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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 Olmstead-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

No letters to the editor were published in the June 30 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the June 23 Tribune:

Youth: School food quality has deteriorated

To the Editor:

It has come to my attention as a student of a local middle school that the quality and nutritional value of our school lunches have severely dropped in the past years. At times I question why we cater to the minority at our school by subjecting the entire student body to allergy compliance such as sun butter instead of peanut butter instead of supplying those with allergies their complying choices.  
The quality of our dairy
products have severely dropped in nutritional value and fat content, with no just cause. What the school tries to pass off as milk is less palatable than diluted calf milk replacer. I remember I was in 2nd grade before the schools were forced to enact extreme reconstructions of their lunch menus. The milk still tasted like milk and the food was still somewhat appealing, but now there is not one lunch item that hasn’t felt the terrible wrath of the Snohomish district.  
Alongside dairy, the preparing and the sourcing of our beef and pork has been compromised as well. Instead of sourcing out meat cuts from local farmers, we choose to buy from giant meat distributors and leave the cuts on ice for days before finally thawing them out and refreezing the remainders. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth knowing that instead of supporting and giving back into our local economy and doing business directly with local farmers they would rather consult with the major corporation just because it is easier.  

Waylon M. Butler
Snohomish student

Letters to the editor published in the June 16 Tribune:


Economic development manager deserves thanks

To the Editor:

The City of Snohomish has an issue with the retention of professional women. Since the last election, three high level professional contributors have left. All have been women. Their employment predated the current mayor’s election, in two cases, by many years. One woman worked for the city in two professional capacities successively. Another woman held the positions of City Clerk and Human Resources manager simultaneously. These were valuable contributors. They did not leave to “spend more time with their families.” These women left for comparable jobs with other local city governments, some of which entail much longer commutes.
As it stands, our Economic Development Manager is the last of the original cohort of high profile, public facing, female managers/administrators in Snohomish City government.
Economically, the City of Snohomish is doing well. This outcome was not always assured. One need look no further than the Proud Boy vigilante incident of last year that put Snohomish on the map in the ugliest and shrillest possible way. To say we looked dumb AND dumber is sad understatement. We looked worse.
Much credit for the city’s current prosperity is owed to our Economic Development Manager. In well-timed, well balanced statements and written articles our Economic Development Manager has given voice to our better, truer selves, all while supporting, during the COVID-19 restrictions, Snohomish’s merchants. She deserves our thanks and our wholehearted support.

Jan Lengenfelder


Scrap the city’s Midtown plan

To the Editor:
Regarding the June 9th article “No-go for city’s Ave. D land plan as first contemplated”:
Mayor Kartak’s Midtown task force, the planning commission, and even the town council, all have been “taken for a ride” by Snohomish County, owner of the 9 acre midtown site.
Well, the council should tell the County “take a hike” and leave the whole midtown area “as is”--zoned commercial, which allows an RV Park and medium density, multi-family condos and apartments with no special favors to developers, such as the notorious no-strings attached property-tax exemption.
Craig Skotdal, an owner of Snohomish Square, wrote to the City on August 26th, 2020. Skotdal is a major developer of downtown Everett who similarly wants to develop the midtown area, requesting 5-story, unlimited-density multi-family units above 2 stories of concrete garages. In addition, he wants the same property-tax exemption the City foolishly allowed in its Pilchuck District. Skotdal argues the demand for brick and mortar retail shops is declining and that he would like to redevelop Snohomish Square with dense high-rises.
This certainly will ruin Snohomish’s small-town character. (Some former Southern-state residents even liken Snohomish to “Mayberry, S.C.”)
The City can develop its own public benefit housing at its 10 acre Homestead Park at 2000 Ludwig Road.
There’s an old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There are no compelling reasons to change the zoning in the midtown area or change Avenue D or Second Street.
Let the County sell its land “as is” this summer and scrap the Midtown Plan.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor published in the June 9 Tribune:

What happens when it happens?

To the Editor:

The recent arrest of a 32-year-old man on one of our ferries for having a concealed AR-15, brings up questions I pursued during research for a book idea a number of years ago. How will riders be protected from a terrorist attack on one of those boats? Or more likely, what kind of a response will staff provide for an active shooter event?
Of course Washington State Ferries used the Homeland Security concerns for not releasing their training details, but one wonders, are they equipped and trained in effectively stopping someone who is actively shooting passengers while it’s on one of their routes? What are the odds of another passenger having a concealed weapon themself and the wherewithal to run towards the threat?
Simply counting on a response from a shore-based law enforcement would only guarantee mass casualties.
In these times proper preparation for such an event is an unfortunate necessity.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Letters to the editor published in the June 2 Tribune:

What will it fix?

To the Editor:
Regarding Snohomish seeking to lower speed limits (May 26 Tribune):
My question is simple. What is this fixing? Will it stop speeders or will speeders just automatically reduce 5 mph from the excessive speed they are already doing? 
I live on Avenue A. You can hear me from time to time, screaming to slow down as dingbats think that they are launching from the stop sign like it’s a 1/10th mile drag strip. I see a myriad of people: the mom in the minivan full of kids, the kid in the Subaru WRX and that obnoxiously loud white Ford diesel, all not exempt from the stupid practice of 40 in a 25. So what does this fix? It won’t stop them; it will just make them speed more excessively. The only guy that does 20 mph in this town is the Class of ’72 bubble truck, which is actually awesome.
So this comes back with what exactly is this going to fix?

John Lorenz

Letters to the editor published in the May 26 Tribune:

Was column in city magazine segue for re-election?

To the Editor:
My quarterly issue of The City of Snohomish magazine arrived in my mailbox today and as usual Mayor John T. Kartak spent more than half of it boasting about his work as our Executive Mayor without referencing a single, specific accomplishment. And, of course, he prefaced it with a winding narrative about continuing to sacrifice his own personal finances to work full-time for an “unnecessarily low, part-time salary” on behalf of our great city. 
If our mayor plans to use the City of Snohomish magazine as a segue into a reelection campaign that implicitly demands a raise, perhaps it would be a good idea to discuss what he has done in the last four years, particularly those accomplishments that demanded “a difficult sacrifice for [his] family.” 
Maybe it’s time for a more efficient Executive Mayor. 

Dana Harker

Help kids reach their potential

To the Editor:
Congratulations to the top scholars from the Snohomish schools, and to all students who took advantage of a quality education. (advertisement in May 19 Tribune).
This educational opportunity is not the norm everywhere. With the pandemic, 1.6 billion of the world’s children were out of school, many at risk of never returning. The Global Partnership for Education is marshaling global resources to prevent this. Currently the GPE, supported by partners like America, have plans for 175 million more children from lower -income countries to be in school over the next five years. A bold pledge of at least $200 million for each of the next five years will show American leadership, inspire other donors, and help millions of children reach their potential. We can help by asking our members of Congress and the President to fulfill this life-changing pledge, making the dream of education possible for millions of children.

Willie Dickerson

Writer: With city spending so much, no TBD needed

To the Editor:
I just received the latest glossy-print City of Snohomish Quarterly Magazine which is subsidized with city tax dollars.
In reality, the magazine is nothing more than a slick campaign brochure, flattering the incumbent elected officials.  (Six of the eight elected positions will be on the November ballot.)
In the magazine’s Mayor’s Message, John Kartak lobbies for a full-time CEO-like salary, comparing himself with the former City Manager. Kartak fails to mention the city, pop. 10,000, already has a full-time City Administrator position at an annual cost of over $200,000. The city also has a police chief captain pulling down an annual salary of over $200,000. The chief captain supervises 18 commissioned police officers.
I know the City government is rolling in dough and having a hard time justifying their spending practices. As of January, the City had a General Fund Reserve Ratio of 40% when normally it should be only 10-15%. This is why we see the City going into the wedding event venue business with a six-figure operations manager and giving away huge, no strings-attached, property tax breaks and incentives to developers in the Pilchuck District and now in the putative Midtown District.
It seems City Hall has an insatiable appetite for more local tax dollars even after it knows it is slated to receive millions of dollars this year from the Biden Administration’s Recovery Relief and Jobs Infrastructure Programs.
The city no longer needs a separate Transportation Benefit District (TBD) tax.  
Vote “NO” on the City’s Proposition 1 ballot measure in August.

Morgan Davis

Note to readers: The Tribune did not have room to run letters to the editor in the May 19 edition

Letters to the editor published in the May 12 Tribune:


Include transgender children in youth sports

To the Editor:
Children learn more than academics in school. Children learn who they are, that they can achieve their personal best and where they fit into society. In other words: am I good enough, can I succeed, can I be liked or loved or accepted? Do I belong? How do I cope with loss and setbacks in life?
Excluding any group because they are different in some way encourages
bullying, teaches prejudice, hate and confirms that it is OK to ostracize people and groups. Prejudice limits the ability to analyze facts and situations for the best outcome.
Being excluded is counter to good self image, healthy development and future success.
Children with physical, cultural or intellectual differences enter the school system questioning if and how they will fit in. All kids must be included and encouraged in the same ways. To tell a transgender child they cannot join in because they are different compounds their self doubts and can result in depression and lower achievement in life.
School sports are not about winning, they are about personal best, teamwork and belonging.
Schools and professional athletics are about two different things, lets not confuse the two.

Colleen Dunlap

No letters to the editor published in the April 28 or May 5 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the April 21 Tribune:


Local legislators taking steps toward equity

To the Editor:
Today’s spring sunshine offers hope in these troubled times of a pandemic which has emphasized the inequities in our system. The Black Lives Matter movement also brought forward the criticalness of these issues.
Fortunately, the newly passed relief bill addresses individual, business, and state and local government needs for recovery. At the same time, its passage started us on the road to equity by increasing the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax credit, two of the most effective and proven ways to provide ladders out our poverty.
Our own state Representative Suzan DelBene is offering legislation to make the temporary increase in the Child Tax Credit permanent. The American Family Act she introduced will cut child poverty by 50 percent and more in the hardest hit groups of people of color, rural families. and single moms. This is America’s opportunity to turn around the inequity that has plagued us since the beginning. Rep. DelBene also joins Senator Cantwell in pushing affordable housing legislation that will significantly increase the amount of affordable housing available. Senator Cantwell has been a champion of affordable housing for 20 years and this bill will be a crowning achievement. We can ensure these changes all come to pass by encouraging our members of Congress in this needed work with our emails, calls, and stories of why this work is so critical. Let’s use our voices to assist in creating America’s spring of equity.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor published in the April 14 Tribune:

Well-done job on restoring historic Carnegie

To the Editor:
You won’t be disappointed when you drive along First Street in Snohomish and arrive at Cedar to see the building on the corner with its handsome and welcoming color and detail. The City of Snohomish deserves our gratitude for its restoration of the 1909 Carnegie Library at First and Cedar. From the reveal of the original Prairie Style facade with its VanBriggle tiles and printers’ marks to the seven-foot crystal chandelier in the interior, it is a treasure. I am grateful to all of the Carnegie Foundation Board members who joined the mission along its almost 20 year trajectory starting in 2002. They persevered through the years keeping to their vision, gathering overwhelming support from businesses and community members.
The City and the Foundation worked to maintain and improve the original structure and grounds including the Veterans’ Memorial Park. They successfully lobbied the state legislature and the federal government for grants designated for restoration of significant historic buildings. The Foundation kept the hope alive. They kept their goal in the public view. As one who grew up in this small town with a Carnegie Library I couldn’t be happier with the result of the completed project. Well done.

Julie Davis

No letters to the editor were published in the April 7 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the March 31 Tribune:

Say no to road tax renewal to give public a break

To the Editor:
The City of Snohomish is proposing a 10-year extension of its Transportation Benefit District sales tax with Proposition 1 in the August primary election.
Prop. 1 will be a referendum on City Hall’s priorities in spending and revenue sources.
Here are the pertinent facts:
1. Snohomish residential property taxes increased 8% this year, among the highest in the county.
2. The overall sales tax rate when purchasing a vehicle in the city is now 9.5% and is expected to go higher with Sound Transit expanding its taxing district boundaries. (Prior to the TBD in 2011, the sales tax rate was 8.6%.)
3. The City’s glossy-print Quarterly Magazine has been losing $40,000 a year.
4. The City gives developers in the Pilchuck District tax breaks in the form of property tax exemptions; and now the mayor’s Midtown Planning Task Force recently recommended more incentives for developers in the midtown area.
5. The mayor’s pet project, the Second Street Corridor makeover, is estimated to cost over $24 million in 3 phases over the next 10 years. His plan eliminates center left-turn lanes which will push crosstown traffic into residential areas around Third and Fourth Streets.
6. The new Weddings Events Center at 105 Cedar Avenue requires a City Operations Manager, making it problematic to ever break-even without General Fund subsidies.
In conclusion, if developers can get huge tax breaks, surely the average Snohomish resident deserves a little 0.2% TBD sales tax break.
The voters can send a message to City Hall by rejecting Prop. 1 in August.

Morgan Davis

Letter writer should apologize for making attacks

To the Editor:
The Tribune published a letter to the editor written by John Lorenz (March 17 Tribune). It was a tantrum regarding a presentation to the Snohomish City Council by Snohomish High School Youth Council.
The Youth Council researched Ranked Choice Voting systems. This letter made accusations against the Youth Council of Snohomish High School and their teacher.  It was implied that the Youth Council members were manipulated by the teacher and Linda Redmon, Snohomish Council President. These accusations are not supported by facts.
The Youth Council should be applauded for their time and interest in local politics. The presentation to the open forum of the February 16th Snohomish City Council meeting was well presented and appropriate and should be encouraged. These council meetings are recorded and available on the City of Snohomish website for anyone to hear.
I find it concerning that Mr. Lorenz attributes those he disagrees with as being commies and Marxists. I am old enough to remember the ugly days of the 1950s when this ideology was used by Senator Joseph McCarthy to call those he disagreed with as Un-American and communists.
The Youth Council is being subjected to McCarthyism and deserve an apology.

Carol Meagher

No letters to the editor were published in the March 24 Tribune due to space

Letters to the editor published in the March 17 Tribune:


Accusation: Youth coerced as puppets for this idea

To the Editor:
At the Feb. 16 City Council meeting, Council President Linda Redmon brought forth a proclamation using the youth council as a shield to campaign for Ranked-choice Voting. Redmon told me by email the youth council has no decision-making authority on city policy, so if that is true then this council member used these children to shape policy and this proclamation to push House Bill 1156 on you the citizens of Snohomish. Ranked-choice Voting further dismantles your electoral right to vote.
It is bad enough these children are being taught to hate themselves, see racism in everything and hate America. They are being lied to and manipulated to believe Marxism is good. Five Council members whom admitted they know nothing of this measure voted yes in support while Countryman and Dana said no.  Even the City Attorney advised there is no understanding if passed what this law will look like, yet a council majority pushed an agenda.  With no equal time granted to give a rebuttal against, this blatantly coerced youth council presentation was simply a read from a website verbatim, indicating zero research, this council member pushed an anti-American, anti-Constitution political agenda leaving you the citizen being forced to rank candidates No. 1 highest No. 5 least.  So if there’s one Republican and four Democrats, which party do you think will win?
You think 2020 elections were rigged? Just wait when Ranked-choice Voting is forced on you by five Marxists, I mean progressives, in our council.

John Lorenz

Letters to the editor published in the March 10 Tribune:

Plans must reflect the site's history

To the Editor:
One response to the Averill Field Master Plan survey.
On May 14, 2018, the Hal Moe Pool facility was destroyed. Once the pride of Snohomish, the locally built structure deteriorated over a dozen years into an abandoned, boarded-up community hazard. 
Late that summer, with the pool buried and when the grass had taken hold,  the members of the Hal Moe Pool Advisory Committee (led by former city staff member Denise Johns) jubilantly walked, some running, onto the lush green field of growing grass —  with sheer joy! 
For six months, the committee struggled to find a way to reuse parts of the pool structure. Guided by an architect, the committee imagined what might take its place and reignite community pride. 
Yet, once the tough decision was reached to turn the site of the pool into a field of green grass the pride was there — a growing thing.
To my mind, the survey does not reflect the history of this site with its absence of choices for creating a memorial park — especially when it’s named to honor and remember our baseball hero, Howard Earl Averill (1902–1983). 
The survey choices seem weighted toward building an active park over improving the passive setting we have today — where memories are buried. 
On loan from poet Carl Sandburg: I am grass. Let me work.

Warner Blake

Letters to the editor published in the March 3 Tribune:


Police report tells honest overview of what happened

To the Editor:
I would like to thank Chief Palmer and the Snohomish PD for their Annual Report which confirmed that the mustering of a (self-appointed) “militia” was indeed predicated on a hoax and that white supremacists were visibly present during the events of last summer. I hope that Mayor Kartak will soon follow the report with a public apology for gaslighting his constituents by denying and downplaying what Snohomish citizens witnessed with their own eyes.

Rachel Escoto

It’s the final countdown for signatures

To the Editor:
The deadline is rapidly approaching for completion of signature gathering in the petition drive to recall Sheriff Adam Fortney.   
If you are hazy on the details, or need a petition form, you will find more information on the website.  A successful petition drive sets the stage for a recall election, in which Sheriff Fortney must defend his record to the electorate.
Of the recall complaints, the most serious to me is his rehiring of three deputies fired for cause.  Of these, the traffic stop killing of a young man, at which Sheriff Fortney was present, and played a role, is the most stomach turning.  
All of the recall complaints are indicative of a Sheriff who feels his office does not just enforce our laws, but actually sets the law; can ridicule public safety law, and pick and choose which laws to enforce.  Under Fortney, we have a Sheriff’s office that reinstates liars, and tolerates excessive use of force by his deputies, and will support even insupportable uses of deadly force. 
The May 31, 2020, experience of the city of Snohomish also tells us this is a Sheriff who makes common cause with white supremacist groups, and views them as supporters and allies. 
If Sheriff Fortney was in the last year of his term, a recall would not be urgent.  But Sheriff Fortney has three more years in office before he faces election.  Given all that has happened since Sheriff Fortney took office, three years is too long. 

Janice Lengenfelder

Letters to the Editor published in the Feb. 24 Tribune:

Keep Snohomish small

To the Editor:
To the Mayor of Snohomish: Stop with all the building. The town is full up and bursting at the seams. We already lost that small town charm and will never get it back. We do not want to become Everett.

John Cherney


Don’t give developers free ride

To the Editor:
A year ago, Snohomish Mayor John Kartak appointed a midtown planning task force to recommend, among other things, a rezone of the 9-acre county owned parcel on Bonneville Avenue and the adjacent mobile home park.
The task force conducted several remote, virtual meetings with little public attendance or comment.
Now City staff and its hired consultant (Bill Trimm, a retired Mill Creek planning director) have submitted to the task force a memorandum asking for its approval of several critical changes that will only increase gentrification, uproot all the residents of the mobile home park, and unfairly increase the burden on all existing real estate property taxpayers within the city and Snohomish School District 201 boundaries.
Specifically, the memorandum’s section MF5.6 recommends a multi-family property tax exemption (not a deferral) for new construction developers, with no strings attached.
Real estate property taxes are “budget-based” meaning the various taxing districts receive the same amount of revenue every year, no matter what, irrespective of exemptions. But exemptions certainly severely impact those of us who are non-exempt property taxpayers.
The idea of giving huge tax breaks to new developers at the expense of existing competitor landlords and every other non-exempt property taxpayer within the Snohomish School District boundary should be rejected by the task force, planning commission, and ultimately the city council.

Morgan Davis

Online meetings leave some out

To the Editor:
Thanks to Morgan Davis for his report on Zoom meetings of the Snohomish Midtown Task Force (letter in Feb. 15 Daily Herald).
Davis shows Zoom is not a substitute for in-person meetings. Fewer residents have it and use it than attend in-person meetings. As a result, non-attending residents who usually get meeting information through the grapevine are left uninformed. 
A general question here is ‘Can’t discussion of major changes wait until Snohomish can hold in-person meetings?’ A specific question following Morgan’s letter is “With the current demand for buildable land, why give tax breaks to developers?  Developers seek to maximize profits.  Their deals for tax breaks in return for providing low-income units have repeatedly proven to be shenanigans. The low-income units become market-rate after one year or when the development is unloaded to a new owner. Then the city is stuck with evicted low-income citizens and a housing development which still has the original tax break.  
  Coming from a family established here in the 1800s, I know Snohomish has gone from a lumber based economy to agriculture/dairy to, now, an inconveniently located and poorly accessible bedroom for commuters. Walking between shops on First and Second Street fostered neighborliness. But that changed when insider land deals caused a haphazard scattering of businesses. Residents were forced into isolating, impersonal car travel. And, once you’re in the car, why not drive to Everett for better shopping? Snohomish, as a community, died.
  I believe it’ll take very broad, post-pandemic, in-person resident participation, not just a 15-person panel and Zoom to address the issues of ‘community’ and ‘land development.’

Paul Heckel

No Letters to the Editor were published in the Feb. 3, Feb. 10 or Feb. 17 Tribunes.

Letters to the Editor published in the Jan. 27 Tribune:

Congress is working for us

To the Editor:
Thanks for the heads up about the “Rethink Housing” event in Everett (Jan. 6 Tribune), as affordable housing is a big issue locally and nationally needing new ideas. At the same time we are presented with the sad question: how many more times will we have to read about homelessness increasing, along with the deaths it causes? (“53 individual died homeless this year in Snohomish County,” Dec. 30 Tribune) Both Senator Cantwell and Representative DelBene have bills in Congress to increase affordable housing. There are also bills to provide tax credit help to renters, not unlike tax breaks given home buyers. The recently passed COVID-19 relief bill also provides some money for rent relief and extends the eviction ban for another month. President-elect Biden is planning to announce further relief this week. Meantime, we can thank our members of Congress for what they have done so far, requesting continued pandemic relief, along with the housing, hunger, and employment problems it has exacerbated. This is the beginning of the journey to equity for ALL Americans.

Willie Dickerson

Still a boondoggle

To the Editor:
Regarding Doug Coleman’s Jan. 20th letter in the Tribune and my Dec. 16th letter on streets in Snohomish:
I thoroughly agree with the premise of Mr. Coleman’s letter. 
Mayor Kartak’s pet Second Street Corridor project should be a low priority or scrapped altogether and shouldn’t receive phased-in state funding of $24 million.  Instead, WSDOT should divert the money to widen Highway 9 to four lanes from the river north to U.S. Highway 2 and replace the old unsafe wooden Bickford Avenue bridge over Highway 9.  Mayor Kartak addressed the Bickford bridge at the end of the Jan. 19th council meeting, shirking responsiblity by saying it is “owned by WSDOT.”  In addition, he disputed the $24 million cost figure for his pet Second Street project, although he couldn’t or wouldn’t reveal his own cost figure for the 3-phased project.
Mayor Kartak and city staff are even traveling to Olympia to lobby the Legislature this session for millions of dollars to fund their pet Second Street project. (See the minutes or hear the audio to the Dec. 1st council meeting).
To add insult to injury, Kartak is asking Snohomish voters next August to extend a 0.2% TBD sales tax for another 10 years so that he can leverage that money to gain more WSDOT funds for his pet Second Street project (which the City has placed near the top of its Transportation Improvement Projects priority list).
In closing, I repeat, for any state funding, whether TBD or otherwise, the Highway 9 bridge priority supersedes any funds toward Second Street.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the Jan. 20 Tribune:

Lake Tye used to smell awful, here is the science why

To the Editor:
Aggregate was removed from the Frye Lands area over several years in the 1990s and the borrowed site was given the name Lake Tye. The surrounding area was developed into commercial and residential. Many of the new residents complained about the stench that they endured in evenings. Consultants were hired to identify and locate the source but were unsuccessful.
The stench would build in the late afternoon, especially in the falls, and would force people to retreat indoors, preventing outdoor barbecues and activities. By the time the consultants arrived in the mid-morning, the stench would have dissipated and they were at a loss to identifying the cause. This continued over several years.
What the consultants failed to identify was the source, LAKE TYE. The retreating glaciers not only left deposits of sand and gravel behind but also volcanic ash. The volcanic ash was disturbed while being exported along with the aggregate. The sulfur oxide from the ash dissolved in the lake and then volatilized into the atmosphere. This only became a problem when there was an air inversion that prevented the sulfur from dissipating upward. A gentle breeze from the sound would then cause the stench to flow in amongst the residences for several hours each night. As the atmosphere warmed in the morning, the odor would dissipate.
With time, the sulfur release from Lake Tye has diminished, and the odors are no longer intolerable.

Dan Bartelheimer

Bickford Ave. bridge needs fixing

To the Editor:
Recently there were comments made in the newspaper about Mayor Kartak saying he wanted to spend a lot of money on Second Street planting trees and a bunch of other stuff.
Rather than do that, we need the bridge over Highway 9 north of the roundabout on Bickford Avenue replaced and widened, or at least resurfaced.
This bridge is not safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Doug Coleman

Editor's note post-publication: Mayor John Kartak said at City Council on Jan. 19 that the bridge is owned by WSDOT, and will be replaced when Highway 9 is widened.

No Letters to the Editor published in the Jan. 13 Tribune.

Letters to the Editor published in the Jan. 6 Tribune:

Not joining in on proclamation is not anti-police

To the Editor:
In response to John Lorenz’s recent rant (Dec. 23 Tribune letters) against the hate he perceives in our City Council. I’m really surprised that the Tribune would publish such a nasty piece blaming a few of our City Council members. In his hit piece, Lorenz perceives a lack of support for the mayor’s politically motivated police proclamation, which the Council unanimously refused to take on.
Lorenz calls some of our Council members “radical socialists who support … open violence…...” This shocking and untrue rhetoric is straight out of the far-right wing version of the world, and denies the many good deeds and thoughtful, reasoned good works of this Council, including support for the local police.
The Council does, indeed, support our police with a recent vote to pay our Chief of Police Robert Palmer $30,000 more than was in the budget, and continuing support for our contract with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. I have been paying close attention and see no breach in our elected Council’s dedication to the safety and health of our community.
It is interesting to me that Lorenz’s misplaced criticism seems to be leveled directly at the three thoughtful women on Council. Could this be? We all can take his own words to heart: “Don’t be fooled, haters hate and haters lie.” Yes, haters lie.
Karen Guzak

Harshness toward council members unwarranted

To the Editor:
Luckily there is a public record of the December 15th Snohomish City Council meeting in the form of an audio recording available to everyone.
John Lorenz’s alternative facts in his letter to the Tribune on December 23rd are vicious and a completely unwarranted attack on members of the council. Remembering the May 31st fallout from the unfortunate response to a far right online scam, Snohomish residents suffered scrutiny and backlash because a few welcomed armed vigilantes and white supremacists into our town. As a result, the rational response of our council members, who wanted to include other first responders and frontline workers as well as police in the mayor’s proclamation, is understandable. The many harsh and vitriolic adjectives used by Mr. Lorenz to describe several of our elected officials defy logic when compared to the record of the meeting.
To find the real story of what happened at the last City Council meeting of 2020 go to the website and under City Government Agendas & Minutes click on the Media audio icon for December 15th. You will see the open and honest work of council members who, in the best interests of our city, are allowed to disagree while remaining civil and respectful of each other.

Julie Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the Dec. 30 Tribune:

Prior letter writer gave bitter spin

To the Editor:
Wowzers! I attended the same December 15 Snohomish Council Meeting as John Lorenz, and I can tell you he is spinning a line of vituperation and misdirection that lasts his entire letter long (Dec. 23 Tribune letters section). What to do? You can listen to the City Council recording yourself on the city’s website. Be sure to listen to Mr. Lorenz’s statement at the beginning of the meeting, during “citizen’s comments.” They are worth your time.
Don’t be surprised if you see Mr. Lorenz on your ballot next year.
To the substance of Mr. Lorenz’s complaint, which comes at meeting end:
Mayor John Kartak is planning to deliver a proclamation in support of the Snohomish Police. Kartak feels morale is low (theirs, not his), and a proclamation will buck them up. Since the Snohomish Police are receiving an 8% funding increase by the city of Snohomish over the next two years, Mr. Lorenz’s comment regarding defunding the police is non-sensical. Compare this to the 2% funding cut the Sheriff is taking at the county level.
A portion of Snohomish’s populace see Kartak’s proclamation as a self-aggrandizing move by the mayor, who woefully misread the situation last spring, and got help doing so from the County Sheriff’s Office. There is no need to keep shining a light on this episode. There definitely IS a need to identify the lessons to be learned.
Jan Lengenfelder

Letter writer attacked council members unfairly

To the Editor:
I am writing to rebut the recent letter to the editor by John Lorenz (Dec. 23 Tribune letters section).  Using his own words, the letter is a “vitriolic” hate-filled attack on women on the Snohomish City Council. And over the top political pot stirring.  The City of Snohomish website provides audio coverage of their council meetings. Please listen to the Dec. 15th Council meeting and judge for yourselves. You will be rewarded by hearing the calm, articulate and succinct comments by the council  women that Lorenz’s letter is attacking.
I see no truth in the characterizations that Lorenz has projected on these duly elected council members. They have voted to increase the city budget for police protection. They DO NOT promote violence. Comparing City of Snohomish government to Seattle or Portland cannot be supported by any facts.  Facts are sorely lacking in Lorenz’s letter.
Mayor Kartak wishes to send a Hallmark Card to the police force, which is his right. My takeaway on listening to the council meeting is that the council is ready to put the divisive emotions of the past behind them and get back to the city business of taking care of pot holes and infrastructure.
I counted the word hate being used seven times in the letter.  Lorenz isn’t using a simple spoon to stir this divisive political pot, he is using a high speed Cuisinart.

Carol Meagher

Letters to the Editor published in the Dec. 23 Tribune:


Citizen criticizes City Council

To the Editor:
Something occurred on the Dec. 15th Council meeting.  Not surprising but I was set back at the degree of malice; no, it was vitriolic hatred directed at our Mayor by the members of this council.  The body positioning and facial expressions of the sitting council president was somewhat sophomoric while the two other progressives were far less diplomatic in the volley Mayor Kartak received when he introduced and invited the council to be a part of this proclamation in support of our police.  Hate has clearly shown up in the so-called diverse, unity, solidarity supporters.  Now I understand, I understand how the council cannot support a proclamation to support our Police.  They have puppet masters, they have a contingency to appease and they have to answer to those who do call for the defunding of police.  Oh they will call it reimagine or reform but not defund while talking out the other side of their mouth on how they support our police.  Do not be fooled, haters hate and haters lie.  These progressives! I cannot call them progressives; they are radical socialist who support the open violence we see by BLM and Antifa.  We do not need a Seattle or Portland government in Snohomish, that is exactly what is coming if these radical socialists stay in the seats they do not deserve.  Hate has no place on the council, hate has no place in Snohomish. In the end it’s clear this council does not support our police.

John Lorenz

Citizens want a city park

To the Editor:
Kudos to the Monroe City Council for their decision to deny the Marshal Field reconfiguration to high density affordable housing. (“Marshall Field rezone denied,” Dec. 16 Tribune) The end result would have been high density traffic congestion, something us folks on the south side of the tracks are already experiencing more these days as other multi family housing units are built along main street, Blueberry Lane and  the Al Borlin area. 
Marshall Field is a great place for soccer and lacrosse so lets make it city park. Regarding  affordable housing, Monroe has been ahead of the game for some time with the Housing Hope project. A Best Practice, for sure.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Letters to the Editor published in the Dec. 16 Tribune:

Planned revamp has some problems

To the Editor:
On Dec. 1st, the Snohomish City Council approved Mayor Kartak’s expensive ($12.2 million/$24 million if phased) Second Street makeover. Kartak’s intent is to choke-out traffic on Second Street to a crawl by eliminating center left-turn lanes, changing parking to “back-in angled,” and planting visual-impairing vegetation, trees and installing bicycle racks.
Well, SR9 will soon be 4 lanes from Marsh Road north to the Snohomish River.  Eventually, SR9 will be four lanes from the river north to Highway 2, reducing commuters’ incentive to cut-through Old Town streets.
In addition, I understand the County is working with WSDOT with respect to the feasibility of on-off ramps to and from Lowell-Snohomish River Road. and SR9, which would greatly reduce commuter traffic from Airport Way over the Avenue D bridge to First and Second streets.
With respect to the mayor being keen on “back-in angled” parking, I wonder why he hasn’t already imposed “back-in angled” parking on First Street, at least for a trial period, to see how the public likes it?
Lastly, the council has placed on the August 2021 Primary Election ballot, a proposition to reinstate the expiring TBD 0.2% retail sales tax.  (In 2012, the overall sales tax increased from 8.6% to 8.8% because of the TBD.  Currently, the rate in the city is 9.2%). The City has placed the Second Street project near the top of its TBD to do list.  So, in effect, the 2021 TBD ballot proposal will be a referendum on the wisdom of the mayor’s pet project.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor in the Dec. 9 Tribune

Vaccines are good, but relief is needed now

To the Editor:
Thanks for the exciting news of the coming vaccines. (“COVID-19 vaccine plan outlined,” Dec. 2 Tribune).
Unfortunately, it will be six to nine months before we will all be vaccinated. Meanwhile, the pandemic is breaking records with new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. There is much needed relief being proposed in a bipartisan group in Congress. I urge Senators Murray and Cantwell, along with Reps. Larsen and DelBene to support this effort and do their best to see it passes. All four of these members of our Congressional delegation have supported relief efforts all year, so we can count on them. It will be helpful if each of us calls 1-202-224-3121 thanking them for their efforts and asking them to take action once again to beat this virus and it’s economic fallout. Our voices can make the difference now!

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the Editor in the Dec. 2 Tribune:

Unfortunate to see

To the Editor:
 I was concerned about the closure of Hill Park in Snohomish and upon inquiring I received a startling reply from the Parks Department. Vandals have destroyed the electrical panel and meter in the lower picnic shelter, ripping it from the wall and smashing all of the overhead lighting, requiring the PUD to remove the entire system. Then they broke into the restrooms damaging the doors. Then they smashed the benches on the fishing pier.
The next night they damaged the restrooms at Pilchuck Park costing several thousands of dollars in damage. Then they set fire to the Ferguson Park Restrooms totally destroying the facilities. The replacement costs are $80,000.
The Parks department cannot afford to operate with the number of repair costs that are being generated by this vandalism. The Parks department says they are working with the Police department and community members to find solutions to these issues, but in the mean time the vandalism continues.
The purpose of this letter is to inform the public of the ongoing vandalism and hopefully someone will catch sight of the vandals and call 911.  
William Thomas

No Letters to the Editor were published in the Nov. 25 Tribune.

Letters to the Editor in the Nov. 18 Tribune:

What groups shook letter writer?

To the Editor:
Regarding John Lorenz’s Nov. 11th letter in the Tribune: “Renounce racism and hate from all sides”:
Lorenz castigated Snohomish City Council president Linda Redmon and the Snohomish for Equity Group for their opposition to white racism in Snohomish and their failure to criticize Black nationalists and Black supremacy groups in Snohomish.
I’m baffled. Is it Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam which Lorenz is thinking about, or is it the 1960s Black Panther Party he is so afraid of?
On the contrary, the real threats in Snohomish are from the FBI-designated right-wing extremists groups like the Proud Boys (whom Joe Biden called the “Poor Boys”), who showed up in Snohomish brandishing long guns on May 31st, intimidating peaceful BLM protesters, merely for spreading the message about police brutality being a reality in law enforcement in America.
The recent election results are telling. For example, in the 44th state house district, pitting Republican John Kartak, supported by the Proud Boys, against John Lovick, supported by BLM. Lovick outvoted Kartak by a 15 point margin. April Berg, in position 2, outvoted Republican Mark James by only a 4 point margin.
That would mean a large percentage of Republicans voted against the politics of the Proud Boys’ candidate John Kartak.
I’m looking forward to next year’s Snohomish City Council election so we can really see what the degree of racism in Snohomish there really is.
Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the Nov. 11 Tribune:

Renounce racism and hate from all sides

To the Editor:
This City Council’s inability and lack of will to declare this city and its citizens not racist is alarming. This council is not willing to renounce these individuals and groups that decry and divide our city, that you and I are racist. Instead the council continues to condemn white nationalist, white supremacy and hate never condemning black nationalist, black supremacy hate groups. After all, Hate and Prejudice is hate and prejudice no matter whom or what group espouses. I have an email from the sitting council president that states “No one on Council thinks ‘all are racists’ in Snohomish. Not one of us has ever said that, and we don’t believe that.” It does not say that the city is not racist! Just some of you are which I agree. The cowardice of this sitting president not protecting the city’s good name and its citizens is shameful, including renouncing Snohomish for Equity and any others for labeling you and your city racists as well renouncing “ALL FORMS” of racism, hate from “ANY GROUP” is all telling. A vacant council seat was open and this sitting president supported a DEFUND Police advocate that believes Snohomish is racist, this actually reflects this council member’s ideology and how you are viewed. I believe this council needs to redeem itself and renounce all forms of racism and hate from “ANY GROUP.” I call on this council to do this, as well to adopt Snohomish County Resolution 20-020 as our own in support of our police.

John Lorenz

No Letters to the Editor were published in the Nov. 4 Tribune.

Letters to the Editor published in the Oct. 28 Tribune:

Lucas endorses Robert Grant

To the Editor:
Being allowed to serve your fellow citizens is a rare privilege and a distinct honor: One I have had for 16-years — 19-years if you include my service as a judge pro-tem.
Serving as judge is a difficult task and an awesome responsibility. I always strive to achieve the following ideals: really listen and hear the parties before me; get the law right; and make a fair decision, the parties can live with.
I am retiring this year, endorsing Robert Grant to succeed me.
Why? First of all I like him quite a bit. He had his first felony trial in front of me. Clearly, right from the start, he was a smart, hard worker—a person who cared about people more than winning. After the trial concluded, he asked for my critique of his performance: A thing I was taught to do as a young prosecutor. Strangely, today, young attorneys very rarely do this. But Robert has done it routinely. To me, this demonstrates his desire to learn; his humility and his sincerity. 
Spiritually, I am the successor of Judge Robert Bibb. When I sought his endorsement, he took me aside for a heart to heart talk. To endorse me, he required that I promise to serve the judiciary in every way—above and beyond the 9-to-5 requirements of the job—a promise I have kept. And I hope you will join me in voting for Robert Grant, because I believe he will also fulfill that promise and more.

Judge Eric Z. Lucas

Tribune keeps voters informed

To the Editor:
Kudos to the Tribune for keeping us informed about our community, information about our local races, opportunities to meet with our elected officials, and learn about candidates in races for those who will represent us. (Snohomish Tribune, Oct. 7, 2020)  Informed voters make better decisions, and the Tribune’s reporting encourages that.  We can also contact our current members of Congress (202) 224-3121, asking them to pass COVID relief that will help us get this pandemic under control, locally, nationally, and globally.  It will also prevent a tsunami of hunger and homelessness.  So read to be informed, call to encourage action, and then vote to keep our democracy strong.  Together, we can make a difference.
Willie Dickerson

Letters to the Editor published in the Oct. 21 Tribune:

Reject R-90

To the Editor:

Please reject Referendum 90. I support medically accurate sex education.
Unfortunately SB 5395/Referendum 90 extends beyond education to moral statements and giving permissions that are not the place of the government, educational institution, or within the ability of the developing brain of an immature student to make wise decisions that have lasting effects on the rest of their lives. Standards of Sexual morality cannot be defined by our sadly desensitized society.
Ref.-90 opens a slippery slope of perversion and distortion.  By placing Planned Parenthood clinics in schools, this removed the protection and authority of the parents in the lives of their children.  The underlying agendas and goals of the government and their Planned Parenthood are sickening and should not be taken lightly.
Local school boards have their hands tied; if they don’t select the new sex curriculum, they are granted no additional funding or personnel options to plan or propose a different plan. 
This sex curriculum is nearly impossible to “opt-out” of for parents due to it’s insidious integration into all subjects throughout the school day. 
Making this type of “education” mandatory by the government is just another kick in the face of the collapsing morality of our world.  As parents we need to stay vigilant and delve deeper into the “why’s” and motivations that lie behind seemingly benign language used in SB 5395/Ref-90.

Elizabeth Schaeffer
Lake Stevens

Letters to the Editor published in the Oct. 14 Tribune:

Reject R-90 as the reform has certain flaws within it

To the Editor:
SB3965 is a well-intentioned alteration of the social education of our children. Designed for bullying prevention, gender identity inclusion and rape prevention, it seeks to implement Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) in pre-K through 12 in an “age appropriate” manner using “evidence based” materials. Parental “opt-outs” are allowed and parents are guaranteed access to the material.
Illinois, California and New York have mandated CSE already, what has evolved? Introductions of gender fluidity and sexual orientation are common in pre-K 3 where non-traumatized, naive children have no natural idea what sexuality is. Several of the state-approved CSE programs normalize intimate touching, anal/oral sex, and exploration of masturbation as “self-pleasure” in children as young as 10.
Ericksen and Weed published an extensive review of 60 well-designed, broadly accepted studies of school-based CSE in 2019 finding that CSE has little actual real-world effect and may increase the likelihood of sexual activity, pregnancy and disease in participating teens. Though experience and exhaustive in methodology, their “evidence based,” peer reviewed material is ignored.
Illinois and California have banned parents from legally opting-out due to high refusal rates and many districts have integrated sexual material into multiple subjects, making it functionally unavoidable. “Consent” frequently devolves into how to negotiate with a potential sex partner to obtain consent rather than withholding consent. Young students who refuse to comply with class mandates/activities contrary to their religious or personal beliefs have been isolated, ostracized, criticized, bullied or suspended.
CSE has a poor track record, will not protect children from abuse, and mandates from Olympia limit local control. Please reject R-90. 

Dr. Chris Beard

People are not bigots for not conforming

To the Editor:
Thank you to Janice Lengenfelder for her thoughtful letter about having an open mind (Sept. 30 Tribune). I would like to respond to a couple points.
I share her love for the city of Snohomish. But I don’t think I have heard racist comments here. I would have zero respect or support for Mayor Kartak or council members Countryman and Dana if I had the slightest sense that they were bigots.
However, I am concerned about the writer’s impression that we are negating the experience of POC when we do not immediately repeat some formulae in which she is invested. When I talk to black people about prejudice, some are concerned at some level but others think it has become irrelevant. Which people do I believe? When views differ, the way to find truth is to discuss the matter freely and openly, not to just say or do as we’re told. Healthy social change comes from request not demands.
I have reported racist graffiti to the police who held the cretins responsible. I believe that and open unfettered discussion are the way towards improvement. The packaged anti-racism platform appears to be encouraged by the same people who last year thought eliminating plastic bags was the way to save Snohomish. But COVID showed that reusing bags can spread disease. Policy choices should pick cures NOT worse than the disease.
Finally, I do not know if I would call myself an aspiring town politician. By not holding office, I am freer to emulate H.L. Mencken and speak adult, complicated truths instead of being focused on keeping political support.

Don Baldwin

Explanation given is back-sliding

To the Editor:
Regarding the Oct. 7th Tribune article on Snohomish Mayor Kartak’s negative social media post that back-fired into a firestorm of criticism:
Readers should listen to the mayor’s comments at the end of the Oct. 6th council meeting. (The audio is posted online in the City’s agenda center).  Kartak’s rambling, back-sliding explanation to the council and citizens sounded like a kid who just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, trying to talk his way out by deflecting to violence in Seattle and Portland as his excuse for his obvious bias against peaceful BLM and social justice protesters.
Only Councilman Steve Dana and current city council applicant John Lorenz, defended Kartak.
Lorenz believes “Black nationalists” are a real threat, downplaying the threat of white supremacists like the Proud Boys and Boogaloo Boys. (The FBI recently reported the greatest threat of terrorism in Snohomish is from far-right white supremacist groups — not social justice protesters
opposed to fascism and police brutality).
Dana unbelievably interrupted citizen comments at the beginning of the meeting, saying he didn’t want to hear any more criticism of the mayor.  His request to suspend citizen comments was ultimately rebuffed by the city attorney and council president.
The mayor continues to assault Snohomish’s “nice” reputation with one black-eye after another.
The council at a minimum should censure the mayor over his refusal to apologize for his actions during and right after the May 31st debacle on First Street.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the Oct. 7 Tribune:

Vote for sex ed to teach students healthy life skills

To the Editor:
Please support Referendum 90 on the November ballot. 
Referendum 90 will uphold the new Washington state law (passed in March 2020) requiring all public schools to teach age-appropriate, inclusive, comprehensive sexual health education to K-12 students. This would expand the current Washington State Learning Standards and implement essential standards for schools to give students access to the comprehensive communication and social skills needed for healthy lifetimes, free of sexual abuse and assault. These standards simply require the inclusion of age-appropriate communication skills that students need to express and respect sexual consent, protect others as a bystander when they see bullying, and seek appropriate help to avoid sexual abuse or rape. Local control remains with parents and school boards in each district. Parents are always encouraged to engage in home discussions of their family values, and they can opt their child out of school-based sex ed discussions. 
Please keep our children safe from sexual abuse. 
Referendum 90 is supported by a broad-based coalition of pediatricians, educators, and the students themselves via the Washington Student Association. Please vote “Approve” for the Referendum 90, Sex Education in Schools Measure.  

Ann Beaulieu

Lovick has courage and compassion

To the Editor:
I’d like to say, “Well done!” to Wendy Poischbeg for her letter in the recent City of Snohomish quarterly magazine that recognized the need for conversations about racial equity. We can open our hearts and minds and speak out against hate, racism and bigotry. It is immensely important if we want a better future for our town and for the entire nation.
Let’s have the courage to act on what needs to be done to become a truly open and welcoming community. To accomplish this we require the leadership of someone with real empathy who intimately knows what the issues are and has already shown that he can effect positive change.That person is John Lovick. We need to re-elect him as our 44th district representative because of his long and distinguished record of compassionate public service. Vote for John Lovick so he can continue to devote his time, energy and talents to protecting and defending the people he serves.

Julie Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the Sept. 30 Tribune:

Have an open mind

To the Editor:
When I was house hunting 36 years ago, I went to several local cities, parked in a prospective neighborhood and walked the dog.  Only in Snohomish were people out, also walking dogs, working in their yards, willing to stop and chat. I bought a house in Snohomish and moved.
In recent years, I have heard or witnessed generally small individual incidents of racist attitude or speech. Were these deadly, or threatening? No. Were they harmful? Yes.  
Snohomish is lovely, it is safe, it is friendly.  I am white.  Mayor Kartak, Council Members Dana and Countryman, and aspiring city politician Don Baldwin are also white. The unwelcoming racist comments and speech in town were not aimed at me. Nor would they be aimed at our white male politicians. But I do believe they are only a minute fraction of what residents of color in Snohomish have to contend with. I believe the testaments of residents and students of color, and those close to them.
When white, middle-aged or elderly men completely and angrily negate the experiences of individuals of color they are demonstrating racism in action. They are saying the white male experience is the only reality that counts.  Unassailable white male privilege trumps all.  Is their racism conscious? Perhaps not. Nevertheless, their intent is to shame and silence.  
To overcome bigotry takes self-awareness, empathy, fearlessness, openness, an anti-racist skill set and practice. There are many Snohomishites with the first four attributes. Its the last two which Snohomishites need help strengthening.  

Janice Lengenfelder

Leaders want map restructured

To the Editor:
As residents of the neighborhoods along the Snohomish River, we urge the District Commission to form the Everett River District east of Broadway to keep communities of common interest together.
We have heard the Commission prioritize “compactness” and “population deviation” as the most important factors disregarding the additional criteria. According to the districting criteria, boundaries shall to the extent possible preserve existing communities of related and mutual interest to the extent feasible. According to the public survey, language and income groups were recognized as important communities of interest. The current map disregards these interests. The alternate map was approved by the District Master but the Commission refused to bring it as an option to the public.
We do not believe that Lowell and Metro Everett belong in the same district as they represent very different constituents with different concerns.
Accordingly, Delta and Riverside do not belong with Northwest as this pairs one of the most affluent areas with some of the most diverse and lower income areas.
City investments and infrastructure from parks to schools to sidewalks have always favored the West side.
In the last 40 years the vast majority of councilmembers have lived West of Broadway and Evergreen way along Grand Avenue, Rucker Hill and west of Forest Park. Lowell has never had representation.
The People of the River deserve representation. Just one seat at the table is all we ask.

Rolf Vitous – Riverside Neighborhood Chair
Gail Chism – Lowell Civic Association, former chair
Duane Steig – Lowell civic Association, current chair
Andrea Tucker – Port Gardner Neighborhood Chair
Ryan Weber – Delta resident

Letters to the Editor published in the Sept. 23 Tribune:

Give students their best chance

To the Editor:
Your “Approve” vote on Referendum 90 is needed to give Washington students a lifetime of sexual health.  Approval will implement K-12 Comprehensive Sexual Health Education.   
As a secondary communication teacher, a retired early childhood special education teacher and a Sunday school teacher, for decades I taught even young children how to be advocates for themselves and their own bodies. 
Enhancements to the current curriculum Washington State Learning Standards for Health and Physical Education, passed into law by the 2020 Legislature, are available at  
The Office of Public Instruction can give voters the facts directly about the enhanced communication and social-emotional standards.  They help assure that students can learn how to protect themselves and discourage painful bullying. 
As a teacher, I tragically knew the stories of too many young women who encountered dates and acquaintances who had not learned how to listen to the message that “No means NO!” Some bullies never learned that there needed to be informed consent before they touch their partner.   Far too many girls and women suffer lifelong effects, needing to overcome harassment, rape, and abuse.  Children’s skills to protect their own bodies and mental health can be grounded in the communication skills learned in preschool — learning to say, “Stop!” “Hands off!” or “I need help!”  Those who hear these words need to listen, respecting the words and refraining from further offending behaviors.  Skills needed for healthy lifetimes, free of sexual abuse and assault, begin with our “Approve” for Referendum 90.

Rena Connell

Letters published in the September 16 Tribune:

It will cause traffic issues

To the Editor:
I am responding to Jake Berg’s article (Sept. 2 Tribune) concerning the proposed 113-home single family housing development on Terrace Avenue.
The article states there are many concerns regarding traffic and safety. Our city planning director, Glen Pickus, after performing a traffic analysis, says the traffic impact would be negligible and not be a future problem. I can clearly see the traffic on that section of Terrace from my home’s back windows. I would like a better explanation of how 113 extra homes with a possibility of two cars each would not pose a problem on this narrow road containing a sharp curve. There will be working people leaving and coming, stay-at-home moms and retirees running errands daily, driving teens coming and going, visitors, school buses, Amazon delivery trucks etc.. I don’t see how this would not be an enormous impact. Or how a traffic study can predict traffic of unknown future residents.
Pickus does agree that there is a safety issue because of lack of sidewalks and geometry of intersections that has been going on for years but the city has no authority to require the developer to fix them except what is in front of the property. But I would expect the city has the authority to fix these safety issues as part of the planning process for this unprecedented housing development. I would ask Pickus what plan he has to guarantee our residents will live in a safe traffic area.

Barbara Rivett


Don’t let political divides shatter message

To the Editor:
An article was in the Sept. 2 Tribune about our Aug. 29 demonstration in support of the Post Office. Some of us decided we would continue the demonstrations every Saturday from 11:00-12:00 until the issues are resolved. Ultimately, we want a healthy USPS that fulfills the Constitutional charge.
I was sorely disappointed that on September 5, people showed up in opposition to our demonstration. Whereas the week mentioned in the article, many people driving by honked, showing a large support for the USPS, this time there were opposition trucks driving up and down Avenue D. A group of men stood nearby, attempting to intimidate with stares.
I would hope that we could all come together in support of our national treasure of a postal service. We can all support the hard-working USPS employees who deliver our bills, cards, commercial items, gifts sent to relatives, advertising, ballots, and this Tribune.
We need to keep the demonstration apolitical. As such, I would encourage all sides of the political spectrum to show up and show your support. John Lovick showed up one time; I would encourage Mayor John Kartak to do the same. Those of you staring from the Stag—you too could join in showing support. No political signs or conversation will be allowed. We can show the patriotism we ALL have in common. We can show that we’re better than the division that pits us against one another.
If you show up, you will be expected to be courteous and respect everyone else—as we all should anyway.

Sue Davis

Your vote counts

To the Editor:
Use your vote to send a candidate that will stand firm on their pledges and promises after the election is over. So go to the polls and change our officials for better government.
We, the taxpayers, must have a voice to cut frivolous spending by electing those that solemnly support and defend the Constitution of the U.S.
It is not just a matter of keeping “In God We Trust” on our coins — it is keeping that belief in the hearts, minds and souls of people.
President Trump blames everyone when things don’t go his way and afterwards fires them. Those in the administration that stick to him like glue don’t dare otherwise or they’ll be fired. What happens when each meets their maker?
Rev. Tom Lambrecht felt “Our country would benefit from a return to the kind of courtesy and grace reflect in Jesus’ work.” Amen to that.
President Trump has built his career on racism. He denied and hid Russia meddling. His tapes aren’t out in the open, so what is he hiding? Too much spent on borders, which could have been used for COVID-19. Why didn’t he shut down travel from China?
The President has mishandled our government. He makes fake claims, lies all the time, and cheats anyone he can. He is just not the right party for the job of President. What happens when he meets his maker? He can’t sugarcoat it.

Betty C. Hokana

Letters published in the September 9 Tribune:


More cars will cause unfavorable impact

To the Editor:
The city planners need a better understanding of the “negligible” impact of having 113 new homes on Terrace. Terrace has only one way in, one way out. That’s a problem. Why? Each new house will no doubt have two cars in the double car garage. That means 226 cars will bring problems to that street. Even with the road widened, sidewalks, curbs, implanting 226 cars to any Snohomish street, will be an adversary, unfavorable impact.
There will be no stopping this development. All permit codes will be met. No law broken. More tax revenue, no one on the city council lives on Terrace.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Appointing Palmer will cost an extra $30,000

To the Editor:
I listened to the Sept. 1st Snohomish City Council meeting, specifically during an action item to amend the City’s contract for police services with Sheriff Fortney. Its intent was to allow Fortney to appoint a captain instead of a lieutenant — costing city taxpayers an extra $30,000 annually.
Mayor Kartak and Fortney were all set to swear-in Captain Palmer, but the council wisely postponed the vote until Sept. 15th to get more information.
Public testimony was overwhelmingly in favor of not changing the contract until it expires at the end of next year.
If Fortney wants to keep Captain Palmer as Snohomish’s police chief, that’s his prerogative, but the $30,000 increase should come out of Fortney’s budget, not from city taxpayers.
Currently, all cities that contract with the Sheriff have lieutenants acting as chief.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Captain Palmer is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement, hence eligible for full retirement pay and former lieutenant/chief Keith Rogers was recently promoted by Fortney to captain.
Therefore, Fortney (who’s facing recall), conceivably, could appoint Captain Rogers as Snohomish chief if Palmer should retire.
I understand the lieutenant’s salary is around $170,000 annually.  That’s very sufficient to supervise a staff of 18 officers.  A captain’s salary costing over $200,000 is not warranted for the small town of Snohomish.
For comparison, the governor, whose salary is lower than $200,000, must manage 100,000 employees.

Morgan Davis

Support for John Lovick

To the Editor:
Our country is divided, and at times like these, I believe that it is important to have people in elected office who bring people together instead of driving them apart. That’s why I’m voting for State Representative John Lovick in the 44th Legislative District election.
I have known John for more than 20 years. In that time, he has served our community well as a state trooper, city councilmember, sheriff, county executive, and state representative. He is the most experienced candidate in this election, to be sure. 
But, it’s also his character and moral compass that continues to impress me. Unlike his opponent, John doesn’t “rule by,” or create an atmosphere of fear in his position. He speaks to what is possible, brings people together to solve problems, and moves our community forward with positive, collaborative solutions. 
We have enough negativity in this country right now with the Presidential election, the pandemic and the economy. I want a state representative who calms fears instead of making people fearful about the unknown. I want someone who reaches across the aisle with a hand instead of standing across the street with a gun. 
His experience and accomplishments speak for themselves; you can find a list on his website. It’s John’s character that is so needed right now. I encourage you to support John Lovick for this position if you live in the 44th district.
Maureen Loomis

Demand Senate action

To the Editor:
Thanks to the Snohomish City Council for reaching out with Congressional funding to help residents in difficult times. (‘Snohomish sets up utility bill support and rent relief program city residents’ by Jake Berg, Snohomish Tribune, August 26, 2020) Thanks also to Reps. Larsen and DelBene for passing the legislation that made this possible and the Heroes Act back in May, that would have continued relief for the millions suffering from the pandemic and the economic challenges it brought. Unfortunately, even the efforts of Senators Murray and Cantwell could not convince Senate Leader McConnell to bring it up and pass it in the Senate. Since we are blessed to live in a democracy, we can raise our voices with calls, letters, and tweets demanding Senate Action: time to come back from your recess and stop the needless deaths, hunger, and homelessness that are resulting from your inaction.

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the September 2 Tribune:

Former Mayor supports Lovick

To the Editor:
As the former Mayor of the City of Snohomish, I know this community well, and dearly love this small city. I also know John Kartak, our current Mayor, running against John Lovick for the position of State Representative from the 44th District.
I served two years on Council with Kartak and have witnessed him struggling in a position for which he is ill prepared. Recently we have heard impassioned concern from many citizens about his welcoming a partisan presence in our city, amid calls for his resignation. It is amazing to me that now Kartak feels qualified to replace a man of great distinction and integrity, John Lovick.
During my time in office, I worked closely with Representative John Lovick and note his consistent wisdom and energetic record of service to this state and our County. Locally, he helped bring funds to our city to assist in the renovation of our old Carnegie Library; he has been a leading advocate for public safety, affordable housing, transportation, and parks — all contributing to the quality of life in this sweet city.
Representative Lovick, respected by his peers, was the former acting speaker of the Washington state House of Representatives, was the Snohomish County Executive, Sheriff, State Trooper, and Coast Guard veteran. He is an effective and seasoned servant of our community and deserves our continuing support.
It is noteworthy that five of our current City Councilmembers in Snohomish, who serve with Kartak, have endorsed Representative Lovick. This speaks volumes about both men.

Karen Guzak

John Lovick: A man with a vision

To the Editor:
John Lovick absolutely deserves to be re-elected as our 44th district representative. John was one of the very first elected officials who actively supported restoring the Carnegie library building and the Veterans Memorial Park in historic Snohomish. He knew it was a public project that would benefit local businesses and provide much needed open space. He understands what drives a successful commercial core and what draws people to spend time and money in a welcoming town. The restoration is not yet complete, but if you want to lift your spirits, go and see the changes. The warm colors alone will make you smile.
Vote for a man with vision. Vote for John Lovick.

Candace Jarrett

“Silence is complicity”

To the Editor:
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists 30 hate groups in Washington State. 20 of them are  White Supremacy groups, and includes Proud Boys, those knuckleheads who hijacked the BLM event in Snohomish. They use the 2nd Amendment as a vehicle to promote their message. 
 Bellinghams’s Fortress of Faith, an anti-Muslim organization, and Seattle’s Pacific Justice Institute, ran by attorney Brad Cacus, who fight against LGBQ legislation, use religion doctrine to support their message. 
We are better than this, as Americans. Silence is complicity. Ignorance is too easy. Contact your elected official at 1-800-562-6000 and ask them what they are doing to right this wrong. Speak up. Refuse to allow these groups to define our state, your community.
Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

A good laugh

To the Editor:
Regarding “The Year of the ‘Karen’ “ (Aug. 19 Tribune): That was funny and yet a very serious column, Thank you we all need a good laugh and healthy look at ourselves these days.  I am sure we all have witnessed Karens of all persuasions, political parties, “Special” interest, young and old.  Some are funny, some are sad and some are just vicious.  Karens come in all forms for sure. The sad part is when you cannot see the Karen in you, like those calling everyone in a small town racist or sending in a letter to the Tribune calling out a load-of-crap article in a little town magazine quarterly.  Sometimes we need a laugh to see the reality of life.  Thank you Karen.

John Lorenz

Letters published in the August 26 Tribune:

“You do not speak for me.”

To the Editor:
How sad that in letters to the editor in the July 29 Tribune from Morgan Davis and Jan Lengenfelder, these two citizens chose to assume several points (without offering any basis in fact):
1) That the May 31st event downtown was “obviously mishandled”
2) That expressions of historical heritage are implicitly racist
3) That holding public office requires previous military service
4) That everyone agrees Mayor Kartak’s time in office has been “controversial”
5) That memorizing Robert’s Rules of Order makes you a good meeting facilitator
6) That a 7 of 7 consensus on a council equals good governance
7) That each City Council member represents an equal number of opinion-holders city-wide
8) That 5 of 7 council members endorsing one candidate means the other candidate is bad
9) That everyone in Snohomish does not believe in systemic racism
10) That Snohomish For Equity has citizens’ best interest at heart
11) That believing bigotry (in some form) will always be present equals a lack of interest in addressing it where it does exist
12) That Mayor Kartak discourages community input.
By making at least a dozen assumptions, they formulated a case for their preferred candidate. But, what if those assumptions are wrong?
I, for one, am tired of having others speak for me without even asking what I desire for my community. John Kartak has been honest, clear, prompt in responding to my inquiries and even-handed in balancing the myriad needs and desires of the citizenry. As far as I can see, he has my vote!
To those of you who want to press your case by co-opting my opinion, STOP! You can only speak for yourself. You do not speak for me.

Julie Bancroft

Letters published in the August 19 Tribune:


Thanking the community

To the Editor: 
Snohomish, thank you for 27 wonderful years!
You never know when a door may open and 2020 has been a year of great change. As difficult as many of the challenges have been, there have also been exciting new opportunities including a set of circumstances that have led to an opportunity for my family and I to start our next chapter.
Sadly, I will no longer be able to serve on the Snohomish City Council effective 8/31/20 as we will be moving outside of the city limits. I was appointed to my position on the City Council in 2016 and I do not regret a single day. There have been many positive steps forward as well as difficult challenges and along the way, I tried to make every decision in the best interest of this wonderful town. My wife and I have raised our boys here, have been active in the community and have countless happy memories and great friendships that will last forever. Snohomish will always have a special place in our hearts and I want to thank the community for allowing me to serve and for the love and support from the day we moved into town. I will continue to read the Snohomish Tribune from the other side of the mountains and will regularly make the trip back into town to say hello, enjoy our downtown and see the many friends made over the past 27 years.

Jason Sanders (and family)
Snohomish City Council President

Letters published in the August 12 Tribune:

A veterans duty

To the Editor: 
What a contrast between two Marine veterans recently in local news. Thank you for the lead story on repainting the Snohomish Food Bank, led by Will Lennon (Aug. 5 Tribune). He takes his Marine oath, “Semper Fidelis” — “Always Faithful,” seriously. His commitment to the well-being of his community, his willingness to motivate others to share his values, including mentoring young people... this is the best our armed services produces. His leadership, generosity and initiative inspired community member Aaron Fonseca to donate his expertise, crew time, and equipment to the effort. And the entire community benefits with a well-maintained building for a much-needed community service.
Then we have rogue barber Bob Martin, claiming pride in his Marine service, and missing the message entirely. He no longer wishes to honor the Corps who earned the above slogan by NEVER having had a mutiny. Instead he rebels against wise, science-based guidance, acts selfishly (I won’t shut down MY business to protect the community!) and inspires others to this same selfishness (no masks in the long line waiting to patronize him). It is sad to see the disrespect to his former comrades, and the twisting of a proud tradition in service of the “me first” attitude of too many among us.
Let us continue to comply with recommendations as we get more tired, cranky, lonely, and worried. Let’s remain committed to doing that which benefits all of us. Our future, and that of our children and grandchildren, depends on it
Bonny Headley
Defunding is not the answer

To the Editor:
As I have been hearing of the events across this country that involve relationships between citizens and our local law enforcement officers and how people believe we should defund the police or reduce police funding, I believe the true answer is investing more in our police departments to provide more training to our police officers to deal with conflicts with those mentally ill and or those under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
If the police used better de-escalation tactics and worked with their citizens instead of being aggressive toward citizens then the relationship between citzens and police officers would be better and that would solve a lot of the mental illness crisis that America has.
I write this opinion based on an experience I had in my apartment parking lot with Everett police a couple weeks ago over a useless dispute between neighbors having a bon fire. So if citizens learned to unite and get along with each other then that would help relations between police officers and civilians.

Elijah Edens

Letters published in the August 5 Tribune:

Fortney supporters are putting health at risk at rallies

To the Editor: 

Fortney supporters intentionally put others at risk at rallies.  
I’m a county resident and I attended a gathering to raise awareness to recall Sheriff Adam Fortney June 27 in Lake Stevens. I met with some other recall supporters and we committed to respect the Fortney supporters; some of us were very polite and friendly, striking up conversations and I even heard a few compliments.
Unfortunately, the Fortney supporters didn’t feel the same. They purposefully moved their rally in order to clash with ours. To be clear, our rally was scheduled at a different place and time than theirs. The majority gathered on the corner with the crosswalk so we had to walk thru them or walk in the road to get to our spots.
Few if any were wearing masks. Some Fortney folks even mixed in on our side and tried to intimidate us physically. Many people witnessed a Fortney supporter refuse to back away from a lady when asked and cough at her.
It’s worth mentioning that the cases of Covid-19 in Lake Stevens went from 10 to 153 that week, without an increase in testing, according to the Snohomish County Health District. As all of this occurred, we saw Sheriff Fortney with his supporters, completely disregarding our safety. We just wanted to raise awareness for our efforts to recall the Sheriff. We treated them with dignity and respect. We deserve the same.

Phil Colling 

Support for Lovick

To the Editor:
In response to a letter in the July 22 Tribune: Steve Dana used a classic phony argument in his letter in favor of John Kartak. He referred to the “pornographic sex education” law which he accused John Lovick of voting for.
My seventh grade teacher warned us about this kind of political trick. She explained another classic form of loaded question, “When did you stop beating your wife?” I’m glad she taught me to think.
Nobody voted for “pornographic sex education,” of course. Dana is smearing a bill which was passed in order, among other things, to help children protect themselves against abuse. It is aimed at helping the young of all ages learn to think, and be able to react with self-possession where sexuality is concerned. And the law does not mandate any particular curriculum, anyway. That is another deception.
I am voting for John Lovick who commands my respect and admiration. And he earned that vote because I can look carefully at his record, and the issues of the day, thanks to the civics lessons in my school curriculum long ago.

Mark Miller

Letters published in the July 29 Tribune:

Comparing Kartak to Lovick

To the Editor:
Regarding Steve Dana’s July 22nd letter in the Tribune, “Support for Mayor John Kartak”:
Dana, a current Snohomish city councilman and former weak mayor, was a failed Republican candidate for the position of Snohomish County Executive.
In 2011, Dana opposed the City contracting with then-Sheriff John Lovick for its police services. Now, he praises current Sheriff Adam Fortney and Mayor Kartak for their obvious mishandling of the May 31st debacle on First Street. Dana has defended them, even saying the Confederate flag and symbols are an expression of Southern pride and heritage, not racism.
According to Dana’s letter, John Lovick’s Democratic politics makes him “sick.”
Well, compare Lovick’s strong resumé with Kartak’s limited education, no military service, and 2½ years experience as controversial mayor of Snohomish.
Kartak still has trouble remembering the proper protocol for running council meetings, often needing prompting from the City Clerk.
Yes, this election will be the true litmus test on the degree of racism in Snohomish.

Morgan Davis

Lovick is the only leader here

To the Editor:
John Kartak, current Mayor of Snohomish, is running for State Representative against John Lovick, our current Representative. Kartak ends his published candidate statement with “I will be your voice in Olympia.”
We, the voters of the City of Snohomish, have heard this pledge of representation before. It was part of Kartak’s run for Mayor. Has Kartak delivered on this promise? No.
John Kartak is not on friendly terms with 5 of the 7 elected members of City Council, each of whom represent the voices of Snohomish’s citizens equally as much as he does. Kartak declines their meeting requests and refuses to consult full Council on any matter. 5 of 7 City Council members have endorsed John Lovick for re-election.
Does John Kartak listen to citizens who contact him directly? He has said there is a large contingent of Snohomish individuals he does not have to listen to. After the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, John Kartak was invited to participate in a forum focused on equity and racism issues.  Kartak was a no-show. Apparently, he didn’t need to listen to Snohomish for Equity Leaders.
Do we know how John Kartak feels on equity issues, discrimination and racism?  Per John Kartak “…there will always be some bigotry everywhere.”  Paraphrased:  I, John Kartak, strong Mayor of Snohomish, advise Snohomish citizens to sit down, be silent, and tolerate bigotry, because I won’t lead change, much less acknowledge the need for change.   
John Lovick provides leadership. Re-elect John Lovick.

Jan Lengenfelder

Letters published in the July 22 Tribune:

Support for Mayor John Kartak

To the Editor:
As the political season advances, Washington voters will have important decisions to make about our future.  In the past 8 years, the state budget has nearly doubled while services have not.  Actually, they’ve declined.
I write today in support of State House candidate, Snohomish Mayor John Kartak; the hardest working mayor I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my 33 years in city government.  Since his first day on the job, Mayor Kartak has worked his butt off for our great city.
An equally important reason for my support of Kartak is his opponent’s horrible voting record.  Since returning to the legislature, John Lovick voted to raise taxes more than in any other session in our state’s history. But the deal breaker for me was Lovick’s vote for the pornographic Sex Education bill passed by the legislature this past spring.  Check out his voting record.  It will make you sick.  Indoctrinating elementary age children to be sexual creatures offends me and makes me fear for the kids. 
This election offers voters the chance to choose between two distinct visions for our state.  Lovick’s vision supports more taxes and morally bankrupt sexualization of our children.  John Kartak represents curtailing and reducing taxes and leaving decisions about sex education for K-12 students to their parents.
Please vote John Kartak for the State House in the 44th Legislative District.

Steve Dana

Support for April Berg

To the Editor:
I fully support April Berg for the 44th. As a public school teacher in Lake Stevens for the last 25 years, I respect her dedication to public education and the ongoing work of creating and supporting racial equity and social justice in our schools and community. April stands for affordable housing, access to affordable healthcare, clean fuel standards, and living wages. She has held leadership positions her entire life — student body president in college, in several non-profits, in her jobs at Boeing and as Planning Commissioner for Mill Creek, as a small business owner, on school boards, and as mom of 6 children.
April’s experience is impressive; I recently met her in person and she lives up to the many awards and endorsements she has received — April “walks the walk” and will serve all of us with distinction. Vote April Berg for State Representative, 44th District!

Tina Kinnard 
Lake Stevens

Senate stalling on passing Heroes Act

To the Editor:
As the virus spikes in our county and state, we are reminded that this is a health crisis, with secondary economic effects. The House recognized this threat and passed the Heroes Act, with $75 billion for local health departments, funding for frontline state and local governments, and rent and hunger relief. The Senate has yet to take action. Our calls, letters, and virtual visits to those who represent us can urge them to speak to leadership making sure these important aspects become a part of the relief bill that will hopefully pass before the August recess. In addition, funding for the global aspect of this global pandemic must be included if we are ever to beat this virus. This is the time to speak up, followed by voting. That is the way democracy works, each of us doing our part to make sure our government funds the relief for this crisis that helps every American.

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the July 15 Tribune:

We can prepare pets for Fourth, but surprises on other days hurt

To the Editor:
We live in unincorporated Snohomish County where fireworks are legal on July 4 only, and we plan accordingly, tranquilizing our animals so they can withstand the noise. 
However, when fireworks are detonated on other days except July 4, our animals truly suffer. 
Our neighbors decided to detonate very loud, house-shaking fireworks on the evening of July 5. 
Our horses were so traumatized one stood and shook, while the other ran frantically, trying to escape to somewhere the noise wasn’t. 
Causing undue distress to innocent animals is just wrong!  It has nothing to do with celebrating anything.
Susan Hannus

Letters published in the July 8 Tribune:

Writer: Ignorance comes in all colors

To the Editor:
Snohomish for Equity is a Radical Progressive community organizing group masquerading as an educational advocacy group for the “Black Lives Matter” Community. They recently stated “We Live in a White Supremist Society” as a guest on the Town Hall Meeting. Snohomish for Equity does not want to build bridges, they want to control the narrative with hot topic words, such as equality, inclusion, racial profiling.
They are potentially causing hate and division in Snohomish, while offering no solution, other than supporting domestic terroristic demands from Generation Justice. 
Grant Weed and Emily Guildner explained the 1st and 2nd Amendment perfectly in the Town Hall Meeting.  
Interim Police Chief Palmer explained, in detail, the truth of what really happened on May 31st and now Snohomish for Equity wants an “independent review” of his report. 
Your Feelings are not Facts.
Chief Palmer works on Facts!
99% of the Blue are great men and women that have compassion & feelings. Don’t vilify them, because of the 1% that are bad. 
I personally support and Back the Blue.
“If people can show hate for no reason, show love for no reason.”
“Not all blacks are criminals, not all whites are racist, not all cops are bad. Ignorance comes in all colors.” 

Bill Betten
Maydelle, Texas


Is there a racism problem within our high schools?

To the Editor:
I am glad that I have waited. Black lives do matter. I do not understand how standing on street corners yelling and calling Snohomish racist fixes anything.
Snohomish is not racist. I’m 79 years old and I have never experienced what people of color have experienced, but that doesn’t make me a racist.
What is being taught in our schools? Students yelling “Snohomish is racist” and “Black Lives Matter” does not resolve any injustices incurred by people of color. Racism is a hot topic to discuss. Is there a racism problem within our high school? And if there is, why hasn’t this been addressed at the school level? Why did some of the local High School teachers parade their students down First Street, at the same time Antifa was supposed to show up in Snohomish. When I drove through Snohomish, I thought the Black Lives Matter protesters were Antifa members.
Later, I found out it was some high school teachers and their students. Their protest only muddled the “Black Lives Matter” message when mixed with the potential Antifa violence and destruction.
Mayor Kartak said, “Nothing happened in Snohomish” and “Snohomish is the most open and welcoming community on earth. It has been my experience that Snohomish is not racist and never has been.”
We need to move beyond protests to start real conversations on racism and it sounds like we need to start within our local high school.

Larry Countryman,
City Councilman


Writer: Kartak’s hasty decision

To the Editor:
John Kartak has hastily announced he is running for Representative of Washington’s 44th Legislative District against incumbent John Lovick.
John Lovick was a State Trooper for 31 years, served in the Coast Guard for 13 years, was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 1998, serving nine years, elected Sheriff of Snohomish County in 2007, and again elected Representative of the 44th District in 2018.
Mr. Kartak has been Mayor of Snohomish for 2-1/2 years. His most recent controversy involving Black Lives Matter demonstrators marching in Snohomish and being harassed by far-right groups and so called militias has made national news. The juxtaposition of Black Lives Matter, Snohomish, and Kartak’s hasty decision to run for 44th District Representative is obviously more than coincidental. John Lovick is Black. John Kartak sees an opening, conjuring up the possibility that voters will associate Black Lives Matter headlines with a Black vs. White election. It won’t work. Voters will see it for what it is, an attempt to take advantage of the current strife, but on the wrong side, as this history is being written.

John Reed

Letters published in the July 1 Tribune:


Not giving the whole picture

To the Editor:
I listened to the June 23rd Snohomish City Council meeting, where city attorney Grant Weed and sheriff’s captain Robert Palmer attempted to “whitewash” the May 31st debacle on First Street, hoping a gullible council and public would buy their explanation.  
Captain Palmer’s rationale for the SWAT team’s civil disorder overreaction was based on an unverified social media post along with someone seeing three likely black individuals dressed in black hoodies at a parked car with a Seattle registration in Cady Park.
Apparently, city government and law enforcement recognize the rights of right-wing, gun-toting, beer-swilling extremists but wearing a black hoodie results in a massive show of force with a wink and a handshake to local vigilantes for occupying First Street. (According to a June 19th Seattle Times article “When antifa hysteria sweeps America,” the May 31st social media post “was actually run by white supremacists posing as antifa”).
The mayor and councilmen Countryman and Dana are avowed right-wing conservative Republicans as is Sheriff Fortney. 
Countryman in the June 16th council meeting blamed the Democrat Party for the debacle. Dana, a former city weak mayor, denied in the June 23rd meeting that Snohomish is a town of white privilege and believes Confederate symbols are not racist or hateful but are part of our history of Southern pride and heritage.
The mayor has been cozy with the rebel Stag barbershop and his mayoral campaign benefited from a Proud Boy member’s key support.
Yes, Kartak and Fortney both deserve to be recalled for politicizing city government and law enforcement.

Morgan Davis

Writer: Town hall a liberal love fest

To the Editor:
Everyone is a racist in this town and America, did you know that?
The Town Hall was a farce, cherry picked to the point of even a city attorney taking a stab at the president during the 1st Amendment presentation. This town hall was a liberal drum circle beating the drum of Marxism. 
I have had enough of being called a racist, I say these people are racist. They practice bullying, marginalizing, aggression and, yes, racism. When one group is systemically using their power and influence over children and this city council by the bully tactics of Marxism then yes they are as guilty of the very things they preach to be against. Hypocrites come to mind.
Are the Neo-Marxist group called John Brown Gun Club armed and protecting the anarchist-occupied Seattle White Supremists as well? I did not get to ask that question as the audience was cherry picked too. This is not about racism, George Floyd or Black Lives Matter’s true cause, this is Marxism. The founder of Black Lives Matter Inc. openly admits of being a Marxist and teaching trained Marxism. I will not support Marxism.
I will support a cause for equality but I will not be duped by this farce.

John Lorenz

Letters published in the June 24 Tribune:

Appropriate source of funding

To the Editor:
On May 12, Bob Dvorak wrote a letter to the Everett Herald which in part reads:
“There is a 501(c) 3 Everett Senior Center Foundation with $250,000, and $500,000 in a city-held senior center account.  (…) That money would have kept the senior center viable for at least two more years, possibly allowing the city to transition to a non-profit self-sustaining center.”
It seems the appropriate funding source would be the Community Foundation. They are better equipped to fill those financial needs.
Over the past five-plus years, the city has been trying to force us to sign a contract to control all funds received by us and to have them dedicated solely to the center. We refused. It goes against our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws issued in 1998 to serve the needs of, and enhance the quality of life for, seniors in Snohomish County, including, but not limited to, members of the Carl Gipson Senior Center.
On several occasions, our board approached the center offering funds, and was told that the center could not receive money from us until we signed the city contract.
Key city officials said this mandate went as far up as the Mayor’s office.
The Everett Senior Center Foundation has been blessed by several people who thought enough of what we are doing to give us money to help further our services. These funds are set aside to provide a continuous income toward our grant-giving efforts, and cannot be touched.
We continue to maintain an open-door policy for the center and qualifying agencies in Snohomish County to apply for grants from us.

Paul Miller
President, Everett Senior Center Foundation

Frustrated with the treatment of Lt. Rogers and Mayor Kartak

To the Editor:
I am completely frustrated with how a small group of citizens feel they can ambush our prior Chief of Police and Mayor over the recent activity downtown Snohomish.  Since when is it okay for a handful of people to speak, and act on behalf of all of us?  There are far more people that support both Rogers and Mayor Kartak. This entire situation has been blurred with one-sided views and divided us, when quite possibly we should of all had the opportunity to sit down, be heard and work towards a solution.  Do we now have to stand in protest to this discrimination?  Where does this stop?  This is highlighting yet another type of racism and needs to stop and be fixed. 

Roger Hanson

Letters published in the June 17 Tribune:

Tired of a one-sided view

To the Editor:
I cannot sit back any longer and listen to the one-sided view of what happened in Snohomish during the protest. I was down there a couple different evenings and talked with protesters, armed citizens, persons of color, police officers and armed individuals from out of town.  I walked away very saddened on how nobody was listening to each other.  
Ninety-nine percent of the people down there were actually there in support of BLM and the town but they all had a different “way” of doing that. I saw MANY American Flags, but the one Confederate flag is getting all the attention. I spoke with MANY armed individuals and 99% of them were not drinking alcohol.  I spoke with protestors and they were peaceful and powerful, but 1% of those were not.  A protester in the front of the group was not carrying a BLM sign, but a very rude derogatory comment about the Mayor’s mother.  That is not okay.  Just about every spectator down there was in support of the protestors, but I witnessed a couple different occasions where the protesters went out of their way to antagonize people. Why?  
 I do not agree with the 1% from each group but every one of them had as much right to be there as the rest of us.  Do not go after the Chief of Police or the Mayor just because you cannot accept everyone’s constitutional rights. Snohomish is a truly diverse town, and we have all gotten along and allowed each other just fine. Not embracing diversity is a prejudice all its own. 

Janet Hobelman

No credible threat to First Street

To the Editor:
An open letter to the City of Snohomish government and Chamber of Commerce leadership,
Why did Snohomish law enforcement and our Snohomish City government allow and condone armed, hate group thugs, to drink alcohol openly on our Snohomish city streets May 31, 2020?
There was no credible or verified threat to Snohomish. There were only fake social media posts on fake social media accounts by suspected hate groups.
That this was enough to incite a mob response like the one in Snohomish yesterday is absolutely frightening.
Why was a mob allowed to flood our Snohomish city streets not social distancing or wearing face masks? We are still in a pandemic. Where was the concern for the public health?
Where are the thoughts of the City of Snohomish elected leaders on what happened in our city?  I really want to know.
I am formally requesting a public denunciation from the City of Snohomish government leadership of “all” hate groups as well their symbols of hate and terror.
It is beyond despicable that the Confederate Flag was being flown by a hate group on our City of Snohomish streets.
Hate groups like the one that was in Snohomish have been identified by the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI as “terror” organizations.
The hate group in Snohomish openly carrying assault weapons is one of them.
The loose association of Anti-Fascists have not been so identified.

David Clay

A symbol of hate and ignorance

To the Editor:
In the recent display of guns in Snohomish one of the armed men proudly sported a confederate flag while he pretended to protect our town. In a council meeting the flag was referred to as the “Dixie” flag.
Before, during and after the Civil War  part of my family lived in Virginia and then West Virginia. I have close family in Georgia.  My entire family there and here knows that the confederate flag represents the shameful fight to preserve the abomination of slavery.
We do not believe the war was about preserving “states rights” because that so-called “right” was to preserve and even expand slavery.
That many confederates did not own slaves or did not want outsiders in their part of the U.S. does not negate the fact that if the confederates had won, slavery would have continued to be legal and supported in the confederacy for  even longer than the hundreds of years it had already existed.
Our fellow human beings would have continued to be owned, abused and degraded by other humans.
Calling the confederate flag  the “Dixie” flag in no way diminishes how offensive it is to people who value freedom, equality and basic humanity.

Candace Jarrett

Pleased with city and coverage

To the Editor:
I was happy to see the coverage in your paper of what occurred in your town May 31. I watched the city council meeting on Zoom and was very impressed by the strength of the public outrage over some incidents of intimidation by some so-called protectors of the town.  And the council listened.  And your paper reported it.  I’ll be keeping an eye on this news outlet, as it seems to be on top of what’s happening.
Sylvia Stauffer

Letters published in the June 10 Tribune:

A call for resignation

To the Editor:
Last week, Mayor Kartak and Police Chief Rogers allowed armed vigilantes (some of whom were openly consuming alcohol and displaying Confederate flags) to take control of downtown Snohomish. These armed vigilantes harassed, intimidated and assaulted visitors and lawful protestors. The mayor’s and police chief’s support of these armed vigilantes was not based on any verifiable threat but rather on fake Facebook rumors, the flames of which were fanned by the violence-promoting, neo-fascist group, the Proud Boys.
During the June 2nd virtual City Council meeting, Mayor Kartak’s and Chief Rogers’ tone-deaf statements, regarding their epic failure to ensure public safety, were met with anger and angst from the many citizens attending the meeting.  Mayor Kartak’s audacity in trying to frame his failure of public duty as something good points to the very heart and presence of systemic racism. Inviting and allowing armed vigilantes to intimidate and assault Black Lives Matter protestors IS RACIST!
We can no longer put up with gaslighting leaders who simply just don’t get it.  I call for the immediate resignations of Mayor Kartak and Police Chief Rogers.

Carey Clay

Coordinated disaster

To the Editor:
When the “patriotic defenders” of Snohomish were here over last weekend, they not only overtopped the garbage containers with beer bottles and cans, they also left a remarkable number of hate group stickers on posts, signs and walls, all on public view.  Who knew there were that many hate groups in western Washington? 
I have these observations:
1. Gun-toting white males, plus beer, plus hate, plus misinformation, does not equal safety, protection, equity or Snohomish values, Mayor Kartak.
2. The Snohomish County Sheriff was punked by an alt-right group posing as Antifa.  It seems numerous threats of violence being made in the name of Antifa across the USA are by alt-right groups. They follow a pattern.
3. Antifa stands for anti-fascist; i.e., against fascism.  This is good.  Fascism is what much of the world went to war to defeat in the 1930’s-40’s.  Antifa is not identified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League, or the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Antifa is not known for violence.  Good work.
4 What is clear: Proud Boys, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists converged on Snohomish in, what seemed like, a coordinated fashion. The show of force from the Snohomish County Sheriff was for Antifa. Our “patriotic defenders” created the threat they then helped resolve, in flashy, Confederate flag waving, macho-swaggering, beer-swilling, AR 15 brandishing fashion. 
And Snohomish was saved.
Impressed much?

Janice Lengenfelder

What would they have done anyway?

To the Editor:
I didn’t miss it. The confederate flag that represented generations of suppression and bigotry. The yellow flag that begs for no oversight. The two men flashing the hand sign that means white power. The civilians with weapons strapped across their chest to deter alleged looters, as if shooting someone for theft or breaking a window would get them an award rather than incarceration. That is how they operate. Make the message about them not the victim.  They must be a proud bunch of boys.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Speak out

To the Editor:
Wonderful to see the people of Snohomish speak out against racism. First on Saturday in the streets, later on Monday, and finally speaking up at the Tuesday City Council meeting.
The message was clear: end racism in America, Black Lives Matter. Time to continue to use our voices, this time with Congress. The recent COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House addresses the need of low income Americans, all too often people of color, including an increase in the SNAP program to fight hunger, relief for renters to prevent an even greater increase in homelessness, and funding for state and local governments on the frontlines protecting us in the pandemic. In addition, legislation in the House (HR 40) and the Senate (S 1083) sets up a commission to help address America’s underlying racism, examine and accept the truth, so we can move forward with healing and reparations. As always, our voices matter, our calls, letters, and virtual visits to our members of Congress can create the political will to take action. Congresswoman DelBene helped pass the relief bill and is already a cosponsor of House bill 40, but hearing from us will help make these initiatives priorities. There is plenty we can do before voting in November, why not add your voice? Not sure how? RESULTS ( has an active chapter in Snohomish, and this month’s virtual International Conference (pay what you can) will help you become an effective advocate.

Willie Dickerson

No letters published in the June 3 Tribune

Letters published in the May 27 Tribune:

Save resources by killing task force

To the Editor:
Snohomish’s planning director just released a project update on the city’s newly created “Midtown Planning District” on pages 69 and 70 of the June 3 planning commission meeting’s agenda.
The city created a task force to develop the vacant 9.5 acre county-owned parcel and to redevelop already improved properties nearby, putting the residents in the Snohomish Mobile and RV Park at risk for losing their homes.
Snohomish County hired a consultant, the Leland Consulting Group and Otak, to perform a market study of the area.  The consultant team’s recommended, even before the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, that the site’s highest and best use would be affordable, 2 or 3 story, wood-frame, multi-family flats, with a few one story commercial areas — for example, social services or medical facilities.  
The consultant reports “the demand in Snohomish for more office or retail space is very low,” negating the need for “mixed-use” rezoning.
The planning director also reports “it is uncertain when the (mayor’s appointed 13 member) Task Force will meet,” due to the uncertainty of this pandemic.
Therefore, the planning commission should recommend to the council to immediately cancel the Mid-town rezone project and disband the Task Force, saving taxpayers  the $70,500 fee earmarked to facilitate the five task force meetings.
In summary, the county consultant’s recommendations can be implemented without a spot rezone of the midtown area. And most importantly, the uprooting of scores of families in the Snohomish Mobile and RV Park would be prevented.

Morgan Davis

Letters published in the May 20 Tribune:

Thank you for continuing care

To the Editor:
I am grateful that in all its understandable focus on the COVID-19 virus, Congress did not lose sight of the need to improve care and support for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. 
Approximately 5% of the more than five million Americans living today with Alzheimer’s have younger onset. Until now, these folks have been ineligible to receive vital Older Americans Act help like nutritional programs, in-home services, transportation, legal services, elder-abuse prevention and caregiver support. 
This issue is important to me because my wife Taryn was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s 10 years ago and is fortunately still living with Alzheimer’s today. I know the heavy burden that families carry with this disease that affects so many loved ones. 
I am grateful that Congresswomen Suzan DelBene, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Congressman Rick Larsen responded to Alzheimer’s Association advocates who urged cosponsorship of a bill to let area agencies on aging give support to those with younger onset Alzheimer’s and they worked successfully to pass it into law.  
All our members of Congress should continue to actively support policies that address Alzheimer’s disease as the national public health crisis it is. 

Jeff Jensen

Letters published in the May 13 Tribune:

Fear has paralyzed our economy

To the Editor:
Fear has effectively captivated us as we hide sheltered within our living quarters with a false since of security.
Factories are now idle and the goods within the warehouses have been shipped.
Trucks, trains, and ships have little left to deliver. Many retail shelves will soon be empty. It may not matter, because who will have money to buy? As the state ramped up for the coronavirus, elective health care was discontinued and many health care workers were placed on furlough. Now the hospitals and medical clinics are nearly bankrupt. Many small and large businesses will never reopen to manufacture, retail, or provide services that we have always assumed would be available. The credit and financial industry realizes that many of their investments have lost their value. Agricultural production is being dumped and plowed down because markets have been disrupted. Access and help from government is not an option because it is closed and is without tax revenue.
Fear has many convinced that we need to continue to distance and isolate ourselves from this virus. These actions may be effective in preventing a few from getting the virus but it is offset a thousand times by the damage it has inflicted on the public’s health, safety and security.
Is government protecting us or is it utilizing fear to enslave us? Will it take rationing or anarchy before the chains can be removed?

Dan Bartelheimer

Don’t reopen without safety measures in place

To the Editor:
We, members of Snohomish County Indivisible, part of National Indivisible, commend Governor Jay Inslee and local leaders for making tough choices to keep people safe. We appreciate their commitment to follow the science, make cautious, thoughtful decisions, and carefully address the pandemic’s economic toll.  In a published letter, many Snohomish County mayors state, unequivocally, they understand stay at home orders have slowed the infection rates and saved lives. The mayors urge citizens to be patient and continue to cooperate by staying home and using social distancing when they must go out.  We agree with these statements and expect the mayors will honor their pledge to work with the Governor to make plans for the next phase and, most importantly, re-open parts of society only when it is safe to do so.
We are very concerned about the most vulnerable people in Snohomish County and all of the unknowns related to this virus.  Thus, we strongly believe local mayors must keep the “when it is safe to do so” part of their pledge uppermost in their minds. We support Governor Inslee’s stated plan (1) to utilize testing, tracing, monitoring and evaluation, (2) to follow recommendations of the Washington State Department of Health, and (3) to open only when the data indicate it is safe to do so. As the mayors’ letter states, “The last thing we want is to re-open too much, too soon, and undo the great progress we’ve achieved in fighting this disease together.”

Tina Kinnard
Lake Stevens
SnoCo Indivisible

Letters published in the May 6 Tribune:

Be cautious where you shop

To the Editor:
Shopper beware! Face coverings at “essential businesses” are voluntary!
“Essential business” owners are not legally required to have employees wear cloth face covers. The owner may choose to require face covers recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a voluntary act of compassion. 
Many ethically comply with that recommendation. Some do not.  
Face covers worn to protect others trap our respiratory droplets exhaled as we breathe, talk, cough or sneeze.  A person may feel well and have no symptoms, but their respiratory droplets are highly contagious.  Many “essential businesses,” including grocery stores, have chosen to make face coverings an employee requirement.  Sadly, others still refuse.
Businesses that fail to require face coverings make it even harder for society to return to a degree of normalcy in the next weeks, necessitating extension of the stay at home orders to reduce infection. The owner of a large, local nursery during their busiest season cites an absence of Washington law and has consciously decided against requiring staff to wear face coverings. This business decision places every shopper, their loved ones and the public at greater health risk during this pandemic.   
Shoppers must make well-informed decisions about which businesses to support. Each consumer will personally need to assess their own medical risk, where to ethically spend their dollars, and whether to support only businesses who have responsibly chosen to require staff face coverings for the good of public health.

Rena Connell

Elected officials need to stand up

To the Editor:
Where are the rest of the elected officials in Olympia while Inslee chokes out our way of life, economy and jobs with his effort to be the coronavirus king? His quest to conquer rather than control it will take a decade to repair. It’s like using a flamethrower to kill the weeds in the lawn.
Costco is evidence that government intervention isn’t necessary when the for profits establishment put in place their own health and safety measures without restricting access.

R. Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

People just think it’s OK to defy law?

To the Editor:
The Stag barber shop was open in Snohomish on Saturday, May 2. At 1 p.m., there were approximately 100 people standing shoulder to shoulder in line in the rain with no masks or gloves. Not one person was social distancing!
The owner, Bob Martin, said in a TV news media interview that he has been openly defying the Governor’s “Stay Safe, Stay Healthy” order because the County Sheriff announced in a political manifesto that he is not going to enforce the Governor’s public safety order.
So, is this what we have now, mob rule? If you don’t like a law, just ignore it? That would explain all the speeders and traffic law violators on the road these past few weeks.
This kind of stupidity is going to cause even more sickness and horrible death. It is going to extend the Stay Healthy, Stay at Home order.
Selfish grandstanding and unthinking doesn’t quite describe the business owner or those going along with him and defying and violating the Governor’s Health and Safety order.
Don’t these people care about catching or giving the COVID 19 virus to their loved ones at home, friends, neighbors or even strangers at a grocery store?

David Clay

Letters published in the April 29 Tribune:

It’s time for a national eviction moratorium

To the Editor:
As we stay in our homes to defeat the pandemic, millions of Americans are unable to pay their rent. The Congressional relief packages have helped businesses, home owners, and those eligible for unemployment, but not the millions of renters. NPR reported that a landlords’ organization said only 69% of renters were able to pay rent this month, compared to 81% at the same time last year.
U. S. Reps. Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer have proposed $100 billion package of relief for renters, the Emergency Rental Assistance Act (H.R. 6314), cosponsored by Reps. Suzan DelBene and Adam Smith, to fix this problem.
Without this solution, the flood gates to homelessness will open. It is time to pass this legislation and put a national moratorium on evictions. Our calls to those who represent us asking for this solution will help make it a reality, assisting millions to be able to shelter in place and we can finally beat this virus.

Willie Dickerson

Put your money to work by doing good things

To the Editor:
In the discussions as to what to do with our $1,200 checks from the government, if people want to save them for a rainy day, I have an idea.
It seems to me that the worst thing would be to sock the money away. What if you instead prepay bills you know you will be paying later? I’m thinking of the doctor, the dentist, the utilities, taxes (the city, county, and state will be running low). You can also buy gift certificates to local businesses. Think of different ways to put your money to work. It will still be there when you need it. If you don’t need the money, many charities would appreciate receiving it.

Sue Davis

This was a political stunt

To the Editor:
What’s gotten into Sheriff Fortney? Does he miss going to his local barbershop for a professional haircut?  Or was he teased about his new at-home, military-style, high and tight haircut?
Seriously, Fortney’s foray into U.S. Constitutional law, economics, history, and epidemiology is simply not his forte.  He was elected on the main issue of a zero tolerance enforcement policy — arresting and booking the homeless and addicts for possession of a small amount of drugs.
I’m sure Fortney, if while on patrol, saw a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet, he would issue a citation — even though the motorcyclist claimed it’s his constitutional right not to wear a helmet and by forcing him to do so, violates his right to “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that our Founding Fathers promised him.
Fortney’s gambit is only a political publicity stunt to appease his hard-right base by challenging our progressive governor who has achieved national and international acclaim for his exemplary handling of this horrible coronavirus pandemic in Washington state.

Morgan Davis




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