To the Editor

February 21, 2012

By Contributor

Fire station bond

Fire Protection District 10 thanks voters

On behalf of the board of commissioners for King County Fire Protection District 10, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters of the fire district for supporting and successfully passing Proposition 1: Construct and Remodel Fire Stations and Acquire Firefighting and Life Saving Equipment proposal.

It was a difficult decision for the board to ask our neighbors for their approval of a revenue bond during these tough economic times. But, the need was there. The most important need was to relocate Station 78 to a more central location in May Valley to improve response times to a larger portion of the service area.

In addition, there is a need to strengthen our volunteer stations in Maple Hills, Tiger Mountain and Lake Joy to aid in accomplishing their mission and attract more volunteers. When the board considered the favorable bond market and construction climate, the need coupled nicely with opportunity.

The board of commissioners appreciates the trust you have demonstrated in approving Proposition 1 and pledges to not squander that trust and to wisely steward these funds to provide you the best value for your emergency service dollar.

Rick Gaines

Fire District 10 Commissioner

Gilman Village

Support a ‘diamond in the rough’

Gilman Village is that proverbial “diamond in the rough.” Throughout the 14 years that my family and I have resided in Issaquah, the charming destination has undergone continual honing.

When I was a server at Sweet Additions under its original owners, the village thrived. There were no vacancies. The sidewalks in and around the shops saw a lot of foot traffic. I remember fantasizing that one day I’d set up shop there. My husband’s request for a business plan was always the pin that burst my balloon. Still is.

Friends and I who continued to frequent Gilman Village were saddened by the downturn in patronage. Except for a few businesses that continued to thrive, the village seemed a ghost of its former self.

“What happened?” was uppermost in everyone’s minds. While the question went unanswered, visitors hoped that Gilman Village would one day return to its heyday. Well, perhaps that day is near.

Issaquah Coffee House is always a beehive of activity. Office types and moms with toddlers harmoniously cohabit. The occasional child’s shriek might raise an eyebrow or two, but it never puts a dent in anyone’s conversation or sabotages the deep thinker buried behind books and a laptop.

Along with its homemade soups, salads and sandwiches, The Boarding House Restaurant is known for its cozy ambiance. Surrounded by the comforting chatter of voices, I’m only too happy to settle into reading a good book while lunching. Delicious desserts are always my happy ending.

Ravens Books and Lucky You are two, relative newcomers to Gilman Village. I have stockpiled my home with wonderful finds from both. I could use a bigger house, but my husband prefers I downsize. I’m in total agreement, until I spy that “must-have” item.

Issaquah has a gem in Gilman Village. Imagine that stretch of road without its rural charm. Let’s keep “small town America” in our midst and support the small businesses in the village. We can all help to hone our “diamond in the rough,” and get it shining brilliantly once more.

Millie Vierra

Issaquah

Plastic bags

Enforce the ban, but also take other actions to save the animals

While I support the City Council’s proposed ban on plastic bags, it doesn’t give me the same warm, fuzzy feeling it’s giving our elected leaders. What bothers me environmentally is this is another example of the city promoting something with minimal benefit, while continuing to create and enact polices of significant detriment.

In December, the council approved the Rowley Development Agreement, wherein longstanding rules were changed to allow 12-story buildings to hang directly over creeks, and the 100-foot wetland buffers that were previously required by code went down to zero.

In the new Central Area Plan it gets worse. Here they’re proposing to change the zoning requirements to increase the allowable impervious surface by 250 acres — yes, acres! Right now, depending on the zone, properties can be developed to 70 percent coverage, but in places they want to bring that up to 100 percent. That means they would be increasing the allowable buildable land in the Central Area by 36 percent!

The 250 acres of land we are talking about here is not raw land, but property mostly already developed — think the shopping centers and strip malls along Gilman Boulevard and around Costco. This 250 acres does not include new roads, but does include the wetlands along the Interstate 90 “Movement Zone,” the existing trees, and the remaining buffers around creeks and wetlands — the few places left the fish and animals have to live.

Frankly, our City Councilors need to wake up. They don’t need to waste a bunch of money on more expensive consultants to find the answer either.

Talk to a sixth-grader — she will know what the animals need to live from her science project. Or find a Boy or Girl Scout — they know about respecting Mother Nature.

Environmentally, they say the point of banning plastic bags is to save the lives of the wild animals around us. That is a noble and good thought.

However, if everything else our councilors vote for wipes out the places the animals live, blocks the corridors they travel through or just outright kills them, then really, what’s the point?

C.A. Christensen

Issaquah

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