To The Editor

October 1, 2008

By Contributor

Swimming pool

As the community grows, so, too, does  the need for more watering holes

Thank you for your Sept. 17 editorial regarding Issaquah’s swimming pool(s). I agree with most of your comments. However, didn’t you know the “disgusting locker room floors” are actually reflexology therapy stones? And you made no mention of the saggy senior men, or haven’t you noticed?All kidding aside, I think at some point we were told that a city needs one pool per 10,000 residents. Well, we’ve passed the second 10,000 and are moving toward our third. We’re way behind! In addition, Issaquah’s one pool serves another 20,000 or so county residents of the Issaquah School District. Our pool space is maxed out! We need a new pool — soon — as well as a renovation for the Julius Boehm Pool. 

Several years ago (10?) I served on a committee to examine fees for seniors, among others. With very few exceptions, Issaquah’s senior citizens, saggy and otherwise, felt that the annual $2 pass for a year’s worth of pool and community center admission was condescending! 

Those surveyed were almost unanimously willing to pay $25 – $75. And for those who couldn’t afford that, Issaquah offers a scholarship program. It’s important to make recreation affordable to all and at the same time create fees that reflect the value of the instruction, safety, administration and facilities.

Contracts with schools and swim teams must be in place, offering them the time and space they need. Another source of income, which is available but hasn’t been seriously considered, is to create a park service district with authority to tax residents in the surrounding county area (i.e. Issaquah School District boundaries) for their fair share of support of the pool and community center.

In the Puget Sound area, the “forward thrust” philosophy that built the original county pools still rings true: If we’re surrounded by water, we must teach all our citizens to be safe while they have fun in the pools, rivers, lakes and ocean. Let’s pack the aquatic facility feasibility study public meeting (Jeez, couldn’t we call it pool survey?) at Blakely Hall on Oct. 22!

Barbara Shelton



While examples still exist in this     country, none are in mascot, editorial

Tan Le’s writings (Press letters Oct. 24) miss the mark if the words “traditions” and “the American way” can identify a racist. Previously unknown forms of racism in our past come to light thanks to honest history and the passage of time (read “A People’s History”). This is a sad reality about our nation, but many work hard to never forget. 

Tan Le, for living all of his/her life in the United States, may have missed something valuable which I believe was the point of the prior letter: redress of grievances through a petition process, no matter how silly the law or petition, may be, and majority rule, are hallmarks of our democracy that should be taught, lived and protected against other regressive forms of government. 

I speak with experience and understanding on this point as an American Jew: There is a huge difference between racism and bulldogs. One can choose to look in many places in this country to try and find thinly, thickly and in-between veiled racism. But school mascots, and the prior editorial, are not one of them.

Bryan Weinstein



Cycle the Wave bike ride

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made charity fundraiser a success

On Sept. 21, we participated in the Cycle the Wave bike ride, which raised money for Women Against Violence Everywhere. The bike ride was a noncompetitive, all-women ride through Bellevue, Issaquah, Newcastle and some other roads I have never driven on before. 

Three friends and myself (one coming all the way from Sister, Ore.) met to ride the 25-mile Girly Girl ride together. Being rookie riders and a little bit older women than many of the others, we were a little anxious. And there was that option of a 62-mile Burly Girl ride, which we never once considered.

I just want to thank the many volunteers who spent their Sunday, and the hours leading up to this event, working to make this run so very smoothly. We had a blast. There was lots of encouragement along the way, donated food that was delicious, men maneuvering bikers into safety at certain corners, cheerleaders from various schools and definitely more people behind the scenes than I will ever know about.

It was a pleasure to be a part of this event and know that the people riding and volunteering wanted to support such a worthy cause. Thanks to all of you. It was a great experience.

Colleen DeVine



Alaskan sled race is terribly cruel to the dogs who are forced to participate

Regarding your story about an Iditarod volunteer in the Sept. 24 Press, the Iditarod is terribly cruel to dogs. What happens to the dogs during the race includes death, paralysis, frostbite of the penis and scrotum, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, broken bones, pneumonia, torn muscles and tendons, viral diseases, ruptured discs, sprains, anemia and lung damage.

On average, 53 percent of the dogs who start the Iditarod do not make it across the finish line. According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do finish, 81 percent have lung damage. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine reported that 61 percent of the dogs who finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus 0 percent prerace.

Veterinary care during the Iditarod is poor. Dogs don’t get physical examinations at every checkpoint. Working to help the mushers, veterinarians give the dogs massive doses of antibiotics to keep them running.

The Iditarod is a sweatshop for dogs and should be banned.

Margery Glickman

Director, Sled Dog Action Coalition

Cell phones

New hands-free law is being ignored   by drivers and traffic officers

Has anyone else noticed the blatant disregard for the hands free ban on using cell phones while operating a vehicle? This is a law now and I can’t help but feel that it has not made one bit of difference in fellow citizens’ awareness or concern. It frankly pisses me off! And I feel helpless and angry. Anybody else feel this way or have any suggestions on what to do?

Where does personal responsibility start? What will wake people up to becoming just a little bit more aware of others than themselves? Let’s just keep dashing through those yellow lights and answering those real important calls, until one day a little boy runs out into the road or is riding in the passenger seat of a car that gets T-boned at an intersection. Then, maybe, just maybe, we can slow down and be in the moment. Nah, still wouldn’t happen.

Paul Williams


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One Response to “To The Editor”

  1. Erin Kirkland on October 7th, 2008 8:58 pm

    In response to the above comments regarding the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, readers should know a few facts. Sled dogs who participate in the Iditarod are very, very well cared for by an enormous team of folks; veterinarians, volunteers, and most of all the mushers, who are acutely aware that without the dogs, their chances of finishing the race are nil.

    Sled dogs love what they do, are considered family by mushers, and I challenge any of the so-called “sled dog advocacy” groups to watch a dog team prior to a race. Their energy and enthusiasm belies any “cruelty” listed above. Perhaps the Coalition members should actually visit , watch a race, and get to know some of the finest dog advocates in the world.

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