To the Editor
June 11, 2013
Have respect for trees, city values
Tree City USA is a nice sentiment in Issaquah, but the reality is some of our absentee landlords don’t have any respect for trees or other homeowners’ property.
On May 31, 2013, neighbors called us at work to let us know a crew was trimming our prized Atlas cedar: each and every single branch that was hanging over the fence! Nobody asked, nobody commented, nobody even advised – they just cut. Now, the tree is halved, lopsided and provides our neighbors with nothing but the view of the inside of our tree. How sad.
What’s worse, this tree is now on a downward spiral. The thousands of dollars I’ve invested in selective trimming over the past 13 years to respect the neighbors’ property is lost. This must be how they do things in Seattle. In the five plus years since that duplex was built next to my home, I’ve carefully trimmed the tree to respect that neighbors’ property. This is how they treat neighbors?
If asked in advance, I would have paid for it myself, sparing me the agony and them the expense. I expect that as more stupid people with money purchase Old Towne homes for rentals, we residents will need to contend with these outsiders who have neither our values, nor the ability to communicate with other human beings.
‘Nondenominational’ event is offensive
This year, Issaquah High School’s baccalaureate, a religious ceremony that allegedly honors all seniors, was held at Eastridge Church, whose pastor spoke to the graduating students. This pastor and his followers believe that Jews, Hindus, agnostics and all other non-Christians will burn in hell forever: “We believe a final judgment will take place for those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire” (www.eastridgetoday.com/564807.ihtml).
So, the PTSA invited non-Christian students (and families) to a ceremony hosted by and featuring an individual who believes they all deserve damnation. How on earth does that honor those students? It’s astonishingly offensive.
It’s almost as bad as inviting black seniors to a “classwide” celebration at the KKK, which would be offensive even if the speaker never mentioned white supremacy. Likewise, the baccalaureate is offensive even if the pastor never mentions “punishing lake of fire.” PTSAs should never partner with people who declare that part of the community deserves torture (eternal or otherwise).
Worse, the PTSA spent almost $1,000, including paying rent to Eastridge. Thus, the PTSA devoted donations from non-Christian parents to an event (and organization) that offends many of those same parents.
Last year, Liberty High School’s baccalaureate speaker was Seattle director of Youth for Christ. Notice a pattern? These PTSAs have the gall to call these events “inter-faith.” Even if they truly were nondenominational, they’d still exclude nonreligious students.
PTSAs should stop injecting the divisiveness of religion into their events. When honoring all students, choose secular speakers and a secular venue that welcome all students, not just the Christian ones. That would show respect for the community’s diversity. If a baccalaureate is so important to religious parents, they can organize one on their own without PTSA money.
New parking lot
Costco will kill the Saturday market
An obscure little item in your newspaper May 21 noted that parking changes would occur for the Issaquah Farmers Market. I was flabbergasted to read that Costco will cut off parking for the farmers market this spring and summer.
Apparently, Costco will close the current parking lot and in exchange exhorts marketgoers to use the lot by the cinemas. Three problems here: There is barely adequate parking for the businesses surrounding this lot, it is very far away from the market and Costco refuses to let shoppers use acres of corporate parking just across the street when it is almost totally empty. This to me seems to be a crippling move for the market, which has become an institution and destination event.
How can the city permit this project during the very season the market is open? And what will be the impact of the new parking garage on Issaquah Creek, the vital lifeline for our signature salmon?