Letters to the editor

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  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:24am

Aurora lawsuit

City should respect, embrace businesses

My favorite section of your paper is the Letters to the Editor. Last week, though, was an exception — Brian Doennebrink’s hatchetjob on me was very misinformed and illogical.

I sometimes disagree with my colleagues on the City Council, but I have the utmost respect for them. However, I am concerned about a certain institutional arrogance that is creeping in to our City government. It seems to me that the citizens who present their views to the City are not always treated with the respect that they deserve. I am working hard to change this situation, and if that means that I have to speak out clearly for the Public Interest, then I must continue to do so.

The City’s plans for Aurora need to be revised to make them more cost effective. With our struggling economy we must make every dollar count. We are fortunate in Shoreline that many of the local businesses are owned by people who live in the City, and who have forged cooperative relationships with their customers and neighbors. Our City government should nourish those partnerships, not seek to divide us. I firmly believe that there are solutions to the Aurora situation that will improve safety, promote business, ease congestion, and reduce public expense. The City needs to embrace those solutions, not fight them.

And by the way, Mr. Doennebrink, I am very proud of my wife. She is an informed citizen with strong convictions, I agree with her decision to join with other citizens to force the City to comply with our State’s Environmental Policy Act. As an elected representative on the Shoreline City Council, I have and will continue to comply with all legal requirements and procedures, and so should our City Government!


Shoreline City Council member


Facility offers teaching opportunity

I am a strong proponent of keeping the Fircrest facility open as a model for the placement of the profoundly retarded, but especially because of the close proximity to UW Medical, Dental and Nursing schools.  We must have skilled, trained people and the local facility offers an opportunity for learning the special needs of the disabled population.  I also advocate the “expansion” of services to the many group homes throughout the area and “expansion” of respite care for persons who tend their loved ones in their own home, group home caretakers who need a vacation, or people far distant who need specialized medical or dental services on an out-patient basis.

The list goes on an on of the possibilities—Fircrest campus would make a perfect “summer camp” with its swimming pool and cottages For the retarded/disabled community.



Community homes serve disabled better

I am a parent of a child with a developmental disability.  While I recognize the fact that residential institutions like Fircrest serve a segment of our population, it remains my opinion that having our children in the community serves them far better.

We have fought long and hard for our children with developmental disabilities to be accepted in the community—gained them access to community centers where their typical peers go, initiated programs where they can participate, let the broader community learn from them and vice versa.  To continue to keep them out of sight and out of mind in residential institutions is a regression from all that we’ve worked so hard for — the inclusion of our children into the fabric of mainstream society.

Of course, there must be alternatives in place before phasing out residential institutions like Fircrest.  Homes for the medically fragile must be set up; and the excellent services provided by professionals at Fircrest must still be provided but in more inclusive environments.

Senator Darlene Fairley, for all the years that I have had the pleasure of knowing her, has always been a champion of the developmentally disabled. I believe she will continue to fight for our children’s issues in this tight budget year.


Lake Forest Park

Fircrest serves those with greatest needs

John and Harriet Tibbits in their Jan. 17th letter, display a bizarre sense of appreciation to the state Fircrest School and its noted clinical medical and dental services for providing specialized care and treatment, available no place else, for their “developmentally delayed” son who lives in a community group home.

They properly praise the Fircrest School for these specialized services their son requires. But then they turn around in supporting Sen. Darlene Fairley’s efforts to evict the school’s residents into—whatever, and then shut down the school. Never mind that residents there have far greater disabilities than their son, and require the intensive level of professional care there. And as the Tibbits acknowledge, the services provided by Fircrest for their son, “…are very difficult to find in the community…”

Even from a selfish viewpoint, do the Tibbits understand closing Fircrest, would also end this help not only for their son, but for others unserved in community facilities?

This couple was able to take care of their 29-year-old son at home until he moved into a group home. But they fail to realize there are other citizens with far more disabling physical and medical  conditions which require skilled 24-hour care, something the Tibbits apparently and fortunately didn’t experience. This is where the compassion and understanding is required, and which would be helpful also to Sen. Fairley.



Kirkland, WA

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