August 12, 2014
Remember how simple voting used to be? You would drive or walk to your neighborhood voting place, sign in, get your ballot, go to the private voting area, drop your ballot in the secure box and be on your way. That wasn’t simple enough or possibly cost effective enough for King County, so we now have all mail-in voting.
In the recent primary election “some” (undisclosed number) return envelopes for ballots were found to be already sealed when voters opened the voting packets sent to them by King County Elections. That “some” was significant enough for King County Elections to send out a press release July 25 to the media in hopes of informing voters of the potential issue.
August 5, 2014
Coordination, new ideas needed on tolling
The feared 10-mile backups never materialized when the state took Interstate 90 down to one lane for construction. As often seems to happen in these situations, a thousand people made a thousand little changes, and we pulled through.
One big change, however, might have helped keep things flowing with a minimum of angst, toll relief on the state Highway 520 bridge.
In the weeks leading up to the closure, there was a bit of finger-pointing about whether or not one part of the state government gave a different part of the state government enough advanced notice.
July 29, 2014
Please don’t feed the bears, ever
“A fed bear is a dead bear.”
Those were true words from an expert who spoke to The Issaquah Press several years ago about the bears people were reporting in their yards and trashcans in the Issaquah area.
They are still true now. We have built our homes and businesses in their yards, and we are going to come into contact with wildlife.
We are the stewards of this land, and we have a responsibility to keep those animals (along with our neighbors) safe. That means letting animals be when we encounter them. Don’t hassle them. Don’t try to pet them. Don’t feed them.
July 22, 2014
Let the back-to-school shopping begin!
Wow, everything from erasers to three colors of ink pens, from scissors to notebooks are on the list. Don’t forget a box of Kleenex for the classroom and an apple for the teacher.
If you’ve purchased a new backpack for your student and added in the supplies, your receipts probably add up to well more than $100. And you still have to get new shoes and pay for a yearbook and a PTA membership.
July 15, 2014
The Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group is one of those little committees that government seems to form all the time. Typically, these sorts of bodies get together, author an important-sounding report and disband. The report gathers dust, and nothing actually happens.
This one is different. The kokanee work group has certainly done its share of fact-finding, but the facts are being put to use. The little red fish is recovering, and the efforts of the work group should be applauded.
July 8, 2014
No matter how you feel about it, it’s now legal to purchase and smoke it in the state of Washington. (Leave it to officials to sort out the federal vs. state issue, though at this point, no one has announced plans to crack down on people who take a toke.)
And although there is not yet a local place to make a purchase, 24 retailers in the Puget Sound area were granted licenses this week by the state Liquor Control Board.
A majority of voters wanted marijuana, and now we all have it. In order to turn that initiative and vote into a real win, people must be responsible with their pot.
July 1, 2014
Students can get physical education credit for taking a class online, but not for playing sports. This policy has its root in a confusing aspect of state law, which needs to be cleaned up and changed to allow credit for sports.
Under current law, a student can waive the requirement for taking a physical education class if he or she is playing a sport, though students must still take a test to show they understand the concepts taught in class. However, they can’t earn the credit for knowing those concepts.
The benefit to students is in freeing up a class period to take something that might look more interesting on their college application.
June 24, 2014
Days are numbered for the 200 bus, the shuttle marked “freebee” that residents are used to seeing around town. While it’s unfortunate, the removal of the bus should provide a catalyst to look at transportation across the city.
After the failure of King County’s Proposition 1 last fall, Metro announced the 200, along with a handful of commuter routes serving Issaquah, will stop service in September.
The city spends about $50,000 per year — on top of Metro’s $1.2 million (which also comes from city residents, of course) to keep the bus running. The route sees about 400 boardings per day; one person might board multiple times, so that doesn’t necessarily mean those are unique passengers.
June 17, 2014
Since kindergarten, you schlepped books to and from school. You were expected to learn the basics: reading, writing and arithmetic. You hopefully learned how to share, how to make friends, and how to become part of a social and cultural group.
Perhaps you were fortunate enough to delve into extracurricular activities like art, choir, playing an instrument, drama, sports, debate or yearbook staff. Most importantly, you hopefully learned to be an individual in a sea of sameness, as well as how to be a critical thinker.
For some, high school goes down as the best times of life — the camaraderie, close friendships, being part of a team.
June 10, 2014
City and school district leaders should be applauded. While the story is the sort that many readers just gloss over, local taxpayers are set to save a bundle of money as a result of recent developments.
The city of Issaquah and the Issaquah School District both recently had their bond ratings upgraded. The city’s rating was bumped up to AAA — the highest possible — by Standard & Poor’s, while the district’s was raised to AA+ by the same agency.
Ratings are determined only after the rating agency goes over the fiscal policies of an agency with a fine-tooth comb. They look at financial management, assets, existing debt and budgeting assumptions.