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Letters to the Editor

Send us a letter: letters@snoho.com


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 Tribune.
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Send us a letter: letters@snoho.com



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


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

THANKS
Restaurant gives seniors yummy food

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

Carol Sack
Snohomish




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

MULTI-FAMILY TAX EXEMPTION VOTE
City’s idea to add housing will pinch existing residents

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

Kenn Kullberg
Snohomish

MULTI-FAMILY TAX EXEMPTION VOTE
Developer tax break for sake of adding growth is unwanted


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

Bruce A. Ferguson
Snohomish



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

TAX EXEMPTION
Possibilities can’t be ignored

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



HOUSING INCENTIVE
Beyond tax break, look wider

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish




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


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

ECHO LAKE COMMUNITY
Emergency Center story important for spreading word

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

Rena Connell
Snohomish

AQUAFEST
Thank you volunteers


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

Mayor Brett Gailey and City Council President Steve Ewing
Lake Stevens




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


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

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT
Aug. 16 meeting to yield critical info

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish

LORD HILL PARK
More mountain bike trails please

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

Maximilian Mroczkowski
Snohomish, age 10

LORD HILL PARK
Mountain bike jumps are fun

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

Aleksander Mroczkowski
Snohomish, age 12



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

SNOHOMISH POLITICS
Council did not renounce personal attack in store’s sign

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

John Lorenz
Formerly of Snohomish
Bradenton, Florida

FOSSIL FUELS
Fossil fuels can’t be completely nixed


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

Ron Tunnell
Snohomish



No letters to the editor published in the July 27 Tribune


Letters to the editor published in the July 20 Tribune:

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

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

Nancy Johnson
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the July 13 Tribune:

AVENUE A GAZEBO

Repurpose gazebo site into pocket park


To the Editor:

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

Warner Blake
Snohomish


MIDTOWN DISTRICT TAX EXEMPTION
Proposed incentive has dual benefits

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

Jan Lengenfelder
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the July 6 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT TAX EXEMPTION
Who benefits from possible tax exemption

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

Bruce A. Ferguson
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the June 29 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT TAX EXEMPTION
Article missed whole possible tax impact

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


Exemption would put big tax burden on today’s residents

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

David Clay
Snohomish


Letters to the editor published in the June 22 Tribune:

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
Defining freedom

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

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe



No letters to the editor published in the June 15 Tribune


Letters to the editor published in the June 8 Tribune:

LABOR SHORTAGES

Migrants could solve ag labor shortage

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

Dan Bartelheimer
Snohomish

NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS
Gun violence should be our wake-up call

To the Editor:

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

Christine Wakefield Nichols
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the June 1 Tribune:

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
Freedoms are still being impeded

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

Hailey Keller
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH CITY PROPERTIES
Consolidate and pursue 9-acre land

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the May 25 Tribune:

VOTING
Our voice for democracy

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish


No letters to the editor in the May 18 Tribune.



Letters to the editor published in the May 11 Tribune:

PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS
Your votes led to these policies

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

John Lorenz
Bradenton, Florida
Recently of Snohomish



No letters to the editor in the May 4 Tribune.


Letters to the editor published in the April 27 Tribune:

PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS

Cease giving them to developers

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the April 20 Tribune:

BICYCLING

Try the mean streets

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

Guy F. Boehner
Everett


POWER OF PEOPLE
Appreciation that DelBene has ear to global health needs

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the April 13 Tribune:

MILL CREEK FIRE MEASURE
Vote “Yes” to move for annexation

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

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



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


Letters to the editor published in the March 16 Tribune:

CITY ADMIN CHANGE
Writer: Appointment is without integrity

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish

FIRE DISTRICT

Losing Mill Creek contract money will not harm service

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

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



Letters to the editor published in the March 9 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT
Act will erode city’s small-town feel

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

Bruce A. Ferguson
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT
Denser development restores affordability as city grows


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

Jan Lengenfelder
Snohomish


MONROE SCHOOL LEVY FAILURE

No question why

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

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe

CITY ADMIN CHANGE
Social media claims aim to dunk mayor


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

Carol Meagher
Snohomish


UKRAINE-RUSSIA CONFLICT
Russia did not release POWs fairly

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

Guy F. Boehner
Everett

GLOBAL HEALTH FUNDING
Thank you for funding health initiatives


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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the March 2 Tribune:

PROPERTY TAX BREAKS IN MIDTOWN DISTRICT

Don't give them out

To the Editor:

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


Letters to the editor published in the February 23 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT

Wrong move to approve tall heights for Avenue D stretch


To the Editor:

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

Brian Mills
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the February 16 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT

Result will benefit greater community


To the Editor:

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

Marilene Richardson
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the February 9 Tribune:

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Disunity felt during pandemic

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

Elijah Edens
Everett


Letters to the editor published in the February 2 Tribune:

LORD HILL REGIONAL PARK
Feedback shows opposition to bikes

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

Kristin Kelly
Snohomish


SCHOOL LEVY MEASURES
Renewing levies gives schools needed funding to educate

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

Barbara Rohe
Snohomish


SNOHOMISH SCHOOL LEVIES
Levies uphold quality education

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


Levy letters which came later than deadline:

SNOHOMISH SCHOOL LEVIES
Vote no - it does not support core education

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

Bruce A. Ferguson
Snohomish


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

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

Ron Tunnell
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the January 26 Tribune:

MIDTOWN DISTRICT

Uphold keeping Ave. D height limits

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


SNOHOMISH SCHOOL LEVIES
Levies give services students need

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

Terry Lippincott
Snohomish


SNOHOMISH SCHOOL LEVIES
Levy money keeps up quality schools

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish



SNOHOMISH SCHOOL LEVIES
Continuing levies retains staff

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

Tabitha Baty
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the January 19 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH SCHOOL LEVIES
Support the levies

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

Sonia Siegel Vexler
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the January 12 Tribune:

RACISM

Bigoted father does not represent true Monroe

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

R. Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe


SNOHOMISH CARNEGIE BUILDING
Right the problem with new plaque

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

Elizabeth Durand
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the January 5 Tribune:

CARNEGIE BUILDING

Taking credit where it is not due


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

Candace Jarrett
Snohomish

POST OFFICE PUBLIC MAILBOXES
Requesting two boxes be reoriented

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

David Clay
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the December 29 Tribune:

COVID-19
Play by the rules

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the December 22 Tribune:

APPRECIATION

Snohomish Library offers people essential training

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

Cindy Boskofsky
Snohomish


COVID-19

Do not dehumanize the unvaccinated

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



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


Letters to the editor published in the December 8 Tribune:

PASTIMES

Finding joy through penpals

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

Leslie Seeche
Kirkland




Letters to the editor published in the December 1 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH POLITICS
Restoration of calm governance through latest turnover

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

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe


GRAMMAR
Veterans has no apostrophe


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

Carol Sack
Snohomish


KINDNESS
Maintain kindness as we’re all together

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

Jhanna Eggers
Monroe



Letters to the editor published in the November 24 Tribune:

LAND STEWARDSHIP

We must take responsibility in protecting our environment

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

Dan Bartelheimer
Snohomish
President, Snohomish County Farm Bureau






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


Letters to the editor published in the November 3 Tribune:

LUDWIG PARK PROPERTY CHANGE
Wrong approach to rezone park space for housing

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

Darrel Martin 
Snohomish

GRATITUDE
Donation aided camp fundraiser

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

Hans Dankers
Monroe



Letters to the editor published in the October 27 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH REGIONAL FIRE LEVY
Dollars are needed

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

Heather Fulcher
Monroe

SNOHOMISH MAYORAL RACE
Kartak accusations lack character


To the Editor:

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

Brian Richardson
Snohomish


Kartak’s denial also diminishes youth documentary


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

Lanni Johnson
Snohomish


“WOKE” CULTURE AND YOUR BALLOT

Laden with bullying and influence

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

Mary Harwood
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH ELECTIONS
Look beyond signs when you vote

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

Peter Messinger
Snohomish


Additional letters that went online-only:

SNOHOMISH ELECTIONS
Merrill has the skills

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

Mark Miller
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH MAYORAL
Vote for Redmon

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

Thom Engel
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the October 20 Tribune:

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

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

Carol Meagher
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH MAYORAL RACE
Kartak’s city budget boast in mailer misrepresents


To the Editor:

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

Janice Lengenfelder
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH MAYORAL RACE
Proud Boys surely backing Kartak


To the Editor:

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

David Clay
Snohomish

EVERETT CITY COUNCIL DIST. 2
Dig into candidate contributors to see who they represent

To the Editor:

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

Emily Wicks
Everett

SNOHOMISH ELECTIONS
Stance toward candidates is bitter, untrue

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

Karen Guzak
Snohomish
City Council candidate



Letters to the editor published in the October 13 Tribune:

VACCINATIONS

Unvaccinated should be penalized for their choice


To the Editor:

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

Todd Olmsted-Frederickson
Monroe

GLOBAL COVID-19 VACCINE ACCESS
Call Biden to improve access

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH MAYORAL ELECTION
Redmon has proven her leadership

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

Melody Clemans
Snohomish

COUNTRYMAN PROPERTIES
Alleged violation did not make story

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

SNOHOMISH CITY COUNCIL
More need to be made accountable

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

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

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

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

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish

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





Letters to the editor published in the October 6 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH MAYOR
Redmon’s accomplishments merit mayorship

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

Marilene Richardson
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH COUNCIL POSITION 7
Burke “walks the walk” on issues


To the Editor:

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



Letters to the editor published in the September 29 Tribune:

EVERETT COUNCIL POSITION 2
Rhyne advocates for community

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

Ashley O’Brien Sims 
Everett


SNOHOMISH COUNCIL POSITION 5
Flynn willing to do hard work for city

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

John First
Snohomish



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

Letters to the editor published in the September 15 Tribune:

RACISM IN SNOHOMISH
Not fair to put incident on electeds

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

Mark Anderson
Snohomish


MAPLE AVENUE PROPERTIES
Questions linger on councilman’s forms

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


Letters to the editor published in the September 8 Tribune:

ELECTION SEASON
Candidates’ issues are misdirection

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

Jan Lengenfelder
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the September 1 Tribune:

DISCARDED MASKS
Polluting the environment

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



GOING MASKLESS
Police went maskless in coffee shop

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

Valerie Woolvett
Snohomish


CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS
Flynn has common sense

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

Dawn Peyton Wheatley
Snohomish





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

RACISM IN SNOHOMISH
Incident in town demands racism to be acknowledged


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

David Clay
Snohomish





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


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

VACCINE INITIATIVES
Call for Murray and Cantwell to support COVAX


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

Jordan Worthington
Woodinville




Letters to the editor published in the July 28 Tribune:

BAGS TO BENCHES PROGRAM
First installations are coming soon

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

Renee Deierling
Snohomish Lions Club
Bags to Benches Chair
Snohomish

SNOHOMISH CITY COUNCIL POSITION 5
Zimmerman is a strong leader

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

Lynn Schilaty
Everett (Former Snohomish resident)


Flynn will ensure all voices are heard

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

Lya Badgley
Snohomish


Zimmerman listens for solutions

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

Lanni Johnson
Snohomish


Zimmerman is knowledgeable

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

Jessica Newkirk
Snohomish


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

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

Willie Russell
Everett


SNOHOMISH ELECTIONS
We live in interesting times

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



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



Letters to the editor published in the July 7 Tribune:

WALSH HILLS DEVELOPMENT
City’s own Comp. Plan disagrees with the proposal

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

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

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Call on Congress to fix housing crisis

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish




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



Letters to the editor published in the June 23 Tribune:

SCHOOL LUNCHES
Youth: School food quality has deteriorated


To the Editor:

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

Waylon M. Butler
Snohomish student



Letters to the editor published in the June 16 Tribune:

CITY LEADERSHIP

Economic development manager deserves thanks


To the Editor:

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

Jan Lengenfelder
Snohomish


MIDTOWN PLAN

Scrap the city’s Midtown plan

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish




Letters to the editor published in the June 9 Tribune:

ACTIVE SHOOTER PROTECTIONS
What happens when it happens?


To the Editor:

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

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe



Letters to the editor published in the June 2 Tribune:

SPEED LIMIT CHANGES PROPOSED
What will it fix?

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the May 26 Tribune:


MAYOR’S SALARY
Was column in city magazine segue for re-election?

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

Dana Harker
Snohomish

TOP SCHOLARS
Help kids reach their potential

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish

TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT MEASURE
Writer: With city spending so much, no TBD needed

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish




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

Letters to the editor published in the May 12 Tribune:

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Include transgender children in youth sports

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

Colleen Dunlap
Snohomish



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



Letters to the editor published in the April 21 Tribune:

CARE PACKAGES

Local legislators taking steps toward equity

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish


Letters to the editor published in the April 14 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH CARNEGIE BUILDING
Well-done job on restoring historic Carnegie

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

Julie Davis
Snohomish


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



Letters to the editor published in the March 31 Tribune:

CITY TBD MEASURE
Say no to road tax renewal to give public a break

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


RANKED-CHOICE LETTER
Letter writer should apologize for making attacks

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

Carol Meagher
Snohomish


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



Letters to the editor published in the March 17 Tribune:

RANKED-CHOICE VOTING

Accusation: Youth coerced as puppets for this idea

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the March 10 Tribune:

AVERILL FIELD FUTURE PARK PLAN
Plans must reflect the site's history

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

Warner Blake
Snohomish



Letters to the editor published in the March 3 Tribune:

MAY 31 EVENTS

Police report tells honest overview of what happened

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

Rachel Escoto
Snohomish


SHERIFF FORTNEY RECALL
It’s the final countdown for signatures


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

Janice Lengenfelder
Snohomish




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


URBAN GROWTH
Keep Snohomish small

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

John Cherney
Snohomish


MIDTOWN TAX BREAK

Don’t give developers free ride

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


MEETING ACCESS
Online meetings leave some out

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

Paul Heckel
Snohomish







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


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


AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Congress is working for us

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish



SECOND STREET CORRIDOR PLAN
Still a boondoggle

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



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


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

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

Dan Bartelheimer
Snohomish


ROAD SAFETY
Bickford Ave. bridge needs fixing

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

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




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


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

PROCLAMATION TO SUPPORT POLICE
Not joining in on proclamation is not anti-police

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


PROCLAMATION TO SUPPORT POLICE
Harshness toward council members unwarranted

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

Julie Davis
Snohomish



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

PROCLAMATION TO SUPPORT POLICE
Prior letter writer gave bitter spin

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



Letter writer attacked council members unfairly

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

Carol Meagher
Snohomish



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

CITY COUNCIL ASKED TO SUPPORT POLICE

Citizen criticizes City Council

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish


MARSHALL FIELD DENIAL
Citizens want a city park

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

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe



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

SECOND STREET CORRIDOR PLAN
Planned revamp has some problems

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



Letters to the Editor in the Dec. 9 Tribune
:

COVID-19
Vaccines are good, but relief is needed now

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish



Letters to the Editor in the Dec. 2 Tribune:


VANDALISM AT SNOHOMISH PARKS
Unfortunate to see

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



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


Letters to the Editor in the Nov. 18 Tribune:

LETTER ON RACISM
What groups shook letter writer?

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



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

SNOHOMISH CITY COUNCIL
Renounce racism and hate from all sides

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



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


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

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE’S RACE
Lucas endorses Robert Grant

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

Judge Eric Z. Lucas

“VOTE TO KEEP OUR DEMOCRACY STRONG”
Tribune keeps voters informed

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



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


SEX EDUCATION BALLOT MEASURE
Reject R-90


To the Editor:

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

Elizabeth Schaeffer
Lake Stevens



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

SEX EDUCATION BALLOT MEASURE
Reject R-90 as the reform has certain flaws within it

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

Dr. Chris Beard
Mukilteo


OPEN MINDS
People are not bigots for not conforming

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

Don Baldwin
Snohomish

MAYOR KARTAK’S ACTIONS
Explanation given is back-sliding

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



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

SEX EDUCATION BALLOT MEASURE
Vote for sex ed to teach students healthy life skills

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

Ann Beaulieu
Snohomish

LOCAL POLITICS
Lovick has courage and compassion


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

Julie Davis
Snohomish



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

OVERCOME BIGOTRY
Have an open mind

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

Janice Lengenfelder
Snohomish


EVERETT COUNCIL DISTRICTS
Leaders want map restructured

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

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



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

SEX EDUCATION BALLOT MEASURE
Give students their best chance

To the Editor:
Your “Approve” vote on Referendum 90 is needed to give Washington students a lifetime of sexual health.  Approval will implement K-12 Comprehensive Sexual Health Education.   
As a secondary communication teacher, a retired early childhood special education teacher and a Sunday school teacher, for decades I taught even young children how to be advocates for themselves and their own bodies. 
Enhancements to the current curriculum Washington State Learning Standards for Health and Physical Education, passed into law by the 2020 Legislature, are available at https://bit.ly/3kkVgCC  
The Office of Public Instruction can give voters the facts directly about the enhanced communication and social-emotional standards.  They help assure that students can learn how to protect themselves and discourage painful bullying. 
As a teacher, I tragically knew the stories of too many young women who encountered dates and acquaintances who had not learned how to listen to the message that “No means NO!” Some bullies never learned that there needed to be informed consent before they touch their partner.   Far too many girls and women suffer lifelong effects, needing to overcome harassment, rape, and abuse.  Children’s skills to protect their own bodies and mental health can be grounded in the communication skills learned in preschool — learning to say, “Stop!” “Hands off!” or “I need help!”  Those who hear these words need to listen, respecting the words and refraining from further offending behaviors.  Skills needed for healthy lifetimes, free of sexual abuse and assault, begin with our “Approve” for Referendum 90.

Rena Connell
Snohomish



Letters published in the September 16 Tribune:

TERRACE AVENUE DEVELOPMENT
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
Snohomish


USPS DEMONSTATIONS

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
Snohomish


2020 ELECTION
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
Snohomish



Letters published in the September 9 Tribune:

WALSH HILLS

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
Snohomish


SNOHOMISH POLICE CHIEF
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
Snohomish


LOCAL POLITICS
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
Snohomish


PANDEMIC RELIEF
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
Snohomish




Letters published in the September 2 Tribune:

LOCAL POLITICS
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
Snohomish


LOCAL POLITICS
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
Snohomish



FIGHT AGAINST HATE
“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
Monroe


“YEAR OF THE KAREN”
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
Snohomish



Letters published in the August 26 Tribune:

MAKING ASSUMPTIONS
“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
Snohomish



Letters published in the August 19 Tribune:

COUNCIL GOODBYE

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:

COMMUNITY DISAPPROVAL
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
Snohomish
 
POLICE REFORM
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
Everett



Letters published in the August 5 Tribune:

LOCAL POLITICS
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 
Marysville


LOCAL POLITICS
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
Snohomish



Letters published in the July 29 Tribune:

44TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE
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
Snohomish


44TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE
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
Snohomish



Letters published in the July 22 Tribune:

LOCAL POLITICS
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
Snohomish

LOCAL POLITICS
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

COVID-19 HEALTH CRISIS
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
Snohomish




Letters published in the July 15 Tribune:

USING FIREWORKS ON ILLEGAL DAYS
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
Snohomish



Letters published in the July 8 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH RECENT EVENTS
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


QUESTIONING THE PROTESTS

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
Snohomish


STATE REPRESENTATIVES

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
Snohomish


Letters published in the July 1 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH RECENT EVENTS

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
Snohomish



SNOHOMISH TOWN HALL
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
Snohomish




Letters published in the June 24 Tribune:

EVERETT SENIOR CENTER CLOSURE
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

SNOHOMISH PROTESTS
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
Snohomish




Letters published in the June 17 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH PROTESTS
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
Snohomish

MAY 31 EVENTS
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
Snohomish

CONFEDERATE FLAG DISPLAYED
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
Snohomish

CITY COUNCIL RESPONDS TO OUTRAGE
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
Darrington



Letters published in the June 10 Tribune:

LEADERSHIP RESPONSE TO MILITIA MEN
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
Snohomish


DEFENDERS ON FIRST STREET
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
Snohomish


DEFENDERS ON FIRST STREET
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
Monroe


PEACEFUL PROTESTS
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 (results.org) 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
Snohomish



No letters published in the June 3 Tribune


Letters published in the May 27 Tribune:

MIDTOWN DISTRICT TASK FORCE
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
Snohomish



Letters published in the May 20 Tribune:

ALZHEIMER’S
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
Woodinville


 

  

 

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