Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

PAA residents not that ‘lucky’ at all

Dear Editor,

It now seems that annexation won’t happen in the next year or so, but I have to take issue with Mr. Butcher’s assertion (Letters, April 23 edition) that we in the PAA just don’t know how lucky we are by not becoming part of Kirkland.

What we do know, having been told repeatedly by King County throughout the annexation process, is that taxes will go up and service levels will go down. And this was before King County announced big budget deficits for the next couple years. Lucky, indeed.

If, as the letter implies, Kirkland has any sort of moral obligation to help improve our levels of service in the PAA, an opportunity was missed. It was very disappointing to see the Council ignore the comments of the police chief and city manager that annexation could be managed.

And think – if it could be managed when the economy is down, how much easier would it be when it turns around?

~Bob Thompson, Kirkland’s PAA

Parkplace will change, but you have a say

Dear Editor,

It’s time to face the facts — development of Parkplace is going to happen, whether you’re for or against the project. While we truly don’t have a say in what a private developer can do with their own property, we do have an opportunity here that needs to be recognized.

Touchstone Development has a sincere desire to build something that will benefit our community. If granted the eight story amendment for a few of the buildings in this project, they will be able to incorporate 45 percent open space and a significant retail mix. This will help keep the brown paper off the windows in our downtown core by finally making Kirkland a true “shopping” destination. We will also have restaurants, a movie theater, health club, hotel and an expanded QFC.

If not granted the 8 story code amendment, they will build an office park. Period. End of story.

Think Coal Creek office development. No retail. No movie theater. No place to take your kids or hang out with your friends. No place that will benefit the neighborhoods, unless we end up working there. It’s not a threat that Touchstone is holding over our heads — it’s simple economics. Any of us wouldn’t invest millions of dollars into something that didn’t make money.

I believe if we miss this opportunity to have a place that contributes to the vitality of Kirkland, we are going to regret it when the reality of an office park finally hits us.

If you don’t want an office park in downtown Kirkland, let City Council know ASAP.

~Julie Metteer, Kirkland

Thoughts on crime, a new Parkplace

Dear Editor,

I find your police blotter section interesting and informative. The first graph list the totals for a seven day period for each type of crime committed. Finally there is a grand total for the week listed.

I am just curious as to whether the Kirkland Police are involved in a contest with other law enforcement agencies in the area to see how many arrests they can make or are we just turning into a crime-ridden community. The total arrests for each seven day period seems to be about 50 people. If this trend continues, by the end of five years the Kirkland Police Department will have arrested almost the total population of Kirkland. That is kind of scary.

Another matter I find interesting is the idea of building a bigger and a badder Parkplace shopping area. Some people feel that in order for Parkplace to survive it must grow. What I see is stores suffering — stores closing. The Parkplace Office Supply store recently closed. The Parkplace Book Store is in trouble.

Parkplace has suffered from the time it first opened and creating a major construction project to try to improve the shopping center will only encourage more people to jump on Interstate 405 and shop somewhere else.

I don’t feel there will be many who wish to fight construction gridlock to buy something at QFC or go to one of the eateries in Parkplace for lunch.

~James Davidson, Kirkland

Kirkland not made up of just wealthy people

Dear Editor,

After years of carefully and painstakingly considering any development proposed for downtown Kirkland, and then frequently turning down ideas, it seems this City Council is now agreeing to anything a developer proposes. The McLeod development is especially concerning as it will significantly change the look and feel of the downtown core and will increase the number of autos on an already too-crowded street. Of course, Mr. McLeod won’t be impacted by that – he lives in California.

I was especially riled by the article regarding Kirkland’s trend toward “destination” restaurants (Kirkland Reporter 4-16-08). To date, many restaurants that people could afford have closed, and others will be leaving. They’ll be replaced by high end restaurants where entrees are in the $26 to $44 price range. As Bill McIntyre stated, “…people in those areas are higher income people.” Evidently, he isn’t well-acquainted with the mix of people in Kirkland. Many of us have lived here a very long time and aren’t wealthy. In fact, if we hadn’t purchased houses when we did, we wouldn’t be able to move here. We certainly aren’t going to support numerous high end restaurants in downtown Kirkland.

I grew up in Kirkland, moved away, then returned to Kirkland 24 years ago. I selected it because it had charm. Now that is being destroyed as the Council agrees to increased density, large buildings and expensive rents. Perhaps it’s time to get a council that isn’t taken in by greed.

~Laurel Saromines, Kirkland