Letters to the Editor

Support Mary Margaret Haugen

The 10th Legislative District’s Senator Mary Margaret Haugen is a workaholic who takes her mandate to serve us seriously.

She works across party lines and long time residents of this district have repeatedly told me that she has effected more positive change for our district than any representative or senator in our history.

Stroll through the new Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island and you will enjoy the result of Mary Margaret’s efforts. Her many years of hard work culminated this year as this woodsy property opened to become our first new state park in over 30 years.

Drive south on the newly widened I-5 through the city of Everett or take highway 20 from I-5 to just southeast of Oak Harbor and you can’t help but appreciate Mary Margaret’s hand in expediting traffic and improving safety in our District.

Enjoy a walk on Whidbey Island’s Keystone spit — a small slice of land that once belonged to the Federal government. Mary Margaret was instrumental in acquiring this property for Washington state and in drafting the legislation that protects it from development.

Read about the soon to be built replacement of the Mark Clark Bridge connecting Snohomish County with Camano Island or the coming train platform in Snohomish County’s city of Stanwood and you will see how we daily benefit from our Senator’s vision and clout in obtaining funding for these projects.

In this Senate campaign, letters to the editor in support of Linda Haddon have contended that Mary Margaret has lacked oversight regarding the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry run. Letters written by Mary Margaret’s loyal constituents have successfully countered this contention.

And now, while respectfully plagiarizing our much-loved newscaster Paul Harvey, I want “to tell you the rest of the story.” Mary Margaret has been the driving force behind legislation recently passed that directs our state to build three new 144 car ferries and two 64 car ferries. At her insistence, the legislation calls for all these ferries to be built in the state of Washington. The 64 car ferries will serve the Keystone – Port Townsend Run. The first of these, to be named the “Island Home,” is going out for bid as I write. It is scheduled for completion no later than the spring of 2010. Hopefully, a shipyard in Snohomish County will be awarded this contract thus bringing good jobs to the 10th District.

My dad used to caution me to think carefully before making a decision. “You don’t want to cut off your nose to spite your face,” he would say. Should we replace Mary Margaret with her Republican challenger, Linda Haddon, we will lose the lucrative negotiating position that we in the 10th district now enjoy because of our Senator’s seniority and her position as Head of the Senate Transportation Committee. Senator Chris Marr of Spokane is considered to be the most likely person to take over as chair of this committee if we don’t re-elect Mary Margaret. Most of the people in Eastern Washington don’t give a fig about ferries. Do we really think Senator Marr will be placing a high priority on getting a new ferry for the Keystone-Port Townsend run? The people who depend on this ferry may find themselves waiting much longer than two years.

So 10th District voter, weigh our two candidates for the senate with care before making your choice and for God’s sake don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

Mary Ewing

Camano Island

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