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

Authors may be published once every four issues.

Letters policy
The Tribune provides a general forum for pertinent local public comment, but the viewpoints published in letters to the editor do not carry any implied endorsement or fact verifications by the
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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

No letters published in the April 8, 15 or 22 Tribunes

Letters published in the April 1 Tribune:

Shields do not give absolute protection

To the Editor:
According to another newspaper, protective face shields are going to be available to the public soon. 
Our medical personnel risk their own lives hourly to save ours. They are working under extreme physical and mental health pressure without adequate safety equipment.
If you think you are protecting yourself by wearing a face shield, think again. 
If you catch Covid-19 you may be very sick. If our health care workers catch it there may be no one there to save you or the people you love. 
So think again and stay home.
There should be large fines and confiscation of stock to prevent retailers from selling this vital health safety equipment to the public. 

Colleen Dunlap

Concerned for the isolated

To the Editor:
The last few weeks with the mass development of coronavirus has gotten me concerned with the schools, churches, fellowship services being canceled and people being told to stay home and not being able to gather anywhere.
I’m all on board with social distancing and not having large groups (50+) to stop the spread of the virus, but I’m worried about people’s emotional and mental health deteriorating with being completely isolated. It is proven that isolation can lead to severe mental disorders and people with mental disorders. I’m worried about that because the people who already have mental complications their mental health is only going to get worse as time goes with the virus isolation restrictions.

Elijah Edens

Transparency missing

To the Editor:
Regarding your March 25th front page article “Midtown task force approved by Council”: Just a few years ago, the City of Snohomish spent tens of thousands of dollars to conduct an ad hoc citizens advisory committee on “open government”  (current council member Tom Merrill served on that committee).
Well, look what we have now: Detail minutes of council meetings replaced by summary minutes, where citizen comments are edited out and reduced to one or two sentences and now, during this virus crisis--no audio recordings of what’s actually being said during the meetings.  (Their flimsy excuse is the microphones have to be wiped down with a germicide).
According to the article, the Council unanimously approved the 13 member ad hoc committee task force with little discussion (citizens were barred from commenting), even though the Council knew full well the 5 dates for the committee meetings are unknown and even the venue — the Snohomish Senior Center — is problematic.
The Council bulldozed through the approval of this committee, even before they approved giving the mayor emergency powers, such as awarding no-bid contracts or approving cost overruns on such projects as the $2 million Carnegie restoration project now underway.
Why is this midtown task force so critical during this global pandemic when even the 2020 Olympics were postponed for at least a year?
The City Council needs to suspend this committee until Snohomish County decides what they want to do with their 9.5 acre parcel abutting the Snohomish Mobile Home and RV Park on north Avenue D.

Morgan Davis

No letters published in the March 11, March 18 or March 25 Tribunes

Letters published in the March 4 Tribune:

DelBene meeting went well

To the Editor:
Meeting recently with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and her staff, I was reminded of how important it is to go beyond voting in our democracy.
She listened to our RESULTS group’s concerns, including tax fairness and global health. She agreed to sign two letters in support of appropriations for basic education, maternal and child health, nutrition, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. These global health initiatives help save millions of lives, strengthen global health care systems, and protect us locally by dealing with disease globally. She also spoke of her bills for affordable housing and increasing the Child Tax Credit to address issues of poverty in our country, where one in five children and one in seven seniors struggle. Congresswoman DelBene’s bipartisan work on these issues is commendable. By working together with our representatives, we can help create a better country for all.

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the Feb. 26 Tribune:

What’s next on the to-do list

To the Editor:
Mark Tuesday, February 18, 2020 as an historic day.  The city’s oldest publicly owned building, the 1910 Carnegie Library Building, just received its first shot of revitalization — the 1968 addition was demolished.  Go down to First and Cedar.  Feast your eyes on the original 1910 prairie style architecture of the Snohomish Carnegie Library. 
To quote Mr. Rogers,“it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.”
  The notion that such a vision could be possible happened at a city council forum at the Carnegie Library on July 30, 2002.  And now the efforts to restore the Carnegie building and grounds are visually in site.  The contractor is in the midst of restoring the Carnegie building, including a new formal entryway.  This includes a new south lawn making way for the eventual Veterans Memorial Park.
  This September there will be a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the re-birth of the crown jewel of our town — a rehabilitated historic Carnegie building, open once again to serve the pleasure of our community.
  Now it is time for the city, the community and the Carnegie Foundation to focus on the establishment of a Veterans Memorial Park, bringing back our War Memorial currently at the GAR Cemetery, placed there by the American Legion. 
  It is with humility and gratitude that the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation thanks the City of Snohomish and the community for its commitment along this journey.  As we say, “Meet me at the Carnegie.”

Melody Clemans

Be alert to redevelopment

To the Editor:

Red alert to Snohomish Mobile Home and RV Park residents.
The City Council approved the creation of a 15-member task force to be selected by Mayor John Kartak and to be conducted by an outside consultant costing $65,000 for five meetings. Its purpose will be to rezone the Avenue D Corridor. More realistically, it is to spot-zone your trailer park and the adjacent Snohomish County-owned, 9.5-acre parcel for commercial redevelopment.
The deadline to apply for this committee is March 4.
Even though the city has a long-standing Economic Development Committee of 10 members and a Planning Commission of 7 members, the mayor wants to promote new revenue sources through redevelopment (translate to more commercial retail businesses for the sales tax revenue). Hence, this redundant ad hoc committee with its members cherry-picked by the mayor.
The mayor and council favor further gentrification over maintaining or adding housing for very low-income folks.
I recently chatted with County Executive Dave Somers about preserving our trailer parks, and even allowing new ones.
The county is slated this year to sell its 9.5-acre Avenue D parcel adjacent to the trailer park. It should insist this acreage be used for affordable housing, which most certainly includes trailer parks.
This City Hall has had a poor track record with their plans for the Second Street Corridor and Pilchuck District. Don’t let the Avenue D Corridor rezone be their third boondoggle and land grab.
Humanity should come first, ahead of real estate profits.

Morgan Davis

No letters published in the Feb. 19 Tribune

Letters published in the Feb. 12 Tribune:

Limited number of checkers frustrates

To the Editor:
I was at Fred Meyer on Saturday morning and there were only three checkers opened and the lines were very long at both self check and check stands. I feel that Fred Myers is being disrespectful of our time and of its employees. The checkers told me their hours have all been slashed. I spoke to a manager and she said corporate wants it this way and her hands are tied.  I am very unhappy with the new business model and although I don’t know any of the checkers, I know that they need to make a living too. I feel bad supporting a store that takes advantage of its customers and employees.  I tried Safeway and found their selection very limited and Haggen is so expensive, it is hard to justify.  I was thinking about organizing a one week boycott of the store and I am putting out feelers to see if other Fred Meyer shoppers feel the same and would be interested in helping me organize a boycott. 

Caroline Baertsch

Community needs to stand for equity

To the Editor:
Perhaps you have just moved to Snohomish or you haven’t heard that there is a nonprofit organization focused on creating dialogue and awareness around issues of racism in Snohomish. Snohomish for Equity’s purpose is to engage our community and provide educational opportunities that promote an understanding of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
There have been recent incidents and conversations in Snohomish County that have centered around an extremist group known as the Proud Boys. The Southern Poverty Law Center states on its website that hate groups “espouse a variety of rather unique hateful doctrines and beliefs that are not easily categorized. Many of the groups are vendors that sell a miscellany of materials from several different sectors of the white supremacist movement.” 
Proud Boys’ materials have been found on our city’s utility poles and on Snohomish School District property this past year.  If you find racist material in our city, we encourage you to contact the city, our police department, and Snohomish for Equity.
As a community we need to take a stand against all forms of racism and hate.
Snohomish for Equity will continue to provide solidarity for anti-racist actions and understanding of bias through our collaboration with the Snohomish School District, community, faith and elected leaders, and business owners.  Snohomish for Equity has organized the formation of a student anti-racist committee, a bimonthly book club, and quarterly engagement activities. We welcome you to join us at any of our activities.
Hate has no place in our Snohomish.

Snohomish For Equity Board of Directors:
Rachel Escoto
Tabitha Baty
Troy Martez
Lisa Odom
Kathy Purviance-Snow
Joan Robinett Wilson
Teresa Rugg

Letters published in the Feb. 5 Tribune:

Take a stand on proud boys

To the Editor:
After reading the letters in the Jan. 22 Tribune about the Proud Boys, I was curious about the backstory to this controversy, directly affecting the citizens’ safety in this area.
I emailed City of Snohomish mayor John Kartak, a close friend and associate of Bill Betten, for his take on the controversy and all I received back was “no comment.” Additionally, I haven’t seen any comments from the so-called “pro civil rights“ group, “Snohomish for Equity.”
Now, after reading Earl Gray’s letter (Jan. 29 Tribune) and learning more about the Proud Boys organization, I am puzzled why no one wants to stand up against this far right, extremist group.
This is an open request to Snohomish city government and the Snohomish for Equity organization:  Please stand up and take a position, one way or the other, on the merits of the Proud Boys organization.

Morgan Davis

Vote Yes: New Buildings impact education

To the Editor:
I can personally say that I have experienced first hand what it is like learning in an old building. I was educated at Emerson Elementary, one of the schools slated for a rebuild, and I did not receive a good education because the school was not able to provide good enough resources, due to the age of the building. Old buildings DO affect the quality of education.
Safety and security are also important. Fire and health regulations have changed so much since the 80’s, and many of these schools are still trying to catch up. And in the recent wake of school shootings, better security is a must to protect future generations.
Please join me and vote YES! YES to better education!

Matthew Weller

Aquatic Center smelled of urine

To the Editor:
“Disgusting!” That was the thought that flooded my brain as my nostrils were assaulted by the dank and overpowering stench of stale urine!
I had just entered the side door of the Snohomish Aquatic Center where we were to watch our grandson compete in a swim meet. It was Sunday, October 27, 2019 at approximately 12:30 p.m. My nose told me that it had been days, not hours, since the restrooms had received attention! Despite this we saw swimmers, many were barefoot, enter and leave the restrooms on the way to their competitions. Who knows what germs their bare feet may have carried into the pool? Likewise my wife reported finding a pile of feces on the floor of the ladies room.
During the two hours that we waited for our grandson’s competition, we saw not a single individual that we could identify as a custodian or even a district employee.
This unfortunate experience confirmed earlier fears expressed on maintenance when the pool proposal was first introduced.

Robert Kelly

Thank you community

To the Editor:
I am writing to thank Snohomish residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.
Because of the generosity of donors in Snohomish and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.9 million shoebox gifts in 2019. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2019, the ministry is now sending 10,569,405 shoebox gifts to children worldwide.
Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—Snohomish volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.
It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can be found at or by calling 253-572-1155.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Dana Williams
Operation Christmas Child

Letters published in the Jan. 29 Tribune:

Funds the projects of highest priority

To the Editor:
Did you know that one out of four students in Snohomish School District attends school in a portable?  Are you aware that portables have no bathrooms?  The district currently uses 52 portables for student instruction and 43 of those are for elementary students.
Did you know that the six elementary schools that will be rebuilt, if the Bond passes, were built between 1960 and 1980 (40-60 years ago) and were expected to last only 20-30 years? They lack adequate insulation, plumbing, electrical systems, technology and space to prepare students for their futures. These six schools are below standard compared to other schools within our district.
A volunteer Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee, supported by district staff, spent 18 months studying every district building and comparing its condition to state and district standards. Demographic and enrollment projections were researched and hard decisions about priorities and costs were made.  This committee demonstrated the need for new elementary schools and recommended that the school board ask district residents to approve a capital bond on February 11, 2020.
By voting YES on the bond, voters can make each district school a quality learning environment. YES on the bond means minimizing portable classrooms. It means YES to more classrooms at Glacier Peak High, to renovating AIM High and the Parkway campus. It means the transformation of an elementary school into an early learning center. A YES vote means safety and security improvements at every district school.    
School is where students learn to be productive, responsible and creative citizens; attributes which enhance the quality of life in our communities. Vote YES for better schools.

Sonia Siegel Vexler

School bond asks for too much

To the Editor:
Looks like the Snohomish School District should adopt a new motto: “Never met a dollar that we don’t want more of.” According to their website, their proposed 2020 Capital Bond will increase your property taxes by almost one dollar per $1,000 assessed valuation of your home. That’s hundreds of dollars per year per taxpayer.
Do we really need (not want) to replace six elementary schools now? How about doing “reasonable and affordable upgrades and repairs” as opposed to “replace”? Buildings and facilities do not have and “expiration date” as one letter writer recently suggested. They fall into disrepair due to age and neglect but are usually recoverable at lower cost than replacement. And what is the cost of “This bond will ensure our schools continue to be a source of pride in our community”? Are our schools about to fall into such disrepair and neglect that our community pride is threatened? And just what is wrong with temporary facilities? Does learning decrease when the label “temporary” is applied?
Ready to turn over hundreds of dollars per year more of property taxes to them? If not, VOTE NO on their excessive 2020 Capital Bond proposal. Tell the school board to go back and cut down their proposal to one that the Snohomish School District community can afford.

Michael Scott

Stop. Look. Listen. This deal is bad.

To the Editor:
Stop the music. Put down the pom-poms. Start adding the real cost of another yes vote, to approve the Snohomish school district 2020 capital bond.
Here is your math and history lesson: This new bond amount is $470 million dollars, to expire in 20 years. A bond passed in 2008, had a price tag of $261 million dollars, to expire in 2029. That is a total of $731 million. This total DOES NOT include the 2018 operation levy nor the 2018 technology levy passed by voters.
Combine these two 2018 levies, both bonds. What then is the real cost needed in taxes? That figure will keep growing. How? Your assessed home value will increase, during the next 20 years, making your tax rate higher. Also, the district will ask for 2, 3, 4 levies during the next 20 years.
And don’t forget the Teachers’ Union. Remember the court approved McCleary Decision in 2018 ? Some districts were given a double digit percentage pay increase. Are the Snohomish teachers next? Your taxes will go up to maintain this McCleary money. (You can’t vote on this one.)
Reject this new bond and future levies. Diffuse your taxes. Vote no. That will allow the district to promote a lower amount in their future bond request (and that is exactly what we want them to do.) Let’s not take their first “offer.” Give the students’ future a second chance.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Author: Group uses deception

To the Editor:
Recently the Proud Boys have accelerated recruiting, meeting, and making threats in Snohomish county. Members have jumped to their defense saying they are “a mens drinking club” among other things, in complete denial of the fact that the Anti-Defamation League and others have deemed them a hate group. Several members are now in prison for organized violent attacks, and locally they have threatened and coerced many citizens for political ends.
Credit where credit is due, the Proud Boys certainly are more media savvy and clever with words. Saying things like “Venerate the Housewife” rather than “Women Shouldn’t Work” and “Western Chauvinist” rather than “White Power” shield their ideology from many passersby, but don’t be fooled. Their ongoing actions detail their views, and are exactly as Wikipedia describes them “The Proud Boys is a far-right neo-fascist organization that admits only men as members and promotes political violence.” And don’t kid yourself, they are after your sons.
I believe these groups (and groups like them) have no place in civilized society, and we shouldn’t coddle them. Free speech means the government won’t arrest you. It doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. Their threats and violence are never acceptable, and they only survive in the dark. We should therefore be shining a spotlight on them allowing the community to know what they really stand for, and who they are. I have confidence in the majority. Let’s see how “proud” they really are.

Earl Gray
Lake Stevens

Letters published in the Jan. 22 Tribune:

Stories on students delightful

To the Editor:
Two articles in the Jan. 8, 2020 edition of the Tribune were especially pleasing — “At Home With Local History” and “For the Art of It.”
How rewarding to see the enthusiasm these students at Emerson Elementary and Seattle Hill Elementary show their love of learning through the arts. And this taking place in outdated and older facilities!
Judy Bartelheimer

Voting yes funds key projects

To the Editor:
I am writing in about the Snohomish School Bond.  I am not typically a guy in favor of raising taxes.  In fact, in most cases I vote against the increase of government spending because I often question the stewardship of the money provided.  
Eighteen months ago I was invited to participate in a committee to review the status and quality of the Snohomish Schools.  On one hand I was impressed with the handling of this process, on the other hand I was discouraged by the results.  I kept wanting to get to a place where we didn’t need to include this school or that school for an upgrade because I didn’t want to see the price tag get too big.  I wanted to avoid having to go to the taxpayer and add an unreasonable burden.  
In the end I am satisfied with the outcome. This committee has done amazing work of identifying the most important projects to bring about safety and security as well as equity among our students for their learning environments. The tax increase has all of us paying less than we were two years ago for the bond.    
This isn’t about giving more money to Snohomish Schools.  This isn’t about buildings.  It’s about students.  It’s about their learning environment.  It’s about their safety.  
I hope you will join me in supporting Snohomish Schools for a yes vote on the Feb. 11th election.
Jeff Judy

Author: I am a Proud Boy

To the Editor:
My name is Bill Betten.
There have been rumors and erroneous accusations circulating about me and my association with the Proud Boys, so let me set the record straight about both. Yes, I am a Proud Boy. I am also a husband, father, amateur historian, photographer and an over-the-road truck driver. I am of African American descent. I am not a racist nor white supremacist. 
The Proud Boys are average people. They are God-fearing Americans. Patriots who support our Constitutional Rights, minimal government, freedom, protecting our borders and personal responsibility. The very opposite of Antifa, who are against free speech and promote themselves with violence. 
I love Snohomish and its citizens. It truly is a unique community. I am the man who led the charge to change the very form of city government. Snohomish has a bright future. Get involved and ask questions. Hold your elected officials accountable. They represent you, as you and I are the government.
After the Snohomish election, I got involved with state politics and soon realized that Washington is going in a direction I do not agree with nor can support.  So, my wife and I have moved to East Texas. While my life began in Snohomish, it will end in Texas.

Bill Betten
Maydelle, Texas

Spreading personal data is harmful

To the Editor:
I spoke with Bill Betten on the phone right before he wrote this letter, and he told me he was going to be sending it. Bill confirmed that he has been publishing a document talking about shock experiments, people doing harm to others, and gives a list of citizens’ names and their home addresses.  
When my name was published months ago, I asked him to stop.  He declined.  He says he’s doing it as a social experiment, and I believe him when he says he did not intend to harm anyone.  I told him that I wasn’t worried about what he was going to do, but what some other person reading it might do after seeing it.
They accused me of having an affair, sent me a photo of my house, and made demands, using language that led me to believe that it was Bill.  After speaking to Bill recently, I believe him when he says it wasn’t him. I do not know who it was, but I do know this person has contacted many others as well, intending to intimidate people.
I have urged Bill to stop publishing it and to apologize to anyone who he’s ever put on the list.  He said he’s not going to do either, so I’ll apologize for him.  I am sorry to my wife, everyone who’s been on the list, and countless others who have had their lives interrupted by this.

Dan Myers
Lake Stevens

No letters published in the Jan. 15 Tribune

Letters published in the Jan. 8 Tribune:


Support schools

To the Editor:
As a proud graduate of Snohomish High School (class of ’94), I feel very blessed to have been a part of the Snohomish School district from my very first day of kindergarten. 
Because of great teachers and access to programs like band and AP classes, I was well prepared for my college and career. 
That is one of the reasons my husband and I chose to relocate to Snohomish to raise our kids, ensuring that they would have access to the same great level of public education.
And while their education has been great, we have seen the negative impact of outdated and older facilities.  Leaking roofs, inflexible classroom configurations, lack of adequate multipurpose space, excessive use of portables, and aging facilities are a drain on the educators and a distraction to the students. 
 Although we do have some newer elementary schools (Little Cedars, Riverview and Machias), the other six elementary schools are past their expiration date, and the disparity between old and new is growing with each year that passes.  I believe that ALL students in our district should have access to modern and safe schools, not just the few who live in select boundary areas.
I recognize that my education in Snohomish happened because many years ago, the Snohomish community voted yes on bonds that built the schools I attended. 
It’s now our turn to say YES to the future generations of students.  YES, we value quality public education for EVERY child! 
YES, we want safe and efficient schools!  YES, we care about our students in Snohomish!
Erica Farmer


GOP has lost its mind, soul

To the Editor:
Over the past several decades the only time the GOP has been able to get into the White House was through the Chad Courts or the electoral college, a system that allows one person to vote any way they want regardless what that state voting numbers said. No GOP has won the peoples vote, aka popular vote, since Reagan.
On the flip side of the coin, during the same period the only time our country has had a balanced budget was under a progressive administration.  
I like to say that I matured to the left after Reagan left office.  Current events have convinced me it was the right move. Today’s GOP has lost its mind and soul.

R. Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Letters published in the Jan. 1 Tribune:

It is confiscation

To the Editor:
I want to thank William Walker for his service to our nation. I respectfully disagree with his stand on the Second Amendment (Tribune letters, Nov. 27).
Clearly it states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” 
For the record, the Military Rifles every citizen had then were superior to the British. 
Federalist paper 46 Madison’s argument is brilliant as to why the 2nd Amendment is so critical in our history as a nation. Madison’s argument is exactly in line with our founders: that no government is over the people, the people are over the government when he wrote: “Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”  The problem we have is not just the 2nd Amendment is under attack but the 1st Amendment as well. Each builds on the other and is protected by each. We do not need more laws that are stepping on the rights of law-abiding free citizens but the enforcement of the current laws; and not a single one stopped people with mental health disorders from harming others. Tread lightly — anti-gun activists want nothing more than 100% confiscation. Keeping weapons away from people with mental health disorders, and criminals, while infringing on law-abiding citizens is not the answer.

John Lorenz

No letters published in the Dec. 25 Tribune - Happy Holidays!

Letters published in the Dec. 18 Tribune:

Public will be ignored

To the Editor:
Your article on Costco (Dec. 4 Tribune) included both Pro and Con from the many people in the room.
People were given the “feel-good” moment to voice their thoughts. However, the people on the council had made their own private choice, long before any one spoke. That is the “unfair and unpleasant” truth. Costco is a go. Not one council member will vote “no.”
The revenue trumps any and all impact on the individual. Your inconvenience will not stop the council from allowing Costco being built.
Hold on ... has your neighborhood been “up-zoned” yet? You won’t be able to stop this either. Don’t even try, it would be as pointless as teaching a horse to play tennis.

Bruce Ferguson

Letters published in the Dec. 11 Tribune:

You're more in danger by your doctor than guns

To the Editor:
In response to Willian F. Walker’s printing to ensure guns only reach lawful users: The second amendment was written (as Walker says) a long time ago. The reason was to ensure what had just taken place at that time never happens again. It simply states that the government has no right to take away the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
As far as who should have them, right or wrong it’s part of our constitution and should be. As far as the media making guns to be the biggest killer in the country let’s look at the facts. You are much more in danger by your doctor then guns.

Roger Hanson
Snohomish County

Pass the bond for the future of Snohomish Schools

To the Editor:
Passing the $470 million school bond is integral to the future success of our town.
The Snohomish schools are over 40 years old and, while our teachers do the best they can to provide an excellent education to our students with the facilities available to them, the buildings are dated and need replacing.
This bond will build six new elementary schools as well as create additional classroom space at GPHS, renovate the AIM campus, and create a larger space for the Early Learning Center.
When communities stop showing support for their schools, property values decrease and students’ educational and career prospects decrease. We don’t want that here in Snohomish.
With schools improved, students, and subsequently our community, will benefit from higher quality education and a safer learning environment. These kids grow up to be tomorrow’s local business owners and community leaders.
I have four kids in Snohomish schools, and would be beyond grateful for our community’s support in providing all students, present and future, a high-quality education. For the cost of a few cups of coffee a month, you can be a part of making Snohomish an even better place to live. Vote Yes! for Snohomish Students by February 11th.

Nicole Serviss

Snohomish is a wonderful place to live

To the Editor:

At this time of gratitude I am reminded of how lucky I am to live in Snohomish with our incredible library, pool, trail, and caring citizens.
The Tribune ties it all together with reporting citizen actions to battle hunger, lack of affordable housing, and the many opportunities to have fun in our town. The Tribune also prints our thoughts, like mine on ending hunger and poverty as I volunteer with RESULTS ( Thanks to the many folks who came out to celebrate our 15th year anniversary at our musical fundraiser. Snohomish Treasure Tim Noah led the band in meaningful songs and our own Karen Guzak received the Seeds of Hope for her many contributions to make life better for everyone in our town and beyond. Living in Snohomish is a gift inspiring each of us to do our part to make our town, state, country, and world a better place!

Willie Dickerson

No letters published in the Dec. 4 Tribune

Letters published in the Nov. 27 Tribune:

Having Carnegie host events will demand parking

To the Editor:
Regarding Geoff Wall’s Nov. 20th letter in the Tribune and the Nov. 13th article “Carnegie project sent back to call for bids after snag”:
Apparently, Snohomish city administration was asleep at the wheel when it approved the $2.4 million lowest bid and allowed a 25 percent contingency fee.
Now, all bets are off as the Council had to restart the bidding process.
This likely $3 million-plus project ostensibly is for “event rentals” and run by City staff. (Note, this is exactly what the Snohomish Senior Center is doing with its City-owned building — event rentals —for critical income for their activities.)
I agree with Geoff Wall’s statement: “Is Larry Countryman the only one on the council with a brain?”
The city plans a puny pocket park (consisting of lawn at the footprint of the demolished 1968 Carnegie Annex) to be named “Veterans Memorial Park.”  Since there already is Veterans Memorial Stadium in town, a better way to honor our war dead is to rename Pilchuck Park as “Fallen Heroes Park.” (This would also avoid any confusion with the new, close by, regional park named for Pilchuck Julia).
The idea of a small Carnegie pocket park should be scrapped and instead replaced with sorely needed parking spaces (real “placemaking” — making visitors want to come to downtown First Street).
The city has plenty of large and small parks, trails, and open spaces in the vicinity of First Street already.

Morgan Davis

Ensure guns only reach lawful users

The U.S. Constitution’s 2nd Amendment doesn’t say that the populace has the right to any firearm. Consider when the amendment was enacted. Guns at that time were primarily single or double shot. There were no AK-47s, AR-15s, bump stocks, high capacity magazines, etc. Such weapons weren’t envisioned. I am a retired military officer and a gun owner. However, I don’t believe the 2nd Amendment prohibits gun regulation and background checks. We all need to do all we can to ensure that guns are safely and securely stored and handled.
Gun ownership should be a right for appropriate, lawful and responsible individuals.

William F. Walker

Letters published in the Nov. 20 Tribune:

Using leftover Carnegie land for parking is smart

To the Editor:
Regarding Larry Countryman’s suggestion for expanding parking at the Carnegie (Nov. 6 Tribune letters):
Is Larry Countryman the only one on the City Council with a brain? This is an excellent idea, as I have been trying to get more parking in the Historic District for over 20 years and every idea I came up with has never been acted on by the Council or the old City Managers.
I hope Larry keeps pushing for this and tries to convince all the other Council members to make a parking lot at the Carnegie. This is needed by everyone, especially the businesses and this will stop prospective customers from leaving because they can’t find any parking.
Keep up the good work Larry. Thank you.

Geoff Wall
Owner of Piccadilly Circus

Costco will clog traffic, speak at Nov. 26 hearing

To the Editor:
The Costco Warehouse store and Gas Station proposed location at 20th Street and Hwy. 9 in Lake Stevens will have severe major negative traffic impacts on City of Snohomish residents as well as those traveling to and through the town of Snohomish, the U.S. Highway 2 Trestle east or west, north or south on Highway 9, east or west on Second Sreet in Snohomish, 87th Avenue SE north or south, east or west on 30th Avenue SE, east or west on 56th Avenue SE, Sinclair Avenue north or south, north or south on Bickford Avenue and east or west on South Lake Stevens Road.
  There will be a public hearing which is to be held on November 26th at 7 p.m. before the Lake Stevens City Council.
  More details are included in the notice at this link:   
  Once again, the City of Lake Stevens, in an effort to suppress turnout and public participation, has scheduled the only opportunity for public comment and participation just two days before Thanksgiving Day.
  We hope you can join us at the hearing. 
  Lake Stevens taxpayers will not be happy to discover that they are going to be on the hook for 60% of the estimated 10 million dollars it will cost for the planned Costco development at 20th Street and Highway 9.
David Clay

Letters published in the Nov. 13 Tribune:

A question

To the Editor:

Devee Hintze

FD7 regrouping after levy failure

To the Editor:
Snohomish County Fire District 7 wants to thank everyone who cast a ballot in the recent election. Turnout was low, and the outcome for our fire levy lid lift was not as we’d hoped. However, we appreciate everyone who participated in the process.
Fire District 7 will continue to provide the best service possible within budget. This may change how we consider funding emergency services, but it won’t change our commitment to you, your family or business.
We will communicate our next steps to you through our newsletter, website and social media. In the meantime, thank you for having considered our request and wish you a safe holiday season.

Fire District 7 Chief Gary Meek

Letters published in the Nov. 6 Tribune:

Annex teardown gives opportunity­ — downtown parking

To the Editor:
We have a rare opportunity to help alleviate the parking problem in downtown Snohomish. Currently the proposal for the property gained from tearing down the Carnegie addition is to add a park to downtown Snohomish, instead of doing something about parking. We do not need another park. We need parking.
There are several parks within walking distance of the Carnegie building including Totem Park, the Riverfront trail, Averill Park and Pilchuck Park. All of these parks are beautiful and enjoyed, but there is a significant cost to long-term maintenance and not enough need to support more.
Over the last ten years, many of the buildings near the Carnegie have been renovated and changed uses. Due to being grandfathered in, they made changes to occupancy without adding additional parking.
If we plan to have community events such as weddings and meetings at the Carnegie, it will cause an increased need for parking. The present parking lot can park only about 20 cars. By redesigning the parking lot, we may be able to get at least 30 cars which only slightly increases the current capacity. By using the new space for parking on the south side of the building, it will add at a minimum another 30 parking spaces.
I recommend instead of a park we increase parking through re-design and additional blacktopped areas. We can still have a quiet place for reflection by relocating the veteran’s memorial back to the entrance of the Carnegie, adding a few park benches and landscaping. This would be a smart compromise that would benefit visitors and locals alike.

Larry Countryman
Snohomish City Councilmember

Tell Congress: extend tax credits

To the Editor:
In 2015, the precedent was set that no business tax breaks should be extended without also extending the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for hard-working, low-income families. But Congressional leaders are at it again. They want a tax deal to primarily benefit the wealthy and corporations and ignore the working poor.
I say “no!” Tax policies should be restructured to reduce inequality and help working families make ends meet by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. 
Email or call your member of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the EITC and CTC expansions in HR 3157.  Don’t keep quiet and allow Congress to continue to give tax benefits to corporations while ignoring the needs of the working class. Your email or call makes a difference!

Rochelle Goldberg

Letters published in the Oct. 30 Tribune:

Survey is overreach by politicans

To the Editor:
As the advisory vote regarding a fireworks ban is on ballots, I would like to point something out: This all started with a petition submitted by the South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue Authority to the County Council. This was put forth by their board of commissioners that are essentially the politicians of this fire district, not by the firefighter’s local union — the actual first responders.
Also remember, this is going to happen in the unincorporated areas of the county where the Sheriff will be the responding agency. The Sheriff’s office doesn’t really do much or anything when fireworks go off the other 364 days of the year, so do we really think that will change and magically improve when their call volume will be going up quite drastically on a future 4th of July after a ban is enacted?
Let’s talk to each other about fireworks and educate all parties, not just enact an unenforceable ban on something that won’t stop.

Mike Luke
Alderwood Manor

One is not like the other

To the Editor:
The Fire District 4 Commissioner race is not about two individuals with the best interest of the community in mind. If it was, the community would not have already been involved in an issue that created an uproar about the closure of a fire station.  Social media would not have been inundated with attacks by people intending to discredit the actions of the District rather than discuss the attributes of the individuals wanting to be involved in the process.
Unfortunately, what is occurring is about public interest versus special interest.  In this case it is about a misleading concept called regionalization that attempts to make the public believe that a large fire agency is more efficient and cost-effective to operate with total disregard of the tax issues.  It is about wages and benefits for individuals on the backs of the tax paying public.
The funding of basic emergency services is necessary and complicated to explain to the average citizen. But the public should not have to worry every year that because of the emotional yes vote of the majority that they will have to fork over more of their hard-earned dollars.  You should not have to be inundated annually with the typical political rhetoric and threatening hype that your lives will be in danger unless you vote yes.
District 4 citizens need to be well informed about this Commissioner race.  Make an effort to understand the intent of the candidates, as well as the agenda of their supporters.

Ron Simmons

Megan Dunn is the clear choice

To the Editor:
Megan Dunn is the clear choice for Snohomish County Council.  
On her website, Megan offers 44 pledges (strategies, actually) to address the many dilemmas facing our region, including:
· Continuing the regional response to opioids as an emergency epidemic and, collaboratively, developing a comprehensive plan to end the opioid crisis; 
• Expanding and supporting drug addiction and mental illness treatment, reducing their impact on crime and homelessness;
• Improving sustainability, investing in a Green Economy, enforcing the 2019 100% Renewable Energy Resolution and bringing Snohomish County to clean electricity by 2030.  
  Megan’s well-funded opponent continues to blow the same old whistle, with promises to:
• Reduce taxes on wealthy property and business owners at the expense of services and programs for the less fortunate;
• Contribute to over-crowding of jails and prisons by denying the disease of addiction and vilifying the mentally ill;
• Boost economic development by deregulating environmental protections. 
  Megan has 44 (and counting) realistic, progressive and achievable strategies to ensure affordability, promote livability, and improve sustainability in Snohomish County. 

Christopher Glans

Berg would put students first

To the Editor:
I had the pleasure to work with April Berg on the Everett School District Bond Planning Committee this past year. She was thoughtful, asked the right kinds of questions, and had a “student first” approach.
She has an eye towards equity and inclusion while also being mindful of the budget needs in her decision making. I really appreciate her willingness to hear multiple sides of an issue, her willingness to be a dissenting opinion, and her willingness to “show up.” She is a “connector” in our community, and I think that’s a strength.

Jennifer Black
Mill Creek

Letters published in the Oct. 23 Tribune:

Kuleta open to other opinions

To the Editor:
Judith Kuleta has the most important qualities for local non-partisan politics, the ability to work with everyone, to be open to other opinions and to be positive about the responsibilities and obligations of being on our city council.
Community leaders support Judith’s decision to run for city council. Both Mayor Kartak and former Mayor Guzak have given her their endorsement because of her love for our unique, historic town.
She has the experience of a lifetime in public service, including paramedic, firefighter, fire chief and fire science educator. Her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and her masters degree in Cultural Studies have given her a well-rounded view of the world and the ability to make decisions based on what best serves the people of Snohomish.
At this time Judith is ready to give back in another way ... to get involved in city government. Make her your personal choice and vote for Judith Kuleta for Snohomish City Council position 2.

Julie Davis

Letters published in the Oct. 16 Tribune:

Kuleta brings peace

To the Editor:
It is refreshing to see Judith Kuleta run for Snohomish City Council Position 2. She has common sense, thoughtfully examines issues through research- and talking to current Snohomish Commission and Board members including the City Administrator, to learn what issues are important in Snohomish. She has reached out to the community for the same, and thereby comes to a balanced, fair approach for collaborative leadership. Judith’s extensive experience on public boards, public service and education, affords her the ability to work well with others to accomplish a greater good for the community.
With her ability to examine issues and build relationships, it is no surprise that she has the endorsements of both Mayor Kartak and former Mayor Guzak. We are fortunate that she is willing again, to devote her talents to serving the greater good- by representing the citizens of the city of Snohomish.

Dawn Peyton Wheatley

Garth Fell has broad experience

To the Editor:

Garth Fell is the best candidate to serve the Snohomish County Community as Auditor.
It has been my pleasure to work with Garth Fell as he served Snohomish County residents both as our Elections Manager and Recording Manager. As peers in the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office for over 10 years, I can attest to Garth’s dedication, honesty and relentless hard work.  
Garth Fell brings 20 years of election experience to ensure and protect the integrity of our local and state elections. Garth Fell works tirelessly to protect the transparency of the election process, deliver accurate vote tallies and truthful election results. 
The Office of the County Auditor serves as the County Recorder for all real estate transactions in the county.  This office issues and records marriage licenses, provides vehicle title and registration services, pet and kennel licenses, county business licenses, animal control services and oversees independent vehicle licensing subagents across the county. 
Garth’s comprehensive management background provides the necessary knowledge, experience and skills to effectively manage this very diverse office with its myriad of public services.  
Having served three (3) County Auditors during my tenure, I have the greatest personal and professional respect for Garth Fell. He has strong family values and is thoughtful, genuine and truthful.  Garth Fell leads with vision and is best qualified to be the next Snohomish County Auditor.  

Vicki Lubrin

AIDS, Malaria effort funded

To the Editor:
Great news in global health. Thanks to newspapers carrying letters to the editor across the country, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria was fully funded on Oct. 10, 2019.
Letters to the editor, like the ones in this paper, calling on Congress to contribute $4.68 billion over the next three years help made this happen. Along with these letters in a majority of states, there were calls, letters, and visits to members of Congress in all 50 states, asking for America to increase our pledge to inspire other donors. Sure enough, other donors responded to America’s commitment with over two-thirds of the $14 billion budget for the Global Fund. Special thanks to Reps. Larsen and DelBene for being an important part in securing this pledge that will make it possible for the Global Fund to save 16 million lives, prevent over 200 million new infections over the next three years.
By battling these pandemics globally, we are protected locally, and this work will keep us on the path to control these pandemics by 2030.

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the Oct. 9 Tribune:

Asking for too much money

To the Editor:
The front page story on the $470 million capital school bond (Oct. 2 Tribune) was enough to ask: “why so much” ?
Because this amount is so large, the bond will run for 20 years. Does this district think people will accept this amount and length of time? I sure hope not.
Please consider this: Over 20 years, your County Assessor will keep increasing your home assessed value. That means you will be paying more and more as your house value goes up. At the end of the 20 years, who knows what you will be paying by then.
Please consider this: did you know, school districts receive 44 percent of your property tax. The schools get the highest percentage.
Please consider this: The people of Snohomish, for the next 25 years, are paying the water and sewer bill, for the swimming pool complex. Like every thing else, that bill will increase too.
With our tax burden of today, the school district CFAC group is simply expanding our taxes too much. Regroup.

Bruce Ferguson


City should stay out of business ventures

To the Editor:
I’d like to point out a couple of areas the small town of Snohomish is getting involved in that traditionally were reserved for the private sector.
First, construction bids are due Oct. 10th for the renovation of the city-owned 1910 Carnegie building.  The mayor, city administrator, and council are hoping the bids come in under $2 million.  If not, it is unknown whether the city will further take from its utility and real estate tax funds to cover any overage. 
The city wants to use the Carnegie as a weddings venue/event center.
In my opinion, being a commercial landlord is not a proper function of city government (getting into the weddings rental business).
Second, during the Oct. 1st council meeting. the council revealed it wants to keep its glossy print, quarterly magazine even though it is a big money loser.  The magazine is mailed out to every Snohomish resident within the city and outside the city at a cost of around $10,000 per edition while revenues from advertisers account for only $2,700 to $4,000.
In my opinion, the city shouldn’t be involved in the publishing business, soliciting advertisers who are subsidized by our tax dollars.  Additionally, the magazine has become a “flattersheet,” promoting city staff and incumbent elected officials, a venue for them to “toot their horn.”
The magazine competes with the local free press in disseminating city news and therefore constitutes “unfair competition” by attracting private sector advertisers with “below cost” rates.

Morgan Davis

No letters published in the Oct. 2 Tribune

Letters published in the Sept. 25 Tribune:

Write to support bill, help families

To the Editor:
Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t strike just the elderly. The 200,000 Americans diagnosed with dementia before age 65 need services like in-home care, transportation, and caregiver support.
Alzheimer’s Association advocates have asked members of Congress to cosponsor the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act. The bill will amend the Older Americans Act to let the area agencies on aging serve these families too.
I am grateful that Congresswoman DelBene has cosponsored this needed legislation. Please join me in urging Congressman Larsen and Senators Murray and Cantwell to join her as cosponsors.
This advocacy is important to me because I am a Long Term Care Specialist who works delivering services to seniors and I know the heavy burden that families carry.
All our members of Congress should continue to actively support policies that address Alzheimer’s disease as the national public health crisis it is.

Christine Khemis, MBA CLTC

Letters published in the Sept. 18 Tribune:

New parks will be paid for by many to serve few

I have to agree with Todd Frederickson’s letter (Sept. 11 Tribune) regarding the East County Parks District’s parks and recreation bonds, proposition 1 and 2. 
I’m in favor of a healthy park department, of course.  But it’s always on the backs of homeowners who are being taxed to death trying to accommodate burgeoning growth that many of us do not want. 
In Monroe an apparent “need” is for “Converting unlighted poor-draining grass fields to all-weather, lighted, synthetic turf to allow year round play for baseball, football, lacrosse and soccer,” according to the recent mailer.  Really?? 
Can’t we let kids play on natural grass and get a little muddy or dirty and experience nature once in a while?  We live in a sanitized and virtual world of “smart” phones and an artificial environment of concrete and tract homes.
Do all of us have to subsidize expensive lighting and construction so that a (very) few people can play sports at night and not get too dirty? I don’t think so.

Robert Van den Akker

Letters published in the Sept. 11 Tribune:

Funding ask needs deeper evaluation

To the Editor:
Only six more weeks before the general election ballots are in your mailbox. Two issues that are intended to glean more revenue from homeowners: East County Parks and Recreation Prop. 1 and Prop. 2
Neither one of these propositions have shown efforts to properly evaluate the need for increase costs. No performance or fiscal audits to identify and eliminate redundancies and waste, to begin with. The answer is always to ask for more.
Snohomish County property owners are experiencing tax fatigue. They have been nickel-and-dimed over the last five years to the point their mortgages have risen faster than the cost of living. We all want vibrant and safe parks and there are innovative options to address the concerns noted in their proposal without gouging homeowners with yet another tax increase. Go lean, go green and be innovative.

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

No letters published in the Sept. 4 Tribune

Letters published in the Aug. 28 Tribune:

Writer: Initiative to limit car tabs threatens projects

To the Editor:
Initiative 976 is another one of Tim Eyman’s initiatives that people better think really hard about before they vote.
Sure, it will help many people save on their car tabs, which is good, but think about all the problems it will create. It cuts funding for Sound Transit by $328 million per year (many jobs will be cut) and if it passes, I hope it isn’t one of you who voted for it.
Some other agencies that could be affected are: money that funds some Washington State Patrol activities, state ferry maintenance, highway construction, county roads and bridges, bike, and pedestrian projects. It would also threaten projects such as building sidewalks, repaving streets and flashing yellow lights in school zones.
Of course it is my opinion as far as job losses, but what other alternative is available, if there is no money to pay people, they would have to be let go. This might give people food for thought. It would be doing the public a disservice if they hadn’t thought things through.

Roy Johnson

No letters published in the Aug. 21 Tribune

Letters published in the Aug. 14 Tribune:

Story omitted local brewer

To the Editor:
I recently read this article (“Monroe beermaker wins gold in state awards,” July 10 Tribune) and was a bit confused as to how Snohomish’s own Scrappy Punk Brewery was left out of the article.
They pulled in 1st place in overall token counts for the entire show. No, they didn’t get a medal for their beer, but they pulled in over 200 tokens more than the second place brewery. This is pretty amazing considering he is a 3 barrel brewery, only had two beers on tap and was up against some large, great breweries. Scrappy Punk also just pulled in top brewery at the recent Rivers Edge Brewfest here in Snohomish. Pretty scrappy for the Scrappy Punk Greg Krsak.
Just wanted to bring the amazing work being done in Snohomish to light.

Chris Alton

No letters published in the Aug. 7 Tribune

Letters published in the July 31 Tribune:

Vote no to keep voter control

To the Editor:
“Your Vote Matters” is spelled out on all the yard signs, telling us to vote “yes” to impose a permanent tax by Fire District #4.
Should this tax levy pass, we will lose our right and privilege to vote in the future. Do we really want to give that up ? Permanent means your vote really did not matter, because it was taken away.
Should this levy fail, we will not witness a decline in service. Should it pass, you will see a decline in your wallet and lost voting rights.
As stated by District No. 4: “The Fire District Staff goes to great lengths in the attempt to maintain our equipment and keep it in the best operating condition possible.”
Here is another fact: Fire Districts receive the third highest percentage (school districts first place, cities and towns second place), in the distribution of tax revenue. The remaining 8 divide 25.2%. These figures are from the State Treasurer.
Save your money and your vote. Vote no.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Journey to get issues heard in D.C.

To the Editor:
This year I decided to make my journey by train to the RESULTS ( International Conference in Washington, D.C. Why? The ending of hunger and poverty is at stake. Impossible? Not really, since hunger and poverty is a product of our system, not a choice people make. That’s good news because it means we can change the system so hunger and poverty are no longer by products.
Volunteering with RESULTS for the past 25 years, I have seen how citizens can use their voices with Congress to make a difference. So I headed out on the train, seeing America on the way and meeting a cross-section of Americans as well. Part of the time I spent studying the issues of affordable housing for all Americans and the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to finally control these pandemics.
As the days past, I thought of the 40 million Americans who are rent stressed, paying up to and over 50% of their income for rent; of the 27 million lives the Global Fund has saved since 2002; each of these lives is an individual story, like those of my own family. In D.C., I was encouraged by Rep. DelBene’s Office and Senator Cantwell who promised to look into a renter tax credit to ease the burden on families.
I also took the opportunity to thank members of the House for supporting the Global Fund. Now to follow up on these issues.

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the July 24 Tribune:

Hurts the little guy, writer says

To the Editor:
Price control is an old socialist scheme for creating so-called fairness. Let’s examine it. Trade is an exchange of products and services where both parties gain. When masses of exchanges occur over time a law of supply and demand can be seen repairing supply imbalances and stabilizing prices.
Not good enough, say socialists! They demand government enforce wage increases on the pretext of reducing stress for big families.
  One might expect increases be paid by somebody that can afford it. Like government. Or private aid. Or by changing employers. But no! Promoters demand raises given to all, including for single persons — affordable or not!
In other words: a very un-American enforced asset transfer between two private parties. Employers who get the short end of the stick must  then close shop and lay everybody off. Does the law mention compensation? Nope!
  Switzerland employs no minimum wage law. Imagine they decide to imitate USA! High wages would be established. Lower wages made illegal. Such policy would then cause sudden, catastrophic job losses within millions of long established worksites.
  Minimum wage is common in most countries of the world. Socialists must be  celebrating! Their phony compassion fooled everybody—even the BBB.
Gunnar Unneland

A solution to all the woes

To the Editor:
I just had what I think might be stroke of genius  regarding the solution to the Boeing 737 Max grounding.
Here it is:  Instead of letting software fly the plane, let the pilots fly the plane!
Presto! Problem solved!

Robert Van der Akker

No letters published in the July 17 Tribune.

Letters published in the July 10 Tribune:

Reasons to deny ATVs “ridiculous”

To the Editor:
I just finished reading the article on ATVs in Snohomish (June 26 Tribune), I am not for or against the argument but the reasons for denying them are ridiculous...
Shayn Bancroft says he’s worried about kids getting killed by ATVs, but we live in a town that supports drinking and driving! We have booze on every corner and several city-sanctioned alcohol events each year, how are those drinkers getting home? Do you worry about the kids when the drinking drivers are leaving the city functions? 
Councilwoman Lynn Schilaty thinks ATVs are smelly and noisy.... When was the last time she actually saw an ATV?
After seeing that monstrosity the council allowed to be built on Maple Avenue I have severe concerns about our decision makers. That is one hot mess, what an eyesore! 
I recently read that the council is allowing eight mini hotel units in the heart of downtown in a residential neighborhood.  What are you thinking!  Let’s put those hotel units in their neighborhood.
The council members have some really weird thinking. 

Caroline Baertsch

Opposition to name choice

To the Editor:
The City of Snohomish’s ad hoc parks naming committee and parks board approved the name “Julia’s Landing” on Feb. 27th for the new 20 acre boat launch park on the Snohomish River. 
However, the committee and board on June 26 reversed its February decision and recommended that the council use the name “Pilchuck Julia Landing” for the Snohomish River park ("Name for boat launch site revised,” July 3 Tribune.)
The rationale for this abrupt reversal is the fact Denise Johns, a former city project manager who quit city employment in early June, and City Councilwoman Linda Redmon, met with a Tulalip Tribes representative (not on its board of directors).  Apparently, this representative insists the name “Pilchuck Julia” be included in the new park’s name.
Snohomish, decades ago, christened a large nearby regional park on Cypress Avenue and the Pilchuck River as “Pilchuck Park” for its geographical location.  It was not named to honor Pilchuck Julia Jack, the iconic historic Snohomish Indian Tribe member who by some accounts lived to be 100.
In my opinion, having two nearby large regional parks beginning with the name “Pilchuck” could be confusing to some folks from out of the area.
Additionally, dropping the possessive changes landing to a verb instead of a gerund noun.
The Snohomish City Council at its next meeting on July 16th should name the new boat launch park “Julia’s Landing” as unanimously recommended on Feb. 27th.

Morgan Davis

No letters published in the June 26 or July 3 Tribunes.

Letters in the June 19 Tribune:

Salary was preset before election

To the Editor:
Regarding the letter in the June 5 Tribune by Diane Tunnell: “Snohomish mayor’s minimal salary needs rectification.”
Tunnell regularly lobbies for a raise in pay for the mayor (who’s been in office only 18 months into a 4-year term).
In the letter, she argues the City Council members are well paid but are denying the mayor a reasonable salary. Fact: Council members are paid about half the salary of the mayor.
She further argues the mayor “was elected to be the chief city administrator” (replacing the eliminated city manager position).  Fact: It was Mayor Kartak’s personal decision to appoint and promote former deputy city manager Steve Schuller to be the chief city administrator with the large annual salary now approaching $170,000 to manage about 50 employees. In comparison, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee manages a workforce of about 100,000 employees at an annual salary of about $180,000.
Clearly, if the mayor can’t live on the prescribed salary, by what Tunnell says, then he should resign and look for a higher paying job or retrain for a new career.
But he ought not do what the former Wapato mayor did — that mayor is now being accused of creating a city job of $95,000 for himself.  (See Seattle Times June 11, 2019 article titled “Wapato city official accused of creating own $95,000 job”).

Morgan Davis

City contractor was professional

To the Editor:
I would like to thank the City of Snohomish for hiring the quality company of D&G to install our new waterline (along Cypress).
The men of D&G were courteous and willing to answer any questions asked of them.
It was amazing to watch the skills of the operators from the excavator operator and the dump truck driver to the men setting up the water meters and “hooking up” the waterlines.
Thanks again D&G for your concern of the residents and a job well done.

Jim Werder

Letters in the June 12 Tribune:


Hometown papers are important for community

To the Editor:
I enjoy the Tribune and the local Snohomish news and have become a subscriber to support local print media even though I live in Monroe.
Sadly, the Monroe Monitor no longer has a reporter or covers local news and is merely an empty vehicle for some legals owned by an out of town conglomerate.  That leaves a town of 18,000 people without news of city council happenings, school news, local sports, community events, police activity, etc. etc.  A good local paper reflects the soul of a community and helps bind it together with (hopefully) heart, editorial wisdom, caring and oversight.
I feel sad that not enough local Monroe businesses seemed to feel it important enough to at least buy small weekly ads to keep that paper going, realizing it’s importance to their own customer base in spite of “cheaper” alternatives via the Internet.
Kudos to the businesses that do feel some social responsibility who did advertise in the Monitor and continue to do so in the Tribune; and to the customers who subscribe to the paper(s) to offset printing and production costs.  I think a good local paper is a joint effort on all fronts, and worth the effort.
I hope that somehow, some way, we will once again have a Monroe paper and that someone will take the initiative to start one up and that it will be supported by local business and subscribers. (I subscribed to the Monitor for over 40 years.) 

Robert Van den Akker

Housing costs an underlying cause in hunger

To the Editor:
I’m so proud to see Snohomish High School students, staff and community with their efforts to fight hunger (“Assembled meals benefit thousands,” front page May 29 Tribune).
At the same time, food banks don’t come close to meeting all the need, we must look at the underlying causes. One effort underway right now in Congress is a proposed $5 billion increase to the Housing Choice Vouchers program (section 8) that will help put 340,000 more families into homes, providing a ladder out of poverty. Our calls and letters to those who represent us in Congress can help this and other initiatives like tax fairness end the unnecessary hunger and poverty in the world’s richest country.

Willie Dickerson

Letters in the June 5 Tribune:

Minimal salary needs rectification

To the Editor:
There is a serious wrong being done to the mayor of Snohomish.
Some members of the City Council refuse to recognize Mayor Kartak’s role as a strong mayor. They voted before he was elected that he be paid a part time salary, $18,000 a year, plus benefits, regardless of how many hours he works. He cannot lead our city into excellence if he must be concerned about how to pay bills at home.
Why are some City Council members, who are well paid, denying the mayor a reasonable salary? The city has ample funds to pay our mayor.
The duties of mayor include: Assisting with policy analysis, intergovernmental relations, risk management, providing organizational leadership, implementing council policies, strategic planning, responding to citizen concerns, managing the city budget, and more. And yet… he is paid less per hour than anyone working for the city under him.
You, as citizens of Snohomish, elected Mayor Kartak to be our chief administrator and you, as citizens, can give him a raise by telling the council to say they need to correct this serious offense.

Diane Tunnell

Letters in the May 29 Tribune:

Site is perfect for re-development

To the Editor:
Snohomish represents a much larger population than how many people live within its city limits.
A hindrance to the city’s ability to attract new businesses is because retailers, hotels and entertainment attractions fail to account for the larger population that resides outside of city limits but still relies on Snohomish for its shopping and other needs.
Snohomish even has a prime location for such businesses. The former Snohomish County Public Works site on Avenue D is an ideal location. It is centrally located, close to transit and other city amenities, including shopping. There is street frontage on two significant streets and it is a large enough area to warrant sub-area planning. Other neighboring parcels would also benefit from redevelopment.
The most appropriate use of this property would be for mixed use with buildings that have multiple stores below and above the street level at 13th Street. The type of businesses should include retail, hospitality, entertainment and apartments/condominiums. Office space and child care could be used as fill in to complement the primary uses. Big box stores or other single story buildings should be avoided.
We have many pocket communities just outside city limits.
We also have the Unincorporated Growth Area (UGA) just south of Snohomish that includes Harvey Airfield, 15 businesses on the airport grounds and 12 other businesses.
When we are attempting to attract hotels or larger businesses, we need to consider the real population, which is more than the city boundaries.
Our welcome to Snohomish sign indicates we have about 9,000 people but I would argue we have many, many more.

Larry Countryman
Snohomish City Council member

Don’t use plastic bags in kitchen

To the Editor:
There is much talk and letter writing these days regarding recycling and minimizing the use of plastics. There is one item that nearly everyone tosses that would reduce a great deal of plastic in our landfills: the plastic kitchen garbage bag. Based on what I see in the dumpster outside my apartment house it appears to me nearly everyone uses a plastic garbage bag in their kitchen. Here is my suggestion. Simply stop using a plastic kitchen garbage bag. Instead put the kitchen garbage directly into a kitchen garbage container. I have been doing this for over eight years now. When the kitchen garbage container is full I take it out to the dumpster and dump the contents in the dumpster. I then take the container back to the kitchen and clean out the container in five minutes or less.
Using a plastic bag places a burden on our Mother Earth for our convenience and cleanliness. The millions of plastic kitchen garbage bags in our landfills will take about 1,000 years to partially decompose. In addition, what’s inside the bag, such as vegetable and animal matter, will not decompose quickly because the plastic bag prevents decomposition bacteria from doing what God designed them to do.  
When I was growing up there were no plastic kitchen garbage bags. Sometimes nothing is new but what has been forgotten.

William Patrick Daspit

No letters published in the May 15 or 22 Tribunes.

Letters in the May 8 Tribune:

Recycling service at market is swell

To the Editor:
As we begin another season of the famous Snohomish Farmers Market (“Farmers markets kickstarting their seasons, May 1 Tribune), special thanks must go to Republic Services, which has agreed to make recycling and trash disposal bins available for use each week, beginning May 9.
Learning to “live green” is something we can all do to preserve the quality of life we so enjoy here in Snohomish. Disposing of garbage responsibly, and making the extra effort to wash out and properly dispose of recyclables is increasingly important as our community grows, and convenience packaging becomes ever more widespread.
Children learn by watching their elders. There will always be those few who litter, dump trash wherever, and generally act the fool. Thank you, Republic Services, for siding with a clean community. So come to the market, buy local, enjoy the bounty of our fertile valley, and dispose of your trash in the Republic bins.

Bonny Headley

Planemaker shot itself in foot

To the Editor:
I believe the cause of two crashes of Boeing 737 Max was not the result of design flaws but was the result of a flawed system integration.  
  It is accepted engineering practice that when the form, fit or function of a part, component or system is impacted a complete thorough analysis or evaluation needs to be done. When Boeing incorporated the larger engines on 737, the flight characteristics of the plane was impacted. This should have resulted in review of its impact on every critical flight control system, not just selected ones.
Boeing’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was designed to have its actuator receive input from only one air sensor (known to have output issues) not multiple sensors as designed in other systems.  The safety analysis of the MCAS should have identified this as a critical flaw and should have resulted in a redesign to eliminate this critical system flaw.
When 737 MAX flight test results showed that MCAS actuator caused the horizontal stabilizer to move further than expected, an analysis should have showed that the jackscrew would receive high loads that would negate the pilot ability to use the manual trim control to control roller coasting of the airplane after a few occultations.
I believe the control of jackscrew is critical to a pilot in controlling an airplane. A frozen jackscrew caused the Alaska Airlines flight 261 fatal accident in 2000.

Robert Creamer

“Mary Poppins” a delight

To the Editor:
From the technical crew/backstage support personnel, to the orchestra, costumers, set designers, and stage performers, “Mary Poppins” at Glacier Peak High School was nothing other than fantastic!
These aren’t kids who are up on stage hoping to just “get it right.” These students have clearly poured their hearts and souls into a project that means a great deal to them. Their pride in presenting this to their families and the community is evident. The director, Steven Ortiz, has been working with kids at GPHS for some time and they’re fortunate to have him in their corner.
Thanks for choosing a show that invites the entire community to turn out. Families have been bringing their children to shows in Snohomish for many years and it was fun to see entire Girl Scout troops and younger siblings of those students involved in the show turning up to applaud everyone’s efforts. “Mary Poppins” is appropriate for all ages and there are no surprises that would make parents second guess bringing their young children or other relatives.

Susan Bjorling

Letters in the May 1 Tribune:

You can work for a difference, grand or small

To the Editor:
While I am deeply respectful of Lanni Johnson’s fast for orca protection (“Supporting orcas, Snohomian does hunger protest at state Capitol,” April 17 Tribune) and hope it works,
I have learned a different way to influence change.
Currently, Congress is working on appropriations for the fiscal year 2020. As a volunteer with RESULTS, I have been asking representatives to sign letters to appropriators to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and to increase funding for the Housing Choice Vouchers program.
The Global Fund has saved 27 million lives since its founding in 2002, no wonder 147 members of the House from both parties signed it. Many of them also signed in support increasing funding for the Vouchers program, so 340,000 more families would receive vouchers and thus housing. (Currently only 25 percent of those who qualify receive vouchers.)
Reps. Larsen and DelBene signed both letters in support of these initiatives. Wouldn’t that be a surprise if they received calls and emails just to thank them for taking these actions to create a better country and world?

Willie Dickerson

Tell Gov. Inslee to oppose at all costs

To the Editor:
Do you know that the fossil fuel industry is trying to build massive fracked gas projects in our state? These include a massive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Tacoma, and the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, right along the banks of the Columbia River. If built, the Kalama methanol refinery would become the state’s largest climate polluter by 2025.
Fracked gas projects also include an expanded pipeline in Snohomish County, which puts at risk 15 streams and the salmon that spawn in them. Water quality for local homeowners is also likely to suffer, as most of the route runs through an EPA designated aquifer.
Ending the use of fracked gas is the next big climate fight. The process of fracking involves injecting toxic chemicals into the earth, which can leak into the groundwater and contaminate our drinking water, endangering our health. Fracked gas is destructive from extraction to consumption.
Governor Inslee has championed policies to limit climate pollution and promote clean energy, but he has yet to publicly oppose fracked gas infrastructure projects proposed for the state. The governor needs to hear from you!

Marjie Fields

Letters in the April 24 Tribune:

Tax break for new development even though not adding affordable housing

To the Editor:
During the April 16th Snohomish City Council meeting, the city planning director announced the first developer to take advantage of the council’s recently enacted multi-family property exemption ordinance will build a six-unit market rate building at the former car wash site on Lincoln Avenue, across the street from Snohomish Co-op.
Here’s the impact:
1.  The developer/owner gets the rest of us property taxpayers to pay all his property tax bills for the next 8 years — absolutely no strings attached.
2.  Not even one unit will be set aside for affordable housing.
In addition, the planning director asked each council member to list their preference for developing the county-owned former public works shop site between Bonneville Avenue and Avenue D either with current zoning or spot rezoning.
There’s already been ideas floated of restaurants and boutique retail shops at the site. 
Thankfully, the County Council has the final say on how to develop its land.
The County Council should ignore city staff and city council’s goal of gentrification and instead develop its property for very low-income housing along with corollary medical clinics and social services.
City property taxpayers and advocates for affordable housing should keep these issues in mind during council elections this year.

Morgan Davis

Writer: Minimum wage is a sham

To the Editor:
Minimum wage laws cause lots of trauma. Employers are ordered to cut profit margins to benefit employees.
1. Those who can’t afford it close shop and lay people off, hurting those whom the law was intended to help. 
2. Business owners likewise are left without a livelihood!
3. Their products/services disappear from the market without a trace. 
4. Reduced tax income for the government.
 5. Young graduates comfortably climb ladders to success starting on  minimum wage levels or higher. The unlucky instead find their lower ladder rungs totally obliterated.  Hourly paid work below minimum wage is forbidden.
6. Much seasonal and temporary work certainly will remain undone.
7. Homeless persons in cars and tents and people in various types of recovery and people  released from jail and people unexpectedly laid off looking for temporary work surely would accept less than minimum wage — like before — if allowed!
The needs for jobs for our more vulnerable citizens are ignored! Minimum wage is a convoluted idea that has spread to most countries of the world.

Gunnar Unneland

Letters in the April 17 Tribune:

Weighing the need, vote yes

To the Editor:
Since moving to Monroe a little over two years ago, we have had more than our share of visits to the Emergency Room at our public hospital. EvegreenHealth Monroe is the only ER serving the Skykomish Valley. While we appreciate the care and compassion the staff has provided with each visit, we now welcome the opportunity through approving Prop. 1 to upgrade the ER with state-of-the-art equipment, including a new CT scanner and a new MRI scanner, and increase those services from Level 4 to Level 3. In addition, Prop. 1 will establish a 24/7 trauma team which will be able to save more lives and provide a higher level of life-saving care to our region.
Please join us to vote to approve Prop. 1, showing our support for and commitment to the community.

Joan and Don Miller

Vote yes on levy for the community

To the Editor:
We need to support our valley hospital.
There is no way I could name all the things the community needs. I do know of a few things I want: Strong schools, well-equipped libraries, strong leaders, parks, active churches, places for our children to gather and play, and the willingness for people to get involved. My dad told me that if you live in a community you need to give back and be involved for your community to thrive and be successful.
A few years ago, we all came together to save our valley hospital. By doing this we ended up with a very good hospital. Now we need to take the next step to keep the high level of patient care and continue to make updates.
Can you imagine if we didn’t have our EvergreenHealth Hospital in our valley and you needed to get to an emergency center and had to travel on 522 or Highway 2 and the Ebey Slough Bridge to get that care? We all know that feeling when we are trying to get to an appointment or a meeting with friends and you are late, and the traffic isn’t going to help you get there on time.
Please vote to approve Prop. 1 for the sake of our valley community.

Mike Carlson

Makes a lot of sense

To the Editor:
I am “old-school.”  I like things that work well, add value to my life, and last for a while. That’s why I am voting yes for the April 23rd Hospital District No. 1 Levy Lift. 
  The new electronic medical records system, funded by part of this levy, fits my pragmatic style like a glove.
I want different specialists to have quick access to all my records and issues, so my care is integrated and up-to-date.  I want improved access so I can review my own records and make appointments at my convenience, wherever I am!   Most important, I want my taxes to be used very, very carefully. 
This portion of the levy isn’t glamorous like new buildings, and doesn’t make for fascinating sound bites.  But if you have kids living at home, medical conditions requiring ongoing care, or a loved one who relies on you for healthcare support, the new EMR can make a positive difference in your peace of mind.
The facts and the R.O.I. make this an easy “yes” for me.  I hope you will agree.

Joel Selling

Take Option No. 1

To the Editor:
I am a rider of Everett Transit that has a Regional Reduced Fare Permit and I was at one of the Everett Transit low income fare information meetings that was about adding a low income fare option for riders that are not disabled or seniors that have low income. I totally agree with this because there should be a low-income fare option for public transit so people who have low income aren’t paying a $2 bus fare in July but one of the options is to consolidate all the discounted fares to $1 so people who are paying senior or disabled fare like myself will face another fare increase and some people have physical disabilities and only taking the bus a block or two so they definitely don’t need another fare increase so soon after the one Everett Transit just had so vote low income fare option #1.

Elijah Edens

Fossil fuel cutbacks will reduce jobs

To the Editor:
In response to “Our environment is a valid concern” March 14th Tribune: I agree eventually fossil fuels will diminish but, will never die off.
The fossil fuel rhetoric is from a fringe few. Loss of billions is more accurate than the world ending in 12 years. There will be a worldwide impact with the loss of thousands of sub-industries with damaging results and will threaten billions of jobs.
Environmentalists do not see the cascading effects. Where is all this electricity coming from? Is our current electrical grid ready to handle the transition?
What do you say about more hydroelectric, more nuclear? The problem is environmentalists offer no answers other than a fear based ideological premise.
There is no 2019 factual statistics from the BLS to draw from. The last tally was from 2010-2011 where the total estimate of green jobs was 172,638.
The numbers never match environmentalist’s narrative.
Make no mistake the roots of environmentalism are in Marxism, tread lightly as the march toward Neo-Marx Socialism is evident.
Yes, we must be more vigilant of our home but not by fear based false rhetoric but by a free market encouraged to invest and produce green tech.

John Lorenz

The geoduck, not the razor clam, should be state clam

To the Editor:
The Legislature is intending to enact, without a vote of the people, a law designating the razor clam as our official state clam. While digging for razor clams is a delightful hobby in Western Washington (and Oregon, and California), true Washingtonians know that our state is already better represented by another bivalve more endemic and rotund — the geoduck.
In spite of this overwhelming public opinion, the state House unanimously passed House Bill 1061, sending it to the Senate for confirmation.
Now is the time to act. Fellow 12th-Men, hipsters of the north, Puget Sound techies, farmers of the far east, random rain-soaked hikers and everyone in between, join me in calling for the Senate and Governor Jay Inslee to reject House Bill 1061. Take to your phones and call your senators today, write your local newspapers, search for online petitions, tweet (if that’s what you do), and share the message online.
In a matter as sacred and permanent as our state clam, the people’s voice should not be ignored. 

Shawn Cooper 
Lake Stevens 




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