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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
Snohomish
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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