To the Editor
December 3, 2013
Past and future
Gilman Gallery is keeping the past alive
As a dealer selling antiques and collectibles at Gilman Gallery, I am hopeful Issaquah’s movers and shakers will consider the part we play in ensuring our community remains a vibrant destination for out-of-towners.
Not many towns can boast of an antiques center that provides the myriad memorabilia that can be found at Gilman Gallery. I know. I’ve traversed the country, from East Coast to West Coast, in search of items that bring back the past, from the late 1800s through the 1950s. To have a mall where I can spend hours wandering stalls jam-packed with reminders of the good old days is like settling in with generations past.
Issaquah seems to find itself at a crossroads between preserving the charm of yesteryear and plowing it under in an effort to modernize and keep up with neighboring towns. Perhaps we’re hoping to take Bellevue’s place as it becomes the Eastside’s Seattle.
Developers have had their way with Issaquah since our family has called it home the past 16 years. Very little remains of the recent “good ol’ days.” There’s still Front Street whose infrastructure makes growth somewhat difficult. Thank goodness for that! And then there’s Gilman Village, which struggles to attract and maintain the right mix of viable businesses. Fortunately, there’s Lucky You and its faithful following of shoppers.
As Christmas nears, I would like to remind folks that Gilman Gallery remains one of the very few in-town stores where vintage items can be found.
Help recycle, rather than scrap, irreplaceable mementoes of times we can never recapture. And let’s remind the politicians that land development shouldn’t obliterate the past. There should be a way for both to coexist.
Here’s hoping the men and women we pay to look after our interests can find a way to do that.
Issaquah water system is improving
As a water quality professional for a large Puget Sound water utility, I am familiar with state and federal drinking water regulations, and I take exception to the information in the letter to the editor about Issaquah’s drinking water Nov. 6.
I looked up the data cited on the WA DOH Sentry Internet and the EPA safe drinking water information system databases. The Issaquah water system has not committed any monitoring violations or exceedances since 2006. Much of the data cited is many years old, especially for chloroform, which is more than 20 years old.
The letter also cites a large number of monitoring violations in the federal SDWIS database. These are all actually failure to collect a single set of once-every-three-years required samples. The contaminants are sampled in groups, but reported individually. Reading further down the webpage I found the issue was resolved by the water system by collecting the required samples.
The letter claims results hundreds of times over the state reporting limit or SRL, the lowest accurate measurement value for contaminants in drinking water. They have absolutely no relationship to health. The maximum contaminant level MCL0 is the safe limit set by the USEPA following extensive review of the available human health effects research on a given contaminant along with a safe margin for error.
Finally, manganese has no health limit. It is a metallic element often found in well water sources. The state and EPA have set a secondary esthetic standard for it, because it stains laundry and plumbing fixtures.
Reviewing the data, I would say the Issaquah water system has been doing a solid job of meeting the drinking-water quality regulations for the past eight years. This suggests whatever improvements in oversight of the department made by the current city administration are working.
Gilman Boulevard project
Redevelopment is coming at the expense of residents
Plans were unveiled recently for a new eight-story hotel off of state Route 900. This comes on the heels of a plan to build a 340-unit apartment complex on Gilman Boulevard, and the creation of a new Western Gateway Development, which includes another 1,200 housing units.
The new 100,000-square-foot hotel lies next to the existing Hilton Garden Inn, two blocks from an already congested intersection of state Route 900 and Gilman Boulevard.
The 340-unit development planned for the former Lombardi’s location sits adjacent to the shopping complexes along Gilman Boulevard.
The 1,200-unit Western Gateway Development sits on Newport Way, a two-lane roadway.
Let’s face it, traffic is the largest issue facing the city. Yet, the proposals to add high-density developments to central Issaquah will only exacerbate the problem.
While I support the concept of building up instead of out, the CIP is being implemented without enough consideration of its transportation impacts, and the quality of life for the citizens who live, work, shop and play in Issaquah today will suffer as a result. When are we asking the question: “Is this good for the current citizens of Issaquah?”
What are the impacts to the roadways, schools, utilities and public services of adding another 10,000 residents as the CIP envisions? Do the current residents have a choice of whether we are meant to be another urban population center?
Addressing our transportation issues is undoubtedly costly, and it’s all too common for transportation and services to follow density, rather than vice versa.
However, if we continue to add density now and worry about transportation later, the new urban villages will exclude those of us who live, work, shop and play in Issaquah today.
Tea Party cartoon was uncalled for
I have always loved the local aspect of your paper and never paid much attention to your cartoons until the one ran a few weeks ago bashing the Tea Party hit a nerve. Not being a complete Tea Party advocate while witnessing our two-party system deteriorate over the past decade, I was disappointed at this attempt to discredit a difference of opinion to a topic of national caliber.
I have supported your paper, contributed to this community, raised my family here for 25 years, paid taxes, supported every referendum and levy, participated in my church (St. Joseph’s), and take offense as part of this community. The same community you and your employees are part of.
In a political climate where understanding is needed and is absent from most discussions, whether between friends or our government officials, taking a cheap shot like this doesn’t help. Especially without demonstrated credibility to national issues.
My father was a successful small town newspaper publisher for more than 40 years. He always said focus on what you are good at and don’t get involved in issues where you have no place.
You guys are good at local; stick with it.