To the Editor

February 25, 2014

By Contributor

Tent City

The homeless are people who need a helping hand

It troubles me that the prospect of a temporary homeless encampment is so frightening to some in our community. Those called “the homeless” are simply neighbors who lack the security of having a space that they can call their own: four walls, a few amenities and a warm bed to rest in, undisturbed.

Some have lived for a long time well below the “average median income” and had no financial resources to cushion them when the economy collapsed or catastrophe struck. Some were models of worldly success until their well-planned future suddenly dissolved.

Perhaps a fateful diagnosis and overwhelming medical bills gnawed through their mooring lines and cast them adrift. Or an injury left them alive but maimed and disfigured. Some bear invisible wounds, a tragic loss that overwhelmed their capacity to cope. Some are beaten spouses or rejected children for whom “home” ceased to be a place of safety and warmth.

Those who come to live in a tent city are mostly those who have not given up completely. They still trust fellow human beings enough to live in community and risk connection. They still hope to find work that pays a living wage and a place to call their own. Some have less hope of gainful employment due to disabilities, but need a safe place to be while they wait to rise to the top of a waiting list for subsidized housing, and they are still able to perform the tasks required of Tent City residents.

Some stay only a short time, and some stay longer. A few find they have special gifts that are needed and valued by the Tent City community, and they choose to stay for years on end to provide a sense of continuity and stability for others.

Elizabeth Maupin



Homeless need compassion, support and kindness

I attended the Tent City meeting Feb. 11. I saw many ignorant people that were angry and rude. We were not supposed to comment, so I didn’t. After reading your Feb. 19 article, I realize I should have said something positive. The Press gives the impression most of us are opposed for Tent City 4 to come to Faith United Methodist Church. We support them.

Preschool is a time for our children to learn we can be nice to the poor, learn we are equal human beings made by God. We teach our children that we shouldn’t judge people on what they have and what they don’t. We teach our children to open their eyes, grow compassion and question why our world is like that. We can’t pretend this world is heaven. Children are the future; we don’t want to create ignorant adults.

We have a young child who is not scared of Tent City residents. We don’t teach our children that they are bad people. We teach our children that they need help. She is saying she will save money and donate to the homeless in the future.

We do hope Faith United Church will host them since that is a key mission of the church. Church is for people who are in need; otherwise, there is no God in there.

Our family/friends are on their side and we would be grateful if you have a chance to write a more positive aspect, so your readers will know there are more supportive people in this neighborhood. We do believe all human beings are equal and no one deserves to be treated with no dignity because they are homeless. This situation reminds me of slavery and segregation in this country. They didn’t treat them as human beings at all.

Kimiko Hihara




Issaquah should follow the law on pot laws

The writer Mark Twain said doing something unpleasant is like eating a frog — the earliest you do it, the better off your day will be. So, City Council:

Admit you are being half transparent about your motivation on pot stores in Issaquah: There are bills pending in Olympia, but the WLCC has until December to issue rules on how it will regulate from seed to sale. Thus, Issaquah could (*will*) extend its inaction to 2015. The law is clear about where pot enterprises can be:

“(a) Within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of a school grounds, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, or library or any game arcade admission to which is not restricted to persons aged 21 years or older;

(b) On or in a public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; or

(c) On or in a publicly owned or operated property.”

Any person working for our city could identify those public places on a map and draw lines to determine where in Olde Town, the highlands or the new central business district Issaquah residents might expect to find a pot store. I predict the definition of “public” will expand greatly so that no pot stores will ever be located within Issaquah city limits.

The real dilemma we should be concerned with: Do we approve of how the will of the people to legitimately use the initiative process to create laws and legislation is thwarted by a recalcitrant City Council? If so, this permanent moratorium against the voice of citizens of Washington is a welcomed predicament. What Issaquah should be doing instead is finding a way to make the pot laws work as quickly and effectively as possible — following the law. So, City Council: Eat your frog now so we can all move on.

Bryan Weinstein



Two-thirds vote

Legislators ought to vote the way we would

This past week, our state legislators voted on a bill to require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature in order to raise taxes. As voters, we’ve repeatedly supported this increased threshold. I was, therefore, quite disappointed to see freshman Sen. Mark Mullet come out against the bill. Status quo prevailed and the measure did not garner enough votes to pass.

While we elect politicians as individuals, and not necessarily on individual issues, I was surprised to learn that nearly 70 percent of 5th District voters supported the most recent statewide ballot initiative to require a two-thirds vote for new taxes.
Upon analysis, it appeared that most Republicans supported the plan and most Democrats did not.

Voters come to expect a more pragmatic approach to representing the diverse opinions in Issaquah.
If Sen. Mullet and his Democrat cronies had stopped voting along party lines, Washington voters could have the final say on tax increases. If Sen. Mullet continues to ignore our voice, we’ll need to resort to changing those things we can vote on, including who the next state senator will be.

Terry J. LaBrue


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