November 24, 2013 at 8:04 AM
Protest stunt at Bellevue only heightened tension
Guest columnists Pramila Jayapal and LeeAnn Hall grossly misrepresented the “GOP’s response to the Bellevue protest” [“Why immigration is a major issue for women,” Opinion, Nov. 16].
In fact, my response was swift and oft-quoted by news sources throughout the state: “We are happy to have dialogue with anyone on the important issue of immigration reform … anyone who wants to talk with me can call to schedule an appointment.”
Instead, the writers claimed the “GOP response” was a tweet from the former state party chair, Kirby Wilbur, who no longer lives in Washington state. Simply put, Wilbur’s tweet was a disgrace. While insulting his political enemies, he also insulted Republicans over an issue where there is common ground on both sides of the aisle.
October 16, 2013 at 7:26 PM
We need someone with a cool head and strong backbone
I am a strong supporter of Kevin Wallace, and I urge you to re-elect Kevin to the Bellevue City Council on Nov. 5.
I have known Kevin for 10 years, he is always thoughtful, drives for knowledge and insight, balances bipartisan opinion and stands up for what he believes. What I appreciate most is that Kevin listens, considers and is decisive in his actions. He believes in the value in both political parties and rises above the usual rhetoric that weighs down the political process. I have worked directly with Kevin and the Bellevue City Council on the scarring issues of poverty and human trafficking, and Kevin is a passionate defender of women’s rights and the needs of all who live and work in Bellevue.
I’ve read about his opponent Steve Kasner and his “tsunami” approach to public office. And I have no interest nor any regard for such bombastic and inflammatory political tactics. We need cool heads, reasoned minds, people with business acumen and seasoned executives with strong backbones to lead the Bellevue City Council. We need Kevin Wallace to continue to work tirelessly, compassionately and determinedly on long-term planning for Bellevue and the Eastside.
Karen Olcott, Bellevue
October 8, 2013 at 7:01 AM
Quality service will continue
Solid waste is one of the core services the city provides and the quality of that service is important to our residents and businesses. [“Low bidder for waste contract slams Bellevue council decision,” NWTuesday, Oct. 1].
Republic Services has provided Bellevue with superior garbage and recycling collection for more than 30 years. By all measures, they do an outstanding job, which is why the City Council chose to stay with Republic for a new contract.
This vendor-selection process was conducted in an open and transparent manner consistent with state law. This was not a competitive bid process that required selection based on price alone. The selection criteria made clear that service quality and reliability were key to our final decision. Like many choices each of us make in buying products and services, price is rarely the sole consideration. The history of service, the value to the community and the impact of changing vendors were also carefully considered.
We scrutinized extensive information gathered through the evaluation process, considered dozens of public comments and reviewed the issues at four City Council meetings before reaching our decision.
The decision to move forward with Republic was made in the best interests of Bellevue residents and businesses. It was based on information provided in the proposals and public comments, as well as the judgment we, as policymakers, are expected to exercise each and every day.
Jennifer Robertson, Deputy Mayor of Bellevue
July 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Keep the carts in a corral
I wonder if Bellevue has looked at other cities or countries in its search for the answer to disappearing shopping carts ["Bellevue ponders measure to herd lost shopping carts," NWMonday, July 6]. I recall from living in Washington, D.C., that many area supermarkets installed railings along the edge of the store’s entrance sidewalk with openings wide enough for foot traffic to pass through but too narrow for a cart to leave the sidewalk. Full carts are left inside the railing while the customer gets his car from the parking lot.
The customer then drives alongside the railing and transfers his groceries from the cart to the car. The cart never leaves the store. An interesting side effect with this system is that many shoppers with few purchases choose to hand carry them to their cars rather than return for the sidewalk pickup.
Also, coin-operated carts, similar to those used at airports, are widely used in Europe.
– W.F. Potter, Seattle
European deposit system keeps carts at stores
Supermarkets in a European country I visit frequently use a simple automated system.
To obtain a shopping cart, one must deposit either a euro or half-Euro, which is returned to the customer when the cart is returned.
This simple system has significantly reduced the problem of people taking carts and not returning them. Perhaps a similar system would ameliorate the problem described in Bellevue, without government intervention.
– Jay Tripp, Redmond
June 28, 2009 at 3:12 PM
Principals know what’s best for students
Editor, The Times:
Professor Michael Eisenberg of the University of Washington’s Information School uses inflammatory rhetoric ["Librarians are not optional," Opinion, guest column, June 25] to criticize the decisions of nine middle- and high-school principals in the Bellevue School District to reassign their school librarians to work in the classroom. Eisenberg calls this decision a “scorched-earth policy,” even though not one librarian will lose a job and every library will remain open and staffed with library assistants. Eisenberg claims these decisions will prevent the schools from preparing their students for success in the 21st century.
What is most significant to us at the Washington Policy Center is that the Bellevue School Board has decided to allow its principals to decide how to use their staff dollars. The key recommendation of our Center for Education’s reform plan is to let school leaders lead by giving them authority over their budget and staff.
Literacy and research skills are certainly important for students to acquire. But nine school principals have decided their students are best served by placing librarians in the classroom. We agree with School Board President Carol Marks, who observes that “building administrators are in touch with their student population and know what student needs are.”
– Liv Finne, Washington Policy Center director for education, Seattle
Ask my kids: Libraries are a waste of funds
Both of my daughters graduated from the International School in Bellevue, one of the schools about to lose its librarian. The library there was always regarded mostly as a joke and played a minimal role in the excellent education they received. Their reaction to this news is the same as mine — about time.
Paying a full-time teacher to manage the library was an egregious waste of money and seemed to serve mainly as paid retirement for a burned-out teacher.
– Alan Davidoff, Bellevue
Teachers can’t adequately cover for librarians
While I heartily agree that research skills must be taught and are important generally, the districts’ good teacher-scholars should be able to handle this. I admire the innovativeness of administrators in finding ways to cover bases in difficult budget times, but I think keeping the library expertise available, without asking librarians to teach the whole day in the different role of classroom instruction, is valuable.
Working with individual topics and students on their research is too time-consuming with everything else classroom teachers do. Also, the best research skills in the world are difficult to employ as effectively for learning if there is no one available to catalog and keep the library in order. If less librarians are available than previously, a larger group of library assistants and tutors may be needed to supplement the efforts of head librarians, though some benefits will be lost probably due to their less-relevant training.
It seems a shame to lose any librarians, and certainly there are large numbers of unemployed teachers and instructors to draw upon to cover classroom needs as well.
I do agree that in terms of priorities classroom instruction must come first, but I don’t think the library is the place to cut in order to maximize student learning. I think Michael Eisenberg is right — librarians are not optional.
– Robin Poling, Seattle
March 1, 2009 at 3:37 PM
Sacrificing tranquil Mercer Slough
The light-rail route endorsed by the Bellevue City Council, would run very close to some of the most sensitive and valued natural habitat in the region. The council suggested the light-rail be “side running,” which would place it to the right of the northbound auto-traffic lanes along Bellevue Way and 112 Avenue Southeast and immediately adjacent to wetlands and the Mercer Slough.
It is extremely likely that much of the wetland area and part of the slough itself would be sacrificed. The wetland area along 112th Avenue Southeast is home to rabbits, ducks, turtles, herons and eagles. People enjoy canoeing from Lake Washington up through this tranquil part of the slough. A nearby light rail would destroy the peace and privacy making all of this possible.
The rejected B7 route, close to I-405, would not involve this extreme environmental destruction. A traffic engineer studied one potential location for a transfer station near I-405 and deemed it problematic, but other locations need to be considered and other educated opinions offered.
Future generations will not likely remember the details of situating a transfer station, but they will definitely hold us accountable for ruining one of the remaining gems of natural habitat in the Bellevue area.
– Shirley Crawford, Bellevue
February 24, 2009 at 3:06 PM
Stocking hopes in a quick buck
No one can convince me that someone who earned $20,000 a year would believe they could “purchase” a $1.5 million condo, no matter what some real-estate agent or lender told them ["$1.5M condo? On $20K income?" page one, Feb. 20].
The reality is these people had no intention of buying the condo; they intended to take advantage of anticipated condo-price increases to make a quick buck.
Their $75,000 earnest money was the equivalent of buying a stock option with hopes of making huge profits when the stock increased in value. The fact their “stock” went down, rather than up, is the risk you take.
Your article attempting to engender support because they were “duped” is surely misdirected, as is their lawyer’s attempt to extract restitution.
– Bill Hirt, Bellevue
Don’t keep the money, Bellevue Towers
The apparent fraud committed by Bellevue Towers and JP Morgan Chase Bank against the young couple, who put money down on the $1.5 million condominium, reaches the bottom of the barrel.
If Bellevue Towers keeps their earnest money, adverse publicity will keep others from enjoying their beautiful new building and will serve as a warning to others: Stay away from Bellevue Towers.
Sure, the law says they can keep the earnest money, but should they? The implication of Chase Bank, the unscrupulous mortgage brokers and anyone who touched the paperwork for the purchase is surreal.
Bellevue Towers, give them their money back!
– Dean Parkins, Seahurst
February 17, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times
A 21st century vision
for transportation, growth
Editor, The Times:
Last fall, even in the midst of a giant economic downturn, our region wisely chose to make a massive $17.8 billion investment in a 21st-century transportation vision because of the benefits we knew it would bring.
One of the touted benefits was the large amount of private capital investment the light-rail stations would bring in, and it looks like developers in the Bel-Red corridor got the message (“Re-envisioning Bel-Red,” page one, Feb. 13).
In November, we loudly called for a new vision for transportation in our region. But like most bold, forward-looking visions, it can’t be done with one vote for one mass-transit expansion. We also need to make sure those light-rail stations are surrounded with the high-density communities that will maximize the investment.
Bellevue is allowing higher-density zoning around these four new light-rail stations, but allowing and requiring are entirely different animals. The Transit-Oriented Communities bill (HB 1490) will ensure that the $17.8 billion investment we’re making over the next 15 years is maximized by calling for high-density communities around our shiny new stations. Let’s not just hope they get it right; let’s get it right.
– Kat Scott, Seattle
Streetcars would be better
The Seattle Times endorsement of the East Link proposal because of its role in enhancing development of the Bel-Red area is absurd.
The reality is that streetcars similar to those used near Lake Union would be far more suitable for that area. They would be more aesthetically appealing, allow more-frequent stops and avoid the need for any large station.
Sound Transit’s current plans for East Link light rail will be an environment disaster along the route chosen through Bellevue and will doom the vast majority of Eastside residents who commute into Seattle to future gridlock because of loss of bridge center section.
– Bill Hirt, Bellevue
February 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM
A socioeconomic balance
Editor, The Times:
Regarding Katherine Long’s article, “Re-envisioning Bel-Red” [Time, page one, Feb. 13], someone may want to ask the city how it plans to maintain or enhance the number of light-industrial jobs that could be displaced with this new development.
True sustainability is more than just preserving fish habitat and improving pedestrian amenities for those who can afford it. It’s also about creating a socioeconomic balance that preserves industrial jobs close by, so that communities can be self-sustaining and transportation costs of people and products can be reduced.
– Thomas Lunke, New York, N.Y.
December 2, 2008 at 2:51 PM
Chris Joseph Taylor / The Seattle Times
Editor, The Times:
We all share a sense of relief that no one was killed when a bus carrying half the Bellevue football team rolled over in an accident ["Bellevue football players avoid serious injury in bus crash," News, Nov. 29].
Whenever passengers are ejected from the vehicle there is a high risk of death, so this was a very close call.
Let’s use this accident as a wake-up call on the need for seat belts in buses, especially buses carrying students. We were lucky this time, but the next bus accident could just as easily lead to a tragic and preventable loss of life.
Belted passengers are safer and are rarely ejected from vehicles in accidents. Our children’s lives are worth the cost of such a proven safety device. Washington should lead in requiring seat belts in buses, beginning with those that carry our children to school, to sporting events and on field trips.
– Reuel Robertson, Woodinville
Quit riding the tails
It disappoints me that no one is addressing the real cause of the bus crash that affected the Bellevue High School football team. The ladder in the road was just a precipitating event.
The actual cause was the bus driver following too closely to be able to react in case of an unforeseeable event. In doing so, he was endangering himself, his passengers and everyone else on the road.
This could also be said of everyone else involved in the chain-reaction event, but I would expect a professional driver to be held to a higher standard. The person who dropped the ladder does share some
blame, since it was a preventable incident, but I wish the State Patrol and everyone else would begin to address this issue of tailgating.
– John Moore, Bellevue
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