about Medicare

Let’s talk

about Medicare

Your guest editorialist, John Hughes, is either much younger than me or much more wealthy. He seems not to be in the clutches of “govamint health care,” read: Medicare. John (in the Aug. 20 issue) extols the virtues of single payer (that’s government) health care, which Medicare certainly is.

Let me tell all you young’uns, Medicare ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Why, there are more and more procedures that Medicare won’t allow (pay for.) That agency does NOT believe in “preventive” health care, such as annual physicals. They dis-allow an inoculation for “shingles” even though the vast majority of older folks are susceptible. More and more doctors are not accepting Medicare patients because they just can’t afford the low payments. And, yet, there are many cases where unscrupulous providers of medical hardware are charging an embarrassingly inflated amount for said hardware. And the administrators of the system go merrily along with the scams, perhaps unknowingly.

We always hear about the wonderful Canadian “single payer” system. Yet, vast numbers of Canadians come here as their only chance to get the care they require. In the meantime, I have read that “too few Canadian doctors” has resulted in 5 million Canadians having to do without family care. Believe me, there is a better way than the Utopian. It is called free choice.

Fred Hering


Weighing in on

ball-field story

The humor was fitting and timely with the Reporter running ads for paid obituaries and foreclosure seminars on the same page as the parks commission denial of the St. Edward field renovation proposal (Aug. 20 issue). Nevertheless, it was States Parks Director Rex Derr’s comments that provided for the greater amusement.

Director Derr claims there were three problems with the project, its footprint, limited parking and operational input. Another concern was whether State Parks should be involved in such endeavors. He said that, “We don’t want to get into the ball-field business. That’s the responsibility of municipal government.” The proposal did call for an expansion of a quarter acre — in a 316-acre park. But the completed field would have been a net decrease in field space due to giving back grassy areas at the east side of the field. Additionally, the proposal would have given the park an additional 59 parking spaces.

What Derr failed to mention is that when State Parks acquired the park it already possessed significant recreational facilities like a gym, pool and ball fields. And when the State Parks Commission took up the issue of recreational facilities at its Jan ‘07 meeting, its specifically discussed St. Edward and that it should be treated as an exception to its statewide policy. Furthermore, the ball-field proposal had been submitted to Parks nearly two years earlier and the St. Edward Advisory Committee had endorsed the idea of creating up to three ball fields at the site.

When the commission adopted the parks management plan, the plan specifically stated, “Continue use of the field for a variety of organized and unorganized recreational events. Prepare development, use and maintenance agreements with local organizations including baseball, softball, soccer and cricket and the city of Kenmore.” That looks rather clear and it is consistent with parks staff recommendations and with the commission’s prior knowledge of the ball-field proposal.

But when Director Derr commented on the St. Edward Park’s master plan and the commission’s actions he stated, “Things were fuzzy and vague with the terms of what any change could be.” They were not. There was a clear proposal that has been on the table for more than three years, there was extensive parks staff input into the parks management plan and there was the approval of the classification and management plan by the parks commission. If it was “fuzzy and vague,” then why would parks staff recommend such a poorly written and irresponsible management plan for their own commission to approve?

Lastly, Derr indicated that two fields could be a viable option and that, “There may be a reasonable degree of development of fields that would still fit in with the aura that a state park should maintain.” That statement is in complete contrast to when he previously stated that, “We don’t want to get into the ball-fields business.” And if he does believe that there is still development potential at the site then why didn’t he have the courtesy to raise the issue at the Anacortes Commission meeting? After all, he was sitting up on the stage with commissioners flanking either side and he had ample opportunity.

State parks actions demonstrated a complete lack of respect to the process of how the ball-field proposal made it to its agenda, to the time, effort and tens of thousands of dollars spent by the city of Kenmore and to the overwhelming support that this plan generated within the greater community.

Brent Smith

Highland Appraisal Group, Inc / Real Property Associates

Feeling two-timed

in Snohomish

I attended a Bothell City Council meeting June 3 in support of the annexation of Bothell’s MUGA (municipal urban growth area) in Snohomish, where I reside. There was a yes vote to advance the process to a vote by all citizens in the area in 2009.

Now I hear that barely a month later, Bothell City Council voted to look into annexing Kirkland’s agreed on municipal growth area at the request of King County.

What’s going on? There have been many meetings over many years. Growth areas were agreed on. Commitments made. Why change things now? Both Snohomish and King County are encouraged under Washington State Management Act to annex unincorporated urban areas. Both are pushing incorporation. Bothell straddles both counties. To whose tune is Bothell’s City Council dancing? What about us in Snohomish, within Bothell’s MUGA-seeking annexation, in good faith to whom commitments were made and who have been told before to wait?

Right or wrong, I’m feeling two-timed and find myself speculating on what knavery might be behind this.

Adelaide W. Loges

Bothell (unincorporated Snohomish)