“Greenwashing” in Sammamish: A Special Report

  1. Greenwashing (a compound word modeled on “whitewash”), or “green sheen,” is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.–Wikipedia.

Since the 2003 Sammamish City Council election, in which environmental-leaning candidates swept the election, the Council prided itself on pursuing “green” policies and ordinances.

The City Manager was far less gun-ho, often lagging his own staff, especially when it came to a concept called Low Impact Development, or LID (not to be confused with Local Improvement Districts, also LID, a special tax option–so context of “LID” is always important to understand).

The current Council is comprised of what would ordinarily considered to be environmentalists. Of the seven, only Member Don Gerend leans “development” over the environment–or so its appears. Tom Odell and Bob Keller proved to have strong environmental credentials. Ramiro Valderrama evolved into a strong backing of the environment. Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay and Mayor Tom Vance not only consider themselves environmentalists but have an historical track record supporting this.

Image via Google Images. Click on image to enlarge.

Without question the leading environmentalist on the Council is three-term incumbent Nancy Whitten, who decided to retire at the end of this year. And Whitten has been increasingly critical of the collective Council’s direction on a number of environmental issues over the past four years.

While “greenwashing” isn’t the term that comes to the top of the conversation with Whitten, she didn’t disagree with its use when it comes to how Sammamish approaches the environment now. And she’s especially critical of Vance’s evolution away from his historical green leanings.

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Kokanee savior targets next step: Zaccuse Creek restoration

Sammamish’s leading savior of the threatened kokanee salmon, the only salmon native to Lake Sammamish, is taking the next step to save the species: the restoration of Zaccuse Creek.

Wally Pereyra, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore Ebright Creek to help save Kokanee salmon, is moving on to Zaccuse Creek as the next phase of his decades-long effort. the Kokanee are native to Lake Sammamish. Photo via Google image. Click on image to enlarge.

Wally Pereyra, who already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to restore Ebright Creek and to appeal City of Sammamish approvals of upstream development he believes would harm Ebright Creek, is preparing to restore Zaccuse Creek in cooperation with the local Snoqualmie Tribe and, he hopes, the City.

Planning began several years ago. A June 2012 study with King County surveyed the creek, a culvert that goes underneath East Lake Sammamish Parkway and upstream and downstream from Pereya’s property. The study has several photos illustrating the 25 page report.

Pereyra owns several large parcels of land south of Thompson Hill Road, continuously along the Parkway to his residence.

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