To The Editor

July 14, 2009

By Contributor

Food bank lunch

Join us in feeding the hungry — a fulfilling, joyful experienceThank you for the story a few weeks ago about the lunch we provide for folks outside the Issaquah Food Bank on Thursdays. We’re glad you shared it with readers.

Our hope, though, isn’t that people know what we’re doing for its own sake, but that some other groups of friends and neighbors might join in the joy of serving a lunch on other days of the week.

We cannot fully express the gratitude and sense of community we experience each week in our hour with those who come for lunch. We’ve gotten to know most folks by name, and now can greet each other happily as we see each other around town. It is no longer “us” who have food and “them” who don’t, but simply folks sharing some abundance with one another.

We cannot encourage strongly enough folks to form their own groups to offer a lunch on one of the other days of the week. It’s mostly a matter of tossing something extra into the cart while at the store, spending a few minutes making sandwiches or a pot of chili, and a few folks bringing it down and sharing it around.

The reward is so much greater than the cost. If you want to see for yourself, just come down any Thursday between 11.45 a.m. and 1 p.m. and join in the fun!

Wes Howard-Brook

Issaquah


Freedom of religion

There are many facets and opinions regarding religion

I feel compelled to respond to the letter by Becky Wilder in the July 1 issue.

My first reaction to Wilder’s disjointed rant was disappointment that it was published at all. The Press should apply at least a semblance of its dedication to accuracy to its editorial page.

My thought immediately following was resentment of the apparent misappropriation of the term “Christian” to describe evangelistic (read “megachurch”) groups to the exclusion of the multitude of religions devoted primarily to worship of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah of the New Testament (and sharing the Old Testament with Judaism).

Wilder needs to be reminded that most adverse reaction to the so-called “Christian” conservative evangelist movement stems from the intolerance displayed on its behalf by groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church, sponsor of www.godhatesfags.com.

The abominations of such self-righteous splinter groups could be discussed ad nauseum. Instead, we need to bear in mind that most residents of the U.S. are religious, kind, tolerant and hesitant to condemn others.

Reality is in fact in direct opposition to Wilder’s assessment.

Steve Scott

Issaquah


Boy Scouts

Youth organization discriminates, so city shouldn’t commend it

In a recent City Council meeting, Mayor Ava Frisinger announced that she had sent a letter of commendation to a boy for reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. It is offensive that our city government is officially recognizing the activities of a discriminatory group, such as the Boy Scouts of America.

The BSA prohibits homosexuals and atheists (both boys and parent volunteers) from participating.

For example, a few years ago, the BSA expelled an Eagle Scout in Port Orchard, because he was an atheist. Thus, many Issaquah residents “need not apply” for BSA membership and can never receive a letter of commendation from the mayor for being an Eagle Scout.

In 2002, the City Council passed a resolution that proclaimed Issaquah a hate-free zone. The resolution stated, “We unequivocally condemn all discrimination.” And yet, city officials applaud when a resident reaches the highest rank of a discriminatory group?

Yes, the BSA is a private group and is therefore legally allowed to discriminate. But that doesn’t mean our government officials should praise success in a group that ostracizes certain Issaquah residents.

And someone will be tempted to respond that failing to acknowledge such accomplishments will punish youth. However, many entities — including dozens of United Way chapters, many corporations, the state of California and cities such as Chicago — have stopped supporting the BSA. It’s not because they don’t like kids. It’s because they don’t want to aid and abet discrimination.

The city of Issaquah should abide by its own anti-discrimination resolution and condemn discrimination, not commend it.

Matthew J. Barry

Issaquah


Issaquah Alps

Thank you to volunteers who improved hiking the trails on Squak Mountain

I recently hiked up Squak Mountain to break in a new pair of boots, and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway has done some major trail renovations. No more squishy mud holes, no more creeks running down the trail, fewer ankle twisting rocks and, best of all, better signage — no more getting lost.

Many thanks to the greenway and its volunteers for their great work. And while I’m at it, thanks to all who maintain trails in our area, including the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, the Washington Trails Association, and especially to the individuals who donate their time and money.

I’ve always thought of Squak Mountain as one of Issaquah’s crown jewels. The improved trails have added to her luster, and now she truly shines.

Go take a hike!

Sandy Nygaard

Issaquah

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