Letters to the Editor


Arlington Levy
On Feb. 19, voters will be presented with a four-year replacement levy proposal for the Arlington Public Schools. I urge you to vote yes.
Given our districts healthy state of the union we should all be proud to support a replacement levy that starts about a dollar less per thousand than the last levy and actually declines over the next four years.
The levy dollars will help buy classroom supplies, textbooks and equipment. These dollars will also help pay the salaries of teachers, and other staff. The levy will fund the same levels of service. This is also the first levy election that will be determined entirely by mail-in ballots.
Although the levy is on the same ballot as the Presidential Primary, you dont have to identify your party to vote on the school levy. Volunteer citizens will be calling you in the next few weeks to remind you to vote but if you mail in your ballot right away, you wont get any reminder calls. Remember our children and vote yes.
John W. Burkholder, Chairman,
Citizens for Arlington Schools

Helping Hands
thank you
Helping Hands would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and all the people who have donated to us. A special thanks to the city of Arlington and Kurt Patterson of city maintenance who has been a great help in keeping the outside clear of all the unsaleable articles that have been dumped off on us over the years.
Because of all these people, we were able to donate $13,000 in 2007 to our charities, which include Arlington Boys and Girls clubs, Youth Dynamics, Make A Wish, Arlington Food Bank, Support 46 Chaplains, Arts Alive, Arlington Cocoon House and Dollars for Scholars.
We are in need of clean clothing, bedding and all inside articles.
Because of limited space we can not accept large appliances, broken-down furniture, exercise equipment which doesnt sell and old TVs.
Once again we thank each and everyone of you for making 2007 a great year.
Shirley J. Cochinella
Helping Hands, Arlington

Mookie Cat missing
Mookie cat is our five-year-old sons favorite stuffed animal. He has had this stuffed animal since his first Christmas and for the last week he has wished that someone might find him.
In the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 27, our van was broken into at the Tulalip Premium Outlet Mall.
We had just returned from a long holiday in Central America and as many Canadian travelers do, we stopped to shop before returning home. In the two hours there, all of our luggage, two large bags and two smaller kids roller backpacks, were stolen. Unfortunately, the police tell us this is not an uncommon occurrence. The enormous parking lot does not have video surveillance and many vehicles contain the luggage of the travelers who stop.
The thieves did not get anything of great value to them no passports, cash, jewelry or expensive electronics. The one credit card was immediately cancelled. What they did get was a lot of dirty laundry, summer clothes, towels, footwear, books and sporting gear (snorkeling gear, goggles, binoculars and lifejackets). Sadly for our two kids, aged five and nine, their favorite little stuffed animals were taken as well as the trinkets and treasures they picked up during their holiday. Our daughters homework, which she worked so diligently on, was also in the bags.
The police tell us that most of this stuff gets dumped.
The irony is after traveling safely in Central America where personal theft is a problem; we get robbed in our own backyard. The difference there is theft is driven by poverty and you can be sure that every decent piece of clothing and footwear would be used by some child or adult.
Here, most of the belongings get thrown away.
Our plea is to you residents of the region to contact the Tulalip police at 360-651-4608 if you see a pile of discarded items on some back road, in a ditch or dumpster. Please make a mental note of the location and call.
After being exposed to the ugly side of people, perhaps some observant person could restore my childrens trust in others. We thank-you for taking the time to read this.
Sarah and Doug Ewing
Tsawwassen, British Columbia

Your yes will count
Please vote yes for the Arlington Public Schools replacement levy by Feb. 19. The students and schools have been working hard and deserve the support of our community.
As students strive to learn, Ive witnessed our teachers, principals, staff, administrators and school board working diligently to meet the needs of every child. As a parent with a junior and sixth-grade child in the district, I am proud that my children are a part of a district where respect and civility matter.
Additionally, I have seen first hand the challenging material our children are working on. Along with this, I have been in classrooms and witnessed excellent instruction and incredibly supportive teachers and principals. Ive read some amazing work over the years, hanging in the halls of our schools where writing classes have involved helping our children learn to organize their ideas and to write with voice, fluency, correct conventions and good word choices, as well as include interesting commentary and concrete details.
I have witnessed outstanding math instruction both of basic math skills, such as multiplication, fractions, decimals and long division, by hand, without the aid of calculators, in addition to deeper thinking, problem solving skills. Ive seen children in our reading programs grow from emergent readers to strong readers, as well as struggling readers who have worked with reading specialists who now proudly inform me of their improvement.
Arlington Public Schools is working hard on behalf of the children of this community and will continue to do so while implementing the states next expectation. In addition to the WASL exams, Culminating Exhibition and credit requirements, by 2008-09 classroom-based assessments and classroom-based performance assessments will be used statewide at all grade levels to measure student learning of social studies, arts and health and fitness, as well.
Our children and schools need our support. This district kept its promise with our bond dollars. This is not a new tax. Lets pass this replacement levy the first time so our financial resources can be directed toward our children rather than a campaign. Your yes vote will count even if you choose not to declare a party and vote in the presidential primary. Please vote yes for Arlington Public Schools Feb. 19.
Denise Schwans

mean less crime
Help keep our neighborhoods safe. Vote yes on the Lakewood School District levy propositions on Feb. 19.
About nine years ago I had a couple tell me, Sorry we cannot support your school levies. Our kids have already gone through the school system and we just cant justify spending more money to educate other peoples kids.
Here is what I wish I had said back then and would like to say to readers today.
Please remember that families without students in your schools supported and paid for the education of your children and continue to do so for the families in your community. Your kids would not have had the opportunities afforded them if the taxpayers decided they were done supporting them. Statistics show that ample and varied opportunities (educational and extracurricular) are major forces necessary to keep our youth off the streets and crime free. If our teens were not occupied at school and other positive and healthy opportunities, they might be out prowling your cars and stealing from your home. Our safety and future quality of life depends on our choices for education today.
Vote yes for schools (on the back of your ballot). Thank you.
Tracy Sisk

Thank you Kirk
We would like to send out a huge thank you to Kirk Boxleitner of the Arlington Times for all he has done to help Arlington Cub Scouts of America Pack 92 with the food drive and head shaving events. Without his dedication to the community and scouts we would not have had as successful of a food drive. Whenever called upon, he took photos and wrote articles informing the community of our goal of 1,500 pounds of food for the Arlington food bank, when and where we would be collecting and for how long. For that, we are so very thankful. We look forward to new goals and working with Kirk again next year. Again, thanks so much.
Greg Vaughn and Pack 92

Two times yes
equals success
This upcoming ballot is more than just a presidential primary. Its about our kids, their future and your two Yes votes on Feb. 19 to renew Lakewoods Replacement School Programs Levy and support a much needed Technology Levy.
The Replacement Levy is just that, a replacement. Like renewing a subscription to a magazine, you have the opportunity to renew your commitment to Lakewood kids. This Replacement School Programs Levy pays for about 17 perecent of Lakewoods daily operations. It bridges the gap between state and federal funding and the actual costs required to educate our kids. It supports the curriculum, the facilities, our security and emergency preparedness. It helps provides staff training, student transportation, and more. The Technology Levy will assure us that our equipment remains current, efficient, effective and secure. Passing this four-year technology levy is an essential part of preparing our students for a world that so critically depends on it.
I liken these two levies to a bridge that links fantasy to reality. If we want all children to learn, grow and become productive citizens, we must make sure this bridge closes the funding gap. Your Yes vote to both of these levies will assure our children, that the bridge building continues and the gap gets closed. Vote Yes two times by Feb. 19 for a successful continuation of learning for Lakewood students.
Katie Waldrop, Teacher
Cougar Creek Elementary School, Lakewood School District

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