The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Coal trains

Owning the land trumps all else

I read the "14,000 comment" article on the coal trains on Monday. People can weigh-in all day long. People can organize all day long. People can protest all day long. Can you say Paine Field? Both are on the way. The term "highest and best use" trumps anything against stopping either one.
Both the railroad and the airport own the right-of-way. They own the ground, allowing a use determined by/for themselves. Think about this: at your next street crossing, the train doesn't stop for you. It has the right-of-way and will bust through that crossing like there's no tomorrow. It owns the right to do that.
The public comments and opinions are what I call "feel good meetings." Johnny and Ruthie feel good because of their 2-cent opinion, but has no input on a decision that has already been made. That is time-tested. Can you say Paine Field? How about using the Sumas Branch running north? Now I feel good too.
Bruce A. Ferguson
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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.