April 23, 2013
Bag ban is making a cleaner Issaquah
Issaquah’s bag ban will be two months old next week. Grocery store clerks say shoppers are getting used to the ban, while others are still grumbling.
For those volunteering to pick up litter in Issaquah last Saturday, it is obvious that better habits for recycling and disposal are needed, and could go a long way to creating a cleaner city. Plastic bags are only part of the problem, but they are prevalent on blackberry bushes along Issaquah Creek and in drainage ditches.
April 16, 2013
Honor the Earth with participation
Issaquah is a city that prides itself on being environmentally friendly. Beyond the great schools and prime location, people move to this city for the tall green trees and deep blue lakes.
With Earth Day next week, there are plenty of opportunities to honor the Earth.
April 9, 2013
County should buy south Squak parcel
The clear-cut logging of 95 acres on the steep south slope of Squak Mountain should not be permitted, even after the property owner resubmitted a plan, reduced from the original plan to log 195 acres of the 216-acre parcel.
On the other hand, if the county allows logging there, the new owner of the property that was formerly the Highlands Camping Club has the right to proceed within county guidelines.
The solution is clear. King County needs to tap into its reserve account for the purchase of sensitive areas and buy the property.
April 2, 2013
Knives on planes policy is nonsensical
It’s been almost a dozen years since 9/11. Memories of that day have faded, but not if you are an airline traveler in a long security line at the airport, questioning whether the added security actually protects passengers from terrorists.
After all this time, we’ve learned to accept the new norm in airport security. After turning over pocketknives and having the short file on nail clippers removed for all these years, the Transportation Security Administration’s new policy allows small knives back onto planes. We agree with flight attendants: Little knives can be big security risks.
March 26, 2013
Decisions without input are against public values
The Issaquah School District’s plan for handling school boundary changes represents the height of arrogance from the administration, and a dodge by the School Board.
Under the policy re-affirmed by the School Board two weeks ago, boundary changes are entirely in the province of the district administration. Since the School Board isn’t part of the process, any committees studying potential changes aren’t subject to open meetings laws.
March 19, 2013
Spring cleanup needs everyone
What can create community pride better than a spring cleanup? The city of Issaquah is overdue for one.
Issaquah used to have a spring cleanup, but it was last held about 20 years ago. It was memorable. Little League teams showed up with litterbags in hand before they headed to the park with bats and balls. Girl Scouts repainted the Sunset Way bridge over Issaquah Creek. Downtown merchants planted their flower boxes.
March 12, 2013
Teen criminals’ privacy vs. your right to know
Your state representatives don’t think you need to know if your neighborhood teen has been molesting other kids. If you have a burglar in your midst and he/she is under 18, then you don’t need to know that either, even if it’s someone your son or daughter is dating.
In 1977, the Legislature moved the juvenile justice system into the superior and district courts, in the interest of access to justice, as called for in the state constitution. Now, it wants to limit access to juvenile criminal records and court records in general, ostensibly because the Internet has created unintended uses for those records.
Last week, Substitute House Bill 1651 passed the House, 97-0. Was no one paying attention to its ramifications?
March 5, 2013
Proposed car taxes aren’t the way
There is a need for more funding for the county’s road network. Potholes need to be filled, lanes need to be restriped, new facilities need to be constructed, and transit — meaning bus routes and rail lines — need to be expanded and maintained.
A bill working its way through the Legislature is not the answer. House Bill 1959 would allow the county to impose a tax of up to 1.5 percent of the value of a vehicle. It could be imposed either by a vote of the County Council or through a countywide vote. The majority of the money, 60 percent, would go to capital improvements for transit. The remaining 40 percent would be distributed to the county and the cities for roads.
If the tax is adopted, the owner of a new car would have to pay the 1.5 percent tax based on 85 percent of the car’s suggested sales price. For a $40,000 car, that means $510 per year. The number would drop as the car depreciates.
There are so many problems with this it’s hard to know where to start.
February 26, 2013
Accept it — the bag ban is here
On Friday, the Issaquah ban on most retail plastic bags begins. Like it or not, prepare to bring your own reusable bags, or pay a nickel per paper bag. An ad in this paper offers a coupon for a free reusable bag.
The plastic bag ban was adopted last June by the Issaquah City Council, following in the footsteps of Seattle and other cities, including Edmonds and Mukilteo. Concern for the environment was the prime motivator behind the initiative, led by then-City Councilman Mark Mullet, now the state senator for the 5th Legislative District.
According to the city’s website, plastic bags are made from nonrenewable resources and do not biodegrade in the environment. An estimated 2 billion disposable plastic bags are used annually in Washington state, and less than 5 percent are recovered for recycling.
February 19, 2013
Leave divorce wait time alone
One bill winding its way through the Legislature would increase the divorce waiting time from 90 days to one year after filing with the courts. The thought that a longer wait time would help a marriage is foolish.
Divorce is, to say the least, unpleasant. Even when there are no children involved, the hurt feelings, financial untangling and emotional stress can be devastating. When there are children involved, the household animosity should not be prolonged.
Sen. Don Benton’s bill is aimed at reducing the number of divorces. But Benton’s idea, to increase the waiting time, is misguided. Benton’s bill seems to assume that adults get divorces on the spur of the moment, that if they would just stop and think things through for a bit longer, they’d stay together.