Letter to the Editor:

Hiding Behind an Acronym

       July 21, 2008

      When driving around the area I’ve noticed that campaign signs for certain Republican candidates are using the “G.O.P.” party designation. Since GOP is a little used label for the Republican Party, it seems to me that Dino Rossi and Roger Bush are trying to hide the fact that they are Republicans. I can’t imagine that very many voters will be fooled by such a ruse, but it makes a statement about the integrity of these candidates.
      Since party affiliation tells a lot about the values and positions that a candidate holds, any candidate trying to hide their affiliation must be trying to hide that information from the voters – not a very honest act. By the way, although Jim McCune still identifies himself with an “R” on his signs, I noticed that, by his request, “Prefers G.O.P. Party” will appear after his name on the ballot.  Something to consider when deciding who to vote for.

      Bob Akervick

   Letter to the Editor:

Frustrated Citizen Points to Flaws in ALS Program...

      June 17, 2008

Dear Ms. Walters,

      I am writing to you to voice my utter frustration at the lack of action to procure ALS [advanced life support] servic for the Town of Eatonville. I am a little disturbed that only a few people have caught on to what is happening with this process. If you go back and listen to the Public Safety Committee and Council meetings you will hear the basic plan of hiring paramedics degrade into providing job opportunities for the volunteers so they won't quit.

     Now I understand that we are hiring a FF/EMT [firefighter/Emergency medical technician] to do training?, and that this person is a EFD [Eatonville Fire Department] volunteer who the job qualifications were tailored specifically for, and in fact he was the only applicant. 

     Mr. [Bud] Lukas has stated several times that if he doesn't hire some of the volunteers first they will quit. It seems to me that the Eatonville Fire Department does not exist to provide job opportunities to volunteers, but rather to provide fire and EMS service to the citizens who pay for it. Ask your self-  what does hiring this "training officer" have to do with ALS service? If the levy fails there will now be even less money to hire paramedics.

     Please listen to the last council meeting and the exchange Councilman Rich Adams has with Mr. Lukas. He is dead on in his thought process, and seems to be the only one who understands or will vocalize what is happening.  Everyone needs to understand that what we need first and foremost is paramedics. After they are hired, trained, equipped and running calls, then as money allows, hire some EMTs from our volunteer ranks.

     It is not right that a handful of volunteer firefighters are going to deny the citizens of Eatonville a badly needed service to extort some jobs for themselves. The bottom line is that we are moving backward and not forward in this process. If this trend continues I will vote no on the Levy, put my house up for sale and move somewhere where the fire department serves the people and not the other way around.

    Please research this, share the information with*Mr. Lind and Mr. Jeffries. The information is there in the tapes of the old meetings. We are only going to get one shot to get this service in town and if it is botched now it will be a very long time before we will get another chance.

    I want to make it clear that I am not trying to paint every member of the EFD with the same brush. Most of them are fine people who just want to help their neighbors out. I think that what is happening is a result of years of neglect, and leadership, from Town government.

     Thank you,
**Name Withheld

      *Steve Lind, publisher of the Web site, Eatonville Truth - Mike Jeffries, publisher of the weekly hard copy paper, The Dispatch.

     **(Publisher's Note: This letter was sent to me signed. The writer didn't want it published because the person was not "willing to expose my family or myself to any repercussions. This is a very small town and grudges are held for a long time." The writer didn't want "to have to constantly be looking over my shoulder." What the writer says is being said by a good number of citizens. This isn't one voice.
     This writer is not, I repeat not, paranoid. What a wonderful, homey image this town has when citizens are fearful of speaking the truth to "power." It was my suggestion to withhold the name so citizens can read the letter and know this writer speaks for many.)

Job Requirements for Training Officer
Training Officer, Firefighter 2/EMT-B

      "The Town of Eatonville is currently accepting applications for Firefighter Training Officer for the Fire Department. This is a salaried position ($3,800 -4,400 per month). Successful applicants will have a minimum of five years of firefighting experience and served as fire training officer for at least one year. Applicants will currently be a Firefighter 2, EMT-B, Wildlands certified, IFSAC Fire Instructor, EVAP Instructor, OTEP Instructor and ISO & HSO Instructor.
      "Applications are available from the Eatonville Fire Department, 201 Center Street West, until five PM May 28, 2008."

Letter to the Editor:

Writer Hates to See Town Aping Federal Government...

         June 19, 2008

        To the Editor:

       How sweetly clever the comments relating to my picture!  The only thing possibly missing is "Body by Mountain Fitness!"  I really appreciated the long distance shot of me! [Please see photo below.]
 Again, the entire community should appreciate what you and Steve Lind are doing to make public the unprofessional conduct of elected officers!  Am I just harking back to the "old days" when those serving had the good of the community at heart and soul? 
How can the town Fathers and Mothers just ignore the concerns brought up by Letters to the Editors and direct query? I surely hate to see our little local government aping the Federal government!

       Margit Thorvaldson

Letter to the Editor

A Way Out Of Eatonville’s Financial Troubles?

      December 12, 2007

      Monday’s power outage on Orchard Ave. So. reminded me that we are on Eatonville Power. A thorough survey made in late 2003 sent out to all 908 electric customers indicated the majority of users were in favor of selling the Utility to Ohop Mutual.
    Mr. Greg Wilder, the Public Works Director, recommended securing the services of a qualified expert/consultant to appraise our Utility to establish the substantial cash value. Items to consider are identification of deferred maintenance, remaining life value of capital equipment and facilities, rate analysis, Lynch Creek Substation, etc. Such a qualified expert could provide data for a “sell or keep” decision. Ohop Mutual’s projected rates would also be considered.
      I wonder if anyone in the Town has ever evaluated the Power Utility for the actual benefit to the town. Have they ever considered the need for expansion, depreciating equipment, inventories, wages, bookkeeping expenses, employee health and insurance benefits, retirement funds, etc.?
    Instead of just raising utility rates to the citizens why not sell the Utility and use the money to stabilize our Town finances and maintain or lower rates.
   I used to be an Ohop Mutual user when living at Lake Ohop and found their rates and service to be very good.
The 2003 Survey was requested by Mayor Parnell and Mayor Pro Tem Jarrett. The Council tabled it for an unknown reason and it was never discussed again.
It’s time to respect the wishes of the citizens and to consider this again!

    Arlen Paranto

    (Publisher's Note: To see the survey please go here Electric Survey 2003


 Letter to the Editor:     

Melode Akervick Explains Duties of Treasurer
No Role in Creating Budget or Spending Decisions...

     October 17, 2007

     It has occurred to me that some citizens might be unfamiliar with the duties of the town treasurer.  State law (RCW 35.27.170) specifies:  “The town treasurer shall receive and safely keep all money which comes into his hands as treasurer, for all of which he shall give duplicate receipts, one of which shall be filed with the clerk. He shall pay out the money on warrants signed by the mayor and countersigned by the clerk and not otherwise. He shall make monthly settlements with the clerk.”  
     By law, I manage bank and investment accounts holding town funds, and redeem warrants, which are check-like instruments with which the town makes payments and are cashed by the banking system.  Account statements are reconciled to the official accounting system by a staff member to prevent my having sole control over the funds.  As a matter of past practice and courtesy to the council, I have also provided monthly reports showing the status of all the town’s separate funds.  
    These reports were created from my records and with accounting information provided by the town staff and obtained from the town’s official accounting system.   I have been unable to perform this function this year because the new accounting system was not set up to provide the data I need and no alternative was provided. 
    However, the accounting system has been operating and standard financial reports should have been available.  Had the accounting system been dysfunctional, it would have been the responsibility of the town administrator to activate manual contingency procedures that would have provided key information to the decision makers (mayor and council).   As you can see, the treasurer plays no role in creating or executing the budget, in making spending decisions or in producing official reports.

    Melode Akervick  
    Town Treasurer  

    (Publisher's Note: To read the Eatonville Municipal Code (EMC) and the treasurer's duties, please see Treasurer's Duties EMC  )

   Letter to the Editor:

Present Town Treasurer Explains Her Position
"...Failure of the Mayor and the Administrator
 to Listen to My Repeated Warnings"

       October 10, 2007

      An article in the October 1, 2007 edition of The News Tribune quoted Mayor Smallwood as attributing the town’s financial troubles to, in part, “…miscommunication between Akervick and Town Administrator Gary Armstrong.” 
     The only miscommunication I know of is the failure of the Mayor and the Town Administrator to listen to my repeated warnings over the last year that they were spending more than we were taking in, and they were in danger of running the town out of money. 
     One would like to think that 20 years experience as treasurer would establish some credibility, but not once did they take my warnings seriously and invite me to sit down and discuss the situation.  Had they done so they would have discovered their misconception that I had a pot of reserves not included in my monthly reports.  
     I would also point out that my records are separate from the town’s official accounting records.  The town’s accounting system is operated by the town staff and supervised by the town administrator.  Had the mayor and the administrator understood the records for which they are responsible, they would not have made their original error because they would have known there was no separate reserve.

    Melode Akervick
    Town Treasurer

Letter to the Editor:

 Eatonville Town Treasurer
 for 22 Years Speaks Up 
"Town Finances in Shambles"

 Thanks Treasurer Akervick for "Bringing this Mess
 to the Attention of the Citizens"

October 9, 2007

Being the Town Treasurer for 22 years during the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s created a real interest for me in the Town’s current financial problems.  After reviewing the 2007 budget I can see where the surplus went.  It was budgeted in many funds to spend more than received.  As per the 2007 Town of Eatonville budget I have listed some of the income and expenses that were projected:

         Fund                                Revenue                                     Expenses                        $ Spent more than received

Current Expense                $2,094,537.00                         $2,255,605.00                         ($161,068.00)

Street Dept                          $1,453,650.00                         $1,510,290.00                         ($56,640.00)

Light Dept                            $2,011,500.00                         $2,651,500.00                         ($640,000.00)

Sewer Fund                          $   656,161.00                         $1,171,362.00                         ($515,200.00)

Storm Drain                         $   130,250.00                         $341,515.00                            ($211,265.00)

Garbage Fund                       $   338,776.00                         $384,180.00                            ($45,404.00)

As shown above the Town approved budget shows expenditures of $1.6 million dollars more than income.  WHERE DID THE RESERVES GO????

The Town officials must know that a budget is only a guideline.  If income is down expenses must be cut.  You can’t spend what you do not have.  As the Town Council persons are personally liable for irresponsible financial decisions, they need to take some care.

Recently I read where a street sweeper was purchased.  One councilman asked if it could be delayed as funds were short. He was told it could not be delayed because it was already delivered.  His next questions should have been.  Why was it delivered before the council approved the expenditure?  I understand that a large part of the purchase was paid for with funds from the Garbage Fund.  I guess we can all expect an increase in our garbage rates in the future because of this. It seems to go on and on.

I was shocked to read in the paper [Dispatch] that the Town was going to hire a full time Fire Chief.  As being in the volunteer fire department for over 15 years I believe this is a good idea. But with the Town finances in shambles it should be postponed until there is a better grasp on the Town’s financial condition.  The statement not to worry about the money as it would be there when needed is foolish and irresponsible.

The last issue is where it has been suggested to do away with the elected Town Treasurer position.  That position is badly needed for balance, and checks, as this is the only position not controlled by the mayor.  The Treasurer is responsible for accurate financial details to the council, mayor and citizens of the Town of Eatonville.  The Treasurer controls the bank balance and investments and always knows how much money is in the Bank.  Thanks to Treasurer Melode Akervick for bringing this mess to the attention of the Citizens.

Please Mayor Smallwood and Council members stop your irresponsible spending and help get the Town back on a good financial base.  Then live within your income.

David Marchetti

  Letter to the Editor:

Alumnus is Happy High School Being Modernized...

       October 14, 2007

     Hello, I'm a graduate of Eatonville High School, class of 1973. I now live in Pennsylvania and I keep up on the Eatonville news. What a wonderful high school we had and what great memories.
      I'm happy to see it getting re-modernized. I was in Eatonville at my 30th class reunion and we took a tour of the school, it was so sad to see how it was run down....
     So good luck Eatonville High School, and can't wait to see it after it's finished.

     Lots of luck, Marilyn (Fairchild) Schrantz 
     Grove City, Pennsylvania


 Letter to the Editor:

Town Finances, Student Parking and Hilltop Lighting

    October 2, 2007  

    I am going comment on three issues that are important to me.

    Margit Thorvaldson’s Letter to the Editor was right on the money. It’s time that the previous administration own up to their poor money Management. Developer wishes took precedent over diligent decisions. George Livigne’s Letter to the Editor also expressed similar sentiments .
    I noted in last week’s section on School activities where comments were made regarding  the minimal parking problem that students face every day.
Proposal: Mark off a reasonable section of the empty parking lot bought by the Town for a poorly conceived  “Town Square" and let the students park there.
A much-needed crosswalk should also be installed in front of Jebino’s for student and citizen travel.
Lastly, is an issue where the hilltop residents requested the Town to restrict the planned five tall light systems at the new development on the hill to only two lights, one at each corner of the block. Individual house lighting along with these two light is more than enough and will reduce light pollution as well as reduce the Town’s and the developer’s power consumption. This request was presented to Town Council several months ago and no response. The developer also agrees to this.

    Arlen Paranto

    (Publisher's Note: Margit Thorvaldson's letter to the Dispatch asked why that paper's story about the town's financial mess didn't name mayors and councilmembers who mismanaged taxpayer's money.)

 Letter to the Editor:

Former Interim Public Works Director has His Say...

   March 26, 2007

     Eatonville News  

     I read, admittedly with more than mild amusement, a recent article in the Dispatch captioned; “Water isn’t the issue any more.” It (potable water) may not in fact be an issue anymore. I think we prepared plans and made system improvements to try and resolve the matter of a shortage while I was your Interim Public Works Director.  
     Water WAS clearly one impediment to the Town’s ability to provide for growth and development.  That is, a clean and safe source for Potable supply, standby, and fire-flow.  If, or not, the Town has solved or resolved these limitations clearly depends upon how they implemented the plans for system production, storage, and distribution. Equally important is how they paid for those improvements. Did the Town fairly assess new growth and development or did it simply put the burden on the existing ratepayers?

Some Water Not So Friendly...

     The Town may be faced with an abundance of another type of water that is far from a friendly source…it is one that flows across the surface, seeps into the soils, that flows into crawl-spaces.  
     It helps to liquefy the soil from actions as simple as traffic-induced vibration to natural occurrences such as earthquakes. And when you have a lubricant between soil types, or if you have liquefaction, you have the movement of land. The world wants to be flat – gravity just does that… more simply and easily when you have water to help.
     It may be important for the people of Eatonville to consider the timing and purpose of an article  titled “Water isn’t an issue anymore” the body of which itself is really all about trying to disparage me for having raised issues and worked to resolve them in an ethical/professional way. 
     In other words, doing one of the things I am expected to do… working to insure the fire-life and health safety for “all” of the people (and properties) in Eatonville.  You need to ask yourselves; Why now? What is being planned?  What problem is looming?  What issues are under consideration or review? 
     By the way, it also takes a certain kind of coward to publish such an article without a by-line. So the question also needs to be asked: Who wrote the article, what was the source of their research, and finally, did they present their findings in a fair, professional, and consistent manner?  
     Of additional amusement is the Dispatch reference to me as; “Greg Wilder, location unknown.”  How silly of them to presume (or assume) that you folks are so lost to reality that you can’t even remember that they themselves referenced my location in that article as Okanogan County – where I’ve been since I left Eatonville!  
     I am now retired after serving the Public for over 40 years.  Disparaging me serves up no pain or harm to me personally and only amuses my imagination.  It also gives me the chance to speak up with even less constraint!  

Let's Look at the Facts..

     And since the “article” was really about discrediting me, let’s look at the real facts, the real issue relating to the actual context. It is so, the County of Okanogan (not me personally or because of any action of my own), was informed by the State Auditor that the raise they were offering me was just fine, only they should not have applied it retroactively. The County Commissioners, acting under the advice of their own attorney, were only trying to reward me for a job well done… by the way a job/project to encourage new development!  
     That salary “incentive,” by the way, remained intact until I retired at the end of last year.  And, as wonders be, I’m now providing consulting support to the Commissioners and others to help the County develop and grow!  
     Why is it that the good/professional developers have considered me a friend my career long, and all those others with less community value intent have not – well, dah!  This issue was raised by the Dispatch as a red herring and you should not be fooled by the images conjured by the blue smoke and mirrors.  You should be even more vigilant however…
     Now as to State Audits of Towns, Cities, and Counties, it may not surprise you that Eatonville and its past Mayor are admonished for matters much more serious than an inadvertent oversight by Okanogan County. 
     Spend the time to check these things out for yourselves, and in the process, just ask yourself why it is these matters were not written about by the same editorial coward.

     Greg Wilder
     Okanogan, Washington

    Letter to the Editor:

The Green Hills of Home...

      June 19, 2006

      The Green Hills of Home - a descriptive line from an old poem that sums up the picturesque look of our small town. When you drive up the northern hillside and round the curve - there it is - small town - green hills. I believe we are all experiencing a sense of loss as the rolling hills become more treeless.
       But a property owner has the right to sell or develop his land. People need affordable housing - the demand is ever there. Is it possible to meet these needs and make money without denuding the hills and covering them with crowded together houses? 
       Of course it's possible, but that would mean the developer would have to go above and beyond what is required of them by the building codes. They can still make a profit and be sensitive to the community. A developer can leave a small wedge of land natural or a tucked in corner green.
       Those in office representing us need also to share in demanding higher standards. Council members should consider setting aside some money for green belts. Ultimately it is our town council who can make a difference.
       And then there is us - we need to back our representatives when they make the hard decisions to  stand firm against the "build and run" boys with their big machines who believe vegetation is a nuisance and the only good tree is horizontal. 
       The late Fritz Guske, one the original farmers in this area, told me long ago, "We never own a piece of land, God owns the land and we are the caretakers." We need to start being better caretakers.
       If we don't do something now we'll look like Orting on a roller coaster or Yelm on a freeway. Once  the hills are stripped there is no going back. Eatonville, our home town, needs the Green Hill.

      Nancy Iams

     Letter to the Editor:

New Water Line to Van Eaton Parkland?

       March 27, 2006 

     During the July 11, 2005 Council Meeting, Dr. Steve Cossalman asked this question regarding the sale of Van Eaton Park, "If that property is sold and someone starts to develop it, who's going to pay for the sewer or the water up there? Who's going to provide those services?" Mayor Bruce Rath responded, "Whoever would buy it and, whether they would want to build one house or then they pay all the costs. The town will not pay any costs." He also said that streets and sidewalks would also have to be done to comply with the Eatonville Municipal Code.
     I understand that the town is considering installation of a large water line from the water tank, down through Prospect Street and likely on through Orchard Avenue South in front of the planned development. I hope the town has arranged for these substantial costs to be paid by the developer. The existing homes in this area already have an ample water supply with existing lines. I trust the Town will not "invent" an excuse to install this new line for the developer at the taxpayer's expense. Remember-the developer knew all along that there was no water or sewer up here.

    Arlen Paranto 

      Letter to the Editor:

Vision Number Two...

     February 7, 2006 

     My October 5, 2005 “Vision” letter predicted the developer of the Van Eaton Parklands would request a vacation of the town’s alley between the upper and lower halves of the land. This allows narrow 70’ wide lots instead of the required 80’ lots for SF1 [single family 1 zone] Code. The lots are 120’ deep and would not meet the 9600 square feet unless extended.
     The Vision occurred when Councilman [Bruce] Rath made a motion in the January 8 council meeting, to pass an ordinance allowing the alley vacation. It passed second reading January 23, after earlier complaints from concerned citizens.
     The developer can now squeeze in more houses on narrow lots across the street from homes that occupy spacious properties. This will create an unappealing, cluttered neighborhood that devalues properties and homes in that area.
     What is the next step? Vision #2: The developer knew this property was a mapped, hazardous,  landslide area with required environmental setbacks, impervious soil constraints, GEO Tech restrictions, etc. 
      He will petition the town for a variance. This variance will allow him to reduce the 25’ street setback, the hazardous slope setback, and bypass other coded requirements so he can build his narrow lot houses. 
      He may even petition to make Orchard Avenue South a narrower street to allow further setback from the slope.  Remember, he purchased this property, knowing the slope and soil conditions and was expected to live with that. 
     At an earlier Planning Commission Meeting, Bruce Rath [former mayor] made the following statement to the Planning Commission, as recorded in minutes: “Bruce Rath commented that all people should be treated the same. He knows of instances where some people do not have to meet setback requirements, and where some people did not have to install sidewalks. Rules are made for everyone, and everyone should comply, otherwise the Planning Commission is wasting their time and effort” 
     Hopefully, when reviewing the developer’s plans, the Planning Commission will refuse any variances and also insist on larger lot sizes, making the area compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.
     Surely the Planning Commission and the Town Council will not allow this major developer to ride roughshod over the town government.
     The citizens will be watching.

     Arlen Paranto

Sound Familiar?

     by Dixie A. Walter
     February 11, 2006

    An ENN reader who has family and friends in Eatonville, but lives out of town, sent the following article from The Daily Astorian (The Daily Astorian • The North Coast's Newspaper) after reading Arlen Paranto's letter, "My Vision Two" (see below "Slides" story). 
    Considering the deep concern by many in this community about very similar situations, ENN thought you might wish to compare the circumstances in Astoria to the circumstances in Eatonville. The editorial concerning the slides was published February 9.
    The slides have prompted four separate homeowners to file tort claims against the Astoria school district. The torts also name the City of Astoria in seeking damages.

    To read The Daily Astorian's February 10 report about the torts please see Four tort claims filed against Astoria School District.


Slides Bedevil Cities and Homeowners...
As Building Sites Dwindle, View Properties Become Riskier

reprinted by permission of the The Daily Astorian
February 11, 2006

Slip Sliding Away may become the official anthem for Astoria, Ilwaco, Wash., and other coastal communities this winter.

People love houses with pretty views, and around here that usually means living on a hill. More building on slopes will lead to more landslides, highlighting a need for cautious land-use planning.

The city of Astoria is learning a hard lesson as homeowners in slide areas try to tap city coffers. The latest example of this is the claim for $300,000 for a ruined house in the Bridgeview Terrace subdivision, a neighborhood OK’d by the city in 1999.

Weighing the merits of this particular claim is a matter best left to insurance adjusters or a jury, but it’s easy to have sympathy for the homeowners and for the city. Both also may bear some responsibility.

When a family buys a home or a lot approved by a city, they should be able to have some confidence it is safe and appropriate for long-term habitation. On the other hand, most cities don’t envision providing a taxpayer-funded warranty whenever they approve a new subdivision.

As the most obvious building sites fill up and attention moves to more problematic areas, it becomes imperative to establish and enforce criteria for development. Much as it may rankle those who regard property ownership as a license to do anything they wish, these decisions can affect neighbors in a variety of ways – destabilizing hillsides, changing drainage patterns or consuming municipal resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

Clearly, homeowners should be expected to take personal responsibility if they choose to build in dangerous places, a perfect example being the California hillsides so subject to fires and mudslides.

But the time also has come for cities, counties and states to take responsibility whenever they permit development, logging and other uses in disaster-prone areas. Far too often, “yes” is the default answer to any rural or small-town development proposal. It’s time to start saying “no” more often.

When development approvals are given, it is increasingly appropriate to require bonds, liability releases and other legal tools to make certain developers pay all the true costs and fully inform purchasers about any risks they may be assuming.

(Publisher's Note: To read Paranto's first "Vision" letter please see below.)

     Letter to the Editor:

My Vision...

       October 2, 2005

   Developers often  can be pretty predictable.

       For example: Well over  a month ago, the land known as Van Eaton Park was being surveyed. I thought it a bit unusual since they already surveyed the lot corners, etc.

      But after I had seen the 70’ lot size mark-offs on the street, I immediately knew what they were up to. I told several people what to expect.

      The developer (Jerry Nybo) evidently wants more houses on this property, but he can not do it with his 70’ lot plan, as the Eatonville Municipal Code [EMC] for a SF1 (single family) requires 9,600 square feet minimum.     Since these lots are only 120’ deep that would mean he would have to have at least 80’ lot sizes. 
      But if he could vacate the town’s alley separating the upper and lower parcel of land he could  pick up another 20 feet or so, allowing the narrow lots 70' x138' = 9660'.  Any vacated alleys or streets revert to the adjoining property owner.

      Of course none of this has been presented to or approved by the town council, but I am sure that it has already been discussed with certain people.

     This first hint of what is to come became known in last week's Planning Commission Meeting, when someone from the town, presented a list of streets and alleys that are planned to be vacated. All of these border the park land of Nybo's.

     No action was requested for the Planning Commission, just information purposes. Commissioner Steve Lind stated that, as a general rule, it is bad policy to vacate streets and alleys. Commissioner Steve Pruitt commented that he had hoped the town did not have any outside influence affecting land use and was not doing this to benefit a developer.

     Any bets on what the next alley vacancy request will be and it’s outcome? I hope I am wrong and will apologize if so.



      Arlen Paranto




When Asked their Opinion Most Utility Customers said, "Sell to Ohop"

     by Dixie A. Walter
My View
     November 2, 2005

     In an editorial from the hard copy paper of October 12 comes this voice of "wisdom." Under the title, "Why promise what you can't deliver?" is yet another of the endless attacks against mayoral candidate Bobbi Allison.    
     I count ten in ten weeks. The owner of the paper lists one of Allison's promises that "can't be delivered" as, "A resolution to allow voters to decide whether or not to sell the electrical utility." Like he knows for sure what voters may, or may not, decide. Or perhaps, the idea of citizens making choices doesn't appeal to him. Then he  goes on to say this is, "Another idiotic (emphasis added) idea to please a small number of potential voters - maybe a couple of Ohop Board members..."
    Asked at the candidates' forum about selling the utility to Ohop Mutual, Meridith Weilert, unopposed for a two-year council seat, flatly said, "No," and added that profits from the utility help with other expenses. It's illegal to do what she suggests. Does she know this? Probably not. Along with just about everyone else who may be on the council, Weilert is just about completely inexperienced  in governing. Who is her mentor? She evidently gets her information from people who haven't really studied the laws regulating governmental finance, either.  
     How does the hard copy publisher know the idea to sell the utility to Ohop Mutual is "idiotic?" Has he even studied the citizen's survey? It was certainly available as a public record and still is, or should be. And if he has studied the survey, why does he consider the citizen's choices "idiotic?" Below is part of the survey showing how "idiotic" the suggestion to sell the utility is "to please a small number of potential voters." You be the judge.
    At the request of the town government this survey was accomplished in a short period of time. However, at the council meeting where the results were presented, a person made a statement, not even a compelling statement, which resulted in the the study being "tabled"- where it has remained since,  even though those surveyed remain in favor of selling the utility.
    I don't even know why I should be at all surprised the voice of the citizens won't be heard. In a little over two years citizens have petitioned the council for a temporary building moratorium until the water situation could be worked out, and have petitioned the council not to sell Van Eaton Park. Those petitions have been summarily ignored. So why would anyone be surprised the survey about selling the electric utility would also be summarily ignored? 


  Letter to the Editor:

Regional Dump?

      January 3, 2006

     Your readers should be aware of events that could pave the way for railed-hauled garbage imports to the 304th Street landfill in Graham. In 2001, after little more than a year of operations, LRI [Land Recovery, Inc.] sold 51 percent of its controversial dump to Waste Connections, now a publicly traded company with dozens of landfills and annual revenues exceeding $600 million.
    One year ago, Waste Connections purchased a rail services company, Northwest Container Services, and announced:  “We expect this transaction to expand our share of the rail haul market in the northwest over the next several years and attract additional volumes to our landfills.”  (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/19/04).
    At about the same time, LRI affiliate Harold LeMay Enterprises purchased approximately 42 acres in Frederickson on a rail line and applied for $29 million in funding to build a “transfer station/recycling facility.” The County Council unanimously endorsed LeMay’s application on March 29, downplaying the transfer station and pitching the facility as a recycling complex.
    Pierce County Solid Waste Administrator Steve Wambach testified to the Council that the 20-year landfill capacity would not be jeopardized and that garbage could not be imported contrary to language in the county Solid Waste Management Plan. Yet he admitted last month that there is really nothing the county can do to stop waste imports, which are considered interstate commerce.
    Now LRI must obtain approval from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept (“TPCHD”) for the re-issuance of its Solid Waste Permit by February 6 to continue accepting waste at the landfill for the next 10 years. TPCHD timed the public hearings during the holidays and  gave less than a week's notice. They presented almost no information during a carefully controlled hearing at Graham-Kapowsin High School after beginning with the announcement that public questions and comments would only be answered at the end of the 30 day comment period.
   TPCHD has a long way to go to restore public confidence in the permitting process and its protection of our drinking water. 

   George Wearn
   President, CROWD
   [Concerned Residents on Waste Disposal]
   P. O. 1350
   Graham, WA 98338

  Below is a letter submitted to the Dispatch in response to their coverage
 of this important issue...

"Landfill Application gets Angry Response"

     (Re: “Landfill application gets angry response,” December, 21). Thank you for emphasizing the serious flaws in the Health Department’s public process on LRI’s landfill permit. No wonder speakers whose lives and property have been impacted by the landfill expressed their frustration, when they see that the agency supposed to be protecting them is not listening.  Given the improper short notice for a meeting set during the holidays, it is a compelling statement of the landfill’s impact that so many affected citizens did attend.
    While I appreciate mention of the joint legal defense agreement between LRI and the Health Department, its existence is no mere “claim.”  It was an exhibit cited by Judge Strombom as “relevant” in her 2001 decision that the landfill had escaped the emergency senate bill to prevent landfills over sole source aquifers.  This agreement was made between the supposed regulator and the supposedly regulated company.
    I also appreciate your mention of Mr. Wambach’s attempt to divert my questions by claiming to be insulted, and that space limits may have prevented the Dispatch from describing the substance of the important issue of waste imports that Wambach evaded.  
    Wambach previously told the County Council that the Solid Waste Management Plan “put a series of additional checks and balances into place before a landfill operator could take in waste from outside.” (videotape of 3/29/05 County Council meeting). Yet at the Graham Advisory Commission December 13 meeting, he said about imported waste, “The caveat is, there’s really nothing that we can do about that.” Government officials need to be held accountable, especially when they make inconsistent statements on important issues such as whether LRI can turn this disastrous landfill into a regional dump.

     George Wearn
President, CROWD

   Letter to the Editor:

The "Dump" - Broken Promises and Methane Gas

        December 10, 2005

       Just a quick note to inform you and all your readers that there is a public meeting on Tuesday, December 13th at Graham-Kapowsin High School, 22100 108th Ave East, Graham from 5:00-7:30pm. Also, if that date is not
convenient, a second meeting will be held on Thursday, December 15 at the Nature Center at Snake Lake, corner of 19th Street and Tyler Street, Tacoma from 2:00-4:30 p.m.
     The Pierce County Health Department is required to hold public meetings whenever they re-issue the LRI's solid waste handling permit. As we all know they are handling a huge amount of garbage, coming from
all over. We even question if it is only Pierce County garbage, as we see the truck and trailers come from the Yelm-McKenna highway. As we also know LeMay operates garbage removal in Thurston, Lewis, Pacific and
several other counties.
     We know that in the past the Health Department has not listened to its residents, but now we are seeing all their promises broken.  The landfill site that we were never suppose to be able to view from Meridian is now a
mountain, the stench of garbage and methane fumes is detectable from within a mile radius or more and several garage trucks travel Meridian and Mountain Highway hourly.
     We can only hope that hundreds of folks turn out for this meeting.  We may not be heard, but to show our disapproval and disgust of how this landfill is being handled is a positive action.

     Thanks for listening

     Lucy McKee

  Letter to the Editor:

“No Growthers”

       November 15, 2005

      The Dispatch’s recent editorial, injected a term bandied about in certain circles. The editorial used the term “no growthers.”
      I have seen and heard this term applied continuously to a group of Eatonville citizens that have nothing but the Town’s best interest at heart, in their pursuit of responsible government. The people that use this term hope it’s continued use will create a negative image by citizens. 
      I am happy and proud to say that I am probably a member of this group. If anyone has been attending Planning and Council meetings over the past 30+ years they will recognize another “ no growther.”  Chuck McTee was born in Eatonville and has been the most active “no growther” with 25 years of Planning Commission membership and continued meeting attendance. 
     Chuck, like the rest of this small group has always believed in growth, but only when it is controlled by good planning and adherence to regulations. We can then build a community that the citizens can be proud of. We believe that all of the elements of growth and their controls, such as Codes, Zoning, Building restrictions, environmental laws and all Town, County, State, and Federal laws must be followed.
     We also believe that citizen comments and recommendations regarding the Town’s incorrect or misleading actions affecting the Town  should be heard and reconciled. The Town Council and the Planner have made mistakes and often tend to “live on the edge.” They stand to be corrected in these cases. 
     This has not always happened. Instead the “no growthers” have been largely ignored as obstacles when attempting to reconcile errors. They have been extremely limited in speaking times, have been rudely told to sit down when making a presentation, and have even been asked to leave an important meeting when trying to counter an incorrect statement by the Town Planner.
     Recently, Steven Van Cleve attempted to help the developer at Swanson Field in planning his new development. He offered to fly him around to other similar airport developments to show him how other successful developments have been planned. He has offered suggestions to the Town Planner over a year ago regarding such developments at airports. None of these recommendations were accepted.  Steve is fighting to protect the airport and to assure Federal regulations are followed. Does this sound like a “no growther?”
     Dr. Stephen Cossalman, a long time Planning Commission member, has also contributed many comments and recommendations at recent council meetings. He has also been largely ignored as being one of the “no growth” crowd, regardless of the subject.
     We have also been referred to as the “Vocal Minority.”  Another misnomer. I would have to  say  that  Chuck McTee is undoubtedly the “Vocal Majority” and continually speaks out on important issues. The true vocal minority just sits in the back of council meetings and snickers whenever the “no growthers” make any comment to the council. They rarely speak or question council actions, except  to whisper to one another.
     Chuck is our hero as he sets the tone as a perfect role model for citizen  involvement for the good of the community. 
     Congratulations to Mayor-elect Tom Smallwood and our sincere wishes for a “New Deal” for the Town of Eatonville.

      A neophyte “no growther” 
     Arlen Paranto

  Letter to the Editor:

Bobbi Allison: A Caring Person...

       October 24, 2005

      As a former lifetime resident of the Eatonville area, I would like to express my knowledge and impression of Bobbie Allison, candidate for mayor of Eatonville.
     I have know Bobbi since she was a small child when my grandmother, Elizabeth Breuer helped babysit her and her sister when they were little. Bob and Betty Allison were  neighbors of my grandma and I saw the children a lot when I was a teenager.
     Much later, I married and was a neighbor across the alley from the Allison family. Bob was my druggist and a good friend. Living there, I had four children, all of whom attended the local schools.
     Later I was divorced, and found myself needing further education and found schooling at Clover Park Vocational School in the late 60s or early 70s. About the same time, Bobbi had graduated from E.H.S. and had decided to attend Clover Park also, enrolling in the Legal Secretary department.
     I made arrangements to ride with her to Vocational School for the fall, winter and spring of that school  year. I started out in the secretarial department, later transferring to the printing department, and eventually worked in the newspaper media for over 25 years for five northwest papers.
     To make a long story short, Bobbi was to me - a great friend and companion for the months we drove to and from Tacoma each day. She was reliable and honest in all of our dealings and totally trustworthy. She was always respectful and prompt in every way. I am confident that the character she showed me as a young high school graduate, is of the same quality that has
followed her through her lifetime.
     She will make an excellent example as mayor for the community of Eatonville.

    Donna Parrish Bloom Kust
    Chinook, Washington

    cc: Dispatch

  Letter to the Editor:

Allison Campaign Manager Explains PDC Complaint

     October 16, 2005


     Concerning the ‘fake flyer’ on the now infamous Corn Feed in August. A complaint was filed with the PDC [Public Disclosure Commission], which is ruled by Chapter 42.17 RCW. Yes – Tom Smallwood was named in this complaint, he is the head of his campaign, as Bobbi Allison is the head of her campaign. Each have their own campaign managers and helpers. I am Bobbi’s campaign manager. But if you think for one minute that she does not know what each of us are doing in her campaign you are mistaken. Together we run a tight ship and make sure each knows what our team is doing.
    Does Bobbi think Tom had anything to do with the flyer – No. She does feel as the candidate and head of his campaign he is ultimately responsible for all of his campaign teams actions; and feels that one of Tom’s team members is responsible. In the complaint Bobbi listed who she/we thought are members of Tom’s team.
    Bobbi spoke to Mr. Phil Stutzman, at the PDC, and was told that absolutely no investigation took place or would take place. That this type of complaint did not make it to the level of concern for investigation of wrongdoing. Without an investigation by the PDC, of course there would be no evidence of wrongdoing and thus a stalemate. Who is going to believe whom? Dirty politics at its finest here in Eatonville, but not by the campaign team I am involved with.
    If you were at the Corn Feed you would know that each campaign had people there and each were going from table to table talking to folks and having a good time. 
    I am proud to be Bobbi Allison’s campaign manager, and know she will make Eatonville a great Mayor!


   Hal Burlingame

   cc: Dispatch

   I approve this letter for publication in the Dispatch and EatonvilleNews– Bobbi Allison

  Letter to the Editor:

State Auditor Cleared Candidate Months Ago...

      October 10, 2005

     The editorial in last week’s paper [Dispatch] stated “it appeared that Bobbi Allison was using her office time in Lakewood….”  Knowing Bobbi well I called and asked about the latest in the character assassination campaign. We met and discussed the Lakewood issue. Fact: Lakewood gives “all” its employees a 90-minute clock to use the Internet during each working day. 
Fact: When Mayor Rath’s public records request came to Lakewood, Bobbi called the state auditor and requested to have her computer usage audited. She came out CLEAN!  Bobbi did not violate any of Lakewood’s personnel policies or computer usage policies.  Fact:  Mayor Rath, Town Clerk Loffelmacker (sic) and Asst. Town Clerk McClone (sic) went to Lakewood to meet with the Lakewood Mayor to complain that Bobbi contacts state agencies.  
    What about AWC [Association of Washington Cities]?  Fact: Bobbi emailed AWC to make contact with her concerns about the sale and hazardous landslide areas mapped as Van Eaton Park. Her concerns were if houses were built would the Town be liable should they slide.  
    Read: RCW 42.23.070 paragraphs 1 & 4 of prohibited acts that apply to using an elected office for personal gain. This applies to Mayor Rath and the state auditor is interested too.  Fact: Mayor Rath has and is using your taxpayer money in this vendetta. Rath even threatened to sue the City of Lakewood – can we say temper tantrum.
    My Vote is for Bobbi a truly honest, and caring person and the only candidate with the right experience, government knowledge, no hidden agenda and integrity to lead.  

    Larry Richards
    cc: Dispatch

  Letter to the Editor:

Candidate's Son Responds
 to Hate Mail...

     October 10, 2005

     This is an open letter to all the residents of Eatonville and its surrounding area.  I am Bobbi Allison’s son, Rob.  I am named after my grandfather Bob Allison, the former town pharmacist who served most of you for 35 years.  It is my mother’s choice to seek office in Eatonville and I support her efforts.  However, I take issue with the hate mail she receives.  I suspect that with the tone of these letters they are from the same individual and this is my response to that individual.
     My mom is a strong person, she will endure whatever you throw at her and she will not give up.  She strives to make Eatonville the best place to live and this is in her thoughts and heart or she would not be seeking the office of Mayor.  
      If you send one more hate filled letter with derogatory remarks about my sister Brinda, who passed away at the age of 20, in 1997, I will do everything legally possible to find out who you are and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.  You are a coward for not signing your name to the letters.
     To the residents of Eatonville – you are going to be voting soon – try talking to my mom.  I know she would welcome one-on-one discussions of the issues, but leave my sister Brinda out of it.

     Rob Leeds
     SeaTac, Washington
     cc. Dispatch

     (Publisher's Note: Please see "How Cruel are These People"
Cruel People .)

  Letter to the Editor:

Citizen Prompted Letter
 from AWC...

      October 10, 2005

     The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) was recently mentioned in an editorial in the Dispatch. The AWC provides insurance for Eatonville and most other cities and towns in Washington. In February of this year when the sale of Van Eaton Park was first proposed, I called the AWC to determine their position regarding the sale of the park. 
    We had a quite pleasant, but frank discussion of the specific laws that would be violated by the sale of Van Eaton Park. The town did receive a letter on this issue from AWC shortly after this discussion.  I have spoken publicly on this matter many times over the past several months and was surprised that the Dispatch was not aware of this.

    Thank you,
    Steven Van Cleve
    cc: Dispatch

    Letter to the Editor:

"Sham of a Meeting"

     September 30, 2005

     Asking a citizen to leave a public meeting should almost never be necessary.  I have been  attending meetings in Eatonville for over fifty years and don’t recall it ever being done before. The *person thrown out of the Council meeting on September 26 was chairman of the Planning Commission for many years and knew how to manage some very controversial meetings without asking anyone to leave.
    Mayor Rath closed the public testimony part of the so called SEPA [State Environmental Policy Act]  hearing, and then allowed the town planner [Mart Kask) to give further testimony to the council. Several of us in the audience thought the statements he made were not exactly the truth, and Steve Van Cleve asked if he would have a chance to answer or rebut what he said. The mayor said he wouldn’t allow him to speak again, and then asked him to leave the meeting, which he did, with one person clapping.  Shame on the person, and the mayor for controlling things in a manner allowing a sham of a meeting to occur.

Charles McTee

    *The person referred to is Steve Van Cleve - he was the spokesman for the appellants during the SEPA appeal public hearing. Van Cleve is also a former Eatonville Town Council member. Presently he is a commercial pilot.

    To read the statement Charles McTee read to the council September 26 please see SEPA Appeal

     To read the citizen's SEPA comments on the Comprehensive Plan please see SEPA Comments  

      Letter to the Editor:

Citizen Wants Fair and Honest Local Government

       September 19, 2005

       (Publisher's Note: The following letter was sent to the local hard copy paper and copied to ENN. It refers to a September 14 editorial in that paper titled, "Eatonville Politics get Even Dirtier," once more taking mayoral candidate Bobbi Allison to task for a faked fundraiser flyer, among other things. The paper's reporter is mentioned in the letter below also. This reference concerns an "interview" done with the letter writer during a "survey" concerning the mayor's race.)Publisher's Note: The following letter was sent to the local hard copy paper and copied to ENN. It refers to a September 14 editorial in that paper titled, "Eatonville Politics get Even Dirtier," once more taking mayoral candidate Bobbi Allison to task for a faked fundraiser flyer, among other things. The paper's reporter is mentioned in the letter below also. This reference concerns an "interview" done with the letter writer during a "survey" concerning the mayor's race.)

      To the Editor,

       I am not part of an ''inside group'' nor do I want ''power'' or ''control.'' I am simply a citizen of this town who wants a fair and honest town government which listens to the input of its people and works together for the good of this community.
      Publisher Mr. Mike Jeffries' comments/desire regarding "letting the campaign unfold as it may'' is, in my humble opinion, untrue. The Dispatch has for some time done it's best toward Bobbi bashing. As far as Ms. Allison "playing the besieged underdog,'' it has also played a role in that. 
     In fact, creating that pejorative attitude including, but not limited, to Mr. Jeffries and Mr. Steve Lind standing outside the door of Mountain Fitness loudly, and laughingly, proclaiming their perceptions of her shortcomings. I was there. I heard it. I was disgusted at that type of school-yard behavior.
     Reporter Mr. John Sparrow’s comments regarding the basis of Ms. Allison's support as an emotional contact is dismissive and demeaning to her supporters. Does he think that we/they are all pre-menstrual or menopausal women who cannot think but only feel?
     Regarding the "mayor's boy.'' Yes I stated that was my thought per Tom. Mayor Bruce Rath had asked Tom Smallwood to run for Mayor and Mr. Rath is running for council unopposed. It would appear that if Tom, who my husband and I consider to be a good man, is elected then the Rath administration, for good or bad, will likely continue.
    Tom indicated to me that he did not think Ms. Allison was responsible for the infamous flyer and did not know who was.
    He also acknowledged that ''dirty politics'' on the part of his supporters could, and would, reflect badly on him. He stated he wants a clean and fair campaign, that he and she have known each other for years, and he has nothing against her and in fact they agree on many issues.
     I simply do not understand the hatred, disrespect and ill will being generated toward Ms. Allison.
    Whomever you support do it with integrity, respect and honesty. Turn things around now and be the kind of town you proclaim to be.
     And as Mr. Jeffries stated-don't believe all the fairy tales - by anyone and more importantly stop creating them.


     Patricia McHatton

     Oh, and a P.S. to Mr. Sparrow...why did you assume I am a nurse? I did not say that when you spoke to me, and I am not.

      Letter to the Editor: 

Eatonville is Becoming
 the "Tin Man"

     August 9, 2005

     To the editor:


     What is happening to a town that used to be considered friendly and a product of its citizens?

     The town is becoming what I call the Tin Man Town. Like the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man, it has no heart.

     The town has lost the ownership of the citizens and has reverted to a rash display by our mayor and town council of “in your face” government. Citizen requests, constructive comments, and petitions have had little if any effect on the  mayor and council members.

     Their actions in selling off the  Van Eaton Park is a slap in the face to the Van Eaton family and was bulldozed through once John Van Eaton passed away,as he was vehemently opposed to selling the Park.

     Years from now, residents will look up on this hill and seeing all the trees gone and replaced with homes, will realize what  a great, quiet, view park that could have become if only town fathers had enough vision to make this a real attractive view park for the citizens to enjoy. John Van Eaton was a visionary man and could see this, but his kind are rapidly vanishing and are being replaced with those that want to make a big bang and produce lots of sparks, only to produce a temporary illusion.

     To make matters worse the town government has decided to build a town square on Mashell Avenue on a vacant car lot. Contrary to what Mayor Rath said in a recent council meeting, the location for a Town Square was recommended by the framers of the Vision Statement, and was on, or near, Washington Avenue.

    Anyone can  look at the map in the Vision Statement and see this. Other citizens have requested the location be close to Washington Avenue to take advantage of the very heavy tourist traffic. Citizens  comments at the “Brainstorm Session” and citizens comments, during council meetings, recommending this were ignored. The town will spend a lot of money on a so called Town Square (with no view of Mount Rainier) and will probably lose the chance to purchase the ideal property on Washington Avenue, which is now a large empty space that represents the town’s image to travelers. Orting's Town Square is on a main thoroughfare and will be successful.  Eatonville will  have a mediocre Town Square, not a great one.

     I have talked to a lot of people about the town and many have said that they do not like living in the town any more and plan to move. They say that the town is now controlled by big developers.

We do not plan to stay here much longer although we  cherish the many friends we have here. I just hope the new residents can enjoy just a bit of what the older residents experienced.


     Arlen Paranto


    My View:  

Lawyer Answers the Mayor's Business License Question

But Another Question Remains...

  by Dixie A. Walter
         July 17, 2005

         According to Town Attorney Robert Mack, Eatonville Mayor Bruce Rath doesn't need a business license because he does not conduct his business within the town limits. Mack writes, "Any person, firm or corporation engaged in  any business, profession, trade or occupation within the town whose place of business or headquarters thereof is located within the corporate limits of the town...EMC 5.04.070. A [emphasis added by Mack).
        "Therefore, any business whose headquarters is located within in the town, but which does not engage in any business or trade within the town, is not required under EMC [Eatonville Municipal Code] 5.04.070 to have a license. Both requirements must be met. The business must be located within the town, and the business must occur within the town also." 
Elected officials, and those running for elected office, are required to fill out a Personal Financial Affairs Statement. See below for Rath's statement dated March 29, 2004. Note payments are over $7,500. The Eatonville Baptist Church lies within the town limits. Has the mayor done other work inside the town limits since then? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Did he get a special license to perform over $7,400 to build a road for the church? Is there such a thing as a special license in Eatonville? Perhaps. All laws are subject to various interpretations by attorneys. It's called "semantics." 
       Semantics is all about the meaning of words, and/or how to use them. An apple is a fruit, but so is a watermelon. Similar yet not the same.  A Rolls Royce is a car, but so is a Volkswagen. Could it be that all licenses issued for businesses aren't the same?

Why Doesn't the Mayor have a Business License?

      by Dixie A. Walter
     July 5, 2005

     When I asked that question I was told by the town clerk that he didn't need one because his business isn't done in town. However, for at least eleven years Rath Company is listed in the phone book as the Rath home. First on Braden Close and now on the Eatonville Highway. According to the Eatonville Municipal Code 5.04.070 License fee for business: "A. Every person, firm or corporation engaged in any business, profession, trade or occupation within the town whose place of business or headquarters thereof is located within the corporate limits of the town shall pay the following license fee for the privilege of engaging in business in the town: The annual license fee shall be $50."
     And the code also states in section 5.04.100 Violation - penalty, "Any person, firm or corporation who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 91-21 § 10, 1991)."
      Caesar's wife had to be beyond reproach. Shouldn't an elected official of the community have the same standards? The mayor's "headquarters" are listed as his home addresses dating back at least to 1994. Should he have a business license? Yes, according to town law. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Perhaps Rath has never bothered to read the code, or buy a business license. After awhile $50 dollars can add up - ten years, $500. Every little bit helps a town with money woes.

    Letter to the Editor: 

Citizen Agrees with Nancy Iams about Town Square...

       May 15, 2005

      To the editor:

     The letter that local businesswoman Nancy Iams gave to  EatonvilleNews and to each councilmember hit the nail on the head. It reflects exactly the sentiments of the people that prepared the Community Action Plan and Vision Statement.

     The current plan of the Mayor to buy Van Eaton's car lots is a waste of time and money if pursued. Nancy's proposal is the only one that makes any sense.

     A Plaza close to Washington Ave. traffic will attract  travelers to it and then onto attractive walkpaths to Mashell Ave. The empty lot between the old Kneip building [Curves] and the Tall Timber would make an excellent choice for the walk area.

     All one has to do is to study the plan to see that is has been well thought out. Evidently Nancy has done that. Good for her.

     Coincidently, I had also prepared text that I was going to present to the council Monday, April 25, but with the busy agenda, decided not to at that time, so Nancy's release is perfect. 

The Town Square Site

        All of the talk on the Town Square indicates that it is to be located on the empty car lot of Terry Van Eaton's.

        This is the a very poor location for several reasons:

1. It is against the recommendations of the Eatonville Community Action Plan and Vision Statement.

         *Page 19 states: The location for the town square is shown to be between Center and Carter Streets and in between Mashell Avenue and Washington Avenue, to be easily accessible for traffic coming through on Washington Avenue.

         *Pages 24, 25,and 26 indicate the same thoughts on the proper location for  Town Square.

        2. Travelers coming through, on the way to the mountain, will have no desire to spend time taking a side trip to Mashell unless “drawn in” from an attractive square on Washington Avenue. Walkways from there to Mashell as indicated in the Vision Plan will lead people to that area.

        Any special activities being held in a Town Square on Washington will also attract visitors coming through.

3.There is no view of the Mount Rainier from the proposed Mashell Site.

4.The ideal site would be the empty used car lot and vacant building area on  the West side of Washington Avenue, just North of the Rainier Group offices.

         Arlen Paranto

      *To read the Iams alternative please see "How About Another Idea" Town Square  

  Letter to the Editor: 

Town Square - Rumor Mill...

      May 15, 2005

   To the editor:

     Dear Ms. Walter, I have heard via the rumor mill that some people think you wrote the letter re: "Boys Will be Boys?" FYI, and anyone else who is interested in the truth of it. I overheard the same conversation as I was entering Mountain Fitness. 
     I too was surprised to hear the conversation between Mr. Jeffries and Mr. Lind. Expressing one's opinion with a friend is one thing. Loudly and laughingly expressing their views in public is another. Oh well, kids will be kids. 

     Patricia McHatton

     P. S. It would surely show some class and maturity it the "boys" would own up to their behavior, I'm pretty sure their mamas taught them better manners.

    *Please see letter about the "Boys" below.

  Letter to the Editor: 

 Boys Will be Boys?

     April 27, 2005

   Dear Ms. Walter,

   My family and I are recent residents of Eatonville...Well, we have lived here about eight years, but I have the feeling that if one were not born here then one would always be in "newbie." I have never been involved in politics or gossip which kind of leaves me on the outside of things as the town appears to be rife with both - and not in a very healthy or kind way.
    I am aware via the Dispatch of the current issues regarding council members, the mayor, and certain concerns regarding building, sale of Van Eaton Park, etc. I am becoming more aware of malicious feelings circulating.
    I was entering a business on Mashell Avenue one day this week when I overheard Mr. Jeffries [Dispatch publisher] and Planning Commissioner Steve Lind discussing Bobbi Allison [town councilmember] and you. Comments included, but were not limited to, issues such as you are a troublemaker who does not get her facts straight. The same was said about Bobbi Allison. This was all said in public, in front of three businesses and was said loudly and without concern as to who may be listening. Oh, and by the way, I was not the only passerby. 
    I have attempted to keep an open mind regarding Mr. Jeffries and his motivations. Sorry, can't do that now. It would seem that this man (who may not want to be mayor, but does appear to want to be king), has a big enough forum in his "news" paper. Perhaps the town government would like to find money in the town budget and purchase Mr. Jeffries a soap box which could be installed on Mashell Avenue. I'm sure the mayor would readily grant him a permit.


   M. J. Watson

   (Publisher's note: Regarding facts - it's pretty hard to argue with a tape recorder.)


 Letter to the Editor: 

Councilmember Has Her Say

     April 27, 2005         

     To the editor,

     In response to Mike Jordan’s letter to the Dispatch editor dated April 20, 2005:

     Mr. Jordan’s first statement “I don’t often attend council meetings” is a disclaimer for the unfounded comments that followed in his letter published in last week’s Dispatch.  I would encourage him to attend more often, whether there is an item on the agenda that interests him or not, the business of the Town and community is important.  He should know this as a former councilmember.
    The constituents that we, the council, represent expect us to conduct business in an open forum, not behind closed doors.  They want the business of the Town out in the open, as required under the Open Public Meetings Act.  This is what I attempt to do.
     I believe he is speaking about me since I am the only person on the council who consistently brings forward the issue of the mayor exceeding his spending his limits without authorization.  
Ask me a question and you will get an honest answer.  And that’s what I would expect from you.  I would hope that all council members check out their information, especially when it has to do with the law.  If someone makes a statement that is not accurate, I will bring it to your attention.  
I have to be honest when I ask for information from various town, county and state agencies, and I have to be honest when giving information to the good people of Eatonville who voted for me as their representative.
    Honesty and truth are two lessons my father taught me.

    Bobbi Allison
    Councilmember – Town of Eatonville.

       Letter to the Editor: 

Autism Awareness Month: Local Mom Speaks Out...

       April 24, 2005

      Since it is autism awareness month - I thought I would share a personal story with all of you.  I'm pretty sure that many of you are aware that my son Bryan has a form of autism. His official diagnosis is "Asperger's Syndrome."

     Bryan is now ten years old and going to elementary school in our hometown of Eatonville.This has been a challenging year.Bryan is aware that he is autistic, but he also knows that he loves people, (a recent discovery in the last few years) - and he wants badly to have friends.
     His grades are above average, as is his intellect.  Bryan's problems are social. There is no program currently at our school for social disorders. I had agreed at the beginning of the year to remove Bryan from Special Ed, because he "tested out." Basically they said he was too smart.
     Now we face daily challenges of life with someone who has little social abilities, people think he's rude, or just poorly behaved. But I ask each of you, if you do not understand what Asperger's Syndrome is - please read some of the information listed below. Educate yourself...and maybe pass this on to friends and family. Who knows? Maybe someone else out in the world is going through the same thing we are and has some helpful suggestions.
     Thanks for allowing me to stand on my soapbox. (Most of you know, it's a place I am familiar with). 

     Find out more about Autism, or how you can help at: http://www.autism-society.org

     Please visit my Weblog...in honor of Autism Awareness Month! http://dysfunmom.blogspot.com/

     Kim Abicht
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  Letter to the Editor:

Caregiver Speaks to Legislatures about Injustice... 

     April 24, 2005

    I'm writing to speak up about a great injustice that is being done to families that reaches far beyond our neighborhood and affects us all.

     I am a Gramma caregiver who has the privilege and honor of helping my daughter raise her children. She has chosen to work and not be on welfare. The state does subsidize child care, the state pays me $2.00 or $1.00, depending on the age of child, for this valuable service I provide. I believe children are healthier and become more productive as adults raised in a loving and caring home.

     I have already  raised one family who are now adults and have gone on to raise their families to become productive members of society...our next generation...My goal is to bring up safe and secure children to be productive adults. I believe they need to be hugged  and strengthened in their inner being...to know they are worthy and loved.

    I believe if they are not, they will seek that attention throughout their life in harmful, negative ways to themselves or others. If these same children were put in a licensed day care, the daycare would receive about $25.00 a day for the same time.

    I think it is important for the child to be in their own home surrounded by their familiar things and learning the same values as their mother. Besides the low wages, below poverty, we are not paid nor is it retroactive for the time we were going through the background check.

    I am fighting to have this changed by having a bill enacted in favor of this and have already started speaking out about it to my state representatives. I want to do this for other caregivers who live as I do...below poverty ..and to take away the shame that has held me silent for too long. Won't you join me in this battle? Together we can overcome this great injustice that is being done.

    Shelly Brink

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    Letter to the Editor: 

Taxpayers In For Another Surprise?

     April 27, 2005 

     I have not heard of any  questions or comments from the council about the disposition of the affected streets since the majority of  the Council voted to sell the Van Eaton Park.
    What is going to be done to widen and pave the “oil matted” Orchard Avenue South now that the expected traffic will probably triple. The street will continue to endure other traffic from heavily loaded trucks enroute to the proposed 80 plus home Mountain Crest Development, new water tank and other construction.
    There was also no discussion of town costs associated with providing water/sewer to the proposed sale area. Someone forgot to inform the real estate company of these matters.
    When will Larson Street be widened and paved to accommodate the new traffic?
    The very narrow road and 90 degree turn to Orchard Avenue South is dangerous. (Residents here refer to this street as Eatonville’s most dangerous street).
    Has the required street studies and  improvements, involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, been planned for and  will the money from the sale of the park be used to partially fund the streets, or are the costs just going to be passed on to the taxpayers?
   The sale of the Park will result in a financial loss to the town.
   I hear nothing from the council about the extra money needed to assemble the nearly $50,000 “Big Toy” acquired for the Skatepark. The manufacturer’s charge to install is over $20,000. Looks like the council bought something with no thought about funds for its completion. The assembly requires a contractor licensed to do such work.  Insurance Liability is an issue. Special engineered fiber materials surrounding the toy are also required. Parts are still sitting in storage.
    Meanwhile, the “no approval” spending limit for the mayor, was just raised from $5,000 to $20,000 (for each trade), with only one councilmember questioning the need and voting a strong “NO.”
   The council should consider the citizens of Eatonville and demonstrate some fiscal responsibility. 
    It appears that the operational theme of the Council is: Ready-Fire-Aim!

    Arlen Paranto
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