For the first time in our many years of attending the Aquafest parade, we were thoroughly disappointed in the conduct of the viewing public and the failure of the parade to move smoothly down Main Street. The decision to put all the street fair vendors along Main was, in my opinion, a mistake. First, the vendor tents made finding a spot to view the parade nearly impossible. Secondly, people didn’t know, or care that there was a parade proceeding along the street. We stood near an Aquafest volunteer who fought a losing battle trying to keep people from wandering in the path of parade vehicles (we watched a woman and her toddler run between two moving dump trucks, with no way the driver could have seen her), and watched a police officer who was met with rude comments and indifference in asking people to detour behind the vendor tents. I was appalled by their lack of consideration for the parade participants and their fellow attendees. Even parade participants wandered back down Main, although signs indicated the parade route continued around the corner at 16th and all the way back up 127th. We saw numerous people seated along 127th, but in seeing parade participants back on Main within minutes of their passing us, we knew the route must have not made it back the way it was meant to proceed. In looking at the Aquafest map, it appeared the vendor tents were not even meant to be on Main Street and I believe that had the side streets and original configuration been adhered to, the parade would have been met with a much better reception. If this year’s configuration and route are going to be the norm, then perhaps my family and I need to reconsider making Aquafest one of our summer festival stops.
Carol Brister Lake Stevens A sincere thanks to neighbors and paramedics Dear Editor,
It was Thursday July 15, and I was setting up for a yard sale and then it was Saturday and I was waking from a three-day coma. My wife was sitting by my bed and having learned that no one had any idea as to what happened to make me stop breathing. But I learned on Sunday that my neighbors had come over and cleaned up and stored all the items in my yard and did some helping of my wife. After 12 years in this neighborhood I have seen changes, but being a neighbor never has. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to those who came by and helped, and to the Paramedics who rushed to save my life, the best in this state I think.
John Worley Lake Stevens Tanning tax only scratches the surface Dear Editor,
The editorial: “Tanning tax ticks me off” from the July 21 Journal, only scratches the surface of taxes you are against, well as long as they don’t have a strong lobby. The p rogressives want to ban anything they believe is bad for us, live in a much regimented society and if that doesn’t work then tax what they don’t want you to do. I am sure the tanning industry has a small lobbying group and is a perfect target. Our state is the same with the candy, cigarettes, liquor, and bottled water taxes and/or fees. People say they are bad for you and if you won’t stop, then pay more for them. I mean the bottled water tax is for children’s health care and not environmental, which is the complaint about the plastic bottles and therefore the tax doesn’t support the meaning for taxing the item. I read a great article on “Reason.com” and it really focused on how progressives have no faith in the American people’s judgment, that we are gullible and uninformed. Government should show faith in its people and let us decide what is best for our lives and back-off. We all will not make perfect decisions at every instance, but they are our mistakes to make and therefore live with. Our elected officials are supposed to represent us, not rule over us as if they are a monarchy and that is how they are currently governing.
Todd Welch Lake Stevens Unemployment insurance is not welfare Dear Editor,
The Republicans seem to think that the unemployment extensions for Americans that cannot find jobs is a form of welfare. They are saying that it would be better to give small businesses tax breaks in hopes of creating more jobs. I don’t disagree with giving small businesses tax breaks, but most are not doing well financially and I don’t feel that the tax breaks would help create new jobs at this point. I have personally been laid off for eleven months and out of hundreds of resumes sent out have only had one phone interview and one interview in person. I want to work. I get less than half of the money on unemployment as I did at my job and I don’t have medical or dental insurance. I had to lease out my house that I’m upside down in because of this economy in crisis and rent an apartment. So let’s not think for a moment that unemployed people are sitting back enjoying the time off and are just waiting for the insurance to run out and then they will look for work. This is not the case. Our governing officials didn’t seem to have any problems with giving big business and banks billions of dollars after they created this terrible crisis in our economy and then the banks screwed the Americans once again with astronomical interest rates on our credit cards, even for those who were responsible and were never late on payments. Wow, they really know how to thank the taxpayers for the bail out. This is not the time for Americans to sit back and just take it. We all need to write our representatives and make them do their jobs. They are elected officials that are paid well and have the best insurance available. They work for us. Let’s not forget that.
Eric Page Lake Stevens Pride, honor and gratitude for Aquafest and volunteers Dear Editor,
What an exceptional community of volunteers there is in Lake Stevens! Aquafest weekend just passed and it is the most premier annual event to display the coming together of countless volunteer efforts that benefit our community. All of it is put on by volunteers from the Aquafest committee itself, The Kiwanis who host the Beer Garden, Rotary, Lions, Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce, Family Center, Boys & Girls Club, Purple & Gold, American Legion, Fire Dept (Pancake Feed), Explorers, rowers, Water ski and Wakeboard club, local churches, Senior Center, Historical Society, The City of Lake Stevens that give over the “keys” to the city and provides their folks and also all the generous sponsors that give in-kind or financial support to put on this massive event. Jim Mitchell writes in his book “My Town” one of the strongest characteristics of this community are the volunteers. Volunteerism is alive and abundant. Thank you the past, present and future volunteers. There is so much pride and honor in this community. Thank you for being part of the town many of us call home. Volunteers are always welcome to all the mentioned entities. (Apologies if I missed any of you as you all count and are appreciated.) Get involved or just give thanks. I know we love it here and our children and grandchildren do too. Live on Lake Stevens.
Fellow Volunteers Jan and Lorrie Larsen Citizens pay for First Class and get no class Dear Editor,
“First Class” subsidies on Amtrak are paid by you, if you are a taxpayer. How many of you actually can even take a weekend car vacation this year given the current economy? While only 16 percent of Amtrak passengers opt for “Sleeper or First Class” travel, Amtrak loses money on each of these travelers because they don’t charge enough to cover their expenses. This loss is estimated to be $1.2 billion over a ten year period of time with passenger numbers staying the same. Rick Larsen, once again, seems unable to stop spending money he doesn’t have nor will he see in his lifetime. He has voted against this potential savings to taxpayers even though Amtrak has losses of more than twice as much as it generates and has since its inception. Why are taxpayer’s monies used to prop up some companies? Is Amtrak a government favorite? Why don’t they just charge the amount they need to for “First or Sleeper Class” service? I don’t know if this $1.2 billion is included in the over $13+ trillion dollar debt the Federal government has managed to spend because I do know that there are lots of “sleight of hand” tricks played by politicians and government agencies and private industries when it comes to being truthful to taxpayers. And, while $1.2 billion is indeed a drop in the bucket, I say we need to trade the “bucket” in for a “tank” as our “bucket” runneth over and not for our benefit. If you can afford more of the same, then keep the same people in office, but if you believe we can no longer afford a total lack of fiscal restraint, then vote for John Koster for a change of direction.