Northwest NEWS

September 23, 2002

Editorial

Don't make 'maybe' a part of our community

To live with a solid sewage treatment plant or not, that is the question! We live in a transition area caught in the struggle of a fading rural life style and the onslaught of urban complexity. Oh, what can we do?
   Do we remain silent and hope that elected officials, developers and urban planners are kindly to us? Do we accept the political pressures from the more populated areas? Do we give up more of rural simplicity because of urbanization's continual pressure and sprawl?
   Brightwater isn't just about human sewage, it is also about a steam roller called limited vision progress.
   In an odd matter, we should thank Ron Sims for his callous choice of Route 9 for Brightwater. His lordly manner has given us a wake up call as to what's in store for us, now and in the future. Just as medieval kings would knock down the huts of peasants for a new moat, Sims has chosen our neighborhood with total disregard of the human toll.
   Sims is an example of misdirection and unfounded faith in modernization. He's the type who doesn't see subtlety. He sees progress, the unrestricted 1950's style progress based on faulty assumptions and bushels of taxpayer money. Sims believes that engineering and the subsequent mitigation will make Brightwater work. Sims also envisions his legacy as his ticket to higher elected offices.
   General Westmoreland repeatedly said to LBJ, "Give me more troops and I will win the war."
   Sims, like an autocratic general, also has the idea that if tons of money are spent, then engineers will solve all problems. Well, Westmoreland didn't win the war. And engineers won't solve all the potential Brightwater catastrophes waiting to happen.
   Just imagine, a 100-acre facility for the treatment of solid waste. One hundred acres is huge and it will sit over an aquifer, near Bear Creek and be less than two miles from downtown Woodinville.
   Sims promises to "improve" Bear Creek and mitigate the potential contamination of the aquifer. But how can that be done? More and more engineering? More and more money?
   It is simple. Just name one man-made project that has been perfect. Name one man-made project that has not had unforeseen consequences? For every man-made object, there is some sort of payback.
   Build a transcontinental highway and you destroy thousands of small, local businesses. Dig coal out of the ground and then live with contaminated ground water. Build a hydroelectric dam and lose fish populations and cause rivers to slow and become silt filled.
   Cause and effect. And Sims thinks his Brightwater engineers will solve all potential problems?
   But Sims' minions cannot 100 percent guarantee that Woodinville will be odor free or that the aquifer is 100 percent safe.
   They cannot even guess as to the economic impact to property owners and Woodinville's developing image of itself.
   Sims' agents are saying lots of pretty things: Route 9 will be improved with trees to hide the treatment plant, maybe a connection to the Burke Gilman Trail, maybe a few recreation niceties, maybe ...
   I don't want a "maybe" to be part of our community.
   Bill Stankus, Woodinville