Good job Beacon, bad job Beacon | Letters to the Editor

Oct 15, 2018

Good news from Pine Street

Thank you for the well-written article in the Edmonds Beacon about Pine Street (“Nightmare on Pine Street?" Aug. 30). You gathered information all sides to present a balanced view, and didn’t hesitate to suggest action as warranted.

I apologize for the late date on this. The article meant a lot to those of us in the neighborhood. I’ve had several comments from neighbors.

The traffic seems to be 25 percent of what it was prior to September. The police have made some surprise visits, and given out quite a few tickets.

Thank you for your good work.

Linda (Koko) Niemi
Edmonds

 

Beacon gets it wrong in biased report on town hall

I attended the “town hall” on Oct. 1 given by Council President Mike Nelson. I was disappointed to

read Brian Soergel’s take on it in the Beacon story “Nelson gets an earful at open house” (Oct. 4).

First, the format was billed as a town hall, not an open house, which as we know from the previous two public open houses that the City had on the strategy were not friendly to public input that did not fit their narrative.

The folks’ frustration with this has been well-documented in Letters to the Editor, City Council meetings during public comments, Planning Board meetings, as well as social media outlets.

Residents were thankful to be invited to express their legitimate concerns on the housing strategy, while Nelson listened and, at this time, gave very little answers to pointed questions.

Hopefully, he will come to the next town hall prepared with information to answer the residents’ well-researched and valid questions.

Second, the current July 2018 draft housing strategy document is 73 pages – not 32 pages – and has many more references than “1 1⁄2 pages to homelessness,” as Soergel wrote. He might want to read the entire housing strategy so he can be accurate in his reporting.

Also, a good portion of those in attendance relayed concerns about the proposed up-zoning density and severely reduced parking, which is already happening at the Bartell property and downtown. Those concerns were barely touched in the article.

Third, other well-informed residents who attended and have first-hand experiences working with the homeless population and housing very calmly relayed their legitimate concerns with Edmonds wanting to house homeless near single-family neighborhoods.

This fact was not specified in the article. The “earful” headline is biased, as if taxpayers are unhinged and cannot ask rational questions of their elected officials.

Fourth, Soergel’s reference to Mayor Earling’s comments that it is “not modeled on a particular … jurisdiction, such as Seattle” is flat-out wrong. The draft strategy references Infill projects in Portland, tiny houses in Seattle, reduced parking requirements, increased height and density in transit zones, just like how Seattle is redeveloping places such as Ballard and West Seattle.

The mechanisms to enact this housing strategy are found in the appendices – the devil’s in the details. Those are big city “fixes” that residents do not want in Edmonds.

John Hoag
Edmonds

 

Speeding trouble spots abound in Edmonds

I am a newer resident to Edmonds, though having visited here on many occasions, I am well aware of the 25 mph speed limit. It seems many are not.

I read with interest the article about traffic issues on Pine Street. A week or so after that article, I noticed one of those lighted speed indicator signs was placed on the west side of Fifth Avenue South, just slightly before merging onto Edmonds Way, warning of the 25 mph speed limit.

It seems to me that the sign should be placed farther north on Fifth. What is the point of a 25 mph sign when in just about three blocks past that sign, the speed limit is 35?

Another street that needs those lighted speed warning signs, on both sides of the street, is Third Avenue South, where traffic moves along at a very fast clip, I daresay more than 25 mph. Only this week, as I was slowing down to 25 to enter town on Fifth, a car sped by me in the curb lane and I could see the read-out as it got to the lighted speed warning sign: 47 mph.

The speed limit is only 35 mph prior to that, and yet that vehicle was clocked at 47 mph. This has happened to me before – as I slow my speed to 25 coming into town, cars will speed by me in the curb lane (before it narrows to one lane), so there is no way they can reduce to 25 mph as they approach the lighted speed warning sign.

One day as I was crossing Pine at Fourth, a car came speeding up from Third going at least 50 mph up the hill toward Fifth. Where are the police issuing tickets?

I have not seen a police car on Fifth or Third or Pine pulling anyone over, and yet speeding violations appear to be numerous, not to mention safety factors for pedestrians with small children and dogs.

Pamela Clerico
Edmonds

 

Support for Initiative 1631

I am writing to encourage support for Initiative 1631 on the November general election ballot. This initiative would reduce air pollution and invest in clean air and water programs.

I have had the opportunity as co-chair of the Edmonds Mayors’ Climate Protection Committee to learn a great deal about factors leading to global warming and the actions we can take as community members to either increase Green House Gases (GHG) or to reduce them. Carbon pricing, such as found in this initiative, has been found to be a successful way to reduce GHG.

Because of increasing warming experts predict an increase in precipitation, also, for winter, spring and fall, but a decrease in almost all parts of the region for summer.

Other countries have enacted carbon-pricing systems successfully and had their GHG emissions drop. For instance, countries in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme saw their GHG emissions drop by 8 percent over five years, and Canada is planning to start a national carbon pricing system this year.

Initiative 1631 is a practical and affordable next step in ensuring a safe and clean environment in Washington state for our children and grandchildren.

I find it consistent with both the Climate Change Acton Plan adopted by the Edmonds City Council and with Washington state’s clean air goals.

I-1631 has many of the key elements recommended for any carbon pricing system.

This initiative is needed because, while successful in setting ambitious goals, the Legislature has been unable to pass legislation to accomplish those goals. It is for that reason a broad spectrum of organizations interested in environmental and public health have come together in support of this initiative.

I know that the opponents criticize this initiative as a regressive tax. However, the initiative takes specific steps to be fair to residents of Washington state, specifically workers in carbon producing industries and low-income communities.

As the organizers point out, this is a fee rather than a tax because funds collected go directly towards solving the problem of pollution and the fee is paid by the biggest corporate polluters.

Is it perfect? Probably not. But the time for delay has long passed.

Climate change is the challenge of our generation. It is incumbent on us to start to heal the impacts of years of industrialization so that we can pass along to the next generations a world they can live and flourish in.

Cynthia Pruitt
Edmonds

 

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