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Police Beat, thanks, tree trim | Letters to the Editor


August 29, 2019

Some schools go without booster programs

Thank you for the recent article, “Booster clubs help support athletes, teams,” by David Pan (Aug. 22).

Sports booster clubs provide much needed support to our local high school athletic programs. Studies have shown that students who are active in extracurricular activities have better attendance and classroom performance.

Edmonds School District also hosts award-winning music, drama, and theater programs, which benefit from the active music booster clubs at both Meadowdale and Edmonds-Woodway high schools.

However, there are serious inequities right here within Edmonds city limits.

I recently led a district level study of principals, teachers, students, and parents called “Equity in Funding Workgroup,” which presented our findings at the June 11 board meeting.

We found inequities among schools with regards to field trips, outdoor camps, classroom supplies, help in the classroom, enrichment programs, and more. It is a very unlevel playing field, depending on which school a student attends, and high-poverty schools are most impacted.

In contrast, Scriber Lake High School, located in Edmonds, has a 54% free and reduced lunch rate. Scriber does not have an ASB program, PTA, or a parent-sponsored booster club.

Fundraising usually falls to the administration and staff to write grants. This spring, Washington Kids in Transition generously helped sponsor Scriber’s prom – an ASB-funded activity at traditional schools.

Other nonprofits have stepped up, including Edmonds Rotary and the Hazel Miller Foundation, to help fund various programs at Scriber Lake High School. While it is important to support our Booster programs, it is also important to note that some schools are going without.

Diana White

Edmonds School Board President

BOLO for kudos

Bravo to Brian Soergel for adding a gentle dose of humor to the weekly Police Beat headlines! There is so much sad and disturbing news, it’s refreshing to see some attempts at humor, even if it seems cornball at times.

It shows the reader that a real human wrote the headline, not an automaton.

Keep up your creativity and excellent coverage of Edmonds news, Brian!

Cliff Sanderlin


Tree trim much appreciated

Kudos to whoever was responsible for trimming the trees at Chase Bank and restoring the view for many neighbors!

Thank you from all of us.

Bill Moore


Concerned about Facebook posts in the Beacon

I wanted to reach out and address an issue I feel needs to be corrected.

There were two letters to the editor posted in the printed version of the Edmonds Beacon this past week: "Grateful for the Taste, but quote was inaccurate" and "Chamber president responds to Taste accessibility complaint."

Both of these "letters to the editor" articles were never sent to Editor Brian Soergel for this purpose; each of these were comments posted on Facebook. While one was posted on the Edmonds Beacon page, the other was not. In neither case was the Chamber reached out to for comment or to verify accuracy.

"Chamber president responds to Taste accessibility complaint": Our Facebook page is managed by multiple people with access to post and comment; in this instance, the comment attributed to myself was generated by two other people.

The original Facebook comment was posted by someone who themselves are not handicap nor did they witness or even attended the event.

"Grateful for the Taste, but quote was inaccurate": This "letter" was also a Facebook comment on the mentioned article (posted on the Beacon’s Facebook page). I accept that my comment was not 100% accurate and had a staff member dig up the email I was thinking about; my error was in that the funds help get bus passes for kids who need tutoring, not to pay for the tutoring itself.

I worry that scouring social media to generate letters to the editor sends the wrong message. This opens up any social media posting to be used at the editors whim without consent of the authors or verification that the "authors" are actually the correct people.

Greg Urban

President and CEO

Edmonds Chamber of Commerce

Editor’s note: While the Beacon has always reached out to those who post on Facebook to get permission to run their comments in the paper, Urban is right that we did not on the two letters he referenced. The “Grateful for the Taste” comment was indeed published on the Beacon’s Facebook page, which gives us permission to publish it any way we see fit, as long as we don’t distort an author’s comments.

In addition, the majority of Facebook users have agreed to the Facebook Terms of Service that they or their group's members have expressly agreed that such posts could be republished.

The Beacon decided that the two letters were newsworthy. Having said that, in the future we will not republish Facebook posts – that are not on the Beacon’s Facebook page –without the author’s permission.

Orcas are the priority

Re: “Suit seeks protection as more orcas die,” Aug. 22.

Three more southern resident orcas are missing, presumed dead from starvation, bringing the total population down to just 73. Drastic steps need to be taken to prevent any more orcas from dying.

Not enough salmon is the main issue, but that’s not a quick fix. In the meantime, immediate actions are needed now.

A current proposal would restrict vessels from orcas’ prime feeding areas April through September by designating a “whale protection zone.” Excluding all vessels from this critical area would help reduce their stress and stop some of the noise that interferes with their echolocation that enables them to find food.

Researchers keep track of orcas’ locations and activities. Whale-watch boats in the area just announce to the casual boater a good spot to head for to get some orca pics.

What is the priority here? Pleasing paying customers on whale-watch boats or our best efforts to give the orcas a fighting chance to live? The whale-watch tour operators have a choice; the orcas do not.

Sharon Sneddon


Are Edmonds’ new dog rules in parks the ‘definition of insanity’?

Re: “Dogs rule: Pets now free to roam parks and waterfront pathway – on a leash,” Aug. 22). Edmonds City Council Members … seriously?

After the Waterfront Connector debacle, it “might” cross your minds to communicate with your constituents prior to making this type of a drastic decision. Recently, the Saturday market became a dog-free space, so problems – between people walking and dogs – are current.

Many Edmonds residents do not have dogs. However, I agree the Edmonds dog population has increased. If this was a problem “a long time ago” (when City Code was written removing dogs from our beaches), what leads you to believe that an increase in the population would lessen the problem?

I walk over three miles each day in Edmonds. On each walk, I easily see two and usually more piles of dog feces. When I walk the Edmonds waterfront, even if dog feces were picked up using a doggy bag, there are often remnants left on the wooden or concrete surfaces for wheelchairs, walkers, shoes and feet to track further.

With the codes in place, there were often off-leash dogs on the beaches/wildlife sanctuaries (LOL), and they urinate and defecate whenever and wherever they like. There are often dogs at Marina Beach Park by the play toys.

Do you truly believe that opening the entire Edmonds waterfront walk to a larger population of dogs is going to diminish the number of dogs on our beaches and in our parks?

If Edmonds can’t enforce codes, when they are in place, how are they going to manage the increase in the number of calls/lawsuits as more serious conflicts occur during this “trial basis”?

Truthfully, I love dogs. I don’t feel like picking up dog poo and/or trying to clean it off of public walking surfaces, so I don’t own a dog right now. I could tell you many stories, which would update your unfounded opinion that “we're in a time where people are picking up after their pets more,” and may I please add that dog owners do not seem to have increased their responsibility in regard to leashing their pets, either.

Yesterday, I walked a path in South County Park and was confronted by a jogger running with five, count ’em, FIVE, dogs off leash. I will admit this is an extreme example; usually it is one owner and one off leash pet.

A friend from my dance class is still recovering from two dogs (on leash) rushing toward one another, pulling their owners along behind, and knocking her completely to the ground. Where? Fifth Avenue South, Edmonds.

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Make codes, remove codes, make codes, remove codes … what a waste of time and energy.

Donna Hough


An Edmonds kind of gratitude

I have a story I want to share about the Edmonds community saving the day for my mother and I.

On Saturday Aug, 24, driving from north Edmonds to the Edmonds ferry terminal, after a day of my mother and I doing yard work for my grandmother, my car started to develop brake problems.

I was having to press twice as far on my brake pedal, and getting gradually less brake power, we made it most of the way to the ferry terminal. Then I heard sounds that no working break system should make.

We pulled into the parking lot of the Edmonds United Methodist Church. We consulted the car manual, and quickly discovered that my car was out of brake fluid, but we also concluded that if we added brake fluid, it would be a sufficiently effective short-term fix to get us home.

Knowing we could not safely drive, we looked up some local auto parts stores. We called the Edmonds Auto Parts Marine Supply on Edmonds Way, where Greg answered the phone. He confirmed our theory that if we added brake fluid, we should be able to get home.

But presently unable to safely drive, I asked if Greg could possibly deliver it to us. We'd be happy to pay extra. Greg was the only employee at the store at the time, but a customer there, Chuck Olson, out of the kindness of his heart, offered to run the brake fluid to us.

We exchanged phone numbers and visual descriptions, and waited for Chuck to arrive.

After about 15 minutes, Chuck arrived, brake fluid and funnel in hand, and helped us refill the brake fluid reservoir. He also gave us some useful advice: Drive in lower gears so that we would pick up speed slower and slow down easier. I did some brake pumping, and a test drive in the church parking lot, and all appeared to be well.

We thanked Chuck, who refused to accept any compensation, and made our way to the ferry terminal.

Once in Kingston, while driving along Bond Road, and deliberately driving relatively slowly, the brakes started to give out again. I pulled over and put Chuck's advice to use again, pumping the brakes, getting an even shorter-term fix. That enabled us to make it back to Poulsbo, without major issue.

Chuck wouldn't accept anything in return, so we said we would do nice things for some other people. But I think Chuck deserves some praise, and everyone deserves to know that in a pinch, they can rely on the Edmonds community to help.

Thank you to Chuck Olson, and thank you to Greg at Edmonds Auto Parts Marine Supply. My mother and I are forever grateful.

Benjamin Rinehart



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