To the Editor

March 8, 2011

By Contributor

DownTown Issaquah Association

It’s a shame someone as invaluable as Greg Spranger was forced out

It is truly disappointing to hear of the departure of Greg Spranger from the DownTown Issaquah Association and the unfortunate but understandable subsequent resignation of Michael Johnson.

Having lived in town for close to 45 years, and my wife’s family having been here since the late 1800s, I think it’s fair to say we can recollect no other individual who has served the community, in a nonelected position, better and in more ways than Greg Spranger. Greg’s abundant enthusiasm, tireless energy and dedication to help make the downtown a better place for all of us has been nothing less than exemplarily.

Greg’s lengthy resume of years of accomplishments is amazing, many projects headed up by him and many others receiving his personal dedication. The city did the right thing recognizing Greg’s contribution and inducting him into the city Hall of Fame several years back.

I feel discarding such an individual as Greg is a travesty, a decision likely made by those not so endeared to or really understanding our historic downtown and all Greg has done. Indeed, as I look at the DownTown Issaquah Association board members’ makeup I wonder exactly who some are and what exactly they have personally done for the community.

Without Greg and Michael to head things up, I wonder about the long-term future of our downtown attractions like the Art Walks, Music on the Streets, Christmas decorations and more. Who will now imagine what could be and be able to pull it off?

As a member of the DownTown Issaquah Association, I do not believe the action of the board was in the best interest of the downtown or the community as a whole.

Greg and Michael: I and my family thank you both for all you have contributed and helping to enrich our lives.

David W. Harris


A Poo-Poo Point

Overdevelopment is eroding one of Issaquah’s natural beauties

I enjoyed jogging on Tiger Mountain this summer. I met families with and without children, people in wheelchairs, seniors and tourists. Birds, chipmunks, snakes and deer joined the masses. The highlight was a black bear and her cubs. They all gave me a strong sense of coexistence.

Meanwhile, this small wilderness was being eroded by “development” projects scraping away at its sides. Disappearing wild things were joined by the racket of construction machines piercing the serenity.

“It’s all in the name of development,” neo-liberals heckle. In all fairness, the common good was represented. A water conservation project was under construction at one end. High school reconstruction at the other. But there were multiple housing projects that looked selfish and redundant. I forced myself to ignore these eyesores. Besides, I could escape them further up the mountain.

But one day, near Poo-Poo Point, the path was blocked by a gang of electrical workers spraying a putrid deadly cocktail on the vegetation. To their misfortune, plants had grown under the monstrous rows of power lines strewn blatantly through the forest.

The day before, I had enjoyed that very spot, enticed by fragrant wild flowers and sweet-sour blackberries. Suddenly, these were gone, right at the heart of my tiny paradise. Something just broke inside of me. I recalled the animals that would be harmed or killed by this work. I squeezed past the truck to complete my run and put the entire incident behind me.

But the memory still sticks. I hope future generations know more than an asphalt jungle. I hope they experience the ‘ah-ha’ and inner peace of finding wild animals in natural habitats, the taste of wild berries from the vine and running through fragrant wild flowers. Killing a bunch of mountain things may seem insignificant compared with the scale of problems we all face today. But my hope is this story might remind electric companies, lobbyists and others in “power” of the importance of coexistent policies.

We are lucky to have such local beauty. It’s a key reason others come to visit and stay. Let’s work together to keep it that way.

Peter Lutz


Note from the editor:

Emily Lee’s third-grade class at Grand Ridge Elementary School recently learned about Pacific salmon, and how “responsible citizens have an obligation to speak out to make positive change in our world.” Letters to The Press are the students’ first foray into persuasive writing.

Did you know that salmon are actually really interesting animals to study? They are! So you can, and should, help the salmon.

First of all, we share habitats with the salmon, which means that if we help the salmon, we are also helping ourselves. Also, salmon are fascinating animals to study. If they aren’t around, we would be missing a big part of our world.

The most important thing is that if we let the salmon go extinct, we won’t have the Salmon Days Festival anymore! So if you want Salmon Days, then you will need to help salmon.

Remember that you should always help the salmon. Thank you for your time.

Olivia W.

Grand Ridge third-grader

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One Response to “To the Editor”

  1. Arthur M. on March 10th, 2011 12:28 pm

    I would like to thank Olivia W. for writing such a wonderful article regarding the salmon. She should be very proud for having shared with us her concerns in such a persuasive way. If the salmon disappeared, we most certainly would “be missing a big part of our world.”

    Thank you Olivia,

    Arthur M.

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