Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rep Larsen Addresses Stanwood Democrats

US Representative Rick Larsen (far Left) and Mayor White (far right foreground)
 met with Stanwood Democrats for their first monthly meeting of 2013
 Having way too much to think about after major victories and defeats in the November elections,  Stanwood Democrats met at their usual monthly haunt - the Viking Restaurant.   Although very pensive,  we were encouraged about the progress reported by our elected officials - Stanwood Mayor Dianne White and US Congressional Rep. Rick Larsen.   Mayor White outlined plans to develop the waterfront along the Stillaguamish River on property bought by the City from the Hamilton family.  The development would be funded by grants from the Snohomish County government.   The City is also applying for State Funding for an elevated Walkway along Rt. 532.   In a series of public hearings on sustainable design for Stanwood held at our middle schools last July, many parents expressed a need for their kids to be able to walk and bike around town safe from traffic.  I want to be included in that youthful crowd that likes to walk to places.   Good to hear City Hall is responding.

 In spite of the filibustering and dissension in Congress,  Rep. Larsen believes that President Obama did well in the bargin he made with Republicans to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.   He also believes the President is serious about not bargaining with the Republicans over the Debt Ceiling.  He supports the President's stand on fiscal matters.

 The ( about 20) Democrats at the meeting asked Rep. Larsen many questions and expressed their concerns.    They lamented that our culture had become so violent in the use of guns.  Two native American woman remarked that while they were concerned about gun safety,  the men in their families were worried about their guns being taken away.  Rep.  Larsen reminded us that he could not change the culture,  he needed to know what gun legislation we would like to see passed.  We need to be more specific.    Michael Wooten  expressed  concern about global warming and asked Rep. Larsen why he supports the requested increase in coal  transported by rail through our coastal cities from Montana to the Ports in Bellingham for export to Asia.   Rep. Larsen claimed that China, India and Korea will be burning coal whether we export to them or not.  He thus supports the increase in rail transport because he believes the trains will create jobs for his district.   I have heard various estimates of how many jobs will be created and how it will adversely affect other business e.g. fishing, tourism, hospitals.   Of course, the highest estimates for jobs come from the coal exporters that are seeking public support.   Rep Larsen recommended that Michael and others who are concerned about the impact of coal trains on our environment should fill out a scooping form { http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov/get-involved/comment } by January 22.

 The Stanwood Democrats met the second Saturday of each month.  Stanwood residents who would like to learn more about our local Democratic Party are encouraged to join us at the Viking at 9 A. M for breakfast (Dutch Treat) and 10 A.M. for the general meeting.

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