Opinion

New editor sees Council retreat as a personal guide to future

I am glad to be editor of The Arlington Times because I recognize the good ol fashioned newspaper is an important document of our history.
Through the years Ive worked here at The Arlington Times Ive come to understand the role this 118-year-old business plays in documenting the history of our community. Even in the first year on the job, I got a big kick when one of my stories appeared on a Post Middle School culture fair project. Although many argue that newspapers will be obsolete, I personally wonder how many CDs your computers will read 100 years from now. Try getting information off a 10-year-old floppy disc with your current equipment.
I also look forward to informing the residents of this community about important meetings that require their input. (See in this issue a story on neighborhood meeting on the proposed development on the northwest corner of the intersection at 67th Avenue and 172nd Street.) Growth and development can be challenging at best, but its a lot less painful if you know what to expect.
As the recently appointed editor of The Arlington Times, one of the first assignments I gave myself was a day at the Arlington City Council retreat earlier this month. It seemed a good way to prepare myself for the new job. I expected to learn of the important issues facing the city in the next year I didnt expect, however, to come out with 50 years worth of story ideas.
The most peculiar thing was I actually found the retreat very interesting.
I have been working at The Arlington Times since October 1995, covering arts and leisure since 1997, soon after Kris Passey acquired The Arlington Times and The Marysville Globe. (Oh my, its been 10 years ago this month!)
Although it seems a bit overwhelming, I am glad to continue providing content for the arts and leisure section for both papers, since art is my passion and has been the primary focus for most of my life.
Thats the amazing thing about all this. I am actually interested in land-use planning, master-planned neighborhoods and site-specific development.
Being the daughter of a dairy farmer who found paradise in the North Fork Stillaguamish River Valley (Oso), I feel strongly about preserving dirt. Although it has finally become cliche to mention it, my parents grew up in Kent and watched in dismay as [development] paved over that beautiful black fertile soil.
I believe its my background in art and my interest in architecture and urban design as well as my desire to live and work in a unique and pleasant environment that contribute to my personal excitement and hope that Arlington can reach its goals of developing with style and finesse.
Its true; the community should be concerned about how the population will be doubled in the next 20-30 years and how the increased traffic will be accommodated.
Indeed, some of the issues that came up in our first Reader Advisory Board meeting Feb. 22 reminded us of the newspapers responsibility is to ask the hard questions: When do you plan to build the roads to this new development? What are the plans for providing water to the next 15,000 residents? How do you make new development look good and feel pleasant?
It is a huge challenge to make growth and development evolve with good style, but it can be done. I will confess that I admire the city of Arlingtons effort to take the risks of adding more growth than required by law in the effort to preserve agriculture in the valley. I admire the citys desire to be flexible in land-use to provide the best use of hills and valleys, plateaus and ravines and creeks and cliffs in the upcoming development on east Burn Hill the receiving area for the Transfer of Development Rights in the valley.
Government, of course, must answer the hard questions, but individuals also have responsibility, too, to make an effort to find out the facts and factors involved in decisions.
A newspaper should strive to provide the information readers need to make their own decisions. Thats my goal for The Arlington Times.
Along with documenting what the people of this community are doing this week, this month and this year for future reference, we must also anticipate the future, to let people know the issues at hand before its too late for input.
Whether you are a long-time resident who understands the true value of cow manure ($$$) or a recent arrival who has found paradise in this scenic rural community, I hope we can work together and encourage Arlington to grow with grace and civility.
I hope that The Arlington Times will continue to evolve as a dynamic forum for discussion on all matters relating to Arlington. As always we encourage readers to participate by sending letters to the editor. I welcome calls, but also seek your assistance. Due to our limited staff we need all the help we can get. We wont be able to cover every meeting or event, so we encourage readers to write down and e-mail or fax the who, what, when, where and why of upcoming events and even shoot a picture of your event that we werent able to attend. Just write down the Five Ws, identify the people in the picture and say where and when it happened.
You must be warned that we will probably not run it exactly as you send it, unless it is a letter to the editor. Please dont let that stop you. Just keep in mind, if you want complete control over your words, well hook you up with our new advertising rep, Susan Bonasera who returns to The Arlington Times this week after a few years respite.
And if we publish views opposite yours, please dont shoot the messenger.
Send your events to The Arlington Times at arltimes@premier1.net.
Send story ideas and news tips to Sarah Arney at saraha@arlingtontimes.com or Kirk Boxleitner at kirkb@arlingtontimes.com.

Sincerely from your new news editor,
Sarah Arney

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