Buyer beware after winning a Super Bowl!

March 4, 2014

Memorabilia is a wonderful thing, and there’s nothing wrong with having some nice keepsakes to remind us of the places, people and events in our lives that hold a lot of meaning. My wife says I hang onto too much, but that’s another story.

There’s also nothing wrong with spending good money on a great object of value that reminds me of something historic or unique. If I see something nice and wait until later, it may well be gone by the time I’m ready to order. I always regret those missed opportunities for a long time.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

But do I really want to spend $300 on the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Express? Not only that, but do I want to be FOOLED into spending that much money on a plastic model train set with four cars and a 3-by-5-foot oval track?

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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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Call me a citizen, not a customer

February 25, 2014

In Mayor Fred Butler’s Feb. 18 State of the City address, he said the first initiative of the coming year lies in providing “outstanding customer service.” It was the most recent example of hearing city officials in Issaquah and elsewhere refer to citizens as customers and I keep trying to unravel why it bothers me.

I should say up front that I have a silly little degree in political science, and obsessing over the details of government language comes with the territory. Still, my knee-jerk reaction would say, “You are a government, not Verizon or Domino’s pizza.”

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

Clearly, governments who refer to citizens as customers do so in order to clarify the relationship between the public and the establishment. By saying they hold themselves accountable for the taxes they receive and pledge to provide good services in exchange, it frames the relationship in an economically driven way. Additionally, it makes the give and take seem more friendly and personal.

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February 25, 2014

Death penalty overdue for reconsideration

More than five years ago, this newspaper called for the state Legislature to revisit the value of Washington’s death penalty. Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee opened the door to begin the overdue conversation by implementing a death-penalty moratorium while he is the state’s elected CEO.

At first glance, it may seem unimportant. Washington state has had only five executions in the past 50 years.

But consider that there are nine men currently on death row in Washington prisons. Consider that taxpayers pay for the prosecution, for the public defenders and for the court system. Those cases are under appeal and the appeals will go forward. Inslee’s mandate does not do away with capital punishment, it just removes the killings from happening on his watch.

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February 18, 2014

Parents of newborn had other options

Last week’s news of the discovery of a dead newborn baby in the woods just off a heavily traveled road in North Bend caught everyone’s attention. It’s just so sad. It didn’t have to end this way.

It is still uncertain whether the baby was already dead when it was left about 10 feet from the road, to be discovered by a passerby. The umbilical cord was still attached to the infant.

It is also unknown who left the child. Mother, father or someone else? Is the mother of the baby OK, physically and mentally? It’s easy to imagine the broken heart, the torture of carrying a full-term baby and having it taken from you so early.

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To the Editor

February 18, 2014


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


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List of distinguished retirees grows longer

February 18, 2014

Debbie Berto joined a growing, distinguished list within the past year when she announced her retirement. After 40 years at The Issaquah Press, she was ready to move on to the next challenge in her life.

She wasn’t the only one to call it quits on service in the public eye.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Locally, Ava Frisinger ended her run in January as Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor after 17 years. When Frisinger announced in 2009 she would not run for another term, her reasoning was simple.

“I didn’t want to become stale,” she said. “It’s important to let others in and run things with a fresh set of eyes.”

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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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Be the 12th man or woman while doing some good

February 11, 2014

Congratulations, Seahawks and Seahawks fans. The 43-8 Super Bowl win against Denver makes us proud to be Northwest residents. And kudos to the Seahawks organization for the way it has embraced the 12th man concept — saying we fans are part of the team.

Online sports columnist Art Thiel ( said the number 12 seems to have significance for the Seahawks.

Sherry Grindeland SnoValley Star editor

Sherry Grindeland
SnoValley Star editor

“If you’re into sports numerology, Seattle scored 12 seconds into the first half, and 12 seconds into the second half,” he wrote. “For the long-suffering 12s, the symbolism goes beyond coincidence.”

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Thank you so much, Debbie Berto

February 11, 2014

It would take the next three longest-serving current Issaquah Press employees combined to equal publisher Debbie Berto’s 41 years of effort. And they would have to reach the ages of 85, 81 or 72, respectively, for one to catch her record. Not going to happen. In our 114-year history, not one other person has ever devoted their entire adult life to the cause of community journalism for the citizens of this town. When The Issaquah Press reaches 228 years, her mark will still stand. Thank you, Debbie Berto.

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