The Wellington Hills Sports Complex? No, it's NOT a done deal!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas present from Snohomish County

Snohomish County has a (bad) habit of releasing things which require citizens to make formal comments during holidays ... 

Regarding the turgid idea of turning Wellington Hills Park into a regional sports complex ... their first and flawed SEPA proposal was released during the recent Easter and Spring holidays ...

With that in mind, of course Snohomish County's Dept. of Parks would discharge their next slug of bureaucratic nonsense (their application for a "Land Disturbing Activity") during the Christmas holiday.

Anyway ... this is what we received in today's - Christmas Eve's - mail.

Hey Santa ... I think you know where to dump the coal.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

This isn't 1950, by now we should know better, then again look around you

"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare." 
~ Daniel Patrick Moynihan

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." 
~ Native American Proverb

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." 
~ Ansel Adams

"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." 
 ~ John Muir 
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.  When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." 
~ Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security.  Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad.  Otherwise what is there to defend?"  
~ Robert Redford 

"The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." 
~ Mahatma Gandhi

  "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
~ Edward Abbey

"The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands."  
~ Havelock Ellis  

"In America today you can murder land for private profit.  You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops."  
~ Paul Brooks  

"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them".  
~ Bill Vaughn

"For 200 years we've been conquering Nature.  Now we're beating it to death."  
~ Tom McMillan  

"Our children may save us if they are taught to care properly for the planet; but if not, it may be back to the Ice Age or the caves from where we first emerged."  
~Jimmy Buffet  


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Alack and Alas, The Grinch has arrived!

I can hear so many people saying, "I told you so!"

Snohomish County loves to drop their bombs on holidays.

Just as they did with the Wellington Hills Park SEPA (one) ... this past Easter.

And now this -

And if you believe the recent letter to a few people, SEPA (two) will be in January.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Snohomish County Bureaucracy is predictable as flu season ... and taxes ...
and doing what they do, oh so well ... not being in touch or sync with us common folk.

I know, I know ... you told me so!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The difference

I've listened to and read almost everything Snohomish County's Department of Parks has said or written about Wellington Hills Parks ...

From the initial public meeting when they sprang their Regional Sports Complex Plan on the neighborhood with, "Trust us*, you'll like what we're doing" and the classic, "It's a done deal" ... to all the County Council meetings when Wellington Hills Park is discussed as if it's just another commodity and land development deal ... 

And with those development schemes comes an imperial indifference for the people who live in the Woodinville neighborhood of South Snohomish County ...

I've attempted to see what they see, to understand their bureaucratic agendas and all I can come up with is they must be suffering from extreme myopia and a bad case of bulldozeritis.

I think this is how the Snohomish County's Department of Parks sees Wellington Hills Park.

* said the spider to the fly ...

photos by  Bill Stankus
November 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

They did it because they could

After Tuesdays' Butchery of Roadside Trees, we were told by a guy in Snohomish County Public Works (management) ... there would be no more tree pruning-cutting along 240th St.


Here's the "before" pic taken 10/22/13 of the place where the work crew decided to do their thing. Note the colorful maples almost in the center of the photo.

This morning, literally in the fog, the chainsaw crew were back and busy as beavers whacking away at more trees along 240th.

Since what they were doing made zero sense to me, I tried guessing what it was they were thinking .....

"Hey boss, we gotta cut those limbs, waaaaay up there, 'cause if we don't, hot air balloons are gonna get stuck."

"Yea, we just made telephone poles."

"Look! More trees!"

"Really? A tree needs limbs?  Go on, you're kiddin' me!"

And here's the "after pic of the crew's efforts.
Note the absence of the colorful maples.


I realize it wouldn't have been quite as thrilling as the whacking of tall evergreens or the colorful maples ... but it would've been more valuable if the work crew had left the maples alone and driven a few yards up the road and removed the misshapen weedy trees (on both sides of the road) which they had sort of cut on Tuesday. 

On second thought, I think it's best the tree whackers don't return to Wellington Hills Park.
Maybe that should do their handy work in Everett, perhaps along Rockefeller Ave.

And you trust the County government to do the right thing with Wellington Hills Park?

photos by Bill Stankus
October 2013

The Eye of the Beholder

I think it's safe to say, there are many things we, as a people, see in a similar fashion.  We see a car wrecked along the road and one of the first thoughts is, "I hope everyone is OK".  Or, at dusk, for a few moments the sky turns a blazing shade of reddish orange with streaks of pale yellow, and we stop what we're doing and say, "Wow, would you look at that."

With that I mind, I present to you a simple view...

The tree on the left has more or less grown in a natural manner and the two trees, close together, on the right have been "pruned" by County government employees.

I don't care what the on-the-spot justification was for the "pruning", it was, in my opinion, a callous act of something close to vandalism.

photo by Bill Stankus
October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Today, I went to Wellington Park to see if the foggy haze offered any pleasant views of the park. 

I was standing at the wooden fence near where 240th St. slopes downhill towards Route 9 ... and an orange-colored Snohomish County Public Works truck rolled by ...

I decided to stick around and see what they were going to do - because with the County, you never know ...

I asked one of the vested guys, "What's up?" 
He replied, "We're improving the road's sight-line."

So I stayed around and watched as they "improved" the sight-line for ... I dunno, maybe low flying aircraft, traveling ladder salesmen, stampeding giraffes, circus jugglers or stilt walkers.

I mean why else would they de-limb the trees 30+ feet up from the ground?

I asked if anyone in the crew was a trained arborist ... No, but a guy said he had some training in tree cutting.

Silly me, what was I thinking? ... A trained arborist? I mean, these guys had vests, hard hats, big trucks, a chainsaw and a chipper... isn't that enough?

And before you ask, the poled lines that parallel 240th St. are on the other side of the street and not close to the targeted trees.

Maybe whacking trees is like eating potato chips ... ya can't stop with one ...

Poor trees ... they've been standing there like forever, not harming a thing ... 
and now they're just tall misshapen things.

And this was done by the County that wants to turn Wellington Hills Park into a REGIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX with giganto parking lots?

the "before" pic ... taken 10/10/13

And who were those two dudes who did a beeline for the woods with clipboards and a machete?

photos by  Bill Stankus
October 22, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

A choice

Within the existing Wellington Hills Park, Snohomish County's Department of Parks has plans to build parking lots (for over 750 cars):

People who use parks enjoy walking woodland trails and they do so because of scenes such as this:

the location of this photo: in an area where the Department of Parks has proposed building artificial turf fields  

photo by Bill Stankus
October 2013

If you think the proposed regional sports complex plan from the Department of Parks is a wrong-headed, stupid idea - please write the Snohomish County Council and the County Executive and tell them so ...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the devil's in the details

Recently, a Snoco County guy was attempting to explain how, sometimes they will do a trade-off when "developing" an area.  After they've cut down a tree that's over 10" in diameter they will plant (somewhere) a smaller replacement tree.  

At Wellington Hills Park ... their plan calls for digging out the soil, maybe as much as 15+ feet in depth in the area where the old golf course buildings were located ... Once the soil is removed the plan is to install artificial turf fields, stadium lights and an indoor activities building.

The tree in the photo?  Well, it's located in that deep dig area.

I guess, someplace in Snohomish County a new tiny tree will get planted.

photo by Bill Stankus

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wellington Hills Park is not flat

Remember these failures - the Edsel … New Coke … Betamax … 8-Track tape decks … Microsoft’s Zune … Ben-Gay Aspirin?

Never mind.

Here’s another view of Wellington Hills Park.  

This time the photo was taken from the south side of 240th St. SE, looking northward across the rolling terrain.  Note - the rail fence along 240th is visible.

I’ve also marked the general view area of the photo on the County’s “Master Plan”.

KInda strange … At this moment, already in existence, is a nice park with a great landscape ... it's a terrific geenbelt separating a residential area from the hub-bub of Route 9 

… but the “plan” is to level the view (as in the photo), fill it in and put in a parking lot.

Reminds me of Joni Mitchell's song, "Big Yellow Taxi"

They paved paradise 
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wellington Hills Park, Northside of 240th St SE

First, let's look at Snohomish County's Department of Parks and Recreation's so-called "Master Plan".

I drew a red "X" on the "Master Plan" indicating the general location where the following photos were taken.

Standing sort of midway on the Northside of the Park and looking east towards 71st. Drive SE, this is the view:

Turning around and looking westerly and a bit to the south, towards 240th St. SE, this is the view.

The point I want to make - the Department of Parks and Recreation's "Master Plan" calls for the rolling topography in the photos to be filled in.  

Earth movers will dig out and remove soil from where the golf buildings once were located. Then, truck load after truck load of dirt would be taken to the Park's Northside and dumped in order to flatten that side of the Park.

The fence in the second photo is a nice reference point ... in that general area, the "Master Plan" calls for a traffic circle on 240th St. SE. And, there would be a driveway northward to a large parking lot (for 250+ cars) in front of a proposed 50,000 square foot commercial mountain bike building.

They actually think this is a good plan. Amazing.

Park photos by Bill Stankus

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Matthew 21:12-13

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.  He said to them, "It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of thieves.”

Monday, September 2, 2013

This is what Snohomish County's Department of Parks and Recreation took away from the Community

The following photos were taken at Wellington Hills Golf Course ...

 It doesn't take much to remember back to a year ago and to all the previous decades when Wellington Hills Park looked like this:

Photos by
Bill Stankus