Parents should pay for school upgrades and maintenance
I read your editorial in reference to the upcoming school levies and how the money collected will be used to go towards operations and maintenance of schools within our district. Also, the classrooms would be updated with the latest and greatest computer technology. It all sounds so wonderful, but the bottom line is that all our taxes will be going up over the next several years. Most of our homes are assessed well above $200,000 which means the average tax payer will be paying closer to $850 a year for both levies. I am getting sick and tired of paying for these school improvements year after year. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. As soon as these levies expire in four years the classrooms will once again have outdated computer technology and the schools will need to be improved in some way. So the district will be asking the citizens to pay for these improvements again. I have a better idea––instead of having every homeowner in the district have their taxes raised, have the parents who send their children to school everyday pay for the technology upgrades as well as the maintenance of these schools. It seems only reasonable since they are the ones who use them. In my opinion, it’s a parent’s responsibility to teach and train their children, not the community’s. I would rather spend my money on libraries and parks than subsidize your high tech daycares, at least I would get something for my money. That is why I am voting no on these levies and hope that you do too.
Doug Hoyden Lake Stevens
Education should come before special interests
I have voted “YES” on the two levies in the Lake Stevens School District, but it is unfortunate that our state legislature and governor will not reign in wasteful spending that forces these measures. The number one mandate of our state government is education and they are failing. I no longer want to hear from the governor’s office and from state legislators about how tough their job is or the difficult decisions they must make, you wanted these jobs. It is easy to spend our money without conscience when we have double-digit revenues, but can you tell special interest groups “No” when it counts? All I hear is raise taxes, make new taxes or we will cut education, public safety, or health care, how pathetic and weak. Rep. Mike Hope has put forth legislation that will get Dave Iseminger’s education plan into action and will fundamentally change the way we fund education in our great state. It is time for the gloves to come off and the real tough decisions need to be made and truly change state government waste and only fund projects that are a core function of government.
Todd Welch Lake Stevens Citizens need to be involved and informed
Contrary to what Virginia Seitz stated in her letter to the Editor, this country was not founded on Christianity and the Bible. Our founders were deists who were determined to insure the separation of church and state in this country to avoid the religious persecution so prevalent in England. As a Christian myself I find it reassuring that neither the government nor any religious organization has the right to force their views on me. I was born in Norway where every citizen has the right to health care, free public secondary education and elder care regardless of financial situation. In Norway, Canada, France and most industrial nations, health care is a right, not something that must be purchased if you can afford it. That does not mean those countries are communist. As with Reagan, Bush and Clinton, Obama’s policies are geared toward making the rich richer and the big corporations even more powerful than before. And when corporations rule the country, as is more and more the case in this country, we are headed toward the same kind of government that existed in Italy in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Instead of a government by and for the people, with voters deciding issues and choosing candidates at the ballot box, corporations will have complete power over us. That kind of government is called an oligarchy, or fascism, the polar opposite of socialism. So I would say to Virginia; you do not need to fear imminent socialism in this country. Not Obama, or the Democrats in Congress are showing that they have the courage to stand up to big corporations or the Republicans in Congress who fight so hard for the wealthy to the detriment of the rest of us. I do not foresee us having even the slightest chance of implementing social programs that the Republicans label “socialistic” in order to kill them: health care for all, free secondary education, elder care, etc. An informed public, getting involved in politics on every level, is our best weapon against letting an oligarchy replace our hard fought, hard won Democracy.
Britt Lind Everett Paine Field commercial air service is essential to economic growth
Aaron Reardon was recently appointed Chairman of the Sound Transit Board. Aviation is the fourth leg of any transportation plan and airports with ready access are the hub of economic development. Reardon strongly opposes Commercial Air Service at Paine Field and has used his position to delay the happening. He has threatened funding and voiced strong opposition whenever possible. Why? Paine Field is one of the finest airports in the USA with utilization under 45 percent and falling. Boeing with utilization at one percent does not object to Commercial Air Service. Snohomish County is one of the largest counties in the state without its own Commercial Air Service. Proper utilization would greatly enhance our job base. Our economy is in bad shape ––real estate values have fallen significantly; many of our community banks are in serious trouble; and unemployment is high. We must stabilize and grow our job base or there will be no future for our youth and families will have to move. We need jobs Aaron. Commercial Air will help retain and grow existing business and jobs, open doors for new business to locate here that need timely airport access to move product and personnel. An economic development proposal to create an Aerospace Cluster at Paine Field with other Northwest cities is under consideration and a sound idea. This opportunity is dead if we don’t have Commercial Air Service at Paine Field.
Hank Robinett Snohomish Should I vote yes or no on school levies?
There are two levies on the ballot coming up supporting our School District: Maintenance and Operations and Technology. The first one is a replacement to the current one that expires in 2010. It funds a lot of what we need just to stay in operation. The Technology levy is new, and provides funding for computers and equipment to allow our classrooms to keep up with this rapidly changing world. It is so vital that we support the education of our kids in this ever-expanding global economy. Jobs are harder to find, and so many jobs are moving overseas and elsewhere. Our kids need the competitive advantage and choices that only a good education provides. This is only possible if we, the community, take our role seriously and continue to support the basics of the education system and support the ever-changing technology required in this day and age. These two levies provide just that, essential ingredients for a quality education. We simply cannot consider the alternative. You and I have a proud history of support for our Lake Stevens schools and for our Lake Stevens kids. We have voted “yes” to past levies, and it is evident in the quality we have in our schools and our educators. I would like to encourage all of us to continue in that proud tradition and say “yes” once again. Price tag for both levies? Well, a bit more than a latte or two I guess, but I figure that for substantially less than I spend on my cell phone service, I can support not just my kids, but all the kids in Lake Stevens with their educations––a pretty good value and the right thing to do for our community. Please support the schools and our Lake Stevens kids as they move into and create our future. Paul Lund Lake Stevens Local food bank can feed many because of kids
The Lake Stevens Community Food Bank sends a big “thank you” to all the schools and students in our community for their help in food drives this year. All the schools did a superior job but the high school, under leadership of Mr. Cronin, did way beyond expectation. We are happy to say because of their efforts we now have a good supply. Way to go kids!
The L.S. Community Food Bank Lake Stevens Vote yes for Lake Stevens schools
The Lake Stevens community has supported our schools for many years. With the economic downturn, now more than ever we need to continue that support. We may not be able to give your child or grandchild the latest cell phone, Ipod, or car but we can give them a quality education and the opportunities that come with a quality education. Strong schools build strong communities. Please vote yes for both the Maintenance and Operations levy and the Technology levy and mail your ballot today.
Janice Thompson Lake Stevens HOT lanes on I-405 will cost families money
The DOT recently submitted their Eastside Corridor Tolling Study final report to the legislature, an assessment of finding a viable solution to alleviating congestion on I-405. Part of this study recommends changing the current HOV lane into a HOT (high-occupancy toll) lane. Furthermore, it recommends changing the current two plus carpool designation to a three plus designation. This means that anyone who currently carpools with one other individual, which makes up most of the carpools from my observation over the years, will not be allowed to use these lanes without paying a toll. This will either force all of the two-person carpool traffic into the SOV lanes or cost the average family roughly $250 per month in order to continue to use these lanes—forcing these carpools, who are already being responsible by helping reduce traffic, to be penalized either with a substantially increased commute or a huge hit to their family’s budget. I have some serious concerns with this. There are many more creative solutions out there to alleviate the congestion on I-405. Increased bus service, incentives to get SOV drivers out of their cars to take the bus, join a car or vanpool, or telecommute, keeping the HOV lane “as is”, while creating a new HOT lane, as well as utilizing the BNSF rail that runs along a fair stretch of this corridor for commuter rail are just a few possible solutions. The study seems to focus too much on generating money rather than tackling the root issue of congestion. Go to www.wsdot.wa.gov and type “Eastside corridor final report” in the search field to review this report. There are dozens upon dozens of comments from other commuters with similar concerns. House Bill 2941 would authorize the DOT to move forward with their plans. Contact your state representatives (www.leg.wa.gov) and urge them to oppose this bill and the HOT lane plan, before a hasty decision is made. Just because HOT lanes are glamorous does not necessarily make them the right fit for our region.
Will Brandt Lake Stevens Technology should come before new stadium Dear Editor,
In the pages of the Journal there have been both letters to the Editor and a lengthy editorial by staff about supporting a tax increase for Lake Stevens schools. The citizens in Lake Stevens are historically very supportive of schools in the form of tax increases but it is time for a different viewpoint on this one. I have six kids in the Lake Stevens School District. Two of them are currently playing high school sports and I have two younger ones that most likely will. I coach a year round softball team where a large emphasis of winter training is preparing the young ladies for their respective high school softball tryouts in March. I not only support school-related sports, I have a proven track record of doing such. I completely disagree with the emphasis the school district places on sports and sports facilities when it comes to these tax increases. The editorial stated that this tax increase is needed to update technology for students. Where was this concern for technology when the last tax increase was passed to tear down a perfectly good sports field and sports stadium at the high school? Was the technology in the schools perfectly fine in 2005 when the school district decided to place the priority on a new football field and stadium or could they have directed this money to technology at this time? It is time for the school bureaucracy to answer questions on what their priorities really are for Lake Stevens Schools before you give them any more of your hard earned money. Personally, I think the old football field and stadium could have lasted a while longer while we actually supported the academic future of our Lake Stevens students. Hold the school district responsible for choosing a football stadium over academics by voting no on the tax increase.