September 23, 2002
Two against Brightwater
This letter is to express our outrage at the proposal to build King County's sewer in our neighborhood.
We are longtime residents of this area. My husband's parents homesteaded our property at the turn of the century when there weren't even any roads. We have lived on homestead land for 52 years and have seen much change, not necessarily for the better. This sewer proposition is the worst yet.
In my late teens, my parents moved our family from north Seattle to a small farm on Maltby Road. Years later, I wrote my memories of the beautiful, peaceful rural valley where we were privileged to live. I include my description here to make the point of my letter and to give a comparison of something beautiful to the destruction that is proposed with the misnomer, Brightwater.
" . . . We are headed north to Woodinville. The little town of Bothell had remained unchanged, the quaint frame houses, neatly kept, the streets quiet, even Main Street, lined with the same stores I remembered from earlier days. The road to Woodinville wound out of town and through the peaceful countryside, across the rattley old bridge that spanned the brown Sammamish Slough.
Everything spoke of quietude: the newly mown fields, the whispering firs, the roadside bushes and a lone railroad track that wound its way east, ascending the steepest grade this side of the pass.
A medium sized creek meandered the length of the small, narrow valley. Houses were scarce, popping up here and there like little individual communities nestled into groves of stately firs, or set like guardians atop a hill viewing the valley below. Some were wise old farm houses which had witnessed the passing of years, seen generations born, lived and passed on and renewed once more. They were ringed by their ancient fences, made of expertly stacked zig-zagged cedar rails, split 100 years before from virgin cedar trees.
Cows made themselves at home in the knee-high stands of lush grass and clover contentedly ruminating on the goodness of the earth. At times horses were a part of that lovely pastoral scene, frisking in the fresh freedom and displaying their joy in just being alive.
The miracle of it all was the blessed silence. We were almost walking on tip toe lest it should interrupt the beauty of the moment. As we neared the last turn that would bring us to our new home, we passed a small cemetery and we were reminded of those others who had passed this way before us. And somehow we knew that this gentle peaceful neighborhood was the place for us."
Today we are home owners who live within the one mile radius of the proposed unwanted sewer project sponsored by a self-serving politician who doesn't live in our area.
Mr. Sims seeks to destroy our south Snohomish County community for the good of King County. What about the better good of the people who live here who would be negatively affected by this sewer monstrosity? What about the prospective damage to our pristine aquifer and to our salmon streams? And yes, the danger to both is great.
The water we enjoy is the best Ñ no chlorine and certainly no fecal material. The ten tributaries that feed Little Bear Creek are important to us. Some of those tributaries have their source in a 40-acre area that for nearly a century was a part of our farm. The acreage was sold by our father in 1969 but because of its sensitive nature, was not allowed to be developed.
Spawning streams have for a number of years been fiercely protected by environmental interests. Property owners are curtailed from disturbing such stream fronts. But this curtailment seems not to pertain to politicians who will do anything to further their agendas.
We are among the vast majority of Snohomish County residents who believe there is a more suitable place for the proposed sewer, a place less fragile where salmon streams are not involved and peoples' safety is not endagered.
Again, we say Ñ leave our community alone. No sewer on Highway 9.
Delbert and Patricia Flanagan, via E-mail