To the Editor
June 5, 2012
Thank you after serious accident
We’d like to say a special thank you to the young men who helped our granddaughter, Katie Walters, after her horrendous accident on Interstate 90, where her car crossed all lanes and landed upside down in Issaquah Creek. She is so lucky to be alive! It appears she will be OK.
Thank you everyone who witnessed, and called 911. She and we are so grateful.
Laurel and Vern Redecker
Walking the gauntlet every day less than a mile from schools
I was happy to see authorities are concerned about a crosswalk on Newport Way. There is another four-way stop crosswalk within a block of the police station on Sunset Way and Second Avenue. School children cross Sunset Way every school day as some motorists roll through the four-way stop sign.
I used to walk the gauntlet every Thursday on my way to the Feed the Hungry program at the fire station. In a one-month period, I was confronted three times by drivers crossing in front of me.
On one occasion a fire truck, stopped on Second Avenue Southeast, blew its horn and the car stopped in the middle of the intersection to allow me to cross Sunset Way. I now cross the street in my car. The children do not have the same option.
Denise Smith is a model community member
Among the outstanding community volunteers recognized at the Community Awards Banquet, Denise D. Smith, Community Volunteer of the Year, truly stands out as a shining example of a life dedicated to the welfare of the community. She has devoted much of her life to:
-ensuring the long-term quality of our drinking water,
-preserving an active and informed citizenry, and
-preparing for large-scale public health emergencies.
Denise is well-known for her advocacy to preserve the quality of our groundwater. She served on Issaquah’s Groundwater Advisory Committee for 10 years, was instrumental in the development of the Issaquah Creek Valley Groundwater Management Plan and was tapped to serve on the Washington Dept. of Ecology Water Resources Advisory Committee.
Denise recently completed a two-year term as president of the Seattle/King County League of Women Voters, a full-time, volunteer job leading the largest local chapter in the country. This election year, we are again made aware of the importance of the nonpartisan organization that conducts voter registration drives, voter education on ballot measures, and forums on issues critical to our communities, state and nation.
Putting to good use her training and experience as a master’s-degreed nurse, her current project is helping to lead the formation of the Issaquah Medical Reserve Corps, whose purpose is to deploy medical professionals and other skilled workers in our community to their fullest advantage during emergencies, strengthening the public health infrastructure and improving emergency preparedness.
The training curriculum Denise has developed for our own Medical Reserve Corps has been adopted as a model for other similar groups. Her idea of a vacation is attending local and national meetings, at her own expense, to learn and teach about appropriate volunteer medical responses in disaster/emergency situations.
In addition to training and teaching, she volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission, has helped staff emergency shelters in Issaquah and Seattle, and organizes flu shot clinics for the homeless.
Denise is fortunate to have a family who supports and recognizes the importance of her full-time dedication to important causes in our community. We are fortunate to have Denise working on our behalf.
Protect our wildlife with a ban
On June 4, the Issaquah City Council will be voting to ban plastic bags. This would make it the sixth city in Washington to do this, and it would be the first city on the Eastside.
This bag ban would be a great example for the rest of the Eastside to follow, and is a common-sense policy that will cut down on plastic in the environment.
Issaquah has already been a leader to reduce plastic that can harm wildlife. A few years ago, the city banned Styrofoam. Now, we can continue to reduce wasteful plastic by banning plastic bags. Too often, plastic bags can end up in Puget Sound and put our wildlife at risk.
When plastic breaks down into little plastic pieces, it accumulates toxins like PCBs. Fish then mistake plastic pieces for food and ingest all of the chemicals that plastic has on it. This is concerning because in the past two years, researchers at the University of Washington-Tacoma have found plastic pieces in every water sample they have taken from Puget Sound. This is having a big impact on our wildlife, especially since the Puget Sound chinook salmon population has the most PCBs in their bodies than any other population along the West Coast.
We don’t need these bags, especially since everyone now has their reusable shopping bags. Plastic bags cause too many problems to remain in Issaquah stores. The city council should ban these bags to protect our wildlife.
Less waste and litter
As you may be aware, Hawaii has banned plastic bags, as well as many counties in California. Washington continues to drive forward this issue, with Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellingham, Edmonds and Mukilteo in the lead. The Issaquah City Council will vote June 4 to ban plastic bags. If passed, it will become the first city on the Eastside to pass a plastic bag ban.
Single-use plastic bags are unnecessary, embedded into the cost of groceries and are damaging to Puget Sound wildlife, causing these marine animals to mistake them for food, and starve or choke to death. In April 2010, a beached gray whale was found in West Seattle with 20 plastic bags in its belly.
In order to eliminate the problem of plastic bags, Issaquah should pass the plastic bag ban. Grocery shoppers would be forced to switch to reusable canvas bags, causing a decrease in the cost of groceries, elimination of plastic bag waste, healthier marine wildlife and a decrease in overall litter.