Northwest NEWS

February 15, 1999

Editorial

Questions for King County Executive Ron Sims

   I have been ill, so this letter is late. I just didn't have the enthusiasm it takes to write a letter.

   In my last letter, I urged letter writers to send copies to Gov. Locke, County Executive Ron Sims, and our legislators. I took my own advice and sent to all but Laura Ruderman; I didn't have her address at the time.

   I received one letter from King County Dept. of Development and Environmental Services. I assume it came through Sims' office. So I have some questions for him: Why didn't you answer my letter? When the taxpayers pay the housing, salaries, health insurance, pension, and perks, why do they have to pay $125 for an appeal of any issue? The money goes to King County Office of Finance. Is that like the general fund, sometimes called the slush fund?

   It was reported that you favored a grant for low income housing for sewers and water mains at Snoqualmie Ridge. That is a high-level development with its own golf course. I don't think any low-income people will get in. Again, it is a Weyerhauser venture. What is it with you and Weyerhauser?

   Years ago the Forest Service practically gave the land to Big Timber. Weyerhauser made a fortune in logging and mills. Now they are hard at work on another fortune in real estate. They are working on a gravel pit and cement plant to last a millisecond (25 years!)

   In the mid-1950s, I lived in Concrete, Washington, for five years. The cement plant ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cement dust was everywhere, in everything. Since then, I have developed allergies to tree pollen, grass, some flowers, tobacco smoke, wood smoke, paint fumes, gas fumes, bleach, and ammonia.

   About ten years ago, I learned I had emphysema. My recent illness and tests verified the fact that there is severe lung damage. Many people in Concrete had similar ailments. I am sure it was from the constant exposure to all that cement dust.

   I would not wish this dust and pollution on an enemy, certainly not on the people of Grouse Ridge, the little ones, the elders, and the ones with respiratory problems, not for 25 years!

   I am sure there are other gravel pit sites available, on Weyerhauser land, if that is part of the deal. If they are remote enough to be suitable, roads will need to be built. Maybe Weyerhauser can enlist the help of King County.

   I consider myself fortunate to have "Letters to the Editor" to express my honest opinion, and it doesn't cost $125.

Marguerite Ensley, Carnation