Letters for the week of Aug. 28

Aug 28, 2013

Chip seal is unacceptable

Editor, The Beacon:

I recently read your article on chip seal in Old Town, and I couldn't agree more with the residents who voiced their concerns [“Old Town residents not happy with chip seal,” The Beacon, Aug. 14, front page].

My family and I just moved here over a year ago, drawn by the charm of Old Town and Mukilteo. I'm a commuting parent who drops my children off at daycare along 3rd Street and travels the 3rd Street/Loveland Avenue route at least four times a day.

Unfortunately, my peaceful drive along the Rosehill Community Center was suddenly stopped by freshly “painted” pavement in 85 degree temperatures, which quickly translated into tar rock that melted into my front tires and black tar spat underneath my entire undercarriage.

I was following a very expensive BMW, and the driver had to pull over to “dry” pavement to quickly check their tires, only to see that their shoes were also melting into the pavement.

This is totally unacceptable for a town that is trying to attract the affluent shopper/diner/resident or ordinary parent trying to pick up their kids.

The roads should have been shut down for the pavement to cure and done in stages, as to not disrupt local traffic at once.

I've continually asked my daycare about status of the roads, as the condition is far from complete in my mind, and they so far have been ignored.

If my tires are not covered by warranty, I will be contacting the construction company for some sort of reimbursement.

Thank you for my opinion and voice,

Jenni Altmyer,

Mukilteo

Chip seal – it really doesn’t work

Regarding your recent story on chip sealing Mukilteo streets: The streets in our neighborhood are an indication that the process really doesn’t work very well.

In some areas of the Elliott Pointe neighborhood, as much as 40 percent of the gravel has chipped away.  On almost all streets, there are bare patches and streaks that are getting bigger every week.

There is ripped chip seal is in front of our neighbor’s house.  The corner of 70th and Lumley is the primary entrance to Elliott Pointe, so I see this mess several times a day.

Our garage is littered with black tarry gravel that has stuck to the car’s tires.  And if, by chance, you walk to the mailbox with bare feet, you’d better hope that your mailbox is on your side of the street, as chip seal roads are painful to walk on.

The city chose low cost over quality, and it got what it paid for.

Dan Wright,

Mukilteo

Why elementary schools are bursting at the seams

In response to the recent Your Schools publication for residents of the Mukilteo School District:

“Why are Mukilteo’s elementary schools so large? The enrollment in the Mukilteo School District has been growing.” (Gee, really? Who wrote this? I hope they’re not in charge of my school system.)

Here’s my own Q&A on the issue.

Q: Why are Mukilteo elementary schools so large?  A: They are in Everett.  (Huh?)

Q: Why has the enrollment in the Mukilteo School District been growing?  A: All the multi-family high density housing zones in south Everett are at 95 percent occupancy and the city of Everett planning department shows no sign of abating unfettered growth and zoning of this sort in the "Mukilteo" school district.  (Hmm, go on.)

Q: Why were the growth projections unanticipated or wrong?  A: The Mukilteo School District superintendent and the head of the Everett planning department did and still do a poor job of communicating the residential construction that Everett was, is, and will be approving and completing in the "Mukilteo" school district. (Aww, c’mon you’re such a critic.)

Q: Why does the district need more special levy money again in addition to what is already allocated by current taxes?  A: For years the Washington state school districts have been allowed to spend special levy money on salaries and not on the things the levies were intended for.  (That can’t be true. Now you’re just making things up.)

Q: Why is the Kamiak High School attendance boundary gerrymandered?  A: There are two adjacent school districts that overlap two cities (in name only) that have different planning departments and school districts that communicate poorly with one another and result in idiotic gerrymandering.  In addition, city representatives and school leadership will tell you they have nothing to do with each other as though the two exist in two separate vacuums.  (You would think that if they mislead you about where levy money goes, they could at least say they work together.)

Q: If all the other parents are happy in the district, why aren't you? A: You’re a curmudgeon. (What did you call me?!)

Q: Why don’t the Mukilteo and Everett school districts just merge together?  A: It would reduce administrative costs, save money, allow the two districts to share/exploit underutilized resources, promote efficiency, and the Mukilteo School District would not need a new administration building because Everett just built one. (Oh, brother. Here we go again.)

Q: Why doesn’t Everett just annex Mukilteo?  A: Residents of “Mukilteo” like to pretend we live in a better community than crummy old Everett, and we like having to spell M-U-K-I-L-T-E-O every time we tell people where we live.

Parents are happy! Eat at McDonalds! Pay more school levy taxes for burgeoning Everett! You don't get to elect the people that affect your community most!  Joke’s on you “Mukilteo”!

Brian Bodge,

Mukilteo

CERT in need of volunteers

Last weekend’s Emergency Preparedness Open House was a great event [“Open house for emergency preparedness,” The Beacon, page 7, Aug. 21]. I was there with CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team.

Which reminds me: We have a CERT class that starts Sept. 19. It is an eight-week class, but you only meet once a week.

You learn some basic first aid, how to turn off gas to your home, how to use a fire extinguisher, what tools to use to lift heavy objects off of people, etc. The class is fun and easy.

The classes are normally in Brier, as they have a class room set up. I signed up at our local fire station for the CERT class. It was worth a trip to Brier. Easy to get to as, it is not too far from Alderwood Mall, and all of us go there.

They also offer ham radio training for free. You need to buy a manual and pay the FCC $15 for the test.  Then you can join Emergency Services Coordingating Agency, CERT and RACES, which is the Radio Amateur Communication Emergency Services.

I was then a qualified CERT and assigned as a RACES member to the Mukilteo Emergency Operations Center as a radio operator. The EOC is located in our police department.

During a major earthquake, there is a very strong chance that electric power will be out, as well as land line phones and cell service.  So RACES uses ham radios to maintain contact with other cities for aid and also with local services. CERT teams report to the local EOC managers.

The more people we have trained in our community, the better off we all will be.  We need younger volunteers from 18 to whatever.  I'm a senior, so I know I will need help transporting victims.

Everyone should take the classes, as you first take care of your own family and home, then take care of your neighbors, then maybe the community.

For more information, go to http://www.citizencorps.gov/cc/showCert.do?id=44448.

Dennis Hutton,

Mukilteo

Limited waterfront access could lead to a disaster

I seem to be developing an even more active imagination than in the past (probably due to advancing age), and have been envisioning a particularly distressing scenario that could happen in our fair city.

Imagine a busy waterfront on Saturday, say during the Lighthouse Festival: Thousands of people in Lighthouse Park, boaters, diners at Ivar's and Diamond Knot.

Imagine a relatively mild 5.5 or 6.0 earthquake occurring on the South Whidbey fault, which runs under the city. Imagine the 525 bridge across the BNRR tracks destroyed or disabled, and many casualties on the waterfront.

Since the only other access to the waterfront, the Mt. Baker crossing off Mukilteo Lane, has been closed indefinitely, the above scenario, or any situation that damages the bridge, could cancel ferry traffic, strand hundreds to thousands of people, and, in the case of a serious quake or other disaster, result in loss of life.

With no ability for emergency vehicles to enter the waterfront, the potential number of casualties could be substantial.

For this vital, and oldest, part of the city to be left so vulnerable to a 50-year-old bridge is short-sighted at best.

Hopefully, our city officials are working behind-the-scenes to do something to restore access to the waterfront.

We need to prevent our waterfront from being forever  'rail-locked' but for an aging, vulnerable bridge.

Fred Taylor,

City Council candidate,

Position 3

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