Christmas popcorn; he said, he said | Letters to the Editor

Dec 21, 2018

C-4 and popcorn: A Christmas story from Vietnam

In 1967, our unit, 1st Squadron of the 11th Armored Cavalry, was dug in for the Christmas truce. We were in a fire support base close to the Cambodian border.

I won’t give you my thoughts on truces in a war, as I would be banned on Facebook.

One of our guys got a very small artificial tree from his family. I’ve been searching my memory as to the trooper, but I’m drawing a blank after 50 years. We had no decorations, but we did have some Jiffy Pop, carefully hoarded from a stop in base camp a few months earlier.

After tearing off a chunk of a brick of C-4 plastic explosive, we lit it and popped the Jiffy Pop. Someone had their sewing kit stashed in their gear, and we threaded the popcorn and strung it around the tree.

Every Christmas, I look at our beautiful tree and remember that pathetic little tree that brought Christmas joy to a bunch of GIs dug into a mountain top far from home.

Jim Traner


Council president: Mayor needs to rein in his own spending

I am concerned about the Mayor’s comments at last week’s City Council meeting regarding spending, and believe it is necessary for purposes of transparency to set the record straight.

While the mayor was critical of City Council, the mayor himself has increased spending by $16 million dollars over last year’s City budget.

That is an increase of 17 percent.

The mayor also opposed practically every spending cut submitted by city councilmembers, arguing against 90 percent of the spending cuts that were proposed.

Additionally, the mayor just submitted a request to give his highest paid staff pay raises up to $13,000 per year.

His characterization of excessive spending is a misrepresentation in light of his own actions.

I look forward to working with the Mayor in the New Year to rein in his spending.

Councilmember Mike Nelson


Mayor Earling: Council president not correct on his figures

It is concerning to me that the Council President Mike Nelson would represent my originally proposed 2019 budget in a factually incorrect manner. Doing so serves no purpose other than to confuse the public.

First, the council president’s statement of the increase over 2018 is not accurate. One must compare the two years’ total budgets, which as shown in the 2019 budget book, are $99,171,078 for 2018 and $108,107,556 for 2019, an increase of $8,846,478, or 9 percent, not 17 percent, as the council president stated.

Second, one should note that the increase in general fund expenditures is very small – approximately 1.5 percent.

Almost the entire 9 percent increase contained in my proposed 2019 budget was due to several key factors, all approved by Council:

• Over $1 million to fund Council priorities, as offered to staff and me last summer;

• Expenditure of both city funds and grants monies for capital projects in the council-approved capital improvement program; and

• Expenditures carried forward into the 2019 budget from council-approved capital 
projects that were not finalized in 2018; and

• Council-approved expenditures associated with labor negotiations.

I hope to make it clear that my response here is solely intended to set the record straight for the public. City budgets are complex, and we do our best to present the information to the public in as understandable a manner as possible.

• Mischaracterizations are not helpful, and only serve to confuse matters. In the end, the 2019 budget, including all the council’s amendments, was passed unanimously by City Council. It is now the City of Edmonds’ budget.

• And as your mayor and chief executive of this city, together with my staff, I will diligently execute the council’s adopted 2019 budget. That’s my job, and I take it seriously.

Mayor Dave Earling


Welcome sign reflects Edmonds’ character and past

We love Edmonds. We love its small-town charm and friendliness, its progressive outlook, its appreciation and support of the arts, its maritime heritage, and its wonderful beachfront dog park.

That’s why, six-and-a-half years ago, we left Seattle to live full time in our favorite place to visit.

For those 30-plus years as visitors, we always relaxed and smiled at the sight of that old fashioned, funky “Welcome to Downtown Edmonds” sign. We are all for process, community involvement and meetings.

But let’s save those for the biggies that protect or enhance our Edmonds way of life.

Let’s just fix the sign if possible and, if not, let’s recreate it. If residents volunteer the needed funds or work to do the job, we could experience the community involvement and spirit of camaraderie so easily missed by just approving another contract.

Let’s keep this small reflection of Edmonds’ character and past.

Bob Gold and Cynthia Holdren


Kudos to council for its commitment to Edmonds Marsh

A big thank you to the Edmonds City Council for committing $1.3 million for restoration of the Edmonds Marsh.

Allocating these funds toward construction of tidal channels through the marsh sends a message to state and federal grant funders that Edmonds places a high priority on restoring this unique habitat.

This action says to the citizens of Edmonds that the City Council values the role this significant natural area plays in our community and as part of Puget Sound.

Sharon Sneddon


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