Let’s not conform ‘to other’s snooty standards’ | LETTER

I was taken aback by the attitude expressed in (July 28 edition’s) letter to the editor in support of a particular candidate for city council. Rather than celebrating the immense progress Renton has made in transforming itself over the past decades, the author chose to focus on negative themes, expressing disappointment and embarrassment that our city isn’t considered to be in the same league as our gold-plated neighbors to the north in Bellevue, Kirkland, Newcastle, and Medina.

A visit to the Renton History Museum will inform the author that heavy industry, socioeconomic diversity, and scrappy self-sufficiency have been hallmarks of Renton since its founding. Long before Bellevue even had a name, immigrants from all over the world came to Renton to work in its mines and sawmills, and later, in its factories. With that influx of people came a diversity of languages, ethnicities, and customs, a trend that continues to this day with our latest wave of immigrants. One would be hard-pressed to find any similarities at all between the demographics of Medina and Renton.

Beginning in the 1980s, the lake shore of Renton has been transformed from a heavily polluted industrial backwater into a showcase of urban development that includes Coulon Park, the Barbee Mill neighborhood, the VMAC/Seahawks facility, the CedarRiver Park, and of course Southport. All of this development co-exists with the most productive aircraft assembly facility in the world. In the near future, a large multi-use development is planned for the former Superfund site between Barbee Mill and VMAC. I’m not sure what other development the author would like to see occur along the lake to bring us up to Bellevue standards (polo fields perhaps?), but there are no remaining open parcels that I’m aware of.

Regarding the name “Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport,” yes, it’s ridiculous, but as far as I’m concerned,SECO development can call their $630 million investment whatever they’d like as long as it benefits our city. Ultimately, visitors will learn that it’s in Renton.

Does Renton have challenges ahead of it? Absolutely, but let’s embrace our unique attributes and history rather than trying to conform to others’ snooty standards. Many of us are already proud to call Renton home, and are excited by the positive change that’s occurring here.

Kevin Poole

Renton

More in Opinion

Letters to the editor for the week of June 14

Reader responds to other reader about leaded fuel Dear editor, I would… Continue reading

Separate the rotten from the ripe

Community pages can do better to spread information, and not libel

Legislature: History, investigations and new laws

The 2019 session of the Legislature included controversy, compromise, surprise, new law and more.

Get the garden ready for longer, hotter days

The longer days mean plants are having a growth spurt, so be… Continue reading

Nerd versus flies

I’ve always held that it would be better to fight 100 duck-sized… Continue reading

Write this down, take a little note then send it to the editor

The Reporter is looking for guest opinion writers

A historic era ends, another begins

The Frank Chopp era is over. Washington’s longest-serving speaker of the state… Continue reading

Readers are invited to discuss the future of the paper over coffee

Danielle Chastaine takes over as the new editor of the Renton / Covington-Maple Valley Reporter

Richard Elfers is a columnist, a former Enumclaw City Council member and a Green River College professor.
Thank Zenger and a strong-willed jury for freedom of the press

“No democracy has existed in the modern world without the existence of… Continue reading

Democrats didn’t quite run the entire table

Democratic lawmakers greeted the end of the 2019 legislative session with warm… Continue reading

King County and my grassy lawn

King County and my grassy lawn Do people know that some King… Continue reading

Inslee and Democrats are riding high

Governor’s absenteeism to campaign for president is a big help too.