Opinion

Rumors abound

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As is the case with many major developments, the rumor mill is alive and well and is often perpetuated by uninformed citizens who have a strong opinion on the subject.

The latest rumor to hit the streets is that of the Snoqualmie Tribe's desire

to purchase the Falls Crossing property and turn it into a gaming facility.

It's a great rumor perpetuated by proponents of Puget Western's plans

for Falls Crossing, but according to Tribal Chair Joseph Mullens, it is totally

untrue. In fact, the Tribe has gone so far as to remind both Puget Western and

the city that the grounds proposed for Falls Crossing are as sacred to them as

Our Lady of Sorrows is to the Catholic church. It is their sanctuary, the

origination of many tribes in Washington, and likely contains key tribal burial grounds

as does much of the Valley.

So who do we believe in this case and who is telling the truth? Good

question. My gut tells me the Tribe wants the land protected in its natural state

and Puget Western wants to turn a profit. What better way to create a sense

of urgency as a proponent of Falls Crossing than to start the rumor of gaming.

Now there is the possibility that the Tribe does buy the property, and

once purchased, may decide differently than their apparent intentions. Many of

the land-use regulations, building codes, and other development standards

may not apply once it becomes tribal land. But it has been said on the record

by Mullens that gaming is not planned for the property.

So who are you going to believe and who has the most vested interest in

the hallowed ground near Snoqualmie Falls?

In other developments …

Last week a commission for King County voted to approve the Master

Plan for the Three Forks area. Several concerned residents testified about their

concerns for formal development including increased traffic, increased use,

etc. The property, which is pristine in many ways, will likely see increased

use simply due to population growth. Is it right to create a master plan for

the property? Well, public funds were used to purchase the property so one

would expect that it would be open to use by everyone. Therefore, controlled

intrusion is likely better than the uncontrolled intrusion that is going to

happen anyway, right?

But does the plan address all the concerns of local citizens? The answer

is no. But do not fear. The council still has time to listen to concerns and

our representative, David Irons Jr., can still take the initiative to raise specific

concerns about the plan and propose some changes.

Jim McKiernan

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