Parade, George Murray, Tyler Nebeker | Letters to the Editor

Jul 14, 2017

Acceptance at An Edmonds Kind of 4th parade

Perhaps due to the current political climate or because I did not feel so proud of this country, I had no real desire to celebrate July 4th in 2017.

So the decision to walk in the Edmonds Kind of 4th parade was a difficult one.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, of which I am a member, has been in this parade the past few years, and what pushed me forward this year was a lingering sense of responsibility.

For quite some time now, I've worked hard to show people the truth about being a Muslim – how we are not terrorists, we are here in the USA, and we are here to stay. I had walked in the parade before, so I knew how it went and, as we began the route surrounded by hundreds of people, some of my nervousness began to melt away.

It was invigorating as people clapped louder, the sound enveloping me with a feeling of acceptance. I was reminded yet again that this is what America is really about – the ideas that began this country have not disappeared.

They are still here, just below the surface. Muslim men, women and children can still walk in this country, feeling welcome and confident without it becoming a problem.

Those who chose not to celebrate the 4th of July missed the point displayed in Edmonds: That no matter what divides us, we can still come together with the love of our country and celebrate.

Shumaila Ahmad
Student at Tesla STEM High School


Thank you, George Murray

At a Kiwanis Club meeting at the Edmonds Pancake Haus in May, George Murray held up a book titled “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn From Educational Change in Finland?”

“Educational equity is the answer,” he told everyone, “not the competition model we follow here.” George, a career businessman, has talked about the need for education reform for the five years I’ve known him, so mentioning this book was in character.

Here’s the thing, though: his lungs are failing him, he is receiving hospice care for his final stretch on this planet, and he continues to be passionate about education reform.

I first met George outside my classroom at Scriber Lake High School in the fall of 2012. He waited for the final bell to ring, introduced himself, and told me he had read our book of student stories, “We Are Absolutely Not Okay.”

“The Edmonds Kiwanis want to support this program in any way we can,” he said. He liked the heart and soul involved in helping kids write past the abuse, addiction and abandonment in their pasts.

He and his club wanted to be a part of moving them toward brighter futures.

Over the years, George and the Kiwanis have bought classroom sets of our books for all of the area high schools. They have shown up for readings and theater performances. My favorite support, though, comes in the form of invitations for our writers to read at their Tuesday lunch meetings, where generous amounts of unconditional love and encouragement go with each order of pancakes.

The group even convinced one writer to perform a rap.

From the beginning, George has told everyone who will listen that the Scriber books are “straight talk to fathers.” He feels the stories work as “mirrors to hold up to see how you are doing as parents.”

We wanted to thank George at our recent graduation ceremony, but his lungs would not allow him to attend; therefore, we choose to thank him in this forum. Because of George and people like him throughout our community, our kids are able to see themselves as contributors to something bigger than themselves.

Thank you, George Murray – you have our deepest respect and gratitude.

Marjie Bowker


Tyler Nebeker should be appointed

Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas clearly explained in a Guest View editorial last week why she led the City Council's rejection of Tyler Nebeker's appointment to the city's salary commission (“Why I voted no,” June 29).

She said that she wants more diversity on the commission. If that truly is her objective, she should have pursued it more effectively much earlier in the selection process. The city's sole stated qualification for candidates is: “To be eligible to serve on the Commission, applicants must be a resident of Edmonds.”

Nebeker made a good-faith application. The solicitation for applicants did not state that the successful applicant must be a member of a minority group. He clearly was discriminated against. City Council should reverse its decision and appoint him to the Salary Commission.

Ron Wambolt


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