Letter to the Editor: Just the facts

By Bart Cronin | May 10, 2012


I would like to address charges James Clark made in a letter published in the May 3, Beacon.

Mr. Clark accused me, and several other writers, of being “vehemently in favor of coal trains…” while implying the letters were motivated by “venom”.

I can’t speak for the other authors, but it is very clear my letter did not fall into either of those two categories.

Had Mr. Clark carefully read my letter, published in the March 29 Beacon, he would have realized I did not advocate for or against trains and certainly there was no “venom.”

My prior letter questioned aspects of a column written by the Edmonds City Council President which contained, in my opinion, misleading information and omission of important facts about current rail traffic through the city.

I took no position in that letter except to bring facts and logic to the argument, something lacking in other letters and columns.

Based on my on-the-ground observations and other research, I pointed out certain key flaws which lessened the validity of the article.

The author failed to note any current train traffic through Edmonds, as if the container, grain, mixed freight, and passenger trains have no impact.

He failed to note current empty coal trains do not pass through Edmonds, but are routed over Stevens Pass.

The councilman attempted scare tactics.

One such was laughable. He inferred the trains would “snarl traffic for hours each day.”

Hardly. I noted that nine trains would take about 39-minutes in a 24-hour period. Snarled? Not so.

Delays by current, or proposed train traffic at the ferry dock may be an annoyance at times but certainly not “snarled”.

Like it or not the railroad has been, and is, part of the fabric of Edmonds.

The Councilman and other writers have continued to re-hash misleading and fear-mongering information.

If such writers distort or ignore facts about the transportation aspect of the coal argument, how truthful are they on the other, major issues of mining and use?

My hope is other writers would take time to observe what travels through Edmonds.

Do some firsthand research. Near the tracks.


Bart Cronin

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