December 24, 2013
Special thanks to our many letter writers
We’d like to take a moment to salute those people who took the time to write a letter to the editor in 2013. Their written voice provokes, challenges, encourages and thereby builds a stronger community for us all. We aren’t able to publish every letter we receive, but here’s a list of the 148 authors, in alphabetical order, who did get ink this year.
Michael T. Barr
David Baty Read more
December 24, 2013
Respect knows no gender, race or political party
The Issaquah Press photo headline, Republican respect, referring to Congressman Reichert’s visit to Issaquah Middle School was shocking.
I was taught, and as a teacher I taught children, that respect knows no gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and certainly no political party.
I trust that teachers and parents are reinforcing that basic life lesson, especially for those Issaquah Middle School students who eagerly looked for themselves in the front-page photo where the headline jumped out at them.
Any number of headlines could have captured the essence of the congressman’s visit without furthering the political divide that is crippling our country. Congressman Reichert, I trust, was not invited to Issaquah Middle School because of his political affiliation. That would be blatantly inappropriate in a public school. I again trust that the congressman was invited because he had a message that resonates with young people struggling to make appropriate choices.
I expect better from The Issaquah Press.
Change your mind and think outside the bag
I was amazed when I read two letters in the Nov. 20 issue about the bag ban. Did Ms. Cardozo and Mr. Sessler even read what they wrote?
Ms. Cardozo explained the absolute need for produce bags to carry a variety of things. I don’t know where she gets her sushi, but mine comes in a hard-shell container, which is recyclable. Meat & chicken? Rarely do I see a package leaking, and only then would I add more plastic. Ice cream? It won’t melt in her 15 minutes’ drive home! Produce? Very little actually needs a plastic bag.
No one she has spoken with thinks the ban is a good idea? Perhaps she’s talking to the wrong folks. Then, she “tosses five or more” of these produce bags. She should know that Waste Management says produce bags are code 4 recyclable! So, yes, she saves nothing; what a shame.
Mr. Sessler stated he has witnessed people carrying and dropping things on their way to the car, spending “minutes” just to escape the bag fee? Maybe these folks are environmentally conscious but clumsy. I’ve carried unbagged items to my car for years, even dropped a few. I’ve even made a clerk remove items from a bag because it’s the right thing to do. If I’m absent-minded enough to leave my bags in the car — wow, what a burden it is to retrieve them!
These are not reasons for wasting plastic! Perhaps a frame of mind change is in order — think outside the bag. The bag ban was the right thing to do, and I hope my fellow Issaquahnians make the right choice and keep our town moving forward. Oh, and by the way, I can’t vote either as a county resident.
Vote yes to annexation by Issaquah
Efforts by Sammamish to encourage opposition to annexation by Issaquah are not in our best interest.
Sammamish cannot serve us better than King County does now. They just want our tax revenue! Sammamish has little commercial tax revenue, placing much of the city’s costs on its residents.
Plus, annexation by Sammamish is not a default option if you vote no on annexation to Issaquah. State annexation laws are such that a no vote will just leave us in King County, where we will continue to be obligated for King County debt, rather than Issaquah debt. City/county debt is not an issue in this election! Vote no and our tax dollars will continue to be spent in Seattle and other parts of King County.
Annexation by Issaquah, according to neutral, third-party analysis, will save taxpayers over $850/year in property tax on a $500,000 home. Our tax dollars will stay in our community and be managed locally where we can have a greater say in how that money is spent.
Issaquah was incorporated in 1892 and has a well-established government and police department. We will receive better police protection, and road and park maintenance. Eastside Fire & Rescue will serve us as they always have, while our utilities, including Sammamish water will stay the same. Our addresses have always been Issaquah addresses. We have been part of the Issaquah community for decades. It’s about time we become official residents of Issaquah.
Understand the facts and consequences. Support annexation by Issaquah. They have done due diligence to make sure they can take good care of us. They want to serve our needs and for less cost to us than King County or Sammamish. Let’s vote yes to be part of Issaquah for all the right reasons, because all the reasons are right!
December 17, 2013
There are as many opinions as there are citizens
A recent letter faulted the paper for a cartoon characterizing the Tea Party unfavorably.
Perhaps those who support repealing the ban against plastic bags might take umbrage with the cartoon that ran alongside the complaint letter: The drawing was a statement against environmental pollution.
While I support the letter writer’s right to voice his opinion, it’s just one among a community of many.
December 10, 2013
Klahanie PAA should annex to Issaquah
A recent Issaquah Press editorial opposed annexation of the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area to Issaquah. The editorial states that “taxes are even lower” in Sammamish.
In fact, the opposite is true. Property tax rate tables for Sammamish neighborhoods within the Issaquah School District are approximately 8.6 percent higher than the city of Issaquah.
An owner of a $450,000 home in Sammamish pays about $450 per year more in property taxes than an owner of a similar home in Issaquah. Issaquah’s utility tax offsets part of this, but for the typical homeowner, total taxes are lower in Issaquah.
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.
November 26, 2013
Newport Way needs to be reduced to 30 mph, before a child is hurt or killed
I have attempted to coerce city management to reduce the speed limit on Newport Way from 40 mph to 30 mph, from its top-of-the-hill intersection to state Route 900. Nowhere else is Newport Way posted 40 mph.
The speed limit of 30 mph is dictated by the “sight distances,” “the school bus stops” and the “school children crossings.”
When we came here (we live on Cougar Hill above Bentley House) the speed limit was 50 mph. After more than 30 deer had been killed, City Hall reduced the limit to 40 mph.
November 19, 2013
Plastic bag ban
I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I can’t vote on it
Once upon a time, I would go shopping and get one plastic bag with handles that I reused in my garden and other messy places. Now, I wind up with five tiny, thin, useless produce bags that are hardly large enough for a celery stick. I need one for the sushi, one for the meat, one for the ice cream, and probably two or three for the eight pack of chicken. Plus, of course, those for the produce.
And since they are small, thin and useless, I throw them out. One reusable bag with handles that I keep versus five or more that I toss. And this is saving the environment, how?
Also, I won’t be able to voice my opinion in the upcoming special election because I live 4 miles south of town. I do all of my shopping in Issaquah.
November 12, 2013
Just allow the residents to vote on what they want
Now that the Boundary Review Board has unanimously voted in favor of allowing us, the citizens of the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area, to vote on annexation to Issaquah, it appears and the rumor mill confirms that there may be an appeal of its ruling, possibly dragging out the decision well into 2014 — an appeal by anti-annexation followers who have challenged the facts with nontruths and rumors.
Why waste the taxpayers’ money, time and efforts to continue this battle of cities? The right to annex legally belongs to Issaquah, and it has already completed a thorough study, this time and in 2004-05, of the positives/negatives, costs/revenue considerations and decided with a 5-1 positive vote by the City Council to move forward. Now, the anti-annexation groups want to sidetrack and/or derail the wishes of Issaquah and the majority of the Klahanie PAA to become part of the great city of Issaquah.
November 5, 2013
All in for Kids
Help the Issaquah Schools Foundation help students
For more than 25 years, the Issaquah Schools Foundation has strengthened the educational offerings and support provided to students in our community. Where state funding has been less than adequate, the Issaquah Schools Foundation has stepped up to fill gaps in technology, music and arts education or to provide tutoring through the VOICE program. They’ve provided specialties, including forensic science classes and robotics club, which could not be offered without ISF funding. They’ve provided school supplies and materials to children whose families can’t afford to do so. Every school and every student in the Issaquah School District has benefited.
The foundation is currently running the All In for Kids campaign, a quick and painless way to participate in this great organization.
October 29, 2013
Heartfelt apology goes to long time school custodian
The recent incident at Issaquah High School wherein longtime custodian Allen Anderson was thought to be a gunman, sending the school into lock down mode and Anderson held at police gunpoint, highlights the very sad times in which we live. Without a doubt, the student who called 911, the school’s response, and the immediate action by Issaquah police were all well-intended reactions to a potential disaster. Having already been through a similar occurrence where a lone gunman shot his way through our community, as well as recent school shootings elsewhere nationwide, it is understandable that we are all poised for the worst to happen.
My concern is that when we finally pull ourselves back from the brink of paranoia, we do not stop to survey the collateral damage done to the people involved. I would surmise that the administration and teaching staff at IHS calmed the nerves of their student body. That’s to be expected. What’s unfortunate is that Mr. Anderson did not receive some kind of apology for the harrowing experience he underwent.
To be singled out at gunpoint by police would stop anyone’s heart from beating. Having it happen at a place that was probably Mr. Anderson’s “home away from home” for 20 years must be devastating. Imagine having to pick up the pieces of his life, feeling alone among the people he felt had been like family.
I can’t speak for anyone else. As a private citizen I can only apologize to Allen Anderson for a moment in time where no one was to blame. Perhaps since reading of the occurrence, someone has already reached out to him.
Being a vulnerable people during impossible times doesn’t preclude having compassion for one of our own who might be in pain.
Joe Forkner is the right man at the right time
The citizens of Issaquah are fortunate to have two candidates running for Mayor who truly care about the city and the community. These two guys are friends and have worked together for years. It is my sincere hope that whoever wins will welcome the other in so we can benefit from the experience of both of them.
The vision that both candidates have for Issaquah is not that different. So we, the citizens of Issaquah, win with whoever is elected, right? That’s true if we look only at the information published and talked about. But there’s another factor not discussed that might be the biggest difference of all.
The two candidates are from two different generations. People’s belief system, their vision for the future and their skill set for living life are set during their formative years. And the technology in place during that time plays an important part in how they see the world and how they solve problems.
I believe we need to start putting people in office who have grown up with the latest technology in place during their formative years. It’s time for the younger generation to lead. It’s time for Joe Forkner for Mayor.
Fred Butler will strengthen environment, quality of life
We are supporting Fred Butler for Mayor because for over 14 years, Fred has been a personable and energetic leader in Issaquah, ensuring that our growth and economic vitality support the quality of life in Issaquah we all value — natural beauty, clean water and air, recreational and wildlife opportunities, and sustainable environmental practices. These are the qualities of Issaquah that bring new citizens here and inspire us all to stay.
Issaquah is not an island and the environmental practices and sustainability of neighboring communities and regional governments have a strong impact on us. Fred has been a leader in regional collaboration and solutions, and has demonstrated the ability to establish cooperative relationships with key decision makers all around our region. The result has been endorsements from many regional groups and individuals, including the Washington Conservation Voters, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transit workers, King County Executive and 6 County Council members, and the mayors of Redmond and Kirkland.
From volunteering at Salmon Days to being a key advocate for regional transportation improvements and key member of the Sound Transit Board, Fred has shown the ability to listen to others, grasp the most complicated issues, and champion strategies and decisions that serve Issaquah both now and in the future. Fred’s leadership will contribute to a future that enables future citizens to experience the best qualities of Issaquah.
In addition to experience, expertise, and broad based support, Fred has a friendly, positive and trustworthy approach to public service that allows anyone to feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions. He is always out and about in our community with a recognizable smile and laugh, so he knows what is happening and is very approachable.
Vote for Fred!
Marilyn and LeRoy LaCelle
School board race
Lisa Callan has student learning as top priority
This November voters have a clear choice between two very different candidates for the Issaquah School Board. As a proponent of public education, I am voting for Lisa Callan.
Lisa comes from a long line of public educators, and holds a strong commitment to every single student in our community. Lisa has an open and collaborative approach, and she is pragmatic about the challenges we face.
Lisa believes that the community must work together with its teachers and parents to foster a school environment where each student can thrive. She is committed to efforts that will close the achievement gap in ways that can be accessible and provided equally to all students.
Lisa’s opponent, Alison Meryweather, has spent many years championing charter schools, an agenda that potentially jeopardizes districts’ financial stability, serves just a sliver of the student population, and is deeply divisive.
Especially concerning is Alison Meryweather’s affiliation with Stand for Children given the organization’s push for vouchers and charter schools, and its anti-teacher rhetoric. Does she represent Stand for Children or our children here in Issaquah?
As we face the implementation of the Common Core standards, and look ahead to next year’s contract negotiations with our teachers, we must have a school board that is focused on our students, our teachers, and our district’s financial health, not on furthering divisive agendas.
The choice is clear. Elect Lisa Callan to the Issaquah School Board.
Alison Meryweather for fiscal responsibility
Alison Meryweather is the qualified candidate for election to be retained as a Director on the Issaquah School Board.
Alison’s sense of personal responsibility for the wise and accountable use of ‘other peoples’ tax dollars invested in our community schools is exceptional. Such an ethic of fiscal responsibility is essential to assure public trust in the Issaquah School District’s transparent management of almost $280 million in education funding.
In my decade of public service to our community in the state legislature; Alison’s character and capacity as an engaged parent and thoughtful educational advocacy leader distinctly stood out as the legislature struggled through complex education reforms and adequate funding issues. Her direct involvement was a compelling example to others and had a significant influence on the successful enactment of those reforms and the consequent state Supreme Court decision to mandate full funding by the legislature.
As a state representative I knew how easy it is for public money to get ‘redirected’ away from our core expectations of student academic achievement, fair compensation for teachers and investing in transportation and facilities infrastructure. Alison’s strong sense of detail will assure taxpayers that every dollar makes a real difference.
I encourage you to consider voting to retain Alison Meryweather for our Issaquah School Board to assure every education dollar is well spent on smart investments in student achievement.