To the Editor

March 27, 2012

By Contributor

Plastic bags

Other topics are more important, need city’s attention

I spend all my time thinking about plastic shopping bags, not traffic, nor parks — bonded and promised six years ago — nor the highlands, where the Microsoft campus, the movie theater and promised retail shopping aren’t.

Well, I don’t. Yet, I wonder why this City Council thinks about plastic shopping bags instead of other pressing issues where their credibility is at stake. Talk about a distraction … What next — unicorns and ponies?

Bryan Weinstein


Same sex marriage

Only homosexuals should get to vote to allow same sex marriage

Recent writer Mark Bowers claims that our legislators should not do their jobs that we pay them for, to legislate. Instead he states, “This is an issue that should have been decided — yay or nay — by those most affected, the voters.”

Since same-sex marriage will not affect him, other than him seeing an occasional wedding or couple holding hands, only homosexuals should get to vote on it since they are the most affected. I can finally agree with Mark on something. By his logic we should put it to a vote, of only homosexuals!

Michael T. Barr



Thanks to Sen. Cheryl Pflug for voting her conscience

As a gay man, I want to thank Republican State Sen. Cheryl Pflug for her courageous vote last month to pass civil marriage for same-sex couples. It took strength for her to put partisan politics aside and vote her conscience.

But now a referendum campaign is under way to repeal that same sex-marriage law. I ask that voters consider Pflug’s wisdom and uphold marriage equality at the ballot. In explaining her vote, Pflug said, “I do not feel diminished by having another human being experience the same freedom I am entitled to exercise. I would feel diminished by denying another human the ability to exercise those same rights and freedoms.”

Indeed, marriage is about more than the hundreds of legal rights that come with it. It is about fairness before our families, friends and communities that celebrate the love and commitment between two people.

For me, marriage isn’t some abstract political issue. It’s personal. It’s about my relationship with my boyfriend and the future we’re planning together.

I had the chance to meet with Pflug before the vote. I told her that I didn’t want to explain to my future niece or nephew why their mom and dad were “married,” but their uncles were just “domestic partnered.” I said I didn’t want my parents to feel the pain of having their children, whom they love the same, treated differently under the law, which is why it was so important that marriage not go to a vote.

As Americans, we believe that rights, like the right to marriage, shouldn’t come and go with the tide of public opinion. Pflug could have voted to simply place this marriage question on the ballot — but she didn’t. Pflug stepped up to her job as senator, even when it was hard, and stood up for what she believed in. She stood up for me and my boyfriend, my friends and my family. Thank you, Sen. Pflug.

Ben Crowther



Planned Parenthood protesters

People need to use the clinic, not be harassed while trying to

A letter to the protesters outside the Issaquah Planned Parenthood clinic:

After having seen these protesters outside the Issaquah Planned Parenthood many times, I have often wondered how anyone could actually believe that they were doing “God’s work” or actually saving lives. At best, this is a planned attempt to intimidate women who need help.

This clinic can provide the help and information necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies — especially for younger women who have parents like those who stand outside this clinic, displaying a sense of superiority and self-righteousness.

How many of the adults that stand outside this clinic use birth control? Where do they get their birth control? What gives them the right to prevent and/or pass judgment on young women and lower-income families who have no other means of obtaining free birth control? Would you just prefer they get pregnant and then need to face the possibility of abortion?

I have watched these so-called protesters. Some days, they stand in front of the clinic and laugh and chat. Some days, they bring their children who run around like it is playtime. My office is nearby and more than once a co-worker of mine was flashed with a poster of a baby “in utero.” What in the world is that supposed to accomplish?

If you want to exercise your right to free speech and get your message out to the most people, then why not stand out on Front Street and flash these signs to the hundreds of cars that drive by each day? Why these blatant attacks against people who can utilize all the services this clinic has to offer? You certainly must know that anyone with money and insurance just gets these services at their doctor’s office — including abortions. You are discriminating against the poorer and most helpless of your fellow sisters and brothers. I can’t believe your “God” condones such acts.

Intimidation, superiority, self-righteousness, discrimination: These are not attributes of people who are contributors to our society.

Laurie Clark



Issaquah School District bond

Vote yes to maintain investment in schools

Voters will soon receive mail-in ballots for the Issaquah School District bond election. If you’re a senior citizen like me, you might be asking yourself why you should support this bond measure. Here are a few reasons that I hope will move you to vote yes.

4You already have an enormous investment in our public schools. This bond will ensure that your investment is maintained and preserved for future generations. The bond pays for maintenance work that would otherwise come from teachers’ salaries or classroom operations.

4Strong schools mean strong property values and a high quality of life. That’s the reason the Seattle-King County Realtors, and the Issaquah, Renton and Sammamish chambers all endorsed this bond.

4Construction costs are at historic lows. We will not soon again have a better environment for economically upgrading our schools.

4The Issaquah School District is extremely well-managed. For more than 25 years, the district has held a AAA bond rating. Less than 1 percent of all districts in the United States qualify for this rating. A triple-A rating has meant millions of dollars of savings for local taxpayers.

4Thanks to good management, your property taxes will actually go down if this measure is passed. The district has timed this bond measure to coincide with the retirement of earlier bonds. It’s a win-win!

We have an unparalleled opportunity to maintain our schools, expand the district’s technical and vocational education offerings, and bring old school sites into the modern age, all for a reduced tax rate. As a senior citizen, I recognize a bargain when I see one. Please join me in voting yes for the Issaquah School District bond measure.

Barbara de Michele


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2 Responses to “To the Editor”

  1. kelly on March 29th, 2012 2:22 pm

    Ben Crowther,

    Your letter to those that want to push their morality onto others (often poor) was well done.

  2. Shupe & Mary Holmberg on April 1st, 2012 8:18 pm

    Permit Granted for Marijuana Garden in Issaquah
    As long-time residents of Issaquah and Sammamish, we were deeply saddened to hear that the piece of land off Gilman Blvd, which not so long ago was pasture for Bob Catterall’s sheep, is now going to be used by a pot dispensary for growing medical marijuana!
    Increased presence of pot dispensaries and the push for legalization of marijuana is sending a dangerous and false message to our youth that marijuana is not harmful, or addictive. If you wonder why it is not sold in pharmacies it is because marijuana is not a medicine! A pill form of the active chemical in marijuana, dronabinol (trade name – Marinot) currently is available at pharmacies and can be helpful for the nausea associated with chemotherapy of the wasting disease that appears with AIDS.
    Crude marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug, the most restrictive designation given by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that places all drugs regulated by federal law into one of five schedules. What this means is that marijuana:
    • Has a high potential for abuse
    • Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the US
    • Lacks the accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision
    • Cannot be prescribed by a doctor
    • Is not sold in a pharmacy
    • Is in the same category as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy (MDMA)
    We know that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Smoking pot has even higher concentrations of tar, carbon monoxide, and carcinogens. It is difficult to administer safe, regulated doses of medicines in smoked form. Furthermore, the harmful chemicals and carcinogens that are byproducts of smoking create entirely new health problems. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, after an extensive review of over 30 scientific papers, declared that marijuana smoke causes cancer. The respiratory difficulties associated with marijuana use preclude the inhaled route of administration as a medicine. Recent studies show the following destructive effects of marijuana use:
    • Respiratory damage
    • Cardiovascular damage – it can dramatically increase heart rate
    • Reproductive damage in men and women
    • Immunosuppression
    • Paranoia
    • Emotional disorders
    • Increased risk of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders
    • Memory loss
    • Loss of ability to concentrate
    • Increased tolerance to intoxication
    • Addiction
    • Leads to much higher use of other illegal drugs
    • Linked to more violent behavior
    We all know a family member, friend, or acquaintance whose life has been turned ‘upside down’ due to drug abuse. The toll it takes on the family, the criminal justice system and the tax payer’s pocketbook is phenomenal. I doubt that anyone will argue that widespread use of marijuana and other drugs in our schools has increased. The results speak for themselves–poor student performance, poor test scores, higher dropout rates, criminal activity and drug overdoses.
    It seems to us that that it would be infinitely better for the community if that land were to be used as a public Pea Patch to grow wholesome fruits and vegetables.
    Shupe & Mary Holmberg

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