Retirement, socialists, the cloud | Letters

Apr 13, 2018

Happy retirement, Mike Koenig

We write to honor our good friend Mike Koenig, who retired from Koenig Financial Group on March 30. For as long as we've known Mike, he's been a man of good manners and gentle humor, and we're sure his many clients would agree.

Every Friday many of us gather for a sip of wine or beer to celebrate the end of the week at one of the local watering holes and, without fail, Mike arrives with a stack of that week's Beacon to be sure we all see it. Just as often he supplies an amusing cartoon, news clipping or something from his “Book of 1,000 Answers” to keep us informed and on our toes.

Mike loves Costco, golf, the Mariners and most certainly his family and friends, along with lots of other passions, and we hope he and Dusty can enjoy the pursuit of them all in his retirement.

All the best to you, Mike!

David Brewster and the Friday Afternoon Crew


Socialists in Edmonds

From all the hoopla about the Jayapal event you described in the April 5 Beacon (“Rep. Jayapal packs Edmonds Senior Center”), you must have had a room full of socialists and Trump haters!

Are you planning a repeat event?

Paul O’Brien


Keep library on Main Street; move police station to Highway 99

Should the library move to Highway 99? No. If we’re going to move any building, let’s move the police station.

Given that the crime rates are higher along Highway 99 than in downtown Edmonds, it would make sense to move the police station so that they would have quicker access to crime scenes. Anyone who’s gone through downtown Edmonds traffic realizes this could be a boon for the police officers, and possibly a deterrent to crime.

Just a thought.

Maureen Over


The cloud can’t replace the library

I write in support of the local library levy that is on the ballot on April 24. As a member of our community who uses the library, I am struck by the fact that it remains a central place of gathering for our community.

Every time I visit, I'm aware of the volume of people who use the services of the library. I realize that in today's society, being a member of a community is quite different than it was even 10 years ago.

In today's time, you can blog or be part of a cloud community, using cyberspace or get all of your information on the internet.

To me, that doesn't replace my need to be part of a brick-and-mortar community, one where I can do research for my business, where my children can participate in early education programs, and I can check out materials that I can't find through an internet search or blog.

To me, the need to maintain library services is a necessity for a community I want to live in; I don't want hours to be reduced or programs to be limited. To me, my community deserves a vibrant library system where all can enjoy the benefits of programs, services or simply the feeling of being part of a community that doesn't just exist in the cloud.

I want to be part of a community that exits in real form, one that I can visit, be part of and make sure my children, like myself when I was their age, enjoy and appreciate.

Rico Tessandore


Dollars and value: Our library levy

Edmonds City Councilmember Dave Teitzel, chairman of the Finance Committee for the City Council, has recently raised three questions regarding our Sno-Isle Edmonds Library. These concerns are:

  • Taxes collected for the library exceed the Sno-Isle investment in the Edmonds Library;
  • The library location, 650 Main St., may not be the highest and best use of the site – a Highway 99 location is a possibility; and
  • The library may be obsolete over time.

I would offer a very different perspective on these concerns.

Regarding taxes collected, we all pay taxes for services we may not use: schools, medic and fire response and road repairs where we do not drive. However, these services greatly add to the overall quality of our community. The library levy is, by state law, a portion of individual property tax and the property values in Edmonds are generally higher than more rural areas.

The total levy amounts for property owners are slight, given the value. A property assessed at $500,000. requires $190 a year to support our Sno-Isle libraries. With passage of the levy, that annual amount will be $235, or an increase in tax for 2019 of $45.

This will allow the Edmonds Library to continue the level of service we now enjoy, to maintain the hours of operation, the excellent staff, sustain the costs of new materials, technical upgrades and routine maintenance of the facility.

Second, the highest and best use of the property at 650 Mains St. is more than a matter of financial profitability, tax proceeds, zoning questions. How does one value the experience of individual attention to their needs, face-to-face support and a public space created for bringing people together, where locals and strangers can mingle freely?

Edmonds prides itself on walkability and our links to a variety of amenities. Among them, the Performing Arts Center, Rick Steves’ classes and travel center; the Cascadia Art Museum, Francis Anderson Center and the Senior Center. Our library on Main Street is central and open to all.

Finally, will our library become obsolete?

In decades past, libraries were primarily associated with circulating books, films and music to patrons; now they are participating fully in enhancing our community.

The Edmonds Library today prepares young children for success when they enter kindergarten; provides homework tutors available to grade and high school students; assists with work and school application processes; provides resources for business entrepreneurs; gives tax assistance to seniors; offers classes for those learning English as a second language and book discussion groups for social and intellectual stimulation; and schedules the series of panels around the question, "What Matters Most in our Lives?"

The library also hosts live music events.

I am more than grateful for the Edmonds Library and am most happy to pay the slight increase in property tax to allow it to continue to provide services that enrich us beyond measure. Ballots need to be returned by April 24.

Dianna Maish


Our children are our heroes

How do children under 21 access guns? Online? gun shows? Their parents?

More likely, children under 21 access their parent's guns. While the NRA verbalizes they support safe firearms, they take no responsibility for children accessing guns. Dana Loesch, an NRA spokeswoman, says NRA members are not responsible for the school shootings, but we have no data to support Loesch's position.

Obviously, children are accessing guns. The proof: dead children. The guns are accessed from irresponsible adults. Irresponsible gun-owning parents, irresponsible NRA members (the adults with guns), irresponsible gun shows, and irresponsible online gun sellers.

How do children, specifically boys, reach the decision to kill classmates, parents and teachers? Boys under 21 are historically the shooters. In all of the mass school shootings, boys with autism, ADHD, depression and/or on a stimulant were the shooters.

Stimulants create violence in some people, and in Nikolas Cruz's case, did create violence. Failing, grieving, and confused boys, filled with testosterone and legal or illegal drugs, and overwhelmed by the pressures of the American society emulate our tough gun-toting, military society and shoot to kill ethos.

In the Parkland shooting, red flags were abundant. But none of the information was entered into a local or national data system.

In Edmonds, our City Council, senators and representatives, especially Mike Nelson and Maralyn Chase, and our students and parents are fighting for gun control laws. HB 1122 requires responsible storage of firearms by parents. SB 5795 requires liability insurance before a person can buy a gun. If a gun dealer sells to a person with no liability insurance, they can be fined $10,000.

As Nelson, Chase and our responsible Edmonds' community members know, locking up guns in the home and liability insurance before buying a gun is a sensible start to firearm laws.

Now we need to fight for a local and national data system that includes all persons, both over and under 21, diagnosed as mentally ill, demonstrating violent behavior, using stimulant drugs. and making computer threats.

A data system that is vetted by professionals and responsibly accessed and used by the FBI, sheriff departments and gun sellers.

Our schoolchildren are our heroes. They are taking a stand against the NRA and are demanding sensible gun laws. Keep the firearm discussions going. The more we talk, the greater the chance that we will reach compromises that protect all of us.

Susan Pedersen




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