Editorial

March 11, 2014

State park lifeguards worth considering

The park manager at Lake Sammamish State Park is asking Issaquah to consider chipping in for lifeguards at the beaches on Lake Sammamish. The idea is worth considering, but the city must protect its interests.

The state ran a pilot program of placing lifeguards on the beaches in 2007 and 2008. In that time, the number of average daily visitors to guarded beaches rose from about 178 to 267. Considering it sometimes takes time for word to spread of a new program, it’s likely that many of the visitors in the second year heard about lifeguards and made the decision to come to the beach because they knew they and their children would be safe.

If the increase in visitation continues, with a commensurate increase in revenue from fees to enter the park, it would help offset the costs of hiring lifeguards for the swimming season. From a fiscal standpoint, the lifeguards would quickly pay for themselves.

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Editorial

March 4, 2014

It’s time to let Klahanie go

Issaquah made the best offer it could to Klahanie, but most residents in the area are no longer interested in being part of that city. It’s time to let them go.

It had always been assumed that Klahanie would eventually become part of Issaquah. Indeed, the southern half of what is now Sammamish was at one envisioned as part of Issaquah.

Sammamish, of course, went its own way and formed its own city. In 2005, when Issaquah last attempted to annex Klahanie, Sammamish was fairly new — it didn’t even have a proper city hall yet.

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Editorial

February 25, 2014

Death penalty overdue for reconsideration

More than five years ago, this newspaper called for the state Legislature to revisit the value of Washington’s death penalty. Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee opened the door to begin the overdue conversation by implementing a death-penalty moratorium while he is the state’s elected CEO.

At first glance, it may seem unimportant. Washington state has had only five executions in the past 50 years.

But consider that there are nine men currently on death row in Washington prisons. Consider that taxpayers pay for the prosecution, for the public defenders and for the court system. Those cases are under appeal and the appeals will go forward. Inslee’s mandate does not do away with capital punishment, it just removes the killings from happening on his watch.

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Editorial

February 18, 2014

Parents of newborn had other options

Last week’s news of the discovery of a dead newborn baby in the woods just off a heavily traveled road in North Bend caught everyone’s attention. It’s just so sad. It didn’t have to end this way.

It is still uncertain whether the baby was already dead when it was left about 10 feet from the road, to be discovered by a passerby. The umbilical cord was still attached to the infant.

It is also unknown who left the child. Mother, father or someone else? Is the mother of the baby OK, physically and mentally? It’s easy to imagine the broken heart, the torture of carrying a full-term baby and having it taken from you so early.

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Thank you so much, Debbie Berto

February 11, 2014

It would take the next three longest-serving current Issaquah Press employees combined to equal publisher Debbie Berto’s 41 years of effort. And they would have to reach the ages of 85, 81 or 72, respectively, for one to catch her record. Not going to happen. In our 114-year history, not one other person has ever devoted their entire adult life to the cause of community journalism for the citizens of this town. When The Issaquah Press reaches 228 years, her mark will still stand. Thank you, Debbie Berto.

Editorial

February 11, 2014

Water wars are over and what did we get?

The Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District and the city of Issaquah have settled their differences surrounding a filtration system in the Issaquah Highlands.

The water district feared the system could contaminate the water supply. The city was sure no such thing would happen.

The essence of the deal is that the district will spend up to $1 million to shut down the system, and the city promises it won’t try and take over the water district — a different but related issue — for at least 10 years. The filtration system, which wasn’t being used, will continue not to be used. Water will be diverted to Issaquah Creek, where it’s been going for the past few years.

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Editorial

February 4, 2014

More than one way to community unity

The community is still riding high on the wave of anticipation and celebration of Seahawks glory. It created a new wave of Northwest unity unlike anything in recent memory. Hold on to that feeling!

Coming up is another thriller — the 2014 Olympic Games, beginning Feb. 6. The pride of America grows with every gold medal earned and won in Sochi, Russia.

But let’s not miss out on another opportunity to make a difference in the esprit de corps right here at home. All you have to do is vote. It’s easy, it’s patriotic, it’s essential. And it unites us all.

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Plastic bag ban should stay put

January 28, 2014

Issaquah city voters, pick up your ballot and vote no to repealing the ban on plastic bags.
Issaquah residents may be even more environmentally minded than their counterparts in Seattle, where the bag ban is a fact of life. While not everyone is happy to bring their own shopping bags to businesses here, the bag ban offers a little “feel-good” moment when you know you’ve done the right thing — whether you opt for no bag at all or choose a 5-cent paper bag.

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Editorial

January 21, 2014

Vote yes for all three school levies

There is no doubt that voters should approve the three Issaquah School District levy requests on the Feb. 11 ballot arriving in mailboxes this week.

There are questions every voter should ask:

1) Is it essential?

The most important funding request is for the four-year M&O levy, paying 21 percent of classroom costs, including 485 teacher salaries. It replaces the current M&O levy. A transportation levy would only be collected for one year, to buy 71 more fuel-efficient school buses with higher safety standards. And the four-year capital levy seeks technology funds and building repairs. Computer replacement and upgrades are a way of life in today’s world, and maintenance of our school buildings is not an option.

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Editorial

January 14, 2014

Sammamish offers Klahanie a choice

By this time next week, ballots for the Feb. 11 election will be in the mail and voters in the Klahanie annexation area will be choosing future services for their homes.

Or not.

The Klahanie annexation vote continues to be mostly an emotional one for many we have spoken with. It’s easy to say yes to annexation, understanding that property taxes will go down, and road and safety services will go up. And after all, those residents already have an Issaquah address and live in the Issaquah School District, and drive through the city nearly every day.

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