To The Editor

June 23, 2009

By Contributor

We recently asked our Rapid Responders some questions about topics in the news. Here’s what they had to say:

1. What suggestions do you have for alternatives to putting our garbage in landfills?

Buy less, want less, need less.

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

Recycling has made some progress in putting garbage in landfills. Shopping with our own carry out bags can address a significant amount of paper waste. Composting biodegradable refuse is also an excellent alternative.Don Burnett, Issaquah

Dump it just off the coast of France.

Paul Stewart, Issaquah

Issaquah has so many waste disposal options already that very little really has to go to the landfill. You can put all food scraps, even meat, in the yard waste, along with soiled paper, like pizza boxes. All this is composted by Cedar Grove into fertilizer and soil. Since there is no longer a need to separate your recycling, you can put a recycling bin everywhere you have a trash can. Toss your glass, metal, paper and plastic together into any bin. Save used items that would still be valuable to someone else for the truck in the neighborhood that comes by several times a month. We’ve gone from two cans of trash a week to less than half a can for four people.

David Bangs, Issaquah

Burn it to provide electricity.

Jim Harris, Issaquah

Observe the progressive new Waste Management plan for Seattle residents for a period of time to determine what is working and what isn’t.

Suzanne Suther, Bellevue

2. Is alarm registration and education the best way to cut down on false alarms? Why or why not?

Maybe, but not at the cost of a full-time staff person.  Also note the higher fines.

Connie Marsh, Issaquah

Everyone who has one has probably set it off accidentally once or twice.  Beyond that, I consider user error and should be fined in the amount of the emergency service that responds.

Jim Wood, Issaquah

Neighbors are good alarms. Whatever happened to neighborhood watch?

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

Alarm registration and education seems to nip the problem at its genesis.

Don Burnett, Issaquah

It would probably be as effective as teaching sex education to middle school students in lowering the teen pregnancy rates.

Paul Stewart, Issaquah

3. What are your suggestions for dealing with abandoned retail spaces, such as those left by Albertsons and Joe’s?

Convince the owners to donate the space to house the homeless and write off the lost lease value on their taxes. Then, when finally re-rented, they have not so much money and we better serve the homeless.

Fred Nystrom, Issaquah

Divide into smaller spaces. Lower the rent, so small local businesses can use the space. No more “big box” stores.

Jim Harris, Issaquah

How about a temporary communitywide flea market on weekends in the Joe’s space until the owner finds a new viable tenant?

Suzanne Suther, Bellevue

The city should not give out any building permits for new building until the vacant spaces are purchased or leased. Case in point — Could not the new Bartell’s drug store, Swedish medical clinic and fitness center have been built utilizing the existing Albertsons property? Capitalism can be wasteful and an eyesore at times.

Geoff Carson, Issaquah

Property owners might be willing to let struggling artists use the spaces on an interim basis as communal work spaces if they could get tax breaks or other rewards for doing so.

Jackie Thomas, Issaquah

4. How important is it to you to reduce the importance of money in city elections?

Candidates should be allowed to spend whatever they want on their campaigns. I believe that voters can be trusted to make choices that are in their own best interest, regardless of how much candidates spend on advertising. We don’t put limits on how much companies spend on advertising trying to convince us to buy their products, so why should we do so for individuals trying to convince us to vote for them?

Mel Morgan, Issaquah

Not very. I don’t think that the amount of money spent in city elections has much impact on the outcome.

Jim Wood, Issaquah

I think it is most important to elect politicians based on what they will do for the people, not elect them based on how much money they can raise. And I don’t think it should be limited to city elections.

Geoff Carson, Issaquah

Elections cost money – get over it. What matters is the amount of each donation. Regulating the size of donations will eliminate favoritism and promote democracy.

Hank Thomas, Issaquah

More stringent limits should be established on campaign spending.

Don Burnett, Issaquah

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