Northwest NEWS

August 3, 1998


Grouse Ridge should not have to pay such a huge price

   In recent weeks two Seattle papers gave their royal editorial blessing to the strip mine and asphalt/cement plant east of North Bend, proposed by Weyerhaeuser and Cadman Inc. That sounds like bias for big business and a complete lack of regard for the people of North Bend and the Valley. Of course, Seattle won't suffer from the dust, noise, truck exhaust pollution, river pollution and destruction of wildlife from this operation. They do have their own problems to editorialize about: the third runway, two stadiums that the people said no to, demolition of the Kingdome, the homeless (what could they do with the dome!) drugs, violence (especially teen violence) to name a few.
   As to 25 years being a millisecond, ask the man who just served 25 years in prison or someone paralyzed 25 years by a drunken driver. It's all in the perspective.
   I think I have the solution to this problem. We heard about the sweetheart deals when the forest service practically gave away huge tracts of timber land to the big companies. Weyerhaueser was not alone but they got their share. When timber slowed down and there were more regulations, they had the land, so they tried real estate with what was then called Puget Power. They were going to regulate the flow of the Falls and build everywhere including hillsides. Forget the view. Snoqualmie Falls is one of nature's wonders, sacred to Native Americans and beloved by all. It belongs to all of us.
   They still have the land, so now this plan for strip mining and a cement plant is outrageous. They will donate a few hundred acres, sell several thousand and make big money for 25 years. And we should commend them? They should donate all 2,280 acres back to the people. They have made millions on the land they got for a song. We could have the greenbelt without Grouse Ridge area paying such a price.
   Marguerite Ensley, Carnation