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Letters to the Editor

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

Authors may be published once every four issues.

Letters policy
The Tribune provides a general forum for pertinent local public comment, but the viewpoints published in letters to the editor do not carry any implied endorsement or fact verifications by the
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Letters to the Editor published in the June 14 Tribune:

Snohomish School District
False accusations on teacher given too much power

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

Mike Coombs

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Attacks in letter unwarranted

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

Bill Betten

Support freedom— let pot shops open

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

Chistopher Bingham

Letters to the Editor published in the June 7 Tribune:

Snohomish Carnegie Building
Call to keep annex building is too late

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

Warner Blake

Letters to the Editor published in the May 31 Tribune:

National Health Care
Time to speak up

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

Willie Dickerson

No letters published in the May 24 Tribune

Letters to the Editor published in the May 17 Tribune:

Bob Heirman
He inspired us all

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

Ann Bjorneby

Urban planning
Progress shouldn’t hit pocketbook

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

Evangeline Loranc

Carnegie library
Turn it into a city archive library

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

Colleen Dunlap

Letters to the Editor published in the May 10 Tribune:

Urban planning
History can be preserved with planning

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

Kari Zimmerman

Deed restrictions
H.B. 1959 is enforceable

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

Judy Kirkland

Deed restrictions
Thank you Rep. Harmsworth

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

Carey Clay

No Letters to the Editor published in the May 3 Tribune

Letters to the Editor published in the April 26 Tribune:

Future mayor's salary
Making wage low is sabotage

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

Morgan Davis

TB patients need stigma reduced

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

Teresa Rugg
Director, TB Photovoice

Letters to the Editor published in the April 19 Tribune:

Ductless heat pumps
Suggested improvement didn't save on power bill

To the Editor:
This letter is for others like me who tend to purchase costly items without doing adequate research.
I have a small three-bedroom, one-bath house approximately 1,000 square feet built in 1971. The attic and crawlspace were insulated in the early 1980s. I had new electric baseboard heaters installed in 2010, plus two room air conditioners ($350 each).
I did not skimp. I kept my house comfortable; I had no complaints with my electrical charges but had heard how wonderful ductless heat pumps were, so in May 2015, I had one installed.
Yes, it is nice but no more so than my previous heating and cooling, and not much more economical to use. If I have the unit serviced yearly as recommended, I might save $100 a year in electrical heating costs. Also, you have a fan blowing constantly when in use. With my previous system a fan was only on during cooling.
I write this hoping to save someone from the same mistake I made. I guess the old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” fits well here.

Joan Keller

Property tax cap
Koster bill risks too-high tax hikes

To the Editor:
Republican State Rep. John Koster has co-sponsored House Bill 1764, which would increase the limit local governments can annually raise property taxes without voter approval from 1 percent to 5 percent.
I urge the citizens to contact their state legislators and tell them Koster’s HB 1764 is a bad idea. It would be a huge increase within just a few years because of compounding and appreciation. It would be a major burden on renters in general and especially on low-income renters since by law they are not eligible  for property tax discounts. Only eligible homeowners can get the tax break. 
Property taxes are much more regressive than capital gains taxes or even sales taxes. 
The 1 percent cap has worked just fine the last 10 years. If local governments want more money they can go to the voters and ask for it. 
Koster’s HB 1764 is a blank check without any accountability to the taxpayers. 

Evangeline Loranc

Work to get TB under control

To the Editor:
Thanks for reporting about tuberculosis in our county.  (News bites:  County TB caseload is 23 in April 12 Tribune).
Although these numbers are small in our county, tuberculosis remains the No. 1 infectious killer in our world. Although the number of deaths is dropping, more than one million people in our world die from TB each year.  The important part of the cure is for people to take the full course of the medicine. When that is not done, the disease can turn into drug resistant strains that are difficult and expensive to cure. Because this disease is airborne, it passes easily, and therefore must be treated globally. 
America has been doing their part through both the unilateral programs and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.  This funding is threatened by current budget proposals that significantly cut America’s development assistance.  Our voices can turn this around.  Call, write, or visit your senators and representatives and ask them to fully fund this part of the budget (less than 1 percent of the total).  In that way we can help continue to get the TB pandemic under control.

Willie Dickerson

No Letters to the Editor published in the April 5 or 12 Tribunes

Letters to the Editor published in the March 29 Tribune:

Lord Hill Park
Bike trails should go elsewhere

To the Editor:
Lord Hill Regional Park is a wildlife oasis in the middle of what used to be rural area. The wildlife is being poisoned in Snohomish by rat poison D-Con. Owls are very useful in keeping the nature balance — one nesting pair can kill up to one thousand rodents. Now Snohomish owls are killed eating poisoned rodents.
Lord Hill Park in present form and intensity of use fulfills the need of both humans and animals. To make it a playground for mountain bikes would negatively affect this unique environment. Let’s build bike trails outside the park. Old Monroe-Snohomish Road needs a parallel bikeway, for example. Our environment is under stress. We need to preserve this diversity and beauty.

Jiri Janecek

Riverview student project destroyed

To the Editor:
We are fifth and sixth graders at Riverview Elementary on Fobes Hill. In November, our three classes started a field study where we were learning about birds/squirrels and their food preferences. As a part of this study, we set up eight feeders on our school grounds. Imagine our surprise when we went out to collect data March 22 and we found several smashed into many pieces.
We are heartbroken that our hard work, time, and money have been wasted. It is sad that someone felt that it was all right to go onto our school grounds and destroy something that has brought joy and experiential learning to our whole school. The feeders were located by our playground and the younger students enjoyed watching the birds and squirrels too. We pride ourselves on learning many different academic and life lessons at our school. Unfortunately, we learned what it feels like to be victims of vandalism.

The fifth and sixth grade students in Mrs. Cross,
Mrs. Spaetig-Peterson and Mrs. Lawless’ classes
Riverview Elementary

State budget
Reform tax code

To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the two-year state budget that Senate Republicans released this Tuesday, March 21. The budget cuts vital services in health care and other critical needs across the state, and does not raise the necessary revenue to fully fund needed programs, from education for our kids to funding infrastructure.
I encourage all of my legislators to instead do the budget the right way and vote to clean up our tax code, which is the most upside-down in the nation, causing low income people to suffer financially. A good start would be to close the loophole on capital gains, which is a tax on the profit of more than $50,000 per year on the sale of luxury investments. Closing this one loophole could raise close to a billion dollars per year — money that can be invested in a smart and healthy future for our communities.

Tiffany Kelly

Harvey Field
Airport can’t just declare it was first

To the Editor:
Regarding your March 22nd letter, “Harvey’s donations not factor in plans”:
As a property owner in west Snohomish city, I agree with the letter writer that rerouting Airport Way and lengthening the runway to accommodate larger aircraft and small corporate jets will lower property values at both ends of the runway.
Proponents of the runway expansion such as Mr. Robinette always use the tired old excuse “the airport was there first.”
It was Mr. Robinette who in 2012 got the City Council to pass a city letter of support pleading the County Council to allow commercial passenger jet service at Paine Field and divert general aircraft to smaller rural airports such as Harvey Airfield.
Here’s a little history:  In 1944, Eldon Harvey founded Harvey Airfield for small aircraft with an east-west runway configuration.  When state Route 9 opened in 1959, the runway changed to a north-south configuration.  Most homes at both ends of the runway were built well before 1959.
We are asked to be taxed to reroute Airport Way at a cost of millions only to lower the equity in our properties by 20 percent just to enrich one private, for-profit business.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the Editor published in the March 22 Tribune:

Marijuana vote timing change
Questions raised on changing date

To the Editor:
The City Council will discuss moving the public advisory vote on marijuana stores from November to August. (“Council ponders moving pot vote to August,” March 1 Tribune).
 The current proposed store location is within three blocks of Snohomish High School and just feet from private homes. It’s about 440 feet from a middle school bus stop and approximately 700 feet of Kla Ha Ya Park.
Council is sympathetic to the marijuana store licensee because he’s signed a lease before having been granted a license to open his prohibited business — a bold move. Seems he felt confident that the council was going to make this happen. He took a risk, which does have financial ramifications and requires patience. This was a risk he chose to take, knowing the vote would not take place until November.
 Council hopes to determine the rules surrounding this issue before the November vote — the same election in which five of them could be replaced. Perhaps before there will be a new mayor in town who will have an opinion on this issue. Is the vote being moved up in order to facilitate this for the shop owner because the players (council and mayor) may change? Valid reasoning for people to question the timing and motives.  
Please email the council and attend the March 21 meeting where they’ll be discussing this. Please note a location change — the meeting will be held at the Carnegie building on Cedar & Pearl (former library) Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. Check the city website that day to confirm location.

Susan Bjorling

Garbage contract
Poor common sense used

To the Editor:
The new seven-year garbage contract is simply another example of the following: When public money is spent, common sense goes out the window.
Our Snohomish City Council knew 46 percent of the people  were not satisfied with their rates, versus 26 percent that were satisfied. Knowing this, they made no effort to provide us with a different provider, which may have lowered our rates. But to negotiate with a new garbage company, wasn’t that important.  Why? It wasn’t their money.
By now, we see the “spending pattern” wisdom of the Council. If you see this pattern, you can’t fix today’s  problems by re-electing those who created them.

Bruce Ferguson

Harvey Field
Harvey’s donations not factor in plans

To the Editor:
In response to Mr. Robinette’s letter (March 8 Tribune, “Unfair treatment given to Harveys in letter”), I would like to say that with him being involved with aviation over the years, I appreciate his opinion. On the other hand, these issues have absolutely nothing to do with how much money has been donated to our community by the Harvey family. It has to do with the quality of life for the residents on 111st Street and surrounding areas, and where the money is coming from.
According to a Snohomish real estate agent, a drop of 20 percent could occur and this is just one person’s opinion.
Who do you think will be paying for the alleged new elevated road?
Praising the Harveys for their contributions is admirable, however, it is not relevant to these issues. It boils down to who will be most affected, and those of us who will need to stand up for what we think is right.
Maybe you know more than we do and can enlighten us so we are more knowledgeable. As a resident of Snohomish, I certainly appreciate all that is done for this town and mean no disrespect to anyone. It is a great place to live and I hope it continues to be!

Aneene Potts

Letters to the Editor published in the March 15 Tribune:

Snohomish garbage contract
Choice to not go to bid bothersome

To the Editor:
Last year the City Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate a multi-year garbage contract extension with Allied Waste without even asking a competitor, Waste Management NW, to offer a lower bid through the open competitive bid process that other cities employ. For example, Monroe’s residents enjoy 20 percent lower rates than Snohomish for the same services from Allied Waste. 
The Snohomish City Manager justifies the no-bid contract by citing a recent city survey saying “most residents were satisfied with their garbage service.”
Yes, Allied Waste’s garbage truck drivers are competent, but so are Waste Management NW drivers. What the City Manager and the Council failed to mention was that the same survey indicated most residents were unhappy with the high costs of garbage collection shown on their bi-monthly utility bill. Apparently, this is the reasoning behind the city now separating Allied Wastes bill from the City’s water and sewer bill. (Allied Waste will directly bill residents quarterly while the city will continue its bi-monthly utility billing system).
The City Manager touts the “free” community clean-up at the city shop site every April as another reason for extending the no-bid contract with Allied Waste. Well, the $50,000 true cost is built into the garbage rates.
As a single mom with no pickup truck, I don’t think it’s fair that I have to subsidize homeowners who throw away large items when they can easily spend $20 at the county’s transfer station. 

Evangeline Loranc

Snohomish garbage contract
Author: City could have saved thousands by switching

To the Editor:
Dereliction of duty and/or double dealing? I have to stop attending Snohomish City Council meetings. My blood pressure can’t handle the ill-advised spending and atrocious lack of cost controls.
The city entered into a multi-year contract for garbage service without getting competitive bids.
As condo treasurer, I got a cost-saving, competitive bid for our garbage but the city won’t allow it. By my calculations, the city may have saved $200,000 a year ($1.4 million over seven years) if they had gotten a bid from Waste Management, instead of blindly re-signing with Republic Services. Ironically, that $200,000 would have paid the salary of the city manager who failed to get competitive bids. It would have taken Waste Management a day or two to write up a bid, while it took the city six months or more to decide which service to use. The city eventually based its decision on a survey suggesting citizens are satisfied with the garbage service, and some iffy regional cost comparisons.
It’s garbage. It isn’t rocket science. If you can save big bucks by switching to another qualified company, you do it. Parenthetically, Waste Management and Republic Services were both founded by the same man who imbued both companies with similar expertise in the fine art of garbage removal.

David Shedivy

Lowell-Snohomish River Road
Debris alongside road shameful

To the Editor:
I, like many, travel Lowell-Snohomish River Road every day to and from work. It is one of the most scenic roads in Sky Valley.  Unfortunately there has been a change, a change that cannot nor should be ignored. Those who know this route understand what I am about to share, as the debris and piles of garbage, the burnt-out cars; the homeless encampments are destroying this precious river route.  It has increased over the past year and continues to grow increasingly daily as a problem. 
I do not have to describe the carnage along this road as it is visually obvious and I do have empathy for those less fortunate. The question I have is how we as a civilized society allow people to live like animals and accept this. Laws are being broken here, environmental destruction from human waste into the river system, garbage piling up uncontrolled is surpassing acceptable limits. Right now it looks like a war zone with cars being dumped burnt out, trailers being discarded, encampments that look like a third-world slum. 
Why is the City of Everett and Snohomish not enforcing vagrancy laws? Why are the land owners allowing this to continue? Why is our City Council silent? If I was mayor of Snohomish, and I may just run, I know exactly what I would propose; I will see you all at the next council meeting March 21st.

John Lorenz

Letters to the Editor published in the March 8 Tribune:

Marijuana shop
Too close to SHS

To the Editor:
Concerning opening a pot shop on Avenue D and Second Street at the 76 gas station, in my opinion it is too close to Snohomish High School only 3 blocks away.

William Thomas

Harvey Field
Unfair treatment given in letter

To the Editor:
The Potts’ Feb. 1 letter to the regarding Harvey Field and slamming the Harvey family must be addressed. 
Most of their comments regarding airfield and aircraft operations are false and/or misleading and shows a complete lack of knowledge regarding aviation including funding.
The Harvey family and Kandy don’t deserve their accusations.  Very few can match the time, energy and dollars that have been given to our community by the Harveys.

Hank Robinett

City Council districts
Evenhanded story

To the Editor:
Thanks to Karen Law for her article on Everett City Council elections (March 1 Tribune). It was refreshing to read both sides of the issue so people can make an
informed decision.

Brenda Bolanos Ivory

No Letters to the Editor published in the February 22 or March 1 Tribunes

Letters to the Editor published in the February 15 Tribune:

Point in Time Count
Questioning the numbers

To the Editor:
I have a hard time trusting the numbers. According to an article in The Seattle Times dated January 31st the count of homeless students in the Everett School District is 1101. According to the Snohomish County Tribune article written on Feb. 1, the Point of Time Count of homeless people in the Everett area the count was 1188.
Both can not be correct. The only explanation is the “Definition of Homelessness” is different between the Point in Time and the Everett School District. Then I ask, why? I don’t know the answer but the Point in Time and the Everett School District needs to get together so when the numbers come out they are comparing apples to apples.

Steven Lay

Search and Rescue
A great team

To the Editor:
I am in southeast Washington and have deployed and trained with Snohomish County Search and Rescue (Feb. 8 Tribune cover story).
They are top notch not only in their local community but in their outreach across the state to other SAR Teams with training and support. They are a rock solid, life saving, committed group of volunteers.

Catherine Best

Letters to the Editor published in the February 1 Tribune:

Traffic safety
Lowering Second Street speed limit uncertain to work

To the Editor:
Regarding Second Street traffic congestion (Jan. 25 Tribune): I saw a man halfway through a crosswalk, at dusk, wearing dark clothing, with a walker, and a car crossed right in front of him unseen.
Traffic has to move, people have to walk. Lowering the speed limit to 20 on Second Street might cause more traffic to move through all the historic district residential streets. I don’t think that will be acceptable. No one wants a bypass. Perhaps cross walk reflectors, flashing lights, lights on the street of the crosswalk, or the red crosswalk flags held in containers at each corner when someone has to cross, can help. Right now there’s nothing and there’s no place else to take traffic. People will do anything to avoid a slow down and that means alternative roads through town.

Mary Lena Fleisner

Lake Stevens library
Vote "yes"

To the Editor:
Over seventy years ago, Lake Stevens community members saw a need for a library and took action. A corner of a living room was the first library site. Researching library history, I found that every time more space was needed the community worked together as they did in 1949 when the library moved from Mrs. Gibbs’ home to Main Street.
It happened again in 1963 when volunteers built shelves, painted and readied the old Post Office for a spacious 700 square feet library.
The community continued to grow creating a need for a bigger library. Many, many people, businesses, and service groups came together donating their time, materials, and money to make a 2,400 square foot library a reality. In 1985, the library moved to its present location. It has served the community well in the ensuing years making the best of the small space.
Once again, Lake Stevens is in need of a larger library. While we no longer can grab a hammer or a paintbrush, we can vote to fund a new library.
Come together as a community and vote yes two times on the Feb. 14 ballot.

Ann Hoffmann
Lake Stevens

Letters to the Editor published in the February 1 Tribune:

Harvey Field
Plan would harm property values

To the Editor:
Regarding the expansion plan at Harvey Field:
Here I am again pleading my case against expanding the runway at Harvey Field. Let’s review the reasons “against” the plan:
1) Plummeting property values for those of us closest to the airport.
2) Additional flooding.
3) Higher taxes for Snohomish County.
4) Added dangers from larger and additional planes.
5) Higher noise level.
6) New construction or re-constructing Airport Way, really? Who is paying for a new road?
7) Snohomish County citizens contributing to the wealth of a “private” airport.
And the list goes on and on. I see only one reason “for” the plan and that is to add more wealth to Harvey Airport. I remind you this is a privately owned airport.
My hope is that people will get involved and see this for what it is: Tremendous financial gain for Kandace Harvey.
My husband and I are senior citizens happy living our life in Snohomish and we shouldn’t have to worry about this upsetting our way of life. I don’t want to be forced to sell my home. Our neighbors are not quitters, we will fight and believe me we are not going down easily. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!”

Michael and Aneene Potts

Highway 9
Why not widen it?

To the Editor:
They could save the $300,000 and just fix Highway 9 from Lake Stevens to Clearview (widen and eliminate lights).
For some reason, I don’t understand why in a state that has some of the biggest high tech companies in the world that WSDOT and municipalities are in the dark ages when it comes to analyzing traffic flow patterns, applying some common sense and fixing the roads. Either way, this area better get on it quickly because it’s only going to get worse with the increase in the region’s population.

Brad Booth

$5,860 raised

To the Editor:
The Board of Directors of the Snohomish Senior Center wish to thank both the members of the center and the general community for responding to a December request for financial support. Sixty-one people contributed amounts ranging from $10 to $1,000, for a total of $5,860. While these gifts are sincerely appreciated, they are part of an ongoing request for donations through individual and corporate contributions. This money is needed to maintain and enhance the programs and services of this nonprofit organization.

Robert Knight
Board member of the Snohomish Senior Center


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