To the Editor
November 5, 2013
All in for Kids
Help the Issaquah Schools Foundation help students
For more than 25 years, the Issaquah Schools Foundation has strengthened the educational offerings and support provided to students in our community. Where state funding has been less than adequate, the Issaquah Schools Foundation has stepped up to fill gaps in technology, music and arts education or to provide tutoring through the VOICE program. They’ve provided specialties, including forensic science classes and robotics club, which could not be offered without ISF funding. They’ve provided school supplies and materials to children whose families can’t afford to do so. Every school and every student in the Issaquah School District has benefited.
The foundation is currently running the All In for Kids campaign, a quick and painless way to participate in this great organization.
Next week, a student volunteer may call you and ask for a gift of any size to help the foundation meet its next strategic goal. Please answer the call. The Issaquah School District remains one of the most under-funded districts in the state of Washington, yet continuously lands at the top of state achievement rankings. This is testament to our community’s dedication to educational excellence. One remarkable way we express that dedication is through the Issaquah Schools Foundation.
When the phone rings next week, join the “IN” crowd, answer the call, and donate to the Issaquah Schools Foundation All In For Kids phonathon! It will only take a minute or two, and your gift will make a difference for a lifetime.
Ava Frisinger, Mayor
City of Issaquah
Issaquah made an impressive showing in annual fundraiser
Memory plays an important part in the life cycle of salmons and also in the life cycle of all of us. It seems fitting that the first Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held on the weekend following the world renowned 2013 Salmon Days.
This was the first time the Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held on the eastside of Lake Washington and Issaquah was an excellent selection. The weather cooperated and set a pleasing background for this worthy undertaking. The participants in the Walk were both encouraged and supported by friends, family and residents of the local area. The staff of the Alzheimer’s Association, Western and Central Washington State Chapter put a lot of effort into the overwhelming success of the walk along with the sponsors, the in-kind sponsors and the numerous volunteers. It was an impressive demonstration of a village coming together to support and prompt a truly import cause. In closing, the fundraising goal was reached and surpassed, which in turn will contribute towards the overall mission to eliminate Alzheimer diseases.
Additional computer traffic modeling might be needed
I didn’t see much discussion about impact on traffic in the piece about the Gilman Square residential development. Say what you will about pedestrian footpaths, 340 residences will probably mean close to 500 vehicles to and from the development. This has to have some significant impact on exits 15 and 17 from Interstate 90 as well as on both Gilman Boulevard and Newport Way. Is computer modeling of this impact in the works?
What will developer do to Issaquah’s character?
I hope everyone who saw the screaming headline about the Gilman Square plan in last week’s issue of The Press is as concerned as I am.
In the article, senior planner Jerry Lind said of the development location, “It does get wet out there when it rains.” (He is a master of understatement.) Then he added, “They are developing the building with that in mind.” Does that mean there will be a dock where residents can tie their rowboats and other emergency watercraft?
Oh wait, I forgot about fill. Of course, the low area will be filled so that the water is deflected back on existing businesses. The dock can be moved to Safeway next door. Perhaps a foot ferry could be used to transport folks across Gilman Boulevard.
Then there are the 340 residences that could house up to 650 people who would be driving 400-500 vehicles. Imagine that. By comparison, late afternoon traffic on Front Street and Issaquah/Hobart Road would look like the traffic flow at 6 a.m. on a Sunday.
The developers envisioned their plan having a pedestrian character with pathways calling it a “Green Necklace.” I think what they are really seeing is one of those cool little projects we all did in elementary school — you know, the ones with the gum wrappers all folded origami-style and linked together to make a chain, only their “Green Necklace” is around their own necks and is made of dollars, lots of them.
As our welcome sign says, “Issaquah is a friendly place where people care.” It frightens me to hear that the Development Services Department has “overhauled the permitting process in an interest of making it more streamlined and developer friendly.” Do we have to be that friendly to developers and risk compromising the peace and beauty that we all enjoy here?
Microsoft land sale
New developer needs to consider storm water runoff
The Issaquah Highlands property that was to become the Microsoft campus has been sold to a development interest. Everyone would like to find the highest and best use for the property, but I’m betting there will be one use that we won’t find on the list of possibilities.
Residential will probably be high, if not on top of the list. Never mind that the residential density is already greater than was ever envisioned when Issaquah Highlands was still in the planning stage. Commercial will be right up there on the list as well, and the combination will all but replace the original design goals for an office utilization.
I’m guessing the new usage proposals will generate more storm water runoff than the office usage and dealing with storm water is still a big failing of the Issaquah Highlands development. I have written recently about how the city and Port Blakely want to put the storm water runoff straight into our drinking water glass and now there will be even more runoff for us to drink.
It would make sense to use some of the property to actually infiltrate, in a manner that would make Mother Nature proud, the storm water runoff from all of Issaquah Highlands. Then the development would meet that important goal from the original plan and our drinking water would not be fouled by all the stuff that gets washed off the land with the rain water.
It was just a thought.
A little digging brings more questions
Buyers beware. You may be getting more than you want from your tap, and information is in short supply. Consumers have the right to accurate, accessible, comprehensible information but, like pure water, it’s hard to find.
Trying to understand the debate involving my drinking water, I looked through thousands of public records from agencies that ensure public drinking systems comply with state and federal standards for contaminants, including performing regular monitoring and reporting. The more questions I asked, the more I had.
I found more than 200 “failure to monitor” violations for Issaquah Water System on the Safe Drinking Water Information System, which contains information reported to the Environmental Protection Agency by the Washington Department of Health. Simply, required testing and/or reporting were not done.
As alarming as missing results were the numerous “exceedences” of contaminants in Issaquah’s water system. Records maintained by the DOH Office of Drinking Water showed reported contaminants as high as four times the legal limit (HAA5 228.000 ug/L), referred to as “maximum contaminant level,” and others (chloroform 120.000 ug/L) as high as 480 times greater than the state reporting limit. Two of the contaminants are EPA classified Group B2 “probable human carcinogens.” (chloroform and bromodichloromethane) radium-228 exceeded the SRL and manganese exceeded the MCL.
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Regarding Issaquah’s proposed storm water injection plans, Mayor Frisinger’s attempt to placate public concerns with reassurances of “close monitoring” does little to boost my confidence. Her consumer confidence report quote: “Lately, the loud voices of a few have twisted the facts… and the water quality report, which covers 2012, sets the record straight. It shows that we’ve, once again, met all the safety guideline and water quality requirements.”
That depends on which records you find, what questions you ask, and how you define safe.