To the Editor

April 1, 2014

Skateboard park

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.

Very sad.

Jean McMullan

Issaquah

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To the Editor

March 25, 2014

Gilman redevelopment

Proposal needs geo-tech, hydrological review

The proposed redevelopment at Seventh and Gilman (Antique Mall area) is the first go through our new Central Issaquah Plan regulations. One thing that has become clear is the difficulty of construction in high-ground water, near creek, earthquake hazard areas … much of the valley floor. The land at Seventh and Gilman has the further complication of being a Special Flood Hazard Area.

It is imperative in these difficult sites that there is belt-and-suspenders review of both the geo-tech report and the hydrologic modeling from the developer. Please require third-party peer review of both the geo-tech analysis and the model.

Connie Marsh

Issaquah

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To the Editor

March 18, 2014

Plastic bags

Thanks for upholding the ban

Thank you, Issaquah, for upholding the bag ban. It was the right time and the right thing to do.

It may be an extremely small step in the overall scheme of being responsible for our surroundings, but hopefully other smaller communities from around the area and the country will follow our lead, step up and move forward as we have.

Geoff Carson

Issaquah

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To the Editor

March 11, 2014

Klahanie

Open letter to the Issaquah City Council:

The vote is over and the residents of Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods have said no to annexation to Issaquah. My neighbors and I voted no, not because we wanted to stay unincorporated, but because we would like to pursue Sammamish as an option. In order for that to happen, and to have the opportunity to belong to a city, I am asking for your help.

When Mayor Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner were campaigning last fall, both said that they would support removing Klahanie from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area if the citizens rejected Issaquah annexation.

Please remember your words last fall, Mr. Butler, and please support our area in finding a home with your neighbor to the north. Time is of the essence! I would further request you not delay this process with considerations of dividing up the Klahanie PAA, which would only lead to difficulties for both cities when it comes to providing services and road improvements.

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To the Editor

March 4, 2014

Tax changes

Mullet is confident with record as moderate, fiscally conservative Democrat

Terry LaBrue, a Republican campaign consultant, recently wrote a letter to the editor and I wanted to respond to his questions about my vote against placing a 2/3 vote threshold for tax changes in our State Constitution.

During my time on the Issaquah City Council, I never once voted to increase property taxes. Last year, I was one of the few Democrats who broke from party leadership to support a Republican budget that reduced the Business and Occupations tax on the service industry. I have a long history of opposing tax increases at the state and local level.

However, I have been consistent in my opposition to Tim Eyman’s 2/3 requirement to raise taxes. I opposed it during my campaign and I opposed it on the floor of the Senate this session.

I don’t pursue fiscally conservative policy because of an initiative, that’s just what I believe. I’m confident with my record of being a moderate, fiscally conservative Democrat. I know that the people of the 5th District are more than capable of keeping me accountable without Tim Eyman’s help.

Our district’s voters want legislators to work together, in a bipartisan and fiscally responsible way, to make Washington a better place to live and do business. I promise to continue acting on your behalf in that manner.

Sen. Mark Mullet

Issaquah

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To the Editor

February 25, 2014

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.

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To the Editor

February 18, 2014

Marijuana

City shouldn’t allow pot facilities

I am hoping that the Issaquah City Council would not allow any pot facilities inside the city limits. It is still against federal law, you know, and the council is spending a bunch of money to move the skate park, because the prime reason presented was pot and drug usage around the park.

What would be the city’s costs associated with oversight and enforcement of city pot regulations? More or less the amount of the city’s part of the pot tax?

Is the tax money worth the impact of the human damage that will result of the open usage of pot in Issaquah? Kids will find ways to obtain pot, and the damage upon their bodies will be the fault of those that want more tax money. In addition, pot is just another way to create impaired driving and associated accidents.

Other King County towns have already declared not to allow pot in their towns, so just cut spending in lieu of the pot tax.

Ken Sessler

Issaquah

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To the Editor

February 13, 2014

Seventh & Gilman property

Flooding concerns must be addressed in a meaningful way

The Seventh & Gilman property clearly needs to be redeveloped. However, having been associated with two businesses there, and having been flooded out three times, I am concerned that whatever is approved takes all its problems fully into account.

The city rates the chance of flooding on this property at a one-in-100-year event, but in reality, it has been more like one in seven in recent years. My largest concern with the current proposal is the below-flood-level parking, and the likelihood it will leave the residents’ 400 to 500 vehicles submerged and its large underground footprint push floodwater to new places.

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To the Editor

February 4, 2014

Klahanie

It’s time to let the people decide this issue

As a homeowner in the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area, I have no animosity toward Sammamish, and recognize it is a developing and growing city. What I do have is a frustration with the approach taken by the opposition spreading mistruths about Issaquah. Sammamish had 8-plus years to approach King County regarding annexation and did nothing.

Among the inaccuracies: 1) Issaquah’s police force is not inadequately manned as it has 34 police officers for a population of 32,000, with six more to come. Our research has shown Sammamish has 24 for a population of 48,000. Issaquah has 1-plus per 1,000 while Sammamish has 1 for every 2,000 citizens. 2) Issaquah rightfully supports shared responsibility for Issaquah-Fall City Road and will work aggressively with the other two boundary entities to make appropriate improvements as should be the case. 3) Bonded indebtedness is a phony sales pitch. Sammamish is a 10-plus-year-old city that has little developed infrastructure, business or city build outs — so yes, no debt, yet — bit it will come as it grows. Issaquah is a 100-plus-year-old city — years of growth and development benefiting every one of their citizens.

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Letters to the Editor Jan. 29

January 28, 2014

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

Issaquah

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

Issaquah

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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