To The Editor

May 12, 2009

By Contributor

Veteran crosses

Veterans already have a holiday; crosses shouldn’t be placed on their gravesAfter reading the impassioned writings about Memorial Day in the April 22 issue of The Press, I feel obligated to write. It is I who filed the complaint about the placing of crosses on all of the veteran graves on Memorial Day. 

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. These persons, unlike others who were fortunate to return, never had the opportunity to see grandchildren play Little League ball or see them take their part in a school play. Those who did not return gave the ultimate sacrifice. I don’t know how it can be shared. 

We do have a Veteran’s Day; it is then that we honor and thank all those who have served. Over the years, on Memorial Day, communities around the country, as a courtesy, placed a small American flag on all veteran’s graves, but the holiday’s “Taps” was played for those who did not return.

As for our national cemeteries in Europe, first, those buried there are among those who did not return; the crosses there are not markers, but reference to the religion so noted on their dog tags. That practice now is past. Our national cemeteries today have common shaped grave markers, just another step in removing any expression of a religious connotation.

Irv Levin


Ruth Kees

Environmentalist was a local treasure who advocated for Mother Nature

While everyone admires Issaquah for its small-town charm, forests, wildlife and its natural splendor, few act to protect it. Ruth Kees was tirelessly working to protect our natural surroundings and in so doing protect our quality of life. 

She was the voice advocating for the flora and fauna as the growth enthusiasts sought to lay the hillsides bare. Hers was the voice speaking for protections for our aquifer when its supply was thought to be endless and we didn’t need to chlorinate our drinking water. Now, we know she was right. 

The experts of the day often downplayed her advice only to learn that Mother Nature and Ruth Kees were of the same opinion. Ruth knew that Mother Nature always prevails, but the influences of humans often leave lasting scars rather than the monuments that were intended. Ruth wanted to avoid the scars.

When others grew frustrated and complacent, Ruth defined “tireless” and “inspirational.” Issaquah would be a very different place today if Ruth Kees hadn’t been involved in our community. She will be missed.

Hank Thomas


School funding

Superintendent and school board      are doing a hard job very well

As a former school board director and husband of a teacher in the district, I want to acknowledge the wonderful work of the current superintendent, Dr. Steve Rasmussen, and the current school board. 

These are trying times for education, particularly in light of the state legislators’ cuts to education funding, but the caring and professional manner in which these leaders have addressed the crisis is admirable. 

No one likes to give layoff notices to teachers and education assistants, and many of them are friends of mine, but being fiscally responsible is what we demand of our elected officials/professional administrators, and we are very lucky to have people of such quality in these critical leadership roles in our community.

Bravo, Issaquah School District!

Larry W. Ishmael


Tax demonstrations

What was tea party protest about again?

I wish the tea-baggers became informed of the facts before protesting. Why protest increased taxes when Obama and the Democrats have just passed the largest middle class tax cut in history? I repeat, tax cut. So, what’s the protest about again? Oh, yeah, Obama is a socialist. 

Would all of the tea-baggers be willing to give up their Social Security cards and payments when they retire? Or Medicare payments for their parents and grandparents? I guess some socialism is OK, then? 

And I saw tea-baggers with signs about deficit spending. Where were these protesters when George W. Bush turned a $1 trillion Clinton surplus into a $1 trillion debt? I can’t take you seriously now when you were silent under Bush. 

And just for the record, I’d rather spend some money on health care, infrastructure, education and saving our economy than on an unjust and unnecessary war. So, what was that protest about again? 

The truth, it seems, is that conservative Republicans aren’t really concerned about taxes, social programs or deficit spending. This is just the fear game all over again. If you yell “Be afraid!” loud enough and often enough, perhaps someone will listen. 

This country and its people are tired of the fear game. We voted Bush and his tactics of fear out of office. Please don’t bore us with cries of increased taxes during a record tax cut and of selective complaints of deficit spending. You look foolish, misinformed and desperate. 

Let’s try to rebuild this country after eight years of Bush mistakes, not tear it down.

David Briggs



Angie Kruzich is an outstanding educator

We all know there are bad teachers, mediocre teachers, teachers who are just doing their time, teachers who as students you dreaded, and every now and then, if you were lucky, there was that one teacher who helped change your life forever. The teacher that is there for her students even after the bell rings. Issaquah’s Liberty High School has some of the latter and one in particular is Math teacher Angie Kruzich.

I would like to thank Kruzich for doing an exceptional job. She dared go where few others before her have dared to go. She does not clock out as soon as the bell rings. As a matter of fact, she does just the opposite. She stays at school and offers children the opportunity to stay after school with her one day a week to be a part of a homework club.

When our daughter started staying after school one day a week, her math grade went from an F to a B- in just a matter of a few weeks. This helped with the previous negative attitude toward her homework and turned it into something fun. Kruzich goes out of her way to make sure parents know what the grade is throughout the semester. She sends parents updates and makes it easy for us as parents to follow up. But that’s not all.

Kruzich cares enough about her students to work hard setting goals and standards, and helping to teach her students how to reach those goals. She has found ways to help motivate children to care. Sometimes, all it takes for a child to try harder is to know someone out there cares. 

Kruzich is truly an inspiration, not only to her students, but to the entire community. She is one of a few role models who inspire, engage, communicate and work hard to motivate children and keep them on track. She doesn’t just look inside the box for her teaching methods and solutions; she looks outside the box.

Thank you, Angie Kruzich!

Cynthia Freese


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