Letters: Slides, test scores, cookies, and more

Feb 14, 2018

Mukilteo slides

 

Last March (almost a year ago), loose soil and debris from the city of Mukilteo right of way slid onto 61st Place West, undermining soil on my property and resulting in the closure of that street.

Since then, city employees, acting on what I believe was bad legal advice, have been strong-arming me to pay for work that is actually the city’s responsibility.

Our recent legal skirmish has clarified the city’s responsibility for stabilization of the hillside.

Now that the city clearly understands that the slide mitigation and repair of 61st Place West is their responsibility, perhaps we can move forward.

I have neighbors who depend heavily on 61st Place West for ingress and egress to their homes.  They have suffered now for almost a year under the closure of that street.

I want those neighbors and the city of Mukilteo to know that I am ready and eager to do anything I can, short of doing the city’s job for them, to see that street safely reopened.

I would also remind the mayor and the city council that those neighbors of mine who have suffered so long from the city’s inaction are taxpayers; they are voters; and they are constituents.

If they are anything like me, they will not remember the politicians’ pictures and speeches nearly as long as they will remember the actions (or in this case inaction) of the city employees who represent those candidates.

 

John Morrow

Mukilteo

 

City’s response:

 

The city of Mukilteo respects Mr. Morrow's right to be heard, whether or not it agrees with the substance.

Because this matter remains the subject of pending litigation, we will not be commenting further at this time.

The city's primary interest throughout this dispute is, and has been, to protect the safety of the Mukilteo community members who use 61st Place West for access - a concern that the city takes very seriously.

 

Andrea Swisstack

Assistant City Engineer, Mukilteo

 

 

Paine Field update

 

Thanks to all that attended the last SOC annual meeting, representing neighborhoods from Mill Creek, Edmonds, Mukilteo and beyond.

Your questions, comments, concerns and willingness to engage demonstrate our collective commitment to ensure scheduled flight and terminal operations comply with obligations to mitigate all direct and indirect impacts.

There are now three airlines that have announced flights from Paine Field, with a combined projected 24 flights per day.

The terminal isn’t even built yet!

The original 2009 FAA Environmental Assessment considered two flights per day up to a maximum of 11.5 flights per day in the fifth year.

A 2008 city of Everett study estimated five flights per day and included the possibility of a homeowners fund for mitigation.

There have been no completed assessments of the impacts of the additional flights, or if there have been, there has been no public announcement or public input.

Conditions like traffic, number of students and schools, residential projects and real estate values has changed since 2009, as has the number of proposed flights.

Additional study is required. There must be legitimate opportunities for public input.

This is what SOC has warned about for years, but was rebuked by proponents of commercial flights.

This is classic “death by 1000 cuts.”

Just a couple flights per day, just 11, just five more, just eight more, just …

None of this changes the fact that impacts should be identified and mitigated.

The FAA and county must do additional studies to address the additional flight activity, traffic, noise, air emissions and so on.

It’s critical these studies be comprehensive and objective, as the results should identify mitigation measures.

These decisions are important now, but might impact decisions for any future Paine Field expansion.

SOC and others will press for public comment opportunities in these study processes.

Lastly, the airlines can agree to mitigation actions like what time of day they fly and the type of aircraft they use.

Alaska and United announced their intention to use smaller, quieter aircraft that need less than half the runway to safely takeoff. That would mitigate some noise impacts.

This is a smart, fair thing to do and we welcome opportunities to meet with the airlines and Propeller to discuss mitigation options.

Stay tuned for announcements regarding public engagement, comment periods and how to participate.

Visit SOCNW.ORG to sign up for updates and to get additional information.

 

Mike Moore

President, Save Our Communities (SOC)

 

Consider transit and city government fiscal pressures

 

As I don't live in Mukilteo and was not directly impacted by the atrocity of July 30, 2016, I really have wanted to remain respectfully silent about the ongoing Peace Park debate.  However, after watching the Feb. 5 Mukilteo City Council debates on the city government website's live stream, I feel I need to pass a note to the city council.

So here goes: I ask the council to please consider where the Community Transit bus stops will be after Community Transit releases its new bus route configurations for Paine Field and Mukilteo sometime this March.

Parking is already at a premium, and all parking - including Sound Transit parking for the controversial Sounder - should carry a fee to help relieve the city government's fiscal pressures.

Furthermore, a significant hike up to the Peace Park from the Mukilteo waterfront as currently proposed does not appeal to me or other transit users.

Perhaps this Peace Park would be better incorporated as part of Harbour Pointe Village Park along Community Transit's Route 113 and reduce the significant fiscal pressures upon the city government of Mukilteo.

On that note, to proponents of this Peace Park: Why compound the tragedy of July 30, 2016 with another tragedy due to taking resources for a Peace Park from first responders and Mayor Jennifer Gregerson's pay?

Let's remember there were councilmembers seeking to substantially cut the mayor's salary in the last budget, which could have forced the mayor to resign.

It's time for all friends of Mukilteo like me to accept fiscal reality.

 

Joe A. Kunzler

Skagit County

Cookies create amazing experiences for young girls

 

When you buy a box of Girl Scout cookies, you help power new, unique and amazing experiences for every awesome G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) in our community.

This once a year opportunity provides girls with learning opportunities and funds for girls to create their next adventure.

With their earnings, who knows how these amazing young women will explore their world?

Will they help at PAWS? At the Mukilteo Community Garden? The Mukilteo Food Bank?

Will they cross the country to Savannah, Georgia to visit the birthplace of Girl Scouts, or cross the ocean for a cultural experience of a lifetime?

Will they go to summer camp or earn one of Girl Scouting’s highest awards?

It’s up to her and her troop. They own their adventure!

The Girl Scout Cookie Program has given thousands of western Washington girls access to life changing experiences and confidence, building entrepreneurial skills for over 100 years.

Please consider buying when you see us around town, March 2 through March 18.

Girl Scouts provides girls of all backgrounds the opportunity to grow into confident, conscientious, socially aware women who will transform the future.

 

Kathy Wilson

Mukilteo

 

 

Low test scores

 

There is a simple and inexpensive way to improve low test scores in the Mukilteo School District: Later school start times.

As reported by the Brookings Institute in May 2017, aggregate analysis of standardized test scores across the nation indicate improved scores in students attending schools with an average 60-minute later start time.

The effect is most pronounced in adolescent students, with improvement in scores roughly twice as great in disadvantaged students.

The positive effects of a later start time also include improved academic performance, decreased school absenteeism, decreased teen substance abuse and depression, and fewer motor vehicle accidents involving student drivers.

 

Schools across the country (including those in Seattle and Bellevue) are shifting to later start times no earlier than 8:30 a.m. based on this data and recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the CDC.

The Mukilteo School District is unquestionably dedicated to seeing every student succeed.

However, early start times (7:20 at Kamiak for instance) are impeding the performance of all students, who should enjoy the advantages schools across the nation are offering by starting school later.

This is a low or no-cost investment that the Mukilteo School District should implement immediately to benefit all students.

 

Elizabeth Corwin

Mukilteo

 

Great news!

 

There is great news from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

Over $112 billion has been pledged to continue to make sure 263 million children in our world finally get to go to school.

What’s exciting about this is that $110 billion of this total was pledged by the countries where these students live.

Imagine what would happen if America pledged over 20 percent of their country’s budget as some of these struggling countries did!

America did not make a pledge at the conference, but Congress has been steadily increasing the dollars we commit to the GPE.

Even though it is a small percentage of the total (less than $100 million), it inspires other donors to make a contribution.

You can help America continue this life-changing work by asking your senators and representatives to support funding for the GPE in our budget.

With these dollars added, the GPE will more likely be able to reach its goal over the next three years of putting 25 million children in school for the first time.

 

Willie Dickerson

Snohomish

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