Pollution, guns, the Taste and Mr. Darcy | Letters to the Editor

Aug 29, 2018

A few proposals on reducing air pollution

I hope the Edmonds City Council has noticed the air quality decline. While we here cannot put out the forest fires, we can reduce air pollution and noise pollution locally.

I suggest some rulings prohibiting the use of gasoline-powered lawn blowers. These devices are now heard daily seemingly everywhere as substitutes for rakes, brooms and sweeping. The small engines release pollution equivalent to that released by several automobiles, and generate a lot of annoying noise.

The clouds of dust and pollen kicked up into the air add to our misery. Lawnmowers could be electric rather than gasoline for the same benefits described earlier – reduced air and noise pollution.

Pressure washers used in city limits should be electric-powered rather than the annoyingly noisy current crop of devices that also pollute the air.

City and Port vehicles could be moved to electric for the same benefits.

Another area is idling traffic, which has been addressed in many newer vehicles but continues in ferry traffic lines and vehicles left running for no reason. This is tougher, but could be approached by urging operators to shut down their engines when possible.

City of Edmonds rules could be similar to PUD’s for electricity generation using solar panels. This should especially be included in the plans for new houses and offices.

Mel Chandler
Edmonds

 

Make Taste Edmonds a street fair

The University District Street Fair was the first community event I attended after moving to Seattle. The event is free, the busiest street in the U-District is closed to accommodate hundreds of vendors, and local businesses participate.

Side streets have food vendors and trucks along with beer gardens, and many restaurants located on or near The Ave participate. I’m wondering if this model could be used for Taste Edmonds by closing several blocks of Main Street for the weekend?

This would allow us to showcase our numerous downtown restaurants (which would be able to use their own kitchens), local businesses could offer summer sales, and art and craft dealers could set up booths in the street.

Revenue for the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce would be made by selling sponsorships, charging vendors who want to participate, entrance fees to the beer and wine gardens, and selling tickets to shuttle busses from Edmonds-Woodway High School and the former Woodway High School.

The Saturday farmers market would also see a boost in traffic, or maybe close the market for one Saturday and let all the vendors participate on Main Street, and Fifth Avenue North could be used for something else.

Tracy Norlen
Edmonds

 

Ballot measure may be needed on gun control

Edmonds recently passed an ordinance requiring people to lock their guns in a safe or be fined. This ordinance is a sensible gun safety rule.

If such a rule existed in all states, the death of 1,300 children playing with loaded, unlocked guns would have been prevented and 21,000 suicides (7,300 of them were veterans) may have been prevented, and a total of 33,636 gun deaths and 73,505 gun injuries may have been prevented.

The NRA joined with two Edmonds residents, Brett Bass and Swan Seaberg, in suing Edmonds over our recently passed gun safe-storage ordinance, an ordinance passed in Edmonds to protect our citizens.

James Wood, a candidate for the state Senate, says that he strongly opposes the Edmonds ordinance because he believes that Edmonds is breaking a state preemption law.

Woods is more concerned about Edmonds breaking a law that may be outdated by 35 years than making a law that saves a life.

The wording of the law makes the NRA litigation questionable. T

The state's 35-year-old pre-emption statute states that “Cities, towns, counties and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there be a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized.”

If the NRA is successful in removing Edmonds gun control ordinance requiring citizen to lock their guns in a safe, then it is time for a ballot measure to amend the states statute preemption laws RCW 9.41.290 and RCW 9.42.300.

Thirty-five years ago, we did not have mass shootings with assault rifles and repeating semi-automatic pistols.

Stagnant laws are used as ammunition by opponents to defeat gun safety for our citizens. While the right to bear arms is constitutional, reasonable safety guidelines do not exist.

With advanced firearm technology and extreme drug abuse in the United States, gun safety guidelines need to be continually updated.

Edmonds’ ordinance is a clear guideline.

What is so hypocritical is that we lock up our houses. We lock our cars, our tools, our jewelry, our money, our businesses. But we don't lock our guns?

This does not make sense, and what is even more bizarre is when an NRA person publicly announces that they do not lock their guns.

Are they inviting someone to steal their guns? And then they announce they can't buy a safe but can spend mucho bucks on guns. Doesn't make sense.

As I write this letter, the news announced that a 16-year-old teenager killed his 14-year-old friend while playing with the parents’ loaded gun. The parents were home.

Susan Pedersen
Edmonds

 

Support for Edmonds gun ordinance

I would like to reaffirm my support for the Edmonds City Council and the recently passed gun storage ordinance.

This action by our local government reflects a widely held belief by many local residents that we should not wait for state and federal lawmakers to take action to promote gun safety and prevent accidental shootings.

The ordinance was well-considered and designed to work within state and federal laws, notably RCW 9.41.290, which was passed as part of a spate of legislation brought forth in the 1990s by the NRA to control state gun legislation and keep local citizens from having a say in their communities.

Though RCW 9.41.290 does not reference storage of firearms, James Wood and others claim this new local ordinance is illegal. Frankly, I'd prefer to have local legislation that is supported by community members than have our fate controlled by an overly broad interpretation of laws written by a nefarious national lobbyist organization.

Each day an average of nine children are accidentally shot in the U.S.; encouraging residents to keep their guns locked up will absolutely save lives.

As we've seen with laws requiring seat belts and motorcycle helmets, legislation encourages changes in behavior. Some people raise concerns about gun safes being beyond the financial means of gun owners. Since this legislation provides trigger locks for free to those who need them, that concern is moot.

This ordinance does not put an undue burden on gun owners, and is endorsed by many gun-owning residents. It is a perfect example of the kind of common sense compromise Americans are looking for.

Gun violence is a complicated problem that requires us to come at it from multiple perspectives and trials to reduce incidents.

I applaud Mayor Earling and City Council for taking action, rather than shrugging their shoulders.

Sandra Herman
Edmonds

 

Lookin’ good, Mr. Darcy

Mr. Darcy:

You photograph quite nicely, as we all saw in last week’s Beacon (“Through Your Lens | Dog Days”), Aug. 16. I’ve seen you around town; you are a joy to meet up with, Mr. Darcy.

You add a little happiness to the scenery around Edmonds.

Linda Danielson
Edmonds
“A friend of the Doodles”

 

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