To The Editor

August 3, 2010

By Contributor

State park deaths

Incident underscores need to ban both firearms and alcohol

The tragic confrontation at Lake Sammamish State Park punctuates the argument for banning firearms in parks.

Further, although I am personally not a teetotaler, this tragedy provides a solid argument for banning alcoholic beverages in state parks as well. It seems to be the igniter that can inflame passions and lead to the kind of craziness that resulted in this catastrophe.

No sanctions, however, can be effective without enforcement. Park security should be stationed at the entrance and park security should be added to patrol the area. Violation of the firearms ban should be considered a felony mandating a heavy fine and possible incarceration. Bringing alcoholic beverages into the park should carry a heavy fine.What about the cost of additional security? Think about the cost of two lives, the cost of medical care for those wounded, the risk to innocent bystanders, the cost of the investigation after the carnage to determine who were the perpetrators and what was the cause.

Budget cuts caused elimination of lifeguards in the swimming area. So far, one person has drowned this year. Isn’t it about time that we got our priorities straight?

Raymond Extract


Highlands church

Community, religious leaders don’t want, need a new facility here

In regards to the proposed Park Pointe land swap, which would increase density in Issaquah Highlands and expand the urban growth area further east, a Port Blakely representative was quoted as saying, “There is a need for religious facilities” in the Issaquah Highlands.

I disagree, and I bet a very large percentage of highlands residents also disagree. There are already dozens of churches in Issaquah, including that brand new, 20-acre Eastridge megachurch monstrosity on Issaquah-Fall City Road, right outside the highlands. It’s got a coffee-serving cafe and an indoor playland, everything a devout Christian needs. Do we really want a megachurch (and its associated parking lots), a mosque or anything remotely similar in the highlands?

Even some of the pastors in the highlands have no interest in building a church. The pastor of Mosaic Church, Barry Odom, who turns our public elementary school into a church every Sunday, was quoted in a Christian newspaper saying: “One of the core values of the Northwest is efficient land use… our primary goal is not to purchase land and build a building that will sit empty for most of the week.”

Amen! Let’s hear it for using the precious land in our urban village wisely. Most residents are much more interested in seeing the completion of useful buildings, such as a grocery store, a movie theater, etc.

Issaquah Highlands is a unique community, in one of the least religious states in the country. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if at least one neighborhood was free of the typical waste-of-space monuments to superstition that we see on every corner?

Matthew Barry

Issaquah Highlands

Animal shelter

Closure of King County’s Crossroads facility is a loss to our area, too

The closure of the King County Animal Shelter at Crossroads is a loss to our area. I adopted three wonderful cats from that shelter. The staff and volunteers were competent, caring people; they accurately described the animals’ personalities and would honestly assess whether an animal would fit in with other animals and with children.

We want to thank them publicly for the great care and service they gave to homeless animals, and to those who wanted to find an appropriate pet.

Bob McCoy, Benny, Tom and cat Trina


Mail in ballots

It makes more sense to count votes as they’re received, not after the election

I have received my in-the-mail ballot. I have marked it, put it in the envelope, placed the stamp in the proper place and put it into the mail slot.

Now, if there was a way to stop receiving the political stuff via the same in-mail process, I would not need to fill the Waste Management recycle bin with those expensive political mailings. They can save money by taking me off of their mailing list.

Since I have voted on July 30, why do the vote-counters wait until after the so-called Election Day to start counting the mail-in votes?

It would seem cost-effective and more accurate to count and “verify” the mail-in ballots as they are received and not be under the gun to “verify” and count them in a stressful time frame.

Ken Sessler


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