Letter to the editor: Edmonds Waterfront Center a story of hope and bold decisions


With the backdrop of a steady stream of stories about divided communities and institutions and alarming news about climate change across the globe, the Edmonds Waterfront Center is a story of hope, bold decisions and never giving up.

It’s hard to believe the campaign to replace the failing Edmonds Senior Center was announced in early 2015. With a clear focus on the vision for a gathering place for all generations, the Senior Center took on the planning, fundraising, permitting and construction with purpose. Fast forward nearly 5 years and the Edmonds Waterfront Center has a foundation and walls going up. If all goes as planned we will be moving into the new Center in September 2020.

The question was asked – how can we keep the programs going? Rather than close the programs during the year of construction the decision was made to continue all programs by spreading them among 15 different sites across the area ranging from churches to community centers. It has been an adjustment, but the programs are thriving.

A bold decision was made by the Senior Center Board in October, when they unanimously voted to increase the budget by up to $500,000 to go “all green” – seeking a LEED Gold sustainable designation, a full roof-top solar array and an all-electric building – reflecting a commitment to no fossil fuel on site. This decision was even more noteworthy because it came after construction had begun requiring a redesign in many cases. The Board knew it would not be easy but they also knew it was the right thing to do. Environmental stewardship has been a priority from the beginning.

Fundraising is never easy. In the last several weeks, with gifts of more than $450,000, we have now collectively raised $14,000,000 toward our $16,350,000 goal – just $2,350,000 left to go! These recent gifts are noteworthy. Two gifts of $200,0000 each from area families. Equally impressive was $52,300 that came from 151 donors among the Senior Center membership. The gifts ranged from $50 to $10,000. There is a wave of support coming from all corners of the community. It will take gifts large and small to get to the goal. We are blessed to live in this extraordinary community.

Here is a link to a video showing progress on construction and program highlights.

Best wishes from your friends at the Edmonds Senior Center

Daniel Johnson
Edmonds Senior Center

10 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Edmonds Waterfront Center a story of hope and bold decisions”

  1. Solar doesnt work well here. Also, solar panels are a bit dirty to make verse hydroelectric which is already made. Theres also a global sand shortage which makes solar unsustainable. Take the $500k and buy a land reserve full of trees and habitat for animals. Going “all green” is actually abandoning the Waterfront Center and letting nature take it back.


  2. That sounds rare, but I suppose any electrical system can do that. Interestingly, nuclear is the safest power source.


    In retrospect to my comment, I understand the game behind getting subsidies, tax incentives and rebates in exchange for playing ball (being “bold”). PUD gave the city council a great scientific and economic presentation last year about the inefficiency of solar in this area.


    1. You are reading the table wrong. What’s actually reconciled is how damaging coal consumption is to human life, and the numbers would get worse if the morbidity indexes were included. Any of the 4 listed comparative options to coal are mathematically fantastic. Inefficiencies are relative, it’s more impactful for a community that gets electricity from coal to rely more on solar energy systems to help reduce carbon emission and pollution, less impact when switching from hydro-power to solar. Edmonds can’t build a nuclear plant, and any attempt to put a wind farm in front of Sunset Ave is unlikely to succeed. But some people can and will participate in generating solar power in their homes and/or business because they care and it helps.

      PUD’s website does not seem to line up with your ideas. https://www.snopud.com/PowerSupply/solarps.ashx?p=2027


      1. Here’s the minutes from PUD’s presentation to the Edmonds City Council:

        I was at this meeting and it really seemed as though everyone in the room was shocked to see all the graphs as to how poor solar works around here. Even assuming the tremendous subsidy, solar still is just a vanity project. Energy companies would still love to sell solar though, if people are willing to pay for more than it’s worth.

        As soon as science deniers stop controlling media and policy, there will be a return to nuclear energy as it is scientifically the safest:

        …most productive and reliable of all energy:

        Hydroelectric is incredible too, and you point out regarding the moratorium on new nuclear reactors, theres also a moratorium on new hydroelectric dams due to pseudo environmentalism. WA brags about hydro power that our grandparents built that our grandchildren arent allowed to have


        1. Sorry, its difficult to get the pdf link from my phone. Here it is:

          Here is a video of the presentation (starts at about 20 min in):

          The thumb is on the scale in favor of solar so much, that even hydro-electric power is NOT considered renewable energy by the state.

          I listen to City Council Meetings sometimes often.


    1. Solar needs a lot of glass, and there simply isnt enough sand. Solar panels dont long enough either. Here’s EEVLOG on solar in AU:

      Even including subsidies, solar panels will practically wear out by the time they pay for themselves. We need a system to sell energy back into grid at an extreme premium and batteries to store access which are horrible for environment.

      I think Thorium reactors are the future. Liquid salt. If I had the scratch and lived another 40 years to reap the rewards, I’d invest everything.


    2. I don’t know a lot about Clean Coal, but the link you provided helps. Reading here too:

      Ultimately, there are only three sources of energy on planet earth {solar, geothermal, and radiation}. The later two come from the formation of the planet. Coal, ironically, is just stored up solar energy. All fossil fuels were made in a very narrow period of history, about 360-300 Millions of years ago. Plants evolved before microbes that ate plants evolved, so the plants piled up instead of decomposing. Plants are solar energy, in that they pull carbon from the atmosphere to make their “bodies”, and they separate the Carbon from the CO2 using photosynthesis. About 100% of all carbon in fossil fuels used to be CO2 in the atmosphere. The planet is near the *lowest* CO2 concentration in geological history mostly because of fossil plant deposits (not forgetting to mention shellfish and coral, etc).

      If not for stored solar energy (fossil fuel), humans would still be stuck in time that resembles the colonial period. Only a few lucky people on the planet would be able to find enough whale oil to conduct science by lamp.

      The key to solar is to figure out artificial photosynthesis. Solar panels connected to batteries is not the answer. PV cells convert light to electricity, then store electricity chemically (in batteries), then we convert the chemical storage back to electricity when we need it. We must find a way to store solar chemically, then convert to electricity once when we need it – (think solar battery).


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