City council learns more about Bigfoot competition coming to Edmonds in January

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Bob Bindshadler, who helped create the Taming Bigfoot contest, speaks to the Edmonds City Council Tuesday.

Bigfoot is on its way to Edmonds, the Edmonds City Council learned Tuesday night

The hairy creature said to inhabit Pacific Northwest forests is the namesake for a new community contest aimed at creating awareness of ways people can reduce their own carbon footprints

Bob Bindshadler, a retired NASA climate scientist who helped create a contest involving Bigfoot in Jefferson County, was the guest speaker at the Tuesday night meeting.  He explained how Jefferson County has a goal of reducing its carbon footprint 80 percent by the year 2050 “and we wanted to help.”

While the community appreciated the scientific information being shared in lectures related to global warming, what they really wanted was a way to take tangible action that made a difference, Bindshadler explained. After brainstorming ideas, a committee of citizens came up with the Taming Bigfoot program.

The primary goal was education, “but we also wanted to build community through this,” Bindshadler explained. “Having a sustainable future is a common good that we all share.”

The competition resulted in participants lowering their emissions by an average of 10 percent, he said.

The Jefferson County contingent is developing a mobile app that Edmonds will be able to pilot as part of its competition, Bindshadler noted. The app will make it easier to track usage and will provide the group with immediate data on how the participants are doing.

Following Bindshadler’s presentation. the council heard more about the Taming Bigfoot program planned for Edmonds. Speakers included City of Edmonds Recycling Coordinator Steve Fisher and Edmonds resident Cynthia Pruitt, both of whom serve on the Taming Big Foot community steering committee as well as the Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee.

The group had been talking for some time about ways to involve Edmonds community in climate protection efforts, and the Jefferson County program seemed to be “a wonderful to actually try to accomplish that,” Fisher said.

The community steering community also includes the Interfaith Climate Action group plus numerous other citizens, including some councilmembers, Fisher noted.

The competition, which will officially launch Jan. 1, 2018, involves teams of seven people learning how to measure their carbon footprint using six specific indicators (home energy use, water use, transportation, waste disposal, food consumption and shopping).  That baseline measurement will occur in during the month of January. Then, in February and March the teams will strategize ways to lower their individual and collective carbon footprints.

“I think Edmonds is ready, willing and able to take it on,” Fisher said.

A ‘Taming Bigfoot’ community kick-off event is set from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Edmonds United Methodist Church. To learn more about Taming Bigfoot Edmonds, visit www.tamingbigfoot.edmondswa.gov.

Also on Tuesday night, the council:

Following Mayor Dave Earling’s proclamation, Lesly Kaplan, steering committee chair for Edmonds’ annual Write on the Sound writing conference, speaks about the arts as Edmonds Arts Commission members look on, from left: Lois Rathvon, Tanya Sharp and Beverly Shaw-Starkovich.

– Heard a proclamation from Mayor Dave Earling honoring National Arts and Humanities Month in Edmonds. The proclamation notes that the arts and humanities “are key to the identity and economic vitality of Edmonds and enrich the lives of all citizens and visitors.”

– Held a public hearing — although no one showed up to testify — on an Edmonds Planning Board recommendation to change the land use designation for properties located at 9107 and 9111 236th St. S.W. in south Edmonds. The council decided to take additional time on the matter so that their questions could be answered before deciding on next steps.

The planning board recommendation calls for changing the properties’ current Single Family Urban 1 designation to that of Edmonds Way Corridor. According to a memo accompanying the council agenda, the subject properties currently are developed with a single family residence (9107 236th St S.W.) and a legal non-conforming multi-family residence (9111 236th St. S.W). To apply for a rezone, the properties’ owners must first obtain a change in the City of Edmonds Comprehensive Plan designation from Single Family Urban 1 to a designation that would allow for a future proposal to change the zoning to an RM (multiple residential) zone.

– Approved a new employee position upgrade of Environmental Programs Manager within the Planning Division of the Development Services Department.

Agreed on the parameters of a new job description for a council legislative/administrative assistant position, which will be posted soon. That job that was formerly held by Andrew Pierce, whose contract ended in August.

— By Teresa Wippel

 

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