To the Editor

July 10, 2012

By Contributor

Plastic bags

Ban punishes businesses

Thank heaven for the initiative to place the plastic bag ban on the ballot. It’s sad that the liberal City Council thinks the residents are too dumb to make their own choices in such matters as plastic versus paper bags, and cardboard or pressed paper carry-out containers (which leak). The ones who will really bear the burden of this misguided law are the businesses of Issaquah.

When the City Council makes it too difficult or too annoying to do business in Issaquah, there are plenty of other cities around that will gladly take that business. I don’t believe in punishing the businesses for the council’s stupidity, but the stores and restaurants owe it to their customers to teach do-gooder politicians that you don’t make life difficult for customers and expect them to stay loyal. There’s too much competition out there that will gladly take their business.

Regarding “out-of-town” folks having a say in this: there aren’t enough people in Issaquah city limits to keep all of Issaquah’s shops and restaurants in business. It’s all the thousands of surrounding shoppers who spend their money in Issaquah that will be punished and inconvenienced by this bad law.

The council is on a roll folks. It now has two bad laws under its belt, with more sure to come. Some cities are proposing limiting toilet paper use to two squares. Is that what’s next for Issaquah?

Keep business in Issaquah. Sign the initiative to get this bag ban on the ballot, and then in November, vote to repeal it.

Bette Filley

Rural Issaquah

 

Change starts somewhere

Most of us believe that laws are necessary; when are they too far-reaching?

Violence, drunken driving and methamphetamine production are illegal. Dumping a truckload of toxic waste into Issaquah Creek is also illegal, so clearly we care about the environment. We have fines for littering, jaywalking, not wearing a seatbelt, fishing out of season, trespassing and illegal dumping. I have never seen someone outside a post office or grocery store soliciting to repeal any of those laws.

Laws start somewhere — with one town, city or state, here or abroad — setting a rule based on good information and the concern of its citizens; if it makes sense the law generally becomes widely adopted. Why should the plastic bag ban be any different?

The arguments I hear from opponents of the new plastic bag ban is that our local government is overreaching and that shoppers will shop elsewhere. “Mercy! What will they ban next?” Humans lived for thousands of years without plastic bags and we have only been addicted to them since the late 1980s.

The absence of plastic bags won’t squash local business; it won’t kill more trees. It does damage wildlife and habitat. Bags fill landfills. Mexico City, major cities in India, Rangoon (Burma), China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Sydney, cities in the U.S. and many others have adopted bans or restrictions on bags.  Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and Holland discourage their use by highly taxing plastic bags — it’s been very effective. Why?

It is easy to find pictures and stats on where the more than 500 billion plastic bags we use every year wind up. It’s not pretty. Positive change starts somewhere; as a community we ought to be the example rather than the fools that can’t see the trees in the forest. Not all laws are too far-reaching.

We just might find that for every person who drives away from Issaquah so their goods can be dropped into plastic bags there will be three new shoppers who come in from neighboring towns because we’re doing the right thing. Business leaders, you choose and create the spin.

Scott Mallard

Issaquah

 

Health care

There goes my vote for you

Today I sent this message to Attorney General Rob McKenna:

I am very happy about the Supreme Court decision re: The Affordable Care Act. My husband and I have recently had to go to the emergency room at our nearest hospital, Swedish, due to falls. Neither of us was admitted.

The cost of each visit to the emergency room was more than $5,000. As you know, the uninsured use the emergency room as their health care provider, and we all pay for that! With the Supreme Court decision, now everyone will have healthcare insurance, which will save millions.

I appreciate your answers to my inquiries in the past. Please tell me how much it cost our state to be party to the lawsuit against The Affordable Care Act. I feel that was money wasted.

Though I usually vote Democratic, I was considering voting for you, but because of this lawsuit, I cannot.

Mary C. Ziegler

Sammamish

 

Cartoons

Some are wrong, some are right

What’s wrong with the cartoon?

I agree with Steven Tochko that running the cartoon diploma/toilet paper was in poor taste for all the reasons he mentioned. Thanks for writing in! I was going to. We all make mistakes, and that is just what this was.

However, being a teacher of some 43 years, I thank the editor for her wonderful judgment running the June 27 political cartoon.

Why do we do things like pay more for inmates’ care than teachers’ work? Also, why don’t we pay attention and provide services when even in kindergarten a teacher knows a child may be headed for “trouble?”

Values that make sense are what many of us are asking for when we vote this next election. We are not looking for a quick tax break.

Pat Martin

Issaquah

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Comments

3 Responses to “To the Editor”

  1. Doug on July 11th, 2012 10:57 pm

    Considering close to 70% of everything you buy is wrapped or stored in plastic the plastic bag ban is akin to putting a band-aid on a dismemberment. If we truly wanted to limit the amount of plastic in landfills and elsewhere it would be wiser to charge a refundable deposit on every affected item instead.. That would create an incentive for people to return them for recycling..

  2. Smoley on July 12th, 2012 12:21 pm

    If the city council is so hell-bent on eliminating plastic bags in our landfills, why don’t they have a concentrated campaign to recycle these bags?

    Have a booth at Salmon Days where people can exchange twenty or thirty single-use plastic shopping bags for a reusable tote. The city would then ensure that the plastic bags collected would be recycled and not end up in a landfill or blowing into our trees and streams. This could be extended to exchange plastic water bottles for a BPA-free water bottle with an “Issaquah Cares” logo or some such.

    It’s been proven time and time again that the carrot works far better in changing personal behavior than the rod. Once a family has a collection of reusable totes and water bottles from a campaign like this, chances are pretty good they’ll end up using them – maybe not for every purchase – but at least they’ll get the idea and the ball rolling.

    I think a promotion of this sort for a year or two before passing the current bag ban ordinance would have made more sense. It shows that the city is being proactive about the reported problem and it would help reduce what has become a divisive issue in the community over this bag ban

    In the end, I think any law to ban shopping bags should probably be occurring at the county or state level so that local businesses won’t have to bear the burden when cities like Issaquah become early adopters and drive their shoppers to surrounding merchants that don’t charge for shopping bags. Until that happens the city could do a lot more in the area of education and promotion of reducing our plastic waste.

  3. Pat Lee on July 19th, 2012 12:09 am

    To Scott Mallard and other BagNuts.
    if you believe in something than live it. Don’t use plastic.
    to quote you
    “setting a rule based on good information and the concern of its citizens; if it makes sense the law generally becomes widely adopted. Why should the plastic bag ban be any different?”
    …because there is no good information. and it has not basis on concerns of it’s citizens. It’s stupid knee jerk liberal BS from feel goodies like you.

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