To the Editor

May 8, 2012

By Contributor

Absentee legislators

Doing the people’s business means not always being present to vote

In the May 2 article regarding “Local legislators top list…” the statistics stated give only half of the story.

The big fact is the 5th Legislative District has three of the top legislators in Olympia. Sen. Cheryl Pflug, Rep. Jay Rodne and Rep. Glenn Anderson provide much more than warming their seats in chambers. That means they are off the floor, holding committee hearings, drafting laws, lobbying others for needed support, meeting with constituents and state officials. All of this demands a great amount of time and may conflict with voting for three of the hardest-working and best-respected public servants in the state Legislature.

Additional Saturday and special sessions can also be convened for voting on literally dozens of noncontroversial bills at once. So, if a legislator isn’t in his or her seat for a couple of hours, he or she can miss a dozen votes at once. Even super legislators can’t be in two places at the same time.

I can honestly say Sen. Pflug, Rep. Rodne and Rep. Anderson are there when the chips are on the table and their vote is needed. The records supplied by WashingtonVotes.org are admittedly only partially representative of our elected legislator’s role in government. Next time, let’s keep the headlines in context to the situation.

Terry J. LaBrue

Issaquah

Issaquah School District bond

Taxpayers need to keep their money for necessities instead

When my ballot for the school election came, my snap judgment was to vote for the schools. Then I remembered that America owes China trillions of dollars, that our Social Security and Medicare reserves are about gone, that illegal aliens are getting handouts from our almost-bankrupt government and that runaway inflation will wipe out most of the value that is left in our currency.

Taxpayers are going to need what money they have for necessities! Schools are going to need funds for the three Rs (in case the Rs have lost their meaning: readin’, ritin’ and ’rithmetic); teachers salaries; basic maintenance; and much more.

Economists have seen this coming for a long time. See “The Coming Economic Earthquake,” by Larry Burkett, and study what is going on in Congress. And volunteer at school!

Brainstorm: If you have a lot of money you don’t want to lose to inflation and taxes, maybe you could help sports programs by helping upgrade our auditoriums or whatever is needed most.

Eyrlis McClish

Issaquah

 

Issue passed with a lot of help from supporters in the community

On behalf of the Issaquah School Board, I would like to extend our thanks to the community for its overwhelming support of the construction and maintenance bond. With an approval rating of over 70 percent, the community has made a clear statement that we value education. We are amazed and humbled by this outpouring of community support.

We also wish to credit the efforts of our district staff and the bond feasibility committee for their efforts in forming a bond package that rebuilds our three oldest schools, expands capacity for four others, and funds critical maintenance and repairs in an bidding environment where we get the biggest bang for our buck.

Finally, we want to thank everyone that worked to pass this bond, including our teachers, 24 PTAs, three high school booster clubs, three chambers of commerce and most especially the leadership of the Volunteers for Issaquah Schools. Literally hundreds of community volunteers dedicated their time in the past year to passing this bond.

As many neighboring districts have discovered, passing a school bond measure in this economic climate can be challenging. Since last week, many districts throughout the state have been contacting us, wanting to know our “secret.” Well, our secret is simple: It’s a community commitment to education that drives parents and community leaders to speak out for investing in the success of our children and grandchildren, and to take extraordinary measures to ensure we provide them with new opportunities for success. We are truly blessed. Thank you.

Chad Magendanz, president

Issaquah School Board

 

Land use

Planned medicinal marijuana plot would be better used for a pea patch

As longtime residents and business owners in Issaquah, we were deeply saddened to hear that the piece of land off Gilman Boulevard, 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, as we did, you wonder why marijuana is not sold in pharmacies, it is because marijuana is not a medicine. A pill form of the active chemical in marijuana is available at pharmacies and can be helpful for the nausea associated with chemotherapy, or 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. What this means is that marijuana:

  • Has a high potential for abuse
  • Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States
  • 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

We know that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Smoking pot has even higher concentrations of tar, carbon monoxide and carcinogens. The respiratory difficulties associated with marijuana use preclude the inhaled route of administration as a medicine. Recent studies show marijuana to be both harmful and addictive.

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 taxpayer’s pocketbook — is phenomenal.

It seems to us that that it would be infinitely better for the community if that land where sheep once grazed were to be used as a public pea patch to grow wholesome fruits and vegetables, rather than marijuana.

Shupe and Mary Holmberg

Issaquah

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Comments

One Response to “To the Editor”

  1. Don Elmer on May 17th, 2012 2:25 pm

    In the May 9th issue of the Issaquah Press on the Opinion page was an editorial cartoon labeled Freedom of Screech that I take exception to. It’s fine to call out a small contingent of irresponsible demonstrators at the May Day rallies in Seattle, but to paint the whole May Day event with the same brush is in itself unfair and irresponsible. The Seattle Times was even worse with it’s coverage of the events only highlighting the crazies and not even trying to cover the event. We never got a sense of what the issues were behind the event. I do appreciate The Issaquah Presses article in the same issue of May 9 on the Food Stamp Challenge. That was much more balanced (since it occurred in the same issue) in my view than what The Seattle Times did the day after the event. Keep up the good work

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