To The Editor

July 28, 2009

By Contributor

Fill the Boot

Thank you to those who donated more than $18,000 for muscular dystrophyAs a member of the Muscular Dystrophy Association team, I would like to extend my warmest gratitude to all commuters who dropped their spare change and dollars into firefighters’ boots July 17. Because of your generosity, firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue were able to raise $18,000! Your kind donations will go toward funding MDA services and research programs, including transportation services, support groups and local clinics.

Firefighters have filled the boot with MDA for 55 years, raising close to $167 million! Without the help of our wonderful donors, Fill the Boot would not be possible.

Volunteering at a Fill the Boot intersection is always an amazing experience. This year, however, I was particularly touched by the level of generosity during such tough economic times.

Please accept this letter as recognition of the tireless efforts made by firefighters and commuters each year to help those living with muscular dystrophy. We could truly not do it without you. Thank you to everyone who supported us — whether you waved, honked or donated, we appreciate you!

Rachel Kanter

Regional Public Affairs Coordinator, MDA


Boy Scouts

Local units cannot distance themselves from national discriminatory practices

In defending Mayor Ava Frisinger’s decision to commend a boy for becoming an Eagle Scout, letter writer Adam Pinsky deplored discrimination, but nevertheless attempted to whitewash the discriminatory behavior of the Boy Scouts.

Making an analogy with political parties, Pinsky said members of an organization don’t always agree with every policy. Yes, but even the Republican Party doesn’t ban atheists and homosexuals from membership. The BSA won’t hire such individuals and won’t allow them to be members or adult volunteers. Personally disagreeing with that policy doesn’t make the policy any less discriminatory.

Pinsky said the local Scout unit is independent. No, it’s not. It has a charter from the BSA. Local leaders (commissioners) must abide by that charter; their job is to maintain all — not some — of the national standards and thus, enforce all — not some — parts of the Scout Oath (including “duty to God” and “morally straight”) and Scout Law (including “reverent toward God”).

The BSA’s Web site declares that individual chartered organizations are not allowed to alter membership policies, because “Boy Scouts believes it is important to have national uniformity of values.” Besides, since when can Scouts pick and choose which parts of the Oath and Law they want to comply with? Can they ignore the trustworthy and obedient parts, too?

Pinsky also claimed that Frisinger was applauding only the achievements of an individual, not indicating approval of the BSA. Sorry, but the former entails the latter. There are plenty of people in Issaquah who volunteer and help with the community, but they don’t get a letter of commendation from the mayor. The only reason Frisinger singled out this boy was because he became an Eagle Scout. She wouldn’t praise someone who got to the top of an organization she didn’t approve of, so Frisinger clearly approves of the discriminatory BSA. That is hypocritical, given that the city committed itself to fighting discrimination.

You can’t fight discrimination while applauding success in discriminatory groups. You also can’t fight discrimination by being silent, which is what council members do while the mayor proudly puts her official stamp of approval on bigotry during council meetings.

Matthew J. Barry

Issaquah


County executive race

Vote for Fred Jarrett’s leadership, experience and problem-solving ability

I strongly encourage voters in the greater Issaquah community to choose Fred Jarrett as the next King County executive. I’ve known and worked with Fred for many years as our representative in both the House and Senate, and give him my unreserved endorsement for the following reasons:

4 Fred is an analytical and strategic thinker who has used his skills and knowledge to solve complex problems, both in the Legislature, and as a project manager in finance, manufacturing and systems management at the Boeing Co. I believe his background prepares him best for the challenges facing the next executive of King County — another large, complex entity staffed by an organized workforce.

4 Fred knows local government, having served as mayor and city councilmember. He provided leadership on big issues like transportation, chairing the committee that created Sound Transit. Fred was honored last year by the Municipal League as Public Official of the Year for his longtime service.

4 Fred has always worked in a bipartisan fashion. His positions on important issues, like transportation, education and human services, have been consistent and strong, regardless of his party affiliation.

We’re fortunate to have someone with Fred’s leadership, experience and problem-solving ability willing to devote his life to public service. He is well prepared for the position of county executive. I urge you to vote for him in this election.

Connie Fletcher

Issaquah School Board member


Highlands gas station

Survey’s logic still ignores potential effect to precious underground aquifer

If a casual survey of 300-400 Issaquah High School students favored selling beer and condoms in vending machines on campus to make things more convenient, should we allow it? The answer is, of course, a resounding yes, if we follow the same survey methodology and “logic” Port Blakely developers want us to use to approve a gas station in the Issaquah Highlands.

Thankfully, parents have to deal with adolescent logic all the time, and know how to quickly say no to irresponsible ideas. However, I am not so sure that the “grown ups” on the City Council have the same clarity of purpose as parents do, nor have the ability to stand up to “developer logic,” even when the idea is clearly irresponsible.

I think a gas station in the highlands is just as bad an idea now as it was 15 years ago. Our precious aquifer is still under there. I was district manager for a major oil company, and I can tell you that the attendant-based safeguards that are being proposed are idiotic, unenforceable and will just never work. Also, every gas station site, regardless of the protections that are put in place, has spills that are not contained and eventually degrades into something that needs to be cleaned up.

Councilman John Traeger is spot on with his points against this gas station. Long ago when the highlands was still a forest, we were promised many times over in years of public meetings when this urban village was being planned, and that there would never be a gas station. Never!

Then again, we were promised that there would be a vast assortment of retail businesses to meet every need, a downtown Bellevuelike city core and multiple office complexes for residents to walk to work to, all creating the “synergies” the developers said would allow people to leave their cars at home, but we are still waiting.

I hope the City Council has the intestinal fortitude to hold the Issaquah Highlands developers to their original promises and reject this gas station idea. It is the responsible thing to do.

C.A. Christensen

Issaquah

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Comments

One Response to “To The Editor”

  1. Jane Barrell Yadav on August 2nd, 2009 1:55 pm

    In a country with so many resources in both training and technology, I believe we can create a system that will work for all US citizens. I don’t believe quality of care is tied to or discouraged by government funding–it happens when groups care passionately about what they are doing. We have the managment skills in this country to ensure that motivation. The sharing of best practices within a government run health care system is possible. We’ve already set the standard in terms of care–it’s consistent, equitable delivery that is failing. The United States CAN create a system that places an emphasis on prevention and well being from cradle to grave and we need to do it now.

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