In bed with a mosquito
October 3, 2008 · Updated 2:00 AM
Two weeks ago I was taken to task for remarks concerning James
Nyberg and Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO). In fairness, I
believe that since writer Dick Zemp does not share my beliefs, I should have
the right to outline why I think there is a difference of opinion.
I wish to point out that although the Valley has benefited from
corporate charity, this fact is no reason to allow the Snoqualmie Valley to
be paved over all the way to the Pass! Also knowing the connections
and business interests of Mr. Zemp helps to describe and perhaps indicate
where he's coming from.
Developing property on the South Fork under the firm name R&R
Properties, Mr. Zemp is also a partner with Weyerhaeuser Venture Co., under
the name South Fork Associates.
As part owner and president of Snoqualmie Valley Land Co.,
he joined with Jan Allen and Weyerhaeuser Venture Co. (partners
in the proposed Villages at North Bend development) to allow 47 acres
of manufacturing and warehouses at Meadowbrook Farm _ with no
environmental review! _ in exchange for the rest of the property left in
open space. The deal died when North Bend and Snoqualmie, with a lot of
help, were able to purchase the farm for park and open space.
Mr. Zemp has worked as an agent for Weyerhaeuser and Boise
Cascade at different times. In the mid-1980s, the Metro King County Council, in
an effort to solve its growing problem with sewage sludge, paid
Conifer Northwest _ a Zemp firm - $175,000 to find potential test sites. Three of
the sites _ including the preferred parcel _ were in the Snoqualmie Valley.
Critics said the whole affair was too costly, too rushed and unwise, but the
project and the contentious commission prevailed.
Certainly different visions and values in the Valley must be
recognized, but hopefully we will all be aware the No. 1 goal in the recent North
Bend survey was to retain and protect our rural character.
Exercising one's civic responsibility by participating in the public
process is done at considerable public cost. We must continue to act in
the interests of health, safety and the welfare of the public.
Many times I have wondered if I can possibly influence decisions
made in the community. I find great comfort and encouragement in the
adage, "If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in
bed with a mosquito."