Last week the Kirkland Reporter published a letter to the editor expressing concern about upcoming improvements to Edith Moulton Park. The City of Kirkland cares deeply about both Edith Moulton Park and Juanita Creek. We assumed ownership of this impressive 26-acre property from King County following annexation of the north Juanita neighborhood in 2011. Edith Moulton donated the park to the public in 1967, with the dream for her family homestead to be “a place for children to play in nature”. This vision has been a guiding principle for the City’s planned park improvements, one of the signature projects supported by voters as part of the 2012 Kirkland Parks Levy.
The City Council adopted an Edith Moulton Park Master Plan after extensive public input was generated. Residents’ goals for Edith Moulton Park include preserving the park’s forests to be enjoyed as natural areas in perpetuity; enhancing wetland and stream habitat; making the site more accessible for people with mobility challenges; and finding ways for dogs and their owners to enjoy the park without negatively affecting other users or wildlife and stream habitat.
Park improvements are currently underway and will be completed before this summer. They include trails, boardwalks, and bridges intended to further protect Juanita Creek while providing accessibility for park users, and a fenced off-leash dog trail intended to isolate off-leash activity from the park’s important sensitive areas. It should be noted that park improvements are permitted, comply with stormwater and environmental regulations, and are approved by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In addition, the City of Kirkland is conducting many projects and programs to improve water quality, control flows, and improve habitat in Juanita Creek. Kirkland continues to track and attempt to eliminate sources of bacteria in Juanita Creek, with the help of King County. Several sources including improper connections to the storm system and malfunctioning septic systems have been identified and eliminated. Kirkland and King County continue to collaborate on DNA testing, monitoring for temperature and conductivity, and other techniques that will aid in finding and eliminating additional sources of bacteria.
Habitat projects on Juanita Creek have included millions spent on culvert replacements to aid fish passage and reduce flooding, the addition of in-stream features to improve fish habitat, bank stabilization projects to reduce the amount of fine sediment in the creek, and plantings along the banks to provide shade and food for fish.
More information on park improvements and activities to aid fish passage can be found on the City website at www.kirklandwa.gov by searching “Edith Moulton Park” and “Surface Water Master Plan.”
Jon Pascal, Kirkland City Council, Chair of the Public Works, Parks, and Human Services Committee
Concerned citizens desire transparent NAFTA negotiations
Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is underway. Concerned citizens desire democratic, transparent negotiations. Imperative for U.S. negotiators is the removal of controversial NAFTA provisions that gave multi-national corporations immense powers to attack environmental and consumer safety laws, which corporations deem detrimental to their business model and to offshore American jobs.
Perhaps the most egregious chapter of NAFTA is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement. Under this provision of NAFTA, multi-national corporations have the right to sue for the loss of anticipated future profits before a tribunal of three corporate lawyers. This tribunal can order American taxpayers to pay corporations when their lawyers “prove” to the tribunal that existing laws protecting public health or the environment violate special trade agreement rights and thereby impede the corporation’s ability to make profits. The tribunal’s decisions are not subject to appeal. Corporations thus benefit from a special system of “justice” outside our courts.
These 1994 NAFTA trade provisions, coupled with 1995 World Trade Organization agreements, precipitated the loss of more than 79,000 Washington jobs, according to the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Americans nationwide have experienced the loss of nearly five million manufacturing jobs. This “free trade” agreement has driven down wages and created record trade deficits. The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that a majority of Americans have experienced wage suppression of 12.2 percent. In 2016, the trade deficit for American goods rose to $173 billion.
A new trade agreement must include enforceable labor and environmental standards that protect us all from corporate greed. Replacing NAFTA is essential to creating a global economy that benefits working families instead of corporate elites.
For more information, refer to www.tradewatch.org.
Linda Bock, Sammamish
Thanks for fighting to preserve the open Internet
I want to thank Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson for fighting to preserve the open Internet. I do not want private corporations or Internet service providers filtering or throttling my access to any content on the Internet.
Net neutrality is a big deal. I find the idea that service providers could play gate-keeper to what content I or anyone else is able to access on the Internet frightening and authoritarian.
It reminds me of the movie “The Truman Show,” where the main character played by Jim Carrey does not realize that the world he inhabits is entirely manufactured, a facade of the real world, staged entirely for him. So it would be for all of us if corporations are gifted permission to shape our Internet access.
It is another triumph of corporate interest over doing what is right. The FCC has wrongly placed private interest above all else, including unfettered broadband access.
I thought Republicans favored open competition and freedom. What are they thinking?
Mark Joselyn, North Bend