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Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Snohomish County opinion

Letters to the Editor

New development

Where you grew up may be torn down

Editor, The Times:

Do you think rezoning won't happen in your neighborhood because of current zoning laws, or because the lots are already developed? Are you noticing new low-density multiple-residential (LDMR) property developments are destroying the character of your neighborhoods?

The truth is, developers are buying R9600 properties [which "under Snohomish County zoning would allow up (to) six dwelling units per acre or as few as four dwelling unit(s)/acre"] in "unincorporated Snohomish County"; filing permits with Snohomish County to rezone to LDMR zoning in Edmonds, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Brier, Mill Creek, Woodway and Everett's unincorporated neighborhoods.

Our neighborhoods are now vulnerable to overdevelopment and need to be protected now and for future generations. I urge Snohomish County Planning to reconsider allowing rezoning to LDMR and insist State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental-impact statements be implemented on Horesmen's Trail, Timberwood Ridge, Seabrook Heights and Arbutus.

— Marla Kroll (Picnic Point resident), Edmonds

Old school

Its alumni built the 21st century

It is worthwhile to carefully consider what Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, said regarding her questioning of the state's constitutional requirement to provide basic education for all children. She is asking the very proper and legitimate question, "What, exactly, should comprise a basic education?" ["Senator's comments create a stir," Times, Local News, March 1.]

In recent years, that definition has apparently come to mean whatever the education industry says and thinks it should mean, influenced by whatever socio-political theories are stylish at the time. While demanding ever-increasing funds to teach whatever and however it deems fit, it demonizes anyone with the backbone to question it or ask for justification of how school funds are spent.

Stevens is correct in saying there are subjects now being taught that almost any reasonable person would question as essential to a "basic" education. It's not a stretch to say this dilutes and diverts resources from what most of us think of as the "basics," i.e., math, science, languages and what were once called social studies.

Certainly, these subjects must be constantly evaluated to remain relevant in today's technological world. But one might also ask how the "older generations" managed to create the environment that allowed the development of all the technologies we have today ... and did it with what was once clearly understood as a "basic education."

— Lee Fowble, Edmonds

Flabby is the new fit

Regarding "One out of four state kids too fat, new UW study says" [Local News, Feb. 23]: I remember, way back in the good ol' days, when I was in elementary and junior-high (aka "middle") school, we would have regular sessions of exercise during recess, just by having fun playing teamball, dodgeball, softball, etc. And vending machines were nonexistent.

It's no wonder obesity is an epidemic, as the old ways of "having fun" are now a thing of the past.

— Denise Crie, Mountlake Terrace

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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