To The Editor

April 21, 2009

By Contributor

Crosswalks

It shouldn’t have to come down to pedestrian versus cars to obey the lawRecently, I wrote a letter asking drivers to be a little more aware of pedestrians. A Sammamish resident wrote a rebuttal suggesting pedestrians need to be more aggressive in “taking ownership of a crosswalk.”

He further suggested that the laws should not be changed because of a pedestrian’s fear. He is suggesting that a 200-pound pedestrian get into the crosswalk and challenge a 4,000-pound car. Dumb idea! This letter was obviously written by someone who does not walk.

I do agree with what the letter writer alluded to, that drivers and pedestrians can use hand signals to indicate their intent. Remember, you are not invisible when you are behind the wheel. Waving a pedestrian across is perfectly acceptable. However, the pedestrian waving a car on by may not be — I think only a policeman can direct traffic. However, the idea to signal your intent is good.

This crosswalk law is ignored by so many drivers that in front of the Issaquah Police Station a sign has been erected in the crosswalk reminding drivers to stop when it is occupied. And further, several crosswalks on Front Street have orange flags so pedestrians can signal their intent to cross.

It would be nice if the law reflected the needs of pedestrians. It doesn’t. My suggestion is that drivers be more aware of pedestrians and give them a break when they are on the curb waiting to cross. Pedestrians are out in the weather; drivers are not.

Lee Woods

Issaquah


Mirrormont

Kudos to HOA president for speaking out against wasteful pea-patch spending

Just last night, I sat at a meeting where County Councilman Reagan Dunn said that in the past two years, King County has had to do away with 200 law enforcement jobs. He added that the county is now $93 million in the red.

Then, I read in The Issaquah Press that simultaneously, King County has money to burn on a private little welfare garden for 14 families in Mirrormont. I would never have imagined there were that many people in Mirrormont with their hands out expecting the government to do for them what they should be doing for themselves.

It doesn’t cost $100, let alone $10,000 to dig up a small (10-by-20) plot of ground and toss in a few seeds. In this economy, with thousands of our King County neighbors out of work and truly hungry and needy, (9 percent unemployment as of last week), it is disgraceful to be spending so much on so few, especially since I’ll bet none of them need the handout.

Kudos to Mirrormont president Brian Laughlin for resigning in protest of this embarrassment to his community and shame on T. J. Davis, the clueless county bureaucrat who authorized this waste. That money should go back into the King County budget and be put toward law enforcement for the benefit of everyone in the county.

The No. 1 job of government is to protect the citizenry, not subsidize the rich with their hobbies. Pea patches were originally designed for the benefit of the poor in the inner city who have no access to gardenable land, not those with acre lots. Let’s keep pea patches for those who truly need them.

Bette Filley

Issaquah


Brian Yorkey

Village Theatre alum’s tale is one of local boy doing his community proud

The article about Brian Yorkey (April 8) was interesting and very good news, but could have gone a little more deeply into his background.

Yorkey grew up in Issaquah and really gained his start in theater at Issaquah High School. Though he was a good actor — he nearly stole the show in “South Pacific” as a sophomore in the minor role of Luther Billis — his true talent came out when he wrote and directed two plays (longer than one acts), utilizing music and large casts. Those productions were the highlight of the school’s drama program in his junior and senior years, playing to overflow houses.

When I directed “The Imaginary Invalid,” by Molière, in Brian’s junior year, I gladly handed the more complex scenes to him as my student assistant director. Needless to say, the scenes came off very well.

At Issaquah High, Brian Yorkey was an excellent student with an incredible flair for theater. Those of us who knew of his efforts in high school, and in subsequent years, are not surprised by his making it big to Broadway. We are confident that his “Next to Normal” will do well there.

We’re very proud of this local boy being successful in his chosen field, a very difficult one in which to make it to the top.

Doug Simpson

Retired Issaquah High Teacher


Recycling

Issaquah residents have a fraction of the service available in Bellevue

My family and I moved to Issaquah last fall and to Washington the fall before that. We first settled in Bellevue before discovering Issaquah. Overall, I love our new community. We have lovely neighbors and the schools are outstanding.

However, my biggest disappointment is the lack of curbside recycling in my neighborhood. Yes, I do have unlimited recycling, but the limited items they accept is frustrating.

When we moved to Issaquah last fall we were told by the previous residents that our recycling service was the same as Bellevue. I am not sure if Issaquah residents are aware of this, but even though you have the same curbside waste removal service company, you can only recycle a fraction of things your neighbors can and you pay a lot more for these limited services (our bill has almost doubled).

In Bellevue, my family of five used an average of one garbage bag per week. Everything else was either yard waste or recyclable. Since moving here, our weekly garbage output has doubled.

A recent legal notice regarding the Cedar Hills Landfill in your newspaper recently caught my eye. It would seem to me that if the landfill is filling up at a rate previously unforeseen, efforts would be made for the community to send less to the landfill.

I understand that the number of residents is part of the equation used to determine rates and in part directly affects the services offered, but there must be a cost effective way to recycle more curbside in Issaquah.

Maybe your paper could write an article exploring alternative options to recycling, items not accepted curbside and why Issaquah doesn’t offer this service. I know I am not the only resident interested in this information.

Becky Gordon

Issaquah


Justice system

Incarceration rules need to be changed due to prison overcrowding

Who can make sense of our criminal justice system? We have prisons swollen to over their maximum capacity and still we haven’t seen the connection between being the No. 1 jailer on the planet and a lack of funds for education and social services. We have “three-strikers” serving life sentences for no-injury, no-weapons crimes.

We are spending some $32,000 per year per prisoner to keep these people incarcerated. And when they reach age 55, the amount triples.

Our priorities seem rather warped. With the economy in turmoil and tax dollars in demand, it would seem that such a waste is an injustice to the taxpayer as well as to some incarcerated people who have been spending life behind bars for low-level crimes.

Scott Spansail

Seattle

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