership does not judge or condemn someone whom is different from them, but judges the actions independently.
- As a woman she is a strong role model.
- She contributes to our community, owning both the Yoga Circle and Angel Arm Works, a performance and event center brings cultural diversity to our community.
She uses and chooses to promote earth friendly processes, I like knowing the city council has someone who will watch out for the impact on our environment.
Her work on the city council has this goal in mind: “Community service is a great opportunity for spiritual growth, working for a more peaceful, effective, celebratory community. It’s a big art project that improves the quality of life for a lot of people.” I believe this statement from her portrays her efforts and the essence of her personality.
She has over 8 years of experience serving our community and I believe she is an excellent choice we are looking for.

Vicki Machovsky

Letters to the Editor published in the August 23 Tribune:

Lord Hill Park bike plans
Kristin Kelly opposes bike plan

To the Editor:
On the issue of a mountain bike “skills course” at Lord Hill (Aug. 16 Tribune), County Council candidate Kristin Kelly has fought along with other stakeholder groups to keep Lord Hill a resource for all users including hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. She opposes the proposed mountain bike “skills course,” which would bring an estimated 50,000 to 200,000 mountain bikers to the park per year. This type of skills center would displace a diverse set of present local Snohomish county users (and property tax payers) in favor of out of town tourists, and do extensive environmental damage to the park.
The incumbent, Sam Low, has recently implied support for keeping things the way they are “now,” but has made no commitment to oppose the skills course long term; his statement ,“There is no long range plan for changing the park from the way it is now,” does not express any resistance to the skills course. Kristin Kelly, on the other hand, has fought it since day one of finding out about the Parks Department’s plans.
The parks director has made it crystal clear that it was his objective to turn Lord Hill Park into a tourist draw as a mountain biking destination, and this agenda requires constant resistive vigilance to protect the park from environmental damage, and guarantee continued accessibility for hikers and equestrians. Kristin Kelly will provide that diligence.

Scott Lee

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Plans will cost public big money

To the Editor:
Red alert to Snohomish real estate taxpayers and water and sewer ratepayers!
The City Council on Aug. 15 voted again to implement the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation’s 2011 Master Plan, except now with city funding. 
As late as 2014, the city and Foundation estimated the cost to restore the interior of the 1910 building to be $4 million (see July 15, 2014 council minutes).
Council’s Aug. 15 decision means there are no other real options than the 2011 plan, such as selling the property to the private sector or just fixing the leaky roof on the now historic 1968 annex for city offices and meeting rooms (estimated cost $80,000).
If homeowners and renters want their living expenses to go up to pay for this plan, support the plan.

Evangeline Loranc

Letters to the Editor published in the August 16 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Restore the original footprint

To the Editor:
I am one of those Snohomish citizens who remembers fondly the city’s Carnegie library prior to the 1968 addition with its lawn and ancient cherry tree on the corner of First and Cedar. The Carnegie Foundation Board has worked tirelessly since 2005 to maintain and restore the 1910 building but has been attacked and vilified in recent months.
I have always said I own a sledge hammer and would be happy to volunteer to demolish the once-needed but now unnecessary addition to the original library.
Let’s not let threats and intimidation divert us from our goal of returning the Carnegie to its original configuration. Come on people. Let’s get on with it.

Julie Davis

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Annex is still an asset

To the Editor:
Regarding the letters of Aug. 9, Aug. 2, and July 26 in the Tribune: Some of the comments included:
Remove the “ugly annex.”
Remove the “current eyesore of the annex.”
Remove the “dated, unsightly 1970’s (sic) addition.
Remove the “1968 addition to restore the beauty of the 1910 building.”
Our foundation is making great progress in reversing the ill-advised June 20th council workshop plan to quickly destroy this valuable, historic, city-owned 1968 annex solely because of so-called “poor aesthetics.”
 “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” 
This annex’s aesthetics issue on whether to remodel or remove is the same as the recent 1968 County Courthouse fiasco where the County Council authorized $162 million to destroy the 1968 building and build a new one across the street (at a cost of $8 million for each courtroom!).
However, after years of dithering back and forth, the County Council reversed themselves when the taxpayers balked (rightly so) at the huge price-tag.
Although some Superior Court judges wanted a brand new building, calling the 1968 building an example of “Soviet-style architecture,” most of them came to their senses and embraced the final plan to keep and refurbish the now historic 1968 Courthouse and Spanish Mission buildings.
We believe a similar awakening will happen to the 2018 Snohomish City Council when they analyze the Cost/Benefit ratios and what the relative costs per square foot to be determined by a licensed structural engineer to be chosen at the Aug. 15 council meeting.

Bill Betten
105 Cedar Ave. Foundation

Letters to the Editor published in the August 9 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Suggestion for parkland

To the Editor:
I write in agreement with Candace Jarrett’s letter (July 26 Tribune) in support of a park next to the Carnegie Library, rather than that ugly annex.
However, I go one step further and propose that after tearing down the annex, we move the Snohomish Veterans Memorial back to its proper place next to the library, and then name the park, “Snohomish Veterans Memorial Park,” in recognition of our veterans of whom we are so proud!  The names on that Memorial represent people who gave their lives for our country!   What a wonderful addition to our downtown that park would be.  The perfect place to rest after walking up and down First Street, visiting all the shops.
In looking at the Facebook page for the Carnegie Foundation, I see that they are proposing that the park be named the Emma Patrick Memorial Park.  Recognizing the contribution of individuals to our library is a fine idea.  Let’s put up a memorial to all the women who contributed to our library and kept it alive!  There were more involved than Emma Patrick!
But the park which houses our Veterans Memorial, should be named in recognition of our Veterans!  To do anything else would be a disservice to them.

Lanni Johnson

Snohomish City Council
Council is not acting for public

To the Editor:
Back in the day, the primary argument between political opponents was how to best serve citizens. Now the divide is between protecting an elitist agenda or serving citizens. Best to have a raw, inclusive government by the people than to settle for a City Council that’s so busy genuflecting to an economic agenda it’s clueless to the real meaning of public service.
I am so done settling for a 7-0 Snohomish City Council, ignorant to its primary role: direct representation of the people.

Carey Clay

Fire District 7 levy
Fire chief thanks public

To the Editor:
With the recent election, Snohomish County Fire District 7 would like to say thank you to the people we serve for your continued support.
 Voters have restored funding for our fire levy. This lid lift will help to fund training and certifications for emergency personnel, fire station construction, facility maintenance, emergency response, fire and emergency medical supplies, apparatus and equipment replacement.

Fire Chief Gary Meek
Fire District 7

Letters to the Editor published in the August 2 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Historic library should be utilized

To the Editor:
People, contact your local city office and council members to state “It is time!” Time to put our efforts into restoration of the Carnegie Library Building. This building was built in 1910 to provide a public library for the constituents of Snohomish.  We need to be using it again.  I like the stated purposes for the future as outlined on the Snohomish Carnegie web site which include creating a place for the community to gather, for cultural events, as well as educational and recreational events... 
The proposal involves removing the current eyesore of the “annex,” an addition to the building which has outlived its purpose (expanding the Snohomish library).
The Carnegie is a part of the Snohomish Historic District. The Historic District makes our city a destination.  We value our restored homes, our historic downtown. Our tours of historic homes attract tourists and future cultural events at the Carnegie will attract tourists – hard to get to Seattle anymore.
Per the web site a plan was developed and approved in 2005 and revised in 2011. The Carnegie building was seismic retrofitted for earthquakes in 2013 to ensure the stability of the structure during a natural disaster.
Hard work has been done behind the scenes to preserve this historic resource for 12 years. Let’s take another leap and remove the annex.

Clara Grager

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Love for libraries lasts a lifetime

To the Editor:
I think it’s safe to say that my love for libraries began before I could walk. My mother would bring all four kids to the Everett Library weekly, and we would load up on books; sometimes more than I could carry.
I chose to relocate to Snohomish almost 30 years ago and raised my daughter visiting the Carnegie, which we loved.
I was a long time member of the Library Board and campaigned successful for our new Snohomish Library.
I now serve as President of the Friends of the Library, manager of our Book Sale and am the Chair of the Sno-Isle Foundation; so when I state that I love libraries, I mean it.
I’m writing to say how excited I am about the plans to restore the Carnegie Library back to its original grandeur by unburdening the original building from the dated, unsightly 1970’s addition.
The addition was necessary to serve the growing population but it has outlived its usefulness and it’s time for it to go.
Today we have the opportunity to honor the Carnegie Legacy by freeing the original building from the clutches of the cumbersome annex and restore a thing of beauty!
The Carnegie will be a community resource surrounded by a beautiful park and I’m proud to support the plan.
Check it out at:

Terry Lippincott

Snohomish Carnegie Building
‘Starting over’

To the Editor:
Snohomish taxpayers on July 24th won a small victory over wasteful spending and a lack of transparency at City Hall.
At a June 20 council workshop involving the 1910 and 1968 buildings at 105 Cedar Ave., only the private “Carnegie Educational Center” members were allowed to speak to staff and council. At the behest of the Center’s president, Melody Clemans, the council decided on option 2 (essentially, the old 2011 Carnegie Master Plan with the exception the city taxpayers will now foot the multi-million dollar bill instead of the education center). Option 2 involves destroying the historic 1968 building and replicating the 1910 building to its mint condition for the educational center.
The members of the separate 105 Cedar Avenue Foundation participated in a brainstorming session on July 24th with the City’s project managers, Steve Schuller and Denise Johns. We presented the City with some exciting new ideas for both the 1910 and 1968 buildings, including reducing the carbon foot at with sustainable “green remodeling” while not gouging the taxpayers with redundant uses for the 2 buildings.
The good news is that the City has now opened up a new public involvement process for all the 105 Cedar Avenue properties, essentially “starting over”.
At the next city council meeting a discussion item on the Carnegie properties will be on the agenda. Mr. Schuller will ask the Council to authorize a construction engineer to evaluate all the options with a cost benefit analysis and a council final decision in 2018.

Judy Kirkland Betten

Thrift stores
Pricing in stores and online are separate

To the Editor:
I’m with Becky Alke (July 19 letter to Tribune), it is not up to thrift stores to price items to boost eBay sellers’ profits.
Buy something or don’t, it’s the eBay-ers’ responsibility to figure out their own hunter-gatherer system.
It is the thrift stores’ responsibility to price their goods to most benefit their charitable organization, which is just what people who donate items want them to do.

Ann Chessman


Letters to the Editor published in the July 26 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Bring back the park

To the Editor:
Snohomish is finally close to again having a park next to the historic Carnegie Library Building on Cedar Avenue.
The land was originally donated not only for the 1910 Carnegie Library but also for an adjacent park. For decades our community enjoyed the wide welcoming space. Children ran on the grass.  We met friends there and sat on the bench under the cherry tree. We had our picture taken in front of the huge log or on the grand stairs leading up to the library.
We lost our park to the 1968 addition, but when that is removed and the beauty and integrity of the Carnegie Library Building is restored we will have a much needed and desired gathering place in the historic downtown area.  We are so fortunate that we do not have to buy expensive land for a park because that valuable space already belongs to all of us. The park will be a wonderful addition to Snohomish.

Candace Jarrett

Fire District 4 levy
It’s a new tax to replace an old one

To the Editor:
Fire District 4’s Proposition 1 is asking the people for six more years of levy money. They want us to vote “yes” to continue the existing levy.
So here we go again: Supporters from Fire District 4 tell us in the voter’s pamphlet statement that should the levy fail, we all will feel the hurt: Examples given are longer response time, layoffs, the closure of a station (which one)?  Some of the same reasons were used in 2012 and again in 2013 for the purchase of two new fire trucks. The 2013 levy failed. Did anyone notice a longer response time, using the old trucks ? Should this new levy fail, will anyone notice a change in the current service levels? 
The argument for a “yes” vote states this levy is not a new tax. Wrong. The present levy/tax expires Dec. 31. It’s gone, it’s done. So how can this Prop. 1 not be new tax?
As stated, 91 percent of District 4’s funding is from property taxes. Property taxes are going up. With our property taxes going up,
District 4 will get more money anyhow. You’ll end up paying them twice with a “yes” vote. I say once is enough in my camp. 

Bruce A. Ferguson

Snohomish Mayoral race
Kartak’s the guy

To the Editor:
We support John Kartak for Mayor of Snohomish because John believes in and will work to protect the small town values of Snohomish and its unique historic legacy.
John Kartak values privacy for the citizens and transparency in our government.
John Kartak honors citizen input and will ensure our voice is heard and respected at City Hall in Snohomish.
This election for a “strong” mayor in Snohomish was brought about through the efforts of John Kartak and those that support him. John Kartak is the only candidate for mayor who supported Proposition 2. This election is Part Two of Proposition 2 which enabled the voters to elect a “Strong” Mayor in this election. Proposition 2 was approved by the voters despite the opposition of the other candidates who are now disingenuously running for mayor in this election.
John Kartak represents real honest change. If either of the seated City Council members wins, their intention is to continue the outgoing “weak mayor” system by serving in a part-time capacity and continuing to defer “executive” authority to a city administrator costing the taxpayers of Snohomish well over $200,000 a year.
John Kartak will address the issues of economic health, urban growth, zoning, traffic congestion, wasteful spending, homelessness and the heartbreak of drug addiction in Snohomish.

David Clay
Co-manager for the John Kartak Campaign

Letters to the Editor published in the July 19 Tribune:

Snohomish High Reuinion
Flying in from Turkey

To the Editor:
I would like to inform the community that after 50 years I will be in Snohomish on July 22 for the 50th Class Reunion for Snohomish High School.
I was an exchange student from Turkey during the 1966-1967 school year.
I will be in Seattle on July 17th, and though I am not quite sure on the date when I will be in Snohomish, it is certain that I will be present for the class reunion on July 22nd.
I would like to express my gratitude to the people of this lovely little town, who have done their bestå to make me feel happy and comfortable during my stay.

Cegniz Karagöz
Istanbul, Turkey

Harvey Field
A novel idea to put runway elsewhere

To the Editor:
Regarding Harvey Field runway realignment (June 21st Tribune): Currently, the runway at Harvey Airfield runs north and south along Airport Way, with highly populated areas at both ends. Airport consultant J-viation has recommended relocating a large portion of Airport Way and eventually placing hangars and warehouses near the east side of state Route 9.  Their reason is to improve pilot convenience, reduce pilot errors, and get away from the congestion caused from all the activities along the west side of Airport Way; for example, storage of boats, RV’s, and motor homes; apartments, espresso stand, and a busy restaurant and bar.
Instead of county and federal taxpayers spending tens of millions of dollars to reroute Airport Way southward with serious environmental issues and impacts, why not the FAA and County simply purchase basically undeveloped agricultural land for a new runway just west of SR 9 and between Marsh Road and the Lowell-Snohomish River Road and lease it to the private, for-profit Harvey Airfield to operate?  This new runway would run parallel to state Route 9 or at a NW to SE tilt.
I understand the FEMA and county development regulations are less stringent or restrictive there than the current major floodway density fringe designations at Harvey Field and the farmland south of Airport Way.
The end result of this suggestion would cost county and federal taxpayers much less and at the same time provide greater benefits to General Aviation, the environment, and the residents than what J-viation is proposing.

Morgan Davis

Thrift stores
Prices are not too high

To the Editor:
In response to past letters in the Tribune: It appears some eBay sellers feel it’s the responsibility of a thrift shop to price their items “cheap enough” so they can resell an item on eBay at a higher price. It’s not the responsibility of any shop to price their items “cheap enough” to let others make a profit through resale. Check out Value Village or Goodwill — these, too, are considered “benefit” resale thrift stores.
Fabulously Frugal’s prices are always lower than anything I’ve ever found in the other stores.
Each store benefits people and the local communities. They all have bills, payroll, volunteers, training, rent, they all recycle. Fabulously Frugal gets a ton of stuff that needs to be sifted through. It’s no small effort.
In real world business, it’s whatever the market will allow. I’ve spent years comparing prices also. I found a crystal bowl in a shop on First Street for $35. I found the same bowl at Fabulously Frugal three months later for $15. What? Price too high??
I donate a lot to this shop. I want the shop to benefit from the donation. I want the senior center programs to flourish and expand through the sales from the shop.

Becky Alke

Fire District 4 levy
Consider what the department does

To the Editor:
People have said that they typically do not see many government officials until election season when they want more tax money from the public. I try to be out in the public and accessible all year round but not all of my messages are related to tax issues so I do understand the perception.
As a public servant, I think one of my most important job duties is doing everything I can to assure that our services are always readily available to the public when they find themselves in need of calling 911. Of late this is difficult as we seem to find the need is even greater and folks depend on us to respond without delay.
Many people are not aware that if they receive service from a Fire District, the majority of that service is funded from property taxes, up to 90 percent or more. In many cases the failure of a tax levy proposition truly affects the way a Fire District is able to deliver emergency services to an area.
I would ask you as a voter to look at all of the issues in your community and become as informed as possible. I encourage you to call the agency responsible for any issue and ask questions, but above all, make sure your voice is heard. If you want to voice a stronger opinion, attend a meeting and meet the elected officials.
We exist to serve your emergency needs and are proud to do so.

Ron Simmons
Fire Chief, Fire District 4

Snohomish Mayoral Race
Burke is the level-headed candidate

To the Editor:
I will be voting for Councilman Derrick Burke as Snohomish’s new strong mayor for these reasons:
1. He is the only councilmember who spoke out against no-bid contracts, against the Economic Development position, and spending millions of city real estate and utility funds at 105 Cedar Avenue for a new so-called “Carnegie Educational Center” when the owner of an average home will be paying an extra $330 next year in real estate taxes for the school district (Source: July 6 Seattle Times).
2. Of the two council member candidates for mayor, he was the only one who supported lifting the ban on legal medical and retail cannabis in the city.
3. He has seven years of council experience, working with staff and the department heads. As executive strong mayor, this institutional knowledge gives him a short learning curve and the edge in running the city compared to the other candidates.
4. Unlike two of the other three politically “hyper-partisan” candidates, Burke is an independent thinker with an even temperament and the “broad shoulders” to accept and even embrace criticism of city government.
Vote Derrick Burke for a new beginning in Snohomish city government.

Evangeline Loranc

Snohomish Mayoral Race
Kartak will uphold traditions

To the Editor:
The upcoming mayoral race in Snohomish offers new and effective, local leadership. The success of Proposition 2, and the failure of the MPD initiative (raising already high property taxes) was a clear indication the existing administration is out of step with the people of Snohomish.
Councilwoman Karen Guzak was a feel-good appointee on council which didn’t pan out for many reasons including numerous ill-advised spending initiatives. The champion of the people, John Kartak, is a local man whose ambition is to reinvigorate citizens in a collective effort to maintain the city’s charm. He promises to keep our city from becoming another densely-packed, strip mall town, by supporting local businesses and inviting citizen involvement. John is not a tax-and-spend bureaucrat, but rather a hands-on advocate, with applicable skills who will utilize our assets prudently, contain the cost of governing, improve transparency, and thwart aggressive expansion. John will be a full-time, strong mayor, dedicated to the job 24/7. I’m an independent who caucuses democratic.

David Shedivy

Global education
Tell Congress to continue support

To the Editor:
Congratulations to Staci Tuck for making “the learning process more fun.”  (“Learning English with enthusiastic pen pals,” June 28 Tribune). This is the way learning works best, when there is fun.  For over 200 million children in our world, there is no school, fun or not.  But there is hope: the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is working to give all children a chance to go to school.  By working with countries to create education plans and giving them a hand up on funding these programs, hope is created. Our donation to the GPE is important. Write to your local congresspeople. Millions of children will be grateful for the hope it creates.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the Editor published in the July 12 Tribune:

Snohomish Mayoral Candidates
We deserve better candidates than this

To the Editor:
Regarding the June 28 Tribune story on the mayoral candidates’ “ideas”: What ideas? A pot shop! Are you silent investors? Two incumbents with nothing new, two outsiders with nothing to offer as I read nothing but canned responses.  When I read words like “non-partisan” all that tells me is nothing but partisan.  What we have is the old guard running to protect the old guard. What Snohomish needs is not a pot shop, no, Snohomish needs leadership that is not a Democrat or a Republican shill. Leadership, which promotes small business and will keep Snohomish as a place to visit and do business.  It needs leadership that will include all citizens that live inside and outside our city with an equal voice. 
I believe the majority of Americans are growing tired of the same tired political, party and or personal agendas.
If the proposal of a pot shop is the biggest thing you all consider important to Snohomish than none of you are worthy of the job. There are more pressing issues in Snohomish such as homelessness, drugs, taxes and safety on First Street.  Snohomish does not need a government controlled by a small handful of citizens; it needs a government that does the work of all citizens.  If there was a write-in candidate I would toss my name in.

John Lorenz

Marijuana stores
Fight against pot shop is to preserve Snohomish

To the Editor:
Do we want to allow marijuana stores in Snohomish? The pro-pot side wants to label anyone against shops in town as “uninformed” or say we’re reacting out of “fear.” I could not possibly care any less about an adult smoking pot at home. That’s not what this is about. 
The person who’s secured a license to open a shop at 202 Ave. D expects council to rewrite our municipal code to allow a business that is against federal law. Council is willing to rezone and find a way to fit this type of “vice” business into Snohomish. Strip clubs, bikini barista stands, and casinos are all legal, too, but that doesn’t mean they work with the long-term vision of our citizens. People who have invested here and built their lives around volunteering in the schools, shopping in the local stores, and creating a life have a vote.
This isn’t an “anti-pot” movement, it’s a “preserve Snohomish” movement.

Susan Bjorling

Ban fireworks to help save wildlife

To the Editor:
The 2017 Fourth of July was extremely noisy and many birds with young still in the nest left and young are now starving and dying. People in and around the Snohomish were exploding fireworks everywhere — near the nests. Eagles that are the symbol of free America are some of the victims.
The environment is stressed — there is not so much fish left in the drying rivers and the diversity and food is diminished. Some animals have a magnitudes better hearing than man. Just imagine to be in the middle of this explosions. Be human — learn, understand, protect. No more fireworks in Snohomish County.

Jiri Janecek

Salmon preservation
A few dollars for screen blockers can save a lot of fish

To the Editor:
Hundreds of returning spawning salmon are lost each year in the Smokey Point area as they end up in roadside or shallow drainage ditches. The spawning fish follow a heavy rain or storm event when water is flowing in many of these small ditches. After several days without rain, the ditches are dry again and the fish become stranded and die.
I (Sno-Valley Farms) farm in the vicinity of Hayho Creek in north Marysville. About 15 years ago, it was late November and there had been heavy rainfall followed by a freeze and about six inches of snow. Chum salmon in Hayho creek entered a small drainage ditch that was through the middle of a hay field. What I saw when walking the field was very disturbing. The water may have been a foot deep when the fish entered the ditch but when the rains stopped and the weather turned cold, a sheet of ice formed on the water surface before the water disappeared and the fish swam up the ditch banks in the snow seeking water. I counted a couple of hundred dead chum lying in the field within 30 feet of the ditch.
This could have been prevented. Few realize that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife allows the installation of screens and barriers to restrict fish from roadside and small drainage ditches. A few thousand dollars invested in restricting fish from entering these shallow ditches will contribute more towards fish recovery than some of the multimillion-dollar fish enhancement projects.

Dan Bartelheimer
President, Snohomish County Farm Bureau

Letters to the Editor published in the July 5 Tribune:

Thrift stores
Manager: Greed slant unfair

To the Editor:
As the manager of Fabulously Frugal Thrift Store I feel compelled to respond to the comments Thomas Niemeyer made about thrift stores such as this important nonprofit organization in the June 21 Tribune.
Fabulously Frugal is owned and operated by the Snohomish Senior Center. Mr. Niemeyer may not be aware that all proceeds benefit the Senior Center and provide activities for the members.
During a time of diminishing financial support from local government and other organizations, the Senior Center is flourishing and has an amazing facility that is used not only by the seniors but by many others in the community through events such as breakfasts, bingo, bazaars, teas, and memorial services, to name a few.
While most of the proceeds from the thrift store go to support daily operations and the Senior Center, we have given back to the Snohomish community by donating to several churches and organizations.
Our thrift store also provides local students the opportunity to fulfill their community service hours, a requirement of graduation from high school. Additionally, our charges are fair and reasonable as we must cover rent, minimal labor costs and utility expenses. We survive by the goodwill of many seniors who work as volunteers.
I welcome Mr. Niemeyer to discuss our prices with me. He may not be aware that the third Saturday of every month we discount all items by 50 percent.
“Greedy” we are not, we are running a fair business, giving back to our community.

Shirley Mock
Manager, Fabulously Frugal Thrift Store

Randy Rush
Randy was one of the good guys

To the Editor:
We are saddened to hear about the passing of Randall Rush, “Randy” to us.
We met him about 10 years ago at the Snohomish Farmers Market where he would come by nearly every week to buy a big bag of large tomatoes. We would talk about cooking, food and what was going on down on First Street.
From time to time we would  stop in at the antique store and chat for a few moments.  He was a kind soul and one of the good guys that made Snohomish a cool place to be.  He will be greatly missed.

Neil and Dorothea Landaas

Seniors dinner helps remind us of kindness

To the Editor:
My husband and I attended a marvelous event at Snohomish High School. Senior citizens were invited by students of both high schools to a free and lovely dinner, with performances and art by students and staff at the school. We were met at the parking lot by student escorts. Our escort was an attractive student who writes her own music, so she, too, was thrilled when my husband Jerry serenaded her all the way to the dining hall.
More students greeted us for signing in and another attractive student took our picture; and what beautiful pictures they are!
After dinner, we viewed a gym full of art by students.What a magnificent display of talent!
Often, as we seniors grow old, we forget to smile and be grateful. That night I was reminded of how beautiful a field of smiles is, because every student face wore a smile. It was the most heart-waming and memorable experience of the night — the smiles, and their kindness.

Elaine and Jerry McClain

Letters to the Editor published in the June 28 Tribune:

Snohomish City Council
Criticisms can be helpful

To the Editor:
Our city, Snohomish, made the paper again, this time the Daily Herald front page. The story dealt with the “Critics” of our City Council and City Hall.
I understand the effect criticism has on people. When a person is judged, that person assumes a defensive position. Members of the council push back. But a lot of criticism has merit.
To all city staff and the City Council: People who make us uncomfortable, just may change the world to become better. Also... you don’t get paid for your opinions, you get paid to hear and represent our opinions.

Bruce Ferguson

"Soy sauce"
Quick decision not fair to teacher

To the Editor:
(Regarding Mike Coombs' June 14 letter): Has ‘Student A’ been asked to refrain from his “Soy Sauce” skit because it is racist?  What were the motives of these young teenage girls?  What other incidents in that class may have occurred which may have prompted these girls to vindictively attack Mr. Coombs?  What would the girls’ text messages reveal?  Were the girls asked any of these questions by SHS Administration?  Do the parents of these minor girls even know these complaints were written?
False accusations against teachers by students can be very damaging.  False accusations can take down in one minute a solid reputation built on a lifetime.  It is not acceptable that my brother does not get to defend himself in a hearing.  What kind of incomplete investigation occurred? I hold SHS Administration accountable for this unjustified treatment of my brother, Mr. Coombs.
Being called a racist is a big deal.  And especially when it is completely unsubstantiated. Since when did “Soy Sauce” become a racist slur?  
SHS Admin, I challenge you to admit that you were wrong, acted too quickly, without merit and to take the proper steps and do the right thing. I believe that SHS Admin should give Mr. Coombs a formal apology and expunge these complaints from his record.  Bet the U.S. Supreme Court would agree as it did recently for the (band) the “Slants” in their 6-0 decision.

Mary Hendrickson

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Criticisms can be helpful

To the Editor:
(Regarding the June 14 Tribune Guest opinion by Melody Clemans):
Although her opinion is somewhat more informative than Warner Blake’s May 3 Guest Opinion and follow-up June 7 letter, I must say this whole Carnegie saga, starting in 2002, when city manager Larry Bauman arrived and became the “project manager” (see Feb. 2005 Carnegie Master Plan by BOLA Architects), to present day has been fraught with indecision, neglect, and delay.
The City-paid BOLA plan recommended the 1968 Annex be saved and its roof repaired. As late as March 21, 2017, deputy city manager Steve Schuller convinced the city council to spend an estimated $15,000 to repair the Annex’s leaky roof that was soaking into the roof’s under layer to extend the useful life of the Annex “another 20 years or so.”
In April the cost estimate to fix the roof jumped to about 50 to 60 thousand dollars, still a bargain for this valuable asset.
Compare this to the almost million dollars in city and federal taxpayer money to replace the Spanish style roof on the original 1910 building in 2013.
Even a completely new roof for the Annex surely won’t cost $400,000 that Ms. Clemans claimed was the cost estimate in 2008. By the way, why won’t the City get a new roofer’s cost estimate now to fix the leaky roof? Could it be because of favoritism and/or simply aesthetics that the City is determined to destroy the Annex and pour millions more of city taxpayer money into the 1910 building?

Judy Kirkland

Letters to the Editor published in the June 21 Tribune:

Snohomish City Council
Non-city residents still deserve a voice

To the Editor:
During the June 6 Snohomish City Council meeting and also in a recent front page article in the Herald, councilwomen Schilaty and Guzak complained that citizens who live outside the city limits do not have “standing” and are not “constituents” to help determine council policy.
How hypocritical!
For example, in 2014 and again last year supporters of councilwomen Schilaty and Guzak lined up speakers, including children, to keep the ban on legal medical and recreational Cannabis in the city. Eighty percent of the speakers lived outside Snohomish and a lot of those lived in or near Clearview. When a citizen pointed out 55 percent of the voters in the city approved I-502 in 2012 and that most of the council speakers were not city voters, Guzak replied “the greater Snohomish area community must be considered.”
Another concrete example showing the councilwomen’s hypocrisy:  Councilwoman Schilaty is the liaison to the city’s powerful Economic Development Committee and former Mayor Guzak appointed several members to the EDC committee who are not city resident voters, including Gordy Cole, Ray Cook, and Mary Pat Connors among others.  Gordy Cole also has served for decades on the city Planning Commission.
The council should embrace and welcome any citizen who wants to speak and contribute at council meetings. Isn’t that why the council spent $25,000 for an “open government”committee in 2016? 

Evangeline Loranc

Thrift stores
Quit being greedy

To the Editor:
For years I sold on eBay for fun. Over the past decade and a half, my passion for selling eventually turned into “expertise.”
Having just recently moved my small enterprise to Snohomish, I have a lot to learn about this great place that many call home; one thing that I realized right away however, is the sense of true ‘community’ which seems to fill every nook and cranny of this town, contributing greatly to its rustic charm.
For me, a vital component of any location is a local community ‘thrift store’; it is my supply chain and main source of goods which I turn into profit, but which in turn I give back in the form of buying from local businesses.
At a thrift store, goods must be priced reasonably enough for people like me who need them in order to improve our lives. Wait a minute! There’s a problem with this one.
Three community thrift stores suddenly started pricing items way above ‘thrift store’ values. For instance, a Tonka toy truck, still covered in dried mud and leaves, is being sold for $20. A set of hand-made lawn furniture are selling at $60 for each piece. For items that were obtained at a total cost of zero, that’s a hefty markup. These are eBay prices.
Enough is enough, thrift store owners. Thrift stores are provided abundant tax privileges and perks to allow your place as a service to the community. Please shake the greed bug.

Thomas Niemeyer

Letters to the Editor published in the June 14 Tribune:

Snohomish School District
False accusations on teacher given too much power

To the Editor:
These “Salem Witch Hunts” need to stop.  Unidentifiable kids making false accusations against teachers. Teachers deserve to face their accusers. 
I have been falsely accused of using a racial slur while substitute teaching at SHS. Due to these false accusations, coupled with a one-sided investigation, the principal at SHS removed my subbing privileges and cancelled a dozen scheduled sub jobs.
  I have known “Student A” for 4 years.  He does an extremely popular and hilarious skit about “soy sauce.”  Immensely popular with his classmates.  Through the years,  my addressment to him has evolved to  “soy sauce.”  I have a great relationship with Student A.  He is a terrific young man.  I call him “soy sauce” solely from his skit.  It has nothing to do with his race.
When conviction occurs for what two students think in their minds (in this case two 9th grade girls), this is dangerous territory. Too much leverage was given to the anonymous accusers. One should have proof. And if proof is what someone believes in their minds, then our culture and society, as a whole, are in for some big trouble. 
Student A (and his mother) have no complaint against me.  I would think this would be enough to exonerate my actions.  Not so, says SHS Administration.
Political Correctness has reached critical mass.  Pretty soon teachers will not be able to speak at all, for it would “offend” someone.  Let’s be reasonable.  Let teachers bless kids.  And not have (anonymous) 9th graders dictate how it is best to bless.  Who is running the Zoo?

Mike Coombs

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Attacks in letter unwarranted

To the Editor:
Regarding Warner Blake’s June 7 letter “Call to keep annex building is too late”: I am deeply disappointed that Mr. Blake has to resort to ad hominem, personal swipes against me, instead of sticking to the facts.
Even at the June 6 Snohomish City Council meeting, while I was exercising my First Amendment rights speaking to the council, Mr. Blake couldn’t contain himself and heckled me, knowing the mayor would not say one word of admonishment to him.
Here are the facts concerning the Carnegie annex:
1.  His “public discussion” resulting in “overwhelming consensus in 2002” that the annex be destroyed is not set in concrete as he claims or even factually correct. See the Feb. 2005 Carnegie Master plan, which is available at City Hall. The BOLA Plan recommended saving the annex and repairing its roof.
2.  A search of city records revealed no council documents showing any lease to the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation or even the existence of a partnership agreement.
3.  The 2011 council did approve a master plan but it required the Carnegie Foundation to raise the necessary $3.3 million from private donors, not from city taxpayers.
4.  Mr. Blake conveniently fails to mention the exact amount of cash the foundation has raised from private donors, 2005 to present date.
In summary, Mr. Blake’s latest scheme of “switchback” wheelchair ramps is just another boondoggle that the city taxpayers will end up footing the bill for if he and his longtime partner, City Councilwoman Karen Guzak, get their way.

Bill Betten

Support freedom— let pot shops open

To the Editor:
People opposed to pot shops in Snohomish claim to want to protect SHS kids from harm. Don’t believe them, if they support football. About 1 out of 100,000 high school football players die on the field every year. Far more are permanently damaged. I only bring it up because there seems to be a heavy correlation between high school football enthusiasts and belief in reefer madness.
Meanwhile, a non-jock kid with a 4.0 who gets caught with pot loses everything. (Pot shop opponents like this idea!) Felony convictions for pot have harmed far more than even lifetimes of heavy pot use ever will.
But it’s always someone else’s kid, isn’t it?
As long as we create a black market for drugs, there will be someone willing to profit from the risk. Legal pot takes a revenue stream away from the guys who will also sell these same high school kids opioids.
I live between the proposed shop and SHS. I don’t smoke pot or watch football. The location is at a busy intersection that discourages foot
traffic because of the all the cars. It’s not a people friendly corner where
anyone is inclined to loiter. We’ve been living with an empty store front for at least two years.
I want our town to be an example of a free America, where people can buy pot and watch or play football, even though football is far more dangerous. Be a real American, support legal pot shops in Snohomish!

Chistopher Bingham

Letters to the Editor published in the June 7 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Call to keep annex building is too late

To the Editor:
My introduction to Bill Betten’s active mind was when he wanted to take the Kikendall Log Cabin from the Snohomish Historical Society while I was its president in 2008.
Now he writes: “Making a case for the Carnegie annex.” (guest opinion, May 24 Tribune)  “He-the-people” is years late and a sandwich short to our imaginary picnic on the Carnegie Green.
The public discussion of what to do with the Carnegie property began in 2002 and the overwhelming consensus then, as it has been straight through to this date, was to remove the 1968 addition, restore the historic facade of the 1910 structure and create a park on the south lawn. This plan was made formal with a final set of drawings approved by the City Council in 2011 (the plans are available on the city’s website.)
My proposal of ramps that meet ADA criteria is mistakenly referred to as a “scissor jack” in Betten’s commentary.  A scissor jack is a tool “for heavy lifting, operated by a horizontal screw.”
My friend Jason, sent to a wheelchair by a random shooting, confirmed for me that ramps work. What doesn’t work as well, Jason​ said, is being directed around back to use the elevator — which is the current plan in the Carnegie

Warner Blake

Letters to the Editor published in the May 31 Tribune:

National Health Care
Time to speak up

To the Editor:
Time to speak up for millions that will lose their health care if the bill that just passed the House becomes law.  Fortunately, it is currently being rewritten in the Senate. This gives us a chance to weigh in with our senators.  Both Senators Murray and Cantwell champion affordable health care for all Americans.  They still need to hear our stories about how important affordable health care is to each of us and what will happen if this bill is not changed.  Currently, nearly half of Washington’s children are covered by Medicaid and they stand to lose this coverage if the House version is passed.  The results of a 12-year study by the Congressional Management Foundation show that it is the voices of constituents that have the most influence over their elected representatives’ decisions.  So call, write, or visit our senators and ask them to make sure ALL Americans receive affordable health care.

Willie Dickerson

No letters published in the May 24 Tribune

Letters to the Editor published in the May 17 Tribune:

Bob Heirman
He inspired us all

To the Editor:
Melanie Russell had an excellent article on Bob Heirman (May 3 Tribune), an extraordinary man who inspired all of us to do our best.

Ann Bjorneby

Urban planning
Progress shouldn’t hit pocketbook

To the Editor:
In response to Kari Zimmerman’s letter in your May 10th edition:
I guess I am “one of those people fighting tooth and nail” against our Snohomish city government when it comes to unnecessary tax hikes and wasteful spending. I guess I am “one of those folks that scream the loudest to squash any effort to increase the source of (city) revenue.” See my letter to the Tribune printed April 19th, “Property tax cap - Koster bill (HB1764) risks too-high tax hikes.”
For the record, in 2011, I supported the Transportation Benefit District sales tax increase of 0.2 percent to build the roundabout at 15th and Avenue D and opposed councilwoman Lynn Schilaty’s attempt to raise city property taxes without a vote of the citizens to keep Police Chief John Turner employed. 
In 2015, I strongly opposed city manager Larry Bauman’s and council’s idea of creating an Metropolitan Parks District to almost double city property tax revenue. It isn’t “strange” that well over two out of three city voters weren’t  bamboozled by the council and rejected the MPD.
Citizens should be aware of City Hall’s looming boondoggles, including wanting to spend millions at the Hal Moe Pool site and at the Carnegie properties at First and Cedar. 
The wants, wishes and desires of this current city government are insatiable.
If Ms. Zimmerman would like to increase city revenue and help local businesses at the same time, she should support the movement to require the City’s management team to live in Snohomish, not King County. 

Evangeline Loranc

Carnegie library
Turn it into a city archive library

To the Editor:
Thanks to new state legislation, the deed restrictions placed on the Carnegie property by its donor cannot be changed without a public hearing. 
The library property is limited to use as a free public library. That means No theater, No rental space, No admission charges, No removal of deed restrictions.
Government transparency is a problem in Snohomish, it is a problem that needs a solution. A public access Transparency Library would be a solution for Snohomish, about Snohomish.
The City Clerk is the librarian for all city documents, by-laws, permits, budget, contracts and archives. The Clerk’s office records and maintains the documents covered in the transparency component of open government.
The clerk’s office and archive could be relocated to the new Snohomish Transparency Library. This move would make records more easily available to the public. It would open up space at City Hall, hopefully delaying the need for rebuilding, moving or remodeling our historic City Hall. 
Remaining space could display our visual, written and oral history. This would create an educational library for schools, residents and visitors.
Transparency and open access to city documents, plans and actions is our right. 
The generous gift of the property is someone’s legacy, given with the sole intent of use for a public library. We owe it to the donor to honor this intent.

Colleen Dunlap

Letters to the Editor published in the May 10 Tribune:

Urban planning
History can be preserved with planning

To the Editor:
It’s strange that there are many people in Snohomish that are fighting tooth and nail against any kind of improvements that will keep our city a desirable place to live and raise families. It seems they are completely lacking understanding of the need to maintain city-owned property as well as support local businesses.
If 43 percent of the city budget comes from sales taxes and another large portion from utility taxes, it stands to reason that we need to encourage people to live and open businesses here. Much is made of the desire to maintain buildings and parks that are owned by the city, but the folks that scream the loudest want to do everything they can to squash any effort to increase the source of revenue to do so. It is absolute nonsense.
I personally am completely onboard with the idea that Snohomish preserve its place as a unique, historical small town. However, that cannot be accomplished by throwing a tantrum to fight every bit of growth. Growth is a part of life and it does not come without some change. The past can certainly be honored but only as part of a solid, thoughtful plan for the future.

Kari Zimmerman

Deed restrictions
H.B. 1959 is enforceable

To the Editor:
After a request from citizens interested in restoring all the deed restrictions at the historic Averill Field site, Snohomish Mayor Tom Hamilton discussed the request with his fellow councilmembers under New Business during the May 2nd meeting.
Councilwomen Guzak and Schilaty seemed to think a zoning change to “Parks” would trump the necessity for restoring the deed restrictions that were removed without a public due process hearing or even any kind of transparency for the citizens (now required by state Rep. Mark Harmsworth’s House Bill 1959 law).
Here’s a recent concrete example where zoning doesn’t trump deed restrictions:
The Stocker family granted the city 20 acres of floodplain, agricultural land for $500,000 with three deed restrictions:
1.  The city can’t prevent the Stockers from running their cattle and farm equipment across the land.
2.  Unless the city pays an extra $10,000, the Stockers will approve the name for the boat launch and/or park.
3.  The city can’t prevent the Stockers from using the acreage for overflow vehicle parking during soccer tournaments occurring across the road at Stocker Soccer.
So if the city rezones the land “Parks,” does that override the need for deed restrictions?  Of course not.
The logical conclusion is for the city to simply first restore all the deed restrictions removed at Averill Field and then ask the public via Harmsworth’s law if they want to remove the restored deed restrictions, giving the public the city’s compelling need and justifications.
That is being open, transparent, and ethical.

Judy Kirkland

Deed restrictions
Thank you Rep. Harmsworth

To the Editor:
Many thanks to Representative Mark Harmsworth for spearheading legislation that promotes transparency by requiring municipalities to hold a hearing prior to the removal of protective covenants on public properties. This new law is a direct result of the Snohomish City Council’s mismanagement of the 2015 cell tower fiasco. 

Carey Clay

No Letters to the Editor published in the May 3 Tribune

Letters to the Editor published in the April 26 Tribune:

Future mayor's salary
Making wage low is sabotage

To the Editor:
According to an article in the local daily newspaper, the elected strong mayor will be paid $18,000 per year.  Yet, in an email the same day from the supervisor in the Elections Dept. in the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office, she reported the City informed her to set the elected mayor’s salary at $8700.  The candidate’s filing fee is 1 percent of the salary or $87.
The article reported city councilwomen Schilaty and Guzak were the most vocal councilmembers wanting a lowly paid, part-time mayor.
They feel Snohomish doesn’t have a talent pool to produce a full-time professional to run the city with 50 employees.  They also cite the requirement of the 2018 city budget due by Nov. 30th for setting the mayor’s salary now.  (Curiously, they didn’t mention the same budgetary requirement for setting the salary of the recently created City Administrator position that most certainly will be needed to complement the lowly paid, part-time mayor position.)
Fortunately, the 2018 city council can undo the sabotage inflicted by this council and give the elected mayor a full-time, commensurate salary.

Morgan Davis

TB patients need stigma reduced

To the Editor:
The news bite stating “County TB load is 23” (April 12 Tribune) caught my attention.  Behind these numbers are 23 people who likely need family and community support to help them through their treatment process. TB, a Snohomish based organization, works locally, nationally and globally to connect and support persons impacted by TB.  Too often this disease makes people feel isolated, stigmatized and the side effects of the treatment can be a challenge to endure.  Yet, there are common themes expressed by people with TB. They want the community to be educated about TB so there is less fear and more compassion.  They want family, friends, and the medical community to support them as a person first not a patient.  If you know of someone with TB, educate yourself and let them know that there are people who have walked in their shoes that are here to help. 

Teresa Rugg
Director, TB Photovoice



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