TheVOTER NOVEMBER 2013: Volume 55, Issue 3 Editor Madeleine Kaiser This newsletter is published by and for the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County www.lwvsnohomishcounty.org LWVSC Message Phone, 425-334-8922
BOARD MEETING Thursday, November 7 10 am – 12 noon Snohomish County PUD 2320 California St Everett 98201 (check at front desk for room number)
All members welcome!
Listen to LWVSC’s monthly Magazine on the Air program KSER 90.7 FM, Monday, November 11, 6 pm Topic: Excerpt from Human Trafficking talk by Sen. Kohl-Welles To hear recent broadcasts go to www.lwvsnohomishcounty.org
Unit Meetings North Unit, Thursday, November 7 Central Unit, Wednesday, November 20 South Unit, Thursday, November 21 Saturday Unit, No November Meeting ( See Page 2 for topic and locations.
SAVE THESE DATES November 2 – Action Workshop – LWVSC Hosting Saturday, Convening at 9:30 am United Church of Christ, 2624 Rockefeller Avenue, Everett WA 98201 The League of Women Voters of Washington (LWVWA) has asked us to host a perennial favorite, the Action Workshop. November 5 – GENERAL ELECTION
PRESIDENT’S PEN The LWVSC was a co-sponsor of “Building Livable Communities” Summit and County Council Candidate’s Forum on October 12. The highlight was the presentation of the key-note speaker Dr. Andrew L. Dannenberg entitled “Snohomish County as a Place to Live, Grow, Work, Learn, Travel, and Play: Creating Healthy Communities”. This is one of the best presentations on planning that I have ever heard. His message was right on target. It is unfortunate that more people did not hear him. Dr. Dannenberg is Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, the UW College of Public Health, and in the Department of Urban Design and Planning. Based on his background and expertise, he clearly illustrated how health and planning are interrelated and can work together for healthy communities. He not only stressed environmental and health concerns, but he had solutions. Walkable communities, access to parks, innovative transportation design, high standards for water and air quality, art, and social networking are a few elements of smart growth that can help reduce obesity, asthma, depression, and stress as well as other serious health conditions. Health can fit and should be included in existing environmental plans. Dr. Dannenberg is co-author with Howard Frumkin and Richard Jackson of Make Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability, published by Island Press in 2011 <http://www.makinghealthyplaces.org> Donnetta Walser
NOVEMBER UNIT MEETINGS NORTH UNIT -- Thursday, November 7, at 7:00 pm, at the Community Room, 1210 E 5th Street, Arlington 98223, contact: Marian Harrison. CENTRAL UNIT -- Wednesday, October 20, at 1:00-3:00 pm, at Everett Central Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave, Everett 98201, contact: Jo Munnich SOUTH UNIT -- The LWVSC South County Unit will meet Thursday, November 21, as usual from 10:00 am to noon, at the Pancake Haus, 530 - 5th Ave. S., Edmonds. Optional lunch follows. Without a designated topic for discussion, we’ll discuss various League positions, studies, and legislative interests, and inspire each other to League action! We could share current information on Energy, Education, Early Childhood Education, Trade, Privatization, Gun Safety, Open Government, Getting Money Out of Politics, Constitutional Amendments, Taxes -whatever critical issues members choose. We'll also introduce our national Agriculture Study. Should be animated, productive, satisfying conversations! Good time to bring friends! Welcome to all! -- Rowena Miller SATURDAY UNIT – No meeting this month.
MEMBERSHIP CORNER Janet Chalupnik League of Women Voters of Snohomish County P. O. Box 1146 Everett, WA 98201 425-334-8922 www.lwvsnohomishcounty.org
REPORT FROM THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE Dorothy Jones The nominating committee had a lunch meeting on September 23 to welcome its 2014 crew. Members are Mary Royce, Lynn Carpenter, Rosemary Rognstad, Leilani Wallace, and Dorothy Jones. Our first task is to seek nomination recommendations from our unit leaders and members for First Vice President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, three board members and the 2015 nominating committee. Serving the League is a worthy commitment, which come with the opportunity for an A-1 learning experience. For any questions or suggestions, please call Mary Royce (south unit).
REPORTS FROM THE VOTER SERVICE CHAIR Jody Dunham-Trautwein
Candidate Forums In October, the League sponsored 2 candidate forums. At Sultan High School, candidates for the Sultan City council, Gold Bar City council and mayor, and Snohomish County council position 5 presented their platforms. In Mukilteo, citizens heard the views of candidates for mayor, city council, water/wastewater district, and school district. This was an amazing forum because ALL candidates for all positions were able to attend.
Health Fairs The League provided a table for voter registration information at two forums on the Affordable Care Act, also now known as Obamacare. Forums were held at Horizon Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary in the Mukilteo School district.
REPORT FROM THE VOTER SERVICE CHAIR (CONTD.)
Food Bank Voter Registration As part of the board’s emphasis on registering voters who may have been excluded because of poverty or because English is not their first language, League members have staffed tables at area food banks in Marysville and Snohomish. [These are first-rime registrants, unlike seniors who have voted for years or students registered previously in their home districts/states, who are disenfranchised by having to provide onerous new picture IDs, which cost something.]
Moderator Training Several League members have expressed an interest in being trained to moderate candidate forums. We are tentatively planning moderator training after the first of the year. Members who would be interested should contact Jody Dunham-Trautwein so that we can consider your schedule when we begin to set dates. PLEASE CONSIDER TRAINING SINCE THE FALL OF 2014 WILL LIKELY BE A VERY CONTENTIOUS ELECTION!
****** AGRICULTURE STUDY Michelle Valentine Now that my League responsibilities are reduced, I did have time this fall to read all three suggested summer readings on Agriculture from LWVUS. They provide three different perspectives: a 4-page Scientific American article, 8-page Union of Concerned Scientists article with a very interesting map of corn croplands, and a, OK this is the long one, 28 page chapter from a report with lots of charts and tables about agriculture as of 2011. You can finish all this in about 3 hours, and I'm a slow reader! 1. The first document is a short article from Scientific American entitled Will Organic Fail to Feed the World? The article presents a summary of a recent analysis of 66 studies comparing conventional and organic methods for 34 different crop species. There are numerous live links providing definitions of terms and additional reading. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=organic-farming-yields-and-feeding-the-worldunder-climate-change&page=2 2. The second document is a Union of Concerned Scientists policy brief entitled The Healthy Farm: A Vision for U.S. Agriculture. The report contains many useful references and links. http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/The-Healthy-Farm-A-Vision-forUS-Agriculture.pdf 3. The third recommendation is the administration’s perspective on the key agricultural policy issues that need to be addressed in 2013 as reported in Challenges and Opportunities in U.S. Agriculture (Chapter 8 of the Economic Report of the President- 2013). . The document can be downloaded in PDF using the following link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/ERP-2013/ERP-2013-chapter8/content-detail.html
Editor’s Note: The following “Letters to the Editor”, by concerned League members, were published in the “Daily Herald” on August 22, 2013. Although I am late publishing them in our own news sheet, they could not be more timely this week, especially the one on the coal pollution issue.
Coal only adds to bad pollution After viewing recent scenes of Beijing street peoples with masked citizens wandering in a murky haze, the question came to my mind. Are we really doing China a favor by shipping multiple tons of coal to them? I’m sure their industrial giants are shouting “jobs, jobs” just as ours are, but how many jobs will make up for poisonous air and destroyed land in our finite world? China is already making great strides in manufacturing solar panels and such. With less coalburning support from us perhaps they will redouble those more ecological efforts. Benita Helseth, Lake Stevens
‘Patching’ bluffs ignores real issues Regarding the article “Crews work to tame troublesome slide areas”: The federal government (we the people) is giving Snohomish County a $16 million dollar grant to “patch” the bluffs above Puget Sound. This is a concerted effort to eliminate the costly destructive slides that affect the rail corridor. However gratifying the money, the grant deflects attention from the people and actions that have created the hazard. That responsibility needs to be shouldered by the County Planning Department, developers, BNSF railroad and ultimately we citizens of the county who fail to show up at the “public” meetings held on zoning and planning issues. The patches that are about to be applied may help somewhat, but their construction is a bit like putting a “patch” onto an earth dam that is leaking. What is worse is that it gives a sense of complacency so that the more difficult and conflicting matters are sidestepped. The genuine issues of preserving land and trees, our proper runoff aquifers, and training existing homeowners in proper stewardship are still being ignored. Development projects allowed within these fragile corridors must bear more of the cost and develop more environmentally friendly strategies if the Sound and the railroad tracks are to be protected. Most importantly, concerned citizens, and BNSF as well, must become more active “watchdogs” by insisting on development that is accountable, attuned to the peculiar environmental demands of these fragile slopes. In short, proper respect for nature in our planning should eliminate any need to run to the federal government for a $16 million “patch.” Joan Smith, Edmonds