June 1, 1998
Don't stand by and let flim-flam artists destroy our way of life
As ol' Mother Nature once again permits the sunshine to light up the garden where we are lucky enough to live, some of us, when we have a minute, are quietly rejoicing. We know we live in a paradise called the Snoqualmie Valley.
And our praise and support should also be extended to local groups like Novelty Neighbors, in their efforts to quell the Alberg's 120 acre-site gravel pit operation.Such a blight would not only devastate the 50 or 60 homes nearby with the loss of wells and non-stop noise. All of us who use the Novelty Bridge would get a daily punch in the face on our way home from work or wherever as well as an all-day truck-traffic nightmare.
We have only to look towards Monroe to see what would happen. The people of Tualco Valley know all too well what the foreign-owned Cadman Inc. has done and will do as their operation continues to mushroom for the next 30 years - loss of wells, horrific traffic, land values plummet - so people give up and move away. The solitude they sought by moving there in the first place is lost forever. Community spirit is road kill.
Novelty Neighbors need our support because this issue is not over yet. Slowly, insidiously, implacably, the forces of greed are hard at work in our valley. But those who would profit most from the new Safeway shopping centers and the gravel pits won't be setting up living quarters anywhere nearby. No. With their tidy little bundles, they'll be tucking themselves as far away from the noise and traffic as they can, so they may enjoy the solace and green glory they're so willing to deny the rest of us.
Quality of life is an intangible thing. The repercussions can be far-reaching. But you can't put a price on it, they say, even though we all more or less sense what it is. We feel sad and say so when we seldom know anybody down at the store anymore, when a favorite tree comes down or when an old place is lost to a fire. Perhaps some of this can't be avoided.
But we don't have to stand by and let the flim-flam artists drive nails in our way of life's coffin, because the only flag they're waving has dollar signs on it. We can stand up to them and fight, like Novelty Neighbors has done by explaining to government officials in countless meetings, by writing letters, and as it so often inevitably requires, seeking recourse through the courts. The price of the Novelty Neighbor victories hasn't been free. I intend to help them financially and any other way I can and I urge all caring neighbors in the valley to join me.
Their address is Novelty Neighbors, P.O. Box 693, Duvall, WA 98019.
Denny Redman, Duvall