Conflicting views on transgender story; parking; the marsh | Letters to the Editor
Last updated 11/30/2018 at Noon
A safe place for an honest narrative
Thank you for your recent article, “A new man,” in the Nov. 15 Beacon.
What really stood out is the lifetime of hardship a transgender person struggles with to understand their identity, but the writer’s connection to Jess as his former basketball coach made the story even more compelling.
Jess is surrounded with supportive family and loved ones, but his journey was certainly not easy. His struggle is representative of what many transgender people live with daily.
As an outgoing member of the City of Edmonds Diversity Commission, it is encouraging to see this newspaper publish an open and honest narrative of a transgender man.
The commission’s goal is to create a community where people feel safe to express who they are regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, income, etc.
Thank you for providing a safe place for Jess to tell his story. Best wishes to Jess, Cristina and their growing family.
Diana White Edmonds Diversity Commission
Not happy with transgender story
You have done it. You have lost a longtime reader and supporter of the Edmonds Beacon.
The article in the Nov. 15 Beacon (“A new man”) was disgusting. I did not expect this from a community paper, but in reality I guess it should not surprise me considering the condition of our society today.
It amazes me that you succumbed to accepting what is in “vogue” just to write an article.
Our basic family is under attack.
For some bizarre reason, it is now commonplace to come to the conclusion that just because we were born male or female with proper genitals for each, that should not restrict someone from deciding they are really the other sex.
“Bizarre” is really not a strong enough word.
It goes on to say in the article that theses two women are now expecting their first child. You imply that the two women somehow made this happen? Which one had the semen?
You are now on par with the crazy magazines at the grocery store checkout stand. Your article encourages 4- to 5-year-olds to question their sex? Are you nuts? Any parent who encourages this is committing child abuse, pure and simple.
My grandchildren in first grade in Edmonds are not being subjected to reading, writing and arithmetic, but rather how there are now 70 or 80 or 140, or whatever, different genders out there.
Stop. Get a grip. Let’s get back to basics.
Goodbye, Edmonds Beacon. You are dead to me.
Jim Fulmer Edmonds
For better civility, tone needs to change
Re: “Is all civility lost,” Letter the Editor from Susan Pedersen, Oct. 31): As neither a Democrat nor Republican, I observe both "sides" vilifying their "opponent," which as you pointed out is often amplified by social media.
Until our politicians, pundits, and op-ed writers change their overall tone changes, civility will not return.
Jim Shelton Edmonds
A modest proposal for parking at Civic Playfield
On Nov. 19, a group of concerned Edmonds residents gathered to discuss the parking issues within the downtown area of Edmonds. The Civic Playfield project will have a dramatic impact on our neighborhoods and overall parking within the city.
Don't get me wrong this is a wonderful idea, and will be a great addition to our community. However, there is limited parking now and the project hasn't even started. We understand there is not consideration for parking, other than street and possible limited church and Edmonds Center for the Arts lots for this new Civic Park.
We are asking people to come and enjoy our beautiful town, play in the park, stay and eat or shop, but sorry here's no place for you to park. As one concerned resident said: "That's just rude. It's like being invited to a party and finding the door locked."
We need to keep the door open. Provide parking for the residents and guests that will enjoy our city and the future opportunities our city will have to offer.
Our proposal: The Civic Playfield project site is a total of 8 acres. Two of those acres are exempt from deed restrictions. Install a 30-50 stall parking area in the northwest corner of the project site.
This would provide plenty of space for those visiting the park and/or other activities throughout the city.
We understand that the project has been decided, but we urge all of you to reconsider. The parking area could potentially be paid for with the $75,000 parking study fund.
We were advised that the city could choose to add a parking lot at the Civic Park per an email from Parks and Recreation Director Carrie Hite.
"It would need to be in the area identified as unrestricted,” she wrote in an email to Mike McMurray Aug. 30.
“The community/planning board/council went through a very robust public conversation about this and adopted a final plan. If the council changes their minds and elects to add parking, they would need to open up the plan, add some additional funds to redesign this area, consider the impact to the (Boys & Girls Club), and adopt a new plan."
We urge the City leaders to reconsider the Civic Playfield project. We urge them to consider the residents of Edmonds and the impact to our neighborhoods and local business.
Julie Stuller, and 30 residents Edmonds
Too many vessels, too few orcas
Re: “Whale-watchers opposed to restrictions,” Nov. 20:
Gov. Inslee’s Orca Task Force has recently highlighted three top threats to the survival of Washington’s southern resident killer whale: lack of prey, disturbance and noise from vessel traffic, and pollution.
With funding always an issue, the obvious threat to address now is the partial ban on whale-watching boats.
This action would not be implemented as a distraction from the primary issue, lack of salmon, as stated by a spokeswoman for Puget Sound Express, a whale-watching tour company operating out of Edmonds and Port Townsend.
A ban would simply be the quickest and most cost-effective step to take right now.
While a ban affecting ferry and shipping traffic in known orca waters would be ideal, a ban on nonessential vessel traffic such as whale-watching tours is going to make a difference to the orcas.
Noise from vessels impairs orca communication and echolocation (the way they find food).
The physical presence of a vessel can impede the intended travel direction of the whales.
The top threat, lack of prey, will be more costly and take much longer to implement, while more orcas get thinner and develop diseases.
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has requested $90 million in funding to restore salmon habitats, removing barriers that inhibit them from reaching spawning grounds, researching the effects of ocean acidification and other actions beneficial to salmon.
The third threat, pollution, is from many sources and will be more difficult to control.
In last week’s Beacon article, the spokeswoman for Puget Sound Express claimed that a ban might be dangerous for the orcas since no one would be watching them and reporting on their activity. Not to worry. Researchers are keeping tabs on them at all times.
The health and well-being of the southern resident orcas is a top priority if we are to continue to share our corner of the planet with this magnificent creature.
Sharon Sneddon Edmonds
Approve $1 million in budget for Edmonds Marsh
Save Our Marsh concerned citizens urges the Edmonds City Council to approve $1 million in the 2019 budget for the Edmonds Marsh restoration fund.
The Council has received many public comments on the need for the City to get “aggressive” on obtaining grant funds for the Willow Creek Daylighting Project sooner rather than later.
By setting aside the $1 million, the council will be sending a clear signal to granting agencies and the public that the City is committed to completing the daylighting project as soon as possible, and that that Edmonds is a committed participant in regional efforts to restore salmon and estuaries in Puget Sound..
Many or most grant restoration programs require cities to provide matching funds in their grant applications. The City needs to start “banking” matching funds now in the 2019 budget to ensure it will be a successful competitor for available grant funds.
Gov. Jay Inslee has made salmon recovery a priority for the state due to the demise of killer whales that feed on salmon; thus, the time is now for the City to demonstrate it is a willing participant in salmon recovery efforts.
Since the daylighting project will reopen the marsh and its tributary streams to salmon, the City should be in a good position to compete for any new or re-prioritized State or federal funds for salmon recovery.
And what better way to show that the City is committed than by setting-aside City funds for matching any state or federal funds that may become available?
The timing for the City to step up on salmon recovery also corresponds perfectly with the transfer of the old Unocal property to WSDOT in early 2019.
WSDOT recently announced publicly that it would not be using the old Unocal property for a new ferry terminal, and had no specific plans for the property thus opening the door for community input on use of that land.
As taxpayers for the money that the state paid for the Unocal property, the citizens of Edmonds have a right to provide input on the future use of that property. Given the governor’s position on salmon recovery, the City (and public) could seek his help in getting WSDOT to sign landowner agreements on use of the property for a salmon recovery project.
By committing $1 million of the 2019 budget to marsh restoration, the City can demonstrate it is serious about salmon recovery and estuary restoration.
This will put the City in a much better position to negotiate with WSDOT on construction of tidal channels/streams across the old Unocal property.
We know that the Council and City have publicly stated their support of the Marsh daylighting project many times.
We are asking to see that support substantiated with funding commitments and forward progress in actually getting the project underway.
This needs to happen as soon as possible in order for the City to help with the urgency of regional salmon recovery efforts.