To The Editor

March 16, 2010

By Contributor

Stream teams

Volunteers help make city’s program of monitoring waterways successfulEarly Saturday morning several weeks ago, I happened upon three of our citizens collecting samples from the ditch on the eastside of Seventh Avenue Northwest between Northwest Locust Street and Gilman Boulevard.

Bill Nilsson, David Nelson and Gina Yitalo are one of a number of volunteer Stream Monitoring Teams keeping an eye on the health of our streams and ditches in Issaquah. They have been working together since 2001. They are enthusiastic and take pride in their work. They call themselves the Ditch Rats.

Issaquah has six monitoring teams. I recently learned that four of these teams have been sampling for as long or longer than the Ditch Rats. For example, Norb Zeigler has been sampling since 1998.

Issaquah is certainly fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers.

Fred Butler

Issaquah city councilman


Speeding tickets

A street with a high density of school children, traffic needs tougher rules

In response to the complaint about unfair tickets last week: Within the four-tenths of a mile along Second Avenue Southeast in Issaquah, more than 1,400 high school students, 356 elementary school students and approximately 300 staff people arrive and depart from school each weekday.

The posted speed zone times only begins to cover the vastly differing schedules including Running Start classes, early-release and late-start days, courses at other schools, lunch time trips off-campus, work schedules, sport activities, parent pick-up and drop-off, etc.

Scores of students walk, ride bikes, skip and skateboard along this four-tenths of a mile; 428 student drivers fill 158 carpool spaces and 271 individual spots while transporting well over 619 students to school each day.

From the district bus barn located in the same section of road, school buses arrive and depart throughout the day. It would be a challenge to find a two-lane street in the Issaquah area that has a higher density of children. Imagine if your neighborhood block housed 1,756 people under the age of 18! It makes perfect sense that, for their safety, everyone can take notice of the flashing speed indicator signs at the beginning of the zone and slow down to 20 mph for four-tenths of a mile.

Claudia Cote

Issaquah High School career specialist


Central Park

While installing new lights, city should look to improve parking lot, too

I read the front-page article last week in The Issaquah Press titled, “Crews will install lights in Central Park lot.” As a parent with children who are regularly using this park, lot, etc., I think it is great that the City Council has agreed to spend $63,741 to install lights, for safety purposes, in the parking lot of this $2.4 million artificial turf field. It’s a beautiful field!

This amounts to 2.66 percent of the cost of the field and will do a great job of showing all of us drivers and pedestrians where all the potholes and mud puddles are in this disaster of a parking lot that is overcongested at peak times.

I am wondering if the council has looked into the cost of paving, expanding the size of this parking lot and creating a loop or turn-around for pick up and drop off before spending money to install lights. Perhaps they could do both at the same time?

The mud from this parking lot is being spread daily onto this new, $2.4 million turf! Not to mention the mess it’s making of everyone’s cars after they drive and trudge through this mud bog of a parking lot. Some of the potholes are the size of Lake Sammamish! Leaving it this way is a bit like building a brand new mansion and deciding you can’t afford to pave the driveway!

Brian P. Sullivan

Issaquah

Church and state

Founding Fathers established a Christian nation, honored by Pledge of Allegiance

Michael Barr claims he isn’t an atheist and Darryl Hamilton claims that in order not to “offend” people of other religions, we should chuck the Pledge of Allegiance. So, in other words, it’s OK to offend Christians, just don’t offend humanists, New Agers, Islam (fill in the blank with religion of choice).

Our money is printed with “in God we trust,” our Declaration of Independence makes it clear that our “unalienable rights” are bestowed by our creator. Following the flawed logic of Barr and Hamilton, we should remove those, too, along with our unalienable rights for fear we might “offend” another religion.

The First Amendment does not separate church and state. The First Amendment prohibits a state-established religion. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance does not fall under a state established religion any more than “in God we trust” or the mention of God our creator in the Declaration of Independence.

Our founding fathers did not want a state established religion; they did, however, strongly advocate that people should conduct themselves as Christians in the halls of government. John Adams made it very clear that “our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it being wholly inadequate for any other.”

There is not one person on the face of this earth that does not have a worldview — how we perceive the world and the purpose of it, our religion. For Barr and Hamilton to attack the Pledge of Allegiance shows great intolerance for Christianity, the religion that brought about the freedom to write letters blasting our Christian heritage.

Lynn M. Stuter

Nine Mile Falls

Recent court rulings uphold use of ‘under God’ and ‘In God we trust’

Last Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “in God we trust” on U.S. currency, rejecting arguments that the phrases violate the separation of church and state.

The San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rejected two legal challenges by Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow, who said the references to God are unconstitutional and infringe on his religious beliefs.

I hope this will put to bed the endless challenges to the phrase “under God” that so offend Michael Barr, our local “under God” critic.

Bette Filley

Issaquah

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Comments

2 Responses to “To The Editor”

  1. AvaF on March 19th, 2010 10:16 am

    It was a 2-1 decision. The first time the 9th Circuit ruled on the pledge, it was 2-1 the other way. So, overall, it’s been a 3-3 tie. :-)

    Point is, there’s a very good chance the entire 9th circuit will review the 3-judge panel’s decision. Given the split decisions, it’s ridiculous to pretend that this is a slam dunk for either side.

    Meanwhile, you can read the decision for yourself at:
    http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2010/03/11/05-17257.pdf

    The dissent starts on page 3930. In it, the judge explains how the majority judges are cowards who were more interested in avoiding negative backlash than in adhering to the Constitution.

  2. DontTreadonMe on March 19th, 2010 3:18 pm

    If the “under God” phrase is so harmless, why not add “White guys rock!” too?

    Our Founding Fathers were white males, most white males are upstanding Americans – what harm could it do?

    If anyone disagreed, they could simply (and conspicuously) remain silent during that portion of the Pledge. Including all the impressionable school-age girls and racial minorities under compulsion to recite it every day in class. They might need a little extra reassurance from Uncle Sam – tacking it on is simply America being patriotic! In no way does it imply our government endorses one gender or race over another! No way!

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