To The Editor

August 4, 2009

By Contributor

Dog ban

Owners are creating the problem by treating park as an off-leash areaThis week, we have received e-mails critical of the no dog policy at Timberlake Park. They have indicated a willingness on the part of angry dog owners to pull out all of the stops to get the policy changed at the Issaquah Parks Department. As a next door neighbor to the park and dog lover myself, I would like to represent some of the problems we’ve experienced with dog owners using the park.

First, the problems in and around the park are not with dogs, but with owners who treat the park as an off-leash dog area. In summer, several times a week we will get a dog bounding out of the forest and onto our property followed later by a dog owner. These dogs, often wet, have come into our home and garage and chased our family members. The dogs are excited, out of their element and confused.

The situation is not only rude and disruptive, but poses potential danger, as lost animals can be unpredictable.

Additionally, there is a problem with off-leash dogs at the beach. The beach itself is narrow. On the west end of the park, on the lake, is a beaver den. Between the natural animals that live there, and families who try to picnic and swim, there is little extra space. When there are many off-leash dogs on the beach on a hot afternoon, there are inevitable conflicts. We have seen toddlers knocked to the ground, towels urinated on, food stolen from picnic tables and dogs shaking water and sand all over everyone. It has often made the park unusable for families.

Finally, Timberlake Park is not equipped to accommodate large numbers of people. The purpose of the park needs to be limited, so that the parking lot is not overloaded. The private road adjacent to the park is a one-lane road and cannot accommodate overflow parking. That is one of the reasons that King County made a dog park at Marymoor. It has lake access, it has off-leash areas and it has available parking.

Please represent both sides of the situation when articles are written in The Issaquah Press.

Scott and Carrie Hamblin


Kiwanis book drive

Thank you to all who donated enough to fill five boxes for needy children

Many, many thanks to The Issaquah Press readers who contributed to the children’s book drive. Five boxes of beautiful and gently used books were donated for use by the Summer Reading Program sponsored by the Issaquah Kiwanis Club and May Valley Alliance Church.

These books are being given to the children to take home and keep. Putting one’s name in a book is a wonderful thing for any child, but particularly for those who do not have a collection of children’s books at home.

One young reader was reluctant to take us up on the offer.

“My mom hates it when I bring books home,” she explained.

Remembering how difficult it was at times to get the books my own children borrowed back to the library, I quickly reassured her that she could keep these books. That put the offer in a whole new light and she eagerly picked out an armful to take with her.

We have another opportunity for our community to share with these eager learners. Thanks to the Issaquah School District and our voters who pass technology levies that fund a replacement cycle for classroom computers, low-income children of our community were given the opportunity to take home a surplus, but still useable school computer.

Not all families receiving a computer will be able to afford an Internet connection. If you have educational software and games that are appropriate for children pre-school through high school, please bring them to The Issaquah Press office and the Kiwanis will give them a good home!

Thanks again for your generosity.

Connie Fletcher, president-elect of Kiwanis

Issaquah School Board member

Education spending

Story shows philosophical differences between Renton, Issaquah districts

Chantelle Lusebrink’s article about the comparison of philosophy between the Issaquah and Renton school districts concerning graduation from high school is shocking.

1. The Issaquah district spends more while the Renton district makes decisions to spend less. Renton is concerned about costs; Issaquah is not. Good luck, Issaquah parents and taxpayers.

2. Issaquah students at Tiger Mountain and the district’s Special Needs Program graduate on district property while the other students graduate at Safeco Field. Renton students at Black River and Sartori graduate at off-district property, just like their counterparts at Renton’s other high schools. Issaquah has a double standard while Renton standards are uniform.

3. Issaquah families are required to pay $8 per ticket after receiving four 4 free tickets. This creates an unnecessary financial burden on large and extended families. So much for family values.

4. Jacob Kuper, Issaquah’s chief of finance and operations, indicates that Safeco Field has plenty of room. Yet, the ShoWare facility, which Renton uses, can seat up to 7,900 people at a much lower cost. ShoWare provides room for families and friends at an affordable cost.

Thank you, Renton School District, for looking out for parents and taxpayers. Issaquah needs lessons.

Tom Megow


Highlands gas station

Building gas station on top of aquifer would have Ruth Kees beside herself

Years of promised retail in the highlands don’t matter anymore because folks need a gas station? We are all supposed to look the other way for this fossil-fuel bait and switch? Gas on top of an aquifer — in a city that touts green building and environmental excellence? Poor Ruth Kees must be rolling over in her grave!

Can we now add “petroleum” to the list of stuff that seems to roll down hill from the highlands’ developer, at least as far as the city is concerned?

Bryan Weinstein


Plans mirror similar developmental hells in Oregon and New Jersey

As a visitor here off and on for the past 20 years, I was interested by your gas station survey July 22.

The building boom here has seemed to go north of Interstate 90, and I’m relieved it has not hit with intensity on the Tiger Mountain side, where my family is. There is a similarity in the development pattern I see here and one I’ve seen in Matawan, N.J., and Klamath Falls, Ore.

In each case, developers built in pristine areas I knew years before. In each case, the new residents wished to escape high-density living areas — the New Jersey area was populated by New Yorkers, and the Klamath Falls area by Californians.

Each development created its own density. The new residents in each place wanted conveniences they were used to. Gas stations, banks, shopping centers, recreation centers, etc., were added for convenience, as were fast-food takeout and markets.

Pretty soon, the new areas started to resemble the areas they were fleeing from — the New Jersey coast looked like Long Island, and Klamath Falls looked like Los Angeles or any other California megopolis.

Oregon residents had bumper stickers made: “Don’t Californicate Oregon” was one I remember very well. But it was too late. The pristine falls was polluted, and the development destroyed whatever beauty brought people there.

Gas stations are particularly bad for the environment in long-lasting ways. Fuel tanks eventually leak, no matter how careful they’re initially placed. I have had a career in aviation and some of the standards used for fuel areas make sense in the fragile environment here in Issaquah.

Fuel tanks of any kind should be underlain by material to absorb spills, and there will be spills. That should be encapsulated by a concrete container 12 inches thick or more, lined by an impermeable material that will not allow any fuel seepage into the ground.

Take a good look at FAA standards for airport facilities for a minimum standard to use. This is serious business here; we cannot afford mistakes. The ground is too permeable and our drinking water is at stake.

Joseph Schvimmer


Green living would be upended

I’m not sure who those “300-400 highlands residents” were who voted 70/30 in favor of a gas station up here at the highlands, but I sure wasn’t one of them.

My vote would have been no, resoundingly, for all the reasons so well articulated by Issaquah Council Land Use committee members. On our community blog, ( ), similar objections have been noted; one reason given by several pro-gas station bloggers has been the assumed presence of a mini-mart.

A stand-alone gas station, prior to the development of any other businesses, would target our “green” community as anything but. I particularly appreciate (and applauded, literally) the comment by City Councilman John Rittenhouse that this project would be — to put it mildly — “not forward looking..[but]…backward looking…[a] thing of the past.”

Numerous communities have fought against gas stations near their homes, some quite successfully. Some of their points were included in the council discussion and noted in this excellent article.

Others were not: the traffic congestion and flow issues; vagrants (and crime) drawn to the site; and most importantly, the presence of four stations readily and easily available within just two or three minutes of the proposed location.

One pro argument has been the convenience of a station located up here — including being able to zip down and pick up that quart of milk forgotten on the way home. Excuse me, but with a little thought, one can accomplish any number of errands on the environmentally and socially correct and efficient shopping/errand venture from the community and include a fill-up along the way. Really.

Change those numbers to 69/31. Maybe others who weren’t polled can chime in, too.

Dr. Sandy Rock

Issaquah Highlands resident

County executive

Fred Jarrett has the experience, leadership skills needed

Because I believe so strongly that Fred Jarrett has the experience, leadership skills, and personal qualities we need in the next King County executive, I am volunteering hundreds of hours to serve as his campaign manager. I know he is the best candidate for the following reasons:

Fred has a breadth and depth of public and private sector experience. He retired last May after working for 35 years at the Boeing Co., with positions in finance, manufacturing, and systems management. His practical business experience in leadership, management and coalition building is essential for the next King County executive.

Fred understands how our state, county, and local governments must work together to solve our most pressing problems. His public sector experience includes: 16 years as a city councilmember, two years as mayor; five years on the Metro Transit Committee, serving as vice chair and chair; one year as president of the Suburban Cities Association and 11 years on its board of directors; and eight years of service as a state representative and senator from the 41st District .

Fred has the leadership qualities we need in the county’s chief executive. He works hard, is a master of policy and highly knowledgeable about the most difficult issues. He is a talented collaborator and a good listener, able to bring disparate interests together. He is independent and courageous, never afraid to make hard decisions. He is a pragmatist, not an ideologue, and works in a bipartisan manner.

A strong government is important to all of us who live in King County — this government manages regional transportation, our public safety and judicial system, and our health department. This government’s policy decisions affect our economy and environment. King County faces myriad problems, including a huge budget deficit next year. We need the right person to serve as executive — Fred Jarrett is that person.

I encourage you to go to to read Fred’s Seven Point Plan to address King County’s budget mess — and then mark your ballot for Fred Jarrett.

Lesley Austin


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One Response to “To The Editor”

  1. Cheryl on August 7th, 2009 7:48 am

    This is in response to Scott and Carrie Hamblin regarding Timberlake park.
    I live down the road from Timberlake park in a house that sits yards from a park filled with seasonal campers and public activities. Every spring and summer I can count on campfire smoke coming through my doors and windows, dogs barking incessently, kids and babies crying all night long in campsites and a loud speaker that blares at all hours day and night, often times keeping my family up past midnight. I have never complained………..because I chose to live here, and I do not have a right to plant myself next to a public domain like a park……….and than cry foul, demanding everyone around me change to suit my needs. I have never witnessed any of these dog abuses that the Hamblins are citing, in all the years I have been going routinely to this park, but let me tell you what I have seen at this park.
    Ive lived in the Lake Sammamish area most of my life, I have been taking my dogs to this park for years, almost every other day………..rarely do I see people come here without dogs. Its truly a place for pets and pet owners. I have never seen a dog fight……….never seen an aggressive dog out of control. There are several very large people parks close by for families with kids that are far more appropriate for children. I would have never taken my children to Timberlake park……….its not a safe park for families or kids, and NOT because dogs go there. To the contrary, the dogs have been keeping it safe for those of us who walk our dogs there. The biggest problem this Timberlake park has had, is theft and vandalism of the cars that try and park in the parking lot. I have seen over a dozen cars broken into and their windows smashed in. Ive called the police to report these……….and this certainly hasnt taken priority over the years that Ive been going, no new ordinances have been posted to prevent thefts and vandalism. Had my dogs been in the parking lot at the time these vandals wanted to smash in a window, I can assure you it would not have happened. Timberlake park is on a bus line with a stop right out front and I have seen people of questionable character roaming through the park, to which I am most grateful to have large dogs to walk with while there. Older kids from the surrounding neighborhood use the forest trails there as target practice with guns, and I have worried about my dogs getting shot on more than one occasion. I can guaranty that the number of people related crimes in this park far outnumber the dog complaints.
    Not only has the Parks department overstepped their boundaries with Timberlake in enforcing this new ordinance……….try going out further to the Tolt river or Carnation hiking trail parks………..all closed now with what they are calling renovations that will take up to two years to fix!!! Keep in mind that we as tax payers pay the salaries of these officials in the parks department………and we are paying for the upkeep and any renovations that go on as well. Even so……….we are treated as if these parks are not ours to make any decisions about or with. We are casually told on the spur of the moment……….we arent allowed in……..or our pets are no longer allowed.
    I will continue to go to these parks……… I pay for them and there upkeep, I also pay for the salaries of the Parks department officials that are enforcing laws, without asking the taxpayers for their approval.

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