Tribune Logo
facebook Logo Come see us on Facebook

 

Letters Archive

Letters to the Editor

Send us a letter: letters@snoho.com


The Tribune provides a general forum for pertinent local public comment, but the viewpoints published in letters to the editor do not carry any implied endorsement or fact verifications by the Tribune.
Letters to the Editor policy
- 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.
- We do not run letters with “character assassinations” of private individuals, and will scrutinize letters that put down public officials, public figures and public institutions. We encourage focus on actions, not the person.
- We do not run attacks on unelected government employees. We encourage focus on policy, not the person.
- We will not run negative statements about businesses by name unless there is a clear reason or clear situational example that warrants it.
- We acknowledge the free exchange of ideas, but letters containing overt bigotry, racial supremacy, or vulgarities may be potentially denied altogether.
- If the newsroom is unclear on your message, we will ask for clarifying revisions and withhold the letter from publication until the letter’s message is clear.
- We evaluate letters that discuss national issues based on their merits and local relevance.
- Letters about the Tribune’s reporting are published and not suppressed. We are responsible to the public and can withstand criticism.
Send us a letter: letters@snoho.com





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


Letters to the Editor in the Nov. 18 Tribune:

LETTER ON RACISM
What groups shook letter writer?

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



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

SNOHOMISH CITY COUNCIL
Renounce racism and hate from all sides

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



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


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

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE’S RACE
Lucas endorses Robert Grant

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

Judge Eric Z. Lucas

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

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



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


SEX EDUCATION BALLOT MEASURE
Reject R-90


To the Editor:

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

Elizabeth Schaeffer
Lake Stevens



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

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

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

Dr. Chris Beard
Mukilteo


OPEN MINDS
People are not bigots for not conforming

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

Don Baldwin
Snohomish

MAYOR KARTAK’S ACTIONS
Explanation given is back-sliding

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



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

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

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

Ann Beaulieu
Snohomish

LOCAL POLITICS
Lovick has courage and compassion


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

Julie Davis
Snohomish



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

OVERCOME BIGOTRY
Have an open mind

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

Janice Lengenfelder
Snohomish


EVERETT COUNCIL DISTRICTS
Leaders want map restructured

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

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



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

SEX EDUCATION BALLOT MEASURE
Give students their best chance

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

Rena Connell
Snohomish



Letters published in the September 16 Tribune:

TERRACE AVENUE DEVELOPMENT
It will cause traffic issues

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

Barbara Rivett
Snohomish


USPS DEMONSTATIONS

Don’t let political divides shatter message

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

Sue Davis
Snohomish


2020 ELECTION
Your vote counts

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

Betty C. Hokana
Snohomish



Letters published in the September 9 Tribune:

WALSH HILLS

More cars will cause unfavorable impact

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

Bruce A. Ferguson
Snohomish


SNOHOMISH POLICE CHIEF
Appointing Palmer will cost an extra $30,000

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


LOCAL POLITICS
Support for John Lovick

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


PANDEMIC RELIEF
Demand Senate action

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish




Letters published in the September 2 Tribune:

LOCAL POLITICS
Former Mayor supports Lovick

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

Karen Guzak
Snohomish


LOCAL POLITICS
John Lovick: A man with a vision

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

Candace Jarrett
Snohomish



FIGHT AGAINST HATE
“Silence is complicity”

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


“YEAR OF THE KAREN”
A good laugh

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish



Letters published in the August 26 Tribune:

MAKING ASSUMPTIONS
“You do not speak for me.”

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

Julie Bancroft
Snohomish



Letters published in the August 19 Tribune:

COUNCIL GOODBYE

Thanking the community

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

Jason Sanders (and family)
Snohomish City Council President



Letters published in the August 12 Tribune:

COMMUNITY DISAPPROVAL
A veterans duty

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

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

Elijah Edens
Everett



Letters published in the August 5 Tribune:

LOCAL POLITICS
Fortney supporters are putting health at risk at rallies

To the Editor: 

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

Phil Colling 
Marysville


LOCAL POLITICS
Support for Lovick

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

Mark Miller
Snohomish



Letters published in the July 29 Tribune:

44TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE
Comparing Kartak to Lovick

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish


44TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE
Lovick is the only leader here

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

Jan Lengenfelder
Snohomish



Letters published in the July 22 Tribune:

LOCAL POLITICS
Support for Mayor John Kartak

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

Steve Dana
Snohomish

LOCAL POLITICS
Support for April Berg

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

Tina Kinnard 
Lake Stevens

COVID-19 HEALTH CRISIS
Senate stalling on passing Heroes Act

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish




Letters published in the July 15 Tribune:

USING FIREWORKS ON ILLEGAL DAYS
We can prepare pets for Fourth, but surprises on other days hurt

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



Letters published in the July 8 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH RECENT EVENTS
Writer: Ignorance comes in all colors

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

Bill Betten
Maydelle, Texas


QUESTIONING THE PROTESTS

Is there a racism problem within our high schools?

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

Larry Countryman,
City Councilman
Snohomish


STATE REPRESENTATIVES

Writer: Kartak’s hasty decision

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

John Reed
Snohomish


Letters published in the July 1 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH RECENT EVENTS

Not giving the whole picture

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



SNOHOMISH TOWN HALL
Writer: Town hall a liberal love fest

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

John Lorenz
Snohomish




Letters published in the June 24 Tribune:

EVERETT SENIOR CENTER CLOSURE
Appropriate source of funding

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

Paul Miller
President, Everett Senior Center Foundation

SNOHOMISH PROTESTS
Frustrated with the treatment of Lt. Rogers and Mayor Kartak

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

Roger Hanson
Snohomish




Letters published in the June 17 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH PROTESTS
Tired of a one-sided view

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

Janet Hobelman
Snohomish

MAY 31 EVENTS
No credible threat to First Street

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

David Clay
Snohomish

CONFEDERATE FLAG DISPLAYED
A symbol of hate and ignorance

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

Candace Jarrett
Snohomish

CITY COUNCIL RESPONDS TO OUTRAGE
Pleased with city and coverage

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



Letters published in the June 10 Tribune:

LEADERSHIP RESPONSE TO MILITIA MEN
A call for resignation

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

Carey Clay
Snohomish


DEFENDERS ON FIRST STREET
Coordinated disaster

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

Janice Lengenfelder
Snohomish


DEFENDERS ON FIRST STREET
What would they have done anyway?

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

Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe


PEACEFUL PROTESTS
Speak out

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish



No letters published in the June 3 Tribune


Letters published in the May 27 Tribune:

MIDTOWN DISTRICT TASK FORCE
Save resources by killing task force

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



Letters published in the May 20 Tribune:

ALZHEIMER’S
Thank you for continuing care

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

Jeff Jensen
Woodinville



Letters published in the May 13 Tribune:

ECONOMY IN COVID-19
Fear has paralyzed our economy

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

Dan Bartelheimer
Snohomish

GOVERNOR’S REOPENING PLAN
Don’t reopen without safety measures in place

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

Tina Kinnard
Lake Stevens
SnoCo Indivisible



Letters published in the May 6 Tribune:

FACE COVERINGS
Be cautious where you shop

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

Rena Connell
Snohomish


ECONOMY
Elected officials need to stand up

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

R. Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson
Monroe



BARBERSHOP PUBLICLY DEFIES ORDER
People just think it’s OK to defy law?

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

David Clay
Snohomish


Letters published in the April 29 Tribune:

RENTAL INSECURITY
It’s time for a national eviction moratorium

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish


STIMULUS CHECKS
Put your money to work by doing good things

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

Sue Davis
Snohomish


SHERIFF’S COMMENTS
This was a political stunt

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



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


Letters published in the April 1 Tribune:

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS
Shields do not give absolute protection

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

Colleen Dunlap
Snohomish

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS
Concerned for the isolated

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

Elijah Edens
Everett

SNOHOMISH MIDTOWN DISTRICT
Transparency missing

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish




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


Letters published in the March 4 Tribune:

LEGISLATOR HEARS CONCERNS
DelBene meeting went well

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

Willie Dickerson
Snohomish



Letters published in the Feb. 26 Tribune:

SNOHOMISH CARNEGIE BUILDING
What’s next on the to-do list

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

Melody Clemans
Snohomish


AVENUE D TASK FORCE
Be alert to redevelopment


To the Editor:

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



No letters published in the Feb. 19 Tribune


Letters published in the Feb. 12 Tribune:

GROCERY CHECKSTANDS
Limited number of checkers frustrates

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

Caroline Baertsch
Snohomish

PROUD BOYS ORGANIZATION
Community needs to stand for equity

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

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



Letters published in the Feb. 5 Tribune:

PROUD BOYS ORGANIZATION
Take a stand on proud boys

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

Morgan Davis
Snohomish



SNOHOMISH SCHOOL BOND
Vote Yes: New Buildings impact education

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

Matthew Weller
Snohomish


SNOHOMISH AQUATIC CENTER
Aquatic Center smelled of urine

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

Robert Kelly
Everett


OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Thank you community

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

Dana Williams
Operation Christmas Child



Letters published in the Jan. 29 Tribune:


SNOHOMISH SCHOOL BOND
Funds the projects of highest priority

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

Sonia Siegel Vexler
Snohomish


SNOHOMISH SCHOOL BOND
School bond asks for too much

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

Michael Scott
Snohomish



SNOHOMISH SCHOOL BOND
Stop. Look. Listen. This deal is bad.

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

Bruce A. Ferguson
Snohomish


PROUD BOYS ORGANIZATION
Author: Group uses deception

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

Earl Gray
Lake Stevens


 

 

  

Check out our online Publications!

Best seen in the Firefox or Chrome browsers