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<br />Michelle McConnell <br />From:Ruth Gordon [ruthinpt@yahoo.com] <br />Sent:Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:54 AM <br />To:Stewart, Jeff R. (ECY) <br />Subject:Letter in Support of Jefferson County SMP <br />Categories:LASMP Public Comment <br />Dear Mr. Stewart, I am writing today in support of the SMP not because I support every single provision, but <br />because generally I think it will help to prevent the kind of tragedy that occurred in 1997 in Kitsap County. I <br />am copying an article that appeared first in the Atlantic Magazine because I would like this information to be <br />included in the record. <br /> <br />I favor a plan that would prevent the type of danger that killed the Herrens. Hopefully this plan will do that, <br />although I do not believe it was crafted with human safety as the primary aim. Thank you for your efforts on <br />behalf of our county. <br /> <br />Respectfully, <br />Ruthann Gordon <br />Port Townsend <br />The Liquid Earth <br />By Brenda Bell <br /> <br />Landslides and other "ground failures" cost more lives and more money each year than all other natural <br />disasters combined, and their incidence appears to be rising. Nevertheless, the government devotes few <br />resources to their study — and the foolhardy continue to build and live in places likely to be consumed one day <br />by avalanches of mud. <br />(This article was published in the Atlantic Monthly, January 1999, Volume 283, No. 1, pages 58-72. It is <br />reproduced here with the permission of the author.) <br />We live near Seattle, on Bainbridge Island, which is roughly the size of Manhattan but has a population of only <br />19,000. As in most small communities, news travels rapidly by word of mouth. We heard about the mudslide <br />about four hours after it happened, on Sunday, January 19, 1997. Our friend Dave told us about it late that <br />morning, as he scuffed his muddy shoes on the mat inside our front door, waiting to pick up his daughter from a <br />sleepover at our house. It was raining — not hard, but steadily. Almost twenty-six inches of precipitation had <br />fallen since the beginning of the rainy season, in October — 40 percent above normal — and the ground had <br />been slipping all around the Puget Sound area for weeks. <br />Dave said that the slide had demolished a house in Rolling Bay, a picturesque old neighborhood on the east side <br />of the island, with sweeping views across the sound to the dark glitter of Seattle and the serrated backdrop of <br />the Cascade Mountains. The house was one of about twenty squeezed onto a sliver of beach beneath a high cliff <br />that parallels the Rolling Bay shore. It was owned by a couple who had been remodeling it while they lived in <br />the basement with their children. Their living quarters were buried now, and rescuers were digging through tons <br />of mud to find the family. It didn't look good, Dave said. <br />1 <br /> <br />