To the Editor

January 24, 2012

By Contributor

Winter weather

Newspaper provides information readers needed in the emergency

Just a grateful thank you for the real-time news updates on your website regarding the opening of emergency shelters this evening in downtown Issaquah and the plateau.

I am a ham radio operator who is rendering communication assistance to an elderly lady, with a medical condition, living in downtown Issaquah. She is being helped by a neighbor, but they have been without power all day (and will continue to be all night). Fortunately, I am located out of the downtown area and didn’t lose my power, so I have been able to monitor your website for your news updates.

The publishing of the emergency shelter openings was a very critical piece of information I was able to relay to the person assisting the elderly lady, as well as to other Seattle area emergency networks throughout the evening.

Everyone was relieved and thankful to know there were local area shelters open in Issaquah and on the plateau.

I can’t thank you enough for making this information available after hours in such a timely manner so it could be passed on to those without power and no access to the Web.

Kevin Millar

We are being held hostage by Puget Sound Energy

My power has been out since the 17th and you may think that this would be my complaint, but you would be wrong.

My issue is Puget Sound Energy’s reluctance to move a downed electrical pole from blocking our road. I live on Tiger Mountain and the public road is the only access my family and neighbors have to the main road below.

While it is possible to drive over wires (something they say you shouldn’t) and into the opposite lane to squeeze by it, it is not acceptable for others. As we try to clean and rebuild our neighborhood back from the storm, services like King County road maintenance, school buses, garbage trucks, tow trucks and even emergency vehicles will not be able to pass.

I don’t blame them. I do blame PSE, who I have pleaded with to simply move the pole off the road. The pole has sat precariously blocking the road since the 18th and since PSE isn’t listening maybe my local legislators will.

Public roads cannot be left blocked with only a single company in control; we need a better strategy then this.

James C. Papp


Trees are the problem in power outages

I sat by my fireplace burning wood for 33 hours and listening to my battery-powered radio. People that called in to relate their storm experiences seemed to address trees as being 99 percent of the problem for the power loss.

One man was killed by a falling tree in Issaquah. It should be noted that Issaquah city rules tend to discourage tree removal from one’s own property. If that tree had been removed, one life would have been saved. But some believe that saving trees is more important.

In fact, if all trees within 100 feet of power lines were trimmed down enough to miss the power lines if they fall over or were completely removed, three-quarters of a million people would not have been sitting in the dark.

Folks, there are plenty of trees away from the power lines and homes, to allow the tree huggers to do their thing.

Ken Sessler



Column should have included more reporting, less opinion

The publishing of David Hayes’ “Off the Press” article was very disappointing to me and clearly demonstrated the difference between ranting and reporting. Mr. Hayes appears to be very upset about the principle regarding the separation of church and state in the United States. Reporting would have required Mr. Hayes to research the holdings of the courts or perhaps examine the impact the separation.

Mr. Hayes is very angry that public schools would not allow the singing of beautiful songs that celebrate the birth of Jesus, the “Newborn King.” He does not consider whether the public schools should equally allow the singing of other songs celebrating other religions.

I am not sure if he is just protective of his own personal religious beliefs or if he thinks that the public schools should support the religions of all its students or perhaps all of the citizens of the United States. Better yet, maybe public schools should sing songs celebrating the more than 9,000 religions on earth. Now that would be one long “holiday concert” and Mr. Hayes, maybe you should bring an extra battery for your recorder.

Mr. Hayes is free to sing his favorite songs in the shower, in his church, on the street and in a park. Mr. Hayes can construct a nativity scene in his yard, in front of his church and wherever else a private entity wants to allow three wise men.

A thoughtful consideration of the issue would have been worth reading. What Mr. Hayes wrote, unfortunately, was just a thoughtless rant and added nothing to the public discourse.

William Roberts


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