To the Editor
November 12, 2013
Just allow the residents to vote on what they want
Now that the Boundary Review Board has unanimously voted in favor of allowing us, the citizens of the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area, to vote on annexation to Issaquah, it appears and the rumor mill confirms that there may be an appeal of its ruling, possibly dragging out the decision well into 2014 — an appeal by anti-annexation followers who have challenged the facts with nontruths and rumors.
Why waste the taxpayers’ money, time and efforts to continue this battle of cities? The right to annex legally belongs to Issaquah, and it has already completed a thorough study, this time and in 2004-05, of the positives/negatives, costs/revenue considerations and decided with a 5-1 positive vote by the City Council to move forward. Now, the anti-annexation groups want to sidetrack and/or derail the wishes of Issaquah and the majority of the Klahanie PAA to become part of the great city of Issaquah.
Sammamish had eight years since the 2005 vote to negotiate with Issaquah and King County toward an opportunity for it to annex the Klahanie PAA and did nothing until now. Sammamish doesn’t want us or it would have taken action sooner. However, it does need us and our tax revenue for growth — while Issaquah wants us and has shown it through its efforts and actions. Issaquah offers lower property taxes than King County and Sammamish while providing significantly better public services.
Let the people of the Klahanie PAA make the decision on annexation with a vote in February, and don’t support an appeal that costs money, wastes time and most likely will be unsuccessful, while moving the goal post down the field well into 2014.
Plastic bags are not necessary, and neither is appeal of ban
It has come to my attention that at the Issaquah City Council meeting Oct. 21, the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank was used as an example of why the bag ban should be revoked.
The specific example used was directly related to the Mayors Month of Concern Food Drive. The contention was that at grocery stores, donors and volunteers had to use paper bags to carry donations, and the rain made that challenging.
The Month of Concern Drive committee thoroughly discussed the impact the bag ban was going to have on our food drive. We decided to use milk crates for collecting food at the doors and we shared recycled paper bags with shoppers, so they wouldn’t have to sort through their own groceries for their donations.
The recycled paper bags with the milk crates were a perfect and environmentally friendly solution and there were no complaints directly from any of the participating churches or volunteers.
The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank endorsed the bag ban in the first place, and still believes strongly that plastic bags are not necessary. We implemented a bag ban policy at the food bank years before the mandates came into effect in Issaquah.
The 500-plus families that visit the food bank bring their own reusable bags every week. If our clients can do it and see the value in reusing, I’m 100 percent confident the rest of Issaquah can do it as well.
It has also come to my attention that putting the bag ban back on the ballot is going to be a costly expense. This is very disappointing, as there are much more important issues in our community that could utilize that funding support.
Cori Walters, executive director
Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank
Join the ‘in’ crowd and donate to support kids in schools
The greatest thing we can do for young people is provide them with a community full of adults who care enough to support, teach, guide and lead them. For years, the Issaquah Schools Foundation VOICE program has been matching adults with kids in the Issaquah School District who need tutoring. It’s another important way that our community sends the message, “We care.”
VOICE tutors work with children who need extra help with reading or math, or who can benefit from additional adult guidance. Some VOICE tutors and their tutees are paired for long-term assistance over a number of years. A VOICE tutor can make a lifelong positive difference to a child, with enormous positive consequences for our community.
VOICE is just one program sponsored by the Issaquah Schools Foundation. Academic achievement grants, PSAT scholarships, after-school homework labs . . . the list goes on. The work that ISF does on behalf of enriching and expanding options for all kids is amazing and inspiring.
The foundation is running its All In For Kids annual campaign, culminating in a districtwide phonathon this week. You can donate at any time (and avoid a phone call) by going to the ISF website, http://issaquahschoolsfoundation.org. Or you can answer the call made by a student volunteer during the phonathon.
Your donation will be used wisely, right here, for the kids in our community. I urge you to join the “in” crowd for kids and donate to the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s All In For Kids campaign.
Dianne Bugge, chairwoman
Issaquah Community Network
Property is in a flood plain, a problem for development
Dear City Council,
In this weeks Issaquah Press, there was an article about a new project that is being considered for the Gilman Square property.
That reminded me of the three times that our business at that location was flooded in the 1990s. The water — which was really cold — was up past my nipples in one of the occurrences. Sadly, I don’t have a photo of that to provide. However, I did find a few nice pictures from The Issaquah Press from the 2009 flood, which we happily missed. I am sure that The Press probably has a file cabinet full of photos from the earlier flooding events as well.
While I know growing is important, I hope that you consider the fact that this property is in the flood plain, the flood way, and is lower by four feet or more than the surrounding properties. It also, prior to the current development, was one of the seasonal wetland ponds in the Central Area that some of the old-timers used to hunt ducks from.
Turnout needs to improve, because it’s so easy to vote
It is unfortunate that 60 percent of the Issaquah 19,250 registered voters were just too lazy to put a stamp on their ballot, for two weeks after receipt of the ballot, and just dropping them into the mailbox.
It takes very little effort, folks. The ballots are mailed to your address, so next time, do your American citizenship duty — just mark it up and mail it back in!
Come on, get with the election program that our troops keep protecting with their lives, and don’t just throw away the ballots.