To The Editor

April 6, 2009

By Contributor

Free concert

Thanks to the city for hosting a great performance by the chamber orchestraI’d like to thank the city of Issaquah for sponsoring the free concert performed by the Issaquah Chamber Orchestra at Village Theatre on March 30. 

It was my 7-year-old son’s first experience with an orchestra and he had a grand time listening to the music, chatting with the musicians during intermission and wondering who made more money — the conductor or the composer — and whether the conductor’s podium was attached to his music stand or not. 

It’s nights like that that remind me why we are so lucky to live in such a great city. Thanks, city of Issaquah, for your sponsorship of a great evening.

Sarah Flygare Riley


Tree City

Arbor Day’s message needs to last longer than one day per year 

Arbor Day is the day that we salute the Tree City USA flag and congratulate ourselves on our annual achievements in tree preservation. Have the kids plant a few small trees, make sure they smile for the camera with politicians, and we’re done with this nonsense for another year.

Sadly, that’s the way Arbor Day has gone in Issaquah since I’ve lived here. While “maintaining the forested hillsides” is a cornerstone Comprehensive Plan goal, I’ve seen our trees and hillsides systematically obliterated. 

Drive Highlands Drive and gaze at the acres of cleared and massively regraded slopes, many which could and should have been replanted with cedars and firs long ago. North of the park & ride, note all the invasive Scotch broom and blackberry infestations, choking out new but neglected street plantings. And then, there’s the embarrassing eyesore above Home Depot.

Look around the rest of Issaquah, and you’ll see more of the same. Ask who’s responsible; it’s never whomever you are speaking to — of course not the city, state or developers. Worse yet, nobody seems to care. Where is the code enforcement, a little maintenance or some common sense land management?

The trees on my street are one of the treasures the Comprehensive Plan asks us to preserve. My neighborhood has been heavily logged twice in the past 100 years. It was developed 40 years ago, but now has towering third-growth native trees that provide an expansive green canopy and territorial view to the rest of the city. Amazing the beauty Mother Nature can create with a little time and nurturing!

If we were a city that really thought preserving trees, forest hillsides and natural environment for the future were important, we would plant thousands of native tree seedlings every year and put a little effort in to make sure enough survived and grew to maturity. 

Maybe having a Tree City USA flag on the wall in the City Council chambers is enough for the politicians to feel “green,” but I challenge you to look around and ask yourself if this token symbol is enough for you.

C.A. Christensen


Rules of the road

Pedestrians need to be aggressive in taking ownership of a crosswalk

A recent writer understands that the law states a pedestrian must indicate his or her use of the crosswalk by entering the crosswalk, yet he or she wants a driver to ignore the law because of his or her fear.

This is just wrong and dangerous. We do not change the laws to match our own needs.

I suggest the writer be confident, establish eye contact with the driver, assert his or her right to use the crosswalk and be prepared to act if necessary, instead of asking drivers to ignore the well thought out pedestrian crosswalk law.

Michael T. Barr


Traffic cameras

Monitoring system could be slippery slope of omnipotent Big Brother

I really wasn’t surprised that all but one of our citizens published responses to the question, “How do you feel now that cameras are installed to catch speeders?” on our local streets was that the response was that they were fine with it all.

I want to propose a question to all of us. If it is good to have monitoring systems such as this in place, at what point does it become too much? When does it become “Big Brother” (government ) watching over our every move? 

Is it just around our schools, for the safety of the children, or then at the busy intersections to catch those endangering others? Or maybe it is just to allow our police to do “other” more important duties that justify having cameras watch our every move?

I am all for personal responsibility, but when do we hold those who we vote into office to those same standards? It seems that there is a great big sucking sound of acquiring more and more of our hard-earned money going to government. 

I see cameras on our corners as an infringement on my right to move freely and also as a very, very lazy way to take more of our hard-earned money into government coffers.

Paul Williams



License plates should be required for two-wheeled forms of transportation

Why doesn’t Washington state require bicycle license plates? 

The plates would be renewed yearly just like automobiles and other vehicles. There are hundreds of thousands of bicycles using public streets — roads and bicycle trails that are provided for them at taxpayer’s expense. 

All other forms of transportation using public streets are required to have a license; even boats are required to be licensed. The revenue would be used to help pay for maintaining the streets and can also be used to provide additional bicycle trails as required.

Any cyclist should be willing to pay a small fee ($25) for the opportunity to use public streets. When I was a kid growing up in Phoenix, Ariz., we had bicycle license plates that also served for recovering stolen bicycles. The department of licensing would handle the additional revenue with the current staff.

William L. “Bill” Brayer


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