To The Editor

December 29, 2009

By Contributor

Klahanie Park

Attempted annexation by city of Sammamish was only a land grab

The attempt by the city of Sammamish to annex Klahanie Park is very much a land-grabbing effort on their part at the expense of the residents of the community that immediately surrounds the park. Some items of concern are:

– Klahanie Park is a neighborhood park, conceived and built as an “open space” and bordered by homes and living space. A sports complex park as the one Sammamish intends to develop should never be placed in such a location because it is extremely disruptive to the local community —noise, light pollution, traffic, etc.

– “Upgrading” the current park to one with artificial turf, night lighting, locked fences, bleachers, controlled access, fees, a through road, etc., is no upgrade at all. It is a disservice to the local community.

– The 64-acre park (mostly pristine wetland containing the 10,000-year-old Queens Bog) is not located within Sammamish. It is unprecedented within King County for a park area to be plucked out and annexed in this way.

-Klahanie Park was built by Klahanie’s developer (including grass field, restrooms, parking and trails) and given to King County in good faith.

– Sammamish planned to build a similar “sports” facility at Beaver Lake Park, but residents rejected it. They are now attempting to “export” the problem to Klahanie.

– Sammamish’s suggestion that a Parks Commission position be made available to a nonresident has a hollow sound. This would provide no assurance that we would be heard or fairly represented.

– It would be appropriate for the park to be annexed together with the community that surrounds it, to the city we ultimately become a part of (hopefully Issaquah), where we would have meaningful representation.

– There are clearly other means to finance Klahanie Park operations until such time. King County is shuttering no parks in 2010 and Sammamish is not coming to the rescue!

We are pleased to continue sharing this open space with all who come to the park, but the 10,000 King County residents of Klahanie will be ill-served by Sammamish’s plans to build and control a one-dimensional sports complex within our community.

David Crowther


Pledge of Allegiance

If it bothers you, stay away from school board meetings or stay silent

Anyone that does not want to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, can stay away from school board meetings or do like the students can choose to do, remain silent.

Hopefully, the school board members will recall what American history reveals and keep the pledge as is, i.e. the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths…endowed by their Creator…”

Folks, since this person objects to the words “under God” in the pledge, I wonder what he uses for money, since it has “In God We Trust” on it?

We have elections whereby those with the majority of votes are elected. The school board members gained their positions by getting the most votes, not by just a single voter or the minority number of votes.

Some believe that the removal of God from the school grounds has created a number of incidents that have resulted with innocent children being killed and injured.

This time of the year shows that a majority of people honor the Christ in Christmas. Those who do not seem to want to enforce their belief onto the mass majority of others.

Ken Sessler


Founding documents make no mention requiring a pledge

I agree with Matthew Barry that the Pledge of Allegiance is inappropriate to open a school board meeting. I would further opine that the pledge is inappropriate for most settings.

Upon commissioning as a U.S. Navy officer, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, which enumerates the areas in which the government has no say in the affairs of individuals. The pledge violates these principles, for instance, the First and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution.

Young children performing the pledge probably have little to no understanding of the principles, or they would not torment those who choose not to participate. I would guess that many adults also lack understanding, or they would see the pledge as superfluous.

For some reason, the Constitution of the United States does not contain the words “pledge,” “flag,” “allegiance” or “God.” It does contain an oath to defend the Constitution.

Perhaps the board, in its patriotic fervor, might render a reading of a different amendment from the Bill of Rights prior to each meeting; or, perhaps, read a small portion of Thom Paine. The former would inform; the latter, inspire.

Bob McCoy


What will be targeted next if ban on the pledge is successful?

Matthew Barry recently requested that the Pledge of Allegiance be removed from Issaquah School Board meetings. After that, it will eventually be removed from what? Classrooms?

Let’s remember that our schools serve and educate all of our citizens and residents from other countries — at no charge; they are paid for by American taxpayers’ dollars. Is it too much to ask that students and board members affirm their allegiance to the system that supports them?

No one is asked to give allegiance to any particular religion; that would certainly deny the principles America is built on. If atheists find it offensive to acknowledge God in any form, they should petition to have the Pledge of Allegiance changed, rather than removed.

It is fitting, as a way of giving thanks, to keep it, and I hope the school board will not give in to this kind of pressure.

Barbara Extract


Time your arrival to meetings to avoid the pledge if it bothers you so much

This is in response to the article entitled, “Resident asks school board to remove Pledge of Allegiance from meetings.”

For the record, I am firmly in the “75 percent” of Americans who have no problem publicly proclaiming allegiance to both my God and country. Since the Pledge of Allegiance is always recited at the beginning of meetings, might I politely and respectfully suggest that anyone not wishing to participate in that portion of the meeting simply arrive a few minutes late and thereby miss having to recite or even hear the pledge?

Carol Stair

Maple Hills/Maywood Middle School parent

School board needs a no new taxes pledge

Just in time for the holidays — a story about both the Pledge of Allegiance and God!

I am amused for two minutes while I read a letter supporting more school levies — which by now we all know are just taxes.

Perhaps the school board can do away with the pledge to be resourceful — and then find better ways of funding operations, instead of taxes forever. Our schools have a money problem, and citizens and elected officials need to step up to the plate and solve it — not with half-brained, levy-turned-tax ideas, but with real funding. That should be our real pledge of allegiance for our schools.

Bryan Weinstein


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