To the Editor
April 5, 2011
Ruth Kees award
Maureen McCarry is ideal pick to be honored for environmental legacy
Thank you for the front page coverage of the Ruth Kees award to Maureen McCarry and also for reviewing the accomplishments of past recipients on page A5.
Maureen is a classy lady who speaks her truth and acts on her intentions. Ruth would be proud.
Maureen was instrumental in guiding Issaquah away from the proposed Southeast Bypass to more effective traffic solutions and in the process of saving Park Pointe as green space for future generations. These two issues were front and center for Ruth while she was alive, and to see them accomplished would make her tremendously happy. Congratulations to Maureen and thanks for your efforts on behalf of Issaquah’s environment!
The Ruth Kees award is a big deal, and many environmentalists throughout the city would be excited to participate … if they knew. There was no public notice to call this out ahead of time so people could arrange their schedules to attend. It was on the council agenda that came out on Friday (before the Monday meeting) — hardly a timely and effective way to let people know.
When we conceived of this award in 2003, we had intentions of it being a celebration of all of the environmental initiatives and their instigators in and around Issaquah. As with many other awards, this should be a public process wherein the nominees are notified and published, a committee of peers (past recipients? reps from environmental organizations? River & Streams Board?) reviews and recommends the winner to the mayor and City Council.
Maureen and Ruth have been adamant that public participation and comment are key to a healthy city. I hope that Mayor Ava Frisinger and council members can create a calendar and process for future years that will give Ruth’s vision and award the notice, integrity and celebration that they deserve.
Each year as the skunk cabbage — Ruth’s favorite flower — begins to bloom and its pungent essence draws our attention, I think of Ruth and the importance of paying attention to how we nurture our environment.
Downtown Issaquah trolley
We should not all be asked to pay for something everyone won’t use
I like trolleys. I also like cheese. But I would never ask the government (taxpayers) to front more than $500,000 for my like of cheese. Yet that is exactly what is happening with our Issaquah Valley Trolley.
Issaquah never had a trolley before, yet, like cheese, because of some people’s great love for it, it’s now our trolley. I don’t know how much a trolley ride would cost, but I could imagine that at $1 to traverse Front Street, we would need 500,000 people. That is about two years worth of Salmon Days visitors, assuming that each of them rode the trolley during that two-day period, which is pretty difficult to imagine.
So the payback on this is going to be several years, or more, or less if you start adding economic vitality factors and phases of the moon. But this only works if we become a trolley-centric town — not only a North and South Trolley but also East and West. We could be the Leavenworth of trolleys. Funicular to the highlands perhaps?
The thing about trolleys, and cheese, is that not everybody likes them, yet we are all being asked to pay. And yet, somehow, I moderately look forward to the eventual, whenever, arrival of the trolley. Historic downtown Issaquah is a great place and the trolley might make it better, but so would cheese.
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 there are many things that are so cool about salmon? Clearly, people in Issaquah enjoy salmon, so it makes sense that we should try to help the salmon habitat.
Did you know that a female salmon can lay up to 8,000 eggs? And did you know that the male salmon has a hooked jaw and sharp teeth so when they go back to where they were born, they use them to fight other male to get a female? Another thing about salmon is their incredible sense of smell. And they’re incredible swimmers.
We couldn’t have salmon days without salmon. There is no fun without salmon in our world. Also, when we take care of our own habitat, we take care of the habitats of other animals in the world. Salmon are fascinating to study. Finally, if they go extinct, we won’t be able to eat them anymore.
I will be so inspired by you people if you want to help salmon. Because of all the reasons to help salmon, I would be so delighted if you help Pacific Salmon, too.
Thank you for reading this so you can help save salmon, too.
Grand Ridge third-grader