Letters to the Editor

Letter of the Month for August

Lake's aesthetic value ignored

As I review the Capitol Lake Alternatives Analysis, I realize that this document (used by our public and the officials who will decide the lake’s fate) assigns almost nothing to the esthetic value of Capitol Lake.

For example, under the estuary scenario, the report avoids pictorial representation of any of the basins at low tide or discusses the associated sulfurous smell. Of the eight criteria used to compare alternatives in this report, “esthetic value” is virtually ignored. Why?

There are compelling reasons for the estuary concepts. Changes to a more natural biodiversity should be appealing to everyone. However, these effects on an already industrialized and contaminated lower Budd Inlet are somewhat marginal and unfortunately, subject to question.

And remember, the salmon runs here are man made (fish ladders). Someone needs to ask the question, “Is sacrificing this magnificent, signature lake worth these gains?”

Bill Ruckelshaus the first director of the Environmental Protection Agency spoke at the annual Capitol Land Trust breakfast about five years ago. His explicit message was that good environmental decisions always include human needs.

The Capitol Lake Alternative Analysis clearly fails in that regard. This report expects its readers to ignore the community’s appreciation of one of the finest urban amenities in the Western United States.

It is imperative that the General Administration director, members of the State Capitol Committee and the Legislature — those next in the decision chain — clearly understand this bias before deciding.

And the community should let them know privately and publicly.

JACK HAVENS, Olympia

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