South Whidbey Record


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Sites for Whidbey landslide facts

April 9, 2013 · Updated 8:06 AM

To the editor:

What with all the jabber in the media, I thought folks would appreciate some dispassionate, dependable, scientific information.

Both the DNR site and Hugh Shipman’s blog are very good:

For the DNR, go to http://washington




For Hugh Shipman’s Gravel Beach Blog, go to http://gravelbeach.blogspot.com. He has recently posted about his visit to the slide.

I do wish, though, that some of our scientific pundits and agency staff had the will and presence of mind to use this dramatic event to discuss the crucial role of the long-term cumulative watershed effects caused by those endemic poor management/development practices which are all too common — those that, I’m certain, contributed to the triggering of the slide.

To my knowledge, there has been virtually no cogent discussion of that aspect of the disaster. I think that avoidance of that crucial aspect represents a lost opportunity. We need to look behind the proximate causes and work towards addressing the fundamental causes of an unraveling island ecosystem. We need to start solving tomorrow’s problems today.

The same could be said for the chronic instability on the Edgecliff slopes, the recent shallow slides along Camano Avenue and the Possession Point episode. Perhaps it is time for some education and outreach while people are still disturbed and curious.

Elliott Menashe

Greenbelt Consulting



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