Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


YOUR | LETTERS for May 30, 2012 issue


May 29, 2012

USDA should not be in the home loan business

Dear Editor,

I wonder if anyone else noticed the large USDA sign over by Frontier Village. No, it’s not a FHA sign normally seen at new housing developments. It might be possible you missed it, as we all get up extra early to avoid the back-up on the trestle.

We all know who the USDA is right? At first it was the patent office in 1837, headed by Yale educated attorney Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, in 1849 the Department of Interior. In 1862 President Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture headed by a commissioner without cabinet status, calling it “the people’s department.”

President Grover Cleveland signed a bill to the cabinet level. Mr. Ellsworth earned the title “The Father of the Department of Agriculture,” headed a depository to preserve and distribute the various new seeds and plants, collected agriculture statistics and other agriculture purposes.

So how can the Department of Agriculture, whose goal is to ensure our food safety, nutrition education and food service to our citizens, be providing home loans (zero down) in urban areas.

Why is the USDA performing like a bank, giving home loans? Isn’t this the job for HUD to take on?

Agriculture is about food and providing food, not offering affordable housing and home loans. Take a look at (HEARTH) Act of 2009.

Annette Green

Lake Stevens

All I wanted was to understand more about organ donation

Dear Editor,

As a 63-year-old man, I decided that it was time to think about a will and with that came questions regarding organ donation. In researching this, I found that although my driver’s license listed me as an organ donor, it didn’t necessarily mean that I could donate all of my organs.

In my search to find out how ‘Total Body Donation’ works I contacted Providence Hospital’s Colby Campus. After being forwarded to several different people, I was soon put in touch with “the person in charge of the ER” who I hoped would answer my questions.

Unfortunately, that conversation didn’t go well.

One of the several questions I asked included, “What condition does a body have to be in to be able to use their organs? Does it matter what the cause of death is?” (Heart attack, car wreck or gun shot wound, to name a few.)

This question got me put on hold and soon I was connected with another person at the hospital who was afraid I was talking about killing myself—which I wasn’t.

The situation went from bad to worse and soon the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department was at my doorstep and escorting me to the hospital, thinking I was suicidal.

After my clothes were confiscated, guards placed at my door and four hours later, I was able to go home to my wife.

However, I now have a police record and a medical record that states, “I wanted to know that if I came to the hospital and had shot myself in the head, could I donate my organs,” which I never said. My concern is that these records may hurt me in the future.

My intent in writing this is to warn others not to have complete trust in professional healthcare workers. Even they make mistakes sometimes. One simple question got misconstrued, all I wanted was to be able to help others after I die.

If you would like to contact me call me at 425-334-6152 after 12 noon.

Joe Ashead

Lake Stevens

Concerns over marijuana growing in Lake Stevens

Dear Editor,

As I discussed the possibility of legal marijuana gardens within the city limits of Lake Stevens, I discovered that although the city followed state regulations by notifying citizens via the U.S. Mail most of my friends and neighbors threw it away without reading it …and a few were confused by the use of the word “cannabis” which is just another word for marijuana.

For those of you who didn’t read the card or missed my letter two weeks ago; the City of Lake Stevens is considering allowing legalized growing operations within the city limits, 100 feet from residential zoning, 500 feet from schools and parks, and there is no buffer zone at all to the Centennial Trail.

As we discuss this possibility several concerns arise, such as what is going to happen to our property values and the reputation of Lake Stevens. Will we now be known as a marijuana friendly town? Thus attracting those who use both medically, and those who use recreationally?

And most importantly what message does this send to our youth. And what will happen to the poor misguided youth who decide to raid/rob these “gardens”…will they be shot or otherwise injured?

Our state’s medical marijuana laws are fraught with challenges as this is the only mind/mood altering drug on the market which has not had to go through the FDA for research and approval.

As I talk with police officers it seems that there is an epidemic of 18 year olds with “glaucoma,” one of the conditions which allow marijuana as “treatment”.

My personal belief is that it is dangerous to allow these marijuana growing and distributing operations within our city.

Please contact Russ Wright, Lake Stevens Senior Planner: phone 425-212-3315, email:, or write City Hall: Attn: Russ Wright, POB 257, Lake Stevens WA 98258.

Kymm Shipman

Lake Stevens


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