To The Editor

February 16, 2009

By Contributor

Lack of letters

Don’t limit the number of voices from the community on editorial pageI noticed a distinct lack of letters to the editor in last week’s edition of The Press. I hope this doesn’t mean you are following the example of many newspapers, of cutting out or down on the numbers of printed letters. 

Reading those letters in the paper is one of my favorite past-times, and I am so depressed at the idea of having to go online to do so. Please continue the letters to the editor in the printed newspaper. 

The different views of the community regarding the many issues covered stimulate all of our minds.

Laurel Redecker


Thank you

Duo will forever remember good  samaritan who bought them breakfast 

This is for the Good Samaritan who ate at Denny’s on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009:

My two boys, ages 16 and 18, went to Denny’s on Sunday morning before skiing to eat breakfast using two free coupons. When they got there, they found out that the coupons were only good during the week. 

A customer witnessed this and went out to the parking lot to talk to my sons as they left, and very kindly offered to buy their breakfast. They politely refused, but he insisted, saying that they reminded him of his own son who had left for Kansas. He then handed them $30, and invited them to have breakfast on him. They went back in and ate what will be the most memorable meal of their lives. 

Thank you, sir, for showing my sons the true goodness of people, and the amazing power that a simple act of kindness can have. By opening your heart, you have filled mine, and I know that my two boys will always remember you. When they were small, I felt it was important to teach them to be cautiously aware of strangers. Now, as adults, they understand that the goodness of strangers is what makes our lives better, and their promise is to follow your example and pay it forward. Your son is a very lucky young man.

Thank you is not nearly enough.

Anne Steindorf


Stimulus bill

Package a success if six local vacated locations refill with new businesses

We could use a tape measure to determine the effect and direction of the “stimulus” spending package on the local Issaquah working environment. 

Try this on: Along Front Street, from the library north to McDonald’s, there is now an empty hardware store, furniture store, Skippers restaurant, gas station, dry goods store near Fred Meyer and a grocery store behind McDonald’s. 

So, we have a starting point of six lost businesses. With that as the base point, we can then judge the stimulus impact. If all or some of these six real estate locations are filled and people are hired, it is working. However if they remain vacant, and/or more vacancies are added, then it would appear the stimulus spending has just put the taxpayers deeper in debt.

Ken Sessler


Sound Transit

East Link proposal is a good idea for future of public transportation

Sound Transit’s East Link proposal should be redirected toward providing all Eastside residents with access to effective public transit.  

A major part of this effort would be to insure all Eastside residents could drive to a park & ride lot and after a minimal wait, get on a bus that will take them nonstop into Seattle within 20-25 minutes during the morning peak commute and back to their park & ride lot in the afternoon. Sound Transit would facilitate this bus service by moving the bridge HOV traffic to the outer structure and converting the center section into two-way bus-only operation.

All Eastside park & ride lots would have this service, although bus frequency would vary with demand. Mercer Island might require a bus every 15 minutes, while South Bellevue, Eastgate and Issaquah could need buses every five minutes. Initially, 60 75-passenger buses assigned to these routes would be able to accommodate an additional 4,500 riders per hour, compared with 3,600-4,000 with light rail. Note that 60 buses per hour equates to one per minute, allowing plenty of capability to accommodate existing bus routes, along with additional express bus and normal bus routing to meet future growth. 

The obvious problem with increased bus service is Seattle congestion. The best approach would be to limit Fourth and Second avenues to bus-only use during the peak commute. (Light rail would probably force this action anyway, by severely restricting bus use of the underground tunnel.) 

Express buses could be assigned drop-off points along Fourth Avenue and pick-up points along Second Avenue that were separate from other bus stops. With bus only service along these routes, the left-hand lanes could probably be safely used to increase capacity in both directions.

In conclusion, this East Link proposal will provide all Eastside residents with convenient access to public transportation at a fraction of the cost of Sound Transit’s current proposal, and it can be put in place within one to two years, rather than in 2021. It also provides the capability to accommodate future growth, something sorely missing from the light rail proposal. 

Bill Hirt


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2 Responses to “To The Editor”

  1. Garth on February 17th, 2009 2:03 am

    Bill Hirt always seems to be writing from a different planet.

    The voters chose light rail last November. Not more extremely expensive bus service, which can barely be sustained even at today’s moderate level of service.

    Imagine telling an eastsider two of their major downtown roads would be reserved for transit only. They would laugh in your face.

    It’s easy for Hirt to leapfrog over reality when he talks about all the “simple, cheap and fast” others should do to accommodate his pipe dreams. It’s a lot tougher to propose feasible alternatives. It’s no wonder Hirt’s fanciful ideas are always laced with pixie dust.

  2. Alexis Torp on February 20th, 2009 5:27 pm

    Dear Editor,

    I am a 13 year old girl writing this letter on behalf of my 4-H horse club “Freedom Reins” and everyone in Washington State 4-H. We have recently been notified that due to budget “problems” Washington State University may be closing down 4-H in Washington! As in the WHOLE of Washington! Not only that but they also wanted to do it quietly and quickly so that we didn’t even know about it! The reason they wanted to do it quietly was because they knew it was wrong. They want to shut it down in two weeks! Two weeks!
    That would mean no more horse shows, County Fair, State Fair (which is the Puyallup Fair), Nationals in Kentucky, public presentations, record books, judging’s, posters, no more ANYTHING!! 4-H is not just about competing; it’s about education, raising a kid’s self-esteem, teaching them responsibility, leadership skills and helping prepare them for their future. Because of this we can’t let them just shut 4-H down like it doesn’t matter…… does matter!
    It matter’s to me because it brought me out of my shell. Now I have a lot of friends. Before 4-H, I didn’t have any. I was able to take a presentation that I could barely do in front of my club and take it all the way to the State Fair and win a blue ribbon. I was then able to do it in front of a group of kids who were learning how to do public speaking. I have learned organizational skills by having to keep a detailed journal of what I do with my horse each year. I have learned skills that have made me become a better and safer rider. Please remember that I’m not just speaking for myself I am also speaking for my club and over 75,000 other kids. 75,000 kids! 75,000 kids will be put out of 4-H if WSU has anything to do with it.
    Here is a website confirming the amount of kids in 4-H last year:
    In 4-H there are side projects like Horse Bowl (which is like Jeopardy, only with horses). In fact we have the Horse Bowl State Contest in about a month, if they shut 4-H down in two weeks it will ruin about 6 months of hard work on our part. We have Senior and Intermediate Horse Bowl teams that compete for the title of State Grand Champion Horse Bowl Team. An added bonus for the winning Senior Team is that they can compete at Nationals in Kentucky. Last year both the senior and intermediate teams from Pierce County won and because the intermediates won they got to go to Kentucky with the seniors. Let me tell you that was the most AMAZING trip I have ever taken. I got to fulfill a dream of going to Churchill Downs on that trip. I decided that I wanted to become a Veterinarian after visiting KESMARC (which stands for Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center). All of that because of 4-H. Dreams were fulfilled because of 4-H. Does that tell you anything? Because it tells me a lot of things. One is that if 4-H were to quit being around those sorts of dreams would stop being fulfilled for 75,000 kids and I don’t think you want that to happen.

    Here is an example from my leader of how 4-H has impacted her:
    I was involved in King County 4-H as a youth. I have many great memories of horse shows, the dreaded public presentations and the highlight of every summer, going to the fair. Now as an adult and a 4-H leader I see how 4-H is so much more than going to “fair”. It truly is teaching life skills.
    The program impacted me in many areas of my life. I understood the importance of record keeping at a young age which now is a key to running my business. I conquered the fear of public speaking thanks to many presentations I did in 4-H. I have realized that community is so important to our quality of life. We need to stand up at times for each other and the things we believe in. The 4-H pledge is to my club, my community, my country, and my world. This is so relevant during these times when we need each other, more than ever.
    The added benefit is the joys of seeing children go through our club the past 10 years. They become your surrogate children. I have had the privilege of attending graduations and weddings, receiving phone calls for advice and just a listening ear. My life has truly been enriched by 4-H and the many people involved. It saddens me to think of what it would be like for so many children and adults with out this program.

    Here is an example from a Friend of mine:
    Well it really has opened my eyes about how we take the little things in life for granted. I guess I have always assumed that we would have 4-H. 4-H has taught me that if I put my mind to it, I really can do it. I’m more confident with talking in front of a crowd because of public presentations. Responsibility is a big lesson I’ve learned because of having horses for 6 years. Also it’s ok if you don’t win; it’s more important that you reached your goal or achieved something in that class.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. This is an important issue and getting the press behind our cause will help immensely………………….so again I say Thank You.

    Alexis Torp
    Dear Editor,

    We have recently discovered that Washington State University (WSU) is working on budget cuts that could cut the entire 4-H program from Washington State. My family is very involved with 4-H as are over 75,000. other families with children.

    I have attached a letter from my 13 year old daughter, Alexis Torp. Could you please print this in your editorials or would you consider doing a story to help us get the word out so WSU can not make this cut as quickly and quietly as they are trying to do. We have less then 2 weeks to try to stop them.

    4-H is run almost exclusively with volunteers! How can you cut a program that affects over 75,000 youth in our state when it is run so efficiently with volunteers!

    Please help us get the news out! The major papers will have it out by Monday.


    Dustie Torp

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