To the Editor

June 12, 2012

By Contributor

Plastic bags

Ban won’t reduce useage as much as Grocery Association lets on

I’m disappointed to see that the City Council passed the plastic bag ban. The voters of Issaquah were denied a chance to decide on an issue that will affect everyone. The Northwest Grocery Association supported this ban. Why wouldn’t they? They don’t have to give away free bags anymore and get to charge 5 cents per bag. I doubt that grocery prices will go down.

So, we will have to pay 5 cents per bag or we will have to reuse bags that the grocers sell us (more money). What’s wrong with reusable bags? Assuming you keep them in your car, so you don’t forget them, you are putting food in a bag (which may or may not contain lead) that’s been harvesting bacteria and dirt from the trunk of your car. Alternatively, you can wash your reusable bags every time, using even more water and detergent — very green of us, isn’t it?

The council voted 5-2 to pass the ban. In theory, 29 percent were against the ban. Nearby cities of Bellevue, Sammamish and Redmond don’t have a bag ban. People can get their bags and those cities will love the extra sales taxes. If they work in one of those cities, it is just as easy to shop there. Banning bags in Issaquah won’t reduce plastic bag usage as much as the Grocery Association would like you to think. There’s a brand new Bellevue Walmart grocery store with cheaper prices and free bags in my future.

Nathan Ryan



Thanks for the ban support to help city remain environmentally friendly

I wanted to thank everybody for the comments around the plastic bag ordinance that was passed by the City Council on June 4. We had hundreds of emails about the ordinance in 2012, and a strong majority supported the measure.

The idea is a simple one, that plastic bags are used for the one minute from the cash register to your car, and then from the car to your home. Those bags then sit in our environment for thousands of years as they never biodegrade. We acknowledge that people use these bags as liners for trash cans, and hope that we go back to the days of our youth when paper bags served that same purpose.

The goal of this legislation is to encourage people to bring reusable totes from home when they go shopping. By making this small adjustment in our daily routine, we can help ensure that Issaquah remains beautiful for future generations.

I also wanted to give a special thanks to Council President Tola Marts. This bill would not have passed without his leadership and support in February and March.

Mark Mullet

Issaquah city councilman


Relay for Life

Cancer hits ‘home’

“Issaquah fights back against cancer” was front page news in the June 6 edition of The Issaquah Press. It was heartwarming to read about Relay for Life Chairwoman Gwen Schweitzer’s grandmother, making a miraculous recovery from cancer. This, the event’s 14th year, raised $244,000. Schweitzer remarked on “small kids … 8, 9 or 10 years old walking post diagnosis. … It’s really satisfying to see them walk that track. It’s electrifying.”

I was reminded of a fundraiser my husband and I attended June 2 for The American Cancer Society, held at The Museum of Flight. There were the usual eye-popping auction items, but the one that captured everyone’s attention was helping to send kids with cancer to Great Times – West, a summer camp. What preceded the raising of paddles, however, was the real highlight of the evening.

Leslie Krom, a 28-year-old redhead beauty, spoke eloquently of her battle with cancer, beginning at age 13, when she was diagnosed with lymphoma. What saddened me most as a mother is how she was taunted by Issaquah middle-schoolers upon returning to class. Leslie was bald and bloated, a result of the cancer and its cure.

What “saved” Leslie was the reception she received from the staffers at her first Great Times summer camp. Overcome by their applause as she stood on a stage, she shed tears of hope and joy. She did so again as she told her story to us in the audience.

In the years since, Leslie developed epileptic seizures which sidetracked her new life of being cancer-free for a decade. After managing her epilepsy with a combination of meds, Leslie was dealt another, fatal blow, when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer.

Leslie will not live past age 35.

I’m hopeful that in the 15 years since Leslie was teased for looking as she did because of cancer, that youngsters are more aware of the kindness they can extend to peers in need … in desperate need.

Millie Vierra




Bring back consideration for others

Thank you, Kathleen Merrill, for your remarks in the April 18 Press regarding the very loud birthday party at Amante restaurant during a performance by the “awesome band Creme Tangerine.”

There were several of us who felt the same way as she; some, we know, had traveled a fair distance to listen to the music. Some had reservations but were not told of the birthday party that was happening at the same time as the performance.

I don’t think any of us minded the birthday party: talking and having fun, that’s what you do at a party. And in a restaurant anyway one can’t ask the patrons to be quiet just because of the music.

This wasn’t about that — it was that no one would sit down at least so you could see the band, and when you asked them if they would mind doing so, they were very rude indeed, because I asked also.

In October when the band is playing at Amante I would like to suggest that a party could take place behind the “under 21 barrier” close to the bar. This way everyone would be happy.

All Ms. Merrill’s other comments regarding politeness were so true. It’s sad to think consideration for others is going away fast.

Sylvia Hooker

Maple Valley

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2 Responses to “To the Editor”

  1. Luther E. Franklin on June 13th, 2012 5:29 pm

    Why we SHOULD support any ban that we can get against Plastic Bags:

    Evidence that discarded plastic bags are killing large birds, fish and other animals is overwhelming. They are also a significant part of the huge surface plastic version of the Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea—in the Pacific ocean.

    All one needs to do is park and watch consumers leaving Safeway, Target, QFC, and especially Fred Meyers…….for about half an hour to See the Unbelievably large numbers of plastic bags being used. What percentage are recycled? The reality is that VERY FEW, compared to the number just dumped into garbage.
    Luther E. Franklin
    19510 SE May Valley Rd
    Issaquah, WA 98027

    L. Franklin, PhD, 1963, Florida State University, Experimental Biology, Institute for Space Biosciences (formerly FSU’s Institute of Marine Biology).

  2. bryan on June 15th, 2012 8:04 am

    there is a hypocrisy with the plastic bag ban that only people who live in issaquah and want the city to live up to it’s mission statement of protecting and enhancing it’s unique human and natural resources would understand: the city WANTS to do what is best but ends up choosing a path that is unacceptable to everyone who wants the city to do better – business, environmentalists, people who don’t or do care – everybody gets the shaft, nobody gets what is best, and instead the city gets the opportunity to say it did something great. we have seen this before too many times and this will not be the last. instead of reaching for the highest good, the city chooses the least bad – this is issaquah at its best?

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