Commentary

Commentary: Building a better robot, or how NCLB is failing our students

Commentary: Building a better robot, or how NCLB is failing our students

Students at Mountlake Terrace High School know how to innovate. The robots they build, wings they design and medical research they conduct are clear markers of successful students and teachers. When I visited the high school last spring, students not only schooled me in robotics and aerodynamics, they presented their ideas to me clearly and effectively. The projects these students engage in during... »

Commentary: Playing Calvinball with traffic-calming dollars

In Calvinball, the game played by Calvin and his stuffed tiger in the Calvin and Hobbs comic strip, rules are created and changed on the whim of the players. Mayor Earling is playing Calvinball with our traffic-calming dollars. The Traffic Calming Program is clearly described in our 2009 Transportation Comprehensive Plan. (Appendix B, p.193-211) It has three phases: Residents petition for local st... »

Commentary: No Child Left Behind Act — How a federal law is failing schools

Commentary: No Child Left Behind Act — How a federal law is failing schools

As the new school year approaches, school districts across Washington state are struggling with the federal requirement to send a letter to families, which includes an option for parents to transfer their child to a different school. Many parents may be confused about why this change is happening in some of our schools in the Edmonds School District. This requirement comes as part of the federal E... »

Commentary: Is homelessness a criminal act?

Community residents should keep a sharp eye on what their elected officials are doing. The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty recently published a study entitled; “No Safe Place.” They collected data from 187 different cities in the U.S. and found that many of these cities had passed laws that prohibit: Camping in public (64 cities) Sitting or lying down in certain public places (99 c... »

Commentary: Thanks to all who support homeless families — and here’s how you can help

Commentary: Thanks to all who support homeless families — and here’s how you can help

The Edmonds Public Schools & Alumni Foundation (The Foundation) would like to thank the generous community and the many donors, like Revelations Yogurt and Cedarwood, who have provided support to the district’s homeless youth through LeAnne Brisbois, Edmonds School District (ESD) Homeless Liaison. As an Edmonds resident with frozen yogurt-loving grandchildren, my path to LeAnne meandered throu... »

Commentary: Let’s make driving safety a priority

You know those beer-drinking helmets that allow hands-free drinking? Now that I know we can drink safely, that is, without taking our hands off the wheel, I think we can do away with DUI laws. No more reaching for the beer should make for safe driving. Of course, while driving, we’ll have to specifIcally prohibit *reading* the beer-can label. I am so glad I learned that hands-free drinking i... »

Commentary: Edmonds Train Trench for a better future

Commentary: Edmonds Train Trench for a better future

As most of our citizens know, Edmonds is already experiencing and will be facing much greater civic problems concentrated in the waterfront area, but affecting the entire town’s safety, desirability, quality of life and property values from rapidly increasing freight train traffic. Not everyone knows that BNSF railroad plans to connect its double track just north and south of downtown into a doubl... »

Commentary: A warning to domestic partners — Department of Health is throwing a Big Wedding June 30

Commentary: A warning to domestic partners — Department of Health is throwing a Big Wedding June 30

On June 30, 2014, in Washington State some registered domestic partnerships will be converted to marriage as defined by Referendum 74. Under the law signed by Governor Chris Gregoire in February of 2013, the Department of Health is responsible for the conversion from registered domestic partnership to a marriage license. It is critical that each partner understands how their rights and responsibil... »

Commentary: Government — and that means all of us — needs to help the working poor

Commentary: Government — and that means all of us — needs to help the working poor

My Mom and Dad knew each other in high school and by the time they started dating seriously the Great Depression had engulfed the world. They were engaged for about three years while Mom worked as a bookkeeper earning $14 a week, not today’s 40-hour week. Dad worked for a small chain of shoe stores, driving a truck and delivering inventory to a half dozen or so small stores spread throughout Ohio.... »

Commentary: Sunset Avenue overlook – a proper public process?

In May of 2008, the Sunset Avenue Overlook was added to the City of Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Comprehensive Plan. The planned improvements were annual maintenance and a viewing scope. The Sunset Avenue Overlook has transitioned into a controversial project that proposes a multi-use pathway along Sunset Avenue plus improvements on Caspers Street. Who initiated this change? Has... »

Commentary: How I became interested in City Hall

Editor’s note: The following column was submitted by Neil Tibbott, who has applied for appointment for the vacant Position 6 on the Edmonds City Council. We welcome submissions by any other candidate who wants to share why they are interested in the position. By now, anyone who watches what happens in Edmonds knows that our city council has a vacancy and 15 people have applied to fill that s... »

Commentary: National association urges care in using Internet pharmacies

Commentary: National association urges care in using Internet pharmacies

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) warns the public about certain dangerous Internet-based pharmacies. The NABP, plus state and federal agencies, monitor these businesses routinely. The public needs to understand the known concerns when choosing such businesses to obtain medications. The problems can include receiving a medication that provides no cure or relief, or counterfeit ... »

Citizen Harry commentary: Santa came early for City Council

Citizen Harry commentary: Santa came early for City Council

Watching Edmonds City Councilmembers submit their amendments to the 2014 budget was a lot like watching a bunch of kids bring their wish lists to Santa. When Mayor Dave Earling presented his budget to the council, he said that he had left $600,000 unallocated in case councilmembers had specific projects they would like to address. I would’ve expected the council to work as a whole to come up... »

Commentary: Politics, change and building heights

It seems that once again in this election the tired, old, red herring of building heights has reared its ugly head as the prime defining topic of candidates –- how sad. It’s boldly on campaign literature, voiced clearly and loudly in the debate forums and in general has become the issue for those running to define themselves with. Of course no one is going to define themselves as being “pro” build... »

Commentary: A conversation about train horns and Railroad Quiet Zones

Commentary: A conversation about train horns and Railroad Quiet Zones

Several weeks ago I came across a series of letters to the editor (in another local news source) regarding the why and how to pursue a Railroad Quiet Zone for “Our Fair City.” The letter that started the conversation, so to speak, proposed that citizens could organize a Local Improvement District – LID. Briefly, a LID is a mechanism wherein property owners that will most benefit ... »

Commentary: Point Edwards Building #10 and when wants of one outweigh wants of many

In the 16th century, Andrea Palladio, a highly sought builder of villas, started a tradition that architects should write books explaining their theories. In his writings he gave rise to the idea that there is a right way to build – morally and ethically, not just structurally. There were many thinkers and architects over the past five centuries who, like Palladio, believed that rational architect... »

Mother/daughter fun in Edmonds: Adventure #6 — Bedside table books

Mother/daughter fun in Edmonds: Adventure #6 — Bedside table books

It is easy to perpetually add to your book wish list without ever taking a title off. Many book lovers attempt to squeeze in as many new book ideas at the bottom of the page, into the margins or even between old lines if a clean page isn’t available when a title presents itself—or at least, that is what our book lists look like. So every now and again it is nice to reflect on some favorite past re... »

Commentary: Tell your legislator to help support city transportation needs

By Phil Williams Public Works Director, City of Edmonds In May of last year the Beacon and My Edmonds News hosted a series of columns leading up to the start of the City’s 2013 Budget process. One of those articles looked at the cost of maintaining the City’s street system compared to available funding. The basic message in 2012 was that our street system, specifically, the condition of our paveme... »

Commentary: You’re invited to ‘Great Discussions’ at Shoreline CC

Commentary: You’re invited to ‘Great Discussions’ at Shoreline CC

By Larry Fuell, Director Global Affairs Center, Shoreline Community College “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe,” President Kennedy’s promised in 1961. Today those words seem hollow if not downright dangerous.  So how should the United States prioritize the various foreign challenges it faces — terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cybe... »

Commentary: After Port’s withdrawal, now what?

By Eric Livingston Now that I’ve had a few weeks to think about it, I find myself saddened by the Port’s decision to withdraw their Harbor Square Master Plan. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t changed my position about the HSMP but, and while I’m not entirely sure, if I were  in their position I might have done the same. Nevertheless, it just feels like the Port gave up the ship. Yes, the City Council... »