Looking back at 2013, a year in retrospect | Carter’s Community

My first column was Feb. 15. It was titled, “Sometimes the community joins you” and gave a little background about myself. I thought I would recap the columns through the year. Time flies when you are having fun. Thank you for sticking with me as I found my way; there were columns that were not acceptable to the editor. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again (or submit a totally different column).

Fast away the old year passes

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Hail the new year, lads and lasses

Oh, sorry. The holiday music column was last week.

My first column was Feb. 15. It was titled, “Sometimes the community joins you” and gave a little background about myself. I thought I would recap the columns through the year. Time flies when you are having fun. Thank you for sticking with me as I found my way; there were columns that were not acceptable to the editor. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again (or submit a totally different column).

There was a multipart column about the history of the WSU Forest from the big windstorm to current day, including the plan to put in another traffic signal there on state Route 410.

The year started off with a Metropolitan Park District on the ballot, which failed. Parks remained an issue throughout the city, mayor and council member races later in the year. Voter apathy was high at the special, primary and general elections. There should always be a choice; but there was one candidate that ran unopposed and that is unfortunate.

Two bright spots in the parks situation this spring were the gnome doors that appeared in each and every park in the city, and the ground breaking for the Safe Routes to School portion of the Fennel Creek Trail.

We also had a spring clean-up in the parks and celebrated Arbor Day with the Robert Ceola awards to those who work to preserve trees and open space in Bonney Lake.

There were a series of columns on safety at the lake, and the emphasis by multi-government agencies to educate the public, especially youth. There were no drownings or boating deaths on the lake this year. Thank you and remember, I cannot swim.

I explained why your elected officials attend the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) conference each June to focus on lobbying, training, publications and resources that help them do their jobs through advocacy, education and services of AWC.

I have had a couple columns on teen drinking and drug addiction. I warned not to drive buzzed and reiterated that it takes a village to raise our children into responsible adults. Those making good choices should be praised. In case you haven’t noticed, I have strong feelings on alcohol and drug abuse and its negative effects on families.

Many times throughout the year I have given credit to city staff who know their jobs well and give back to their community. This included a focus on the city administrator and the community development, public works and finance departments. There were columns on intersection improvements, reduced speeds downtown and sewers in Eastown (which is finally moving forward after many years).

There was also a civics lesson on what duties the mayor holds, versus the council. I have explained how you can navigate the city website to find agendas, calendars, codes, contacts and resource information. Being informed is up to you!

In the fall, the first leg of the 5.2 mile Fennel Creek Trail was opened. Mayor Johnson reminded those who attended the ribbon cutting that more funding sources will be needed to complete the trail. The city recently received a planning grant for the portion north of the current segment and continues to work with the neighboring community.

We also rolled up our sleeves and beautified Bonney Lake this fall. Then there was the second annual Milotte Wildlife Film Festival brought to you by the Greater Bonney Lake Historical Society (GBLHS). GBLHS is still working on archiving the Milotte collection, as well as others, and is currently working on a business plan for use of the Love (Fraser) property purchased recently by the city at Victor Falls.

I look forward to the Veteran’s Memorial on Main Street at SR 410. The flag that temporary flew there on Nov. 11 looked right in the sun flying there all day, dawn to dusk.

There was a column about D.B. Cooper and his possible ties to Bonney Lake. Have you been to the Washington History Museum yet? Don’t forget to check out free passes at the Bonney Lake library!

I have advocated strongly for all the non-profits throughout the past year on the Bonney Lake Plateau and the two great school districts that teach our children in the White River and Sumner School Districts. I particularly care about the hungry and kids who need clothing, toiletries and school supplies. I believe we should help our neighbors, and I will not quit harping about that occasionally.

I’ve shared my shopping tips. I hate to shop; I am the one who looks at the ads, sees something I think I like, try it on. If it looks okay, I come out, pick one in my size, in every color and call it good. But I do love a good bargain. Coupons, coupons, coupons. Rewards points. Senior citizen discounts, store discounts. I am there!

In closing, I would like to say the opinions I express are strictly mine. The purpose of my column is to make you aware, be engaged (and sometimes enraged) and informed about the processes and what goes on in your community. As with all my columns, take what you like and leave the rest. My husband best liked the columns I wrote that are more like Peter Callaghan; I prefer a style more like Kathleen Merryman.

Happy New Year and thanks again for all your ideas, comments and support in 2013.


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