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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 published in the Oct. 16 Tribune:

Kuleta brings peace

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

Dawn Peyton Wheatley

Garth Fell has broad experience

To the Editor:

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

Vicki Lubrin

AIDS, Malaria effort funded

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

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the Oct. 9 Tribune:

Asking for too much money

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

Bruce Ferguson


City should stay out of business ventures

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

Morgan Davis

No letters published in the Oct. 2 Tribune

Letters published in the Sept. 25 Tribune:

Write to support bill, help families

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

Christine Khemis, MBA CLTC

Letters published in the Sept. 18 Tribune:

New parks will be paid for by many to serve few

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

Robert Van den Akker

Letters published in the Sept. 11 Tribune:

Funding ask needs deeper evaluation

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

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

No letters published in the Sept. 4 Tribune

Letters published in the Aug. 28 Tribune:

Writer: Initiative to limit car tabs threatens projects

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

Roy Johnson

No letters published in the Aug. 21 Tribune

Letters published in the Aug. 14 Tribune:

Story omitted local brewer

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

Chris Alton

No letters published in the Aug. 7 Tribune

Letters published in the July 31 Tribune:

Vote no to keep voter control

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

Bruce A. Ferguson

Journey to get issues heard in D.C.

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

Willie Dickerson

Letters published in the July 24 Tribune:

Hurts the little guy, writer says

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

A solution to all the woes

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

Robert Van der Akker

No letters published in the July 17 Tribune.

Letters published in the July 10 Tribune:

Reasons to deny ATVs “ridiculous”

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

Caroline Baertsch

Opposition to name choice

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

Morgan Davis

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

Letters in the June 19 Tribune:

Salary was preset before election

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

Morgan Davis

City contractor was professional

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

Jim Werder

Letters in the June 12 Tribune:


Hometown papers are important for community

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

Robert Van den Akker

Housing costs an underlying cause in hunger

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

Willie Dickerson

Letters in the June 5 Tribune:

Minimal salary needs rectification

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

Diane Tunnell

Letters in the May 29 Tribune:

Site is perfect for re-development

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

Larry Countryman
Snohomish City Council member

Don’t use plastic bags in kitchen

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

William Patrick Daspit

No letters published in the May 15 or 22 Tribunes.

Letters in the May 8 Tribune:

Recycling service at market is swell

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

Bonny Headley

Planemaker shot itself in foot

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

Robert Creamer

“Mary Poppins” a delight

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

Susan Bjorling

Letters in the May 1 Tribune:

You can work for a difference, grand or small

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

Willie Dickerson

Tell Gov. Inslee to oppose at all costs

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

Marjie Fields

Letters in the April 24 Tribune:

Tax break for new development even though not adding affordable housing

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

Morgan Davis

Writer: Minimum wage is a sham

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

Gunnar Unneland

Letters in the April 17 Tribune:

Weighing the need, vote yes

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

Joan and Don Miller

Vote yes on levy for the community

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

Mike Carlson

Makes a lot of sense

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

Joel Selling

Take Option No. 1

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

Elijah Edens

Fossil fuel cutbacks will reduce jobs

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

John Lorenz

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

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

Shawn Cooper 
Lake Stevens 

No letters published in the April 10 Tribune

Letters in the April 3 Tribune:

People may not be its prime cause

To the Editor:
A letter writer in the March 20 Tribune stated that human-derived carbon is the driver for climate change.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless minor gas naturally occurring in the earth’s atmosphere. CO2 is essential for all green plants to grow. In photosynthesis, without CO2, plants do not grow. Therefore CO2 had to be present in sufficient quantities before cars and factories were present.
So where else does CO2 come from? Major sources are oceans (80 percent!), volcanoes and decaying vegetation. Humans are the fourth largest producers (3.7 percent).
With a large increase in CO2 since 2000 and without a corresponding increase in temperature and a known warming trend during the 1920s to 1940 with far less CO2 present, there must be another driver to climate change than CO2.
I suggest sunspots. Sunspots are huge solar storms that change the earth’s atmosphere. More sunspots have yielded warmer weather. Less, cooler.
There has been a decline in solar spots during the last 18 years (according to NOAA) and 2018 had no discernible sunspots! There also has been no discernible increase in temperature for the last 18 years, and they dropped from 2016 to 2018.
NOAA and NASA are predicting that we may be in a deep cooling trend rather than warming because of the lack of sunspots.
Our climate is constantly changing. Since 1900 we have had two periods of warming and two of cooling. Climate science is complex and certainly, as is all science, not settled.

Ron Tunnell

Weighing the options, vote yes

To the Editor:
We see that Evergreen Health Monroe (Valley General Hospital) is proposing a levy in April to improve trauma care and to provide full time birthing facilities.
From the literature we have seen, the levy will be 47 cents per thousands dollars of assessed property valuation. As seniors with limited income, we are concerned with any increase in taxes. However, as our community grows, along with traffic congestion, we believe that a local hospital with total services is very important. Consider a mother at the time of delivery, say at 7 or 8 a.m. on a weekday, trying to make it to Providence in Everett or Evergreen in Totem Lake. She just might deliver her baby in stalled traffic on the way!
A state-of-the-art emergency room with good trauma care in as short a time as possible could be lifesaving.
I would like to mention the quick diagnosis and excellent care I had for an emergency appendectomy several years ago. I’m here to tell you about it. So, all things considered, we support the proposed levy for our Public Hospital District.

Paul and Mary Canvassa

Drug-resistant TB must be fought

To the Editor:

Willie Dickerson’s letter in the March 20 Tribune is encouraging, noting that we have made important strides in combating AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria globally. But growing drug resistance, shortfalls in funding and wavering political commitment are threatening our progress. The U.S. spends far less than 1% of our total federal budget on global health.
The spread of antibiotic resistant microbes continues at an ever faster rate. Extremely drug resistant TB (XDR-TB) has been documented in over 77 countries, ours included. TB is spread through the air – this includes XDR-TB.
Members of the State and Foreign Appropriations Subcommittee will soon be considering spending levels for the fiscal year 2020. We need to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Global infectious diseases don’t stop at our shores.

Donna Schindler Munro

Letters to the editor in the March 27 Tribune:

It’s time to finalize parks’ names

To the Editor:
Regarding the March 20 letter “Snohomish Park Names”: The letter writer claims the city’s parks naming committee “missed the boat” with respect to the 20 acre boat launch park. Over three years ago, the city council directed an ad hoc parks naming committee to bring back to them preferred names for five city parks.
On Feb. 27, during a joint parks board/naming committee session, “Julia’s Landing” was unanimously chosen for the name of the new boat launch park. This occurred after the family of fallen Marine, Jeffrey Starr, withdrew his name from consideration, although Mayor Kartak urged the family to reverse their decision.
I believe continuing to dither over the name after three years is an embarrassment to city residents and is another prime example of small-town politics run amok.
“Julia’s Landing,” although short and concise, still conveys great historical significance, honoring one of Snohomish’s most famous icons, Princess Pilchuck Julia.
As with many other parks, there will be interpretative signage at the park’s entrance. I can visualize a display of her biography along side a posting of the famous 1855 Point Elliott Treaty for further context. (Julia witnessed the signing of the treaty at the landing in Mukilteo, now a ferry terminal).
Even now, after two council meetings in March, Mayor Kartak still has not scheduled a council action item to approve the five recommended park names.

Morgan Davis

Longtime residents voting yes for hospital’s longterm success

To the Editor:
It is our belief that having EvergreenHealth Monroe, a local, full-service hospital, plays a critical part in meeting our valley’s health care needs, today and in the future. Our local hospital was an important factor for us when we moved to the Monroe area in 1976, and, as senior citizens, it’s more important than ever. In the last six years, we have used the emergency room on three different occasions, and had three different surgeries, including overnight stays. In all cases the care we received from the staff was outstanding.
We strongly support the long term success of our hospital, and will vote YES on the upcoming levy.

Paul and Kathy Challancin

Don’t just write letters

To the Editor:
Our wonderful town has many opportunities to serve as a volunteer. There are many good causes that need your help and appreciate any time that can be donated.
I’m thankful for the many citizens who write their opinions to the editor and value everyone ‘s input.
Time spent getting out and volunteering is very rewarding and goes a long way in actually changing things for the better.
I’m hoping that our citizens who can spare a few hours a month will commit to doing so, no matter what that is.
Being a survivor of a brain aneurysm has been a wake-up call for me. More doing, less talking. Thanks for your amazing Neuroscience Team Harborview!

Lisa Webb

Letters to the editor in the March 20 Tribune:

Julia was deemed a princess, name it

To the Editor:
Perhaps the Naming Committee for our parks may not have the correct names.
Who was this person called “Julia?” Do you know who she was? I think the naming committee missed the boat.
Julia was a lot more then just Julia. Let us honor her for who she was and her tribe and its people.
She married Chief Pilchuck Jack, making her “Princess Julia.” By simply naming the boat launch Julia, we could be disrespecting the Indians once found in Snohomish City. Name this park “Princess Julia Landing.” (They lived on five acres near the Pilchuck Bridge in 1905).

Marie and Bruce Ferguson

Thank you to our local politicians

To the Editor:
In the midst of what seems like a divisive government, I just had a wonderful opportunity to thank our Representatives Larsen and DelBene in Washington, D.C. for being a part of the 137 members of the House who sent a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo calling for continued support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The Global Fund has saved 27 million lives since it began in 2002. America contributes about one-third of the budget, inspiring other donors to put in the other two-thirds. Since these pandemics have killed over a billion people throughout history, to finally be on the path to controlling them is nothing short of amazing. It is important to treat them globally to protect us locally. So it was easy to thank Rep. Larsen in person and Rep. DelBene’s staff for the signing of this powerful letter. After it was sent, ending AIDS in America by 2030 was called for in the State of the Union speech. The letter was also passed out at the preparatory meeting for the Global Fund replenishment in India two weeks ago. Unfortunately, due to the shut down of our government, America was not represented, but the letter served as proof America cared and is committed. So thanks to Reps. Larsen and DelBene (and Washington Reps. Smith, Kilmer, Heck, and Newhouse) for taking this bipartisan action that can save lives and create a brighter future for everyone in our world.

Willie Dickerson

Global warming has serious effects

To the Editor:
The U.S. Pentagon has stated that global warming is a major threat to our national security.
The scientific community nationwide overwhelmingly agrees that our planet is getting warmer and human activity is the major contributor and it is driving the extreme weather events we have seen recently. Our scientific methods of research allow us to look back hundreds of thousands of years back into the past through glacial ice core samples at climate trends as they relate to levels of carbon in the atmosphere. We can actually measure the carbon decay rate and tell when and where the carbon was released.
The only ones that express doubt are the ones that want something out of the act of convincing the public these threats don’t exist like the fossil fuel industry. The effect of these concentrations of chemicals in our environment have other negative effects on life on this planet with increased disease.
Ask the American Lung Association what they think about the effects of fossil fuel caused pollution on the American people.These aren’t myths. This is not a Democratic Party conspiracy. These are cold hard facts. Enough energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour to supply the power needs of the entire planet for a year.

Jeff Scholl

Letters to the editor in the March 13 Tribune:

Our environment is a valid concern

To the Editor:
I have noticed in the wake of the bag ban many people have been complaining about the so-called radical move that will surely lead to killing “an industry that keeps billions of people employed” (a quote from a letter in the March 6 Tribune).
I think it’s important to understand that the fossil fuel industry is inevitably going to die out. It’s a non-renewable resource which means the resource will not replenish itself in our lifetime, which in turn means no more jobs. Also, according to the United States Department of Labor, the coal mining industry only employs 52,000 people as of January 2019. They also showed that there are only 149,000 employees in oil and gas extraction in the same month. So, to say that the industry of nonrenewable resources employs billions is entirely false, and that rhetoric is almost as toxic as the industry itself.
On the positive side, jobs in renewable industries such as solar and wind are booming. The U.S. Department of Labor also came out with data showing that green jobs are expected to be the fastest growing in employment, with wind turbine technicians and solar photovoltaic installers being the top.
This is something that shouldn’t be feared, instead we should embrace it. Future generations will no longer have to venture into unsafe mines or work in dangerous oil refineries in which their health is at risk. A safer and cleaner future should be a common goal within our community.

Claire Gillings

Took unfair credit

To the Editor:
It has been pretty quiet in Snohomish politics recently. There was no blowback when Mayor Kartak took credit for achievements he opposed or work he neither did, nor directed, in his State of the City address, or in the city-published “Snohomish Quarterly” magazine. 
John Kartak crosses the line though when he uses that record to lobby for a substantial raise for a third time.  How substantial? 100%, 200%, 500%? Who knows?  John Kartak is willing to “entrust” his salary raise fate to a group of citizens, empaneled on a commission, who would assess his achievements, work hours, public piety and depth of devotion to Snohomish, and pay him commensurately.  
Does it matter that Kartak selects the members of citizen commissions?  No, I am sure he would seek out fair and unbiased voters. He probably has a list of volunteers now. 
Surprised? If this were not Snohomish, I would say, “This is the reputation strong mayors have: they are known for cronyism and graft.” 
If we are getting a pungent whiff of desperation now, I hope it is only because it is spring manure spreading time in the valley. 
Snohomish City Council is assigned responsibility to set the mayor’s salary.  They have found it is in line with comparable small cities with strong mayors. Twice. The Mayor’s salary does not need to be revisited again until 2021, in advance of the next mayoral election. 

Janice M. Lengenfelder

Letters to the editor in the March 6 Tribune:

Kartak’s request not warranted

To the Editor:
Regarding your Feb. 27 front page article “Mayor seeks salary review in speech”:
During the several times in 2018 that a raise in Mayor Kartak’s salary was requested, I opposed it as unjustified.
Nothing has changed in 2019 to warrant a raise for Mayor Kartak. A lot of the things the mayor bragged about at the senior center were works in progress when he assumed the duties of part-time mayor just a little over a year ago. And for his two signature upcoming projects — the $2.5 million restoration of the 1910 Carnegie Building and the $8-10 million Second Street Corridor project (to reduce vehicular traffic in favor of more bicyclists and
pedestrians) — are frills that will have no utilitarian value for the average city resident and taxpayers.
According to the article, the mayor wants to appoint a citizens salary commission to increase the $18,000 part-time mayor salary to a salary commensurate to a full-time salary. The mayor has claimed he spends 60-70 hours per week attending various meetings.
Any salary survey should wait until the next mayoral election in 2021 or better yet, let the city voters decide in an advisory election whether or not to establish a mayoral salary commission. Since three council positions are up for election this November, this special advisory ballot issue would cost the city nothing and actually serve as a referendum on the mayor’s performance.

Evangeline Loranc

Environmental agenda exemplified

To the Editor:
We have far more evil threats to our way of life then the mantra of climate change, global warming or whatever language the environmentalists and doomsayers wish to push. The world is not going to end in 12 years as the fear mongering wish to push on our kids. 
If not then why all this push to better the planet we live in? Answer: Democrats have gone socialist and are in full bore war against western civilization. 
Nothing constructive has been offered, just the forced acceptance on things. 
This was proven in the bag ban by our City Council. Only two officials actually understood the science and raised questions and called it for what it is: a feel-good pursuit. I doubt any of the others actually read any sound science and reports as Kartak and Countryman did. If they did they ignored it to maintain the tribal and personal bias they are beholding to. Those pushing this green initiative simply have one agenda: Kill fossil fuels, kill your automobile, kill airplanes, kill an industry that keeps billions of people employed.

John Lorenz

Letters to the editor in the Feb. 27 Tribune:

Support legislation for 100 percent clean energy

To the Editor:
As I have committed to years of service in my community, and have analyzed our risks and opportunities, I realize that climate change is the number one threat to our way of life. I think of the harm to forests, the farms, the animals, the water and the air of our planet, and the multiple, imminent negative changes to our way of life.
Much of this climate disruption is due to our use of fossil fuels. It’s time for our leaders to make a strong move towards a 100% clean energy economy. Oil companies have spent millions of dollars to protect the polluting economy of the past. It’s time we demand that our legislatures pass practical solutions that help move us into the clean energy economy we deserve.
  We need to take swift action and bold action to mitigate rising temperatures, extreme weather, wildfires, and altered growing seasons that will inflict untold harms to our environment, our health, and our economic well-being.
  During this upcoming Legislative session our elected officials have an opportunity to create a brighter future for our economy, our people, and the natural world that makes Washington so special. They can do that by supporting legislation that puts us on a path to 100% clean energy.
  We in the City of Snohomish are aspiring to eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2030. We need this effort to inspire our whole state to make the changes that will help us keep our quality of life for the future.

Karen Guzak

Good staff at EvergreenHealth

To the Editor:
I recently had foot surgery, and I want to take time to thank the health providers that made it a success. I started the process with Dr. James Swenson of Evergreen Health Orthopedic & Sports Care, Monroe, who determined the need for the foot surgery. EvergreenHealth Monroe provided me with the necessary testing prior to my surgery.
My surgery was done at EvergreenHealth Monroe and I want to thank each person that played a part in my treatment. They truly are a team of professional, caring people. This exceptional health care took place within 20 minutes of my home, thus making it less stressful for me and my family.
This is the third surgery that I have had at Evergreen Health Monroe since 2014, and in each case I have had the same experience.

Paul Challancin

No letters to the editor published in the Feb. 13 or 20 Tribunes

Letters to the editor in the Feb. 6 Tribune:

City code obligates cable converter boxes be delivered

To the Editor:
Years ago I found something in the Snohomish Municipal Code (SMC) that has helped me a lot.  SMC 5.08.130 under “customer service standards” states that “For any customer with a disability, the cable operator shall upon a customer request and at no charge deliver and/or pick up converters at the customer’s home.”
I found even more disability benefits in the Everett Municipal Code:
EMC 5.117.060.
At first, Comcast insisted it wasn’t true. Eventually I went to the city and got them to contact Comcast.  Since then, and after filling out paperwork for Comcast, the company has followed through. 
It is a huge benefit to me, as picking up and taking back converter boxes requires paratransit rides for me.
If you are disabled and live within any city, it might benefit you to look this up in your municipal code.  Search for “cable provider” within the code.

Suzanne Davis

Why not name the boat launch “Julia’s Landing” ?

To the Editor:
Regarding the articles and letters on the naming of Snohomish’s 20 acre boat launch:
I understand the history of Princess Pilchuck Julia as well as the war veterans from Snohomish killed in action. Since Snohomish’s incorporation in 1891, I know of no city park named after an individual war veteran, and for good reasons. To do so would show favoritism and would be an injustice to all those individuals not honored similarly.
I believe the city has mishandled the naming of this park since 2016, when an ad hoc parks naming committee was formed.
After three years of dithering, “Julia Park” or “Park Julia” was recommended to the Parks Board late last year for approval at its Dec. 12 meeting. Instead, the board opened up the process for additional names to be considered at its Feb. 27 meeting.
If the board doesn’t like “Julia Park,” I’d like to submit the name “Julia’s Landing.” It was at the landing in Mukilteo where Julia witnessed in 1855 the signing of the famous Point Elliott Treaty. And “Julia’s Landing” is entirely distinct yet compatible with “Dagmar’s Landing,” which is located in the lower Snohomish River in Everett.

Evangeline Loranc

Letters to the editor in the Jan. 30 Tribune:

Have airport cover road realignment

To the Editor:
Once again the Harveys want to extend the runway at their airport. This can only be done by rerouting Airport Way. This being the case, the Harveys should be the only party responsible for the entire cost of construction of the reroute of Airport Way, not the taxpayers. After all, the Harveys are the ones who will profit.
I say leave things the way they are, unless the citizens of our small quiet town want to listen to private jets landing and departing.

Philip Grant

I-1000 harmfully repeals ban on affirmative action

To the Editor:
Are we living in a new modern society? I have to be honest with you that I feel like we are returning to more than one hundred years ago, when Chinese were discriminated against (Chinese Exclusion Act of 1883). Dec. 17, 2018 just commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act’s repeal.
Outspent by 3 to 1, I-200 won nearly 59% of votes in 1998. I-200 prohibits public institutions from discriminating or granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
As a parent, I fear that my offspring’s dedication to education will be for nothing. Because people of color might disqualify their hard work. As an immigrant from a minority group, I fear the passage of I-1000, which will bring racism back to our modern society!
The Chinese community has long suffered from unfair treatment. I’m asking your help of not making a modern version of Chinese Exclusion Act. I’m asking your help on behalf of my child and their children and their children’s children. We should protect I-200 because it protects all, period. Can we count on your support to bring I-1000 to a vote by the people?

Hui Han

Letters to the editor in the Jan. 23 Tribune:

Consideration for son is an honor

To the Editor:
We want to say how honored we are that our son, Jeffrey Brian Starr, Corporal, USMC, would be considered in the naming of one of Snohomish’s city parks. It’s one of those teary moments that often vanquish thought. We fully recognize that other KIA of various services also deserve consideration. And of course Princess Julia . . .she humbles us. The honor of putting Julia and Jeffrey beside each other, in this consideration, truly makes us look at history and who we are.
Unlike Julia’s, Jeffrey’s was a short life. Unlike Julia, his life was not off the land, but more a life built within and of the community that supported and surrounded him as he grew from boy to man.
As a family we are grateful for this town, throughout his growing up years and how many shepherded him, and our gratitude is deeper for the community who showered and supported us after he was killed in action, Memorial Day 2005.
As Pilchuck Julia is woven into the fabric of Snohomish, so is a young man, wanting to change the world, Jeffrey Starr, Cpl. USMC.

Brian and Shellie Starr

Use your voice for equity in all forms

To the Editor:
It is great to see all the celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the ideas he believed in and worked toward.
It’s not hard to see work is still needed. Witness our local affordable housing problems written about on the same page. There are opportunities to take action: RESULTS volunteers are working on these same issues dealing with hunger and poverty, locally and around the world. The Snohomish School District is looking for volunteers for its human rights and equity team. Celebrating Dr. King is important, but continuing to create the world he envisioned is worth our effort.
Each of us can do something, use your voice to make a difference, volunteer, live by his example, and we can make Dr. King’s dream a reality.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor in the Jan. 16 Tribune:

Suggestions if the city wants to honor war vets

To the Editor:
Regarding the Jan. 2nd and Jan. 9th Tribune articles on Snohomish parks names: The city Parks Board started the parks naming process in 2017, even appointing a special parks naming committee.
According to the Jan. 2 article, 52 suggested names were evaluated and decided on for five parks for submission to City Council for final approval.
Now, according to the Jan. 9 article, all bets are off. Someone on the parks board doesn’t want the 20 acre boat launch park named to honor the historic Pilchuck Julia — a Snohomish icon and fisherwoman who sold smoked salmon in town up until her death from smallpox in 1923. Her colorful history is prominently and widely reported in the first edition of the early Snohomish history book “River Reflections.”
If the parks board wants to name a park after a Snohomish war veteran, I would like to submit some names of additional war veterans killed:
Vietnam War — Charles Peterson and Owen McCandlis.
Korean War — Charles Burrows.
Personally, for memorializing Cpl. Jeffrey Starr killed in the Iraq War, I suggest the parks board consider naming the upper floor of the soon-to-be-refurbished 1910 Carnegie Building “the Jeffrey Starr Events Center.”
It would be more visible to the public, and one of Cpl. Starr’s sisters happens to be an attorney working in a law office right across the street from the Carnegie Building.

Morgan Davis

BOLD Act funds important brain health screenings

To the Editor:
The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act has just been signed into law, and I want to thank Congressman Rick Larsen and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene for having been a cosponsor of this meaningful legislation. 
The BOLD Act will allow effective Alzheimer’s public health interventions to be implemented across the country.
This is important to me because I am a family caregiver for my wife of 56 years, who is in the early stage of Alzheimer’s.
Every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease – which is why Congress must remain committed to action on this devastating disease.
By applying a public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms, and advance care, Congressman Larsen and Congresswoman DelBene are helping to change the trajectory of this devastating disease.

Mike Allert

C’mon, pick up your dog feces

To the Editor:
I am a resident of South Everett’s Evergreen Neighborhood and I have noticed people have not been picking up after their dogs. It is a nuisance to me, and I’m sure others as well.
I have a dog and I pick up after him because not only it is considerate but it is the law, and I am appalled that I have to play a game of hop scotch to walk down the street.
On Saturday I was getting off Everett Transit’s Route 3 and I stepped off the back door at Beverly Lane and 75th Street and my first step was in dog poop. I just don’t understand why people don’t pick up after their pets because the sidewalks would be more beautiful if you didn’t have to worry about stepping in dog poop and it would make the world a better place. 

Elijah Edens

Letters to the editor in the Jan. 9 Tribune:

Put the focus on First Street first

To the Editor:
Regarding the proposed changes to Second Street: has the city considered the possibility that those millions of dollars allotted to making a congested street out of an existing thoroughfare could be better used to make Snohomish’s main attraction to visitors, FIRST STREET, a friendly walking street, with a large free parking lot located somewhere along an uphill street adjacent to First.    
 I have been in big towns/small cities in England where the Main Street (where most of the shops are located) has been converted into a pedestrian-only street (after 8 a.m.). Apprehensive shop owners worried, but soon found out that the shoppers loved the new hassle-free arrangement, and business improved!  Some shops even put up awnings to lure customers into their shop. Of course, sidewalk
cafés popped up for nourishment and a little rest.
It makes for a Win-Win situation, easily accessible from Second Street, the way they got into town. 
Please consider this possibility before making it difficult for shoppers to find their way to a unique First Street, one of the reasons for people (including us residents) to enjoy this “One-of-a-kind” delightful town.

Glenda Barnhart

Writer: Adjust grant priorities

To the Editor:
I am a city of Snohomish Second Street resident concerned about state Sen. Steve Hobbs’ priorities involving state grants to Snohomish.
In 2018, Hobbs was instrumental in getting a $500,000 grant to remove the city’s 1968 Carnegie Annex and a $350,000 design grant for increasing bicycle safety on Second Street, although most bicyclists take other routes. In 2019, the city is hoping for another $2 million grant to restore its 1910 Carnegie Building for an “events center” and other grants to help fund its so-called Second Street Corridor Beautification project, costing up to $15 million over three phases.
I strongly disagree with Hobbs’ priorities. Both of the aforementioned projects are “frills” and benefit only a few influential and well connected townspeople. Any future state grants should go to improving the congested state Highway 9 between Clearview and Lake Stevens. This congestion is what makes area motorists opt for the county roads and Second Street. Once Highway 9 is fixed, commuters will no longer clog Second Street during the rush hours.
Sen. Hobbs, please rearrange your priorities and put the grant money where it will do the most good for the most people.

Evangeline Loranc

Editor’s note: Prior Tribune reporting shows the city’s Second Street plan is not a $15 million project.

Dems repeating last year’s I-1631

To the Editor:
After a 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent failed I-1631, state Sen. Steve Hobbs and the Democrats are back at it again with a reworded exact same tax to impose on Washington. What baffles me is this, what part of NO does Hobbs and the Democrats do not understand?  Yet the Democrats persist to ignore the “WILL” of the people.  Again targeting your pocketbook and a sleight of hands in wording of this so- called new proposal, Hobbs and his friends along with environmental special interest groups are attempting to sell you snake oil again. 
Really? I do not think so, personally its smoke and mirrors, just like I-1631 was to get you focused on while the anti-gun proponents sneak in I-1639.  Just wait and see, another round of anti-gun bans are coming for 2019 and the focus will be on what?  Carbon tax! 
Maybe it is time for Washington to drain the swamp in Olympia.

John Lorenz

No Letters to the editor published in the Jan. 2 Tribune

Letters to the editor in the Dec. 26 Tribune:

Weigh it carefully

To the Editor:
In reading over the range of proposals, I thought this historically moderate town would choose one of the less extreme options and not opt for a full ban, so I was gravely disappointed to find that the full ban had been chosen.
Minimizing pollution is a laudable goal. That doesn’t mean it is necessary to join in the present fad for hysterical environmental extremism or accept that our town needs to adopt an unsustainable mind set, wherein a small minority of agitators can reduce our ability to make choices for ourselves by banning everything they don’t like or mandating everything that they like. That’s not the way our city has worked or should work.
Finally, I would like to encourage the Snohomish Youth Council to take a different approach. Emotional arguments based on fear and throwing around manipulative statements about greed (oh that nefarious Plastic Bag Lobby) are not the way to make good policy. Good policy comes from fact-based analysis (cost and practicality of alternatives) and consultation with as many of the affected parties as possible (e.g., businesses, residents). Emotional fearmongering about our future is not the trump card that overrides all other considerations.
I hope the City Council will consider this matter a lot more carefully, and consult with the citizenry as a whole, before jumping on the latest political bandwagon.

Don Baldwin

Approve it for future generations

To the Editor:
I have lived in Snohomish for all 17 years of my life. I have lived in a town where it is normal to see sides of roads littered with plastic products. By being on the high school cross country team I have seen many parts of Snohomish that many haven’t seen, including under bridges, in alleys, and even on dirt roads on farms. Every run we go on it is a guarantee that there will be a plastic bag entangled in a bush or a plastic bottle in a ditch.
I’m sick and tired of having the generations who left us with this mess remain in the seats of power both locally and nationally demonstrate their lack of political will to do something as simple as ban plastic bags. We are the generation that will have to suffer the consequences of climate change. I want my generation’s voice to be heard because we deserve to have a clean planet. We deserve to have a future that your parents and their parents before them strove for, which was one in which their children would be better off than them.

Claire Gillings

Letters to the editor in the Dec. 19 Tribune:

Thank you

To the Editor:
As we enjoy the Christmas Season in Snohomish, I would like to recognize and commend Ms. Karen Guzak and her volunteers for creating the annual Snohomish Winter Solstice Candlelight River Walk!
It’s a lot of work to create the lights that line the walk, but it makes a wonderful fairyland of light for the darkest evening of the year.
This December 21st will mark the 14th year we have been treated to this beautiful event along our waterfront.
Last year was very cold, but very well attended and all are welcome!
So thank you, to Ms. Guzak and her elves!  We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of citizens in our town!
If you are looking for a way to spend the 2018 Winter Solstice, come to Downtown Snohomish between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and experience a bit of magic!

Lanni Johnson

County should buy Bonneville plot

To the Editor:
Snohomish County is soliciting ideas from the public to distribute $5 million in federal funds to help low-income folks whose annual income is under $80,250 for a family of four (Dec. 12 Tribune, page 12).
County government plans to sell 7.4 vacant acres on Bonneville Avenue in the city of Snohomish in 2019 to the highest bidder.  The county assessor has it valued at $1.5 million.  Proceeds will go to county Public Works as the site was its public works yard for decades.
The site overlooks Bonneville Power Administration’s sub-station and is adjacent to the Snohomish Mobile Home and RV Park.  It is a perfect location to house East County’s very low and low income folks as it is close-in to all urban services.  It is zoned industrial/commercial/ multi-family apartments
7.4 acres would allow a mix of apartments, mobile homes, RV’s, and social and medical services, sorely needed in East County.
However, here’s the rub.  Snohomish city government doesn’t like low-income folks.  It has effectively moved to a “gentrification strategy.”  For example, an ambitious $15 million beautification project for bicyclists on its Second Street corridor and a $2.5 million restoration of the 1910 Carnegie building for wedding venues or class reunions, sought by a private foundation.
The county Housing and Community Development Department should take the $5 million HUD grant and purchase the Bonneville Avenue property from Public Works and use the balance to help the truly needy, very low income citizens with housing and services.

Morgan Davis

In opposition

To the Editor:
The numbers do not match the narrative of those who insist that plastic is evil. The science and facts are never shared honestly by these groups. Well intended and I am one for conservation, I am neither an alarmist nor a global warmest. Yes the Earth warms, has done so for millenniums, But this is bags, the numbers being told are false, the 100,000 marine mammals that died is from a 1987 Canadian study over the period of 1981 to 1984 which was sampled and estimated only to find that it was discarded commercial fishing nets, not bags or straws and they even explain what mammals and numbers including “one Sea turtle.” What is shown are Manilla bay, Sri Lanka and Fukushima after the Tsunamis. Bags are not single use, that is a myth. The truth, there are seven categories of plastic. Only 1 and 2 are recycled in Wash., why? Bags and straws are 4 and 5, the technology is there. Look up Sweden and see. A company in Oregon Pacific Northwest Polymers recycles all and produces building materials out of all the plastic, almost zero impact. Why do we not insist our contracted garbage companies use this tech? This ban is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction, passing the buck to small business for a touchy feel good me. I would ask the City Council for extra time than three minutes to present the science not shared as they allowed for the other groups.

John Lorenz

Letters to the editor in the Dec. 12 Tribune:

Letter of support

To the Editor:
After reading a number of negative letters to the editor about the planned safety improvements on Second Street in Snohomish, I write in support of the city’s intent, the process, and what I have no doubt will be a well thought out result.  
As a 35 year resident of Snohomish, living in a neighborhood directly north of Second Street, I have witnessed the city’s efforts, past and present, to make the city safer, more efficient, and more attractive for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and not lastly the residents who live here.  When I first moved to Snohomish there were still unpaved roads on the east side of the town.  While there are still streets that do not have paved sidewalks, these too are fewer in number.  Sidewalk bump-outs were added to streets that are challenging to cross, including a particularly worrisome section of Avenue D, at Snohomish High School.  All cross streets are controlled with signage. 
New traffic lights have been added to Second Street, allowing safe crossing to downtown from the residential old town neighborhood. The traffic bottleneck on Avenue D at the north end has been resolved with a traffic circle.  I’m sure there are more examples I have overlooked. 
All of these improvements were met with negative feedback; in fact some still are.  In my opinion, all of these changes have been positive, and welcome.   What comes next I’m sure will best serve the needs of the residents and vendors who are fully invested in Snohomish.

Janice Lengenfelder

Why prioritize bicyclists as No. 1?

To the Editor:
Why are we kowtowing to the bicyclists on Second Street with choked down vehicle lanes? They already have full lane usage in both directions on First Street and the bike trail. It has been a long disputed issue that the cyclists come into town, park, and unload their bikes, and take off, leaving would be shoppers with no parking to support local businesses. I don’t want this to sound like I am against cycling but they are not required to have a registration or license at this time (a good source of tax revenue). If we are concerned about pedestrian safety they should install the flashing yellow strobe-type cross walk warning lights and as stated in the last letters to the editor, the well synchronized traffic lights and left turn arrows. None of us want a “freeway” just a smooth, safe flow through town. Once you change it and it doesn’t work or it’s worse you can’t go back!
Wasted tax dollars!

James Berry


Letters to the editor in the Dec. 5 Tribune:

Let the public vote on street decision

To the Editor:
Let the citizens vote on Second Street traffic. If it’s not broke, do not fix it. Where was the outcry of citizens and business owners to change Second Street because it was not working? Second Street is very functional. But, with this political machine we have here in our midst, the city staff and government has its own agenda to make Snohomish the bike capital of the Pacific NW. Centennial Trail is not good enough for bikers. They need more. $15 million more. $15 million more that will hurt business and property owners along Second Street.
I say enough. This boondoggle must stop. The council should let the citizens vote on a traffic change along Second Street. Senator Hobbs should release all relevant information as to what his role has been in this fiasco, and so should the city. This causes one to wonder what the City Council’s or the mayor’s role was in all of this. But even then, with a vote and with Sen. Hobbs releasing documents, this Snohomish political machine will spin things to get its way. The truth does not matter. Knowing how this all came to be will not matter. All that matters is the end result. The end justifies the means. Bikers rule, citizens drool.

Sue Mitchell

DelBene listened to concerns

To the Editor:
Thanks to Congresswoman Suzan DelBene for speaking to 40+ of us in Snohomish at our RESULTS fundraising event. She spoke of the need to battle hunger in our country and America’s work to end preventable deaths and disease in our world. As always she answered questions and listened to our concerns. This is a great way to follow voting: sharing our concerns with those we elected. RESULTS ( is bipartisan and teaches volunteers how to do this by providing information and training. Our local Snohomish group meets the third Tuesday of the month and is open to people of all ages. Together we can use our voices to create a country and a world with hope and opportunity for all by ending hunger and poverty.

Willie Dickerson

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 28 Tribune:

Don’t be a victim

To the Editor:
I read a recent article citing a PEMCO insurance poll with regards to stolen packages on porches. Of 1,100 people surveyed, 48% had stolen packages. This does not make for a season to be jolly. What can we do? A determined thief will get what they want from you or your neighbor. Sure cameras will record the thieves, but your package is still gone, and recovery is pretty much not going to happen. Plenty of options for us all beyond cameras and video: (1) Talk to your neighbors. Many work from home or are stay-at-home parents, ask if they can have packages delivered to them while you are at work. “What a great way to be of service in your neighborhood” (2) ask your place of business first, have your packages delivered to you at work (3) use the Amazon drops (Safeway) and UPS stores near you to deliver your packages. Neighbors looking out for neighbors this holiday season is a great way for us all to enjoy the festive season.
Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas

John Lorenz

Leave Second Street alone

To the Editor:
WSDOT, with approval by state Sen. Steve Hobbs, granted the city of Snohomish $350,000 to redesign Second Street to improve bicycle safety. Mayor Kartak has used the grant to effectively turn Second Street from a major east-west arterial into a slow side street, forcing motorists to use the other residential side streets: Third, Fourth and Fifth Streets.
Mayor Kartak’s city administrator, Steve Schuller, claims city residents have only two choices: Make Second Street a major freeway, or discourage motorists from using it and forcing them to use alternative east-west routes.
I disagree.
There is the third option: Leave Second Street as-is with the addition of modern, synchronized traffic signal lights with left-turn arrows on First and Avenue D, Second and Avenue D, Second and Maple, and Second and Pine.
If the council approves Kartak’s plan at the next council meeting, at the minimum, they should insist the City install new traffic signal lights at Fourth and D and at Second and J to accommodate all the motorists who are forced off of Second Street.
For some reason, the City is reluctant to put its final redesign of Second Street on its website or even make public the results of its expensive survey of citizen comments. Instead, the mayor claims he has personally met with First and Second Street business owners who support the plan.
Well, residents like myself who live in old town Snohomish should also have a say in the decision.

Evangeline Loranc

A blessing but food insecurity is rife

To the Editor:
It brought me such joy to read about the Community Kitchen (Nov. 21 Tribune.)  I could practically smell the food and feel the sense of love, concern, and belonging from the descriptions in this article.  To know that there are helping hands for those in need of some extra help is a quality I value about living in Snohomish.  With one in five children and one in seven seniors living in poverty, hunger is a major problem in America.  We can help sustain our concern for those in need by pressing for the Senate version of the Farm Bill that protects the SNAP program to which supports veterans and millions of other Americans. SNAP is a lifeline for so many families trying their best to find their footing. 
Thank you Community Kitchen and thanks to all of you who reach out to your members of congress to encourage them to support the Senate version of the Farm Bill so that families and individuals do not have food taken away from them this holiday season nor in the coming year.

Teresa Rugg

2019 INTIATIVE 1000
Petitioners not telling whole story

To the Editor:
On the afternoon of Nov. 7, I was stopped by a signature collector of the Initiative Measure 1000. She didn’t explain what I-1000 was but just told me it’s about “equal pay for women.” I smelled something fishy, so I walked away.
After I did some research, I realize that, in the name of  pursuing equal opportunity, I-1000 seeks to repeal the state initiative I-200, the legislation that truly pursues fair treatment and equal opportunity for every person in our diverse society and outlaws special preferences based on race and gender in college admission, public employment, and contracting. The people pushing I-1000 are so dishonest! They flip the words to hide their true agenda – to use race, gender, ethnicity to divide our society and pit people of different races, colors, and genders against each other.
“Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth,” said American writer and historian James Truslow Adams who coined the term “American dream” in 1931. Eighty seven years later, the people behind I-1000 are attempting to take this American dream away from us. Shouldn’t we say NO? 

Lucy Liu

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 21 Tribune:

Writer: Call Sen. Hobbs to kill the project

To the Editor:
Regarding Morgan Davis’ Letter in Nov. 7 Tribune about Second Street redesign, an interesting point comes to mind.  The best avenue to stop the city scheme is to contact Senator Hobbs and divert the $15 million.
I give credit to former City Manager Larry Bauman for creating and putting into motion a worthy political machine that simply cannot be held accountable.  The city and council just do whatever they want: Delete a 92-year-old Deed Restriction on Averill Field for benefit of Verizon; rent the house on Ludwig Road to a former city finance director; award a contract for collection of garbage services without competitive bids when city code requires a bidding process; the City Manager and Assistant City Manager editing the Op-Ed written by the President of Carnegie Foundation before it appeared in the Tribune; etc., ad nauseam. The list just never stops.
The intent to “change” Snohomish is deliberate.  Who has property and business ventures in the downtown district?  Who wants to bring a dinner train to Snohomish?
This city political machine, which radically attempts to control the narrative and spins all dissent, appears to be impregnable.  A process will be followed which shall appear honorable, but in essence is totally corrupt. The cake is already baked. Contact Sen. Steve Hobbs, maybe withholding funds is the only way to defeat the city.
Fifteen million would be better spent on police.  What about the Triangle Bait & Tackle? It will simply go out of business, when Bowen St. is converted to a Plaza, ergo taking away its parking.

Mike Coombs

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 14 Tribune:

Parents, quit letting your kids run amok

To the Editor:
I am writing as a Everett resident who shops at its local grocery stores and I am writing because safety inside our grocery stores is a great concern to me. I was shopping at the QFC on Broadway in North Everett recently and a child was running in front of customers and the parents weren’t paying attention, which is a huge problem these days but the store staff here don’t do their part to make sure their customers are safe. Customers have to pay the consequences of negligent employees and parents. Store staff should make sure that their customers are safe and children aren’t running in the store. I hope parents read this and make sure their children are behaving appropriately in public. 

Elijah Edens

Letters to the editor in the Nov. 7 Tribune:

Writer: Second Street redesign a waste of money

To the Editor:
Regarding all the excellent letters in each of the Tribune’s five October editions critical of the City of Snohomish’s latest design to “beautify” Second Street:
As a Second Street business property owner, I support those critical of the design. Mayor Kartak’s proposal not only wastes scarce tax dollars and staff time but will only make congestion much worse.
Example: Kartak plans to dead-end a current working west First Street thoroughfare at the City Shop, 1801 First St.  To add insult to injury, Kartak’s plan adds a roundabout on First Street at the City Shop, because he worries some wayward westbound motorists may have missed the new dead-end sign at First and Avenue E intersection.  Avenue E residents will most certainly be adversely affected.
Instead of making First Street partially one-way, I support simply improving the awkward intersection at First Street/Second Street/Avenue J, not only for motorists, but bicyclists and pedestrians as well.  Yet, the City refuses to get a cost estimate to improve and square up that awkward intersection.
Other Kartak bad ideas for Second Street include back-in only parking and removing left-turn center lanes.
State Sen. Steve Hobbs, chairman of the state transportation committee, and WSDOT should scrap the Kartak plan and divert the estimated $15 million or so to instead build on/off ramps at the planned 4-lane SR9 Snohomish River Bridge to access the Snohomish-Lowell River Road below.
That alone would allow commuters to bypass Second Street altogether to reduce congestion.

Morgan Davis

Letters to the editor in the Oct. 31 Tribune:

More parking, not decoration

To the Editor:
As a city resident who lives very near Second Street, I have an interest in the widely-discussed revamp project. On mornings when either 2nd Street or Avenue D would be considered congested, many cars detour themselves onto the surrounding avenues as a “shortcut,” often traveling at a high rate of speed through areas where kids are walking to bus stops or the high school. Darkness on winter mornings makes it unsafe for these kids attempting to dodge drivers who don’t feel traffic rules apply to them. Neighborhood kids report being worried they’ll be hit. It seems logical to conclude that some of the “improvements” to Second Street may serve to frustrate drivers even more, causing side streets to be used as avoidance routes.
Are bicycle lanes safe for cyclists on such a busy street? Are the improvements going to be easier for inexperienced teen drivers to navigate or will they be a distraction?
If we’re looking to improve our economic growth by inviting tourism to flourish downtown, let’s improve parking. Negotiate a deal with the County regarding the bridge (put that money that’s earmarked for holiday lights toward the repairs), buy the mill and turn it into a parking area. Offer a shuttle service for those who may struggle with walking over to the shops. Build a covered area and invite the farmer’s market to establish there.
I’ve heard many times from people who’ve driven through, but not stopped-due to the frustration of driving around and being unable to park.

Susan Bjorling

Vote for 5/2 districts split

To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in support of the 5/2 districting plan which is on the November ballot for the city of Everett. It is what the people want. I have heard citizens speak at city council meetings in favor of 5/2 because it will bring more  representative government to every part of the city. At Cafe Zippy, my restaurant in north Everett, I often talk with residents who seem surprised that Everett is just now getting around to dividing the city into districts. Other cities of our size have been successful with creating districts. By dividing our city into five geographic districts, where one council member is elected from each district  by the people living in that district,  and keeping two positions elected by the city at-large, the voices of  people from more diverse backgrounds will come to the table. That is one thing that is needed for creative change in our city government.
The 4/3 proposal would neither create change nor readily bring more diversity to Everett’s Council. Considering the present makeup of our Council with 4 of the 7 council members residing in northwest Everett, it is not hard to see that we could see three at-large members and one district member residing in that same neighborhood. That is not the outcome of districting that I want to see. That situation is impossible with the 5/2 plan.
I urge you to vote for the 5/2 districting choice on your ballot in favor of fair and equitable representation.

Marilyn Rosenberg

Letters to the editor in the Oct. 24 Tribune:

Not hearing support in the community

To the Editor:
Although I’ve read a few letters supporting the re-vamp of Second Street, some with reservations, I’ve yet to talk to any resident in favor of this. This sounds like another excuse to spend money on a project that doesn’t need doing for any other reason than answering an unnecessary dream to “beautify” an otherwise very functional and very vital Snohomish street. I drive this street several times a week, looking for a needed improvement area. Other than perhaps one more stop light, the street has sufficient width for all traffic, sufficient space for most parking needs (which will lose out if the renewal goes through), and sufficient access to both residential and business areas. Why lessen this for the sake of “beautification” to attract more tourists, who are coming anyway?
This is a working thoroughfare, a very vital thoroughfare. Please find a better use for the money this would take and leave Second Street alone. It’s just fine as it is.

Linda Bresee

Vote for 5/2 split

To the Editor:
In January 2017, the 38th Legislative District Democrats voted to endorse Everett Districts Now’s proposal to transition from electing all seven City Council members citywide to election of 5 by districts with only 2 at-large. This action was in recognition of the historically disproportionate number of City Council members residing north of 41st Street. Such a change would improve representation for citizens in all Everett neighborhoods. Mayor Ray Stephanson was opposed to the measure as was a majority of City Council members. When the 5/2 proposal came to the Charter Review Committee, a committee appointed by the mayor and council, committee members rejected their opportunity to put the measure forward in their recommendations.
The nonpartisan coalition comprising Everett Districts Now persisted despite resistance from city government and now, at last, citizens have their chance to choose improved representation when they vote in November.
The measure will appear on the back of the ballot as two questions. We encourage voters to approve Proposition 1 which makes districting possible. Then we urge you to opt for Proposition 2 A , the 5/2 districting plan. 5/2 better guarantees improved representation of South Everett residents and was the overwhelming favorite when the city sent out a survey earlier this year. 4/3 was not favored and could very easily allow the continued trend where 5 councilmembers reside north of 41st Street.

Nancy Sosnove
38th LD Precinct Committee Officer

Letters to the Editor in the October 17 Tribune:

Increase the salary only if sizable admin team is cut

To the Editor:
Regarding the Oct. 10 letter in the Tribune about the Snohomish Mayor’s salary being too low: Just a few weeks ago, the City Council voted to keep the mayor’s salary at $18,000 (which was set well before John Kartak filed for the job).
After becoming mayor in November 2017, Kartak elected to hire a full-time administrator, a full-time economic development manager, and a full time executive assistant (all are very highly paid for a small town, population 10,000).
If Kartak had opted to forgo hiring all these administrators and perform the duties himself as a professional executive mayor, then Kartak would be justified in asking the council for a raise.
The letter writer claims Kartak works 60 hours a week. If that’s true, he still has not learned to delegate tasks to his expensive management team. A lot of his time is taken up in activities some consider akin to campaigning for the next election.
Mayor Kartak’s two signature projects, the $2.5 million restoration of the Carnegie building and the now estimated $15 million so-called “Second Street Corridor Improvement Project,” are in my opinion not needed, and in the case of Second Street, this project will be making traffic flow even more dysfunctional (see Oct. 10 Tribune letter by Thomas E. Hansen, P.E.)

Evangeline Loranc

Oppression in small increments

To the Editor:
The surreal U.S. minimum wage history — reconstructed: Once in late 1930s government suggested workers supporting a family deserve a break. It ordered a newly designed minimum pay to be a set amount an hour. 
It realized such law would cause hundred thousands of business closures and tens of millions workers losing their sometimes meager livelihood. But polling employees and employers beforehand — surprise! Most agreed!  No sacrifice too big! A poll among customers about products and services to be discontinued by business closures turned positive as well. Customers would tolerate deprivation if it helped stressed families!
Can you believe it? By accident many laid-off workers actually were heads of a family!

Gunnar Unneland

Letters to the Editor in the October 10 Tribune:

Redesign lacks left turn lanes, will cause backups

To the Editor:
I attended the open house in August and have continued to monitor the proposed re-design of Second Street from state Route 9 to the east city limits. I agree with many of the goals that the project is trying to meet for the “new look” and function of the street but I am very concerned about a few specific features.
The project as currently designed will not have left turn pockets at several public road intersections. Left turning cars will cause significant backups for through traffic at these locations waiting to make their left turns. I can easily envision the impacts in the afternoon for eastbound traffic quickly backing up to SR 9 as as there are very few gaps in the westbound traffic. Traffic going through town will come to a standstill on this street.
City staff told me at the meeting that their traffic engineering consultants have modeled the proposed project and they say that it will work just fine. Based on my 36 year career as a public roads engineer, design, construction, operations and maintenance, I have a hard time believing that this will be the case. In the last 16 years of may career, I was either a Public Works Director or a City Engineer, including a stint working for the City of Snohomish. I would find it difficult to defend to citizens or a City Council the proposed project without modification.
More field observations of afternoon traffic volumes, destinations, and characteristics may yield a different outcome and conclusion. The project needs to provide left turn pockets at each public intersection or prohibit left turns at those same intersections if the pockets are not provided. I hope the City Staff will come to the same conclusion.

Thomas E. Hansen P.E.

$18k a year too low to survive on

To the Editor:
Our mayor, John Kartak, has committed to serve our city as a strong mayor for a four-year term. He routinely works at least 60 hours per week at his job but is only being paid $18,000 per year. It is not enough to provide for his family’s expenses.
Five of the seven City Council members voted against having a strong mayor and it seems they are determined not to pay him for his full time service. I petitioned the council to raise his salary but they said no, in spite of the fact that the people of Snohomish voted for a strong mayor.
There is record income for the city. If the council agrees to spend $2 million to restore a historic building, they can also afford to increase the mayor’s salary. He should not have to pay out of his savings to be a strong mayor.
Please, Snohomish, support your mayor. The next City Council meeting will be Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. at the School District Administrative Building, 1601 Ave. D.

Diane Tunnell

Tax exemption will pinch everyone else

To the Editor:
A letter in the Sept. 12 Tribune showed the Snohomish City Council’s propensity and willingness to increase property taxes to fund dubious projects.
Now here’s one more source for a property tax increase for city property owners: ”The Multi-Family Property Tax Exemption.”
Under a “Presentation” agenda item during the Oct. 2nd council meeting, the council approved going forward with the tax break for developers in the so-called “blighted, high crime area” in the Pilchuck District.  (The city had in attendance Everett’s planning director extolling the virtues of their exemption ordinance in Downtown and North Broadway Everett districts).
Not discussed was the impact this exemption for developers will have on all existing property taxpayers.
Property taxes are “budget-based”, meaning each taxing district will receive the same amount of total revenue irrespective of property valuation.  In other words, if a property is sold to a nonprofit or government organization or developers with this exemption, then the remaining property taxpayers will have to increase their tax obligation in order for each taxing district to reach their budget target.
For the last 125 years of steady growth, the City never resorted to tax breaks for a favored few at the expense of everyone else.  This exemption is corporate welfare, plain and simple.
I urge residents to contact council members and tell them to reverse this unfair tax break for developers.

Morgan Davis



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