Letters for the week of Jan. 9

Jan 09, 2013

Voters were ignorant of levy details

Editor, The Beacon:

I believe the first gulch campaign only did as well as it did due to ignorance of the details know by Mukilteo property owners and a deceptive Save the Gulch campaign, which lacked details of exactly what was in danger of development, and what was not [“New director to lead gulch campaign,” The Beacon, page 4, Jan. 2].

Some I spoke with thought that the entire gulch was in danger, instead of just part of the upper (south) west gulch area. The lower (north) and central areas are already largely Mukilteo-owned.

A review of maps show much of the affected land is actually in Everett, and some of it may be wetlands, per the gulch group’s own website, which potentially could also limit the extent of possible development.

Not readily available from their website is the status of all the rest of the gulch. However, up the middle is BSNF owned, and the east side is primarily Boeing and some BSNF owned property, which seem to not be at risk at this time.

The cost to Mukilteo property owners appears low when listed the way it was, but the total cost to homeowners for the five-year period would equal $1 per $1K home value (so $350 for a home valued at $350K).

Even though many members of the Save the Gulch group appear to be Everett residents, and many of the users are from Everett (and the land is primarily Everett land), Everett residents are not contributing to the purchase, rather only Mukilteo property owners!

One of the "plea" columns in The Beacon, just after the November ballot, highlighted the use of the gulch by the Everett Cascade High School Cross Country Team (I believe), and how they would hate to lose this! Not exactly a compelling plea when they (or their parents) would not be contributing anything to the purchase price.

While saving the land for park use would be nice, it would be great if all those pushing for it will actually be contributing to the cost at least as much as the average Mukilteo property owner will, especially if this will lower the cost for us.

Those from the Everett side who actively use this area and are pushing for Mukilteo to purchase it need to put their money where their mouth is and contribute. Maybe some are, but I am confident many are just waving the banners but don't plan to foot any of the bill!

If this goes to ballot again, I hope that it includes a clearer picture of the affected area so that voters can decide with full understanding of the impact whether they think it is worth the additional cost to them, and if they are willing to try and compel their neighbors to pay for it via a property tax increase.

I also hope that some additional options are proposed to share some of the non-grant cost among primary supporters and users, preferably to help lower the total cost to Mukilteo homeowners.

Best regards,

Guy Courtemanche,

Mukilteo

Vote ‘no’ on Save the Gulch 2.0

I would hope that if a gulch levy makes it to the ballot again that voters will take the time to understand the impact of this special interest initiative.

Mukilteo has enough fiscal problems without adding yet another tax on residents for a project that benefits a handful of "save the trees" advocates.  Go for the grants, have a bake sale or have your little special interest group fund this, but taxing everyone in Mukilteo is ridiculous.

I will vote NO on Save the Gulch 2.0 and encourage everyone I know in the city to do likewise.

Ed Kunigonis,

Mukilteo

The only winner will be the attorney

So attorney Dr. Barbara Lichman and Marine Joe Marine are "very confident" of just exactly what [“Attorney ‘confident’ city will win appeal,” The Beacon, front page, Dec. 26]?

It seems that in almost 30 years of this kind of effort, Dr. Lichman can cite only three rather wimpy examples of "wins" (I assume that if she had better examples, she would have cited those.).

One was a win that, by her own admission, will never be repeated. The second was a win that only got "some" additional compensation (not saying how much, of course). The third was a win that only got some air issues further analyzed (and I wonder how that worked out for her client).

I would venture a guess that in these three cases, as well as all of the others she has undoubtedly pursued (as a "specialist" in this area of practice) over these years and lost, the real winner has been Dr. Lichman.

You see, whether she "wins" the city's case or not, she'll be sipping lattes in Starbucks for many a morning to come. She may even be able to stretch that $150K budget of Mayor Marine's into, who knows, $500K?

She is admitting that the chances are nil that commercial traffic will be stopped at Paine Field. And so we are down to looking for compensation? But just what compensation do you get for "no impact"? And how could a judge award compensation from airline(s) without also stipulating compensation from the county and/or from Boeing?

Whatever minor impact there is from the additional small commercial aircraft traffic certainly shouldn't bear the total "mitigation" burden when Boeing is flying 747s in and out of Paine Field several times a day – would that make sense to you? Really now? Oh, come on now; you know better!

Folks, the only "compensation" involved in this effort will be from the city to Dr. Lichman. It's her "cottage industry." Some people weave mittens to sell in the farmer's market and some people go around suing airports.

It's a good gig, if you can get it. The only problem is finding a client that is gullible enough to foot the bill. Along comes Mukilteo's mayor and council with money just hanging out of their pockets!

I'll tell you what: For every dollar of mitigation I get out of this effort (for all that terrible suffering I endure as a citizen) I'll be waiting down at Starbucks, and if somebody will just bring along another $2.57, I'll have enough to buy at least one latte with Dr. Lichman.

Mayor Marine, can I count on you?

John Troy Baker,

Mukilteo

Urge officials to fight FAA decision

Save Our Communities would like to remind everyone that if they haven’t contacted Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and the Snohomish County Council, now is the time to send them an email urging them NOT to accept the FAA's flawed study and finding of “no significant impact.” It doesn't comply with federal or state law.

Ask them to reject the FAA promise to do more studies in the future and reject the FAA's study for the State Environmental Policy Act.  The county should require a new comprehensive SEPA study of all the impacts of a growing number of flights.

Additionally, they should legitimately study the alternatives as required. Don't let the FAA make us pay for the impacts of starting and growing commercial flights from Paine Field year after year. Do the right thing. Serve our communities' well being for the future.

Call the council today at 425-388-3494 or email them; county council addresses can be found at socnw.org.

Thank you!

Greg Hauth,

Save Our Communities

These people don’t ‘snap’ – they’re mentally ill

My compliments to the ombudsman for these school safety tips [“Tips for school safety in the New Year,” The Beacon, page 5, Dec. 26]. Overall, this column emphasizes preparedness, which is essential.

I would like to point out that those who seek to do harm to our children are not acting out a fantasy they received from videogames or movies. They are simply mentally ill, regardless of what their lifestyle and entertainment choices are.

The No. 1 precaution, which is paramount to all of the above, is to understand the capacity of those who are receiving (or need) psychiatric help and of those who are taking psychiatric medications. These people don't just 'snap'.

Along the way parents, teachers and the doctors prescribing mood-altering drugs are ignoring warning signs.

We must treat our peers and our children with respect, while remaining vigilant to inconsistent, volatile behavior at the same time.

Matthew Richardson,

Edmonds

Happy New Year from your Boys & Girls Club

We wish everyone a very happy New Year! 2012 was a great year at the Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club. We want to thank all of you members and families who have participated in our programs.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of your lives. Watching our young people learn and grow is truly amazing. We also want to thank all of the families and businesses in and around our community who have donated time and money to our mission.

It is the volunteers and donor contributions that make it possible for us to serve our community by providing a safe and positive club that the kids in our community can be a part of. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Also: Attention Super School Members and Drop-ins. It’s membership renewal time.

Please call the club or stop by to renew your membership today. Membership cost is $30 a year. You can print a registration form and drop it off or mail it in to 1134 2nd St., Mukilteo, WA, 98275. Feel free to call if you have any questions. Our phone number is 425-355-2773.

Robert Cannon,

Athletic Director,

Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club

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