Opinion

Letters

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School decision

When I received my Valley Record on July 23, I was not surprised to see an article about Kathryn Lerner’s family’s decision in the paper. I had been asked to make a comment but was unable to comment by press time. I was surprised by the increased emphasis of the subject by the paper with the additional editorial and the “people on the street” feature.

I met Kathryn Lerner over two years ago when we were both asked to serve on the Facilities Task Force. I was incredibly impressed by her knowledge, professionalism and depth when we discussed the issues before us. I have seen Kathryn continue to work tirelessly and thoughtfully for our school district over the last couple of years as a volunteer, and later as an elected official working to meet the needs of our growing district and students. As for the decision her family has made, it is just that, a family decision. I will not fault a parent for doing what they feel is best for their child. I am happy to serve on the school board with Kathryn, as I am all of my fellow board members, as we work to solve the important issues in our district.

Caroline Loudenback, Board Director, District 2

North Bend

Valley changing

I just want to communicate how upset, angry and saddened I am in what the city of North Bend is doing to our quaint and charming town.

I moved to North Bend four and a half years ago to get away from development and the raping and destruction of Mother Nature. But now, everywhere I turn, I see god-awful roundabouts, the ‘metal monster’ bridge at Mount Si Road, the awful, disgusting soon-to-be casino, the cutting down of trees and the future site of a “park-and-ride” to accommodate new bus route 215. I moved to North Bend to have a peaceful and beautiful environment, but now all I feel is agitation when I see all of these negative changes. It all comes down to greed and money! Shame on you, the city fathers of North Bend, who approved of all this! I know there is nothing I can do about this, but move away from North Bend, in order to not see any more of the stupid, illogical and ugly plans you guys have for the future of North Bend. Maybe there are other fellow residents who feel like I do.

Kyle A. Matthews

North Bend

Pay to play

While flipping through the paper, I saw the article about the rise in the pay to play fees at Mount Si High School. As an athlete at Mount Si, this did affect me my junior and senior years. One thing that was never clear during this time was exactly where all this money goes. Several e-mails and phone calls to athletic director Greg Hart went un-responded from several parents, including my own, about where the money went. Now, as a member of the Associated Student Body (ASB) as well, we were responsible for the ASB budget. According to state law, the student body has to sign off on all budget expenditures in our annual budget meeting. In the article it stated that “at Mount Si, the money goes to the Associated Student Body...” However, we were told that this budget for pay to play was completely separate from the money we set aside each year for the uniforms, equipment, and other sports related expenses. We were never even told where it goes, just told not to worry about it by the administration. The real question is where is all the money going and why can’t we get a straight-up answer of how it is being spent?

Kathryn McFarland

Mount Si graduate

Editor’s note: Funds from sports admission fees, not pay-to-play fees, go to the Associated Student Body, as reported in the July 16 story.

Concert success

I would like to send out a big heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make our Relay for Life concert [held Saturday, July 26, at the Nursery at Mount Si] a success! We raised just over $1,000 for the American Cancer Society. Down The Road serenaded us with bluegrass and old country music, and Chef Claus, formerly of ©green, prepared a wonderful menu for us. Thanks to the Nursery at Mount Si and Nels Melgaard for generously offering the beautiful venue. Thanks also to George’s Bakery for giving Chef Claus the space to prepare food. It was a wonderful, warm evening— and rain-free too!

I am always delighted by the generosity of our community. What a wonderful place to live.

Denise DuBose

North Bend

Team effort

I am writing this letter to acknowledge something that many of us in the Snoqualmie Valley already know: We live in an outstanding community that is filled with many dedicated, supportive and encouraging people.

I want to express my thanks to everyone in the community that came out in support of all of our Little League Baseball and Softball All-Star teams during their recent tournaments. I especially want to thank all of those that came out in support of the team that I coached, the Snoqualmie Valley Little League Majors All Star team.

Our team enjoyed a significant advantage throughout the tournament, because of the enthusiastic level of fan support that we had. The tournament directors and umpires all had great things to say about the spirit and energy that our fans brought to the games. They demonstrated all that is great about sports, about Little League Baseball and about our community to everyone in attendance. It is wonderful to look out during a game and see so many former Little League players, managers, coaches, and parents out to support our team. It is difficult for coaches to come thank everyone personally for their presence at these ball games, but it meant a great deal to me and it meant a lot to these boys.

This tournament represented the last of these kids’ Little League experiences. It was made all the more special because of the support and encouragement from so many of you. Thank you for being a part of making so many fond memories for the players, the coaches and their parents.

Jeff Mitchell, Little League coach

North Bend

Teacher pay

Mrs. Piper’s well-written letter to the editor in the July 23 Snoqualmie Valley Record causes me to wonder if she has made use of the 2005-2008 Collective Bargaining Agreement that her union membership provides. If not, she may be one of the few certificated staff not to do so. The professional responsibilities section of Article 23 provides payment at the per diem rate to certificated staff who claim to perform “professional responsibilities beyond those performed during the basic education work year and work day.”

While those tasks are not fully identified, quantified or verified, the compensation to each participating certificated staff is provided solely on the basis of their position on the applicable salary schedule. Due to the varied requirements and performance of the numerous staff positions, such payment seems to be dubious.

I understand that most if not all the district’s certificated staff subscribe to this contract provision, which provides approximately an additional four weeks’ pay to each subscriber. The estimated total annual cost of their program is approximately $1 million. The incomplete and unverified provisions of this compensation program makes me question its legality, as compensation for any non-performance of these unidentified tasks constitutes a gift of public funds, an illegal act.

Considering the plaudits given by me and others to the staff and students for their performance in the state achievement tests, I was surprised and disappointed in the union membership’s vote before negotiations had barely begun to authorize a strike this fall if the union is unable to achieve its goals. My recollection is that between 30 and 40 strike actions brought before numerous courts in this state have been declared illegal. So much for illegal strikes and professionalism.

Taxpayers should be provided the opportunity for a public hearing and an adequate comment period on any proposed contract between the district and the education association. I urge all interested district taxpayers to become knowledgeable of the provisions of the current contract. I think such an effort would be informative and enlightening for many citizens.

Jon Monahan

Fall City

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