To the Editor

April 30, 2013

By Contributor

Citywide cleanup

Thanks to Karen Donovan, DIA

I want to send out a great thanks and congratulations to Karen Donovan of the Downtown Issaquah Association for setting up and supervising a great Citywide Cleanup day! Hats off to an unqualified success.

Connie Marsh, president

Issaquah Environmental Council

Plastic bags

I want paper to be free again

I just read your article and editorial on the plastic bag ban. You say that “people are getting used to it” and “most are OK with it.” I am NOT.

I have no problem with a ban on plastic bags, and am glad to see them gone. I have never liked them, and never used them when avoidable. When I did, I always recycled them. I have put up with stares and questions for years when I always asked for paper.

However, I highly object to paying a 5-cent fine every time I shop for something that has been free for more than 100 years. I will not submit to being taxed or fined in such a manner. It is absolutely ridiculous and serves no useful purpose.

Stores have always provided bags as a service to customers. The costs were then, as I’m sure they are now, recovered in the cost of the groceries.

Paper bags are recyclable and biodegradable. What happens to those shopping bags everyone carries when they wear out? They are multi-use, but not necessarily biodegradable. Many are made of plastics or polyester fibers.

Paper bags are also multi-use. I use them for trash bags, brown wrapping paper, and to give to the Issaquah Food Bank to use for their customers. I cannot, and will not use cloth bags as I have arthritis in my hands and carrying anything with a strap is painful. So, I now just have to throw everything back into the cart, then into my trunk and carry it into the house. Don’t just ban the bags, BAN the FINE!

L. Furlong



Marijuana law

Pot versus alcohol debate continues

It is true that I wrote a letter to The Press questioning people’s vote for pot. Pot is still against federal drug laws! I ask for someone to write The Press that expounds the benefits of their yes vote. As most thinking people know, when you cannot answer the question, change the subject.

Mr. Barr, in his 4-24-13 letter in The Press, did not answer my question; he changed the subject. He switched to alcohol.

I was born and raised in Kansas. Kansas had statewide prohibition from 1881 to 1948, longer than any other state, and continued to prohibit general on-premises liquor sales until 1987. As of April 2013, Kansas still has not ratified the 21st Amendment, which ended nationwide prohibition in 1933, i.e. not my generation, Mr. Barr.

So, Mr. Barr’s assumption is wrong! I did not vote to end prohibition, nor have I ever purchased hard liquor/or beer, but I suspect he cannot say the same thing!

Ken Sessler



Gun bans

Let’s get to the real issues

First, let’s agree whether we are pro-Second Amendment or anti, we all want to see violence reduced and criminals fully prosecuted. No more free passes for juveniles caught illegally carrying a firearm or courts working plea-bargain deals removing guns from charges for a quick conviction. We want the federal government to prosecute all felons rejected by background checks (NICS), not just 44 out of 35,000 as last year.

“Assault weapons” are fully automatic capable firearms (machine guns) and are already banned in Washington state. In states where allowed, they usually cost more than $10,000 to purchase and require an extensive federal background check to possess. On civilian guns, the term “AR” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle,” the designer. Semi-automatic guns having cosmetic appearances of a military rifle are commonly called ARs. They come in hunting calibers that have been around for 100 years and are semi-automatic rifles — meaning one trigger pull for each shot.

Civilian rifles, including ARs, account for — per the FBI — fewer murders (323) then baseball bats/knives (2,190) and fists (726), fewer than people falling out of bed (450).

Australia does not have a constitution providing the rights contained in ours and, therefore, never had the guns per capita we do. The Economist is a fine magazine, but has an agenda. The figures I look at come from the Australian government ( Between 1996 and 2010, murders did drop 26 percent, but their other crimes, including rape, increased totally 40 percent. Obviously, their lower population made the numbers themselves much lower.

We need to move beyond emotional arguments to common ground that finds solutions that meet our rule of law while addressing the real causes of violent crime.

Butch Wright



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