Here’s to getting to know you — at long last

April 1, 2014

I’ve been working for this newspaper for 10 months, so it seems high time I got around to introducing myself.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a big fan of reporters who write about themselves, even in opinion pieces. My job is to tell your stories, not my own. But hey, most people are a little curious about the guy hanging around the school board meetings and the high-school football games, so I’m happy to oblige.

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

I grew up in Spokane and matriculated to the fine institution of Washington State University to get my journalism degree. Basically, it’s the only school I ever wanted to attend because half my family did as well. My dad, aunt and uncle all earned pharmacy degrees in Pullman. For three years, I lived in the same dormitory my grandfather did in the 1940s.

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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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Editorial

March 25, 2014

It’s time to just let Klahanie go

Please, please, let us stop writing about Klahanie.

The Issaquah City Council pushed and pushed to convince the residents of the Klahanie area to join the city. The residents rejected the idea. Now, the council is considering another study of the issue and even talking about carving the area up on a precinct-by-precinct basis, cherry-picking the spots that voted to join.

The balkanization of Klahanie is not the answer. Does that council really want to start down this road of carving up territory after election results come in? Perhaps, in future elections, only people who live in precincts that support a bond measure will have to incur the debt. Maybe people whose precinct supports a losing candidate will get an alternate City Council, so the person they choose can serve them.

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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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What would it take to get you out to the Elks?

March 25, 2014

The picture is not rosy.

Despite all the good Elks lodges do for their communities across the nation, membership continues to decline.

As a result, the fewer the members the less money is raised for local college scholarships or the elimination of programs that support Wounded Warrior snowmobiling outings.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

The situation is not yet dire at Issaquah’s Lake Sammamish Lodge No. 1843, but something needs to be done to turn the downward trend around before it’s too late.

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Editorial

March 18, 2014

An annexation that may make sense

Washington State Parks has asked the city of Issaquah to consider annexing Lake Sammamish State Park. The idea is worth considering.

As it stands, the park, even though it is a state park, sits in unincorporated King County. However, it is surrounded on all sides — except the lake side — by Issaquah.

As there have been plans to add some developments to the park, Issaquah has taken the lead in vetting those plans. But, once a specific plan is chosen, the county would need to get involved in issuing needed permits.

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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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When is free speech no longer free?

March 18, 2014

I was a sixth-grader in middle school when I was knocked down and beaten up by a group of Hispanic girls who kept shouting at me about being a white girl.

I remember how shocked I was as I walked home crying, nursing a black eye and worrying about my torn-beyond-repair dress. How could those girls be that way? I didn’t even know them, so I hadn’t done anything to them to warrant such an attack.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen R. Merrill
Press managing editor

For weeks afterward, I walked home from school many different ways, and got my brother or some friends to walk with me whenever they could.

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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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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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