Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Oct. 7

Glacier Northwest

Lobbyist reported facts incorrectly

In his Sept. 30 letter to the editor, Bruce Chattin, who is the head of the Aggregates Industry Lobby in Washington State, notes his belief that the information I presented in my Sept. 9 letter to the editor regarding the allowed use of the aggregates found at Glacier Northwest’s proposed Maury Island site was incorrect.

However, it is Mr. Chattin, along with Glacier Northwest — a member of Mr. Chattin’s lobby organization — who is unfortunately presenting incorrect information.

While Mr. Chattin and Glacier may wish otherwise, the fact is that the aggregates found at the Maury site cannot be used to make concrete. As I correctly reported in my earlier letter, extensive analysis of the site materials performed by Glacier Northwest’s own consultants shows that the aggregates at the proposed mining site do not meet the strict specifications established by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) as well as local building codes for the use of aggregates in concrete production. The consultant’s report plainly shows that the materials are not of the size, grade and/or quality necessary to meet these regulations. This is further supported by the fact that the materials from the site have never been used as anything but the most common fill material and that the intended future use is also as common fill — something that in the past Glacier has readily acknowledged.

Additionally, Mr. Chattin’s assertion that the Maury aggregates are already approved for this use is without question in clear error. The WSDOT keeps an extensive database of all approved concrete aggregate sources in the state. The Maury Island site is not included on this list nor has it ever been.

While I recognize Mr. Chattin is acting in support of Glacier’s interests, I find it unfortunate that he chooses to use industry PR rather than documented information to present his case.

— Amy Carey

President, Preserve Our Islands

Otters

Animals lose when they clash with people

It happens repeatedly: People move to a rural area, then complain because it’s not like the city. Vashon has wildlife — that’s one of its attractions. Mr. Pignataro chose to have his vacation home where there’s wildlife, then complains about the wildlife. Then he hires a trapper whose solution was certainly a lot easier than relocating the otters; He chose to shoot an entire family of otters.

Mr. Pignataro seemed to think that the otters were his property, to do anything he wanted with. The eagles, osprey, killer whales, herons, dolphins, and yes, otters, belong to all of us. Now there are six dead otters that no one can enjoy.

It seems like it would be obvious — coexistence with wildlife is expected since his property is close to the Fern Cove wildlife sanctuary.

I understand his frustration, but it’s all about choices. And that’s the problem — whenever there’s contact with wildlife, humans generally choose whatever is expedient to their needs, not that of the wildlife that are desperately trying to coexist.

Any time humans and animals face off, the animals always lose. There are very few places left for wild animals to live, and in the few that are left, like Vashon, we should try to coexist. We have a choice where we live. They don’t. And consider, this is Pignataro’s second home; it’s the otters’ only home.

In light of this disturbing episode, I’d like to put all critters on notice: Watch out — don’t irritate a human. And just to be clear, that means don’t eat anything a human might have any interest in. Don’t poop anywhere near us. And if you’re a predator, like a bear or cougar, don’t even let us see you, as we really go nuts just at the sight of you.

— Judith Pearce

We owe them

What a responsible suggestion Jean Bosch wrote in a letter to The Beachcomber last week — a floating platform instead of a boat for the otters to feed on, and the mess goes to sea! This may not be simpler than killing (although history has not verified so), but then when does kindness depend on rating?

Hey, we took the beach away from them; responsibility only dictates that we give them something in return. We otter take the hard road.

— Weslie Rodgers

Fauntleroy Way

The restripe didn’t impact traffic

As you may recall, there was some debate last fall about the City of Seattle’s decision to restripe Fauntleroy for one lane each direction, a turn lane and enhanced bike lanes.

There were some in the Vashon community who opposed the change, stating that it would result in long traffic delays during rush hour.

I spoke out publicly as being for the change because experience on similar projects had shown it would improve conditions for bicycle and pedestrian use while not diminishing traffic flow.

I was inspired to make my statement because a faction of the community convinced the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council to send a letter of opposition to the city.  

With Vashon being a progressive community, and me being a regular bike commuter, I felt that it was necessary to take a stand

on this issue because I did not believe their sentiments were representative of the community at large. And in a subsequent community council meeting, a vote was made to rescind the letter of opposition.  

Well, the change has been made, and the community should know that, alas, traffic has not been affected and bicycle/pedestrian access has been greatly improved.

I have experienced Fauntleroy during rush hour in both directions and over numerous trips since the change, and I would be surprised if traffic has been delayed 20 seconds by the restripe of the road.

It is my understanding that West Seattle is also happy with the results — safer traffic and better pedestrian access. And I have to say the biking conditions are much better.

Thanks to Seattle for taking a risk and making a change for the better. And thanks to the Islanders who came to that meeting last fall to show support for a progressive transportation initiative that will hopefully continue to gain momentum. 

— Henry Haselton

The world flag

Flying it makes sense

I was appalled at the attack on Emma Amiad, which she described in her “Ask Emma” ad in last week’s Beachcomber.

As the old adage says, words cut more than swords. Whoever wrote this attack is not seeing the big picture.

Believe me, as an environmental science teacher, I believe Emma is flying the flag in the correct order: Earth first (or there is no country we call America).

I love Emma’s attitude. Those who don’t aren’t smart enough to see the big picture of the future of life on this planet. 

— P.J. Ritzhaupt

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