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A letter from Gerry Adams

on the future of Sand Point

I sincerely hope that more of you can attend these meetings.  The next
meeting is scheduled for July 28th at 8:30 a.m.  Just check in with Security
at the front gate for directions to the meeting location.
> Hello Gerry,  I attended the SPBRC meeting this  morning.
> I was impressed with the complexity of the decisions that need
> to be made.  At the time that I was sitting there, I was wishing that I
> had a map in my hand with the all of the landmarks, buildings etc.  How
> can one obtain a copy of such a map that would include the proposed
> changes?

I discussed this with Eric Friedli just after the meeting adjourned.  We
already use the large maps located at the front of the room, so we will
likely start putting flags on them.  This is very important in light of the
fact that more that one group is asking for the same building.  i.e Seafair
Pirates and Italian Heritage. You can request hand out sized maps from Eric
Friedli, (206) 684-8369.

> Where do they intend to place the playground?  I think that it would be a
> big mistake to construct one part unless there is a master plan for use of
> all the available space in the park.  If the playground gets placed before
> agreement is reached on its surroundings then that will have a major
> impact on how the rest of the park land is used.

The playground was to be across from Bldg 30 (the Brig) where we met.  Yes,
knowing where it would ultimately wind up is essential, especially for the
OLA, since the playground is currently proposed almost adjacent to the OLA.
One need not be a planner to recognize that if a decision is made to enlarge
the OLA, the playground will restrict its placement opportunities.
> Actually, I wish that they would leave all the parkland alone as I am fond
> of empty spaces, however that is probably not a wish grounded in reality.
> The only requirement that I have for the park is the OLA, as my children
> are grown.  I was very interested in what the woman who spoke to the
> Environment Stewardship had to say.  Is that group anti-OLA or neutral, as
> long as the dogs don't destroy all the areas?

I believe that the spokeswoman for the Environmental Stewardship Committee
is sincere.  You, she, and I would probably share the same desire  to leave
all the park land alone.  Other members of her organization, however, would
only accept that notion if there were no dogs allowed in any park.  A few
members of the Stewardship Committee are also members of UNCOLA, beware.
> I hadn't been to one of those meetings before, but will plan to attend
> when able.  I wondered why OLA was not on the agenda today.  Was that
> because it was discussed before?

It was not not on the agenda, because there was not adequate notice for
someone from COLA to attend.  It has never been discussed as of yet during
these proceedings.  There seems to be an effort being made to prevent that
from happening.  This effort seems to be coming primarily from Eric Friedli,
Layne Cubell, (both from Office of Sandpoint Operations) and Bonnie Berk
(our hired consultant).
Friedli has expressed to me some concern over my appointment by the Mayor to
this Committee.
> Thanks for being a part of the committee and representing COLA.

You're welcome, indeed.  I should point out that my participation on this
very important Committee is not for the purpose of representing COLA.  My
being selected to serve in this capacity is based primarily on my background
as a land use specialist and advocate for open space.  This background
Serving as State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and land use  coordinator
for Seattle Audubon Society (SAS).  While in this capacity I co-authored THE
Chairing the Conservation Committee of Seattle Audubon Society.  This
included coordinating efforts of all SAS activists, assisting in the
formation of Washington Wetlands Network (WETNET), representing
organizations before various land use boards, and conducting habitat
analysis and site surveys preliminary to development.
Serving as a member of the Martin Miller Special Habitat Selection
Committee.  My role in this capacity was to evaluate habitat quality and
recommend whether to acquire candidate sites using an endowment left by Mr.
Martin Miller.
My serving as a founding director of the Seattle-King County Land
Conservancy.  In this capacity my expertise was the evaluation and rating of
large open space projects that have regional values.
Serving as chair of the SAS Education Committee.  This included developing
and participating in a viable speakers bureau, and the development of the
pilot program that resulted in the Finding Urban Nature (FUN) program.
Having served as an environmental representative on the City Council's
Off-Leash Advisory Committee in 1995.
I have a dog and am familiar with Magnuson Park and the OLA.
So, as you can see, my participation is not just limited to the part of the
plan that deals with OLAs.  I will look at the plan with my primary focus
being environmental and habitat aspects.
As to why Eric Friedli has expressed concern over my appointment to the
Committee, he told me right after the meeting that he, and others, only know
me as an OLA user and that they do not know me as qualified in any other
context.  Friedli apparently does not trust the Mayor to make selections
based on qualifications.  One would think that if your superior told you a
candidate was qualified, you would accept that.  Alas, government!  So
politically driven!
I think it is curious that both WETNET and FUN were cited by the
Environmental Steering Committee as programs interested in the plans for
Magnuson and Sand Point, yet no one admits my involvement setting up both
these SAS programs.
My opinion is that since the Mayor has asked that the Magnuson and Sand
Point plan be looked at with a fresh set of eyes, Friedli is concerned that
all his efforts might be reversed.  He is digging in and Lubell and Berk
simply agree with this action.
This is bothersome and wastes time.  If Friedli, and others, do not accept
the Mayor's choices for the Committee that is their prerogative.  If their
reluctance to accept the Mayor's choices serves only to frustrate and delay
the overall process, then at least they are letting that be known.  I'm not
sure what, if anything, can be done.
As far as representing COLA goes, I will continue to reach out to all
stakeholders in this important planning process in order to apprise them of
what is happening that may afftect their interests.  I have done this
already for other user groups that have interests in this planning process,
and will continue to do so.
Thank you for your comments, and please continue to attend these meetings as
often as you can.  Your participation is valuable.

Gerry Adams
tel 206.522.2922