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Letters published in the Feb. 28 Tribune:

State building code demands city enforce permits

To the Editor:
I’d like to provide some information about recent code enforcement action in the City of Snohomish on unpermitted temporary structures and set the record straight.
The City’s building codes have been in place for more than 60 years, and the State Building Code Council mandates that local jurisdictions like Snohomish adopt the International Building Code as it’s updated. While a city can be more stringent than these laws, we cannot be less restrictive.
The City issued a state of emergency in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, suspending code enforcement and allowing businesses to add temporary structures for outdoor seating and dining. When the emergency proclamation ended in November 2022, these structures needed to be removed or permitted.
Temporary structures that meet permit requirements are only allowed to be up for six months. Certain types of permanent structures are allowed under these standards, but they must be permitted and inspected by the City’s Building Official.
A majority of restaurants promptly removed the structures as requested. In August 2023, the eight businesses who had not responded to previous requests to file for a permit or remove the structures were contacted and a voluntary compliance agreement was put in place.
Allowing unpermitted structures is a violation of state and international codes and puts the taxpayers, property owners, and business operators at significant risk of liability. Not enforcing building code requirements creates an inequity for those businesses that follow permitting requirements.
To learn more, visit:

Heather Thomas,
City Administrator
City of Snohomish

Income thresholds matter if goal is to house lowest-income

To the Editor:
On Feb. 20th the Snohomish City Council agreed to a draft set of incentives for developers to build more multi-family apartments. The incentives include waiving impact fees for parks and traffic and handing out $600,000 to pay for water/sewer/meter connection fees. (The $600,000 will come from the 0.1% sales tax already collected and dedicated to low-income folks.)
In reality, the council is leaving those very low-income folks out in the cold.  Here’s an illustrative example:
A developer builds on Avenue D/Bickford a 5-story, 100 unit mid-rise. If he designates only 10 units for “affordable” housing, he qualifies for all the incentives. But here’s the unfairness to lower-income folks. The council defines the threshold for “affordable” units as for those folks earning $60,919/year or less. So when the landlord/developer gets dozens of applicants for those 10 units, guess whom he will select? Those earning $55,000-$60,000/year or those earning $20,000-$40,000/year?
The City just reported the average apartment market rate rent in Snohomish is $1,500/month. So someone earning $60,000/year and renting a $1,500/month apartment is not “rent cost-burdened”; defined as paying more than 30% of his income for rent.
In the final public hearing on March 5th, the council still has the option to lower the threshold from $60,919 to $40,865 to increase the opportunity for low-income folks to gain one of those “affordable” units. Otherwise the council is only enriching for-profit developers with no benefit for truly low-income folks.

Morgan Davis

No letters published in the Feb. 21 Tribune, send us one!

Letters published in the Feb. 14 Tribune:

Offloading Everett Fire ineffective idea

To the Editor:
Everett’s structural budget deficit is a problem that will not be solved by joining a Regional Fire Authority (Jan. 17, Feb. 14 Tribune stories).
Everett Fire is not top heavy. Shifting taxpayer money out of town would only change administration around the margins. It won’t “enhance” staffing and response times. The wisest long-term solutions are permanent levy lid lifts and station bonds.
Everett Fire Chief DeMarco said “we can’t keep building” stations etc. but “keep” may be a Freudian slip, because Everett hasn’t built a new station in nearly 30 years (Station 7) and, in fact demolished Station 3 not long after that.
With fleet standardization largely completed, there remains a need for significant capital expenditure. The pre-pandemic Fitch report (relying on data now basically a decade old) got one thing VERY wrong. Everett Fire does need two additional stations and two additional full time companies at a minimum. Existing infrastructure was inadequate then. Everett stations are now bursting at the seams.
Despite daily heroics, Everett Fire cannot meet its own alarm load. Interminable waits at the ER keep aid and medic units unavailable for protracted periods.
Two-thirds of the city of Everett is geographically very poorly suited to receive *timely* automatic mutual aid. Neighboring agencies are already tapped out themselves.
The Nurse Navigation implementation at Sno911 will benefit first responders countywide. However, the program barely puts a dent in the current and future demands on emergency response resources.
Paul Keller
Stafford Creek Corrections Center, Aberdeen, formerly of Snohomish County

Letters published in the Feb. 7 Tribune:


Thank you for telling the news

To the Editor:
Yesterday, I found another reason for the value of our local paper when I bumped into the person delivering them to the library, as a young girl, she learned to read from the Tribune! So in addition to all of what is happening in Snohomish: fun events, local sports, city and county council work, school issues, and opinions of people on issues local, state, national, and global, the paper also provides motivational reasons for reading. One more important aspect: it is a place to say thank you. Like thanking Rep. Suzan DelBene for all of her hard work to bring back the expanded child tax credit that took a step forward today, passing the House in a bipartisan way. And a special thank you keeping this multipurpose paper coming to us each week!

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the Jan. 31 Tribune:

Proposed switch will give sixth graders fuller educations

To the Editor:
I wish to express my support for transitioning the 6th grade to middle school. I am a certified teacher with 10 years of experience here. I currently have a 2nd grader at Emerson and am the sitting PTA President.
We’re excited about this transition, not only for our son but because it’s an opportunity for our students to have greater access to electives like band and choir. At Emerson, band is only offered a few days a week before school with no district transportation, limiting participation. Sixth graders will also have access to other electives and extracurricular programs, as well as a more rigorous science curriculum which could contribute to improved District test scores.
Under the current model, some 6th graders spend at least the last 15 minutes of the school day escorting the younger students out to pick up. While this may be considered leadership, they would be much better served in an actual leadership class with peers. 6th graders will also gain access to a broader selection of books in the library, allowing them to pursue niche interests and challenge their reading levels.
The social/emotional gap between a kindergartner and a 6th grader is much wider than that between 6th and 8th graders. Yes, there are parental concerns about 6th graders being with older students but consider our youngest learners. This shift might prevent another mom from having to explain male genitalia and curse words added to a school copy of “Captain Underpants.”

Rachel Horkin

Letters published in the Jan. 24 Tribune:


Blood donations severely needed

To the Editor:
The American Red Cross is facing an emergency blood shortage as the nation faces the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years. In recent weeks, the Red Cross blood supply has fallen to critically low levels across the country. Blood products are currently going to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in.
Additional challenges lie ahead as winter weather and seasonal respiratory illnesses may create a more dire situation for the U.S. blood supply. A sufficient blood supply is critical to being able to provide timely care for all patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions.
All blood types − especially platelet donors and type O blood donors − are needed throughout the winter. On behalf of the Red Cross, I urge you not to wait. Please make your appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Elaine Wolfe
BioMed Committee Chair
NW Chapter American Red Cross

Letters published in the Jan. 17, 2024 Tribune:


Hi-rises not needed to meet Snohomish population growth, ADUs can do it

To the Editor:
Regarding the Jan. 10th Tribune letter on ideas on affordable housing:
First, everyone in America deserves a roof over their head and food on the table, but in general the so-called “phony progressive” approach to build more high-density apartments while giving for-profit corporate developers financial incentives is the wrong solution and is just plain bad policy. (Think the Midtown and Pilchuck Districts and the upcoming Ordinance SMC14.210.240 set to be approved by the city council on Feb. 20.)
Snohomish is not Southern California.
The little town of Snohomish has enough vacant buildable land already zoned to cover the next 50 years, let alone 20. (The Midtown District covers over 100 acres and has a maximum density of 165 dwelling units per acre or 16,000+ new units.)
The Growth Management Act’s 20-year population growth target for the city is 2,500 or about a thousand new dwelling units or about 50 new units per year. Infill and annexations from the various Urban Growth Areas will easily reach that goal.
The better approach is the new state law on “Accessory Dwelling Units” or ADUs allowing any city residential lot owner to add two more dwelling units ranging from tiny homes of 200 square feet to starter homes of 1,000 square feet each. That law alone will most certainly cause Snohomish’s population to reach 12,500 by the year 2044, keeping Snohomish a small town and desirable tourist destination.
Let free market capitalism work without the interference and distortion of financial incentives to large corporate developers.

Morgan Davis

Letters published in the Jan. 10, 2024 Tribune:


Affordable housing idea could be done in Snohomish

To the Editor:
Here are 2 facts widely reported recently:  In Snohomish County affordable housing has become almost non-existent; homelessness continues to increase.  
Facts less widely reported: Snohomish County expects growth of 300,000 new residents over the next 20 years. The City of Snohomish’s assignment is to make room for 2500 of these newcomers.  
It is worth noting that within the City of Snohomish there are sizable land parcels available for housing and commercial redevelopment, for which there have been no developers, for years now, because land has become so expensive within our city limits that developers risk an inadequate return on their investment building affordable housing.  
Some of these land parcels are public (county/school/city) owned, which is to say we, the public, in a sense, own this land.  Yes, it is managed for us, but we should be able to influence these parcels’ use. 
There are solutions that would pave the way to appropriately planned, affordable housing, with guarantees that housing remains affordable in perpetuity.  Most examples are known as Community Land Trusts, where members of the community own the land, hold it in trust, and contract with developers to build housing and commercial spaces which are then sold to buyers.  The buyer owns the building, the trust leases the land to the buyer.  The Tulalip Reservation is trust land; so is the Irvine (California) Ranch, upon which much of Irvine and UC Irvine are built.  Public Housing Trusts are very possible.  We can do this in Snohomish. 

Janice Lengenfelder

Make a new friend

To the Editor:
While bicycling, I stopped at the local library and enjoyed reading local publications… especially as local papers with their unique voice and style are becoming more challenging to find anymore.
They as you know are vital to showcasing local news and happenings their own unique flavor.
As such, a thought occurred to me that may interest your readers in tandem with National Letter Writing Week Jan. 14th - 20th.
For many years, I have enjoyed avid correspondence with individuals all over the country; particularly in small towns — a.k.a. pen pals. The vehicle some say is an antique — is letters. You get real-deal correspondence in your mailbox. All made possible by a little publication since 1982 known as The Letter Exchange (known as LEX) which connects people near and far. Think of it as the real gift that keeps on giving! In my case, pen friends that go back 35 years!
It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood when your mailbox has real mail again. Readers can peruse online to get a taste:

Leslie Seeche

Letters published in the Jan 3, 2024 Tribune:

Proposed switch to K-5 elementary versus K-6 not ideal

To the Editor:
Snohomish School District announced a proposed Middle School Reconfiguration: moving sixth grade students into middle school creating a 6-8 middle school and a K-5 elementary. Cited rational, “… academic and developmental advantages for our students.”
This major change warrants deep consideration. I strongly urge Snohomish parents, teachers, coaches, and others who are knowledgeable of the needs of the individual students to participate in the upcoming meetings. Meetings and other details may be found on the district’s web page. 
Myself, a retired teacher and parent of a Snohomish alumni - class of 2016, personally do not favor the K-5 model. Sixth graders are inconsistent in their maturity and benefit from the stability and nurturing nature of an elementary single-teacher classroom. Additionally, I noticed the maturity of fifth-grade students is often lacking for their leadership role in a K-5 setting.
While 6-8 is the prevalent model in the United States, it is not supported by the 2007 Duke University study. Findings showed sixth graders in the elementary school behaved and performed better on end-of-year testing. Their counterparts in middle school are twice as likely to have behavioral concerns that will carry into subsequent years.
Scheduled for a school board vote in February, involvement of those who best know the needs of the students is paramount. Learning requires social and emotional well-being. Is this proposal what is best for Snohomish students?

Margaret Beecher
Eastern Washington
Formerly of Snohomish

Letters published in the Dec. 27, 2023 Tribune:

Sign the initiative to unrestrain police

To the Editor:
Please make every effort to support law enforcement and sign the initiative to get a public vote toward restoration of pre-2021 pursuit rules.
Taken a good look around Everett / Snohomish County lately? Remember during Covid, how many local municipal eminences demanded that law enforcement severely curtail or outright halt proactive policing? Another in a long line of redirects away from inconvenient truth, the artificial limitations imposed on pursuits further emboldened the hoodlum contingent. Meaning, those who already demonstrate a predisposition to thumb their nose at the law. It made everyone less safe under the banner of “public safety.” That’s a beauty. Responsibility for so much as a scratch of collateral damage during and subsequent to a pursuit rests only and squarely on the fleeing driver. Not on the cops giving chase. We are now seeing unsurprisingly disastrous effects from the selective bestowal of cover upon all manner of dissolute behavior and gross unrestraint in civic comportment. We cannot continue to kneecap the cops or disarm law abiding citizens.

Paul Keller
Inmate, Stafford Creek Corrections Center
Formerly of Snohomish

Letters published in the Dec. 20 Tribune:

Giving too much away

To the Editor:
Regarding the Tribune article “Affordable housing incentives get go ahead at Planning Commission” (Dec. 13 edition):
The Planning Commission recommended to the council regulatory, density, and financial incentives to entice developers to come to Snohomish to build more multi-family apartment units, claiming that “free market capitalism” doesn’t work anymore.  Well, what the commission recommended is nothing more than “crony capitalism” or favoritism to insider developers.  
For example, under proposed financial incentives, developers will escape traffic and parks impact fees, and water/sewer hookup and meter costs.  Someone has to pay for the new roads, parks, and utilities expansion. It is the current residents who will have to pay for these impact improvements.
Last year, only because of public opinion, the council rejected a similar multi-family financial incentive — the MFTE property tax exemption in the Midtown District.
Council should do the same at the next January meeting and reject the developer financial incentives in the proposed Ordinance SMC 14.210.240.

Morgan Davis

hild tax credit one ladder out of poverty

To the Editor:
With the holidays food and toy drives become familiar sights. The overflowing boxes are evidence of local caring for those with less. Meanwhile Everett will soon have a new pallet shelter for mom’s with kids and pregnant women (“VOAWW to create shelter for moms,” Dec. 6 Tribune). Recently a study by Dr. Mark Robert Rank, of Washington University, shows 59% of Americans will experience poverty for at least some of their lives. Congress needs to take action to end this crisis. Ladders out of poverty, like the expanded Child Tax Credit which was proven to work needs to be renewed. Other equity initiatives like a renter tax credit need to be passed along with quality health care for everyone. Now is the perfect time to thank Reps. Larsen and DelBene, along with Senators Cantwell and Murray for all of their efforts to end the devastating effects of poverty, and encourage them to keep up this critical work until there is no need for shelters, food banks, and emergency room care for people without insurance. This can help create happy holidays for all.

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the Dec. 13 Tribune:

Politics at play

To the Editor:
In response to the story about Snohomish restaurants and code violations (Dec. 6 Tribune):
It’s not surprising to see the city going after and punishing “some” businesses now after the forced lockdowns and allowing for outside dining. What has changed? 
The city attacking right-minded businesses. How progressive and predictable.

John Lorenz
Bradenton, Florida
Formerly of Snohomish

Medicare pay cuts not good for doctors

To the Editor:
I am thankful for Medicare, which I regard as a wonderful (if sometimes overwhelming) program that helps folks keep access to quality health care as we age.
That’s why I was alarmed to see that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is planning to slash Medicare payments to physicians by 3.36% next year. I know that CMS has been cutting payments to physicians for years. Isn’t Congress planning on doing something about it?
Senator Maria Cantwell and the rest of Washington’s federal delegation needs to step in and prevent these cuts from happening. More cuts will mean fewer doctors, and fewer doctors means people like me will have a harder time getting the care we need.
Other providers receive payment updates, why don’t physicians?
The people of Washington State don’t have time to wait. Congress needs to step up and avert this impending crisis. 

Sandy Walton

No letters published in the Nov. 15, 22 or 29 or Dec. 6 Tribunes, send us one!

Letters published in the Nov. 8 Tribune:

New effort can rectify issues

To the Editor:
Thanks to the Tribune for noting the Poverty 101 workshop that was offered Nov. 4 (Tribune Briefs).
Recently released census data shows that child poverty has more than doubled since the expanded Child Tax Credit expired. Rep. Suzan DelBene has introduced the American Family Act to renew it, so it once again reaches families in dire need. Studies show families used their monthly tax credit to buy food, pay bills, and pay rent. The way the tax credit is currently structured, the people most in need don’t qualify, while families making over $100,000 can qualify for the full credit. The American Family Act would rectify this and other tax fairness issues, once again cutting poverty significantly.
Not sure you understand? Attend the next poverty workshop in January. Want to do more? Let Congresswoman DelBene know (1-202-224-3121) you appreciate her efforts and encourage her to continue to work to pass this ladder out of poverty. 40% of Americans at or near the poverty level will greatly appreciate it.

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the Nov. 1 Tribune:

Baty, Adams are best candidates in hairy election

To the Editor:
When the politics of polarization infect a school district, it is the students who suffer. The community cannot afford to have school board members who seek to impose their narrow religious and political beliefs on an ever-more diverse student population. We need school board members who understand that one size does not fit all, that the classroom should be a window to the world, not shut off from it. With that in mind, there is no question that the two best candidates for the Snohomish School board are Sarah Adams and Tabitha Baty.

Malcolm Bates

Larkin is who students need

To the Editor:
As a former High School Mathematics teacher, I know first hand that we need Sherri Larkin for Snohomish School Board.
Our students are struggling. According to OSPI, 51% of Snohomish School District students failed to meet State standards in Mathematics. By 11th grade, the trending failure rate spiked to a dismal 64.5%. Is this perhaps because academic excellence is not the foremost objective of the current School Board?
This is where Sherri Larkin steps in. Academic excellence is Sherri’s chief priority. Her goal is for students to be proficient in all subjects. At the heart of her message is this: when students have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of academics, more doors of opportunity will be open to them.
To accomplish this, we need students, teachers, parents, and the School Board to team up together. For teachers, this means more support in the classroom. Rather than burdening teachers with useless bureaucracy, Sherri wants to enable teachers to focus on teaching the fundamentals of their courses.
Lastly, Sherri wants to partner with parents. Studies across the board show that parental involvement is crucial in student’s academic success, which in my experience is true. We desperately need MORE parent engagement in our schools, not less. Sherri seeks to team up with families to help build strong, intelligent, and motivated students who will make an impact in their own homes and communities after graduation.
I support Sherri Larkin for Snohomish School District Board member, and I hope you do, too.

Brittney Farrell

Adams, Baty most qualified candidates

To the Editor:
Snohomish School District (SSD) board candidates Sarah Adams and Tabitha Baty are student-centered, visionary, community-involved professionals. Each has proven leadership history. (Sarah as a sitting school board member and Tabitha as a community organizational leader and communications facilitator.) Each values transparent stewardship of public funds and open conversations on difficult – even controversial – topics. Both candidates list student learning for EACH student as their top responsibility. Each knows hiring and retaining professional staff is key to student achievement. And each understands the roles families play in each child’s learning.
Before Sarah Adams was appointed to the school board in 2022, she served on the Citizens’ Facility Advisory Committee (CFAC), volunteered in classrooms and was on the Cathcart Parent Organization board. SSD’s financial solvency during her tenure is proven by its being one of the county’s few districts not laying off staff because of budget shortfalls. She was instrumental in supporting citizens designing the district’s new strategic plan and establishing a student advisory board to ensure student voices are heard at the highest level. Sarah’s children now attend SSD schools.
Tabitha Baty is a customer service professional with decades of experience resolving conflict, finding solutions, enhancing efficiencies and fostering conversations. Having had students attend public schools, she is familiar with the power of quality education and believes continuous improvement and regular evaluation of district progress – such as is outlined in the new strategic plan – will ensure SSD students have educational opportunities today to prepare them for their futures.

Mary Waggoner

Larkin’s focus can get us back on track

To the Editor:
Sherri Larkin has my endorsement for Snohomish School Board. I have known the Larkin family for 8 years and I’m very impressed with how they have raised their children. In everything they do, they give 110%.
As an elected School Board Director I believe the vision that Sherri has will get the Snohomish School District back on track. Currently we are failing our kids. In 2022, third graders across our state scored at only 50% competency in math.  Seventh graders scored at 36% and 10th graders scored at 28%.  If you are happy with those results, then keep doing the same things.
  I’m appalled at how Sherri’s opponents are tying her to far right groups that she has never been a part of, but it seems that this has become the new norm. Don’t fall for these fear mongering tactics.
Vote for Sherri Larkin.  

Randy Hayden 

Baty, Adams are for public ed

To the Editor:
Our Snohomish Schools are the heart of our community. They provided the foundation for my passion for the sciences, instilled in me the importance of education, and left me with cherished memories.
The Snohomish School Board plays a pivotal role in shaping district policies, curriculum, direction, and overall experience for students in our Snohomish public education system.
On your ballots are two key races that will impact the School Board for the next four years. Tabitha Baty and Rob Serviss are running for Director of District 2, and Sarah Adams and Sherri Larkin are running for Director of District 4.
Baty and Adams are the advocates for public education that our School Board needs. Both are dedicated to the well-being of all children and bring valuable experience working across divides.
Adams, with her background as a mental health provider, brings a vital perspective to address the mental health challenges our schools face, and she has proven her commitment to all kids since her appointment last year. Baty has served on the Snohomish for Equity Board and is a certified 3Practice Circle leader, a methodology designed to cross divides. Both are endorsed by the Snohomish Education Association which represents district teachers, and both fully engaged in the public education system with their own children.
With Baty and Adams, there are no hidden agendas; they are genuinely concerned about the welfare of all kids.

Sara Fagerlie

Cindy Gobel is proactive for voters

To the Editor:
We’ve seen firsthand the power of an informed electorate. Cindy Gobel is a game-changer. Her deep knowledge of the elections department is impressive, but what really sets her apart is her proactive approach to leadership and her commitment to voter education and outreach.
Cindy doesn’t just wait for voters to come to her; she reaches out, educates, and makes voting accessible to everyone. If you want an Auditor who will not just sit back but actively work to enhance voter engagement, Cindy is the one.
With her in the office, we’re not just casting a vote but investing in the future of informed democracy in Snohomish County.

Paula Rhyne

Fortney has succeeded in ways you didn’t know

To the Editor:
Sheriff Adam Fortney has support from nine police unions in Snohomish County, showcasing his strong leadership and dedication to enhancing public safety. Throughout his tenure, Sheriff Fortney has consistently demonstrated integrity, compassion, and a steadfast commitment to serving all residents.
Notably, he has made significant strides in bridging the gap between law enforcement and communities of color. Collaborating with organizations like America’s Promise Project and establishing a diverse Sheriff’s community advisory board, he actively promotes understanding and inclusivity. Sheriff Fortney has also spearheaded a groundbreaking law enforcement program for at-risk youth, personally devoting his time to teach the program after hours. 
Communication and transparency have been paramount under his leadership. Through innovative video messages to the community and monthly meetings with business owners at Patty’s Egg Nest, he ensures accessibility and responsiveness to residents’ concerns. 
Addressing longstanding issues on Highway 99 and Airport Road, Sheriff Fortney organized graffiti and trail cleanups, as well as patrol operations targeting crime in these areas. He personally participated in activities like painting over gang graffiti and cleaning up walking trails on Saturdays, fostering a sense of safety for families. 
Additionally, he implemented the first crime data dashboard, providing real-time access to current crime data in the county, empowering residents to actively contribute to neighborhood safety. 
Sheriff Fortney’s vision aligns with the aspirations of individuals seeking secure communities for their children. Re-elect Sheriff Adam Fortney to support his unwavering commitment to our community’s safety.

Benjamin Wise
Lake Stevens

Research candidates’gun violence policies

To the Editor:
565 mass shootings.
The sheer number of mass shootings in our country is and should be a call to action as citizens of our besieged nation.  We must begin with our vote for Sheriff this November. We have a clear choice between an incumbent willing only to enforce those laws he personally approves of and a challenger dedicated to enforcing the laws and regulations we have, as a voting population, directed her to respect. At the very least, our upcoming choice must recognize the victims of those 565 mass shootings this year. Look at the record and statements of both candidates regarding gun violence.  Then make your choice in the interest of us all.

Peter Messinger

Fortney can’t keep his finances straight

To the Editor:
The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the campaign finance and disclosure laws in our state. The PDC investigates and publishes all enforcement cases online for public review at It should also be noted they offer help and support to campaigns.
  Sheriff Fortney, despite this being his second time running for office, is still having trouble following these laws and has trouble reporting his funds. He is currently on his THIRD campaign treasurer this campaign!
Sheriff Fortney has PDC sustained violations as he received a “reminder” to not use his public office to assist with his election campaign, and received a “written warning” concerning the failure to disclose contributions and expenditures within timelines.
  Alleged current PDC violations being investigated include transactions he has already received a warning about. He continues to use the public office to assist with the election as well as an alleged violation of timely expense reporting regarding campaign signs. It is also alleged he didn’t return contributions received over the contribution limit, as well as changing the contributors’ personal information – which makes it look like a different person altogether made the contribution.
  These are examples of how Sheriff Fortney acts as if he is above the law. Also, if he can’t handle the finances of his campaign, how do we expect him to handle the Sheriff’s Office’s finances of over $100 million?

Karen Guzak

Letters published in the Oct. 25 Tribune:

Larkin should be applauded

To the Editor:
Over 90% of American children in K-12 attend public schools. Most people want the best education possible for their own children and the same for others.
We lament the precipitous drop in standardized test scores and that 60,000 students have left Washington public schools since Covid.
Homeschooled students typically score 15-25% above public school students on standardized tests. Home-educated students score in the 77th percentile on the Iowa Test, and above average on the ACT and SAT exams—72 points higher on the SAT.
In business, we applaud success stories. Yet in education, we seem to penalize those who seek innovative options and to deny opportunities to lift up others.
Sherri Larkin homeschooled three of her five children. Two were admitted to U.S. military academies, which is no small feat. She partnered with the public school in her home education and sent two of her children to a classical Christian school.
Is this a crime that disqualifies her from serving her community and sharing what she’s learned? Is it wrong for a tax-payer to bring successful ideas to a school board?
I think not.
Sherri is not a member of Moms for Liberty.
It is sad that some who favor a public school monopoly are so afraid of innovation that they wish to denigrate someone brave enough to pose questions and seek better answers.
I support Sherri Larkin for Snohomish School Board and applaud her courage.

Debbie Metsker

Baty well-suited to join school board

To the Editor:
I am writing to support Tabitha Baty for Snohomish School District Director District 2. Tabitha is a dedicated, passionate supporter of public education; her life experience and professional skills are well suited to the task of helping to lead Snohomish schools.
Tabitha grew up and raised her children in Snohomish. Three generations of her family attended Snohomish schools. When Tabitha realized her biracial children had a less positive experience than she had in local schools, Tabitha devoted herself to improving her community by helping to lead a group dedicated to fostering discussion of, building knowledge about, and reducing racism in Snohomish. This experience will enable her to be a courageous, clear-eyed district leader sensitive to the needs of youth.
Tabitha’s professional experience as a project/customer service manager in the aerospace industry provides her with experience in systems management, setting goals, achieving positive outcomes, budgeting, and working successfully with a variety of people. These skills will serve her well as a school board member, whose duties include helping to set the school district mission and goals, review and adopt district policies, and oversee the district budget.
Tabitha has a passion for communication with diverse audiences. She is trained in facilitating dialogue that emphasizes listening to and curiosity about different points of view. With these skills she will be able to hear and understand the views of stakeholders throughout the district.
Tabitha will work to create opportunities for all students to experience a welcoming, nurturing and educationally stimulating school environment.

Lisa Stettler

Larkin questions policies on behalf of children

To the Editor:
Why I am supporting Sherri Larkin for School Board District 4:
She is a strong candidate with excellent experience as an educator, raising 5 children including 2 Glacier Peak graduates and 2 Annapolis graduates. With her extensive knowledge Sherri knows what works well in educating children in all age groups.
Sherri supports providing the classroom help that teachers need.
Sarah Adams voted along with the board, which illustrates her lack of experience/vigilance in by not including parents/public in policy decisions that affect our children.
Here is an example:
On August 23, 2023, the board approved a revised policy from the September 15, 1992, policy on library information and technology. Specifically, the new policy excludes public comment on reconsideration of library materials. Everything is decided through committees. The former policy (top of page 3) states, “Request for reconsideration shall be open to public comment”. Nowhere in the new policy does it allow for public comment.
The school board is basically telling parents/public we don’t want your input.
She’s is articulate and asks hard questions concerning policies, while standing up for parent/public right to provide input regarding board policies.
As a board member Sherri will value input from educators and parents in determining policies that best serve our kids.
It is important that we elect school board members who recognize every voice matters concerning our children’s education. Sherri Larkin is the best choice in that regard.

John Gabriel

Johnson is eminently qualified

To the Editor:
As I was driving on the Lowell-Snohomish River Road this week I saw a Fortney for Sheriff political sign with an add-on that said, “Endorsed by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association.” It is my understanding that Adam Fortney’s opponent for Snohomish County Sheriff was not included for consideration for that endorsement.
What we need is someone who puts honesty and integrity above authoritarian tricks. Susanna Johnson will improve and strengthen public trust and public safety. She is eminently qualified and will work to reinstate the Sheriff’s Office accreditation. Susanna Johnson is an excellent choice for Snohomish County Sheriff.

Julie Davis

Fortney’s police union endorsements are from b.s. ballot

To the Editor:
Everyone most likely has seen the Fortney For Sheriff signs with all the local police union endorsements. What is notable is that only 9 of the 15 county police agencies endorsed. Why not the other 6? Only 4 of 9 interviewed Susanna Johnson.
What voters should know is how the endorsements are obtained. I speak from experience as a retired deputy of 26 years and 8 years as the president of the Deputy Sheriff Association (DSA). Police unions are like a fraternal group in that they tend to stick together. After the DSA made their endorsement the other police unions followed suit and in a couple cases did so before the DSA endorsed.
So how then did Mr. Fortney secure the DSA endorsement? The DSA bylaws were so ambiguous they were interpreted to say that the incumbent automatically gets the endorsement unless he/she does something so outrageous to warrant taking it away.
In past years when I was president, both candidates names would have been placed on a secret ballot and sent to each DSA member for their vote. This was not done this time. Johnson’s name was never on the ballot for the members to choose.
To those who think because a candidate has all these police union endorsements they deserve your vote, take the time to look at their experience, education, vision and decide based upon your own without basing it on what some police unions have said.

Ken Crowder

Letters published in the Oct. 18 Tribune:

Fellow judges say: Retain Judge Moriarty

To the Editor:
This November, you will have the opportunity to vote to retain Judge Patrick Moriarty, Snohomish County Superior Court, Pos. 17. Judge Moriarty is endorsed by every sitting judge in the Superior, District and Municipal Courts in Snohomish County. We urge you to cast your vote to keep this hard-working, experienced, smart and fair judge on our bench.
Judge Moriarty has years of judicial experience, as both a Superior Court Judge and Superior Court Commissioner. His judicial experience follows years of experience as an attorney where he practiced in all areas of the law that routinely come before the court — criminal defense, prosecution, family, juvenile, civil, and dependency. The work we do as judges is complex, varied, and exceedingly consequential — both to the individuals who come before us as well as the community. It is clear to us that Judge Moriarty’s decades of experience both inform and enhance his ability to meet the unique demands of our work.
Judge Moriarty is the epitome of a knowledgeable, experienced, thoughtful and conscientious judge — the kind of judge we need to keep on our Superior Court bench. The extent and breadth of the community endorsements speak volumes about how seriously he takes his responsibility to treat everyone who appears before him fairly and impartially. Over 200 lawyers who practice in our court endorsed him for election. We cannot afford to lose this important, hard-working meter of our court. Vote to retain Judge Moriarty in November.

Signed jointly from
Judge Anna Farris, Judge Bruce Weiss, Judge George Appel, Judge Joseph Wilson, Judge Marybeth Dingledy, Judge Richard Okrent, Judge Cindy Larsen, Judge Jennifer Langbehn, Judge Paul Thompson, Judge Edirin Okoloko, Judge Karen Moore and Judge Jon Scott

Sarah Adams is needed for kids

To the Editor:
Some weeks ago I had an opportunity to speak with Sarah Adams about her experiences on the Snohomish School Board, having been appointed to her current position to fill a vacancy and now running to be elected to that position. Having raised five children who attended public school in Snohomish, I have had significant opportunity to appreciate the value of student well-being as a critical part of successful teaching and learning. I was pleased to learn that Sarah strongly shares my values in this regard.
Now, perhaps more than ever before, our public schools need leadership that is up to the challenge of educating our children in these difficult times for emotional health. That is why I will vote for Sarah Adams. Our schools need experienced professionals urgently motivated to ensure our schools are resourced and focused on the well-being of our Snohomish students and staff. Strong emotionally stability is a necessary foundation for successful learning and growing throughout our lives and it must start in school.

Mike Edwards

Put weight behind Sarah Adams

To the Editor:
I want to thank all the voters who supported me in the school board primary and ask that you now cast your vote for the incumbent, Sarah Adams. Sarah believes in and supports public education and public schools. Her opponent, Sherri Larkin, does not. I hope that voters will question the motives and agenda of a candidate running for our school board who wants a say on our public schools but did not fully utilize our public school system.
I also want to share that I was flattered by the letter published in the Tribune dated July 26 that detailed at length the activities of the Snohomish Education Association during contract negotiations 22 years ago when I was president. It concluded by giving me the superpower of single-handedly “bullying the Snohomish School District.” I was simply doing my job, addressing teacher concerns and contractual rights.
Evidently, the person who penned that piece is a member of the King County chapter of the Moms for Liberty. I encourage voters to research this national organization whose Snohomish chapter members support Larkin. Records show that, to date, approximately two-thirds of her sizable campaign coffers have come from sources outside our school community.
I ask that you please consider these matters in comparison to Sarah Adams’s experience, commitment to public education, and local support when you cast your ballot for School Director Position 4.

Monica Weber

Editor's note: See coverage of Snohomish School Board races in the Tribune.

New incentive idea a stealth tax on all

To the Editor:
Regarding the Sept. 27 Tribune article revealing County Public Works finally has secured a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement with a developer for its former public works yard between Bonneville Avenue and Avenue D in the city of Snohomish’s Midtown District:
A year ago, the Snohomish City Council wisely rejected property tax breaks (MFTE) for developers in the Midtown District. (Only council members Guzak, Kuleta, and Neals voted to approve the developer tax breaks.)
Now, new developer tax breaks called “incentives” are being recommended again by the Planning Commission under the guise of “affordable housing” based on HUD guidelines.  (HUD defines an individual earning less than $100,000/year as low-income and eligible for the small percentage (10%) of so-called “affordable housing” units the developer sets aside to get all the incentives.)
Developer financial incentives include permit fee reductions, park impact fees, traffic impact fees, and water/sewer hookup fees. 
Guess who has to make up this loss of revenue from all these developer incentives?  Every current city property owner and renter.  In other words, like the MFTE, this is just another stealth tax on all city residents in order to entice and enrich developers.
The City Council is expected to vote on this dubious Planning Commission wealth transfer proposal by the end of November.

Morgan Davis

Letters published in the Oct. 11 Tribune:

Watch out for Moms for Liberty influence

To the Editor:
“Moms for Liberty” (MFL) is a political action group established in Florida in 2021. MFL are now in 45 states, including Washington, and yes, Snohomish County.  
MFL are far-right, anti-LGBTQ, white supremacist. Leadership is known, membership is not. MFL have banned books in schools, degraded curricula, divided communities and harassed teaching professionals. They are admired and supported by the Proud Boys. Look for the glowing endorsement of MFL by Enrique Tarrio, Proud Boy ex-leader and convicted seditionist.
MFL members most commonly run for membership on school boards. In Florida, they campaign openly and they win. In Snohomish, expect MFL stealth campaigns.
Please take a hard look at these school board races. Read up on Moms for Liberty. Try to meet the candidates.  
Position 4: Sarah Adams versus Sherri Larkin. Sarah Adams is the incumbent school board member; a mental health professional; and her children attend Snohomish public schools.  
Sherri Larkin’s children have been home schooled; Sherri’s employment has been teaching at a private Christian school.
Position 2: Tabitha Baty versus Rob Serviss. Tabitha is a parent whose children graduated from Snohomish public schools. She works hard to bring equity issues to light in Snohomish.
**(see note that the following line is inaccurate) Prior to their marriage, Rob Serviss’ stepchildren were home schooled by his current wife; that changed when she joined Rob’s real estate company.
Both Sarah Adams and Tabitha Baty have earned the Washington Education Association endorsement. Both Sarah and Tabitha support public education. Moms for Liberty members do not.
Please vote! 

Jan Lengenfelder

** - Editor's note:
The Tribune is now aware the above letter provides inaccurate statements of fact about Rob Serviss's personal life and his entrance into the real estate industry. The Tribune has not modified the letter as published but is adding this alert.

In for Sarah Adams

To the Editor:
Sarah Adams has my vote for Snohomish School Board. 
Selected by the board from among many applicants a year ago to fill out a term, Sarah is willing to continue to serve on our behalf and for that I am grateful!  In her first year on the job, she has shown herself to be a quick learner, thoughtful, hard-working, knowledgeable, and a team player.  
Sarah is very concerned that our tax dollars are spent responsibly toward the goal of every student thriving.  Sarah does her homework — she learns the facts, holds student and staff well-being as the highest priority and considers all points of view before she forms her own opinion.  Sarah and her husband are parents of two young students who attend Cathcart Elementary.  Believing that parent and community involvement makes stronger schools and communities, she has lived her commitment through many volunteer roles: Citizens’ Facility Advisory Committee, Cathcart Parent Organization (Co-President) and volunteer parenting group facilitator for the Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS).  A key contributor to the Snohomish School District Strategic Planning Committee, she has spent many hours visiting all schools in the District to see first-hand what is going well and what needs attention.  Her presence is highly valued by members of the Snohomish Education Foundation Board where she serves as the School Board’s liaison.  
Sarah really cares about the success of students and staff.  I urge you to join me in voting for Sarah Adams for Snohomish School Board this November!

Candace McKenna

Johnson has the chops

To the Editor:
It was an honor to work with the then Snohomish County Sheriff Operations Bureau Chief, Susanna Johnson, who oversaw Sheriff technology initiatives.
As a Senior Analyst in the Department of Information Technology, I program and project managed, coordinated, and tracked technology projects for the Snohomish County Sheriff for about 6 years of my over 24 years of service for Snohomish County. During a 38-month period of that time, I oversaw the completion of over 102 Sheriff projects. Project highlights included: a county wide 911 dispatch system that uses digital mapping and GPS on vehicles to improve first responder response times, new ruggedized laptops providing safety, communication and performance, the first Snohomish County Sheriff Corrections electronic medical records system to help save lives in medical assessment and treatment of inmates, an automotive computer system to track safety conditions for Sheriff vehicles and reduce crashes.
Operations Bureau Chief Johnson exhibited excellence in public safety and service leadership. She provided vision for improvements, was competent, led by example, fostered strengths of her staff supporting her teams, listened to, welcomed expert advice, and provided predictable integrity. If Chief Johnson gave her word, she would follow through and she was well known for her commitment to staff and the people of Snohomish County.
If elected Snohomish County Sheriff, Susanna Johnson will bring critical progress and integrity for the people of our county. Please VOTE for Susanna Johnson for Snohomish County Sheriff!

Leon Zainwel

Letters published in the Oct. 4 Tribune:

Demi Chatters is the right choice

To the Editor:
The people of Everett have a long-standing reputation as being hard-working, gritty, and no-nonsense. That’s why I love living here. That’s why I fit in. That’s why I love my neighbors. And that’s also exactly why people should be concerned about the recent Herald article exposing the alarming amount of special interest money that has poured in to support a candidate running for City Council Position #6. This candidate’s appalling acceptance of contributions from special interests raises serious concerns about potential conflicts of interest and true motivations behind their candidacy. Everett voters deserve a councilmember that is committed to the betterment of our community, not beholden to special interests.
Demi Chatters is the hard-working, gritty, and no-nonsense candidate that deserves your vote for Everett City Council. Her tenure as Chair of the City of Everett’s Planning Commission has clearly showcased her dedication to ensuring that the city’s growth thoughtfully addresses housing affordability, public safety, and livability of every neighborhood in the city. Her opponent’s questionable campaign donations from special interest housing developers, and past votes on council, do not exhibit this same commitment.
s Everett voters, we deserve to know that our elected officials have your interests at heart, and Demi Chatters has consistently demonstrated this commitment. Demi represents a fresh start for Everett. Let’s choose a candidate who prioritizes working families, public safety, and accountability.
Vote Demi Chatters for Everett City Council.

Paula Rhyne

Letters published in the Sept. 27 Tribune:

Sarah Adams puts children first

To the Editor:
As you consider who to vote for in the November election, I wish to encourage you to vote for Sarah Adams who is running for the Snohomish School Board.  She was appointed to the board one year ago to fill a vacant seat and has been a fast learner and a real asset to the board and our district.  She is now running for a full term.
She has educated herself, by visiting every school and having conversations with staff.  She has worked effectively and collaboratively as a board member.  Sarah has the qualifications needed to be on the Board.  She is a great listener, she has connections to the community, her service for the last year on the Board and her approach to education makes her the perfect candidate.  Sarah has worked hard to provide students with an excellent education while maintaining fiscal responsibility and ties with parents and the community.  She is the only candidate for this position who has children in the school system as well as the only current board member with children in our schools.
Sarah and her husband made a conscious decision to move to Snohomish to raise their children. She is committed to the district.
We need her voice. 

Sonia Siegel Vexler

Letters published in the Sept. 20 Tribune:

Re-upping READ Act in budget talks preserves schools

To the Editor:
As students go back to school, we can be grateful we live in a country that makes public education available and free. Around the world, a billion children are not as fortunate, especially after the disruptions of COVID, causing schools to close. Girls have particularly fallen behind along with an increase in child marriages and early pregnancies. Fortunately, the READ Reauthorization Act (House: HR 681, Senate S 41) would address this by having USAID (our development agency) update its education strategy to focus on ensuring marginalized students, especially girls and those with disabilities, receive a quality education.  While including robust monitoring, the bill asks for no new money. Congress is busy working to agree on a budget, but needs to pass this bill by the end of the month as well, to renew America’s strategy to help the world’s vulnerable children. Won’t you take a minute to ask your representative and senators (phone 202-224-3121) to make sure it passes in time?
Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the Sept. 13 Tribune:

The FAIR Act will create cost reforms

To the Editor:
One of the most pressing issues facing seniors here in Washington is the rising cost of health care. Prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation in the last few years and show no signs of slowing. Our seniors are struggling to afford the care they need – and this has to change.
  There’s a clear culprit here: large, corporate hospital systems. Under Medicare’s current billing structure, these hospitals can overcharge patients for care received at recently acquired doctor offices where seniors previously received care at a lower, affordable rate.
  These unexpected and pricey, out-of-pocket costs are challenging for seniors to afford, especially those who rely on a fixed income. That’s why it’s crucial that Representative Suzan DelBene and the rest of Washington’s congressional delegation support legislation like the Facilitating Accountability in Reimbursements Act, or FAIR Act. It would help protect our seniors by leveling out the price for care regardless of the location where it is received. 
  The FAIR Act could lead to site-neutral payment reform and hundreds of billions of dollars in cost savings for taxpayers and Medicare’s budget. It’s time for Congress to act and improve access to affordable care. Washington’s seniors are counting on it.

Sandy Walton

Letters published in the Sept. 6 Tribune:

Billboard for school doesn’t need to use divisive message

To the Editor:
I recently contacted a high school friend after 40 years, knowing our political views were likely opposite. After a tough discussion, we decided to be friends first and not discuss politics. It feels amazing.
A few days later I was coming back toward town from Harvey Field and saw a billboard rented by a local church. That sign has a statement in large red letters that creates political division within our community. I don’t know if it’s deliberate or not, but in a town, in a society, where we need to live in the same spaces cooperatively, I find the red words disturbing. Especially when it’s promoted by a church.
Advertise your school, but please don’t add words that insult your neighbors.

Suzanne Davis

Letters published in the Aug. 30 Tribune:

Fortney is doing his job the right way

To the Editor:
The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of laws within the confines of the state constitution and the Constitution of the United States.   
The sheriff, elected by we the people, is the only head of a law enforcement agency in Snohomish County that is directly accountable to the residents and is a bulwark against authoritarian politicians who sanction: defunding the police; opioids and other drugs flooding into our counties; assaults, robberies, homicides, shootings, burglaries and auto thefts; allowing criminals to walk with no bail; pursuit laws that hamstring law enforcement in their pursuit of known criminals; abduction and chemical mutilation of children by the state without the parent’s explicit knowledge or approval.
For me, there is but one choice for Snohomish County Sheriff and that’s Adam Fortney!   A solidifying factor in my decision is the number of police guilds and associations that have endorsed Adam Fortney.  Collectively, they are far better-informed than we are. You can find them here:
But it’s not just about fighting crime.  In 2021, Sheriff Fortney implemented a program for youth in Snohomish County, ‘Sheriff’s LEAD The Way Program’ (, with the objective of providing youth, who may well be heading down the wrong path, classes ‘…rooted in life skills, decision making, accountability, and leadership’ — a skill-set sorely lacking in many kids today.
It’s your vote: “Do Your Own Research. Make Up Your Own Mind. Think For Yourself.”- Sharyl Attkisson.

Rob Munro

Letters published in the Aug. 23 Tribune:

Reichert provides balanced approach

To the editor:
This Teamster is supporting Dave Reichert for Governor. His resume and documented history of common sense and good judgment is the leadership we need in Olympia. From public safety to the economy, it’s time for a balanced approach to governing our state.

Todd Fredrickson

Letters published in the Aug. 16 Tribune:

Earth is undergoing change, to interrupt process is foolish

To the editor:
Less than 10,000 years ago, Noah was instructed to build an ark. Upon completion, “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 6:13. What could have caused the event? A large asteroid striking the earth, penetrating the earth’s crust, and releasing molten lava into the earth’s aquifers may be an explanation. The superheated aquifers could have responded like a great pressure cooker, sending water from the earth into the atmosphere. Within forty days, the entire earth was covered with water and possibly also ice. This may have been the beginning of the ice age.
The earth began a period of transformation. With the depleted aquifers, the earth may have imploded, fracturing the earth’s crust. The great flood was the greatest catastrophic event the earth has ever experienced. As the earth regained its shape, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic activity could have been universal with water rushing everywhere and causing an incomprehensible amount of erosion. When Noah left the ark, the climate had changed.
Today, the last glaciers are melting and the ice age is coming to an end. Greenhouse gases are increasing as a result of rising temperatures.
Current attempts to slow climate change will cost trillions of dollars, drastically reduce food production and cause untold misery, starvation, and deaths of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Riots and civil unrest will follow.
When we hear and read scientific reports of an earth that is billions of years old, we tend to disregard the book of Genesis as just a story. It is a very costly error.

Dan Bartelheimer

No letters published in the Aug. 9 Tribune.

Letters published in the Aug. 2 Tribune:

Does the Historical Society still exist?

To the editor:
As the immediate past president of the Snohomish Historical Society, I too am wondering if the historical society still exists, as expressed in an email I received from Lori Bowman-Hoyt this past month. “My husband’s mother and family were from Snohomish — arriving about 1887,” the message begins.
“My sister and I were just in Snohomish on July 10th and I wanted her to see the Blackman House but it was not open. I am wondering if the historical society still exists or if there is not much activity with it.  I see that they have a Facebook presence but it didn’t give much info on what they are up to.” Skipping to her final sentence, “... it is sad that there is not a museum in Snohomish. We have a few things we’d like to donate if that ever happens. ;)”
My response to Lori is that I don’t know what’s going on with the organization …  All I know for sure is that the volunteer who followed me was elected president 14 years ago, though the bylaws passed in 2008 limit the president’s term to three years. My intent in writing is to call upon the current leadership of the society for a response to the question on the table — “does the society still exist?”

Warner Blake

Fighting shortages

To the editor:
Great to see local efforts being made to ease the housing shortage in Snohomish.  (“Snohomish considers strategies for more housing,” July 26 Tribune
Nationally, Senator Cantwell and Rep. DelBene have introduced legislation to increase affordable housing unit built across the nation over the next 20 years.  Additionally, a renter tax credit, would help low-income renters, capping their rent at 30% of their income, helping them stay housed.  Let’s encourage our local and national leaders to pass these and other initiatives to alleviate this crisis that causes increasing evictions and homelessness.  

Willie Dickerson

Not the right leader

To the editor:
Assaults are up three years in a row and homicides have nearly tripled, according to Sheriff Adam Fortney’s own Crime Data Dashboard. For a candidate who promised tough on crime, these numbers should make us rethink re-electing him. If you wisely require additional evidence, Adam has given us many reasons to move on. Here are just a few:
1. Adam doesn’t have a single endorsement from ANY previous Snohomish County Sheriff. They’re all supporting Susanna Johnson.
2. Right after being elected, Adam reinstated his friends the previous sheriff fired.
3. He refused to fire a self-proclaimed racist and misogynistic deputy until the community forced his hand.
4. He put his personal beliefs above the law, and the public’s safety, when he refused to support the statewide COVID recovery efforts.  
5. He lost WASPC accreditation due to not meeting their required standard, causing the department’s insurance to skyrocket, wasting taxpayer dollars. 
  6. He encouraged his deputies to disregard the new pursuit law, which was created to keep the public, and law-enforcement professionals, safe. Newsweek reports that 27% of the people who die during car chases are innocent bystanders, and NIOSH reports that 21% of officer deaths are from crashes. 
When you look at his record, it’s clear that Mr. Fortney is neither interested in holding his deputies accountable, nor in enforcing the laws his position necessitates. At a time where police accountability is a serious issue, Adam is clearly not the right leader.

Michael Hertzog

Letters to the editor published in the July 26 Tribune:


FD4 would still get funding if levy fails

To the Editor:
Regarding your very informative July 12 article on FD4’s  Prop 1 fire levy, proposing an annual 6% tax hike, I would like to add a few more facts for voters to consider:
1. If Prop 1 is rejected, by state law, FD4’s annual budget for fire and EMS services will still increase annually and not “fallen” as some proponents have claimed.
2. The definition of the noun “levy” from the County Assessor’s Office is “The
total dollar amount requested by a taxing district to be collected through a property tax”.
3. FD4’s two levies for fire and EMS services amounted to $4.63 million in 2011, $7.33 million in 2017, and $12.27 million in 2023.(Source: Assessor’s Annual Reports.)
4. EMS calls amount to 90% and fire calls amount to 10% of the call volume.
5. FD4 reports emergency call volumes increased 34% since 2017, while FD4’s 2023 budget increased 60% since 2017 and 265% since 2011.
6. Prop 1 applies only to the fire levy and fire calls haven’t increased 265% since 2011 and FD4’s district population certainly hasn’t increased 60% since 2017.
7. FD4 Chief Waller reported to the Snohomish City Council that even if Prop 1 is rejected, FD4 would still build a new fire station on Pine Avenue. Its commissioners have already signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement.
Voters should reject Prop 1 and send a message to FD4 officials that they can’t keep tripling their annual budget every 12 years or so.  Who else gets that kind of guaranteed increase?

Morgan Davis

Is another fire station necessary?

To the Editor:
The Snohomish Fire District is again on the march. They want more money, but really don’t need it. They are simply “gaming” the tax levy process.
Part of your tax increase would be used to build a new fire station. Is there a need for a fourth ?  We have three fire stations in Snohomish: 1) Station 43. Avenue D,  2) Station 42. 171st Ave. SE. 3) Station 41. Maple Avenue. Don’t forget the RLB Training Center on South Machias Road. This fourth station/head quarters would be built on Pine Avenue. 
Ask yourself: Is having two fire stations that close to each other a bit over-kill?  A fire district would never allow two stations to be that close to one another. That situation doesn’t give better fire protection from District #4. Spread out.  Why is there a need for a new headquarters? Why is there a need for a fourth station?
All things considered, reject Fire District 4, Proposition No. 1.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Editor’s note: Fire District 4 has stated the Maple Avenue station would be functionallly replaced by the Pine Avenue station as the area’s station to dispatch to fires.

Moriarty is the right choice

To the Editor:
One candidate for Superior Court position 17 has the requisite experience: Judge Patrick Moriarty. Neither of his opponents has had the legal or judicial experience to prepare them for the job. Judge Moriarty’s breadth of experience before becoming a Superior Court Commissioner in 2018, and his well-earned reputation for thoughtful, fair decision-making make him the clear choice to continue his work as superior court judge. I speak from my own experience as an attorney who has appeared before Judge Moriarty dozens of times. I have not always achieved the results I sought, but I always have known that Judge Moriarty has understood the issues. 
  Judge Moriarty is a good listener: I recall one occasion when he was prepared to rule against my client because he was unfamiliar with the particular legal issue. I asked for additional time to present briefing on the matter. After reviewing the additional material, he made the proper decision under the law. This is not a story about an attorney getting the result he wanted (although I did); it is a story that illustrates the character of Judge Moriarty.  Judge Moriarty did not make a decision in haste. That is what we need in a judge: someone who is willing to listen carefully and empathetically, and then make thoughtful decisions based upon the facts and applicable law.  
  Judge Moriarty has proven himself worthy of the position he holds as Superior Court Judge, and he is the clear choice to continue in position 17.
Deane W. Minor

Weber had dispute with district

To the Editor:
I’m writing in response to Allison Ungren’s July 19 Tribune article on the three school board candidates.
Monica Weber was the president of the Snohomish Education Association — the teachers union — in 2001 when the S.E.A. and the Snohomish School District negotiated a new contract. According to the September 26, 2001 Everett Herald story titled Snohomish schools avert strike, “With the threat of a teachers’ strike looming in the Snohomish School District, the district and its teachers Wednesday came to a tentative contract agreement.”
The ugly threat of an illegal strike by the teachers was stoked by various economic and bargaining tactics by teachers. Writes Herald reporter Leslie Moriarty, “For the past three weeks, teachers have accelerated their protests over the lack of a contract. In the first week they wore buttons reading ‘Working without a contract.’ Two weeks ago, they did not partake in any activities such as open houses and staff meetings that weren’t related to actual instruction.”
This latter tactic, known as a work slowdown, is illegal in many collective bargaining situations.
There is no evidence that Ms. Weber formally authorized any of the pressure tactics employed by the union’s rank and file in 2001, but because it occurred under her leadership, when Snohomish voters make out their ballots for the August 1 primary election, they should be aware that Monica Weber has a history of bullying the Snohomish School District.

Janine Burkhardt

Writer: Fortney too political for the job

To the Editor:
Well, if you had any doubts about which side of the political spectrum Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney represents you can put those doubts to rest. On July 22nd Fortney hosted the extreme right-wing Arizona Sheriff Mark Lamb at a $250-dollar-a-plate fundraising extravaganza up in Arlington. Lamb, who supports Fortney, is a darling of right-wing extremists. An election-denying, MAGA Trumpist, Lamb is often pictured in the background in photos of the ex-president. He considers himself to be a “constitutional sheriff,” a growing group of rogue sheriffs who think that the U.S. Constitution confers on local sheriffs the role of ultimate “deciders” in their jurisdictions. True, that anyone in law enforcement takes an oath to defend our founding document, but I haven’t found any references to sheriffs. The constitutional sheriffs believe that they have the right to ignore laws that they don’t agree with just as Fortney has done when it comes to enforcing gun laws, COVID measures and other laws that he personally doesn’t like. This “constitutional sheriff’s” group has even flirted with the idea that they have a responsibility to have a say with regard to election results when candidates they support don’t win the vote.
We need balanced professional law enforcement in Snohomish County, not partisan hacks trying to push their own political agenda. The citizens of Snohomish County deserve law enforcement that is non-partisan and administers the law without bias or allegiance to any particular political party or doctrine. Clearly, that is not Adam Fortney.

Howard Lazzarini

Letters to the editor published in the July 19 Tribune:

Middle housing push misguided

To the Editor:
The Snohomish City Administration (Council & Mayor) is now evaluating implementing a process that will allow more “middle” housing in the town. It is yet another attempt to cram more people into this community.
Aside from the new legislation falling out of Olympia that mandates some additional emphasis on more density, there is no reason to make major changes to the zoning in Snohomish. If zoning was not changed at all; no midtown high-rises, no North Snohomish apartment complexes, no town home clusters, the city would still meet the required future population capacity requirements set by the state. We don’t need to be able to build more densely. Building on available lots, using current zoning, will do just fine.  Now, the City Administration will respond by saying that we need more affordable housing. That simply is not going to happen. The cost of building is not getting any cheaper, currently pushing $300 per square foot. Even a small house or small multiplexes are not “affordable” for those who have lower incomes.
The idea that packing people into an area is a solution to expensive housing is, well, just dumb.
Snohomish is an expensive place to live. Its value is driven by buyer desire and demand. The market will continue to set the prices. No amount of maneuvering by the city will change that, and yes, that means some people will not be able to afford to live here. That is a reality in every community in the country.

Brian Mills

Moriarty is the experienced choice

To the Editor:
I write to encourage Snohomish County voters to Retain Judge Moriarty.  
I am one of Judge Moriarty’s current benchmates, and practiced law with him for 13 years so I have seen his commitment to this County firsthand. Judge Moriarty was an excellent role model, requiring associates and staff to treat everyone with respect, and hold ourselves to the highest moral and ethical standards, and he demonstrates those attributes every day.
As an attorney, he practiced on both sides of the criminal justice system, and worked with substance addicted youth facing prosecution for decades.  He knows the fear and pain that crime brings to families and communities and he understands the fear of interacting with law enforcement and the court.  He has represented families going through divorce and separation, and clients who have been victims of sexual assaults or other injuries.  Judge Moriarty’s broad experience made him an excellent attorney for 30 years and a stellar judicial officer for 22 years, first as a Judge Pro Tem, then as a Court Commissioner and now as a Superior Court Judge.  
The decisions that Judges make have huge, sweeping impacts.  The need to have qualified, experienced Judges who have consistently demonstrated an understanding of the law, a commitment to justice, and a strong sense of integrity cannot be overstated.  We deserve Judges who have demonstrated the quality of their work and the depth of their commitment to the law and to Snohomish County.   Judge Moriarty is the only candidate that meets these criteria.

Judge Jennifer Langbehn


There were no letters to the editor published in the July 12 Tribune.

Letters to the editor published in the July 5 Tribune:

City is actively asking for city planning guidance

To the Editor:
The City of Snohomish is in the middle of its 2024 Comprehensive Plan, gathering input from its residents.  In fact, everywhere in Snohomish County this process is taking place as you can see by visiting the Snohomish County, WA site.  While I know nothing of other cities’ outreach efforts, I do know Snohomish is making an extensive effort to elicit feedback from Snohomish city and Snohomish city adjacent residents on how Snohomish should accommodate the growth we all know is coming over the next 20 years. 
The target for Snohomish is relatively modest at 2,500 additional residents.  That said, the City of Snohomish would like your input on where additional housing for 2,500 additional residents will be sited, what it will look like and what kind of additional auxiliary and support services should be planned?  These planning inputs are all part of a focus on keeping Snohomish the best it can be for both residents and visitors. 
Please provide your input by doing an internet search for “City of Snohomish Comprehensive Plan.”  You will find a “button” on this page enabling you to complete the questionnaire. 
On this page, you will also find much more information regarding the 2024 Comprehensive Plan and our collective future.  

Jan Lengenfelder

Speeding in town is all too frequent

To the Editor:
I grew up in the town of Snohomish in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. As a teenager driving in the middle ‘50s and early ‘60s, my peers and I didn’t dare speed or you had to deal with a very tough Chief of Police Boyd and his deputies. We had very fast cars in the ‘60s but we didn’t dare speed in town. We never knew where Snohomish PD would be waiting.
I moved from Snohomish in the mid-1960s, and moved back to my hometown 18 months ago and I’m shocked how extremely high speeding seems to be accepted. We live in town in a neighborhood where the speed limit is 25 mph. The average speed by our house exceeds 35 mph up to 60 mph plus. We have witnessed teenagers playing chicken on Fourth Street running through the Avenue D stop sign in access of 50 mph.
At night speeding becomes worse we have our bedroom window open hearing cars doing donuts then burning rubber racing down the street. Recently we were driving home middle of the afternoon north on Avenue A a motorcycle came by us well over 80 mph right through the stop sign in front of us.
We have addressed this speeding problem with the Snohomish PD who have installed flashing speed signage on our street. Even so, the drivers don’t appear to be taking their speeding seriously yet.

Warren White

Letters to the editor published in the June 28 Tribune:


Despite levy rate falling, FD4 tax amounts rose with rising home values

To the Editor:
Regarding the August 1st ballot issue by Fire District 4 seeking a “levy lid lift”:
Normally, local taxing districts’ budgets are subjected to an annual 1% budget increase cap (lid) without voter approval. FD4 voters in 2017 generously approved raising that 1% lid to a 6% lid. The fire levy amount steadily grew each year from $5.684 million in 2017 to $9.443 million in 2023, almost doubling.
Now, FD4 wants voters to approve another permanent annual 6% increase. What would that mean to a typical Snohomish homeowner or renter? Here’s the impact according to Linda Redmon, Sam Low and John Lovick as they reported in the Voters Pamphlet due to be mailed out July 12th: For a dwelling unit valued at $500,000 in 2023, a property tax hike of $180 in 2024 and with 6% annual compounding the tax hike increases to $241 in the year 2028. For a home valued at $1 million, the tax hike is $360 in the year 2024 and $482 in the year 2028.
Inexplicably, Redmon, Low, and Lovick wrote in the Voters Pamphlet that the FD4 fire levy had fallen from 2017 to 2023. Voters, don’t be bamboozled by that deception. The fire levy amount almost doubled in that period. (Source: Snohomish County Assessor’s Office link:
Additionally, there is “discussion” about FD4 merging with a neighboring fire district — ostensibly to reduce operational expenses and costs in overhead, facilities and equipment.
FD4’s proposed levy lid lift should be rejected by the voters on August 1st and if the merger talks fail, the lid lift request can be resubmitted next year.

Morgan Davis

Important to renew fire levy to handle service call loads

To the Editor:
The upcoming August vote merits a resounding yes. Fire District 4 runs extremely lean. The district is underfunded and cannot meet its own call load. It’s not even close.
Merely adequate staffing toward meeting 90% of its own calls with its own resources 90% of the time, within 10 minutes (preferably under 5), would look something like this:
• Station 40: Significant remodel adding sufficient crew quarters. Aid 40 / Engine 40 cross-staffed 24/7 by 3 firefighters.
• Station 41 (current location): E-41 staffed 24/7 (3). Medic-41 staffed 24/7 (2) - When the new Station 41 opens, Ladder 41 should be staffed 24/7. The area is years overdue for a full-time, dedicated (not cross-staffed) truck company.
• Station 42 (current location): B-42 staffed 24/7 (3), M-42 staffed 24/7 (2)
• Station 42 (current location): Aid 42 staffed 24/7 (2), Brush 43 cross-staffed by E-43. E-43 staffed 24/7. Tender 42 cross-staffed by A-43.
Untimely aid may as well be no aid. ALS / suppression responses nudging 20 minutes are intolerable for cardiac, stroke, trauma, containment, etc.
District 4 is like Everett in that timely mutual aid is simply not geographically feasible, and therefore impractical, for large parts of their respective jurisdictions. As a result, there’s little to be gained by marrying with neighboring fire agencies under a RFA.
District 4’s current priority must be adequate, stable funding for capital projects, apparatus procurement and staffing to meet its own jurisdictional alarm volume.
Please vote yes!

Paul Keller
Inmate, Stafford Creek Corrections Center

Letters to the editor published in the June 21 Tribune:


Why it’s needed

To the Editor:
Snohomish County Fire District 4 firefighters want to thank the Board of Fire Commissioners for placing a fire levy lid lift on the August Primary Election ballot.
The lid lift would fund eight firefighters over six years to provide both a fire engine and medic unit in service at the same time. (Currently, we can staff just one or the other.)
Secondly, our fire stations require upgrades and/or replacement. The lid lift would build a fire station on Pine Avenue and replace one other as funding allows. These projects will improve emergency response times and firefighter health and safety.
The lid lift would allow these improvements to be made with cash as opposed to voter-approved debt. This means our taxpayers save money by not having interest payments.
There is discussion about a possible merger with a neighboring agency. Mergers are voter-approved, take time and, as such, are not guaranteed. We must be able to fund operations and capital needs independent of that proposal. Financial independence through the lid lift allows us to carefully evaluate all options and seek the best one for the community.

IAFF Local 2694
(Fire District 4 fire union)

Action is needed, Child Tax Credit can help

To the Editor:
Sad to see homelessness in our county increasing, a situation reflected across the country. (June 7 Tribune article) Not surprising to see these increases, with inflation, cuts to the safety net, and the inability of the housing voucher program to reach more than 25% of those who qualify. Action on all levels of government is needed. On the national level, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Suzan DelBene have introduced legislation to increase affordable housing across the country. A renter tax credit would be an important initiative to keep families housed, reaching them like the now expired expanded Child Tax Credit did. This tax credit cut child poverty by 46% and helped families pay rent and buy food. Fortunately, the American Family Act has been introduced by Rep. DelBene that would renew the Child Tax Credit. Each of us can participate in passing these equity initiatives by calling those who represent us, 202-224-3121, thanking them for their efforts and asking them to renew their efforts to pass these ladders out of poverty and ensure a brighter future for all Americans.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor published in the June 14 Tribune:


Some streets need sidewalks ASAP

To the Editor:
I have a complaint that the city of Snohomish really needs more sidewalks on streets such as Terrace Avenue and 83rd. I was walking down Terrace Avenue the other day and it was almost fatal for me when a car came zooming past at a speed that was unnecessary coming from the left because there is a giant hill with too many blind spots. This car came too close to hitting me at those high speeds. If you don’t happen to put in these necessary sidewalks the next person walking down one of those streets might be not as lucky as I was.

Ethan Le Pere

Rules interfering with food production

To the Editor:
The American farmer has produced abundantly, not only for our country, but for the entire world. Fertile soils, favorable weather and climate, good infrastructure, available technological resources, and an adequate water supply have all contributed to the success.
The future may not be so bright. Water for agriculture is being curtailed. Rules and regulations restrict the utilization of the land for the sake of endangered species, buffers, and urban sprawl. These same rules and regulations also make it prohibitive to construct smaller processing facilities. The regulations encourage consolidation to the degree that it could be detrimental. The removal of hydroelectric dams eliminates electricity production, water available for irrigation, and the ability to transport agricultural commodities by barge.
The implementation of governmental restrictions to control climate change/global warming may have the greatest impact. Some countries are already reporting steep drops in production. Others portray double-digit reductions within the next ten years especially in livestock production.
Of the world’s population of 8 billion, 4% do not have enough to eat. Any reduction in production will exasperate the hunger. A small drop in food production will cause prices to increase significantly and may lead to riots and social disorder.
Pursuing policies that could cause the possible starvation of hundreds of millions of people is not acceptable. There are no guarantees that these proposed changes will reduce global warming. This does not need to be the way to save the world from climate change. Producing an adequate food supply is imperative.

Dan Bartelheimer
President, Snohomish County Farm Bureau


No letters to the editor published in the May 24, 31 or June 7 Tribunes, send us one

Letters to the editor published in the May 17 Tribune:

Who will clear fire-risk leftover tree debris on roadsides?

To the Editor:
We are now in wildfire season. Temperatures are rising to historic levels and it is very dry all around us.
Throughout the winter months in Snohomish County someone or some entity has cut down hundreds if not thousands of trees and brush along our primary roads, secondary roads and primary highways.  All of it has been just left to dry into tinder dry fuel for wildfires. It has not only created a dangerous situation it is ugly and unsightly.
I have reached out to our Snohomish County Road Maintenance office and WSDOT informing them of the wildfire potential of this dangerous debris that has been allowed to rot and become an eyesore throughout Snohomish County.
So, far no one has answered my question regarding who is responsible for this hazardous mess that is a blight and fuel for wildfires along our Snohomish County byways.
Who would do such a thing? Why hasn’t this dangerous mess been cleaned up?
When this fuel, carelessly and callously left behind, throughout Snohomish County for the coming wildfire season, causes destruction of property and maybe even deaths who is going to be held responsible for the legal consequences?
Who at Snohomish County government or WSDOT is responsible for the cleanup?
When will they get this much needed cleanup done?
That this has been allowed to happen is a total disregard for public health and safety!

David Clay

Letters to the editor published in the May 10 Tribune:

Teacher pay raises are to blame

To the Editor:
Several school districts are singing the blues, “cash-strapped” and layoffs. What’s the reason? Perhaps the teacher’s union greed, known as the McCleary Decision. Remember the union striking for higher pay? As the result of this decision, a teacher will be given a six figure income, after 11 plus years. The Everett teachers are near the top of the pay scale. 80% of some school budgets, are spent on salaries. No wonder these budgets are in the red. Cuts have to be made. Sorry kids. Another cause and effect, would be the “fat” all districts have. But don’t worry about the kids too long. In two years these districts will still be in the red, but with a new levy on the way. Then we can have the 4th grade band once again.

Bruce A. Ferguson

No letters to the editor published in the May 3 Tribune, send us one

Letters to the editor published in the April 26 Tribune:

Tax fairness gives equity

To the Editor:
Mariam Ahmed makes a great case for us to support the wealth tax proposal currently being considered in our state legislature, HB 1473/SB 5486 (April 12 Tribune letters).
Tax fairness is an excellent way to put America on the road to equity, ending homelessness, hunger, and poor health care of those experiencing poverty, along with the 40% of Americans that are one $400 emergency away from poverty. On the national level the power of the tax system was shown by the expanded Child Tax Credit: cutting child poverty by 46% and helping families pay rent, buy food, and pay bills. Sadly, it wasn’t renewed, but it is not too late. Another initiative on the national level is a renter tax credit to help working families pay only 30% of their income for rent, not the 50-90% millions pay today. We can raise our voices to our state and national representatives to redouble their efforts to use tax fairness to bring hope by passing ladders out of poverty like these.

Willie Dickerson

No letters to the editor published in the April 19 Tribune, send us one

Letters to the editor published in the April 12 Tribune:

Letter in support

To the Editor:
As a community organizer, I saw people working tirelessly every day and still unable to afford necessities. Fellow college students would work two full-time jobs while going to school, with no help from the state. The cost of living is continuing to outpace wages with many unable to survive much less live a fulfilling life.
Communities have an opportunity to fund the resources we need by making the wealthiest in Washington pay what they owe. HB 1473/SB 5486 would create a wealth tax that would fund affordable housing, as well as education, disability services, and tax credits for working people.
The lowest-paid Washingtonian already pays six times more of our incomes in taxes than a billionaire. Why are the majority of Washingtonians who are working class and struggling paying for essential public services more than the private-jet level wealthy? 
For the ultra-millionaires and billionaires, this small tax would be just a drop of water from an ocean. 
For the majority of Washingtonians who are working people, finally having the funding for housing and basic needs would mean we could quit that second job, smile more, or just be able to breathe with more liberty. We want more than the bare minimum with our careers, health, education, family, livelihood. How could we say “no” to achieving that for everyone who lives in our state?
If you want communities to have safe, stable, and affordable homes, contact your representatives to support a wealth tax in Washington (HB 1473/SB 5486).

Mariam Ahmed
YWCA Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator

No letters to the editor submitted for the March 29 or April 5 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the March 22 Tribune:


Roadway needs many safety fixes

To the Editor:
Riverview Road is unsafe, especially the two miles west of Snohomish.  Traffic and speed exceed what is safe on a curvy, hilly road;  trucks are common.  Drivers pull into oncoming lanes crossing double yellow lines to pass cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians who often walk along the edge of the road, even when the driver’s ability to see oncoming traffic is obscured by hills and curves.  I witnessed a large pick-up pull into the oncoming lane crossing double yellow lines to pass a bicyclist as the truck approached a hill, which made it impossible to see oncoming traffic.  A motorcyclist came over the top of the hill, barely escaping a head-on collision before the truck driver saw the motorcyclist and pulled back into the appropriate lane.
Adding a bike lane to Riverview is the best solution. Changes that could reduce danger include signs reminding drivers that it is illegal to cross double yellow lines to pass and to alert cars that bicyclists are on the road.  Reduce the speed limit. Intermittently issue traffic tickets to correct careless driving.  There is one hill that especially obscures the driver’s ability to see oncoming traffic.  Place a flashing yellow light on either side of this spot to warn drivers who exceed the speed limit.  Excavate the roadway to reduce the height of the hill.  This road will add to traffic deaths unless an unsafe road is redesigned to accommodate the traffic using the road and our traffic laws are enforced.

Desmond Skubi

Letters to the editor published in the March 15 Tribune:

Terrible loss of a gentleman

To the Editor:
Jeremy Anderson, the 45-year-old man shot through an apartment wall Thursday morning March 2, 2023, was a very close friend of my biological father Edward Sewell. Jeremy Anderson was one of the gentlemen who helped me and my grandparents clean out my father’s house in Mukilteo after his death in 2020.
Hearing that such a good person was senselessly killed by a coward who couldn’t handle being told to quiet down is just an example how bad crime is getting and it’s got to stop because this is ridiculous.

Elijah Edens

Editor’s note: The incident was at an apartment complex in south Everett. Police believe the man shot bullets into the neighboring apartment while his neighbor was asleep while the man thought he heard voices.

Lawmakers, thanks

To the Editor:
Mary Martin’s letter of appreciation for the Tribune is timely (Feb. 22 letters). The Tribune continues to let us know the local news. This gives those who represent us a chance to see what matters to We The People.
We can thank our members of Congress like Rep. DelBene for her efforts to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit, Rep. Larsen for his work to secure the infrastructure package that includes local funding, and both Senators Murray and Cantwell for their work for families in the areas of housing, childcare and global health that protects us locally. At the same time, we can ask them to redouble their efforts to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit that reached 90% of families and cut child poverty in half. A renters’ tax credit similarly could reach millions of families that pay 50% and more of their income for rent, which can help end the increasing problem of homelessness.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor published in the March 8 Tribune:


Demand for services has outpaced funds

To the Editor:

Through no fault of the district’s leadership, the incremental upward creep of “acceptable” first-due response times to 10 minutes over the years is 100% unacceptable. Response times are indicator No. 1 of the sufficient and efficacy of any department’s staffing model (read: adequacy of stable funding).
Untimely aid may as well be no aid. Timeliness (how long) and efficacy (equipment and personnel) of response are crucial in emergency scenarios including cardiac / stroke / severe trauma / containment, etc.
It is my suggestion that District 4 include two new “90th percentile” benchmark goals in the updated Strategic Plan.
• First, a response time goal of 5 minutes for first arriving ALS and suppression units.
• Second, sufficient 24/7 station staffing to allow District 4 to handle its own jurisdictional alarms with its own jurisdictional resources 90% of the time.
There is great value in the district’s response time minutiae. The SOC / Risk Assessment studies should be mandatory reading for any taxpayers who carp about levy costs. The reality is, demand for services has outpaced funded district resources for some time. District 4 must be more robustly funded to meet its own responsibilities, independent of merger chatter.
The fact is, District 4 runs lean, is a great neighbor to other departments and has a long distinguished track record of wise stewardship when viewed through the demands-for-service lens.
Consider, please: If District 4 joined SRFR right now, what measurable, tangible economies of scale would actually result? What savings would free up resources sufficient to fund additional response units?

Paul Keller
inmate, Coyote Ridge Corrections Center
Connell, Wash.

Letters to the edtor published in the March 1 Tribune:

Use these stumps for art installations

1885 photo

To the Editor:
Our Snohomish ancestors knew what to do with stumps — dance on them! Of course the stumps on First Street are too small for dancing but big enough to hold art.
Perhaps the Historic Downtown Snohomish Association could issue a call for artists’ proposals that meet specific criteria concerning safety, size and looking good in the rain.
With an exhibition of the proposals, funding would be sought to produce the selected proposals.
In this past year, the Association has shown real moxie in getting things done, and I have every confidence that our First Street Stumps can play a joyful part in our historic traditions.

Warner Blake

Support bill to put more oversight on hospital mergers

To the Editor:
Affordable and accessible access to healthcare is a basic right, but hospital mergers threaten to raise prices and limit the number of patients that the clinic can care for. Senate Bill 5241, or the Keep Our Care Act, if passed in the Washington State legislature, will provide oversight to these mergers and acquisitions.
The two largest nonprofit health systems in Washington have a combined $32 million in reserve to account for any costs of providing this oversight and ensuring care for Washington residents in the long run. Additionally, oversight programs like this have been proven effective in other states, such as Massachusetts and Oregon. I urge you to email or call your senator and ask them to vote in support of this important bill. 

Matteah Davis

Editor’s note: Senate Bill 5241 was sent to the Ways & Means Committee. Its deadline to stay alive in this year’s legislative session is March 9.

Makes a smear upon mayor’s legacy

To the Editor:
Bill Clinton was one of the few politicians who was able to balance the federal budget, and had the lowest federal income tax burdens in the previous 30 years before his terms, in addition to a number of other successful accomplishments. But all that was permanently tarnished when his character was put into question regarding his repeated affairs.
The same thing happened locally with a County Executive. And now this thing with the Everett Mayor (“Mayor’s romantic life put under audit by council,” Feb. 22 Tribune). Sure, it’s still being looked into. Either way, it doesn’t really matter what happened, because giving the impression of violating ethics or one’s character is the same thing as actually doing it.
Elected officials seem to be immune to that level of common sense.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Letters to the edtor published in the Feb. 22 Tribune:

Bus service increase being overinflated by basing figures from pandemic dip

To the Editor:
In response to a Feb. 12, 2023 Everett Herald article regarding Community Transit’s future service plans:
There is one quote in the article that stuck with me: “the proposed system would have 35 routes, totaling 480,000 annual service hours, almost 32% more than what’s offered today.”
First of all, “today” refers to the level of service to come in March, when the agency will cut another 21,000 hours (for a total of 63,000 cut since March ‘22). 
From that new low baseline (363,000 hours), the service will be then restored to early 2020 levels by 2026 (480,000 hours). 
This would be a much more appropriate way to present the actual service level of the agency and its growth over time. An ever-shifting baseline is misleading.
The bigger picture is that, as of March ‘23, the annual service level (363,000 hours) will be below that of 2016 (375,000 hours), which was the baseline for growth when the voters approved Proposition 1. Consider population, density, and job growth in the last seven years, and then you can judge for yourself how adequate that level of service is today, or how reliable the agency’s promises of service are to long-range plans that jurisdictions and the county use.
Yes, an increase of 32% would sound great, but the reality is that in 2024, the agency will not even offer the same level of service it had in early 2020. The scheduled pre-pandemic level of service in early 2020 was 475,000 annual service hours. The “2024 and beyond” plan reaches that level of service in 2026.

Sabina Araya
Lake Stevens

Keep up good work

To the Editor:
I have enjoyed your newspaper for many years. You have such interesting and timely details that I don’t find anywhere else.
Please keep up with the good work you all are doing for so many years. You are a much needed source of news for many people in this area and are deeply appreciated.

Mary Martin

Letters to the edtor published in the Feb. 15 Tribune:


Proposed tax rebate bill for some costs others more

To the Editor:
The intent of House Bill 1556 is laudable but it is a bureaucratic boondoggle, creating an army of 482 state Department of Revenue full-time employees to administer at a cost of $1.325 billion.
Rep. April Berg’s bill is based on the idea of rebating only the state portion of the total taxing districts charges and then only on the first $250,000 of the taxable assessed valuation.
For example, I live within the Snohomish School District and I just looked today at my 2023 property tax statement.  The overall tax rate is 8.89 while the state portion is 2.23 or about 25% of the total.  The total rebate would amount to 2.23 times $250,000 AV/$1,000, or $558 to every homeowner and an equivalent amount to every legal renter.  
Left out in the cold are the homeless and those living in shelters, cars, RVs, etc. who would be ineligible for the proposed rebate that wouldn’t even take effect until the year 2028.
A more humane and efficient system would be for the state to simply mail out quickly annual rebate checks to every Washington man, woman, and child, just like the State of Alaska has been doing for the last 40 years from their oil fund.  That was the same principle the Trump Administration used when the IRS mailed out Economic Stimulus checks to every citizen over 18 and which were a godsend during the COVID crisis.
HB 1556 is a bad approach and should die in committee and be replaced by a direct rebate to every Washington resident, with no bureaucratic red strings attached.

Morgan Davis

No letters to the editor submitted for the Jan. 25, Feb. 1 or Feb. 8 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Jan. 18 Tribune:


Continuing to look to act on equity

To the Editor:
Once again we honor Dr. King and the principles of love, peace, equity, and justice he embodied. (“Opportunities to recognize, honor The Rev. Martin Luther Luther King Jr. this year,” Jan. 11 Tribune) The celebrations and days of service bring us together.
But beyond this week of honoring Dr. King, the urgency remains.
Fortunately, groups like RESULTS ( are strong in Snohomish County and give us an opportunity to take ongoing actions, working with Congress to pass equity legislation. Both Reps. Larsen and DelBene support Dr. King’s principles and are working hard to put America on the road to equity. Legislation like renewing the expanded Child Tax Credit, dealing with the housing crisis, and more are possible when we work together. So, let’s celebrate the work of Dr. King on his birthday, and then take actions all year to guide Congress to make his dream a reality.

Willie Dickerson

No letters to the editor in the Jan. 11 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the Jan. 4 Tribune:


Flooding is not climate change

To the Editor:
The coastal flooding Dec. 27 in the Snohomish River estuary was attributed to a high tide and a low barometric pressure. The Ebey Island dikes and also the Sunnyside dike had up to twelve inches of overtopping on Tuesday. The predicted high tide was lower than the day prior. The Snohomish River flow was higher but below flood stage. It was the low pressure that pushes the water over the dikes. Up to 12 inches of overtopping was experienced at several locations on Ebey Island and on the Sunnyside dikes east of Ebey Slough. It was caused by a natural phenomenon, not climate change.

Dan Bartelheimer

Use facts and demographics to better control crime

To the Editor:
Conspicuous by its egregious absence in the consultant’s Everett PD report to elected officials (“Everett Police should expand force to fill gaps,” Nov. 16 Tribune) is the dire need for more enforcement units to be on patrol. It is ludicrous to hear people say they’re “intimidated” by school resource officers or cruisers out and about. My suggestion inside whenever I hear such nonsense is, well, stop doing all the things that necessitate an increase law enforcement presence.
Here’s good news: Not all prisoners in Washington align with the PC madness. Society’s shift away from objective truth into subjectivism is stunning. Truth is transgressive in the minds of those promulgating regulatory social engineering via identity politics and within hierarchical structures and agencies constrained by woke ideologies. Demonization eliminates dialogue. Legacy media routinely gives the impression “everyone” has bought in. The woke mob wants to deter anyone who sees things as they are from speaking up. So they roll out rhetoric and trigger-word labels to intimidate, demanding that everyone capitulate. Never mind nothing they stand for is corroborated by reality.
Problems within the criminal justice system and imprisonment apparatus are very real.
To be very clear, there are cases like mine where crisis becomes criminal, or mental health issues are at play. But, most crime is committed by lifelong, unrepentant, career recidivists readily identifiable by demographic, method, manner and habit. What society needs is factual information and distinctions about criminal behavior. Which invariably riles the progressive crowd. We don’t have a “gun problem,” we have a hoodlum problem.

Paul Keller
inmate, Coyote Ridge Corrections Center
Connell, Wash.

No letters to the editor in the Dec. 7, Dec. 14, Dec. 21 or Dec. 28 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Nov. 30 Tribune:


Expand it for those less fortunate

To the Editor:
During the holidays, the community often turns to helping those less fortunate, collecting toys and food. This year, the best way to help struggling families is by asking Congress to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit. Snohomish County Reps. DelBene and Larsen, along with both Senators Murray and Cantwell are supporting this initiative.
The so-called “Lame Duck” session which is going on right now till the Christmas break is the perfect time to pass this legislation, before the House changes leadership. Take a few minutes to call, write, or visit your members of Congress and let them know this initiative that cut child poverty in half must to be renewed. Last time the Child Tax Credit reached 90% of families, helping them pay rent and utilities, along with buying food and other necessities. Our efforts can renew this critical ladder out of poverty, bringing hope to millions.

Willie Dickerson

No letters to the editor submitted for the Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16 or Nov. 23 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Oct. 26 Tribune:


Vote for real people who actually care about community

To the Editor:
I’ve been seeing a lot of people play up a variety of non-issues for the political games we engage in every other November and it’s almost maddening to see what hills people are ready to stake a fight on.
There are people out there who would vote for a single candidate despite the fact they want to defund schools and kick veterans to the curb because their candidate wants to fight “wokeness” and “cancel culture.”
Wanna know synonyms for “wokeness” and “cancel culture?”  It’s called being a nice person and being held accountable for your actions.  I’m done hemming and hawing over non-issues.  Start voting for people who actually care about making our communities better, instead of saying whatever they can get away with for points.

Benjamin Wolf

Send Sam Low to Olympia

To the Editor:
We are fortunate to have such a fine candidate Sam Low for the 39th District state representative. Low is dedicated, humble, and hard working. Low strives to work with others, find common ground, while always remembering to represent his constituents. Low will take his no-nonsense work ethic and common sense with him to Olympia to represent you.

Dan Bartelheimer

Jason Cummings is the trusted choice

To the Editor:
The Snohomish County Prosecutor is one of the most important leadership positions in our county, and it is important we elect someone we can trust.  
  The men and women of the Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff’s Association have chosen to endorse Jason for Elected Prosecutor. There is a reason why Jason has our support and the support of other regional law enforcement associations and prosecutors. We see every day how crime impacts our community. We believe he will prioritize public safety while balancing a compassionate approach and accountability. We are also confident in his strong legal background and experience. He has dedicated much of his career along with us to public service for the residents of Snohomish County.
  Due to his experience and current position, Jason should easily transition to the new role of Elected Prosecutor. We believe he will support law enforcement as well as the diverse needs of our community. We believe Jason Cummings is the correct path forward for public safety in Snohomish County.

Jonathan Krajcar
President of the Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff Association

Outdoor storyboards

To the Editor:
The outdoor storyboards along the Centennial Trail outside of the Snohomish library are as lovely as a wind farm. 

Megan Usui

DelBene needs to be kept in Congress

To the Editor
Great to see our U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene getting endorsed by the Everett Herald.
No wonder, as the leader for the expanded Child Tax Credit she helped 90% of families pay rent, buy food, and pay bills across Snohomish County, Washington State and the nation. This tax credit lifted 40% of children out of poverty. No wonder she is leading the effort to renew this critical tax credit. At the same time, she continues to be an advocate for business, farmers, and the expansion of broad band. We are lucky to be able to send this family advocate back to Congress, our votes matter!

Willie Dickerson

Recovering requires active management

To the Editor:
October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. 
Substance use has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic and the Fentanyl epidemic. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports that there were an “estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.” 
Northpoint Washington is a substance use treatment facility located in Edmonds that is addressing this issue head-on. The road to recovery extends outside of the treatment facility and many need resources to maintain their sobriety. 
Recovery from drugs and alcohol is an ongoing effort for those actively in recovery and for the friends and family around them. Community in the form of social networks is another way that those in recovery can seek out support. 

Haley Randolph
Corporate communications for Northpoint
Boise, Idaho

Letters to the editor published in the Oct. 19 Tribune:


Don’t elect single-issue candidates

To the Editor:
Imagine the Golden Gate Bridge without guard rails — mass chaos — with the most aggressive drivers shoving their way through. That’s where we’re headed. You’ll vote soon. Insist on voting for those offering reasonable solutions that create more order, enabling us to live freely yet safely. No single source is considered trustworthy anymore, so use your own eyes and common sense and vote wisely. Ignore hype where facts are irrelevant and what’s simply ‘sensible’ is somehow being hijacked. At stake? Alarming rising levels of: crime; inflation; fentanyl; youth suicides/depression; border issues; pre-3rd grade poly-gender initiatives; biological competition conflicts; China dependence; Russian nukes; wholesale pronoun inventions that address less than 8% of our population at the confusion/readership/education cost of 92%; etc. Be wary of political games attempting to deflect attention away from these very real issues. Resist the emotional coercion from loud voices empty of reasonableness, trying to force new non-sensible ‘woke rules’ down throats.
Resist the seduction of high-risk single-issue voting — like the concerns regarding abortion laws — now in the hands of states. It’s not that they are not a serious issue, they are. They’re just not the only issue. One-issue voting this time around is dangerous. Select who makes sense on the most issues – who demonstrates reasonable thinking with ideas that have a chance of better aligning us to enable survival as a healthier nation. Constantly evolving our understanding of others is right, but non-sensible demands that also condemn challenge are wrong.

Mary J. Harwood

Character matters, those who lack it need not apply

To the Editor:
I seldom vote for someone  based on party affiliation. Character matters to me.
While I agree with the premise that career politicians sour after their first decade, and should move along so fresh ideas can be presented, the conservatives have offered no reasonable options to replace them. Candidates that claim the last presidential election was rigged, or think it's OK to force a 10-year-old rape victim to grow the rapist’s seed to childbirth, should seek help from a mental health professional, not run for office.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

No letters to the editor published in the Sept. 28 or Oct. 5 or Oct. 12 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Sept. 21 Tribune:

Restaurant gives seniors yummy food

To the Editor:
I’m a member of the Snohomish Senior Center. I want to publicly thank the best Mexican Restaurant in Snohomish, El Paraiso.
Each month the restaurant donates lunch meals to members of the center. The meals, as always, are delicious. It is very generous of the restaurant to support the center. I speak for many members as I share a huge thank you for your kindness, caring, and generosity.
I would like to encourage members and community folks to show support by saying thanks; and the best way to show thankfulness is by supporting El Paraiso.

Carol Sack

Letters to the editor published in the Sept. 14 Tribune:

City’s idea to add housing will pinch existing residents

To the Editor:
According to Snohomish City’s Website, this is the justification for the MFTE:
“• The Bottom Line about a future Midtown MFTE: Rapid growth in the city and county has made housing rapidly unaffordable for young adults and families. The objective of adopting a MFTE is to provide affordable housing options for future generations to ensure the city remains vibrant, resilient, and retains the community’s reputation for providing a wonderful quality of life. It is also to provide an incentive to developers to build multi-family units in the Midtown District, which would increase the multi-family housing stock and add to the housing options available in the city, while stimulating development in the Midtown District.”
As I read this, I can’t see any reason that I should be paying any developer’s property taxes.  Several houses have sold in our neighborhood over the past five years, and every one was purchased by a young family.
These are the infrastructure impacts of five-story dwellings:
a.  Fire Department will need aerial vehicle(s), new fire station(s), and more firefighters, requiring tax increases.
b.  Impact to schools — More crowding. More teachers. More tax increases.
c.  Police.  More police needed.
d.  Sewer system.  Increased demand. More costs.
e.  Traffic.  Increased congestion. Crowded stores.
f.   As unbelievable as this sounds, the City Council can’t tell us how much our taxes will increase.  In other words, an open-ended tax!!
g.  No reason to believe 5 story buildings will stimulate development.  On the other hand, what will be torn down and how many good paying jobs lost?

Kenn Kullberg

Developer tax break for sake of adding growth is unwanted

To the Editor:
Numbers don’t lie. Our tax burden will increase because of a tax break to the developer of the 9.4-acre county shop site. This developer doesn’t need a tax credit. They will buy and build what they want, tax credit or not. They do not need a tax break.
At the same time, your standard of living and buying power will erode. Why would anyone allow that to happen? To provide housing is the role of Snohomish City Hall? If you can’t afford to live here, move and your life will be better. Do we really want more people living in Snohomish ?
The city council, planning director, building permit department and mayor will give the “green light,”
imposing a future tax burden on our people.
My point is simple: We will pay the price, should a tax credit be granted.
Snohomish is beginning to lose its charm and culture and identity. Hello five stories high.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Letters to the editor published in the Sept. 7 Tribune:

Possibilities can’t be ignored

To the Editor:
Regarding recent Tribune articles on MFTE Midtown District impacts:
In County Assessor’s scenario #2, she estimated what the impact would be for one year if 1,485 dwelling units (du’s) were built in the 102-acre Midtown District.  She calculated $344 for a city residence valued at $468,700 (or $688 for a residence valued at $937,400).  A rural Snohomish residence would see an impact of $230 and $460, respectively.
But here’s the rub:
The city planning director and Councilwoman Karen Guzak refuse to accept the Assessor’s scenario #2.  The planning director says “it is impossible to estimate” while Guzak calls the Assessor’s estimate “pure fantasy.”
Here are the facts:
Midtown has a minimum of 16 du’s/acre and a maximum of 165 du’s/acre, per International Building Code.
Mill Creek’s recent 60-acre East Gateway special zone on 132nd St. SE is a good comparable to Snohomish’s recent Midtown District rezone.  There are two completed developments involving 5-story midrises: The “Vintage” at 220 du’s on 1.66 acres and “The Farm” at 355 du’s on 2.7 acres or an average of 132 du’s/acre.
Taking just the 9.4 acre county shop site and the 10-acre Snohomish Square plaza could yield a likely 2,560 du’s, not even counting the capacity in the remaining 82 acres.
Mill Creek does not have an MFTE tax exemption, nor should the small town of Snohomish.
Snohomish and other small towns don’t have a large tax base like Everett, which has Boeing to spread the MFTE tax burden.

Morgan Davis

Beyond tax break, look wider

To the Editor:
The Snohomish City Council’s discussion of how to best attract more affordable housing in our town is an excellent question. The affordable housing crisis is rampant in our country, including members of the military who are facing challenge to find housing they can afford.
Time to try something new? Beyond just developer tax breaks, how about looking to Hosing Hope, Habitat for Humanity, or even Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus’ social business model? Nationally our Representatives DelBene and Larsen along with Senators Cantwell and Murray have been championing tax fairness via the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), lifting millions out of poverty and helping families pay rent and buy food. Sadly, this ladder out of poverty wasn’t renewed, yet. We can thank them for their work, ask they double their efforts to renew the CTC and why not a renters’ tax credit modeled on the same principles as the CTC? Meanwhile, locally, call on the City Council members to think outside the box to create more affordable housing locally.

Willie Dickerson

No letters to the editor published in the Aug. 31 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 24 Tribune:

Emergency Center story important for spreading word

To the Editor:
Thank you so much for your coverage by Adam Worcester of the Echo Lake Community Emergency Operations Center open house (“Echo Lake residents bolster their emergency services,” Aug. 17 Tribune) in conjunction with our Block Party & Artisan Market on Sunday, Aug. 14.  It is a well-written article that emphasizes our need to build trust with neighbors in a rural Snohomish County community, where there have been limited opportunities to connect with one another.  His coverage was important as we help spread the word among residents in our small community. 
Thank you for this article!

Rena Connell

Thank you volunteers

To the Editor:
We would like to express our appreciation for the Aquafest Committee and all they do to host Lake Stevens’ largest community event.
The festival attracts 20,000 to 30,000 people to our city, and this year was particularly special because it was Aquafest’s 60th anniversary and their first festival back since the pandemic began.
We are also grateful for the community’s support of this time-honored summer celebration. It just shows how great a place Lake Stevens is to live, work, and play.
Thank you again for all your support — and see you again next year!

Mayor Brett Gailey and City Council President Steve Ewing
Lake Stevens

No letters to the editor published in the Aug. 17 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 10 Tribune:

Aug. 16 meeting to yield critical info

To the Editor:
Real estate property owners within the city of Snohomish, school district #201, and Fire District 4 should be aware of a very important August 16th Snohomish City Council meeting.
The council has been asked by city staff and Snohomish County to pass a tax exemption ordinance for the city’s new Midtown District to encourage developers to build 5-story multi-family condo or apartment buildings.  If passed, individual taxpayers will see a yearly increase of hundreds to thousands of dollars.
City staff as well as councilwoman Karen Guzak claimed the exemption would amount to only a few dollars a year.  (See minutes to the July 5th council meeting.)
Thankfully, 5 council members tabled the city staff request until Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle makes a presentation on the MFTE exemption during the August 16th meeting.
Ms. Hjelle, an elected official who answers to the voters, not Snohomish County, will give an unbiased estimate and examples of the real impact from the MFTE in the 102-acre Midtown District.
She will use an average residential value of $468,700 in her example to calculate the tax increases, so every homeowner can calculate their own personal increase.  For example, a home valued at $937,400 would see a tax increase double that of the $468,700 home in her example.
Yes, this is a strange case where the city council can pass a tax increase upon residents living outside the city in Snohomish School District #201 and Fire District 4.  Call it “taxation without representation.”

Morgan Davis

More mountain bike trails please

To the Editor:
I like hiking and biking in Lord Hill Park.  I think they should put in more single track trails with jumps for bikes.

Maximilian Mroczkowski
Snohomish, age 10

Mountain bike jumps are fun

To the Editor:
I would like to write to you about Lord Hill Park.  
I live three-fourths of a mile away and enjoy hiking on the trails and riding my bike over the jumps. I heard that the city was going to add trails and redesign intersections.  If it is possible, I would like to ask for more jumps and horse trails.

Aleksander Mroczkowski
Snohomish, age 12

Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 3 Tribune:

Council did not renounce personal attack in store’s sign

To the Editor:
The Snohomish council and the sitting mayor passed a resolution against hate of any form some time back.  Yet this council remains absolutely silent “Remember when the left said silence is acceptance” when ex-mayor John Kartak was smeared with a hateful vulgar language filled banner size window display at a downtown Snohomish business just a few weeks ago that went locally viral on social media. 
Shame on this council and this mayor for not condemning and renouncing such hate toward a Snohomish citizen. That hate-filled vitriol sign stated, “we stand with the mayor and council.”
Does this mayor and council stand with the business?
It is a free country, this is America, people have the right to be offended as well, to offend.  The hypocrites sitting in those elected seats stay silent, why?  I would have expected more from the junior members of this council to speak out. Yes, John is my friend and he can defend himself, I am just pointing out the hypocrisy sitting in those elected seats.  Some may call it evil, I call it politics, maybe they are one in the same.

John Lorenz
Formerly of Snohomish
Bradenton, Florida

Fossil fuels can’t be completely nixed

To the Editor:
I hear people saying we need to get rid of fossil fuels (oil, coal natural gas).
I don’t think people realize what they are suggesting!!
For example, oil gives us gas, diesel, jet fuel and 6,000 other products we use every day such as plastics, two-thirds of our clothes (synthetics), asphalt for roads, roofing, pipe, toiletries, medicines, paint, tires, etc. Oil has truly made our lives better and healthier.
  If we get rid of gas-powered cars and go to electric, we still need to charge them (80% of all electricity coming from fossil fuels).
So, when we have rid ourselves of fossil fuels and gone to solar and wind, what do you do if it is night (no solar) and the wind isn’t blowing or only gently??  Where do you get power?  Batteries?  For whole cities?
Also, without fossil fuels we then don’t have diesel for trucks, trains, boats, construction equipment, etc.
Show me how getting rid of fossil fuels and maybe lowering CO2 when CO2 is only .04% of the earth’s atmosphere and humans only produce 3.8% of this... and this will somehow save civilization?! Then I will show how eliminating fossil fuels will send us back a hundred years in time.  There is a good reason why we moved beyond undependable solar and wind to fossil fuels as our primary energy source.  
Our next energy move is nuclear.  We have it, but new innovations make it cleaner, safer and more efficient than ever with no CO2 !

Ron Tunnell

No letters to the editor published in the July 27 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the July 20 Tribune:

U.S. HOUSE RACE - 1st Congressional District
Cavaleri’s integrity and goals merit vote

To the Editor:
In the past two or three months I have had the opportunity to hear Mill Creek City Councilman Vincent Cavaleri speak about his life, his professional work and experiences, and hopes for the future of our community, our state, and our country.  He has taken the oath of office to defend and protect our Constitution several times and for him it is a way of life.
Vincent Cavaleri is a man of courage, conviction, and integrity who works to serve others and not to line his own pockets or advance for power or prestige.  He is a candidate who as a representative of our community, who if elected to the U. S. House of Representatives will be working for the good of all whom he represents.  Articulate and respectful, he focuses on the needs of real people in his District and State. 
As a Sheriff’s deputy he serves all in many capacities.  Not only do I respect Vincent Cavaleri, but also I have come to trust him as a man of his word who will do as he promises with candor and conviction.
I encourage others to go hear him speak, investigate his track record as public servant, and vote him into Congress on August 2nd – just a few weeks away.

Nancy Johnson

Letters to the editor published in the July 13 Tribune:


Repurpose gazebo site into pocket park

To the Editor:

The Tribune’s article on the gazebo (June 29 edition) has called me to finish this letter I’ve started several times.  I can understand why my proposal to spend the year writing goodbye messages all over the “venerable” Gazebo and safely burn it on the Winter Solstice, trees, and all, and start over with a blank site overlooking the river was not warmly received.  
What struck me as new with this ongoing story is council members’ concern for the trees. As president of the Snohomish Historical Society in 2008, I met with the then-city planner for his opinion about the historicalness of the Gazebo and its surroundings — even the trees were not worth saving as I remember the conversation.
The idea was to build a replica of the Ferguson Cottage, which was then developed, including drawings (,  for the proposal submitted in January 2021. Thanks to city staff member Brennan Collins who copied my drawings for the Park & Recreation Board members; otherwise, not a boo! 
So it’s offered here for discussion, where ink is still pressed into paper, beginning with a question: when will a “Avenue A Heritage Pocket-Park” join the class with the Carnegie Library Building restoration?

Warner Blake

Proposed incentive has dual benefits

To the Editor:
I write in support of Snohomish providing a tax deferment for developers undertaking residential and commercial projects in the Midtown District.  
First, one critic stated the City of Snohomish property tax payers are going to pay unfair and exorbitant increases in their taxes because developers are being given a tax deferment.  Taxes don’t work this way.  The county, not the city, assesses taxes based on fair market value of the property.  A fraction of these taxes are then returned to the city.  Snohomish residents have probably paid more in taxes because of our limited housing supply and higher resulting property values.  Further, the growth of the county budget due to growth in the region outweighs the impact of decisions made in the city of Snohomish.
Second, Snohomish’s resident population over the age of 65 is twice the rate of Monroe or Lake Stevens, and approximately 30% higher than Everett or Marysville.  We seem to have aged into a regional Sun City, without the sun.  That is not to say senior Snohomish residents should leave; it is to say there is serious affordable housing scarcity for younger folks and families wanting to move to Snohomish.  
Finally, about 5 years ago, former City Administrator Steve Schuller told us Snohomish would be well served by expanding affordable housing within the city limits.  Steve said much of the city budget is fixed.  Spreading city costs over more residences would relieve the city’s dependence on sales taxes.  

Jan Lengenfelder

Letters to the editor published in the July 6 Tribune:

Who benefits from possible tax exemption

To the Editor:
The only person that will benefit from a tax exemption, will be Skotdal, who will buy the Midtown 9 acres. The City Council, is willing to “give - up” tax revenue, in exchange for Skotdal suppling housing in Snohomish. Who do you think will make up for the lost revenue? You and me. Does the City really owe people a place to live? Do the people living in town, want denser housing? No. Do we want to become another Lake Stevens? How about another Marysville?
This tax break could last 12 years. During that same time, our people will be subject to 3 school levies. Property tax increase during that same 12 years. And of course inflation comes into your lives. Even if Skotdal does not get this tax “hall pass”, he will go ahead and build a 5 story square box any how. So why give him a break? When was the last time you were taxed exempt?

Bruce A. Ferguson

Letters to the editor published in the June 29 Tribune:

Article missed whole possible tax impact

To the Editor:
Regarding the Midtown tax exemption coming up for approval by Snohomish city council on July 5th:
The council created the 102-acre Midtown District in April to allow 5-story apartments. As if these weren’t sufficient incentives for developers, the planning director wants to accelerate the new construction of apartments by offering developers another incentive — an exemption of property taxes — amounting to an average $3,000 yearly for each unit they construct, according to estimates from the Assessor. 
The June 22nd Tribune article mentioned the minimum number of dwelling units per acre is 16. Missing, though, is the maximum number of units per acre, which is 165 per a statement made to Snohomish City Council by the Everett Planning Director. So theoretically, if all 102 acres become fully developed into 5-story multi-family apartments and at 2.5 persons per apartment, that equals a population of 42,075 in Midtown. Developer savings total $50.49 million per year and for twelve years, a total of $605.88 million would be added to their profits, costing the average taxpayer over the 12 year period over $203,179 that they otherwise wouldn’t have to pay if there were no exemption.
Yes, this is an extreme example.
However, the county-owned 9-acre site and Skotdal’s Snohomish Square are likely to be quickly developed to the maximum number of units in the next few years.
From Assessor estimates with maximum development at the county site, it would cost the average household an extra $2,148 per year that they wouldn’t have to pay if there were no MFTE.

Morgan Davis

Exemption would put big tax burden on today’s residents

To the Editor:
Property owners of the city of Snohomish are in for a huge property tax hike if the Snohomish City Council goes ahead and authorizes amending Snohomish Municipal Code 350 (SMC 3.50) to include the Multi-Family-Tax-Exemption (MFTE) for developers in the currently County owned nine acre Midtown District at Avenue D and 13th Street. With the unlimited zoning density being considered for the site there could be a maximum of 165 dwelling units per acre in 5-story, wood-framed buildings when fully developed.
Conceivably then, the County’s nine acres could have 1,485 (165 x 9) dwelling units.
Without the Multi-Family-Tax-Exemption, the owners of the developed 9 acres would have to pay $4.455 million (1,485 units times $3,000/unit) per year to the various local taxing districts including Snohomish School District #201.
With the MFTE, the owner/developers could save $4.455 million per year in property taxes.
Non-exempt property taxpayers, in total, could have to pay an extra $4.45 million per year for 8 or 12 years. With 3,000 property tax accounts in the city, the average extra annual tax burden per property owner amounts to a whopping $1,485.
This proposed MFTE program in Midtown is a “Stealth Tax” on the average city homeowner.
Please, Speak Out Snohomish, at the July 5, 2022 Zoom Snohomish City Council meeting.
Urge your Snohomish City Council members and Mayor to reverse their decision and vote to reject the proposed ordinance amending, SMC 3.50.

David Clay

Letters to the editor published in the June 22 Tribune:

Defining freedom

To the Editor:
Regarding Hailey Keller’s letter (June 1 Tribune) suggesting a government health mandates are an infringement on her religious freedoms: Not so.
One has the freedom to chose between doing the right thing for the greater good of the community, or refuse and live with the consequences. The choice was hers. Surely the outcome was God’s will.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

No letters to the editor published in the June 15 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the June 8 Tribune:


Migrants could solve ag labor shortage

To the Editor:
Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants are entering the United States each month crossing the southern border. They could conceivably help alleviate the agricultural labor shortage but they haven’t. In order to enter the job force, they need to have a social security card, a green card, or other papers. It may take years before they are provided with the necessary documents that will enable them to seek employment or start a business. They may have entered the land of opportunity but for now, the opportunity is not available to them.

Dan Bartelheimer

Gun violence should be our wake-up call

To the Editor:

Listening to some of the comments from our Congressman as they debate gun violence, I am compelled to respond. Yes, it has always been young men usually between the ages of 18-23 for decades, which sociologists and criminologists continually remind us of. I am in the mental health field, this is not a mental health issue. It is our culture. It is about excluded, unfocused, uncared for individuals with needs that aren’t being met.
  If it isn’t clear now that we need Comprehensive Health care for all – to include preventive care, diagnosis and treatment, with no lifetime caps; mental health and substance abuse treatment of all kinds, etc. it never will be. People in pain – of all types – are having to beg for assistance.
The gun issue should also be a no brainer. Ban assault weapons. We are an appalling embarrassment to each other and the rest of the world. Stop with all the exceptionalism crap and start providing for Americans. Stop with the crap about “access” to this or that – which is code for you must be able to pay for it. Average Americans spend a fortune on military spending and a multitude of state and local taxes – not that far from what other industrialized nations spend if you total it all up. Stop starving your own people. Keep US safe from assault weapons. Provide for a basic level of human need.
Providing comprehensive health care (not access) but health care - would move us in the direction of racial parity, and less of the “Somebodies and Nobodies” model we continue to reinforce.

Christine Wakefield Nichols

Letters to the editor published in the June 1 Tribune:

Freedoms are still being impeded

To the Editor:
Abortion controversies rise, the war rages in Ukraine, and inflation hits Americans hard, have we forgotten about COVID?
COVID policies and mandates continue to shape the world as we know it. Yet, many of those policies are damaging communities, destroying lives, and violating human rights. For example, vaccine mandates. According to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. As an American, this is not just about mandates, this is about freedom.
Currently in Washington state, hundreds of government workers are unemployed because COVID vaccine mandates have not allowed accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs. The government has forced them to receive a vaccine or lose their jobs. These people include firefighters, policemen, and transportation workers, all people who strive to serve and protect the community around them every day. Without them, where would we be? As their sincerely held religious beliefs are being challenged, they are standing up, for Freedom: freedom of religion, freedom of choice, and freedom to work. I’m urging the people, don’t let a virus dictate your freedoms and your rights. Stand up for your firefighters and your police, because they stand up for you, each and every day.

Hailey Keller

Consolidate and pursue 9-acre land

To the Editor:
The city council created a new Public Works Director position and has approved a feasibility study of city facilities.
I hope the new director takes a fresh and objective look at all city facilities with the idea of consolidation and selling-off redundant properties.
Here are some examples:
Move the city shop from First Street to the city-owned acreage on Three Lakes Road next to NEPA Pallet. This idea was proposed by Councilwoman Guzak earlier this year. The First Street shop site in 2016 was slated in the Parks Master Plan to become a neighborhood park for residents living west of Avenue D.  
The city should simply purchase the county-owned 9 acres between Bonneville Avenue and Avenue D and partner with the county and nonprofits to develop a portion of the 9 acres for low-income housing. The remaining acreage could become a central campus for city offices, including the police department and possibly returning the Sheriff’s Office East Precinct back to Snohomish.
The city should get out of the landlord business and sell its S.V. Greso building and former Visitor’s Center at First and D, and a portion of its 10 acres (including the single-family rental home) at 2001 Ludwig Rd., and its building at 3rd and Maple.
Selling-off the city’s rental and surplus properties to the private sector not only brings in a large, immediate infusion of cash, but creates a permanent revenue stream of sales tax proceeds and lessens the burden on homeowners and renters with lower property taxes.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor published in the May 25 Tribune:

Our voice for democracy

To the Editor:
As election season begins at all levels with filing, it is a great time to ask candidates questions that matter to you and America’s future. (“Candidate Filling Week is this week,” May 18 Tribune).
Climate change, health care, the housing crisis, child care, and tax fairness are all issues of equity. Rep. DelBene has been a champion of these issues. Local candidates are influential as well in passing initiatives that address these problems. So find out what candidates think, give them your opinions, and follow up with voting, and holding them accountable after the elections. Our voices strengthen our democracy and can help move America to fulfill its promise for everyone.

Willie Dickerson

No letters to the editor in the May 18 Tribune.

Letters to the editor published in the May 11 Tribune:

Your votes led to these policies

To the Editor:
In response to the letter asking to cease Property Tax Exemptions (April 27 Tribune): Elections have consequences, and those consequences are now seated in the City Council and a mayor who is ineffective.
You get what you vote for.

John Lorenz
Bradenton, Florida
Recently of Snohomish

No letters to the editor in the May 4 Tribune.

Letters to the editor published in the April 27 Tribune:


Cease giving them to developers

To the Editor:
Red Alert to property taxpayers within the boundaries of Snohomish School District 201.
A few years ago, the Snohomish City Council exempted property taxes on the new construction of multi-family dwelling units in the Pilchuck District.
Now the new council is looking at expanding the SMC 3.50 exemptions to the newly created Midtown District to incentivize developers to build more multi-family units. Additionally, the council discussed changing the building height limits in the Midtown District; currently, the limits are 4 and 5 stories, without any affordable housing incentives.
Property taxes are budget-based, meaning the taxing districts (schools, fire, library, city, etc.) get their budgeted amount of revenue no matter what — whether or not the number of individual taxpayers’ valuations go up or down. So the more taxes exempted, the more which non-exempt taxpayers have to pay so the taxing districts can get their budgeted amount of revenue.
It is blatantly unfair for all of us Snohomish area property taxpayers to subsidize for-profit developers by covering their share of property taxes. Rich developers are always looking for more “freebies” and a “free lunch” from the government.
Snohomish is not a blighted city needing tax exemptions for revitalization. 
Everyone in the city should play by the same rules on a level playing field.
The Snohomish City Council should put an end to corporate welfare by eliminating SMC 3.50 and certainly not expand it to the Midtown District.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor published in the April 20 Tribune:


Try the mean streets

To the Editor:
Regarding the Upset Lord Hill Park Mountain Bikers:
Bring your bicycles to Everett and the Interurban Trail. Meet death by automobile. I used to get hit by a car every 600 miles. Try the bike lanes west of Everett on Mukilteo Boulevard. You’ll burn up your brakes in 40 days. No mud but a few broken bottles and uncontrolled dogs. If you are a real freak you could get arrested by the police. You could get mooned by teenagers in a hotrod or have to ride around a bum laying on the trail. I’m not a daily rider. Two junior high girls beat me up a hill — they were jogging.

Guy F. Boehner

Appreciation that DelBene has ear to global health needs

To the Editor:
Meeting with Rep. Suzan DelBene recently on Zoom reminded me of the power citizens have to speak to those who govern us.
Congresswoman DelBene and I have been meeting since she was elected 10 years ago, working together on issues of hunger, poverty, housing, global health, and the oppression that surrounds these issues. This time we were talking about the new pandemic and the ones that still kill at least
2 million people a year: AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. I am grateful the President pledged $2 billion a year for the next three years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, with the Congresswoman’s full support. With any disease only a plane flight away, the Global Fund’s work with middle and low income countries strengthens their health care systems, which in turn protects us locally. We also spoke of her work to renew the Child Tax Credit and creating more affordable housing. A champion of the Child Tax Credit, she was instrumental in it being included in the early COVID relief package. This tax fairness initiative lifted 3.7 million children out of poverty and helps families to afford both food and rent. Her efforts to renew this ladder out of poverty continue, and even include lobbying in the Senate to make sure families once again have this relief. So thanks for listening and all of your hard work to benefit families, Congresswoman, your efforts and willingness to listen to constituents are appreciated.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor published in the April 13 Tribune:

Vote “Yes” to move for annexation

To the Editor:
On behalf of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1828, I am writing to express our strong support for the City of Mill Creek’s Proposition Number 1, aka annexation into South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue RFA on the April 26, 2022 Special Election ballot.
The union, city and fire authority have worked together in a remarkably collaborative and transparent fashion to secure the highest quality and lowest-cost option for long-term fire and EMS services to Mill Creek citizens while ensuring no loss of jobs to the current provider.
Local 1828 is proud of the relationships we share with our communities and partners throughout Snohomish County. Through the recent pandemic, our members have served around the clock with compassion and drive to ensure the emergency needs of our citizens were not only met but exceeded.
We look forward to serving the citizens of Mill Creek and urge residents to vote “YES” on the upcoming ballot.

Tim Hoover
President, IAFF Local 1828
South County Union Fire Fighters

No letters to the editor published in the March 23, March 30 or April 6 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the March 16 Tribune:

Writer: Appointment is without integrity

To the Editor:
The explanation of Mayor Linda Redmon on the dismissal of City Administrator Steve Schuller (March 9 Tribune story) is a slap in the face to integrity, honesty and the taxpaying citizens of Snohomish. The appointment is payback, plain and simple. Her pick Heather Thomas is not qualified as she has never held a city executive position of this type and will be doing the bidding of this council. What a sham this council is. The first thing they’ve done is based on deception and lies to fire Steve Schuller and put in place, in my opinion, an unqualified person.  Good luck Snohomish.

John Lorenz


Losing Mill Creek contract money will not harm service

To the Editor:
Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue (SRFR) serves 180,655 residents in the cities of Lake Stevens, Monroe, and unincorporated southeast Snohomish County. It also provides emergency services to the city of Mill Creek on a contract basis through 2022.
SRFR’s contract with Mill Creek will expire at the end of the year. The contract was not renewed because our agency felt strongly that our residents do not subsidize fire and EMS service for the City.
Loss of the Mill Creek contract will not impact the quality or level of emergency services you receive. SRFR is financially sound and can weather the revenue loss.
In fact, we’re hiring firefighters and paramedics to respond to higher call volumes, adding two deputy fire marshals and a medical services officer, improving firefighter training programs, and completing fire station projects district wide.
We have an excellent working relationship with South County Fire, which is the agency that will serve city residents. SRFR and South County Fire already respond to emergency calls together as part of a cooperative agreement that the closest unit responds.
SRFR is an exceptional organization providing the highest level of care for residents. Our cardiac save rate is twice the national average. In addition to fire and EMS, we’re in local schools teaching fire and life safety, offer safety classes for seniors and children, as well as teach CPR, First Aid, and fire extinguisher use.
This is possible because of your personal and financial support — and we are grateful. Please reach out if we can ever be of service.

Kevin O’Brien
Fire Chief of Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue
Headquarters in Monroe

Letters to the editor published in the March 9 Tribune:

Act will erode city’s small-town feel

To the Editor:
Brian Mills’ letter (Feb. 23 Tribune) was “spot-on.”
The Snohomish City Council is allowing our city, and our culture, to disappear. With their approval, we will have a tortuous square box, 5 stories high.
But of course, most members now on the council have no vested interest in our town (except for one). They are new to Snohomish (except for one). This council will continue their “hypocrisy.” If this type and size of construction were to take place in their neighborhood, they would vote no. They do not understand, ALL of Snohomish is our neighborhood.
Anything said to voice our opinion, will be as pointless as teaching a horse to play tennis. Who we are is what we leave behind.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Denser development restores affordability as city grows

To the Editor:
Thank you to Snohomish Mayor Redmon and City Council for their acceptance of a citizens’ committee planning product which details design guidance for the vacant parcel on Avenue D. Once developed, this Snohomish project will provide additional housing and retail space in a district now dominated by aging strip malls, banks, gas stations, and fast food providers. 
Some bemoan the change this development will bring to Snohomish.  Let’s talk about that. 
When I was looking for a home in 1984, Snohomish’s population was 5500.  Snohomish was larger than Monroe, Lake Stevens, or Marysville.
Snohomish homes were generally small, slightly decrepit, but cute, and very affordable.  The five historic churches were a plus.  I was pleased the Fire Department was a half block away.  I bought, I moved, I discovered the cows in the valley mooed early, the sawmill worked late, the (volunteer) Fire Department siren sounded at all hours, church bells rang loudly and predictably. 
Nearly 40 years later, cows and sawmill are gone, churches silent, the SFD moved. Snohomish is now 10,000 residents. Two bedroom one bath fixer homes sell for $500K.  But I can still walk the circumference of the core city.  Neighbors still smile and chat.  By contrast, look at Monroe (pop 21,000), Lake Stevens (37,000), and Marysville (72,000).  Snohomish’s growth has been modest and well managed, but over decades the stock of affordable homes has evaporated, and business opportunities have tightened.  The proposed development will provide much needed opportunities for new neighbors. Let’s welcome that change.

Jan Lengenfelder


No question why

To the Editor:
It’s no surprise this year’s attempt to extend a school levy failed in Monroe.  8 years of kicking the can down the road regarding a toxic building cost them millions of dollars. Claiming it’s all good because insurance will cover the cost only amplifies what really happened.
And then there is the air of indifference with multiple acts of violence and racism at our schools. A problem that continued because the solution did not include people that have the cultural experience to help define what it looks and feels like and who then offer solutions
The school board then threatened to defund programs for special needs students if the levy didn’t pass.  You ask me, the special needs students should be on top of your list to fund, not the last thought. 
No wonder the levy failed. Try again after you get your house in order.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Social media claims aim to dunk mayor

To the Editor:
Snohomish’s former mayor John Kartak has taken to social media and the press making ill-timed accusations to disrupt Linda Redmon’s newly established city administration. A friend once said to me; “When you hear something untrue, respond. If you let it go, it is as if it is true.”  I am taking her advice.
In this situation, the truth is simple. January 1, 2022 the City of Snohomish became a government in transition.  As it was in transition on January 1, 2017.  The truth is former mayor Kartak, as one of his first decisions, decided not to retain City Manager Larry Bauman. The truth also is that the newly elected mayor Linda Redmon has chosen not to retain Steve Schuller as City Administrator.  This is a typical occurrence when elected administrations change hands under the strong mayor format.  Another truth is that elections do have consequences. The City of Snohomish elected to revert to a “Strong Mayor” format.  This allows the “Strong Mayor” independent control of city hiring and firing. Prior to that, hiring of the City Manager would have been done by the Council. 
A democratically elected government is always in transition.  I encourage residents to dial into the City Council’s bimonthly public meetings or download the recordings for listening at any time. Do not expect to get unbiased truth from Facebook.

Carol Meagher

Russia did not release POWs fairly

To the Editor:
What’s your name? “Putin Tain! Ask me again and I’ll tell you the same.” An old rhyme for a new Russian menace.
The Romans never got north of France. The French (Napoleon) and Adolf Hitler (Germany) attacked Russia. They were turned back by the far north winter more than anything.
In World War II, the USSR didn’t release prisoners of war. When a war ends, P.O.W.s get to go home. Russia kept captured German soldiers years more. They claimed they were war criminals. The Soviets captured 70,000 Nazi 6th Army troops at Stalingrad. Only 5,000 made it back to Germany years after the war.
Biden is sending Americans there.

Guy F. Boehner

Thank you for funding health initiatives

To the Editor:
As the pandemic seemingly winds down and we look forward to masks coming off, I would like to thank Reps. Larsen and DelBene for their work to end this pandemic and prevent the same kind of off guard experience in the future. Their work includes supporting local health districts, governments, and relief for all in the form of legislation passed by Congress, including the Child Tax Credit that benefitted 90% of American families. They both voted to extend this ladder out of poverty by passing the recent Build Back Better Act, which sadly stalled in the Senate. And for the future? Both signed a letter to President Biden calling for a bold pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. The Global Fund has a proven track record: working with middle and low income countries to save 44 million lives in the last 20 years. During the pandemic, the Global Fund has been on the front line with these same countries. In all of this work, the Global Fund is strengthening local health care systems that are critical to battling pandemics, old and new. Without continued efforts of partner countries and the Global Fund, variants will continue to come back, threatening us locally. No wonder President Biden will host the replenishment conference for the Global Fund later this year in America. So thanks for all the hard work, Reps. Larsen and DelBene, know you will continue to your much appreciated efforts to create a better and safer state, country, and world.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor published in the March 2 Tribune:


Don't give them out

To the Editor:

Snohomish city government is awash with money. It hands over money left and right to its managers and for dubious projects, freely giving favors and tax breaks to private developers, but neglects its neediest residents.
For example, recent promotions of the City Clerk and Economic Development Manager have cost taxpayers over $40,000 just for the year 2022.
The council on Feb. 1st gave for-profit developers what they wanted — allowing 5-story multi-family high-rises in the historic, mid-20th Century heart of the city by creating the Midtown zone.
Next on the council’s agenda: giving property tax exemptions to developers in the newly created Midtown zone.  As if raising the city’s building height limit from 3-stories to 5-stories wasn’t enough incentive for developers, it is considering property tax exemptions for developers like Craig Skotdal who is on record for wanting the exemption so he can redevelop his Snohomish Square property (which now includes the one-story Haggen’s grocery store) into market-rate, 5-story, multi-family apartments or condos.
Giving property tax breaks to low-income but property-rich seniors is one thing.  But allowing huge property tax exemptions for high-income/high-net worth developers at the expense of all of us non-exempt taxpayers is simply un-American.  Why should hard-working homeowners and renters subsidize for-profit developers with corporate welfare?
The city council should scrap the tax breaks scheme for developers because “trickle down” economics has been proven to be a failure.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor published in the February 23 Tribune:


Wrong move to approve tall heights for Avenue D stretch

To the Editor:

The Snohomish City Council has driven another nail into the coffin of small town values. And it exposes their hypocrisy, and their agenda.
Many, if not all, of the current council members espouse on the importance of preserving the historic shape and feel of our community, but then turn right around and approve the construction of five-story high density “affordable” housing.
Ask council members why they moved to Snohomish and you get answers like “I love the single family neighborhoods” and “It’s so warm and close and friendly.” I wonder how long that concept will last?  Apparently the council feels that it is our duty as a community to single handedly fix the housing shortage issue that plagues our county, region and state. But wait, experts recently presented the council with information and data that shows that the steps being taken, in many communities, are not working.  And that simply building more apartments does not solve the problem. Yet, that is what Snohomish is going to do.
This latest action is just one of many that will change the face and flavor of Snohomish forever.
The next nail is set, and the hammer is already raised, with the proposal for the elimination of all single family zoning, which will no doubt pass with the same unanimous vote as the last measure.
It’s sad to know that our town will no longer be our small home town.

Brian Mills

Letters to the editor published in the February 16 Tribune:


Result will benefit greater community

To the Editor:

A little transparency regarding the Midtown Project. Former Mayor Kartak picked citizens to form the Midtown Task Force and charged them with a recommendation to the city planning commission that they allow five-story mid-rise, multi-family buildings. The first meeting was in July 2020. People have had two years to voice their opinions. 
The appearance of the buildings was arrived at after much community input. The standards for appearance are strict and were created to offset impacts of height, specifically trying to avoid the types of development that people fear. My understanding is that the current development would be somewhat similar to the building Josh’s Taps and Caps is in, yet it would sit much lower, due to the land grade difference. It is positioned near public transportation, consolidates retail, adds homes and is going in an already heavily commercial area. Win!
The benefits I see are “more affordable” housing, businesses that provide jobs and taxes (both which support the city tax base to make street improvements). Eliminating or limiting businesses that do not provide jobs and pay low taxes is just good economics. It was approved unanimously.
People want the sidewalks and street and the city needs the tax revenue to make these happen. You can’t get blood out of a turnip. 
I invite the community to consider the facts and not get caught up in a “Us against them” mentality which won’t serve anyone and won’t help to house our next generation.

Marilene Richardson

Letters to the editor published in the February 9 Tribune:


Disunity felt during pandemic

To the Editor:
I am writing this letter because I am really finding it difficult living in this new reality of COVID with the mask and vaccine mandates and requirements. I feel that the government has no business making any decisions regarding medical decisions for individuals like the mandates I’ve seen for the last almost two years because every single individual has their own medical needs. But in the last almost 2 years that we’ve been dealing with the lockdowns, masking, and vaccine mandates, I’ve seen a complete breakdown in society as a whole. I’ve seen people turn against people they once befriended and its definitely caused more of a divide among people and the statistics in mental health, drug/alcohol addiction, etc. 
It’s like we’re supposed to be getting better with bridging the divide and equality but in the last two years we’ve been getting worse.

Elijah Edens

Letters to the editor published in the February 2 Tribune:

Feedback shows opposition to bikes

To the Editor:
The January 5th Tribune article about Lord Hill Regional Park reported that 700 people took a survey on how the park should be used, one tool the park planners use to determine the future of this park.
What wasn’t mentioned is that parks staff also received 107 emails. Ninety of those respondents supported to restore Lord Hill Regional Park to slow and safe with protections for the environment and wildlife. In May 2020, a petition of 1,000 signatures in opposition to high-speed mountain biking in the park was sent to Executive Somers, in response to mountain bikers building high-speed downhill trails, increasing bikers’ speeds. Some bikers do not adjust their speed on shared trails and harass other users. Many reports are documented concerning these encounters.
Because many of the survey questions were vague, some respondents may not have understood the impact that high-speed bike trails will have on safety in the park or may not be aware that the proposed Accessible Trail would bring all users through the equestrian lot where they would intersect with equestrians trying to enter the park. This proposed trail would include off-leash dogs running around the proposed fence to charge horses in the equestrian lot or on the trail. 
There have been three public meetings since 2017 on the future of Lord Hill Regional Park. There has been and continues to be strong support at those meetings for restoring the park to a place that is slow and safe for all users.

Kristin Kelly

Renewing levies gives schools needed funding to educate

To the Editor:
On February 8th, across Snohomish County, we will be deciding whether to renew our school levies.  The voters’ pamphlets and ballots have arrived.  There have been many articles and Letters to the Editor in multiple papers talking about the pros and cons of this issue.
  One of the main arguments against the renewal is that the state already pays enough for our children’s education.  In fact, it does not.  Unless you  think that sports or other after school activities are unimportant; or what about class size or enough nurses; not to mention technology, building maintenance or safety.  And I am sure I missed something.  All of these are funded by the levies and are critical necessities to ensure a quality, well rounded education for all students.   
In Snohomish, there will not even be a tax increase to make this happen.
  We have it in our power as members of communities, small and large, to ensure that all of the children get the best education possible.  In fact it is our responsibility to do so for the well being of our society.  Please vote yes for our kids! 

Barbara Rohe

Levies uphold quality education

To the Editor:
On Feb. 8, Snohomish residents can support the excellent educational opportunities of their children by voting for the renewal of two levies. The Educational Programs and Operations levy provides needed critical staff in the schools:  psychologists, nurses, custodians and security personnel. The Technology, Safety and Facility Improvement levy provides the support for continued advances in technology and additional safety and maintenance of the school buildings.
  These are not new taxes, but a continuation of revenue that provides an enriched educational program for our most valuable resources, our children. This comes at NO additional cost to the taxpayers of our district.
  As former teachers at Snohomish High School for many years, we can attest to the benefit of this financial support for the students of Snohomish School District. The money from these two levies makes up the 12% gap between what the state pays and what it actually costs to maintain safe and effective student learning as well as fund after school programs (including athletics, performing arts, clubs and other activities) that contribute to the well-being of our students. Our own children’s education in Snohomish was positively impacted by the strong support evidenced by voters who maintained these levies in the past.
  We know that many people move to this area because of the excellent reputation of our schools, and we want this to continue. Even residents who do not have students in school benefit from a school system with a rich and varied program.
  Please join us in voting YES for these two levies.
William and Patricia Bond

Levy letters which came later than deadline:

Vote no - it does not support core education

To the Editor:
Should these two "renewed" levies pass, your money will be spent not on the "basic needs" of students. If passed, students will be taught rug making, tap and ballet dancing and home canning. Students do not need their curriculum expanded again. They need the fundamentals of development, not some class teaching card tricks. Cut the fat.
Renewing these two levies, is an unnecessary burden on the taxpayers. Let's return to the core subjects. These "cores" will produce better educated people.
By voting no, this school district will tighten its belt. And that can be done in any district. If passed, you can go to First Street, and watch tap dancers. 

Bruce A. Ferguson

Expenses are exceeding inflation, and wasn't McCleary supposed to solve K-12 funding?

To the Editor:
Why February — it is the lowest voter turnout month of the year and the greatest chance to pass these levies!
We have repeatedly heard the arguments of why we need more money for schools.
"Schools are under funded." Not so. Current state school budget shows $17.5 billion(!) for the school year 2021-2022 — the highest ever with less students in public schools. That's about $16,000 / student — again, the highest ever! About 83% of public school spending goes to employee pay and benefits. Since 2015 to 2021 school employee salary and benefits have risen 29% while inflation is up only 18%.
Average teacher salary in Washington state is currently about $90,000/year with about $30,000 in additional benefits. Snohomish's median salary and benefits is currently $143,806 — up 21% in the last three years!
"But students are struggling and we need this to bring students up to standards." If more money increased student learning then the recent amounts and increases should be making learning soar it isn't.
Statewide 70% of students are unable to pass the math standards test — 53% failed English.
If both pass, it will be $38 million average or a total of $152 million for the four years (2023-2026). If you read the proposition the funding goes to daily operating expenses.
The McCleary decision was a means for the state to more heavily fund K-12 education. McCleary funded normal operating expenses so levies would not be increased for normal school operating expenses. All schools would be well-funded regardless of income levels.
I'm voting no on both levies — how about you?

Ron Tunnell

Letters to the editor published in the January 26 Tribune:


Uphold keeping Ave. D height limits

To the Editor:
The Snohomish City Council on Feb. 1st is scheduled to accept or reject its own Planning Commission’s recent recommendation to keep the building height limit at 35 feet or 3-stories in the city’s mid-20th Century historic Midtown area between 6th Street and 15th Street.
The Planning Commission on Jan. 5th endorsed the 35 feet height limit in order to preserve  Snohomish’s small town feel and character and to protect its quality of life--free from high-rise buildings creating a canyon effect­ — just like you now see on 132nd St. SE near the City of Mill Creek’s East Gateway (colloquially known as the Buffalo Corner).
However, former Mayor John Kartak’s hand-picked ad hoc “Midtown Task Force” recommended a 55 feet, 5-story height limit with property tax exemptions for developers — that would certainly increase the burden on all of us non-exempt property taxpayers.
Just think about it: The developers want to bring into the city hundreds of families with children, but they don’t want to contribute to the cost of educating those children­ — ­they want us non-exempt property taxpayers to foot the bill instead.
How unfair!
The city council should reject the Task Force’s recommendations and accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation of the 35 feet building height limit and reject the so-called “developer incentives.”

Morgan Davis

Levies give services students need

To the Editor:
As a retired educator living on a fixed income, I am very careful about keeping track of where my tax dollars go and, I am voting YES on the upcoming Snohomish School District replacement levies.
While the state is required to fund basic public education, unfortunately, it is not enough, and the reality of what these levy dollars fund is integral to the success, safety and well-being of our students and staff.
For example, the state funds 0.2 counselor for the entire district; levy dollars pay for another 10.1, which puts a desperately needed counselor in every building. Imagine having to tell a student needing help that they have to wait to see someone because it isn’t the counselor’s day in the building? Our students have had a very stressful time through this pandemic, but isn’t it our job, our responsibility to take care of our children?
Nurses are another good example of the disparity between the state funding and what the levy dollars purchase. The state funds 1.4 nurses for the entire district; the levy funds an additional 12.3, which, in these times of Covid, are essential.
My hope is that when your ballot arrives you don’t hesitate, you vote yes. Our kids need us to send a message that we support them, and want the best for them.

Terry Lippincott

Levy money keeps up quality schools

To the Editor:
What a great way to thank our teachers and school staffs for the good job facing the pandemic challenges: pass the February levy.
Of course, education benefits every member of the community, helping each of us get where we are today, and insure a bright future. We are grateful this current levy does NOT increase our taxes.
A quality education is the key to equity all over the world. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated and shined a light on these inequities in our country and around the world. A good education is the first step toward dealing with these current challenges. And in our democracy, voting is the way we promote positive steps toward change. So join me in voting to pass this critical school levy to continue our quality schools in preparing our students to meet and create a better future.

Willie Dickerson

Continuing levies retains staff

To the Editor:
Ballots are out for our February 8th special election. While we as a community continue to navigate the ongoing changes not just locally but nationally, it is important that we remember key partners in our community. The Snohomish School District is tasked with the education and safety of our children for the bulk of the year. Though there may be differences in opinions on specific ways that education happens, I believe that everyone in our community supports paying for the staff necessary to support our children and their futures.
On the ballot will be two levies that we as a community previously approved of and voted for that need to be renewed. These levies cover the 16% gap in what Washington state pays for and what is actually required to run our district. These two levies fill the funding gap to support our students’ learning and pay for 56 jobs within our school district. As an example to what that looks like, the state pays for 1.4 nurses for a district our size. Being a parent, I appreciate that the district funds an additional 10.9 nurses. This allows other staff to do their job while the nurse, who is trained in healthcare, can do theirs.
This levy is no new taxes but continued funds necessary for student success. With the passage of this renewal levy, Snohomish School District will continue to make a real difference in our community. I want to support quality education. Strong schools’ equal strong communities. Vote “YES”

Tabitha Baty

Letters to the editor published in the January 19 Tribune:

Support the levies

To the Editor:
Snohomish School District is seeking to renew two expiring levies, which were previously approved by voters, on February 8, 2022. This is not a new tax. The state does not adequately support basic needs. School levies make-up the difference between what Washington state pays for and what it actually costs to educate students in safe and secure schools. These two levies fill the 12% funding gap to support our students’ learning.
Voting YES on these two levies will keep in place needed revenue to support current school operations, provide financial stability for the school district at zero additional costs to the taxpayer.
These two levies are critical to our school district. The Educational Programs and Operations levy provides our schools with psychologists, nurses, custodians, and security. This levy also helps students to connect with athletics, performing arts, clubs, and other activities that help build stronger mental and academic success. The state does not pay for these activities.
Our Technology, Safety and Facility Improvement levy provides for a continuance of equitable technology access across the district, improve safety and helps maintains our aging building.
All of us, even those without children in district schools, benefit from a strong school system. We benefit when our community’s youth are well educated. We benefit when our school district is viewed as excellent and people want to live here.
I ask that you to join me in voting YES for these two levies on February 8th.
To find out more information go to Yes Snohomish Vote YES for Students

Sonia Siegel Vexler

Letters to the editor published in the January 12 Tribune:


Bigoted father does not represent true Monroe

To the Editor:
The recent flare up of racist acts at Monroe HS does not reflect the core values of our schools or community. It’s an example of bad parenting. We aren’t born with that trait. It’s learned through example. I hope the father and daughter have learned their lesson. He deserves his trip through the justice system.

R. Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Right the problem with new plaque

To the Editor:
In response to Candace Jarrett’s letter, “Carnegie Building Taking Credit where it is not due” (Jan. 5 Tribune):
I would not only like to echo Ms. Jarrett’s message, I would like to make the offer to personally pay for a replacement plaque to identify those individuals who worked for years, tirelessly, to make this happen. Melody Clemans, Cheryl and Danny Reynolds, Candace Jarrett, Renee Deierling are a few names . . . the list is long and distinguished, but the point is, the plaque should honor the hard work of those
who made this wonderful building updated and available to our community. It is a beautiful piece of history that has been saved for future generations to enjoy. Their work is diminished by having the names of opposition members identified instead. To whom shall I make out the check?

Elizabeth Durand

Letters to the editor published in the January 5 Tribune:


Taking credit where it is not due

To the Editor:
In his campaign for mayor, John Kartak took nearly complete credit for saving Snohomish’s oldest public building while never mentioning a single talented, hard-working city employee. Kartak could have admitted that he, Larry Countryman, Steve Dana, Bill Betten and others were completely wrong for fighting against the restoration of the Carnegie. They exaggerated costs and constantly promoted their belief that saving the money-sucking condemned annex eyesore trumped having a Veterans Memorial Park. 
It is simply untrue that it was Kartak’s vision and leadership that brought back our architectural treasure.  Thankfully, he ended his opposition, but any involvement was at the very end of a community undertaking that was successful only because of decades of tireless efforts by others. 
Melody Clemans, chair of the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation and a person who always acknowledges the work of others, is the real visionary here and yet her name is not on the dedication plaque in the Carnegie. Ironically, the men who tried to kill the transformation of a neglected building and grounds have their names prominently displayed.  One has even written that the restored building is useless and the Veterans Park should be a parking lot. It is a mystery why they allowed themselves to be honored for a project they so often attacked and ridiculed.

Candace Jarrett

Requesting two boxes be reoriented

To the Editor:
We contacted the Postmaster of Snohomish to ask them to return the drive-up mailboxes in the City of Snohomish back to how they formerly were orientated.
Recently the orientation of the drop slot of the U.S. mail drop box in the Snohomish Square shopping plaza and the one at Snohomish City Hall has been changed so that now a person wanting to deposit mail in the drop box can no longer deposit mail from the driver’s side of their vehicle.
This defeats the purpose of having a drive-up mail slot.
This re-orientation of the drive-up mail slot is now very inconvenient to U.S. Mail drive-up customers and not user friendly at all.
In order to use the drive-up mailbox now a driver has to now get out of their vehicle and walk around to the mailbox opening.
This forces U.S. Mail customers to use the lane that serves Key Bank ATM customers, park and get out of their vehicle in order to deposit their mail in the mail slot.
This current drop box orientation now inconveniences and impedes traffic that is in the lane to use the Key Bank ATM drive up.
Or, if a U.S. Mail customer wants to drive up on the other side where the mail slot used to be they have to get out of their vehicle and walk around to the where the mail slot is now.
Postmaster, please relocate this drop box mailbox back to the orientation that it was in.

David Clay

Letters to the editor published in the December 29 Tribune:

Play by the rules

To the Editor:
Regarding John Lorenz’s Dec. 22nd Tribune letter, “Do not dehumanize the unvaccinated”: Lorenz made the point “mind your own business” when it comes to vaccinations and mask wearing with respect to Covid-19.
I’d like to make a counterpoint: Ferndale’s state Sen. Doug Ericksen’s recent tragic death after a long battle with Covid-19, contracted in El Salvador, could have been prevented had he heeded the CDC’s warning against travel to El Salvador where levels of Covid-19 were “high”.
Ericksen was a former leader of Donald Trump’s campaign in Washington state and, like Lorenz, an outspoken critic of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Covid-19 emergency orders; even introducing legislation aimed at protecting the rights of people who do not wish to vaccinate or wear masks indoors in public places.
On Dec. 2nd, I had the misfortune of meeting Snohomish Mayor John Kartak not wearing a mask at the check-out line in a local grocery store. Everyone else in the store was wearing a mask.
It seems to me the Republican Party of today respects only laws, rules and regulations they like. Can you imagine a society where anyone can pick and choose the laws they are willing to obey? Or a football or basketball game without rules and referees?

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor published in the December 22 Tribune:


Snohomish Library offers people essential training

To the Editor:
I want to give a shout-out to the Sno-Isle Library, especially the staff at the Snohomish branch.
I have been going there for nearly four years, after having been in prison for almost 22 years, where there was no technology training available. I have learned so much about basic computer use, research, and resources from the staff at the Library, and they always acknowledged me with respect and a willingness to help me learn. They never treated me differently than anyone else and have always gone above and beyond expectations. Also, all of the staff have always made me feel welcome, and some even greet me by name when I arrive. Their help has been invaluable as I have had to learn to live in this digitized world that was all new to me when I was released. I needed to tackle so many situations to learn to use basic online accounts, cell phones, computers, and so many other things that most folks take for granted.

Cindy Boskofsky


Do not dehumanize the unvaccinated

To the Editor:
In a recent Herald opinion piece (Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021), the journalist makes a claim with no real science behind it, but states 770,000 people in the US have died of covid “which is true.” How many were fully vaccinated? In Washington state from February to November, 810 fully vaccinated, 241 partially and 3,178 non-vaccinated have died per WA DOH. That stated, CDC numbers show 770,000 out of 331 million in the U.S. population has died, that is 0.2416918429% “0.24%”, this leaves a 99.8% survival rate vaccinated or not. 
With any risk come individual decisions, as shows the CDC evidence of adverse reactions to these experimental jabs. THIS IS CDC data not mine. Do the research, educate yourself.  950,000 worldwide adverse effects have been reported from the jab, ranging from bell’s palsy to sudden death. 9,136 deaths in the U.S. alone “THIS YEAR”!
In WA State per Openvaers, 169 to date this year have died of the vaccine.  Why wouldn’t any logical thinking adult not make an educated decision for themselves, especially for their children?  Yes these numbers are alarming and can be skewed to match any narrative, but this demonization spouted by celebrities, news outlets such as this journalist’s opinion is similar to events some 80 years ago demonizing then exterminating 6 million.  Instead of believing a narrative, do the research; make your decision for you and your family.  In other words, mind your own business.

John Lorenz

No letters to the editor published in the Dec. 15 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the December 8 Tribune:


Finding joy through penpals

To the Editor:
The “new” normal is still a work in progress. Some people do not feel comfortable venturing out of their homes to resume normal activities. Restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, hair salons, retail stores are all open but there is still reluctance. Social media has instant access, phone calls are often brief if there isn’t anything new to say and TV is mostly reruns or bad news. The sense of loneliness and confinement we have all experienced over the past two years seems inescapable.
So what to do?
Letter writing! No, it is not a lost art or an old fashioned pastime. The best of interesting and interested correspondents that I have found is a publication called LEX – short for The Letter Exchange.
LEX is celebrating its 50th year. It is a melting pot of potential pen pals of all ages and interests. Some are simple requests for a birthday card exchange or postcard, others may trigger long term letter writing based on shared hobbies or experiences. Through LEX, I have penpals who go back 30 years! I count them as good friends.
You may find a new best friend, someone to confide in. There is joy in discovering an actual letter or card buried in the usual avalanche of junk mail. There is also a feeling of reciprocity knowing your reply will engender similar pleasure for the recipient of your mailing.
There are several pen pal services out there but LEX is the best I have found.

Leslie Seeche

Letters to the editor published in the December 1 Tribune:

Restoration of calm governance through latest turnover

To the Editor:
I can only assume better things in the future for Snohomish now that the Kartak- Countryman wrecking-crew have been removed. It’s already more appealing to visit Snohomish knowing that quiet professionals will now conduct the business of the people, for the right reasons, and with an air of grace and dignity. Any concerns about the election process in Snohomish County should be resolved. Well done, people.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Veterans has no apostrophe

To the Editor:
It has always been a pet peeve of mine to see how many ways people, businesses, schools, newspapers, etc. spell veterans. There is no (‘) before or after. It is simply veterans. I understand it does not follow the rule of grammar. When I was employed as a school secretary I saw veterans spelled different ways. I decided to call the office of veterans and learned the above information. Let’s all get on the same page and spell veterans correctly in our communications.

Carol Sack

Maintain kindness as we’re all together

To the Editor:
We live in challenging times. Foremost, we have this global pandemic. Many people have lost their lives, health or loved ones to this man-made virus; many more have lost jobs, homes, businesses, and peace-of-mind. Add that to the global-warming/weather crises and global pollution. All creatures, humans included, are in stress. Many species are gone or barely surviving. There is much to grieve.
I apologize on behalf of my generation to those who will inherit the messes we have made on this beautiful planet. The water, air and soil everywhere are poisoned. Many of us tried to turn things around in the ‘60s and ongoing. Sadly, profit precluded forethought, and still does.
To have any peace-of-mind, we cannot let the fear, perpetuated by the corporate-owned and controlled media, turn us against each other. We need, especially now, to stand together in compassion and support. We are one family of Earthlings, one Human race. With kindness and love for one another, we can get through this. We must embody a world that works for everyone.
Furthermore, let’s not keep giving away more of our freedom every time there’s a big ‘scary’ event. America has always stood for freedom and equality, liberty and justice for all, at least as an ideal, a goal. If ever we needed to support this goal, it’s here and now. We’re all in this together.

Jhanna Eggers

Letters to the editor published in the November 24 Tribune:


We must take responsibility in protecting our environment

To the Editor:
Many environmental laws and regulations have missed their objective of providing protection for the environment.  They are implemented to stop the damage caused by a few, but are also penalizing many more that have been doing the right thing.  Many find that they are precluded from doing the right thing because they don’t have or are not willing to forgo the time, money, and effort required to obtain the required permission or permits.  Environmental protective laws are written along with the penalties for violating them, but none of them instill or encourage responsible stewardship.  They attempt to stop us from doing the wrong thing but unintentionally, also stop us from doing the right thing.
Regardless of our title, ethnic, religious, or economic background, and for the sake of future generations, we all need to be responsible stewards.  By being a responsible steward, many of our environmental and social issues will be resolved.

Dan Bartelheimer
President, Snohomish County Farm Bureau

No letters to the editor in the November 10 or 17 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the November 3 Tribune:

Wrong approach to rezone park space for housing

To the Editor:
The city of Snohomish is proposing to build affordable housing on park property they own on 2000 Ludwig Rd. Usually, building new housing for lower income residences can be a good thing. But I believe this plan is a mistake, and the city is going the wrong way about it.
The Ludwig Road park property was purchased in 2013 using park impact fees. These are fees collected from new development to offset the environmental and quality of life effects that development has on society. Park impact fees are meant to bring a semblance of balance between public open space and private development, and in return, parks and open space have long been known as an economic driver.
It makes no sense for the city to buy a property originally meant to protect public open space and offset developmental impacts, only to later resolve to develop it into private housing to serve cyclical economic needs.
The city’s own park impact fees ordinance dictates its purpose for conservation. Developing here means the city is being heavy handed and unscrupulous in its approach.
If the city intends on mitigating the loss of open space by replacing it with better acreage, it needs to obtain that acreage before developing land it already has.
The city’s own parks plan says it is behind on its goal to have 10% of city land set for park and open space to serve the needs of its citizens.
If the city wants to develop affordable housing, it should purchase a different property with the proper funds, not taking the short and easy route of converting valuable parkland which is in short supply. 

Darrel Martin 

Donation aided camp fundraiser

To the Editor:
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Linda and Terry Voorhees, the owners of the Monroe Grocery Outlet, for their generous donation to the Providence Hospice foundation’s Brunch by the Bay. This fundraiser pays all expenses for Camp Erin, a three-day camp for children who have suffered a loss, and the fundraiser also covers all costs for Carousel, the hospice program for children.

Hans Dankers

Letters to the editor published in the October 27 Tribune:

Dollars are needed

To the Editor:
If you’ve ever had to make an emergency call for help, you’ll know the relief you experience when you hear the sirens coming.  Any time of the day or night, we know that our Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue personnel are going to be there to respond to those critical moments of life, and now we need to help them.
  Restoring the Levy helps the fire district keep up with the cost of providing emergency services to our growing community.  Cuts made to training, fire prevention, the Community Paramedic program, and equipment replacement totaled $1.5 million last year.   A yes vote would cost the owner of a $500,000 dollar home $9.58 per month more in their property taxes. Considering the importance of emergency services, this is a relatively small price to pay.
  The district needs our support. We depend on our fire district to keep our community safe. Proposition 1 renews the levy and allows the district to bring back needed programs and maintain emergency services right here in our community.
Please join me in voting YES for Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue Prop. 1.

Heather Fulcher

Kartak accusations lack character

To the Editor:

John Kartak can’t sell himself on his own merits. He embellishes his record and misrepresents his opponent. She chooses not to say anything negative about him and is running on her strong performance as a leader. Ask yourself, what does that tell you about his character?
Kartak implies his opponent wanted heroin injection sites. The truth is Linda Redmon, like MANY people in social services, law enforcement, and county government, knew there was NO chance a site would be located in Snohomish. She objected to Kartak forcing taxpayers to pay for the city attorney and planner to write up an unneeded law that his friend and political strategist Bill Betten demanded during the December 5, 2017 Council meeting. Kartak thrust it upon council without any effort to hear from the community, while Linda asked to hear community input.
Kartak has done similar things as Mayor. Recently, he pushed two unnecessary resolutions onto Council, using tax dollars for his political purposes. He has issues with ethics and judgment, as evidenced by the growing scandals related to his properties and Proud Boy connections. He’s broken his promises about transparent government and has broken his oath of office. If elected again, he will continue to use his position for political gain. He has kept campaign funds active for another run at the state legislature. Do you really want to elect someone who is just biding time until he can run for state office again? Who is he listening to and serving? Not Snohomish.

Brian Richardson

Kartak’s denial also diminishes youth documentary

To the Editor:
As a Snohomish voter, I am both dismayed and disappointed in Mayor Kartak’s response to the Oct. 16 release of a documentary created by Snohomish students called, “What Happened on First Street.”
For those who are new to Snohomish, on the evenings of May 31 – June 1 2020, armed and alcohol fueled vigilantes descended on our Historic District and took over our First Street.
They “marked” our streets with their tire tracks and bullied our citizens with their guns and beer while flying confederate flags. One of the vigilantes assaulted a Snohomish High student, sending him to the hospital for a couple of days.
According to the Herald, when Kartak learned of the documentary, his only comments were: “First — never heard of it. Second —I stand with my community which happens to be the most friendly community on earth.” 
It is quite possible that Kartak hadn’t heard of the documentary, but it is intolerable that he would characterize that event, or the town on that day, as friendly and welcoming. 
Rather than trying to understand what our youth experienced, Kartak denies their reality.  Rather than commending their documentary achievement, Kartak diminishes it.
Kartak welcomed the armed vigilantes as the deterrent to a feverishly imaginary Antifa invasion. “How can we keep them out,” he asked. Kartak defends the vigilantes even now.     
We need strong leadership in our town and Kartak isn’t it.
Vote Linda Redmon for mayor, she will represent all the people, even those who do not agree with her!

Lanni Johnson


Laden with bullying and influence

To the Editor:
Enough ‘Woke’…
Without trusted news sources, we must do the research, filtering distorted media hype and manipulated group-think with common sense, And current actions demonstrate the government ‘for’ the people is becoming a government to ‘control’ the people.
Vaccine mandates without exemptions? Firings of critical roles (note: congress has no mask mandates)? Invading American’s personal bank accounts, no longer just the 1%? Wholesale hijacking of the instructive use of pronouns in the English language for a minority potentially impacted? Borders admittedly and threateningly out of control? Global challenges such as gene editing, cloning, CRISPR technology, militarized drones, self-driving semi-trucks, cyber warfare, etc., coupled with our low math/science ranking (even though we spend near the top to educate our kids — 30th/ in math,11th in science), we need teachers supported and freed up to focus on academics, not social-cultural-gender education. We’re divided 50//50 politically yet the NEA donates primarily to Democratic efforts so it’s reasonable to be concerned there may be a bias conflict on educational content selection, yet parents are shamed for questioning that, even labeled domestic terrorists? A push away from charter schools when their efficacy has been proven? Biological females forced to compete against biological males? People apologizing for who they are? Small businesses operationally handcuffed?
‘Woke’ has overstepped. It’s being perpetuated by relentless, often uninformed, social media and bullying, making it risky to object. We should forever strive to be more understanding, informed and condemn and correct harmful ‘wrongs,’ however those efforts need common-sense screening.
Vote thoughtfully.

Mary Harwood

Look beyond signs when you vote

To the Editor:
Are yard signs free expressions or are they paid advertising for political agendas?
We residents of Snohomish are deluged once again with a high tide of colorful and sadly insipid signs. Most obvious are those associated with Mayor Kartak’s campaign and those of his cabal, Mr. Countryman and Mr. Dana. The three cluster together up and down the main thoroughfares of Snohomish, as if we did not realize the hypocritical values they represent. Perhaps they do so from a fearful solidarity. It may be sympathy to the gun-carrying militias and the Proud Boys who descended upon us at the end of May 2020.
Buttressed by a county sheriff who spouts the same tenets of conservatism and obstruction, these candidates steadfastly represent the past in a time when transition to the future is of paramount importance.
Values of public safety, controlling gun violence and respect for diversity appear to be a low priority for these individuals.
We must not be hoodwinked by the density of political signs. We must rather examine the hollow promises, the false claims and the business-as-usual attitudes with a jaundiced eye. In this case the record is clear. Those who endanger the health and security of our youth and fellow citizens do not deserve to make the decisions that affect us all. Elect the truthful and the caring, the youthful and innovative — the future of Snohomish, not the past.

Peter Messinger

Additional letters that went online-only:

Merrill has the skills

To the Editor:
Thanks to the Tribune for running candidate interviews. The one about the Snohomish City Council candidates Tom Merrill and Brian Mills was very revealing. One of the questions was, “What is Snohomish lacking, and what steps would you take to try to change this?” Mr Mills’ answer, “We lack nothing,” sums up what is wrong with several of the candidates. We are fine, great, don’t ask questions about our Town!
It is Tom Merrill, not Mr Mills, who knows how to move into the future and not lose what is good that we have. That’s because he is experienced in addressing change by getting out in front of it, so that the town can make its own decisions about what is happening. Snohomish is a fine town because it can look itself in the mirror, and Snohomish has the better instincts to choose to improve. I’ve seen it in the response to the poor. That is the test of a fine small town. Civic pride is more than superficial when it can see clearly, and act rightly for the future. Tom Merrill is one to help lead us through.

Mark Miller

Vote for Redmon

To the Editor:
The citizens of Snohomish need to rise up and vote for Linda Redmon for mayor on November 2. There are many reasons to end the great John Kartak experiment.
Kartak does not appear to be honest: he has claimed Carnegie Library restoration as a tenure success, but in reality he was one of the major obstacles in getting it completed. The Carnegie restoration was a citizen motivated and driven project. Kartak spoke and worked against it several times before and after he was elected mayor.
He wants a mega-salary upgrade, even though he knew the job was not full-time and did not come with a livable salary.
His original intentions as mayor were misleading: He initially claimed to be running for mayor to make our government more transparent, but he quickly and unsuccessfully ran for a state legislative position last fall.
We need a leader who can conduct and carry-on high-level management and leadership discussions.
Kartak welcomed the Proud Boys, an FBI recognized terrorist group, into our city for over two days of gun toting, alcohol drinking, and brodie spinning on First Street. He was seen high-fiving and fist bumping these young men as they drank alcohol while carrying AR-15 assault rifles and sitting behind the steering wheels of their pickups. Violent acts were perpetrated upon citizens by Proud Boys wearing Confederate battle flag paraphernalia and other non-American insignias, such as stylized swastikas. Vote Linda Redmon.

Thom Engel

Letters to the editor published in the October 20 Tribune:

Kartak claims Carnegie as win, but once wanted to subvert restoration

To the Editor:
I just received a copy of the “Small Town Values” mailer sent by John Kartak’s campaign. I am dismayed. 
His campaign needs a fact checker.  
My thoughts go back four years ago when Kartak launched his first mayoral campaign with Bill Betten.  At that time he and Betten were against removing the annex and restoring the original building and went to great lengths proposing alternative uses for the property. And Councilman Countryman wanted to raze the site and make it a parking lot. The citizens of Snohomish spoke. The Carnegie Foundation continued to completion. And aren’t we glad they did. 
I personally know members of the Carnegie Foundation and I applaud the hard work that collectively went into achieving this beautiful centerpiece for the city.
The claim is a slap in the face to the Foundation members that began the quest to restore the Carnegie Library 20 years ago, long before John Kartak stepped onto the campaign stage. It is the height of audacity for him to now claim leadership of this project. 

Carol Meagher

Kartak’s city budget boast in mailer misrepresents

To the Editor:

Today I received a campaign mailer from our Mayor, in which he states he has grown the General Fund Balance from $2.5 M to $4.2 M. Staff now work smarter, not harder. Kartak claims he has not had to lay off any staff.  
It’s a mystery.  Sales tax revenues have been steady over his four years in office. Clearly sales tax revenue growth is not the answer to General Fund growth. 
The only way to net more contribution to the general fund, then, is by cuts elsewhere. Salaries are generally the largest budget item. 
Snohomish County reports the City of Snohomish’s employee census has fallen precipitously, from a steady 70-71 employees in each of the several years previous to 2020, to 55 in 2020. This is a reduction of 15 employees, or about 20% in a single year.  
Staffing losses like that means the remaining staff IS working harder; it may also mean Snohomish City Government is beginning to falter as it loses organizational and operational memory.  Further, if the reasons are not addressed additional employees will be lost.  City employees average $75K per year.  The loss of 15 employees accounts for $1.1M; the firing of the city manager in the first week of Kartak’s administration accounts for another $600K.  
Kartak’s financial performance is due to loss of staff.   
Mayor Kartak ran on a platform of open and transparent government. Now Mayor Kartak is misrepresenting significant issues to taxpayers in violation of his commitment. Are we surprised? 

Janice Lengenfelder

Proud Boys surely backing Kartak

To the Editor:

It’s election 2021 and you may be wondering where are the Proud Boys?
  In the 2017 election, the Proud Boys were present and active as a new hate group, not a clear constituency of John Kartak; certainly not on anybody’s radar. 
  We can thank Proud Boy Bill Betten for doxxing Snohomish citizens, and numerous other dirty tricks, all in support of mayoral candidate, and BFF, John Kartak. Betten later came out, loud and publicly, as a Proud Boy. 
  Fast forward to May 31, 2020, and we learn that perpetrating a hoax on law enforcement and using that hoax to stage an invasion is a tactic of the Proud Boys. 
  They used it against BLM protesters in Snohomish, many of whom were people of color and high school students.
  The Proud Boys, with the III Percenters, the Oathkeepers and others, own this most recent blot on Snohomish history.
  Let’s skip over to the Jan. 6, 2021, events in the other Washington; we’ll just summarize by saying the groups just mentioned…they perpetrated another hoax and they own the loss of life and damage done.
  It’s election 2021. The Proud Boys are back bringing with them their Anti-Fascist hatred fetish. Can red herring diversions and dirty tricks be far away?
  We are now seeing campaign signs spoofed, and intimidation tactics being planned in response to showing of a student documentary.
  Regardless, the Proud Boys are out in support of John Kartak. Kartak needs them.
  His values appear to be their values. They share a vision.

David Clay

Dig into candidate contributors to see who they represent

To the Editor:

One factor I use when determining who to support for public office is campaign contributions using the Public Disclosure Commission website (
A strong campaign is built on support from those at all income levels and from many individuals across the local community and beyond. It shows that a candidate is well-rounded, has achieved a network of support through relationship and trust-building, and that folks are willing to invest in the candidate because the candidate has demonstrated an investment in them.
I also pay close attention to personal loans and self-funding. It can create the illusion that a candidate has community support when in reality, it’s coming from their already deep pocketbook or outside special interests with no sense for the community’s needs. All it does is feed into their continued work to maintain and gain power and uphold the status quo.
I ask our local voters to pay close attention to the Everett District 2 race and consider who they believe has their best interests in mind based on their donor base. 

Emily Wicks

Stance toward candidates is bitter, untrue

To the Editor:
I am writing in response to a letter by John Lorenz (Oct. 6 Tribune) who is severely misinformed about our excellent Mayoral candidate, Linda Redmon, and Council candidates such as myself who have served this city for years and have made it the welcoming, friendly city that it is.
Insinuating that we don’t love our city and don’t want to protect it is clearly
misleading and untrue. Name calling and using inflammatory terms like Marxist, Progressive and Antifa is insulting to the majority of us who support our businesses, honor our police, and cherish all of our citizens no matter their race or gender.
Like other candidates who tilt toward progressive values, we are truly American in our pledge to uphold our Constitution, the Laws of Washington State, and support our local values of kindness, effectiveness, collaboration, and community. 
We are willing to serve as we care for the health, safety and even the happiness of all. And we pledge to promote our vitality as we preserve our history. We strive to bring more affordable housing for those folks who serve us; with more trees and green spaces to help us prepare for climate challenges, and we support improving our streets and sidewalks for the safety of our residents.
We believe in working together to be a more equitable and diverse community — a stronger and more resilient city. And, while I was on City Council we were voted one of the top 10 Best Small Cities in America.
Welcome, Mr. Lorenz, to this sweet place.

Karen Guzak
City Council candidate

Letters to the editor published in the October 13 Tribune:


Unvaccinated should be penalized for their choice

To the Editor:

It’s time to pay the piper.
If you refused to get vaccinated against the Covid and you end up in the hospital, you should be charged a “we told you so” fee equal to the total cost of your time there. Insurance companies should also start charging extra fees to the unvaccinated. 
It’s no different than what happens to smokers, heavy drinkers, recreational drug users. If you chose a lifestyle that is likely going to have a negative effect on your longevity then you should be required to pay a substantial fee to cover the cost of the inevitable. Better yet give the rest of us a substantial break. Call it the Common Sense and Good Judgement discount.

Todd Olmsted-Frederickson

Call Biden to improve access

To the Editor:
Sad to see Providence over-capacity due to the delta variant. (“Providence hospital over-capacity due to COVID,” Sept. 29 Tribune.)
Good news: with the vaccine mandates, many more folks are getting vaccinated. Yet the variants will continue to plague us until the pandemic is battled globally with these successful vaccines. Good news again: rich countries recently agreed to make sure 70% of everyone in our world is vaccinated. This is where we come in: Call on President Biden (202-456-1111) to make sure this global access becomes a reality by doing whatever it takes to make the vaccine available on a global basis. Otherwise, we will continue to battle the variants locally.

Willie Dickerson

Redmon has proven her leadership

To the Editor:
In the 2020 Summer Snohomish quarterly magazine, Mayor Kartak writes that his job is not to lead and goes on to define “leadership” as “some government official telling you what to do or who to be.”  Mayor Kartak chooses to define only what leadership is not and thus abdicated his responsibility as an elected official at a time of crisis in our town.
We have a choice this November: Elect a mayor willing to offer leadership or one who chooses not to lead.  Leadership is a “quality,” not a “directive.”  Qualities of a leader run the gamut, including pursuit of something new and unique; focus on strategies and goals; persuasiveness, bringing others along; sharing of power, collaboration; humility; an ability to learn; and where most needed ­— responsive to crises.
Linda Redmon has proven her leadership qualities these last four years serving on city council, the last two years as council president.  She listens and learns from her constituents.  Linda has worked hard to achieve the goals set in the city’s Strategic Plan and always works collaboratively with councilmembers, staff and the community.  As mayor she will guide our community via open, public forums; allow for creative ideas; set the path forward on such local issues as affordable housing, managing growth, maintaining a vibrant community with strong values, improvement of our aging infrastructure, and vigilance regarding public safety.
Join me in support of Linda Redmon, our next Mayor of Snohomish.

Melody Clemans

Alleged violation did not make story

To the Editor:
Regarding Rick Sinnett’s article “Countryman clears up his property issues” (Oct. 6 Tribune):
During the Sept. 21st council meeting, Mayor Kartak revealed that when Countryman purchased the 614 Maple Avenue building in 2014, it consisted of two “bootleg” or illegal apartments. Countryman was warned by the city planning department in a formal letter dated December 19th, 2014 that the lot size of his property was too small for a legal duplex and recommended he add more lot square footage to qualify for a legal duplex.  Item 3 in the letter specifically warned Countryman that under Municipal Code 19.04, “The Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA) must be completed BEFORE any occupancy of the building will be allowed.”
Countryman obviously violated those rules by in fact occupying duplex unit B and renting out duplex unit A several years ago by his own admissions during the August 17th council meeting.
Mr. Sinnett, in his interview with city planning director Glen Pickus, inexplicably did not follow up with the question “Why were there no repercussions from City Hall regarding the violation?”
No one ever alleged Countryman ran a car repair business. Countryman, himself, in explaining the origin of “Apt. C”, maintained he ran a 5-car storage business under his duplex, although a few weeks later he recanted that statement. Countryman told a reporter he didn’t know why he kept referring to his 5-car storage garage as a business multiple times during the August 17th meeting.
The voters will decide Countryman’s intentions and motive for calling “Apt. C” a business.
Morgan Davis

More need to be made accountable

To the Editor:
Again I sat and listened to attacks on our mayor and councilmen.  Another orchestrated attack with false allegations by the same group of people.  I have no idea what went wrong in these malcontents’ lives but to bring such vitriol and or personal vendetta’s stretching the truth ignoring facts for what? And to do it in our city council meeting is just uncontainable?  It’s election season for sure. 

No one is challenging Redmon, Ray and Kuleta for colluding on the city Airsoft law, ignoring preemptive state weapons law. 

No one is challenging Redmon, Ray and Kuleta on the coercion of gullible students over ranked-choice voting and sidestepping our own rules about ballot measures. 

But true to form those that have a propensity to not tell the truth, surface. 
As an adult and parent we teach our children not to lie, to be honest, to not hate, yet we have here in Snohomish a systemic problem with telling the truth and hating. 
Bullies do this, the same people talking about inclusion, diversity, anti-bullying, are the same that practice these things with what seems to be a free pass. Even our local papers have a tendency to publish unconfirmed accounts of events that end up being fabrications and slander. 

No recants, no apologies and the beat goes on. How do you sleep at night? The question is asked to the prolific storytellers in our community. So yes, Snohomish, there are some with a systemic problem telling the truth and hate.

John Lorenz

Editor’s note: Astute readers will notice this author also had a letter last week. The Tribune unintentionally re-ran a previously printed letter from July of the author's in the Oct. 6 paper. The above letter should have run Oct. 6.

Letters to the editor published in the October 6 Tribune:

Redmon’s accomplishments merit mayorship

To the Editor:
Linda Redmon for mayor. She originally ran for council to represent the concerns of the youth and of families with school-aged children. She found that the youth in our community are concerned about the future they are inheriting. They want leaders to address the livability of Snohomish and our planet, equity and civil rights, economic opportunity, housing affordability, and support for our residents in need. 
As Council President, Linda rolled up her sleeves and got busy!
Thank her for her service:
- Snohomish City Youth Council
- Resolution with goals toward utilizing 100% renewable energy in City operations
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Parks Department 
- Park and Recreation Board
- Current and future businesses/entrepreneurs
- Policy changes and funding assistance for more housing 
- Organized town hall to discuss issues of racism, bigotry and meaningfully address issues
- Emphasizing access to broadband, an economic and equity issue
- Ensuring our businesses/workers have received support throughout the pandemic
- East County Board of Housing Hope 
- Board of the Alliance for Housing Affordability
- Working to ensure adequate housing stock for all economic levels 
- Helped ensure Snohomish provide equitable access to CARES Act assistance for residents
- Working to ensure equitable access to need-based utilities assistance program
- Represents Snohomish, Monroe, Sultan, Gold Bar, and Index via Snohomish County Board of Health
- Chair of Board of Health Program Policy Committee and Budget Committee, helping to provide funding for public health programs to ensure our community is safe and healthy when dining out, in schools and childcare, and when a pandemic strikes.

Marilene Richardson

Burke “walks the walk” on issues

To the Editor:

I have known and respected Lea Anne for many years. We’ve worked together on various environment and sustainability related projects, including: creation of a Snohomish Parks Foundation, participating in the former Adopt-a-Park program, helping to draft the city’s Integrated Pest Management strategy, and years of service on the Snohomish Parks Board. She walks the walk when it comes to the environment. She is also a successful grant writer, planner, and project manager, working for many years for the Tulalip Tribes. Lea Anne is thoughtful yet fearless in sharing her perspective. We desperately need her knowledgeable voice on council as the city continues rapid growth at the expense of our trees and green space. She believes in Sustainable Living, a Resilient Environment, and an Equitable Community.
Please join me in voting for my friend, Lea Anne Burke, in the November general election!
Lya Badgley

Letters to the editor published in the September 29 Tribune:

Rhyne advocates for community

To the Editor:
Paula Rhyne is the best candidate for our first District 2 Everett City Council member. Paula has been actively engaged in local civics and issues both big and small. I’ve gotten to know Paula in recent years through her engagement at neighborhood meetings, service on a committee and our mutual interest in ensuring equal opportunity and access to Everett’s most vulnerable residents. She’s taken the time to have individual conversations about issues facing our city, lending her perspective while listening to others and finding common values. 
She’s been a faithful advocate for students and their families facing homelessness through her participation on a Neighborhood Advisory Committee seeking input on a housing project in our neighborhood. No detail was too small to escape her attention. Even the placement of dumpsters was highlighted when considering the inconvenience to residents that would have a long way to haul their trash.  
Paula has been a consistent and vocal presence at neighborhood meetings regarding recent park plans. Her perspective as a mother of young children gave her an eye to call out a potentially hazardous play structure proposed for a local park remodel. 
Paula has proved to be a great asset to her community and will be a fearless advocate on our City Council. Vote for Paula! 

Ashley O’Brien Sims 

Flynn willing to do hard work for city

To the Editor:
I moved to Snohomish 30 years ago to raise my family and educate my children. What a great City! Lovingly restored houses, rivers, a lake, abundant parks, a vibrant downtown and great schools make this a desirable place to live. If you live here you already know that. Taught the importance of civic engagement and an obligation to give back, I found in Snohomish a city of a size where I could make a tangible contribution. To that end I became a member of the Parks Board to advocate for the benefits of open space for a healthy community.
During that time I have met many citizens that are passionate about Snohomish. They willingly volunteer on a task force or advisory boards and commissions. And some are willing to put the time and energy into service on City Council.
I see David Flynn as someone who recognizes the value of parks. He sees the important role the arts play in civic life. As a business owner he knows how to problem-solve. And he naturally seeks to reach consensus around divisive issues.
I’m excited see that David Flynn is one of those citizens willing to do the hard work to be an effective member of the Snohomish City Council. Talk to him. He listens. If you do you will find the same drive, enthusiasm, and compassion for Snohomish that I find. I think you will be convinced that David is what Snohomish needs.
Please vote for David Flynn Position 5.

John First

No letters to the editor published in the September 22 Tribune.

Letters to the editor published in the September 15 Tribune:

Not fair to put incident on electeds

To the Editor:
A recent letter to the editor (Aug. 25 Tribune) provided a fervid account of a racially charged barroom ruckus in our fair city which, according to the author, might not have happened if only the Mayor and a few council members would have put their collective feet down just said “no” to racial ruckuses.
As if….
The mayor and City Council can’t even keep Hill Park open, choosing instead to give in to the vagrants and vandals. And you want them to do what….bring about heaven on earth? You’ve gotta be kidding.
Government programs that aim to change behavior and outcomes don’t work. Witness Seattle’s “War on Homelessness,” or consider the 2014 Heritage Foundation study finding that the 24 trillion taxpayer dollars spent in the “War on Poverty” didn’t just fail to improve lives but actually moved people backwards, making them increasingly reliant on government assistance.
“Racism” works in all kinds of ways, including the cheap virtue signaling that creates a warm glow while demeaning and infantilizing its subject as an inferior object in need of government protection and favor. And it’s perfectly shameful. Mayor John Kartak and City Councilmen Steve Dana and Larry Countryman should be commended for attending to business without pandering to voters at the expense of citizens who have long been harmed by this smug and self-righteous behavior.

Mark Anderson

Questions linger on councilman’s forms

To the Editor:
Somehow, citizens who phoned in to speak during the Sept. 7th Snohomish City Council meeting were blocked.
Here are some remarks that I would’ve made:
During the Aug. 17th meeting, Councilman Larry Countryman claimed his private life financial affairs are “nobody’s business.”  Sorry, but any candidate’s finances is the public’s business — they need to know if a candidate is a crook or not. PDC disclosure has been a requirement since 1973.
Countryman did disclose an explanation of why he filed his official residence address as “614 Maple Ave. Apt. C” with State PDC and County Assessor and Elections.  Countryman admitted he actually lives in an owner-occupied duplex unit “Apt. A” and he rents out the other unit “Apt. B”.  He also admitted he runs a commercial business enterprise, so-called “Apt. C”, at 614 Maple Ave. The duplex, after 6 years of lacking an occupancy permit, finally became legal this month thanks to citizens’ concerns beginning with Countryman’s and John Kartak’s late PDC filings.
However, there still are some puzzling questions raised with Countryman’s IRS Form W-2s for the calendar years 2019 and 2020 from the city showing his mailing address as just “614 Maple Avenue” with no “Apt. A” or  “Apt. C” suffix required by the post office.
Another puzzling question arose when the city code enforcer visited an adjacent building, 618 Maple Avenue, formerly jointly owned by Countryman and Kartak in July and determined the building houses four business enterprises with no apartment residence. Yet, County Elections show a registered voter as living at 618 Maple Avenue.
Perhaps Countryman and Kartak can address those lingering questions during the next council meeting.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor published in the September 8 Tribune:

Candidates’ issues are misdirection

To the Editor:
In the last campaign, in the city of Snohomish, the issues were heroin, the homeless, pink graffiti on public structures, and corruption of small town values. Because? Weak woman leading city government. Result: we got a change of government structure and John Kartak as our first “strong” mayor in more than 40 years.
Led by Mayor Kartak, the issues we are seeing this election season are personal freedom (no masks, no vax, not just for the freedom seekers, but everyone), and protecting Snohomish east county values. There is no further explanation of what Snohomish east county values are, but they make us special and everyone not of Snohomish, less so.
Working in concert with the mayor and his messaging is council member Larry Countryman. Larry Countryman has taken the job of besmirching fellow Snohomish residents, and fellow candidates, by declaring them newly arrived, from some unknown place, certainly not “Snohomish” enough. As with the last election, this is total BS. It’s new, fresh BS, but it is still BS.
Apparently Snohomish east county values includes fear mongering, and public endangerment; freedom for some, not for all; and spewing as much misinformation, and misdirection as the public will tolerate.
You can fight it by researching and supporting accomplished candidates, writing a letter or two to the local papers on a focused concern, and engaging your neighbors in discussion.
Get involved, and stay informed. Keep reading your local newspaper.

Jan Lengenfelder

Letters to the editor published in the September 1 Tribune:

Polluting the environment

To the Editor:
I have counted dozens of masks walking around my block. 
Downtown, seeing dozens more in the street, sidewalk, river walk. 
Oceanic Asia reports 1.5 billion masks are in the ocean in 2020 alone.  France, Australia and more countries are reporting on the marine life devastation from these masks. 
With a 450-year life span these masks do not biodegrade, they will not go away.  Where is our Public Safety Commission liaison Councilmember Donna Ray and the rest of our council on this issue? Why not focus on this real biohazard threat on our streets. With the forced involuntary lockdowns coming “yet again” and just in time for election season, more and more will be discarded and dropped on the ground without a second thought. Like people leaving their dog crap for others to pick up, I would bet it is the same mentality working in the mind of those that toss the masks. 
I doubt the Council will do anything but I propose a ban, just like the ban on plastic bags that was forced on Snohomish. A ban is the right thing to do for the environment and for our children. I doubt that will go over well.

John Lorenz

Police went maskless in coffee shop

To the Editor:
This morning, Aug. 27, at the Starbucks on Avenue D, three police officers entered the store for coffee. Two officers, one with a sheriff vest, entered without masking.
All inside employees and customers were donning masks. What does this say about setting an example for the community and public health mandates to protect the community?

Valerie Woolvett

Flynn has common sense

To the Editor:
David Flynn is the best candidate for Snohomish City Council, position 5. He is a rational, common-sense thinker who will address the issues facing Snohomish with balance. He will listen and work well with others. He is already endorsed by three current City Council members which bodes well for us getting important city business done. His campaign efforts to personally reach more than 2,000 doors speaks highly to his work ethic, energy, and community outreach. David will provide a balanced, thoughtful, and fair approach for collaborative leadership. He will work hard for us and devote his artistic talent, business acumen and incredible networking energy to represent all of us well. David Flynn deserves our vote for Snohomish City Council, position 5.

Dawn Peyton Wheatley

Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 25 Tribune:

Incident in town demands racism to be acknowledged

To the Editor:
Saturday night, 8/7/2021, our youngest son and 2 friends were in the Bar at a popular Mexican Bar and Grill in Snohomish.
A group of about a dozen mature men and women were loudly spouting off racist, Q-Anon B.S. in the bar. The bartender and manager asked them to keep it down but they wouldn’t stop their offensive, openly racist behavior. Our son and his friends applauded the restaurant and bar staff for standing up to the racially charged verbal abuse.
The group then turned on my son and his friends, verbally assaulting them using racial slurs and questioning our son and his friend’s ethnicity.
Our son and his friends left the bar and walked into the parking lot followed by the nut jobs who continued to accost them.
Because Mayor John Kartak and City Councilmen Steve Dana and Larry Countryman have not acknowledged or denounced the racism that happens in Snohomish, hard-right racists felt comfortable enough to act out and be blatantly racist in a public place in Snohomish.
Are these city government public elected officials condoning right-wing extremist actions like this as part of their espoused small-town values?
Are these three tone deaf to the ignorance, hate and racism that does exist and evidently thrives in Snohomish?
This ugliness does not belong in our community.

David Clay

There was no room for letters to the editor in the Aug. 18 Tribune.
No letters to the editor published in the Aug. 11 Tribune.

Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 4 Tribune:

Call for Murray and Cantwell to support COVAX

To the Editor:
Americans around the world are celebrating. As we come up on nearly a year and a half of COVID-19, more and more people are getting vaccinated, posting photos with their friends and their vaccination cards and breathing a sigh of relief that they can finally let loose, see family and travel once again without worry. This nightmare that we have all experienced finally seems to be coming to an end. But what if instead of crying in celebration we were crying in desperation?
Unfortunately, while U.S. citizens are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, countries such as India, Nepal and Ethiopia are still experiencing major socio-economic consequences due to funding gaps which have caused the pandemic to become even more dangerous in these countries. Access to a vaccine is not as simple as signing up at your local clinic. The chances of getting one are virtually non-existent. 
I urge Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to support the COVAX Initiative which will involve sharing excess vaccine doses with other countries and will decrease the wide gap in global health funding. We cannot truly be rid of the pandemic unless we all work together.

Jordan Worthington

Letters to the editor published in the July 28 Tribune:

First installations are coming soon

To the Editor:
On Wednesday, August 4th, the first benches that the Snohomish Lions Club and their partners, Kiwanis, Green Snohomish, Snohomish Garden Club, among others, have collectively earned from Trex will be installed in a joint effort with the City of Snohomish in a pilot program. We are so thankful for the support of the community in diverting over 2.5 tons of plastic from landfill. For those who are donating plastic, please ensure it is only film types, #2 & 4. We can’t take crinkly plastic, Styrofoam or plastic containers. We are so appreciative of Northwest Security & Sound who helps us collect over 100 lbs. of plastic each week by housing our drop box in their lobby, sorting the plastic and bagging it. We also couldn’t have been as successful in this recycling effort with out the support of our local Safeway store; manager Julie Jansen. Thank you!

Renee Deierling
Snohomish Lions Club
Bags to Benches Chair

Zimmerman is a strong leader

To the Editor:
While you have many good candidates to choose from in this year‘s Snohomish City Council election, I would like you to consider voting for Kari Zimmerman, Position 5. I am no longer a citizen of Snohomish, but I served on the Snohomish City Council from 2007 to 2019. During that time, I saw Kari as a strong community leader, attending council meetings on a regular basis. She is thoughtful, insightful, and very dedicated to the community. She will honor Snohomish’s past while taking the city gracefully into the future. Please vote for Kari Zimmerman, Snohomish City Council Pos. 5

Lynn Schilaty
Everett (Former Snohomish resident)

Flynn will ensure all voices are heard

To the Editor:
David Flynn will make a good city of Snohomish councilmember. David is my neighbor. We became friendly in the way small-town neighbors do.
He is an energetic, responsive entrepreneur with extensive management experience who understands the challenges of our local businesses. David will bring new vision and vitality to our local leadership. He loves our parks and shares my dream of bringing more arts related opportunities to town. And, most importantly, he is deeply committed to inclusive values, ensuring every voice is heard and valued.
Please join me in voting for David Flynn, Position 5, in the August 3rd primary and again in the November general election!

Lya Badgley

Zimmerman listens for solutions

To the Editor:
I am writing in support of Kari Zimmerman for Snohomish City Council, Position 5.
As a single mom of two teenagers, Kari knows firsthand the challenges and rewards of working hard and raising a family. She also understands the importance of community.
Kari has been an active participant in Snohomish politics for over 5 years, always striving to bring out the best in our town. She is an honest communicator who listens carefully, weighs all the options, and is willing to compromise to find the best solutions.
Kari appreciates the need to protect our town from overdevelopment, while keeping in mind that citizens need affordable housing. She also recognizes the value of preserving our valuable farmland and natural landscape. Kari champions small business and knows how vital our economic health is to preserving our unique, historic charm­—now and in the years to come.
Kari Zimmerman is the best choice for Snohomish City Council, Position 5.

Lanni Johnson

Zimmerman is knowledgeable

To the Editor:
Kari Zimmerman is knowledgeable and dedicated, and will make an excellent Snohomish City Council member.
My husband and I love living in Snohomish and are proud to be raising our two young sons here. Community and family are important to us, and Kari Zimmerman shares those values. 
I first came to know Kari through our mutual attendance at city council meetings. She listens carefully and understands our municipal issues well, and is always willing to engage in discussion about how best to serve the needs of our community. Kari works hard and has integrity--two qualities that are necessary to serve in elected office. I am confident that she will represent our community well.
Please vote for Kari Zimmerman for Snohomish City Council, Position 5 in the August 3rd primary, and again in the general election this November.

Jessica Newkirk

Was retail ban in South County Fire’s jurisdiction altered?

To the Editor:
In unincorporated southwest Snohomish County, we were banned from fireworks displaying this year in accordance with council ordinance 19-037 passed by the County Council on Dec. 4, 2019.
At the corner of 4th Ave. W and 128th Street SE in Everett, fireworks were being sold in a parking lot.
We questioned why they would be sold in a no-fireworks area. South County Fire provided documents under public disclosure that included a Retail sale of Fireworks BAN in this area.
In questioning a few public employees we learned that an amendment was made.
It seems this Retail Ban was in error and I was told that when South County Fire brought it to the county’s attention they sent the matter to their Litigation team, the County prosecutors. My information was that they were able to just delete a few words from the original voted-on amended version that removed the retail ban part of the approved amendment, thus no reason to return it to council for a vote!
As I contacted the county council with this information and questions on how a voted on amendment can be altered with no revote on the issue I was met with hostility from the council. 
We are looking into the potential illegal Ban on Fireworks that is included in this tampered-with amendment.
We hope truth prevails.

Willie Russell

We live in interesting times

To the Editor:
Our upcoming elections are more than important. 
For Mayor, on one hand you have a candidate that will follow Portland and Seattle politics, will fire Captain Palmer, defund our police, make Snohomish unsafe and over populate our city with low income housing, raise taxes and ruin our small friendly city ambiance.  On the other hand we have a slow growth proven leader that supports our police, embraces the diversity of our city and understands the needs of our local businesses, elderly and youth. 
The new council choices all come with a litany of wrong ideas in line with Marx Progressivism and defund police.  If you ask them this question, are you proud to be an American and will you promote American values, see what they will say. Ask them if there is a difference between the burning down of Black businesses, homes and communities causing billions in damage is different than Jan. 6 when a hundred morons entered our capital? Ask them if Antifa is a militant Marxists organization and ask them if BLM actually cares about Black lives when hundreds of Black children have been murdered in the streets by gang violence. Then ask yourself, do I want Snohomish to be the Seattle or do I want Snohomish to be the quiet little friendly town I moved here to raise kids in.

John Lorenz

No letters to the editor were published in the July 14 or July 21 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the July 7 Tribune:

City’s own Comp. Plan disagrees with the proposal

To the Editor:
D.R. Horton’s proposed plan to stuff 111 homes into the former Delta Rehabilitation property was approved without any modifications by the Hearing Examiner in January, despite compelling testimony by concerned neighbors. An appeal of this decision is scheduled in front of the judge July 8. The judge can send this back to the Hearing Examiner for a second public hearing. If this happens, concerned neighbors will need to reactivate.
Terrace Avenue is a narrow road, strained at times with the current neighborhood traffic. Lacking sidewalks, pedestrians often have to jump for the ditch if a car meets them on the dangerous corner at 16th Street. 16th Street is the only exit for North Ridge, Stone Ridge, Terrace, and Holly Vista neighborhoods. The occasional disruptive blocking of access due to emergencies can only be expected to increase. Walsh Hills could essentially double the number of households in the area.
Additionally, the density of Walsh Hills will change the character of the existing neighborhoods of single family residences on standard lots. There are no buffers planned or compatible housing along the borders of the development. Closely packed houses on the slope above Stone Ridge will loom over it from behind a wall that reaches 20 feet in height.
Walsh Hills’ impacts conflict with the Snohomish Comprehensive Plan which states on page 26: “Plan for single family neighborhoods that provide quietness, privacy, safety and land use stability and compatibility.”
Exactly what we’re trying to preserve.

Ival Salyer,
Michael Caldwell,
Milton Grover,
Jeanne Andrews,
Nicole Twedt

Call on Congress to fix housing crisis

To the Editor:
Thanks to the Tribune for covering many aspects of the housing crisis, a local and national problem. Affordable housing is in short supply, renters are facing eviction in ever increasing numbers, and the housing crisis for people of color is a sad result of long term systemic racism.  Fortunately, there are initiatives in Congress to turn this around.  Thanks to Sen. Cantwell and Rep. DelBene for working to increase the supply of affordable housing.  There is an effort right now to help renters with a large expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers which currently only reach one-fourth of those who qualify.  A “Dear Colleague” sign on letter in the House and Senate calls on Congress to make sure this is in the next recovery package, and we can ask every member of our delegation to sign on to it.  There have also been proposals for a refundable renters’ tax credit so people don’t pay 50% and more for rent, and a Homestead Act for the 21st Century that would help low income people to purchase a home.  Our members of Congress need to know that the housing crisis needs to be dealt with now, give them a call and speak up for solutions:  202-224-3121.  Our voices in democracy can create the political will for Congress to pass these and other solutions.

Willie Dickerson




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