As they ponder committing Bothell residents and businesses to a $21 million purchase of school-district property in downtown Bothell for commercial development, our city mothers and fathers might consider the value of preserving an important greenbelt on the western slopes of the North Creek Valley, west of Interstate 405.
At issue is the community’s last large acreage of old and second growth forest, situated on 63.45 acres commonly referred to in “development” circles as the Boy Scout property on the hillside above 405, just north of the Northeast 195th Street exit. The hill to the east of the valley is dotted with residential density once unimagined long before growth management became popular.
Sandi Clement is among neighbors with homes bordering the property who are appealing to Bothell citizens to encourage the City Council to find a bonding opportunity or some other financing mechanism to purchase the site and spare the land from proposed housing development.
She points out that the area contains no less than nine wetlands, seven streams and an active wildlife habitat for deer, raccoons, possum, coyotes, mountain beavers and many other species, as well as abundant bird populations.
City publicists say the purchase of the 18-acre school tract will allow Bothell “to capture its long-term vision for downtown development.” The Boy Scout acreage is not far from downtown. I wonder what value our elected officials and city staff place on preservation of a treasure of the city’s natural environment, as well.
If you feel strongly about preserving this habitat, now is the time to contact members of the City Council to voice your support. To my mind, this is equally important as speaking your piece about whether the city should roll the dice that now is the economic climate in which Bothell taxpayers would be burdened with land that may or may not have held its value since the city first entertained purchase months ago at the $21 million price tag.
When I heard of the death at age 88 of Woodinville business community leader Lowell DeYoung, the first thing that popped to mind was the fact the community has lost another important mover and shaker of great importance. What stayed with me as I considered the impact of his loss was the manner in which Lowell conducted business in Woodinville and throughout the region. His handshake was his word — a contract you could count on and “could always take to the bank.” Rare, indeed, are those who come to mind who still practice such a trusting style of business relationships.
Coffee world jolted
Starbucks’ plan to cut thousands of jobs this year must have come as a real caffeine jolt to Northshore citizens who frequent the area’s coffeehouses. I am concerned for those who may lose their job and benefits locally as a result, but I still wonder at the need for 14 Starbucks locations from Lake Forest Park to Woodinville, Canyon Park to Bothell.
You might guess I am not a coffee drinker, but I do enjoy a cup of tea in such “gathering place” atmosphere and locations where friends can meet to plot for public good and for personal reflection.
At one time earlier in my newspaper days, I toyed with the idea of being a sports writer. My, how things have changed, notably in the first name of athletes. In one article in a recent daily newspaper hereabouts, I spotted such postmodern names as Arkelonm Jahvid, Jacquizz, LeSean, Shonn, Javon, Dabo and Terrelle. Not a single one passed the spellcheck test.
Whatever happened to Bill, Joe, Mary and Ted?
John B. Hughes was owner-publisher of the Northshore Citizen from 1961 to 1988 and is active in local nonprofit organizations.