The Edmonds politician test
Political promises are easily made and soon forgotten. But the litmus test I recommend to Edmonds voters before the fall election would be significant, graphic and dramatic.
The image of a heroine tied to a railroad track guaranteed box office success in the early days of silent films.
So, I suggest that any candidates promising to enhance the future of our community demonstrate their willingness to lie down on the railroad track at the warning blast of an onrushing locomotive.
Put up or shut up. Or maybe I should say, "Lie down or shut up."
Don't scoff. The mayor of Seattle has already shown an inclination to halt trains rushing along the Alaskan Way waterfront.
Edmonds' mayor Mike Cooper has also expressed feelings of alarm when he hears the whistle of a train headed our way from Richmond Beach.
My wife and I were strolling through Richmond Beach recently when we paused to watch a passing train.
We paused… and paused… and paused some more. I later read how many cars passed our view. The number was 125, each car filled to the brim with coal.
I guess that train was headed for export terminals in Vancouver, B.C.
And I read a warning that coal trains headed for a proposed Bellingham terminal would measure a mile and a half in length. And that nine such trains would pass Seattle and Edmonds each day.
Correct that. Nine fully-loaded, 125 car trains carrying Montana and Wyoming coal to China would pass northbound each day and that the same number of trains would pass in the other direction, empty and southbound.
The image of that many trains interrupting ferry traffic to Kingston each day sends a chill through Mike Cooper's city hall window.
I have no doubt that candidate Dave Earling is also alarmed but there is only one way to insure that any politician is sincere.
Lie down on the railroad tracks.
I'll supply the sound effects… a piano track titled “Locomotive" from the Mack Sennett studios.
Female candidates for the city council will not be excused.
After all, Mable Normand was the first damsel in distress during the silent film era.
She was rescued by movie star and auto racer Barney Oldfield. I think I'll play that role.
"Pardon me boys, is that the Coal to China Choo Choo?"