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Perrinville Creek; Mika's Playground | Letters to the Editor

 

Last updated 3/4/2021 at 10:05am

The demise of Perrinville Creek

Edmonds city staff have now cut off the natural connection of Perrinville Creek to Puget Sound, eliminating over 100 yards of stream habitat that had been essential habitat for coho salmon and cutthroat trout.

We'd even had adult chum salmon sighted in the lower creek, suggesting they may be again spawning in the creek (which otherwise was great news for salmon recovery).

The accompanying photo shows the huge mound of dirt the City placed in the stream channel, sending all of the creek into diversion structures and a pipe to Puget Sound. City staff apparently had to do this because the stream sediment flow from rainstorms has changed the stream channel such that it is flooding adjacent residences.

Current and past city councils and mayors have been warned repeatedly for well over 10 (if not 20) years that the storm drains in the upper Perrinville watershed (in Lynnwood and Edmonds) were sending excessive amounts of rainwater into the creek, eroding the stream banks with every heavy rain.

And how has the council and mayor responded? They have allowed (and even encouraged) more development in the upper watershed with impervious surfaces and tree removals, causing all surface rain water to flow into the storm drains instead of into the ground.

It is ironic that Edmonds is noted for its dedicated high school students (Students Saving Salmon) trying to bring salmon back to Edmonds, while the city has had to destroy salmon habitat to prevent residential flooding.

Mayor Nelson ¬– please start paying attention to the environmental issues in Edmonds.

Please direct your staff to require 100% stormwater infiltration on all new development (no exceptions); prevent the unabated cutting of mature trees that otherwise absorb rainfall; work with Lynnwood to address their contribution to the excess stormwater; and direct your staff to figure out how to infiltrate existing storm drains directly into the ground rather than piping excess rainwater into the creek.

It's time for change.

Actually, it's past time, since we've lost another salmon stream in Edmonds.

Joe Scordino
Edmonds

Request support for Mika's Playground

We have received support from our 21st legislative district senator and representatives for a $250,000 capital budget appropriation from the state of Washington for the naming rights and playground proposal for Mika's Playground, to be located at the future Civic Park http://www.mikasplayground.org/.

We need letters of support for this project (email or written).

We have already asked our mayor and city councilmembers to send in letters of support. Each letter will bring us closer to finally obtaining the minimum amount we need for the naming rights and our playground proposal.

Rep. Strom Peterson has agreed to help push it through the Capital Budget Committee. Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self is the prime sponsor in the House, and Sen. Marko Liias in the Senate.

"Mika's Playground" will be dedicated to Mika Zimbalist, a boy who died just short of this 11th birthday. Born with cerebral palsy, he was presented with many challenges in the way he moved his body. The park was one of Mika's favorite places to go.

As he got older, his wheelchair and walker did not work in parks as woodchips would get stuck in the wheels or block movement altogether. Also, standard climbing park equipment didn't allow him to play on them and weren't equipped to be safe for a child whose body moved like Mika's did.

During his short life, he taught us so much about the importance of kids of all abilities being able to play together and the many benefits of inclusion. The Edmonds Rotary members are inspired to create this playground as his legacy.

I seek your support by writing letters/email to our Washington state legislators to support the funding for this. Included are some bullet points you may want to include:

– I am in full support of the $250,000 funds through the state of Washington Capital Budget Committee as presented in the application from Edmonds Rotary for Edmonds Civic Park – Mika's Playground.

– This playground will allow all children of all abilities to be able to play. It will especially allow special-needs children to be able to participate in a park atmosphere where traditional playground equipment will not.

– An all-inclusive playground will allow family and friends to play alongside their special needs siblings.

A park of this magnitude can become a destination playground for families around the Puget Sound region.

Letters of support should be sent to: The Honorable Marko Liias, 309 Legislative Building, PO Box 40421

Olympia, WA 98504-0403. Email: [email protected]

The Honorable Lillian Ortiz-Self, JLOB 402, PO Box 40600, Olympia, WA 98504-0600. Email: [email protected]

The Honorable Strom Peterson, JLOB 324, PO Box 40600, Olympia, WA 98504-0600. Email: [email protected]

We would also appreciate copies of your letters or a cc on your email (copy Alison Pence at [email protected]). Also, if you have friends and members of our Edmonds community, please feel free to share this with them. Every letter of support helps!

Thank you in advance for your support on behalf of all children of all abilities and special needs.

David Kaufer
Edmonds

Support 'ranked-choice voting'

There is a simple way to improve our local elections so that our officials are chosen in a more direct, democratic way than they are now.

This improvement is called "ranked-choice voting." It allows each voter to rank several candidates in order of their preference, and the results will more accurately reflect the will of the voters. It allows us to vote for the candidate we actually prefer without "wasting" our vote, instead of having to vote for the "least bad" candidate who is more likely to win.

If our preferred candidate doesn't win, our second, (and third etc.), choice votes still count.

This simple, common-sense adjustment to the election process is growing in popularity in large and small communities across the country, as well as at the state level in Maine and Alaska. Ranking multiple candidates is always optional; you can still just vote for one if you choose.

Current Washington law prohibits local election boards from making this improvement to their elections, but House Bill 1156: Increasing Representation and Voter Participation In Local Elections, currently in committee in the state Legislature, would give local jurisdictions the freedom to make this change if their constituents approve it.

Please support the freedom of Washington communities to make this improvement to their elections by going to the Fair Vote Washington website: #fairvotewa.org#.

You can learn all about ranked-choice voting and, with a few clicks, help to get HB 1156 passed.

Kyle Weisbrod
Edmonds

Standing up for protected species

Rivers, salmon, steelhead, orcas, sturgeon, and lamprey are essential to my livelihood and to my community.

I am grateful to see Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) develop a proposal for a historic restoration process in the Columbia River Basin. In the near future, I can finally see tangible and comprehensive solutions that allow a freely flowing lower Snake River, salmon and steelhead populations recovering from near extinction, and abundant amounts of orcas swimming along the coast of Washington.

I can finally see all our elected officials and Congress members standing up for the science that supports dam removal as an essential element to save endangered Snake River salmon, steelhead, and other wildlife species.

As we have seen in the Pacific Northwest, it is a critical moment to stand up for all endangered species, such as our Southern Resident orcas, that primarily rely on chinook salmon for survival and reproduction.

As salmon populations decline, so have the orcas; just 74 whales remain today. The Snake River Basin represents our best chinook restoration opportunity anywhere on the West Coast.

With Rep. Simpson's efforts to restore the lower Snake River, along with the funding and implementation of habitat restoration and fish protection projects, we will provide the most favorable river conditions possible for salmon, steelhead, and other native fish species.

However, our time is short, and we need urgent action from all senators and congress members – especially Sens. Murray, Cantwell, Wyden, and Merkley – to lead with developing a comprehensive solution that restores salmon, protects orcas, and meets the needs of our communities.

Julia N. Allen
Edmonds

 

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