To the Editor

July 2, 2013

By Contributor

Issaquah Library

Make room for others, please

The June 12 Press had an article by Ari Cetron, addressing Issaquah Library technology. One item addressed was the quick way to park in the library unloading zone, go in and get the books out of the book holding area and then check them out at the numerous self checkout stations. (Note: There is a food dropoff box, just inside the front door, fill it up.)

One item that needs expansion is the unloading zone that has space for about four vehicles. Some people will just park in the “center” of the zone, even when the area is empty, leaving a space and one half in front and back of them, instead of moving forward as far as possible. When someone takes space out of the middle, it makes it more difficult for others to park there. Please, folks, move up to the forward parking spot, i.e. same as the “move to the forward pump” signs at the Costco gas station.

Come on, folks, think about others in lieu of saving 13 extra steps going and coming from the library. The extra exercise will do you good.

Ken Sessler



IHS baccalaureate

This was not a religious event

Upon reading Mr. Barry’s comments regarding the IHS baccalaureate, we were appalled by the anger this man has for the pastor of Eastridge Church and the PTSA’s decision to use this facility.

We are not members of this church nor do we personally know the pastor, but we have heard from others who are members, of how this church supports the Issaquah area teens, members or not. What Mr. Barry quotes from the church website, is taken totally out of context, and was never included in the baccalaureate service.

From what we hear, the service was not “religious” but supportive of our graduates, encouraging them in their future pursuits.

We as a community should be encouraging groups who care about the youths in our area. Check out the different websites of local churches to see how others are being helped and given hope.

Sid and Peg VanderWeide



Event taught many lessons about life

Having just attended a very inspirational IHS Baccalaureate last night (June 11), I was very surprised by the editorial I read in today’s Issaquah Press by a Mr. M. Barry. I certainly wonder if Mr. Barry even attended the event.

The keynote speakers were 2009 graduates of IHS who had started their own business and gave a very motivational speech on how each person should follow their dreams to make things happen. Also, they emphasized that you will make mistakes along the way but to use those mistakes to learn to overcome. To my way of thinking, that is great advice.

The program also included many talented performances from graduating seniors who were exceptional. The youth pastor made some concluding remarks about being true to yourselves, and that integrity is what will define you in life. Overall, the setting and the program were tremendous, and I commend the PTSA in arranging the very special evening for my graduate and for my wife and me.

As for Mr. Barry, he also contributed to the education aspect of the night by pointing out that throughout life you are going to find narrow-minded people who cannot differentiate between a church that normally preaches to its own congregation, and the building that has great seating, acoustic, and audio/visual equipment. I, for one, enjoyed not having to sit in the hard, impersonal seats of the gym. My other daughter graduates in two years and I hope they have a wonderful event like this in June 2015.

Mike Raab



Klahanie Annexation

Let’s look to the future

Your recent editorial brings out many of the facts I have been saying for years. Due to geography, delivery of services and demographics, Sammamish appears to be in a better position to provide urban service to Klahanie. Those who favor Issaquah say it is the ZIP code and the Growth Management Act that dictates that Issaquah is the only annexation option.

Many of us who live in Klahanie just want the city that can provide the best service to our community. It is childish at best to defeat Issaquah annexation to have the opportunity to look at Sammamish. We need to get both Sammamish and Issaquah to work together and expand the Nesbit Annexation Study to include Sammamish. I have been critical in my past letters that a Sammamish representative was not added to the annexation task force.

It is important that Issaquah not rush the annexation but step back and work with Sammamish to explore the impacts to both cities of the possibility of a Sammamish annexation, which may be more cost effective for Issaquah. We need to know the facts, impacts and benefits for both cities and Klahanie residents.

It is not in the best interest of either city for Klahanie voters to defeat Issaquah annexation to have the opportunity to take a close look at Sammamish. We would like both Issaquah and Sammamish to work together and explore the possibilities before proceeding with any annexation vote.

Tom Harman



Drug take-back

Program will reduce access to dangerous drugs

The Issaquah Community Network and Drug Free Community Coalition commend the King County Board of Health for unanimously voting to institute a countywide medicine take-back program. County residents will soon have much increased access to safe and secure disposal sites for prescription drugs. We especially commend our local Board of Health members, Mayor Ava Frisinger and King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, for their support.

Like other communities within King County, the greater Issaquah area has experienced a significant rise in prescription drug overdoses and deaths. In the 2012 Healthy Youth Survey, 5 percent of Issaquah School District seniors reported using pain killers to “get high” in the past 30 days. Local police officials and counseling agencies report more arrests and referrals for inappropriate prescription drug use, trafficking and abuse than previous years. Students anecdotally report that it is “very easy” to obtain prescription drugs from parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets. And, unfortunately, a number of prescription drug addicts turn to heroin as a cheaper and more accessible alternative.

One method of reducing access to dangerous and sometimes deadly prescription drugs is to raise public awareness and provide convenient access to safe and secure drop-off locations. We’re proud that King County has become the first county in Washington state to adopt this important tool in combatting an epidemic of prescription drug and heroin-related overdoses and deaths. We look forward to working with the community to raise awareness when the program is implemented.

Judy Brewer and Vicki Hoffman

Chairwomen, Issaquah Community Network

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2 Responses to “To the Editor”

  1. Matthew Barry on July 3rd, 2013 12:01 pm

    The VanderWeides wrote:
    —– “. . . we were appalled by the anger this man has for the pastor of Eastridge Church and the PTSA’s decision to use this facility.”

    Really? You’re appalled that someone is angry that the PTSA invites non-Christian students to an event with a speaker and at an institution that believes they deserve to burn in hell? I’m appalled that you’re appalled.

    —– “. . . this church supports the Issaquah area teens . . .”

    That’s nice. *AND* it thinks non-Christians deserve to burn in hell forever. It’s the latter that makes Eastridge inappropriate for a class-wide event, not the former.

    —– “What Mr. Barry quotes from the church website, is taken totally out of context . . .”

    I quoted it word for word: “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.” It’s #15 at (By the way, notice that Eastridge uses the root word “punish” twice in the span of four words to make sure you don’t miss the whole torture aspect. What awesome loving folks they must be!!)

    —– “From what we hear, the service was not “religious” . . .”

    A baccalaureate is — BY DEFINITION — a religious event. And it was at a church. And a pastor recited a prayer. And many of the student performances were religious. So it’s simply disingenuous to state that it wasn’t religious.

  2. Matthew Barry on July 3rd, 2013 12:07 pm

    MIke Raab wrote:
    —–“The youth pastor made some concluding remarks about being true to yourselves, and that integrity is what will define you in life.”

    The pastor also delivered a prayer. Why didn’t you mention that, Mr. Raab? Trying to downplay the religious aspects of the event? Would mentioning that fact have detracted from your claim that there was no religious connection between the church and the event?

    —– “. . . people who cannot differentiate between a church that normally preaches to its own congregation, and the building that has great seating, acoustic, and audio/visual equipment.”

    First: As noted, an Eastridge pastor delivered a prayer during the event. Thus, your attempt to paint Eastridge’s contribution and influence as just the shell of its building is blatantly misleading.

    Second: If the PTSA has a class-wide event at the local KKK hall, African-Americans shouldn’t complain and Mr. Raab certainly wouldn’t complain. After all, it’s just a building with great acoustics and comfy chairs. Right, Mr. Raab? And if one of the speakers is a KKK representative who talks about “being true to yourselves” — very inspiring! — and never says a single word about white supremacy, we should all just ignore the fact that the KKK’s website states that blacks deserve to be tortured. Right, Mr. Raab?

    In stark contrast with Mr. Raab, I think the better and more pro-community position is to protest — not excuse — offensive actions. Like inviting non-Christian students and families to an institution and with a speaker who believes they should fry in a “punishing lake of fire.”

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