Letters to the Editor / Serial killers, election opinions

Oct 18, 2017

He like us, he really likes us?

Brian Soergel wrote a killer article on the serial killer wannabe (“Serial killer wannabe sentenced to 18 years,” Oct. 5).

I have read tens of thousands of news articles over the decades, even finishing some of them, and don't recall a finer bit of journalism. This article had tragedy, pathos, and humor (especially in the last paragraph, "I've got a perfect body. But it's in the trunk and beginning to smell.")

I'm thinking Pulitzer or Nobel here.

Jeff Ackles


Retain Port Commissioner Bruce Faires

Port Commissioner Bruce Faires is running for re-election this November. During his tenure, he has shown that he is a hard worker and a forward thinker who cares very deeply about the Port of Edmonds and the community he lives in and represents.

As a commissioner, he has been instrumental in developing and implementing financial and strategic plans that have benefited the Port and its many users. These plans will provide financial strength and environmental improvements for years to come.

Faires served as your Port commissioner while a Yacht Club and a marine services business were built on Port property. Both entities contribute substantial revenues that reduce the reliance on other tenants and the district’s taxpayers for funds.

He also supported the building of a plaza, which provides a venue to showcase various local musical programs, an informative weather station, and a beautiful place to enjoy waterfront activities. Most recently, he advocated bringing the whale-watching expeditions that now operate from the Edmonds Marina.

All of these accomplishments are assets that have become important to the community and are unique parts of our waterfront.

The position of Port commissioner involves representing the interests of many entities. These include marina tenants, Harbor Square and Port property tenants, as well as the taxpayers within the Port district.

In addition, commissioners have to work closely with the city of Edmonds on economic development and environmental concerns. While at times it's difficult to completely satisfy all parties, Commissioner Faires has demonstrated the ability to listen to all positions and work towards fair resolutions while maintaining complete transparency and without hidden agendas.

Environmental concerns regarding the marsh that adjoins Port property is currently a hot topic. Unfortunately there is some misinformation being circulated regarding this. For facts on this important issue and the Port’s participation in its protection, please visit goo.gl/MnvDSk.

I believe it is important to re-elect Commissioner Faires this fall to retain his competence and experience. If you have questions or concerns related to Port activities and his ongoing efforts on its behalf, I would urge you to contact him at www.fairescomm.com.

Mike Jones


Don’t wait for councilmembers favorable to the Port

Edmonds voters in the Port district, I hope you’re paying attention. Your vote really matters this year. Please realize that anyone within the Port district’s boundaries gets to cast a vote on all three of the positions on the ballet.

As noted in other letters to the editor, this year the Port has spent over $84,000 appealing the Edmonds Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Why would the Port spend so much appealing the SMP?

The approved buffers in the new SMP include a 110-foot buffer, with a 15-foot setback. This makes the redevelopment of Harbor Square that the Port has in mind nearly impossible.

In fact, the Port put forth a Harbor Square Master Plan, with redevelopment included, in March 2013. They have pulled this idea from Edmonds City Council scrutiny, in the hopes that they could reintroduce their plan when the composition of the council was more favorable to them: “Community tenor is changing, and eventually the makeup of the City Council will change, as well” (Commissioner Steve Johnston, from Port minutes of March 1, 2017).

If you like a redevelopment plan for Harbor Square that includes five-story buildings near the Edmonds Marsh and not far from the waterfront, then you should vote for the incumbents. As for me, I think it’s way past time for a change: for environmentally and Edmonds-friendly development, and for fair and responsible money management.

I strongly recommend Lora Petso, Susan Paine and Angela Harris for the Edmonds Port Commission.

Mike Shaw


Vote Pain, Petso and Harris

The year was 2009. A group of concerned citizens formed an organization, Friends of the Edmonds Marsh. The steering committee included National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Alan Mearns, Pilchuck Audubon Society’s Susie Schaefer, restoration ecologist Keeley O’Connell and several other Edmonds residents, including myself

Our mission was to “expand and restore functional estuarine habitat within Edmonds Marsh and protect the remaining wildlife habitat by engaging the community to preserve, steward and enjoy our most natural asset.

Our vision was “a healthy, functioning pocket estuary freely connected to Puget Sound that provides habitat for a diversity of native plants, fish and wildlife and is maintained as a recreational asset for the Edmonds community.”

Our work was championed by Edmonds City Council member, Diane Buckshnis. She collaborated with Water Resource Inventory Area 8 to move the Edmonds Marsh restoration from its 10-year action plan to a three-year plan, resulting in the ability to receive grant funding for this wildlife sanctuary.

Due to her ardent support in favor of restoration of the Edmonds Marsh, a majority of the city council members realized the value of this hidden gem.

In the intervening years, the groundswell of support for the Edmonds Marsh spread throughout our city and beyond. Supporters included Native American tribes, Earth Corps, Students Saving Salmon, the Western Washington University Sustainable Communities Partnership, Pilchuck Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, and the Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds

In 2013, the Port of Edmonds proposed a redevelopment project in the Harbor Square Business Complex. The development would consist of multistory, mixed-use buildings adjacent to the Edmonds Marsh. Some buildings would be as close as 25 feet from the marsh. The city council did not support the project. The port withdrew its application.

Like a stylus stuck in a groove of a record, the Port is once again proposing a project essentially the same design, with somewhat larger buffers.

A scholarly article published by the Washington State Department of Ecology in 1992 (see “Wetland Buffers: Use and Effectiveness”) recognized the importance of buffers adjacent to wetlands. The article contends that wetland buffers lessen the probability of flooding developed areas, especially those with impervious surfaces.

The city of Edmonds’ 2004 Best Available Science Report discussed fish and wildlife habitat conservation recommending the establishment of buffer zones around environmentally sensitive areas.

In contrast, the Port commissioners tell us that it is development that will save the marsh. Yet, the updated Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) states that “requirements will be designed to discourage the use of compensatory mitigation and wetland replacement to the extent practical. Instead, the focus will be on avoidance of impacts directly to wetlands and buffers.”

What is most disconcerting is the Port commissioners do not pay homage to their 20-year master plan approved by the commissioners June 27, 2005. “Harbor Square Business Park and the Edmonds Marsh are situated east of the railroad tracks. It is part of the Port’s vision to expand this connection along the marsh to the fish hatchery. The vision also includes a cultural and interpretive center highlighting the marsh and marine environment in partnership with the city of Edmonds, Edmonds Community College and others.”

It is time to thank the incumbents for their service, but it is time for them to exit the stage.

I am awestruck by the education, experience and intelligence of the three women who are vying for seats on the commission. On Nov. 7, vote for Susan Paine, Lora Petso and Angela Harris.

Barbara Tipton


Vote to protect our environment, our future

Edmonds Port commissioners and City Council elections seem especially significant this November. As citizens, we want our public lands to reflect community values. Our concerns are more than the real estate “highest and best use,” meaning what makes the most money.

We also care about nature, the wooded area protecting streams, providing habitat for wildlife and birds, sanctuary for all who live and visit Edmonds. The Edmonds Marsh and Puget Sound are defining features of these public resources.

Although the commissioners have managed a successful marina, the Edmonds Marsh property has languished. Example: the Port officials have touted the cleanup of Harbor Square but they have not clarified that effort was necessitated by a lawsuit. Edmonds Dry Storage, Port of Edmonds and Harbor Square are still listed by the State as Hazardous Sites because of contaminants on the property.

The need for cleanup was identified in 1991, but the cleanup didn't start until 2004 after the lessees filed a lawsuit in 2003. Port commissioners argued for a 25-foot buffer around the marsh in spite of the fact that the best available science from the Department of Ecology called for a minimum 110-foot buffer.

Commissioners refuse to acknowledge that the Harbor Square Master Plan, if it had been approved by the city, would have been a detriment of the marsh and its wildlife. Current commissioners have stated in Port’s March 1, 2017, minutes that they intend to submit the same plan, without change, when City Council membership changes.

Although commissioners were asked at the Jan. 30, 2017, meeting by Save Our Marsh members to have an agenda item at a future meeting on the marsh buffers and Harbor Square storm water, they did not respond to this request.

The tidal exchange, saltwater mixing with fresh, needed for a healthy Marsh, has remained restricted and the daylighting project has seen minimal progress. Carcinogenic petroleum compounds have been detected in the marsh at levels that exceed state criteria according to accredited lab reports.

Best-management practices in regard to use of herbicides and pesticides in areas adjacent to wildlife reserves have yet to be demonstrated; pressure washing Harbor Square parking lots directly into the drains that filter into the marsh is a practice that does not provide environmental protection to the marsh.

Three candidates for Port commissioner are endorsed by the Sierra Club for their environmental stewardship – they are Angela Harris, Susan Paine, Lora Petso and, running for re-election to the Edmonds City Council, Kristiana Johnson.

In addition to their established efforts to protect our environment, they bring, individually, fiscal, legal and management skills to the positions they seek. Vote to preserve and share our natural resources. Vote Harris, Paine, Petso and Johnson.

Dianna Maish


Cathy Baylor can find compromises

I encourage you to vote for Cathy Baylor for the Edmonds School Board, Position 4. I've known Cathy for many years. She comes with solid teaching and leadership credentials. I think what strikes me most prominently are her people skills.

She listens, seeks to understand, synthesizes multiple points of view and compromises to find a solution. Compromising is something lacking often in politics, but critical to getting work done.

She attended school in the Edmonds district, raised her two girls (now women) in the district and has taught in Lynnwood for many years.

As a Native American, she lives ethnic diversity and relates intimately with varying economic, social and racial backgrounds more so than many people in the district. She also has extensive personal experience with the challenge program and the arts so she comes ready to support all children, parents, teachers and staff.

Angela Michael


Cathy Baylor can reach across the aisle, listen with open ears

My name is Gene Sutherland, and I want to endorse Cathy Baylor for the position of Edmonds School Board.

I have known Cathy for many years and consider her as one of my best friends. We first met while working at the same place of employment. We are very different in our views of society, religion and politics, and we’ve had our share of disagreements over the years on more than a few topics.

In the political realm, Cathy is a liberal while I am a conservative. I was a precinct committee officer for the Snohomish County Republican party for many terms and was the 39th District Leader for one term.

You wouldn’t think we could work together on anything, never mind become good friends. However, we became good friends because we didn’t let our differences keep us from being friends. She taught me that you could get a lot more accomplished with cooperation and listening with an open heart than you can with a blind eye and or deaf ear.

That is one of the things that I believe will make Cathy such a good board member in the Edmonds School District. While she may disagree with you on something, she will listen with an open ear and seriously consider your views before she makes up her mind. She knows how to reach across the aisle, as it were.

Please consider my friend Cathy Baylor when you cast your ballot in November.

Gene Sutherland
Jacksonville, Florida



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