October 22, 2013
Vickie Hoffman deserved to be on the front page
Thank you so much for featuring this bright star of our community on the front page — so deserving!
Vicki’s warmth, welcoming spirit and endless generosity to help children and the community were so uplifting to everyone she came in contact with. What a treasure we have enjoyed knowing.
Our warmest hugs to Stan, Ashley and Kyle.
October 17, 2013
If the partners of Eastside Fire & rescue don’t act quickly, they may be too late to salvage the partnership that has served them so well for many years.
For the past few years, Sammamish has been warning its partners in Eastside Fire & Rescue that the current funding model was unsustainable. The formula, based solely on assessed value – while ignoring the number of calls for service – has had Sammamish and Fire Districts 10 and 38 subsidizing fire and emergency services for Issaquah and North Bend.
Sammamish was lobbying for a new funding model based half on property value and half on calls, but other partners were not interested. Sammamish then proposed a 75/25 formula. North Bend was willing to go along, but Issaquah and Fire District 10 were still opposed.
Sammamish held firm, investing time and money studying the costs of dropping out of EFR to start its own city fire department. Sammamish is poised to take a vote on the measure soon and move one step closer to withdrawing from the EFR consortium.
Now the partners may begin to discuss the merits of a 75/25 plan at their own agencies. They should do so and make their decision quickly.
Yes, some will end up paying more, but they’ve been getting a good ride on the back of the Sammamish taxpayers for years. Paying a little more to help make the situation more equitable is the right thing to do.
EFR has been a success. Pooling resources has allowed each community to serve their citizens better than they would be able to by going it alone. The partners should end the squabbling and get back to making EFR a better agency.
October 15, 2013
School board election
Lisa Callan has students’ best interests in mind
When Lisa Callan told me she planned to run for a position on the Issaquah School Board, I was excited both for the Issaquah School District and for Lisa.
Lisa has realistic, implementable and compelling ideas; she is a collaborative team player; and she is dedicated to having a positive influence on this district and the education it provides. Lisa brings skill, thought, intelligence and integrity to every table; her glass is always half full.
October 15, 2013
I love October. Between the changing weather, the eruption of color and the settling shroud of Halloween, my appreciation of this month has grown exponentially over time.
It is a recent development and a remarkable one. Here: Let me remark on it.
About 11 years ago, I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a pretty severe case. Instead of the short daylight of winter, autumn depressed me the most. We’re not talking being moody and mopey. We’re talking straight up “can’t leave the bed because everything is eternally painful.” I had life-changing problems with school as I was just beginning college and it led to some pretty intense family issues. Everyone has their personal struggles.
October 8, 2013
With all the buzz about social media and its influence on our culture, it was time to face up to Facebook, especially since I read that kids are abandoning it because it has become popular with their parents. So, I finally opened a Facebook account.
(Actually, there was an account that bore my name a few years ago, started by some nefarious students, and I had to threaten Facebook with legal action to get it taken down.)
Since opening the account, I have made contact with former friends whom I had not heard from in 25 or 30 years and have gleaned a lot of news from relatives not normally heard from.
Then one day came a suspicious posting: “What’s her face” would like to be your friend. Along with the request for friendship was a picture of a cute little filly. I assumed she was a friend of one of my friends, trying to expand her universe of friends, so I confirmed the request.
October 8, 2013
Klahanie belongs in Sammamish
The King County Boundary Review Board will meet Thursday to set the final geographic outline of the Klahanie annexation land whose fate will be decided in a February election. Voters will then decide to become part of the City of Issaquah — or not.
Sammamish is another option, just not on the ballot —yet.
We understand why some Klahanie residents want to join Issaquah. It’s about lower taxes. It’s about better police protection. It’s about the desire for better roads and parks. And for many, it’s an emotional connection to the city where they work, shop and play now.
October 8, 2013
School board election
Alison Meryweather is a tireless advocate
I am privileged to write in support of Alison Meryweather’s candidacy for the Issaquah School Board, Position 4.
I have worked closely with Alison for the past several years on education advocacy issues, and have been consistently impressed by her intelligence and her deep understanding of challenges faced by our public education system in general and our school district in particular.
October 1, 2013
Ordinance is behavior modification gone awry
More than 3,000 signatures have been obtained from local citizenry to let us vote yea or nay on the city’s bag ban. This is significant support for the right to put an issue before the people.
Here are some facts …
1) shoplifting is eight times higher in towns with plastic bag bans
2) plastic bags are sanitary and reusable … and they are reused, contrary to assertions otherwise
3) the volume of trash from our wonderful local coffee shops far exceeds any quantity of plastic bags allegedly laying all over our city streets and in landfills
4) there is no proof banning plastic bags improves the environment
5) bag bans punish customers
6) the ordinance includes no method for measuring alleged reductions in waste
7) unsanitary poly-cloth and plastic-coated bags have no proven benefit as alternative to plastic or paper bags
8) polyester is a petrochemical fiber … it’s plastic!
This ordinance is behavior modification gone awry complete with financial punishment for noncompliance. Like taxes, once there is a foot in the door, more like it will surely come. Several council members have stated as much.
If we don’t vote this out, be sure another like it is on the way.
Please download, sign and mail the petition for ordinance repeal at http://saveourchoice.wordpress.com.
Do not commercialize, destroy this beautiful area
After reading the article in the Sept. 16 edition of The Issaquah Press I am incensed that the city’s Economic Development Department would even consider the commercialization of the Lake Sammamish State park waterfront.
Of the three proposals submitted, only the Issaquah Soccer Club’s proposal makes any sense. Why would you destroy the beauty of the remaining undeveloped portion of the lakefront with a restaurant and or a hotel/ convention center?
With commercialization come pollution, the destruction of natural resources, critical animal habitat, etc. As more and more less-than-thought-out decisions are made with regard to how “Issaquah should look in the future” the more and more we are going to be a mere extension of Bellevue.
What’s wrong with letting Bellevue be Bellevue and keeping Issaquah the way it is, a small friendly town with a small friendly feel? We don’t need to look and feel like a big city. My guess is the majority of residents feel the same way.
Something smells about this situation
I was shocked to see the celebration of the donation by a local car dealer of vehicles to be used by the Issaquah Police. How can this not be illegal influence peddling? If it’s not illegal, it certainly carries the stink of insider relationships.
I would strongly urge the city to return these “donations” and to purchase what the police need through the usual processes. We don’t need Issaquah to look like so many places where local businesses get special treatment.
Gender wage gap
New numbers are not so new
On Sept. 17, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on the gender wage gap — but there’s nothing “new” about it. In 2012, women still earned just 77 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. That number hasn’t budged in the past decade, and it’s lower for women of color.
Washington, D.C., has closed the gap to 90 cents and Wyoming was at the bottom of the list at 64 cents. In Washington state, a man earns $52.53 to a woman’s $41.06. We were number 25 on the list of states at 78 cents. Use this information when you go to any candidate forms this fall; ask a question about where they stand on the wage gap.
There is a bill trying to get out of committee onto the floor of our U.S. Congress for a vote, and it needs public support. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell support this bill; Rep. Dave Reichert is not on record as supporting Paycheck Fairness Act H.R. 377/S.84. Thanks to those who support this bill!
Issaquah AAUW Branch
All drivers need to pay more attention
A bad start to the day — on Sept. 18, I was returning from a walk at about 8 a.m. and was waiting for the light on Newport Way and Sunset Way.
A 927 local bus was (apparently) running far behind schedule, for as soon as the light changed (the walk sign came on and the voice said I could cross) the bus made a fast right, right in from of me. I jumped back, and then a car behind the bus almost hit me, as it followed closely behind the bus. And then, I was almost hit by a woman turning left onto Newport.
All this happened in a matter of seconds and I still had the light! Usually Issaquah drivers are pretty considerate and will often stop if you are near the crosswalk. But that day, I was in the way, even though I was trying to cross legally. I’m glad I got home safe, and I hope they slowed down.
October 1, 2013
Grand Ridge Plaza is on the grow
Grand Ridge Plaza in the Issaquah Highlands is growing, and growing and growing after years of stops and starts, and false starts and stops.
If you watched it grow in the past months, you could hardly believe all the workers could get done in a short period. You’d go up there on a Monday and there would be a wooden shell of a building, and then go back on Thursday and it would be nearly done. It was a sight to behold.
If you haven’t been there in a while, you are in for a shock on your next visit. It’s like a huge outdoor mall has sprouted and spread. I don’t know if it’s what the highlands residents bargained for or wanted, but it’s shiny and new, and pretty awesome in my opinion.
October 1, 2013
Rain, rain, go away, Salmon Days here to stay
Rain, rain, so much rain. There may be more than one benefit to all the rain of the past few days, but in Issaquah there is one species that is welcoming the rushing creek waters.
Welcome home, salmon. This gush is just for you.
But now that the creek flow is strong and swift, calling the salmon home, the rain can quit. We’ve got a party coming on and 150,000 guests are due to arrive this weekend.