LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

How to deal with card-room closure?

I’m not a big fan of gambling, but I don’t view it as a particularly significant evil. Certainly it comes in miles behind smoking and alcohol. I also rank it below fast food, which is contributing to the obesity epidemic in this country. By the same logic that caused Kenmore to give the hook to the card room, maybe it should also create laws to get rid of McDonald’s, Taco Time and Jack in the Box.

Our family bowls about twice a year. I’ve seen the guys lined up outside the card room, waiting for it to open. They look like regular folks to me — I don’t see what the big problem is.

I also don’t think that Kenmore Lanes is blowing smoke when it says that if the card room goes, the bowling alley won’t be far behind. A lot of bowling alleys in the Puget Sound area have gone under in the last 10 years, and every time I go into the Kenmore alley, I always notice how quiet it is.

This decision to axe the card room, I think, will cost the city a lot of valuable tax revenue, while at the same time knocking a bunch of citizens out of work in a tough economy. And the card players that the city is targeting? They’ll just take their business to card rooms in other areas. Big mistake by Kenmore.

Ian Allan, Bothell

Why can’t Kenmore Mayor David Baker give the Kenmore Reporter straight answers on the card-room-closure issues?

When asked for his position, the newspaper could only report that: “Baker wouldn’t say flat out whether he believed the gambling ban was or was not appropriate.” Why wouldn’t he say?

Starting in 2003, Baker ran for office as a strong supporter of the card room and often met with owner Frank Evans over a two-plus-year period. As evidence, in 2004, Baker voted against the ban. But, when the anti-gambling slate got elected in 2005, Baker flipped and voted that year to close the business down a week before Christmas, putting 120 people out of work on 10 days notice. Why? Draw your own conclusion.

Regarding the card-room closure, Mayor Baker also said it “came as a complete surprise,” and that “This all started long before us.” How can he make such a comment with a straight face when he personally voted these people out of work and then planned to leave the half-million-a-year in tax revenue out of the budget for the last four years in a row?

Are we really to believe Mayor Baker when he says the lost tax revenue ($500,000 per year) will not overly affect the city?

Todd Bergmann, Kenmore

Pirate ship pillaged

The signature pirate ship at Country Village in Bothell has been pillaged! The treasure chest and treasure, the pirate treasure map and hand-carved crocodile were all stolen recently from the favorite play structure.

The ship was built last summer and fall by 83-year-old Rod Loveless and his crew. This is Rod’s fourth pirate ship (the other three are all located on Decatur Island in the San Juans), and the most elaborate and the first to be pillaged.

The crocodile was carved and donated by Dave Westburg, a chain-saw artist who has his retail shop and studio at Country Village.

Adored by visiting children, the ship has had constant use since its installation. With a crow’s nest, cannon on the top deck, plank that retracts and extends, bell, wheel and cabin with a sand-filled floor, the ship was designed to develop both small and large motor skills.

Rod has already begun accumulating items for a replacement treasure chest — along with plans for a hopefully more vandal-proof installation.

Leeann Tesorieri, Country Village

Why print Bothell book overseas?

The city of Bothell recently made the decision to print “Bothell Then and Now,” its centennial anniversary keepsake book, in China. In a real touch of irony, the high human cost of buying printing from China really hit home, when I, as the CEO of a commercial printing company in Woodinville, directly adjacent to the city of Bothell, had to lay off seven members of my staff earlier this year as a result of the economic slowdown. Included in the layoff was longtime employee David Bothell, great grandson and namesake of David Bothell for whom the city was named.

Since I found out about this, I have been literally sick to my stomach. I am normally a very positive person and really try to look at what is right with things rather than dwell on what is wrong, but I have not been able to get over this case of shortsightedness by officials of a community that boasts a “Buy Bothell” program. Not only did they not buy Bothell, they didn’t buy local or even USA! I would love to see what the “carbon footprint” of this book is since it could well have been produced using recycled paper scraps shipped from the USA to China for manufacturing back into paper in plants where there is little if any environmental oversight, printed somewhere else in China, then shipped back to Bothell about two miles from where David worked and we could have printed the book.

But, of course, the book is environmentally friendly because it has “The Green Press Initiative” logo (whatever that stands for) and it states on the “credits” page that it is printed on recycled paper with 100 percent post consumer content. Unfortunately, it is printed in the country where children’s books and toys have been manufactured with a high lead content and baby formula and dog food with plastics in it. Somehow, I’m sure the consciences of the people who made this decision were assuaged by those logos that show they were concerned about the environment.

In a final touch of irony, David Bothell, who still lives in Bothell, now has less money to “Buy Bothell” and support those businesses that pay the taxes and the salaries of the same people that have made such shortsighted decisions. I guess they’ll just have to raise David’s property taxes to cover his spending shortfall.

Phil Parrish, Printwest president/CEO

Landmark Board provides answer

Thank you for the opportunity to provide background information regarding the printing of the Bothell historical book, “Bothell Then and Now,” as produced by the city of Bothell Landmark Preservation Board in 2008.

Our board comprises nine citizen volunteers, who wrote and created this book with no prior book-publishing experience. Because board members were unfamiliar with the book-publishing process, we hired local publisher Kent Sturgis from Epicenter Press of Kenmore to handle the complexities of printing the book. Our preference was to keep the book process as local as possible, which is why we also hired local graphic artist Marcia Repaci for book design.

Additionally, we had a limited budget and a desire to use recycled paper. With those combined factors, it made our project more challenging in order to remain both financially and environmentally responsible and to find a printer that could help us deliver on both aspects. At the time of the project research in early 2008, we were informed that most local printers weren’t interested in this relatively small-run project, and those who were interested, quoted prices that were significantly higher than our budget allowed.

In the end, the board worked with our local publisher and relied on his expertise to produce a book that represented the best value to the community for the public dollars expended. The book was published as a birthday present for the city’s centennial from the Landmark Preservation Board.

It is our hope that circumstances will be different if and when we have an opportunity to do a second printing.

Davina Williams Duerr, city of Bothell Landmark Preservation Board chair

Buckled up: still received ticket

I was pulled over by a Washington state trooper in front of the Ranch Drive-In June 17 and was ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. The only problem was that I WAS wearing my seat belt. In fact, I had put on my seat belt while leaving my house from lunch as I was going back to work, just like I do every day. I wear my seat belt religiously, and had been a huge proponent of the “Click it or Ticket” program, until that cold, cold day.

I was very cordial to the police officer, even as he repeatedly accused me of lying to him about the situation. His reasoning was that another police officer (not even in this jurisdiction) drove by and thought that I wasn’t wearing a seat belt and then radioed him to pull me over. There really wasn’t any point in trying to argue with him, as it was his word versus mine. He gave me the ticket, and I went back to work.

When I got home, I had my wife take several pictures of me sitting in my car with my seat belt on, and it was hard to tell even in a picture that I was wearing my seat belt. I understand the need for the officers to keep the public safe, but I feel their time and effort can be focused elsewhere, instead of pulling over Bothell residents and accusing them of not wearing their seat belts, when indeed they are.

I grew up in Bothell my entire life, attending Inglemoor High before going to the University of Washington. I now call Bothell my home, owning a home near Shelton View. I work with a local construction company who has a great relationship with the state police, and my wife works at a local elementary school. We offer a lot to the community, both in tax revenue and in our good nature. This has left a very sour taste in our mouths and I wanted other Bothell residents to know that this sort of thing is happening on state highways that cut through our city.

David Martin, Bothell

Supporting Buske, Swanson

Someone is often calling for change, whether it is the relocation of a traffic signal or a change in our national policy on space travel. Sometimes change is beneficial; often it just takes us off the tracks.

Such is the case, I believe, of the opposition to two of our most effective Northshore School Board members. That would be Sue Buske and Cathy Swanson. I have known both these ladies for a number of years. During that time, I have seen them working tirelessly for better, more effective education of our students. Whether it be assisting in the classroom or working to pass bond issues to raise our education standards, which both were doing long before they got on the school board, both are always on the line.

Look around, folks! It is just such effective leadership in setting and maintaining the high curricular standards that has kept the Northshore School District one of the top achieving districts in the state. How anyone could really believe they could do a better job defies understanding. I solidly support both Sue and Cathy for re-election.

Fred L. Hering, Bothell

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