To the Editor
April 1, 2014
Don’t build it at Veterans’ Memorial Field
Here we go again. Our one and only park/ field donated to the city is up for construction again. Growing up in Issaquah, it was so nice to have a field right in downtown Issaquah. Open space — what a concept!
But then the city needed a library, a police station, a senior center and now the skateboard park. So, the city needs to take other land from people to claim it as “open space” just to let us know they “value” parks.
I’m pretty sick and tired of our one and true memorial field slowly getting hacked up by those who deem it more suitable for other uses. Soon, Veterans’ Memorial Field will be just that — a memory.
More planning needs to go into process
I recently went to a skate park-planning meeting and have observations.
What other funding sources were explored? Donors? King County’s Youth Sports Facilities Grant program? It contributes to skate parks, and up to $75,000. The deadline for applying is in May; are we going to try? More funding could change the nature of the park.
What makes such parks successful? I’ll define success by usage and value as usage/project cost, and both could be compared to other parks/recreational facilities. You could compare smaller “neighborhood” versus larger “destination” parks, which attract different users, and perhaps how most people get there, drive versus walk. What locations have the best match — density, ages, percentage of kids, etc., for the kind/scale of park under consideration?
How do you make the best decisions when no one in the community has proven experience for developing successful projects like the one under consideration? Do you set goals and measures of success and failure? Who will be accountable and how?
From what I have seen, there is never a review of best practices, a review of current trends and consideration of success/failure. No experts are consulted or given any more weight. There are no apparent consequences for failure or rewards for success, or even discussion of such.
It is a process better suited for balancing opinions on trivial topics, like what colors you like. It is not appropriate for projects where expert knowledge and experience exist and can make a difference.
After one of these public input meetings, I often feel the process is rigged to ensure mediocrity — in concept, execution and value. In a world with great choices, mediocre often leads to failure. The location and direction chosen might end up being successful, but from what I’ve seen, it will be more from luck than careful planning.
Support the businesses that serve your community
As a new small business owner, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of “shopping locally.” As a member of local chambers of commerce, I’ve met numerous business people who feel privileged to serve those in their community.
Why not turn around and support those businesses that are so eager to serve you? There are many reasons to shop locally. A few of them are:
1. It’s the “green” thing to do. (Less driving means less pollution.)
2. Tax dollars that businesses pay stay in your local community.
3. You will feel a stronger sense of community.
To help you find local businesses, go to your chamber of commerce’s website and search its member directory. Another option is to go to this paper’s online version and search in its business directory. I’m sure you’ll be successful in finding the perfect local business to meet your needs.
Oh, and thank you for your support.
The vote has been counted; let’s move on
I really wish the plastic bag ban opponents would get over it. Please understand you live in a community that cares deeply about the environment, other creatures and sustainability. We have a local government that, thankfully, reflects that ethic in its actions, such as a plastic bag ban. We voted, you lost in a big way, and yet you’re still whining. Is it really that difficult to carry a bag with you?
Do you remember the days when dumping used oil or antifreeze into storm drains was common? Or the days when lead was used in paint, DDT in pesticides, mercury in our tooth fillings, asbestos in our homes, or more currently, billions of throwaway plastic bags in our stores?
As a society, we wised up in each case and government took action to protect people and the environment. Banning plastic bags is just the latest example of increasingly responsible stewardship demanded by people who care beyond themselves.
So, should we go back to dumping oil anywhere or having lead in our paint, mercury in our mouth, DDT in our pesticides or plastic bags in our stores. The vast majority of us say no.