Letters to the Editor Jan. 29

January 28, 2014

By Contributor

Handicapped spaces

Only the handicapped are supposed to park there

It is a shame to see parents park in the restricted handicapped-parking spaces at the community center, to wait for the time to let their kids out for school, to learn stuff.

The parents are teaching the kids that parking signs, requiring a placard, means nothing and does not apply to them! In general, the kids learn from the bad parenting examples and will disregard driving and parking laws as they grow up. Too bad.

Ken Sessler


School levies

Why do Realtors endorse school levies?

Realtors know high-quality schools are important in every neighborhood. Good schools are a priority — and not just for parents. Savvy buyers and sellers know that quality schools are a factor in home values.

Seattle King County Realtors recently heard presentations by Issaquah Schools Superintendent Ron Thiele and school board member Suzanne Weaver. They took time out of their busy day to make the case for students in Issaquah, and to answer questions from brokers.

Realtors understand the importance of supplementing state funding for basic classroom needs, but as homeowners and taxpayers, we are also concerned about the “return on investment.”

Issaquah residents can be proud of the exemplary financial management by district officials who earn consistently high marks on audit reports, and the highest bond rating of any public school district in the state.

Equally impressive are student achievements on various academic assessments. They significantly outperform their in-state and national peers. Teachers deserve praise for their role in these accomplishments.

In addition to endorsing renewal of the Maintenance and Operations Levy, we also endorsed the School Bus Levy and renewal of the Capital Levy for classroom technology and critical repairs. Upgrading buses is essential to meeting safety and efficiency standards.

Just like the fleet of buses, much of technology used throughout the district needs to be updated. These vital tools are not covered by state funding. It’s also time to invest more in repairs and maintenance of several buildings.

As one of our colleagues stated, supporting school levies is not a matter of altruism — it’s economics.

I’ll be voting “yes” three times on the Feb. 11 ballot, and I hope residents districtwide will join me.

Joan Probala, managing broker

Windermere Real EstateEast Inc., Issaquah

Thank you

Merry Christmas Issaquah fund goes above and beyond

On behalf of the volunteers at Issaquah Community Services, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you and sincere gratitude to the numerous donors who have made it possible through the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund, to support those in our community who have fallen on hard times.

Our volunteers have the humbling privilege of administering donated funds to those in need. With the funds raised, we can continue to provide emergency assistance to the families and individuals that live in the Issaquah School District that cannot meet their basic needs from month to month. Having a roof over one’s head, running water, lights and a warm home can now be possible for almost 500 families.

We especially would like to recognize the fantastic team at The Issaquah Press, as it has been a major supporter of this service to our community since 1981. Not only was the goal of $75,000 this year reached but it was surpassed. In total, it has raised almost $1 million since 1981.

Merry Christmas Issaquah is our major fundraising event. Without the help of The Issaquah Press reaching out to the community, our ability to raise funds would be costly and time-consuming. With its help, we are able to focus all our volunteer time on serving the less fortunate.

We would like to thank Debbie Berto for her overwhelming dedication and service to the mission of ICS. We would also like to thank Kathleen Merrill and Christina Corrales-Toy, the editor and reporter who wrote, edited and published the genuine stories shared by some of the families and individuals we helped. Through their words, we were able to reach readers and spread the message for help. We look forward to a continued partnership with The Issaquah Press and are continually grateful for their help.

Lori Birrell

ICS president

Drinking water

Lower Reid Infiltration Gallery problem needs to be solved

I was encouraged to read that our new mayor places the Lower Reid Infiltration Gallery problem high on his list of problems to be solved. I sent Mayor Butler an email offering to sit down and discuss my long-standing concerns with the LRIG. As I write this, I have yet to receive a response to my offer, but I am certain that Mayor Butler is very busy, so I am hopeful.

The public water supply contamination in Charleston, W.V., is a parallel to our situation in Issaquah. The Freedom Industries chemical storage tanks next to the Elk River are functionally similar to the storm drains in Issaquah Highlands, with particular emphasis on the new Safeway gas station built on a slope to make containment of a large spill impossible.

The short distance of sloping ground between the storage tanks and the river’s edge is replaced by the Issaquah Highlands storm water system and the hard-piping to the Reid detention pond.

The Elk River is functionally similar to the pipe running from the detention pond to the injection gallery and our Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer.

Charleston, W.V., wasn’t quick enough to get its intake valves closed so its water system got contaminated and the residents lost all trust in their public utility. In Issaquah, the aquifer would just hold the contamination until some sort of very expensive resolution was found.

“The road to failure is paved with good intentions.” We should make a “U” turn.

Hank Thomas


Klahanie annexation

Why not Sammamish?

Change is sometimes difficult, but can be a catalyst for progress. Yes, there may be some initial expense for changing your city name. I ask you, though, to think visionary and to a better future.

Sammamish has a reputation for taking good care of its parks and amenities and is a very safe and friendly city. Geographically, it just makes sense to be part of Sammamish. Klahanie is even on the Sammamish map due to its proximity and like-minded business community.

The Sammamish Chamber of Commerce has always considered the neighborhood of Klahanie as part of the plateau, serving their business community and delivering welcome bags to new residents since the early 2000s.

Vote no to Issaquah and join the thriving and friendly city of Sammamish. Enjoy road improvements, business promotion and tax savings from having no B&O and utility taxes.

Deb Sogge, executive director

Sammamish Chamber of Commerce

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