Property taxes, trees, diversity, Westgate | Letters to the Editor

Feb 23, 2018

Much wailing and cries after election, property taxes

Re: “Retirees can’t keep up with tax increases,” Letters, Feb. 8:

Unfortunately, many voters didn’t take (or didn't have) the time to truly understand what they were voting for. A good example: Sound Transit 3 taxes.

When the bill actually arrives (car tabs, prop taxes, etc.), there is much wailing and cries of "how could this happen?" The ballet vote for those in the Edmonds School District that was due Feb. 13 came before homeowners received their 2018 property taxes in the mail (they can be seen online via the Snohomish County Assessor's site, but again most voters won't be looking).

I'm pretty sure there was much wailing again when those bills were opened.

Jim Shelton
Edmonds

 

Who approves what books go into Edmonds schools?

In response to your Feb. 15 article “Books help increase diversity awareness at Edmonds schools,” I was unaware the Edmonds School District permits an outside group such as the Edmonds Diversity Commission to provide books of their choice to our elementary school libraries.

Whose approval is needed for a group to participate in our tax-funded education system? Are there other groups of whom we have no knowledge that are given the same privilege? Who reviews the contents of these publications? Who makes the final decision for acceptance?

It does not go unnoticed here that the chair of the Diversity Commission also is, according to your article, the vice president of the Edmonds School District board.

I raise these questions only because, as Hillary Clinton once proclaimed, “it takes a village” to care for our children and, therefore, incumbent upon all of us to be cognizant of what is being taught in our schools.

Carol Wilson
Edmonds

 

Economic Development and Community Services Director Patrick Doherty, a member of the Edmonds Diversity Commission, responds: The Diversity Commission was honored to be allowed by the Edmonds School District to donate books to each of the elementary schools on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Led by Commissioner Anabel Hovig, a former teacher, the commission found six books written for schoolchildren that deal appropriately with such issues. Prior to their distribution to the schools, the books were subject to full vetting by district staff.

In fact, even the superintendent herself was involved in the process. The books will be available at the schools’ libraries for interested students. Lastly, the donation of books to the district is not a novel concept, as donations are accepted yearly through its book drive.

 

Will stay away from Westgate shopping center

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read about the city of Edmonds allowing a developer to cram a 91-unit apartment complex next to Bartell Drugs (“New apartments, fewer parking stalls,” Feb. 15) at Westgate.

And they are seriously relocating the relatively new Bartell’s? This area is already congested with limited parking available. What happened to all these grandiose plans by the city to make the Westgate shopping area more people and vehicle and business friendly?

I, for one, will be staying away from this area whenever possible in the future, which may mean changing drugstores.

Mike Shouse
Edmonds

 

The corkscrew willow

Thomas Fuller once wrote that “He that plants trees loves others beside himself.” This may not even be the best expression of that thought, but it was close at hand as I pondered the strange case of the neighborhood corkscrew willow (“Tree tantrums,” Feb. 15).

It stuns us a little because, for those who walked by it daily and savored its shade or heard the wind flutter its leaves, it seemed like “their tree.” It was none of their business, but the actual beneficiaries of that tree were not primarily those who owned it.

Those who plant or preserve trees (when it is certainly easier to maintain any property without them) “love others beside themselves.” Their trees provide oxygen and beauty to all of us, improve soil retention, dampen traffic noise, call birds and wildlife to themselves, and shield our roofs from wind or the pounding summer’s heat.

Even our blood pressure is now shown to normalize as we walk beneath them. We owe a debt of gratitude to our neighbors who plant and preserve those icons of the bounteous Northwest – its beautiful trees.

Dawna Lahti
Edmonds

 

Sticking together: A beautiful column from Joanne Peterson

Very sorry for your loss, Joanne.

You wrote such a beautiful and loving homage for your dear friend (“Goodbye to a steady friend,” Home Again, Feb. 8). As we know, writers stick together even after we go “home again.”

There is always another tale to tell.

Vivian Murray
Edmonds

 

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