Letters for week of Oct. 31
'Good shot' not news
Editor, The Beacon:
I sat down to eat my breakfast this morning, looking forward to reading The Beacon, as I do every Thursday morning. I got sick to my stomach when I saw your front page article "Young hunter bags big buck," which even included a photo of the beautiful dead animal on page 5 [Oct. 24].
As an animal lover, that is the last thing I want to read about in my local community paper. I know hunters have their reasons and they believe it is an amazing feat to kill an innocent animal but, in my opinion, it is not newsworthy and certainly not worth a front page story.
I am sure I am not the only Beacon reader that feels his "accomplishment" is not noteworthy nor worth celebrating.
We need Lighthouse Park parking now
Mr. Emery, I believe your argument is specious [“Paid parking may not be practical,” Guest View, page 4, Oct. 24]. We are blessed to have such a place as our Lighthouse Park. As a frequent user of the park (year round), I see just how "loved to death" that the park is, especially in peak months.
As a Mukilteo citizen for the past 20 years, I would be happy to pay a nominal local resident fee for a yearlong pass to the park if it meant that (1) It required other non-Mukilteo citizens to pay a premium for using our park facilities, and (2) it increased my chances for getting access to the park, even during peak usage dates.
We can't wait until the Tank Farm is developed. Our city's citizens need to be able to access the park NOW.
James A. Cronin,
Vote ‘Yes’ on Prop. 1
Mukilteo voters will face no dearth of choices on their ballots this November. But an effort to ratify the good work done by the Mukilteo City Council to preserve the Japanese Gulch Prop. 1 deserves their attention, and their vote to approve.
Unknown to most visitors of the gulch, up until 2008, the vast majority of the land was privately owned.
Over the past four years, the Japanese Gulch Group has partnered with the city of Mukilteo and legislative leaders to begin the purchase of the Japanese Gulch property and protect the land from industrial development.
Substantive progress was made this year when the council agreed to take over the purchase. Their legislation referred to the electorate a proposal that would create the funds necessary to preserve the gulch from unwanted industrial development and to make it more accessible for families, community members and visitors alike.
Prop. 1 would levy about $60 annually from Mukilteo households to finalize purchase of the gulch and to make headway in increasing its accessibility to all residents. Prop. 1 will raise $3.2 million that can only be used to secure the purchase of the 98 acres left of the gulch that are for sale.
Unlike risky bond measures that can strain a municipality's credit rating, this levy will raise funds directly associated with the purchase of the gulch. That's the equivalent of paying off a 30-year mortgage in just five years' time.
While the gulch can represent different things to different people, be it a great hiking trail, an informative field trip locale or an awesome mountain biking area – surely, we can all agree, that in light of industrial development, preservation of the land is paramount.
The gulch already exists as an economic driver for Mukilteo, drawing in residents all over the state and promoting the vibrancy of our small local businesses.
Failure of Prop. 1 will result in a huge step backward for the good work that's been made over the last four years to complete this vital local project. It will also reopen the possibility of leveling the lands for industrial development.
Vote “Yes” on Prop. 1 to save the gulch and ensure these lands will be protected for Mukilteo residents for years and years to come.
Japanese Gulch Group,
Vote "Yes" on R-74
I disagree with several of the reasons Sherwood and Maureen Sage [“Vote ‘No’ on Referendum 74,” The Beacon, Letters, page 5, Oct.17] give in asking us to reject at the polls equal marriage rights for #all consenting adult couples.#
In the legal sense this has nothing to do with what the Bible says because the Constitution, not the Bible, is the law of our land, and because R-74 doesn't require #any church# to perform same sex marriages against its belief. Rather it protects the rights of those who don't share the Sages’ belief in this regard.
Many opposite sex couples now marry and either delay having children or choose not to have children all together. Marriage now days is for two consenting adults to share their love with each other, it's no longer so the woman is the mandatory vessel for the man's seed.
As a heterosexual man I'm aware that giving same sex, consenting adults the same right to marry in no way harms me. It just helps to make those couples' lives and love more complete.
Please vote "Yes" on R-74.
Reject Referendum 74
Some time ago, you published a letter we sent to you regarding marriage and the common good. Since then, we were successful in stopping the corrupting of our marriage law by redefining it through legislative fiat.
Now it is up to the voters to put a stop to the progressive agenda by rejecting Referendum 74. Do it for our children.
Marriage is not a right, but a public recognition of a relationship between a man and a woman, which carries certain rights and responsibilities for the two adults. But, it is much more.
Marriage in faith and societal traditions is acknowledged as the foundation of civilization. It has long been recognized that the stability of society depends on the stability of family life in which a man and a woman conceive and nurture new life.
In this way, civil recognition of marriage has sought to bestow on countless generations of children the incomparable benefit of a loving mother and father committed to one another in a lifelong union.
Upholding the present definition of marriage does not depend on anyone’s religious beliefs. Washington state’s present law defining marriage as, “a civil contract between a male and a female,” is grounded not in faith, but in reason and the experience of society.
Redefining marriage would mean that the state would no longer recognize the unique sacrifices and contributions made by these couples, thereby adding to the forces already undermining family life today.
Our children need a family in marriage consisting of one man and one woman; not two mothers, or two fathers, or one father and three mothers, or a 30-year-old father and a 10-year-old mother, which we already see happening in other states that have redefined marriage.
People who choose these alternate lifestyles feel just as strongly about their right to marry as anyone else. Certain members of our Legislature (Marko Liias, Mary Helen Roberts, Mary Margaret Haugen, among others) need to stop trying to legislate happiness and promoting lifestyle choices that harm our children. Redefining marriage does nothing for these lifestyles than what current law already provides.
Legalizing marriage between persons of the same sex, or any other lifestyle other than between one man and one woman, would result in a radical change in law and society, posing real threats to parental authority, personal freedom, religious liberty and the good of society.
In the interest of our children and families, reject Referendum 74.
Very truly yours,
Mr. and Mrs. Terrill Cox,
Levy makes financial sense
As a taxpayer, a parent who has relied on school busing over the years, and as a Mukilteo School District bus driver myself, I can't help but think that although my fellow citizens have always been huge supporters of our schools, the passage of this proposed bus levy is not a done deal.
I ask, as I'm sure many of you do, "Why do we need new buses?" After all, my family's experience with our school transportation has been quite good and quite uneventful.
I took sometime to sit down with our transportation director to find out why I should vote “Yes” on the levy.
I have learned that in addition to the important reasons of improved safety features on the newer buses, new buses emit considerably fewer particulates, meaning a healthier ride for our students and drivers and less pollutants throughout the district.
Other benefits include lower labor costs and increased fuel efficiency. In other words, the new buses are safer, healthier and a lot less expensive to operate.
These are all compelling reasons, but equally persuasive is the financial sense it makes for our taxpayers and for the financial good of our district.
It turns out that as a school district we are reimbursed by the state for the depreciation of our buses. But the state only provides depreciation dollars for the base price of the buses.
The district supports the funding of features that increase safety and customer service like camera systems, sanders and storage. Over the last 20 years, supporting these features has reduced the balance of the depreciation funds.
The passage of the transportation levy will reset the upfront funding enabling the district to purchase 30-35 new buses, and the depreciation generated by these buses will help to maintain the fleet for many years to come.
Please join me and vote “Yes” for this very sensible bus replacement plan.
Pass levy to replace school buses
Each weekday morning as I watch my children board the bright yellow school bus, my thoughts are the same, “Please deliver them to school safely.”
Although statistics are in their favor, other factors are always lurking in wait. Other drivers, the attentiveness of the bus driver, and of course, the bus itself have an impact on safety.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury.
Students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends, and about 20 times safer than riding with an adult.
Busing children to and from school also has a positive effect on the community by cutting down on congestion and reducing the carbon footprint effect. Each school bus takes about 36 cars out of the morning school commute (www.nhtsa.gov/School-Buses).
Unfortunately the buses in the Mukilteo School District fleet are getting old. Of 105 buses, 14 of those are more than 20 years old. Fifteen additional buses are between 15 and 20 years old and about half of the buses are more than 10 years old (www.mukilteo.wednet.edu/departments/pr/info/budget/tvf.htm).
The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services states that two scenarios have an impact on when to replace school buses. The first is any time a significant improvement in the federal standards for safety, fuel efficiency, or exhaust emission requirements of school busses occurs.
The second, when it appears that purchasing a new bus would be a better economic decision than continuing to maintain an older school bus (www.nasdpts.org/documents/paper-BusReplacement.pdf).
In the mid-1980s California and Washington both conducted independent studies to determine annual school bus operating costs. Both studies reached the same conclusion, that after 12 years the annual operating costs of Type C and D buses begin to significantly increase. These costs continue to increase each year thereafter (www.nasdpts.org/documents/paper-BusReplacement.pdf).
As parents, we do not have the ability to make other motorists drive carefully or ensure that the bus driver is paying attention. We do, however, have the ability to vote “Yes” on the Transportation Vehicle Fund Levy on Nov. 6. This one-year levy will help provide safe buses to transport children to school and back home at the end of the day.
Elect Kim Wyman for secretary of state
The 2012 Elections have been a focal point on the television, newspaper and by word of mouth. Special attention has been devoted to the presidential election and the gubernatorial election.
However, a candidate that hasn’t received enough focus but should be elected is Kim Wyman. She is the right individual to take on the task of Washington’s next secretary of state.
The reasons she deserves to hold this office is her years of experience and her nonpartisan stance.
Wyman has 20 years experience overseeing elections from serving in the office of Secretary of State Sam Reed and 11 years serving as Thurston County auditor. Wyman is a Republican, but she has served as auditor in a county that votes overwhelmingly Democratic.
Furthermore, Wyman has endorsements from 26 county auditors who are Democrat and the Democrat-leaning Washington Education Association.
By garnering support from officials and organizations on different positions across the political spectrum, Wyman has been able to make sure that that political preferences stay outside the electoral process.
She will make sure that all voters regardless of political affiliation will have access to fair and impartial elections.
Kathleen Drew has experience as a legislator, but lacks the expertise to hold this office. Kim Wyman has 20 years experience in this field and also directly oversaw 83 successful elections.
Wyman’s experience is essential in holding office that is to monitor the electoral process and instill electoral confidence among all Washington voters.