To the Editor

September 21, 2010

By Contributor

Park Pointe

Editorial’s math doesn’t add up

I scarcely know where to start in addressing the errors (both historical and mathematical) in the condescending babble that was your editorial in the Aug. 24 edition. While I don’t claim to represent every opinion expressed at the meeting, I’m pretty sure we’re all subject to the same rules of math.

Density is defined as mass divided by volume. I’m all for increasing density by adding mass (number of housing units), but opposed to decreasing density by adding volume (clearing more trees). By all means, fund the Park Pointe rescue plan through the addition of housing units on the already cleared areas of the highlands. But the number of additional homes that can be built is over 900, not the 550 you claimed.

I’m glad you were encouraged to see highlands residents turning up to a meeting, and even happier to let you know you can keep your chin up as you reflect on the highlands residents who have served on the Park Board, Planning Policy Commission, Sister Cities Commission and the Urban Village Development Commission.

If the intent of the deal was to build things “near roads and utilities needed to serve them,” the new things being built would be built on the already-cleared space where the roads and utilities exist, rather than where trees grow and no roads or utilities exist today.

Let’s not forget that the enrollment predictions you express such faith in were the basis for opposing the Grand Ridge school in the first place, and then subsequently resulted in more than 900 students attending a school built for fewer than 600. Oh, and not that I personally have an issue with portables per se, rather than possibly be needed someday, there will be four classes in the nine portables this year.

Tony Cowan


City park

If you build it, make sure it has something that we can call our own

I love the idea of this new park, and since it is something of a showcase area central to downtown and Gilman Boulevard, I would like it to be special, too.

I think it should have photo opportunities built in. Like a high-arching bridge, maybe a fantasy throne or an empty chair, and the perennial pitchfork (a man to sit in a chair and a woman to hold onto the pitchfork and you have an instant Grant Wood).

Perhaps Disneyland would offer some inspiration for photo ops. A fountain to throw pennies into, or play in on a hot day, could be another. Selected spots where nature provides good photo backgrounds. We live in such a beautiful area, that it in itself is a showcase.

A park of my youth had a large drainage pipe of some length. Children loved coming out the other end, and for those who didn’t know it existed, they were disadvantaged in playing tag and hide and seek.

It has been years since we traveled through Ashland, Ore., but we always stopped there. It had such a beautiful little park! Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, is perhaps another example of a beautiful garden. And how about that Vancouver, British Columbia, gravel pit turned into a garden park? It is hard to believe that it was ever a gravel pit!

Can we have a beautiful little park that is our own destination?

Marlene McGrath


Referendum 52

Voting yes improves schools, reduces energy costs; everybody wins

As an environmentally conscious student and pre-remodeled Issaquah High School graduate, I cannot find a downside to Referendum 52, a referendum up for approval in the November general election that would create a bond from existing taxes to use toward retrofitting schools across the state for energy efficiency.

I hate to use the cliché “kill two birds with one stone,” but that’s essentially what approving R52 will do. It addresses two major problems with many of Washington’s school buildings: unhealthy learning environments caused by mold, excessive CO2, asbestos and other toxins, and exorbitant energy bills from inefficient HVAC systems, lighting, water usage, etc.

On top of all of that, this program pays for itself. Included in the bill is a mandate that savings from reduced energy bills meet or exceed expenditures in order for projects to be eligible under the bonds this referendum will create. So, this program will save money in the long term without raising any taxes, while creating an estimated 30,000 construction jobs.

In the end, everybody wins. Approving R52 would create jobs, save money, reduce carbon emissions and energy use, and eliminate unhealthy learning environments. If you want to protect both our state’s children and environment, vote yes on R52.

Scott Chilberg


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