I am writing in regard to the upcoming election for Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Position 2. I was sad to see that Judge Allendoerfer had to leave a job he had performed so well over the years. Snohomish County citizens must now make a decision as to whom we should elect to fill this vacancy in superior court. The list of candidates is long and the decision is crucial. In the capacity of Superior Court Judge, experience and knowledge of court procedure are vital. This is not a position for “on-the-job training”. I believe Snohomish County needs the most qualified and experienced candidate to fill this vacancy, and one who is ready to assume its duties immediately. After reviewing the field of candidates, I am giving my full support to Judge Dave Hulbert. He brings an extensive range of experience having served as Prosecutor for Snohomish, Marysville, Sultan and Mukilteo, and also as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Snohomish County. Even more important, Judge Hulbert has 12 years of capable experience as a Superior Court Judge in our county, with a well-established working knowledge of all court proceedings and the rule of law. He has the proven track record to handle the responsibilities of Superior Court Judge, with our county’s citizens benefiting from his experience and expertise. No other candidate offers the experience and qualifications in which to entrust this position. Judge Hulbert’s ethic is, “I want Snohomish County to be the worst place for criminals and the best place to raise a family.” He has given back to our community, volunteering as a Lake Stevens Little League coach for many years, and has been active in community affairs. As Snohomish County citizens, let’s fill this vital superior court judgeship with the most qualified, experienced candidate. I encourage my fellow citizens to vote for Judge Dave Hulbert for Snohomish County Superior Court Judge position 2.
Steve Wicklund, Lake Stevens Politics, parties and the war in Afghanistan
This is in response to Ms. Fox-Allen’s letter to the Journal. I agree with all your concerns, especially the environment. Our country is not quite ready for new ideas in regards to the environment. In regards to car pollution, a Pike Research survey states that only 48 percent would support plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. That is less than half the country. Both parties have given a great talk about using all sources of alternative energies, but the money is never there to do it. Good question, where does the tax money go, huh? Yes, mistakes were made on this war, but no war has been perfect. I think most Americans would rather have the terrorist tortured to foil a possible attack to our country. How can the Democrats who voted to go to war, like Hilary Clinton, now say President Bush lied to them? They get the same intelligence that the President gets everyday. The country, and myself are voicing their dismay to the media and at town hall meetings, that both parties are destroying our country and not following the constitution of our land. Yes, I know they don’t even teach about the constitution at our schools. Some may tell our children that America is at fault for everything. America is bad. It’s so very sad. I make sure my children are supplemented with the true history of our country and to be well informed with the facts before making a statement or decision. Yes, it was great to have President Obama give a positive message to children for the first day of school, but having a lesson plan related to a person (President Barack Obama), that is down right scary if it was for any President. I was disappointed knowing the President will not support private insurance for veterans, and soldiers. Today I heard about a radio talk show host who visited Walter Reed Hospital yesterday and spoke to a 21-year-old soldier, and he was healing from severe injuries from Afghanistan. All he said is he wanted to go back with his troop and fight for the cause. Yes, we all want the war to end, but we need to complete the war with honor for our troops and win.
A. C. Green, Lake Stevens
R-71 for the protection of all of our families
I am writing about Referendum 71 that will be on the ballot this November. I believe the opposition used scare tactics to get people to sign the petitions. The header in very large print at the top of the petition read “Preserve Marriage Protect Children”. This is a misleading headline because the bill that the “Protect Marriage Washington” Coalition wishes to overturn (SB 5688) says nothing about marriage. The bill gives all rights and responsibilities that the married couples (only heterosexual couples) have to registered “Domestic Partners”. What are they trying to protect children from? The knowledge that this state extends much needed rights to their friends’ and classmates’ same-sex parents? What they should be more concerned about is protecting their children from seeing the discrimination and outright bigotry that a no vote on Referendum 71 will allow. To deny domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples and the elderly is just outright discrimination. The fact that R71 is even on the ballot leads one to believe that the Protect Marriage Washington folks wish same-sex couples and their families ill and consider them undeserving of even the most basic of rights. Why else would they circulate a petition to take away rights? What about protecting all Washington Families? Why spend all this time and money on ill wishes and discriminatory actions? I say shame on you to all who circulated, signed, and supported a referendum that will leave their neighbors without the protections they themselves take for granted. Please let the Protect Marriage Washington Coalition know your support of equal rights and benefits for all of Washington’s families, not just PMWC’s notion of the ideal by voting yes on Referendum 71.
Troy Garner, Lake Stevens
Brandt will bring important qualities to city council Dear Editor,
I recently spoke with Will Brandt, candidate for position 7 on the city council, at a Lake Stevens City Council meeting, where the representatives from Mill Creek and Mountlake Terrance reviewed their own City Center Planning processes. I worked with Will during my tenure as Annexation Coordinator for Lake Stevens, with his very successful organization in the Soper Hill neighborhoods to become part of the City of Lake Stevens. He was easy to work with, made an action plan, and was diligent in carrying out the time consuming effort of meeting with, and listening to his neighbors’ concerns. He followed through with the City so the process went forward smoothly and on time. In my conversation with him, he continues to work to make Lake Stevens a great place to live and has vision for the larger issues that face the City. It’s clear that as a City Councilman, he’ll bring his qualities of listening, thoughtfulness, persistence, and action to the position.
Carl Nelson, Lake Stevens
Motocross track would be unfair to Granite Falls taxpayers
On July 16, Rick Hjelle, Granite Falls’ Fire Chief sent a letter to Snohomish County detailing the problems which would result if the proposed Motocross Tracks on the Mountain Loop Highway are permitted. That letter is noteworthy. The Chief makes the point that because Granite Falls District #17 is the closest one to the site, it would be the first responder in emergencies at the Motocross operation. Demands for the District’s services would rise, but not its revenue. The motocross company would pay no fees for fire and emergency services because the site is outside the district. Residents of Granite Falls and the District pay fees. In fact, the citizens of Granite Falls might have to be assessed a higher levy, forcing them, in essence to subsidize the motocross. That’s unfair. The motocross project’s plans call for an ambulance, EMTs and a medic to be on-site during race days. Yet the emergency personnel called for in the plans must be certified by the County, but there has been no such certification. That could place another financial burden on taxpayers. That’s unfair. In addition, Chief Hjelle points out that motocross is considered an “extreme sport” fraught with injuries, requiring emergency services not only on race days, but whenever there are riders using the site. This would be an ongoing increase in emergency calls, taking personnel out of the district at taxpayer’s expense. Again that’s unfair. Chief Hjelle also points out the dangers of wild fires starting at the site due to both a wood frame structure and on-site camping, yet there is no on-site fire suppression team in the plans. Fire District #17 would surely be called upon if a fire started. Again, that’s unfair. The fire danger extends well beyond Chief Hjelle’s immediate district concerns: during the hot dry summer months a fast-spreading forest fire could devastate the entire Stillaguamish River Valley—residences and forest lands alike, destroying all timber and revered recreational lands in its path. (Remember, Granite Falls recorded a 108° day this summer, with two others over 100°). You have to wonder what Granite Falls Mayor Lyle Romack was thinking when he lobbied for support of this proposed facility near his city. It’s clear he wasn’t thinking about his own citizens or the Granite Falls emergency services district.
Bruce Barnbaum, Granite Falls
Dana is former Mayor’s choice for County Council Dear Editor,
I am writing this letter to urge voters to elect Steve Dana to the Snohomish County Council. I have known Steve for many years going back to the early 1990’s when I was Mayor of Brier and Steve was Mayor of Snohomish. I have gotten to know Steve much better since both of us left elective office. Even though we come from different perspectives politically, we find ourselves agreeing more often than not because common sense doesn’t belong to a political party. Steve has good ideas and thoughtful solutions I would appreciate in my leaders today. Steve Dana is a smart guy motivated to serve average people because they are the ones without an advocate. With all the political rancor swirling around government today, it is refreshing to discuss political issues with a guy that has ideas and solutions without an axe to grind. I look forward to the balance he will bring to the job. I don’t live in District 5, but I have friends and relatives that do. I am encouraging everyone I know who can vote in East Snohomish County to vote for Steve Dana.
Wayne Kaske, Bothell, Former Mayor of Brier
Granite Falls past employees and councilmember comment on Romack ad
In the interest of fairness, we have remained silent during this political campaign. However, we feel strongly enough about the recent message from Mayor Romack that we have to respond. With regard to the state audit, the Council did not ask the Mayor to resubmit receipts that he had already been paid for. The Council did not ask the Mayor’s office to use volunteers to do landscaping work, nor did the Council request that the volunteers drive to Woodinville to purchase wholesale nursery items when suitable items could be purchased locally. The Council did not ask the Mayor’s office to use volunteers to box up old documents that were pertinent to the audit and were subsequently “misplaced.” The Council did, however, ask that the Mayor stop using his personal vehicle for city business, thus eliminating large mileage reimbursement checks to the Mayor. With regard to the Public Works Supervisor, there is a statement that the city “was operating with a large deficit.” This is not true. After 9/11, the economy suffered immensely, and sales tax revenue was severely reduced. We tightened our belts, certainly, and we eliminated projects that didn’t absolutely need to be done, but we never had an “outstanding debt” that needed to be paid off. The Public Works Supervisor position was budgeted for each and every year, and was financially supported, but it was not filled (by the Mayor’s choice) and instead those dollars were rolled over to the next year. With regard to city staff, Gerry retired after 25 years of service to the city in Sept. 2007. She announced her retirement in Jan. 2007, with the idea that she could spend a number of months training her replacement. The Council requested that a certified clerk be hired. When it was obvious a certified clerk was not available, the Council made repeated requests that the Mayor fill the position with the most qualified person. That replacement did not arrive until the last week of Sept. 2007. Carol retired after 20 years of service to the city in Dec. 2007. The Council made numerous requests of the Mayor’s office to post the job opening for City Treasurer, and were told on every occasion that it was being taken care of. When it was discovered that in fact the posting hadn’t occurred, it was deemed (by the Mayor) to be a clerical error. The responsibility for hiring (and firing) staff rests solely on the Mayor. The staff position was officially filled in June 2009. It was a difficult decision to write this letter, but we feel it was necessary to the citizens of Granite Falls to set the record straight. Matt Hartman, Carol Hutchinson and Gerry James, Granite Falls
Tageant’s background and leadership makes for good councilmember Dear Editor,
I would like to encourage everyone in Lake Stevens to vote for Marcus Tageant for City Council. Marcus is a small-business owner right here in Lake Stevens, is the president-elect of the Chamber of Commerce, was in the Marine Corps, and has been very involved in our community through Kiwanis and the American Legion. Based on his service to our community thus far, he is the candidate with true leadership experience and the ability to do the most good for Lake Stevens. He grew up here and has a vested interest in making Lake Stevens the best it can be. His is the voice of reason. You will be pleased with the results that Marcus Tageant will bring as a member of the City Council.
Natalie Lavering, Lake Stevens Take time to clean up your enironment
We all know this has been an amazing Humpie season. Right now, these creatures are making their way up our own Pilchuck River. Local residents eagerly trot down to the riverbanks and bridges hoping to catch a glimpse of their run upriver. It’s fun to watch and a time-honored tradition in our area. Many bring their children down to the banks to sneak a peak as they make their journey. What do we see when we get there? Fish jumping, of course. What else? Garbage everywhere! It’s disgusting, unsafe, and it’s damaging the habitat. My friend and I have been taking it upon ourselves, whenever we go out for a walk, to bring along a bag or two and pick up trash along the way. We clean up our neighborhood, our beloved Centennial Trail, and anywhere else our feet take us. This weekend we spent the day at the Dubuque Road Bridge and cleaned up whatever we could along the riverbanks. In four hours we collected three large bags of recycling, two bags of trash, two broken chairs, a golf bag, a pocketknife and a hatchet. Largely it was beer cans and smashed beer bottles. Other items included clothes, charcoal briquettes and diapers. We were horrified. As parents and pet owners, we saw the danger these items were. If we all pitched in a little, we’d make a huge difference. Bring a bag and glove with you when you head to the trail. Pick up cans on your next walk and toss them in your recycling. Teach your children to do the same and they’ll follow your lead. Let’s work together to keep our community clean and safe. Not just for ourselves and our children, but for the creatures that share it with us.