A Blog About the Environment, Land Use, Preservation, Politics and Life, In and Around Shoreline, WA
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Friday, January 15, 2010
Another Passionate Letter on the Shoreline Historical Museum
Another good letter from a passionate Museum supporter and parent of a Shoreline student, Julie Houff. Julie is a very active member of the community from Lake Forest Park. She supports our schools and cannot understand how the School District could risk losing the Bond and/or destroying our Historical Museum.
IN HOPES THAT ALL LEGAL FACTS WILL BE CONSIDERED AND THAT ALL POSSIBILITIES WILL BE CONSIDERATE
In response to a previous letter to the editor of Shoreline Area News, by Kristine McLane titled 'To the Editor: Read the Facts About the School Bond', I followed the link to documents on the Ronald School Building issue, but only found laws relating to surplus school property. I could not find info on quit claim deeded school buildings or any documents specifically relating to the Museum and School District agreements. (Reminds me of that June public meeting when very general state laws were shared and many pertinent questions left unanswered) So, I took a look at the most relevant and helpful information-which, of course is the legally filed Deed and addenda agreements.
I am not an attorney, but after reading the documents, I would say the Museum owns the building. And, that the District may take it back ONLY if the District has sought all means to meet the needs of students without using the building, and can ONLY meet the needs of students by using the building.
Why the hurry to incorporate the Historic Ronald School into the high school? And for what specific purpose/s? I have not been notified of the desperate need that can ONLY be met by using that building. Has anyone? If you have, please share it. What is the logic to expensively modernize a historic building-wasting the huge investments made maintaining the historic interior and exterior look, when there are decent plans made that don't incorporate it, and an even better one could be requested to be drawn? Sure, more space can be better, in some cases. However, is it really necessary in this case? Will it be the only way to allow for the best education for Shorewood students?
As far as the "option" (offered by the District) of moving the building goes: How do you move a very large 100 year old brick building without partially or totally destroying it in the process? This very idea seems to fly in the face of consideration for those of us history enthusiasts. When the District's attorney was asked about what he knew in regards to this, he offered nothing. Why offer this option if it's not a truly viable one?
The District appears to be putting the fate our Shoreline/LFP history center in our-the voters-hands, but in a way that forces us to choose between keeping our complete Museum in it's current location/s in the preserved historic building that houses it, and our needed Levy/Bond measures? I don't know about you, but, I am very sad, anxious, and angry about this. Our school district residents don't deserve to be left in limbo, to only ASSUME that a vote FOR schools automatically means that the integrity of their museum and historic building is, or is not, at risk. Nor do they deserve to be made to decide whether or not to delay getting updated high schools or enough funds for operations in order to keep the integrity of their museum and historic building.
I happen to like Rep. Chase's suggestion of removing the Ronald Historic Building from the Levy/Bond proposals and plans altogether as a simple, no-nonsense, considerate way to get peace and peace of mind back in the community. At the very least, please, Shoreline School District, make it very very clear what the specific desired use is for the Ronald building that you absolutely cannot accomplish any other way. Perhaps you really do have a great plan that would sell me on confidently voting yes for your measures. I can't wait to hear about it.
I am a parent and I value education more than I can say and my WISH is to vote for Schools AND the ENTIRE Museum AND leave the historic building in the care of the Museum as was intended and agreed by both parties decades ago.
• Douglass Squirrel sighted in Briarcrest by Chris Southwick Feb 2012
• Cottontail Rabbit sighted in Briarcrest Neighborhood Nov 1st. Did not look like a domestic "bunny!"
• Coyote spotted in Paramount Park Meadow, just sittin'. 3/11
• Varied Thrush sighted in Paramount Park Neighborhood 2 & 3/11
• Townsends Warbler photographed in Highland Terrace Neighborhood 1/11
• Blackheaded Grossbeak sighted near Paramount Park last Fall
• Great Blue Heron sighted at Hidden Lake in Boeing Creek basin
• Barred Owl sighted in Thornton Creek Park #1 near Jackson Park, 8/10
• White crowned sparrow identified in Highland Terrace/Aurora Square neighborhood
• Blackheaded Grossbeak sighting in Hillwood neighborhood
• Two Raptors sighted in Shoreline. Osprey and Merlin have been documented at Ronald Bog and Echo Lake respectively this summer (2010)
• Pacific Chorus Frog heard in Shoreline's Hillwood Neighborhood
• Three types of warblers identified in Briarcrest neighborhood in May and June
• Red Breasted Sapsucker Banded in Briarcrest Neighborhood of Shoreline
• 4/16 - Mating pair of Pileated Woodpecker seen yesterday in Paramount Park. They were utilizing some "snags" (dead trees) which were placed in the wetland restoration area with a KC Wildlife Habitat Grant in 2002. The Pileated Woodpecker is considered a "Priority Species" by WDFW. The pairs mate for life and make their nests in cavities they excavate in dead trees with their sharp beaks. They eat insects and grubs they find in the dead wood.
• Great Blue Heron seen today at Thornton Creek Par #6 eating two fish in five minutes. It's interesting to note that it took many years to get the City of Seattle to realize that there are fish living in Thornton Creek, only 2-3 blocks from Northgate. In the design of the Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel at Northgate, fish passage was a non-negotiable issue. The Great Blue Heron is considered a Priority Species by WA State.
• River Otter Spotted at Kruckeberg Botanic Garden! The Garden does not have a river running through it, so we were startled to see what appeared to be a river otter (Lutra canadensis) passing through recently. River otters live in rivers, streams, and coastlines. With water repellant fur and webbed feet, these playful members of the weasel family are designed for swimming and catching fish, their main food. However, they often wander far from water in search of a mate or new living area, surprising the unsuspecting staff of botanic gardens. The Kruckeberg Garden is near the headwaters of Storm Creek.
• Wood Ducks seem to be happily proliferating at Thornton Creek Park Six near Northgate. With the help of stewards, beavers and other species, habitat is improving at this little "wild" urban paradise. Despite a jungle of invasives there is a wetland habitat (improved by beavers) that suits the Wood Ducks. Today, 13 were sighted in the branches of a fallen cottonwood. 13 Wood Ducks Today!
• Beaver families have been moving in and building habitat around our urban watersheds, especially into Thornton Creek. Here is a photo a "creative engineer" naturally utilizing the creek corridor at Thornton Creek Park #6, which is a wetland waiting for better "engineering".
• At least 40 bird species have been sighted at Paramount Park over the last 20 years and more. The Barred Owl is one visitor who is watching over us.
• 12 birds at Greenlake today including Western Grebe, Bufflehead, Great Blue Heron and Hooded and Red-breasted Merganser
Janet proudly served on Shoreline City Council, from 2005-2009 and is an outspoken, current environmental and preservation activist residing in Shoreline, WA. Over the past 20 years, she and many other partners have succeeded in many remarkable accomplishments for the environment and community. On the City Council, she helped spearhead many environmental achievements for Shoreline, giving Shoreline a "green city" profile. She is a founding member of Paramount Park Neighborhood Group, Thornton Creek Legal Defense Fund (which advocated for and succeeded in "daylighting" Thornton Creek at Northgate), South Woods Preservation Group, Lake Ballinger Forum, Sno-King Economic Gardening group and other efforts. She serves on the Advisory Board of Friends of Fircrest, and is a member of Shoreline Chamber of Commerce and Shoreline Solar Project.
Janet holds an Art degree from Moore College of Art, Phila, and runs an arts business for 30 yrs. She also is sales rep for Appel Farms dairy at Seattle Farmers Markets.
Janet and her wonderful, patient husband, Alan Worthington of 32 yrs have two grown sons, Travis and Spencer.