To The Editor

September 19, 2008

By Contributor

Traffic

City needs to take steps to avoid a disaster at busy intersection

Traffic southbound on East Lake Sammamish Parkway at 56th Southeast is a disaster waiting to happen. With two lanes merging into one almost immediately, there are many confrontations.

The second lane should be made a right-turn only. This would allow the one lane to continue at the 40 mph limit instead of the 20 mph (or 0 mph when the left turn lane at Southeast 58th overflows).

A new 40 mph speed limit sign would also help, because most people are going only 35, if that (when there is little traffic).

Bob Johnson

Issaquah

Happy anniversary

Daughter congratulates her parents on their 40 years of marriage

Dear Mom and Dad,

Forty years of marriage! When 50 percent of marriages fail, staying together for 40 years is a feat in itself. But that isn’t what impresses me. I am impressed that you have stayed in love for 40 years. As your only child, for all of the amazing things you ever did for me, the best part of my childhood was knowing that my parents loved each other.

How did you do it? Was it the little things?

Every single day I heard “I love you.”

You called each other every day from work, even though you were going to see each other over dinner. I remember Dad’s voice when Mom called. How happy you always sounded. Mom, you took Dad’s call no matter what meeting you were in.

Every night, Dad walked through the door and looked for Mom to get a welcome home kiss.

I remember Mom hiding homemade chocolate chip cookies and love notes in Dad’s briefcase when he traveled.

You danced at weddings. You held hands. You still do.

What you must have experienced as a couple in 40 years! Countless Air Force moves, being far away from family and uncertain of what life was going to bring. Dad going off to war shortly after the two of you tied the knot. Mom, you must have been so scared. But both of you were so brave.

Being just a newlywed myself, I suddenly find myself appreciating the true meaning of 40 years. I am thankful for all the inadvertent marriage lessons you both gave me — family time is sacred, respect each other always, be truthful with one another, let the small things go, enjoy the small moments every day, make excuses to celebrate and, finally, go ahead and let others know that you love each other!

Happy anniversary. Thanks for letting me be a part of it all.

Love, your daughter,

Jillian Nelson

Former Issaquah resident, Providence, R.I.

No animals policy

Instead of districtwide ban, rule needs to be enforced on a case-by-case basis

I read with disbelief, then dismay, and then anger that the Issaquah School District has banned animals from the school district.

No real educator would make such a decision. The value of animals as companions and teaching aids cannot be disputed. Yes, we must recognize and accommodate students who are not comfortable with animals; but according to the district’s own spokeswoman, “95 percent of the people will think that’s wonderful” (animals in school).

Why deny 95 percent of students any chance to enhance their educational experience through interacting with animals when it would be better to make accommodations for the 5 percent who are uncomfortable with them? How silly.

Rather than taking such a draconian approach, why not establish a policy wherein each situation will be dealt with individually? Rather than requiring 100 percent of a student body to sign a petition to allow an animal at school, why not stipulate that any single student who is not comfortable with the animal would necessitate removal of that animal from that student’s environment.

The district gives the reason for the ban as a “bunch of small incidents over the years,” and goes on to list three incidents: an allergic reaction to a dog in a locker room, an escaped snake that caused a fire and a hamster that died from mishandling.

Certainly, the allergic reaction would not have occurred had the dog not been there, but that seems easy enough to remedy. No dogs allowed where a dog allergy is present. The snake fire was a more random incident, and these sorts of things do happen. That class of students probably learned the importance of securing a pet’s cage.

And finally, the hamster — obviously unfortunate for the animal, but what a teachable moment. Things die. Life is fragile. We need to treat others with care and respect. Sorrow. Remorse. Forgiveness.

This is what learning and life is about, but the Issaquah School District wants to limit classroom learning to sanitized and homogenized readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmetic. Another teaching tool removed from our classrooms; what a sad loss for all Issaquah students.

Lorna Taylor, Issaquah

Banning school’s bulldog mascot is a lesson in totalitarian governing

I do not see a problem with the Issaquah School District allowing a bulldog in the classroom. The district’s new zero tolerance policy of banning all animals from the classroom is idiotic.

I was never lucky enough to have my educational experience enhanced by having a dog in one of my classrooms, but I did get to experience a number of varieties of hairy arachnids, tropical fish, rodents, large reptiles (including rattlesnakes) and birds.

Forcing Buddy 2.0 out is probably not going to be enough anyway. Even having a cartoon bulldog as the Beaver Lake Middle School mascot probably offends somebody or some culture somewhere, and I guess following the school district’s logic, it needs to go, too. I am sure bulldog owners everywhere do not like the breed portrayed as mean and feisty when everyone knows how docile and sweet these dogs really are.

So, if animals are politically incorrect and thus should be banned as mascots, maybe Beaver Lake could go with something that honors both local history and culture, and be the “Indians.” Or, better yet, let’s skip the mascots all together, and just go with something politically correct like numbers — IMS 2 (Issaquah Middle School No. 2) has a nice ring to it, except it is totally unfair and demeaning that someone has to be No. 2.

With their 100 percent compliance petition to save Buddy 2.0, the Issaquah School District is teaching us all a valuable lesson about totalitarian rule and intolerance. If I remember a few of my history lessons from middle school, these are the same type of injustices that our Founding Fathers fought against. In my mind, losing animals like Buddy 2.0, represents another one of our hard-fought freedoms lost.

At some point, we need to say “enough is enough” when it comes to mandated political correctness and every rule that’s only option is zero tolerance, as these are truly bad lessons for our kids to learn. My bet is the real “crime” here, is that after meeting Buddy 2.0, some Americanized kid asked her “old country” parents for a dog!

C.A. Christensen, Issaquah

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