Northwest NEWS

November 29, 1999

Editorial

Are you aware of what is happening right now in the Snoqualmie Valley?

   Is this Washington? It looks more and more like California every day to me.

   There is a development proposed in Snoqualmie that we, the people, still have a chance to stop. It will have a definite impact on us all, not only the residents of the Valley, but everyone in Western Washington and around the nation: Falls Crossing. This development has been proposed and defeated twice over the years, yet rises once again. Scaled down, yes, but still of enormous impact to its surroundings.

   Approximately 1.5 million tourists travel to Snoqualmie Falls every year. Think about it. When family or friends from out of town come to visit, what is one of Washington State's treasures that you head to? Snoqualmie Falls. Its picture graces post cards, picture books, and posters. It is beautiful during the day, even more so at night with a backdrop of black sky filled with stars. This land is also sacred ground to the Snoqualmie Indian tribe.

   Our friends at Puget Western, Inc. seek to build a shopping mall/business center plus 370-plus units of housing right next to the area of the falls. Imagine the impact that this will have on the rural, country nature of Snoqualmie. Instead of entering into a quaint, historical town lined by railroad cars, you will enter past a large shopping center and a four-lane highway (parkway) full of traffic.

   Imagine the breathtaking beauty of the falls at night against a backdrop of deep black sky filled with millions of stars. Now, imagine standing gazing at the falls, only the night sky is lit with the glow from the lights of a supermarket parking lot and the street lights of a housing district. Not quite the same, is it? Imagine the traffic impact on rural roads already straining under the newest developments.

   So quickly all over Western Washington, we are losing our lands and natural beauty to the greedy interests of the developers. It happens in the blink of an eye. One minute, you drive along, enjoying green mountains and stunning lake views through trees; the next, you're driving through mountains covered with buildings, lakes visible only through scores of condos and houses built all around it. As for our wildlife--well, it seems that they have been determined to be "nuisances" to be shot, poisoned, or harassed by dogs in places they once called their own.

   A small group of local residents has banded together once again to fight it. You can help. But time is running out. Permits are in process now. We only have until December 10th to submit public comment on this issue. You can make a difference. Take a moment to write to the City of Snoqualmie; Planning and Parks Dept.; P.O. Box 987; Snoqualmie, WA 98065. Mark it to the attention of Nancy Tucker. Then send a note to our King County Executive Ron Sims, and Governor Gary Locke. Tell your friends and neighbors to do the same. Let's let them know that this land, this state's treasures are too important to be thrown away and paved over. Please.

  Only as a united voice will we be able to make ourselves heard. Otherwise, someday you may get in the car for that nice drive out to the "country" only to find that the "country" isn't there anymore.

Jeri Fitzbuck, Fall City