Letters for the week of March 21

Mar 21, 2012

Seeing red over ticketing cameras

Dear Editor,

With the recent Washington state Supreme Court ruling on red-light cameras, I would like to remind Mukilteo’s citizens that employment of these systems is nothing but a money grab ["Red-light camera votes ruled invalid," The Beacon, front page, March 14]!

Over a year ago, because I received a camera ticket from the city of Fife for an illegal right on a red, I decided to protest the ticket to find out what was in store for us, here in Mukilteo

To make a long story short, the “judge pro tem” ran 40 people per hour through his "court.” He read a prepared speech wherein he stated: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are not here to debate the merits of red-light cameras nor are we here to debate the safety or lack thereof in your right-hand turn on a red light.

“We are here to determine whether you made a complete stop and whether your final complete stop was prior to the white line or not. If any part of your vehicle was on or over the white line, AND/OR, you did not make a complete stop, you are in violation of the law, and will be fined according to your ticket.

“If there’s a question, we will roll the video and see.”

He then explained how we could “mitigate” the fine and simply tell him we were guilty of the infraction for a reduced fee.

I then watched hapless souls make futile attempts to defend themselves against the video. While none of these stops even came close to endangering anybody (the camera/video location was chosen to maximize sloppy rights on reds), the verdicts were rendered as swiftly as the docket of people was large.

I even watched a poor young man, who uses that corner on his way to work every day plea for mercy because he had received four tickets with the likelihood of four more coming. "Denied. Next!"

Had there been some semblance of public safety discussed, or demonstrated, I might have felt better about what was going on. But there was not even a pretense of concern.

Six hours at 40 people per hour, 4-5 days per week, tickets ranging from my mitigated ticket of $75 to $125. What a marvelous heist of revenue this was. How many others just paid the ticket?

Therefore, I strongly urge our mayor and City Council to resist the low hanging, fruit in lieu of fiscal responsibility. And I urge our citizenry to get involved to make sure that red-light cameras don't become a financial crutch for our those that serve this city.

Sincerely,

John Q. Adams,

Mukilteo

‘Stirring’ patriotic concert a big success

Dear Editor,

The Mukilteo Seniors were delighted to sponsor the Everett Chorale for the concert given March 11 at the Mukilteo community center. Mukilteo’s parks department also sponsored.

Nearly 300 people attended. The concert was a big success. Everyone enjoyed the stirring patriotic music. Guest soloist Cindy D., a local Mukilteo treasure, was very well received.

The Mukilteo Seniors thank Lee Mathews and the Everett Chorale for taking the time for so many people to have an enjoyable afternoon. Seniors hope to be able to sponsor future events.

Sincerely,

Margaret Wright and Mona Howell

Mukilteo Seniors Association

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