On behalf of Snoqualmie staff and the city council, I’d like to express my ongoing concern for the residents of downtown Snoqualmie who have been affected by the recent flood. I know that hundreds of you have sustained damage to property, loss of personal possessions of practical and sentimental value, displacement in many cases, and stress beyond words. Your well-being is important to us and we will do what we can to continue our assistance through this difficult time.
The safety of our citizens is our number one priority. While many downtown residents evacuated safely, there were some who were in need of rescue and shelter. We are thankful that they were brought to safe ground and also thankful to our first responders — fire, EMS, and police — for their training and preparation for such emergencies.
We hope that the city services we provided during and after the flood were helpful to you and that you have received additional help from social service agencies and organizations that specialize in various kinds of disaster relief. The city Web site’s flood recovery page has contacts and resources that you may find useful.
I’d like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who turned out to help our downtown residents and businesses affected by this disaster. Although there have always been volunteers in Snoqualmie willing to help during times such as these, the assistance provided for this flood event was unlike anything previously experienced in Snoqualmie.
Volunteers throughout our community helped collect debris from curbsides, unloaded literally tons of debris at collection sites, knocked on doors to see who needed help, donated food for other volunteers and city staff, and took on many other recovery tasks that the city could not have accomplished on our own.
Thank you to all of the individual volunteers, families that pitched in together, the many church and civic groups, the local businesses, Encompass and other social service agencies, the city staff who volunteered time off the clock, and the Snoqualmie emergency communications team — also known as SECAST — which served in the Emergency Operations Center answering questions and requests from the community.
I also thank King County Executive Ron Sims and Congressman Dave Reichert for their visits and support. Particular thanks to the cities of North Bend, Issaquah, and Sammamish, who lent heavy equipment and labor for days on end. As well, our gratitude goes to the King County Waste Division, which has been extraordinarily helpful, and to the many private companies, such as North Fork Enterprises, who made their services available for the bulk of the debris removal period.
Even more than these dedicated and selfless volunteers, I acknowledge and thank the neighbors who helped neighbors before, during, and after the flood. You waded through waters waist-high to bring others to your homes. You housed individuals and families through recovery, and continue to do so at this time. You are helping to rebuild what has been lost.
I am very privileged and honored to serve as mayor for such a generous and caring community.
Mayor Matt Larson
Last week we all heard on our local TV new programs about a 10-year-old girl in Sammamish that reported an abduction attempt by a man in a pick-up. Over the past day or so, this little girl has recanted her story. However, this doesn’t take anything away from the fact that we really do need mandatory abduction prevention training in the physical education classes all Washington state students are required to take.
This need is evidenced by the abduction and murder of 10 year old Adre’Anna Jackson in Tillicum, Wash., four years ago, as well as the abduction and murder of 12-year-old Zina Linnik in Tacoma, Wash., just one and a half years ago. If these two young girls had received abduction prevention training in their P.E. classes, they both might be alive today.
So why aren’t our public school districts already providing this type of safety training? Well, all of them that I’ve approached over the past six years have indicated they’re just too busy with other subjects. But that excuse really doesn’t hold water if you’ve ever covered their P.E. classes as a substitute teacher like I have in years past. I think the real answer is most school districts just don’t consider this type of safety training all that important.
It’s high time our state lawmakers in Olympia approved a bill this year to require mandatory abduction prevention training in all of the P.E. classes our children are required to take. As a result, I’ve already asked several of these folks to do so. However, all of them seem to be stone-walling me so far, including Senators Lisa Brown of Spokane, the Senate majority leader, and Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla, the Senate minority leader — which is a real shame.
Park district tax
This letter is about the proposed Fall City Metropolitan Park District, which will be voted on Feb. 3.
According to the King County local voters pamphlet we received lately, the cost will be only $30 a year in property tax on a $300,000 home. However at the proposed levy rate of 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, it would actually cost $225 a year.