To the Editor

March 19, 2013

By Contributor

Gun laws

Gun rights could use some updated thinking

I can understand how adhering to the laws as they were written hundreds of years ago can provide security and comfort for some as it relates to guns. Those same founders also wrote about slavery and how slaves were not whole people.

Years later, thoughts changed, people evolved and so did our laws. I find no answer as to why anybody of legal age, mentally challenged or not, can buy a machine that is capable, with or without modification, of killing mass numbers of people, and that this is sanctioned by our laws, or that it’s necessary to have an arsenal of military style weapons in the event our government goes berserk, as if their military-style weapons would be no match for ours.

Have we evolved? This is what I don’t understand. Call me crazy for asking.

Bryan Weinstein

Issaquah

Klahanie annexation

Issaquah would be the better financial deal

I have been reading Tom Harman’s comments about the Klahanie annexation. I just checked the county assessor’s website for a home valued at $400,000 and here’s what I found: Issaquah tax rate (2013) including Issaquah schools, 911, ferries and libraries — $11.66978 per $1,000 of assessed value = $4,667.91

Sammamish has three tax rates — the Issaquah, Snoqualmie Valley and Lake Washington school districts and including the same four subcategories as Issaquah:

Issaquah School District — $12.67856 per $1,000 of assessed value = $5,071.42

Snoqualmie Valley School District — $12.73199 per $1,000 of assessed value = $5,092.80

Lake Washington School District — $12.20011 per $1,000 of assessed value = $4,880.04

These rates do not include storm water and other local assessments, including Klahanie’s monthly fees. Looking at these numbers, it is fairly clear that Klahanie residents would pay less in Issaquah than in Sammamish.

Jim Harris

Issaquah

 

Trail reconstruction

This project’s scope, costs have been outrageous

The first two miles of the trail upgrade is nearing completion (hopefully). As an old construction person, my only comment is that this project is a disaster.

The contract is about $3 million. The actual minor grading, some gravel leveling and the paving to allow its use for street bikes is worth less than $500,000. The balance has gone into frivolous environmental costs, like wetland enhancement, elaborate retaining walls, unnecessary fencing that interferes with the wildlife movement and the complete spoiling of an old historical right of way.

Now, street bikes can cruise down this straight, ugly section in a group at speeds over 25 mph and become a hazard to the regular pedestrian. If the regular trail had been simply smoothed and paved, without the alignment changes, it would have remained a comfortable and attractive path for both pedestrians and bikes. Now, it is a minor freeway and the county has dumped about $2.5 million into it.

Bob McWhirter

Issaquah

 

Teen criminals

Youths need a chance at rehabilitation

In response to March 12th’s editorial, “Teen criminals’ privacy vs. your right to know.”

This editorial was extremely misleading about the effects of HB 1651. Firstly, this bill would leave records of all serious violent offenses, other more serious offenses (including arson) and all sex offenses entirely open to the public. Thus, contrary to the view expressed in the article, the public would absolutely know about a “neighborhood teen molesting other kids.”

This bill balances the vital goals of rehabilitation and public safety by keeping the records of more serious offenses open and limiting public access to the rest. Currently, even those who have paid their dues for minor juvenile offenses have trouble finding a job or a place to live because of their public record. This doesn’t make for healthier communities — it leads to a cycle of poverty, homelessness and crime for young people who are just starting out in life.

Washington is one of only eight states where juvenile records are open to the public and put online. This means that youths from our state are at a disadvantage. Someone from California can leave their childhood mistakes behind when they come here and apply for jobs. A youth from Washington cannot.

Finally, HB 1651 honors the principle of “open and honest courts … with full accountability” by keeping the court proceedings open to the public and making the records available for purely research and statistical purposes. Individual and aggregate information can be scrutinized to address potential bias around race, class or other factors. This ensures that the public can keep courts and our government accountable.

The juvenile justice system is founded upon the core principle of rehabilitation. That system is successful when youths reintegrate into society and become active, law-abiding and contributing members of our communities. HB 1651 will finally allow our state’s youths to do just that.

Cheryl Kleiman

Seattle

 

Plastic bags

City loses shopper to Renton

Dear Issaquah City Council,

Being in unincorporated King County with an Issaquah address, I was not able to vote for you to become City Council members, but I do have to abide by your decisions if I want to do business in Issaquah city limits.

Your plastic bag ban is absolutely ridiculous as it is forcing businesses to charge their patrons for paper bags, as you well know by now. I have always asked for paper bags when available, as they are biodegradable and made from a renewable resource, unlike the oil used in making plastic bags.

I would use those paper bags for my garbage, and many other uses, and knew that it would be better for the earth than the plastic. Now, you have forced me to purchase plastic bags to put my garbage in and those bags once in the landfill, will be there forever …

Since I am living equidistant between Issaquah and Renton, I believe Renton will now get my business and my tax dollars since they don’t have any restrictions on how merchandise is bagged, leaving it up to me, their patron, as to how I wish to carry my purchases home. I’m sorry, Issaquah businesses, that you’ll be the ones to suffer from lost revenue because of a few City Council members’ decision.

Karla Laird

Issaquah

 

Bookmark and Share

Comments

Got something to say?

Before you comment, please note:

  • These comments are moderated.
  • Comments should be relevant to the topic at hand and contribute to its discussion.
  • Personal attacks and/or excessive profanity will not be tolerated and such comments will not be approved.
  • This is not your personal chat room or forum, so please stay on topic.