Edmonds’ chicken problem | Letters

Dec 02, 2017
Courtesy of: Marjie Bowker Lucy, left, and bad Chloe.

Edmonds' chicken problem

Not even making this up: I just sprung Chloe from the Edmonds city jail.

I have many regrets from today, but my biggest one is that I have no picture proof of my little black chicken behind bars looking sheepish and, for once, very glad to see me. She didn't even fight when I picked her up and walked her across the street back home and locked her up in her own little prison for the rest of her life.

Here's what happened: I was just finishing a little hike at Meadowdale Beach when my friend Barb called.

"Marjie, a bunch of junior police are chasing a black chicken around Sixth and Bell, trying to throw a blanket over it. Is it your chicken?"

Is it my chicken? Of course it's my chicken.

The one that cost me $1.75 back in July, and who has been running my life ever since. So I ran up the rest of the trail, drove the 15 minutes home, and learned from the junior police (who were all there because of the tree lighting event on Bell Street) that Animal Control had her.

Tabitha, the very lovely Edmonds Animal Control person, met me outside the station and led me down into the bowels of the courthouse – past where four officers were stripping a car to search it – into the room where Chloe was locked up and waiting for me to bail her out, not yet dressed in an orange jumpsuit.

I asked how long they would have kept her. "A few days," answered Tabitha. "And then?" I ventured. "Dinner!" she said. But she was kidding. I called my chicken adviser (my dad), who said, "Marjie, you've got a chicken problem."

Which is the truth, and it's also my favorite quote of the day. As for my other chicken Lucy, she was squawking bloody murder when I returned with her partner in (true) crime.

I put them to bed early, and here they are, peeking out of their deluxe condo like nothing happened, as if it's just another Saturday in Edmonds, where a chicken only wanted to go walkabout looking for Santa Claus during the town tree-lighting ceremony.

Marjie Bowker


Editor’s note: The Beacon has since learned that said chicken assaulted a postal worker the previous week, so it has quite a following on Facebook - having a felony charge and doing time in the same week.


Seeking clarification on trackside horns in Edmonds

I very much enjoyed the informative article in the Nov. 21 Edmonds Beacon regarding the upcoming installation of “reduced noise” trackside horn system at Main and Dayton crossings in downtown Edmonds (“Some relief for ears at the tracks.”)

However, I have one key question that was not covered.

The article refers to the principle that “A trackside horn would provide directional signaling at the crossings, and could be used alone or in addition to a train's horn." The next paragraph mentions the train's engineer sounding normal horn sequence: two long blasts and one short blast followed by one long blast, to be completed within 17 seconds.

My question: At any time in the discussion and/or planning/engineering work with BNSF, has it been determined that a train engineer will NOT sound its normal horn sequence (and considerable volume) at the two crossings once the trackside horn system is in place?

If this is not a given and the engineer has a choice as to whether or not to sound his (or her) normal horn blast sequence, then what good or advantage is any reduced volume/directional horn system at the crossings? Can the engineer at his/her choice keep on sounding their normal very loud horns?

Phil Lovell
Edmonds Planning Board


Public Works and Utilities Director Phil Williams responds: “As a train approaches Edmonds from either direction, the engineer will be looking for a bright, blinking light just before each crossing that will alert him/her as to whether the trackside warning horn system is working correctly.

“If all the internal diagnostics for the system are normal, the signal will indicate that to the engineer. At that point the engineer is not required to sound the train whistle and would normally not do so unless they see something else that suggests it’s necessary, i.e., someone walking on the tracks, a car stuck or sitting between the cross arms, etc.

“Under circumstances like these, the engineer can and would exercise their discretion to use the whistle to supplement the stationary horns. That should be a rare occurrence."


Let’s discuss health insurance

Re: Nov. 21 Guest View, “We deserve a united health plan for a healthy American family,” by Susan Pedersen:

I’ll forego the 1,000-year-old fables to make a point. Instead, I’ll recall history:

In the 17th century, when this continent was being settled, Plymouth Colony Gov. William Bradford experimented with communism, and it failed due to unsustainability.

The governor then adopted private subsistence, which resulted in each landholder having autonomy – individual choice on what they did with the land.

Voila! When the outcome was related to the settler’s individual decisions and labor, some prospered and some did not. Those who failed survived by following the example of those who prospered.

History proved the value of individuals making decisions for themselves. Pedersen’s commentary includes no mention of how the ACA came about. But who can forget House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “We have to pass the bill to find what’s in it.”

And from President Obama: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” or “The universal health-care bill will cut the cost of premiums by up to $2,500 a year”?

Not a single government employee knows better than me what I want and need for health insurance. And now, even though I am in good health and only see a doctor for regular checkups, my premiums include “no-charge maternity care” even though I don’t intend to have any babies (I am a male over 55).

There are a lot of “they’s” and “we’s” in the commentary, which hardly reflects an image of someone interested in unity.

I remember a time when an individual could choose their health insurance plan. Have Democrats forgotten the importance of “choice”?

With drug addiction becoming epidemic and obesity and diabetes on the rise, how will the government bureaucracy solve the problems we face after they have been fighting and losing the war on drugs and poverty for so many years?

When will “health plan” become “health-care,” which is not “health insurance”?

If we allow the government to tell us what health insurance coverage we get, how long before the government will tell us we must all wear gray jumpsuits? This happens in other countries.

Let’s learn from our mistakes and admit the ACA is a failure. Let’s get government less involved with our personal lives and let Americans make individual decisions. There’s still time to reverse the mistakes of the past like the early settlers did.

Jeff Scherrer


Comments (1)
Posted by: Nathaniel R Brown | Dec 05, 2017 12:22

Mr Sherrer raises some important points, but we need to keep in mind that the ACA is not "communism" as he implies, as well as the simple fact that some 40 million uninsured Americans gained insurance through the program, and many millions now face losing insurance through the bill currently before congress.  (If “We have to pass the bill to find what’s in it" was bad, so is the present bill with its 500 pages, hand-written additions, and no time to debate or digest it - in contrast to the long process leading to ACA.)  Nor should we should forget that ACA was originally a Republican plan, introduced by Governor Romney!  So much for the threat of communism.

No one ever claimed that ACA was perfect.  I indeed, it was always assumed that it would be tinkered with and improved as the glitches were exposed.  Most of us have our car fixed if it rattles, rather than throwing it away.

Having lived in Canada and having spent much time in both the UK and Germany, I can attest that their government-run systems, while not perfect, work well most of the time, are valued by most citizens, and - together with the French system - deliver far better healthcare to ALL citizens.

Choice is wonderful.  But "free market" healthcare has landed us with the most expensive, the most inefficient, and the most selective healthcare system in the free world.  I like to think that America is capable of taking care of all citizens, as well as learning from other countries, and by golly! doing it better.

If you wish to comment, please login.