Letters for the week of Jan. 16
The last vestige of Mukilteo
Editor, The Beacon:
I noticed that one of the few remaining undeveloped parcels in Mukilteo has a Notice of Proposed Land Use Action sign in front of it. The approximately 5-acre lot sloping up from the Speedway at 7717 Mukilteo Speedway is to be turned into a 14-lot subdivision called Hunttings Hilltop.
This is a property that was remained un-sullied since 1940 with many tall cedars and firs. It’s a stone’s-throw from OV Middle School (to the south), and once upon a time before the 5-acre lot north of Mukilteo Elementary was bulldozed, it used to create nice “bookends” of forest around the schools.
I’m saddened to see go this last vestige of the Mukilteo character that I fell for when I was looking for a place to live many years ago. If this bothers you, too, then you still have time to submit written comments to the city.
I personally don’t mind development, and I believe in owners’ rights. However, I also believe that the community sets the standards for development. I urge anyone with an opinion on this to voice it to the city.
I’m going to ask that our city uphold all development rules regarding retention of large trees, all foliage on slopes, and to really take a hard look at water run-off. The city should never again grant a developer so many exemptions as they allowed for the bulldozing of Raymond Ridge (the lot north of Muk Elementary).
You can find the NPLUA and all submitted documents on the city’s website at http://www.ci.mukilteo.wa.us/Page.asp?NavID=56.
City’s development standards are too low
A new development is proposed for a property along Mukilteo Speedway. It is a heavily treed property with significant slope, wetland/riparian areas and stream.
Considering the significant drainage problems most of us are dealing with and considering the city's pro-development stance, I would hope that you could share this notice info with Beacon readers: http://www.ci.mukilteo.wa.us/files/LU%202013-01-03%20Hunttings%20Hilltop%20NOA.pdf.
If more people get involved, we might be able to bring planning standards up to par with other jurisdictions in the area.
The deadline for public comment is Jan.17. People can also request (in writing) that they receive a notice of the public hearing.
Saving the gulch is a Mukilteo issue
In response to both Courtemanche’s and Kunigonis’ letters, it must be said that the Save the Gulch campaign was neither a “special interest” issue, nor an Everett issue [“Voters were ignorant of levy details” and “Vote ‘no’ on Save the Gulch 2.0,” The Beacon, Letters, page 4, Jan. 9]. I also put more credit of intelligence on the Mukilteo voters than does Courtemanche, while calling the Mukilteo voters ignorant.
The Save the Gulch campaign never implied that the entire gulch was subject to development, and it is correct that Boeing owns much of the east side of the gulch. It is, however, an exaggeration (or ignorance?) to say “the lower (north) and central areas are largely Mukilteo-owned.” Mukilteo does in fact own about 27 acres of the lower gulch and about 9 acres of the upper gulch (the old Precht property). The 97 acres in between are for sale.
While the entire gulch may not be developed, the previous development plans included the equivalent of five Costco stores and parking lots. The additional traffic and eyesore in the largely residential part of Mukilteo would come as an added benefit!
Regarding the apparent concern that the property may be used by non-Mukilteo residents, aren’t most parks used by residents and non-residents alike? Do only Mukilteo residents use the Lighthouse Park? Obviously not, and by this logic there would never be any parks for fear of use by non-residents.
Kunigonis’ comment that the gulch would only benefit a “handful of ‘save the tress’ advocates” couldn’t be further out of touch. The gulch is open to all Mukilteo residents and non-residents alike, and is frequently used by many. And the nearly 60 percent of Mukilteo voters that supported the levy indicate something greater than a “little special interest group” to me.
Smoke alarms don’t detect all fires
Your readers need to aware of these issues with smoke detectors:
The majority of smoke detectors are ionization type that detect very small particles, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by flaming fires. They can be triggered by things other than combustion vapor from a fire, including cooking vapor, steam and dust.
If the alarm activates, such as while cooking or dusting, do not disconnect the alarm or remove the battery. Instead, fan the air around the detector until the alarm turns off.
Now, what many people are unaware of is that there is a very serious problem with ionization-type smoke detectors. They are very poor at detecting slow smoldering fires.
Photoelectric sensors are more sensitive at detecting large particles, which tend to be produced by smoldering fires. These fires can smolder for hours before bursting into flame.
Ionization-type smoke detectors can take 15 to 30 minutes longer to sound than a photoelectric-type smoke detector, and sometimes won't even sound at all.
Slow smoldering fires account for more deaths than fast flaming fires annually, most of which occur during the overnight hours.
Photoelectric detectors are less sensitive to the smaller particles, but they may be useful in confined areas (e.g. small apartments), in or near cooking areas, or near a heating device.
It cannot be stated definitively that one is better than the other in every fire situation that could arise in a residence. Both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different, yet potentially fatal fires, and because no one can predict what type of fire might start in a home.
The U.S. Fire Association recommends that every residence and place where people sleep is equipped with both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms.
This information can be verified on the Internet at many different sources.
Paul A Luczyk, ACI
"A" TEAM inspection, Inc.,
Help save Smuggler’s Gulch from an eco-disaster
Ecological horror disguised as sustainability. Purposely deceptive actions by city officials to prevent citizen interaction. Newly informed citizens challenging another project cram-down.
The environmental drama unfolding in the Smuggler’s Gulch Drainage Basin has all of the above – and then some.
It is becoming a familiar story: ordinary Mukilteo citizens can make a difference when we organize to accomplish extraordinary things.
The original city design for 92nd Street was a dangerous widening of the pavement. Citizens united against Mukilteo city officials and a year later we had a pedestrian friendly, community-designed solution.
Ignoring years of Mukilteo citizen complaints to stop annexation efforts, city officials spent more than $1 million of city money on an Epic Fail. Ordinary citizens united to reject their annexation mess by a 2 to 1 margin.
And now, the latest project cram-down from City Hall: The Smuggler’s Gulch LID Project. Take a complex drainage system of wild terrain variations, including wetlands, bogs, backyards, flood plains, and Paine Field runoff, then add truckloads of gravel pits, disrupted homeowners, and throw 100+ tons of carbon into the atmosphere – oh, and call it “sustainability,” call it “low impact.”
Through weeks of the drudgery of door-to-door grassroots efforts, a citizens group has been formed to protect and save our indigenous Smuggler’s Gulch environment.
And just what is the Smuggler’s Gulch environment? Wetlands and habitat for owls, frogs, songbirds, other indigenous plants and animals and much more!
Therefore, citizens have formed the Smuggler’s Gulch Watershed Protection Association, the Project Awareness Committee Mukilteo (PACmukilteo.org), and the Mukilteo Children’s Environment Protection Association (mcEPA.org).
We are residents of Smuggler’s Gulch Drainage Basin, advocates for a sustainable ecology who are willing to make a commitment. Our purposes are to promote community, achieve sustainable solutions and ensure carbon efficiency and conservation.
Our main goal is to save Smugglers Gulch from this impending eco-disaster. Attend the next City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, and support reducing our carbon footprint, enhancing neighborhood ecology and achieving indigenous conservation.
Therefore, please join us for Project Awareness Week. Citizens who have united to protect the Smuggler’s Gulch Drainage Basin will hold three informational open houses: The first at Red Cup Café, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16; the second and third at Gulch Protection House, 9011 53rd Ave. W., at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Help save an ecosystem! Simply email the City Council. Ask them to stop and engage the Smuggler’s Gulch more fully and sincerely. We all want a successful project. But so far, this is not it.
U.S. Navy band concert is Feb. 13
This is wonderful news for our community.
On Feb. 13, the 59-member U.S. Navy Concert Band will be offering a free concert at the Civic Auditorium, 2415 Colby Ave. in Everett.
This is the premiere military musical organization based in Washington, D.C. They perform for the president at major national events and are often seen on television. Most of the musicians and singers had previous careers on Broadway and are extremely talented.
In the past, we have enjoyed performances by the 18 member Navy Jazz Band but this is the first time the larger Navy Concert Band will perform locally.
Music students from local high schools will be invited to perform with the band for the final number.
We expect a full house for this world-class entertainment, so mark your calendar and arrive early for the best seating. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. and is suitable for all ages.
Complimentary tickets are available for those who would like to arrive before 7 p.m. Tickets are not necessary for those arriving after 7 p.m. Full-color posters picturing the band are also available for organizations and churches wishing to publicize this event to their membership.
For free tickets or posters, phone Frank McCord at 425-355-0917.